A/N: Okay so I've been extremely sick recently and my sister and I watched American Tail: Fievel goes West. I was laughing like a moron the whole time but hey I blame the Black Plague sickness I had. O.o Anyway. This wouldn't leave me alone until I got it down on paper so yea.
*I don't own anything except the OCs and Blue Mountain*
"Tanya? Tanya, are you listening?" Fievel's voice cut thru the mousette's thoughts. She blinked at him before smiling sheepishly.
"No, sorry." She admitted. Her younger brother huffed but began his story again.
Despite her best efforts to listen to Fievel's tale about his adventures as Sheriff, Tanya's mind was elsewhere once again. 2 months of peace had passed since the cats were run out of town by Wiley Burp and Tiger, and honestly? Tanya was growing bored. Life was too simple now.
Get up, get dressed, have breakfast, feed the prairie dogs, clean papa's shop, have lunch, feed the dogs again, run errands, dinner, feed the dogs once more, clean up, go to bed; the same routine every single day.
Tanya sighed. Some days she almost wished the cats would come back. For once, she was the one in the mood for action, not her little brother, who was totally content with playing sheriff with Tiger every day.
As Fievel continued his narrative, Tanya stared out across the desert, a plan already forming in her mind.
She was going to go out into the desert tomorrow, for what reason she herself didn't even know. She supposed she'd figure it out when she got there. Hopefully there was some kind of adventure out there waiting for her.
The next day, Tanya made sure she did all her chores quickly and helped around the house more than usual. She had already packed a knapsack the night before, so when the time came that she could slip out, she grabbed the bag and a bonnet and left through the back door.
A smile formed on her face as she made her way away from Green River. She was a little scared but adrenaline was thrumming through her veins. She had never left home without permission before. It was exciting.
At least, it was exciting until she got lost. Tanya was getting worried. She didn't know where she was anymore. Her water was running low, and as far as she knew, the only place to get water for miles was back in Green River.
Soon her vision began to blur. She started to see things. More than once she found herself running or hiding from something that wasn't there.
Her water was gone. She was losing strength fast. This was a bad idea in the end. Just before she collapsed, a large canine shape filled her vision, looming over her.
She blacked out.
When Tanya came to, she found herself lying on a blanket under a tent; a LARGE tent. She found her knapsack sitting safely next to her, along with a thimble filled with water and a grape.
After taking a long, satisfying drink and a few bites from the grape, Tanya decided to finally venture outside. The stars had begun to come out and there was a fire roaring merrily in a circle of stones.
"Ah, buenas tardes, señorita. Good evening." A friendly voice met her ears. She turned and almost gasped. An elderly desert fox approached her with a grin. Her large gold hoop earrings glittered in the firelight. She sat down in front of Tanya, folding her flowing purple skirt around her ankles.
Tanya shyly smiled. "Hello." She joined the fox by the fire, watching her with interest.
"My name is Araceli. You are a far ways from home, young one." The fox said, stirring the fire with a stick. Tanya sighed.
"That's what I figured."
"You are from Green River, si?" Tanya looked up in surprise. Araceli chuckled.
"How did you know that?" Tanya asked, wondering if maybe the fox had gone through her things or something.
"I am a shaman; a magic woman if you will. I have been around a very long time. The only mice that I've seen dressed like you are living in Green River or the next town over. Less mice live in Blue Mountain, but that's only recently."
Tanya took the piece of cheese offered to her.
"Why only recently?"
"From what I have heard, a group of cats have moved into that town. Most of the mice left after that."
Tanya's heart jumped.
"Cats? What kind of cats?"
The old fox looked at her strangely but proceeded to answer her anyway.
"They call themselves the Cactus Cat Gang. A stupid name if you ask me." Araceli smiled when Tanya laughed, easily covering up her excitement.
"Totally stupid. So you're a magic woman?" Tanya wondered. Araceli nodded.
"Si. Watch this." She said. She became enveloped in light and when Tanya opened her eyes, a mouse was standing before her, but she still had the same twinkling eyes. Another flash and she was a cat, then a bird, then a snake, then back to a fox.
Tanya stared unabashedly, another plan turning in her head.
"No es nada. It's nothing. Just takes a bit of practice." Araceli winked. Tanya licked her lips before speaking again.
