By Biankies and Anjion
A/N: This is another collaboration between me and my best friend, Biankies, and features the movie cast of Cats, our 3 favourite sidekicks – Babkak, Omar and Kassim – from Aladdin (specifically those from the original Broadway cast), and the Newsies (movie cast).
AA/N: Mac and Lacey (when they appear!) are Newsies. Mac is the doctor to her friends and Lacey is Spot Conlon's second-in-command and annoys him mercilessly!
YAA/N: Having never seen Cats live anywhere (though it would definitely be an amazing experience), we are using the movie cast/characters for this story. However, it was written lovingly for you – the Broadway Revival cast – after we watched the "What's New, Pussycat?" backstage videos and fell in love with you guys! You are fantastic! And of course, if you wish, you can imagine yourselves in place of the movie versions...
Also, we believe that 'Mr Mistoffelees' is simply Quaxo's stage name and that he only assumes his 'Mistoffelees' form when he's performing larger magical feats or trying to impress... (He can still do magic in both forms, though...)
Secondly, we like to think of Gus the Theatre Cat and Asparagus as two different cats. (Or rather, there's Asparagus 'Gus' and Asparagus Jr...)
And lastly, for the purposes of this adventure, the Cats are all human sized. (Yes, I know that the scale of everything on the set is intended to make them look small, but I kind of ignored that fact...)
OMA/N: Sorry about this really long Authors' Note; it kind of ran away with me...
Disclaimer: We don't own any of the characters except Mac, Lacey and ourselves. Please read and review!
(All is as calm as one could expect on Manhattan's busy streets, which are currently free of the influence of two troublesome authors known as Biankies and Anjion (better known as Mouse and Stars).
For a moment, there is relative tranquillity, but then the peace is shattered as a large, black and gold tom cat appears literally out of nowhere. It is chasing a rather speedy mouse, leaving behind a trail of destruction and eliciting a series of yelps, squeals and startled shrieks from the people as they find themselves jumping out of the way...)
MOUSE: (as the cat misses her by an inch) STARSIE! HELP!
CAT: Oh, stop yelling and slow down! You're making me ruin my mane!
MOUSE: No way! Bad cat! Bad cat!
(The pair continue the chase for a few more blocks before the Mouse bumps into a familiar human...)
ANJION: (as the mouse clambers up onto her shoulder) Hey! No climbing on me! Oh, sorry Mousey. What did you do this time and to whom?
BIANKIES THE MOUSE: Well... (takes a deep breath before rambling) I was visiting the boys in Agrabah because you had to do that really important thing in the big city, and Omar wanted cookies so Kassim and I went to get him some, but then Kassim decided it would be a good idea to try and steal Jafar's staff, but Jafar caught us and Kassim escaped but I didn't, and Jafar was mad so he turned me into a mouse and sent me to this big scary place with a lot of scary cats, and I tried to be quiet but this one saw me and well... (she pauses just long enough to take another deep breath, before pointing to the cat and yelling in Anjion's ear) HE TRIED TO EAT ME!
ANJION: (clutching her ear) There's no need to shout, Mousey, I'm right here! Wow, you have had a busy morning! Now let's have a look at this cat... (she looks properly at the cat, which is now staring fixatedly at the mouse on her shoulder, and her mouth drops open) Oh. My. Gosh! I-I don't believe it!
BIANKIES: (looking in every direction but the correct one) What? What is it?
ANJION: (in disbelief) It's Tugger! It's the Rum Tum Tugger! You know, that adorable Maine Coon from Cats the Musical!
(Quick as a flash, the mouse on Anjion's shoulder scoots round to look and as soon as she discovers that her friend is indeed telling the truth, she goes slightly hyper and starts squeaking hysterically...)
TUGGER: (suddenly looking extremely unsettled at the tiny creature's unnatural behaviour) Er... What is it doing?
ANJION: (wincing) She's fangirling... Hold on, let me put her back to normal...
(And she pulls out her wand and swiftly performs the spell that Professor McGonagall taught her, and Biankies is restored to humanity...)
TUGGER: Wait... you're telling me that the mouse was a person?!
BIANKIES: (excitedly) I'm a huge, huge, huge fan! THIS IS SO AWESOME!
TUGGER: (swiping at his ears and grimacing) I think I liked the mouse better...
BIANKIES: Can we keep him?
ANJION: (desperately trying to keep her eyes above the cat's waist) No... I think we'd better get him back to his family... Wait a minute! How did he even get here?! He lives in London! Come to think of it, how did you get here, Mousey? You said Jafar sent you to London; how'd you get back here so fast?
BIANKIES: I don't know. We were running and then we ran into that weird, giant blue pipe and then I ran into you. Just in time too!
TUGGER: Not for me! I'm still hungry!
ANJION: (quick as a flash) I have a bag of Tuna Treats! Do you like those?
TUGGER: What are Tuna Treats?
(Anjion passes the small bag of random cat treats to the Maine Coon who, after giving the packet a cautious sniff, turns up his nose and sneers. Anjion shrugs and turns to Biankies, and so doesn't see the cat quickly down the entire packet in one go...)
BIANKIES: But I wanna keep him! Besides, he doesn't wanna go home, do you Tugger?
(She waves another packet of treats enticingly at Tugger, who takes them from her as if he'd just been passed something unpleasant...whilst trying not to let on that he likes Tuna Treats...)
ANJION: (firmly) We are sending him home, Mousey. He'd just get miserable here. Especially with Kassim as a potential rival... (Tugger looks scandalised at this comment!) Now, where's that pipe...
