It happens on stream one day.
[Oh, it’s Bunny God’s <wife>, Cat God.]
Thor doesn’t actually remember the question it was a reply to, but ever since then, it’s always [his <wife> this] and [his <wife> that]…sometimes even just [where’s <wifey>?] during the rare times he’s streaming GFO and playing alone.
As any good, popular streamer would do, Thor just rolls with it. Twitch chat is a culture on its own. If they say Cat God is his wife, than that’s what they’ve deemed to call him.
It gets so bad that the artist who he regularly commissions for subscriber emotes—who also follows the stream—recommends a Cat God emote. Against his better judgement, Thor agrees. It’s cute, anyway, and he has loads of emotes for his own in-game persona Bunny God. In that context, it’s not weird.
His chat ends up spamming it every time Cat God pulls off an amazing play. Which, Cat God being Cat God, is often.
Eventually, one Cat God emote becomes two, and two becomes a special “double release” emote for Valentines Day with both Thor’s character and Cat God forming a heart with their hands when placed side-by-side. Officially, it’s the reward for getting to 10,000 subscribers.
And then one of his mods say, “I think you should add Cat God to your FAQ. A lot of people have been asking if you’re actually dating,” which promptly throws Thor into an early mid-life crisis.
So his in-game character has a ship with another in-game character. Big deal. That happens all the time. When he still played competitively, fans would throw him into ships with all sorts of other players, be they on his team or not, and that hadn’t affected his real life relationship at the time like, at all (mostly because Jane was Asgard’s team manager and understood the culture before they got together, but still).
The problem is. Maybe it’s a little weird? If Cat God doesn’t see it that way. Thor doesn’t really know. Cat God knows he streams. Cat God also gave permission to allow himself to be streamed by proxy. But that had been that.
If Cat God ever tuned into one of Thor’s streams, he never made himself known. Does Cat God even know how many people watch Thor? Does he even watch streams? Would getting called your friend-slash-partner-slash-animal bro’s wife by several thousand people who watch you play together on a semi-regular basis be…weird?
Thor doesn’t think it is, but maybe he’s just immune. And then the mid-life crisis comes in, because after his failure of a relationship with Jane, his…thing for one of the rival pro players in a scene he’s declared himself retired from, and now Cat God, Thor is never going to manage forming a meaningful romantic relationship with anyone.
All the people he likes or has liked in the past are either a) incompatible with his lifestyle or b) compatible but probably don’t return the modicum of squishy feelings he has for them before he squishes them out himself.
Category a) is where Jane, Sif, and all his short-lived flings fall into. Category b) holds exactly two people—the most recent—and he’s not sure how he feels about that.
Thor draws the venn diagram and can’t find a single thing to put in the middle. He ends up trashing the piece of paper and going on a 7-hour raid spree with Cat God instead.
It all comes to a head one day when Thor, enjoying some downtime with Cat as they farm dungeon drops, starts to idly read the chat as well.
This isn’t odd in and of itself; Cat’s used to sharing Thor with an entire audience of other people, and while he occasionally partakes in the conversation, most of the time Thor just does his thing. They’d had slightly awkward moments in the beginning where it was hard to tell who Thor was talking to, but Cat’s gotten better at telling Thor’s different voices apart—which is his streamer voice and which is his normal voice chat voice, according to him.
“—Best baked salmon I ever ate,” Cat is saying, completely nonchalant even as he’s surrounded by a mob of Fire Giants, “And I never found that restaurant again. It’s like it just vanished into thin air—couldn’t even find it on Yelp.”
Thor grins and sends his own bunny army to help out. “You sound hungry, Cat. Should I Uber Eats you something?”
[I’ll cook for you Cat!! I can’t let!! my cat son starve!!]
[CatCry CatCry BunLuv]
[Bunny taking good care of the wife lol]
“Tempting. All my roommates are out so it looks like it’s my turn to cook today, unless they bring back 2AM leftovers.”
Thor frowns. Back in Asgard gaming house, the team would always eat their meals together. He no longer lives with them, of course, but old habits die hard. “Eating alone?”
“Mmm, no—eating with you,” Cat answers slyly. Thor can hear the smile in his voice.
There’s a literal deluge of [CatHeart BunHeart] emote spam.
[Help guys my heart can’t take this]
[Alert alert the wife is too cute]
Thor almost swallows his own tongue. “Yeah, he is,” he says, and then asks, “When do you want to break for dinner then?”
“Mmm, few more runs? I figured we should’ve gotten a Leprecowl card by now…”
Thor grins. “I guess you could say the cards—”
“Ugh, no don’t say it…”
“—are stacked against us then.”
The chat fills with [Kappa]. Someone asks: [Hey @BunnyGod are you ever gonna facecam with Cat?]
Thor reads the question out loud before answering.
“You can pray, but it’s extremely unlikely,” he jokes, inwardly mourning the fact that he hasn’t even been able to video call with Cat yet, never mind be in the same location to facecam. “We live in the same timezone, but Cat’s NorCal and I’m SoCal at the moment.”
