Pairing: Nico and Dani
Disclaimer: Onyx belongs to The Nico Files. Not sure if it makes him canon, but it does make him the property of Necessary Roughness. I don't own him or any of the characters. I just like to let them out to play.
Beta: Olfactory-Ventriloquism – thanks Amanda. Any errors that are here are mine because I can't keep from tweaking, here and there.
Nico and Me and…Uh…Her
Onyx's ears twitched. The almost nonexistent rumble of the elevator woke him from an evening nap. He was sure it was slight vibrations in the building that only he could sense, instead of an actual noise, but it always meant the same thing. It was a signal that his human was home.
He uncurled from his tight, black ball on his sleeping mat and stretched. With a yawn that showed needle-sharp teeth, he pushed back with his front paws until his weight rested on his hindquarters. To elongate to his spine even further, he raised his head and spread his claws as far apart as they would go. It created a graceful S with his sleek body.
When the human-Juliette, who occasionally visited, would see him in that position, she would say he was doing downward facing kitty. The large black cat sniffed indignantly at the memory of her opinion. He was no one's idea of a kitty, but a tom with a scar or two to prove it. Besides, he always tilted his nose upward to gain that last, little pull, causing his muscles to ripple under his fur, and he never looked down. What did the female think he was, a smelly dog? Those creatures lacked the agility for a truly sculpted move such as his. "Oh well," Onyx purred quietly. He always cut her some slack because she was little more than an overgrown kitten, and she could make his Nico-man smile and sometimes laugh. About the only other time the man did that was when Onyx played with his tail, an activity that was reserved for times of extreme boredom.
Thinking of supper and the feel of the man's hand as it rubbed him under his chin, the cat contentedly moved on to the next phase of his routine. He dug in with his front paws while pushing with the back ones. It extended his svelte body and stretched the powerful hindquarter muscles that allowed him to jump from a sitting position onto the high shelves of the bookcases.
He was about to finish his evening tai chi with a prolonged scratch at his sisal-covered post when the door opened. The large cat slid low on his belly and stuck his head between the metal spindles that outlined the balcony. His superior night vision allowed him an excellent view of the large, darkened, open area beneath him. The door opened and...and…what was this? The man wasn't alone, but Nico-man never brought females into their domain, except the overgrown kitten, and it had been a while since she'd come to visit. Occasionally, the man would come home very late with the scent of a female on his clothes…but…but he never brought them here. Something must be very wrong.
Sensing possible danger he scooted backward, and his back arched as high as it would go. It was one of his most powerful stances. The black cat looked bigger than he already was and when he fluffed out his fur he was truly frightening. In the privacy of the large loft he shared with Nico-man, there usually wasn't a need to worry about enemies, but there was an interloper tonight. Onyx clamped down on his urge to hiss. It wouldn't do to give away his position until he was ready to pounce.
He watched the two humans from high above them. The female sighed and leaned against Nico-man. It reminded the cat of a lovely tabby, with a swooshing tail and a come hither meow. Oh, yes, he remembered that tabby and the warm summer night they'd spent in the alley below. But for the life of him, he couldn't recall the attraction, the need that was almost madness that had driven him that night. All of that had disappeared, as if it belonged to another tom, in another life. It didn't worry him, but what was happening below did.
He decided to investigate this situation, using all the stealth his silent-pawed skills allowed. He slunk along the floor of his human's office until he reached the circular stairs. Onyx loved those stairs and often entertained himself jumping from curve to curve, missing three or four steps as he went. When he'd reach the floor he'd scramble back up, as fast as lightening, his paws thundering every step of the way. That was a game for another day. Tonight he was hunting.
The carpet on the stairs rubbed against his belly as he moved quietly along. But wait, what was that? Onyx peeked around the side of the stairs. No, it couldn't be? Nico-man took off the female's coat and hung it in the closet along-side his assortment of black ones. When the overgrown kitten-Juliette came to visit, her garment went over the back of a chair in the eating room, except for that one time when she'd arrived soaking wet. Then, his human had frowned and hung it over the bar in the small enclosure where the man liked to stand under the rain in the mornings and sometimes at night. It was one of Nico-man's quirkier habits.
Onyx's paws quietly hit the cool, smooth, wooden floor, and he took up position in the shadows under the stairs. The female needed to be watched before he made his presence known, but there wasn't much to see. The humans were standing in the hall whispering and doing that strange mouth-to-mouth thing he'd seen members of their species do. The cat could hear the occasional rush of quiet words, but even with his excellent hearing he couldn't understand, because they spoke in Human, and one sound bled into another. He wished he were more proficient in the odd language.
