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AU: Night time Soap star and crossdresser Jakotsu and his long time lover Bankotsu catsit a feisty feline named Kirara while Sango and her family are on vacation. Set in the 'Homecoming' universe.
For Jen who suggested this while beta-ing “Cradle” for me. She also helped me polish it until it shone.
Author’s note: This is a companion piece to “Cradle (kiss 22)” which can be found in 30 AU Ban Jak kisses. It is set in the AU world of “Homecoming.”
“You’re not seriously thinking of taking care of that cat, are you?” Bankotsu asked as he looked up, wide-eyed over his breakfast, at his life-partner.
“You said I should borrow one of Sango’s cats to see if I really wanted one,” Jakotsu countered.
“Yeah, but I didn’t mean that demonic bundle of scraggly fur,” Bankotsu rejoined, his tone of voice nearly a whine.
“That demonic bundle of fur as you so nicely put it is a sweet twenty year old cat. If she was younger, Sango would have simply boarded her at the vet’s with the others, but she’s not, so she needs a cat sitter.”
“What about her neighbor? What’s his name?”
“Watanabe Shippou. He’d normally watch her, but he’s going to be away on vacation the same time they are. So Sango asked me nicely and I accepted as I didn’t think you’d have a problem with it,” the cross-dresser said tersely.
Bankotsu sighed. “I don’t. So how long are we stuck with-” He winced at the look on the cross-dresser’s face. “...I mean how long are we watching Kirara for?”
“Two weeks. I’m going to go get her as soon as I get dressed. “You coming with?” Jakotsu asked as he pushed away from the breakfast table. Standing, he took his breakfast dishes and set them in the sink, before retrieving his tea. “So are you coming with?”
“Ummm... no, I think I’ll stay here and work on those new tracks for Youkai.”
“Suit yourself...” Jakotsu said airily as he left the kitchen.
Bankotsu rubbed his forehead tiredly. Oh crap! Two weeks of pure hell with that damned cat and Jak’s non-stop fussing over it too!
“Ban honey, we’re home!” Jakotsu called out cheerily as he entered their apartment. He set down the cat carrier and bag of toys, food, and litter box, before locking the door behind him and changing into his house slippers. “Come, Kirara, let’s go say hello to your Uncle Ban,” the cross-dresser purred as he opened the carrier and took out the ancient Siamese.
The twenty year old cat purred as she settled into the cross-dresser’s arms. He was one of the few people that Kirara actually liked besides Sango. Once they got to the living room, Jakotsu set her down on the floor so he could go set up her litter box in the main bathroom and put her bed in their bedroom. Kirara meowed and rubbed against Jakotsu’s leg.
“I need to go put your things away, silly,” he said to the cat, before walking away.
Kirara stretched in that sensual way that only cat can stretch and sauntered off into the living room. She carefully jumped onto the sofa, was walking daintily across the cushions when she spotted Bankotsu in the adjoining dining room. She hissed and leapt off the couch, hurrying over to her number one enemy.
Bankotsu looked down just in time to see and feel her dig her claws into his leg. “Shit!” he swore.
“Mee-row!” Kirara hissed at him.
“Ban, is everything okay? Kirara isn’t hurt is she?” Jakotsu came running.
“No, she’s fine, but my leg isn’t,” the younger man said dryly as he examined his bloody calf.
“You sure?” Jakotsu asked until he saw his life-partner’s leg. “What happened to you?”
“You must have scared her or something. According to Sango, she’s losing her sight.” The cross-dresser picked up the hissing cat with no problems. Minutes later, she had settled in his arms and was purring contentedly.
“Yeah, that must have been it.” I’m real scary just sitting here, minding my own business...
“Let me go get the first aid kit.” Jakotsu said. “You’re bleeding all over the place.”
“I’ll get it.” Bankotsu got up and limped towards their bedroom, Jakotsu and the cat in tow. “I think she put a hole in my sweats too.”
“I’ll take them to work and ask Yura to fix them for me,” Jakotsu said as they entered their bedroom.
Bankotsu took off his sweatpants. “She won’t mind?”
“Nah. I’ll just give her a couple of yen and they’ll be as good as new.”
“She still doing your hair and make-up?”
The cross-dresser nodded. “Now she’s looking after my wardrobe too. It’s so much nicer having one person looking after me than a whole team. She’s also contract bound to go with me wherever I go. So if I make a movie over the summer, she comes with.”
