By Chance Take 2, Take 2
by Fur and Fantasy
NC-17 for M/M
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

Jake Clawson was well into his drinking before he finally found what he was looking for in an unremarkable dive of a bar in a part of MegaKat City that had never been good, and now was considered downright uninhabitable. Sitting at the bar was a dirty gold tabby with thick chocolate stripes, a brick of a build and near the six-six mark quietly getting himself plastered.

Though dull and a bit grimy, the big tom appealed to a part of the lean, charcoal and caramel tortuous shell tom that Jake usually didn't let surface. But tonight, on the fifth anniversary of that explanation that had gone so horribly wrong, he let himself find a surrogate to sate the growing lust in his soul before it consumed him again.

"Interested in making a hundred bucks, tabby?" Jake got right to the point as he leaned against the bar, his own bottle in hand.

"No-one's got that much money to throw around," the kat retorted without even looking at Jake, his breath reeking of alcohol. "Go bug someone else."

A soft chuckle escaped Jake's throat as he licked his whiskers. "I pay well for what I want," he rumbled with a rather lewd look for the other tom as half the amount flicked in front of the tabby's face just long enough to be recognized.

"And what do you want?" the tabby asked, his eyes following the cash back into Jake's pocket.

"Your body, till morning." He answered easily.

"For a hundred bucks?" The tabby didn't seem to believe it. "That, and all the drink I can keep down."

"No cash if you pass out." Jake regarded him sharply.

The tabby chuckled softly. "Works either way," he said with a shrug. "I'll start with Atomics. Line 'em up."

"Mix half a fifth." Jake instructed calmly. "To go."

The barkeep nodded and set about it, taking a little while to prepare quite so much of the potent drink. When he was done he set it down on the bar in front of Jake, and was handed the cash for it without a pause.

"Come on tabby," Jake picked up the bottle and headed out.

The tabby drowned the remains of his drink in one swallow, then slipped of the barstool to follow along behind the bottle Jake was carrying.

The tabby had no problem drinking Jake's booze, and he certainly had an appetite for it. By the time they'd gotten back to the hotel room Jake had rented he was almost through the bottle of Atomic, his head hanging at an odd angle.

"So whatta'ya want?" The tabby asked, his words slurred by the alcohol. It took him three tries to undo the button on his jeans. "Lick y'r ass, drink y'r piss? 'Bangers really get off on that crap."

Jake shook his head with a soft chuckle as he stripped with much greater ease. "You're going to be clean first." He rumbled, already fairly turned on despite the situation being less than he could hope for.

The tabby snorted softly, shrugging his shoulders and followed Jake into the bathroom. "You're the boss, rich man."

"And you're going to at least look decent for me." Jake said, though there was a softness that took the sting out of the words. "Name's Jake. Do use it."

"Jake," the tabby repeated, some vague shadow of emotion riding underneath his voice. "So there's a shower or something?"

"Under the water," he shook his head and chuckled as the water ran hot, but not intensely so. "You have a name you're real attached to?"

The tabby sighed softly as he stepped under the streaming water, just standing there for a moment and enjoying the feel of it running down over his fur as the smaller Kat stepped in behind him. "Call me whatever you like," he replied, his voice only just louder than the running of the shower.

"All right, Chance." Jake rumbled as he picked up the shampoo and squirted a generous glob on his hand. The tabby started, his head swinging around in a drunken arc to stare at the smaller tom, who looked at him curiously, but agreeably. "Starting with your chest works fine too.

The tabby muttered something under his breath, but made no attempt to pull away as Jake put his hands on the well muscled body, working the shampoo into his fur. As he worked the dust and grime out of the tabby's fur a brighter golden color became apparent, awfully reminiscent of the kat Jake had named him for.

"You have lovely coloring." Jake murmured softly as he worked, his hands bold and sensual as they moved over muscles hardened by work instead of combat training.

"If you say so," the kat replied non-commitally.

"I do, Chance." Jake purred as his hands worked down to the tabby's sheath and balls, taking extreme liberties in washing them, and getting off fairly well on the feel of it. His trespasses drew no comment from the tabby though, and less swelling of the sheath beneath his fingers than he might have hoped for. Though his own arousal was beginning to color the air around them the tabby's own scent was still subdued, though now it was the scent of the shampoo masking him rather than the dirt and whatever else had been fouling his fur.

