If there is one thing that Mao can be certain about his teammate, it is that Hei wakes up at 6:00 AM on the dot, spends exactly fifteen minutes performing all the regular morning rituals, and proceeds to cook breakfast enough to feed a whole damned army, which he will later consume completely on his own in less than an hour after everything has been prepared. Mao, as he is much more than just an amazingly fat cat with a dinky red bell collar, is smart enough to slink in and eat directly off one of the serving plates because he knows that Hei is not going to chase him away. Maybe send him a flat look that’s enough to make a lot of their targets piss in their pants a little (especially when Hei’s got the whole electricity thing going on), but Mao is not affected by it in the least. They may not be friends but they are teammates, and the trouble with teammates is that they’re best left alive for them to do you any good.
Hei’s ritual after eating five times more than the average man is to give the beaten up old television set in his room a little zap in order to kick it into shape and watch a little bit of news. Mao, who, by that time, is happily stuffed, slinks around the apartment for a bit before figuring heck, why not and hunches down close to Hei’s crossed legs, just close enough to brush the young man’s knee with his tail every time it flicks up and lazily sweeps through the air. Hei occasionally indulges him with a scratch behind the ears (Mao used to tell himself that he didn’t like it, but who is he kidding? Sometimes, he’s more feline than he is human), but his eyes never leave the screen.
They are out the door a little before lunch and off to complete Hei’s last ritual before he becomes BK-201, which involves buying some bread at the convenience store down the street and heading to Yin’s stall. The girl doesn’t thank them, only glances up once, glances down at the bread, then reaches into the bag and picking out one of the pieces. Hei lingers outside of her shop with his own piece. Mao curls up on the bench beside him, yawning a cat’s yawn. A nap is in order. They will have another mission tonight – they have one every night – but for the moment, the day is theirs.