“Should I be jealous?” Bankotsu asked as he headed into the master bath.
The cross-dresser laughed. He set Kirara down on their bed and went to help his life-partner with the scratches on his leg. The Siamese kneaded the comforter a few times, before curling up into a ball and, sleeping.
Much to Jakotsu’s annoyance, Bankotsu paused in mid-thrust. “Now what?” he whined.
“Nothing.... I feel weird with her watching.”
“She’s just a cat, Ban honey.”
“I know, but I have the horrible feeling she’s going to use my ass as a scratching post.”
The cross-dresser giggled as he wrapped his legs around his life-partner’s waist. “Better?”
“No, because now I can’t move,” the younger man said.
“Want me to go put her outside?”
“I’m going back to work tomorrow and I wanted tonight to be special...” Jakotsu said softly.
“Going back to work like I always do on Sunday.”
“You taking her with you?”
“No. Who’s going to feed her and keep her company, while I’m at work?”
“I don’t know...”
“Besides, she’s old and I don’t want to stress her out too much.”
“But they live in Kyoto, so what’s the big deal?”
“I don’t want her to think she’s going home, only to be stuck in that empty apartment all by herself.”
“I thought you had goldfish and someone to look after them on weekends, can’t they come during the week and feed her and play with her?”
“No, because Eri-chan goes to school during the week.” Jakotsu sighed. “So are you going to finish or what? I’m starting to get sore, Ban honey...”
After a tearful good-bye to Jakotsu at the train station, Bankotsu dreaded returning home to their apartment by himself. He was going to be spending the next few days alone with Kirara and to say the cat hated him, was putting it mildly. Before the cross-dresser had left, the old Siamese had spent the morning following him all over their apartment, hissing and, spitting whenever Bankotsu came within five feet of the cross-dresser.
When he finally arrived home and cautiously opened the door to their apartment, Bankotsu was surprised to find Kirara calmly sitting in the hallway, licking her paws and washing her face. He kept one eye on her as he took off his coat and hung it up. By the time he was ready to change into his house slippers, Kirara had disappeared into the living room. That did not stop the record producer from checking the apartment for scenes of destruction. Everything appeared to be in order until he reached the master bedroom.
“DAMN IT!!” he cried. While they were gone, the old Siamese had shredded their pillows, coughed up several nasty looking hairballs on the bed, ruining the silk comforter, and tore the custom made silk drapes. It was as if she had known the cross-dresser had wanted to redecorate the room and gave him the excuse to do so. I’m going to kill you and that mangy cat!! Bankotsu thought as he picked up the picture of Jakotsu that was on the bedside table next to his side of the bed. The room smelled pungent, liked the toilet had backed up, but a quick check of the master bath proved otherwise. Bankotsu sniffed around the room, trying to locate the source of the smell. Ten minutes later, he found to his horror that the cat had used his favorite pair of bedroom slippers as her litter box. You’re dead meat, Kirara!! I don’t care what Jak and Sango say!!
He froze when he felt Kirara rub up against his leg.
Softening his glare, Bankotsu looked down at the cat, and said, “How much did he pay you do this?”
“Mew?” Kirara looked up at him.
“Never mind...” He sighed. “What do you want?” he asked when Kirara rubbed against his leg again.
“Meow...” she said and walked away, only to turn back and rub against him again as if trying to get him to follow.
A few minutes later, Bankotsu had caught on and he followed her into the kitchen where she stared pointedly at her food bowl. “Hungry?”
Bankotsu woke up to the feeling of something heavy on his chest. Opening his eyes, Kirara looked at him expectantly.
“Mew...” she said softly. She stood up on his chest and stretched, before rubbing her face against his.
Bankotsu chuckled. Maybe I’ve misjudged you... he tickled behind her ears, and the old Siamese purred loudly. “Let’s go have breakfast.”
