My Pet Cat Turned Into A Boy - Chapter 9 - Bad Days All Around!

‘No. No. No. No. HELL, NO!’

‘C’mon, Casey! You can’t seriously be that scared?’ said Chen in disbelief.

I shot him a deadly look which turned out to be a bad idea because it involved looking down, I squawked and tightened my grip around the branch I was currently hugging. I could hear Tao laughing hysterically.

We had been the only ones about the manor today with nothing to do, so we’d decided to go for a walk outside. I should have known that anything involving these two would end badly.

I’d spotted an apple tree and commented wistfully on how I loved making apple pie. Of course, Chen and Tao had immediately climbed up the tree and began picking apples. Then Chen had noticed I was still on the ground.

Sigh.

I suppose I was also at fault, I hadn’t wanted to admit my terrible fear of heights, especially to Chen of all people – childish, I know.

But he was like a bloodhound after a trail, and provoked me to the point that I had thrown all common sense out the window, and climbed the damn tree.

Double sigh.

It hadn’t been too bad while I was climbing, but then I’d happened to look down, and, Oh my god, everything be swaying like I’m drunk in the club – and not in a good way. All of a sudden the ground seemed to be a thousand miles away.

So, of course, I’d done the only logical thing, and wrapped myself around the nearest branch with my eyes closed, and refused to come down.

I drew in a shaky breath. ‘Guys, I’m not being funny or anything, but I think you’re going to have to call the firefighters, or possibly a helicopter.’

Now, both Tao and Chen were laughing hysterically. Great! I just love not being taken seriously when I’m in mortal danger.

Tao calmed down enough to suggest. ‘If you don’t wanna climb down, just jump and I’ll catch you.’

‘I’ve got a better idea, how about I take your belt AND STRANGLE YOU WITH IT,’ I shouted down, hysterically.

‘Cas, honestly, I’ll catch you. Don’t you trust me?’ asked Tao sounding like he was pouting.

‘No offense, but you’re not Aladdin, so no,’ I said tersely.

‘I’m going to have to agree with her on this one, bro,’ said Chen laughingly.

‘What!? Why?’ Tao exclaimed outraged.

‘Cause you drive like a maniac, and you use your sword to stab food that’s out of your reach at dinner,’ Chen obliged him with an answer and before Tao had time to react he turned back to me. ‘But he did have a point, Casey. I’m sure that between the two of us…well, surely, one of us is bound to catch you.’

‘Yeah, I feel so much more reassured now,’ I said, sarcastically.

‘Good! We’re finally getting through to you then,’ said Chen.

His voice sounded from right behind me, and I almost jumped out of my skin when I found him sitting right next to me.

‘How did you that!?’

‘Skills,’ said Chen smugly.

‘Don’t worry, Casey, we’ll help you down,’ said Tao.

I ventured a peek at him, and Tao smiled up at me reassuringly. I returned a somewhat wobbly smile.

I felt a hand on my arm. ‘Turn around, and put your arms around me. I’ll help you dangle from this branch so it’ll be easier for Tao to catch you. It’s really not that far down.’

‘For you maybe,’ I complained but I cautiously turned around to face him anyway.

I kept one arm around the tree tightly and slowly rested my other hand on the branch, and looked at Chen uncertainly.

‘It’s alright. I’m a lot stronger then I look – what with super strength and all. I won’t let you fall,’ he said with a smile.

I put one arm around him, and then with a little persuasion – okay, maybe a lot – I put my other arm around his waist. I panicked for a horrifying second, and hid my face against his chest, holding him tight.

‘No need to squeeze me to death,’ he complained, but I felt his hand stroke my hair comfortingly.

‘Stop being so nice to me,’ I mumbled against his shirt. ‘It’s weird.’

‘Duly noted,’ he laughed lightly.

After a slight pause, I added. ‘And for the record I never once thought you looked weak.’

‘Casey,’ he said, suddenly serious.

I looked up at him. ‘What?’

He squinted down at me. ‘Are you trying to seduce me?’

‘Chen?’

‘Yeah?’

‘Don’t be an idiot.’

‘It’s no fun if you react like that,’ he pouted.

I snorted.

‘Okay, now, you’re going to put your arms around my neck, and then you’re going to swing your left leg over this trunk, and I’m going to lower you as far down as possible, so Tao can grab you, okay?’

Okay!? Most definitely not okay!’

‘Oh, so you have a better idea. Let’s hear it then?’ said Chen.

