Author's Note: This is my first Dresden Files story, so feedback would be very nice. Thanks for reading.

Also, a little clarification. Harry calls Mister a tomcat throughout the books, but there's no reference to whether or not the cat's fixed; "tomcat" can technically apply to any male cat, neutered or unneutered. However, given Chicago city laws about animal control and his references to taking both Mister and Mouse to the vet, it's safe to assume that Mister has had a little operation. This would naturally offend Bob, to whom the possession of genitalia has to be one of the greatest privileges on the face of the earth.

Disclaimer: Harry Dresden, The Dresden Files, and all associated characters and concepts are property of Jim Butcher, and I claim no monetary compensation for producing this work. Please accept it in the spirit in which it is offered—as a respectful tribute, rather than an attempt to gain profit.


The Gospel According to Bob

By Totenkinder Madchen


I'm a spirit of knowledge, right? Spirit. Of. Knowledge. It's my job to be in the know about things. I've served more magicians, good, bad, and ugly, than I can remember--

Okay, speaking metaphorically there. I can't forget anything unless I want to, and with a couple of notable exceptions (Kemmler, and Dresden's old landlady, to whom the soft, supportive action of a really good bra was evidently a distant memory. Normally I'm all for boobs, but yeeurgh) I never want to. Anyway, I'm clued in. I'm the APHIS to Harry's Gil Grissom.

Most of the time, he gets that; we've been together (yuk yuk yuk) long enough to have our differences pretty much ironed out. I don't take too much time in Mister's body to hang out at Jugs-A-Poppin', and he doesn't leave me with nothing to read but Dostoevsky. We've got a system, and it works. I'm the serious, intelligent one, and he's the skinny jackass who does all the heavy lifting. Classic buddy comedy.

Except where a few, special things are concerned. Is anybody—anybody, really—surprised that all of these things happen to have a double-X chromosome and a hot body? And me being my brilliant self, I know that the body isn't even important. He'd be just as much of a sucker for anything that could pull off the lady-in-distress act. Not even the fun kind of distress, either. Okay, mind wandering again . . . .

Anyway, the most annoying part of Harry's annoyingness is his complete lunacy where women are concerned—and his refusal to let my august, wise council lead him through these troubled waters. Doofus.

Problem number one is the cupcake, a.k.a. Short Stuff, The Apprentice, Molly Carpenter, and Helloooo, Nurse! Just young enough to be a total babe without getting all Lolita, and often making her appearance in tight shorts or covered in sweat. I mean, jeez. She's got jewelry in interesting places and can veil anything at thirty yards, which really opens up possibilities on the fun-with-voyeurism front. But Harry is apparently enough of a genetic mistake to not only ignore his dick where the cupcake's concerned, but seemingly not even realize he's got one.

It's gotten kind of embarrassing. I mean, once she was right in front of him, right? In a hotel room. Naked. Totally willing. Ready to let him go to town, be her first—which adds just enough romance to the mix that you can get them to try anything, and I do mean anything. (Spirit of knowledge, remember?) And he dumps a pitcher of water on her and sends her home with her mother. Her MOTHER. Hell, as far as I know, he didn't even spank the monkey afterwards. He's such a social retard, I'm embarrassed to be seen with him in front of the spirit world.

Number two, Justine. This one's a little trickier. She's cute, but clingy. Plus, there's that whole totally-in-love-with-an-incubus-who's-in-love-too-so-he'll-kill-her-if-they-touch thing, which is a whole new level of fucked on the "dude, she's hot but she's got problems" scale. Don't blame Dresden for not wanting a piece of that. (Thomas would kill him if he tried anything.) But what it DOES mean is that Harry feels extra, super-duper responsible for her and anything bad that happens to her.

Angst, angst, angst. She made her choice. Love's weird that way. Get over it, already!

Someday, Thomas is going to find a way to knock that girl up—don't ask me how, but fleshy creatures are awfully inventive that way—and then there's either going to be (1) baby drama, (2) death drama, (3) Thomas drama, or (4) all of the above. And then my buddy Harry is going to be a complete downer, and me and the cupcake are going to have to pick up the pieces. Spirit of knowledge, yes. Spirit of therapy, NO. Not in the job description. All the erotica in the world wouldn't pay me to deal with that.

And then there's number three.

Three's a magical number. It's prime, for starters; anything that comes in threes can't be paired off, which is an omen if you ask me. As magic numbers go, it's probably one of the biggest. Three witches, three times of day, 'thrice I will ask and done,' yadda yadda ya.

Our girl Murphy is definitely a three. Not in looks, mind you; okay, she's slightly underendowed in the boob department, but the ass unclothéd must be damn fine, or Harry wouldn't have been so red when I asked. Plus, she can kick butt and take names—yowza. But in magical respects, Murphy's as "three" as they come.

Like things that come in threes, she's trouble. Major-league, grade-A hell on wheels. Girl's dealt with vampires, trolls, crazy necromancers, two divorces, Dresden, and everything else life can throw her way. And yes, life: she's mortal. Mortal as they come. Probably die of cancer or coughing out her lungs or torrential blood explosion or whatever. But she keeps on going.

She's trouble for Harry, too. Fine, I like to rag on him, but when it comes down to it, Harry's been a decent guy to me. He gave me a name, which is kind of nifty, and he still spent part of last month's utterly pathetic budget to buy me Sins of Desire IV: The Slave-Girl's Master, which, incidentally, would probably melt the cupcake's panties if she ever read it. He's a good joe. Not too bright, but nobody expected him to be: that's what I'm for. And these days, Murph's bad news for him.

Love is powerful. And like any power, it can go real bad, real fast. I don't have to be Barbara Cartland to see where things are going. Sooner or later, they're going to fall into bed (or onto the couch, or up against the wall, or into the shower. Just so long as it's not in the Blue Beetle, which is an F- for Classy First Dates. Where was I? Oh, right) and things are going to get complicated.

Don't get me wrong. I wish 'em the best. But Harry's not exactly, erm, family-friendly, is he? His brother's an incubus. His prospective sister-in-law is pathologically addicted to the aforementioned incubus. His apprentice once drilled psychic holes into her ex-boyfriend and best friend. His dog apparently thinks it's funny to whiz on my skull. His cat's neutered. He's barely got a penny to his name, and when he does, it's usually because he earned it by nearly getting killed. And he's such an idiot that if he breaks her heart, or she breaks his, it'll destroy them both. Hard to work will-based magic when you're contemplating slitting your wrists on Valentine's Day.

Romantics say that anybody can make it work. Me? I'm all about the knowledge. I don't know too much about human emotion, really; the only kind I really get is from the books, and as real as they are to me, I'm pretty sure they're not an accurate portrayal of what goes on inside some meatbag's skull. (Multiple simultaneous orgasms? Things of myth. Trust me.) Maybe Harry could work things out with Murphy. Maybe they'd end the war with the Red Court, root out the Black Council, finally defeat He-Who-Walks-Behind, get married, and squeeze out half-a-dozen Dresdlets to carry on the family tradition of being stupidly heroic.

Yeah, and maybe Mister's balls will grow back.

That's why Harry's reticence pisses me off. Spirit of knowledge, remember? It's my job to advise him. He should be listening to my advice. Sex? It's awesome. Love? Dangerous as hell. Bang the cupcake like a drum, absolutely. But don't fall in love with a goddamn cop. Bad idea. Back off now, Dresden. Save yourself!

. . .

. . . there's no way.