"Will you two please stop pacing? You're making me dizzy." Cassandra said irritated. The Jellicle females, except Jemima and Demeter, were all together in the Junkyard. Most of the queens were sitting down and trying to come to terms with what had happened recently. Bombalurina and Tantomile, however, were pacing back and forth for the past half-an-hour, and it had been getting on Cassandra's nerves.
Bombalurina stopped pacing and turned to the Burmese queen with a look on her face that was somewhere between worried and angry. "Cassandra, an hour ago Jemima came into the Junkyard looking like a freak, our siblings have asked to meet the cat who helped turn Jemima into a freak, and Jemima agreed and forty-five minutes ago all three of them left the Junkyard. What do expect Tantomile and I to do? Play tiddlywinks?!"
"Bomba, we know that you and Tanta are worried, but you don't have to be rude," Electra said.
Bomba turned to Electra. "This is all your fault! If you and Etcetera and Plato hadn't bothered Jemima, she wouldn't have decided to change her looks and personality and Demeter and Coricopat wouldn't have gone off with her to make changes themselves."
Electra and Etcetera run away from Bombalurina and toward Jennyanydots with tears running down their faces. "We didn't mean to make Jemima so mad that she would do what she did. And we certainly didn't mean to have Demi and Cori go off with her." Electra said through her tears.
"I know that, dears," Jenny said soothingly, "and Bomba knows that as well. She's just worried about Demeter. I think that it would be best if you stay away from her until Demeter gets back." The kittens didn't have to think twice about that. They weren't going near Bomba for awhile.
Exotica walked toward Tantomile. "Tanta are you all right?" she asked.
"I-I thought I knew everything about my brother. I never suspected that he might want to change. That he might be unhappy." Tantomile was very worried about her brother. They had always shared everything since they were kittens. She was so happy with her life and she'd always thought that Coricopat was too. She couldn't think of any reason that he might want to make a change. What was worse was that she hadn't been able to sense him for the past hour and it scared her.
Exotica didn't know what to say to her friend so she just put her arms around Tanta and gave her a hug. Tanta and Bomba continued pacing and worrying for the next forty-five minutes until Pouncival ran to the queens area and told them that Mistoffelees had sensed Jemima, Demeter, and Coricopat approaching. The queens all ran to join the toms at the entrance of the junkyard, Bombalurina and Tantomile in the lead.
Jemima walked into the Junkyard first. She still looked pretty much like she had two hours ago. The only changes were the addition of a black leather skirt, a small white shirt that left still allowed her stomach ring to be seen, a black leather jacket, and black leather boots that ended just below her knees. "Hello, dear Jellicles, I'm baaaack. Did you miss me? I hope so because you'll be seeing a lot of me. "
Bomba glared at Jemima. "Jemima, where's my sister and Coricopat?!"
Jemima laughed. "You'll see them soon enough, but first I should tell you that my name is no longer Jemima. It's now Phoenix since I've been reborn like the mythical bird. And now I think it's the time to meet my new friends." Phoenix walked back out of the junkyard and a moment later she walked in with a queen that looked sort of familiar.
The fur on the queen's head was black, her face, neck, and front paws were white, and her tail had yellow tabby markings. The rest of her was covered by clothing. She had on a long sleeved black shirt over a long purple skirt. She also had on calf-length black boots, a silver chain around her waist, ring with a chain attached to it at the end of her tail, and a silver necklace with a clear crystal pendant around her neck. Her front paws were painted black as were her lips. Her eyelids were purple and she had a lot of mascara on her eyelashes.
"De-Demeter is that you?" Bomba asked in a shocked voice.
"Yes, it is. Patience and I decided that the name Demeter still fit my new look." Demeter said to sister.
"Who's Patience and what have you done to yourself?" Munkustrap asked with a slight bit of contempt in his voice.
"Patience is one of Rodcat's housemates and she so nicely helped me with my new look. And I just decided that I didn't want to be the same-old neurotic queen anymore. I didn't want to go with the look that Rodcat and Phoenix have, but when I saw Patience's look I knew that that was what I was looking for." Munkustrap and Bomba just stared at her.
"What about Coricopat? Where's he?" Tantomile asked nervously.
"Cori's right outside. If you wait just a moment." Phoenix went out of the Junkyard and a moment later she came back with another cat. If the Jellicles thought that Phoenix and Demeter looked strange, they certainly weren't prepared for this cat. If it really was Coricopat, he certainly went through the most radical change of the three cats.