I gave him a bitter look and reluctantly wound my arms around his neck. Our faces were pretty close and for the first time I noticed how long his eyelashes were.

‘Okay, good. Now bring your leg over to this side.’

I looked down and swallowed. ‘I think…I think I’m going to be sick.’

‘You’re not going to be sick. Just trust me. We won’t let you fall, I promise,’ said Chen patiently. ‘Don’t look down! Look at me.’

I looked away from the ground and did as he told me. I started bringing my left leg around slowly then - stopped.

‘It’s okay just let go. I’m holding you,’ said Chen.

I took a deep breath and dropped my leg from the branch so I was left dangling from it. I panicked when I just felt air all around me and started kicking my legs around and squirming to get back up.

‘Calm down, Casey. And whatever you do don’t look…dammit!’

I had looked down, and…fainted. Yes, I passed out cold like a complete ninny.

‘Got her!’ Tao’s voice very close.

When I came back to, the first thing I felt was a soft rocking motion. I opened my eyes and saw Tao smiling down at me. I realised he was carrying me in his arms back to the manor.

‘How are you feeling, sleeping beauty?’ asked Chen.

I looked to the side and saw him chewing on an apple, and swinging a whole bunch inside an impromptu basket, in the form of his hoodie, from his other hand.

‘You don’t have to carry me. I can walk,’ I said groggily.

‘No way! I’ll carry you. You gave me such a fright! I thought you’d died,’ said Tao.

‘Oh,’ I said while trying to wrap my head around how embarrassed I was feeling right now.

‘You should have seen me catch you, though. I was well cool, wasn’t I, gege? It was like a scene out of a movie,’ said Tao looking extremely pleased with himself.

‘Never one much for modesty, our Tao,’ commented Chen.

‘Thank you, Tao.’

Chen stopped mid-bite looking outraged. ‘You’re thanking him?’

‘And thank you, Chen. I owe you one, big time,’ I said gratefully. ‘You were both amazing.’

‘As long as you know,’ grumbled Chen, but there was a small smile playing around his mouth.

‘Sort of like knights?’ asked Tao hopefully.

‘Yes, like knights,’ I said with a smile.

‘Better then Aladdin?’ asked Tao.

‘Definitely!’

‘Tao?’ said Chen.

‘Yes, gege?’

‘Shut up! You’re giving me a rash.’

Tao pouted all the way back to the kitchen. He put me down gently on a chair.

‘I never knew anyone could be that scared of heights,’ he commented wonderingly.

I went red with embarrassment. ‘My mum sent me to counselling for it when I was a kid because I couldn’t even cross a bridge – it didn’t help much.’

‘Wow! That really sucks,’ said Tao.

‘It’s not a big deal. Anyway, let’s get started on this apple pie. It’ll be faster if you guys help me peel and slice the apples…and no, Tao, you’re not allowed to use your sword.’

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‘What’s that wonderful smell?’ asked a voice from the doorway.

I turned around to see Minseok walk into the kitchen followed by Jongin.

‘It’s apple pie. Chen and I helped Casey make it,’ Tao informed them happily.

‘And no one gets to eat it unless they helped,’ said Chen.

Minseok’s face fell almost comically.

‘Ignore him. Of course you can have some. There’s more than enough for everybody,’ I told Minseok.

Minseok beamed at me.

‘I think you’ve just made his day,’ said Jongin, laughingly.

‘So what did you guys do today?’ asked Minseok sitting down next to Tao, and pulling a plate towards him.

‘Well let’s see,’ began Chen in a sing song voice with a mischievous gleam in his eyes. ‘First, Casey and I sat up on a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G.’

‘For heaven’s sake!’ I said exasperated.

‘Just kidding! We only looked deeply into each other’s eyes, and then she wrapped her arms around my neck and we held on to each other - like, for a really long time,’ said Chen, with a wink in my direction.

Tao stared at him wonderingly. ‘Wow! When you say it like that it sounds pretty intense.’

‘It was intense, wasn’t it, Casey?’ asked Chen with an innocent look in my direction.

I squinted at Chen in disbelief - I was going to kill him!

Minseok was looking at us in some amusement. I looked quickly at Jongin who didn’t look one bit as amused as he stared darkly at Chen.

‘I also carried Casey bridal style all the way back here,’ contributed Tao.

I could have groaned out loud. Jongin’s expression turned to one of confusion as he looked between us.

‘Wait! Did all this actually happen?’ asked Jongin incredulously as he looked to me for an explanation.

‘Well, yes,’ I said glaring at Chen as he began to laugh hysterically. ‘But it’s definitely not what it sounds like.’

