With a stuttered cry, Mistoffelees tumbled forward. His hand shot free, attempting to catch himself upon something as his legs flailed momentarily in the air. He could hear Tugger laughing rudely behind him as he crumpled to the floor, and he felt embarrasment burning the tips of his ears as his body slammed to the ground, hand finally catching on something when it was much to late.
A sharp pain shot through his arm, and he let loose an irritated hiss. Glaring down at his hand, he realized that a piece of metal had dragged itself across the soft white palm, and carried up the fore arm.
It wasn't terribly deep, but as Mistoffelees watched it, blood began to bubble up in a profuse manner, leaking out and coating his fur. Huffing, he ducked his head, tongue lapping out to stroke at the cut, ears flicking as the taste of blood churned in his mouth. Disgruntled, he lifted his gaze, focusing in on Tugger.
"You didn't help me when I fell," the tux grumbled, eyeing Tugger, "the least you can do is help me clean it up." But Tugger was acting strange. The fur along his neck was standing at attention, his arms drawn tight about his body in a chord of churning muscles. His neck flexed, and he quickly turned away when Mistoffelees bore the arm to him. His eyes even seemed vacant - as if he was trying not to admit that Mistoffelees was even present.
Angered even more now, Mistoffelees rose from his position, teeth pressed into a snarl as he stomped forward, keeping his injured arm curled into his stomach. The fresh arm prodded Tugger roughly in the chest, and he watched as the normally flamboyant and rambunctious tom merely took the thrust, even stumbling in the slightest.
Mistoffelees paused. This wasn't right. Feeling a slight trickle of concern reaching his mind, he gave a small gulp, and peered upwards. Sometimes, his shortness was helpful, and this was one of those times. With his lower vantage point, he could see the bottom lip sucking inwards, the slight tremble that wracked Tugger's jaw as the elder tom even let out a low keen, which could practically be heard slipping between his ribs. The coon's ears were flattened back, and when Mistoffelees took care enough to peek around the massive tom, he could see that the other male's tail was fluffed and lashing.
Disconcerted, Mistoffelees stared up at Tugger, feeling his harsh emotions softening slightly. "Tugger," he murmured, taking a slight step back as he peered down. The blood had managed to slither from the wound, whetting down his white belly fur in a grotesque way. "What's wrong with you?" he said slowly.
"Blood," Tugger said, voice hoarse as he kept his face turned. Mistoffelees' mouth twisted into a grim line, and he passed his gaze down to slashed arm. Lifting his arm upwards, his tongue darted out, lashing at the wound. The rough exterior stroked it in an almost comforting way, allowing the cut to press together once more, and allowing the blood to be splurged from the fur.
When he had completed his task, Mistoffelees prodded Tugger's belly again. The maine coon turned slowly to face Mistoffelees, his expression muddled and embarrased. His amber eyes flickered momentarily down to the crimson stain that haloed itself around Mistoffelees' tummy, but he quickly shook his head, curl bouncing against his forehead as he did so.
"You mind telling me what that was?" Mistoffelees urged, watching as Tugger let out a dismal sigh. The large tom hunkered to the floor, dropping down as he kicked his heels across one another, legs pressing into a thin line of black fur. He propped himself against a tire, and tilted his head to look at Mistoffelees.
"Sit down," Tugger bade, lips pressed into a thin line, voice hesitant. This version of Tugger was a far cry from the one Mistoffelees was accustomed to - the racous, lusty moron that raced around the junkyard with the vitality of someone much younger then he. This Tugger seemed almost broken, and fearful, his eyes darting about as Mistoffelees slowly lowered himself to the ground beside Tugger.
Mistoffelees waited in silence, the air almost prickly with apprehension. It hung dense and cloudy in the air, and he could feel it nestling into his pelt as he drew his knees to his chest, butt scraping the ground as his tail did nervous figure eights behind him.
And then Tugger spoke.
"You see, I'm squeamish when it comes to blood."
Tugger felt horror slash through him, like a hideous claw, parting his chest fur in a vicious line as pain radiated from the area. It was in that particular area that he could feel almost true pain as well, his heart thumping in a rapid beat, throbbing ruefully within its boney confines.
He was left staring miserably at a sprawled figure before him, the legs stretched strangely wide as moans of pain burst from bleeding lips. Tugger felt the despair rattling deeper as his fists clenched and unclenched at his side, fear for the future and all that it entailed rushing through him in a vicious river.
Another yelp of pain split the air, and Tugger's ears flattened back, watching as the large stomach atop the figure convulsed in a horrid way. The large tom flinched back, mane ruffling with fear as he watched the body twitch, spasming against the ground.
"Her name was Chervil," Tugger said softly, voice odd as it came from his lips. Mistoffelees felt a small shiver wrack his body as he watched the wistful look in the large tom's eyes. Usually the coon spoke with such confidence, such grandeur, that hearing him speak in such a way was terrifying for the smaller tom.
