Title: The Cat
Pairing: Ethan Nestor x fem!reader
Word Count: 1937
Summary: Chica’s acting funny, and when strange things happen, even stranger assumptions are made
Authors Note: This story is told as the reader is female. As alwats, for my NonBinary/Male pals out there, if you would like for me to rewrite the story with genderless pronouns, just let me know and I’ll get it up as soon as possible
Ethan Nestor was not a cat person. Sure, he thought they were cute, thought they were soft. Yet, if there was any other type of dog in the room, he would immediately make a b-line for it. He loved Chica to bits, hugging her and petting her as much as possible. In a way, it was his way of remembering his dogs back home. He missed his two best friends, Max and Dexter, more than anything in the world. His love of dogs was something everyone knew. Many times, the team would lose track of Ethan just to find him curled up on the floor cuddling the golden retriever, or even taking her for random walks if she needed it. It was a precious relationship they had.
Until one day, when Ethan walked through the door, Chica immediately ran up barking loudly. Ethan jumped, surprised by her sudden attack. Never had Chica ever been so hostile with him, so aggressive. A large blush covered his cheeks, embarrassment dusking face and neck.
"Chica! China, no! No barking!“ Mark approached Chica, forcefully pulling his dog away from the red faced editor. Amy was quick to rush over, pulling Ethan in the other direction.
"Ethan? You okay?” The boy only nodded, quickly brushing himself off as if trying to get rid of something.
“What happened?” She asked as Mark approached them.
"I don’t know. I’ve never seen her act like that before.“ As if coming to a realization, Mark slowly looked to Ethan out of the corner of his eye, who was still rapidly sweeping his hands over his clothes. "The last time she did that, was when Katherine brought her cat home for the first time." Ethan completely froze, a small grimace twitching his lip upwards. "Chica doesn’t take to nicely to cats .” Amy quickly turned to Ethan, her eyes wide. Ethan? With a cat?
“Ah! See, no. Not what you’re thinking. I was just, uh. When I was walking from my car, a cat came up next to me. I pet it for only like a second. Ha. Wow, Chica has a really strong nose. What a smart dog!” And that was that.
Ethan immediately threw himself into editing, only talking when absolutely necessary. He fumbled over things, dropped his headphones more than once, and even walked right into a chair. Everyone was concerned. Was he okay? Never had they seen the blue boy act so strange, and that was saying something. Ethan was the first person out the door that day. Granted, he was one of the first to be there, but rarely had anyone seen Ethan leave that fast. He had finished all his work, so why did Mark find his actions suspicious.
The next day, Ethan was back. He walked in with his usual swagger, greeting Chica with a smile and a pat before plopping down at his desk. He waved hello to his friends, cracked jokes, and even was willing to film a video with Mark and Tyler. Mark couldn’t help exchanging looks with Amy, confusion pushing his eyebrows together. Had yesterday just been an off day? Did he completely imagine it? Despite Ethan acting like his usual self today, Mark couldn’t help the nagging feeling that lingered.
His confusion only raised as weeks past and Ethan’s behavior only began to get stranger. Somedays, the blue boy would come in with a large smile, happily bouncing all around, nothing fazing him. Others, he would come deflated, like he was upset but no one could figure out why. Well, not everyone. Ethan and Katherine only seemed to get closer as Ethan’s behavior became more sporadic. They would sometimes be found in the small kitchen, whispering quietly to each other, but as soon as anyone entered, they would break apart and continue whatever they were doing silently. Other times, they would leave together, claiming they were carpooling, despite the fact that they lived in complete opposite directions, and brought their cars that day. The rest of the team couldn’t help but get more and more suspicious. It was Pam who suggested maybe they had started dating, but wanted to keep it a secret incase it didn’t work out. Based on what they had seen so far, no one had disagreed, and a pact was made. They would give Katheryn and Ethan as much space as they wished, and no questioning them. They would tell the group when they were ready.
Nearly a year had passed, and now Mark was getting angry. If Ethan and Katheryn were actually dating, they would have told them already, surely! He started huffing, pacing back and forth. Amy sat across from him, lounging on his couch.
"I just don’t understand. Do they not trust me?“ Mark started pacing faster, rubbing his hand through his hair. Amy sighed lightly. Mark did have a point. Amy thought that Katheryn was her friend, her best friend. They always told each other everything, even the gross stuff that should have been kept to themselves.
"I don’t know, Mark. But I trust Katheryn. If she hasn’t told me yet, there has to be a reason. Maybe they want to be super sure before they tell us. It is a big deal after all. Mark sighed, pacing back and forth for a few more seconds before giving up. He plopped himself beside his girlfriend, laying his head in her lap. Sighing one more time, he crossed his arms.
