Luhan sits on the chocolate, genuine leather couch, television volume turned on high to allow the voice of the commentator of the rerun soccer game to drown out the sound of the downpour outside. He doesn't even look up when Toby, their Rottweiler, jumps off from his place beside Luhan and trots to stand in front of the door, tail wagging excitedly – a telltale sign that Yixing must be home. Luhan watches as, after a few moments, the door flies open. Yixing stands on their porch drenched with what looks like a box in his arms, covered with his raincoat. Luhan turns down the volume of the television and stands to walk towards his boyfriend with an apprehensive look on his face. "Xing?" he asks, warily staring at the moving box in Yixing's arms. Yixing flashes a sheepish smile, kicking off his damp shoes in the corner – because Luhan is a neat freak, and Luhan would kill him if he were to get mud all over their spotless cream carpet. Why they had to go with cream, Yixing would never know. "What's that?"
Yixing hugs that raincoat-covered box closer to himself and pouts as he turns to face his boyfriend. "Promise you won't get angry..." This only makes Luhan more apprehensive as he crosses his arms across his chest, raising an eyebrow at the younger male, waiting for an explanation. But before Yixing has a chance to explain, a "meow" sounds from the box in Yixing's arms, and Toby barks as he jumps up and claws at Yixing's pants in excitement. Luhan's eyes widen as Yixing's mouth drops; and the younger male is flustered as he lifts the raincoat sheepishly, mustering his best puppy-dog face.
"I found them on the way home..."
Luhan stares in disbelief into the box, gasping softly when the head of an orange kitten pops out. Meow. Luhan shakes his head, blinks, and then looks back; but now, there is another kitten next to the first, both looking up at him with round, blameless eyes. Meow. His jaw drops to the ground when he pulls the raincoat fully off only to reveal a box full of kittens (five, to be exact) all looking up at him with innocent, wide eyes. Meow. Meow. “Yixing…” he says, taking a step back as he stares at his boyfriend. Meow.
“You said you wouldn’t get angry!” Yixing cuts him off before he even has the chance to formulate a coherent thought.
(‘No, I never said such a thing.’)
“They’re just babies,” the younger male adds with an adorable pout.
(‘Damn you and your pouts, Zhang Yixing.’)
“Yixing, what did I say about bringing home animals you see on the street?” Luhan sighs, running a hand over his face, his look of resignation giving away that they’ve been in this situation far more than he’d prefer.
“I haven’t done it that much…” the Yixing mumbles under his breath, frowning at the box of crying kittens. Luhan shakes his head and gives a pointed look down towards Toby, who is currently sitting by Yixing’s feet, staring up curiously at the meowing box. “He was tied to a pole!”
“Okay, fine. You saved Toby…but what about that chipmunk you brought home last month that left scratch marks on the couch and nearly wrecked our house?”
“He looked cold! And hungry! …And he was cute!”
“Mrs. Lee’s pet rabbit?”
“How was I supposed to know it already had an owner? It was hot out and she left it outside by itself! W-What if it got heatstroke? What if it died?!”
“It was in her backyard, Yixing,” Luhan groans. “You went onto the lady’s property and kidnapped her pet rabbit.” Yixing pouts – his trademark move, apparently, when he knew he couldn’t win an argument – and looks down sadly at the kittens. Luhan knows what’s coming; they’ve gone through similar scenarios way too many times before for him not to know what was about to happen. ‘Don’t look at him. Whatever you do, do not look into his–’
Luhan is a second too late in looking away; his eyes captured by Yixing’s large, imploring ones. ‘Shit.’
“Please, Luhan?” Yixing whines – actually whines – as he blinks his eyes at him. The elder male can feel his resolve falling the longer he stares at his boyfriend.
“Fine,” he caves, running his hand over his face. “One night, Yixing. They stay for one night; we’re bringing them to the shelter tomorrow. Our place is small enough, we don’t have room for more pets.” Yixing opens his mouth to argue, but thinks better of it and nods. He smiles as he gently places the box onto the ground.
“Let me introduce you!” he says excitedly. Luhan groans. ‘Please don’t tell me you’ve already named–’ “This is Tony!” Yixing says, pulling a mostly black kitten from the black. The cat’s underbelly is white, and he has an odd white marking across his mouth, across his smile line, that makes him appear to be always smiling.
‘Freaky,’ Luhan thinks, but nods all the same, appeasing his boyfriend.
“And this,” Yixing pulls out a grey tabby, “is Thor! See that marking right there on his forehead? Doesn’t it look like a lightening bolt?” Yixing giggles as he places Thor next to Tony, booping the kitten’s nose before he reaches back into the box to pull out the next cat. The next kitten to come out of the box is calico. “This is Bucky!” Yixing holds the squirming cat up for Luhan to see. Luhan nods, hoping to move the introductions along. Yixing gently places Bucky onto the floor next to him, and reaches in for one of the two remaining kittens in the box. He pulls out the black cat next, “This little guy is named Sam,” he says, placing Sam onto the ground next to Tony. “And last but not least, Cap!”
