Request for Valkyrie Revolution! Because she read my non-YGO stories (without knowing anything about them), this oneshot was written by request in dedication. Thank you so much for your support!
Disclaimers: If I honestly owned Yu-Gi-Oh!, I'd be filthy rich, Atem would not have returned to the afterlife (hereby spawning two other spin-offs), and I would not be here. This is non-yaoi, I don't want flames, and I own the plot. I also do not own Raphael's and Alister's books; they belong to J.R.R. Tolkien and a surprise author—he will be listed at the end of the story. Kudos to you if you recognize the author before then!
"Alister?" The voice was spoken in a hushed whisper.
There was a shift under the covers and an incoherent mutter.
"Alister chum, you awake?"
Poke poke poke.
"C'mon, mate! I know tha' you aren' tha' 'eavy of a sleeper!"
A groan. "Go 'way, Val'n."
Cyan-blue eyes flashed in annoyance and their owner gave a theatrical sigh. "'N' you say I'm a 'eavy sleeper?"
Silence. The figure under the covers of the bed had gone back to sleep.
Poke poke poke poke poke poke poke poke po-
The brunette stumbled backward from the force of the pillow thrown at him and crashed into the wall, letting out a startled yelp. After a few moments of sitting in dazed amazement, the teenager rose to his feet indignantly and sputtered in a muted tone, "What was that for, eh?"
"Oh f'r the love of…Alister, did you go back to sleep?"
Judging by the silence in the air, that was a 'yes.'
The Australian growled, marching up to the covers and yanking them off of the sleeping figure's body. "Mate, ya need t' wake up right now 'cause I—!"
That was a mistake.
A movement so fast that it caught the teen off guard, a flash of red, and Valon found himself staring directly into a pair of steely gray orbs. No longer sleep-filled, they were narrowed into dangerous slits—the look rivaled that of Seto Kaiba's. The redhead was on his feet and towered over Valon threateningly, glaring at him with unwonted venom.
"What. Do. You. Want." It was not a question.
"Spill it or get out."
"…Do you like cats?"
A disbelieving silence. "…Huh?"
"D'you like cats?" The question was repeated again in an earnest tone.
One gray eye twitched violently in response.
A few moments later, the sounds of a scuffle broke out from Alister's room. They were not loud enough to awaken the other occupant of the house, but they certainly bordered on it. The sounds lasted a few more minutes before they died down altogether and the house experienced peace once again.
The bedroom door opened, and a figure slipped out of the doorway, quietly dragging something in a blanket. When it reached the stairs, the silhouette simply began dragging it down the stairs; yelps from within the bundle emanated from it every time it hit a stair.
The figure traveled all the way down before halting in front of the hall closet and opening the door. With a grunt, the figure dragged the bundle into the darkness of the closet; the blanket let out a muffled yell as it hit the ground. The figure shut the door, walked back up the stairs, disappeared into its bedroom, and within minutes was asleep once again.
Raphael was the first one awake that morning. Since it was a Saturday, the older blonde did not have to go to work, and therefore was free to meander down the stairs and into the kitchen. After standing in the doorway in a moment in uncertainty (Raphael was not a morning person), the blue-eyed man walked over to the pantry and opened it up, reaching for the coffee beans just inside the door.
He stuck the beans in the coffee-maker's filter and turned the machine on before heading to the refrigerator. Raphael opened it up and took out the egg carton, setting it out on the counter as he fished through the cupboards for a pan.
By the time Raphael had found the frying pan, Alister had materialized from the upstairs and was sitting quietly in one of the kitchen chairs. The redhead was wearing a baggy gray t-shirt and loose cargo pants; Alister preferred wearing them as opposed to pajama bottoms. He claimed that it was because he liked the material-they were made out of light cotton. His gray eyes were also slightly sleep-clouded, but beyond that he seemed wide awake. "Good morning," stated the redhead quietly, his trademark emotionless look in place.
Raphael dipped his head in greeting, turning on one of the stovetop burners. "Sleep well?" he inquired, cracking an egg over the pan.
A brief flicker of irritation flitted across the younger man's features before disappearing altogether. "Not really. Someone thought it was funny to start being a nuisance last night."
Raphael, who had been scrambling the eggs by now, looked up at Alister in confusion. "The neighbors? I didn't hear anything from them."
