Puss in Boots part 5.
By Zoicyte aka Johnnyjosh
Couples; Yamcha/Vegeta, Korin/Puar (Don’t look at me like that! T_T read, you’ll see, no, there’s no beast. in it.
Warnings; Yaoi, lime, language, violence.
Notes; OOC, AU, TWT, general insanity. Yet another of JJ’s Fabulously Fractured Fairy Tales *LOL*.
Disclaimer; Don’t own DBZ or Puss in Boots, also some of this fic was inspired by Nora Roberts’ Tears of the moon, Jewels of the Sun and Heart of the Sea novels, which I also do not own.
Archive; geocities.com/johnnyjosh/index.html All others, ask first, and please, no MST’ing
Thanks to Anubiset for beta reading this for me.
*thoughts* , also used for Celera’s signing.
Korin stared at Vegeta intently. *I don’t know my friend, but I do know that until we get your Father and Bardok to admit how they feel, your father will not relent. Besides, until I get those two together, my job will not be even half finished,* the cat/wizard sighed. *This would have been so much easier if I had Puar’s power to talk...* He curled up tight against Vegeta’s chest, and closed his eyes, feeling the prince’s breathing become deep and even, signaling the troubled man had finally fallen asleep. *Don’t worry, my dear Prince. We’ll find a way out of this mess, I promise you.*
The next morning, Ox’s farm....
“Thanks, Fifi,” Yamcha mumbled, around a mouthful of eggs and bacon, as Ox’s wife set some warm, fresh, homemade bread in front of him. “This is great!”
Puar meowed from her perch on the counter, looking up intently at the meat set out there.
“Yes, yes, little kitty! I no forget about you!” Fifi crooned, setting some ham in front of her.
Puar purred, standing on her hind legs to rub her head against the woman’s ample chin.
Ox stomped down the stairs, dressed in his best clothes for the market. “Come on Yamcha, we gotta hurry!” He snatched up two pieces of bread and made his way out to the carts and wagons, to check that everything was ready to go.
Yamcha yawned and stood, stretching his arms over his head. “So, Fifi, is Chichi coming with us to market?”
“Wait for us!!” Thundering footsteps shook the kitchen as Chichi, and her cousin Bibi, raced down the stairs. Both girls stood in the doorway, panting slightly, as they fixed each other’s clothing and hairpins.
Yamcha shook his head. *If I didn’t know better, I’d swear those two were identical twins! The only things that separate them, are that Bibi is a bit taller, with dark blue eyes.*
“Thank you for letting me come to the market with you again this year, Aunt Fifi!” Bibi grinned and ran over, throwing her arms around her Aunt’s thick waist.
“Is no problem, darling, how does your mother expect you to find good husband out here, in the middle of nowhere? Both of you need to go to city every year, get exposure, catch a man’s eye!” Fifi clucked her tongue and fixed Bibi’s scarf, then Chici’s. “Now, let’s get going! The slavedriver,” she chuckled. “Wants to be on the outskirts of Oolong’s territory, before the sun has risen.” Everyone shivered slightly at the mention of the ogre.
Fifteen minutes later, all of them were settled, Ox taking one cart of goods, Yamcha and two farm hands taking the others. Fifi and the girls rode in the small covered wagon, that kept more valuable item,s like the furs they had for sale, and clothes made by the women. It also had the family’s clothes, and some sandwiches and water for the journey.
“So, we’re on our way, at last.” Puar said from her perch beside Yamcha.
“We sure are,” he smiled down at her. “So, Korin is in the city, with Prince Vegeta, right? We’re going to have to find a way to get in there, so you two can say hello.”
Puar suddenly developed a fascination with the bench she was sitting on, staring down at it intently. “Well...heh heh...that won’t really be necessary.”
“Huh? What do you mean, Puar?” Yamcha asked, brow furrowed.
“Uh...well, you see, master Yamcha...I, um...see...”
“Spit it out Puar, what have you been hiding from me now?” Yamcha asked, one eyebrow raised.
“Oh, alright. Ox has a friend at the palace, old Master Roshi, the King’s most trusted advisor. They’re old childhood friends,” she said, laying down and crossing her front paws. “That’s the reason Ox can leave the morning of the market opening, because every year Roshi keeps a good spot just for Ox.”
“I see, so, we’ll meet this Roshi, then?” Yamcha said, looking back at the road, thoughts racing, as he quickly formulated, then discarded several plans to get Puar into the castle.
“Oh, we’ll do more than that,” Puar smiled. “Ox and his family usually stay on the palace grounds, there’s several large houses built on the grounds, behind it. Usually, the best generals of the King’s army, as well as visiting family and friends use them. However, they’re all in use now, Bardock and his wife took over one, before she died, and now their sons are old enough that they needed homes of their own. So we’ll probably be staying in the lower levels of the castle itself, near Roshi’s quarters.”
