Written for Atom because Catendo is her vice. (I don't know what I am doing anymore, but I mean, at least I am not making dirty petting jokes.)
it's not a dog eat dog world when the cat's got your tongue
There is a cat in Hercules Hansen's lap, one that is black all over with white paws.
It is purring and it is lying stretched out on Herc's thighs as he sits there at Tendo's console. And there might be something wrong with the image Hercules Hansen makes with the cat (the man is one half of team Striker Eureka, there is little he owns that isn't covered in bulldog logos or bulldog hair).
But they both look entirely too relaxed for anyone to call them out on it, not that there is anyone.
"Hey, old man—" Chuck cuts himself off when he walks into LOCCENT and sees what is sitting perfectly comfortable in his father's lap. Chuck thinks there might be something important he wants to talk to his father about, something about Striker, something that isn't a cat in his dad's lap.
Herc doesn't say anything, doesn't even change the pace at which he is petting the cat. Herc just puts a finger to his lips like this is the most normal thing, and really, it is. It is almost a routine they have, now that they are both in the same Shatterdome.
"Is he—is that— I know who that is." Chuck says as he makes a complicated face.
It takes a moment but Chuck knows better than to complain, he hasn't seen his old man so content since before the war. And if it takes a cat to do that, Chuck can sit there and talk logistics with his dad without glancing down at the cat, well, not too much anyway.
"…Lunch time is almost over, Tendo." Herc says with a glance at his watch. The cat has rolled over onto his back, two front paws reaching up to bat at Herc's hand trying to nudge him into opening his eyes. And then he adds, almost as an afterthought. "You might want to turn around, Chuck."
And for once, Chuck does as he is told.
There is no magical poof or a slow transition that turns the cat into a man. Instead, one second there is a cat lying completely content on Herc's lap, and the next, there is Tendo Choi.
He is stark naked and grinning the widest grin as he sits there on Herc's lap.
And it should be weird (it probably is to anyone outside of the Shatterdome) but Tendo quickly leans forward to press a kiss to Herc's lips as a wordless thank you before grabbing his clothes from the console to pull them on.
"You can turn around now, Chuck."
When he finally turns around to Tendo's voice, the man looks like the cat that swallowed the canary whole as he sits there in Herc's lap, cat ears twitching at the top of his head.
"Still weird," Chuck says with a shake of his head.
"Jealous, Chuck?" Tendo asks with his lips stretching wider at the way Chuck's face makes another complicated expression, and his tail swishes back and forth in contentment as Herc lays a hand on his lower back.
"That's gross and uncalled for, Elvis."
Tendo laughs as Chuck makes his escape out of LOCCENT, and Herc simply smiles into another kiss when Tendo ducks his head down like he is still a cat and asking to be petted.