Eventually the lean tom worked the rest of the way down Chance's legs, and moved to start at his shoulders again, from the back. The tabby was much cleaner by the time Jake had finished, seeming almost like an entirely different kat now that he was clean. Though his stance and body language hadn't change at all he looked much more respectable now, hardly a kat Jake would have expected to find in a dive like the one he'd picked him up in.

"You clean up very nicely." He rumbled in approval, coming around to face the big tom again, his hands eager and familiar across the broad chest and muscular body.

"Suck me, Chance." For all it was an order, it sounded much more like a soft request.

The big tom got down on his knees, still beneath the flow of water, and put his lips against Jake's cock. He kissed the rod of flesh a few times, mechanically and without passion, before opening his mouth with and swallowing Jake's cock.

The subtlety of difference in enthusiasm was very likely lost on Jake as he moaned, his head falling back as his eyes closed in pleasure. Through it though, his hands found the tabby's ears to gently caress them in a small return of the pleasure given.

The tabby's mouth wasn't as skilled as Jake might expect for someone who took money for his body's attentions, but he could still take the smaller kat's cock all the way down to his balls. His tongue worked along the slickened shaft as his head bobbed up and down, earning his money.

"Oh, yeah!" Jake groaned deep in his chest, just managing to hold his hips still at the almost perfect illusion the scene created. The tabby kept going, his pace neither slowing down or speeding up as he kept pleasuring the smaller tom as water fell down around them both.

"Oh ..." Jake moaned as the tabby tasted the first drops of precum. "Oh, yeah ... oh Chance." He moaned and shuddered, much more than simple lust in his voice. The tabby dutifully licked Jake's precum away as it seeped out, his tongue lapping over the head of the other kat's cock when it was back toward his lips and then running down the length of the shaft as it plunged back toward the tabby's throat.

Chance got a lot of warning before the lean tom came as Jake trembled and moaned, his grip tightening on Chance's head. The tabby didn't shy away as the signs grew more and more obvious, sinking his head down until his nose was pressed against the smaller kat's groin and then tightening his throat around the quivering shaft of flesh just before Jake arched with a roar, shooting his seed down the tabby's throat.

Breathing hard, the lean tom sank forward, trebling arms braced against Chance's broad shoulders to keep him upright as he found his legs again. The tabby stayed on his knees, slowly drawing himself back off Jake's shaft and then licking away the remaining residue of the kat's orgasm to rumbling approval and shivers from above.

Still being drenched in hot water, Jake knelt, gently catching Chance's face with one hand to kiss him. The first was soft, light, and chaste. The second was more heated as the lean Kat got into it.

The tabby wasn't a good kisser, but he had no trouble with letting the other kat plunder his mouth with his tongue just as he had with his cock. Jake could still taste his seed inside the tabby's mouth before he moved on, kissing down the tabby's sandy-golden neck with obvious hunger. His hands swept down the hard body, taking it in greedily as he worked down to what he wanted between the tabby's legs.

The bought kat lay back against the floor, spreading his legs and turning his face away towards the wall of the shower stall as Jake's attention turned back to his sheath and balls. The fur between his legs was soft and golden after having been washed, even through is was matted with water.

The next sensation the tabby felt was a gentle, eager mouth applying itself to his balls. He stayed silent and still as his balls were rolled back and forth in the other kat's mouth, his only response to spread his legs a little further apart to accommodate the other kat.

"What turns you on, tabby?" Jake asked with a decidedly hungry purr as he worked up Chance's chest.

The kat shrugged. "Stuff." When a pause indicated that wasn't enough of an answer he though about it again. "Some bitch kneeling between my legs. Putting her fingers up her ass. Rapture."

A deep rumbled of appreciation from Jake met that mental image. "What would get you hard now." He rephrased lustfully.

The tabby didn't respond, but one hand smoothed down over his abs to his crotch, one finger tracing around the opening of his sheath and then slipping inside it to touch himself while Jake shifted away to watch in rapt attention, his breathing quickening at the sight.

The tabby's cock was slow to arousal, no wonder given the amount of alcohol he'd consumed. For a while there was nothing moving inside the tabby's sheath but his finger, but slowly it began to fill out. Once his cock had swelled to fill his sheath the tabby moved his hands down to his balls, rolling them back and forward across his fingers as his maleness slowly but visibly filled out.

