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Cat's Out Of The Bag

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Kevin's not really surprised to find that Patty's disappeared from the locker room, slipping out at some point as everyone celebrated the double whammy of a win over the Sabres and TK’s girl being pregnant. Kevin had seen the fucking devastation in Patty's eyes, even as the kid had hopped on insta and claimed a role as uncle to the kid-to-be.

He takes his time finishing up, hypes up Coots and Ghosty and Laughts for their goals like he's supposed to, gives Moose the praise he deserves, and by the time he's finished showering the locker room is almost empty, just Beezy in one corner on a video call to Frosty, and Moose doing weird goalie stuff next to the logo.

Kevin shoves everything in his bag and hollers his goodbyes to the both of them, humming to himself as he tramps down the hallways towards the trainer's rooms.

He carefully looks up and down the hallway before he stops in front of the door, making sure that there's no one else there with him - if he's right, he doesn't think Patty's gonna want anybody to see this. 

The door creaks when he pushes it open, and then again when he lets it fall shut behind him. They really need to get someone to fix that. He dumps his bag on the floor and peers around, trying to find Patty, but the room looks empty.

“Patty?” he calls out quietly. “Baby cat. Where are you?”

There's silence for a minute, and then there's a quiet little meow, coming from the same corner the trainers keep the jersey basket. Kevin shuffles on over and picks up the top jersey, revealing a tiny ball of dark fur curled up beneath it.

“Aw, baby cat,” Kevin says sadly, scooping Patty up and cradling him against his chest. “It's gonna be okay.”

Patty lets out a mournful warble, tucking his head into the crook of Kevin's arm and curling back up into a tiny ball.

“Come on, buddy, let’s get you home,” Kevin says softly, gently squishing his furry cargo into the pouch of his hoodie. Patty wails disconsolately, a high-pitched, squeaky sound that tugs at Kevin’s heartstrings. He gets the two of them out of the arena and into his car as fast as possible, and spends the entire ride home with one hand tucked into his hoodie pouch, gently stroking Patty’s tiny body.

Once he’s hauled everything inside and got himself settled on his bed, he pulls the furry little bundle back out and settles Patty on his chest, tucking the soft blanket he’d grabbed into a nest around the two of them.

“Alright baby cat, it’s just us. Let it out bud. S’okay.”

There’s a few moments of silence, and then Patty screams, raw and animalistic, his entire body puffing up with the force of it. He hisses and spits, howls and wails, turns himself in frantic circles on Kevin’s chest, his needle-sharp claws pricking through Kevin’s shirt. Kevin doesn’t, like, begrudge TK his happiness or anything, he loves the guy too much for that, but watching Patty just about tear himself apart, he does almost wish that Teeks had maybe just…been a little less happy. Or decided that he could be happy with someone else, and fallen in love with Patty instead.

It takes Patty a good half hour to wear himself out, but eventually he slumps down on Kevin’s torso, his little chest heaving as he tries to catch his breath. Kevin gathers the slightly worse-for-wear blanket and wraps it back around them, snuggling them up tight together before reaching up to turn the light off.

“Go to sleep, baby cat,” he whispers, gently rubbing his thumb over the damp fur on Nolan’s cheek. “Things will be better in the morning.”