A Heritage of Power 1: Jake's Story 1:
For the Love of a Partner

by Fur and Fantasy
NC-17 for M/M and M/F
R for Violence and Death
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

"Hay Vale... look familiar to you?" A pure black tom built like a tank held up a piece of paper on top of the pile they were after in the genetics lab.

"Yap," the Siamese of the team, his fur dyed deep brown for the mission, looked over Rail's shoulder and nodded at the names on it. "It's a common enough code name, but it shouldn't be too hard to track with the rest of this."

"Stop your yammering and grab the goods," Bull growled with flattened ears at the pair and the rest of his team in general, sending the other Special Ops into a controlled scrambled to finish their mission and get the hell out before they were detected.

"Guys?" Vale broke silence again. "We've got a live subject."

"So?" Bull growled.

"It's newborn, feline."

The big piebald tom rolled his eyes and waved at his teammate to take the kitten as well.

Downtime was precious; to be relished and spent as far away from base as could be managed. But this time a mission had uncovered something about one of their own and it was once more hurry up and wait time as Karmel tracked down the Intel they needed to finish the puzzle and what to do with it.

If it was what Rail and Vale thought it was, it was a big deal. Something that could rock the balance of power in the entire valley.

So for now, the team of six waited and roughhoused and tried to forget they were spending precious down time on base.

"Guys, I really don't want to know how you found this, but here's the rest of the story you brought in." Their feisty research coordinator walked into the nearly all male workout without a thought for intruding or care that they were wearing next to nothing. "It's ... big."

"And out of the database and reports?" Bull looked up at her from a bench.

"Yes," Karmel nodded sharply and handed the dark piebald tom a thin folder. "Fortunately, it wasn't related to anything you were expected to get. So for now, it still doesn't exist."

"Good." He nodded back and skimmed the folder with an increasingly grim expression on his scared face. "Good work, Kar. Time to make yourself scarce again."

The dark calico shekat rolled her eyes and huffed with a long-suffering acceptance before cracking a grin at Rail over her shoulder. "You be careful with that tabby or he'll sweet talk you into joining him again."

"Megacat City Salvage Yard," Chance Furlong answered the phone without thinking.

"Hay Tiger," a darkly seductive and oh-so-familiar voice from the past snapped him out of his routine.

"Rail?" The Tabby asked incredulously, dropping his voice as he glanced towards the open door to the garage where Jake was working on a car in the garage-workshop. "Is that you?"

"Who else would it be, Tiger?" he laughed in real amusement. "That pretty little cinnamon tom still your partner?"

"Like you wouldn't know," Chance scoffed. "Yeah, he is, even if we aren't flying anymore. Why are you calling me? Thought you guys had forgotten I existed." Even if he had worked with the black tomkat before, he couldn't help but be a little suspicious about the sudden contact.

Actually, it was *because* he'd worked with him before. He hadn't heard from anybody on his old team in years.

Not since he left, really. Oh, they'd looked in on him now and then, made sure he wasn't being hassled by his new coworkers too much, but no one had *talked* to him.

"We really need to get together, Tiger." Rail's tone got more serious. "Catch up on old times, maybe talk about the future some."

"Now I'm worried," Chance muttered under his breath. "What's up, Rail? Been over ten years without a word, now you want to catch up?" Still, in the next breath he asked the question they both knew was inevitable. "When and where?"

"Shadow Drop will let you know. Two hours at the bench in Central Park." He replied quietly. "I'll see you there."

"Right," Chance nodded, hoping it was the same bench they'd used before after all these years. "See you there." He hung up, and turned back towards the garage.

"Hey, Jake!" He called, walking in and looking at the cinnamon tom sticking out from under the hood of Callie's sedan. "Just got a call from an old Enforcer buddy; he's got some trouble and needs to talk to somebody. Think you can keep an eye on the place for a couple hours?"

"Sure," he twisted to look at his partner with a quizzical and slightly worried expression. "Bring your beeper."

"Will do," Chance nodded. "Shouldn't be anything too bad, but I don't wanna take chances. Just hope Dark Kat doesn't decide to drop a bomb on anybody while I'm out," he chuckled.

"Don't even joke about that," Jake rolled his eyes with a rueful chuckle. "Hope your friend's okay."

"So do I," Chance nodded, grabbing his beeper and hooking it onto his belt. "I'll let you know when I get back. I'll take one of the bikes, in case a tow call comes in."

"Just give me a call if you end up spending the night with him." He commended and turned his attention back to the engine as if this kind of call wasn't unusual.

"Will do, though I *really* don't think that's about to happen," Chance chuckled as he grabbed his helmet and mounted his old cycle that Jake kept alive by the same miracle work that had produced the TurboKat in less than six months from scrap.

"Hay, spending the night doesn't *always* mean you're screwing the guy." Jake laughed and winked at the big tabby.

"Maybe not for you," Chance teased back with a smirk. "Seeya later!"

"Have fun!"

"Thanks. Good luck," the Tabby grinned, revving up the bike and taking off for Central Park while he tried to figure out just why Rail was contacting him after so much time without a word.

An hour and a half later, Chance was sitting on the bench, doing his best to look inconspicuous, at least as well as he could. The bike was locked down nearby, and he'd been waiting for a solid quarter of an hour already, with as much as another hour to go.

The wait gave him plenty of time to think over what Rail might want to talk about. It was probably business of some sort, which made it even harder to figure out. Kats didn't usually leave Special Ops and stay in the loop. He certainly hadn't for the last ten years.

Of course, it might be *because* Chance wasn't part of the team anymore, which worried the tabby more than he liked to admit. The main reasons Rail would have to get in touch with somebody on the outside would be if he was leaving, or if he couldn't trust the rest of the team. Neither scenario was a pleasant one.

Though if he was thinking of getting out, it could explain why he'd asked about Jake. Could also just be polite curiosity, but....

Chance was starting to remember why it was that thinking about Rail and the rest of the squad gave him a headache when a medium-sized, fluffy dog jumped up and started to lick his face with the enthusiasm only a small herding dog could manage.

"Whoa boy!" Chance protested, laughing some as he pressed the Border Collie back. He looked at the enthusiastically friendly dog with a smile. "You sure know how to break a mood, pup," he chuckled.

"Shep! You crazy psycho-dog!" A shekat's panting voice drew his attention in the direction the canine had come from and to the slightly mussed up brown-furred, black-haired shekat trying to run after him in heals and a dress that Callie would have liked. "Oh, gods, I am so sorry, he got away from me." She blurted out to Chance even as she tried to catch the dog's scruff to get his collar on again, an operation the canine was not making easy on her.

"Don't worry about it," Chance smiled as he tried to hold the dog still so she could get the collar on. While she fumbled with it, he looked her over quickly. She was in her early 20's, about ten years younger than he was probably. She wasn't bad looking either, though that wasn't what really caught Chance's eye.

What caught his eye was that she was out walking a dog like this in heels and a short skirt.

"Weren't planning on a long walk?" He asked her.

"Not planning on a walk at all," she smiled at him, though her stress was evident as they finally got Shep under control again. Well, as much control as an untrained boarder collie ever was. "He's not even mine. But my girlfriend got stuck at work and begged me to take him to the park. She *said* he'd do his thing and be no trouble." She huffed with a glair at the unrepentant puppy. "My name's Cindy." She added as an afterthought and extended her hand.

"If you believed that, he's definitely not yours," Chance chuckled, accepting the handshake easily. "Chance," he added by way of introduction. "And I've met Shep."

"You know dogs?" She asked curiously, giving him the apprising look-over of a single kat seeing something she liked.

"A little," he nodded, reaching down to scratch Shep between his perked ears. "Neighbors had one like this guy when I was a kit. Kept them in shape," he chuckled, looking up at her. If he'd been out here for any other reason, he'd have been tempted to try getting a date with her.

"I can see why already," she blew a stray bit of hair from her face. "You waiting for someone?"

"Yeah," Chance nodded even as Shep jumped up on his lap again. "Old friend's supposed to be meeting me out here some time soon."

"Think you'll be free tomorrow evening?" She half-purred with a winning smile.

Chance shrugged mentally. Why not?

"Sure, unless some psycho decides to blow up the city of something," he chuckled with a hint of a grin.

"You're an Enforcer?" Cindy blinked, her eyes widening in surprise as she pulled Shep off Chance's lap and sat down next to the tabby.

"Ex-Enforcer," he shrugged. "It's just usually not a good sign for a date when some monster steps on the restaurant," he chuckled and was joined by her lighter tone.

"Quite true, though I've never had anything like *that* happen to me," she giggled. "Do you have a piece of paper?"

"Sure," he nodded. He reached for the pad of paper he'd stuck in his pocket earlier, when he'd thought the phone call was going to be for a tow. God, that felt like it had been ages ago already. "Have something to write with?"

"No," she smiled sheepishly. "I was hardly expecting psycho-dog here to jump a cute hunk, you know."

"Not something I'd been planning on either," he admitted. "Hang on a sec." He fished around in his pocket again, finding a short pencil that had managed to stay in one piece during the trip. "Here we go! Guess it helps to be prepared," he chuckled.

"Like any good Kat Scout," she grinned and accepted both items, wrapped the leash around her wrist and made quick work of scribbling her name and phone number down before Shep managed to pull her off the bench and onto her tail in the grass as he darted off again.

"Want some help catching him?" Chance asked as the Collie ran off and he helped her stand. He'd have to get back here soon, but he had to at least make the offer.

"It would be appreciated." She admitted and brushed her rump off. "I'd hate to have you miss your friend trying to catch that nutcase dog."

"If I'm not here right away they'll wait for me," he said. "Besides, shouldn't take too long to catch up with wheels," he chuckled, nodding towards the waiting bike. She laughed and waved for him lead the way so she could appreciate his tight ass while he walked.

Chance drove his bike through the suburbs to the second address "Cindy" had given him. He couldn't help but feel a little embarrassed; he hadn't even seriously thought of her as his possible contact until he found the extra slip of paper in the pad he'd given her.

Which wasn't until *after* she'd gotten to cop a feel during the hunt for Shep and kissed his breath away before she got in her car.

And now, he was approaching the safe house where he was supposed to meet Rail. He could feel the anxious curiosity build up inside of him again, and it was only getting stronger as he got closer.

At least, after ten years, they weren't too likely to be pissed off about him leaving. After all, it's not like it was something he'd picked after he transferred.

The opening garage door clued him into the right address even before he saw the numbers, its movement timed perfectly to be as if he'd clicked a remote. Just another two story house among miles and miles of them here in the newer reaches of MegaKat City suburbia.

Perfectly non-descript. At least it was nicer than some of the safe houses he'd used before, barely more than a cheap flophouse room.

He pulled into the garage, turned off the bike and looked around as he took off his helmet, half-expecting to see Rail waiting for him.

He wasn't, of course, he'd be inside the house somewhere more secure; probably in the basement. Chance pocketed the keys and put the helmet on his bike.

"You'd better have a good reason for this Rail," he muttered, walking to the door into the house. He tested it, and found that it was open, slowly slipping back into the half-paranoid mindset he thought he'd been able to give up long ago. He made a careful way through the house, following subtle clues Rail had left for him down into the finished and furnished basement.

"Long time no see, Tiger." The seductively deep voice grinned at him.

"At least on my end," Chance agreed, turning towards the black-furred tomkat that had even more muscle than he did. "Though I've got a feeling you and the guys have seen me just about any time you wanted. Mind if we cut to the chase? It's been 10 years without hearing a word, and now you set up a face-to-face meeting?"

"We found something on a mission." He answered quietly and as seriously as Chance had ever seen him. "A genetic profile that belongs to your partner... and his father."

"So?" Chance asked, thinking it over. Jake hadn't talked much about his family, didn't even have a picture of his father. Of course, he hadn't exactly asked Jake about them much. Even so, why would that be something worth getting in touch with him? Unless.... "There's something wrong with Jake?"

"Not ... precisely," Rail shook his head and motioned Chance to sit on the couch. "The first red flag was the name on the file." He locked eyes with Chance. "It seems your partner goes by Razor."

"Went by it," Chance shrugged. Mentally, he went on the defensive as he sat down. Great, the last thing he needed was Special Ops figuring out who the SWAT Kats were, being able to prove it. "It was his call name when we were in the Enforcers yet, along with about three other guys in different departments. A genetic file with the name listed as Razor? What's the other one on it? Doctor Viper?"

"No, it was traced to a Jermain Tabisan," Rail paused, watching his old friend carefully. "Better know as Dark Kat."

Chance couldn't hide his reaction to that one. He looked over at Rail with a look somewhere between disbelief and shock.

"You've got to be kidding. You've seen Jake before, if there's anybody who doesn't have any Xanith in him, it's him. Must be a different Razor."

"It's not," Rail shook his head with the quiet certainty of someone who had already ruled out every other possibility. "We traced the profile to Jake Clawson. *You're* Jake Clawson. Double-checked everything. Both are accurate."

"Damn," Chance muttered. As much as he wanted to believe it was wrong, for Jake's sake, he knew that Rail and the others wouldn't have left any doubt. "So, anybody else know?"

"The team knows. Karmel's still our research lady. It wasn't what we were after, so right now there's only one copy and it wasn't in the report." He held up a thin folder. "This is too dangerous to let Enforcers *or* Dark Kat get their hands on it. He's the one that ordered the test we nabbed. A paternity test. Watch your partner carefully, Tiger. Dark Kat's going to come after him soon."

"I'll keep him safe," Chance nodded, holding his hand out for the folder. "Always have. Dark Kat isn't going to get his hands on him."

Part of him was already wondering if Jake knew about this. He certainly couldn't blame him for not bringing it up. How could he, really?

"Level with me Chance," Rail didn't hand the folder over. "Are you T-Bone?"

The tabby tried not to grit his teeth. He knew that question was going to come up eventually, as soon as they'd mentioned that Jake was Razor, even if he had tried to cover that he still was.

"You remember what I said when I transferred out, Rail? Doing that would be *way* the hell too much like going back into Special Ops for my tastes."

"You are a born hero, Chance." He chuckled lightly and handed the folder over. "You never could not do the right thing."

"That's why I left," Chance said simply, taking the folder and not quite sure what to make of Rail's hand along his. "Besides, you know where Feral stuck us. How would a couple ex-Enforcers end up putting together a machine like the TurboKat, let alone keeping it in the air?"

"Tiger," Rail leaned forward, into Chance's space with a rumbling purr and arousal-tinged scent. "You have no idea what that partner of yours is capable of if you believe that. I did a lot of research on that kat, you know, back when you first partnered up."

"And I can probably tell you everything you found out," Chance said simply, trying to stay focused. He was *not* about to give Rail the satisfaction of a confession to being T-Bone. "As far as Jake's concerned, you dropped about the only bombshell about him there is a couple minutes ago."

"Then you know you're a real hero to him," he chuckled with a low rumble and leaned forward, lightly pressing the tabby down along the couch and claimed a hard kiss as if the last ten years hadn't passed. "And you are all that stands between him and siding with his sire."

Damn, Rail had always been good at what he did. Whether it was special ops or bedding a teammate, he usually succeeded at everything he set his mind to.

"I'm *not* going to let that happen," Chance said firmly, reaching up to take the black-furred tom by the shoulders. "Rail, quit trying to distract me."

"I'm not," he rumbled and ran a powerful hand down Chance's arm. "You have the folder, you know the danger. I have your word you won't make us kill him. Now for a little fun, since I know you don't have to be anywhere right away."

"Actually, I do," Chance said, forcing himself to fight the urge to give in and accept the intense, and blissfully mindless, pleasure the black tom always provided. He pressed Rail back gently. "Sorry Rail, but not tonight. I've got thinking to do, and you know that's never been my strong suit," he tried to joke.

"No," he agreed with a touch of reluctance. Another hard kiss, the kind that went straight to the tabby's groin, and Rail slipped from the couch and to his feet. "I'll be seeing you around."

"Maybe I'll see you around too, this time," Chance joked weakly and sat up. He grabbed the folder and stood, facing his former comrade awkwardly. "Thanks for letting me know about this, Rail."

"We all agreed it was the best choice," he explained simply and walked out. "I'd say you're welcome to stay here for a while, but I know you won't."

"You're right," Chance nodded. "Though I have to say, the safehouses are getting better since I left. Oh, and the runaway dog your contact used? Nice touch," he chuckled slightly as he followed Rail up the stairs.

"She's the best I've ever met," he chuckled. "Has that dog perfectly trained to act untrained. Oh, and she wasn't joking about hitting on you. She's got good taste."

"I'll keep it in mind," the Tabby chuckled. "Her name really Cindy?"

"Haven't a clue," Rail shrugged. "But the contact info she gave you is accurate."

"Did you have somebody watching me when she told me to come here?"

"I was watching," Rail smirked at him as they entered the garage. "She was definitely out to bed you."

"I'm starting to think the dog's the only person I've met today who wasn't," Chance smirked, shaking his head.

"That is just a *wrong* thought, Tiger." He made a face and walked around the motorcycle to his simple white sedan.

"Which is why I'm glad it wasn't," Chance chuckled, straddling his bike and pulling his helmet on. "See you around, Rail. Good luck with whatever the mission was that ended up with you guys finding this," he said, raising the file.

"Thanks," he nodded and closed the sedan's door as the garage door opened and they went their separate ways.

The warm fall air rushed past Chance on his way back to the Savage Yard. A convoluted enough route to give a tail a headache, and him enough time to think a little about what he'd learned. Something that gave *him* a headache.

Still, the yard was clear and quiet when he arrived. Not enough to sooth his rattled nerves, but enough it didn't make them worse. He could hear Jake working on a car, a different one, and another male voice he didn't recognize laughing at something in the garage with him.

Now who could that be? Maybe somebody had needed a tow while he was out.

He parked the bike and headed in through the front door to hide the folder in his room for later review. He changed his shirt as a quick excuse for the detour. Then he headed down to the garage.

"Jake? I'm back," he called during a lull in the conversation that was going on between the cinnamon tom and the stranger.

"Your friend doing okay?" He called back and came into the waiting room with a towel in his hands to clean his fur.

"Yeah, just needed to talk about some family trouble," Chance nodded. "You get a new partner while I was out?" He joked.

"Maybe for a few nights," he almost smirked and waved the tabby into the garage. "Yamar, this is Chance." He waved between Chance and the athletically powerful Fire-Point Siamese.

"Hello, Chance," Yamar inclined his head politely without getting down from the workbench he was sitting lazily on.

"Good to meet you," Chance smiled, returning the gesture. Something about Yamar seemed familiar to him, though he couldn't quite place it. It was something about how he moved, how he felt to be around. "Bring in a car, or just happen to be out in the boonies?"

"Fortunately I followed a recommendation and brought it in before it blew up on me." Yamar chuckled. "And your cute partner here has got an amazing touch with machines."

"That he does," Chance chuckled, reaching over to give Jake's shoulder a quick squeeze and didn't miss how Jake leaned into it slightly. "So did I interrupt anything interesting?"

"Not really," Jake shrugged, though he was grinning. "Just killing time while I worked. Talking boring doctorate stuff."

"Not boring to either of you I'll bet," the tabby chuckled and got matching grins from the lean toms. "You two want to keep talking? I could go find another car that needs to have the right spot kicked."

"Go for it," Jake nodded easily. "I'll be done within the hour."

"Sure thing," Chance nodded, grabbed a toolkit and headed out to pull on some overalls so he could think while the other two talked.

He had to wonder who Yamar was though. There was something about him that stayed in the tabby's mind. Maybe he was law enforcement of some sort... well trained and taking some steps to hide it, but law enforcement. That was it. He was *good* at hiding it though, probably did undercover work.

He had to wonder if the Siamese might be connected to Rail. And what would have happened if he hadn't promised to keep Jake from joining Dark Kat.

"Like they had to get me to tell them that," he muttered. "Of course I won't let him."

He had to wonder if Jake knew. If he did ... well, he certainly couldn't blame the guy for not talking about it. After all, how do you tell your partner that the guy you're hunting hardest is your father?

If he didn't ... then Chance would have to decide if he should tell Jake or not. His gut told him to do it, but then ... he'd have to talk with Jake first, figure out if he did know or not. If it was something he didn't want to talk about, it wouldn't be right to bring it up needlessly. If Jake knew, he certainly wasn't about to join Dark Kat after all these years.

"Hey, buddy." Jake's low voice broke his thoughts as familiar hands ran up his chest and a hard, warm body pressed against his back.

"Hey there," Chance smiled, breaking out of his thoughts and pressing back against his partner. "Your new friend leave already?"

"For today," he chuckled and nuzzled the big tabby's back. "You've got all sorts of interesting smells on you." He added with a half-purr.

"Mmm ... want to head up to my room, let you get better acquainted with them, maybe put a few of your own in their place?" Chance reached back, rubbing Jake's side with a large, strong hand and was rewarded with a shameless press of flesh against his own.

"Something like that," he purred eagerly and shifted around to go face to face with his partner to claim a heated, lingering kiss. "Or right here, right now."

"Who are you, and what did you do with my partner?" Chance asked with a grin after their kiss broke and rumbled reflexively at the way Jake rubbed his body against his with such obvious arousal.

"I'm a slightly jealous partner," he licked his whiskers back. "Who's had a very odd day."

"Mmm ... don't need to be," Chance rumbled, licking Jake's neck affectionately. "Why don't we go talk about it? Before, or after I make it so you can't move any more," he grinned and picked Jake up without resistance.

Pleasure slid across his mostly asleep body, drawing whispers of not quite protest from his mind. Hands, mouth, a body that knew him intimately for over a decade worked their magic and drew first moans, then shudders of pleasure from the sleeping tabby. Morning light had barely crept into the room, but Jake was awake and intent on waking his partner in a way that couldn't raise complaints.

He kissed down Chance's spine; a wandering trail of tingling sparks that hardened the flesh between the tabby's legs until he was unconsciously humping the bed for that much more pleasured friction. He shuddered and moaned deeply when his tail was brushed aside and Jake applied his tongue to the nerve-rich pucker of bare skin there. Teasing and driving his partner closer to the edge of ecstasy and awareness.

Chance groaned and flicked his tail up more even before he was entirely awake, giving Jake better access to his body. Somehow, as much as he preferred to sleep in, Jake had a way of making it impossible to complain, no matter how early he woke up.

"Mmm... good," the tabby murmured sleepily.

The answer he received was that tongue darting into his body just enough to cause a shudder and a skilled set of fingers went to work on his balls.

"Damn, kat," he rumbled, reaching back to rub Jake's ears lightly as he woke up the rest of the way. "Ooh, that better be an offer for more soon...."

"More like this?" He rumbled hotly and circled his partner's ass with a slick finger before pressing it slowly into the tabby's body.

"Mmm, if you're up for it this morning," Chance groaned and nodded, squeezing down lightly around the intruder into his body, and felt a second join it when he relaxed.

"Yes, I am." Jake rumbled almost in his ear, hot and hungry and something Chance had heard very little of in their ten years: possessive.

Frankly, the tabby was glad to hear Jake's mood hadn't broken during the night. As much as he enjoyed things the other way around, he liked it this way too and it was a rare occurrence with Jake.

"All yours, Jake," Chance panted, groaning as the cinnamon tom stretched him out with an interest in getting inside that had never been there before.

He didn't know exactly when his hips were lifted off the bed, or the moment those fingers disappeared to be replaced by the smooth gland of Jake's cock at his ass, but the instant he felt the strength and demand put behind that first drive into his body, Chance new this was going to be different.

If it wasn't for the size difference and being stretched out beforehand, this felt more like Rail behind him than his usually slow and steady, teasing partner.

"Mmph!" Chance grunted as Jake drove his rough shaft deep into his body. "This is - ooh - new." He pressed back into Jake's thrusts, wondering in the back of his mind just what had brought the change on. For a moment, he was almost tempted to look back and make sure it really *was* Jake there.

Then the pace picked up, the pleasure of the tom behind him driving this to a quick and explosive end. Not before fingers closed around his own cock and began to stroke in a counter-rhythm to thrusts, a trick Jake had introduced him to and had enjoyed employing the few times the lean tom had mounted him in the past.

Chance's powerful fingers dug into the sheets of the bed as he groaned wordlessly, his shaft twitching in Jake's hand. The tabby tightened his body around the barbed length in his ass, the stiff hairs raking along his prostate while Jake grunted and almost-roar above. He whimpered as pre-cum dribbled out, slicking down the fingers quickly stroking his own cock.

He squeezed his eyes shut and let out the roar that had built across his entire body, only just catching the matching one from above him as hot seed flooded his guts and the sheets under him. The hand was gone from his cock, replaced by both holding his hips tightly while Jake came hard and dominating inside him with a series of powerful thrusts before he shuddered one last time and sank forward against Chance's broad back, panting and murmuring wordlessly.

The tabby let himself sink into the sticky sheets beneath him, reaching back to rub Jake's leg as he panted and tried to catch his breath.

"Fuck," he groaned, pressing back against his lover as another shudder passed through them.

"Mmm-hummm," Jake mumbled as he began to soften and slip from his lover's body.

"Mind telling me what brought that on?" Chance asked lazily. "Not that I'm complaining, mind you."

The answer was some time in coming, an event that in and of itself was noteworthy with Jake.

"Yesterday ... just had me all wound up," he finally admitted, his tone speaking more of confusion and a bit of guilt than it should have. "Yamar ... I haven't felt like that in a long time."

"Like what?" Chance asked, eventually working up to turning so he could hold Jake in his arms and felt his partner snuggle into him.

"In ...." he broke off, struggling for the right words. "Not alone," he finally admitted, his face turned away from Chance's. "It's been so long since I've been around an intellectual equal ... I'd almost forgotten what it was like to feel like I really belonged."

"Ah, Jake," Chance sighed, holding the smaller tom close. "I'm sorry. Not much I can do to help with that one, I guess. He's going to be coming around again some time?"

"Yeah," Jake smiled softly despite the inner turmoil. "Invited me to dinner and conversation Friday too."

"S'okay, Jake," Chance chuckled, nuzzling the smaller tom. "Did he tell you what he did for a living?"

"Student when he can afford it, bodyguard when he can't." His smile grew a little dreamier.

"Do I need to worry about you two running off together?" Chance asked jokingly. That would explain a few things about Yamar that he'd been uncertain of.

"No." He chuckled and nuzzled his partner. "I'm not *that* taken with him."

"Good," Chance chuckled, rubbing Jake's back. "'Cause if you went and did that, I don't know how I'd keep the TurboKat in the air. And besides that," he rumbled, pulling the cinnamon tom close for a kiss that was returned with equal affection, "I'd miss you. Badly."

"Me too," he half purred and nuzzled Chance's neck as he snuggled in a bit more. "He just had me really turned around without even trying. A lot like you did, when we first met."

"Glad to know I had that sort of effect on you," the tabby purred. "Just be careful, okay? I'm sure he's a great guy, but you did just meet him."

"And we have secrets that just can not get out," he nodded. "I know, I'll be careful."

"*And* I don't want you getting hurt," Chance pointed out, kissing him lightly. "Call me overprotective if you want," he chuckled. "So, you're going to be out Friday night?"

"Yeah, and probably most of Saturday too." He chuckled. "If we get talking anything like yesterday, it'll be that long before we notice a clock."

"As if you'll just be talking," Chance teased with a wink.

"*That* comes when we actually get to bed." Jake snickered at him. "I'm not the walking libido you are, you know."

"Maybe not yet, but I'll corrupt you sooner or later," the tabby grinned. "Mmm... if you don't mind, I might see about meeting up with a shekat I met on the way to my friend's yesterday."

"Now why would I mind?" He chuckled and nuzzled him. "Have fun with her."

"Well, you did say something about being a little jealous last night," Chance purred, returning the nuzzle.

"Not that kind of jealous." He chuckled ruefully and relaxed on his partner's broad chest and closed his eyes. "Really more unsettled that someone else could make me feel like that."

