acatwhowrites: (Taohun♡bros)
A Cat Who Writes ([personal profile] acatwhowrites) wrote2015-03-17 11:49 am

Love me or hate me, that is the question.

title: Love me or hate me, that is the question.
players: Kim Joonmyun/Suho, Kim Jongdae/Chen, Huang Zitao/Tao
word count: 2,260
rating: PG
summary: (Catboy AU) Looking back, Joonmyun wouldn't have changed anything.

a/n: The title means nothing. I didn't know what to call this. It's a Lady Sovereign song.

From Hani on, many many moons ago:

It turned into a sort of reflection on Joonmyun's part.

I spent so long on this. I wrote and rewrote it, because I just was not happy. I thought "Why not just do something relatively short?" but it grew. And I started to not like it. So I did something else. Meh. A different angle. Nope. Still not pleased. I had these great Ideas, but they just would not word.

Just watch: I'm gonna make at least two versions of this. Really. Catboys. It's got Me written all over it.

I actually didn't know that showing animals is a fulltime thing, but it makes sense. It's not like you're on a break just because you're not showing. Gotta stay pretty and active and all that. Maybe it's just dogs. There's more work with them. Cats literally just stand/sit/lay on a table. My ideal job.

Joonmyun got used to coming home to some variety of destruction and/or disarray. He opted out of rugs of any kind, discovering they are very easily shredded. Wallpaper was removed and fresh paint covers the vertical claw marks that run from nearly the ceiling to the baseboards. Decorative pillows got new slipcovers nearly every week, alternating colours, because he remembered reading that some colours were more calming than others, and some cats reacted better to certain colours.

Lavender permeated the room—not fresh, after he found the vases toppled over and water tracked throughout the apartment—but it does little to calm even Joonmyun, who guiltily contemplated his life decisions while at work.

At first, he was on his own. Young, independent, friendly, building a name for himself, and life was good but kind of lonely. His mother, during a visit home, introduced him to some of her friends—retirees like herself—who showed cats. Professional cat ladies.

It was curious. Joonmyun liked animals; he had a dog for a while, but he admitted a fondness for the almost human attitudes of felines. There was an attractive draw to them, and when one lady offered to introduce him to her own show cats, he agreed genially.

Her youngest, a pointed breed with slender and sharp features, was just reaching the minimum age to show. He sat on a window seat, looking out to the garden, but his ear twitched and rotated. When his head turned, Joonmyun's heart just about dropped to his feet, because the boy was beautiful.

"Zitao, come say hello. This is the son of one of my good friends." He's shy but openly curious, taking Joonymun's offered hand and blushing a little when the man crouched down to his level. He liked Joonmyun's smile, and his tail sat upright in a happy S behind him.

For Joonmyun, it was love at first sight. Zitao looked just as smitten, and the lady hid a smile behind her hand, schooling her features to talk business with Joonmyun.

She probably knew he was an impulse buyer. It was something Joonmyun's mother bemoaned every time she got together with her friends. As much as she delighted in the spontaneous gifts of flowers and occasional piece of jewelery, she would much rather see her son married and settled or at least settled.

Introducing Zitao as his first show cat was the one time his mother didn't sigh and shake her head with a smile. She simply beamed and exclaimed how sweet and handsome Zitao was, holding his face in her hands.

He didn't realise showing cats was a fulltime job, but he managed to balance it with his job in the private sector. His friends called Zitao his 'pet project,' but the catboy was more a beloved younger brother.

When he brought Zitao home, after sitting through lectures and legal talk and a crash course of the show world, Joonmyun lead the catboy into his apartment, rolling four suitcases of belongings plus a backpack that Zitao clutched the straps of, gazing around in wonder. He followed Joonmyun quietly, removing his shoes and setting them aside neatly and wlaking close on his heels, socked feet making no sound.

"It's okay, Zitao. This is your home; go ahead and explore." Joonmyun took Zitao's backpack, and the boy took off to eagerly poke around everywhere he could, taking an interest in the simplest things simply because it was his, now, too.