When he was fully hard, Jake trailed a light finger up the rough length. "Fuck me." He purred deep in his throat. "Cum in me." He added softly as he shifted to brace against the shower wall under the hot spray; his knees spread and head turned to watch the now fully aroused tabby.

Chance still didn't speak, but his got to his feet and stepped up behind Jake, the head of his cock rubbing against the fur of his rump as he knelt behind the smaller tom.

"You sure?" the tabby asked, his voice confused.

"Very, handsome." Jake rumbled, eagerness obvious in every line of his body.

The tabby shrugged and then did as he was told, pushing his cock forward through the entrance to Jake's body. There was no gentleness or tenderness in the tabby's actions, though he wasn't too rough either. His fucking was a mechanical in-and-out motion, smooth and even, the tip of his cock going from the very threshold of Jake's body to the depths of his passage with each stroke as Jake moaned and shuddered with the fantasy lending that little bit that reality wasn't providing.

The tabby continued to fuck him as instructed, his pace neither slacking off nor speeding up. He cock just pistoning back and forward inside Jake's body, fucking him over and over again as the smaller tom's moans began more and more desperate. Eventually he gave a soft grunt, the first time he'd broken his silence since mounting the smaller kat, and his seed spilled out into the tight body around him.

It seemed to be the signal Jake's body was waiting for, and he came very abruptly with a roar as his body arched and milked the cock in him. The tabby's silence didn't quite hold, a couple more soft grunts escaping him as the last of his seed jetted out.

"Again?" He asked softly once he was spent, the smaller tom resting back against him.

"No," Jake purred softly, reaching up to switch the water off and air on'

The tabby nodded, drawing out of the smaller kat and stepping out of the shower as the air blowers turned on.

"I don't like those things," he said by way of explanation, the closest thing he'd made to a personal statement since they'd met. It didn't take him too long to find a towel in the cupboards, rubbing himself dry.

Despite the startled jerk the statement brought, Jake nodded in acceptance and had dried himself off by the time the tabby was satisfied with his own state.

"Come," Jake voice was low and soft, thoughtful despite his state as he led the way back to the large, clean bed and pulled the covers back to get in.

The tabby followed dutifully, sliding into the after side on the bed. "I don't stay nights," he said, all business again, "Not even for a hundred bucks. Just so you know."

"I said for the night. All of it." Jake growled softly.

"You can do whatever you like, for as long as you want, but I'm going home to sleep."

The cinnamon tom nodded. "Fine. You don't need to sleep, but you'll stay in the bed until I wake."

The tabby grumbled under his breath, clearly not happy about the turn of events, but didn't contradict Jake again.

"You were a pilot once." Jake said softly in the darkness of the room.

"Everyone was something once," the tabby replied.

"One who wore a mask."

"What is this, twenty questions? There's no way you're paying me enough for that." The tabby's voice was sullen and disagreeable.

"Fine, answer one." Jake shrugged, though he didn't move from where he was lounging against the tabby's side. "Ten years ago you flew with me as the SWAT Kat T-Bone."

"Who the fuck are you?" the tabby snarled, very much riled now. "This isn't funny."

"No it's not." Jake said softly. "Name's Jake Clawson. Has been for about twenty five years. I designed the TurboKat you flew."

"That's it, I'm out of here." Chance got up out of the bed, hunting around for his clothes. "I don't know who the fuck you are, but you're not Jake. If you were there's no amount of money you could pay for me."

"If I'd figured out it was you earlier, I wouldn't have tried to buy you." Jake sighed. "Why is it so hard to believe?"

"You're the wrong color for starters," the tabby snorted as he grabbed up his pants and worked at getting into them in the low light. "You're in the wrong part of the city, you're certainly in the wrong business. Jake's got a slutty school-kit practically hanging off his dick."

"The cinnamon was a dye. I let it go natural after you stormed out of Cathedral." He sighed. "And Rik ... just don't get me started on that kit. Though you have the slutty part right."

"I don't care if you start or not, I'm not gonna be here for it." He hunted around the floor for a moment and scooped up his shirt, pulling it over his head.

"Your money is in my pocket." Jake waved at the jeans.

"It had fucking well better be," Chance nodded, crouching down over them as he went through the pockets as Jake watched. "Well, looks like the price went up to five hundred," he smirked, stuffing the bills he'd found into his pocked and standing again. "Not even half what I should have got for touching you."

