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Eustass the Human and Trafalgar the Cat

Chapter Text

Meet Eustass Kid, 20, a second year Mechanical Engineering student at the prestigious New World University: a young man standing at 205cm with well-built muscles to match, pale white skin, blood red irises and equally blood red spiked-up hair. He’s brains and brawns, and despite being fairly attractive, he’s the loneliest man in the world—or at least that’s what he claimed.

No one wanted anything to do with Kid. People found him easily scary. With his notable features, coupled with his shaved eyebrows and the menacing smirk he almost always wore especially when someone looked his way, his appearance spelt of ‘trouble’.

It’s not like he’s an actual troublemaker per se. To his defense, he never initiated anything. He would just fight back whenever others would start it or if they did anything bad towards his friends. It wasn't like he had to defend his friends, though. They were all decent fighters on their own.

Sadly, no one saw and appreciated Kid behind his demeanor. Well, no one except for his few friends and most of all, Killer.

Killer had been Kid’s best friend since forever. Killer, with his tanned muscular body and messy long blond hair with bangs that always covered his eyes, held just as much notoriety as Kid amongst their fellow students.

Despite people’s misconceptions about them, they understood each other like no one else. Kid did not feel the gravity of his loneliness as long as Killer was around. 

Unfortunately for Kid, he hadn’t been hanging around with Killer as much as before ever since Killer got himself a boyfriend some weeks ago. It came as a surprise to Kid. He had never heard of the boy named Penguin before.

Kid felt upset at first, thinking that Killer hadn’t told him about something so important. It turned out that Killer himself wasn’t aware of Penguin’s existence until the day they started dating.

It was all so confusing to Kid. All he understood of the story was that Killer and Penguin instantly clicked with each other upon their first talk. Still, how could you even decide to date someone you just met?

To be fair, Penguin was a charming boy with a charming smile. He had smooth silver hair highlighted with black here and there that was cut just before his jawline, which he always hid with his fluffy hat that had dangling ear flaps and the word ‘PENGUIN’ written just above the brim. Complete with his pale icy blue eyes and pale skin, Penguin really did look like he came from Antarctica.

Kid approved immediately of Penguin; he could see why Killer would fall for such a boy. They looked cute together, and it’s undeniable how Penguin turned the usually quiet and stoic Killer into a puddle of goo. Penguin brought out the sides of Killer even Kid himself hadn’t seen before.

Kid genuinely felt happy for Killer, but despite that, he couldn’t help but feel alone.

Killer would always give Penguin all of his attention whenever the three of them hung out together and Kid would always feel like the awkward third wheel.

Slowly, he started hanging out less and less with his best friend, and that was when he started to be the self-proclaimed loneliest man in the world.

Kid sighed as he diverted his eyes from the couple beside him. Once again, he was stuck with his best friend and his best friend’s boyfriend, giggling and whispering sweet nothings to each other as Killer let Penguin put flowers and do random braids on his long blond hair. Kid had to sigh once more. Being with a lovey dovey couple like this just added up to his loneliness.

“Kid, look at this!” Penguin caught his attention as the said boy stretched out his arms towards Killer, showing his masterpiece to Kid. “He looks pretty, right?” Penguin asked Kid with his blinding smile, pearly white teeth on display. Killer was looking at Kid as well, his lips curved into a tiny genuine smile. That was a rare expression from Killer. Oh, his best friend must be really in love.

Kid had to raise a non-existent eyebrow, though. ‘Pretty’ was never a word he associated with Killer.

“Yeah, if you say so,” Kid answered whereas as Penguin only chuckled and took out his phone, taking selfies of himself and Killer. Since when did Killer even ever fancied having his pictures taken? Yes, ever since Penguin came along.

Kid sighed again and stood up, collecting his stuff. The pair did not even seem to notice him, so he had to poke Penguin’s puffed up cheek while they were taking a wacky selfie, just to get their attention.

“I’m going ahead, you lovebirds. I’ll see you,” Kid said as he reached for Killer’s shoulder and patted it. “We’ll see you, bro. Take care,” was Killer’s brief reply. The couple waved at Kid as he walked away, before going back to taking selfies.

Sigh, Kid really felt so lonely.

New World University wasn’t that far away from where Kid lived in South Blue, at least by his own standards. It was just about a 30-minute walk considering his pace. Kid loved walking; he enjoyed the different scenarios playing out before him, whether it be people rushing around or just a quiet empty road lined with trees.

Walking was one the things that cleared his mind, along with making projects out of metal scraps, among others. He would always take his time and take up a different path from the day before whenever he went home from NWU.

This time, he wound up to the path where he had to cross the park. He walked and walked, taking in his surroundings, enjoying his time alone with nature until his attention was caught by a passing black cat in front of him.

He stopped in his tracks. Could this cat possibly bring him bad luck? He slightly shook his head, amused by his own line of thoughts when he noticed that the cat had also stopped and was staring up at him with its golden eyes, blinking at him.

He kneeled down in front of the cat. “Hello there, cutie,” he greeted the cat, reaching out his hand to stroke the back of its ear when it suddenly hissed at him. Now that’s one grumpy cat.

“Come on, baby, I’m not going to hurt you,” he tried again, and the cat seemed to listen to him this time, purring as Kid pet it. Kid chuckled. The cat’s attitude totally flipped 180 degrees. It seemed like the cat likes a lot of attention and petting.

The cat was sprawled on the ground as he was rubbing its belly when an idea suddenly popped up into his mind. “Hey, little buddy, do you have a home?” he asked the cat which earned him a blink in reply.

He stared back at the cat for seconds, as if expecting it to reply and that was when he had finally decided, “Okay, I’m bringing you home. Come, baby”.

He patted his lap, and the cat immediately climbed onto him, leaning against his chest as he hugged it and stood up, heading home once again.

As soon as he got home, he put the cat down and let it explore its new home as he stripped off his school uniform and slipped into comfortable shorts.

He thought that the cat was a good addition to his empty apartment and hopefully it would also ease his loneliness even just a little.

He plopped down onto his couch and smiled as the cat immediately jumped and curled up on his lap. The cat had totally warmed up to him and was totally cuddly. That was when he realized he had yet to name his new cat.

He already knew from earlier that day that the cat was a boy, but just to be sure, the lifted it by its arms to check again. The cat snarled at him for disturbing its rest on his lap.

“Don’t be mad, little boy, I was just making sure,” he said as he put it back down on his lap and began racking his brain and rambling out random names for the cat.

Then he suddenly remembered the topic they had earlier on history—The Battle of Trafalgar.

“Right!” Kid exclaimed loudly, startling the cat on his lap, making it look up at him. He looked back down at it, “I know now what to name you!” He announced excitedly as the cat looked at him attentively. “Trafalgar. From now on, you will be known as Trafalgar the Cat,” Kid continued. Trafalgar just meowed at him. He didn’t know if the cat liked the name or if it even understood what was happening in the first place, but it just kept staring at him.

“Okay,” Kid began, “let’s make a pact. From now on, I, Eustass Kid the Human, am officially your human; and you, Trafalgar the Cat, are officially my cat.” Kid took Trafalgar’s little paw and shook it with his thumb and forefinger.

Kid didn’t exactly understand what he was doing. All he knew was that he’s lonely and desperate to be un-lonely to the point that he’s actually on his way to becoming a crazy cat man—except that he wasn’t planning on taking in another cat besides Trafalgar any time soon.

Chapter Text

Taking care of a cat wasn't as easy as Kid thought it would be.

Over the course of less than a day, Kid learned that Trafalgar was a very grumpy, sassy, picky kitty. He first recognized the behavior while he was eating dinner.

Trafalgar jumped on his lap as soon as he sat on the dining chair, placing down the sandwich he made for himself on the table. He picked it up and slowly brought it to his open mouth, watching Trafalgar warily and waiting for it to steal the sandwich from him just like any other normal cat would do, but Trafalgar didn't seem to just be a normal cat. Instead of grabbing the food, Trafalgar snarled at the sandwich with what Kid thought was a look of disgust and left, leaving Kid dumbfounded.

Kid went to look for Trafalgar after finishing his meal, finding the cat sitting on his couch on the living room, looking at him intensely. Kid could have sworn, if Trafalgar were a human, that would be one of the most judgmental stares he'd ever been casted upon. So his cat was judging him now? Great, but he just couldn't let Trafalgar starve and die on their first night together. Trafalgar was already skinny enough. If anything, Kid wanted to fatten it up.

He picked up the cat and cooed it, thankful that it did not show any sign of aggressiveness. It looked like Trafalgar really was weak to touches. Hah, Kid mentally patted himself on the back for discovering that.

He scratched the back of the cat's ear and rubbed his nose against its other ear while asking, "Hey, little baby, what do you wanna eat?" Trafalgar meowed in reply, which Kid thought was a good sign. At least, his cat wasn't giving him the cold treatment.

He first took an empty bowl from his counter and filled it with water with one hand, while he carried Trafalgar with the other. Trafalgar proved to be a very clingy cat. It always wanted attention and would follow Kid almost everywhere he went. He put down both Trafalgar and the bowl filled with water just beside the foot of the dining table so that the cat could drink while he rummaged the fridge looking for anything he could feed the cat.

Kid thought that maybe Trafalgar would like to eat tuna. Cats liked fish, right? He took it out from the fridge and set it in the microwave oven to heat.

He checked back at Trafalgar only to find the cat wiggling its tail while staring at the bowl of untouched water. Trafalgar seemed to have noticed Kid looking, so it meowed at him and jumped on the chair, and then on top of the dining table, once again wiggling its tail while staring at him. Kid stared back at the cat, tilting his head a little, thinking what it could be that the cat wanted.

Then he looked down on the bowl laying on the floor, back at the cat, then back to the bowl. He shook his head a little as realized his cat's request. He picked up the bowl and placed it on the table next to Trafalgar, watching as the cat started drinking. Kid sighed, it's only the cat's first night and it's already bossing him around.

"You're one spoiled cat," he said, scratching the cat's ear, before attending to the tuna again. He placed it on a plate, pausing a little before deciding to throw in some bread in there too. 

Kid wasn't even sure if cats liked bread, he just knew he'd seen at least one cat eat bread and live to see the next day so he was sure breads weren't any danger to cats. At least that's what he thought. He probably should research more about cats from now on.

He placed the plate down on the table beside the bowl. "Here, eat up, Trafalgar."

The cat stopped drinking and stared at him with what looked like an 'are you serious?' face. Kid certainly did not understand cats' body language so he pushed the plate closer to Trafalgar. "Come on, don't be shy," he cooed at the cat whereas Trafalgar backed away slowly, hissing angrily at the bread.

He then remembered Trafalgar's actions from when he was eating his own dinner earlier, and everything clicked inside of his head. Seriously, why would a cat be so mad at the sight of a bread?

To test his theory, Kid picked up the bread and pushed it towards Trafalgar's face, earning not only angry hisses this time, but also a few scratches on his fingers. Trafalgar did not look guilty at all and just proceeded on eating the bread-less tuna on the plate. 

Needless to say, Kid learned to never feed Trafalgar bread the hard way.


 

The very next day, Kid woke up to his alarm with Trafalgar sprawled across his chest. He felt sorry for the cat, but he had to remove it if he wanted to go to school. He sighed in relief when Trafalgar just settled to glaring (at least Kid thought it's a glare) at him instead of scratching his hand or worse, even his face.


 

Kid did not want to leave Trafalgar that day after seeing the cat's sad face looking up at him by the main door, meowing lowly as if begging him to stay. Unfortunately, Kid really had to go to his classes, and pets weren't allowed in any of them.

Kid kneeled down in front of Trafalgar and picked it up, kissing its head softly. "Sorry, baby, I really have to go. I promise I'll be back soon, okay?"

With that he put the cat back down on the floor and locked the door. He looked at his phone for the time, and just sighed as he realized he couldn't do anything anymore but accept the fact that he's going to be late for his first class.


 

All eyes were on him as soon as he reached his classroom, bowing slightly to Sir Crocodile as the professor gestured for him to take his seat.

Sir Crocodile, despite being the college dean, still held a few classes, and Kid just happened to be one of his students. It wasn't as if Kid was complaining. Sir Crocodile was very knowledgeable and taught the subject well.

Students feared doing anything stupid in front of him when in actuality, Sir Crocodile did not give a single damn about most things most of the time, as long as it did not interfere with his work.

Perhaps it's his appearance that made people fear him. Sir Crocodile was a very tall man, even taller than Kid himself. He always wore expensive-looking formal clothing complete with either a fur or a leather long coat, making him look like he's a level above everyone else; but the most intimidating of his features was probably the long deep scar that ran horizontally across his face. He always wore a bored expression that rarely changes, except whenever he saw pink fluffy things, which made him look extremely wary for some reason unknown. Nonetheless, Sir Crocodile carried himself in such a way that demanded respect from everyone.

Speaking of appearances, as Kid made his way to his seat towards the back, he would catch some of the glances thrown at him, and his classmates would immediately look away from him. He even tried to smile at one of them but instead of greeting back, that particular classmate actually flinched visibly.

Weird. Kid was just trying to be friendly. Did he really look that scary? He sighed as he sat down on his designated seat. By the way things were looking, he'd be forever single.

He sighed once again. The class felt awful, none of his friends were even in the same class and none of his classmates would talk to him. He just wanted the day to end already so he could just go home and cuddle with Trafalgar until the next day.

He took out his notebook to try to catch up to the lesson, and that was when he heard a voice from his right. "You missed quite a bit. You can borrow my notebook after class and copy my notes."

Did he hear that right? That was the first time someone actually talked to him. Maybe there's still a chance for me, after all. He lifted his head slowly from his own notebook and turned to the person sitting beside him. The guy had long smooth slightly wavy blond hair. He had tattoos on his forehead above his eyes, and Kid chuckled internally when he noticed that the boy had shaved eyebrows as well.

"I will take that offer, thank you!" Kid said as he flashed the boy his regular smile, which the boy returned with a simple nod, his neutral expression never changing. Oddly enough, that boy reminded Kid of a voodoo doll.


 

Students rushed out of the classroom as soon as Sir Crocodile dismissed the class. Kid stayed behind together with the other boy as he took pictures of the other's notes, closing the notebook and giving back as soon as he's done.

"Thank you so much for this, really. Uh, what's your name?" Kid asked sheepishly. 

"I'm Hawkins. Basil Hawkins," the boy answered as he put his notebook inside his bag.

"I'm Eustass Kid. Thank you again."

"I know, and you're welcome," Hawkins said as he casually leaned his head on Kid's shoulder, rubbing his cheek against it in the process.

Wow, clingy. So uncharacteristic for someone like Hawkins. His actions somehow reminded Kid of Trafalgar.

Hawkins wrapped his arm around Kid's, "So where's your next class?" he asked as he led Kid outside the room.


 

Lunch time came that day, and Kid couldn't be more excited to brag to his friends about his new baby.

He immediately spotted his group of friends sitting at their usual table. Even if they sat on a different table, though, Kid was sure he'd still easily spot them. How could anyone miss Killer's untamed golden mane, or Heat's long pale neon blue hair, or Wire's rather eccentric hoodie which made him look like he had the devil's horns? Their odd little group turned people's heads but ironically enough, no one wanted to look at them.

As he approached the table, Kid noticed that there were two new additions to their little group aside from Penguin.

Kid greeted his friends as usual then took his seat, turning to Penguin who was frantically waving at him. "Hey, Kiiid," the boy called, dragging out his name, "Let me introduce you to my friends!"

Penguin gestured to the one sitting beside him, a boy with orange-brown hair wearing a hat, "This is Shachi. We've been friends for as long as I remember." Penguin chuckled a little, while Shachi swallowed thickly as Kid eyed him.

"The one sitting next to him is Bepo. He's our beloved polar bear!"

Kid looked at the boy Penguin was pointing, he was a big guy with a rather rounded body. He did resemble a polar bear. Kid guessed they called him as such as a form of endearment. Bepo suddenly bowed to Kid, saying he's sorry.

He's sorry for what?

Penguin must have noticed Kid's puzzled look and explained, "Bepo has this habit of apologizing over almost anything. You'll get used to it too."

Kid just nodded before greeting them, "Hello you two, I'm Kid, and welcome to the group." Kid flashed them a wide smile, and noticed how Shachi seemed to have gotten paler while a string of apologies left Bepo's mouth.

Kid's friends laughed at the scene, calling out at him and teasing him how scary he looked while Penguin assured his poor friends that Kid was not as bad as they thought.

"Shut it, you guys, you aren't any better. This is how I smile and it looks charming," Kid said, narrowing his eyes at his friends.

"Yeah, said no one ever," Wire retorted, earning more laughter from the others.

Kid just rolled his eyes whatever then fished out his phone, excitement coming back as he remembered about Trafalgar.

"Look at this, guys. I got myself a cute little baby!" He announced as he showed around to everyone a picture of Trafalgar curled up on his lap, looking up at him. "He's Trafalgar, I picked him up on my way home yesterday."

Penguin, Shachi and Bepo all fell in love immediately with the cat after just seeing a single picture. Kid felt the pride swell up so he started babbling to them about Trafalgar this, Trafalgar that, as the three listened attentively. Killer, Heat and Wire just watched them with mild amusement.


 

Finally, Kid was free to go. He went home immediately from the university, but not without bringing home with him proper catfood. He wouldn't risk incurring the wrath of his dear spoiled kitty ever again.

He was met with the sight of Trafalgar sprawled across his couch as soon as he unlocked the door. The cat immediately acknowledged his presence in its own lazy way by lifting its head up a little and wiggling its tail.

"Cutie, I know you missed me!" Eustass dived into the couch, picking up Trafalgar and pulling it into an embrace. He proceeded on telling it about his day: about Sir Crocodile, about Hawkins, about Shachi and Bepo; about everything.


 

This would continue on for the days and weeks to come, and Kid was pretty much convinced that Trafalgar had just turned into his own personal fluffy diary.

Except Trafalgar was not all that fluffy. Despite making sure that the cat never skipped meals (they even ate together on the same table), it never really gained weight, but that's okay. Kid still loved Trafalgar just the way it is, and Kid knew Trafalgar appreciated him back.

Kid didn't even know when almost everything about him became about him and his cat, but when he finally realized it, it was too late--Trafalgar had already monopolized his life.

Aside from eating together, Kid also took Trafalgar with him to bath once a week. Trafalgar would be there with him when he went to sleep, when he woke up, when he played games, when he did his homework (in which Trafalgar would sometimes sit onto to prevent him from doing any work until he gave the cat the attention it wanted), when he cleaned his apartment, or even when he did absolutely nothing at all. Even Kid's phone was suddenly filled with pictures of Trafalgar when it used to be only of cars and robots and anything metal!

Kid totally adored his cat and would spend most of his time cuddling with it and ranting his heart out about anything. He even told Trafalgar sometimes how he wished it were human so that they could have a proper conversation. Trafalgar would just reply with tail wags or attentive stares or occassional meows, which Kid found really endearing.

Trafalgar became a very vital part of his life so fast and yes, Kid finally admitted that he'd become a crazy cat man although still, he knew he didn't need to adopt any other cat: Trafalgar was already perfect for him.


 

Kid's school life proceeded as usual. Hawkins would accompany him to his next class whenever they had Sir Crocodile for the first subject. Hawkins took the same major as Kid and he had learned early on that Hawkins was a very touchy person despite his appearance. Kid found it amusing how Hawkins' expression never changed even as he clings so openly to Kid. Kid enjoyed Hawkins' company and was thankful for having a new friend.

Kid also eventually became comfortable with Shachi and Bepo. Those two along with Penguin now sat regularly on their usual table. Students would still give them dirty glances during lunch, probably wondering why three cute harmless boys would want to sit with four brute punks.

Penguin, Shachi and Bepo always excitedly listened to Kid's stories about Trafalgar. Even his three other friends became curious too about why Kid wouldn't shut up about the cat. Sadly, he couldn't show them Trafalgar in person. Maybe he should invite them over to his apartment some time.

 "Are you sure you don't want to come along?" Penguin asked Kid as they reached Killer's car. 

"You guys are having a date, I shouldn't come along," Kid answered with a shrug. He was invited before too to a KilGuin (as Kid calls the couple) date and as expected, he had to take the role of the forever alone awkward third wheel.

The couple exchanged goodbyes with Kid and Kid watched as Killer opened the passenger seat for Penguin before taking up the driver seat himself, before turning around and setting foot towards home. Maybe it would be nice if Kid had a human company like that too. Ah, he'll have to rant to Trafalgar about that.


