Hello again! Here's the final chapter!
This fic inspired a one shot: "Did It Hurt When You Fell From Heaven?" Feel free to check that one out if you liked this one!
Phase two started later that afternoon. Teazer had suggested they act while Munkustrap and Alonzo were busy with their 'important meeting' but Tugger wanted to still go ahead with Tumble and Pounce's distraction, since he strongly suspected that the 'meeting' was going to take place in Munk's den. The thought of barging in on the two was enough to make him shudder.
Again, he was all for supporting his brother in good health and happiness, but there were certain things he didn't need to witness for himself. It was all well and good to embarrass Munk (because, face it, sometimes the tom was too uptight for his own good), but there were a few lines that Tugger did not cross. Purposefully walking in on his brother and his lover was one of them.
Rumpleteazer didn't seem to have such lines. She had vanished to 'go get ready', whatever that meant, Etcetera following after her, leaving Tugger to watch Tumble and Pounce do… something. He really wasn't sure what was going on. The two kittens were huddled together over some elaborate drawing they had done in the dirt. It was surprisingly detailed and took up a significant corner of the junkyard.
"Yeah, so, anyways, I'll climb up and start screaming, and then you- nothing's going on!" Pounce shouted automatically as Tugger's shadow fell over them. "Oh, hi, Tugger. Thought you were Munkustrap."
Tumble looked like he had a mini heart attack. His fur had fluffed up in surprise, contrasting hilariously with the sour look he was giving Tugger.
"Hey fellas, just checking in and seeing if you're all ready to go." Tugger drawled, raising an eyebrow at the diagram. Had they purposefully drawn it upside down?
"Yeah, just about. I was going over the fine details before I was rudely interrupted." Pounce said, waggling the stick at him. "You and Teazer and Cettie ready?"
"Yep. Just waiting on you." Tugger patted Tumble on the head. "Got a signal in mind?"
"Oh, you'll know when we've started." Tumble said, an unnerving grin eating away at the frown he previously sported.
Tugger removed his paw from Tumble's head before he lost it. "Ah, yes, I'll go join Teazer then. Carry on." He was not afraid of the kittens, but he definitely felt it was better to be on the other side of the junkyard. Just in case. And quickly.
He found Rumpleteazer and Mungojerrie loitering near the car that was quickly becoming their not- so- secret hideout, doing their best to look casual. It… didn't work. Upon seeing Tugger they ducked inside, motioning for him to follow.
Etcetera and Electra were inside, both queens blushing when Tugger made his appearance.
"Not that I'm upset you're here, Electra, but… what are you doing here?" Tugger asked as she shyly waved.
"She wants to help keep watch!" Etcetera said, giving her friend a squeeze.
"I… I thought it over and I want to know why Munk… why they want to keep things secret too." Electra said.
"You mean you didn't want to be left out on the gossip!" Etcetera gave her a playful nudge.
"Okay, that makes sense, but why are you here?" Tugger turned to Mungojerrie, who had draped himself over the back of the seat of the car and flashed Tugger a grin.
"Teazer told me everything after I accused her of going off and canoodlin' with ya." The tom admitted.
"Jerrie here and I are a package deal anyways." Teazer said, cuffing Jerrie playfully alongside his head. "And it'll be easier to get in and out of Munk's with his help."
"Figured." Tugger sighed. Add in any more cats to the plan and might as well just tell the whole junkyard. "Let's get into place before Tumble and Pounce start the distraction. Based on how they were acting it's going to be big."
Munkustrap, securely tucked away in his den, felt a cold shiver go down his spine. He raised his head, straining to hear or see anything that might have set him off. Immediately a warm, furry body rubbed up against his own, a paw gently but firmly pushing him back down.
"There's still at least ten minutes before our 'meeting' is over." Alonzo purred in his ear, slinging a leg over the tabby so he couldn't get up.
Munk settled for nuzzling his lover's head. "I can't believe you told Tugger and Rumpleteazer that we were in a meeting."
"I said that you were in a meeting. I specifically did not mention my involvement."
"I'd say you were plenty involved."
Alonzo huffed, gently nibbling Munk's shoulder. "Just because I approached you in the first place doesn't mean I'm always the instigator, Mr. 'I need you now and I'm not giving you a chance to say otherwise'."
"You… you do like this, right?" Munk asked, suddenly worried. "I thought you were fine with me-"
"Munk, just stop. Look at me. Look at us. Would I really let you do anything you wanted to me if I didn't want it also?" Alonzo raised his head. "What's going on? Why bring this up now?"
"I… I don't know." Munk sighed, idly tracing patterns in Alonzo's fur. "Nerves, maybe."