“You’re kidding!” He exclaimed. “You mean,” he paused, eyes wide. “We’ll actually get to be inside the royal palace? Why, we might meet the King and Prince themselves!”
“Oh, I’d imagine we will, Fifi is all excited about the trip, apparently she and Queen Celera have discussed gardening and sewing tricks during previous stays,” Puar chuckled. *This is turning out to be a lot easier than I thought! Now I can see Korin, and make sure Vegeta and Yamcha meet. I don’t know why, but I’ve got a strange feeling about those two. I hope I’m right,* she thought.
“Okay now, here we are.” Ox pulled his wagon over and jumped down, halting the rest of them. “This is the border of Oolong’s territory. We have to be careful from here on in,” he pulled out a map. “We can’t all go together, or the ogre might get wind of strangers hauling goods for the market through his land. He would most likely steal our goods, and take a good many of us, if not all of us, as prisoners and slaves. So Fifi, the girls and I will go this way, which will take us right along the eastern border,” he traced a blue line on the map. “That leaves two other routes, one which takes you along the western border, and the straight route right through.”
Puar nudged Yamcha, from her perch on his shoulder. “Offer to take the covered wagon and go straight through, master Yamcha,” she whispered.
Yamcha gasped softly, staring at her for a moment, before doing as she said. “Ox, why don’t you, Herve, and Dom take the carts, and go around the borders. Puar and I will take the covered wagon and ride through alone.”
Everyone protested, Fifi coming up and fussing over him like a mother hen.
“Please, if anything happens, a poor young man and his cat would blend in better than the rest of you, and if worst comes to worst, I can always cut away the wagon, and make a run for it with the horses,” Yamcha said, scratching Puar’s ears. “I hope you know what you’re doing,” he whispered to her.
“Trust me!” Puar stretched, opening her jaws wide to yawn.
Ox stared at him intently for a long time. Finally, he nodded, clapping a hand on his shoulder. “You have a point, my brave young friend. Very well, but be careful!”
“I will Ox.” Yamcha nodded, then squeaked as the huge man swept him up in a bear hug.
They parted company a half hour later, after eating a quick lunch, and Fifi giving Yamcha a tearful hug, saying she thought of him as a son already, so he’d better take good care of himself. Chichi and Bibi each kissed him on the cheek, amid much giggling, and Herve and Dom each clapped a hand on his shoulder, wishing him luck, before Ox snuck up and grabbed him in one more bone-crushing hug.
“Don’t worry, we’ll be fine.” Yamcha chuckled, rubbing his ribs. “We’ll meet up with you here,” he pointed to the rendevous point on his own map. “Now, we’d best get started,” he said, cradling Puar in one arm as he hopped up onto the wagon.
“Right! Come on honey,” Ox said, helping his wife into the driver’s seat of her cart, then helping the girls climb into the back. “You be careful honey, and stay behind me, no racing this year, alright?” He asked, as Dom and Herve sweatdropped.
“Yes, yes, fine, no race this year, spoilsport!” Fifi pouted.
Yamcha chuckled, as he steered the horses down the middle road, waving to the others. “Those two are great together,” he said, a wistful smile on his face.
“Hmm?” Puar sat, leaning against his side.
“Ox and Fifi. I wish...well, I hope I can find someone that’s right for me, the way they found each other,” he sighed.
Puar looked around, noticing that they were out of sight of the others. “I’ll be right back,” she said, slipping into the wagon. A few moments later, she emerged in the guise of the same teenage boy she’d been, when sneaking onto the ogre’s territory to rally support for the new Marquis. “I told you a hundred times already,” she ruffled his hair affectionately. “That’s what I’m here for. We’re going to get you hooked up by the end of this year if it kills me,” she mock frowned at him.
Yamcha laughed. “I’d like that Puar, because you know what?” He asked, draping an arm around her shoulders. “I’d love to know what you really look like, seeing as you’re my best friend and all, and yet all I’ve seen of you is a cat, or this young man form of yours. And I’d like to meet this guy Korin you’re in love with, too.”
“You will, Yamcha, you will,” she said, laying her head on his shoulder. “I’ve got a good feeling, that things are going to go our way very soon.”
They rode on, a comfortable silence falling between them, until they came within site of a small village.
“Hey, what’s this?” Yamcha asked, noticing several people standing along either side of the road up ahead.
Puar smiled and waved. “These are some of the people that tend Oolong’s holdings, not always willingly,” she sighed. “His powerful magic is enough of a threat to keep most of them working hard. These are the ones I came and told about you being the Marquis of Carab, so just play along,” she said before jumping down and running over to them.
An excited murmur passed through the crowd, as they pressed closer to the wagon.
