I Never Expected This 5:
A Second Chance

by Fur and Fantasy
R
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

The alarm system at the Yard informed Jake that someone was climbing the main gate of the Yard facility.

"Ah, hell." The cinnamon tom grumbled as he rolled out of Hardin's bed to find his jeans and the alarm in it.

"What's wrong, Jake?" Hardin asked quietly as he rolled of the bed to his feet quickly.

"Someone's breaking into the Yard." He grumbled and pulled his discarded clothes on. "It's never good."

"Agreed. You want me to come with you, as backup?" He offered, pulling a blaster from the nightstand drawer.

"That'd be nice," he smiled at the giant tom. "I'm used to working with a partner."

"I'm not, but I like the idea. Especially with you." He smiled. "Fastest way there is this way." He said leading the way through the twisted maze of the abandoned industrial site. "Where's the break-in occurring?"

"Main gate." Jake answered as he moved with quick efficiency.

"Route 25a." Hardin said as he negotiated the twists and turns with practiced ease, after a brief run through an underground tunnel they came out across the road from the main gate in a large storm culvert.

"You know, I should be really disturbed that you got this close." Jake muttered and shook his head before sinking into stealth mode to stalk the intruder, who'd apparently left his motorcycle outside the gate.

"Hey, I had to keep one step ahead of you guys." He smirked. "Which was no easy feat I'll tell you." He said as he followed Jake.

"Good." Jake said softly as he came up on the cycle and sniffed it for scent. "Kinda smells like a very scared Chance." He said with a frown.

"Not his cycle though, is it?" Hardin said quietly, not recognizing the cycle as one of the ones connected to the guys.

"No, definitely not, and _he_ can open the gate." Jake growled softly before keying the gate open and slipping inside, keeping a sharp eye on everything.

Hardin followed Jake closely, moving with amazing grace and silence for as large as he was. His blaster was in the standard police ready position as Jake followed the bare-pawed tracked to the garage building, which has its door forcibly opened.

The small tom gave a glance at the claw marks and eased the door open with his foot, staying as much out of the line of fire from inside as possible.

Chance's scent was much stronger here, largely consisting of fear and confusion though Jake could also pick up traces of blood, scorched fur, sex and Ulysses Feral.

"Chance?" Jake called out, still carefully shielded by the wall.

There was no response, though Jake could hear what sounded like heavy breathing in the living room. Sort of sounded like Chance when he was sleeping fitfully, something Jake had heard frequently in the last three months.

He signaled Hardin to cover him and moved cautiously into the main room, following the sound to its source.

Hardin nodded silently keeping his eyes peeled for anyone or anything hostile.

Jake found Chance curled up kitten-like on the couch. He was completely naked, and from what Jake could see in the dark, his fur was burned in a couple of places, and there was blood on the couch.

"Chance?" He holstered his weapon and reached out to touch the injured tom.

The tom's eyes snapped open, panic-stricken for the few seconds it took to recognize the tom in front of him. "Jake?" He said in a small, weak voice that sounded like there was little sprit left in it.

"Yes, it's Jake." He said reassuringly. "Sweet Bastet Chance, what happened?"

"Hurt. Came home." Chance said weakly, snuggling up to Jake, almost as if hiding from something.

"It's okay, you're safe now." Jake assured him and motioned to Hardin. "Love, to go the office and get the address book in the middle desk draw."

"Of course, love." Hardin said, holstering his blaster. A few minutes later he came back with the book. "Here you go. He's probably in shock. You should wrap a blanket around him, and if he'll drink, a little water would be good given the injuries." Hardin suggested, genuinely concerned about the tabby.

"Back corner of the office."

"Who?" Chance weakly asked Jake, looking up at the big flame-orange on black tabby who brought a blanket.

"Hardin. He's a friend." Jake said calmly as they wrapped the tabby in it. "We're getting you someplace safer. Don't worry about anything. I'll take care of it, promise."

"Home. Safe." Chance said, weakly then looked at Jake. "Trust. Jake." He said becoming cooperative.

"Yes, Chance." Jake clasped his shoulder gently. "You are safe, we're just going to make sure you stay that way. Hardin's going to carry you, okay?"

