Return to Queen of Thieves Chapter One

Queen of Thieves

Author: Robotguru
Rating: PG
Feedback: Please leave feedback on the Queen of Thieves thread on the Kitten Board.
Disclaimer: These characters are trademarks of Joss, ME, etc, I am not making money so please don't sue.
Note: Thoughts in < >.

The vendor trails off for a moment, the youth looks on, his face showing that he is absorbed with the story. "Now... where was I?"

The youth speaks up, his voice barely a whisper, "Kendra was just getting kinky with Faith..."

"Ah yes, Willow and Miss Kitty had escaped with the bread and they soon sat down in an alley to enjoy the spoils of their victory over the guards of Agrabah..."

"Now Miss Kitty, we eat." Willow broke a bit of the bread off so that Miss Kitty could have a small chunk that she could hold in front of her paws and nibble.

Miss Kitty's attention was soon captured by the presence of others in that little alley. Thinking, maybe, that it may be the guards, she arched her back and hissed. A small figure jumped and gave a weak cry, it was a little girl. She, as well as her little brother, was scrounging in the garbage hoping to find something to eat. It tugged at Willow's heartstrings to see two children, so small, in the same situation as her but not as able to cope with it.

Now that Miss Kitty knows that the children aren't guards, she walks up to the them and rubs herself on the girl's leg, purring. The girl giggles and scratches Miss Kitty's head as Willow walks over with what remained of the bread, most of it considering she herself had barely taken a bite. She breaks the bread in two and hands half of it to the girl and half of it to the boy, "I need to lose some weight anyway," she softly murmurs. A tear forms in the girl's eye at this rare kindness as she mouths her thanks.

Meanwhile, a crowd seems to be gathering in the streets outside the alley and a fanfare of trumpets echoed all around. Willow moves forwards to see what all the fuss is about, jostling with the crowd. Some step aside, knowing that despite being a thief, Willow has a good heart.

In the distance, Willow can see a horse striding majestically to the gate, on top of the horse was a man dressed in all the finery Agrabah had to offer. The man was a young prince with a curled moustache, he was dressed in silks of many bright colours, shades of red and yellow as well as rich blues. A voice shouted loud above the noise of the crowd, "Make way for Prince Arkhmed!"

The crowd's murmuring got louder, if this was a Prince, then he must be yet another suitor for the Princess. Princess Tara was renowned for her beauty, but also her pickiness when it came to finding a husband.

A brush against her legs caught Willow's attention. She saw the boy from the alley closely followed by his sister, run out into the street. Willow tried in vain to get a hand on them as they ran right in front of the horse, forcing it to rear it's legs. Prince Arkhmed looked imperiously down at the children and took his whip from his hip. Seeing this, Willow quickly ran into the street herself as the Prince yelled, "Get out of the way you little brats!"

The whip cracked and drew a cry from the boy, the whip rose again but this time didn't crack, instead it wrapped itself around a slender arm before being pulled out of it's owner's grasp and thrown to the ground. Willow's eyes blazed with fury as she glared up at Arkhmed. "Why don't you pick on someone your own size? Or can you only push around little children?"

Arkhmed looked down at Willow, unbridled scorn in his eyes. He spurred on his horse, digging in his heels. As he passed Willow, he kicked her down to the ground. He said "Get down in the dirt where you belong scoundrel," and gave an ugly bark of laughter which was joined by the laughs of some of the merchants Willow had stole off. Many of the crowd gasped however, shocked at these actions, not that any ran out to help Willow to her feet, Arkhmed was a Prince afterall.

Miss Kitty ran out to her fallen friend, Willow stood up and looked down at Miss Kitty, she made sure that her voice carried so that all could hear, "Be careful my friend, this dog may have rabies."

Arkhmed turned his horse as the palace gates swung open, his face red from anger at both the remark and the fact that he could hear several people sniggering at what Willow had just said. His voice betrayed his barely restrained temper at the fiery haired, and tempered, scoundrel. "You are scum, a scoundrel. You were born that way, you will die that way, and when you die there will be a party on your grave."

Having said his piece, Arkhmed turns his horse once more and it walks through the gates which slam shut. Willow shouts anyway, "I may die a scoundrel but I will die a better person than you richboy!" With fury still burning in her eyes, Willow tuns and walks away, Miss Kitty following.

Night falls as Willow walks towards an abandoned building, she walks up some stairs, Miss Kitty following behind her. The kitten gives a small yawn as they approach a gap in the floorboards. Miss Kitty takes a run and jumps across, meanwhile, Willow grabs a pole and vaults the gap. Miss Kitty walks towards a small rug and lies on it. Willow strokes Miss Kitty as she softly sings.

"When they look at me, what do they see?
A scoundrel fit only for dirt surely
But they don't look deep, they don't look inside
They don't see the soul that the dirt hides,
And they don't see all there is to me."

