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Before the Trip

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Yosuke couldn’t remember the last time he and Yu really spent time together, and it was bothering him.  He yawned as he stepped up to their apartment, which they moved into earlier that year after moving out of the one they had stayed in during college.  This one was closer to the radio station that Yosuke worked at, hosting the late night show after interning at the station his senior year.  While Yosuke worked the night shift, Yu had gotten a job doing social work and had a normal 9-5 type job which meant Yosuke was usually going to sleep or already asleep by the time Yu got up for work.  It left only a short period of time when Yu got off work and Yosuke woke up for work to spend any time together, and it was usually spent with both of them doing chores.

They did have the weekend, but lately Yu had been going out doing volunteer work on the weekends which meant they were seeing each other even less.  Yosuke knew he was doing it both to help the community and to get some community service hours to hopefully give him a chance at moving up to a better paying position; part of the reason Yosuke was working late was he got better pay out of it than if he had taken one the day jobs that had been offered.  Yu didn’t make much money at his job, and they needed Yosuke’s pay to cover their day to day expenses.  Knowing why Yu was doing it didn’t really make it any easier though.

Yosuke quietly entered the apartment, heading to the living room to lay on the couch so as to not disturb his still sleeping boyfriend.  He stretched out, glad it was his Friday so he could stay up a little later and spend some time with Yu when he woke up and got ready for work.  He idly scrolled through his Facebook feed on his phone, abruptly stopping when he saw something one of his coworkers had posted the day before.  It was a cute picture of her cat that she always bragged about and several tiny kittens that were curled up around her asleep.  The post mentioned that Natsuko was trying to find a good home for them, and Yosuke quickly sent her a message asking if they were still available.  By the time he heard Yu’s alarm go off in the other room, she had apparently woken up and messaged back that they were, and Yosuke asked if he’d be able to swing by to take a look today, an idea formulating in his head.  Yu had appeared rather drained in the past few weeks between work and the volunteer stuff, and Yosuke figured this may just be the thing he needed to perk up.

Thus, when Yu blearily headed out from their bedroom, accepting the cup of coffee Yosuke had prepared for him in surprise, he found his boyfriend appeared more awake and excited than he usually did since he was often about ready to fall asleep.  “What’s up?” he asked, almost missing the lip of his mug as he made to take a sip, and Yosuke shook his head.  It was funny how Yu was so out of it when he first woke up.

“No-thing,” Yosuke replied, in that tone that Yu knew meant he had something up his sleeve.  When Yu’s calculating stare didn’t get Yosuke to talk, he sighed and knew he’d just have to wait.  He was pleased to see that Yosuke also had eggs and toast readily prepared for him, pecking him on the cheek at the nice gesture as he sat down and began to eat.  Between the coffee and breakfast, Yu slowly began to wake up and soon looked like his usual alert self.

“Have a good day at work, partner,” Yosuke called after Yu had changed into his dress pants, button up, and tie and was ready to head out the door.  Yu smiled, leaning in for a kiss before grabbing the lunch he had prepared for himself the night before and heading out.

Yosuke waited a few minutes, making sure Yu hadn’t forgotten anything, before grabbing his keys and wallet and also heading out the door.  Luckily, Natsuko’s place was just a short train ride away, and he had been by once or twice before for get-togethers so he knew where to go.  Once he was allowed in, she brought him right to the blanket lined box she had set up for the kittens, and Yosuke peered inside, feeling his heart melt a little at the cuteness.  “Wow, they’re so tiny!” he breathed, and she explained they were a few weeks old but had been cleared for adoption by her vet.

Her cat was a calico, so the kittens all had various patterns of coloration on them which Yosuke found pretty neat.  Then, one in particular finally caught his eye, and he asked excitedly if he could pick it up.  Natsuko gave the ok, and Yosuke kneeled down before carefully reaching in, letting the mama cat sniff his hand as Yu had taught him over the years before gently taking her kitten into his hand.  The kitten had a little mark in its pattern that reminded Yosuke of a flower, and he asked, “It it a girl or a boy?” while clutching it carefully to his chest.  It snuggled up in his hand, and Yosuke knew that this was definitely the one.

“Ah, she’s a girl,” his coworker said.  “Would you like to take her home?  Didn’t you say your boyfriend liked cats?”  Her eyes sparkled in amusement, and Yosuke knew that she had caught on to him.

“Yeah, he does,” Yosuke admitted.  “So, since she’s a girl,” he said, bringing his face down to her tiny one, “How does Hana sound?”

The kitten mewed before licking at his nose with her tiny tongue, and Yosuke chuckled as his coworker said, “I think she likes it.  And Hana is very fitting, Hanamura-san.” She emphasized his name pointedly.  Yosuke blushed, but he had a feeling that Yu would like the name too.  He said he had always found Yosuke’s name cute, and it really seemed perfect for the kitten with the flower pattern on its fur.

