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the one where harry gets a cat

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Waking up with Harry is one of Zayn’s favourite things.

Harry always gets up for a jog at 7. Zayn’s a heavy sleeper, but he stirs a bit when Harry kisses him on the shoulder as he gets out of bed and stomps around looking for trainers and trackies. He slides back under the duvet when he’s done, warm and smelling like a quick shower and clean sweat.

That’s how everything smells when Zayn finally wakes up, the sheets smelling of Harry’s soap and sweat and boy, Harry touching Zayn in some way whether it’s a leg thrown over Zayn’s thigh or spooning up from behind.

Zayn puts the kettle on and Harry gets up before it’s boiled, stumbling into the kitchen naked with creases from the sheet pressed into his skin, face still puffy and confused looking with sleep. They figure breakfast out together. Harry’ll decide he’s in charge of the eggs and Zayn will take care of frying up sausage or chopping vegetables because even Harry’s breakfasts must be healthy.

It’s become very natural. Zayn enjoys having Harry like this, all domesticated with a real bedhead, just Harry and not Harry Styles tumbling out of members only clubs in Soho with Nick Grimshaw and his other cool famous acquaintances. Just Harry who squirts himself in the eye whilst peeling an orange with his hands like a little monkey, necklace twisted around and the pendant stuck to his bare shoulder.

They don’t agree on breakfast this morning. Harry wants vanilla yoghurt and cereal with sliced banana and Zayn’s happy with black coffee and margarine raked onto toast. If Zayn hadn’t been half asleep since they’d got out of bed earlier than usual, a disturbance in and of itself, Zayn putting on the kettle at a shocking 9:45 instead of noon, he’d have noticed a disturbance in the force.

Zayn’s the one who hears it first, a scratching noise at the glass door leading out into Harry’s backyard. Harry’s kitchen renovations have finally been completed, relocated to the other side of the house (Zayn still doesn’t fully understand why Harry’d inconvenienced himself a year just to have the kitchen here despite all Harry’s rambling explanations over the past few months, but he’ll admit it’s a nice view of the yard, ever the supportive boyfriend).

There’s a cat at the door, peering in, little, pink nose bumping off the glass. It’s white underneath and brown on top with tabby stripes everywhere else, eyes a shade of green that reminds Zayn of Harry’s. Harry’s face brightens immediately from where he’s sat at the other side of the island, slumped over his cereal with a bit of mushed banana on his upper lip.

“There’s a cat outside,” Zayn says, watching the cat pace on the step.

Harry’s getting up, cheeks dimpling as he looks fondly out the door. “That’s Duke.”

“Duke?” Zayn echoes, watching Harry get a small bowl and fill it with milk, tearing the top off a tin of tuna. “Is he a little stray visitor?”

Harry nods, sliding the door open. It’s no secret Zayn loves animals, he’s got a veritable petting zoo at home. Watching Harry feed a stray cat with his bollocks hanging out both melts Zayn’s heart and makes him get a bit hard, if he’s being honest. He goes over to Harry and ‘Duke’, kneeling behind Harry where Harry’s folded himself in half to sit and watch ‘Duke’ eat.

“Why’d you call him Duke?” Zayn asks softly. He watches, endeared as Duke laps at the milk, pausing to look up at Zayn distrustfully with his Harry-green eyes. He then looks to Harry as if asking whether this new human’s alright. Harry just smiles at him. Harry looks so much like a bloody cat himself that they can probably understand each other’s facial expressions perfectly. But Duke isn’t convinced, gives Zayn another nasty look before going back to his milk.

Zayn’s not used to this being rejected by animals thing. Animals love him. It’s Harry that makes dogs wriggle out of his arms and makes Arnie puff his neck up, which is a bearded dragon’s way of saying ‘fuck off, mate.’

“It’s short for Duke of Catterbury,” Harry says. He pauses like he expects Zayn to laugh. Zayn doesn’t laugh. “Like the Duke of Canterbury?” Harry explains.