"I get the feeling that we're not being as… secretive as we think we are." The silver tabby gestured to them both. "About this. About us."
"What makes you say that? If someone knew then the whole junkyard would know by now."
"That's what's not adding up. I just have a feeling." Munk said, sighing again. It was not wise to ignore his gut instincts, no matter how much anxiety it caused. Normally he would keep his feelings to himself and investigate on his own, but Alonzo could suss out his true thoughts like no other. It was somewhat disturbing how well the other cat could read him. Alonzo was probably reading his thoughts right now.
"In one way or another your feelings are usually correct." Alonzo said, proving Munkustrap right. "But who do you think knows?"
"If I had to rule someone out, probably Tugger. Heaviside knows what he would do if he knew. At least he wouldn't be able to contain his curiosity and would just confront one of us directly. He's never been subtle. That's why I want to tell him before we tell anyone else."
Alonzo remained quiet at that, suddenly looking thoughtful.
"Penny for your thoughts?" Munk teased, pulling gently at an ear.
"Huh? Nothing important. Soon this whole secret affair won't matter though." Alonzo purred, rubbing up against Munkustrap affectionately.
"Yes, I can't wait to see their faces. It'll be worth the wait." Reluctantly he stood, starting to bathe himself so he didn't positively reek of the black and white cat. Alonzo gave him a slightly sad look but mirrored his mate's actions.
"You know, I'm willing to wait longer, if you feel more comfortable." Alonzo said softly.
"Lonz…." Abandoning his attempts to remove his mate's scent from his fur, he nuzzled the black and white cat. "I am comfortable. With you. With this. There's no one else I want to be with."
"If you wanted to keep this secret forever I would."
"I will not ask that of you." Munk smiled. "You are-"
His sentiments were interrupted by an unholy wailing echoing across the junkyard. Alonzo and Munk both stuck their heads out of the silver tabby's den. The wailing continued, causing the fur to rise on the backs of their necks.
"Was that-" Alonzo began.
"- Pouncival." Munkustrap finished. "I'd bet anything on it."
The two toms quickly vacated the den, unaware of the cat watching them leave in their haste.
Not too long before Munkustrap and Alonzo's very important meeting….
Tumblebrutus sighed and picked a flea out of his fur, ears twitching towards the shuffling happening behind him and slightly up to the right. Being this far out into the junkyard, nearly at the very edge of the Jellicle's territory, was highly discouraged. Since it was so highly discouraged Tumble and his brother had made it a point to go exploring as much as they could, resulting in them finding the perfect set piece for their distraction. Now it was all a matter of getting into place, which was proving to be a bit of a problem. Tumble listened to the scuffling a bit longer before turning towards the flagpole he had been sitting in front of.
"Hey, Pounce, you think you could hurry it up a bit?"
"Hey, Tumble, you think you could shut your face a bit?" Ever the eloquent one, Pouncival shot a sour look at his brother before slowly shimmying up the flagpole a few feet higher.
"Look, we don't have much time before-"
"I'm trying to concentrate!" Those were words that were rarely heard out of Pounce's mouth, and for a minute Tumble was at a loss of what to say next.
A couple more feet up the flagpole and Tumble finally had a comeback. Sort of. Too bad Pounce had beaten him to it.
"Just because you want to be all high and mighty doesn't mean you're the right cat for the job!" Pounce yelled, swaying a little in the breeze.
"Do you even know what 'high and mighty' means? Because it has nothing to do with how literally high up you are." Tumble said, walking backwards a little so he could properly see Pounce while yelling at him. He had to admit that Pounce had managed to climb to an impressive height. Eventually there would be a matter of just how the tom would get back down, but that was a problem for future Pouncival.
"What?" Pounce yelled, unable to hear his brother's retort at the height he had climbed to.
Tumble sighed and sat back down in the dirt. A few more minutes and then he could enact the next part of their plan. Sure was deserted out in this corner of the junkyard though. If he were a lesser cat he would have been nervous. A sharp pain at the end of his tail made him pause, and he looked down to realize he had been anxiously pulling the fur out. Quickly he let go and shook himself.
There was no doubt that their plan would work. Surely the adults had noticed that he and Pounce were missing by now, and would eventually come find them if only to assure themselves that the patched siblings were not causing too much trouble. Which, truth be told, they really weren't doing much. It had been Pounce's brilliant idea to just imply that they were up to no good, which was a great plan because that meant that Tumble didn't have to do much but sit around and wait while Pounce did all the hard work.
