Animals (An XCOM 2 Fic)

Here we are, another short fic that I wrote for fun in the span of maybe… thirty minutes at the most? Probably less than that. It’s completely not serious, and I honestly can’t say for sure if it will even be canon to the proper fanfic I hope to write in a couple eons… But ah well, it has kittens! Enjoy.

With how ADVENT was bound and determined to eliminate all animals from the Earth, she supposed it was only natural there’d be people doing everything they could to preserve as many of Mother Nature’s beloved, albeit extraordinarily destructive children as possible. She knew, deep down, what an admirable goal this was.

Even so, as a small corgi puppy decided pulling on her pantleg was a splendid idea, XCOM Commander Takashi Lund mostly thought about how much she loathed animals.

“You can stop now,” Takashi glared down at the corgi, gritting her teeth as the golden ball of fluff slobbered all over her boot. It kept pulling on the navy blue fabric, growling like a vehicle engine. Takashi clenched her fists. “Listen here, Fido, if you don’t stop whatever the hell this is, I swear, I am going to…”

“Sorry to keep you waiting!” Takashi resisted the overwhelming desire to just scream and probably throw up as the woman dashed into view, covered head to toe in birds and lemurs. The woman smiled nervously. “We’ve been really busy, as I’m sure you’re aware, but Dr. Moreau –don’t ask me about that name- will be able to see you shortly! Again, I’m so sorry.”

“If you could refrain from stepping any closer, that’d be great,” Takashi seethed, and the woman stepped back. “Thank you, perfect, just stay there if you aren’t actually going to go away. Oh, if you’d be so kind, can you get this damn mutt off me?”

The woman blinked, and then looked down at the corgi right as it tore a chunk of fabric away, exposing a small portion of Takashi’s leg. It let out a bark of victory, keeping the soaked fabric in its mouth. Takashi’s eyes flashed with anger, and the woman’s grew wide with terror. “O-Oh! Bad dog, bad! That’s not very nice! Go play somewhere else!”

The corgi hopped away in triumph, carrying its prize as the woman chased it down the hall. Takashi’s rage didn’t cool in the slightest, and she looked at her ruined pantleg and drenched boot. Some of the corgi’s saliva even made contact with her skin!

Absolutely disgusting.

“I think you’ve made a spiritual connection with that corgi,” Bradford commented, and didn’t even flinch when Takashi whirled around to glare at him. “It’s just a puppy, Takashi. It doesn’t know any better. God, you look like it just murdered everything you love. Lighten up a little, will ya?”

“Don’t call me Takashi,” she grumbled, crossing her arms and holding her head up high as if she was above everything. “We’ve been over this. Hundreds of times.”

“Whatever you say, sunshine.”

Takashi hardened her glare and clenched her fists, shaking like an explosive just waiting to go off. Instead of erupting into incoherent rage and copious amounts of swearing, she stood upright and took in a deep breath to calm herself. The glare melted away, but her default expression of looking ticked off about something or another remained. She turned her back to Bradford, staring down the hall and waiting for Dr. Moreau. She couldn’t wait to give the doctor a piece of her mind.

And then she heard it.

A high-pitched mewl, nothing more than a little squeak at best. It sounded like an angel, one that was begging for help, for salvation, for simple affection. The voice of a pitiful creature in desperate need of love in a world so cold and cruel.

Takashi looked down and saw a snow white kitten with bright blue eyes. At least, she thought it was a kitten, as it looked more like a tiny white blob with stubby legs, a pointy tail, and huge eyes. Must’ve been a newborn, she reasoned, one that had just learned how to walk and beg strangers for food and cuddles.

This might’ve worked on weaker people, in fact Takashi thought she heard Bradford let out a disgustingly delighted noise at the kitten. But it didn’t work on her.

“Go bug someone else,” Takashi raised her left foot and gingerly nudged the kitten with it, pushing the mewling feline across the floor and away from her. “Go chase some mice, go puke up a million furballs, I don’t give a damn, just do it away from me.”

