War Between Worlds part 2 of 2
by Fur and Fantasy
NC-17 for M/M
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

The amount of freedom the Sith gave him was starting to actually get on Chance's nerves by mid-morning. He'd explored his quarters, finer and more comfortable than anywhere he'd ever stayed, the variety of clothing she offered. The food was good. The buildings, or carved living spaces really, were cool, varied and mostly open to him.

He'd even found the boarders to his turf, all well out into the jungle and along the beaches, and further into the copper-red water than he cared to venture.

The only real limit was the collar the Lions had fitted him after removing his shackles. It was a lot more comfortable, but it was also a lot more effective at making him stop when he did something that wasn't permitted.

Near the western border was a large rock face that that jutted up to tower above the very large jungle trees. Chance could a petite figure examining the rock face closely, completely wrapped up her study. He also spotted the glint of sunlight reflecting off a collar that looked much like the one he was wearing. The other thing he spotted was a spotted lion-sized canine approaching her unnoticed, its motions clearly that of a hunting predator.

"Hay!" He yelled at her, moving even before he'd fully processed the scene. "Move it girl!"

She hadn't seemed to hear him, and then he recognized the absolute focus on something ... it was like Jake when he really got focused on a project. The world could go by and he might not notice.

Which left this to him to deal with and he shifted the angle of his approach a bit to give him an angle on the predator, still yelling, though now with the intent to inform the beast that he wasn't sneaking up anymore.

The predator turned to look at the noise approaching him, and decided it needed to deal with this competitor first. Teeth bared it charged at the approaching tabby.

Chance skidded to a stop in the sand and instantly assessed both his opponent, which was going to be one hell of a fight, and a something to throw at that shekat to get her the hell out of the area. A dirt clod provided the second, and a lunge, curl and throw sent it right for her head as he leapt up to avoid the charge.

"Hey, who did that?" The shekat demanded looking around for the person who'd pelted her with dirt. "Oh, my." She said spotting the predator, and then she did something that Chance had seen one too many non-combatants do one first faced with danger: she froze.

"Ah fuck." He muttered before his full attention was taken up the predator's last minute swipe ripped open the side of his shirt without actually catching flesh. The frustrated predator turned and crouched, watching the tabby with wary, but hungry eyes as Chance crouched himself and settled in for the fight of his life.

He suddenly remembered something that the merc had said about the sea water and started working the animal towards the shoreline where he could hopefully get it good and drunk.

There was only the barest of advanced warning before the canine sprang leaping straight at Chance, intent on sinking its large teeth into his neck only to find his target had ducked and rolled under him to come to his feet with his shirt in his hands and a grim expression. It wasn't long enough to think, much less for the beast to turn around, and Chance was on it's back with his shirt twisted around it's neck in a tightening garrote.

The predator became frantic in its attempt to dislodge the creature from its back. It rolled across the ground trying to scrape Chance off its back, eventually rolling into a large pile of boulders. In the end Chance's determination to stay on last a little longer than its determination to stay conscious and the creature eventually lay still with Chance's shirt still wrapped around its neck.

"Oh my!" The petite shekat exclaimed as she came rushing over. "Are you okay?" She asked looking him over. "I'll help you to medical." She offered, though it was clear that she was unfamiliar with the kind of combat damage Chance had from all the rolling and bouncing across the terrain and all but being squished by a seven hundred pound predator.

"Just move," the tabby all but grabbed her and headed back towards the complex at as much of a run as his battered body would oblige him with. "That thing won't stay down for long."

"It's not dead?" She asked, keeping up with him.

"Not likely." He said after a breath into his aching lungs.

"Let me show you to medical." She offered, once they were inside the building and Chance stopped them to catch his breath and make a quick internal assessment of his injuries and their severity.

He nodded and pushed himself from the wall to follow her before his body began to stiffen up and really start to feel what had happened to it. She didn't know much about medicine or first aid, but she knew where everything was and he was grateful for that much.

He was grateful too that he'd taken and cared for enough beatings and battle damage to have a decent idea who to do with the supplies. At least the few he recognized. As much as a painkiller sounded great, he wasn't about to play hit and miss when he couldn't even read the name, much less any directions.

So he stuck with cleaning the blood and dirt from his fur with the cloth and sink there.

