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A cat's a cat and that's that

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Yuuri doesn't do rushed. Yuuri does minutiously overthought and planned in advance, with time to spare to overthink a little more.

That's why he has his free day carefully noted in his phone calendar, an overly detailed list of what he has to buy grocery shopping in his pocket and determination in his eyes.

That’s also why he’s totally unprepared when he adopts Viktor.

 

When he crosses the threshold of the pet shop, a bell dings. It’s a pleasant sound, but he has no time to indulge into it, because he has a mission, and that mission is: hamster food. Phichit has no time to buy it, and Gold, Silver and Bronze are hungry, adorable little monsters.

He’s rehearsing the things he’s gonna ask the cashier in his head when he almost faceplants directly on the counter, managing to catch himself just in time with a hand, because there’s a rush of white fur in his path and he tripped on it? Way to go, Yuuri.

“Sir, are you okay?” the girl behind the counter asks, a cheery looking redhead whose name tag reads “Mila”.

Yuuri blushes, stutters out “Yes, yes, I-”

“Viktor!” Mila calls, disapprovingly, and Yuuri is about to hang his head in shame even though his name definitely isn’t Viktor, when said ball of fur climbs onto the counter and meows softly, revealing to be a majestic Ragdoll cat with deep blue eyes and the longest legs Yuuri has ever seen on a cat. “You shouldn’t trip our customers, how many times have I told you?” she continues, with a grin “No matter how cute they are.”

Cute? Is she talking about- oh. Doesn’t matter about his list and hungry hamsters, Yuuri is about to hightail it out of there already, except the most beautiful eyes he’s ever seen are now staring up at him. Well, Mila is also staring at him, which would be embarrassing, but. Viktor the cat meows again, almost inquisitively, then arches up and puts a paw over Yuuri’s hand, still clutched on the counter.

Yuuri flinches, just slightly, but doesn’t remove the hand. It would be rude, right? Also, Viktor has the softest paws.

Mila seems terribly amused when she asks him what he's looking for, which makes him babble and hunch his shoulders on themselves a little, but while she goes to fetch him the hamster food, Viktor the cat starts purring, delightedly rubbing his head on his stretched arm. Yuuri’s not even ashamed when he brings up his other hand to scratch behind his ears, and not even Mila returning manages to make him feel awkward enough to stop.

“He’s really beautiful,” Yuuri whispers, a little awed, when Viktor starts nibbling at the tip of his fingers really softly, still purring, and Mila laughs.

“Right?” she says, a little pensively “he’s never been one for cuddles until now, though. Seems like he loves you already.”

Yuuri can feel his face heating up in pleasure when Viktor meows again, like in confirmation. But that’s impossible, of course.

“You know,” Mila continues, her smile really large “Why don’t you adopt him?”

Yuuri gapes. “Wha,” even Viktor stops what he was doing, perking up his ears, “Isn’t he the shop cat?”

“Oh, he sure looks like it, doesn’t he?” Mila arches her eyebrow “It’s just this boy has difficult tastes in humans, don’t you?” she looks directly at Viktor now, who sniffs primly and headbutts Yuuri on the forearm, urging him to keep petting. Which Yuuri does, even while protesting halfheartedly “I wouldn’t really know how to care for him, I’m a dog person-”

“That’s no problem! I’ll leave you our number and you can call anytime,” Mila winks, probably knowing she has already won “Viktor is not big on staying in the house anyway, you’ll see, he’ll probably never be around, he won’t bother you at all!”

 


 

It turns out, Mila was lying.

Viktor is the greatest apartment cat that ever existed. He’s always around, bullying him into cuddles, lounging prettily on his lap when he’s reading or studying, napping lazily besides him at night. He has raffinate tastes in food, but he’s also well trained, and his fur is incredibly soft to dip his fingers into, so Yuuri doesn’t call Mila to yell about deceits, but gets used to waking up with fur in his mouth and to blue eyes blinking up at him with what seem to be scarily human emotions.

Viktor is spoiled, and bossy, but on the days Yuuri goes to work (he’s part-timing in a book shop as a side to his online college courses, to avoid putting all his expenses on his parents’ backs), he wanders in the neighbourhood on his best behaviour and never gets involved into fights or love scandals (Yuuri knows this because he has chatty old ladies as informants), and he’s always waiting for him at the door when he comes home, meowing loudly in protest when he’s late.

