Categories > Anime/Manga > Prince of Tennis > Animal Kingdom

I am a Cat, by Fuji Shuusuke

by sesame_seed 0 reviews

Fuji turns into a cat.

Category: Prince of Tennis - Rating: G - Genres: Humor - Characters: Echizen Ryoma, Fuji Shuusuke, Inui Sadaharu, Kawamura Takashi, Kikumaru Eiji, Momoshiro Takeshi, Tezuka Kunimitsu - Published: 2007-06-28 - Updated: 2007-06-28 - 1023 words

I am a Cat, by Fuji Shuusuke

That morning, Fuji awoke with cat ears and a tail.

"Hmm," he said, inspecting himself. It sounded almost like a purr.

He went down for breakfast, where his family took it in stride.

"I would have expected something vulpine," said Yumiko, while his mother puttered around cutting holes in his trousers to let the tail through. Yuuta, safe in his dorm, remained blissfully unaware, which was just as well.

Before he left, his sister asked: "Would you like a belled collar? I have one in navy blue, to go with your uniform."

He tilted his head, considering. It was the decent thing to give the mice a sporting chance. "Maybe tomorrow," he said. "I'm kind of at a disadvantage today." He lashed his tail, and lurched a little from the shift in balance.

At school, the kids stared, but he ignored them serenely and attended classes as usual. Eiji poked him from behind with a pencil.

"Psst," he whispered. "Fuji, Fuji. Can I touch?"

Fuji considered saying no, but decided in the end that that was just mean.

He lauded his choice later on when it turned out that Eiji was very good with his hands; it was almost welcome when the teacher turned them both out of the classroom for improper conduct, and they took the leisure to explore the advantages to Fuji's new appendages.

A student on his way back from the restroom paused to goggle at them, and Fuji smiled at him, perfectly friendly. It wasn't his fault that his teeth had become so much sharper.

"It's too bad you don't have kitty claws." Eiji pinched his pink, cleanly-cut nails thoughtfully. "Wouldn't that be totally fun?"

Fuji thought of the intermittant desire he had had since the morning to bat at moving objects. "For me, maybe," he said. "I wonder if you would like it as much."

"Of course I would! It would be like a real-life hentai anime!"

"I really don't think you would enjoy it much," Fuji murmured. "People with their eyes scratched out so rarely do get pleasure out of life, you know."

"Oh, meow."

Of course there was a big fuss at the club meeting after school. Tezuka frowned at him. "Can you play like that?" he said.

Fuji waved his tail back. "And a good day to you, too, Buchou."

He had a bit of trouble keeping his balance at first, but after realizing the tail could be an aid rather than a hindrance, he won every game he played until he grew bored.

As he left the tennis court, he noticed Echizen standing in the sidelines. Feeling playful, he walked close enough to brush Echizen's leg with his tail and had the satisfaction of seeing Echizen's fingers twitch.

Oishi caught up with him on the way to the vending machine. "Fuji," he said, his brows wrinkling with maternal concern, "are you okay?"

"Well, I do wish they stocked tuna rather than Ponta," Fuji said, looking over the selection, "but other than that, I'm quite well. You, Oishi?"

"Have you seen a doctor? Is there anything troubling you? I've heard that these changes can be caused by emotional pressure taking a physical manifestation -- do you feel like there's too much responsibility on your shoulders these days, and becoming a cat is the only means of escape?"

Fuji took some time to think it over. "No," he said finally, "I'm pretty sure that's not it." He would have worried over Oishi if the theory were true.

"Fujiko-neko-chan!" Kawamura boomed from behind them, startling Oishi a few steps back and making the aluminum cans rattle. He was gripping a racket loosely in his hand. "Come on, little kitty, let's play!"

Taka-san seemed so fired up and pleased with himself that it was a shame when Inui stepped up and stole the racket with one quick swipe, but perhaps it was just as well; Fuji didn't really feel up to shoe strings yet.

"Fuji," said Inui, glasses gleaming in the sun. He looked as if a houri had just been dumped in his lap. "What did you drink yesterday? Eat? Think? Do?" His notebook had appeared out of thin air, and he was scribbling quick notations into it, eyeing Fuji's new ears as if calculating the distance between them.

"Just the usual," said Fuji. "Chili peppers and ice cream. You should try it yourself one of these days, Inui-kun."

Of course that wasn't enough to deter Inui, so he finally resorted to the old "Oh, now I remember, I must've eaten a whole carton of -- that!" trick to make his escape.

There were students all over the school area, and every one of them looked at him when he passed as if he were Moses at the parting of the seas, ensuring that when Inui came feline-tracking, he would have at least a few dozen witnesses to help him out.

A cat's life just wasn't the thing, Fuji thought sadly, and resolved not to do it again if it could be helped.

He finally found a spot at the very edge of the schoolgrounds, out of sight from near all of the populated vantage points, with three cherry trees and a rhododendron bush to mask it from casual passers-by.

Fuji curled up under one of the trees and closed his eyes. His tail thumped drowsily on the grass and his ears twitched, until the sun did its magic and carried him away to sleep.

Later, maybe a little, maybe a lot, he heard footsteps, the parting of the bushes; breathing, loud to his newly sensitive hearing. /Go 'way/, he thought.

The footsteps didn't sound again, but the breathing came lower and closer, and then there was somebody stroking his hair, over and over like it was the most addictive task in the universe.

It felt good. The person smelled nice. He didn't attempt to wake Fuji, so Fuji didn't attempt to wake, and they spent the rest of the afternoon like that, snipped from reality in a tiny hiccup of time.

Fuji thought: being a cat wasn't half bad, after all.
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