Bring Me Back A Tiger
Chapter Warning for more Mori creepiness. Can't say it's any worse than the last chapter.
"iOh, thetigerwillloveyou. Thereisnosincererlovethantheloveoffood/i." George Bernard Shaw
Chapter Three: Domestic
If Sebastian had known that winning meant three hours with a stranger measuring his junk, he wouldn't have been nearly as happy to win. Despite the ridiculous hour of the night, they were 'always open for Mr. Moriarty. Always, Sirs'. He washed off the excess blood and was put up on display for the older man. Sebastian wanted to bite the seamster, but decided that he would rather get this over with without giving the man a reason to stab him with sewing needles. Jim sat close by, amused by his phone, but otherwise indifferent to everything else.
"God. I love his face when he realizes you could have gotten in all along." He was watching the video from the camera the madman had strapped to his tiger's face, then. Sebastian grunted mildly, making the older man pinning up his sleeves jump again. He had worked with Infected before, he was kind enough to inform the uncaring tiger, but clearly not one as large and terrifying as Sebastian.
"I don't like suits," Sebastian complained again, as if he would be listened to this time. He wasn't. Admittedly, the fabric stretched so he could break into a run if he needed to, but just barely. He'd probably fall on his face often before he got use to being in this thing. He had the eerie feeling he was going to be put in a tie, too. This was terrible.
"You don't have to like it. You just have to look good," Jim purred, putting his phone away finally. The seamster stepped away and made a circle around him. Sebastian watched him threateningly. He was stupid to think it was okay to circle a huge predator. The man nodded proudly and pulled at a few places on the tiger's new, perfectly fitted suit. Sebastian swished his tail around in irritation, ears folded back as he looked at himself in the mirror. Maybe he would have looked a little more normal if he were wearing shoes. No amount of pestering from Jim would get him into any kind of shoes. His paws were perfectly fine, thank you. He just looked like a really furry lawyer. He didn't understand the point of this.
"Now you look presentable," Jim complemented, reaching up to scratch the beast's mane and behind his ears. Sebastian let out a heavy huff, but decided that it wasn't that big of a deal. He moved around a little, making sure he was still fully posable while Jim made sure his suit stayed in perfect condition. Though he didn't like it, the man had done a great job. Jim patted out his lapels and smirked at him.
"Charge up another dozen, would you? Give Sebby here a proper wardrobe."
"I'd rather not," Sebastian answered quickly.
"Not your choice," Jim sang back. The tiger decided to stop arguing his case. At least they were clothes. He'd get some real clothes on another time. He would still need everyday clothes and hopefully pants. Even he found it uncomfortable to wear trousers without pants. Especially well fitting suit trousers.
Finally, this torture was done and Jim's personal car took them back to the rooftop flat. It was the middle of the night and the town was still alive with people. Sebastian made a small circle down either side of the street, just examining the new surroundings of his new home. 'His' being the important part of that. There was a young woman walking her tiny dog and loudly chatting away on her phone, which Sebastian didn't mind at all. He couldn't keep everyone away from his home all the time. What he did mind, though, was her stupid little dog peeing on his tree. The tiger promptly approached her and she stupidly didn't notice him at all.
A loud, ear drum breaking roar changed that. She screamed and took off as fast as her heels allowed her. She left her dog behind without a thought and Sebastian batted it into traffic with a swat of a paw. Stupid dog. He hated tiny creatures. And this was his bloody tree. Sebastian raked his claws down the trunk of the tree, ripping away pieces of bark and leaving deep gashes in it. His tree. Then he returned to Jim's side, the man as amused as ever. They took the lift back up to the flat with no conversation. There wasn't anything to talk about. Sebastian worked his tongue against his blood tinted teeth, licking them clean and doing a great impression of a dog with peanut butter in its mouth. Jim stared at him, but Sebastian wasn't sure if it was bemusement or amusement.
They were, like before, met with the little Shere Khan. It rubbed against Moriarty's leg and the man picked it up gladly. Sebastian snorted. It was a huge cat to be picked up by such a small man. He hoped there was food. The tiger followed Jim and his stupid cat thing through the flat and into the decent sized kitchen. Shere Khan was dropped on the table and Sebastian seated himself. Much to his dismay, the stupid thing began to clean him, licking his face and beard and clearly not caring that it was blood on his face. It was probably used to blood. Sebastian growled at it and like its owner, it ignored him. Honestly, even the cat.
