AU in which cat person! Shiro accidentally confuses shapeshifter!Keith with his lost kitty, Black, and takes both of them in without hesitation.
He does not know Keith actually has a home of his own and has to gO FEED HIS DOG AND TELL HIS MOM HE'S OKAY
"You stayed a whole week there, Keith"
"I have a good reason for it"
"Is he hot?"
"I- yes but. That's not the reason i swear it."
"What was the reason then?"
Shiro cried for an hour straight while holding the wrong cat thinking he finally found his old pet.
"He's cute."
- Keith just didn't wanna break his heart by leaving him bc apparently the hot guy really missed his cat
- Once the actual cat returned Keith left, only to find Shiro walking around his neighborhood that very same night, looking sad as hell, calling for "Black The Second."
- He decides to visit on weekends, trying to give Shiro the vibe that his car form is a stray that doesn't want to stay at his home, but WILL visit for food. But Shiro locks his doors bc well, stray cats suffer a lot and are also a danger to local wildlife ecosystems.
(that's valid, Keith thinks at 1am while shifting into human form to unlock the door and the shifts back to get out.)
-Also because Shiro is obviously not enthusiastic about losing his cats ever again.
- Shiro has NO idea how Black The Second keeps sneaking out. It worries the shit out of him. But he always comes back on Friday, and by Monday morning he's gone. He wonders how does this little guy keeps a schedule.
-Shiro takes pictures of both his cats doing cat stuff.
-Black is regal and lazy, Black The Second is hyperactive and loves playfighting. He's obviously younger than his original cat... And also a male.
-Shiro laughed himself to tears realizing how dumb he was to confuse his female cat to Black The Second at all. But in his defense he
Never bothered looking at his cat's genitals before. He is now, though, inspecting Keith with a thoughtful frown.
Keith is not pleased with being held awkwardly hanging in the air, belly in the open, and have his crotch being stared at so much.
"Maybe that's the problem" Shiro thinks outloud. Black The Second blinks at him. "You going out so much, maybe it's because you're looking for a mate. Well. You shouldn't reproduce though. I also don't want you getting into fights because of boy cat hormones."
Boy cat hormones, he really said that. Keith gets so distracted by Shiro's ridiculous toddler talk that almost misses the real danger he's facing.
Shiro puts him down and calls his vet to make an appointment to castrate his new cat.
Keith never fled so fast from anything ever.
- Keith doesn't visit for two weeks. He's planning on not visiting anymore tbh and expects Shiro to get over his heartbreak. Maybe he'll introduce himself in human form and they'll become friends and maybe even date. And Keith will find home in sleeping on Shiro's chest again
but not as a cat this time.
Instead he gets texts of Romelle, with tons of emojis of the cryilaughing yellow ball. Accompanied there's a picture she took on the streets.
It's a flyer. Keith's cat form is in that flyer.
"Have you seen him?" it says, along
With Shiro's phone number, his address, and a final note of "please help me find my baby, I miss him so much."
Keith groans.
"Ignore it." He texts his sister. He's sorry for Shiro but he's not losing his balls for this man.
Romelle texts backs an "oh, too late."
Shiro gets a text from an unknown number saying, "Hey, that's actually my cat! He likes sneaking out and I now know where he's been going lol! He's home with me now, though, and I'm keeping a tight watch.
Don't worry about him."
Romelle is happy with her job, tosses her phone
Onto the bed to ignore Keith's freakout, and goes to take a shower.
She comes back to ten missed calls by the number she saved as "Keefie's Cat Daddy."
There are 2 voice mails and a few texts.
The first voice mail is... A huge scolding. Shiro drags her so hard about how irresponsible she is for leaving her cat go around outside without a collar. That he should be castrated, and "no wonder he's so skinny, do you even feed him?"
Shiro is so thorough that Romelle feels too guilty about being neglectful of her imaginary cat so she has to out down her phone to ground herself and remember that Keith is her older brother and he's the one who looks after her, actually.
The text is the info of Shiro's trusted vet.
The second voice mail came through ten minutes after the first one, 8 minutes after the text.
And it's Shiro bargaining.
Shiro's asking for the address of Keith's childhood home, where he doesn't live anymore. He apologizes for being so harsh and asks if he could see Black the Second.
