Disclaimer - I don't own Cats or the song.
A lonely patched caramel queen stood on her own on a desolate beach on a grey evening in early January, regret clouding her mind. What really had caused Tumblebrutus to change like he had? Had her love curdled away inside of his heard, like soured milk? The cold wind bit at her, but nothing could make her feel more cold and alone than how he had left her without real reason. He had resumed his place as bosun on the grey lady, the ship belonging to the pirate lord Growltiger, coincidentally the father to her no longer loyal mate, Tumble. She briefly closed her eyes, reminiscing the times that the two had spent together, a single tear falling from one eye. She wiped it away with one claw, choking on her slowly welling tears. Quietly, she began to let out how she felt through song. Her singing voice was terrible, but nobody was there to hear her.
Here I stand alone, with this weight upon my heart,
And it will not go away
She took in another breath, another tear escaping her grasp.
But in my head I keep on looking back, right back to the start,
Wondering what it was that made you change
She looked out across the murky dark waters which her mate right at this moment would be travelling across. Where he was going, she had no idea. When he was coming back, nobody knew. That would be, better worded, if he was coming back. Did he still have feelings for her? She prayed he would remember her, even past his dreams of whatever may lay out past the murky seas.
Well I tried but I had to draw the line
But still this question keeps on spinning in my mind
She bit her lip. Why had he left her? Had she done something wrong? Had she not been loyal enough in his opinion? More crystalline tears dripped down her patched face, remembering a piece of advice her cousin, Victoria, had given her. No tom is worth your tears, she recalled, and the one who is won't make you cry. Did that mean that Tumble wasn't good enough for her? Shouldn't she have dated him in the first place? Life had become a whirlpool of confusion over the last couple of weeks. If she shouldn't have dated Tumble, why had they had so many good times together? How could they have made what had been such a successful relationship if he still had the ability to hurt her in the way he had? A dark thought struck her. Had he ever really loved her? Above all, one question stood out.
What if I had never let you go, would you be the cat I used to know?
If I'd stayed, if you'd tried, if we could only turn back time…
She paused, sighing sadly.
But I guess… we'll never know
That last line was more from the heart than any of the others. How could she know the impossible? She cautiously licked one of her tears from the corner of her mouth, a certain need to continue, to relieve herself of her pain.
Many roads to take, some to pain, some to heartache
Anyone could lose their way
Yes, she thought to herself, anybody can make the mistake to break someone else's heart. Nobody was perfect enough avoid hurting someone else unintentionally.
And if I said that we could take it back, right back to the start
Would you take the chance and make the change?
Meanwhile, a brown and white tom hazily opened his dark brown eyes, the traces of a hangover lingering from last night. Damn it, he was in one hell of a mess. Why had he broken an innocent queen's heart? Why had he crushed it and burnt it to cinders? One careless move one drunken evening a fortnight ago, one giant mess of wasted love and broken hearts. He realised he was still holding a half full bottle he had started last night. Disgusted at his own actions, he threw it away from himself. It was the bottle that had lost him his love and secure past life style, it had lost him…
He slapped himself in the face. He was blaming the drink for all that had happened. What self respecting tom blamed the bottle and not himself? He had lost his mate and lifestyle, and everything else that he had lost, through his own actions. He looked out over to where they were heading. Partially smirking, he realised that they were heading home. He could see his mate on the beach, but he could easily guess that she had not anticipated his arrival and that she was not waiting for him there. He felt his face drain of colour as she walked calmly into the water until she was waist deep, and then swept out into the current, just as she appeared to have planned. Her move made him panic. To him, he had made her do this. He had abandoned her and broken her heart, so she had attempted suicide. Clumsily, he hastily clambered over the ship's side and despite the after affects of the alcohol, made strong swimming strokes toward her. She was bobbing up and down in the water, apparently unconscious, and drifting further and further from the shore. In a strong front crawl, he crept closer towards her in the icy cold waters, paying no attention to the nagging fatigue as he tirelessly battled the waves to reach the one his heart still bled for. Mere moments later, he had her limp lightweight body in his paws and with the strength he didn't know that he had he hauled her back to the shore, despite the raging currents. For a few moments, he crouched by her side, recovering from the sudden and unexpected burst of exercise, panting and gazing down at his mate, ashamed with himself. In affect, he had brought her to this. Why did she have to pay for his foolishness? He let out an internal sigh as he saw her vaguely come round, and patted her back gently to help her bring up some of the sea water. Then she turned tearful eyes on him, and the guilt ate away at his heart once more. Despite what she had just that minute been through, she continued singing to him, her voice now hoarse from retching up the sea water.
Do you think how it could have been sometimes?
Do you wish that I'd never left your side?
She couldn't carry on with any more of the song; she was too emotionally hurt. Her eyes now reflected the guilt that resided in his eyes, and clearly conveyed the message I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you.
Tumble gently wrapped his paws around his mate's waist, and pulled her in close.
"Tumble, I –" she seemed unable to word how she was feeling.
Tumble first placed a claw on her lips, a comforting expression answering her confused gaze. A further tear trickled down her cheek, and he removed the claw from her lips to wipe it away. She remained silent, blinking a few times. Then for a couple of moments, he kissed her gently. When he pulled away, he told her quietly,
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have left you, and I promise that, if you do take me back, I'll never turn away from you again."
He then brought his face closer and whispered so that she could only just hear him.
She then tearfully regained a smile and returned in quiet song, altering the words slightly,
And I guess… I can't say no.