"You can change yourself… could you possibly change someone else?" The mousette asked quietly. The old fix arched an eyebrow.
"Someone else? Si I could. Of course, there are many things I must consider; who is this person, what am I changing them into, how long are they going to remain changed. Many elements are involved." She turned her curious gaze back to Tanya, who was munching on her cheese.
"Why do you ask, niña?"
Tanya looked up at her shyly, crawling into the offered hand so Araceli could see her better.
"Well, let's say it was a girl… and she wanted to be something else for, oh, a day or so." Tanya started. Araceli shook her head.
"I could not do it for a day. The shortest I could do a transformation would be a month." She said. Tanya's face fell slightly.
"May I ask what your plan is, niña?" She offered. Tanya sighed.
"Well I wanted to go, uhm, see the Cactus Cat Gang, but I'm a mouse. They'd eat me. So I was thinking… maybe you could make me a cat." She said, smiling hopefully. Araceli looked thoughtful.
"Do you have a family, niña?" Tanya nodded.
Araceli put her down and went back into her tent. Tanya waited patiently until the fox reemerged.
"Are you absolutely certain you want to do this?" The old fox asked, holding a pouch in her paws. Tanya thought for a moment before nodding.
Araceli knelt next to her and handed her the pouch.
"Be careful with that. Put the powder in your family's food, then come and see me as soon as you can. After I change you, your family will forget you ever existed until you change back."
Tanya took the pouch carefully and hugged Araceli's thumb.
"Oh thank you!" She squealed. "Why don't you just come with me back to town? Just so I can give them the powder and come right back." Tanya asked. Araceli looked skeptic but smiled and nodded.
The pair waited until the morning to make their way back to Green River. Tanya took longer than expected; mostly because she got in trouble to wandering off and disappearing.
She got the powder in her family's food eventually and ran back out to the edge of town to meet Araceli.
The fox led her a little further away from the town and built a fire, drawing little symbols around Tanya, muttering words in Spanish. Tanya began to feel funny. Lights started to explode in her eyes, a strange wind sounding in her ears. Then, just as suddenly as it began, it stopped.
She opened her eyes to find herself looking down on Araceli. The fox smiled and offered her a mirror.
She took it carefully, staring first at her paws. Her thin rodent paws had been replaced with fuzzy feline paws. She smiled when she saw her claws, something she had always envied the cats for having.
She then finally looked into the mirror, a wide grin splitting her face, showing off her fangs. She still had her pretty ponytail and blue eyes. Her tail was long, soft and bushy. Her brown fur was silky to the touch. She was glad that her dress had grown along with her. She giggled and hugged the now-feline Araceli.
"Thank you again!" She exclaimed. Araceli laughed and let Tanya squeeze her.
"I will show you to Blue Mountain."
The two cats made it to the town. Araceli grabbed Tanya's hand before she entered the town.
"Remember, Tanya. One month. That's all you have. After that the spell wears off." Tanya nodded, wishing her goodbye. She squared her shoulders and entered the town's gates, staring around at her surroundings.
They weren't much different from Green River, except Araceli was right; mice were the minority in this town. She saw smartly dressed humans and felines alike. She was glad she had the sense to change back into the dress Miss Kitty had made for her when she went to— she shook her head, stopping that train of thought at the station.
Lost in her thoughts, she bumped into someone.
"Oh, beggin' your pardon." A southern voice said. She found herself looking at a beautiful orange tabby cat dressed in a similar blue dress. The tabby smiled.
"Didn't see you there. You new 'round here?" She asked, offering her hand and helping Tanya to her feet. She dusted off her dress.
"Uhm, yes. I just got here actually." Tanya replied, which wasn't a total lie. The tabby laughed.
"Welcome then! I'm Allie. What's your name sugar?"
Tanya smiled back, taking an instant liking to the cat.
"Tanya." She stopped. "But everyone calls me Tillie." She corrected herself. She didn't want anyone possibly recognizing her.
"Nice t'meet ya Tillie. That's a lovely name. Hey, you need a job?" Allie said bluntly, her smile never leaving her face.
"Uhh, yea. I do actually." Tanya figured if she was going to be here for a month, she'd need a way to sustain herself.