Nipping at his lips, Mistoffelees moved forward, neck craning out as he let out a small purr. He wanted to comfort Tugger in this odd time, and he knew of no way to do it other then the old fashioned common way of cats. Bumping his head against his fellow's toms chest, he rubbed his cheek softly against the surface, white fur blending into the massive mane that rivuleted together in a myriad of colors.
Tugger heaved a small sigh, but Mistoffelees spotted a tiny smile twitching the corners of his mouth, and Mistoffelees felt slightly comforted at what he'd done.
"Anyways," Tugger said slowly, staring down at Mistoffelees now, "I saw a sexy queen, and thought of wonderful ideas. Chervil saw me, and she saw love and a future."
"Oh, c'mon Tugger!" She cried, laughter bubbling from her mouth as she slapped her hind end down on the wooden plank. Each rope twining its way up from the sides of it were soon clasped in her furry palms, and the murky brown tail she possessed curled up against her spine.
"Chervil," Tugger groaned, stepping up as he positioned himself behind her. Placing his hands lightly on her hips, he rocked her slightly, pushing her into the air. The small fluff of fur that spiraled about her cheek bones in little rivulets fluttered softly, her grin appearing from behind them.
"Tugger," she replied in the same exasperated tone, her eyes twinkling with humor as she craned her neck, delivering him a small kiss. The Everlasting Cat's disciples peered down at them in twinkling lights, seeming as if they were pleased with this small meeting. The two young cats pattering about beneath their heavy gazes.
"Such childish things," Tugger mumbled, continuing to allow her to swing back and forth, his hands pushing against her so as to send her rocketing forward. All that greeted his ears now were her laughs and yelps of surprise if ever the ropes folded and went wrong. Soon, Tugger found himself laughing as well, though he couldn't deny the devilish ideas the fostered in his concious.
All this sappy stuff was fine for Chervil, he guessed, but he was much more intent on the adult themes soon to come.
Mistoffelees stared at Tugger, eyes slightly wide and a somber expression in his face. Tugger himself looked slightly startled, almost as if admitting all of this was such a strange and curious thing - and just maybe it was.
Giving another soft purr, Mistoffelees craned his neck, tongue lapping out to stroke softly at the coon's fur, ruffling it the wrong way and then smoothing it down with a few more slow licks. He did want to comfort Tugger, and he wasn't sure if he was doing well, but apparently it was well enough, for the larger tom soon began talking once more.
"And then one day she told me something that rocked my world."
"Tugger I'm not lying!" she shrieked, her voice rising to hysterical levels as she wound her fingers tight in his mane. Her eyes were frantic, the pupils shrinking in her terror as she gave a pitiful sob. Tugger felt embarrasment rock through him, and he quickly shushed her, lips pursing as he peered around, making sure no one could see.
As Chervil attempted to catch her breath, chest heaving, Tugger quickly ushered her from the Junkyard's ring. Nobody had noticed them, however, and Tugger felt relief wash through him. Chervil gave a few hiccoughs, eyes darting around as her hands quickly flew to her belly.
"Look, Chervil, baby," Tugger drawled, fighting down his nervousness as he gave a queasy grin to the queen. "It can't be by me! And you know we didn't really have nothin'," he said softly, giving a light hearted chuckle.
Chervil gave off a squeak, her voice sticking in her throat as she stared miserably at Tugger. Her eyes widened frantically once more, and she seemed to be ready to panic again. Tugger's ears pressed back quickly against his skull, and his grin faltered, clearly baffled by this turn of events.
"You . . ." Chervil stuttered, "you. . ." Her words wouldn't form, and she turned sharply, hands pressing to her stomach, fingers disrupting the belly fur as she let out a pitiful mewl. "You were my love," she whimpered. For some reason, the compliment stung more then any harsh thing she could have spat his way.
He took a step back, watching as Chervil took a wobbly step away from Tugger, her limbs shaking as her tail brushed the ground. She seemed dazed, and almost as if she couldn't walk straight, her steps zig-zagging across the path.
"You can't tell anyone!" Tugger said suddenly, fear flashing through his pelt as he thought of Munkustrap. Of his father Old Deuteronomy. Of Mistoffelees, Plato, and Victoria, all three of them so impressionable as they looked up to their extravagant Tugger.
Chervil froze, back ridgid as her tail gave a vicious laugh.
"I don't think you're even worth anymore of my breath, love," she called softly, continuing on her way as she blundered through away. Tugger felt a chil race down his spine, and he stumbled backwards, heading towards the Junkyard once more.
He was stopped, however, by a small black figure that appeared before him. Mistoffelees, the magical little tom, was staring up at him with a toothy grin. Despite the fact that he was only a few years younger then Tugger, the tom was already fiesty and nosy, bugging Tugger and following his fellow tom around.
