Honor, Secrets and Love
by Fur and Fantasy
NC-17 for M/F and M/M
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file
"Who is she?" Chance asked out of the blue as he and Jake were working on overhauling and upgrading the TurboKat's engines.
"Who is who, Chance?" Jake asked while concentrating on a finicky fuel valve.
"Who are you mooning over?" The burly tabby elaborated quietly.
"Who says I'm mooning over anyone?" Jake replied as he glared at the valve, until he realized it was one of the reverse valves. At which point, he switched tools, and things went much smoother.
"It's cruddy obvious, Kat." Chance rolled his eyes and glared back. "You've been walking in dreamland for weeks now."
Jake chuckled. "Okay, Okay. Her name's Kimyra." He said as the valve was finally adjusted the way he wanted.
"And when are you going to introduce us?"
"Probably after I introduce myself." He muttered quietly, as he started removing an intake filter that needed upgraded.
Chance raised an eyebrow at the lean tom. "So she doesn't know you exist, hu?"
Jake fidgeted uneasily. "I haven't exactly worked up to talking to her yet." He said quietly.
"So what's she like? Where'd you see her?" Chance pressed on determinedly.
"She's a Snow Leopard Sabertooth, I think, but she's got some wild patterns in her fur. Pretty gray eyes, and I saw her at O'Toole's."
"What's so special about her?"
"She's very attractive, and she has the most incredible voice. And she has very intelligent eyes." The lean tom said, as he wondered why Chance was pressing him so much.
"Why haven't you asked her out?"
"I don't know, just haven't." The lean tom grumbled. "Never considered asking out someone who had fans before." He muttered.
"Worried what she'll think of a mechanic?"
"Nothin' that simple." He sighed as Chance moved up the fuselage to squat next to him. "In fact if I knew what the problem was it would probably be pretty easy to solve."
"Buddy, why don't we go out and check her out tonight?" The tabby offered quietly. "We could at least get some good dancing in."
Jake smiled. "Okay, I was planning on going to see her band tonight, they're playing at the Foxfire." He looked up. "But let's see if we can get the engines back on line, we've still got time before we go out." He said focusing back on work.
Chance watched the crowd attentively, mostly a good decade younger than he was, but dressed much the same as he was in tight jeans and a muscle shirt. Collage casual was what he used to call it, now it felt ... underdressed. But then, Foxfire wasn't a leather bar. He kept an eye on his partner, dressed just as casually in jeans and a 'polo' shirt. Watching not only for direction, but for the rare opportunity to see Jake off duty.
Foxfire's usual warm-up band, the Discords, were doing their usual routine of covering what was popular. They weren't great, but they were loud, and put out a good beat and the college age Kats liked them. Jake seemed a little edgy waiting for Free Spirits to come on.
"Come on, relax." The tabby all but pushed a beer into his partner's hand before downing a long gulp of his own.
Jake nodded, accepted the beer and started sipping from it. He tried to distract himself by crowd watching, which turned into primarily watching a few really cute college age toms discretely. On a different night, he'd have been more than interested, but that wasn't why he was here. He was here for Kimyra.
Suddenly their attention was drawn to the stage where a punked out gray tomkat was talking. "And now, what you've all been waiting for. The Free Spirits!"
Jake slapped his hand on Chance's arm as the tabby leaned against the bar. "Now you'll see what I was talking about, buddy." The lean tom said in an excited voice that still had a slightly anxious undertone.
"Evening furs," a decidedly female voice rumbled from off stage as the crowed cheered the Free Spirits to appear. The owner of that voice, a solidly built blood red Leopard with white Snow Leopard rosettes and golden tribal designs worked around them. To complete the unnaturally intriguing look were a very natural set of saber teeth in her jaws, and a tight black and silver leather outfit just enough there to be legal.
"That her?" Chance leaned over to whisper in Jake's ear.
"Not the colors she was wearing last time, but I understand she likes dye jobs." He said softly as a burly dark brown tomkat took up a position next to Kimyra with guitar in hand as two more shekats and two tomkats took up positions in back with two more guitars, a keyboard-synth and drums.
"Now," Kimyra silenced the crowed with a raised hand and strong, energetic voice. "Since I see my favorite fan here, we have a new song." She winked in the general direction of the bar as an enthusiastic roar went up. "Chain Lightning. Hit it!"
The drummer picked up a steady, light beat that the keyboard and guitars quickly followed and played around as Kimyra and the male standing next to her belted out the lyrics.
Energy is contagious
Tides respond to lunar gravitation
Everything turns in synchronous relation
Laughter is infectious
Excitement goes to my head
Winds are stirred by planets in rotation
Sparks ignite and spread new information
Respond, vibrate, feed back, resonate
Sun dogs fire on the horizon
Meteor rain stars across the night
This moment may be brief
But it can be so bright
Hope is epidemic
Bitterness breeds irritation
Ignorance breeds imitation
Sun dogs fire on the horizon
Meteor rain stars across the night
This moment may be brief
But it can be so bright
Reflected in another source of light
When the moment dies
The spark still flies
Reflected in another pair of eyes
Dreams are sometimes catching
Desire goes to my head
Love responds to your invitation
Love responds to imagination
"See, I told you she was amazing." Jake said in a soft, dreamy voice, just loud enough for the tabby to hear him.
Chance nodded, keeping his other comments to himself and focused on people watching the band as the set continued.
He honestly could not see what fascinated his partner so much about the lead singer. Sure she had a nice voice and eyes, but a Saber-tooth Xanith with questionable taste in colors?
No way in hell would he trust this singer enough have more than a fling ... but the look on Jake's face said it'd go further than that. Possibly a lot further. And she'd been looking right at Jake when she dedicated the song.
The big tabby sighed. He could do what friends were supposed to do and help out; probably losing what chance he had of getting Jake for himself in the process. He could follow his gut reaction and sabotage it; probably losing even Jake's friendship in the process. He could do nothing ... if having Jake that distracted was survivable.
Or he could do the unthinkable and kiss the tom senseless, hoping for the best.
Jake did like toms ... preferred them even, from his track record. But he fell for a female that looked like she belonged in his sights as Razor, not his bed as Jake.
Chance grumbled and started on a second beer as the set ended.
Jake was still a bit astonished, he was pretty sure she'd been looking at him when she dedicated the first song, but he didn't figure she'd ever seen him. He'd certainly gone to no effort to make himself visible. He sat there nervously sipping at his beer, trying to make a decision, and wondering if they were doing two sets like they did sometimes.
"Yeah, they're good." Chance nodded absently. "Ready to go?"
Jake finished his beer, and nodded. "Yeah." He still didn't feel up to trying, and for some reason having Chance along wasn't helping.
Chance watched nervously as Jake walked into the waiting room and headed back towards their small office and the entrance to the Hanger. He took a deep breath and went after the lean tom, reaching out to touch Jake's shoulder as the office door shut.
Jake stopped just short of the entrance to the hanger, as he noticed Chance's hand on his shoulder. "Something the matter, Chance?" He asked a little absently, already thinking through the remaining work on the rebuild, as well as Kimyra.
"No, I ... I was just wondering what you wanted to tackle next?"
Jake nodded. "If we switch in the upgrades to the igniters on the port side engine, we should be able to get the calibrations done in time do test flights in the morning." He said as he headed down to the hanger.
Chance nodded as he cursed to himself and followed his partner downstairs.
Chance forced himself to open his eyes when he heard the water start for Jake's morning shower and silently debated whether he really wanted to do this ... or even get up.
Finally he pushed himself up and shook the sleep from his mind before padding into the bathroom. He took a deep breath of the hot, humid air and took in a sight he couldn't get enough of, Jake Clawson naked.
"Scrub your back?" Chance asked quietly from just outside the shower door.
Jake smiled, pleased that his partner was up early, and a second set of paws to get his back was good. "Morning, Chance. That'd be great." The lean tom said pleasantly.
Chance smiled and stepped in, quickly wetting his own fur before squeezing a glob of shampoo into his hand and leathering it somewhat before setting to work on Jake's shoulders with a slightly more affectionate touch that usual.
Jake purred gratefully, glad not to have to stretch to get his own back as Chance's strong, sure hands worked down to his ass, then over his hips as the tabby moved a little closer, almost into an embrace.
"Do you mind?" Chance whispered in Jake's ear as his fingers very slowly moved forward and in.
Jake stiffened a little. "Umm ... Chance, wha'cha doin'?"
He froze as Jake tensed, but kept his voice calm despite the rock in his gut. "What I should have a long time ago, when I realized everybody was right when they teased about us being an old married couple, and I wanted it to be true."
Jake shook his head. Chance couldn't be saying what he thought he was hearing. They were partners, not lovers. Sure, the big tabby was attractive. Hell, Jake'd have to be blind to miss that, but partners weren't lovers; that's just the way things were.
The lean tom turned to face Chance, while backing out of the shower, feeling confused as all hell. Part of him wanted to stay, part of him didn't, and he wasn't sure what to do. So he grabbed a towel and ran to his room to dry off, leaving the scent of an utterly confused tom behind him, with a hint of arousal.
With a defeated sigh Chance made quick work of his own shower, dried off and went back to his room to get dressed, and think.
"Jake?" The tabby called up from the ground next to the nearly finished TurboKat VII.
"Yeah, Chance?" Jake said from the top of the engine housing where he was finishing the fine-tuning.
"Why'd you bolt?" He asked quietly.
Jake was quiet for a while. He'd been hoping Chance would let it drop. He sighed quietly still fine-tuning. "We're partners, Chance, not lovers, that's why the teasing. Partners and lovers are two separate things." He said quietly, like a first year cadet reciting the rulebook.
"That the only issue?" He jumped up to the wing, then fuselage.
Jake sighed. "Do I need more than one?" He said quietly, as he locked down the last few adjustments. Though what was going through his mind, was even if it was okay, that would mean choosing between Chance and Kimyra. He wanted to get to know Kimyra first, anyway.
"No, you don't." Chance dropped to one knee in front of the lean Kat. "But it makes a difference to me why you said no." He said quietly as he helped pick up tools and the last touch up work. "She ready for a test flight?"
Jake quietly finished, and climbed down. "If it matters, Chance, it's just I'm not sure how to put the two relationships together." He said as he headed for their lockers. "Better believe she is, come on!" He said enthusiastically as he began to strip to get into his flight gear.
Chance smiled slightly as he joined the shorter Kat in changing identities.
Jake carefully got into the leather jacket, black t-shirt, and leather pants that would look right at Horizons, where Kimyra was appearing that night. He waited until Chance took a bathroom break from the television to leave, since he really wanted to go by himself this time.
A little while later, he sat down at the bar at Horizon's sipping at his beer, and listening to the less than stellar warm-up band Credo, while he waited for Kimyra to come on. He was really curious to see if she'd have changed her dye job again, though it had only been three days.
"Hay, baby." A friendly, sultry, and oh-so-familiar voice crooned behind him as someone sizable sat down.
Jake turned around, and was stunned to see her. "Kimyra?" He asked, that being the only word that made it out of his throat as he took in silver fur, gray rosettes and black 'tattoos' matching her black hair at a far closer range than before.
"That's me," she grinned, showing even more of her five-inch fangs as she raised a bottle of mineral water to him. "You're Jake, right?"
"Yeah, that's me." He said surprised she actually knew his name. "You really have an incredible voice." He added in sincere admiration, trying not to sound like too much of a simpering fan.
"Thank you." She smiled a little wider. "Come backstage after the show if you want. I'd like to talk."
"I'd like that, Kimyra." He smiled, feeling a little reassured. "Looks like you've got a good crowd tonight." He said looking over the full bar. "And I know they're not here for Credo." He grinned.
"The crowd's usually good when you show up." She winked at him before quickly walking to the backstage area.
Jake took a long pull from his beer. He was still stunned; not only had she noticed him in the crowd, but she knew his name, and had come out to talk to him. The lean tom felt extremely flattered since he was sure she had plenty of attention, and it wasn't like he stood out in a crowd. He chuckled to himself; maybe she needed her car fixed.
He spent the set watching Kimyra move and after it ended, he finished his beer and headed around to the backstage area. He'd never been backstage before, so naturally he got turned around several times, trying to find Kimyra. Then his ears told him the right path as her laughter rang through the air from behind a door. He walked up and knocked solidly, holding his breath as it opened.
"There you are." Kimyra chuckled. "I was about to send Sassha after you." She looked over her shoulder. "I'll catch you guys before the next gig." Then turned back to Jake as she walked out, still in her skimpy leathers, but with a sleek black shoulder purse to go with it. "I'm famished, how about you?"
"Starved, I got off work just in time to make the show." He said easily as she lead them out back.
"Good," she patted his ass with her thick tail light enough to pretend it hadn't happened. "Where do you work?"
"MegaKat City Salvage Yard and Garage." He said softly, wondering what she'd think of such a mundane occupation.
Kimyra blinked in surprise. "Oh, how long have you been out?"
Jake blinked in surprise. "Out of what?" He asked, wondering if she thought he'd been in prison or something.
"Off the force," she raised an eyebrow at him. "You're not telling me you weren't an Enforcer. You still look like one."
"I was." He said, a little bitterly. "Been out seven years, thanks to Feral. But thanks for saying I still look like one." He smiled.
"The tabby you were with the other night your former pilot then?" She smiled back as she opened the passenger door to a convertible black sports car. "Hope you don't mind me driving."
"I'm used to letting others drive. Yeah, that was Chance, former pilot, and current business partner. He wanted to see why I'd been going out so much." He grinned.
"Jealous?" She chuckled as the engine rumbled to life.
"Maybe." Jake said quietly, beginning to wonder. He also wondered if his interest in Kimyra was behind Chance's sudden play for him. He stopped thinking about that, it was too confusing.
"Well, I can't say I blame him." She quirked a smiled as they pulled out. "Though he's quite the looker too."
Jake couldn't help listening to the engine professionally. "Sweet machine, sounds like it's due for a good precision tune up though." He smiled.
"Any recommendations?" She grinned. "I can keep her running, but that kind of fine tuning isn't my thing. Too fussy."
"Well, if you bring her by the garage sometime I can do it. Mostly it's a matter of small adjustments, some fine part cleaning, and keeping my partner from putting jet engine plugs in." He grinned broadly on the last.
Kimyra laughed loudly at that as they waited at a red light. "Now why do I think he's actually done that before? Well, as long as a jet engine is in there to go with the plugs, I wouldn't mind."
Jake laughed along with her. "He did do it, to Deputy Mayor Briggs' car once. If we come across a jet engine that'll fit under the hood, I'll let you know." He grinned as she showed off the car's acceleration at the green light.
"Oh my," she shook her head as light gleamed off her saberteeth. "That sounds bad. The Pandera work for you?"
"The last words spoken about that engine were 'Blows like a Volcano." He grinned. "The Pandera's good."
"Cool, I like the variety ... they also have the best garlic bread in the city." She chuckled as she pulled into the reasonably full lot for after the main dinner hour. "Good value for the dollar too."
Jake smiled. "That's always a plus. The last time I was here they were trying out a new chili recipe, it was almost hot enough." He grinned. "Still needed more hot peppers though."
"Well, you're not getting me to test it for you." She laughed and draped her long, fluffy tail across his shoulders as they walked across the lot. "I can't afford a burnt throat."
"No arguments here, wouldn't want to damage that incredible voice of yours." He smiled. "Hot stuff is just a game between me and Chance." He grinned.
"You'd have fun with Handor then. He loves a dare, and hot stuff." She smiled at the waitress that greeted them. "Two, for the buffet."
"Booth or table?" The gray tabby shekat Jake's age asked with a smile.
Jake followed Kimyra and the waitress to their booth, while keeping an eye out to see how many where noticing the mismatched couple he made with her. While a few seemed to take notice, most were looking at her, not him.
"Just help yourselves." Their waitress smiled as she set the silverware down. "I'm Michele if you need anything."
Kimyra nodded easily and turned to get her plate.
Jake followed, being polite and letting Kimyra go first. It also gave him longer to get a look at the buffet and decide what he wanted, seeing as he was just a little distracted. Not that having that strip of satin leather that stopped below her tail that she was passing off as a skirt helped his concentration any.
He took his time; picking some old favorites and some new things that smelled promising. He kept some mind to staying away from things that usually got messy; he was trying to keep this evening a good first impression. As usual he grabbed a big milk to go with it.
"So what's your last name?" She asked with a smile as she started on a slice of combination pizza, looking across the table at him.
"Clawson." He said as he tasted the new chili recipe, which was better, but wasn't quite hot enough, so he added a dash of Tabasco. "Do you have one, or are you an artist who likes the one name only style?" He asked politely.
"Nah, it's NightWind." She shook her head with a chuckle. "I'm not that famous, or with that big an ego."
"NightWind," He repeated. "That's pretty, in a poetic way." He said taking a bite of garlic bread.
"Family name, same with Kimyra." She grinned lopsidedly. "Though I'm sure my mother would be pleased that you like it, even if she's not thrilled with how I'm getting it known."
"She doesn't approve of you being a musician?" He asked in amazement. "But you're so good." He said sincerely.
"Not really." Kimyra chuckled. "She prefers this to hooker or the 'jobs' I'd get disowned for, but she's still pretty upset that I didn't follow family tradition and go into bounty hunting or forest ranger."
"Yeah, I know how that is. My family's pretty miffed that I got bounced, even though it wasn't my fault. And they want me to come home and help with the family business, and I pissed them off again by staying." He said easily.
"What's your family into?"
"They run a big marina and seaplane rental outfit, Clawson Marina. They figure since I flunked the Enforcers I can put my mechanic skills to work for them." He said quietly. "I prefer being one Clawson, to one Clawson out of twelve."
"At least they want you to do what you are anyway." She puffed a stray black bang from her eyes. "But getting shot at is not my idea of a good life. At least folks like me, not run from me, as a singer."
"Getting shot at can definitely ruin your day." He grinned. "My problem is the cost of doing what my family wants." He said quietly.
"Mmm?" She raised an eyebrow.
"I want to stay partners with Chance, and he's not the right background for my family's tastes." He said quietly. "Basically, I'll work for them if they'll take me and Chance as a team."
Kimyra snorted. "I know a unit that would kill for the two of you, no questions asked." She shook her head. "So why'd you join the Enforcers?"
"A bunch of reasons; I like fancy hardware, I like the challenge, and I like protecting people. It feels good to make a difference." He said easily. "And I do have this little aggressive streak." He grinned.
"I would never have guessed," she snickered as she snapped a carrot stick cleanly with her front teeth. "It was either that or you're looking to get yourself eaten, watching me like that."
"Watching like what?" He ask with feigned innocence as he dug into a somewhat interesting looking tuna melt that turned out to be even better than it looked.
"Lovstruck kitten, I believe is what Marrisah described it as." Kimyra chuckled. "I rather thought you looked ... fascinated."
"Fascinated is a good word." Jake said honestly. "I think Chance would agree with Marrisah." He chuckled. "I think I've got more of my wits about me than that."
"Though it does make me curious, just what's so fascinating about me." She regarded him appraisingly. "You're hardly the usual demographic for my fans."
"I like your voice, I like what you sing, and you have very intelligent eyes, and I do find you quite attractive." He said easily. "What's the usual demographic for your fans, not former Enforcers I take it." He grinned.
"Who you like to date, apparently." Kimyra chuckled. "About ten years younger than you and significantly less world-wary."
"I don't know, I haven't been dating anyone regularly in quite a while. Certainly haven't been with any former Enforcers. One Kantin who's currently on the force, but that was just a one night thing." He grinned.
Kimyra chuckled and shook her head. "You've picked up enough collage toms in the audience over the last year to have quite the MO. The only time I miss-guessed was when you came in with your tabby. I didn't figure you'd be leaving with him." She smiled and went to work on another slice of pizza. "Which also puts me outside your usual date."
"Chance and I are partners and friends, but nothing else." He said with limited conviction. "I've dated fems, I just usually pick them up in different places." He smiled. "I never figured you'd noticed me or my pick-up habits."
"Jake ... I'm a cop and detective by upbringing. You do a decent job of fitting into that crowd, but you're not a collagekat or real leather rebel anymore, and you haven't been for quite a while. Though you look good in them." She met his amber eyes. "I watch those who look out of place a little closer. First time I saw you I figured you were after jailbait, you are that old, but you didn't take the offer you got and left with someone decidedly legal."
She cocked her head. "A couple shows later you noticed me. I've seen plenty of older toms trying to pretend they aren't that old, and I've seen a few former Enforcers, burnt out, kicked out, and even flipped out. But you, as much as I'm sure those eyes have seen, you don't seem to be any of them. Like a part of you really never has left this world. That fascinates me . That's you're cute and apparently unattached doesn't hurt either." She smirked and took a long drink.
Jake smiled over his milk. "I think some part of me never did leave, I think that's what draws me back. And I think it's that part that's kept me level even when things fell apart." He said quietly. "You seem to shine in this world, I think that's what really caught my attention. Nothing I can clearly explain, but something clear."
"Maybe cause in a way I'm the same as you. We were both cops, we're both out of place there and we both love it too much to give up." She shrugged and leaned back. "Did anybody warn you I'm a hopeless romantic yet?"
"Nobody told me anything, but I don't mind. I'm a bit of romantic myself. And my partner would definitely add hopeless lately." He chuckled quietly. "I like the explanation, it fits cleanly without being overly elaborate."
"So have you got plans for the evening?" She raised an eyebrow.
"Nope, no plans." He said easily, hoping that the stupid alarm wouldn't go off. "But I'm sure between the two of us we can come up with something." He grinned.
"Most likely." She chuckled. "Full?"
"Yep." Jake said as he drained the last of his milk, and leaned back.
"Then let's get out of here." Kimyra said as she pulled a twenty from her purse and tucked it under the plate.
"Okay." He said standing, he'd been about to offer to pay but he'd pay next time, and he intended there to be a next time.
She remained silent as they walked back to her car. "Just so you know now, sex won't be an option for a few days."
Jake nodded. "There are ways to have fun, other than sex." He smiled. "Even if they aren't as high on the list." He said honestly. "What d'you like in movies?" He asked casually as they got in.
"Honestly, I don't go to them." She shook her head as the engine rumbled to life. "Between time and a bad habit of analyzing them to death, I just don't manage much. Do you want to pick up your vehicle, or crash at my place?"
Jake thought about it. "If you don't mind the company, I guess I'll crash at your place." He smiled.
"The company would be welcome," she smiled quietly. "Though my alarm goes off at 5am."
"A little later than I get up normally, but that's okay." He smiled.
"Morning person?" She made a face as they headed into a section of older, but still well kept, apartments. "Then a warning, I'm grouchy in the morning. Especially that early."
"Not exactly, I just don't sleep long at a stretch so I'm always up early." He grinned. "Though I might sleep a little longer, since I won't have the shop right at hand."
"I'd hope the company is an incentive too," she grinned as she pulled into a parking garage.
"That too." He grinned back and followed her out.
"Hope you don't mind the walk. My pad's a couple blocks away."
"Not a problem, it's a nice night. And the company's good." He smiled as she draped her long, thick tail over his shoulders and began to walk after grabbing a small tote back from the trunk.
"So what do you do for fun, behinds pick up toms?"
"Watch classic B-grade horror and sci-fi films." He chuckled. "Tinker with spare parts around the salvage yard."
"Oh, what do you like to build?" She raised an eyebrow at him as she unlocked the front door of a house-turned-apartments.
"Whatever comes to mind, usually something faster than it should be. I play with motorcycles a lot. Sometimes, nothing comes out of tinkering but its fun to see what happens." He said as he followed her in and up four flights of stairs.
"Ever dated a Sabertooth before?" Kimyra asked quietly as she unlocked the door to her apartment.
"Nope." He said easily. "Haven't encountered many, certainly none that got my attention the way you have." He smiled as he took in the simple living room/ kitchen. It was clean, sparsely decorated and could very easily pass for an Enforcer's place, or a Park Ranger.
"Got a clue what my fangs are capable of doing?" She prompted as she shut the door and leaned against it, locking him with a predator's gaze.
"Pretty good idea, I was an Enforcer. They cover various natural weaponry that might be encountered." He said quietly. "And the best counters."
"Did that include how to sleep and not get sliced?" She asked as her tail twitched. "My bed's seen enough blood."
"I don't think that was one of the thing's the instructor had in mind." He admitted. "Any suggestions?" He asked openly.
"Just one, stay away from them." She said as she closed the distance and brushed his cheek. "Especially when the alarm goes off. I haven't had a mate long enough to learn control when I'm not awake. I still have the danger-reflex in that state."
"Right, I think I can handle that." He said calmly, as he raised a hand to brush her cheek as she leaned into it.
"For once being a short Xanith is going to be an advantage." She chuckled. "Knowing my line for tonight, what's yours?"
Jake chuckled. "Limits? Me?" He grinned broadly. "Honestly, nothing comes to mind right away."
"Cool," she grinned behind her fangs. "Then I want to get out of this leather and cleaned up. Coming?"
"Sounds like fun." He grinned as he followed her.
"What did you get, Aaron?" Chance asked quietly in the darkening park as he sat down next to a mostly brown tomkat his own age and build.
"Well, for the most part, she's on the level." The tom relaxed with his arms across the back of the bench after handing Chance a thin folder. "She's got a short rap sheet, but nothing surprising. A couple arrests for unlicensed prostitution, one for minor drug possession last year."
"Mostly on the level? Anything other than rap sheet?" He asked quietly.
"Well, she is a singer, and a sabertooth." He shrugged. "Most of the interesting stuff that can be confirmed is on her relatives. Your partner's dating a bounty hunter. The rest of her kin are forest rangers if they aren't that. Now, unconfirmed, I have plenty for you, and little of it's good."
"Bounty hunter? Great, just great. So what's unconfirmed?" He asked, trying to figure out just how his partner had managed to pick a bounty hunter to date.
"Well, there have been four very suspicious deaths among her 'companions', and organized crime connections are probable, though she'd be a minor player at most." Aaron shook his head. "On the up side, she works hard. She's enrolled in seven credits at MKCC, is an exotic dancer at Kitarro's and The Lost Ones, plus her gigs with the Free Spirits. Now them , they get into plenty, though mostly it's the drug and hooker scene."
Chance nodded. "Any indications of who in organized crime she might be connected to?" He asked quietly. "Drugs and hookers, with all the other crimes those are really minor."
"No, just that the circumstances around her point to some kind of connection. She drives a very nice car, lives well, and while I don't have the muscle at the moment to prove it, I'm sure she has more income than she reports. If anybody cared about such minor infractions, it'd be enough to get an investigation started on her, but not in these times."
Chance nodded. "Wish you did have the muscle." He said quietly. "Jake's way too interested in her, for his own good from the sound of it."
"More likely your good," Aaron shook his head. "You hide your jealously very poorly, my friend, and I've never known a sabertooth that took a challenge quietly."
"She's got little to be jealous about. He turned me down." He said quietly. "But she wants a fight, fine." He said aggressively.
"Chance," The dark brown tom put his hand on the tabby's shoulder. "I know you're a good fighter, but think about what you're saying. Do you really think Jake'll think any better of you?"
"I'm just saying I'm not running from her. She doesn't like the way I feel about Jake, she'd better learn to deal with it." He said protectively. "But like I said, there's nothing to be jealous about. He wants her."
"I hope you don't take it out on him too much," Aaron sighed. "You mean the world to him, even if he doesn't want to share your bed." He stood and patted Chance on the shoulder and smiled. "Good luck courting him, you do make a good couple."
"Glad somebody thinks so." He muttered softly, as he watched Aaron walk away. With a frustrated sigh he stood, then remembered the folder in his hand and looked up her home address.
He nodded sharply as he placed the location, then folded the folder in half and tucked it inside the compartment under his motorcycle's seat. He stared into space for a long moment before shaking it off and gunning the engine.
"Midnight, buddy." Chance glanced up at the clock. "No call and no show, I'm coming after you."
Her place wasn't hard to find but that just added to Chance's feeling of uneasiness. He kept darting his eyes around from shadow to shadow, almost like he were expecting an ambush.
The kat parked his cycle and slowly pulled off his helmet. He pressed his lips tightly together as he just silently watched what had to be the sabertooth's apartment for a long few minutes.
He pulled himself off his bike with a sigh, "Bast, I hope this is the right thing to do..." The tabby still wasn't sure of that. What was his problem here? That he suspected the shekat of being a criminal? Or that he just couldn't stand seeing somekat else get Jake?
Gnawing doubt almost made the large kat stop, but as usual bull-headedness butted its way forward. The SWAT kat found himself knocking at the apartment's front door.
There was a long pause before Jake opened it a cracked the door open, dressed only in a loose pair of shorts that had hurriedly been pulled on.
The lean tom blinked a couple of times. "Chance? What are you doing here?" He said quietly.
Chance was lost for words for a moment, taken off guard by the sight of a barely dressed Jake. The tabby couldn't smell any hint of sex, but that didn't put at ease. Maybe he'd just interrupted it. Or maybe they were taking it slow. But just the simple fact that the tabby's partner was here so late at night, and already undressed, wasn't exactly reassuring.
The tom forced his voice out, trying desperately to hide its broken tone, "Hey Jake. You ... okay?" The tabby licked his lips, "You didn't call or come back. I kinda figured this is where you'd end up. You okay to talk?"
