A kitten, for Connor.
“It’s important for you to know that I hate you”
Troye’s first words to the kitten he’d just signed adoption papers for were not exactly what the animal shelter staff had expected. Nevertheless, the gangly Australian boy seemed truly excited to be collecting the small creature, and had purchased a mountain of supplies, from harnesses and bowls to the high end litter boxes, and a dozen different types of treats. He loaded it all into the backseat of a cab before coming back in to take the tiny kitten with him. As the cab drove off, Troye stared into the pet carrier at the furball. He’d chosen an orange medium hair with bright blue eyes and a stumpy little tail. The tiny thing had already spread hair across Troye’s favourite black jumper, and it’s annoying vibrations as it purred were making him regret this decision. He decided to focus on what would happen when he got home.
A couple hours later, with meetings finished and coffee in hand, Connor climbed out of his car and walked up to his apartment door. He knew Troye was home so didn’t bother fumbling for his keys, instead just turning the handle and pushing his way inside. “Tro, I’m back! Are you ready to go out? What’s my big surprise today?” Connor walked further into the apartment, before the reply came. “It’s in here, babe!” Troye’s voice carried from the direction of the bedroom, and Connor rolled his eyes. If that boy had built up all this hype about a big surprise when he got home and it turned out to be just him naked in bed… it wouldn’t be a bad thing, but it was a little misleading. He strode to the bedroom, ready to shake his head, but instead found Troye standing awkwardly in the doorway to his room. “Your surprise is in there. I don’t know how to deal with it so I was just waiting for you because I don’t really want to be alone in there with it…” Troye’s voice trailed off as he stepped aside and pushed the door open, and Connor looked curiously inside. Nothing seemed to be inside, until he noticed the sheets rustling, seemingly of their own accord. Before he could ask Troye what was going on, a bright orange head popped out between the pillows, and the kitten leapt forward onto the sheet, chasing something invisible to the boys. Connor’s eyes went wide and his smile seemed to split his face in half. He rushed forward and scooped up the creature. “Troye you didn’t. I thought you hated them? You always say no. You said we travel too much. I thought - what is it’s name? Is it it a girl or a boy? Troye, what is this!?” Troye was grinning too, but not at the ugly little orange thing, at his boyfriend’s childlike glee. “I don’t like cats, babe, you know that, but I really like you. And I thought it was about time we got you a kitty. Your fans are quite adamant that you need one, and I think the look on your face confirms it. It’s a girl; I wasn’t about to bring another man into your life, especially when I know you’ll end up loving the thing more than me. She doesn’t have a name, yet, but if it’s okay with you, I was thinking Sydney? We can call her Syd for short.”
Syd followed Connor everywhere. When Troye came home from the studio late at night and Connor was passed out on the couch, Syd would be curled up between his bent knees, glaring at Troye as he gently woke Connor to take him to bed. If he got back from an early morning flight to find Connor still cuddled between the sheets, Syd would be sprawled across Troye’s pillow, and would hiss at Troye in his attempts to slip into bed. The kitten loved Connor, but she had no such affections for Troye, and the sentiment was mutual. Troye didn’t mind though, the animal brought so much joy into Connor’s life. He loved the way Connor’s eyes lit up when Syd came bounding into the room, the way Connor crawled around on the floor like an idiot to play games with his kitten, and the sight of Connor asleep in a chair with Syd in a ball on his chest. The cat was a nuisance and he stunk and his fur was everywhere, but Troye had zero regrets about bringing the little pest home.
Weeks went by and Troye discovered that his hate for the creature had minimized. When it brushed past his feet in the morning as he tried to tame his hair, the urge to kick it away was gone. If he found Syd sleeping in his spot on the couch, he would find a different spot to sit. He was beginning to not only tolerate the animal, but accommodate it. He tried to ignore his changing emotions, but Connor wouldn’t let him. The older boy teased Troye, and insisted he was becoming a cat person. Connor caught him petting Syd once and didn’t stop talking about it for days. Troye hated it; hated Syd, hated Connor. Except, he really truly didn’t. And if he was being honest, Connor was kind of right. Sure, Troye still hated cats and found them to be useless and a nuisance, but Syd was different. How could Troye hate something that brought the man he loves so much joy? One evening, Connor was wrapped up in business meetings until late into the night. He called Troye to apologize but the phone rang through to voicemail every time. He was nervous; it was supposed to be a night out together and he wasn’t there; he was sure Troye was mad. After the last meeting finally ended, Connor drove home, risking one more delay to pick up sushi from Troye’s favourite place before going back to their apartment. He entered tentatively, expecting to find a disappointed boyfriend on the couch. Instead, he walked into an empty living room. Connor set down his belongings and looked around, ending up at his bedroom door. From outside, he could hear Syd purring, and he pushed the door open. There, in the middle of the bed, were the two loves of his life. Troye curled into a ball with Syd asleep in the middle of his limbs. Troye’s hand was under Syd’s neck, and their faces were inches apart. Connor smiled and pulled out his phone, quickly snapping a photo. He took a step closer to get a better angle, but managed to squeak the floorboards. Troye’s head moved slightly, and Connor watched as his eyes opened. A blush of embarrassment spread across the Aussie’s face as he realized the compromising position he’d been discovered in. “So Tro, you still hate cats?” Connor asked, clambering onto the bed beside Troye and brushing the messy hair off his baby’s face. “Shut up. Yes, I hate them. This one just, just reminds me of you.”
After that, Connor caught Syd and Troye cuddled together more and more. Troye had fallen for Syd in much the same way Connor had fallen for Troye; the longer he was around him, the more he realized exactly how much he loved him.