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06 June 2010 @ 04:51 pm
Strays (Ficlet for jurisimmortalis)  


It's a dark and stormy night as Victor sits alone in the loft he shares with Nat Bruenner. Sure, it's one hell of a cliche, but there's not really any other way to describe the way the rain is thrashing down against the windows, the strong winds rattling the very panes themselves as the feral gazes out across the city, wondering when his mate will return. Where she is, what she's doing, and whether she'll come back in one piece. Sometimes, he wonders whether she'll even come back at all.

It's not a concern which he voices very often, but it's still very much there. She could die in one of her Challenges; she could leave him for a younger male; she could have had enough of him and finally left him for good. None of these thoughts appeal to him as he walks away from the window and heads for the area of the kitchen, and he swears as he almost trips over Moose's food bowl on the way to the fridge. That goddamn fucking cat!

He still doesn't even know why Nat had to take pity on the thing in the first place. All he seems to do is tear the upholstery to shreds and crap all over the place, not to mention stare at Victor when he's trying to eat. He's even interrupted a few intimate sessions with Nat, annoying Victor but causing the Immortal to laugh as he swats his tiny black paws at the burly mutant. She's offered to get rid of him, but deep down, Victor knows that would upset her far more than his complaining. Sometimes he feels like it's a battle for Nat's affections, and he finds the kitten's scent overpowering sometimes; it's probably not something which Nat can smell, but having the musk of another feline male around the place is a definite irritant to a territorial feral such as Victor.

Talking of which... where has the kitten gone, anyway? It's been a few hours since he's seen the thing sniffing around the kitchen and poking at his food. Victor wanders over to the bathroom to see if he's in there, his nose wrinkling at the pungent smell of the litter tray, but he finds the small room empty.

"Moose?" he calls out, making his way towards the bed now, picking up one of the kitten's jingly balls to try and attract his attention. "Moose! C'mon, y'little bastard. Nat's gonna kill me if I go an' lose you, an' if that happens, y'know she ain't gonna put out for weeks."

He throws the ball onto the floor and watches it roll away, but there's no flailing pile of black fluff to be seen anywhere. Strange. Victor frowns, kicking the ball around a few times with no response. Something's definitely not right - and that's when he notices the sudden rush of air coming from the direction of the doorway to the roof.

Shit.

He'd gone out there earlier for some fresh air, to stare out across the rooftops and watch the city from a height, heading back indoors when the storm had started to gather; he remembers now that in his haste to grab a beer and settle down, he's forgotten to close the door properly and now it stands ajar, creaking slightly in the wind travelling in from outside. Moose has probably headed out there while he hasn't been looking - and it's not a place he's happy for a kitten to be, not in this weather. And not Nat's kitten.

Cursing under his breath, Victor flings the door open wide and races out onto the roof, catching the fresh and strong scent of the scouring rain as he rushes out into the storm. He catches a glimpse of a bedraggled, furry shape almost fifteen metres away and heads towards it; it's walking along the wall which looks down onto the street, its steps wavering and unsteady.

"Moose!" he growls, moving closer, clearly seeing that the young cat is not used to having to prowl in these sorts of conditions. The wind will be throwing him off-balance, the rain coming from all directions and confusing his sense of smell. "Moose! Get back inside, y'stupid animal!"

Then, the kitten jumps at the harsh and sudden sound of Victor's voice, making as if to leap back down onto the safety of the flat roof and head for the door to go back inside - but it's wet and slippery, and Moose's tiny claws just can't get any purchase on the slick concrete. For a second he wobbles, uncertain of where to step - and then his paws slide out from under him, sending him skittering towards the edge of the building, the ground a dizzying seven storeys below.

"Moose!"

Before Victor even has time to think about what he's doing - before he can even consider his actions - his body responds instinctively to the danger of the situation and he leaps forward towards the falling kitten. His size and bulk betray his own cat-like grace, and he snarls as clawed hands grab hold of the small black ball teetering over the edge, snatching Moose away from the parapet and almost falling back onto the building's roof as he clutches the kitten close to his chest. Victor's heart is beating fast and he can hear and feel Moose's own heart pounding furiously against his own, a tiny bundle of wet, sooty fluff mewling pitifully in his arms.

"You're alright now, boy. You're gonna be okay," Victor mutters, although he smiles as he cradles Moose against his coat, heading back for the warmth and safety of the loft. "Stupid fuckin' cat..."
 
 
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