"I know just the place for you! Wait, can you sing?" Allie asked. Tanya chose to ignore the sinking feeling in her stomach.
"Yes. I want to be a singer." Allie's face lit up.
"I can get you one at my job! Follow me!" She grabbed Tanya's paw and pulled her along.
Tanya's stomach only sunk lower as she saw Allie leading her towards a saloon. The doors swung open and Tanya felt all the eyes turn and look at her. She put on a brave face, reminding herself that she wasn't a mouse anymore. She found herself smiling more as she was led through the saloon, attracting a few slack-jawed stares.
Allie led her behind a curtain and into what Tanya assumed was Allie's dressing room.
"We've got to get some make-up on ya before we go see the boss." She chirped, already sitting Tanya down and doing her lips. Within minutes, Tanya was staring at herself in the mirror, smiling happily at the cat she saw there. Strangely enough, she was actually getting used to seeing a cat in the mirror.
"Ya like it?" Allie asked, smiling over her shoulder. Tanya nodded.
"Good. Let's go get you a job." Allie took her hand again and escorted her back out of the dressing room. They stopped in front of a door in the back.
"Hold on a minute." Allie said. She pulled a single strand of hair out of Tanya's ponytail, letting it hang in a loose curl next to her face.
"There." Allie smiled. "Now smile pretty." She knocked on the door, waiting a minute before opening the door. Beautiful piano music came from within. Tanya was captivated as she followed Allie into the room. She froze, seeing the figure at the piano stop playing and sit up straight.
"Miss Allie, you had better have an adequate excuse for interrupting my piano playing." The smooth British voice met Tanya's ears.
"Got someone here who needs a job, sir." Allie said, motioning for Tanya to step forward. She did, albeit reluctantly.
The red-clad figure at the piano stood and straightened his shirt before turning to face the two women. Tanya swallowed hard as she found herself face-to-face with Cat R. Waul once more. She held fast as his bright green eyes bore into her own blue ones.
"Really…" He drawled. He didn't seem so scary now that Tanya could look into his face. He stepped around the piano bench, grabbing his top hat from atop the piano.
"And who might this be?" He asked, directing the question at Allie but keeping his gaze focused on Tanya.
"Tillie. My name is Tillie." Tanya said, glad her voice didn't shake. She curtseyed politely as her mother had taught her when she was little.
"Charmed I'm sure." Waul said, a smile finally appearing on his face. Tanya relaxed slightly when he took off his hat and bowed.
"Mr. Cat R. Waul at your service." He flashed Tanya a suave grin. Tanya heard Allie giggle next to her. No doubt she was blushing too. She felt it in her cheeks.
"Can you sing, Miss Tillie?" Waul asked her. Tanya nodded, pulling herself together quickly.
"Yes. It's my dream to be a professional singer." She smiled.
"Well that's good. Let's see how an audience receives you. Shall we?" Waul swept his arm out and led the two women out. "Miss Allie, do show her how things are done here."
Allie took Tanya's arm and took her backstage.
"So." Tanya said. "Mr. Waul seems nice." She commented awkwardly. Allie gasped.
"Nice? Honey, that man puts the 'purr' in perfect, the 'ow' in meow, the 'fine' in feline." She gushed, making Tanya laugh. That was a little over the top, and quite frankly, she had a hard time seeing Waul as anything but a villain.
As Allie filled Tanya in on what to do, Waul made his way to his usual seat in the back, ordering a drink while he was at it. He hoped this Tillie girl didn't disappoint.
The curtain parted and said-singer was standing center stage, looking a little nervous but doing a great job of hiding it. Waul took a slow sip of his drink as Tillie began to sing.
Dreams to dream, in the dark of the night
When the world was wrong
I can still make it right
I can see, so far in my dreams
I will follow my dreams, till they come true
Waul felt the glass slip from his fingers, crashing to the floor. That song…
Tillie's voice was a little lower than when she usually sang the song, but she guessed it was because she wasn't a mouse anymore. She heard a quiet crash but she continued to sing, shutting everything out.