"Mmm... I can understand that," Chance nodded, holding his partner close. "Don't worry about it too much though, okay? Nothing wrong with having a life that isn't just here, and it'd do you good to have some friends you can talk with without making eyes glaze over."

"What he does is even rarer," he murmured and settled in for a nap for the rest of the early morning. "He can match me, theory for theory. There aren't a hundred kats in the world that can do that."

"Hell of a guy for a bodyguard," Chance murmured, rubbing Jake's back as the smaller tom slowly dozed off. At the same time, he had to think about one of the other kats who could do that... and what he'd found out about the connection between the kat who wanted them dead, and the one in his arms.

Later that day, a much more reasonable time as far as Chance was concerned, the two toms managed to crawl out of bed and get cleaned up.

"Hey, Jake?" Chance called while he poked through the fridge for some leftovers from the night before, the cinnamon tom just coming out of the shower. "What was your family like?"

"Huh?" He looked over at the open kitchen, his fur still fluffy from the dryers and combing and bare to the world. "Where'd that come from?"

"Curious, mostly," Chance half-shrugged, pulling out some leftover pizza from the other night. "Was thinking about it last night, on the way back, and neither of us has really talked about them."

Jake looked at him curiously for a moment longer, then shrugged and walked into his room. "Just a sec."

Chance grabbed some milk for the two of them and set the table while he waited, hoping it wasn't going to be as awkward as he expected it to be.

"Okay, what is it you wanted to know?" Jake asked as he came out of his room, now dressed for work, and claimed his portion of the leftovers.

"What they were like," Chance clarified, trying to decide on a way to ask about this without screwing something up. "I mean, you've got the picture of your Mom, but you've never mentioned if you had any sibs, or what your Dad was like."

"No sibs or dad," he shrugged, the flicker of pain and anger mixing just below the surface. "He left for whatever reason before I was born."

"Sorry," Chance said apologetically. "Didn't know."

So he probably didn't know who his father was. That, or he wasn't going to say who he was, but it was more likely he just didn't know. Dark Kat certainly didn't, yet.

This just got more complicated every time Chance thought about it.

"So what about yours?" Jake shifted attention away from himself.

"I've got a bit more family," Chance admitted. "Heather, my kid sister, works assembly at Pumadyne. My Dad was an Enforcer, got killed a couple months before she was born. Mom had to bring the two of us up on her own pretty much. Think she was almost glad when Feral booted me out here, honestly; she didn't really like it when I went Enforcer."

"Probably didn't want to loose her son too." He nodded easily. "Mom had kind of a fit when I enlisted instead of 'doing something with my brain' after I graduated collage."

"Hey, you did a lot of good with that brain of yours, even before we were out here," Chance said, reaching over to squeeze Jake's shoulder. "And now that you're Razor, you're doing more. Too bad you can't really tell her about that," he sighed a little.

"Yeah, she still bugs me about getting a 'real job' that pays the bills and might get me a good mate." He shook his head. "She stops when I tell her I'm happy here with you. She wants grandkits, though."

"One of these days, maybe," the tabby chuckled. "Once you can find a shekat who deserves a guy like you. Or if you or Callie make up your mind to ask the other out some time," he winked and was a bit surprised when Jake shook his head.

"She's pretty and smart, but she really isn't my type." He admitted surprisingly easy. "She's too ambitious, and too into politics for me. Besides, I'd like someone who might actually be around enough to raise a family."

"That is a point," Chance admitted. "Especially with our hobby. Still, you'll find somebody eventually, if you want. In the meantime, you're stuck with me," he winked.

"I don't think that's ever going to change," Jake snickered and winked back after a drink of milk. "At least not while we're both still fit for duty."

"Which I think we're both hoping is going to be a long, long time off," Chance grinned, taking a bite of pizza and chewing thoughtfully for a moment.

"Yeah," he nodded and willingly lost himself in thought at the silence. It'd be a long day before he headed out to meet Yamar. A very long day of not-very-pleasant thinking.

"Sorry to bring you down like that, Jake," Chance apologized, once he'd finished chewing. "Didn't mean to put a damper on the whole day."

"It's okay, it comes up, it goes away." He shrugged and smiled slightly. "It's not like I ever said not to ask."

"Well, try not to worry about it too much, okay? Deadbeat probably didn't deserve you, or your mom."

"He definitely didn't deserve her," Jake almost growled, a protective sound Chance had usually heard directed at those threatening him.

"There you are," Yamar stepped out of his apartment and called down to Jake when the cinnamon tom had secured his bike in the parking lot. "I was beginning to worry."

"Late morning rush hour," he made a face and called back up. "Be up in a minute."

He nodded and turned back to his apartment, locking the door on pure reflex when it closed behind him, only be to called back as he was pouring himself a spiked milk to open it for Jake.

"Sorry," the lean, cream furred tom ducked his head sheepishly. "Habit."

"It's not a bad one in this city," Jake chuckled easily and sniffed. "White Ribbon?"

"Yap," he raised a curious eyebrow. "You like them?"

"Yeah," he chuckled with a slight shrug. "They're sweet."

"You'll love how I make them then," Yamar grinned and offered his guest the already made one. "Sweet cream with raspberry and mint liqueurs."

"Mmm, no kidding," he purred with a sniff and tried a sip while Yamar mixed another for himself. "Oh, yeah." He shivered lightly with the sweet, warm flow across his tongue and down his throat to warm his gut in the pleasantness he rarely indulged in. "Very good." He murmured throatily.

The sound made Yamar look at his guest uncertainly for a moment.

"Jake ... was I reading into things that you were interested in me?" He hesitated, both to be in character and the fact he really didn't want to screw this up. It was too much fun to be around the cinnamon tom. "As more than just maybe friends."

"No, you didn't." He ducked his head slightly and hid behind the creamy white drink. He didn't miss the smile that spread across Yamar's face. "You're attractive, and you know it."

"Ah, I'm not that bad about it, am I?" He couldn't help but chuckle and gently motioned Jake to take a seat of his choice in the living room.

"No, you aren't." He admitted fairly easily and sat on the large leather couch. "It's one of your better traits."

"Thank you," Yamar bowed to him before sitting across from the tom in a large leather chair with plenty of padding and room for two. "And you were going to explain what kept you out of school after your discharge."

"I just didn't have much time," he shrugged. "Between the Yard, trying to pay the bills and get Chance out of his funk, there just wasn't time for fun."

"Tabby didn't take too well to civilian life, did he?" Yamar asked sympathetically.

"Not in the least," Jake signed and took another sip of his drink. "Still hates it, but he's doing better."

"Do you ever think of going back, now that you've had a few years?" He asked curiously.

"We can't go back, at least not while Feral's in command." He sighed. "He booted us personally, and he still hates us."

"And he's not likely to retire any time soon," the Siamese admitted. "Maybe you could find something similar, where you wouldn't have to worry about the Commander."

"We've settled in pretty well, Yamar." He shrugged. "It's been 6 years. It's just not that big a deal anymore."

"It's just a thought," Yamar shrugged slightly. It wouldn't be polite to point out how obviously untrue the statement was. "Still, it could be better money than you're making now, and more interesting. I know I wouldn't mind working with you, or with Chance."

That brought Jake head up sharply, the surprise and borderline disbelief written clearly on his sharp features. "Us? Bodyguards?"

"Why not?" Yamar asked. "You both have the skills, or could pick them up fast enough. Probably both darned good in a fight too. I've certainly seen worse."

"I... urrr...." Jake stammered, clearly stunned out of his thought process by the idea. "I'll have to think about it," he finally managed, a light flush under his cinnamon fur.

"Of course," Yamar chuckled slightly, sipping his drink. "If you don't mind my asking, what's so hard to believe about it?"

"Just ... " he ducked his head slightly, the color rising a bit more on his cheeks. "I guess after we got booted, it's not the kind of thing I'd expect anyone to want us around for. We got a real rep as trouble."

"Which, unless you have an employer like the Mayor, can actually be an advantage in my line of work," the Siamese winked. "The Commander has a rep for sending good officers into the private sector; I've gotten some stiff competition thanks to him."

Jake looked at him, long and slow as his brain worked through this angle at top speed. "What kind of word do you actually do?" He finally asked quietly.

"What do you mean?" Yamar asked. "What's involved in being a bodyguard?"

"Pretty much," he nodded. "I mean, somebody like Chance I can see, but we've hardly got the mass to intimidate anything."

"That's the trick, sometimes," the Siamese explained. "Some people like to have a 'brute' like Chance around. No insult intended, but that's how a lot of people look at somebody built like him when they're looking for a bodyguard.

"Others want somebody a little more subtle. I might not be able to stop somebody with a stern look, but I'm good at my job, and can blend in at a society function without obviously being the 'muscle.' You don't always want people to *know* you've got a bodyguard, especially when you're supposed to look like you're not scared to step out the door in the morning for fear of somebody using you as target practice."

Jake thought about that for a while and nodded. "Makes sense. Someone like the Deputy Mayor who needs the protection, but not the publicity. It sounds like it's a lot more socializing than what I was thinking of."

"It can be," Yamar nodded. "Not always, but it's not really action-packed all the time. At least not if I'm doing my job," he chuckled. "Ideally, you never want to have to get into a fight."

"Very different from what we're used to," he chuckled weakly. "By the time the jets get called out, there already *is* a fight. We're just supposed to end it."

"So, not as interested now that you know it's not like an action flick?" He asked, a half-teasing tone in his voice.

"It sounds exhausting, honestly." He shook his head a bit. "Hours of being ready for something to happen, never letting your guard down, waiting for something that may not happen, all while trying to look inconspicuous around people who make more in a week than I do in a year."

"That it can be," Yamar admitted. "Still, it's rewarding work. And it could pay enough to get you back in classes, or just off a regular working schedule, if you wanted that."

"It's something to think about," Jake nodded in consideration.

"Want another White Ribbon?" Yamar asked after a moment, noticing Jake's was almost empty and that the kat was lost in thought.

"Mmm? Oh, sure." He smiled up, a bit startled by the question and handed his glass over.

The Siamese took the glass and moved into the kitchen to mix another one.

"So, he asked, returning the cool drink to Jake, "how long have you and Chance known each other?"

"Thanks, and a bit over ten years." He smiled warmly at the thought of his partner. "Since I enlisted and he transferred to the regulars."

"Transferred to the regulars?" Yamar asked curiously. "What did he do before?"

"Special Ops," he chuckled slightly. "Spent six years with them, then turned full-time flyboy."

"Impressive," Yamar chuckled. He knew about it, of course, but he had to act like it was news to him. "He ever say why he did that?"

"He's a hero," he chuckled with a bit of a silly grin on his face. "Special Ops did things he didn't like, and never got credit for what good they did do."

"You two are pretty close, aren't you?"

"After all we've been through together, I think so." His smile softened a bit after another drink. "Academy, front-line duty, coping with getting kicked out ... we've pulled each other through our best and worst times."

"Just how close are you two?" Yamar asked with a slight chuckle. "Friends, or...?"

"Friends, partners, and yes, we're lovers." He answered with a decidedly loopy grin. "Not mates, though. Neither of us are that inclined towards monogamy yet."

Yamar chuckled, wondering in the back of his mind how much of the grin was the subject, and how much was the two drinks. It wouldn't *usually* be enough to have that effect, but he had no idea how much Jake drank.

"He's a lucky tabby," he smiled.

"I'm a lucky Kat too," he purred softly and looked up at the Fire-Point Siamese looking down at him across the back of the couch. "He really looks out for me. Anyone in your life right now?"

"And I'll bet you look out for him too, as much as you can," Yamar smiled down. "And it depends. I have some good friends who keep an eye out for me, a lot like you and Chance. Including the benefits," he chuckled. "But no mate, or serious significant other."

"So you're free to play too?" He purred throatily.

"Oh, I think that's a safe bet," Yamar purred. He was glad that Jake had already been hinting at this before; he was more and more certain that the lean tom wasn't entirely sober anymore. "And I certainly like the idea better than you driving home like this," he added with a chuckle.

"Driving home?" He blinked, and then looked at the empty glass, then up at Yamar again. "I'm not *that* drunk."

"Maybe not," the Siamese admitted. "But what do you think Chance'd do to me if you were wrong? Besides," he winked, "you'll be fine in the morning, and I think we can come up with something to do in the meantime...."

"He'd kill you," Jake snickered and reached up to pull Yamar's head towards him. "But I can go with that last part."

"Good," the Siamese purred, leaning forward for a kiss.

Chance rode his bike up in front of an ordinary-looking apartment building near Megakat Shopping Center. He pulled his bike into the parking garage, and then double-checked the address he was looking for. Cindy's directions had been great, and he had a feeling that finding her apartment would be easy enough to do.

Right now, Jake was meeting with Yamar, and wouldn't be back until the next day at the soonest. He still wasn't sure about the Siamese... a part of him felt guilty for it, he was probably a perfectly nice guy, but he felt entitled to be a little paranoid regarding Jake's safety.

Especially now.

Of course, another part of him felt guilty about wanting to ask Cindy to talk to Rail for him, but... well, it's not like that was the *only* reason he was here tonight.

The attractive shekat he was meeting had her fair share to do with it on her own, contacts aside.

Finding her door, Chance knocked politely, but loud enough he knew she'd be able to hear. He almost felt silly; he hadn't met a shekat with flowers in-hand since high school, unless it was part of a very odd mission.

"Hello there big boy," She smiled warmly and seductively as she opened the door to reveal just how little she was wearing.

"Hello," Chance replied as his eyes roamed her body and took in the sight of her rich brown fur barely concealed by the skimpy green negligee that matched her bright eyes. "I'm starting to feel over-dressed," he chuckled, forcing his eyes back up towards hers.

"Good, because you definitely are," she laughed easily as she welcomed him into the apartment and accepted the flowers with a smile. "Your mother certainly taught you well."

"She'd be glad to hear that," he chuckled as she closed the door. "You're looking utterly stunning tonight," he smiled and followed her through the artistically and erotically designed apartment to the kitchen where she put the flowers into a cut crystal vase.

"Thank you," Cindy murmured and turned around to face him, leaned back against the counter and rumbled as her fluffy tail ghosted across his body. "So do you want to just look, or are you here to play too?"

"That depends entirely on your mood, though something tells me that playing is hardly out of bounds," he rumbled, stepping closer to her and rubbing her sides. "Are you usually this eager, or am I just lucky?"

"When I hit on a guy, yeah." She laughed easily and claimed his mouth in a kiss that stole his mind. "I'm not after a boyfriend, you know."

"Mmm, I can live with that," he rumbled, returning the deep, heated kiss as he pulled her close to him. "I'm not particularly looking for a girlfriend either."

It was early afternoon when Chance finally managed to get back to the Salvage Yard. Despite that, for once, he wasn't overly surprised to see that Jake wasn't back yet. He parked his bike and stretched out, groaning a bit as he walked into the main building.

He couldn't remember meeting a shekat as enthusiastic as Cindy in a long, long time. He would have been back earlier, but every time he started to think of heading out, she seemed to notice and distract him to the best of her ability.

Not that he'd made it all that difficult for her.

"Ten years ago I would've thought she was setting me up for a fall," he chuckled to himself, heading into the showers to clean up. He washed away the potent scent of Cindy's arousal mixed with his own, dried off quickly and pulled on his shorts. That done, he headed up to his room and retrieved the file Rail had given him. A quick stop in the kitchen to fix a sandwich, and he sat down to read.

There wasn't much there, really; just the test results, written in that strange blend of jargon and real-world language that made it nearly impossible to read, but Chance did his best. The upshot of it was that Rail had been dead right. According to the paternity test, Dark Kat was Razor's father. The code names were right on the sheet.

God, he hoped Karmel hadn't run the profile against Jake's from when they were in the Enforcers. She probably had, Rail had as good as *said* she had, but Chance still hoped she hadn't. That would be proof that could hold up in court, if it ever came to that. At least it would be if Rail had lied about this being the only copy. He'd just have to trust his old partners for now.

Funny... there'd been a time when he wouldn't have hesitated to do just that. The ten years didn't feel like that long a time, but they'd made such a difference in what he felt about them. They'd been as close as he and Jake were once, just about. Of course, he'd been on the inside back then, not just another civilian.

Chance took a bite out of his sandwich and sat the file down, leaned his head back to debate, one more time, whether or not he should tell Jake what he'd found out. The blinking light on the answering machine caught his attention, and he looked over at it. Three messages.

The tabby stood, walking over to the desk a little stiffly and tapping the 'play' button, leaning against the wall as he ate. At least one of them was probably Jake calling to say he'd be in late, but the other two could be work.

As it turned out, the first two messages were work, people calling in after-hours to try and set up appointments. Tough luck, they'd have to wait until the garage was open again like everybody else.

The third message, on the other hand, caught Chance's attention like little else could.

"Hi, Chance. This is Yamar. We met the other day at the Yard. Jake's ... well, a bit too drunk to drive safely, so he's going to be crashing here until the hangover's clear. Phone is 571-8652-9054. Call if you want."

Chance already had the phone in his hand by the time the number was being read off. He couldn't remember the last time Jake had gotten that drunk, if there *had* been a 'last time.' He dialed Yamar's number, hoping the Siamese was ready to explain what was going on.

And hoping harder that it was just the fact that Jake *hadn't* gotten that drunk before. Smart as he was, he didn't drink too often, or too much. He wouldn't be the first guy who'd simply overestimated how much he could handle.

"Hi Chance," Yamar's slightly phone-distorted voice answered with what sounded like a bit of sleepiness. "Jake's fine, just had a couple too many of my White Ribbons."

"You must mix them a bit stronger than he's used to," Chance chuckled slightly, relaxing some. Perfectly logical explanation.

How long had it been since something in his life had had one of those?

"Is he still asleep?" The tabby asked.

There was a pause and the sound of Yamar shifting. "Yap. Probably for a few more hours. Only went to sleep a bit ago."

"Didn't mean to wake you up," Chance said apologetically. "Take care of him when he wakes up, okay? It's been a while since he got drunk enough to get hung over."

"I will," he promised and actually chuckled. "I gathered as much by the look on his face when I informed him he was too drunk to drive home."

"That sounds like Jake," Chance chuckled. "How'd your night go?"

"A lot of fun," you could hear the grin in his voice. "It's been ages since I met someone who could talk about that many subjects so well. Though he has a real tendency to come back to you, you know."

"I'm flattered," the tabby chuckled. He was too; for the first time in a long time, he felt a hint of a blush under his fur. "He's pretty impressed with you too, y'know. About the same reason too."

"It is a rarity," Yamar agreed. "In such a cute package is even rarer."

"You're right about the cute part," Chance grinned. "I should probably let you get back to bed some time soon. Thanks for the call about Jake."

"No problem," he chuckled again. "After all he said about you, I'd rather you call than come knocking and worried. Talk to you later." He added and hung up.

Chance chuckled and hung up the phone as well. At least it was just a mistake. He'd have to ask Jake just what it was he'd said about him later on though. Sounded like it might be interesting.

In the meantime, the tabby just stretched and went to change into his overalls. Might as well get some work done while he had the chance.

"Ohh, god!" Jake moaned with a choke and tried desperately to avoid throwing up before he made it to the bathroom.

"Offff," Yamar choked and rolled out of bed. "Ohhh, kitten doesn't feel good."

"Kitten?" Jake's shaky voice came from the bathroom.

"Stray I brought home a few days ago." He explained over the mews of complaint at being moved.

"What have you been feeding it?" He grumbled as the smell died down a bit in surrender to air freshener. Then he blinked at the sprawled-legged ball of light brown fluff on the bed. "Yamar ... that kitten is not old enough to be away from its mother. Its eyes aren't even open yet."

"I can't help that."

"It'll need special formula and stuff. And to see a vet."

"That last one I'd guessed," the Siamese muttered. "We'll have to put him a new box before we take him in. You want to come along, or wait here, see if your head gets better?"

"I'll come along," he actually chuckled now that his stomach wasn't trying to come out his throat. "Do you have a vet yet?"

"No," Yamar admitted. "Only found the little guy a few days ago. You know a good one?"

"No, but I know someone who will." He chuckled. "One thing about being a good mechanic, you meet *all* kinds of people. Where's your phone?"

"In the living room, on the small desk."

"You get him ready, I'll find out where we're going." Jake managed a grin despite his pounding head. "And if you have anything for my head, I'd appreciate it."

"Aspirin in the desk with the phone," Yamar chuckled slightly, carefully picking up the kitten and moving him to a new box before he started a quick clean-up of the mess it had left behind.

"Thanks," Jake nodded and slipped out to make a few calls and try to get his mead under control. He couldn't remember how many White Ribbons he'd had past the second, but it was clearly far too many.

"Saki?" A fiery red shekat about Jake's age greeted them with a warm smile only moments after they'd checked in and sat down to wait. "Is this your baby?"

"Yeah," the Siamese chuckled a bit. "Seems I don't know as much about kittens as I thought when I took the little guy in."

"Well let's go into a room and see if we can help that a bit." She smiled and motioned the pair to follow her. "I'm Dr. Sarshanti. How long have you had the little one?"

"About four days. Found him on the street when I was coming home one night, no sign of his mother."

"Abandoned by his owner, no doubt." She pursed her lips in disapproval. "A kitten this young...." she froze when her fingers touched the small ball of fluff. Her eyes flicked up to Yamar, judging him sharply, then to Jake for the same treatment. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you two to stay here while I take her back for a second opinion."

"Okay," Yamar nodded slightly, wondering at the strange shift in her expression as she slipped from the room a little too quickly with the kitten in her arms.

"I don't like this." Jake shifted uncomfortably. "I've seen that expression before. Usually on a detective when you've *really* slipped up in your cover story."

"You noticed that too, hmm?" Yamar frowned. Crap. What had they been *doing* in that lab, aside from finding Dark Kat's kid? "No idea what it'd be. Just hope she's willing to tell us what's up before she decides she has to call Animal Control or something."

"It's the 'or something' that worries me." He murmured and started to pace a bit. "Animal Control we can handle. We did nothing wrong there. This city's got enough weirdness that ... well, what if it isn't a kitten?"

That thought had crossed the Siamese's mind, though he didn't want to say anything. Given where he'd found it, it could be just about anything.

"I'd say that's pretty unlikely. I mean, what would it be that she'd recognize by touch, but we wouldn't have noticed?"

"I don't know," he admitted while pacing. "But I don't like it."

"Neither do I," Yamar admitted. "Jake, you might want to sit down. I don't know what's wrong, but I do know that we didn't do anything wrong, and pacing is just going to keep you wound up and looking like you're worried."

He took a deep breath and nodded before reluctantly finding a seat. "I always get into the worst trouble trying to be helpful." He muttered.

"No good deed goes unpunished," the Siamese sighed. "Jake, this isn't your fault, no matter what ends up happening. If there's trouble for it somehow, it won't end up in your lap."

He smiled slightly at him. "Thanks Yamar, and I hope it doesn't come to that."

"Mr. Saki?" A cop poked his head into the room. "If you would come with me."

"Yes, Officer," Yamar nodded politely and stood to follow him.

Somehow, he had the feeling that things were going to get a lot weirder a *lot* faster.

That feeling didn't get any less when he was shown into another room and the door was locked while a second officer went in to talk to Jake.

"Now, why don't you tell me how you came by this kitten?" The officer demanded roughly.

"Like I told the vet, I found him on the street near my place one day. He stolen or something?" He didn't want to break his cover; it wouldn't be likely to do anybody any good. For now, he'd stick to his story; wait until he didn't have any other choice before he explained who he was.

"Stolen or abandoned," the big tabby shrugged. "So you're saying you don't know you brought a baby Kat to a *vet*?"

Yamar didn't have to fake the shocked expression that crossed his face.

"That's *not* a four-legged kitten?" He asked, surprised more than he had been by anything in a very long time. No wonder it had gotten sick. "No, I didn't know! Why would I have done something like that if I *did*?"

"The vet says it's a kid, not a kitten." He nodded seriously. "You aren't a father, are you?"

"No," he said, shaking his head. Lord, what *were* they doing in that lab? "Is it normal for it to look like that?"

"At two to three weeks, yes." He nodded seriously. "In light of this, I need to know *exactly* where and how you found him."

"About half way down the block from Summit and South Everly. I heard him mewing in a box just a little bit inside the alley. I thought he was a regular little kitten, so I took the little guy in, figured it'd be better than ending up in the shelter."

"I'm sure he owes his life to you," the cop regarded him dubiously while writing in his notebook. "We'll take him down to Kitten Services now."

"And a few meals he really shouldn't have gotten," the Siamese chuckled slightly. He felt a little sick inside, thinking about what that lab might have been doing with a kitten that young.

Or making one... it was possible, though barely.

"Any idea what'll happen to him once he gets there?" He asked, thinking. Without knowing what had happened, he didn't want to take the chance of leaving the kit in public hands for long.

"He'll see a doctor, then get put into the system. One that young probably won't have much trouble getting a home." He shrugged, not really knowing the system well.

"Here's hoping," Yamar nodded. He'd have to have a chat with the team, see about arranging that he did get a home, and quickly. "Is there anything else you'll need?"

"Just your information, and don't plan on leaving town in the next few days."

"Hadn't been planning on it," the Siamese said easily, mentally pulling up all the information he'd need to give them for this cover.

Jake was jazzed beyond words as he pulled into the Yard Sunday morning. It didn't even register that he hadn't slept since the previous afternoon and that had ended with a pretty significant hangover. He just couldn't wait to get to the Hanger and his workshop and start testing some of what he and Yamar had thought up.

"Hey, Jake," Chance called out to him as the cinnamon tom walked in and was instantly alert to the look of excited creativity that historically meant a lot of double shifts and very little sex for him. "Finally made it back?"

"With some *great* ideas," his grinned widened before he kissed his partner warmly.

"Just what does that tom study, that the two of you talking puts that look on your face?" Chance asked after the kiss broke, holding Jake lightly with a bit of a smirk on his face. "And how long should I wait before I drag you out of your lab with the tow truck?"

"Same as me," he grinned and kissed Chance again. "Mechanics, Electronics, Aeronautics, Criminology, History, Archeology, Genetics, Martial Arts, Computers ... a bit of everything." He was almost bouncing in place.

"I thought they'd outlawed cloning," the tabby teased lightly, before claiming another kiss. Jake being in this sort of mood couldn't be a bad thing.

"Only theoretically," he winked and wrapped his arms around Chance's neck to snuggle close for a moment, giving the tabby a very intimate feel of just how excited his partner was on every level. "And we're going to have some *cool* new stuff when I work out what I thought up when we were talking."

"Do I get any hints, or are you going to make me wait?" Chance asked him, enjoying the contact. "Or are you going to try and work off some of this buzz before you get to work?" He added with a wink, pressing close to the smaller tom and felt and instant shift in energy. It was still bubbling and high-strung, but now there was a decided air of pure sensual submission to the lean body as well.

"Several scanner advances," Jake purred throatily and kissed him with a hunger that hadn't been there a moment before. "And a couple great new capture weapons. And you should *see* what the TurboKat will do when I get the engine rework done."

A part of Chance's mind noted, with some amusement, that there were days it was very, very odd what could get Jake wound up and in what ways. Not that he was about to complain, of course.

"Sounds like you're going to be one busy tomkat," he chuckled. "Did he give you caffeine before you left, or is this what you're going to be like for the next couple weeks?"

"No caffeine," he chuckled and nuzzled his partner. "So do you want to wear some of this off, or do I get to go play in the workshop now?"

"Mmm ... it's up to you, but since when have I turned down a chance to help you work off a buzz like this?" Chance asked his partner with a wink and got a searing kiss for it.

"Then let's wear you out so I can get to work," Jake rumbled eagerly and made quick work of unzipping Chance's overalls.

"So how'd it go?" Bull asked with actual curiosity of Vale and Rail when entire team had gathered for a meal Sunday night.

