Daichi isn’t exactly sure what to make out of this absolutely ridiculous situation. The half-naked guy standing in his hallway, casually leaning on the white-painted wall does seem to be a little familiar, but the shock and adrenaline are, as per tradition, stronger. There is about a dozen of possible outcomes running through Daichi’s mind and he latches onto his survival instincts, trying to clear his head. His hand comes to the doorknob - he stops when golden eyes lock with his and then swiftly travel to observe his arm.
He’s been found out. The only chance is that he’s quicker, but given the guy’s reaction time, Daichi decides that trying to find it out would only bring him closer to troubles. So he stands still, waiting and bracing himself for the possible confrontation.
“Aren’t you going to feed me?” The man speaks up, cocking his head to the side and it’s all awfully familiar, but even though the bell rings, Daichi isn’t sure where does the sound come from.
Daichi lets out an unintelligent ‘huh?’. The other sighs exasperatedly.
“And here I thought we will be able to communicate better if I was in this form. That’s a little bit disappointing, Sawamura.”
Daichi’s frozen in place, but when the man takes a step towards him, he decides it’s a right time to retreat. His back lands against the door, eyes squinting at the intruder.
“Woah, calm down, it’s not like I’m going to kill you,” the guy raises his arms in a clearly calming manner. Daichi doesn’t know why, but he believes him. He still doesn’t have any idea what’s going on or what the guy might want, so he stares at the other, hoping that his face says it all. Apparently it does, because the man seems a little bit frustrated as he absentmindedly scratches the back of his head and takes a deep breath.
Then it happens.
Daichi’s eyes grow big, his heart beat even more erratic than five minutes earlier, as he watches the transforming form before him. It takes only a couple of seconds of a purely sci-fi string of images for the half-naked guy to disappear. In the place where he stood just a moment ago, Daichi’s cat - Kuroo - sits on black shorts (Daichi got them from Suga, who insisted that buying underwear for your best friend is totally, absolutely, perfectly normal, at least in his book), licking his left paw.
While his thoughts drift to Sugawara, he also remembers his friend’s words about Daichi being too immersed in work lately. Maybe, just maybe, Suga’s right. Daichi takes a mental note to check the best places for a short vacation. Then, just when he starts to think the man in his hallway was some sort of a trick his tired mind decided to play on him, the voice from earlier, the voice that belongs to the half-naked guy, resonates in the silence.
“So what about my dinner? I hope you bought my tuna because I’m starving…”
Daichi feels his body going slack, while his consciousness waves him goodbye. He hopes that this means he’s going to wake up soon.
Daichi really wants to turn around under the covers. However, it seems to be currently impossible, mainly thanks to a dead weight curled all over the lower parts of his body. Before he opens his eyes, he realizes that he’s being cuddled and the dead weight is actually a person. He tries to remember the last thing before he went to bed. Unfortunately, the only thing he remembers is a lanky black-haired man in his hallway and Kuroo demanding a tuna with a human voice.
Daichi isn’t a big fan of fantasy stories, but confronted with this new, weird reality, he starts to wonder. Is Kappa going to drown him in his own tub or will it turn out that it was, in fact, a tanuki, not Tanaka, who drank all of Ukai-san’s booze? He mentally congratulates himself for not freaking out or flipping his shit. He braces himself, forces his eyelids open and notices thick, unruly, black hair sticking in every possible direction. Yep, that’s the guy from yesterday, alright. Normally Daichi would pet his cat, go to the kitchen, open a can of cat food, eat his own breakfast, visit the bathroom and leave for work. His current situation calls for a different approach. He pushes at the man’s shoulders, wriggling his way out of his hold.
(His leg briefly touches the guy’s crotch. He thanks whichever deity decided to help for the thin layer of what he assumes are those goddamn black shorts.)
“You won’t pet me when I’m in this body, is that it? You didn’t seem to mind when your senpai told you to touch him the last time he was here.”
Daichi doesn’t want to blush. He wants to get mad, sock the man in the face and flee to the nearest police box. Too bad for him that nobody’s going to believe in werecats, even with the fantasy hype still going strong... He could always charge the man with sexual harassment. That seemed like a good idea, but then if the guy turned back to his cat form the second the police officer appeared, Daichi would be the one who’s screwed.
Wait, did he just try to find a rational way out of this fucked up fantasy story? He needs help, a professionalist's help. But right now he really, really regrets letting his cat stay in the room every time Kurokawa-senpai visited him. He feels his ears are going red.
“I don’t touch people I don’t know and that’s pretty normal. Get off of me,” Daichi silently prays that he sounds normal, but there is an audible tremble in his voice at the end of the sentence and he hates himself for it.
