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Chance Encounters

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"Nats uuuuu !!!"


Natsu gulped. When Erza yelled at him like that , well, it usually wasn't good. 


"Coming!" He grumbled. 




"Stupid redhead. . . Telling me to be polite . . . Maybe she should be polite and not punch me in the face just because I said that customer was fat. . . Tell it to their face or say it behind their back, what's the difference? . . "


Natsu's mumbled complaints continued as he hauled the trash out the door. As punishment for insulting a guest, his intimidating coworker, Erza, had told him to take out all of the trash. And there was a lot . The third bag he hoisted over the edge of the dumpster tore open, as bits of food came spilling out. Growling in frustration, he threw the rest in, not bothering to clean up the mess, he was too angry. Besides, there were only a few pieces of food that landed outside of the dumpster.


Or not. 


He checked again. 


Nothing. There was no food on the ground at all. He was pretty sure at least a burger bun had fallen, but he couldn't see one anywhere. 


Now determined to find it, he got down on his hands and knees to search under the dumpster. 


He was not expecting a pair of eyes to be waiting for his arrival. 


With a yelp, he scurried back to his feet. 


"What was that?!" He wondered aloud. 


Tentatively, he got back on the ground and peeked under the bottom. The reflective brown eyes stared back at him, unblinking. 


Now, Natsu was not the brightest crayon in the toolbox, but he wasn't stupid. He was curious, but there was no way he was going to sacrifice his hand to reach under there and find out the hard way just what this creature was. Instead, he pulled a half-eaten burger patty out of the pile in the dumpster and dropped it near the crack underneath, waiting with baited breath. 


When a furry hand reached out to snatch it, he kicked it further away. The hand retreated before shooting out to try to reach it. 


Again, Natsu kicked it further away. There was a slight shuffling as the hand retreated, before stretching out, showing the golden arm up to the shoulder. 


A third time, Natsu kicked the abused patty further away, while watching the creature's reaction. 


He was glad he was watching, because with a quiet whine, the creature fully emerged to snag the meat before it was too far out of its reach. 


The first thing he noticed was the tail; the second was the ears. 


The third was the fur. 


The creature nibbled happily on the leftover patty, while Natsu stared. 


The creature looked to him like some bizarre hybrid mix of girl and cat. Is this one of those neko-chans he'd heard about? She (he assumed it was a she) had yellow blonde hair that fell to her shoulders, but rather than human ears hidden behind her locks, she had two little kitten ears nestled on the top of her head. They were covered in shimmering golden fur that he was sure had to be the softest fur he'd ever encounter. Her backside was punctuated by the fifth appendage poking through her skin before the waist of her shorts. A long, lithe tail, coated in the same golden fur as her ears, flicked the air nervously as he unabashedly stared. Her entire body seemed to be lightly coated in the same kitten fur, her front looked white in what spots he could see, while the rest was the shimmering gold of her ears and tail. She was wearing short, blue shorts and a short, tight, white top with straps on the shoulders that stopped at the bottom of her ribs, which he could see through her shirt. 


He didn't blame her for eating trash, she looked starved. 


"Wait right here!" He told her, pointing at the spot she sat crouched on. He hoped she understood as he tore back into the kitchen of the restaurant. He snatched up a plate and started piling food atop it. Once satisfied with his mountain of sustenance, and after a few bites himself, he ran back out the door. 


She wasn't where he left her. 


He crept further down the alley. 


"Hello? Little kitty girl?" He called out. 




Disappointed, he turned to go back inside, but stopped when he heard a faint rustling coming from the dumpster he had left open. Peering inside, he saw her, digging through the spilled trash, trying to find food. His heart went out to her. She didn't look much older than him, if she was at all. 


"Here, I got you something." He said, laying the plate on the ground. 


Hesitantly, she climbed out of the trash pile and shimmied up to the plate, big, brown eyes locked on his the whole time. Suddenly, she attacked the plate, ignoring the one who brought the food.  With decided vigor, she polished it off while he watched. Once finished, she eyed him for a moment, then took off down the alley.


"Wait!" he called out, but she was long gone. Reluctantly, he finished his task and headed back inside, his mind not on his work but on the golden feline.