"Does it hurt?" She asked looking at the medicine bottles. "There's a couple things for pain here." She added reading one of the bottles carefully.

"Not much, but it'll be hell in the morning." He told her with the kind of straightforward acceptance of someone who'd been through it several times and expected to face it several more. "Mostly bruising."

"This one is good for muscle pains and soft tissue damage." She said, obviously reading the bottle. "That'd help wouldn't it?" The young shekat offered. "Says take one for every 50 kilos of body weight."

"Yap, that's what it is." He turned to accept the pill bottle from her to regard it in a fair amount of annoyance. "Pity I don't know what I kilo is, much less how many I am."

"You're about one fifteen." She said confidently after giving him a professionally appraising look. "Which would be take two, or probably three cause you're really beat up."

He considered her, then the bottle, and finally decided that if he was going to be drugged this way, so be it and quickly swallowed two pills before stuffing the bottle in his pocket for later. If they were anything like the ones back home, he'd need them a few more times before his body stopped bitching at him for it.

"Thanks," he offered her, uncertain about a lot of things but not willing to be impolite if it really was what it looked like.

"Actually, I should be thanking you." She smiled a bit sheepishly. " For saving me from my own obliviousness. Father said curiosity would be the death of me, and he was almost right."

"Given that thing," he motioned to her collar, "our host is more responsible than you. That's a hell of a critter to miss coming across the boarder and poor security that let it get so close."

"I'm sure somebody will be in trouble for it." She said easily. "Our host has a low tolerance for failure, or so I've heard."

"Except her own, no doubt." He actually chuckled, though he filed her response under 'highly suspicious behavior' for her story. "If she's anything like the others of her kind I know."

"Probably." She agreed. "Not that I've really run into anybody like her before."

"You're lucky," he told her quietly and rolled his shoulders with a wince before heading out of the small medical room.

"I think the word is sheltered." She sighed, following him. "Which is safe, but rather boring."

"You don't have the instincts for much more exciting," he pointed out as gently as he could without mincing the point as he headed for his quarters here. "Learn to like boring. It'll keep people alive."

"Like I have that option." She groused. "Being one of Keira's hostages isn't exactly safe."

"Except for the wildlife or getting way too drunk on the ocean, I haven't found much to be worried about."

"As long as my father doesn't disobey Keira." She sighed. "And I know he'll have to eventually."

"So enjoy what you have," he advised her simply. "Maybe you'll get out before then."

"Maybe." She sighed. "I just remember what one philosopher said, 'The gilded cage remains a cage'." She shrugged, and then looked at Chance curiously. "So who's good behavior are you guaranteeing?"

"Nobody's," he shrugged, paused at the door to his room. "She wants something else from me."

"Doesn't she always." She chuckled. "It's no coincidence that she keeps all those buff guys around." She shook her head.

"It'll be a cold day in hell before that happens voluntarily." He muttered darkly and clicked the door open, really not in a mood to deal with anyone for a while.

"Well, I'll see you around." She said and then realized something. "You know I never introduced myself. I'm Carly, and you are?" She asked curiously, though polite.

"Chance," he supplied before going into his room.

Looking for Jake for lunch led Javrin to one of the small practice rooms where the tom was engaged in a strange kind of sparring with a low-grade combat droid. Though he seemed to be simply circling it, Javrin could sense the Force being manipulated. It was this unusual manipulation that had the attention of a mixed group of eight Masters, Knights and Padawans watching the strange match. A brief look at the force manipulation didn't really tell Javrin anything but it did give him a headache.

Knowing better than to interrupt a sparing match he put himself out the edge of the practice circle and watched as Jake avoided the droid. He'd seen Razor fight often enough to realize that whatever he was doing, defeating the droid physically wasn't the point.

Javrin still wasn't sure what was the purpose of the match was when the droid crackled and sparked, then shut down and Jake breathed a sigh of relief and shifted his focus from the Force to the world in general. He inclined his head in thanks to Master Kastoris, then smiled at Javrin.

"I haven't a clue how you did that." Javrin admitted with a smile as he walked up to Jake. "But it was impressive all the same."

"Thanks," the lean tom wiped his brow. "Lunch time already?"