They spent the rest of the day watching TV together. To Bankotsu it was like she was a completely different cat. In fact, she was treating him in the same manner she had treated Jakotsu while he was there. Kirara used all of her feminine cat charms on Bankotsu, luring the record producer into a false sense of security. When he got to do a bit of work on Youkai’s album, Kirara sat on the dining room table and watched. At dinner time, she dutifully followed him into the kitchen and ate only when his ramen was ready. While he soaked in the tub, she sat on the ledge and kept him company. Later that night, when he went to sleep in the guest room, she followed and slept on the pillow next him. When he woke up the next morning, she did her faithful companion act, even going so far as to sit on his lap while he watched TV and chatted on the phone with Jakotsu during his lunch break. It was two days of pet cat bliss in Bankotsu’s humble opinion. So much so that he spent time online looking for a Siamese cat breeder so that he could get one for Jakotsu.
“Hey, Hibiya-san!” Shippou called out to the cross-dresser as Jakotsu hurried back to his dressing room.
Pausing and, turning around, Jakotsu greeted him. “Watanabe! I thought you were away.” He laughed.
“Yeah, like I can get time off around here.”
“I got time off last week,” Jakotsu said smugly.
“Really? Well, I’m only the costume designer, not the star and I couldn’t even get time off if I died.”
The cross-dresser laughed. “That’s because Kinomoto-san likes your red hair and blue eyes.”
“She likes them too much if you ask me!” They laughed. “So how’s Kirara doing?”
“Fine, she and Ban are like the best of friends now. For awhile there, I was worried about leaving her, but they seemed to have bonded nicely. Why? Missing her already?”
“Yeah, as a matter of fact, I do. She’s a great cat. Really feisty, you know?”
“Tell me about it. She did a number on Ban’s leg when she got there.”
Shippou’s eyes went wide. “She didn’t?”
“Oh man, she did that to my ex girlfriend, which is why she’s my ex. Mitzuki-san told me in no uncertain terms it was either her or the cat...”
“And you/I chose the cat!” they chorused.
“Seriously, I’ll bring her back when I go for the weekend. That way it’ll be easier for Sango to come and get her.”
“Thanks, Hibiya-san. I owe you big time.”
“Don’t mention it. So is Kanna-san a keeper?”
“I think so... I won’t know for sure until she passes the ‘Kirara test.’”
Jakotsu nodded. “Good luck with that.”
“Ban honey, Kirara, I’m home!” Jakotsu said as he opened the door and stepped inside.
In the living room Kirara hissed at Bankotsu, before jumping off his lap. She came running towards the genkan, and waited while Jakotsu changed into slippers. “Did somebody miss me?” the cross-dresser cooed. and awkwardly leaning forward, he rubbed noses with her.
“Sweetness! You’re home early.”
“Yup! I was able to get my scenes finished this morning, so I got here as quickly as I could.”
“I can see that.” Bankotsu chuckled. “But another few minutes while you change out of that thing wouldn’t have hurt.”
“Unfortunately, I’m stuck wearing this stupid thing,” the cross-dresser said as he straightened up. “My publicist says it’s generating a ton of publicity for the show, so I’m in it for the long haul. The only upside to it is I won’t have to give birth to a watermelon,” Jakotsu joked.
Bankotsu laughed, and hugging him, he asked “Is it me, or are you bigger?”
“I’m bigger,” the cross-dresser said sheepishly.
“Wait a minute! Watanabe was there?”
“Yeah...” Jakotsu smiled ingratiatingly.
“And you took that damned cat anyway?! Do you know what she did to our bedroom?! And my slipper?!”
“No... But you’re going to tell me.”
“You’d better believe it. That damned cat trashed out bedroom!” Bankotsu cried.
Kirara arched her back and hissed at him as he dragged the cross-dresser down the hall to the scene of destruction. “And why did you lie to me about Watanabe?”
“I didn’t exactly lie, Ban honey. Watanabe wasn’t available because he’s dating Kagura’s sister and didn’t want the cat spoiling things. She’s very fussy in who she likes and who she doesn’t...”
“Tell me about it,” Bankotsu said dryly.
“Anyway, I thought you two had bonded.”
“We did, but now that you’re back, she’s back to hating me with a passion. Look!” Bankotsu glared at Kirara, who was busy using one of his new bedroom slippers as her litter box.
Jakotsu stood there, a hand over his mouth, the other wrapped around his waist as he tried hard not to laugh. When she had finished, the cat came over to his life-partner and rubbed against his leg, as if she was the sweetest cat in the world. Kirara purred loudly like a fat bumblebee, sauntering over to Jakotsu, to rub against his leg.
Bankotsu glared at the two of them when Jakotsu knelt to pick her up.
