Kaoru’s eyes fluttered open, a slow, peaceful awakening as soft morning light streamed through the window. He let out a soft groan, drinking in the warmth of his bed as he stretched. He could only stretch so far, as a set of arms around his waist held him close. He shuffled himself over, pulling Rei close. Rei let out a sad groan as he stirred as well.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you up,” Kaoru whispered quietly. Rei shook his head, reluctantly letting go of Kaoru’s waist as he similarly stretched. Kaoru sat himself up, and a feeling of strangeness washed over him, prickling at his neck that something was different. Not quite wrong, but… differently. He huffed it away, pulling his hands over his head as he kept stretching, slowly becoming more and more alert. As he pulled his arms down, his hands brushed over his hair. That’s funny, Kaoru thought, still drowsy. I must have some crazy bedhead. He turned over to Rei, hoping to catch the morning sun on his sleepy body, but to his surprise, Rei had sat upright.
“Wow, Rei Sakuma moving around before 10AM?” Kaoru joked. Rei had a look on his face, eyes darting from Kaoru’s eyes up over his head. Kaoru swatted a hand over his head.
“What, is there a spider?” He asked, a little nervously. His hand, again, brushed over that patch of bead head. Rei simply blinked quietly at him, mouth parted ever so slightly.
“Rei, you’re scaring me. What’s up?” Kaoru’s voice was trembling now, reaching out towards Rei.
“Kaoru, take a peek at the mirror, perhaps?” Anxiously, Kaoru pulled himself off of the bed, hesitantly stepping in front of the mirror in their bedroom. His face was okay, thankfully, but his eyes were pulled upwards by a pair of ears sat on top of his head. They were relatively large - starting where his human ears normally would sit and pulling their way up to peek over his messy hair.
“Rei, this prank sucks,” Kaoru tried to joke, but as Rei chortled behind him, one of the ears twitched, Kaoru feeling it move like any other limb on his body. His eyes widened, blinking furiously as he tried to force himself awake, thinking that this was some weird, vivid dream. He pinched his arm, letting out a weak laugh as he felt the pain. He turned back towards Rei, not really too sure what to feel.
“You’ve… got a tail,” Rei commented. Kaoru gasped, turning his torso. He caught a glimpse of it as it flicked back and forth behind him, the same sandy color as his hair. The ears were a similar color, darkening at the tips ever so slightly. The insides of his ears were a fleshy pink, and Kaoru had to admire for a moment how cute they kinda looked. He flipped back around, blinking furiously at Rei as tears prinked his eyes, overwhelmed with what was happening.
“Rei, what am I gonna do?” Kaoru gasped, surging forwards. “You vampire bastard, you had something to do with this, didn’t you?!” Rei waved his hands in surrender.
“You seriously think I can conjure up something like this? I may be a vampire, but not even in a fantasy could I be the reason behind this.” Rei paused, pressing a thoughtful hand to his chin. “I do think I’ve heard something similar to this though… maybe my family would know what to do…” Rei trailed off, making a sour face. Kaoru sighed, shoulders slumping.
“Seriously… what god did I piss off for this to happen to me…” Kaoru whined. Rei brought a gently hand to Kaoru’s back, stroking it softly. Kaoru practically melted into Rei’s lap, Rei letting out a quiet snort. He brought his hand around, scratching at Kaoru’s chin like he would with a regular cat. Kaoru arched, pushing his head into Rei’s hand. Rei stifled his laugh, watching Kaoru nuzzle into his hand, curling up around him.
“You’re so cute, my dear Kaoru,” Rei hummed, moving his hand to drag his nails down his back. He watched as Kaoru’s back twitched in response to the nails, Rei eying Kaoru’s leg as his foot shook. “Just like a cat,” Rei muttered.
“What’d you say?” Kaoru hummed, ears perking up against Rei’s tummy. Rei said nothing, bringing his hand up to scratch just behind Kaoru’s ears. Kaoru arched again, headbutting Rei’s hand.
