What *Really* Happened to Larry

By: Kathy


Author's Note: This one is for Marsha who read "Whatever Happened to Larry" and demanded a happy ending for the little furball. <G> This time, no apes were harmed in the writing of this story.


Keys in hand, Blair turned to look at his companion before unlocking the door. "Listen, you've got to be on your best behavior, understand? After all that trouble you caused last time, Jim isn't exactly all that pleased with you. The first time you act up, you're gonna find yourself booted off the balcony." Looking upward, Blair shook his head. "I don't believe I'm actually going to do this. With my luck, we'll both end up splattered all over the sidewalk." With a final stern look, he ordered, "Behave." Then, he took a deep breath and opened the door.

Standing at the stove, Jim added a dash of oregano to the simmering pot and then gave the contents a vigorous stir. Hearing the front door open, he called out, "Hey, Chief, I know it's your night to cook but I got home early and felt like spaghetti. I made a lot so I hope you're…" Jim trailed off as he looked over at his roommate. Eyes widening when he saw the pathetic, wretched huddled form next to Blair, he said, "Oh no. No way, Sandburg."

"C'mon, Jim."

"I mean it. There's no way that… that…"

Reaching down, Blair picked up the small form and cradled it close to his chest. "Just look at him." Scratching Larry's head, the young man looked up at the detective again. "Please, Jim. It'll just be for tonight. I swear."

"I don't…"

"When I came home, he was sitting on the doorstep downstairs." Turning his best pleading puppy dog eyes on Jim, Blair put on an exaggerated pout. "He was sitting there all cold and wet. Look at him. He's freezing. A few minutes longer and he would have been an apesicle."

"I should be so lucky."

Horrified, Blair pressed Larry's head against his chest, covering the small ears with his hand. "Don't say that. You'll hurt his feelings."

"In just a minute I'm going to hurt a lot more than just his feelings."

"JIM!" Turning his attention to the small ape clutching at his jacket, Blair murmured, "It's okay, Larry. I'll protect you from the big, mean man."

"Sandburg."

Ignoring Jim's exasperated tone, Blair continued to reassure Larry. "We'll get you dried off and warmed up. Then, we'll get you something to eat. I think The Wild Bunch is even on TV tonight." Blair scratched Larry's head again. "How does that sound, Larry? Sound good?"

"Sandburg."

Still ignoring the older man, Blair started over to the bathroom. "Let's go get you dried off. There's a nice, soft towel with your name on it." Walking past Jim, Blair called out, "Hey, Jim, you might want to check your sauce."

"What?" Spinning around, Jim cursed when he saw the boiling sauce splatter on the stovetop. Hurriedly, he turned off the heat and grabbed a towel to move the pan off of the burner. "If this is ruined, you and that money are gonna be taking a dive off of the balcony." Jim grabbed a spoon and dipped it into the sauce. Blowing on the hot spoonful, he waited for it to cool and then tasted the sauce. A look of bliss on his face, he closed his eyes. "Ah, just perfect."

***

When Blair emerged from the bathroom, carrying a now dry Larry who was bundled in a thick towel, Jim was setting two plates of spaghetti on the table. Spotting the bowl of cut up fruit, Blair smiled. "That looks good, Jim. Thanks."

An irritated expression on his face, Jim sat down. "Whatever. Just remember; you're cleaning up after that monkey. And I want him out of here tomorrow."

Blair put Larry down and then sat down himself. "I promise. Tomorrow I'll find a good home for him. I know this person who runs this animal refuge. They take in wounded or abandoned animals. I'm sure they'll take Larry in and I know he'll like it there."

"I don't care what you do with him as long as he's gone."

A small smile on his face, Blair quickly dug into his food. Mouth full, he said, "I think this is the best sauce you've ever made."

Jim shook his head. "Don't talk with your mouth full." Looking over at Larry, who was screeching around a mouthful of banana, he added, "You're setting a bad example."

Chuckling, Blair took another bite of his supper.

***

Several hours later, Jim emerged from the bathroom and went over to the couch. A soft smile on his face, he looked down at the two sleeping figures. Blair lay on his back and was snoring softly. On the young man's chest, Larry was curled up and sleeping just as soundly. Pulling the afghan off the back of the couch, Jim gently laid it over Blair. After taking a second to tuck the cover around Larry, he patted the small ape's head. Then, he went upstairs to bed.

***

The next evening, Jim came home from work and found Blair sitting on the couch, working on his laptop. "Hey, Chief."

Looking up, a pencil in his mouth, Blair nodded at the older man. "Hi, Jim," he mumbled.

Hanging up his coat, Jim looked around the loft. "Where's Larry?"

Blair took the pencil out of his mouth. "I took him to that friend of mine. I was right, she was glad to take Larry in."

After getting a bottle of water out of the fridge, Jim walked over and sat down on the couch. He picked up the remote and turned on the TV. For several seconds, he flipped through the channels, all the while casting surreptitious looks his roommate's way.

Irritated, Blair looked over at Jim. "What?"

"What what?"

"You keep looking at me."

"I do not."

"You do too."

"I'm not looking at you, Sandburg. You're imagining things."

"Whatever." Blair turned his attention back to his laptop.

Jim was silent for a few seconds. Then, keeping his eyes on the television, he said, "So, uh, this animal refuge. Do they… I mean…"

Blair took pity on his friend. "Chris said that we can come and visit Larry any time we like."

"Whatever." Jim shrugged "It's not like I'm gonna miss the little furball."

"Sure, I know that."

There was another period of silence. Then, picking at the label on his bottle of water, Jim asked, "So, what are you doing this Saturday?"

"I'm busy."

Looking crestfallen, Jim slumped down. "Oh. Um … so what are you going to be doing?"

"The same thing you're going to be doing." At Jim's puzzled look, Blair explained. "Visiting Larry."

Brightening, Jim straightened up. Quickly trying to hide his reaction, he shrugged. His expression nonchalant, he said, "Whatever. I guess I could do that."

Smiling, Blair started typing on his laptop again.

Taking a drink of water, Jim watched TV. When he saw a commercial about The Wild Bunch being repeated on Friday night, he smiled and made a mental note to stop and pick up a blank tape. There was bound to be a VCR at the animal refuge. If not, he'd pick up one of them too. After all, they'd have to have something to do while they visited Larry. Putting his feet up on the coffee table, he thought, 'I'll have to remember to pick up some popcorn too.'

The End

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