Title: "Sweet Temptations"
Author: Pirate Turner
Rating: G
Summary: A snow day brings temptations to the Aristocats.
Warnings: Het, Established Pairing
Word Count: 2,183
Date Written: 4 December, 2011
Challenge: For the XDisneyDreamers LJ comm's weekly challenge
Disclaimer: Thomas, Duchess, their kittens,, all other characters mentioned within, and the Aristocats are ᄅ & TM Disney, not the author, and are used without permission. Everything else is ᄅ & TM the author. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.

The trio of kittens leaned against the open doorway, their tiny but lovely, fur coats ruffling in the cold. They huddled together but would not come away from the door. Their big eyes grew ever larger as they watched what was happening outside the warmth of their mansion home.

Thomas walked up behind them, his long, orange tail held proudly in the air. "What's happening, kittens?" he asked. He cocked his head to one side as he watched his beloved mate's children. They seemed so astonished, and he, in turn, was secretly amazed by their astonishment and the looks on their tiny, fuzzy faces.

Marie was the first to speak. She leaned further out, her little, white head poking out of the open doorway as she looked inquisitively at the white stuff falling from the darkened sky. "What is it, Daddy?"

"What's what, Princess?" he asked, and then it dawned on him that it was the snow that was marveling her and her brothers so. He grinned. "It's snow."

"Sssnow?" Berloiz asked, carefully sounding the word out.

"Well, whatever it is," Toulouse spoke, "snow or whatever, it's pretty cool, but is it rough and tough like us alley cats?"

Thomas laughed while Toulouse pounced up and down on the hardwood floor and Berloiz began to edge closer to where his sister was now more out of the house than in. A snowflake landed on Marie's upturned, pink nose, and she gave a most unladylike screech of surprise. She briskly shook the snow off of her face, ran to Thomas, and tucked herself behind his front legs for protection. He smiled reassuringly as he looked down at her from between his own front legs. "Are you okay, sweetheart?" he asked, his silent amusement only being given away by the mischievous swishing of his long tail.

She nodded. "Uh huh," she answered, puffing her furry chest out to make herself appear braver, bolder, and bigger than she truly was. "I'm fine. It's just . . . " She shivered. "Brr! That snow stuff is mighty cold!"

An icy wind blew into the mansion, and all the felines shivered. Berloiz, who was now standing in the same position Marie had been in moments before, especially shook as the wind blew his whiskers back against his little, gray face. "It is mighty cold," he agreed, trembling from the tips of his perky ears all the way through the end of his tail where it wrapped around his back legs, "but what causes it, Mister O'Malley?"

Thomas shook his head in silent amazement. "You kittens really never have seen snow, have you?"

Beneath him, Marie shook her head. "No." He could feel her still shivering and wrapped her lovingly in the furry warmth of his front legs.

"Easy, Princess. We'll get you warm," he purred, and she melted in his embrace. Mister O'Malley was so cool! Why, if her mother hadn't married him, she would have! Marie started to purr as his hug warmed her up and cut out the cold that was still blowing in their open door.

"It does look sort of familiar," Berloiz spoke from the doorway.

Toulouse padded up to stand next to his brother. He poked his head out and then stuck his tongue out at the dreary weather. The snow was pretty enough, he supposed, but it was far too cold outside to play. Why, if their mother even knew they had the door open, she'd surely be scolding them!

A snowflake drifted onto his tongue, and Toulouse's little eyes widened again in surprise as it chilled his tongue. Hesitantly, he stuck his tongue back into his mouth, bringing the snowflake along with it, and he shivered as his mouth closed in around it. It was cold, he thought, closing his eyes against its chilliness, definitely the coldest thing he'd ever felt, but . . . Mmm, he thought, his little, brown tail beginning to swish. It was cold, but it tasted delicious!

"Toulouse," Thomas called, realizing what the bravest kitten was about to do a moment too late. Toulouse had already ran out of the house. He was jumping up and down and catching more snowflakes in his mouth by the time Thomas called his name a second time. Thomas pushed Marie further back into the house with his head before stalking to the front door himself. "Toulouse," he called, "I'm not sure your mother would approve."

"I know she wouldn't," Berloiz muttered out of the corner of his mouth, his gray fur fluffing indignantly. Yet the more he watched his brother, the more fun he seemed to be having until Berloiz stuck his own tongue out of the house and caught a snowflake for himself. "Mmm!" he exclaimed. "It is good!" His tail swished happily, and his small body bunched together as he prepared to leap outside.

"No," Thomas commanded, placing a white paw down in front of Berloiz to stop his jump before it could happen. He glanced back at Marie, who was again inching closer. "You're both staying inside," he directed, "and I'll have Toulouse back in here in just a moment. You're not going to be worrying your mother in weather like this!"

"But, Mister O'Malley," Berloiz protested, "it tastes so good!"

Thomas sighed, his ears folding back against his furry head. "Then I'll bring you some," he offered, "but you're not to get it for yourself. Stay inside. Stay warm." He leapt out into the swirling snow, only realizing that it was beginning to thicken and the sky grow even darker when he'd peered in the direction he'd last seen Toulouse.

"Toulouse?" he called. The wind picked up his voice and carried it away, then returned to circle around his ears and blow up his fur. "TOULOUSE!" Thomas shouted and headed further into the rising snow storm.

He soon caught a dark outline of the playful kitten just up ahead of him. Toulouse was still frisking about in the snow, jumping after the falling snowflakes and catching as many as he could inside his mouth. "TOULOUSE!" Thomas called again, but still the kitten didn't answer him and only danced further away.