‘This is getting good,’ said Minseok, around a mouthful of pie as he watched us keenly.

It’s not what it sounds like!?’ repeated Jongin in disbelief. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. ‘Okay, it’s okay. I trust you. I just don’t trust him, so please, elaborate.’

I shot Chen a look that promised a thousand painful deaths, but before I could say anything else, Tao broke in with, ‘Casey was really scared, so she fainted from the tree, and I caught her.’

‘Tao, you idiot! I wanted to see her flounder through an explanation,’ said Chen looking disappointed.

‘But that’s mean,’ said Tao. ‘Don’t worry, Casey, I got your back.’

Chen rolled his eyes.

‘You – what!?’ exclaimed Jongin looking alarmed.

I somehow managed to explain to him what had happened earlier – even with Chen’s constant interjections of how I had “gasped with gratitude and helplessly buried my face in his shirt”, or “seduced him with my tear filled eyes” or, my personal favourite, “swooned in his arms”.

‘Who would have thought that going for a walk in the garden could be so dangerous,’ commented Minseok, much to Tao and Chen’s general hilarity.

‘Come with me,’ said Jongin, suddenly grabbing my hand and pulling me out of the kitchen.

He dragged me away, until we were well out of earshot, and into a small alcove half hidden behind a tapestry of a pack of wolves.

‘Jongin, don’t listen to Chen. You know what he’s like,’ I said exasperated only to find myself wrapped tightly in an embrace.

‘I missed you,’ said Jongin against my neck. ‘I just wanted to get you away from everyone, and have you to myself for a bit.’

I felt my cheeks grow warm and my heart beat faster as a thrill of happiness shot through me.

‘Don’t just randomly spout mushy stuff, idiot,’ I said gruffly trying not to grin – and failing miserably.

‘Then don’t just randomly go fainting from trees, idiot,’ he retorted softly.

He kissed my forehead, then the tip of my nose, and then finally he cupped my cheeks and kissed me on the lips. No matter how many times he kissed me I always felt like I was about to suffer major heart failure. Everything in me just leapt into overdrive. I had thought the feeling would eventually fade, but if anything it had just gotten worse.

I leaned against him and wrapped my arms around his neck. He pressed me back against the wall and threaded his fingers through my hair. His lips were so incredibly soft against mine that I couldn’t help myself, and gently bit his lower lip.

He pulled back in surprise and touched his lip.

‘Sorry,’ I apologised.

‘No, I like it,’ he said with a wicked grin. ‘It’s like you’re marking me as yours.’

‘There you go again, saying unnecessary stuff,’ I said breathlessly.

Jongin bent his head and brushed his lips against mine slowly and then…

‘Sorry to interrupt,’ I looked up to find Chen leaning against the entrance not looking sorry at all. ‘But Junmyeon wants to speak to you.’

I wondered belatedly if he had some sort of a death wish. Jongin punched the wall next to my head, making me jump, and threw Chen a look that would have had a smarter man running for cover, but Chen obviously didn’t qualify because he just stood there with the most annoying smirk on his face ever.

‘I think you better go, Jongin,’ I said trying to avoid a murder from occurring.

He swept an impatient hand through his hair and sighed. ‘Yeah, okay.’

He grabbed my chin and planted a hard kiss on my mouth. Chen wolf whistled and I could feel a blush creeping up my cheeks. Jongin left looking very pleased with himself, while Chen wiggled his brows suggestively at me, before following him.

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Two days later, I was in the library when I heard a commotion outside. I ran out of the library, and followed the sound down the hallway. When I rounded the corner I stopped dead at the scene that met my eyes.

Chanyeol looking frantic as he carried a blood soaked Baekhyun in his arms, and Kyungsoo leading the way with a grim look on his face.

‘Baekhyun!’ I cried, running forward.

‘He’s not dead, just unconscious, but we need to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible,’ said Kyungsoo, seriously. ‘Chanyeol, set him down on the dining room table. The infirmary is too far.’  

I ran ahead and pushed everything off the table.

‘Wait a sec,’ I told Chanyeol.

I ran to a chest of drawers in the corner, pulled out a clean white tablecloth, and set it on the table.

Chanyeol laid Baekhyun down as gently as he could.

‘There’s so much blood,’ I said hoarsely feeling like I had just walked into some kind of nightmare.

Kyungsoo strode back into the room carrying a medical kit.

‘Do you know if Yixing is back yet, Casey?’ asked Kyungsoo.