(The three of us start to examine the pipe, with Tugger surreptitiously trying to eat the treats without us noticing, and conclude after a few moments that it is just that: a pipe.)
ANJION: (straightening up) Well, that's not going to be a viable option any more, Mousey. We'll have to find another rouuuuutttteee!
(This last note is a drawn-out yell as the ground beneath us suddenly gives way...and we come down onto something soft. Once Anjion and Biankies have regained their senses, they look to see what they have landed on... and while Biankies doesn't know whether to squeal or blush when she realises that she's landed on a very annoyed Tugger, Anjion is surprised and delighted to discover that she has landed on a certain silver and black tabby tom, who has a perfectly comical expression of shock on his face...)
ANJION: (having her own fangirling moment) SQUEEEEEEE! It's Munkustrap! My favourite!
MUNKUSTRAP: (gasping) Can't... breathe...
ANJION: (hastily rolling off of her top favourite cat) Oh! Sorry, Munko...
TUGGER: (pushing Biankies off in annoyance) GET OFF!
BIANKIES: Hey! We're back with the scary cats!
MUNKUSTRAP: (wheezing and still looking a little shell-shocked) W-who are you and w-where have you come from?
ANJION: Oh, we were just returning your little brother to you. He chased my friend through a portal and ended up in Manhattan.
MUNKO: (confused and still wheezing) P-ortal? Manh-hattan? (he looks round at his brother) Tugger?
(Tugger shrugs, vaguely. Munko looks back at Anjion, hoping she'll explain, but both she and her friend have been distracted by the appearance of yet another cat...this one a small, black and white tuxedo tom...)
ANJION: (squealing) QUAXO!
BIANKIES: (squealing) MISTOFFELEES!
(And they both charge towards the startled cat...)
QUAXO: (looking to Munkustrap) HELP!
TUGGER: (swallowing his last mouthful of treats) Just be glad you don't have a mouse doing that!
QUAXO: (desperately trying to avoid hugs on two fronts) Someone do something!
(But the little cat is unable to escape the two authors' embrace and his eyes pop briefly as he receives a loving squeeze. His look of relief when he is finally released is nothing short of precious!)
QUAXO: (coughing slightly as he attempts to regain his composure) Um...hi?
MUNKO: (having finally recovered his own composure) Who are you?
(By this point, more cats have appeared and are gathering around the two strange humans, watching them with interest.)
ANJION: (enthusiastically) Oh! I'm Anjion – known to my friends as Stars, and this is Biankies, also called Mouse! No, you can't eat her; she's not that kind of mouse... We already know who you guys are. (she starts counting the various cats off on her fingers as she says their names...) There's Munkustrap (my Favourite! Squeee!), the Rum Tum Tugger and Quaxo, obviously...
QUAXO: (piping up) How'd you know my real name is Quaxo? Most people just call me Mistoffelees! Which is only my stage name...
(Anjion just grins as only a true fan can, before continuing.)
ANJION: ...And Skimbleshanks, Plato, Victoria, Jennyanydots, not forgetting dear Old Deuteronomy...
END OF PART ONE
(Some time later...)
ANJION: (in the style of a storyteller) ...And that's how we got here, to the junkyard.
JENNYANYDOTS: So you both come from this Manhattan, do you?
ANJION: Well, no; I come from England, actually (a little place called the Isle of Wight), and Mousey is from South Africa! But we like it in Manhattan (even though we've never actually been there) because our top favourite Musical is set there! It's called Newsies...
(At that moment, as if on cue, a random portal suddenly appears, spilling a large group of youngish boys and three colourful thieves into the junkyard...)
MUSH: (getting to us first, apparently taking the fall through the portal in his stride) Stars! Mouse! We gotta go! Snyder's after us!
ANJION: (confused) But...you mean he chased you into that portal?
RACETRACK: (coming up behind Mush) Yes! He's on his way!
TUMBLEBRUTUS: Who's Snyder?
BIANKIES: Probably the worst child catcher imaginable! He locks kids up in a terrible place called the Refuge, and I don't think he'd be averse to putting a few giant cats in there either!
ALONZO: (from his lookout perch) I can see him! He's coming this way! Oh my, he's terrifying!
(All the boys immediately start panicking and everyone starts scrambling to escape this oncoming unknown terror...all except Quaxo, who is frozen in fear. He too has seen Snyder hurtling towards them and cannot help imagining he can see fearful fangs and killer claws upon the swiftly approaching man, but still, he cannot move...)
RANDOM CAT: Quaxo, come on!
(Quaxo is snapped out of his frozen state and, before anyone can stop him, he has waved his arms and performed his favourite teleportation spell. There is a flash of white light, a small bang!...and then we find ourselves in a heap in a dark alley...)
SPECS: (once we have untangled ourselves) Where are we?
POUNCIVAL: (whispering) Looks like London!
ANJION: (grimly) But it doesn't feel like London...
BIANKIES: (clinging to her friend) This place is almost as scary as a junkyard full of giant cats...
MUNKO: Quaxo, where have you brought us?
QUAXO: (looking a little sheepish) I don't know... I just wanted to be where that scary man wasn't...
CORICOPAT: (coming up) Well, I'm sorry to tell you the bad news, but he is here too.
TANTOMILE: Good news is, he has yet to find us... But he feels...different, somehow...
CORICO: ...As does everything else... Almost as if this was an alternate version of the world we know...
(But they look up to find that nobody is listening, and Corico scowls.)
(And then there is a sudden shriek of horror from down the alley...)
ETCETERA: (in concern) Tugger! Tugger, get up! Get off him, Tumble! You're squashing Tugger!
