Tails and Whiskers
Author's Note: Yay, this is my first Gakuen Sousei Nekoten fanfic! It's a seriously underrated manga, along with all of Yuji Iwahara's other works. I really want to do something related to KoT as well. It is love!
Okay, so. There is a serious, SERIOUS lack of Sakura x Kansuke. And I have no idea why. Seriously, why is this a bad pairing? I think it's a heckuva lot cuter and possible than Kansuke and Yumi. I honestly don't see that pairing working out at all, and not just because they're completely different species. I honestly think any feelings Kansuke MIGHT have for Yumi is being confused for a deep friendship and gratitude.
Anyway, here we go! I might do a longer story sometime WAY in the future after I finish my other projects.
She's with him again.
He growled softly, feeling the fur on his back stand on edge. "Something's just not right about that boy. His scent's... off. Why can't she sense it? But then again, she was always an airhead..."
The raven-haired girl in question was giggling like a silly schoolgirl as the boy he detested, Akifuji, talked to her. He couldn't make out what they were saying from this distance, but he just knew the guy was flirting with his master. No one flirts with Yumi! It was absolutely unacceptable. Disgusting, even!
"I should go over there and teach him a thing or two," he said, his anger quickly rising. He paced around on top of the fence a few meters away from them. "I mean, who does he think he is?"
"Would you stop that?"
Kansuke nearly toppled off of the fence in alarm. He whirled around and was irritated to see his enemy/rival, Musashimaru. The big, fat cat was watching him with an amused smirk from his perch in a tree a few feet away.
"Dammit, you nearly gave me a heart attack!" Kansuke yelled, hissing. He quickly covered his mouth with his paws, looking off to the side to see if the two had spotted him. Fortunately, they hadn't. He sighed in relief, whispering, "What do you want? Why are you stalking me?"
"I'm not stalking you," Musashimaru said with a roll of his eyes. "I've been here the whole time, taking a nap! You woke me up with your talking to yourself like an idiot. What are you doing, anyway?"
"I'm watching Yumi," Kansuke answered, not bothering to hide it. After all, Musashimaru would just nag him about it later. "She might be in danger."
Musashimaru looked over at Yumi and Akifuji. After a few seconds he tilted his head to the side. "She's not in danger, what are you talkin' about!"
"She is, I tell you!" Kansuke snapped. "Come on. Don't tell me you don't sense something strange about that guy!"
"You mean Akifuji?" Musashimaru said, shaking his head. "He's been part of the team for a long time now, and he's already proven himself to be trustworthy. Maybe you don't see it yet, rookie," he smirked.
"Stop calling me that!" Kansuke said, tempted to run up the side of the tree and push him down. "Just because I'm new doesn't mean my instincts have disappeared! Something's really off about that guy, and I don't want him anywhere near Yumi."
"Oh-ho!" Musashimaru said, a large, goofy grin stretching his face. "I think I know what's going on here..."
"You finally get it, numbskull?" Kansuke said. "Finally!"
"Oh, I get it alright," he snickered, barely able to contain himself. "I get you all too well!"
Musashimaru let forth a loud laugh, rolling over on the branch he was previously lounging on. Kansuke felt a temple throb on the side of his head.
"You're really pissing me off," Kansuke said, flexing his claws. "What the hell is so funny?"
"You!" he replied, wiping a tear from his eye. "Don't you get it? You have a crush on your master! That's hilarious!"
Kansuke felt his cheeks turn a bright red. Him? Have a crush or any kind of romantic feelings toward his idiot master, Yumi? That was crazy, ridiculous, downright unnatural! As if he could ever fall in love with a human!
"That's stupid!" Kansuke spat. "How could you even think that, idiot!"
"It's written all over your dumb face," Musashimaru said, still chuckling. "I've seen some of our kind get really overprotective over our humans; it's only natural since they end up being our best friends. But never, in all my life, have I seen one of us actually fall in love with one! How is that supposed to work anyway?"
"It won't!" Kansuke shouted. "It could never work!"
"Then why are you still in love with her?" Musashimaru smirked.
"Shut the hell up," Kansuke snapped, hopping down from the fence and stomping down the sidewalk. "I'm not in love with my own master. Get a grip on reality, would you?"
"Tell yourself that, rookie!" Musashimaru called, going into another bout of laughter.
That idiot, Kansuke thought furiously as he walked past some of the other students attending the high school. As if! That goes against all the laws of nature, for Gods' sake! Like I'd ever... for Yumi...
He stopped, looking down at his paws. He didn't honestly feel that way about her, did he...?
"Oh man, Kansuke," he groaned, clutching his head and gently clawing at his own fur. "Don't tell me you let yourself do that..."
A loud bang from a nearby alleyway snapped him out his thoughts. He stood at attention, twitching his ears curiously. He then heard a scream from a fellow cat, a female by the sound of it. Without wasting anytime he went to peer inside the alleyway. He assumed it was just some kind of cat fight, but was shocked to see none other than Sakura being corned by five large, gangly male cats.