Zayn doesn’t understand why Duke doesn’t like him when Harry’s named him something stupid like that.

“It’s a pun,” Harry continues.

“It’s great, babe,” Zayn says, forcing a delighted grin until Harry looks away, pleased with his own wit. Sometimes Zayn thinks he’s actually in love with an idiot.

Duke wolfs the milk and tuna down in record time, butting at Harry’s hand until Harry scratches him behind the ears. He pulls away when Zayn tries to do the same, fur bristling defensively.

“Easy, lad,” Zayn says, raising his hands in surrender.

Duke glares at him as he butts at Harry’s hand again.

Harry kisses Zayn’s cheek, Duke purring beneath his fingers. “He’s popped in a few times since I’ve moved back in. He took a while to warm up to me, had to fatten him up a bit first, I guess, because he was in bad shape, all skin and bones. Was really poorly.”

Duke’s fucked up, but it tugs at Zayn’s heart strings knowing that he’s got someone to take care of him, and Harry’s got a good heart, is the perfect person to nurse him back to health and keep an eye out.

“He’ll come around, don’t worry,” Harry says, squeezing Zayn’s hand.

Zayn’s not overly optimistic about that. He’s never had a cat look at him with such pure hatred before, which is a grand statement when he remembers how Prada carried on after he and Perrie had got her fixed. He doesn’t think Prada’d ever forgiven him for that; was truly for the best that Perrie kept her after they’d broken up.

Duke eventually gets tired of his and Harry’s company, jogging off to go do whatever it is that stray cats did as Harry cooed goodbyes and come back soon’s at him.

“Do you think he’ll let me keep him eventually? I’d like to. I miss having a cat,” Harry says, washing his hands at the sink. “And I’ve got a house now, so it wouldn’t be impossible.”

“Don’t know. Don’t reckon Duke’s very keen on being domesticated. Looks possessed if you ask me,” Zayn says, making a face as he remembers the way Duke had stared into his soul and deemed it worthless. He wonders if this is a sign that he needs to learn to manage his time properly on tour, get all his prayers done.

“You’re just jealous an animal likes me best,” Harry says, smug as he slides back onto the barstool. “Shit, my cereal’s all soggy.”

“Good.” Zayn can’t deny that he’s vindictive.

He hides the fact that his coffee’s room temperature as Harry pouts at him. He won’t let Harry win twice in one morning.

 

 

--

 

“How’s everyone back home? Good?” Harry asks between mouthfuls of Zayn’s neck, helping Zayn get out of his leather jacket.

“Yeah, Mum made me bring food back for us,” Zayn hisses when Harry grabs his cock through his jeans, digging his own fingers into the flesh of Harry’s arse. Harry’d answered the door in his pants, ready to shag before Zayn’d even managed to get his shoes off or put down all the bags his mum sent him with.

“Fuck, you didn’t shave. You’re getting a beard,” Harry says, kissing Zayn’s lips until Zayn slides his tongue into Harry’s mouth, lets Harry suck on it as Harry grinds down his thigh. Harry loves Zayn’s beard when it’s thick.

Zayn lets Harry press him up against the wall of the foyer, can feel Harry’s skin burning through the thin cotton of his t-shirt, how solid he is. Zayn gets a hand between them, helps Harry get his zip undone so Harry can get his fingers around Zayn’s bare cock.

“Missed this so much,” Harry says, looking down at his hand on Zayn’s dick, fingers pale against the flushed, tight skin. He swipes his thumb over the bit of pre-come at the tip.

Zayn loves looking at Harry’s face when they fuck about. He’s just as expressive as he is on stage, flushed, eyes glassy, biting on his lip or letting his mouth hang open like he’s faking it for a camera. But it’s real. Harry just get so into Zayn, kissing all over Zayn’s body, touching him, sucking him off, fucking him, riding him and sliding his hands up and down Zayn’s chest. He always looks like he can’t believe someone like Zayn is letting him do this, like Zayn takes his breath away.