 

"Baby, I'm home!" He announced as he closed the door behind him and locked it, eyes flying to the couch where he would usually find his cat waiting for him.

As he turned, though, what he saw made him stop in his tracks; his jaw dropping and his eyes widening in surprise. There was not a single trace of his cat.

Instead, on the couch, was a strange tattooed lean man with dark skin, dark hair, and certainly long limbs. He laid on his side facing Kid, his leg crossed over the other, and his arms folded so that his head rested on them. The man looked about Kid's age, if not a little older.

Kid couldn't believe what he was seeing. There on his couch was an unknown young man--a very naked one at that.

Upon hearing his voice, the man cracked open an eye, looking at him before also opening the other. The man then lifted his head off the couch in a way all too familiar to Kid, supporting his weight on his elbow. The way the man's body arched reminded Kid a lot of... a feline... Wait-

The man greeted Kid with a tiny smile on his lips, his bright golden eyes meeting Kid's shocked ones.

"Welcome home, Eustass."

Okay... What the hell is happening?

Chapter Text

"Who are you and what are you doing in my home?" Kid asked the stranger sprawled out on his couch in a rather calm tone as soon as he's out of his daze. He saw no reason to overreact to a naked man that was much smaller than him. That man couldn't possibly hide anything in his body that he could use against Kid and if things turned out ugly, Kid was sure he could overpower the man. For now, he had to settle this through talking like the mature man he was.

It's Friday and Kid was tired. All he wanted to do when he made his way home was to have a good rest to make make up for a whole week's worth of activities. That and to spend more time with his cat. Having over a strange naked man in his apartment was definitely not in his list of things to do. He had to settle this quick.

The man raised an eyebrow before finally moving off the couch, standing full view in front of Kid. He was fairly tall as well, about three or four inches shorter than Kid. "This is not how I'd expect you to greet me, Eustass," the man said as he approached Kid, his hips swaying slightly very naturally with every step he took. Yes, like a feline, indeed.

Kid couldn't deny that the man was sexy, but what the hell, Kid was so confused. He was sure he did not hire anyone for... entertainment purposes, he'd never done that. He briefly thought that maybe his friends were playing a prank on him or something but no, they wouldn't do that. Their jokes never went this far.

The man reached for Kid's collar, before promptly rubbing his head against Kid's chest. "Eustass, pet me."

Kid stiffened a little at that. Aha, that confirms everything! This man was certainly real and his intentions were now very clear to Kid. But Kid was better than that. He had to repress himself and talk this out properly before things got out of hand.

"Look, man. I do not know who sent you here but I know you're here for the D but I'm sorry, you won't be having it. At least not from me," Kid stated bluntly. The soon this talk was done, the better.

The man looked up at Kid with a genuine confused expression. "What's the D, Eustass? And why can't I have it?"

Kid stared at the man dumbfounded. He tried to look for any trace of pretense on those golden eyes, but he couldn't. How can this man not know what 'the D' means when he so openly tried to seduce Kid? So weird. Still, Kid decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Kid cleared his throat in mild shame before he began, "You know, the D..." Think of something, Kid! "The donut, yeah!" Kid spluttered out before he could even think.

He wanted to hit himself in the head so bad for making up a very lame excuse. He wished he could have at least said something better but there's no turning back now. He had no choice but to go with it.

"You can't have the donut because I want it," Kid said. He was so embarrassed for having to say this but no, accusing someone of wanting his D was even more embarrassing so he had to endure.

The strange man looked doubtful of Kid but answered, "That's okay, I hate bread. I thought you should know that by now."

That had Kid curious. "And how should I know that? I believe it's the first time we've met."

"Eustass, you seriously don't know who I am?"

Kid shook his head at that. He scrolled through his brain, trying to match this sexy tattooed man with faces he'd seen before, but to no avail. Oddly, though, he had this unexplainable feeling that the man was indeed very close to his heart.

He was suddenly brought back to reality when he felt the man lick his neck. He jumped back a little in surprise, snapping his head towards the man, who did not look guilty nor indifferent at all.

"What-"

"Eustass, it's me, Trafalgar," the man cut him off.

He couldn't decide which was more shocking: a stranger licking him out of the blue or the same stranger claiming to be his cat. No, the latter was just too insane to be true. He might have misinterpreted the man.

"You mean, your name is Trafalgar?" Kid asked. That's probably it, just a stranger with the same name as his precious Trafalgar.

"Yes, Eustass. It's the name you gave me. But you call me baby too, and I like it too. A lot."

A mock chuckle left Kid's mouth. So this man was seriously claiming to be his cat. Would he maybe stop if Kid just played along?

"Okay, so you're my Trafalgar, huh?"

"Yes, I am."

"Will you prove it?" Kid challenged the man. That should do it. Checkmate.

The man sighed, "Of course.

"You are Eustass Kid, you picked me up at Sabaody Park some weeks ago. We made a pact that we are officially each others'. You always talk to me about everything that happens to you everyday. About metal stuff. About your friends. About this clingy voodoo guy that I'd probably hate when I get to see. About the stupid things you and your best friend did as kids. About you always getting stuck with him and his boyfriend. And most importantly..."

Kid raised his brow ridge as he waited for what the man had to say.

"You claim to be the loneliest man in the world just because you're single as hell ever since you were born and no one ever gets interested in you," Trafalgar finally stated.

Kid pouted and dramatically clutched at his chest, "Hey, that stings."

Trafalgar just shrugged before reaching for Kid's hand, "But you say too that you aren't so lonely anymore ever since I came along."

Kid gave the man a skeptical look, "So how did you know all that? Are you maybe a stalker that listens to my conversations with my cat?"

Silence.

"Speaking of which, I haven't seen him yet."

With that, Kid went to look for Trafalgar all over his apartment, leaving the other man as he disappeared into his bedroom while calling out his cat's name.

As he closed the door, he suddenly heard his dear cat meowing from the living room. Finally

He opened his bedroom door and was met by his cat staring up at him. He almost lost his balance as his cat suddenly jumped at him, so he hugged it close to his chest, rubbing his nose against its fur.

"Baby, where have you been?" He cooed as he sat on his bed, hugging Trafalgar even closer.

He vaguely felt as the fur he was holding suddenly turned into skin. At the blink of an eye, his beloved cat had transformed into the hot tattooed man he had left earlier on his living room.

Kid just laid there on his bed in pure shock, unable to move. The naked man pinning him down wasn't helping at all, either.

"Do you believe me now, Eustass?"


 

The next day found Kid wide awake on his bed during early morning hours. He could barely sleep after everything that had happened last night. Especially not when this man- Trafalgar- was sleeping so peacefully on his chest.

He sighed and rubbed his face with his hand. Everything's still so surreal but he had already accepted the fact that his Trafalgar was both cat and human after seeing it with his own eyes. Although having a human Trafalgar all over him all the time would definitely take some time to get used to.

"This is so weird," Kid mumbled in a defeated tone as he stared at the ceiling of his room. Everything was normal yesterday morning. How could a single night change everything?

He felt Trafalgar shifting slowly and rubbing his face against the crook of his neck. "What's weird, Eustass?"

"You were awake?"

"No, you woke me."

"I'm sorry, please go back to sleep," Kid said as he ruffled Trafalgar's hair, which was definitely not enough for the man.

He man took Kid's hand and placed it against his small bare waist as he settled comfortably against Kid's chest, half-lying on top of him.

Trafalgar refused to wear the clothes that Kid had tried to lend him. He was already so used to walking around naked as a cat. It took time before Kid had finally convinced him to wear at least some pajama pants which, sadly, were a little big for him. Well, that's better for Kid, at least, than a totally naked human Trafalgar.

"Eustass, pet me," Trafalgar said in a demanding tone as he patted the arm in which Kid's hand rested on his waist.

Spoiled cat-human. Kid promptly moved his hand to stroke Trafalgar's lower back while his thumb rubbed circles across the man's waist. He watched as Trafalgar purred contently against him, his face so peaceful and innocent like the cat he actually was.

Kid couldn't help but think that the man really was rather cute. Well, maybe except when he's being all sassy while awake.

"So, Eustass, what was weird?" There it was. Trafalgar just wouldn't let go so easily.

"This thing. You," Kid answered. He knew there was no use to beating around the bush with Trafalgar.

"Please expound." Yeah, right. Like it wasn't very obvious.

"Trafalgar. This might not be weird for you but it is for me, okay? Look at you, you are my cat but you aren't even a cat at all. You're like 100% human now."

Trafalgar raised a mocking brow at him. Kid was right, his cat was definitely thinking he's stupid whenever it gave him this look. Finally, Kid could see it on a human face. He wasn't sure whether to feel satisfied or belittled by that.

"If that's all the problem, Eustass, I have the solution for you," Trafalgar said as he lifted his head off of Kid's chest.

What he saw next left Kid in awe: there were suddenly black kitty ears sticking out of Trafalgar's head, twitching slighty. The place where his human ears should have been are now just mops of hair. He also noticed Trafalgar's tail peeking just above his low pajama pants, wiggling.

Kid couldn't help himself but reach for Trafalgar's ear, scratching the back of it, making Trafalgar purr while closing his eye and leaning against the hand.

"Wow..."

"I know, Eustass, and I have my kitty tongue too," Trafalgar said as he leaned down and licked Kid's cheek. True enough, Kid felt the regular rough texture of his cat's tongue, except that it was now so much bigger.

"I still can't believe this is real. Do you have like some kind of magic or what?" Kid asked as he stared up at Trafalgar.

"No, Eustass, we're rare but cat-human hybrids actually exist. We're a race. Some co-exist with humans and some with cats, we have the choice."

"Oh? So how did your race start? Like, did some crazy human breed a cat?" Kid asked incredulously.

"Why, Eustass? Do you know how your race started?" Trafalgar asked back with a raised eyebrow. Touché.

"Alright. You win." Kid said as he patted the other's head.


 

Kid decided they go shopping later that day. 

Now here he was, standing in front of men's jeans section as Trafalgar stood beside him, wearing awkwardly large clothes. Kid had picked out the smallest clothes in his possession but unfortunately, they were still a bit big for Trafalgar.

"Go and fit some pants. We'll buy whichever you like but not too expensive," Kid said as he gestured Trafalgar towards the racks, sitting on a nearby bench. He placed down beside him some shopping bags that contained the shirts he had bought for Trafalgar just earlier. He thought that he also had to buy shoes for the other. He sighed. At this point, he might have to spend half of his allowance for next week. This was certainly not what he had signed up for when he decided to pick up a stray cat.

"Hey, Kid," a familiar voice called him, breaking him away from his thoughts.

"Hey, Hawkins," Kid replied with a smile as he moved a little to make space so that the blond could sit.

It was a little strange for Kid to see Hawkins out of his school uniform. Hawkins looked even more mystic and... magical than usual. He was wearing a white long-sleeved shirt which had a ruffled low neck and equally ruffled sleeves, and purple pants that were tucked into high black boots. Not to mention, he was also wearing black leather gloves and some intricate armor-like thing over his left shoulder and arm made of straw. Kid thought that Hawkins did not look like he was from the same civilization or maybe even generation as him. There was just something odd with him and Kid wouldn't be very surprised if he ever found out that Hawkins actually practiced sorcery of some sort.

Hawkins sat down beside him, linking their arms together and leaning his body against Kid's. Nothing new.

"What's up? You shopped a lot," Hawkins asked as he looked over to the shopping bags next to Kid.

"Yeah, more than I hoped I would."

Hawkins took one of Kid's shopping bags to look at its contents, pulling out a yellow jacket with black sleeves and hoodie. He held it against Kid's body before commenting, "This doesn't look your size, who are shopping for?" Before Kid could even reply, Hawkins was already holding it against his own body, "Looks more like my size."

"You don't look like you would wear something like that."

"I wouldn't."

"Of course, you wouldn't, it's mine," came a voice from Kid's side, making the two seated males look up at a glaring Trafalgar.

"Trafalgar, this is-" Kid started but was cut off when the man spoke again.

"Put down that shirt, it's mine. And stay away from Eustass, he's also mine."

Kid could feel the tension rising as Trafalgar and Hawkins glared at each other. Before he could interupt, he felt Hawkins put down the jacket on his lap and give him a brief hug. 

"I'll see you in class, Kid," Hawkins said as he stood up and left. Kid could only watch and wave at Hawkins' retreating form before a pissed-off-looking Trafalgar spoke up.

"I want these. Buy me," Trafalgar said as he particularly held up a pair of jeans with random printed spots here and there. Kid noticed that there were also pairs of jeans dangling over Trafalgar's arm. He just shrugged and led the man to the counter, thinking about what the hell just happened.


 

The weekends passed by very slowly for Kid. Wherever he went, whatever he did, Trafalgar would always be around. Well, like usual, except in his human form. Although Kid dearly loved his cat, it just wasn't the same. For that little time he spent with Trafalgar ever since he first turned into human, Kid already felt like they were falling apart. It's probably one-sided since Trafalgar would still act around Kid like he did when he was a cat, but it's just different to Kid. It was like taking away his beloved cat and replacing it with some random human with the same behavior.

The way he treated Trafalgar changed subconsciously. He found himself not being so vocal about his worries to Trafalgar anymore. The little grumpy antics Trafalgar had as a cat that Kid found endearing started being a little annoying, knowing that Trafalgar now had a fully functioning human brain. The way he would hiss whenever Kid would make the slightest mistake, the way he would order Kid to do something he could do himself, the way he would attempt to scratch Kid with his very human nails, or the way he would interrupt Kid's work rudely just to get attention: Kid did not enjoy them.

Even cuddling with Trafalgar had changed in so many ways. The man would just suddenly sit or lie on his lap whenever he sat down, and Kid certainly couldn't get used to that that easily considering this man's size. It hindered his efficiency.

Trafalgar just wasn't cute anymore. Kid felt sad. He wanted his cat, not this man.

Now here he was once again, lying on his bed, with a fully grown man on top of him. He closed his eyes in resignation as he stroked Trafalgar's hair, the man resting comfortably against his chest. He'd given Trafalgar everything he wanted so far, maybe he could ask something in return?

He thought he could try, so he shook the other man gently. "Trafalgar," he said, and was met by a pair of angry golden eyes as Trafalgar looked up at him.

Kid frowned. Not cute. He scratched the other man behind the ear, knowing it would tame him before asking, "Hey, you think you can turn into a cat for tonight?"

"And why is that?" Trafalgar asked as he leaned against Kid's hand, rubbing his cheek against it.

Kid shrugged in reply, "Please."

Trafalgar rolled his eyes but complied anyways.

Kid beamed up as he found his cat lying on his chest a second later, immediately lifting it up and kissing it's tummy. He seriously missed his cat. He was so happy he could once again hold his Trafalgar. It felt as if his cat got lost and was returned to him.

Trafalgar meowed at him and he couldn't help the big smile on his face as he hugged the cat to his chest and kissed its head.

"Let's go to sleep, baby," Kid said as he drifted off to dreamland. Maybe everything was fine, after all.

Chapter Text

Monday morning came by and Kid had just finished getting ready for school when he heard Trafalgar call him.

"Eustass."

Trafalgar's voice sounded so weak and defeated that it made Kid worry. He turned to see the other male, his posture was unsure and his head hung low. He was very different from his usual proud and condescending behavior.

"What's wrong? Are you sick?" Kid asked as he reached out his hand to feel the other man's neck. Trafalgar shook his head slowly and clutched Kid's hand with both of his before he finally looked up.

Kid was taken aback at the sight of those golden eyes. They held nothing but pure sadness. 

"Are you going to leave me again?" Trafalgar asked in a low whisper that made Kid's chest twinge. He suddenly remembered the very first time he had to leave his cat for school. He knew Trafalgar was very very sad then, but now he felt it more intensely as he saw how broken the man looked.

"Please, Eustass, don't leave me," Trafalgar pleaded and Kid could hear the desperation in the other's voice as he continued, "Please take me with you. Please."

Kid chewed at his lower lip as he contemplated on what to do. After seeing Trafalgar like this, he just couldn't ignore those pleas. But he really had to attend his classes too and his university was kind of strict when it came to outsiders. Trafalgar didn't even have any kind of identification card.

"Look, Trafalgar," Kid said as he clutched back at the other's hand, "I really wish I could bring you, but they do not really allow strangers inside the campus."

Even if Kid hoped the other guy would understand, he still couldn't help but feel bad knowing that Trafalgar would still feel really sad regardless of whether he understood the consequences or not.

Trafalgar seemed to look even sadder at this before he suddenly looked up at Kid again. This time, Kid saw a tiny bit of hope in those eyes.

Kid was confused for a moment before Trafalgar spoke up, "I'll be in my cat form so please take me with you!"

"You know cats aren't allowed inside too, right?"

"I promise I'll behave!" Trafalgar replied in a hopeful tone, before he saw the troubled look on Kid's face, making his little founded confidence fade away again.

Kid did not like how little and crushed Trafalgar looked so he sighed, finally giving in to the other man's request.

"Alright, I'll bring you with me. But you will behave."

Kid watched as Trafalgar's eyes brightened up at his statement. Trafalgar's reaction was too pure and innocent that it made Kid smile.

"Thank you, Eustass. You're the best human ever!" Trafalgar exclaimed excitely, earning a chuckle from Kid.

"Yeah, wait for me, I'll just get another bag."


 

Kid walked through the college halls warily as he made his way to his first class. He knew he was awfully late and he hoped Sir Crocodile wouldn't get mad. But that wasn't what he's most worried about. Inside his bag at the moment was of course his dearest cat.

He clutched tighter at the sling of his bag, bringing it instead of his usual backpack just because he thought it would be most convenient for him and Trafalgar. He really hoped he wasn't wrong about that.

He slowly turned the knob to his classroom as he stepped inside nervously, his heart beating faster and faster as he now stood face to face with Sir Crocodile.

He stiffened as Sir Crocodile raised an eyebrow at him. He did not know what to do, and was rooted at his place by the door way.

"Mister Eustass, do you plan to spend the rest of my class standing there?" came Sir Crocodile's low voice in his usual tone.

Kid cleared his throat as he forced himself to act normal. "I'm sorry, sir," he said as he went to his seat slowly and carefully, putting down his sling bag against the backrest of the desk chair before sitting down.

He could feel Hawkins observing each and every movement he made so he looked up at the other boy.

"You okay, Kid?" Hawkins asked as he reached to touch Kid's arm.

Then came a very angry meow from Kid's bag which was so loud and intense that it made Hawkins retreat his arm immediately.

Kid looked down and he could see Trafalgar's nose peaking out from his bag. His eyes widened in panic has he immediately pushed the cat's muzzle back in, before covering his bag with his own huge body.

Kid looked up just to see that everyone's eyes were on him, including Sir Crocodile's. He did not even notice that the lesson had stopped.

Oh no, it was only the first class and Kid was already in trouble. He looked around at his classmates before doing what first crossed his mind.

"Meow!" Kid snarled angrily at one of his classmates, trying his best to immitate the way his cat sounded just now.

It seemed to have worked as that certain classmate looked away hurriedly in mild fear.

Kid continued baring his gritted teeth as he growled lowly at his classmates until they all looked away.

He knew he looked seriously stupid but he was so relieved when Sir Crocodile continued discussing where he left off. Thankfully the prof decided to just ignore him.

He glanced at his side and saw Hawkins looking at him intensely. He knew that the other guy knew because there's just no way Hawkins wouldn't see Trafalgar when the cat so directly snarled at him.

Kid sighed. It's definitely going to be a long day.


 

Hawkins had linked his arm with Kid's as usual as they walked out of Sir Crocodile's class. Kid could feel Trafalgar moving restlessly through the fabric of his bag so he hugged it to his chest, just so the cat inside in would stay still.

Before he realized it, Hawkins had led him into an empty hallway that students barely used since it had a longer route than necessary.

"So," Hawkins began right away, "what's with the cat in your bag?" The long haired man asked, his facial expression never changing.

Kid immediately hushed Hawkins, pressing his forefinger against his lips in a 'keep quiet' sign as he pulled the other closer.

"So I always tell you about my cat," Kid whispered excitedly, and Hawkins nodded.

"He's one very cute cat," Kid continued, earning another nod.

"I really love my cat."

Another nod.

"He's the best cat ever!"

"Okay, and?" Hawkins said, effectively cutting off Kid's fanboying.

"I brought him with me today!" Kid exclaimed as quiet as he can, grinning widely at Hawkins.

Kid studied Hawkins' expression for a while, the other just staring at him.

"Hey, be more excited!" The volume of Kid's voice never changed as he pouted, while nudging Hawkins' arm with his elbow.

