Bombalurina looked over, waking from her slumber near the tyre. She shook her head, staring.
"No. No I'm daydreaming," she thought, closing her eyes and reopening them. But the image remained.
Munkustrap and Demeter. Kissing.
Unable to tear her eyes away, Bomba sat frozen, watching them break apart. Munkustrap's paw sliding down over Demeter's back to rest on her hip. She curled up her legs under her and rested her head on his shoulder. The moon bathed the happy couple in it's bright warm happy glow.
But Bomba was in the dark, cold and alone.
Bomba must have drifted back to sleep, because the next thing she knew, it was morning and she was waking up because something hit her. Rubbing her head, Bomba sat up.
"What was that?" she asked herself dozily, and looked about. She glanced back out of the pipe, just in time to see a shadowy face appear. Bomba shrieked and jumped back.
"Bom?" came a queen's voice, and Etcetera ducked inside the sleeping place. Bomba sighed.
"Etcetera. It's you. What is it?"
"My ball rolled in here. Did I wake you?"
Bomba looked round again, noticing the ball in the corner of the cavelet. She went to retrieve it, tossing it back to the white and striped kitten. "You could say that."
Etcetera grinned, catching the ball. "Sorry."
Bomba yawned. "Go on, ski-daddle kit, before I get a bad bout of early morning blues and whack ya one or something," she said half teasingly.
Etcetera nodded, and scampered out.
Bomba was washing herself in the pipe later, having removed herself gracefully from Munkustrap's cavelet. She didn't feel right being there somehow...not after what she'd seen.
Something bumped into her from behind as she sat there, engrossed in her lonely thoughts, and she jumped in shock, hitting her head on the roof of the pipe, and cursing, looked round to see Mistoffelees.
"Jeez why don't you look where you're going?" she snapped, rubbing her head. She wondered briefly how many more times she would endanger her cranium....
Misto held his paws up. "Hey, sorry." He frowned. "Actually you sat back on me. I was about to say your name and ask you something."
Bomba looked at him. "Misto whatever happened, you would still be WAY too close. If you had said my name from where you are, I would still have jumped..." She glanced at him again...
"Were you trying to touch my butt?"
Bomba's eyes widened. "MISTO!"
"Sorry Bom, I..." he began, but she was up.
"It's okay," she waved a paw at him, "Use my space. Damnit, I'm not staying near you!"
Sitting on the rocking chair, the vantage point across the yard, Alonzo watched lazily. Etcetera and Electra were playing ball with Pouncival, and he kept hogging the ball, causing one or the other of the two queens to jump on him and wrestle the ball away.
A lone figure swished by the group, and Alonzo's eyes followed her. She slipped into the darkness of the old oven, and didn't reappear for a while. When she did, Alonzo followed her back over the yard. He hoped she was okay. She'd really had her heart broken by him.
Bomba purred slightly to herself, looking out of the oven. It was dark and cosy there, no interruptions...
"Hello? Jemima?" Jennyanydots' face popped into view, and Bomba looked up.
"Darn, spoke too soon," Bomba thought, and put on her best concerned expression.
"What is it Jenny?" she asked, not really having a care in the world about others problems.
"It's Jemima. She's gone off somewhere with Victoria. I cant find her." Jenny looked really worried, but Bomba didn't seem to notice.
"Have you tried outside the junkyard? The highest piles? Any hidden areas?" she asked, with a slight stifled yawn.
Jenny looked annoyed. "Of course I have." She looked at Bomba. "Please don't yawn like that. This is very important."
Bomba looked annoyed now. "I cant control my yawns," she said tersely.
Jenny shook her head and without another word, wandered off again, and Bomba could hear her calling 'Jemima? Jemima?' as she curled back up again.
She was watching the kittens in the middle of a half dozy state when a dark figure slipped in beside her. Bomba looked up.
"Hello Bomba," purred a rich creamy voice from beside her. It was Cassandra, one of the eldest queens. Also one of Bomba's closest friends, after Demeter.
Bomba purred back, equally richly, "Morning Cassy." She sat up, grooming her cheekfur, shaking her head a little as she did so. "What is it?" she enquired, turning brown eyes to the dark queen.
Cassandra purred, "It's that damn cat again."
Bomba's face registered nothing, then it clicked. "Tugger?"