This cat had long red fur on the top of it's head (the Jellicles were not sure whether this cat was a tom or queen and "it" seemed the only way to describe the cat for now). The rest of the cat's fur looked like Coricopat's, so it wasn't the fur that was causing the Jellicles shock and confusion. Like Demeter, this cat wore makeup, it's front and back claws were painted red as was its lips. Its cheeks were pink, its eyelids were green, and it was much less mascara then Demeter. The makeup, strange as it was, wasn't even the strangest part of this cat. The clothing and accessories were. It was wearing a long-sleeved black dress that had a high neckline in the front , was draped low in the back and the skirt went to mid-calf. It had a black belt with a silver buckle around its waist and black strappy, open-toed, high-heeled shoes on its feet. It's only jewelry were some tasteful silver rings in its ears and a silver necklace with a small silver rose pendant. If this cat were a queen all the toms would have wanted to date her and all the queens would have wanted to know were she shopped. But if it were a tom, the Jellicles didn't know what to think.
"Coricopat is that you?" Tantomile asked in as shocked a voice and could be imagined.
"Well, it's Corinne now, but yes I was Coricopat."
"WHAT DID YOU DO TO YOURSELF?!" Munkustrap shouted.
"After sharing my sister's feelings for so long, I realized that I was jealous of her feminine side. I felt I needed a change to help me get rid of these jealous feelings. Devon, another one of Rodcat's housemates, thought that if I got in touch with my own feminine side I wouldn't be jealous anymore."
"You were jealous of my feminine side." Tantomile asked surprised. She never would have guessed that that was the reason Coricopat wanted to make a change. She also didn't know what to think about her brother looking more feminine than her.
"Now that you've gotten in touch with your feminine side will you change back to your regular self. You look ridiculous." Munkustrap said with even more contempt than before.
"I don't think that Corinne looks ridiculous. In fact she looks very nice and if I still went in for that kind of look I'd be jealous, " Phoenix said. "Besides, it's Corinne's choice as to whether or not she goes back to being Coricopat or not."
"I want to stay as Corinne. I feel more comfortable as Corinne than I ever did as Coricopat. And your opinion is not the one that matters to me, Munkustrap, Tantomile's is. If she has a problem with Corinne I will go back to being Coricopat, but only for that reason." Corinne looked at Tantomile with a question in her eyes.
Tantomile gave her twin a slight smile. "It will take me awhile to get used to having a twin sister instead of a twin brother, but if this is what makes you happy I will support you all the way." Corinne returned her sister's smile and gave her hand a squeeze.
Bombalurina, after seeing Tantomile's acceptance of her twin, had come to a decision. "I'd like to say something right now, " she said, "Since Tantomile is being so supportive of her bro, er, sister's more radical change. I've decided to support my sister in her change."
"Thank you, Bomba, that means a lot to me." Demeter went and gave her sister a hug.
"Bomba and Tanta may be accepting, but I'm not," Munkustrap said very angrily. "I will not stand here and let the male mystic twin look like a queen, the nicest sweetest kitten look like a freak, and my mate look like female version of Mistoffelees!"
"Excuse me! You won't let!" Demeter shouted in an angry voice. " Munkustrap, part of being Jellicles is accepting other's differences. If you can't handle that you shouldn't be the next Jellicle Leader.! If Cori wants to look like a queen, Phoenix wants to look like she does--which is not freakish--and I want to look like a female version of Mistoffelees it's our prerogative! And what's wrong with looking like Mistoffelees!"
"Nothing wrong with Mistoffelees looking like Mistoffelees. Only with my mate looking like him." Munkustrap said trying to be conciliatory.
"You obviously haven't listened to a word I said. And I'm not your mate! I will not be the mate of such a narrow-minded tom!" Demeter had never been more furious with anyone in her life. She was also very hurt by Munkustrap's attitude.
"I'm not narrow-minded! And I'm not sure if I want a mate who looks as strange as you do! I don't think that any tom would want to be a mate to you or Jemima, or whatever she wants to call herself. And I certainly don't think a queen would want a tom who could be mistaken for her sister!"
"Munkustrap, Demeter's right you are narrow-minded." Mistoffelees had always looked up to Munkustrap, and also been a bit jealous of him. It was a shock to discover that Munkustrap wasn't the cat that Misto had thought he was. It was also a shock to discover the reason behind his jealousy. "As for Demeter and Phoenix not attracted toms, I can assure you that you are wrong in one case. You may not be able to appreciate Demeter but I can. And it has nothing to do with the fact that she looks like me. I've always had a special feeling for Demeter, but because of you I have never admitted it to myself before. I don't have any hope that she could ever return my feelings, but I do want her to know that at least one tom appreciates her no matter how she looks."