"But I wanna knoooooow.” The childish response pulled a laugh out of the blonde woman. Leaning down for a quick kiss, Amy pressed play on the movie they had had queued up a few minutes ago, relaxing into their Sunday night plans.
Another month or two passed, the group now settling the idea that Katheryn and Ethan were dating. Now, it was a waiting game. When were they going to tell them? And just like that, the bets began. Tyler had guessed within the next two months. Pam had said within four weeks. Amy had said in the next two. And Mark, ever the optimist, said by the end of the week.
However, as the week passed, as Friday quickly approached. On the day in question, everyone had gathered in the editing room, passing glances to each other. The only people missing - Katheryn and Ethan. Mark was getting more and more excited. Today was the day. It had to be the day. Mark’s excitement only grew as Kathryn quickly rushed into the room, a bright smile on her face.
“Guys! Ethan really wants to see you at the front door.” Her smile pushed her cheeks into her eyes, but it didn’t seem to die down, even though it was starting to look painful. She quickly waved her hand, beckoning them to follow her. And they all did, almost too excited. Despite her confusion to their eagerness, she pushed them forward, crowding them into the small entrance way of the office. Ethan was already there, nervously bouncing on his toes. He smiled sheepishly as they finally arrived.
"Hey guys.“ He scratched the back of his head, looking to the ground. "Listen. I know I haven’t been the most discrete the last few months, but I have a really good reason."
"Ethan. We already know.” It was Tyler who had spoken. Mark was quick to retaliate, shoving his elbow into the taller man.
"What? No, no we don’t. Continue, Ethan. You were saying?“
"Wait.” It was Katheryn now who stepped forward. “You know? For how long?” Amy looked at her guiltily.
"A year?!?” Ethan shouted in surprise. His stomach twisted into knots. A year. They had known for a year. He could have avoided all of this sneaking around, all the secrecy, for a year. He felt deflated now, but almost relieved.
“I’m so sorry Ethan!” Amy spoke again, stepping forward. “We really wanted to ask about it, but we wanted you to do it on your own terms.” The genuine smile that crossed his features made the rest of the room smile just as easily.
"You guys are the best. Well, not the best. Could have saved all this secrecy and panic, but I’m glad you all know now.“ Ethan smiled again, now more excited than nervous. "I’ve been waiting all year to tell you. I really wanted to do it sooner, but I knew I wanted to be absolutely sure before I introduced you to her.” This caused the room to gain an air of confusion. Meet? But they all knew Katheryn already…unless…
"Wait! You’re not dating Katheryn?!?“ Pam practically shouted this, pointing accusingly between the two parties. In an instant, both Ethan and Katheryn had looked at each other for a second before shouting loudly in disgust.
"What? No way in hell!"
"I mean, no offence to Katheryn, but no way!” Before anyone could get any louder, a single hesitant tap on the door caused the room to fall silent. The disgust that once covered Ethan’s face was replaced with excitement. He wasted no time throwing open the door, a new comer standing just at the threshold. In a very three stooges fashion, the team had all lined themselves up to get a glimpse of this person, the person who was in fact dating Ethan and wasn’t Kathryn. Ethan swopped down with no doubt in his mind, claiming her lips in a sweet kiss. She smiled brightly, returning it quickly before being allowed to step through the door. She smiled at the group, scanning her eyes over one before giving her brightest to the one familiar face in the room.
"Hello! It’s very nice to finally meet you all. I’m (Y/N).“
The group was now walking down the street, heading to their favorite lunch spot. (Y/N) followed in tow, her hand clasped tightly in Ethan’s. They were lagging far behind the others, trapped in their own world, occasionally stopping to admire the view, or share another quick kiss. "I just don’t understand.” Amy said, turning her head to look at the shorter brunette. “How do you know (Y/N)? And what was with all the secrecy?” “Oh!” Katheryn almost looked guilty, looking to the floor before meeting her friends eyes. “Remember when we went to see that movie? The really cheesy one with the dead girl?” Amy nodded in recognition. “Well, when I was headed to the bathroom half way through the movie, I spotted Ethan at the ticket booth, hand in hand with that girl. And he saw me too. He quickly panicked, and made me promise not to tell anyone. They both wanted to go slow, didn’t want to be pressured by their friends.” “But that still doesn’t explain why Chica’s was acting weird around him.” Mark said ahead of them, turning to walk backwards to join the conversation. Kathryn laughed lightly. “That’s the day I caught them. That night, Ethan slept over at her house. She has the most adorable cat in the world. Oh my god, you guys need to meet her. She’s so sweet.” And thats how the cast and crew of Markiplier ended up at your house, Chica and your precious cat alternating sitting people’s laps, laughing and getting to know you. You were so lucky your boyfriends friends were so kind. You shared a smile with Ethan, leaning over to give him a sweet kiss. Yep, you were definitely very lucky.