Willow's voice fades as she holds the "me" for a couple of heartbeats. Miss Kitty makes contented noises as she sleeps. Willow opens a curtain to look upon Agrabah, the palace looming white and tall above all. Willow gently removes her hand from Miss Kitty and places a blanket on her to ward away the relative cold of night. Willow folds her arms across her chest to try and keep warm herself as she leans against a wall and peacefully sleeps.

"This is an outrage!" All is not well in the palace as morning looms, Arkhmed storms out of the back gardens into the palace and towards the door. It would appear that something has taken a bite out of his pants. Arkhmed's face shows fury at the indignity he has suffered in both travelling to Agrabah and during his stay in the palace.

The Sultan follows Arkhmed, trying to keep up. He rubs his glasses as he tries to placate Arkhmed. "Come now, I'm sure you just got off on the wrong foot, why don't we all settle this over morning tea, the finest tea leaves from all of India..."

Arkhmed growls his displeasure as he storms towards the front of the palace, "Good luck marrying her off!" With a slam, the Prince leaves. The Sultan, dressed all in white, places his glasses back on his nose. With a sigh, he walks towards the gardens. As he opens the door, a large tiger pounces in front of him, a piece of material in his mouth... care to guess where that came from?

"Rajah!" The Sultan admonishes the tiger as he tries to wrestle the cloth from it's mouth, "So this is why Prince Arkhmed left in such a huff! Why I oughta..."

"Oh c-come on Giles, h-he was just p-playing with him," a blonde, dressed in translucent pink veils, walks up to the tiger and strokes his face before gently liberating what was the seat of Arkmhed's pants. Her voice takes on the tone one would use with a favourite child. "He was j-just p-playing with the stuffy, overdressed P-Prince Ar-Arkhmed weren't you Rajah, yes."

Tara had always called the Sultan by his surname, ever since Rupert Giles had taken her on after his brother died while she was a toddler. Giles had never had a child since the tragic (and still unexplained, though the cynic might think that the Grand Vizier, Ethan Rayne had some part to play...) death of his would be wife, Jenny Calender, Giles had never married and Tara was a surrogate child to him. And, as he often reminded her, she would soon take his place in ruling Agrabah.

"This is not the way to get married Tara, you know the law."

Tara's voice becomes impatient, "Y-Yes that s-stupid law, the P-Princess must have a P-Prince..."

" your next birthday." Giles' voice has a tone of finality.

"B-But Giles," Tara stutters, her voice almost pleading.

"You only have three more days Tara," Giles' voice softened, "And it's not just this law, I'm worried about you Tara, I promised that I would look after you. Soon I will not be able to."

"I-If I marry, I w-want to l-let it be for love." Tara opened a cage full of doves and took one out, caressing it as she held it to her cheek. "I-I'm so trapped here, I've not stepped foot outside the p-palace since I was a ch-child."

"It is the law Tara, you are a Princess afterall."

Tara splashes the water in a fountain with her free hand as her voice takes a tone of anger, losing the stutter that often betrayed her nervousness. "Well maybe I don't want to be the Princess! It's not like I had a choice in the matter is it?"

Tara sighs as she puts the dive back in the cage, then, realising how it must feel, she throws open the door and all of the trapped doves escape to their freedom.

"I don't know what I'll do with you Tara, your mother wasn't nearly so picky." Giles turns and walks away. As he enters the palace, he sees Ethan, his Grand Vizier, "Ah Ethan, my most trusted adviser."

Ethan, with Amy curled across his shoulder, walks in tow with Giles. "You look troubled my liege. Anything I can do to help?"

"It's this marriage thing, Tara seems quite set against it."

Ethan thinks for a while and notices a ring that Giles is wearing with a blue gem. A glint appears in Ethan's eye. "Perhaps you just haven't found the right suiter."

Giles notices Amy and digs in his pocket, pulling out a cracker. If rats could roll their eyes, you wouldn't be able to see Amy's right now, Giles holds the cracker to Amy's mouth and only takes it away when she has had a nibble. When he turns away, Amy spits it out and mutters to Ethan, "What the hell do I look like? A freakin parrot?" As if Giles thought of this himself, Giles pulls out a lump of cheese. Amy makes a slight gagging noise before once again taking a nibble at the offered (and not that much appreciated) food.

Giles thinks over what Ethan has said, "Maybe you're right, but how are we to find the right man? I do want Tara to be happy afterall."

Ethan looks like he's thinking of a solution, instead he's thinking of how to get that gem. "There may be a way... but it would require a certain item... like say, that ring."

Giles looks concerned, "This ring? Why, it's been in the family for years."

"Which is why it is needed." Ethan holds a staff in front of Giles' eyes, his voice becoming low and hypnotic. "Don't worry, everything will be alright."

Giles sounds like he is in a trance as he repeats "Everything... will be... alright."

Ethan leans in closer, "The ring?"

Giles takes the ring of his finger and silently gives the ring to Ethan. Satisfied, Ethan walks away.

Night falls over Agrabah, most people are inside and the streets are silent. The palace is also, but a door opens and soon a figure is creeping across the courtyard.