He swats him in the face with his tail when he's offended for some reason (Yuuri dismissed some weird request of his, like entering into the tub with him or playing with his laptop while he's writing an important essay, most likely), uses his blue sweater both as a scratch post and a nest, and his whiskers are long as sin and always into his nose at the less appropriate times, making him sneeze on bills and food and other important things with no distinction. Perching on his shoulder like if he was a little kitten instead of a big, majestic Ragdoll is also a thing, because he likes to be tall.

Yuuri loves it. He finds himself chatting aimlessly about his day while he scritches behind fluffy ears, and studying with a purring heater on his side is perfect to avoid feeling lonely. Phichit is away a lot, pursuing his skating career, even if he calls every night and cheerily asks about the “overly pretty cat”’s state of wellness.

It’s cute, and he likes Viktor a lot. It seems Viktor likes him back, for all the cuddles he demands from him and his needy noises whenever he even dares to not pay attention to him.

It’s like having a baby. Except the baby is an overactive ball of white fur with blue eyes and a terrifying comprehension of the human language.

 


 

He does think he should have foresaw it when instead of the usual cat butt in his face he wakes up to the arm of a naked, gorgeous russian looking man wrapped around him. A man who snores, apparently, and clutches at him even harder when he tries to get away.

His heart is rabbiting in his throat as he thinks about hitting the guy with the lamp, taking the phone and hiding in the bathroom to call the police, but he’s stopped in the middle of plotting, because the stranger wakes up, yawns, and opens his eyes. They’re blue, and startlingly familiar, which makes Yuuri pause into the man’s arms long enough for him to utter a sleepy, delighted “Yuuri!”

He has an accent. Dear god. And he’s definitely too attractive to be a murderer, right?

Yuuri is like a deer caught in headlights. This man is in his bed, and knows his name. But he hasn’t drunk an ounce of alcohol in months, and he distinctly remembers going to bed with Viktor curled up next to him, last night.

“Uh, uhm,” he blurts, feeling himself blush because he has a beautiful man into his bed and he’s so gay, even if the man might possibly be a serial killer and seems to be unbothered by his nakedness, also let’s not forget he’s still hugging him? “Who are you?”

The (possibly, let’s not assume) russian man has long, silver hair, and he suddenly looks devastated. With pouty jutted out lower lip and everything. “You don’t recognize me?” he whines, and is this all a vivid dream or…

“Ah, no?” Yuuri attempts, trying his damnedest to ignore that they’re still so close he could probably count the speckles of gold into the stranger’s super blue eyes.

“It’s me, Yuuri! Viktor!”

At this, Yuuri has to pinch himself or fall into despair. “You’re Viktor,” he clarifies, deadpan “My cat, Viktor.”

“Yes!” the man who says to be Viktor cries, raising his arms in the air, and Yuuri is fast to take the chance to fall backward and out of the bed. “Yuuri,” Viktor? implores, getting out of the covers too, and that is a well defined body he has, possible murderer and cat impersonator. “I know this sounds ridiculous,” he starts, pinches his nose like the truly ridiculous thing is that they’re having this discussion “but I was cursed, and- and you lifted the curse! By loving me!” he pauses, blinks “Well, I think it was because of that. The terms were a little bit unclear, you know, witches.”

Yuuri pinches himself again, harder.

“Let me try and prove it to you. Please.”

Yuuri sighs. “Get dressed.”

 


 

He makes himself a cup of tea, and offers one to the guy too, now dressed in some of Yuuri’s baggiest clothes (which still fits him too tight, oh god, how muscled can a cat even be) but he just sniffs warily at the ceramic and eyes longingly the bag of luxury cat food on the kitchen counter.

Still unsure about his state of awakeness, Yuuri tries to offer him some, but the man just shakes his head and wistfully comments “They’ll never taste the same,” which is another kind of science fiction, in Yuuri’s book.

They sit on the sofa, Yuuri perched cautiously on the border, ready to flee, while handsome possibly russian guy curls up at the other side, comfortable as ever, even if his legs are a little too long for him to really fit.

