Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis or any of its characters, or I would have married Tezuka already. I do own the kittens in this story though.
Warning: Plotless, aimless one-shot that flew out of a bored mind. Long chapter. Kitty genderswitch.
Pairings: None. Unless you want to count Ryoma X Karupin, but that would be so wrong...
A/N: Decided to take a short break and try out a one-shot that had just popped into my mind. Was hoping to post something before I run off for the Xmas holidays, as my other two fics are still a work in progress.
I'm not sure about what gender Karupin is, but in here, I made it a female. Hope you could all try to picture that.
Oh well, please give feedbacks about this. I might post other one-shots in the future.
A/N: (Added on 27th January 2007) I have already corrected and replaced the chapter for this, as I realized that I've made Ryoma extremely OOC at one part.
aorin, gomen about the OOC Ryoma, and thank you for pointing it out. I hope this modified chapter is better.
strangeanimefreak, thanks for mentioning about Karupin's gender. Would not get that wrong again the next .
To the story then…
Seigaku Kittens (One-shot)
It started off a perfectly ordinary day, with the usual activity around the house. Nanako was hanging out the clothes. Nanjirou was lazing. Rinko was…well…missing, as usual.
The only person who was not being his usual self was one black-green haired boy, who walked around the house, with a tennis ball in one hand, and a cat bowl in another.
"Karupin... Karupin! Honestly, where has that cat run off to?" Ryoma grumbled.
He was feeling rather worried for his beloved pet, which he valued as much as tennis. She had seemed unwell since this morning, as she couldn't seem to stay still, moving from one place to another, meowing quite desperately.
Ryoma had tried everything- bringing her food, taking her to her litter box, and even tried her favourite catnip toy, but nothing seemed to work as she was still walking about restlessly.
"Karupin!" he called again.
He thought he heard something muffled in one of those hedges surrounding the tennis court, and decided to look for the source of the sound. "Karupin?" he called, parting the leaves.
He found his Himalayan cat all right, and several additional bonuses with it.
For along the length of Karupin's body were five tiny, wet bundles of fur. Two were suckling quietly, one was sleeping, and the last two were mewling helplessly.
Ryoma blinked. Once. Twice. Ten times in rapid succession...
A short while later, precisely fifteen minutes to be exact, all members of the Echizen residence ceased all activity as they gathered in the house. They stood around a previously missing member of the house and the new additions.
"Seishounen! How could you not have known that your cat was pregnant?" Nanjirou demanded.
Ryoma threw his dad a bored stare. "You didn't notice it either." He pointed it out.
Nanako was now making a bed for Karupin and her kittens with a box and some cloth. When she was done, she placed it before the cat, which leapt in and sniffed about a while. Satisfied, the cat then carried each of its kittens by the scruff of their neck and placed them into the box before hopping in herself.
"Enough now, you two. Karupin had always been on the plump side, so of course its condition was not obvious to any of us." Nanako scolded.
Silence descended between the two men. What Nanako had said was true. Ryoma had noticed that Karupin seemed to have become a little bit fatter, but he dismissed it as the results of his tender and loving care towards the cat.
Nanako bent over and took a good look at all of the kittens.
"They really are cute! So now we have new additions to the family."
"Aa." Ryoma said, failing to hide the look of pride in his eyes.
Nanjirou folded his newspaper. He tolerated Karupin's existence, but that was because Ryoma wouldn't speak to him if he hadn't. The mini Karupins were a different story though.
"The kittens will have to go." He said.
Two pairs of eyes stared at him for that.
"Oji-san! That is terrible!" Nanako said.
"Oyaji! What do you mean the kittens will have to go?" Ryoma snarled. He was already attached to the new arrivals.
Nanjirou folded his arms. "We don't have space for any more cats. Karupin is already a handful. The kittens would have to go."
"Oyaji. We're keeping them." Ryoma insisted, giving his father a bratty glare.
Nanjirou twitched. "I said no." he looked away.
Ryoma frowned, while Nanako sighed. Hard-headedness runs in the males of the Echizen family.
Nanjirou looked over slightly at a soft meow, and regretted it immediately.
For Karupin was staring at him with shiny blue eyes.
Nanjirou was not a cat person. He had but few weaknesses in his life. One of which was his wife, who was really good when it came to the art of ear-pulling. The other was Ryoma, whose bratty eyes normally could cause him to cave in to whatever ridiculous requests the child had of him. Karupin was not one of his weaknesses, but it was still Ryoma's cat, and if there was one thing the feline learnt from its master, it was the art of making just the right kind of sad eyes at him.
Immediately Nanjirou's resolve crumbled. He really was too cruel, separating those cute little babies from their mother. They were still so small...
