A.N- Ok, this took me about an hour to write and check over, but a whole day considering the amnount of procrastination that took place. I realised (with great excitement) that AkuRoku day was a day away and quickly began wishing I had a story ready to celebrate. This idea kind of snuck up on me as I was donating blood (random, I know) and I'm not sure how good it is, but hopefully you'll enjoy it!
Disclaimer - None of these characters are mine, I borrowed Axel, Demyx and Roxas from the owners of KingdomHearts and the rest from Disney!
Everybody Wants to be a Cat
Axel sat up and yawned widely. He blinked, stretched and began looking around for his companions. "Roxas? Demyx? Where've you guys gone? Are you napping too...or have you left me?" Axel heard a sort of rustling noise and pounced on whatever was hiding in the tall grass. There was a loud yowl and a hissing string of expletives.
"What do you think you're DOING!" came a loud shriek from below him and Axel hopped off of his target to look him over.
"Roxy?" Axel asked, confused. It had sounded like Roxas, his blonde haired blue eyed friend, but he hadn't landed on Roxas but a tiny little kitten. It had wide blue eyes and a startled expression, it's fur was an almost glowing white but it was the ears that attracted Axel's attention. The tips curled back slightly and made the kitten look absolutely adorable. Axel tilted his head to one side, examining the kitten for a while – forgetting his missing friends for the moment.
"Axel...you're a cat? A Bengal? Axel...why are you a cat?" The kitten looked up at him and watched as Axel peered to the side to examine his fur. With a startled yowl, the red cat leapt up and trotted over to a puddle to examine his reflection.
"MAN! I'm one sexy tom cat!" he purred in satisfaction, preening at his reflection and twitching his whiskers. Roxas tottled over to him and sneezed in annoyance.
"You're not any old tabby cat Axel! You're a Bengal! That's a kinda rare breed...I'm so jealous! What am I? Why're you so big?" Roxas was trying to get close enough to the puddle to examine his own image by every time he got close enough, his paws got wet and he danced back.
"You're like...really REALLY white and your eyes are still blue and you've got these deformed ears which curl back, but are really cute." Axel hastened to reassure Roxas that he was adorable, not misshapen. The kitten blinked.
"An American Curl?" Roxas asked, quite stunned by the revelation. Axel just frowned and pondered the reason for Roxas' vast cast breed knowledge. "Wait! Why am I so much smaller than you then?" He yowled suddenly.
"Uhm, Rox, you're like...you're a kitten dude." Axel tried to let his friend down gently. Roxas was always rather sensitive about his height and hated being the baby of Organization XIII. The kitten stilled. And suddenly he started hissing and spitting and yowling and leapt at Axel with his claws unsheathed. The larger cat bounded out of the way and watched in amazement at the kitten's display.
"Why, why why WHY WHYYY?" Roxas yowled, reorienting on Axel and this time trying to bite him. Axel backed away cautiously. "It's not FAIR! You're always taller than me! I'm not a baby, why'm I a kitten!" Roxas's voice was getting more and more shrill, eyes going rounder and his tail bushed out like a bottle brush. Making a quick decision, Axel leapt at the infuriated kitten and grabbed him by the scruff of his neck. The kitten instinctively went limp.
"Sometimes it happens like this when we visit new worlds." Axel spoke calmly, his voice a little muffled by the fur and skin he was carefully holding between his teeth. "I once went to a world and changed from me into a sea critter into a mermaid into me again...I was a sexy mermaid too." Axel sounded proud of himself and grinned when Roxas laughed a little.
"Merman, doofus...but why do I have to be a kitten?" Roxas had calmed down but Axel began walking, still carrying the kitten.
"Cos...that's how it works." Axel didn't have the heart to tell his friend that it was likely because he was little. "Sometimes we change in a way that'll help us in our mission. Maybe you being a cutie is going to help us? Now...where's Demyx? Oh! Hssssst! Do you think he landed in the water? Did he drown? Can cats swim?" Axel was facing a fast flowing stream and looked concerned. Zexion would ceremonially skin Axel if anything happened to Demyx. The red cat ran up and down the water, considering leaping in to find his other blonde friend. Sensing this, Roxas tensed, taking on his friend's hatred of water whilst in cat form.
"Axel, we won't find him. Our best bet is to continue with the mission, find a town and try to find out if anyone's seen him." Roxas began wriggling slightly but couldn't free himself from his friend's jaws. Axel leapt forward and quickly found a road. He trotted down it, Roxas swinging from his jaws. "A...Axel! I can walk you know!"
"Heh, yeah, but your itty bitty legs would slow us down." Axel snorted.