"Chance obviously didn't know, and only his belief in our thoroughness kept him from really doubting it. He tried to tell me Razor was Jake's call. I didn't challenge him." Rail shrugged and grabbed a soda. "He's getting more self control too. Actually turned me down afterwards."

"First reaction to Jake ... no chance he'll side with Dark Kat. He's definitely Razor, he's beyond brilliant and I'd recruit him in a heartbeat if I got clearance to." Vale added after a bit of sandwich. "He's incredible."

"Sure, but how useful would he be out of bed?" A burly tuxedo tom quipped. "Ow!" He ducked as the black-on-grey tabby shekat next to him swatted one of his ears lightly.

"Watch it, Rock," she chuckled. "All joking aside, we could use somebody with Razor's skills."

"But getting him away from T-Bone, or getting T-Bone back here?" Bull shook his head. "Not likely."

"And getting him away from T-Bone is going to require a dead T-Bone." Vale shook his head. "There's loyalty there I don't think even they understand."

"Par for the course, where Tiger's concerned," the shekat nodded. "Pity we couldn't bring 'em both back in."

"Now *that* would take a miracle, Shadow," Rock observed. "At least from what you guys've told me about T-Bone."

"I know," she shrugged. "Still, it'd be nice. Don't know what we'd do about not having SWAT any more, but it would be nice."

"We might be able to come to an agreement with them, however," Rail commented as he picked his sharp, hard teeth. "Tiger left because he couldn't stomach a mission. But if it's a mission they're okay with, they do have a history of working with others."

"Jake definitely is," Vale nodded. "He really does miss the camaraderie of having a larger group."

"If you two can make it work, do it." Bull nodded. "No way in hell am I refusing SWAT help."

"And gods know it'd be better than having Razor even *think* of working with Dark Kat," a second tabby shuddered. "You said Tiger believed it, but what did he say about that?" He asked.

"'I'll keep him safe' the way *only* Tiger can say it." He chuckled slightly. "Not saying it's not possible, but it's in the 'over my dead body' category. Or more like, to prevent that."

"Hasn't changed that much since he left, has he? Anything else we need to think about with those two?"

"Tiger's suspicious." Rail looked strait at Vale. "He actually asked a *favor* of me. Fortunately, Yamar has the best cover we can provide, and I can enforce it."

"Did he say why?" Vale returned the look with concern.

"I'd say the timing." Rail shrugged. "He came back from talking to me to find Jake with a new friend."

"And between Rail's reputation as a sneaky bastard, and finding out that Dark Kat is Jake's father, can't really blame him," Shadow smirked, before getting a little more serious. "Though it is good that we can cover for what's going on. Tiger'd have to understand though, if we told him."

"He just may well hate us for it for a while." Rail nodded. "We'll have to be careful about how that info comes out."

"Cause if he ever works with us, it will." Vale added. "The twins may do a good job, but they aren't *that* good."

"Not to mention the fact that you'd have to be made up all the time he was around you as *you*," Shadow pointed out, shaking her head. "After all, he already knows you as Yamar on sight."

"I'd be surprised if he didn't understand the measure *if* he agrees to work with us again, in any capacity." Bull pointed out. "If he doesn't agree, he'd better not find out."

"Jake'll take more work to make understand, but I know how to spin it for him." Vale inclined his head. "As long as I put it in context of protecting both of us, he'll go with it. We hit it off pretty well, and that's not faked."

"That's not a surprise," Karmel chuckled. "I did recommend you for a reason, you know. You two are so alike it's scary."

"Which is always a plus when it comes to explaining things," Shadow pointed out. "Especially as bright as Jake's supposed to be, he should be able to understand. Hell, he'll probably figure it out if you try and recruit him, Vale."

"He'll probably figure it out even if you don't." Rail chuckled with a smirk. "Though he probably won't bring it up given his own secret. He just won't be surprised if it comes up."

"I can keep that small a secret, even from him." Vale snorted. "I'm not *that* clueless at undercover you know."

"Not that you're clueless, Vale," Rock chuckled. "It's that Jake isn't either."

"And he's more used to the double-talk and abrupt excuses than any of you." Karmel added with a slight smirk. "He's lived it twenty-four/seven most of his adult life after all. With no one to cover his tracks if he messes up."

"And stakes that could be even higher," Lucky nodded seriously. "After all, not just every Omega out there that'd want his head on a platter, but Feral'd just about kill to know about this."

"I'm not so sure about that," Rail shook his head with something of a smirk on his dark face. "He's let them go time and time again. Worked with them when it was useful. He's had dozens of opportunities to capture them if he really wanted to." He leaned back and let the smirk go full out. "I'm betting he already knows, but Tiger doesn't think so."

"If he does know, he's a better actor than we are," Shadow chuckled. "Which is possible," she conceded.

"Yeah, though if it is the case, convincing Tiger of it'll be a pain and a half. He had issues with Feral *before* seven years of being on the receiving end of a kat-hunt."

"Yeah, he's going to be a problem if it's ever official that Tiger's working with us again," Rail rumbled deep in his chest, a note of amusement that usually bode ill for the Commander. "But what are the odds it'll ever be *official*?"

"You *are* a devious bastard," Bull laughed, shaking his head. "This could be a lot of fun."

"For us," Rock smirked. "For the Commander? Maybe not so much."

"It may even appeal to their sense of justice." Vale grinned dangerously.

"It'll be easily to slip their pay into the mission expenses." Karmel added with a false innocence.

"And if he's got veto rights on joining any mission, Tiger might even go for it." Rail added.

"Especially if they could keep working mostly solo when they wanted to," Lucky grinned. "Give him the best of both worlds, I think he'd be happy to come back. Only be fair if you managed to bring him back in, Rail," he added with a wink.

"Yeah, yeah. I'm never going to live that down, am I?" Rail rolled his yes.

"Nope," the tabby tom said cheerfully. He and Shadow hadn't been with the team when Rail had joined, but it was a favored point of ribbing for everybody who'd been there when Chance had been.

"Sounds like you have the toughest mission of your career." Karmel chuckled lightly.

"Though it could be the most fun." Rail grinned back at her. "He hasn't lost anything for ten years off the team."

"Then here's hoping we can get him back," Shadow grinned. "No offense to Rock, but I think we could use Tiger back some days."

"None taken," the black and white tom chuckled.

"An op of his caliber is always useful." Bull nodded.

"Yes, and we have a messier thing to deal with." Vale sighed. "That kitten I snagged from the lab? It turns out it's a Kat kitten."

"What?" Rock blinked. "You can't be serious."

"It's possible," Shadow said with a frown, "but that is a *damned* young kitten. How'd you find out?"

"I took him to a vet, who promptly called the cops." Vale muttered. "It would have been fairly simple to shut down, but Jake was there and breaking my cover was just not an option."

"So he's now down at KS." Karmel grumbled. "We can't leave him there."

"Not if he came out of that lab, naturally or otherwise," Lucky agreed.

"Did they say if he was going to be sent to an orphanage until he got older, or if they were going to try and get him adopted out ASAP?" Rock asked, his black-furred ears twitching a bit as he thought.

"No, the cop really didn't know." Vale shook his head. "And I didn't think I could really follow with Jake along."

"No, you probably couldn't," he agreed, frowning a bit. "Be a little conspicuous, and any way to get the kit back right away would have *really* blown your cover. And brought some nasty heat down, probably. Well, if they're gonna put him up for adoption, if we were allowed, we could just arrange for a well-to-do family to adopt the little guy." He glanced between the two black-and-grey tabbies sitting next to him, and Bull, half-expecting one of the two parties to object.

Instead, their leader regarded the pair and Rock for a while, and then nodded. "It doesn't solve the issue of who will take care of him, though. Coming from that lab, he could be almost anything."

"Sweet Bastet!" Karmel rolled her eyes. "Talking about a kit as a mission. You guys let Karmel handle the kit, and the mess. Bureaucracy I can handle."

"We didn't want to speak for you, Karmel," Lucky pointed out. "A kit's a lot of work, and we don't exactly have the most family-friendly lives, any of us. If it'd make it easier to handle the red tape," he offered, "Shadow and I'd be happy to go and put one of our old aliases to work adopting the little guy."

She chuckled at that. "I've raised nine of my own and grandkits. One more will be welcome, and hardly an extra hassle. I may take you up on your offer, but I doubt I'll need to."

"Woah," Shadow said, raising an eyebrow playfully. "Well, that blows the theory that Special Ops means kissing a family life goodbye."

"Only field ops," she laughed easily. "Desk duty is desk duty, it just pays better here."

"Okay, that's sorted out," Bull turned to Karmel. "So what's the brass have for us now?"

Razor's ear snapped sideways as he paused in the hall of Megakat Biochemical's basement. There was a step among the Creeplings that didn't belong. Much heavier, much more powerful.

"Dark Kat." He hissed with a nearly feral snarl and crept up to an opening blasted in the concrete wall. For once, he wasn't worried that T-Bone wasn't at his back, though he knew the tabby was somewhere nearby. It was a perfect shot. It was a shot that he really didn't want his partner to see him make. Somewhere in their years, Chance had come to the thought that Jake wasn't willing to kill. It was an idea that he was perfectly willing to let his partner keep.

The soft click of his Glovatrix going to mini-missiles stilled the gunner's breathing. Reflex and training took their part in holding him still for the shot to be perfect and leave the nightmare a bloody smear across the entire room.

He wouldn't even see it coming; Dark Kat was too busy directing his 'troops' to notice.

Just before he fired, a powerful hand grabbed his other shoulder. The shock threw his aim off, and the explosive rounds flew within inches of the massive Omega. As they detonated, throwing the room into chaos, Razor spun around to see T-Bone behind him, who was clearly the one responsible for the missed shot. For a half-second, Razor completely lost his cool.

"*Id....*" He snarled with flat ears and almost swung at his partner. "I had him!"

"No time, Razor!" T-Bone told him. "I found the bomb, but I can't turn it off. I'll take care of Dark Crud."

"Where?" He focused on the most important thing now and relegated the firestorm for later.

"Next level down, just outside the elevator shaft," the tabby explained quickly. "That thing goes off, it'll poison half the city!"

"I know," he growled and bolted for the elevator, intent on just making a jump down the level.

T-Bone didn't bother following; he knew Razor could handle it on his own. Besides, after what he'd just done, he'd be damned if he'd let Dark Kat get away.

Still, it wasn't like he could just stand there and let Razor blow his own father away, at least not until he knew what he was doing.

In the other room, Dark Kat was just recovering from the explosion right behind him, his Creeplings scattered and disoriented. His mind worked fast, putting together exactly what was going on in his surroundings. The SWAT Kats had caught up with him, obviously, and there wasn't any time to hesitate.

He grabbed a nearby Creepling, throwing it towards T-Bone just as the burly tabby fired his Glovatrix, burning the helpless imp to a crisp with an arc of electricity.

"Stop him!" Dark Kat bellowed. His Creeplings quickly charged towards the SWAT Kat, giving him time to start running. The bomb would be going off soon, and he would have to be well away from the building when it did.

Besides, if Razor managed to disarm the bomb, which was a very real possibility, he couldn't take the chance of being close enough for either of them to get a second chance to kill him. He'd seen the look in Razor's eyes, and something in resent years had changed the small Kat. He was ready and willing to kill now.

T-Bone cured under his breath as the swarm of Creeplings tackled him. It wasn't a fight he had any real chance of loosing, but it was still seriously annoying and they had *sharp* teeth when they managed to make contact.

"I can't leave you alone for a minute, can I?" Razor's grumble came over the sound of screeching Creeplings and the quickly thinning mob.

"One of these days we're going to have to figure out some sort of bug spray for those things," the pilot muttered, tossing the last of the Creeplings off of himself as they scattered. "Come on, if we get back to the TurboKat fast enough we might still be able to catch Dark Kat while he's trying to get away."

He let a small breath of relief out when Razor nodded and headed as fast as he could to the roof where the jet was parked. It was enough of a promise of action to push the imminent and unpleasant questions to the back burner, again.

"You care to explain that now?" Jake asked as they stripped their sweat and combat soaked uniforms off and headed for the Hanger's shower room.

For a brief moment, Chance considered telling him the truth. The moment passed quickly. Dark Kat *did* have to go down, and the tabby'd been kicking himself for stopping Jake all the way back. If he did tell him, the next time Jake got the opportunity he might not be as willing to take it.

"I told you, I'd just found the bomb and it was too risky for me to try and disarm it." He hated lying to his partner. On a very real level, it took the chance of undermining everything they had. "I didn't know how long it was going to take you, so I figured you had to get down there ASAP."

It would be a miracle if Jake bought it; they both knew that it probably would have been just as fast, if not faster, to let him finish Dark Kat off and then go.

Jake let silence fall between them as they quickly showered and dried off, adding even more unease to the unusual physical distance between them. They were almost dressed in their work overalls when he finally spoke.

"Tell me when you're ready." He said softly, both acceptance and hurt in his voice as the subject was dropped, potentially forever.

Chance knew his partner well enough to know that the lean tom wouldn't bring it up again, not even with further provocation. He watched him climb up the ladder, then turned and punched the cement wall in frustration.

"Damnit!" He swore to himself. How many years had he been working with missions he couldn't tell anybody about? Now, when it mattered, he couldn't come up with anything believable.

Of course, it wasn't like he'd had that much time to come up with a cover story before he'd had to do something. Of all the things he'd thought of that could end up going wrong, Jake trying to *kill* Dark Kat hadn't been one of them.

"Now what am I going to do?" He muttered to himself and followed Jake up the stairs once he'd finished buttoning up his overalls.

Rail stretched out on the couch, resisting the urge to begin pacing again or check that everything was ready for the tenth time.

Damn it, meeting a client was *not* supposed to be this nerve-wracking! Especially not this one. He had the Intel, it was flawless, even including the minor gaps that Jake would eventually learn from 'Yamar'. It was the kind of work he should be proud of and demand top dollar ... or position ... for.

So why did it sit so wrong in his gut? It was hardly much of a lie. Just replace 'Bodyguard' for 'Special Ops' and it wasn't that far off from Vale's real civilian file. But lying to an old teammate, even one who'd left on his own, didn't sit right. Especially not now that there was real talk of recruiting them in some way.

Still, he was Rail and he'd play this out flawlessly. Tiger'd never know what hit him.

Slipping that last bit into the persona he'd spent over two decades crafting, in the Ops and out, brought a small smile to his face and he stood with the casual grace and power that Tiger would expect of him to go greet the tabby.

The sound of the bike idling was his cue; Chance had just pulled in by the time he reached the garage. The tabby looked around almost nervously. Something had him on edge, clearly. It would doubtful it was this meeting, either.

"You just get back from a battle that didn't hit the news?" He asked idly.

"Still convinced we're SWAT?" Chance replied, shaking his head. "Just don't like trying to keep things from Jake."

"Guy's got to test his theories, you know." He chuckled and let it pass. It never did much good to press him more. He'd just get his hackles up and set in and you'd *never* get what you wanted. "And I can understand that." He added with a nod. "I got what you wanted, though if you think Jake's got a new boyfriend, it's not there."

"Not too worried about the boyfriend part if it happens," Chance admitted. "Just want to be sure that the new friend part isn't something that'll end up getting Jake hurt. You sure you guys got that file about him before Dark Kat did?"

"Given the test results weren't even compiled yet, as sure as anyone can be without getting the truth from DK himself," he nodded and led Chance back into the apartment. This time he didn't bother with the living room, heading directly to the bedroom he'd prepared instead. "It's no guarantee the tests won't be run again."

"That I understand," the tabby nodded, following the black-furred tom. "Just seemed to be a little convenient; I find out about Dark Kat, and Yamar shows up. As much as Jake likes him, figured it'd be a good idea to see if he was somebody I could trust with him."

"If he's working for DK, they're hiding it *very* well." Rail relaxed to sit on the bed and handed a thick folder over. "He's actually got a few morals money can't buy. Or at least nothing that's been offered to date."

"That's good to know," Chance observed, flipping through the folder as he sat down next to Rail. "This is gonna sound nuts, given how things were when I left, but think you could give me a little moral advice?"

The black tom raised an eyebrow so high it disappeared into his short hair. "Okay ...." he cut himself off from a series of question-qualifies, given *Chance* was the one that had left for moral reasons.

"At least you didn't laugh," Chance chuckled slightly. "I'm trying to figure out if I should tell Jake about Dark Kat. All he knows about his father is that he ran out on his mom before he was born."

Rail had to lean back to really think about that in the context of 'right' and 'wrong', not just the tactical choice. In the end, he could only shake his head with a sigh and give the tactical lowdown.

"He's going to find out. Either from you or Dark Kat or the media. Not telling him, if he finds out you knew, threatens the team trust you've built up. Telling him may prevent him from taking that kill-shot if he gets it. Or it might make him more eager for it. Either one can be dangerous." He paused, thinking it over again. "The way I see it, you choose based on the likelihood and severity of repercussions." He looked up to meet the tabby's eyes. "I'd tell him, if it was my choice. He doesn't have a history of being inclined towards anti-social behavior."

"No, he doesn't," Chance agreed. "And you're thinking about the same way I am. Just that that kat gets guilt-trips way too easily."

Well, at least it was part of the reason. The rest was already laid out and he wasn't about to confess to it being true.

"Then you'll just have to see that he doesn't too badly." Rail shook his head. "Choices are rarely painless. It's why they're choices."

"Universal truth," Chance nodded.

"One of the few."

"Just hope he'll understand why I didn't tell him yet."

"If he's anything like I think he is, he will if you try to make him." Rail smiled slightly and leaned over to brush a hand down the tabby's muscular chest. "He's not one to look for reasons not to believe you."

"True," Chance smiled a bit and reached up to brush Rail's arm lightly. "So, have anything in mind for a way I can repay the favor?" He asked, despite the fact that he knew the answer already.

A low chuckle greeted that, followed by a soul-searing kiss that Rail was now famous for.

"No taking off like last time." He smirked. "At least not till *I'm* done."

"Yes sir," the tabby smirked, leaning a bit closer. "Though you will have to let me go some time before the weekend's over."

The next morning, Chance arrived back at the Yard quietly. Jake would probably be in his lab, and he didn't want to disturb him. He'd just left the safe house a little while ago after a well-earned nap, and Rail was still asleep when he'd left.

With the motorcycle parked, he grabbed another quick shower and headed up towards his room to get some real sleep. As he walked by Jake's room, he paused, looking in. Much to his surprise, the cinnamon tom was sprawled out on his stomach, still mostly dressed and not even under the blankets. One arm dangled off the edge of the bed and he was snoring lightly.

A wry grin spread across the tabby's face, and he tossed the towel he's been drying off with into the laundry basket and quietly moved to Jake's bed. "You work too hard," he murmured, kneeling by the end of the bed. Well, it wasn't an opportunity Chance got very often; he was going to take advantage of it.

He reached up, rubbing Jake's legs gently, trying not to wake him up. Slowly, carefully, he worked the lean tom's jeans down. Once they were around his knees, he reached up to caress the firm planes of his ass, then his thighs, slowly spreading his cinnamon-furred legs. Finally, he leaned up between Jake's legs, and nuzzled his softly-furred balls, licking them lightly and paying close attention to the way his partner murmured and shifted slightly to spread his legs further apart.

It wasn't the reaction of an awake Jake, but it was definite encouragement. On the rare occasion he really *needed* the rest, even this would have gotten Chance bopped by an irate tail.

A smirk quirked the tabby's lips as he took one of Jake's light orbs into his mouth, suckling it and purring lightly. The shiver that passed through Jake body only encouraged him, as did the increased sounds of interest and awareness from further up the bed. It wouldn't be long before Jake was awake.

Gently, Chance spread his ass with one hand, licking lightly at the tight, furless pucker there and used his other hand to fondle Jake's balls. A sharp breath was his first clue that Jake had gone from sleepy enjoyment to actual awareness. A deep moan confirmed it as Jake lifted his tail and pushed his hips upwards. Chance took the invitation, darting his tongue into the tight ring slightly, moistening it as he reached under further, coaxing his partner's shaft to full hardness with a well-practiced hand.

"Insatiable," Jake groaned again and shifted his legs to get his pants the rest of the way off. "Date not go well?" He teased between shivers of pleasure and working his clothes off without disrupting his partner's efforts.

"Oh, it went well," Chance purred, moving up along Jake's body and nibbling lightly at his back. The responsiveness Jake offered up was almost as much fun as the anticipation of being buried in that tight, hot body. "It just looked like somebody spent a long night in the lab all alone. Thought you might like a little company." He stroked Jake's cock, teasing the barb-hairs skillfully.

"Mmm, no arguments there." He licked his lips and rubbed up against the broad, hard body above him. "You going to play all day?"

"You going to complain if I do?" Chance asked with a teasing tone to his voice.

"Mmmm, eventually." He hedged with another deep moan and rocked his hips down into the welcoming tightness of Chance's hand.

"Which means I have more time to play," Chance chuckled, slowly working a thick finger into Jake's tight ass, still stroking him as the lean tom moaned. He shamelessly rocked between the finger in his ass and the ones around his cock, more than willing to not hold himself back and make Chance work him up again.

And Chance, quite frankly, was more than willing to work him up.

He probed the inside of Jake's ass, searching for the lean tom's prostate. He purred deeply, enjoying every eager moan and twitch of Jake's body as his partner surrendered completely to his desires and the pleasures of the flesh.

"Like that, huh?" Chance asked, working Jake's shaft faster. "Show me how much, hmm?"

"Oh, *yeah*." He shuddered and thrust his hips hard into Chance's hand, eager for the promised release his body tightened for, tingled and shivered and cried for. As the fingers around him sickened with his pre-cum, the pleasure began to spiral out of control.

The burly tabby pressed close as Jake came, the lean tom's seed spraying between his fingers and into the blanket under them. The scent of arousal was thick in the room when he finally finished, pearly seed pooling beneath them.

"Why don't we finish up in here, then head to my room for a little rest?" Chance suggested with a deep, seductive purr that was nearly cut off by Jake's kiss.

"You want to do the work, or have a little tongue-action?" He purred and grinned up.

"Oh, I think I can do the work," Chance grinned as Jake settled his shoulders on a pillow and raised his hips with his legs spread. "Make yourself comfortable."

"Have fun," he rumbled with a steamy look back at the big tabby.

"Oh I will," the tabby rumbled, pressing forward and rubbing his thick length between the cheeks of Jake's ass. Slowly, he shifted to press the tip of his cock against the lean tom's furless pucker. With a lusty groan, he pressed forward, stretching Jake further. No matter how many times he sank deep into this particular body, it was always intense. Not quite like their first time, but Jake's voice and tight heat always managed to make short work of him.

"Oh, yeah." Jake murmured with a shiver of delight. "Deeper, Tiger." He moaned and pressed back while he tightened his body around his lover.

"With pleasure," Chance groaned. He pressed forward, his heavy balls swinging up against Jake's lightly as he hilted inside of him. He pulled back out, already panting as he felt Jake tighten around him, pulling at his barb-hairs even more than normal.

"Fuck," he panted, trusting faster without any real ability to slow down now. "Ohhh, fuck!"

Jake grinned and rippled the muscles in his lower body to add even more texture and erratic pleasure spikes straight down the tabby's cock.

Chance tried to hold back as well as he could, pounding into Jake mercilessly, rubbing along the smaller tom's prostate with nearly every motion. He wasn't going to last too long though; Jake was way too good at what he did, especially when he was in a mood like this and getting wound up for the second time.

"Ohhh, my sexy tiger." Jake panted with his weight and most of Chance's braced on one arm as he reached back to stroke himself off with the other.

Chance tried to slow down a bit, make it last longer. He growled a bit, taking some of his weight on one arm and grabbing Jake's hip with the other, pulling the smaller tom back into his thrusts.

"Get ready," he rumbled, panting hard as his shaft twitched and throbbed inside Jake's body.

"Yessss," he dropped his head and moaned. His hand tightened around his cock as the ridged flesh pulsed with blood and pleasure, drawing a grunt out of him with the thickening trickle of pre-cum that slickened his fur and drove the pleasure even more intense.

With a last tightening of his fingers Jake roared with the first splash of hot seed into his body and surrendered to his own pleasure while his partner came hard above him.

Chance practically roared as he pumped his seed deep into Jake's bowels. Pleasure pulsed through both their bodies, the pair finally collapsing to the bed, panting as their bodies finished.

"Mmmm, not a bad way to wake up," Jake murmured when he'd caught his breath.

"That it isn't," Chance agreed with a deep purr. "Mmm... so, move to a slightly less sticky bed to finish the sleeping part of this?"

"With a stop in the bathroom to get the worst out of our fur first," he added with a chuckle but made no real attempt to move.

"You're gonna make me carry you, aren't you?" Chance asked, kissing Jake's neck. Still, he wasn't in a real hurry to move either.

"Mmm, you don't *have* to," he purred with a low chuckle. "But you know what showers do to me."

"Well, if you put it *that* way," the tabby smirked. He pulled out of Jake's body with a groan. He stood up, then took Jake in his arms and nuzzled his neck. "Let's go play in the water."

Much later that night, Chance woke up to the feeling of a lean tom snuggled up close, purring softly. He joined in with his own purr as he gradually became more aware and wrapped his arms around Jake.

Even as he did that, he started thinking about how to broach the subject of Dark Kat. If he was going to tell him, he'd have to do it soon.

"Jake?" He said after a few moments, his tone relatively serious.

"Mmm?" He didn't move, just acknowledged that he was awake and had heard his partner.

"Remember how you said you'd listen when I was ready to talk about that last run-in with Dark Kat? Ready as I'll ever be."

"Okay," Jake woke up in a heartbeat. His body still mostly relaxed but the rest of him on full alert.

Chance swallowed, trying to think of how to say it.

"A couple weeks ago, one of my old Ops teammates got in touch with me, said he had to tell me something. I met him, and it turns out they'd found a report while they were on a mission at a genetics lab. I don't understand all of it, but the upshot is that Dark Kat was running a paternity test... and the test says that you're his son."

Jake went completely still for a very long time, his mind working all the possible permutations of how that could be right, or wrong.

"Did he give you a copy?" He eventually asked quietly.

"The copy, according to him, and I can trust him that much," Chance said softly. "They're also pretty sure that we're SWAT, but I denied it," he added with a sigh. Might as well get all the bad news out of the way.

"How bad is it if they *know*?" Jake's mind abruptly switched to the more important topic. "How much trouble are we in?"

"If they knew, and they were going to turn us in, Feral'd already be down here to rip us apart," Chance said. He was pretty sure of that much. "Bull and the gang ran the team pretty loosely most of the time. I'd say there'd be a better chance of them trying to hire us than turn us in."

Jake stiffened again, though this time it was in shock at the very idea of being Special Ops material. He took a deep breath and settled down. "So for now, we're safe."

"From them, yeah," Chance nodded. "If nothing else, I'd like to think they'd give us a little warning if they were going to end up having to come after us."

"Okay ... so where is that report?"

"Hang on," Chance said, reluctantly letting go of Jake and got out of the bed. He opened up his closet, digging back to a small box and pulled out the thin folder.

"Here it is," he said, handing it over to Jake, who was now standing behind him. "The test was for Dark Kat and Razor, but they were able to trace it to you. I told 'em it was just your old call name. On the plus side, it means Dark Kat doesn't know who we are."

"It does mean that he suspects Razor is his son. Assuming he remembers who my mother is, it won't take long once the tests are run again." He added quietly as he skimmed the folder's contents. "Even if he doesn't ...." he let the thought fall away as it really started to sink in and all the things he knew about his sire from his mother came back hard. "She's in as more danger than we are."

"You think he'll come after her?" Chance asked seriously. "You know more about him, as your sire, than you said, don't you?"

"Not about Dark Kat," He nodded slightly, his voice low and a bit shaky. "But I know a bit about Jermain Tabisan. I just always told myself it was a coincidence their names were the same. Mom still loves him. He wasn't insane back then. Or he hid it a lot better."

"Think she'll try and go back to him if she finds out?" Chance couldn't imagine what that would be like, even just thinking about it.

