Joe Gibken ([personal profile] ajoeface) wrote2012-10-03 11:23 am

Catboy!AU: Cuddles are the Best Medicine, Part 3

[ooc: continued from here.]

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Joe doesn't like him. For a start Sid greets him by saying, "Marvelous," and if that's his name, well. Joe just stares blankly.

Secondly he has to keep at the forefront of his mind that there could be the possiblity of abuse here, so he can't be swayed by that look of relief on this Marvelous's face when they appear at his front door. And there's also the way he can't seem to resist giving Sid a quick once over despite the situation, unthinking like a reflex. Joe can't really like anyone who looks at Sid the way he looks at Sid; with want. A prickle runs down his spine, and he's thankful nobody can see the way his hair stands up on end beneath his shirt. It isn't entirely fair of him to get all territorial about this, not when things between him and Sid are... complicated. And especially not right now when he has a job to do! So Joe reminds himself calmly that yes, maybe Marvelous is exuding that faint but persistent human sex musk under his cloying aftershave (okay, it isn't really that cloying - living with a catperson there's no way he could lay it on too thickly without them likely having respiratory issues in response), but Sid not only isn't himself, he hasn't even seemed to notice Marvelous eyeing him up.

It's not important right now. Joe nods shortly as Sid introduces him and lets Sid handle all the talking. Of course it will be better to hear from this catperson - Don - himself his version of events, but Sid likes to scope out the situation as much as possible so that he's prepared. Especially since he won't be approaching Don straight away.

Sid then explains again to Marvelous the purpose of Joe's presence here, and Joe can feel the prickle of his fur rising up again as he waits for Marvelous's response. He hasn't been able to completely discard the natural instinct just because he's met a few nice humans at the clinic. Marvelous looks over at him, but Joe can't actually read his expression. It isn't outright disapproving, but perhaps he's just good at hiding that.

"Have you got a problem with it?" Joe asks, trying to sound blank instead of confrontational - that wouldn't help at all.

"No, I just don't know if he'll like it," Marvelous says. He does actually look quite concerned. Which just goes to show how little he actually knows about catpeople. Joe feels sorry for him, briefly, but it passes.

"I'll be careful," Joe promises. He shares a silent nod with Sid before entering the main room of the house properly on his own.

There's a golden-haired purebred sitting on the sofa with his foot propped up in front him, staring at him wide-eyed. Joe stuffs down all the potential ways he could judge Marvelous for having a purebred for further examination later on. Joe has grown up hearing plenty about purebreds, but he's never met one, and he's fairly sure none of the catpeople he was brought up with had either, so everything he's ever learnt about them could all be the stuff of rumours. And it could just as easily be true.

He hangs right back at first, leaving plenty of distance between himself and Don so as not to seem to be flagrantly invading his territory. Don's scent is all over the house - not that Joe is able to pinpoint it in every room, but the fact that his scent isn't restricted at all means he isn't either. Some catpeople in his experience have been confined to certain areas of the house, though that isn't always a sign of abuse, sometimes it's just a standing arrangement that works for everyone involved.

A minute or two is more than long enough for Don to catch his scent - he doesn't even need a full minute for that in reality. Joe moves towards him with a steady pace, not rushing. He thinks he can see Don trembling as he approaches, but if he is in fear of what might happen then Joe hesitating over this will only put it off longer. He knows his ears and tail are visibly held in non-threatening positions, too, which should help.

Joe glances briefly at Don's ankle, then takes a seat at one end of the sofa, leaving plenty of space between himself and Don. Between humans who don't know one another (or between humans and catpeople), initiating physical contact this quickly is an action limited to and only acceptable in very particular social situations. Between catpeople it's a different story. Joe has no concerns about bridging the gap between himself and Don by laying his tail across Don's thigh and letting it move back and forth lightly at the end.

Joe doesn't say things like, you can trust me, because if anyone is to believe that they don't need to be told it outright. He doesn't even introduce himself, or say anything yet. He just looks at Don openly as he gives Don a chance to decide what he'll make of this. It's fairly instinctive for catpeople to reach out for the comfort of another, but some really are too suspicious and have suffered too much mistreatment for that, and Joe doesn't like to make assumptions.
foodispriority: (captain marvelous - gokai red)

[personal profile] foodispriority 2012-11-19 12:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Marvelous meets Sid's apology with a simple nod - he's sure it's an understandable mistake to make, to assume a human who seems responsible for the catboy he's with is his owner, but maybe there's a faux pas here he is missing, having the least experience with catpeople out of everyone in the room. He decides to keep his mouth shut in regards to it and if need be it can be explained to him later, privately.

