A/: This is for Don't preach, who remained me that she wasn't the only one behind on their schedule.. ha ha... ha... sorry... M
THE FOUNDATION OF LOVE: TRUST
The finding of his voice created a ripple of reactions in Shinobu and Miyagi, the first, excited and thrilled tried to communicate, with constant mewling, hissing, growling, purring, chirping, even biting; learning what intrigued the man, what made him chuckle or scowl and how to get what he wanted or needed. Now for the old professor, this pointed as a great improvement, so he tried his best to understand the Kitten, learning the difference between a stressed purr from a hungry purr or a content purr. Or the difference between the fluffing up of the base of his tail as a greeting versus the fluffing of his tail and back for hissing, the second one a very easy to point out, because of the loud snake-like rattling that came with it, and never stopped chilling the man.
"It's okay Shinobu-chin, it's only a frying pan" said Miyagi pointing at the metal pan in his hand. Salted vegetables, garlic and beef sizzled inside it. "It has your food in it so you shouldn't hiss at it" Shinobu pouted in response from his spot on the couch, his tail still spiked. Miyagi sighted.
Shinobu seemed to wake up every day, more energetic than the day before. At the second day his curiosity pulled him out of his made-bed, he tossed around the sofas and inspected the balcony, taking a special liking to the plants. With that, Miyagi learned not to leave water around, the kitten loved splashing his paw against it, making a mess all around his living room. Then, on the third and fourth day Shinobu started eating at the table, his tail would still fluff up, ears pinning at every loud sound, but he remained sit and put till Miyagi said he could go back to his made-bed. He also learned where the food was storage, walking towards the kitchen when ever he felt hungry, sniffing around to find what he wanted to eat. Miyagi learned with that a secret craving for chocolate pudding and spicy food, and a serious inability to hide his emotions from his oh-so-honest tail.
By the 5th day Shinobu felt braver and confident enough to go inspecting every corner of the house, checking all the cabinets he could and trying almost every clothe he could grab from Miyagi's closet. Making Miyagi angry at the disorder and laugh at the cuteness of the kitten in the too large shirts. Realizing as well that the kitten still wore the same worn out shirt and pants and was stinking also, he knew that THAT, meant hell was coming, and rather too soon.
So on the 7th day, Miyagi decided that he could not prolong the inevitable anymore. Slowly he prepared the tub and towels, separated the shampoo, soap and a clean set of pyjamas, he had bough them years ago but he ended up not using them cause they were way too small for him. They would, of course, still drown on Shinobu but that was better than nothing. And he could defiantly NOT let the kitten stay naked, no good.
"Maybe he wont fight, he already likes playing with water" Miyagi thought, but looking at the muddy kitten he knew better than hope for the best, so, he locked the windows and doors, and barricaded every room without the kitten knowing. "The later he realizes the better."
"Shinobu" he called while preparing the bathtub, the kitten appeared mewling like always, tail straight and moving in broad circles, "come here I have to bathe you up" he said and the kitten entered with a curious look, "what does bath mean?" wondered Shinobu looking at the things Miyagi had collected. Miyagi took advantage of it and passed by him to closed the door, locking it. Glancing at the kitten he threw the key inside the garbage can, Shinobu was bending close to the bathtub, smelling the water collected inside.
"Puuuurrrrr" Shinobu's senses saturated with the herbal essences, "Miyagi's essence" Shinobu turned around and Miyagi smiled back, moving his hand to pet him, making Shinobu close his eyes and start purring even stronger. Miyagi knew by now how sensitive Shinobu's ears were, he petted them rubbing the round tip with his thumb, following their shape.
"Good boy, now, let's take this off" he said with a calm voice, grabbing the hem of Shinobu's sweater, but Shinobu, adding the water, soap and shampoo, to the impending nakedness, felt a dark omen above him. "Mooooouuuur" the troubled dark mewl reverberated from Shinobu's chest, Miyagi just looked at him apologetically. "I'm sorry, but you stink", as an answer Shinobu growled and tried to run away. "Oh no! You won't!" Miyagi grabbed his skinny arm and pulling it towards himself restrained the kitten in a bear-hug. Thankfully the kitten was so petite he could control him with one hand and scrub the dirt out of him with his other. "Or you take the clothes off or I'll bath you with them!" Miyagi growled but Shinobu still fought. "I'll count to 10 and you'll be stark naked!" threatened Miyagi and Shinobu scowled, whining and hissing, adding a very certain "No!"
