DON'T YOU SEE!
Disclaimer: /Sigh/ I don't own the characters of Harry Potter or Rurouni Kenshin, nor do I own the song – they belong to their respective authors. The song is Don't You See! by Zard.
Shout Out: This is oneshot. Meaning, there will be no continuations or deviations, except if the writing bug bites me, but it's doubtful.
Warnings: SLASH – meaning, boy/boy pairing, in that case, Seijuro Hiko/Harry, and crude language and some gritty realism…. Oh, and I twisted characters somewhat, so this is more of an AU than true crossover. I warned you. So If you don't like, don't read.
Oh, and another thing. Bold lyrics are original song - Japanese, but for the understanding, I included English version, which is written in italics. The used song is written in Japanese, with some excerpts in English. Anyway, go listen to it on YouTube.
Harry sighed, annoyed. His friends probably had a jolly good time, seeing as they were dancing and drinking and laughing, but. He Did. Not.
"C'mon, Harry!" Fred – or was it George? Well, one of them bellowed over the music. "Join in the fray!" Harry bestowed a flat stare upon him. The 'short stuff', as the twins called him in their 'better' moments, was not amused. Sure, they were in club, they were having fun, but all of this became repetitive after first two nights.
They would dress for kill, go to the clubs – sometimes posh ones, sometimes the ones with more… doubtful reputation, and they would get themselves drunk, pick up some boy or girl to fuck, and in wee hours, Harry was the only one sober to drag their sorry carcasses home. Oh. Joy.
And to the top of it all, his stalker – senses were going haywire for some time already. Not that they didn't, what with the ridiculous amount of people turned hormonal bags in there.
But lately, Harry noticed a guy. Tall, tanned, with long dark hair and sculpted body men would die to have, a real babe magnet. However, the cinch was, somehow, Harry managed to attract his attention, and there wasn't an evening the guy wouldn't come to bug him somehow. No matter where he was, this person was here, with his insufferable smirk and I'm-too-sexy-for-my-shirt-attitude, rubbing Harry's proverbial fur in all the wrong ways, just to see him spitting mad. No wonder Harry was mad, especially when his friends refused to believe him. The guy was just too sneaky for his own good, 'attacking' Harry only when he was alone, making it seem like accidental meeting.
'The next time I see him,' Harry swore to himself, 'he's going down.' He was totally fed up with the bastard and his comments. 'Kitten, he calls me! The nerve of this guy!' What irked him more was that the first time they met, the bastard mistook him for a woman, and groped him! Nevertheless to say, it did not end well – Harry didn't take his self – defense classes just for fun.
He managed to surprise the prick by actually throwing him across the shoulder, and when the bastard was down, kneeing him in the groin, and informing him of his real - if slightly dubious - gender. To add insult to injury, his Animagus form was a kitten….
He expected the man to stay away after that fiasco, as the most of guys did… but no such luck. Even offing Moldyshorts was easier than shaking off this guy!
"Hey, did you hear? Hiko is searching for the new co – singer! Its rumored they will have auditions here!" the obviously faux blonde yelped in a high-pitched voice to her friend. Harry winced. "Ooh, really?" her friend chirped out. "He's soo cool! His long, silky hair and he has sooo yummy body. I wouldn't mind to take this hunk of a man for a ride! "Me too," the blonde agreed with a lovesick sigh. "I will definitely try the auditions, and then He will notice me and ooh…" Harry rolled his eyes. These two were barmy… especially with their mooning over the person. He was familiar with how it goes, and he wasn't impressed. After all, it was hard to be a star, something he could personally attest to.
"-and he has soo deep eyes. I had thought I could drown in them when I first saw him! And his voice! It makes me cream my panties. You don't know how many nights I was awake to listen to him-!"
Rolling his eyes, Harry headed back to his crazy little bunch of friends. Fred and George were definitely drink, but not drunk enough not to tease Ron and Hermione about their ickle relationship and wondering if they discovered the joys of sex yet.
Hermione was trying to be disapproving, but that was as effective as McGonagall in BSDM outfit… in short, horrible, to say it mildly. Ron was beet red, and having permanent case of foot in a mouth, as he obviously drunk too much already. Though he was a bottomless pit for food, he was actually lightweight in consuming alcohol. Surprisingly, Harry had the highest tolerance for firewater and the likes of it, and his friends envied him for it. Especially in the mornings.