Don skips over it too anyway, in favour of the insurance issue. His voice falters a few times as he speaks.

"Don, it's not a problem if you don't want to use the insurance," Marvelous says, reaching out for Don's hand and taking it into his. "If it is actually still valid." Even if Don hadn't told him before about his past and that he hadn't liked the centre he'd grown up in Marvelous would've been able to hear the reluctance in his voice at the mention of it right now. So he probably doesn't want to go back there, or even get in contact with them to check either way. That makes sense. It's not something to be ashamed of.

"I would've paid anyway," Marvelous continues, hoping to reassure Don as much as possible. "I was going to. So don't worry about that. I promise you don't have to go back there if you don't want to."

That should do it, surely.

When he glances around he notices Joe is just looking at them curiously, as if waiting to see how things are going to play out. He doesn't feel like he's done anything wrong, as such - he knows he hasn't - but it's a little odd.
moehakase: (blanket close-up)

[personal profile] moehakase 2012-11-19 12:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Don blinks in surprise when Marvelous takes his hand and assures him that he doesn’t have to go back to the center, not even mentioning the purebred thing. Had he not heard Don properly?

“It’s not that,” says Don quickly, “I mean, it wasn’t even the center that was bad, the people there were really nice, it was just that we were purebreds so they were training us to do shows, a-and I really hated that, I didn’t want an owner who would make me do shows all my life... And we wouldn’t be going there anyway, my insurance papers are at the lawyer’s office, the one who handled my emancipation, along with my pedigree and everything, b-because I didn’t want to carry them on me anymore.” He stops for a moment, realizing he’s been babbling, and lowers his eyes again.

“I was scared that if I had them someone would try to take me and sell me,” he adds softly, clinging to Marvelous’s hand. “That was why I emancipated, too, because I thought that person would sell me because of my pedigree, and I didn’t want to be sold to a show trainer, or...” He trails off, not wanting to think about the other possibilities. “I’m sorry I never told you before.”
foodispriority: (thinking naughty thoughts)

[personal profile] foodispriority 2012-11-19 01:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Don seems to have forgotten anyone else is here at all anymore, and Marvelous is prepared to do the same if Don needs to have this out now. He could easily escort Sid and Joe out with promises to sort this out later, even slip some money Sid's way to tide them over and let him know they aren't trying to run out on the bill or anything (Marv may have done that in the past a few times in his life, but that was different entirely. That was alcohol and people at clubs who didn't put out) (and as if they can anyway, he invited Sid to his home for this!), but that would probably just leave them to speculate on what had happened anyway. Marv doesn't like the idea of anyone gossiping about Don, though he's fairly sure neither Sid or Joe would.

"I see," Marvelous says slowly. It's been a lot of information to try and take in, now that he realises it matters. Of course there's an importance to being a purebred, it's the same with animal breeds. So he can take what he knows from that and apply it here, to some extent? "It doesn't bother me that you didn't tell me. It doesn't change anything for me. It does," he says, smirking at Don despite the situation because he really can't help himself, "explain why you are so pretty though."

He then wraps his arm around Don's shoulder and pulls him close.

"Nothing like that is going to happen to you," he says. "You're safe here. And," it occurs to him to add this, just for the sake of clarity, "I wouldn't sell you for any price. You're worth much more than that to me."
moehakase: (don and navi)

[personal profile] moehakase 2012-11-19 01:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Don hadn’t known what kind of reaction to expect from Marvelous, but he definitely hadn’t expected this - for Marvelous to take in the new information so easily, and not even be bothered by it, before pulling Don close and holding him to his chest. You’re safe here, he says. And I wouldn't sell you for any price. You're worth much more than that to me.

“Oh, Marvelous,” cries Don, hiding his face in Marvelous’s shoulder. He’d been so scared to tell Marvelous that he was a purebred - he’s seen the way humans can change and show their true colors when money is involved, and as much as he trusts Marvelous, he’s been too frightened of the possibility of being sold to want to reveal his value. To hear Marvelous actually say that he’d never sell him, and that Don is worth more to him than any amount of money, makes Don’s heart feel so full it might burst from joy and relief. “Thank you,” he says, clinging to Marvelous’s shirt with the hand that isn’t clutching Marvelous’s own hand.

