Face the Music
by Rheow

The sun rose as usual. It was well on its way up to its zenith over the junkyard, uncaring about the little drama that was going to be played out below.

A tall red shape slunk in through the junkyard gates with a kind of slink that managed to look apologetic and depressed at the same time.

The Jellicles lazing around the junk piles stared when he came in and accorded him the same treatment kitties on death row at the Pound got. (Read: Trying to look sympathetic and not get too close.)

"You're in for it this time," Pouncival whispered.

"I know, I know," the ginger tom muttered. "How bad was it?" he added after a self-pitying pause.

"Well, you kidnapped Old D . . ."

"I remember that much, yes--no hard feelings I hope?"

"He looks like he's willing to forgive and forget, but the rest of them . . ." Pouncival trailed off suggestively.


"Well *they* . . ."

Macavity was not in the mood for melodramatic italics and smacked the younger tom upside the head. "Bugger the melodramatic italics, just get on with it!"

"Ow--you didn't have to hit so hard--okay, okay," Pounce said hurriedly as Mac raised his paw again. "You thrashed Munku and 'Lonzo good, you tried to snatch Demi and got everyone scared stiff--'specially after Bomba and Demi sang that song."

"That song? Aw no . . ."

"Aw yes--that song," said Pouncival, who liked melodramatic italics and was not about to let a good running gag go without a fight. "Great timing Mac--didn't you remember that was what they were going to sing? You were suppose to come on, stage the mock fight-dance with Munku and bounce around a bit, but I think you carried it too far. You like that role way too much . . ."

"Heh--at least I still got it . . . The Napoleon of Crime--" His gloating was cut off by the appearance of a group of highly angry looking cats.

His sister was glaring at him. Everyone was glaring at him. Time to face the music . . .

"Mac, how could you?" Bombalurina asked, managing to convey scorn and a healthy dosage of "I'm-so-disappointed-with-you" all packaged into one line in the way that only a queen could. "I mean you even brought in the rats!"

"Mumblemumble . . . I like my rats . . . Sorry."

"And the kidnapping bit. We had to depend on Mistoffelees to get Old Deut back--the little brat'll be unbearable for weeks after all that 'oh well there never was a cat so clever' stuff that Tugger buttered him up with before he was willing to help," Munkustrap groused with a dark look at the resident stud tom, who had the grace to look embarrassed.

"Look, I had to lay it on thick--"

"Thick? You could drown in that much dairy produce," Alonzo said a scornfully. "And Mac, your claws were sharpened!"

"Sorry," he muttered. "Mumblemumble . . . Napoleons of Crime shouldn't have to say sorry . . ."

"I'll have scars," said Munksutrap, not all that unpleased because they would impress the queens at the right time. "Look, one right down this flank to my--"

"Two inches lower and a bit more to the right and it would've been--"

"Shut up, 'Lonz." Munkustrap gave the black and white tom a dirty look.

"Such a way to behave! What will the kittens think?" Jennyanydots accused.

"Mumblemumble . . . Sorry--won't happen again . . ."

Bombalurina was still going on. "I mean, I know you don't like them, but you do know how you get on the nights whenever we're having a Jellicle Ball!"

"Yeah, yeah--I know . . ."

"Since you know and we all know, then why did you forget your Prozac for Heaviside's sake?" she demanded, the emphasised words clear enough for anyone to see the italics.

"Mumblemumble . . . I forgot . . ."

"You forgot? Well the therapist said something about forgetting stuff whenever you get to that point of the mood cycle . . ." The red queen rounded on the rest of the junkyard--obviously looking for another scapegoat. "All right, whose turn was it to remind him of it this time?"

Everyone contrived to look as innocent as they could. That is, everyone looked as guilty as sin.

"Own up!"


"This is stupid," she muttered, "but we have to get this done the old way . . ."

"Ooo, fun," squealed Etcetera.

"Who-forgot-to-remind-Mac-about-his-Prozac?" the kittens chanted. "It-was . . ."

"Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer!"

"Uh-uh, not us!" the pair of cockney calico cats denied.


"Nuh-uh!" They shook their heads violently.


"Who-forgot-to-remind-Mac-about-his-Prozac?" the kittens chanted again. "It-was . . ."