“Yuuri,” he starts, and tells him about how he was a lost man in Russia (aha), how he started to feel like nothing really mattered and gave himself over to an unhealthy lifestyle, losing his job and wandering from bar to bar in an attempt to regain is will to live.

“I guess I got on the wrong side of the wrong woman,” he concludes, sadly, tilting his head to the side quite dramatically. “Next thing I know, I’m here and a cat. Although a cute one.”

“You know this sounds a little unbelievable,” Yuuri murmurs, sipping his tea, deciding to ignore the last part because it's true but it's also vain and something that the real Viktor would probably say if he had the possibility to. Which he doesn't, because this man can't be his cat.

But he whines very similarly to his cat. Oh god. “I knew you’d say that.”

Yuuri smiles into the mug, despite himself.

“But! I know things that no stranger would know,” the man exclaims, suddenly seeming excited “Because you talk a lot, when you think now one is listening.”

Yuuri blushes. He knows that. But it helps him to keep track of his thoughts, and a cat wouldn’t be able to tell anyone- or so he thought.

“I know your name is Yuuri Katsuki,” Viktor smiles blindingly, his head tilted to the side like he’s counting things in his head “I know that you like your eggs scrambled, and your coffee bitter, and that you used to live in Japan but now you’re here to study. You speak Japanese in your sleep.” He scratches his long hair, peeks his tongue out and then backtracks, seemingly crestfallen at being unable to lick himself clean “Ah, I’ll get used to it.”

Yuuri watches and tries to comprehend that this handsome guy is the same cat he used to cuddle with at night, the same needy ball of fluff that hacked fur on the carpet last week and that greeted him back from work with purrs, headbutting him into sitting on the couch to snuggle him better.

He feels the blush raise high on his cheeks, because is it weird to found your cat attractive? Yes, yes it is, even if he’s a man now. The internet would kinkshame him strongly.

“You hum under your breath, and dance to pop songs, and old ladies love you really a lot - more than they should, maybe” Viktor keeps going, unaware of his inner turmoil, scrunching up his nose. “You coo a lot to cats, and it’s adorable. You never complained when I scratched your things and sat on your nose, and you bought me expensive food even if it meant living on ramen for a bit.”

He scoots impossibly closer on the couch at this, the same blue eyes Yuuri has felt watching him for over a month, big and earnest and open, focused on his face, trying to make him believe “You saved me, when I had nowhere else to go. And I know it sounds nuts and you don't really know me, but I want to be with you. I’ll find a job and repay you for everything, but please,” he pleads, his face open “I know you’re really lonely, because I can hear you crying in the shower sometimes, and I was too, until I found you. Let me stay, I promise you won’t regret it.”

Yuuri’s jaw gets slack with surprise. He looks at Viktor, and sees a man that he'd really like to get to know. A desperate stray that wants nothing more than to be loved. And he loved the cat, how hard can it be to love the man too? He's already halfway there.

“Do you believe me now?” Viktor asks, getting even closer “Yuuri?”

“Viktor,” Yuuri sighs, and suddenly there’s a very firm mass of muscles pressing into his arms, trying to cuddle him “You’re such a rude cat.”

 


 

Viktor cuts his hair (which is tragic, but he also looks really good) and finds a job at the pet store, where Mila curiously doesn’t ask questions and accepts him with open arms.

It’s weird, he says, to be there, but it’s also a great reminder about not pissing off witches.

The housing arrangement is another thing. Viktor looks unbelievably handsome, but he has some cat quirks still, and Yuuri feels bad about wanting to tap that , so he shamefully hides his fond feelings in a corner of his mind and tries to be friendly, but not too much.

He tries to sleep on the couch, also, only to be scolded by a cold, sad Viktor, who cuddles up to him making him wake up with the worst back pain he’s ever experienced. From then on, they sleep in the bed together. Lucky it’s a queen size.

Viktor makes a mean egg and bacon, insists on being scratched on the head when they’re watching trash movies and likes to be there when Yuuri studies, which is distracting but also kind of nice. He also kisses him on the cheek a lot, and is touchy just as much as he was when he was a cat. The only problem being that now he’s also a foot taller than Yuuri and a very pretty, nicely shaped man, and did Yuuri mention that he was super gay, because he is.

