"What is this world coming to? Murders, thefts, kidnapping; before you know the Armageddon will be upon us," Rumpelteazer exclaimed, receiving an odd look from Roquefort.
"Where did you hear that?"
"Cat Morgan. Did you know that somebody broke in to his office? Just earlier this month; they still don't know who did it, they left without a trace."
"Do you know what they did," Roquefort asked as he shuffled about, "At Faber's?"
"Broke into some safety deposit boxes and took the jewelry and deeds; that what Cat told me at least."
"You worship him don't you? You quote him nearly once a week," Roquefort poked, "You need to start being independent, after all you are... how old now?"
"Six months" she boasted, "Cat says that I'm going to be a heartbreaker once I start meeting toms."
"Over my dead body, no sister of mine is going to be fooling around with toms," he growled playfully.
She giggled, stepping over the melting snow, "Cat Mor-"
"I don't want to hear another 'Cat Morgan says' out of you. Let's hear something from the mind of Tiny Teazer."
"I'm not tiny," she cried.
"I know that's from your mind," he coughed, rolling his eyes, "You excited?"
"Yeah, I get to spend the whole day with Cat," she exclaimed, "I found this patch of ice the other day and I'm going to bring him to it before it melts so we can skate. I would bring him to it later but he's going to be gone tomorrow with Faber to that meeting thing... It might be melted by the time he's back."
"Yeah," he said, the marmalade tom coming into view, "Hello Morgan."
"Hello Roquefort, my Tiny Teazer," he greeted, scooping up the queen.
"Tiny, we know," Roquefort sighed as she crossed her arms in frustration. "I heard that the office was broken into, sorry."
"No need to be," he chided, "We lost a few clients and, there was a big dispute but most of the wrinkles are smoothened out. So what are you going to do while me and Rumpel play?"
"Sleep," he said with a grin, "I'll be back around five, before you have to leave. Thank you Morgan."
"No problem, you go sleep," Cat Morgan said as he waved him away, "I'm told that there's an ice patch I need to skate on."
Roquefort walked away, heading towards the junkyard to see Macavity. He awoke to find a letter next to him, explaining that Macavity wanted to see him as soon as possible. What for, he didn't know but something told him that it couldn't be good. He walked into the part of the Junkyard that Macavity ruled over, passing the familiar faces of the, mostly, unfamiliar cats. He waved to the few he knew, not well enough as he did Griddlebone, but enough to be able to hold a conversation with. He looked at the vast whiteness of the door and knocked, the common uneasy feeling washing over him. He heard Macavity growl to him to enter from within. He took one last breath and walked inside. Macavity was sitting in the corner of the room, fiddling some sort of wind up toy.
"Roquefort," he pointed at the tom's usual seat, "can you tell me where you were last night?"
"I was-" he started as Macavity cut him off.
"Because you were not where you were supposed to be. You," he pointed a claw at Roquefort, "were supposed to be watching that queen you brought here this month. Since you weren't here, she wasn't being guarded; do you know what that means?" He opened his mouth to comment but was cut off once again, "It means that she got away. Her little friends came by and took her back. Why weren't you here Roquefort?"
"I wasn't told that I was to watch her," Roquefort protested, a growl rising in Macavity's throat. Roquefort stood up quickly, eyes blazing as bad as Macavity's.
"You were told that you were to watch her last week," the red tom snarled, "I, personally, told you." Roquefort furrowed his brow slightly, trying to remember, but failed. "She's much too protected now to get her back. I may just have to find myself a new queen now; perhaps a calico!"
"You agreed to leave her out of this," Roquefort yelled back, clenching his claws, "I'm the one you're angry at."
"I'm not angry, I'm furious," he hissed, "livid, enraged, seething, infuriated. Pick one, Roquefort; none of them can properly describe how I'm feeling right now."
"I don't care anymore Macavity," Roquefort shouted, "Ever since you got me on your side you've been making my life a living hell! I don't sleep anymore, I barely have fun with Rumpelteazer anymore because I'm always paranoid that something will happen to her, I'm constantly stressed, I hate myself for what you're making me do, and I can still hear the screams. The one that came from that tom you made me kill still haunts my dreams. There is nothing, nothing, which I would love more then for you to die!"
"Oh, you shall pay for that," Macavity growled, swiping at Roquefort who pushed the paw out of the way, just enough so that he wouldn't get harmed.
"Tonight," he stated, "I'm going to pick Rumpelteazer up, bring her home, tuck her in one last time, and I'll come back. Then you can do what you must."
Macavity stared down at him, his brow deeply lined in thought. He slowly lowered his paw and stepped back, "Very well," he sneered, "but if you are not back before dawn I'm coming after you and both you and your sister will suffer."
"Of course," he nodded, leaving the freezer. He walked across the area, knees shaking and feeling light headed.