"It wasn't them."
No mistaking it now—the redhead was definitely in a bad mood. Raphael's brow furrowed, scrambling to register what Alister was saying; he was still not quite awake yet. After a moment of thought, Raphael suddenly realized who the redhead was talking about and sighed. Only one person could get Alister that annoyed looking.
"Where is Valon?" he asked, frowning. The moment the Australian smelled food, he would usually be downstairs in a flash, tangled up in his bed sheets.
As if on cue, muffled shouts and loud slamming sounds echoed down the hall. Raphael blinked, looking at Alister questioningly.
"Go look in the closet," Alister deadpanned. "I'll take over the eggs and have your coffee ready when you get back."
His lanky form rose from the seat as he finished, and Alister strode over to the stove area. Raphael, sensing that Alister was not in any mood for an argument, decided to go see what on earth was making that strange sound in the hallway. Noticing where it was coming from, his frown deepened. Surely Alister had not locked the boy in the closet, he thought as he opened the door.
Apparently, Alister had.
Raphael stared down at the thrashing bundle of blankets on the floor, not quite sure what to make of it. After a moment, he looked for the knot that held the figure captive and untied it, barely managing to avoid the sudden kick that lashed out at his shins. Then he just stood back and stared in amusement and disbelief.
Valon was sitting on the floor, his actions stilled by the sudden exposure to the light. Alister's twin red belts held the boy still; one was wrapped around his wrists and keeping them behind his back, the other around his ankles. The boy's usually unruly hair was even more frazzled looking, and there was what appeared to be a sock in his mouth.
For a moment, the two regarded each other in silence, both uncertain how to react. Then, with a sigh, Raphael reached down and pulled the cloth (which was, indeed, a sock) out of the Australian's mouth and asked with weary amusement, "What happened?"
"'e bloody attacked me, tha's what!" snapped Valon indignantly, trying—and failing—to free himself of the belts. "All I did was ask 'im a question, and 'e locks me in the bloomin' closet!"
"We both know that Alister doesn't do stuff like this without proper provocation, Valon," Raphael responded as he undid the belt around Valon's wrists, stepping back to allow the Australian to free his ankles.
"I didn' do a thing, Raph—I just asked a question!"
"A ridiculous question that could have easily waited until now to ask."
Alister had appeared behind the two, an annoyed look on his face. He set down a steaming coffee mug and crossed his arms, watching as Valon began rubbing his newly-freed wrists to regain circulation. At the sound of the redhead's voice, the Australian growled and said angrily, "It was important, mate!"
Alister regarded Valon with an irritated look before turning to Raphael and announcing flatly, "I got woken up at two in the morning to be asked if I liked cats."
Raphael inwardly groaned, refraining from smacking his head with an open palm. Mainly to diffuse the upcoming argument, he asked, "Well, do you?"
"Do I what?"
"Do you like cats?"
Alister blinked, surprise on his features; Valon also looked startled, gazing at Raphael in bewilderment. After a moment, the gray-eyed young man regained his composure and nodded. "Yes. I always wanted one when I was a child…but Mama was allergic to animal fur, so we couldn't get a cat."
After a moment of thoughtful silence, Alister shrugged lightly and passed the other two bikers, already heading up the stairs. Valon growled and went to the base of the stairs, glaring at him. "Aren' you gonna apologize?" he snapped.
The redhead paused, raising an eyebrow. "Now does it look like I'm the apologizing type?" he retorted.
Before Valon could reply Alister disappeared from view and they heard the upstairs bathroom door shut, followed by the sounds of the shower running. Clearly that was the end of that conversation.
Raphael shook his head, eyeing the Australian with amusement. "He does have a fair point—why did you ask him that early in the morning?"
"Both o' ya would get suspicious if I asked that at the table," replied Valon nonchalantly.
"And asking a question like that in the ungodly hours of the morning isn't? Wait…why on earth would I be concerned with something like that?"
"My little secret, chum," said Valon with a grin, rubbing the back of his head good-naturedly. A few seconds later, the teen's eyes lit up. "Hey, Raph…wha's for breakfast? I'm kinda 'ungry…" he trailed off expectantly.
The older blonde shook his head in amusement, reaching for his coffee mug. "Scrambled eggs. If you want bacon, you'll have to make it yourself," said Raphael absently, taking a sip of his beverage as he wandered towards the kitchen. Valon let out a delighted cry and practically sprinted into the room, no doubt to devour his breakfast.
