Eureka Kats 9.99:
Christmas Preparations

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

"So, are we going to set the tree up at my place, or over here?" Marie asked Chance and Jake later that night. "I've got an artificial one, if you don't want to mess around with the real thing."

"I like how evergreens smell," Jake said quietly, glancing between the other two.

"We can go with a real one too," Chance said easily. "Gotta be somewhere in town that sells them," he chuckled.

"Yeah, there is," Marie smiled. "If you look hard enough, we can even find ones that haven't been tweaked with, or we can just go out of town if you want the natural sort without hunting."

"How tweaked with?" Jake asked.

"Usually things like better color and needle retention, aiming for better spacing on the branches, that kind of thing; the usual genetic work. Christmas trees don't usually get the weird stuff," Marie giggled.

"I think we'll go for the natural angle," Chance shook his head. "How far out of town do we have to go to just have good trees to check out?"

"If you want 'em fresh, there should be a farm just a few minutes out of town," Marie said easily. "Want to head out tonight?"

"It's not too early?" Jake asked, even though he was already headed for the closet for their coats and holo-belts.

"Nope," she said easily, taking her belt and coat from Jake. "If we find a good one, keep it watered right, it'll last out the season easy. One thing that isn't cheating is using the family recipe to keep it in good shape," she winked.

"So is there any reason beyond tradition for cutting down a tree and sticking it in your living room for a month?" Jake asked as they checked each other for the hologram looking right.

"Not really," Marie admitted. "At least not that isn't just part of another tradition. It's one of the reasons a lot of folks have gone to artificials, along with cleaning up needles through the next few months ... going to need to pick up a stand and mat too," she mused.

"And things to decorate it with," Chance added with a grin as they headed into the cool, light wind that this time didn't carry snow or rain.

"Those I've got," Marie grinned back. "We'll want to take either my car, or your truck; up to you guys."

"The car's more comfortable," Jake said.

"But the truck'll make it easier to bring back, and it's nice and cozy," Chance winked.

"And we can snuggle while the tabby drives," Marie giggled. "Besides, more space for a good-sized tree that'll handle the decorations."

"All right," Jake nodded and climbed into the truck after Marie to settle in. "What kinds of decorations do you have?"

"The usual lights, bulbs, some garland and tinsel. A few different sorts that are a bit more personal... hard to describe them all," she smiled as they pulled out and headed out of town. "We should go somewhere so you guys can pick out a couple, after we have the tree, but that can wait a day or two if you'd rather."

"We might want to tonight, since we actually have Jake's attention," Chance teased.

"Oh, I think we could get it again if we have to, but you're probably right," she giggled. "Besides, then we can get the decorating done tonight, have some hot chocolate, and go snuggle up for a while."

"Now that last one sounds really good," Jake purred and nuzzled her. "Maybe try out that new fireplace."

"Sounds good to me," she rumbled, returning the nuzzle and leaning against him likely. "Mmm ... then we'll have to get the rest of our Christmas shopping done some time soon. I hate doing it at the last minute," she chuckled.

"We got ours done already," Jake chuckled. "Internet's great, and gifts are easy to figure out."

"Maybe for you," Marie snorted. "I've got you guys, a couple co-workers, Dad, Cindy... thinking about trying to get Mom something, but it's hard to come up with ideas that wouldn't just make things nastier."

"Hey, our list wasn't that short either," Chance objected.

"Remember, all his girlfriends get something," Jake added. "Plus you, your dad, each other, Cindy, Cathy, Zoe and Jo."

"Oh, all right," Marie chuckled slightly. "Well then I'll just have to handle the last of my shopping on my own... mostly for Mom and Cindy, honestly. You might actually be able to help with that," she mused, looking over at Chance. "You can fill me in on whether or not I'd be repeating anything for her."

"Sure, what did you have in mind?" he glanced at her as they took the only road out of town.

"Nothing specific in mind," she giggled. "Y'see, when we were in college, she got me started on Zeta's toys as a joke gift. Since then, we've kinda been dueling with toys or videos, trying to one-up each other. I just don't want to repeat something she already owns."

"Well I do know her collection fairly well," Chance grinned. "Unless you want to make something unique for her."

"Private videos are out, at least ones starring Cindy or I, if that's what you're thinking," Marie said, shaking her head a bit. "If you're thinking of something else, go ahead," she added with a grin.

"Pretty much what I was thinking," Chance admitted.

"Of course, I suppose we could do one with the two of you," she mused, playfully nuzzling Jake. "Or some of the others who might be interested."

"Tonya?" Chance half-suggested, honestly not sure if Jake would go for it. He was relaxing a lot about females, but it was still always when he wanted something that she had to offer beyond just sex.

"Maybe," Jake said uncertainly. "I don't think I know her."

"Girl I met at the Heat Wave, I've gone out with her a couple times since then," Chance explained. "Has a real thing for body paint."

"Oh God, her," Marie giggled. "Actually, don't think she's in many of Cindy's videos."

"I don't know if she'd go for it, but it could be a lot of fun. She makes an incredibly hot Tigress," Chance added with a low rumble.

"Huh?" Jake asked, looking over at Chance, cocking his head curiously.

"She specializes in new materials," Marie explained. "Including body paint in place of clothes... there's been a couple incidents, and sometimes I think that the only thing she's wearing at work is her lab coat, but I don't try to look too closely. More on the topic though, one thing did occur to me... how do you feel about spying on Chance and Cindy some night?" She asked Jake with a cheerful purr.

"Like fun," he grinned at his mate. "Assuming she wouldn't freak."

"She'd probably be pissed just long enough to get us out so she could enjoy it in private," Marie snickered. "She gets off on being watched as much as on watching."

"Especially if she knows whoever's watching is getting off too," Chance purred deeply.

"Sounds like we have a surprise to set up," Jake grinned playfully. "And probably a really hot addition to our video collection."

"Okay, so where exactly is this tree place?" Chance asked.

"Should be about two miles down, on the left," she said easily. "Just stick on the main highway."

"Right," Chance nodded and kept an eye open for a place with lots of evergreen trees and some indication they were for sale, unlike the forest all around them.

"There it is," Marie indicated as they approached the reasonably sized tree farm. "Should still have a bunch of good ones to pick from too."

"We'll have to trust you on that one," Jake said as they pulled into the well-marked parking lot with several vehicles already there.

"Mainly, you want to find one that's tall and fairly straight," Marie explained. "The thicker the better, usually."

"Not gonna touch that one," Chance chuckled as they unbuckled and climbed out.

She could only roll her eyes as Jack snickered.

"Welcome," an older man that looked like he worked with trees for a living greeted them warmly. "Would you care for a warm drink while you look around?"

"Cider, if you've got any left?" Marie asked easily, not sure how long it would take to look around, but pretty sure that Chance and Jake would be half-frozen by the time they were done, fur coat or not. They just weren't used to anything resembling wet or cold weather.

"Of course," he said easily and turned to go the few steps to his small shack to pour hot water into three paper cups after emptying a packet of powder into each.

"Thanks," Marie smiled, taking her cup and letting the kats take theirs. "So, let's go take a look," she said, leading the two of them towards the back rows. They passed among Canaan, Douglas, Noble, Fraser and Balsam firs, Virginia and Scotch Pins and White Spruce, each in their own groupings and roughly sorted by size. Everything from little two foot tall tabletop trees to twenty foot monsters where available, but the bulk were between five and seven feet tall.

"Kats, this place smells good," Jake breathed in deeply.

"Pretty potent, but yeah," Marie agreed. "So, any particular direction that smells good to you guys?"

"These smell really good," Jake motioned to a group a medium green trees with a lavish spread of limbs covered in short branches loaded with needles. They looked fairly solid, but not as tightly packed as some trees there.

"Douglas Firs," she nodded. "It's a good one for decorating."

"Let's look through them then," Chance grinned, taking a sip of his drink before they started back into that area of the farm.

"How tall are you guys interested in decorating?" Marie asked as they looked through them.

"Not too tall for the ceiling," Jake shrugged. "So Chance's easy reach is as tall as we could go."

"Sounds good to me; we won't have to screw around with a stepstool to get things on top of it," she grinned.

"How about this one?" She asked after they'd spent a few minutes looking through the rows of trees. "Shouldn't be too tall, and we shouldn't be able to see through back into the trunk too much once it's decorated."