( UU )
After some grumbling and struggling, Roxas had dozed off and Axel continued walking to the soft accompaniment of Roxas' purring snores. His paws were getting sore. He had a feeling they'd been soft and pink, like a pampered palace cat's. Not used to walking long distances at all. But Axel needed to find somewhere safe for Roxas to sleep and, since Axel was hungry, he could only assume the much smaller cat was starving. Or would be when he woke up. Spotting light in the distance, Axel plodded on. Where there were people, there was food. He came across a farmhouse and sighed happily, darting through the shadows into a dark barn filled with sleeping horses. Laying the sleeping kitten on an old sweater that had been left on the floor, Axel started stalking the darkness, listening. He was hungry and knew that he needed to think like a cat if he wanted to eat. A slight rustling noise made the cat turn around and crouch, belly close to the ground. Then a voice made him relax and pad swiftly over to Roxas' sleeping place. "Axel? Axel!" the kitten's voice was panicky.
"I'm here little dude." The Bengal cat licked the top of Roxas' head in a calming, grooming swipe. Roxas, much to Axel's amusement, purred serenely before jumping in shock at the loud grumbling noise his stomach made. If a cat could blush, Roxas would have.
"Uhm, I think I'm hungry." He said softly, avoiding Axel's gaze. Instead of teasing the poor kid, Axel simply nudged his flank with the top of his head.
"What're you hungry for?" he asked, concerned by the fact that Roxas was so small. What would he do if the kitten hadn't been weaned...what if Roxas was only capable of digesting milk? The little white cat looked thoughtful as he nuzzled up against Axel's warmth.
"Mmmmm...Pizza." he declared.
"Rox, cats don't eat pizza. You've gotta listen to your instincts." Axel sounded amused which made Roxas concentrate hard, trying to prove he wasn't stupid. After a minute of silence from his companion, Axel left him to stalk down a mouse that had decided to scurry past his field of vision. With a swift bound Axel pinned the mouse under one paw and tried to think past the revulsion he felt at getting ready to eat the poor creature. Something or someone was smiling down on the trembling mouse that day. Axel's leap had disturbed a rake which had fallen, clattering into a horse's stable. The loud noise made the sleeping creature make an impossibly loud noise and it began kicking the stall door in panic. Axel, leaping away from the noise in terror, let the mouse go and watched sadly as it scurried under some indefinable farming implements and disappear. Roxas mewed pitifully and Axel moped his way over to his friend. "'S ok Rox, we'll find something to eat in the morning. Just go to sleep now." Nudging the kitten into a curled up position with his nose, Axel yawn and fitted his own body protectively around his friend's.
( UU )
The noise coming from the stables did not go unnoticed. A woman emerged from the farmhouse followed by her young daughter carrying a big torch. They walked across the yard and opened up the stable, peering around and finding nothing but a rake out of place. As the mother turned on the electric lights, her little girl went to talk to the previously disturbed horse and, upon turning around, spotted the two sleeping cats. Letting out a squeal of sheer joy, she rushed over and crouched beside the entwined pair. Roxas' eyes opened at the sound of nearing footfall, Axel slept like he was dead to the world. When the kitten saw the girl's shining eyes, he decided to play cute and mewed at her pitifully. He felt proud of his acting skills when the child's eyes filled with softness. "Maman! Maman! Cats! There are cats sleeping here! Two! They don't have collars on...can we keep 'em!" Roxas froze, hoping that he and Axel would be able to escape, he wanted to find Demyx after all, and wanted to return to Castle Oblivion. The sound of an adult moving closer woke Axel, who stretched and yawned widely.
"Ah, Cherie, they are pedigree cats. They're likely lost." The woman said, peering down at the sleek coated creatures and scooping up Axel in her arms. "We can't keep them if their owners come to find them, we'll put out that we've found them. But we can look after them until they're collected." With a squeal of delight the child reached out eager hands to pick Roxas up. Axel tensed at the sight and Roxas cowered. However, the child – used to handling baby animals – gently scooped the cat into her arms and tickled the tip of one of his curled over ears.
"Maman, is the red cat this one's mama?" she asked sweetly, carrying the now relaxed Roxas into the farmhouse. Her mother looked down at the Bengal in her arms. Axel was cradled in her arms, stretched out with his white belly on show.
"No, this is a boy Cherie, and I think he is just looking after the little one. Perhaps you should put some tuna in a dish for them. Who knows when they last ate. And then you must do your reading and go to bed." The girl pouted but followed her mother into the kitchen.
