Note: This has been edited and moved from an older profile.
Her eyes slowly opened as they became aware of the incisive meowing that had rudely interrupted their dreamless sleep. Sighing, she blinked a couple of times before she got used to looking into the darkness. Turning her head on her pillow and forcing her long tresses back from obscuring her vision, she looked at the vibrant numbers that blinked every few seconds on her nightstand.
Right on time.
Saki wanted to groan and shuffle about in bed with frustration at being awakened, but that would require energy and it was energy that she did not possess at the moment due to her current situation: she has not gotten a decent nights rest in the past four days.
The root of her problem was a stray cat. For the past four nights it serenaded her until the sky would brighten, giving her a moments rest for about an hour before she had to be fully awake to get ready for school. It would always return however at 3:30 a.m. and the vicious cycle would continue.
The first night of her insomnia started off with her hoping that the sound that had awakened her senses would go away, realizing that she was not fond of its company. The second night, she decided that a movie was best to tune out the cat, but as she watched the screen she found that the actors began to meow as well. She blamed her exhaustion for that.
The third night she played a game of solitaire, but the cat's call impaired her thinking and she ended up throwing the cards down. By the fourth night she was already used to it and began to look for other measures of entertainment. As of lately, her current obsession with Harry Potter had brought the denpa reader to look up many enchanting spells. It came to no surprise when she managed to drag Megumi from his room to conduct one. He, being a heavy sleeper, didn't notice the loud thud noise his head made when it came in contact with the carpeted floor. She focused on a levitating spell but the meowing kept interrupting her concentration and she gave up after an hour. She went to bed, leaving Megumi snoring softly on the floor.
This night, however, was different. Tonight or rather morning, she was not going to sit around, while the cat kept droning until her ears bled. It had been four lousy sleepless nights and said cat had yet to give up. She sat up and pushed the covers out of her way. This matter was worthy of an investigation.
She swung her legs over the edge of her bed. Her toes wiggled into her soft slippers and she stood up. The cloak she usually wore outside hung on the shoulders of a chair near her desk. She doubted she would need it since her mission would only require her to be outside for a couple of minutes.
She left her room and descended the stairs. The oak floors grumpily awoke to her soft steps. Her house looked normal compared to the other houses on her street. But in the early hours of the dark morning, she doubted that any other house looked this haunting. The shadows of regular household furniture looked sharp; their ghostly figures snaked and crept up to one's heels.
To a normal person who is up at this time to get a glass of water or go to the bathroom, the house looked like a dense battle ground of fantasy and reality. They don't realize that darkness itself, and not what lurks in it; is what causes the imagination to run wild with fear. But Saki wasn't most people. It was her house, so the familiar creaky sounds of the floor and the crazed toothless grins of shadows didn't shift her cool. She found them comforting.
She reached the kitchen and without turning on the lights, felt for a saucer. With her plan set in her mind she opened the refrigerator.
She frowned and skimmed the bottles and cartons again hoping that maybe it was placed all the way to the back.
She settled for a piece of meat from a left over meal and hoped that would suffice.
Upon opening the back door to where her back yard resided, a cool breeze brushed against her body through the thin material of her nightgown. She quickly regretted not taking her cloak.
She made her way towards the meowing near the bushes. The darkness outside was a shade lighter but she couldn't see the cat. The vibes that floated in the air told her that it was in need of some type of help, but beyond that she couldn't tell if it was hungry or injured.
Saki crouched down when the meowing was at its peek. Her eyes bore into the darkness to make out the small lump hiding in the leaves. When she cleared some out of the way, a black cat looked up to her with icy blue eyes. It meowed aggressively in case she was an enemy. Not wanting a hostile cat on her hands and wanting to get out of the cold (her skin was completely covered in tiny bumps by now) she placed the saucer on the ground. The cat smelling the food quickly went to it and began to eat. It seemed that in the end they were both victorious.
She was tempted to pet it, though she was scared that if she did, it would snap at her or runaway. Before she could finish that thought, she found her fingers trembling from the cold as they got closer and closer to the cat's dark fur. Her fingers barely managed to touch the hair tips when the cat, finished with its meal, tensed and ran off. She blinked surprised and looked around. Finding nothing, she stood up relieved that her problem was now solved.
Her eyes darted towards the wall that separated her yard from her neighbor's house. The cat sat on the edge and licked its paw. It meowed a couple of times communicating with her. She wasn't sure if it was satisfied with the meal she had given it or if it was saying 'see ya later' which would mean waking up yet again to feed it. She shrugged and was content to think that the cat was just meowing a thank you. It hopped over the fence and disappeared.
Finding that her legs were now getting numb, Saki turned around to go back inside her home.
She stopped in her tracks and sighed. What now?
She turned around but the cat wasn't on the wall anymore.
She peered into the bush again. A small kitten came out. The kitten shivered and meowed as it saw her draw near. She hoped that it wasn't scared of her and showed that she came in peace by petting its fur.
