A Human World: Part 2


*Author's note: All * indicates dialogue that is thought.*

Chapter 1: School

Mistoffelees regarded the tall building with wariness. Although he knew it couldn't, he felt as though it was staring right back at him, daring him to come closer. He could feel that now familiar ball of lead form in his stomach. It took great concentration for him not to turn and run. After all, there were countless humans inside there. No Jellicle in their right mind would want to be closed up with so many humans. At least, none that he knew.

"Go on," he whispered to himself. "One paw in front of the other."

Immediately, he shook his head. No, he thought. Think feet. You don't have paws anymore. You're a... human.

The last thought came with more than a little disgust. He couldn't help it. Even though they'd been humans for nearly a week now, he still hated the whole idea. Human bodies just weren't graceful enough. And who would ever want to walk around on two feet? That struck him as incredibly stupid.

A loud, clanging noise stirred him out of his thoughts. Mistoffelees watched as the humans gathered around the doors quickly filtered in. Deciding that the noise must mean something, he followed.

When he entered, he found himself alone in an empty hallway. Curious where the humans had gone, he tilted his head and looked about. This was impressive. Hundreds of humans disappearing with one bell-like noise. He made a mental note to learn this magic.

"Where are you supposed to be?"

Mistoffelees spun around to find himself face to face with a much bigger man. He swallowed roughly and thrust a piece of paper out in front of him. Demeter had given it to him after she and Munkustrap had "visited" the school. He had no idea what it meant.

"I-I don't know," he replied. The man took the paper from him and looked at it.

"You're new?" he asked without looking up.


"OK. You're in room 119 right now. Mr. Gleamson's first period Chemistry."

"OK." Mistoffelees brushed his hair out of his eyes and sighed. That made sense, he thought sarcastically. The man handed the paper back to him.

"Follow me."

Folding the paper into a small square, Mistoffelees had to walk fast to keep pace with the older man. He looked, with growing interest, at the numerous room they passed. Numbers, he recognized these, labeled them. 123. 121. 119.

The man stopped suddenly, almost making Mistoffelees crash into him. He reached out and turned the doorknob. It swung open to reveal a room full of humans about Mistoffelees' age. They turned their heads to watch them enter the room. An older man at the front of the room closed a thick book in his hands and looked up.

"Mr. Smith?" The man Mistoffelees had followed nodded towards him.

"You have a new student, Mr. Gleamson." The older man nodded.

"Oh. Thank you, sir." He turned to Mistoffelees. "Wait here a second."

The two men walked out of the room, shutting the door behind them. Mistoffelees was left alone with the other humans. He gazed helplessly at the door for a moment, then slowly turned to face them.

"Who're you?" one boy called. Mistoffelees tugged on the hem on his shirt.

"Mis- Michael." The boy laughed.

"Miss Michael? Got your sex a little confused?" Mistoffelees wasn't too sure what that meant, but had an idea it wasn't good to agree with that.

"N-no. I'm just Michael." He could feel his face growing hotter.

"Leave 'im alone, Josh."

Mistoffelees looked gratefully at his defender. She was a small girl with long, dark hair and dark green and brown eyes. They were narrowed in a playfully challenging way. Josh, the boy that had spoken, rolled his eyes.

"Aw, shut up, Meg." She stuck out her tongue.

"Try and make me." Josh stood.

"Yeah? Why don-"

"Enough already. Jeez, you can cut the tension in here with a knife."

They turned to Mr. Gleamson with sheepish looks. Mistoffelees could tell that they were embarrassed to have been scolded in front of the rest of the class. Mr. Gleamson pointed at the empty desk next to the dark haired girl.

"Michael, why don't you be lab partners with Megan?" he instructed rather than asked.

Mistoffelees nodded and, with head bent, he walked to the back of the room. He glanced at a smiling Megan, then slid into the seat. It felt funny to sit like that and he supposed Megan saw the distasteful look he made.

"OK, class. Now get to work. Lab's due end of this period," Mr. Gleamson said.

Mistoffelees watched in amusement as the students bustled around, slipping funny things over their eyes. They reminded him of what Bustopher Jones always had over his eyes. Only they went over both eyes and had a band that went around the back of the students' heads.

"So, where're you from?" Megan asked, sliding the goggles over her eyes. She thrust another pair at him.

"London." She blinked.

"Really? Wow. That's pretty far away. You don't even have an accent." Mistoffelees reluctantly slid the goggles over his head.

"I don't?" She shook her head.

"Nope. Don't know how you managed that." He smiled.

"After so many years around 'Jerrie, you kind of learn not to talk like that. Besides, Jenny'd kill me if I did."