"You know, you failed to explain at all why you brought your cat," Hawkins replied with his usual tone.

"Ssh!" Kid hushed Hawkins once again, covering the other's mouth with his hand this time, "It's a secret!" 

"Alright," Hawkins whispered back.

"I'll show him to you, he's so cute!" Kid's tone was excited once again as he opened his bag.

"He doesn't like me."

"You never know!" Kid looked around warily just to make sure there were no other students or worse, professors, lurking around the hallway before he pulled his cat out of his bag.

"See!" He exclaimed as he held Trafalgar under its arms as he showed it to Hawkins.

Trafalgar snarled angrily at Hawkins once more, as if telling him to back off from Kid.

"Hey, Trafalgar, don't be angry, Hawkins is my friend," Kid cooed as he hugged his cat, and Trafalgar purred contently against him, meowing softly while looking at Hawkins smugly.

Kid could see Hawkins' eye twitch in the slightest, probably pissed off by his cat. Why don't these two just get along? More importantly, why would Hawkins, a human, be pissed off by Trafalgar, in its cat form?

"So this cat is the same guy that was with you last Saturday at the mall?" Hawkins asked Kid as he kept eye contact with the cat.

Kid was sure he didn't hear that right. Did Hawkins just assume (correctly, anyway) that his cat was human too?

"What? Hawkins, are you okay? Are you saying my Trafalgar is human?"

"Yeah. You called the guy last Saturday Trafalgar too. And they have the same personality."

Kid couldn't fathom how Hawkins could say all these with a neutral expression, as if the existence of a being that is both cat and human was very normal.

"Okay... you're right. How did you know?" Kid admitted. The trusted Hawkins.

"I know a cat-human when I see one."

"And how?"

Kid really already had a hunch that Hawkins did sorcery or whatever kind of magic. Hawkins being related with the unusual or even the paranormal shouldn't even come as a surprise to Kid anymore. He was always prepared for this. Whatever it was that Hawkins was going to reveal right then cannot surprise Kid anymore. You can't surprise me anymore, Hawkins.

"Well, it'd be easier to just show you." Hawkins said as he himself looked around to check if there was anyone within the area. He turned back to Kid once he was sure there wasn't.

And then Kid's eyes widened comically at what he saw, his jaw dropping just as his grip on Trafalgar loosened, the cat complaining angrily as it was dropped on the floor.

There Hawkins stood before him, looking as normal as ever. Except for the golden cat ears on his head.

"You-"

"Yes, Kid, I am."

"You're actually a cat!?"

"I can be but I prefer my human form."

"So you're not some sort of sorcerer that only got here through time travel!?"

Hawkins just stared at him. "And who said cats can't be sorcerers and time travelers?"

Kid's jaw can't drop any lower after hearing that. So Hawkins was actually a cat-human sorcerer from another generation!? What!?

He was brought back to reality as he felt Hawkins hold his chin and close his mouth. He looked at the other, his cat ears still present.

"I'm obviously just kidding. What do you even think of me? I do not do sorcery. I just read cards."

"You look like you do black magic," Kid whispered more to himself than Hawkins as he bent down and picked up his poor cat once again.

"I actually want to try."

"I'm not even surprised."

"What's happening here?" Came an uninvited gruff voice just from behind the two boys.

That voice made Kid jump a little as Hawkins visibly stiffened, unable to move at his place. Kid saw his cat ears flattening against his head as he sensed danger. What the hell, he forgot to retract his ears! Kid then looked down at his arms where Trafalgar was, just lazily swinging its tail. What the hell, I forgot to hide my cat!

Kid swallowed thickly as he turned ever so slowly to look at the new person that had just joined their conversation, clinging on to that little hope that it's one of his friends even though he already knew who the owner of the voice was, after hearing it so many times.

Kid tried to smile as he was eye to eye with the new person, in hopes to make everything look normal.

"Hey, man." Kid greeted awkwardly as he took in the situation they were in. They were caught by none other than the righteous Diez Drake--great--the chairperson of the New World University Student Council, of all people. How they did not even notice him being there was beyond Kid. This guy walked and moved like a dinosaur, they couldn't have missed that. They shouldn't have.

Drake was a very tall guy, even taller than Kid. He also had a broad upper body which was a little bit big compared to his rather thin long legs. Man, never skip leg day. He sported a light brown faux hawk, and his most-known feature was the X-shaped scar on his chin, earning him the nickname of 'X Drake' among students--a play of his last name in roman numerals and his scar.

Drake's eyes wandered from Kid, to Trafalgar, to Hawkins, and finally to Hawkins' ears. Kid noticed that Hawkins still hadn't moved at all, but what's weirder was that Kid could see a very faint blush spread across the long-haired boy's cheeks. What's wrong with him?

Drake seemed to be really fascinated by those twitching ears judging by how long he'd been staring. He finally moved closer to Hawkins, reaching up to touch an ear, pulling at it gently, Hawkins letting out a little yelp.

"It's real?" Drake asked quietly in awe as he ran his fingers along the outer portion of the ear, making Hawkins purr and close his eyes as he leaned against the hand, his face getting redder and redder by the second. Interesting.

Kid's mind debated whether he should answer for Hawkins or not, since it's very clear that the other was too incoherent to answer for himself. He hadn't even moved from his spot!

Drake's hand slid down to thread Hawkins' hair, carefully pushing back the soft blond locks from his face, probably checking for human ears, and obviously finding none.

"So it's real," the NWUSC Chairperson finally concluded. At least, Kid did not have to answer anymore.

Kid looked at his phone to check the time. He was going to be so late for his Chemistry class and Prof. Ceasar was going to be so mad. He had to get going.

He stealthily put back Trafalgar in his bag as Drake busied himself petting Hawkins' head. Maybe Kid could just pretend that nothing happened here. At all.

"Hawkins, I'm going ahead. You're gonna be late for Mr. Brook's music class so you better get going too," Kid announced as casually as possible as he made his way to his class, stopping in his tracks as Drake called for him. Here comes trouble.

"You know bringing pets is not allowed inside the buildings," Drake stated matter-of-factly. Everyone in the university knew that rule, and Kid had no escape now. Not from Mr. Dino Guy. Kid closed his eyes as he imagined what could happen to him once Drake reported him to the higher-ups. He'd probably get some days of suspension, and Kid didn't want that.

The other continued before Kid could even plead him to not tell anyone, "Alright, I'm letting you off the hook for now. I'll just pretend I did not see that black cat.

But I won't pretend I did not see those ears," Drake continued as he turned back to Hawkins, "I like them."

Kid sighed in total relief and thanked the guy before he dashed off to the other building for his next class, leaving behind the Chair and a totally red Hawkins. Yeah, he really should thank Hawkins the next time they meet for charming Drake like that even though all he really did there was stand with his kitty ears out. Still.

For now, Kid had just barely passed Level 1.5 of this game called 'Sneak In And Hide Trafalgar: University Edition'.

And yeah, he made up that game in his head just now.


 

Finally, it was lunch time. Luckily for Kid, Prof. Ceasar was in a really good mood and Chemistry had passed as normally as possible. No one really minded that he was late and no one ever noticed Trafalgar. Level 2, Cleared.

He hid his phone after he was done texting his friends, summoning them to meet and bring their food behind the gymnasium where he knew no students really went to. There's just plain grass in there, not even benches. What kind of students would want to go or even stay there? Weird ones. And probably sneaky ones, just like Kid at the moment.

Kid had successfully convinced his pack that they eat their lunch there today after he texted them he'd be revealing a "huge secret", after which everyone confirmed their arrival right away. This nosey bunch.

When Kid arrived at the place, he was met by KilGuin's backs, cuddled up together as they sat on a picnic mat. Kid thought that maybe these two had planned a picnic date after school today. Or maybe Killer just brings the mat to school everyday with him, just in case. Penguin's comfort was always at the top of Killer's priorities, along with Penguin's health, Penguin's safety, Penguin's security--Penguin's everything, really.

As Kid got closer to the couple, he could hear Penguin sniffling and wondered if anything was wrong. He stopped right behind them and peeked over the two's heads, realizing they were actually watching a movie on Penguin's phone. The Titanic.

"Since when do you watch romance, Killer?" Kid asked, and Penguin immediately paused the movie, pulling the earphone off his ear and wiping his eyes before he turning around, "Hey, Kid!"

"Love changes people, Kid," Killer said as he removed the earphone from his ear as well, cupping Penguin's face to properly dry off his tears with a handkerchief.

Kid snorted as he sat on the mat opposite the couple, placing his bag on his lap. "How dare you say this to me. I do not relate at all. I'm single af."

"Exactly the reason why I said it to you," Killer replied. Smartass. Penguin could only giggle before adding, "You totally should find yourself someone already."

"Why is it always me? It's not like I'm the only single person in our group."

"Yeah, but you're the only one that claims to be the loneliest man in the world."

"And you're the grumpiest."

"Enough of this, please," Kid raised his hands in surrender. He'd never win one against two with this couple.

Thankfully for Kid, the rest of the group started appearing, Wire being the last.

Wire promptly squeezed his huge body into the mat, earning complaints from everyone and some apologies from Bepo.

"This is a mat for two, how can you think you can all fit? There's not even space left for food," Kid said as he pushed Heat's long kinky hair away from his face, some of the strands even making their way into his mouth as he spoke.

Killer only watched them suffer in amusement before pulling out a much larger mat from his bag and setting it out. Kid glared. So he had another one all along? How was this guy even Kid's best friend? 

When everything was set up, Kid made extra sure to eat a huge amount of food off Killer's lunch just for some sweet revenge. It always worked whenever he wanted to piss off his best friend when they were younger. Killer doesn't take notice right now, though, as he was happily being fed with home-made lunch, courtesy of Penguin. Kid just stared grumpily at the couple as he stuffed his face with Killer's food. His best friend didn't even pay him any mind.

"Ah, so, what's the secret, Kid?" Shachi asked while he sipped his drink.

Kid put his spoon down. It was time for the big reveal. He smirked widely as he clapped his hands, getting everyone's attention. 

"You all, the reason why I called everyone here today. I have someone to introduce to you," Kid announced as he looked at his friends' puzzled expressions before continuing, "Well, you all know about him already and today's the day you finally get to meet him."

Without further ado, Kid opened his bag and took out Trafalgar, earning squeals from Shachi and Penguin upon seeing the cat.

"Everyone, this is Trafalgar," Kid said as he carried his cat, taking its little paw and waving it towards his friends. Trafalgar just blinked lazily, probably thinking how stupid its human was.

"You're crazy, Kid, you actually brought your cat to school," Killer said disbelievingly.

"Can't help it, he wants to go with me. He's lonely without me," Kid said talking about the events earlier that morning. His friends wouldn't understand. They were probably thinking right now how much of a crazy cat man he was, talking to his cat with meows. How ironic, he thought. It was actually Trafalgar that talked to him using human words.

Kid proceeded on introducing his friends to Trafalgar, gesturing at each of them as he stated their names. No need for further introductions. Kid had already talked to Trafalgar about them at home.

Kid had put Trafalgar on Penguin's lap as the boy borrowed the cat, Shachi and Bepo immediately flocking around on either of his sides. Those three fell in love with his cat right away, just as Kid had expected. They played with and fed the cat (no bread) and Trafalgar seemed to be comfortable around them and of course, it enjoyed the attention, that cat.

"So, Kid," he turned to Killer as his best friend called him. He raised his brows to indicate that he was listening.

"Where the hell did my lunch go?"

So Killer finally noticed. Kid smirked mentally.

"What? Why me?" Kid answered as he tried to sound like the victim.

"You're the only one who does this. You know it's not proper manners, right?"

"Okay, here he goes," Wire said with a sigh, him and Heat covering their ears as Killer went on talking about manners and asking someone if you wanted something and things like that. Kid had always dubbed it as Killer going 'full mom-mode'.

Kid would deny the accusations in an annoyed tone but deep inside, he was actually happy to hear Killer bitching like this. Because no matter how much less time he spent with Kid as of late, Killer was still the same best friend Kid had always had. Nothing ever really changed.

"What? There's another group here too?" Kid's pack all turned their heads at the sound of a female voice a bit far away. There at the corner of the gymnasium stood a group of students, six of them.

Kid looked at each of them. Of course, there was the orange-haired girl that just spoke. Nami, a student from the College of Business, majoring in Accountancy. Almost everyone in NWU knew her. She was very famous, especially among boys.

Stood beside her was a girl with light blue hair. Kid wasn't very sure where she's from, but he might or might not have heard rumors about her being the only daughter of the city mayor.

And then there was a guy with a very thick hair and unusually long nose, hiding behind Nami. He was probably scared of Kid's pack, nothing new.

Lagging behind were two boys that appeared to be... fighting. One was a blond-haired pretty boy that had half of his face covered with hair. He was also holding a very big pot of food. The other had a green hair and was holding plates, utensils, picnic mats, and whatnot. They were too busy with each other to really notice anything.

Finally, in front of the group was a little boy with black hair and an odd scar below his left eye. He was wearing a straw hat and had the widest smile Kid had ever seen.

"Woohoo! You guys are having a picnic too!?" The boy exclaimed happily as he skipped his way onto Kid's group. 

Kid's eyes immediately darted towards Trafalgar, which was still on Penguin's lap. They can't see him.

Upon panic, Kid impulsely threw his body over Penguin's lap, and smiled widely (slash, awkwardly) at the hatted boy.

The boy halted just a few feet away and Kid grew more nervous and uncomfortable as this boy kept on talking and blabbering to him and his group. What he was talking about, Kid did not even understand anymore. All he could think of is how Trafalgar moved restlessly against his tummy. He was thankful his cat wasn't scratching him yet but worried at the same time that it might crush under the weight of his body.

Kid sighed in relief when Nami came to the rescue and struck a fist to the noisy boy's head, forcing him to bow and apologize to the group for bothering them before dragging him back to his own group.

Kid felt a heavy hand on his shoulder, knowing all too well who it belonged to without even looking.

"Get off of Penguin's lap, you brute," Killer said and Kid did so. Killer took Trafalgar right away and put him inside Kid's bag stealthily, making sure the other group wouldn't notice.

"Thanks," Kid could only mutter as he sighed once again. That was close! Maybe it's safe to assume now that he had passed Level 2.5 already?

He peeked at his bag, golden eyes staring up at him.

"Sorry, baby," he cooed at the cat as he stroked its head, leaning down to give it a little kiss.

"This is so weird and creepy. I've never seen you like this before," Wire commented at the scene, his tongue sticking out in mock disgust.

"Why, have you seen Killer like that before too?" Kid answered with an eyeroll as he gestured at Killer, who was currently clutching Penguin's hand on his lap while he listened attentively as the other spoke. Those two were lost in their own world again.

Kid too got lost in his own world, his hand inside his bag as he continued stroking his cat. He would chuckle to himself whenever he felt his cat biting and licking at his fingers, trying to catch Kid's hand with its little arms. It must be uncomfortable for Trafalgar to be trapped in such a small space and he felt bad for it, but Kid hoped his cat could endure just a few more hours in his bag.

The group scrambled into their own classes as the lunch break ended, and Kid was once again in a class where no one would talk to him. It was his Advance Trigonometry class and it was held in a huge auditorium, luckily for Kid. At least, there were fewer chances of anyone ever finding out about Trafalgar.

Kid sat at the portion of the auditorium that was nearer to the back, where a fewer students sat than in the front. Usually, the students would sit at the back part whenever they planned on sleeping, or sneaking in food, or playing with their gadgets, or essentially anything that wasn't really allowed in class.

Mr. Phoenix Marco, the professor, finally came through the door and started immediately on the lesson. Not even 10 minutes into the class, a freckled black-haired boy raised his hand and whined loudly about not understanding anything.

"Ace, see me after class," Mr. Phoenix answered patiently, as usual. The class always went like this. The boy, actually a year higher than Kid, would always interrupt Mr. Phoenix's lessons. Sometimes he would sleep and snore loudly. Sometimes he would shamelessly chat with his seatmates. He would also bring food and eat in class, even asking Mr. Phoenix if he wanted some! Kid could see the professor's patience wearing thin, but he'd always keep his calm and tolerate the boy in the end.

This was exactly what Kid needed at the moment: a constantly distracted professor and all the attention as far away from him as possible. Kid smirked and dipped his hand in his bag once more as he played with his cat, while his eyes were glued to the front. Level 3 was gonna be pretty easy.


 

The day had finally ended and Kid's last class also went well. He couldn't believe it. He had actually survived SIHT: University Edition, Levels 1 through 4. Should he consider himself as a gaming master now? Because that's how it felt. He had just finished a game where suspension was a probable penalty if he lost. Kid felt giddy and proud of himself, almost skipping his way out of the building while humming.

He stopped on his tracks when his pen dropped, bending down to pick it up. Trafalgar meowed in a slightly angry tone, as the bag shifted a bit.

"Oopsie, I'm so sorry, cutie," Kid quickly apologized in a light tone as he put his pen in his pocket.

"Who's a cutie?" Kid froze and turned around to whoever just spoke. It was none other than Mr. Clown Buggy, the dean of the College of Mass Communication. He vaguely wondered where the dean came from when he realized he had dropped his pen directly in front of the Function Room. Just beside the door was written in big letters, 'DEANS' MEETING'. Kid wanted to laugh and cry at the same time for whatever was currently happening in his life.

"Who's a cutie?" Echoed Mr. Gekko Moriah, the College of Literature dean. 

Okay, two deans at once. Kid should brave this if he wanted to win the game. He convinced himself that he was innocent. He's just a random student picking up his pen and passing by. He shouldn't feel guilty, he didn't do any crime at all. Except maybe having a cat in his bag.

Kid straightened himself to look presentable, clearing his throat before the two deans.

"You're a cutie, Mr. Buggy," Kid had no choice but to say with a charming smile (or so he hoped it was), no matter how much he wanted to cringe. Mr. Buggy, with his "flashy" clown makeup, was anything but cute.

"Which drug are you on, boy?" Mr. Moriah asked amusedly.

"I'm not on drugs, Mr. Moriah, but you're cute too. Especially your teeth," Kid added the last line for safety measures. He hoped Mr. Moriah would take it as a compliment.

"Kishishishi. You're a funny kid," Mr. Moriah replied as he errupted with laughter, but Kid could tell he made the right decision to comment about the dean's sharp teeth.

Kid only then had noticed that he had a much larger audience now. Standing in front of him wasn't only two, but eight deans from all the eight different colleges of NWU.

"I'd prefer to be called flashy rather than a cutie," Mr. Buggy snorted from one side.

Kid was sure all the other deans had heard the conversation so he had to compliment them as well. Just to be fair... and to look innocent.

"Oh you're here too, Mr. Jinbe, the man of morals. You're such an inspiration to us students!" Kid said as he turned to the College of Philosophy dean, a huge man that strangely reminded Kid of a fish. The man only nodded and replied, "Thank you. I do my best to make sure the students gain not only knowledge in academics, but also in life." What a great man.

He turned to the next one, Mr. Dracule Mihawk, dean of the College of Arts; which comprises all forms of arts, really. Including body arts and kinetics: physical education, as other more straightforward universities would call it.

"You look as great as ever, Mr. Mihawk. I'm sure your students learn well from you." Kid didn't really know how to compliment that man. He seemed to not care much about things.

"Trivial things are but fleeting," the dean answered in his usual poetic tone. Kid did not even expect he could please the man.

"And of course, you're still the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, Ms. Hancock," Kid complimented the College of Humanities dean truthfully. Ms. Boa Hancock was every bit of pulchritudinous female students could only dream they could ever be. No one was ever a match to her beauty, except maybe the crybaby Shirahoshi, who was a student under Ms. Hancock's own college.

"Oh, I know," Ms. Hancock simply said. She was the biggest feminist ever and harbored an irrational hate to almost every male. Kid never understood why, but she's too pretty, so everyone forgave whatever wrong she did, anyways.

"You too, Mr. Kuma, you're a great prof!" Okay, that was uncreative. Kid had already run out of compliments for the College of Business dean, and there were still two deans left.

"What about us, boy? Do you think we make a great couple? Fufufu" An unfamiliar blond man that wore a pink feathered coat and sunglasses (inside a building!?) asked as he gestured back and forth between him and a very annoyed Sir Crocodile. He was probably Mr. Donquixote Doflamingo, the new dean of the College of Science. Kid had never seen him before, but he looked just as odd as Kid had heard from Penguin and friends, who were all from the College of Science.

Sir Crocodile looked like he was already reaching the end of his tolerance meter. Just a little more from Mr. Doflamingo and he'd be stuffing that man's mouth with a handful of sand.

