The Story Continues

Gentle as a Kitten

Lynus glanced out the window, a mild sense of concern washing over him. The rain was coming down heavy, casting a light white haze over the city. And Magnus was out in the middle of it. The talented alchemist had a mild headache and wanted to go for a walk in the fresh air. And Lynus agreed. Going for a walk would be good for him. That was before it started raining, though.

Hopefully, Magnus had sought shelter somewhere and wasn't wandering around in the cool rain.

Just as Lynus wondered if he should seek out an umbrella and go searching for the blond himself, the doors to the inn opened silently and Magnus scurried inside, clutching his chest, his shoulders hunched forward.

With his blond hair plastered to his forehead, obviously wet, Magnus lifted his head and looked around anxiously. Immediately, his gaze collided with that of Lynus' and his eyes widened.

"Ah, L-Lynus?" Magnus said as he quickly made his way over to him.

"What's wrong?" Lynus immediately asked, concerned about the concern in Magnus' voice.

Before Magnus could answer his question, however, there was a very soft sound, almost like a meow. A mere moment later a tiny, furry head popped out from under Magnus' jacket, just under his chin. White and ginger, with bright blue eyes (that kinda reminded Lynus of Magnus' own eyes), a small kitten was being cradled gently within Magnus' black coat. It gave another soft meow, showing off a set of tiny white teeth as it glanced around at its surroundings, making absolutely no attempt to scramble or push away from Magnus.

Lynus blinked, surprised. "Is that a kitten?" he asked the obvious as he took a step forward, getting a closer look.

"I-I found it," Magnus said as carefully pulled the kitten from his jacket and held it close to his chest with gentle hands. "A-abandoned in a trash can."

"Poor thing," Lynus murmured as he reached forward to pet the tiny kitten, the little one purring happily in Magnus' hold. He, however, could feel that the kitten was cold and damp, as was Magnus. He wondered how long Magnus stood out in the rain trying to coax this kitten toward him.

"You're both wet. Let's get you into something warmer," Lynus said as he made no attempt to remove the kitten from Magnus' hold, instead pushing the blond toward his room. When they entered the room, Lynus picked up a towel and gave Magnus a reassuring smile. "You get changed and I'll check the little one over."

"O-ok," Magnus said as he carefully lifted from his chest and oh-so carefully allowed Lynus to wrap the towel around it. He then gently scratched the kitten's ear, as if reassuring the little one that he'd be back before quickly moving to change out of his wet clothes.

Moving to sit on the edge of a bed, Lynus gently fluffed up the kitten's fur in order to dry it and carefully inspected for any injury. Thankfully, the little one seemed to be ok. Slightly dehydrated and hungry, and not to mention cold, but there were no signs of trauma or abuse. He couldn't imagine why anyone could just throw such a tiny creature into a trash bin.

Dressed in a new set of clothes, Magnus quickly made his way over to Lynus and sat next to him on the bed, leaning in close so that he could keep an eye on the kitten.

"What are you going to name her?" Lynus asked as he smoothed down the kitten's fur.

"H-huh?"

Lynus smiled. "This little one is a girl. And I think you should give her a name."

Magnus sat silently as he thought to himself. His hands fidgeted on his lap, giving the indication that he had a name in mind, but wasn't sure whether it was good enough or appropriate. "W-what about Zanna?" he asked timidly.

"Zanna is a lovely name," Lynus immediately responded sincerely. "It suits her."

Magnus looked undeniably pleased to hear that. And he didn't hesitate to take Zanna into his hands and placing her onto his lap when Lynus gave her back to him. The kitten immediately responded to the gentle blond, kneading her claws on his lap.

"I'm sure Matron will allow us to keep Zanna, but I'll ask anyway," Lynus said as he watched Zanna use her tiny paws and claws to climb up the front of Magnus' clothes, moving under his chin, purring loudly the entire time. "Why don't you move into the tearoom? The fire is going."

"Ok," Magnus said as he scooped the kitten up into his arms, cradling Zanna so gently. "I-is Shen in? I want to show him Zanna."

Lynus couldn't help but smile brightly, silently wondering how Shen would react having Magnus rush up to him with a kitten in his arms. Everyone knew (and kept to themselves) that Shen was fond of Magnus and how cute Magnus could be. Magnus with a kitten might be lethal.

"He's in the tearoom, I believe," Lynus said.

With an innocent look of excitement on his face, Magnus uttered a soft thanks before pushing himself to his feet and hurrying out of the room. Lynus chuckled to himself, heartened to see Magnus so open. Little Zanna obviously won his heart.

After speaking with Matron about Zanna and Magnus' fondness of her, Matron agreed to have the little stay at the inn, as long as Magnus looked after her. Besides, it would be nice for the inn to have a little furry mascot!

Making his way to the tearoom to tell Magnus the good news, instead Lynus was surprised to see Axel and a few others gathered near the door of the tearoom, peering in and keeping suspiciously quiet.

"Lynus, come here," Axel urged him quietly when he noticed him. "Look at this."

Curious, Lynus quietly approached Axel and pushed himself to the front of the small group, moving to peer into the room. What he saw immediately brought a smile to his lips, understanding why everyone had gathered silently.

Magnus was kneeling on the floor in front of the fire place with Zanna perched happily on top of his fluffy blond hair, Magnus' hands reaching up to ensure that the little one did not fall off. However, the reason why Magnus was kneeling on the floor was because Shen was sitting on the floor in a lotus position, seemingly had been meditating. There was a look of slight confusion on Magnus' face while Shen was pinching the bridge of his nose, struggling with…something.

Magnus was showing Shen his new found friend and Shen was a little…uncomfortable. Big, strong, stoic Shen was virtually squirming at the sight of Magnus with a kitten on his head.

"I think Shen's about to have an aneurysm," Axel whispered into his ear.

Lynus had to cover his mouth with his hand to stop himself from chuckling out loud. Seemed as though some things were too cute even for him!

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