"Sure," Chance nodded. "You're the one who knows what to look for."

"Brave soul, trusting me," she giggled, looking over towards the edge of the farm and quieting down quickly. "Look over there," she whispered, indicating a thicker patch of woods just off the farm's sale lot.

Both kats froze; their senses open as they zeroed in on the movement.

"Two, three does," Jake said softly. "Brave creatures."

"They know there won't be any hunters around here," Marie pointed out in a soft whisper. "White-tail deer," she added as one of them poked its head out of cover and looked around, watching the three of them carefully. "Don't suppose somebody nabbed an apple or something on the way out?" She asked curiously.

"No," Jake shook his head, fascinated by the wild animals that really didn't seem to care they were there.

"Nope," Chance agreed, watching just as intently as a yearling stepped out next, leaning down to sniff at a Styrofoam cup somebody had dropped earlier, licking at whatever was left inside it.

"Mommie!" a kid screamed for some reason, sending all four animals scattering into the denser woods.

"Well, it was a nice moment while it lasted," Marie giggled. "So, think we'd decided on this one?" She asked. "Can you guys handle it?"

"Of course," Chance looked at her like she'd lost her mind.

"You're actually questioning his strength?" Jake laughed with a shake of his head and reached into the tree to pull it's tag off. "Yeah, we'll manage fine."

"Well, it is big," Marie said sheepishly Chance grunted and took the tree, bigger than he was in size, against his back. "Let's get it out to the truck then, before you have needles all over in your fur," she grinned and went up to pay for it while the guys secured it to the backof the tow truck the back of the tow truck.

Before long, they were on their way back home, picking up the supplies they would need at the store in Eureka before heading back to the house.

"I'll go get my decorating supplies, you guys want to get the tree set up?" Marie asked as she climbed out of the truck. "Oh, and you'll want to cut off about an inch at the bottom, it'll last longer."

"All right," Jake nodded and went to get a saw while Chance set up the tree holder. By the time Marie returned with boxes of decorations from her home there was sawdust on the floor, an inch of the trunk by the door and the guys were using thin cables to secure the tree to the floor so it would stand straight and not fall over for anything.

"You guys are firm believers in backups, aren't you?" Marie murmured as they sank the last tie-downs and put the needle-mat down.

"That base didn't seem very stable once the tree was in it," Jake shrugged and walked over to take some of the boxes from her. "Will all these go on this tree?"

"Maybe not all of them, but there'll be plenty of room for most of it," she said easily. "A lot of this is packaging. I've got the lights in this last one," she explained, setting it down and opening it up.

"So these go on first?" Jake asked as he helped her unpack many boxes of neatly ordered, tiny lights on a green electric wire.

"Yep, the way I do it anyways," she nodded. "Are we going to need an extension cord?" She asked, getting down to look for an outlet for later.

"Probably," Chance nodded and motioned towards the nearest free plug.

"I've got the transmission plug in the box, if one of you guys can grab it!" She called up, following Chance's gesture to the outlet and holding her hand out for it. Her fingers closed on reflex at pressure on her palm. It was only when she brought her hand forward that she realized it had been tossed to her.

"Showoffs," she teased lightly, plugging in the specialized device that passed for one end of an extension cord in Eureka. "Okay, let's get the lights on now, and then we can plug them in and see how it looks," she said as she stood up. "By the way, will you guys mind having Cindy over for Christmas, if she doesn't have plans already?"

"I don't," Chance grinned.

"Nah, it'll make for a good show," Jake chuckled. "Whether or not they manage to keep their hands off each other."

"Especially if she wants to watch her present," Marie teased. "Neither of you guys has a problem with blinking lights, right?" She asked as they started stringing the tree, weaving the lights over and under the branches on each level, the guys following her lead.

"Haven't seen them before," Jake said truthfully.

"It doesn't sound nice though," Chance answered doubtfully.

"We can set it up for steady, but... hang on, easy way to find out," she said, heading over for the other end of the power transmitter and a small green box that the lights plugged into. The lights turned on, steady as the colors alternated from one bulb to the next.

"If I turn on the box, the lights will start blinking in time with the music," she explained, starting it up, the Christmas carols they were getting used to starting to play, and the lights blinking, creating the illusion that they were moving along the string.

"I can see that if we're dancing, but ..." Chance murmured.

"It won't be bad as long as it's only when the music plays," Jake added, though his expression was as dubious as his partner's.

"It is, and that's as easy as flipping the switch out of position three to turn off," she reassured them, turning it off so they could keep stringing the lights. "Could leave it run while the volume's turned down, but no reason to if it bugs you guys. It's not easy to find those anymore; it's something that's been in the family since I was a kid," she smiled with fond memories.

"I'm sure we can have it on for a while," Jake decided as the three went to work stringing up the rest of her lights until there wasn't a square inch of the tree's outer branches that didn't have a light. Most where white, but there were strings of colors here and there to make a visual mix that broke all the strings up into a mesh of light over the sizeable noble fir.

Marie handed Chance the star to go on top, letting him mount it, then stepped back to look at their work.

"Okay," she grinned. "Now for the other decorations," she told them with a nod towards the boxes. "Think we can pass on the garland, unless you guys want to use it, we covered the tree a bit better than I usually do with the lights."

"Is there any order to the rest of these?" Jake asked as he pulled out several boxes of tissue paper wrapped and packed glass ornaments.

"Some people say there should be, I don't really worry about it myself," Marie said easily. "We want to leave space for three more ornaments though, and the box over there goes on last," she explained, nodding towards the smallest of them. "Another of those family tradition things."

"No problem," Chance nodded and began to hook the small hooks onto tree branches as he was handed them or grabbed a few while the others worked. Even without all the cultural significance most had for the activity, and how little it would normally appeal to him, there was something to be said for doing something with family that made someone he cared about happy and didn't make him miserable. He couldn't say he understood why cutting down a healthy tree, putting it in the living room and then dressing it up like a hooker who won the lottery was at all useful, but Marie was sure enjoying having them help out.

In the end, it turned out that she'd been right about the packaging; there weren't nearly as many ornaments as it had originally looked like to hang up, even though they did leave some down. It was mostly bulbs and similar things they'd see on other trees that were out for display, along with a few older ornaments that had either small nativity scenes inside them or nature scenes. Once they were up, Marie opened up the smaller box, revealing a handful of ornaments that seemed to be more unique.

"My Dad actually barely has any ornaments left that are the 'normal' sort," Marie explained as she hung them up, carefully picking out their locations. "Every year, we used to go pick out or make a personal ornament for each of us, something we really liked. He still has the ones I picked out before I started my grad programs, but I've got my own set I'm starting up here."

Once they were on the tree, it was easier to see what they were ... a pine cone that was decorated to look like a fluffed-out cat, a wooden nutcracker that had been painted to look almost like a strange sort of bird, a couple others, mostly with animal motifs, though the beaded double-helix was probably the most unusual of them.

"Does this one look familiar?" She asked with a giggle as she hung up the last one, a pair of plastic deer posed in a winter forest, inside a small plastic bulb.

"Yeah, but the DNA strand is so you," Jake grinned and kissed her cheek. "So what's next?"

"That was when I decided to go ahead with making the me you've got now," she purred. "And now, unless you guys have anything you'd like to add, we can make some cocoa and start the fire, after we put the boxes away. We'll go pick out this year's ornaments some time this weekend?"

"Sounds good," Jake nuzzled her neck and slid his arms around her. "By next year, maybe we'll all have a reason to put up a tree."

"Maybe we will," she rumbled, returning the nuzzle and turned around to kiss him lightly. "So, do you have something like Christmas back home?" She asked them as Chance made quick work of stowing the boxes and they snuggled up on the couch for a bit of a rest.

"In a very distant way," Jake nodded and happily snuggled between his mate and his lover when Chance joined them and clicked the fireplace to life with a remote. "There is a winter solstice calibration for the beginning of the new year and more light. There were feasts, decorations, sometimes gifts. Everyone gave thanks to Bastet and others for surviving the worst of the cold times and asking for help to survive the rest. A lot of kittens were sired about then in older times. Those devout to Bastet frequently do something during the solstice week, but it is uncommon outside the temples and a few homes these days."

