The Securing of New Muses.

Vo woke up and looked around her apartment, wondering why everything felt odd. She didn't usually feel this odd after a nap. She climbed out of her very plain bed and stretched, looking down at the cat rubbing up against her and screaming for attention. "Hey, Xander," she said, leaning down to pet her. "What's wrong?" The kitten went running, heading off to play now that her love was validated and Vo walked off to the kitchen to get a drink. When she came back, there were two full sized people who should not be in her apartment. "Um, hi," she said cautiously, waving at them.

"Hi, we're here to audition for new muse parts," the redheaded man said from the old chair Vo had found in the alleyway, which was right beside her desk.

"Uh-huh." Vo sat down and sipped at the soda sitting beside the desk, a remnant of a writing fit. "But I already have muses and all mine are action-figure sized," she told him. "And besides, Richie, it's not like I write you that often."

"Point, but we thought you might want a more complete Highlander set." He stretched out, giving her a winning smile. "C'mon, you could use me. I make a great foil for a lot of people and besides, I'm in and out of one of your stories already."

"Point," she conceded, "but you're still not action-figure sized. All my muses fit into my head while I sleep. I don't think you'd do that very well." She looked him then at the man lounging on the bed. "And I don't have any stories with Ares, God of Love."

"I'm not," he growled, crossing his hiking-boot clad feet on the bed.

"But I already have an Ares," Vo reminded him. "Why are you different from him?"

"Because I'm more modern. None of that 'Laser Tag' stuff will have to be done with me," he smirked.

"Yay," she said, blinking a few times. "Okay, rules are rules, guys, I can only have action-figure sized muses so they can fit into my head." She looked around but none of the usual muses appeared. "Oz?" she called quietly, not wanting Kaiya to know that she was talking to the muses. The cat came up the stairs and looked at her. "Not quite the one I wanted," she said, smiling at her cat as she stroked down the mottled black and gold back. "But you're cute and nice and mommy would love to pet you." The kitten got free and ran away, so Vo looked up, finding Richie giving her a winning smile. "Listen, if I take you on as a muse, you're gonna have to learn how to shrink and how to get along with cats."

"Cats?" Ares asked, sitting up.

"Yes, cats, and get your shoes off my bed." She looked at Richie again. "I might think about taking you on as a muse, but all the muses play with the cats. And Newt's fairies, but mostly just the cats. You're gonna have to get one of the others to show you around."

"What others?" Richie asked, looking around.

"They're probably all downstairs. It's got better air conditioning." Vo shrugged and turned on her computer. "Up to you, guys, but I can't keep you if you're that size and you won't play with the cats." She waited while they thought and the computer booted up then waved at the monitor. "Or I can send you out to everyone and let you find someone who would like a life-sized muse," she offered. She pointed at the fairy peeking around the corner of the closet. "She can send you out."

Richie thought about it. "Okay, but if I find an action-figured me, I'm sendin' ya one," he said, letting the fairy put him into the monitor.

Vo stopped Ares from disappearing and glared at him. "By perchance, do you happen to know where my muses are?"

He shrugged and disappeared, still smirking.

"Uh-huh, thought so. Well, I guess they're going to be back soon." She started to check her email, smiling when she felt the small body trying to climb up her unshaved legs. She reached down to pet him, scratching his scalp and earning purrs. "Hi, Oz," she whispered, looking down at him. "Where did you go?"

"I was out looking at Barbie clothes," he said with a smirk as he made it up to her shoulder. "You do keep threatening me with them so I wanted to see what was out there."

"Well, if you wouldn't give me ideas while I'm on the phone with cranky people, then I wouldn't threaten you with Barbie clothes. You and Xander have *got* to start leaving me alone when I'm at work. School is okay, but not at work."

"Okay," he said, rubbing his cheek against hers. "D.C. tonight or something else?"

"Whatever you feel like, babe. I'm willing to be a slave to you for the next few hours." Vo opened the word processor program and sighed at its slowness. "Voice rec software in a few weeks," she reminded herself.

"And a new computer," Oz pointed out. "One that likes to work all hours of the day, not just a few at a time."

"With a DVD player," Vo said happily. "We can download movies when you're not being slave drivers." She grinned brighter as she felt the tug on her ear. "Sorry, but if you give me another idea like the last one I got at work, I'm finding the ugliest, most flourescent Barbie clothes I can find and putting you in them. Xander gets one of the over the top gowns that she gets a few times a year."

"Okay," Oz agreed. "If it makes you happy."

Vo felt bad, she didn't like to threaten the little guy, he was one of her favorites, but he had to learn that he couldn't run over her with ideas at work. It was hard to tell people that their credit card declined when you were thinking of sweaty, hot sex. She reached up and scratched across his scalp some more. "I'm sorry, but we've got to do this a little better. You're one of my favorite guys, but I can't get overrun at work. They're already looking at me funny."

"I'll try," Oz promised, giving her a hug. Well, part of her neck a hug. "All's forgiven?"

"Sure," she smiled, forgetting that she was still mildly pissed at him. "What do you want me to work on?"

"Read your mail, let me figure out which one we want you to finish tonight." Oz disappeared for a few seconds then came back and sat down on her shoulder, nesting in her little fairy lock. "We've got a bunch of stuff to give you. Want to call off work?"

"I'll see. Let's get me started and see if I get back into the flow," Vo temporized. She really shouldn't call off work, but it was making her ill.....

"Then how about we talk about another muse being added?" he purred. "A good one that would like us and the cats?"

Vo laughed. "If you think I really need one. New fandom or not?"

"No, this one would be a lot like Blair, here and there. But those two would be hot together." He kissed her on the ear. "Trust me?"

"Always," she sighed, leaning into the gentle caress. "I already do almost everything for you guys."

"Well there is still the matter of the temple...." he purred.