He lost Shere Khan's attention, thankfully, when Jim began opening cans. Sebastian glanced to him a little and watched him fill a fancy plate with fancy tuna. Of course his cat ate tuna that probably rang double digits in price off an expensive plate. Clearly real animals were treated better than not quite animals. Then Jim dropped the dish in front of him.
"What the fuck is this?"
"Fish," Jim answered simply, smirking a sort of smirk that made Sebastian want to bite him in the face again. Sebastian glared at him. The smell of tuna wavered into his nose, though, and he was less apprehensive. It smelled pretty good and he hadn't had fish in years, canned or otherwise. Jim rubbed him behind the ears and the tiger huffed.
"You're lucky I'm starving," he scoffed, starting on the chunks of flaky fish. Jim chuckled.
"You're lucky I like you." Which couldn't have been good for the tiger. He chose to ignore it, though, too tired and hungry to deal with crazy. Shere Khan helped itself to his bowl, nuzzling its tiny face beside his to catch nibbles of the fish. Sebastian pushed it off the table with a single paw, making the tiny thing hiss and promptly stalk off. He wasn't fond of sharing his things, especially food. Jim giggled. The tiger could hear his new little owner, of which he was getting less reluctant of, moving around in the open, connected living room. He returned with two little glasses and Sebastian picked his head up. It smelled almost as wonderful as the fish; alcohol. He'd been seventeen last time he had a drink. Jim made a point of insisting it was for him. Sebastian nodded, gladly accepting the bronze liquid.
"God, your hands are stupid." Jim laughed, pulling at one of the tiger's thumbs and nearly causing him to drop the glass.
"They're so ineffective. Surely not all of our troops have hands like these," he insisted, amused by the very thought. Sebastian took a drink of the booze, enjoying the burn that scratched his throat on the way down.
"They don't. And they're not ineffective. If they were, I would have had surgery." His hands were perfectly posable and despite his off placed thumb, he could work them just as well as Jim did. Sebastian continued with his food, allowing the little healthy to play absently with one of his paws again.
"I had no idea. Perhaps I should do some more work with the Infected." Jim licked his lips, pleased by the idea. Sebastian wasn't as sure. That sounded like a pretty bad idea, actually. If Jim started gathering Infected, it was likely to attracted the attention of the military and no amount of Sebastian's could hold off the full force of the army. They were serious about keeping their secrets.
"Good luck," the tiger scoffed.
"I can see why Sherlock picked one up, though," Jim continued. Sebastian wasn't sure who Sherlock was, but he knew the man was important. Out of all of the people Jim had 'introduced' him to, the short man hadn't known any of their names or even showed a habit of trying to remember their names. They were just people. Sebastian would remember the name for later. He licked his bowl clean, finished his drink, and cleaned his face with a quiet purr. A good nights rest and he would be ready for whatever else Jim was going to throw at him or, just as likely, whatever Jim was going to throw him into.
Jim disappeared and the tiger assumed it was into his own room for the night. Sebastian trotted off to his new, open and comfortable room with a small flick of the tail. He carefully undressed from his new suit and hung it in the closet before turning to his bed. He tossed himself onto the soft mattress, thankfully devoid of the cat, and made himself comfortable. It was firm, but not like the beds he was used to sleeping on. Or the ground. He had no use for the covers, but relished in the plush feeling of them. He sighed in content, pleased by today's change of events. He had been on death road and now he was in a luxury flat with a luxury bed and an owner with a habit of getting things killed. Sebastian couldn't have been happier.
He fell asleep swiftly, having taught himself a long time ago how to instantly sleep. Sebastian awoke some time in the night, or morning really, to find Shere Khan sleeping in a ball on his chest. Sensing he was awake, the cat purred minutely. Sebastian huffed, but allowed the cat to remain on his furry chest. It was lucky he didn't move in his sleep otherwise it would have been squashed. He went back to sleep only to awaken again a few hours later. This time, he had a cat on his chest and a Jim curled into his side. Sebastian had no idea what the man was doing there, but he didn't think too hard on it. Jim was warm. Sebastian went back to sleep with the slight worry he'd wake up with someone else in his bed. Thankfully, he didn't. Come afternoon, his bed was thoroughly devoid of both the cat and Jim. The clock told him it was well past half one, and Sebastian reminded himself that it was in the afternoon and the healthy's clocks were stupid.