‘I’m the only one here,’ I answered, tremulously.

Baekhyun moaned and his eyelids fluttered open.

‘Baek!’ I said grabbing his hand.

Chanyeol stared down at him anxiously. ‘Don’t worry, buddy, we’re going to fix you right up.’

‘I’m not worried. I would have been worried if I’d have had to carry your 6 ft1 ass back here instead of the other way round,’ said Baekhyun with a grimace. ‘And don’t look so worried you two, I’ve had worse… though nothing comes to mind at the minute.’

Kyungsoo was laying out some pretty scary looking instruments on the table.

‘What happened?’ I asked.

‘We walked into a trap. We were completely unprepared. Baekhyun got shot twice. He knocked his head on the floor and passed out,’ Kyungsoo answered emotionlessly as he filled a syringe with transparent liquid.

‘Oh, so that’s what happened. I’d been wandering myself,’ commented Baekhyun, a tad too cheerfully.

‘Don’t be so bloody blasé about this – you could have died,’ I said without any real heat as I tucked a lock of stray hair behind his ear.

‘One of you cut his shirt off, and clean out the wounds,’ ordered Kyungsoo then he turned to Baekhyun with a grim look on his face. ‘I’m going to give you some morphine but you’ve got two iron bullets in you. You know what that means, right?’

Baekhyun nodded.

‘No. No, I don’t. What does that mean?’ I asked.

‘It means that any pain relief is next to useless until the bullets have been extracted. Iron is like poison to us. He’s going to feel everything,’ said Chanyeol quietly.

I looked at Kyungsoo in horror. ‘There must be something else we can give him?’

Baekhyun tugged my hand down. ‘It’s alright, Cas…don’t worry.’

I noticed how pasty his skin had gone and the sweat beading his forehead.

‘Believe me, there is nothing else,’ said Kyungsoo, firmly but not unkindly. ‘And if we don’t get them out quickly they’re going to infect, and make him very ill. I’m pretty sure they didn’t hit anything vital, so when Lay gets back he should be able to heal him pretty well.’

Chanyeol was already cutting Baekhyun’s shirt down the middle and peeling it away.

‘Whoa! Shouldn’t you like, buy me dinner first,’ joked Baekhyun weakly.

Chanyeol snorted and passed me a wet cloth that Kyungsoo had brought from the kitchen along with a bowl of hot water. I blanked as I stared at all the blood leaking from the hole in his shoulder and the other one lower down near his waist.

‘It probably looks worse than it feels – ah!’ groaned Baekhyun as Chanyeol started wiping around his shoulder wound.

‘Clearly,’ I said, dryly.

I started dabbing around his other wound as gently as possible, but I could tell it hurt him.

‘Ok, that’s enough! Bite down on this, Baekhyun,’ ordered Kyungsoo placing a strap of leather in front of Baekhyun’s mouth.

Baekhyun sighed and took the leather between his teeth. Kyungsoo glanced at me. ‘I think you better leave the room. You’re not used to this.’

‘I’m not going anywhere,’ I said looking him dead in the eye.

Kyungsoo smiled slightly and nodded. Baekhyun looked like he was going to protest but I just shot him a look that brooked no arguments.

If Baekhyun could suffer through this pain then I could bloody well handle at least this much.

‘Hold him down, Chanyeol,’ said Kyungsoo.

Kyungsoo started cutting into the wound with practiced precision. Baekhyun went rigid and closed his eyes.

‘It’s going to be alright,’ said Chanyeol softly.

‘I can see it,’ said Kyungsoo triumphantly. ‘I’m almost…’

Suddenly Kyungsoo went still and his face paled. A sense of dread uncoiled itself and settled in the pit of my stomach. Chanyeol looked up then did a double take as he noticed the look on Kyungsoo’s face. I swallowed past the knot in my throat.

‘What is it?’ I asked, not really wanting to hear the answer to that.

Baekhyun’s eyes snapped open and he stared at Kyungsoo questioningly. Kyungsoo shook his head in disgust and looked at Baekhyun. ‘The good news is I can still get it out. The bad news is you’re screwed.’

‘Well, don’t sugar coat it for him!’ I snapped, trying to cover up the fact that I was about two seconds away from throwing up from nerves.

‘What’s wrong, Soo?’ asked Chanyeol worriedly.

‘This bullet was designed in a way that when it entered his body it shattered and released… what I can only assume is liquid iron, into his blood stream,’ said Kyungsoo. ‘It’s actually quite ingenious.’