"Yes, thankfully." Javrin nodded. "Did you want to grab a quick shower before we head to the meal hall?"

"If you don't mind," he nodded and headed for the locker room. "It's not easy work."

"Force exercises never are." Javrin said as he followed Jake. "Heavy workout for mind and body."

"That should become easy enough to be practical with some work," he chuckled and turned one of the sonic showers on, still finding it rather strange to 'shower' dressed.

"We can take a shower more to your liking later." Javrin purred suggestively and felt the spike it sent through Jake's body. "That trick will be useful against those mechanical things Dark Kat likes to come up with."

"And the next time the Metallikats show up." Jake chuckled and turned the shower off. "And I am definitely ready for lunch."

"You think they'll show up again?" Javrin asked curiously, as they headed for the meal hall.

"It's almost a given," he shrugged in displeasure. "They're programming is still intact. They just need new bodies."

"Would someone be foolish enough to give them new bodies?" Javrin asked, clearly baffled by the idea of giving the two psychopaths new bodies.

"It's happened three times already, I don't see any reason it wouldn't happen again."

"Some droids just have to be wiped." Javrin said simply. "And those two definitely qualify."

"They aren't droids, Javrin," he said softly as they entered the dinning hall. "They're the minds of two mob bosses that got transferred into robot bodies. They're people."

"Really? I didn't know that." Javrin admitted, as they got in the food line. "Then what do you do with them?" He asked curiously.

"Put them back in prison," he shrugged, though none of his words settled well. "Kill if I have to."

"Would the MegaKat City system recognize them as being 'people'?" He wondered aloud.

"I don't know." Jade admitted. "The last time they were captured they were put in the evidence lockup. But that was only their heads and I don't think anybody really knew they weren't just robots then."

"Well, I guess that's just something to deal with when we get home." Javrin said easily and then shook his head in amusement.

"So how'd this round of meetings go?" Jake asked as they found a seat.

"More like a round of tests." He shook his head. "And it was very demanding. They haven't said, but I think they're trying to determine if my skills are advanced enough for the trials. Which is strange 'cause I'm not sure they are."

"If you can pass, you won't need a Master, and they'll have a full Jedi to keep an eye on me." He pointed out quietly. "You might not be as far from what they're looking for than you think."

"Perhaps not." Javrin nodded. "I just don't feel ready. I had barely four years of training; most have a decade or more. But the Masters wouldn't promote me, if I wasn't ready." He said, mostly trying to convince himself.

Jake reached over and squeezed Javrin's hand. "No, they wouldn't. They don't want you to go out there not ready to face the darkness." He stopped himself from any of the other displays that came to mind and simply held his hand. "And you've been on your own for eight years. He trained you well for the little time he was with you."

"Being a street kitten helped." Javrin chuckled softly. "Amazing the survival skills you pick up when all you have is yourself."

"And yet you didn't go back to the street when you hit MKC at fourteen." Jake pointed out. "You went to school and are making a very respectable future for yourself. It's not what many could manage."

"That wasn't easy." Javrin shook his head. "Had to convince a judge that I was really sixteen so he'd let me be emancipated. But I didn't get away from streets right away...there are only so many ways a fourteen year old can make enough money to support himself." He admitted softly.

"I know," Jake lifted a hand to brush his cheek gently. "What you do to survive is nothing to be ashamed of. You made it out. You used your smarts and your training to make something of yourself that the world would be a little poorer without."

"Thanks, Jake." Javrin smiled gratefully. "I always worry about people finding out, even if I don't have an actual record. You're actually the first person I've told." He said with an affectionate smile and leaned into Jake's touch, much less conscious of those around them than Jake was.

"Thank you," he murmured and rested his forehead against Javrin's. "We're going to make this work. It's all there is to it."

"And Feral thought the SWAT Kats gave him a headache." The blue-grey tom chuckled. "One thing my Master's teaching taught me is that stopping evil isn't something you just leave to law enforcement." He grinned mischievously.

"I knew there was another reason I liked you," he chuckled softly. "We might actually make some headway with you helping."

"Especially if we take some tech home." Javrin grinned. "Imagine how much you could improve the next TurboKat."

"That is almost beyond description." He chuckled with a shake of his head and took a bite from the food that tasted good for all it was largely unrecognizable to him. "Even without any examples, it's kind of boggling."

