This fic was originally written for the BNHA Domestic Zine.
For the third time in the last fifteen minutes, Katsuki raises his eyes to the clock that hangs on the kitchen wall. On the table in front of him, the dinner he's prepared has grown cold, the soup that was supposed to be a nice way to warm up from the icy weather resting untouched in two bowls.
Shouto should've been home nearly an hour and a half ago.
It is not unusual for either of them to be late from their shifts–there's no knowing when a problematic villain will appear, when a last minute emergency call will come–but their previous setbacks had never lasted that long, and Shouto had always found a way to let Katsuki know if he was staying late to deal with paperwork.
Katsuki checks his phone again, but there are no new messages or missed calls.
Up until now, he'd been mostly annoyed, but the lack of contact from Shouto causes worry to start settling on his chest, anxiety similar to when he's on the battlefield with Shouto and death passes a little too close.
"Where are you, damn it," Katsuki mutters. Sitting still makes it worse; he pushes back the chair, ignoring the screeching sound the legs make against the floor as he strides towards the living room, hitting the call button after dialing Shouto's number.
The line rings once, twice. Katsuki paces in front of the window, casting glances at the scenery outside. At some point during the evening, it started to snow.
"You have reached..."
Katsuki lets out a noise of frustration, ending the call. If something's happened to you, bastard, I swear I'll kill you-
The sound of keys unlocking the front door makes Katsuki turn around so fast he nearly gets whiplash.
He's got the worst case scenario pictured in his mind–Shouto hurt and bleeding, collapsing into the genkan–so when Shouto steps through the door completely unharmed, wearing civilian clothes and holding a bunch of plastic bags in one hand and cradling what looks like a bundle of blankets with the other, Katsuki's first reaction is a sigh of relief.
Then, upon realizing that Shouto has clearly not been engaged in any life-threatening situations in the past hour and a half, relief quickly turns back into anger.
"Where the fuck have you been all this time?" he asks.
Shouto raises his head while taking off his shoes, confusion etched on his features. The plastic bags have been set aside, but he still hasn't let go of whatever he's holding in his left arm.
"Is it that late?"
"You didn't even notice the time?" Katsuki feels his eye twitch. He knows Shouto can be a little distracted sometimes, but this? His patience had been already running thin, and the way Shouto calmly contemplates him, as if Katsuki hasn't been worrying his ass offfor the better part of the night, is the last straw. "Your shift was supposed to end over an hour ago. Where have you been that you couldn't even bother to text me, you asshole!?"
With every word, Katsuki takes a step towards Shouto–for what he's not sure, maybe shake him or kiss him or both–but as Katsuki crowds in on him, Shouto stumbles back, pulling the bundle he's holding closer to his chest.
Which brings Katsuki's attention to the thing. Now that he's actually stopped to look at it, he notices that it's Shouto's jacket–and it's wrapped around something.
Something that lets out a low mewl and pushes a small paw out from the bundled fabric, clearly disturbed by the movement and noise.
Katsuki can only gape as Shouto's focus immediately switches to the thing, right hand coming up to grab the paw and rub it between his fingers.
"Is that a cat?"
Shouto doesn't look up as he hums in agreement. "I found her abandoned next to the agency just as I was leaving." Adjusting the kitten in his arms like he would a baby, he smiles as her other paw surges up, tapping at his index finger as she plays with it. "I had to stop by a vet before coming home. I forgot to warn you. Sorry."
Something that Katsuki had learned at the beginning of his relationship with Shouto was that he was really fond of cats. When they'd go out on dates, Shouto would suddenly stop walking to pet any stray that allowed him to get close enough; he'd been overjoyed when Katsuki took him to a new cat cafe that had opened in town, rapidly becoming a regular customer; when they'd moved in together, Katsuki found out Shouto had an assortment of cat themed clothes, including his favorite pajama pants.
So the soft smile on Shouto's face as he plays with the kitten doesn't come as a surprise for Katsuki, but the sight still dissipates some of his anger.
"Next time you do that, you better remember to let me know you'll be late or I'm locking you out of the house," Katsuki huffs, kneeling to take a look at the bags lying on the floor.
"You do know I have a copy of the keys."
"I'll take them, then lock you out." Katsuki means to add how Shouto shouldn't be this cheeky when he's just made Katsuki worry over nothing, but he's distracted by the content of the bag he peeks into.
It's filled with cat toys of all shapes and sizes. Katsuki picks up a small rat covered in cloth, and something jingles inside it. The other bags are also filled with items for cats–food, treats, even what Katsuki assumes is a litter box.
A low thud comes from behind him, and when Katsuki turns around he sees that the kitty is now on the ground. She looks tiny standing next to Shouto's feet, black fur puffing from her thin limbs, wide yellow eyes almost too big for her face.
As she sets out to sniff the content of the plastic bags, Shouto kneels next to Katsuki, and for the first time that night he hesitates before speaking.
