My entry into BroadwayKhaos's Jellicile week challenge.

Prompt: Painting

Word Count: 1248 (give or take a word or two)

Time Potsted: 11:20 pm, Monday 18th

Disclaimer: I don't own the wonderful world of CATS.


Chapter One

Tugger's Mysterious Rival

The Rum Tum Tugger was a reasonable cat, or at least he liked to think he was a reasonable cat. Sure he was a bit of a wild card, never satisfied with anything easily obtained, but was it so wrong to like a bit of a challenge? He certainly didn't think so.

Plus it kept the queens on their toes.

And he liked to keep his queens guessing, after all, nothing worth having is ever given away on a silver platter. That was probably why it came as such a shock. It wasn't supposed to happen like this, nothing was ever supposed to happen like this.

And we're getting ahead of ourselves, I suppose to understand Tugger's deep-seated confusion one must travel back to the source. The source, in this case, being a small black and white tom.

It happened on a warm summer day, Tugger was in his usual spot, sunning with his queens and kittens, basking in the light of their attention when he spotted his favorite little magic cat. This was a big deal for Tugger since he'd been searching for the sneaky little tom all morning. Grinning like that cat that caught the canary, Tugger extracted himself from his adoring fans and sauntered towards his friend, making sure to sway his tail artfully behind him-knowing as he did that the queens he's just left were watching the show adamantly.

Smirking inwardly he sidled up to the talented tux, making sure to send him his most enchanting smile…which the other tom completely ignored.

This was simply not done. No one ignored The Rum Tum Tugger, especially not short sighted little cats barely out of kitten hood. Usually Mistoffelees would at least roll his eyes or start up some playful banter. He had never ignored Tugger before, and Tugger decided then and there he did not like it.

A quick once over of the smaller tom had Tugger's eyes narrowing and a dark thought crossing his mind. "So," He started conversationally, "where have you been all morning?" He deliberately kept his voice light and playful, not about to let the little cat know he was on to him.

Quaxo finally looked up then, a brilliant smile on his face as he beamed at Tugger, who almost staggered back in shock from the sudden attack. "Oh, hi, Tugger." He chirped…yes, chirped. This was more severe then Tugger had originally thought. "I just got back from the gallery."

Tugger raised an eyebrow in surprise, "And what in the Heaviside lair were you doing in a gallery of all places?" He asked skeptically. He'd never known the other cat to be very into all that artistic drivel.

Quaxo's smile slipped a bit, uncertainty creeping into his eyes at his friend's accusatory tone. "Dario was showing me his master's paintings. He's an artist himself and he wanted to show me his favorite pieces." He paused as if waiting for Tugger to say something, but Tugger was stuck on one thought that kept circling his brain-before he had a chance to ask the question on everyone's mind, Misto continued, his smile returning to its previous wattage. "He said I'd make a brilliant model and wants to use me in one of his paintings."

Tugger's eyes narrowed, Oh yes, I'm sure he'd like to use you. He thought cruelly, before finally spitting out the question that had been burning his tongue for minutes now. "Who is Dario?" Misto's proud grin slipped away again, replaced by cautious confusion.

"He's a new friend. I met him last week, he's been helping me practice my magic."

This incensed the larger cat, Misto was letting a virtual stranger help him with his magic? He never allowed Tugger to even watch him practice, what was so special about this Dario? In stead of talking it out like the reasonable cat that Tugger claimed to be, he said something he was likely to regret for the rest of his nine lives. "Oh, I'm sure he's been helping you with a lot of things." He said scathingly.

He watched Misto step back, a hurt expression on his face that quickly morphed into anger, "Yes, Dario is very helpful. In fact, he's downright amazing. He's sweet, and sensitive, and he listens to me."

"I listen-" Tugger started indignantly, but Misto cut him off, stepping closer, and invading his personal space.

"No Tugger, you don't listen to me, or anyone. The only thing your ever interested in is yourself. But the world doesn't revolve around you, Tugger and I'm entitled to have whatever friends I like."

Tugger watched speechless as the usually reserved and quiet cat vanished with a puff of black smoke and blue-white sparks.

Tugger stood stock still, shocked at the verbal assault from whom he had considered his closest friend before turning on his heel and retreating to his den to think. The queens and kittens watched him go forlornly, before setting off to find something else to entertain them.

xoxoxoxox

Tugger paced the dim length of his den, his mind spinning with every word he had exchanged with Misto just moments before. "He's sweet, and sensitive, and he listens to me." Misto had said those exact words. This lead Tugger to a very disturbing conclusion. Misto was in love with this Dario character, he'd replaced Tugger.

A growl filled the den, as Tugger gnashed his teeth angrily, upset he was even thinking such a preposterous thing. Misto belonged to Tugger, that was all there was to it. Dario could never be half the cat Tugger was, how dare Misto even try to replace him. Tugger wasn't about to let this strange cat just saunter into his territory and claim any tom, queen, or kit he liked. No, Tugger was not going to take this laying down.

Now, how to bring Misto back to Tugger's side, where he belonged; he knew he'd need help. Nodding to himself in determination Tugger marched himself back out into the junkyard in search of just the cat to help him in his cause.

xoxoxoxox

Misto was not a happy tom, "Just who does he think he is?" He raged, pacing around the yard he was currently standing in. Dario lounged a few feet away, watching the small cat with amused brown eyes. "And to think I was going to give him one of the paintings you gave me." He glanced back at one of the pictures of himself stretched out on a tree branch sunning himself with obvious enjoyment on his pale face.

"And yet, you still plan on giving him one of those said paintings." Dario observed, his voice was deep with a gravelly undertone and a heavy Scottish accent. Cats were very amusing creatures, the larger animal mused to himself.

Quaxo huffed, coming to a stop and glowering at nothing in general, "Not that he deserves it." He growled grumpily, his arms firmly crossed over his chest.

A low rumbling chuckle issued forth from Dario's barrel chest, causing the small cat to turn his glower on him. "You hiss and you growl, but I don't think you are truly that angry at this 'Tugger' of yours. In a day or so you'll be back, sniffing at his tail like the besotted tom you are."

Misto hissed, barring his fangs at the large black pollicile, who laughed uproariously at Quaxo's misfortune. "See if I ever sing my troubles to you again." He growled, before once again disappearing in a puff of smoke and sparks.


Please keep in mind that I've been at school all day and so haven't had the time to truly work on this chapter, so excuse me if it's a bit rough around the edges. When this challenge is complete I will likely come back and clean it up and make it all nice and pretty, but for now, please tell me what you think.

Review!