I Am Not You
The handsome young auburn and white tom stretched his long, lean body and smiled.
They'd finally done it.
He and Victoria were officially mates.
He thought back to the dance, to his paws running down Victoria's supple, beautiful body. To the moment he looked down upon her and knew, without a doubt, that he was the luckiest tom in the world.
He chuckled slightly at the memory of waking to find Pouncival sleeping in the arms of Bombalurina, Queen of The Junkyard. He was probably thinking himself the luckiest tom in the world, too. But Bomba couldn't compare to Victoria. She was too crass, too proud of herself. And Pounce wasn't her first. He felt sympathy for his friend, he deserved better. But nothing could compare to his Queen. Victoria was shy, pure, innocent. She'd never known another tom, sure, she fawned over Tugger, but who didn't. Even Plato himself felt a strange magnetism towards the charismatic tom, and he'd let it overpower him during Tugger's song, fawning over Tugger like a silly Queen-kit. He had no idea what had come over him, he wasn't even into toms. It was like Tugger had him under a spell.
Pounce and Brutus weren't planning on letting him forget it anytime soon, either.
He'd do the same if it was one of them, of course.
Especially if it was Pouncival.
As he stood beside the large pipe, waiting for his cue to help assemble the train for Skimbleshanks' song, he heard a slight noise behind him. He turned, and saw a flash of light glinting off of oily black fur.
He turned and walked into the darkness of the junkyard.
He didn't see a pair of narrow yellow eyes watching him intently.
He sniffed the air cautiously.
It was a rat.
A big one.
The scent that mixed in with the rat's own was disturbingly familiar.
He'd already appeared once, while that tail-kisser Quaxo and the older Queens were fawning over Bustopher Jones, but Munkustrap was determined not to send anyone after him.
The ball was more important, he'd said.
Munkustrap could be a real fool sometimes.
So can I. Plato thought, realizing how far he'd gone from the safety of the other Jellicles with Macavity on the loose.
He turned to head back into the clearing, into the light, but stopped suddenly.
Two blazing yellow eyes peered out from the darkness.
Please, let it be a snake...
"You would rather face a snake than your own father?" There was nothing fatherly in the low, sibilant voice.
"I have no father, and I'd rather face a hundred snakes than look at you again." Plato hissed. If Macavity was going to read his thoughts, he would be in for an unpleasant experience.
Macavity emerged from the shadows, shaking his head. He was slightly taller than Plato, but red and black, his fur was wild, giving the appearance of a feral animal and the mingled colors in his facial fur almost resembled tattoos, "Tsk, tsk. No, I am your father. You just refuse to admit it."
"A real father, a real tom wouldn't do what you did to mother." Rage crept into his voice.
"Ah, yes, dear Demeter-"
"Don't you dare speak her name!" He had to warn the others. He screamed in his loudest voice, "MACAVITY! Macavity is here!"
Macavity just shook his head sadly, "Scream all you want, they can't hear you. Didn't you notice how quiet it is? No music? No? Well let me enlighten you, my son. We're in a sphere of silence." He held out his hand and two henchrats grabbed Plato's arms, but he easily knocked them away.
"Give it up, you can't leave the barrier. There's no point in trying."
Plato ran back towards the clearing, only to run into a wall of blackness with such force that he fell onto his back.
"Told you so." Macavity said in a bored tone, "There's no escaping me, foolish boy. For anyone."
Plato stood tall and turned to face his father, glaring into those yellow eyes. "What do you want here?" He demanded.
"What, a tom can't drop in on his son and his friends? It is The Jellicle Ball, after all, and I was born a Jellicle. That was a very beautiful dance, by the way." He motioned as if wiping away a tear, "Touching. And that Queen, Victoria, is it? She-"
"DON'T YOU TALK ABOUT HER!" Plato pounced, claws outs, slashing at his father, but striking only air.
"Well, you certainly inherited my temper, if nothing else." Macavity called from behind, before slamming his fists down onto Plato's neck, sending him sprawling, "As I was saying before you so rudely interrupted me, you have a fine taste in Queens. A tom after my own heart. Young Victoria is beautiful, graceful, pure and innocent. Just begging to be corrupted."
"If you lay a hand on her I swear to The Everlasting Cat I'll kill you!" He snarled.
"Everlasting Cat? Bah, you actually believe that superstitious drivel. 'The Heavyside Lair' is nothing but an elaborate form of suicide. Think about it, if this so called 'deity' existed, would she let a tom like me live? No, there's no 'Higher Purpose' in life. You must take what you can before the dust takes you." He held out his arms and shouted at the sky, "Everlasting Cat, if you're out there, strike me dead!"
Macavity flinched slightly at the sound of thunder. Inside the sphere of silence, he should not be able to hear anything from the outside world. He quickly composed himself, "See, I'm still alive. And you're still lying in the dust."
Plato slashed out and caught his father's ankle in the blink of an eye, sending him to the ground.
"You ungrateful son of a pollicle whore!" Macavity backhanded his son, sending him crashing into a pile of garbage, "You belong here, in the rubbish, with your whore mother!"
"Mom is not a whore you rapist bastard!"
"Rape?" Macavity laughed, "Is that what she told you? She came crawling to me for a tin of sardines-"
Plato screamed and lunged at his father, who didn't move this time. Macavity simply reached out and grabbed his struggling son by the throat, "So quick to anger. You know, I bet you'll be just like me to that pretty little Victoria." Plato slashed ruthlessly at his father's chest and restraining arm as the world began to grow black. "Poor, stupid kit." He dropped Plato, who fell to the ground, desperately gulping in air.
