Death Comes Not Here 1:
Opening of Eyes

by Fur and Fantasy
PG-13 for M/F and Violence
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

"Please make yourself comfortable," the tightly controlled and primp young male Doberman Kantin butler showed Abi Sinnian to a grand library that smelled of an age not possible in it's current home.

"Thank you," Abi said politely, despite her growing impatience. Even the surroundings didn't do much to calm her down. She knew Jake was here, somewhere, and she'd already been waiting a week to find out what was going on.

She was pacing by the time the door opened again and the familiar outline of her boyfriend stepped into the dimly lit room. Just as clearly as it was Jake, it was a very different persona than he showed the world, even her.

"Jake?" Her first impulse was to run up and hold him, but the way he was acting held her back. Even so, she moved closer to him. "What happened?"

"We died," he said simply and stepped into the room. Despite the familiar features and obvious grief, he was dressed nicer and bore an air that set him in place with the manor. "Death just isn't a permanent thing for some of us."

"But ... how?" Abi felt totally out of place, suddenly; like she didn't belong here anymore. "Everybody thinks you're dead but ... you're not, you're here ... what's going on? Why haven't you told anybody?"

"Because Jake Clawson did die back there," he said softly, guiding her to the couch. "I'm sure you know enough to realize that token my mother made is impossibly old."

"Yes," she admitted. It was still in her pocket, actually, the brooch she'd used to find him after the crash, when his body couldn't be found. "I wasn't going to pry, though. If you're not Jake anymore, then who are you?"

"In flux, really." He chuckled at something he found oddly amusing and gently offered to draw her against his side. "Too many know I died back there, so I have to keep my head down for a generation or two while they forget to think it could be me. But for what you are asking, I was called Tyr after my adulthood ceremony."

Abi tried to work her tongue around the strange pronunciation; completely alien from any of the languages she was familiar with, or even their relatives. That wasn't the most important part of that, though. "So you're just going to disappear, for Bastet-knows how long?"

"Well, no." He shook his head slightly. "If I was going to disappear on you, you would have never been given a way to find me, much less this meeting." He told her gently.

"Good," she said quietly, breathing a silent sigh of relief as she took the chance of trying to put her arms around him. "So what are you going to do?"

"Play recluse industrialist for a while, brush up on what's been going on in the Immortal world and bring you up to speed on things."

That caught her attention. "Immortal world - there are more people like you?"

"There is a great deal mundanes don't even dream about walking among them." He chuckled softly and nuzzled her. "Immortals like us, shapeshifters, vampires, magic far beyond the couple lunatics they know of. Powers of all kinds, and most of them are native to Aristal."

"Immortals like you, you mean," she said softly, returning the nuzzle, just glad to be holding him. "Sweet Bastet, I'm glad you're alive. I wasn't sure if I was going to find you, or just find a body."

"It took you long enough to avoid that," he chuckled softly and gently rubbed her arm. "Kari said I was out for over two days after that splattering."

"So how did you get away?"

"My people were the first on the scene and know a few tricks to get bodies out without being detected." He chuckled softly and relaxed. "It's a valuable skill when you need to get your master out of the morgue or grave before he comes around again."

"Damn, that would not be fun," Abi said, shuddering slightly as she nuzzled him again.

"It's not, believe me. Waking up at the bottom of the sea is much worse though."

"And that would have been very hard to explain - it's not exactly like they didn't try their damndest to find you as it was."

"I know, I should never have let myself get so high profile, but I couldn't let Chance down." He sighed softly and closed his eyes in grief that was still bright in his heart. "Mortals have such short times to enjoy the world, and what he wanted was so easy for me to arrange. Same as the funding for your last few digs."

"Chance was one of the good ones," she agreed quietly. "And I don't think there's anybody out there in their right mind who would say you didn't do the right thing, Jake - Tyr," she corrected herself, trying to get as close to what he'd said as she could, with mixed success. "You saved a lot of lives that way."

"And caught a hell of a lot of flack from others for it." He chuckled. "The non-mundane world has a very different morality when it comes to mundanes and their value. There are perks for being the oldest though, with a combat record as solid as mine."

