Got this idea from a couple of friends online, feel free to drop a note if you know who you are!

Note: Unlike my other stories these two are NOT related. They are friends.


"Hey, Tumble."

"What, Pounce?"

"You ever think about stuff?"

"You're gonna have to be more specific."

"Like, do you ever think about… liking stuff?"

Tumblebrutus sighed and opened an eye to stare at Pouncival, still trying to hold on to the fleeting hope that he could finish his nap in the near future. "Like what kind of stuff?"

"I dunno. Like… colors." The tabby tom gestured vaguely into the air.

"Do I ever think about liking colors?"

"Yeah."

"Do you mean like a favorite color?"

"Kind of." Pounce shrugged and glanced over at him.

"Did you just wake me up to tell me what your favorite color is?"

"No."

Silence. Tumble closed his eye. If he tried he might be able to go back to sleep-

"But if you're wondering it's brown."

Tumble sighed again. Looks like this was going to be one of those conversations. Sometimes Pounce got something in his brain and just wouldn't let it go until the subject was beaten to death, and most of the time it was Tumble who ended up feeling like he had been the subject of the beating.

"Pounce, did you hit your head today?" Tumble asked, already regretting the turn this conversation was taking.

"Shut up, I'm trying to think about this." Pounce grumbled. "'s hard to put it right."

"Don't hurt yourself." The insult was ignored.

"Okay, so, how do you know if you like something more than just the regular amount?" Pounce finally asked.

"Huh?"

"Listen, it's a real question. How do you know-"

"No, I heard you. Just gimme a minute." Tumble gave up on trying to nap and rolled onto his back to properly stare at his friend. "Do you mean like love?"

"Uh, dunno." Pounce stared intensely at the dirt.

"Are you wondering about how you know if you love something?"

"Uh, yeah."

"Well, I guess you just know." Tumble shrugged.

"That's a stupid answer, you're not even trying."

"Why are you asking me about this?"

"Dunno." Pounce grabbed the end of his tail and started to fiddle with it. "Just… thinking about things. Aren't I allowed to do that?"

"Yeah, but when you say it like that it makes me suspicious."

"Just forget it."

Tumble looked at his friend, noting the uncomfortable hunch of his shoulders and the fur he was nervously pulling out of his tail. It was only a matter of time before he gave himself a bald spot.

"Hey, don't do that." He took Pounce's paws in his own. "Let me think of an answer."

"Yeah, sure." Pounce wiggled out of his grasp, drawing his knees up to his chest to rest his chin on top.

"Okay. I guess… you might not know for sure that you love something, but you know you like it a lot?" Tumble did his best to put the idea into words. "And then maybe after a bit of time you realize that you like it more than just the normal amount, like it's really special."

"What about a person?" Pounce's question was mumbled into his knees.

"A person?"

"Yeah."

"I guess… I guess you know you love somebody 'cause you feel different about them than you would somebody else. Like they're really, really special to you."

"Huh. Like, you thought you were friends but then you might be something else?"

"Maybe." Tumble glanced over at him. "Why, you think you might like somebody like that?"

"No." The word came out a little too fast for it to be true. "I just… noticed some things."

"Like what?"

"Like nunya."

"Nunya?"

"Nunya business." Pounce hid his face in his knees, drawing his tail tightly around himself in a very worrying fashion.

Well there went that mood. Tumble sat up, purposefully nudging Pounce until he fell out of his huddled pose. It was rare for the tabby tom to get into such a subdued state but it always meant that there was something big going on, which then usually meant that Tumble had to figure out what it was and bring him out of it. Hopefully whatever it was wouldn't get them both in trouble.

"Look, can I tell you a secret?"

"What?" Pounce asked, suddenly looking apprehensive.

"It's nothing bad. Just… don't tell anybody." Tumble sidled up to him. "And stop looking like the world is coming to an end. It's not that big a deal."

"What is it?" Pounce leaned into him.

"I like Jemima." Tumble admitted. "I might try to… well, I might ask her to be with me at the Jellicle Ball."

Instantly Pounce's face screwed up in pure confusion. "What?"

"Yeah."

"But I- I didn't- when?" Pounce pushed away from his side. "When did this happen?"

"I dunno, we've just been hanging around her a lot and I like her." Tumble shrugged. "I'm not saying I love her, but, you know, there might be something there. Now that you've got me talking about all this stuff I have a lot to think about."

Instead of his words having the intended effect it was clear that Pounce was not taking the news well. The cat had once again grabbed his own tail and was furiously pulling at the fur, eyes firmly fixed on the dirt between them. If Tumble didn't know better he could have sworn that Pounce was about to cry.

