“Parnasse?” Jehan asks from their favourite spot on the floor (it’s the only spot where they can lean against the radiator and still reach their boyfriend’s feet when Montparnasse is sitting in his favourite chair).
“Hm?” Montparnasse hums.
“You like cats, right?”
Montparnasse lowers his gaze and looks into Jehan’s face. Their eyes are wide and innocent, but he doesn’t trust it one bit. “No I don’t,” he says. And he doesn’t like cats. He respects them. From a distance.
“…you like cats better than other animals,” Jehan tries again.
“Not true either,” he contradicts. “I like betta fish.”
Jehan waves their hand around vaguely, bracelets tinkling gently. “Fish don’t really count though.”
Montparnasse makes a nondescript sound. There is a short silence in which Jehan plays with the frayed edges of the strategic rips in Montparnasse’s black skinny jeans. And then, just when Montparnasse starts to relax again:
“I like cats.”
Montparnasse grimaces. “You like all animals.”
“But especially cats,” Jehan says emphatically.
Montparnasse looks at them and he knows what’s coming and this is so incredibly unfair because he already had a glass of wine and Jehan is wearing one of those flowery crop tops that the weather should already be too cold for and he’s looking at him with those damn big eyes with little specs of light in them…
The lasting silence on Montparnasse’s end is apparently enough encouragement for Jehan. “The couple I’m doing the wedding invitations for have cats,” they say.
You look like a cat, Montparnasse thinks, arching your back against the radiator like that. But he doesn’t say anything. He knows about the wedding invitations, Jehan showed him their practice designs. They are all flowery words and curly calligraphy, Jehan’s speciality.
“They have three cats,” Jehan continues. “Sara had two and Jess had one too, but now Jess has moved in and they don’t get along.”
Montparnasse reaches out to refill his glass. “They’re getting married and they’ve only just moved in together?” he says. “That’s a recipe for disaster.”
“They were long distance for like…years,” Jehan says.
“Still,” Montparnasse insists.
“It’s True Love,” Jehan says decidedly.
Montparnasse opens his mouth.
“Like us,” Jehan smiles.
Montparnasse shuts his mouth.
“But now,” Jehan chatters. “Now Jess has to find a new home for her tomcat, because he just can’t deal with not being the only cat and Parnasse you’d love him.”
“No,” Montparnasse says.
Jehan immediately throws themself forward to hug their boyfriend’s knees and they look up at Montparnasse from behind a scattering of red curls. That’s just cheating on so many levels.
“He’s majestic, Parnasse.”
“No.” He is not falling for this. He is not being tricked into getting a cat.
“My landlady is allergic to cats.”
“She is actually,” Jehan points out.
“My answer is no,” Montparnasse grits.
“But you have such a nice big apartment!” Jehan says enthusiastically. “And I’m here so often we would totally be taking care of him together.”
“His name is Montague.”
Okay, that is a seriously cool name for a cat, but- “No!”
Jehan pouts. They pout.
“Jehan I am not taking in a cat,” he says, trying to make his voice as stern as possible. “If you think I am going to go through life covered in cat hair-” He huffs indignantly.
“He’s black,” Jehan interrupts.
“What?” Montparnasse blinks.
“Montague,” Jehan clarifies. “He’s black. So you won’t even see it on 99% of your clothes.”
“That’s not how cat hair works,” Montparnasse protests.
“He’d go really well with your décor,” Jehan argues.
“And if he lived here you could totally demand I come over at any time,” Jehan says, batting their eyes.
“I will not be bribed into adopting a cat,” Montparnasse insists.
“But you don’t understand…” Jehan whines, dragging themself off the floor until they are practically draped across Montparnasse’s lap. “I love him.”
Great, so now the cat is competition.
“Every time I go over there I see him and Jess says no one wants him and I just… You could just come with me once? To meet him. To see if you like him? Please?”
Montparnasse’s face is positively contorted. There is no way. No way in hell. Under no circumstance will he- “I’ll go with you to meet the stupid cat,” he grunts.
Jehan wriggles so violently with happiness Montparnasse has to grab them so they don’t fall off his lap and onto the floor.