"You want to know what I think they can do with their ideas about the value of mundanes," she asked, her tail twitching behind her slightly. "Besides - I don't know that I would have ever met you if you hadn't been wearing that mask - and that's something I'm very glad for."

"You would have," Jake murmured with a gentle nuzzle and licking kiss to her ear. "I was watching you before I met Chance."

"I'm flattered," she smiled, turning to kiss him softly. "Even so, you did the right thing - and I'm thankful you did, at least. After all," she smirked, "you've pulled my tail out of trouble almost as often as I've gotten into it."

That turned him serious for a moment and he tipped her brown furred face up to meet his gaze. "It's not flattery, you are kin to me and that is one of the great bindings that holds the Immortal world together. We train the young, take care of them until they are ready to go out on their own."

She blinked at that, looking at him as she tried to make sense of that. "What? Are you saying that I'm...."

"Like me." He nodded slightly, watching her carefully. "Yes."

"And nobody ever notices this, before they get killed? I know I haven't ever showed up with anything too strange in physicals, except ... well, you know about that," she said with a slight blush.

"We're sterile after our first death, but that you are before is unusual." Jake told her softly. "And nothing shows up because physically you are a very normal member of your species until that first death. Immortality isn't a genetic thing. It's a spirit and power thing. We still don't know why someone is born Immortal or not, it doesn't run in bloodlines or upbringing, but an Immortal can tell one of our own, and whether you are still a mundane or not."

"It's strange to think that I'll be able to see a time when this is the sort of history I've been trying to learn," she said quietly. "Any rules against asking if I know any, besides you?"

"Yes," he murmured with a light hug. "You won't meet any but your teacher, me, until I'm sure you can handle things. In taking you as my student, I've taken responsibility for you as well. Not just your actions, but for dealing with the fallout if things go badly."

"All right," she nodded, hugging him back. "Any other rules I should know about? Besides the obvious, of course: no telling anybody. I don't want to wind up getting you in trouble if I can help it."

"Try not to get killed." He chuckled softly. "It's much cleaner to go with the ceremony if it's possible. That and you really should set up your disappearance better than I just did. Within the next decade or so you should prepare to leave with me for a while."

"I think I can handle the first one," she chuckled. "After all, I've done a pretty good job of staying alive so far. As for a disappearance - I think that can be arranged, especially since I'm beginning to get the feeling the people who sign the checks are more surprised when I do come back than they would be if I didn't," she said with a chuckle.

"I was thinking more of a retirement disappearance than a 'don't come back' one," he chuckled softly. "Unlike me, there is little reason you couldn't leave. To a better offer even. After all, what better way to learn about the past, than by studying with someone who was there."

"That would work too - retire, head off somewhere obscure to do some private research, and fade away, something like that?"

"That's the basic concept," he nodded. "You have the time and position to arrange for everything, and not loose what you have in this life. Since you aren't going to die, you won't have to worry about getting your will and estate sorted out just yet. It can be a real headache."

"I'll bet it is," she nodded. "I guess that 'quiet' job of mine is finally going to pay off, isn't it?" she chuckled.

"They are a plus," he nodded. "Government jobs aren't very good ones. They want too much accountability. But you can pull it off. But it won't be long before you won't need to work at all."

"One of the training conditions, or just a different definition of 'long,' since I don't see myself becoming independently wealthy all that soon with this job."

"I'll teach you how to set up trust funds, alternant identities and all the other paperwork to handle that. You're job isn't what brings you money, it's the investments."

"And here I thought I'd gotten away from finance once I was out of college," she grumbled good-naturedly, nuzzling his neck while he held her gently.

"Most of us don't really handle our own. There are people who make their living investing for the rest of us. I use them a lot. Once you get corporate level, it's very easy to be a silent partner."

"And it lets the money do some good for other people too," she smiled. "You know, I knew life was going to be weird when I started dating you, but this wasn't exactly what I'd been expecting."

Jake simply laughed lightly. "It'll get much stranger before you get used to it. Have you handled a sword before?" He asked seriously.

"Not seriously," she said, shaking her head slightly. "And not at all in a long time."

"That will have to change," he said softly. "It's the primary drawback to our existence. We have to fight to keep it."

"Other creatures, or other Immortals? I'm guessing it's not about dealing with normal people, since they don't know about ... us," she said, thinking it through. "And you wouldn't have to use a sword with them, either."