By the time Alister exited the bathroom, Raphael had disappeared into his own room to get his shower; his room was the master's in the house, and despite his protests the other two bikers had given the room to him—Alister was not used to such a big room and Valon would find a large room to be an excuse to cram all sorts of junk into it. The redhead wandered down the stairs, dressed in one of his waist-revealing shirts and dark jeans.
The first thing he noticed when he entered the family room was that the TV was on and that Valon was silently watching a Saturday morning cartoon. The brunette was wearing a black hoodie and a pair of jeans, his feet clad only in socks. With a sigh, Alister reached for a mystery novel titled Puppet on a Chain and settled down in the window seat to read.
"'ey, chum? What kinda cat d'ya like?" The question was asked abruptly, without any warning.
Alister did not even look up from his book, all too used to the spontaneity of Valon's questions. "I prefer short-haired cats, so any one of that kind would work. Long haired cats are slightly more difficult to care for…and this matters to you why?"
"N-no particular reason!" said Valon, turning back to the television set. Alister shrugged lightly, and then thought about the question. After a moment of debate, the young man replied in a bored tone of voice, "It doesn't really matter what gender the cat is. I like them enough."
"What would you call it?"
"Why on earth do you need to know that?"
"Well, you've gotten this far describing your fantasy kitty. Why not finish it?" asked Valon with a shrug, his eyes dancing in curiosity.
"Never really thought about a name," replied the redhead after a lengthy pause.
Valon looked over at his older friend, locking eyes with the redhead. Alister returned the look and asked in a challenging tone of voice, "Is there something wrong with that?"
"Naw, I know better-you never really showed an interest in cats, though. Maybe you should call it somethin' like 'Butch' or 'Spike' or summat like that."
"…Valon, those titles are what you would call a dog."
"Which reminds me—why cats?"
"Because cats are sensible, self-reliant, reasonably well-behaved, and not difficult to pick up after. Dogs are nice, but they are a pain to deal with—especially housetraining and teaching it what not to chew."
Valon's face assumed a thoughtful look as he began to think about what other animals Alister might like. "What 'bout ferrets?"
"No. Too savage."
"They are spawn and must be destroyed."
"Too annoying-and also a 'no' to any kind of songbird."
"Not a prayer."
Alister gave his friend an incredulous look.
"All righ', I'll admit it. Tha' was a bit far-fetched, even f'r me," replied Valon sheepishly.
"Why the sudden interest in my fantasy animal?" Alister inquired, setting his book down. He wouldn't be getting any reading done with Valon constantly talking to him.
The Australian shot his friend an easy-going grin and a short, barking laugh in response. "Raph's a cat person, too, so I wondered if you liked 'em too since you blokes are pretty sim'lar."
Alister paused in his reply and thought about that last statement for a moment. It was quite true that the oldest of the trio was a notorious cat lover, and it seemed to be the same way that cats felt for Raphael; any hissing or angry cat would suddenly cease its hostile actions and turn into a pile of Jell-O when the blonde entered the room.
"What's your favorite animal?" Alister replied, his own curiosity piqued.
Valon made a face. "I don' really like animals tha' much. Too many o' 'em 'ad rabies or tried to attack me all the time. But if I 'ad to choose one, though, I'd go with a dog. Right loyal they are, and friendlier than a cat."
The two of them sat in a comfortable silence after that, Valon watching television and Alister once more immersed in his book. The moment Raphael ventured downstairs was the moment that the teenager stood up, stretched, and exited the room. "I'm goin' out for a bit. I'll see you fellas later!" he called over his shoulder, slipping through the front door after putting his boots on.
Raphael blinked in surprise, looking over at the redhead with something akin to bewilderment. "Do you know where he's going?" he asked at last, raising a thick eyebrow.
Alister shrugged. "Knowing him, I'd rather not find out. We'll know soon enough, anyway."
"I suppose," replied Raphael, glancing out through the window. "He did say that he would be right back."
Alister looked out the window, noticing that clouds were gathering off the horizon; if he didn't know any better, he would say that there was a thunderstorm on its way here. But he pushed off the worry and returned to reading. Valon knew better than to ride around in a thunderstorm—he'd be back long before then.