The guy lifts his head up, placing it on Daichi’s chest. Their gazes lock. If this isn’t intimate, he doesn’t know what is. There is familiarity in the cat-like orbs piercing through him and the thought that this is his cat, the one he picked up, fed, combed, washed and played with for three years hits Daichi right in the gut.
“Are you still insisting on not knowing who I am? You were the one who named me, y’know.”
Daichi’s can swear there is some kind of weird, suffocating, warm feeling bubbling in the pit of his stomach. That’s fucking bad. For a second he hides his face behind his hand, then cards his fingers through his own, short hair.
“Jesus, it’s pretty hard to get over the fact that your cat can do-” he gesticulates exasperatedly while pointing at the man, Kuroo, and feeling defeated, “-this. Just. It’s too much for me to wrap my mind around it. Now please, let me out because I must call my boss and tell him I’m down with a cold. Or something. Then we can think about what to do next, ok?”
“Why don’t you ask me nicely then,” there is a mischievous glint in other’s eyes, as he braces himself on his hands and knees, hovering over Daichi.
“I have never hit an animal, not even when Asahi’s dog ate my shoes-”
“You hit Azumane instead,” Kuroo singsongs into his ear.
“Don’t make me kick a cat, Kuroo,” Daichi sounds threatening, although his limbs are rigid. He hopes that this is enough to make the other retreat. He also notices how Kuroo’s irises go impossibly dark while watching him. Daichi knows what it means - he did his share of reading after taking the kitten into his house - and the situation becomes even more awkward than it already is, due to the heat creeping from his chest to his neck under Kuroo’s watchful gaze.
“So you finally remembered, huh,” the raven-head murmurs, his lips ghosting over Daichi’s cheek. It’s unsettling - he can feel the tension between them skyrocketing. Some deep, primal instincts inside him growl to let the man do what he wants, but Daichi fucking hates giving in to animalistic behaviors. Plus that’s his fucking cat right there, so no.
He keeps his cool, staring the other down, face blank and as disapproving as he can make it. Kuroo closes his eyes, lets out a breath and flops to his side without making much of a fuss. Daichi scrambles to his feet, leaving the man sprawled on his futon.
He goes straight to the stuffy kitchen, noticing empty tuna cans piled in the trash. Then he moves to the small living room, seeing his coat on the couch. His eyes rake the place. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for - he just wants everything to be where it should be.
Daichi flops onto the floor near the couch, grabs his coat and fishes out his cell phone. For about a minute he ponders about what to tell Takeda-san, then decides that some nasty stomach ache should do, at least for the time being. He’s used to solving his problems the fastest and most efficient way possible, so this situation won’t be any different (or so he tells himself, glancing at the half-open door to his bedroom).
“Umm, good morning, Takeda-san-- No, actually I’m not very well- A stomach ache-- Yes, that’s why I’m calling-- If it’s not much of a bother-- Thank you, Takeda-san and sorry for the inconvenience. Yes, I will take care of myself, goodbye.”
Wow, now Daichi really feels like shit, because lying to a person as nice and caring as Takeda-san is just wrong. He tilts his head backward, breathes in and out, then pushes himself up. He trots back to the bedroom, briefly wishing for it all to be just some sort of a bad dream. He stops in his tracks when his gaze lands on the man, now curled into a ball precisely in the middle of Daichi’s futon, his nose nuzzled in the material of the bedsheets.
If Daichi had his doubts earlier, they all fade away the moment he sees the picture before him, because this is exactly the place and the position in which his Kuroo likes to sleep. Daichi finds the image to be quite endearing, but a second later he realizes that this isn’t what he should be thinking right now. He pinches the bridge of his nose and makes his way to the futon, sinking to his knees right beside it. Gently flicking his index finger against Kuroo’s forehead, he chuckles at the way the man lazily swats at his hand, just like he used to do when he was in his cat form.
“Hey, wake up,” Daichi wonders why he’s so nice to the guy who destroyed his nice, calm and absolutely ordinary life - he is just mildly annoyed, but he can’t bring himself to hate the other. He lets out a tired sigh.
“What should I do with you?”
“Maybe the thing you did with your senpai?” Daichi looks down, his eyes wide as he stares at Kuroo, who apparently decided to take him by surprise, dark orbs shining with amusement.
There is a loud smack filling the room.
“Ouch! You said that you don’t hit animals…” Kuroo massages the top of his head, gaze wandering to Daichi’s now retreating form.
