※Affection level’s about close to January-February of their first year. Think of it as a what-if story distinct from the main story.
Ripped from here: https://twitter.com/saeki_narou/status/1245330915946942464
“What is it?”
Recently, he had been used to Mahiru’s meal services.
Her curt voice remained the same as usual, but there seemed to be something different.
“…Why are you wearing a cap in the house?
Mahiru was wearing a cap. One could not say that it did not suit her. This boyish style certainly suited her.
However, the strange fact was that she was doing so indoors. She, always one to dress appropriately, could not possibly be wearing a cap indoors. There was no reason for her to do so.
It would be one thing to say it was a fashion statement. Given Mahiru’s personality however, Amane felt this was rather unnatural.
“…There is a reason.”
After a short silence, Mahiru answered as she looked aside. Amane had a feeling she was hiding something, and stared at her.
Mahiru would never wear any headdress as she said it would mess her hair; surely she was hiding something.
People would usually hide visible changes like hair loss. It was not impossible for her to lose hair because Amane had been stressing her out.
“I see…sorry for stressing you out…”
“I know what you are thinking, but that is not the case. I do not have any skin showing on my head.”
“I know. There’s no way it’ll drop off in a single day. What are you hiding.”
“…You will not laugh at me, no?”
“I won’t laugh at you if you don’t like it. I’m not going to tease you.”
He did not know what she was actually hiding, and it probably was something big enough to make her so secretive. It might be rude of him to laugh at her if it was really troubling her, and he did not want to hurt her.
Once he answered seriously, Mahiru muttered something, and hesitantly put her hand on the cap.
She removed her cap, and revealed what was hidden beneath―there were triangular pet-like parts that should not possibly grow on a human.
“Please be quiet.”
“I didn’t say anything yet…are those real?”
“I would not be hiding them like a fool if they are fake. I found them growing on me in the morning.”
It was impossible to think that Mahiru would make such a joke, or dress up like this. The ears did not seem artificial. Amane stared at them, found them twitching from time to time, and clearly, they were the real deal.
They were of the same color as her hair, and one could see capillaries at the earlobes. They were obviously not artificial.
Since she had such ears, he looked towards Mahiru’s waist, and was glared at.
Amane did not have such deviant thoughts, but it was fact that he looked from her waist to her buttocks, “Sorry” and he could only apologize immediately.
To wit, he could not see a tail as it was covered by knitwear and pants.
Hmph, so Mahiru snorted, and Amane apologized as he looked towards the triangular ears on her head in a non-disrespectful manner.
She already had a pretty face, and a fleeting presence. The addition of the cat emphasized her innocence and cuteness. Amane was not really interested in the kemomimi commonly seen in manga or games, but he had a strange riveting feeling seeing cat ears atop a pretty girl’s face.
His impulse could be described as the urge to pat.
As a cat lover, Amane was really interested in these ears, and found them really cute. He would want to pat if he could. However, they were part of her, and she would feel something if he did touch. He could not capitalize on this chance.
He merely had the urge to touch, and nothing else, but he knew it was possible as he would be touching her.
Thus, he resisted the urge to, and asked Mahiru who was a little nervous.
“Got any idea why this happened?”
“I would not be so troubled if I have. However,”
“…I have a dream that I will be back to normal if I am doted on.”
“I do not know.”
Mahiru sounded a little colder than before, and it appeared she was in a bad mood. Amane realized this, but he wondered what he should do.
She said she could return to normal if she was doted, but nobody knew if this stupid condition would actually work. Also, what did it mean for her to be doted?
Was it fine if she was doted on like a cat?
However, Amane could not simply touch her, and could not try it―he glanced aside at Mahiru, and in a corner of his eyes, he saw the ribbon on the shelf, which his mother gave to tie food up
It appeared cats liked things that moved about, and as with this flimsy consideration, he took the ribbon before Mahiru’s eyes, and shook it before her. In that instant, the ribbon was slapped aside.
He shook the ribbon again.
And the little hand slapped it aside again.
Another ten seconds of silence beckoned. Her white face turned red.
“N-no, I was just wondering if you will pay attention to it, since you’re a cat now.”
“P-pay attention…I think my eyes just naturally followed it…”
It was truly an adorable sight to see Mahiru stare intently at the ribbon as he shook it and flail her hand at it. Amane had the use to tease her with the ribbon.
She was not purring, but she was being attentive while being teased, and her cat ears twitched. She was already similar to a cat, and Amane sensed that she was increasingly similar to one. No, she was already a cat.
He knew that she would be angry thereafter, but the adorable sight before him at this point left him unable to resist the urge. From time to time, he shook the ribbon, and Mahiru finally could not resist the urge as she leapt at the ribbon.