Ryoma could see his dad battling his conscience and gave an arrogant smirk. It looked like he had won.
"Very well. They can stay...at least until they're a little older." Nanjirou hid behind his papers again.
Nanako beamed. "Arigatou, oji-san."
One Month Later
"Those kittens will have to GO!" Nanjirou roared.
"Oyaji!" Ryoma protested.
Nanjirou was not to be shaken this time. Karupin always had the terrible timing of hopping onto him and leaving him with scratches just when he had read till the best parts of his porn...I mean...entertainment magazines, and it seemed that all her kittens had inherited that trait.
Currently three of those furballs were engaged in a game of tag, with the sounds of their little claws running noisily all over the wooden floorboards. One kitten was perched on top of Nanjirou's head, while the last one was...
"My precious!" Nanjirou yelled at seeing the cat scratch his magazines before peeing on it.
His yell startled the kitten on his head, and it bounded off, scratching his scalp when it did so.
Not too long later, there was a loud crash, as one of the three playing kittens had knocked over Nanjirou's trophy collection.
"Get these demons out of here!" Nanjirou had gone into crazy samurai mode.
Ryoma had gone into stubborn samurai junior mode. "Yadda!"
His dad pinned him with a stare that he knew all too well.
"Let's have a match, seishounen. If you can win me, these kittens can stay."
It was pretty much the line that sealed the deal.
"I wonder why did Ochibi ask to meet all of us after practice?" Kikumaru wondered aloud as they walked towards the park just behind his school, the place Ryoma had said he'd meet them.
"Who knows. He looked rather distracted during practice just now. I wonder what's wrong with him? Hope he's not having anything troubling his mind..." Oishi was now worrying over Seigaku's youngest regular.
"Maybe he wants to borrow some money from all of us." Momoshiro joked.
Fuji chuckled. "If that's the case, it must be a pretty large sum, if he had to call all eight of us."
When they reached the park, Ryoma was already there, waiting for them. There was a certain serious look in his eyes that made all of them worry.
"Senpai-tachi...I need to ask a favour from all of you." He said gravely, causing his seniors to tense.
"What is it, Echizen?" Kawamura asked.
Ryoma stared at each of them in turn. "Senpai..."
He suddenly whipped out a rather large box from behind him. "...Could five of you take care of these?" he pleaded.
The five Himalayan kittens stared up at the shocked tennis regulars, all looking like little angels and behaving their best.
"Geh?" Momoshiro blinked. The five blinked back at him.
Kawamura was the first to speak up.
"Gomen, Echizen. I can't rear them. I run a sushi shop, remember?"
Good point. So Kawamura was out.
Momoshiro looked sheepish.
"As much as I'd love to raise one, my mom would never allow it. She hates animals."
Good point again. Momoshiro was out too.
The last 6 stared at the kittens.
"I'll take one!" Kikumaru said happily. He picked one of the kittens out of the box and hugged it.
Eiji threw a look at Oishi. Seigaku's vice-captain was considering it seriously, wondering if it was a good idea to take a kitten home. He reared fish after all. Being Seigaku's motherhen, though, he did not stand a chance against the power of cuteness, and four pairs of watery blue eyes staring up at him was more than enough to soften his heart. (Add in Eiji's pair of pleading eyes, and that would make 5 pairs of watery blue eyes) "I'll take one too. I don't want to think about what would happen if such cute kittens were wandering around homeless." The motherhen vice-captain picked out one of the kittens from the box too.
Fuji smiled. "Interesting. I was wondering how it would be like to rear cats. Alright. I'll take this one then." Fuji picked one up, though he also picked up another one with his other hand.
"I'm sure you will want to raise one too, Tezuka." He gave a smile that obviously said the sadist would do something evil if Tezuka didn't take the cat.
Tezuka twitched slightly. Fuji then dropped (forced?) the kitten into the captain's hands.
Inui and Kaidou stared down at the last kitten, though Inui was the one who picked it up.
"Hmm...this little fellow is 70 percent Himalayan, 30 percent Persian."
Ryoma blinked. "Persian? So it really was my neighbour's cat that had impregnated my Karupin. Yarou...!"
Inui's glasses glinted. "Such a perfect coat. Looks to be in a healthy condition. Very well, I'll take this one. I was looking for someone to test my Aozu version 10.5, and I suppose cats would do fine..." He hadn't finished the sentence when Ryoma had snatched the kitten out of his hands.
"Kaidou-senpai. For you." He gave the kitten to Kaidou instead, and a very tiny blush appeared on the snake-shot player's face as he looked at the little cutie.
He tried to put on his cool mask. "Very well. I'll take care of this one." He said gruffly, trying not to sound too eager.