TUGGER: (in a pained voice, milking it for all he's worth) It's okay, Cetty, I'll be alright... But my mane got terribly mussed up in the fall...
(Etcetera immediately starts to wail, which gets gradually louder until– )
JENNYANYDOTS: (sharply) Oh, cut that out, Etcetera! Tugger is perfectly fine! And you (she fixes her glare on Tugger) can easily sort that mane out in less than a minute when it suits you! Now get up and come on!
(But before anyone can move, a loud, ear-splitting screech sends most of the Newsies towards Anjion and most of the Cats diving towards their Protector...Quaxo included...)
OMAR: (whimpering) That sounded close...
MUNKO: (trying not to trip over the Cats clustered at his feet) We'd better move out of here...
JENNY: I suggest we get everyone back to the junkyard. We can find hiding places for everyone there...
MUNKO: Good idea. It's safe there.
BIANKIES: (squishing the nearest person; in this case, Alonzo) But it's scary out there! I don't wanna go!
ALONZO: (hissing at Biankies until she lets go) It's scary here!
(As if to prove his point, a huge pterodactyl suddenly appears overhead, revealing itself to be the owner of the awful screech...)
MUNKO: (looking up and so not looking where he is going) Everybody, follow me!
(And he runs straight into an open manhole...)
JENNY: (running anxiously to the edge of the hole) Munkustrap?
MUNKO: (in an echoey voice) Ow...
BIANKIES: Erm... Starsie... We better get him out quick 'cause the scary screeching thing is heading this way...
QUAXO: I can do that!
(The little cat waves his paws and murmurs something, and Munkustrap slowly appears at ground level again. He staggers a little when he gains solid ground again and Jenny runs to support him.)
KASSIM: (leaning in to Munko and pointing at the manhole) That's usually me, you know...
(The pterodactyl flies overhead again, this time seemingly directly interested in the group gathered below him. And then it dives...)
JELLYLORUM: (frantically) Quickly, everyone! Into that warehouse over there! Now!
(We all manage to make it into the warehouse just in time.)
MUNKO: (doing a quick head count) All the cats are here, but I think you guys are missing three.
MUSH: (sighing) Nah, they're not missing... merely hiding... You'll get used to it eventually...
(He points to Kassim, Anjion and Swifty, who all turn around to reveal a trembling Coward attached to each of them...)
ANJION: (detaching Biankies and gathering Cats and boys alike around her) Now then, it seems that something has gone wrong with Quaxo's spell, because pterodactyls aren't usually found in London. In fact, they're not usually found anywhere anymore, due to them being extinct... So we need to get back to the junkyard as quickly as possible and work out how to put it right from there. Agreed?
DEMETER: (nervously) B-but what about that big monster? How d-do we go anywhere without it s-seeing us?
ADMETUS: (bouncing enthusiastically, wearing a stupid grin) We jump it and kill it!
EVERYONE: Be quiet, Admetus!
ALONZO: Have you seen the size of that thing, Admetus? It would easily overpower us all put together! Plus the fact that it can fly!
(Admetus pouts and scowls at us all.)
MUNGOJERRIE: (from near the far wall) 'Ere look! There's an 'ole 'ere! Seems to lead inta some sorta tunnel! We could try that?
RUMPELTEAZER: Yeah! And Quaxo could light the way! He glows like a beacon when he wants ta!
BIANKIES: (nervously) But it's scary in there! I don't wanna go down the scary dark tunnel!
(She sits down with her legs and arms crossed...)
BABKAK: (quickly throwing Biankies over his shoulder) Too bad, you're going. Either that or stay here...on your own...
BIANKIES: (looking at Anjion pleadingly) But I don't wanna go in there! It's scary!
MUNKO: (to Anjion) Does this happen often?
ANJION: (rolling her eyes) Sadly, yes... Come on Quaxo! Let's go into that tunnel!
QUAXO: (shakily) B-but... I don't wanna go first!
ANJION: (coaxingly) But you're currently the only one who can produce any sort of light source. And besides, we'll be right behind you...
MUNGO: And it's too dark even for our cat eyes!
(And so we venture into the tunnel, headed by Quaxo, whose paws are glowing (though not very brightly), and brought up at the rear by Alonzo and Munkustrap.)
SKIMBLE: (to Tugger, cheerfully oblivious) Well, isn't this fun?
(No sooner are the words out of his mouth, than there is a high-pitched shriek from up ahead and the light goes out. And then...)
TUGGER: (startled) HELP! SOMETHING'S GOT ME!
DEMETER: (shrieking too) AAAGGGGHHH! There's a great big monster in here!
BOMBALURINA: (concerned) Where? Demeter, what does it look like?
DEMETER: I can't see it, but it seems to have a smooth body and a big..hairy...mane... (pause) Oh... Sorry Tugger...
(In the darkness, Tugger glares at Demeter.)
(Meanwhile, Anjion has only just managed to extricate Quaxo's claws from her person, to which the terrified cat has been clinging...)
JENNY: (from somewhere in the middle of the group) What happened? What was that scream?
ANJION: That was Quaxo. Something startled him... (she starts cooing coaxingly to the frightened tuxedo tom) Come on Quaxo...
(Quaxo shakily re-illuminates his paws and for a few minutes, we travel onwards without incident. And then, from somewhere in front of us, a strange unseen creature starts speaking in a strange, hissing voice...)
VOICE: What is it, Preciousss? What is it? Is it more Hobbitses? Doesn't smell like Hobbitses...
ANJION: (chuckling, as Quaxo latches onto Biankies this time) It's Gollum! It's alright, Quaxo, it's only Gollum! He won't hurt you!