"I don't know," he whispered with a shudder at the idea. "She hates Dark Kat, but that ... I doubt she knows it's the same Kat. It could change ... everything." He shook his head hard, as if to shake the idea out of it, and turned to grab some fresh clothes. "Think you can handle the shop for a few days? I really need to sort this out."

"Yeah, I can handle things," Chance said, his brow furrowing with concern. "Jake... don't do anything stupid, okay? If you want to talk, I'll be here."

He paused and looked back at his partner with a shaky smile. "I know, buddy. I'll be careful. I just need to translate the rest of the file and work out options. You're in a lot more danger now too. You aren't just his top irritation; you're a key to something he wants."

"Yeah, but he has run the next set of tests first," Chance reassured him. "So there's some time there. I'll be careful though. Are you gonna be sticking around here, or heading out to think?"

"Here for now." He let out a small breath and grabbed his clothes. "I may have to head out later to meet with folks."

"Should I come look for you later, make sure you get something to eat?" The tabby asked, starting to get dressed himself. He couldn't blame Jake for needing to sort things out in the least. He only wished he knew how to help more.

Jake shot him a long-suffering look of irritation, but his eyes were warm. "I'll be fine, buddy. Besides. Mom'll stuff me till I can barely move."

"Well you made it sound like you'd be holing up in the lab, so it made sense to check," Chance chuckled slightly. "Good luck, Jake," he said warmly.

"Oh, I'll be there too, and a few other places." He cracked an almost-smirk. "There's a lot to do and figure out *before* any duplicate tests can be run, and that's not nearly long enough. I'll keep my comm with me."

"I'll do my best not to run the shop into the ground," Chance smiled before Jake disappeared for a long, hot shower and the beginning of trying to come to grips with the report in his hand.

Jake sighed and rubbed the long ridge of his nose. No if, ands or buts about it. The guy identified as Dark Kat in the reports was his sire. He couldn't be sure that part was real, but the odds were high it was true as well. Whoever it was, he was the one who ordered the test in the first place.

And that made him very, very dangerous to the few things that Jake really valued.

He rolled his shoulders out with an unhappy sound and ran his contacts and those in more danger threw his mind.

Chance would take the top spot, but he could defend himself a hell of a lot better than his mother, who might even go back to him if he wanted her to.

And then what?

Just because the only choice would be to turn against her just like he had his sire didn't make it a palatable choice. Maybe she wasn't the best person in the world, but she'd still always been there when he'd needed her. It hardly mattered that that hadn't been since his early teens. She was his mother. She'd raised him.

And she had to know.

Before Dark Kat, or Jermain, did and turned the information against them.

He groaned and stretched his arms upwards. "Talk about your no-win situation."

"Hay bro." She smiled and slid down sit next to her kittenhood friend in their Grand Central Park hideaway. "You sounded pretty wound up. Something up with Chance?"

"No," Jake chuckled weakly and leaned his head back against the thick tree. "He's doing fine. It's Jermain Tabisan that has me all worked up this time."

She glanced over at him with a frown. "Thirty years and *now* he's interested in you?"

"Me and what I can do," he nodded slightly, his eyes closed. "There aren't a dozen kats in the world that have my talents, and he wants them."

She looked over and frowned. "He's not a good guy is he? More than just a deadbeat dad looser."

He laughed harshly. "You could say that, Midnight. Jermain is Dark Kat."

"No way." She snorted as her tail flicked sharply in agitation.

"Yes way." Jake sighed and opened his eyes to stare blankly into the darkening sky and the sliver of a moon visible between the thick branches. "It's been known for the better part of our lives, it just never mattered. He abandoned that identity completely not long after Dark Kat first appeared."

"Oh, kats," Midnight murmured and slumped back to stare into the sky with him, the silence holding until after the sun was a cooling memory and the stars were hidden behind city lights instead of sunlight.

"Does Debria know?" She finally asked.

"I doubt it," Jake shook his head. "Or mom's hiding it better than I thought she could."

"Well, you did get that talent from somewhere, you know." She observed dryly and earned a dirty look for it.

"Can we not go back to that?" He muttered. "I've got enough to deal with in *him*."

"I can't this time, bro." Midnight sighed and looked over at him. "It's intertwined to the hilt to what's going on. He wouldn't be after you if you hadn't crossed his path so many times."

"Midnight," Jake growled softly. "Why doesn't matter anymore. It's done. I can hardly stay out of sight ... and if he remembers who he was sleeping with back then not even that would help. He'd know who mom is, I'm not that hard to track after that."

"And after that, you and your friend are pretty well screwed."

"It would be a very abrupt end to our civilian lives," he nodded. "I don't know how long we'd handle being hunted like that. It's ... really hard to keep up for long."

"Kats, this is just so not good." She sighed and looked up at the sky again. "Maybe it's time to get a little more official with someone. Get someone interested in helping protect you. You've sure got the smarts and skills to make a lot of people eager to make you happy if you'd let them in on how good you really are."

"I've tried corporate life and military life, remember?" He grumbled unhappily and sighed dejectedly. "I *like* the way things are, Midnight. Chance is happy for the most part, life's easy, no one's breathing down my neck about whatever I'm doing."

"Well, at least you've had a few years of that," she tried to make it sound less grim. "Maybe you can go back after you take him down."

"You know I'll have to kill him for that." He barely murmured.

"Jake," she reached over to squeeze his shoulder. "Maybe you should let someone else do that. He's not your responsibility."

"Maybe not, but I'm the one who's most likely to get the shot, and *make* the shot." He sighed. "Maybe it's worth hinting that we wouldn't fight being recruited by Chance's old team. They've got resources and even fewer issues with shooting."

"They don't sound like nice people, Jake." Midnight looked at him warily.

"Special Ops, Black Ops really, aren't. It's part of the job description." He nodded reluctantly. "At least not on a mission or drunk. But off duty, they aren't bad guys. And after ten years off the team, they're still looking after Chance enough to drop this info and the proof his way, and didn't turn it in to Feral."

"But could you really do that work?" She frowned in concern. "I mean, assassination and stuff?"

He stilled, his gaze locked on some dim star.

"I already do most of it, without the backing or pay." He murmured.

"But Miss Briggs could give you the backing without the killing."

"Maybe. Maybe not." He sighed and sunk a little further into himself. "It's not like it's a surprise we got found out. Just that it's taken this long and Feral's not at our door yet."

"Yeah, I guess you have been lucky that way for a long time." She nodded thoughtfully. "I still think you should talk to Miss Briggs before looking to go Special Ops, much less Black."

"As funny as it sounds, I think I trust the Ops more than her." He chuckled weakly when she squeezed his shoulder again. "Politics and all."

"At least talk it over with Chance first." She pressed. "He's as affected as you are by any choice made."

"I will, Midnight." He smiled at her. "I will."

"Good," she leaned over to hug him. "You take care of him, he takes care of you, and you'll make it."

"Hay," Jake smiled a little weakly at his buddy from the edge of the car's hood the tabby was working under.

"Hey, Jake," Chance smiled and looked over at his partner as he finished tightening a bolt. "Any luck sorting things out?"

"Some," he nodded. "And a few things you need to think about too." He took a deep breath. "Who would you rather work for, Callie or your friends?"

"Where'd that question come from?" Chance asked, thinking about it as he pulled out from under the hood. "It'd depend, I suppose. I mean... there's a reason I transferred out, after all. If there was some way around that, and the choice was between the two of them...." He thought, leaning back against a large toolbox.

On the one hand, he *had* transferred out for a reason. He didn't particularly want to be Black Ops anymore, and he certainly didn't want another mission to make him choose between orders and what was right.

On the other hand, he'd worked with most of them before. Rail, Karmel, Bull... he didn't know if any of the others were still there, but there was a chance they were. He knew what they'd be like, and what working with them would probably be like too. Callie, as much as he wanted to trust her, was a lot riskier.

"My gut's saying that I know I can trust the team, if the right deal's made," he said. "Without it, I couldn't work with them again. It'd just be a matter of time before some mission came up that pushed me too far again."

Jake nodded thoughtfully. "What happened?" He asked quietly.

"I'm a good guy, remember?" Chance asked with a grim chuckle. "Special Ops ... you don't always get that chance. Especially not the sort of things we did. Feral, or maybe one of his people, found out that some guy managed to hack into a classified database. I was given the job of taking him out before he could do any damage. Then I found out that it was some teenager who was just screwing around, didn't have a clue what he was doing until he was in, and got the hell out as soon as he realized what he'd stumbled into."

"And that bit of info didn't matter," he murmured with a slow nod. "Somebody didn't know their officers very well, or they were trying to get rid of you." Jake cocked his head. "You'd go back to work for Feral, knowing what you do about everything?" He made a broad motion to include the hanger below them and the city beyond their yard. "We've got a lot of freedom out here to do what needs to be done."

"Yeah, we do," Chance nodded. "Given the choice, I'd rather stay independent. But given the choice between Callie and the team again.... This might sound crazy Jake, but she's a politician. She's a damned good one, and she's a good kat, but she's not military, or law enforcement."

"And if push came to shove, she may well take a political choice over a smart one." He nodded.

"If it was going to work directly under Feral, I'd make an exception, but if we went back, I really don't think anybody'd be stupid enough to have us reporting directly to him. Callie knows how to use SWAT better than he does. But I think I'd trust Bull to know better than either of them, and to give us at least most of the same freedom we have now. It's not like we've ever decided to ignore an alarm before."

"I don't think we could," he chuckled weakly. "At least not when we weren't already working on it." Jake paused and regarded the friend and partner of his entire adult life, uneasy with any choice. "What brought this on is the fact that we might need the backing just to survive, if DK decides he really wants to do something with that info he'll have in a few months. We've never had good odds against him, and we weren't his focus. He didn't know our real names then either. It's pretty likely that he'll have that, and where we are, when he gets those results."

"You thought of that too, huh?" Chance nodded, sighing a bit as he leaned his head back to look up at the ceiling.

"Midnight did, really." He smiled both sadly and fondly. "At least she made me face it."

"That's another point to consider. With Dark Kat after us, and especially after you... I can't trust Callie to keep you safe, Jake. We're the ones who always end up rescuing her, right? She'd try, she'd try damned hard I'm sure, but the only kats I come *near* trusting that much, besides you, are Bull and the team."

"You really think a deal could be worked out where we don't do assassinations?" He looked at his friend uneasily. "And we won't be charged with everything we've done in the last eight years?"

"If we can't, then we go to Callie before they can try to turn us in," Chance said simply. "Two of the kats I worked with were thieves who'd ripped off some *real* big names around town before they decided Special Ops was better than a jail sentence. They've cut deals with people before, work instead of earning a rap sheet. And even if we couldn't avoid the killing, I think we could avoid anything that sets my fur on end. I could handle it, if we had to," he added softly. He could too, if the target was right.

Jake nodded reluctantly and drew a deep breath. "And we do have a lot to offer in exchange for what we're asking." He paused, uncertain how to say what was coming next. "Only whoever we make this deal with, we can't get out of it until DK's dead. We might be looking at decades."

"Jake...." Chance thought over how to say what he was thinking. "If you had the chance, if that shot you almost took offered itself up again... do you think you'd be able to take it?"

"Yes," he nodded a little too easily, a cold hatred deep in his amber eyes that didn't belong there flickering to life. "I *can* kill, Chance, with a reason."

Chance almost winced; whether or not it was true, Jake certainly believed it was. There wouldn't be any knowing what it would do to him until after he'd taken the shot, either.

"I don't know that it'd take decades then. It probably wouldn't be fast, but somebody's going to get that shot again. Probably sooner, now that Dark Kat's going to be going after you. When that mistake happens, one of us is going to take advantage of it, assuming the Squad wouldn't make it a moot point. It might not be official, but I don't think even Feral would complain much if Dark Kat didn't live long enough to see a pair of cuffs, let alone a trial."

"No even he's that crazy." Jake murmured, shock at the idea clear on his face testament to how far he'd come since enlisting. Even with capture his only interest with every other Omega; Dark Kat had gone from personal to a very personal offence. He paused again as a thought crossed his mind. "Chance ... what about setting him up with your friends? A trap with enough firepower and sharp eyes to make it work."

"If there was some way of being sure it was Dark Kat, they'd probably enjoy the opportunity," Chance admitted. "But I don't know how we'd do it. Even if we *did* use you as bait," he added quickly. It wasn't hard to figure out that there was a good chance that was what Jake was thinking. "He's not exactly stupid, and he's paranoid for a good reason."

The lean tom sighed and rubbed his nose. "If we let that guide us, we're ... I'll ... never stop looking over my shoulder. At some point we'll just have to trust we got him for real."

"I know, buddy," Chance sighed, moving over and putting a hand on Jake's shoulder. "Just that I don't know if it'd be quite that easy. It wouldn't work if he knew we were working with the team, I'm sure. Snipers at some arranged meeting would be the first thing I'd worry about, let alone him. Does... does anybody except your mother know what he looks like?"

"I assume the people who knew them back then do too." He leaned into the contact a bit. "I don't really know who they are though, or if any of them can be tracked down. It was another few years before I really started to play with anybody in the area."

"So not really any way to identify the body if we did take him down, make sure it was really him. Except for DNA, of course. That we'd have." Chance closed his eyes, thinking it through. There was one option he could think of, but he hated it on multiple levels. "Jake, do you think there'd be any way you'd be able to take him down, if you met him face-to-face?"

"If I was armed, sure." He looked at the tabby curiously. "Hand to hand would be a lot trickier."

"I'd been assuming armed," he nodded. "It'd be risky, but the best bet for actually taking him down would probably be to arrange for you to be armed too. Not a glovatrix, but probably just a regular blaster. The problem is, if he caught on, there's no way he'd let you get away alive. It's not worth it."

"Back to the basic plan of using me as bait once he wants me," he nodded. "It's risky, but not as risky as what we do every day. They're always a good chance one of us won't come back." He pointed out.

"Yeah, but we also have each other as backup Jake," Chance pointed out. "If Dark Kat's going to come anywhere near you, I couldn't be where he could find me. And neither of us could be armed with our usual gear. If you were there, you'd have to be packing a snub-nose or something else small so he wouldn't notice it. There's a good chance one of us won't come back when we head out, but this would be riskier."

Jake took a deep breath, closed his eyes and let it out slowly. "Right now, we have to decide whether to seek backup now, or keep going it alone until something happens."

"Right," Chance nodded with a sigh. "We're going to need it eventually, unless we figure out a way to drop Dark Kat before that. I think we might want to start feeling out the options, make sure I'm right about the team being willing to take us before we go and make an offer."

"And see if we can find out any other options," he nodded and leaned against his partner. "Might be worth seeing what Yamar's contacts are worth. Most of this can be said without bringing up what we do on the side."

"Good point," Chance nodded. "Though if he's got anybody up his sleeve that can keep Dark Kat off, I'd be surprised." He moved his arm to squeeze Jake lightly. "We'll figure out some way around this, Jake."

"Me too, but who knows." He managed a smile. "After all, who'd think two mechanics could?"

"You've got a point there," Chance chuckled. "So, have you eaten yet?" He asked, changing the subject to Jake's clear relief.

"Not ..." he paused, trying to think. "Not since I left."

"Which was yesterday. Now you know why I asked if I'd have to make sure you were fed?" Chance teased lightly. "Come on, let's go fix that."

"As long as it's not your cooking," Jake teased back and followed his partner upstairs to their living quarters.

"Hey, I only use the best recipes the delivery places can offer," Chance smirked. "Speaking of which, I'll have to order in, so it'll be a bit before it gets here." He grabbed the phone as they walked into the main room, quickly placing their usual pizza order.

"So," he asked as he hung up, "who's the shekat you spent the night with? That Midnight you mentioned?"

"Yeah," Jake ducked his head slightly with a silly grin on his face. "Kittenhood friend."

"Just catching up, or trying to sort things out?" Chance asked. He had a feeling that there was more than friends involved there, or that there could be at least. He wasn't sure if Jake knew it or not yet though. It would be just like him to miss something like that with a shekat.

"She's always been good at helping me sort things out," he smiled fondly with a soft look on his face he was completely unaware of. "Hell, she's the reason we got together in the first place." Jake added with a chuckle. "At least as quickly as we did."

"Now this is news," Chance smiled. "How is it I haven't heard about her so far? Sounds like she means a lot to you." He moved over to the couch, but caught himself. "I should probably change before we settle in to talk," he chuckled. "You mind? You can watch," he added with a smirk and a wink.

"Like I'll *ever* mind watching you strip," he purred with a returning smirk and followed his partner.

"Well, it is one easy way to make sure you're really Jake," the tabby teased, heading up to his room and undressing a bit more slowly than he really had to. He pulled on a tank-top and pair of jeans before the two of them returned to the front room to wait for dinner and snuggle on the couch.

"So, what's this about your girlfriend being the reason we got together?" Chance asked, a playful tone in his voice as Jake rested against his chest and shoulder.

"We're not like that," he rolled his eyes, but there was an unconscious twitch to his tail that didn't back up his words. "She's just an old friend, one of the few I still have."

"C'mon, Jake, if I can't tease you a little, who can?" Chance chuckled, nuzzling his partner lightly. "Though it sounds like if you two ever get to be 'like that,' she'll be good for you."

That silenced the lean tom for a while as the idea tried to work past a lifetime of ideas about Midnight and himself and their place in life. He was almost ready to say something when the bell rang to alert them to a vehicle entering the yard.

"Y'know, if the delivery guys around here had any better timing, I'd think they were watching us secretly," Chance smirked, giving his partner a squeeze. "I'll be back in a second, okay?"

"Of course," he grinned up and sprawled himself out on the couch to make a bit of a display for Chance when he came back with their dinner.

"Y'know, if I didn't know any better, I'd think you were more interested in getting eaten than eating," the tabby smirked, setting the pizza down.

"Now what would ever give you that idea?" He winked and rolled to his feet to claim a slice.

"I'd start the list, but you'd be done eating the pizza by the time I was done," Chance teased, sitting back down and grabbing a slice for himself. "Though we could always burn off some of the calories once we're done."

"You won't hear any complains from me," he chuckled and relaxed against his partner while they ate. "Some things will never change."

The club was noisy, colorful and packed with Special Ops from all branches. It was *their* place. A rare location where they didn't have to worry about being taken the wrong way or overheard by the wrong people. It still took a passkey and visual confirmation to get in, but after that, security all but didn't exist. It wasn't needed with the amount of combat training the clientele represented.

It brought back memories of what were undoubtedly simpler times.

"Long time, no see, Tiger." Bull's dark and light furred face greeted him from one of the more secluded booths, their favorite drinks already on the table.

"Real long time," Chance agreed, following Rail to the well used but nice leather booth where his old CO was sitting. "Thanks for the info, by the way. I know I've said it to Rail already, but you had to have something to do with it." He smiled and relaxed a bit.

"You still do damn good work, Tiger." Bull nodded in respect to him. "I can't really blame you for your moral code."

"Thanks," Chance nodded. "Though it gets me into more trouble these days." He felt a lot more comfortable here than he did at the safe houses now. The three of them, and the rest of the team, had spent about as much time here as they had anywhere else, while he was still with them. It felt less like business, in a lot of ways.

Despite that, he had business to talk about tonight. He'd just have to wait for the right time to bring it up.

"How'd he take it?" Bull continued with honest interest.

"Better than I'd expected," Chance admitted. "He never really knew his sire, so finding out who it was mostly just made him worry about what it meant. He's worried about his Mom, most of the people important to him. But that's to be expected; if his sire decides to come back into his life, they'll be the first people in trouble. Which has to do with why I'm here," he admitted. He picked up his glass and looked into the dark liquor, swirling it around slightly before he sipped it.

"I kind of figured that," Bull nodded and let the tabby work up to it on his own.

"We're going to need some help with it, once he finds out," Chance said after a few minutes. "What do you think the odds would be of getting back on the team, with Jake? Deal a lot like the ones the twins got when they were caught."

"Done in a heartbeat," he chuckled and shook his head slightly. "Tiger, you really have no idea how effective you guys are at what you do. Property damage and permits are easy to smooth over." Bull leaned back and took a long drink of his beer. "And that's all you really have against you."

"Certainly easier than multiple cases of grand theft," Chance chuckled. "Though neither of us wants to be on assassination jobs, not unless we know they're necessary. I don't want a repeat of my last job with the team, y'know?" Might as well get all the wrinkles out of the way fast. Those jobs didn't come up too often, but it'd be better to bring it up now, instead of when he found out that he or Jake couldn't do the job again.

Bull nodded slightly. "As much as I can, I'll keep you two away from the killing. You're much better at other things. But we're in a chain of command, remember? That order and your name for it came from way over my head. If it happens again, I can't stop it now any more than I could then."

"I know," Chance nodded. "And I know you didn't have anything to do with it, at least not willingly. You're a better kat than that," he smiled. "Feels better to know you're not going to be trying to give us missions like that though. Don't think there'd be any way around having somebody in the ranks who could give the order."

"So are you looking to make it official, and not off the books?" Rail looked at Chance curiously.

"Hell, if you guys are willing to go for off the books, I'd much rather go for that," the tabby chuckled. "No need to give Feral a heart attack when he finds out who the new guys are, right?"

"Oh, I don't know, I prefer his niece to him." Bull chuckled with a knowing smirk. "And she is next in line ...."

"You've got a point, but it'd also be nice not to officially have to listen when he tells us to get out of the way," Chance smirked even as Rail snickered. "The last time that happened, we almost got killed, Dark Kat got away, and HQ got a scorch mark on the brand new runway. There would be benefits to not having to bother with arguing."

"Since when did Special Ops listen to him anyway?" Bull laughed heartily. "Seriously, Tiger, you'll have much better protection if you're official. There isn't a lot I can do for unofficial personnel that I wouldn't offer you two anyway."

"That is a point," Chance admitted. "I'm pretty sure Jake will want the most possible. I know I do, knowing who we're dealing with."

"And why you're dealing with him," Bull agreed. "It's not like you'll be able to hide behind your masks from him once he knows who Jake is."

"Kinda surprised we have this long," Chance admitted. "Especially given the time or two he's worked with the Metallikats. Long story," he said quickly, noticing the curious looks he got from his two friends. He sipped a bit more of his drink, half-hoping they'd leave it at that. "I'll have to call him at some point tonight, by the way, let him know it's worked out. So don't let me have too many of these," he said with a chuckle, raising his glass slightly.

"At least not until *after* you've checked in with him." Rail smirked. "You are *ever* so much fun drunk. But then I hear so is he."

"And how would you know?" Chance asked, raising an eyebrow. "Been keeping an eye on him?"

"Ever since you partnered up," Rail leaned against him with a rumbling purrr. "He's hot stuff, but you know that."

"And he'll probably just about overload on the first post-mission party we have," Chance chuckled, leaning back slightly. "At least unless you guys have gotten a *lot* more restrained since I left."

"Not a chance," Bull grinned from behind his glass. "We still play as hard as we work."

"Definitely going to have to break him in first," Chance smirked. "Something tells me I should call him before you two get me too distracted to."

"Go for it," Bull handed over a compact cell phone. Chance took it with a grateful nod, dialed Jake's number to leave the message.

He could smell the simple but homemade dinner she put on the table for herself while she read something that was probably from the office. That was something he could avoid interrupting. No need to put her in a bad mood before he had to ask for favors. He watched, still hidden beyond her window, as Callie took her shoes off and reached down to grab a remote without looking and turned on the stereo in the corner of the room as she sat down. It looked like she could be almost as bad about her work as he could be, some days. After a couple minutes, she put down the papers she was working through and started to eat. Probably as good a time as any; she didn't seem to be in too much of a rush.

Razor drew a deep, calming breath and wondered again why it was a good idea for *him* to talk to her. Chance was so much smoother with the shekats.

Of course, he knew the answer. It wasn't necessarily that it was better for him to talk to her, but Chance had to be the one to talk to his old partners. And they didn't want to take the chance that they'd say "no" without the two of them having a backup plan ready. He also had a suspicion that Chance wanted him as far away as possible if things with the special ops went bad.

"Hello, Miss Briggs." He said softly, standing just inside the dining room.

"Razor?" She said, turning around to look at the lean tom with wide, surprised green eyes. "What are you doing here?"

"Hoping you can help us," he did his best to stay in the right mindset and not stammer like he was without his mask. "We're in a lot of trouble right now, Miss Briggs." He added without moving.

"What happened?" She asked seriously. "Feral again? Where's T-Bone?"

"Feral we could handle," he hesitated and forced himself out of the partial self-hug he'd unconsciously wrapped himself in. "It's ... Dark Kat. He knows who we are, behind the masks."

"And he'll be coming after you until he has you both dead or worse," Callie concluded, licking her lips. At least she seemed to understand just how serious this was. "How can I help?"

It took him a moment to get his rebellious voice willing to say it, but he finally managed. "Until we can take him out, we'll need somewhere safe to rest and recover." He hesitated again. "Or protection for our place enough for us to sleep and work."

"You need some sort of official backing," she said, frowning a bit as she thought. "Mind coming in the rest of the way? I won't bite, and it would be easier to talk without having to look at you over my shoulder."

"We know," he admitted regretfully and moved into her dinning room so she could look at him directly, though he still positioned himself for a quick escape on instinct.

"Dark Kat have you on edge, or are you just nervous normally?" She asked him, leaning back in her seat and thinking.

"Hu?" Razor blinked, then tried to stand a little more at ease. "A little of both, I guess." He explained uneasily. "It's been a pretty weird week, even for us."

"I'll bet, if Dark Kat managed to find out who you are," she nodded. "How did it happen, if you don't mind me asking?"

"I'm not completely sure," he admitted quietly. "He had suspicions, I guess. He's got enough proof now."

"Is he after the two of you now, or are you trying to get the backing so you'll be ready when he is?"

Razor breathed in again to steady himself. Gods he hated talking to pretty shekats; especially manipulative ones. "It should be a few days before he puts it all together enough to do anything. How much longer is anyone's guess right now. The first strike is not going to be an easy one to survive."

"I'm not entirely sure what there is I can do, assuming you're coming to me so you don't have to deal with Feral. There are a few options, but I'll have to make sure how many of them are actually still legal without pushing things too far. Razor... I'll need to know who the two of you are, at the very least...."

He dropped his gaze to the cream carpet, uneasy on so many levels after holding the secret so tightly for so long. Then he sighed. "You'll find out anyway from who needs to be protected." He finally consented and reached up to remove his helmet and bandanna in one a fluid motion and looked over at her silently.

She didn't have to fake her surprise, though it was more that he'd revealed his secret so easily than what it was. And maybe a little that with the mask off, just how easily she could see the fear dancing behind his eyes.

"I'd had a hunch," she admitted, looking at him. "And Chance is T-Bone then, of course? I'll find a way to protect the people close to you, Jake... Razor. The hard part will be finding a way to keep you and T-Bone safe... and still let you two be SWAT, at least."

"When we're out as SWAT, you don't need to worry about us," Jake shook his head slightly and shifted a bit. "It's the only time we're on our own terms against them. It's when we need to rest and repair equipment that we need help. It's the civilians close to us that are in real danger. Something they didn't sign up for. We both knew the risks when we enlisted."

"I understand," she nodded. "If they're willing to accept the protection, we can help keep them safe. I'll have to do a little research, but I think we can also classify SWAT as an official unit for the city. You two would have the backing and protection you need, and extra support."

"Thank you," he inclined his head slightly, the honestly behind his words almost radiating in his body language as he tied his bandanna to cover his face again.

"Jake?" Callie asked as she realized that he was getting ready to leave. "Would you like to stay for dinner? I have something you could wear besides your uniform."

"Umm," he froze, thrown off balance by the out of the blue suggestion. "I ... all right." He nodded again and let the half-tied bandanna fall away again with his hand.