Cap, Luhan notices, is the only one of the five kittens that meows at him when he stares at it. Meow. Luhan watches as it walks towards him and winds its way between his legs, rubbing its back on his ankles. Meow.
“You should go shower,” Luhan says, frowning at Yixing’s wet clothes. “You’ll get sick if you stay in those clothes.”
“You first,” Yixing replies, distracted.
“Just one night, Xing,” Luhan says again, shaking his head at his boyfriend as he cautiously unwinds his legs from the kitten’s limbs. “They leave tomorrow.”
In retrospect, Luhan probably should have been a bit more wary about how easily Yixing agreed, nodding his head. Luhan turns to head towards the bathroom; missing the mischievous look Yixing sends his way as he gathers all five kittens and Toby into a group hug.
Freshly bathed, Luhan walks into the living room in his black sweatpants and a white tee shirt, with the towel hanging over his shoulders, to see Yixing in the middle of the room with the mahogany coffee table that cost Luhan a fortune pushed to the side, surrounded by the kittens. Yixing is on all fours, crouched down low as he pretends to pounce at one of the kittens, and giggles the cat pounces back. Toby lies next to him and seems to have transformed into the kittens’ jungle gym; two of the cats are on his back, one is sitting on his head, and another is curled against his side, fast asleep. Toby, Luhan decides, is the most patient dog ever. He’s a saint, really. Luhan leans against the doorframe, crosses his arms across his chest, and watches Yixing entertain the kittens – or rather, watches the kittens entertain his boyfriend. He smiles fondly as he watches Yixing pick up the orange-haired cat – ‘Cap?’ – and cradles it in his arms, like one would a baby. Yixing coos at Cap, and Luhan has to hold back his urge to coo at Yixing.
“Oh, Luhan!” Yixing exclaims when he finally looks up and notices his boyfriend, wincing slightly when Tony nips at his fingers. “I think they’re hungry…” Yixing mumbles, scratching Tony’s head, causing the cat to lean affectionately into his hand, purring loudly and begging for more attention. Yixing chuckles before getting up from his seated position, still holding Cap in his arms. “Come on crew!” Yixing calls to his team of kittens, “Into the kitchen we go!” He marches forward, and the cats, surprisingly, follow him. Toby takes up the rear, herding a sleepy Bucky along. Luhan follows them, curious. He pulls out a chair and sits, and reaches down to pick up Bucky who has slumped down to sleep on his foot. Bucky purrs in content as Luhan strokes him, both lazily watching Yixing open the fridge and pull out the bottle of almost-empty milk.
“Umm…Xing?” Luhan interrupts, standing a taking the few strides over to his boyfriend, who is just about to put the bowl of milk onto the floor for the kittens. “They can’t have that.”
“Don’t be so selfish, Luhan,” Yixing frowns, looking from his boyfriend to the cats now meowing loudly at his feet. “We can get more for you tomorrow.”
“No,” Luhan says, snatching the bowl of milk from Yixing’s hands, causing the raven-haired male to scowl.
“Luhan! I can’t believe you’re stealing milk from kittens!”
Luhan sighs and places the bowl onto the counter. “Cats can’t drink milk, Yixing,” he explains patiently.
“No, they’re lactose intolerant.”
“B-But what about The Aristocats? The kittens in The Aristocats drank milk…”
“Yes, but that was just a cartoon. Cats, in reality, can’t drink cow’s milk…” Luhan explains, watching as Yixing’s expression turns from that of confusion to betrayal.
“All of them?” Luhan nods. “You mean…you mean Disney lied?” If Yixing didn’t look like he was on the verge of tears, Luhan would have laughed. “I-I almost killed them!” Yixing wails, his eyes glossing over as he gets onto his knees, gathering the kittens around him closer. Luhan holds in his laughter and walks over, placing a gentle hand on his boyfriend’s shoulder; Yixing looks up, lips trembling, and wraps his arms around Luhan’s legs. “I almost became a kitty murderer, Luhan!” he cries into the brunet’s thigh.
“You wouldn’t have killed them, Xing…” Luhan says, rubbing the part of Yixing’s back that he could reach from his awkward position.
Luhan shakes his head. “They would’ve gotten diarrhea probably, but you would not have become a murderer of kittens.” Yixing sniffles and wipes his tears on the sleeve of his shirt and then picks up Cap and Bucky, cradling them both in both arms. Bucky is content in curling up and dozing off again in Yixing’s arm; Cap, however, squirms and meows until Yixing is forced to let him go.
“What can we feed them?” Yixing asks, turning to face Luhan. Sighing, Luhan walks over to the cupboards and stands on his tiptoes, trying to see if there was anything the kittens could eat for the night. His face brightens when he spots two cans of tuna on the top self. “Tuna?” Yixing asks. “So cats really like fish? That’s not a lie too?”