"No, you don't." He nodded. "As my last career demonstrated rather well. It's with other Immortals. It will make a lot more sense after your first death, but it is for power. We fight for the power that allows us to exist, perform magic and other things. Fight and permanently kill."

"Is there any need to do this for more than defensive reasons," she asked quietly. "I don't think I like the idea of spending the rest of my life - however long that might be - hunting down people who haven't necessarily done anything to deserve it. I understand needing to know to protect myself," she added quickly, "but is anything beyond that necessary."

"No, it's not required, but you will be challenged once you are no longer my student. It's one on one only too. Winner takes all. You don't have to permanently kill a challenger to win, but you will find it is very difficult once the challenge has begun to stop yourself. There are places in the world that also prevent challenges. I will show you all of them. If you are hunted or challenged and can get onto Sanctuary Ground, it is over. No one fights there, for it takes the power of the winner as well as the looser."

"That would be a very good thing to know," she nodded. "If they're trying to kill me, that's one thing. I'd have to be an idiot not to learn how to fight back," she chuckled a little grimly. "How - how have you handled it?"

"The Challenges?" He looked at her. "I fight. I've gone through hunter phases too, and I will hunt down real troublemakers, but usually I just take out who challenges me and leave everyone else be. That most of those alive and dead trace their training back to me doesn't hurt my status any."

"No, I imagine it wouldn't," she agreed. "They'd have to be suicidal to try taking on somebody who has probably seen every trick they know, and has more up his sleeve. Are there any other particular ways to be killed I have to be on the lookout for, other than Immortals? I mean, if you can survive what happened with the jet, there probably isn't too much, but it would be something to keep in mind."

"There is only one way to die for good, and that's beheading by another Immortal or creature that can absorb the energy." He said softly. "Even a regular beheading won't work, though like being disintegrated or splattered like I just was, it'll take time to recover from. How long is based largely on how much power you have in your soul. If you'd taken the kind of damage I did in the crash, it would take you years to wake up again."

"You'll be glad to know that I don't plan on testing that, if I can avoid it," Abi chuckled slightly. "But it's good to know. Anything else I should know now?"

"A great deal," Jake chuckled softly. "Most of my students stay with me for at least a couple centuries as students. There will be time for it all."

"I was thinking more about things for the first day," she chuckled. "If you could teach me everything I'll need to know in the first few minutes, then you would seriously need to reconsider your career choices. And I have to admit, I can think of a few worse ways to spend a couple centuries than working with and learning from you," she smiled.

"This isn't technically your first day, Abi." He turned serious. "You haven't experienced your first death yet. I didn't intend to die quite this soon."

"No," she said quietly, "I don't imagine you did. So the idea is to live life normally, then start learning about this after I die the first time? Or is it just that plans have to be changed now?"

"Normally, you aren't told anything until after your first death, so your first life is as normal as possible. Circumstances have changed timing a little, but a couple weeks won't alter the big picture much. And no, you don't have to retire in two weeks, that's just the best timing for the ceremony."

"Normal and MegaKat City don't often meet," Abi chuckled slightly. "Were you planning on 'dying' sometime soon already?"

"Very true," he smiled softly. "Not for a couple decades, but as soon as I realized the kind of job I was getting involved in I had contingencies in place to handle just what's happened."

"Makes sense," she said with a slight sigh and pressed against his strong side. "It's really surprising you two managed to last as long as you did, thinking about it."

"That comes mostly from the fact that I use a hell of a lot of tricks and things that don't exist anymore." He shook his head slightly. "It's about to get very nasty though. This fight is no longer just a mortal squabble. Many of those Omegas are supernaturals, my turf. And this city is mine." He growled softly.

"And the other supernaturals in the city just don't care? Or are they just in denial? I have a hard time believing they'd be willing to let things like the Pastmaster just keep on going without a fight - it doesn't make sense."

"Most aren't in tune enough with the mortal world to care, many of the others simply don't have the resources to deal with them without coming into light, something they'd rather see the city fall than do." He shrugged. "Most of the really powerful creatures don't live in cities, don't care about cities, or even actively dislike them. Even those of us who do, twenty years is a very short time to most us, a few hours in your life, if that. I was born before language existed, Abi. I may be one of the oldest creatures on this planet, but I'm far from the only one who regularly doesn't look up from a project for a couple centuries or more."