"Heaviside! Not me!"


"The nerve!" Jelly looked quite put out--whether it was at being accused or the size of her role in this fic, we will never know.


"Who-forgot-to-remind-Mac-about-his-Prozac?" the kittens chanted again. "It was . . ."


A pause.


Tugger was trying to make himself disappear. But as he was not Mistoffelees and not cut out for fading away like Admetus or Exotica or any other cat who was so unnoticeable that they hardly likely to be appearing even in this fic, this was hard going.

"Tugger!" Bombalurina dragged him out by the ear. "It was your turn, wasn't it?"

"Mumblemumble . . . yes . . ."

"Ah-ha!" Bomba cried, pleased that they did not have to do that stupid chant again.

"No wonder he was so eager to help get Misto to get Old Deut back," Munkustrap surmised.

"Hey, I was busy that day," Tugger said, trying to worm his way out of this one.

"Busy my tail!" Jenny said. "You were probably practising . . . your dance."

"Yeah, so what? Everyone likes my dance!" Tugger said, without a single trace of shame whatsoever. The toms looked belligerent, but the queens tittered and giggled amongst themselves.

"Eeeeeeeeeee--" Etcetera started to squeal before the other kittens gagged her with her own tail.

"You've still got the bottle, I hope?" Bombalurina asked, ignoring the background chatter and choosing *not* to remember her own conduct the night before. Selective memory was a wonderful thing . . .

"Yeah," Tugger said and handed over the Prozac.

"At least you had the presence of mind not to lose it," Munkustrap said snidely.

"He didn't have the guts to give it to Mac though," Alonzo said, proving once again that toms were not below kicking one of their members when they were down.

"I wasn't going to feed it to him! I mean, you know how he gets whenever it's medicine time!" Tugger protested.

"Mood-altering drugs!" Mac yelled and had to be restrained by the GRC, Plato, George and Victor the moment he saw the bottle because they had nothing else to do and the author wanted them mentioned anyway.

"Like that." Tugger, his case made, folded his arms across his great studly ruff and looked so cool that butter would not have melted on his hot bod. After this gratuitous description thrown in solely to make friends of the author happy, the other cats tried to calm Macavity down.

"Okay, Mac--you don't like them, but your doctor said you should--"

"Got any 'nip?" Rumpleteazer suggested. "Ah spoonful o' catnip 'elps tha medicine go do-aawwn--"

"The medicine go dow-owwnn, the medicine go dow-oowwnn," everyone else sang along helpfully. Which is to say they made Macavity cringe at the sight of all his relations looking like a bunch of utter prats trying to be helpful by singing stuff out of Disney-fied musicals.

"Aw cripes, quit it with the singing already! I'll take my meds!" he yelled before they could form a chorus line and start the asinine choreographed dancing.

"Here you go, Mac."

"Mood-altering drugs . . ." Macavity muttered but he took the bottle.

The other cats, having only one or two lines in this whole fic to give the impression of a full junkyard, shrugged and went back to their daily business--i.e. sunbathing.

"There! All better now," said Bombalurina brightly and went back to her own sunbathing.

Another lengthy pause.

"Beautiful day, isn't it, Bomb," Mac said after a while.

"Yeah, Mac . . ." Bomba yawned.

"All that fresh air!" He took a deep breath and sneezed. "I mean dust--all that dust from the dusty streets--acchoooo!"

"Yeah, Mac--I get the picture already."

"Want to go out and play Bomb? Huh? Huh?" Yep the meds were kicking in all right.

"Go play with some flowers or something, Mac, I'm busy."

"Oooh flowers! Flowers are my friends!" said Macavity and he bounced off to play with the weeds in the junkyard.

The red queen watched as her brother romped around the daisies and marigolds growing by the fence. He was all right as brothers went . . . Jellicle moon-madness and other funny mood swings included.

Then along came Demeter and Bombalurina shuddered to think of the ordeal undertaken to get Demi to swallow her meds. Compared to her, Macavity was a pushover.

"La la la la la! Oh, what a beautiful day!"

"Hey Demi! You stomped my flowers! I'm going to tell Jenny on you!"

Maybe Demeter had not forgotten last night's episode entirely . . .



Another trip to the therapist for them then . . .

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