Come with me, you'll see what I mean
There's a world, inside
No one else ever sees
You will go, so far in my dreams
Somewhere in my dreams
Your dreams will come true
Tanya finally opened her eyes and saw Waul staring wide-eyed at her. Taking that as a good sign (and ignoring the possibility of it being a bad one), she continued.
There is a star, waiting to guide us
Shining inside us, when we close our eyes
Waul felt the fur rise on his neck when Tillie's voice escaladed. He closed his eyes, swept up in the song.
Don't let go, if you stay close to me
In my dreams tonight, you will see what I see
Dreams to dream
As near as can be
Inside you and me, they always come true
Tanya finished the song and waited. There was silence for two beats before the saloon erupted into cheers and clapping. There was even a rose or two thrown on stage. She smiled wide and curtseyed, picking up the flowers and blowing a few kisses before exiting the stage.
Waul stared after the brown feline. He had only heard that song once, from one person, and to this day that melody haunted him. Who was this Tillie?
Meanwhile, Tanya scampered backstage and joined Allie in her dressing room.
"That was amazin'! How'd you learn to sing like that?" Allie exclaimed. Tanya blushed shyly, still feeling giddy.
"It's my dream remember. I want to sing."
Allie sat down at her vanity, playing with her ginger curls in the mirror.
"Well either way, the boss was definitely into you."
Tanya sat down at the small table behind her, crossing her legs primly.
"What makes you say that?"
Allie turned and gave her a knowing look.
"Don't tell me you didn't see what happened. Soon as you started singin' he dropped his glass. Shattered and everything." She turned back to the mirror. Tanya's eyes widened. She had heard a crash. Is that a good sign? Bad sign? Something in between?—
There was a knock at the door.
Allie looked devilish.
"Don't come in. We're in a state of undress." She giggled. Tanya blushed and giggled along with her.
"Da boss wants ta see the new girl." A gruff voice answered, ignoring Allie's flirtatious comment.
"Fine fine. She'll be right out." Allie sighed. She turned to Tanya shaking her head. "Men in this place have no fire in their souls."
Tanya laughed. "I'll be back. Hopefully."
She opened the door and resisted the urge to flinch. The one-eyed cat that had attacked their home in New York was waiting outside for her.
"This way, Miss." He said, offering his arm. Tanya shrugged inwardly and took it, finding herself back in front of what she assumed was Waul's private room. One-eyed cat announced that she was there and soon after, she was invited in.
Waul was at the piano again, not playing, but just sitting on the bench. His hat was sitting atop the piano once more. His thin tail was slowly twitching back and forth, a motion Tanya had figured out cats did when they were thinking.
She cleared her throat. Waul turned slowly and flashed Tanya a smile.
"Ah, Miss Tillie."
She curtseyed and smiled back.
"Mr. Waul, you wanted to see me?" She said with a note of hope in her voice. Waul stood up and placed his monocle on his eyes, focusing on her.
"Yes I did. I wanted to congratulate you. You sing beautifully so I will give you a job. Have Allie fill you in and help you set up a schedule."
Tanya beamed and nodded quickly.
"Thank you so much, sir!"
With another curtsey, she turned to go.
Waul swallowed hard. It was now or never.
"Miss Tillie." He said, straightening up when the brown cat turned and looked at him.
"I was hoping perhaps if you would mind taking a stroll with me later this evening. You know, to get to know one another better. A manager has got to know his employees right?" He said with a smile. Tanya was shocked for a moment at Waul's suggestion, but she smiled.
"I would be glad to." She tucked a piece of hair behind her ear, which proved to be harder than usual, due to her ears being higher on her head.
"Shall we say… 7 o'clock?" Waul said. Tanya nodded, trying not to blush when Waul bowed.
"Till then my lady." He said in a silky smooth voice. Tanya giggled and exited the room. Waul paused, feeling strange, before sitting down at the piano once more and starting to play. He hadn't felt like this in a long time.
Tanya walked back into Allie's dressing room, still grinning. The tabby turned and smiled at her.
"What's new? You look happy." She said, in the process of re-curling her hair and braiding pieces.
Tanya shrugged and sat next to her at the vanity.
"Well I got the job."
"Really? That's great! I knew you would."
"Yea and… Mr. Waul wants to take me out later tonight." She said quietly.
Allie paused and turned slowly to look at her with a raised eyebrow.