“Can I leave her here while I go and grab a few things for her?  What all do I need to get?” Yosuke asked, never having had a pet before.  Yu would definitely be more knowledgeable here, but he wanted to surprise him so he couldn’t ask.  His coworker helped write him a list while also including the shots the kitten had already had, recommending her vet to him as well since she said she had always done well with her cat.  Yosuke took all of the knowledge eagerly, asking how much he owed her for the kitten, and Natsuko giggled before saying she was just happy Hana was going to such a good home.  After stopping at the nearest pet store and getting a cat carrier and other essential items, Yosuke returned to the apartment and scooped the sleeping kitten into the carrier, nabbing a taxi on the way back since he had so many bags with him.  He had gotten litter, a litter box, food, bowls, and toys and couldn’t wait to get home and get it all set up.

Once he arrived, following the advice of his coworker he left the carrier open, allowing the kitten to venture out on its own accord once she was ready, while going through and quickly kitten proofing the house.  He then set out some food and water before unwrapping the toys, knowing that Yu would want to play with her later.  He also set up the litter box before setting it aside.  He then waited for her to come out, and after several minutes she finally poked her head out and mewed at him.  Yosuke couldn’t help the wide smile that crossed his face as she hesitantly stepped out before making a beeline to him and climbing up on his lap, and he scooped her up and headed to the living room to lie down for a nap.  She snuggled on his chest as he lay down, feeling exhausted after staying up several hours later than he normally did. 

As a result, he was still fast asleep when Yu finally arrived home, blinking in confusion when he saw the cat carrier, food bowl, and toys scattered on the floor next to the dining room.  He flicked on the light, his head immediately turning when he heard a curious mew from the couch, along with the light breathing of his boyfriend.  He loosened his tie and slid off his shoes before making his way over, stopping when he spotted Yosuke sprawled out on the couch with a tiny kitten looking curiously at him from his chest.  She mewed at him again, and Yu quickly walked around the couch, kneeling next to them and carefully offering his hand, smiling when she immediately bumped her head against it before rubbing against his fingers with the side of her face.  Yu leaned over, pressing a fond kiss against Yosuke’s cheek, wishing he were awake so he could give him an even better one to let him know how happy he was, but based on the fact Yosuke hadn’t even stirred and all of the things he had bought for the kitten, Yu figured it would be better to let him rest.  Instead, he picked up the kitten and brought her to the dining room floor, allowing her to eat and drink some water while he ordered take out for the two of them.  He then picked up one of the feather wands to play with her, spotting her litterbox in the corner that Yosuke had already poured litter in that afternoon. 

‘I’ll have to find out if she’s litter trained already,’ he thought, noticing the notes Yosuke had sitting on the counter from his coworker.  He scanned through it, taking a mental note of the shots and vet information before noticing one important one mixed in with the rest.  “Your name is Hana, huh?” he asked, immediately looking amused as he spotted the little flower shaped pattern in her fur.  He couldn’t have imagined a more perfect name, and he felt his heart melt even more at the thought.

Once the door buzzed signifying their food was here, it finally seemed to wake Yosuke up who sat up blearily, rubbing at his hair which was a mess after resting his head on the armrest and couch pillow.  “Hana?” he yawned, once he realized she was no longer curled up on his chest, and Yu watched in bemusement as he looked around with a panicked look until he finally noticed Yu.

“She’s right here,” he chuckled, pointing to where she was currently batting around a mouse shaped toy Yosuke had gotten for her.  Yosuke looked relieved, before spotting the bag of food Yu was holding in his hand.  His stomach growled, and Yu couldn’t help but grin again.  “This is certainly one way to surprise a guy with flowers,” Yu said, brows raised, and Yosuke gave him a hopeful look.

“Do you like your surprise?” he asked as Yu scooped up Hana and brought her into the living room.  She began exploring around their feet as he handed Yosuke his box of food.

Yu then leaned in, planting the kiss on Yosuke’s lips that he had wanted to give him earlier.  “I love it,” he replied simply, once he pulled away in order to enjoy the flushed look of surprise on his boyfriend’s face.

“I’m glad,” Yosuke said, face soft as he looked back at him.  “I was hoping she would make your week a little easier.”

Yu hummed to himself as he took a bite of food, looking at her thoughtfully.  “Maybe this weekend I can hold off on volunteering,” he suggested, and Yosuke’s head shot up as he looked over at him hopefully.  “I have a new kitten to help take care of after all.”

‘I’d like that,” Yosuke admitted, and his hand reached over to find Yu’s as he used the other to get started on his own food.  Hana, meanwhile, appeared to have tired herself out already, and was soon sleeping at the floor between both of them.  Yu couldn’t help but feel with the new kitten, their little family felt a little more complete.