"You want the rest, just come claim it." Jake shrugged.

"No fucking way," Chance replied vehemently. "I'm not going anywhere near that place again. This'll get me just drunk enough to forget I ever knew you."

"Your choice, Chance." Jake said softly.

"Like it'd be any different than it was back then," the tabby snorted softly. "I know exactly what you people are like, what you'll stoop to. I'll be dead before I come to you for help."

"If you really believed that, you wouldn't dare walk out that door." Jake pointed out quietly. "I came down on my own, doesn't mean I wasn't followed."

"Dieing don't bother me anymore," Chance muttered. "Half the city's just marking time and waiting to die."

"A good deal more than half of it." Jake nodded. "But that's the reason you gave for not getting the rest of your money."

"Pay your pretty-boy with it," Chance snorted, turning to the door.

"Pat pays him." Jake spat.

"Probably not enough," Chance retorted as he stepped into the hall. "Oh, and next time you see me, get the fuck away." The door slammed, leaving Jake alone again.

"That him?" A dark, classically marked Alsatian asked quietly, pointing out an extremely inebriated chocolate on gold tabby being tossed out on the street from a nondescript bar.

"Yap. A lot worse for the last two days, but it's definitely him." A significantly larger dark golden Lioness nodded. "Go get him."

"Yes, ma'am." He nodded and walked up to the tabby with a decidedly drunken swagger. "H'you. W'nna drink'wth'me?"

The tabby got up to his knees and then doubled over, vomiting into the gutter. "Sure," he said as he slowly made his way up to his feet. "Y'gotta place to go?"

"O'cu'rss." The Kantin grinned sloppily and waved him with a rather wild gesture as he turned around the way he came.

"M'kinda runn'n out," the tabby said groggily as he stumbled along behind, quickly collapsing in a drunken pile for the Kantin to spin around and catch without a trace of the drunken act.

"There are days I hate this job." He muttered as he hoisted the tabby up and over his shoulder.

"Hay, at least we aren't killing anyone this time." The Lioness pointed out as they walked back into the ally. "Though I'm half surprised both our leaders are still breathing."

"Yeah, that was a hell of a screaming match." He nodded as he settled the comatose tabby in the secured back seat before joining his teammate up front. "Might make Jake more livable though."

"I'd sure as hell hope so."

Chance came around slowly, recognizing the foggy state of his brain as from something other than alcohol before realizing he was in a very nice hospital bed in a private, and secured, room.

"What the fuck?" he murmured to himself. He tried to get up out of the bed, but found that the IV lines running into his arm effectively tethered him in place, secured with some sort of medical tape he couldn't get his claws under.

"Ah, you're finally awake." A perky female voice greeted him from the door. "How are you feeling, Chance?"

"Pissed off," the tabby replied bluntly. "Where the fuck am I?"

"Heritage Hospital." She said simply as she check the drip and something above the bed. "No pain, hangover, weakness?"

"I'm fine. When am I getting out of here?"

"When the doctor agrees with you." The sleek white shekat said simply. "Probably not for a couple more weeks, from the look of this.

"Weeks?" The tabby was aghast. "I can't afford to stay here that long. I'll loose my place."

"Considering who dropped you off, I wouldn't worry about it." She smiled gently at him. "You've managed to make friends with some powerful folks."

The prospect didn't seem to make the tabby any happier. "You can't keep me here. I've got rights and stuff."

"Actually, we can as long as letting you go is a danger to you or another." She said gently. "And currently, your medical condition warrants keeping you here."

"Screw my condition," Chance snarled. "Get these tubes out of me."

"Afraid I can't do that." She said apologetically. "Are you hungry?"

"No," he replied sullenly, sinking back into the bed.

"I'll be back in a couple hours to check on you then." She said gently and handed him a remote. "That works for the TV and stereo."

"Great," he replied without enthusiasm, letting the remote lie on the bedcovers as she turned and left.

"You're being discharged today, Chance." The now familiar voice of the day nurse told him after far too many days.

The tabby didn't make any response, just staring across the room into the small TV screen. It'd been almost four days since he'd last begged her to let him go home, and since then she hadn't heard him speak at all.

"Sashari and Bryen are here to take you home." She elaborated.

"They're not gonna take me home," the tabby said, very quietly.