Now things had really taken a turn for the worse. Tumble wasn't sure how to pull them out of the strangely negative mood his friend was in, so he went for the tried and true method of distraction. If he couldn't wrestle a confession out of Pounce then he would be out of ideas.

"Okay, what are you hiding?" Tumble asked, inching closer to the sullen cat.

"What?"

"You know what I mean, Pounce, you're hiding something, and since you're asking me if I know how to love stuff I can only assume that you've got something you want to get off your chest."

"I'm not, Tumble, I swear- argh!" Pounce's protest was smothered by Tumble lunging at him. "Get off you brute, there's nothing!"

They were fairly evenly matched but Tumble swiftly gained the advantage, using his weight to flip Pounce onto his front and settle on top of him. To keep Pounce from struggling he wrapped his arms around him and squeezed him tightly to his chest. Immediately Pounce went unnaturally still beneath him, quietly panting into the dirt.

"Pounce?" Tumble asked as he bent further over Pounce's back to try and see his face. "You okay?"

Pounce let out a little whine and shook his head, tightly wrapping his tail around himself as he tried to curl up into a ball, only managing to whine again and press his back up into Tumble's front. Tumble could feel him trembling.

"Hang on, let me get off you." Tumble rolled off of him and crouched down next to his face, immediately alarmed when Pounce turned his face away. "Hey, I didn't mean to hurt you. Where does it hurt?"

"Doesn't hurt." Pounce ground out through gritted teeth. Despite the laws of physics he was desperately trying to curl further in on himself. The tense muscles in his back were visible through his fur.

"Yeah, right, I can literally see how distressed you are." Tumble tried to soothingly rub his back but was met with an unexpected swipe of Pounce's claws.

"Don't!" Pounce hissed. "Just don't!"

"What the hell is wrong with you?"

"I just- I just don't- I- I don't know, just leave me alone." Pounce tried to leave but was stopped, instead sitting back down in the dirt and hiding his face in his paws.

"Wait, is this about me liking Jemima?" Tumble crouched down in front of him to try and see his face again.

"No." Pounce mumbled.

"It is, isn't it." Tumble shook his head. "Don't tell me you like her too?"

"No."

"You do, don't you? And now you're mad because I said it first."

"No, Tumble, I'm not, you need to shut up-"

"Well why didn't you tell me?"

"Tumble, I mean it, just drop it-"

"You've never expressed any interest in her. You're always talking about Bomba but I thought that was just you being dramatic all the time, when did you start liking Jemima?"

"I don't like Jemima!" Pounce shouted, dropping his paws so he could look Tumble dead in the eyes. "Stop saying I do! Stop saying you do!"

"Well then who do-"

"You, Tumble, I like you! I might even love you but I don't know what that even means!"

Tumble froze, mind temporarily blank as the words sank into his mind.

"I think I love you." Pounce muttered, dropping his gaze and pawing at the dirt. "But I dunno what that means."

"Okay." Was all Tumble could say.

"Okay? That's it?"

"Well, what am I supposed to do?"

"Dunno."

"Okay then."

"Okay."

The two of them stared at each other for a long time, neither knowing what else to say yet both of them knowing that they wouldn't be able to drop the issue.

"Can you… can you tell me a little more?" Tumble finally asked.

"Little more what?"

"Why you think you might… might feel that way?"

"Oh." Pounce's face started to turn red under his fur. "I just… I like being around you more than anybody else. And I think… I think you're really special, Tumble."

Tumble felt his own face start to turn red. "Oh."

"Don't worry, I won't… I won't get in your way though. If you really like Jemima." The words were sad, and the look on Pounce's face even more so.

"Well hang on, you need to give me more time to think about this. This is all new for me. And for you, unless you've been dwelling on this a while."

Pounce shrugged, looking everywhere but at him.

"You have, haven't you?" Tumble sighed.

"Maybe."

"Okay. How about this." Tumble sat down next to Pounce, touching their shoulders together. "I don't know if I feel about you like that. You're my best friend but this… this is all a lot to take in."

"Uh huh." Pounce started to curl up on himself again, but Tumble stopped him.

"Hang on. I didn't say I wasn't opposed to the idea."

"What about Jemima?"

"Well, I do still like her. But I also like you." Tumble said. "Let's… let's try not to be weird-"

"Weirder than we already are."

"-yeah, shut up." Tumble laughed. "Let's try not to be weirder than we already are, and… and let's see what happens, okay? It's the best I can do."

Pounce mulled the words over for a while. At least he left his poor tail alone this time as he thought. Finally he nodded, leaning up against Tumble's side with a small sigh.

"I'd like that."


So for now I'll leave it as it is. Might expand this in the future, who knows!