The Trouble With Cats

by Nekojin (猫神)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/19452.html)

Alex closed the door and turned to shoot a swift glare at the cat lounging on the couch as though he owned it. And he hadn’t even been here five minutes! Why Alex had let his sister talk him into this, he had no idea. (“No. No. I’m just not a cat person. … Jen, he scratched me last time I was there, for no particular good reason. … No! You’ll have to find someone else. … Oh, hell, Jen, don’t start crying on me. … Fine. Fine, but you’ll have to buy his food, I refuse to buy cat food that’ll sit around and go to waste after you take him home.”) He didn’t like cats. Useless creatures; they shed on your furniture, ate too much expensive food, and took over your bed when you wanted to sleep. Jen claimed that Noir (what the hell kind of name for a cat was that, anyway?) was sweet and affectionate, playful, and an excellent conversationalist. But Alex’s first impression, the one involving claws in his hand, had stuck.

His sister’s pet had definitely grown up since Alex had last visited. The cute, bumbling kitten he recalled was now a gorgeous, long-legged adult with striking golden eyes, sable-black fur covering his sleek ears and tail, and evenly tanned skin, covered only by a pair of black jeans. (“And buy him something decent to wear! I refuse to have a naked cat lounging around my apartment. No, those frilly little things from the pet store do not count as clothing.”) Noir blinked sleepily, noted the direction of Alex’s gaze, and flicked his tail. “Thanks,” he said, his voice an indolent, deep drawl.

“What?” The short, sandy-haired man folded his arms, thrown off by the unexpected gratuitude. His scowl deepened.

Noir seemed amused by his discomfiture. “I hate lacy things,” he explained, and stretched his long, lean frame bonelessly over the cushions, taking up even more space. How was that even possible? Alex tore his gaze away from the spectacle on the couch and snapped, “Don’t think this means I like you. This is just a favor to Jen. Understood?” He stalked into his office without waiting for an answer.

“I’m hungry,” Noir called after him.

“There’s cat food in the bag Jen left,” Alex shouted back, and shut the door firmly.

“What are you doing?”

Alex jumped, and his pen slashed a red diagonal across the text he was correcting. Noir’s breath was warm against his ear, the cat hovering close enough behind Alex that the human could feel the radiating heat of his body. Alex scooted his chair forward, trying to calm his heart rate to something acceptable. “Don’t sneak up on me like that.”

“You didn’t tell me what you’re doing.” Noir followed right along with him, draping his arms over Alex’s shoulders and sliding his hands down to lift the red pen neatly out of Alex’s hand. He examined it, drew another red line across the paper, tasted the ink, made a face and tossed the pen aside.

Alex unfroze and shoved Noir away. “Get off! I’m trying to work!”

“I’m bored.” The cat looked offended and raked his fingers through his hair, resettling it precisely to his liking. His pointed ears twitched. “Play with me.”

Alex stood, took Noir’s shoulders, turned him around, marched him to the door, shoved him into the living room, closed the door firmly, and locked it. “Jen brought you some toys,” he said through the barrier. “Play with those.”

Noir mewed unhappily, and there was a thump as he settled himself against the outside of the locked door. Alex could still feel the echoes of fingers caressing down his arm, warm skin pressed against his back. For some reason, his concentration was shot. Damned cat.

The bedroom door, unfortunately, didn’t have a lock. Alex hardened his resolve against pleading feline eyes, shut the door in Noir’s face, and ignored the soft mew and the thump that meant that the cat was curling up against the other side of the door. Why had Noir taken such a liking to him, anyway? As a kitten, he’d been skittish enough, to the point of lashing out at Alex when Jen had tried to introduce them. Why the sudden turnaround?

Then again, it seemed to be feline nature to try cuddling up to the people who liked them least. Alex didn’t like cats, he told himself, and he didn’t like Noir. Never mind that that lost-kitten look was making something twist in his gut, and the other look, the smug drowsy open-mouthed smile he’d glimpsed as Noir stretched out across his couch, had made him a little short of breath.

Two days and the damn cat would be gone. He didn’t like cats.

Alex’s eyes snapped open. The digits on the clock glowed softly: two o-clock in the morning. There was a warm, slumbering weight pressed against his back, a heavy arm draped across his waist. In the warm, dark silence of night, with the cat curled close around him, it was impossible to continue lying to himself. Alex had long since made peace with his occasional attraction to men. Noir might be an irritating cat, but the difference between humans and cats was minor in many ways, and he was also a very attractive male. Alex lay awake for what seemed like a long time, feeling acutely the hot pulse of his heartbeat and the moist brush of Noir’s breath against the nape of his neck.

Noir had already slipped out of the bed when Alex woke. He firmly squashed the faint sense of disappointment, pulled on his bathrobe, and went out to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. The cat was perched on a chair at the kitchen table, daintily eating a bowl of his cat food; he studiously ignored Alex until the human was nearly out the kitchen door, and then remarked conversationally, “I like the chicken stuff better.”

“That’s the expensive kind, isn’t it.” Alex glanced back at the cat, and was surprised to see Noir’s ears go back and his shoulders hunch, as though the cross statement had been a slap. Alex felt a swell of guilt, and then an immediate surge of irritation at the feeling. He stalked into his office and slammed the door. It didn’t make him feel any better.

