A ball of fur is thrust into Jaemin’s hands, a quick flash of white, orange, and black, before the familiar weight of one of Jeno’s cats is in his arms and a familiar boy is staring at him, unimpressed at being woken up once again by a cat sneaking into his apartment.
(Jeno’s cats keep sneaking into the apartment next door, and while Jeno and Jaemin do feel bad the cats sneak into Renjun’s apartment so often, they can’t really mind when they get to see Renjun everyday.)
Author’s Note: I’m sorry this is so late ToT
I never in a million years thought I would be writing NCT, but...here we are. I couldn’t the idea of a disgruntled Renjun returning cats to the next door apartment out of my head once I read this prompt (which can be found here). I kind of took liberty with the personalities of Jeno’s cats, since I only know that Nal is the shyest one, I hope no one minds ^^” I also tried looking up the genders of the cats, but I only know that Nal is a boy since Jeno said so in a tweet. There have been different accounts that Bongsik is a girl/is a boy, but since I couldn’t find the original Korean tweets about it, I just left it ambiguous.
A ball of fur is thrust into Jaemin’s hands, a quick flash of black, orange, and white, before the familiar weight of one of Jeno's cats is in his arms.
Absentmindedly petting the cat he’s now in possession of, Jaemin simply flashes a bright smile at the boy on the other side of the door, the smile that Donghyuck always tells him is way too damn large and terrifying, but Jaemin thinks he’s full of shit. Besides, Jeno always mentions how much he loves Jaemin’s smile, so Donghyuck’s opinion doesn’t mean anything to him, just like most of the time Jaemin’s opinion doesn’t mean anything to Donghyuck.
“Dearest Renjun,” Jaemin says, still smiling. He has long since stopped trying to correct Renjun by telling him that this is technically Jeno’s cat and not his. To be fair, what is Jeno’s is Jaemin’s and what is Jaemin’s is Jeno’s, but Jeno was the one who rescued Bongsik and who signed the adoption papers for Seol and Nal years ago, before the two of them started dating. “To what do I owe the pleasure of seeing your beautiful face this lovely Saturday morning?”
Renjun’s expression is as flat as it always is when things like this happen, but Jaemin can’t help but think that he looks absolutely adorable in his red and black flannel pajama pants and large, white long-sleeve, hair flopping over his eyes in what Jaemin knows as his “I just got out of bed and I’m not happy about it” look.
“I thought I asked you to close your windows,” Renjun replies, completely forgoing Jaemin’s question. It isn’t the first time and Jaemin is sure it won’t be the last. From what Jaemin has gathered in the few weeks that they’ve been neighbors, Renjun seems like the type of guy who doesn’t have the time nor the interest in answering questions he doesn’t deem useful, and although Jaemin is slightly hurt that his flirting is brushed off so easily, it isn’t going to deter him so easily. Besides, it isn’t like Jaemin has to really try to flirt – Renjun is more than attractive and Jaemin is more than happy to let him know just how much he thinks so. Jeno sure as hell isn’t going to do it despite how he thinks the same way, so Jaemin has figured that he just has to take one for the team on this.
Jaemin pouts. “But Jeno says the cats need to get out a little every once in a while. Our apartment is too small for them, they need the fresh air.” As he says that, the cat in his arms starts to wiggle around, no longer interested in being held and pet. Jaemin would be offended, but Seol has always been one of the more active cats and has always liked Jeno more, something Jaemin understands on a personal level, so he lets Seol down with a coo, watching as the cat scampers off.
Letting out an exasperated sigh, one that Jaemin has become very familiar with, Renjun says, “But do they have to come into my apartment every morning?”
It should probably be a little concerning how much Jaemin relates to three cats, because if he were a cat, he’s sure that he would waltz into Renjun’s apartment as well. He has never been over to Renjun’s apartment, but Jaemin just knows that Renjun keeps his apartment warm with how often he sees Renjun waddling down the hallway with a fluffy coat on, and he’s sure it smells nice simply because it’s where Renjun lives.
Shrugging, Jaemin says, “I mean you’re the one with the hole in the window screen? And I bet that you give great hugs. The cats clearly have great taste.”
“I would appreciate it if I didn’t wake up every other morning with a furry space heater on my pillow,” Renjun replies before letting out the cutest yawn Jaemin has ever seen, sweater paw coming up to cover his mouth. Jaemin only barely holds back from letting out a coo, fingers twitching with the need to pull Renjun into his arms for a hug like he always does when he finds something Jeno does cute.