(The huge orbs of Gollum's eyes flash briefly in the darkness, and then he can be heard scampering away.)
MUNKO: (calling from the back) What's going on up there? We have to get out of here; there are kittens present!
TUGGER: (pointedly) And we're going to need light.
(Everyone turns to Quaxo, only to find him sitting on the ground, listening attentively to Biankies as she and her Cowardly friends surround him...)
QUAXO: (his paws glowing just enough to cast shadows) So anyone can join?
BIANKIES: (handing over a Cowardly Club brochure) Yeah, and you will always have other cowards to be cowardly with.
QUAXO: (uncertainly) But I'm not really a coward... I just get scared easily...
BIANKIES: (shrugging) Doesn't really matter. Skittery here ain't really a coward either but that doesn't stop him acting like one sometimes...
QUAXO: Okay... How do I sign up?
BIANKIES: You sign your name on this (she pulls out a large piece of paper from her pocket and hands it to him) and answer the questions on it, and then you're one of us.
(The four Cowards continue to talk as all the others look to Anjion, baffled by the sudden interruption to their journey...)
TUGGER: (annoyed) Well, I'm sorry to break up this little meeting, but there are far more important things to be doing than sitting around chatting...
MUNKO: (from the back, interrupting) Will you guys please get a move on! We have to get back to the junkyard!
(And so we set off again, at a much faster pace this time, and we finally emerge back into daylight...)
TUGGER: Well that's a relief! Now the others can see my awesomeness again!
QUAXO: And I can fill out that form.
RACE: (kindly) You don't really need the form, pal. Mousey wouldn't be offering you 'membership' if she didn't think you'd fit right in...
(Biankies glares at him. Race ignores her.
We look tentatively around, checking to see if there are any monsters hanging about. There aren't...)
MUNKO: (making his way back to the front) Come on, people, let's go...
(But as he turns round again, he finds himself face to face with a very drunk pirate...)
CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW: (breathing heavily in Munko's face) Where's all the rum gone? Hmm? And why is all the rum gone? Maybe that second one is more important... I bet that Turner lad took it... Do you know?
(And, without waiting for a reply, he staggers off, periodically looking at his empty bottle in confusion, and leaving behind a very stunned Munkustrap...)
MUNGO: (after a long pause) Well. That was interesting...
(Just then a loud crash is heard, snapping everyone out of their shock, and the Cowardly Club, newest member included, heads to their favourite human to jump on...
We look wildly around, and seconds later, a huge Snylitzel comes crashing out of a nearby alley and heads straight for us!)
[A/N: a Snylitzel is a creature that is essentially Snyder, Pulitzer and Wiesel (from Newsies) rolled into one hideous body.]
ANJION: (shaking herself free of the Cowards) Oh no! A Snylitzel!
ADMETUS: (grinning stupidly) What's a Snylitzel?
SPECS: (pointing behind him) That's a Snylitzel!
BIANKIES: (wisely) It doesn't really matter what it is! In the words of the Cowardly One, "It matters not what you are running from – or even why you are running!; – only that you, as a true and noble Coward, fled the scene!"
OMAR: (putting a hand on Quaxo's shoulder) In other words...RUN!
(We hurtle through the ominously empty streets until we spot another creepy warehouse with a glassless window up ahead...)
ALONZO: (hissing to Munko) Munko! Let's get everyone in there! If we're quick we might be able to throw off this Sneezicle thing!
NEWSIES: (in a hiss) SNYLITZEL!
ALONZO: Oh yeah... Sorry...
QUAXO: (running to Jenny with a frightened expression) But it's scary in there!
JENNY: (pushing him towards the window) Get in there!
(Plato, who is already inside the building, reaches out and pulls the small cat inside before turning to help the next. When it comes to Tugger's turn, he snags his mane on the frame and once he is inside, he starts complaining vociferously.)
TUGGER: (looking around the room in disgust) Why is there never a mirror when you need one?
(Everyone ignores him and continues to pull the Cats (and Newsies) to safety. In fact, they are all so busy, they fail to notice the ever curious Pouncival sticking his nose into a large chest which says "Do Not Open" on it...)
POUNCE: (suddenly) Help!
(We all turn to discover Pounce hanging half out of the chest, his hind legs thrashing...)
TUMBLE: (throwing himself towards his little brother) POUNCE!
ALONZO: (rather pointlessly) Don't panic, Captain Mainwaring! Oh, ahem, I mean, don't panic, Pounce!
(Anjion, Munko and Alonzo immediately run towards the struggling kitten, grab whatever they can reach and, with a huge, united effort, finally manage to pull Pounce free, and the four land in a heap on the floor. Or rather, on top of Munkustrap...)
MUNKO: (slightly winded) Ooof!
(He climbs to his feet while Pounce, who is now wearing a rather traumatised expression, is gathered into the arms of Jellylorum, but before anyone can do anything more, a huge Hug Monster emerges from the chest...)
[A/N: No one really knows what a Hug Monster should look like. They are very indecisive beasts...]
HUG MONSTER: (shrilly) COME TO MEEE, POUNCY!
POUNCE:(nervously) N-no way! (He moves behind Jelly)
HUG MONSTER: (wheedling) Awww, come on, Pouncy! I only wanna hug you...
ANJION: (as the hideous beast glides closer to Pounce, making kissy faces at him) Quickly! Into that random laundry chute over there!
CASSANDRA: No way! I do not wish to soil my beautiful coat!
TUGGER: (agreeing) Yeah! And I'm sure my mane looks bad enough already!
CORICO: If you do not go into the chute, you will die a most painful death!
