ThunderCats in its entirety © Warner Bros.
The first time she saw Prince Lion-O, he was drowning.
Heart in her mouth, she stuck her hand in the cold, clear water. But of course, once she did that, she couldn't see him anymore. She tried again. Missed. The water rippled and sparkled like glass over his profile.
"Felline!" her sister hissed, tugging at her tail. "Fa-leen! You got it already. What are you doing now?"
Felline jerked her tail free irritably. "Don't distract me, Lep. I thought I saw – there!" In her desperate attempt to reach the prince, she nearly fell headfirst into the fountain.
"Stop that," Lepra said angrily, but Felline wormed out of her sister's grip and submerged up to the waist.
The water was so icy she gasped in surprise, which sent some of it up her nose. It was summer – shouldn't the water have been a little warmer? Or was it always cold this close to the mountains? Determined not to let the prince get washed away, Felline scrabbled through the piles of other cats already lying at the bottom until she felt the hard, circular edge of his face lift free. Bare feet flailing, she pushed herself upright with a splash and a triumphant grin, the coin clutched in her fist.
"Here, what's all this now?" she heard through the water in her ears. "What are you doing?"
"Nothing," Felline squeaked. She was the one clinging to her sister now, claws digging into Lepra's arm.
Lepra put herself between the palace guard and Felline, who was suction-cupped to her side. Protecting her little sister, the way she always did. "We were making wishes," she said breezily.
The guard raised an eyebrow. "It's customary to throw in coins, not young ladies," he said.
Felline flipped her wet hair out of her face and tried for a smile, hiding her booty behind her back. "I accidentally dropped my earring," she explained. Which was actually the truth. She showed the guard her other hand, the gold hoop glinting in a tiny puddle on her white palm. "It belonged to my mother, and I didn't want to lose it."
He sighed. "All right, then. Take more care, will you? I don't want to see you doing that again," he said. He was an older cat, his armor not hiding the layer of fat built up over his muscles. However, by the way he was fighting a smile, Felline wondered if he had daughters, or perhaps granddaughters, who weren't quite as well-behaved as they should be. "The fountain is not for swimming. Try and remember that."
He walked away. Felline, relaxing, snorted. She eyed the marble fountain, which was both taller and bigger around than their old house. A great, blue-headed feline rose majestically out of the middle. The red seal of the royal family, the Eye of Thundera, rested at the base of its snowy throat. Lesser felines surrounded the lordly, blue-headed one, pouring water from their open mouths into the multi-tiered basin.
The fountain in the village square of Foret had been little more than a crumbling, moss-covered well. This monstrous thing, its basin littered with shiny, overlapping mounds of coins, might as well have been spouting wine.
The square was busy. The quiet murmurs of Thunderian nobles bounced around the colonnades and tropical gardens, joining with birdsong. Quite a few of the nobles had seen Felline's watery rescue; she noticed the covert pointing and half-hidden grins. Oh, well, she thought consolingly to herself. At least she was no longer nonexistent. Maybe she would meet some nice boys now.
Lepra crossed her arms, tapping her foot. "Felline. What on Third Earth were you doing?"
"Look, Lep!" Excitedly, Felline showed her sister what she'd fished out of the fountain, the gossiping nobles forgotten. "It's the new silver bob. The one with Prince Lion-O on it."
"A coin?" Lepra put her face in her hands, bowing her head as if crushed by the weight of her shame. "You dove into the fountain in front of all these cats to pick up a coin? You're soaked!"
"It's not just any coin," Felline said, still examining her prize. "It was newly minted this summer. I haven't seen one yet. They'll be worth a lot someday, right? Besides, the likeness is supposed to be exact. Don't you want to see what he looks like?"
As she spoke, Felline turned the coin over, admiring the Eye of Thundera and the neat stamp of the royal treasury on the back, and then scrutinized the prince's profile on the front. He looked like a typical lion, and a young one at that, if the length of his mane was any indication. Felline pouted. She thought he'd be more handsome than that.
"We have money, Felline!" Lepra scolded. "You don't need to steal someone else's wish. That's what you've done, you know. Stolen someone's wish."
"Oh, calm down, Lep," Felline said, closing her fingers over the precious coin, annoyed at the wash of guilt her sister's words caused. In spite of the summer heat, the white fur of her arms was standing up.
After a moment, Lepra sighed. "Would you give me that?"
"What, the coin?" But when her sister shook her head, Felline realized Lepra meant the trinket that had started this whole adventure. She reached up and touched her ear. "I thought I was setting the one-earring fashion."
It was her turn to sigh. "I wish the clasp wouldn't keep coming undone."
"Ever think that was why Mother gave it to you?" Lips tight, Lepra inserted the earring and closed it, not meeting her sister's eye. "An old, worn-out, unwanted pair of earrings. Make a gift of them and then she couldn't be accused of throwing them away."
"Don't say things like that," Felline said sharply. She slapped at her sister's hands. "Mother wasn't like that."
"Wasn't she?" Lepra snapped.
Refusing to be drawn into another circular argument, Felline crossed her bare arms, shivering. Her dripping gown made a little ring of water around her feet, while the fountain continued plashing and burbling next to her. Mother was gone. She'd abandoned them in the night, leaving their father sad and broken. But it didn't mean she hadn't loved her daughters. It wasn't like she was going to replace them with someone new, something better.
