Title: Sekai ichi Catsukoi
Category: Anime/Manga » Sekaiichi Hatsukoi
Author: Don't Preach
Language: English, Rating: Rated: M
Genre: Romance/Hurt/Comfort


Well... this is done in honor of The Black Flamingo 101, Cerberus Seme's Uke Bird bride. Merry Christmas, BF101! Your tri-pup is waiting under the plastic mistletoe to give you big sloppy tongue kisses!

The neko mania is spreading and I am branching out. So here is a little Christmas Story (it will be a multi-chaptered fic) of what SIH might look like if half the characters were turned into hybrid cat people. Hope you enjoy it!

Sekai ichi "Cat"sukoi

Chapter One: Intro

It was a week before Christmas and Kisa was sitting in the window of the pet shop. He looked over at the clock on the wall and saw that it was just about time. The ebony neko moved out a bit from the edge where he normally sat, and scooted just far enough into the open so he could have a clear view of the Marimo bookstore across the street.

Try as he might, it was all the small catman could do to keep from pressing his nose up against the chill glass as his large, dark-brown eyes watched anxiously for him to arrive.

Right on time the tall youth with the thick cinnamon mane and the sparkling smile hurried up the busy street and into the store. Kisa's black ears flickered and his lithe tail twitched with yearning. He'd been watching the Marimo clerk for two weeks now, ever since he'd been placed at the pet shop for adoption as part of a program with the Hybrid Humane society.

For several minutes Kisa watched the beautiful youth through the window. The man had changed into his work uniform and had taken his station in the section of the bookstore where he worked. Kisa's ears flattened as he observed the usual gaggle of young women begin to show up. Whatever genre the man was in charge of, it seemed to have a significant appeal with the ladies.

Kisa sighed and blushed, or maybe it is just him.

He had never seen anyone so handsome or so sparkly. Just looking at the clerk, filled him with want. Kisa cursed his uke tom nature; this was what landed him here in the blasted pet store to start with. His lean tail twirled peevishly.

The Kisa hybrid had run away from his first owner just a few days after the man had taken him from the breeders. Since then he'd been a truly successful feral (well, until recently). He'd gotten forged papers, put himself through school, and had even held a decent job in a publishing house for a time. Throughout this Kisa had been through literally dozens of male owners, none of them lasting more than a few weeks at the most.

Since it was illegal to rent property to a neko, unless he or she was emancipated, Kisa had developed a strategy for shelter. He would see some handsome guy (he'd had always been a sucker for male beauty) and play the sad stray kit-teen. This ploy had worked beautifully for him for years. Kisa was now really almost thirty but still looked so much like a kitten, eager and often slightly perverted men snatched him up quickly. (Not that he minded the perversion; it actually quite appealed to him.)

After a few days or a couple weeks at the most, he would run away again and pick up a new "owner". As he'd been a stray to begin with, not many of his previous adopters really ever tried to track him down.

Unfortunately, due in part to a poor economy, there had been an explosion in the stray neko population. As a result, the government had been cracking down much harder on ferals lately and Kisa had had the misfortune of trying to pick up an undercover neko-control officer.

The mistake had cost him everything.

He had been immediately thrown into the pound, lost his job, and his history had been gradually pried from him by the authorities. He had been labeled incorrigible: a "fuck feral," and now he had "flight risk" and his real age stamped on the papers that hung outside his cage. Provided with this information, of course, no one wanted to take him home.

The pet store adoption program was Kisa's last chance. If he wasn't adopted by New Year's, he'd be sent to a feral "rehabilitation" program and either end up doing manual labor or possibly even be shipped out of the country.

This thought sent shivers down the kitten-looking Kisa's spine.

Kisa roused from his musing and looked back across the street, deciding he much preferred contemplating the sparkly bookstore clerk to these other troubled ruminations. His eyes widened when he realized that the object of his dark-eyed peeping was staring out of the bookstore's front window, looking back at him.

Shocked at this realization, the stalkerish catman immediately scrambled back into his usual corner and out of sight. Kisa's heart pounded at the thought the bookstore clerk had seen him.

His heart started thudding even harder when a noise across from him indicated the other neko he was sharing the front window holding pen with was waking up from his nap. Kisa pressed himself into the shadows. His licorice-whip tail curled round his bent knees and he tried to be as still as possible because the other neko terrified him.