"May the cats sleep in my room?" she asked sweetly, placing Roxas down and opening a tin of tuna fish and tipping the contents into a shallow dish before placing it in front of the kitten alongside a small bowl of water. Axel was placed beside Roxas (already nose deep in fish) before the mother simply nodded and smiled at her child. The little girl clapped happily and rushed off to finish her reading. Axel sat beside Roxas and waited for the sleepy kitten to eat his fill before finishing off the fish. It tasted divine and Axel was glad that his friend was so small. It didn't take much to sate his rumbling tummy and Axel polished off over half of the tin. They both drank some water and Axel gave the kitten a few grooming licks before carrying him carefully out of the kitchen in search of the girl. Roxas was barely awake when the girl spotted the cats, bid her parents goodnight and crooned at Axel to follow her. She clearly wanted them to sleep on her bed, but Axel felt uncomfortable with the thought, even if he were a cat. Instead he deftly leapt onto a cushioned rocking chair and once again curled around Roxas to sleep.
The next morning the cats were fed eggs for breakfast which Axel was at first surprised by – causing the little girl to look anxious – until Roxas fell to and lapped up the eggs eagerly. Axel joined him with their unusual breakfast and enjoyed it. The little girl happily grabbed a basket and scooted out of the house, coaxing the two cats out with her before her mother could tell her that taking cats out to collect eggs wasn't the cleverest of ideas. She was overjoyed to have the two cats pottering after her as she took care of her chores. Both sat down patiently waiting as she entered the chicken coop to collect their eggs. Roxas turned to Axel and rubbed his cheek against the older cat's chest. "How are we going to find Demyx?" he asked, concerned by the fate of his friend. Axel absently groomed behind his ears and then did the same for Roxas before answering.
"I'm not sure buddy, but I'm sure we'll find him, or we could RTC and maybe he'll be waiting. We can always come back if he's not." Roxas made an unhappy noise but didn't say anything else as their hostess appeared and took them to visit the geese. The cats stayed back from the large and noisy birds, Axel curling up in a patch of early morning sunshine as Roxas watched the birds with intense interest. He felt his feline instincts stirring, he wanted to stalk the prey, but remained beside his friend and tilted his head to one side and his ears forward as he concentrated on the shrieking white birds.
"Uncle Waldo, leave the poor boy alone, he doesn't want to dance with you!" shrieked one goose, wearing pink bonnet. Roxas craned his neck to see around a blue bonneted goose who was gently calming a trembling goose huddled miserably beside a pond.
"Do you need anything deary?" the goose with the blue bonnet asked.
"My friends. I want my friends!" said the male goose, finally having been freed from the attention of 'Uncle Waldo' who was trying to convince 'Amelia' to dance with him, which she had agreed to if he went to the other side of the pond. Roxas gasped and sprinted across the grass and leapt at the goose.
"DEMYX!" the kitten cried, purring and nuzzling against the surprised goose's feathers.
"Roxas! Leave the geese alone you lunatic!" Axel heaved himself to his feet and retrieved the kitten and apologised to the birds with a struggling Roxas swinging from the skin held between Axel's teeth.
"Axel?" The male goose finally recovered from his shock at being attacked by a tiny white cat. He let out a sound of pure delight and nipped affectionately at the red cat's whiskers. "Can we go home now?" Axel blinked, eyed the female goose and winked flirtatiously. After ensuring the little girl was nowhere within sight he opened a dark portal and head butted Demyx through unceremoniously before following swiftly after.
( UU )
The sound of two simultaneous grunts and a whine of pain as Axel emerged into the lounge. He discovered his teeth were sunk into Roxas' neck and that he and the blonde had landed on top of Demyx who in turn was laying flat atop Zexion. Removing his teeth slowly from Roxas' neck, Axel kissed the spot tenderly in apology and scooped the little blond into his arms and clambered off of Demyx. The mulleted blond clung to a squirming Zexion, pleading that he never be sent back to that world again. "I never EVER want to be a goose again!" he wailed into Zexion's chest. The slate haired man raised an eyebrow at Axel who simply grinned and walked out of the lounge. Roxas nuzzled his head into Axel's neck and made a purring sound of pleasure, suddenly too sleepy to care about being carried around like a baby.
"Home at last." Axel kissed the boy's nose and smiled.
"I don't know what you mean Roxy. Everybody wants to be a cat!"
A.N - Thanks for reading! I would love you forever if you could review! *flutters eyelashes and offers cookies*
Oh, 'Maman' is french for 'mummy/mommy'. And 'Cherie' is french for 'darling'. The Aristocats is set in France and it didn't feel right to have no french in the story!