Cockroaches and Katts Chapter 2 By Hokata Yuy

Thanks for all the reviews everybody *bows*. I know I didn't include the Tiga 'incident' in the last chapter, that's because I wanted to take the game by parts. And no this chapter won't have him either. And I realized something as I was thinking of a good place for this chapter to take place, while I've -always- had Katt in my party, I've also -always- had Nina in it too. -_-*



-Whack!-

The ladle cracked over Rand's head as his mother scolded and grilled him about his selfish act of going off to the city and leaving her there all alone. It didn't come as much of a surprise to the group that despite his strength and size, Rand was indeed. a mamma's boy. Even though Daisy was only about half his height, Rand willingly lowered his head to accept his mother's punishment.

"Now go outside and plow the field or no dinner for any of you!" she ordered him along, pointing with the ladle. "Yes Ma'am." Rand said glumly and headed for the door, Ryu, Nina, and Katt following close behind, not wanting to be next on Daisy's list.

After the door was fully closed Rand let out a sigh, "I'm sorry you had to see that you guys, my mom tends to get a little."

"Don't worry about it," Ryu stopped him adding a pat on the back, "Everyone's a bit embarrassed by their family."

"And she seemed happy that you were home," Nina said added, putting her hand on his shoulder as she floated behind him.

"Besides, it doesn't look like she can hit that hard anyways," Katt said rather bluntly, trailing behind the group with her staff resting on her shoulder.

"Katt! That's terrible!" Nina gasped at her. "So? It's not like our big old Rand could be hurt by his own mom," she laughed and trotted in front of Rand with a grin, "right?"

Ryu snickered and Rand returned her smile, "I suppose you're right, thanks guys. Ok! We've got work to do! If we don't finish no dinner for us!!" he shouted in a commander's voice. "Yes sir!" they all replied in unison.

Rand lifted and smashed the boulders, Ryu sliced the tree stumps, Nina used her magic to slice down the tall brush, and Katt spun her staff up and down the field to plow it. With the combined skills of each, the 2- acre field was ready for the coming planting season in less than 3 hours, just as the sun sank behind the hills. "Thank you all very much everyone." Rand said while whipping the sweat off his brow, "without you I wouldn't be finished till tomorrow night."

"Ah forget it, that's what friends do for each other." Ryu reassured him as he picked a few wood chips out of his hair. "And we also do it for a good meal!" Katt chimed in, her stomach seconding that.

"Really. such manners," Nina muttered under her breath, until her stomach also agreed with Katt. ". Well I suppose a little dinner would be nice." she said fighting an embarrassed blush. "Sure, let's see if mom is ready for us." Rand said, heading towards the door, the others right behind him.

He swung open the door to see his mother standing right there, "It's about time you finished!" Daisy scolded and started walking toward the kitchen, "Now hurry up before the food gets cold." After she was back in the kitchen, out of view, she smiled and muttered, "I didn't think they'd finish that fast." With that she started rushing to finish the last few parts of the meal.

"The table is right over there," Rand motioned, "please have a seat, I need to help mom bring out the food." The group walked over to a table that could seat eight, three on the sides and two at the ends. "They must entertain a lot," Nina mused.

"Or maybe they just like fixing lots of food," Katt grinned, rubbing her hands together. Ryu moved to sit in the middle seat on one of the sides. Which both of the girls followed, sitting on opposite sides of him, Katt on his left and Nina on his right. After a few minutes Rand and Daisy came out with the food. "Looks like you were right, they -do- like to cook," Ryu whispered to Katt. She simply nodded as she watched them go back only to return with more food.

Once the table was almost overflowing with the delicious looking food, Rand and his mother sat on the other side of the table and said a quick prayer to the harvest god. Though they wouldn't say it out loud, everyone was thankful for not having to hear anything about St. Eva while they were here. Katt noticed one thing she didn't care for though, there was -no- meat! Normally she would have just gone out and killed a boar or a deer and eaten it there, but for some reason she couldn't tear herself away from the comforting dinner scene. Everyone laughing and joking was something that was getting rare in the recent months.

Ryu watched with hidden amusement as Katt struggled to look for something that at least -looked- meat-like. "Here, eat this," he said holding back a laugh as he gave her a strawberry from his plate. "What is it??" she asked, poking it as if it were a landmine with her fork.