If Munkustrap and Alonzo took the bait and showed up then Tumble and Pounce could enact phase two of their plan, which involved running away very quickly and in different directions, keeping the two toms occupied until Tugger and the others had time to find whatever it was they were looking for. That had been Tumble's contribution to the plan. Of course, it'd take forever just to get out to this corner of the junkyard. They really had ventured far outside the normal boundaries this time.
Tumble squinted up at the flagpole, shielding his eyes against the sun to try and see his brother. Surely he was high up enough now.
"Pounce, are you-"
Pouncival let out a shriek of terror, the sound making every fur on Tumble's body stand on end. Yelling wildly had been part of the plan, mainly to get Munk and Alonzo's attention, but this was not the sound of Pounce having fun. This was the pure wailing of fear.
Tumble could just see his brother clinging to the top of the flagpole, legs and tail wrapped securely around the metal, pointing at- at something…. Tumble looked again, this time trying to pinpoint what Pounce was looking at.
It was too late. Tumble didn't even have time to shriek before the source of Pounce's terror was upon him.
Mungojerrie stayed hidden until Munkustrap and Alonzo were long out of sight of Munkustap's den, wincing as Pouncival's screeching hit a new high. Whatever that kitten was doing he was going all out. He could hear the commotion on the other side of the junkyard from whatever stunt Tumble and Pounce had caused, and for a moment Jerrie almost abandoned his post to check out what it was.
But, while he was a mischievous, perhaps a little bit easily distracted, cat, he did take pride in being reliable when he felt like it. Besides, Teazer had, in no uncertain terms, told him to stay put and watch for Munk and Lonz's departure so he could give the signal or otherwise face her wrath. And a wrathful Rumpleteazer was nothing to sneeze at.
Jerrie sneezed, following up with a rather impressive imitation of a pigeon's cooing. As expected, Teazer popped up from her hiding spot at the signal, followed by Etcetera and Electra. The queens scurried over, Etcetera and Electra taking up their posts outside Munkustrap's den while Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer did what they did best.
"Wow, you weren't kidding." Jerrie said, sneezing again as they entered the silver tabby's den. "Smells like a right old den of inequity in here. Makes me feel old and feeble in comparison. Didn't think either Munk nor Lonz had it in 'em."
"Come off it, you're not that old." Teazer giggled. She none too delicately pawed through Munk's carefully arranged things.
"Hey, Teaze, ease up on the pawing. Don't want Munk smellin' us on his stuff."
"Jer, you really think Munk'll be able to smell our measly scents among all this?" The queen gestured at the air thick with pheromones. "We'll be lucky if the others don't take one whiff of us after this and think we've been gettin' down and dirty with-"
"Right, right, let's get this over with quick." Jerrie said, resuming his rifling of Munk's things. It was rather disappointing. There weren't any secret treasures or scandalous trinkets to be found. Not even so much as an incriminating love letter or secret gift shared between mates to embarrass the Jellicle Protector with.
"Maybe Lonz has some stuff at his place." Teazer said, flipping through some old papers. "There's got to be something we can use- aha!"
"Find something?" Jerrie peered over her shoulder.
"Ah, no, wait, nevermind." Teazer mournfully put down the paper she held. "Thought it was a love letter but it's just a passionately written to do list."
"Does it have Lonz's name on it?"
"Shockingly, no. Although Tugger's name is."
"'Talk to Tugger'. Hmm. Wonder what that means?"
They didn't have time to ponder their discovery, for Etcetera stuck her head inside and whispered, "Guys, come look at this!"
The two emerged from Munk's den just in time to see a good number of jellicles rush by, not a single cat noticing the four. Well, not exactly. One single cat stopped, obviously taken aback at seeing the odd quartet.
"What… what are you all doing in Munkustrap's den?" Mistoffelees asked, nearly being bowled over by Jennyanydots as she ran off towards Pouncival's shrieking. The tuxedo staggered out of the way, coming to a more graceful stop in front of Electra and Etcetera.
"We're… we're just keeping an eye on things for Munkustrap and Alonzo. Wait, no, just Munkustrap. Why would I say Alonzo? This isn't his den. He has nothing to do with this place." Jerrie babbled. Teazer stepped on his foot to shut him up.
The magical tom raised an eyebrow, looking oddly reminiscent of the cat Jerrie insisted he didn't have anything to do with. "Yes, why would you say Alonzo, I wonder?"
"Look, don't you need to go check out what's got all the other cats riled up?" Teazer asked, not unkindly.
"Oh, Misto, you don't need to worry about us." Etcetera said, throwing an arm over his shoulder and steering him away. Electra looked like she was about to burst into either laughter or nervous tears, it was hard to tell.
