Defender of the Child
by Mevima

//So there you are / Hiding just behind my eye//

A black paw ran briefly over a patterned reflection in a broken mirror. Staring at what seemed so distant and unfamiliar, the Tom moved forward until his nose was almost pressing into the mirrored image, attempting to read what was written in his own eyes.

The thoughts he saw, fleeting emotions going through his own mind, possibly imagined, more likely real, frightened him badly. Memouries of murder, violence, rage, with only a dash of compassion or hope mixed in anywhere. The only light in his memouries and mind was the love he felt, yet it was overshadowed by the taboo male relationship.

//Another scar / Breath of the death, you will never die / Fresh-drawn blood upon your cheek//

Biting his lip, he wasn't conscious of his claws digging into the pad of his tightly clenched left paw until he felt blood running in tiny rivulets and slicking through the fur of his arm. The Tom narrowed his eyes at the unintentional wound in disgust, before realizing that it got his mind off of some of the more stressful subjects filing through his thoughts.

Almost involuntarily, he brought his paw up to his nose and sniffed lightly at it. The metallic smell of fresh blood filled his senses, intoxicated him as it always did, only this time it was his own that caused the reaction. Grateful for the distraction, he raised his paw to smear the sticky liquid on his cheek, staining the pale red fur almost black.

//Confrontation's all you seek / Passion rampant, hatred wild / Defender of the child//

He didn't decide to do so, but rather, his subconscious decided for him; he brought the claws of his right paw to play a morbid "connect the dots" game with the dripping puncture wounds. The pain resultant hazed his mind.

"Dear Bast," the Tom's mouth murmured, for lack of a conscious mind to direct it. Lifeblood dripped softly down his arm as he held it slightly aloft. Ohh, Bast, I kill, I hate so much, what could I do to myself? I hate myself... would I kill myself?

Possibly... no, probably...

//Another friend / This means that the blood will fall//

The door behind him creaked open, and the wounded Tom heard the intake of breath before the cry of surprise. A tabby, silver colours dulled by the dim light, rounded into his vision, and hesitated before he took the bloodstained paw into his own.

Looking up at the new arrival, a wry grin graced his face before he whispered brokenly, "You don't love me, do you?"

"What?" Munkustrap's voice rang with shock. "Of... of course I do, Macavity..."

//Can it not end? / Why should I try having love at all?//

"No... you can't."

"What could make you think that?" The tabby busied himself with an attempt at cleaning the wound, in his feline way, but cringed at the bitter taste of his mate's blood.

Macavity left his paw loosely in the other's grasp, making no attempt to pull away, but not helping either. "Because... I don't love me... I.. I murder... how could you love a... a monster? A freak?" Tears began to form in his eyes, but he refused to let them fall.

//Sword is drawn, you take that stand / Soon you'll sever friendship's hand//

"Monster? ...freak?" Munkustrap echoed quietly. "Yes, I know you... take lives... but... no, never."

Grunting noncomittaly, the ruffled Tom pulled his paws out of the other's grasp, turning away.

Munkustrap frowned and made an attempt to retrieve Macavity's attention, which was rejected with a growl. "What are you doing?"

"Taking my burden from your control. I won't let you keep it."

"You're a real martyr, you know that?"

"No. I'm not."

//Add it to the bodies piled / Defender of the child//

The air crackled with silence and tension for a moment, before Munkustrap abruptly shoved the other feline away. "Fine, then," he accentuated, "If you insist on being so damn hard to talk to, I might as well leave you alone with your masochistic thoughts."

Macavity sat in silence, head bowed.

"What do you want me to do?" Munkustrap sighed.

Still, silence. The wild-furred Tom bit his lip.

"Dammit, answer!"

All the response he got was a slight tremble, barely noticeable. Munkustrap's paws clenched into tight fists, and he suddenly yelled in frustration, spun on his heel, and charged back out the door he'd entered from.

//Without you / Life would seem forever sweet / Without you / Twould be a merry dance//

Sitting alone in the dark, Macavity finally let his breath hitch, and tears trickle down his face, unbefitting of an evil overlord. I don't need him... his thoughts came at first, angrily. And he doesn't need me. He'd better not need me, or he's in serious trouble.