"It's a strawberry. Just eat it already." Ryu chuckled, watching her tail flick back and forth. She looked over at him for a second, ".if I don't like it I'm going to personally shove one of these 'strawberries' up your nose," she muttered. "Listen here! Everything you see on this table was grown right here in Farmtown, -the- purest soil on the entire earth! Now eat it!" Daisy commanded.

Fearing the ladle, Katt picked the berry up by the very tip of the longest leaf and slowly brought it to her mouth, sniffing it carefully. "Remember. up your nose," she glared at Ryu before biting it in half. Everyone watched her carefully as her jaws opened and closed once. then twice. Nina tried acting indifferent but was watching to see if she could get back at all Katt's remarks with this.

A third chew, then she swallowed. She closed her eyes and put her strawberry down on the table, "." As a precaution, Ryu pinched his nose shut, knowing she really would try to shove one in there if she could. "It was.. Ok," she said with a shrug and ate the second half of it. Rand and his mom smiled and continued eating their meal. Nina made a tiny indignant sound, "You really should appreciate all the different kinds of food in this world. Not just the ones that used to have hoofs."

"How about ones that cluck? I feel like some chicken wings!" she glared hungrily at Nina. well. her wings at least. "Eep!" she squeaked and wrapped her wings tightly against herself, "Ryu!! Make her stop!" She wrapped her arms and wings around him, "She's scaring me!" His eyes went wide when he felt her hands roaming over his chest hidden by her wings, "U- um, N-Nina?"

Katt's tail was sticking straight up and looking like a pipe-cleaner, "What do you think you're doing!? Let go of him!" she nearly screeched and pointed. "See how scary she is?" Nina pouted, taking the chance to scoot closer to him. "Stop doing that!" Katt yelled, grabbing Ryu's wrist and yanking him out of Nina's grip and into her own.

Rand and Daisy watched with detached interest as the ate their dinner. "Ahh.. to be young again," Daisy sighed to herself.

Eventually Ryu managed to slip away while the girls were distracted. He stood in the middle of the field, in the cloudless sky lit by the full moon. With a smile he sat in the dirt with his legs crossed. "That guy was right. sleeping out in the open is great." he sighed lightly.

"But not when you're sleeping alone," a soft voice whispered behind him. Ryu quickly looked up to see who it was, but before he could, the figure had already ducked down onto their knees and had their arms around his waist. After a second, Ryu put his hands over her forearms, lightly rubbing the long gloves that protected her arms. "That all depends on your company," he added, "if they constantly fight and yell at each other, being alone can be much more fun."

He felt her hug him tighter, and rest her forehead against his back, ".I'm sorry, I just couldn't help it. I just saw how she was acting with you and I. lost my cool," she whispered even more quietly.

"That's fine, I'm sorry for making you feel that. I know I should just tell her how I feel about you, but I don't want her to feel crushed." he sighed heavily, leaning back against her. "Oh Ryu." she seemed to choke out, "I.. I love you." He felt her loosen her grip and move around in front of him. He slowly smiled and put his hands on her sides, "I lo-"

Something fluttered in front of his view, blocking out the moon for a second. 'That looked like.' Then his eyes adjusted and he saw something that made his heart stop.

Nina.



He was holding Nina.

".." His jaw was frozen in place. "Ryu?" Nina asked softly, as she slowly sat on his lap and put her hands on his shoulders. It wasn't that his body refused to move, just his brain simply didn't send any commands, it was curled up in the corner of his head talking to itself. 'What have I done. I had meant to slowly try and make Nina stop feeling for me. Now she thinks I'm in love with her too. what should I do? What -can- I do?? I'm sorry Katt. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.'

Nina frowned, "Ryu? Are you ok?" She slowly leaned towards him and kissed him lightly, but held it for a long time.

After a while she slowly pulled back and leaned against him. She closed her eyes and fell asleep, still keeping close to him with a smile on her face.

And so the night passed, bringing an uncertain future for the party. and Ryu's love life.

Well how was that? I guess I choose this setting because it was easy going and before Tiga. I wanted to thank Kirkis for writing "Aquired Tastes" which gave me the idea about the whole "Katt and fruits don't mix" idea, if you haven't read her(?) fic, go do it now! See you next time.

GTH