Mean-Eyed Cat by Halrloprillalar / prillalar
Prince of Tennis, Momo/Kaidoh, PG13, 1800 words.
Priorities and protein.
"Unpack the groceries." Kaidoh prodded Momo in the ribs with his foot.
Momo rolled onto his side. "Why should I help someone who just kicked me?"
"Because I did the shopping when it was your turn." Kaidoh dropped the bag beside Momo.
"Maybe if you offered me some inducement..." Momo made his eyes a little bigger and turned his mouth down just a tiny bit at the corners. Kaidoh scowled, but it was the good scowl, so Momo reached up and grabbed Kaidoh's hand. He swung their hands together, back and forth, and felt Kaidoh's fingers tighten. Momo tugged and Kaidoh dropped to the floor beside Momo. Momo grinned and reached one hand behind Kaidoh's head. Kaidoh bent down, Momo leaned up.
And Edward-chan leapt onto Momo's diaphragm.
Momo shrugged, but Edward-chan settled his considerable weight, blinking slowly and purring. Kaidoh scratched Edward-chan behind the ears, then picked up the bag and started to put away the groceries. Momo glared at Edward-chan.
Let's get a pet, Kaidoh said and Momo was too stupid with beer and sex and stupidity to even consider the possibility that instead of a cute little puppy that would bark cutely and sleep cutely and follow Momo around everywhere cutely, Kaidoh would come home with an evil, vicious, hyper-intelligent alley cat that had probably eaten several cute little puppies before becoming Kaidoh's beloved Edward-chan.
Momo heaved again but Edward-chan stayed put, flexing his claws in and out of Momo's chest like red-hot needles of torture and staring at Momo through slitted eyes. Momo closed his own eyes. It wasn't like he was, you know, scared of a cat, but, seriously, Edward-chan gave him the creeping wig.
"Edward-chan!" Kaidoh called in a tone of voice Momo had yet to ever hear from him when referring to Momo, and the cat lumbered off, but not before getting one last heavy thump on Momo's stomach.
Momo sat up and rubbed his belly. Edward-chan was wolfing down cat food from Kaidoh's favourite plate. He looked up at Momo briefly, like he was warning Momo off or something. Momo narrowed his eyes, he wasn't going to lose to a cat. But Edward-chan's attention was back on his dinner.
"Here." Kaidoh handed Momo a bowl and they sat on the floor to eat. Momo was so hungry, he was halfway through before he noticed.
"Where's the meat?"
"Too expensive." Kaidoh stroked Edward-chan's head. He picked up Momo's empty bowl and filled it up again with vegetables and rice.
"But I..." Momo shovelled in his seconds. "...gave you...lots of money." He set down his bowl and wondered if he could get away with asking for thirds.
Kaidoh cleared away the bowls and Edward-chan's empty plate and packed them into their tiny dishwasher. "Are you coming to the bath?"
"I have to study."
"You never want to take a bath," Kaidoh said, like that was disgusting, even though their apartment had a shower so it wasn't like Momo was dirty or anything. He just didn't see the point of walking ten blocks and paying 400 yen nearly every night.
"We could afford meat if you didn't take so many baths." Momo stood up and stretched. "Anyhow, where's my change from the shopping? I can at least go out and get a hamburger."
"There isn't any." Kaidoh tied a bandana around his head -- blue with a lizard pattern.
"Is that new?" Momo rummaged in the paper recycling and found a receipt for the bandana. For 1350 yen. "I thought you bought these at the 100 yen store!"
"Quality is important." Kaidoh picked up his bath bag and towel.
"Only when it comes to cat food, apparently. And I have to live on vegetables." Momo crumpled the receipt and threw it back in the bin. "It's not fair, not fair at all."
"Fair like you never doing any work around here." Kaidoh shoved his feet into his shoes. "If what you want is a wife, you can fucking get married." And he slammed the door right on Momo's last word, which Momo hadn't quite thought of yet, but which was sure to be both brilliant and cutting.
Half an hour later, he still hadn't thought of anything, so he watched TV, since he had all day Sunday to study anyhow. Edward-chan sat on top of the TV, spoiling Momo's favourite variety show. Momo rummaged through the kitchen in case Kaidoh had left something worth eating.
All that was left was rice and cat food. The super-expensive luxury cat food which was made from Kobe beef or something. It was probably better meat than the hamburgers from down the street, anyhow. There were four whole tins left. And it would serve both Kaidoh and Edward-chan right if it were gone. At which point, Momo realized he was seriously contemplating eating cat food.
He ate the rice. And then he went to bed.
He was still awake when Kaidoh came in, walking softly through the dark room. Kaidoh slid into the futon, curling up behind Momo, fingers brushing the back of Momo's neck. Momo took a deep breath; Kaidoh always smelled so good when he came back from the bath. Maybe Momo shouldn't stay mad. He'd count ten first, because it wouldn't do to give in too easily, then he'd roll over and things would be fine, they were always fine in the dark.
