(A/N)- Thank you for all your suggestions for names for the kitten, readers! I settled on Ducktape980's suggestion "Snowball". Congrats.
This chapter is mostly just an excuse to have Hot Spot and Agent playing Mommy and Daddy. Insulin shots will be distributed at the end of the chapter. With no further fanfare, let's get right into it shall we?
Disclaimer: Nope, don't own Teen Titans. I don't own our cat either, technically, since my sister's the one who paid for her, but I do get cuddling privileges.
"Isaiah?" Argent called. "Love? A little help here please?" She flinched, hunching over slightly as the kitten crawled across the back of her shoulders, her tiny claws digging uncomfortably into the girl's skin. Argent was reaching back but having trouble getting in at the right angle to get her fingers underneath the kitten's small furry body and lift her up.
Hot Spot glanced up and chuckled, standing up from his seat at the table and coming over to help extract the cat.
"Ow… owww…" Argent squeaked as the cat balanced precariously on her neck, nosing at her hair curiously. Hot Spot gently slid his hands under the kitten's stomach and lifted her off.
"Mieeewww!" she complained, one claw digging stubbornly into Argent's choker necklace.
"Come on, Snowball," Hot Spot cooed at her, unhooking the tiny claw from his girlfriend's necklace. "Let go. Atta girl."
Snowball squirmed a moment as Hot Spot adjusted his hold on her, tucking her against his chest. Then she sat, her head twitching this way and that, surveying her surroundings.
Argent brushed herself off and straightened. "Oy. Those tiny claws of hers are sharp!"
Hot Spot stroked Snowball's head with his knuckles. "She was just loving on you a little." Flicking his eyes down to the cat he gushed, "Weren't you, Snowball. Yes you were!"
Snowball began to knead the front of Hot Spot's chest with her paws.
"Ow!" Hot Spot squawked, as her sharp little claws poked through his shirt like it was tissue paper. Now he understood Argent's earlier squirming. "And her love happens to be very painful," he said, pulling the kitten away from his chest.
Argent's mouth spread with a wry smile. "It may be time to trim her nails again."
"No kidding." He held Snowball out to her. "Your turn to hold her still. I'll go get the kitty clippers."
Argent carefully took the kitten back from him. As soon as his hands were free, Hot Spot moved off to the kitchen, knelt down and rummaged through their newly-designated "cat cupboard", where they had recently begun storing all their pet supplies. Argent, meanwhile, sat down on the couch, setting the kitten in her lap. Snowball pulled her paws out from under her stomach and rested calmly, still glancing about the room. Argent stroked her back affectionately, scratching her behind the ears.
Behind them the door slid open for Herald, poor puffy-faced, red-eyed Herald, who looked rather like he'd been through the wash a few times. He blinked tiredly and crossed to the kitchen.
Sniff! "Goo' morging," he muddled, not even bothering to get breakfast, just reaching straight for the bottle of cough syrup.
Cringing apologetically, Argent twisted her head to look over her shoulder at him. "You all right?" she asked.
Herald came up for air after a long drag from the measuring cup. "D'you hagg t' agsk?" he slurred.
"I'll run a vacuum through the Tower," she promised. "And we're bathing the cat this afternoon."
"Thaggoo," said Herald. Sniff!
Hot Spot emerged from the cupboard, kitty clippers in hand, as Jericho also stepped in through the doorway. The mute boy stopped briefly, and took one look at Herald.
You look awful, he signed simply.
"I haggent nogiced,"snarked Herald flatly, rolling his eyes.
Argent lifted Snowball from her lap as Hot Spot knelt down in from of her. She took hold of the kitten's paws gently but firmly as she squirmed, and held her still. "Up you go, girl. Daddy's going to trim your nails now," Argent chirped.
"Miaaaaow!" Snowball whined.
"I know, honey, I know," Argent cooed reassuringly.