“Nothing,” Rei finally answered, slowly pulling himself back. “I have an idea, I’ll be right back.” Kaoru barely had time to ask where he was going before Rei had bolted out the door, keys jingling as he left. Kaoru let out a low whine - Rei’s nails had felt so good. He sighed, hauling himself off the bed, turning around to examine his tail once again. Curious, he reached out and gripped the end, the feeling shooting a cold shiver up his back. He quickly released his grip, making a sour face.
“It’s just like an actual cat,” Kaoru muttered, shuffling out to the kitchen to grab some food. He passed by the counter and paused, eyeing some pens Rei had left lying close to the edge of the counter. A staggeringly strong urge overwhelmed him, and he lifted a hand slowly. He stared at the pens, face squeezing as concentration. In one quick moment, he batted his hand, watching as the pens went flying with a satisfying clatter. He froze.
“The fuck was that?” Kaoru gasped, chasing after the pens on the floor. His tail swished behind him as he picked them up, dropping them back onto the counter. He paused, turning back to push them farther onto the countertop.
Turning back to his original plan, he opened up the fridge, pulling some food to munch on. He sat at the table, pushing his utensils carefully onto the table, far from the edge. Chowing down, his ears perked as he caught the sound of the front door opening and closing. He swiveled around, tail pointing excitedly as Rei returned. He blinked, watching Rei grin almost wickedly. Kaoru paled.
“Wh-what did you get?” Kaoru asked, a little nervously. Rei’s smile widened, hand digging around in his pocket and pulling out a little cylinder. He pressed a button, Kaoru’s eyes widening as he spotted a bright red dot on the floor. His ears perked up, twitching as Kaoru stayed still. He made a face up at Rei, eyes still glued to the dot.
“You seriously think that thing’s gonna work on me?” Kaoru snorted, a little annoyed. Rei stayed silently, wiggling the laser pointer around. Kaoru’s tail twitched behind him, eyes darting around as he followed the light.
“I wanted to at least give it a try,” Rei sighed with fake-sadness. He stayed there quietly, watching Kaoru’s pupils dilate. Holding the laser still before flicking it aside, Kaoru finally pushed himself out of the chair in a flurry of movement and clattering. Rei watched, a hand clamped over his mouth as he watched Kaoru chase after the dot, hunched close to the ground as he hobbled around their dining room. Rei pointed it at the wall, Kaoru slamming his hands over the dot with a triumphant grin on his face. He flipped back to Rei, tail flicking excitedly.
Unable to hold back any longer, Rei burst out into a fit of laughter, holding his stomach as he shook. Kaoru gasped, eyes widening as he straightened, tail and ears drooping in embarrassment.
“Shut the hell up!” Kaoru growled before stalking off to their bedroom. He buried himself under the blankets, his tail almost instinctively curling around him. He chewed at his lip, cheeks red and he wondered what had gotten into him - chasing after a laser pointer like some idiot. It didn’t take long before Kaoru heard the bedroom door creak open, the bed sagging as Rei curled up around Kaoru’s lump under the blankets. Rei’s arms snaked under the covers, wrapping around Kaoru’s warm waist. Kaoru poked his head out of the blankets, annoyed.
“You’re teasing me way too much.”
“Surely you can’t blame me,” Rei chuckled. “It’s not every day you wake up to your boyfriend having cat ears and a tail.” He crept his hand farther under the blanket, flicking a finger up. Kaoru’s eyes caught the movement, watching curiously as Rei flicked the blanket again. One of Kaoru’s hands floated up again, a similar feeling to when he swiped the pen off of the counter before pricking the back of his neck. Rei poked the blanket up again, and Kaoru batted at it swiftly. Rei grinned, moving his hand around under the covers and repeating the motion, Kaoru batting at his finger.
“Seriously just like a cat,” Rei hummed, snapping Kaoru out of his swiping. Bright crimson burned at his cheeks, ears flattening. Rei pulled himself forwards, wrapping his arms around Kaoru.
“I’ll make it up to you, my dear.” Rei scratched at the base of Kaoru’s ears, feeling his body relax in his arms. “Just let me enjoy this, hmm? Perhaps you can find some joy in this.” He pressed a kiss to Kaoru’s cheek. Kaoru’s tail brushed against Rei’s stomach, Rei grabbing at it curiously. Kaoru jolted, a shiver running up his spine as he flipped around.