"Chance, can we talk when I get back to the yard? Sorry, I guess I kind of forgot to call, I hadn't really been planning this." He said, not really wanting to think about how his partner had come up with Kimyra's address.
The tabby bit the inside of his lip. He should have left this for the morning already, but he couldn't let it go just yet. "Okay, just ... you're sleeping here tonight I take it?"
Jake nodded easily. "Yes, and I'm sorry I didn't call. Sorry if I worried you." The lean tom said softly, trying to keep Chance from waking Kimyra to no avail.
"This better be damn good, Chance." Her very irritated voice growled as she stepped into view behind Jake, blaster aimed and wearing nothing but her fur and a bad temper.
The tabby blinked at the nude and clearly angry shekat just behind Jake. The barrel of the gun glinted quite obviously in front of him. Before anything else could react, Chance's warrior instincts flared. "What the fuck is with the gun?" She might have been about to respond, but the kat didn't wait for it, "Drop it."
One hand pulled Jake out of the doorway as Kimyra stepped forward, her ears flat and the full set of fangs behind her saber-teeth bared. "My home. Drop the attitude."
Jake shook his head. "Chance, just go home." He said quietly, trying to defuse the situation before the firebrands flared off each other any more.
Chance growled deeply in his throat, the force of it practically shook his frame. The scene before him was just so fucking wrong . Something out of a nightmare he'd never been brave enough to have. Jake standing next to a nude female, a woman he'd chosen over the kat himself. A female who had a gun pointed at the tabby. And now his partner was asking him to leave.
The tabby didn't bother to take his eyes off Kimyra for even the barest of moments, but he could still feel Jake's cold unblinking gaze on his face.
He'd wanted to talk, just talk and nothing more. He'd been worried about Jake, and wanted to talk about this woman. The kat tried to convince himself that's all there was too it. So why the hell was this suddenly a confrontation?
Chance would have stood Kimyra down without a problem, completely unconcerned about the gun, if only Jake hadn't been there. But that kat's silence was more than enough to get through to him. This wasn't time for a confrontation, but now he knew there was going to be one. Maybe this had been a stupid move, but Kimyra had just made a worse one. His voice suddenly quite steady and serious, Chance leveled his eyes with hers. "I knew I was right about you."
He turned around to his left so he didn't have to catch Jake's eyes. The kat spoke softly just before moving, so quietly he doubted he could have been heard, "Goodnight Jake."
"Ever had a jealous boyfriend before?" She looked at Jake as the door shut.
Jake shook his head. "Nope. We're not even sleeping together." He said quietly. "I'm not sure what's not gotten into him, it's not like I haven't dated before."
"Jake, be careful, okay?" She put a hand on his shoulder to stop him. "Last time I saw that a reaction like that it ended in a shootout. I really don't want that to happen, even if it means not seeing you."
Jake nodded. "Neither do I. I've been friends with Chance too long." He sighed quietly. "Something's seriously bothering him. I guess I better go home and find out what." He said reluctantly. "I know it's late, but could you drop me back at my bike?" He asked quietly.
"Sure," She yawned widely, opening her lower jaw past her fangs. "It'll hardly be the first time I've gone to class short on sleep."
"Thanks, Kimyra." He smiled. "I would like to see you again, if this hasn't turned you off the idea."
"Not yet." She chuckled as she pulled on a loose pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt. "You still think he can be reasoned with, that's good enough for me. I'm a good shot and scrapper if he's completely lost his mind."
"Nah, he left when I asked him to. So I guess he's still got most of his mind. If he's lost his mind, I'll deal with him. We've been through life and death together ... I owe him that much." The lean tom said quietly, as he got his clothes back on.
"Hope it's a simple one." She tipped his chin up with one finger and kissed him gently. "Remember, I'll help with what I can."
"Me too, and thanks, Kimyra." He said sincerely.
Jake pulled his bike into the Yard, still wondering what had gotten into Chance. The tabby's behavior had been strange, given that he'd never reacted to Jake dating before. The lean tom wasn't looking forward to the conversation as he unlocked the front door and let himself in.
Jake looked around the main living area, and seeing no sign of his partner decided to head for the workout area, hoping Chance was doing something relatively safe with his anger. He changed into lightweight workout sweats before walking in. The lean tom leaned against a wall watching his partner beat the shit out of the punching bag, and waited to see if the tabby would notice him.
There was more than one gash in the bag, and despite the fact Chance couldn't have been working at it for more than 20 minutes or so, he was pasted in sweat. He wore only a pair of shorts and his fur was matted to his body. He was breathing pretty hard to.
The room was completely silent of anything but the hard reverberations of Chance's fists against the bag for a long stretch of minutes. Finally the tabby spoke up without turning, "I take it I ruined the night?"
"Never mind that." Jake said quietly. "I've stayed out overnight with dates before without calling in. Hell, so have you for that matter." He said casually. "What's with showing up at my date's apartment at midnight? Never mind how you found her place, without her last name.
"Is there a problem, Chance? Cause if there is, I think we need to get it out in the open now." He said quietly, but very serious.
Chance slowly stopped his assault on the bag. He stopped moving, just staying still and slowly panting, his back still turned to Jake. Though Jake couldn't have seen it, Chance's eyes were closed. He lowered his head just a bit as he apologized, "I didn't mean to ruin your night ... at least I don't think I did," He amended.
"But," the kat stopped himself. He tried again, "I don't like that kat. It's definitely not the whole problem but it's part of the reason I had to see you tonight. How much do you know about her?"
"As much as anyone knows on a first date. We just went out for dinner after the show, and I crashed at her place. You're acting like I proposed. So which of the Enforcer spooks did you go to, for this background check of yours?" The lean kat asked bluntly, both sure and annoyed that Chance had been that nosy.
Chance shrugged softly, his back still turned to his partner. There was no point in lying; it'd just make Jake angrier. "An old friend. And before you start asking no I don't do this every time you date ... just her. There's something about her I don't like so I followed my instincts. I ... hell you probably think I'm jealous don't you?"
"I don't know what to think, Chance." Jake said quietly. "She thinks you're jealous, but then she thought we were dating too." He said quietly. "So anything concrete, or the usual Enforcer rumor mill?" He asked, clearly not interested in the rumor mill.
"Heh, figures you'd ask. There's enough real stuff to at least hint at something else, a major crime connection or something. But the only hard stuff I got was a few convictions for prostitution and drugs. Not much else for sure other than that. Lots of deaths and a fancy car she shouldn't have. But ..."
The tabby lifted a hand to his face and rubbed his eyes slowly. "I don't know how to say it but I think there's more. Could be wrong I guess. And I am jealous, have to admit that. There's something else though, something about her ... fuck I sound paranoid. She tell you anything?"
Jake shrugged. "She's on less than stellar terms with her family for pursuing her music career, 'cause apparently her family tradition is bounty hunters and forest rangers. She taking classes somewhere, though I didn't quite have an opportunity to ask where. We didn't talk finances, and she may have the car but she doesn't have the money to get it to a good mechanic regularly, or she neglects to.
"Lots of deaths? I take it none of these had enough criminality to them to warrant an arrest, much less a conviction." He said suspiciously.
Chance shook his head, "Don't know. I take it there's been at least some investigation but it didn't turn up enough to get it on the hot list. It was easy enough to look up so there must have been some attention. But all I really know is at least four of close ... associates have died strangely. Don't know why or how, didn't want to cause a fuss with a search."
"Could've been accidental deaths, or self-defense." Jake suggested, remembering what she'd said about too much blood. "All deaths are matter of public record, so looking them up is easy. They also all get investigated, but accidental or SD get written out."
Chance nodded slowly, "Could be. Like I said, nothing definite. I still think there's more though, and the fact she actually drew a gun on me doesn't make me any more confident. But I'd guess you'd have to ask her for the rest."
Jake sighed. "If it makes you feel any better, she thought she was protecting me, when she pulled the gun." He said quietly.
Chance wanted to say more, but the words that came out weren't the ones he'd expected, "Jake ... why can't partners be lovers? I mean is that the real reason, or is it something about ... me?"
Jake thought for a few minutes about it. Most of the reasons didn't apply anymore, since they related to rank and issues of discipline and command. But there was one, the one not in the book. He sighed deeply. "Partners, friends those things last but lovers can be so temporary and can end so badly..." He said quietly. "It's not that you're not attractive, but your friendship is too important to me." He said quietly, clearly scared.
Chance was completely motionless for what seemed like forever. His back turned on Jake he didn't even look like he was breathing. "...So just friends, nothing more?"
Jake was about to respond when Chance suddenly turned around, his large blue eyes searching for something in the smaller tom's. "Even if I wasn't your partner anymore?"
Jake looked at him. "Chance, are you really talk about folding SWAT, and leaving the city open to the next megavillain?" He asked sincerely.
"I guess, if we weren't partners then maybe. I don't know; I've never had a friend turn into a lover. My lovers have always been those I go after for that reason, and friends are something I don't have a lot of. Guess, it's why I'm afraid to lose the ones I do have." The lean tom said with a great deal of uncertainty.
Chance slowly shook his head, still refusing to blink his eyes. "SWAT doesn't need me to keep going. We could find you another partner; another kat to work with. I'd ... I'd hate to leave, but if that was the only way I could have a shot with you ... I would."
Something in the way Chance stood, defensive, as if expecting an attack, told Jake that the kat was telling the truth.
Jake sighed. "Chance, I need you to keep going." He said softly. "I don't know that I could do it with just anyone."
"We can find a way. You're more important to me than SWAT anyday."
He looked Chance. "Chance, in case you hadn't noticed I'm usually seeing two Kats at once, one tom and one fem. That isn't likely to change, even if you're the tom." He said quietly, but firmly. "Could you accept my seeing a shekat as well as you?"
Chance watched his partner with almost brooding eyes. "Yeah, yeah I think I could. I've watched you do that for years." The kat paused for a second, his eyes sharp, "But you're thinking about her aren't you? You, me and her."
Jake nodded. "I think so, at least right now. I don't know how long things will last with her. I mean we've only been on one date, and nothing really happened. We talked, had dinner and got to know each other a little."
Chance bit his lip as he quietly considered. "I'll make you a deal, ask her about herself. Make sure you know who she is. Keep her away from the yard and..." The kat swallowed something in his throat, "And I'll stay the hell away from her. Who you're with is your choice no matter what I think she might be."
Jake looked at Chance seriously. "Chance, I don't mind you telling me your concern, and what you think she might be. You were just looking out for me, and I appreciate that. It was just your timing wasn't the greatest." Jake smiled slightly. "Being concerned is okay, buddy."
Jake brooded for a while trying to decide something, and then trying to decide how to say it. "Chance, I ... I'd like to give us being more than just friends a try." He said tentatively. "But maybe start slow, not all the way to sex immediately." Jake said feeling strange, normally he had no problem, but he felt like he was fighting upstream against something. "You know, snuggling, touching that sort of thing." He said looking at the ground, feeling very insecure for the first time in a long time.
The kat's almost broken voice broke through whatever Chance was fighting. In an instant he was at Jake's side, a paw on his partner's shoulder, squeezing with warm support. But as he watched in almost unbelieving amazement he went farther than that, his other paw moving to hold Jake's side for the first time, just a gentle presence in a new place.
He could practically feel Jake shuddering strangely under the pads of his paw. He quietly reassured the smaller tom, "Whatever you want Jake. As slow you like. I just want to be...to be with you. We'll figure out the rest later."
Jake nodded, stepped in close so he was right up against the tabby, and laid his head against the muscular chest. He then put his arms around Chance and just rested like that for several quiet minutes getting used to the new sensations. "We could probably still grab some sleep before we're supposed to open this place in the morning." The lean tom said softly.
Chance nodded slowly, giving Jake a small warm squeeze between his paws. "Yeah, that sounds good. We can talk about the rest later." The kat held Jake close for a few more seconds before awkwardly letting him go.
The kat took a step before suddenly smelling himself. He gave a small self-conscious little grin, "I'll meet you there. I think I should get a quick shower first."
"Okay." Jake nodded, as he turned and headed upstairs. "Don't take too long." He smiled shyly.
Chance made sure not to, hurrying himself through a hot shower and thick shampooing and then out again in moments. He left the bathroom with his fur more than a little wet. The tabby made sure to put on a pair of boxers before he almost cautiously entered the room.
Jake was sitting on his bed, wearing only boxers, when Chance walked in. "Wet tabby." He grinned at Chance. "You didn't have to hurry that much." He chuckled.
The tom smiled self-consciously, "I didn't want to leave you alone too long, I know the trouble you can get into." He took a few steps forward through the doorway and moved up to Jake's bed. He laid a paw down against Jake's shoulder and asked quietly, "You sure you want this?"
Jake nodded shyly. "I know I care for you, Chance. I just have to work through old teaching." He said quietly as he looked up. "Please, join me on the bed."
Chance of course needed no second bidding. The tabby carefully sat himself down right next to Jake, his paw trailing down the kat's side and then around his waist. With an almost unbelieving shake of his head the kat pulled his partner close and leaned his forehead down to press against the smaller kat's own.
Jake kind of leaned over trying guide the two of them into lying down together. He snuggled in closer to the tabby. "I was thinking maybe just sleep together. I kind of like the thought of sleeping with your arms around me." He said softly. "It's been a long day."
Chance purred ever so softly, moving himself down onto his back and then pulling Jake down into the crook of his arm. He squeezed the tom gently and whispered, "Sounds just fine to me."
Jake snuggled in tight, closed his eyes, and started purring softly as he drifted off to sleep.
The tabby quietly bathed in the smaller kat's warmth, smiling in soft contentment as Jake snuggled full against him in his sleep. The large kat slowly let his sink close, Jake's snout tucked under his partner's chin. Soon Chance too drifted off, his nose full of the cinnamon tom's rich scent.
Chance awoke to the same rich male scent he fell awake too. Blinking his eyes slowly to the growing light in the room he almost sat up before he recognized the warm weight against his side. The kat froze just before he moved, carefully stopping himself and stretching his paws out through Jake's fur.
Jake rolled over lazily and looked at him. "I was wondering when you were going to wake up. Not that I minded, I like it here." He said nuzzling the tabby, while purring.
Chance slowly smiled in surprised contentment. He leaned his own muzzle forward and slowly rubbed it along Jake's. "Sorry, but you're comfortable. And it feels right."
Jake smiled shyly. "What are you apologizing for?" He asked curiously. "But it does feel right."
The tabby licked Jake's forehead once, very softly. "Does that mean we don't have to get up?"
"I'm in no hurry." The lean tom said, leaning quietly against the tabby. "But I think we've got a business to run."
Chance sighed softly, closing his eyes in some vain hope that the day didn't yet have to begin. Still something funny occurred to the tabby and he had to grin softly, "Still, getting up means I get to see you covered in oil."
Jake chuckled, pulled the pillow out and bapped the tabby with it playfully. "You're incorrigible, you do realize that." He said with a big grin.
Chance practically giggled, throwing his arms up to defend his face as he tried to speak, "I surrender! You can smother me in engine oil whenever you want!"
Jake chuckled broadly and dropped the pillow. "The only reason to do that is because of the gorgeous sight you make taking a shower." He said with a wink, trying to be his normal flirty self.
Chance chuckled in a mixture of Jake's sillyness and the pure mirth of just being with his partner. For a sudden sharp moment he had an almost irresistible urge to pull Jake downward and kiss his beautiful smile. But the tabby restrained himself, completely unwilling to rush this.
So with another grin he suddenly rolled, knocking Jake over as he caught himself and stood up. He smirked at the mess of covers and kat, "So ready for work? Or ya gonna spend all day in bed?"
Jake batted his eyes at Chance from under the mess of covers. "Well, its no fun spending the day in bed by myself, so I guess I'll get up." He said, as he slowly disentangled himself and stood up.
Slowly pulling out his typical uniform the tabby couldn't help but watch his partner dress out of the sides of his eyes. He couldn't remember waking up so happy and well-rested in his entire life. He felt so good he could have crowed, but instead he quietly pulled on his clothes and then started towards the Garage's kitchen.
And was more than a bit startled by a fully dressed Jake darting past him into the kitchen. "I'll make us breakfast." The cinnamon blur said in a happy tone.
Chance blinked, shook his head and then laughed, "How you do that without a morning milk is beyond me. But breakfast sounds great."
Jake chuckled, and handed Chance a milk. "I slept better last night than I have in a long time. Makes morning a lot easier." He smiled, as he started get out pans and other things for cooking.
Chance yanked the top off the bottle and completely drained it with one full tilt of his head. He smacked his lips happily and shook his head, slowly moving forward. Jake was just starting to break a few eggs out over a pan as the tabby suddenly moved up behind him, wrapping his large paws around the smaller kat's waist. Chance nuzzled the side of Jake's face softly, "You know I did too. Thanks for that."
Jake smiled, and leaned into the nuzzle. "Thanks for not taking my first no as my final answer." He said quietly.
Chance chuckled ever so gently. "I think that's the first time I've ever been thanked for being stubborn. But I think I'm glad too." The tabby slowly kissed the curve of Jake's neck and then stepped back to let his partner cook.
Jake purred lightly, at the kiss before he focused on cooking. Actually, most of what he made he could do automatically since it was stuff he'd made for the two of them before. He was still amazed that nothing bad had resulted from his breaking the rule about partners not being lovers, but everything seemed okay. He was even beginning to relax more, and enjoy being in love with Chance.
"Breakfast's ready!" He called to the tabby, as he finished putting the last of it on the table. The lean tom was rather satisfied with the way everything had come out, in more ways than one.
Chance was immediately at hand, his stomach growling to him in its typical roaring voice. The kat was more than slightly amazed at Jake's cooking; he couldn't help but grin and tease, "If this is what I get for sleeping with you I should have tried years ago!"
Jake chuckled slightly. "Well, I do enjoy cooking. But it's so rare we actually stop and eat. We're usually just grabbing something on the run." He said quietly. "I can do more than just breakfast." He grinned, as he took a bite.
The tabby grinned toothily, "And what do I got to do for that?"
Jake shook his head. "More a matter of things around here cooperating. I'll fix dinner, if we don't end up called out on alert, and we're both here." He chuckled. "Like I said, I enjoy cooking."
Chuckling happily as he dug in to the meal Chance practically beamed, "And to think I was living on Hungry Kat meals for the last nine years. Where'd ya learn to cook?"
"While I was still living at my parents, and I usually manage to cook for those I'm dating for any length of time." He grinned at the tabby.
As good as the food was it only took Chance all of a handful of minutes to make his way through at least two plates of food. With a compliment to Jake, and a paw squeeze to his shoulder, the tabby cleaned up the meal.
Jake smiled softly as he watched Chance clean up. 'Old married couple' he'd said, and somehow that did seem about right, at least so far. The lean tom wanted to believe that this was going to work out fine, but there was a nagging suspicion at the back of his mind that maybe it wasn't going to be so simple.
The rest of the morning went well and the two Kats kept busy with a combination of heavy involved work and their usual banter. Beyond the occasional quiet admiring look or tentative touch the morning went pretty much like usual between the two of them.
"Hi, Kinder." Kimyra blinked at the heavily built Sabertooth Snow Leopard as he sat down across from her as she ate lunch at MegaKat Community Collage. "What's up?"
"Dad wanted you to see this," he said quietly as he pulled a half-sized file folder from his dark suit.
"Checking up on my new boyfriend again?" She sighed and rolled her eyes before taking the folder to skim its contents.
"You know how mom worries." He chuckled. "It's not like any of our mates get away unscrutinized. Though you picked a real winner this time. He's something else."
"I already knew that," she snorted. "Seven years off the force and still looking like he's active says that." She locked eyes with the older Kat. "This is more than you usually do, and a hell of a lot faster."
"Well, we've kind of been investigating his partner for a while now." Kinder hedged.
"Chance?" She raised an eyebrow and began flipping through the folder. "He's got a temper and a possessive streak a mile wide, but he didn't seem that dangerous."
"Read the file. He may not be that dangerous, but if we're right, they have one hell of a bounty on their heads." He said quietly. "And Chance's temper has him implicated in more than a few ... incidents."
"And this makes them different from my leather friends in what way?" She glared across the table.
With a reluctant sigh Kinder pulled a pen out and wrote a simply coded note on her napkin.
'They're the SWAT Kats'
He handed it to her in silence and watched carefully as she unfolded the flimsy paper and read it. Then read it again.
"You better not be expecting me to snoop for you." She growled low in her throat as she crumpled the napkin, shredding it with sharp claws.
"No, dad's not that crazy." He shook his head slightly. "But you need to be aware. You could get implicated in that mess very easily. Including when they get taken down."
"When?" Kimyra demanded, her tension only visible to the trained eye, like the ones across from her.
"When the folks decide it's a good idea." He shook his head. "They're still debating whether we should or not."
"It's not." Kimyra growled stubbornly. "This city needs them, badly."
"It's a eight figure bounty, sis." He didn't meet her stormy gray glare. "Sooner or later they're going to be taken in."
She stewed, growling softly as she hurried through her lunch. Finally she looked up at the older tom. "Thanks for the info, bro. I'll be careful."
"Good," he stood and put a hand on her shoulder. "Cop or not, sis, you're still family." He added as he walked away.
"Mate?" A muscular Tigress asked quietly as she into the position Kinder has vacated with her own lunch.
"Brother," Kimyra chuckled. "Just checking up on my latest date." She shook her head. "I'm beginning to think they don't trust my judgment."
"Last time I checked," she rolled her eyes. "But he's not local."
"Who's coming?" Chance called out to Jake as they heard a sports car pull into the yard.
Jake listened to the engine. "It's Kimyra. I told her to bring her car by for a proper tune up. I can't stand to here a good machine running less than perfectly. And I asked her over dinner."
Chance stopped in his tracks, his ears immediately flattening against his head as his hands instinctually flexed. He was desperately glad Jake's back was to him as the kat struggled to get hold of himself. But he managed to stop himself from protesting, this was all Jake's choice after all. He'd said that last night and he'd stick with it.
Instead he forced himself to focus on the thought of work, "What sort of car is it?"
"Convertible black Cobra SXT-39." Jake said easily. "And Chance, in case that came out wrong, I discussed the car with her over dinner yesterday ... I didn't invite over for dinner." He turned, and smiled. "She's here because this is a garage, and that sports car needs a real serious sports car tune up."
"Chance, this is your home too. And as long as you're this uncomfortable with her, I won't force her on you." He said quietly. "Just a tune up, I can handle it myself if you'd rather not deal with her." He offered quietly.
Chance was about to protest, to shake his head and tell Jake he was more mature than that when he stopped himself. He didn't want to ruin things with Jake so he'd better keep himself in control. And memories of a gun's muzzle pointed at his face probably wouldn't do that.
Slowly he nodded his head, "I'll be working on that finicky new transmission for the truck. If you need help just call." He gave his partner a meaningful look. "I ... Might be best if I stayed away from her for now."
Jake nodded. "I understand Chance, just make sure to use the backup engine lift when you do the transmission on the truck, the block and tackle in the main lift needs to be replaced before it can handle lifting a truck engine." He said helpfully, and put his hand his partner's shoulder. "Don't worry, I'll be careful." He said as he walked out to meet Kimyra's car.
Turning just slightly, Chance watched his partner leave through the side of his eye. Part of him desperately wanted to follow after but he knew it probably wouldn't be his best move. Damnit he would make this work! The kat tried to content himself to work as useless as it was with his head elsewhere.
"Hi, Jake." Kimyra smiled, still wearing the jeans and stylized dragon T-shirt she'd been in at school. "How'd things work out?"
"Better than expected." He smiled. "Just a bit of jealousy, and the fact I hadn't come home when he'd last seen me with a sabertooth worried him. He meant well, just he's a bit of a social klutz." Jake said affectionately.
"He avoiding me?" She glanced at the garage.
"With all that happened last night, he's not comfortable, no. And I guess one of his old Enforcer buddies told him a few things, when he went to find me, by looking for you." He said quietly. "He's kind of protective of me, sometimes more than he needs to be."
"Protective friends aren't a bad thing," she put a hand on his shoulder and smiled. "My brother hunted me down with about the same on you two." She rolled her eyes in frustration. "You'd think they don't trust our judgment." She winked. "Now, is this an okay time to mess with my car?"
Jake smiled. "It's a perfect time, we don't have thing else in the garage, and Chance is working on the transmission in the truck." He said easily.
"Good," she turned back to pull the little black convertible into the shop. She turned it off and got out to plant herself in an out of the way corner she could watch from. "Would you pass on my apologies for pulling the blaster on him like that? I don't wake up well; it's a reflex at this point."
"I will." He said as he popped the hood. "A reflex? You've had a lot of bad wake-ups?" He asked curiously, as he began working through the exacting tune-up a sports car required.
"Personally, only a couple, but I was brought up to join my family's business, and both sides can't afford to assume the unknown in their home is friendly. It usually won't be." She said quietly. "I still inherited a lot of our enemies."
"I take it they don't care that you went into music instead." He said as he slid under the car to work on a few things there.
"No. I look like an easy target to get back at them." She shrugged before adding very quietly. "But they're nothing compared to who's after you."
"Huh?" Jake slid out from under to look at her. "Who'd be after a mechanic, even an ex-Enforcer mechanic?"
"The guys you two take down." She cocked her head slightly.
Jake raised an eyebrow at her. "About all we take down around here is engines for repair. So unless some other garage is getting cranky, I'm not sure what you mean." He said, feeling distinctly uncomfortable that he did know what she meant.
She didn't move or say anything for a very uncomfortable time, then stood and pulled a thin folder from her backpack and handed it to him without another word.
Reluctantly, Jake took the folder and opened it up as she leaned uneasily against her car and watched him with troubled eyes.
He paled under his fur despite an attempt not to, and started shaking. "Chance! Get in here, now!" He shouted with no small amount of fear.
He looked up at her with narrowed eyes. "Who put this together?" He asked with his ears beginning to go flat.
Chance was in the room only an instant after those words, a large wrench in his paws and his ears flat against his skull. The tone of Jake's yell made him expect an attack and his eyes locked instantly on the sabertooth with fierce intensity. He was by his partner's side a moment later. "What's going on?"
"My family." She said quietly, focused on Jake. "My brother said there's an eight figure bounty on their heads, and more on your partner's. That's just what he gave me to prove they weren't just trying to change my mind about you."
"So Chance was right to be worried." Jake said, as he sat down on a small tool box. "Maybe it is time to get out of this business, relocate, let Feral handle things the way he claims he can." The Kat said darkly. "Not trying to change your mind, so what were they trying to do, get you to spy on me?" He asked suspiciously, he definitely didn't like her family, not one bit.
Confused that an attack wasn't going on Chance was just about to speak when Kimyra interrupted.
"No, trying to keep me out of the crossfire and litigation when ... you're taken down." She met his gaze sadly. "Now you know you aren't as well hidden as you thought. That's probably not a tenth of what they have, or even the best proof, Jake. They don't need me to spy. It'd be pretty damn stupid of me to show you that if I was going to, you know."
"Perhaps." He said quietly. "Time to pack up, and blow this joint I suppose. Let somebody else figure out how to defend this ungrateful rathole." He said angrily. "Bust our tails for years defending it, and this is thanks we get. Hell with them all, as far as I'm concerned Dark Kat can just have the damned place." He stood up angrily.
Barely able to keep himself from growling Chance asked, "What the hell are you here for then?"
Jake handed the damning folder to Chance. "Read it, and then start packing. Enough is enough."
"To warn you." She looked up at the angry tabby, more than a little distressed. "The city needs you."
The folder confirmed for Chance what he already was beginning to suspect. Kimyra's family not only knew Jake and he were the SWAT Kats, they also had the evidence to prove it. A few frantic seconds of flipping through the binder and Chance's head shot up, his lips pulled back over his teeth in a snarl, "Shit! How the hell did they get all this?!"
"Six years of normal investigative procedures." She shrugged. "Tracing transactions, trajectories, sightings. Stakeouts and good cameras. NightWind Recoveries are professionals, and the best in the business."
"Gee, its hard to tell. Bounty hunting psychos, hostile law enforcement, and that's just to add to the fun that this city already is." Jake said with a deepening level of disgust. "We were barely able to do it when were hidden, with that ," he gestured at the folder, "in existence, it's impossible. Somebody else can do it, maybe your ever so resourceful family would like the job." He shook his head. "We need to get out of here, relocate far away, and who knows, maybe have lives for a change."
Chance glanced at his partner, his ears flat in astonishment at the vehemence in the kat's voice. But what he held in his paws, the effort it must have taken to build it...
"It's not going to remove the bounty on you," Kimyra said unhappily. "Leaving will just remove the only reason you haven't been brought in yet."
"Yeah, but if you're telling us this now, then that's changing. So what is the point? If your family is about to try and collect I hope you don't mind a lot of blood shed, cause that's what it'll be. I'll kill as many as I can, and I'll kill myself before I get taken prisoner."
"What changed is I'm seeing you and my family doesn't want me caught in the crossfire." She barely flinched at the promise. "You think you're so well hidden?" She growled softly. "That," she jabbed a finger at the folder, "proves your not. If we're going steady, I'll end up involved. I do that."
