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how to pampurr your kitten

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“Mm?” Michiru doesn’t take her attention off her latest script attempt. Normally she would have been in her office instead of at the kitchen table, but she’s trying to force her way past a bout of writer’s block before her troupe’s deadline, hoping that a change in scenery will spark some inspiration.

"Michiru, help." Michiru looks up from the table to see Akira sitting bolt upright on the couch, looking for all the world like a confused puppy. Michiru isn’t sure if Akira would appreciate the compliment, but it’s very cute.

That said, Akira hasn’t exactly provided any context for why she needs help. As observant as Michiru is, and despite her many many years with her wife, she’s not a mind reader. "What’s up?"

"Michiru, I need to practice, but there's a cat on my lap," Akira explains stiffly.

Michiru eyes the suspiciously human-shaped lump in the blanket draped over Akira’s lap. If the plaid wasn’t a dead giveaway, the pink hair peeking out the top certainly would be.

Michiru states the obvious; "That's Yachiyo." 

"Princess. She's a cat right now," Akira states back as if it were even more obvious.

Michiru squints, and oh, yes, she does appear to be wearing her earband. Michiru shrugs. "Just move her."

Akira looks affronted by the mere suggestion. "You know just as well as me, better than me even, that cats are very fickle. She chose my lap, Michiru. I don’t want to wake her and discourage her from doing this at a more opportune time in the future." 

Had Akira said this to anyone but Michiru at any other moment, her force of will might have been enough to make it convincing. However, her wife is currently “trapped” under a “cat”.

Michiru sighs, the long-suffering sigh of someone who has known Akira since childhood. "You know this wouldn't be a problem if you didn't indulge her roleplay so much, right?" Undeniably, showing more consideration for others has done wonders for Akira's development both on stage and in person. Still, they're well past those simpler high-school days, and moments like these where it interferes with her job are less than ideal.

Akira folds her arms and scowls. "I don't see how this and that are related."

"You don't—” Michiru sighs again, this time with her whole chest. “You spoil her too much. She's not going to hate you if you don't play along one time."

The lump shifts, and a petulant, muffled, “Yes I will,” comes from beneath the blanket. So much for not waking Yachiyo up. Michiru can practically hear the pout.

Akira’s expression shifts closer to distress at the declaration. She glances back and forth between the two of them helplessly. Michiru rolls her eyes and stands, making her way over to the couch. Since Yachiyo’s just being obstinate and Akira’s reluctant to do the deed, Michiru has no quarrel with removing her herself. 

“Alright, Princess,” Michiru scolds, “come on.” She puts a hand on Yachiyo’s shoulder. Before she can react, Yachiyo lifts slightly, arches her back, and rolls over, taking Michiru’s hand with her, pressed to her chest.

“Oh, you little sneak,” Michiru hisses. Yachiyo opens one eye and grins up at her, very clearly pleased with her trickery. Michiru sighs again.  She won't lie; she loves Yachiyo, and her smug face is cute, but Michiru prefers when it's born of pride instead of mischief. She’s not really a fan of being made a fool of.

Her disdain at being conned is what motivates her to worm her way out of Yachiyo’s surprisingly firm grip, despite the little devil on her shoulder reminding her how long it’s been since they’ve had a proper cuddle. It can wait until after she’s put her work in. Luckily, her size and flexibility allow her to nimbly manoeuvre her way out of the hold.

Once Michiru’s freed her arm, Yachiyo curls back up against Akira, mewling miserably. The rigidity in Akira’s posture leaves, a fond smile tugging at the corner of her mouth as she pets the menace of their wife. Yachiyo nuzzles into Akira’s lap with a purr, cuddling closer, then shoots Michiru another smug look. 

Michiru pinches the bridge of her nose and mutters some choice words to herself. Why even bother when Akira is just encouraging Yachiyo’s misbehaviour? Apparently, Akira is going to continue coddling her in the same way she does their actual pets. After a deep breath, Michiru throws her hands up in the air, defeated by their shared nonsense. 