What if the sleek human female was here to harm his human? Nico-man wasn't taking his usual precautions. Oh, he'd locked the door and ran his fingers over the blinking lights beside it that prevented a deafening noise from echoing off the walls. A noise that made the alley and busy street, below, sound peaceful, but there was something about the male human's stance…it was centered and focused on the female as he leaned against her back. It reminded him of something from long ago, of that lovely tabby in the alley. The rest was lost in a fogbank. His nose twitched, and he could smell the sterile, frightening scent of the cold, odd place Nico-man had taken him when they first met. The person there had fixed his damaged left forepaw, poked him with a needle and… and… something else. "Oh well," Onyx decided it couldn't have been very important, or he would have remembered it.
The cat's green eyes opened wide, and his whiskers twitched in surprise as Nico-man gently moved the female's long, straight, dark head fur aside. "What is this? It can't be happening," Onyx rumbled deep in his throat. His human was stroking the female's neck. "No. No. No. Nico-man is only supposed to pet me." He meowed.
"Nico, is that a cat?" The Dani's head turned and looked into the shadows of the loft. When she didn't see anything, she tilted her face upward, meeting Nico's hazel gaze.
"Yes," he smiled and touched his nose to hers. The black animal blinked in surprise, as he remembered what that gesture meant. It was something he hadn't seen in a long time. The nose touch was a sign of affection and taught in kittenhood.
"Onyx, come on out." Nico called, and Dani smiled at the name as a sleek, midnight black cat walked soundlessly from under the circular stairs and sat still as a stature three feet away from them.
"He," Nico corrected. "Or at least he used to be." He grinned at her.
"Ahhh… a responsible pet owner." She knelt and held out her hand. "He's beautiful. Hello, Onyx."
The cat sniffed, and his nose twitched; he knew her scent. Who was this strange female, and what power did she have over his human? He had picked up traces of her on the man's clothes for a long time, but recently, it was much stronger, as if her body had been rubbing against Nico-man's. Unlike the other times the man had come home reeking of female, his human hadn't rush to stand under the rain in the small enclosure. Instead, he would slowly change his fur coverings and lay on his large sleeping mat with his forepaws folded behind his head and a contented smile on his face.
The cat stood on all fours and walked possessively over to his human to rub against his leg, marking the man as his by covering him in lovely cat fur fragrance.
Nico knelt beside Dani and stroked his pet's back. "Onyx meet Dani. You're going to like her. I know I do." He kissed her neck and made her laugh softly.
Large green cat eyes watched the male and female. Dani-human still held her hand in his direction. Onyx was impressed because she wasn't frightened or apprehensive, but was showing him respect, allowing him to either accept her or not. He tentatively moved forward, unsure of what to do. He'd never had to share his human before, but he'd also, never seen the man so content and relaxed.
After giving the human female's hand a good sniff, he sat quietly beside her and waited to see if she would pay him the proper tribute. He felt her fingers move softly between his ears, over his cheeks, and finally, under his chin. Onyx almost melted into a puddle of black fur when she began running her lovely claws carefully from his chin to his chest. It took all his effort not to purr. It was too soon. No matter how wonderfully she could scratch him, he was determined to make her work for his affections.
Later that night, after dinner, the cat enjoyed time curled up on the couch with the two humans. It was a bit awkward, because Dani-female was snuggled against the man, in Onyx's accustomed place. He settled for a spot on the other side of the woman. She was warm and soft and from where he was, both humans were able to pet him and enjoy his company.
After Nico-man turned off the lights, Onyx climbed the stairs to the upper room, which had a commanding view of the entire loft. It was where he liked to sleep and tonight was no different. From his vantage point, he watched as his human held out his front paw to the female and together they walked slowly into the man's sleeping room below.
Onyx went though his stretches one more time before curling up on his mat. Tonight, he was tired. He'd vanquished a possible enemy and accepted her into his home. Even a newborn blind kitten could sense that his human was infatuated with her, but it took more than a few pats on the head and a good chin rub to convince an alley fighter such as himself. Only time would tell, if she earned his friendship and affection.
He had just closed his eyes when he heard the strange sounds coming from Nico-man's sleeping room. Onyx pulled himself into a tighter ball and wrapped his tail more securely around his body. It was beneath his dignity to acknowledge what was going on down below him, though he knew. He had vague, fog covered memories from back in the day, before the man had found him among the dumpsters behind the building, his left forepaw broken from a run-in with one of those strange humans who sped along on two large wheels instead of back paws.
Those had been the days when he'd ruled the alley, kept the rats at bay, and provided quiet…uh…protection…for any lady cat that became lost while searching for a night on the town.
More soft, almost painful moans from below made him cover his ears with his paws, thankful that those days were behind him. Onyx was almost positive it had something to do with the place where his paw was mended. As much as he didn't like the odd, sterile smell and the needles, he wondered if maybe it wouldn't be better if his human went there and took his female with him. They would both sleep much better after the fog cleared. There would be no more moans and groans in the night.
Onyx blinked sleepily, knowing it didn't matter what noises disturbed the loft. He was a tomcat and could sleep anywhere. His eyes closed, and he drifted off, though one ear twitched, always on the alert for danger.
Note: The end for the moment. If Onyx decides to tell me any more stories about his humans, I'll be sure to add them.