"If they're so damn good, why don't they do something useful? Like deal with the threats to the city. Oh, that's right bounty hunters are strictly mercenary it's all about the cash." He said with a tone of complete disdain. "Damn bounty hunters, never did meet one I thought was any good."
Kimyra flinched as her ears drooped. Then her pride snapped back into place. "Yes, it's about money, it's about making a living. And if the cops had the money they needed we wouldn't have a job and you wouldn't have your hobby." She snapped. "You don't think Hunting's any good? Why do you think nothing's been heard from Dr. Viper or Dark Kat recently?"
Chance suddenly shook his head and tossed the document down to the oiled floor of the garage. "That's bullshit! You can't kill someone innocent one minute and then a psycho the next and say it evens out! Jake's damned right, we bust our asses for every single kat in this city, good or bad, and now they want to hunt us?"
"You've had a bounty on you since you first showed your masked faces." She humphed. "You just didn't know it. Now you do. Nothing has changed in the last 5 or 6 years . My family does what we can and you've done what you can and the city survives somehow."
"Same reason as usual, those creeps go underground for extended periods, and then resurface. It's how they operate, and honestly I don't think any hunter will ever get the real Dark Kat." He said quietly. "Viper maybe, but Dark Kat's way too cagey for that."
"And hunters don't do anything until somebody puts a price on it. They don't take on the bad guys 'cause it's right thing to do, they do it cause it pays. And they'll go after the good guys if it pays just the same."
She flattened her ears and glared Chance down with pure defensive malice. "And my family has not killed an innocent in five generations of hunting."
That was too much for Chance. This time he didn't just growl, he suddenly roared, "What the fuck about us ?"
"Then why are you still free?" She crossed her arms and glared at Jake. "You could have been busted five years ago, and you haven't been." She turned to look at the tabby. "What makes you innocent?"
Chance downright stared at the bitch in front of him. She sat there and defended a plot to kill the both of them. The tabby could barely keep himself from trying to find out what else she knew, and maybe pull that defiant look off her face too. But the kat was better than that, and he knew it.
With tremendous control, his fists balled and shaking at his side, the tabby turned toward Jake, "I think you're right. They want more work? We can split and give it to them. And when DarkKat shows up," his eyes glowering at Kimyra, "he can rip them new a-holes."
"But your family has certainly considered taking us down or they wouldn't have this." He booted the folder angrily across the garage. "I hope you'll understand that I consider people who compile files like that distinct threats. I'm still not sure how we can continue if we're this exposed. Maybe fake our deaths, a large explosion here at the Yard, rebuild somewhere else." The Kat's mind started working overtime trying to find a way to neutralize the problem.
Kimyra opened her mouth to say something, then closed it, watching the two infuriated toms.
"Challenge the charges." She finally said.
Jake looked dumbfounded at her. "What?! Take this to court? Just make our being the SWAT Kats part of public record. That's crazy. It'd make things worse, not better. How can we challenge being the SWAT Kats, when we are?"
"It doesn't have to be public, and you don't challenge being the SWAT Kats. You challenge the validity of the charges that the bounty is based on." She looked at him a little surprised. "No charges, no bounty."
"Huh? I haven't a clue what you're talking about." Jake said shaking his head. "Whad'ya mean charges, since when were bounties ever based on charges? It's just a matter of some creep with cash putting a price on somebodies head. And some hunter taking the blood money."
Chance growled, "Impossible! Feral himself put out half of those charges! And taking out the bounty hunters would be a hell of a lot easier than changing his mind."
"Besides, Feral isn't paying the bounty. No way does he have eight figures to put out, he has trouble getting a decent budget every year. Besides, everybody knows what Feral thinks about bounty hunters ... likes them about as much as he likes us."
Kimyra dropped her face to her palm and groaned. "I did not expect Enforcers to be that ignorant." She looked up at them. "Okay, don't take my word for this, but Feral doesn't run the legal system. You don't have to change his mind, you convince a judge. And the bounty is off once you contact the courts."
She looked at Jake. "I do not believe you are that ignorant. One: bounties only count when the prisoner is alive. Two: bounties can only be put out by the government, and they are only for the live capture of a charged individual. Once that individual makes it to court, the bounty is gone."
"Legal bounties, sure. But the real money isn't in those, 'cause the government hasn't got the big money to dump on them. The real money is the others, that's where the eight figure ones come from." Jake said suspiciously, as he retrieved the battered report and started looking for the specific charges and more importantly the issuing judge.
Chance snorted, "There's the sugar-coated version. But it doesn't matter cause we're not going to any damn court. We'd be dragged through the streets."
"You want to see the full file?" Kimyra asked quietly.
"I'm interested in charges and which judge we'd have to talk to. More importantly specifics of charges."
Kimyra raised an eyebrow. "That's public record. I can show you how to look it up."
"Is there a way to do it remotely? I'm feeling really insecure about going in public right now."
"No way, fuck that! You were right Jake! They want to put a bounty out on us? Fine, let them live without us. And when the City comes begging for us to come back, maybe then we can talk ... till then, fuck 'em." The tabby shook his head and just turned away.
"Yes," she nodded.
"Thanks, Kimyra. I'm sorry, you're getting caught in the middle like this." Jake said quietly. "We'll try the legal route, but no one is collecting a bounty on the SWAT Kats." He said with a deadly chill in his voice.
Jake sighed. "Chance, there are certain people I certainly wouldn't hesitate to say go to hell to. But there are a lot of innocent Kats who don't know about the bounty, who have nothing to do with it. I'm not sure I can walk away from them just because Feral and judicial system have their head up their collective asses and the hunters on the payroll of those with the peculiar anatomy."
Chance growled, "Then let's do this the right way. Let's get rid of the greedy bastards who are willing to hurt the City just for their fucking pocket books. We go to a judge, and the SWAT Kats are over. But if we go after the bounty hunters, maybe we can teach them just which Kats not to mess with."
"And the next team comes in with bigger firepower and fewer morals about collateral damage." Kimyra sighed and shook her head. "I guess Kinder was right after all." She muttered as she turned to get in her car. "You want to be reasonable about this mess, you know where to find me and I'll help."
Chance didn't even bother to watch her leave, instead he simply walked off, wiping his paws with an oil rag as he headed through the garage.
"Not that I'm proposing it, but why is it unreasonable to hit your enemies before they hit you? Basic military tactics says that you shouldn't let your enemy dictate the terms of engagement, or pin you into a situation where you're constantly reacting." Jake tried not to growl.
"Well, start with, you don't seem to know who the enemy is." She locked eyes with him. "What would killing one team of bounty hunters accomplish? You'd get murder raps on that list, an even higher bounty, bad publicity, and get every hunter to focus on you." She sat down quietly, but kept her gaze on Jake. "Look up the FireTail incident for a preview. Do you even know how many you're proposing to kill in taking out NightWind Recoveries?"
"With as high a bounty as you say we've got, I'm surprised every hunter isn't focused on us. And no I don't, but right now the hunters are the enemy, that is clear. However, we'll try this legal route first, if it fails we do what's necessary."
"Okay," she took a deep breath. "You're serious about taking out my family if this fails, though?"
"Only because if this fails, they've made it a them or us situation. I didn't ask for this conflict. I'd prefer it otherwise, but they're hunters and we're a price tag." Jake said quietly, and with some regret. "Why can't they just ignore us?"
"Jake, you did ask for this when you first broke the law and took that jet up." She corrected quietly. "Did you really think no one would care to take you down?"
"We figured we just had to deal with law enforcement. Them we could keep out of sight of, and have. But as I said, no one is collecting a bounty on the SWAT Kats. For one of two reasons, it will be uncollectable." He said softly.
"Is a night in jail really that horrible?" She looked at him in confusion. "It's not that big a deal to get processed and crash in a cell overnight."
"For someone who knows the legal system so well, that's a pretty naive thing to say. What makes you think we'd only be spending a night in jail? If the charges are such, that the bounty is so high then likelihood is we're held over until the trial, and our identities are blown public, and the cops will raid this place and have the place cleaned out before the trial. Now what was that about it not being a big deal?"
Kimyra growled low in her throat in sheer frustration. "I don't suppose you have an internet connection by some miracle?"
"No miracle about it." Jake chuckled. "It's in the office." He said heading out of the garage.
"Then you can see the charges and related info," she sighed and stood to follow him.
Jake sat down in the makeshift office and logged into the internet. "Where to?" He asked.
"Umm, let me do that," she looked a little apologetic. "It's in my bookmarks at KatsHome."
Jake got up, and motioned to Kimyra to sit down. "By all means." He said with slight smile.
Kimyra nodded and sat down, typing with the quick fingers of one very accustomed to the keyboard and what it was typing as several screens flashed by, ending in one that was clearly the judicial system.
She made two more clicks, just barely reading the screen, then typed 'SWAT Kats' into a search field and stood.
"That'll be at least most of it." She motioned him to the chair.
Jake sat down and began reading. He wanted to see just how much bullshit Feral had managed to shovel into the legal system on them and blinked as he actually started to read the list.
Minor crimes. Hundreds of them, but nothing that rated more than a few days in jail or a fine.
Trespassing, flying without a license, disregard of a lawful order, destruction of public property, resisting arrest ... the list went on and on, but the theme was the same.
"This crap rates eight figures? No wonder taxes are so high." Jake said incredulously. "However, getting arrested is still out of the question. Being processed blows our identities public, and the Enforcers will show up here while we're in jail."
"So what do you intend?" She asked quietly.
"Try to figure out if there's a way to beat these charges, which I'm not sure there is cause some of them are true. For example, we don't take orders from Feral, which is the basis of these disobeying a lawful order ones, along with resisting arrest." He said quietly. "Aside from that, I'm not sure but I'm not lining anyone's pocket that's for sure. I'll make it expensive and unprofitable for anyone who tries. Besides, they can't collect unless I'm alive." He said with cold certainty.
Kimyra was silent for a while, then dropped a business card in front of him. "If it comes to a suicide situation, give her a call. Please. I wasn't kidding when I said there was someone who'd take you two in, no questions asked. And I did not know about your hobby then."
Jake picked up the business card and looked at it, quickly noting it was for a security and bodyguard company in the bordering country, Lizzarith.
He nodded. "That fits with my original idea, leave, get the hell out. Let someone else deal with it, since all we're gonna get for it is shit. 'Cause let's face it, dealing with this set of charges, even if we could disapprove them, would be a temporary solution. Feral would just start dumping knew ones on us, and we'd be right back where we started. Sounds like Feral needs to find out how not capable of handling things his Enforcers are."
She held still, looking at Jake, then gently caught his chin and tipped it up for a kiss, her saberteeth pressing cold against the sides of his jaw as her tongue darted across his mouth.
Jake stiffened reflexively for a second and then relaxed into the kiss, becoming more passionate quickly, even as the ends of her teeth pressed against the outside of his neck.
She was breathing fairly hard when they parted slightly.
"Damn, I wish we'd had more time."
"Had more time until what?" Jake asked quietly.
"Till we hit a major crisis," she sighed. "I was looking forward to sleeping with you without any more complications than where inherent."
Jake sighed. "And to think I'd gotten things worked out so Chance would be okay with my seeing you. And this hits the fan, somedays it just doesn't pay to be the good guys."
"How can I help?"
"Wish I knew. How do you challenge charges when some of them happen to be true, but happen to be because a certain Commander is an ungrateful jerk who doesn't recognize that his precious Enforcers can't handle everything? The only solution would have been not to become the SWAT Kats in the first place. And to be honest, if I'd known I'd end up with this shitty treatment, I wouldn't have."
"I'm glad you did." Kimyra said quietly, and glanced at the monitor.
"Gods, I hate bounty hunters." He sighed, completely and totally frustrated.
"Will you please stop saying that?" She tipped his chin up to meet stormy gray eyes. "You're talking about my family ."
"Well, your family makes a profession out of making my life difficult, I'm I supposed to like that?"
"No, but I'm trying to help you here, you could at least not rub it in every few minutes that you hate what I was raised to be."
"Maybe I've been going at this wrong. Feral created this mess, if he's half as smart as he's supposed to be, he knows he can't protect this city without us ... maybe if I tell him that his stupid charges, and the bounty they've resulted in, means that were leaving the 'vigilante' business permanently, maybe he'll do something about the mess. He may not run the justice system, but he's got a lot of influence. I know a certain blond shekat who might be interested to know we're retiring too. Sometimes an end run is the only way to work things."
"Are you really Razor, the SWAT Kat?" Kimyra asked with quiet unease.
"You've seen the file." He said quietly.
"Yes," she lowered her eyes, "and I'm crossing my family to help you because of that. I guess I just want to hear it ... that I'm doing the right thing."
Jake sighed, and then was silent for several long moments thinking. "Yes, I'm Razor." He said in a voice barely above a whisper. "How long that remains true remains to be seen."
A stubborn set locked Kimyra's jaw. "Then let's see what else I can give you to help." She shifted to type in a new URL, working through several screens and password checks.
Jake watched as Kimyra worked, but was silent. He discretely double-checked the security system to make sure it was armed, and in the back of his mind wondered why he was bothering. He didn't owe the city anything, if anything the city owed him and Chance and it was a bad debt that would never be paid.
"Are you willing to take me in for this?" The trace of fear in her voice drew his attention fully to the big shekat.
Jake looked at her completely stunned. "Kimyra, I really appreciate your help, but do you know what you're asking? Right now, you can still walk away, but if you join us, you'll be as much a target as we are." He said quietly. "Are you absolutely sure that's what you want?" He said with a very serious, and worried tone in his voice.
"I know the truth, I can't walk away any more than you could a decade ago." She said softly as a small tear was absorbed by her fur. She shut her eyes. "No, I'm not sure if it's what I want. Actually, I'm pretty sure I don't. But it's the right thing to do."
Jake sighed. "Kimyra, for myself I'm willing to take you. But I'll have to convince Chance, and that won't be easy. We're partners and this is one thing that can't just go and do, no matter how right I think it is." He said quietly. "Thank you, it's been a long time since I saw someone do the right thing, even though they didn't really want to. I wasn't sure anyone did that anymore."
She nodded silently and pressed the enter key, bringing dozens of screens worth of information rolling past. She watched it scroll by with somewhat frightened, mostly dead eyes.
"Names, places, charges, schedules, personnel files ..." she said mutely. "Everything you should need, and it'll take even my brother most of a month to trace it back, that's after they figure out it wasn't a legitimate field download."
"Thank you." He said, kissing her on the cheek as he saved the information locally, and burned a copy to CD as a back-up. "Chance's anger notwithstanding, I'm going to try and do something about this so no one gets hurt. But we're going to have to work out some understanding with Feral, or he'll just keep filing charges." He said, as he headed for the garage. "First, I should finish that tune-up. Then I think it's time for Razor to pay Feral a visit." He said quietly as she followed him, most of the life drained from her step.
Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs closed the door to her office only to find T-Bone of the SWAT Kats leaning back against the wall behind it. The kat had stormed out of the lair, unwilling to trust himself around Kimyra and desperately needing to do something constructive. That's when he remembered the Deputy Mayor.
Pushing himself from the wall the tabby stormily spoke, "We need to talk."
A moment of startlment was quickly covered by her professional demeanor, though a friendlier version than most got. "About what?"
The kat snorted involuntarily, "Did you know Feral has a bounty out on us?"
She raised an eyebrow. "There's a bounty out for everyone with charges against them. That hasn't changed, but it's not much. A few thousand, I believe."
T-Bone shook his head violently, "That's what I thought. But thanks to Feral it's eight fucking figures now! And now somebody's trying to collect."
"Eight figures ... ten million?" Her eyes went wide for a moment. "Not with city funds he's not."
T-Bone's eyes blazed, "Can you check? The bounty hunters on our ass definitely are not figments of our imagination." The kat stopped and then a little more quietly spoke, "They're good Callie. If we can't get rid of them, we're gonna have to leave the city."
"That is not an option." She stated with the absolute dedication that got her through politics as she turned on the new computer on her desk. "When did you hear about this?" Callie asked as she locked into the system and began pulling up information.
The kat half sat himself down on Callie's desk. "Just about an hour ago. From one of the family members of the bounty hunters that are coming after us. Her name is Kimyra. I've got some more info on hard copy and I know she also has an Enforcer file."
Growling softly T-Bone shook his head, "There's more too. They know we are. Both me and Razor, they know our other identities and they have enough evidence to prove to any court who we are."
"How?" The blonde's jaw mouth open in pure shock, even as her brain kicked into high gear.
The kat shook his head, nostrils flaring, "I have no fucking idea. They know a lot though, almost all of it. Luckily we know who they are too. But ... we don't have a legal claim. They only thing could do to them is kill them ... and it could come to that if they try and go after my partner."
Suppressing a shudder to hear T-Bone talking like that Callie turned her attention to stopping it. "Okay ... let's find out where this bounty is from. Then we'll see what can be done about it."
With a sigh of relief T-Bone shook his head and actually managed to smile, "I knew you'd help us Callie."
There's good news and bad news." The Deputy Mayor looked up from her desk after an exhaustive search. "Which do you want first?"
The kat took a deep breath, "Bad."
She looked up at him. " It just doesn't originate in MegaKat City. The bounty was put out by an international business origination."
"Good news, it is a legal bounty, so I can do something about it."
The kat kept his face as still as stone, "Why would a business organization care about us? Who are they? And what can you do?"
"Off hand guess, it's backed by someone who really doesn't like you." She shook her head. "I can think of at least a couple dozen off the top of my head." Callie looked up to meet his eyes. "What I can do ... is give you government protection."
T-Bone's eyes swelled behind the mask. "What does that mean?"
"It means that you will be a special defense unit for MegaKat City." She leaned back to watch him. "As such, you are immune to most, if not all, legal penalties. That includes bounties like this."
The kat's jaw opened in surprise, "You'd...You'd do that for us?"
"I'll do that for my city. There's a down side to the deal, though." Her pale green gaze hardened. "You will answer for your actions, just like an Enforcer. But you'll answer to me. And there is no way I can keep your identities truly secret. Limited access yes, but not a secret. You probably won't have much of a life outside SWAT."
T-Bone opened his mouth but nothing came out. He could feel the blood rushing through his body.
Slowly the kat started again, "I ... I can't agree without Razor's consent. Give me 24-hours to find and talk to him. I can't say yes without him, but you've got my vote. And my identity if I can convince Razor."
Deputy Mayor Briggs nodded. "Then I'll have the paperwork and details ready for you. You'll both have to sign it, so you'll both have to come."
T-Bone nodded once quickly, "Then I'll see what I can do. And Callie ... thanks."
The kat moved to one of the office's windows and pulled it wide open.
"Take care of yourself, T-Bone." She called after him quietly. "And your partner."
The SWAT Kat was gone a moment later.
Even seven years after leaving the Enforcers, Razor still kept up on the exact layout of Enforcer HQ. He still had friends on the force, so details weren't hard to come by. Not many tried to break in, so it wasn't something to many thought about. Crouched silently, and scentlessly thanks to a small invention, in the air duct above Feral's office, he waited till the giant tom stepped out to talk to his secretary, and the dropped noiselessly into the room.
"Hello, Commander." Razor said from a shadowed corner, after the big tom closed the door. "I have some news that should please you no end." He said casually.
"Wha ..." Feral's yellow eyes went wide for a moment before they narrowed with a growl. "What do you want?"
"Don't worry this is the last time you'll see me. You're getting things your way, Commander. No more vigilantes in your city, the SWAT Kats are retiring. Dealing with the bad guys, no problem and playing cat and mouse games with you and the Enforcers was fun but that absurd bounty has every damned bounty hunter around looking for us, and frankly its not worth it." He said disgustedly. "So I hope your Enforcers really can handle it all the way you claim, 'cause from now on, they have to."
The Commander stood silent, dumbfounded, for a moment. Then he shook his head and walked over to his desk like there was nothing unusual about the meeting. "You expect me to believe that? That you're just giving up and walking away," he snorted. "That the paltry bounty the City's offering is enough to scare you off."
"Eight figures is attracting way too many professionals. And as for what you believe I really don't care. I was just being polite and letting you know what's up. Not that it should matter since you always claim your Enforcers can handle everything. Guess you'll find out how true that is, when the next Dark Kat shows up." He shrugged. "Cause we both know there will be one."
"Not anytime soon," Feral smirked. "He's quiet securely locked up. Why don't I show you just how little I really need you?" He grinned as he stood. "There's quite a collection of criminals locked up now that you could never catch."
"Feral, I'm leaving. I just figure I'd tell you. You don't care, so there's no further point to this conversation. And anyway, you didn't catch Dark Kat, a bounty hunter did, assuming it's even the real one. Honestly, I'm glad to be retiring. Why put my tail on the line for this ungrateful city?" He said, disgusted. He prepared to leave the way he entered, only to find a large Enforcer K-9 staring down at him.
"No, this conversation is no where close to over, Razor." He narrowed his eyes, "but we'll pick it up elsewhere." He smirked as the ceiling to floor window was cracked by a laser blast, missing Razor by less than an inch as the Kat dodged.
Razor looked at the now weakened window, and turned to Feral. "Not likely, I've got nothing to say to you to or hear from you." He said as the mini-missiles from one Glovatrix widened the crack, just before he slammed through it with the shield on the other glove. As he entered freefall, he was grateful for having prepped a few new gadgets.
Over the rush of air and adrenaline, he barely felt the first dart hit, pumping a powerful tranquilizer into his lungs.
By sheer stubbornness, he was able to trip the self-destruct in the gloves. As he lost consciousness he was satisfied by the smell of frying circuitry, they might capture him but not his inventions. Maybe he'd get lucky and hit pavement before anyone could catch him.
He felt a second hit before he black out completely.
"Chance?" The dark brown tomkat looked up from his desk in surprise. "What are you doing here?"
The tabby took a deep breath. "I need your help and I need it bad. I think somebody's going after a friend of mine. Can you help me get some info?"
Detective Aaron Whiskers raised an eyebrow. "Must be serious, you never come down here." He glanced around. "I take it this can't wait till I'm off shift?"
Chance shook his head, "No, not really. I need more information about the woman we talked about. Things have turned serious and I think there's a bounty on a friend of mine."
"Okay," Aaron nodded and stood. "We can talk in a quieter place." He led the way to an interrogation room, and shut the door. "Okay, I need names, and what I'm looking for."
Chance licked his lips, "Her name is Kimyra. I need to know about her family and what they may be up to. Where they live and their criminal history. But most importantly I need to know if a Jake Clawson has been brought in to custody in the last few hours. Or if there's been any trouble with a kat fitting his description."
"Okay, the second is easier to find out, the first will take a while, even with the new system." He nodded. "Are you staying while I look?"
The kat took a deep breath, "I'll stay long enough for the info on Jake. I'll go to my shop after that and just wait for a phone call. It probably wouldn't be pretty if some of the brass saw me walking around here."
"Probably not," the Detective shook his head. "Though I could always say I was interviewing you." He chuckled as he walked out and led them back to his desk.
"Thanks man. You know I owe you big for this." The kat awkwardly reached out a paw and squeezed the detective's shoulder.
"What are friends for? Aaron nodded and quickly logged in and ran a search on 'Jake Clawson'. A moment later the results came up, and his brain froze as it tried to deal with what he was seeing.
Then he looked at the tabby across from him with a purely calculating gaze.
Chance's eyebrows furrowed together at the shock he saw on the Detective's face. "What is it?"
"Oh, dear god." Aaron shook himself. He took a deep breath and looked directly at his friend. "Your friend is in ECH, and never let me see your face again." He spoke very low as he leaned forward. "T-Bone."
The kat stopped breathing, his eyes locked full on Aaron's. A moment later he whirled around and was gone.
Chance arrived at Enforcer Central Hospital out of breath, though whether it was from jogging all the way to the hospital, or from the shock of knowing that the Enforcer's computer system now knew their identity, he couldn't tell. He pushed through the front doors of the hospital and went immediately to the emergency desk.
"How may I help you, sir?" The gray tabby tom Enforcer on duty, clearly fresh out of Academy and less than thrilled despite the professional response, greeted him.
"Yeah, my name's Aaron Thurmond, I'm looking for information on somebody you just brought in. His name is Jake Clawson?" The kat's eyes unblinkingly watched the tabby.
"Just a moment," he turned to try it into the system. The gray tabby blinked at the response, then turned to Chance. "I'll have to see your authorization."
The kat closed his eyes and hoped he wasn't getting his friend into more trouble. He fed the detective's badge number to the Enforcer.
A long, tension filled moment lasted before the Enforcer nodded. "I'm afraid your suspect died almost an hour ago."
Chance tilted his head softly, his eyes blinking a few times. "What did you say?"
"Jake Clawson died from his injuries roughly an hour ago."
Chance quietly licked his lips. For some reason everything had stopped making noise. A nurse brushed past him pushing a food cart without making so much as a peep. He blinked softly again.
"I ... I want to see."
"The body has been transferred to the central morgue." The officer responded crisply. "You'll have to go there."
At that moment Chance had the most intense desire he'd ever had in his entire life. Nothing would have pleased him more than to simply reach over, grab the kat by the collar and smash his face in. It was an effort of will beyond anything he could have imagined not to beat the kat up right then and there.
Something of Chance's anger must have occurred to other kat as he suddenly step backwards, his eyes wide.
The SWAT Kat took a step forward, "One last question. Who put him there?"
"He ... he jumped out the window ... fell almost seventy stories." The gray tabby paled under his fur. "Suicide."
Chance ignored that image, ignored the implication. Instead he simply growled. "Who's office?"
"That is quite far enough, sir." A deep, new voice commanded from behind Chance as the receptionist all but bolted for the safety of further inside the building.
Chance had a paw in his pocket before he even half-turned around, eyes blazing with a truly deep fire as he faced six Enforcer Commandos in full gear.
"Hands out of you pockets, and where we can see them." The leader, a Sergeant, ordered calmly, though all six heavy rifles were aimed.
Chance slowly turned fully around. He slipped his paws free of his pockets and then slowly lifted them over his head. Inexplicably there was a large full grin on his face.
"I'm sorry officer, was there a problem?"
"You're real name." The Sergeant demanded calmly.
Chance shook his head softly and laughed. Almost conversationally he flexed his paws, "Do you know who has a 70th story office? Commander Feral."
The kat closed his eyes, "You can go to hell."
Chance flexed his right paw and the Glovatrix he slipped on responded. An instant later a flash grenade exploded against the ceiling.
The instant the grenade exploded Chance dropped himself down to a crouch, just barely avoiding two wild instinctual shots by the blinded Enforcers. Giving the air a moment to clear the kat opened his eyes to mere slits that burned with a fire's intensity.
A quick blink and an even quicker snap of one wrist fired off another grenade, this time straight into the faceplate of one of the Enforcers. Already half-blinded kats yelled in shock as whatever remained of their vision was washed out in a wave of white.
Grinning with almost animal ferocity Chance took that moment to charge them. A knee to a groin, a paw straight to a gut and a massive charge straight through the kats and Chance was suddenly out in the open air of the street.
Somehow the leader of the small group of Enforcer guards managed to blindly follow him, hoarsely yelling out at the top of his lungs for the SWAT Kat to halt. Chance did, just long enough to deliver two quick jabs to his side. The kat started to topple and Chance helped him down with a downward kick to a knee.
For a single dark moment the tabby deeply considered doing more to the prostrate Enforcer. It would be so easy
With another great force of will Chance turned himself away and started into a quick jog. That Enforcer could live. But if Jake really was dead, Feral wouldn't be nearly so lucky.
His heart frozen in chest, unwilling to let himself feel anything until he knew for sure , Chance made his way to the City Morgue as quickly as he could and still remain inconspicuous. He passed Enforcer Headquarters on the way there and felt a harsh cold shiver go up his spine.
Barely an hour after the incident at the hospital the kat barged his way into the City's Morgue. He went straight to the glass window at the end of the small empty little office.
"Yes, sir?" The old Newfoundland Kantin looked at him through long black fur.
"I need to know if a kat has ... been brought here. I need to see." Chance swallowed something in his throat but pressed on. "His name is Jake Clawson."
The graying Dog nodded and shuffled over to a filing cabinet. "How long ago?"
"I don't know. Couldn't have been ..." Chance's voice broke for a moment but he forced himself to stare blankly ahead. How long was it since he last saw him. All of eight hours? The kat shook softly, "Eight hours."
The big canine nodded absently and began to shuffle through papers. "Nope. No 'Jake Clawson' in the last day."
Chance blinked. "Can ... can you check again?" For a moment the kat allowed himself an iota of hope. "He'd have been sent in from ECH."
"Definitely not here then." The Kantin shook his head. "No one has come in from ECH today."
Chance stopped breathing. This was the only morgue in this district in the City. What the hell was going on? The Enforcers knew who he and Jake where. And they thought they'd killed Jake. But there was no record of him at the morgue.
The kat turned from the small office. Quietly he wiped his paws together. He was gone a moment later.
Jake slowly regained consciousness, very aware of pain in every inch of his body, and that he was in a soft bed, with little lighting in the room.
"Whatever's going on its clearly not above board." The lean tom muttered quietly, as he forced himself up to examine his surroundings. He blinked a couple times when he realized it was the same room he'd spent the first half of last night.
"What the hell?" He headed for the door immediately. He didn't know what was going on, but he didn't like the feel of it one bit. There was an immediate need to get back to the Hanger.