"Shouldn't Tugger be with you? Alonzo said that he and Rumpleteazer were planning a surprise for Munkustrap's birthday. Is this part of that surprise?" Mistoffelees said, expression clearly indicating that he knew it was far from the truth and he was merely waiting to see how much further into trouble the four could dig themselves into.
Teazer, being a champion fibber, knew when it was time to let the cat out of the bag, as it were. "Alright, alright, you got us. We were looking for evidence."
"Evidence? Evidence about what?" With surprising strength he planted himself firmly in place and stopped Etcetera from moving him any further.
Everyone looked to Etcetera to spill the beans, but it was Electra who surprised them all.
"Munkustrap and Alonzo are mates." Electra said.
Mistoffelees merely blinked at the revelation. "Really."
"Yes. We saw them together. We… we saw a lot." Electra blushed.
"Most of us. I did not and I'm fine with that." Jerrie quickly clarified.
"And you're now breaking into Munkustrap's den to find evidence that may or may not exist of their secret relationship that you already had visual confirmation of and all know about." Mistoffelees said slowly.
"It was Tugger's idea!" Etcetera said excitedly. "He's keeping an eye on Munk and Lonz so we won't get caught."
"Ah, that explains it." Mistoffelees rolled his eyes. "If this is Tugger's plan then it doesn't have to make sense."
"Hey, Misto, you hang around Munk and Lonz from time to time, do you have anything we can use to get them to fess up?" Teazer asked, sidling up to the magical tom. Jerrie followed suit on his other side so he was trapped.
"No, I don't." Mistoffelees said flatly. "Even if I did I respect their right to privacy."
"Now, see, that's no fun. You're too young to be old and stuffy." Teazer bumped his shoulder playfully.
"Look, I really-" The interrogation of Mistoffelees was interrupted by Tugger running into their corner of the junkyard, looking uncharacteristically frazzled. The maine coon was supposed to have been with the rest of the tribe, keeping an eye on Munk and Alonzo as they investigated whatever it was Pounce and Tumble were doing. Clearly that part of the plan had been abandoned.
"Forget the rest of the plan, you all need to come with me right now!" There was no carefree, lazy drawl to his voice, only complete and utter seriousness. He didn't even bat an eye at the presence of Mistoffelees.
"What's going on, Tugger?" Etcetera asked as he led them all towards where the other cats had gone.
"Dogs." Tugger said. "Dogs got into the junkyard. We have to get out of here before they find us."
"What about Pounce and Tumble?" Teazer asked as they snaked their way through the junkyard.
"Pounce is the one that spotted them." Tugger said. "He climbed up to the highest point of the yard and started shrieking at the top of his lungs. I thought it was part of his distraction but then he started wailing about dogs-"
"Stop!" Mistoffelees wormed his way to the front of the line and threw out an arm, halting everyone's progress. "Everyone be quiet!"
The six of them hunkered down in the debris, ears straining for any sounds of an approaching dog. The stench of one certainly hung in the air, freezing them all in place, everyone looking around wildly for the source. They could still hear Pouncival's true screams of terror coming from far off in the distance, echoing rather ominously now that they knew it wasn't part of the ruse.
"We can't all stay here. We need to keep moving." Tugger said after they sat in silence for a while.
"Jerrie and I'll split off and try to see where Jenny and the others went. We saw them run by earlier." Teazer said.
"Jenny and Skimble will probably be rounding up all the kittens." Mistoffelees surmised.
"We should go find her." Electra said, shuddering at the thought of running off alone with a threat lingering around every corner.
"Stick with me and Jerrie and we'll make sure you get to her." Teazer said, putting her arm around the frightened kitten's shoulder.
"But we can't leave Tugger!" Etcetera said, holding on to said cat's leg.
"I'll be fine. Takes more than a mangy dog to take me down." Tugger said, striking a cocky pose to put her at ease. He purposefully ignored Mistoffelees rolling his eyes behind him.
"Don't worry Cettie, I'm going with him." Mistoffelees said. "We need to find Munkustrap and Alonzo. They'll most likely be going after the dogs."
"Great, we're this close to uncovering their secrets and now they're going to get eaten by- by dogs!" Etcetera wailed. Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer gently pried her off of Tugger's leg, gathering up Electra as well and hauling them both off the direction Jenny had gone.
"I'm not saying I agree with what Cettie said, but if Munk and Lonz get eaten by dogs then I will be very disappointed." Tugger said, trying to keep the mood light. Perhaps a little too light, judging by the flat look he received from Mistoffelees. "Right. Let's get going."