[ :( ]
[Hey @BunnyGod, long-time follower ever since the old RS days. Do you still talk to ASG?]
They make it to the boss room which means Thor has to semi-concentrate. Technical party size recommendation is 4 players at their level, but he and Cat have duo’d harder dungeons. It just takes a little more time and practice to do.
After moving from Ragnarok Saga to Grand Fantasy Online, he lost some of his old followers but kept a good amount of them. Many fans of RS were also fans of GFO. The majority of new GFO-only followers he gained found him through the YouTube clips his followers made of his gameplay with Cat.
‘GFO Invoke BT Duo Under 10min’ and ‘Hell’s Garden Run with 2 BTs’ were just a few examples.
Before the boss can release its red blood attack, Cat cancels its animation channel with a quick Charm, stopping it from dealing a massive, full-map-attack blow. That’s Cat God’s speciality—frame-perfect calculations that quite honestly make many of their more difficult runs possible.
Thor’s under no illusions that his friend is a ‘normal’ player by any sense of the word—maybe less than 5% of GFO’s player base can accomplish a red blood animation cancel, and less than 1% have the capability to do it consistently. There’s only maybe one, two frames’ worth of wiggle room before the boss starts its channel that the attack can be canceled. There are tricks, of course, to make it more humanly feasible, and certain bosses are rumored to be ‘easier’ to cancel than others, but Thor’s never seen anyone do it as well as Cat.
Cat’s animation cancel success rate? Thor’d have to put it at around 90%, independent of the actual boss. To put that into perspective, Thor, a retired, world-class pro player back in RS, which was not too different mechanically compared to GFO, would judge his own success rate to be at maybe 75-80%. Still very high, but significantly less than Cat’s.
The first time he’d realized how good Cat God was, was the same day he realized the ‘God’ part of his name probably had legitimate reason to be there.
Emote spam fills the chat.
[Cat God, putting his husband on his back]
[5th time in a row ez np]
[Finally Bunny’s time to get carried post-retirement BunYay]
Thor laughs. “Chat says you’re carrying me.”
“Well, if you’re just going to stand there, I suppose I am,” Cat said dryly.
“And watch my wife do all the work? Sounds like a plan,” Thor jokes.
He realizes his mistake just as it slips out of his mouth.
Cat goes suspiciously silent. Well—arguably not suspicious; red blood is the most important time of a boss fight as the boss’ strength increases and new attacks are thrown into the mix. His character’s still moving, at least, but Thor knows for a fact that Cat’s perfectly able to carry a conversation while fighting this boss because they’ve fought it like a million times already, 5th time today, and oh god he made it weird didn’t he—
Is his face red? It totally is; his facecam’s on and all of his thousand-some viewers can see it and this is totally going to get clipped, isn’t it?
Did…did Cat just hang up on him?
“Um,” says Thor.
[Oh my god???]
[（／_＼）Wifey got mad]
They finish the boss off, but all Thor can feel is a gaining sense of dread. He—okay, yes, he’s got a soft spot for Cat. Asgard was his team and they’d reached the top together because they worked well with each other, both as players and as people, but it had also been a job. They had been a family and a team and coworkers at the same time. There was an underlying expectation that they had to work well together, or else they would have to learn.
But. With Cat…
Ever since the beginning when Thor had approached him on a whim for having a matching name there had been the sense of affinity. Thor took a liking to him even where they differed—likes him especially more where they differ.
He thinks, how could one person be so completely pleasing to him? It feels like a directed attack on his heart, almost, whenever Cat says something that could be construed in a more intimate fashion, or when Cat does something particularly masterful without a second thought. When he says, ‘I think you’re pretty great too,’ using all words but those—or maybe, really, just when he breathes. Exists.
Of course Thor likes him. What isn’t there to like?
“Welcome back,” Thor says, all reflex.
“Thanks,” Cat says. He sounds a little out of breath, but then again, that could be just Thor. “Discord died. What were we talking about again?”
“I—” He had a choice. He could just take back what he said, and—
“Oh, right,” says Cat before Thor can make up his mind. “You’re going to carry me for the next round, yes?”
“Well, equality and all that. I won’t stand for having a useless husband.”
Thor doesn’t choke, but it is a very near thing. “Useless,” he repeats, and tries to sound mock-offended instead of just breathless. It probably? Works? No one calls him out on it, so Thor considers it a win.
“Mmhm, and you know what else a good husband would do?”
Thor knows exactly what that lilt to his voice entails. He can feel himself start to smile. “What?”
“He would get me Uber Eats so I could have dinner while he carries me,” Cat says slyly.
Thor laughs. “Okay, give me a second. Anything in particular you’re in the mood for?”
Cat hums. “I think I’m feeling Thai food today,” he says.
“Whatever you say, Cat.”
“Mmm, now you’re getting it.” The sound of shifting comes through the mic. “Oh, and would you look at that, a Leprecowl card.”
And just like that, the moment’s over. But.
Maybe it’s just Thor, but they feel a little closer.