Pairing: slight Jongkey
Word Count: 2380w
Summary: Jonghyun has a small encounter that changes his life.
Notes: Was written while waiting for the Sherlock stages.
Jonghyun hummed a tune as he walked home from the studio. Today was a good day for him; he had just finished his audition and was invited to join a local band as lead singer and guitarist. He skipped over a stray can in the middle of the street and his guitar case made a familiar heavy thump against his side.
His future bandmates seemed to like him enough. Jinki was the bassist and de-facto leader. The elder found Jonghyun after seeing him sing and play at a club and it seemed like they shared the same creative brain. Minho, the drummer, was quiet yet stern; the tall boy didn’t say much during when Jonghyun met him but he knew this one would be the hardest to befriend. Taemin, their youngest, was their prodigy keyboardist; he seemed sweet, if not a bit absent minded. Jonghyun, lost in thoughts of their future performances, stumbled over a large box.
A quiet hiss erupted from the box. Jonghyun jumped as something small and tailed darted into the bushes nearby. He stood in the street, head cocked to the side, wondering if he should investigate the reason behind the stray box near his apartment complex, and the mysterious animal. Deciding to play it safe, Jonghyun quickly turned heel and sauntered towards his apartment. His mind was already preoccupied with thoughts of dinner.
Unbeknownst to him, a pair of bright green eyes stared at the goofy boy, watching as he dug around for his keys.
“What should I eat for dinner today?” Jonghyun said to himself, pacing the length of his kitchen. “I should make something, I do have food in the fridge… buuuttt, I’m so lazy. Don’t want to cook. I wish my noona was here, she’d cook for me,” he pouted, suddenly more aware that he was talking to himself.
“Ok! I will eat fish! Or noona will kill me for wasting the fish she bought me!” he said with a happy fist pump. He pulled out ingredients and started to prepare his simple meal. Soon, the apartment was filled with the delicious smell of seared salmon and cooking rice. A small romaine salad was set on the table, ready to eat.
As he was waiting for the rice to finish, Jonghyun opened the window to let out some of the steam. He frowned slightly, nose wrinkled, as he realized that something was missing. Sound. He usually liked to eat while watching something or while listening to music. With a quick snap of his fingers, he set down his plateful of salmon and went to turn on his stereo system.
With the gentle sounds of Brown Eyes filling the apartment, he went back into the kitchen to scoop himself a bowl of rice. Finally settling down at the table, he started to eat. Halfway through his salad, he was surprised to see that a large chunk of his salmon filet had fallen on the ground.
“Aw crap, what. Now I need to clean it,” he whined. The thought of taking even more time away from eating clearly was unwelcome.
“How in the world did this get on the ground? I put the plate in the middle of the table!” he said again to nobody. It was while washing the dirtied filet that he noticed small dirt spots around his kitchen. He knelt down for a better look. The tiny dirt spots appeared to be paw prints.
Jonghyun gave a manly holler of surprise as he noticed a pair of eyes peering at him behind his garbage bin. He slipped and landed hard on his back, hitting his head on the back of the dishwasher. He whimpered in pain as the back of his head throbbed angrily. The salmon filet landed ever so innocently on his chest.
Jonghyun lay dazed on the ground. He struggled to focus his eyes, but his vision swam, as if everything was covered in fairy lights. A small cold object lightly grazed at his bicep, and Jonghyun, in the middle of his stupor, couldn’t bring himself to bat the object away and escape from certain death. He couldn’t even will the strength to turn his head and look at whatever it was.
“I’m going to die,” he thought. “Eaten to death by some strange demonic beast. I hope the band remembers my name long enough to properly mourn for me.”
He grunted as the beast leapt on his stomach. “You know for a hellish ghoul, you’re really light,” he groaned out. He received a small mew in response.
Tiny chewing noises could be heard as the creature nibbled at the salmon that was on Jonghyun’s chest. As the kitchen stopped spinning, he gently tilted his head see a small fluffy silver kitten curled up on his chest.
“Hey. That’s my dinner you just ate. I’m going to have to demand compensation,” he muttered, entranced by how such a small thing could scare him. The kitten opened its eyes and stared at him before purring lightly. It appeared as if it didn’t deem Jonghyun much of a threat.