"That's right, you haven't really had a look at the fighters here, have you?" Javrin grinned even as Jake's breath caught. "Though I bet you could improve them."

"Now that's just a given," Jake smirked a bit. "Probably only a handful of people in the entire Republic that could fly one though."

"That I wouldn't bet on." Javrin chuckled. "The Republic is a very big place, lots of worlds. Even if there's only one Chance-grade pilot per planet, that's still quite a few."

"I can actually build something not even he could fly," Jake chuckled a bit sheepishly. "That's what happened to the first jet I made. I could handle it, but no pilot could."

"Well, that would reduce the number pilots capable of it." Javrin grinned. "A few Jedi Knights and Masters I expect."

"And it'd be so pilot specific it wouldn't be funny." He chuckled self consciously "I've had to scrap so many plans because no one could handle them it's not even funny. It'd be nice to see some of the really advanced designs see reality." He added much more softly. "But it's generations between pilots of Chance's caliber. There may never be one that could handle some of what's designed."

"It's generations when you've only got one world." He agreed. "You'd have the big corporations fighting to get you to work for them." He grinned. "You'd be dangerous with the backing of multi-stellar corporation."

That raised Jake's eyebrow. "They don't know me, do they?" He murmured as it hit him he wasn't blacklisted out here. At least not yet.

"No, but I'm sure they'll want to." Javrin smiled over Jake's uncertainty. "Especially Sienar Systems."

"I'm rather hoping not to have that much free time," he sighed. "Chance probably doesn't have much time."

"I was thinking after we get Chance back." Javrin suggested. "We'll probably have some time before we go back. Though if he gets into one of the new starfighters, we may have to bring one along to get him to go home." He chuckled.

"Javrin ... more than a few weeks and there won't be a city to go back to." Jake reminded him quietly. "Remember, Dark Kat knows that SWAT is out of commission, and he probably knows we're both gone."

"Well, we might have to kick his tail when we get home." Javrin nodded. "Like you guys haven't done that without my help."

"I know," he swallowed. "It's a matter of how many good kats die in the meantime. He wants to decimate the Enforcers even more than he wants to take over the city. The city might never really recover from a blow like that. At least not in any form I'd want to see it in."

"Jake, there's nothing to be done about it now." Javrin said gently, reaching up one hand to touch Jake's cheek gently. "We do the best we can. Maybe the psychopaths will fall to fighting among themselves over who gets the city." He suggested wryly.

"We can hope," he leaned into the contact, then forward to claim a lingering kiss to ground him in the present. "And we'll deal with it." He promised himself as much as anyone. "And that Sith is going to regret katnapping my partner."

"Most definitely." Javrin agreed easily, then shook his head. "I'm going to have to come up with one hell of an explanation for disappearing without warning." He said thoughtfully. "Dr Synian gets very agitated when students disappear."

"Just tell her got caught up in a SWAT Kats adventure," he chuckled. "It's the truth after all."

"And it's not like that sort of thing doesn't happen to museum personnel." Javrin chuckled. "She's certainly had her share."

"Mmm, yes she has." Jake actually blushed.

"Now that's interesting." Javrin teased lightly. "Interested in my boss?" He asked with playful curiosity.

"Not much," his blush deepened. "But stuff happens out there, you know."

"I'll bet it does." Javrin snickered playfully as Jake's blush deepened even more.

"How are you feeling?" The buff Black Lion asked Chance politely as the tabby soaked in the hot tub, letting the hot water soothe aching muscles. "You did well defeating a narthos without weapons." He said in honest admiration.

"Sore as hell, but not bad for having that critter roll on top of me." He chuckled a bit and glanced up at the male.

"You were fortunate to avoid the teeth and claws." He nodded. "From what we have heard, it seems that narthos slipped through during a brief interruption in boundary screen." He explained, dropping to floor laying on his stomach. "But because narthos are quite stealthy the technician who repaired the breach, was unaware that the creature got through."

"Have they all been tracked down now?" He asked simply.

"There was only the one." He said easily. "The breach was only open briefly, and narthos males are solitary hunters who stake large territories." He explained. "I'm Terasin." He said by way of introduction.