“I don’t. But right now you’re not an animal and I still don’t like my patience being tested. And would you stop bringing Kurokawa into this?” Daichi ignores the tightness in his stomach and writes it off as frustration.
He misses the way Kuroo’s eyes soften as Daichi leaves him alone in a suddenly very small, very cold room.
Daichi sits on the stool behind the narrow counter, which separates his kitchen from the living room. He ignores the slight crack of the bedroom door, too focused on the monitor of his buzzing laptop.
He doesn’t hear anything, not until there’s a small intake of breath behind him. His back stiffens automatically - nobody (maybe beside Suga) dares to sneak up on him. He’s ready to punch the living lights out of the cheeky bastard, but when he meets golden orbs straight on, words get stuck in his throat.
“I’m sorry,” and Kuroo looks like he means it, eyes so sincere that it makes Daichi feel somehow conscious of himself.
“I’m sorry,” the black-haired man repeats, putting their foreheads together. It’s gentle, sweet and that’s exactly what Kuroo did when he was still a feline: eating Daichi’s dinner or scratching at the couch, then, after being scolded, coming back to apologize.
Out of a habit, Daichi reaches out, fingers brushing over unruly hair. He realizes what he’s doing when Kuroo closes his eyes and leans even more into his personal space. There is something weird in the air between them, something unsaid and when the laptop beeps, informing that it’s high time to recharge it, Daichi’s quick to react. He pushes Kuroo away, this time noticing the confused, somehow hurt look in the other’s eyes. He does not comment on it because in the next second he notices a quirk of thin lips as Kuroo glances curiously at the laptop.
The battery finally stops beeping and Daichi goes back to scrolling through his browser, eyes skimming over titles and short info about the contents.
“I’m not a nekomata,” Kuroo quips offhandedly as he takes a place beside Daichi, his orbs focused on one of the articles featuring a ridiculous picture of a monstrous cat feasting on his master’s intensities.
“A bakeneko then,” the shorter man ponders and quickly changes the searching phrase.
“I’ve been labeled,” Kuroo chuckles quietly, making Daichi eye him suspiciously.
“You want to say something?”
“Beside the fact that you shouldn’t trust everything you see on the Internet? Nope, no.”
They sit in silence as Daichi reads through the tenth page of his yahoo search on demonic cats and their behavior. The more he learns, the higher his eyebrows raise.
“Revenge? Turning into a woman? An old one at that?” Daichi’s incredulous stare makes Kuroo shrug.
“I like to surprise? I told you to not believe everything you read on the web.”
“Why did you transform? I’m not particularly set on having a bloody revenge against an ex-lover and I’m pretty sure my honor is intact,” there is curiosity in Daichi’s voice, a badly veiled interest transforming his features into something younger, wide-eyed. Kuroo opens his mouth, evidently fighting with himself over something, but in the end, he just smirks and puts his chin on the counter, his posture relaxing.
“Shouldn’t you be more concerned about that ‘manipulation’ thing? Every text you’ve read so far mentioned that I could... possess certain abilities in that matter. What if you wake up gnawing on someone’s guts?”
Daichi is not stupid: this is clearly an evasion. He’s also pretty sure that he won’t get anything more on that topic from Kuroo. The only logical (the word is dripping with irony even in his mind) solution is to move on to the next problem. Daichi crosses his arms over his chest, looking absolutely unimpressed.
“I will probably be gnawing on yours then.”
Kuroo chuckles, straightens his back and props his cheek against his palm, giving Daichi the worst and simultaneously the most endearing wink he has ever seen in his entire life.
“I would gladly let you gnaw on any part of me you find appealing” another sly smirk and Daichi can’t help but think that this is probably the first time someone flirts with him so badly and for so long.
“You really are persistent,” Daichi lets his arms fall to his sides and moves to open the fridge.
Kuroo is swift and fast, and before Daichi manages to close the refrigerator another can of tuna disappears in the demon cat’s hold.
“I need to be,” Kuroo answers simply, opening the treat and slowly savoring the taste. “Hands are seriously the best,” he adds, licking his fingers while giving Daichi the look, “although I preferred to lick yo-”
“Shut up already,” Daichi’s hand is covering Kuroo’s mouth and he realizes what kind of a big mistake it was only after the damage is already done. The high note he lets out at the feeling of a tongue gently sweeping at his palm startles both of them. It also gives Daichi time to reflect on what has just happened and the conclusion has two parts: Kuroo needs to be smacked and Daichi needs to revise his life choices because he somehow ended up liking Kuroo’s tongue on his skin. The first part happens quicker than any of them anticipated and Daichi decides to think about the second one in the bathroom.