He goes on confessing that he's a veteran, lived too awful, lost so much, had it too rough.
He got Black with the encouragement of his therapist, many years ago. Losing her destroyed him completely, but Black The Second came along and even if it was by mistake, he saved him. When Black came back Shiro couldnt bring himself to part with the cat who stayed and helped him,
and planned to keep both. He didn't know Black the Second had an owner, and still misses him terribly. With a broken voice, he begs whoever is on the other line to please, please let him see his cat again. Please.
As soon as his shift ends in the morning of the next day, Keith leaves the fire station and rides his bike all the way to his parents' house to probably strangle his little sister.
It's a weekend, and he's still not scheduled into the weekends shifts yet. They're being too
careful, he's just returned to work after a month of recovery due to a bad injury where part of a roof fell down in him as he tried to rescue an old lady out of her burning home.
The Captain is his dad, Keith doesn't like to think he's being given privileges
and he hated all this free time. On his last week before returning to work he grew so stir crazy he /had/ to turn into his cat form to scape his mama hen of a roommate and get some air.
And then Shiro found him.
It was a mistake to stay over with Shiro and get him attached, Keith thinks as he opens the door of his parents house. That belief strengthens when be finds his little sister with a red face and puffy eyes which only meant she'd been crying.
It wavers when she runs to hug him and begs him to please, please turn into a cat and let Shiro see him again.
Keith listens to both voice mails on speaker, while making breakfast for Romelle and him. Dad is scheduled into the weekend, and mom is a cop.
Romelle spends a lot of the day alone in the house and Keith tries to come over as often as possible every morning after his night
Shift to make her breakfast, drive her to school, or in the weekends to just keep her company. Make her feel like a kid, not be all lonely.
The weekends are harder because he tries to stay awake at least until noon to take her out on lunch dates before he crashes on her bed and
Passes out till her cat form, an orange tabby that's clingy and sweet and meows a lot, drags her rough tongue over his face to let him know he should either make or order them dinner.
She turns into her cat form just as Keith plays the first voice mail. She purrs and rubs herself on Keith's legs while be fries some eggs and bacon. The bread is on the toaster and the juice is already served which is good because Keith is shaking with rage as he listens.
Shiro is a kind man, Keith's been his pet. He knows Shiro is a worrywart and can be a little stern when needed.
He knows Shiro's trying to be responsible and he's saying all this because he's right and he cares, but he doesn't like the tone of Shiro's voice and doesn't like that
his little sister was the receptor of this message.
Romelle jumps on the table and headbutts his arm, asking for pets. She's clearly trying to placate his anger and if /she's/ not upset at Shiro like she said she wasn't, then Keith has to take a deep breath and trust her.
The second voice mail plays during breakfast and Romelle is tearing up again.
Keith set his jaw and pinches the bridge of his nose and takes another deep breath before pausing it. He's not hungry anymore but be needs to eat bc Romelle doesn't look like she was to eat either
and he can't have that. He makes sure to finish his plate and encourage her to eat her own. When they're both done, Keith lies down on the couch and listens to the rest of the recording alone while Romelle cleans up.
When she's done, she comes back and turns into her cat form
To jump on Keith's belly and cuddle. He scratches her ears before taking a third deep breath.
"Fine. I'm gonna call him."
Shiro thinks he's fucked up. He totally fucked up and now the owner of Black The Second hates him, probably thinks he's a patronizing dickhead and will never let Shiro see his cat again.
He's too anxious to sleep, and Black senses his distress and doesn't leave his side all
He skipped breakfast and lunch because his stomach was a knot of anxiety, and probably wouldn't have left his bed if it weren't because he needed to feed Black.
Around 2 pm, his phone rings.
It's the number of Black The Second's owner.
A deep, rich voice comes from the other side and Shiro swallows.
"Hi" he answers, "Black the Second's dad, I assume?"
He hears a noise from the other line.
"Yeah-uh, no. First off. Not his name. Second- before we start /anything/ I need you to realize how fucked
up is to come home to find out a complete stranger called and yelled at my little sister, a fourteenth-year old ninth grader, and then asked if he could come to her house."
Shiro feels something cold dip into his gut.
"I didn't know."
"Of course you didn't know, and that's the reason I'm not out there looking for you to kick your balls off" Keith says, "I've got your address you know," because he lived there on the weekends, but he can't say that. "Your naive ass put it on the fucking flyer."