"Why do you say that?" She asked gently.

"Never heard of them before."

"They're the pair who brought you in." She explained gently. "Paid for this. You are clearly someone to them."

The tabby barely seemed able to muster the energy to shrug. "Whatever."

"If you won't want to walk, I'm sure she can carry you." The nurse said a little tartly and put a package on the nightstand. "Do get dressed." She said before leaving.

"You look much better." A dark, classically marked Alsatian spoke as he looked the tabby over, sober, healed and in fresh clothes.

"What're you gonna do with me?" Chance asked, though he didn't seem particularly interested in the answer.

"Take you home." The dark-furred Lioness behind him said gently as was came up. "Come on, hopefully your memories will come back in time."

"I know you're lying," he murmured, almost to himself, though that didn't stop him from getting to his feet.

"The nurse said you didn't know us." Sashari, the Lioness, pointed out calmly. "At least some memories seem to be mushy."

The tabby just shrugged, standing and followed them out of the hospital into one of the newer suburbs of the city. Though still far from it's wealthy district, it was clean and with some greenery.

"When we get home you can see that we retrieved everything you wanted from where you were staying." Bryen said as Sashari guided Chance into the back seat of a dark blue sedan and sat down next to him as Bryen got in the driver's seat.

The trip was fairly short, very direct, and ended in an underground parking garage for six vehicles, two of which were present when they pulled in. The simple appearing three story building above them was utterly unremarkable otherwise. Chance got out of the car and leaned on the concrete pillar beside the parking space, watching and waiting as the others got out.

"This way." Sashari motioned him to follow her to the right side of the garage, and the simple stairs leading up in a two-tier turn to the first floor of a clean, very middle class living room that took up half the floor space, given the outside dimensions. A large, airy kitchen and its storage apparently took up the rest.

Chance stood in the center of the living room and gaped. You could have fit the room he'd been living in into this place six or seven times over. As he came out of shock he began to see evidence of who was living here in pictures, artwork, and the general lived in feel two people could never accomplish in a space this big.

"There's a bedroom upstairs for you," Bryen said, his tail wagging slightly. "Dinner will be in a couple hours when everyone's home."

"Feel free to scavenge in the kitchen if you're hungry though." Sashari smiled at him.

"Yeah, food'd be good."

"Then I'll work up something while you nose around the stores." Sashari smiled at him and used her tail against his back to gently guide him to the other half of the room.

Chance jerked slightly as her tail touched him, but the lure of food sent him hurrying through to the kitchen, where he found a pantry stocked from floor to ceiling with more kinds of food than he could remember, and an actual walk-in refrigerated storeroom full of meats, milk, all kinds of soda and fresh fruits and vegetables.

"Anything in there look particularly appealing, or should I just make something up?"

"You've got so much food," the tabby murmured, stunned by the sheer volume of it all. "Fruit, even. That's expensive."

"We feed fifteen now." The Lioness smiled at him as she selected sandwich makings. "It's not as expensive out here, and we grow much of the produce ourselves. Go ahead and have some."

The tabby didn't have to be told twice, grabbing an apple in both hands and sinking his teeth into it, juice dribbling down from the corners of his mouth and over his chin.

"It's not going to run away, Chance." She smiled gently as several hearty sandwiches came together.

"It's sweet," he said, almost as though he were surprised. "Why are you doing this?"

"Cause someone up the food chain seems to think you're worth saving." Sashari explained. "And when you're not completely wasted, I can see why."

"Up the food chain? What is this place?"

"This is a family home." She smiled gently. "When the request came in to take in a survivor, we had the space, and Bryen and I liked what we saw."

Chance narrowed his eyes, backing away from her and into the pantry. "And just what does that mean?"

Sashari sighed. "It means we saw what we are, a survivor. With everything that's been thrown at you, you're still here, still tackling the next day, still surviving. Survivors are rare enough these days to seek out, and offer a place where it's not so miserable to do it."

"I was doing just fine," the tabby replied stubbornly, grabbing up another apple.

"Yes, you were." She nodded. "And I'm sure you'll do just fine anywhere you are."

"You kidnapped me anyway," Chance pointed out before sinking his teeth into the second fruit.

