A/N: Hello! I'm glad to see that there are some of you actually reading this, even though it's really weird and my first attempt at angst. That always makes me happy.
I'm posting waaaaaaaaaaaaaay earlier than planned, but I saw no reason not to. I became impatient.
If you don't know what's going on, hang in there, all will be explained in this chapter.
An especially huge thank you to mah buddeh Rue Sue for reviewing, favouriting, and following! You da bestest! Everyone take note and follow her lead!
Aight, the fluffy friendship is gone. Time for two chapters of my attempt at angst. That means Nicely being a sensitive lovesick puppy (or should I say kitty) and Benny being a complete assbutt.
And then it gets even darker. I think. And it becomes 99% long dialogue.
I know Benny is being a total intolerant scumbag, but try not to hate him too much. He's just very confused.
Also if anyone spots where I paraphrased "Radio-Friendly Pop Song" by Matt Fishel, I LOVE YOU AND YOUR TASTE IN MUSIC.
Welp, I think that's all for this author's note. Please leave a review explaining your feels. Because I know you will have some. Even if they are "you suck, BaconWrappedRainbows." Because telling me that is better than leaving me to suck without knowledge of my suckage.
Thanks, and enjoy!
-Everyone's favourite egomaniac, Katisha :)
Benny's eyes widened. "What?"
Nathan looked back at the feline, which then spontaneously morphed into something decidedly not a cat. It was indeed Nicely Johnson.
"I-I'm... sorry, Benny..." Nicely said awkwardly.
Benny stared at his roommate, trying to comprehend what had just happened.
Nathan looked at him too. "You better apologize, Nicely. This ain't no way to use your powers, even for mating purposes, and you know it. You're gonna have to explain this to Benny yourself, I ain't steppin' into this." Nathan's voice was stern, and Nicely immediately grasped the seriousness of the situation. He cowered away from his boss. "Yes, Mister Detroit." Nathan glared at Johnson one last time before exiting the room.
Once he was out of the room, it was just Benny and Nicely, staring awkwardly at each other.
"Benny... I'm sorry..."
Benny's blue eyes narrowed slowly. "I don't understand any of this, Nicely. So... you're the cat?"
"All this time, it was you?"
"How... I don't get it..."
"I know, I... you weren't meant to find out like this—"
Benny abruptly stood up, fists clenching tightly at his sides. "—You mean you were gonna keep this whole freakish thing a secret from me?"
Nicely stepped backward. "I was going to tell you eventually, I was just waitin' for the right time..."
Benny approached his friend. "You were gonna trick me like this until you were ready to stop?" he growled.
"I... I'm sorry, Benny, I really shouldn't have done—"
"—Damn right you shouldn't have! You're a disgusting freak, Alexander Johnson!"
Nicely's eyes closed in pain. Benny never used his real name. "I see why you would think that..."
Benny grabbed Johnson by the collar, shoving him forcefully against the wall.
"I can't believe what you got me to do to you."
"Yes, I-I'm sorry... I really am..."
"Well, sorry doesn't cut it!" Benny yelled.
"Please, Benny, you don't have to forgive me, just... don't hurt me..."
This pushed Southstreet over the line. "I have every right to hurt you!" he shouted, before his fist connected with Nicely's nose.
Benny threw the finished cigarette to the ground, walking out of the back alley he had been standing in. He wasn't a smoker. It wasn't a habit; he only smoked whenever he needed to think hard about something. And he needed to think. His best friend had just confessed, with the unwanted help of his boss, that he was somehow the cat that had been sneaking into Benny's life to be pet for the past month. He had no idea how this was possible and why it had happened, and now that his anger had receded a bit, he was ready to get an explanation from his roommate.
It was late when Benny returned to his apartment. He found Nicely sitting on the couch. The younger man looked quite tense as Benny approached him, and he looked up at him, his eyes widened in fright. Benny noticed how terrible the smaller gambler looked. His nose had stopped bleeding, but it was badly bruised, along with his temples and chin. His left eye was beginning to become swollen, it would definitely be a black eye. Benny wasn't very remorseful for what he had done to his best friend. From what he knew so far, Nicely deserved it.
Benny cleared his throat. "So, Alexander," he started, his voice calm, but not friendly.
Nicely waited for him to continue, the tension in his body remaining the same.
"I don't think I'll hit you again. Not unless you really deserve it."
Nicely allowed himself to relax a tiny bit. "A-alright."
Benny sat down in an armchair across from the couch that his roommate was occupying.
"I'm guessin' you have questions..." Nicely said quietly, his eyes not quite meeting Benny's.
"Yes, I do. And you're going to answer them."
"I'll do my best."
Benny sighed in exasperation. "Okay. Let's start with the obvious one. What are you?"
Nicely swallowed. "Uh, well..."
Benny looked at him impatiently.
"Benny, I know you ain't gonna believe this, because of how completely strange it is, and I've been lying to you constantly do the past month, but please, just believe me—"
"—Cut this nonsense, just tell me right now what the hell you are!" Benny was yelling again, and Nicely cringed, shrinking away in fright.