"I'll get a second plate ready," Callie smiled warmly. "If you'd like to change, the second room on the right should have something that'll work for you," she said, indicating the hall in question before going to the kitchen to fix a second plate for him. She was more than a touch surprised to see that the guest bedroom door was partly open when she finished setting up, but Jake wasn't out yet. Curiosity got the better of her, and she moved down the hall quietly to peek in.

A splash of cinnamon fur as a white t-shirt was pulled off caught her full attention, and her breath. He'd found a pair of jeans, ones that showed off his ass much better than his usual choice, and now she had a good view of how powerful muscles rippled under the well-groomed fur of his back as he looked for a shirt among the offerings left by former boyfriends and a little just-in-case shopping. He wasn't the kind of muscular as his partner was, but the way he usually dressed hid just how powerful that lean frame of his was.

Not for the first time, she wondered what it would be like for their relationship to be a bit more than professional. Of course, now that there was a chance there actually would *be* an official relationship, that was a wrinkle to consider. She'd have to make sure that if she did make any advances, now or ever, that he didn't end up thinking it was a condition or something.

There were no doubts in her mind that he'd do anything to protect those he cared about and she had very few that he'd do more than hesitate for a moment if he thought sleeping with her would help accomplish that. But she was getting ahead of herself. It looked like she'd have enough trouble getting him to relax through dinner, let alone anything else. If he caught her ogling at him half dressed, it wouldn't be a good start.

Callie gave his back one more appreciative look and slipped into the dining room to wait for him to come out. She was just starting to drift into an incredibly pleasant daydream inspired by the bare fur she'd just seen when one ear twitched at a light step behind her. She turned to smile at him and take in what form-fitting jeans did for him, especially with a button-up shirt that matched his usual selection much closer.

"Glad I had something in your size," she smiled and motioned him to sit at the place next to her. "Feeling better?"

"Smells good," he smiled to her as he sat down, still uneasy. He didn't want to lie to her, and there was no way he could say yes.

She was surprised again at how easily she could read him without the mask when she had such trouble with it on. It was hard to believe it made *that* much a difference to him ... or maybe it did. He wouldn't be the first kat to find the anonymity a way to show their strengths off and left them with so much less fear of discovery that it changed even their basic body language.

"Thanks," she nodded slightly. "Dig in," she offered, watching him, but trying to be subtle about it. It was hard to believe that he was Razor. At the same time, she'd been able to pick up on his nerves when she was talking to him in uniform. She had to wonder why he was so wound up yet.

And how she could get him to relax, if it was possible.

It made her wish, once again, that she'd taken the time to get to know him better when there wasn't immanent danger nearby. She knew enough to realize that even on the best days he was a bit conflicted about her. It just never seemed the right time, and then there was the fact that Chance was always around to let Jake fade into the background the way he liked to.

It definitely made things more awkward now. Silence prevailed for a few moments, the two of them eating the microwaved dinners she'd made and plated for them quietly.

"Is there anything I can do to help you relax a bit?" She asked him eventually and sighed inwardly when he almost jumped.

"I'm fine, Miss Briggs." He managed a steady voice, though once again he didn't really answer the question.

She decided to take it as a distinct 'no,' at least for the moment. She was about to try a different angle when a soft buzz at his hip claimed his attention.

"Umm, may I use you phone?" He was already standing.

"Yes," she nodded. It was probably Chance; she just hoped it was for a tow or something, rather than needing SWAT to head out. She watched as he quickly dialed a number and listed, his body language going from hyper-tense to relieved to a bit surprised and settled on something that probably passed for relaxed these days.

Whatever it was, it left Jake feeling significantly better when he can back to the table.

"Just Chance warning me he wouldn't be back tonight." He actually chuckled.

She had a feeling it was something more than that. It practically had to be; she couldn't imagine any situation where the news would have that drastic an effect on him.

At least not any situation that she liked to think about.

"Looks like he had some good news too," she smiled. "Would you like a drink with dinner?" She asked, noticing that the milk she'd put out with the plate was gone.

"Yes, please," he smiled and watched her go into the kitchen to pour two glasses of white wine. "Thank you," he accepted one easily. He either didn't notice or didn't mind when her fingers lingered against his for an extra moment.

She hoped it was the latter.

"So, how have you and Chance been doing, aside from the trouble you came here about?"

"It's been good," he chuckled, a faint hint of a blush under his cinnamon fur as he took a sip of wine. "Business is good, and he's been in a good mood for months."

"And you?" She asked, cocking her head slightly at the omission and wasn't sure what to make of the slightly confused look that crossed his face as he searched for a way to answer.

"Good," he finally decided on. "There's plenty to work on for our gear. The weather's held for a while too."

She honestly wasn't sure if he was trying not to say something, or just couldn't think of anything else that he thought was worth mentioning.

"Not getting out too much, with all the work you're supposed to do?" She asked, chuckling a bit as she nodded towards the discarded papers she'd been working on before.

"I never have," he admitted fairly easily with another sip. "Things just haven't changed much for a few years, and it's been good for the most part."

"That's good," she nodded with a smile, sipping her own glass. "Not seeing anybody then?"

That seemed to throw him too. She was beginning to wonder if anything *wouldn't*.

"Just Chance, really." He shrugged. "And that's hardly news."

"Lucky tom," she chuckled, smiling a bit. She considered adding 'both of you,' but decided to leave it there, give him a way of interpreting it that probably wouldn't throw him further.

Though she had to admit, he was cute when he blushed and her words drew a bit more of one from him as he ducked his head a bit.

"I'm the lucky one," he smiled faintly behind his glass with a not-so-concealed trace of his feelings for the tabby showing. "He's really something else."

"You're not half-bad yourself," she smiled and watched him turn bright red. "Don't go short-changing yourself, okay? You're both incredible guys."

"I'm just the genius that puts things back together," he shook his head with a soft chuckle. "He's the team's heart. There wouldn't be a SWAT Kats without Chance."

"He'd probably say the same thing," she chuckled and he leaned back to conceder her with a sharp intelligence behind his eyes that he usually hid with such care. "You're a team, after all. You're both important to it. And outside SWAT, you're a good guy too."

"He does," he acknowledged with another sip.

"SWAT needs both of you, Jake. It needs Chance, and the 'genius who puts things together.' Which isn't exactly a small job, you know," she chuckled. "You're just as good as he is."

"At what I do," he accepted a touch warily. "I can't touch his talent as a pilot or hero nature."

"That I'll give you," she nodded and tried to drop the subject. Insisting on his value and importance, even flattery, clearly wasn't the approach to use on this tom. "Did you know him before you were teamed up with him?"

"Nope," he grinned a bit with a fond look for that time. "First time I saw him was when we were doing the pairing-up trials at Academy. He wasn't as buff as he is these days, but he was that much more full of himself. Kat had never met anything he couldn't handle."

"That sounds like Chance," she chuckled. It did too; the tabby definitely had an ego. Of course, from what she'd heard and seen, it was mostly deserved. "You two hit it off right away then?"

"Pretty much," he nodded. "He likes being center stage, so he kept eyes off me and I didn't mess with his stardom. Well, except in hand to hand," he almost smirked. "He never has figured out how to deal with speed."

"Don't mind taking him down a peg or two that way once in a while, hmm?" She chuckled. "You really look up to him, don't you?"

"Yeah," he smiled fondly. "There aren't many heroes in the world. He's one of them."

Part of her wanted to point out that Jake was too, as far as she was concerned, but she knew that wasn't likely to do much but make him uncomfortable.

"Did he mention why he'd be out for the night?" She asked curiously.

"The friends he went to see tonight decided to keep him for a while." He snickered. "Something about him too far too much fun drunk not to take advantage of being in a club. I doubt he'll be back before lunch."

Callie giggled. "So you two still go out with other guys?"

"Sometimes," he nodded easily. "We're not exclusive mates. Neither of us wanted it."

"What about fems?" She asked, taking another sip of her wine. She'd finished her dinner a few minutes ago; now she was mostly nursing her drink and trying to keep talking with Jake without screwing something up.

"He does," Jake nodded easily, the alcohol starting to affect him to bring on the wrong conclusions.

"You?" She asked him, cocking her head slightly. She was prepared for the startled look and silence as he worked out an answer this time.

"I guess so," he tried to answer something that hadn't been more than a distant 'a some time in the future' theory for most of his life. "It hasn't really come up." He added with an uncertain shrug.

"Would you like to stay here tonight?" She asked softly. "With Chance probably being out...?"

Jake blinked a couple times, a little too floored by the suggestion that made finding out who his sire was no longer the weirdest event of the week for him.

"Urrr ... you want me to stay?" He finally managed to stammer, desperately reworking his ideas about her and what was going on.

"If you'd like," she nodded, ducking her head a bit. She had a feeling he was taking this the way she *dearly* didn't want him to take it. "It's up to you, Jake. I'm not saying you have to sleep with me or anything, or that this is part of what we talked about before. Just making the offer."

"Why now?" He asked, somewhere between wary and interested.

"I've been interested for a while," she admitted, blushing slightly. "In you, and Razor. Why now... timing, I guess. Never really thought of doing more than flirting at the Garage, especially when you didn't seem to notice too much, and when you were Razor... well, I've usually been a little too worried about trying to stay alive to think about the night after."

He leaned back and nursed the rest of his drink with amber eyes on her while he thought it over. In the end it was decided by a simple question: why not?

"I'm not interested in anything long term." He leveled his gaze a little more, determined not to make any bigger a mistake than he had to if this turned out to be a bad idea.

"That's fine," she smiled slightly, her fluffy tail swaying some behind her. "Jake... you don't feel like you have to do this, right?" She asked him a bit more seriously.

He considered the question with the seriousness it deserved before he shook his head. "No, I can leave if I want to."

"Thank you," she nodded, letting out a little sigh of relief. She really didn't want to end up screwing things up as badly as something like that would. She stood up, and moved next to him, leaning against the soft chair he was in. She leaned down to nuzzle him slightly. She had the feeling she'd have to take the lead more than she was used to with him; this could be interesting.

"Want to wait until we're heading to bed, or...?"

"Umm, Callie, when was your last heat?" He asked hesitantly, though he returned her nuzzle and rolled his head to turn it into a kiss.

"About six weeks ago," she said, taking a moment to think about it as she returned the kiss. "Not due for a while yet. I'm not particularly hoping for kittens any time soon," she smiled slightly, kissing him again and welcoming the way he opened his mouth to hers.

He leaned back and slipped his hands around her to draw her down to his lap. With his hands under her dress coat he played his fingers over the erogenous zone just above her peach-colored tail.

Callie moaned softly into his mouth, purring as she explored his body with her hands. She started to explore his mouth with her tongue and found him far more skilled at kissing than she would have thought. Her tail twitched behind her as she shrugged her jacket back off her shoulders.

"Do you want the bed?" He rumbled throatily, arousal making up a lot of ground inexperience with females created. He also took the opportunity to nuzzle her full breasts through her blouse while her arms and hands were occupied.

"Eventually," she rumbled back, taking the opportunity to get her jacket the rest of the way off before she kissed him again, very glad that she'd finally decided to ask him. Then her kiss changed angles as Jake stood, his hands roaming down her sides before they came up to tug her blouse from her skirt.

She loosened his shirt as she stood with him and pressed close, enjoying the hard flesh pressed against her leg that was even more proof than his enticing scent and touch that he wasn't doing this just for her. She purred and reached around, matching the touch above his tail that he'd given her before and shivered at the deep moan that echoed into her mouth before his head dropped back in a sensual surrender.

She soaked in the open pleasure and willing responsiveness in her arms for a minute before shifted so she could unbutton his jeans without loosing the touch above his tail that garnered such a response. She didn't even try to resist slipping her fingers inside his open jeans to fondle him lightly.

"Oh, gods." Jake moaned against her neck as his nose found a home there and he gave up most of his attempts to touch her to simply surrender to her hands and the first intimate fur on fur contact of the evening.

She moaned softly herself, nuzzling and nibbling at his neck. She stroked his rigid length skillfully, reveling in the scent of his arousal and the thrill of being in charge for now. It wasn't a situation he seemed inclined to change, even when he kissed her neck in return and found his hands again to unbutton her blouse and gently fondle firm breasts in their lacy cages.

Callie finally moved her hand from above his tail to work his jeans down. She groaned slightly as she let him go and took off her blouse the rest of the way, leaving her in her skirt and underwear as she returned her hand to his cock. Finally, she started to nuzzle further down his body. She moved her hand to fondle his balls, reaching back with a finger to gently trace the furless pucker just behind the heavy orbs while he contented himself to running his hands along her shoulders and gently fondling her ears now that more feminine parts were out of easy reach.

She smiled to herself at how automatically and eagerly he responded to her touch by pushing back against her finger. If she'd had any doubts he was regularly and happily under his partner, they were gone now. The mental image it provided her with was almost enough to make her groan as she pressed a slender finger inside him and felt him arch into the pleasure without reservation. She kissed his firm, trim stomach lightly, then licked at his rigid cock, the taste sending shivers down her spine.

"I ... don't know how ... to return that ... favor." He gasped between moans.

"Worry about that later," she purred up at him, rolling her eyes up to look at his face as she took him into her mouth hungrily.

He moaned something affirmative as his eyes slipped shut and relaxed back to enjoy the ride. She did her best to give him a good one and every reaction seemed to indicate she was. She started out slowly; moving her head up and down his cock, teasing his barbs with her rough tongue to relish every shiver and sound it drew out of him. For as reserved as he was normally, Jake clearly didn't carry any of that to bed with him.

She moaned some around him, the vibrations sending pleasure from the tip of his length straight to his balls. Her finger worked in and out of his ass, and was quickly joined by a second as he was stretched in a familiar prelude that he couldn't care right now wouldn't be fulfilled.

Callie could taste the bitter trickle of pre on her tongue when he moaned her name between less distinct sounds and tugged up on her shoulders. He didn't use enough strength to force her up, though he could have very easily, but there was no doubt in his touch that he wanted her to stop and stand for him.

She did just that, pulling her panties down as she stood. She kissed him hotly and could taste as much as feel the desperate arousal coursing threw his body as she wrapped a leg around his waist and her back was pressed against the closest wall. With her skirt pulled up out of their way she rubbed her wet sex against his throbbing shaft, letting him decide where it would be when he came.

Between their mutually tight embrace and his inexperience with exactly how this would work, it took Jake a couple tries, a bit of help from her and several very hungry kisses to finally sink into her body. It was almost enough to make him come right then as his sheath rubbed up against her lower lips. The new variant of familiar pleasure close to overwhelming his mind and body.

Callie rowled softly, digging her fingers into his back. She squeezed her tight, slick sex around his cock, milking the barbed length as she started to move up and down it even as he began to thrust. The raw sexiness of the position and still bring half dressed easily overcame its awkwardness.

It was only a few moments before Jake's thrusting became more forceful and quicker into her welcoming body. His toe-claws dug into the soft carpet as his supporting embrace of her grew tighter with each ragged breath and it's grunting moan of near-completion.

"Come with me," she begged him in a whimper. The two of them were close, the intimate touch of his barbs on her most sensitive flesh quickly making up the difference in their arousal. She tightened herself around him, biting down lightly on his shoulder and groaning around the cinnamon fur in her mouth. He growled, then grunted and thrust deep and hard into her to pour the first explosion of his come into her wet heat.

She let out a low, feral sound, her body spasming as she climaxed. His thick, hot juices were pulled deep into her body as she tightened around him in every way. It claimed an even deeper rumble as he poured all his strength and pleasure into her body, not even aware of the blood her teeth drew from his shoulder or how his own left indents in her neck where his barred fangs pressed against her downy fur.

He rumbled deeply and pulled his head back to force her own up into a hungry, no-holds-bared kiss that claimed her mouth as deeply as his cock claimed her body. Even after his body was spent he continued to pound into her, pushing her already sensitive body right to the edge of orgasm again.

"Jake!" Callie cried out, arching her head back and exposing her throat submissively as she came again, her fingers digging into the shoulders of the lean, powerful body that was driving her towards her limits. The shudder her rippling muscles caused him made her mew again, her body quivering as he stilled, still buried to the hilt inside her and lightly rubbing her clit with a fluid soaked sheath and crotch.

"More?" He purred throatily as his teeth lightly caressed her throat and his free hand worked between them to fondle a breast under her bra.

"You have more in you?" She asked him, purring despite her panting breaths. "Mmm ... maybe the bed some time soon?"

"Yes," he chuckled lightly and slowly pulled out of her body even as his hands went to work trying to get her skirt undone and off of her. "A good deal more."

"Good," she grinned, helping him with her skirt, then pushed the shirt he was still half-wearing from his shoulders. "You want me to take my bra off?" She asked him, licking his nose playfully and got a kiss in return.

Callie murmured softly at the warm, hard body still holding her as tightly and carefully as when she'd fallen asleep in content exhaustion. What an evening it had been. Having SWAT ask her for help, seeing Razor without his mask, his agreement to stay ... and gods, who would have thought such a shy, inexperienced tom would have that much fire and endurance?

"Incredible," she purred, snuggling close to him and sighed softly. He was a hell of a fast learner too.

"Yes, it was." He murmured back with a sleepy nuzzle. "Very sticky too."

"That it was," she giggled slightly, rubbing his back. "Haven't been with too many fems before, hmm?"

"No," he admitted fairly easily, though there was a hint of a blush under his fur. "Just fooling around a few times."

"Mmm ... well, I'd say it was enough," she chuckled, nuzzling him lightly. "Better than a lot of toms out there. Any chance of this not just being a one-time thing?"

"Maybe," he consented a bit warily but honest about the possibility. "The next few months are likely to be way too crazy for anything."

"Understood," she smiled. "Especially if we do make SWAT official. Think you're up for some breakfast after we clean up?"

"Definitely," he chuckled and nuzzled her again before he slipped from the large bed.

"The shower's big enough for two," she suggested playfully, getting out of bed and stretching languidly.

"Only if you don't mind staying in it a long time," he winked at her with a knowing smirk.

"I wouldn't make the suggestion if I didn't like where it might end up," she winked back at him and grab her glasses off the nightstand to follow his naked back and swaying tail into the master bathroom and waited for the hot water by exploring his body again.

Eventually, the two of them managed to get out of the shower and get at least partly dress, Jake wearing the outfit he'd found the night before, Callie wearing a bathrobe as she put together a quick breakfast of eggs and frozen waffles.

"So, who else knows about you and Chance?" She asked him, bringing over two plates.

"A friend of mine, Midnight." He nodded. "And some of the guys Chance used to work with. Not that any of them have gotten a confirmation like you did yet, but they know."

"Are they the people who'll need protection?" Callie sat down after she brought over a small bottle of syrup and passed it to Jake. "Or at least some of them?"

"Some, yes." He nodded, then chuckled as he dressed his breakfast. "Black Ops are more trouble to hunt than we are."

"Black Ops? Your friend, or the people Chance used to work with?" Callie asked, raising an eyebrow. To be fair, neither one would surprise her that badly.

"Chance," he explained between hungry bites. "He was an Op before he went Enforcer."

"Didn't know that," she nodded, eating her own breakfast somewhat more slowly as she thought. "So, who else are we going to have to cover for?"

"Midnight, my mom, Chance's mother and sister. There might be a couple others." He considered a bit. "We haven't had much time for socializing, really."

"At least it's a fairly short list. Do they know about this development yet?"

"Midnight does," he nodded with a sigh. "I don't think Chance has told his family yet. Mine wouldn't listen when I tried."

"Didn't believe it, or didn't want to?" Callie asked, frowning. It would be harder to protect his mother if she didn't accept it. Especially if she was anything like as smart as her son was.

He bit his lip, realizing too late he'd just talked himself into a corner he didn't have a good way out of.

"A bit of both." He tried to explain without the details he really wasn't ready to tell yet. "Both halves were a problem for her." He sighed and looked away. "She's not the most ... rational ... person around."

"Keeping her safe might not be easy, Jake," she warned him softly. "Not that we can't do it, but she might not like it."

"I know," he nodded slightly. "She's not going to like it even if she did believe me. Just try not to let her con too much out of this. She's good at it."

"I don't think there's any real danger of that, Jake," she smiled. "There are fairly strict limits on what I can set up. Or, at least, there can be if necessary. We'll do everything we can to keep them safe, and comfortable, even if they don't necessarily like it. How much are you and Chance comfortable with them being told during this?"

"Midnight pretty much already knows, even if she's shy on details. I can't really speak for Chance's kin. I don't really care what they know at this point, but it's his secret too."

"Wasn't sure if you two had discussed it already," she nodded. "And your mother?"

"If she'll listen, she can know." He shrugged. "She's heard it once already."

"You've tried to tell her about SWAT but she hasn't listened?" Callie blinked in surprise.

"SWAT, Dark Kat and this entire mess." He leaned back with a frustrated sigh. "We haven't been on good terms since I enlisted and that hasn't changed. She just doesn't believe me."

"I'm sorry," Callie said sincerely as he rubbed the bridge of his nose. She couldn't honestly imagine what that would be like. "It has to be frustrating. I don't know that we can make her listen, but we can make sure Dark Kat doesn't get his hands on her."

"That's all I'm asking for." He smiled at the blond. "It's not your job to fix my family problems."

"No, but if there was a way I could, I'd be willing to," she chuckled. "Bad habit of mine, I try to fix things that aren't working well. Of course, Manx is still in office, so you tell me how good I am at it."

"But you get to work under the radar that way." He pointed out with a chuckle.

"Which has its perks," she nodded. "Like being able to help out friends when they're in trouble sometimes," she added with a smile. "Speaking of friends... have you and Chance thought about asking his old Special Ops contacts? If they're already pretty sure that you two are SWAT, it might work out better. Ops usually has a little more leeway than I do with military issues," she chuckled slightly.

"They're who Chance is with," he admitted. "I'm not sure if they can be much help on the protection front, but when it comes to hunting Dark Kat down, the extra backup is going to be a godsend."

"I'll bet," she nodded. "As for protection, it would probably be largely witness-protection services from either of us. I can help get a lot of the red-tape out of the way though, move things along faster."

"And free up the Ops to go hunting with us." He added. "Those teams typically aren't very big."

"Honestly Jake?" She explained. "I doubt they'd be handling the protection personally, for just that reason. I'm not entirely sure how the teams handle it, but I imagine they'd be using the same people and resources I would."

"Given that side is under the board, I'm not so sure. You're doing things officially, they aren't. It's a favor for an old teammate that still kind of in the business."

"Point taken," she admitted. "Though your point about their resources still stands. Unless they're a lot larger than we expect, they'd be spread pretty thin trying to protect four people adequately and help take Dark Kat down."

"That's a large part of why I came," he nodded. "Right now, we need all the help we can get."

"And I'll give all I can," she nodded. "It's the least I can do for you two."

"Thank you," he smiled slightly, then glanced at the wall clock. "I really should get back before Chance does, or he's going to freak."

"You don't usually spend the night, hmm?" Callie smiled, but nodded. "Have a good day, Jake. Good luck... and thanks for last night," she added with a wink.

"Not without telling him first," he flushed slightly and walked back to the spare bedroom to get back into uniform. "And definitely not with what's going down now."

"Makes sense," she agreed, heading into her own room to change into something other than a bathrobe. "Good luck with his friends," she called to the tom in the next room.

Chance flicked his gaze to the motorcycle's mirrors and blinked in surprise to see a Cyclotron making short work of the distance between them on the dusty road to the salvage yard. Razor grinned and waved to him as he zoomed past to be back in civvies before the tabby got home.

"Why you...." Chance muttered, gunning his bike to get back as quickly as he could, glad in the back of his mind that there was almost never somebody on patrol for speeders out this way.

"Getting home a little late, aren't you buddy?" He called out to the lean tom as he walked in and caught a good view of a lot of cinnamon fur on display as Jake was wearing only a pair of loose shorts.

"I'm here, aren't I?" He grinned back, his tone a throaty purr as he closed the distance between them to claim a kiss. "How'd it go?"

"Well," Chance purred as their lips finally parted. "Smells like it went pretty well for you too," he chuckled, noticing the smell of a light, fragrant shampoo that wasn't like anything they used. He couldn't help but grin when his partner flushed bright red under his fur.

"Incredible is more like it," Jake chuckled sheepishly. "It's been a long time."

"I'll say," Chance chuckled. "So, am I going to get details eventually?"

"That depends," he grinned devilishly and claimed a heated kiss that backed up the hardness he pressed against the tabby's hard thigh. "On whether or not you'll play along with what I thought up last night."

"Mmm ... that depends on what you thought up," Chance chuckled. "Promising without details can be risky with you."

That made Jake laugh. "They involve both you and Callie in bed with me. How risky can it be?"

"Now see?" Chance grinned. "That's the sort of detail a guy should have before he makes up his mind. I think I could go along with that well enough."

"Good, cause I kind of got you talked into it in the shower this morning," he ducked his head a bit. "She was very ... curious ... how you could be better at it."

"At what?" Chance asked, raising an eyebrow with a cocky grin. Jake was always fun when he got this way; it made putting off more serious topics for later a very appealing idea. It was fun to see how bright a red he could get too.

"Anal sex," he chuckled and slid a hand around to squeeze the tabby's ass as he pressed close to the broad, powerful chest. "And a few threesome thoughts that the conversation turned into from there."

"Who was it that turned the conversation that way?" Chance asked with a grin, holding Jake close and rubbing up against the fullness in his shorts. The thought of Jake bringing that idea up... it was almost laughable, though he never would've thought Jake would've ended up in bed with Callie without some prodding either.

"Mmmm, not sure," he drew in a sharp breath. "You have no idea how badly I wanted you there last night."

"Mmm ... well, next time, we'll see about me being there," Chance purred, nuzzling Jakes neck and rubbing his back as the lean tom got a little more insistent about heading up to their bed.

"You're here now," he rumbled hotly.

"I can take a hint," Chance smirked, kissing Jake lightly. "Only question is; should I let you go, or carry you up?"

Jake laughed, twisted out of his grip and bolted upstairs with a daring grin, the tabby not far behind him and pulled him into a heated kissing embrace at the top of the stairs. He frowned when Jake suddenly went tense in his arms, but held silent at the fingers over his mouth while Jake struggled to get something out.

It took him a couple tries to get his voice to work, but eventually he managed after he dropped his gaze from his partner's face.

"Chance ..." his eyes flicked up for a moment, only to disappear again. "I ... I love you."

Chance paused, trying to think of what to say. The words weren't too surprising ... but the seriousness behind them was. For a moment, he almost thought that Jake had to be kidding. Another look into the lean tom's tormented eyes ended that thought fast.

"You mean that the way you said it?" He asked, trying to think of any way to answer it, and sort out what he felt at the same time. He honestly hadn't thought about it for a long time.

A slow nod answered before Jake looked down again. "I just couldn't let this ... mess ... play out without telling you."

"Ah Jake," Chance sighed, pulling the lean tom into a close embrace and felt him start to relax again. A part of him wanted to say it back, but ... he couldn't. Not until he was sure it was true. It wouldn't be fair to either of them, especially not Jake. "It's not going to end up that way, okay?"

"I hope you're right," he murmured and nodded against his partner's chest, desperately trying to make himself believe it. Then he remembered who they were up against and why and hope shriveled again until all he had was faith in his partner.

"I won't let him get you, Jake," Chance said firmly, kissing his partner's neck gently and felt him relax into it a bit more. "I promise."

"It's not what he'll do to me that worries me," Jake breathed and willed himself to respond to the touch and presence of the big tom holding him and put the fear behind him.

"We're doing what we can to keep them safe," Chance reminded him softly, gradually leading him into his room. "C'mon, let's get you laying down and relaxing a bit."

"And you," he shuddered a last time in raw tension before surrendering completely to his partner's touch and care.

Later, Chance was pressed up close against Jake, both of them finally worn out from "relaxing" earlier. For the second time this week, he decided it was probably about the best time to bring up the truth about somebody Jake knew. At least this wasn't as big a bombshell as the last one had been.

Still, he could've strangled Rail after he'd found out.

