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Kaiba and the Kitten

Kaiba has an encounter with a kitten. Pure fluff.


Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! belongs to Kazuki Takahashi. Just borrowing!

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“Mew! Mew! Mew!”

Kaiba looked down at the small ball of grey fluff at his feet and heaved a long-suffering sigh. The kitten shouldn’t be wandering freely in the hallway; it should be… in Mokuba’s room, or outdoors, or… actually, it should be anywhere other than where Kaiba happened to be. He didn’t have anything against cats—or dogs, or birds, or any other pets, particularly—he just didn’t want them under his feet, making noise, making messes, interfering with his concentration on important things.

Now the kitten was pawing at his trouser leg with one tiny white paw. Its needle-sharp claws were going to damage his clothing in a minute, and where was Mokuba? Grumbling under his breath, he reached down and scooped the kitten up in one hand, while looking around for his brother.

“Mokuba?” he called. No sign of him. The kitten squirmed in his hand. Grumbling to himself, he tucked it into the crook of his arm. It settled down instantly, kneading his forearm with its front paws and purring loudly.

Well, he couldn’t just leave the kitten in the hallway. Someone would step on it or it would make a mess or something. He sighed again, and headed towards his brother’s room. Where did Mokuba keep the kitten? He’d put the whole matter of the pet out of his mind as soon as he’d agreed Mokuba could have it as long as he took complete responsibility for it, and Kaiba need never know there was a cat in the mansion. Technically, he supposed today’s Kitten Sighting meant that he could now properly tell Mokuba that the beast had to go. But he already knew that he’d never be able to enforce it. Mokuba’s face would crumple and his eyes would fill with tears and Kaiba would agree to let it stay. So he might as well just turn the kitten over to Mokuba, warn him to keep a closer eye on it, and hope that this was the end of it.

Mokuba wasn’t in his room. Kaiba looked around for any sign that Mokuba kept the kitten here, although he wasn’t entirely sure what that would be. Dishes of food, he supposed, or a litter box. He didn’t see anything. He didn’t suppose he could just dump the kitten in the room and close the door. Where was Mokuba, anyway? Still at school? He shifted the kitten to his other arm while he dug in his pocket for his cell phone, flipped it open and thumbed Mokuba’s number. The call went to voice mail. Kaiba sighed yet again and disconnected the call, putting the phone back in his pocket.

Kaiba looked down at the little beast purring contentedly on his arm. It looked up at him with big yellow eyes. It had a white spot on the side of its nose that looked like a smudge of milk, and a diamond of white on its chest. One front paw was white, and the other grey, with a single white toe. Strange-looking thing.

“Well,” Kaiba said. “Now what? I’ve got work to do. I can’t waste my time running around looking for a place to put you.”

The kitten licked its white paw, eyes closed contentedly, as if to say that that was not its problem.

“I suppose you’ll have to come with me, then.” Kaiba turned and headed down the hall to his home office, where he set the kitten down on the floor and went to his desk to get to work. As he waited for his computer to boot up, he watched the kitten explore the room. Its tiny legs seemed too small for its round body. It stopped to sniff the edge of the sofa, put one paw on it, then seemed to think better of it and trotted across the room to the desk.

“Just don’t get under my feet,” Kaiba warned the kitten. “If I step on you, it’s not my fault.” He clicked the icon for his email program and waited for his mail to load in. While he scanned through his messages, he felt something pulling on his trouser leg. He pushed the kitten away with his foot, muttering under his breath, trying to concentrate on his mail.

A moment later, a tiny paw was batting at his shoelace. He pushed the kitten away again. And again. And again.

Finally, Kaiba pushed his chair back from his desk, and looked down at the kitten. It came to sit directly between his feet, staring up at him with a satisfied look on its kitten face.

“Leave me alone,” Kaiba said, enunciating each word carefully, as if the kitten would surely understand him if he spoke slowly and clearly enough. “I have work to do. Go chase your tail or something.”

The kitten placed its white paw on his shoe, then cheerfully began chewing his shoelace.

Groaning, Kaiba reached down and scooped the kitten up and set it in his lap, where it began to sniff his shirt buttons. It reared back, then leapt onto his tie, battling it with mock fierceness. Despite himself, Kaiba chuckled. The kitten was such a silly little thing. He pulled his tie away from the tiny beast, then waggled the end of it at the kitten, laughing under his breath when the kitten crouched down with its hindquarters wobbling in the air, then pounced. He played with the kitten for another moment or two, then sobered, taking the kitten in both hands and putting it back onto the floor.

“I haven’t any cat toys for you,” he told it. “That’s Mokuba’s department. If I knew where he kept you, I’d take you there, but I don’t, and he’s not answering his phone. So you’re stuck with me for a bit. Just keep out of trouble, all right?”

“Mew,” said the kitten, which Kaiba took for agreement, so he went back to work.

Kaiba finished his email, then went on to study this month’s financial statements, and do a bit more pre-planning on his next gaming idea. He forgot all about the kitten, until he tore his finished To-Do list from its pad of paper, wadded it up and casually tossed it towards the wastebasket, where it ricocheted off the rim and skidded across the floor. The kitten chased madly after it. He paused to watch, one corner of his mouth turning up, as the kitten attacked the wad of paper, flinging it into the air, chasing it from one side of the room to the other. After a moment, he got up to retrieve the paper, but then he paused, holding it over the wastebasket. The kitten was enjoying it; what was the hurry? He could throw it away later.