"Mmm ... you guys want to do something for it, or weren't you into it that much?" Marie asked as she pressed up against Jake lightly, the lights on the tree shining steadily and mixing with the flicker of the gas fireplace to make a warm glow in the living room.

"I can't say I even knew of it," Chance admitted.

"Giving thanks ... I've always done privately," Jake said softly. "It sounds like a lot of Christmas traditions fit in well. Especially the big meal with family and friends."

"Yeah, what's your father doing?" Chance asked.

"I'll have to ask, but I'm thinking that if it's okay with you guys, we might have him over instead of the other way around, at least for a while. It'd just mean that you and Cindy have to behave for a bit longer," Marie teased Chance lightly.

"I would think at least dinner should be fine," Jake said. "And some of the gift-opening."

"That'd be great," she smiled, snuggling up against him. "Could wait for another day, but it'd be nice to have him over."

"We may not celebrate many days, but the importance of family has made it through on this one despite the commercialization of it," Jake smiled at her. "We made it through a dinner with you in heat. I think we can manage this."

"Mmm ... good," she purred, standing up. "I'll go get the water started, be back soon," she explained as she headed out to the kitchen.


Jake was just booting up his computer the next morning when his IM window popped up, almost the instant that he'd gotten signed into it.

stingai: Hello, RazorKat. Been a while. :)

RazorKat: Been busy. How are things for you?

stingai: Strange. Father hasn't been back yet. :( Nobody else really wants to talk either. When I try to say hello, they go offline.

RazorKat: A lot of folks around here are nervous about folks they don't know in person.

stingai: I guess. Makes it hard to find out about things though. Trying to figure out what all the trouble was earlier in the week, but nobody's wanted to talk about it.

RazorKat: A lot of glitches happened all at once. Some critters got loose, vids went where they shouldn't have, that kind of thing. Annoyed the hell out of the Sheriff and Stark.

stingai: Stark's scary. O_o I know I don't want to annoy him. Did anybody get hurt?

RazorKat. Stark's not too bad, but I have to agree with you. No one got hurt that I heard of, but I don't know everything about what happened. I just helped clean up the mess. Where were you when it happened?

stingai: Trying to find somebody to talk to. I didn't really notice much happening besides what usually does. Then the power went out. o_o Had to restore a bunch of stuff from backups after that.

RazorKat: Yeah, that was a headache and a half. I got lucky. I wasn't doing anything very computer-related at the time, so I just had to double-check everything when it came back on line. Bunch of stuff didn't reboot quite right.

stingai: Ugh, I hate it when that happens. It can take forever to straighten yourself out. :( Hope you didn't lose anything?

RazorKat: A couple saved games, nothing important.

stingai: That's good. :) BTW, hope your mate didn't mind us talking last time.

RazorKat: No, he just wanted his turn for attention :)

stingai: What's he like? :)

RazorKat: A buff, hotshot pilot with a heart of gold. We've been together for a long time.

stingai: You're not from Eureka then? You haven't been around here that long, so....

RazorKat: No, not from Eureka.

stingai: Oh, okay... so where are you from?

RazorKat: Quite far away.

stingai: Can't say anything else about it? :( I can keep a secret. :)

RazorKat: Maybe, but computers aren't secure.

stingai: Sure I am. Firewalls, full AV, and I know not to go poking around places I can pick up spyware.

RazorKat: Impressive. I'm not so confident. Want to meet somewhere we can talk more openly?

stingai: Like where?

RazorKat: how about my place?

stingai: When? :)

RazorKat: Tomorrow morning, about now?

stingai: Sounds good. :) I'll see you then, maybe meet your mate too.

RazorKat: Maybe, but he hates getting up so early. See you then.

stingai: See you then.

Jake signed off, just as Marie stepped up behind him.

"You sneaking around with somebody online?" She asked teasingly, licking his ear lightly.

"Hardly," he paused and turned his head to kiss her. "Somebody's either very odd, or trying a little too hard at social engineering. They'll try to come by tomorrow morning."

"Mmm ... in Eureka, bet on very odd," she giggled, kissing him back. "Chance is still asleep ... anything in particular you'd like to do while we've got the chance?" She purred.

"Snuggle by the fire, with less on?" he suggested with a deep purr as he stood and slid his arms around her.

"Not much to take off yet," she teased, kissing him and purring happily even as Jake activated the fire by remote. "But it sounds good to me," she added, undoing his belt while he slid her robe from her shoulders. She moaned softly when he began to nibble down her neck as he guided her to the faux fur rug laid out in front of the fire.

She undid his pants, nibbling the edge of one of his ears as she relaxed on the floor, running her fingers through his fur.

"You're something else," she murmured as he nibbled her collarbone and pressed up against him.

"So are you," Jake said as he breathed deeply of her scent and the light musk of their early arousal. He lowered his head to lick her breasts slowly while his hands caressed her flat belly, playing with her fur.

"Mmm ... maybe, but around here, you're a bit more unique," she purred, scratching the back of his neck lightly, watching the way the firelight played across his cinnamon fur. "Never thought I'd meet somebody like you."

Jake nodded and kissed her gently as he slipped his fingers between her legs. "But you ... you've given me something I never thought possible. Enjoying a female isn't something I ever thought I would do."

"Ooh... I'm glad you do though," she grinned down at him, spreading her legs to give him better access to her. The heat of the fire and the heat of his body washed over her as he indulged in his love of touch and taste.

Marie whimpered and stroked his hair and ears as he settled between her legs. He slowly slid his tongue across the engorged flesh his fingers had encouraged to their full swell.

She moaned deeply, squeezing one of her breasts as Jake lapped up her juices. She wrapped one leg around him lightly, rubbing the spot above his tail with her heel as he ate her out. She felt her juices flow from her body, some to be soaked into Jake's fur, some to dribble down her ass to the soft faux fur under her.

"Oh, Jake," she cried out, the pleasure he was inflicting slowly spiraling out of control through her body.

She nearly cried out in objection when his tongue disappeared, only to moan mindlessly as he thrust into her with a single, powerful stroke.

She pulled him close, kissing him hungrily, tasting her juices on his breath as she milked his cock. She raked her claws down his back, shuddering as his rubbery barbs worked the inside of her sex.

"Oh yes ," Jake cried out and arched sharply, pushing into her claws as he put even more strength into each thrust, eager to get them both off.

"Fuck yes," Marie moaned, pressing up into him. She cried out again, sharply, as her body started to spasm around his cock, working him hungrily as she came hard. She knew, distantly, that she was drawing blood when her claws extended out of her control, and that the depth of his roar as he filled her with his seed was because of it.

Once his stilled, she gingerly pulled her claws out of his back, licking them clean before kissing him tenderly.

"Mmm ... lucky for me that doesn't bother you," she purred lazily.

"Lucky for me you don't mind either," Jake shuddered and began to thrust into her again with a gentle kiss. "Love you, Marie."

"Love you too, Jake," she moaned happily.

"And I'd love both of you a lot more if you'd just keep it down for another hour or so," Chance groused from the door of the living room, leaning against it with the sleepy glare he usually reserved for people who woke him up in the middle of the night without something being on fire.

"Don't want to join in?" Jake looked at him with an unabashed lust.

"You know, there was a time I'd have just about died to see you like this, but right now you are just too damn noisy," Chance grumbled.

"Mmm... we'll try to quiet down," Marie promised, biting Jake's shoulder lightly.

It drew a crying moan from him that made her words questionable.

"Good... I'll be back in an hour or two," Chance muttered, turning around and heading back to bed.

"Snuggle, or gags?" Jake asked, trembling in erotic pain.

"Mmm ... gags, if you've got enough to go around," Marie grinned up at him.

"I have enough," he reluctantly pulled out of her and stood to get the strips of cloth while she waited for him.


"What the hell is up with this thing?" Chance asked irritably as he tried to microwave the pizza that was left over from the night before. "Keeps cutting -" There was a loud 'fzzt' as the microwave sparked and went dead.

"Okay... I think I'll just have breakfast cold," the tabby decided. "Isn't your friend supposed to be over soon?"

"Two hours ago, actually," Jake grumbled as he worked to get the Wii and TV to start talking to each other again.

"I think it's safe to assume he's not gonna show," Chance grumbled. "At least it doesn't look like everybody's got the crazy stuff going on here."