"Hey, Jake?" He asked quietly. "How are you and Yamar doing, lately?"

"Murrrr," a delighted shiver passed through Jake's body. "You know I like the guy." He purred softly.

"Yeah," Chance chuckled, a little surprised to get that much of a reaction with just mentioning him. It almost made him feel bad he had to bring this up ... but it would be better than letting Jake find out the hard way. "Jake... he's not quite who he's said he is. Found out last night that he's on the team, joined after I left."

It took the words a long moment to sink in, then Jake shrugged and snuggled closer to his partner. "Okay ... so?"

"Heh... thought you might take it a little worse than that," Chance chuckled slightly, nuzzling Jake affectionately. "I know I wasn't too happy with it. Just so you know, he goes by Vale there."

"What the big deal?" He looked up with a frown. "He can hardly talk about what he does to strangers any more than we can."

"When he came out here, they'd assigned him to keep an eye on you once they found out about Dark Kat," Chance explained, though he left out the part where it was Vale's job to kill Jake if things went bad, and frankly, probably still was. "Just didn't sit right with me. If you don't mind it, no problem. He does like you though, he wasn't faking that."

"So where did that kitten really come from?" He asked quietly, working over the variants. He had to admit it was a good precaution. It would warrant a serious chat soon, though.

"Kitten?" Chance asked, a blank look on his face. "What kitten?"

"The kitten Yamar ... Vale ... found about the same time as they 'found' that report on me." He explained quietly. "I guess they didn't think you needed to know."

"No, I guess they didn't," Chance nodded with a frown. "You'll probably want to ask him about that... it could just be what he said though. Bull's people are usually pretty nice guys, when they don't have to be borderline sociopaths. Taking in a kitten's pretty much par for the course for any of 'em... us, I guess now. Or soon enough, at least."

"Yeah," he murmured. "Cause I have a sneaking suspicion it's from the same lab that report was from. Not that it doesn't happen, but a newborn kat isn't that likely to be abandoned."

"Not by any parent who deserves the name," Chance muttered. "Most of 'em don't live long enough to be found. How young is this kit?"

"Didn't have its eyes open yet." He sighed. "We both though it was a cat kitten until the vet called the cops."

"Ouch," Chance winced. "I'll bet that was rough. Have to ask 'em what happened with it. If it *was* from that lab, you can bet kitten services didn't keep him for long."

"I think ... Vale ... caught more hell than I did. It was seriously not fun though." He nodded and snuggled in. "Poor kitten was just a bit of fluff and upset bowels."

"And probably more scared than either of you were," Chance sighed, rubbing Jake's back. "He'll be okay though, I'm sure. Karmel'd just about kill anybody who let it be any other way," he chuckled fondly. "You'll like her, I think."

"Where does she fit into the team?"

"Lab technician, researcher, dispatcher, source of equipment, voice of reason and surrogate mother all wrapped up in the sweetest, nicest shekat you'll ever meet. Until you get her mad," Chance smiled. "Then you'll want to be somewhere else, though it's not easy to do. She's actually been there longer than Bull, the team commander, has been."

"She doesn't go in the field." He half-guessed. "Kind of admin personnel."

"Right," Chance nodded. "But she's just as much a part of the team as any of the rest of us are. She's the one who double-checked what the lab found out about you and Dark Kat," he added.

"So how big is this team? How many of them do you actually know?"

"I know all of them who are with the team now except Vale and Rock, another guy they brought in after I left," Chance said, thinking about the list he'd managed to get last night. "There's Rail and Bull, besides Karmel they've been with the team longest. Then there are the twins, Shadow and Lucky. They're not really twins but they look like it. A couple of high-class con artists and thieves before they got caught and decided to change careers. Damned good at what they do though. There've been a few others who've come and left, but they're the ones with the team now."

Jake nodded slowly, thinking about it. "So only Rock is really an unknown. We've both at least met Vale, and haven't been *that* wrong about a kat yet."

"Yeah," he agreed. "And Rock'll be a good kat, I'm sure. He wouldn't have been around as long as he has if he didn't fit in. Might be a little rough around the edges, but he'll be a good kat at heart."

"Rough around the edges I can handle," he chuckled with a bit of a smirk and kissed Chance. "So when do I get to meet these guys that I'm trusting your safety with?"

"We don't have a specific time set up, but soon," Chance said easily, returning the kiss. "Whenever you're ready and they don't have a mission to deal with, pretty much."

"Soon, I think." He murmured. "I'd like to have a chat with Yamar first, and probably bring Midnight up to speed." He looked up a bit. "Have you told you family what's going on?"

"Not yet," Chance admitted. "Not really sure how. Having to open up a conversation with 'guess what, after Feral canned me I became one of the SWAT Kats' isn't exactly something I'd been planning on having to do."

"Add in the part about 'you'll probably have to go into protective custody for until we kill Dark Kat cause he knows who I am' isn't going to make it any easier." He nodded and sighed. "Just hope they don't laugh you out of the house for it."

"That's not what happened to you, is it?" Chance asked Jake softly.

"Yeah," he nodded slightly, his tone more than a little bitter. "Mom's convinced I'm making it up just to make myself look better. Midnight's known for years, even if I only stopped denying it last week."

"At least somebody believed you," Chance sighed. "Wish there was some way we could convince your Mom, aside from parking the Turbokat on her front lawn."

"It's okay," he nuzzled the tabby. "We've been at odds since I enlisted. I didn't really expect her to be rational about this. She's not about much of anything else."

"Still sucks," Chance murmured, rubbing his partner's back. "Maybe she'll come around some time once this has all gone down."

"You're talking about a woman who still loves the guy who dumped her thirty years ago, never mind *who* he is." Jake muttered. "But I really should introduce you to Midnight," he changed the subject quickly and chuckled lightly as he realized that the two most important people in his life had never seen each other. "I think you'll like her."

"If you like her as much as it sounds like you do, I'm sure I will," Chance smiled.

"She's been as close to me as you are, but since we were little kits." He smiled a little. "We played together before we could walk or talk."

"Sounds like a good shekat," Chance smiled, kissing Jake lightly.

"Hi guys." Karmel greeted Bull's team with a grim expression as they were all settling in for a mission briefing.

"Mission look that bad?" Shadow asked, sliding her chair close to the table. "You haven't looked this grim in a long time."

"The mission is a cakewalk," she shook her head with a soft growl. "I just want to kill whoever ran that lab you got the kit from." She half explained as she took her seat. "She represents an incredible breakthrew in technology, and he used it to create a kit from Dark Kat and Razor."

"Sweet Bastet," Lucky murmured, shaking his head. "Any idea in the notes and stuff we got if the guy who did it was on his own, or working for Dark Kat?" He asked, looking over at the stunned expressions around table.

"Given the complete lack of documentation, I'd hazard it was quite unauthorized." Karmel shook her head. "But we do need to *find* this guy ASAP. Something that command hasn't authorized. Yet."

"So how is the kitten doing, otherwise?" Vale asked as the others tried to wrap their brains around the concepts that had just been presented.

"Quite well," she smiled softly at him with a distinct material glow. "Not that she does more than eat, poop and sleep, but that's what one month olds are supposed to do. He's quite the little darling and a huge hit."

"Rest of the family likes the little one, hmm?" Rock chuckled. "So, between missions, are we looking for her 'father' off the record for now?"

"Yes," she nodded. "I'd like to have a little chat with him."

"I bet," Bull chuckled in a deeply foreboding tone of amusement laced with knowledge.

"Now, on to business." Karmel straightened in her seat. "As you may have heard rumors of, we are getting a new division commander." She paused and smiled faintly. "And for once, it's someone who actually knows how to command and use special ops."

"So we've got a name now?" Lucky asked, his black-striped ears twitching lightly. "And we're not going to have to put up with Feral anymore?"

Karmel grinned lightly. "Oh, he's still *Commander*, but we have someone to report to that he'll actually let do that job."

"Well, spit it out already!" Bull rumbled.

"Lieutenant Commander Feral." She smirked at him.

"Which one?" Vale immediately prompted, his entire body tensed and eager.


"Great!" Shadow grinned. The lean shekat would've been happy with just about anybody, but hearing that it was Felina was the best news she could've hoped for.

"Is she still going to be working in the field as a pilot?" Rock asked curiously. "Or is she finally taking the desk job her Uncle's been pushing her towards?"

"I expect she'll be about as desk-bound as he is no matter how high she goes," Vale smirked. "It's not like he can talk about staying at a desk."

"Very much so," Karmel nodded, her grin still in place in spite of turning serious. "She has made it clear that she expects to know everyone by name and call, so be ready for regular visits that aren't inspections. And be ready for her uncle to push hard to have us keep her safe."

"Hey, it'll be nice to see a Feral down here who isn't looking for a head to bite off," Rock grinned. "And since when have we *not* worked to keep one of our people safe, CO or otherwise?"

"Well, there was that Steele incident," Shadow snickered. "But that was a special case."

"He also wasn't one of our people," Lucky muttered. "Going to be a *lot* better working for Felina though. I don't think any of us are going to have a problem watching her back - after all, she'll watch back."

"And she has a *very* nice back to watch," Rail grinned playfully.

"This'll be interesting," Vale chuckled low in his throat as Bull grinned. Shadow threw a pen at Rail, and Karmel just rolled her eyes while Rock and Lucky exchanged amused looks before snickering.

Chance leaned back against the doorframe as Jake pulled out on his bike to meet with Vale. The buff tabby let out a bit of a sigh as his mind gradually returned to the subject that had taken up more of his attention during the past few days.

What Jake had told him at the top of the stairs.

Of all the things that had happened the past weeks, that was the one that was keeping him the most off-balance. He laughed slightly, then shook his head. Weird. The tom he'd been living with for seven years tells him he loves him, and that takes more thought than finding out that that same tom was Dark Kat's son.

"I hope you're number hasn't changed, Karmel," he murmured as he headed in and grabbed the phone, dialing the older shekat's number from very old memory. She was usually pretty good to talk about these types of things with. Easier than his own family, that much was certain. There was so much less he had to explain too. She already knew almost all of it.

Two rings, then the buzzing click of an automatic transfer, three rings and a sweet, familiar voice answered. "Hello Chance." She answered with the same understanding steel he'd remembered from a lifetime ago. "What can I do for you?"

"Well, if you're not busy, could we meet somewhere?" He asked hopefully. "I've got something to try and sort out. The thinking end of things always seems to work easier when I can talk to somebody, and you don't usually mind listening too much."

"Of course not. I'll be at the Yard in about ten minutes." She paused. "Your partner just passed me going the other direction."

"He's going to talk with Vale some," Chance explained. "It's about him, but he's not running or anything." Jake was making *real* good time.

"Good, on both counts. They have some sorting out to do. I'll see you soon, Tiger."

"See you soon," Chance nodded and hung up to get ready for her arrival. He never questioned why she was headed out to the Yard right when he wanted to talk to her. She was always like that, one step ahead of what her ops needed. A light knock on the outside door to the waiting room before it opened with a chime brought him out of his thoughts to smile at the dark calico older than his mother but showing no signs of graying despite her work load.

"Hey Karmel," he smiled, gesturing towards the newly-cleared chairs in the room. "Thanks for coming out here. Make yourself comfortable; can I get you anything?"

"Milk or soda would be nice," she smiled and settled down easily into an environment quite different from the efficient offices and labs she was accustomed to. "How is Jake doing?"

"Well enough it scares me," Chance admitted, grabbing a can of soda for each of them and handed Karmel hers before he sat down. "He's taking things in stride for now, but when it's over, it'll probably all end up hitting him at once."

"It's hardly an unusual track," she nodded seriously. "Just like you don't deal with grief or fear on a mission, you just do your job and crumble when everyone is safe at home and the funerals are over. I'd be willing to bet he sees this as mission time, not a time for weakness or too much thinking about repercussions."

"Exactly," Chance nodded. "I've seen it before, only one time he didn't act that way and it ended up being a trap. Still worried about him, when it's over. He bottles things up *way* too well."

Karmel couldn't help but smile slightly. "The team might help with that. If not, we have some of the best PTSD psychs in the system on call."

"I hope that'll do it," Chance nodded. "The funny thing? This isn't even why I called you," he chuckled slightly, shaking his head.

"Oh?" She raised a curious eyebrow for him to continue. "Do tell."

"Trying to figure out if there's more between Jake and I than partners," Chance admitted. "He's said there is on his end ... I've been trying to figure it out from mine since then."

That raised her eyebrow even further. "He proposed to you?"

"Officially no, but the way he was talking, if I had he wouldn't have turned me down. I'm pretty good at reading him after this long, too. He didn't propose ... really, as far as I can tell from him, nothing is going to or has to change."

"So you want to know for yourself, not because he asked you something you need to give him an answer." She nodded and relaxed into a situation that made much more sense to her. "What does it change for your if you do?"

"Depends on Jake, in a lot of ways," Chance explained, thinking about it. "Probably nothing, or at least not much that's concrete. But as far as working goes... it throws in some extra wrinkles. You know what it was like with the team. We're all good friends, we all sleep together, but at the same time, we could each make the choice to leave one of us behind if we *had* to."

Karmel settled and regarded the tabby across from her for a very long, painfully silent time. "Chance, how long has it been since that has really been something you could do? Leave Jake behind for good, and for dead."

"I'm not sure," Chance admitted. "I've watched him take off to save the city knowing he probably wasn't going to live through it. If he'd tried to go to Dark Kat... if he does... I'll be able to keep him from turning, one way or the other. But if it came to a cut and run, and leave him behind, I don't know if I could."

She nodded easily. "Then that is what you work with. It's what we've figured would happen, and the team's accepted the extra risk of your loyalty to each other. That doesn't have to be love that stops you, Chance. You've relied on each other, and only each other, for a decade, to keep your hides intact and the job done. That kind of dependence breeds the loyalty of no one gets left behind. It's quite all right."

"It does help to have the blessing," Chance smiled. "Sure they're okay with it? Been working like that so long, it'd be pretty hard to change. To be honest, not sure how the twins do it."

"They don't really think about it," she shook her head lightly. "Some of it is Bull as well. He's gotten harder nosed on the idea of no one gets left behind in recent years. He always hated loosing an op, now he's pretty actively fighting it."

"Never easy, for him or for us," Chance agreed. "Got harder every time it happened too, and he's seen more ops check out than any of us but you."

"And I never *saw* it happen," she agreed softly. "I can barely imagine what it is like to be there when you loose someone that close. It's bad enough just knowing I'll never see them again."

"And when you're there, you've got the 'I could have stopped it,' to deal with too," Chance nodded. "That's another thing that worries me about this whole thing with Dark Kat. It's just a feeling, but the impression Jake was giving me the other day... I don't think he plans on living through it."

"Are you sure it's that he doesn't *plan* on it, or doesn't *expect* to?" She tightened a bit as things started to fall back into her realm.

"That can be hard to tell with Jake sometimes, even for me," Chance admitted. "Not expecting it I can understand. The line's just too damned thin when it's going on feeling. Should probably try to talk to him a bit more, he hasn't actually said anything either way."

Karmel nodded. "It is particularly thin if his mindset was to say what he needed to before either of you were killed. If his not expecting to live thoughts are of at least one of you not making it, the odds are admittedly very high he'd be right." She paused to consider Chance for a time. "Which would make sense as well with his lack of proposing or saying anything more on the subject since. Sometimes making peace with yourself doesn't require the other person to respond, only to hear."

"Think I'm thinking too much into this?" Chance asked, the question serious for once.

She considered him and what she knew before answering. "If you are going to insist you both survive this, then no, you aren't. Not for him, but for you."

"I'll keep the promise I gave Rail," Chance said. "But I'm not going to let this kill either of us without one hell of a fight."

"Then you need to accept, and name, what you feel for him." She insisted gently. "For your own peace of mind."

Chance paused for a moment, then nodded slightly. "Thanks, Karmel. One more question though... do you think I should tell him? I don't want to make it harder for him as this plays out."

"That is up to you," she smiled softly. "If he doesn't live, will you regret not telling him?"

"I will," the tabby nodded with a bit of a sigh. "Which leaves me figuring out how to tell him... and that's my job to figure out," he smiled a bit. "Y'know, he's the first tom I've ever really felt like this about. Seriously at least."

"When this is over, you two need to take a long vacation somewhere *very* far away from this city."

"When it's over, I think we'll have earned one," Chance sighed, leaning his head back. "One dead Dark Kat, it'd almost be enough to make it safe to retire from SWAT. Almost."

"At least as a full time job," she nodded. "He's by far the most dangerous of the regulars."

"It'd be poetic justice too," Chance chuckled slightly. "After all, between him and Feral, they're the reasons we went SWAT instead of staying official for the past few years."

"Of course, you have done ten times more good independent than you ever could have staying in a Talon." She pointed out with a smile. "Jake could never have done that much modification while on the force."

"No kidding," Chance chuckled. "We'll have to see about doing as much good working with the team again now."

"It will be interesting," she nodded. "How do you feel about Felina Feral?"

"Hell of a pilot and a great officer," he said easily. "Why?"

"She was just put in command of the Special Ops division." Karmel smiled. "You'll be answering to her, not her uncle, as Commander."

"I'll bet the whole teams' thrilled about that one," Chance grinned. "I'll let Jake know when he gets back, neither of us are exactly Feral's biggest fans."

"We all are," she chuckled. "She is much more understanding of how to use special ops than he is. She's a lot easier to work with too."

"Preaching to the choir," Chance chuckled. "We've worked with her in the field before, I'd say she's at least on par with anybody on the team. And now everybody knows better than to razz the new shekat with us," he said a little sheepishly, remembering what they'd all put Shadow through when she'd first signed on - and the times she'd proven she could handle herself just fine, usually to the extreme discomfort of Rail or himself.

"Yes," Karmel laughed easily at those memories. "Just don't think you'll get away with not talking to her. She's already made it clear she intends to know everyone by name, face and call."

"We'll keep it in mind," Chance nodded with an easy smile. "Though I don't think that'll be a problem. It'll be a cold day in June before we're eager to see her Uncle again, but no problems with her."

"Good," she nodded and relaxed back. "So do you intend to make something special out of telling him, or just let the info be there?"

"I'm going to assume you're not talking about the new CO," he chuckled. "I think I'll just be trying to tell him, but in person. After he's had his talk with Vale."

"That'll be an interesting chat to hear about," she grinned. "How did Jake take it when you told him about Vale?"

"Didn't really seem to care," Chance admitted. "Kinda surprised me that way."

Karmel raised an eyebrow at that. "Not what I expected, but for the best. Maybe he likes Vale more than anyone planned on. Vale sure thinks they've hit it off well."

"I think he hit it off better with Vale than he did with me," Chance chuckled slightly. "Good to know that Vale really likes him too, instead of it just being the mission."

"They do have more in common," Karmel nodded. "They also have the kind of fire that can burn out quickly." She paused to consider him. "Are you really okay with that? With how quickly they've grown close, and how hard it may hit if it ends as hot as it began."

"I'll do my best to help them both through it if it does, and yeah, I'm okay with it," Chance nodded. "I don't think Jake or I are really the monogamous sorts, no matter how much we care for each other."

"Which is good, on all counts." She nodded again. "Monogamy and ops don't tend to mesh well."

"Especially not the way we do things," he chuckled. "Though I don't think we'll want Jake walking in on the team after a mission right away. Poor guy might spontaneously combust."

"Oh?" She raised an eyebrow at him. "I got the impression he is quite playful."

"Oh yeah," Chance grinned. "But he gets bashful pretty easily too. And he's so cute when he blushes," he chuckled.

"Sounds like a little one on one with each of the team is in order." She smiled a little conspiratorially. "Get him used to each of them before he walks into the group event."

"Probably be best," Chance chuckled. "At least let him meet everybody first. There'll be time for that though."

"Quite true," Karmel agreed. "And not dropping too much on him that you don't have to is probably for the best we well. He has enough stress to deal with as is."

"That he does," Chance nodded. "At least that stress wouldn't be a bad sort. Don't think it'll be an issue any time too soon though." Just then, he looked down at his hip, reached down and pulled his buzzing pager out slightly.

"Damnit," he muttered. "Hey, Karmel, sorry about this but somebody just called in for a tow. Probably that little old lady from the auto club," he said, mostly to himself, as he stood up.

"It's alright," she nodded with a slight smile. "Go take care of her. It won't be much longer than you'll need to do that for a living."

"Definitely one of the perks of the job," Chance chuckled, grabbing the keys to the truck. "Feel free to hang around for a bit if you'd like, just don't go poking around downstairs unless you feel like trying your luck against Jake's security systems."

"I think I'll skip that particular exercise." She chuckled and shook her head. "The twins might enjoy the challenge, but not me."

"Well, I'll see you around!" Chance called as he started out into the garage. "Have a good night, Karmel!"

"Good run, Tiger." She smiled back at him, then took him up on his offer to look around and see what they kept after so many years here.

"Oh, hi Jake." Vale blinked in real surprise at the cinnamon tom at his door. "Come in." He stepped aside and motioned him in. "Is something wrong?"

"Not really." He shook his head and found a seat in one of the plush chairs in the living room. "But I do have questions for you, Vale."

"Ah, yes." He nodded and sat down after locking the door. "Chance brought you up to speed on things."

"To a point," he nodded and regarded the Siamese levelly. "What he didn't say is of more importance to me here. What were you to do with what you learned from me?"

"Do? Nothing." He signed and shook his head. "I wasn't to learn anything from you. It was a safeguard against you turning to Dark Kat for any reason."

"And if I did?" He pressed sharply.

"A bullet to the brain." He admitted quietly. "I was the last line if Chance couldn't do it for any reason."

Jake nodded and locked eyes, amber to blue. "Can you?"

"I will." He nodded. "I like you, Jake. A lot. But if it comes down to letting Razor pair up with Dark Kat or killing you, it's not really a choice."

"Good," he nodded and relaxed as the conversation drifted towards more interesting topics.

"Chance?" Jake called out, party in concern and partly because he wanted to see his partner after the emotionally draining day he'd spent with Vale. He growled softly when he spotted the missing tow truck. "Damnit kat, you know better than to go out alone on a call."

His breath caught at a scrabble of claws behind him. He didn't even think as he spun around on one heal and drew the small blaster from the small of his back and fired three perfect shots at the purplish-pink creature in the doorway.

Only after it collapsed did it sink in that that could have been a *person* and he started to tremble.

"Calm down, Jake." He murmured to himself. "It's a Creepling. With a note in its hand." He shuddered and carefully extracted the piece of paper with unfamiliar handwriting on it. "This is *not* happening."

Chance's awareness returned in bits and pieces. The almost painful arousal between his legs. The cold, hard cement under him. The nausea of being drugged to the point he didn't even feel the bruises from his capture.

The smell of Creeplings on his fur and over it, that of a shekat in full heat. Her soft whimpers registered next as he cracked an eye open to adjust to the darkness of the cell and orient himself.

He growled slightly before he caught himself, his instincts responding to his arousal and her state before his mind had caught up.

"Who's there?" He managed to get out as he sat up slowly. His eyes adjusted to the lack of light, and he started to get a better idea of where he and his unknown companion were.

And of who she was, which was beginning to occupy more and more of his mind.

"Midnight," she answered softly from the corner the furthest away from him as possible. "Who are you?"

"Chance," he said. "Chance Furlong." He was glad she was where she was; he had a feeling that if she'd been any closer, he'd have already jumped her. What the hell had they hit him with?

Her name came back into mind, and his eyes grew wider as the pieces started falling into place. "You're Jake's friend, aren't you?"

"And you're his partner." Her voice trembled slightly as he finally adjusted to the light and saw the dark shadow in the corner for the shekat it was. Her fluffy black tail was tucked tightly between her legs and up around her chest to cover her nudity. "This is what had him so scared, isn't it?"

"It is if we're where I think we are," Chance admitted, only then realizing that he was naked too. "Sick son of a bitch," he muttered to himself and brought his tail up between his legs reflexively. He needed to think about something besides how turned on he was, something besides sinking himself into her body. Jake'd never forgive him if he gave in to this now, especially with her.

*He'd* never forgive himself.

"Creeplings grab you?" He asked, trying to distract himself from their arousal scents. "Are you hurt?"

"No, some kats dressed up like ninja did," she shuddered and grumbled. "And unless you count being in heat three months early, I'm fine."

"Dark Kat's other goons," Chance muttered. "Did they give you anything?" He asked, trying to figure out what they'd been given. It didn't make much difference, but the mental activity might make waiting it out a bit easier.


"I don't know," she sighed slightly and struggled to restrain herself. "I woke up this way."

"That makes two of us," the tabby sighed, gripping his fur tightly. The slight pain of it being pulled helped to ground him. "Don't know what that bastard's up to, but he's being more sadistic than usual."

"What do you think he expects to get out of this?" She asked uneasily.

"I don't know," Chance lied. He had two very good ideas already, but he didn't want to make her worry about them if he could help it. "Any idea how long you've been up already?"

"Long enough to be hungry." Midnight admitted. "You've been there maybe an hour. I haven't seen anyone but the two ninja that tossed you in."

"Great," he sighed. "I don't know what's up with the two of us... but the next few hours could be really long ones."

"Days, Chance." She corrected him softly with no small amount of fear in her voice. "A heat lasts for days."

"Yeah, but whatever they put in you to put you into it probably doesn't," he said, trying to sound reassuring and *really* hoping that Dark Kat hadn't developed something to bring on a real heat, length of time and all. "Midnight... if it starts to get too bad... what do you want me to do?"

She looked at him briefly, then dropped her eyes and breathed deeply to try to settle herself even a little before looking at him again with a fire and steel that befitted Jake's best friend. "What we have to to survive." She half growled, her brilliant white fangs flashing against inky black fur. "And we deal with the fallout when we're out."

Chance had to admire her. He was already being driven to distraction, and she'd been up and through it for longer.

And being in heat was worse than what he was going through in almost every way, according to every fem he'd known.

"Understood," he nodded. "You have somebody out there besides Jake who'll want to break my thick skull if it goes that far?"

"Jake'll understand, eventually," she said softly. "My husband won't."

"Jealous type?" Chance asked softly.

"Possessive, violent type," she muttered with a bit of a growl. "I was out trying to work out how to tell him it's over when I was grabbed."

"Sounds almost like you shouldn't head back," Chance sighed. "Jake doesn't know, I'm guessing?"

"He knows, kinda like I know about his hobby." She murmured. "He's told me for years to get out. It's not as easy as folks make it sound."

"Haven't been through it," Chance admitted, "but I'll bet it isn't. Still care for him, or something else keeping you there?" He asked, hoping she didn't have kits yet.

"Some the first, some ... it's hard to leave the only thing you know. He's been part of my life a long time. Not as long as Jake, but Jake didn't want to settle down. I think girls weird him out too." Midnight paused and looked at the buff tabby across the too-small cell. "You have been with a shekat before, right?"

"Yeah, I have," Chance nodded, chuckling a little uneasily. It wasn't really a topic he wanted to dwell on too much, at least not now. "You're pretty important to Jake, y'know, from what I've heard. Not much, but it shows."

That raised an eyebrow. "While you he talks about almost constantly. I probably know more about you than my own mate."

Chance blushed at that. It was uncharacteristic for him, but he didn't feel much like his usual bravado at the moment.

"Probably exaggerated half of it," he chuckled and shifted to ease his aching erection a little. "You've really known him since you were both newborns?"

"Pretty much," she nodded. "We were each other's first time, not long after my third heat."

"Maybe that's why he mostly sticks to guys," Chance mused quietly, only just then realizing how that might sound when her face snapped up. "Uhm... I didn't mean...."

"That I scared him off shekats?" She finished for him, the tip of her fluffy tail twitching.

"Right," he nodded, ducking his head. "I didn't mean that. I just meant... maybe he's holding out for a chance to hook up with you again, kind of."

"You really think he's changed since he met you?" She asked quietly. "I wasn't seriously dating anyone until I was twenty one."