It was much easier for the two of them to sneak around the junkyard then it was when there were six of them. Mistoffelees seemed to be charging his magic up as they went, becoming increasingly more sparkly and glowing as they drew nearer to the outskirts of the junkyard where Pounce and Tumble were poorly hiding. Tumble might have been silently hunkered down somewhere near his brother, but it was a moot point when Pounce shrieked louder than any siren.
"He certainly has a healthy pair of lungs on him." Mistoffelees muttered.
"Why don't you just conjure him over here?" Tugger asked.
"Because I'd rather save my magical energies for the dogs. Also, I don't know exactly where Pouncival is, and if I try to just magic him from where I guess he is then there's a very good chance I'll only get half of him. And I don't think any of us want just half a Pouncival."
Tugger felt nauseous at the thought. Then something else occurred to him. "Wait a minute, you didn't know where Old Deuteronomy was when you brought him back after Macavity kidnapped him."
"You are correct. I didn't know." Mistoffelees simply said, checking around a corner for any wayward dogs.
"And yet you still went for it."
"Yes. And we are all very lucky it all worked out, aren't we?"
"You're… you're one crazy cat." Tugger said, greatly disturbed by what could have been.
"Well, I couldn't very well have explained the hazards of blind teleportation after all that hyping up you did. It was a very persuasive song." Mistoffelees rubbed his paws together. Static electricity sparked between them.
"I'll have to thank the Everlasting Cat for small miracles." Tugger took a deep breath to steady himself. The unmistakable scent of Alonzo reached him, the stench of distress intermingled with anger hitting him like a ton of bricks. The stink of dog wafted through the air.
"Hold up." Tugger grabbed Mistoffelees by the scruff of his neck, earning himself a small electric shock. He shook it off and forced them both to crouch down.
"I smell it too." Mistoffelees said, voice barely above a whisper. Together they inched around a half rusted washing machine and peered around it.
Three very large dogs took up a large corner of the junkyard, drooling and snarling at the unfortunate cat they had managed to corner. Upon closer inspection it was two cats, one laying prone in the dirt while the second stood guard. The stench of raw fear, anger, and alien dog was overpowering. It was enough to make Tugger sick to his stomach, but the need to find out who the dogs were menacing was enough to push through and venture closer. An overturned refrigerator provided both Tugger and Mistoffelees enough cover to see who it was on the ground.
It was Tumblebrutus. The poor kitten was lying on his side with his back to the dogs, either unconscious or playing dead, it was hard to tell. Standing in front of Tumble was Alonzo, a large gash on his shoulder staining his normally pristine white fur red. He was still on his feet and shot the nearest dog, a dalmatian, an impressive glare, doing his best to stand between them and the downed kitten.
Up above them, at the highest possible point in the junkyard was poor Pouncival, clinging to an old flagpole like his life depended on it. His voice had gone hoarse from screaming and he could only let out a few whimpers. The second dog, some shepherd mix, caught Pouncival's scent and started to climb up the junk towards its new prey.
That left the third dog, a drooly mutt, to sniff out where Mistoffelees and Tugger were hiding. Mistoffelees let out a kitten like shriek and literally exploded in lightning, zapping the dog directly in the nose. Unfortunately the dog was not deterred, whining and pawing painfully at its ruined nose before barking and coming straight for the two cats.
Tugger grabbed Mistoffelees around the middle and high tailed it out of the way, throwing them both back towards the way they came. The dog pursued them, leaping over the refrigerator and scrambling on the junk with a loud bray, drowning out the panicked hissing and spitting Tugger was currently emitting.
Alonzo yowled loudly, echoed rather hoarsely by Pouncival, catching the attention of the mutt that was after Tugger and Mistoffelees. To their horror the mutt turned around to join the dalmatian in menacing the injured black and white cat.
"Come on, you gotta zap it again." Tugger insisted as he gave the slightly dazed magician a shake.
"I- I have to charge back up." Mistoffelees panted as he sought to catch his breath. "That took a lot more power than I anticipated."
"Fine. Stay here and zap it as soon as you can." Tugger dropped low to the ground and started off after the dog. "And sweet Heaviside, don't hit me!"
Tugger knew he had to get at least one of the dogs away from Alonzo and Tumble. The shepherd was having a hard time reaching Pounce, aimlessly digging around the flagpole, and so long as the kitten kept his grip he was currently out of harm's way. The dalmatian and the mutt, however, were a huge problem. Alonzo, while still putting up an impressive aggressive display, was noticeably swaying on his feet, his injury taking its toll on him. If he went down then he and Tumble were both goners.