Shiro feels himself blush. "Um. I can apologize."
"Oh, you're not talking to my sister ever again." Keith rolls his eyes when she scratches his t-shirt and pulls out his own phone. "In fact I'm texting you from my phone right now so you have my number, and the you'll delete her
number because from here on you'll be dealing with me about the cat."
Shiro nods, then remembers he's on a phone call so he answers "yes" without fully registering what Keith mean until a second later "-- wait. Wait. Does this mean I can see the cat?"
He sounds too hopeful and soft and Keith remembers why he decided to get stuck with Shiro for a whole week to begin with.
"Yeah, dude. Yeah." Keith says at the same time as he texts Shiro his info. "Just learn to fucking chill a little."
"I really am sorry."
"It doesn't matter anymore" Keith sighs, his sister is napping on his chest and he's So Jealous. He wants to sleep so bad too. "She's actually not mad at your or anything. She insisted I let you see the cat."
There's a pause on the other line,
and then he hears Shiro let out a breathless, broken "oh."
It makes his throat go tight. "She's a good kid."
"A great kid" Shiro agrees with a shaky voice. "I really am sorry."
"It's fine."
Shiro keeps quiet for a little bit again, and Keith can feel his nervous energy from his side of the line.
"When can I see him?"
Keith clears his throat. "Sunday fine by you? I'll dri-" he shakes his head. "I'm busy. But I'll make my roommate drive the cat to your house."
Shiro licks his lips. So he's not meeting the actual owner. "Okay- um, okay. And he's staying?"
Keith scratches Romelle's back and snorts fondly at how she raised her butt to keep getting pampered, while still totally asleep.
He sounds too soft and too absent when he answers.
Keith dies all of Saturday until dinnertime when the smell of Hunk's trademark carbonara and bacon hits his nose. Man he loves bacon.
Keith turns into his cat form as he walks out of his room and into the kitchen, purring loudly to grab his roomate's attention.
Hunk turns to look at him and smiles fondly.
"Hey little babe" he coos, and kneels to feed Keith some bacon.
Hell yeah. It always works.
Keith and Hunk go way back, from the days of their highschool's football team. They're as close as "the toenail and the dirt under it" (Keith's words) which Hunk says it's an awful comparison, but it doesn't make it any less true.
Hunk went to study mechanical engineering, while Keith just studied to be a mechanic. Both became volunteer firefighters during their last year of high school and even worked on the same autoshop. Eventually Keith left his job and turned his career to follow his dad's steps
as a full time firefighter. Hunk worked on the shop part time till he graduated and took a high paying job in Altea Tech.
They've lived together since college, know everything about one another and trust each other to death.
Which is why Keith has no issue in askn the next
"Woah, woah, you gonna turn?" Hunk asks, almost pouting. "Let me take a few pictures with the food for Instagram first dude"
Keith rolls his eyes, grabs his fork with his mouth and poses for the camera, a well-behaved cat before his fancy bowl of carbonara.
Once the photoshoot is over Keith turns and sits to eat. "Yo," he starts, mouth full with noodles, "remember that guy who thought I was his cat and kept me for like a week?"
Hunk stops swiping between filters for his pics to look up at Keith, with a flat expression.
"Oh yeah, you mean that time you worried me sick and I had no idea of to call the police or every the animal shelter in the city?"
Keith got chewed out by his entire family over that stunt, and is currently numb to any more of it.
"Yeah" he says without any shame.
Hunk pouts at him for real. "Guy must've been pretty hot."
"Yeah- wait no. Wait." Keith points the fork at him. "Don't distract me, I have to ask for a favor."
"The answer is no, though" Hunk sniff. It's fake as hell and it makes Keith snort. "I'm still sore about it. Especially since you kept coming back to him and leaving me all alone on the weekends."
Keith has none of it.
"Shut up, you finally have the place to yourself to bring Shay over."
"Oop. Caught." Hunk chuckles, leaves his phone on the table and begins to eat. "What do you need me to do?"
"So? How do I look?"
Black gives him a flat expression.
Shiro tugs the collar of his silky black shirt before unbuttoning it down to the middle, revealing a white tank top. Maybe this is better?
Black is absolutely judging him.
