There is a list of important facts pinned to the refrigerator door by a pair of smiley-face magnets. Jinki knows that they are important facts because the list is headed by a huge title in bold, dark red font which reads IMPORTANT FACTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with about ten more exclamation marks than is strictly necessary.
The list goes something like this:
1. your name is Lee Jinki 2. you live here 3. your alpha lives here too, and his name is Lee Taemin, and he looks like this: [insert small picture of a pretty man with an awkward smile and floppy dark hair] 4. you were in a car accident two years ago, and that’s why you can’t remember anything 5. don’t take your meds unless Taemin is there with you 6. don’t panic; you’re okay and safe 7. a binder of more important information is in the kitchen drawer to the right of the dishwasher and left of the silverware 8. if you’re alone and you need to talk to someone, there is a list of people you can call in the front of that binder
And then there is the last item to the list, written in slightly different ink, as if it had been added at a later time:
Cullrian Saturday prompt. Please do something about your cat it keeps breaking into my apartment via the windows and I don't know how plus it knows how to open fridges.
“Well then,” Cullen murmured as he looked down at the small black and white cat sitting on the couch. The creature cocked its head as it stared unblinkingly at him through bright yellow eyes before raising a paw to lick delicately at it.
He shrugged his jacket off, laying it neatly over the back of an armchair. He sat gently on the couch, taking care not to jostle his visitor and held out two fingers for it to investigate. It sniffed at him, darted out a quick, pink flash of tongue that was rough against his skin. Cullen chuckled as it stood to butt its head against his hand, stretching first with a small mew cut off by a yawn.
“Where did you come from, little guy?” He asked as he walked to the kitchen, pausing at the window above the sink that he’d cracked slightly before leaving for work that morning.
Surely the cat couldn’t have gotten in that way? It was only open a few inches, perhaps six at most, just enough to let the cool spring air and the scent of rain flow through his apartment. Soon it would be too warm for it but for now he intended to savor it as long as possible.
He opened the refrigerator, leaning down to grab a beer when the cat ran into the kitchen and started winding around his legs, making little chirping noises.
“Hungry, are you?” He leaned down to pet the creature’s head. “I’m afraid I don’t really know what cats like. I have…”
He sighed as he investigated the contents of the fridge. A cup of yogurt, half a loaf of bread, a couple of tomatoes and a shelf full of condiments, useless without actual food. There was beer and the remains of several days worth of take-out.
“Well, I don’t think you’d like anything I have. Unless… I don’t suppose cats like yogurt?”
There was a knock at the door and he rushed to open it, the cat running behind him. Cullen can’t help but stare, speechless, at the man standing across the threshold.
“Terribly sorry to bother you, but I don’t suppose you’ve seen a cat running around the building?” The man looked past him anxiously, casting a glance through his apartment as he runs a hand through his long, dark hair.
“I just moved in and he slipped out when I had the door open for a delivery. His name’s Felix and…”
“I…” Cullen cleared his throat. He forced himself to look away from the man’s face, from his tattooed arms, his chiseled chest bound in nothing but a tight, grey tank top. His shoes, right. Those would be safe. Except then he could see the cat’s twitching tail out of the corner of his eye. The cat that apparently belongs to the man he . “A cat? No, no. No cats here. Sorry.”
The man’s face fell before his eyes lit on the treacherous beast sitting beside Cullen’s feet, chirping happily.
“No cat?” The man grins as he scoops up the beast, laying him across his shoulder. “Well, this not-cat is Felix. And I? I am Dorian Pavus, wonderful to meet you. And I suppose, thank you for keeping my cat alive even if you were attempting to catnap him to keep him all for yourself.”
Cullen opened his mouth to protest.
“Now, now. Don’t bother denying it.” Dorian smiled at him and Cullen forgot how to breath. “I really can’t blame you, he is a rather handsome little creature. Takes after me.”
“Felix?” Cullen hissed, breathing heavily as he convinced himself that whatever noise had woken him suddenly was not actually an intruder and he didn’t need to find the baseball bat he kept in the corner of his bedroom.
The cat jumped up onto his bed, settling against the extra pillow which he never used. Felix purred as he turned and curled up, his back tucked into the nape of Cullen’s neck.
Cullen sighed quietly and raised a hand to stroke the cat’s side, feeling the creature’s purr against his fingertips. It was oddly soothing, he thought. He’d never thought of himself as a cat person but little Felix might just make him rethink that.
Still, he imagined he should probably bring the cat back to his new neighbor. He scowled as he pulled on a pair of sweatpants and scooped Felix up onto his shoulder. Hopefully Dorian would still be awake this time of night.
He knocked. It was a few long moments before Dorian threw the door open, fingers threading through his hair, teasing it back into place.
