Benvolio sat quietly watching Mercutio shred his way through the small square of carpet their Master Jim had obtained for them.
"Must you wreck everything our Humans present to us?" he admonished the playful golden cat.
"S'what it's for," Mercutio purred in response. "Besides, they're too busy grooming each other in there," he looked towards the closed door of the bathroom. He and Benvolio had heard several licking sounds emanating from the room, lending to their grooming theory. "They're so boring sometimes."
"Grooming is an essential component of one's overall health," Benvolio told his hyper brother haughtily. "It is certain that, if Jim had not chosen to take you as well, you would be living in squalor at this moment."
"Sheesh, someone's catty today," Mercutio rolled his eyes and gave a playful mew before tackling his bigger brother to the ground.
Benvolio sighed; there was no reasoning with such an illogical creature.
"Come on, play with me," Mercutio pleaded, pawing at Benvolio's face. "You're being as boring as Spock is sometimes."
"Spock is not boring," Benvolio defended his personal favourite of their two masters; Mercutio took the opportunity to pin him to the ground. "He is simply less expressive."
"True, he is a big ol' cuddle kitty," Mercutio rolled off his brother with an affectionate nip to the neck when the other cat rose from the ground.
"I would not go so far as to say that," Benvolio said calmly, sitting down to discourage Mercutio's latest attempt at climbing onto his back.
"You know it's true," Mercutio teased, giving his climbing up s a bad job; the older cat just kept shrugging him off. "Meanie," he whined. "You don't like to have fun."
"I do not understand your need to pursue such illogical activities," Benvolio sat stiffly and regarded Mercutio seriously. "You could injure yourself if you carry on the way you do."
"Oh, don't be such a worry wart," Mercutio gave a feline grin. "What could possibly happen?"
Benvolio tried very hard not to roll his eyes; so many things could happen, and Mercutio seemed determined to ignore every possibility.
"Oh! Listen! I think they're finally done grooming!" Mercutio perked up when he heard the sound of the bathroom door whooshing open. He bounded towards his masters but stopped in his tracks when he noticed Jim leaning against the bulkhead as Spock traced his tongue down his abdomen. Apparently they were not done grooming.
"It appears that Spock believes Jim requires additional cleaning," Benvolio stated the obvious. He really had a knack for that.
"Ugh, they're so boring sometimes," Mercutio complained noisily. "Let's go find something fun to do."
"I do not trust your notion of fun," Benvolio replied haughtily; Mercutio bit his tail in response.
"Too bad," the mischievous little gold kitten purred. "Cause we're going to go and have some fun anyways. Right now."
Benvolio tried very hard to suppress a sigh. Mercutio had learned how to sneak out of the cabin weeks ago, and he did so now. Concerned that his brother could get himself into some sort of trouble (and Benvolio didn't put it past him), Benvolio followed without hesitation. His brother had the ability to find trouble just about anywhere.
"Hmm, where did Benny and Cutio go?" Jim asked, lounging lazily across Spock. "Usually they're all over us by now."
"Perhaps they have fallen asleep elsewhere tonight, ashaya," Spock suggested in between languid kisses to his Human's face.
"Hmm, maybe," Jim smiled. "Or maybe they just want to give us a little privacy for some fun time."
"You are insatiable tonight, my T'hy'la," Spock said with amusement as Jim climbed on top of him.
"Tonight? More like every night," Jim laughed and positioned himself in such a way that pushed all thoughts of Benvolio or Mercutio's whereabouts to the back of his mind.
"I would advise you to not climb into that vent," Benvolio warned his brother, who, as per usual, completely ignored him. "You could injure yourself or become stuck in there. In fact, there is a rather high probability that you will become stuck."
"You got that right," Mercutio yowled in pain as one of his claws snagged in between two panes of the aluminium vent. "Ow! This thing is really stuck."
"You cannot free yourself? What has become stuck?" Benvolio searched for the way Mercutio had even managed to climb into the vent in the first place. It appeared that, as he'd feared, his brother was in trouble and it was up to him to rescue him. How did a being so small attract so much trouble?
"Hey Monty?" Lieutenant Nyota Uhura said as she walked down the hall hand-in-hand with her boyfriend, Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, playfully nicknamed Scotty by the crew.
"Yeh, Ny?" Scotty turned his face in her direction.