"Stay back, please!" Sakura said, backing up into the brick wall of the nearby building. "I didn't mean any harm."
"Oh, I'm sure you didn't, sweetie," one of the larger ones said with a lick of his lips. "We can forgive you, in exchange for something sweet."
"W-What?" Sakura said, gulping nervously. "No, I have to go -"
Before she could make a move to bolt, another cat placed himself in front of her. "What's the rush, babe?"
"Stop it!" she screamed, her ears going flat against her head in fear. "Stay back!"
"Oh, we won't hurt you," said a mangy cat to her right. He was the largest, but not by much. Kansuke guessed that he was the leader of this flea-bitten lot. "Not much, that is..."
Kansuke had heard enough. He sped down the alleyway and jumped over the nearest cat, landing nimbly in front of Sakura. She gasped in surprise when she saw him, previously believing that she was all alone.
"Kansuke!" Sakura gasped. "Be careful."
"Don't worry about me," Kansuke grinned, turning to face his opponents. "I can handle these chumps, no problem."
"Who you callin' chump, chump!" a weaselly cat said, growling. "Let's get him!"
It was over in under three minutes. Three of them ran off in fear while two of their friends begged for their lives, covered head-to-toe in scratches and bite marks. Kansuke spit to the corner, disgusted that he actually had to resort to biting before they gave up. He made a mental note to steal Yumi's mouthwash later.
"Alright, quit your blubbering," Kansuke said in disgust as the two of them grovelled at his paws. "I'm not going to kill you... this time. Now beat it!"
The two defeated felines scrambled away, yelling in fear. Sakura sighed in relief and gratitude, walking to his side.
"Thank you so much," Sakura said with a smile. "I was in deep trouble there. Are you hurt?"
"Nah, I'm fine," Kansuke said, waving his paw in the air. "They were wimps, all of them! Though, I'm pretty sure you could have handled them. Why not just use your powers the ghost-princess gave you?"
"You mean Princess Kirihime and Princess Shirayuki?" Sakura giggled.
"Yeah, them," Kansuke grumbled.
"I can't use my powers without my partner and master," Sakura said, swishing her tail around thoughtfully. "I thought you knew that. It's the same with you; Miss Yumi cannot effectively fight without you by her side, just as you cannot fight without her."
"Oh, I forgot about that," Kansuke said with a slap of a paw to his forehead. "I'm still not used to this, sorry."
"That's alright!" Sakura said, leading the way out of the alleyway. "It'll all become second nature to you soon enough. You're getting the hang of your powers very quickly, if you ask me."
"You really think so?" Kansuke asked.
"Definitely," Sakura nodded. "Oh, speaking of which, there they are."
Kansuke looked up and felt his blood begin to boil again. There they were again, laughing and talking happily. With him. With Yumi.
"Kansuke? What's wrong?" Sakura asked, raising her eyebrows. "You're making a really scary face there!"
"What?" Kansuke said, shaking his head of his thoughts. "Sorry. I've just got something on my mind."
"Care to talk about it?" Sakura offered. "We can take a walk, if you'd like."
"Yeah, I'd like that," he said. Anything to get away from the sickening sight of him. "Come on, let's walk to the park."
Sakura agreed, and the pair walked towards the nearest park a few yards away. Kansuke couldn't help but dwell on his previous thoughts. It was almost like he was obsessed! Everyone else thought him crazy for thinking the way he did, but he knew what he was talking about! Why couldn't anyone else see the problem here?
"I don't trust your owner," Kansuke said, barely above a whisper. "I don't want him near mine."
"What? You mean Akifuji?" Sakura gasped, completely taken aback. "Why not? I don't believe he'd ever hurt anyone innocent, and I know he'd never hurt her like that if he could help it! Why don't you want him near her?"
"I...!" Kansuke tried his best to put forth a valid reason as to why their masters couldn't be together. There had to be a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why he felt this way. There just had to! "Because... because I'm jealous, okay?" he snapped. "There, are you happy now?"
Sakura's light blue eyes grew wide in surprise. "You're jealous?"
"Yes," Kansuke admitted, more to himself than to Sakura. "I am."
"Kansuke, my master would never try to steal her time away from you," Sakura said soothingly. "It's only natural for people to be with their own kind. Cats to cats, humans to humans. It doesn't mean they don't love us anymore, or any less. You'll always be her partner and friend."
"That's just it!" Kansuke yelled in frustration. "I'm not satisfied with that! Don't you get it?"
Sakura looked visibly hurt at his outburst. She took a step back and looked down at her paws. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you, I was just trying to help."
Kansuke mentally kicked himself. Sakura honestly tried to make him feel better, and what did he do? Yell at her like she was the cause of all of his problems. It was all her owner's fault, not hers'!
"Sakura, I'm sorry," Kansuke said softly, coming closer to her. "I'm being an ass right now, and you don't deserve that. I'm just... frustrated, I guess."
"I know, that's okay," Sakura said with a small smile. "Do you... um... have feelings for her?"
