“It’s been a long time since I’ve loved someone, but I know what it feels like. When you turn from me, it hurts. When you think badly of me, I think badly of myself. When you do stupid, suicidal things, I want to slap you upside the head and demand to know how you can be so brilliant and so blind at the same time.” Tybalt’s expression was calm. “If that’s not love, what is it?”
“Why are you telling me this?” I whispered.
“Because we’re probably going to die today.” He waved his free hand toward the street. “I’ve always tried not to lie to you; I’ve seen how you react when others do. Dying without telling you how I felt would be lying. I’ve been patient. I’ve given you time to recognize my feelings, and I’ve seen you choose a man who loved the girl you were, not the woman you are. Now he’s gone, and I can’t be patient anymore. I love you, October. I’ll be sorry if we die here, but I won’t be sorry I helped you… and I won’t be sorry I finally told you.”
“Cats never regret anything,” he said, and he turned and kissed me.”
“Tybalt’s what we call ‘Cait Sidhe’— the fairy cats. Which explains the attitude. And the eyes.”
“Meow,” said Tybalt, deadpan.”
“Do you know how long I’ve been telling myself you hated me? Or how hard it’s been to keep believing it? You’d do things, these amazing, insane things, like stealing me back from Blind Michael or breaking me out of jail, and I’d say, ‘Oh, he just wants to pay his debts,’ or, ‘Oh, who knows what a cat is thinking?’” My voice broke a little on the last word. Dammit.
Tybalt’s eyes widened, hope kindling in their depths. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying— oak and ash, Tybalt, I’m saying I’m in love with you, I’ve been in love with you for a while, and the only way I was dealing with it was by not dealing with it, ever.” I shook my head. “I knew I’d never have you, so I told myself I didn’t want you, and if you don’t really want me, if you want some idea of me, or just want to chase and not catch, I’ll understand, but this has been a hard week, Tybalt, this has been such a hard week. I’ve been waiting for you to come here, because I need you to tell me. Okay? Just tell me what you want.”
“Oh, October. Toby. My Toby.” He pulled one hand from mine, reaching up to tuck my hair behind my ear. His fingers were shaking. That was what I focused on, more than anything else. His fingers were shaking. “Do you think I’m cruel enough to do that to you?”
I sniffled. “No,” I admitted.
“Thank Oberon,” he said, and pulled me close, and kissed me.”
“He's going to be okay," said Quentin. "He has to. He's Tybalt. You'd be all weird and irritating if he wasn't around."
"Weird and irritating?" I raised an eyebrow. "What gives you that idea?"
Quentin shrugged. "That's already how you get when he isn't around.”
“No walking! No standing, no bending, no moving, no accessing the Shadow Roads, nothing. You don't swim for an hour after eating, you don't swan around like an idiot for an hour after narrowly avoiding death.'
'Toby does,' said Quentin.
'Toby is genetically predisposed to swan around like an idiot,' Jin shot back. 'Now sit.”
“You died here," I said quietly.
"I wasn't here, and the girl I'm supposed to be finding was, and you died ." I looked up at him, glaring through the tears in my eyes. I left my fingers balanced on the floor, letting his blood sing its song of pain and longing. Longing to live; refusal to let go of the world. Maybe that's what differentiates the Kings and Queens of Cats from the rest of Faerie. They have a cat's stubbornness and the power to back it up. So when death says, "Go," they just refuse.
My heart hurt. My heart hurt so badly, and I was still trying to recover from Connor, and oh, Titania, I couldn't do this again. The thought startled me. I froze where I was, still glaring.
Tybalt sighed. "I know." he hesitated before adding, "This is not the time, and this is not the place, and my nephew needs us. But I ask you to consider this. I got better. I will always get better." He hesitated again - possibly the first time I'd ever seen him pause more than once after he'd decided he was going to say something.
Finally, he said, "Some of us, October, will not leave you.”
“April frowned, irritation evident.
“I did not consent to your presence,” she said peevishly. “Please depart, and attempt your political assassination on someone else’s property.”
“It’s lovely,” I said, taking an involuntary half step back. “Really, though. I don’t like to handle other people’s cookware.”
“That’s the best you can manage? That’s your bright, bold lie?”
“Look, lady, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had somebody corner me on a dark street and try to hand me a frying pan before,” I snapped.”
“He sounded so tired and so earnest. I worried my lips between my teeth before asking, "Does this have anything to do with what you told me before?"
Tybalt blinked. Then he snorted a brief laugh, and asked, "October, in the years since your return ... has anything not been in some way related to what I told you before? You handed me a hope chest in a dark alley. You took my heart as collateral, and you've never returned it.”