One hour later…
"Is he back yet?" asked Raphael as he came out of the laundry room. The house had needed to be cleaned—and laundry needed to be done—so the blonde had started tidying up. Alister had joined in, dusting all the furniture and picking up stray items.
The redhead glanced out the window and shook his head. "No…but then again, he could already be on the way home as we speak."
The thunderclouds were looming closer all the time, the sky darkening ominously as they rolled in. But they were not yet close enough for anyone in the neighborhood to hear thunder or see lightning, but Alister knew that it was getting closer all the time—and they had yet to see Valon come through the door.
"He could be…" Raphael's tone was doubtful, and Alister himself wasn't convinced.
"Valon's still not back yet. And it's been six hours. Not to mention that it's dark out now."
Both of the older bikers had cleaned the entire house (except Valon's room; that area was his responsibility and one never knew if there was radioactive waste in there), eaten lunch, and had begun to read in silence as they waited for Valon to return. The pair of them had been content enough to relax and enjoy their books.
As of that moment, they were still waiting for the Australian to call home and let them know where he was or how he was doing. Raphael and Alister had no idea of where the teen could possibly be, and they were beginning to worry. And to top it off, the storm had arrived at last in a fury. The wind howled against the house and thunder rumbled ominously outside; occasionally, lightning would light up the sky and its glow pierced the windows.
"What time did he leave?" asked Raphael, setting his book down.
The blonde glanced at his watch to confirm Alister's statement; sure enough, the watch face read a quarter to six. Raphael's brow furrowed in concern, his eyes troubled. "I think we better call him," he said quietly, reaching for the house phone. He dialed Valon's cell phone number and waited, hoping that Valon would answer. Alister had returned to reading his book, but he was not concealing his anxiety very well.
Abruptly, the sound of an electric guitar went off and the two men started. After looking around for a moment, Raphael's eyes landed on the source of the sound—Valon's cell phone. "He left it here," said the older biker, worry creeping into his tone.
They both looked at each other, trying to think of where their youngest companion could be. Valon was not yet home, he had not said where he was going, and they had no way of reaching him. Was it possible that the boy had gotten into an accident? What if he was hurt and lying injured somewhere, with no one around to help him?
Raphael shook the thought off with a growl. Valon was a relatively careful driver (…most of the time), even if he took certain risks with his motorcycle. And besides, if an accident had occurred—Heaven forbid—Valon had his motorcycle license with him. They would have gotten a call by now from the hospital if that was the case. But in this storm…
The blonde rose to his feet wordlessly and strode to the hall closet. The storm was raging outside, and it was time that he went looking for their youngest friend. He was about to grab his coat off the coat hanger when a thunderclap practically roared overhead and the power went out. At the same moment, Alister's voice called out, "Valon's here!"
The older man felt a wave of relief hit him and he stepped into the hallway cautiously, his hands groping for a wall to keep his hand on. The last thing he wanted to do was trip over something in the dark and fall; that would just make his day, he thought wryly.
A loud crash in the family room followed by a cry of pain, though, chased away his humor.
"Alister?" he called, wondering what had happened. When he got no reply, Raphael began to worry that Alister may have come to some sort of harm.
The front door opened in time for lightning to illuminate the figure in it, revealing a familiar outline. "Raph, what 'appened?" asked the Australian the moment he saw his older friend in the hallway. The teen hurried forward, shutting the door behind him, and stepped close to the blonde. "Where's Alister?"
"In the family room. I think he might have gotten hurt, so we need to get in there," replied Raphael, blinking rapidly against the sudden beam of light in the hall. Valon had gone out to the garage earlier to put up his bike and to grab a flashlight; he had noticed the lights go off and had been startled out of his wits when the thunder had exploded over his head. Together, the two ventured into the room to find out what had happened to their other friend.
Alister had tripped over the coffee table in the darkness; normally he was better about navigating through the dark, but the lightning flash that had accompanied that loud growl of thunder had blinded him. He was on the floor at the moment but it seemed that he was all right; he was already sitting up and rubbing at his head dazedly as he looked over at them.
He winced as the flashlight shone in his eyes. "Could you please direct that somewhere else?" he asked irritably, squinting against the light.
"Sorry," replied the Australian, clicking off the flashlight and submerging the three of them into darkness. "You all right?"