Mr. Doflamingo seemed to notice too, as he all but touched Sir Crocodile. He just settled for verbal insults, which would probably sound cute if it wasn't Mr. Doflamingo saying them.

"Mr. Eustass, get out of here." There it was. Sir Crocodile had asked Kid to leave. Kid was actually relieved. He had waited for the moment he could just finally go home.

Kid immediately took the opportunity and flashed a nervous smile as he looked up at all of the deans, more than half of them were ridiculously large even for Kid's standards. He bowed and apologized for being in their way and wished them a nice day, before continuing his way out as normally as he could.

"Fufufu. So that kid was from your college, after all. That's not how you talk to students, my darling," Kid could faintly hear Mr. Doflamingo's voice as he strided along the corridor, his heart beating so loudly against his chest until he was finally out of the building.

That was close. It was like a sudden bonus level where the big bosses all appeared at once. At least he had passed it too. And without any unecessary conversations. He was lucky Sir Crocodile had dismissed him right away. He might have had to stay longer for some talk if his dean happened to be Mr. Buggy.

For now, he only had to take a few more steps to the gate and finally be free. Everything will be over soon.

Each step he took felt like he was walking through a bubble-coated land, his feet just shy of entirely sinking into it. But each and every time, he'd get more used to it, and he'd regain his composture, carrying himself closer and closer to freedom until finally, finally, he was out of the univesity's gates!

He had officially finished the entire game!

He immediately hid just beside the wall of the university, pulling out Trafalgar from his bag out of happiness and hugged the cat.

"We did it! We did not get caught! I was so scared any of the deans would notice!" Kid exclaimed as he lifted his cat, "You did so well, staying quiet throughout my classes. What a good boy!"

Kid felt a presence beside him and turned to look into... no way...

It was Sir Crocodile. He was out of breath and looked as if he was hiding behind the wall as well.

"Uhh, Sir, hello?" Kid chuckled nervously. Just as when he had thought everything as already fine, he just had to be caught by the college dean.

Sir Crocodile's eyes lingered at Trafalgar probably a little longer than they should and just raised his hand to dismiss Kid.

"You weren't caught inside the gates of the university so it's no problem," Sir Crocodile once more sounded calm, but he still looked around warily. He was probably hiding from Mr. Doflamingo.

Kid happily thanked Sir Crocodile and hurriedly went his way home, with Trafalgar slung over his shoulder as he held it. Everything's alright, after all.

SIHT: University Edition, Complete!


 

Trafalgar had been in a strangely good mood later that day, and the days after that. He wouldn't be so sad anymore whenever Kid left for school and just patiently waited like a good cat-human until Kid returned. It was too good to be true.

Kid would mostly get home to seeing Trafalgar on his usual spot on the couch, either as a human or as a hybrid, but never as a full cat. It still disappointed Kid, yeah, but he was getting used to it.

The tanned man would jump on him or sometimes just wag his tail lazily as a greeting whenever he came home, but Kid could see the excitement in the other's eyes all the same.

Trafalgar slowly learned the human ways of living, but it wasn't like he had zero knowledge to begin with. He had lived a fair uneventful amount of his life as a human, but chose to live the much simpler life of a cat because seriously, even Kid himself would choose to live as a cat over living a complicated human life. Trafalgar's lucky, he had a choice. And he could always switch back and forth between both lives if he ever got bored. That's probably why he's mostly human now. He got bored.

However, Trafalgar still refused to let go of some of his 'kitty practices'. He wouldn't take a bath unless 1) Kid takes a bath with him; and 2) Kid bathes him. Kid had refused once just to see what would happen, and Trafalgar actually didn't take a bath at all and just licked his human self 'clean'. Kid had to rethink about his life choices later that fateful night when he went to bed with a drool-soaked Trafalgar sprawled across his chest.

Trafalgar also wore minimal clothing when at home, settling with just either pajama pants or one of Kid's shirts, because they're apparently "more comfortable" and Trafalgar could move "more freely" in them than in his own shirts. At least, Kid's shirts would cover up to Trafalgar's thighs so it was okay that he didn't wear any bottom... well, not totally okay, but kinda acceptable.

Kid's supply of clean shirts would run out twice as fast and he had to do the laundry twice as much if he didn't want to go through the day shirtless, which he did sometimes, anyways, whenever he was too busy to wash his dirty clothes.

There was even one instance when Kid was so sure he still had a clean shirt left but couldn't find it in his drawer, so he just surrendered to the fact that it was going to be another shirtless day and proceeded to do his work. Trafalgar appeared some minutes later wearing the said shirt and just casually plopped down on Kid's lap without any sign of remorse at all. Kid could only sigh and move on with life. He'd have to buy more shirts.

To be fair, Kid saw it as a progress, compared to when Trafalgar wouldn't wear anything at all. Although Kid doubted Trafalgar would ever wear more than a single piece of clothing when at home voluntarily, it was still a good improvement on his part.


 

"Eustass, take care and do well today, okay?" Trafalgar said as he cupped Kid's cheeks, licking and nibbling softly at his human's jaw.

"Yeah, I will. I'll see you soon, Trafalgar." Kid only patted Trafalgar's head in return. He knew pushing the cat-human off would be futile.

Trafalgar pulled away slowly and Kid saw a mischievous smile spreading across the other male's lips.

"Yes, Eustass, soon. Very soon," Trafalgar purred out the last words as he leaned against Kid's chest, Kid giving him a quick squeeze as a final goodbye before letting go.

Kid rushed outside the door, he didn't want to be late for Sir Crocodile's class. Especially not when it's Monday.

He looked back one last time and saw Trafalgar's head peeking out from the doorway, still with that same naughty smile. Oh, he's so up to something, Kid knew.

But it couldn't be that bad, right?

Right?

Chapter Text

"Have you seen Mr. Heart Stealer yet? He's like the hottest guy in the campus!"

"Ikr, girl! And he's like, a genius! Like, he's so perf! Kyaaa!"

Kid scrunched his brow ridges together as he heard a group of girls gossiping and squealing. 

Ever since he got out of Mr. Caesar's class, and on his way to the cafeteria, he'd been hearing about Mr. Heart Stealer here and there. He had no idea who (or what) Mr. Heart Stealer was--he's never heard students talk about it until today, but it must be the newest hot topic in NWU.

"Mr. Heart Stealer? What are all these people talking about?" Wire asked as he wore the same expression as Kid's. Their little group was definitely left out of the latest happenings.

"My word, Wire. My word," Kid replied, disinterested. Students liked useless gossips, anyways. Mr. Heart Stealer must be just another eyecandy to students. Sure, Kid knew how to appreciate physical beauty, but he'd never understand why people must obsess over such trivial things.

Kid knew the hype wouldn't last really long, though. Through time, the university-scale fame of Mr. Heart Stealer would decrease little by little until only a few groups of people would be left talking about him. Kid could name a few of the NWU 'hot topics' that met the same fate.

For one, there was that Ace boy from Kid's advance trig class, who was dubbed as 'the boy on fire' when he literally set himself on fire during a chemistry lab session and claimed that he could firebend. Huh? It would be stupid if anyone else did it but since Ace was "literally hotter than hell", it earned him the name. Double standards.

Now give it a few weeks, maybe, and the huge talk about Mr. Heart Stealer would die down into whispers until students find a new 'hot topic' to talk about. Kid didn't care. He never really got himself involved in useless chatter, anyways. Kid would so much rather talk about his lazy cutie kitty.

He opened his phone, flipping through pictures of his black cat as he waited for his friends. Currently, only Kid, Wire and Heat were seated on their usual table. It would usually be KilGuin to arrive first but right now, they were nowhere to be found. Whatever happened to the early lovebirds? Shachi and Bepo were nowhere in sight, either.

Suddenly, two hands slammed loudly at their table, followed by an excited "heyy, guys!"

Of course, it was Penguin, that silver little ball of energy. Behind him stood Killer, his arms crossed over his chest, his expression soft. Speaking of the devils.

Penguin flashed all three seated lads a huge charming smile, excitement still laced in his voice, "Brace yourselves and prepare your hearts, Mr. Heart Stealer is coming to get you!"

"Again with this Mr. Heart Stealer. Who even is that?" Wire asked with a frown, clearly not amused.

Penguin chuckled a little as he and Killer took their seats. "Mr. Heart Stealer is a new transfer student in our college, and he's a total genius! Of course, there are a lot of geniuses in NWU so that isn't the real big deal. The thing is he's suuuper smart but also suuuper hot. And when I say 'suuuper', I mean suuuuuper," Penguin explained with his usual lively voice before turning to Killer and adding, "but of course, you're still the hottest man in the world."

Killer seemed to be pleased by this judging by the big smile on his face. He leant forward and tilted Penguin's hat upwards, revealing some of the smaller boy's beautiful silver hair, before giving his little boyfriend a kiss on the lips.

Heat looked away while Wire made choking sounds. Kid only rolled his eyes before sputtering, "No PDA in front of everyone, please."

The couple turned to look at Kid, Penguin with his tongue out teasingly.

"Such a bitter single," Killer commented with a mock sigh.

"Oh Kid, what do you know? You might actually be able to attract Mr. Heart Stealer!" Penguin cleared his throat exaggeratedly, "Let me continue where I left off. Shachi and Bepo are currently picking him up and he'll be eating lunch with us! Hopefully he'll permanently stick with us because I like him. He's really cool!"

"He's in Penguin's first class. It was actually him to first approach Penguin. I mean, everyone was throwing themselves on him but he chose to talk to Penguin. Can't blame him, though. No one can escape such charms," Killer explained further, gesturing at his boyfriend at his last sentence. Penguin only chuckled before capturing Killer's lips once again.

"Guys, please stop randomly kissing in front of us," Heat complained, finally breaking his silence.

"Why is it so weird when Killer does things like this?" Wire commented, his face warped with displeasure. 

Kid could only sigh as he double facepalmed, burying his face in his hands, his elbows resting on the table. He was so done with KilGuin.

"Law's taking so long."

Kid heard Penguin speak, but did not bother to remove his palms off his face.

"Mr. Heart Stealer's name is Law?" Kid heard Wire ask in return.

"Yep. Really though, you engineering people must take part in the news too instead of being nerds all the time."

"You expect us to have time for gossip when we don't even have time for sleep..."

The words turned blurry as Kid decided to just block out his friends' conversations. He closed his eyes, still leaning against his hands. Trafalgar suddenly invaded his mind. That little cat-slash-human had some nasty smirk plastered on his face earlier that day. If only Kid wasn't running late, he would have interrogated the man. 

Now he was wondering what that guy was up to. What could possibly be awaiting him when he came home? Or worse yet, Trafalgar would appear out of home. He really hoped not.

Kid hadn't noticed the increasingly loud chatter around him. He might or might not have heard excited greetings and Penguin's ever lively voice shouting "hey, Law!" 

His mind was jumping from scenario to scenario on what Trafalgar could be planning or doing right now.

Then panic came to him at the thought of Trafalgar appearing at school. Maybe to pick him up? That would be the best, if ever. But what if Trafalgar sneaks into the university gates as a cat and crashes into one of Kid's classes? Kid would be so dead. He'd maybe deny ownership of the cat but Trafalgar would probably give out Kid by following the red-haired man around everywhere.

If only Kid had given it a second thought and made Trafalgar promise not to do anything stupid when he saw that suspicious smile earlier this morning, then his thoughts probably wouldn't be drowning in paranoia right now. Or at least not this deep.

"Eustass."

...did he just hear Trafalgar call him? Great. The scenarios in his head were becoming too real.

"Hey, Eustass."

Seriously, why did that voice sound so real when it's only in his head? He shrugged whatever as his mind drifted back to his earlier thoughts.

He felt a hand hold his, trying to peel it away from his face. He parted his fingers around his eyes to peek at the person bothering him.

And as expected, it was Trafalgar.

Well, it's just Trafalgar.

Kid paid him little mind. He had more pressing matters to think of. He closed the gap between his fingers to get lost in his thoughts once again... what was he thinking about again?

"How rude, Eustass! Notice me!" This time, Trafalgar was prying his hand away more forcefully.

Kid could hear Trafalgar's annoyed demands and hisses at him. How troublesome. This man wouldn't stop until he got what he wanted from Kid.

With a sigh, Kid finally removed his hands from his face, turning to look straight into Trafalgar's eyes.

"Trafalgar, please, we're at school."

Trafalgar paused then and stared at Kid with furrowed eyebrows, looking very confused. The confusion made Kid confused as hell as well.

The two just continued staring confusedly in confusing confusion at each other- what- for a while when Kid heard Penguin call from the side.

"Uh, Kid..."

Kid turned to the said boy, then to Killer, then to the rest of the group. Even Shachi and Bepo were already there.

Of course, they're all there. They're currently at school.

...currently at school... School.

The mere force of Kid whipping his head back towards Trafalgar's direction upon realization of the situation almost made him dizzy. Kid stared Trafalgar down, noticing that he was wearing the very same school uniform that Kid did, along with the very same smirk he wore earlier that day.

Kid's jaw dropped. There was no way this could be happening.

"Hello, Eustass. Nice to see you."

What the hell was Trafalgar doing at school!? Kid had to know right now. He didn't have any time to spare by being dumbfounded.

Trafalgar made his way to sit on Kid's lap so casually, but Kid's reaction was quicker. He could already guess what his cat was gonna do based on gestures alone. He grabbed Trafalgar by the wrist and led him away from the table his friends were currently at in a rushed manner.

"What are you doing here!?" Kid asked Trafalgar in a hushed tone, looking back at his friends to see them all watching his little scene with Trafalgar.

"What a warm welcome from my dearest human," Trafalgar said plainly as he rolled his eyes, earning a warning glare from Kid.

"Will you just let me know why my cat is here?"

"It's very obvious from the looks of it, Eustass, but if you really wanna hear it, then yes, I'm studying here too from now on," Trafalgar said as he took his ID card from his bag and handed it to Kid. Kid recognized the bag as the one he had to bring when he brought Trafalgar with him to school last time. Kid only shot Trafalgar a dirty glance before looking into the ID that was handed to him.

"Trafalgar Law? What Law?" Kid frowned at the unfamiliar name.

"Did you really think I did not have a name when you picked me up? You already know I somehow lived as a human before too. Law is the name my father gave me," Trafalgar answered as he took back his ID and hid it in the bag once more.

"And how did you get into this institution? It's not like you have credentials to be admitted here."

"Oh, that's easy, Eustass. I just had to ask someone to- you know-" Trafalgar lifted his hand and made weird gestures with his fingers as he continued, "pull some strings for me."

"You make it sound like you asked help from a puppeteer."

"Yes. Kind of like that."

"Ah, nevermind," Kid waved his hand unamusedly, "why did you suddenly wanna study? Didn't you live most of your life as a cat because being human 'is tiring'?"

"Thank you for asking another question with a very obvious answer, Eustass. Do you know how lonely it feels to be locked up alone for hours everyday while waiting for your human to come home?"

"It's not like I forbid you from going out."

"That's not the point, Eustass. The point is I'm lonely without you. Is that so hard to see?" Trafalgar said with a small pout on his lips.

That was the thing with Trafalgar: he could completely change personalities in a second. Just like now, a moment he was all sassy and the next, he was pulling off faces Kid couldn't ever say no to. It might seem like an uncharacteristic fake act to anyone unfamiliar with Trafalgar, but after living together for quite some time, Kid knew better. This cat-human was always careless and carefree, impulsive and bold in his acts--he never tried to hide how he felt. And he always got what he wanted no matter. Oh, it's almost amusing how he'd throw himself on Kid literally whenever he demanded attention. It was about borderline shameless in Kid's opinion. In human standards, at least. But the good thing about Trafalgar's personality was that he's very genuine. Kid at least did not have to guess what Trafalgar wanted, although, well, he still liked playing mind games. His cat was pretty smart.

Looking at the other right now, the little pout never left Trafalgar's face as he stared at his human, waiting for his next action. Trafalgar looked so child-like and innocent that he almost looked cute to Kid. Kid couldn't help but reach out his hand and put it atop Trafalgar's head, ruffling his hair.

"Eustass..."

"Yeah, Trafalgar, I'm sorry for not realizing how lonely you were. Welcome to New World University, I guess?"

Just then, Trafalgar's golden eyes lit up in pure happiness as he smiled at Kid. "You're not mad." It was a statement, and Kid only shook his head.

"Not mad," Kid affirmed with a little smile before adding, "but please act accordingly when in public."

Trafalgar was about to protest so Kid immediately added, "No sitting on my lap."

"Fine. Whatever," Trafalgar answered as he linked his arm around Kid's and led him back to the table where KilGuin and the others were waiting.

Cool. Hawkins 2.0.

They naturally sat beside each other on the table, Trafalgar sitting waaay too close to Kid. He'd never learn the concept of personal space, would he? At least he wasn't sitting on Kid's lap as promised.

When Kid looked up, everyone was giving them this teasing 'knowing' smile. Damn, you know nothing, people! Kid especially wanted to tear off Wire's pseudo-horns when he gave Kid a suggestive brow wiggle. Heat even gave Kid a thumb up. Kid settled to giving them hard stares in return. Why are these people so malicious?

He glanced at Trafalgar to see that the cat-human was unaware of everything. Thankfully. Trafalgar was too busy snorting at the huge box of donuts in front of him, pushing it away from himself a little using his 'paw' a.k.a. curled-up fingers. Kid didn't know who brought the donuts, but it's for everyone to share.

Kid took pity in his bread-hating cat and took out the packed riceballs he made for himself, pushing it over to Trafalgar. Trafalgar rubbed his cheek against Kid's shoulder as a 'thank you' so Kid had to pat his head.

Kid heard someone clear his throat so he looked at his friends once again, and this time, they were all giving him wider 'knowing' smiles. Seriously. Even Shachi and Bepo were in it. Kid stared at those two as if boring holes into their skulls with his sharp red eyes as he popped a donut into his mouth. It might have looked funny to Kid, but it actually worked judging by the way Shachi looked down at his own food and Bepo mumbled some sorries. Being scary had its perks.

"So..." Kid heard Trafalgar speak beside him. He noticed that his cat was staring at Penguin, who was eating probably his nth donut for the day. Penguin liked sweets, and for a small body, he had quite the appetite.

"Penguin," Trafalgar continued, his face straight, with a hint of curiosity, "you really like the D, don't you?"

"W-What!?" Penguin answered flusteredly, while Killer beside him had an expression that was between shocked and amused.

Everyone else was trying so hard to hold back their laughter at Trafalgar's sudden 'bold' question.

Kid on the other hand, who knew what Trafalgar really meant by 'the D' was choking on his own donut. How could Kid not know? He was the one who gave Trafalgar the lame excuse when they first met as humans.

Trafalgar turned to look at his human who was now in a coughing fit due to that stupid donut.

"Eustass... I did not know you enjoy choking on the D."

Kid could only shout a defensive "I do not!" as his friends' laughter roared throughout the whole canteen.


 

"So you're under the College of Science? I thought you wanted to be with me?" Kid asked curiously as he and Trafalgar were walking their way home.

When Kid's last class ended, he was a little surprised to see Trafalgar already waiting for him outside his classroom. It probably would be creepy if it were anyone else stalking Kid like that, but it was Trafalgar, and it's one less thing to worry about looking for him around the campus. Plus, it lessened the probability of them running into any of their nosy friends and getting interrogated as to why they were going home together. 

Like usual, Trafalgar's face lit up upon seeing his human, and Kid could imagine Trafalgar's kitty ears perking up and his tail wiggling if only he was in his hybrid form. Like every other kitty actions Trafalgar did while in his human form, Kid found it almost cute.

Okay, Kid lied a little. He actually found human Trafalgar indeed cute. And he could see the little efforts his cat-human poured into becoming 'more human' so he had to give him the credits, even though he was still somewhat rude and inconsiderate. Kid loved his company, nonetheless. Kid didn't even know why or when Trafalgar's antics started to work on him. Wasn't human-Trafalgar supposed to be just a second-rate copycat of his lovely little cat-Trafalgar? It was so complicated that Kid didn't even wanna think about it. Although if you ask Kid now if he'd ever want to throw out Trafalgar, he'd never. Sweet or annoying, cat or human, Trafalgar is Trafalgar, and he was meant to stay with Kid since the very day they met and made the pact.

And yes, that meant even if he had to split his allowance into two and do all the house chores and basically babysit a freeloading grown-up.

"Of course, Eustass, but the College of Science is the one available to me and I actually find it more interesting," Trafalgar replied to Kid's earlier question as he strided next to the young man.

