Author: NorthernOutcast PM
One-shots based on the Snapshots drabbles.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 2,451 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 06-22-12 - id: 8245702
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own any characters in this bit of fanfiction nor do I receive any sort of monetary value from writing this. Cats belongs to both the wonderful T.S. Eliot and the amazing Andrew Lloyd Webber in conjunction with the Really Useful Group.
A/N: So Munku/Dem just for writing practice, I'm trying for more feeling and imagery in my writing so reviews would be greatly appreciated.
This is a bit of an elaboration/follow-up to the snapshots drabble Laughter.
Munkustrap sat up slowly in his nest of blankets groaning, his back and sleep laden joints protested the change in position and responded with a series of loud creaks and cracks. The silver tabby sighed and leaned forward placing his elbows on his thighs, he dropped his head into his upturned palms. Another groan escaped his lips and rubbed circles on his eyelids before looking up and dragging his fingers down the length of his face. He had lived a couple years more than three decades but easily felt as if he had lived three decades more. Life for him was routine, each day past was a nearly perfect carbon copy of the previous day's agenda and he knew more than likely each future day would follow the same haunting pattern.
He would rise from his bed every morning just before dawn and feel a bit older and a bit less enthusiastic for the day's tasks ahead. He would flit about the junkyard and practice for the year's Jellicle ball with the tribe or prepare for the upcoming winter, then exhausted, he would return to his den and his mate. Occasionally they would mate, he and his golden queen, but even those times were few and far between, and more often then not unenjoyable. She wanted kittens but with the stress of running the junkyard and protecting the Jellicles from the likes of the Hidden Paw and the harsh winters he found it harder each time to even respond to her intimate advances. So often he would wait until she had fallen asleep then crawl in bed beside her to lie awake reminiscing about his kittenhood and the days when Deuteronomy had been the head of the junkyard.
As Jellicle protector he had always wondered why it was that his father had left him, and the junkyard, soon after he had reached adulthood. He had once believed it was a test, a culmination of the years of training he had endured put into a real world setting to see if he could carry on his father's duties after he passed. He had held on to that belief for three long years before he had worked up the courage to ask Deuteronomy when he would be returning to live in the Junkyard, he wasn't. For years afterward he had lived in confusion, surely Old Deuteronomy, the most respected and revered Jellicle, loved the Junkyard and the tribe of cats that lived there. Didn't he? But as the tabby rose from his nest each day he realized that he now understood his father's actions. His father adored the Jellicles and the junkyard would always be his home, and it was this unconditional love that drove him to stray from the tribe. Munkustrap had only been the Junkyard leader for seven years but already he felt the weight of the world standing on his soul, the tabby couldn't imagine spending ten more years in his position let alone the fifty his father had.
Once in a while he would rise before the moon began it's descent and travel to the highest point of the junkyard, when he reached the perch he would thank the black and white patched cat that would be waiting there for his nighttime vigilance and send him on his way. Then, from his platform with his back turned to the majority of the junkyard, he would greet the sun and the morning. He would look out jealously beyond the confines of his home and admire the glittering, light framed world just out of reach. He would compare the two sides, the junkyard, muted in darkness, to the outside world bathed in yellow and orange. He would sit and think of that old saying 'All that glitters is not gold' and think that perhaps, just this once, that saying didn't apply. However, regardless of whether or not this glitzy world he longed for was fools gold or genuine, the silver tabby knew deep down inside someday he too would leave the Jellicles. It wasn't a matter of if, but a matter when, and his when would be the time that his tiring monotonous routine resulted in a mishap that would become a liability to the junkyard's safety.
There had already been an incident where he had been stringing up lights a couple years back in the clearing for MungoJerrie and Rumpleteazer's coming of age ceremony. Usually he would check the equipment three or for times but he had been tired and figured that since this would be the fifth ceremony in five years that he didn't need to check them. Half way through the ceremony, when Skimbleshanks was giving his speech about his Niece and Nephew's character peppered tastefully with some of their antics, the lights had snapped and the resulting spark had cause a fire. Luckily the sleeping kittens hadn't been harmed when Jenny and Skimble's den had been caught in the blaze, and the minimal damage to the structure was easily repaired. He had gotten lucky that time, but eventually his luck would run out. But for now, until that day arose, he would hoist himself out of bed despite his body and mind's protest and fulfill his duties as protector.
Munkustrap squinted as he stepped out of his den, the rising sun was unusually harsh this morning, but what wasn't unusual was the figure that sat on the garbage can outside the den. He walked to the edge of the can and sat down next to the queen, she gave him a nuzzle and he reciprocated the gesture.
"Good morning, you're up rather early." Munkustrap sighed and frowned, he hadn't meant to sound so tired and run down.
"You say the same thing every morning." Demeter responded with a voice just as weary as his had been.
The pair sat in silence looking out over the junkyard in the light of the rising sun, when it rose high enough to illuminate the entirety of the area Munkustrap stretched and rose carefully from his seat of the brim of the garbage can lid. The tabby extended his arm towards his mate and helped her to her feet as well but nearly dropped her when he heard a loud giggle.
The couple kneeled and peeked over the edge of their perch, two young cats came into view. The first was a queen with calico patterned coat of white, orange, and black. She would trot a couple of feet then stop and look over her shoulder shaking her rump suggestively at the second cat, a tom, that was not far behind. The tom's coat was mostly black and mottled with orange and patches of white, his chest, right leg, and belly were mostly white as well. He would leap at the queen and chuckle when he landed just out of reach, eventually he caught her and the two shared a a quick kiss before the queen wiggled out of his embrace and dashed away once again.