"Victoria wants to braid your mane," Mistoffelees said in a lofty voice, eyes fluttering clsoed as he pushed his nose into the air. "So hop to it. Me and Plato get your tail." Turning away, Mistoffelees gave a quick flick of his tail and boucned along, not even noticing the Tugger didn't offer a fight.
Didn't say a thing.
"I remember that day," Mistoffelees gasped, feeling slightly guilty for the way he'd treated Tugger that day. He said nothing more, though, as Tugger gave him a reassuring nuzzle, tail flicking behind him as he settled back down.
Mistoffelees gave his friend a nervous glance, and scootched closer, placing his head softly against Tugger's mane again. His tongue continued its rasping for a moment, before he paused mid-lick, and gave Tugger a curious glance.
"Though why are you telling now?" Mistoffelees wondered. And after all, they weren' yet to the part where Tugger's hatred of blood came in, though Mistoffelees had a horrid feeling creeping along his spine, almost like a cat clambering up a tree. Each link of his spine brought him closer to the feeling of true worry and horror.
"Because," Tugger said softly, "it's time the truth came out." A small hesitation followed. "And who better to tell then the little tom I trust with my life," he continued, an almost teasing lilt creeping into his tone as he gripped Mistoffelees' chin, bumping their forheads together as he gave a small smile.
"All right," Mistoffelees mumbled softly, slightly subdued as he slid fully into Tugger's lap, reaching up to lick along the fur that crested the Tugger's neck, near the junction of his jaw and neck. He lapped at it slowly, urging Tugger to talk again.
"One night, I was woken up by Jennyanydots," Tugger said slowly, "and she led me from my den, saying Chervil wanted to see me. She was confused on why she wanted me, but it's Jennyanydots' job to keep queen's comfortable during their birth. And so I went."
Blood splattered the ground, and Chervil screeched in pain, pushing one motionless figure to the ground, one after another til there were three wet bundles splattered across the grass. The ground about them was sullied as the crimson dyed the ground.
With a panicked noise, Tugger lowered his gaze, watching as Jennyanydots gave the pathetic bodies a few hazardous sniffs. A desolate expression crossed her face, and Tugger felt a chill rock his body as he took a step forward.
Squealing pathetically, Tugger stared with horror down at the puddle slowly forming, watching as his heels were dunked into scarlet. His mouth popped wide, pants breaking free from him as he slid to his knees. At the time, he didn't think that he was only delving himself deeper into the mess. His mind could only process that before him were three dead kittens.
His three dead kittens.
And, as huddled closer, he saw Chervil's head swinging round, her eyes locking upon Tugger's. Her lips twitched feebly, and she gave a crooked smile, causing a shiver to attack Tugger. It looked so wrong, her mouth twisted in such a way with blood speckling the lips, her eyes losing their light.
"At least," she whispered, voice hoarse as she stared to her dead kittens, eyeing their limp corpses, "I didn't die leaving you unhappy." A cough wracked her body, and Tugger merely stared, watching as she convulsed, and Jennyanydots let gave a frown. She'd seen plenty of queens do many a things, and nothing really affected her any longer, and she merely lay a comforting hand upon Chervil's shoulder, hoping to the comfort the queen's last moments.
"You got what you wanted," Chervil mumbled, voice losing coherency as her head fell back, limbs relaxing. "No committement for the Tugger." Tugger felt panic rising in his throat, hands slipping in the blood as he drew farther back. Jennyanydots didn't even bother demanding questions, she merely allowed the Tugger to flee, watching as the large tom flailed in the blood.
Tugger couldn't get his bearings in the puddle, and even resorted to dragging himself, letting loose a small wail as his hand brushed against one of the kits - a baby girl. He choked back a sob, and darted forward, hands and legs flying as he raced in a beast-like manner, crazed as she darted away.
Racing from his problems, smothering all the moments he'd shared with Chervil.
He hadn't loved her.
He never would have, he knew. She was purely sex.
But those little kits - those little, mangled bodies - could have been something to him. Could've been a whole knew life. Could've been a future.
And now, they were dead.
Mistoffelees watched as tears slipped from the corners of the Tugger's mouth, and Mistoffelees couldn't think of how to comfort him this time. The graphic description that had been given only gave Mistoffelees an image of how vivid the Tugger's imagination of this event was, and he could truly think of nothing to possibly correct something like this.
And so he merely curled in on Tugger, knees tucking in as he pressed himself to the bigger tom. He kept the ryhthmic strokes of his tongue going, staring miserably at the broken Tugger.
He did feel a small light of happiness, however, as he realized that Tugger truly trusted him with such a horrid memory. Of such a tragic event. And he knew, that if he was to be a good friend in turn, then he would do anything he could to make the Tugger feel better.
And right now, that meant sweet murmurs that meant nothing, and grooming.
For Tugger, that seemed to be enough.