Zayn loves it. It drives him crazy, having someone love him like that even when the relationship’s not new anymore, loves that Harry makes him feel the same way.

“Gonna suck it, babe?” Zayn ask, watching Harry’s tongue slide over his slightly chapped bottom lip.

Harry nods, makes Zayn promise he won’t go home for two weeks again as he lets Zayn push him onto his knees. He wraps his fingers around the base, his mouth sliding wetly down Zayn’s cock, head bobbing as he gets to work, sucking Zayn so hard that his mouth makes slick, dirty noises whenever he pulls up. Zayn sighs, pushing Harry’s hair back so he can watch him properly, watch his face as he fucks into his mouth nice and slow.

Harry pulls off, spit clinging to the head of Zayn’s cock as he holds him against his cheek, lets the head slip across his mouth. “I jerked off so much when you were gone.”

“Yeah?” Zayn asks, knows what Harry wants as he slaps his cock against Harry’s cheek, grabbing him by the hair. “Miss this?”

“Yeah,” Harry says, voice cracking. Zayn slaps his other cheek this time, slamming back into his mouth and squeezing his eyes shut as Harry gags around him. Zayn loves that Harry’s got practically no gag reflex, has deep-throated Zayn to the point of hoarseness more than once.

He can hear the elastic of Harry’s waistband snap as Harry shoves a hand down his boxers, getting himself off as Zayn just fucking uses is mouth. Zayn hadn’t had enough time alone to spend it wanking at his mum and dad’s like Harry’d apparently had, hasn’t got off properly other than once in the shower, paranoid one of his sisters would hear even though they’d never heard him in any of the thin-walled terraced houses they’d lived in before.

Being back home is always weird after you’ve got used to doing whatever you wanted all over the world, always feels stricter than it needs to be, makes you feel like you need to prove to your family and everyone you knew before that you’ve stayed down to earth.

He’s close after an embarrassingly short amount of time, thighs already twitching and fingers tugging on Harry’s hair. His balls are drawn up tight and he can practically feel his orgasm in his teeth, but then something pulls him out of it: a desperate scratching noise at the front door that kills the mood, followed by a pathetic mewl.

The letterbox rattles, and there’s more of that wretched mewling making Zayn tense up, starting to go soft in Harry’s mouth. Zayn knows it’s the Duke of Catterbury before he even realises that Harry’s not sucking his dick anymore, adjusting himself as he opens the door and finds Duke perched on the step, waiting with an air of imperiousness that only cats have mastered.

Zayn feels like all of the air that’d been filling his chest immediately disappears, leaving him slumped against the wall like a balloon with all the air let out. Even his cock’s softening up quickly, watching Harry squat in the doorway to let Duke try to catch his waggling fingers between his paws.

“Duke been keeping you company while I was gone?” Zayn can’t keep the bitterness out of his voice. He hasn’t seen Duke since the first time, and Harry’s not mentioned him since, or at least Zayn doesn’t recall Harry mentioning him. He thinks he would remember Harry mentioning fraternising with the one animal that refuses to like Zayn back.

“I haven’t seen him recently,” Harry says, turning to look at Zayn with an apologetic smile until he sees Zayn’s half-hard prick. “Make yourself decent, man. Duke doesn’t need to see that.”

“Duke’s homeless, Harry. He’s probably seen much more than that,” Zayn says, nonetheless doing up his zip because he’s apparently whipped. “This is ridiculous. I’ve been gone two weeks. Does Duke let you come on his face? Because I think I should have some priority over a mental cat that’s probably got rabies or something.”

Harry gives Zayn a look that makes Zayn think they won’t be picking up where they left off tonight if he keeps carrying on like this. Zayn’s jaw clicks shut. “There’s a bag of cat food in the pantry, could you put some of it into the big silver bowl on the bottom shelf and then fill the little one with water?”

