The Writer They Call Tay (awanderingbard) wrote,
The Writer They Call Tay

Dresden Files: A Hard Secret to Keep

Title: A Hard Secret to Keep
Characters: Harry, Bob
Rating: G
Spoilers: None
Word count: 550
Summary: Harry has never been very good at lying.
Author's notes: Done for dresdenflashfic's 8th challenge. The prompt word was 'secret'. My friend Ama planted this idea in my head a few weeks ago and I found I could work it in to this story very nicely. So thanks to her.

"Wipe it out."
"Harry, it's not -"
"Wipe it out."
"It's just a little academi-"
"Wipe it out."
"Stars and Stones, Harry, it's a theory!"
"You know what else was a theory, Bob? Nazism! Look how that turned out!"
"I hardly think you can compare me with - "
"Wipe it out."
"Uh, hello?"

Bob and I turned from the argument we were having in my office to look at the newcomer. It was a young woman who was half through the door, peering at us.

"I'm looking for Harry Dresden?" she said, pointing to the sign.

"That's me," I said. "Come in."

"I'm not interrupting...?"

"No, not at all," I assured her.

She stepped through the door fully and looked around at the stuff on the walls. Her fingers were twisting together in front of her stomach, anxiously. I spotted potential client material and jumped on it.

"Do you need my help?" I asked, kindly.

"I think...I think so," she said. She eyed Bob suspiciously. "Who's he?"

I glanced back at Bob and my mind went blank. I could not think of anything other than 'he's my pet ghost, actually'. I was silent for a moment, looking at his fancy clothes and upright posture, stubbornly refusing to help me out.

"He's my butler," I said, desperately. I winced after I said it, but it was too late. Bob looked alarmed.

The girl looked around the place, which was a mess. "Your butler?"

"Uh, well, if he actually cleaned, I'd have to pay him," I pointed out. She smiled slightly. "His family has served mine for awhile, but we've fallen on hard times lately, as you can see. He's very loyal, won't leave. He freelances. Right, Bob?"

At that moment, I was very glad Bob was incorporeal because I would have been worried he'd kill me in my sleep. "Yes. Uh, sir."

"Bob was just about to go clean up the mess he made," I said, pointedly.

"As you wish," Bob returned, stiffly.

He turned towards the lab and I distracted the girl so he could walk through the wall unnoticed. I made a mental note to work on my lying under pressure and sat her down with some tea to talk. Half an hour later, I had a gig and a $200 retainer. Ka-ching. I closed the door behind her and Bob was there when I turned back around.

"Your butler?" he snapped, clearly affronted.

"I panicked!" I defended myself.

"You couldn't have said family friend, business associate, professional constultant - "

"You didn't help," I pointed out.

"Next door neighbour, Heavens, even travelling salesman!"

"Salesperson," I corrected. He sniffed. "Look, you know I don't think of you as my servant, Bob."

"Yes, well it certainly seemed to be a quick answer for you," he said, softly.

"I panicked," I repeated. His eyebrow quirked. "Don't be a girl, Bob."

His mouth dropped open, then he smiled. "Don't be such an idiot."

"Hey, it's not my fault," I said. "You're a very hard secret to keep." He chuckled a little. "Want to show me that theory again?"

"You're patronizing me," he accused.

"Yes," I agreed. "But hey, if you go with it, I might even start complimenting you soon."

He laughed outright now. "Do we have a case?"

"Yep," I said, happily.

"Then we better get started."

"Right on." I followed him back towards the lab. "Those are really nice shoes, by the way. Did you buy them during the French Revolution?"

"Shut up, sir."

"As you wish."
Tags: fandom: dresden files, length: oneshot, rating: g

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