"Oh please, I get all dolled up for you too."
Black would've probably rolled her eyes if she could, instead she turned around- gave him a good shot of her butthole before jumping on the bed to lie on it, her back still turned his way.
Shiro chuckles. "Now you're just being petty."
Shiro does want to make a good impression. Absolutely. Even if it's just the roommate, maybe they'd talk to Keith about him. And he didn't want to disappoint or piss off Keith any further and have it affect Black the Second's visits.
Right, that's not his name. He'd have to ask.
Anxiety peeks out of its cave just a little. It's Sunday, and hours couldn't go slower. Ten minutes past 11 a.m. Shiro thinks that maybe he got stood up. Maybe they're not coming. Maybe Keith decided to give him hope then shit on him, after all he said to his sister.
It's a cruel train of thought, and Keith would be honestly valid to go there, but.
But the doorbell rings, at last.
Shiro rushes out of his room, his socks making him slip and slide half the way through the living room to the door in which was probably one of the scariest moments of his (now) very domestic life, after losing Black and Black The Second- ah that's not his name that's not his-
He manages to compose himself, blindly rearrange his hair with hurried fingers, straighten his shirt and opens the door with what he hopes is a cool, calm smile-
which falters immediately in surprise when he sees one of his employees standing before him, holding his darling cat.
If he looks surprised, Hunk looks in absolutely shock. He's probably shaking, too.
"M-Mister Shirogane, sir."
Shiro swallows, squints his eyes. He swears he's good with names. "Garrett.. Hunk" he says, then clears his throat and smiles warmly. "Nice to see you outside of work."
The cat got tense the moment he felt a mood switch between his humans, but his ears perk up now as he hears the recognition in the men's voices. He looks at both of them in confusion.
Hunk lets out a laugh, too loud, too forced, clearly nervous.
"Yeah, uh. I'm sorry sir. Just here to drop a package?" He holds the cat up now, wiggling him a little. The black cat could not look more unamused by the manhandling.
Shiro's smile grows bigger, warmer. He picks up the cat and holds him close to his chest, kisses his head.
"So you're Keith's roommate? What a small world" he says.
"Right?!" Hunk visibly cringes at how loud and squeaky his voice just came out and shrinks a little. The cat tilts his head in further confusion. "I um. Nice to see you sir. I gotta. Um. My girlfriend."
"Oh right, please don't let me keep you" Shiro laughs just a little. He cuddles the cat closer. "Who's picking him up?"
Hunk swallows. "Me again, sir. Sorry, Keith- he's." His eyes are blown in panic and the cat can tell he's about to lie. "He's on duty, sir. He's a firefighter."
"Oh!" Shiro voices in interest, he scratches the cat's ear. "I did hear you volunteer."
"Not as much as before but yes, sir."
Hunk looks like he's internally groaning for accidentally keeping the small talk going when he clearly doesn't wanna be here, and the cat can tell.
Lucky, Shiro seems to also be able to tell, and his smile doesn't twitch when he offers Hunk an exit to the conversation. He does chuckle when Hunk basically runs back to his truck and drives off.
"They all think I'm scary and I don't know why" he mutters, amused.
He finally turns to hold his cat up to his face and baby talk to him.
"Hi sweetheart," he greets the cat. "Daddy missed you."
And while hearing this beautiful man call himself the cat's *daddy* would certainly affect human Keith's loins, especially accompanied
with the way Shiro is peppering kisses all over his tiny face, current Keith is cat.
And cat does not appreciate the affection assault.
He puts a paw on Shiro's lips to stop him, while leveling him A Look.
Shiro responds by smiling and kissing the beans of his paw.
"Hi baby" he says again, and laughs when the cat slowly pulls his paw away, looking absolutely offended.
Shiro's anxiety is gone by the time he enters the house with his cat.
Aside from him trying to play with Black and she just farts on him, Keith has an amazing Sunday and so does Shiro.
They spend it playing around the house, lying together on the floor or the bed or the couch just cuddling. Getting just the right amount of pets from Shiro.
Lunch comes over and Shiro serves both his pets rotisserie chicken and he has some Mac n cheese. And red wine.
Shiro pulls out his phone to finally remind himself of the cat's name.
His chat history with the owner, Keith, is very short. Just the important things were talked out.