“I’ll get you another pair of slippers, Ban honey.”
“Don’t tell me you’re jealous of the cat?”
“No!” Bankotsu said angrily.
“Yeah?” the cross-dresser smirked. “Seriously, Ban honey, I’ll call Watanabe tomorrow morning and have him come get her. You’d like to go visit Watanabe-san, wouldn’t you, Ki-chan?” he cooed at the cat.
“That settles it. The cat goes home tomorrow.” Jakotsu kissed Bankotsu.
“Good...” the younger man said, kneeling to retrieve his soiled slippers.
“Let’s go eat,” Jakotsu said as he left the room. He carried the cat into the kitchen, where he set her down on the floor. Walking over to the pantry cabinet, he opened it and took out a can of cat food. “Look, Kirara, yummy tuna delight!” Jakotsu said, holding up the can of cat food for the Siamese to see. He shrugged when Kirara turned away, suddenly finding her paw much more interesting. The cross-dresser never noticed when she did not get excited over the can opening running. It was only when did she take an interest in the food when he placed it on the floor for her to eat that he felt a moment of panic.
“Ban honey! Come’re! Something’s wrong with Kirara! She’s not eating!!”
Bankotsu who had been outside, disposing the soiled slippers in the trash can, called out, “What?” when he entered their apartment.
“I think Kirara’s sick! She’s not eating!”
“Look at her, she’s really sick!” Jakotsu knelt beside Kirara who was stretched out on her side, looking really pathetic.
“Mew...” she said as she closed her eyes.
“Oh hell!” Bankotsu swore. “Whatchya do to her?”
“What did I do?! Nothing! I just opened the can of cat food, put it in her dish like always and she took one look at it, and collapsed. What if she’s... dying?” Jakotsu whispered the last word, afraid to say it louder in case the cat got any ideas.
“Didn’t Sango write it down?”
“Yeah, but I forgot what I did with it.”
Idiot! Bankotsu sighed. “Okay... what if we try looking it up in the phone book?”
“Ummm.... Ban honey, there’s tons of vet’s in the phone book. How will we know which one is right? It could take us hours to find him and then it might be too late.”
“Well, she’s an old cat, Sango got to realize that...”
Jakotsu looked at him like he was ready to kill him. “How can you even think that, let alone say it!”
Just then, Kirara let out a mournful meow. Both men looked at each other and said, “Sui!!”
Bankotsu reached the phone first and he dialed. Damn it, Sui!! Pick up!!
“Sui?! You’ve gotta come quick!!” Bankotsu said before hanging up the phone.
“Uh, Ban honey, how’s Sui going to know where to go?”
“Shit! And speaking of it... what’s that smell?”
“I don’t know...” Jakotsu covered his nose daintily with his hand. “You sure you didn’t over do the takoyaki?”
“Yes, I’m sure. Now sssh while I call Sui back.” He dialed. “Why isn’t he picking up?”
“How the hell do I know?” The cross-dresser made a face. “Are sure you didn’t live on takoyaki while I was gone?”
“How many times do I have to tell you, I didn’t have any? I didn’t leave the apartment while you were gone, so where would I get them from?”
“Okay... But it sure smells like the time you ate a ton of them and washed them down with a six pack of Kirin.”
“I’m going to pick her up and bring her into the living room where it’s warmer,” Jakotsu said. He wanted to be as far away from the smell as possible.
“Okay. Oh, hey, Sui! We need you to come over.”
“Kirara is sick and Jak’s afraid she’s dying.”
Bankotsu held his hand over the receiver and called out, “Sweetness, Sui said to take her to the clinic.”
‘Tell, Sui she’s a twenty year old cat and to get his ass over here!”
“Jak said to get your ass over here cuz she’s an old cat. Please, Sui, if that cat dies, Jak’s going to kill me and so will Sango.”
“I can’t find anything wrong with her, Jak,” Suikotsu said. He gently ran his hand along the cat’s side.
“She’s in pretty good shape for an old cat. Her heart sounds good, except for a bit of a murmur, her lungs are clear-” The pediatrician stopped in mid-sentence and made face.
“Don’t look at me!” Jakotsu said. “I didn’t do it!”
“Neither did I!” Bankotsu added.