“Don’t touch!” He yelped, pulling his tail from Rei’s hands. Rei’s face dropped into one of surprise.
“Apologies, I didn’t expect…” Rei trailed off, thinking for a moment. “Perhaps I should have, considering the extent of the feline instincts.”
“What the hell does that mean, you bastard?” Kaoru roared. Rei threw his hands up.
“I watched you chase a laser pointer around our house, dear Kaoru.” Kaoru huffed, cheeks tinting again. “It was really cute, though.”
“At least you missed me pushing pens off of the counter,” Kaoru muttered.
“You pushed pens off of the counter?” Rei snorted, settling his chin on Kaoru’s shoulder. “I wish I could have seen that. I bet you had quite the face after having to pick it back up,” he teased, squeezing his arms around Kaoru.
“Whatever, did you get in contact with whoever’s gonna fix me?”
“Fix you?” Rei chortled against Kaoru’s ear. “You’re getting neutered? Though, it doesn’t quite matter between us…”
“Shut the hell up!” Kaoru cried, wiggling against Rei’s tight hold. “It might be cute, but I can’t do any public appearances like this!”
“You could,” Rei responded simply.
“And here’s Kaoru Hakaze, the lady-killer from UNDEAD, sporting quite the cosplay!” The announcer cried, the meet-and-greet crowd shrieking as Kaoru stepped up onto the platform. He waved, a little more shy than normal as he blew kisses to the crowd. He flicked his tail behind him dramatically, watching the crowd rave at his appearance.
“Just say it’s some fancy new cosplay,” Rei had mused. It’d taken days for Rei to slowly ease Kaoru into the idea of making a public appearance, but they needed to do some sort of UNDEAD activities. It was taking too long for his family to get back to him.
“They’re not gonna buy it,” Kaoru whined, batting at a ball rolling around the table in front of him.
“So they’re going to buy your story of just waking up like this more?” Kaoru huffed, slamming his hand onto the ball.
“They’re gonna think I’m weird!”
“They will not. I may be an old man,” Rei started, Kaoru groaning into the tabletop. “But I stay on top of the trends! And I know for a fact,” he continued, hands burying themselves into Kaoru’s hair and scratching at the patch behind his ears. “That the ladies are going wild for this type of stuff.” Kaoru let out a whine.
“You’ll be fine. They’ll love it.”
Love it was an understatement.
The last time Kaoru had seen any sort of reaction like this was when Rei had gotten a little too handsy on stage, and… Kaoru blinked, remembering the wild scene. He grinned at the girl stepping up to his table, the sharper canines he’d discovered in the mirror a few mornings after the initial transformation on display.
“You look so cute, Kaoru-kun,” the girl cooed, pushing a board for him to sign onto the table.
“Ah, thank you, my sweet,” Kaoru hummed, smiling warmly. “Do you want any special notes?”
“C-Could you, uh,” the girl blushed, Kaoru propping his chin onto his hand curiously. “Could you write ‘to my kitten, Maria’?” Kaoru nodded, pulling the board towards him and scribbling the message down. He made sure to add a few hearts for good measure, sliding it back to her.
“Thanks for coming today,” he grinned, watching her face darken as she read his message. She bowed in thanks, slipping into the crowd. Kaoru sat back, pausing for a short break. He eyed the water at the edge of the table, feeling the urge to bat it off rise in his shoulders. He took a breath - Rei had been preparing him for this. He’d been too anxious about accidentally being too cat-like, so Rei had taken great pleasure in setting various things up on edges. Rei had also, unbeknownst to him at first, set up a few cameras to roll. Rei had caught quite a few moments of Kaoru struggling to hold himself back before violently batting the object off of the edge before sighing heavily and replacing it.
Apparently Adonis and Koga had a ball watching the videos, as well. After the meet and greet, the two of them caught Kaoru on his way out, walking with Rei.
“Woah, those seriously look real,” Koga gaped, flicking at the ears. Kaoru squeezed his face in annoyance, ducking away.
