Shishido stares. Then blinks. Then stares some more. Since when did they get a cat?
"Choutarou," he says, pointing to the grey tabby cat with white colored paws sleeping on his bed. "What is that?"
"U-um," Ootori stammers, looking embarrassed, "That's a cat, Shishido-san."
"I know it's a cat," the shorter boy replies patiently, "what I mean is: what is a cat doing in our dorm room?"
"W-well, you see... It was raining today, you know, and then I was walking back here and I heard a 'mew' sound and I looked around and the cat was sitting in a damp cardboard box shivering and I couldn't just leave it there so I picked it up and brought it here," he says quickly, all in one breath.
Shishido blinks again, taking an extra moment to decipher what Ootori has just said. Then he sighs. "You're really too nice for your own good, Choutarou."
Ootori blushes and looks at his feet, "Sorry."
Shishido smiles to himself at that. Choutarou is really sometimes just so cute. "Who said it was a bad thing?" Which causes Ootori to blush a bit more and Shishido to grin even wider. Then he frowns. "We can't keep a cat though, Choutarou."
Ootori sighs and moves to sit on the bed besides the cat and stoke its back as it sleeps. "I know.. I didn't want to just leave it out in the rain though."
Shishido sits on Ootori's bed across from where the other boy is sitting on his. "We're not allowed to have pets in the dorms though..." He hates being the bearer of bad news to Choutarou, and hates when that statement causes him to sigh again, but he doesn't want him to get his hopes up only to have them shot down when reality hits.
Choutarou suddenly brightens up and looks away from the cat to Shishido. "Maybe Atobe-bucho will take her?" Atobe doesn't live in a dorm room, rather preferring to live in a bigger apartment near the school instead.
"It's Atobe we're talking about, so I doubt he would."
"Yeah, Atobe-bucho doesn't seem the type to like pets," he agrees remorsefully, look down at the cat again before saying, "But he has Jiroh-senpai living with him now too, and maybe Jiroh-senpai likes them? Then maybe Atobe-bucho will keep her for him?"
Ootori looks up at Shishido with wide hopeful eyes and Shishido just can't bring himself to make them even a bit sad again. So instead he smiles slightly and says, "Maybe."
"If not, then I guess I can ask my mom to keep her... She keeps saying she misses having me around for company after all," Ootori adds with a laugh that causes Shishido to feel all jittery inside. "So maybe giving her a cat would make her happy."
"Maybe," Shishido says again, with a more sincere smile this time though. "After all, she kind of looks like you, with the silver-ish fur and everything." Not as cute though, he adds to himself in his mind.
Ootori sighs again now, and Shishido wonders for a split second what he said wrong this time. "I do wish we could keep her though. I used to have a cat at home, but she passed away from old age a few years ago and then we never got a new one. It feels great snuggling up to a cat as you fall asleep..."
Shishido grins and thinks, I would much rather fall asleep snuggled up to you, Choutarou.
"We can keep her for tonight at least, right, Shishido-san?" Ootori asks him hopefully.
He nods without a second thought. There was no way he could ever say no to Ootori when he asks him for something in that tone. He'd much rather get reprimanded by the school or whatever punishment they got for breaking the rules. And he'd tried to take the punishment by himself too, of course. "I'm sure it couldn't do any damage, if it's just one night. Then you can ask Atobe and your mom tomorrow."
Ootori gives him a 100 watt smile that almost causes Shishido to melt, and says, "Thanks, Shishido-san."
Later that night, Ootori falls asleep with the cat snuggled up to him in bed. Shishido watches the cute picture they make for a little while before he too drifts off to sleep. The cat then makes it way over to Shishido's bed and curls up beside him instead. And Shishido has a wonderful dream that night that he fell asleep with his Choutarou beside him.
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