Zayn frowns. “You’ve bought dishes for him? And cat food?”

Zayn,” Harry whines.

Zayn’s not even horny anymore, watching Harry babble nonsense at Duke as Duke ignores them both in favour of diving headfirst into his dinner. Zayn supposes Duke’s adorable, a bit plumper than he was when Zayn’d last seen him, no doubt due in part to Harry feeding him expensive cat food.

He still doesn’t like Zayn, hisses at him when his hand gets too close.

“I got you food, why don’t you like me?” Zayn says under his breath, watching Duke narrow his eyes at him as he yawns and stretches against Harry’s bare legs. Zayn isn’t finding it any easier to deal with this feline rejection than he had the last time.

“He likes you. He’s just shy,” Harry reasons, running his hand along Duke’s spine, Duke’s tail curling lazily around his wrist.

Zayn doesn’t think that’s very true, but he’s not going to say anything derogatory about Duke tonight. He wants to get laid.

 

--

 

 

Duke comes and goes as he pleases.

Sometimes he’ll come round every morning and even return for dinner, meowing loudly at the glass door in the kitchen until someone lets him in. Harry’s practically come to think of him as a pet despite the fact that Duke doesn’t venture very far into the house, has bought him squeaky toys that Duke wrestles with in the yard.

Zayn likes the way Harry’s eyes brighten up watching Duke, how Duke will give him little kisses with his nose and Harry’ll reciprocate whilst Duke looks confusedly back but lets him.

But nothing’s changed between Zayn and Duke. Duke looks at Zayn with disdain if he bothers to look at him at all, won’t let Zayn touch him even if Zayn’s the one to feed him. Zayn doesn’t like Duke either. Duke’s a prick.

“Maybe you should get a cat of your own,” Zayn says, biting into an apple.

They’d had breakfast on the deck this morning, Harry going on about how nice it was outside until Zayn sighed and took their plates up and headed out into the yard. Zayn doesn’t mind, though, the air’s cool and the sun feels warm on the back of his neck and the tops of Harry’s shoulders are already beginning to brown, his nose going adorably red.

Duke’s popped in today, curled up by the grill with one of his toys.

Harry turns to Zayn, frowning. “I don’t want Duke to feel like he’s been replaced.”

“Duke’s a stray cat, Harry, for all we know he might even have an owner somewhere.”

Zayn’s said this before, and Harry always gives him the same annoyed look that makes Zayn give up and look in another direction.

 

--

 

Zayn stops Harry from getting out of bed for his morning run, wrapping his arms tighter around Harry’s waist when he feels him pulling away. Harry makes a confused grumbly noise until Zayn presses his hips into Harry’s arse, letting him feel how hard Zayn is in his pyjama bottoms.

“Morning wood,” Zayn laughs when Harry quickly turns around so he can get a feel of it. “Help me with this before you go?”

Harry licks his lips, loose curls tickling at Zayn’s chin. “What do you want me to do?”

Zayn shrugs, pulling his cock out through the flap of his pyjamas. “Whatever you want.”

“Thank you, Zayn, that’s very kind of you,” Harry says sarcastically, still giving Zayn a few tugs anyway. “You want to fuck me?”

Zayn feels like he’s had the wind knocked out of him, often does around Harry. “Yeah, of course I do.”

Harry laughs into Zayn’s neck, lets Zayn pull him up for a peck on the mouth, both still wary after the last time they’d woken up like this and nearly killed each other with morning breath after a night of beer and curry with the lads.

Harry gets sachets of lube out of the drawer in the side table, dropping them on the bed as Zayn rolls him onto his back, sliding between Harry’s legs so they could rub off against each other, Zayn biting red bruises onto Harry’s neck that make Harry buck his hips up.

He goes lower, biting harder on Harry’s chest where no one else will see the marks, flicking his tongue over Harry’s nipple until Harry swears and moans his name, fingernails pressing into Zayn’s back.