“You should know they are real, for now,” Kaoru huffed. “And that doesn’t feel good.” Rei chuckled next to him, his hand reaching up to scratch behind Kaoru’s ears. Kaoru flushed, embarrassed as his body reacted, foot thumping quietly against the floor. Adonis and Koga watched with curiously wide eyes.
“You can stop now,” Kaoru growled, Rei retracting his hand.
“Apologies, it’s just too cute.” Koga burst out into laughter.
“Seriously, that’s nuts!”
“Koga, it’s rude to laugh at someone like that,” Adonis scolded.
“Man, but look at him! He’s even got the tail moving behind him!” Koga pointed, Kaoru’s tail stilling out of self-consciousness. “So what, when are they coming off?”
“I’ve made a few… arrangements with my family,” Rei spoke sourly. “Kaoru should be fine before the end of the month.” Koga and Adonis nodded, both of them still watching Kaoru as his tail subconsciously swished behind him.
“It’s been fun while it’s lasted, has it now?” Adonis asked, golden eyes glittering with curiosity. Kaoru nodded stubbornly.
“It has been kinda fun,” he admitted. Rei hummed, and Kaoru swatted his hand. “You shut the hell up. You haven’t been making this any easier,” he complained.
“Hmm, but those videos will stay with me forever,” Rei spoke wistfully, not faltering Kaoru’s elbow met his rib. “I’ve already put them away for safekeeping.”
“Seriously, I’m going to kill you at some point.”
“You may be half-cat right now, but you don’t have the reflexed,” Rei teased, pushing Kaoru around for effect. Kaoru stumbled, catching himself before a low growl caught in his throat. He paused, three pairs of eyes on him.
“Th-thats, uh, new,” he breathed.
Kaoru flopped onto the bed, curling around Rei’s warm body.
“Tomorrow the ears come off,” Rei smiled warmly down at him, hand reaching to scratch behind Kaoru’s ears. “How do you feel?”
“Nervous,” Kaoru admitted. “But ready for it.” Rei hummed.
“You’ll do fine. You always do.” He leaned down, pressing a kiss to Kaoru’s forehead. He pulled back, feeling Kaoru’s tail brush against his leg. “Your tail is doing it again.”
“Ah, sorry,” Kaoru flushed, pulling the tail away.
“I didn’t say you had to stop,” Rei hummed.
“Still, it’s a little embarrassing.” Kaoru turned away, but soon turned back as Rei’s nails caught the best patch of skin behind his ears, a low rumble catching in his throat.
“A-Are you purring?” Rei gasped, astonished. Kaoru bolted up.
“N-No!” Kaoru cried.
“Kaoru,” Rei drawled. “You totally were, little kitty cat.” He scratched at Kaoru’s ears again, the same rumbling in his throat. Kaoru flushed, unable to deny it. “I wish you’d done this before, my dear.”
“I wish you’d shut the hell up, perverted vampire bastard.” Kaoru nuzzled farther into Rei’s hand.
It took a bit to get used to not having ears, Kaoru realized. He’d sat differently cause of the tail, and he was used to his ears physically perking up at any noise that caught his attention. He did, however, not miss having Rei tease him with the laser pointer. He flopped back onto the couch with a sigh.
“Kaoru,” Rei groaned, reaching his arms out. “Come.” Kaoru snorted, shuffling over.
“You’re too dramatic.”
“I’m just lonely,” Rei whined dramatically. They sat, entwined with each other for a bit. Rei’s hand almost instinctively rose up, scratching at where his ears used to meet his head. He frowned, missing Kaoru’s sensitive reactions, before scratching the spot anyways. Kaoru subconsciously nuzzled into his hand, Rei’s eyes widening at the motion. He let out a quiet chuckle. After a bit, Kaoru pulled himself up.
“I’m gonna grab a drink, you want something?”
“Just some tomato juice, dear.” Kaoru nodded, hauling himself up. He grabbed himself a drink and Rei’s juice box, passing it over as he returned. Rei stuck the straw in, slurping the juice down hungrily. He sat the juice box on the edge of coffee table in front of them, leaning back as he relaxed into the couch. Kaoru set his drink down similarly, before pausing. He raised a hand slowly. Rei watched, curious.
Eyes narrowing, Kaoru swatted at Rei’s juice box.