Cassy nodded, her face expressionless. "I just don't know what to do. I try and act all sultry, I'm over the top. But if I don't I end up like....like..."
"A lower class cat, totally unlike yourself?" Bomba guessed, and Cassy nodded again.
"It's just SO not me. Why can't he learn some manners, how to treat a lady?" she looked out of the oven.
"Well that's easy. He never went with a lady as such. You have so much grace and poise he doesn't know how to treat you. He's not used to it."
Bomba privately retched at her own words. Tugger was damn cute. Why did he pick Cassy over her...she was elegant too, and not stuck up, and she was graceful too...Cassy's voice broke into her thoughts.
"I guess I should go tell him it's over." She got up. "I'll see you later."
As Cassy turned her back, Bomba smiled. Tugger was free? Interesting......
Tugger was in his den, grooming his mane with a new silver comb that he had found in the junkpiles outside his home. But there was one piece of fur that turned the wrong way, and he was having a hell of a time trying to put it into place.
So he hardly noticed Cassi coming in.
She sat on the mattress behind him. In front of Tugger was a large shard of mirror glass and so he instantly saw her reflection.
"Hey Cassi honey." He drawled, running the comb through his headfur. He put the comb down, and brushing at his leopard spotted chest, turned to her.
"So Doll, what is it?" he asked sauvely, noticing the way the mood had changed within the den.
She told him. Minutes later she could be seen reappearing, her face tear stained and stressed.
Jemima moaned, "But Jenny!!" she looked up at the older queen. "Do I have to?" she whined.
Jennyanydots looked at the kitten. "Yes."
Jemima sighed. "But thats so BORING!" she sniffed. "Victoria doesnt have to play with the others if she doesnt want to."
Jennyanydots nudged the red and black queen nearer to the other three. "Victoria is older than the rest of you, so she's allowed to do as she likes. While in the junkyard at your age, you obey my rules, and no running off again, you hear?" she spoke firmly to the kitten, and called to Electra.
"Electra lovie, would you be a dear and look after Jemima for me while I go to see Jellylorum?"
Across the yard, Electra nodded, and beckoned to Jemima. "Jemi! Come play!"
She was holding the ball, and tossed it to Pounce, who wasnt ready, went to catch the ball....and fell flat on his back.
Electra's playmate Etcetera squealed and pounced Pouncival (*hehe*), pinning him.
"TICKLE!" she screeched, and Electra ignored Jemima, diving forward to poke Pouncival's ribs.
Pounce started to wriggle, crying out for help, but none came as the two queens continued to torture him....
"Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Pounce had a very girlish squeal!
Jemima watched from afar, and looked round. Jenny had disappeared, and the others hadn't noticed her or involved her.
She sniffled. It wasn't fair. Why did Victoria get all the good stuff?
Sulking the kitten went over to the junkpiles by the other three, and curled up on a pile of old cardboard. Refusing to join in, but just watching miserably. She was already bored.
The red queen wasn't normally so cautious around this area. Normally? She'd go straight into his den. But today....she just couldn't.
She swallowed, thinking. Was she getting like her sister Demeter? Had their roles been reversed since last night? Nah. Fat chance, she grinned to herself. Demeter would never snag a tom like...ooh...Tugger...she shivered inside.
With a small smirk on her face, trying to act nonchalant, she waltzed inside.
She stopped about four paces in.
Sitting on the mattress, his head in his paws, was Tugger. Tilting her head, Bomba advanced a little more inside...
"Tugger?" her soft mellow voice floated through the den, and Tugger looked up, his eyes wide. Unbeknownst to Bomba, when she used her sultry voice, she sounded EXACTLY like Cassi did normally, and this had caused Tugger to think she was Cassi.
However the redness of her fur gave her away and Tugger sighed, getting up. "What do you want?" he asked, sounding moody.
Bomba peeked her head round the corner of the entrance chamber. The den Tugger had was shaped rather like a igloo, with two parts to it. It might as well have been just as cold. She shivered again, unsure if it was the coolness in his voice, or the feeling inside her.
"I was wondering if you were okay? Normally you've been..."
He cut her off. "Okay? Okay?" he glared at her. Bomba was quite taken aback, and it showed in her eyes. She blinked at him, and Tugger retreated.
"Yeah. I'll be fine," he returned, going over to the mirror. As he did so, Bomba caught sight of the piece of fur that turned the wrong way, and stifled a giggle.