They got along well. Zitao followed Jonmyun around, more often than not waiting to be held or cuddled or simply pet. Once the commodity of a new home wore off, he verbally begged for attention and boldly butted his way under Joonmyun's arm or pushing aside a laptop or book to sit on Joonmyun's lap.

He was an athletic sort, too, and managed to climb every piece of furniture, which somehow included Joonmyun, until Zitao got too big.

He grew fast before reaching a steady period of developing muscle mass rather than height. He towered over Joonmyun and took full advantage of it. Joonmyun's routine became returning home and—rather than crouching to gather an estatic cat child into his arms—feeling the heat of a larger body drape itself across his back with a low purr.

"You're kind of heavy to be hanging on me, Zitao."

Zitao was beyond caring, because he knew he'd get away with just about anything and everything. He was the one trained in posture and manners and how to pose in the most flattering way, but he had Joonmyun trained even better.

Not that he ever abused his power. Heavens, no.

Zitao allowed Joonmyun a moment to toe off his shoes and waddled them to the sofa, spinning so his back hit the cushions and Joonmyun was trapped in his arms and legs.

Naps after work become a quick routine. Zitao fell asleep easily, partly from his nature and mostly from the hypnotic drag of blunt nails scratching his scalp and ears. Joonymun decided early on that a cat's purrs were more soothing than any melody and could put him to sleep faster than any sleeping pill.

Their first win was followed by a string of wins and awards and certifications and press conferences and parties, and Zitao took it all in stride, positivly shining beneath the spotlight and soaking up the praise like a sponge. He thrived on the attention, high from the positive energy and unable to sleep for hours afterwards, running laps throughout the apartment and yowling in his excitement or just being a general pest, seeking additional praise from Joonmyun, who's more than willing to offer his own compliments and playful criticisms.

At work, Zitao's all glitz and glamour and looked every bit the haughty pageant king, but he's little more than a lapcat at home. The ribbons and plaques and trophies crowding an entire wall were just pretty decorations. The most important thing was Joonmyun. Joonmyun's praise. Joonmyun's attention. Joonmyun's love. Joonmyun. Joonmyun. Joonmyun.

So, in hindsight, Joonmyun really should have known better before committing the most egregious error.

Show cats were spoiled. Plain and simple. Because Joonmyun worked outside of grooming Zitao for his appearances, he felt kind of bad when he wasn't able to be with the catboy.

He didn't think a dog would be appreciated. A bunny was just asking to be terrorised. Another cat? Not a show cat; Zitao was unwilling to share the spotlight, and Joonmyun didn't think he could handle two inflated egos.

So he asked around and found a place that worked to find homes for the average 'housecat'. Some were trained; some were still babies; some were retired and looking for a place to care for them in the final leg of life.

Joonmyun met a few, talked with a lot, and he signed the papers for a catboy just a bit older than Zitao. He was smaller and very chatty with bowed lips, faint spots around his eyes and down his neck that matched his ears and tail, high cheekbones, and always seemed to be looking for trouble—which Joonmyun only found out later. He'd been under the assumption that mature people, whether hybridised anythings or the average human, were mature.

He'd been blinded by the controlled society of pedigree shows.

Zitao, unfortunately, did not take to the newcomer. At all. He lived by What's mine is mine, and what's your is mine, which included Joonmyun. He folded himself around the human and all but hissed at Jongdae, who took it in stride and pretty much ignored him, opting to explore without invitation.

Curiosity got the better of Zitao, and he followed Jongdae around. Every time Jongdae opened a door, Zitao shut it, but Jongdae didn't appear flustered. Joonmyun was pretty sure he was teasing Zitao, because he investigated every single room, and Joonmyun heard slams of doors and low, unhappy sounds from each. Zitao gave up and clung to Joonmyun instead, pushing Jongae away with a foot when he came too close and locking the catboy out of Joonmyun's room at night until Joonmyun had a stern conversation with him that left his ears hidden in his hair and tail limp behind him for all of two minutes until Jongdae hugged him.