Keith is an odd guy. He said he doesn't name his pets- he has this huge dog that failed his training and didn't make it into the police force, (god he told him all about his dog and never said not even what his job was) and never named him bc he hopes the dogs will just
eventually tell him. Same goes for the cat, he never named him, but his little sister did. Black the Second's real name is "Keef" according to the ninth grader.
When Shiro low-key tried to scold him about Bl-- Keef not having a collar, Keith simply replied that the cat
doesn't like themm and has managed to undo his collars and hide them every time until his mom gave up. Which, considering how Keef manages to scape Shiro's house with ease no matter the lock, it was something Shiro could believe.
He licks his lips as he re-reads the conversation. The guy is passionate about his pets, and overall very grounding to talk to. He has this 0 bullshit, blunt and to the point way to address things, shutting down Shiro's excessive apologies and intrusive anxieties he somehow felt
safe enough to voice through scheduling the play date.
It's a little hot.
"A firefighter, huh?" That's really hot actually, considering Shiro's weakness for men in uniform, especially who serve the country with a selfless career as firefighters.
He may own a calendar.
Keith does have a very nice voice. Rough and smokey.
How old is he? Maybe he's around Garrett's age which is--
Woah there.
Shiro puts down his phone and kills his intrusive horny thoughts by shoving food into his mouth.
He doesn't even know the guy. Never seen his face. Maybe he's straight???
Jeez, Shiro's been single for too long.
He decides that later, he'd download tinder again and /not/ forget to login or check it this time. So many missed chances because he forgot to check his inbox.
(He then forgets about downloading it entirely.)
Hunk comes by at 8pm to pick up Keef, who looks exhausted after all the playing and the fancy eating and the lazing around with Shiro.
"See you tomorrow at work" Shiro tells Hunk with a smile. The poor guy nods furiously without looking at him and grabs the cat.
Shiro waves them good bye as Hunk and the cat drive away.
He then crosses his arms and swallows, trying not to show that he'll miss his Keef when he pulls out his cellphone to text Keith.
"Thank you so much for allowing me to see him today. You were too kind to me by giving me this chance, I missed him so much."
He licks his lips and does his best not to rise his hopes up when he texts then,
"Could he come again next week?"
The ride home is filled with Hunk screaming "WHAT THE FUCK" like a mantra and trying to shake the cat lying on the copilot seat, soft belly and balls exposed just to show how little he cares about Hunk's freak out.
"Keith. Keith. Keith don't you dare sleep on me right now."
Hunk's hand is gentle when he shakes him, but Keith whines anyway. Let the poor kitty sleep dude.
"Keith! You have to turn into human right now dude" Hunk sounds nearly begging. "You know I can't yell at you when you're a cat because you're too cute and I'm sOFT MAN COME ON."
The cat has no shits to give.
"So he's one of your bosses, so what?" Keith stretches on the couch after a good human dinner Hunk anxiety-cooked to cope.
"He's the head of finances in our company." Hunk grabs Keith's legs and puts them off the couch, to the floor, to sit beside him.
"He's literally in charge of my paycheck."
"And you can't mess this up!"
"How could I mess this up?" Keith rolls his eyes. "Have you seen my cat form? I'm irresistible."
"I know" Hunk gives him a judgy look. "But your human form threatened go kick his balls off once."
Keith sputterd. "I wasn't serious! And he yelled at my sister!"
"He didn't know he was talking to a kid!"
Keith gives him A Look.
Hunk also gives him A Look.
They engage in this silent, judgemental staring contest until Keith blows air out of his mouth and raises his hands to
to the air.
"I'm not gonna kick his balls off!"
"But you have to be nice to him if we're sending the cat to his home every Sunday"
Sometimes when Hunk gets frustrated, he separates the feline entity from his best friend because he just genuinely can't get annoyed at the cat.
"It'll mean you'll have to interact with him a few times a week even if it's just to agree on a schedule."
Keith blinks at him. "I never said I was sending the cat back again."
Hunk just stares at him for a long second, before he swats at Keith's arm.
It doesn't hurt because Hunk is a genuinely gentle dude and puts no strength in it, but it's admonishing. And Keith doesn't like being admonished.
"You" swat. "Can't" swat. "Do" swat. "This" swat. "To" swat. "Him!" Swat.
