As soon as he walks in, he feels the people in the room tensing. Leo can't blame them, Blaine looks like a dog that was already big to begin with and that was also given steroids since it was a puppy. People tend to be intimidated by animals that can end their entire family with one swipe of their paws. This legitimate feeling, tho, usually disappears completely when Blaine starts to walk around, flapping his tail and asking for treats to everybody, which is exactly what he's doing right now.
Some of these people even know him already – because the town is not that big and they come here often – so they're calling him left and right, patting their legs to better catch his attention. He moves from one person to the other, barking happily and letting people stroke his head and back.
Leo has honestly no idea how he ended up in line at the post office with a dog. Especially because Blaine is not even a freaking dog, but a werewolf. The more he thinks about it the less sense it makes. All he knows is that one day he was watching the workers his father had hired to build the guest house as they worked the day away. Half of them were hot, shirtless, tanned and beautifully sweaty. Blaine was their foreman - handsome, dark and sexy - and a few days later, he and Leo were having sex right in the middle of the construction site. Leo had basically hit the jackpot of his most common sexual fantasies. Fast forward to almost a year later and Leo is now eating row meat during creepy rituals in the woods and he's part of the local werewolves pack.
As far as the post office is concerned, there's nothing wrong in being in one. It's just weird going there while keeping your boyfriend on a leash and having to pick up his droppings when he leaves them in the middle of the sidewalk. Oh, Blaine thinks it's so funny! He squats on the curb, forcing everybody to cross the street to keep walking because he's huge, and he produces this humongous pile of crap, then he walks away with a satisfied expression on his muzzle because it is not his business anymore at that point. It usually ends up with Leo threatening him with neutering and Blaine growling angrily in his face.
Anyway, sometimes it's just hard to reconcile the image of the huge, two hundreds pounds wolf with fangs so long he can dismember an adult deer – Leo has unfortunately seen that happen – with that of this silly, goofy and vagueley German shepherd-y dog that is right in front of him and he's rolling on his back with his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth for the amusement of three little kids.
Blaine likes kids because they make him play until he's blissfully exhausted, but he likes to play dead or give his giant paw to everybody who asks him nice enough, especially if they hide treats in the pockets of their jackets. He can smell dog biscuits from miles away and he's very insistent when you don't give them to him right away. Anyway, among all the people, his favorites remain tiny old ladies – those so small that he could easily eat them whole – because they appeal to his more narcissistic side by telling him what a beautiful animal he is and what beautiful black fur he has. It's embarrassing, really.
Leo sighs and sits down as he waits for his turn. Having finished his round of honor, Blaine comes to sit next to his legs and then he drops down whining, resting his head on Leo's feet. He doesn't like to wait at all. He's more the kind of dog who wants you to throw the ball, brings it back to you and then refuses to give it back. And yes, they have spent some of their dates like that. He should definitely find himself another guy.
Leaving him would not be so easy now, tho. Not that he wants to, but sometimes he thinks about it. Their relationship became bigger than them the moment Leo officially became part of the pack – and it took him a lot of effort too since he's not a werewolf. People always say that when you marry someone, you also marry their family. Well, try dating a pack master.
Blaine's pack is not as big as it could be – not yet, at least – but it's stronger than normal, especially considering that it consists in very few elements, two of which humans. Apart from Blaine, who's a very big alpha male, there are several powerful beta. One in particular, Matt, is abnormally huge and only his insanely chilled attitude and total lack of ambition probably prevents him from being an alpha himself, which is nice because Blaine likes him a lot and he didn't want to have to fight him to death. Omega are weird too. The pack has currently two, but one is strong enough to be Blaine's second in command and the other, despite being only one-quarter wolf, worked so hard on his skill that he's one of the best hunters. And if the pack is strong as the weakest of its omega, Blaine's pack is pretty strong indeed.
If Leo wanted to leave Blaine, he would have to leave all these people too. One year ago that would have been an easy thing to do. He didn't owe them anything. They were nothing to him. Now they are family – a weird one where actual kinship has no meaning at all – and he cares for them. And now that he thinks about it, this is the answer to why he's here in a post office with a dog that is not a dog.
As they all get ready to go crazy with the heat at home, someone still has to pay the bills.