"You know that's why Father brought us here, don't you?" Lepra persisted, her eyes narrowed to slits. "Here to Thundera, I mean. Mother hated the country. She wanted to be part of grander things. He's hoping she'll come back to him. But she won't."
"He brought us here because he couldn't stand staying in the house where they'd been happy," Felline retorted, goaded into speaking. Why did Lepra have to be such a sourpuss? This was a beautiful day, and Thundera was a magnificent city. Father's recent promotion afforded them a luxury that his wages as a town guard in Foret couldn't. They had a large, new home, complete with servants and cooks and stables. Father had given them each a Thunderian mount, and Lepra had named hers Lightning. Felline was more romantic. Hers was Blue Beauty. They wore expensive clothes, armbands and anklets of gold, with real jewels in their barrettes. They could take a stroll and throw silver bobs into this monstrosity of a fountain and pretend it would grant wishes.
Plus, Thundera's high white wall kept the other animals of Third Earth out. The only road in or out of the city ran through the massive gate that led onto the plains to the south. Curving around the wall from the north, the hazy purple mountains cradled Thundera in rocky arms. The city pooled in a natural box canyon. The cats were safe from marauders here. Why, just that morning, an army patrol had arrested a pair of lizards stealing from the granaries and locked them in the stocks for all to see. What more did her sister want?
"Maybe Mother will come back. When she's not angry anymore," Felline suggested. She could understand a reason like that, anyway. Sometimes she just had to get out. She could spend a whole day exploring the city by herself, watching the way the other Thunderians lived. But she always came back home. Because she loved her father and her sister.
"I think you'd better take this kitten home before she catches a cold," a male voice said, interrupting whatever retort Lepra had planned on making.
One of the nobles had approached after all, a handsome man with silky, sable fur and yellow eyes. He smiled, winked, and began to remove his coat. "If you like, I could walk you home."
Felline could feel the blush in her cheeks and knew he could see it through her white fur. It was happening at last! A man was taking an interest in her, and he was possibly the finest cat she'd ever seen, tall and lean, and those eyes . . .
And then he ruined it.
He practically purred when he said, "When the kitten is a-bed, lady, perhaps you and I could go for a bite to eat together."
Felline put her wet ears back angrily. Not again! Why did this always happen? Whenever Lepra was around, Felline may as well be her insignificant petcat!
It wasn't Lepra's fault. She took after their mother, a beautiful leopard. Lepra's hair was long and golden, bound with raspberry garnets. Velvet maroon rosettes pranced across her slim shoulders. Her face was faded gold, and her eyes were warm amber. Her ears came to delicate points on the sides of her head. Behind coral pink lips, her fangs were wickedly inviting when she smiled the right way. A trick that Felline hadn't mastered.
Lepra was everything her little sister wasn't. Striking. Long-legged. Sultry as summer.
Snow leopards, on the other hand, were small cats – even their father was shorter than most men, though he was broad and stolid. Felline, however, could only be described as petite. The top of her head barely reached her sister's shoulder. And that wasn't all. Unlike Lepra's molten eyes, which were long and tilted up at the outer edges, Felline's were big and round like a kitten's, blue as glacial ice, and rimmed in black. Even her rosettes were black, her face stark white except for the two black lines that curved from the inner corners of her eyes to the edges of her mouth. Too cold, a boy back home had once told her. You're a cat of winter, Felline. I am going to lay with summer. All he'd gotten for his arrogance was Lepra's fist in his nose, but nothing could erase his words from Felline's heart.
Shoulders hunched, Felline sidestepped the handsome stranger when he moved to put his coat on her. She couldn't stop her long, puffy tail from twitching side to side in annoyance. He looked taken aback. Maybe a little angry. Felline closed her eyes and turned her face away. Of course. Men were all the same. How dare she not be a prop in his carefully crafted scene?
Lepra came to her rescue.
"That's very sweet of you, but we know our way home," she said gently but firmly. "And if she goes, I go. We're twins, after all. We do everything together." She removed her own shawl and wrapped it around Felline.
"T-Twins!" he exclaimed, stammering over the simple word.
Felline rolled her eyes. Always the same. She looked like a cub of ten; Lepra, a woman of eighteen. She'd heard it before. She didn't care to hear it again.
"Please, excuse us," Lepra said. She smiled, dazzling him.
"Some other time, then," he called after them. Belatedly, and a little awkwardly, he added, "Ladies."
"Maybe," Lepra said over her shoulder.
"When cats fly," Felline said over hers.
A/N: Greetings, Dear Readers!
Here it is, as promised - my new OC, Felline (like a feline, get it, but it's pronounced fah-LEEN. I know, bad pun, but I like how feminine the name is). I was so excited to see this reboot of the ThunderCats universe, and equally crushed to see it languish in cancellation. The world is so rich and the characters so likeable (or hateable, as the case may be) that my OC was born before I was many episodes in.
Please review! I hope to receive comments of all kinds - good, bad, and indifferent. I want to know what you think, and I am always open to constructive criticism. :3 Plus, I will return all reviews. Pinkie promise.