Some thirty minutes later, the door opened. Alex swung around, ready to snap at the cat and order him out of the room; he was derailed by the fact that Noir was carrying a cup of coffee. “I brought you your coffee,” the cat announced cheerfully, and held the mug out with an expectant expression on his face.

There was too much milk and no sugar in the cup, but it was close enough. Alex blinked up at Noir, deciding silently that he could forgive some of the more irritating aspects of having the cat around for this. “Thank you,” he said, and set the mug on his desk, preparing to return to his work.

The moment the mug left his hand, there was a cat on his lap, very much inside his personal space, straddling his legs and smiling smugly. “You do like me,” Noir declared.

The cat’s sudden closeness made Alex’s thoughts stutter to a halt, ignited a slow burn within him. He noted that his hands had come up to rest on Noir’s hips above the waistband of the jeans, without consulting him beforehand. The skin there was warm, soft, taut; the cat’s weight pressed him against the chair. “I don’t like cats,” he protested weakly.

“But you do like me,” Noir stated. He silenced any further protest Alex might have made with his mouth. It was an awkward, hot, wet kiss, and it occurred to Alex that Noir might not have kissed anyone before. The idea sent a jolt of heat down his spine and made him shiver. Noir responded with a tiny, artless sound, swaying forward to press their bodies tighter together. His tail lashed and curled around Alex’s leg, the black fur silky against bare skin.

Alex trailed his fingers down Noir’s back, following the curve of his spine, exploring the line of soft, dark fur that began at the small of the cat’s back and led down towards his tail. Noir arched into the touch, breaking the kiss to voice a purring cry; Alex tangled his fingers into the cat’s hair to draw him back in, showing him how he liked to kiss, open-mouthed and slow, lips and tongues slipping teasingly together. Noir’s hands slid down to undo the loose knot that tied Alex’s bathrobe shut, and then under the fabric, exploring his stomach and chest, lingering over the nipples when he discovered that it made Alex jerk and moan raggedly into his mouth. He flicked his tongue against Alex’s, tasting the sounds the human made, nuzzled across Alex’s cheek to explore the curves of the human’s ear with his lips.

Alex stroked the thick fur at the base of the cat’s tail, slid his hand further down and under the waistband of the jeans to cup his palm around the smooth curve of Noir’s ass; he was rewarded by a nip at his earlobe, sharp teeth pressing just hard enough to send a spike of electric heat through his body. Noir rubbed against his leg, slow and sensual, arching back into Alex’s hand and then forward again to press their hips together; he was hard and ready, his cock straining against the denim.

Alex fumbled between the press of their bodies to undo the button of Noir’s jeans, draw the zipper down carefully, slide his hand inside to curl it around the hot, silky skin of the cat’s erection. He rubbed his thumb over the head, drawing a slick line with the pearl of fluid there, letting himself linger over the shape and heft of the shaft. It was distracting, intoxicating, dizzying; there was nothing in the world but the two of them, Noir moving against Alex, panting wetly against his shoulder.

Noir clutched at Alex, claws flexing involuntarily into the thick fabric of the bathrobe. “More, yes, please,” he whimpered, and Alex thought vaguely that he’d never hear please again quite the same way. He stroked his fingers across Noir’s rear, down under his tail, exploring the taut heat there. That was all it took. Noir yowled and stiffened against him, eyelashes brushing soft against Alex’s neck as his eyes fluttered closed, wet heat spurting across Alex’s hand.

The cat lay boneless against Alex for a moment, then drew back slightly and observed with some amount of distaste, “Messy.” He captured Alex’s hand and pulled it up to his mouth, licking it clean; his tongue was velvet-rough against the skin, the sensation forcing a sharp hissing breath out of Alex. Noir looked up at that, curiously examining Alex’s face, and then down between their bodies, observing, “You haven’t come yet.” He didn’t wait for a response, sliding in a single fluid motion off the human’s lap to kneel between his feet, pulling the robe further apart so that he could lick at Alex’s stomach, down to his thigh, and finally take Alex into his mouth.

His tongue was rougher than a human’s, just slightly, just enough to heighten the sensation, slick and impossibly hot against the skin. Alex tipped his head back, biting his lip, feeling the way Noir touched him in every bone in his body. The cat stroked along Alex’s cock, exploring the shape and taste and weight of it with his hand and lips and tongue, lingering over it with intent fascination. Alex shuddered and spread his legs to let Noir take him deeper into his mouth, twined his hand into the cat’s hair. He could feel the tension winding tight in him, tingling in his fingers and toes and cheekbones. Just a little more. He groaned aloud, and Noir purred in response, a low subtle vibration that tipped Alex over the edge. His fingers tangled tighter into Noir’s hair, and he came so hard that he saw stars.

Noir licked him clean again, and then drew back to rub his cheek against Alex’s knee, smug and possessive. “I like you,” he said.

“Yeah,” Alex answered, a little dazed. “I like you too.”

“No, actually, we’re getting along pretty well,” Alex said into the phone, and paused, unsure what to say next. Noir solved the problem for him by sliding up onto his lap and pulling the phone away from him. The cat said brightly, “I’m going to stay here! I like Alex! He bought me the chicken food and a nice collar and he lets me sleep on him and the sex is great, so I’m staying.” He pushed the phone back at Alex and padded back out to the balcony to resume his birdwatching.

Into the deafening silence on the other end of the line, Alex offered, “Um – I’ll buy you another kitten … ?”

illustrated by Nekojin

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