Characters owned by Clamp!

Kitten's got Claws

There was a knock at the door. "Go away!" Watanuki wailed, too unhappy to care about politeness. If it had been Yuuko, she would've walked straight in without knocking, and she was really the only one he wanted to see right now.

There was nearly a minute of blessed silence, and Watanuki hoped they'd gone away. So when another persistent knock came, he belatedly realized he hadn't heard retreating footsteps; of course, he hadn't heard them approach either. It was not a good sign.

"Leave me alone!" He moaned again, flopping back against the cushions that surrounded his tiny table. Could this day get any worse?

"Kunogi is worried about you." A low voice came through the door.

Watanuki shot up from his languid pose of self pity and had the front door open in an instant. "Himawari–chan?! I'm doing just great!"

He shouldn't have been surprised to see no one but stupid, smug Doumeki standing in front of him, beloved Himawari–chan nowhere in sight, and the temporary high at the thought of soothing her concern in the most manly way possible came crashing down on him. Instead, Watanuki stood stock still, and while he'd already figured out that if he wasn't eaten by the spirits that pursued his various, apparently magical body parts, humiliation would be the close second form of death he suffered, most likely caused by the smirking archer in front of him. Of course, that was probably the only reason Doumeki ever bothered to save him in the first place, just to assure that his meal ticket and main source of entertainment would be preserved until he finally decided to shame him to death.

Watanuki was so caught up in his mental berating of the boy in front of him he actually managed to forget his current predicament enough to glare. That was, until Doumeki proved once again that he, as always, had the upper hand.

"I didn't know you were into cosplay." There was an amused glint to his eyes and his eyebrow twitched to repress his laughter, even as he scratched his head and played innocent. All of that compounded, of course, made Watanuki do the one thing he couldn't help doing when confronted with such obvious… jackassedness.

He briefly mused if that was a word even as he launched into his tirade. "You moron! What do you think I am, a teenaged girl?! Why would anyone do this to themselves?!" Suddenly aware of the volume his voice had reached, he snatched Doumeki's arm and pulled him into the entryway of his apartment. "Get in here! What if my neighbors hear the racket?" He slammed the door behind the other boy, his vision swimming as he thought of the consequences of that. "I'd never be able to face any of them again!"

Doumeki shrugged as he toed off his shoes, his hands still in his pockets. "You were the one shouting." Watanuki flopped back down on the cushions, and Doumeki wandered over to look down at him. "So what happened?"

Watanuki raised his arm from where it was thrown dramatically across his eyes. "Don't do that." He accused, pointing a finger at Doumeki, who was staring down at him, dark strands of his bangs barely brushing his cheekbones, making his heart skip a beat for just a moment.

Doumeki raised an eyebrow. "Do what?"

Watanuki let his arm fall back across his eyes. At least that way he didn't have to look at his dumb, handsome face. "That looming thing. I know you're the king of creepy, but that's a new low even for you." He sighed. Even if Yuuko could find a way to reverse this, it'd probably involve Doumeki anyway. "Remember how Yuuko sent me to get that book of spells from that place yesterday?" Doumeki nodded. "Well, she forgot to mention it was a haven for Neko–Musume and they had a very, very protective Nekomata." He tried to mutter the rest under his breath to avoid even more humiliation, but Doumeki's sense of hearing was almost as good as his sharp–shooting. "Who happened to believe there needed to be more… tomcats."

Doumeki just stared, that not–quite–smile on his face. "So that's what's with the…?" He cupped his hands to the side of his head.


"And the…?" He held one hand out from the base of his spine.


Doumeki grinned then, something so unexpectedly bright that Watanuki was too stunned to move for a minute, but found he was certainly capable of throwing a nearby cushion at his head. Doumeki dodged it without trying, smile still plastered across his face. "I don't know, I think you make a cute kitten."

"WHAT DID YOU SAY?" His vision blurred with the force of the scream.

"Your tail's puffing up."

Watanuki paused, sitting up to check the recent addition to his body. The black and grey tail was, indeed, about as big around as Doumeki's bowstring arm. "Why? Why does this always manage to happen to me?" He felt the pointed triangles his ears had become twitch in response to the extreme duress he was under.

"I told you to wait until I could come along." Doumeki reminded him, finally sitting down. "Then this wouldn't have happened. You really are an idiot."

Watanuki stared at him in disbelief, distracted from the scrutiny of his now much longer, much sharper nails, and realized he could quite possibly disembowel Doumeki with them. While the thought was tempting, he'd never get the stains from the carpet. "Thank you for pointing that out."

"What's Yuuko doing about it?"