“Oh great,” Yamcha muttered. “And just how the hell is a Marquis supposed to act, anyway?” He wondered, bringing the wagon to a stop and hopping down. “Uh...hi,” he said, waving and shuffling his feet a bit.
A large, burly man, with wild hair and a shaggy beard stepped forward. “This is the Marquis, the brave Marquis who will slay the Ogre and free us all?” He scoffed. “He’s merely a boy seeking a premature death, if he is foolish enough to go after Oolong.” Several murmurs of agreement were heard.
“I think he’s handsome,” said a young girl quietly, eliciting giggles from her friends, and chuckles from some of the older women.
“Here, here now, what’s all the fuss about?” Old man Carvere pushed his way through the crowd. “Oh, it’s you young man!” He gave Puar a nearly toothless grin. “Ahh,” he rested his weight on his staff as he noticed the horses and wagon. “So, you’ve finally brought the new Marquis for a visit then, have you? Well, let’s have a look at him!” His rheumy blue eyes widened as Yamcha stepped forward. “Why...It’s him...It’s really him!” He shouted, pointing his staff at Yamcha. “The Marquis has returned!” He limped off quickly, muttering under his breath. Everyone turned, whispering and looking back and forth between the old man, who had disappeared into his house, and Yamcha.
*Oh shit...what’s all this about now?* Yamcha thought frantically, ready to leap back onto the wagon and be off at a moment’s notice.
“Here it is, I knew I’d kept it hidden from that bastard Ogre!” Carvere cried, his profanity making the women giggle. He limped back over to them, almost dropping his staff in his haste. “My grandmother did this when I was just a small boy,” he said quietly, handing an old piece of parchment to one of the men. “It’s a drawing of the Marquis. My grandmother was well known ‘round these parts, for her art,” he walked over and stood directly in front of Yamcha. “She kept this long after the original Marquis was killed by Oolong, and he went through the castle destroying every picture and reminder of him and his family. She said somebody had to remember what he looked like, so we’d recognize him when he came back.”
The man holding the parchment gasped softly, eyes almost impossibly wide as he looked from the sketch to Yamcha and back again. “I...he’s right,” he whispered, passing the sketch on. Murmurs of shock and disbelief rose from the crowd as the sketch made it’s way through to them.
“Hey...come on now, what’s this all about?” Yamcha asked, his brow furrowed. He walked over to an elderly lady and held out his hand for the sketch. “Can I see it, please?” His eyes widened, as she sank painfully to her knees in front of him, head bowed as she held it up to him. “What the...no, no, get up, please...” Yamcha reached down and helped her back up. “There’s no need for you to kneel.”
“Tis true then, you’ve returned to defeat Oolong and free us,” the old woman smiled at him, a shaky, gnarled hand cupping his cheek. “There were some of us who thought you were just pretending, that you knew the story and wanted the castle and the land for yourself. But that didn’t really matter, because we thought no one could be as cruel as Oolong. We all agreed that anything would be better than living under his tyranny,” she said softly. “But now we all know, it’s really you.”
Yamcha swallowed hard. *But, I am just pretending. I’m no Marquis,* he thought to himself, holding up the sketch and glancing at it. “Oh..my...God,” he whispered, face deathly white. “Puar!”
She turned, at Yamcha’s alarmed cry, and ran to his side. “What’s wrong?” She gripped his arm as he swayed slightly on his feet, shoving the paper at her. “What’s this? I...Oh...Oh my,” she breathed, hand flying up to cover her mouth. “Master Yamcha...it’s you!” Puar said, holding the sketch up beside his face. “This is perfect,” she whispered to him. “This sketch of the Marquis looks just like you!” She gave him a wide grin. “Except for that rakish grin, and those scars, I’d swear this was you.”
“I need to have a word with my friend,” Yamcha said quietly, leading her around the back of the wagon. “Puar, what the hell is going on?” He hissed. “How can that sketch possibly be the Marquis? What have you really been hiding all this time?” He folded his arms, and scowled blackly at her.
“What? I haven’t been hiding anything, I swear!” She gaped at him, wide-eyed. “That’s the first time I’ve seen that sketch too!” She smirked, and stroked her chin. “Mind you, it does make things fall into place nicely, doesn’t it? It also explains a couple of things about your grandfather too.”
“What do you mean?” Yamcha asked, frowning. “Explains what?”
Puar chuckled and hopped up to sit on the back of the wagon. “As I told you before, when I found your grandfather, he was alone, penniless, living off the land. He had nothing, merely moved around, taking work on the various farms, when work was available. He wasn’t very happy,” she sighed, remembering.
\\97 years ago...
“Stupid cat body!” Puar hissed angrily. “How in the world and I supposed to find three people to help, out here in the middle of nowhere, as a cat? Who is going to take me seriously?!” She spat. Her ears twitched as the sound of footsteps came from around the bend in the road, along with the sound of a low, angry voice. “Uh oh...” Puar crept off the road, concealing herself in the long grass.
