Business Hours

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Bob appears in the Department of Temporal Law Enforcement’s intake zone, hoping to get a shower before the staff meeting. He could have taken one before he left, but he’d been busy doing the kind of thing that necessitates showers, and it’s too early in the fucking morning for that kind of paradox.

Since the intake zone is for people transporting in, he quickly moves out of it before someone tries to appear on his head like last time, emerging into the precinct. It’s a circular, mostly white and silver grid of desks and workstations, ringed with evidence rooms, conference rooms, the captain’s office and the locker room. Bob heads there instead of to his workstation, because if he sits down he’ll just work and never shower, and he’s trying to be better than that.

He gets a message after five steps. Report to my office.

Bob sighs, dismisses the message. He sometimes regrets that he doesn’t live in a time period where messages arrive on a device external to his sensorium, one when he can pretend not to have seen them until he gets out of the shower. But he doesn’t, and trying to change the technology level of one’s temporal space is how one ends up in a time prison, and escaping from time prison is a chore Bob definitely can’t be bothered with this week. So he turns and goes to the captain’s office.

There’s an opening in the transparent wall, which closes behind him as he steps through, the wall going opaque as well. Bob is now in a triangular room with a large desk in the farthest corner and several chairs in different shapes and heights arrayed in front of it, empty. The desk is also empty.

Bob’s first captain is standing near the entrance, and Bob salutes him as he comes in. “You wanted to see me, sir?”

Kelvin Fluffypaws is about three feet tall and covered in long white fur, interrupted by the occasional grey stripe. He had the feline features of people from Jel’Kill, and piercing green eyes, that, combined with the heart-shaped pattern on his cheek, mark him as coming from the hurrock assassin caste. “You’re out of uniform, Lieutenant,” he says.

Oh, right. Bob is still wearing a pair of sheer green shorts, a tank top that reads GLORY, and nothing else but his butt plug. “Right, sorry, sir.” He materializes his uniform, which stretches tight over his whole body.

“Don’t apologize, it was just an observation,” says Kelvin, who rarely just makes observations. “I’m glad you’re taking your undercover work seriously.”

“I take all my work seriously, sir.”

“I know, it’s one of your strongest points,” Kelvin says, moving further into the office, which is a darker white than the rest of the precinct. “I don’t recall your brief for this mission requiring you to do any naked handshakes, though.”

Bob clears his throat, clenching around his plug. “In the temporal locations in which I’m operating, naked handshakes are the preferred method of communication between…”

“Oh, calm down, Johnson,” Kelvin says, leaning against a chair and rubbing his face with a paw. “I don’t care how many civilians fist you. I care about you doing your job, and frankly you’ve been doing it better lately than ever. You’ve loosened up, and not just your asshole. You’re more forgiving of mistakes, but not sloppy, and your squad is more effective than ever, which they all attribute to your leadership and which, were I the type to read between the lines, I would take to mean you don’t treat them like automatons anymore.”

“I don’t treat them any differently,” Bob insists, though he supposes on their last mission he had been a little more lenient about telling them not to clog the communications channel with chatter. And he’d looked the other way when Nadrakan and Eureka Spectre had fucked off for a few hours to fuck each other. It had been a harmless way for them to refresh and focus. He’d have done that before, he’s sure.

Or maybe not. Maybe being with Cal really had loosened him up. Huh.

“That’s not what I hear,” Kelvin says. “And you’re doing a good job, so keep it up. And I’m glad you’re happy, Bob. It’s good to see you in such a good mood.”

Bob feels himself flushing. “I’m always in a good mood.”

“Sure you are, you grumpy asshole,” Kelvin said. He leaps onto his chair and pats Bob on the head. “Good work lately.”

“Is that…” Bob pretends that the pat doesn’t make him feel nice. Though…why does he do that? If there was anything Cal has tried to drill into him besides how to get drilled into, it’s that he should be happy with who he was, and it does make him feel nice. So he just smiles and says, “Thank you, Captain. Is that what you asked me in here for?”

