This is another of my fandom_stocking fics, this one written for helle_d, and it is hedgebackwards's fault. It is also for the five other people in the world who care about Eternal Law. (It is a show about some incredibly angsty angels being incredibly bad at being both angels and lawyers, and a fallen angel, Richard, who is also incredibly angsty and hopelessly in love with Zak. Set in York and starring Sam West's face.)
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, this could probably be just as well read as a random fic about three incredibly angsty kittens.
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Tom was shivering in a corner of the fallen-down building they were sheltering in, all but being swallowed in the shadow. Zak watched him anxiously for a while as the rain drummed beyond their shelter, and then looked pointedly at Richard, who was sedately washing behind his ears and smoothing down his grey fur.
"I know you've got food stashed somewhere," he accused. "You always do."
Richard yawned, and carefully inspected his paw-pads. "Assuming I'd thought ahead like that," he replied, eventually, "Why should I share with you and that useless one?"
Zak shook his whiskers in frustration. "Because it's cold, and we're hungry, and if you let Tom starve to death you'll have no one to torment. Just think how dull your life would be then."
"I'd still have you."
"I don't rise to every single bait."
Tom mewed, a trifle indignantly.
Richard gave a small sniff. "I still don't see why you've decided he's our responsibility."
"He was abandoned, like us." Zak trotted forward to touch noses with Richard. "And you may pretend, but you don't like being on your own either." He rubbed his tabby forehead against Richard's and felt the other half-grown kitten begin to purr, stopping abruptly as soon as he realised what he was doing.
"I'll be fine by myself when I'm bigger," Richard said, pulling away. He puffed up his fur, but he was so lean it didn't make much of a difference. "Anyone tries telling me what to do, I'll hunt them down and claw them."
"You sound utterly stupid," Zak said. He flicked his tail irritably. "And I don't care."
Richard hissed, and then pounced at him. Zak snarled and smacked him in the face with a paw as Tom yowled in distress.
"Oh, shut up," Richard snapped at him.
Tom had leapt to his feet. "Stop fighting! I thought we were all going to be friends."
"Yes, Richard," Zak said. "That wasn't very friendly."
Richard went back to inspecting his fur for invisible particles of dust. "The fluff-ball speaks. It's a miracle."
"Maybe you should listen to him occasionally," Zak snapped.
"He's not interesting enough. All he does is cry because the world's not warm and fuzzy like he thought it would be."
"That's not true," Tom protested.
"Is," Richard retorted.
"Both of you, shut up," Zak said. "Richard, share your food. Tom… stop letting him wind you up."
Richard hissed to himself, but he pulled out the smoked meat he'd stolen from the butcher down the road. They pulled bits off with their teeth and ate in silence. Tom seemed to be sulking, which Zak didn't comment on as it was an improvement over moping.
"So," Zak said to Richard, once they'd finished. "Since you want to be all independent, maybe you should sleep in your own corner tonight."
"Maybe I will, then," Richard snapped. He flicked his ears and turned around proudly.
"You'll be cold," Tom said. "Zak didn't mean it. Did you?"
He stared pleadingly at Zak, who squirmed a little guiltily. "Alright, alright, I didn't mean it," he admitted. "Come back, Richard, for heaven's sake."
"Well," Richard hedged. "If you're sure."
"Of course I'm sure," Zak said. "You know I'm sure. Don't be a prat."
"If it'll make you happy," Richard said, magnanimously, and curled up as close to Zak as he could get.
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