Power Games 3:
Academy Graduation

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

Chance took a deep breath and adjusted his uniform for the hundredth time that morning. His mother, sisters, and Midnight were all there, dressed well, getting a couple last-minute pictures in the chaos of the room where all the cadets were gathering prior to their graduation ceremony.

"Remember, hon, you'll be just fine," Meg reassured him. "Try to be a bit more like Jake for this," she chuckled, nodding towards the lean gunner.

"I'm not sure he realizes he is graduating today," Chance deadpanned.

"Oh, he does," Rock smiled warmly for his lover. "It's just after what he's been through, facing Commander Feral when the guy is pleased is nothing."

"It's not the Commander I'm worried about," Chance murmured. "It's the thousand or so other people out there."

"Look on the bright side, bro," Mindy grinned. "You'll have the rest of your class behind you."

"Where they belong," Jake cracked a grin at him. "You've been on live TV, what's so different about this?"

"I didn't see the audience on TV," Chance pointed out. "Looks like they're starting to form units up ... see you guys once it's all over," he said with an uneasy grin for his mother.

"You'll do fine, hon," she gave him a final pat on the shoulder as the pair moved off.

"Come on, let's get to our seats before we loose them," Rock suggested. "Aunt Meg, have you met Jake's family yet?" he asked a bit hesitantly.

"I haven't had the pleasure," she smiled sweetly. "Though I've heard enough about his mother that I think that's probably for the best. Don't worry, dear, I'll be civil until well after this," she reassured him, following him out to the auditorium.

"Good, because the whole clan is here," he motioned discreetly to a decidedly un-cheerful group of five sitting high up and somewhat off on their own, their mood enough to keep more happy relatives and friend away for now.

"Jake's the only child of the family, and they're not proud of what he's accomplishing," Meg murmured, her tone more resigned to the fact than shocked. "Some people don't deserve kittens." She took her seat, pushing the Clawsons out of mind for the moment. She'd worry about them later, if they made her do so.

"They're far too worried about him being killed without kits to be happy today," Rock said quietly as he sat next to her. "His mother is worthless, but his great-aunt Sera is more reasonable, at least when asked polite questions. He's not an only kit by choice, any of their choices. I can't imagine what it must be like to desperately want a large family and find yourself barren."

"I'd still think they'd try to fake it, for his sake if nothing else," she murmured as the rest of the family took their seats. "Let's not worry about it for now," she concluded, settling in for the ceremony.

"We have cadets to cheer for," he nodded and grinned as Jake and Chance stood at attention at the head of the column of pilot/gunner teams that would come out next.

First up were the older students, mostly Enforcers who had gone for additional training for the Special Forces and Commando units, though a handful of younger Cadets who had excelled in their studies joined them. Rock recognized Sandclaw in the back of the column, barely, as Feral and Blackthorn made their brief speeches.

Next up were the pilot/gunner teams, with Chance and Jake at the head of the class, Amanda and her new pilot, Willow Greanra, behind them.

Midnight and Meg were both beaming proudly, Meg especially, as the column was recognized, accepted as Enforcers, and sent down to their seats, the smaller solo-pilot column following them in.

"Not much of a ceremony for four years of blood, sweat and tears," Rock murmured.

"The Enforcers aren't much for grandiose ceremony, dear," Meg pointed out quietly. "I'm sure there'll be more later, but just getting this far is a major accomplishment, and everybody here knows it."

"I guess," he settled down as the other groups of new Enforcers were presented and acknowledged. In all, it was less than an hour before the last group, the admin who'd only been in classes two months, were dismissed.

There was a moment of shifting in the crowd before Commander Feral called all of the new graduates out onto the field again, this time in a more traditional three-unit formation instead of by training.

"This year, for the first time in twenty years, there are cadets who will not graduate because they gave their lives in the line of duty," Feral's voice was low, grave and powerful. "Today, with the class they would have stood with, we acknowledge their sacrifice and remind everyone that they may not have graduated, but they died as Enforcers in the finest tradition of the force.