TUGGER: (muttering darkly under his breath) Knowing these two authors, we're gonna die a most painful death anyway...
ANJION: (indignant) Hey! I heard that! We try not to kill characters!
BOMBA: (grabbing Tugger) Just go!
(She pushes him into the chute and he disappears with a yell. One by one, the others jump into the chute after him with Munkustrap, at the rear, leaping in just in time...
Behind him, the Hug Monster tries to follow, but it cannot fit into the chute...)
HUG MONSTER: (furious and disappointed) NOOOOOOO!
BIANKIES: (grinning as she reaches the bottom) That was fun! Can we do it again?!
TUGGER: (to Anjion) Has she lost her mind?!
ANJION: No, she's just enjoying herself too much...
TANTO: (looking uneasily around the empty room) We have to get out of this place... There are hidden dangers...
(Everyone immediately hurries across to the grimy window – which Tugger is attempting to use as a mirror – and push it open, hurrying out onto the street. Tugger is out last and immediately shuts the window, attempting to see himself in the dirty glass.)
JENNY: (tugging at his arm) Come on, Tugger!
TUGGER: (refusing to budge) I just wanna check my mane. Won't be long...
JENNY: (pulling harder and with determination) Come on Tugger!
(And Tugger is forced to comply.
We manage to get a little way along without incident, but then there is a horrendous crash and a terrifying screech from behind us...
In a split second, several things happen. Jelly throws her arms protectively around the two nearest cats – which happen to be Munkustrap and Admetus – and glares wildly at everyone. Quaxo screams and claws his way up onto Kassim's head. Omar promptly faints. Skittery, in his desire to escape, runs headlong into a wall and stuns himself. Even Tugger is temporarily startled out of his search for a reflective surface. And Jenny – sweet, lovable Jenny – suddenly goes into 'attack' mode: claws out, teeth bared, eyes blazing, fur on end, tail bottle-brushy... A truly terrifying transformation...)
QUAXO: (from Kassim's head, in a high-pitched squeak) Munko, do something!
(Everyone else whirls around in shock...to find Tumble sprawled over an old litter bin, and we all sigh with relief. It was he who caused the racket!)
TUMBLE: (getting up a little unsteadily and looking at us apologetically) S-sorry...
MUNKO: What happened? You're not usually that clumsy...
TUMBLE: (shakily) I-I-I... I thought I s-saw another m-monster.
JELLY: (kindly, hunkering down beside him) Can you describe it?
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: (suddenly appearing in the alleyway, swinging his cape, his white half-mask gleaming) Perhaps it will be better if I introduced myself!
(There is a sudden, frantic burst of movement...)
PHANTOM: (to the empty air as the dust cloud settles) What did I do? I only wanted to them to sing to me...
(And, disappointed, he turns and sweeps away.)
(We keep hurtling through the twisting alleys until we at last come out in a much more cheerful little area, where we finally draw to a halt. A few moments later, we notice that we are being watched by a smallish gathering of people...no, not people, but Munchkins!)
BOMBA: (who is soaking up the attention that our sudden appearance has garnered) My, aren't they cute?
MUNKO: (hissing) Stop it, Bomba!
(Bomba smirks at him; she's having too much fun. Tugger, who is trying to inconspicuously find some sort of reflective surface in which to see the state of his mane, doesn't even notice...
And while all this is going on, no-one notices Mungo and Teazer sneaking into a nearby house, mischief written on their faces...)
MUNKO: (nervously to Anjion as they resume their journey) What were those things?
ANJION: Oh, they were Munchkins. Though it's strange to see them so far from Oz... I wonder-
(But before she can say anything more, there is a loud, angry bellow from behind us and then two orange, yellow, white and black blurs rush past us.)
TEAZER: (exhilarated) RUN!
(Everyone looks on for a moment before following the pair of thieves into an alley...the end of which is blocked by a really high wall...)
QUAXO: (panicking) What're we gonna do now?!
SKITTERY: (overdramatically and miserably) WE'RE DOOMED!
(And then Peter Pan flies in.)
PETER: No you're not! All you need is a little faith! And trust! And pixie dust... (he searches his pockets, muttering under his breath) Oh no! I forgot Tinkerbell! Sorry, you're doomed.
(And he flies off again.)
OMAR: (rushing to Kassim) Kassim, do something!
KASSIM: What do you want me to do; grow wings and fly?
JELLY: (drily) Well, it's either that or get trampled by the angry horde...
(We stare at the oncoming rush of angry Munchkins for a single second, before turning and scaling the wall with incredible athleticism...)
DEMETER: (wide eyed as we reach the top) I didn't know humans could do that!
SWIFTY: (pulling her along) You'd be amazed what we can do under pressure! Especially when those two authors are about...
(When we finally stop, Munko and Alonzo grab the bags of loot from the two cat burglars...)
(Munko glares sharply at him and starts looking through the bag in his paws. At one point, he pulls out a polished silver plate, which Tugger promptly snatches...)
TUGGER: Aha! Perfect!
(He peers into it, gasping involuntarily as he finally gets the briefest of glimpses of his untidy mane. He immediately starts trying to set it right, but then Munkustrap snatches the plate back, glaring at him.)
TUGGER: (slightly more high-pitched than normal) Hey! I need that...
MUNKO: (sternly) We have to return it!
TUGGER: (upset) But my mane! I look terrible!
JENNY: (rather sharply) Oh, shush about your mane! A little untidiness won't kill you!
TUGGER: (weakly) But...
MUNKO: (sternly) We have to give this stuff back!
JEMIMA: (looking back at the wall) We can't go back! We'll get trampled!