“I’m taking the pearl off my wedding ring,” she grumbles, turning back to the kitchen.

Yachiyo scrambles upright with desperate agility. “Tell me that’s a joke,” she pleads, clutching to Akira’s arm. “You wouldn’t divorce your wife for being a little kitty, would you?”

Michiru pauses. “No, I wouldn’t.” She smiles at the two. “Akira, you’re free now, right?”

Akira blinks back at her. “Oh. I suppose I am.” In one fluid motion, she stands and sets Yachiyo back down.

Yachiyo falls back onto the couch with a dramatic gasp. “Shunned! Abandoned!” She rests the back of her hand on her forehead in exaggerated distress. “My dearest owner has gone to war and left her poor kitty cat to languish alone in the cold! Whatever shall I do?” She pauses for a second before meowing half-heartedly.

Michiru sternly puts her hands on her hips. “Cats don’t monologue, Yachiyo.”

Yachiyo’s nose scrunches up at Michiru’s use of her human name, and she sticks her tongue out. “Oh, boo, you’re no fun.” She daintily licks her hand and pretends to groom herself. “You should probably go, Akira dear. I’ve kept you long enough.”

Akira hums, giving Yachiyo some final chin scratches before kissing the top of her head. “I had a nice time with you,” She murmurs. Yachiyo chirps in delight. “Will I see you later tonight?”

“Maybe,” Yachiyo replies. “I have some work of my own that I want to get to.” She sets her head in her hands and closes her eyes, carefree as a kitten. “Just not right now.”

“Mei Fan said she’ll start dinner around six, so if you stick around too long, you’ll probably get roped into helping,” Akira reminds Michiru. Before the blonde can complain, Akira turns and presses a kiss to her forehead as well, absconding to the practice studio. 

Not a second after Akira’s left the room, Yachiyo turns to look at Michiru expectantly. “There’s plenty of room up here on the couch if you don’t want to be interrupted, you know,” she purrs.

“Plenty of distractions too,” Michiru chides, poking Yachiyo on the tip of her nose. Booping her widdle snoot. Wait, no. Not that. Her wife isn’t a cat. Dammit.

Yachiyo catches her hand again, holding it to her cheek this time. It’s as soft as always. “I promise I won’t be a bother. I just want a little warmth from my beloved Michiwu.”

Michiru can feel her eyebrow twitch. “I’m going to destroy you.”

“In bed?” Yachiyo asks, smirking all too gleefully.

“With the spray bottle,” Michiru deadpans. “Now, move over.” She grabs her notes from the kitchen table.

Yachiyo complies, shifting over to give Michiru enough space to sit beside her. She waits until Michiru’s comfortably settled to lay her head on her lap.

Michiru snorts. “You nyaff,” she remarks affectionately, stroking her hair.

Yachiyo squints up at her. “Was that a pun?”

Michiru rolls her eyes. “I called you a nuisance.”

“With a cat pun.” Yachiyo reiterates.

“Perhaps,” Michiru murmurs before realising with a start what she just said. “Ah, I mean— well, that one wasn’t on purpose.”

Yachiyo grins cattishly. “Purrpose?”

Michiru groans. "Fuck you.”

Yachiyo giggles and presses a kiss to the palm of her hand. She looks as if she’s about to tease more, but thinks better of it. "Do your writing, love. I'll be here." 

Michiru hums, opening her tablet back up to continue writing. Her head is clearer than it was before, her vision a little less blurry. A change of scenery did her good, and the company probably didn’t hurt. Maybe her wives’ antics weren’t so bad.

Before she began in earnest, she looked down beside her. “Yachiyo?”

Yachiyo trills inquisitively, turning her head but not bothering to open her eyes.

Michiru leans down and pecks her on the lips. “Keep up the good behavior and I might indulge you, Princess.” She punctuates the promise with firm scratches to her lower back, making Yachiyo’s whole body twist in delight.

“Oh, of course,” Yachiyo sighs, content to have her cake and eat it too.