Chance looked at Hardin worriedly for a long moment almost as if he recognized him, and then looked at Jake. "Okay." He said tiredly.

"I'm going to be right here, partner." Jake assured him and nodded to his mate.

"Okay, Jake. Where are we going, and what transport?" Hardin asked.

"Your place overlooking this one." He said crisply, easily falling into the authority in a crisis mode. "When he's been tended to, I'm going to get his sister and her kits. He is *not* going back to them."

"Okay, Jake." Hardin said gently picking up the injured tom. "I've got a good doctor I can trust, who comes on short notice ... want me to call her?"

"That would be great." Jake smiled appreciatively at the big tom as they walked out. Jake gave a glance at the broken door, then shrugged and left it ajar.

"Jake, my cell phone is on my belt. Just open it up and dial star-five-one-one, then hang up." He said easily, as he looked around for anyone to be watching before crossing the road to the culvert entrance.

As they paused inside, Jake snagged the phone and did as instructed, then began flipping through the address book until he found the entry he was looking for and dialed it with one hand as they walked.

It rang three and a half times before a tired female voice picked up. "Furlong residence, who is this?" She asked suspiciously.

"Jake Clawson." He said quietly serious. "I need you to get ready to leave the house for a while, at least a couple weeks. Something went bad with Chance tonight, I don't think he can protect you anymore."

"Is he hurt Jake?" She asked, clearly distraught. "They promised he wouldn't be hurt if he cooperated." She said, though he could hear her rousing the kits as she talked.

"Some. His head's hurt worse than his body, I think." He answered softly, the anger in his soul only just hinted at in his voice. "He'll heal. I can come pick you up, or you can come out to the Yard? I have a safe place for you until this is sorted out."

"I'll bring the kits out, but Jake I can't just disappear." She said quietly. "I'm barely making with the job I've got. If I lose that I don't know how I'll take care of the kits." She said clearly focused on the kits.

Jake took a deep breath and kept looked at his mate imploringly not to make him a liar. " Mayrie, I promise you, they'll have what they need. I have some new resources, and a few I keep for emergencies. If this isn't a good reason to use them, nothing is. You're family, Mayrie. You take care of family."

"Okay, Jake." She said quietly. "Chance always said if anything happened I could trust you. We'll be out there as soon as we can." She said softly, as she hung up to gather the kits.

Hardin looked at Jake and smiled. "Of course, I'll help. Though I think they'll be better at the country estate. The fortress is no place for kits, too many ways for them to get hurt and no good places for them to play."

"Thank you," he leaned against the giant tom gratefully as they neared the fortress entrance. "I totally agree. I guess we'll get that vacation sooner than expected, in a way."

"Looks like it." He said as he unlocked the concealed entrance. "Feral's gone too far this time." He growled as he carried the sleeping tabby through the twisting passageways.

"He can be dealt with anytime." Jake growled softly, full of the hate he felt. "The Syndicate did this, _they_ are the ones who will pay first, and most."

Hardin looked at the battered tabby as he set him down on the large, soft bed in the spare bedroom. "Jake, there's something wrong here." He said quietly. "This isn't Syndicate style. Chance is of no value to them burned and battered like this. They don't allow this kind of damage to their rentals." He said softly, clearly disliking the term 'rental'. "Something here doesn't make sense, and I don't like that."

"Hardin, he's been beaten, bloodied and damn near broken before." He growled. "Even if this wasn't the intent, they're destroying him from the inside out."

"I'm not arguing about the broken part, they don't care about that." Hardin said gently. "But these are different kinds of injuries than before, I'm sure. Honestly, it's not that I object to trashing the Syndicate, I don't. My concern is that _someone else_ did this. If we simply assume it's the Syndicate, we leave an enemy undetected and that's dangerous." He said with the precision of a black op detailing a mission.

"Hardin, the Syndicate is a very real threat to what little family I kind of have. When Chance recovers a bit more, he can give us who specifically did this and they'll find out it's a bad idea to try to torture your toys to death."