Title: Emergency Maneuver
Prompt: You have no control on who lives who dies who tells your story
Timelines are not something they can tampering with. Pete makes sure he always say that to Blaine and Leo at least once every time he sees them, especially if he then proceeds to take them on a journey through parallel universes where they are always the main characters. But tonight is different.
To be specific, tonight is so catastrophically different that if Blaine and Leo ended up tampering with a timeline or two, it would still be less dangerous than not acting at all. The universe has been put in jeopardy by a crack in one of the instances and Pete has been so slow in finding out which one it was – he was in the bathroom, sue him – that now they have very little time to fix the damage.
Usually, he does the fixing by himself, more often than not by moving some pawns on his metaphorical chessboard to force things to go the way he wants them to. But that takes months and now they barely have hours. Luckily he doesn't give up so easily, not even when the situation seems utterly impossible to solve. Besides, he was lucky enough -- apparently saying curse with earns you the glares and mistrust of all the people in the high council -- to being given one of the most complicated universes to manage, so problem solving and sangfroid are more or less the first two words of his job description. The third and four are good luck.
He found out not very long ago that when nothing else works, Leo can be very effective in convincing – read: bullying – his or Blaine's doppelgangers into doing what he wants. He can be extremely single-minded when he wants to, and he usually wants to when the idea itself of his love for Blaine is in danger. So, that is what Pete wants to do tonight: unleash Leo against this particularly stubborn alter-Leo. After all, nobody can convince yourself to do something better than yourself, right?
“Do you know what I always tell you?” Pete asks, as they land where they are supposed to. The constant buzzing inside the machine slows down as the engine is turned down. The lights dim.
“Never eat any food?” Leo answers.
“Never look back?” Blaine answers.
Pete frowns. “I've never said any of those things. Besides, we're neither in Fairyland nor you are Persephone,” he snorts. “No! I always tell you that you have no control on who lives, who dies or who tells your story.”
“Oh, right,” Leo nods. “That one.”
“You always tell us so many things that sometimes it's actually hard to get what you're referring to.”
Pete snorts again and he realizes that he has snorted more in the past ten minutes than in his whole life. “You have a gift for ruining epic moods, you know that?” He says, while the two of them look at each other with a puzzled expression. “Well, forget what I said tonight. You can and you will have the control over your lives. Also because if you don't fix these things, the universe can sort of collapse.”
“Well, collapse. For sure.”
“Are you serious?”
Oh, he is. But there's no time to explain any further, so he pushes them out and crosses his fingers.
It has always worked, why not this time?
Title: Cat Adoption Agency
“If you don't stop pacing, I will have to send you the bill for the parquet's renovation,” Blaine informs him from the couch. “And I'm not sure how you are going to be able to pay for it. It's Italian.”
“I had no doubt about it.” The coffee machine, the carpet in the living room, the bathroom tiles, not to mention every single one of his expensive suits, everything in this house is Italian. At this point Leo is starting to think that Blaine uses the word Italian to mean expensive. “I'll ask my dads to pay for it.”
“With all due respect, I don't think they could either,” Blaine replies.
“You're probably right,” Leo agrees after a while. Still, he doesn't stop pacing. “They're rich, but not rich as fuck as you are.”
“Language,” Blaine says automatically. He knows he should probably look up from the magazine he's reading, but this article is interesting. It's about him.
Leo stops in the middle of the room, huffing. “How can you be so calm?”
“Fretting makes me sweat and that's unbecoming of a man of my stature,” he says, admiring his own face in the photoshoot. “Besides, I don't understand what are you so nervous about.”
“She's been in there for hours!” Leo exclaims. His voice is way more louder than it should be in general, and especially at this hour on Sunday morning. Blaine should tell him to be quiet or his neighbors will complain again, but he can't honestly spend the entirety of his time educating this kid. He's supposed to do something else with him. “Aren't you worried?”
Blaine eventually looks up from his magazine and sighs. “I think she has everything she needs,” he says. “We just have to be patient, love.”
“But she's alone!” Leo insists, pointing at the bathroom door. “Shouldn't we call a doctor or something? I think we should call one. Does she have a doctor?”
“Yes, she has a veterinarian,” Blaine nods. “But he told me everything that I had to do over the phone. And I promise you, I followed his instructions to the letter. She's fine. I didn't even think you cared so much.”
Leo frowns. “Do you really think I'm a sociopath or something?”