Hot Spot took hold of one of the tiny paws, murmuring, "Here we go." and brought the clippers up. The kitten continued to make closed-mouth whines as he moved the clippers from nail to nail, trimming her claws neatly. He was almost done when-
The kitten started, jumping at the sound and breaking out of Argent's hands.
"Ouch!" she yelped as Snowball clawed her in the process.
Snowball hit the floor running and darted underneath the sofa before Hot Spot could grab her.
Sniff! "Guh… sorry," apologized Herald.
Giving up on the cat for the moment, Hot Spot stood, pulling Argent upright and taking a look at her arm. A long scratch ran up the inside of her wrist, blossoming bright red against the white of her skin.
"Yeah, she got you pretty good there," he concluded, pulling a smashed tissue from his pocket and blotting at the scratch.
Jericho, meanwhile, attempted to be useful, crouching down and poking under the couch, trying to coax the kitten back out.
Argent was calm, saying nothing and not even flinching as her boyfriend dabbed at her arm. He noticed this after a few seconds.
"Doesn't this hurt?" he asked her.
She gave a cheeky grin. "Not all of us have your baby-sensitive skin, Spotty."
"Hey, I resent that," he pouted. "Besides, weren't you squeaking about Snowball climbing on you just a minute ago?"
"That was different," she dismissed.
She just shrugged. "Remind me to get my blood drawn sometime," she said, quite randomly he thought.
"What for?" he asked.
Argent nodded towards her arm. "Because I've 'ad a weird silver sheen to my blood since my powers activated, and I'm trying to keep a store of it on hand, 'case I need a donation and it makes things difficult."
Hot Spot glanced down, and squinted. Now that she mentioned it, he could see a faint silver gleam to her blood, from a certain angle. "Huh," he commented. "So you do." He finished blotting her scratch and crumpled the tissue in his hand, flashing a quick burst of intense heat across his palm to ignite it and reduce it quickly to ashes. "You need anything? A Band-Aid? Antiseptic?"
"Nah. 'm fine." She brushed her arm off and then leaned forward on her toes, a coy expression on her face. "Though I do know one thing you can give me to make it better.."
"Oh really?" he teased, sliding a hand around her waist.
When Jericho emerged from under the couch a moment later, holding up the kitten triumphantly, he found that the two of them were far too busy making out to notice his helpful gesture.
Jericho felt vaguely annoyed. He held Snowball awkwardly. The couple was quite lost in each other, oblivious to all around them as they kissed. Tongue appeared to be involved. Jericho would have cleared his throat to get their attention but, well…
"Mew!" Snowball squeaked.
That broke their kiss, finally.
"The baby's calling us," joked Hot Spot.
Argent gave an overdramatic sigh. "Such a whiny child." She turned around and at Jericho's long-suffering glare, flushed a bit and looked a tad embarrassed. "Oh!" she exclaimed, putting her hands up to her mouth. "Er… sorry love. Were you standing there the whole time?"
He just gave an exhale and looked towards the ceiling as he extended the cat out.
"Ready love?" Argent asked.
Hot Spot slid his helmet with its clear plexi-glass face shield into place, and tugged up the hems of his elbow-length rubber gloves.
Argent took a deep breath. "All right," she said. "Let's do this."
They looked at the cat.
Snowball was sitting on the floor of the hallway, cleaning her paws and quite unsuspecting. Very carefully Argent formed plasma hands and reached them out for her, plucking her gently off the ground. She and Hot Spot held their breath as Argent slowly maneuvered around and through the bathroom door, the kitten held out in front of her. Snowball twitched and blinked a little, confused. Argent crept forward, slowly, to the tub, which was filled with about three inches of lukewarm water.
As soon as she was dangling over the water Snowball gave a great squirm and a loud whine, splaying her limbs out in all directions.
Argent readjusted her plasma hands' grip on the struggling cat and eased her down into the tub, whereupon Snowball's whines became high-pitched mewls of protest. Argent could feel the kitten slipping from her fingers.
