Coricopat ran a paw along his sister's chest and felt the relieving movement of her breathing - slow and strained but breathing none the less.
"No." He smiled shakily and went to hoist Tantomile onto his shoulders.
"Here, let me." Tumble bent low and managed to slide Tantomile across his back, Coricopat looked on warily, "I'm bigger it'll be much easier for me." Tumblebrutus reassured him.
They stuck to the path that they had previously carved into the snow; the beatings of Tantomile's heart against his back giving hope to Tumblebrutus. But the storm far from calming down was continuing to rage against the two toms making their journey far harder than before.
Tantomile felt the steady swaying beneath her, soft fur under her body and a little more warmth than before. She opened an eye and saw the white blanket of snow in front of her eyes, sighing she rolled over.
Tumble felt Tantomile's body weight shift and next minute she had fallen head first into the snow.
"Stop!" He shouted to Coricopat, who turned immediately and rushed to his sister, helping her to sit up.
Tantomile looked at the two toms supporting her, "Cory? Tumble!" Coricopat smiled as she clung to Tumblebrutus. "I fell asleep didn't I?" Tantomile shivered and held Tumble closer to her, but for some reason she couldn't stop giggling. The two toms exchanged wary looks as Tantomile began to laugh.
"Tanty can you walk?" Cory nudged her and Tumble tried to help her to her paws.
"Yup." Tantomile smiled, swaying on the spot then immediately fell back onto the snow, laughing at her self. She put a paw up to her head, little black dots were appearing in front of her eyes, and she gave one last giggle before passing out again.
Tumble loaded Tantomile back onto his shoulders and set off with more urgency than before, Coricopat supporting his sister on one side. Finally the fence to the junkyard loomed before them, the toms picked up the pace upon seeing their destination. Coricopat slinked easily through the posts then turned waiting for Tumble.
Tumblebrutus stopped dead at the fence, "I can't get through with Tantomile on my back." He hissed the queen's body felt limp against his shoulders.
"Can you jump it?" Cory looked desperately at Tumblebrutus, who shook his head sadly.
"She'd fall off."
"Wake her up for a second."
Coricopat walked back through the fence and helped Tumble gently cushioning Tantomile in the snow.
Tantomile felt paws softly shaking her; the bed was very comfy if a little cold. She opened her eyes and sighed, "Oh are we still here?" The wood greeted her disappointed eyes.
"Tantomile you need to do something for me." Cory smiled.
"I can't walk Cory I tried, really I did!"
"Ssh, I know you tried." Cory calmed her, and then looked apologetically at Tumblebrutus. "You need to grip onto Tumble's back… with your claws."
Tumblebrutus gaped at Coricopat, "Now wait a min-"
"Do you want to get her back or not?" Coricopat snarled.
Tantomile was heaved upon Tumble's back again. She settled her paws both sides of his shoulders and held her breath.
"Ready? Claws!" Cory called up grimly.
Tantomile shook her head, "I don't want to."
Tumble turned his head and licked one of her paws, "its okay just do it."
She took a deep breath and slowly extended her claws, she felt Tumble tense as they sank into his skin. "Sorry, sorry, sorry!" Tantomile squealed as he began to bleed.
Tumble bit his lip trying to ignore the searing pain, he knew if he spoke he'd cry out so he just backed up and began to run at the fence, thank Bast it wasn't too high.
Tantomile shut her eyes as she felt Tumble leave the ground, he gave a small shout as his underbelly brushed the cold metal and then they landed.
"Off, off!" Tumble yelled and groaned as Tantomile's claws retracted and she slid to the ground. He collapsed onto the snow then immediately sprung back up as the cold snow stung his open wounds.
"Sorry." Tantomile rubbed her head against him and gazed at him endearingly.
"You will be," Tumble grimaced, Coricopat approached him sheepishly, "And you."
"Let's get inside then, I don't know about you two but I'm freezing cold out here."
The two toms readily agreed and supporting Tantomile between them they all headed for the twins den.
Tantomile jumped onto her bed and pulled the blankets up to her chin, rejoicing the warmth. Tumble groaned and lay on Coricopat's bed, not caring what the other tom had to say about blood on his sheets.
Coricopat collapsed onto the floor as there was no where left for him. "Thanks." He smiled at Tumblebrutus truly grateful. "You should go to see Jellylorum about your scratches."
"Scratches! Stab wounds more like." Growled Tumble, "I'll go in the morning." He glanced over to Tantomile who seemed to have fallen asleep. "I'm just going to have a little rest then I'll go back to my den." He promised Coricopat shutting his eyes.
Coricopat smirked and watched Tumblebrutus fall asleep occasionally wincing, ah well he'd earned it. Cory got up and went to sit near the entrance of the den, Tumble wasn't bad really, and come to think of it why had he been so harsh on him? Coricopat racked his brain for the reason before realising that Tumblebrutus had never done anything to offend him. He stretched and glanced at the lightened sky, it was nearly morning and the storm had subsided. Later he would clear things up with Tumblebrutus – he really had been out of order about the whole thing – and if Tantomile wanted to be Tumble's mate then he would be the first to congratulate them.
Tantomile's eyes flickered open; she had a splitting headache and felt all stiff. The last night came flooding back to her, "Everlasting cat what was I thinking?" she whispered looking over to her brother's bed, Tumblebrutus smiled across at her. "Wow Cory, you've suddenly got a whole lot better looking!" Tumble snorted and eased himself off Coricopat's bed leaving a fair sized blood stain behind.
"How are you feeling?" He took her paw in his.
"Ugh, like I've had Demeter screaming Macavity into my ears all night. And yourself?"
Tumble grimaced, "Like I've had Macavity carving Demeter's name into my back all night."
"Oh Bast yeah, sorry Tumble." Tantomile smiled weakly, Tumble patted her paw. "Um… Tumble, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry about everything that happened between us and the reason I did it-"
"Was because I forced her." Coricopat strode into the den and knelt by his sister's bed, "I made her choose between you and me… sorry."
Tumble gaped at Cory then back at Tantomile, "Well that explains a hell of a lot." He sighed.
"Maybe you two should talk – in private." Coricopat urged them.
"Sure!" Tumble grinned, he leant over to kiss Tantomile and cried out in pain, "but I'm going to see Jelly first."
"I'll come with you!" Tantomile jumped out of the bed and slid her paw into his.
Coricopat watched them leave fondly, he went to lie on his bed when he noticed the blood stain, "Tumblebrutus I'm gonna kill you!"
Tumble grinned at Tantomile when he heard the shout, "Some things never change."
So that's the fic finished. yay! Tell me what you thought about it please :)
I did start an alternative ending... but i got all depressed while writing it so i stopped... i never was very good at tragedy.
Thankyou to everyone who's reviewed, your feedback was very much appreciated!
Well thanks for reading and i hope you liked Tantomile's tale (i never did change the title afterall - meh) :D