Bing flipped through the air, laughing with pure delight as he landed shakily but confidently back on his skateboard, skidding to a halt at the base of the ramp. He pumped his fists in the air, grinning broadly and letting out another exhilarated laugh. “WHOO! Yeah, that was awesome! I can’t believe that ****ing worked!”
He spun around when he heard slow clapping behind him, beaming at the sight of Chase Brody’s awed face. “That was incredible! Man, I wish I could do that!”
Bing pulled down his shades and winked at him, grin turning cheeky. “Won’t know you can’t until you try it!” He hopped off his skateboard, kicking it towards the Septic.
Chase balked, eyes bugging out of his head as he backed away. “Oh no no no no no, I’ll pass. I’d crack my skull open the second I got in the air, you know that!”
Bing laughed. “Still be hilarious to see you flail, dude!”
Chase stuck his tongue out at him in response, crossing his arms. Bing lifted his hand, completely blurred and signaling that he was flipping the other off. Chase laughed, shaking his head and smiling. Suddenly he did a double-take, his eyes narrowing and fixated on something behind Bing. “What is that?”
Bing turned around, eyebrow raised. He zoomed his vision in on the small, furry ball he assumed Chase was looking at, tucked into the far corner of the skate park. He gasped, bolting over to it. “Chase! Get over here!”
He skidded to a halt just in front of the bundle, immediately squatting down into a crouch and staring with a tilted head. He heard Chase come up behind him, panting lightly. “Jesus…You’re fuckin’ fast, you know that?”
“Shh! Shut up!” Bing waved frantically at his friend. “Don’t wake it up!”
Chase squinted his eyes, crouching down next to the android. “Is that…?”
“Yep!” Bing ghosted a hand lightly over the tiny kitten’s back, delighting in just how small it was – his hand was bigger than its whole body. Chase snatched his wrist, pulling his hand back.
“What are you doing?! Don’t touch it, it may have, I dunno, some disease or something!”
“It’s fine, dude! I already scanned it, it’s perfectly healthy! Plus, I’m not human, remember? Even if it did bite or scratch me, it wouldn’t matter.” Bing reached out again, and this time the kitten rolled over at his touch, lying on its – her, Bing noticed – back, one paw tucked under her chin.
Both of them gasped, and Chase nudged his arm. “Bing, look! It’s…it’s missing a leg!”
It was true; the little kitten was missing her right front leg – judging by the absence of any wound, she must’ve been born that way. Her fur was calico patterned, but instead of black patches she had, soft, light grey – a dilute calico, his search told him, and probably the fluffiest thing he’d ever seen. She yawned, stretching to her fullest, and rolled back on her side. She blinked her eyes open, revealing the brightest pair of green eyes Bing had ever seen (minus Green himself, since his literally glowed). She locked eyes right with him, tilting her head, and let out a quiet, high-pitched mewl.
Bing’s (metaphorical) heart melted.
“This cat is mine now.” He ignored the way Chase’s eyes shot wide, instead favoring scooping her up in his hands. She put up no fight, settling right into his palm. “She is mine and I love her immensely.”
“Are you crazy, Bing?! She’s feral! Clearly your scan or whatever was wrong, she’s missing a leg for Christ’s sake, and –” She sneezed, rubbing her nose with her one front paw. Chase’s breath hitched. “Oh fuck me she’s adorable.”
“You wouldn’t have been able to convince anyway, dude.” Bing held her up to his face, lifting his shades to rest on top of his head in order to get a better look at her. “I’ve already named her.”
“Wait, are you kidding me?!”
Bing laughed when she placed her paw on his nose, obviously transfixed by his glowing yellow-orange eyes. “Yep! Imma call her Peggy.”
They both stood, Chase pinching the bridge of his nose as Bing held Peggy close to his chest, the android watching in pure adoration as she purred and curled closer the warmth of his logo. “How are you possibly gonna keep her, Bing? You know Dark’s not gonna like it. Google really won’t like it!”