Watanuki sighed. "Trying to find a way to reverse the spell," He said, resigned. "And she told me I probably shouldn't leave my apartment until she can." He studied his nails again. "So I wouldn't get attacked by… needful Neko–Musume." He glanced up to the neutral expression on Doumeki's face. "I guess they do need more males, after all."

"And that's why you weren't at school?"

Watanuki felt his ears flatten back. "Yes, dummy, I wanted to go to school looking like this!" He pricked back up when he remembered Doumeki's greeting. "Himawari–chan was worried about me?"

Doumeki nodded. His face remained disinterested but Watanuki had spent enough time around him to know that Doumeki could laugh at him without really doing anything at all. It was seriously annoying. "She asked me to check on you, since she had music lessons."

Watanuki puffed out his chest. "No worries, my beloved Himawari–chan, I shall return to you a man once more!" Quickly deflated by his next thought, he muttered, "If Yuuko can find a cure."

He glanced up at Doumeki to see him studying Watanuki's face with a thoughtful expression. "You know, I think I may know of something to help you."

Watanuki lit up like the Raiju's lightning in the rain. "Really?"

Doumeki nodded sagely. "I'll be right back. I have to go get it." Doumeki rose to his feet, crossing the small room to his shoes while Watanuki tried to suppress a squeal of supreme happiness. Doumeki opened the door, pausing for a half–second to shoot back over his shoulder, "Make tea before I get back."

The door shut to a loud protest and another flying cushion. Watanuki rested for a minute, trying to catch up to the situation. All right, so he'd have to accept help from Doumeki again, no matter how much he hated the haughty bastard, but who knew what spells and artifacts he had buried in that temple? Maybe something that could… prevent him from being pounced on by wanton cat–girls when he left his apartment building?

Because the temple was a short walk away from Watanuki's apartment, he busied himself with checking the water in the kettle and turning it on, getting the tea ready to brew. What could Doumeki know that could reverse the enchantment? An incantation? A counter–spell? He had the teapot brewing on a pad on the table and two teacups laid out when he heard the door open again. He turned from his spot only to catch a small bag as it was flicked toward his face. He looked at the clear baggie filled with a dried, green herb in his hand, to Doumeki, and back again. "You brought me catnip?"

Doumeki nodded as he sat down, reaching for a teacup. "It'll help you calm down until Yuuko figures it out."

Watanuki still couldn't believe it. "So not only do I have to wait patiently for Yuuko to find a way to reverse the spell that was all her fault in the first place and work extra to pay off the debt for her help, you expect me to let you drug me up?"

Doumeki shrugged. "You don't have to use it if you don't want to."

"Of course I don't want to, you idiot!"

Doumeki shrugged again, as if to say, your loss. He glanced expectantly from the table to Watanuki's reddened cheeks. "Where are the cookies?"

Watanuki stormed to the doorway. "You don't deserve any of my home–baked goodness!" He exclaimed, but retrieved them from the kitchen anyway. When he returned, Doumeki was sitting patiently at the table. Watanuki slammed the plate down in front of the insufferable ingrate and proceeded to pout.

He quickly became bored. Doumeki, of course, was just happy as could be, drinking the tea he'd made and the cookies he'd baked, with not a thanks in sight, but he was also steadfastly ignoring Watanuki's sighs and grumbles. It was proving to be unfruitful. Giving up, Watanuki reached for his own teacup which, he had to admit, Doumeki had thoughtfully poured him while getting the snacks. He swirled it before taking a sip, the steaming liquid soothing his scratchy throat. The apartment settled into the familiar sounds of Doumeki's munching, and Watanuki was draining the last drop from his teacup when he realized he felt a little… light–headed.

He reached for the bag Doumeki had brought him, horrified to discover that it was open and a good–sized pinch of the herb was missing. He flung it at Doumeki's face, and of course, it was dodged. "YOU DRUGGED ME!"

Doumeki just gave him a sidelong glance. "It'll help you sleep," he assured the frantic boy, "Since I imagine you didn't get much last night."

"That is not the point! The point is that you made me drink something I obviously didn't want to, and that…" Watanuki seemed to lose steam as he droned on, hands slowly dropping to the table instead of enjoying their random flight through the air, and he finished up the rant with, "Makes you a sneaky bastard." This was followed by his head bobbing and eventually resting on the pillow his arms made folded over each other on the tabletop. Watanuki let out a long sigh that much resembled a purr as he settled down into the cushion, his body no longer vibrating with tension. His tail flicked behind him lazily, brushing against Doumeki's school jacket, and the tip of one ear twitched as he closed his eyes behind his glasses. Another low rumble filled his chest, and his glasses went askew as he snuggled himself further into his makeshift pillow.