"Oh really…" She purred, a smile spreading across her face. Tanya leaned back slightly.
"Maybe bringin' you here was a bad idea, you're stealing my man." She said, winking. Tanya laughed, blushing bright again.
"That's silly! He's my boss."
"Then why do you blush every time I bring him up?" Allie pressed.
Tanya crossed her arms.
Allie looked skeptic but didn't say anything more.
6 o'clock rolled around and Allie helped Tanya do her hair and make-up. She even let her borrow one of her green dresses.
"You look absolutely darlin'! The boss is gonna flip his cap!" Allie squealed. Tanya giggled and put her hand over her mouth.
"Shh, quiet, Allie!" Tanya and Allie kept giggling even when there was a knock at the door.
"Come in." Tanya called, checking herself in the mirror once more before turning. Cat R. Waul stood in the doorway dressed in black as opposed to his usual red. He held a rose in one paw.
"Evening, ladies. Are you ready to go, Miss Tillie?" He said, offering the rose to her. Tanya smiled and took the rose, smelling it before saying goodbye to Allie and taking Cat's arm.
Tanya's beginning nervousness faded as the night went on, and by the time an hour and a half had passed, she was perfectly at ease with the gentleman cat. They were currently sitting on the roof of one of the human restaurants.
Tanya laughed when Waul described his life as a house pet before escaping and coming to Blue Mountain.
"That's horrible. I'd escape too if someone was calling me 'pussy-poos' all the time." Tanya laughed, smoothing out her dress skirt and folding her legs under her.
Waul watched her with a smile. This girl was different from the other girls around town. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but whatever it was, he liked it.
"Of course, my real name isn't much better." He said with a chuckle. Tanya looked at him with interest.
"Cat R. Waul isn't your real name?"
"Not entirely. That's the name I gave myself when I moved to America. My real name is Walter. Walter Waul." He said, grinning sheepishly when Tanya covered her mouth, restraining a laugh.
"Terrible, I know." He said. Tanya finally let a giggle loose.
"Not that bad… It could be worse." She offered. Waul gave her a sarcastic look, sending her into giggles once more.
"Really. How so?"
Tanya shrugged and fingered the hem of her dress.
"You could have had a name like… Bartholomew."
Waul's whiskers drooped and he faked a shiver, sending Tanya into fits of giggles once more.
"Really, Mr. Waul, you're too much." Tanya laughed, grabbing Waul's arm gently and giving it a squeeze. The fancy Tom1 paused at the action, staring at the smaller paw on his arm, a strange feeling blooming in his stomach, before recovering and smiling.
"You seem to enjoy my company regardless of the fact." He said with a chuckle. Tanya turned her sky blue eyes on him, still grinning.
"I do. I haven't had this much fun in ages. I… don't get out much." She said awkwardly.
Waul tried to ignore the fact that her paw was still on his arm and kept his eyes focused on her face.
"You've just moved here today, if memory serves me correctly?" He said. The girl nodded.
"Where did you used to live?" He asked, genuinely curious. She couldn't be from around here; she had an otherworldly quality that you just didn't find here.
Tanya stilled at the question, but mentally reassured herself that he wouldn't make a connection.
"Green River. It's a town nearby." She said, watching his face for a reaction. The only thing she saw was the slight downward twitch of his eyebrow.
"I know of it. Done business there actually." He said slowly, looking back at the moon above them. It reflected in his eyes, showing off their dark green color. Tanya watched him for a moment before looking at the moon as well.
Waul peeked at the girl next to him, doing a slow sweep of her features; a perfect rose nose, silky-looking fur, equally silky-looking hair, and icy blue eyes that, now that light was shining into them, proved to have flecks of white around the edges.
All in all, she was gorgeous. He soon found himself staring, unable to stop. She must have felt his stare because she soon turned and gave him a questioning look.
Tanya's heart jumped into her throat when Waul hooked his finger gently under her chin. Part of her brain screamed at her to pull away, or stop him; do SOMETHING. Her body refused to obey, however, even as he started to lean towards her. To her confused horror, she leaned forward to meet him.