PLATO: (quietly) Why don't we just drop the sacks over the wall? That would distract the Munchkins and return the stuff at the same time...
(We all look at the shy cat in astonishment. He rarely speaks, and then to come up with such a good idea when he does...)
BIANKIES: Great idea!
QUAXO: Yeah! That way, no one has to go down there!
BIANKIES: And it's the perfect excuse for the Cowardly Club to keep out of danger too!
(And so the bags of loot are duly dropped on the Munchkins, causing a wonderful distraction (and several concussions), and then on we go...)
SKIMBLE: (cheerfully) So, where are we off to next?
ANJION: (unhelpfully) Well, we're still headed for the junkyard...
(We climb down to ground level and set off again. We manage to cover quite a bit of distance without incident but then, just as we think that maybe we're past the worst, there is yet another loud crash from somewhere ahead of us...)
SKITTERY: (in a high-pitched squeak) What was that?!
(And then something appears from an alley up ahead...)
EXOTICA: (rather dramatically) IT'S A GIANT POLLICLE!
ADMETUS: (happily) Have no fear! I, the Rumpus Cat, will chase it off!
ANJION: (hastily grabbing Admetus' scruff) That's no dog, Admetus! That's a Random Werewolf! They're extremely dangerous because you never know when they might turn up! We have to hide somewhere!
ANDREW KEENAN-BOLGER: (leaning out of the window of a nearby theatre) In here! Quick!
(We all turn around and sprint towards the theatre. Tugger, having been at the back, is now in front and he dives into the theatre without even opening the door, leaving there a perfect, Tugger-shaped hole...)
SWIFTY: (wincing, to Pie Eater) Ooh, that's gotta hurt!...
(We all follow Tugger into the dim light of the impressive theatre, gazing around us in awe. And then a familiar person comes out of the shadows...)
AKB: (smiling in relief at the two crazy fangirl authors) Thank goodness you guys are ok! That Random Werewolf has been causing problems round here for days!
BIANKIES: (trying not to blush in AKB's presence) Thanks for helping us! Today has been a hard day, eh Starsie?
ANJION: (standing stock still, staring at Andrew with adoring eyes) Crutchie...AKB...Crutchie...
(While this is going on, Tugger, who had been getting increasingly upset about the state of his mane, has been feverishly looking in every nook and cranny, searching for the mirror that has so far evaded him. When he at last spots what appears to be a large, full-length mirror not far away, he gives a great cry of relief and delight – at last, he can sort out his wildly wayward mane and restore his dignity! – and bounds across to it. He peers in...and immediately utters a piercing, high-pitched shriek which quickly tails off as he keels over backwards in a dead faint.)
ETCETERA: (shrieking shrilly) TUGGER!
GRIZABELLA: (gazing down at him from the other side of the broken frame) Um... Well, I've never had quite that reaction before...
(Some time later...)
(We are on the move once again. Tugger has finally come round and is now back on his feet. It took Mac and Lacey quite a while to convince him that had not turned into Grizabella, and he is now stalking along a little to the side of the rest of us in an attempt to hide his embarrassment while retaining what little dignity he has left...)
(For a little while, no one says anything, but then...)
BIANKIES: (looking around and pulling her friend's sleeve) Starsie...
(She is ignored as the group continues walking, talking merrily to each other...)
BIANKIES: (slightly more urgently) Starsie...
MUNKO: (to Anjion) So how do we get all of you back to your own world?
BIANKIES: (loudly interrupting before Anjion can answer) Anjion Starsie Writer Person! We got a problem!
(Having finally gotten the attention she wanted, Biankies points behind them and we all look to find...)
BILBO BAGGINS: (loudly and randomly) ORCS!
(We immediately turn and run at breakneck speed. Luckily for us, we manage to dodge into the first nearby alley, just in time to avoid the orcs, who run straight past it. We stop to rest for a few moments, until...)
DUTCHY: Hey, can anyone hear music?
SNITCH: Yeah, I can hear it too!
KITTENS: Us too!
BIANKIES: (to Anjion) Does that sound kinda familiar to you?
ANJION: (to Biankies) Yeah... It sounds like it's coming from that warehouse over there...
(We rush to peer into the window of the warehouse. And then someone bursts into a fantastic rendition of 'Memory'...)
DEWEY FINN/SCHNEEBLY: (a few moments later) NO! STOP!
(The singing stops abruptly. Dewey starts selecting children from the class, assigning them their places in the band until he is left with three people...)
DEWEY: (pointing to each of the two little girls in front of him) Back-up singer, back-up singer... (he turns and points to the third person) Groupie.
GRIZABELLA: (extremely annoyed) WHAT?! Groupie?! Huh! I sang much better than they did!
(And she turns on her heel and stalks off, sulking.)
TUGGER: Come on, let's go before they see us. I don't want them seeing me like this...
(But as we turn away from the window, there is a sudden angry yell from behind us...)
BUMLETS: (urgently) It's Snyder! RUN!
MUNKO: Follow me! We have to get to the junkyard! Quickly!
(We all sprint after the Jellicle protector as fast as we can, weaving wildly through the streets, relentlessly pursued by the cruel man until we finally manage to escape into a very small alley and watch him run straight past...)
MAC: (a few moments later, peering cautiously out of the alley) He's gone; we've lost him.
JENNY: (puffing and wheezing) Just as well! I don't think I can keep up with all this running!
SKIMBLE: (brightly, looking out of the other end of the alley) Hey! I know this place! We're nearly home!
MUNKO: (from the front, without turning round) Right then, Cats, we mustn't get excited. Nobody knows what might be around that corner. It could be dangerous...