"I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing," Jake shook his head. "I think I'll head out to the lake and grab a swim. Nothing's going on that would keep him away this long."

"Want me to call your cell if he turns up?" Chance asked around a bite of pizza.

"Sure, though I won't have it with me once I'm underwater," Jake said before heading to the bathroom for the swimming gear. "I'll be back in a while."

"Try to make it before dinner, okay?" Chance said with a tolerant grumble.

"You guys could always come with me," Jake teased.

"Are you kidding? We'd never get back," Chance smirked. "Have a good time, okay? Gimme a call if something goes screwy with your bike."

"Will do," Jake promised and walked out of the house with his swimming tote over his shoulder, looking forward to spending a couple hours in the water despite the cold. It was the one time he really didn't care. It just felt too good to be free in the open water with nothing but himself there. His mates were fun to have along, the sex was astounding, but it was sometimes even better when they weren't along.

Like this, he could just go swim around and explore ... see if he could find some fish, or play with any otters that swam by. It wasn't often, but once in a while he got the chance.

The drive didn't take him too long, and he quickly was stripped down, sitting at the edge of the lake as he put the collar and breather on. He slipped into the water and was beneath it in an instant; it might not have been as good as being part fish, but it was still better than anything he'd had before.

That first breath was still frightening, his instincts screaming against it, but once it came in as air, everything settled and he could focus on the freedom of the water. The light of the upper water faded and strengthened as he dove and surfaced, twisted and leapt.

He laughed a mouthful of water and pushed it out with his tongue. Even as he felt the cold sink to his skin, he felt himself let go of care, fear, frustration ... everything but the raw, elemental joy of movement and freedom.

He caught a glimmer of silver as a trout swam by, twisting to swim away from him and through a beam of light that passed between some lilypads on the surface. Some of the plants near the bottom brushed against Jake's nude body, sticking lightly to his fur.

The fish were always so beautiful down here, when they were so ugly above the water. Here, they didn't look like they were good only to eat. Here, they were like powerful birds darting through the water, and here, Jake was nearly one of them.

He let his mind drift, giddy with the joy of absolute freedom. It was only a little niggling in the back of his mind that something wasn't quite right, but he couldn't think of what it was. There were too many distractions that were far more interesting.

He spotted some motion near the inlet to the lake, and identified it as an otter swimming down to look for freshwater clams. For a brief moment, the idea crossed his mind that if he wanted to, he could probably find a few to take home for dinner ... that could've been interesting, fresh chowder.

He soon lost track of the idea as the movement brought to mind the seductive memories of sex down here and he let himself float midway down the lake. He began to stroke himself, the familiar activity only heightening his sense of something being wrong, but he couldn't place it.

He masturbated happily, ignoring the feeling as he felt a pleasant buzz filling his body. After several minutes, he moaned, a large bubble of air erupting towards the surface as his balls pulled close, spraying his seed into the water to drift off.

It the naturally hazy moments afterwards his brain finally tracked down just what felt wrong, and his eyes shot open wide even as he kicked up hard, swimming for the surface as quickly as he could manage. Still fifty feet down, he knew he wasn't going to make it. Too far to go, too much oxygen; he'd be unconscious with distance still to go.

He ripped the device from his nose and held his breath as momentum and buoyancy propelled him towards the surface even as his awareness of it faded into blackness.


Meanwhile, back in town, Chance was getting lunch at the Cafe Diem to take back home when Sheriff Carter came in.

"Hey, Sheriff," he said, his tone friendly. "Got a few minutes?"

"Of course," he nodded to the human-looking Kat. "What's up?"

"I was hoping you'd be willing to talk about Zoe a bit," Chance admitted. "If you don't mind?"

"No," Carter scowled. "What did she do this time?"

"Nothing," Chance said quickly, mentally scolding himself for not realizing what it might sound like. "She didn't do anything, it's not talking about her like that."

That pretty clearly surprised the sheriff, but he relaxed and gave Chance his full attention. "Let me order, and we can sit down?"

"Sure, I just figured you'd already called it in," Chance said easily, heading over to one of the tables to wait for Carter to join him. It didn't take long.

"Okay, so what is it?" Carter asked as he sat down with a cup of coffee in one hand.

"Well... she's your daughter, and it's not my place to say how you bring her up, but it's already been more than a month since that bit with the club. She screwed up, yeah, but... it seems like it's a pretty harsh time of year to have her under house arrest, for what happened."

"I'm going to have at least one major holiday without her in trouble," he said firmly.

"There was Thanksgiving," Chance pointed out, "and just because she's not stuck in the house doesn't mean she's going to be in trouble. There's a lot of stuff going on this time of year, it just doesn't seem fair that she has to miss all of it, have her sixteenth birthday party put off until she's almost closer to seventeen, and generally be miserable for the rest of the year for something that was probably as much my fault as hers. Would it really be that chancy to just let her go to a couple of the Christmas parties, maybe with somebody to keep an eye on her? The public ones," he added. "Though I don't think the Heat Wave has one."

"It does," he said grimily, though his expression wasn't quite as sever. "You're volunteering, I take it?"

"If you'd still trust me after Halloween, sure," Chance agreed easily. "You've got a good kid, Sheriff ... she just isn't really cut out for following rules yet. I know what that was like," Chance chuckled slightly.

"You still don't," Carter pointed out with a shake of his head. "That doesn't give me much hope for her, you know."

"I follow the big ones," Chance pointed out. "And she does too, really ... at least as far as I know. One of these days, she'll shape up a bit. She's just ... still a kid, in a lot of ways. Just not always the ways a good Dad would want her to be," he admitted. "Really, sometimes she's just looking for your attention."

"She could find better ways to do that," Carter scowled.

"But not more effective ones," Chance said. "Watch how fast you are to praise her in comparison to how fast you are to condemn her. Sometimes negative attention is better than no attention."

"Now you're starting to sound like Beverly," Carter grumbled. "I'll think about the Christmas party though."

"'Cause for once, she's right," Chance shook his head. "And thanks. I'll keep her safe."

"I'm planning on spending that night with Zoe, and not heading out for anything short of a major felony," Carter chuckled slightly. "Same as the opening night of her play, for once."

"I think she'll appreciate that," Chance smiled. The expression lasted less than a heartbeat, ended by a silent buzzer in his pocket. "Ah, crud!" he hissed and all but bolted from the table, the food bag forgotten. Chance was out the door and headed for his cyclotron fast.

"What th-" Carter was right behind him, running for his SUV.

Even if he knew he wasn't about to stop Chance from tearing off like a maniac, he was sure that he'd probably be needed for whatever the Hell was up. The list of things that could make the kat react like that was very short and all serious.

Carter just prayed it didn't involve Zoe, whatever it was, and pulled out to follow the Cyclotron's tracks and try to raise Chance on the radio.

"Emergency signal from Jake," Chance said briefly over the radio when he had the chance. "Don't know what, just that he's out by the lake."

"I'm behind you," Carter answered, even as he clicked to another frequency and called Jo.

"Jo here, over."

"You might want to head to the lake. Something's got Clawson in a bad enough position to call for help and not make verbal contact," he explained. "Over."

"On my way," Jo said, the background sounds suggesting she was already on her way up to her car. "Dr. Wilson's still tracking as being in her home, over," she offered.

"At least there's that small miracle," Carter muttered as he raced through the streets towards the lake. "Over and out."

As he drove, he found himself wondering if he should start something up for frequent customers. Those kats were at the heart of more real problems than anybody else in town. Even when they weren't at fault they had a serious habit of being in the middle of it.

A few minutes later, Chance twisted the cyclotron to a stop near the lake, looking around for Jake as his tail lashed behind him.

It didn't take him long, the transmitter had him within a few yards, and his heart nearly stopped at the limp, nude body of his partner. One hand was curled closed to activate the transmitter on his wrist, his breathing device dangled loose from the swimming collar and the cold, dark water still lapped at his legs.

"Shit," Chance swore, rushing over to Jake and checking his breathing and let out a breath of relief when he found a shallow, raspy breath and still-strong pulse. "Don't you dare check out on me," he hissed at the unconscious Kat, trying to see what was wrong with him as he heard the sirens approaching behind him.

He picked Jake up and straddled his Cyclotron, careful to keep his partner against his chest as he took off.