Never one to really think out the consequences of his actions, Tugger climbed on top of the refrigerator and pulled himself up to his full height. He only had one shot so might as well make it a good one. And if he ended up dying then at least he would go out with his usual flair.
"Hey! Stupid- ass dogs! Yeah, I'm talking to you! How about taking on a real cat?" Oh, that got their attention.
Not only did he get the mutt's attention but also the dalmatian's, lucky him. Now he had to figure out how to keep himself alive. Luckily Mistoffelees had enough time to charge up his magic again. The magician ran out into the open, taking aim at the mutt and letting loose another loud crack of lightning, this time hitting it on its side and leaving an ugly burn. It let out a yelp and staggered off, abandoning its pursuit of the cats in favor of easier, less electrical prey outside the junkyard.
That left the dalmatian and the shepherd. The shepherd was still trying to get to Pounce but the dalmatian was torn between Tugger and Alonzo. Alonzo had fallen to one knee, gripping his shoulder and trying to stay conscious. Tumble lay still behind him. Neither would be able to put up a fight, not in their current conditions.
Well, time for Tugger to do what he did best: he stopped thinking and just went for it.
With a deep yowl he threw himself at the dalmatian's face, clamping down around its jaws with his arms and legs to keep it from biting him. It shook its head wildly from side to side, trying to dislodge him, but he grimly held on, digging his claws in deeper. Tugger knew that he could only hold on for so long, and he hoped that Mistoffelees would be able to avoid hitting him when the magician took aim with his lightning.
There was a loud bark from the shepherd and a warning hiss from said magical cat. The yard lit up with lightning again but it wasn't aimed at the dalmatian. The shepherd whined and ran off, leaving only the dalmatian to deal with. The dalmatian growled, vibrating Tugger's body, and the cat did the next best thing he could do: he reared his head back and bit the dog in the face.
The dalmatian howled and threw its head around in a circle, trying desperately to dislodge its unwanted passenger. Tugger felt himself slipping. Sooner than later he would be thrown off and at the mercy of the dog's teeth. The dog had staggered closer to the refrigerator, almost running face first into it and squishing Tugger in the process. One hit and he'd be done for.
In another stroke of luck Munkustrap burst out of a nearby pile of junk, screeching and hissing at the dog like a wild animal. The dalmatian didn't have time to get out of the way before it was painfully gouged by the Jellicle Protector's teeth and claws. It yelped and tried to shake him off, but the silver tabby firmly anchored himself to the beast and started biting at its ears.
"Leave my mate alone!" Munk yelled, loud enough for everyone still in the junkyard to hear.
"Hey, I'm here too!" Tugger yelled back, feeling a little left out.
"Tugger?" Munk paused his attack. "What are you-"
"How about we talk about this later?" Tugger said as the dog began to jump up and down like a deranged joyride. "When we're not both attached to a dog?"
"Right." Munk resumed his evisceration of the dalmatian's ears. His fur was already stained with the blood of a different dog, one that could only be assumed to have been defeated in another part of the junkyard. That would explain why it took the silver tabby so long to get to them.
"Let go of the dog!" Mistoffelees yelled, and without thinking both Munk and Tugger let go and fell to the ground, covering their heads as the dog stomped over them. A blast of lightning ripped through the air, frying the dalmatian above them. It let out a howl and staggered away, nearly trampling the two toms as it ran off in its haste.
"Is… is it gone?" Tugger breathed, fur standing on end. Munk carefully looked around. There were no dogs in sight.
"Yes, I believe so." Munk said warily. "I took care of the other one. And it looks like the other two ran off during the fight."
A low groan met their ears and the two turned just in time for Alonzo to fall heavily to the ground. Instantly Munk was running over to his mate, torn between acting as a calm protector or hysterical lover. He settled for a weird blend of both, nuzzling Alonzo's face while also pressing down on the still bleeding wound. Tugger turned his attentions to Tumblebrutus, who was clearly breathing but still unconscious.
Behind him Tugger could hear a commotion. The other cats filtered back into the junkyard, the adults quickly organizing a search to make sure the dogs had truly left. Jenny gathered up Jellylorum and the two ran over to the injured to administer first aid. Tugger stepped back so Jelly could take a look at Tumble, keeping an ear trained towards Munk as Jenny set in on tending to Alonzo.
"Oh, Alonzo, poor thing. Here, Munkustrap, let me step in-" Jenny started.
"No." Munk sounded firm.
"Come on, I need to-"
"No! Don't touch him!" Ah. So Munk had gone from calm to hysterical. Tugger sighed.
"Munk, let her look at your mate. He'll be fine." He said, loud enough for everyone to hear.