Macavity looked at his henchrats, and what he saw displeased him. "Shocked? Come now, I'm being merciful here, after all, he is my son." He kicked the prone Jellicle. "Do you see that, Plato? Even the rats pity you. How pathetic must a cat be to be pitied by rats?"
"I've been watching you all day, you know. It was rather amusing how you and Tumblebrutus convinced that foolish, gullible kit to scratch Grizzabella. A sign of high intelligence, never do something that could get you in trouble, have someone else do it for you. I was actually proud of your cunning, for a moment. But I see now the Jellicles have made you as weak as they are." He smirked and knelt beside the gasping youth, "It must have been awful for you, growing up here. The Son of Macavity. The child of 'rape'. The bastard son of the Jellicles' greatest enemy. They must hate you for carrying my blood in your veins. They probably fear that you will follow in my paw steps and betray them. Like father, like son, after all." He sighed in mock sympathy, "Tell me, did Demeter ever beat you? Did she ever tell you just how much she hated that you were as much a part of me as of her?" He looked up abruptly, "Unless you fools want to be eaten, I suggest you get everything ready!"
The henchrats scattered in fear. If Macavity treated his own son like this, how much more so a rat?
The barrier parted for them like water.
Plato lay silent a moment, tears rolling down his face.
"You don't deny it. You can't, can you? She saw me in you, didn't she?" He frowned, "Not enough of me, though. It's hard to imagine I sired such a weakling. Still, you managed to get in a few pitiful scratches. No doubt you'll tell your friends you wounded me terribly. Assuming I don't kill them, of course."
"M-mother loves me. Victoria loves me. The Jellicles are my family, they love me." Plato slowly, painfully pushed himself off the ground, "Mom never struck me once. She knows that I'm not you. You're the one nobody loves. You're the one who's hated. Mention your name to any Jellicle, to any respectable cat, even to Mungo and Teazer, and they'd spit on it. Even a Pollicle would lift his leg to your name." He grinned, standing straight and proud, "You have an empire, dad, but an empire of what? Backstabbing criminals who'll kill you the moment you grow old or weak. No king rules forever. One of these days a smart young henchcat will stick a knife in your ribs and be done with you! Then where will your empire go? What will you have accomplished, except making your executioner rich?!"
He never saw the blow coming.
All he saw was darkness.
"Plato! Plato, are you alright?"
Plato opened his eyes and squinted at the black and white patched tom above him.
"Alonzo?" He murmured hazily.
"Yeah, that's me. What happened to you?" There was concern in his normally cheerful blue eyes. "Did Macavity do this?"
Plato's blue eyes went wide, "Macavity, he's going to-"
"He did. He attacked us and kidnapped Old Deuteronomy," He hesitated a moment, "He tried to take your mother, too, but we drove him off-"
Plato felt a terrible fear in his heart. "MOM!?"
"She's alright, she's just worried sick about you." Alonzo helped the taller tom up. His body ached, but nothing seemed to be broken. "So's Victoria. How badly are you hurt?"
"I'll be alright, Alonzo. It's just... He said some things, awful things. But they're all lies. Don't worry about me, you need to find Old Deuteronomy."
Alonzo smiled, "Quaxo - I mean, Mr. Mistoffelees, used his magic to bring Old Deuteronomy back to us."
"Was anyone hurt?"
"He bruised me, Munk and Mungo up a bit. We think he may have fried himself trying to get away. He took a couple of power cables and rammed them together, there was an explosion of sparks..."
"Have you found a body?" It seemed odd, to be talking of his father's possible death in such a detached manner.
"Then he's most likely alive."
"Do you think you can take part in the rest of the ball? It's almost time for The Jellicle Choice."
"I know I can." He grinned.
"First we'll have Jenny check you over. Make sure you aren't going to die on us and ruin the ball." Alonzo grinned. "And we need to get you cleaned up. Can't have you all dusty when you head to your den with Victoria, can we?"
"You're as bad as Tugger."
Alonzo smirked, "I try."
As they walked into the clearing Victoria rushed into Plato's arms, and everyone gathered around to make sure he was okay. After confirming that he wasn't badly hurt, they gathered to hear Old Deuteronomy make The Jellicle Choice.
As The Great Hand of The Everlasting Cat came down to take Grizzabella to The Heavyside Lair, Plato stood in joy and awe with the others. How could Macavity be so blind? Maybe he honestly couldn't see it. Maybe he was too blinded by selfishness and hate.
But Plato wasn't Macavity.
He looked over towards Victoria, who was standing by Quaxo, or was it Mistoffelees?
He walked over and put a loving arm around her slender body and planted a kiss on her forehead. "I love you, Victoria."
She smiled impishly, "More than you love Tugger?"
Plato laughed, "Yes, I love you more than I love Rum Tum Tugger."
Mistoffelees turned and gave him an odd look, and he heard Pouncival snicker from somewhere behind him.
He didn't care.
"I love you more than anything." He nuzzled against her face, and she returned the affection.
Despite everything, he was still the luckiest tom in the world.
While I like some of the stories that have Plato as an innocent alter-ego or possessed victim of Macavity, I wanted one to show him as a separate character who hates Macavity and everything he stands for. In this story, he's not a former henchcat, he's never worked with Macavity and never will. He just has the misfortune of being his son. If you wonder why Plato looks so clean and unharmed after he returned, remember, Munkustrap, Alonzo, Mungojerrie and even Pouncival fought Macavity, and they were fine as the ball progressed.
I love 'em, but Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer aren't exactly 'respectable' cats, they're proudly 'notorious' cats.
That 'foolish, gullible kit' that scratched Grizzabella is, of course, Pouncival. Plato and Tumblebrutus put him up to it, literally pushing him out in front of her.
Pouncival is my favorite cat, with Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer a close second.
And Plato was totally drooling over Rum Tum Tugger during his song in the film.