Tugger happened to glance at her just then, and caught the smirk full on. He raised his brows at her, and Bomba pulled her face straight, her eyes twinkling.
Tugger just looked at her. Damn, she got lovelier every time he looked at her. Why the hell did he brush her off last year at the Ball, and drop her every time some other queen came along....and more to the point, what had he been doing with Cassandra?
Shaking the thought from his head, Tugger swayed his hips in front of the mirror and it was then, once more, that he took notice of that darned piece of fur that wouldnt lay flat.
He motioned with one paw to Bomba. "Come in," and went back to trying to flatten the fur on his mane.
Bomba ducked inside, her tall reddish frame striking in the half light of the den. Tugger couldnt help but stop what he was doing, and just watched her sway over to the mattress, and sit down. As soon as she started watching him in the mirror, he stopped looking at her, and turned back to his grooming. Swallowing the lump in his throat.
Tugger never got nervous around a female. So what was happening to him? He thought he knew. Tugger was used to laying everything in sight! Since he'd been with Cassi, there'd been no time for that, she was always tired, and she very rarely let him touch her or love her in THAT way. So Tugger had been pretty neglected of late.
And now, looking at Bomba, he cast his mind over the other queens in the junkyard, and none came close to her....he turned, and swaggered over to the mattress, and sat down beside the red fireball, the fur still unflattened.
Bomba watched him come over, her gaze fixed firmly on those damn hips swaying in front of her....wow....it was all she could do to hold herself upright and not keel over back on the bed....although that would probably be a good idea considering what she'd love to feel right now.
She giggled, and reached out to the unflattened fur on his mane. "You missed a spot," she teased him, and licked her paw, rubbing it over his mane. The fur flattened instantly, and a electric bolt ran up Bomba's arm as she realised exactly what she was doing to Tugger. She withdrew her paw hastily, and looked up at him a little shyly. She hadn't meant to go so fast, she meant to do as normal, tease him a little. But she'd known him so long. Somehow, there wasn't going to be any more teasing...
"Yes babes?" he asked softly, savouring the warm glow of the aftermath of their...lovemaking?
"Nothing." she trailed off, lying there under his body, her breath coming in quick short gasps.
Completely spent, he rolled off her, lying beside her on his back, and closed his eyes. Instantly a image of Cassandra floated into view. A lump rose in Tugger's throat.
This hadn't been right. He felt vile. Like....like he'd betrayed the dark queen for a bit of...
Tugger cursed himself. In his half thinking state, he felt something pressing to him for a cuddle, jumping and opening his eyes.
Bomba cuddled to Tugger, and was about to tell him how nice the mating had been when he jumped, opened his eyes.....and shoved her back from him.
Startled, the red queen jumped back, sitting up, hurt welling inside her. She looked at him....no.....he hadn't just....used her? Like she liked to use the males if neccessary? Which hadn't been for a while.
"Get out," his voice snapped at her, and tears welled in her eyes.
"Tugger," she tried, but it was impossible.
"I said, get out." He raised himself off the bed, and actually looked menacing.
Scared, the red queen hopped off the bed in a bit of a state, and literally dashed from the den, afraid if she didn't that Tugger would lose his patience and hit her. She didn't honestly think he would do that, but then again she had also no honest idea of what he was capable of.
It wasnt until she reached the safety of her cavelet by the big tyre that she threw herself into a corner of the darkness. She started thinking about how lonely she was, about how everyone else had someone. Munkustrap had Demeter now, and everyone was happy and friendly with everyone else, and now Tugger didn't want her....and she was all alone.p> Consumed with self pity, Bomba wept sadly, her body racking with soft sobs.
Alonzo made his way down from the tyre, winding his weary way towards his den, passing the other cavelets on the way. His den was tucked back on the lower shelf of the junkyard, nearby the old oven, and this came in handy sometimes, he preferred a lower den because that meant he didnt have to climb all the way up the junkpiles when tired at night.
His ears pricked at a sound, and he stopped, wondering. He was tired, well, weary really, the junkyard was kinda quiet, except for the kittens manical playing laughter.
But the noise seemed to carry on the wind to him. Turning, the black and white tom padded over to the cavelets on the other side of the yard. Jumping up a little way, he peeked his head into the cavelet where the sound was coming from.
"Hello?" he asked the darkness.