"O-okay..." Nicely stuttered. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before finally making eye contact with his friend. "I'm... I ain't human, obviously. I'm sort of... a spirit. I'm part of a race of immortal beings that can take the shape of a human and one kind of animal. There are about a hundred of us on Earth, livin' around here and there. We don't have much magical abilities other than shapeshiftin', but if we get killed, we come back to life after a day."
Benny nodded. "Okay... So... you're an immortal magical guy who can turn into a cat?"
Southstreet shook his head, laughing in disbelief as he leaned back into the chair. "Alright. So... how did Nathan know?"
"Nathan is another one. That's how he could talk to me when I was a cat."
"Wow... So is he secretly your brother or something?"
"No. Nathan is... much older than me."
Benny gave the other man a confused look. "What? He's thirty-three years old, he's told me. You're only ten or so years younger than him."
"Well, Benny, Nathan looks about thirty-five years old. That's when we all stop aging physically. But we're immortal, remember? He's actually closer to..." Nicely thought for a moment. "One thousand, three hundred and fifty-two years old... I think."
Benny was incredulous. "What?"
"You heard me."
"And how old are you, exactly?"
"I'm really twenty-three."
"Does Nathan also turn into a cat?"
"No, we all turn into different animals. Our animal represents our soul. Nathan's a seagull."
Benny laughed. "A seagull? Wow."
Nicely smirked slightly. "Mm-hm."
"Okay, so... Why did you do this anyway? Why did you sneak into the apartment as a cat and get me to pet you?"
Johnson's smirk faded immediately, replaced by a distraught expression and a dark blush. "Uh... Well..."
Benny shifted in his seat, eyes glued on his friend.
"Benny... Can I... It's rather late, and I'd like to sleep on it... I don't think I quite have the words to describe it yet—"
"—No, I want you to tell me right now."
"Please, Benny, it's been a stressful day for me, and I need to sleep. I promise that I'll explain everything first thing tomorrow morning."
"No. It's been just as stressful for me as for you, and I ain't gonna wait another day to know exactly what's going on and exactly why you did it."
"Benny, I..." his voice trailed off. "...Alright. I'll tell you now. You deserve to know."
Nicely sighed, looking pained as he thought for a moment about what to say. "Okay. I'm just gonna explain a bit more about what I am, so that you understand what I'm telling you. So, another thing about us; we don't go through love and datin' and all that before we reproduce. We're born knowin' which human we will love. We know their name and where they live from the moment we're born. We start lovin' them before we've even met, and, for some, before they even exist. Our purpose is to find them, care for them, and eventually mate with them. This'll cause them to become one of us, as well as a new member of our species to be magically born, and then raised by our elders. Our love for our potential mate ain't like human love, though. It's more like an obsession. It's feverish, passionate love that never dies. It can be calmed a bit, but it's really consuming. It drives us mad."
"Alright, so... This whole petting thing was because you're going crazy for some doll?"
"No, Benny. That's not it."
"So what is it then?"
Nicely sighed deeply. "I..." his voice trailed off again. "Benny, don't take this the wrong way, but... I..."
Benny looked at him expectantly.
"I'm in love with you."
Southstreet's jaw dropped. "What...?"
"I love you, Benny. You're... my mate. I've always loved you and I've always wanted you and I think you're perfect and—"
"—You... love... me?" Benny repeated slowly.
"But... we're both guys! That ain't natural—"
"—Benny, please let me explain! I just love you, and I always have... I love you so much that it drove me crazy! I couldn't contain myself anymore; I wanted to be nearer to you, I needed you to touch me, to hold me... And I knew I couldn't do that as a human, so I did it as a cat. I know it was wrong, Benny, I know, I tricked you, and I hate myself for it, but I couldn't help it any longer! I've wanted you since before you knew who I was, and I was gonna wait longer, and I was gonna tell you in a nice way, and I ruined it, I know. I know you're mad at me, and you're allowed to be mad at me. You don't have to forgive me, Benny; you can hate me if you want. But just try to understand. You've been in love! You know what love does! Please, please try to understand. I know I'm wrong, but..." The words that were cascading out of Nicely's mouth suddenly stopped. "I... love you, and I don't want to imagine life without you. I understand if you hate me, but, just for me, can you please, please consider being... my mate?"
Benny furrowed his brow. "What? You... Are you crazy?" the human got up off the chair, towering over the other man. "Your... 'mate'? Do you even... You're a guy, Alexander. I'm also a guy. You know who guys are supposed to 'mate' with? Dolls. Dolls like guys, and guys like dolls; and that's the way it's been forever. That's the way I do it. That's the way everyone does it. I don't know what's goin' on in that freaky mind of yours that made you forget that that's how it works. But it's obviously somethin' big, 'cause you've gone crazy."
Nicely shrunk away from Benny's insults, his eyes starting to become shiny with tears. However, Southstreet didn't seem to notice.
"I mean," Benny continued, "just look at what you've made me do to you! I've... pet you, held you... hell, I even slept with you in my arms. And it's disgusting. I'm disgusted with you, Alexander Johnson. Yes, I've been in love, and yes, it's made me do crazy things. But I've been in love with women. Like a normal man. So no, I will not be your 'mate'. Goodnight." With that, Benny walked to his bedroom, leaving a shattered Nicely alone.
He cried freely now; Benny wouldn't notice.