(But nobody is listening and Munko is promptly trampled by Cats and Newsies alike...)
MUNKO: (groaning) Owww...
QUAXO: Hurry up Munko! We're nearly there!
TUGGER: Finally! It's going to take forever to fix my mane!
(But as we round the corner, everyone suddenly screeches to a halt and stares in dismay at where the junkyard very clearly isn't...)
MUNKO: (loudly) NO!
BIANKIES: (wide eyed) Starsie, I think we got a problem...
JELLY: (in dismay) But where did it go?
(Anjion turns and whispers briefly to Biankies before turning back to the group.)
ANJION: Right everyone! Mousey and I have had a talk and we have come to the conclusion that we are in fact in a parallel London.
JENNY: (as she comforts the distressed kittens) So how are we supposed to get home now?
ANJION: (with a hint of dread) We're gonna have to go back to where we started...
QUAXO: (scared) But I don't want to go back there! I didn't like all those monsters...
(At this point, Coricopat sticks a paw in the air, trying to get our attention...)
CORICIO: I have an idea...
MUNKO: (not hearing him) Do what the authors say! We have no other choice!
POUNCE: (whining) But that'll take ages!
ANJION: (brightly) Not if we run really fast!
CORICO: (trying to get our attention) Actually, I know an easier way...
(But Anjion hasn't heard him either and leads the group into a full-out run. Corico, defeated, heaves a sigh and follows, and then we are rushing back through the streets and alleys at double-speed. At first, we somehow fail to encounter any of the people and monsters we saw on the way, but as we near the alley where we started...)
ALONZO: (pricking up his ears and frowning) Can you hear something?
MUNKO: (listening too) You mean that faint thundering sound?
(But before we can turn to investigate...)
SHAGGY: (making a swift, brief and random entrance from behind us) MONSTERS!
SCOOBY DOO: Run, Raggy!
(And they disappear again as we all turn to look at each other in dread...)
(We all turn to look behind us, to see a swiftly approaching army of...)
ANJION: (urgently) Quick! Into the alley!
(We all dive into the alley, but before we can even consider breathing sighs of relief, the alley is suddenly filled with random flashes of lightning and an evil laugh starts reverberating round the small space...)
DEMETER: (going into her customary 'shock-horror' pose) Macavity!
(And sure enough, there is the scruffy, wild-maned orange cat, standing proud on a nearby roof, creepily illuminated by the flashing sky; a toothy, evil grin upon his face...)
MUNKO: (hastily) Back! Back! We need to go somewhere else!
(As one, we turn and start running back in the other direction, heading for the next nearest alley...only to find our way blocked by the incoming rush of monsters!)
ANJION: (turning towards another alley) This way!
(She is nearly swallowed by a gigantic sock monster with humungous googly eyes.)
MUNKO: (turning again) Let's try this way!
(And he only just manages to avoid the pincers of a very large and very angry crab...
And Pounce, darting desperately into the mouth of yet another alley, almost immediately finds himself face to face with an ugly old woman with an eerie smile and a basket of apples...)
CRONE: (proffering a particularly red apple) Care for an apple, sonny?
POUNCE: (backing slowly away) Er... No thanks!
(And he turns and runs back to his friends...)
ANJION: (in a frantic yet calm, loud voice) We have to figure out a way back to our London now!
VICTORIA: (nervously scanning the ever-tightening circle of approaching monsters) But we're trapped! There's no way out!
CORICO: (loudly) Actually there is a way—
JELLY: (interrupting, apparently without having heard him) She's right, Munko! There is no way out!
CORICO: (frustrated) But there is a way—
VICTORIA: (interrupting again and bordering on hysterical as the monsters advance further) I DON'T WANNA DIE! CERTAINLY NOT LIKE THIS!
CORICO: (spluttering a little in annoyance) YOU'RE NOT GOING TO DIE— Oh what's the use; she won't hear me anyway...
(And, finally deciding to take matters into his own paws, he turns at once to the tuxedo tom who just happens to be beside him and starts yelling in his ear. And just a few moments later...)
QUAXO: (yelling so as to be heard over the panicking rabble) Everybody, link hands!
(And as we obey, without quite knowing why, he transforms swiftly into the sparkling Mister Mistoffelees and starts spinning on one foot in the middle of the newly formed ring of friends, his arms out at right angles to his body, rotating faster and faster in an endless whirlwind of light until-)
(And when the smoke clears, we are safely back in the junkyard...)
POUNCE and TUMBLE: (breaking into a happy dance at once) We made it! Hooray! We made it!
TUGGER: (immediately and with passion) Now where's my mirror?
(And he marches off towards his den while everyone else clusters around Mistoffelees, who is staring at his paws in surprise and wonder...)
MISTOFFELEES: (in an awed whisper) I did it! I actually did it!
TANTO: (grinning with triumph) Of course you did it! We knew you could do it! You could have done it the moment we arrived! After all, you are the Magical Mr Mistoffelees, aren't you?
(Mistoffelees nods and begins to purr with pleasure as he laps up all the attention.)
MUNKO: (to Tanto, frowning) Wait, you knew that Misto could teleport us back?
TANTO: (inspecting her claws) Yes.
ALONZO: And you knew this the whole time?
CORICO: (shrugging indifferently) Only since we discovered that we were in a parallel London, but yes.
ALONZO: (annoyed) And I suppose you've known that we were in a parallel London, ever since we arrived?
TANTO: (still inspecting her claws) We found out for sure when you did, but we've suspected this fact since we got here, yes.
MUNKO: (almost exploding with frustration) Then why didn't you say so?!
