Deciding to completely bypass the lounge -where a certain black kitten was purring in the warm lap of a certain stupid owner- Kris skittered upstairs to reach his basket, a wide-spaced woven oval with many a plump cushion and cuddly toy inside. For all his masculine bravado and manly good looks, Kris loved plush toys; perhaps it was one of the weakness of being a catboy, though he could never be certain. But he always had a fondness for them, even when he was a wee kitten, curled up and wrapped in swaddling blankets.
And a little wrestling with his toys could easily be forgiven.
He growled playfully as he tossed one of his plushies into the air, lunging up equally as high to catch it and bat it around in air. He chewed on it, the soft fabric feeling wonderful on his gums, only to shake it around like a dog did to a juicy bone. The toys squeaked and rattled and jingled to his delight, and it wasn't long before many of his plush toys had been scattered around the room in a flurry of fun. Some bounced off the walls, others landed on the bookshelf, while the survivors of the basket lay face down or slumped to the side.
Spending his time gathering them up, Kris found his gaze wandering over to the second basket just beside his own. Tao's, of course; their owner decided it would be a bright idea to have the pair sleep in the same room, in case Tao ''was frightened''. Such a remark made Kris snort in disdain. Like he would waste his time and effort to cheer up a kitten who would probably do nothing in return for him...
Compared to Kris' plethora of toys and cushions, Tao's bed looked rather different. While the blond had a series of brightly-coloured plushies, Tao only had a few soft toys, pastel-coloured like those of a toddler. His blankets were ones of blue, pink and yellow, faded and carrying the strong scent of the black-furred kitten. It looked more like a baby's crib than a catboy's bed.
But it was like Lay said; Tao couldn't stay a kitten forever. Soon he would cast aside the babyish look, and hopefully learn how to behave like an adult.
Judging from the delighted trills and squeaks coming from downstairs, it didn't seem like it was going to be approaching any time soon. "Kris~!" A singsong voice called from the bottom of the stairs, accompanied by the sound of pattering feet. "Bathtime!"
Okay, so the day at least had a positive end. Kris liked baths.
Collar jingling as the tag and bell clinked together, Kris made a dash for the bathroom, only to find that the bath was half-full, and Tao was already half-naked, clearly excited by the scent of fruit salad bubble-bath solution. He beamed happily in Kris' direction as he pulled his socks off, though the blond made no attempt at reciprocating.
"Go on, you two. Hop in while it's still warm!" their owner cooed, shaking the foam from her fingers and turning the tap head. Tao chirruped softly and shimmying out of his underwear, climbing into the hot soapy water with a contented purr. Kris flashed his owner a look of distress, only to storm out of the bathroom altogether. His owner was bemused, and grabbed his hand before he could retreat back to his room. "What's wrong? I thought you liked bathtime."
"I do. Not when I have to share with him, though." he snarled, jabbing a claw in the direction of the half-open door to the bathroom. "At least let me go after. I hate him!"
But his owner only scowled at him, her brows knitted together in a dark frown. His golden ears lay flat against his head, and he suddenly felt rather small under her. "Now listen here, Kris. Tao is part of the family, and you will not be rude to him anymore." Her voice was biting and sharp, and he flinched a little as he poked his chest. "I don't know what is up with you! Poor Tao, he thinks he's done something wrong, when you're just being selfish."
"I don't like him!"
"You will try to get along, or I will take you to the vet."
Kris' pupils narrowed to slits, and he felt his tail bristle. "No, don't you dare!"
"I mean it. This is getting out of hand." his owner hummed, a smug grin over her lips. "Personally, I think it's your hormones. And y'know what that means, don't you?" Kris' hands came to cover the front of his pants, and she nodded. "So if you don't fancy being parted with your junior, I'd say you go in there and act like a civil being." His owner flicked the tip of his ear and he hissed under his breath, watching her descend the steps towards the laundry room.
As much as Kris didn't like the kitten...he couldn't risk going to the vet. Neutering would be the ultimate emasculation, and to be quite honest, death seemed a hell of a lot better.
He willed his blood to cool in his veins, stepping back into the bathroom and slowly peeling away his shirt. Thankfully, Tao didn't try to talk to him as he slipped into the opposite side of the bath; his ears were drooping and he played with the bubbles in his hands instead. Kris thanked every god he knew for the silence as he grabbed the loofah and began to scrub his arms and legs, soaking in the warmth and scent of fresh fruit. Of course, he made sure that his legs were firmly crossed and he had a large halo of bubbles covering his lower region. You know, just in case.
Oh, he spoke too soon. Way too soon. Kris curled his lip as he furrowed his brow, scrubbing his tail harder with his nails to work the shampoo into the golden fur. "What?"
Tao's eyes immediately went downcast again, and he kneaded his fists against the bottom of the bathtub. "I can't reach a spot on my back."
"Can you help me?"
It was almost like his owner's eyes were boring into his back as he looked to the small patch of skin where Tao was pointing.
He groaned inwardly, but accepted it anyway, picking up the loofah and coating a fresh layer of body wash upon it. Tao keened softly as the material touched his neck, and the elder didn't miss the way his ears twitched softly. A low purr rumbled through Tao's body as he turned to allow Kris to wash the other side, tail flicking droplets of water above the surface as he mumbled for Kris to scrub a little harder. At least he wasn't behaving too much like an idiot.
"Now, this is much better." Kris looked over to the doorway, only to see his owner smiling at him with a broad grin. "Nice to see that you're getting along somewhat. Come on now, let's get you both dried. I don't want you both to go all pruney."
Towels were scattered in their direction and wrapped around their bodies as they were guided back into the bedroom. The whir of the hairdryer made Kris purr furiously as a hairbrush tidied up his messy locks, the warmth making him growl and keen into the soft hands of his owner. She repeated the action with Tao as he dressed himself, which often just resulted in him twisting around to nip and lick at her face, sharp teeth glinting as he grinned. Their collars were reattached for the night -after all, there seemed to be a collective feeling of loss in catboys when their collars were removed- and they were soon dressed in soft pyjamas with holes for their preened tails.
"Straight to sleep, boys." She murmured, to which the pair nodded with a yawn on their lips. With a parting smile, she flicked off the lights of the bedroom. A few heartbeats later, and Kris was clearing a space amongst all his cuddly toys and pillows. He kneaded the mattress beneath him to ensure the best comfort, claws catching slightly on the soft covers beneath him.
To his surprise, Tao was already curled up and covered with blankets. In the dim light, Kris' eyes could make out the silhouette of the kitten curled into his basket, suckling softly on his thumb and what appeared to be one of his silly-looking baby toys. A plush doll of a panda, worn and faded with age, and the rough pad of Tao's tongue brushing against its paw.
Then again, Kris couldn't complain. He suckled his toys when he was little. But surely Tao would have grown out of it by now...ah well. It wasn't his place to say anything, not when he was this tired.
In fact, he was so tired, he didn't even chastise himself when Tao said goodnight to him, and he automatically replied.