She winced as her fingers brushed against the sharp curves of bone under it's thin fur. It was starving. It purred at her touch and was lured all the more. It nestled in her hand trying to get warm. Its innocence reminded her so much of Tohru.
She stood up with kitten in hand and went back inside the house. She didn't know if she took pity on the kitten or if the black cat led her to the kitten in question, but it was clear that it was depending on her for its survival. Besides, what kind of person would she be if she left a starving kitten in the cold?
She made it up to her room and turned on the lights to get a better look at the kitten. Its thin fur was matted with dirt and mud. Pressing her fingers gingerly, she brushed against the patches of skin where fur was absent. Getting a cloth and wetting it with the glass of water she kept on her nightstand, she gently cleaned what she could of the emerald eyed kitten. Her lips stretched into a small grin as her eyes recognized the fur to be her favorite color.
If someone had told Saki last week that she would be outside at four in the morning, walking in her nightgown and slippers with a stray kitten tucked in between her chest and cloak, she would have questioned the their sanity, and then shocked them into oblivion. But there she was, making her way towards the market that was open at all hours.
She walked into the store and found it to be empty. No surprise there.
The store cashier was softly snoring as his face was being cradled by a magazine that she guessed he was reading before. Leaving him to his rest, Saki made her way through the isles aimlessly. A muffed meow came from her chest as if advising her to get back on track. She smirked and went to the dairy isle.
The flush of cool air soon hit her and the skin of her face tightened. Skimming the various contents of cartons and gallons, she was dumbstruck as to find more than one variation of milk. She was met with skim, half and half, one percent, two percent, butter milk, heavy cream. All of these choices were making her dizzy. Just what did tiny tangerine kittens prefer?
The kitten shifted from its hiding place and meowed. She rubbed her forefinger along its head gently liking the softness of its fur. It was settled in that instant. Whole milk seemed to be the best choice and the last carton that stood in front of her.
In a dream like state she reached forward and grabbed the top of the carton. As she pulled, she found another hand at its base. Raising an eyebrow, her eyes quickly recognized the black and white beads that were wrapped around their wrist. Her eyes traveled up the arm and came in contact with ruby eyes.
"Excuse me Kyo, but if you don't mind," she said, pulling the carton in her direction.
"The hell I will, it's fair game," he almost growled.
She noticed the tired look in his eyes, for a second she wondered what could have been the cause of his discomfort. But the second passed as he pulled the carton in his direction.
"I believe that there is a wide selection, I hear that heavy cream is at its prime this time of the year." She pulled the carton her way.
"What do you mean heavy cream? I don't drink that crap! I only like whole milk."
He pulled the carton his way and she the opposite way.
"I see we're in a difficult situation, nonetheless if you claim to be a gentleman, like the Prince, you would let me have this carton."
She knew that by the mere mention of his cousin, the boy in front of her would tense up and become like a rattled soda bottle ready to explode.
"What? You like him or something?" The comment was so thick with envy that she could feel his hate surround her like smog.
"And if I did?" she challenged, taking a step towards him. She pulled on the carton slowly towards her side. It was all a ploy to distract him. She hoped that he didn't believe her.
"I don't care!" he yelled, increasing the distance between them.
"Then stop yelling if you don't."
"I'm not yelling!"
The kitten shifted at his voice and she felt its tiny claws cling to the material of her nightgown. They brushed against her skin making her shiver in response. It seemed the kitten was slipping. She placed her hand on her chest and bent forward a little looking as though she was catching her breath, but she was trying to put the kitten back in place.
Kyo raised an eyebrow and bent forward as well, only he took the carton out of her hands.
"Hey, are you ok?"
At the moment she felt as though the question wasn't directed to her. She wondered if he knew about her little secret.
She looked up and saw that the carton was in his hands.
"Give me the carton," she said, more confident now that the kitten was secure.
"No! I gave you the ten second rule!"
She looked at him giving him a blank stare. What was he talking about? He sighed and began to explain.
"You were standing there spaced out. I gave you ten seconds to make your move."
"I was making my selection."
"Yeah well… you took too long!"
She had enough of their bickering. She reached into the pocket of her cloak and took out a coin.
"Let's settle this once and for all," she said, flipping the coin.
"Heads," he called.
It came out tails.
"Do it over!" he raged. She sighed and did it again.
Ten flips and a very pissed off Kyo later…
She was about to give up and let him have the carton of milk. But a muffled meow reminded her that she needed to win and get home.
"No! Best thirteen out of fifteen," He said, trying to reason.
"No! Do over."
"You are acting like a spoiled child," she said, sternly.
His face was one of shock which twisted into pure anger.
"Me? Me? I haven't been able to get a goodnight sleep over the past four days over some stupid black cat that decided that it wanted to be my stupid friend! I wanted to get some milk for him, so I walked an extra mile to get here just because the store closest to my house had none. If any one is being selfish it's you Saki!" he stood there breathing heavily, fits in tight knots and eyes ablaze with passion.