"Chance," the tabby responded, though he doubted he needed to tell the Lion that. "Looks like you're here on your own." He motioned at the intertwining ropes of silver and a reddish bronze material that composed the Lion's collar.

"I don't know how things are on your world, but here there are far worse places to be then the entourage of a powerful Warlord." He said simply. "Many males compete for such positions."

"Not my kind of gig." Chance chuckled, though it wasn't directed at the Lion. "I'm the kind that takes the Warlords down."

"Very different worlds." The Lion nodded. "Though not all call themselves Warlords, and some are more powerful than others. But it is just the natural order of things for females to rule." He said simply.

"Yeah, that's different," he nodded and tried to wrap his brain around what things would be like in that kind of world and shuddered a bit at a few of the mental images. "Had one gal that thought that, but she was really out there." He shook his head. "So you guys like it with her?"

"She can be demanding and moody." He admitted. "But she is also a good provider and protector. None of the other warlords dare to make war on her, so we know our kin are safe." He said easily. "But she is also ruthless to her enemies and to those who threaten what is hers."

"And willing to go to a lot of trouble to get what she wants," he added with a nod. "You have a clue what she wants a pilot for?"

"No, but she doesn't discuss strategy with us." He admitted. "Only with the robed outsiders." And then looked at Chance thoughtfully. "We had thought she'd brought you here for kittens." He said simply. "That is what she talked about."

"Great," he muttered darkly, his ears flat against his skull for a bit longer than was really good news. "She better not be expecting cooperation for it."

The look the Lion gave him was one of distinct confusion. "It is not an honor to be chosen to be the sire of powerful warlord's kittens where you come from?" He asked curiously.

"No, there is no honor in being a sire." He shook his head, his voice a low rumble. "It's a crime to katnap someone, to hold them against their will. Rape is almost as serious a crime as murder. I wasn't asked to come, you know," he tapped his collar. "I'm not about to forgive that."

"I wondered about the wisdom of going into another culture." The Lion said thoughtfully. "But here it is common for a warlord to take a highly desired male from another warlord." He explained, accepting Chance's anger but clearly not understanding it.

"No one is free here, are they?" He asked more quietly.

"Warlords rule. Lesser warlords follow greater warlords, and everyone follows some warlord." He said simply, clearly seeing it as the natural order of things. And it was a very good description of a feudal system of government. "Some warlords are better to their people than others."

"Well, this one's about to get rattled," Chance told him just as simply. "She's crossed somebody she'll loose to with this."

"She has survived many challenges, this will be no different." He said simply, though clearly something was disturbing him.

"I guess we'll just see," he shrugged. "The possibility doesn't sit well, does it?"

"It would mean looking for a new warlord, who needs males." He said simply. "Or going back to more difficult lives, and the danger of invasion by another warlord when we are without protection."

"I guess that's the down side of being dependent on someone else," Chance said quietly, a bit sympathetic. "You don't know if they'll do something that takes your world out from under you."

"No you don't." He said quietly. "But no gain is without risks." He said as he stood slowly. "I know you may not want the attention, but you do make an attractive addition to our company." He said quietly, before walking away clearly lost in thought.

The tabby watched him go and shook his head. "Your attention I don't mind so much. Just hers." He said softly, not really intending to be heard.

"So what do you think of paradise island?" The White Lion asked as he sat down near the edge of the hot tub. He sounded younger than the other Lion, and there was a distinct note of sarcasm in his voice. Like Chance he was wearing a high tech color. "Jackson LongClaw." He said by way of introduction.

"Gilded cage that's going to get rattled," the tabby looked up and took this Lion's measure. "So what got you 'volunteered' to join this lovely harem?" He asked with a matching sarcasm.

"The latest golden boy of Sienar Systems Fighter Design division." He grinned. "Keira's got me designing a new space fighter for her. I hang out here in my time off. The guys are good company, even if I don't buy into their culture."

That raised an eyebrow. "What's she got on you that you'll design a weapon for her?"

"I'm not interested in dying, that's what." He shook his head. "And with her, dying means you got off easy."

"Basic terrorist," the tabby rolled his eyes. "Gods, as if there weren't enough of those nut-jobs in my life already."

"Nah, actually she's planning on conquering this world and then using as a base for further expansion." He chuckled. "She'd be less dangerous if she was just a terrorist."

