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STAG
A one-shot by Storm
For Dark's contest

Stag

His name was Stag.

A pale brown tom with green eyes, Stag was a rogue.

Until Basil.

Basil was beautiful - a golden she-cat with dark holly green eyes. Stag could also see more in her.

But he couldn't bring himself to tell her that he liked her.

She liked someone else - a tortoiseshell tom with amazingly handsome features - even Stag had to admit that he had beauty.

But he hated that tom. Basil didn't deserve a tom like that...even if he was pretty.

One night, he couldn't stop thinking about her. She captured his heart. Did she even know he existed? Probably not.

He slunk through the lichen, his eyes on the ground. He was heading towards his favorite spot - an open field that ended in a lookout.

Sliding out, he watched the fireflies emerge as he padded through the grass. The full moon shone down on his fur, turning it white. It was a clear night, and he loved nights like this. It brought him inspiration.

But it also reminded him of his singing.

On nights like this, where he would sit and watch, lonliness would crawl into his stomach, and he'd start singing.

At first, it was a strange thing to him. What kind of cat sung? Certainly nobody he knew.

But it grew onto him, and he grew to like his singing. The tune seemed to come right to him, the notes and rhythm curling into music...It warmed his heart and thawed his jealousy.

He wasn't sure who else knew of his strange habit, but he didn't care when he was doing it. He would be in the moment before any of his feelings and doubts took over.

Afterward, he'd fear if anyone heard, and if he did, did they think it was bad? Weird? Something he shouldn't do? Make him an introvert? Yeah, maybe it did make him an introvert, but all that mattered to him that night was singing about Basil.

In, out. He worked to calm himself down. Singing still made him very nervous, even if he'd done it so many times before. In, out...

Memories worked to influence his song, and he began.

"When I saw you that dreamy day.."

The first time he saw her, she had been upset. Something had driven her to anger, but he was too afraid to ask. One thing he knew not to do? Never ask her anything when she was angry. He learned that the hard way.

She'd snapped at him. Her words jolted back to him. "Leave me alone, don't even talk to me. Leave, please, before you get hurt by me."

He paused and thought about her words. What did she mean, get hurt by her? Would she have insulted him? Strike out? He didn't understand.

"You were a beautiful sight.."

He continued his song, leaving his unwelcome thoughts behind.

It was her appearance that came next. Her golden fur like a field of wheat in the warm summer sun. Her eyes, a dark magnolia green. He loved that warm fur and her eyes burned into his.

"All the stars were around me.."

He was dizzy as he watched her. It had felt like someone had hit him with a rock, the dizziness in his stomach.

Somethig about her burned a mark into his heart. Was it her appearance? Or how she acted? He wasn't sure.

"When your eyes locked with mine."

Her eyes appeared into his view again. The green staring into his own green orbs. Leaf green meeting magnolia green. "Oh, Basil," he whispered in a speaking voice.

"I kept on watching you, I just kept on wondering.."

She wouldn't leave his mind. Everything he'd seen...oh, it felt so good to watch her hunt. She seemed to do it in her own unique way.

He felt a chorus tugging at his throat, and quickly sung the last line of the verse.

"If you loved me like I like you."

He gained confidence and went to enjoy the moment.

"Oh, Basil, Basil, follow the moon."

"It'll lead you to me."

"He doesn't deserve you,"

"Not after all I've done,"

"We can be lovers if you try it and see,"

"Oh Basil, come love with me."

He felt amazing after the verse, blinking up at the full moon in front of him. He whisked his tail on the ground, flicking it back and forth, yellow lights surrounding him. Fireflies!

For a moment, he danced around, humming a tune. He pounced at the fireflies and let them surround him. "Basil, oh Basil." He thought of her. Her appearance. Her personality. He loved her.

"Stag?"

Heat rushed into his face and he spun around. "Basil!"

Oh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh...

She stood in front of him, elegant, graceful, powerful. She was everything to him, and yet, he couldn't get himself to go to her.