Seeming to know that Jonghyun was annoyed, the kitten mewed and slowly padded up his torso to give his jaw a tentative lick. “Ok I guess we’re even,” Jonghyun cooed, easily swayed by the kitten’s antics. The kitten mewed again and hopped off to investigate the rest of the kitchen. Jonghyun stayed on the ground, still somewhat dizzy. A loud crash from the living room finally got him up and running.
Somehow in the span of a few moments, the kitten had managed to get into Jonghyun’s music sheets, knock over several stacks of CDs, and scatter his junk mail all over the ground. Said kitten was currently flopped belly up on sofa, as if expecting Jonghyun to come pet it.
“You know, you’re lucky you’re cute,” Jonghyun huffed as he went to sloppily clean up the mess. “Or else I’d have thrown you in the toilet for shredding one of my music sheets.” The kitten rolled around some more and meowed in response. Jonghyun sat down next to the small animal and stared at it. It stared back and nonchalantly and once again rolled over on its back, looking for a belly rub.
Suddenly, the small creature became attracted by Jonghyun’s hands, or what he had in his hands. It gracefully climbed into his lap and batted at the boy’s fingers. Jonghyun chuckled and intentionally kept his hands closed. The small kitten eventually grew tired of the game and started using its claws and teeth.
Jonghyun decided to not be an asshole and let the kitten play with his key ring which he had picked up off the ground while cleaning. The kitten was entranced by the jingling of the keys and the little reflective mirror keychain. It pawed lightly at its own reflection, mewing softly in confusion.
“Yah. That’s you, you vain little hairball,” Jonghyun said softly.
After playing with the kitten for a few hours, shamelessly baby talking it, Jonghyun was reminded that this was not his kitten, that its owner would one day reclaim the small animal, and that he had to find a method to contact these people. Deciding to place the ad in the morning, he made a makeshift bed for the kitten out of a pillow and a few blankets. The kitten however, decided that the spot right next to Jonghyun’s pillow would be a more suitable bed. It sniffed at Jonghyun’s pillow and purred before promptly falling asleep, curled up in a tiny ball.
The next two days pass by very quickly. His days are busy from working at a local music store and playing with the kitten. His nights are dedicated to the band and the kitten. The kitten, as he found out, thrives on attention and would often jump on Jonghyun as soon as he walks through the door. It also has gotten into the habit of hiding Jonghyun’s keys whenever he is at home.
One evening, the kitten decided to hide his keys in the trash can, making Jonghyun late for his band’s practice session. After rummaging around for 15 minutes, Jonghyun finally found what he was looking for. He glared at the small animal, which was currently curled cutely around his jacket. “Since you love my keys so much, I should just name you Key instead of calling you furball.” Key helpfully meowed in agreement before snuggling further into the jacket sleeve.
“Yah, I need to go. Get out of there,” he said, bending down to pick up the jacket. Key peeked up at him, eyes half-lidded, he purred contently. “No. I am not staying in and playing with you. This is my house. You have to do what I say,” Jonghyun said sternly. Key blinked.
“Sorry I’m late,” Jonghyun said, rushing through the door, guitar case in his hand.
“It is fine!” said Jinki. “Taemin is running late too, he called just now to tell me that he couldn’t find his phone but the funny thing is he called me using it! He’s so silly; it’s like that one time where he forgot his keyboard…”
“Jinki-hyung, sorry to interrupt you but this is important. Jonghyun-hyung, why did you bring a kitten to practice?” asked Minho.
Jonghyun sheepishly laughed and looked at Key, who was cradled in his arm. “This little brat was clinging onto my jacket and I didn’t want his claws to pierce through the leather, so I had to bring him. I hope it is ok? He’s pretty well-behaved. I haven’t had any problems with him,” continued Jonghyun. “Except when he’s an attention sponge and hides my keys!” he coos at the cat. Minho raises an eyebrow.