Miyagi blinked, stopping his movement and looking at the kitten's eyes, reading the confusion in them. The voice had being hoarse and pitch, unused it shocked Miyagi for a second but it shocked Shinobu for 3, which Miyagi noticed and used to hold and pull off, the already worn out clothes. "Ha!"
Too late Shinobu reacted, he turned to meet Miyagi's eyes but a bowl of water fell over his head, followed by more of them and good layers of soap and shampoo. Miyagi's hands rubbed and scrubbed while the kitten hissed and trashed weakly, he wouldn't hurt Miyagi, and he knew it. After 30 minutes of struggling, the kitten was white and creamy with soap. "See? It wasn't so bad" Shinobu didn't answer, tail fluffed and ears pinned down. Miyagi sighted, "gacky"
After purring more water to rinse him, he took the kitten over his shoulder and placed him as gently as he could in to the bathtub, Shinobu growled angrily and pitifully in return. "Mmmooooooowwwrr"
"Pffffff… sorry... Pfffss" Staring at the sight of the wet kitten Miyagi couldn't hold his laugh. "Hey! I said I'm sorry!" Shinobu glaring at him, pushed in revenge a whole wave of water against him, bathing the old professor with it. Miyagi was easily socked from head to toes, the sight made Shinobu laugh hard, kicking his long legs in delight. Miyagi, who was just about to form his most disapproving scowl stopped at the sound, clear and strong, the laugh was coming from the kitten's lips in merry waves. "Spoiled little terrorist" he muttered fighting hard a smile
Kneeling down at one side of the bathtub Miyagi folded his shirt's cuffs and moved close to massage Shinobu's scalp, starting in circles from his forehead to the back of his neck, pressing down with his thumb to compress and relax them, being careful not to wet the inside of Shinobu's round, perky ears. Under his fingertips he felt the tight muscles resisting, nods and bruises difficulting the task. Miyagi's brows knitted together, his lips forming a thin line, how long will it take for the scars to heal?, how long till the pain and sorrow disappears?
Bending he worked his way down, circling his neck, rubbing the small of his back up to his shoulders and down his arms, which were quiet long and slender, looking at his legs he noticed the same was with them, weren't they too long for a kitten?. Letting his hands work on their own his mind searched everything he knew about house cat-pets, comparing it to the body in front of him. The skinny tail, now clean, was a color between caramel and orange, with black rings. Looking at his ears he noticed the back of them had black stripes with an orange and caramel color as well. "What the..."
"Mmmm…" mumbled Shinobu tensing and relaxing, purring in content, obviously enjoying Miyagi's gentle and strong hands. This brought Miyagi back to continue on with the legs, but moving way to fast he accidentally caressed the kitten's inner thigh, making Shinobu mewl in surprise and move away, turning bright red. "Haha...! timid are you kid..." Miyagi's voice was cut off, seeing Shinobu's form trembling, his eyes full of fear. Memories played back, how wounded and lost had he being before he found him, "damn" he sighed lifting his hands, palms up "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you, I won't do anything, I promise."
Shinobu's ears lowered, Miyagi retreated, "No…" he said furrowing his brows and waving him away with his hand, Miyagi chuckled and nodded "Oh right, oh right" turning around he started picking up the towels and staff he had to put in safe place while trying to soap the kitten, when he turned around Shinobu stood up and opened his arms as if waiting to be hugged. "You brat..." Miyagi scowled and threw the towel at Shinobu, landing on his face with a loud "pumf". Shinobu growled and muttered deflated. But, when he was drying his head Miyagi wrapped a towel around him, pulled him up in his arms and carried him in to his bedroom, placing him on his bed. "Meowww!" startled, Shinobu sat down and stared at Miyagi.
"Why?" he asked and Miyagi was surprised again, "you sure are speaking your thoughts out now, ha?" he said and smiled, "I just can't have you getting sick, dry yourself, I'll get the clothes and the hair-dryer."