"Jerry? Jenny? Who're they?" Mistoffelees flushed.

"Uh, friends of my parents. Mine, too, but they've known my parents longer." He stopped, feeling that he was starting to babble. Megan seemed satisfied with that answer.

"Cool. You have any brothers or sisters?" Mistoffelees hesitated.

Having been abandoned almost immediately after being able to survive without his mother's milk, he'd never known blood family of any kind. He guessed they could be out there, somewhere, but he'd given up on hoping they'd come back for him. He had a family. Jennyanydots had taken him in the minute she'd seen him and raised him like her own.

"No. It's just me and my parents," he said, smiling at the thought of Munkustrap being his father. Megan smiled thoughtfully.

"You're lucky. I wish I were an only child."

"I don't." That horrible feeling of homesickness came over him again as he thought of the junkyard. He could almost see Pouncival and Electra fighting over a ball of yarn or Victoria and Jemima trying to figure out just what made Etcetera go nuts over Tugger.

"I guess not. But you didn't grow up with an all-too-perfect sister and an obnoxious little brother," Megan said after a moment. Mistoffelees shook off his self pity and grinned at her.

"Trust me, I know what you're talking about. I've lived around annoying... kids for as long as I can remember." Megan blinked, confused.

"I thought you said you were an only child." Mistoffelees shrugged.

"I am. They're... cousins, I guess." He didn't know how else to classify the kittens. "Very distant. Our family's real close."

"Our's isn't," she said, not elaborating further. She set a flask on the tabletop they had moved to and looked around.

"Have you seen the beaker I had a minute ago?" Mistoffelees gazed at her blankly. "I guess not."

She spun around to check the table behind her. Her sleeve caught the edge of the flask and set it off the table. Mistoffelees, not thinking, only reacting, leaped forwards and caught it. He skidded on a small puddle of water and crashed into the next table.

"Michael!" Megan yelped. She hurried over and knelt beside him.

Mistoffelees sat back and blinked, dazed. He opened his mouth, then closed it again. His hand drifted up to his forehead where a long, yet shallow cut had been opened. He looked at the blood on his fingertips, then back up at Megan.

"Oww. My head..." he drifted off, suddenly engrossed in the blood. Megan clasped her hand over the cut and looked up at Mr. Gleamson.

"Go to the nurse's," the teacher instructed.

Megan helped Mistoffelees to his feet and led him out of the room.


Chapter 2

"That stings!"

Mistoffelees jerked away from the young, blonde-haired nurse. She lowered the cotton ball and gave him an exasperated look.

"Hold still! I still have to clean that out and you're not making it very easy for me!" Mistoffelees gave her a doubtful look, then relaxed his body.

"Fine," he grumbled. He gritted his teeth as she rubbed the alcohol over the cut again. He could see Megan trying to cover a smile with her hand.

He waited until the nurse had finished and slapped a bandage on his forehead. Then he turned to Megan. She met his eyes and burst into giggles. He frowned.

"You think this is funny?" he demanded. She nodded.

"You're such a wimp." Mistoffelees crossed his arms.

"Well, it hurt. Sorry if I don't enjoy pain."


Having a feeling he wasn't going to win this argument, Mistoffelees slid off the chair and stood. Megan grinned widely at him.

"Ready to go?" He nodded.

"Yeah, I guess so."

The nurse waved them out as they passed her desk. Megan waited until they were out of her sight and alone in the hall. Then she slung an arm around his waist, much to his surprise and delight. He glanced down at her, a first for him.

"I don't know, Mike. There's something a little strange about you." He swallowed uncomfortably.

"Is that good or bad?" She stopped walking.

"I haven't decided yet."

Before he could reply, that horribly loud bell rang again. Megan smiled coyly at him, then spun and hurried away. Mistoffelees stared after her in happy confusion.


Chapter 3: Alonzo

The rest of the day passed fairly uneventfully. He ate lunch alone, feeling uncomfortably aware of the eyes on him. After the last class he narrowly missed getting hit in the head by a swinging locker door.

Mistoffelees walked home alone. He certainly felt lonely without someone constantly babbling beside him. Even Etcetera's constant chatter would be welcome company right now. True, he loved her like a sister, but didn't she ever shut up?

Deep in his thoughts, which had slid to Megan, he barely noticed the black and white cat. Mistoffelees had to sidestep quickly to avoid stepping on it. The cat glared at him and hissed.

*Stupid human! Watch where you're going!* he heard in his mind. Mistoffelees gasped and stumbled back.

"Alonzo?" he gasped. The cat's eyes widened and it took a step back.

*Everlasting Cat! Misto, is that you?* the cat asked. Mistoffelees sank to his knees and stared in disbelief at the cat.