“Google – as much as I love him – can shove it up his ***. And if Dark can allow Wilford and King to keep squirrels in the house, I think I can keep a cat. Especially such a tiny, adorable one as this.” He ran a finger down her fur, smiling happily as her purr grew louder. “But…you may be right. She’ll just be out little secret for right now.”
“Do you even have the stuff necessary for taking care of a cat? And she’s bound to have some issues because of her leg! Think this through, Bing!”
“I’m sure I can build or buy whatever she needs. And you have a habit of forgetting that I literally have the entirety of the Internet crammed inside my head. I’ve got this covered, Chase.” He held Peggy up to his face once more, one hand cupping her bottom while the other hooked under her one front leg. He smiled. “You’re coming home with me!”
Bing hated to admit it, but Chase may have been right on this one.
Keeping a kitten, especially one as curious as Peggy was, was much more difficult than anticipated. Just getting her in the manor in the first place was a challenge; in a house filled with fourteen people, there was always someone nearby. The Jims had been darting past the door when he arrived, and Bing was quick to escape their invasive personalities and cameras, holding Peggy close to his chest and covering her as much as he could.
He gently slid closed the door of his room, letting out a small breath of relief, and walked over to his desk. Pushing aside a bunch of various mechanical and computer parts, he set the kitten down on his desk. Folding his arms across it and resting his chin on them, he watched with a happy little grin as Peggy roamed curiously across the surface, seemingly unhindered for the most part by the absence of a limb. He hummed, laughing slightly. “You are fascinating. You know that?” Peggy flopped onto her side, reaching idly for a gear and mewling.
Bing sat in his chair, pulling up his holographic screen. “Alright, what do I need to take care of a cat…” He began to furiously type on the screen – he’d never been as good nor as rapid with the mental searches as Google was, convenient as they might be. Eventually (he was far too easily distracted by Peggy, unable to resist watching her play for more than two minutes at a time), he managed a list of all the things he needed to take care of a kitten.
“Okay, first up – a litter box. I can think I can build that easily enough. But I definitely don’t have enough parts here…looks like I need to visit the Googles.” He tapped Peggy on the forehead and she sneezed. Bing had to greatly resist the urge to ‘aww’ out loud. “You stay here, okay? Don’t get into trouble. I’ll be right back.”
Bing stood, placing Peggy on his bed as an afterthought so she’d be less likely to hurt herself, and quickly darted out the door, flying through the manor and up the stairs – nearly bowling Reynolds over in the process – and slamming the door to the Googles’ office.
He instantly froze as the three extensions – Google himself wasn’t there, something Bing mentally celebrated over considering Google could read him like a book – immediately stared at him. He smiled, a bit too broadly. “Heyyy, guys! Um…ahem, I-I just need a few spare parts…personal project…you know…”
Red narrowed his eyes suspiciously while Green looked away, completely indifferent. Oliver however, beamed at him, waving him over. “Okay! Come on over, what do you need?”
Bing sighed in relief, moving over the brightly-colored android. “A whole variety of things most likely, not quite sure how this is gonna work. Didn’t even make a blueprint, though I’m pretty king at winging it.” Bing noticed Green roll his eyes, but ignored it, sorting through the drawers with Oliver. “Just get me a bag and point me to your scrap and I’ll be good to go!”
Ten minutes later Bing was entering his room once more, arms laden with several cloth bags filled with various mechanical parts – something he promptly dropped unceremoniously to the floor when a little multicolored blur bolted out the door before it completely slid shut.
“Oh ****!” Bing tore after Peggy, bolting down the hall but forced to halt, nearly falling over, when he rounded the corner and spotted the Host leaning against the wall, his smug, knowing smirk plastered to his face and his head tilted. Bing got the distinct feeling the Host was staring at him, even without eyes. He swallowed. “Uh…hi.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “You uh…wouldn’t’ve happened to notice, uh….something running by here, would you?”
