They found the kitten in the woods. Or to be more accurate the kitten found them.
He and Boys had been exploring area while Drummer and Rainbow dug through the supplies for blankets and other junk for the small camp he and Gripps would set up once they got back.
Martin was chasing Vogel, who had just stuffed a wad of pine needles down the back of his shirt, through the trees when they all heard a shrill shriek from back towards the van. It echoed through the forest and sent a frisson of fear through the blond Rowdy as the sound brought him to an abrupt halt. There was stillness in the forest as he and his brothers listened for a heart beat before all four of them went crashing back to the van. Adrenaline flooding their veins as branches and twigs tried to trip them up in their mad dash to the girls.
Something was off but Martin couldn’t pinpoint it until they had made it back to the clearing he had parked the van earlier.
Sitting on the ground surrounded by trunks and crates was Drummer. Behind her crouched Rainbow, cautiously looking over her shoulder at the tiny black kitten she was cradling in her arms.
The relief that had flooded through Martin at the sight of both women unharmed nearly made his knees weak. It was then he realized what was off before was the lack of fear in the air. He and the boys had reacted on instinct at hearing the shriek, still too keyed up by their last encounter with Blackwing not to expect the worst.
But now that he knew that everything was ok, he relaxed. Letting the stress of his frantic run through the woods ebb away.
Drummer watched them as they walked over to where she and their technicolored companion were sitting. Obviously four grown men charging into the clearing ready for a fight had caught her attention and she smiled at them, shaking her head as she tried not to laugh. “Sorry guys! This little guy wandered up to us and Beast kinda freaked.” She look down at the bundle of fur in her arms. “Guess she’s never seen a kitten before.”
At the word kitten Vogel and Cross both perked up and excitedly ran over to Drummer to see the animal.
Gripps caught Martin’s eye as the others excitedly gathered around Drummer and the little black fuzzball. “You’re allergic to cats, right?”
Martin just grunted in the affirmative as Cross yelled back at him “Martin! Drummer says we can keep 'im if you're cool with it!” The excitement in his voice was echoed in the bright scent of it filling the air.
He looked over at the young woman in question. She was absently petting the kitten that was now in Vogel’s arms as she looked to Martin for his answer. A bright smile lit up her face. The sight of it made Martin's heart thud in his chest. He smiled back softly. Which the others seemed to take as agreement to keep the kitten.
Beside him Gripps sniffed and shook is head, smile wide on his face. “Guess we got a cat now.”
Fishing out his cigarettes, Martin just sighed. “Guess we do.” But he couldn’t find it in himself to be really irritated when he looked over at his strange little family and watched them coo over the tiny creature. Happiness evident on their face and in the air.
He’d just try to avoid the tiny thing as much as he could.
Of course, as is the way with cats within the week the kitten had claimed Martin as its favorite person and would follow him everywhere, much to the dismay of said Rowdy and his allergies. It even went as far as to curl up on the dash of the van to sleep in the sun while he was driving.
Though even Martin had to admit the little beast was cute, he wasn’t really that fond the tiny fuzzball or the way it made his eyes itch.
It wasn’t until he was driving along one day, the others sleeping, that the curiosity got to him and he reached out and scratched the tiny thing under its chin as it lay on the sun baked dash. The sound of it’s purring synced with the growl of the engine and something clicked for Martin. He could feel his face go soft as the kitten sleepily pressed into his fingers in a silent request to not stop. A quiet little “Awww,” slipping out.
There was as sleepy little laugh from his right, where Drummer had been curled up asleep. She was watching him with a lazy smile and glittering eyes. “Gotcha,” she mumbled happily.
Before Martin could say anything she rolled her eyes and said “Don’t worry, your secret's safe with me.” She laughed at the look of relief Martin could feel on his face before leaning forward to pet the kitten.
As the little thing stretched and yawned, Drummer looked over at him, “It’s not so bad having the little fuzzball around, right?”
With a feeling of contentment seeping into him as they both gave the kitten their attention Martin had to admit it she was right.
This wasn’t so bad.