Kid observed as the other moved with grace, the sway of his hips precise and natural. The man really was attractive, Kid could say that much. Maybe he did suit the name 'Mr. Heart Stealer', although Kid thought Trafalgar would maybe prefer stealing hearts in a more literal sense.

It was pretty entertaining for Kid to see how people at the university would follow Trafalgar with stares, ranging from pure admiration to, well, not so innocent ones. Trafalgar ignored every single one of them, his movements alone giving off disinterested vibes. Trafalgar never really talked to anyone outside of Kid's group of friends and Kid had never realized before how asocial his cat was. He'd never really seen Trafalgar interact with other people except for Hawkins, who Trafalgar obviously disliked for no good reason, really.

Kid was sure NWU people could never guess how spoiled Trafalgar was when at home judging by the way he acted around them. Clearly, the school environment was not for his dear cat. It lead Kid back to the question on why his cat would follow him to such extents.

During the course of the day, the two only really shared lunch break together. It baffled Kid as to why his lazy cat would go an extra mile and give up his peaceful life and enroll into a school just so he could have an additional hour and a half in a day to see Kid. Did his smart kitty fail to weigh the consequences?

Or could it be that he really liked Kid that much?

Could it be?

"So, Eustass..."

"Hmm?"

"Didn't you say people at the university were hard to please no matter how friendly you tried to be?"

"Yeah?"

"Well, I did not even try but they were all friendly to me," Trafalgar replied and Kid could hear the teasing tone in his voice.

"Tsk. That's different. It's because you're cute-"

"You think I'm cute?" Trafalagar answered almost instantly, excitement evident in his voice.

"Well... yeah," Kid admitted with a little frown, "why?"

"It's the first time you called me cute eversince I turned human."

Trafalgar was once again giving Kid this genuine happy smile, the one which Kid couldn't help but return. He liked that smile a lot.

"But Eustass, if you really want, maybe I could try to introduce you to those people... just so you wouldn't feel lonely."

Kid could see the shift in Trafalgar's mood, from happy to slightly uncomfortable. Just the thought of socializing had that effect on him, but he still had offered to introduce these strangers to Kid. Why?

Just so I wouldn't feel lonely.

And how could Kid not like this person?

"Trafalgar, you do not have to worry about it," Kid said as he slung an arm around Trafalgar's shoulders and pulled him closer as they walked. He poked the other playfully on the cheek before continuing:

"I'm most certainly not the loneliest man in the world anymore."

Chapter Text

"The Magic Voodoos? Hawkins, seriously?"

"Why? Does the leader of the Kiddie Crew have any problem with it?"

"Please don't even mention that name," Kid replied with a groan.

"Mr. Basil, Mr. Eustass, is there anything you would like to share with the class?"

The two mentioned boys looked up as Sir Crocodile called their attention. The professor had his arms crossed over his chest while their classmates all had their heads turned to them. Kid and Hawkins both answered with a quiet "no, sir" as they looked down at their respective notebooks embarrassedly.

Right now, they were in their major class talking about some of the most stupid trends Kid had ever heard in his two years in the New World University--until they got caught. The two just settled to nudging each other on the arm for the rest of the class whenever Sir Crocodile was facing the whiteboard.

The trend started just the week earlier, the day after Trafalgar had suddenly started attending NWU. That fine noon when they were supposed to be eating lunch quietly, Shachi and Penguin had insisted 'they' do the "crew pose". Kid and the others had been clueless until those two, together with Bepo and Trafalgar all stood up and did some kind of kung fu pose while announcing, "we are the Heart Boys". What even . Trafalgar was actually just standing in front while the three did the pose but Kid had been certain that the idea and the name came from him.

Now due to some misfortune, the Heart Boys decided Kid and the others must have a 'crew name' as well, and they apparently thought 'Kiddie Crew' was a nice name, in honor of course of Kid, who was the "leader" of the pack.

Kid was all against it but Killer had obviously agreed with Penguin. Wire had agreed as well just to annoy the hell out of Kid, and Heat had been quiet as usual, which made Shachi point out proudly that "silence means yes". Sadly for Kid, NWU knew them now for that name. How even…

Everyone then had started thinking of different crew names and had started calling themselves as such. There was The Jewels, a group lead by this loud pink-haired girl who consumed most of the food in the cafeteria. Then there was Boys On Air, another loud group composed of music majors that enjoyed doing 'concerts' wherever in the campus, lead by this guy with unusually long arms.

It only got worse. There were even groups dedicated as fanclubs to the deans: The Baroques, an all-engineering student group which were all loyal Sir Crocodile fans; the Thriller Barkers, dedicated fans of Mister Moria; and the Star Clowns, aka Dean Buggy's followers. Kid was pretty sure the other deans had their own fanclub names too, he just didn't know how they were called. Kid didn't even wanna know, he was sure they all sounded just as ridiculous.

Although in fairness, there were also some groups which Kid thought had pretty cool names. Kid liked 'Red Flaggers' the most, which was technically just the Student Council with a fancier name, led of course by the president Drake. It's brilliant how the name itself warned the students as if saying 'stop right there, the Student Council is here'. Or it could be just a simple little caution that something huge was about to come.

Another was The Mugiwaras, that weird group that almost caught kitty Trafalgar, and that actually spent their lunch time eating and camping behind the gymnasium instead of on the cafeteria like every other normal group of students would. Apparently, 'mugiwara' is the Japanese term for 'straw hat', which wasn't a really good name, but 'mugiwara' sounded cool. Kid would maybe just pretend he never learned what it meant in English. Judging from the name, it was pretty obvious that the boy with the straw hat was their group leader, and in Kid’s very honest opinion, the boy was meh. Kid just knew he wouldn’t get along well with that person.

"You were too noisy in class, Kid. We got caught," Hawkins stated with an expressionless face as he gathered his things and put them in his bag.

"Actually, you were the noisy one."

"You were," Hawkins replied as he clung onto Kid's arm, like usual, as they walked to their next classes.

"No, you."

"You."

"You."

"You."

"You."

"..."

"You."

"Stop it already."

Kid had a huge victorious grin once he heard Hawkins say that...

"But it was really you."

...which fell straight away because Hawkins just had to add that line, right?

But you can't beat me, Hawkins. lolz

Kid shrugged to indicate concession, before he very very quietly mumbled a little “you.” Take that.

Kid - 8; Hawkins - 0

Kid always enjoyed it whenever he and Hawkins would have these little teasing battles. It was so childish and stupid that it was actually entertaining to Kid. Both him and Hawkins did not like to lose, so Kid had to do some trickery in order to win. He would admit 'defeat' to Hawkins loudly, but he would quietly whisper to himself the winning statement right after so that he still won in the end. Yes, Hawkins wouldn't know he lost to Kid, but he didn't really have to know. Foul play? Kid called it strategy. Ignorance was never an exception to the rule, anyways.

Unbeknownst to Kid though, none of his little mumbles had ever escaped Hawkins' sensitive ears. He was a cat, after all. Hawkins chuckled internally as he whispered a much quieter "you" that he was sure Kid could never hear. Kid could never win against him when it came to this. And Kid didn't really have to know. What bliss ignorance brought.

Kid - 8 0; Hawkins - 0 8

The two were already nearing the intersection where they had to part ways to go to their respective classes when a very familiar voice suddenly came from the end of the hallway in front of them.

"Good morning, my dearest human," Trafalgar greeted Kid as he made his way towards the two, but his eyes never left Hawkins as he glared daggers into the blond male.

Trafalgar had a smirk on his face which was more pissed than his usual confident, proud one, and Kid knew he was up to no good.

He stopped just a few feet away in front of the two, his eyes slowly scanning over Hawkins from head to toe in a condescending manner, before trailing back up and staring at Hawkins' arm which was still linked to Kid's.

"Excuse me, Eustass is my human. Will you please kindly be unwanted somewhere else?”

"Trafalgar-" Kid's tone was hushed but strict as he attempted to scold his cat for being so rude, but he was cut off by Hawkins with a firm tug on his arm.

"This is so stupid," Hawkins said calmly, rolling his eyes all along, "I'm leaving."

Trafalgar was still glaring at Hawkins as he detached himself from Kid. The redhead might have missed it, but Trafalgar clearly saw the little challenging smirk Hawkins sent his way before he pressed a kiss against Kid's cheek, muttering a little "I'll see you", and then he was gone, walking off into his next class.

Kid managed to reply a short 'hmm' before he was restraining a very mad Trafalgar in his arms.

Although it was the first time Hawkins had given him a kiss, it wasn't really unwelcome. But he knew the blond only did it to piss off Trafalgar, and it proved to be very very effective, judging by how his cat had his long sharp claws out instead of his human nails, baring his fangs at the direction Hawkins had gone to as he tried to free himself from Kid's arms.

"Trafalgar, please calm down," Kid begged as he practically pressed Trafalgar against the nearest wall, careful so that those claws wouldn't scratch him.

He thought it was safe to release Trafalgar only some minutes later, when the other stopped struggling. His human nails may have been back to normal, but his low growls indicated that he was still mad. Kid slowly let him go, flinching when his eyes met Trafalgar’s, which were filled with so much anger Kid had never seen before.

He was furthermore taken aback when Trafalgar grabbed his collar, flipping their positions and pinning him against the wall instead. Trafalgar leant dangerously close to Kid's face, his raw glare sending shivers down the redhead's spine as he warned in a low quiet whisper, "Eustass, remember our pact."

Kid could only swallow nervously as Trafalgar slowly closed the distance between them. He shut his eyes tightly in anticipation, almost feeling the other’s lips against his, until he instead felt Trafalgar's tongue on his cheek, leaving a huge strip of drool against the left side of his face.

He instantly opened his eyes in confusion, seeing Trafalgar already had his back turned to him as the dark-haired man walked down the hallway. That’s it?

Ugh , whatever in hell just happened? Was that Trafalgar's way of marking him as a territory? That was definitely the most intense licking Kid had ever gotten from his cat. Kid clutched at his chest, feeling his heart pounding loudly against his hand. What did he even think Trafalgar was about to do to him? Those thoughts were surely embarrassing! Trafalgar was just a cute innocent little kitty. No indecent thoughts, Kid! He shook the thoughts off and decided he better follow the other into the larger hallway.

"Uh, Trafalgar..."

The said male only gave Kid a brief look, his angry expression now replaced with a sulky one, as he grabbed and held onto Kid's arm tightly without saying a word, his fingernails pressing almost painfully into Kid's biceps.

They were now in a wider hallway where students flocked, and Kid was thankful none of these people had appeared earlier in the previous hallway he, Trafalgar and Hawkins were in to see all the drama unfold. Kid knew New World University students were damn snoopy, and this fact was only proven further by how the students they passed by as they walked all looked their way, hushed whispers everywhere. Judging by how the NWU gossip system works, Kid was pretty sure he and Trafalgar were going to be an 'item' by the end of the day. But why were these people shooting him all the dirty looks? It wasn't like he'd done anything to Trafalgar? The unnecessary attention was something Kid dubbed as 'the Trafalgar effect'. Like, he was sure only a few people would care if he was walking with Hawkins (or anyone else, for that matter) like this instead. Why must everyone be nosy about Trafalgar's life so much?

And not even a minute had passed, a short thin boy with light blond hair, cleft chin and glasses that made him look like cyclops actually managed the guts to come up to them, stuttering rather too directly, "E-excuse me, are you two... together?"

"H-helmeppo! You can't just ask that so bluntly!" a pink-haired boy, presumably his friend, was pulling at his uniform shirt, trying to get him to back away.

"But Coby, we have to know! Everyone wants to know!" The blond boy- Helmeppo- answered back.

And true enough, the whole hallway was dead silent that you could hear a needle drop, everyone anticipating the answer as if it was a life-or-death matter. Why even.

"No, we're not," Kid replied simply with a frown, his voice echoing throughout the quiet hallway and soon after, the silence was replaced with cheers and relieved sighs. As if they stood a chance with Trafalgar now that they've confirmed he wasn't with Kid. As far as Kid was concerned, Trafalgar had never shown attraction of that kind to any human being. Like duh, Trafalgar hadn’t even shown any kind of reaction throughout the whole we-wanna-know-Trafalgar-Law's-love-life-status ‘interview’, aside from that disinterested look on his face which Kid knew meant “humans are ridiculous”. But well, at least, the issue was cleared now, and earlier than Kid expected it would be.

Leaving the crowded hallway behind and resuming their walk, Kid only realized Trafalgar was coming with him to Mr. Caesar's chemistry class, and they weren't even classmates. Not last week, at least. His cunning little cat had probably manipulated his way into this class somehow. Not that Kid minded. But why this class? Mr. Caesar was a maniac some crazy professor, and if Trafalgar really just wanted to be classmates with him somehow, he probably should have opted for Mr. Phoenix’s Advance Trig class instead. Maybe Trafalgar was just really inclined to the sciences? Of course . Could it also be that Trafalgar maybe had some connections with Mr. Caesar? Umm… nah. Too farfetched.

Looking at how Trafalgar acted in class right now, he actually looked like a very diligent student: taking notes, reading texts, listening attentively to the prof... wow. Was this really the same Trafalgar that always refused to wear proper clothes when at home? And why was Kid staring at him? The redhead cleared his throat when he noticed this, looking back at the professor... who was already wrapping up the lesson. Already? How can an hour and a half go by so fast? He probably shouldn't have spent it watching his cat who was literally sitting right next to him. He'd have to get used to them being classmates from now on.

"Lunch time, Eustass~" Trafalgar said as he packed up his belongings, scooting close to his human as they exited the classroom.

Oh, the looks. Those dirty looks from his schoolmates were present once again as soon as they were out in the hallway. These same people, meanwhile, stared at their Mr. Heart Stealer with admiration. Trafalgar ignored every single one of them, never sparing them as much as a glance, and no one dared to make advances. The way Trafalgar carried himself made it seem as if he was on a pedestal; unreachable like a massive star: a supernova. It was impressive how effortless he was--his natural actions, while alluring, were enough to ironically shun every person who wanted to talk to him.

...except one.

"Heyyy, Torao!" Shouted a boy with a straw hat as he practically ran after them while the two made their way to their lunch table. Kid knew him. He was that Mugiwara boy. How could anyone even forget meeting such a noisy weirdo? Kid did not like to judge by appearances, but this person in particular just looked like a total dumbo that Kid wondered how he even got into New World University.

Kid himself was pretty smart, and he had to go to a review center with Killer for two months just to make sure they passed the university's entrance examination. And if Kid was smart, then Killer’s a genius. Even so, they both still opted to go. He could remember how he and Killer would spend the vacation months they had after high school studying, dreaming of entering one of the top universities, targeting NWU in particular as it offered the cheapest quality education for young intellectual minds. They did not know then though, that this university was filled with weirdos; like heck, even the appointed deans were pretty weird!

"Torao, do you remember me? I'm Luffy! We're classmates during the first class earlier! We're classmates in three more subjects too. Shishishi I try to talk to you but you always run away from me," the boy announced happily, what the hell. This boy didn't seem to know how to read a situation at all! He was pestering Trafalgar even when it was so obvious the cat-human wasn't interested. Kid and Trafalgar sat themselves in the table where their friends were already seated, completely ignoring the boy who just introduced himself as Luffy.

"Hey, Toraoo."

What the hell even is Torao?

"Excuse me, if you don't mind, what's Torao?" Penguin asked from his seat beside Killer. Thank you so much for speaking my mind, Penguin.

"Torao is Torao's name, of course. Shishishi. His name is so hard to read and pronounce. I don't remember it, honestly," the boy explained as he pressed his forefinger against his head, his eyes shut tightly as he was seemingly trying hard to remember something, "Tra... T-tra... Torao! That's right, it's Torao! Shishishi."

This boy was dumb, confirmed.

Both the Heart Boys and the Kiddie Crew were either shaking their heads or sighing, obviously dumbed out by this dumbo, while Wire was trying and miserably failing at keeping his chuckles to himself. Even Killer was literally facepalming, which was saying a lot considering how the man was good at hiding emotions.

Thinking about it, it was kinda unfair. Just think of all the kids who wanted to get into NWU but weren't able to because they failed the entrance exam, and then there was this boy who'd gotten in for some unknown reason... probably influence? Unfair. Well, technically, Trafalgar did not take the exam too, but Kid was sure he would ace it anyway.

And also, who gave this boy the permission to give Trafalgar a nickname derived from the very name Kid had given to his cat!? Torao... Torao my ass! It was lame and dumb and was clearly a big insult to the name that Trafalgar himself admittedly liked. Heck, even the name ‘Kiddie Crew’ sounded so much better!

At least, it was satisfying to see Trafalgar completely ignoring this boy. Did he think that just because he was bolder than other people, Trafalgar will notice him? Dream on.

The boy ticked Kid off. He didn’t understand why seeing this Luffy bugging Trafalgar seemed to be irking him more than it did Trafalgar himself, but whatever. He glowered as he watched Trafalgar’s reactions while the boy bothered him.

"Toraoo," Luffy tried again as he moved closer to Trafalgar.

Okay, good job ignoring the boy, Trafalgar.

“Be my friend, Torao!”

Okay, that’s good, Trafalgar is still ignoring him.

“Yay, we’re friends now, right!? Shishishi,” Luffy said rather definitively as he threw an arm around Trafalgar’s shoulders.

Okay- hey, that’s not very okay!

“What’s for lunch, Torao?” Luffy said as he motioned to grab Trafalgar’s lunch box.

Okay, that's it.

Kid immediately snatched the lunch box before Luffy could take it, growling at the boy, “This is Trafalgar’s.”

And no one was allowed to touch Trafalgar’s lunch. Especially not this strange annoying boy. Hell no. Kid woke up an extra hour in the morning, putting effort in every food he made, taking into consideration everything his picky cat liked (and disliked), just to make sure he could eat good lunch.

“What’s with you? I only wanted to see! Friends share food!” Luffy complained, clearly irritated, as Kid glared at him.

Friends? Did he seriously consider himself as Trafalgar’s friend? Kid’s glare only sharpened as he subconsciously pulled Trafalgar closer to him by the waist.

"Oi Luffy, where did you run off to again?” A boy with curly hair and long nose suddenly appeared beside Luffy, breaking the intense glaring contest between Kid and the straw-hatted boy.

"You just suddenly went missing. How many minutes of break time did we waste already just looking for you?” Nami, the popular Mugiwara, added as she sighed in defeat, "Why can't you possibly just stay in one place and not cause us any trouble?” She then turned to Trafalgar and continued, "We're very sorry, was he bothering you?

Very much so, please take him out of here already, Kid had wanted to reply, but restrained his mature self from doing so.

Before any of them could say anything, Nami was already landing a fist on top of Luffy’s head, forcing him to bow down and apologize. Everything after happened so quick. The next thing Kid knew, the two along with the long-nosed boy were already disappearing into who-knows-where (well, the gym building, probably), Luffy shouting some embarrassingly loud “Torao, I’ll see you” as he was dragged by the girl.

For the second time, Nami had saved Kid from an ugly encounter with the hyper-energetic boy, who Kid now officially disliked. Especially after seeing his efforts to be “friends” with Trafalgar like that. It wasn't like Kid did not want Trafalgar to have friends, it’s just that he felt like Luffy could be a potential something to Trafalgar, whatever that something could be.

“I’ll fight him if he bothers you again,” Kid stated exasperatedly as he turned towards Trafalgar, opening the other’s lunch box and setting it in front of him.

Trafalgar picked at the tuna salad Kid had made for him, stabbing a particularly large chunk of fish with his fork as he replied, “No need to be so mad, Eustass. He's not worth the time.”

Kid observed for a while as his cat ate. Looking back at it, Trafalgar certainly did not treat Luffy anything special and ignored him just like he did everyone else. Kid sighed as his facial features relaxed, he probably was overreacting. “I'm not mad.”

“But you were. Your brows were knitted,” Trafalgar retorted as he glanced at his human briefly, “although you have no brows.”

Kid immediately covered the area above his eyes at this, frowning at the other, “Are you saying my fashion is bad?”

Trafalgar shrugged, a teasing smirk evident on his face, “You said that, not me.”

Kid was about to defend his cool hairless brows when Trafalgar stuffed a cherry tomato into his human’s mouth, successfully stopping him as he added, “But Eustass, you really do not have to worry. I do not even talk to that kid and if ever, I can take care of him myself. Meow?”

Somehow, Trafalgar’s reassurance did not do much to comfort Kid. There was something deep inside him that made him feel uneasy about the situation, but the guileless look on Trafalgar’s face as he uttered those words made him force it to the back of his brain as he reluctantly nodded and replied, “Meow.”