Bomba rolled herself into a tight ball, and sniffled, "Go 'way." sounding more like a angry kitten in a temper. "I dont wanna see anyone," she insisted, not realising her tone of voice was different.
But Alonzo noticed. He blinked, putting his two front paws into the cavelet, and saw her there in the corner, and instantly felt a genuine pain in his heart. He didn't like to see any queen unhappy, but with Bombalurina....she was always so alive, full of vigor, and life. Always the soul of the party...and to see her this way scared him.
"Bom?" He used the nickname out of pure concern, his voice raised a little, and took a few more steps inside.
Bomba only sniffled at that, turning away. She didnt want to see anyone, only wanted Tugger to say he was sorry, for the toms to notice her. And did they? Hell no.
Alonzo took a deep breath and padded closer, unsure on what to say or do. In his infinite wisdom, he decided to say. "Is there anything I can do?"
Bomba turned instantly. "I SAID, GO AWAY!!!" She screamed, her emotion getting the better of her, "LEAVE ME ALONE, DAMN YOU!"
Alonzo's eyes widened in shock. So, there was another Bomba he didnt know....and he didnt like it either. He backed down, his eyes still large.
"Okay....okay....I'm going.." he said, keeping his gaze fixed on her. He backed all the way to the entrance, turned and left.
Bomba watched him go, her eyes fixed on him too. Then she snuffled weakly and turned back, beginning to cry again, feeling completely wretched.
A few hours later, she could be found lying on her side in the corner. Her eyes as red as her fur, curled into a ball, fast asleep, all cried out.
As Alonzo left the den where Bomba was, his eyes scanned the yard. Munkustrap was nowhere to be seen, and that worried Alonzo. That meant he'd have to keep a eye on the yard until Munkustrap returned, He noticed on the far side of the yard that the kittens were still playing ball, but they had a companion of sorts now. Little Jemima. Alonzp smiled to himself. She was still the small kitten he remembered from last year's ball, still as stubborn as ever. "Much like her mother," Alonzo muttered with a wry grin.
He sauntered over to where the red and black kitten was lying, having to make his way over several junkpiles in the process. Reaching her side at last, he looked at her. For a brief instant she reminded him of Bombalurina in her temper, but he tried to push the thought aside.
"Hey Jemima," He began, a little unsure of how this queen would react if she was in a mood.
"Oh, hey Alonzo," Jemima returned lazily, not even looking at the black and white tom besides her. "It's so boring around here today, isn't it?" She commented. "Uh....well...gee....if you say so...." Alonzo began, not wanting to anger her.
"It would be so much more interesting if I could do my own thing," Jemima went on.
Alonzo cleared his throat. He, along with Munkustrap, Jenny, and Jellylorum, had very strict rules over what the kittens were 'allowed' to do. So he posed a small question.
"Do your own thing? Such as?"
"Oh I dunno," Jemima whined, "I just wish Jenny would let me go off and do my own thing like Victoria does."
"But Jemima," Alonzo started.
"Don't get me wrong," Jemima rolled her eyes, "And don't tell me, Vicki's a adult so now she can go and do as she likes." Jemima half mimicked Jenny's bossing voice.
"Pretty much so." Alonzo couldn't do anything but agree. "And Jenny only wants what's best for you."
Jemima looked frustrated and turned away. "It's not fair," she complained, muttering, as Alonzo got up to leave again. "She isnt my mother."
She didnt hear Alonzo mutter also as he walked away. "Oh yes she is Jemima...yes she is..."
Tugger was still lying in his den, wide awake. He was thinking over what had happened with Cassandra and Bombalurina, and sighed. There were so many gorgeous females in the yard and in the surrounding area of London, but very few he really cared about.
"Of course," he mumbled aloud, "I like Bom, who doesnt, but Cassy..." he frowned. "Maybe...just maybe...I think I..." He trailed off, refusing to say the word, and rolled off the bed, making his way to the entrance of the den, and out into the sunlight.
He grinned at the kittens playing and decided there was something that would make him feel a hell of a lot better. Thwapping his mane, he strode over like the macho tom he was and appeared behind the group of playing kittens.
Before he could say a word, a shriek of "Tuggy!" was heard and Etcetera was clinging in a matter of seconds to his leg. "Tuggy play." She giggled, still hugging his leg, despite Tugger's best attempts to shake the kitten off.
