Hello, Dr. Vorlon here.

This is my first Cat Returns fanfic. I never thought I would ever write one, but I became quite a fan of the film in a remarkably short time (to the point where I'm almost watching it on a weekly basis). I feel that the only way to purge this fixation may be to write a story.

And so here we go. From the man who brought you 'Union through Separation' and the 'Ascension' series, comes…

Apocalypse Meow

Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I don't own The Cat Returns—not now, not ever.

Haru Yoshioka was not in the cheeriest of moods.

Sitting in an outdoor café near the Crossroads, not even a quadruple moccacino could "perk" her spirits up. It seemed strange that she should be experiencing such a bout of depression, especially in light of the fact that for quite sometime, things had never been better: no more sleeping past the alarm clock, no more worrying what Machida thought of her.

And, most important of all, no more sycophantic felines going out of their way to please her, only to have the opposite effect.

Nearly a year had past since Haru's incredible adventure in the magical Kingdom of Cats, since she met three very special friends: Muta, Toto, and the Baron.

Baron…

Haru missed her friends, especially Baron. She could still vividly recall Muta's less than graceful (and occasionally unintentional) heroics, Toto's physics-defying stairway of crows…

Baron's dancing skill…

Haru sighed. Baron had told her that, if she ever needed help again, she would always know where to find them. Well, she did know where to find them, but she didn't really need help. Things were going great, and that was the problem. More and more, she found herself actually wishing that something bad would happen.

Perhaps that was the reason behind her dreams.

For the past few days, Haru had had this recurring dream in which Yuki—her very special friend from the Cat Kingdom—was in some sort of danger. It was almost as if Yuki was calling out to her for help, but that just didn't make sense. She had Prince Lune and an entire palace of servants to look after her. Besides, Yuki had tried to discourage Haru from remaining in the Cat Kingdom and for good reason: humans shouldn't set foot in that world if they don't believe in themselves.

Danger or not, why would Yuki be calling Haru back?

Maybe I'm just looking for an excuse to go back to the Cat Bureau. Yeah, that's probably it—just my subconscious or whatever looking for an excuse.

But that still didn't help with her mood.

Chucking her half-finished drink into the nearest trash receptacle, a glum Haru began making her way home.


Hiromi was not in the cheeriest of moods.

For quite sometime, Hiromi had been… bored. The things that had once thrilled her—playing lacrosse, fruitlessly pursuing Tsuge—now seemed unusually trivial. Even egging Haru into asking out Machida, when he already had a girlfriend had become uninteresting.

Not to mention pointless; Machida was now single, and Haru was no longer interested in him for reasons she had never satisfyingly explained.

Hiromi just wanted so much more than what life was currently dealing her. I'm a talented, spirited young woman. Is it too much to ask that I get just a little bit of excitement? Just once?

She was returning from practice, carrying a lacrosse stick—and not just any old lacrosse stick. It was nearly a year ago that Hiromi woke up one morning only to find a huge freaking pile of lacrosse sticks dumped outside her home. She never did learn where they all came from, and Haru insisted that she had nothing to do with it, despite the fact that she was the only person who knew that Hiromi's stick had been broken.

She should know, seeing as how she was the one who broke it in the first place. And for what—to save some weirdo cat stupid enough to try and cross a busy street? Sure, it would've been terrible if he'd been killed, but it's not like was royalty or anything like that!

Long story short, Hiromi had no use for a hundred lacrosse sticks, so she disposed of them all save one—the one she was carrying now. For Hiromi, that incident had been the most exciting thing that had happened to her in a long time.

But not exciting enough.

"I wish something really cool would happen," Hiromi said aloud. "I wish that I could go someplace amazing, someplace where a girl like me can really use her skills to be something special."

As she said this, she failed to notice that the end of her stick was glowing.

What she didn't fail to notice was the strange, blue portal forming beneath her.

And she didn't fail to notice that she was being pulled in.

And when she found herself falling for what seemed like forever… she definitely didn't fail to notice that.

TO BE CONTINUED

So what do you think? If you'd like to read more, be sure to review. If not, I'll just bugger off and you'll never have to hear from me again.