Disclaimer: I own this fic, that's about it.

Make Believe

"Hey, what's wrong with the boss?"

Nothing was wrong with him, and he would have gladly told the ingrate sitting near the liquor barrel such had he been able to think coherently.

...I can still make it right.

That voice. It was magnificent, and he was truly lucky to have it delivered to him as a delightful whisper on the wind. He had to shake his head once or twice to make sure he could at least manage to close the short distance between himself the doors of the saloon. Once he'd reached them, he steadied himself before pushing the doors open, letting them swing shut behind him.

I'll follow my dreams...

He walked passed the dozens of mice, so foolish and trusting, slaving away on their homes and putting the finishing touches on his bar. He couldn't be bothered to notice them – for the better, perhaps; had he walked by and paid them heed, they very well may have been put at unease once more and he would have had to think up another ingenious bit of dribble to convince them they were safe.

...until they come true.

The song was louder now as he ducked beneath a walkway, again ignoring the few mice making their day's work nearby. A foot or so more and he found the source of the voice. A mouse. A pretty little thing, carrying a thimble, singing to herself and anyone else who cared to listen.

Come with me, you will see what I mean...

She knelt down beside a discarded wine bottle and a small pile of powdered mustard. He wrinkled his nose ever so slightly as she took up handfuls of the yellow dust and dipped it into the full cap of red wine, creating a thick, golden mixture.

There's a world inside no one else ever sees.

The girl knew what she was singing of, he was certain of that as he watched her carry liquid gold across wearing pages of a lost storybook. The mix spilled and stained the page, and in the sunlight it seemed to shine and glow.

Somewhere in my dreams, your dreams will come true.

He had to place his paws over his heart, in vain hoping to still the sudden throb. His breath was caught in his throat, his insides trembling with a different kind of hunger born of a strange sense of admiration making his heart swell up inside his chest.

She walked a little pile of rubbish until she was securely kneeling once more, now on an old cigar box. She took up the paintbrush she had kept aside and dipped the fine bristles into the elixir she had created, then dabbed at the windowpane before her, putting a final coat of sheen on, no doubt, her family's business.

There is a star waiting to guide us

She stood, using the paintbrush as leverage, her voice rising in time with her body. He stepped closer, paws clasped together and bottom lip trembling as she motioned dramatically to the audience inside of her mind with her free arm. She began to twirl, moving across the cigar box gracefully, even with her eyes closed; the skirt of her commoner dress curled up against her legs, fanning out only once she stopped her dance and released the brush.

If you stay close to me in my dreams tonight...

He didn't think twice. He crouched down low and placed a paw at her side. He walked his claws against the wood, creating for her a momentary dance partner. She spun around once, twice more, then reached out blindly, grasping at his paw gently, dreamily. She held onto a claw that wasn't touching the wood and used it to spin herself around, then he allowed her to dip herself, awkwardly bending his fingers and angling his wrist to do so. Strangely, he didn't mind the slight discomfort, and it was completely forgotten when the little one went limp against him for a heartbeat, the way a real lady surrenders to her lover during a most intimate dance.

You will see what I see...

He helped her up and, with his free paw at the ready, guided her off the cigar box, into the safety of his hold. Her legs gave out beneath her, bending in perfect ways to allow her comfort as she sat delicately on the smooth pads of his paw. It had been the longest while since a singer had brought a tear to his eye, but she had managed just fine, and without even realizing it. He doubted she even knew she was in the grasp of a cat, being carried away to who-knew-where.

She finished the song as he pushed aside the beaded curtain of the dressing room.

"Well, well, well. Will ya look what the cat dragged in?" The white cat said, bored as she turned around to face her cohort. "A mouse. That's a first."

"Not just any mouse," he said, then opened his gingerly cupped paws to showcase the little one. "This is a diva," he continued, hardly acknowledging the fact she'd gasped in surprise, and perhaps fear, once reality had settled in with her again.

And as the two felines bickered, she was set down gently onto the vanity's tabletop. After his nerves had been tried, he left with a courteous bow and swish of his cape, leaving his precious little thing to Miss Kitty, trusting her to make the young mouse look the part – like a real lady fit for the stage.

Back inside the saloon, he ignored Chula and the boisterous little mouse still held snugly in a useless, dried out alcohol bottle. "Ah, yes. Lovely," he waved his lackey away, almost knocking the bottle from his grasp in the process, oblivious to the way the arachnid fumbled to keep the bottle from breaking, cursing all the while.

Cat R. Waul was, by no means, a kitten that walked on air with his head in the clouds. He hadn't, for the longest time, believed that gibberish about dreams and fairytales coming true. He was a grown cat that had no time for dreams, and fairy-stories were for the lonely, no him. But that little diva had sent him reeling, with his heart pounding and his imagination getting the better of him. Sitting back in a dank corner, watching the drunkards – man and feline alike – he hummed the tune that would be stuck in his mind for a very, very long time and wondered if the Fair Maiden that could turn wine into gold could ever do with a lonesome Prince Charming.