The Host’s smirk widened, and he held out his hand. Bing’s jaw dropped when Peggy poked her head out from under the Host’s sleeve, padding out to circle in his palm. Bing gratefully took her from the blind ego, still not quite swallowing the panic of his little secret already being found out. “Bing should be more careful,” the Host warned, voice still raspy and hoarse from his recent run in with poison, and following him back to his room. “He is lucky the Host is the one who found the kitten. The Host has known about her arrival for days.”
Bing set Peggy back down on his desk, dancing awkwardly around the piles of scrap, and ran one hand down his face. “Yeah, I owe you one, man. But uh, before you go, you think you could help me out here? I need some stuff for her, and I, frankly, don’t trust myself to be stealthy enough to go buy them.”
The Host tilted his head again, smiling softly. “What does Bing need?”
Bing counted off on his fingers. “Uh, cat food, first off. Cat litter. I can build her toys and a litterbox. Actually what all that is for.” He gestured to the bags.
The Host hummed. “Of course the Host can help. That will be easy. But if he may ask…does the kitten have a name yet?”
Bing grinned. “Peggy.”
“Peggy,” the Host parroted. He reached out a hand, running his fingers over her fur and Peggy closed her eyes, rolling over onto her back and purring loudly as the Host pet her belly. He smiled. “The Host will gladly do whatever Bing asks in order to keep this little one well taken care of.”
“You are a ****ing lifesaver, you know that?”
The Host chuckled. “Yes.”
By the time the Host left, Bing was left with several bags and boxes of kitten food of various varieties and make-up, as well as several containers of kitty litter. He poked at Peggy, who was currently chewing on a gear. “You are already a little troublemaker, huh?” He leaned back, folding his hands behind his head. “Welp, time to get to work!”
Bing played soft music as he worked, nothing like what he normally listened to but he didn’t want to scare or hurt Peggy. When his internal clock flashed the time 6:00pm in his vision he startled, staring at the barely-completed litter box on his desk and Peggy pacing the surface, sniffing curiously at the device. He blinked, then reached for one of the boxes of wet cat food, opening a can and placing it in front of her. His core whirred briefly in panic as she dived in, devouring it hungrily. “Oh dammit! I didn’t even think that you might not have eaten in a while! Poor thing…” He ran a finger down her back, then stood. “Hold on, I’ll go get you some water.”
Bing made his way toward the kitchen, mildly relieved to find it empty. His relief didn’t last long, however, due to Bim and Eric walking in as he was digging through the cupboards for a suitable bowl.
“Hey Bing!” Eric waved happily at him, and Bing gave him a smile, ruffling his hair.
“’Sah dude! Don’t mind me, I’ll be out of your way in a sec, just need to grab something.” He made a triumphant noise as he pulled out a small glass bowl, moving over to the sink to fill it with water.
Bim ran a hand through his hair, giving him an odd look over the top of his glasses. “Uh, what are you doing, Bing? No one’s really seen you since you got home and…well, whatever you’re doing there is weird, even for you.”
Bing swallowed, core whirring loudly. “Uh, just working on a project. Chase inspired me earlier and the thing overheated. Gotta cool it down before I catch my room on fire…again…”
Bim raised an eyebrow. “Wouldn’t a glass have been easier?”
Bing flushed, desperately trying not to fidget with his hands and spill the water. “That is a much better idea in hindsight but it’s too late now gotta go bye!” He bolted, speaking in a hurried rush and moving as fast as he could without spilling anything.
Once he reentered his room, Peggy purring gratefully as he set the water bowl down in front of her, he immediately got back to work, humming quietly to himself. He worked late into the night, completely focused for once in his life and was only stopped by his slowing movements and red flashing battery symbol. He groaned, staring at the half-finished device on his desk. He was designing it to be fully automated, and once he got the basic shell done he still needed to program it and cover up all of the gears and wires. In other words, it would probably take the rest of the night.
But he really needed to charge.