Yes, I'd be better off without him. He'd get in my way, and I'd just corrupt him. Badly. I couldn't stand to see that happen...

No, not because it's him! Because... umm... because... all right, so it is because it's him. Munkustrap. I admit I lo - I like the Tom. A lot. But that just makes it more important for me to stay away! I... I don't want to hurt him.

So I'll stay here, blee - He cut off the last word abruptly, took a shuddering breath and tried again. I'll stay here, out of his way and out of his life. It's better...

//Without you / I would trust each face I meet//

"Oh, Bast!" Macavity suddenly yelled aloud, slamming his injured paw into the aging hardwood floor, and subsequently wincing in pain. I CAN'T. I'm not strong enough to stay away. I'll hurt us both...



Why can't I stay away from that damnably handsome Tom?

//Without you / I'd never have a chance//

Not even a moment's worth of reflection quickly brought the lonesome feline to his answer. I love him.

//So stand by me / Fight the lonely when you must//

Macavity shook his head violently, then abruptly stood and fled out the doorway, left ajar when Munkustrap took off. The silver-striped Tom hadn't travelled far.

Creeping up behind Munkustrap, the Tom stopped and just watched for a minute. The silver tabby seemed immersed in thought, and when he turned his head, Macavity could see matted tracks in the fur of his face where tears had passed by. He bit his lip almost hard enough to draw blood, upset that he had caused such a reaction.

Munkustrap stiffened suddenly, as if sensing the other's presence, but didn't turn around.

//Love yet can be//

"Munkus?" he whispered, feeling for some obscure reason that if he spoke too loud, he would frighten the Tom away.

"What?" The response was hollow, and Macavity cringed inwardly.

"I... I wanted to..."

Munkustrap waited patiently for him to finish, mind in a whirl. He didn't know what he wanted the other to say, whether he wanted to be yelled at and never seen again, or cried with, to hear Macavity beg to have him back. So, he waited.

"Bast, you're not going to make this any easier," the ginger feline murmured under his breath. Aloud, he continued, "I'm... sorry, Munkustrap. I wasn't... wasn't acting right. Not like myself. I guess I was just in a mood." Damn, but the words seemed so inadequate!

//Pain will remain if we do not trust//

"Sorry..." Munkustrap repeated to himself, almost wonderingly. Now he turned, to gaze at Macavity's face. "In a mood? One hell of a mood, I must say..."

He's not accepting... the wild-furred Tom thought, panicking inside, but presenting a calm exterior. The blank expression he saw seemed to clench on his heart painfully.

//Join as one instead of two / If they love me then they love you//

"Munkustrap, I - I love you, nothing will change that. It was the hardest thing to push you away like that, and I shouldn't of, and I won't..." The words came out in a rush, emptying their presence from his soul, without any previous thought. "I don't know what possessed me, but Bast, I can't let you go... I know you accept me like I am, but... I just couldn't face myself for a moment. I'm sorry."

As the thread of words subsided, Macavity stood in an uncomfortable silence and Munkustrap chewed his little speech over. Suddenly, he smiled. "Forgiven."

Just like that? One little word and their conflict was over? Macavity shook his head, almost unable to accept it.

"You want more? Proof?" At the silent nod, the handsome tabby stood, swept forward, and pressed his mouth hard to the other's in a hard, yet loving kiss. His tongue probed lightly at Macavity's lips, and in relief, the other accepted, opening his mouth to accept the willing invasion. The world and it's problems melted around the two, and the nagging doubt that Macavity had felt evaporated like so much water.

//Wisdom strong and mercy mild / Defender of the child//

Eyes closed, the ginger barely noticed when the reassuring kiss ended.

//Defender of the child//

Munkustrap regarded him with something closing on a smile. The anger he'd shown previously had been momentary, and it had gone before he got five steps away from his lover. Reaching up with a paw, he caught the one tiny crystalline droplet where it hung, suspended for a second on the smooth surface of Macavity's jaw.

//Defender of the child//

Macavity slipped his eyes open to look at his lover, blinking once, twice, and then burying his face in Munkustrap's chest, lips moving silently, mouthing words that he had reserved and would always reserve for one being.

//Defender of the child//

"I love you."

//Defender of the child//

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