"Keys," Kimyra stood held a ring with a single car key on it as he opened the bedroom door and stepped into the living room.
"Kimyra, how'd I get here?" Jake asked, finally remembering to check what he was wearing. "And what happened to you?" He asked concerned, sure that the too-big T-shirt and shorts were hers.
"I brought you," she continued to offer the keys. "I just don't like what it took to get you out."
"What was that?" He asked, looking at his missing uniform.
"The Enforcers have that," she sighed and sat down with a hard flop in an overstuffed chair usually used for watching TV. "I know a couple nurses at ECH, I got ... you're dead, as far as the legal system is concerned. Though the lack of a body will probably get that reversed eventually."
Jake sighed. "The uniform wasn't anything unusual, though my ID being on record sucks, but there was nothing to be done about that. They didn't get the gloves, I nuked them before I passed out. Guess I'd better get back warn Chance that somebody's decided to collect. Pull what equipment we can, demolish the rest. The Yard isn't viable anymore, it's too exposed. Not quite sure what to do."
"Call Brandy, with that security agency," Kimyra's voice nearly broke. "I'm sorry."
"This isn't your fault, you don't have anything to be sorry for." He bent over and kissed her. "And by the way, thanks a lot. I mean that." He smiled. "Talking to Feral was a grade A dumb maneuver on my part."
"Maybe," she shoved the key in his hand. "You better get going, if you can drive. Chance is probably worried about you."
"I hope he hasn't done anything stupid." Jake said as he took the key reluctantly. "Are you going to get into trouble for helping me?" He asked before he opened the door.
"Yes," she shrugged, barely looking at him, but trembling ever so slightly.
"Look, maybe you should come with us. There's no reason for you to stick around and take the heat." He said seriously. "Besides I've got a really bad feeling that something's about to come down."
"Chance hates me," she refused to look at him. "He comes first, I agreed to that."
"Chance doesn't know you. You put it all on the line for me, even he'll see that he was wrong about you. He might be stubborn, but he does recognize what sacrifice means." Jake said firmly.
Kimyra nodded and pulled herself out of the chair. "Can I grab a few things?" She was already moving as she asked, but there wasn't the life and energy behind the swift motions that had been there the night before.
"Of course." He said easily, watching her grab a black field pack and stuff a couple sets of day wear, a three strips of leather that was probably an outfit, two hunting knives, a folder of paperwork and miscellaneous other items.
Apparently satisfied with what she was taking, she stripped and hurriedly pulled on a loose pair of jeans with large pockets, designed much like cammie pants. Then came an ankle holster with its small blaster, a dark T-shirt, a shoulder harness with two knives and a heavy blaster. A heavy black cammie-style blouse was next. Last was the weapon she'd pulled on Chance, taken from the dresser drawer, checked and tucked into a side-holster on the backpack.
She made a last look around the apartment as she swung the backpack up to her shoulder. "I guess everything else can stay."
He hand the key to her. "I know you drive better than I do." He smiled, and opened the door. "Gods, I just hope Chance is at the Yard." He said quietly.
She nodded silently, then glanced at Jake. "You might not want to go outside looking like that."
Jake looked at himself, and chuckled slightly. "Maybe not. Any suggestions? I don't have a change of clothes with me." He said with a slight smile.
"If you can stand still naked for about twenty minutes, I can do a lot." She shut the door and regarded him critically. "Fur dyes, the kind I use. You can call the yard, see if he's answering."
Jake nodded. "I'll stand still, where's the phone?" He asked looking around.
She walked silently to a table with files of paper on it and absently pulled it out, spilling papers all over the floor, and handed it to him. "I'll be in the bathroom, getting stuff ready. I can do a job on him too, if he'll let me."
Jake picked up the phone and dialed the Yard, trying the main number first.
On the fifth or sixth ring a kat suddenly answered.
"Who the hell is it?" It was Chance, but his voice was so rough and raw that it took Jake a moment to recognize it.
"Chance, it's Jake." The Kat said, still feeling a bit sore. "Rules change, the hunters took a shot.
The other side of the phone was absolutely silent for a good ten seconds. "Jake?" The voice on the other side of the phone sounded broken. "Where ... where are you?"
"Kimyra's, she pulled me out of ECH at a lot of risk to herself. I'll be back soon, stay put and keep your head down."
"Put my head down?! Put my-Jake where the hell? You're okay?! Fuck!"
Jake had pull his ear back from the phone Chance was yelling so hard. But the tom could feel that it wasn't anger that drove the tabby, it was ... relief?
"Jake get here! I need to see you! I was ... fuck! Bast it's good to hear your voice!"
"I gotta take some time to disguise myself first, I'd prefer to stay officially dead as long as possible, after all the trouble Kimyra went to arrange it. If it wasn't for her, I still be in custody at ECH." He said quietly. "I'll be back as soon as I can. We've got a lot to do." The lean tom said with a strong sense of finality in his voice.
Chance growled at the other end of the phone. "Damn it, just ... you're okay? Tell me that ..."
"I'm rather sore, Chance, but I'm fine otherwise. I'm still not sure why, but I lost a few hours after getting tranq'd."
He could hear the shutter on the other side of the line, "Bast ... it's just good to hear from you Jake. Come home."
"Soon as I can, Chance. Just lock things up tight till I get there. And pull my spare Glovatrixs out of my workshop would you, I had to fry the pair I was wearing to keep the Enforcers from getting them."
Chance quickly agreed, "Sure. And be careful tom, we've got ... other problems too."
"He's a bit would up." Kimyra observed from the doorway, bare to the fur, as Jake hung up.
"I think he got the word that I was dead, and he was frantic. He was probably in the middle of planning an assault on Feral, if I know him. I kind of wish somebody would wipe the smug smirk off that petty dictator's face." He growled quietly.
"It'll happen," she shook her head. "I can get the dye job done faster, if you want me to. It just won't be as good."
Jake shook his head. "Might as well do it right. No mission succeeded because someone rushed preparation." He said quietly.
She nodded and led him to the bathroom-turned-salon. "Strip," she winked at him, a shadow of her former spirit in her eyes.
Jake complied with a bit more tease in the strip then strictly necessary, and was rewarded with a rumbling murr of approval as she looked him over with critical eyes.
"Ummm, ." Kimyra murmured to herself as she made a circle around him. "I'm thinking a chocolate brown with gray-black stripes. It's an easy shift from your natural coloring ... this is your natural coloring, right?"
"To the best of my knowledge." He quipped, trying to distract himself a bit.
"Well, we're about to find out," She managed to chuckle before running her hand through his fun against the grain with her fingers spread. "Yes, that should work well. Time to get wet."
Jake nodded agreeably and stepped into the shower with her. "You're in charge."
"Don't give me any ideas." She chuckled softly as she started to work the water into his fur, soaking him thoroughly.
"Maybe later." He grinned mischievously.
"Rascal." Kimyra mussed his hair before turning him around to work the spray into his front properly. Enjoying the need to touch every inch of his fit body to prepare his fur for the color job.
Jake just chuckled and enjoyed the feeling of Kimyra's hands on his body. It provided a welcome distraction from trying to figure out what to do next, something he didn't really want to deal with.
"Close your eyes and try not to breath deeply," she instructed as the water was turned off, without the air jets coming on.
Jake closed his eyes obediently, and shifted to shallow breathing. It was fun, in a way, having her pay this much attention to him. He just wished the circumstances were different as she began working on his fur again.
Starting with his ears, then hair, she massaged the watery die into his fur, gently brushing it on his eyelids and even into his whiskers as she worked down his body, skipping his hands.
"Don't move." She instructed gently as she held his half visible penis away from his body to deal with the fur of his groin, taking more time that was strictly necessary without lingering.
Jake obligingly held still, figuring that only part of him likely to move, she was already holding. He very carefully suppressed the chuckle that thought engendered.
Still holding him away from his fur, she stood and touched his eyelids. "Okay, you can open your eyes, and hold yourself away from your fur. Just don't let it touch the dye or you're going to look very funny."
Jake slowly opened his eyes, taking care to do as she said, and saw her and the shower stall well splattered with dark brown spots.
Kimyra grinned mischievously and gave the tip of his penis a quick lick on her way down to work on his legs.
"Up," she applied gentle pressure to one ankle to get his footpads and fur, then the other.
Jake obligingly lifted the foot in question, and grinned back at her.
She striated her spine to come even with his crotch again and gently blew across the fur. "Hmm, I guess the stripes go on before your hands." She commented absently before turning to grab a slate gray bottle and well-chewed flat painters brush about an inch across and walked around to his back to paint the stripes on.
"What do you think, swirls, tiger or bold like your tabby?"
Jake thought about it for a moment. "Tiger, I think."
She nodded and began working the brush out from in spine in slightly curved lines that thinned quickly as they lengthened.
Okay, now for your hands." She let out a breath as she came around to face him again. "It is way easier to do my fur."
He held his hands out. "Why is it easier to do your fur?" He asked curiously.
"There isn't nearly this amount of work involved." She quickly worked more brown dye into the last of his cinnamon fur. "I don't have any bits outside that can't be dyed, so all I have to do is rub it into my fur, make sure everything's been coated, rinse and let dry."
Jake chuckled. "Bits outside, that's a new one." He grinned impishly.
"Really?" She arched an eyebrow. "Well, it's actuate."
"Can't argue with that." He smiled.
"Jake ... what do we do if someone's already at the Yard?" Kimyra asked quietly as she leaned back against the wall. "Five more minutes, then it's the rinse cycle for you, and clean up and for me."
"Depends, if they're still outside, then there are a few secret access ways. We get inside, we grab as much as can be moved and we bust out. What gets left behind is scrapped before it falls into the wrong hands." He said quietly. "If the Yard is already held by others, then I get Chance out, we get as far from the Yard as we can, and I make sure nothing salvageable remains." He added with a grim determination.
She nodded, and tried not to fidget as they waited.
It took a great deal of effort on Jake's part not to pace. He was anxious to get back to the Yard, but the dye had to dry. He hoped that bureaucracy would keep things mired for a while at Enforcer HQ, never mind what he was wishing on bounty hunters as a whole.
"Commander, Captain Tellus of Internal Affairs and Captain Narvi of Computer Systems Security to see you." Ulysses' Feral's secretary announced over the intercom into his office, where the emergency shutter was keeping the wind out till the window section could be replaced.
Before he could answer the intercom, the secure line from Maximum Security Confinement rang.
"Commander Feral," he answered it curtly.
"Commander, this Doctor Sythari with Maximum Security Medical. As per regulations I have to report that we've had two sudden deaths in Maximum Security. No cause of death yet, bodies are being prepared for autopsy."
"Dark Kat and Dr. Viper." The Doctor said professionally.
There was a long silence as the Commander absorbed the statement.
"Thank you, Doctor. Let me know when you have something."
"Of course, Commander." The doctor said before disconnecting.
With a growing knot of concern in his gut he pressed the intercom. "Send them in, Ms. Graytail."
Captain Tellus was a black, gray and white calico shekat, while Captain Narvi was a brown and black tabby tom. They walked in and stood at attention, though it was clear they had merely arrived together.
"At ease," Feral nodded at the pair. "Report."
The two of them looked at each other for a moment before the tom spoke. "Commander, we've just had a fairly serious breach of computer security. An outsider with the assistance of an insider gained access to the main computer room and downloaded a large amount of classified and personnel data before being discovered. There was also some loss of recent data that hadn't gone to backup yet, the communication system has also been compromised. The encryption system on the communication system has been disabled, and about half the transmission capacity is fried. The backup system is currently refusing to come on-line. If we hit a major crisis, communications can't coordinate properly."
He took a deep breath before nodding and focused on Tellus.
"We've identified three individuals involved. The insider was a senior system administrator named Marta Solara, ten-year Enforcer veteran with a spotless record. The second person was a bounty hunter named Martin NightWind, a local operative for NightWind Recoveries. The third person did most of the damage, according to the cameras, voice and M.O. match HardDrive though he appears to have found a substitute for the coat he used to use."
"Lt. Solara is deceased, shot by Mr. NightWind at point blank range according to security cameras near the exit they used to leave the building."
"And the Hunter?" Feral growled dangerously.
"Still at large. There's an APB on him currently. We don't know if NightWind Recoveries is supporting him, but if they are that's a big organization. Security camera noticed HardDrive handing a data cartridge to the Hunter just outside the building."
Feral stopped several explosive curses before taking a deep breath and narrowing his eyes at the pair. "Is any of this backed up by non-electronic evidence?"
Tellus nodded. "Yes, sir. Two officers saw the shooting, they sounded the alarm, unfortunately they were behind a security glass window a floor up. We also have ballistics on the gun, it was a legally registered handgun so full ballistics are on file. We also have fingerprints in the computer operations area."
"Anything else?" He growled dangerously.
"Not yet, forensics has the involved areas sealed and is doing a detailed sweep. We'll have more when their report comes back." Tellus said crisply.
"Report any findings to me immediately." The Commander growled. "And coordinate with Detective Tydin Swyla."
"Yes, sir." The two Kat's said crisply, taking that for a dismissal they saluted and left briskly.
Feral slammed his fist down on the comm button. "Have Detective Swyla report to me now ."
"Yes, sir." The secretary said crisply, not even fazed by Feral's angry tone.
The line from Maximum Security rang insistently on Commander Feral's desk.
"Feral." He answered immediately.
"This is Doctor Sythari. We've had one very interesting discovery during the autopsy of Dark Kat, and the autopsy on Dr. Viper just became impossible." He said professionally.
"What and why?" He asked sharply as his gut twisted into a knot.
"Well, we were running some of the standard and not so standard tests on Dark Kat, and the interesting one, was the one to get a fix on how old he was. Normally, this is pretty straight forward based on a number of known factors. What was interesting, is that the Dark Kat on the autopsy table consistently test as somewhere around four or five years old, physically though obviously that could only be possible if he were a clone of some sort." He said sounding a little disturbed. "Since we have Dark Kat sighting going back much further than four or five years."
"As for Dr. Viper, well his body suddenly decomposed into a large pile of gelatinous material. For safety reasons, I quarantined that autopsy room and imposed Biohazard 4 restrictions on it. I'll be getting a sample, once we have a secure environment to work in." He said quietly.
"Anything else you can tell me, Doctor?" His voice dropped to a quiet request.
"Preliminary results on Dark Kat indicate he died from a massive overload of the central nervous system, which seems to have originated in the brain. We'll have a better idea, when the full scan of the brain is complete." He said crisply. In the background of the call, the commander could hear a klaxon sounding.
"Krud." He hissed. "What's that ?"
There was nothing from the doctor for a long minute. "Umm. We seem to have a situation in the Biohazard area. The gelatinous material has regenerated itself as something distinctly reptilian and extremely predatory." He said nervously. "Oh dear, I'm not quite sure what the claws are made of but there making short work of my lab team. The airlock wasn't designed to keep something aggressive in. Commander, I'm going to have to get back to you, from somewhere safer." The doctor added nervously, as the commander could hear blaster fire in the background, along with screams. The line suddenly went dead.
"Damnit!" The giant tom snarled before slamming the common button for the main control room. "Get a combat team out to MSM, now! They have a monster breaking out."
"Yes, sir." The dispatch officer replied crisply as he quickly dispatched one of the commando teams to MSM. He thought about it, and sent two just to be sure.
"Something's different." Kimyra stated uneasily as they drove along the Megacat City Salvage Yard's fence to the main gate at the far end from the city itself.
Jake looked over the Yard, and noticed the main gate was closed. "Chance has been busy, looks like he's pulled out every spare weapon we have for defense. He's probably armed half our vehicles by now." He said quietly. "It's what I would've done."
"Makes sense." She continued to watch, both the yard and surroundings. "He is expecting this car, right? I'm good, but ...."
"I told him I was with you, and he knows I don't have any transportation with me, and he knows this car." He said looking around, for signs of the tabby, or anyone else. "Stop at the gate, I'll get out, and unlock the gate. Only Chance and I have the security codes." He said quietly as they pulled up.
"No problem, this is your turf."
He stepped out of the car, and walked over to what appeared to be a defunct switch box. He flipped it open from the right side to reveal an alphanumeric keypad, on which he quickly punched in the security code which unlocked the gate. He motioned Kimyra through, and quickly resecured the gate afterwards.
She waited for him to get back in the car. "Where should I park?"
"Take it around to the side garage, and park in there." He said easily, still waiting for Chance to come out as she pulled into the directed spot, clearly spooked.
After she parked, Jake carefully put down the shutter securing the garage, and then headed for the living area of the garage, followed closely by Kimyra. At the front entrance, he slid aside a section of siding to reveal another keypad, and punched in a different code.
"Chance, it's Jake. You here?" He asked loudly, as he walked into the living area of the building.
The two kats moved around the side of the main building and towards the side garage just in time to come to a squealing stop. The ThunderTruck was parked right in their path, its large laser cannon pointed straight down at them. And at its controls...
"Jake!" T-Bone bounded down from the truck an instant later. The other tom barely had time to blink before he was literally picked up off his feet and whirled around in T-Bone's paws.
"Good to see you too, Chance." He said putting his arms around the tabby's neck and kissing him, not caring who saw. "Let's get out of sight."
T-Bone's eyes flicked to Kimyra, but in a testament to how worried he'd been, he just instantly ignored her. "But ... but what the hell's happened to you?! I went to ECH, they said you were dead. The morgue didn't have your body though ... and ... the Enforcers are after us." The kat just suddenly shook his head, "Bast damn it! It is good to see you!!!" Unable to help himself he just suddenly kissed the kat full on the lips before setting him down a moment later.
Jake smiled at the big tabby. "I went to see Feral, try to talk sense into him, stupid move but I had to try. Somebody shot at me through the big window in his office with a laser. I blew out his window and dove figuring my new equipment would let me get out of there safely ... wrong, somebody tranqed me, still don't know who. Kimyra pulled some favors with friends at ECH, got me declared dead, and out of Enforcer custody, and dragged me back to her place to sleep off the tranq."
T-Bone blinked at the story, his face showing a wide range of reactions. As Jake finished the tabby ever so slowly turned his eyes toward Kimyra.
The Sabertooth Snow Leopard hadn't so much as twitched as she watched the two of them, clearly uncomfortable and more than a touch scared. T-Bone stared back at her for a moment. He glanced back at Jake, "There's more ... but we'll go inside."
The tabby quickly moved toward the ThunderTruck and pulled it out of position.
Jake nodded, and gestured for Kimyra to join him. He waited while she hurried to his side with her backpack over one shoulder, careful to keep him between her and T-Bone as best she could.
As Jake entered the garage he almost stopped in his tracks in shock. Half the machinery that the two Kats had stockpiled was in pieces covering the vast majority of space in the garage. And dominating it all one of the TurboKat's extra fuel pods had been hoisted above the ground, its guts pulled out. T-Bone had looked to be in the middle of converting it somehow. And with the amount of explosives he had around, it didn't look like it was just for a long trip.
"Whoa," Kimyra blinked, her lower jaw sliding down as she took in the scene.
T-Bone snorted softly as he kicked a mess of wires out of his way, "The lair's a lot worse."
"Uh, Chance." Jake said staring. "What'cha doin?"
The SWAT Kat stopped in his tracks, his back to Jake. "I ... I thought you were dead." Only Jake could have heard the soft tremor in his voice. "ECH said it was Feral who put you in there. I was going to go after him. Still might. This," T-Bone waved to the mess, "is preparation."
"Won't help, Chance, as much as I appreciate the sentiment. And Feral didn't really put me there, I chose to dive through his window. Though I wasn't planning on hitting the ground till after I got tranqed, and then I was hoping for splatter beyond recognition." He said quietly.
"We need to clean up, and make things mobile . Too many people know who and where we are, we need to move what we can, and make sure nobody gets their paws on the rest." He said firmly.
T-Bone nodded slowly, "Most of the vehicles are ready to go. Hell some still have their engines running. But ... wait! You don't know!" The kat suddenly turned around, eyes wide as he remembered his meeting. It seemed years ago. "I went to Callie!"
"Good, I did mean to tell her we were leaving." He said quietly. "Didn't really look forward to the conversation though."
T-Bone violently shook his head, "No! You don't understand! I told her that's what we might do and she just flat out said it wasn't an option. But she came up with something better! If we both agree to it, she'll make SWAT a City department. We'll report straight to her and be completely legal. And the bounties will be null and void!"
"And the down side is?" Jake asked suspiciously.
T-Bone took a deep breath, "We'll have to answer straight to Callie. Play by whatever rules she gives us. And she'll have to know who we really are. That may also get out to at least some of her staff."
"Well, I guess that's not so big a deal anymore. The Enforcers know, and that means it'll be widely available before long." He said quietly. "Callie's always accepted the way we do things."
"Chance, before we accept this there's one thing we need to talk about. Kimyra's the only reason we knew what was going on, she's stuck her neck for us, especially me, and without having anything to gain by doing it, except getting her family mad." He said making sure to keep the tabby's gaze. "Chance, I want to make Kimyra a part of SWAT. I won't do it unless you agree, but I want you to carefully think about it." He said with a look on his face that left no doubt that he was completely serious.
T-Bone's ears flattened against his skull and his eyes widened. They flicked over to Kimyra and then back to Jake. "You want her to join SWAT? But..." T-Bone suddenly growled in frustration. "What about her family? We take their daughter and deny them at the same time ... they'll probably go apeshit on us!"
"Not likely," Kimyra said quietly as she hugged her arms across her chest. "It's not like I'm really in the family much, and it's my choice what I do with my life."
"Chance, they're professionals as far the bounty goes, or so I'm told. So I don't think that's a problem, but Kimyra left them to help us, without having anything to gain by doing so. Besides, she's got talents we don't, and at least one of them will give us the possibility of still having lives, even with our covers blown."
"Hu?" She blinked at Jake. "I ... a useful talent?"
"The fur coloration bit, will fool the general public." Jake said. "Most people see fur color and patterns first."
"Oh," she nodded as he turned back to T-Bone.
"If we're really a city department, I don't think her family will risk alienating the city by going after us." Jake said calmly. "Buddy, what exactly is your problem with her? Aside from one misunderstanding, she's never done anything except help us." He said gently, trying to get to the heart of the problem.
T-Bone growled ever so softly. If what Jake said was true, Kimyra really had been helping them. Whatever the tabby's instincts had told him had been wrong, or more correctly, misdirected from the sabertooth's family. She could be an arrogant bitch sure, but she had helped them.
And maybe more importantly it was important to his partner.
His back to Jake the tabby closed his eyes and shook his head. "I don't have one. If she passes for Callie, she'll pass for me." T-Bone bit his lip, "We should get to City Hall."
"Agreed." He said putting his arms around Chance. "Thanks, love." He said softly, leaning against the tabby's back.
T-Bone didn't move at Jake's touch, but he lost some of his tension.
"I'll go get into my spare uniform, and then we can go see Callie." Jake said quietly. "Be back momentarily."
T-Bone nodded quickly without a word.
Kimyra watched Jake walk off uneasily, but didn't follow. Slowly her focus shifted to the tabby. "I never meant this mess to happen."
T-Bone snorted ever so softly without looking at the sabertooth. "It happened. Guess we'll all just have to make the best of it."
She nodded slowly. "I guess it could be worse."
T-Bone sighed softly, "Yeah ... Yeah I guess it could."
"T-Bone ..." she hesitated for real. "Do you hate me?"
The question actually got the SWAT Kat off guard. He blinked a few times, mouth slightly open. But instead of going with his gut reaction, T-Bone forced himself to think the question through. "I don't really know you. I met you all of four days ago and now suddenly you're going to be part of my life. To be honest I don't know what I feel."
For the first time since they were left alone, T-Bone slowly looked over at the female, and maybe even saw her for the scared, young shekat she was. "How bout you?"
She shifted a little before meeting his eyes. "You're my competition over Jake's attention, and you're controlling my future right now. You made a lousy second impression," she shook her head, "but you're T-Bone, and everything Jake said I did for him, I did for you too, because the SWAT Kats are needed, and that means you too." She sighed and dropped her gaze. "My gut says you're a psychopath, but T-Bone's no psychopath. I don't want to be here, or deal with you any more than I have to, but fate's got a different game in mind." She shook her head and chuckled a little. "That's a very long winded way of saying I don't know what to make of you yet either."
T-Bone's face was as motionless as stone. "You're a bitch ya know. I mean really." The kat sighed and turned away, "Maybe that'll make you useful. If not ..." The kat shook his head, "If this doesn't work, get Jake out of here. Whatever else I can see enough to know you love him. So at least promise me that."
"T-Bone," her voice dropped to a raw, determined growl. "If it comes to that, I'm getting both your tails out."
T-Bone snorted softly, though in amusement or disbelief, the sabertooth couldn't tell.
"Are you trying to die on him?" She suddenly asked in the silence that followed as she leaned against the wall, her pack at her feet.
"No. But I can't leave the City either." The kat took a deep breath, "So I guess that means I have to entrust him to you if this doesn't work."
"Can't?" She looked at him uncertainty.
"Could you shoot your brother? I blustered, even planned how to do it, but I couldn't leave the City. Not without ... losing myself."
She looked at him as she thought. "Yes, I could. But I'll keep Jake safe if I can."
T-Bone actually smiled. "I knew you were a bitch ... but thanks."
"You using bitch as a attempted complement or insult here?" She cocked a bit of a grin.
T-Bone's smile grew a little more, "Hell if I know. Let's just say I think it fits."
"Would you be insulted if I agree?" She chuckled, finally relaxing a little.
Something suddenly occurred to the kat. He pushed his way past a curtain of wires and circuitry handing down from the gutted fuel pod to a locker behind it. The tabby opened the locker with a pound of his fist to its side. "Don't know your size, so we'll have to wait for a uniform ... hell we don't even have a female version. But until then, these'll do."
The kat turned and then suddenly tossed something to the surprised sabertooth. It was a mask and a pair of Glovatrixs. T-Bone shrugged at Kimyra's scrutiny. "If you're coming with us, you should look the part."
Her lower jaw took several moments to close before she looked at him. "Thanks."
She set the Glovatrix down on top of her backpack and put the mask on, taking several tries to get it to set right. "Not that it'll do much to hide my identity, but there's something to be said for the feel."
Then she turned her attention to the gauntlet weapon and carefully slid it on her left hand with some difficulty. "So how does this work anyway?"
"That'll take a while to learn. But if you turn it right-sight up you'll see a little control panel. It's got an electronic interface and selection for most of the functions. Flash grenades, grappling hooks and steel claws can all be deployed with just a touch of a button. It just takes a while to learn."
Kimyra nodded and kept the gauntlet carefully aimed away from him, and everything that looked potentially explosive, as she worked through the control panel.
Razor walked back in the room in full costume. He looked around, and noticed Kimyra playing with the Glovatrix. "Well, seeing as nobody's bleeding I guess things are okay, for the moment." He smiled weakly, with the forced humor. "I guess we should get to Callie as soon as possible. Before anyone else takes a shot at me."
"Which vehicle, or vehicles?" She looked up with forced smile of her own for him.
T-Bone shook his head softly, not even bothering with an attempted smile. "The hovercraft are out. I needed their weapons."
"Well, the TurboKat will get us there the fastest though landing spots aren't readily available, and it's really visible. The only vehicle with no SWAT markings is your car. Another option would be for you to take your car, while Chance and I take the cyclotrons." He suggested.
"Umm, yeah, second one sounds good." She swallowed. "Not the TurboKat."
Razor looked over at T-Bone. "What do you think?" He asked casually. Then he looked back at Kimyra. "Don't like to fly?" He asked curiously.
T-Bone shook his head, "The Turbokat would be crowded. I'd say the Thundertruck."
"Not if I can avoid it." She ducked her head a bit.
T-Bone shook his head softly, this time managing a bit of an ironic smile. "Figures."
"That's okay, we only need two to fly it." He grinned weakly. "Not as if SWAT has a shortage of souped up land vehicles."
"So ... I'm driving my car?" She glanced between the toms.
T-Bone shrugged, "Two cars might be smart. If this doesn't work, we might have to make one hell of a getaway."
"Well, if we take the ThunderTruck that can fit the three of us easy." Jake shrugged.
"I'm game either way." Kimyra said quietly.
T-Bone looked from Razor to the female and then back. He turned and walked out of the garage, "ThunderTruck it is."
Razor smiled. "It's certainly well armed if anything goes wrong." He said to Kimyra as he followed T-Bone out of the garage.
Kimyra climbed into the ThunderTruck after Razor, and carefully lodged her heavy blaster within reach as the engine rumbled to life.
Jake patted T-Bone's shoulder. "Let's do this, before anything else happens."
The tabby gave his partner a single deep nod. "Agreed." He shifted the truck into gear and started it forward out of the yard. It was damned amazing the Enforcers weren't swarming in on them yet. But it probably wouldn't last long.
Just as they pulled out of the yard T-Bone sighed, "I hope this isn't the last time we see this place."
"Huhm?" Callie gasped as she shut the door to her office. "Will you guys ever use the door?" She shook her head with a bright smile for her visitors.
Razor grinned. "If we did how would you know it was us?" He smirked. "Anybody can come in through the door."
"Well, you're not just anybody." She looked hopefully at the toms, and a slightly confused one for the female Sabertooth staying in the background. "Did you think about my offer?"