"Didn't know that," Chance admitted. "Still, there's something there."

"You think so?" Midnight asked again, almost hopefully. "I mean really. He hasn't showed any interest in a way I understand."

"Yeah, I think so," he nodded, smiling before he sighed and looked around. "Which is probably why you're here, honestly. But yeah... Jake gets that look when he's talking about you. It might take a bit to get him to admit it, but I'm pretty sure there's something there."

"Probably that look he gets when he talks about you, then." She chuckled weakly and shifted uncomfortably, trying to ignore the way her body was screaming at her with arousal so sharp it was near agony. "You've been very good for him, you know. He's been happier in the last few years than I remember seeing before."

"Awww...." Chance blushed, doing his best not to think about why she was shifting, and why he wanted to. Trying to keep this up for the next hours, or days... or longer, was going to be next to impossible.

The last option was what really worried him. Whatever Dark Kat had done to them, Chance couldn't think of any reason he wouldn't do it again, and again, and again, until they were rescued.

"It's good to hear that. He's a great guy, deserves to be happy. What was he like, before he enlisted?" The tabby asked.

"He was always trying to prove himself," she sighed softly. "That he was smart enough, good enough ... whatever it was that his mom wanted that he never managed. Enlisting was a real rebellion. Honestly, it surprised all of us. Not even I thought he had that much in him. A couple years later I figured it was Fate's way of getting him to meet you. His mom's never forgiven him though."

"Don't tell him I said this, but his Mom sounds like a real piece of work," Chance muttered. "So far it's a wonder she managed to raise a guy like him."

"She didn't." She shrugged. "Not really. Oh, she made sure there was food on the table and he had decent clothes, but she never wanted a kit, much less one that was smarter than her by the time he was five."

"I'm liking her less the more I hear. Yeesh. I hope Jake doesn't mind if I never go to his family reunions. His father wants us both dead and his mother doesn't deserve the title."

"I don't think anyone would miss either of you." Midnight shook her head and whimpered softly as a shift in her tail rubbed against her swollen mons. "He's not much on family." She finished with a sharp breath.

"With his, I can't much blame him," Chance admitted, trying not to breathe through his nose. The scent in the cell was just getting stronger as time went by, and he was getting more and more certain that self-control would be the last thing on either of their minds fairly soon. That he could see a matching knowledge in her dark eyes as well didn't help him at all.

"Me either," she nodded and pressed back a little further into her corner before closing her eyes in a desperate fight for self control. "You've given him the first home he's ever known, and he loves you for it and everything else."

"He told me a few days ago," Chance nodded, swallowing hard. At this rate, there wasn't any question about it - it was driving him crazy, and it would do the same for Midnight, only much more literally. "Dark Kat has some damned great timing... I finally figured out what to say back just before they grabbed me."

"You'll get a chance," she smiled slightly through heavy breathing. "We're not going to die here."

"Not like this at least," Chance agreed. He wished he felt as confident as he hoped he sounded, even with the slight shake his voice had. He wished he could control it better, but he was a little too busy controlling other things, like the raging hormones that were telling him to quit talking and get over to the other corner of the room. This wasn't just a heat, this was *way* stronger than it should be, even in these close quarters.

"Chance ..." Midnight dropped her eyes, her voice trembling almost as badly as her body. "Don't be gentle."

"I can get pretty rough, Midnight," he warned her, swallowing hard. If she asked for it, at this rate, he couldn't see himself saying no, even knowing she was drugged. That they were both drugged.

This was a nightmare.

"We each protect what we need to," she whispered, her body shuddering almost uncontrollably. "I'll protect your relationship with Jake. I'll *make* him understand. Let me pretend it's not my idea for a while."

"It's not," Chance growled slightly, loosening his grip on his instincts. It wasn't her idea, and he couldn't let her feel like it was.

It wasn't his idea either. This one belonged entirely to the sick bastard who'd put them here and drugged them with whatever it was.

And, more than he ever had before, he wanted to rip Dark Kat apart with his bare hands.

"Time for that later," he promised himself quietly. With that last coherent thought, he let go the rest of the way, and his drug-addled instincts took over. The burly tabby was across the small cell in a flash, his powerful hands locked around Midnight's shoulders as he practically threw her onto the small mattress in the middle of the room before she could even squawk in surprise.

Her dark eyes went wide as he lunged on top of her and grabbed her arms to pin her down. Her instincts and physical need spread her legs for him even as part of her struggled against his powerful grip. With the strength of real fear at being truly helpless under his weight she couldn't even budge him as his legs spread hers wider.

"Sorry," Chance managed to get out, though even that was a growl as he drove his hips forward. He hissed as his thick, painfully hard shaft spread her body fast and deep, desperate for the relief she offered in that slick, hot depth.

Then she was fighting her own body even more than him as the pleasure drawn from being full of tom overwhelmed her resistance to what was happening and she moaned deeply. Mostly past thought, she wrapped her legs around him and thrust her hips up as his came down, her cries those of pleasure and need despite what was going on in the brief moments of clarity her mind had.

Chance growled low in his throat and bit down on her shoulder possessively as he pounded into her body. His cock throbbed inside of her as she cried out, his barbs raking her sensitive insides as they drew closer to the orgasms their bodies needed. Even through the haze of his state of mind and the eager way the body under him responded, he could see her tears and the pain this caused her.

He hated himself for it; for hurting her, and for the pleasure his body was taking from it.

Then an arch of her body washed it all away as it clamped down around him and muscles fluttered and caressed him around her scream of completion. It was enough to push him over the edge, and he released her shoulder with a roar as he filled her with his seed.

They were both still panting when his head dropped slightly and he ended up looking at her tear-streaked face again. He was still trying to put together an apology when her body interrupted him again. She closed her eyes with something akin to a sob as she tightened around his shaft once more and began to thrust up against him.

This time, Chance tried to keep some grip on himself despite the way her body and pheromones pulled at him. He continued to mate her as desperately as she demanded, but not as violently as the first time and he let her arms go before they came again.

Razor tore through MegaKat City's still-quiet streets on one of the cyclotrons, driving towards the warehouse district and his meeting with Dark Kat. He was so far past ready to kill he would have scared himself if he'd been paying attention. But all that really registered was that Dark Kat had his partner *and* his best friend and wanted to make a deal for their lives.

A deal that he was sure would kill him, one way or another. Both Chance and Vale had promised outright that he'd die before they'd let him side with his sire. It made him absently curious why that knowledge calmed him so much. But then, it was difficult to threaten a dead kat. He just had to make sure that before it happened, Chance and Midnight were free.

And that Dark Kat paid for whatever he'd done to them.

The building he pulled up in front of was condemned, typical of one of Dark Kat's decoy hideouts. He was sure there was another somewhere, but this was where he'd been told to come. He could practically feel the eyes of Dark Kat's "security" boring into him from afar.

It didn't really matter. He parked the cyclotron and set it to come on his signal, then walked into the abandoned building with the kind of straight-backed self-assurance that usually belong to his partner.

"Welcome, Razor," the too-familiar booming voice sounded like it was coming from all around him. The warehouse was only lit by the morning sun, and the cavernous space made it hard to tell what sounds were coming from where. "I see you found your way here easily enough."

"Where are my friends?" He growled back, trying to locate any movement despite the difficulties.

"Safe, for now. Drop your weapons and I'll come show you."

His ears flattened, but the Glovatrix came off and clattered on the cement floor. A Creepling scrabbled out and grabbed it, carrying it back into the shadows. A moment later, Dark Kat stepped out, looking it over with an expression somewhere between calculating and appraising.

"Excellent work," he eventually said and reached into one of the pockets on his robe to pull out a handheld display. He tossed it to Razor. "My end of the bargain."

His ears flattened even more with a rumbling growl to see Chance and Midnight, naked and unconscious in their small cell.

"What do you want?" He demanded, his eyes sharp and full of hate.

"What I've always wanted," the Xanith rumbled. "The city. Though an extra twist has been added recently."

"You know I'm going to stop you." He shook his head slightly; his ears still flat and his tail lashing sharply. "Threatening my friends isn't going to change that."

"Threatening them?" Dark Kat chuckled. "They haven't been harmed in the least. They were simply entertaining themselves not long ago." He handed Razor's Glovatrix back to him, looking down at the much smaller kat almost daringly as it was slipped into place over Razor's hand. "Though if you think you can stop me while I have them, go ahead. You have a better shot now than you did last time. But tell me. Do you really think you can shoot your own father?"

"Yes," Razor growled even as he brought his arm up, his breath quickened for a dozen reasons, only some of them present in the warehouse. "Where are they?" He demanded.

"That's the second reason you can't kill me," Dark Kat chuckled slightly. "If I die, you'll never find them before my people make sure they don't wake up. At least not in any condition you'd consider worth saving."

"Which brings us back to the first question." He snapped, more than a little tempted to shoot, even for just a wounding shot. "What do you want?"

"You, working with me," the Xanith rumbled deeply. "Your intelligence and skills put to much fuller use, as they were meant to be. For my son to rule at my side once the city has been brought to its knees."

As much as he wanted the demand to be a surprise, it wasn't. "How long will my friends be prisoners if agree?"

"As long as is necessary," Dark Kat answered easily. "The sooner I am convinced that you won't turn on me once they're free...."

"That's about the same odds I have of getting them back if I shoot you now." Razor flattened his ears with an audible click of his Glovatrix. "Try again."

"You'd be surprised," Dark Kat said, not seeming to be all that worried about the weapon trained on him. "For one thing, you can't compromise with somebody who's dead. I might be willing to release them sooner, but I would need some sort of assurance that I won't be shot as soon as they're gone. After all; would you turn them loose, under the same conditions?"

Razor dropped his arm and regarded the Omega almost coldly. "Given how easily it would be to catch them again, *and* I actually wanted you alive for some reason, yes." He shrugged. "But you'd never be held to an agreement by the lives of others, so it's not a good comparison."

"And that's the problem. I have to test how likely you are to kill me as soon as you know they're safe. Recapturing them would be easy enough. Trusting you to hold to your end of the bargain...."

"Is much more likely than you upholding your end," he pointed out with a snort. "I've always kept my word."

"And I've never double-crossed anybody who didn't deserve it," Dark Kat pointed out with a chuckle. "I've always been very clear about my terms. We'll compromise. You help me, and I'll release them once you've completed one particular project for me. They should be free shortly, unless I've overestimated you."

"What project?" He muttered, hating himself for having listened this long despite what he'd promised himself.

"After my latest attack was foiled, I need a more secure base of operations," Dark Kat explained. "Something fairly simple for you, I'm sure. Not a weapon, not one of my juggernauts. Simply a location that isn't as prone to Enforcer destruction as my previous ones have been. Complete this to my satisfaction, and I'll release your friends."

He couldn't help it; he crossed his arms and glared at Dark Kat, then laughed. "One condition. *You* take out the Omegas that show up while SWAT is grounded by this deal."

"Permanently, or should I take your approach?" Dark Kat asked dryly.

"Permanently, if you can." He all but dared the Xanith.

"With pleasure," Dark Kat chuckled. "Just remember. Your condition."

Razor just rolled his eyes. "Which I'm sure you'll make me regret at least once." He grumbled, and then shrugged. "How much of this base is finished?"

"I'll show you," Dark Kat said easily. "Out the back, you'll find one of my small craft waiting for us."

Midnight cracked one eye open and struggled to place where she was, who the tom next to her was and exactly what had happened that left her more than a little sore and bruised from it.

"Chance," she murmured, looking down at a face that should be *much* more familiar after the amount of time they'd been in here together. She brushed his hair back as a few details trickled back along with the burning arousal of that time and she groaned.

At least he was good at it. And very well equipped as well, she couldn't help up add as her hand drifted down to play her fingers along the hard, rough length of flesh that promised such pleasure to them both it made her body ache for it. She closed her hand around it and pumped lightly, ready to kiss him when he was conscious enough to understand.

Eventually, the tabby groaned lightly, his body responding to her touch as his mind gradually started to come around.

"Midnight?" He asked as his eyes opened and he placed the black-furred shekat next to him. "I...."

She silenced the rest with a light kiss. "I know, Chance." She murmured softly, her fingers still playing along his shaft. "We do what we have to to survive."

Chance groaned into her mouth as she stroked him, but pressed back slightly. "Did I hurt you?" He asked, trying to remember everything that had happened, but only picking up on the broadest of strokes since he'd woken up last. He remembered who she was... and what he'd done to her... but he couldn't remember why to save his life.

"I'm sore, and probably pregnant, but not hurt." She murmured as the scent of his natural arousal spiked the interest of her freshly-drugged body. "And it's not over."

"It's still in you?" He asked, a sick feeling in his gut. He was turned on by her scent and attentions, but it wasn't anything like what it had been before. He didn't have whatever drug was in both of them as an excuse this time.

"Probably," she nodded and kissed him again, very gently this time. "I'm still in heat."

"Fuck," he groaned. "Is it as bad as last time?"

"Almost," she tightened her fingers around his cock and kissed him a little more forcefully. "The damage is done. Please ... just make me feel good."

Chance returned the kiss this time, though he wanted little more than to get out of the cell and kill Dark Kat for doing this to her. That wasn't an option though; he only had two choices. Let her suffer through this until she finally snapped and jumped him, or give her what she needed now when he had some control of how it happened.

His hands ran down her body gently as he chose the second option.

"I won't hurt you this time," he rumbled firmly, kissing her again lightly as he rolled over on top of her and felt the hungry eagerness in her spread legs and the soft sounds as she rubbed up against his hard body.

"I know," her breath caught as he slid inside her body with all the control he could muster. "Ohhh, I know."

Dark Kat lingered at the edge of the largest workshop that his son had claimed with a bit of muttering about the amount of tweaking he'd have to do to get the existing fortress up to his specs. He'd really thought that the tom was just posturing. Until five hours into the work he'd gotten a good look at what was happening.

It was amazing.

The tom was so far beyond brilliant at what he was doing that SWAT's continued successes started to make sense. This wasn't just luck; Jake had an actual gift for machines and electronics that went beyond intelligence, education and experience. This fortress would be impenetrable. The Enforcers and anyone else could try anything they wanted; it would repel it all.

It would be an incredible partnership. Especially once it moved on from the fortress and to weapons and juggernauts and Jake had taken that extra step and accepted his place in it.

Dealing with the tabby could be a challenge. He had few doubts that he couldn't leave the two free to stay together. Chance would no doubt turn his partner against him again. But he would have to be *very* careful about how the tabby and shekat died. Any hint of his involvement would likely turn his son's cold hatred towards him into a fire Jake wouldn't survive and held a real threat to Dark Kat himself.

While that wouldn't be bad for the removal of SWAT from his life, his son was valuable enough to make it worth the effort.

"Dark Kat," Jake growled softly when he finally decided to acknowledge the giant tom watching him. "You've got plans for what's to be done. I will see my friends now."

"Very well," Dark Kat nodded. He was actually looking forward to the opportunity to review the plans. It was an unusual pleasure to be working with somebody as skilled as he was. Even if they weren't entirely willing yet. "I'll take you to them." He stepped back from the door to let Jake through.

The lean tom simply nodded and followed, his surprise at the lack of resistance buried by a mixture of stress and acceptance of his own death being rather immanent at the hands of someone he cared deeply for.

"If you're hoping to break them out, you'll likely be quite disappointed," the Xanith warned him as the two walked through the base. It was actually remarkably busy, the Creeplings and kats who worked for Dark Kat bustling back and forth, moving supplies and bringing in materials for the lair and other, more destructive projects.

Jake *almost* had to admire the efficiency. The lair was huge, excavated deep into one of the mountains surrounding Megakat City. The idea of trying to manage the logistics of the place was daunting.

Still, it didn't take the edge off the cold hatred and rage directed at his sire, or the numb acceptance of what was happening.

"Why bother?" Jake actually shrugged, though he didn't bother to hide his emotions on the subject. "You'd just catch them again."

"If they were fortunate," Dark Kat agreed. "They don't have to be kept in there, son. They could both be much more comfortable with a little persuasion."

"In exchange for what?" Jake asked simply, not even fighting the impending bribe.

"I meant persuading them. Your partner especially would be a threat if he was free, the way things stand. If he were more likely to be reasonable, there wouldn't be the need for the same precautions."

He couldn't help but show a trace of how he balked at actually talking his partner into behaving. "I'll figure it out."

"Simply something to consider. It would be a pleasure to have both of you working together again, to our mutual benefit."

Jake shot him a dubious look that held no secrets about just how likely he thought that was. "You have no idea how much he hates you if you think I'm enough to change his mind."

"Probably almost as much as you do," Dark Kat said simply as the pair entered a large elevator and it ascended. "We're almost there."

After a silent ride to one of the higher levels, the elevator opened, and a long row of empty cells came into view.

"Last cell on the left," Dark Kat rumbled quietly, watching his son as the lean tom walked silently to a point where he could see his friends but they were unlikely to notice him and leaned against the wall to watch Chance murmur and gently touch his sleeping cellmate.

It wasn't long before Jake briefly closed his eyes, nodded and turned around to go back to the elevator without a word.

Dark Kat raised an eyebrow slightly. He'd expected many things, but that hadn't been one of them. Some words exchanged, a promise to get his partner and friend out, but not to walk away without even letting them know he was there.

He wondered what, if anything, he was up to. He'd have to see what Jake had to say once he was back.

It turned out to be nothing. The small tom's expression was unreadable; not broken or plotting, just utterly unreadable.

"Satisfied?" The Xanith finally asked, starting the elevator's descent back to the working area. He had a feeling that Jake would be getting back to work on something soon, now that he was sure his friends were safe.


Dark Kat did wonder how long it would take for the tabby to break down. It would be much easier to deal with him afterwards, whether by recruiting him, or putting a bullet in his thick skull.

"For now," he nodded slightly. "They won't be staying in there."

"And how do you plan on that happening?" Dark Kat asked. He might have to step up the guard patrols in this area.

"A cell doesn't have to look like one," he shrugged. "Quarters like mine can be secured just as well with little difficulty or time. It's not like they have windows."

"Prepare the plans and I'll consider it," Dark Kat acquiesced. It would be acceptable. Besides, getting on his son's slightly better side would be a good idea.

Chance groaned as he woke up to the pleasant surprise of not having one of them drugged up. He could feel Midnight's resting warmth in his arms, and the drastic changes in where they were since they'd passed out. The bed was soft, and elevated like a normal one. There were blankets, sheets, pillows ... everything a bed big enough for two should have.

He cracked an eye open to a very nice bedroom with all the comforts of home and them some. He could see a large bathroom beyond one door and what was probably a living room beyond another. Behind an open sliding door hung clothes for them both.

For a moment, the tabby closed his eyes before opening them again, fully expecting to see the cell, or some other strange combination of things that suggested he was hallucinating.

He wasn't though; the room was real enough.

"What does that psychopath have in store for us now?" He asked himself with a quiet murmur. He squeezed Midnight lightly, and then decided to get up to clean the smell of sex, willing and otherwise, off his body.

Despite his wariness, the shower worked nicely, the hot water as expected and the shampoo, while not his usual brand, was a neutral one suitable for them both. The blowers did their job too, and there were brushes right on the counter next to the rest of the toiletries.

He took advantage of them all after checking them out, finally cleaning himself off. He got dressed, then sat down in the bathroom and shuddered deeply, looking back out at Midnight where she was sleeping peacefully in the bedroom.

He didn't have a clue how long they'd been trapped in that cell. All he knew was that it had been long enough for them to be through every possible combination of drugged or not, multiple times.

He didn't know why they were both clean now ... but he was glad they were. He didn't know how much longer he'd be able to take it. As much as he'd hated giving in that first time, as much as sating Midnight's needs when she'd been drugged made him feel sick, that hadn't been worst.

The ones that made him wish Dark Kat had just killed him were the times when he'd been drugged, and she'd been clean. She was always understanding about it, and that was almost worse than if she'd fought. He'd raped her over and over, never remembered the details, but always knew that the next time he'd wake up, he'd do it again.

The pain of Chance's claws digging into his wrist brought him out of his reverie before he'd had the chance to do any serious damage to himself. He swallowed hard, and headed back out into the main room. He hoped Midnight would be up soon, before Dark Kat decided to follow through on whatever plan he was hatching now. They both needed a break, short as it might be.

With her still deeply asleep, something she probably needed badly, he sighed and made a quick circuit of their new 'cell'. He blinked in surprise when the living room included a door to a second bedroom and a fully stocked kitchen. This was a full-blown apartment, and a nice one at that.

Then he caught the out-of-place yellow of a note on the only door that wasn't open.

It was in Jake hand.


This room is a Razor creation.
Escape attempts are not recommended. It'll hurt like hell.

I'll explain when it's over. You'll just have to trust me to make it work out for now.


PS: There will be no more hidden drugs. I can't change what happened, but it won't continue. Just take care of Midnight and your kits for me.

Chance crumpled the note in his paw and pounded the door in frustration.

"Damn it!" He muttered. What sort of deal had Jake had to cut? His powerfully built body started shaking all over the more he thought about it.

What was Jake doing for that psychopath ... and did anybody else know what was happening? The thought of having to follow through with his promise to Rail ... no. He couldn't think about that right now. The first issue was getting the hell out, somehow. He'd worry about what to do about Jake and Dark Kat after that.

"Now I wish I hadn't tuned you out when you were talking about how to break out of the Yard's security," Chance muttered to himself.

Vale was paler than usual when the entire team and Karmel had gathered at his request.

"What did you find out?" Bull prompted, as unsettled as anyone by the fact that an Op called this meeting.

"I found out what happened to Jake, Chance ... and it turns out, Midnight Clawback." He began with a deep breath. "Chance and Midnight are Dark Kat's prisoners, and Jake's gone too. Presumably to rescue them." He dropped his eyes slightly. "Only the note I found was written nine days ago and there has been no sign of them since." He paused and looked at Bull's dark countenance. "And Jake's Cyclotron was found abandoned in front of what is likely one of Dark Kat's temporary lairs."

"Which means Jake's either been captured, killed, or signed up with Dark Kat to keep his friends alive," Rock muttered.

"Or worse," Shadow said quietly, looking at Vale with a worried expression. "Especially in light of recent events."

"Yes, Dark Kat hunting other Omegas is a real change for him, and very much something Jake might press him towards." Bull agreed, more than a little disturbed by the idea. "Any hints on where they are?"

"Yes and no," Vale muttered. "From the Cyclotron I can trace Jake's Glovatrix. Once I figure out *how* Jake has the tracer set up."

"Here's hoping he has it with him," Shadow nodded. "This does mean, though, that we're probably looking at a nightmare scenario. Razor working with Dark Kat, blackmailed or otherwise, means that the fight with Viper was probably only the tip of the iceberg."

"It gets worse," Vale said quietly and glanced around the group. "He's not only aware that doing so signs his death warrant, he all but demanded we go through with it regardless." He looked over at Rail. "He's aware that Chance promised to kill him if he sided with Dark Kat."

That raised the black tom's eyebrow. "Now that I have a hard time believing Tiger told him."

"I didn't either, but he's quite sure of it and really does not want Tiger to be the one who pulls the trigger." Vale shook his head. "I've got a sick feeling we've misjudged him badly on how loyal he is to the city compared to his partner."

"Which leaves the question of whether or not we've misjudged Tiger too," Lucky murmured, shaking his head. "And how fast we can find him to make sure that question doesn't have to be answered. Damnit, if Dark Kat would've just waited a couple more days to make his move...."

"Tiger will likely do what he promised," Karmel spoke up for the first time, her eyes downcast. "I'm not too convinced that he'd be useful to anyone after it, however."

"It's too late for regrets and what ifs now." Bull shook his head with a rumble that was all business. "Focus on the hunt."

"Yes, sir." Vale and Rail nodded, knowing it was largely directed at them and Karmel to get the tracking system figured out and something useful from it.

"You'll be pleased to know that Dr. Viper isn't a threat to the city anymore," Dark Kat rumbled, walking into Jake's workshop where the lean tom was busy on the security designs for the next level.

"Good," he nodded slightly without looking up or any other indication the news even mattered to him.

Dark Kat chuckled slightly, and watched him work.

"There were some bystanders who got in the way," the Xanith added, almost casually, gauging his son's reaction to the news and not completely sure what to make of it. It was almost as if Jake wasn't listening anymore.

"Destroying the lizard required bringing Pumadyne's main manufacturing facility down on him. An unfortunate loss, but...." He shrugged slightly. When there wasn't even a twitch of a reaction he was sure Jake had tuned him out again, just like he usually did when the Xanith watched.

He wasn't too surprised, though he had thought that if anything would break through, that news would be it.

It would be a long time before Jake came around to his way of thinking, but Dark Kat was sure it could happen eventually. As long as he could keep the smaller tom working, it wouldn't be too long before the city was under his control, and he would have all the time he needed to finish converting him.

Or destroying him. It wasn't his first choice, but it would be acceptable if necessary.

Dark Kat turned and walked out of the room. He had an idea of what else might get through Jake's shell; it was time for a little family reunion.

"Chance?" Midnight's concerned voice and gentle strength on his shoulder drew the burley tom from his own mind and its terrors. "What happened?"

"What hasn't?" Chance managed to ask, trying to get a grip on himself. His cheeks were streaked with the trails of his tears, though he tried to wipe them cleaner before he turned back towards Midnight. "Jake... he knows."

She nodded slowly and sat down next to him. "I'll make him understand what happened." She promised again. "He won't blame you."

"Not that," Chance shuddered, leaning against her lightly on reflex. "He... fuck, I don't even want to say it. I think he cut some sort of a deal with Dark Kat, to get us up here, and get that sick fuck to stop drugging us."

She nodded again and rested her forehead against his shoulder. "You know getting him is what we were captured for. As bait and insurance."

"Yeah, I know," the tabby murmured. "Still don't like it... or what it means. Midnight... I can't let those two keep working together. You know that, right?"

"The city doesn't stand a chance against them both." She nodded slightly. "Or is this more serious?"

"More serious." Chance swallowed hard. "I made a promise before all this happened... that I wouldn't let Jake end up working with Dark Kat. No matter what it took."

It took her a moment to work out what he meant by that, and she shuddered when she did.

"Including killing him," she said softly.

"If I have to," Chance agreed quietly. "Trust me, I'd rather kill the other half of that particular team. But if it's necessary... yeah. Have to get us out of here first though."

"That's going to be easier said than done," she said quietly. "There are no windows, and I'm sure the door is not going to be easy to get threw."

"Jake designed the lock," Chance admitted. It was as good as saying the door wasn't there. "I could really use my old partners right about now," he sighed. "Any of 'em."

"Except the part where they'll pull the trigger if you don't." Midnight sighed. "Sounds like we'll have to trust Jake to make it work. He always has."

"Yeah," Chance nodded. "I just hope he finds a way to make it work before too many people pay for SWAT not being able to fly... and for the brains behind it being forced to work for the other side."

"It's good to see you working to your full potential." A female voice crooned approvingly as she entered his workshop as Jake's head snapped up and over his shoulder to stare at her with an open mouth. "You look surprised, son." She smiled and came close enough to touch him.

"You *approve* of this?" He stammered, too shocked by the permutations running threw his mind to even lash his tail.

"Of course," she kissed his cheek as his back stiffened. "You are going to be such an important kat, Jake. It is so much better than what you were doing. You'll see I did the best thing for you."

He glared at her; hatred, fear, rage and everything else he'd suppressed to make it this far flared past his mental barriers. "What did you *do*?" He growled, his ears flat against his skull.

"Nothing much," she shrugged easily. "I just told him about you."

"You ... *told* him ..." Jake's eyes went wide, his mind barely able to comprehend the words even as rage began to build behind the shock. "You *told* him where to find me? Who I was? Who I love?"

"Well, yes." She frowned. "It is for the best. You just have to ...." her eyes went wide as he twisted on heal to face her and stole her breath with a sharp pain to her gut. "Wha...."