He considered going to bed, but one look at Peggy, sleeping peacefully in a tiny ball on his desk, shook the thought from his mind. Grabbing the end of his charging cable, he plugged it into the back of his neck and continued to work. He knew charging while staying powered on would make him lag like a bitch come morning, but he figured the payout of making sure Peggy was well taken care of was worth it.
The first thing Bing had to say was he had no regrets.
He sat at the kitchen table, trying not to move or speak too much in order to not reveal his glitching, lagging body. But when Ed came around the table, passing out plates of eggs and bacon, Bing was forced to move in order to eat.
Unfortunately, the first thing he did was drop his fork, hand lagging badly.
Ed shot him a strange look as he slid into his seat beside him. “You alright, boy?”
“J͕͂ụ͛u̕͟ụ̓s̰͞t̡̽ fine, thanks.” Bing slapped a hand over his mouth, blushing bright. Internally, he swore colorfully when he saw Google set down his fork, shifting in his seat to face him better.
The older android gently pulled his hand away from his mouth, one eyebrow raised with suspicion. “…Bing? Are you…glitching?”
“N̐͢ō͖!͉̈́” His body gave a violent shudder, and he sighed, relenting. “…Maybe.”
Google narrowed his eyes. “Red informed me of your little visit to the office yesterday. Person project, hm? Were you up all night working?”
“I feel called out.” Bing moved to cross his arms, limbs lagging extremely behind. “So what if I was? It’s my choice.”
“Yes, but when your choices run the risk of causing damage to yourself, I tend to grow worried.” Google’s eyes softened, glowing with concealed concern, and Bing couldn’t help but feel guilty. “You should go to bed after breakfast. For a real recharge, and to get the lagging out of your system.”
Bing uncrossed his arms, bowing his head. “…Okay.”
The rest of breakfast passed without incident (Bim and Silver’s incessant bickering didn’t count as ‘incident’), minus Bing’s odd glitch or lag. He was the first to push away when it was over, calling out a quick good-bye and retreating back to his room.
His face split into a wide grin when he spotted Peggy waiting for him at the end of his bed, sitting obediently and mewling happily at his arrival. “Hey there, little one! Didja miss me?” He sat down next to her, and she immediately crawled into his lap, digging tiny claws into his synthetic skin in order to climb on. Bing chuckled, running one knuckle down her fur. Christ she was soft. “You’re lucky I’m not human and have the ability to turn off pain receptors.” Peggy just closed her eyes and purred, clearly proud of herself.
With a tired groan, Bing flopped backwards onto the bed, shifting upwards to rest on the pillows and folding his hands behind his head. He let out a surprised laugh when Peggy’s head popped into his view, the tiny kitten walking up his chest and promptly flopping over on top of his logo, snuggling into the warmth it gave. She yawned, stretching and completely splaying out, her one front paw resting just over the hem of his shirt.
Bing fought back a startled jump when his messaging app suddenly flashed at the forefront. ‘Hey dude. How’s your impromptu little secret going?’
Bing chuckled, Peggy cracking one bright green eye open in annoyance as his chest moved. He lifted his shades, taking a picture of his current view once she’s settled back down, shooting a message back at Chase. ‘It’s going good, actually! Told ya I could do it! I finished her litter box early this morning, have a bunch of food, even got a few toys started! The Host helped me out a bit, but I don’t count that as getting busted since he’s apparently known about her coming for days.’
'That has gotta be the cutest damn picture I’ve ever seen. And I’m surprised! You sure Google hasn’t found out yet? Or Dark? I find it nearly impossible that neither of them have noticed.’
Bing frowned. ‘Google definitely knows something’s up, so that’s an issue. But besides him and the Host, none of the others have a clue. At least, I hope not.’
‘I wish you all the luck, man! Irish blessing! Anyway, text me later, yeah? Marvin and Anti are shouting and something is almost definitely going to explode if I don’t break it up.’
Bing stifled another laugh. ‘Will do! Good luck!’ Chase fired back an image of himself rolling his eyes, and the android’s core whirred loudly with the effort of not laughing. With a sigh, he fumbled for his charging cord, plugging it into his neck and closing his eyes. He wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so might as well listen to Google.
