Chairman and the Church. Part 2. For highwarlockofaustralia.
Church knew that the Chairman was coming over tonight. Alec and the others clearly didn't understand that the cat was more than capable of understanding human speech at his age, but that was fine. All the easier to know what was going around the Institute from the human perspective. But Church didn't have all day to worry over human affairs. Chairman Meow was coming, and the dangerous Institute wasn't ready for a kitten from such a pampered home.
He spent a majority of his afternoon chasing down rats the size of the Chairman and leaving them in a pile outside Alec's door for the Shadowhunter to get rid of. It was the human's idea to invite the Chairman and Magnus over, after all, he might as well help out. After that Church drove away insects into their cracks in the rafters and took note of the older pieces of furniture that wobbled precariously when you hit them too hard. Chairman Meow was an accident waiting to happen, like a stick of lit dynamite even; both were sudden and disastrous for all parties involved. When he was finished Church settled down in one of the lower archways above the lift and napped until the Chairman arrived.
He blinked open an eye when the elevator sounded a greeting. He stretched out each of his legs, preparing himself, before dropping down from the archway and startling Alec. The Shadowhunter glowered at him in greeting.
"What was with the pile of dead rats outside my room?" Alec asked, his tone icy.
The Church simply mewed at him, before turning his attention to the elevator. The motor stopped and grate slid back. Enter the warlock, cat carrier in hand. Magnus looked like a tornado of blue and green and gray, relatively normal compared to some of the outfits Church had spotted him in over the years. Maybe Alec was rubbing off on him. Church turned his attention to the cat carrier, eying the box of plastic and metal warily, at least until he heard the Chairman screech loudly from within.
"LET ME GO!" The Chairman yowled, hissing angrily in the cat carrier. "I'M NOT SEEING THE EVIL HUMANS LET ME OUT!" Magnus sighed loudly over the cat's wails, setting the box down and throwing himself into Alec's arms.
"My cat is the devil! He carved up my arms when I was putting him in his carrier like he didn't want to come see his boyfriend. Speaking of which, how are you, darling?" Church snuffled, striding forward to sit in front of the gate. Chairman Meow froze, before he pawed at the metal door.
"Let me out!" The Chairman whined pitifully, his tail twitching nervously behind him. Church sighed, shaking his head and meowing loudly at Alec and Magnus. Magnus currently had his lips sealed over the Alec's, his hands up the other's shirt. Church yowled louder and louder, and finally Magnus pulled away.
"Your cat is clearly the devil too, Alexander. They're perfect together. My OTP."
"OT-what?" Alec stuttered, shoving his shirt back down over his waist.
"Don't worry about it." Magnus crouched down and undid the latch to the Chairman's cat carrier. The kitten didn't hesitate, shooting out of the box faster than a bat out of hell. Church watched the Chairman streak down the hall, walking after the cat calmly. "Now, where were we..."
Chairman Meow was running around the hallway in surprisingly wide circles. The cat would slide to a stop before he nearly ran into a wall, bolting off in the opposite direction in a panicked frenzy.
"Where am I? WHERE AM I?" He yelled, turning around and running blindly at Church. Church hopped up on a chair before the kitten nearly ran him over, lounging on the soft fabric and letting the Chairman wear himself out. When the kitling fell down in front of him with a flop, his chest rising and falling as he caught his breath, Church spoke.
"You're in my home." He told the younger cat. "Magnus brought you here so he'd have an excuse to visit Alec. They've made food though, so I don't mind." He jumped down next to the Chairman.
"Your home is big." He looked up. "And tall."
"This is part of an old church. It's used to impress humans that come to visit. The rest of the Institute isn't so grand." Church explained, proud of his territory nonetheless. While the Chairman's small loft suited the kitten, the Institute was a far better bed for the older cat. "I cleaned up the Institute so you wouldn't get yourself killed." Chairman sat up, stars dancing in his eyes.
"Really?" He mewed, "For me?" Church snuffled, turning and walking down the hallway. After a moment the Chairman bounded after him. Church's tailed flicked once to the side, catching Chairman Meow's shoulder.
"Did Magnus feed you last night?" Church asked, leading the Chairman towards the kitchen.
"Uh, um. I don't remember." The Chairman admitted, earning a strange look from Church. His ears fell back against his head. "What?" Church shook his head.
