a one-shot sequel to king
(it is advised that you read King in full before reading this as to not get the wrong impression)
It was the day he left everything he'd ever known... only to be free.
So yeah, maybe he did crush on Luna. Maybe he did love her. But she had her own - Stranger, Arcturus, whatever other names she went by. Angelus couldn't but feel a lump in his throat - it wasn't his fault they left, but... he missed Luna.
I can't feel sorry for myself though. It was because I loved her that I left. It was because I loved someone, and that someone wasn't Ash.
He'd been running for a fair bit now. Luna and Stranger were gone - off to do whatever was going on with them. Not his business, and that was okay.
I hope they're okay. Luna doesn't really deserve that.
So what about... my family? I know about hers now. And I know that who I thought of as my father was actually just some pawn in a game. And that I'm not related to him or Tipo or anyone in the line.
Who are they? Will I find them out here? I can't remember... did Fratz mention if my mother was still alive? And my true father... who was he? Where did he go? Did he abandon my mother?
All the questions in his mind made him walk directly into a tree with a bang and painfully sharp pangs in his head. He heard something beyond the ringing of his ears - a rustle of nearby leaves.
He regained his senses within a moment, and focused on the rustling. From what he could tell, it was a mouse - at the thought of it, his stomach roared. The brown head poked briefly before the leaves ahead rustled aggressively. Shoot.
"Well, darn." There was someone talking nearby. "There goes that mouse. Who chased it off?"
With a gasp swallowed, he pressed himself against the ground. "Who's there?"
The shifting and shivering of nearby leaves caught on his ears. "Seriously. This isn't funny, show yourself."
A nervous gulp from his throat blew his cover, and he spotted who was talking - a tortoiseshell she-cat with green eyes. The brown parts of her fur were like his, chocolate brown and speckled with orange. The orange... it seemed familiar, but not entirely familiar.
"So. Some random tom is the one I find." She sounded older, and seemed to move a bit more slowly. "You look surprisingly similar to someone I left long ago."
"My name's Angelus, y'know. You can always call me that," he replied, reflecting her cool tone. "Not like you've ever seen me though."
"Your name rings a bell," she muttered darkly. "I haven't heard your name in years. Angelus, you said?"
He nodded, and she scoffed after a moment. "I remember now. Tipo and Fratz would always be on the edge of the territory. The edge of the badlands." She was sniffing for another mouse, but still talking to him. "Tipo and I were friends, y'know. We met one day out here, and when she heard of the flightless and the fliers, she was completely entranced."
She pause and flicked her tail at a tree. "There's a mouse near there. Find it, and I'll tell you more about your family, Angelus."
She - what? How does she know of my family? How does she even know it's mine?! Luna wouldn't ever ask about my family... did she see me as a friend? Or, like me, more than that?
He caught the mouse within a moment. She was still walking. "Here. Now tell me your name, please."
She blinked at him calmly. "They called me Sailor. I don't know why I was called Sailor. It's what I remember. It might be some variation of Savior? I don't know. I remember being called Sailor." She shook her head. "That doesn't matter, though. I can see that figuring this out means a lot to you - your eyes have the same determined glint as your father."
She knows my father! "How do you know them?"
At this, her eyes went dark and stormed. "Your father..." Her voice faltered, stalled, and she stammered before answering. "He - he was a, um, friend of mine." She looked distressed. "Well... not really a friend. More than that. I know your father because I bore his children. Well, one litter anyway." At this, all of her anxiety seemed to fade and was replaced with a snarky tone. "Such a player."
Wait - what? This was who Fratz mentioned... that my mother was a friend of Tipo's. And clearly, her and Tipo were friends. "What happened to him - your mate, my father?"
She sighed. "Left after you were born. Looked at Tipo a lot, would've probably made her carry another litter if she hadn't died." She blinked away from him and stared off. "I had another litter. Four little ones. None of them lived past their first moon, as I had given birth during the winter."
So I was going to have siblings. Or I did, and I don't know who they were. "Did I have any siblings?"
"Yeah, a little orange tom. Fratz took him early. Looked almost like a fox, the poor kit. Named him Pax before he took him." She stared him in the eye for a moment. "You're not looking so great, Angelus. Do you know something about Pax?"
He did, yes, yes, he did, he felt it in his bones, the shock and adrenaline racing through him. That's why he was able to love... He came from the outside, like me, like Ash, like Luna, like Stranger. Outsiders loved. That was why we were the lovers.
Ash is the only one left. By now, she's probably given birth.
Oh Ash, I'm so sorry.
"I do know something about Pax," he muttered. "Someone - she was actually called Stranger - killed him. She left before I could find her and hunt for her." Her eyes widened and he heard her voice shiver. "She killed my brother. I never knew that until now."
But she's with Luna. And Luna... oh she was heavier alright. "And I might be a father soon. I don't know. I loved someone in the fliers. I loved Fratz's daughter. Luna."
She twitched her ears and looked as though she was struggling to keep herself together. "My son died. My other son... here, and acting just like his father." She looked like she'd be crying, if she could. "I can't believe you'd replicate your father. Pax didn't deserve to die. Everything you've told me so far could've been prevented."
"I'm so sorry, Mother-"
"Pax was here! He grew up with you. You grew up with him." She sighed. "I knew Tipo's decision wasn't going to turn out well. As soon as I heard she died... everything went off the chart. Her daughter was taken. You're like your father, Angelus. You fathered a litter and then leave her alone! She-cats don't like you if you do that."
He decided, rather quickly, during his stunned silence, that he needed to go.
He spun on his haunches and took off in a rush. He could hear her screaming in the background - "Come back here, you little-"
...Eventually, there was no noise. Nothing.
I'm free again. Free from anything.
I want to raise a litter. Like I would've with Luna.
Nobody will ever love me for my sins.
But Luna loves Stranger even with her sins.
I can be loved again.
A few moons later...
He'd never felt so ashamed. He'd found a she-cat he liked... and there she was with kits. Just a moon old when he came. Not old enough.
She had told him about a week before their three-moon passage that she had felt bad for something. "Angelus. I'm... I think I'm pregnant again, Angelus."
That'd been a few weeks ago. And now she was heavily pregnant, all while her first litter was still there with her. They were four moons now, which meant...
He'd been sitting there, feeling ashamed, and she'd been there next to him. "Hey, Angelus." He glanced in her direction. "Thank you for staying here, Angelus. I can't really believe this happened." She pressed against his side. "They'll come in a few days. The poor babes will come in with a different father than those who live."
"These guys will be five moons in a few days, right?" He watched her kits from a distance. "That means..."
"Yes, they'll be born soon." The only tomkit - they'd named him Willie - approached her slowly.
"When will I see my siblings, Mother?" He almost prodded her, but Angelus flicked his tail and smacked him with it.
I'm a proper father. I will never leave a she-cat again.
She's going to be bearing the kits that I never saw from Luna's litter. He glanced at his adopted son. I think that's pretty great, actually.
I will never see her again. But I have a bigger problem to deal with: being a father to these kits. All of them. Whether it be two more or five more, I have to be a father.
I am not like my father. I am not like Stranger. I am not like my mother. I am like Angelus. I'm like me.
Looking at it now... it feels pretty great to be me.