"Babe, please..." Tugger muttered, and most unfortunately Etcetera heard. "Did you hear that guys? I'm Tugger's babe!"
"Oh give over, Cet. That's so babyish," came a voice. Jemima had pricked up at the sight of the maned tom appearing, and now with a frown on her face she addressed the striped kitten attached to Tugger. "Don't you wanna grow up and quit acting up Cettie?" She got up, stretching and yawning, ignoring the other kittens staring at her.
"Jemima?" Electra's confused voice wafted to Jemima's ears. "What's with you today?"
Jemima turned to glare at the orangey-black kitten. "Maybe I'm just sick of you lot acting like idiots and babies!" She yelled. "Sick of it all." She turned and ran off, tears streaming down her face, feeling unwanted and awkward.
Tugger stared after the red-black queen too, then shrugged in his don't-carish way. "Hmm. Oh well..." He turned back to the others, looking at Cettie on his leg still and grinned. "So, someone pass the ball and let's play."
Pouncival cheered from across the way and tossed the ball to Tugger. Hitting him smack on the nose. "Oops." Pouncival hid his face in his paws then peeped out from behind it. "Sorry about that."
Tugger grinned, "Don't worry about it Pounce," in a deep voice, "Here ya go, sweetie." He handed the ball to Etcetera, who took it and dashed off giggling, Electra and Pounce following her squealing. Tugger rubbed his sore nose. Some day this was turning out to be.
Bomba curled up in her cavelet still, was now awake, and had moved herself to the bed, when a black and red blur shot into the cave sobbing. For a moment Bomba thought she was experiencing deja vu, then realised it was Jemima.
"Jemi?" Bomba uncurled and sat up. "Jemi is that you? Hun are you okay?"
Jemima didn't answer, so with a sigh Bomba hopped up and padded closer, reaching to touch Jemima's shoulder. "Look, hun, erm....listen I'm not good at this sort of thing so....erm...you'll hav to tell me what's going on here.."
"It's NOT fair!!" Jemima yelled out suddenly, "Vicki gets to do WHATEVER she darn well wants and I have to behave like a stupid kitten!" She muttered and burst into a fresh flood of tears.
Bomba blinked. "Uh, Jemi, hun....listen for a second..." she sat down and tilted the kitten's face up so she was forced to look into her eyes.
"Look, bawling about it isn't going to help. By behaving like this, you're....you're acting like a kitten, dontcha see?" She grinned, "You're enforcing the point that since you are a kitten and throw a temper, you deserve to be treated like one. Getting my drift here kit?" She dabbed at the tears rolling down Jemima's face, to see a flicker of recognition pass over Jemima's face.
"Oh yeah..." Jemima began uncomfortably. "I see your point there Bom....I guess...um....wow...." she giggled suddenly. "But I feel so...so..."
"Left out?" Bomba questioned. "Happens to the best of us." She gave Jemima a nudge, "Look, why dont you go play with the other kittens, go and frolic around Tugger, go and have fun. You're only a kitten for so long, and then you grow into a adult...it happens fast Jem hun..."
Jemima giggled faintly. "Yeah...I suppose. Bom?" "Yeah?"
"When I grow up," Jemima hopped to her feet, "I wanna be just like you!" She dashed off out of the den and Bomba could hear her yelling to the other kittens in the distance.
Bomba sighed. "What, you wanna be a hypocrite just like me?" she wondered aloud.
Tugger was still playing ball with the kittens when Jemima reappeared. She pounced the ball, grabbing it, and tossed it into the air instantly with a shriek of a giggle, and the others stared.
"Jemima?" Etcetera looked at her. "Have you been raiding Jenny's larder for the catnip?"
Jemima gave another silly giggle, "Nope."
Electra tilted her head, "Jemima's had a knock on the head, I bet."
"Nope," Jemima rolled over.
"You talked to someone and they told you their problems were worse?" Pouncival lay down next to Jemima and sniffed her.
Jemima squealed and batted Pounce, "Not exactly." She grinned, "Though I did talk to someone."
Pouncival tried to make a grab at the ball Jemima held, and Jemima raised it out of his reach, letting it go. The ball flew up and whacked Tugger in the stomach.
"OW!" Tugger doubled over. "I was minding my own business! And you whack me in the stomach, honestly..." He leaned down and poked Jemima, "There, that makes us even." He grinned.
