Title: Cat Sitting
Character/s: Gwaine, Leon
Summary: Gwaine volunteered to cat sit for Leon while Leon went on a business trip. It had been going well. Had been.
Warnings: Modern AU
Word Count: 1,032
Prompt: #242: Responsible
Author's Notes: n/a
Gwaine stood on his tiptoes, peering into the dark exhaust vent.
“Lillith?” Gwaine tried to reach into the vent but it was difficult to do without leaning on the rest of the vent hood. “Come on, Lil. We were having such a good week.”
His own head was blocking most of the light but Gwaine could just make out the faint glint of Lillith’s eyes. The black cat was almost impossible to see in the dark vent; only the light of her eyes and the distressed noises she was making gave away her position. Exactly how she’d gotten so far into the exhaust vent was a mystery Gwaine didn’t have time for. Leon was due back any minute now and he was probably hoping to see his cat in one piece.
The same could probably be said for his flat.
Everything had been going so well. Gwaine had volunteered to cat sit while Leon was away on his business trip to prove that he was more responsible than many of his friends gave him credit for. Yes, he had once sledded down a flight of stairs in nothing but his underwear and a top hat but in his defense it had been New Year’s Eve. Five years ago. He was definitely capable of taking care of a cat for a week when there wasn’t copious amounts of alcohol around.
Or so he’d thought.
Gwaine jumped down from the countertop and tried to take a moment to think. He needed Lillith to leave the exhaust vent by herself; that was the safest and least destructive option he could think of. He surveyed the box of food and treats Leon had left with specific instructions pertaining to number, frequency, and amounts for feeding. Gwaine opened the bag labeled ‘For special occasions’ and climbed back up to the exhaust vent with a handful of treats.
“Hey Lil,” he said, trying to keep his tone sweet and positive. He dumped the treats in a pile at the edge of the exhaust vent. “Look what I have.”
Lillith’s eyes moved but she didn’t appear to be getting any closer. The distressed not-purring noise she was making continued to resonate in the vent.
“Come on, Lillith,” Gwaine encouraged, tossing a few of the treats in Lillith’s direction. “The instructions say you like these and I have lots of them but you have to come over here.”
Lillith meowed and she sounded distinctly unhappy. It probably didn’t help that Gwaine was throwing food at her.
Gwaine jumped down again, ready to look for some of her toys when he remembered the leftover pizza in the refrigerator. Leon’s instructions were very clear about not giving Lillian people food and Gwaine had followed those instructions to the letter until Lillith brazenly stole a piece of his pizza. He stole it back but eventually gave her some of the cheese (after, of course, asking Google if cats could eat pizza) in an attempt to not sour the relationship they’d been building all week.
She’d loved it then and Gwaine could only hope she’d love it now.
He took the pizza box out of the refrigerator and climbed back up to the exhaust vent holding a slice. He picked off the toppings, eating them as he went, and then scraped off the cheese, throwing the naked slice back towards the pizza box. He stretched out as far as he could without leaning on the vent hood and stuck his arm in the vent, hoping Lillith could identify his bribe in the dark.
“Lil, look! Pizza cheese.”
The sad, distressed noises stopped. Gwaine couldn’t see with his arm in the vent but he could hear a new noise, a muffled shuffling, a noise he hoped and prayed was Lillith moving towards the open end of the vent. He turned his hand so it was flat, palm up, balancing the lump of cheese on his hand unseen.
He waited for what felt like hours.
When he felt a warm mouth and whiskers touch his hand Gwaine grabbed hold of whatever he could reach and pulled Lillith out the vent.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he said over and over again until he could see Lillith’s feet and face past the edge of the vent. He grabbed her with both hands and pulled her to freedom, nearly losing his balance and falling on the vent hood in the process. He would have dropped Lillith if she hadn’t dug her claws into his jumper.
Gwaine dropped down to sit on the countertop, breathing a sigh of relief as he unhooked Lillith from his jumper. He set her down near the pizza before climbing back up to reaffix the vent hood to the exhaust vent.
Leon let himself into his flat, glad to be back home.
He was even more pleased to see that everything looked relatively in order. He hadn’t doubted that he could trust Gwaine to look after his cat while he was away but he had admittedly felt some apprehension when giving Gwaine keys to his flat. He felt guilty about his reservations when he found Gwaine and Lillith sitting on his couch watching telly.
Gwaine leaned his head back, grinning up at Leon. “Welcome back!”
“Thanks. It’s nice to be back.” Leon leaned forward and pet Lillith where she was relaxing on Gwaine’s stomach. “How did things go? Did you have any trouble with Lillith?”
“Not a one,” Gwaine said, reaching down to scratch under Lillith’s chin. “We’re mates now,” he said as Lillith purred. “I told you it would be fine.”
Leon smiled. “Yes, you did. Thank you, Gwaine. This was a big help and I really appreciate it.”
‘Happy to help,” Gwaine said, resuming his relaxed position.
“I’m really thirsty from the flight. You want anything?”
“I put some beer in there yesterday. I’ll take one of those.”
Leon nodded his acknowledgement and went into the kitchen for a drink so he could finally start to unwind from his trip. He stopped just inside the kitchen door, pushing it open again so he could be heard in the living room.
“Why is there a naked pizza on the counter?”