Keith wiggles away from Hunk, to the end of the couch- which isn't that far away and if Hunk wanted he could still hit Keith.
"Dude I can't keep this up any longer" Keith tells him.
"You know I eventually will be returning to my full shifts at the fire station"
"You can still have one day off" Hunk argues. "Make it the Sundays, go to him."
Keith rolls his eyes. "I still have to show up at work if there's an emergency."
"We can reschedule."
"Don't Hunk me" his friend says. "He loves you- well, cat you. He loves Keef. I made Romelle send me the voice mail today, dude. You can't drop him like this."
Keith opens his mouth to argue, then closes it. Hunk is not wrong, and Keith sighs.
"And" Hunk " the one who would deal with the heartbreak will be me. If he had no issues going all over the city to look for Keef with embarrassing flyers he'll have no issues coming to my office to ask how you are- cat you--you know what I mean!"
Keith groans as he sinks on the couch, then slowly llips onto the floor.
Hunk has no mercy on him. "Your tantrums aren't cute when you're not a cat."
Keith groans again.
"I'll think about it."
That's the answer Keith always gives just to keep his pride but years of friendship
made Hunk recognize it for what it is, him winning the argument.
Keith knows Hunk knows and doesn't look up to see his friend's smug face.
Instead he gets up and goes to the shower.
He comes out minutes later and goes straight to his bedroom. He's still very exhausted from a long day of being a spoiled cat and and crashes on his bed as soon with a sigh. The cool sheets feel so good
He wants to sleep so much.
His hands wander blindly around the bed, looking
For his phone. He means to check up his mail after a day of not giving any attention to his phone and finds Shiro's message.
Guilt sits heavy on his stomach as he remembers his decision- and Hunk's words, and the voice mail, and how loving Shiro was today.
He's way too sleepy to try any harder than typing "sure" and maybe an emoji, before he passes out.
Okay. The door is locked so Black can't have her innocence tainted. There's lube within reach on the bed, his favorite The Weeknd song is playing on repeat and his favorite page of his favorite firefighter calendar is staring back at him because Shiro is in a particular Mood.
He scratches the hair below his navel, until the motion turns into teasing circles that follow the pace of the song.
His favorite part of the song is about to come in, and Shiro's fingers are already dipping into his shorts so the timing is right.
There's a ping that cuts off the song just as the chorus starts and it throws Shiro off a little. Well, a lot.
Now he has to start the song over.
He sighs and grabs his phone to hit replay, but notices the ping was a message notification.
From Keith.
Shiro gasps, the phone slips and falls to his chest and he hurries to pick it up.
The message is short.
The emoji is clear enough despite the weird typo, and Shiro beams.
Keith's driving Sascha- the oldesr firetruck in the station- back home from her monthly check up when he's contacted by his captain and told to make a detour.
A domestic cat got stuck in a tree and the owner has requested for rescue.
His partner on the passenger seat gives
him a confused look. "Do we still do those?"
Keith shrugs and turns the truck over. "I honestly don't care as long as I've got a job to do." He tells his colleague, who chuckles at him.
Keith never takes kindly any sound from James Griffin, especially laughter.
"Vacation got you all stir crazy, huh?"
"Shut your hole, Griffin."
The other man just laughs and lays back on the seat, "think you can handle this mission alone or will you need help."
"What help could you possibly offer to /me/, rookie?" Keith take a small delight on the
bitter change in Griffin's expression. When his old highschool rival joined the team Keith was already a seasoned firefighter, despite almost being the same age.
It's the one thing that Griffin can't stand.
"Oh I know, how about you lead me there?" He asks innocently.
"I can remember the neighborhood but I need you to re-read me the full address. You know people get with age."
The other man, barely one year younger, tch's at him.
Eyes on the road, Keith laughs as he takes the familiar route to Shiro's neighborhood.
Shiro's neighborhood.
He's driving to Shiro's neighborhood.
"Yo" Keith licks his lips. "What's the address again?"
"I got it, you're more experienced than me, leave me alone." Griffin snaps, and then pales when Keith directs him a quick serious look before turning back to the road. It lets him know they're no longer playing games
and also, it reminds him that the guy he just snapped at is his current acting lieutenant. "Uh. Yes sir."
Keith's grip on the wheel hardens as he hears the address again.
Of course.
Black's in trouble.