So Kaiba tossed the paper across the floor, and watched the kitten bound after it. It seemed he did have a cat toy, after all. Smiling to himself, Kaiba returned to his desk and sat back in his chair, loosening his tie and stretching. There wasn’t anything else he had to do today. Maybe he should take a break and have a cup of tea. Kaiba pressed the button on the intercom and asked his assistant to bring the tea, then moved to the easy chair at the side of the room and sat watching the kitten play.

Perhaps he should try Mokuba again, and see if he could find out what to do with the kitten. He didn’t have any food or water for it here, or anyplace for it to use the toilet. There hadn’t been any accidents so far—at least, none that he’d seen, and he hadn’t actually been watching the kitten closely for the past hour or so—but he didn’t know how often kittens ate or eliminated or anything like that. The kitten seemed to be perfectly happy, though, chasing its wad of paper around the office.

Kaiba yawned. He’d been working late for several days, trying to finish up the preliminary work on his new system. It was nearly ready now, though, so perhaps he ought to try to get to bed early tonight. He rubbed his eyes, loosening his tie with his other hand. He’d just have his cup of tea, he thought, then call it a day.

There was a light tap on the door, and Kaiba said, “Come.” His assistant entered with a cup of tea on a tray, which he placed on the table beside Kaiba’s easy chair. Kaiba could see the man glancing at the kitten, obviously wondering what the pet was doing in Kaiba’s office, but trying to pretend not to notice. “It’s Mokuba’s pet,” Kaiba said. “I found it wandering the halls, and didn’t know what to do with it.”

“Ah. Of course. I think Mokuba-sama keeps it in his room. Would you like me to take it?”

The kitten, abandoning its wad of paper, ran up to Kaiba and sat by his foot, looking up at him brightly. It placed its white paw on his shoe. “No,” Kaiba said, “I’ll keep it here. Mokuba should be home soon.” Mokuba would stop by his office when he came home, and he could pick up the kitten then.

“Yes, Seto-sama. Would you like anything else?”

“No, this is fine.”

Bowing, the assistant backed out of the office, tray in hand. Kaiba sipped his tea thoughtfully, looking at the kitten, who remained at his feet, watching him with an expectant look on its tiny face. “No, I don’t know why I didn’t let him take you. I suppose you’re hungry, and I haven’t got any food for you. There must be some in Mokuba’s room. If he doesn’t come home soon, I’ll go and find it.”

The kitten didn’t move, nor did its expression change. It wanted something, but Kaiba had no idea what. “I told you I haven’t any food. I could give you some water, though.” There was a pitcher of water on the sideboard on the other side of the room. He didn’t know what he’d put it in, though.

The kitten stood up, then tapped his leg with its paw. It walked across his foot, rubbing against his leg. Kaiba watched it thoughtfully. It had seemed to like it earlier when he picked it up. Kaiba leaned down and scooped up the kitten, and sat it in his lap.

Yes, that was it. The kitten promptly flopped down, curled up and began to purr, its tiny paws kneading his thigh. Needle-like claws pricked him through his trousers. “Hey,” he said softly. “Take it easy. That’s my leg.” He put his hand on the kitten’s back. Its fur was amazingly soft. It rolled over beneath his hand, wrapping its legs around his wrist.

Kaiba sighed gently. He held his tea in one hand, sipping occasionally, while the other hand rubbed the kitten’s feather-soft belly. In a few minutes, the kitten was asleep.

In a few more minutes, Kaiba was also asleep.

When he woke, Mokuba was standing in front of his chair, arms crossed, smiling affectionately. Kaiba blinked and sat up, disturbing the kitten, who stretched and yawned widely, its little pink tongue curling between sharp white teeth. “How long have you been here?”

“Just a minute,” Mokuba said. “You looked so peaceful, I couldn’t bear to wake you.”

Kaiba picked up the kitten and held it out to Mokuba. “I found it in the hall. You’d better be more careful, it shouldn’t be wandering around the mansion like that.”

Mokuba took the kitten in his arms, stroking it, and it snuggled against him. “I’m sorry, Nii-sama. I don’t know how he got out. I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. I hope he didn’t bother you while you were working.”

Kaiba looked at the wadded paper, still lying on the floor. Mokuba followed his glance, then grinned. Kaiba felt his face heat. “It was all right. But I have better things to do than babysit your pets. The agreement was….” Kaiba knew his admonishment didn’t hold much force.

“That you wouldn’t even know he was here. I know, Nii-sama.” Mokuba’s easy smile made it clear he knew his brother wasn’t angry. “You could have just put him back in my room.”

“Next time, I….” Kaiba stopped himself before he could finish. There wouldn’t be a next time, would there? He found himself unaccountably disappointed.

“On the other hand,” Mokuba said, “If you ever want him to keep you company while you’re working, you can always borrow him. He likes you, I can tell.”

Kaiba firmly suppressed a smile. Kittens liked everyone, didn’t they? Or was that dogs? Anyway, who cared what a kitten thought? “Never mind. I don’t have time for pets, you know that.”

“Sure. Have you had dinner yet? I’m hungry, I’ll tell cook to make something for us.”

“All right. I’ll go and change, then join you in the dining room.”

Mokuba left with the cat. Kaiba stood up, yawning, then walked out of his office, shaking his head. Borrow Mokuba’s cat? Ridiculous.

But he really ought to make sure he had a saucer in his office that the kitten could drink out of, just in case.


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