"It's nothing. Alec made spaghetti." Church strutted into the kitchen, the homiest room in the Institute. Alec and Magnus were nowhere to be seen, but the cat would have bet 8 of his 9 lives on the fact that they were busy in Alec's room. "There are meatballs too." He added, hopping up on the kitchen table. He looked over his shoulder to see the Chairman scramble up one of the kitchen chairs with difficulty. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah!" Chairman Meow grunted, nearing hitting his head on the side of the table, before climbing onto that as well. "What's spaghetti?" He asked once he was sitting next to Church.
"Human food. Not that enjoyable, but meatballs are delicious." Church walked over to a covered ceramic plate, pawing at the warm surface. He could barely make out the delicacy through foggy glass lid.
"What are they?" Chairman sounded excited by the idea of trying something new.
"Balls of ground beef." Church clarified, tensing when the Chairman wedged his way against him. Chairman Meow pawed at the glass despairingly.
"It's closed! Are you going to push it off the edge to break it? Can I help?" Church shook his head.
"No, it'll get glass in the food." Church frowned before using his nose to nudge the glass lid off. It was a mistake, one that Church regretted the second hot steam escaped from under the lid, singing his sensitive nose. It was like the one time he'd ventured too close to the fireplace as a kitten. He hissed, jerking back and away from the dish with a loud clatter, swiping at his nose until he realized that it only made pain worse.
"Are you okay!?" The Chairman was looking at him in alarm, Church tried to breathe out of his nose, only to find that it was completely numb.
"I think I singed my nose." He said hesitantly, trying to adjust to the different scents that assaulted his nose. It felt like his entire face had been thrown in a batch of hot water. "It's difficult to breathe through it." The Chairman was out the door in a second, running down the hall yelling loudly the entire time.
"WARLOCK! WARLOCK COME HERE RIGHT NOW! COME HERE OR I WILL BITE THE HUMAN!" The Chairman all but ran into the closest door in the hallway, clawing wildly at the door and meowing hysterically until the door opened up to reveal a girl.
"Wh-what, aren't you Magnus' cat?" Chairman vaguely realized that this was not his human, but rather his human's litter mate. They had the same dark coat of fur on their heads, though the female's was more well-groomed. The female had also visited his home on several occasions to fetch his human to go outside and play. Chairman thought back to Church and began to yowl loudly, until the female knelt to pick him up. The cat darted away, towards the kitten, looking to see that female followed, yowling the entire time. She did, like they were playing tag. But this was no time for games! He rounded the corner and entered the room, scrambling back onto the table.
"I found Alec's litter mate!" Chairman said, scrambling up onto the table and pressing his body against Church's comfortingly. Church looked at the Chairman in exasperation, before meowing piteously at Isabelle. Isabelle came closer and looked at the pair in utter confusion.
"What are you doing on the table with Magnus' cat, Church?" Isabelle looked around, probably for Magnus or Alec, before turning back towards the hallway. "ALEC!" She yelled, loud enough for both the Chairman and Church to cringe. "THE CATS ARE EATING ALL OF MY COOKING!" Moments later Alec slid into the kitchen archway, an expression of horror on his face. His shirt was half-hanging off of his body, the button of his jeans undone. There was a healthy flush to his cheeks.
"Oh, by the Angel. I thought-"
"That they were in the process of being poisoned?" Isabelle finished, flipping her hair over her shoulder, her eyes as hard as onyx. "Magnus' cat practically clawed up the bottom of my door trying to get my attention."
"He does that." Magnus said upon entering the room. He looked as disheveled as Alec, and Church could smell the scent of satisfaction that came along with mating. Magnus made his way over to the table, his eyes resting on first the Chairman, then Church. "Something wrong, old friend?" He asked, reaching out to Church. He picked the cat up, cradling him in his arms while Alec and Isabelle stared in amazement. Not surprising, they probably didn't remember their childhoods spent tugging on his tail. It was why he didn't let them hold him anymore. Church mewed at the warlock, sounding as annoyed as the Chairman was frantic. Sparks crackled from Magnus' fingertips, and Church felt the painful tingle in his nose fade away. "There, all better?" Magnus asked, setting Church on the table. Church snuffled out a breath. Chairman Meow wedged himself back against Church's side, butting his head determinedly with his nose. Isabelle rolled her eyes, exiting the kitchen with another flip of her hair.