"Jamie Longtail, Jed Sandy and Brad Mallion are with their classmates today. May we all follow their example."

There was a moment of subdued silence as the happy family members were reminded of the losses of the cadets two years before, and the tragedies that had surrounded them.

"Enforcers!" Blackthorn bellowed after a moment, the former cadets snapping to full attention. "Dismissed!"

The three units started down from the stage, breaking up and heading out the main exits of the auditorium. Once they were out, the audience got up and started to follow slowly, the size of the crowd forcing them to a restrained pace.

"Just wait for the crowd to clear a bit," Meg told Mindy, putting a hand on her shoulder when she went to get up. "We'll be out there soon enough, and I'm sure Chance will be there waiting for us."

"Oh yeah. It'll be a couple hours before the party starts," Rock grinned at her.

"Which will leave them drunk for a couple days," she giggled and settled in to wait until the bulk of the crowd had dissipated.

"So, when am I going to have a new cousin-in-law?" Cindy asked with a teasing grin.

"That's up to Jake," Rock chuckled. "He wants to try and make it on his own before anything like that ... wants to prove to himself that he can."

"He's sweet, but such a self-esteem problem," Mindy shook her head. "You'd think after the whole werewolf thing, he'd realize he's proven himself more than most folks ever do."

"I know," Rock murmured with a glance at the departing Clawsons. "He moved into a college dorm at fourteen, and hasn't actually been out in the real world yet, not as an adult who has to keep a job. I think he just wants to prove to himself that he can earn a living before making us any more official than I already am. He did add me to his life insurance and other paperwork, so he's getting there."

"No confidence, and slightly morbid," Cindy chuckled, shaking her head. "He's thinking ahead though, a lot more than most guys his age do ... good catch, Rock," she smiled.

"I've always thought so," he smiled, purring slightly as they stood and began to work their way out of the open-air coliseum.

"There's Chance," Midnight grinned, spotting the tabby waiting for them near Jake, who was looking visibly uncomfortable as he talked with his family.

He spotted them almost as soon and waved them over, not really willing to leave his partner in such a hostile environment.

"Here's hoping they leave soon," Rock muttered. "Jake really doesn't need to be moody when he gets drunk."

"It sounds reasonably normal," Mindy offered quietly as they approached, Rock starting out ahead almost without thinking of what it might do to the conversation. Fortunately, Jake's family finished their somewhat awkward congratulations before he was there.

"You okay?" Rock asked him gently, giving him a light hug as the Clawsons seemed to quite willingly drift away.

"I'm fine," Jake sighed, leaning into the contact. "It's just weird to not get in a shouting match with them."

"Weird, but good," Chance pointed out with a bit of a chuckle before wrapping Midnight in a tight hug and giving her a kiss. "So, that was more painless than I expected," he grinned.

"Told you you'd be fine," she grinned and licked his nose playfully. "Congratulations, Lieutenant," she purred seductively and clamed a long, lingering kiss that narrowed his focus down to her.

"Mmm ... don't congratulate me too quickly," he purred, pushing her back a bit, a little self-conscious about returning the kiss in front of his mother and sisters, though he did it anyways. "Not until you've answered one question, 'kay?"

Midnight grinned, her green eyes glittering at the promise of something she'd been ready for a long time. "All right, hot stuff."

"I'm starting to think I'm the only person who didn't know I was going to be asking this question today," Chance blushed a bit, though he still got down on one knee and fished out a small jewelry box. "So... will you marry me?"

Despite all the teasing replies Jake thought of, that he and Midnight had laughed about her saying, when the moment came, her face went soft.

"Yes," she smiled warmly down at him and cupped his face in her hands. "I would love to share my life with you, and have you father my kittens."

Chance opened up the box, taking out a ring with a small diamond on it and offered it to her.

"You didn't have to," she smiled softly and slid the ring from its box before slipping it onto her finger.

