A Pink Dormouse Production

The first sound Ramirez became aware of was the clicking of claws on hard floor. He rolled onto his side, opening his eyes just in time to see Moco disappearing under the bed. The dog had something in its mouth. Then the sound of small dog eating something rather large was muffled by the sound of retired FBI agent getting himself swiftly out of bed to investigate.

These days Ramirez was always careful to slip his revolver into his back pocket before investigating any unusual occurrence. With friends like those he had now, it was a very wise move. In the living room he caught sight of something grey, shaggy and dog-like disappearing under the couch. That probably explained matters, but Ramirez was not going to take any chances. 

He followed the scent and sound of cooking to the kitchen, pausing in the doorway to rap on the wall.

"I do know what your walk sounds like," Sands said, not giving any other sign he was aware Ramirez was there. "Even when you are trying to sneak up on me."

"And what are you doing?" Ramirez asked, taking in the collection of ingredients and utensils arranged on the side next to the stove.

"What does it look like?" Sands asked with his usual air of stating the obvious. "I'm making your breakfast. Course your stove's not quite like mine, so the dogs are getting breakfast too." His watch beeped, and he silenced it, before flipping a golden brown pancake out of the frying pan, and onto the top of a slightly darker one. Sands poked at it with one finger. "Does that look done to you? I think the last one was overdone, but that one should be perfect."

Ramirez stepped up behind Sands, and looked over his shoulder at the foundations of what, judging by the volume of batter in the jug, was going to be a large stack of pancakes.

"Looks good to me." Ramirez almost volunteered to take over, then decided that he rather enjoyed being alive, and with a full complement of appendages.

Sands pressed a button on his watch, then frowned in concentration as he poured more batter into the pan. He set the jug down then turned and slipped his arms around Ramirez' waist.

"Going to say thank you?" he asked, with the hint of a smirk.

"Maybe after I've cleaned up after you."

Sands turned back to the stove, slipping Ramirez' revolver into the waistband of his jeans.

"While I admire your caution, I'm the only one that gets to shoot the cook. Now go sit down. I need to concentrate."

Ramirez stepped away from Sands but did not leave the kitchen.

"Are you going to tell me what you're doing here?"

"Remember the rules, Jorge. No questions if you don't want to know the answers. Although I would appreciate you dog-sitting while I go pay someone a visit later."

"So I get fed, but I also have to clean the kitchen, and look after your dog?"

"Got it in one." Sands' watch beeped, and he flipped the pancake over. "Now fuck off, and I'll bring these through when they're ready."

"What if I like watching you cook?"

"What if I offer to shoot you and find another dog-sitter?"

"You wouldn't." Ramirez said, then left before Sands had a chance to argue. They had a relationship, of a sort, Sands turning up when it suited him, usually without giving warning. But that only worked because they played by a set of unwritten rules, most of which involved not pushing Sands too far. Most of the time that suited Ramirez too - it certainly saved him the trouble of thinking too hard on what he was getting himself into.

If things were ever going to change - say into something resembling a more normal friendship - then he was sure that Sands would let him know somehow.


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