Razor nodded. "Given the situation, it's reasonable. That is if it's okay to add a new SWAT Kat, who has a lot to do with there still being a SWAT left to discuss." He said simply. "As long as we answer to you."
"And only you," T-Bone added.
"You will," she nodded quickly and moved to her desk to pull out a folder. "If you want a third, it's no problem." She took a breath and faced them. "All I need to make it official is your signatures ... and you're real identities."
"That's not really an issue any more." He said quietly, as he took off the Razor mask. "I know the coloration isn't normal, but it's Jake."
For a moment her pale green eyes went wide. "Jake Clawson?" She blinked at him, then shook her head and laughed. "I really should have guessed." She shifted to face T-Bone. "Then you'd be Chance, no doubt."
The kat nodded slowly and pulled of his own mask with a smile.
She turned back to Jake, and looked at Kimyra. "So who's she?"
"Callie, I'd like you to meet Kimyra NightWind. She's the one who tipped us off about the eight-figure bounty, as well as pulling me out of a very sticky situation. On courage and principle alone, she's a definite asset to the team." He said with conviction.
"Well then," the Deputy Mayor put on her most winning smile and extended her hand to the much taller female, "welcome to MegaKat City's Special Weapons Assault Team Alpha, Kimyra."
"Thank you, ma'am." The Sabertooth accepted the handshake with a hesitant smile.
"Special Weapons Assault Team Alpha? Heh, at least we get to keep our name." The tabby shook his head with a small smile.
"Probably because I started with your name and worked from there." Callie smirked at him.
"Just how is this going to change things on an operational level?" Jake asked curiously.
"To a large extent, that depends on just how you operated before." She leaned against the desk. "I'd like to change as little as possible, since you work quiet well."
Jake nodded. "Mostly we just did what needed doing, while keeping up the cover of running the Salvage Yard, which also doubles as parts and supply." He grinned. "I think we might want to let Feral know SWAT's official, before he raids the Yard looking for us."
"Or tries to kill us," Chance added darkly.
"He's quite busy with other things," she shook her head with a grim look. "You are definitely down on his priorities list at the moment. Do you want to continue working from the Salvage Yard?"
Chance nodded quickly, "We have to."
"It's worked well so far, and if the opposition decides to come after us, we're away from the city proper, minimizes danger of civilian casualties. Besides, moving isn't exactly something that can be done quickly, there's a lot of stuff involved." He said leaning back against the wall.
She nodded and wrote something down in the papers. "Are there any other bases you want listed?"
"That's the only one we've got." He said simply, not mentioning that he didn't really want anything about them listed anywhere.
"I know you have something of a look you use, but I'll need an insignia of some kind that goes on everything to identify it as SWAT gear.
Jake gave it some thought, and decided to go with the stylized Kat's head they used anyway. "We've got something of that already, I can draw it if you like."
"Yes," Callie nodded and indicated a blank page in the forms.
Jake carefully drew the stylized Kat's head insignia on the indicated page.
Chance shook his head with a small admiring grin, "A gunner and an artist."
"Come from being a designer." He shrugged dismissively. "You have to be able to draw."
"Okay ..." she cast another look around the room. "Just your signatures and fingerprints are left. Though it wouldn't be a bad idea to lay low for a few days as the news gets out. I'll see that the major hunter groups and Feral knows personally, but bureaucracies and informing the street level hunters and cops don't happen instantly."
"That's okay, I think we've got that much clean up at the Lair. Putting stuff back and the like, we made a bit of a mess packing to move." He said with a slight grin.
Chance snorted softly at that, but didn't correct him. Telling Callie he was about an hour from destroying the City's Enforcer Commander probably wouldn't have been a good idea.
"Ma'am?" Kimyra hesitantly spoke up. "Is this a paying position?"
Callie blinked, then smiled at the Sabertooth. "Yes, it is. 150% Enforcer Commando Pilot pay, with yearly raises." She shifted slightly to look at the guys. "I've prorated you with six years, Kimyra at base." She glanced at the three of them, mostly at Kimyra. "Is that acceptable?"
"Yes, ma'am." She nodded quickly. "I just wanted to know if I'd need another job for living expenses."
Jake nodded, he'd been meaning to ask about that. "Speaking of expenses, as a city operation do we have any sort of budget? We've been managing, but tooling parts from salvage does keep us out of action for extended periods of time. It'd be faster if I could tool the parts from real military grade materials."
Callie nodded. "Right now, you're on a request approval basis for such expenses, mostly because I have no idea what they would be, or if you had other resources. Once we have a better understanding of costs, you'll have a real budget to draw from without request approval."
"That's reasonable." Jake agreed. "We never had a good idea of expenses either, we just did what we had to. Somehow we always managed to make things work, but it was luck at times. Luck that the bad guys took time off for six weeks while we rebuilt the TurboKat, from salvage."
"At the very least you'll have military grade hardware to work with on the rebuild." Callie promised.
"You tell me how requisition works, and I'll start work. It'll keep us busy and out of trouble, until word gets around that we're legit." He said with a smile.
The Deputy Mayor nodded. "At the moment, it's 'ask and I'll say yes or no'." She chuckled.
"Once I've looked things over, I'll give you a list." He said with a smile.
"Sounds good." She agreed easily. "I'll probably be by later today to see how you're doing."
Jake nodded. "We'll keep an eye out, since the Yard's closed for normal business today. We figure it's a good security move, till the news has a chance to get around."
"And you won't actually need the cover or income anymore." She chuckled slightly. "Though I am not looking forward to finding new mechanics."
"We could probably still fit you in." Chance smiled at her. "Actually, Commander Feral is still billing us for that damage to Enforcer headquarters, since we're working for the city again ... do we have to keep paying for something that that was partially his fault?"
"Not on my watch." She huffed, her green eyes snapping.
Jake smiled. "Thanks, even on the new pay scale we'd be paying for the next century or so. Wonder what he did with six years of pay withholding?"
"Nothing he's going to keep." She crossed her arms, all but daring a contradiction.
"Yes, ma'am." Jake said with mischievous glint in his eyes. "Anything going on currently that you need us to handle?"
"Not that I know of, but if you aren't keeping tabs on the Enforcer frequencies already, do start." She shook her head. "It's been too quiet lately."
Jake nodded. "We do normally keep tabs on them, though the last day or two haven't been normal. We'll get the scanner back up when we get back ... as soon as we figure out which box its in." He grinned.
Callie shook her head and moved to pull something out of her briefcase and tossed it to Jake. "I want it back, but it'll keep you up to date until then."
"Shouldn't be more then a few days." Jake smiled. "Since we don't have to run the Yard, we can focus on getting things up and running again." He said with a significant look at Chance.
The tabby grinned sheepishly. "Right, have everything back the way it's supposed to be."
The Deputy Mayor smiled and extended her hand to each of the three in turn. "Welcome to MKC SWAT."
Jake shook the hand with a quirky smile. "Hope none of us regret this. Oh, they're probably gonna question me being paid ... ECH registered me as being dead."
"Without a body, I assume?" She raised an eyebrow at the lean tom.
Chance smiled. "Hey, at least we won't have to listen to Feral call us names on Cat's Eye News." He grinned.
"I was unconscious when I was declared dead. I suppose dead wouldn't be unreasonable, I did fall out a seventieth story office window."
"I heard." She growled disapprovingly. "It shouldn't take too long to sort out."
"Well, somebody shot at me, I tried to get out of the line of fire. I didn't figure on a tranq gun, when they opened with laser fire. Costume could have taken some laser fire, at least long enough for me to get the glider wings out." He shrugged.
"I know," she muttered. "Feral bragged about trap that for a good ten minutes, and ranted for that long when your body went missing."
Jake shook his head. "You win some, you lose some." He grinned. "I didn't get what I wanted either."
"You should probably get going ... before someone notices." Callie said quietly, then winked at Jake. "You look good in stripes."
Jake smiled. "Just not pinstripes." He grinned, and turned to the others. "Shall we actually use the door for a shock?" He said slipping the mask back on.
"Why not?" Chance shook his head with a chuckle as he joined his partner behind black.
"Good luck, SWAT Kats." Callie smiled and waved them off. "You'll need it."
"What can I do to help?" Kimyra asked quietly as they pulled into the Salvage Yard.
Razor looked around. "Interested in learning how to put things together?"
"Might as well," she shrugged slightly and pulled both mask and Glovatrix off.
Razor nodded and slipped off his mask. "Our first task is to get the place put back together, and find the scanner so we can return Callie's." He looked around the Hanger at the mess. "First task, get the TurboKat back to normal status and ready to launch." He said looking at T-Bone.
The big tabby hesitated before taking his mask off and nodded, reluctantly leaving them alone for a while as he assessed the damaged he'd caused.
Jake decided to do a survey of the lair to find out what needed to doing. He turned to Kimyra. "Guess this is a good time to give you a tour, while I survey things."
She nodded quietly and followed him, grateful for the absence of the tabby.
He walked out of the cluttered Hanger, and proceeded through the base taking notes on the status of various things. He stopped in his workshop noticing that Chance had even pulled out some of his not-yet-tested weapons.
He turned to Kimyra. "This is my favorite part of the Lair, it's where I turn imagination into operational equipment." He said with a smile. "It's not usually this messy, but Chance was helping himself to some of my prototypes."
She quietly walked through the disaster zone, looking and almost touching many of the things there.
"Have you ever thought about non-weapons?" She asked with quietly curiosity.
"No time, really. I have to keep us ahead of the technology curve, that's how we've done so well. It takes most of my time, that I don't spend fixing or developing our vehicles." He said as he started putting things away carefully, while noting which weapons were missing.
"Doesn't sound like much of a life," Kimyra shook her head. "I wouldn't have guessed from the front you put to the public." She added with quiet admiration.
"I take some time for myself, have to stay sane." He said quietly. "I just hope it'll be possible to keep part of that life."
"Well, with any kind of luck, your real faces won't be common knowledge to the general public." She shrugged. "I'll teach you how to do your fur up, and a few other disguise tricks, that can survive even very energetic encounters." She winked at him.
Jake stopped cleaning to turn and grab a quick kiss. "I knew you'd be useful, probably only the beginning too. How much do you know about the surveillance techniques that were used to find us in the first place? We need to be more aware, there are less legitimate groups looking for us."
"I know a little," she admitted. "I was brought up to it. I can find out." Kimyra shuddered and sighed unhappily. "Once I break the news to mom, I'll have full access to the family databases, gear and training."
"I'm sorry about how disruptive this has all been. I'm just not sure there was a way to have things turn out differently."
"Plenty of ways," she shrugged. "None of them I could accept taking." She focused solidly on the floor. "Just how do I fit into this unit? I'm not much good in combat, or the kind of work you do." She looked up a little hopelessly. "Sure I have some skills, but you'll know them in a few months, at most."
Jake put a gentle hand on her shoulder. "I'm sure something will come up. Everything is changing; I'm not sure how it's going to change SWAT. We may have needs we didn't before. I wish I had a better answer, but I don't yet."
"I know ..." she looked down and away from him. "I'm just way out of my depth here, and way out of any field I wanted to be in. I hate being the dead weight."
"The only reason we're still operational is because of you, so give yourself a little slack." He said reassuringly. "I know about your music, what else interests you?" He asked, trying to find a solution.
Kimyra blinked in surprise at him. "Umm, well, I'm majoring Theater and Music. I have some skill as a secretary." She paused. "Despite the build, I'm not great in the physical confrontation department, but I guess if you're asking for hobbies, it's learning."
Jake considered. "How comfortable are you with researching and looking things up? Chance and I are pretty solid in the combat department, but part of a good operation is research into the background of what's going on. Neither of us has a lot of patience, hell the internet connection is kind of new. I wanted it so I could get at technical journals. I suspect that there are a lot of things outside of combat where you can be a big help." He suggested hopefully.
With a slight chuckled Kimyra shook her head. " The internet is your friend, Jake." She almost smirked. "Yeah, that I can do."
Jake smiled. "Good, I never want you to feel like dead weight. That's important to me." He said giving her a gentle kiss she turned into a comforting hug and much more passionate duel of tongues.
As they parted she rested the flat of her muzzle on top of his head, breathing deeply of his scent.
"Jake ... I'm I going to be living here?" Kimyra asked uncertainly after a long, still moment.
"If you feel comfortable with it, you can. Chance and I do, because this is the only home either of us has. You're welcome to." He said sincerely, not in the least bit oblivious to the fact that his nose was between her tits.
"I ... I don't know." She sighed. "It's not going to be safe at my apartment ... but I don't think Chance ..." she moved back to look at Jake. "I can see this whole thing is pushing him way past his limits."
"Let me work on Chance." Jake smiled. "He just needs some encouragement. But if its not going to be safe at you're apartment, then you're definitely staying here." He said quietly.
"Am I really of any use in the clean-up?" She looked around weakly. "There ... if I'm really going to live here, not on the run ... there are a few things I'd like to have. It'll all fit in my car. The important things at least."
"You can go get your stuff, I think we can handle it. Besides I can use the time to talk to Chance."
Kimyra nodded and kissed his forehead. "Thanks Jake. Maybe one of these nights we'll actually manage to spend sleeping together." She chuckled slightly.
"I sure hope so." He smiled. "Just be careful, not everybody knows we're legit. But I'll bet your connection to us got out faster."
"Maybe it should just wait a few days. It's nothing I can't do without for a week." She considered out loud before hugging herself. "Just a quiet place I won't be in the way, or Chance's sight ... I need some time to think. Alone ... someplace quiet."
"We've got extra rooms, in the residence area. You can have one of them. We'll be down here for awhile." He said easily. "I'll come up later, and see how you're doing."
"Thanks." she smiled weakly before turning back to work her way through the huge Hanger complex to the more mundane section of the building above and scouted out a room that looked fairly unused. She smiled slightly that it had a very nice view of the southern mountains and settled down to stare at them and try to figure out just how her life and ended up here.
Chance watched Kimyra make her way out of the Hanger and put his tools down to follow her, unwilling to trust her quick exit now that she knew their security codes. Then he hesitated, and moved back to where Jake was, just to make sure his partner wasn't hurt.
Just peaking around the corner, the tabby saw his miss-colored mate inventorying the mess that was left of his workshop. With a soft smile he staid there and watched the lean tom for a while, then turned to find out just where the bitch had gone.
"Jake?" Chance spoke quietly as he slid his arms around the smaller Kat.
"Yes, Chance?" He purred quietly, leaning into the embrace.
"Will you be staying with me tonight?" He asked quietly, nuzzling his mate affectionately.
"Yes, I don't think I'm going out for a while." He nuzzled the big tabby back, affectionately.
"Well, it looks like Kimyra is settling in ... I wasn't sure." He mumbled.
"She is, because her place isn't safe anymore because of her helping us. But I still love and want you, Chance ... she understands that, even understands that you're first in my life." He said affectionately. "Loving her, doesn't mean I love you less."
"You mean that?" He asked quietly.
"Yes, I mean that." He said sincerely. "I can love both you, I just hope the two of you can at least get comfortable with each other. I'd hate to lose either of you." He said holding on tight to the tabby.
"I'll ... try." He finally sighed. "I still don't like her."
"I know, Chance." He said gently. "She started as competition, and that creates tension, and distrust. And you've only known her less than a week."
"And you haven't know her any longer." The tabby sighed. "It makes it harder. So does her family ... to think we'd have hunters for in-laws ...."
"I know, and it is pretty weird, and lets not jump to conclusions here, no one's proposed yet. I wonder how Feral took the news that SWAT's a city department now, and we still don't answer to him." Jake grinned slightly, trying to lighten the mood a little.
"I'd pay to see his expression when Callie drops that bit of news on him. "Chance grinned broadly. "It'd almost be worth all the krud we've taken from him these years."
"Almost worth the high-dive from his office. Speaking of which, I think we need to add some armor to these costumes. I understand there've been some impressive advances in soft body armor." He smiled. "The expression will be doubly impressive when he finds out I'm alive."
"Bets he makes a few new curses on the spot." Chance smirked. "You know ... the TurboKat is operational. We can use that new imaging system to get in on the action, without being in the office." He chuckled before tipping Jake's chin up for a kiss than abruptly became more intense than he meant.
Jake claimed the kiss passionately. "That we can, up for our first flight as legitimate defenders, love?"
Chance shivered as his breath stopped. As he recovered he pulled Jake tightly against his chest for another long, intimate kiss.
"There's a different kind of flight I want to go one with you right now," he breathed hotly. "But that one will work for a celebration."
"I like the way you think." He purred sensually.
"Oh," Chance breathed in sharply. "Maybe ... maybe we can go somewhere private ... afterwards. If you want."
"I'd like that, Chance." Jake said quietly. "One thing the last few days have convinced me of, is that I don't want to wait too long. We never know how long we really have."
"We'll have a long time." Chance growled fiercely. "I am not going to let anything happen to you."
Jake smiled. "We're in an uncertain profession, though at least now we have some real support." He said nuzzling the tabby.
"Yes, it is good to be recognized like that." The tabby smiled and buried his nose in Jake's hair. "I guess we'll just have to savor every moment we have together."
"That's what I meant." He said nuzzling the tabby. "So do we eavesdrop on Feral, or just skip to the private part afterward?"
Chance's heart skipped a beat before he smiled down at his partner. "You're choice, Jake."
Jake smiled back. "As much as I want to play, I think we need to let people know we're still in business. Let's eavesdrop on Feral, then we can come back and play."
Chance swallowed and nodded. "Then let's hit the skies, buddy." He grinned with most of his usual fire and ran for their lockers.
Jake followed him to the lockers, and openly watched the tabby change as they got into costume, and smiled as Chance gave more of a show of his hard body than necessary.
"Jake ... just what is she is ... as a SWAT Kat?" T-Bone asked hesitantly as they roared towards Enforcer HQ. "I mean ... I'm the pilot, you're the gunner ... what's she?"
"I had to work on that myself, but she's our research staff. She looks up info on what's threatening the city, makes sure we have info before we engage the enemy. We can handle combat, we always have, but we can use the backup in the non-combat areas." Razor said as he checked out the eavesdropping equipment.
"So ... she's not going to be coming out with us? She just stays back at the Yard?" T-Bone glanced back at his gunner.
"She's not really combat trained. But we handle combat quite well, but we don't have a lot of experience in research, and that sort of thing." Jake said easily. "Combat is still gonna be you and me, buddy."
"Good." T-Bone smiled slightly as he relaxed a little. "That's a lot better than ... when you said she was a SWAT Kat."
"She is a SWAT Kat, just fills a different role than you or I." Jake stretched forward to pat the tabby's shoulder. "We've always handled what's been thrown at us in combat."
"I guess I just think of this ..." he tried to explain. "When I think SWAT, this is what I think of. Not the maintenance work, or any of that stuff. It's just easier to take it if she's not going to come up with us."
"That's okay, Chance." Razor said easily. "I understand what you're saying. You're more comfortable with this," He patted the jet. "Being just us. Actually, so am I."
The big tabby smiled as he felt a bit of the fear he didn't really admit to himself dissipate. "Hay, Callie's in his office ... and the window still isn't fixed."
Jake smiled. "Well, it's tough replacing big thick glass walls on the seventieth floor. I think there's only a few companies that provide that particular service." He chuckled. "Well, let's see what's going on in the realm of power and politics." He said as he brought up the eavesdropping equipment.
"This won't take long, Commander." The Deputy Mayor interrupted him with icy calm. "I'm just here to make sure you can't ignore the rights of the city's new defense unit."
Feral gave her a dubious look. "What new defense unit? As Commander of the Enforcers city defense falls under my authority and I don't recall authorizing a new unit." He said, still going over the damage to Maximum Security in his head.
"Because you didn't." She smirked slightly. "SWAT was commissioned by the Mayor's office, and as such falls under my authority. They outrank you."
Feral raised a doubtful eyebrow. "SWAT? Would this have any connection to those vigilantes who are still wanted on numerous charges?" He asked not liking the sound of things.
"Yes it would, and they are not wanted any more." She stated calmly, though there was little doubting her enjoyment of the situation. "MegaKat City's Special Weapons Assault Team Alpha is comprised by Razor, T-Bone and Kimyra. All charges against them have been either nullified as done in the line of duty, or pardoned, as is my authority. You will cooperate with them, or MegaKat City will have a new Enforcer Commander. Understand?"
Feral blinked and picked up a report on his desk. "I have a report from ECH indicating that Razor died of injuries received when he threw himself out that window." He said nodding at the still destroyed window. "How can he be part of anything?"
"The reports of his death were apparently premature." She shrugged slightly. "Because I've talked to him, and he's quite alive."
"Then somebody at ECH filed a false report." Feral growled irritably. "Given how many of the major threats are in custody, I don't see why the city needs this special unit. As I told Razor, the criminals are being captured, no thanks to SWAT."
"In custody is not good enough for me." She stated simply. "I have no need to justify the unit to you, Commander . As much as I've told you is a courtesy, not a requirement." She turned to leave. "They are my unit."
"Good day, Ms. Briggs." Feral said as she left. He knew that a wise commander picked his fights carefully, and this wasn't one he was going to win. Besides, he had more to worry about than the Deputy Mayor's need to play Commander, even if having to tolerate SWAT was going to seriously get on his nerves.
"Well, that was interesting." Razor said with a mixture of amusement and shock.
"I knew Callie had a lot of power, but I had no idea she had that much." T-Bone said, surprised. "I think we still need to watch our backs around Feral. He's just been walked over, and making us look bad is about all he can do now."
"And he'll be crafty about it too, considering his job is on the line if he's too blatant." Razor added with a shake of his head. "I think about all that's changed is that we have Callie's official backing, rather than unofficial."
"And we don't have an eight figure price tag on our heads." T-bone grinned. "Well, a legal one anyway."
"And the illegal one will be much less likely to be claimed, between having Kimyra on our team, and being as high profile as we are."
T-bone passed off the reference to Kimyra. "Wonder if they really got the real Dark Kat. It'd suck if they did, he was supposed to be our tag."
"I doubt it ... but then, they had better odds than most." Razor shrugged. "I expect Dark Kat wanted to be captured by them, then, for some reason."
"That's a pretty scary thought. He's cagey, if he wanted to be captured, it must have been something big." T-bone said quietly.
"Well, if he set up a fake to get caught, then no one would be looking for him. He could get away with a lot more before someone caught on."
"True, even better if he could get the fake killed."
"It happened." Razor said very quietly. "Dark Kat and Dr. Viper ... the ones in prison ... both died of unknown causes this morning."
"How'd you find that out? They had to be in Max, and that place only reports to Feral." T-Bone asked curiously.
"The report was on his desk, I got the rest from elsewhere. Not even Feral has a flawless security net." Razor hedged.
"So they just dropped dead in Max?" T-bone asked amazed. "That's way weird."
"Yeah, and way not believable." Razor shook his head. "We need to get back to base. I don't like how this is shaping up."
The pilot nodded silently and turned them around.
Once the TurboKat was back in its usual position, Razor opened the canopy and climbed down, to give the jet its usual post mission check over, more from habit than any real need. He was still trying to figure how two major prisoners could just drop dead.
"Jake?" T-Bone came up behind his partner and pulled him back into a warm embrace.
Razor was so wrapped up thinking it took a minute to register, and then he leaned into the embrace. "Yes, Chance?" He said purring lightly as he decided other things could wait.
"Why don't you set her on the research, and we go someplace quiet?" He rumbled softly as he reached one hand up to scratch Razor's jaw.
"Sounds good, I'll be back." He said, claiming a quick kiss before changing and heading out of the Hanger looking for Kimyra.
There were muted sounds of motion and the rich scent of female arousal mixed in with Kimyra's personal scent when Jake approached the door to the spare room in the far back of the top story.
Jake decided the research could wait, and turned to head back to the Hanger.
"That was fast." Chance raised an eyebrow at him.
"She was indisposed. I guess she needed to work off some of the tension from the last few days, which I can understand. It'll wait a little while." He said as he walked up to the tabby and put both arms around his neck. "I seem to recall that we were going to find somewhere quiet." The lean tom said in a quiet, seductive voice.
"Mmm, yes ... though it won't be for long." Chance grinned before claiming a kiss and pulling his mate close. "And preferences?" He growled hungrily.
Jake purred lustfully. "As long as it's with you, I don't much care." He said as he nuzzled his mate affectionately.
"Then let's inaugurate our bedroom." Chance rumbled as he swept Jake up in his arms.
Jake simply wrapped his arms around Chance's neck and kissed him as the tabby carried him.
With a rumbling roar Kimyra shuddered as her fingers brought some relief from the tension mounting in her body. She knelt against the wall in the spare back room, staring at the mountains through the window as her body slowly relaxed. By the time the flesh under her wet fingers had stopped quivering she was deep in thought.
I only meant to warn them, not get involved. So how'd I end up here? Kats, the guys don't even know I won't make the gig tonight.
Will I make another gig again?
I fought so hard not to be a cop. Anything but a cop.
Now I'm not only a cop, I'm SWAT. Elite of the elite.
What the hell am I doing here?
I'm hiding for my life, that's what. I knew I'd get in trouble helping them, but I expected prison or something. Not a life sentence of an early, grizzly death.
I so didn't want this. I'm just a singer. A singer that now has to keep pace with the SWAT Kats.
I am so dead.
At least the family'll be happy. Wonder how long it's going to take them to find out.
I wonder if either of those boys can cook.
Chance was grinning ecstatically by the time he lay Jake on his bed and followed to pin the lean tom under her greater body mass for a series of short, sweet kisses.
Jake reached down to free Chance's shirt from his pants, so as to explore the muscular body underneath. He gently returned the kisses with gentle ones of his own as he purred lightly.
Trembling slightly in excitement Chance worked his way down Jake's chest, lavishing attention on every inch of fur that was revealed.
Jake's purring became louder as he responded to the tabby's attentions. He ran his hands lovingly through the fur he could reach as the tabby moved down his chest.
Both froze from a second as Chance reached the top of Jake's jeans. Slowly he undid the belt, taking every opportunity to fondle and caress the hardening cock under his hands as he kept a close eye for any negative response from his partner.
There was a brief moment of uncertainty as Chance undid Jake's belt, but it passed quickly, and was replaced by the combination of purring and heavier breathing from the lean tom. He lay back enjoying the feel of the larger Kat's touch and caress. Though one part of his mind still worried, the rest wondered why he had waited so long as he complied with Chance's silent request to raise his hips.
With Jake's pants, socks and shoes discarded on the floor Chance rolled back on his heals to look at tom spread out before him dressed only in an open shirt. With a smile mixed with lust and affection he brushed a single finger up the smaller tom's half exposed cock.
"What do you like?" Chance asked quietly.
"Being with you." Jake said softly. "But I think I'd like to be bottom." He said with a warm, affectionate smile.
Chance raised an eyebrow before he smiled playfully. "First things first." He chuckled before sliding forward to slowly suck Jack's cock into his mouth, teasing barbs and bare skin with his rough tongue.
Jake shuddered with pleasure at the sensation, and closed his eyes. When he opened them he chuckled. "You're right, first things first." He said, as he deftly slid out of Chance's mouth, and then twisted around so his hands were within in reach of the tabby's belt. He deftly undid it and lowered his mate's pants so as to release the hardening cock underneath Chance claimed him again. With the expertise of a lot of fooling around, he took the hardening cock in his mouth teasing at it with the rough and then the smooth side of his tongue.
Despite his best attempt, Chance couldn't hold back much, not with Jake's smell so potent in his nose and taste teasing his tongue. With gritty determination he set to work pushing Jake to his limit, and then beyond.
Jake smiled mentally, and applied well-developed tongue skills to bringing the tabby to the edge of orgasm, and then backing off, and repeating so as to hold his mate teasingly on the edge for a while. He didn't even get through the second cycle before Chance pulled his head back and roared, pumping his seed into Jake's willing mouth.
Between the smell, the taste and the feel of his mate's orgasm Jake went over the edge himself, coming in muscular spasms that shot wave after wave of seed at his mate, coating the tabby's throat and shirt in gooey evidence.
Gradually Chance relaxed and pulled himself around to hug Jake close. "Didn't even manage to get undressed, did we?" He chuckled softly as he nuzzled the lean Kat in his arms.
"Guess not." Jake chuckled softly, snuggling against the larger Kat. "But who wanted to wait that long?" He said with a quirky smile.
"Obviously not us." Chance relaxed completely, quiet willing to fall asleep just like this.
Jake snuggled in as tight as he could, and slowly drifted to sleep in the warmth of his mate's presence.
Chance woke first, shortly after dawn and more than a little disoriented by what his senses told him: Jake was in his arms with the evidence of sex uncomfortably dry and pulling his fur odd directions. They were both partially dressed and on a bed, not in it.
Then his nose butted in with why he'd woken up: food. Hot, good food from the smell of it, was close by.
Jake opened his eyes and looked at Chance. "You're awake early." He smiled, and kissed the tabby gently.
"Food." He sniffed the air again. "Smells good too."
"That it does." He smiled. "I think we should both get a shower before investigating though, just to be polite." He grinned.
"Urr, yeah." He grinned a bit sheepishly. "Probably should."
"We can always get messy again later." The lean tom grinned, as he rolled out of bed.