“It’s not that Etienne dislikes Tybalt. Etienne just dislikes chaos, and Tybalt causes almost as much commotion as I do. Sometimes more, when he really sets his mind to it, although my chaos is a little more destructive, if I do say so myself.”
“I would love a sandwich,' said Tybalt, with enough gravity to make it sound like a formal proclamation. Resolved: that we will have ham and cheese sandwiches.”
By which I mean, of course, 'She's miraculously not dead, again,' since by all rights, you should be. Oberon must really love your dumb ass.”
“You can't save everyone and leave yourself lost, October. It isn't fair. Not to you and not to the people who care about you."
"I'm not lost Tybalt," I said. It was oddly hard to meet his eyes now that they registered as human. His irises were supposed to be malachite green, not muddy hazel, and his pupils were supposed to be oval, not round. "I know exactly where I am."
A smile crossed his face. "If I believed that, I would walk away and never darken your door again. I can forgive you your foolishness only because I know how lost you are. But one day, you'll have to come back home. When you do, I hope you'll find me waiting.”
“He said that he was sure you would be amendable to this course of action." April paused, eyes widening, before she said indignantly, "I believe he may have lied to me!”
“How did you find me anyway."
"For all that I must keep reminding you that I am not a bloodhound, it's true that on occasion, having a sensitive nose is a useful thing. I followed the smell of you." Tybalt sighed, looking exaggeratedly put-upon. "If you must be ferried back to your people, I suppose I can oblige. But only because you asked me so very nicely, and promised me a kiss.”
“Being a King sort of sucks," I said.
Quentin wrinkled his nose, "So does your outfit."
"Blood is in this season.”
“I do so love how all magic comes with its share of dire warnings and unclear requirements," sighed Tybalt. "It's like being on the stage, only there's no director, and the understudies have all died of typhus.”
“It's funny how people can change your life without meaning to. Even the fucked-up, crazy people leave everything different when they go away.”
“My dear October, we are bound by an enchanted rose made from the hair of a Duchess, and my blood is covering your hand. You can learn anything you wish to know about me merely by licking you fingers." Tybalt laughed a little. "Yes, you may ask me a question.”
“Chelsea's not near here," I said. "Do whatever hoodoo you need to do to know if Raj is nearby."
"Hoodoo"? said Tybalt, sounding amused. "I'm the King of Cats, October, not the King of Goblins."
"And you don't live in a labyrinth, but that doesn't mean you can't make like a Henson character and start scrying for our missing boy.”
“I’m a lot of things, but rational where the people I love are concerned has never been one of them.”
“He on his way." "Maybe he'll bring a sword." "Maybe he'll bring a tank." I shook my head. "I hate being rescued." "Then why aren't we trying to get to the car?" "Because I hate being eaten even more.”
“That’s basically the cherry on top of this week’s sundae of suck.”
“The Luidaeg is the daughter of Oberon and Maeve, which technically makes her my aunt. Maybe that's why she hasn't killed me yet, although it's just as likely to be the fact that I amuse her. May says we're reenacting the Princess Bride, one "I'll most likely kill you in the morning" at a time.”
“The first rule of Tautology Club is the first rule of Tautology Club.”
“Luna had told us not to drop the rose, not to leave the path. But we never dropped the rose - it was on me the whole time - and we didn't leave the path, not really. We just took a shortcut through the shadows and the brush, something idiots have been doing in fairy tales since the beginning of time.”
“Even the fucked-up, crazy people leave everything different when they go away.”
“Whatever it was, it was the size of a cow, and looked like what you’d get if you somehow managed to cross a beaver and a crocodile, looked at the results, and decided what your new monster really needed was a bunch of extra teeth.”
“I might get arrested, but I wasn't likely to get dissected. This is my life.”
“These are friendly people,” I said, bending to begin work on his ankles. “Remind me to hit them a lot if I get the chance.”
“Barney's Dad was really bad so Barney hatched a plan
when his dad said "Eat your peas."
Barney shouted no and ran
Barney tricked his mean old dad and locked him in the cellar
Barney's Mom never found out where he'd gone,
Cause Barney didn't tell her.
There his dad spent his life eating mice and gruel
With every bite for fifty years
he was sorry he'd been cruel”
“He hadn’t left, and apparently, Seth was a cuddler.”
“Audrey: I was wet.
Audrey: I don't sweat.
Michael: Well, ladylike perspiration, then.”
“Amongst mortals no man is happy; wealth may pour in and make one luckier than another, but none can happy be.”
“Experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes.”
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