A black cat roams the streets, hopping on garbage cans and through apartment alleys with one destination in mind. It's a surprisingly nice day, for the windy Chicago, and he knows that his companion will be out and about.
A few hops and easy manuevering up an apartment building later, Pete yowls contently to get the notice of a tabby lazing on a windowsil.
A tail swishes, a collar gleams, and Patrick yawns a pitifully tired yawn (he had spent the entire day in this very spot) and settles back down to continue his bask in the sun.
Pete gets as close as possible, squishing in between the potted plant and the tabby ignoring his presence, and purrs, sultry as a stray can manage. "Hello darling."
Patrick doesn't even respond, readjusting himself to catch the sunlight at a better angle.
Pete nudges him, nose brushing against whiskers.
Patrick ignores him.
Pete nudges once more and Patrick turns to him, lazily opening his eyes in a squint, blinking precisely twice, before shutting them again. "Go away," he mutters.
"I'm bored and I travelled all this way to see you," Pete insists with enthusiasm more suited for a dog than any cat a year older than Patrick.
"Well, I'm resting," Patrick sighs and the windowsill is a solid comfort underneath his body. Pete swipes a paw at the blue collar around his neck to get a hiss and a swipe back. "Go away, Joe already doesn't like you."
"He leaves tuna cat treats for me sometimes," Pete points out and Patrick lets out a long, irritated go away purr, and shuts his eyes again. "I'm bored and I missed you. I always miss you."
"Fascinating." If he can't get any rest, there's always the lure of Joe's pillows and fresh laundry indoors. But then Pete will sadly mewl and paw at the window and annoy the entire neighborhood with his screeching until Patrick guiltily strolls back to his little ledge, so Patrick just stays in place.
Pete hops up on top him and sets his head on Patrick's. Patrick's ears flatten in disapproval. "You're probably filthy," he mutters disdainfully.
"You're far too sheltered," Pete says charmingly and Patrick huffs. "A little dirt has never hurt anyone. You could see for yourself if you'd leave with me, roam the streets."
"Joe would be heartbroken," Patrick says, squirming away. Except Pete looks so downcast that Patrick can't help but say, "Maybe when he's less needy," which brightens Pete up considerably, long, white-tipped tail flicking back and forth in happiness.
And then Patrick shakes him off to start licking at Pete's coat, because stray city cats just don't clean themselves enough.
"Patrick?" Pete asks, because he makes it a habit of interrupting everything, even, especially, companionable and warm silences.
"I'll keep you fed and everything if you come with me," Pete promises, yellow eyes bright and serious in a way that only Pete could be. "I swear the remainder of my six lives on it." Pete was under the belief that he was already on his third life, for whatever odd reason.
But Patrick just sighs, whiskers and collar tickling Pete's fur as he continues to groom Pete. "I like it here."
"Then I'll just have to keep coming back then," is what Pete says. Patrick keeps licking down fur in approval. A bird chirps from the building over, wings flitting aimlessly. "What if I caught you that sparrow?"
"I don't think Joe was happy with the last few gifts you got me."
Pete shifts sadly, thinking of Joe's screams and calls for an exterminator when he discovered Pete's presents gently placed on the couch for Patrick to find. "He wasn't."
"So keep coming back, like you just said," Patrick says, pulling back to see his handiwork. Cleaner, better, neater. Patrick is very proud of his grooming skills.
Pete brightens up and licks Patrick's cheek in thanks. "Okay."
"And don't get hit by a car. Or caught by those people with nets."
"I won't," Pete swears and Patrick huffs, this time being the one to rub against Pete's cheek.
"Maybe you should just stay with me," Patrick murmurs, before shutting his eyes lethargically, leaning against Pete. "Joe likes to play music, I always have a bed, and it's nice and safe."
Pete looks at the city awaiting him, car horns blaring and the bustle of adventure below. "Maybe if we have kittens together. Patrick, can we raise kittens? An entire litter of kittens?" except Patrick is already curled up, soundly asleep, and a nap does seem like a good idea.
And as they lay there, two cats bathing in the sunlight and the noises of the busy streets, they are happy.