juniperberry: willow and tara (cuddle)
[personal profile] juniperberry
Though it has nothing to do with the following ficbits.



1.

Malcolm Dresden was pretty nice for a kidnapper. Thomas found that less disturbing than maybe he should have--but it was nice to have someone treat him like a son and not a rival. He was only ten; it wasn't like he would be challenging him for the right to drive anytime soon.

The fact that Thomas got a little brother certainly didn't hurt.

2.

Thomas looked the cop up and down. "What's the problem?"

"Where are the two of you going?"

Thomas gave him a broad, sweet smile. "I'm just taking my little brother out for a ride, that's all. He was driving Mom and Dad nuts in the house."

"It's boring there," Harry chimed in, right on cue, and Thomas gave him a grin.

"Was I going too fast?" Thomas asked, suddenly worried. He didn't have to fake that, thank God, but still....

"A little," the officer said. His face was impassive. "Tell you what, you keep the driving to the speed limit and I'll let you go with a warning, got it?"

"Got it," Thomas said, relieved, and he waited until the cop was on his motorcycle and out of sight before he relaxed back into the seat. "Speed limits. Gotta remember the speed limits."

"I can't wait until I can drive," Harry groused. "I wouldn't get pulled over every other day."

"I'm just pretty enough to be worth noticing, twerp," Thomas snapped back. "You'd get noticed for being a weed."

"I'm not a weed," Harry sneered. "You're just a big beanpole. You stick out of the car."

"Only 'cause it's small, and you'll do the same thing when you're a full-grown twerp."

"Buttface."

"Shrimp."

Harry grinned and lost it, chuckling and rolling his eyes, and Thomas let out a tense breath.

"Okay. Where to, navigator?"

"Um." Harry pulled out a map. "We're pretty close to Kansas City."

"Cities are good," Thomas said, as he put the car in gear and pulled out onto the road. They'd driven four or five miles before Harry spoke up.

"Hey, Thomas?"

"Yeah?"

"When you're eighteen, we can settle down somewhere, right?"

Thomas reached across the front seat and gave Harry's hair a quick tousle. "Sure thing. The government won't question my custody, then. And the Raiths won't be looking for me. So yeah. We will."

3.

Given what Thomas remembered of their mother, it wasn't a surprise that Harry showed a talent for magic. Finding someone to train him properly, though, that had been difficult.

But this McCoy guy was all right. He'd taken one look at Thomas and gave him a quick warning against sex before true love, but Malcolm Dresden had given Thomas that speech when he was ten, so it didn't bear repeating. And McCoy was great with Harry.

Missouri wasn't Thomas's favorite state, but for his little brother he could settle there for a while.

4.

Only Harry, Thomas reflected, would get himself caught up with a mobster two months after opening his own PI business.

"Oh, little brother," he said, as he shook his head, "only you. I swear, only you. How do you do it?"

Harry threw a paperback at his head, and Thomas ducked it easily.

"When's the wedding?" Harry asked. He was honestly too tall, Thomas thought--should've fed him more fries and pizza and fewer apples and milk pints.

"Next Tuesday. If you miss because your mobster boyfriend has a crisis, I'll never let you live it down."

"I don't have a mobster boyfriend, Thomas. Marcone's a creepy stalker, that's all."

"Uh-huh, whatever," Thomas said, and Harry threw another paperback. Thomas caught it and chucked it right back, and a smile spread across his face.


***

Mini!fill the second: Harry inherits the Carpenter children.

God damn it.

Oh, I hardly ever swear out loud now--especially like that--but inside? Inside I'm a sailor, and it's usually because of something like this.

Molly must have noticed the look on my face. "Harry, what is it?"

I grimaced. "Something magical and nasty," I said. "I'll have to call a babysitter. It's likely going to take all night."

Molly pouted. Her brand-spanking new lip ring jutted out, shining in the light. "I can babysit, I'm fifteen--"

"With six younger siblings and a pair of friends waiting for you at the end of the block," I finished. Hell's bells, but Molly was a handful. "No. You're staying home tonight, finishing your homework, and I'll call someone to come over while I deal with this."

Molly glared almost straight at me and pounded her way up to her room. Daniel--newly fourteen, gangly, and a great deal more serious than his sister--peered at me from over his glasses.

"Do you have to go out?"

I swore internally again, a true blue streak. Michael and Charity were some of the best souls I've ever met, but what they were thinking when they left their kids to me I will never know.

"I'm going to be fine, Danny," I said. All of the kids were still kind of jittery after the accident--they'd never had someone ripped away from them so completely, especially not their own parents. Every single one of them were still dealing with that.

"I'll call Father Forthill," he said. I nodded and gave him a smile. Matthew--twelve, in love with soccer--piped up.

"I want pizza tonight," he said. I thought back--I'm not much of a cook, but with seven kids around, I've had to learn fast. The last several days had been nothing but good healthy food, and I could spring for pizza.

"Sure thing," I said, even as Daniel put the phone down.

"Father Forthill is out," he said. "All I got was the machine."

Damn. "I'll start calling around," I said, and settled down to do just that. From the alcove that held the phone I could see the younger kids piling on Mouse, who took it all with doggy good grace.

So I dialed. And dialed, and dialed--not because I'd killed the phone (though it was close), but because Thomas was out. And Murphy was working. And the Alphas were either out, patrolling, or studying for finals.

Damn it. I didn't have a lot of people I'd trust with the kids, and my list was incredibly short.

I had to struggle with it, but I swallowed my pride and dialed one more number. It picked up on the second ring.

"Marcone," said a crisp voice. I groaned internally.

"Hey, John," I said, as I forced a bright, cheerful tone into my voice. "How'd you like to owe me a favor?"

***

XxxHolic/Dresden Files Fusion

You know, it isn't easy being a wizard in a place like Hitsuzen City.

I mean, you'd think it would be--but you'd be very, very wrong.

Kunogi called me in on a case. I almost didn't go, but Mugetsu needs food. Me, I'm skinny and I can hardly taste my own cooking anyway, but a kudakitsune? Needs lots of food. Especially when he's big and has a hankering for fried tofu.

Anyway. I made my way downtown, where Kunogi and her partner were waiting.

Kunogi is one of the cutest women you will ever see. She's shorter than me, and she has this lovely bright smile. Lots of people, on their first impression, think she's a bit of an airhead, but I know better.

The fact that she can judo-flip me before I can blink helps out with remembering just how capable she is.

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