What Kid would learn later on, though, was that he should have listened to what his guts told him that day.

Chapter Text

Law went straight into his room as soon as he reached home. Technically, it was Eustass' room, but after officially becoming his human, basically every piece of possession Eustass has had become his as well. Heck, even Eustass himself was his.
He stripped himself off of his uniform shirt and pants, throwing them carelessly across the room. Wherever they may have landed, he didn't care. He had his human to tidy up these things for him. Soon followed was this restrictive piece of clothing he had to forcibly wear just because Eustass said he had to “at least have the decency not to go commando when going outside”. Eustass calls the obstructive fabric a pair of boxers; Law calls it absurd.

Chapter Text

“Do I really have to be here?” Asked Hawkins as he looked away from the scene unfolding in front of him and his red-haired friend.

“Stop complaining and just observe!” Kid replied as he pulled Hawkins’ head towards his, while they watched Law side by side with his new companion.

“You do not have to squish my cheeks, thank you,” Hawkins complained further as he pushed Kid’s hands away from his face.

“Did you freakin’ see that!? That little guy’s getting too close with him!” Kid informed, completely ignoring the other.

“I still fail to see why I should be here,” Hawkins replied with a sigh, but chose to just be the supportive friend Kid needed. After all, he had agreed to come spy with Kid for the condition that Kid accompanied him back in his Dino Hunting later.

The two of them were currently hiding behind the corner of the building adjacent to the open cafeteria, watching as the boy called Luffy took Kid’s usual seat beside Trafalgar in the dining table.

Kid couldn't figure out how and when this happened, but Luffy seemed to have managed to break down Trafalgar’s facade and get close to him somehow. Seeing Trafalgar smiling along with Luffy was a far cry from the last time he’s seen the two together, Trafalgar completely ignoring the boy then.

From where Kid was hiding, he did not miss the fond smile gracing Trafalgar’s lips when Luffy particularly talked or asked about something, making the usually quiet Trafalgar talk back in enthusiasm. To think that Luffy would even know the things Trafalgar liked. Kid so wanted to know what it was they were talking about that made Trafalgar talk so freely, so happily, because in all honesty, Kid couldn’t recall of a single time when Trafalgar had smiled brighter than he did today while talking about something. What hurt more is that it wasn't him that had managed to draw out these kinds of reactions from Trafalgar.

Looking at Luffy, Kid would admit he had the charms, and it was so natural, as if he was born with the talent to befriend everyone. Even Killer, who was usually wary of people, seemed to be comfortable with Luffy sitting opposite him in the table. How quickly Luffy could make people like him was so strange and foreign to Kid. Unlike that boy, people barely liked him. Heck, people barely even acknowledged his existence. But Luffy… Luffy was simply so different from him, that it made him conscious of himself. Even that boy’s smile was so bright and warm that it could put the sun to shame. Kid did not have that. He had nothing on Luffy. It made him wonder that if given different circumstances, would Trafalgar still have went home with him that day they met instead of Luffy? He dearly hoped that if not for the chance, he’d still be Trafalgar’s choice.


 

Law was wondering why his human hadn't arrived yet. Twenty minutes had passed since lunch time started, and the professor couldn't have held off Eustass’ class for that long, right? What more, Luffy had followed him to their table. Eustass surely wouldn't be pleased if he found out.

During the past days, Luffy had been following and bothering Law nonstop with his nonsense, and it did not help at all that they were classmates not only in one, but in four freaking subjects. And Luffy always made sure they were seatmates in all of them. Although Law had tried so hard to tune out the boy, Luffy just wouldn't give up and oddly enough, Law had gotten used to having Luffy around somehow. He realized that Luffy was an ‘ okay’ human, and that there was no harm to letting him around. Law even found the other's presence comfortable, something he did not feel around about 99% of the lowly human population.

Now here he is stuck in a dining table with these people he usually hung around with, but minus Eustass, and plus Luffy, who was talking excitedly beside him about who-knows-what, while devouring about a whole pan of teriyaki chicken.

“...Toraooo, you're not listening, are you?” Luffy asked with a little pout, and it successfully pulled Law out of his thoughts.

“I’m listening now,” Law answered half-heartedly without any intention of really paying attention to the boy. He knew his thoughts would just fly back to his red-haired human who was still MIA, anyway.

Luffy huffed, not ultimately convinced. After looking around for a while, he asked, “Say, why isn’t that big guy with red hair who's always with you here?”

“I'm thinking the same,” Law replied almost instantly.

“So you’re thinking of him and that’s why you’re not listening to me! What’s so good about him, anyways?” Luffy replied in both childish annoyance and curiosity. To be fair, he had managed to deduct that Law was thinking of Eustass. Kudos to him.

“What's so good about Eustass?” Law echoed Luffy, a fond smile appearing on his lips at the mention of his favorite human. He could talk about him all day.

“Everything,” he concluded.

He really liked Eustass.

“Although he can be quite annoying sometimes,” he added with a chuckle, “He sometimes would come at me just to tease me without any reason at all. He’d randomly pull my ears, or sometimes try to trip me when I’m passing by him. Sometimes he’d also lure me with a hug, which is actually just a trap so that he could headlock me. He even tries to pull pranks on me, but they mostly fail or backfire. The last time, he put a cucumber in front of me while I was looking away, and I ended up breaking it on his head.” Law couldn’t help but laugh and shake his head as he recalled his human’s stupidity.

“But then he also makes sure I’m always doing fine. He’d warm my hands whenever I feel cold, and he makes me food, although he’s not very good. He always whines about me not doing any chores when it’s so obvious that he purposely does all the work so that I do not have to. It’s not like I will, anyways. But you see, he won’t admit it, but Eustass is actually really sweet despite his appearance…”

Luffy just replied with a clueless blink, probably trying to process the things being said to him.

Law paid the boy little mind as his smile widened when he recalled the first time he saw Eustass. He was just walking by a park when he saw this human with bright, flaming red hair, as if it was a signage telling him to ‘stop’ on his tracks. He never understood why he did so, but as he took in the sight of the man, he couldn't help but be mesmerized at the mere display of his sharp, stunning features.

The moment the man stared back at him, he knew he just couldn't look away. Those blood red irises felt like they were sucking all his rationality in. He had remembered offering some kind of resistance at first, but the next thing he knew, he was on his back, allowing the strange man to rub his belly; and if that isn't over-the-top yet, he had even let the man bring him home. Law chuckled as he remembered all of it. It was such a rash, on-the-spur-of-the-moment decision that surprised even his father who worked for the marines, who knew how much his son disliked interaction with humans. Law thought then that he would just try and see if this red-haired human was as interesting as he looked, and that he would run away after that and never come back. But then he unexpectedly got too attached to the said human, and now he definitely just wants to stick with Eustass for as long as the circumstances would let him.

“It probably may have been fate that brought us together,” Law declared after all his musings.

“Eh? What does that mean?” Luffy asked in genuine curiosity as he tilted his head to the side.

Law smiled to himself; he believed his bond with his human was something very special and exclusive, and he felt it deeply inside his heart. “It’s something only the two of us can understand.”

But it took just a thought to make his smile falter; a single little thought that made way for the littlest hint of doubt: the thought of then versus now. No matter how much he tried to, he couldn’t hide the fact that Eustass obviously doesn’t like him now as much as he did before.

And for a moment, his conviction started to waver in the slightest. What if Eustass did not feel the same way he did?

“Well, maybe…” He followed up quietly and unsurely.

But ultimately, his faith was just so strong and huge that it was enough to cover up all these little cracks of insecurities and uncertainties that tried to convince him otherwise. At the end of the day, only he and Eustass can dictate their future, and he wouldn’t let even his own thoughts get in the way of them both. “No, I’m sure of it,” he affirmed with renewed confidence. He knew Eustass wouldn’t fail him.

But what was taking the human too long to show up?


 

‘Dino hunting. Don't forget.’

Kid shut his eyes tightly as he pressed his smartphone against his forehead after reading Hawkins’ message. He had almost forgotten about the promise he made that he would accompany the blond male in his little ‘journey’, which would greatly involve following around none other than the student council president Drake, a.k.a. Hawkins’ object of interest.

“What is it, Eustass?” Trafalgar asked from beside him after finishing the last of his food. Kid watched as the said young man put the lid over his lunch box, sealing it tightly before placing the object inside his bag. Kid still felt guilty for not showing up at lunch. If only he knew Trafalgar would skip his meal, then he would have shooed Luffy away instead of tagging along and eating with Hawkins and the Magic Voodoos. He messed up big time, and now he’s only about to make things even worse.

Kid sighed and placed a hand on top of the other’s head, ruffling the dark hair softly before finally saying, “I'm sorry, Trafalgar. I still have something to do. Can you go home first today?”

Trafalgar’s expression shifted into a slightly dejected look, his lips forming a little frown as he suggested, “Can’t I come with you?”

“You can't. I'm really sorry.”

And for the second time that day, he broke his poor kitty’s heart.

But after the hallway incident, there was no telling what could happen if Hawkins and Trafalgar were to see each other. It was something that should be avoided at all costs, and Kid had volunteered himself to act as the peacekeeper between the two. And he had to perform his duty, even if it meant he had to see Trafalgar’s abandoned kitty look. He only wished it was so easy to just swallow the guilt he felt. He sighed again and carefully pulled the other into a warm hug as a consolation. He could hear Trafalgar huffing sulkily against his chest, but soon, he felt the others’ arms wrapping around his own torso as well. “Don’t take long, human. I’ll be waiting for you,” Trafalgar murmured, his voice muffled by Kid’s chest, but Kid understood him perfectly.

Kid smiled to himself, squeezing Trafalgar one last time before letting go. “I promise I’ll be home in no time.”


 

Law hadn't really left after he bid his goodbye to Eustass. Instead, he decided to follow his human, curiosity winning over him. And curiosity killed the cat. His fist tightened at his sides as he watched Eustass, his dear human, meet none other than Hawkins, the person in the campus Law least wanted to see. So Eustass had asked him to go home first just so he could meet with this stupid cat? He felt rejected, seeing Eustass having to look for another cat when he was just right there. Why? Law did not understand. Was it because he kept damaging their furniture at home whenever he had to knead his claws into something? Was it because he was picky with food? Could it be because he couldn't take a bath alone? Or maybe because he wasn’t exactly the tamest cat there is? He had so many questions. He had so many flaws . He recognized most of them, and he tries his hardest to get rid of them. For Eustass. But his stupid kitty instincts would always get in the way, and he just couldn’t help it.

Law flared when he saw Hawkins attach himself to Eustass, and this would normally be the time he goes out there to separate the two, fight the blond to prove he's the better cat, and claim his human; but somehow, the sadness he felt won over, drowning out every other emotion in him. He just did not want to see any more of this. Maybe it would really be best for him to just go home.


 

Law went straight into his room as soon as he reached home. Technically, it was Eustass’ room, but after officially becoming his human, basically every piece of possession Eustass has had become his as well. Heck, even Eustass himself was his.

He stripped himself off of his uniform shirt and pants, throwing them carelessly across the room. Wherever they may have landed, he didn't care. He had his human to tidy up these things for him. Soon followed was this restrictive piece of clothing he had to forcibly wear just because Eustass said he had to “at least have the decency not to go commando when going outside”. Eustass calls the obstructive fabric a pair of boxers; Law calls it absurd.

He moved to grab whatever shirt he could first find in Eustass’ stock of neatly-folded clean clothes, finding them a lot more comfortable than his own tight-fitting ones. The clothes Eustass had bought him were in the drawer just next to Eustass’, barely even touched. The only ones he really used were a black and yellow hoodie and a pair of blue jeans that had some black cheetah prints across its surface. He really liked them. He would always wear the same thing whenever he went out with Eustass, and his human often complained about how the money spent for Law’s clothes could have instead went to the redhead’s toy car collection, which, in all honesty, Law couldn’t understand how even was remotely important.

He put on the shirt he’d found over his head, stopping by the full-body mirror they had in the room. He never really used it, unlike Eustass who’d always spend some minutes in the morning in front of it, applying some makeup and styling his hair so that it would stay up the whole day. Eustass then would call him and run his long painted fingers through the cat-human’s dark brown hair, hoping to make it look presentable enough. It did not take Law long to figure that maybe he did not need mirrors as long as he had Eustass to groom him.

But as he stared at his reflection right now, he couldn't help but wonder what Eustass thought whenever the latter saw him. Eustass used to throw him compliments here and there. He could even do the most annoying things and make as much mess as he wanted, and Eustass would still call him cute. Eustass would initiate cuddles, and kisses — that human gesture he never really understood but still loved receiving regardless. But now, Eustass treated him with much less passion. Where did things go wrong?

He remembered how Eustass would sometimes wish he was human, just so he could hear Law’s thoughts in return about his concerns- about everything. Law just couldn't ignore the sad tone on his human's voice and although he had a critical opinion about trusting human beings, he still made it happen just so Eustass would get the human companion he always wanted. The decision was a make-or-break for him, but he wanted Eustass happy. If there's anything he could do for the other, then he would. And he did. But why did it feel like the decision resulted in more broken than made bonds? It left Law wondering why Eustass wouldn't treat his human self the same way as before. It was still him: still as annoying, still as bossy, still as grumpy, but most importantly, he still loved his human all the same. He never changed, save that he now has the ability to properly communicate. Wasn't that a plus?

He blew his cheeks with air and watched as his reflection did the same. Of course , he looked different. And he took up a much larger space now. Maybe Eustass did not appreciate that. But Eustass did call him cute for the first time in forever just recently, and that good feeling was enough to last for days. Even though it wasn't remotely as often as the ‘cute baby’ he used to get almost every time he did something, or even nothing at all, back when he was still just a cat to Eustass. How time changes things.

Now, not only did Eustass notice him way less; that blasphemous human even started hanging out more with a certain insufferable tabby cat! Law’s blood boiled as he thought of that Hawkins person. What did Eustass see in him, anyways? First off , that blond guy’s golden orange cat fur wasn't even close to being as cool as his own black one. Second , Hawkins didn't even have brows! And he had these creepy tattoos… Well, Law had tattoos as well, and he wasn’t even sure about Eustass’ preferences when it came to physical attributes. But judging by how often Eustass shaved his face- including his brows, too- hell, Hawkins’ clean look may really have the edge over Law’s natural messy style. Even the former’s long flowy smooth hair was admittedly eye-catching to the latter.

And it frustrated Law more than ever that he couldn’t think of any more definite reason as to why Eustass would choose him over Hawkins.

With a sigh, he resigned to the bed, his smooth black tail subconsciously springing out from under the thigh-length shirt he was wearing and following after him. He threw himself onto the mattress, his now-present cat ears ever alert not to miss any sound that could possibly belong to his favorite human.

He started counting down each of those dreadingly long minutes without Eustass: a task he’s come to get used to since the very first Monday Eustass had left him for school after they had exchanged pacts. It was also the reason he decided to enroll into the same university Eustass went to, trading his peaceful lazy cat life to a stressful interactive college boy life just to have some few extra hours a day with the said human. He just couldn’t stand being separated from the other for 6 to 7 hours every day. Now, call it a lucky coincidence: His uncle worked at the same university Eustass went to, and Law was able to get in without trouble despite lacking credentials. After all, his uncle was a master manipulator; a charismatic puppeteer who could get his hands into whatever he wanted, save for a certain sandy old man he'd been chasing tirelessly year after year. Although his uncle could be one hell of a crazy bastard, he was unexpectedly patient when it came to someone he deeply cared for, and Law thought he probably should learn a thing or two from him.

So he waited patiently for his human to come home. He realized he might have dozed off after some time once the sound of the front door opening jerked him awake, alerting him of his human’s arrival. His ears picked up the sounds of footsteps approaching the bedroom and soon enough, the door opened to reveal Eustass, who instantly smiled at the sight of his dear cat. “Hey, Trafalgar.”

Law watched as his human got closer to the bed where he was situated, the redhead sitting at the edge of it, facing him. Law’s face may not show how happy he was to have his human back, but his wagging tail was a dead giveaway of his feelings.

“Sorry, I’m late,” Eustass apologized sincerely. Law would have forgiven him immediately, but he noticed something off about the human… His smell , Law was sure. It was a strange scent his sensitive nose picked up when the redhead reached out to touch him. It was a scent he hated; a scent that angered him: it was the scent of betrayal.

Law bared his teeth as a warning, giving his human a chance to back away before he regretted it. But Eustass was unguarded and unsuspecting, and faster than he could stop himself, the cat-human’s claw was out there, his sharp nails flexing and scratching Eustass’ fingers aggressively before his human could touch him.

He watched Eustass flinch in pain, instantly backing away his now-bleeding hand and cradling it with the other close to his chest.

“Why?” Eustass could only ask in a pained, confused voice as his eyes searched Law’s for an answer, the intensity of his gaze proving too much that the latter had to look away.

It left Law feeling frustrated. At himself, most especially. He hated how once again, his instincts got the better of his rational side, causing him to hurt Eustass. But although his pride did not allow him to admit he did wrong, moreso apologize, Eustass at least deserved an explanation.

“You smell like another cat,” he answered in a defeated tone. And despite him facing away from the other, Kid could tell Law was very distressed by the way his cat ears pressed flat against his head.

Law could only hear the sound of Eustass getting off the bed, followed by his footsteps, and soon, the door. Once he heard the door being closed shut, he knew he was all alone again. Eustass had left him, and without a single word. But who could blame the human?

He picked up the blankets on the bed and wrapped them tightly around his own body. He rolled over and around the mattress in frustration, deep sighs escaping him every now and then as his thoughts flew back to a certain redhead.

Every time things like such happened, Law would wish he never showed his human form to Eustass.

Then maybe his human wouldn’t suffer by his own hands. And maybe… maybe Law wouldn’t suffer as well. Law buried his face onto the surface of the bed once he realized where his thoughts would lead him once again. He hated this line of thoughts, so much. It made him insecure of himself. And it made him lose his faith in Eustass…

In the midst of his deep thoughts, he hadn’t noticed he’d been tangled in the blankets—like a “purrito”, as he thought Eustass would probably call him. He tried moving his arms against the fabric but to no avail, until he finally gave up and slumped frustratedly against the bed. He’d probably need Eustass to unwrap him. Just how dependent was he on that human? That human probably did not even see him the same way, not anymore.

His ugly little thoughts made sure to remind him of the past when Eustass would immediately pick him up from the couch upon returning home, not even bothering changing into comfortable clothes as he talked to Law about his entire day. And then it would remind him of the present where Eustass couldn’t even tell him honestly who he’d been seeing; the past filled with compliments and pet names, and then the present where he was treated with relative disregard. He did not even know where he stood anymore. He was so sad, and his emotions were in utter chaos.

And even more so because despite all the obvious changes in the redhead’s behavior towards him, there was no denying that Eustass still cared for him, a lot. Stupid complicated human confusing his poor little heart!

The sound of the bedroom door being curtly slammed open made said heart almost jump out of its place.

“Trafalgar.” The very cause of the cat-human’s confusion appeared at the doorway, clad in nothing but a small towel around his hips. The man was dripping-wet, his red hair sticking on every piece of skin it could reach. His face was devoid of his usual makeup, but his eyes were firm and forceful as he paced towards the bed.

Each heavy step made Trafalgar instinctively back away from the approaching man, his blanket-wrapped body unfortunately hitting the headboard, signaling he had nowhere to run. He did not know what was with Eustass all of a sudden, but that unreadable predatory glare aimed at him looked like bad news from a feline’s perspective. From a stunned person’s perspective, however, it brought more confusion, mostly.

“E-Eustass?” Law blinked as he watched the large figure climb the bed, determined eyes never leaving his golden ones. He felt like a small kitten under the scarlet gaze, his defenseless burritoed body not helping at all.

“Trafalgar,” Kid called once again once the two of them were face to face. This time, Law was able to see an underlying emotion in those intent eyes.

And at a blink of his own eyes, Eustass had his arms wrapped around him, the human’s face buried at the crook of his neck, wet red hair dripping, soaking into the blanket the cat-human was wrapped into. The cold water was a direct contrast to the warmth of Eustass’ embrace, and it made him shiver. He wanted to shrug the cold away, but Eustass’ hold on him was so secure, just like how he always remembered it to be.

And then suddenly, he had no doubt: This was his Eustass. Always was.

“I’m sorry.” Eustass sounded so defeated.

Law could only shake his head, amused, mostly at himself. When it came to Eustass, he knew he was a lost cause. And he knew it wasn’t only because of how Eustass’ apology sounded so sincere; or neither of how Eustass’ natural scent, mixed with a little hint of his favorite Apeldoorn tulip body wash, wafted through the air around him, drowning everything else.