"Thank you," he purred and stood up to kiss her

"So, two major milestones in one day - wonder if you're going to find any more," Mindy grinned at her big brother.

"After those two, I'm going to slow down for a bit until they've settled out," Chance chuckled, rubbing Midnight's back lightly as he held her close.

"A ceremony, then kittens," she nuzzled him, her entire body beaming her happiness.

"Assuming these two don't have a ceremony first," Cindy giggled with a wink at Jake and Rock. "I'm not sure who's the cuter couple."

"Mmm ... I'm partial to us," Rock chuckled. "But I'm not rushing the ceremony end of things," he reassured Jake, nuzzling his head.

"Or the kittens," he chuckled, straitening a bit out of respect to the dress grays he was wearing.

"But not practicing for it," Midnight winked at him.

"Okay, let's tone things down while we're still suitable for the public," Chance chuckled. "We'll save more for the party tonight," he teased Midnight lightly, giving her a kiss.

"Pity you can't get in unless you're somebody's date," Mindy grinned. "Sounds like it'll be a blast."

"I'm sure you'll get all the details," Rock laughed deeply. "With two relatives there to bully into fessing up."

"And if you're hoping to become part of the details, don't," Chance said, somewhere between serious and joking. "Besides, the official party's going to be watched by the folks who'll be our bosses in a couple days, so we'll be behaving."

"Until they go home, at least," Jake winked deviously. "Or we move on to an unofficial party."

"Shush!" Meg laughed, shaking her head. "Don't go getting me worried about what you four will be up to tonight!"

"Probably not much help, but I doubt it'll be anything we haven't done before," Midnight snickered.

"Those two did meet at Warlords, after all," Rock winked. "Doesn't get much more wild than that, you know."

"Yeah, but that was a special case," Chance chuckled. "C'mon, it looks like folks are starting to break up for the party ... see you all tomorrow night for dinner?" He asked, looking between his mother and sisters.

"You'd better be there ... and you too," Meg added, smiling at Jake. "Unless you've got other plans?"

"We'll be there," Rock answered when Jake seemed too startled to.

"Sure," he agreed quickly after his boyfriend had. "Tomorrow night."

"Good," Meg smiled, heading off with her daughters as Chance and Jake got ready to head off for their party.

"If you don't calm down, they'll think you're buzzing," Jake laughed happily as they walked into Enforcer Headquarters for their first day of real active duty in the air.

"C'mon, Jake," Chance laughed back. "You gonna tell me you're not excited too? First chance to prove we're as good in real life as we were in the Academy."

"I'm excited, but you're vibrating," he countered, though he was grinning more as they walked to the elevators that went all the way up to the pre-flight deck.

"Eh, as long as it doesn't mess with the jet, they won't complain," Chance chuckled. "Already have any ideas for how to tweak her?"

"Are you kidding? I've had two days to work already," he winked and pressed the up button for the elevator. "Hey, Hi Amanda, Willow," he waved at the pair as they walked up. "Pre-flight deck?"

"Of course," Amanda smiled at him. "I understand we are flying together this year."

"That's what it sounds like," Chance grinned back at the two shekats. "Know who else is on our wing yet?" He asked curiously.

"Word is we're joining the Black Knights," Jake grinned, now much more animated than he'd been a minute before as they walked into the elevator.

"This will either be the best or worst year ever," Willow grinned, her very dark leonine features framed by a mass of tiny braids that were wound and corded close to her head. "They are the best."

"Have you ever met an Andrewsarchus or Hyaenodon?" Amanda asked them all.

"Nope," Chance admitted. "I've seen the Black Star's crew on the news, but never met 'em in person."

"I saw them walk by once, when I was in the wing's hanger, but never got an introduction," Jake shook his head as the elevator sped up on its ascent to the next to top floor.

"Well, let's see how it goes then," Chance grinned. "Me, I'm looking forward to seeing Stacy again."

"You are kin then?" Amanda asked.

"Very distant cousins, but yeah," Chance nodded. "About four or five 'removeds' in there somewhere."