"All right, she's in the water!" she called back to Hot Spot. "Now get in there and scrub!"
Armed with a small cup and a bottle, Hot Spot rushed in, dunking the cup and pouring water down the kitten's back. Snowball yowled with the most heart-rending upset sounds. They almost felt guilty for doing this.
Hot Spot quickly squirted some shampoo into his gloves and started rubbing the kitten down. She continued to squeal and complain the whole time, her little paws stretching for the tub edge.
Argent's face twisted at the pitiful sight. "I'm sorry but it has to happen!" she told Snowball over the splashing water.
As if to reply, Like hell it does, Snowball hissed and sunk her tiny teeth into one of Hot Spot's fingers.
He yelped. Prying her off with his other hand, he splashed a little bit of bathwater at her. "No! Bad girl! No biting Daddy!" he admonished.
She was immediately chastened and contrite, though no less upset about the bath. She moaned and mewled as Hot Spot sudsed her up and then rinsed her.
Argent shifted her projections to one hand while she grabbed the towel and came forward. She tried to hand it off to Hot Spot but he was rinsing the cat one last time, and couldn't take it from her. Argent reached in to try and pick up the cat herself. But the cat squirmed abruptly and the tile where she set her foot down was wet and, well…
"That could have gone a lot better," Hot Spot groaned, from his awkward position half-sprawled in the tub, his front completely soaked.
"No kidding," Argent agreed, holding her mouth where she'd smacked the tub edge before toppling over Hot Spot into the bathwater. Snowball, meanwhile, was attempting to bolt for the door. "Come back here, love. You're almost done," Argent said, reaching out with a new plasma hand and plucking the kitten up by her scruff.
"Meeeeoow…" Snowball moaned pitifully. Her tail came up to hang between her legs, but she still wiggled a little.
"No," Argent said sternly. "Mama Cat says you're going to be dried off before you go out."
Snowball went limp.
Argent smiled. "That's a good girl."
Hot Spot was out of the tub and on his feet by now. He extended a chivalrous hand to Argent and hauled her up out of the tub and to her feet. Water dripped off both of them to the bath mat and the tile floor.
"When you said we were going to bathe the cat I didn't know that meant we'd be taking a bath with the cat," Hot Spot droned sarcastically.
She shrugged. "A minor oversight on my part." She grinned. "You have t'admit though, it was pretty funny."
"I'll agree with you after I'm dry," Hot Spot grumbled, grabbing the towel from her and patting himself down.
Moments later the door to OPS opened to admit a very dazed-looking Snowball. Her fur was fizzy and stuck out in odd directions and clumps. She walked stiffly to the couch where Herald sat and hopped lightly up onto the right arm. She stretched and shook herself out, then sat straight and upright unsure of what to do with herself.
Herald glanced over and met her wide-eyed gaze.
"You look how I feel," he commiserated.
"I think she feels how she looks," came Argent's voice from the doorway. She entered with Hot Spot, who had his arm around her waist, hand resting comfortably on her hip.
"Great. We can be a Mobius loop of misery together," groused Herald.
"You aren't sneezing anymore," Hot Spot pointed out hotly.
"I still hate you both."
"Yet, you're still on the team," snarked Argent. "So we must be doing something right."
Herald sighed heavily, pulling out his horn. "If you need me, I'll be in a pocket dimension."
Within moments he was gone, and they were the only ones left in the room. Hot Spot slid around to face Argent.
"Alone at last," he purred huskily.
"Not in front of the baby, love," Argent protested half-heartedly, putting her hands on Hot Spot's chest, as the pyro leaned in.
"She's a cat. She won't mind."
Indeed, Snowball was sitting calmly, licking one of her paws to flatten her fur back down to her preference.
Argent grinned. She hooked her hands behind Hot Spot's neck.
"Well then…" she said, leaning in.
(A/N)- I may have gone overboard on the cute this chapter. I'd apologize but, well... I'm not actually too sorry.
Reviews are appreciated!