"Do you hear meowing?"" she moved towards the bulkhead. "It sounds like it's coming from the vents."
"Aye, Lassie, it does," Scotty eyed the open vent Benvolio was attempting to reach. "Now which fool lef' that open?"
"Benvolio!" Nyota reached out and grabbed the distressed little kitten. "Where's your little brother? Is he dragging you into trouble again?" Another pained yowl from the vent answered her question.
"Ach, he's a lot like a certain cap'n we ken, eh Lass?" Scotty stuck his head in the vent to look at the trapped kitten. "Ah think his claw's stuck."
"Poor thing," Nyota frowned. "Can you get him out?"
"Aye, o' course Ah can. It'll only take a coupl'a minutes," Scotty answered, inspecting the area where Mercutio was stuck.
"Don't worry Benny, we'll get him out," Nyota cooed to the distraught little kitten. "Maybe we should talk to your daddies about a babysitter when they're ‘busy', huh?"
"Ny, they're cats, they cannae understand yeh," Scotty reminded her with a grin. Maybe he'd get her a cat, she seemed to like them a lot. He pulled out a wrench and began undoing the bolts in the panel next to Mercutio.
"Seriously? You keep a wrench in your pocket?" Nyota laughed. "Only you, Monty."
"Ah got tae be prepared, yeh ken," Scotty answered with a twinkle in his eyes. "Emergencies like this pop up all the time."
"Of course," Nyota chuckled as Scotty began loosening the panel. She sat on the floor to watch, cradling Benvolio to her chest.
"Okay, they're not here, I'm worried," Jim told Spock, walking out of the bathroom connecting Jim's quarters to Spock's.
"Knowing that Mercutio's personality is remarkably similar to your own, it is logical to assume they have venture somewhere else on the ship, and are most likely causing trouble," Spock told him, eyes twinkling with amusement at the mock indignation on his love's face.
"Shit, they could be anywhere, then," Jim said uneasily; he was half-amused by Spock's comment and half-frantic about his little babies' safety.
"Worry not, ashaya," Spock murmured, tracing his fingers soothingly along the backs of Jim's. "We will find them, and they will be safe."
"Why do I always trust you, Love?" Jim smiled and leaned in for a quick kiss.
"Because I am always right," Spock gave a Vulcan smirk.
"Hmm, I should stop feeding your crazy Vulcan ego," Jim chuckled.
"Jim, we both know that Vulcans do not possess egos," Spock countered. "Now come, we must locate ‘your little babies'."
"They're yours too, I know you love them," Jim smirked.
"They love you," Spock said simply. "I cannot help but feel love for creatures that love you so unconditionally."
"You're forgetting that they love you too," Jim led the way out into the hall. "They're smart little guys; they know who's worth loving."
"Captain, Commander," Nyota greeted, standing up with a purring Benvolio in her arms. "I'm so glad to see you two." She held out Benvolio and Spock took him.
"Where's Cutio?" Jim asked, finally noticing that Scotty was removing a panel from the vent.
"The wee laddie wen' an' got himself stuck," Scotty informed them. "But dinnae worry any, I'll get him out."
"You were right again, Spock," Jim shook his head. "He did go and find trouble."
"As I said before, he is much like you," Spock said quietly, scratching behind Benvolio's ears, who purred.
"I have to agree with that," Nyota grinned. "Any cat that can find a way to get stuck in a vent like that definitely takes after you."
"Wow, is it gang up on the captain day and no one told me?" Jim grumbled.
"Ashaya, you know we tease you because we love you," Spock murmured.
"Or in my case because I like to see you suffa," Nyota laughed; Jim rolled his eyes.
"Is Cutio going to be okay?" Jim asked worriedly.
"Dinnae worry, he'll be jus' fine," Scotty reached into the vent and pulled out a ruffled-looking kitten. "Here yeh are, cap'n," he handed the terrified kitten over to his worried ‘daddy'.
"Oh my poor baby," Jim petted the cat, who started purring up a storm. Jim smiled at Scotty and Nyota. "Thank you both so much." He and Spock started down the hall. "We should really look into a babysitter for you guys," he told his kitten.
"Indeed," Spock agreed. "It should, however, be someone with a large amount of free time. He noted Nyota's giggle, apparently they weren't out of her hearing range yet.
"We'll have to ask Bones then," Jim grinned. "It's not like he has a life."