Yamato grumbled angrily as he stalked away from the farm. “Stupid people...” He spat. “I’ll make sure to tell the other migrant workers I know that those ones don’t like to pay for a full day’s work, why, I’ll make sure they get no more men coming to their farm at all!” The young man scowled, counting the few meager coins he’d been given for his week’s work. “I wish I didn’t have to put up with these idiots anymore,” he growled, kicking at a rock, sending it flying into the long grass at the side of the road. He jumped and cried out as a bloodcurdling shriek came from the grass in front of him.
“YOU IDIOT!!” A small, bluish grey cat leapt from the brush, one paw over her bleeding face as she hopped about on three feet. “WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?!! HOW DARE YOU! LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO MY FACE!!!” She shouted, then froze, wide blue eyes slowly rising to look into his. “Oooops,.”sShe said quietly.
Yamato’s legs gave way, and he hit the ground hard on his butt. “You...you’re a...a...talking cat?” He whispered. “What...what kind of sorcery is this?!” He cried, leaping to his feet and backing away from her. “You must be a demon of some kind!” He growled, scooping up another rock.
Puar shrank away from him. “Now, there’s no need to get violent...I’m not a demon, and though there is some sorcery involved in my being able to talk, I’m not in league with the ogre that helped make me this way, so just put down that rock!”
Yamato paused. “The ogre, Oolong, made you like this?” He knelt in front of her, setting the rock down, but keeping it within easy reach.
“That’s right. I was human once, like you. Three years ago, I refused to marry Oolong, I was in love with a wizard. Oolong decided to curse my love and I, imprisoning our spirits within precious jewels,” she sighed. “My family found us, and managed to give us these forms.”
“Both of you are cats?” Yamato asked incredulously. “Two talking cats...incredible!” He looked around. “But, where is your love now? Why is he not with you?”
Puar sat next to him and explained her and Korin’s curse, and the task they must fulfil.
“So, as soon as you help three people fall in love and find happiness, the curse will be lifted.” Yamato tilted his head thoughtfully. “I...would be grateful for your help,” he said quietly. “We can help each other. I can find happiness, and you and your love will be one step closer to lifting your curs,.”he scowled. “And perhaps someday we can all repay Oolong for his treachery and cruelty.”
“I’d be glad to help you.” Puar gave him a smile, which looked incredibly odd on a cat’s face. “Where do we start?”
“Well, the sooner I can stop dealing with people like them, the better,” he jerked a thumb back over his shoulder.
“Then lets get started helping you find good fortune in money and love!” The cat said
Yamato smiled and nodded. “Indeed.”
“If you don’t mind my asking Yamato, where are you from? Where is your family?” Puar asked.
“I do mind Puar, my family is gone. All gone,” he said bitterly. “Perhaps I’ll tell you about it someday, but not now.” Yamato shook his head. “My father died with the tragedy that befell our family still an open wound inside him. All his life, he could never get over it, it’s all I heard about, day in, day out,” he stroked Puar’s back absently as she climbed into his lap, setting her head on his shoulder. “I’m...not ready to talk about it just yet.” He said quietly. //
Yamcha stared into space, eyes wide. “So, then,” he shivered slightly. “My grandfather...”
“Was probably the grandchild of the Marquis of Carab.” Puar finished. “Your great grandfather was probably the son that some said got away, after witnessing his parents and siblings murders,” she shuddered. “You are more than likely that long awaited descendant, finally returned to set things right.”
“Oh, Puar, you make it sound so,” Yamcha said, a slight, wistful smile on his face.
“Fantastical, romantic?” Puar grinned.
“Well, it’s all like some grand fairy tale,” Yamcha ruffled her hair. “The poor miller’s boy turns out to be a Marquis, who would have thought?” He chuckled.
“These people thought. They’ve been waiting for you for a long time,” she said softly.
“I know,” Yamcha sighed. “I have to do this, I have to defeat Oolong, somehow.”
“Don’t worry, Master Yamcha. Korin and I will be with you every step of the way,” Puar hugged him tightly.
Yamcha draped his arms around her shoulders. “And stop calling me Master, just Yamcha will do fine, Puar.”
“No, you are the Marquis, and I am your...um...” Puar scratched her head.
“You’re my friend, so you don’t have to call me that.”
Puar laughed. “Alright, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll drop the Master when we’re out of here, okay?” She giggled as Yamcha nodded and mussed her hair again. “Now, we’d best finish with the introductions, and get back on the road before Ox decides to come charging to the rescue.”
“Oh, yeah!” Yamcha cried. “You’re right, come on let’s go!” He grabbed her hand and dragged her back over to the crowd.
To Be Continued…
WOW! Can you believe this little twist of fate?! Who’d have thought indeed?
Lemme know how you like, C&C always appreciated.