Ryoma swept his gaze at the five who were now new owners of his kittens.
"Senpai-tachi. I have one more favour to ask from you. After two months, could you let me see how the kittens are doing?" He definitely wanted to make sure none of Karupin's babies were mistreated.
Kikumaru grinned. "No problem, Ochibi. We'll bring our cats to your house then.
Location: Kikumaru residence
"Hoi, hoi! You can't leap as high as me yet!" the acrobatic player was having a competition with his cat. Kiku was bouncing on his bed happily.
Kikumaru grinned at seeing his cat's attempts. He looked up at the clock. "Oh? It's 6pm already? Time for my games." He hurriedly went to play his video games.
Kiku came to watch, its eyes following the movements of the characters on the TV screen.
"Just one more ultimate move. Just one more and I'd beat my old score." Kikumaru said happily.
To his horror, his cat had leapt towards the screen, trying to claw at the characters.
"Kiku! I can't see!" Eiji complained. His cat was now bouncing up and down so fast that he could not play well.
30 seconds later...
Game over. You lose.
"Aw...shucks...I was so close..." Kikumaru whined.
Location: Oishi residence
"Rei! Don't run so fast. You'll fall and injure yourself!" Oishi raced after his kitten, which was running around the house.
The kitten then climbed up the nearest tree, sending the motherhen vice-captain into a worried state.
"Rei! Get down here at once! That's too high up! It's dangerous!" he yelled.
The cat stared down at its owner and gave a mew.
"Eh? You can't get off the tree? Wait right there! I'll save you right away!" Oishi dashed off to look for a ladder.
He had just propped one against the tree when Rei had leapt off.
"Rei!" Oishi screamed, but the cat merely landed perfectly on all fours before running off inside the house.
"Gah! Won't you just stay put! I don't want you injuring yourself!" the poor vice-captain rushed inside the house after the cat.
"Mou, Syuichirou. You're making quite a racket." His mother laughed.
Oishi looked sheepish. "I can't help it. Rei is still so young, anything could happen to her."
"You don't have to worry so much about her. Cats have nine lives you know." His mother joked.
Oishi was about to say something when he spotted Rei eating her favourite tuna, and she was wolfing it down much too fast to his liking.
"Rei! Don't gobble!" he rushed to his cat.
His sudden yell startled the cat so badly that it swallowed too fast, and the next moment it was making choking sounds.
"Rei! Oh my gosh! Okaa-san! Go get the first aid kit! No! Get the vet! The vet will be better!" he was shaking the cat, making the cat choke even more. The poor kitten had already used up one life and only had eight left, thanks to its smothering owner.
Location: Fuji residence
Fuji was enjoying a nice book right after dinner when a loud yowl got his attention.
He sighed. "What is it this time, Kenji?" He turned around to see his kitten trying to lick a paw.
It looked like Kenji had gotten a needle from the cactus stuck in his paw. Again. The playful kitten never seemed to have learnt its lesson, and was always the victim of its owner's hobby- collecting cacti.
Fuji took a pair of tweezers and had the needle out in no time. "Honestly. It may look pretty, but it's not a toy for you to play with." He set the cat on the ground and allowed it to roam about the room.
"Syuusuke. Would you like me to tell your fortune?" His sister suddenly called from downstairs.
"I'll pass. You've already told my fortune yesterday…" his eyes stopped at his kitten.
"On second thought, why not? Though please tell Kenji's fortune as well."
"Okay. Be careful. I think your cat is going to get injured again…" she had barely finished her sentence when Kenji had given a yowl of pain.
Fuji sighed. Here they go again…
Location: Tezuka residence
Tezuka closed his book as he had just finished his assignments. He spun around in his seat and noticed Taylor staring at him.
Tezuka stared at the cat. Not saying a word.
The cat stared back. Not making a sound.
Oh well. The Seigaku captain had no idea how the others are faring with their new pets, but it seemed like he and his cat were getting along just fine.
Two months later, Echizen residence
"Honestly, seishounen. You brought those demons back?" Nanjirou groaned.
Ryoma ignored him. Currently, the ones here were Kikumaru, Oishi, Fuji and Tezuka. Kaidou was no where in sight yet.
"Hoi, hoi! Ochibi! We've brought them as promised."
"I'm sure you were worried about how we're treating them right? See! They're just fine." Oishi reassured.
Currently, Kikumaru's cat Kiku was climbing up a tree, climbing down, and bouncing from branch to branch. It raced up and down the tennis court without even stopping to take a rest. The cat paused for a while before starting to chase its tail, and once it managed to catch it, it took off again, climbing up the tree and bouncing onto the nearest wall.