“A part of it. The other part of it is this.” A mission briefing appears in front of Bob as the captain speaks. “You need to rescue your favourite civilian from the Department of Temporal Coherence.”

Bob frowns at it. Cal—Cal on Nova—is going to touch the Involuted Clock and get sent to Earth. “Of fucking course this idiot is going to see the most deadly temporal object in the universe and just fucking touch it,” he says. “Okay. I’ll handle…wait, this says he’s going to get attacked?”

“Yes,” says Kelvin. “That’s how you’re going to fend off the Department of Temporal Coherence. I’m leaving that out of the formal report because we don’t need anyone asking how we got that information.”

Bob nods. “Okay. I’ll deal with it.”

“I know. Be careful.”

“I will,” promises Bob. “I’ll leave after the staff meeting. Thanks, Captain.”

“Dismissed, Lieutenant,” says Kelvin, and he lets Bob leave. Even without a smack on the ass, Bob senses his Captain’s approval on his way out.

Bob doesn’t go right to the showers. He answers a few messages from the role play group, mostly just the boys being horny—as usual—though there is one serious one from Ozzy asking how many thongs he should bring on his camping trip. Bob wanders by his unit’s workstations, making sure they’re all doing okay before asking for updates on their cases. He gives Eureka Spectre a suggestion for an angle they could look into if they were still struggling with zero-g shibari, and all three of them seem appreciative of that.

Then he heads for the locker room, through another opening. He dematerializes his uniform a second before the portal closes, letting his unireader disappear with it so he can walk into the hygienic facilities. It’s nice not having any removable augments or body parts that needed separate cleaning (though part of him wonders if his buttplug counts), it means Bob never has to use the locker room anymore except to pass through. He walks around Detective Ggggggg sliding out of her shell and Lieutenant Wet detaching his genitals, heading into the shower room. A long, grey room with cubes for each person, Bob heads to the nearest open space.

Just as he’s stepped into the cube, someone puts an arm around him. Bob only stiffens in the healthy way. “Hello, Lieutenant,” says Michael Bloodcliff. “I was looking for you.”

“Am I that hard to find, Lieutenant?” Bob asks, walking with Michael into the cube. It closes around them, scanners activating, reading their IDs to configure the cube to their preferred hygienic settings, which are fortunately pretty similar.

“Not really,” says Michael, as the scanners compromise a little and turn on some extra-hot jets of water that scald Bob’s skin but are doubtless too cold for Michael, who likes his showers draconically hot. “I wasn’t looking that hard. Need to talk to you about the case with the missing artifacts.”

“Right,” Bob says, letting the soapy water wash him. “I wish I could help you, I haven’t turned up anything valuable on my end.”

“That’s surprising, considering how many people who see your end immediately claim it for their hoards,” Michael says, pulling Bob’s plug out. He picks Bob up from behind, his cock resting against Bob’s ass. When Bob doesn’t resist, Michael starts to press inside. “But sure. Do you mind if we fuck? I’m horny.”

“You’re always horny.” That’s kind of what dragons do. Bob knows of a dragon who landed on an exploding planet just to get fucked.

“I’m taking that as consent,” Michael informs him, wings wrapping around Bob to keep him up as Michael starts bouncing him up and down.

“Usually we ask consent before penetrating someone, but sure,” says Bob.

“Whatever, that’s a stupid human thing.” As Michael talks, Bob appreciates how the wings are sheltering him from the worst of the shower’s heat. “So the thing is, all this shit is going missing, right? Thing is whoever’s stealing it is definitely after Right Hand bullshit, which can’t be good. But they’re always a step ahead of us.”

“Hm,” Bob says. “I know, I read your reports.”

Michael shifts Bob to a different angle, hands on Bob’s hips. “The thing I didn’t put in the report was I think they’ve got help from inside the Bureau.”