"Your… mate? Oh, how wonderful, dear. You're both very good for each other. Just let me take a look, there you go, good job. Ah, see, this is nothing that can't be patched up. Here, why don't you carry him over to my den and we can sort him out." Jenny said soothingly. There was a shuffle of movement and out of the corner of his eye Tugger could see Munk scoop up Alonzo and hurry off after Jenny.
Tugger stood and gave the surrounding area a good once over, staying close to Tumble in case Jelly needed his help. Mistoffelees, looking extra sparkly and extra exhausted, stood under the flagpole and gestured purposefully up at Pouncival, who was still clinging to the top. With a shower of glitter the kitten was suddenly on the ground, tumbling head over heels and landing flat on his face. Without even missing a beat Pounce ran over to his brother.
Tugger couldn't help but remember his earlier conversation with Mistoffelees and checked to see if all of Pouncival had made it down safely. Mistoffelees caught him checking and simply rolled his eyes.
"Tumble! Tumble! Is he dead?" Pounce asked, voice barely audible as Jelly instructed Tugger to pick up the kitten and head off towards Jenny's den.
"No, Pounce, he's not dead." Tugger said, noting how oddly the kitten's arm hung from his shoulder. "Might have injured his arm though. Let's go see Jenny."
Overall they were very lucky. Alonzo and Tumble were the only two cats to have been hurt by the four dogs that had invaded the junkyard. Munkustrap managed to take out a dog entirely on his own, with the other three being dispatched by Tugger and Mistoffelees. Thanks in part to Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer's efforts all the kittens had managed to get to safety and the rest of the cats escaped unscathed.
Jenny had kicked everyone but those directly related to the injured outside her den, refusing to confirm the rumors of Munkustrap and Alonzo being a couple. Luckily Etcetera and Electra decided to set everyone straight, leaving out the more… explicit details. Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer, Tugger and Mistoffelees lounged outside Jenny's den, watching the various reactions with varying degrees of amusement.
"Well, it didn't turn out like I had planned, but we did it." Tugger said. "We finally got them to admit that they're mates. And we didn't even have to blackmail them."
"Finally." Mistoffelees said with an approving nod. "I thought they'd never go public."
"Yeah, it took 'em- wait a minute!" Teazer shot the magician a look. "You knew about Munk and Lonz all along!"
"Yes." Mistoffelees smiled knowingly. "I caught Alonzo practicing his pick up lines right before he asked Munkustrap out. I didn't know for sure that he actually went through with it but I had my suspicions."
"You're an absolute menace." Tugger said. "First Old Deuteronomy, now this."
"What's this about Old D?" Jerrie asked, suddenly interested.
"Ask him. I'm done thinking about it." Tugger waved her over to Mistoffelees. "I've got a brother to bother. Er, congratulate."
It wasn't hard finding his brother. Predictably Munkustrap was right at Alonzo's side, fussing over his newly proclaimed mate with as much enthusiasm as Jennyanydots, who was currently bandaging the gash on the black and white cat's shoulder. Said cat was awake, looking impressively annoyed at the blood staining his fur.
"Stop grousing about the bloodstains, that will clean out. You're lucky that dog didn't take your head off." Jenny said disapprovingly. "If that happened then where would we be?"
"Well, for one, Tumble would have been eaten if I hadn't intervened." Alonzo muttered, leaning his head rather tiredly against Munkustrap.
Said Tumble had woken up from his ordeal, luckily only having a dislocated shoulder and some bruising after his run in with the dog. As soon as the dog had seen him it had swung at him, knocking him out immediately: if Alonzo hadn't stepped in the kitten would have been a goner. Pouncival was at Tumble's side, shooting anyone who came near them a fiercely protective glare. He softened a bit at the sight of Tugger.
"Hey, Tugger, didja see what Misto did to that dog?" Pounce said hoarsely, bouncing in place and jostling poor Tumble.
"Yeah, pretty amazing stuff." Tugger gently nudged a pillow in between Tumble and Pounce to act as a buffer, receiving a grateful look from the injured kitten. "How are you guys?"
"I'm fine. Jenny said if I rest my voice it should come back soon." Pounce said, voice barely above a whisper.
"Are you gonna be able to be quiet that long?" Tugger asked.
"Probably not." Tumble said, dodging a swipe from his brother. "Hey, I'm actually injured here!"
"Yeah, but only your shoulder. The rest of you is still fair game." Pounce mercilessly but gently pulled on Tumble's tail.
"Please take me with you." Tumble begged, only half serious.
Tugger laughed. "Glad to see that you're doing well."
"Hey, Tugger?" Pounce said with a wince. Jelly shoved a mug of hot tea and honey into his paws, giving him a pointed look.