“Relax, it was the cat. Besides, I know you’re too lady-like to get the vapors, Jak,” Suikotsu quipped. “She probably ate something that upset her stomach. Once she goes to the bathroom and gets it out of her system, she’ll be fine. Did you guys change her diet or anything?”
“No...” Jakotsu looked over at Bankotsu.
“Well, she wouldn’t eat the ocean medley for breakfast, so I called the shop on the corner and had Taki bring me a few cans of chicken and some tuna. She loved the chicken more than the tuna.”
“Ban honey, you fed her in the morning?”
“Yeah, I gave her a can in the morning and at night when I had dinner.”
“That’s way too much food! No wonder she’s sick!”
“Jak, cats only eat when they’re hungry unlike a dog that’ll keep eating as long as you keep feeding him.”
“Really? But she ate everything I gave her...” Bankotsu said.
“There’s the problem. She’s got a tummy ache from eating too much. If you fed her tonight, pick up what’s left and give it to her tomorrow night for dinner and skip breakfast so her stomach can rest. She won’t die if she misses a meal.”
“But look at her, Sui, she looks so limp,” Jakotsu gently stroked Kirara’s side.
“She’s probably missing Sango-san. And I’d say she missed you too, Jak. And by the way, congratulations. When’s Emiko-chan due?”
“Not soon enough if you ask me. I’m supposed to have three months left to go, but on TV, that can be as long as six.”
“Well, I wouldn’t worry too much, although if she seems weaker, take her immediately to the clinic.”
“No problem. If that’s it, then I’ll be seeing you.”
Bankotsu went to see him out.
“You little stinker, you gave us quite the scare!” Jakotsu said to the cat.
“Jak, since she’s fine, do us all a favor and call Watanabe to come get her.”
“Hunh? Why? She’s sick, Ban.”
“She’s got a stomach ache and a bad case of the farts. She’s going to live, Jak, and if not... well, better him than you. You don’t want Sango pissed at you for killing her cat, do you?”
“So what are you waiting for? Call him.”
“No. I told Sango I was going to look after her for two weeks and I’m going to do it. If I have to, I’ll bring her to work and pray she doesn’t trash my dressing room. And if she decides to move on to that happy cat land in the sky, well, I’ll live with the consequences,” the cross-dresser said seriously.
“I kid you not, Ban honey.”
Kirara jumped off Jakotsu’s lap and headed towards her litter box.
“See, Sui was right; she’s not dying. And judging by all the smell...” He chuckled at the look on his life-partner’s face. “Okay farts; I’d say things were moving right a long, no? I mean she did leave you a ‘present’ in your slipper.”
“Don’t remind me,” Bankotsu said tersely.
“Look, I said I’d get you a new pair. And as for our room, well, I did want to redecorate.”
“I know... But- Hey!” the younger man cried when Kirara sunk a claw into his leg and hissed at him.
“She really doesn’t like you, does she?” Jakotsu picked up the cat. “Naughty Kirara!” He tapped her nose with his finger. “You mustn’t do that to your Uncle Ban!”
“Meow!” Kirara growled low in her throat.
“Well, I know for a fact he doesn’t mind sharing me with you.” Jakotsu tickled behind her ear.
“I’m the one with the sharing issues.” The cross-dresser smiled ruefully at the cat. He walked over to the sofa and sat down. “So if my Ban honey wants to cuddle me, you’re just going to have to live with it because I found him first.”
Kirara made herself comfortable on Jakotsu’s lap. She purred contentedly as he stroked her back.
“Come’re, Ban honey. Let’s try and make this work,” the cross-dresser said, patting the sofa cushions next to him.
The younger man stood his ground for several minutes, before reluctantly coming over and, sitting down. True to form, Kirara hissed at him. This time Jakotsu tapped her nose. “Hey! Remember what I said, Ban honey is mine and you have to share.”
Kirara, looking none too pleased, settled down and after a few minutes, she let Bankotsu rub her cheek.
Jakotsu smiled. He shifted slightly so that he could lean on his life-partner without disturbing the cat too much.
“You know, this could have been worse.”
“She could have been a dog... A really big dog.”
The cross-dresser looked at his life partner. “And she could have eaten you.”
“And that would have sucked.”
“Yeah, because if anyone’s going to eat you, it had better be me,” Jakotsu said seriously and Bankotsu was left wondering if he was teasing him or not...
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