He stretched himself out and rolled onto his stomach. There was a bitter smell wafering through the flat and Sebastian hurriedly pulled on a pair of pants before going off to find what it was. The closer he got, the worse the smell got to the point he he actually had to cover his nose. That was terrible.
"What the fuck are you doing?" Sebastian demanded, nose pinched between two fingers to keep the smell out. Jim glanced over his shoulder a little.
"Cooking," he answered nonchalantly. Oh god.
"Well stop," Sebastian deadpanned back. Jim set a plate on the table and the tiger cautiously approached it. It was terrible was what it was.
"You did say you liked the lung." The little healthy laughed, obviously not as bothered by the smell as Sebastian was. He wasn't sure what the human was expecting, but he wasn't eating that and he made it painfully clear when he deposited it into the garbage disposal. Jim scowled.
"Okay. You. You're not allowed-" Sebastian paused momentarily, remember his meal just the night before. "Near the kitchen," he finished up smoothy.
"Where's the other one?" Lungs did come in pairs, after all. Jim watched him with the same curiosity he did before. The man probably didn't expect him to be able to cook, but Sebastian could do that, too. He motioned to the cold box and the tiger went to work, fruitlessly trying to ignore the bitter scent of burnt muscle. How done did he think it had to be? Jim watched him over (under literally) his shoulder as the mighty beast cut and seasoned and pan fried the dark purple meat. He served it with eggs and toast and pointed places a plate before his owner.
"I'm impressed," Jim purred. Shere Khan hopped onto the table to insert himself into the interest. Sebastian scoffed.
"After what you made, that's not much of an accomplishment," he assured the man, sitting across from him and gladly helped himself to his meal. It was better than canned tuna, that was for sure. Jim poked at it a little, but didn't seem the slightest hesitant to try it. The little cat thing ate off of his plate and unlike Sebastian, Jim let it.
"Human lung. Not bad," Jim admitted. Sebastian wondered if he has ever had a decent home made meal. Probably not. "What else can you do?"
"Anything I can't do, I can learn to," Sebastian assured him between bites of his first good meal in years. It was delicious and the tiger decided at the very moment that he would stand by Jim no matter what.
"Explosives?" the little man tested with a certain air of giddiness.
"I have knowledge of over one hundred and fifty stable compounds and can work with them easily. I can disarm unstable compounds without injury. Or in your case, arm them," answered the tiger calmly.
"Bombs," Jim volleyed back.
"Capable of building, arming, and disarming eighty two percent of known detonators," Sebastian assured him without any hesitation whatsoever. Jim paused a moment, using the drawn out time to childishly place a forkful of food against his tongue.
"Knives," he continued on. Sebastian had the feeling this wasn't a new conversation to him.
"Short blades, long blades, swords." However, it was completely possible he was the only one up to standards.
"Guns." Jim adjusted himself on his seat and Sebastian swished his tail around curiously. The healthy was getting excited and naturally Sebastian assumed it was a game. A game that he liked and was winning if he did say so.
"I'm a sniper," the Infected reminded him instantly.
"Four. Latin, German, Russian, and French. English is clearly a given."
"Took advanced chemistry in high school. Plus extensive training in the military."
"Strategy." Jim was definitely getting closer to him. Sebastian responded by mimicking his movement.
"Military grade A sniper."
"Computers." And that's where Sebastian lost.
"Minimum, unfortunately. Not incompetent, I probably know more than the average citizen. I was only taught what would be useful to me." Computers weren't a common thing around the Infected. There were certain groups that were trained in that area specifically, but it wasn't common knowledge. When needed, Sebastian could get in, get what he needed, and get out, but a lot of that wasn't specific to what Jim was referring to. In many cases, Sebastian was only required to bring the physical system or more likely, sneak in another Infected that knew what they were doing. Jim didn't appear too take it too hard.