"Headed for the hospital," Chance broadcast on the radio, then forgot all about the law enforcement and the law as he rushed Jake to the place they'd already seen far too much of.

On the plus side, if you could call it that, it meant that he knew how to get there fast. The cyclotron couldn't beat the TurboKat, but it still made good time. He was greeted at the emergency room entrance by a half-dozen medical personnel that managed to get Jake out of his arms and onto a stretcher with minimal fuss.

"What can you tell me?" A dark skinned black man asked Chance as everyone rushed inside.

"Damned little," Chance admitted. "Found him on the side of the lake, he wasn't wearing his breather anymore."

"The bracelet, a transmitter?" Someone working on Jake asked as they took the pause in the elevator to draw blood. "He's got quite a grip on it."

"His lungs are mostly clear," someone else said.

"It is, better to let him hang onto it for now," Chance nodded. "It's how he called me ... is he gonna be okay?"

"O2 levels are through the roof," one of the nurses said, inspecting the blood sample.

"He should be," someone reassured him with a fair amount of confidence as he adjusted the gas mixture flowing into Jake's face mask. "Oxygen poisoning is rare, but relatively easy to counter when found this early. He may never be able to use a rebreather again though." He said as the group left the elevator.

"Why not?" Chance asked with a frowned as he followed them. Jake wasn't going to like this.

"There's a good chance that pure oxygen, after this, could put him into convulsions," the nurse explained. "We'll explain it better later. For now though, he should be okay."

"All right," Chance agreed reluctantly to stay out of the emergency room itself.

Shortly afterwards, Sheriff Carter came up the second elevator with Jo.

"What happened?" He asked.

"Oxygen poisoning," Chance said, still trying to wrap his brain around the idea. "He's unconscious, wasn't wearing his breather when I found him. It's all I know right now."

"Rebreather, or does it do regular air?" Jo asked him.

"Regular air," Chance explained.

"Computer probably screwed something up," Jo murmured. "Started producing more oxygen than it should have ... not common, but it happens even with the full-size units like that."

"We'll have it to find out when they're done with him," Chance looked at the double doors his partner had disappeared behind. "We spend way too much time here."

"I'll give you that one... at the moment, it doesn't look like anything criminal happened. You want me to get his breather over to GD to be looked at though?" Carter offered.

"Thanks," Chance nodded. "Dr. Green created them."

"I'll make sure he gets it then," Carter nodded. "Jo, you want to wait here, or go hold down the fort until we've got word about Jake?"

"I'll head back to town, if you don't need me here," she decided quickly and left before he even agreed to it.

"I'll get us some coffee," Carter told Chance. "Meet you over in the waiting area over there?" He suggested, nodding towards the nearby chairs and couches.

"All right," Chance nodded and walked over to sit down, and think.


The next night, Marie came home bearing a slightly larger than usual order from the Cafe Diem in celebration of Jake's quick release from the hospital.

"I bring food that doesn't taste like hospital!" She called out cheerfully, closing the door behind her before she sat down the bags. "You guys are here, right?"

"Yes!" Jake called as he half turned around to look at her over the back of the couch. "We're even still dressed."

"You must've been hurt worse than I thought," she teased lightly, pulling out a box from the bag. "You are okay, right?" She asked more seriously as she handed him his dinner.

"Yes," he nodded and rather reluctantly got off the couch, to be followed by Chance. "We do sometimes like to just snuggle," he smiled and walked over to give her a gentle kiss. "It's nothing like last time."

"I know," she murmured, kissing him back. "I just worry whenever I hear that you're in the hospital ... probably just as well I didn't know you during the SWAT Kat days," she chuckled slightly.

"Very, very few hospital stays back then," he chuckled. "Though you may have seen fit to change that."

"You can bet I would have," she huffed, giving him a quick kiss. "Any better idea what happened yet?"

"Not beyond what I was sure of just before I blacked out," Jake shook his head and relaxed into Chance's embrace as the tabby came up behind him and nuzzled him. "The breather malfunctioned. How or why, we haven't heard back yet."

"Well, you're not gonna like it, but we're not letting you take one of those out again until we know what went wrong," she told him firmly as they sat down to eat.

"And they've all been double-checked," he nodded.

"We already had that conversation," Chance added and quite happily served himself several steaming crab cakes from the collection of food Vincent had sent home with Marie.

"Well, I wasn't here for it, so I didn't know," she chuckled slightly. "Different topic?"

"Who's cooking Christmas dinner?" Jake suggested.

"That one, Cindy's coming over to help with," Marie grinned. "With some help from Vincent at getting the really tricky stuff taken care of. Takeout from the cafe that will spend the week leading up to Christmas in the freezer ... you guys might want to call and ask somebody who's down there how bad it is around the place leading up to Christmas, just a head's up. The annual lutefisk pickling is... interesting."

"Pickled fish?" Chance cocked his head.

"No, herring is pickled fish. Lutefisk is about one step shy of weaponizing it. Just to put things in perspective, they pickle the stuff in lye... there's a song out there that's just about legendary in describing it."

"This I have to hear," Jake leaned forward, fascinated by the idea that anyone would do something that vile to food intentionally, and then eat it.

"I don't know the song," Marie laughed as she served herself some lasagna. "Let alone sing it. It's a traditional food from Norway, though it's not so common there as among folks of Norwegian descent in the States. It's kinda tricky to make though, so Vincent always tries to keep some handy this time of year ... it actually takes about two weeks to pickle properly, but only two days of that is in lye."

"Weird," Jake shook his head a bit. "Is it tasty?"

"Some people think it is, but ... well, you have to get past the smell first, if nothing else. I've heard that there a guy out there who'll eat anything up to bugs and earthworms, but he can't make himself eat lutefisk ... but somebody has to think it's worth eating, as popular as it is some places," Marie said with a shrug.

"Culture can make that happen," Jake chuckled. "Even if you think it's horrid, you still eat it and appreciate it for what it means."

"Very true," Marie chuckled. "Just count me out if you guys decide to try some," she added with a bit of a smirk, eating one of the crab puffs. "Cindy and I will be putting together plenty to eat without jellied, pickled, sense-rending fish being on the menu."

"I think I'll pass," Chance decided. "If I guy who'll eat worms won't eat it, I don't think I'll be missing much."

"Thank you," she giggled. "So, are we still planning on watching your next date with Cindy?"

"Oh yeah," Chance grinned widely. "That's going to be fun . Is there anything I should coax her into?"

"For her, a bit of everything she usually likes," Marie grinned back. "For our cameraman... well, Jake? Anything you want to see Chance do to her?" She asked him with a deep purr that made him shiver.

"Make her beg to be taken," he answered after a bit of hesitation.

"And?" Chance prodded, knowing Jake was holding back for some reason.

"That harem dance she did early on," he flushed under his fur.

"Just remember, you'll have to keep her somewhere we've got windows to the outside handy," Marie giggled. "When is your date lined up?"

"In a couple hours," he grinned. "I'll make sure you have a good view."

"And will you want me along to watch with you?" Marie asked Jake with a playful purr.

"Oh yeah," he grinned, leaning forward. "And for the post-show relief."

"Mmm ... I'll just try to stay off the vid, for the most part," Marie giggled. "But it sounds like fun to me."

"Or at least the part we give to Cindy," he licked his lips. "No reason we can't make a really nice recording for ourselves too."

"Of course," Marie purred. "Just want to make sure you've got plenty of attention on the main show at first," she grinned, munching on some more of their take-out before there was a light knock on the door.

"I'll get it," Chance offered and stood to walk to the front door.

"Oh there will be," Jake promised. "I do enjoy watching, after all."

"Well, let's wait until company's gone to keep talking about this," Marie snickered. "Who is it, Chance?" She asked as he opened the door.

"Sheriff Carter," Chance called back. "Something wrong, Sheriff?" He asked politely.

"That depends on what you're hoping to hear," he answered. "May I come in?"

"Sure, we were just working on dinner," Chance said easily, stepping back to let him in. "You found something out about the breather?" He asked hopefully.

Carter waited for the door to close behind him before nodding. "It was unquestionably sabotage. The settings that were changed are not something that a user can easily access. Not impossible, but it takes definite effort. What's more, the circuits that controlled those settings had been switched with one that broke when it hit the bottom; that's why it didn't do this before. Hard to figure out when exactly the change was made though, since it was sort of like a pressure switch."