"Alonzo!" he whispered. "'course it's me."

The cat looked at him for a moment, then took a hesitant step forward. Suddenly, Alonzo dove into the boy's lap and nuzzled his head against his chest. Mistoffelees hugged him tightly. *

Jeez, Misto! Everyone thinks you're dead!* He paused. *Where're Demi and Munk? Are they...* Mistoffelees shook his head and set the cat down.

"No, they're fine. They're at our human place right now. I was just going there." Alonzo nodded and stepped closer.

*Good. Take me, too.*

Mistoffelees got to his feet, dusting off his jeans. He bent over and scooped the cat up. Alonzo tensed, gave him a cautious glance, then relaxed.

*If you tell anyone that I let you carry me, I'll-*

"Don't worry. I won't. Don't wanna injure your tomhood." Alonzo snorted.

*No, not you,* he said sarcastically. Mistoffelees frowned.

"I think I resent the fact that you don't trust me," he said playfully. Alonzo rolled his eyes and batted at his shirt.

*C'mon. Less talking, more walking.*

"Fine, fine. Jeez, when did you get to be so bossy?" Alonzo looked up.

*Since everyone thought you, Munk, and Demi were killed by Macavity's magician.* Mistoffelees swallowed.

"Merle," he said.

"What about Merle?" another voice, this one not in his head, asked. Mistoffelees whirled around, Alonzo in his arms.

"Megan! What're you...?" She shrugged.

"Going home. I saw you and decided to catch up." She grinned at Alonzo. "You have a cat? What's her name?" Mistoffelees laughed.

*Shut up, Misto.*

"He. His name is Alonzo." He paused and grinned evilly at Alonzo. "Wanna hold him?"

Alonzo dug his claws into Mistoffelees arm. *I'm gonna kill you.*

"Sure." Megan paused. "Does he scratch?" Mistoffelees shook his head and handed Alonzo to her.

"No. If he knows what's best for him, he won't."

*Just wait until you're a cat again and smaller than me. I'm going to kick your furry butt!* Mistoffelees snorted.

"I'll just zap you," he replied. Megan's head jerked up.

"Excuse me?" Alonzo laughed.

*Now who looks like an idiot?*

"Nothing," Mistoffelees said. Megan gave him a funny look and continued to pet Alonzo. Suddenly, the cat burst into loud, happy purrs. Mistoffelees grinned.

"I knew you liked being petted," he said. Megan smiled back.

"He's just a big purr machine," she cooed.

"That he is. Not much of a tom, is he?"

*Aw, put a cork in it, Misto. I know that you'd rather be where I am right now. You've got the hots for a human.* Mistoffelees flushed.

"Doesn't help him with the ladies too much," he shot back. Alonzo purred contentedly.

*That's not what Cassie says,* he replied smugly.

Sick of debating with someone only he could hear, Mistoffelees took the cat back. He nodded at Megan.

"Well, I'd better get home." He hesitated. "Do you wanna come with me? Maybe you can explain some of that chemistry stuff to me." Alonzo shifted in his arms.

*What're you doing, Misto?* Mistoffelees ignored him.

"Well, OK. Just for a little while, though. I have soccer practice at 6:30," she agreed. Mistoffelees smiled.

"Great! Let's go!" He felt Alonzo knead his claws into his shirt.

*I hope you know what you're doing.*


Chapter 4

"I'm hooooome!"

Mistoffelees opened the door and set Alonzo down on the ground. The cat sniffed the air, then padded into the dingy apartment. He looked about, then jumped onto the couch and made himself comfortable.

"Hi, home. You sound happy," Demeter called from the one bedroom. Mistoffelees grabbed Megan's hand, she didn't protest or try to take it away, and walked forward.

"Yep. Come out here. There a couple of... people you have to meet." Megan glanced at him.

"A couple?"

"Alonzo, too." Megan arched an eyebrow, but didn't say anything.

Her eyes widened a bit when Demeter entered the room. There was no way someone so young could have a teenage son. Unless she was his stepmother. But, then again, he hadn't mentioned having one, so Megan was at a loss. Demeter smiled pleasantly at her.

"Hi. My name's Demi. I'm Michael's mother."

*Michael? Nice name.* Demeter tensed.

"Who said that?" she asked, looking around. Megan frowned.

"I didn't hear anything," she replied. Mistoffelees patted Demeter's arm.

"S'OK, Mom." Demeter looked at him doubtfully. "Look who I found. Alonzo."

Demeter's mouth dropped open. She gazed at him in disbelief, then spun around. Upon setting eyes on the young tom, she gasped and hurried to the couch. Alonzo hopped up and smiled at her.