Just then, something soft brushes against his leg, a meow echoing throughout the air as Bongsik bypasses Jaemin’s legs to rub against Renjun’s legs with a purr.
Jaemin’s heart just about bursts at the cute sight, how Renjun is looking down with the most adorably confused expression on his face, like he hasn’t brought that specific cat over from his apartment at least three times now. It’s endearing how much Jeno’s cats like Renjun.
And although Jaemin is in the face of Renjun at arguably his most adorable, he takes pity on Renjun this one time, if only because Renjun does look quite tired and he doesn’t want to burden Renjun more than he has to. He has no idea what Renjun’s major is, but whatever it is seems to be keeping him up at night if the dark circles under his eyes are any indication. “I’ll try to talk to Jeno about it, but he’s currently taking a midterm right now and he usually comes home exhausted and only wanting to eat ice cream and cuddle. So maybe tomorrow?”
Renjun tilts his head to the side, and Jaemin isn’t entirely sure why he felt the need to tell Renjun all of that, it kind of just all came tumbling out, his endless endearment for Jeno pouring out like a waterfall of information. Jisung always grumbles that he knows way more about Jeno than he ever needs to thanks to Jaemin, but Mark always hushes him and says that he’s the same about Chenle.
“Sure, that’s fine,” Renjun finally says, voice now soft and sweet, the annoyance from earlier seemingly abated now that there might be a potential solution in the works. He blinks from Jaemin down to Bongsik still curling around his legs and back up at Jaemin again, Jaemin’s heart picking up speed when Renjun doesn’t stop looking him right in the eyes. Jaemin ignores the loud beating of his heart as he bends down to scoop Bongsik up and pet through the soft grey fur on the cat’s back. Bongsik starts purring immediately, happy to be coddled, and Jaemin smiles down at the cat.
Taking Bongsik’s paw, he makes the cat wave at Renjun, smiling as he says, “See you tomorrow!”
Renjun only rolls his eyes before turning and going back to his own apartment.
“Maybe we should lock the cat door?” Jeno asks, a thoughtful look on his face later the next day when Jaemin brings up Renjun’s request. Jaemin can tell Jeno doesn’t like that idea, though, from the way his lips are drawn down in a slight pout and the way his eyes linger on Nal curled up in his lap.
Jaemin shrugs. “We’ve told him before that he could just put up a board to cover the hole in his screen, but considering he hasn’t done it yet, I don’t really think he minds as much as he says he does. Although I would think that he would want to fix that as soon as possible because there are a disgusting amount of bugs that could come through that opening.”
Renjun had visited again earlier in the morning, this time with Bongsik in his arms, or at least that’s what Jeno had said. Jaemin had still been sleeping when Renjun came over, and it was only after he stopped pouting about missing the opportunity to see Renjun again did he bring up what he promised Renjun yesterday.
Jeno only pouts down at Nal as he runs a hand through his black fur. “I do feel bad that they keep sneaking into his apartment, but you remember what happened before we put that little door in the window.”
Jaemin flinches at the memory, both from how much of a bitch it was to get that cat door in the window in the first place and from how miserable Jeno had been that his cats were miserable being stuck inside for days on end.
“We could offer to get him a new window screen?” Jaemin suggests. It seems like the most reasonable solution, since he knows that Jeno would never feel comfortable locking the cat door and Jaemin would never feel comfortable knowing that Jeno would constantly be stressed out about his cats. He has enough to worry about with classes, Jaemin doesn’t want Jeno to have to worry about his cats when they’re such a large source of happiness and comfort for him. “I’m sure if we explain why we have a cat door in the window, Renjun would be understanding?”
The look Jeno sends Jaemin can only be read as grateful, his shoulders visibly relaxing at Jaemin’s suggestion. Jaemin smiles. He isn’t sure that Jeno even knew how tense he had gotten, but Jaemin has always been more than attuned to Jeno and his habits.
The only problem now is talking to Renjun again, and if the pattern continues, Jaemin isn’t sure about how amiable Renjun is going to be with a rogue cat in his arms, either exhausted in the early morning after being woken up, or exhausted in the afternoon after coming home from classes.
Watching as Jeno now pets Nal with a content smile on his face, Jaemin can only hope that Renjun really isn’t as bothered about the cats showing up at his apartment as he appears to be.
It's your turn now, miyeokguk ^^