Behind Kiku, Oishi's cat Rei was chasing after its sibling, meowing worriedly every time Kiku ran up a tree. Though Kiku, like its acrobatic owner, could hold its balance pretty well. It was Rei that fell off the wall, and its motherhen owner caught it moments before it hit the ground.
"I'd say those two are just like their owners…" Momoshiro sweatdropped. Momoshiro, Kawamura and Inui were here just to see what the cats were like now.
"Time for them to eat. Ryoma, bring this out for them." Nanako called.
"Uisu." Ryoma held the bowl. At the smell of tuna, both Kiku and Rei raced inside the house, meowing and begging at Ryoma's feet.
"Here you go." He set the bowl down before the two.
Fuji's cat Kenji, which was standing just next to Tezuka's cat, had its eyes in slits the whole time it was there. The sight of food caused it to open its eyes, revealing blue diamonds. The cat gave a swift swipe of its paw, knocking a ball in the direction of the bowl. The ball hit the bowl, causing the bowl to slide away and hit the leg of the nearest table before the momentum caused it to rebound and stop before Kenji. Fuji's cat then chowed down, while Kiku and Rei gave loud protests.
"That looks rather like Hakugei…" Kawamura laughed weakly.
All eyes turned to Taylor. Tezuka had set his cat near the door when he had entered, and the cat was still standing there even up till now, not even moving a whisker.
"Ne. Tezuka. You didn't accidentally bring us a statue that looks like your cat right?" Kikumaru asked.
Tezuka frowned at him, though there was no other change to his expression.
Both Oishi and Kikumaru tried to play with the cat. They used a string, a ball, and even tried to tempt it with some food, but the cat just would not budge, and refused to change its expression. Trust the wooden block of a captain to have such a wooden block of a cat.
"So all the cats turned out to be just like their owners…" Inui said, updating the entries in his notebook.
A look of realization dawned on Momoshiro's face. "Wait a minute. So if all of these cats are just like their owners… then if Kaidou comes later…"
Both he and Kikumaru exchanged looks before they both burst out laughing.
"It'd probably wear a bandanna." Kikumaru stated, wiping his eyes.
"Maybe it'd be swaying from side to side, hissing like a snake instead of a cat." Momoshiro chuckled.
No sooner had they spoken of the devil when said person came knocking at the door.
"Konbanwa…" they heard Kaidou's greeting.
Before Ryoma could open the door, the others had rushed there first, except Tezuka. "I want to see Kaidou's cat!" All of them yanked the door open.
Kaidou stood there in casual wear. Their gaze lowered to what he held in his arms, and their eyes widened.
"Ne…you gave Kaidou a kitten right? Not a horse?" Kikumaru asked uncertainly.
For what greeted their eyes was the fattest, most well-fed feline they had seen in their entire life, and it was huge!
The cat gave a happy meow in greeting. Apparently it was friendly and chirpy as well.
"How is it Kaidou has a cat that is nothing like him…?" Oishi wondered.
Ryoma raised an eyebrow as Kaidou stepped into the house, but said nothing else.
"Oh well. There was a 55 percent chance that the cat would turn out like this, since Kaidou-kun is actually a softie who likes animals, even though he looks this scary all the time." Inui stated.
"Hmm? Interesting." The prodigy stroked his cat Karupin, which had given a sad meow at seeing how its kittens had changed so drastically.
Well, it was a happy family reunion for all of the kittens. Kiku and Rei had began racing around the house again, this time with Kenji and Kaidou's cat joining them, though Mamushi (the cat, not the human) had caused one of the branches to break when it tried to climb on.
Worse still, the cat had landed on Nanjirou's face, as Ryoma's dad had been trying to read his magazines under the shade of that tree.
"Gyaa!" Nanjirou yelled.
At long last, Tezuka's cat finally moved as it walked out to where the others were gathered near a livid samurai. The cat gave a loud meow, and immediately the other cats began running laps around the house.
The regulars were speechless by that sight. Tezuka folded his arms and gave a stiff nod, muttering "Be the pillar" under his breath.
Ryoma sighed. "Ne, Karupin. Do you think it was a good idea to let them take care of your kittens?"
Karupin blinked at him before giving a meow.
Ryoma shook his head. "Oh well, I suppose we don't really have a choice. Those cats do look like they're in good hands. Though when it comes to their pet rearing skills I'd have to say…"
Ryoma stared at his seniors and gave an arrogant smirk.
"Mada mada dane…"
A/N: Well, that was an attempt at a one-shot. I really am lazy when it comes to thinking of names…XD. What do you think of it? Please read and review.
Glad I managed to post something before the holidays. Now I can take my time with my other two fics. Hehe.
Before I leave, I would like to wish all readers a Happy Christmas. Hope you would all enjoy the holidays.