While she was acting like a cat, her weight did not change, and Amane tumbled over, lying face up on the sofa.
He groaned as he was pushed down by her, though it was due to this unexpected, sudden action than her weight.
As he felt this moderate weight on himself, Amane stared at her.
Her face was redder than before due to excitement, and she was staring at Amane…or actually, the ribbon he was holding, her eyes sparkling. She really was like a cat, and he gave a wry smile.
Before he knew it, the tail hidden under her pants poked out, standing straight. Ah, so she has a tail, so he thought. He looked up again, saw that she seemed to have regained her sanity, rooted as she sprawled on him.
It was the first time she made a cat-like voice, and she shivered as she started to struggle. It would be dangerous if she fell off the sofa suddenly, so Amane hurriedly grabbed her with his hand.
Amane’s senses were agitated in various ways, whether it was the sweet fragrance or the soft sensation. The most impressionable however was her blushing face and shivering body. She really was adorable.
“I-I get it. I get it. I know you’re embarrassed, but it’s dangerous for you to fall off, so hang on.”
“Sorry! It’s my fault! Please calm down or I can’t let you go!”
Mahiru was unable to calm down, and Amane was worried that she might fall if he let go. No matter how athletic she might be, it would be an awkward landing if she fell sideways from the sofa.
He looked aside as he patted her back to calm her down. Mahiru gulped, and headbutted onto his chest.
Clearly she was kicking a fuss, but since he was the one who teased her, he could only let her be.
“…Amane-kun, are you enjoying this?”
“N-no, that…a little.”
“So you are!”
“I-I can’t help it. You’re cute…”
Even leaving aside the fact that she was a girl, this adorable pretty girl had cat ears. Obviously he had the urge to keep looking and teasing her.
It was fact that he might have overdone it. He wanted to apologize as he looked at her, and Mahiru headbutted her head into his chest again.
It really hurt this time, “ugh” and he groaned. Mahiru did not lift her face however as she muttered, “…Please dote on me as you like.”
“I-I i need to know if I will return to normal by doing this! I have to pin my hopes on the suspicious voice.”
Or it will be terrible if this continues. Mahiru’s voice started to sound teary. Amane too started to panic. He realized that he should not be hesitant to dote her; he should be finding a way to get her back to normal. At that moment, Mahiru reached her head towards him, wordlessly pleading for him to pet her head.
Will she really be back to normal if I dote on her…? Amane was greatly skeptical of this, but he had to try to know. He hugged Mahiru, sat up, and patted her head.
Her cuticle was smooth and glossing, and felt smoother than expected. Whenever the hair strands slipped through his fingers, Amane could smell a faint sweet smell.
The little ears poking through her hair were softer, silky smoother, and very fine.
The ears were thinner than he expected, yet full of warmth.
As he gently rubbed the fluffy ears with his fingers, her body suddenly shivered. He hurriedly let go, thinking that he had hurt her. However, she shook her head, and it appeared she wanted to continue.
He continued to gently caress her head and cat ears as though they were fragile. “Funya.” she let out a sweet cat-like voice.
…For some reason, this is draining my conscience away.
Even though he was merely patting her head and cat ears, he felt that he was doing something very bad.
He was a little hesitant, wondering if he should continue like this. However, Mahiru did not look disgusted, and there was a chance she would be back to normal if he doted her…he continued to coax her with his fingertips and palm, but Mahiru suddenly grabbed his hand.
Amane wondered what was going on. He stopped, looked at Mahiru, and saw her hazy eyes staring at him. His heart jolted.
Mahiru did not seem to mind Amane as she reached her tongue out to lick his fingertips.
He felt a scalding sensation on his fingers, and realized then that her tongue was not as rough as a cat.
Amane’s face was hotter than her tongue though, and his face went red.
It was not strange for a cat to lick her master’s fingers, but he felt that her sucking his fingers was an immoral sight.
He hurriedly pushed Mahiru’s shoulders away, and looked right into the confused caramel eyes.
A tad later, Mahiru might have understood what she just did when she saw his face―her face boiled red, she hurriedly stood up, and escaped to the washroom.
“Uunnnnyyyyaaaaaaaaaa!” The voice she made when she retreated really resembled a cat, so Amane analyzed with his remaining bit of sanity. The other shreds of sanity had him recalling the heat and feeling of the tongue, prompting him to start rolling on the floor.
Thud, thud, his heart was pounding louder than before. He looked towards the washroom she vanished into, and was dumbfounded.
10 minutes later, Mahiru returned from the washroom. The ears and tail had vanished from her, and in place of those was the wariness of a stray cat meeting a stranger for the first time, along with a thoroughly embarrassed face. She kept her distance from Amane the entire time. Seems like her cat-like habits haven’t disappeared completely, so Amane quietly thought.