He didn't notice that she approached him and her tail brushed his flank.

"There was an issue with Somber." Her words didn't comfort him, but it made him feel open.

"That was his name?"

"Yes, but what he didn't realize..." She trailed off and pressed into his side. It wasn't like it made him feel weird - in fact, it made him feel comfortable. But what he realized was that she was, in fact, carrying kits.

"They will have no father," he gasped.

"Yes, but they'll have you."

Shock struck him. "W-What?"

She lowered herself onto the ground. "I want you to take Somber's place."

What was going on? Why did she..? How did he intend to be a father? "Why do you want me?"

"Because you're very talented and I want you to spread the message that our kits can do anything they wish." She stared at him with her dark green gaze. "Come on. I know you like me."

He did love her, whoelse would it be? "Yeah...Yeah, I do." He walked over to her in silence. "I-I'll try to be the best father possible."

She rested her head on his shoulder, her enlarged stomach brushing his flank. "Good, because I've been looking for someone for an uncertain amount of days, specifically you."

"How long until the kits are due?"

"Not very long now." Her voice was tired and her tail searched for his. "Soon, I hope, they're quite painful."

At this, she winced and panic flooded through him. "B-Basil?"

"I'm fine..." She didn't look fine!

"Sing me that song, Stag. Do it, please." Her pained eyes turned towards him. "For the kits."

"For our kits..." He heard her groan.

"Please, Stag!"

"A-Alright..." Goodness! So much in just the last few minutes! He took a deep breath and remembered her words.

For the kits.

"Success starts with the first breath,"

"A newborn with spirit,"

"Take your ears and listen,"

"For there's a success story.."

He couldn't go back to his other song now. He had one he was doing, and she needed his words. He heard her screaming and nearly turned to see his adoptive kits - but he couldn't, not now, not while she was kitting and he had his job to do.

"Spread your wings and fly up high,"

"The sky's your wildest dreams..."

"Fly on up to your own success,"

"And don't look back..."

Stag, Stag, don't fail, Stag..

"Basil, my love." He glanced back at her, her beauty stealing his gaze for a moment before he shut his eyes and stared at the full moon.

Wait...

"That's it!" he yelped. "C'mon Basil, be safe, be okay, I'll sing this for you!"

"Basil, my love, follow the moon.."

"It'll lead you right to me,"

"You took the risk, you tried it to see,"

"And you learned that you loved me."

She sighed in relief behind him, and he spun around to look at her

Oh my goodness...They're beautiful..

Three kits lay beside her, her eyes keeping careful watch over them. "Stag," she breathed. "You..You'll make a difference, Stag."

She flicked her tail for him to sit beside her, and he did it without hesitation. Finally, he was able to see his kits. One, a sunset-orange tom. The second, a dark brown tabby she-cat. The third...a jet black she-cat.

"What should we name them, dear?" She glanced over her shoulder at him. "I'll let you name them."

"I want to name our little son Sunset." He watched his son crawl about. "The other two...I'd like the tabby to be called Falcon."

"What about this one?" She poked the black she-kit. "How about Tsuki?"

"Tsuki?" The name was a beauty to him, but he didn't know what it meant. "Human speak?"

"In one of their 'languages', it's Moon." She ran her tail down his flank. "But I like it. She was born under a full moon."

"She - She was." He loved his daughters' names, he loved his son, he loved Basil.

Nothing would ever stop his kits from being who they wished. Nothing would stop them from pursuing their talents.

"My kits...Enjoy the songs that I sing, the life of which we live, the nature and beauty of the world, enjoy these things, and follow your dreams."

His name was Stag.

And he was complete.

Author's Note

Woohoo, it's done!

Stag has grown onto me, and he truly is a wonder! It's not often you come across a singing cat.

Thanks for all the love and support for the story, it's been very helpful! You guys are amazing and have been extremely helpful in motivation.

Until next time,

-- "You made me a promise. Why couldn't I keep it?"

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