"Jooheon I don't think this is a good idea. What if his owner is out here looking for him?" Jooheon was willing to admit that his hyung sounded very reasonable and he had a very good point. He just had a hard time seeing it over the way a sad, almost stringy, tail clung to his leg. Not to mention think over the loud purring as a head bumped against his knee.
"What if he's really not as nice as he's acting?" Shownu continued with the same worried tone. Jooheon finally looked up from where he was crouched, staring his hyung in the face. Even though Shownu had said it, he didn't even remotely look like he himself believed it.
Looking back down at the dirty mop of hair, laid back ears, and matted tail fur he knew no one would have believed it. But he knew Shownu was trying to play it safe, and play it cool. Jooheon wasn't fooled though. He could see Shownu's soft spot shining in his eyes, warring against his responsible and reasonable side. The one thing he knew that Shownu was actually worried about was the one thing he hadn't said. Because saying it was just a preamble to breaking it.
Their dorm had a very strict no hybrids policy.
"Hyung, we can just clean him up and take him to a shelter." He cut off the elder before he could say anything else. "If he had an owner he wouldn't look like this. And he would have a collar." Jooheon looked pointedly at the very dirty rags that the hybrid was wearing. Especially the way that even through those the poor thing was obviously too skinny.
Shownu tried to think of another excuse but failed. The last one had been rather weak to begin with, considering before they had walked by no one else had even gotten close to the hybrid. Not that they had been trying to themselves. They'd only stopped for a short break on the bench.
Though they had then been informed of such by a passerby. One who smiled a little too widely at them and a little too fondly at the hybrid. People like them didn't deserve one in his book. But the person was right as every time someone else passed by, the person included, the hybrid shied away. Either hiding behind Jooheon's knees or the bench. And unlike most hybrid's he'd seen this one was hunched over, not on all fours but not far from it.
He looked at Jooheon's pleading face one more time. It made him wonder how he'd gotten sucked into a dorm full of complete softies. Then again he'd always been told like attracts like, and he knew he was nothing if not soft. "Fine. But we have to take him before Kihyun finds out." Shownu sighed into his hands before steeling himself for the next task.
One he was certain that Jooheon wouldn't be able to do. And while hybrids looked humanoid their intelligence was lacking. So without warning he picked up the stray bridal style. To his surprise instead of hissing, flailing, and sputtering it nuzzled into his neck and pressed it's belly into his. It's long tail curling over his arm tickling him. He was sure that was something of it's cat nature coming through.
Jooheon smirked knowingly as the hybrid started purring and he saw the color splotching it's way onto his hyung's face. He didn't say anything though and instead led the way home. Which just happened to a be a dorm that housed four other men of around the same age.
They all lived there because it was cheap, close to the school, and more importantly not overly crowded unlike the school dorms. It allowed for each of them to have their own room with a few shared common areas but that turned out not to be a problem when, despite only having met a few months ago, they all got along swimmingly. Probably due to each having a shared interest in music as they all were taking it as their major with different focuses. It had been enough though.
He wasn't sure how the others were going to take housing a hybrid for a night. Though he was sure that other than Kihyun, who he was a thousand percent certain would nag, they'd handle it fairly well. Or at least like the reasonable adults they were.
Shownu had only laughed when he told him this as they discussed where they would put the hybrid up for the night on the walk back. Even though he was still purring, holding onto Shownu's neck for dear life, they were the contented purrs of sleep. Or they were pretty sure they were as he'd stopped nuzzling and moving his tail's tip a block ago.
They'd be the first people to admit they knew nothing about hybrids and Jooheon knew it. Hybrids were a rich person 'pet' and from what little he did know it was that it was very unusual to find one out alone and in this poor of condition. Well maybe not as unusual as he liked to believe because he did watch the news and he'd heard things before. Though he was not going to think about those stories and how someone could treat any kind of animal, especially one that looked humanoid like that.
