players: Erik Lensherr, Emma Frost, cat!Charles Xavier, cat!Sean Cassidy, cat!Alex Summers
word count: 860
summary: After Erik finds a home for Raven, Charles finds news kittens to care for, much to Erik's chagrin.
a/n: Sequel to A Bachelor and His Cat(s).
Erik tried to reason with him. “You have to get used to it, Charles. I can’t afford having two cats, and she’s going to a very good home. She’ll be much better cared for. We’re bachelors.”
Then he realized he was talking to a cat and went to buy himself a drink.
- + - + -
Charles hid or sulked for the better part of three weeks. A couple nights, he stayed out until the following afternoon, but he’d leave again in the evening after eating the food set out for him. He ignored Erik and kept to himself, making a dramatic show of how betrayed and displeased he felt.
One afternoon, Erik returned to his apartment to find his blinds hanging from a single hook, the curtains in tatters, and various potted plants upended or with the dirt flung out of the pots. From somewhere in the kitchen, he heard high-pitched meows, and just as he stepped into the doorway to investigate, something small, orange, and very loud streaked between his ankles. Charles barreled through the doorway close behind, catching up to it on a turn and grabbing it with his mouth, pulling back to stop in a sort of crouch.
The cat looked at him wide-eyed, somewhat guiltily, hunkering down to the floor holding a little orange kitten—crying loud protests against being held—and made a quick escape into the living room.
Erik followed, frowning. He didn’t feel so much angry as lost, unsure how to help his cat get over the absence of Raven. He leaned over the back of the sofa, peering into the bed Charles carried the kitten into.
The kitten clawed at the bed cushion, never stopping his litany of protests, trying to get away from Charles. The adult cat kept a firm paw around it, however, and bathed it thoroughly, blatantly ignoring Erik.
“Charles, I told you ... .”
He was doing it again, talking to his cat. Maybe it would help.
He sighed. “Look, I know you’re upset that Raven is gone, but that does not mean you can just grab a kitten off the street and bring it back here. It might already have a home. It might not be healthy. It’s dangerous and irresponsible—What the hell?!” He jumped at a sudden weight on his pant leg. Four tiny needlelike claws pierced the skin of his calf, and large green eyes stared at him, somewhat panicked at his loud exclamation. Looking down, it unceremoniously unlatched its claws and backed down Erik’s pantleg, hopping to the ground and scampering across the room, taking refuge beneath the bookshelf.
"Two, Charles? Are you opening an orphanage?”
Charles didn’t entertain him with a response. He finished grooming the ginger kitten and curled up for a nap. The kitten finally tired itself out and passed out beside him.
- + - + -
Emma was delighted when she heard the news. “Two kittens? Really, Erik, people are going to start talking.” She lowered her voice conspiringly. “What if the world finds out you have a heart that’s not as cold and metallic as you like to portray?”
Erik shook his head. “Let people think what they wish. There’s no reasoning with Charles once he has an idea.”
Emma helped him name the new kittens over lunch. The ginger, very vocal and prone to jumping off things, was named Banshee, while the other kitten, a red tabby, was named Havoc for all the destruction he caused while bulldozing through the house.
Aside from the property damage, living with three cats was not as troublesome as Erik thought. He learned to tune out Banshee’s screeches, and he kept a spray-bottle of water on-hand for the times Havoc leapt to the kitchen countertops or table. Charles counseled them both as best as he could, as well, teaching them behaviour Erik found acceptable. They didn’t take to the rules right away, but a few well-meaning hisses from Charles and spurts of water from the water-bottle had both kittens trained within a couple months.
Maybe he’d just been against the idea of company. Living with only himself and Charles, Erik grew accustomed to the solitary lifestyle of a bachelor in the city. The kittens added laughter and fun that he hadn’t realized he was missing, and people actually greatly enjoyed his tales of woe or mirth involving his pets.
While the kittens learned to not claw furniture and climb the walls, Erik learned to accept imperfection and tolerate mistakes. The rigid metal framework of his life and routine melted into something more malleable.
No matter what, though, if Charles was on Erik's lap, he was the only one on Erik’s lap. It was “his spot,” and that was not likely to change.