*Hey, Demi! How ya been?* Demeter grabbed him and wrapped him in a tight hug.

"Alonzo! We missed you so much," she whispered.

"He ran away," Mistoffelees lied to Megan. She nodded.

*Demi? You're crushing me.* Demeter quickly loosened her grip. Alonzo sighed in relief. *Thanks.*

Mistoffelees tapped Megan's arm. She looked at him with her huge, enchanting eyes.

"Let's go study," he suggested. Megan nodded eagerly, grateful to get away from the crazy lady and her cat.


Chapter 5: Love

Megan stared out the window. She had given Mistoffelees, who she only knew as Michael, some problems out of her chemistry book to work on. She had noticed the odd way he clutched at his pen. Almost as though he'd never held a pen before.

"Done," he said triumphantly. Megan turned and gazed down at the paper.

"What is this?" she asked, staring at the scribbles on the paper. He frowned.

"That's how I write."

"I can't read it." Mistoffelees snatched the paper out of her hands.

"It's in perfect Jellish. How can you not read it?" Megan raised her eyebrows.


"Yes." He suddenly realized what he'd said. "I mean... let me read it for you."

Without letting her protest, he read off what he'd written. Megan sat in silence until he finished. Mistoffelees finally looked up, his cheeks bright with embarrassed pride.

"Is it any good?" She shrugged.

"I guess so. You messed up the math on this one, but other than that..."

"Can I put it away now?"

Megan nodded. "Yes, get rid of the evil thing."

Mistoffelees shoved the paper into the book, slamming it decisively. He turned his head to find Megan inches from his nose. His heart quickened and he felt his mouth go dry. Megan stared at him for a moment before slipping her hand into his.

"There's something there," she said softly. "Something that's not like anything I've ever seen before."

"Megan, I-"

"Don't." She put a finger to his lips. "Don't try and deny it. I can see it in your eyes."

Mistoffelees stared at her helplessly. There was so much that she knew, yet so little. How could he ever hope that she'd be able to understand everything about him? Instead of fighting her accusations, he hung his head.

Without warning, she grabbed his chin and tilted his head up. She looked into his eyes for a moment, then brought her lips to his. She seemed cautious at first, then shut her eyes and wrapped her arms around his neck.

Shocked, Mistoffelees stiffened. All he knew about love and everything he'd been raised with was suddenly nonsense to him. A human had feelings for him and, fight it though he tried, he had feelings for a human. Giving in, he slid his arm around her waist and returned her kiss.


Mistoffelees jumped and pulled away. He stared at Munkustrap with wide, confused eyes. The older man stared back, his eyes disapproving and disappointed. Megan caught their looks and blushed. She jumped up and fumbled for her bag.

"I'll go now," she told Mistoffelees and ran from the room. Munkustrap stared after her.

"She's a human," he said, not looking at the boy. Mistoffelees stood.

"Munk... I... she...," he trailed off, unable to form the sentences he needed. Munkustrap's shoulders slumped.

"Stay away from her. It won't work." Mistoffelees shook his head. "How would you know?"

Munkustrap turned to him then. "She's a human. You're a Jellicle."

"Not anymore. Look at me! I'm a human, too!" Mistoffelees nearly shouted.

"What's going on?" Demeter asked. She stood in the doorway, Alonzo at her side. Munkustrap ran his fingers through his hair.

"Him. He thinks he's in love with a human." Mistoffelees spun away.

"Misto?" Demeter asked softly.

*A human? That can't be true.* Mistoffelees rounded on them furiously. His bright blue eyes glowed with anger.

"How would you understand? You don't even know what I'm feeling! You think you do, but you don't!" He staggered back, suddenly dizzy. Demeter held out her hand.

"Misto, stop. You-"

"SHUT UP!" he roared. Alonzo jumped back and hissed.

"Stop," Munkustrap said softly. He put his hand on Demeter's arm.

Not saying another word, he led her out of the room. She glanced doubtfully at him, but allowed him to do it. Mistoffelees clenched his hands into fists and glared at Munkustrap.

"Where're you going?" Munkustrap paused, his hand on the doorknob.

"No where. Neither are you."

Before he could react, Munkustrap shut the door. Mistoffelees could hear him turn the lock and he took a step forward.

"Munk? Don't do this," he pleaded.

"Sorry, Misto. You just can't see the human," was the reply.

Mistoffelees let out a choked cry and flung himself at the door. He pounded on it until his hand were raw and sore. Exhausted, he slumped against it and slid to the ground. He rested his head on his knees and began to weep, thinking desperately of Megan.


to be continued....