Here he had the human in his purest form. How could Law possibly deny him?

“Dry yourself properly first, you idiot,” he finally replied. Kid relaxed, realizing he had been forgiven.

“Dry what?” Kid asked teasingly as he exaggeratedly rubbed his wet hair against the other’s neck.

Law in his helpless state could only shout curses while the bastard of a human laughed at him.

Kid’s laughter slowly died down, and was replaced by an uncharacteristic sheepish smile. He eyed Law unsurely for a bit, chewing at his lower lip, which warranted him a raised eyebrow in return. He gave the other a final apologetic grin before leaning down and pressing his lips against his kitty’s cheek, as fast as he could.

“Wha-,” Law began, but was immediately cut off by a whistling Eustass.

“Right, I have to dry myself!” A blushing Eustass announced with a nervous chuckle in a cheap attempt to escape the situation.

The human was annoying. How dare he dismiss Law just like that? And Law had even waited patiently for him for hours. However, the dark-haired man couldn’t find it in himself to stay mad at his human for long. On the contrary, he found himself dwelling a little too much on the fact that he just received his first- and if he may add, long-overdue- kiss from Eustass. He still didn’t fully understand the sentiment behind the human gesture, but that didn’t save him from the foreign giddy feeling rising in his chest.

Law growled at his human’s back as the latter went to rummage the very same drawer Law did earlier, complaining about how the clothes he had folded neatly were once again a mess. Although annoying as it was, Law found the scene strangely endearing at the same time.

The human was very unfair. It was almost funny how he always managed to shake Law’s feelings to the very core. One moment, Law felt insecure, unsure of everything they had, and then the next, Eustass made him feel all better again.

And when Eustass, having finally dressed, climbed back into the bed and snuggled comfortably against his stomach for another silent lazy night together, each of Law’s previous worries faded away. They would probably always be there at the back of his mind, just waiting to be triggered yet again; but right now, he had Eustass, and the human himself was Law’s biggest reassurance.

Maybe it wasn’t possible for things to be pretty all the time, but as long as they were together, nothing else mattered.

Chapter Text

“So, you call this Dino Hunting?” Kid asked flatly from beside Hawkins. He just couldn’t believe what they were doing, and neither could he decide on which emotion he should be feeling. When Hawkins said ‘Dino Hunting’, it never crossed Kid’s mind that all they were going to do was to follow Diez Drake around quietly, like stalkers. Kid had felt relieved once he saw Drake and the rest of the Red Flaggers enter the Student Council room for a meeting, thinking he could finally go home to Trafalgar, but it was short-lived as Hawkins suddenly pulled him into the corner of the hallway, telling him they would wait there until the meeting was over.

“This isn’t ‘hunting’ at all, this is pure stalking!” Kid stated incredulously, making Hawkins turn to him and glare.

“Tell me I’m wrong,” Kid continued. Although he couldn’t say anything more, considering how he had basically spied on Trafalgar with Hawkins earlier that morning too.

Hawkins sighed and leaned against the wall, looking helplessly at the ceiling as he replied, “You are not wrong at all.”

Kid for once saw a troubled look on Hawkins’ usually emotionless face, and although he had no experience at all in love, whatsoever, he oddly felt that he could identify with the other.

Why human Trafalgar’s face suddenly popped into Kid’s head as he thought that was purely coincidental and was completely irrelevant to the topic!
Sigh. Might as well make use of the time and help a friend out instead of waiting around like two idiots.

“Alright, give me your phone,” Kid said after some thought, reaching out his hand in front of Hawkins, gesturing the other to do so.
Hawkins stared at Kid’s hand for a while before pulling out his phone from the pocket of his pants and placing it atop the redhead’s palm.

“What?” Hawkins asked when he saw Kid just staring at his phone with an unreadable expression.

Kid slowly turned his head towards Hawkins, his gaze almost deadly as he gripped the other’s phone tightly and said in a low, serious voice, “Hawkins, admit it to me now, you really are a time traveller.”

The drastic shift in the atmosphere took Hawkins aback, answering in a confused whisper, “What…?”

“There’s no way a millennial could have this kind of phone!” Kid exclaimed as he held up Hawkins’ phone: a black bulky rectangular device that had a tiny screen above a rubber keypad in front and a little antenna extending from the upper left corner of it. Kid never had quite the luxury of even seeing anything like it up close before, more so hold one.

And if Hawkins was a more expressive person, he would have totally facewalled at that. But he just settled on narrowing his eyes, looking at Kid with disbelief as he said, “All that suspense, Kid, just for a joke?”

“It’s your kind of humor,” Kid defended himself, sticking out his tongue at the other.

“Anyhow, we can’t use this. We’ll use my phone,” the redhead suggested as he gave back the blond’s phone, pulling out his own smartphone from his pocket with a “tada!”

“And what are we going to do with it?”

“We’re going to catch a huge auburn-haired dinosaur with it,” Kid explained as he pushed Hawkins against the wall, pointing his phone camera at the other.

“Okay, imagine Drake looking at you,” Kid instructed, and he snapped a photo once Hawkins’ pale face had turned into a satisfying shade of pink.

They might have consumed most of the remaining time capturing the most perfect photo of Hawkins that they would use to lure a certain Red Flagger into their trap. Just a little touch up here and there, and the photo was set. The only thing left was to wait for the right time to use the bait on their prey, but that would be for another time.

The two peeked around the corner of the wall once they heard a door open, watching as student council members piled out of the meeting room one by one.

Finally, they saw Drake exiting the door and turning around to lock it.

“What are you waiting for? Now's your chance!” Kid said as he elbowed Hawkins aggressively.

“Shh! I'm not going to do anything. I'm good with just looking,” Hawkins revealed as he hushed Kid.

“So you mean we waited here for an hour for nothing at all!?”

Hawkins quickly covered Kid’s mouth with his hand, albeit already too late as they watched Drake suddenly look around suspiciously.

Kid didn’t know why Hawkins frustratedly covered his face with his hands. It wasn't like he had been caught or anything… but he will soon be.

With that thought in mind, Kid exclaimed, “Just go out there and claim your dino!” as he pushed Hawkins out of their hiding place, leaving the blond all alone and vulnerable to whatever fate had in store for him. Kid could only wish him luck when he heard Drake’s footsteps approaching, followed by a very confused call: “Hawkins?”

Kid took the cue to leave, fleeing the scene unnoticed and thinking how he had been such a good friend.

Chapter Text

After thoroughly inspecting the nth rock for the past half an hour, Law smiled triumphantly to himself. He finally found it! The perfect rock for Eustass: no chips, no scratches, no asymmetries--Eustass did not deserve such flaws, no matter how little. Law rid the rock of unwanted dirt for the last time, wiping it on his already soiled shirt, before securing the rock safely in the pocket of his pants, as he hurriedly made his way home. He was proud of how his little hunt went. Yes, he considered collecting rocks a type of hunting, as it was the closest thing to real hunting he could do. After all, Eustass had forbidden him from hunting live animals. He remembered the first time his cat self had brought home a dead rat. It was the biggest, fattest rat he’d seen and hunting it had been a great deal for him. He recalled how he swelled with pride and excitement with every step he took towards his human, as he carried his little gift of appreciation for Eustass in his mouth. What he recalled next, though, was seeing his human’s face twist in disgust: the very opposite of the reaction he had expected; and if he were to be honest, it broke his little kitty heart a bit. He didn’t understand why Eustass proceeded on scolding him, telling him to throw the gift away and never to repeat the action again. He probably would never understand. But although it made him sad, he decided to just do what his human pleased.

It was since then he began giving Eustass inanimate objects instead.

And so he stood in front of Eustass’ bedroom door, the rock that was previously in his pocket now clenched tightly in his hand. As he entered, he found Eustass sitting in his study table; books, notebooks and whatnot sprawled in front of him. Studying was one of Eustass’ activities which Law liked least. A studying Eustass meant Eustass focusing on books, which also meant very little attention for him.

“Eustass.”

“Yes, Trafalgar?” Eustass replied flatly without looking up from his work.

Law simply placed the rock over the book his human was reading, successfully taking his attention.

“Oh, is it for me?” Eustass asked as he picked up the rock, studying its surface just like how Law did earlier.

“It's a very beautiful rock, as always, Trafalgar. Thank you,” Eustass said as he looked up at him, a tiny smile present on his red painted lips, and it was enough confirmation for Law that he had indeed did a good job hunting today.

He never really knew what Eustass did to all the previous rocks and leaves he’d given him before--he’d never seen them again--but he guessed it was the thought that counted. Eustass looked like he appreciated them, anyway.

He smiled widely as his human opened his arms, inviting him in for a big huggie. He semi-tackled his human, burying his face on the crook of the other’s neck as he felt Eustass’ big and long fingers running soothingly through his hair. The cat-human couldn't help but purr when Eustass started putting more pressure as his thumb rubbed the back of Law’s ear. It was good while it lasted, but after some time, he noticed how Eustass’ hand began slacking off, until it stopped moving altogether. He looked up at his human with a glare, noticing that his attention was now back to his books. What a presumptuous human!

Law cupped Eustass’ face, forcefully turning the other’s head towards him.

“Pet me more, Eustass,” he demanded.

“I will. I’ll just finish my homework, okay?” Eustass replied patiently as he gently pinched Law’s cheek, hoping he’d agree just for once.

“Not okay,” Law said as he rudely closed his human’s stupid textbook.

He watched as Eustass’ sharp eyes narrowed warningly at him before the human uttered, “You leave me without a choice, Trafalgar.”

The next thing Law knew, Eustass was waving a big ball of red yarn, about the size of a basketball, in front of him. Eustass seemed to be smirking as he tossed the yarn away, expecting Law to fetch it. Stupid human! Did he seriously think he could trick Law with that!? It was too insulting that Law almost wanted to rip his human into shreds! Oh, he would so do that. Later. But first, he had to chase that darn yarn before it runs away.

Chapter Text

Beep.

Law shifted in his sleep, his body arching as he stretched his arms above his head.

Beep. Beep.

He scrunched his nose, shifting yet again to bury his face on Eustass’ pillow.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

He hissed and growled angrily as his hand blindly reached around the bed.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

Just one more sound and he was going to throw that phone out of the window!

He sat upright, glaring at the screen as he tightly held the very culprit behind his disrupted sleep. Eustass’ phone was the morning devil--from how it blared this annoying fake chirping bird sounds that forced Eustass to get up early everyday and leave him all alone on the bed, to how its screen flashed blindingly in time with those damned beepings.

Law had to constrict his pupils at the sudden brightness of the little rectangular demon, reading whatever was on the lockscreen.

[Onegram: You have 10 notifications]

He clicked onto the text and, with the swipe of a finger, was brought instantly into this app called Onegram. He knew Onegram. He had for a lot of times seen Eustass browse countless of photos and videos on the social media app, sometimes sniggering, and sometimes even calling his attention to “look at this video, this is so you!” Law would most of the time just roll his eyes at his human’s nonsense.

Scrolling through the notifications that woke him, Law raised his eyebrow as he clicked on the source picture of all ten notifications, chuckling when a photo of a topless Eustass whose eyes were barely even open appeared on the screen. Below the picture was the caption:

[the_invincible_kid: good morning, world!]

And then there were the reactions and the comments:

[penguinloveskiller, dinodrake10, beary_bepo, vershachionthefloor and fireofshandora like this.]

[engr_heat: is this a very fail attempt at seducing people…]

[well_wired: this is my dear friend eustass kid. Very single anf ready to mingle]

[killerlovespenguin: put on a shirt, kid! You’re gonna get sick!]

[engr_heat: @killerlovespenguin eww mom go away!]

[well_wired: @engr_heat lololool nice one bro @killerlovespenguin calm yo mammary glands mom!]

Law rubbed his eye and checked the picture once again. Eustass had posted it just 15 minutes ago, and how the heck was everyone already up and about? And on social media, even. Humans are weird.

Law clicked on a different tab and several photos appeared in thumbnails. Most of them were his pictures while in cat form, a lot were of him and Eustass, some were of random other objects, and occasionally just Eustass. Although recently--from the moment he first turned human, to be exact--there was an obvious decline in the amount of pictures Eustass posted, and there was most certainly no picture of him anymore. He knew it was because of him being in his human form most of the time, that much was plain and clear, and he understood Eustass’ position: after all, no one knew besides their circle of friends that Eustass’ beloved little kitty Trafalgar was the same person (slash, cat) as the popular Mr. Heart Stealer Law, and it was just logical not to let anyone know. However, he’d be lying if he said it didn’t hurt.

He scrolled through the_invincible_kid’s Onegram page, reliving the captured moments he’d spent with his human. It wasn’t surprising he remembered the stories behind most, if not all of the pictures, and it left a smile on his face. But one picture in particular left a tingling feeling of warmth in his chest. It was a picture of him sleeping, curled up on Eustass’ lap, his tiny paw holding two of Eustass’ fingers. It was probably the caption that did him in--

[the_invincible_kid: This is what love looks like.]

Law plopped back down onto the bed with a happy sigh, phone raised in one hand, a wide smile on his lips he can’t contain. He felt like he could stare at those words the whole day…

After staring a little more, he exited the social media app, figuring he would find more of his pictures in Eustass’ gallery. True enough, his black fur soon littered most of the screen. Some of the pictures, he’d already seen in Eustass’ Onegram, some he hadn’t. There still wasn’t any picture of him as a human, which he had already (sadly) half-expected.

But wait. What was that a spec of gold he just saw on the ‘recent photos’ tab? He hurriedly clicked on the album, and as he suspected, he was greeted with the angering sight of that blond voodoo who seemed to have the talent of greatly pissing him off just by existing. And why did Eustass have a dozen pictures-- cute pictures--of that creep!? Hawkins, with his perfect, beautiful wavy hair and his adorably pink-tinted cheeks, stared right into Law’s eyes, as if mocking him, saying, “Look at me, I have pictures in Kid’s phone, you don’t”. Law swore, if he could, then he would scratch the living daylights out of that tabby cat’s all-year-long-halloween-themed face. Due to his current circumstances, however, he unfortunately could only slam the smartphone against the nightstand. Oops, that little dent that appeared just below the phone camera afterwards wasn’t his doing at all.

Now as he sat there on the bed, still gripping his human’s poor phone tightly in his hand, a brilliant idea came to him. Of course, he wouldn’t lose to Hawkins. And if Hawkins had cute pictures in Eustass’ phone, then he’d just have to take cuter ones, right? He looked at the time: in about 30 minutes, Eustass would come back to wake him up. Just enough time to recreate some of his kitty pictures the human loved.


 

Kid sat uneasily at Sir Crocodile’s class. Trafalgar seemed to have been a bit mad at him that morning. He had come to wake his kitty up to get ready for school, gently peeling the blankets off the latter and secretly anticipating a five-minute cuddle session, only to be met with a pillow to his face. Trafalgar had growled at him, stomping out of the bedroom in Kid’s oversized shirt, slamming the door with the energy that couldn’t have been from someone who’d just woken up. Kid was left dumbfounded, forced into a guessing game of sorts after the kitty won’t talk to him afterwards. Oh, Trafalgar. And he looked so adorable during mornings too.

The sleepy smile Trafalgar always wore upon opening his eyes and seeing the redhead first thing in the morning always fueled the latter’s day. And then Trafalgar would pat the bed beside him and Kid would comply because he too was tempted to just cuddle and go back to sleep. But then he would still try to wake the other up while Trafalgar crawled halfway onto his lap, resting his head there with a satisfied purr as he held onto Kid’s fingers. The actions very well reminded Kid of his cat-Trafalgar, but at the same time, there was something unique about the man that made Kid sometimes just stop to remind himself and ponder on the fact that both were one and the same Trafalgar. The sudden urge to kiss human-Trafalgar, however, was weird to Kid, because he knew it wasn’t the same ‘hey-little-baby-why-are-you-so-cute’ kind of urge he’d gotten before when looking at cat-Trafalgar. It was different , and frustratingly enough, his brain decided it couldn’t connect the missing dots just yet.

Kid tapped the end of his pen restlessly against his cheek as he shifted in his seat, meanwhile trying to look interested at whatever Sir Crocodile was discussing. But who the heck cared about how circuits worked? Maybe he did, but not today. Today, like every other day recently, was spent on thinking about his lovely… cat? But freakin’ heck, Trafalgar was barely even just his cat anymore! Shall he call him his roommate? His bedmate!? His lov-- Oh no, don’t even go there, Kid! He bit his lower lip and bowed his head a little, trying to hide the smile forming on his lips but damn, he knew it was to no avail, judging by how his cheeks started to hurt.

Lover, his jerk of a brain bravely supplied. There you go, your missing dots , it tried to continue, but the voice was drowned by the sound of Kid slamming his head against his desk, his neighboring classmates squeaking uneasily. Just the mention of the L-word made him almost internally scream. What the heck even, Kid, it’s just a word! He acted as if it was his first time getting acquainted with it… Who was he kidding? It was indeed Mr. Single-since-birth-who-had-never-felt-anything-close-to-romance-before’s first time feeling anything of sorts to anyone. And of all people, it just had to be Trafalgar! Was this how Killer felt around Penguin? Kid felt like he now understood that sudden change in Killer’s glow ever since his silver little lover came along.

Wait, wait, wait. Was Kid actually comparing himself and Trafalgar to actual lovers? He stilled in his seat, his back hunched low, feeling so little as the rational part of his brain scolded him for being too vulnerable to emotions.

He sniffled audibly, pouting like a child being denied a new toy robot. Yeah, yeah, I know, we’re not lovers, the other, more stubborn, more Trafalgar-intoxicated part of his brain replied. He crossed his arms sulkily, knitting his brow ridges together as he tried to get back to Sir Crocodile’s discussion.

Somewhere within his system, he heard his heart shouting, Try to listen to me too, there are more feelings about Trafalgar stored in me! Kid raised his brow at this, placing a hand over his chest, as if telling his heart to go on, say what you have to say, I’m listening, but all he could hear of his heart was its loud beating, and since when was his heartbeat this fast? The last time he checked, he was perfectly healthy and disease-free. More importantly, was his heart making fun of him? Since when did his heart even join the conversation? He was already having troubles with his brain, he did not need to argue with his heart too! What next? His stomach? His liver? His pancreas!? He fisted his hand and slammed it hard against his chest, startling once again his poor classmates around him. Damn, it hurt, but he had to do it so that it would serve as a lesson to his other organs before they even decided it would be a great idea to confuse him any further. Serves you right, heart!

Kid closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, taking his time to exhale slowly. Once he opened his eyes again, he was back on track. He found it easier to focus on Sir Crocodile’s lecture, and even started taking notes about it. ‘For any node in the system, the sum of the Trafalgar through all connecting elements to that node is 0. The Trafalgar-’ ...Trafalgar? His hand stopped abruptly as his eyes stared at his notes in horror, the word glaring at him: Trafalgar. How did Trafalgar manage to get into his notes!? He gripped at his pen tightly, almost snapping it into two as rage built in him, before it was immediately replaced by a chuckle. Some of his classmates sent him scared-slash-weirded-out looks, but he was too preoccupied to notice. Of course, Trafalgar would be in his notes, it wasn’t surprising. In fact, it was just like Trafalgar himself to just suddenly appear wherever Kid might be. Whether cat or human, Trafalgar always made sure he inserted himself in between Kid and whatever the redhead was doing. Studying for exams? Trafalgar would push his notes away until Kid petted him. Doing his homeworks? Trafalgar would sit on or shut his laptop until he gave him attention. Cleaning the floor? Trafalgar would hiss and pick a fight with the vacuum cleaner. Taking a poop? Trafalgar would sit on the floor in between Kid’s legs until he was done. Kid still didn’t understand why Trafalgar would do that, but he snorted at the memory nonetheless. Privacy? Kid's lost that ever since he owned a cat.

And nakedness was automatically out of the question. Kid guessed Trafalgar would never learn to wear humanly-acceptable amount of clothing and he'd learned to live with that everyday. Bathing (with) Trafalgar, however, was still a task he's yet to get used to. Kid swore, he wasn't a pervert, and Trafalgar's sexy ass should thank the kitty heavens for that, but Kid was a healthy young man, and he had his urges; and having to touch another equally naked- and extremely attractive- man had its involuntary effects on him. He was actually pretty proud of himself for not being the barbarian people deemed him to be and for keeping his hands to himself whenever around the other. In fact, he generally kept his hands to himself, his right hand was almost his best friend next to Killer. Too much information! At least, Kid was decent enough not to show Trafalgar when he had to take care of his hard, fat donut and release his thick, creamy vanilla filling. How embarrassing would that be!