"Remember when we were like that Munk?" Demeter sighed longingly and laid on her belly resting her head in her hands, the gold and black queen's green eyes never left the giggling pair on the ground.
"Dem, I hate to break it to you but I don't think we were ever like that." the silver tabby said and dodged a swat from his mate.
Munkustrap sat back down on the lid of the garbage can and studied the queen, although she was still young by most standards she looked beyond her years. Her eyes looked tired and her ears hung limply at the sides of her head. A few years ago she had held her tail high and proud and now it had a thinned patch of fur from where it had been dragging on the ground, even her lustrous gold, ruby, and ebony coat seemed to have dulled.
"What happened to us Dem?" Munkustrap sighed and rested his cheek in his palm. "We used to be so lively and carefree."
Demeter returned his gaze, the look in her eyes told him that time hadn't been on his side as far as appearance went either. "We grew up, you didn't think we'd be kittens forever did you?"
"So did Skimble and Jenny, and they aren't like us. They're pretty much the same way they were since the day we met them." the silver tom stated flatly.
"True, but they didn't grow up with the same responsibilities we did." Demeter responded and put a hand on her mate's shoulder. "Like the ones that we should be getting to rather than talking about how we have responsibilities." She pushed herself up onto her hands and knees and stood, she started to walk back towards their den but stopped when she realized her mate wasn't following.
"Are you coming?" she asked as she turned back towards the tom and put her hands on her hips.
The silver tabby responded with a non-committed shrug.
The gold and black queen rolled her eyes and walked briskly back over to the silver tom, "Come on Munk, we have work to do." She huffed and tugged on his arm urging him to join her.
"I'm tired" he whispered solemnly and slumped his shoulders.
"Me too," Demeter agreed. "The faster we complete or chores the soon-"
"No, I mean I'm tired of it all" Munkustrap grumbled quietly, "I just want to leave."
"Maybe we can put Admetus on sentry duty and Alonzo on call tonight then we can go out on the town." she suggested, she stroked his headfur and scratched behind his ears.
"No Dem, you don't understand. I want to leave here, just go and see the world outside of the junkyard." The tabby exclaimed excitedly, he turned and grasped Demeter's hand in his own. "I want us to go out and enjoy life together before we end up like father."
Demeter stared into the silver tabby's bright gold eyes, her mouth slightly agape and her body unmoving. Then suddenly a loud snort ripped through the silence and the queen doubled over in a fit of wild laughter.
Munkustrap's expression darkened, he crossed his arms across his striped chest and glared at his mate unamused. "What's so funny?" he asked angrily.
"You are!" the queen answered mid-chortle, "You? Leave? You wouldn't last more than a week outside of the junkyard without me!"
"I could make it on my own!" Munkustrap rebutted "And I had no intentions of going alone anyway! I thought we could go together! We are mates after all."
Demeter sat beside Munkustrap and wiped her eyes on the back of her hands, "Remember when we were kittens and it was our first time going outside of the junkyard to practice hunting?"
"Yeah, I think so." the tom said and looked up to try to recall the memory.
"No you don't!" the gold queen proclaimed cheerfully. "There was a mild sun shower that day and you hid in your den because you thought you heard lightening!"
Munkustrap's ears reddened and he looked away from his mate, "So? That doesn't prove anything, I was just a kitten then."
"So you were a kitten last week when Pounce and Mungo threw a rock at the side of our den and you stayed up for three days looking for Macavity? Or what about last month when you made all the kittens sleep in our den because Tugger told you he saw a pollicle at the junkyard gate so he could steal the rest of your cream?" Demeter jested and leaned against the silver tabby.
"Alright, alright, I see your point, but you're one to be talking. You're just as neurotic as I am." Munkustrap pointed out nuzzling the gold and black queen's ear. "But still, I don't want us to end up like father, old and sad, I don't want us to just get up and leave the tribe someday without warning."
"You can't blame your father for wanting to leave here, he lost two mates here, one of them the the mother of his sons. This junkyard holds a lot of sad memories for him." Demeter said sadly and snuggled closer to the silver tabby. "I've been out there before, and I know that what I say may not matter at this point but It's not at all what it seems like. Yes, the work is hard, and it seems like no one appreciates what you do for the tribe but at the end of the day I can assure you that each and every cat here would be devastated if you left."
"I wouldn't be so sure about that, I'm almost a hundred percent sure that Tugger would see me leaving as a blessing. He'd probably turn our den into a night club or something for wandering queens." Munkustrap scoffed and looked out into the distance, the entirety of the junkyard was now illuminated, the area beyond the junkyard fence had slipped into darkness beneath a cloudy sky.
"Well I can't speak for that meat-head brother of yours but I'm certain everyone else would miss you." Demeter wiggled away from the tom and stood, "I know I would" she added before walking back towards their den once more.
Munkustrap smiled brightly as her words repeated themselves over and over in his mind. He turned and watched the queen saunter away, the light caught her coat in such a way that her entire being radiated an angelic hue. They say that all that glitters is not gold, but perhaps, no, undoubtedly this time they were wrong.
A/N: Another Munk/Dem one that has been sitting around my hard drive for a month or so. I like the beginning, the ending is terrible though, but then again, endings have always been hard for me.