Tom reached for his lighter, eager for some relief. He fumbled slightly with the switch. Once it was lit, he inhaled heavily, comforted at last.

His eyes followed a pattern in the wood lazily. He leaned back and knocked his head against the wall. Tears filled his eyes. It was just one thing after another today.

He could hear Jerry outside, the mouse's sharp toes tip-tapped against the polished wood floor. He was out there; just beyond the cupboard door- he could catch him so easily…

But no, what was the point. He tried so hard, but always ended up being hurt. Too many times, too many bruises, too many long, pink lumps on the head.

The door creaked as Jerry pulled it open. The mouse was visibly terrified.

'What d'ya want, Jerry?' Jerry flinched as he spoke.

'Nothing,' Jerry said in his small, squeaky voice,' just wanted to see if you were okay…' he broke off, too scared to continue. Tom's gaze was unforgiving and angry.

'Okay?! Of course I'm not okay! Why would I be?!' Jerry flinched again,' I'm just some stupid cat who gets beaten up by a mouse!'

'I'm sorry, man, really-'

'Just leave, Jerry'

'But Tom-'

'I said leave.' Jerry murmured something and closed the door, leaving Tom in darkness again.

He inhaled on his cigar. He needed it right now. Calm filled his mind. His insanely white paws were covered in ash.

There was a simpler time, before Jerry, when he was just a simple housecat. Now he was a mouse hunter, and a terrible one at that. He thought back to those times, and was surprised to see how empty they felt. He realized that he wasn't complete without Jerry. They were Tom and Jerry.

'Aw, Jerry, get back in here!'

Jerry opened the door and entered. He had obviously been waiting outside.

'Yes, Tom.'

Tom smiled,' Come here.' He said, holding out his arms. Jerry stepped into them willingly, wrapping his own tiny arms as far round as he could. They both savoured the hug. Jerry looked up at Tom, his eyes wide.

' So, we okay buddy, we friends?'

Tom smiled, showing his pointed fangs, 'For now.'

'I wouldn't have it any other way.'