Harry just liked to think he was too paranoid for his own good, as he always carried with him anti – drunk pills, not that he ever let out the secret. His little sadist enjoyed watching them suffer in the mornings, much to the consternation of mentioned friends.
"Where's Ginny?" he asked-shouted to Neville. Neville looked at him, shrugging. "Dunno. She said something about Sei – Sei and kara – whatmacall it --- something with singing." Harry groaned out aloud. Were all the women here bonkers? To chase after some pretty face and steroid-filled muscles?
Mentally, he shrugged. Probably. Pity all the good ones were taken and so-called bad girls were the ones who probably hid daddy-complex deep inside of their dirty little souls. Fuck, he was becoming too sarcastic.
Shaking his head, he headed to the loo to relieve himself. It was strange – strangely empty to see such young faces, caked with makeup to hide black bags under eyes, dazed from the false reality, like a moth attracted to the fire. Too young and too naïve.
The toiletries were shaded with electric blue lights. Harry sighed at the traffic here. But he won't be found - both bothering and yet somehow calming thought.
Until someone slammed him into the wall. Spoke too soon, Harry thought with an inward grimace. "Hello again, Kitten," the loathed voice purred into his ears.
Harry twitched. "Missed me?" The spicy scent of man's cologne wrapped around Harry. "As much as the next hangover," Harry snarked back. "If you missed the memo – none."
Throaty chuckle shivered down his neck with a puff of hot air. "You wound me, kitten. And I was looking forward to our meeting. Why you must be so cruel?" Harry sighed, and began struggling from the man's grip. "Because I don't like you. Now let me go!"
The man's grip on his wrists tightened. "No."
Harry was becoming impatient. He turned around as much as his unusual bindings allowed. "Let me go-mmrph!" His mouth was being assaulted with the man's lips, warm, dry and seductive, until the tongue sneaked into his mouth, and suddenly, the kiss turned hot.
'Almonds. And rice sake'. Harry decided on the taste. It was an uncommon mixture, but it sure was not among the gross ones. It was…. shall we say… palatable. In combination with his scent of pine and something distinctly…. unidentifiable, a potent aphrodisiac made Harry's legs wobbly with the force of nature the man was.
Regrettably, his faculties came back to him. Harry made a noise of protest back in his throat, forcefully ripping his lips away from the lethal passion. "You got what you wanted. Now, let go off of me!"
Dazedly, the man let him go off, Harry's taste of grape and vodka still burning on his tongue. He watched his kitten storming away into toilet. Briefly, he contemplated pursuing him there, but in the end, he decided against it. It wouldn't do to piss his kitten off too much…
He had met the green-eyed man at one of his nightly tours of the clubs. At first, he simply wanted to bug him, as he was won't to do, but when those annoyed green eyes looked into his own sable orbs, he felt as if he was being punched in the gut.
'Beautiful.' Usually, he was tight-lipped with praise, but this little kitten – his little kitten deserved it.
Harry, as he later found out his kitten's name, was smaller than him, barely reaching to the middle of his chest. He was slender, but the muscles attested he was also strong – that one fact Hiko experienced on his own skin. He wouldn't believe if someone would tell him he would be bowled over as easily as a pin with bowling ball. And the pain! His poor jewels… Hiko grimaced at the phantom pain that still lingered when he thought of that particular memory. Ooh, his kitten was feisty…
He liked that about him. And the more he knew about him, the more he wanted to have this particular kitten for himself. So he stalked him, in hopes he'd get positive answer. But noo, kitten had to be stubborn. It didn't help his kitten had his own admirers, which he shooed away, but still…
Usually, he went for chicks. It wasn't his fault he mistook him for a chick, honest! The kitten's black, long hair reached to the middle of his back, usually bound in a simple braid, or low ponytail with a ribbon. In addition, he was slender, just like girl… even if he lacked the necessary equipment, i.e. rack, but Hiko was willing to overlook that fact, in the favor of kitten being feisty. And brave. And kind.
He was stalking kitten as the kitten was getting groceries, and he watched how he kindly helped the hysterical mother find her baby girl. Harry had calmed her down, and then went to search for her missing baby. At the end, the woman thanked Harry with tears in her eyes, cradling her precious child in her arms.