Ingenious? Really! I’m busy dying here, and you’re admiring their craftsmanship!?’ said Baekhyun indignantly, and then he gasped, and went deathly pale.

‘Ah. That must be the iron spreading in your blood stream. And you’re not going to die…you’re just going to be in a lot of pain,’ said Kyungsoo.

‘Well, that’s a relief!’ muttered Baekhyun, sarcastically. ‘Yeollie, bring me the strongest whisky in the mini bar.’

‘That’s not going to-‘ began Kyungsoo.

Believe me – it’ll help,’ interrupted Baekhyun.

‘Okay, let’s get this show on the road,’ said Kyungsoo grimly. ‘You ready, Baek?’

Baekhyun took a swig from the bottle of whisky and grinned. ‘I was born ready.’

He bit into the leather once more and braced himself.

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I stared down at the floor unseeingly, my arms braced on my knees and my head resting against them tiredly.

The sleeping form of Baekhyun lay a few feet away in his bed. After three hours and a half, of agonizing horror, we had finally managed to get a hold of Lay, and he had come back immediately, and succeeded in healing Baek just enough that he was able to sleep.

‘Why don’t you go get some rest, Casey?’ asked Chanyeol.

I looked over at him sprawled in an armchair next to Baekhyun.

‘It’s okay. I’m fine,’ I said.

‘No offense but you look wrecked. I’ll look after him,’ said Chanyeol with a kind smile.

When I didn’t answer him straight away, he sighed and said. ‘At least go get cleaned up. ‘

I looked down at my ruined clothes, they were soaked through with blood and in some places where the blood had dried it was sticking to my skin. I must look a fright – but then again, so did Chanyeol. I sighed in defeat, partly because a bath did sound heavenly right now, and mostly because I was pretty sure I was one wrong word away from bursting into tears and I rather not do that in front of anyone.  

A loud thunder of steps sounded outside in the corridor and the door swung open as Tao came busting into the room like a tornado. His face fell when his gaze landed on Baekhyun.

‘How…how is he?’

‘He’s going to be fine. We just had a few unpleasant surprises that will slow down his recovery, but Lay said he’s going to be okay,’ answered Chanyeol.

Tao made a jerky motion with his head then turned on his heel and stormed out of the room. I looked at Chanyeol and he shrugged.

I meandered down the corridors with the intention of going to my room but somehow I ended up outside in the gardens. I took a deep breath and tried to dispel the terrible images playing behind my eyes.

Baekhyun screaming. His body bucking off the table as the iron burned in his veins. Kyungsoo’s blade cutting into his flesh again, and again, as he tried to dig out all the shattered pieces.

I took another deep breath, and stiffened when I heard a muffled noise. I took a step in the direction the noise was coming from and followed it around the corner of the house.

I froze as I caught sight of Tao crouching with his back to the wall. His face was in his hands and his shoulders were shaking. I realised with some shock that he was crying.

I really wanted to comfort him but I felt that he might not appreciate my company at the moment. Just as I was about to turn away, his head snapped up.

His eyes were red rimmed as he looked up at me, a myriad of emotions crossed his face before he looked down at his hands again, his shoulders slumping dejectedly.

I walked over and sat down next to him.

‘Don’t worry, Tao. He’s going to be fine,’ I said, and was proud when my voice didn’t waver.

I put my hand on his shoulder gently, and he flinched. I quickly pulled my hand away. I started to wonder if he was upset about something more. I sat silent, waiting for him to make the next move, at least he knew I was there if he wanted to talk.

‘Do you really believe that?’ he asked quietly, his eyes fixed on his hands.

I was about to reassure him but something in his tone made me pause. I stared at him, and for some reason a feeling of dread swept over me. But then he looked up and smiled.

‘I’m sorry. I’ve freaked you out,’ he said, with none of the grimness that had been there before. ‘I can be a bit dramatic sometimes.’

After muttering something about Junmyeon needing him and whining about how overworked he was, he stood up and left. It was almost like I had imagined the desperation on his face.

One time Sehun and I were shopping for clothes in Hong Kong and I saw a pair of khakis for sale. So I thought ‘hm, they’re on sale so I should buy it right now right’ and so I did. I go to another aisle I see more khaki pants but the sign this time says “Buy three, get one free’ so I go and buy that one as well. So now I have about five khaki pants which I thought was a great idea cause I can wear one on monday, one on tuesday, one on wednesday, one on thursday and one on friday. It’s like I’ll never run out of khakis.
—  Do Kyungsoo interview (full interview click here)