"Right, I'm leaving then. Don't bother me again, or I'll make you both breakfast in the morning." Chairman Meow nudged Church again, staring at him with large eyes.
"Are you okay?" Chairman Meow asked, and Church nodded, before turning his attention to the covered lid. He pat at it, his claws clinking against the glass. Alec pulled the lid off, and Chairman tried to jump in when the scent of the food hit his nose. Magnus caught the cat quickly, and Alec pulled the pan away just as fast, setting it back on the stove.
"I'm just going to put some on a plate, so they can share." Alec grabbed a ceramic plate, filling it with a pile of steaming meatballs and set it on the table. Magnus released the Chairman, the kitten launching on the pile of meatballs with a shrill meow. "By the Angel, did you feed him at all in the past week?"
"Yes. I think. Wanna have dinner in bed?" Magnus asked slyly. Alec wrinkled his nose.
"You're going to get sauce all over my sheets."
"And I can snap the stain away. In fact, I can snap the food up over there. Let's go back, right now." Magnus grabbed a sputtering Alec by the arms, literally whirling him out of the room. Church huffed out a breath, shaking his head.
"Those two are so in love, it's ridiculous."
"Love?" The Chairman spoke up, looking at Church in confusion. "What is 'love'?"
"You don't know what love is?"
"No, can you eat it?"
"No." Chairman Meow looked disappointed. "Love is…a lot of things." Church told the younger cat, sitting back on his haunches. "It's what Alec and Magnus have. It's also what you and Magnus have. And you and Alec too, I guess." The Chairman looked confused, so Church elaborated. "It's the happy feeling you get when you're with someone you like." He explained, and the Chairman gave a mew of understanding.
"You and I have love too then, right?" The Chairman asked with a cheery smile. Church froze. Not what he'd been going for. The Chairman's ears drooped at the look on his face. "You don't feel happy when I'm around?" He asked, his voice wavering as he slouched down on the kitchen table. Church floundered at the tears in the Chairman's eyes, and he never floundered at anything.
"I...am very happy when you're around." Church said finally, the Chairman's tears melting away into delighted happiness.
"Good! Cause I love you too!" This wasn't going at all like the Church imagined.
"...alright?" He replied, his tail going rigid when Chairman rubbed against him affectionately.
"What do you do with people you love?" Chairman asked curiously. "Make the bed sheets smell funny?"
"Only humans do that." Church replied quickly, though it wasn't entirely true. "Cats, we...groom each other, and we sleep and eat together. That's all."
"Like the other day!" Chairman chirped.
"Yes," Church said, relieved. He could handle Chairman Meow trying to burrow his way under his stomach so long as the kitten didn't try anything funny.
"Being in love sounds like so much fun!" The Chairman chirped, stretching out across the table. Church thought back through the years, remembering music and silver and pain.
"With humans it's not. Not entirely." Church amended, earning a confused look from the Chairman. The smaller cat seemed to think this over, the gears in his head turning as fast as they could.
"Well," Chairman Meow began, "I can see that, maybe fun's not the right word for it. I mean, all the warlock and human do sometimes is lie curled around each other and talk. That's not fun at all, but..." The kitten paused thoughtfully. "They still seem...whole." Church looked at the other cat, and the Chairman frowned. "Is that not good?" Church pictured Alec and Magnus wedged together so tightly you'd think they were joined somehow. He's seen plenty of humans like that in his time, and they hadn't always been happy, but that hadn't always been miserable. It was a confusing affair, but humans jumped through hoops and climbed mountains to be with the one they loved. There had to be some secret upside to the whole thing, why else would they do it? Church had seen people start off as children, looking awkward and out of place, only to find their mate and stay by their side for maybe a day, or maybe the rest of their lives, feeling that they belong. The result was the same though, one day their mate disappeared and left the other shattered beyond recognition. Like a shards of a broken window.
"No, whole is a wonderful way to describe it." He agreed, letting Chairman burrow back into his side, fitting much like a puzzle piece. Church would have preferred not ending up like a broken toy on the side of the road, but Chairman wouldn't have lasted a day without him in the real world, so he'd have to deal with it, for his sake.
A/N: And six months later, it is done! Also, Chairmanmeowww changed her url, but she knows this is for her, so yeah.
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