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[personal profile] yukie
OH LOOK, FIC

Benighted+Kupopoverse sandwich of ALMIGHTY DOOM!
WARNINGS: Animal death CW, sad things, and catharsis for an author.

***

Vicky's bike was by the roadside when Perry and Nick pulled over. Gil was stood next to it (in his stupid red hoodie, Perry thought, though not nastily) and he handed Vicky's phone over to Nick as soon as Nick got within arm's reach.

"I don't want to break the screen again," he said, about as sheepish as a guy like him could ever be.

Nick chuckled. "Understandable. So--she's back in the woods there?"

"Yes. She said she didn't need company, necessarily, but I was suspicious of the veracity of the statement. I know she can't lie, but...she can speak and try to make herself believe what she says."

Perry quirked a brow. "You're speedier on the uptake than you first came off, Gigglemoose."

Gil quirked back. "I'm a man of many talents."

Nick swatted at both their arms. "Come on. Smarmbrow wars later."



***

Neither Gil nor Perry had ever seen Vicky WORKING-Working. They'd seen her working, but not capital-W eyes-aglow echoey-vocal eerie-as-heck-to-the-unsuspecting WORKING.

"Come and go with me, it's more fun to share--we'll both be completely at home in midair..."

She was now. She was sat on the ground by a big tree holding something in her arms. Her purple hoodie with the goofy little alien on the pocket was wrapped around it; her power was wrapped around the whole little clearing as she sang quietly.

"...We're flying, not walking, on featherless wings...we can hold onto love like invisible strings..."

The bundle in her arms stretched out a silvered paw and purred like Vicky's motorbike.

Nick understood; an old tomcat had asked her to help him on his way.

Perry held his breath, then thought better of that and let it out slowly.

Vicky stroked the cat's ears, scritched under his grizzled chin. "There's not a word yet for old friends who just met..."

She glanced back at the three of them and smiled--though the expression was as much eerie as reassuring what with the black sclerae and luminous mauve irises and the faint distortion around her that resulted from physical vision trying to compensate for mystical work.

"Part heaven, part space...or have I found my place?"

Gil, ever Gil-esque, approached and crouched next to her. He patted the cat's ears. Nick heard him murmur something in a long-lost language.

"You can just visit, but I plan to stay. I'm going to go back there someday," sang Vicky.

The purrs slowed, slowed, slowed...stuttered out to nothing.

Vicky shuddered and curled around the peaceful vessel in her arms. She sniffled, then sighed and set the still form--still wearing the hoodie--at the base of the tree, then grabbed her folding shovel.

Perry shook himself a bit and approached. "Hey, Greene. Want me to get the tea form the car? Nick stopped at Timmy's."

Vicky beamed. "Yeah. Thanks, Perry."

As Perry set off in a teawardly direction, Nick located a dandelion and set to unearthing it with his swiss army knife. "Sorry about happening? Gil texted us."

"I guessed," Vicky said, carefully working around a root.

"You're not mad?"

"No. I'm happy. I can do this alone, but it's still..."

She trailed off and bit her lip and took a few deep breaths, then tried again.

"It's hard. You know?"

Gil readjusted the hoodie and gave the feline vessel a soft pat. "It must be. ...However, even if it's your task, you don't have to endure it alone all the time. A calling doesn't necessarily demand solitude."

"I've scared people before. Like this." Vicky gestured at her face, at her still-luminous eyes.

Gil looked her over and then snorted. "They were cowards, then."

"Mooseface is correct," Perry said, returning. "You're not scary. That's not to say that you're a pushover? But scary y'all ain't."

Vicky chuckled. "Thanks, Perry. Double-thanks. For the tea and the reassurance."

Perry glanced around, found a rock. He patted down his pockets and found his grease pencil. "Does the old dignity there have a name?" he asked. "Or was he being ineffable a la poetry?"

Vicky set down her shovel and picked up the bundle and gave one last hug to the still form within.

"Ineffable," she said. "I think maybe 'THE Cat' will work."

Perry set to writing as Vicky and Nick and Gil laid THE Cat to rest. Sleeping wrapped in a violet hoodie, crowned with a dandelion, he'd go back to the earth.

Once it was done, Vicky let herself actually cry a bit.

Perry settled the stone by the dandelion and murmured what Latin he recalled from Jake's little everyday Jesus-hippie prayers whenever he passed a graveyard--soft reassurances to remind the gone that they weren't forgotten: "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis."

When he straightened, Gil was looking at him. Perry eyebrowed him; Gil, rather than eyebrowing back, gave a slow feline blink.

"Great," chuckled Perry. "Someone else made of cats. Oh well."

Nick patted Vicky's hair. "We'll get you a new Dosei-san badge and a new Mog one. Okay? And a new hoodie."

"Okay," Vicky hiccuped. She composed herself a bit better, then faced the little grave again. She picked up the shovel and held it out and arms' length, then she spoke two words in Hierachoral. The song of energy in the air, called by Vicky's song, made Nick's ears ring a bit.

The shovel took its rightful shape as her moon-spade; she tamped the blade on the earth, making the little bells on the other end ring.

THE Cat, free of physicality, uncurled from thin air and loped cheerfully from the earth above his body, weaving around Vicky's ankles.

"Mkngaowwrrr," he said.

"I wanted to make sure," Vicky replied.

THE Cat purred and rolled on her feet. He then spied Perry's untied shoelace and attacked it.

Perry spluttered. "Dude. Don't haunt my feet."

Gil gave THE Cat another pet--ignoring the ghostly nature of the feline, of course.

Nick offered a hand to sniff, got a phantasmal nuzzle.

"It's okay," Vicky said as THE Cat gave her a questioning chirrup. "It's okay. You can go now."

THE Cat gave her a farewell weave, and then loped into the woods, his moonlight-coloured form vanishing into the shadows of the trees.

Vicky closed her eyes, shivered a bit, opened her eyes--and when she did, the glowy was absent. Her sclerae were white again. Her pupils were huge, but it WAS dark out.

Nick said, "Want me to put your bike in the back of the pickup?"

"Yes, please. I don't know if I'm fit to drive, and Gil's driving is...fucking unique."

Gil sporfled. "Jump one curb and you never live it down."

"Not on my bike you don't, you nerd." Vicky finished most of her tea and poured the last of it at the base of the tree, a libation to THE Cat. "My house? I've got cookies, I'll feed everybody."

***

They all left together; THE Cat watched them from his quiet place amongst the trees, free from fear and pain, free from the ending of his prior life, light as feathers, luminous as the moon above.

No one but THE Cat heard the footsteps approaching from the dark of the wood; nobody but THE Cat heard the soft voice speaking: "You found someone good to send you along, didn't you?"

THE Cat leapt ecstatically into the open arms of the shadowed form, purred like an idling truck as long gentle fingers smoothed his fur.

"Someone good, with good friends. You understand, don't you? You understand...well...everything I'm anxious about and not discussing."

THE Cat stretched out a paw and placed it decisively on the nose of his friend. "Mrrnyak," he said.

"I figured you'd feel that way," said the deity with a chuckle. "You're probably right."

Date: 2016-05-02 06:19 am (UTC)
finch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] finch
So sweet and sad. <3

Date: 2016-05-02 04:35 pm (UTC)
novel_machinist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] novel_machinist
this was wonderfully sweet. I love how you can add bits of levity and some humor and still keep the soft tone. THE Cat is happier now.

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