"How deep before it was triggered?" Jake asked.

"Fifty feet," Carter said.

"The depth of the lake," Jake nodded. "When I touched bottom, it switched. If I'd been out to sea, the more likely timing, I'd be dead, and probably never found."

"I'm going to kill her," Marie murmured.

"Watch it," Chance warned her, nodding towards the Sheriff. "Besides ... I'm guessing there's no proof that Melody did this, at least not yet?"

"No, but if what you've told me about her other unproven activities is true, she's one of very few with both means and opportunity," Carter admitted. "The hard part is going to be proving that her tracker isn't working right."

"Think Cindy could rig something to record everything in the house that moves?" Jake half-asked. "Whatever she's doing, it's probably not becoming invisible and incorporeal."

"In your house, or hers?" Carter asked Jake. "Yours, as far as I know, all you'd have to do is ask her and she can do it. Your place, your rights. Hers, I'd need a warrant."

"Or for Stark to clear it," Marie pointed out.

"I'd prefer the warrant," Carter pointed out. "But yes, Stark could clear it. I just doubt that he would without the same sort of information I'd need for a warrant."

"This one," Jake rolled his eyes at them both. "Footage of her here is proof of a crime, even if she doesn't do anything."

"That you'd just have to ask Dr. Orwell for. If you guys approve it, she ought to be willing to tape everything here," Carter said.

"I'll ask her tonight," Chance promised. "It's a good idea, and it's not like she doesn't get most of the interesting footage from here anyway."

"I really don't want to know," Carter said, shaking his head. "Well, unless you guys have any more questions, I should be getting home."

"Go home," Chance smiled at him. "Thanks for dropping by, sheriff," he extended a hand to him. "We appreciate being kept up to date."

"No problem," Carter said, shaking Chance's hand. "I'll let you know if anything else comes up ... and let me know if you guys get anything about it."

"We will," Jake promised. "Honestly, I just hope this gets sorted out before anybody gets badly hurt."

"Pretty late for that," Marie pointed out.

"I wasn't that badly injured," Jake countered quietly as Carter escaped to the relative sanity of his home.

"Jake, she could've killed you twice, if she did this, that's too close for my comfort," Marie said softly, giving Jake a gentle kiss. "Better topic ... are you guys getting anything for the Carters for Christmas? We kinda spend a fair amount of time dealing with them," she chuckled slightly.

"Yeah, we helped Zoe get a 1981 World Series bat for her dad," Chance grinned. "Something about he wrecked his original one trying to save her. Picked up a Wii, some games and a model of her 16th birthday gift for her."

"That oughta do the trick," Marie giggled. "I've managed to get most of my shopping done, at least to the ordering point. Just have to keep Chien from inspecting my packages too carefully for the next few weeks. Last thing I need is for him to rip open Dad's gift. Did you guys plan on getting anything for Cindy? Doubt she'd expect it, just curious."

"Mine's going to have to stay a surprise," Jake grinned as they sat back down to dinner. "Since she'll open it here. Cathy's getting earrings."

"Yeah, she's a huge Alton Brown fan," Chance snickered, still far too amused by the fact for his own good. "So I picked up his DVDs for her. All of them."

"Hey, remember, her being an Alton Brown fan is part of what means that dinner isn't going to be entirely catered," Marie smirked. "Or a repeat of Thanksgiving. Are you getting anything for your other lady friends, or did your paychecks run out before you finished the list?" She teased Chance before digging into the corn on the cob.

"Very funny," Chance grumbled playfully and finished the catnip infused beer that Vincent concocted for them to try. "Tonya's getting a ticket for the rollercoaster ride of a lifetime."

"Well, it's not like me, Cindy, and Tonya are the only girls you've been with," she giggled.

"Yeah, but if the tabby got presents for everybody he slept with, he'd go bankrupt," Jake teased. "It takes more than a one-night stand to count."

"Duly noted," Marie grinned.

"And the list that I ask out on a date is really pretty short," Chance added. "Picking somebody up at the club or bar doesn't count."

"You did get something for Marie, didn't you?" Jake teased him with a raised eyebrow. "I don't think you've asked her out yet."

"Of course I've gotten something," Chance said, rolling his eyes. "I'm just not gonna say what it is while she's in the house!" He teased.

"Just checking," Jake snickered. "Are we ready to make Cindy's gift?"

"I think so," Marie grinned, finishing her milkshake. "We're not going to get there too soon?"

"No way," Chance laughed easily. "She loves to see this tabby."

"You go on ahead then, we'll go in my car," Marie purred, getting up to clean up the remains of supper before they left.

"Don't take long," Chance grinned at her. "We get to the action pretty fast."

"We won't," she grinned back and watched him leave. She made quick work of the cleanup while Jake got and double-checked his recording gear.

"So, ready to go?" She asked him a couple minutes later, coat on and keys to the car at the ready.

"Yes," he nodded and slung the small tote over his shoulder, following her outside to her car.

"Mmm ... think you'll be able to keep from jumping me long enough to put on a bit of a solo-show for her?" Marie asked as they climbed in the car and pulled out.

"Probably," he cocked his head at her and leaned close. "Though it's much more fun with my muzzle in your pussy."

"Mmm... I, at least, am game for making that round two, if you can wait that long," Marie purred deeply. "By that time, those two won't be in any condition to hear us," she grinned.

"If they are after five minutes, he's losing his touch," he laughed easily. "He's met his match in her."

"Tell me about it," Marie smiled. "That doesn't bother you, right?"

"Why should it?" Jake looked at her, uncertain whether he had missed something or she was trying to apply human logic to him again.

"I don't know if it should or not," she admitted with a slight shrug. "Just ... like he kinda said earlier, Chance doesn't usually do much in the way of relationships with people. Not like I think Cindy's even remotely serious about him, they've got more of a relationship than most of the people I've heard about him dating, this world or on Aristal, had with him."

"Yeah, but she's a girl," Jake tried to explain it; even knowing he was doing a lousy job.

"So ... even if it would start getting serious, she's not competition?" she asked, flicking her ears curiously behind the 'protection' of her hologram.

"No more than you are to him," he nodded.

"Fair enough," she mused. "Not that I think it really is going to get serious; they both enjoy playing around too much. More likely for something to happen with Zoe first," she half-laughed.

"If she's stays serious about him, I wouldn't be surprised," Jake shook his head. "Though I think he'd rather think of her as a baby sister than lover."

"I imagine," Marie nodded. "She's much younger than he is ... hope she doesn't hold what we talked about at the Halloween party against me," she mused and found an unobtrusive parking spot near Cindy's house.

"In years, yeah, but not so much in age," Jake smiled fondly for his mate. "He's very much a big kitten still."

"Very true... so, shall we go see how your big kitten is doing at seducing my best friend?" Marie asked, then blinked. "Okay... that just didn't sound right. Oh well."

"'Seduction' is the out of place word," Jake laughed and got out of the car. "Those two don't really bother with it anymore, if they ever did."

"Point," Marie giggled, following him to the cover of the bushes near Cindy's front windows where. She peaked in the window while he set up the tripod and camcorder.

"Okay, scoot over," Jake nudged her so he could place the camcorder where he wanted it, and focused on the eyepiece for a while to see what was being captured.

Inside, Cindy was just coming out of her playroom, wearing the harem outfit that Jake had liked so much from their early dates. She gave Chance a lingering kiss before moving back to start her dance.

"Oh, yeah," Jake grinned with a sound deep in his chest as she began to undulate and sway for Chance's viewing pleasure.

As she danced, she started to strip slowly, working her silks off as Chance watched her approvingly. The tabby started to lightly stroke his cock through his pants.

It was a movement that Jake soon mimicked as his attention kept being drawn to the potent masculinity of his mate despite the incredible show Cindy was giving.

Before she'd stripped fully, she sank to her knees in front of Chance, undoing the tabby's pants and rubbing her bare, smooth cheek against his barbed shaft before she started licking at the sensitive length.

Jake moaned and shuddered, unwilling to unzip his pants in the cold air, but intensely excited all the same. The way Chance moved and moaned as she rubbed against him was nearly enough to make him whimper.