Zayn kisses his way down until he’s got Harry’s cock in his mouth, feeling smug when he looks up and sees Harry’s got his eyes closed, head thrown back and lips parted like he’s already on the brink of orgasm. Zayn doesn’t think he’ll ever get tired of how responsive Harry is.

He opens Harry up on his fingers as he sucks him off, sliding a third one in that makes Harry nearly choke him, cock slamming into the back of Zayn’s throat as his thighs close around his neck.

“Fuck, you ready now?” Zayn laughs, voice gone husky and coughing a bit as Harry sheepishly spreads his thighs.

“Yeah, sorry,” he says, biting down on his lip when Zayn crooks his fingers just right, cock practically jumping against his abs and leaving a smear of pre-come.

“Have I not been fucking you enough?” Zayn’s amused, slowly pulling his fingers out.

“Shut up, it’s early,” Harry complains, bottom lip pouted out in a way that makes it impossible for Zayn to resist sucking it into his mouth.

Zayn fucks Harry from behind, Harry down on his elbows so his back’s arched just right, arse fitting perfectly against Zayn’s hips as he slams into him. The headboard’s shaking, Zayn can hear his balls slapping against Harry’s arse, his cock sliding wetly inside him, their heavy breathing, Harry letting out moans in shocked bursts whenever Zayn gets a good angle in him.

Zayn loves fucking Harry like this, loves pulling on his curls and looking at his arse, loves smacking it and seeing his handprint for a moment, loves watching his cock stretch Harry’s pink, little hole.

He can tell Harry’s close from the way his breath hitches, clenching and unclenching hard around Zayn’s dick. Zayn reaches round, jerks him off until Harry lets go, coming all over the sheets and moaning Zayn’s name as Zayn fucks him through it.

“Don’t come in me,” Harry says, looking back at Zayn over his shoulder.

He looks so gorgeous and thoroughly fucked that Zayn yanks his hair so he stays still enough for Zayn to lick into his mouth.

Zayn comes on Harry’s lower back. Harry still complains about this, but he falls asleep as soon as he rolls onto his side, away from the wet spot. Zayn would love to be there when Harry wakes up stuck to the sheets, because that’s always fucking hilarious, but he’s itching for a fag.

The Duke of Catterbury’s waiting at the door to the backyard. He practically rolls his eyes when he sees Zayn.

“Fuck you, too,” Zayn says, lighting his cigarette.

Duke mewls angrily, tail twitching with irritation.

“You want something to eat?” Zayn asks, blowing smoke into the chilly morning air. He regrets not putting a shirt on. “I don’t understand why you’re giving me all this attitude when you’re early.”

Duke stares blankly back at him.

Zayn sighs and outs his cigarette in the beer can he’s been using as an ashtray, heading inside to fill Duke’s bowl with food.

Duke isn’t impressed when Zayn puts the bowl down in front of him. He’s actually so unimpressed that he vomits on Zayn’s foot and then runs away.

“What?” Harry frowns, towelling his hair off as he looks for a pair of pants to wear. “Duke threw up on your foot? Zayn, what if he’s poisoned or something? You let him leave like that?”

“What was I supposed to do, Harry? Grab him and have him get sick on me some more in between scratching my face off?”

The look Harry gives him is quite reminiscent of the countless ones he’s received from Duke, green eyes and everything.

“He probably just ate something bad. He’ll be alright,” Zayn says, getting distracted by Harry bending over, pulling his briefs up over his legs. Zayn’s sad to see his arse covered up.

Harry does his best petulant toddler face, letting Zayn pull him into his lap. “I promise your bitchy stray cat’s fine. He’ll come back like he always does,” Zayn kisses Harry’s neck.

Harry sighs, relaxing against Zayn’s chest. “I think I’m going to try to domesticate him when he comes back. It’s dangerous out there, he shouldn’t be wandering about like that.”