"Did we… did we do a good job distracting?" Pounce looked anxiously hopeful.
"Yeah, kid, you did. You and Tumble both." Tugger leaned in close. "I'll put in a real good word with Bomba for you, promise."
Pounce did a victorious fist pump, nearly throwing hot tea all over his brother. Tugger wisely took his leave while Jelly descended upon the kittens. It was time to bothe- congratulate Munkustrap and Alonzo and make sure they were still alright.
Munk was still sitting next to Alonzo, eyes fixed upon his mate with a rather disturbing intensity. Alonzo had settled for soothing the stressed cat with physical contact instead of words, too tired to do much else but rest his head in Munk's lap. Jenny finished bandaging up Alonzo and left the two alone with a knowing smile. Munk took a damp washcloth and tenderly tried to wipe the blood out of Alonzo's fur. The gentle ministrations were lulling the already exhausted cat to sleep.
"Hey." Tugger settled down next to Munkustrap and Alonzo with a sly smile. "Guess congratulations are in in order. Well done, you two. What a total surprise. Definitely did not see that coming. Not one bit. In fact, compared to everyone here, I'm probably the most surprised."
Alonzo, despite being barely awake, managed to exchange a look with Munk before looking back at Tugger with a suspicious squint. "You knew."
"I did not." Tugger said in mock indignation.
"You did. I can tell." Munk sighed. "Why didn't you say anything?"
"Why didn't you say anything? From what I can tell you two have been together for a while."
"Not every-" Alonzo yawned, closing his eyes. "Not everything needs to be… out… out in the open, Tug."
"Get some rest. I'll sort out my brother." Munk said softly, gently resting a paw on Alonzo's cheek. Within seconds the cat was out.
"He'll be alright, Munk. You saved him." Tugger said, noting how worried the silver tabby looked.
"You did most of the saving, Tugger. If you and Mistoffelees hadn't arrived when you did, I don't… I don't even want to think about it." Munk looked positively miserable at the thought.
"Then don't. What's done is done. And everyone came through." Tugger gently nudged his shoulder. "And now you have better things to worry about."
"And what would that be?"
"Oh, I don't know, maybe dealing the fact that everyone in the junkyard knows about your secret love affair."
"Tugger, we were going to tell everyone about it eventually. We just wanted to keep things to ourselves for a while. I wanted to keep things quiet. To make sure that we were secure. That I was secure." Munk fondly traced the black and white stripes in Alonzo's fur.
"Not really like you to be insecure about things, Munk." Tugger said.
"Regardless, this is important to me. And really, I was going to tell you first. I wrote down a reminder and everything."
"Nice to know that I was- wait, you were going to tell me?" Tugger gaped at the tom.
"Of course. You're my brother." Munk shrugged. "After I told you then Alonzo and I were going to go public next week on-"
"On your birthday." Tugger groaned. While he had lied to Alonzo about him and Teazer meeting in secret to plan Munk's birthday, he wasn't lying about the silver tabby's birthday coming up.
"Yes. Kind of a gift to myself. Guess… guess that's not really necessary anymore." Munk said, looking slightly apprehensive.
"You can still make a formal announcement then. I can help you make it really memorable." Tugger suggested, giving his tired brother a wink.
"Thank you, but I… no. Just no."
Within a few days everything was relatively back to normal. Tumble, Pounce and Alonzo recovered from their injuries. While the revelation of Munkustrap and Alonzo's relationship was a surprise, it was very readily accepted and quickly became old news.
Much to the new couple's horror Jenny and Jelly sat them both down and gave them the famous 'safe mating practices' talk, an event that Tugger took great delight in witnessing. In order to save face Alonzo had disappeared for a period of time to do 'extra patrols' while Munk sat on the tire looking slightly shell shocked and flinching every time one of the older queens walked by.
"Don't they look so cute together?" Etcetera sighed, watching as Alonzo nuzzled up against Munk's side to watch over the junkyard. It didn't take long for the black and white cat to get over his previous embarrassment of Jenny and Jelly's talk, busying himself with scenting his mate so much that there was no doubt as to who Munk belonged to.
"Wish I could find someone to look at me like that." Electra agreed. At least out in the open the two toms weren't likely to do anything beyond the cutesy stuff. She hoped.
"Ooo, maybe at the next ball you could ask-"
"Hey girls!" Rumpleteazer called, skidding around a corner in her haste. "You'll never guess who I saw sneaking off with Plato-"
"No! Never again!" Electra screamed. "I don't want to hear it!"
Things had moved on. All was well.
The end! Let me know what you thought!