"What do you think he eats?" Shownu finally asked once they were about a block from the dorm. They hadn't been that far away just down the street at a little outlet park about five blocks away. He wasn't sure that he could have handled anymore, or that much if the hybrid had been any heavier. But as it was he could feel ribs pressing against his own in a way that was spoke of being too bony.
"Um...maybe meats?" Jooheon shrugged taking a look at the hybrid again. It was definitely a cat type but he didn't know what cats ate either other than milk. Growing up his family had always been more into dogs. And he was sure like most hybrids this one wouldn't be able to tell them as hybrids were breed to be unable to talk. "I think we can worry about food after a bath though." Shownu nodded gently.
Jooheon swallowed looking at the windows of the dorm as they headed up the sidewalk to the door. "Do you think we'll be able to sneak him in?" He looked at his hyung seriously, their eyes connecting over the small head leaned against a broad shoulder. The hybrid's ears were still lowered against his head but he was still purring softly. The rumble audible as it re-vibrated against his hyung.
Shownu glanced at the lights that were on upstairs they were the rooms of Wonho and Hyungwon. He wasn't sure why Hyungwon would be awake at this time of night but Wonho being awake wasn't a surprise. The second eldest’s classes had him operating as something like a night owl, so he could keep up with his intense workout schedule and studies.
Shownu's own schedule wasn't that far from Wonho's. He thought about it a moment more, feeling the nuzzling start again. He shifted the hybrid slightly in his grip to be more comfortable with the way fine hairs were tickling his neck. "As long as he stays asleep it shouldn't be a big problem." He finally answered resisting the urge to shrug and possibly wake the hybrid.
Jooheon nodded and they moved up the to the door quietly. He knew the others shouldn't suspect anything was up at hearing their return. It wasn't like there was a risk of them bringing home a girl as they were all very single and too caught up in their studies to have time for one even if they wanted to. They also knew that none of them were going to try to bring home a stray as it would get them kicked out.
At that thought he couldn't help feeling a little guilty at what they were doing. But one night of the hybrid being there, before they took him to a shelter, couldn't be that big a deal. He wasn't even sure why it was part of the lease anyway as there was no way a student, let alone one staying in this dorm, would have the funds to afford a hybrid.
He might have wondered if they were staying on campus or in a fancier dorm. They weren't though and the condition of their dorm was easily seen from the peeling paint that hung limply below the windows, yellowed shutters, and a lawn that looked more dead than alive. It had been like that when they moved in as well.
The rooms were comfortable though each of them big enough to fit a bed, dresser, desk and still leave a little wiggle room. The house itself was a little on the large size to begin with. Maybe in times passed it might have been considered a mansion before it had slipped into the rundown state it currently resided in.
Slipping off his shoes he turned to Shownu who was struggling to do the same, while keeping a firm grip on their stray. Jooheon found himself hard pressed to keep the noise of 'aww' from slipping out of his throat. Despite how dirty the hybrid was, he was awfully cute in the way he tried to snuggle closer to Shownu's warmth. He did manage to keep in the noise while also managing to help his hyung get his shoes off. So he could carry the hybrid to the bathroom where they faced the daunting task of cleaning him up.
Shownu looked around the bathroom for a place to set the hybrid that would allow them to clean him up the easiest. Looking down at seemingly dark hair he could tell it was covered in dirt. Meaning it would need a thorough clean. Not to mention the bare feet that were caked in mud, as well as the mud streaks over the hybrid's face and what was visible of his body.
There was no way to get around stripping the poor thing. And he wasn't sure if the hybrid would be smart enough to bathe itself. As what he did know about hybrids was limited to how expensive they were. That and that most weren't much brighter than the animal that was spliced with their human dna. Cats he knew aren't stupid, but he knew they weren't that bright either.
When he did finally find a place the hybrid didn't want to let go, so he was saddled holding him. As Jooheon had already left him alone in order to retrieve their combined toiletries to see which one had something suitable for use. When the younger returned with the requested items and something for the hybrid to wear. It wasn't until then he wondered aloud as to why the hybrid was still clinging in it's sleep. "Don't cats hate water?"