Zayn can’t imagine a world where he has to deal with Duke every time he comes to Harry’s house; at least whenever Harry’s at Zayn’s his pets aren’t arseholes. Zayn’s still bitter over that time where Duke interrupted the epic blowjob Harry’d been giving him.

But he forces a supportive smile and he’s rewarded for it with a kiss.

 

 

--

 

 

Duke makes his triumphant return on a rainy Sunday morning. Zayn’s sat texting Louis at the kitchen table and Harry’s over the stove making very disfigured-looking omelettes with too much mushroom and turkey rashers struggling to fit inside.

Harry sees Duke first, drenched and shaking at the door. He immediately lets him in with a ‘so glad you’re alright.’ Zayn’s glad Duke’s not dead, but that’s about the extent of his interest in Harry’s rude charity pet.

“Zayn, I think something’s wrong with Duke? He’s so swollen,” Harry says, kneeling on the floor with Duke’s head in his lap.

Zayn’s eyebrows rise when he gets a good look. Duke’s a lot thicker, round belly hanging low. “Harry,” Zayn swallows. “I think Duke might be pregnant.”

Harry looks like that possibility had never occurred to him, that confused crinkle forming between his eyebrows.

Zayn is now absolutely certain he’s in love with an idiot. “Why did you name the cat if you didn’t even know if it was a boy or a girl?” Zayn asks, burying his hands in his face as laughter starts to bubble in his chest. He can’t wait to tell Louis about this, Louis’ going to take the piss out of Harry for the rest of his life.

“I don’t know actually. I just thought he was a boy,” Harry pauses, scratching behind Duke’s ears. “I mean she. I thought she was a boy.”

Duke mewls pitifully and Harry’s face goes soft. It’s then Zayn knows that this ridiculous cat is going to become a part of Harry’s household along with her brood of probably equally ridiculous kittens.

Zayn supposes he’ll have to get used to it.

 

 

--

 

 

They end up at Zayn’s vet later that day because Harry wants Duke to get checked out (Harry doesn’t think Duchess suits her, somehow thinks the pun is even cleverer now. Zayn gives up.) She’s got about three weeks of pregnancy left, but otherwise seems to be in good shape. The vet suggests she comes in each week until she gives birth to make sure she’s eating enough, puts her down for vaccine injections after she gives birth.

The first night she stays inside, she cries until Harry lets her sleep curled up on his pillow, getting irritable whenever Zayn gets too close.

Zayn doesn’t know when his life will ever be normal again.

 

 

--

 

 

“Should’ve named her ‘Obama’,” Niall says, Duke sprawled across his lap, fast asleep because Duke apparently likes everyone but Zayn.

Zayn is still not used to an animal not liking him. He’s not equipped for this. He can’t stop himself from staring jealously on as Duke purrs in her sleep.

“Why?” Harry asks, joining Niall and Zayn on the sofa with a bottle of Stella.

“Obama’s a good world leader,” Niall shrugs, eyes focused on the TV screen where he’s losing another FIFA match to Zayn. “Duke’s too… royal.”

“Oh right,” Harry says, not sounding at all like he cares.

Niall shoots him an irritated look, allowing Zayn to score a goal.

“Yes!” Zayn shouts, startling Duke and making her jump out of Niall’s lap, staring at Zayn reproachfully over her shoulder as she slinks away.

Zayn can’t win.

“So you’re a loyalist now?” Niall’s continuing.

“Are you really going to get all Irish right now? You’ve not even drank that much,” Harry blinks prettily, which would usually work on Zayn, but Niall isn’t getting any from Harry, so he’s not even remotely swayed. “I’m not naming my cat ‘Obama’, Niall,” Harry says, taking a swig of his beer.

“What about ‘Barack’? ‘Barack’ is fair.”

“It’ll just confuse her if I change her name now, and it’s not like I meant to make some loyalist statement it’s just a pun—“

“She’s a cat, Harry, she doesn’t know her own bloody name,” Niall interjects.