"You're as sick as he is, just clueless." Jake snarled as he pulled the dagger from her middle and slipped it back into its sheath under his sleeve. He paused, still breathing hard as she began to crumple and closed his eyes before he snapped her neck to end her suffering.

Dark Kat nodded approvingly from the shadows where he was hidden. Jake continued to surprise him with how easily he was sliding from his old morals and life. At this rate, if he didn't break down, by the time the fortress was complete he'd be a willing and talented addition to his forces. Well worth the loss of his mother.

Dark Kat sent a signal for the Creeplings to come and collect the body, and stepped out of the shadows, though he was careful to stay out of Jake's easy reach. Best not to tempt fate too much.

"Somebody will clean up the mess shortly," he informed Jake and did his best not to react to how his son jumped, or the almost blank look on his face. The lean tom had clearly forgotten, or not known, he was there watching.

"Excellent work," the Xanith chuckled slightly, starting to leave. "Very efficient." With that, he was gone, leaving Jake in the room alone with the still-warm body as the lean tom began to tremble slightly even though he turned back to his work.

Chance's eyes snapped open with a gasp as his hips thrust off the bed into a hot, wet mouth that was doing everything it could to make him come. Long black hair cascaded across his hips as Midnight's head bobbed up and down with some skill. One fully conscious breath told him neither of them was drugged. Aroused, most definitely, but not the unnatural hyper-arousal of the past days.

This he could live with, at least for now.

"Oh kat," he groaned, reaching down to run his fingers through her hair as she worked him towards his climax. He groaned when she let him slid from her mouth and kissed her way up his body to his mouth.

"Morning." She purred as she rubbed her crotch against his to slick his shaft with her juices.

"*Good* morning," Chance rumbled, kissing her lightly as he rubbed back, then caught himself. "Midnight, are you sure...?"

"Yes," she nodded and kissed him lightly. "For a lot of reasons, but mostly because we both need a little loving."

"That we do," Chance groaned, his shaft throbbing against her nether-lips. He wrapped his arms around her and returned the kiss more deeply. "Don't know how you can stand to look at me even," he murmured softly.

"You're a good kat, Chance." She smiled down at him sadly and gently. "Even drugged you've been better you me than my own mate." She paused to kiss him again, gently but firmly. "I can't hate you for being as much a victim as I am in this."

"I couldn't blame you if you did," the tabby murmured. "When this is all over, what are you going to do?"

"I ... don't know." She admitted and rested her head on his broad chest. "I don't want to be a mother yet, but if I am ... I'll handle it. At least they'll have good genes."

"You won't handle it alone, if you don't want to," Chance told her softly, rubbing her back and felt a bit of tension leave her. "Don't know what'll happen with you and your mate, but Jake and I won't just abandon you, or any kits."

"He'll freak." She murmured softly. "And we'll deal with it when it happens." She put off the rest of the discussion.

"Right," Chance nodded, nuzzling her lightly. "So... still in the mood for some attention that *doesn't* involve whatever crap they were pumping into us?"

"Yeah," she nuzzled his neck, and then kissed her way back to his mouth. She lowered her eyes demurely. "Maybe you could show me what having a lover is really like."

"With pleasure," he rumbled, kissing her tenderly and running his hands down her sides as she stretched out along his body with an appreciative murrr.

He kissed and nibbled his way down her jaw line to her neck, playing his hands up along her body as she purred and arched into the contact. He fondled her breasts, rolling her nipples between his fingers as he inhaled her scent and promised himself that she'd enjoy this. A goal that her every reaction indicated he wouldn't have difficulty with.

"Mmmm, yes." Midnight moaned and straightened her body so she was straddling his hips with both hands braced against his powerful chest and simply soaked in the attention.

"Eager, aren't you?" Chance asked with a rumble. Not that he was about to complain. He rubbed his shaft against her, then lined himself up with the entrance to her body and slid in easily with how wet she was.

"With a tom as hot as you," she arched and moaned hotly as he filled her body and made the most intimate parts of her body quiver in pleasure.

Chance's answering groan was deep and lusty as he slid into her hot, wet sex. He started to thrust up into her, slow and deep. He didn't have the same desperate, aching need to get off that he had before, but he was making up for it by using every trick he had, his hands playing along her body, caressing, fondling, and teasing every pleasure point he could find.

He was rewarded by mews and moans of pleasure and encouragement as it became ever more clear to him that if she'd ever been with someone who paid her this kind of attention, it was a long time ago. Still she returned much of the pleasure she got as her body massaged the thick length inside it to bring them both that much more sensation. Her head dropped when she began to tremble and squeeze much more tightly around him with the first twitches of an orgasm deep inside her body.

Chance shifted his thrusts slightly, rubbing his thick, throbbing head and barbed length against her g-spot, his pelvis grinding against her clit as he pulled her down for a hot, passionate kiss that was returned without reservation until her head was pulled up with a cry of desperate pleasure that tightened her entire body as intensely as any during her forced heat.

Chance groaned, pumping his seed deep into her body as she came hard around him, her hungry, spasming sex pulling him over the edge to her increased pleasure.

"Mmmm," Midnight mumbled and leaned down to kiss him as she regained some control of her body, though her sex was still milking his cock.

"Want more?" Chance asked her after their kiss broke. He rubbed her sides tenderly, and kissed her again, slow and hot. The heat of her response answered him even before she nodded with a throaty purr.

He pulled out of her sex with a groan, kissing her neck. He rolled over on top of her and slid down her body, rubbing her clit with the heel of his hand as he fingered her dripping sex. She made no effort to resist him as her legs spread and she moaned without reservation.

"Mind trying something new?" He asked her, his fingers slick with both their juices.

"Anything you want." She breathed sharply.

This time, he knew she meant what she was saying. He grabbed one of the pillows, and slid it under her rump to prop her up a bit. He circled the furless pucker of her ass with one thick finger, kissing her clit and watching her reactions carefully to see if she was enjoying the unusual attention. A bit of surprise he expected, then she relaxed enough that shifting her into a slightly better position was easy.

It was very clear on her face, half concerned and half curious along with the pleasure, that this really was new to her experience. At the same time, it was clear she trusted him not to hurt her.

Chance had to wonder how much was trust from the past few days and how much was knowing that this was what two toms did and trusting Jake's long-time lover to know how to do it well. He had a feeling that a lot of it was the latter, but it didn't matter too much. He had to wonder how she could trust him, either way, but accepted it.

The burly tabby licked at her clit, and then lower, rimming the entrance to her pussy with his tongue as he carefully started to stretch her ass for what was to come. Despite his own misgivings and concerns, she gave nothing but encouragement. He could feel in the way her body moved and responded to him that it was honest too. You had to be incredibly accepting to be this relaxed on your first time, no matter what it was.

"Let me know if I hurt you," he rumbled. Finally he pressed his tongue into her body, tasting his own bitter juices in her body as he worked his finger in and out of her, then slowly added a second.

She only moaned and tried to be still for him and rock her hips against his muzzle. He couldn't tell if it was a real turn on for her or not, but she was definitely getting pleasure from it.

Finally, he thought he had her stretched out enough. Withdrawing his fingers from her body, he focused on trying to get her off with his tongue before moving on. He reached up with his clean hand to fondle her breasts, his tongue scraping her insides clean and then lavishing attention on her most sensitive flesh.

It was an easy task and she moaned and arched, her body shuddering as she surrendered willingly to the pleasure with a throaty moan.

Chance purred deeply as he savored the taste of her juices, and the feeling of being with her when there was no doubt they were both willing. Finally, she finished, and he licked her pussy-lips clean.

As she panted and recovered, he moved to slide up along her back, nuzzling her neck gently.

"Enough oomph for one more round?" He asked her with a rumbling purr.

"I think so," she grinned back at him and rubbed her tail along his leg and side.

"Just relax," he rumbled, kissing her and then pressing his tapered shaft up against her stretched anus. With a deep, lusty groan, he slid himself into her, reaching around to rub her front tenderly as she began to purr lightly. It wasn't hard to feel that this wasn't as good for her as what they'd been doing, but it wasn't unpleasant or unwelcome either.

He slipped a hand down under her top leg, fingering her sex as he started thrusting lightly, kissing her neck as she moaned and rumbled at that attention.

He had a feeling this wasn't something they'd be doing too often, even during the time they were together. Still, it felt incredible, and she seemed to be enjoying it some for now. He'd find something she enjoyed more another time. As it stood, even going slow he wouldn't last long. A time that was quickly cut when she began to experiment on him and squeezed her ass much like she would her pussy.

"Oh yeah," he groaned, thrusting a bit faster, being careful not to hurt her as he took her from behind. He worked her sex faster with her fingers, rubbing her clit with his hand.

She twitched and panted lightly at his attentions, willingly taking in all the pleasure he had to offer. She pressed her muzzle down between her forearms and groaned deeply with a shudder. Even knowing it was just his hand that was making her feel good she didn't resist the building pleasure and worked on seeing how quickly she could push him over the edge with his own kink.

It ended up being fairly quickly. Between his arousal from eating her out, and her own tight body, he finished quickly, pumping her ass full of hot seed with a deep, lusty groan.

"Mmm, that is different." She purred softly and relaxed while he made a few final thrusts and sank down against her back.

"Mmhm," he purred. "Though it feels like you like things a little less different. Maybe a little nap after this?" He suggested and got nuzzled for it.

"No objections here," she wiggled her ass. "But not with you in there."

"Right," he chuckled slightly, pulling out of her carefully, groaning as her tight body squeezed his barbs. He snuggled up close to her, resting against your back. "Thank you," he murmured softly. "For handling all this so well."

She reached back to pat his hip and snuggled back against his chest. "You're doing a pretty good job too, you know."

"Now what would you be doing prepping for a mission that isn't on the books?" Lieutenant Commander Felina Feral's commanding voice was sharp and very much less than pleased when she walked in on Bull's full team half dressed in body armor and geared up for one hell of a raid.

"Standing orders, ma'am." Bull replied after he snapped off a respectful solute to the female that was a solid head taller than him and was definitely not to be crossed. "We have a lead on the SWAT Kats."

"A lead on why they haven't been seen in three crises and Dark Kat is doing the Omega crushing?" She was abruptly very interested.

"Yes, ma'am." Bull nodded reluctantly. "We've been able to trace Razor's Glovatrix." He paused and looked at her seriously. "Ma'am, this is personal. They're two of our own."

That earned him a hard glare that demanded a better explanation in short order.

"T-Bone is one of my former Ops," he took a breath. "We'd managed to recruit them back just before this went down. The paperwork was just waiting on signatures when they were grabbed."

"And I haven't heard about this yet because?" She glared at Bull while the rest of his team continued to gear up.

"It wasn't finalized, ma'am." He returned her gaze. "We need to do this."

She considered him, and the rest of the team, and nodded consent. "Keep me apprised of these things in the future." She almost growled. "I am not a CO that accepts being kept out of the loop."

"We understand, ma'am." Bull inclined his head to her in gratitude and respect.

"All clear," Rail said quietly over his com-link, stowing the body of the guard he'd just taken out. If their information was right 'the prisoners' were kept in the room just ahead. "It's show time."

Rock and Shadow nodded moved to the door.

"Razor's security system," the lean shekat muttered as she inspected the door. "This'll take a while."

"Do it," Rail nodded. "Fast." The two of them pulled out their gear for the security system, and started trying to work through Razor's locks and Rail stood guard at their backs until he heard the 'click' of the door unlatching.

"Tiger? Midnight?" Rail called out as the door to a large but heavily secured apartment surrendered to the twin's efforts and muttered curses of frustration and admiration.

"Rail?" Chance's voice was filled with disbelief as the tabby lunged out of one of the side rooms into full view of the three ops. "It's not - you guys - what are you doing here?"

"Rescuing your tail." Rail rumbled. "She in here?"

"Yeah," Chance nodded. "She's sleeping in there," he said, nodding towards the other room. Rail motioned towards the room, and Rock hurried in to collect her.

"Rail," Chance continued, swallowing hard. "Dark Kat used us to blackmail Razor into helping him. Somebody's got to tell him we're out."

Rail opened his mouth to answer when a high-pitched scream turned snarl broke in along with a startled yelp of pain from Rock. "You'd better go rescue him."

"Shit," Chance snarled, moving into the room to see Rock nursing his jaw and Midnight covering herself with the sheet in one hand and a decorative glass weight in the other, looking ready to go at him again. "Midnight, it's okay! They're my old partners, they're going to get us out of here." He explained as he spotted a broken clock on the floor that was likely her first missile.

She glared at the two of them for a moment. "I believe it." She snorted. "I'll be out in a moment."

"Thought you were asleep yet," Chance said a little sheepishly, grabbing Rock by the arm and pulling him out.

"Sorry," he apologized to the other tom.

"Not your fault," he said, shaking his head. "I should've ducked faster."

"Right," Chance nodded, turning back towards Rail. "So... what are you guys going to do about Jake?" He asked, half-afraid that he'd find out they'd already killed him on the way in.

"Depends on how he reacts when Vale catches him, and Dark Kat's status when this is over." He explained quickly. Midnight walked out of the bedroom in jeans, a t-shirt and running shoes as he finished. "She's got some common sense at least."

"More than I do, in a lot of ways," Chance chuckled slightly. "Though Jake had his head on straight when he had them put the clothes in here, everything was practical for getting out of here if we had the chance. So, anything else you're after before getting us out of your way?"

"Bull and Lucky are setting destructive charges, Shadow and Rock are going to go assist now. Vale's after Jake." He shook his head and tagged his mike. "Rail to SkyDen. Objective one is free." He reported sharply, then turned to the tabby and black shekat as he handed Chance a spare blaster. "Let's get you the hell out of here."

"Know how to use a blaster?" Shadow asked Midnight quietly.

"Well enough." She nodded grimily at the smaller shekat and found a one handed to her.

"Just don't shoot either of the boys."

"I won't." Midnight nodded sharply and gave no resistance to being put between Rail at point and Chance at six as the three of them moved out and the others headed out to the second half of their mission.

Vale, his fur once more the shadowy black of a field operation, drew in a silent breath and keyed the lab door open. He knew Jake was in here, he was fairly sure he was still alive. He didn't know what else would be waiting for him.

"Do it." Jake's voice was ragged and almost pleading to the intruder he knew was behind him. Then more quietly, "do it, Vale." as he braced himself against whatever he was working on, his head below his shoulders and arms wide. All he had left was to kneel to be in a perfect stance for a shot in the back threw his heart and head.

Fuck," Vale could only swear under his breath. If a couple weeks under Dark Kat had done this to Jake he didn't even want to think about what shape the civilian locked up with Chance would be in. The lack of guards made it even worse. How could a kat as strong as Razor be broken so quickly?

"Please...." Jake whispered as he began to tremble.
"No way," Vale said firmly and put a firm hand on Jake's shoulder. "Tiger would *kill* us if we rescued him and not you."

It was enough to get Jake to look over his shoulder at the familiar faced pained black. "Chance?"

"Long story for later." The Siamese insisted quietly. "Come on, Tiger's already out."

"I do not think so." A deep voice boomed from their left to shatter the unsteady grip Jake had on what was really there. "He is mine now."

"No." Jake let a shudder crash threw his body as things went into slow motion. Chance was free and under protection, what held him cooperative was gone. It was now or never. His family line had to die here and now.

There was a blaster in his hand from nowhere. One shot set off the self-destruct he'd build into the lab between other projects.

Then it was leveled on his father.

Not on Dark Kat, but on the tom who his mother had loved despite everything to her very death at Jake's own hands.

"Vale!" Bull roared into his shoulder mike when the explosions started and everyone but Jake and the Siamese were accounted for outside.

"That'd be Jake's doing." Chance told him. Despite his physical and mental exhaustion, there was no doubt in anyone's mind when the tabby pulled himself to his feet in their hovercraft transport that he was getting ready to go in after his partner.

"Crap, crap, crap ... ohhh *shit*!" Vale's voice crackled over the line over very close-by explosions and the sounds of scrambling, scuffling and ever more creative curses and demands for Jake to cooperate with him already and forget Dark Kat.

A final huge explosion cut off whatever response they had, sending everyone diving for cover and Chance over Midnight's body to protect her from the falling rocks on instinct. They were just picking themselves up when Bull's mike hissed to life.

"Vale to SkyDen." The special op's voice was shaky and reception quite poor with falling rocks and metal still in the background. "Anybody out there?"

"We're here," Bull responded quickly. "Where are you?"

There was a long pause. "Vale, respond."

"Damn," Vale's tone was a low mutter. "Jake? Jake! *What* are you doing?" His voice rose a bit with the sound of movement in a confined, metallic space. "Oh *hell* no." He snarled over the sound of a scuffle and two blaster shots. "Tiger'll *kill* me if you get hurt."

Chance set his jaw, looking at Rail and Bull. It was a look they both knew; short of sedation, nothing was going to change his mind.

"I'm going in after them," he said firmly. "Any idea where they are, and who's coming in with me?"

"About where those explosions were," Shadow supplied darkly. "And I'd say it's all of us."

Precarious footholds and body parts greeted most of their efficient search of the half-demolished fortress while Shadow and Rail worked to triangulate Vale's potion. All the while they had to listen to the rapidly shifting tone of the trapped op and his silent companion.

That was the part that scared Chance the most. Jake shouldn't be that silent.

"Damnit!" He cursed sharply as he stumbled over a large body in the rumble. He was about to move on when a glint of a too-familiar silver shield caught his attention and he knelt to inspect it a little better.

It was Dark Kat's body, half-buried beneath the rubble. Despite the damage done to the corpse by the fallen structure, it was clear that he'd been dead before that had happened - two blaster shots, one through the heart the other the head, had finished him off first.

"Are you Jake's, or Vale's?" Chance asked the body with a mutter. It was impossible to tell really. Not until one of them claimed it.

"Dark Kat's dead, I've got the body," he informed Bull over the communicator he'd borrowed. "Leaving it to keep looking for our survivors." He paused for a moment, then pulled the cowl back to reveal a blue-black Panther half-breed's face. It felt more like it was to make sure there really was somebody inside it than get a look at a face he'd never seen before anyway.

"We have a lock," Shadow's distinctive voice held a touch of pride. "We have some digging to do."

"Everybody to Shadow's position." Bull ordered even as the team converged on their own.

It felt like hours of digging once they were there, even though it probably wasn't more than ten or twenty minutes of hauling rubble out of the way.

"Hurry up!" Vale's tone left no room for compromise. "And get Tiger out here if he isn't," came from under a large metal sheet a moment later.

Chance grabbed hold of the edge of the sheet.

"I'm getting this off the top of you two," he shouted, then groaned deeply and heaved, shifting the metal plate. Rock, Lucky, and the rest of the team quickly joined him, hefting the panel off the two toms beneath it.

It was instantly apparent why Vale couldn't help, and why he was still down there. His full attention was directed on keeping control of Jake, and even more, keeping the cinnamon tom away from the significant variety of weapons available in the small space between what the pair carried.

"Jake!" Chance said sharply, hurrying down to help Vale keep his partner from trying to kill himself. He was just glad he'd tossed his own borrowed blaster during the search; Jake didn't need anything more to try and grab onto. "Jake, it's over, it's done!" He insisted as firmly as he could and grabbed Jake's shoulders to bring the quiet tom around to face him and close enough so smell would back up his words.

For an utterly terrifying moment there wasn't any recognition in those amber eyes. When it came, it was almost as bad.

Jake drew in a single sobbing breath and all but collapsed against his partner. "Couldn't do it." He mumbled over and over, his entire body trembling in a fear that had nothing to do with his own life.

Chance caught Vale's frown from over Jake's shoulder, then the Siamese hand-singled. "His kill. DK dead."

Chance felt his insides knot up. He'd been afraid this would happen if Jake had to kill somebody. What had happened before had probably only made it worse.

"Dark Kat's dead, Jake," Chance said firmly, holding him tight. "I saw the body."

"How?" He looked up; the tears pent up for weeks pouring down his face.

Chance was still working on an answer when Vale come up and put a strong hand on Jake's shoulder. "You did it, Jake." He said softly. "What no one else could."

"I couldn't," he whispered the denial even as he looked at Vale.

"You distracted him long enough for a perfect double-shot kill." The dark-dyed Siamese smiled reassuringly at him. "You did what needed to be done, and perfectly."

"Thank you," Chance mouthed at Vale over Jake's shoulder. He was more grateful than he could say for the Siamese's quick thinking. He just hoped Jake would buy it.

"He's really dead?" Jake murmured as he tried his best to pull himself together. "Midnight?" He looked up at Chance.

"I saw the body myself, Jake," Chance nodded. "And yes, Midnight's fine. Held together better than I did," the tabby smiled slightly. "She's on the SkyDen, sore and tired but she'll be fine."

Jake nodded slowly and closed his eyes before resting his head against Chance's chest and shuddering deeply as he let much of the past month go.

"Let's get you home, Jake," Chance murmured softly, picking his partner up as the team started back towards their transport. As disturbing as it was to feel the lack of resistance to the undignified position, it felt good to feel Jake relax against his chest too.

A Heritage of Power

Three months later, Jake and Chance were sitting on the beach, far away from Megakat City and all the stress and nightmares the city had held after Dark Kat's lair had been destroyed. Midnight was taking one last swim before they went into the beach house for the night, while the two toms watched the sun set over the ocean.

It hadn't been easy for any of them. Jake had been a mental wreck for weeks; he still wasn't comfortable with either of them, especially Chance, being gone without warning. Clingy didn't begin to describe him, but Chance couldn't blame him for it. And, with his partner snuggled up against him, the two of them holding each other, he couldn't really complain about it either.

Midnight had been planning on going back to break it off with her husband, but Jake had completely lost it when she told them. Chance hadn't been crazy about the idea either given what she'd said about her mate, but it was Jake who'd changed her mind. She finally agreed have the divorce papers delivered along with a restraining order by Enforcers. Getting her to move in with the two of them was much easier. When the next few weeks had proven that she was pregnant after all, the three of them were more relieved that she hadn't gone back.

Chance, for his part, was doing everything he could to help Jake deal with his demons. They'd been on psych leave since Felina had officially approved their joining the team, and they were both seeing the therapist they'd been assigned to, but Jake was the one who needed the most work. He still would once they were back, for that matter, but he was at least fit to try moving back to the city.

Which was what Chance had decided he had to bring up. As much as the vacation had been a sort of paradise, nothing to do but relax and enjoy the small island few people and fewer they saw, they had to go back some time.

After all... there was work to do, even now that Dark Kat and several other Omegas were dead.

"So," the tabby asked Jake softly, "how're you feeling lately?"

"Better," he murmured and let his eyes drift closed and his head relax to rest against the tabby's broad chest. "It's so different here." He smiled softly.

"Yeah," Chance nodded slightly. They'd arranged it that way. No tech to speak of in the small, private resort that specialized in an invisible support staff and a feel for being alone on the island. "You sure know how to pick a good spot for a vacation. You... ever think of heading back, some time soon?"

Jake let out a soft breath. "Honestly? Only in nightmares." He nuzzled his partner slightly. "It's about time to, isn't it?"

"To start thinking about it," Chance said with a reluctant nod. "Maybe not back to work yet, but at least back to the city."

He actually chuckled darkly at that. "Short of them losing a war, I'd be surprised if I could pass a psych." He shivered and muttered. "It's pissing me off."

"Jake, after what you've been through, you're expected to be a little neurotic," he chuckled slightly, squeezing the lean tom gently. "Besides, maybe they'll let you in the lab now. That'd be something, right?"

"Yeah, it would be," he actually purred, thinking to the interesting collection of 'things' he'd created to keep his hands and mind busy when he couldn't sleep, even here. "I'm not sure I could take you going active without me." Jake added softly.

"That's something we'll have to work on," Chance admitted. "Though it'll be easier to get used to back there. You can't keep us both in sight forever, Jake," the tabby said softly.

"It won't stop me from trying," he smiled awkwardly up, then buried his face against the tabby's powerful shoulder. "Maybe not like now, though." He consented despite the light shiver that passed through his body. "Chance ... do you ... really care for Midnight?"

"Yeah," Chance nodded slightly, rubbing Jake's back. "Not like I do for you," he admitted, "but I do. She's one hell of a shekat."

"Not just because she's carrying your kits," he murmured.

"Right," Chance nodded. "If it was just the kits, I'd want to make sure they were all taken care of, but it wouldn't be the same thing. You care for her too... right? More than just being a friend?" He'd hoped he hadn't been misreading Jake, but as time went on, it was harder to tell for sure. There certainly wasn't any indication of interest despite being in the same bed with him for most of the last three months.

That stilled Jake for a long time until he finally sighed. "I don't know. She's been my best friend forever. It's just not the same as a guy." He struggled to explain something he usually avoided thinking about. "I'm just not that interested in shekats."

"S'okay," Chance chuckled slightly. "More tomkat for me. Does it bother you?"

"Only in how awkward it's made things in bed." He murmured. "She's pretty and we're close, it's just not in me to *want* her like that, and she's not likely to get things to the point I can." Jake closed his eyes.

"Shh, she'll understand," Chance murmured. "We'll sort something out. Sorry I brought it up," he added apologetically.

"It would have come up eventually." Jake sighed. "It is ... irritating. Having someone have to leave the bed before they want to in the morning."

"Ah, Jake," Chance sighed. "Didn't know it was bugging you. Figured you were working on something instead, like you usually were back home," he admitted. "Wasn't sure what, but.... We'll work something out, okay?"

"I was," he relaxed a little more and nuzzled the tabby's bicep. "But I miss being able to fool around whenever we feel like it. But she needs the comfort and attention too. I know kits aren't a welcome addition to her life right now. And you had a lot to work out with her for how that happened."

"Not honestly sure I *want* to know what Dark Kat was thinking when he set things up the way he did," Chance nodded slightly. "If she wants... we can find the kits homes once they're born. Between the ten of us, we should be able to make sure they're all taken care of. Just don't want you feeling like you don't matter to us, okay?" The tabby added, leaning down to nuzzle Jake's head lightly.

"Chance, they're your kits. And I know I matter a lot to you." He looked up seriously. "I just wish she had a *different* bed to share with her boyfriend."

"We'll talk to her when she comes in," Chance nodded slightly. "I have a feeling she'll agree with you."

That earned a surprised look. "I thought you two had really hit it off."

"Yeah, but I don't think it's really love," Chance explained. "Not the same as what we've got, at least. Good friends, lovers maybe, but not really more."

"Oh," Jake murmured and relaxed a bit more.

"I know they're my kits too, Jake." He nuzzled his partner. "I'd meant they'd be raised by the team. Trust me, I'm sure we'd all still be family to them. And I don't think she'd want that anyway."

"I just don't want to screw up my friendship with her." Jake said softly. "We've been through a lot. Having kits by my ..." he closed his eyes and pressed a little closer to the big tabby. "My mate ... shouldn't be what ruins it."

"None of us want that to happen, Jake," Chance said reassuringly. "And it won't, once things settle out a bit more." He nuzzled Jake lightly. "That 'mate' part... you mean that?"

He paused, working up to nodding. "Yes," he murmured in the dimming light. "I do."

"Love you, Jake," Chance murmured softly, holding his partner close and nuzzling him gently. "And I mean it."

A Heritage of Power 1: Jake's Story 1: For the Love of a Partner

NC-17 for M/M and M/F
R for Violence and Death
Het Level is MediumHet Smut Level is Medium
Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Low
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

284 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written October 20, 2004 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann

Setting: SWAT Kats

Primary Races: Kat

Contents: Furry. Het (M/F). Slash (M/M). Death, Non-Con (M on F), Violence

Pairings: Jake/Chance, Jake/Callie, Jake/male, Chance/male, Chance/female

Blurb: There are secrets in the world that were never meant to be discovered. Sometime that are the world-shattering of an Omega, sometimes they are as simple as a heritage. But when a Special Ops strike force uncovers one of these secrets, the lives of the SWAT Kats may be forever changed.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

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