"Jake, I agree that the Syndicate is a threat to Chance and his family." Hardin said softly. "Assuming that this is your Chance." He said quietly. "We know a duplicate TurboKat entered City Airspace from another dimension today. What if this is the Chance from that dimension?" He suggested gently. "That would mean that your Chance is still out there."

"And out extremely late." Jake sighed. "I'll go see where the pager I gave him is, maybe he's nearby. If he is, and relatively okay, we have a bigger mystery on our hands." He looked at the battered and sleeping tabby in distress. "Where the other me is."

"I agree." Hardin said. "I'll look after Chance. I still think that moving his sister and the kits out of the city is a good move. If she'd go for it, I'd suggest moving them to Port Haven. The Syndicate has never got a foothold down there."

"For now, I think we should all stay together." Jake said softly. "Long term, I really like that idea." He nodded and gently roused the sleeping tom. "Chance. I have to take care of some important things. I'll be back soon, okay? Hardin is staying with you, I trust him."

Chance looked at bit distressed, and then looked from Jake to Hardin. "Okay. Sleep now." He said before drifting off again.

 Hardin looked at him concerned. "If he's that broken and by himself, either the other you is nothing like you, or he's worse off than this fellow." He said straightening the blanket around Chance gently. "You'd better meet Mayrie and the kits before you go looking for the pager. They don't know me."

"They will soon." Jake said with soft certainty. "We can move to the estate when he's well enough to travel."

There was a brief chittering as a Creepling led a petite, long-furred black, gold and white calico shekat into the room.

"Hello, Hardin." The shekat smiled warmly, as she stepped up and hugged him. "It's been too long."

"Yes, it has." He smiled, embracing her warmly. "Tessa Calin, I'd like you to meet my mate, Jake Clawson. Jake, this is Dr. Tessa Calin, you might remember her."

He regarded the doctor for a moment as he tried to place the familiar face and markings before it registered. "You're the one that put up with my screaming after that jellyfish got me, right?"

"Yes, until I finally got the right anti-toxin for it." She smiled. "You do realize that you managed to get stung by a jellyfish that was previously listed as extinct." She shook her head. "But you seem to attract the rare and dangerous." She said with a fond smile for Hardin. "So, it doesn't look like you or Hardin need my services, what can I do for you?"

"I wasn't aware of that, but I can't argue the statement." He shook his head. "My friend got pretty beat up." He motioned to the sleeping tabby.

She stepped over and pulled the cover back gently. "You're not kidding." She whispered quietly. "Hardin, be a dear and have one of your critters bring the rest of my stuff down." She said as she began carefully examining the tabby.

Hardin chuckled softly and made a gesture to a number of Creeplings who took off to return a little while later with a variety of bags and boxes.

"Jake, would you wake your friend and introduce us? I'll need him awake for a proper examination." The doctor said softly.

"Sure," he walked over and gently roused the tom. "Chance, this is Tessa. She's going to help you hurt less." He said gently. "Can you stay awake a little while to help her?"

Chance rolled over and looked at the shekat. He hesitated, and then decided she didn't seem threatening. "Okay." He said tiredly.

"Okay, handsome." She smiled at the tabby warmly. "Roll over so I can get a look at your back." She asked gently, to which he complied smiling a little goofily at the compliment. "Thank you, Chance." She said easily. "This is going to take awhile." She said to Hardin and Jake as she examining the burn and lash marks on the tabby's back.

"I'm staying until I have to pick sis and the kits up." Jake said with quiet determination and sat on the bed where Chance could see him. "Love, would you have a Creepling watch the road? Just from up here is fine. I only need to get down there in time to catch her."

"Of course, love." Hardin said easily as he walked behind Jake, and rubbed his shoulders in a gentle massaging motion, drawing a soft groan of appreciation, then a purr as the lean Kat relaxed.

"Newlyweds." The doctor smiled in quiet amusement, as she worked gently on the injured tabby.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About forty-five minutes later, one of the Creeplings started chattering at Hardin. "Vehicle approaching." He told Jake softly.

"That's my cue." He said quietly. "I'll be back, though having the little ones not make an appearance might be a good idea, at least for a while."

"This is no place for kittens." The doctor said firmly, and looked at Hardin. "You're not planning on keeping kittens in this old factory are you?"