"Roquefort what is going on," Griddlebone asked, jogging along side of him, "I was on the other side of the bounds and I could hear you yelling. Is everything alright?"
Roquefort stopped, realization hitting him like a ton of bricks, "I'm going to die tonight Griddle."
"What," she gasped in horror, "you're... why?"
"His queen was rescued," he said, voice cracking, "Time to pay the piper."
"No, Roquefort you can't die," the older queen said as she gripped his shoulders, "I can't loose you. You're like a little brother to me. You're the only one here who I can tolerate, you actually have a soul. You're here to protect your sister while everyone else here only cares about their own fur... I'll die before I let you die."
"No, don't," he said gently, "Don't die. I'm going to die so Rumpelteazer will be safe; if I leave he's going to get me and her. You stay here; try to keep an eye on her. Make sure that she doesn't get messed up like me."
Griddlebone leaned in and brought him into a warm hug, "Sure thing," she squeaked out, placing a small kiss on his cheek, "I'm going to miss you."
"Same here," he shuddered, "I'm going to go get Rumpel and bring her home," he said walking off, not daring to look back at the tall white queen. Some how he managed to pull himself together by the time he got to the porch of Faber and Faber, "Ready to go Teazer?"
"Yeah," she said reluctantly, giving the old tom one last embrace, "did you sleep well?"
"What," he asked, before remembering his alibi, "Slept great. Farewell Morgan," he called, receiving a wave of the paw. He picked Rumpelteazer up, who giggled in delight, as she was piggybacked across the road. Roquefort listened as she told him about skating and how many times Cat Morgan fell, which was more then she did. He placed her down on the blanket, which she fixed so it was more comfortable.
"You're almost grown up Rumpelteazer;" Roquefort said quietly, "Momma would love you." She looked up at him curiously, "I can still remember back when you were small, must have been two months old, you got covered in mud for the first time. You looked so much like Momma, so beautiful. And when you learnt how to walk, and when you were first born. You were so tiny, a real Tiny Teazer. I thought that I was going to loose you. I had no idea how to take care you or what to do; I've been winging it ever since."
"Well you're doing a great job," she praised, "and we always have fun."
"Always go to the park and play," he added sadly, tears suddenly formed in his eyes and began falling before he could stop them, "There's so much that we didn't do yet."
"We can do it tomorrow then," she said as she gave him a tight hug, "No need to cry. We can do everything you want, I don't mind."
"Rumpelteazer, I need to tell you something important," she pulled back, arms still wrapped around him, "Never let anyone use you. Go with your gut instinct every time, no one will blame you for not doing something that scares you. Never let anyone make you feel belittled; always walk with your head high and be proud. The Everlasting Cat watches over everyone and sometimes bad things happen for a reason..."
"Like Momma dying?"
"Yeah, just like that. If she was still alive we may not be as close as we are now," he looked down at her through his tear filled eyes, "I love you Rumpelteazer..."
"I love you too Roquefort," she replied wholeheartedly.
"I don't say that enough," he scolded.
"But I know you do," she comforted as she rested her head on his shoulder. He began purring, noticing that she was soon mimic his purr like when she was small.
"Growltiger had no eye or ear for aught but Griddlebone; and the lady seemed enraptured by his manly baritone. Disposed to relaxation and awaiting no surprise, but the moonlight shone reflected from a thousand bright blue eyes..." he whispered, as she fell asleep. He gently laid her down, and tucked her in. He gave her a kiss on her forehead, as he always did before running off to Macavity's, and took one last look at her. Night had fallen and he didn't see any reason to postpone the inevitable. He stood up, said one last 'good night', and was gone.
Rumpelteazer's tail twitched nervously; this was wrong. She noticed that things were immediately wrong; Roquefort was not around when she woke up. Every morning, since the dawn of her creation, she would wake up with him beside her. She figured that he may just be out getting some food but it was late afternoon by now, nearly early evening and he still wasn't back. She stood up and began to smell the air; his scent was still stale; he must still be a ways away. Impatience getting the best of her, she walked to the end of the alley, calling out his name but was given no response. She ran to the back alleys where they'd get food, the park, and the neighboring alleys but his scent was not among any of the places. Night was beginning to fall and light was soon fading.
She checked Cat Morgan's place, even though Morgan was not there, and called out his name as loud and as long as her lungs would allow. But no one yelled back. She took off back to home, hoping to see that he was back, or at least his scent was. She was at the end of her alley when she picked up something, something that tickled her nose. She followed it, it smelled like Roquefort but something about it smelt out of place. After jogging down the street, to a part of London she was not familiar with, she collapsed. Running about London wore her out; her stomach was empty, as it had been so for the past few days, and she was out of breath. Her head spun like a top and she closed her eyes, hoping to regain her sense but fell asleep.