Chance flicked a confused look at the White Lion. "I think whatever they did to make language work didn't translate that right. You just described a basic terrorist."

"At least in my understanding, terrorists don't want to rule worlds, build empires and expand societies. They just want to spread fear and chaos." The White Lion clarified. "Maybe we just define terrorists differently."

"I think so," the tabby considered thoughtfully. "They're all classified as Omegas back home, and they're the trouble I take down. Most of them want to take over, though."

"Ah, our terrorists are usually just interested in tearing down society for one reason or another." He chuckled. "What's an Omega, by the way?"

"They're criminals that have powers or things that make them much more dangerous than normal people." He worked through the salient points for now. "Most want to either take over or blow everything up, but some just want money one way or another. Time mages, super-tech users, a variety of geniuses that mutate everything in sight, animated giant mummies and volcanoes. They're all different, they just have a basic immunity to standard law enforcement in common."

"Well, I think we've got all of those in the Republic, and then some. But there's hundreds of worlds involved so that's to be expected." He said. "Except maybe the volcano, since I've never heard of a natural disaster with terrorist behavior. But the Sith would qualify since they definitely have powers that normal people don't. "He explained.

"Well, the volcano came to life and decided to march through downtown," Chance shook his head. "It was one of the weirder ones." He admitted. "So what can a Sith do that's so dangerous?"

"Well, mind control for starters." He said easily. "Though that doesn't work quite as well if you're stubborn and know its a Sith you're dealing with. The ability to manipulate objects with simple force of will. I've seen Keira casually move starfighters with a gesture." He shook his head. "I've heard that that can put to more damaging uses but I've never actually seen it. And supposedly the more powerful ones can throw bolts of highly destructive lightning, but I haven't seen that either. Problem is a lot of the info on the Sith is cloud in myth and legend, so you have to try and sort fact from fiction."

"And with individuals, what one can do another might not." Chance nodded, more familiar with the concept than anyone had a right to be. "Stubborn I've got down," he chuckled with a bit of a smirk. "She'd hardly be the first critter I've taken down that could do special effects either. At least once this stupid thing comes off." He tapped his collar.

"Anything's possible." The White Lion nodded. "Though I've been trying to find a way to bypass these collars for six months with no luck. Don't know who designed these for her, but he or she was very, very good."

"No one is as good as my partner," he chuckled dangerously. "He's the one she pissed off taking me, and he's coming. It won't be long before things start to go boom."

"Does your partner know which planet you're on?" He asked curiously. "We're in kind of an out of the way part of this galaxy."

"We've crossed time and alternate realities," Chance shook his head. "Space is nothing. He's coming." He said with the calm certainty of someone who knew the truth in his very soul.

"Any possibility of hitching a ride when he gets here?" Jackson asked with a wise-ass grin, though the question was serious. "Unlike the locals, I'm not enamored of our gilded cage."

"I don't see why not." The tabby shrugged. "I don't know what the available destinations will be, but I doubt he'd turn down someone who wanted to leave."

"Hey, I'll settle for a destination of 'not here'." The Lion chuckled. "And if your partner is half as attractive as you, I'll have traveled in worse company." He smirked playfully.

"I'm handsome, he's cute." Chance winked. "And sexy as hell."

"Cute is something this place could use some of." Jackson said wistfully. "We're just brimming at the seems with buff and handsome, courtesy of Keira's obsession." He shook his head. "She has no appreciation for the value of cute."

"Yeah, I noticed." He nodded with a sigh of his own. "Big and buff is nice, but I like'm small and cute. Of course, being partnered with it for ten years has kind of prejudiced me to it too." He chuckled.

"My ex is small and cute too." Jackson sighed. "Unfortunately, he went and got married to a fem who's not into sharing."

"That's just not right," he shook his head. "I can see not wanting to share with just anybody, but not sharing with someone who also cares about him? It's just not right."

"Some people are just very solidly into monogamy." Jackson shook his head. "Not something I really get, but it seems common enough."

"They should stick to each other," Chance said even as he tried to comprehend it being common. "But I guess that's how it goes sometimes, hu?"