"It's just temporary until we get them out to the estate." He said softly. "We had to get them out of harm's way."

"You always were the sentimental one, Nightfire." She smiled fondly as she finished dressing one of the burn wounds.

The lover's nickname for Hardin caused Jake to raise and eyebrow, but he didn't comment as he left the room, heading back to the tunnel to the Salvage Yard by memory at a fast clip.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ========================= ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A familiar dark green sedan was pulling up to the gate of the Yard, as Jake came out of the culvert on the far side of the road. He gave the car and area a careful look over before walking up to it and over to the driver's side.

"Have the kits and stuff come out here, there's a passageway across the road." He told her quietly. "The car will stay in the yard." He turned to unlock the gate.

Once the car was parked, the dark brown shekat got the three seven-year-old kits out of the car quietly and they quickly got packed backpacks out while Mayrie grabbed two suitcases. They all quietly followed Jake out of the Yard and into the covert tunnel.

When it was sealed and hidden again, Jake let out a small breath. "This is only for a day or two, then it'll be someplace better for kits." He promised as he led them down the tunnel.

Mayrie nodded as she looked around dubiously as they walked. The boys on the other hand were fascinated. "This is cool, uncle Jake." Toby, the largest and a chocolate on gold tabby who bore a striking resemblance to Chance, said as he looked around.

"Yeah, I guess it is." He chuckled softly and put a hand on his sister-in-law's shoulder in support.

Mayrie turned her head to smile weakly at Jake. "Thanks, Jake. How's he doing?" She asked softly, keeping one eye on the very curious kittens.

"Sleeping, I think. He's been tended to by a very good doctor. He'll recover." Jake said reassuringly. "Though there's now some question if it's really Chance." He said very softly. "Either way, they done exploiting my partner."

"Some question if it's really Chance?" She raised an eyebrow dubiously. "Jake, he's been your partner for how long? It's not like he's easily mistaken."

"Ten years, and if it's not him, it's a clone or from an alternate dimension, both of which must be considered now." Jake covertly watched the longfured shekat's reaction carefully. "When you're settled in, I'm going to track down the tracer my partner carried tonight, see where it is, and the story there."

"Clones, and alternate dimensions?" She laughed nervously. "I think you've been hitting the old horror films again, Jake." She smiled affectionately. "But I'm grateful that you care enough to go to this length. Must have taken months to set all this up."

"Years, and not the horror films," he said sadly. "Just lived in this city as an Enforcer too long. Between PastMaster and his dinosaurs, Dr. Viper, Dark Kat, the MetalliKats, Mad Kat and all the others from the news, do you really think it's _that_ impossible?" He paused. "I guess I'm paranoid after watching the news this long, but I can't just take it at face value when something's off."

"Maybe not." She agreed reluctantly. "But why would someone clone Chance? He's a good Kat, but cloning would be expensive."

"I don't know," he said softly. "But he's been in the bedroom of a lot of rich and powerful lately, and they have rich and powerful friends and enemies. I just can't leave the question alone, uninvestigated, when my partner may still be out there."

"I know, Jake, you're a good friend." She said, as she turned and leaned down slightly to kiss him gently on the cheek. "He's lucky to have you. Actually we've all been lucky that way." She said softly.

"Thanks," he blushed slightly. "Are you seeing anyone?" He asked suddenly. "One more wouldn't make a huge difference at this point."

"Seeing anyone?" She chuckled. "Between work and three kits who's had time? She smiled. "And three tomkits scares off a fair number of toms."

"Not the really good ones," he smiled softly at her. "What do you think of Haven, as a long-term new home?"

"I don't think I'm going anywhere without Chance." She said firmly. "He and I have stuck together through everything, I'm not leaving him now. Not since he got into this mess trying to protect me and the kits."

"That part aside, any objections?" He asked quietly. "The kits should have a school and you social options. I mean, hiding out in a country estate may be safe, but Haven's almost as safe, and it's a big city-state."