At the rate she was going, she was going to make him come in his shorts before they really got going.

Cindy took Chance's cock into her mouth, her hair brushing down to obscure her face and his shaft as she sucked his thick, throbbing maleness. The tabby reached down, running his fingers through her hair, exposing her face again before gripping her head and starting to thrust up into her mouth.

"So hot," Jake murmured, watching as Chance used the very willing blond to best effect for his own pleasure. He couldn't help but flash to a fantasy of Callie being there between Chance's legs and it only got hotter.

Before long, Chance roared, pumping his seed into Cindy's hungry mouth. She swallowed almost every drop before pulling back, licking her lips clean and letting Chance pull her up for a hot, hungry, possessive kiss, his tongue roughly lapping at the inside of her mouth. He slid his fingers between her legs, playing with her sex until she was trembling.

Chance said something and Cindy nodded, backing away before she began to dance while she masturbated with her silken blue scarf.

She pleasured herself while Chance stripped down, his shaft still hard as a rock between his legs. He picked up one of the discarded scarves, doubling it up so it would be a good blindfold when the time came.

Jake shivered in anticipation until she screamed and fell to her knees, the scarf pulled tight against her sex as she twitched and shuddered through her pleasure.

Chance moved around behind her, tying the scarf around her eyes as he leaned down to tell her something. She nodded slightly, standing up, her legs wobbling a little as she raised her hands obediently above her head, turning towards the window, unable to see the kat filming her thanks to the blindfold.

Chance finished tying her up, using the scarf she'd just been masturbating with as a gag as he started rubbing against her body, stroking her sex, coaxing her to higher and higher levels of arousal until she had to hook her bound wrists behind his head to keep herself upright.

He whispered in her ear, licking her neck, until she cried out in desperation through the gag.

Chance grinned and ran his hands up her body to fondle her breasts, his tail teasing her sex, as he hooked her wrist binding to an unobtrusive hook in the ceiling by a second length of cloth. Then he walked over to the door and opened it as quietly as he could to let Jake and Marie in.

"Think you can stay silent?" he asked her.

Marie nodded, curious what was in mind, but not about to talk just yet as Chance led them in and closed the door quietly.

"'ld?" Cindy asked through the gag, shivering slightly.

"Just after a bit of fresh air," Chance rumbled deeply, running his hands down her sides while Jake set up the tripod to record more clearly and find a place in the frame to watch from.

Eventually, he picked the couch that Chance had been watching from when they'd started, watching as his mate licked and nibbled at Cindy's breasts, teasing her for a bit more before he straightened out and drove himself deep into her sex with a lusty groan.

Jake unzipped his pants and lightly stroked himself as he watched his mate at his best. Each thrust made her breasts bounce and muted sounds of pleasure still escaped her mouth.

The smell of arousal built, filling the room, male and female alike... even Marie was getting turned on as all Hell, though she was staying out of the camera's view. Chance kneaded Cindy's firm, round ass, squeezing her cheeks as he fucked her hard and deep, kissing and nipping at her neck as his balls churned.

"Beg me to fill you up," he rumbled to his bound lover.

"'A! Essss!" She willingly begged through the gag, unashamed by the admission.

Chance roared, hilting inside of her and spraying his seed up deep into her dripping sex.

It was enough, along with the intoxicating scents and Jake's own display, to bring Marie to her knees in front of her boyfriend. In silence, she entwined their fingers together and kissed him before taking his cock into her mouth.

Chance looked over at them with a grin, pulling out of Cindy's body and moving around behind her, nipping her neck lightly and fingering her ass, starting to stretch her out.

"Too bad I can't be in too places at once, isn't it?" He asked her with a playful grin for his mate, who was silently savoring the blowjob Marie was giving him, bobbing her feline head up and down his length while she fingered herself.

Cindy could only nod, soft whimpers escaping from the gag, her legs wet with Chance seed and her own juices, and her body trembling.

"Well, maybe I can be, or something close," Chance purred. "Would you like that?"

She nodded, moaning deeply as she pressed back into his fingers, squeezing her ass around his fingers.

"Good," he purred in her ear and winked at Jake to come join him.

Jake grinned, giving Marie an apologetic kiss before he headed over to join Chance. The two toms drove their shafts deep into Cindy's body, drawing an ecstatic scream of pleasure from the human woman as they settled in to enjoying each other until they ran out of camera space.


Jake rolled his shoulders back and glanced at the impressive collection of gaudily wrapped gifts under their even more gaudily decorated tree before turning his attention to his computer and seeing what of interest had come in. Just a few minutes after he'd logged in, he saw the notification that 'stingai' had done the same.

On a level he couldn't be surprised, but at the same time it made him uneasy too. Too many times, too much coincidence, and too much secrecy; it wasn't good.

Of course, he could hardly know who else he might be chatting with. It took a few moments, this time, before he IM'ed Jake, at any rate.

stingai: What happened?

RazorKat: When?

stingai: Last week, when we were supposed to meet. Thought I was at your place, but you never came to let me in.

RazorKat: No one ever knocked. I waited two hours, and Chance was here until lunch time.

stingai: Must've been the wrong place. :( I tried knocking, even tried calling for somebody, but nobody answered.

RazorKat: Why don't I pick you up next time?

stingai: Okay... gonna be a while though. Have to make sure Father's okay. Still haven't heard from him. :(

RazorKat: What's his full name? I might be able to find out.

stingai: Steven Johansen. I hope they didn't fire him and make him leave without me. :(

RazorKat: I seriously doubt it. I'll ask around. The hospital staff know me. Do you know who took him?

stingai: A black man and a white man. 148.232.68.2, 148.262.71.173

stingai: I'm worried about him.

RazorKat: I'll try to find out who they are.

stingai: Thanks, RazorKat. I should probably leave soon... sorry about last weekend.

RazorKat: See you later then. I'll try to find out about you father.

Jake logged off and leaned back to consider the exchange. It was definitely something to ask Carter about.

It was getting weirder with every conversation they had.

He opened up his email and started sorting through it. He'd look into that later on, after Carter was probably going to be up. For now, he could work on more normal business.


Zoe was fiddling with the gifts under their small but decorated Christmas tree when the door opened to admit her father.

"Good evening, Jack," S.A.R.A.H. greeted him warmly. "I cooked a macaroni and cheese casserole for dinner with purple potato fries and Brussels sprouts with a honey glaze."

"She's been yakking with Carpe Diem," Zoe grinned at him. "I talked her out of her first two ideas."

"Somehow, I don't think I even want to ask," Carter chuckled slightly. "Is it already done, or is there anything else that has to be done up first?"

"Everything is ready, Jack," S.A.R.A.H. told him.

"Are those for us?" Zoe asked, indicating the wrapped boxes in his hands.

"Thanks, S.A.R.A.H.," Carter called out. "And yes, they are; Jo gave them to me when I gave her ours," he explained as he put them under the tree. "After dinner, we're going to have to get dressed up; can you get some of our better outfits ready for then?"

"Right away, Jack," S.A.R.A.H. said cheerfully.

"Thanks," he said as they headed over to have dinner. "What were her first two ideas, anyways?" He asked Zoe dubiously.

"One was a casserole of those Brussels sprouts with blue cheese and walnuts, the other was something involving raw fish," she shuddered and sat down while her father served them both.

"Thank you for talking her out of them," he said sincerely, giving each of them a sample helping of the sprouts that had been cooked to start with. "Let's just hope that these taste better than I remember the regular things," he chuckled slightly, sitting down as S.A.R.A.H. brought out their drinks.

"Tea?" He raised an eyebrow at her.

"Peppermint," Zoe nodded and speared a Brussels sprout. "Thank you S.A.R.A.H.."

"You are welcome, Zoe," the house responded.

"Not bad," Zoe said in honest surprise when she finished chewing.

"Not for Brussels sprouts," Carter agreed after trying one. "Let's just not use them as a main dish," he added, looking up to warn S.A.R.A.H. He didn't like to think about the casserole Zoe'd described too much.

"So what's up after dinner?" Zoe asked.

"I've got an invitation to one of those end-of-the-year awards ceremonies," he explained. "Thought you'd appreciate the chance to get out of the house, so I figured you wouldn't mind going with me this year."

"Thanks, I think," she said dubiously. "Don't they usually feed you at those?"