"Definitely." Chance rumbled softly as he got up and pulled Jake tight for another nearly naked hug before pulling his shirt off and scrounging for what to wear after their shower.
Jake likewise tossed his shirt and quickly grabbed something casual to wear after the shower. Since he figured on spending the day working around the lair, casual was sufficient. A comfortable pair of jeans and a equally comfortable shirt in hand he headed to the shower.
"Scrub your back?" Chance offered casually in a near mimic of the encounter that started it.
"Sounds wonderful." The lean tom purred happily, as he turned the water on and adjusted it, before stepping in. As he stepped under the water, he grabbed the tabby's arm and pulled him in as well.
Chance made no resistance to his partner's lead, relaxing significantly as their usual dynamic reasserted itself.
Jake allowed the hot water to soak into his fur, before he handed the shampoo back to Chance. He purred quietly in anticipation as the tabby went to work.
Chance was much bolder in his touch this time, nuzzling, licking and kissing as worked, and not worried that the hard erection brushing Jake's lower back might be a problem.
Jake leaned into Chance's touch, smiling as he felt the tabby's hard cock against his back. "It'd be so easy to forget breakfast." He purred happily.
"Or have a nice appetizer before we head down." Chance rumbled as he playfully washed his mate's balls and sheath as part of a hug.
"As delightful as that sounds." Jake said breathing a little harder. "Breakfast smelled very close to ready."
"All right." The big tabby couldn't hide his disappointment as he moved his hands up to wash Jake's chest, pulling the smaller Kat closer in the process.
Jake turned so he could kiss Chance deeply. "There'll be lots of opportunities to play." He said as they broke, nuzzling the tabby's broad chest.
"Yes, there will be." He growled determinedly and squeezed Jake tightly.
Jake deftly grabbed the shampoo bottle and began working it into the fur his mate's chest, and then worked his way downward. "Have to clean you up to." He grinned. "Not that I'm not getting other ideas." He said shaking his head.
"I bet." Chance smirked down. "And not that I'd object."
"Somehow I didn't think so." Jake smirked, as he teasingly washed the bigger tom's cock and balls before moving down his legs. "I think between the two of us, we could be busy for quite a while."
"Sounds like a good goal." He rubbed Jake's ears and jaw as the smaller tom worked.
Jake managed to purr and chuckle at the same time. "And to think, I tried to resist this." He smirked, as he moved around to scrub the tabby's back.
"You always were stubborn about the strangest things." Chance rumbled as his breath caught in his throat. He couldn't help raising his tail up and out of the way as he gently stroked his already hard erection.
Jake couldn't resist running a wet, soapy finger around the pucker of Chance's ass. "So you ever bottom, Chance?" He asked, his breath heavy with excitement.
"Prefer it." The tabby breathed with a slight shiver.
"Never would've guessed." The lean tom rumbled in surprise, as he gently nuzzled the tabby's broad back, while a finger instinctively pressed against the ring of muscle until it penetrated the Kat's ass. "Maybe breakfast can wait a little." He breathed seductively.
"Yessss," Chance's awareness narrowed to the heat of the water raining down on them, the pressure of the tom against his back, his own hand around his cock and the teasingly delicious finger working him open.
Jake gently pushed the bigger tom to his knees, and found him not only willing, but obedient. As Chance settled into a good position, Jake worked a second finger in to stretch the tabby's ass properly. When he felt Chance was ready he slid his cock in, until the barb hairs just past the bare tip entered the warm tunnel. He paused for a moment to lean against his mate's back, while they both adjusted to the sensation.
Chance slowed his breathing with difficulty, concentrating on the reality that was happening, intent on savoring every second of it as the tom he'd desired for more than five years pressed further inside him, stretching and filling him far better than any fantasy.
Jake pushed in until his balls were against Chance's ass, and then he began thrusting in and out. Years of fooling around had honed his technique, and he applied everything he knew wanting to make this first time even more special than it was. He'd been in love with Chance for years, even if he'd resisted the idea and now he wanted things to be perfect. He didn't think he'd last very long though, he was way too turned on from the scent of his mate, and the feeling of having his cock buried in the warm tunnel.
He needn't have worried, his mate didn't last five thrusts before his roar crashed through the echoing room, taking Jake with him.
As his own roar faded, Jake lay across Chance's back nuzzling the Kat's ruff. He didn't say anything, but he loud purr coming from him said it all as Chance supported both of them against the slick shower wall as Jake gradually softened and slipped out of his body.
"You're good." The tabby finally murmured as he twisted around to pull Jake against his chest for a kiss.
"It's all in who I'm with, and you're the best." He said before claiming a deep, passionate kiss.
"We are the best." He grinned cockily as their mouths parted. "Though we may never get out of the shower at this rate."
"Yeah, but I'll bet the cook will coming looking for us sooner or later." He chuckled. "Or we'll run out of hot water, and I think the cold water would get us out of the shower." He smirked.
Chance winced. "Yeah, that would." He pulled Jake to his feet as he stood up. "A hot breakfast does sound really good."
Jake smiled, turned off the water and turned on the air jets. "As morning exercise goes, this is hard to beat."
"That it is." He chuckled as he helped Jake dry his fur.
The pair came downstairs and into the dining room/ kitchen to increasingly good smells, particularly of strong coffee.
Kimyra was standing with a large mug in one hand and her arm propping her up as a brace against the upper cupboards near the stove. She was wearing exercise shorts, a faded MCCC T-shirt, and definitely hadn't seen a brush yet.
"Morning, Kimyra." Jake said with a broad smile, as they entered.
It took her a moment to swing her head towards them and blinked before mumbling something.
"I don't think this kitchen has smelled this good before." He said taking in a big sniff of the good smells. "It's a wonderful way to wake up." He said giving her gentle kiss on the cheek.
"Grrruphhh." She yawned widely, her lower jaw opening to its full 180-degree stretch to rest to her throat, displaying her saber-teeth in full. "You going to want that dye off soon?"
"Dye?" He said blankly, and that looked at himself. "Heh. I'd forgotten I was wearing it. No big hurry, why?"
"Just wondering. I have to show you how." She yawned again and dropped another pancake on a pile to her right, then flipped six meat patties before pouring another pancake. She took a deep drink of black coffee and huffed. "Mornings suck."
"Not a morning person, huh?" He said gently. "How'd you sleep?"
"Warned you." she rocked her lower jaw forward before popping back in place. "I've had better nights, and worse. Grab a plate, since you're here."
Jake smiled. "Guess I forgot, things have been kind of crazy." He said as he helped himself while she poured another large cup of coffee.
"That's an understatement." Kimyra grumbled as she started to look slightly more coherent.
Jake decided that it was safer to agree by not saying anything, so he dug into his breakfast, as he sat down. "This is very good." He said simply after a few bites.
"Thanks." She managed a half smile after another gulp of coffee. "Wasn't sure if anyone knew how to cook around here."
"We don't starve." The lean tom chuckled. "But it's your basic bachelor tom cooking, or maybe a little better. Well, I like to think it is anyway." He smirked between bites.
"I guessed as much after a look at your supplies." She chuckled and shook her head. "If this is better than your usual fair, I guess you'll be eating better, cause I have no intention of lower standards. Poor collage student is quiet enough. Some serious grocery shopping does need to be done, though."
Jake smiled. "Well, we can avoid poor anything now. Probably the most noticeable good thing to come out of the upset of the last few days, we're back on Enforcer pay scale." He grinned, trying to put a bright side on things.
"What is that anyway?" She cocked her head at them as Chance sat down with a plateful of food. "It's not a career I've looked into."
"Enforcer pay?" Jake thought about it. "Gods, I honestly don't recall ... it's been awhile, but with the hazardous duty adjustment it's pretty damn good. Which it should be given what's expected."
"More than 60K a year?" She asked as she put four meat patties in the pan and looked a little unhappily at the empty box.
"Definitely." Jake said between bites. "Probably closer to 75K." He said figuring the old pay scale with inflation.
"Oh," she nodded. "You guys trust me with the grocery money, or is someone coming to the store with me?" She asked off hand as she pulled her own breakfast together; a serving about the size Chance had, with a refill on her coffee.
Jake smiled. "Given that neither of us likes to shop, we'll trust you. But if you'd like some company, I'll go with you."
"I'd like the company," she caught Chance silent glare. "If you don't have more important things to do."
Jake sighed. "Arguably, I probably do." He chuckled. "We've got a few days worth of clean up here. And until we finish clean up I won't know what to requisition to put things back right." He shook his head. "Gods, there's something I never thought I'd be saying in reference to SWAT, requisition."
"Stranger things have come out of the last couple days." Kimyra shrugged as she stood. "It does sound kind of weird, though."
"I'd still like to have a recording of the meeting where Feral found out the new arrangement." He chuckled. "The look on his face would almost be worth the chaos ... well, a down payment at any rate."
"You mean you didn't record it?" Kimyra raised an eyebrow. "Who's doing clean-up, since I cooked?"
"It was in Feral's office, and I didn't have a chance to install a surveillance camera." He chuckled. "He finally found the old one, just before this started. Time to design a new one, it's a little game we play." He smiled. "I'll clean up, it was definitely worth it." He said as he leaned back with a mug of coffee.
The tall Snow Leopardess shook her head. "You guys are weird, you know that? Some idea of a game."
Jake chuckled. "Comes with the territory. I mean, you have to be a little weird to take on psychotics like Dark Kat and his ilk, as a volunteer effort." He grinned broadly.
"I'll give you that much." Kimyra rolled her eyes. "When was the last time you cleaned out the fridge of dead food and new life forms?"
"The life forms put in paperwork with immigration, we're waiting to hear back." Jake chuckled in honest amusement. "But seriously, I haven't a clue."
"Right. Clean fridge, then shower, then get groceries." Kimyra chuckled as she pulled open the appliance in question and began to empty it, occasionally raising her eyebrow at some unidentifiable object.
Jake began working on cleaning up the dishes from breakfast. He smiled at the strangely domestic scene which was almost as out of place in the Lair as the word 'requisition'. But there was something pleasant about it though, it definitely seemed better.
"Ah krud!" Chance snarled as Ann Gora's special report bulletin interrupted his morning cartoons.
"What's up partner?" Jake asked from the kitchen, where he was cleaning up from making breakfast. He was beginning to worry about Kimyra, though he could understand if she needed some time alone. Of all them, her life had been most radically altered.
"We've got a mission incoming." The tabby sighed. "Anne just broke in."
"Good thing we got the ThunderTruck back to normal yesterday." He said as he walked in drying his hands on a towel. "I didn't know you could put that much firepower on it at once, though some of the firing connections were 'unique.'" He grinned broadly.
"Yeah, well ...." Chance's voice drifted off as the report started.
"Chaos reigns on the streets of MegaKat City as the traffic control system seems to have developed a mind of its own." Ann Gora began in her 'I've-seen-it-all' tone of voice. "Reports of accidents continue to pour in from across the city as rush hour becomes even more of a nightmare than usual. The Enforcers have had no explanation for the situation save that there is a 'problem' with the traffic control system. A traffic control system that was installed just last year at a sizable cost to the taxpayers."
"Well, at least that's not a SWAT mission." Chance frowned at the screen. "It's always a SWAT mission when she shows up."
The perky face of Ann was suddenly replaced by the menacing cowl of Dark Kat. "Sorry to break in Ann." He said with a strangely out of place chuckle. "But this morning's rush hour is just a small demonstration of how the Enforcer's are no longer in control. The traffic is the least of what they can't control, soon there will be nothing in the city that I don't control." He said menacingly. "If the SWAT Kats are listening they should stay out of this, unless they'd like to get their pretty new partner back in pieces." He said threateningly as the disruption faded, leaving Ann looking a bit confused.
"So there you have it folks, DarkKat claims responsibility for the morning commute with promises of more to come. As for the threat against the SWAT Kats, this reporter wonders who he's talking about. Are the SWAT Kats expanding? And if so, what do they intend to do about this threat?"
Jake was shaking in both fear and anger as he stood in the doorway. "So much for Feral's claim to have Dark Kat in custody." He said darkly, as he slowly headed for the Hanger.
"Where do we start?" Chance asked as he followed Jake down at a dead run.
"I think we start by finding out what's going on with the control system. And now we can ask Feral directly, and he has to deal with us." He said as he headed for the truck. "We can't go in costume, but Feral knows who we are anyway." He said climbing in the passenger side, out of old habit. "Good thing we took the extra weapons off."
"This is too weird." The tabby shook his head as he started the truck. "It's going to be a bitch to get there with this traffic."
"Hells, you're right. Guess we better take the cycles instead. They can weave around stalled cars and accidents better. Too bad we don't have something unmarked that flys." He said making a note to do something about that later, as he got out and headed to the cycles.
"Well, we kind of do." The tabby said hesitantly. "That second jet-thing you were working on ... it should fly."
"Gods, that wasn't nearly ready. It might fly, but the controls aren't worth the name. Kind of like flying a biplane I imagine."
Chance winced. "Cycles it is, then."
As they approached the city, traffic was all Ann had said and worse. Even with the Police and Enforcers mobilized to direct traffic, things were still pretty bad. Between the gridlock, and the accidents it took the better part of two hours to reach Enforcer HQ.
The pair showed themselves up to the Commander's office, noting the distinct lack of personnel around.
"He's in a vile mood, you two." The secretary warned as they walked by her desk.
Chance couldn't help but grin from ear to ear. With a throaty purr he loosened up his shoulders. "Good."
Jake nodded. "Thanks for the warning." He said knocking, and reflexively preparing to duck.
"Enter." Feral's deep, highly irate voice ordered.
The large tabby put a paw on one of the thick oak double doors and easily strode in as if he'd done the same everyday for the last seven years.
Jake followed him in, managing to stay completely at ease despite what was going on. He had every intention of staying completely calm. "Morning, Commander." He said politely, but in a very 'as equals' tone of voice.
"What do you two want?" He glared up from a rather unusual collection of papers and devices on his desk.
Chance shrugged easily with a smile. "Just a chat. How things going at HQ?"
"Then go away." The giant tom ordered. "I have more important things to deal with."
"As strange as this sounds," Jake broke in, "we're here to help. Dark Kat has done the impossible and made rush hour worse, in addition to abducting our teammate. So what's been going on behind the scenes before this mornings excitement?" He said in a cocky, but reasonable tone of voice.
The Commander looked up with critical eyes for a long moment before answering. "A lot of clones and sabotage. Dark Kat, Dr. Viper, at least two Enforcers and a NightWind."
"So which one of them took the municipal control system for a joyride?" Jake asked completely serious. "Somebody has compromised your computer, and that isn't Dark Kat or Viper's style."
Chance crossed his arms. "Any idea how long this has been in the works? Doesn't sound like a rush job..."
"Months, at least." He said relatively quietly. "An Enforcer and NightWind, the first is dead, the second AWAL and not with his family. They're howling for his blood."
"Probably well before Dark Kat and Viper were 'captured'. I thought that sounded too good to be true. Either that or there was money involved. They were both brought in by bounty hunters weren't they?" Jake suggested.
"Yes, but as much as I hate hunters, NightWinds don't operate on that level."
Chance snorted, eyes watching Feral unblinkingly. But he quickly lost his smirk for a serious question. "What do you have to go on?"
"To find her, nothing." Feral shook his head.
Chance nodded softly. "What about to find them? She'll be with 'em."
The tabby slowly shook his head. His eyes darted over to Jake. "It figures; they're helpless. There's no reason for us to be here. We'll have to find them on our own."
Jake put his hand on the tabby's shoulder. "Chance, we're part of the city's defense now, Kimyra isn't our only concern." He said quietly, trying to stay focused despite the raging concern. "Any idea how many systems were compromised? I doubt Dark Kat would stoop so low as to simply sabotage traffic control, that's more like a large scale practical joke for him."
"They're who I'm looking for." A deep male voice broke in as the door swing open to reveal a Sabertooth Snow Leopard easily as tall as Feral in cammie body armor and a grim expression. "Morning, Commander, Jake, Chance." He nodded at them before the door shut.
"I don't have anything new for you, Kinder." Feral growled.
"I didn't expect you to." The Xanith inclined his head. "I have something for them." He jutted his chin at the SWAT Kats, his great fangs glittering in the morning light.
His eyebrows furrowing Chance tipped up his snout, "Yeah? What is it?"
"The likely location of a few folks I'm sure you're interested in seeing." He said pleasantly, though there was no hiding the fiery rage in his eyes.
"It's more than we have currently." Jake said gratefully, ignoring his dislike of hunters. "Any help is appreciated."
"I'm coming, then." Kinder focused on Jake.
Chance's eyebrows furrowed almost instantly together but his partner beat him to the punch.
Jake blinked. "In that case, can we back up to basics? Like who are you? You clearly know who we are, which I'm going to guess means you're related to Kimyra." He said, forcing himself to not say a lot of things.
"Kinder NightWind, 'Ra's brother, and unofficial guardian." He explained simply. "I know where she is, or was at least, but you've got the firepower and skills to get her out in one piece."
Frowning softly Chance crossed his arms over his chest. "So you want an alliance?"
Kinder regarded him for a moment before answering. "Depends on how you define it. At this moment, we have the same goal and the odds for success increase dramatically if we work together for it."
"It's someplace to start." Jake said evenly. "We'll have to be subtle about firepower. Dark Kat wasn't bluffing or making empty threats." The lean Kat said calmly. "Where was she, last you knew?"
"Warehouse district." He handed a small note card over with the address.
"Bankrupt electronics manufacturer." Jake commented absently. "Big building, lots of room to hide." He said beginning to plan. "How long ago were you last sure she was there?"
Kinder glanced at his watch. "Twenty-three minutes."
"Only twenty-three minutes? Fuck they could still be there. And they've GOT to be in the city!" Chance turned to Jake, their eyes meeting.
Jake nodded. "Sounds like it's a good thing I packed unmarked equipment into our cycles." He said. "If we move quick, we may be able to get the drop on them." He said as he headed for the door.
"I have gear and an unmarked hovercraft." Kinder offered as he stepped out half a pace behind Jake.
Chance caught Feral's eyes as he turned to follow them and he gave the large kat a final smirk. "While we save the city, do us a favor and get ready to clean up the mess." The tabby left before Feral could respond.
"Hovercraft is excellent." Jake said appreciatively. "But I wouldn't go into a situation like this without the Glovatrix." He said as he double-timed it for the parked cycles. "Fortunately, there have been a few knock offs of them, so they aren't as distinctive as they were originally."
"Good ideas are always copied." Kinder chuckled as he brought his right arm up and made a small motion. A sleep, metal gauntlet clicked into place around his extended hand and forearm. "Though improving on such an original is difficult at best." He said with more than a touch of admiration.
"Don't think he doesn't try," Chance smirked quietly.
Jake smiled weakly. "Yeah, I know. It's tough one-upping myself." He chuckled as he pulled out his pair, while Chance was putting on his. "It'll be a little easier now, with an official budget." He said quietly. "Okay, where's your hovercraft?" He said as he slipped a blaster out of a concealed compartment on the bike.
"Incoming." The giant rosetted gray Kat nodded his chin up at a slightly shimmery, difficult to follow bent hawk-winged aircraft moving just above the cars to settle near them.
"Very nice." Jake said approvingly, as he watched it set down. "Armed, I presume?"
"Of course." Kinder chuckled as he opened the door. "She's an Ishad craft. Stealthed, armored and armed. Nothing like your jet, but she's good for what we usually need them for."
Chance shook his head slowly. Under his breath he muttered darkly, "Which is probably hunting down kats like us."
Kinder let the comment pass, but cataloged it quietly under the growing profile for 'Chance Furlong'.
Jake and Chance followed the larger tom into the craft. "Stealthed is a definite necessity for a mission like this." He said as he found a seat. "A western approach coming up behind the Dulvay building offers the most cover. The Duvay warehouse roof is strong enough to support a plane, and it's out of sight of the electronics warehouse due to a large front."
"I'll have the TurboKat go to alert just in case we need extraction ... or some firepower." Chance focused himself on his Glovatrix, ignoring the strange ship.
Kinder nodded as he tapped the controls, bringing the inside of the craft to life. "Strap in, keeping to the best cover means some unusual maneuvers."
Jake grinned and strapped in. "Unusual maneuvers? And here I thought you guys had been watching us." He smirked at Chance, who was barely disguising his dislike of the bounty hunter.
"I seem to recall you don't use craft like this." He chuckled. "Nothing moves like a GEH craft."
Jake chuckled. "You'd be surprised what you haven't seen. But I've yet to see a GEH that was as combat capable as a leading-edge jet, and I've see quite a few." He smiled.
"You might be surprised what I have seen. I'm NightWind Ishad, not Hunter." Kinder chuckled back. "But you're right about handling, though it's the rare jet and rarer pilot who can take it at this kind of low level." He agreed as they zipped over traffic, up and around buildings at all angles, the bottom of the craft keeping a few inches above whatever surface it was facing. "The TurboKat must be absolutely awesome to fly."
"That she is." Jake said with a smile. "So what's an Ishad, anyway? I thought you were all Hunters." He said honestly curious.
"Naw, not even close." Kinder shook his head as eyes glanced over a coded message that appeared across the window. "With a handful of exceptions, we're all in the business, but there's a lot that has to gone on besides hunting. Ishad's basically a cross between SWAT and II, and we look after the kits who head to other professions for a while. Every profession you can think of is within the family. We need them all; medics, lawyers, research, secretaries, groundskeepers ... and gods only know what you'll get asked to do UC."
Chance shook his head and hissed softly, "Just how big is this family?
"Worldwide, about the size of the Enforcers, I think." Kinder shrugged.
Jake mentally filed the info, but he was still convinced that everything else was just support for the Hunters. "Lawyers? Gee, no standards I can see." He smirked broadly, using one of the old lawyer routines from Academy humor, as he watched the city skyline shift to the familiar lower clusters of the warehouse district.
Somewhere beneath his breath Chance cursed.
"Yeah, but they're useful to fend off the other lawyers." Kinder chuckled. "All they're really good for, really."
"That and ablative heat shielding." He grinned. "Though only where you don't mind some loss of aerodynamics." He spotted the building in question. "That one there, with the big sign to hide behind."
"Got it." Kinder nodded and skimmed the craft up the side of the building to set down behind the sign. "Got a plan? I might be able to get a sensor scan of the inside, but if they're looking, they'll know it happened."
"I wouldn't trust a scan of the building. It used to manufacture electronics, which means its somewhat shielded to protect what was being manufactured, and the equipment they couldn't sell off will create shadows." Jake said as he considered the building. "Given the ease of detecting most aerial assault, they'll probably be watching the ground in more detail." He said looking over the roof. "Swingline to the roof, seems our best option. Unfortunately, we don't really know where she is in the building, or even if she's still there."
Chance slowly shook his head, "We better hope she is. If they aren't here, we might not find them."
"IR scan?" Kinder offered.
"That'll probably work, less likely to be detected too." He nodded. "Give us some idea of where the warm bodies are."
Kinder twitched in agreement and ducked back into the SEH to run the scan.
Jake kept watch on the building looking for any sign of movement. Things were quiet down there, too quiet in his opinion.
Chance quietly echoed his partner's thoughts, "DarkKat's never this quiet. Not unless something's up."
"Well, we've got a dozen on each floor, and one big enough to be Ra on the second level." Kinder reported after a moment.
"I think our best bet is to come in above then. Sneak in on the top floor and work our way quietly to the second floor, and hit the area where Kimyra is, before they realize we're there." Jake said.
Kinder nodded and ducked back inside his craft. "Setting up for remote call in, just in case."
"Always a good idea. I'd set the Turbokat up for the same, but if Kimyra's not in there I don't want anything obviously SWAT involved." He said as he considered the entry points on the roof.
"Give her a couple hours and a paint brush and it'll never be recognized again." Kinder shook his head. "She did an impressive job on you."
"I don't care normally, but if the enemy sees SWAT colors right now, they might carry out the threat. Other than that, we're going to be able to fly openly for a change." He smirked. "No way am I gonna disguise Blackie before she's had a chance to do that."
"Any chance Dark Krud knows enough to make the match?" Kinder asked quietly as he doubled checked his gear nervously.
Chance snorted. If the psycho didn't he was really as mad as they said; they'd beaten him down enough time with that jet he should be able to hear it coming, stealth flight or no.
"These days I'm not guessing what he knows." Jake said as he checked the settings on the Glovatrix. "But then I was told twice in the last few days that he was no problem, and safely put away. Nice to know my instincts were right when they said that was way unlikely." He said as he gauged the distance to the desired roof. "Dark Kat would never be captured unless he let it happen, he'd take death first."
"And that's assuming the bastard didn't find some way back from the grave," Chance gloomily added.
"Yeah, the last few days have seen a rather interesting set of policy changes on SC hunts." Kinder shook his head. "Where are we going in?"
"Next to that air conditioning unit." He pointed to one nearest them. "There's no sign of a security system near it, or the stairwell adjacent."
Kinder nodded as a small bolt and tether fired from his matt-silvered gauntlet to imbed into the stonework of the flat roof as he disconnected the other end from the gauntlet and hooked it into the frame of the SEH.
"We going?" He glanced at the two shorter Kats.
Jake nodded. "If you don't mind I'll go first, just to double check the absence of security. It almost seems too easy."
Kinder nodded without hesitation. "It's your show."
Jake nodded, and slid down the cable to the roof below where he quickly blended into shadow. After a few minutes, a green plastic ring came flying up the cable. Chance picked it up and pocketed it. "All clear." He said gruffly. "You go next, I'll cover."
Kinder nodded without comment and took the cable over, his much larger frame disappearing near where Jake's was.
Chance waited for the line to go slack again, before he slid down to join the other two.
Jake was carefully examining the stairwell. "Every tool, and skill I have says its clear. It's just strange that there's no security, it's almost as if they don't care about being found."
"Worst case scenario, the SEH'll get us out." Kinder said, though his uncertainty wasn't hard to spot.
Jake slowly led the way down the stairs till they reached the landing on the floor below. He carefully peeked out, and then slipped along the wall, motioning for the other two to follow. Slowly they made their way until they reached the stairs down to the second level.
There was a moment of tense waiting to allow a couple of guards to pass, so they could slip around on to second floor toward where the heat signal the right size for Kimyra had been, based on what Jake remembered of what Kinder had said. Suddenly a guard near the target area noticed them and a fight broke out as several guards appeared reinforce the one.
The guards weren't much of a challenge as they turned out to be no more talented than common street thugs, and between the three skilled warriors, taking them down was no problem. A few short moments later, and the three were tying their opponents up in what appeared to be a drafting room.
"Where is she?" Kinder hissed almost silently as he went nose to nose with one of them, his entire being radiating an undeniable threat.
"Where's who?" The terrified Kat asked his eyes fixed on the long teeth in front of him.
"The female Sabertooth." He growled very softly. "My sister. Your prisoner."
"We ain't got no prisoners." The shaking tom said. "And the only female is that nutcase, Delia."
"Pry my sister is all right." He dropped the Kat and turned to Jake.
"If he's just a guard, he may not be in on everything." Jake said as he finished gagging the guards. "Let's get to that heat signal." He said as he quickly checked the hallway, and then slipped out followed by the other two. At the end of the hallway, he stopped at a door. "This should be where that heat signal was." He whispered to the other two.
Kinder nodded. "I'll cover you? I'm the tallest."
"Makes sense." Jake responded before Chance could object to letting Kinder have their backs. "Door's locked." He said as he popped the lockpicks from the Glovatrix. A few seconds later, he nodded and kicked the door open. Blaster fire from the taller two, knocked down guards as Jake dove in and booted a guard's hand away from an alarm switch. The guards weren't anymore of a challenge this time then they were before and were quickly subdued, Kinder taking two down with crippling shots.
Jake growled in frustration. "She's not here. Only that one." He nodded at a black shekat about Kimyra's size that Chance was tying up.
"Must be Delia." Kinder growled in frustration as he walked up to her. "Let's make this nice and simple. You can tell me where Kimyra is, or you can find out what pain actually means."
"Pain?" She laughed coldly. "My dear boy, you don't hardly understand the concept, so you shouldn't go trying to teach it." She smirked, just before currents of electricity exploded outward from her shredding the bonds that were holding her and tossing Chance across the room. "Now, this is pain." She said as she tossed high voltage through the bodies of all three. "Disappointing though, I was hoping for SWAT Kats and all I got was two nobodies, and a member of Sucker Recoveries." She said as the voice deepened slowly, and the body became androgynous.
Kinder grinned dangerously as the electricity passed through him harmlessly. "Oh, Tegree's going to love you." He smirked as he pulled a small loop of line from his belt and snapped it into a bolo configuration before throwing it as he moved in.
Jake picked himself up off the floor slowly, and made a note to insulate the new body armor he was going to design.
Delia agilely dodged the bolo, and reassessed the situation not liking the fact that the largest of her opponents was insulated. "Well, maybe some other time." She said as she disappeared into the nearest electrical outlet.
Chance leaned against a wall, rubbing his head. "Just what we needed, HardDrive's less sane sister."
Kinder tapped the side of his armored helmet to activate the comm link. "Retrieval failure by trap. Continuing search." He tapped it again before turning to the guys, fire in his ice blue eyes. "Any objections to a thorough shake-down of this place?"