Miyagi went back to the bathroom and came back with everything in his arms to find the kitten licking himself up, sitting down at the edge, elbow pulled upwards, his tongue moving slowly back and forth, to cover the patch of scratches he had there. Miyagi remembered hearing before about "grooming" but this was not exactly what he had imagine, he felt his heart thumping and his body heating up, making him scowl gravely, "Stop that already, here, shirt and pants" Shinobu stopped, ears perking at the sound of the man's voice, raising his eyes he extended his arms to received the clothes, then pulling the fabric close to his nose he inhaled deeply, "Miyagi's" Purring contently he put them on quickly. It was a two piece pajama with a light green color and no design, Shinobu pulled and struggle with the pants, his legs not long enough, his claws easily tangling between threads, Miyagi laughed at the way the kitten drowned on them. Then, noticing a problem with the pants, he made Shinobu turn around and taking a pair of scissors he cut a hole for the ringed tail, now clean and fresh it looked fluffier and a much more rich orange with a goldish tint. Looking back at Shinobu's face he noticed a dark tear spot forming at the corner of his eyes, giving him a wild expression, this unsettled Miyagi greatly, being that he knew no domestic cat would have those markings.
"Sometimes I wonder Shinobu, if you're really a cat" Shinobu just mewled in answer, kneeling on the bed again to continue on with his grooming.
Having pass successfully the bath on the 7th day, Miyagi took an even bolder step. "Shinobu," called the old professor to the squirming kitten, "today we're going to have a visit," he tries, the kitten's ears twitched in response, "She's a friend of mine, very good vet and even better, she specializes in your type of case" at this, Shinobu's nose wrinkled, "She's my friend so she won't hurt you and I'll be here the whole time, I promise," Shinobu's brows knitted together, but his tail remained calm. "Okay..."Miyagi, never loosing sight of the kitten walked to the main door and knocked 2 times, someone on the other side knocked 3 times and Miyagi opened the door. He couldn't help feeling distressed at someone else coming to their house, but hoped the kitten would behave half as good as he had on the past 6 days.
When the doctor came in Shinobu stared from his made-bed at the stranger, Miyagi could easily tell by the movement of his tail that Shinobu didn't like her, thought what he didn't know, was that what he didn't really like was the way the doctor smiled so brightly at Miyagi or the way she stood so close to HIS Miyagi. But of course, the moment Miyagi said he had called her, worried about Shinobu's health, "for HIS sake" Shinobu felt happy and forgave her for getting so cozy with him.
So at first look the doctor thought it would be better to have Shinobu checked at the clinic, Miyagi agreed with her, but the kitten's ears and puffy nose twitched in disagreement, he said nothing at the beginning, but when the doctor went out and came back with a large cat-carrier, at the sight of it, Shinobu felt his heart stop and sank, beating so fast it was hammering in his chest, his breathing ragged, a flame of fears coiling in the pit of his stomach. Shinobu tried to look at the man's eye, remember who he was, the man who had saved him, but the metals bar grew bigger and bigger in his mind, trapping him forever.
Miyagi didn't notice the change, moving towards the kitten to take his hand. "Let's get going kid" he said but Shinobu, scared, slapped Miyagi's hand and hissed, he didn't take it well, grabbing Shinobu's hand and dragging him in to the carrier, "Don't act spoiled, she can't drive you like I do" he tried to say, Shinobu kicked and pulled, hissing and growling in response, but then, feeling the metal bars of the carrier's door he fell to the floor, breaking down, crying. Startled, Miyagi let him go and looked at the vet, she didn't have to say anything, instantly Miyagi knew what had happened. Kicking the box as far away as he could Miyagi knelt and embraced Shinobu hard against him. Shinobu in response clawed him on his back, stricken with the fear of being separated from him. "No! No!" he cried over and over, his body trembling strongly. "No please!" Dark faces surrounded him, cruel words like lashes cut him in his misted memory. Shinobu growled and cried, clawing and tearing skin, "Shinobu I'm here," Miyagi tried to speak as calm as he could, "Shinobu... Shinobu!" his breathing came out in gaps of pain, "Come on kid, it's me, remember? Miyagi, you know me" the name pulled a cord in Shinobu's memory, like an iron hold, the sweet safety he had grown to love in just 6 days. "Miyagi!" he cried hard.