Mayrie smiled gently. "It would be better for the kits." She said quietly. "Feral couldn't force you and Chance to pay that ridiculous debt down there either." She added. "I think it's a package deal. I'm not going without him, and I know him well enough to know he won't go without you." She stopped, seemingly at the edge of saying something and then didn't.

"Mayrie," Jake stopped her with a gentle hand on her arm. "What is it?"

"Nothing, Jake." She said quietly. "A good sister doesn't go around telling her brother's secrets."

"All right," he nodded and began walking again. "Thought you had a question."

"Not exactly." She smiled. "So these new resources of yours ... new boyfriend?" She asked gently curious.

"Old boyfriend, new fiancée." He smiled, unable to not brighten considerably at the thought of the giant tom.

"Fiancée?" She smiled and hugged him. "Congratulations, Jake. Must be really new, I just talked to Chance day before yesterday and he didn't say anything. And I can't imagine he wouldn't be the first to get told."

"Very new, I proposed and he accepted just a few hours ago." He shivered with the energy of excitement. "But it was a fifteen year relationship before that, we just lost track of each other for a while." He stopped her quietly. "Just let me tell Chance, okay? It's kind of a touchy subject I think. It's why I'm not wearing the collar, I couldn't drop that on him with everything else tonight."

"Of course, I'll let you tell him." She smiled warmly. "But I'm sure he'll be happy for you. As long as it's not that bastard Feral." She said with a distinct hint of growl.

"Not by a long shot." Jake shook his head, not sure if it was funny or sad. "His name's Hardin."

"Nice name." She smiled. "So what's he like?" She asked curiously.

"You'll see soon enough, but he's smart and creative; we can talk about all sorts of things and he doesn't blank out on me when I get off on a tangent. He's a flame-orange on black tabby, probably with Tiger blood; he's even bigger than Feral. He's gentle with me, but he can be a fierce protector too. He's not someone I'd want to piss off, though he holds me in the same regard." Jake murred, deepening into a purr as they walked and he talked. "Hardin's everything I ever hopped for in a LifeMate. I searched for him for four years, and then he was there, in my favorite thinking spot tonight." Jake got a decidedly dreamy look on his face at the memory.

Mayrie smiled. "I'm really happy for you, Jake. Sounds like he's very good to you." She said softly. "How do he and Chance get along?" She asked casually, most of her attention on the extremely curious kittens who were fascinated by the environment.

"The few encounters they've had went well enough. I got Chance sorted out about my preferences before I introduced them." He said softly. "Four years ago was the last time I knew where Hardin was."

"And now Chance is a little unsorted about his preferences." She smiled slightly. "I really wish he'd gotten to experiment with someone he liked, before this happened." She sighed quietly.

"Yeah, me too." He murmured. "He was just so sure of himself when I offered. But I'm going to find someone ... he's going to have at least one caring male partner in his life, even if it's just one night. He shouldn't think it's all like what those ... creatures ... do to him."

"Jake, he was sure." She said quietly. "As sure as a narrow minded upbringing can make you." She shook her head. "I'm sure he'll find someone if he wants to. He's a good tom, and the right person will see that." She said with a firm certainty.

"Yes, and I know several of them." Jake nodded just as certainly. "There's just introducing them, without seeming pushy. I just want the best for him."

"Yes, I know you do." She smiled, warmly grateful. "Just be careful that it doesn't look like your trying to run his life. I know you wouldn't, but he's really sensitive about that right now."

"I know," he nodded sadly as they came around a bend and the tunnel opened up to a larger space. "And this one's got a good reason behind it."

"You weren't kidding about this being safer." She smiled. "I don't think anyone could find us. And it's absolutely fascinating to a pack of curious seven-year-olds." She chuckled.

"Well, they should still be kept an eye on," Jake said warily. "It was build with adults in mind; kits could get in trouble."

"Of course they could, that's why it's fascinating to them." She chuckled. "But at least it will keep their minds of what else may be going on."

"And that is a very good thing." Jake nodded and relaxed a bit. "Are they in school yet?"