"Sounds like a plan to me." Jake said eagerly. "Starting with these guards. If they've go two-way radios we may have a lead." He said as he started a very thorough search of the guards.
"If you think one actually knows something, I can find it out." The Saber-toothed Snow Leopard offered unpleasantly as he began tapping controls on his gauntlet.
During a search of one guard, Jake came up with a small, black cylindrical object. "Here we go." He said pleased. "Long range pocket communicator incorporating state of the art circuitry, and piggybacking off the municipal power grid. Nice design." He said analytically. "Any gear in the hovercraft that can track long distance comm? Blackie could, but she's too visible."
"She should be able to, and if not, that can be fixed quickly enough." Kinder nodded, the guard he was searching looking immensely relieved to have the big Kat's attention elsewhere. "We don't hold back when it comes to retrieving our own, especially the civilians."
"Guess we have something in common. Imagine that." He said handing the device to Kinder, as he bent to examine the socket Dalai had disappeared into. He put two leads from the Glovatrix into the circuit. He turned to smile up at the bigger Kat. "Whoever she was, she's definitely using HardDrive's technology. The carbonization pattern at this outlet is the same one we saw before. Funny, Feral never mentioned HardDrive being involved." He observed as an afterthought.
"Do we really want to give any good hints who you really are with the guards around?" Kinder said quietly as he squatted next to Jake.
Jake chuckled. "These guys aren't going anywhere." He said quietly. "Slip of the tongue though." He said as got up from analyzing the outlet. "Don't think we're going to get much more from this room." He before letting small darts fly from the twin Glovatrixes. "They'll be getting a good night's sleep." He said as he left the room.
" Dark Kat, Dr. Viper, HardDrive and a major plot." Kinder shook his head. "Reminds me of that multi-villain coalition Dark Kat worked up a few years back. You lost a jet in that."
"We stopped it though." Chance added gruffly.
"And the city replaced the jet, after a fashion. Took weeks to make it up to specs." Jake said quietly. "A very well-developed plot, considering this had to be planned in advance of Dark Kat and Dr. Viper being 'captured'." He shook his head. "We've got to get to the bottom of this before DK does more than screw up morning rush hour." He said very quietly as he peeked around the corner to look down the stairs to the main warehouse area.
"Or MegaWar IV starts." Kinder shivered slightly. "This isn't limited to MKC."
"Oh, there's something more widespread going on?" Jake stopped and turned to face the sabertooth.
"Beyond involving the NightWinds, yes." Kinder nodded quietly. "There are links to this plot coming in from all corners. Every major city in involved. It's not enough for a court, but it's enough to put us on high alert."
"Which would tend to indicate somebody other than DarkKat calling the shots." Jake said quietly. "He's always been obsessed with MegaKat City." He shook his head. "Is what Feral said true, that one of the NightWinds shot an Enforcer?" He asked curiously. "Whatever else I may think, that seems inconsistent."
"Yes and no." Kinder sighed in frustration. "A clone we accepted as one of our own did. Same technology that produced the Dark Kat and Dr. Viper we captured. We're assuming the Enforcer that shot his partner the next day is also a cone, as no remains of any of them have been found, and that's just not possible. It takes a lot of effort to block our tracers."
"Unless the tracer was deactivated." Jake said quietly. "I take it that Kimyra has one of these tracers, and this was the last place you got a signal from."
"Yes, she does. They don't have an off, not even death turns it off, though it does change the signal." He explained. "Removing it allows it to be destroyed, but it's a fatal operation, and the device still sends a blip when it's removed. But it's still a signal, and can be blocked." He added.
"It's microcircuitry though, it could probably be terminally scrambled by a focused radiation stream, harmful to the person it was in but probably not fatal." Jake suggested absently. "But any signal can be jammed, especially if the base of operations were subterranean." He said quietly. "We've got a dozen more to neutralize downstairs, unless everyone is feeling really aggressive I think a little more discrete method than the frontal assault is called for."
"No problems here." Kinder shook his head. "I just hope they're being shielded."
"So do I." He said beginning a stealthy descent to the ground floor. He watched two guards turn the far corner before moving along the wall in the opposite direction to get the drop on them.
Kinder expertly hooked the confiscated radio into the SEH's system.
The signal was damn difficult to track, since it did appear to be using the power grid as a large antenna array. After 30 minutes they still hadn't pinned down which direction the signal was going.
"You said your jet can track this?" Kinder looked up in frustration. "It's past the tech I have here.
Jake nodded. "I worked up a similar idea to allow for secure communications."
"Call it, or go there?" The big tom asked as he tried to calm himself a bit.
"Maybe we'd better go there." Jake suggested. "Less likely to be give away our involvement that way."
The Sabertooth nodded and strapped in before lifting off to zoom across the inlet towards the salvage yard.
Jake was beginning to think the day just couldn't be anymore surreal. He had invited someone into the Hanger, who'd been the enemy the day before. He kept one hand on Chance's shoulder, to reassure his distinctly unhappy partner as Kinder flew to the Hanger without directions.
"Have you changed the command frequencies since Wednesday?"
Jake nodded. "Changed all the frequencies, and the scramble pattern as well. We're actually in the midst of a full security redeployment. We didn't have nearly enough."
"Good." Kinder nodded with honest approval in his ice-blue eyes. "If you'd like a full test for holes when you're ready, just ask. You're protecting a NightWind now too, that makes you family. Should I stop in the yard itself, or will you open the ramp?"
"Thanks, you'll understand it'll take a little while to be quite that comfortable. But we can't risk someone noticing your very out of place hovercraft, so I'll open the ramp." He said, as he put a reassuring hand on Chance's shoulder.
The Sabertooth nodded understandingly as Jake opened the ramp entrance. "Tight fit." He murmured respectfully as he swept in and down threw the hold for the TurboKat's lift, settling next to the larger craft with an appreciative look on his face for her.
"Space was a premium when we built the place." He said, as he disembarked. "Let me see the comm unit."
Kinder nodded after a second and handed the object over, his eyes never leaving the two-seater black jet. "Description doesn't even begin to do her justice. Incredible."
"Work of a lifetime." Jake said proudly, as he opened the hatch and climbed into the gunner's station. He expertly hooked the comm unit into the specially designed system. "It'll take a few minutes to warm up and start working through the system." He said feeling at ease for once. "There's only so much you can understand about something when you look at it from a distance."
"Don't I know it." Kinder whistled low in his throat as he touched the fuselage.
"Just be real careful touching her, pilots can be awfully possessive about their planes, and hers doesn't like you much." Jake said with a look at Chance, acknowledging the tabby's anger while at the same time asking him to hold back. Years as partners had led to a lot of non-verbal communication working.
Kinder nodded and cast a look at the tabby. "Anything personal, or just my family?"
"Let's just say that neither of us has any love for hunters, or your family's operation. I'm just willing to set past difficulties aside, to deal with more important issues." Jake said as he made a few adjustments. He was pretty sure that Chance wouldn't say anything outside of the absolutely necessary to Kinder.
The Xanith nodded and waited for Jake to give them the next location to hit.
Five minutes later, Jake jumped down carrying the comm unit and ran over to a pile of loose and spare parts. After another five minutes he came back carrying a strange looking contraption of wires and circuits. "This'll do the job in a mobile mode. Got a fix on them east of the city about a hundred miles."
"Good." Kinder growled softly with a sharp nod. "Anything you want from here before we quietly crash their party?"
Jake quickly threw some special toys into a plain gray duffel bag. "I figure if we're going to a party I should bring party favors." He grinned impishly. "Wait'll they get a load of my confetti."
Kinder nodded and slid into the driver's seat of the SEH. "Then let's get going."
Jake and Chance got in, with Jake getting into the front passenger seat with his gadget. "Whenever, you're ready." He said quietly.
Kinder nodded and slid into the driver's seat of the SEH. "Then let's get going."
As they drew close to the signal, it turned out be somewhere in a dense section of forest, too dense for the SEH to come in from above. The only approach was a forest road.
Jake looked at the road. "I'll bet that road is sensor lined, and probably trapped too. It'll take longer, but we might want to approach on foot."
"There's two hovercycles that can go anywhere we can on foot." Kinder offered as he set down and activated the SEH's stealth field.
"Excellent." Jake said approvingly. "I'll let you two drive, and I'll ride behind Chance." He suggested. "Sooner we get there the less time they have to spot us."
"Very true." The giant Xanith nodded as he pulled out a heavy riffle and some soft body armor. "It's not as strong as the form-fitted suits, but it'll help against that electrical attack, and a lot of kinetic." He said as he held the suits out.
Jake took one suit and looked it over with an inventor's critical eye. "Nice, flexible. I'd been meaning to work on something similar but the other gear soaks a lot of time." He said as he put it on, and handed the other to Chance, with a significant look.
Chance put the armor on silently as Kinder pulled two very cyclotron-like hovercycles.
Jake smiled, and examined one of the hovercycles closely. Satisfied he gestured to Chance. While he was waiting for the Tabby, he pulled a small digital display out of his 'bag of tricks.' "This is where the signal is coming from, distance and bearing." He said indicating the info on the pad to Kinder.
The gray sabertooth nodded as he filed the information away. "What's the gameplan?"
"I think first we need to get close enough to see where the signal is, what kind of building. We can't plan a break in, till we know what we're breaking into." Jake smirked.
Kinder chuckled with a bemused nod and turned to his own cycle. "You've got the tracker he nodded Jake and Chance to take the lead.
The 'target' turned out to be what appeared to be a large hunting cabin just off a dirt road. Two old beat up pickups were parked out front, and a graying black and white tom sat on the porch cleaning a shotgun.
Jake looked at the other two. "Not quite what I was expecting." He whispered.
"And definitely not an appearance I'd trust." Kinder growled softly as he scanned for any indication his suspicions were correct.
A brief scan revealed that the building's rustic exterior was over a steel shell, which housed numerous electronics, and which was probably the entrance to a subterranean facility, based on the lack of power source in the above ground part. There were at least eight warm bodies inside the building, and energy signatures indicated weapons present. The scan also detected that the 'shotgun' the oldtimer was cleaning was, in fact, a perfectly functional blaster.
"Well armed, well prepared, and most likely expecting trouble." Kinder grumbled as he checked his own gear over by reflex.
"Which means this has probably been here awhile." Jake said quietly. "How many, in the way of opposition?"
"Eight and energy weapons above ground, no doubt more in the complex below." Kinder shifted slightly for a better view. "Don't trust what you see either, that shotgun is a blaster."
"Not good odds, with them having a defensive position." He muttered. "Any sign of ventilation? Some alternate way of access."
"There's something on IR to the south east, can't tell what yet, though."
"Might be ventilation." Jake suggested. "We'll have to swing wide, around the building. You lead, Kinder. You know where it is." He said quietly.
The giant sabertooth nodded easily and headed out without a sound, paying careful attention for traps, and moving with the skill of one who'd done this kind of thing a lot, and trained well on top of it.
Jake grudgingly admitted to himself that the sabertooth was good; even if he still didn't care for the company he worked for. They came to the edge of a clearing with a large stump in the middle. The 'stump' was clearly the source of the IR, which was diffusing in streams off to the sides, like a ventilation port, vented sidewise so as to not reveal itself aerially.
"You have to give them credit for the cover." Kinder shook his head. "This took some time and effort."
Jake nodded, as he looked around for camera, sensors or the like. "Any sign of anything like motion detectors around it?" He said quietly, not seeing anything.
"Not that I detect, though I'd rather test than find out the hard way." He nodded his chin to the stump and pulled a small object from one of his form-fitting body armor's pockets.
"Why don't we just gone in and get them?" Chance growled softly as his patience began to wear truly thin.
Jake put his hand on his mate's shoulder. "'Cause we don't know where in the complex she is. If we just charge in they might do something rash, and she might get hurt or killed." He said gently. "The longer we have without them knowing we're here the better."
"Your basic sensor tripper." Kinder showed a metallic sphere half the size of his palm. "If there's anything we would set off, this should hit it first, and give them a false alarm."
"Good idea. I've got a few of those too, but we may need more as we go." Jake nodded.
With a flawless motion Kinder sent the sphere whizzing over the stump, crackling slightly as it went. He waited a moment after it had handed before checking his gauntlet. "Well something got set off in the stump. What, I can't tell."
"Well, it didn't explode, or shoot off weapons, so I think that's a good sign." He said moving forward carefully. "Shouldn't take long to disarm the security."
It took a couple of minutes before Jake disconnected several leads and wires from the 'stump', and slid its top aside revealing a ladder. "Okay, I'm going first so I can disarm any more security." He said as he climbed into the hole.
"You or me first?" Kinder asked of Chance as Jake disappeared.
Chance answered by climbing down after Jake. Catching up with him at a junction point where the Kat was working on bypassing the security and lock on a door.
As Jake unlocked the door, and opened it, he looked at he structure of the door for a moment, and then led the way in through the ventilation duct. While easy enough for Jake, it was a little tight for the much larger sabertooth. Though Kinder displayed a fair amount of adaptation at moving in tight spaces.
"Kinder, do you have anything with you that could pick up those homing signals?" Jake asked as he stopped about fifty feet in.
"Yes," he nodded easily and tapped a flush spot on his gauntlet.
"Good, cause I noticed a shielding circuit on that hatch. I figure since we're under the shield, you might be able to pick the homing signal up, if she's here."
"Northwest 200 feet, and about 100 feet down." He reported, though the grimace and flair of rage behind his ice-blue warned of more.
Jake nodded, and started moving quietly through the duct system. It took some roundabout work to find ducts going the right way. After considerable crawling they reached a vent opening. "We're on the right level." Jake reported quietly. "But a section of the duct system is under repair, we'll have to cut across open ground."
"Who's covering?" Kinder asked simply.
"Well, I'm the best shot, at least between me and Chance." Jake said easily.
The Snow Leopard nodded and scanned the area and his instincts before making a bolt of gray across the space.
The automatic blaster that snapped out of the ceiling was glopped by a mini-cement gun before it fired. Chance made golden blur following Kinder. Once they were both across, Jake slung his bag over his shoulder and bolted across the open space to join them as Chance guarded his crossing and Kinder kept and eye out for incoming trouble.
"Okay, this hallway should get us to where you said we needed to go." Jake said pointing to a hallway across from them.
Kinder nodded grimily as he set the weapons mode on his gauntlet. "Is there a med kit in that bag of tricks?"
"As much as I could get on short notice." He said as he changed settings on both of his Glovatrixs.
"She'll need it." He growled quietly before stepping into the hall.
Jake nodded, and let the sabertooth take the lead, with Chance covering the rear.
Kinder quietly positioned himself to take the first sweep of the room as Jake opened the electronic lock. His mind and body on ground-in reflex he put a perfect armor piercing incendiary shots into each crocodile-monster guard's chest before his brain even comprehended what had been his sister.
Strapped to an advanced medical bed was the battered and hunkered form of a primal Saber-toothed Snow Leopard, a six hundred plus pound beast that hadn't existed for millennia. Among its many injuries, one of its saber-teeth had been torn out, taking a chunk of the upper jaw with it, and the lower half of the other had been shattered.
Not far behind her was a second bed with an unconscious black on charcoal tabby tom strapped to it.
Jake looked around, not seeing Kimyra he got a little confused. "Okay, Kinder. I thought the tracker said Kimyra was here?"
Chance recognized the tabby as a acquaintance from the Enforcers, and quickly unstrapped him as Kinder tried to remember how to talk as he released the unconscious great cat.
"Oh, Ra." He cupped his sister's battered and broken face. "I didn't expect anything like this." Kinder lowered his head to touch foreheads. "I'm sorry, sis."
Jake blinked twice, in astonishment. "That's Kimyra?" He asked incredulously, as he pulled out the medical kit.
"Yes." Kinder pulled a handful of objects from one of his breast pockets. "Markings and scent are individual. She's very badly injured to revert to the primal form."
"How do we get her out of here?" He talked mostly to himself, as he tried to apply Enforcer first aid training to a Sabertooth. "Assuming I can disable security base-wide, that still leaves moving her."
"An RSF." He growled from deep in his chest. "This place is about to get nuked."
"Want me to take down their systems anyway?" He asked quietly.
"Every bit of help is going to be welcome." Kinder sighed as he spread a clear, shimmering gel across the broken teeth and other wounds. "Can you get out of here with your friend?" He nodded his chin to the black tom Chance was checking over. "You aren't going to want to be in the complex when it goes boom."
"Well, you three are going to be here, right?"
"Jake goes with you." Kinder said softly. "I'll be going with Ra."
Jake found a junction where a third bed could go. He pulled out several electronic gadgets from the bag, and wired them together. He then ripped open the junction, and wired his gadget into it, and soldered it in place using a micro-welder in the Glovatrix. "How long's he got till your RSF shows up?" Jake asked while checking connections.
"A few minutes." Kinder shrugged. "They'll wait for you to get out."
"I should stay with Kimyra." Jake said softly. "I owe her that." He said very seriously.
"Jake, you're not a doctor. That's what she needs." Chance said trying to reassure the lean tom.
"Jake, you can be at the hospital before she comes too." Kinder focused on the small tom. "You three need to get out of here, now."
"Okay, which hospital?" He said as he flipped a couple of switches. "Chance, get moving, I'll follow."
"Like hell I am." The tabby growled as he picked up the unconscious tom. "I'm not leaving you behind."
"NightWind HQ." Kinder supplied as he checked his gauntlet again.
The box began to spark and whine. "It's supposed to do that." Jake explained as he herded Chance out of the room. "Just make sure it's understood, we don't have a price tag anymore." He said as the lights flickered, and then failed. Emergency lights started to come on, and then they failed. "Come on, Chance. Move!" He said as he dodged around the tabby and led the way to the elevator shaft which he pried open with a spreader he grabbed out of the pack. "Good, elevator's below us. Also good, that these are loaded with the new high tensile fiber cable, 50 yards of it." He said as he fired a grappling line straight up. "Come on, Chance. Time to get out of here."
Jake cut open the roof of the elevator shaft with the laser in the Glovatrix, and kicked it open. Once, Chance and the unconscious tom were on the roof he looked around for a good place to bring in the TurboKat. He spotted another SEH hanging around the stump and pointed it out to Chance. "That'll be our ride. Come on." He said as he climbed down a maintenance ladder.
"Why don't we just call our own ride?" Chance asked following with the tom over his shoulder.
"'Cause we're not in costume, and he doesn't know who we are." Jake said. "He might come 'round at any time."
"Guess so, I just don't like relying on them."
"Chance, for the moment I think we're on the same side." He said as he led the way into cover, and then quickly toward the stealthed SEH.
"Ah, good, you made it out." A heavily built female NightWind taller than Kinder, and wearing the SWAT version of his armor, greeted them. "As soon as yet get in, we'll finish this."
Jake got in, and motioned to Chance to follow, giving him a look that clearly said this wasn't the time for his problems with the NightWinds. "Right now, they're blind and pretty well disabled. Assuming they had the luxury they'd have a major rewiring job ahead of them." He chuckled darkly.
"They won't." The female promised coldly as she took the pilot's seat and powered up. "Okay ... the kids are out, the fireworks should start in a minute or two."
Jake bristled silently at the 'kids' designation, but decided to let it pass. He sat back quietly, next to Chance, and waited for things to happen as they lifted off.
"I'm Cyris." The NightWind introduced herself as they zoomed away at full speed. "Do you want to drop him off at a local hospital, go home, or head up to HQ to wait for Kimyra to get out of surgery? And Jake, the 'kids' are Ra and Kinder."
"You managed to get them out already?" Jake asked in disbelief.
"Yeah, they're out." She nodded grimily. "Medical's working a report up on her now." She motioned to one of the readouts.
"How the heck did you do that? No way could Kinder have moved her by himself. She was way too injured, and too heavy as a quadruped Sabertooth." He said looking at the readout, then an idea came to mind. "No wonder he wanted us out of there. Only way it could've been done is matter transmission, which only exists in theory. Supposedly nobodies done anything with it, cause it's too expensive to be practical." He chuckled. "I thought there was something fishy about insisting that we leave to avoid the fireworks while he stayed."
"They weren't kidding about you." She raised a heavy eyeridge in surprise. "Well, it is too expensive to be practical, but practical isn't an issue when it comes to this."
"No arguments here." He looked at the readouts. "Can your docs fix her up?" He asked, letting more concern then he meant to leak into his voice.
"If she survives the heavy repairs going on now, yes." She nodded quietly. "She'll have to go under for cosmetics a few times to get her face and figure back from the look of it, though."
Jake relaxed marginally. "I'm not very good at medical stuff." He admitted reluctantly. "Do they think she'll survive?" He asked honestly worried.
Cyris flipped a switch before looking over to actually read the report. "Very guarded. Ra translation; she'll live as long as she wants to. Girl's too stubborn to die if she hasn't already."
Jake relaxed fractionally. "That's good." He said quietly, before sitting down. He felt a combination of useless and helpless and he didn't like either one.
"If you'll follow me, we'll get your friend checked out and more detailed news on Ra." Cyris nodded up as she powered down the SEH inside a large underground complex.
Jake nodded and followed quietly, while Chance carried the still unconscious tom. "From what I remember of first aid, it'd better to get him on stretcher. Just in case there are internal injuries." Jake suggested as the door slid open, revealing two NightWinds in medical whites.
"I radioed ahead." She jerked her chin towards it.
"Good thinking." Jake said as he helped Chance set the tom down gently so the medical staff could take over.
"Does he have a name?" One of the orderlies asked.
"Mason Rykara, he's an Enforcer detective." Chance said ill at ease.
The orderly nodded as the pair took the still unconscious tomkat away, while Cyris led the SWAT Kats into another hallway. They walked in uneasy silence down the dozen yards of the hall, decorated with pictures of dozens of NightWinds of various ranks and titles.
Cyris pushed open the door at the end to a remarkably typical looking waiting room. "Already had to sedate him?" She chuckled nervously at her kin sitting behind the desk.
"To no surprise." The female chuckled back. "These the guys he said to expect?"
"Yeah, he's Jake, and the tabby's Chance." Cyris indicated each with her chin.
"Well, have a seat, or ask questions." The receptionist nodded with easy friendliness. "I'm Lissa."
Chance remained silent, and somewhat on edge. Jake looked around. "Just waiting to find out more on Kimyra's condition, really." He said quietly, though clearly worried.
"She'll survive." Lissa said with assurance. "The cosmetic damage can be repaired, at least to a great extent, though she'll have to stay here for a while, until the internal damage has been repaired and she's off fluids."
Jake relaxed a great deal. "That's good to know." He said quietly, and leaned against Chance. He figured there was a good long wait ahead, and Chance needed reassuring as much as he needed the support. The tabby put his arm around his smaller partner, and held him. He might not care about the shekat, but she was important to Jake.
"If you'd like a more comfortable place to crash, I doubt she'll out of surgery for a few hours, from the sound of it." Cyris offered quietly.
Jake looked up, and stretched. "Probably a good idea. These are nice chairs, but I think a few hours in them will be a bit much."
"About a normal wait at the doctors office." Chance chuckled quietly.
"Would you like to be assigned quest quarters here, or go home?" She asked.
"We're here, might as well stay till she's awake at least." Jake said looking Chance, and was relieved that the tabby let him have this one with only a slight look of displeasure. "As long as that's not going to cause a problem."
"I wouldn't offer if it would be a problem." She smiled at the pair and walked over the tap several things into the receptionist's computer upside down. "We always keep a third of our rooms open for uninjured guests." She stood and turned around. "If you'll come with me."
Jake nodded and followed with Chance a half a pace behind him, keeping an eye on everything as they passed through several intercepting halls as they passed from the hospital to a more hotel-like area without a visible barrier.
"Room 3174." She placed her palm on a black square next to the door. "We can set it up for you inside, for both palm and voice commands."
"That would be appreciated, thank you." Jake said still a little amazed at the set-up. He was kind of glad they hadn't declared war on this group; he wasn't convinced they would've won.
"First, let's get the room to know you." The Saber-toothed Snow Leopardess led them into a comfortably appointed, almost luxurious suite as large as an entire floor of the Garage.
The main room was two couches and several comfortable chairs made an entertainment area around a coffee table and big-screen TV the size of their maps in the Hanger.
A dinning room table was set as a separate area beyond that, with an open archway giving access to a small but well equipped kitchen.
On the far wall were grand double sliding doors that stood half way open, showing an equally large bedroom with a canopied king sided bed.
"I chose the closest room to Kimyra's recovery room." Cyris commented as she opened a finely carved cabinet on the left side of the wall with the entry door. "It's only really meant for one, but between your smaller size, and the nearest suite for two is three levels away, I figured you wouldn't mind." She continued as she accessed the computer system from the consol previously hidden in the cabinet.
"I think we can manage." Jake smiled politely, managing to keep a completely wise-ass grin of his face.
"Here, just place you palm on the scanner pad and state you name clearly." She instructed easily.
Jake walked over and put his palm where instructed. "Jake Clawson." He said clearly. "Your turn, buddy." He said quietly to Chance as he stepped away.
Chance looked daggers at the scanner, before reluctantly putting his palm on it. There was a moment of hesitation. "Chance Furlong." He said, and then backed off behind Jake.
"The only room you can't see is the bathroom, and it's off the bedroom." She indicated the double doors. "Those close, if you want. Press '0' on the phone if you have questions, and you'll be called when she's out of surgery."
"Thank you, you've been most helpful." Jake said sincerely. "Much nicer place to wait."
"Yes, especially as it may be several hours." She said quietly. "Do you have any questions right now?"
"Not at the moment, but I think what we really need to do is relax." He said quietly. "It's been one hell of a day."
"That is an understatement." She breathed. "You can also call if the kitchen doesn't have something appealing." Cyris motioned with her chin before turning to leave.
"We'll keep that in mind, thanks." Jake said with a smile.
Chance waited until he was very sure she was gone before pulling Jake into a fierce hug and kiss, hours worth of tension coming out in the single display.
Jake held onto the kiss as long as Chance would let him, turning frustration and worry into passion, as he melted into the tabby's embrace.
"Sweep the place and let's lay down." The tabby whispered into his mate's ear.
"Looks like the maid's already been here." Jake grinned, as he activated the bug detector / stomper built into the Glovatrix. He watched the digital counter to see if there were any.
"All clear, just two location sensors like we have back in the lair." He purred lightly as he tossed the Glovatrix into a nearby chair. "Enough business talk." He said as he reached up to claim a passionate kiss.
"Muurrr, I like a Kat of action." Chance rumbled as he swung Jake up and carried him to the grand bed, while the lean tom nuzzled him with affectionate playfulness. At the same time, Jake worked with one expert hand to open the front of Chance's shirt so he could run his hand through the soft gold fur as they settled on the grand bed.
After a fierce kiss, Chance quickly went to stripping both of them, intent on being nude with his mate this time.
Jake chuckled quietly, while helping Chance get him stripped. He got very distracted, however, when the tabby's shirt came off since he was more interested in running his hands through the soft fur over hard muscle.
"Oh, no, you're not distracting me this time." The tabby chuckled as he pulled his shoes off. "We're going to be naked."
"Yes, love." Jake purred, with a lustful look for the tabby as Chance's jeans slid to the floor.
"You know, if you'd undressed yourself, we could be playing by now." The naked tabby chuckled as he lunged for his mate.
Jake chuckled broadly, as he and Chance both worked at undressing him. In the middle of removing his shirt, he paused to grab a kiss from Chance, only to find his pants had been removed. Eventually, the lean tom was lying on the bed naked, grinning up at Chance as the bigger tom kissed his way down Jake's neck and chest.
"Now, how about trying what we started last night?" He grinned down at eager amber eyes.
Jake smiled invitingly, and rolled over to hands and knees with his ass in the air. He flipped his tail teasingly at Chance, and then out of the way. "Any time your ready, love." Jake purred lustily.
"I think I'll always be ready for you." The tabby chuckled as he pressed his dripping cock against the tight, puckered opening and pressed forward until the smooth tip was inside.
Jake was a little surprised by the roughness of Chance's approach, and thankful that he'd been with a tom just the night before this all started. He forced himself not to start when Chance put his jaws on his scruff. It wasn't something everyone did, but he'd heard of it. It all came down to trust, and he trusted Chance without reservation.
Then it all passed and he moaned happily at the sensation of having Chance inside him as he was stretched opened by the first even thrust and pause as they settled in and around each other.
With an aggressively deep rumble of arousal, desire and pleasure Chance pulled most of the way out, taking the time to savor every tweak and pluck the motion made to the hyper-sensitive hairs it pulled forward.
"Yes." The lean Kat growled in pleasure, as he shuddered at the prickling sensations from the barb hairs as the pace picked up.
"Ohhh, yesss." Chance groaned into his mate's scruff as he arched his back, driving deeper into the tom under him as he neared the edge.
Jake moaned loudly in pleasure as he approached the edge himself. But he wanted to make this last as long as possible so he held back from anything that would make it go faster.
But his mate had no such inclinations as Chance pounded hard into his mate, suddenly reaching under Jake to press the smaller tom's cock against his belly in a clumsy attempt to stroke him.
Jake smiled obligingly between moans, and guided the tabby's large hand to properly stroke him. The combination of hand stroking and the pounding Chance was giving him pushed him very close to the edge, but he continued to hold back. Growing more excited he started thrusting up against his mate's downward thrusts.