Yokozawa awoke with a growl. He stretched out his long, lean body and before his gray eyes had even fully blinked themselves awake, his thick, black tail was already switching in irritation. The big tom pulled himself up into a seated position. Ears flat, the black neko immediately turned his back to the large plate glass window to avoid the glances of the people passing by outside on the sidewalk.

This whole situation, finding himself on display in a pet store window, was humiliating, particularly as he'd been there for almost three months now.

Yokozawa sighed and the dark aura around him increased. It was easier for him to consider it embarrassing rather than heart-breaking, though that was what it really was.

He'd been turned over to the pound about a year ago. His breeders had finally tired of keeping him. Due to his poor disposition, they'd been stuck with him since the time he'd turned the legal age to be sold.

Because they were good breeders and he was a pure blooded Yokozawa, a rare strain of seke hybrid, they'd kept him, hoping to find him the perfect owner. While they had him they'd allowed Yokozawa to go school and eventually to college, thinking it might make him more desirable.

When he was college age, Yokozawa had feigned "stray" and attached himself to a human male named Takano who'd been about his same age. Though, at the time, it really was Takano who'd been acting like the stray.

Yokozawa had fallen deeply in love with the man. In the years he was with Takano he'd done everything that nekos were told were their duties (an indoctrination beginning in earliest kittenhood). The big male, when he wasn't at his breeders, had cooked and cleaned and looked after the man he'd "adopted." He'd even offered Takano his body more than once, trying to bring his unofficial owner relief.

Despite all this, Takano had never made any move to formally own him. Not even after Yokozawa had helped Takano get a job in the very company he'd gotten employed with himself after graduating from college.

"Yokozawa-chan," the pet shop owner, Sato, called from across the store. "Turn around. You're never going to get adopted if you don't let people see you."

"Stupid woman," Yokozawa muttered to himself. His thick plumed tail took on a furious swish. He turned around obediently, though slow enough that Sato would know he was displeased if she was watching.

Once he was repositioned, Yokozawa returned to his bitter musings.

His unofficial human, Takano, had actually owned a neko once when he was in high school. Apparently the kitten ran away not long after Takano had brought his new Oda home from the breeders. The man had loved the kitten deeply and had never recovered from the loss.

Because of this, Takano, though he claimed to like Yokozawa, had no room in his heart for him. It had been painful for the big tom to know the whole time he'd been with Takano that the man still spent one day a week making rounds to all the pet stores and shelters. He did so even now almost a decade later, still searching for his missing neko.

All this pain had only multiplied when his owners finally relinquished him. Now, Yokozawa would see Takano each time the human made his rounds. Takano, because of their past, always made a point to stop by and visit him as he was searching. Though Takano had apologized numerous times, he'd told Yokozawa, despite all the things the big cat had done to try and please him, he just wasn't the pet he loved.

Yokozawa frowned at these thoughts. He grimaced in an attempt to hide the fact he really felt like weeping.

A little boy passing by with his mother saw the big neko in the window and immediately started crying in fear. Yokozawa looked up and saw the mother staring at him reproachfully as she gathered her frightened child into her arms. Yokozawa's face remained impassive, but his ears flattened further in dismay. Unfortunately this only made him look fiercer.

The woman scowled at Yokozawa and stormed angrily into the store.

"What's the idea of putting such a creature in the window?" she shouted at Sato as she clutched her still sobbing child. "Scaring children out on the street… hmphhh. It certainly can't be good for business!" Without waiting for an answer the woman turned with her wailing child and stalked out again.

The flustered store owner finished with the customer she'd been assisting and then approached the window enclosure. This was not the first time Sato had received such a complaint from a passerby when Yokozawa was on display.

"Yokozawa-chan, why can't you try and smile?"

With his brow still furrowed and his ears back, Yokozawa bared his teeth.

"Oh, forget it," Sato sighed sadly. She unlatched the door and ushered him out. "Come on, Yokozawa-chan, I'm putting you in the back again." Sato moved towards the rear of the store; the black tom padded silently behind her.

Yokozawa was relieved to be out of the window. Though there was a secret part of his heart that wanted desperately to be owned, Yokozawa didn't mind being stuck in the back. Though it was isolated in the holding area, he'd become used to being alone and had all but given up the notion of ever truly belonging to someone.