She'd seen him lose his temper before however, it never truly interested her. He'd explode over Yuki, Arisa, and of course the teasing of classmates. Though this time, she was at the receiving end of his wrath and enjoying every second of it. The way his nostrils flared, his eyes dilated, and the way his chest pumped violently, made it all the more fascinating. Hate and passion were two things that were always at odds since one tended to over power the other. Kyo made them fit together perfectly; each was a yin to the other's yang. She was beginning to see why Arisa teased him so and had to agree with her one hundred percent. He did look cute when he was angry.
At the moment the kitten, either hungry or annoyed by the situation popped its head through her chest and meowed. Kyo almost stumbled backwards at the revelation. Looking at Kyo's bemused face she noticed that their waves were similar. How could Kyo be like her kitten? She pushed that thought aside as his lips began to tremble and form words.
Saki, so focused on Kyo's lips, was surprised when the kitten jumped out of her chest towards Kyo. She managed to catch him in time before a startled Kyo dropped the milk carton.
Kyo was still speechless and Saki found that the situation was going nowhere. She walked past him and went towards the counter where it sat next to the exit. The cat meowed disappointedly and she rubbed its head comfortingly, not sure whether it had wanted the milk or Kyo.
At the counter the, cashier looked annoyed that he was awakened from his sleep and angry at the site of a filthy kitten.
"Excuse me, but there are no pets allowed."
The kitten shrank back into chest, sensing the worker's glare.
"You got a problem?" Kyo spat with a cold look in his face. He placed the carton on the counter and gave in the necessary money.
The cashier looked a bit intimidated and looked towards Saki, who was no help as she made her eyes spark and glow a bit. The young man quickly bagged the milk and handed Kyo's change, with a smile. The pair walked out in silence.
Out side the morning's powered blue hue began to spread gently over the sky. They stopped outside the entrance of the store. Kyo gave her the bag.
"Yeah well, don't think I did it for you," he said finding the fluffy white clouds less intimidating to look at. "I'm doing it for the kitten; it's only a baby you know."
She stared at him, and could sense his nervousness. She leaned forward and he tensed. He now looked at her as if ready to push her away if she got too close.
"I underestimated you Kyo," she whispered. "You are a true gentleman." And she brushed her lips lightly against his cheek. It felt odd that his skin was so soft, but she rather liked it that way.
A faint blush covered his cheeks and he looked at the sky again. He was less nervous now, and she sensed a bit of pride intermixed with his relief. She touched the kitten's head and it purred at her warm touch. Though staring at the morning sky was probably beautiful in a metaphorical sense, it did not hold Saki's appeal as the chilly air made her limbs feel almost numb. She turned toward the direction of her house.
She didn't find the idea of standing in the chilly morning air to be appealing and forced her cold limbs in the direction of where her house.
"Hey Saki," Kyo called.
She turned and faced Kyo's distant figure.
He quickly jogged over to her.
"A-re you…are you going to keep him?" His eyes were bright now and as fiery as the sun.
"Of course, he needs me."
"Oh." She saw his eyes scan the floor recklessly, thinking of anything else relevant to say.
"What are you going to name him?"
That caught her off. She hadn't thought about a name. Names were just fancy words people were called to avoid confusion. Why make these words mean so much?
She paused and said the first thing that came to mind.
His eyes grew wide and his mouth hung open in shock.
"Muffins! What kind of a name is that? That's so insulting!"
It made sense since people do name their pets after pastries and soft objects.
"Then you would do better?" She raised a curious eyebrow.
"Anything is better than Muffins!"
He was getting worked up again. His face was now flushed and his eyes were dark. She inwardly smirked.
"Or does Fluffy settle your riled senses?"
"Argh! What is wrong with you? Do you want the cat to hate you?"
She chuckled softly.
Caught off guard by this, he quickly sobered up and his cheeks were flushed yet again with a light shade of crimson. He looked at her and his features relaxed.
"I will try and give him a name to be proud of. Until then Kyo, pleasant dreams and I hope to see you in school."
She turned began to walk. His eyes followed her, that she could sense, and a small smirk curved at the edge of her lips.
Thinking back on her early morning rendezvous with Kyo, she thought about his story. Was the cat that kept him up the same cat that reluctantly serenaded these past nights? Clearly a cat couldn't be at two places at once, but their stories made her wonder.
The kitten meowed again as her quick pace made it almost slip again. She held the tiny cat in place.
She hoped Kyo would be able to gain closure on his feline predicament, for she was at a conflict. How could Saki, who was responsible of almost ending a life, is now, responsible of taking care of another? The irony of that question circled endlessly through her mind.
Fate could be the answer to her question. Fate finds all the obscure pieces of any incomplete puzzle. Fate would decide whether or not the kitten needed her. Fate would decide. But shewould decide to redeem herself by showing that she wasn't a danger to others.
Could she learn her this lesson that was in the form of cuddly ginger kitten?
Sure. There's a first time for everything.