Their lips pressed together hesitantly, and Tanya almost pulled away. Instead she found her hand sliding up to his face, and the other up to his shoulder. He held her neck gently, almost cradling her. The kiss abruptly ended with Waul pulling away. His ears were pressed to his head and he wore an expression of apologetic shock. He stumbled over his words.
"Miss Tillie. Please forgive me. How unprofessional of me. I—"
"It's fine." Tanya heard herself cut him off. She felt a smile tip the edges of her lips up as she looked at the flustered cat. Truth be told she was equally flustered; she was just better at hiding it.
She rose to her feet and smiled at him.
"Shall we?" She said, turning and leaping off the roof. Waul sat perplexed for a moment before numbly following her.
The door slammed open, rousing Allie from her nap. She sat up straight, seeing a panting and somewhat panicked Tanya standing with her back to the door.
"Lord o' mercy what happened, Tillie?" Allie said, getting up and going to her friend. Tanya stared at her before whispering.
"He… kissed me…" She said. Allie's eyes widened comically before she squealed, giving Tanya a heart attack.
"HE DID? OH SWEET LORD! That's amazing!" She squealed, clapping her hands over her mouth when Tanya shushed her loudly.
"I don't want anyone to know…" Tanya said quietly. Allie ceased clapping immediately when Tanya walked back out of the room and shut the door.
"Araceli? Araceli are you here?" Tanya called into the darkness. Suddenly there was a light and the elderly fox came walking up to her.
"I am here, child. What is it?" She said, smiling as always.
"Araceli I am so confused." Tanya lamented, sitting down right there in the sand. Araceli joined her with a small frown.
"I'm not supposed to like him. He's the bad guy. But then he kissed me and it was like… it never happened… I forgave him… but it can't be that easy… can it?" She spoke quickly, trying to get all of her thoughts out at once.
Araceli sat in meditative silence before speaking.
"Do you feel it was wrong of him to kiss you?" She said, already knowing who Tanya was talking about.
The brown cat thought before shaking her head.
"Do you feel that he deserves to be forgiven?"
This time Tanya slowly nodded, making a face.
"Yea I do… but I'm not sure why…"
The elderly fox took her hand and held it, her smile returning to her face.
"The best things in life cannot be questioned. Perhaps this is destiny."
Tanya still looked confused but nodded slowly.
"May I stay here for the night?" She asked, her brow still crinkled. Araceli laid a blanket for her.
The next morning, Tanya awoke with a clear head and a set decision. Araceli reentered the camp site carrying fire wood.
"Araceli, I've come to a decision." Tanya declared. The fox looked at her momentarily, focused mostly on getting the fire going again.
"I… I don't know what will happen… but I want to stay a cat forever."
Araceli dropped the wood in her paws to stare at Tanya.
"What changed your mind?"
Tanya stared off at the sunrise.
"The way I figured things… I would never truly understand why I forgave Waul so easily in a month's time. I'd need a lifetime I suppose." She smiled. Araceli looked skeptic.
"And what about your family?"
"They don't need me. Besides, I was going to strike out on my own sooner or later."
A moment's hesitation came from Araceli before Tanya was enveloped in a swirl of color.
Waul paced his room, having not slept all night.
'Moron!' He chastised himself.
'You kissed her! You didn't even ask her permission! She'll probably never set foot in this establishment again if she can help it…'
The door to the front of the saloon swung open, revealing Tanya to everyone. Waul came outside and, upon seeing her, froze.
Tanya smiled shyly at him as she passed him and entered his room. He politely shut the door behind him, standing nervously by the door as the female looked around his room.
She turned suddenly, hand resting on her hip.
"Mr. Waul I'm surprised at you. It's often customary to kiss your lady when she enters your living space." She said, a smile playing on her lips.
After a moment's shock and partial heart attack, Waul allowed a suave smile to cover his face. He strode forward and grasped Tanya by her waist, pulling her forward. With a little giggle, Tanya wrapped her arms around his neck, enjoying the deep purr that rumbled through his chest. He pressed his lips to hers, being greeted with equal passion.
A/N: Soooo yea. That took me almost a month to type, so I'm not dying anymore. But I have watched that movie over again at least 3 times for inspiration. XD
Hope you guys liked it!
PLEASE don't ask me for a sequel… because I'm super swamped with requests and unfinished fics… -_-