"I was thinking we could keep her. If you're okay with it."
Katsuki snorts, not surprised at Shouto's words. He had already guessed it from all the stuff lying before him and the affectionate way Shouto had held the kitten; they'd even talked about getting a pet once or twice before, but had never actually taken the time to visit a shelter, always being swept up in their pro hero duties and forgetting about it.
"Considering you've already bought everything she'd need, it's more like you're sure."
He means it as a joke, but when he turns to look at Shouto, Katsuki finds him with his stare fixed forward, biting on his lower lip.
Shouto only does that when he's worried about something.
"Hey." Katsuki elbows him lightly, and Shouto finally turns to look at him. The jingling sound from before fills the air; the kitten must have found the rat toy. "Of course we can keep her."
Shouto's eyes widen in surprise before his expression softens into a smile, and Katsuki finds the corners of his own mouth tugging upwards. "But you'll be the one cleaning the litter box," he adds.
"Deal," Shouto immediately agrees. They both know that the deal won't hold true–Katsuki will end up doing the cleaning most days, since he has a need to keep the house in pristine conditions at all times–but it's not like he meant it as a serious condition in the first place.
The sound of his grumbling stomach distracts Katsuki from his own thoughts, and he's reminded of the soup that still awaits them in the kitchen.
"Can you put these things away?" Katsuki asks as he pulls himself up, knees protesting after being against the hard floor for so long. "I gotta reheat dinner."
"Sure." Shouto says, straightening up as well and dodging the cat that somehow managed to entangle herself and her newfound toy between his feet. "But don't you need help-"
"Don't even think about it." Katsuki jabs a finger into Shouto's chest. "Last time you tried to cook you nearly blew up the fucking microwave."
Shouto looks like he's about to protest, but his mouth closes with nothing but an amused huff. Katsuki smirks with the victory, even if he saw it coming–there is no denying that Shouto is a danger in the kitchen.
As he sets out to get their dinner ready–again–the noises of Shouto unpacking the purchases and the cat running around fill the previously silent rooms. The anger from before has all but ebbed away as Katsuki pours the soup back into a pot, falling into a familiar rhythm that soothes him now that his anxiety about Shouto is gone.
He's been stirring the soup for a few minutes when arms wrap around his waist, Shouto's hair tickling his neck as he leans his chin on Katsuki's shoulder.
"We need to give her a name," he says. Katsuki opens his mouth, but Shouto cuts him off before he can speak. "And if you say Queen Explosion Murder, I'm the one locking you out tonight."
"I was not going to say that," Katsuki protests. He's not lying, technically. He had only considered Queen Explosion Murder. Briefly.
"She needs a cute name," Shouto continues, pulling back so Katsuki can pour the now steaming soup back into the bowls. The cat chooses that exact moment to run into the kitchen, rat toy nowhere to be seen. She blinks at them a few times before going straight to the food bowl Shouto has placed next to the door.
They both find their eyes drawn to the kitten as they sit down to eat their own dinner. Katsuki thoughtfully contemplates her as he sips on his soup, something nagging at his mind at the sight of her tiny form.
Then it hits him.
"She looks like those things from that Ghibli movie you like," Katsuki voices his realization out loud. "The black things from the movie with the dragon."
It takes Shouto a few moments to understand what Katsuki's referring to, and when he does, his expression turns into an frown.
"She doesn't look like soot, Katsuki."
"She's small and black, and her fur is all spikey. I'd say she does."
"You are blind." Shouto looks positively offended, and Katsuki has to resist the urge to laugh. He still thinks he has a valid point, despite Shouto's obvious disagreement.
"What do you want to name her, then?"
Shouto doesn't answer him for a few minutes, his gaze going from his food to the kitten on the floor. Katsuki has rarely ever seen him this concentrated, and it's strangely endearing that he cares so much about what they're going to name the cat.
Said cat, unaware of the discussion happening between her new owners, has apparently decided that Katsuki makes a nice a pillow; moments after she's done eating, she jumps into his lap, curling up and purring so loud it nearly drowns any other sounds.
"Cupcake," Shouto finally says.
It's hardly the most creative name Katsuki's ever heard, but Shouto says it matter-of-factly, something resembling pride in his tone, and Katsuki can't bring himself to mock him. So he puts his nearly empty bowl down, turning his attention to the kitten on his lap and carefully running a finger over her head. She leans into the touch, and Katsuki doesn't know why that makes his chest fill with warmth–he's never been a sap, damn it, much less because of cats–but he finds himself saying, "Welcome home, Cupcake."
The moment the words leave his mouth, Katsuki wants to die of embarrassment. When he looks up, however, the soft smile on Shouto's face is directed at him–and Katsuki finds his own lips tilting upwards, Cupcake's happy purr in the background only getting more intense.
Maybe some things are worth being a sap for, after all.