"We picked up your drunken carcass from the street, got you sober and healed and will have at least one good meal in your belly before asking you to make any choices of consequence." She countered quietly. "Now, how about sitting at the counter and eating while I explain what and why we are before you decide you want to bolt. The door isn't going to be locked while you're sitting here."

He took some time to decide, but in the end it was the sandwiches sitting on the counter that made up his mind.

Sashari wasn't surprised as she let him settle into the meal. Everything they'd found at his place had been instant or microwaveble; the fresh food must have been hard for him to resist.

"This house, and quite a few others scattered around the boarders and beyond, are strongholds for survivors." She began simply. "Those who have the innate toughness and tenacity to survive the inevitable collapse of the city infrastructure, what little is left of it."

"Did you kidnap all of them?"

"No, most are born here these days." She shook her head. "There aren't many survivors left out there."

Chance nodded, picking up one of the sandwiches and stuffing it into his mouth.

"We're securing a place that can be self-contained for that inevitability, to make surviving as pleasant as we can." She continued as he ate. "We grow much of our food and meat, generate the power, water and other needs as best as we can. There's a place here for you, if you want it."

Chance shrugged. "Food's good. Got anything to drink?"

"A good variety." Sashari nodded. "Getting drunk is not permitted however."

"Not permitted? Who died and made you god?"

"No one." She smiled. "Leadership is an earned position. I was voted in."

Chance snorted. "And that means no-one can have fun?"

"That's the only form of fun in the world to you?" She raised an eyebrow.

Chance rolled his eyes. "Don't be dense."

"The no drunk rule is one of the foundation set." She chuckled. "It's not mine. Besides, sex and fighting are both more fun sober."

"Says you," the tabby replied, shaking his head. "So what else is off-limits?"

"Rape, murder, theft, coming on to kits under fifteen." She counted off on her fingers. "Just your basic social expectations. Getting drunk is off limits only because of the damage it does, not to ruin anyone's fun."

"M'not gonna doing any of that fucked stuff, even drunk."

"That wasn't the kind of damage I was talking about." She shook her head. "It's a form of slow effect suicide. Even a quiet or marry drunk is killing themselves."

"I guess suicide's off the list too, then," the tabby said with a smirk.

"As if you needed to be told that." The Lioness smirked back as she went to a smaller refrigerator and snagged two milk cans, depositing one in front of him before settling against the counter again. "The actives methods no one tries, the rest aren't allowed. Around here you get help before it gets that bad."

"Whether you want it or not."

"If you find survival that offensive, you can always leave." Sashari said simply. "Staying with us is considered a desire for survival."

"I'll survive just fine without being babied, thanks." The tabby finished up his sandwich, smiling. "Nice lunch though."

"Thank you."

"You don't see that much fresh fruit in the city," Chance admitted. "You mind if I take some with me?"

"If you are leaving, yes." She said calmly.

"Yeah, well, I guess that's not much of a surprise. I'm gonna have to think about getting moving though. I still gotta find a place to stay tonight."

"What is wrong with staying here?" Sashari asked quietly.

"You mean aside from the fact it's run by people who kidnapped me, kept me in hospital for weeks against my will and won't let me get drunk?"

"Skipping complaint number three for the moment, just what did you loose?"

"My place, for starters. Seriously though it's not personal. I wouldn't stay with anyone who did what you guys did."

"It's still yours, the key's in with your things." Sashari shrugged.

"Won't open shit now," Chance said, shaking his head. "Gang's 'round there twice a week, they will've given it to someone else by now."

"Very unlikely." The Lioness flashed a dangerous grin for a second. "If you like that life, you'll see for yourself though."

"Whatever." The tabby shrugged and then stood. "Are there more lectures, or can I go now?"

"No, you can go." She watched him with a significantly more predatory air. The tabby shrugged and turned away heading for the door.

"Another round." A lean cinnamon-brown tom spoke with quiet authority as he sat next to the dirty brown on ocher tabby nearly his physical opposite. "Hi Chance."

The tabby didn't reply. In fact he didn't do much more than stare at the slender kat, his mouth hanging half open as haunted amber eyes watched him with familiarity as the drink was set down before the tabby.

Chance took hold of the drink in both hands and lifted it to his lips, drinking it greedily despite the line of empty glasses sitting on the table beside him. It was half empty when his set it down again.

"You've been busy," he said, his voice slightly slurred.

"Yeah," the lean tom nodded. "Too busy to notice a few things till now."