"TOULOUSE!" Thomas roared just before a snowball hit his back. He fell against the weight, and his head spun. Not only was it getting colder and more snow was falling, but it was beginning to fall in thicker lumps. He had to get himself and his kitten safely out of this weather before it turned really nasty.

He pushed himself up, shook off the snow, and headed forward again. This time, when he caught sight of Toulouse, he didn't take the time to call to him and risk him going further away into the snow. Instead, he ran at him and pounced. He came down on top of him, grabbing the ruff of his neck in his teeth as he did so.

Toulouse swatted at a particularly large snowflake that was still trying to form itself into an actual ball as it circled to the ground. "Aw, Dad!" he complained, still swinging his paws. "Come on! Let's have some fun!"

"We will have plenty of fun," Thomas told him, speaking around his gray fur, "once we're back inside where it's safe and warm."

"You sound like Mom," Toulouse taunted.

Thomas smiled around his ruff. "You say that like it's a bad thing."

"It is!" Toulouse insisted, still swinging his paws at the falling snow as Thomas started carrying him home. "We're supposed to be big and tough alley cats!" he told him. "Not pansies hiding from the snow!"

"No one is hiding from the snow, Toulouse, but we are going to play it safe."

"Scaredy cat! Scaredy cat!" Toulouse taunted until Thomas gave him a slight shake. He fell silent then but folded his front legs in front of him and poked out his bottom lip. Snowflakes drifted all around them, and he was soon batting at them again, however, as Thomas continued to carry him home.

Thomas breathed a silent sigh of relief when he saw the golden light of their home appear out of the darkening mists of snow. He hurried toward the light and jumped swiftly onto their steps. Toulouse's siblings were gone from the doorway, though the door was still open. Thomas didn't even consider that they might have followed them out into the snow storm; they knew better and would listen and obey when spoken to. At least, he reflected with a wry smile, most of the time.

He put Toulouse onto the floor and nudged the snow off of him with his nose. Toulouse shivered. "It was getting pretty cold out there," he admitted.

"Yes, it was," Thomas agreed, his tail curling around Toulouse and wiping more snow off of the wet kitten's small body, "and it's going to get even colder. I was an alley cat, Toulouse, but let me tell you something, son. Even alley cats don't like being out in weather like this. We are both very lucky to have a home, to be able to come out of the weather, and to have a warm and safe place to curl up into."

Toulouse pouted up at him. "I may sound like your mother," Thomas continued, "but if I do, I'm glad I do. She's the best thing that's ever happened to me, and you kittens are the second best."

"Which one of us is?"

Thomas turned to look at Marie rushing up to them and smiled. His smile grew as he saw Berloiz racing beside his sister, and then it dazzled with his happiness as their mother, his beloved forever mate, appeared right behind them. "Thomas," Duchess purred, "you're covered in snow!" He was, he thought, shivering, but before he could answer her, Marie spoke again.

"Which one of us is the second best thing that's happened to you, Daddy? Huh? Huh?" she questioned excitedly.

Thomas smiled, bumped his head against hers gently and lovingly, and purred, "You all are."

"We can't all be the second! Some one's gotta be second, and then somebody else has to be third, and then the other one's fourth! But which one is which? Huh, Daddy?"

"Marie," Duchess laughed, her long, white plume of a tail swishing, "darrrling, leave your father alone. Can't you see he's tired?" She butted her gently and then rubbed her head against Thomas'. "He just saved your brother."

"Yeah," Marie agreed. "Stupid brothers!" She stuck her tongue out at Toulouse. "Always getting in trouble and danger and making Daddy go rescue them!"

Toulouse fluffed his fur out as he eyeballed his sister. "At least we're not scared to go adventuring!"

"Who said I was scared?"

"You sure wouldn't go out there!"

"Yeah, because Daddy said not to, and I do as I'm told! I am, after all, a lady!" Marie proudly nodded her head and sat with her fur fluffed primly all over her small but prestigious body.

"You ain't a lady!" Toulouse argued. "You're nothing but a sister!" He jumped up, and the kittens began to frolick again.

They were still arguing, as well, but their parents didn't hear their argument. They only continued to gaze into each other's loving and beautiful eyes and purr deeply to one another. "Thank you," Duchess whispered to her beloved husband.

Thomas beamed; his tail wrapped lovingly around her. "He's my son, too," he commented as he took her into his arms.

"Yes," she purred, "he is."

Thomas had just began to kiss Duchess when Madame walked into the room. The loving couple broke apart as the elderly woman oohed and awed over them. She laughed at their guilty expressions. "Oh, go ahead," she told them while pulling on her coat, "and keep each other warm and happy! You two and your love are so beautiful!"

Duchess looked bashfully over at Thomas again, the end of her furry plume hiding her smile behind her tail. Her eyes sparkled lovelier than all the stars in the night sky. Their love was beautiful, and they were both endlessly thankful for it!

"I'm just going to go get you all a nice surprise," Madame continued, picking up the few bowls she'd carried in with her and had set down to free her hands to properly dress her body for the weather.

Duchess and Thomas watched Madame walk out into the swirling snow before turning back to each other. "Now where were we?" Thomas asked, his green eyes gleaming and long, furry tail swishing mischievously.

"We werrre," Duchess purred, brushing his handsome face with a loving paw, "rrright herrre, I believe." She kissed him again, and they continued to kiss sweetly and passionately as Madame returned into the mansion with several bowls filled with snow. She quietly called their kittens away to the dining room, and while Marie, Toulouse, and Berloiz eagerly lapped up the creamy snow, Duchess and Thomas continued to kiss. Madame peeked back in on the eldest of her dearest friends, and her smile grew. She sighed happily as she watched them revel in the miracle of their true love and then retired to leave the Aristocats to their own business and joyous celebrations of the season.

The End