It's hot summer day, but Keith is sweating for an entire different reason as they park in front of the house of one Takashi Shirogane.
There's a small garden of flowers that hug the path to Shiro's porch. No trees.
But there's at least two trees at the backyard.
Keith knows them well. He also knows Black is too fat for those branches.
He takes a deep breath and swallows his urge to take the matter in his own hands as he nods at his partner. "Go."
Griffin squeaks. "Me? Didn't you want the job?"
Keith nearly growls at that. Yeah he loves being in duty and being part of The Action.
But his return to the force came with more than a sweet salary pump. He was promoted to driver engineer, his new rank meant a lot more responsibilities and both the lives
of his mates, the civilians and the overall success of the whole team now depended big time on his performance...
But it also meant he's stuck with the car.
He levels Griffin a look, then suggest vaguely around the driver's cabin.
Realization strucks Griffin and he blushes in
"Buddy" there's nothing friendly on Keith's tone. Black may fart on his face but he loves her and this is time sensitive. "Trees are on the back. I can't take the truck there. Pick a ladder."
Griffin's eyes narrow. "How do you know-"
"Oh thank God!"
The front door opens and Shiro comes out, he's wearing a suit and his hair still looks a little wet- he clearly readying for work when Black turned to mischief. As Shiro jogs towards the truck Griffin blurts out, "I can't do it."
Keith's eyes switch from the beautiful man
Making his way here to the paling dude beside him, and now he's concerned because despite their relationship, James is a responsible man and he's never seen him back down from a job before. "Griffin?"
James licks his lips, nervous. "I'm allergic."
Oh fucking hell.
Keith's eyes widen in shock. "WH-you-" then he groans, "fuck it."
He pushes the door of the truck open with his foot, struggling to get himself out of his big firefighter coat.
It's too damn hot outside.
Keith hurries to pick out a ladder and rounds the truck when he hears Shiro panic rambling.
"It's all my fault" Shiro goes, "I didn't close the door properly after watering my orchard and she went outside while I was showering. The neighbor dog must have scared into
climbing the tree in the backyard and I'm just, god I should've-- oh."
Shiro stops dead and looks at him. He looks at Keith up and down and hard, and for a tiny panicked second Keith thinks Shiro may have recognized him.
Which is stupid, because the Keith Shiro knows is a cat.
Shiro's face was already red- from the heat, from the stress, who knows- but it gets a little redder as he looks at Keith, and even more when Keith clears his throat to grab his attention.
"May I come in?" He asks, and Shiro flails.
"Yeah please come insi-" he chokes. "I mean-"
Weeks of being Shiro's pet taught him how Shiro can get when he panics or gets too anxious, how hard it is sometimes for him to communicate, how he babbles a lot- so he tries his best to be patient about it and just walks past Shiro, into the house.
Shiro is the one following him like he's lost in his own home, but Keith doesn't pay him any mind.
He can hear Black's crying and he runs out to the backyard.
It's not a big tree, but the little buttface got to the very top, with the weakest branches, and she's stuck.
The branches won't hold her for long- she's old and a kind of overweight despite Shiro's best efforts to take her to a nutritionist, fixing her diet, making her exercise. Keith knows she has managed to unlock the cabinet with her food and gets her thieving little paws on it
when Shiro's not looking.
"I- I tried" Shiro finally recovers enough to keep talking, but he's clearly not okay and his voice is breaking. "I can't- I can't climb up there, I'm too big and the tree is not strong enough and I'm- I'm- after what happened I'm-"
Keith doesn't know 'what happened', but Shiro needs to calm down. He puts the ladder by the tree and turns to raise both hands at Shiro, show his open palms as he tries his best to coax Shiro to stop talking and sitting on the ground.
He doesn't touch him but his hands hover close to let Shiro know he'll catch him.
"Deep breaths, Shiro." He coaches, and lowers his hands when Shiro is finally safe and sitting on the grass.
Shiro breathes with him a few times before Keith turns back to focus on Black.
Keith climbs the ladder and reaches her quick, and he can hear Shiro gasping. "Wait, she can be very wary of strangers please be careful-"
Keith's back is facing Shiro, so he doesn't have to hold back the fond eye roll as he opens his arms for Black.
Keith isn't a stranger.
You can follow @pejaposarambi.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: