You were doing the laundry, your earphones in and humming quietly to yourself. The brothers were all either locked up in their room, as Arthur was doing, trying to do maths equations at the table, that being the twins and Dylan or off at the company with your uncle, Peter and Allistor having gone.
As it was now, you didn’t really mind the fact that the brothers were in your house, in fact, though you wouldn’t admit it to them, you kind of enjoyed having them around. The pranks the twins played on Arthur (and you sometimes) always made you laugh and Dylan was always around to help.
Arthur, though he was surly most of the time, could be quite fun to be around due to his large knowledge, the two of you could discuss things for hours over cups of steaming tea. Peter was forever eating sweet things and would often get you to sample them with him, he went to the office often to collect the growing amount of fan mail and gifts.
Allistor was hard to categorise though. He could be extraordinarily witty and funny, but sometimes he was cold, gruff and giving one-word answers or even no answers at all.
He truly was a mystery to crack. You sighed as you thought about it, cracking your back as you settled down on the living room floor to sort out the laundry into piles.
“Y’allright?” A voice asked, coming from behind you. As one of your earphones lay snugly around your neck, you jumped when you heard it, glancing up and over your shoulder. “Yeah, why do you-.....”
You stared at him, making him roll his shoulders uncomfortably. “Why’re ya staring like that?”
He said, absentmindedly exchanging a curious glance with the kitten that sat on his shoulder. “Why have you got a kitten?”
“Adorable isn’t she?!” Peter jumped out from behind Allistor, a box crammed with letters in his arms. “C’mon Al, we’ve still got loads of stuff to bring inside.”
“Here.” The Scotsman gently placed the kitten on your lap, hurrying outside to get a box. You watched the kitten carefully as it did with you, its large green eyes staring up at you.
It sneezed and you jumped spectacularly, sighing at your stupidity. The kitten started looking around and having spotted the washing basket, it happily jumped in, nestling itself on one of Dylan’s woolly jumpers.
“Hey, you can’t sleep there.” You said, gingerly poking it. It mewled in response, stretching out a bit and closing its eyes.
“Why is there a kitten in the basket?” Flynn asked you, one of his arms slung over the back of his seat as he turned. You shrugged. “Beats me.”
Peter clapped his hands, gaining everyone’s attention. The twins and Welshman looked up from their books, Arthur leaning on the banister of the stairs and you furrowed your brows, wondering what they were going to say.
Allistor had a cigarette hanging from the side of his mouth, leaning casually against the wall. “We’ve pretty much sorted out the letters and things, we’ve each got our own box, well Flynn, Iain, you’re sharing one. A lot of the letters were addressed to both of you. Also Artie, you’ve got two.”
Arthur sighed, ruffling his hair. “Alright.”
Dylan tentatively picked up the kitten up. “And this?”
Peter grinned. “Well, that’s actually a present for Allistor. A fan pushed it in his hands before he could refuse it.”
Allistor shrugged. “Said our eyes were the same.”
You stood up, looking the black cat straight in the eye. “..... Have you got a name yet?” You asked, giggling when Dylan set the bundle of fluff on your shoulder.
The redhead thought for a moment, then smirked when he found a name. “Vince...Noir. Yeah, I like that.” He grinned and ruffled the cat’s head. “From now on you’re Vince Noir.”
“I thought she was a girl?”
You facepalmed and laughed at him, gaining a grin from him. “Well, we’ll need a collar for her.” You said, returning to the washing. “I think I might have one somewhere...”
“That’d be great lass.” He said, sitting down next to you to pick out his underwear from the pile of clothes. It was too embarrassing seeing you handle his underwear, not that the others really had a problem with it.
“Right! Come get your clothes and I’ll go get the collar.” You told them with a smile, cradling your own clothes in your arms. After the twins had done the laundry once, they taken the piss out of your choice of underwear so ever since you’d been doing the washing.
“It should be here somewhere...” You muttered to yourself, rummaging through your many drawers. Honestly, you were such a hoarder, you almost never threw anything away since you never knew if you could use it in the future.
As a consequence, you had a lot of junk and random items in your chest of drawers. “Is that it?” You muttered, having felt a leather band of some sort.
After a moment of struggling you managed to tug it out of the tangled pile, though the moment you lay your eyes on it, you dropped it as if you’d been stung by a bee.
“Wha-I thought I’d got rid of it!” You whispered, biting your lip. The memories you’d so carefully locked away started breaking loose, an image of the three boys laughing with you dominating your mind.
Gasping, you stepped backwards, tripping onto your bed. As your back hit the mattress you felt your lungs constrict. A strangled sob left your mouth and you hugged yourself, your knees against your chest.
“Hey lass, you got that collar yet?” Allistor knocked on your door, ruffling his hair. The door creaked open slightly as you’d forgotten to close it.
“Lass?” You quivered, hastily trying to dry your tears but fruitlessly, he’d already spotted them. Barely thinking, he strode over to you, picking you up and holding you tightly against his chest. “Don’t cry.” He murmured, continuing it like a chant whilst he rocked you gently.
After a while, your crying died down and he smiled, stroking your hair. “Mind telling me what got you like this?” He asked, his tone surprisingly soft for one as gruff as him.
You looked at the leather cord solemnly, glancing up at him when he gasped.