Somehow, they survived the temperamental first few days, and the catboys made their own routine. Wherever Jongdae went, Zitao followed with a frown. Wherever Zitao went, Jongdae followed with playful pulls of Zitao's tail. It all eventually dwindled to a plain want of company. Zitao even invited Jongdae to watch some of his shows, albeit in a very roundabout way.

They went from sleeping in separate rooms—although Jongdae always snuck in with Zitao when the younger boy was deeply asleep—to walking so close their tails tangled and drew soft purrs.

Joonmyun even learned about Zitao through Jongdae. As a pedigreed show cat, Zitao proudly wore a simple, yet expensive, chain around his neck. Sometimes a leather band. Neither were quite a collar, but they weren't just accessories, either. it was always on display, and Zitao only removed them if he bathed.

As such, his neck was a particularly pleasing spot to be scratched.

Apparently, Jongdae discovered this while leading Zitao around by the collar, which he didn't complain about at all, for some mystifying reason. Jongdae's smile was positively Cheshire, and Joonmyun didn't question it.

When he wanted Zitao to move and not drag his feet about it, he hooked a finger in the necklace. Zitao followed without complaint.

Jongdae balanced out Zitao, Joonmyun thought. Above all else, he was resilient. No matter how many times Zitao lost his temper and pitched a fit, Jongdae wore his Mona Lisa smile and usually ended up hugging a worn-out Zitao. It always seemed to carry an almost condescending tone, if hugging someone could carry judgement.

There, there. Kitten. It's just hormones. Ah, to be young. How about some ice cream?

The balance was both good and bad. Good in that Zitao was no longer lonely at home or while out without Joonmyun. Bad in that they became a unit of holy terror.

Which was how broken glass, shredded curtains, pieces of pillow stuffing on the ceiling, and the occasional dead animal no longer fazed Joonmyun. The commodity wore off prett quick, because he was always the one to clean up. For the extent of the messes, Joonmyun used to think there would be obvious dirty pawprints leading him to the culprit, but no.

Jongdae was a master of hiding even before moving in with Joonmyun and Zitao. He passed his knowledge to the younger catboy and found a worthy apprentice in him.

But, without fail, the moment the vacuum or broom or garbage bag is set away and Joonmyun wiped his hands, he was embraced by one or flanked by both. They had neither shame nor apologies.

What he never expected was to return home and find both catboys naked in the middle of the living room, flat on their backs and sharing a sunbeam.

There was nothing broken. He couldn't hear a faucet running or smell anything dead or see signs of destruction at all.

It was plain unsettling. Nerves bundled up and collected in his stomach, quivering as he waited for the metaphorical shoe to fall as he set his own aside. His socks slid across the hardwood, and, although he tried to be quiet, Jongdae's ears twitched.

"Welcome back," he greeted with a curl to his lips. He didn't even bother opening his eyes, too content to feign sleep and use Zitao's bicep as a pillow.

"Hi .... ." He shrugged off his jacket, laying it across the back of the sofa and simply stands with his hands on his hips, staring at the duo. He shouldn't even bother asking; he knows better, because it's Jongdae, but he's curious. "Why are you naked?"

"Jongdae bullied me," Zitao whined, turning his head so Jongdae's hair tickled his chin. There was no heat to it, and he purred when Jongdae ran his knuckles up and down his chest with lazy drags of his arm, catching the leather necklace with a nail.

"He bullied you into getting naked and laying on the floor?"

"He laid down on his own; I just said it's nicer without clothes on. He's shameless." Jongdae sounded rather proud at that, and he shifted to roll over and throw an arm and leg over Zitao. His striped tail curled up and dropped with a dull thump, swishing up and down the floor before lifting and falling again.

"You're both shameless." Joonmyun shook his head and left them where they laid, loosening his tie and heading for a hot bath. He smiled, though, because it was leaps and bounds an improvement from when they'd first met.

And rather than bickering and fighting before crawling into bed on either side of Joonmyun, Zitao and Jongdae were downright cordial and almost flirty.

With Jongdae on his left, and Zitao on his right, and Joonmyun stuck in the middle ... . It worked. He liked it.

The months of his home being a disaster area was worth it all.