Luhan laughs at Yixing’s incorruptibility. “Tuna is okay for them to eat.” He opens the two cans and divides the fish into five portions. Balancing three small bowls in his left hand, Luhan walks with the two remaining bowls in his right hand over to where Toby usually has his dinner. He places the dishes down and is barely given time to remove his hands before the small beasts are pouncing. Even Bucky has woken from his stupor and is squirming in Yixing’s arms, trying to get to his meal before the others gobble it up. Toby whines by Luhan’s feet, and the brunet pats the dog on the head. “You’ve already had your dinner, buddy.” Dejectedly, Toby whines again and lies down, eyes cast towards the tuna bowls longingly. Luhan turns to Yixing, who is looking down at the kittens with pride, and gives the younger’s wet clothes a disapproving look. “You should really go shower now, Yixing, before you catch a cold,” he says, his lips curling downwards in a frown.
“Promise you’ll look after them,” Yixing says, casting an anxious look at Luhan. “Make sure they don’t choke or anything, or they won’t get hurt, or–”
“Jesus, Yixing,” Luhan cuts him off, “you’ll probably be gone for what, five minutes? If that? I promise I’ll make sure none of them die during that time, okay? Now go.” He points a stern finger towards the bathroom. Yixing takes another quick glance at the five ravenous kittens before turning to power walk towards the bathroom. Once he hears the bathroom door shut, and not two seconds later, the shower turn on, Luhan shakes his head and chuckles.
“Cute…” he mutters, staring down at the five little intruders to his home. He’s not sure if he’s referring to his boyfriend, or the five kittens that have now finished their meals, and are surrounding him, meowing and clawing at his legs.
Less than five minutes later, Yixing exits the bathroom with his towel over his head. He frowns when he peers into the living room and doesn’t catch sight of the kittens, Toby, or Luhan. He treks to their bedroom and stops at the doorway, a smile spreading across his face as he takes in the site before him. Luhan sits in the middle of their bed with Cap in his lap, purring as the brunet scratches the spot just behind his ear. Toby lies towards the bottom of the bed curled up into a ball with Sam and Tony in the middle, and Bucky lies on the pillow behind Luhan, asleep. Yixing looks around the room, searching for the remaining kitten, when he hears a soft “meow” at his feet. Bending down, he scoops Thor into his arms and walks over to Luhan, who scoots over to give him room on the bed, much to Cap’s displeasure at being moved. Meow. Yixing chuckles as he reaches over and boops Cap on the nose before scratching his ear, earning a satisfied purr from the feline. He looks over at Luhan, noticing the way the brunet looks down at Cap with adoration in his eyes. ‘Gotcha.’ Yixing smirks as he leans back against the headboard; Luhan follows him shortly after, and Yixing sits up slightly to adjust, allowing Luhan to wrap one arm around him. Bucky, annoyed at having his temporary bed taken away from him, climbs onto Luhan’s stomach and settles there instead; both Yixing and Luhan chuckle when Cap joins him a moment later, wrapping himself around the calico cat. Yixing leans his head on Luhan’s shoulder as his fingers rub circles on Luhan’s chest, venturing downwards from time to time to pet the ball of purring fluff on his boyfriend’s abdomen. He’s almost asleep when he feels Luhan turn his head and place a soft kiss on his forehead.
“Hey, Xing…” Yixing hums in acknowledgement. “Maybe…” Luhan exhales, reaching with his free hand to cup the two kittens on his stomach. “Maybe they should stay.”
Yixing doesn’t answer, only smiles against Luhan’s shoulder before leaning up to peck his boyfriend on the lips. He falls asleep that night to the sound of purring kittens, and the warmth of Luhan’s arms around him.
Three weeks later, Luhan is in the kitchen fixing dinner with a dog and three cats trailing behind him, meowing and whining for scraps, which he refuses to give them. Bucky, as always, is fast asleep on the couch. Thor, Luhan noticed, had taken a liking to windows and spends most of his time lounging on the windowsill, forcing Luhan to move his plants when the cat almost knocked one over just a few days ago. He curses when he almost trips on one of the kittens weaving between his legs – Tony – as he turns to place the dirty pot into the sink. He glances towards the hallway when he hears the front door open and then close.
“Hey babe!” he calls as he dries his hands on the Avengers apron Yixing had insisted they buy. “Good timing, dinner’s ready.” He hears the shuffling of Yixing’s feet and turns, smiling to greet his boyfriend. His smile drops when he spots Yixing standing in the middle of the doorway, holding his hands behind his back as he shifts his weight from one foot to the other. “…Yixing?”
“Promise you won’t be mad…”
The younger male smiles sheepishly as he slowly brings his hand out from behind his back, revealing a long pink tail sticking out from his fingers that he’s using to shield whatever it is that is in his hands.
Yixing moves his hand and grins. “I found it on the way home.”