He rubs his cheek against Marvelous’s shoulder for a moment. “If you ever want to come with me to pick up the insurance papers and stuff...” he says, his voice soft, “I wouldn’t mind just keeping them here, so I can have my emancipation certificate and everything. And we could at least see if the insurance is valid still.” Don doesn’t want to make Marvelous pay any more for his treatments than he has to, after all, not when Marvelous has been so gracious as to pay all of his expenses from the moment he arrived on Marvelous’s doorstep.
foodispriority: (back to school)

[personal profile] foodispriority 2012-11-19 01:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Marvelous doesn't take it personally that Don didn't tell him; he has no idea the sort of money people pay out in order to own catpeople (even when he simply thinks about that he finds himself gritting his teeth), but it is probably a ridiculous amount considering the sheer amount of stores and businesses that cater to their needs alone. That doesn't mean they're all treated right. Marvelous has had material things, and they're no substitute for somebody who cares. Or somebody you can care about in return. Bad enough imagining Don suffering that sort of fate, and that's nowhere near the worst possibility.

"You don't need to thank me for that," he says with a smile. Will Don ever break free of that habit? He looks at Don as he speaks, nodding along to his words; of course it would be better for Don to have possession of his own paperwork now that there's somewhere perfectly safe to keep it. He might need it, in situations like now.

"Hey, I'm all for the insurance covering the costs if it's still valid," Marvelous shrugs cheerfully, and then adds, "after all, we could be spending that money on much more fun things!" He winks down at Don and squeezes him gently.

He then looks up at Sid. "So we don't have the paperwork here, but we can get it settled within the next week I should think. And if it isn't valid I'll pay directly. Do you need a deposit to stand as surety in the meantime?"
moehakase: (don and navi)

[personal profile] moehakase 2012-11-21 12:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Don is always so overwhelmed by Marvelous’s generosity - how he does so many wonderful things and then says that he doesn’t even expect Don to thank him! Don will never not be thankful, though; he doesn’t want to take anything Marvelous does for granted. And he definitely doesn’t want Marvelous to ever think that Don doesn’t appreciate all the things he does for him! So when Marvelous says Don doesn’t have to thank him, Don just nuzzles his shoulder a little more in response.

He can’t help smiling a little when Marvelous winks at him. It’s true, spending money on pretty clothes and naughty toys is much more fun than paying for medical expenses. Don tries not to blush too much at the thought of what specifically Marvelous might have in mind to buy. “Okay,” he says, and rests his head on Marvelous’s shoulder again. Don isn’t in any particular hurry to go out and get his paperwork back, especially not with his ankle the way it is, but he’s glad that it won’t be a liability for him anymore, and if the insurance is still valid, Don can do a little more to pull his own weight.

Marvelous asks Doctor Sid about the payment, whether they can defer it until they’ve. “There’s no rush,” replies Doctor Sid. “Don’t worry about getting the paperwork sorted out so quickly; Don needs to rest his ankle, after all. His recovery is what’s most important. We can work out the rest later. But I would appreciate a deposit right now, just to help us cover for the immediate expenses.” Doctor Sid stands up. “Can I ask you for that right now?”

Don isn’t exactly eager to let go of Marvelous, but he doesn’t want to cling and make him feel guilty, either, so he just gives Marvelous a little hug to convey that he’ll be alright before letting go. He can always cuddle up to Marvelous again later, after all, and maybe he can take this time to have a last snuggle with Joe before he and Doctor Sid have to leave.
moehakase: (blanket close-up)

[personal profile] moehakase 2012-11-29 01:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Don’s ears droop when Marvelous and Doctor Sid get up to leave, but it’s not long before he feels Joe touching him again, one hand in Don’s hair as he asks how Don’s ankle is feeling.

“It’s a little better now,” he says, turning to look at Joe again. It’s really so nice to have another catperson around, especially one as gentle and friendly as Joe. Don shifts himself slightly in order to curl up to him again, leaning down to lay his head on Joe’s shoulder while wrapping his arms around Joe’s waist. He nuzzles Joe’s shoulder out of gratitude. “Thank you, Joe.”

Don just clings to him for a little while, taking comfort in the warmth of his body, the familiarity of his scent, before speaking again. “...I wish you didn’t have to go,” he says softly. “I hope you don’t think I’m too clingy, or that I’m just a silly purebred or something... I just want you to stay.” He hugs Joe a little tighter and looks up at him. “Promise I’ll get to see you again?” He knows he’s being selfish, asking so much of Joe, but he can’t help it; he’s missed having another catperson’s company, and Joe is just so wonderful. If not for the pain in his ankle, Don wouldd be purring in Joe’s arms right now.