"I guess I just have a hard time seeing how somebody could have the power to help, but not be willing to," Abi sighed. "It'll make sense eventually, I'm sure - just probably not too soon."

"Probably not." He murmured gently. "Understanding some of their outlooks takes a lot of work. But for most who would, haven't you ever missed a meal because you got absorbed in some project?"

"Yeah," she admitted, relaxing slightly. "I guess you're right. Still, large chunks of the city exploding seem like they'd be a little harder to ignore, unless you weren't there."

"You've done it," he pointed out with a tap on her nose. "More than once I've come from a battle to check on you to find you in your lab completely oblivious to the fireworks."

"Point made," she admitted with a slight sigh. "Just seems strange yet, to think of being able to ignore that much going on around you for that long a time."

"You'll get it. After a couple millennia, ten or twenty years can pass by in a breath." He chuckled knowingly. "But one of these days I'm going to take you on a proper world tour. The kind that takes a century or two. It's the best way to see the beauty of the world."

"Just be careful taking me around historical sites on that tour," Abi smirked. "Or I might get it a lot faster than you'd like."

"Historical is so relative," Jake laughed and kissed her gently. "Is it really historical when your tour guide saw it built?"

"It is when you're tour guide has several centuries on you," Abi smirked, returning the kiss. "As long as you haven't seen it built too."

"Then we're going to have a very long tour." He chuckled and relaxed against the plush couch. "Of course, once you're caught up, then I get to go back to exploring."

"Exploring?" she asked curiously.

"Yes, exploring. The universe. You realize by the time I've shown you around Aristal and you don't need my protection anymore there will be a well established space program going."

"You're right," she said, a little surprised to think of it that way. "And all the time you could want to explore - even if you don't think of all the ways the world itself will have changed in that time."

"Well, the trick with the tour is to not get too out of touch with the modern world. In these days, that's actually important." He smiled and nuzzled her gently. "Unlike the most of history where you could let millennia pass and not miss more than a couple name changes on the rulers."

"And today, you'd be lucky if the language was close enough to the same for you to recognize it," she smiled, relaxing into the contact and nuzzling him back. "I think that's why I like old things. They'll stay the same from one day to the next, barring lunatics trying to use them to take over the city."

"I like the change, the technology and things moving fast." He smiled and nuzzled her supportively. "But that's me. Most prefer things the way they were, before jets and telephone and computers."

"Well, that far I wouldn't go," Abi admitted. "At least not for more than a season or two. But I think I can see where they'd be coming from. A lot of people talk about how they preferred simpler times. They're just usually talking about twenty years ago, instead of a hundred."

"Or five thousand, which is who I usually hear it from." Jake snickered softly. "I hear no end of bitching because of the extent that I've cultivated technology and change over the years."

"They have no right to complain if they aren't living in the middle of nowhere during the worst weather it has to offer at the time, with nothing more than a tent," Abi chuckled. "I know that's changed the tune of a few of my colleagues before."

"True, though it doesn't get to many of mine." He laughed and tipped her chin up for a lingering kiss tinged with desire. "They only see how much harder it is to get servants, power and disappear when they want, or do what they want when they want. I may miss it a bit, but I like the perks more."

"Good to know," Abi purred back, returning the kiss eagerly and putting her arms around him. "Sweet Bastet I've missed you."

"It's very mutual," he murmured after another kiss and guided her gently to her back on the couch. "I will have to introduce you to her one of these days. I think you'll like each other."

Death Comes Not Here 1: Opening of Eyes

PG-13 for M/F and Violence
Het Level is Medium
Slash Level is
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

21 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written February 28, 2004 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann

Setting: Highlander (generic), SWAT Kats

Primary Races: Kat

Contents: Furry. Het (M/F). Alternate Universe, Death

Pairings: Jake Clawson/Abi Sinnian

Blurb: Jake and Abi have been seriously dating for several years when the unthinkable happens: SWAT crashes and burns. While most of T-Bone's body was recovered, only blood and a bit of flesh could be found of Razor, and that is not an answer Abi can accept.

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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