The smile his kitten gave the teary-eyed mother was breathtaking.
In this moment, he decided these smiles would be his, no matter what. Having the kitten along, was just an added bonus.
Now, how to get the kitten to…?
"D'aww, Harry!" Ginny whined out, her voice high with the consumption of alcohol and heat. Harry grimaced. "No means no, Gin." He shouted into her ear, trying to drag her away from the queue. Right now, he sincerely regretted having to search for her. He didn't want to be a babysitter anymore! His inner voice complained loudly, making Harry twitch.
This – whatmacallit, as Neville called it, was a karaoke/audition for the co-singer for some guy, Hiko Seijuro, for the night. And Harry didn't appreciate Ginny alternatively clinging to him and dragging him to sign up. He shuddered in horror at the memories of being forced to sing along. Ginny had a passable voice, but drunk and high as a kite, as she was right now, she was worse than a chorus of alley cats!
"Ginny…" Harry knew he was dangerously near the tone that indicated whining. But hell, if that was what would get him out of the hellhole that was singing contest, his masculine pride be damned.
But if Harry knew anything about Ginny, it was that she was stubborn as an ox. "Gin-"
Yes he was definitely whining now.
Irate brown eyes looked into his. "Listen, buster, I want to have fun… and you wouldn't happen to…." She belched, releasing into Harry's face a foul mixture of stale breath and alcoholic drinks, making him grimace slightly. Her shoulder length, red hair, which was wavy just for the occasion and black lipstick with a smeared grey eye shadow, as to make her eyes more mysterious, but right now, she looked really ridiculous, because she was just so messy – It was all Hermione's fault, Harry mourned privately. Hermione had introduced Ginny to the Goth style and –
Ginny looked dangerous, really dangerous right now, just under Bellatrix's cutesy act of 'I-will-rip-your-balls-if-you-don't-do-as if-you-say-and-cheerfully-feed-them-to-you' dangerous. Blue eyes flashed irately, as she smiled cutely – or at least attempted to, but the end result was a demented grin that would send lesser men running for the hills, screaming for their mommies.
Nobody had come from the war exactly sane. Oh, they looked normal enough. If they hadn't lost any limbs, but their minds were older, bitterer and more cynical as the minds of the innocent idiots that were currently milling the club.
Ron became obsessed with details and strategy…all the time, Luna was even loonier than before, if that was even possible, the twins were out of whack already, no news there – but you had to be careful whenever you visited them, as they still didn't dismantle the numerous – and lethal traps – around their quarters. Neville was a sole specialist on… carnivorous plants. Make those big, carnivorous plants, only he knew how to control. The worst thing was, he always had on hand a sack of seeds of the little blighters – he was particularly proud of those so-called Devil Trees of his.
Hermione was normal… well, as normal as the second most paranoid person – after Harry - could be. Add that to her extensive knowledge of Dark hexes and rituals and you wouldn't want to cross the ex – bookworm in the duel.
Ginny had a case of MPD – Multiple Person Disorder - a shy, meek little girl, and other, her "battle face" as she called it. That "battle face" of hers was even scarier than Bellatrix's, and that was no mean feat. She had gotten Fenrir whimpering like a little puppy under her mercy, before killing him in the most gruesome way possible… And oh… did we mention she was addicted to the taste of blood and had at least one dagger on her?
It was so not good idea to cross her… especially when she wanted something.
Harry sighed. "Okay, Gin." He muttered out dejectedly.
The murderous chit instantly morphed into a cute little girl, who squealed with happiness and proceeded to hug a life out of him… or at least attempted to.
Harry sighed, and tried to be brave.
The next thing –
"You will sing with me," Ginny said decisively.
Harry wanted to cry.
Really, he did.
His poor, poor ears…
"Next!" Hiko barked, even before the chit finished first stanza.
He rubbed his temple, feeling his brain throbbing in pained sympathy. So far, no good. Those chicks were screeching and –
He wanted his kitten!
And then, there was a next chit, this one a redhead, with black lipstick and blue eyes, shaded with grey eye shadow and black miniskirt and skimpy bra with red bellybutton piercing with a chain and black studded collar around her slender neck.
She smiled a small, seductive smile. "Hello. I am Ginny, and I will be singing - "
"I will tell you what you will be singing," He interrupted her, making the audience titter at the girl's plight.
