acatwhowrites: (Xiumin♡Poufsouffle represent)
A Cat Who Writes ([personal profile] acatwhowrites) wrote2015-10-01 03:49 pm

Got a Great Big Bundle of Love

title: Got a Great Big Bundle of Love
players: Kim Minseok/Xiumin (Min the cat), Lu Han (Han the cat), Kim Joonmyun/Suho (Mooncakes the Cat), Byun Baekhyun (Bacon the cat), Huang Zitao/Tao (Peaches the cat), Kim Jongin, Oh Sehun
rating: G
word count: 1,850
summary: Every summer, Sehun visits his aunt. Every summer, he tries to play with one of the older cats, Minseok, or at least get him to acknowledge that Sehun is not just a food dispenser. They practically grew up together. That's gotta count for something. Sehun's tired but won't admit that he's hung up on a cat's approval.
a/n: Written for the 2015 kpop ficmix round, remixing i need you to push me. The original fic was a wolf au. Most basic plot was Sehun being all heart eyes towards Minseok, who's holding back and playing hard to get. I know that exact feeling. Cats will break your heart, man, even the old ones.

I did name the cats after food except for XiuHan, because they were around before Sehun was a sparkle in his momma's eye, but they'd be Bun Bun and Venison. (The title comes from a Brenton Wood song. It will get stuck in your head.)
read on: ao3 || aff

Sehun's mom puts the car in park and cuts the ignition with a sigh. "Well, we're here."

"Yeah." Sehun has nearly memorised the timeline of events, down to the script and set. Every summer, his mom drives him to her sister's, stopping with a sigh as if it was a huge emotional burden to be apart from her youngest for a few weeks. Sehun knows for a fact that his parents have gone on at least one cruise while he's gone.

He pulls his backpack and suitcase from the backseat as his mom drops the car keys into her purse and treks up the uneven path to the front door. Before her feet even reach the porch, the door opens, and Sehun's aunt greets her sister with a hug and exclamations of how long it's been before doing the same to Sehun and marvelling at how tall he's gotten.

"You say that every time I come here, Auntie."

"Well, it's true. I swear, it was only yesterday that you were hiding behind your mom's knees and crying for her not to go."

Sehun blushes as his mom laughs and squeezes his arm.

It's the same every time.

They go inside, and the sisters chat for half and hour or so with cats on their laps before Sehun's mom looks at the cat clock on the wall as it meows the time. "I should go. I need to do some shopping before heading home." She hugs her sister and kisses Sehun's cheek. "Be good."

"Of course." The tabby on his lap smiles at her, as well.

Auntie waves until the car's tail lights are no longer visible and closes the door after a reddish tabby cat. "Go ahead and get settled, Sehun. I'll be in my studio." She makes art pieces to sell at faires and occasionally shows at local galleries. Not surprisingly, her predominant motif is cats.

"Alright." His room is at a corner of the house, painted white with black paw prints up alongside the door frame. Some of his books and toys from previous stays remain, set on shelves or up in the closet. He drops his backpack onto the bed and puts his clothes in the dresser right away—his dad told him that living out of a suitcase, even for a short time, is no way to live.

The empty suitcase is a siren call to cats, and he leaves it unzipped and open for the large grey cat to sleep in. Cat hair never bothered him, anyway.

He looks out the east window at the backyard. With the old trees and overgrown bushes, he can't see his aunt's neighbours, but there's a bare patch of ground leading into the thick of the foliage that he and the neighbourhood kids wore down over the years.

When he was little, he'd be more than content to spend all his time running around the Western-style house with his summer friends and chase the many cats milling about, but as he got older, he finds that he's totally fine to just sit in the yard and let the cats come to him.

There are a lot. Auntie seems to adopt more each year, leaving her garage and cat doors open for everyone and anyone, but there are a few regulars. Peaches is all black and slinky and stalks small animals, but the moment a bug touches his paw, he runs up a tree or into the house and yowls. Oranges—Sehun can only blame his aunt for the number of cats; he has no one to blame but himself for their names—the tabby cat is one of Sehun's favourites; he's always playful and messes with the other cats, escaping before he can be punished for biting a tail or pushing a pillow onto a sleeping cousin. Chips is quite possibly the sweetest, sleepiest cat and the least vocal. He soothes a spooked Peaches or catches a mischievous Oranges. Poutine is the largest of all the cats and is a proud housecat. He's the posterchild of vain felines. Han the long-hair looks and acts a lot younger than he is; he and Min—Minnie—are two of the oldest cats Sehun remembers. His mom told him that both cats were around before he was even born. Min would curl around a baby Sehun in his crib or chair while Han watched over them nearby, growling at any noise. They're as much his family as his aunt.

Next on the timeline of events, Sehun goes to his aunt's shed studio to sit and talk about school, dance, friends—glossing over the girl topic—almost being recruited on the street, and his brother while she works. He sits beside a pile of coloured glass on the bench against the wall. Min perches on a shelf behind him, ducking away when he reaches a hand to pet his ears. Peaches nudges his head against Sehun's arm, forcing his way onto Sehun's thighs.