Ah, so he’s figured that part out. “That’s really fucking serious. Have you told anyone at Internal Security?”

“I told the captain.”

“Good choice,” Bob mutters, rubbing his hand along the inside of the wing membrane. Michael growls as he cums. Dragons always shoot so fast.

But they also think that one semi-gentle fuck is foreplay. Michael presses Bob against the wall now, letting his wings unfurl. “To be clear,” says Michael, as he starts driving into Bob like he actually means it. “I don’t think it was you. But I do think you know something, and I want to know it.”

“Hm,” says Bob, feeling Michael inside him. “I’m not sure you do.”

“Of course I do. I want to catch this fucker. “

So does Bob, but probably not for entirely the same reason. Michael is thinking too small, which isn’t his fault when nobody has trusted him with anything big yet. “Have you ever wondered,” he says, choosing his words carefully, “why the Department of Temporal Coherence is allowed to operate without any apparent oversight?”

Michael pauses, but only for a second. “Command oversees them.”

“Sure,” Bob says, trusting Michael to sense that it is not a ‘sure’ of agreement. “Everything that happens in here is overseen by someone. Anyway, I don’t know much that isn’t classified, sorry.”

“Right,” says Michael. Bob can practically hear him thinking. They’d worked together a few times—Michael had been temporarily on Bob’s squad, and Bob had recommended Michael for promotion—so Michael must have a sense of what Bob isn’t saying. “You should come over to my place for supper,” he says, finally. “I showed video games to Malachi and now he wants to see if he can beat you at Pokémon Diamond.”

“Let me guess,” Bob says, as he feels his orgasm overtake him. He lets it happen, squirting onto the cube wall, and then sighing as he feels himself go slack. “He likes Dragon types?”

“He thinks Psychic types get a bad rap, actually.”

Bob snorts. “Well, either way, I’ve got a level eighty Sneasel named Moon Dancer who can’t wait to meet him.”

“Good.” Michael grunts loud as he starts to cum, nipping at Bob’s shoulder without actually biting him. “After you guys are done being nerds I’ll let him join me in your ass. I’ll tell Mom you’re coming.”

“Cool,” Bob says, as Michael sets him gently down on the ground. The jets make short work of all the cum, and soon Bob is clean. “See you then.”

“Yeah,” Michael says, walking out of the cube with Bob. “Hey, uh. You know Frederick DiGorre, right?”

Bob looks up at Michael, nodding. “Yeah, he’s in the role play group I got added to the other day.”

Michael nods, suddenly looking very fake-casual. “I know him, a little.”

“Yeah, you fucked him at a sleepover,” Bob says. “He told me about it.”

“He did?”

“Yeah, we were talking about big dicks.” Bob shrugs. “He liked you, and he wonders where you and yours went.”

Michael is red in the face now as they leave the locker room. Bob rematerializes his uniform. “Really? He talks about me?”

“Yeah, he talks about you,” Bob says. He pulls out his unireader. “You want me to tell him you’re thinking about him?” As he asks that, he texts Frederick. I ran into Michael just now, he misses you.

“What, no!” Michael says, tripping as he puts on his own uniform. “Obviously not, I’m just curious.”

What, really? Tell him I miss him too!

“Okay, I already did,” says Bob. Apparently he got a new phone and it deleted all his contacts? Fucking technology, am I right? Here’s his new number, Bob texts, sending Fredrick the coordinates for Michael’s unireader, which will convert to a phone number.

“What? You can’t tell him that without asking me!”

Bob shrugs. “Sounds like a stupid dragon thing,” he says, as Michael’s unireader goes off with a notification.

Michael growls at him even as he answers his message, blushing a lot. “I hate you.”

“Sure,” Bob says.

The captain had been right, hadn’t he? Bob materializes his butt plug back to where it belongs. He really has loosened up lately.

It feels good, too.

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