“... What is that?”
“Why Soren, I am surprised you don’t-”
“Don’t patronize me Zelgius, I know what it is. I suppose then since I am speaking with you I should have instead asked why is it in our house?” The basket he had brought with him as he ventured into the village market to buy a handful of necessary items was set off to the side (Soren once again being thankful for the shelf they had placed near the entrance to the aforementioned house), all the while his scowl never straying from the cat (kitten really) innocently sitting in the hallway before him.
Quiet, muffled chuckles had him shifting his glaring to the perpetrator of this heinous act, Zelgius at least having the decency to cough sheepishly before schooling his features into neutrality. “It had no home, what else was I to do hmm?”
The look Soren gives him is not amused, even the cat agrees with his displeasure in the form of meowing loudly (obnoxiously) before full body twitching and racing off into another room. “Leave it, obviously.” With the cat now gone from sight, presumably off to make a mess elsewhere or scratch the furniture, Soren plucked his basket from the shelf and gestured for Zelgius to follow him as he began making his way to the kitchen. “We don’t need a pet; I don’t want a pet, and don’t most animals detest our kind anyway?”
Soren had expected that would be the end of it; they would toss the cat out, or find it another home if Zelgius’ heart was too soft to allow that, and they would move on as if there had never been a cat to begin with.
Well, fate, it seemed, enjoyed proving Soren wrong.
Starting with the fact that the cat stayed.
Though he had been correct, most animals did detest the Branded (the rest of the world did, why not pure animals themselves as well?) or at least showed wariness about them. This particular kitten however quickly earned himself the intended-as-an-insult nickname of Skrimir for how attached it became to Soren (not to mention its orange colouring as well, of course), despite the mage’s best attempts at pushing the feline away.
(No offense intended towards Skrimir himself of course; the name had spilled from Soren in a fit of irritation at the kitten and it, unfortunately, stuck.)
Skirmir seemed particularly fond of attacking Soren’s hair, which had grown ever longer in the years since the Goddess War, meaning the little beast would prance along behind the mage and jump to swat at the ends of his hair (by now reaching to near mid-thigh)- endlessly annoying to Soren himself but a great source of amusement for Zelgius. Joke was on Zelgius however, when Soren would complain of the lingering ache brought on by kitten claws to the backs of his legs and Zelgius would feel guilt for his amusement over the situation.
It only got worse from there.
Though Zelgius was the one to regularly feed the animal (”You wanted it, you can feed it.”), and gave the kitten more than enough love it was bound and determined to make Soren its person. Hateful words such as “We’re only going to outlive you, you know.” nor threats of “One of these days I should feed you to the ravens.” affected the wicked thing. In fact whenever Soren would speak in its direction (always with scorn or exasperation) it would make a racket (he’d never known a cat to meow so loudly before) and more often than not throw itself at his shoes in an attempt to attack his feet.
It was a weird cat, in the mage’s opinion.
In no way did Soren find amusement in watching Skrimir chase his tail in circles or chase reflections of light about the room. Not at all. Skirmir’s purring was in no way comforting, especially not when he had settled his furry self on the pillow with Soren (often times using his hair as a nest of sorts) allowing the mage to hear it all the more clearly than when he was nestled elsewhere. The first time Zelgius had walked in on Soren dozing with the cat in his lap, Soren had in no way shoved Skrimir away from himself and fled the room with a dark flustered blush over his face. Nope.
Always one to hate admitting when he is wrong (if he ever admits it at all), it takes time for Soren to reluctantly plop himself down into Zelgius’ lap one evening; fingers brushing through dark strands of soft hair as he presses their foreheads together. For a brief time his lips are pursed and brow furrowed; he isn’t quite sure what he wants to say, how to say it, but he knows the idea, the thought process, he wants to convey. “... I am sure that none of this will come as a surprise to you.”
Idly he twitches with vague irritation when that oh so subtle knowing smirk comes to his lover’s lips, though the irritation is soothed slightly by hands settling on his hips and thumbs firmly rubbing against him. He’s still so weak for affection, for touch and gentleness.
“But… Perhaps you had been wise in your desires to keep the cat. He is… Much more enjoyable to have around than I anticipated-” Here his eyes narrowed and he huffed in pre-emptive offense as he tugged on Zelgius’ hair in warning, “And if you attempt to hold this over my head at all, I will teach the little beastling to defecate in your shoes, understood?” Though his threat is followed by a kiss to the tip of Zelgius’ nose, it is no less severe or empty-handed. He’d do it, and Zelgius better know this.
“I wouldn’t dream of it, my darling~” Coo’d sweetly at the mage before Zelgius wraps his arms more securely around Soren’s middle and pulls him closer to give him the softest of kisses- barely able to keep the knowing pleased smirk from his face as he hears the distant sounds of their dearly adored kitten yet again causing something to crash to the floor. They could investigate shortly, for the moment he was rather content where he was thanks (though at least the sounds being distant meant he had Soren all to himself without the cat attempting to steal his attention away…~).