The Jellicles had certainly had a lot of shocks today. They included Jemima, Demeter, and Cori's new looks--especially Cori's, Munku's attitude, his breakup with Demeter and now Misto admitting that he had feelings for Demeter. The last one had given Victoria the surprise of her life. She'd always thought that Misto was attracted to her. In her worst nightmares she never considered Misto being attracted to Demeter.
Demeter was also surprised, and secretly flattered. "Misto, I never imagined that you felt that way about me. But now that I know how you do feel about me I regret wasting my time on a tom like Munkustrap when I could have been with a tom like you. I hope it's not to late."
"No-no it's not to late." Misto blushed. Demeter gave him a kiss on the cheek and he blushed even more.
"What?! I-I don't believe it! Mistoffelees and Demeter!!" Munkustrap knew that his relationship with Demeter was over, but he didn't think she would move on so soon. And with Mistoffelees of all cats.
"Why not? He appreciates and respects her and you don't. So why shouldn't she move on." Admetus said. "And speaking of appreciating. I never thought much about Jemima. She was too sweet for my taste. I like queens with a strong tough personality and that certainly describes Phoenix."
"Admetus, like Demeter had no idea how Mistoffelees felt, I certainly never imagined that any tom, other than Rodcat and he's dating Patience, would like Phoenix better than Jemima. And I certainly had any thought about dating you as either Jemima or Phoenix. But if you really do like Phoenix I might consider dating you. As long as you promise not to get all sweet and mushy on me. I hate mush."
"Don't worry, Phoenix, I hate mush as well. So I guess that we're now dating."
"I guess so." Phoenix said giving Admetus an amused smile. "Well Admetus and Mistoffelees proved Munkustrap wrong about me and Demeter. I wonder if anyone will prove him wrong about Corinne."
"I doubt it. Phoenix and Demeter already have the most open-minded toms in the Junkyard. I will just have to carry on alone." Corinne sighed. She would have liked to have had a mate, but she knew that was now impossible. Ever since she said that she accepted Corinne, Tantomile had again been able to sense her twin's mind and she felt her sadness and resignation to being alone. She also felt that there was a specific tom that Corinne wanted as her mate, but she felt that since he had never seemed to like Coricopat, he would never accept Corinne. What neither of the twins, or any of the Jellicles, knew was that the reason the tom never treated Coricopat well was because he loved Coricopat and that love scared him. But he could no longer stand to see the sadness in either Coricopat or Corinne's eyes.
"Uhm, Corinne, you don't have to be alone. I-I want to be your mate, if you can accept me." This shocked the Jellicles more than anything that had gone on before.
Corinne was shocked; the tom of her dreams wanted to be her mate. "Bustopher, are you serious. I thought you hated me. When I was still Coricopat you always acted like you hated me."
"I never hated you. I loved you and it scared me. Please, can you forgive me for the way I treated you?"
"Of course. I've always loved you to." Corinne and Bustopher smiled at each other. Bustopher took both of Corinne's paws in his and they just stared in each other's eyes. The love that shown through their eyes touched most of the Jellicles, including some of those who at first couldn't accept Coricopat's change into Corinne. Tantomile was particularly touched because she could feel and see her twin's love for Bustopher. But one Jellicle was not touched.
"This is an abomination! It's unnatural! I will not allow two toms to become mates!" Munkustrap said angrily to his father.
"My son you cannot stop true love." Old Deuteronomy said. "And as Demeter said 'Part of being Jellicles is accepting others differences.' I agree with you that two toms being mates is unnatural, but it is their choice. I will still be Corinne and Bustopher's friend and I will support them in all that they do, as I would for any of the Jellicles. And, Munkustrap, if you cannot be supportive of the choices of your fellow Jellicles you will not be Jellicle Leader.
"But, but--" Munkustrap started to say.
"There is no but about it. The Jellicle Leader is supposed to be supportive and accepting of the choices of all the Jellicles as long as those choices do not cause anyone hurt. I do not feel that Corinne and Bustopher being mates will cause anyone hurt."
"I'm sorry, father, but I cannot accept what I feel is an abomination."
"Then it looks like I will have to find someone else to replace me as Jellicle Leader. But first I think I will offer my congratulations to the happy couple." With that Old Deuteronomy left Munkustrap and joined the rest of the Jellicles in congratulating Corinne and Bustopher for finding love.
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