“Well, you're not really good at expressing feelings, my love. Except for lust, but I'm not sure that's a feeling.”
Leo knows Blaine is mocking him, so he just ignores him. “But she's giving birth! Like, these things are supposed to be done with lots of people surrounding you or something!”
“Or something,” Blaine nods, putting his magazine down. He can't properly enjoy a four pages article praising his person and career with a sixteen years old boy squeaking and squealing a few feet away from him. “Leo, baby, she's a cat. Not a person. She just wants to be left alone while nature follows his course. She knows exactly what to do by instinct.”
“How can you be sure about that?”
“Because she was visited and found perfectly healthy. Her ultrasound was great and all the kittens where exactly were they were supposed to be,” Blaine explains to him. “Now we only have to wait.” Leo doesn't find anything else to reply, so he joins him on the couch. He kicks off his shoes and turns himself into a ball against the pillows. “Just calm down,” Blaine smiles, passing ha hand through his unruly hair. “You've been insanely worried for her since this whole story started.”
This story started about two months ago when Little Miss Sunshine suddenly disappeared for a couple of days and then showed up again pregnant. Blaine had a moment of parental what did I go wrong with her?, feeling like a father who suddenly finds himself with a perfectly lovely teenager gone bad. Little Miss Sunshine was a good cat. It was probably one of those bad street cats that led her on the wrong path. Then, after a first stage of denial, he simply accepted the fact that he was about to become a granddad.
Leo received the news a few weeks later, when he entered Blaine's apartment in Westerville and spotted a suddenly fat Little Miss Sunshine unable to jump on the couch anymore. And he simply freaked out. The idea of small kittens literally turned him into a ball of emotions. He was so excited that, torn between screaming, laughing and crying, he did all three things together, which worried Blaine a bit.
He personally took care of finding the right basket for the cat to give birth into, and read all there was to read on the internet to make sure everything was alright. Fast forward to now and he's pacing in front of the bathroom – where the cat is supposedly giving birth – nervous as an uncle who's about to meet his nieces and nephews. It's a miracle the moment came during a week end, when he could actually be here. Blaine doesn't wanna think about what would have happened if it had been a school day and Leo's dads hadn't let him come.
Blaine is about to open his mouth and say something reassuring to him – possibly about the fact that cats have been giving birth to their kittens in the wilderness for literally centuries – when Little Miss Sunshine lets out a tired but seemingly happy meow, which is followed by a series of tiny whines. Leo is up and running before Blaine can even think about a word to say.
“Ah! Blaine!” Leo screams from the bathroom. “Come here! They're fluffy jelly beans!”
Blaine joins him in the bathroom and finds him squatting in front of the basket, respectfully away from it not to disturb the new mother but close enough to admire the kittens. They look like tiny beans indeed. And they are way more than he was expecting. “Oh boy,” he sighs. “Is there four of them?”
“Five,” Leo says, pointing at the missing one, hidden underneath his siblings.
Blaine gets closer and looks at the cat, who looks back at him with big, understanding eyes. “You've been very good, Little Miss Sunshine. They are beautiful.” He reaches out and strokes her tenderly and she lets him because it's him. Then Blaine sighs again, “I will have to find a home to each one of them.”
“You're not gonna keep them?” There is so much shock and sadness in Leo's voice that, for a very brief moment, Blaine is even scared that his reaction has something to do with some distant similarity he can see with the kittens and himself. The kid's issues with his own mother giving him away are always unpredictable and Blaine tends to avoid triggering them. But no, Leo just likes the fluffy beans. “But they are so cute!”
“They undoubtedly are, but I can't possibly keep five more cats in this apartment, especially when I'm not even there half the time,” Blaine explains, patiently. “They need a loving home. But it's not going to be easy. I'll have to put an ad and talk to people, and I really don't have time for that.”
“I can help,” Leo says. He's keeping his hands to himself because he knows mother cats don't want you to touch their newborns, but he's dying to just cuddle one of those tiny beans. “I know a lot of people.”
“You must be careful, though. I don't want to give them away to random people,” Blaine says. “I want them to be good families that will love them. They are not toys.”
“I will run serious interviews,” Leo says, taking out his phone to start taking photos. “I'll be the best Cat Adoption Agency that ever existed. You can trust me.”
And there's so much determination in his voice that Blaine actually does.