He's already seen, though, Kid's brain informed him. Remember he was a cat before he was human?

Kid swallowed thickly at the thought, slowly scanning back at his happy-alone-time memories. The visions appeared in his point of view, slightly blurry at first but turning clearer after a while. The scenarios were almost all the same: him lying on his bed with his bottoms down, his red angry donut tall and proud while his right hand gave it some real good ol’ beating. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Definitely nothing except for those two diamonds glinting from a dark corner of his room. He looked closely into the said corner, only to find that the diamonds were actually gold and- gasp- the suspicious twinkling golds were floating above some even more suspicious blob of darkness. He curiously zoomed his mental eyes into the image, the unrecognizable black mass slowly taking a definite form the longer he stared at it. And he'd be damned if he didn't recognize that form: a black circle where the golds floated; two triangles pointing upwards above the circle; an arch doorway-like shape below the circle; and a long curved line attached behind it that swung left and right-- Trafalgar. Kid's eyes widened at the realization the same time he gasped so hard, he choked on his own saliva. He wallowed in self-pity and embarrassment as his lungs erupted into a coughing fit that shook the entire classroom, because CAT-TRAFALGAR WAS THERE IN EACH AND EVERY OF HIS HAPPY-ALONE-TIME SESSIONS, WATCHING HIM! Fuuu-!

What did Trafalgar think of him now? He's a certified hundred-percent loser! But Trafalgar hadn't mentioned a single thing about it so that's probably a good sign? Yeah? No!? Kid almost wanted to audibly scream out his frustration!

But still, it was better than Trafalgar making fun of him, which the cat-human never did; not in the entire time they spent together. Kid blushed slightly at the thought. Trafalgar accepted every part of him, without judgments, and oh was he so sure, Trafalgar also secretly liked his hairless brows.

He chuckled and sighed. He’s been hit hard and he hadn't even realized it before. And he wasn't stupid to deny the obvious any longer: He liked Trafalgar. Very much so. The feeling was foreign, but he was sure of it. It was a little scary, but damn, if Eustass Kid wasn't gonna do anything about it…

Oh my , is this actually the Eustass Kid conversing with himself!? Internal panic ensues! Because never had he thought himself to be this cheesy. Cringe! But ah, what's he supposed to do now? It's Trafalgar all over his head!

Trafalgar. His black little cat-turned-human. His hot genius housemate. His annoying cutiepie. His-

BANG!

“Grumpy baby!” Kid exclaimed loudly, startled when Sir Crocodile suddenly slammed a fist against the whiteboard.

His face paled when he felt all eyes on him, realizing what he just did. And above the deafening silence and his embarrassing situation, Hawkins just had the audacity to swallow back a snicker from beside him, only growing into an audible chuckle when Kid placed a light punch on the blond’s shoulder. Kid scowled, what a traitor!

“Mr. Eustass, if you would please enlighten the whole class about your “grumpy baby”, because I believe I have just seen a hundred different emotions on your face for the past hour,” Sir Crocodile stated in an eerily calm manner, his arms crossed tightly over his chest and a visible angry vein on his forehead being the only hints on how pissed he really was. Uh-oh. May the mighty and glorious cats ever favor Kid and save him from this apparent demise.


 

“Whew! Got off lightly!” Kid exclaimed as he slumped on his desk the moment Sir Crocodile was out of the room.

“I’m pretty sure your ‘grumpy baby’ wouldn’t be pleased once he finds out you’ll be having less time for him just because of a special homework,” Hawkins said nonchalantly while he packed his stuff inside his bag, but the other could hear amusement in his voice.

“Shut up.” Kid glared at him before sighing and lifting his head from the desk, starting to pack his things as well.

“Right, how did it go with Drake?” Kid asked after a while as the classroom they were in started emptying, students rushing out and into their next classes. It was Hawkins’ turn to glare at Kid.

“You are the worst ever. You’re never going Dino Hunting with me again.”

“What did I do now!?” Kid gasped, clutching at his chest exaggeratedly before continuing, “I even helped you talk to him!”

The redhead cleared his throat and eyed the door as the last of their classmates exited the room. “So what happened while I was gone? Have you confessed?” He continued in a hushed tone, his eyes sparking of interest.

“Nothing happened,” Hawkins replied sharply. He sighed in defeat after a while and sat on his arm desk gloomily. “...I got rejected.”

“What!? How!? I mean, I was so sure he’s into you…” Kid said in contemplation, going over to the other and patting the blond on his back. “Well, maybe try again! We still have a hidden ace here!” He continued as he pulled out his smartphone from the front pocket of his backpack. “Your dino won’t be able to ever say no once he sees your cute pictures.” The redhead announced excitedly, congratulating himself in his head and somehow feeling smug about proving Hawkins just how much trustworthy of a friend he was, and how dare that voodoo boy even doubt him.

“Hey, don’t look so sad now! We’re gonna fix it,” Kid said, referring to the uncharacteristic pout the other was wearing and elbowing him. “So, how did you confess?”

“Well…” Hawkins sighed. “I didn't.”

Kid narrowed his eyes at the blond. “So you're telling me you got rejected when you hadn't even confessed? How can he even reject you if he doesn't know you have feelings for him?”

“But I offered to walk home together but he didn't come with me. Isn't that rejection?”

“My friend, that's not how it works,” Kid replied with a shake of his head paired with an are-you-serious glare.

He finally opened his phone gallery to show Hawkins the photos they took during Dino Hunting, but hey, was that a picture of cat-Trafalgar in his ‘most recent’ tab?

He got distracted and clicked on it, quickly recognizing it as a screenshot of his Onegram account showing a picture of his baby’s body burritoed in a blanket so that only his head was peaking out. His mind went ‘aww’ as he briefly wondered why the screenshot was there. He swiped the image to the right and found to his delight an exact same photo of Trafalgar shot only this morning--except Trafalgar was in hybrid form. So this was the reason Kid found his tripod abandoned next to his bed earlier that day before they left for school? The redhead chuckled. What a cutie. He swiped to the right after staring at it for a while, hoping there to be more, and smiled triumphantly when the image showed another screenshot of his Onegram, this time featuring an adorable image of cat-Trafalgar half-lying and half-sitting cross-legged on his side: his favorite waiting-for-my-human-to-come-home position. As expected, the next picture revealed a ‘hybridized’ version of it, and Kid just had to blush because damn, look at those sexy long legs ! That Trafalgar was only wearing Kid’s oversized white, almost see-through v-neck shirt that fell over one of the cat-human’s shoulders wasn’t helping at all. And what’s up with that smirk? Was that an invitation for Kid to wipe it off with his own li- That’s going too far, Kid! And he smacked himself on the head. Because he wouldn’t allow anyone to blatantly think perversely of Trafalgar without the latter’s consent, not even himself.

Wow, what a hero, this Eustass Kid.

Looking back at the picture, Trafalgar’s position reminded him of the very first time he met the other as a human when Trafalgar was lying the exact same way on his couch. Kid didn’t remember himself reacting the same way he did right now, which probably sounded odd considering Trafalgar was completely naked back then, but Kid deep down knew the reason to this. It was because- and he took a deep breath- Trafalgar back then didn’t mean so much to him as he did today. And I thank you . He released his breath as he listened to the round of applauses playing in his head accompanied with whistles and cheers and several shouts along the lines of “Just marry him already!”, all courtesy of his crazy brain; and Kid started actually entertaining the idea that the ‘C’ in his middle name probably stood for ‘Cheesy’ and not for ‘Captain’.

The next screenshot was the definitely the cutest. Guess what, it's the Trafalbutt! It was a close-up of Trafalgar's rear, including his hind legs, which were crossed over each other while he was lying down like the lazy cat he was. Kid found the position funny, especially since he’d woken up a couple of times already with that butt directly in front of his face. Luckily, he’d never experienced it while Trafalgar was human, or else, he really wouldn’t know what to do.

His thumb abruptly paused mid-swipe as he backtracked a little. Did that mean the next picture is…

He gulped nervously and swiped very very slowly, taking a little peak, and indeed, those were Trafalgar’s legs!

Kid once and for all swiped to the right in order to see the entire picture and for the second time, he insists he wasn’t a pervert, but if he were an anime character, he’d be depicted as having a massive blood fountain erupting from his nose right now. Did Trafalgar even know that this picture would make Kid want to run his hand along those perfect thighs and not-so-gently squeeze that equally perfect, rounded a- aaaaah , Trafalgar would definitely also not-so-gently scratch him if he did that! The only thing about the picture that kept Kid’s sanity intact was the fact that fortunately (or unfortunately), Trafalgar’s tail was tucked in between his thighs in both of the pictures, saving Kid from the view that would surely make him lose his mind altogether.

Kid braced himself and bravely swiped for the next picture and sighed at the thankfully rather-mild image of cat-Trafalgar cutely stretching with his two front legs flat in front of him. Nothing could go wrong, right?

Wrong.

The next photo was something the brave Eustass Kid wasn’t ready for. At all.

Because that image of Trafalgar with his arms outstretched, gripping at the sheets while his back was arched so that his bare bottom was- cat forbid- up in the air, was something that would be etched in the redhead’s poor incoherent brain for a very long time.

Kid felt his breath get caught in his throat. He subconsciously licked his lips when his eyes landed on Trafalgar’s parted ones, and let out a low, frustrated, guttural growl, because why on earth did Trafalgar have to look so pleasured while stretching in that kind on position in the first place?

He bit his lower lip to prevent himself from making any other wanton noises, and almost slammed his head onto the concrete wall for making many different unspeakable dirty scenarios. He willed himself to calm down, to think logically once more, and he wished he had listened to Sir Crocodile’s lecture on circuits, because his brain was most probably short-circuiting right now.

“Kid…” The confused voice of the other occupant of the room brought Kid back from his little swim into the wavy Trafalsea where he almost drowned.

“Do you have my pic-”

“I’m going to the next class,” Kid absently said as he slung his backpack over a shoulder, leaving his blond friend even more confused about that weird, distant look the redhead had as his feet took over his still-dazed brain and dragged him out of the classroom.

His mind was foggy, his palms were sweating, his heart was racing faster than it ever did in his whole life, and his blood flow was in chaos, he simply hoped his physical reaction down there would go by unnoticed. He swore in the name of his baggy pants it should.

Now he just needed a little distraction from his-

“Hey, Eustass~”

-torment, but ugh, nevermind!

Kid turned around to face the owner of the voice he dearly loved and, right then and there, instantly felt any defense he had left fall onto the ground entirely.

Because if a seductive Trafalgar made Kid’s heart beat a hundred times per second, then the cat-human’s ever-genuine smile made his heart completely stop.

What breathtaking beauty. What Kid would do to keep him smiling like that.

It was his very favourite.

It was the smile that always completed his day in the morning before it even started. It was the smile he wouldn’t mind seeing well until the rest of his days.

It was the smile that made him weak on the knees, and for a moment there, Kid felt the real urge to press his lips and silently convey his emotions against Trafalgar’s own.

And for the first time ever, Kid realized just how much it sucked that the two of them weren’t anything more than what they were.

Trafalgar simply stood there, with the same smile, patiently waiting for the human. Kid then slowly walked towards the other and grabbed him in a one-armed hug, kissing Trafalgar on the jaw instead and then burying his face on the crook of the cat-human's neck.

“Why are you doing this to me?” He whispered against the other's skin in a defeated, desperate, almost pleading tone.

But Trafalgar was clueless and unsuspecting, and was simply enthusiastic about the attention he was receiving. He giddily wrapped his arms around the other without a care about whichever crowd was starting to gather not too close, but watching them.

“Doing what, Eustass?” Was the cat-human’s unanswered reply, but he was comfortable with Eustass’ silence. Behind the redhead’s back, Law saw his tabby archenemy exiting the classroom his human had just been in. Hawkins’ eyes momentarily met his, and he simply raised his brow because who cared about the blond at the moment? If he wanted to even have a chance at stealing Eustass, then the first thing he should consider was to dye his orange fur, because Eustass clearly liked black cats better.


 

Later that day, Kid was sitting cross-legged on his couch, opposite the owner of the hand he was currently holding. And admiring. He ran his thumb through inked fingers, tracing the tattooed letters which Trafalgar had explained to be a gift from his father. What kind of father would want their child to literally bear ‘DEATH’ on their hands? A cool father, apparently, because Kid thought it was hot. Trafalgar had more tattooes on his arms, but the redhead’s favorite was the one on the chest. Just how smoking hot was that huge tribal heart tattoo? Trafalgar’s father was surely something else for encouraging his son to get it on his 18th birthday. A cool and ideal father-in-law father indeed.

Kid carried on his job when Trafalgar shifted in front of him, fiddling on the new phone of the latest model he apparently got from his crazy but filthy rich uncle. The redhead focused his attention back on Trafalgar’s nails, cutting them short enough to keep himself safe from when Trafalgar suddenly started scratching him. However, he sadly couldn’t do anything if Trafalgar ever decided to scratch him with his long, sharp, scary hybrid nails. He shivered. Those things could kill.  

He put out the nail cutter he was holding once he was done, and went back into admiring those hands. He pressed his palm against Trafalgar’s and observed how much bigger his hand was while Trafalgar continued scrolling through probably Onegram (because the cat-human deemed it was important he got his own account as well) and paid him no mind. Kid played with the other’s hand, caressing it and taking note of every little detail until he eventually ended up entwining their fingers together. Trafalgar perked and cat-blinked at him with his beautiful bright eyes, and Kid just gave in. He brought the tattooed hand to his lips and pressed a bold yet gentle kiss on it. Trafalgar smiled at him, which he gladly returned, making the tanned male break into a chuckle.

“Oh, right. Eustass,” Trafalgar called, squeezing the large pale hand.

“Yes?”

“Did you see the pictures I took?” Trafalgar asked excitedly, pulling Kid’s hand towards him and resting their hands on his lap.

“Of course,” Kid replied smoothly, feigning indifference despite his insides once again going crazy. Trafalgar did not need to know how he hid those pictures into the deepest, most inaccessible corner of his smartphone for… future purposes.

He realized his mistake, however, when Trafalgar frowned at his cold reply.

“Hey, I really liked them! Come here.” The redhead cooed to save the situation, pulling Trafalgar closer to him.

“No, don’t order me around, human,” Trafalgar countered sulkily, trying to free his hand from Kid’s increasingly tight grip.

He glared at the human as he once and for all tried to pull his hand away again more forcefully this time, but to no avail. Eustass seemed to take pleasure in his struggle, his mouth gradually forming into a huge grin. Law’s eyebrow twitched when the man even winked at him. The nerves.

Okay, so the brute was physically stronger than him. So what?

He himself had some edge over the redhead. For example, words.

“You see, Eustass, this is why you are single,” Law said calmly with a smirk, watching as Eustass’ proud grin slowly morphed into a regretful pout that Law almost wanted to console his human.

Eustass’ hand finally let go of Law’s in favor of dramatically clutching at his own chest.

“I know, Trafalgar.” And Kid sniffled. “I know I’m single. No one ever wanted me.”

The scene was all too familiar to Law. Familiar, yet distant, it made him realize even more how much he missed it. The lines brought him back to the times when Eustass would pick him up and place him on his lap or his chest, and then rant his heart out, mostly about how single he was.

Law always wondered why Eustass was very concerned about being single. Didn’t he know Law would always be there for him either way? Or was it not enough?

“Is it really because I look scary? Do I even look scary? But hey, disregard my face, I’m pretty hot, right? Right?”

The vanity;

“Ah, I know, I can be a little childish too. And stubborn. And very assertive, it’s sometimes out of place. I can also be hot-tempered… Can’t help it, some things just really piss me off.”

The prickliness;

“Right, I deck faces too, but I never initiate!”

The troublousness;

“And I guess my humor is mediocre… Thinking about it, I don’t really have much good points!”

The insecurity. As if any of those would stop Law from sticking with the human.

“Ahh, but I’m pretty smart! Not exceptional like you, though. I can cook a bit… Uhh, I’m strong? I maybe can do sports. I’m also a little crafty…”

Law listened to his human’s rambling he’s heard countless times already in amusement. Although he still didn’t quite understand why Eustass needed to enumerate his good points, as if Law didn’t know them already. Even the ones the redhead considered ‘bad’, Law wouldn’t change for anything. Plus, the human sucked at enumeration. He missed a lot of good points; like his red hair, and his unrelenting persona, and his sweetness despite being annoying, and the way he always looked at Law with such care in his eyes. Didn’t he know just how much the cat-human loved those?

“...and look at all these muscles!” Eustass exclaimed and flexed his biceps to emphasize his point. “Do you know why I always train?”

Law raised an eyebrow. Now that’s an argument he’d never heard.

“Of course, so I can be good at hugging!”

“Eustass!” Law squeaked when the human all of a sudden threw his arms around his body and pinned him down, making him fall with his back to the couch and some musclehead lying on his chest.

“What were you thinking!?” He hissed and lightly scratched his human’s shoulder before wrapping his own arms around the other’s neck. “Be careful next time. We almost fell.”

“Too late, I already did, when will you?” Eustass mumbled against his chest with a sigh.

“You’ve already what?”

“Hmm… yes... ” The redhead answered vaguely before looking up and beaming brightly at him. “You like my hugs, don’t you?”

“And what of it?”

“Then I’ll have to give you more.”

“I’ll demand it, either way,” he replied with a roll of his eyes.

Eustass chuckled and, to Law's mild surprise, kissed him on the jaw. “How about my kisses?”

“Yes. More of them.”

“Earn them, kitten~,” the redhead teased while sticking out his tongue.

Trafalgar looked like he wanted to retort, but Kid was quick to give him a kiss on the cheek, successfully calming the cat-human down. The redhead chuckled internally. How easy to guess.

And then Trafalgar was pouting at him, and how was it even possible for a grown man to be so adorable!?

Kid stared at Trafalgar’s lips, almost too tempted to just go with what his instincts told him, and damn, it just gets harder to get ahold of himself each time, but then he found Trafalgar’s eyes boring at him, and he just knew, he had to do it the right way. Kid wasn’t going to ruin the single most important thing in his life right now. And maybe… probably he stood a chance, didn’t he?

“At least, I know for sure there are some things you like about me,” the redhead whispered as he kissed Law gently on the forehead instead, before burying his face on the crook of the cat-human’s neck with a sigh.

Law did not know why Eustass suddenly sounded so gloomy, but he knew he had to make that human feel better.

He brought his hand up and threaded his fingers carefully through amazingly vibrant crimson hair, occasionally pressing his finger pads to massage against the scalp like how Eustass would do him. He did not care about how his body was starting to turn numb. He did not care that there was an immovable mass of muscle falling asleep on top of him. However, he loved how Eustass looked so peaceful and secure in his arms.

He brushed a few stray strands away from the human’s face, which were obstructing his view from the features that captivated him the first time they met, and everyday since.

He ran his thumb down a pale cheek as he stared. The human’s skin curiously felt soft, in contrast to how imposing he looked. And the longer Law stared, the more and more he was proud for having chosen the best human for himself. Because Trafalgar Law wasn’t a cat that would settle for anything less.

He buried his nose on the red hair and began brushing it with his cat tongue. He licked Eustass’ head until he was satisfied with the amount of scent he established on his human. But oddly, Law felt that it wasn’t enough, that there was one more thing he had to do. As if on instinct, he leaned down and pressed his lips against the other’s head. A kiss. He was the giver and it weirdly felt right. For a moment there, Law felt he was becoming an actual human, having had an urge he'd never did before. And oddlier was that he thought it delightful rather than troubling.

He held Eustass tighter in his arms, placing another gentle peck on his head before closing his own eyes. Kisses were still a foreign concept to him, but he was well on his way to understanding it.

Kid, on the other hand, was trying his best to calm his screaming heart down. Damn, did Trafalgar think he could just kiss him without taking proper responsibility? You have to marry me now, Trafalgar! Gosh, how hard was it to pretend asleep when Trafalgar was acting that way. And wait, was he just thinking about marrying? Looks like Eustass Cheesy Kid is back at it again.

But the kiss was real and the other’s hold on him was faultless. Trafalgar certainly liked him more than he cared to express. And oh gosh, what if Kid wasn't actually all alone in this hole he fell in? He knew, he really knew, he had a special place in Trafalgar's heart, he felt it. And in between sappy thoughts, trying to be logical, and listening to his cat-human’s calm, rhythmic breathing, Kid finally concluded, and he knew for certain: Yes, he stood a chance.