“Felix! You simply must stop visiting our handsome neighbor in the middle of the night, you’re disturbing his beauty rest.” Dorian grinned as he cut off in a yawn.
Cullen flushed as Dorian plucked Felix from his shoulder, fingers trailing across his jaw.
“Thank you for bringing the little nuisance back… I suppose I never did catch your name.”
“C.. Cullen.” He stammered, flushing deeper in annoyance. “My name’s Cullen.”
“Well,” Dorian smiled. “Thank you for returning little Felix, Cullen. Sleep well.”
Cullen was roused from his nap on the couch by a loud thump. He looked around frantically but the source of the noise escapes him. Everything looked normal - the door was still tightly locked and nothing looked out of the ordinary - until he looked in the kitchen and found the refrigerator door wide open.
He knew he’d shut it, he must have. He hadn’t even opened it in the last day or so, choosing instead to go out for Chinese; the leftovers would last him for the next few days. So why was it open and why was there an open container of yogurt on the floor?
It had to be that damned cat.
“Felix!” He called as he wiped up the spilled yogurt on the floor.
“I know it was you,” he said as he opened one cupboard after another, finding each empty of anything other than dishes, glassware and half-empty boxes of cereal.
“Felix, come on,” he begged. “I just want to go back to sleep.”
He found Felix in the living room. Up on a high shelf, the shelf he’d never understood the purpose of. He certainly couldn’t reach it even standing on his tip-toes, so what was the point?
He dragged the ottoman over to the wall and stepped up on it, reaching up to grab Felix but he fell several inches short.
“How did you even get up there?”
Felix mewed, looking down at him with quick, bright eyes before settling back tight against the wall, even further out of Cullen’s reach.
He sighed. It was going to be a very long night. At least he might get to see Dorian again.
Dorian woke to a quick knock at his door and opened it to find his neighbor - Cullen, he thought that was the man’s name - standing outside, glaring at him.
“Do you have a ladder?”
“What?” Dorian asks, bemused.
“A ladder. To remove your cat from my shelf. I can’t reach him,” the blond spits, fists clenched.
“Cullen, why on earth would I have a ladder? I live in an apartment, same as you.”
“Oh, I don’t know. Possibly to remove your hellcat? He must get up on your bookshelves and I know you can’t reach the top of those. Are you even allowed to have a cat in these apartments?”
Maker knows why he wanted to reach out and touch Cullen even as he rages, trail his fingers across the man’s bare, muscled arm.
“I will have you know that little Felix is perfectly well-behaved when he’s with me. An absolute angel. Besides, I have a step-stool which is more than sufficient to remove him from the bookshelves.”
“Well, in my apartment he has found the absolute highest spot and I can’t reach him,” Cullen said as he took a step back, away from the man who is leaning in much too close to him, lips nearly brushing against his own if he hadn’t pulled away.
“Just… come get your cat, okay?”
Dorian groaned at the harsh rap of his neighbor’s knocking. It had to be Felix. Again. Couldn’t the man just keep him?
The knocking sped up and he heard his name again.
“Fine, I’m coming.” Dorian struggled to his feet, fingers casting about on the floor for yesterday’s discarded t-shirt.
When he opened the door an unhappy-looking Cullen thrust an even unhappier, very damp Felix at him. He raised an eyebrow.
“Do I want to know?”
“Your cat,” Cullen hissed. “He has apparently developed a taste for yogurt. I found him covered in it, completely soaked. I bathed him.”
Dorian choked back a laugh. “You bathed him?”
“Yes! And he bit me! Several times!” The man growled. “He was filthy, I was hardly going to bring him back in that state.”
Dorian laughed as he set Felix down on the floor, he couldn’t help himself. The man had the most disgruntled expression across his face, his scarred lips set in a scowl. “You are an absolute gem,” he whispered as he leaned towards him, pressing his lips against Cullen’s.
The blond didn’t pull away, instead returning the kiss as he raised a hand to fist through Dorian’s hair.
“And you,” Dorian whispered as he knelt down and leaned over to pet Felix’s head. “Are the best little matchmaker Ferelden has ever seen, aren’t you?”
“I don’t suppose I could interest you in a drink, Cullen?”
Cullen chuckled as he stepped through the doorway, pausing to press another quick kiss across Dorian’s lips. “With you and Felix? I think I might be tempted. And after Felix’s little adventure tonight you might just owe me one.”
Recipe of the Day: Ina’s Lemon Yogurt Cake Ina’s light, lemony loaf cake is a fan favorite. Calling for vegetable oil and whole-milk yogurt instead of butter, the batter is whisked with fresh lemon juice and zest for its citrusy edge. A drizzle of lemony glaze finishes it.