He powered off, core still humming softly, with Peggy sleeping on his chest.
Bing was awoken by a soft knock on his door.
He started, breathing heavily and momentarily panicking that he couldn’t see until he realized Peggy had just migrated up his body, draping herself over his eyes. That panic instantly picked back up, however, when Google’s voice came from just outside the door. “Bing? May I come in?”
“Yeah, j-just give me a sec, Googs!” Bing lifted Peggy from his face, much to her obvious annoyance, and bolted upright, scrambling to untangle himself from the sheets. He got to his feet, immediately freezing at the sight of all the cat stuff scattered about his room. “Oh ****!”
He felt his circuits twist into painful knots at the concern now lacing Google’s words. “…Bing? Are…are you okay?”
“Just peachy! Give me one…more…minute…!” He set Peggy down on his desk, kicking most of the boxes and bags of food and litter under his bed and throwing a blanket over the litter box in the corner as he spoke. He locked eyes with the kitten, tearing at his hair as she idly scratched her ear.
“Bing? I’m coming in.”
Out of options and out of time, Bing grabbed Peggy once more, hiding her behind her back just as the door slid open, revealing Google standing in the doorway, head cocked to the side with narrowed eyes. Bing flashed him a smile, adjusting his shades and desperately trying to keep the squirming Peggy contained. “Hey! Hi, sorry, you just woke me up.”
“Oh.” Google’s expression softened as he glanced away, looking almost guilty. “I…apologize. I just came to check up on you. It’s nearly two o’clock.”
“Wait, what?!” Bing checked his internal clock. “You guys let me sleep the whole day?!”
“Not the whole day, Bing.” The older android’s usual, mildly infuriating smirk spread across his face. “I also came to see what you were hiding. This…’personal project’ of yours.”
Bing stiffened. “I’m not hiding anything! I would just…rather you not see it?” He swore internally, and Google raised a disbelieving eyebrow.
“Then what’s behind your back?”
Peggy bit his thumb at the same time Google spoke, shifting in his grasp. “Nothing!”
Google’s smirk widened, eyes flashing. “Then you wouldn’t mind if I did this.”
Before Bing could question him, Google was upon him in a few long strides, standing chest-to-chest with the older android lording over him. He swallowed harshly. When had Google adjusted his height? He didn’t have long to think about it before Google was wrapping his arms around him and pressing their lips together in a domineering kiss. Bing let out a squeak, eyes quickly fluttering shut and relaxing into Google’s hold as one of his hands slid into Bing’s hair, pulling him closer.
As such, he was a bit too distracted to notice Google’s other hand slid a little lower, running down his arm. At least, not until the older android pulled back, brow furrowed in confusion. “What are you holding?”
Peggy let out the loudest mewl Bing had heard come from her, squirming violently, and Bing sighed. “****.” Google stepped back, and he brought his hands around, finally cupping Peggy in a more comfortable position and she immediately settled down, flopping over in his palm and staring curiously at Google. Bing himself refused to meet his eyes.
Google gasped, and he reached forward, gently tilting Bing’s chin up to face him. He looked…confused. “Why would you hide this from me?”
Bing still wouldn’t meet his eyes. “Figured you wouldn’t like it. Wouldn’t like her. You weren’t the only one I was paranoid about either. Didn’t exactly want Dark finding out, too.”
Google made a disbelieving noise, smiling with the same emotion. “You act as if I control you. You are free to do as you wish, Bing. Besides, I am not averse to anything that makes you happy.” He smiled, genuinely, and he gazed down at the kitten, tentatively reaching out a finger to pet her. “And she – very obviously – brings you delight.”
Bing laughed, rubbing her head with his thumb, and smiling as she purred, rolling over onto her back and leaning into the touch. “Yeah. Chase and I found her yesterday at the skate park. Let’s just say I instantly fell in love. Chase thought I was insane.”