"She still has the Furlong looks, even if she is pretty dark," Jake chuckled, waiting for the girls to get out of the elevator before walking onto the pre-flight deck with Chance and looking around.

"Room 6, Knights," the duty Kat motioned them to one of the room with a welcoming smile. "Have a good flight."

"We will," Chance grinned, following his gunner in to where the rest of the wing was lounging in their flight gear, waiting for Kathie and Tanner to come with their orders for the day.

"Hey, it's our new kids," Stacy 'Chocolate' Furlong waved to the four of them. "Grab a seat. Shark and Rumble should be in shortly."

"Good," Chance grinned, taking a seat next to Jake. "Any idea how tonight's likely to shape up?" He asked his cousin.

"Just the usual," she grinned at her cousin. "Go out, fly around, come back. We don't get shot at all that often."

"And if you're lucky, it'll stay that way," Colin 'Snake Eyes' Black chuckled. "Been a quiet week, so it's a good time for you to get into the swing of things."

"That or we're about to be thrown into the deep end," Jake grinned at him.

"Good to see you guys made it," Kathie greeted everyone as she walked in with Tanner, both of them in flight suits.

"I feel decidedly underdressed," Jake chuckled weakly to his partner.

"Don't worry, won't last long," Chance chuckled back. "And you think we'd miss this?" He asked Kathie with a grin.

"Not for the world," she grinned back and walked to the front of the room. "Black Knights, as you know, we have two new teams this year. In the Black Sun, we have Jake 'Raven' Claws and Chance 'Sundance' Furlong," she nodded to the pair. "Flying Black Lightning is Amanda 'Princess' Feathertail and Willow 'Striker' Greanra. And if you want to confuse the hell out of everybody else, Amanda's given name is Ees-ta-vina Mitsel-eman," she glanced at the elegant warrior to make sure she'd actually pronounced it correctly.

"Your accent is quite respectable, Lt. Firetail," Amanda inclined her head slightly.

"Beautiful new dawn woman of honor," the giant male Hyaenodon looked over at her.

"Yes," she raised an eyebrow in surprise.

"I have made a habit of studying other societies who have held to the old ways," Ku'mid 'ShatterCoil' E'gra grinned at her, his nearly two foot long jaws making it rather vicious looking, even when friendly.

"You two are gonna get along well," Chance chuckled. "I didn't even know about it until I'd known her for a few months already."

"We share a common upbringing in the hunt," the male Andrewsarchus with jaws even longer than his pilot's, grinned. "A'zay 'DeathWalk' Rom'os," he grinned. "It's nice to have another who has known the hunger of a poor hunt here in the land of plenty."

"All right, so does everyone know who everyone is?" Kathie asked, glancing around as her wingmates nodded. "Good. We are flying circuit 39 today. It should be quiet, but everyone knows the deal with that."

"Don't count on it, and keep an ear open for trouble," Chance nodded.

"Then lets get to the jets and see how you two fly," Kathie nodded to her two new pilots before walking for the exit as everyone got up to follow. "We'll stop by the dressing room on the way," she added as she passed them.

"Yes, ma'am," Jake said as he stood.

"Oh sweet Bastet," Kathie laughed with a groan. "It's Kathie, Jake, we're wingmates, and friends for over four years now. Rumble if you must."

"Yes, Kathie," he chuckled weakly.

"That goes for all of you," she added with a backwards glance at the rest of the new members as they walked into the back half of the pre-flight floor where several locker rooms were. "There's no rank in this wing."

"Are our lockers with the wing's?" Amanda asked politely.

"Always," Kathie nodded and showed them in, walking past and greeting several other wings that were dressing up or dressing down.

"Good luck out there," one of the other pilots grinned. "Good night to get used to the route, so far; all the trouble looks like it's ground-bound."

"Good to hear," Amanda smiled warmly at him.