It was all too much for Chance as he began to grunt with each thrust, his entire body tightening to force each sprit of seed deeper into his mate.
The spurts were too much, and Jake began spurting his own seed on to the comforter, until he was spent and panting. As he collapsed on to the bed, he did his best to guide Chance to fall alongside instead of on top of him, a maneuver the tabby did he best to help with.
A little past coherent speech, Chance just rumbled his contentment as he held Jake close.
Jake simply snuggled in close to his mate, and basked in the warm, secure feeling as they let sleep take them for a while.
"Ah, you're so cure when you're asleep." Chance crooned as Jake opened one eye to look at him.
Jake playfully bapped him on the head. "Good thing you're such a hunk. I don't take 'cute' from just anyone." He smirked broadly, and quickly kissed him on the cheek before Chance rolled his head to make it much more intimate.
"Thank you." He quietly nuzzled the lean tom in his arms.
"For calling you a hunk?" He shrugged. "You're welcome." He said as he snuggled into the embrace.
"Well, that was nice too." Chance squeezed him tightly. "For saying yes."
"I'm really glad you didn't let me off with the first no." He said as he melted in the tabby's arms. "I would've hated to miss out on this." He purred contentedly.
"Me too." The tabby smiled as he affectionately groomed Jake's hair back into place. "Me too."
"Guess sometimes when you look for something, you miss that you had it at home all along." Jake said with tender affection.
"It took me a few years to." Chance chuckled softly. "I think we both win the dense tom award for this one."
"I guess we should just let people continue to think we were sleeping together all along. Looks better for us that way." He smirked. "Having the award is one thing, but hanging it in the front office is another."
"Very true, though at least now I can stop sidestepping about when we'd be making an announcement." He chuckled.
"I had someone ask me that once...I told them they missed it. They laughed and told me that no one would've missed that announcement." He chuckled. "That was the week before graduation." He grinned broadly.
Chance shook his head, laughing deeply. "What a pair we are. Whole friggin city thinks we're bonded, except us."
"Well, we never did do anything the way anybody expected." Jake chuckled quietly. "Why should this be any different?"
"No reason at all, now that it's settled." The tabby rumbled as he pulled Jake up for a long, involved battle of tongues, which Jake threw himself into passionately.
Slowly Chance broke it off and traced his fingers along Jake's face as he watched his mate. "Do you really love her, beyond the obligation I know you feel for what she did and went through?"
Jake thought about it for a while. "Yeah, I do Chance. And I think it's partly what she did because it shows what kind of person she is when it really counts. I know you don't like her, but she really is a good Kat." The lean tom said with firm conviction.
"You want her for a mate."
"I think so, but we've only been on one date so it'd be jumping the gun. Who knows, after what happened she may not be so keen on being part of SWAT." Jake said quietly, clearly unhappy. "Or part of my life. It's not like things haven't gone completely downhill for her since she met me." A slight odor of guilt entered Jake's scent with the last statement.
"Jake, it is not your fault, any of it." Chance said firmly. "Crap happens, and she had at least some understanding what she was getting into."
"I guess." He sighed. "Doesn't make it any easier. All I know is want whoever did that to her, and I want them dead." There was a deadly edge behind the Kats voice.
"Jake, let her family do it." He made the Kat look him in the eyes. "You've seen this set-up, what they did, found us out. Let them take it."
"Chance, they did it to get to us, not NightWind." He said quietly. "We need to make it clear that its not open season on SWAT Kats, not even new ones."
The big tabby sighed, knowing he'd just lost the argument. "I'll try to make peace with her, just don't expect me to sleep in the same bed, okay?"
I never did, Chance." Jake said gently, giving the tabby an affectionate nuzzle. "It's too much for me to ask of either of you." Jake said quietly, leaving out that he rather liked the thought of between cuddled between the two. He just accepted that some dreams were meant to stay that way.
"We'll make it work," Chance murmured softly with a fierce hug. "If she loves you half as much as I do, we'll make it work. But I still don't like her family."
"I'm not entirely crazy about them myself, and I don't get the idea they're crazy about us." He said quietly. "I think they're being decent to us, 'cause of Kimyra." He said as he melted in to the hug.
"I guess if she keeps us out of a war with these guys, I can't hate her too much." Chance rumbled with a protective fervor. "I wouldn't fancy our chances." Suddenly an idea spread a secretive smile across his face. "Maybe we can get some goods out of them, as long as they're in-laws, and that supportive of her."
Jake chuckled. "I was thinking that earlier, about the avoid a war. Though I think we'll be able to do decent equipment-wise, now that we actually have a budget to work with. Should speed repairs on the Turbokat up significantly."
"Yeah, maybe we could actually have some free time." Chance whispered with a tender kiss. "Like now?" He ran a teasing hand down Jake's back and ass. "You still haven't mounted me."
You want it now?" The lean Kat asked teasingly, as he slipped a hand between them to fondle his mate's balls.
"Any time you're willing." He murred and shifted his legs to give better access.
Jake growled lustily, as he continued to tease his mate to erection while slipping out of the embrace. He got behind the tabby, and teased at his asshole with one fingertip, first pushing at the pucker without penetrating, and then running around the edge as Chance shivered and shifted to his hands and knees.
As he felt his partner react, and how he positioned himself, Jake slowly realized the tabby probably hadn't been a bottom with many toms before, if any.
Jake thought it figured that would be the case. He somehow doubted there was lube stocked in their hotel room accommodations, but they definitely needed some. Breaking the mood was not Jake's style, but he didn't want to hurt Chance. "Hold on buddy, gotta find some lube." He said quietly, as he darted to the bathroom hoping to find something in a medicine cabinet that would work. It hadn't been something he'd put in the bag of toys.
Much to his surprise a sizable bottle of high quality lube was sitting there right above his eye level.
Silently thanking whoever had done the stocking, he ran back to Chance with the lube. He thoroughly lubed his cock, and then decided to ask. "Chance, have you ever been mounted before?" He asked gently, clearly being concerned not judgmental.
"A couple times." The tabby looked over his shoulder, confusion clearly written in his features.
"Okay, just needed to be sure." He said reassuringly, as he slowly worked on lubed finger into the tabby's asshole, until the knuckle was past the first ring of muscle. He slowly worked it until he felt the tabby was ready for two fingers, since he definitely wanted to get him that stretched before he mounted his mate.
Chance moaned deeply as several drops of pre-cum splashed on the comforter before Jake withdrew his fingers.
Satisfied that the tabby was ready, and feeling extremely aroused himself, Jake got behind Chance and slowly pushed his cock in where his fingers had been. He pushed slowly until the fine barb hairs on his cock were beyond the first ring of muscle, where he rested briefly to let them both adjust to the sensation.
"More." Chance demanded with a deep rumble as he shifted to reach one hand back to fondle himself and brace their weight with the other.
Jake nodded, and thrust in until his balls were against Chance's ass and their balls slapped against each other. With a breath to steady himself, Jake began to thrust. At first deep and slow, then alternating with a series of fast, shallow thrusts as Chance began to cum under him far too soon.
With a low, growling moan Chance began to thrust into his hand, and back against Jake's hips as his body took over.
Jake's body responded to the orgasm beneath him and began to cum forcefully. Wave after wave of muscular spasm pumped his seed into his mate as he came. As the last wave of his orgasm passed he slowly collapsed on to the broad muscular back in front of him, and was gently lowered to the bed as Chance sank down.
For a long time they lay quietly together, just breathing and taking in the warmth and scent of each other as they recovered.
"You were wonderful." Jake purred, as he rested his head against Chance's back as they slipped apart.
Chance smiled in pleasure as he rolled over to pull Jake into his arms. "So are you." He purred as he relaxed into sleep.
Jake snuggled in close to Chance, purring lightly as he drifted off to sleep.
The phone ringing next to the king-plus sized bed snapped both toms out of a content, light sleep. Jake had the phone by the second ring that he was aware of. "Jake Clawson speaking." He said simply.
"Hello, it's Cyris. I thought we could go to dinner, so you don't have to rely on the kitchen stock." The female said with forced cheer. "I can show you around a little better as well."
"Let me see what Chance thinks, assuming that invitation was for both of us." He said easily, before putting his hand on the receiver. "Hey Chance, Cyris is inviting us to dinner, and offering to show us around. You up for that?" He asked, nudging the tabby to make sure he stayed woke up.
"Why not." The big tabby yawned. "We do need to eat, after all."
Jake took his hand off the receiver. "We just need to get cleaned up and dressed." He said hoping she wouldn't ask why they needed to get cleaned up.
"Sure. I'll be by in ... say an hour?" She offered. "And a good bit of news. Kimyra survived the first surgery."
"An hour sounds good. And thanks, I needed to hear that." He said as he hung up.
"Okay, love. We've got an hour to clean up and get dressed. And Kimyra survived the first surgery." He said smiling happily.
"Both are good." The tabby rumbled as he pulled Jake against him for a long, tongue-dueling kiss.
Jake passionately indulged the kiss, enjoying every moment with his mate. "We should get ready." He said as they broke for air.
"Yes, and an hour is plenty of time to properly clean up together." He grinned before rolling Jake to his back and pinning the smaller Kat under his greater weight to claim another round of increasingly intense kisses.
Jake refrained from commenting that this was not getting either of them any cleaner. He refrained mostly because he was enjoying the kissing, and was completely turned on, as his scent made very plain to his eager mate.
"Damn, you look good like this." Chance breathed hotly as he shifted to slide their hardening erections alongside each other as they emerged.
"You're a mouthwatering sight yourself." Jake purred lustily, as he nuzzled the tabby with rough affection.
"So you like being on the bottom?" He rumbled as their arousal built.
"Both actually, but I like being on the bottom when you're on the top." He purred deep in his chest as the words nearly electrified the big tabby.
"And the lube?" He asked quietly as he nuzzled Jake's neck.
"Pretty normal with the toms I've been with. Especially the ones who aren't bottoms on a regular basis." He said easily. "You're a good top, so I didn't need it when you mounted me."
Chance nodded as he slipped back, kissing his way down Jake's chest. "No one I've been with used it."
"Different circles I suppose." Jake shrugged. "I didn't want to risk hurting you the first time. I can go without it the next time, if you prefer." He offered, as he ran his hands through Chance's fur.
"I like your way." Chance smiled before shifting to kiss Jake again. "Though I'm not quite sure what you did."
"Well, if you tell me where you're not sure, I can try and explain." Jake said gently. "It wasn't anything complicated."
"Urr ... what you did with the lube, and you messed around quite a bit." He forced himself to avoid a repeat of the swimming lessons disaster.
"You mean when I worked one and then two fingers inside before actually mounting. It helps loosen up the bottom and make the experience more pleasurable for both." He explained gently.
"Do you like that better?" Chance watched the face under him, intent on seeing what was really there, not just the contempt he imagined.
"Well as a top its the only way I've ever done it, so I really don't have anything to compare it to." He said gently. "As a bottom, I only have a little more to compare. That was the first time without lube, and it felt pretty good." He smiled.
"Truth is, that I can't compare what I've done with others to my experiences with you, because it's better with you because its you." He said kissing the tabby gently. "I don't know if that made any sense. But I would let you know if I didn't like what we were doing."
Chance nodded quietly before working down Jake's body again, pausing to rub his face against the nearly full erection before glancing for the lube to grab it.
Jake purred in aroused anticipation, as he reached to run a hand through the tabby's fur, enjoying the contrast between the soft fur and hard muscle under it.
"Umm, what do you do with it?" Chance asked uneasily with a glance between his mate and the bottle.
Jake gently took the bottle. "First thing you do is lube yourself." He said, as he squeezed some onto his hand, and then gently coated the tabby's hard cock in demonstration as Chance groaned under the touch.
"Then you put a generous amount on your fingers." He said before getting on hands and knees, and flipping his tail out of the way. "Then you slowly work one finger into my ass until its taking it without a problem. Then you work in two, moving them around to stretch me a bit. Once you're ready, and you think I'm ready then you proceed as usual." He smiled encouragingly as Chance did as instructed, a little rough still, with little feel for what 'stretched' meant, but clearly trying.
"About right?" He asked hesitantly when his patience was about out.
hat's good, Chance." He said warmly encouraging, since he felt stretched from the previous fuck.
"Then on your back." The tabby rumbled as he encouraged his mate over.
"Okay." Jake purred lustily, as he rolled on his back and put his legs up.
Chance smiled at the sight as he tried to be gentle pushing inside the willing body. With a low groan he sank deep, then held still as he eased Jake's legs down, bringing them almost into the same alignment as with a female.
"More." The lean tom moaned lustily.
Chance couldn't be more delighted to comply, rocking his hips while his belly rubbed along Jake's cock. With a pleasured smile he leaned the rest of the way forward to lock jaws with Jake in a long, deep kiss.
Jake threw himself passionately into the kiss, as his body shuddered from the tabby's cock penetrating him deeply. The sensation of Chance's fur rubbing against his cock, was pushing to the edge much faster than he wanted to go. This time, however, he decided to let go and not hold back. With low growl he started cuming shooting his seed on to Chance's chest in spurt after spurt as it slickened the fur rubbing against him, first above from the tabby's fur, then below as his own fur was soaked.
With his eyes squeezed shut Chance only held back a few moments before he broke their jaw lock with a roar and jabbed hard, emptying his balls deep inside his mate.
Breathing heavy as the spasms passed, Jake managed to guide Chance down, so the tabby was still partly inside him, and lying facing him. He leaned forward to kiss Chance on the forehead. "You're amazing, really." He said affectionately.
"You're the amazing one, Jake." He purred affectionately and hugged the tom close. "Though we definitely need a good shower now." He smirked.
Jake chuckled. "Guess we're just amazing. You're right, we do." He said snuggling into the embrace.
"That we are." Chance chuckled softly with him. "Don't tell me I'm going to have to carry you to the shower with me." He smirked down, perfectly willing to never move again in his life as long as Jake didn't either.
"At some point we'll have to get up. It's a nice hotel, but I really don't plan on becoming a resident." He chuckled, and nuzzled the tabby, but he didn't actually move from the embrace.
"Umm, you have a point." The tabby considered as he shifted his grip and rolled from the bed to his feet, pulling Jake up to rest in his arms in the process. "Time to get wetter." He chuckled as carried his mate into the large bathroom, clearly designed for people a good two feet taller than he was.
Jake quickly jumped down and adjusted the water to the hot temperature they used at home. "Scrub your back?" He offered with a wink, holding the shampoo bottle.
"As long as it's not just my back." Chance smirked as stepped under the water, trying very hard to believe this was reality, and not some weird, very pleasant, dream.
Jake smirked back, as he let the water soak both of them, as he put a good-sized glob of shampoo in his hands. "Have to start somewhere." He chuckled as he began working the shampoo into Chance's fur, starting at the shoulders and working his way down. He purred lightly enjoying the feel of the hard muscles beneath his hands, and the responsiveness of the tom they belonged to.
For his part, Chance quickly found himself bracing against the wall with his hands as his body began to relax, and get turned on all over again.
Jake did his best to behave himself, working his way down the tabby's back, and perhaps scrubbing his ass a bit longer than necessary. Once he finished his mate's legs, he nudged the tabby to turn around. "Gotta do your front." He purred mischievously, as his musky arousal began to mix with the steam and Chance's well-advanced desire that was blatantly evident once the tabby turned around, bracing himself on backward stretched arms.
Resisting his own pounding desire, Jake carefully scrubbed his way down the tabby's muscular chest and abdomen. He lost the battle for self control when he came face to face with Chance's fully erect cock begging for his attention. He purred lustily as he took the hard pink flesh in his mouth, while teasing at the highly sensitive barb hairs with the rough side of his tongue.
"Oh ... yesss." The tabby hissed in approval as his eyes closed. "Suck me dry, Jake."
Jake took Chance in his mouth all the way to the sheath, as he applied suction and tongue work to push his mate toward the edge. He purred lustily as he danced his tongue around the hard pink flesh, switching between rough and smooth to create a contrast of sensation as the tabby began to tremble and thrust slightly.
Jake used his tongue to encourage the tabby the remainder of the way over the edge, while absently stroking his own rock hard cock with one hand.
With a roar and several fast, hard thrusts Chance poured his seed down his mate's throat, both his hands holding Jake's head where he wanted it. As his limbs and body stiffened in the pleasure contractions, leaning him forward until his full weight was focused on Jake's muzzle, toppling them both.
"Oww." Jake moaned quietly from where his head had hit the shower floor, and under Chance's not so light weight ... deadweight.
It occurred to Jake that he must have blacked out briefly, probably from hitting the back of his head. He unsteadily turned off the water, after he managed to roll Chance off of him and on to his back. He quickly made sure the tabby was still breathing, and the checked the severity of any other injuries from under the watery blood coating Chance's face.
"Oh, just great." Jake muttered, as he cleaned the tabby up a bit. "I get to call medical and tell them Chance slipped and fell in the shower. Kats, this is just not going to do our rep any good around here." He said as he staggered to his feet leaning against the wall, and then out into the main room. "At least they aren't prudes, so the fact we were both in the shower is going to set them off." He said as he sat by the phone.
He picked up the phone and dialed 0, since he thought that's what the operator was. Of course, as dizzy as he was feeling he wasn't entirely sure.
"NightWind HQ, how may I direct your call?" A deep, professional sounding female voice responded on the second ring.
"Um, yeah this Jake Clawson in guest quarters, there's been an accident." He said, very glad to be sitting down. "Infirmary, medical or whatever you call the department that deals with someone being unconscious due to hitting his head." He said in a very unsteady voice.
"Medical has been alerted, sir." She replied quickly and calmly. "How badly injured are you?"
"Bit dizzy, think I hit the back of my head." He said, not liking the spin on the room. "But my partner is out cold, I think he broke something." He said unsteadily, somewhere between embarrassment and worry.
"Please stay on the line, Jake." She requested gently. "Did he fall face first?"
"Sure." He said quietly. "Yeah, he did. Still breathing properly, I checked that."
"Good." She said calmly as a heavy knock rattled the door before it slid open to admit three NightWinds in medical whites. "Follow the medics instructions, now."
"Of course, and thank you, ma'am." He said before hanging up to deal with the medics, who didn't even blink at his water-soaked nudity.
"In the bathroom?" The large female asked calmly, already moving that direction. "Please stay seated."
"I'm a bit dizzy, think I hit the back of my head." He said, not liking the spin on the room. "But my partner's out cold, I think he broke something."
The female made a sharp motion and the other two headed into the bathroom as she focused on Jake. "Please look straight ahead." She asked as she brought out a small beam flashlight.
Jake cooperated as she flashed the light in his eyes, mostly because it was the easiest thing to do. Actually, what he wanted to do was lie down but she wasn't telling him to do that.
"Does anything hurt, besides being dizzy?" She asked gently as the other two came out with Chance on the stretcher, covered by a light blanket.
"Back of my head hurts, but I think that's where I smacked it. Other than that just the nausea and spinning room sensation." He said quietly. "How's he?" He asked looking at the stretcher anxiously.
"His nose is broken, and there's a likely concussion, but nothing life-threatening, or even requiring surgery." The male Saber-toothed Snow Leopard in front replied as the female dug something out of her belt pouch.
"Jake, these will help with the symptoms, and reduce the chance of extended damage from swelling." She offered three bright blue pills in her open palm. "Where are your clothes?"
"Over there." He pointed at the pile on the floor. As he accepted the pills she picked up the pile and brought it over, easily sorting through and offered a steady, helping hand for Jake to get dressed.
"You should be steady enough to walk in a few minutes, so once you're feeling better and dressed I'll show you to where your partner is and we'll find out exactly how much damage there is." She said gently.
"Thank you." He said as he got dressed with her help. "Should I take all three at once?" He asked, indicating the pills in his hand.
"Yes, do you want some water to help get them down?" She stood, easily supporting his light weight.
"Yes please, I never did like dry swallowing pills." He said, trying to recover some of the dignity lost in the current fiasco now that he was at least dressed.
"No problem." She smiled softly and moved to the kitchen for a glass. He could hear the tap running for a moment and stop before she came back out and handed it to him.
"Thank you." He said, as he washed the pills down. He was feeling better already, which was good since no shower wall should be getting the better of him. "Can we go to where they took Chance now?" He asked politely, forcing his head to stop spinning.
"Yes, if you promise to walk slowly, and accept support if you feel dizzy." She locked eyes with him.
"I'll behave." He said easily. "Made enough of a spectacle today already." He said straightening himself up, and walking slowly along side her.
"You'll have to do a lot worse to top the time Darn and Felic's kit mixed a glue into their lube." The big shekat chuckled. "Getting playful in the shower's no big deal. Though I would advise a more stable position next time."
Jake looked at her. "Glue?" He winced. "Ouch. Still, it's probably the most relaxed Chance will be around here." He said quietly.
"So I understand." She nodded. "Why is that, if you don't mind saying?"
"It'll be awhile before he can forgive people for figuratively painting a target on him, while he was putting his tail on the line defending the city." He said quietly. "I'm not thrilled, but I've got reasons for being forgiving that he doesn't."
"Ah, the bounty." She nodded. "Though that anger would be better spent directed at the one who put the bounty up. Though the way things are looking now, we'll probably take the bastard out first."
"Unfortunately, Chance only knows who was going to collect." He shook his head. "I thought it was some overseas corporation that put that bounty up." He said looking at her curiously.
"Yes, but as a potential collector, we have much more information, including names, addresses and phone numbers." She chuckled. "And we do back-check them. I'm sure Mom'll let you look at the files, considering you're family now."
"I think pinning the ears back on whoever hurt Kimyra is a little more important." He growled determinedly, clearly meaning a lot more hurt to the target than he said.
"Same person." She growled. "Or at least the same set of orders."
"Hmm, well that simplifies things a very little. Don't have to pick one or the other."
"Though it makes for a very big target." She cautioned as they entered the medical area. "This won't be a simple strike mission."
"Didn't think so." He said quietly. "Not after all the trouble Darkie went through to make people think he was in custody."
"Yes." Her tail lashed angrily. "But it's been an effective lesson. NightWind won't be making those mistakes again."
"That's good, 'cause Darkie gives you a new set to make every time you face him." He said knowingly. "But it's a fools game putting a bounty on him, he won't be taken alive." He said quietly. "NightWind would be better off just taking him down. Sure, it doesn't pay but you also don't get any of your people killed."
"We didn't hunt him for the bounty." She said quietly. "And that order's already come down. They're all on STK status."
"Too good for them, but its the best option." Jake said darkly.
"Everything is too good, but it'll have to do." She growled in agreement. "But we don't have the kind of sadists it would take to even try to give them what they've earned."
Jake nodded. "Probably just as well. We don't want to become them." He said realizing how dangerously close he was coming.
"No, as good as it would feel to make them understand what they've done, it sort of takes the point out of being a goodkat." She rumbled as she opened a door like any other. "How's he doing?" She asked of those in the room.
"Kat's tough." The Saber-toothed Snow Leopard tom chuckled and shook his head. "He's got painkillers and anti-inflammatories onboard, and nothing's broken. He should be good to go when he wakes up, assuming there aren't other issues."
"How long till he wakes up?" Jake asked quietly.
"It's hard to tell, but I doubt more than an hour." He shook his head. "If it's more than two, something is seriously wrong we didn't pick up on exam. How are you feeling, Jake?" He let a critical, trained eye go over the lean tom.
"Better now." He said easily, and it was mostly true. The headache was mostly gone, and he only felt a little dizzy. Probably had an impressive bump on the back of his head though, he figured.
"Well, if you'd like to lay with your mate until he wakes up, it wouldn't be a bad idea, for either of you." The doctor nodded at the NightWind-sized single bed, which was more than big enough for the two tomkats.
Jake nodded. "I'd like that, and I'll try not to fall off." He grinned, as he cuddled up next to Chance.
"No worries about that." The doctor chuckled as he raised the sides of the bed, giving a good eight-inch railing on both sides. "You'll have to try to roll out."
Jake looked at the standard hospital railings. "I'm not sure those are a good idea. He might take it wrong if he sees bars when he opens his eyes." He said indicating the tabby. "He's not at his best, or most reasonable, when he first wakes up." He shook his head affectionately.
"Mmm, would he be bothered if it's only up on your side?"
"Since he'll likely see me if he's looking that direction, that should be okay." Jake suggested.
"Good, you're the one most likely to roll out." He nodded as he lowered the railing on Chance side, nearest the door. "See the three red buttons?" He indicated one on each side of the bed on the nightstands, and a third in the middle over the pillows. "We'll leave you alone, but if any of your symptoms get worse, or persist for more than two hours, press the button and a nurse will come. The sensors will tell us when Chance wakes up"
"Thank you." Jake smiled, and snuggled in tight along the tabby's side.
"You are welcome." The doctor smiled as he turned to leave. "We've found it often helps recovery to have a mate there. It seems to take some of the stress from the hospital stay."
"That makes sense." Jake agreed quietly. "Makes it less isolating."
"Exactly." He glanced back for a last look at the pair before shutting the door.
Chance groaned miserably and brought a hand up to his face well before he was willing to open his eyes.
Jake nuzzled the tabby affectionately. "How you feeling?" He asked quietly.
"Like I did a face plant into a semi." He muttered. "What happened?"
"We were playing in the shower. I guess we must have slipped or something. I came to with you on top of me." Jake explained as there was a knock on the door before it opened.
"Good evening, gentlekats." The Saber-toothed Snow Leopard doctor greeted them in a soothing voice.
Chance didn't look at him, but growled a low warning in greeting.
Jake turned to look. "Evening, doc. Any news on Kimyra?" He asked curiously, figuring he'd probably slept through her waking up.
"She returned to natural form about an hour ago, and is still sleeping. She should recover full function, though it will take several months and a half dozen surgeries." He answered seriously. "Whether her face can be reconstructed without scarring isn't known yet."
"She's recovering, that's what's important." Jake said considerably relieved.
"Yes, and how are you two feeling?" He focused predominantly on Chance.
"I'm fine, just check me out of here." The tabby grumbled and sat up.
"No headache, no dizziness." Jake said easily, as he sat up. "I feel fine."
"That's good." The doctor nodded in approval and a little relief as he checked Chance's vitals under the tabby's glare. "What was the very last thing you remember?"
"I had my mouth full." Jake smirked, looking at Chance.
The doctor chuckled and looked at the tabby, who was trying very hard to cover up embarrassment with irritation.
"About then." He tried for a shred of dignity. "Can I have my clothes back now?"
"Yes, you can." The doctor chuckled and set a package down on the bedside table. "I'll check you out after you're dressed, just please try to be careful next time you're feeling frisky in the shower. There are mats under the sink to pad hard surfaces for such games."
"Cool. Thanks, Doc." Jake said with a smile as the Xanith turned to leave.
"You're welcome. I hope not to see you occupying another of my rooms anytime soon." He chuckled as the door shut.
"Was that really necessary?" Chance grumbled as he rolled out of bed and pulled the plastic wrapping off his cleaned clothes.
"Was what really necessary?" Jake asked, as he hopped off the bed.
"Telling him ... we were, you know." The tabby grumbled.
Jake chuckled. "It's not like they didn't know from the shower." He patted the tabby on the shoulder. "From what I heard, it doesn't even rate embarrassment around here."
"Yeah, right." He nodded, still unhappy. "Let's get out of here."
"Okay." He said leading the way back to their room.
"So what's really bothering you?" Jake asked as the door to their room closed.
"Nothing." The tabby sighed in annoyance. "Nothin' I didn't agree to."
"It's about Kimyra, isn't it?" Jake asked concerned.
"Jake," he turned to face his mate. "I agreed, okay? It doesn't mean ... krud. Look, I'm just miffed you asked about her first. It's nothing I shouldn't get over."
"I asked about her, because they'd already told me you were going to be okay." He said quietly, still feeling guilty about Kimyra being in the hospital. The guilt gently tinged his scent, and Chance almost immediately looked guilty himself as he pulled Jake into a tight hug.
"I'm sorry, I ... I'm just being a jealous jerk about it."
"Well, you're my jealous jerk." Jake whispered seductively as he put his arms around the tabby's neck, and kissed him.
"Mmm," the tabby closed his eyes and took over the contact, hungry and eager. "Let's stick to the bed for a while." He swept Jake off his feet and carried him into the other room.
Jake stretched, and began undoing the tabby's shirt while being carried to the bed.
Honor, Secrets and Love
NC-17 for M/F and M/M
Het Level is Medium Het Smut Level is Low Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Low Femslash Level is None Herm Level is None
298 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written September 9, 2001 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Todd McCall
Setting: SWAT Kats
Primary Races: Kat, Sabertooth
Contents: Furry. Het (M/F). Slash (M/M).
Pairings: Jake Clawson/Chance Furlong, Jake Clawson/Kimyra NightWind
Notes: No weird pasts, no weird abilities, just MegaKat City, two SWAT Kats and one of them is in love with an outsider he hasn't quiet gotten the nerve up to ask out.
Chain Lightning by Rush from the Presto album
Blurb: Jake has a serious crush on someone outside SWAT, and in addition to working up the nerve to ask her out, he has to figure out just how to explain his 'hobby', or not to. And then there's Chance ....
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.
Page Hit Count from January 8, 2005