The kitten latched onto Takashi’s boot with its tiny, yet sharp claws, getting pulled along the floor when Takashi moved her foot back. Once the movement ended, the kitten whined again and pulled itself on top of the boot, pawing at Takashi’s leg.

“Get off of me,” Takashi growled, wanting desperately to launch the kitten into the air. She kept that desire bottled up, well aware Dr. Moreau would have choice words to say if she so much as misplaced a hair on one of his precious animals. What kind of guy calls himself Dr. Moreau when his goal is to preserve animal life, anyway?

Undaunted, the kitten hooked its claws into the fabric of Takashi’s pants, almost reaching her skin. It looked up at her and let out a shrill squeak, beginning the treacherous journey of climbing up Takashi’s pantleg.

“Central, would you do me a favour and remove this thing before it does something we’ll all regret?” Takashi hissed through clenched teeth, her body frozen and unable to grab the kitten to pull it away. Silence greeted her. “Central? The cat, please. Get rid of it. I don’t care what you do with it. Marry it if you want, just get it away from me. Central, are you even listening-“

Takashi turned around to see Bradford covering his mouth, trying very hard to keep himself from laughing. Judging by the way his body was shaking and the mischievous glint in his eyes, his attempts were ending in complete failure. She narrowed her eyes, and that only made him shake more.

“Useless,” Takashi huffed, turning away and then letting out a yelp of surprise and pain when the kitten’s claws poked her stomach. She glared at the furry menace, biting back another yelp with each passing second as the kitten continued to climb. “Okay, I’ll admit, your claws are actually pretty sharp. That’s great for you, now would you stop digging into me already?”

The kitten responded with a pitiful meow, and continued its daring climb to whatever. Takashi’s left eye twitched when she saw the kitten getting too close to her face. Ignoring the mental cries of disgust, she moved one hand behind the kitten, holding it up while her free hand gingerly grabbed its tiny paws and yanked them from her shirt. “Yeah, no. Your journey ends here.”

Takashi froze at the feeling of the kitten’s soft, warm fur on her skin, and a tingling sensation went through her bones. The kitten reached a delicate paw out, touching Takashi’s chest and feeling her heartbeat against the pads of its paw. It placed its other paw over her heart and started kneading with both, and she stood there staring at it, her brain unable to process what her eyes were seeing.

“You have been blessed,” Bradford said, and Takashi didn’t bother to turn and look at him. “That kitten has chosen you. I’m not sure why, I’m pretty sure it could do better, but it could also do a lot worse. Rejoice.”

But Takashi continued to stand there like a statue, holding the kitten in her hands while it kneaded her chest. Her mind had crashed, her heartbeat had synced itself with the kitten’s, time had ceased to move, and all that existed was the warmth of the kitten against her cold heart of stone.

“Blessed, huh…” Takashi whispered, regaining a bit of control over her own mind.

She smiled, letting the kitten’s warmth melt away the ice coating her heart. She felt like a brand new person, and in that moment, she knew exactly what she needed to do.

What she should’ve done at the beginning.

“Then how about you get blessed by this damn thing?” Takashi snarled, whipping around and thrusting the kitten into Bradford’s arms and ignoring its confused meows. “Take it! I don’t have time for this nonsense.”

“Hey, careful!” Bradford grumbled, rubbing the kitten’s head with his thumb to calm it down. “This baby is fragile.”

“Whatever. Just keep it away from me.”

Before Bradford could protest, Takashi stormed down the hall in search of Dr. Moreau. Once she disappeared from sight, he shrugged and looked down at the kitten, smiling as it reached its paw out to touch his chin. “Aww…”

And then he felt a weight on his boots and the bottoms of his pantlegs. He looked down, seeing a black kitten with green eyes climbing up his right leg while a black and white kitten with blue eyes rested on his boot. On his left leg, a calico kitten with copper eyes made her journey while a tortoiseshell kitten waited for her turn. All around him, other kittens sat and looked at him, patiently waiting to begin the climb of destiny.

Bradford blinked. “Oh my god. It’s the cat mafia.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s