She awoke sometime during the night; a transfer truck had just passed and sent a wave of slush, which had puddle up in the streets, washing over her. She stood up in shock and shook herself out. She shivered in the cold air and began looking around, it was hard to tell which way was home in the dark. She squinted in the dim light; there was a dark form of a cat just a few feet ahead of her. Normally, she wouldn't even approach such a figure, as she was told not to by Roquefort and Morgan many times. She was far from home, couldn't remember how to get back, and still didn't find her brother; it was time to put her faith in the goodness of strangers and see if he could help her. She took a few steps forward, speaking gently so she wouldn't startle him when she stopped and took a few steps back in fear.
A car just went by, their headlights illuminating the form on the sidewalk. Roquefort stared unconditionally at her, eyes wide and blank. His jovial smile was now slack jawed and his white and orange fur was matted and tinted with dried blood. She scrambled over to him, staring down in disbelief, "Roquefort...?" She shook him gently, his body cold under her paws. She batted his whiskers, which was how she always woke him up in the morning, but he just kept staring at her. Her voice cracked as she fell on top of him, hugging his middle, "Roquefort..." She stayed there, hugging him, tears flowing from her eyes. She tried to breath in his scent, remembering his pine tree scent but couldn't distinguish it from the harsh scent of blood. She pulled away, unsure of what to do with his body. She stood up; her own fur splotched with blood, and ran. Tears were clouding her vision; her mind was constantly showing her his corpse, and her paws aching from pounding into the pavement.
She fell to the ground, landing harshly on her side, bringing on a new wave of tears – this time of pain. She didn't move, she was ready for the Everlasting Cat to pick her up, bring her to the Heavyside Layer with the rest of her family. She closed her eyes, and prayed that they wouldn't open.
"Are you alright?"
"Am I dead?"
"Then I'm not alright," Rumpelteazer sobbed. She could feel sunshine on her face, the fresh air tickling her nose, and a new voice piquing her curiosity. She opened her eyes, seeing the outline of a tabby cat. Her heart fluttered for a brief moment, believing that it was Roquefort, but realized that the tabby was grey, not orange.
"What happened," he asked, helping her to her paws. Her breath caught in her throat, amazed at how he could know that something was wrong with in five seconds of talking to her. She then noticed that her fur was covered with dried blood, filth, knotted and tussled; a wreck compared to his sleek, shiny, clean fur.
"I..." she bit her lip, looking down, "My brother, he's dead. I found him last night... I... I..."
"Shh," the grey tabby said soothingly, pulling her into a comforting hug, "It's alright, cry if you want." Rumpelteazer found that to be a good idea and allowed her tears to flow again, "Where is he?"
"Couldn't tell you if I wanted to," she admitted glumly, "Who are you?"
"Munkustrap; and who are you little one?"
"Rumpelteazer," she said as she wiped away some tears, "Do you know where my alley is at?"
"No," he said shaking his head apologetically, "Is you mother or father there?"
"No one is, just my bed. And I know where everything is from my bed. Where to get food, where to play, which spots are warm, and where other cats are so I won't be lonely..."
"If you like you can stay here instead. There are plenty cats here that can keep you company, get you food, take care of you, and many different warm spots to sleep," he offered with a kind smile, "I don't see why someone as young as you should be living out there alone."
"I suppose that you do have a point," she sniffled, laying her paw in his, "Where am I anyways."
"The Jellicle Junkyard"
A/N: Well, here we are – at the end of the prequel. Expect the sequel sometime this week. It feels as if it was forever since I last updated – let alone written. Well – I don't have much to say; for once; I know, I'm surprised too.
Mima-Love and Chimmy-Lava – Another joint reply! gasp How did you know it was Demeter? Woops – I changed it to two 'm's once you told me. The more nicknames the more I love you. It was pretty well for the time being – we're still chasing each other. You bet I did. You're as modest as I am Mima. Hollah! See yous at the board and you didn't ruin my hair.
Poe – You call that a lump? There's a lump on her rump big enough to be a hump Don't let Mima know that you hate Macavity... she'll go crazy on you.
lozzypop – How did you guess it was Demeter? You may be reading into it a bit too much but it's giving me ideas for the sequel... And I like it. I don't dip tea biscuits – I don't drink tea or coffee either. And the polar bears are good – they have been for a while now, thanks for asking. I'll stick with my bears – I ride them to school. And – just so you know – your reviews always make my day.
Mystitat – Is everyone trying to make me think? Jellylorum you say... I like it. I could always change it from the obvious to her... Hmmm
Broken Smyl – I'm glad that you liked the story – even though it's the end of this one the sequel's coming soon. I dyed my hair pink again – flamingo pink! It's hot – everyone says so.
Well... at least you'll be warm. There's always a silver lining