"Hey no poking us kittens!" Jemima hopped up and made a grab for Tugger, yanking his arm behind his back, "Hey you guys help me, then we can tickle him!!"
"Oi, Jemima, no," Tugger protested, "I've had enough play today...I've been whacked twice in the face, once in the stomach and fallen over countless times in this ball game, and I refuse....haha...eee....refu...hahah..." he cut off abruptly as three of the kittens pinned Tugger's arms behind his back, and Etcetera tickled him mercilessly. Shrieks of laughter and whines of protest could be heard all over the junkyard.
Bomba stuck her head out of her cavelet at the yells of laughter and grinned at seeing Jemima now so apparantly full of spirit. She came right out into the sunlight, squinting, and sat down on all fours, curling her tail around her. She watched the kittens with Tugger, tickling him half to death, and smiled a wry smile. Tugger....
She went into her thoughts again, remembering her fling with Tugger only hours ago. It felt like days since to her though. She continued to watch, not noticing Alonzo sneaking up.
"Bom?" He tapped her on the shoulder and she jumped, turning to face him. "Oh Alonzo. It's just you."
Alonzo nodded and bowed his head to her, "Sorry if I scared you. And also," he looked back up, "Sorry about earlier."
"Earlier?" Bomba queried.
"Yeah....uh....you kinda, yelled at me. So erm, yeah. Sorry about that too."
Bomba blinked. "Um, Alonzo. I think you're going to have to help me out here 'cos I dont remember a thing of that."
"You were crying in your den earlier, and I came in to see if you were okay and you yelled at me to get out." Alonzo looked hurt, and Bomba swallowed.
"Oh, yeah....that....it was nothing. I'm over it. And you dont need to apologise." She patted his shoulder and noticed his cheeks flush red.
"Oh....yeah...well....okay..." he started uncertainly, and Bomba sighed.
"Look, sit here with me a while, okay? I could use the company. Also I need someone to talk to about how stupid Tugger looks." She pointed at the tom being tickled and pinned by the kittens.
Alonzo stared at her for a second. "Uh...sure..." He sat down on all fours, his eyes flicking from Bomba, to the scene below, and back to Bomba.
Clearing his throat, he racked his brain for something to say. "So....heh, are you okay?"
"Oh, fine thanks." Bomba groomed her paw.
"Good...." Alonzo watched her. Why on earth did he feel so shaky? He briefly wondered if his cheeks had turned as red as her fur. He cleared his throat and settled himself, his tail swishing nervously. "Uh. Bom...?"
"If you don't mind me asking....uhm...is there....uhm....something on your mind?"
"Something on my mind? Why?" Bomba looked directly at him, and Alonzo tensed, shaking his head.
"Well, you're uh...staring at Tugger....and uh....you wanna...uhm, talk about how stupid he is."
Bomba stared at Alonzo. He wasnt normally so forward and that scared her. He was asking her to pretty much tell him what was going on. She turned her face away slightly, "Uhm, well....it's....it's nothing."
"Are you sure?"
Bomba's head snapped back round. "Of course I'm sure, damnit!"
Alonzo's body tensed further, and he slid back a little. Staring nervously at the red queen, who muttered and turned away from him again.
Without another word, and when he was sure she wouldnt notice, he got up, and slipped off.
So it was to be when Bomba regained her composure and turned to apologise, realised the black and white tom was nowhere to be seen! She looked all around, finally spotting something slipping into the shadows of the junkyard, and leaving through the entrance to the river.
She got up to go after him, and stopped in her tracks. She had been about to go after him, and apologise. But why? Alonzo had never shown a romantic interest in her. But Tugger had.
She sat back down, and a new thought came into her mind. "Tugger might want me, but he used me for the sake of using me. Alonzo....never laid a paw on me....and I yelled at him...twice." She winced, feeling guilty. "And what do I want more? Someone who will listen to me, or someone who'll brush me aside whenever it suits him?"
She thought a little more. "And which tom fits which description...?"
Suddenly the whole thing showed itself in a new light. Alonzo, coming after her to make sure she was okay after the encounter with Tugger. Not caring what had happened, just wanting the best for her. And she'd pushed him aside. Frightened he'd see how weak she was. And then just now, coming to apologise for making her mad, wanting her to be happy, to be calm. Everything he ever wanted....was for her.
By comparision, Tugger had taken what he wanted, and discarded her like a piece of junk. He didn't really want her. He was filling in for Cassi.