“Let’s just try to start as soon as we can, whenever Taemin gets here,” said Minho disinterestedly. He sneezed and resumed studying their music sheet. As Jonghyun was setting up, Jinki shuffled over and hesitantly pet the kitten. Soon the room was filled with Jinki’s soft murmuring and Key purring.
“Hi! Sorry I’m late,” huffed Taemin. “I couldn’t find my phone and--oh hyung! Your kitten is cute, can I play with it?” he all but threw away his bag and glided over.
As the week ended, there still was no word from Key’s real owner. Jonghyun didn’t mind, he was growing extremely attached to the small animal, and it seemed like Key was just as attached to Jonghyun. He enjoyed waking up to Key nuzzling his face and falling asleep with the kitten cuddled on his chest. The kitten no longer hid Jonghyun’s keys, to his joy. Instead it has gotten into the habit of following Jonghyun, like a little puppy. Even his bandmates enjoyed having Key around.
Jinki proposed that they use the kitten as a mascot and insisted that Jonghyun bring Key to every practice. “He can be our muse!” he said. Taemin liked randomly dropping by Jonghyun’s apartment, just to play with the gray kitten and ignore his hyung. Surprisingly Minho became the resident baby-talker of the group, greeting Key in a sickeningly cute fashion before acknowledging Jonghyun with an embarrassed ‘hello’. He even showed up one evening, with a few cat toys in his bag. Jonghyun had to kick him out after a few hours because there was only so much he could take of watching Minho coddle Key.
In the middle of the second week with Key, Jonghyun received a knock on his door. Thinking it was just Taemin stopping by ‘because he was in the neighborhood’; Jonghyun opened the door without much of a thought. At his doorstep was a blond haired boy that he didn’t recognize.
“Hello, are you Jonghyun?” said the boy. He self-consciously smoothed his bangs out of his eyes. Jonghyun noticed that the boy also spoke with a little bit of an accent. He also noticed that the boy was quite pretty. “A week ago my grandmother lost her gray kitten, and it seems like you found her? Oh! Irene!”
It was then that Jonghyun realized three things. One, the owner of the kitten did turn up. Two, Key was actually a girl cat. Three, he didn’t want the boy to take the kitten back.
Key, or more accurately, Irene peered up at the boy from between Jonghyun’s legs. As he bent down to pet her, she practically leapt into the boy’s arms, purring happily. The boy straightened himself and smiled at Jonghyun.
“Thank you so much for looking after our kitten. I’m usually around to care for her and my grandmother, but I’ve been away for an assignment and complications happened with my ride back and then Irene somehow got out and grandmother has been frantic with worry... I hope she wasn’t much of a bother…?”
“No, she’s been great, really energetic. I loved taking care of her,” said Jonghyun, he coughed awkwardly, attempting to hide how unhappy he was feeling. A familiar prickle settled behind his eyes, signaling that he was about to cry. Over someone else’s stupidly cute kitten that he grew stupidly attached to.
“I’m glad your grandmother will have her back again,” Jonghyun continued. “She must really love this menace a lot,” he murmured, hand going to pet the kitten.
The boy stared at Jonghyun, and after a while, Jonghyun self-consciously stared back. It felt like he was staring at the kitten again, they both had the same nonchalant scrutinizing eyes. Jonghyun found himself staring a bit too long at the others’ elegant features and bowed mouth. He watched as the bowed mouth form a few words, and realized a beat later that the boy had said something to him.
Jonghyun scratched the back of his head, embarrassed. “I’m sorry. Can you say that again? I was, um. Thinking of any updates you would need to know about Irene,” he finished lamely.
The blond chuckled and Jonghyun watched as the other laughed with his entire body, and clutched onto the doorframe to steady himself. “I said, Thank you for taking care of my kitten. I would like to repay you. Let’s have dinner.” Irene meowed.
He cheekily peered at Jonghyun through his bangs. “My name is Kibum, and I live nearby. Would you like to have dinner with me?”
Jonghyun dumbly nodded and went to look for his jacket.
- The kitten is supposed to be a shaded silver persian with pale green eyes. They are very cute.
- Irene refers to Irene Adler, who is a female character from the Sherlock Holmes series.
- Jonghyun just assumed that the cat was a male kitten, he was too busy playing with it to check.