Harry’s offended now. “She’s smart! Cats are smart!”

“Should name her a pun about Obama then. And for the record, I’m always Irish—”

Zayn goes to see if there’s any vodka left. It’s going to be a long night.

Duke glares at Zayn’s feet from where she’s hiding beneath the kitchen table.

 

--

 

 

They’d had an interview in the morning, and Zayn’s tired when they get back to Harry’s, but he’d also still quite like to fuck Harry’s brains out. He pulls Harry in by the belt loop of his trousers, trousers that Zayn’d sworn he’d heard Caroline emphatically telling Harry she needs to return. Zayn would make fun of him for it if Harry’s mouth weren’t so distracting. They kiss in the living room, Zayn walking Harry backwards until they fall on the sofa, Harry laughing breathily against his mouth.

“I need to check on Duke first,” Harry says, eyes apologetic.

Zayn sighs, letting Harry up from underneath him. Harry scurries off, leaving Zayn to browse twitter on his mobile. He favourites one of Liam’s misspelt tweets about the interview, smiles a bit when he sees Harry’s newest twitter pic, a picture Zayn had taken of him holding Duke.

“Zayn, I can’t find Duke,” Harry says, jogging back into the living room and skidding on his socked feet. “She’s not under the kitchen table or in my bed like she usually is. What if she’s gone into labour and it went badly? She’s due any day now.”

Zayn’s half-hard cock immediately goes soft. It looks like another night of not getting off with Harry thanks to Harry’s possessed cat.

Harry goes out into the yard, worried that Duke might’ve got outside somehow. Zayn checks the pantry first, opening and closing cabinets. She’s not in the cloakroom, and he’s kind of ready to give up by the time he checks the last guest bedroom on a whim. A loud mewl comes from the en suite.

He finds Duke in the bath, surrounded by four wet kittens that’ve curled up under her belly, all hairless and blind and fucking adorable. She looks up at Zayn, and for the first time ever, she doesn’t look like she’s about to cough up a hairball in his new trainers. Her gaze is soft and it’s like she’s actually smiling at him.

Zayn gets closer, close enough to reach out and stroke her head, and to his surprise, she lets him, leans into it, in fact.

Harry gasps, suddenly at Zayn’s shoulder. “Oh my god, they’re so cute.”

“Yeah,” Zayn agrees, just really sort of thrilled that Duke no longer hates him.

“Motherhood’s softened her up,” Harry smiles, kissing Zayn on the cheek as he gets his phone out, immediately thumbing his way to the camera. “I told you she’d like you eventually.”

He starts snapping pictures, apparently deeming it important to start documenting the kittens’ existence even though everything’s still gross and there’s placenta and afterbirth and who knows what else on—

“She gave birth on my bloody leather jacket,” Zayn runs a distressed hand through his hair.

“I’ll let you name the kittens?” Harry smiles nervously, trying to maintain the newly established peace.

 

 

--

 

 

Zayn wakes up to Obama and Bruce (Wayne) meowing at the foot of the bed. Obama’s the only ginger of the litter, and Niall’d been pleased his suggestion eventually got recognised, and Bruce is all sleek and black with piercing green eyes and a white patch on his head that’d reminded Zayn of the Bat Signal.

They follow Zayn down to the kitchen, rubbing against his legs and nearly tripping him up, buzzing with excitement when they see he’s going into the pantry to get their breakfast. Duke’s asleep as usual beneath the kitchen table, Leia and Aria cuddled up with her.

Harry comes in from his morning run just as Zayn puts the kettle on; hair pushed off his damp face with a headband and decked out head to toe in Nike gear. He looks ridiculous.

And yet Zayn finds himself saying, “Wanna fuck in the shower while the cats are busy?”

“Race you there,” Harry says, already stumbling off.

Zayn loves mornings with Harry.

 

--