"As all right as someone who tripped over a coffee table and got knocked senseless would be," retorted Alister flatly; he rose shakily to his feet and tottered over to the couch. He flopped against it, resting his sore head against the headrest with half closed eyes.
Once Raphael determined that Alister was relatively all right-and after finding a few candles to light the room-the blonde sat down on the sofa and turned to Valon. "Where have you been?" he demanded, though not unkindly.
Valon blinked, realizing now that he had worried his friends. "I said I'd be back, fellas," he said defensively, lifting a hand and running it through his wet hair. "I thought I mentioned it…"
"You said that you would be right back. Six hours does not constitute as 'being right back," replied Alister pointedly, crossing his arms and raising his eyebrow.
All three of them started in surprise at the sound of the high-pitched cry and two pairs of eyes looked for its source. It was while they were looking that Raphael noticed a squirming lump in the front of the Australian's sweatshirt and that one of the teen's hands was holding it up. He mutely pointed at it.
Valon flushed. "Erm…"
"What's in your sweatshirt?" asked Alister suspiciously, but there was something of curiosity in his tone. Raphael also kept an eye on it, wondering what it was Valon had brought home. Although…that sound had sounded suspiciously like a…
The teenager sighed, reaching into the depths of his hooded jacket and removed a squiggling, mewling kitten from its depths. "I was on my way 'ome when I found this little tyke in the middle o' the road, crying f'r its mum."
The little creature in the boy's hands was soaked to the skin, its fur weighed down by rain and dirt. Its coloring was difficult to determine because of the dim light and the mud, but Alister suspected that it was not any long-haired type of cat; there wasn't enough fur for it to be one. Its head was round and no defining angles were on it yet; he suspected that it was not much older than six weeks. As Valon set it down, the kitten meowed, making a beeline for the nearest person—Raphael—and began rubbing against his leg with a contented purr.
Yep. Raphael was definitely a cat magnet.
"Are you sure this cat doesn't have an owner?" asked Alister quietly, watching as the kitten stopped rubbing against the blonde and leapt lightly onto Raphael's lap. It had begun to purr loudly; Alister could hear the sound from the other side of the room. Raphael absently stroked the little cat's head and its eyes closed, its purrs deepening.
"Nup. The poor kitty's mummy bit the dust—got 'it by a car—'n' it was all alone in the middle of the road," replied Valon, his eyes softening.
The kitten meowed again, jumping lightly off of Raphael's lap and going to Alister now. The cold, damp fur brushed against his bare waist, and the redhead slightly shivered, caught off guard by the sensation. He looked down at it and noted that it had the deepest green eyes he had ever seen. Hesitantly, he gently rubbed the back of the cat's ear. The kitten mewed loudly in delight and purred louder than before.
"I reckon that 'e likes you, mate," said Valon, his tense shoulders loosening as he watched the cat.
"'ow do you know tha'?"
"…Let's just go with my sixth sense this time around, huh?"
Before Valon could ask any further, Raphael cleared his throat and said, "If this kitten is going to stick around, she's going to need a bath in the worse way." He stood up, and Alister noticed that Raphael had a streak of mud across his lap from where the cat had been. Looking down at himself, Alister realized that he also had muddy streaks on his stomach and shirt. He suppressed a groan.
"Oh…well, we better get 'er one, then," said Valon cheerily, scooping the kitten off of Alister's lap.
"Valon, hold it! The power is out and we need pet shampoo before we try giving her a decent cleaning," Alister replied.
"Actually…if we just rinse her off in the kitchen sink, we could at least get all the grime off of her for tonight," said Raphael thoughtfully, looking toward the darkened room.
"'Ere now, wait just a second. What if Kitty's got fleas?" asked Valon suddenly, the thought only occurring to him just then.
"…You didn't think of that before?"
"I kinda 'ad more pressin' issues at the moment—like not gettin' run over."
All three of them looked at each other worriedly before looking down at the kitten. She merely meowed loudly from her place Valon's hands and began licking her paw, trying to get the mud off of her, with little success. Raphael sighed, reaching for the flashlight on the table; Valon had earlier set it down when Raphael had found the candles.
"I reckon we'll have to put up with them for now. This kitten needs to get rinsed off and fed first. Valon, take her into the kitchen. Alister, go get a couple of old towels. I'll see what I can do about getting the power back."