"Nothing much down here that's worth the time."

"But you stay." Jake said softly.

"My place is here," the tabby replied, reaching for the glass again. "I can get money here. And there's plenty of places to drink."

"Not the only place that's true." He countered quietly.

"But this is the one I'm at. People know me, I've got things set up."

Jake paused, considering his long absent pilot. "You're not interested in getting more for yourself?"

The tabby shrugged, his mouth filled with beer.

"Not much of an answer." Jake sighed and shook his head. "You know you're worth more than what you're getting."

"You have to be cheap. There are about a million other tabbies just like me." Chance fumbled his wallet out of his pockets and leaved through, checking how much he had left. He stopped a passing waitress and passed her a crumpled bill, getting two tall glasses in return a few minutes later.

"Not everywhere, Chance. Some are willing to pay what you're worth."

"Cathedral." He said the word as though it left a bad taste in his mouth.

"Nearly anyone who has jets." Jake countered gently. "Test pilot isn't a low-value position."

"I don't fly," the tabby replied darkly.

"You still fight?" Jake asked, not allowing himself to be disturbed by the sight before him.

"Sometimes," the tabby shrugged, taking up the next glass. "If it's worth it."

"More than a few places pay well for security that knows how to do more than look good." Jake said quietly. "Especially when you get out of the city itself."

"Cathedral again," Chance muttered, finishing off that drink as well. "These don't last long enough," he complained softly as he reached for the last.

"Again, not just Cathedral." Jake sighed. "Though I'd still like to have you on the team."

Chance snorted softly. "I bet you would."

"It is that hard to believe I care for you?" Jake asked with a little frustration.

"You really need to ask?" The tabby said with a sneer, hiding it behind the next beer glass.

"Yes." Jake said simply.

"Then yes," the tabby replied flatly. "It is."

"Then hard to believe or not, I do." He replied with an honest easy to the words.

Chance shrugged. "Whatever. You don't get freebies for 'old time's sake'."

"I don't want sex from you." Jake said quietly. "Paid or free."

The tabby shrugged. "I couldn't go with you anyway. It's Thursday."

Jake looked at him silently for a long moment. "Do you like this life you've got here?"

"It's life," Chance said with a shrug. "The city's like this. It only looks worth saving from the outside."

"That's not an answer, Chance." Jake said quietly. "Do you like it?"

The tabby shrugged again. "Life sucks. No-one can do anything about it."

"Yes, it does." Jake nodded in utter agreement. "It just doesn't have to suck quite this much."

"And, what, you're my guardian angel? That's a bigger line of bullshit than the first one."

"No, just someone who still cares about you a little." Jake shrugged.

"Enough to buy me a fresh drink?" The tabby asked.

Jake shook his head with a soft chuckle. "Well if you don't have an interest in doing any better, why not." He flagged the waitress down and handed her a bill. "You never could stay away from booze."

"I can't, remember?"

"You can, with support." Jake countered. "Something you never had enough of."

"I don't exactly have a fan club going here, you might have noticed."

"I know." Jake said softly as their drinks arrived. "But you've still got one person who wants to be your friend again."

"Yeah, right. As long as I do anything you say. We've been there."

Jake shook his head and dropped a card on the table as he stood to leave. "You ever feel like seeing what's on offer, or just a drink with me again, give a call."

"Don't hold your breath, I tend to be busy nights." He took the card anyway, slipping it into his pocket as he finished his last drink.

"Yo," Jake answered his private phone line on the way to his office to talk in relative peace.

"Jake, help." It was the tabby's voice, though something was obviously very wrong. "I need a doctor."

"Where are you?" He asked without hesitation, pressing the tracer button on the phone anyway.

"I dunno, some hotel. It's a nice one this time."

"Leave the line open, okay buddy?" Jake voice was the calm command of Razor as he tagged an off base medical emergency and keyed it to his phone and the tracer. "Help's on the way."

"Please," the tabby whimpered. "It hurts."

"Just hold on." Jake shifted the call his a headset and bolted for Amerith to join the medical antigrav in the air.

Jake burst into the hotel room, the medics close on his heels. Chance was lying on the bed, the phone handset hanging loose in one hand. Even from across the room Jake could see the pallor of his skin, and the uneven heaving of his chest. He still had the scents of last night's partners, two of them, clinging to his body, and pale stains in his fur that Jake avoided examining too closely as the battered tom as given a quick field examination, several injections and transferred to a stretcher to be carried to the medical transport, the lead medic working on him as they moved.