"Have been for three years now." She smiled. "Sammy, the big one, is lot like his uncle Chance when it comes to school. Nicholas, the gray one with the white ears would go to school eight days a week if they'd let him." She smiled. "The gold on dark red tabby, Mykal, is probably the brightest but he'd really rather learn on his own schedule. Hates homework, but he'll soak up reading material like there's no tomorrow. Also prone to taking things apart, to find out how they work. Fortunately, he's getting better at putting them back together."

"Really?" Jake murmured, his eyes fixing on Mykal. "Maybe I'll give him some of my old projects to play with. Bright, curious types can be too easy to break the spirit of."

"That'd be great, Jake." She smiled appreciatively. "I wanted to get him a private tutor, but they're so expensive. But he'd be much happier, regular school doesn't fit him well. Even Sammy likes it better, but that's cause he's the really social outgoing one of the bunch. He looks at school as a place to hang with his friends, homework is just kind of an inconvenience."

"I know the feeling," Jake nodded with a soft smile. "My parents managed to home-school me. I'd finished high school at ten, not that anybody would acknowledge it at that age. Has he found the Internet yet?"

"I think he's used it at school." She said quietly. "We've never had a computer at home."

"I'll point him to the hook-up here. Should keep him distracted long enough for a few things to take apart appear for him." Jake smiled indulgently at the oddly colored tabby kit.

"Thanks, Jake." She smiled. "I think you may find yourself very popular with a certain kit."

"I can't help but see myself at that age, without some of the advantages I had." He admitted softly. "Maybe I can't fix the world, but I can at least make it better for my successor."

"And here Chance didn't think you'd be interested in kits." She chuckled affectionately. "And that's how the world gets fixed, one kit at a time."

"Well, I'm not really." He admitted. "But he's not just a kit." Jake tried to explain something he didn't understand himself.

"Whatever your reason, I appreciate your taking an interest in him." She said quietly. "A male adult in his life will be good for him. I mean Chance is a great playmate for the kits, but Mykal needs someone who can do more than just play."

"I know." He nodded, softly introspective for a moment before he smiled affectionately. "Chance is just a big kit himself, in a lot of ways."

"I know, it's actually one of his attractive features." She smiled. "He can be an awful lot of fun to be with. I just hope it's still true after all he's been through." She said sadly.

"He's a resilient Kat, Mayrie." He tried to sound more sure of himself than he was as he opened the door to a large guest bedroom with a bath attached. "The kits can have separate rooms, but I thought you might want to stay together for a couple nights."

"I know, but he's never had to take so much." She said quietly. "And from Feral of all people. Wasn't betraying him the first time enough?" She shook her head. "If there's a room nearby for the kits to share that would be best, they're at an age where they like a little space." She smiled.

"Yeah, right next door." He nodded to the next door down. "Or across the hall." He indicated that one. "Chance is in the first room in the hall," he pointed to the one they had passed. "Hardin and I are staying in the master suit on the top floor, probably."

"Thanks, Jake. For everything." She smiled and kissed him gently on the cheek. "I'm going to get the kits washed up and settled. Let me know when it's okay for me to see him, I don't want to get in the doctor's way."

"I will, you take care of yourself to." He reminded her gently before walking back to the room Chance and the group were in.

"Once the kits are taken care of." She said quietly, before turning to the kits.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jake could hear Hardin and the doctor talking in the room next to Chance's and opened that door instead to slip in.

Hardin noticed Jake enter. "Hello, love. Things go well with Chance's sister and her kits?" He asked as he stood to embrace the smaller tom.

"Yes, they're a couple doors down." He nodded and relaxed into the embrace. "I'm as sure as I can be no one saw us."

"My surveillance equipment agrees." He said as he rubbed his hands along Jake's back affectionately. "I've told the Creeplings to keep themselves out of sight of the kits and their mother."

"Thanks, love." He purred before looking at the doctor. "How's he doing?"

"Physically, he's not as bad as he looks." She said evenly. "The burns are electrical in nature, and while the fur is badly scorched the skin only sustained first degree burns. The lacerations are lash marks, kind of the bloodsport version of the leather whip. They look nasty, and hurt like hell, but if you put antibacterial cream on them they'll heal just fine. There's evidence that he's been raped repeatedly though I'd be inclined to say only with objects, there's no evidence of a tom being in him. A doctor less familiar with sexual assault trauma might very well miss the difference though." She paused. "My big concern is that his mind is responding in a very limited, child-like fashion. It's a far deeper trauma than I've ever seen in a rape victim, and I've treated many. I'd like to have a deep trauma specialist friend of mine look at him. I've seen a couple cases like it before, but only as his assistant."