They go shopping for clothes, and everything Viktor tries on fits like he’s a runaway model, which is ridiculous, and maybe they should call some talent scouts and Yuuri would never have to work for anything else ever in his life because his cat turned out to be a greek god. The spotlight would be suitable for Viktor, indeed, but Yuuri is a possessive person, so scratch that. Moving on.

Viktor says there is nothing left for him in Russia, but there’s no sadness in his eyes, and Yuuri cuddles him extra close and swears to himself that he’ll keep this stray forever.

It’s hard to work out his feelings, and Phichit by now calls Viktor his boyfriend, which is embarrassing and a little pleasing too; his friend also has no memory of a white cat. It must be a curse side effect, which is actually useful and avoids a lot of awkward conversations, but Yuuri has photos, a litter, and cans of cat food that he’s procrastinating on throwing out.

That's not even his biggest problem: there’s no other way of saying this, Yuuri is falling for Viktor as hard as one could possibly fall for their magically turned human cat.

Because Viktor is kind, and goofy, and absolutely infuriating. He weasels in Yuuri’s life so easily, making him dream of things he’s never thought about wanting before, like the domesticity of a love that makes you feel secure, coming home to someone waiting for you and sharing chores, watching trashy soap operas and sharing lazy bjs in the shower. He feels like he’s in a movie, his own very (heavily modified) version of Sabrina where a cat is the handsome man- and he isn’t even the Audrey Hepburn of the situation. It looks nothing like Sabrina, okay, but he wanted to be Audrey, for once.

Also, it kind of looks like more a bad movie, because he adopted a cat, and now the cat is a handsome russian man, and they have fallen into a sweet domestic routine but Viktor probably just feels indebted to him and would be better off on a sunny hawaiian beach, sipping cocktails, with adoring fans screaming about his hot body and taking countless pictures.

Instead he’s there, snuggled up on the bed with today’s newspaper up in the air in front of his face, while Yuuri pretends to write an essay on his laptop next to him.

Their ankles are pressed together, and it’s warm, and tingly. Yes, Viktor makes Yuuri feel tingly. Is that even a real feeling?

He reads the same line of text three times, then Viktor whines and rolls over, pressing himself completely on his side, and tingly is a definite feeling all right. “Yuuri,” he says, “Pet my hair.”

The worst thing is that his hand is already in Viktor’s hair by the time he’s fully processed it and questioned it, which shows just how far he’s smitten with him, which is- a lot.

Viktor hums, because he can’t purr, and Yuuri has to say it, doesn’t he? Because this has the potential to go downward really, really fast and he has no parachute.

“Hey,” he mumbles, more than anything, because he’s afraid of what he’s going to say “You know you don’t have to stick around, now that you’re free, right?”

The humming stops.

“What I mean to say is,” Yuuri feels the need to explain, a little frantic now “It’s not like I don’t want you here, because I do, but if it’s because you feel a debt towards me- it’s cleared, and you can go, I won’t- I won’t hate you for it.” He will be heartbroken, but he'll get over it, eventually. Not if he stops now, before the floor gets too close.

Viktor sits up, then, and his face gives nothing away.

“Yuuri,” he starts, then brings up a hand to cover his on the bed. Like the first time they met, even if Viktor was a cat and it’s probably weird to remember this now. “I thought I had made it clear, that I want to stay with you.”

The breath hitches in Yuuri’s chest, his heart expands in his ribcage. Viktor wants to stay. “For as long as you’ll have me, even if I’m a spoiled cat,” Viktor adds, with a heartbreaking smile.

Yuuri turns up his palm under Viktor’s hand and links their fingers. “You sure are,” he laughs.

 


Their first kiss is kind of cliché, because Viktor totally purposefully misses his cheek before going to work and they make out for half an hour, Yuuri pressed against the wall and Viktor crowding him in, before Yuri Plisetsky (a grouchy, adorable coworker at the pet store) starts texting threats and Viktor needs to leave.

When he comes home, they have great sex on the kitchen counter and then again in the shower, because Viktor went to the gym regularly before the witch cursed him and magic preserved his body, which is apparently super good at lifting him up and how lucky is Yuuri again?

 

When people ask, they don’t even have to lie. They reply they met in a pet shop.