Kisa breathed a sigh of relief and stretched out as soon as the terrifying black hybrid had left. Once the owner of the shop had Yokozawa secured she brought out another older, but also kitten-looking, neko uke for display in the window.

This new addition was a slender, dark-chocolate hybrid with a sweet face and large blue-gray eyes.

"Hi, Kisa-san!" the small catman chirped in greeting. His soft ears were perked forward and his tail swished amicably.

"Oooooooh, look at all the people!" the new neko cooed, immediately forgetting Kisa as the peoples' motion on the sidewalk caught his eye.

Kisa watched the Yoshino neko's innocent eyes widen in fascination as he pressed his nose against the glass, making a series of soft purrs and excited cheeps.

The older neko sighed.

While it was much more comfortable having the other small uke with him in the window than the menacing Yokozawa, the Yoshino hybrid's blatant ignorance and short attention span made the sweet male rather tiresome. Still, Kisa could hardly blame the Yoshino: Chiaki's case was actually veryrather tragic.

The blue-gray eyed catman had been one of a number of feline artists that had been owned by well-known but unscrupulous manga-ka. She'd kept her nekos prisoners while she reaped the profits of the creative hybrid's productions. The manga artist/author had been busted recently for the abuse and neglect of her feline hoard, and her pets had been dispersed thought the Hybrid Humane Society to various locations for adoption.

This was how Chiaki had ended up at Sato's.

Chiaki looked out of the window with awe. Though he'd been put on display before, each time it seemed completely new to him. He took in the street activity with rapt fascination.

He'd been purchased by his former mistress for his storytelling and drawing talents as soon as he'd turned eighteen (the legal age for sale). Chiaki hadn't been the outside of the woman's house until the authorities had removed him and the other nekos from it just a little less than a month ago.

"Waahhhh, Kisa-san, look at that neko!" Chiaki's thin tail tapped contentedly as he watched a neko and its obvious owner hurry past. He turned to the former feral. "I can't wait to be adopted! I hope it's someone nice."

The lean neko's stomach suddenly growled. Chiaki's ears flickered and he blushed with embarrassment. "And someone who's a good cook too!" he smiled.

Kisa offered the innocent Yoshino a mild smile in return. Near-starvation had been one of the conditions at the manga-ka's and was why Chiaki hadn't been put up for adoption earlier.

"Ah, Yoshino-chan, it's time for your snack. Here's your notebook and your pencils too, so you don't tire poor Kisa-chan out with your chatter," Sato said kindly as she opened the enclosure and handed the various things to the wide-eyed hybrid.

"Yay! Thank you, Sato-san!" Chiaki squeaked happily.

Chiaki open his snack bar. "Do you want some, Kisa-san?" he offered politely.

Seeing the painfully thin wrist holding the treat, Kisa shook his head. "No, thank you."

"Hooray! That's more for me!" Chiaki cheered. Realizing how rude that sounded he looked at Kisa and muttered, "Sorry."

"Don't worry, Yoshino-san," Kisa said mildly, but the little blue-eyed bubblehead had already shifted his attention and was now doodling in his notebook as he nibbled his treat.

It was rather amazing to Kisa that a cat with such a short attention span could literally spend hours drawing. Also, despite the fact the Yoshino generally seemed to possess an intellect only rivaled by garden tools, when it came to telling wild stories; the kitten-minded Yoshino really had quite an amazing imagination.

Kisa watched Chiaki draw for a bit, taking the chance every now and then to glance out the window and peep at the gorgeous book vendor across the street. Then his attention was caught by the sight of a man leading a very cross looking young neko on a leash down the sidewalk towards the pet store. Kisa's ears perked forward in curiosity. While all nekos were legally required to wear collars, it was rare to see a hybrid on a leash. More often than not it just meant trouble.

The bell over the door chimed and the man entered the shop followed by a brunet hybrid. "Ah, Sato-san," he called out as the shop owner stepped out from behind the counter to greet him.

"Hello, Kohinata-san. I take it this is the Onodera you called about?"

Sato stepped up and caught the neko under his bowed chin and lifted the young male's head up. "Nice coloring," she observed gazing into the furiously flushing feline's large, uncomfortable green eyes.

"Yes." Kohinata blushed a bit himself.