Doumeki watched as Watanuki drifted into, well, a catnap. He clutched one fist together, trying to prevent himself from reaching out and scratching that dark, fuzzy place behind Watanuki's ear, mingling into his hair. He'd known something was wrong as soon as Watanuki hadn't shown up for class, and, logic withstanding, it didn't take much to figure out that something had gone wrong with the job he'd had yesterday. Since he hadn't seen anything from his right eye, and the urge to pick up his bow hadn't bothered him all day, he assumed Watanuki was alright.

It figured, though, that Doumeki'd always had a fondness for cats.

It made it extremely hard not to stroke that soft spot. And if it weren't for Doumeki's amazing capacity for self–control, he probably would have. Instead of giving into temptation, he stared ahead out the window, deciding to finish his tea and make sure Watanuki was safe in bed before trying to summon Yuuko.

And because he was brooding over the little knowledge he held about supernatural curses, he didn't quite register the first, smallest little nudge at his hand. Before he knew it, it was a full–blown push, nearly knocking over his teacup with its insistency. His fingers idly dropped against soft, soft hair, and he didn't quite realize he was rubbing Watanuki's temple until he let out a loud purr. Doumeki stared down at his hand – the traitor – and since Watanuki seemed to be enjoying it in his barely awake state, Doumeki decided to continue. He probably would just think it was a dream, after all.

It wasn't long before Watanuki's purring and slight prods ended up sprawled across Doumeki's lap, shoving himself between his chest and the table, pushing against his hand with something that was so akin to a moan that Doumeki was taken aback. This was coming from over reactive, protest–too–much Watanuki? Doumeki's gently stroking fingers trailed down his head to his neck, and Watanuki's long tail twined around Doumeki's waist, the tip tickling the bottoms of his feet in a way that wasn't entirely unpleasant.

Watanuki, it seemed, was much, much more effectively affectionate as a cat, albeit a half–asleep and slightly intoxicated one. So when he ended up curled against Doumeki, his head resting on a shoulder, hands flexing instinctively into the archer's sides, and Doumeki felt another one of those purring sighs brush against his ear, it made his stomach tighten in a way he was not sure how to deal with. Coupled with slight guilt at what he'd thought was entirely innocent attempt to help the over–wrought boy relax, Doumeki decided it was time to gently pry himself out of the situation.

Watanuki, apparently, had other plans.

Doumeki tried to carefully dislodge Watanuki from his lap, and he only held on tighter. He tried to grasp Watanuki by the shoulders, and he only snuggled in deeper. Time for a new approach.


God, his breath tickled against his neck. "You smell so… good." Watanuki nuzzled the sensitive spot beneath Doumeki's ear.

If Doumeki had any air to choke on, he would have.


"What?" Another mind–blowing nuzzle occurred.

It took a moment before Doumeki recovered from that one. "Why are you on my lap?"

"Because you're comfortable, you moron," Watanuki breathed, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "And you smell good." He arched his neck against Doumeki's still hand until Doumeki began to rub again. "Mmmm… That's nice."

"Um…" It may have been the first time in his life Doumeki was unwittingly without words. "You sure you want to stay there?"

"Yeah." The nuzzle continued to trail from behind his ear to his jawbone, and when his arms unintentionally tightened around Watanuki, Doumeki couldn't decide if he wanted to toss him out of his lap and run, or flip him onto one of the nearby cushions and…

But because he knew he may never have a chance to enjoy it again, for Yuuko would undoubtedly find a counter–spell, Doumeki closed his eyes as he felt a gentle nip at his earlobe. Watanuki stretched out one leg and shoved off the floor, toppling them both over so Watanuki was on top of a flabbergasted Doumeki. Doumeki braced Watanuki's shoulders in one last attempt to back away from the situation slowly as he straddled one of his legs and stopped when Watanuki's eyes finally cracked open enough that Doumeki could see that his pupils were large and dark. "Watanuki, what are you doing?"

Watanuki pulled the hands off his shoulders so he could fall inches from Doumeki's face. "I don't know," He said with a smile, brushing a hand down Doumeki's side. "I kind've want to see how much you can enjoy these claws while I've got them." He dropped his face to Doumeki's ear. "Don't you know catnip has no effect on Neko–Musume?"

Doumeki simply responded by pulling Watanuki's mouth to his own with a hand to the back of his neck.

Watanuki wanted to whoop in triumph over his victory, but was much too distracted to care.

She'd finally found it, and since Watanuki wasn't around to be in the kitchen, it had taken her quite a bit longer than expected to brew up the herbal concoction needed to reverse Watanuki's cat–curse. But when Yuuko crept into Watanuki's apartment, noticing an extra pair of two–sizes–larger shoes by the door, and peeked down the hallway to the open bedroom door to see Watanuki, cat–ear twitching slightly, curled up next to a conspicuously scratched Doumeki, she smiled and let herself out again.

She could always give him the tonic in the morning.