Half an hour later, the biker's home was lit up once more and the three young men were watching the little kitten explore her surroundings.
It so turned out that the cat loved the water—instead of protesting, like most of her kind would, she had meowed loudly in delight and purred for the duration of the bath. And they now had a good look at what kind of cat that their guest was.
She looked to be a Siamese breed, with tiger stripes running up her legs and standing out against the crème colored fur. Alister figured that the little creature was not entirely Siamese—he had never heard of the breed possessing the emerald orbs that this little one had, and she did not have the characteristic black mask and tail.
"She's a Seal Point," said Raphael, noting Alister's analyzing gaze. "Either her mother or her father was a Siamese, and there are varying kinds of that breed in their family. And it looks like she has some Ragdoll blood in her, judging by her behavior…" he trailed off thoughtfully, smiling as the little cat leapt lightly onto his lap and purred loudly.
When both of the younger men looked at him in bewilderment, Raphael shrugged. "I used to have an encyclopedia that had all sorts of information about cats, and I remember most of it. My family used to have a couple of cats around when I was younger."
"So…can we keep 'er?" asked Valon, his eyes intent on the other two.
"'We'? You're the one who brought her home, Valon," replied Alister, raising an eyebrow. "I don't really care. None of us have allergies, as far as I know."
"I know that!" Valon said exasperatedly. "But 'm askin' ya 'cause you blokes let me use your last names and I figured a kitty was a good way t' repay tha'. Tha''s where I was all day—lookin' fer one—and then I 'appened on the little sheila over there 'n'…well, 'ere we are now."
The entire time Valon had been speaking, the teenager had kept his eyes off of the other two and a flush colored his face. Toward the end, he had spoke faster and he kept tugging nervously on his black sweatshirt's pullstrings. He looked up at the surprised bikers now and finished with, "You don't havta keep 'er."
Alister exchanged a look with Raphael, both of them simultaneously coming to a decision.
Valon blinked, looking at Alister in surprise, as did Raphael.
"It's the first thing that popped into my mind. It fits her, anyway," the red-haired man replied with just a hint of defensiveness in his tone.
The blonde nodded after a moment. "That'll do. I hope that while you were out, Valon, you thought of getting her a litter pail. We don't want any accidents," he said in a mock-stern tone, his eyes betraying his serious tone by twinkling merrily.
For a moment, Valon sat there with a stunned look on his face. Then a huge grin spread across his features and his eyes lit up. "Yep! I got everything while I was on the way back. It's all out on my bike…I hope the rain didn' ruin anythin'. I'll go get it!" finished the teen excitedly, hurrying out of the room; trailing behind him was the newly-named Misa, meowing loudly after him.
The other two bikers also rose to their feet, shaking their heads in amusement. "We'll help, Valon," called Raphael, exiting the family room. Alister, however, lingered behind for a few minutes.
Valon had not needed to get them a cat; he had even told Alister earlier that afternoon that he did not like animals all that much. He should have seen this coming, when the brunette had been pushing him and Raphael for a favorite animal.
Not that he minded. Valon had happened to find the friendliest cat in the whole city—that was a blessing within itself.
"Alister, didja fall over again? C'mon, chum!" Valon called loudly from the garage door. "You need to help us figure out where the li'l lady's gonna sleep!"
Alister headed for the doorway, rolling his eyes. "Keep your shirt on. I'm coming, Valon," he said in reply.
Misa suddenly appeared from the hallway and rubbed herself against Alister, purring loudly. "You sure like attention, don't you?" he asked her, quirking an eyebrow at her.
The little kitten's response was to continue purring as she rose on her hind legs, placing her forepaws on his leg and meowing loudly. Her green eyes regarded him intelligently and she extended her left paw toward him; she clearly wanted to be picked up.
Shaking his head in amusement, the young man scooped her into his arms and padded softly out of the room in search of the other two members of his family. "All right, you win, Misa," he said to her.
The little kitten meowed loudly in reply. She rather liked these humans—they were nice to her. And she could certainly get used to this.
ValkyrieRevolution, I hope you enjoyed this, because I know I did.
So, for those who didn't know who authored Alister's book or didn't figure it out fast enough…"Puppet on a Chain" was written by a brilliant author—his name is Alistair Maclean :D. Go look up his books some time, they are brilliant.