CORICO: (slightly defensively) We've been trying to, but you didn't listen! And people kept interrupting!
(Munko and Alonzo have the grace to look sheepish and there is a brief awkward silence, which is thankfully soon broken by the appearance of yet another Cat at the top of a nearby junk pile.)
ASPARAGUS JR: (peering down at them with relief and reproach) There you all are! I've been looking for you! You know how Gus gets if no-one wants to listen to his stories...
ELECTRA: (eagerly scrambling up to meet him) Well just wait until Uncle Gus hears the story we have to tell him!...
(And she and the other kittens – including Quaxo, who has melted back into his 'normal' form – scurry off to find the elderly tom and tell him all about their Very Big Adventure...)
(Still at the junkyard, some time later...)
ANJION: Well, that was certainly an unusual adventure...
BIANKIES: It sure was! But then, most of our adventures are strange...
RACE: (to Kassim, in a murmur) Those two authors are strange...
KASSIM: (murmuring back) You can say that again...
TUGGER: (proudly fluffing his recently restored mane and striking a pose) Well, I'm just glad that my magnificence is once again fit for your viewing pleasure!
(He looks around him with a self-satisfied grin and starts to roll his hips... and then a large group of Random Screaming Tugger Fangirls come hurtling out of nowhere, heading towards the unfortunate Maine Coon, all screaming his name...)
RANDOM SCREAMING TUGGER FANGIRLS: (with ear-splitting shrillness) TUGGER!
TUGGER: (in fright as he takes off running) HELP!
(But he isn't fast enough and soon finds himself surrounded on all sides by the mob of clamouring females, helpless as he is swallowed up into the very midst of them and disappears from view...
After a brief but extremely intense flurry of movement, the Random Screaming Fangirls finally straighten up and disappear as suddenly as they arrived, leaving behind a rather stunned and flustered Tugger, who is now sitting on the ground. He pulls himself slowly to his feet and automatically starts brushing the dust from his fur in a dazed manner...until he notices that we are all looking at him with rather shocked expressions...)
TUGGER: (looking a little worried) What? What is it?
(There is no reply from those gathered, who continue to simply stare at him, but someone produces a large hand mirror from somewhere and holds it out to him... And a few moments later, Tugger gives another high-pitched shriek and flees, with the many little pink ribbons that have been tied into his mane fluttering wildly behind him.)
(Inside the beautiful and breath-taking building known as the Neil Simon Theatre in New York, the cast of the Broadway revival of Cats the Musical have just finished another successful performance, and are heading back to their various dressing rooms to start taking off their costumes and make-up. As they walk, the topic of their conversation turns to a very energetic and random Cats Fanfiction – by two apparently crazy fangirl authors called Anjion and Biankies – that they had discovered that lunch-time.)
SHONICA GOODEN: (loudly enough for the entire cast to hear) So what do you guys think of those two authors?
ELOISE KROPP: (smiling her wonderful smile) They seem...wonderfully eccentric!
SARA JEAN FORD: Well, it's pretty obvious they have a severe crush on Tugger!
CHRISTINE CORNISH SMITH: (in her really posh voice) Haven't we all? But he's already taken. After all, I am Bombalurina! Bombalurina Stage Centre Zero Front White Contract hyphen White Contract! (Which means 'Principle', you know...)
LILI FROEHLICH: (grinning) Hey, knock it off, Christine!
(Christine pretends to sulk.)
SHONICA: (also grinning) So, what would you guys do if those two turned up at the door right now?
QUENTIN EARL DARRINGTON: I'd ask them why Old Deuteronomy isn't in it!
JEREMY DAVIS: Well, you do realise that Old D only turns up once a year, don't you? So he probably wasn't around for the story...
ANDY HUNTINGTON JONES: (as he turns into his dressing room) I think I'd go hide. Those two sound scary!
RICKY UBEDA: (following Andy) Me too. I wouldn't want to get squashed!
GIUSEPPE BAUSILIO: (teasing) Or have your contours ruined!
(Ricky glares at him.)
TYLER HANES: (smirking as he turns into his own dressing room) Hide? Me? No way! I'd probably stick around and meet them and say hi. After all, Tugger loves his fans!
(He proceeds to go off on a tangent about how wonderful Tugger is and why he loves his fans, and he is so preoccupied that he doesn't notice the commotion from the other room as two over-excited fangirl authors appear out of nowhere and leap happily onto the first Cats they see...)
ANJION: (squealing happily) ANDY HUNTINGTON JONES!
BIANKIES: (also squealing happily) RICKY UBEDA!
(Back in his dressing room, Tyler is still going, totally oblivious to all this...)
TYLER: ...And besides, they're only fangirls! What could possibly be scary about Fangirls?...
(As he says this, he hears an ear-splitting cry of "TYLER HANES!" from the doorway, and he slowly turns around, his eyes widening in shock and horror as he sees the two fangirls – both wearing identical excited grins on their faces – flying through the air directly towards him...)
FA/N: Sorry about that epilogue, guys; Macavity hypnotised us into writing it! If we offended anyone with it, we apologise, as that was definitely not our intention! And don't worry; if we did ever meet you guys at the stage door, we most certainly wouldn't jump on you...though I couldn't promise that we wouldn't fangirl...
And we are aware that we have mismatched some of the changing-room occupants. It was necessary...
And yes, we do both have a serious crush on Tugger...even if Munko is my favourite...
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, this is what the abbreviations at the beginning (and very end) stand for:
A/N = Authors' Note
AA/N = Another Authors' Note
YAA/N = Yet Another Authors' Note
OMA/N = One More Authors' Note
FA/N = Final Authors' Note.