Feeding Time

     "Watch it, you little-- FUCKSHITDAMN--"
     Nagi twisted in his seat quickly at the crash that followed that frantic litany. "Schuldich?"
     A stream of curses was his only response.
     An instant later a black streak came flying around the corner, followed quickly by a furious and hobbling Schuldich. "I AM GOING TO KILL THAT SHITBAG."
     Nagi leaned back, startled, as the frightened kitten sprang up onto his lap, and from there onto the table. It made a beeline for Crawford's plate, eyes intent on the waiting food, but Farfarello's calloused hand scooped it up just in time.
     "Bad cat," he intoned, dropping it unceremoniously over the edge of the table where it landed on the floor with a thump.
     Crawford frowned down at the wailing kitten in disapproval before reaching for his fork. "Schuldich, shut up."
     "What happened?" Nagi demanded, eyeing Schuldich a bit warily as the German dumped himself in his chair irritably.
     "That little asshat musta thought 'Dinner's ready' meant 'Here kitty kitty'," Schuldich snarled, stabbing his chicken with his knife viciously. "It ran in between my legs-- Farfarello, when are you going to kill it?" He turned a black glare on Nagi, who had snatched up his cup to hide his grin behind the rim. "What the FUCK are you laughing at, oompa-loompa?"
     Nagi's smile was instantly gone. "I'm laughing at an idiot who got bested by a one-pound cat, Nazi."
     "Behave, children," Crawford muttered absently, most of his attention on the papers spread out beside his plate. He jumped minutely when razor-sharp claws dug into his calf. "Control your animal, Farfarello," he snapped, shaking his leg to dislodge her.
     "It's your cat," Farfarello pointed out calmly, tucking one leg up on the seat and resting his chin on his knee. He began mixing his rice and vegetables together listlessly.
     "I'm not having this conversation with you again. You picked it up and brought it here. It's your responsibility."
     "Just kill it already," Schuldich grumbled, stuffing an overly large piece of chicken in his mouth.
     "I think she's kind of cute," Nagi admitted hesitantly, reaching down to scratch the tiny head when she came his way to beg.
     "Maybe you can play dress-up with her later and have a tea party," Schuldich jeered. Nagi glowered at him, cutting off a tiny piece of chicken.
     "Don't feed her at the table," Crawford said automatically without looking up.
     Nagi put the piece of chicken in his mouth sulkily.
     "Yes, mother," Schuldich mocked. He aimed a kick at the kitten when it came his way, but thought better of it when Farfarello flicked him a sideways glance. "I still say we name it Fujimiya and then burn it alive. Kind of like a voodoo doll."
     "Irony," Farfarello corrected.
     "That's a dumb name for a cat," Nagi argued, looking towards Crawford.
     "I didn't expect it to live this long," Crawford admitted darkly, reaching for his milk.
     "And what would you name it?" Schuldich smirked at the younger boy. "Fluffy? Wookums?"
     "Do you want that fork imbedded in your jugular?"
     Farfarello reached across the table and took Crawford's milk out of his hand, tilting it and letting a thin stream spill out to make a little white puddle on the ground.
     Crawford plucked the cup away, annoyed. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
     "Feeding your cat."
     "Clean it up."
     Irony was already at the puddle, lapping away happily.
     "Maybe we should get her some kitten food and a dish or something," Nagi pointed out.
     "No," Crawford said flatly, putting the cup out of Farfarello's immediate reach. "Purchasing anything for it is saying it belongs to us. Which it does not. Either kill it or get rid of it, Farfarello."
     "I'll kill it," Schuldich offered cheerfully, flicking a pea at Farfarello's head.
     "Or at least a proper litter box," Nagi continued. "Newspapers in the bottom of a cardboard box are for puppies. And she peed in my bed again this morning."
     Crawford sent a quick glare of distaste in Irony's direction, recalling the steaming little 'present' he'd discovered in his shoes the other day. "Maybe a litter box," he consented unwillingly.
     "And a collar," Farfarello put in, leaning over and taking Crawford's cup again.
     "Give her your own milk," Crawford snapped, getting into a brief tug of war until he finally gave up in disgust, watching as another trickle of milk spattered on the floor.
     "Cats don't like ketchup."
     Nagi blinked slowly. "...Why is there ketchup in your milk?"
     "No collar," Crawford said firmly, taking his cup back the instant Farfarello set it down again.
     "What if it gets loose?" Nagi protested. "People will think it's a stray."
     "It IS a stray, you nitwit," Schuldich growled.
     "I thought she was Crawford's."
     Crawford lifted his gaze to stare balefully at the telekinetic.
     "Farfarello said it was," Nagi said defensively. "Though she doesn't even like you."
     "You can't keep it for yourself, if that's what you're getting at," Schuldich sneered, aiming another pea at Farfarello's head. He put it back on his plate when Farfarello reached calmly for his dinner knife. "Just get rid of the little ratbag already."
     Nagi glanced around at them all. "At least she gives us something to talk about," he muttered sullenly. "I was getting tired of dinnertime always being so quiet."
     Schuldich shot him a hooded look, but didn't bother to respond.
     Farfarello reached down and scooped up the kitten, dumping it in Crawford's lap. The American gave a slight jolt, having been absorbed in his paperwork. He leaned back and glared from Farfarello to Irony in extreme displeasure. "Farfarello..." there was a note of dark warning in his tone.
     Irony braced herself on skinny back legs against Crawford's knee and got both front paws up on the table's edge. She was actually leaning her face into Crawford's plate before he pressed the flat side of his fork against her nose and forced her back. "Get down," he commanded.
     Irony ignored him, ducking around the fork and going for the plate again.
     Crawford seized her by the nape of her neck and swung her back to the floor, ignoring her wail. He leveled a glare in Farfarello's direction. "This is not as amusing as you seem to think it is."
     Farfarello seemed intent on mixing his rice and peas again, though a faint smirk hovered on his mouth.
     "If we got her cat food, she'd stop begging," Nagi muttered into his cup, but shut up when Crawford turned a warning look his way.
     Crawford pointed his fork at Schuldich. "I don't want you alone with Farfarello anymore."
     "What?? Why not? Afraid we're gonna dice up your precious kitty?"
     "Because your insufferable attitude seems to be rubbing off on him."
     Nagi slipped a piece of chicken under the table. "He doesn't act like that around Schuldich," he pointed out. Schuldich's eyes flickered his way, but whatever he said, it was silent. Nagi blinked, looking startled, then became suddenly intent on finishing his dinner.
     Crawford missed the private conversation, though Farfarello was watching the other two out of the corner of his eye with a faint air of suspicion. "I refuse to spend money on an animal that won't be around for long. The second Farfarello tires of these games, he'll kill it anyway."
     "It's your cat," Farfarello pointed out. "You kill it."
     Crawford's teeth clenched as sharp little claws dug into his leg imploringly once more. "I'm considering it," he promised.