Miyagi hissed and gasped in pain at the sudden cut of Shinobu's claws, they had grown from the day they met, and they kept sinking deep, but he kept embracing him "It's okay, It's okay, I'm here, I won't let anyone harm you" he said, caressing Shinobu's back, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I won't ever do it again" Shinobu cried long, letting his body tremble with waves of sorrow and fear. No one noticed when the doctor left and came back, a glass of milk in her hand. Hours after, when the trembling subsided Miyagi separated himself from Shinobu, the enough space to bend his face and kiss Shinobu's fear fevered forehead. Closing his eyes Shinobu cried again "Never"
"Never" repeated Miyagi returning to embrace him tight against his chest. The doctor placed carefully the glass of milk at the table and left the apartment.
It took some time for Shinobu to relax, falling sleep in the process, when he woke up Miyagi gave him the milk, a mile tranquilizer in it drove him back to sleep, curled in a ball in Miyagi's lap. When the doctor came back with all her equipment she found them like that, Miyagi's hand slowly caressing the back of Shinobu's fur. "What time is it?"
"Around 3, it took me some time to get all the stuff I need and clean the afternoon schedule"
"Thank you, I...He... He behaves so good that sometimes I forget how damaged he is" Miyagi mumbled caressing Shinobu's sleeping form, the vet sat beside him, carefully checking on the kitten's wounds in silence. "I should have now"
"you know..." responded the doctor after long minutes of silence, "It was not your fault"
"I should have known..." repeated Miyagi tightening his hold on Shinobu, at this the kitten sniffed and sighted happily cuddling closer to the source of warmth.
"Say, now you know" she said and moved in front of him "learn on your mistakes and keep your word" Miyagi looked at her for a second and then returned to see the kitten in his arms, nodding.
On the 8th and 10th day when the doctor came back Shinobu was as happy as always, watching tv and chirping. Showing him a box of chocolates Shinobu was bought easily, and the doctor was allowed to touch him, checking the rest of his wounds, as well as his general health; reflexes, hearing, vision, fur; weighting and measuring him, and while Shinobu held Miyagi's hand, ears lay down, tail rattling, she took 3 blood samples to check for infections, viruses or anemia, among other stuff, also putting vaccines and immunizations. At finishing Miyagi petted him, caressing like always his sensitive ears "Well done" he said and Shinobu felt proud "well done!" he mimicked
The doctor smiled, putting her things back to her bag "I see you have being working on your vocabulary" said the doctor, Shinobu smiled brightly "yes!"
"So very good!" she said and petted him, Shinobu allowed her to do it because he knew she was not a bad person, but he didn't purr, that was for Miyagi alone.
"Okay now, other medicines" called the doctor and gave Miyagi a few antibiotics and pain killers, to help the kitten heal up, thought, even when they were banana flavored Miyagi had to end up holding Shinobu down and pinch his nose to make him drink them. After that Shinobu stuck his tongue out and glared at him, making the doctor laugh merrily. "Oh! True… here, I brought you a small treat, Miyagi will give them to you" The doctor moved and took a box out, "depending on your good behavior" she said and gave the box to Miyagi, they were chocolate bonbons treats "They're so popular among Neko Pets"
"Is it okay to give him this?" asked Miyagi reading the box contents.
"Yes, he is in a good shape, and those would do him good, don't worry so much" she said and smiled at his worried friend "It puts my heart at ease to know you love the kitten so much" she said and Miyagi felt a cold chill running through his back.
"I don't…" he tried to say but looking at the kitten by his side he bit his tongue.
"But I AM a very good cat!" beamed Shinobu perking his ears,
"Kitten" stated Miyagi,
"Cat!" growled back Shinobu
"Small kitten" continue on Miyagi smirking at his little pet
"Cat! Cat! Not kitten! Grrrr!" spat and growled Shinobu pinning his ears, the doctor laughed again "So you do" she said walking towards the door "I'll see myself out, see you in about 2 weeks Io-kun" and closing the door the doctor disappeared.
A/N: okay, so... I'm so sorry, I'm like, epically sorry for taking so long to update, again is two people working on this and neither of us have being able to work properly because of U and normal human jobs, etc. as you can tell the first version we uploaded of this chapter was CRAP, because we tried to rush it up it ended up being something not worthy of your love, so now, we're vindicating ourself so, I hope to update soon so you'll get 5 months worth of chapters. Review to make it happen, it gives us strength. Thank you to all our readers, you can't imagine how happy you make us. Love you