"Wait a minute." Jake shook his head. "He _hasn't_ been with a tom? In how long?"

"Well, the last seventy-two hours is about as far back as I can say with any certainty." The doctor replied evenly. "Beyond that the recent trauma makes it difficult to say."

"Well, that settles it as much as anything." He said softly. "I know for a fact the real Chance, my Chance, did with another tom last night, and the night before. No way in hell he was on top the entire time either."

Hardin nodded. "One does usually rent a tom to be on the bottom." He said quietly. "That leaves us with the question of where the real one is, and who this one is." He said softly. "And I'd still like to find out who did this ... I really dislike brutal sadists." He growled dangerously. "As a few missing person cases in this town will attest to."

"First question is where my partner is." Jake said stubbornly. "Since we have everyone else that's in danger. Then we can start working on who just asked for more trouble than they expected."

"Agreed." Hardin said easily. "I believe you mentioned tracing something that he was carrying."

"Yes, he's got a pager I can trace within a few feet." Jake nodded. "Just need a few things from the Yard."

"Anything I can do to help? Or will it help more if I stay here and look after everyone?" Hardin asked gently.

"Keeping my family safe is the best thing you can do for me now." He turned and reached up to hug Hardin around the neck. "Saving Chance's tail is my specialty." He tried for a levity they didn't feel.

"That you can count on, love." He said as he pulled the lean tom into a passionate kiss. "You should tell Mayrie something, in case she decides to look for you while your out."

"She knows I'm going to go check, make sure this is the real one." He smiled. "It's useful when the entire city has a history of weirdness, and not just your life. And I'll be careful, Hardin."

"You do that, love." He purred, holding the tom tight to his chest. "I just got you back, I'd hate to lose you again. But you have to do this." He said understandingly. "I very much hope that your Chance is all right, at least as much as spending an evening as Feral's toy can be all right."

"He better be." Jake growled determinedly as Hardin released him. "Time to go tabby hunting, though I should probably introduce you to Mayrie at least." He smiled at the big tom. "She knows we're engaged."

"I'd like the world to know that." He rumbled. "But family is a good start. And introduction would be good." He agreed and followed his mate into the hallway.

"Mayrie?" Jake called out quietly.

The door opened to reveal the shekat dressed for bed, wearing a bathrobe. "Yes, Jake. Can I see Chance now?" She asked eagerly.

"Umm, I wanted to introduce you to Hardin first." He said quietly. "We found out for sure this isn't Chance. Not ours at any rate."

She stepped out to look at the big tabby. "It's a pleasure, Hardin." She said easily. "Thank you for taking me and my kits into your home."

"Jake's family is my family, Mayrie." He said gently. "I look after my family."

"If only all families were so close." She murmured. "Not our Chance? Thank Bastet for small miracles, do you know where ours is?" She asked worriedly.

"A good guess would be with whoever hired him tonight." Jake said tightly. "I'm heading out to retrieve him now."

"Be careful Jake. I know you can take care of yourself, but those are dangerous people that hire him." She said quietly.

"I know, I'm going to be careful, but I will _not_ leave my partner out there alone.

"I understand, Jake. My mate was an Enforcer." She said as she gave him a good luck kiss on the cheek. "Bastet watch over you." She said softly.

"Thank you," he nodded and smiled at her before squeezing his mate's hand and ran down the hall, towards the tunnels.

I Never Expected This 5: A Second Chance

R
Het Level is None
Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Low
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

35 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written January 13, 2006 by Rauhnee Ranshanka, Todd McCall and Vorex

Setting: SWAT Kats

Primary Races: Kat, Xanith

Contents: Furry. Slash (M/M). Angst, Sex (Kinky)

Pairings: Withheld for spoilers from Hell

Blurb: Jake is woken by the intruder alarm for the Yard, and reality is about to get turned inside out.

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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