"Yeah, but I forgot to tell S.A.R.A.H., and I'd rather not irritate her by springing new dinner plans on her," he admitted sheepishly.

"Thank you, Jack," S.A.R.A.H. said.

"You're welcome," he told her. "Besides, I prefer the cooking around here to what usually gets catered in," he added, starting on the casserole that was gooey on the outside and crunchy on the outside.

"When are we likely to get home?" Zoe asked, sipping her tea between bites of casserole. "This is really good, S.A.R.A.H.."

"Thank you, Zoe."

"Not entirely sure," Carter admitted. "Might be some time around midnight, maybe a bit later if something comes up; it's a bit of a drive to get there, and there's the usual socializing afterwards."

"Late enough to open gifts when we get home?" she asked hopefully.

"We'll see," he chuckled. "The ones from your mother, at any rate, we'll have to see if we're awake enough to do more than that."

"And yours from me," she insisted, honestly more interested in it than her own, much larger, collection of wrapped boxes.

"All right, all right," he smiled. "Jo's waits though ... I have a feeling I'm going to need some sleep before dealing with that."

"Ah, it's not that bad," Zoe snickered. "She means it in the best way, honest."

"I know, but I'm still not sure I'm up to whatever her idea of a suitable Christmas gift for your boss is," he chuckled between bites of dinner. "I see that quite a pile of things came from Chance too."

"He helped me with yours too," she smiled teasingly. "You'll never guess what it is."

"Well, I'll just have to wait to see then," Carter chuckled, finishing his dinner. "Remember to pick something nice tonight, okay?" He reminded her as he started collecting the dishes.

"I will, Dad," she promised and headed up to her bedroom to get ready.

"S.A.R.A.H.?" Carter asked as he headed to his own room. "Do you have any apple cider you can have warm for when we get back? If not, keep some water ready for hot chocolate."

"Of course, Jack," she answered sweetly. "Would you like spice in the cider?"

"Sure," he chuckled. "I'll probably be back before Zoe is; don't worry about it if I am."

"Very well. Do you wish me to wake you when she gets back?"

"Yes, and if she isn't back by one in the morning and I am," he told her, changing into a fairly comfortable suit for the evening, rather than the tux that was sitting next to it.

"That is not usually appropriate for a awards ceremony, Jack," S.A.R.A.H. said.

"That would be because we're not actually going to one, just don't tell Zoe that," he smiled, straightening out his suit. "I want to try and surprise her with where we're going."

"Very well," she said and fell silent while Carter finished dressing and double-checked his appearance for anything that needed fixing after a day at work.

Satisfied, he started back out to the main room, waiting for Zoe to finish getting dressed. He took the time to find and inspect the gift that said 'from Zoe' on it. A solid three feet long, it was hard plastic under the cardboard container and didn't rattle, though it wasn't heavy, or overly light, for it's size.

By the time he heard her snicker, he had to admit that she was probably right. He had no clue at all what it was.

"Wow," was all he could manage to say as he took in the sleek, moderately glittering black dress that was cut a bit more adult than he liked for his daughter, but he knew also wasn't inappropriate for a sixteen year old girl. She'd changed her piercings too; they were more subtle, more appropriate for an awards dinner, as was her make-up. The whole package made him seriously reconsider his plans of turning her loose with Chance.

Of course, he'd already turned down the invitation to the awards ceremony in Portland ... and if he could trust the kat with what had happened on Halloween, he could trust him just as well now, when she was dressed and not drugged up.

"You look great, Zoe," he said honestly. "So, should we get going?"

"Sure," she smiled and took his arm as they walked outside into the biting cold. "I think I'm a little over-dressed though."

"A little maybe, but I think it'll be okay," he chuckled as they headed out to the car, leaving the cruiser behind. "You know I don't like wearing that tux."

"You aren't too fond of the suit," she pointed out dryly before getting into the passenger side. "When do I get to find out where we're actually going?"

"When we get there," he chuckled. "I might not be able to keep a secret that well, but I can still try to surprise you, okay?"

"All right, Dad," she smiled at him and settled back to wait the drive out.

It didn't take too long before he was sure that Zoe knew where they were headed. The fact that he was driving back into town, and up to the school, was the main 'hint,' and one he couldn't really work around.

"I have a couple ground rules for you tonight," he said seriously, even as he parked outside the school, where the annual Eureka Christmas party was getting into full swing.

"Yes?" she only just contained her excitement.

"First off, no sneaking out to go to the Heat Wave's party tonight," he said. "I don't know what's going on there, but I'm sure there's something. I've got some people there who'll be keeping an eye out for you, and you really don't want me finding out you've broken that one. Second, I'd like to get us both home not too long after midnight, but there's a bit more leeway there. Third ... I'm on call tonight, so I might have to head out early. But I want you to stick fairly close to your chaperone for tonight, either way."

"No problem Dad," she nodded as seriously as she could manage. "I really don't want a repeat of Halloween, honest."

"Good," he said, opening up the driver's side door. "Neither do I. Now c'mon, let's head in."

"Yes, Dad," she grinned and got out of his car, her shiver as much from excitement as from the wind.

"You know, you never asked who your chaperone was going to be," he observed as they walked up to the school, moving quickly to get into the wind-shadow of the building.

"It's a seriously short list," she pointed out with a snicker. "Jo, Beverly and Chance. Odds say it's Chance, since Jo would be on call with you and Beverly can't guarantee to stay with me."

"I could always have asked Taggart to keep an eye on you," he teased. "He would have a tranq gun, if he needed it."

"Yeah, but you don't trust him that much," she said with easy confidence as he opened the door and they walked inside.

"Well, I guess you're right," he chuckled. "Though it also has something to do with the fact that Chance is the one who talked me into bringing you out tonight," he added as they headed inside, Chance waiting for them near the bar, dressed up very nicely in what looked like a suit of his own. When Chance saw Zoe coming in, it was very clear that he was surprised to see just how dressed up she was.

"Wow," he said approvingly. Not for the first time that night, Carter wondered if he should reconsider ... but decided to back off again. If Chance behaved with all that was working against it at Halloween, he would behave now, and make sure everyone else did too.

"I'll see you two around," he said, stepping back and heading off to give them some space.

"Thanks, Dad," Zoe nodded to him, then turned to Chance. "He said we were going to an awards dinner."

"Figures," Chance chuckled. "I like the results though," he admitted with a grin. "Want something to drink before we head down to the big party?"

"Sounds good to me," she smiled at him. "I'll behave this time too. The whole night."

"Thanks," he grinned as they started off to get some of the holiday punch. "I think your Dad'd skin me on principle if things went screwy this time."

"You, me, Jo, Taggart, Jake ... probably even Lojack just for good measure," she giggled and accepted the glass he poured for her. "He said to be back midnight-ish."

"I heard the rules," he nodded seriously. "Hey, maybe if this goes well he'll drop the grounding soon."

"I'm not gonna hold my breath, but here's hoping," she grinned. "Are Jake and Marie here too?"

"Somewhere," he nodded. "They're out together tonight, not with me."

"Okay," she smiled. "Hope you're not giving up the night with them just to get me out of the house?"

"Nah," Chance chuckled. "We'll get our time later. Besides, I get to head out with them any time," he smiled and glanced around to make sure he wasn't overheard. "Besides, Jake's planning to propose to Marie in the morning," he whispered to her. "It's a good night for them to have out."

"Oh yeah," she grinned. "At least he probably doesn't have to worry about what she'll say."

"Even though he is," Chance chuckled as the two of them started for the dance floor. "Leave it to him to worry about a sure thing."

"True," she smiled and easily relaxed to follow him in the slow dance.

Eureka Kats 9.99: Christmas Preparations

NC-17 for M/M, M/F sex
Het Level is LowHet Smut Level is Low
Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Low
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

76 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written March 30, 2007 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann

Setting: Eureka, SWAT Kats

Primary Races: Human, Kat, Were

Contents: Furry. Het (M/F). Slash (M/M).

Pairings: Chance Furlong/Jake Clawson/Marie Moreau, Jo Lupo/Jim Taggart, others

Blurb: Between decorating trees, making and buying gifts, and trying to keep Zoe out of trouble, Chance realizes that family is family and that Jake can get hospitalized for *something* no matter how careful they are.

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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