Karma: The total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person's existence, regarded as determining the person's destiny. (The Online Dictionary)

Tugger stared unfeelingly at the silver tabby that was solemnly glaring at him with piercing green eyes. "Who's the father?" he asked, stunned at what had just left his brothers mouth.

"Some alley tom that she had been seeing. I just thought that you deserved to know, Tugger."

Tugger ran his fingers threw his mane, frustrated. So, she had been with someone this entire time! She obviously didn't care about what had happened a week ago between them; she had probably even been cheating on him when they were secretly seeing each other. He felt heat rise to his face. He turned away from his older brother, and began to pace.

"I'm sorry that you had to find out like this," Munkustrap said, looking into his brother's apprehensive blue eyes. He could tell that Tugger was deeply troubled, despite his best attempt at trying to cover his emotions up.

"Look, I have to go meet Etcetera for a walk. I'll talk to you later," Tugger turned abruptly and stalked off through the junkyard, clearly wanting to be alone at the moment. As Munkustrap anxiously watched his brother leave, he groaned, worried. There had definitely been something bothering Tugger for the last week, but no one seemed to be able to figure out what it was. Evidently, it was quite important and was forcing the once careless Maine Coon's patience to quickly deteriorate. Munkustrap had known that finding out about Bombalurina would no doubt upset Tugger, but what else could he have done? Tugger would have found out from someone else eventually, wasn't it better that it came from his brother, who somewhat understood the tom's complicated feelings toward the queen? Sighing inwardly, he decided to go look for Demeter, hoping that she could shed some more light on the situation with Bombalurina.

What in the Heavyside had she been thinking? Didn't she know better than to go off with random toms? Tugger couldn't figure out how Bombalurina had managed to do this to herself. She hated kittens. Perturbed, he let out a frustrated hiss as his tail lashed back and fourth. Why do I care who she decides to sleep around with? It's not my problem! She's never cared about anyone before, so why should she start now? "You know what they say! What goes around, comes around!" he spat, eyes blazing.

"Tugger? Sweetie, what's the matter?" a soft white paw touched his shoulder. Startled, he whipped around, coming face to face with the concerned gaze of his soon to be mate. "Etcetera. What are you doing here?"

He hoped that she couldn't register the emotions he was feeling. If there was one thing that he had to do, it was to stay loyal to her. She could never find out about his inward reaction to Bombalurina's pregnancy.

"Is it so surprising that I would want to spend some time with my future mate? Now tell me, what's gotten you so upset? You know that it's not good to keep your emotions jumbled up inside of you," Etcetera said, taking his paws in her own. "Something I know that you regrettably do, quite often."

"Don't worry about it. I'm fine. I was just letting off some extra steam. Munkustrap just told me something, rather disturbing, that I really didn't need to hear," he answered, awkwardly removing his paws from hers. "So how about we go for that walk that I promised I would take you on?" he forced his trademark smirk to appear on his face. "Well, fine. After all, you did promise me."

Much to Tugger's horror, as Etcetera and he turned around the corner, they found themselves coming face to face with Demeter and her sister. Bombalurina immediately looked at the ground, refusing to make eye contact with the Maine Coon. She couldn't bear to be within five feet of him, never mind look at him in the eyes. Especially with Etcetera there, observing them.

"Good morning Etcetera," Demeter greeted cheerily, hugging the younger queen. "Tugger," she added under her breath, causing the tom to roll his eyes. Etcetera greeted the golden queen excitedly; grateful to see her and her sister finally out of the den. Spying Bombalurina, who was awkwardly standing to the side of the cats, she embraced her warmly. "Bomba, I'm so glad to see you out and about again!" she chirped, all too happily for Bombalurina's liking. "I heard about the- your, umm… Pregnancy," Etcetera mumbled, unsure of how refer to the red queens condition; she defiantly didn't want to offend her in anyway, knowing what had happened to her. "Congratulations!"

Still looking down, Bombalurina rolled her eyes. "Well, it seems like good news travels fast," she hissed. "Who told you?"

Oblivious to the crimson queens discomfort, Etcetera rambled on. "Well, Jemima and Victoria told me yesterday, but Electra and Exotica told me a few days ago… Of course there was Rumpleteazer who practically told the whole Junkyard, but you know her, the gossip queen of the tribe these days. I, of course, didn't know if it was true or not. You really don't know who tells the truth these days…" she added thoughtfully.

"Great, the whole junkyard knows," Bombalurina had to hold her tongue. Calling the young queen a ditz to her face was all too tempting. Well this is just perfect. The last thing that she had wanted was for everyone to find out from a bunch of adolescent queens who were just out of kittenhood.

Tugger glanced at the red queen with a mocking look. She could practically hear him saying: They told you to stop flaunting yourself, and did you listen? No. You deserve it. Seeing that look on his face made a part of her want to tell the tribe the truth, if only to knock him off his high horse for a moment. Doing her best to avoid his burning eyes, Bombalurina turned her attention back to the conversation that was taking place between her sister and Etcetera.

"Well the kitten is due in a few months, so we've still got plenty of time to prepare," Demeter was saying, "or at least that's what Jennyanydots told us".

"Oh! I'm so happy for you! You know how the tribe takes to new kittens; it's like a dream! But for you! Oh Bombalurina- it must be great knowing that you're going to be a mother!" Etcetera exclaimed happily, throwing her arms around Bombalurina once again, oblivious to the tension that had grown between the four cats. Noticing that Tugger hadn't said a word, Etcetera nervously nudged him with her elbow. "It's wonderful news, isn't it, Tugger?" she said, eyeing him curiously and speaking through her teeth; not understanding his sudden foul change in attitude. Why was he acting like this? It was so embarrassing!

"Of course it's wonderful news, Etcetera dear. You know how much I love kittens," he replied as he gritted teeth and abruptly turned away from the queens, storming off in the opposite direction. Etcetera paled.

"Rum Tum Tugger, you come back here this instant!" her cries went unheard. "Tugger! Oh," the queen whined helplessly. She was so ashamed. What on earth was the matter with him? "I better go see if he's alright, he usually isn't this cranky, but he's been acting weird ever since he came back from his meeting with Munkustrap. Please don't hold it against him- I'm sure he's thrilled too. Nice to see you two again, I'll talk to you later!" Etcetera took off in an angry sprint toward the direction that the Maine Coon had stalked off in.

"Odd. I wonder what all that was about?" Demeter asked Bombalurina, confused. The crimson queen just shook her head, secretly staring after the little queen, knowingly. Karma.

Karma, karma, karma.