The locals just stared at the group as they moved him back out of the room and down the stairs, none of them willing to take any action against the medics though some of the glares they got were openly hostile and were met by open threat from the cinnamon tom in mechanic coveralls.

No one said a word though until the doors to the transport closed and they lifted off.

"What happened?" Jake demanded sharply, worry overriding his usual

"Drug poisoning." The athletic Panther in charge said simply as she worked on another injection much more carefully than the others.

"Who?" His ears flattened.

"If we ever get a suspect, there's plenty of genetic material to compare with."

"I can see." He growled softly at the universe in general.

"Hi, Chance." Jake's voice was soft, the bed he was in was nicer than he could remember being in, and despite the weakness, he didn't hurt anymore.

The tabby moaned softly, the effort to just lift his head was tiring. "Jake?"

"Right here, buddy." He said gently. "Relax, that was some nasty stuff."

"What happened? Where am I?"

"Your last trick drugged you with something really nasty. BioChem's still sorting it out, but I guess you had quite a cocktail in your system." Jake explained softly. "You called me for help."

Chance nodded slowly. "He always gives me something. It was pretty good."

"Good?" The cinnamon tom raised an eyebrow.

"Wild," the tabby smiled weakly, "Absolutely wild. I never had anything like it."

"Worth the painful death?" He asked seriously.

"We're all gonna die Jake."

"You were in enough pain to call me for help." Jake retorted.

The tabby shrugged, unaffected. "You're the one who wanted to play hero. When are they gonna let me go?"

"When they do." Jake flicked his ears back in annoyance. "Probably a day or two."

Chance nodded, settling back into the bed. "Guess I don't have much choice."

"You can challenge it when you can walk out," he shrugged. "Until then, you might as well enjoy the food."

"Better than microwaved," the tabby admitted grudgingly.

"I'd hope so." Jake sighed. "But why go back there, now they you're out?"

"It's where I live," he replied simply.

"It doesn't have to be, Chance." Jake said. "You've got other options."

"Yeah, I'm sure you've just got a desperate shortage of whores around here."

"We have much better than you'll ever be at it," Jake shrugged. "Not the only thing you're good for, you know."

The tabby seemed to collapse inward, as though something had given way inside. "It pretty much is, now," he muttered softly.

"You don't think a strong back isn't worth room and board around here?" Jake asked seriously. "Even if manual labor is all you're good for, it'll get you a nicer bed and better food."

"Pay's better for getting fucked," Chance muttered, turning his face away. "Tricks are easier to find than work, too."

"You've got work, Chance." Jake's voice betrayed his frustration. "You just have to accept it."

"I hate this place."

The lean tom let out a long sigh as he mentally surrendered this fight. "You won't have to stay long."

"I have to get back anyway," the tabby continued. "Or the 'Bangers will sell all my stuff."

"Yeah, that's your concern." Jake said softly and stood. "I don't suppose I'll hear from you before you get in over your head next time?"

The tabby shrugged. "I dunno why I called you. Must have been the drugs."

"I guess so." Jake muttered softly and turned to leave. "Couldn't be because you knew I was probably the last person on the planet that gives a damn about you."

"No-one gives a damn about anyone ... least of all you."

"So why'd I come get you?" Jake shrugged, leaning sideways again the wall.

"You tell me."

"Because I still care about you." Jake repeated. "Even if you don't believe me."

"That's bull," the tabby retorted. "You just wanted to get me up here or something."

"Like I said, whether you believe me or not." He shrugged and turned to leave, walking to the door with an utterly frustrated swishing tail.

By Chance Take 2, Take 2

NC-17 for M/M
Het Level is None
Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Low
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

42 KB, Story is Closed-Unfinished, Series is Closed-Unfinished
Written October 23, 2003 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Vorex

Setting: Cathedral, SWAT Kats

Primary Races: Kantin, Kat, Xanith

Contents: Furry. Slash (M/M). DarkFic, Prostitution

Pairings: Jake Clawson/Chance Furlong

Blurb: Vorex wants a recovery story where Jake and Chance make up after a 'Secrets Too Deep' or 'Razor's New Edge' like scenario. It failed miserably, again.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

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