Jay watched curiously as Chris scraped together all his courage and actually struck up a conversation with the powerful alpha. The fox had probably profited most of Buffy’s presence. When she had come into their lives he’d been scared of his own shadow, afraid of everyone and everything bigger and more powerful than him, which was pretty much the whole world. Now, a year later, he was making conversation with one of the truly scarily powerful people in town. And he wasn’t half bad at it.
Quickly, Jay fixed three mugs of tea, pouring hot water over Buffy’s strange but delicious mixture of herbs. She called it Willow’s tea. There was no willow in it and they all heard the capital W, but they had never asked her about it. She’d talk when she wanted to and they’d be ready to listen. And maybe one day, she’d let go.
But, he decided, stealing a look into her bedroom where she was chatting with Ajo and getting ready for her date with the Master’s second in command, maybe she was already on her way to letting go. She really seemed to like the blonde vampire and they all knew she told him more than them. They didn’t mind, not really. They loved her. That’s all there was to it.
He put two mugs in front of Chris and Micah before making a quick return trip to the kitchen to fetch his own. Then he sat down in his favourite armchair and gave the other feline a curious look.
Micah fumbled with his notebook for a second before putting it on the table and picking up the tea instead. He seemed truly nervous about what he was going to say. Jay didn’t know whether to be pleased or worried. But then Buffy was well within hearing range so he could afford to not be worried. She would keep them safe. Sure, she might yell at him later like she had after his stunt at the Circus, but she’d keep them safe.
“Well,” Micah finally started, “After what you said, I thought about it. You’re right. We wanted to help everyone but ended up playing go between for the big groups. I did a head count of loners in the city, although I’m sure I missed some, and we’re setting up a sanctuary we promised to have finished a year ago. We’re trying to fix our mistakes. My mistakes.”
Jay shifted, a bit uncomfortable. What he’d said was true, but mostly he’d said it in anger. He’d never expected it to have such consequences, much less for the Nimir-Raj to take this so personally and beat himself up over it.
“That’s great,” he finally offered, at a loss for anything else to say.
The other man grinned. “Thanks. But I was hoping for your help in sorting out some things.”
“What things?” Curious, not hostile. If he was going to start a revolution, he might as well help with it.
Micah started ticking off things on the fingers of his left hand. “Help me get in contact with the loners. They need to know there is
a place for them. An outsider’s perspective on things. Someone to represent those without clan. And someone to make suggestions and bounce ideas off of.”
The tiger thought about it for a moment, looking at Chris. The fox looked like a child in a candy store. He’d want to help, too. They’d need to check it with Buffy first but basically, “I’m in.”
A guy needed a hobby after all.