The girl's jaw dropped and she inhaled indignantly. "You - !" She began.
"Gin, give it a rest." The male groaned out. The red-haired girl whirled to him, eyes blazing. Hiko whistled quietly. 'Nice.' If he was into murderous chicks, she would be a perfect choice to pick.
Sadly, he valued his balls a little too much.
"Gin…" The male growled out, green eyes flashing. Some moments later, the pair ended their staring match, the girl slumping dejectedly. "Okay." She pouted. "But ya owe me."
The male rolled his eyes. "Yeah, and I am Queen of England." He pointed out dryly. He turned to the Hiko –
"Now, what will you give her to - "His eyes widened at the culprit. "YOU!" He pointed at the equally baffled Hiko.
"Yes, me. Me what?" Hiko's smart mouth was running on him… again. He watched the kitten sputter indignantly. Inner Hiko was cackling with amusement.
"Bastard." Harry growled out. Hiko smirked. "Just for that, you will sing, too."
He enjoyed the sight of those green eyes widening, and his kitten spluttering. "B – But I don't – I am not a singer!"
"Suck it up, wuss." Hiko grinned. "Your loss. "
Harry's eyes narrowed, before he yelped, as Ginny cuffed him.
"My stage!" she growled imperiously, making him meep with surprise. "Yes, ma'am." Harry nodded dutifully, and tried to slink away…. Only to be halted by his bastard excellence himself.
"Oh no, you don't, kitten."Hiko grinned a feral grin at his prey.
Harry growled. The bastard was entirely too smug for his own good.
"Prepare to die," He hissed into Hiko's face, wishing he could knee the idiot in groin… and then stomp on it for a good measure.
"I look forward to it," Hiko purred into his ear matter-of-factly. "Little death sounds good?"
Harry was sure his face was red like a fire hydrant. "In your dreams, you fucker," he growled back.
And the bastard had a nerve to laugh!
Harry smirked. The revenge will be swift….
Half a minute later, he was cringing, and revising his thoughts of revenge. And Ginny's ancestry. He was now sure she had some Banshee blood in her veins. Ginny was pulling all the stops, in order to impress Hiko, who was silently suffering the girl's caterwauling. Harry smirked at the thought.
He looked up at the bastard's face, as to ascertain the degree of suffering, and his jaw dropped.
The fucker had earplugs!
Oh, that did it.
He stomped on Hiko's boot… Hard.
The sound of Hiko's yowl made Ginny stop singing, much to Harry's relief…. And a tiny amount of guilt…and minuscule one of fear.
"So, how did you like it?" Ginny smiled flirtatiously at the handsome dark man who was holding Harry in his embrace.
Hiko cringed. It was one thing, for his kitten to see his…trick, but it was a whole another kettle of fish, when dealing with the crazy woman.
Stalkers were do-able.
Crazy women... were not.
Nonchalantly, he pulled the earplug out. "You were saying?"
That shade of red was surely dangerous, Harry mused, fascinated, as he watched Ginny blush with fury.
But then, Ginny shrugged. "Oh, okay." She giggled, winking at the hunk. She sauntered off the podium to Hiko, and licking her lips, stuffed a contact card in his left back pocked, firmly groping his behind at the same time. "You can call me anytime, cutie." She winked, and sashayed away, leaving gaping Harry and traumatized Hiko in her wake.
"I think I am scarred for life," Hiko muttered to himself, still shaken from 'The Experience', as he later labeled it.
It still didn't excuse him from the tryouts, Harry latter reminisced darkly.
"I am not a singer." He growled out umpteenth time this night. His only answer was Subaru's snort. "Suck it up, shrimp." The drummer told him dryly, twirling his drumsticks around his fingers as to warm them up. He was a Japanese, thin as a rail, and his hair dyed blonde with orange streaks, with purple eyes which he assured harry they were all natural and not lenses. "Besides, it's only for this night." Keita, the keyboardist and Subaru's boyfriend, snickered.
He was small and cute, braided auburn hair and soft black eyes, with glittering long earrings that made him look like a girl. He was clothed in black trousers and black t-shirt, with fingerless green gloves on his hands. "And why the hell do you need an additional singer?" Harry whined, pouting.
"Because we love to mess with you?" Sanada asked dryly. Sanada was second guitarist, he played classic guitar. On his head, he wore a bandanna, and stylish shades. He was tall and muscular, although not as tall as Hiko.
