There wasn't much that surprised Kakei. His ability to see the future was handy, even though it didn't work on people who were more powerful than him. That was why he was prepared that night when Rikuo walked through the door of the backroom of the Green Drugstore, carrying an angry looking cat wearing an expensive collar and with Kazahaya no where in sight.
"The spell will wear off in about five hours once the collar is removed," he said, unable to hide the amusement in his voice. With one hand he reached out and patted the cat's head before undoing the collar. "Unfortunately, I can't pay a cat for a job so it looks like you'll be receiving the full payment this time, Rikuo."
The cat glared at Kakei as he squirmed in Rikuo's arms in an attempt to swipe at Kakei with a clawed paw. Kakei merely laughed at the cat's reaction; Kazahaya was quite cute as a cat.
"I guess, I could make an exception," Kakei said to the cat, while quickly giving Rikuo a stern look. "After all, I'm sure that you didn't put the collar on yourself."
Kakei didn't have to use his future-seeing abilities to know what happened that night. After retrieving the collar, Rikuo had playfully placed it around Kazahaya's neck to tease him, unaware that the collar was special would turn Kazahaya into a cat. The collar had shrunk as well to fit Kazahaya's new body and Rikuo had been unsure if it was safe to remove it. Now that it was off though, it was returning to its normal size and would once again fit the neck of a human.
"What should we do with him until he's back normal?" Rikuo asked, still holding Kazahaya who had settled down when he heard that he still would be paid.
"Take him upstairs and get some rest. It's late and you both still have to work in the morning."
"Can't he just run around down here?" Rikuo asked with a sour look on his face.
"No; he's your responsibility since this was your fault."
"Fine," came the reply with a grumbling sigh before Rikuo walked off. Kakei knew that things would be all right between the two; he didn't need to see the future to know that. Perhaps Kazahaya spending time as a cat would do their relationship some good.
Taking the collar, Kakei placed it inside a safe. Saiga would deliver it to their client later, but until then Kakei didn't want any more accidents. Besides, turning Rikuo into a cat wouldn't be nearly as amusing; plus he was more likely to hold a grudge. Therefore it was better to be safe than sorry.
With a small sigh, Kakei sat down on the couch that was in the room. With Rikuo and Kazahaya back home, he had little to worry about and could only wait until Saiga returned. It was a personal rule of his, never go to bed unless Saiga was safe at home; even if that meant he had to stay up all night and work the next day on no sleep. He simply didn't like sleeping without Saiga by his side.
Kakei knew he was being a bit ridiculous waiting up for Saiga whenever the other man was out; after all he could easily read Saiga's future to make sure that he returned safe and sound. But Kakei didn't particularly like reading Saiga's future, in case he saw something bad happen to Saiga and he was unable to help. Their work was dangerous at times and sometimes it was better to not worry about the future and simply enjoy the present.
An hour slowly went by, and then followed by another. Looking at the clock, Kakei saw that it read 3:02 am. Normally he'd be waking in a few hours to get ready for work at the store, but Saiga still wasn't back yet; he wasn't worry though, he knew that Saiga would be late returning home that night.
He was however lonely; he always became lonely whenever Saiga wasn't around. Normally he would try and keep busy with work for the store but it was far too late for that. No one understood him the way Saiga did and no one could bring him joy like Saiga could. Even toying with Rikuo and Kazahaya was less amusing when Saiga wasn't around.
It was another forty minutes before Kakei heard noises out in the store and he knew that Saiga was back. Sure enough, a few minutes later, Saiga appeared in the doorway of the backroom.
"Welcome back," Kakei said with a gentle smile.
Saiga was over to him in a flash, embracing him and gently caressing his cheek. Automatically they began cuddling together on the couch. "You didn't have to stay up."
Before Kakei could reply, a crash was heard from above them followed by the sound of a cat meowing, causing Saiga to give Kakei a questioning look.
"Rikuo brought home a pet," he cheerfully explained. "For tonight only; things will be back to normal tomorrow."
"Such a pity; I'm sure he was quite cute."
"I think Rikuo thought so too." There was another crash from upstairs, along with Rikuo's voice, yelling at the cat. "Although he'll never admit it."
Saiga laughed as he cuddled close to Kakei. Despite it being late, neither felt tired anymore. Their lives were so busy, simply having time alone together was refreshing. A kiss was shared between them and Kakei happily sighed; there were times when Kakei could almost pretend that they lived normal lives, where their only concern was the drugstore. A life like that would be nice; it would be peaceful and quiet, but also probably very boring.
Morning came far too soon for Kakei. He had fallen asleep on the couch with Saiga and it was only a few hours of sleep that he got, but it was enough to get him through the work day. Fortunately he was the type of person that could manage on little sleep. Nevertheless, there were no specials missions for Rikuo and Kazahaya that day, which meant he could have an early evening, which he was looking forward too.
Allowing Saiga to sleep some more, Kakei headed out into the drugstore where he found Rikuo and Kazahaya. Both looked tired, but at least Kazahaya was back to normal. Kazahaya had may have looked cute as a cat, but a cat would make poor employee for a drug store.
"I'm never owning a pet again," Rikuo said, looking gloomy and Kakei merely smiled at him. He hoped that Rikuo had learned his lesson about fooling around on missions, but it certainly had been amusing while it lasted.
"If you two broke anything last night, it's coming out of your salaries."
A scared look crossed Kazahaya's face. He looked rather pitiful, but at the same time it was amusing so Kakei felt no guilt. Rikuo however was unfazed, knowing that Kakei was merely joking. That's why Kakei liked teasing Kazahaya more, he was more gullible.
"What's going on out here?" Saiga asked, entering the store. Kakei was surprised to see him awake so early in the morning, but he wasn't unhappy. He liked spending time with Saiga, even while working.
"Rikuo was just saying that he misses his pet cat," Kakei told him. "Apparently he ran away during the night."
"Aww... too bad, I would have liked to see the little guy."
"He was a pain," Rikuo sourly said, keeping his distance from Kazahaya as he shelved supplies.
"He wasn't receiving very good care!" Kazahaya angrily shot back.
"I bet he was cute," Saiga said as he placed an arm around Kazahaya's shoulders.
Kakei knew what was going to happen; he didn't need any special powers to know, years of being with Saiga had taught him enough. Regardless, he made no attempt to stop the man as sometimes sacrifices had to be made for the entertainment of others.
Kazahaya never saw it coming; he never expected that Saiga had retrieved the collar from the safe before entering the store. In a swift movement Saiga placed the collar around Kazahaya's neck and instantly he once again turned into a cat.
"He is cute!"
"I told you!" Kakei replied with a bright smile before giving a small frown. "But we can't have a cat shedding hair all over the store." Together they looked at Rikuo who was trying very hard to ignore them as he continued with his work.
"You can stop doing that," Kakei said as Saiga walked over and handed Kazahaya to Rikuo. "I decided to give you the day off. You deserve it since you worked so hard last night."
There was little that Rikuo could do. He knew that complaining would get him no where for once Kakei made up his mind there was no changing it. All he could do was take the cat upstairs, while muttering under his breath that Kazahaya was a fool for falling for such a lame trick.
"Its fun having them around," Saiga said once they were alone. Walking over to Kakei, he wrapped his arms around Kakei's waist from behind.
"Yeah," Kakei happily replied.
Together they continued with the preparations to open the store. Despite having a late night, closing the store for the day would only attract unwanted attention from curious locals. Kakei already had plans though for closing early so that they could spend some quality time together. Then, much later, he would see about removing the magical collar from Kazahaya's neck. Until then Rikuo was going to have to be a good cat owner.