After much debate they decided to risk it while the hybrid slept. If the hybrid woke up they would deal with it then. They just hoped that they wouldn't get a whole bunch of claw marks in the process. But it was a risk they'd have to take or they'd thought.
The hybrid's ears had perked up the instant the water had been turned on and at that point he had looked through the things they had brought with them and picked out some to use. Now he was soaking in the tub, the water all the way up to his neck while he purred loudly with his ears laid back in a relaxed manner.
"That was easier than expected." Jooheon had to admit that he'd expected the hybrid to at least resist getting clean a little. Instead the hybrid had taken it upon himself to bathe himself. Just keeping his back to them for the most part as he did so, but not making it seem like he wanted them to leave.
"Maybe it's owner taught it how to bathe?" Shownu suggested not unhappy with the turn of the events as it meant they hadn't had to get up close and personal with the hybrid nor get scratched for trying to help. Though he was a little worried about how long he'd been soaking. He'd tried telling the hybrid that as well as manhandling him out of the water ten minutes ago only to get hissed at.
"It's possible right?" Jooheon found himself shrugging again and wondering if maybe he should google it. He wouldn't though because he knew then he wouldn't want to get rid of the hybrid. Who was currently looking at him from over the edge of the tub with large eyes.
The hybrid was cute, he could tell now that he could see his face, with it's bangs pushed to one side still a little long but in a charming way. Shaking away the thought he heard the hybrid's stomach growling from across the room. "What kind of leftover meat do we have?" Jooheon found himself asking aloud.
"Um..." Shownu frowned putting some thought into it as he stepped up to the tub holding out a towel in offer again. If the hybrid knew enough to wash himself certainly he knew enough to dry himself as well. Which seemed to be the right theory as the hybrid decided to come out, this time snatching the towel and wrapping himself in it. Which was more than Shownu thought he might do. "I think we have some chicken left from last night? Unless someone ate it."
"The only person who would have eaten it is you." Jooheon remarked tossing a red oversized hoodie at the other. "Have him wear this hyung. It's better than what he was wearing.
"Isn't this mine?" Jooheon only rolled his eyes he'd been expecting that response but he watched his hyung slip the hybrid into it anyway. It hung loosely and almost hit at the knees while the sleeves didn't allow for the hybrid's hands to even show.
He resisted calling the hybrid cute again but his hyung showed no such reluctance. "I'll admit it was a good choice. He looks cute." Shownu's voice had a lilt to it that Jooheon hadn't been expecting but he dismissed it. Instead moving them to the kitchen where he settled all of them in to eating the leftover chicken.
"Where are we going to keep him?" Jooheon found himself wondering aloud looking at the cute nose twitches over the food that was offered. His eyes lingering on the way a now clean, but damp tail wrapped around his hyung's waist. Shownu didn't seem to mind much as he inhaled the food at a slower pace allowing for the hybrid to have some.
"Well...We can just leave him down here on the couch." Shownu thought about trying to share a bed with the hybrid, taking in the cute brown eyes that were looking at him with adoration already. The hybrid was probably very grateful he assumed but if he slept with the hybrid curled into his side he knew he'd want to keep him. He was already on the verge of saying so as the hybrid began purring and rubbing against him. "We should give it a name."
"No." If there was anything Jooheon was going to put his foot down on it was that. Naming strays only led to keeping them. "If we need to call him we'll just call him hybrid. We'll be taking him to the shelter first thing tomorrow anyway." Jooheon insisted before cleaning up and setting up a small pile of bedding on the couch making sure the hybrid settled in it before he went to his room.
His room was on the ground floor and he'd wake up if the hybrid managed to get into anything. He did his best not to think about the big brown eyes that were staring at him, ears turned back, and a limp tail as he and Shownu walked towards their bedrooms. They couldn't keep him.