"Guys, have you seen Haku?" The redhead asked. Subaru groaned. "Have you looked under the pile of - " "Yes, I did, and it's not here." Kenshin nibbled his lower lip, big amethyst eyes worried. "And Haku is not an it! He is a he!" He pouted.
Haku was Kenshin's lovable Himalayan cat – or, as the other members of the band termed it, the hellcat, or he-devil, or simply it. Surprisingly, Haku only ever took to the so-called 'ukes' of the band… barely. The only one he actually tolerated, was Kenshin. Semes were apparently on the fur ball's black list. Sanada shrugged. "Ask Shishio." Shishio was their devil manager and also Kenshin's lover.
It was still a mystery how did the two of them get together. The Mummy, as the band called the man – because he was perpetually wrapped in bandages – for some unknown reason – but only if they were out of the said man's or his lover's earshot.
"Brats! Five minutes!" Shishio barked out, making them jump. Sharp black eyes looked around. "Where is that son of a bitch?"
Harry blinked. "Hiko?" He asked. "Bastard said he had to do… something." Shishio paused. "Oh. Good." The tall man nodded briskly. "And Shinta, the fur ball is with the mutt." Kenshin breathed a relieved sigh. "Thank you, love." He whispered to the man, kissing him on the bandaged cheek. Shishio was also the only one to call Kenshin Shinta.
Shishio nodded gruffly and handed him the pick.
Harry sighed as he fiddled with his armband.
The concert was a smashing success. Harry smiled a wide grin, still riding on high from the crowd's approval. He was wet with sweat, his body hot and his throat stung a little from all that singing, but –
It was worth it.
He looked at Hiko, who grinned at him, dark eyes shining with excitement, before the man strolled to the mic.
"Yo, hope you enjoyed the show." The crowd roared an affirmative. "But. – " Hiko smirked. "We have one more surprise for you." White teeth glinted in the harsh light, as he began strumming on the guitar.
Harry blinked. One more surprise. He looked at Subaru, who grinned unrepentantly. "It's a secret." The irritating man mouthed to him, making him growl.
Really, Harry loved Subaru like older, annoying brother, but this –
"Let's go!" Hiko announced. "And Harry, hold your yap shut, and enjoy."
Harry blushed at the laughter the mischievous message provoked.
And then, they began.
The beat, the drums, the guitars…Harry began to unconsciously hum to melody, a small smile quirking his lips.
His jaw dropped as he heard the lyrics.
Better yet, when he heard who exactly was singing.
Tomodachi ni tegami wo kaku toki mitai ni
In spite that it would be nice if words flow out to me
Surasura kotoba ga detekureba ii no ni
Like when one writes a letter to a friend
Hiko sang our, a small, roguish smile on his lips, as his fingers flew with the rhythm on his guitar.
Mou sukoshi otagai wo shiriau ni ha jikan ga hoshii
I want some time to know each other a little more
Uragiranai no ha kazoku dake nante
That the only one who won't betray you is you family
Harry blushed at the meaning, but he couldn't help but be entranced by the melody.
Shishio grinned at Sanada.
Sabishisugiru yo love is asking to be loved
Is too lonely a thing Love is asking to be loved
Shinjiru koto wo yameteshimaeba raku ni narutte wakatteru kedo
I know I'll be happy if I stop believing but
Harry was surprised. Better yet, he was shocked. This song was so different from anything that the band was playing he wondered -
Don't you see! negattemo inottemo kiseki omoide
Don't you see! Even if I ask and pray for miracles and memories
Sukoshi ha ki ni kakete
I worry a little
Don't you see! chotto sameta furi wo suru kuse ha
Don't you see! Even if I have a habit of pretending to be cold
Kizutsuku no ga kowai kara
I'm afrad to be hurt
And it felt as if...
... as if Hiko was trying to... tell him something.
But that couldn't be true, could it?
But Hiko's eyes were so dark, so passionate...it gave Harry shivers just to look at them.
It felt as if they were the only ones in the world.
Taxi noriba de matteta toki no chinmoku ha
Though it's only been five minutes
Of silence since I waited in the taxi stand
Harry smiled as he reminisced of those good old days and spats the two of them had.
It had been a long way, since then.
Since the war.