Stealthily, in a hooded robe, Tara makes her way to a wall. It was easy to get this far, at this time of night, even the guards sleep. As Tara puts one foot on the wall, ready to climb over, she feels a tug on her robe. She looks down and almost cries when she sees Rajah. "I-I'm sorry Rajah, I r-really am, but I h-have to go." Rajah gives her a mournful look, "I c-can't stay here and have my l-life l-lived for me, I-I just c-can't." Tara pulls one foot over the wall and feels Rajah put his head under her other foot, supporting her, "I-I'll m-miss you." Tara finishes climbing over the wall, a tear falling from her eye.

Agrabah market is thriving, merchants sell their wares ranging from pottery to necklaces. Fish to... fruit...

As the merchant in charge of the melon stall haggles with customers, a certain feline walks across the fruit. Now obviously Miss Kitty can't actually carry a large object such as a watermelon but..."Get away from my fruit you fleabag! Scat!"

Miss Kitty knocks over a melon as she runs away, as the merchant turns to retrieve this, a pair of hands appear from above and take the juiciest watermelon of the bunch. Children snigger but no one says anything, indeed, with the prices of the fruit, most people think that one watermelon shouldn't hurt anyway. The hands, with their prize, quickly disappear as the merchant turns around he places the melon he retrieved at the top of the pile and looks a bit confused, but then gets back to business. Miss Kitty runs behind the stall and joins her compadre on top of it.

"Heh heh, nice going Miss Kitty," Willow praises her friend as she cracks the watermelon in half across her knee and places one half in front of Miss Kitty so she can lick the juice. That's when her gaze catches a young lady she's never seen before... also she feels a pinch at her elbow that wasn't Miss Kitty...

A younger girl, dressed similarly to Willow sat on top of the stall with her. Willow had found a child abandoned and looked after it from when they were just ten and eight. They had sort of become surrogate sisters. The girl fiddled with her shoulder length black hair that framed unblemished dark skin. "Hey Willow... Earth to Willow, where the hell are ya?"

Willow tore her eyes away from the site of the robed beauty and turned towards the girl, "Hey Makyrah, speaking of "where are ya," and no cussing please, I haven't seen you in the last few days. Where ya been?"

"Oh, around," Makyrah takes a piece of Willow's watermelon, "I saw what you did for those kids though, that was sweet. Not many woulda done that you know." Makyrah gets closer to Willow and put her arm around her, "So... who's the girl you were staring at?"

Willow blushes, "Girl, what girl? I don't see no girl... well... not any I fancy anyway... besides... erm..."

Makyrah giggles and puts a finger across Willow's lips, "You are such a bad liar for a scoundrel Willow... oh oh..."

"Oh oh what?"

Makyrah points across.

Being in Agrabah market for the first time was certainly an experience Tara wouldn't soon forget. Traders shouted and showed her many wares; silks, velvet, jewellery, fish, fruit, the finest wares Agrabah had to offer. When Tara looked across at the apple stand, she saw a small child reaching up. "You must be hungry huh?"

The child looks sad and nods, Tara takes an apple from the stand and gives it to the young boy. The child scampers off as the merchant turns towards Tara, his voice threatening. "I hope you can pay for that."

Tara looks confused, never having to have paid for anything in her life, "P-Pay?"

The merchant draws his sword and pins Tara's wrist to the cart, "Do you know what the punishment is for stealing?"

Tara's eyes held fear as the merchant raised his sword, "I-If you l-let me go b-back to the p-palace I can get s-some m-money from the S-Sultan."

The sword descends and comes a hair's breadth from Tara's wrist... "There you are! I've been looking for you everywhere young lady..."

Tara gives the redhead with her elbow on the hilt of the sword a look that said "huh" but the redhead just winked at her. The merchant looked confused also, "You know this girl?"

Willow makes a dramatic show of putting her hand to her head, "Sadly yes, she is my sister," Willow leans in a little closer, seemingly to talk but really nabbing an apple from the cart, she whispers, "She's a little crazy."

Tara looks offended but again receives that wink . "She says she knows the Sultan."

As if on cue, Miss Kitty jumps down and hops around on her two back paws. "Come on... she thinks the kitten is the Sultan."

Seeing where this is going, Tara kneels before Miss Kitty, "Oh wise Sultan, how may I serve you?"

Miss Kitty actually made a good show of looking all regal, meanwhile, her tail passed along an apple to the waiting hands of Makyrah, this was repeated a few times. Willow kept the merchant occupied, "Sad I know," Willow placed the apple back on the cart as if she had picked it up from the floor... thinking of that... ew. "Anyway, it's time to see the doctor, come on sis."

While Miss Kitty "acquired" a ruby... or three, each one passed to the cheeky younger sis of Willow, Tara, with a straight face, turns to a camel "Why hello doctor, how are you?"

Willow groans, "No sis, not that one..." The merchant turns away, satisfied... until he hears the ruckus that was Miss Kitty knocking over his money pouch. With a look of anger, he starts towards the kitten and Willow, Tara and Makyrah run away laughing hot on Miss Kitty's tail.

Continue to Queen of Thieves Chapter Three

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