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10:14 AM, Monday, 17 December 2012 
21st-Dec-2012 10:18 am
*Fiona is in the midst of writing another irate letter to Michael Gove when the doorbell rings. She goes downstairs to answer it, shoos Molly away from the entry with her foot, and opens the door to find a courier waiting outside.*

*She knows they haven't ordered anything, so she's instantly wary- you wouldn't believe the shit some people feel entitled to send Alastair- but she relaxes when she sees the milk bottle he's set down on the step. Peter has obviously decided to keep Alastair for longer and has sent her the milk to make up for it. (Fiona knows better than to imagine that considerate gesture came from her partner.) It's mildly irritating they didn't consult her before changing their plans- Christ, they've probably gone off with Tony after all; there was some article about him in the Guardian this morning- but at least she doesn't have to go out for the milk.*

*The other package is more mysterious. A Christmas gift from Peter? Still, whatever it is it probably isn't an Iraqi flag soaked in blood. With a mental shrug, Fiona signs for it, tucks the milk bottle under her elbow, and takes the mystery box inside.*
21st-Dec-2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
*When at last they come to a halt, Alastair sighs in relief to hear the ring of a familiar doorbell, followed by an unmistakeable barking. At least he's home. As the door shuts and the box is carried inside, Alastair braces himself for Fiona's reaction, whatever it may be. Best-case scenario, she laughs at him a bit then shouts at Peter a lot. Worst-case scenario, she laughs at him a lot then shouts at Peter a bit. Of course, there's an almost unimaginable number of variations on those themes, depending on her mood, but Alastair doesn't have much room left in his brain for such considerations.*

*Ideally, he'd wait in dignified silence for her to open the box and release him, but he doesn't want to be set down somewhere and forgotten about for hours. He jumps up and down as hard as he can, hoping to shake the box enough to inflame her curiosity.*

Fiona! It's me! Help me!
21st-Dec-2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
*Fiona can't feel Alastair's newspaper padded, hamster-sized jumpings, but she can hear a faint squeaking sound from inside the box. Oh God, if Peter's sent them some fucking ~rodent~- it's probably a Danny Alexander joke, and at least he didn't send it to them while the children were still living at home and would insist on keeping it, but honestly! She has enough to do saving the British education system from Michael Gove; she doesn't have time to look after a fucking ~squirrel~ or whatever it is.*

*No doubt Alastair thought it was hilarious and signed off on it. Because Alastair is not going to be the one cleaning up little pellets of rodent poo for the next five years.*

*Still, it's not the poor hamster's fault. No point in letting it suffocate in the box. She sets the box down on the kitchen room table, out of Molly's reach, and uses her key to slice open the packing tape.*

*Sure enough, there's a wire cage inside containing a bunch of shredded newspaper and... her partner?*
21st-Dec-2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
*There's a gigantic tearing sound, and then Alastair is squinting up at Fiona, all but lost for words. She seems to be in much the same predicament, at least for the moment. He coughs and tries to make his squeak as deep and manly as possible.*

Hello, dear.
21st-Dec-2012 03:32 pm (UTC)
*There is a brief silence as Fiona opens her mouth and discovers it is impossible to gape, talk and smile all at the same time. Eventually she manages to get the gaping under control and is left with just the smiling and the talking.*

What- why are you a hamster?

Edited at 2012-12-21 03:32 pm (UTC)
21st-Dec-2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
*Alastair draws himself to his full (albeit distinctly miniscule) height and folds his arms crossly.*

Three guesses.
21st-Dec-2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
Peter has convinced you to infiltrate Number 10 through a mousehole? Tony has finally discovered how to absorb your body mass as well as your time?
21st-Dec-2012 03:57 pm (UTC)
Please don't take the piss, Fiona. This is very serious.
21st-Dec-2012 04:01 pm (UTC)
*She'd been trying not to laugh at him. Honest. But 'This is very serious' in his tiny little hamster voice is too much for her. Fiona collapses into a chair, laughing hysterically, and points a wavering finger at the cage.*

He- gave you- a little ~wheel~!*
21st-Dec-2012 04:05 pm (UTC)
*Alastair scowls, humiliated, as she tries to catch her breath.*

He didn't give it to me. He forced it on me against my will.
21st-Dec-2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
I'm sure he had your best interests at heart. Not a lot of room to jog in there...
21st-Dec-2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
No, there isn't - speaking of which, why haven't you let me out yet? Come on, I know you're finding it all very jolly at my expense, but don't drag it out any longer than necessary.
21st-Dec-2012 04:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, all right. You spoil all my fun.

*She opens the little wire door. He'll still have a bit of a clamber to get out over the rim of the plastic base, but she's marginally less afraid of him injuring himself by falling the two inches down to the table than she is of crushing him if she tries to pick him up.*

Hang on, let me get an oven glove. You can use it as a landing pad.

Edited at 2012-12-21 04:25 pm (UTC)
21st-Dec-2012 04:52 pm (UTC)
*Alastair pulls himself up to the opening, then hops down onto the oven glove with a grunt of relief. He stretches, breathing in the sweet smell of freedom.*

Cheers. Would you mind getting me some breakfast as well? I'm suddenly considerably underweight.
21st-Dec-2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
*Fiona folds her arms and studies her diminutive partner.*

How are we going to do this? You can't hold any silverware, and you can't hold a cup.

If I make bacon I guess you could hold a little piece in your hands and gnaw on it, but you'll have to make do with plain bread. I don't think you'll be strong enough to break up a piece of toast. And no coffee. I can pour some water into a lid for you, I suppose. Unless you want your bottle?

*She waves a hand to indicate the cage.*
21st-Dec-2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
What are you saying? I'm easily strong enough to take on a flimsy little piece of toast. And bacon, yes please. As for the rest...

*He eyes the water bottle warily. There's no way he would ever have used it in front of Peter, but Fiona's seen him puking up his own stomach lining, so the embarrassment threshold here is considerably lower. Even so, he's not interested in taking up the full hamster lifestyle.*

Couldn't you just pour some coffee into a smaller container?
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