So firstly: I got the inspiration for this story from Sir Prickles' "Those Awful Pipes" story, which is hilarious, by the way. Seriously read it, she is such a talented writer and her stories are super inspiring for me as a writer. Second, please excuse my pitiful attempts at writing a cockney accent.
Okay I'm done. Please enjoy!
It was a cool, foggy day. Nearly everyone was hunkered inside their dens, at their owner's house, or hiding in the many nooks and crannies of the junkyard.
If anyone had bothered to look, they would have seen a petite calico queen darting into the yard, a proud little smirk on her face. This was indication enough to suspect that she was up to no good.
Rumpleteazer ducked into the infirmary with an air of purpose. In fact, she must have had a very good purpose for entering the infirmary and disturbing Demeter, who was still recovering from the birth of her kitten a few days earlier.
The tortoiseshell queen blinked sleep out of her hazel eyes and shot a disgruntled look at the younger queen before glancing worriedly at her sleeping kitten. However, the small silver tom her lap didn't stir.
Rumpleteazer was grinning. Demeter raised an eyebrow. "What can I do for you, Teazer?" She asked in a hushed whisper.
Rumpleteazer giggled (quietly) and bounced up and down on the balls of her feet.
"Guess wha' Oi'm gonna do?" She whispered cheekily.
Demeter rolled her eyes. "I don't know, Teaz. What are you going to do?" She asked, playing along.
"Ya have ta' guess, Demi!" Rumpleteazer whined, a little louder. Ever since she had the kitten, Demeter was no fun at all.
Demeter sighed. "Fine. Are you... going to steal my sister's collar again?" A small smile pulled at her lips at the thought of the scarlet queen's rage when she had found her collar missing.
Rumpleteazer grinned. "Nah. Oi will steal somefin, though. But not th' collar." She replied. "And it ain't from Bomby."
Demeter cocked her head slightly, pursing her lips in thought. "Does it have to do with a certain maned tom?" She asked, chuckling when Rumpleteazer blushed.
"Well, yeah." She managed.
Demeter smirked. "What did you take from him, Teaz?" She asked.
Rumpleteazer sulked. "Oi didn't take nuffin yet! I'm gonna take 'is bagpipes." She giggled triumphantly.
Demeter sighed. "Oh, thank the Everlasting Cat. He's already woken the baby twice with those infernal things." She whispered, stroking her son's head.
Rumpleteazer bounced on the balls of her feet. "Yeah, Oi found where he was hoidin' em', and I'm gonna go bring em' ta' moi den." She chirped, and after giving the tiny kitten a pat on the head, she raced out, her small victory shared.
Rumpleteazer assumed that Tugger was in his den, hiding from the damp weather like everyone else. She carefully maneuvered around stacks of junk until she reached a large chest of bureau drawers. With some difficulty, she pulled open the bottom drawer and retrieved her prize: Tugger's cherished set of bagpipes.
Now to get to her den. This operation would take quite a bit of delicacy to carry out successfully.
Holding her breath, she picked the pipes up in her mouth, grimacing at the taste of whatever the body of the instrument was made of. Dropping to all fours, she crept out from the drawers, careful not to make a sound.
Rumpleteazer swiftly glanced left and right to make sure the coast was clear. Satisfied that it was, she slipped out of the shadows and padded towards her den, head held high with triumph.
She didn't make it much more than halfway across the yard, due to the heavy ball of fur that knocked bodily into her and pinned her firmly to the floor.
Rumpleteazer kicked, struggling to get free, whilst the bagpipes were still in her mouth. She suddenly stopped when a tongue rasped across one ear.
"I see you have something of mine." Tugger's voice, half amused and half irate, said from above her.
Rumpleteazer grinned and swiftly rolled onto her stomach. Thankfully, she was a good deal smaller than Tugger, and managed to squirm out from under him.
Gathering the bagpipes in her mouth again, she bolted for her den.
Tugger lazily held one paw down on her tail, preventing her from going any further. "Hold it, sweet cheeks. You still have something that belongs to me." He drawled.
Rumpleteazer sulked, struggling to yank her tail away. "They're just a pair o' bagpipes! Whaddaya need it for anyway?" She whined.
She felt Tugger stiffen. "Just give it back, Teazer." He said, his voice now taut.
Even Rumpleteazer knew when to draw the line. "Alroight, alroight. Here ya go." She mumbled, dropping the pipes on the dust in front of him.
Tugger picked them up. "Thank you."
Rumpleteazer tilted her head to one side. "Wha's so special about those pipes anyway?" She asked, still miffed that her heist had failed.
Tugger's expression flickered with an unspoken memory and - dare she say it?- sadness.
"It has some emotional value." He said stiffly, standing up and turning to leave.
Rumpleteazer took a moment to process this before standing up and following him.
"Wha' sort o' value?" She asked, tugging on his tail.
Tugger lashed it irritably. "None of your business."
Rumpleteazer pulled on his powerful arm. "Come on!" She coaxed. "Oi ain't gonna leave ya alone till ya tell me!"
Tugger attempted to pull his arm out of her grasp without much conviction.
"It was the only thing Mac ever gave me for my birthday."
Rumpleteazer blinked. That had not been what she was expecting. "Wha'?"
Tugger's hackles rose. "It was the only gift he ever got me, okay? I was only like six, and it's a stupid reason to keep it, but its the only reminder I have that he ever saw me as his brother." He snapped, and raked his fingers through his head fur.
Rumpleteazer felt guilty now. "Hey... Oi'm sorry for tryin' ta' take em. I didn't know they meant that much ta' ya." She mumbled.
Tugger softened. She had exited adolescence not that long ago, and was simply a playful personality. He couldn't blame her for that. Besides, he couldn't expect the calico queen to know his reasons for keeping the old instrument.
"It's alright, Teaz," he gave her a swift lick on the ear. "Just... maybe don't do that again. Deal?"
Rumpleteazer smiled sheepishly.