Auntie makes meat for dinner; they watch a couple dramas on TV that she follows, and when she goes to bed, Sehun stays up to text his mom that he's still alive and well, then his friends to let them know he's around, and finally crawls in bed.

He wakes up surrounded by cats, as expected. They shift with whines and murps at being disturbed, but most stretch and head to the door. Min waits for Han in the hall, greeting with the others with purrs as they slide past, and otherwise ignores Sehun once he's on his feet.

He doesn't know why. Everyone else at least tolerates Sehun, since he's known them since he was a baby, they were a kitten, or they're just naturally friendly cats. Min isn't aloof; he just doesn't seem to like Sehun, even though he's the one that most often sleeps on the pillow by Sehun's head in the middle of the night.

"I don't get it." Sehun catches the basketball and passes it to Jongin, the boy who lives behind Auntie's house and helped wear down the grass to a path. "The cat's not overly affectionate to anyone, really, but it's like he goes out of his way to tease me."

"Tough love, man." Jongin bends his knees and shoots for the hoop, catching the lip and bouncing away.

Sehun catches it, pivoting gracefully on the ball of his foot. "H-O."

"Ho ho ho, dude. I can still win." Jongin sticks his tongue out and saunters to stand beneath the hoop while Sehun takes his shots. "Haven't you known Min since, like, birth?"

"Yeah, and I thought that might stand for something, but I guess not. All the others are friendly and fun and whatever, but he there. Is it too much to ask to hold him sometimes or have him on my lap?"

"Wow. Thank God for context." Sehun passes the ball at Jongin's face. "Hey! That counts as a miss. H."

"Whatever. You're no help."

"What have you tried?"

"I kind of just grabbed him, when I was younger, and he took it, but I got yelled at enough times to not do that, so." He shrugs and catches the swished basketball.

Jongin hums. "What about making him jealous?"

"How do you make a cat jealous?"

"I dunno. Same with people? Pay more attention to the cats that do let you carry them and whatever? Like Bacon-and-Eggs—"

"They're not the same cat."

"—or whatever other cats foodie toddler-Hun named. Always have a cat with you," Jongin spins the basketball on his fingertip, "but switch it up so it's never Min."

Sehun doesn't expect it to work. If he's learned anything in his years of cat experience, it's that cats are master manipulators but not easily manipulated, themselves.

With his whole visit ahead of him, Sehun sets a plan in motion. With plenty of co-conspirators, Sehun has the pick of the litter of which cats to carry around and play with. No one complains except Peaches, who doesn't like being set down and whines for a solid three minutes every time. It should be annoying, but he's just too cute.

Auntie intuitively knows what her nephew's trying to do when she catches Min watching him from his perch at her workbench rather than trailing after him quietly like usual. She scratches behind his ears until his eyes close, and he tilts his head to get her fingers under his chin.

"He'd do this, too, you know. You don't have to bother me and pretend to not care." She laughs when Min shakes his head sharply and lifts a paw to clean. "If I didn't know any better, I'd call you stubborn, Minnie." The tawny cat sets his paw down and tucks his legs up to loaf on the corner of the bench, eyes nearly closed.

Outside, Sehun dodges a tag-team of cats swiping at his ankles, laughing as a litter of new kittens tumble over one another to keep up.

Min stands to turn away from the window and takes a nap.

All day, Sehun swears he's haunted by the tiny cat. Small glances out of the corner of his eye, enough recognition for that familiar tingle in his fingers, but it's gone when he turns his head to look. His foot catches a soft body while walking in the hall, just enough pressure to make the boy step back and shift the cat on his shoulder, but there's nothing there. Mooncakes nuzzles his neck sympathetically and wriggles to be let go, disappearing to wherever cats disappear to.

It takes until ten o'clock, after his aunt goes to bed and during drama re-runs on tv, that Sehun even sees Min for longer than a glance. He's lying on his back on the sofa when the small cat leaps to the back of the sofa and cleans a paw.

Bacon sits on the floor, tail swishing and preparing to launch himself onto Sehun's gut. Min stands, walks across the sofa to the armrest that cushions Sehun's head, drags his side along the boy's head, steps down Sehun's shoulder, and sits squarely on his ribs. Mine. Min and Bacon have a mini face-off, and Sehun swears he hears a growl from Min, but the younger cat readily gives up and claims a sleeping Donut as his pillow, instead.

Sehun raises his arm and tentatively run his fingers down Min's spine, ready for the sharp prick of claws when the cat would bolt. The short, brown ticked coat is damp from grooming, but Sehun doesn't mind. He feels the purrs and bites his lip to not laugh. Min's eyes close partially, and he rubs his cheeks over Sehun's shirt as his chest falls and rear end rises with the scratches at the base of his tail until he simply flops over.

The tv's ignored, white noise a soft background to Min's purrs.

The usual timeline falls apart. Sehun falls asleep with Min on his chest. Every time he wakes up, the cat's still there, paws twitching with his dreams, and he stays through morning.