At seven Kaidoh rolled away. Momo counted one hundred more, then got up to masturbate in the shower. When he came back, Edward-chan was sleeping on his pillow.
It was only after the second cup of coffee that Momo saw the note. Probably a reminder to brush Edward-chan's teeth for him or some other disgusting cat job, while Kaidoh was out studying at the university library, like he did every Sunday morning. Well, forget that. Kaidoh could do that himself when he came back for...
Make your own lunch because I won't be here.
Momo inhaled a mouthful of coffee and dropped his cup and choked and panicked and by the time he'd wheezed a few shallow breaths back into his lungs, he knew that Kaidoh had gone for good.
And he'd stuck Momo with the cat.
Momo tried to pretend that he didn't care but that only lasted about thirty seconds. Of course he fucking cared. He wouldn't be living with Kaidoh in a state of abject poverty instead of comfortably in his parents' house if he didn't care.
So he rushed out to win Kaidoh back. And then rushed back in to feed the cat. Kaidoh would never forgive him if Edward-chan starved to death while they were gone.
Momo sniffed the cat food. Seriously, not bad. He scooped a bit up with his finger and put it in his mouth. It was rich and meaty and Momo scooped up a bit more.
Edward-chan growled at him. Momo put down the plate and rushed out again.
"What does your friend look like?" the station guard asked.
"He's sort of normal," Momo said. "He's, um, good-looking but annoying."
"Sounds like my wife." The guard laughed and Momo felt kind of weird. "When was he here?"
"Any time today." Momo had been looking for hours and before that he'd been sleeping for hours and how could Kaidoh not let him know where to go to win him back?
"That's not much to go on."
"Ah...he was probably wearing a bandana over his head."
"You mean a kerchief? That's exactly like my wife."
Momo smiled that smile you smile when you're feeling more than kind of weird. "Did you see him?"
"Blue bandana? I think he took the 7:45 to Chiba." The guard grinned. "Or maybe that was my wife."
"Ha ha," Momo said and ran to buy a ticket.
Chiba was bigger than Momo remembered. After two hours of aimless wandering and a sunburn on the back of his neck, he finally called Kaidoh's mother. He didn't think that she knew about him and Kaidoh but he was never quite sure and it always made him too nervous to talk to her properly. But this was an emergency.
"You should be studying, Takeshi-kun," Kaidoh's mother said.
"I know, but..."
"And Kaoru asked especially that I not tell you where he was."
Momo's stomach twisted up like a crumpled plastic shopping bag. "I know, but..."
"But since you went all that way, I'm sure there's no harm. And it's such a lovely afternoon. Just promise that you'll both study hard tonight, all right?"
"I promise." Momo's stomach half untwisted and he scribbled down the address she gave him on a paper napkin.
"You two should come for dinner next week," she said and rang off.
Momo didn't think she knew.
It was a coffee shop. Kaidoh was wearing an apron. And a strange expression. Twisted, like the feeling in Momo's belly. Good-looking and annoying, like the station guard's wife.
I came to win you back, Momo wanted to say, but his mouth was dry and his tongue was stuck behind his teeth and there were people around.
"Coffee?" Kaidoh said.
"I spent all my money on the train ticket." They looked at each other for a while. "Um," Momo said, "Edward-chan misses you."
"Idiot," Kaidoh said but he was almost smiling and Momo's stomach untwisted so far he thought he'd be sick with relief. "I'll meet you at the station in half an hour."
"A part-time job?" Momo said, between bites from his ekibento.
"My uncle owns the shop." Kaidoh looked out the window. "We can't study properly if we don't get enough protein. I'll buy fish for supper tonight."
"And I'll clean the apartment before we go out for a bath."
"A shower is fine." Kaidoh looked at Momo. "You mean you didn't clean today?"
"I was busy," Momo said. "Trying to win you back."
"Keep your voice down!" Kaidoh said, but his face went pink and he was the one who pushed his knee up close to Momo's, even though they were still on the train.
"Do you really dislike Edward-chan?" Kaidoh asked and right then, there was nothing Momo didn't like, except for the fact that three times seemed to be his limit.
"He's great." Momo pulled Kaidoh's arm around him. "He's fantastic." He licked the inside of Kaidoh's elbow. "He's amazing."
"Because there's this cat that hangs around the coffee shop."
"Sure," Momo said. "Two cats. Three cats. Ten cats." He rubbed his foot along Kaidoh's calf. "Just do me one favour."
Kaidoh pressed his face into the back of Momo's neck. "What?"
"Buy less delicious cat food."
Comments of any kind are always welcome. :) And here's the song: Mean Eyed Cat by Johnny Cash