"Yumi?" Sakura whispered. "I-I might be looking at it the wrong way..."
Kansuke gulped. Even coming from the sweet and gentle ivory cat, it sounded absolutely ludicrous. He honestly asked himself if he was in love with his human. With Yumi, the dopey and air-headed girl he had known since he was a kitten. Was he truly in love with her...?
"No," he finally replied. It was an honest answer, even if it was a bit shaky. "I don't think I'm in love with her. I think... I think I might have confused it with love somewhere down the road. I don't know what to call it. I want to protect her from a lot of things, and with that power that gave me an appearance of a human, maybe I fooled myself into thinking something could happen between us."
"I see," Sakura said, sitting down beside him and allowing him to continue.
"Maybe I even confused love with a mother-child type thing," Kansuke mused. "She is kind of like my mom. I don't remember who my parents are or where I came from. So she's like a sister, a mother, a partner, and a best friend all wrapped into one. But not a lover. That's something she can't be, and I forgot that."
Sakura nodded, looking over at him. "That's the same as Akifuji and I. Well, I never fell in love with him, but other than my big brother, he was all I had for a long time."
"But I still don't trust him," Kansuke said adamantly. "He rubs me the wrong way."
"I won't try and force your opinion to change," she said, looking up at the stars that were beginning to appear in the evening sky. "But he's not a bad guy at all. Sure, he's not like a lot of boys his age; most are obsessed with girls and the like, especially if they are good-looking. And he's popular as well. But he's mysterious and likes to keep his head in books, only talking to a few friends," she said with a small chuckle. "He's always been somewhat strange. But I can tell you this for a fact: he will put his life on the line for anyone he cares about, without hesitation. I'm certain that he would do the same for Miss Yumi."
Kansuke couldn't think of a valid response to her. Even though he wasn't willing to admit that he might have judged Akifuji wrongly, the fact that he was a well-respected and trusted member of the student council had to mean something. And he still hadn't offered up a valid reason as to why he distrusted him before...
"Maybe you're right..." Kansuke said reluctantly, shuffling his paws. "Maybe I just need to be around him for a little while."
Sakura gave him a bright smile. "That's all I ask! Get to know him; you two might have a lot more in common than you think!"
Kansuke laughed heartily. "That's stretching it a bit!"
A small firefly came to rest on the edge of his nose, startling him. He wiggled his nose to shake it off, watching the glowing bug fly away to join its friends. Sakura giggled at him, making him smile.
"Hey," Sakura said, getting into position. "Let's see who can catch the most fireflies!"
"You're on!" Kansuke said with a grin. "Ready? Go!"
The two of them dashed off in opposite ends of the field. They hopped around, gently snatching as many fireflies as they could inside their mouths. After a few minutes of this, they met back up near the middle of the park.
Sakura released hers first. She counted them as they flittered about.
"One, two, three... ten!" Sakura said excitedly. She gave him a playful smirk. "Beat that!"
Kansuke smiled sheepishly. "You win?"
"But you didn't even release yours yet," Sakura said, looking confused.
"I ate them," Kansuke admitted.
Sakura laughed, rolling on the grass. "You cheater!"
"Hey, I said you won!" Kansuke laughed, nudging her. "I guess I'm hungry!"
"Then let's head back to the school and get something to eat," Sakura said cheerfully. "I'm sure we can find something tastier than fireflies!"
Kansuke grinned and walked alongside her as they slowly made their way back to the high school. She was unusually quiet for most of the way there, and he asked her if there was something bothering her.
"Well, honestly, I'm not," she confessed. "I'm worried about the upcoming battle with Kaien and the other Spirit Beasts. They were all created to be the first of their kind, and to harmonize with the others that were the first as well. Look how things turned out. And look how strong they are! I wonder... am I able to protect the others I care about in the upcoming battle? There's no guarantee that I can even protect myself, after all."
She looked up at him, her blue eyes glistening. "What makes you so sure?"
"Because I'll protect you," he said simply, looking straight ahead with a determined expression. "I'll protect you and Yumi, no doubt about it. So don't worry about it anymore. Got it?"
Sakura remained silent for a few moments before smiling up at him. "Thank you, Kansuke."
For a long, long time, the only thing Kansuke had resigned himself to was protecting Yumi. After she saved his life, he was determined to repay his debt. He had worked hard all his life to become stronger, feeling that there was always room for improvement. When he was granted his new powers by Shirayuki, his drive for that goal increased ten-fold.
But now, he had another reason to fight. And he would do all he could to protect her as well.
Author's Note: I'm so happy with this. It was short and to the point, just like I wanted it.
Oh, and I am NOT anti-Yumi. Some people thought I was, and that is so wrong. I love Yumi! Just not romantically involved with Kansuke in any way. I feel she has Akifuji, and vice-versa.
Thanks for reading!
P.S – Oh, and I HAVE read most of the manga (or at least all of what is currently available), but this was supposed to be set pretty early on in the manga.