"Maybe for you," Chance chided her as the four of them were pointed to the lockers already embossed with their names and began to make short work of stripping out of their daily uniforms and dressing for flight duty. "I want to see some action."

"You'll get it, in time," Joan 'Paladin' Ritter said seriously. "Just don't get too eager; doesn't do much for your rep to be in my top ten," she chuckled.

"You're assuming we can't get out of the trouble we get into," Chance winked at her as he finished suiting up, checking all the straps for placement. "We're good at it, you know."

"I'll bet you are," she chuckled. "So's Snake Eyes, but you still don't wanna push your luck."

"Don't worry about her, she's the team's mother," the black furred Tom chuckled as the wing headed out and took the elevator up to the flight deck and their jets. "You'll get used to it after a while."

"Great, now we have two mothers," Chance groaned. "Amanda might not be so obvious, but she earned her name, you know, and it wasn't for being the prissy kind."

"Princess, Paladin - all we need now's a wizard," Snake Eyes smirked.

"That's why Jake's here," Willow teased before heading off with Amanda to climb into their jet.

"Only with machines," Jake blushed slightly before escaping to the jet he had begun to modify, though he paused at the side to run his fingers over his name on the side of the cockpit.

"He's shy too," Chance chuckled, heading off to follow him, climbing in. "Feels good, doesn't it?" He grinned back at him as Jake got in the back seat.

"Yes, it does," Jake smiled as he settled in and began their pre-flight checks. "We've worked hard for today."

"Just so we can start working harder," Chance agreed with a chuckle, going over his end of the checks. "All systems look good up here."

"Ditto," Jake nearly purred, then clicked the radio on. "Black Sun ready to roll."

"Sky Knight ready," Paladin announced a moment later.

"Black Kat's itching to go," Chocolate added. "Good to be back in the air."

"After once again managing to be grounded before Paladin," Rumble teased them. "Black Eagle is hot to trot."

"Black Storm is good to go," Deathwalk added with an audible grin. "If you guys are done teasing each other and ready to fly!"

"Black Lightning is up as well," Princess finished.

"Black Knights, this is the Tower, you are cleared for takeoff after Umbral Stars. Please roll to the pre-launch positions in launch order."

"Tower, this is Rumble of the Black Knights. Instructions understood. We are on the move."

The jets rolled into place, Black Eagle first followed by the others in order of seniority, waiting for the set of jets before them to take off before following suit.

"Reduce speed to fifty above stall, and turn onto course," Rumble instructed them, the jets falling into formation easily, Black Sun and Black Lightning taking up the two back points of their diamond.

"I never though it would be this exciting, to fly a route we have a dozen times, just because we're really Enforcers," Jake tried not to shiver as he spoke, making sure the mike was off.

"Having a real jet helps too," Chance grinned. "Keep an eye out; we'll be over the Bars in a bit, and if there's any trouble there I want to know if there's any way to help."

"Will do," Jake promised, though he had to keep most of his attention on the various readouts and communications buzzing through his station at high speed.

It let Chance focus on flying for a while; the path was an easy one, and with the rest of their wing in formation, he could just enjoy soaring over the nighttime landscape the city provided, lights on the street reflecting up buildings to illuminate their broad flight corridors.

On the physical level, it was no different from dozens of patrols they'd been on as cadets in the last two years. The same equipment, the same suits, the same formation ... well, no, the Black Knights kept a tighter formation than cadets ever did ... but it was the tiny difference in weight of his badge that marked tonight as different.

Tonight he was an Enforcer, and it was a slow rush like nothing he'd felt before.

Power Games 3: Academy Graduation

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

23 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written September 7, 2007 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann

Setting: SWAT Kats

Primary Races: Kantin, Kat

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

Pairings: Chance Furlong/Midnight Raven, Jake Clawson/Rock Furlong, Zach Tanner/Amy Piercin, others

Blurb: Interlude. With four years of Enforcer Academy behind them, three of those as partners, Jake and Chance are ready to stand for graduation, and to mourn the cadets and friends who should have been there with them.

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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