Since ... Everything.
Tatta gofun nano mono sugoku nagaku kanjita
I feel like it's been an eternity
Muri wo shite tsukarete aozameta koi ha yoki senu dekigoto
Wasting my time and making me weary
The crowd was clapping with the rhythm, but Harry had his eyes only for the singer.
Don't you see! chiisana kenka de
Don't you see! We're not to be beaten
Makezu kiraina futari dakara hotto shita no
By such petty quarrels
Hiko was as intimidating as ever with his white and red floor length cloak, his dark eyes and his imposing body.
But tonight, there was something different...
Something Harry had rarely seen when they were bickering or those shards of comfortable silence after their lovemaking.
Don't you see! ironna hito wo miru yori
Don't you see! Rather than ogle at girls
Zutto onaji anata wo miteitai
I want to look just at you
Harry blushed at this one.
Yup, Hiko was an unbearable pervert. It was a wonder they had come together as they had. Even if they were a couple, Harry had to accept the fact Hiko had a thing for appreciating of finer points of female body.
However, their band mates noted the fact that their esteemed leader – ogled Harry more than anything, and his ogling the girls was only for provoking the smaller man into hissy fits Hiko found strangely cute.
Shishio just remarked that Hiko had some seriously hidden masochistic tendencies... before he had to free from the irate guitarist.
Even if it was the truth...
Shishio was hiding for a week for that stunt, though.
Don't you see! I'll never worry, tonight.
Don't you see! I'll never worry; tonight
Harry blushed as he remembered those starry nights in summer, when he was laying on the flat roof of the small cabin looking at the stars.
Hiko's eyes were dark and soft, as his mouth quirked upwards lazily, his strong body clad only in swimming trunks still seething the warmth from the sun's rays, and long dark hair messy as ever -
I'll lay me down, tonight.
I'll lay me down, tonight
You know, I do it for you.
You know, I do it for you
Hiko was never so beautiful as he was then.
Don't you see! umareta machi no nioi
Don't you see! If we walk together on the streets
Kurekakaru gairoju wo futari arukeba
Filled with scents of the town we were born
Harry smiled, as he closed his eyes, reminiscing about the scents and sounds of Tokyo and the small town where Hiko had been born – Hiko had invited him after the end of the tour, and Harry had accepted.
And he didn't regret it.
It was peaceful, and he met Hiko's old Kendo master, who told him loads of little embarrassing stories about the bastard.
He had found about Hiko's morning rituals – a cup of sake and a bowl of rice – and his hobby – pottery.
He chuckled at the memory of Hiko being introduced of his surrogate family – or better, Hiko's terror at finding out that the crazy chick, as he termed Ginny, was Harry's adopted little sister. Harry was still ribbing him over it.
And how Hiko had dealt with the group of rogue Vampires...
... And the subsequent revelation that the band wasn't exactly ignorant of magic and paranormal.
Hermione had a fit at that particular revelation.
Shishio got the brunt of it, making him wary of the trigger – happy bookworm.
Apparently, he was part of fire demon or something, and Hermione's penchant for... well paranoia, almost cost him his fingers.
They still had spats over that 'little issue'.
Ron and Neville were simply amused at their antics.
Don't you see! sekaijuu no daremo ga donna ni isoidemo
Don't you see! No matter how much the people in this world hurry
Watashi wo tsukameteite
You can still catch me
Harry's eyes were filled with happy tears.
The song was beautiful – so like Hiko.
He would still bonk the bastard on the head for hiding the project from him...
The song has ended, and Harry had to open his eyes and shaking his head to clear his thought of the magic that was music.
Hiko approached him, kneeling in front of him.
Harry's eyes widened.
"Hiko...?" he asked half afraid, half-hopeful.
Hiko grinned self-consciously. "Did I convince you?" he asked.
Harry choked with laughter and sobs.
"Ask me, and you will find out." He told the man, grinning.
Hiko pouted. "Marry me? Pretty please?" He made puppy eyes, which prompted Harry into happy laughter.
"At least you didn't say it comes with cherry on top," He teased Hiko, who blushed, much to the amusement of their band mates.
"Of course, bastard."
Uncharacteristically, Hiko whooped and swiftly got on his feet, grabbing Harry into a bear hug.
It was a beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Much to Harry's chagrin, Hiko still calls him kitten.