Google hummed, chuckling fondly. “Can I…?” Bing gently handed her over. Peggy briefly panicked – Google was someone new and she’d really only known Bing the past couple days – but she quickly warmed up to Google when he held her up to his face, much the same as Bing had done when he’d first found her. Peggy sniffed at his nose, placing her one paw on his glasses and Google laughed. “She’s precious. Does she have a name?”
Bing smiled shyly, finally meeting Google’s eyes. “Peggy.” Google handed her back over and she climbed his shirt, perching on his shoulder. “Do you…think I should show the others?”
Google moved closer, sliding his hand into Bing’s free one. “They’re all gathered in the living area. For one various reason or another. I’m sure Dark would welcome the distraction from Reynolds and Ed and their newfound ‘rivalry’, as they put it.”
Bing snorted, and gladly let Google lead him toward the living area, keeping most of his attention focused on Peggy. He hid mostly behind the other, especially when they immerged into the company of the others. “Uh…hey guys?” All eyes immediately turned to him. He cleared his throat, shuffling nervously, and Google squeezed his hand. “So…I have something to show you…please don’t freak…”
He stepped out from behind Google, and was met with resounding gasps. Almost instantly he was crowded by Bim, Eric, and King, all three fawning over the little kitten. “Oh my God, Bing! Where did you find it, that is the cutest kitten I’ve ever seen!” After a nod from Bing, King hurriedly scooped her up in his arms, tucking her close to his chest. “What’s its name?”
Bing beamed, beyond relieved at the warm reception. “Her name’s Peggy.”
Eric reached out a hand, stroking her head with his finger. “C-come on! Put her o-on the floor, so we can all see!”
King was quick to obey, setting her down on the carpet and a rapid circle gathered of the more excitable egos, Bing and Google still hanging back with Dark, the Host, and Dr. Iplier remaining seated. Peggy, visibly growing overwhelmed, fluffed up further, eyes wide, and she darted away from the circle, latching onto the Host and climbing up his pant leg surprisingly easily with her one front leg, and hiding within the folds of his coat.
The Host laughed, smiling easily, and lifted back his coat, only succeeding in making her bury deeper. “The Host believes Bing’s new friend likes him.” He let out another laugh when the kitten reappeared by his ear, curiously sniffing and gnawing on his bandages.
Bing stepped forward, waving the others away from the Host. “Okay guys, stop crowding her, you’re freaking her out!”
“Hold on!” Wilford appeared behind him, causing Bing to whirl around. The eccentric reporter was holding his own pet squirrel Bubblegum in his hands, both of them eyeing Peggy. “We must do a test!”
Bing, not really wanting to infuriate or upset the bubblegum man, obediently lifting his kitten from the Host’s shoulder. The two set their respective animals down on the floor in the middle of the circle, watching with rapt attention. Bubblegum was the first to move, approaching Peggy cautiously and chattering. She flicked the kitten with her tail, and Peggy sneezed and promptly fell over, batting at the squirrel playfully and purring loudly. Bubblegum purred in return, dangling her tail just out of Peggy’s reach and running circles around the kitten.
Bing laughed, glancing up at Dark, who simply raised an eyebrow from his position on the couch. He shuffled his feet, bending down and scooping Peggy into his hands. “So um…can I keep her?”
Dark broke into a smile, tilting his head to the side with his eyebrow still raised. “Do you genuinely believe I’ll say no, especially after that display? We’ve only known she’s existed for about five minutes and I’m pretty sure every single one of us have fallen in love. Yes, you can keep her.”
Bing felt a hand slide around his waist, pulling him back against Google’s chest. “Are you prepared for the responsibility?”
He snorted, holding Peggy up higher. “Are you kidding? Do you see this face? I would murder for this cat.” Google dropped his forehead to Bing’s shoulder and laughed, shaking his head.
And that’s the story of how the egos – specifically Bing – got a cat.
As a head's up, I would absolutely die for Peggy. Peggy is precious. Peggy must be protected. KiTtEn In ThE mAnOr!!!