"Yesterday was fun, I admit, but inconclusive." Jim sat back again, pushing his plate away with little food missing. Shere Khan followed it happily. Sebastian's ears flickered, showing his curiosity to the situation.
"If you're going to be wonderful, you'll have to show me you can do real work."
"Like what?" Sebastian was up for anything, even knowing his new owner could easily come up with some very bizarre things for him to do. Jim smirked at him. It wasn't as unnerving as it had been before. The human was just strange and that was something he could get use to. Jim retrieved his phone from his pocket and flicked through it with his petite little thumbs.
"Let's see shall we? Boring. Boring. Tedious. Stupid. Ooh. Smuggling Infected. That sounds right up your alley." Jim shot him a look over his mobile.
"Dear Jim, will you please fix it for me. Blah blah blah, sneaking in low rank Infected from China for sale and real lives. Blah, boring, words." Someone's attention span was very short. Sebastian wasn't surprised at all, but he would have to be careful.
"iWearehardlythebadguys,/i but the public views us as blah. Don't care. We are looking for a route into London that we may use for sneaking higher ranked Infected. London possess better surgeons and a smoother living style for Infected of all kinds. Why would I want to help you, you stupid slut. Blah blah blah. If you help us, we can pay you handsomely. Clearly they're up to more than smuggling Infected. Not much business there." Jim scrolled along his phone some more, irritatedly mocking the rest of the email. He stuck his tongue out as he pocketed his phone again.
"Alright Mr. Bengal Tiger. Let's see if you're really up for the task. Find a route that lies undetectable from the government. Make sure this stupid little ring survives. Get the money."
Sebastian was awake the next morning at five am by the man shoving his shoulder fiercely. The tiger naturally responded by snapping his powerful maw around the offending limb and holding it in a death trap grip. Wooden eyes narrowed at him dangerously. A lesser man would have ran at the sight, coward in a hole and hid himself from the world but Sebastian wasn't a man and he wasn't a 'lesser' anything. Gold eyes stared back with all the danger in the world, threatening the little human that if he ever invaded his space or his person again, he would have a lot more to lose than his arm. It took him a moment to realize that it was his new owner and biting him was probably a terrible idea. Sebastian released slowly, eyes still locked in an icy stare with the healthy. He brushed his sandpapery tongue against the wound as he pulled away. Jim pulled up his sleeve and examined the crisp bite mark that now circled both sides of his arm.
"You were in my personal space," Sebastian grunted, shifting a little to make himself more comfortable. Jim licked the new circular wound.
"I don't recall you biting me yesterday."
"Yeah. Well you didn't attack me yesterday and I was still pretty heavily sedated," Sebastian explained, lazily scooting over to give the smaller form more room to lay down with him. Jim held his forearm out and Sebastian tended to it systematically with his tongue.
"Did you finish?" Jim insisted pointedly.
"It's been twelve hours."
"That better not be a no."
"I finished six hours ago," Sebastian grunted. Jim smirked.
"Dressed the adults as soldiers. Gave the kids fake tags and papers. The codes bypass the search system by a slip noose program. Not many people look too close. Once they're in, the little dark flowers can take it over from there. The fake IDs are disposed of and no one knows any wiser."
"Pricey," Jim said curiously.
"No. Time consuming, though. I put together an alternate route. An abandoned route leading directly into London. It's guarded by Infected. I replaced them for the government. Free of charge."
"Good. And the money."
"She says the dark flowers don't charge."
"You did it for free?" sneered Jim.
"She was a liar. They smuggle and sell goods. Very high priced goods. I cut her and told her if she ever tried to pull one over on you again, the only place she could hide is in a grave," Sebastian assured him swiftly. He wouldn't really leave without any money. If he ever thought she didn't have money, he would have just killed her, threw someone else in charge and make double the profit. In fact, he might suggest it later.
"Lovely," Jim purred against the side of his face. "Where?"
"The inside of her cheek."
"You get sixty percent of the profits and can't be traced to you. I've fixed it." Sebastian swished his tail around as Jim scratched him behind the ears.
"Not brilliant, but efficient. You can stay, for now. It should be fun having a pet in the house."