"I so appreciate you agreeing to help with this. You see, as I explained on the phone, we got this Onodera for our daughter to entertain her while we were living abroad. The two have been fast friends for a number of years now… But now we've returned to Japan and our daughter is getting married soon…

"Her fiancé won't tolerate another male in his house. Erm…" Kohinata stammered uncomfortably, "even though we're fairly convinced, Ritsu-chan is yaoi… an uke at that."

The Onodera neko kept his mouth shut at these words, but hr pulled his chin out of the shopkeeper's hand and looked down. His heated cheeks burned as his ears and his tail twitched madly at this disclosure.

"Anyway," Kohinata continued "An was beside herself at the idea that her Ricchan might end up at the pound. As you know, older nekos are not always easy to place."

"And how old is the Onodera?" Sato-san asked.

"He's twenty-five, though we got him at fifteen," Kohinata confided.

"Fifteen!" Sato exclaimed, "Why, that's not even legal!"

"I know," Kohinata said sadly, "Unfortunately the breeder wasn't honest. She forged that part of Ritsu-chan's papers and he didn't tell us until we were already out of the country." Kohinata added as though the hybrid wasn't standing there, mortified, beside him.

"To be honest, I don't even think we were his first owners, but Ritsu has never been willing to talk about that. At any rate, that breeder has long been out of business now, thankfully."

Sato eyed the Onodera thoughtfully. "As you said, it is hard to place an older neko, even one that looks so kittenish still. You know, Kohinata-san, I am rather full with difficult adoptions now already. So many that I hardly have room for regular stock."

"I know you said you couldn't guarantee you'd take him, but you came so highly recommended as someone who would ensure he got a good home," Kohinata's voice held the slightest edge of desperation.

Sato hummed thoughtfully.

She knew she was a soft touch when it came to neko hybrids. She had eight of her own at home, now that the one neko law had been lifted (all but one of her pets were female).

"Well, it just so happens I have someone who has been looking for an Oda. Though he's incredibly picky, I wonder if your Onodera might not do. He's relatively close to the description of what he wants. And it is near Christmas: hybrid sales and adoptions are usually brisk right up through Christmas Eve."

Seeing the light of hope in Kohinata's eyes, Sato finally caved. "Okay, I'll see if I can place him for you. I'll have to put him in the back for now. It's the only free kennel I have."

Sato walked over to the counter and pulled out a rather thick stack of papers. "Here, I'll trade you."

She handed the sheaf of forms to Kohinata and picked up the neko's lead. "If you would please fill these out, Kohinata-san, while I get Onodera-chan situated."

Sato apologized. "Sorry for all the paperwork but neko legislation keeps changing."

"No worries," Kohinata said cheerfully, incredibly relieved that he would be able to go back and tell An's fiancé that everything had been taken care of.

In truth, An wouldn't even know that her Ricchan was gone for another two days; she was on a trip to attend a friend's wedding.

Because An had been too young to legally own a neko, the Onodera's papers had been put in her parents' name. So, despite the subterfuge, everything Kohinata was doing was technically legal.

Sato led the silent Onodera to the back.

"Here, you'll need to take off your street clothes and put these on."

Rummaging through a shelf, Sato pulled out a pair of tight, black shorts and a tank top in the Onodera's size. She then ushered her new neko into a meshed run between the brooding Yokozawa and a very fragile napping Araki neko she was currently fostering.

"All the pets wear them, so that potential customers can see better what they are buying." Sato nodded over to Yokozawa, who somehow even managed to make the scant garb he sported look threatening.

"I'll call the man I know who has been looking for something like you," Sato said to Onodera as she took off his lead. She closed and locked the kennel door behind him. "If you're lucky, you won't even be here that long," she offered as comfort.

The Onodera said nothing, he just looked down at the small pile of fabric in his hands and then moved over into a corner and began loosening his tie. His ears were limp now after all their furious action earlier and his tail held no life at all.

Sato nodded sadly at this: so many people didn't give their pets credit for how deeply the human-hybrid's feelings ran. She knew how difficult transitions of ownership could be, especially when a neko had been with a family as long as the Onodera had.

Sato went back out to the desk to deal with Kohinata and his relinquished pet's paperwork.

As she did, throughout her store, five troubled nekos all sat in their various spaces, considering what their fate held for them.

Reviews are always welcome! Thank you for reading!