Jack was having a blast.
The piles of tablets he needed to pick through before lunch were all knocked on the floor next to his desk, the holo displays overhead were chock full of windows marked urgent but were entirely ignored. Jack didn’t want any distractions; he needed all his focus as he wiggled a familiar clip on tie across his desk top.
“Get it, you freakin’ adorable beanie baby lookin’ buttface, kill it,” Jack cooed at the small tottering kitten that swatted at the red silk. The kitten mewled, a big sound for such a tiny thing, opening its tiny mouth so wide its eyes scrunched up. It kept trying to pull back, to ignore the tie, but as soon as Jack would give it a wiggle sure enough a potato sized puff ball would latch onto it with awkward uncoordinated claws.
“That’s it, shred this piece of shit. You’re gonna thank me later, kitten,” Jack snorted, repeating the endearment under his breath and chuckling while the fur ball on his desk grasped the clothe and flopped onto its back, chewing at the fabric and kicking at the tie with its back feet.
The puff bean was growling properly now with all its micro fury, snagging and tugging threads out of place, when Jack’s ECHO went off. He considered turning his ECHO off before reading the incoming caller’s ID, and sighing dramatically. With a grimace he answered, flipping the call on speaker so he could tug the tie and drag the pissed kitten across the desk.
“Whatchya got?” Jack drawled.
“S-so it’s permanent,” came a shaky feminine voice. There was an audible gulp.
“Huh. Well R and D’s airlock or mine?” Jack smirked, letting the little tiny baby cat chew on his fingers as it lost interest in the tie.
“Sir, before I answer that it’s my duty to inform you that while the change is permanent we are pretty sure we can have him go through an augmented exposure, one set to change him back but, um, not back but reform things again so that – “
“Ugh, shut it nerd. Now how sure is pretty sure?” Jack interrupted, holding one paw between his fingers while the kitten took on an offended backwards ear tilt as it tried and failed to take its paw back.
“V-very! So sure, we are just,” there was a weird dry sounding gasp, “we are so totally sure. One hundred percent.”
“Mmmkay. See ya in ten,” with that Jack hung up. Scratching at his stomach he manhandled the kitten, bracing his hand under its soft tummy and picking it up in a way that all legs dangled free. There was a small cry as Jack stood, then came shivering all throughout the little tater tot’s body.
“Oh, yeah. You’re afraid of heights,” Jack mumbled. Shifting his hold Jack cradled an arm to his front, bracing his kitten between his arm and his chest. He briefly locked eyes with the kitten before it tucked its face nervously into the crook of Jack’s elbow.
“Chill, I gotchya Rhysie.”