Alonzo....did Alonzo want her?
The thought went through Bomba's mind, and she was amazed at it. The loneliness slipped away, a huge weight being dragged from her shoulders.
She got back up, and with a final little look at Tugger, she leapt down the junkpiles, and half ran, half walked to the entrance of the yard, following Alonzo's tracks.
"Would you guys get off me!" The yell sounded clear across the junkyard, and the kittens giggled in chorus. Etcetera sat on the now fallen Tugger, bouncing on his chest, and Pouncival had taken the scarf from around Tugger's leg, and tied his wrists behind his back. Jemima patted Tugger's head, and licked his nose.
"EWWWWWWWWWWW!" Tugger wriggled, "Quit that, would you!"
"Quit what? Electra bounded up, and licked Tugger's nose as well.
"NO!" Tugger yelled, and was rewarded by Etcetera licking him too.
"Geez...." Tugger rolled his eyes, then felt something tickling him. While the females had Tugger distracted, Pouncival had hopped onto Tugger and was tickling his stomach. Because of Etcetera on top of the maned tom, Tugger was now pinned and couldnt resist the tickling, though he squirmed to avoid it.
"POUNCE! When I get my hands on you," Tugger began, and Jemima patted him again.
"There there Tuggy. He wont be long."
"He most certainly wont." Jennyanydots materialised from the junkpiles, and lifted Pouncival off Tugger, smacking his butt and sending the young tom off squealing. She efficiently shooed Etcetera and Electra off to their dens and they did so, a little in awe of the marmalade coloured queen.
Untying Tugger's wrists, she treated him like a small kitten too, shooing him.
"Aw Jen." Tugger began, but Jenny wrinkled her brow and Tugger shrugged, thwapping his mane and sauntered off. "I guess I'll get the kittens for that later," he commented as he went, but Jenny ignored him, picking up Jemima and carting her off.
"Hey! Jenny! Put me down!"
Jemima protested. "Not till I'm good and ready," Jenny replied, and took Jemima into her den. "There's something you and I need to talk about." Her voice was firm, but not stern, as the two disappeared out of sight, the junkyard the perfect area of peace and quiet at last.
Alonzo, meanwhile, had made it to the riverbank, and sat down by it, dipping a paw lazily into the water. He sighed, laying his head on his paws, and stared into the water for a moment. Where had he gone wrong? He tried so hard to make Bombalurina like him, and at every chance she pushed him aside. For Tugger, no less.
Alonzo snorted quietly, typical queen. Going after the one who thought he was the Everlasting Cats Gift to Queens. "I have no chance. Not with her."
He glared at the water, and then his glare turned into a stare, at something in the ripples of the water. Something red moving around behind him.
Then a face appeared, and Alonzo closed his eyes, then reopened them. But the image remained, floating on the water, and Alonzo turned his head.
Behind him and slightly to the side, stood Bombalurina, with a shy smile on her mouth.
"Hi." she purred softly. Alonzo stared for a moment, finally registering what she said.
She padded closer, and laid down beside him, right up close, and Alonzo gulped.
"Bom? Uhm...what are you....?" He began, but she interrupted.
"Doing? Well....I've come down here to apologise."
"To me? Why?"
"Well, why not?" She raised her head a little more, and stared him down.
"I'll tell you why." Her paw traced his arm and Alonzo's cheeks flamed red. "I'd rather be with someone who cares for me."
"But Tugger..." Alonzo began, but she shushed him, placing a paw over his mouth.
"Tugger doesn't care for me the way I want him to. He doesn't care the way you do."
Alonzo's mouth dropped open, and he tried to speak, but no words came out.
"I like my strong silent types," Bomba teased, her tail grabbing at his, and winding around it. Alonzo closed his mouth, and looked away, to feel her snuggle into his side. He turned back and looked down, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth, and licked gently over her headfur, grooming her ears, his heart pounding in his chest.
"So erm...Bom....what does this mean?"
"Whatever you want it to mean." Bomba raised her head, and brought his face close to hers with a paw. "And I know what I want it to mean." She licked over his mouth tenderly, and purred at him.
Alonzo's face changed as she looked at him. "Uh...uh...." he began.
Bomba pulled back. "Why....what's the matter?" Hurt showed in her eyes, and Alonzo leaned forward, licking her cheek. Bomba flushed red.
Alonzo grinned impishly. "Gotcha!" He grabbed her and pulled her close, purring in her ear, his mouth delicately tracing hers in a soft kiss.
Bmba nearly fainted at this point, her arms sliding around his neck and her mouth pressed gently back to his. "Alonzo..." she murmured, her heart alight with passion. "I knew it...I knew it ever since...."
Alonzo broke the kiss with a grin. "Since?" He queried.
"Since the ball last year. You were dancing with Cassi, but I know you really wanted me...it was that look, the way you...everything.." Bomba finished softly, her paw tracing his cheek.
"Aw, made it that obvious, did I?" Alonzo teased, snuggling her close.
Bomba nodded, her paw slipping to his chest, and massaging it. She heard him give a soft moan, and giggled, "Sorry." She removed her paw.
"You will be," Alonzo poked her tummy, and Bomba shrieked.
"I will be? You mean YOU will!" She pounced him, laying him flat on his back, and tickled him unmercifully. They were so busy engaging in their frolicking, neither noticed a silver blur whisk up until it was too late.
Bomba shrieked and fell off Alonzo in fright, who hauled himself to a upright stance. They stared angrily at Munkustrap, who was by this point laughing. A gentle giggle of a queen sounded as well, and Demeter came out to Munk's side. He gently wrapped a arm around the young black and gold queen, and purred in her ear, to which she gave another giggle.
Bomba looked at Demeter, and smiled gently. She remembered the hell she'd been through to get her this far. And now there she was, in the arms of the future leader, and to become first queen. Bomba grinned, hopping up, and hauled Alonzo with her.
"We were just..." she began, but Demeter cut her off.
"It's kay Bom. We know what you were doing." She nudged Munk, who grinned down at her, licking her affectionately.
"But it wasnt..." Alonzo began, and Munk grinned broader.
"IT WASNT!" Alonzo and Bomba yelled together, and looked at each other embarrassed. Munkustrap and Demeter began to laugh again.
"Sureeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Demeter grinned, and poked Alonzo.
"Hey!" Alonzo poked Demeter. Munkustrap poked Alonzo.
"Oi. Now quit poking her."
Bomba bit her lip, trying to keep from laughing at the sexual pun, and failed, a half giggle, half whimper escaping her lips. Demeter looked at Bomba.
"Oh enough already!" She smiled good humouredly, as the toms started to walk off. Then she crept closer to Bomba, and licked her cheek.
Bomba smiled again at Demeter, and licked back. "What's got you in such a good mood?" She asked curiously.
Demeter blushed. "Me and Munk....urm....spent some..." she lowered her voice.."private time together.." she giggled. "We laid in the shadows of the trees down by the old brook where it's quiet and we....yeah..." she blushed even brighter, before looking back up. "You should take Alonzo there sometime."
Bomba grinned, beginning to follow the two toms walking off, "Glad you had fun." She paused then added. "Me and Alonzo...well....all in good time."
Demeter stared. "Bom, what HAS come over you?"
Bomba shrugged. "Dunno. Something white and black and cute." She glanced at Demeter. And they both laughed, rejoining Alonzo and Munkustrap, who were waiting a little way ahead for them.
They were still laughing and talking between the four of them, as they entered the junkyard. Even though it was becoming late now, it wasnt too difficult to spot the red and black blur racing, crying it's eyes out, towards them.
Alonzo fell over as it knocked him down, and lay there on his side with a whimper. "Ow." Bomba grinned and helped him up, looking to Munkustrap. "I wonder what's been going.." she began, when Jennyanydots ran out to them, crying as well.
"Munkustrap!" She sobbed, "Did anyone see my little precious Jemima go by?"
Everyone stopped and looked at the entrance where the blur had gone. Jennyanydots gave a shriek, and started towards the gate, but Munkustrap stopped her. "What's all this about, Jenny?"
He looked at Bombalurina and Demeter. "Why dont you three go back to Jenny's den. Me and Alonzo will go and look for Jemima. She cant be far."
With a grin, he leaned over, licking Demeter on the cheek. Alonzo did the same with Bomba, and nuzzled her, turning to follow Munkustrap, looking back briefly to wink at the red queen.
Demeter went to Jenny, and wrapped a arm over her shoulder, then started to guide the older queen into her den slowly. Bomba took one look after the departing toms, and then started to move into the den as well.