"Pretty much." He shrugged. "My ex was always kind of monogamous, so I never worried. Didn't take into account his folks' desire for grandpups." He sighed. "My mistake."

"Yeah, family can do quite a number on you," he nodded. "Not sure if I'm happy or not to not have to worry about it."

"Haven't had much to do with my folks since I bailed the Academy to be a designer and inventor." He shook his head. "My folks were, to say the least, a bit disappointed."

"Yeah, I bet." He nodded. "Nothing like going against their wishes to tick them off."

"Please be seated." The statuesque Borzoi female sitting behind the large wooden desk indicated two chairs as Jake and Javrin entered her office. "I'm Jedi Knight Tasha Sergenski, and the Council asked me to brief you on what we've discovered so far, regarding your Sith attacker."

"Thank you." Javrin nodded politely and sat down in one of the wooden chairs that faced the Knight.

"Excellent," Jake nodded and took the other chair, looking forward to having some forward momentum back again.

"We traced the medallion you brought back to one Keira'tana Shinowara." She began. "She's the strongest of the warlords on Sancresti Redoubt, with ambitions to ruling the planet. What's interesting is that while she is indeed a darksider, she appears to be self-taught with no actual connections to the Sith. This doesn't make her any less dangerous however." She cautioned. "About a quarter of the planet is currently under her control and indications are that she's revered by her people."

"But the medallion includes the Sith crest, why would she use it if she isn't one?" Javrin asked curiously.

"That's one of the reason the Council has decided to said in a covert strike team, Padawan." Tasha explained. "Historical records in that sector are sketchy prior to five hundred years ago, but stories suggest that there may have been a Sith fortress on Sancresti during the height of Sith power."

"So she might be using what she found, or she may have made connections with them since she started training." Jake nodded, as much to himself as here. "When do we leave?"

"Or there might be the spirit of long-dead Sith Lord guiding her." Tasha cautioned. "We've seen that happen before. In any case your mission is not to confront her directly. This is a rescue and intel mission." She said firmly. "Master Li-quan Tran will be in charge of the mission, and there is a briefing scheduled for seven tomorrow morning in briefing room 27. You'll receive the rest of your mission details then." She finished. "Any further questions?"

"No ma'am." Javrin answered politely, thinking that it would be better to ask questions during the briefing.

Jake considered her for a moment, then inclined his head. "No, ma'am."

"Very good." She nodded. "Dismissed."

Javrin nodded, stood and left the room with Jake at his side. "Not exactly what I expected them to find." He said quietly, once they were down the hall out of earshot.

"What were you expecting?" He looked over curiously.

"I was expecting it to be an actual Sith Lord." Javrin said simply. "Not a self-styled one."

"Oh," he nodded. "I guess it makes sense to me. Everybody that messes with us is the self-styled kind of megalomaniac."

"True, but around here we have an organization that recruits, trains and promotes megalomaniacs." He chuckled quietly.

"And I thought MKC was screwed up," Jake shook his head with a bemused sound. "So how much do you have left to your day?"

"Just an exam after dinner with Master Kastoris." He said after a moment's thought.

"Then grab a meal, and I'll see you in our quarters?" Jake rumbled softly with more than a little promise of pleasures to come.

"Sounds good to me." Javrin purred back, as they headed for the meal hall.

"Are you sure about this, Master?" The dark robed lizard asked Keira worriedly as they walked through the quiet halls of the fortress complex. "We have lost many in vitality, it is far too untested."

"He's too stubborn and paranoid." The Panther growled in annoyance. "It will take too long in the real world to get him where I need him. Virtuality gives me the control over reality that I need." She explained. "The temper and the anger are there, I just need to be able to push the right buttons."

"It could permanently damage or kill him." The lizard cautioned. "Like it did the engineer."

"The tabby is far stronger than the engineer." She shook her head. "And I need pilots soon, not in years."

"Yes, Master." The lizard bowed. "I'll have him transferred at once. We should be ready in a few hours."

"Excellent, Apprentice." Keira nodded. "It will work this time."

"Yes, Master." The lizard nodded, not entirely convinced as he walked away.

"Gambling again, my Apprentice?" A hollow shadowy voice asked, as a spectral figure appeared next to Keira. "Your luck has not been good, thus far."

"A necessary risk, my Master." Keira replied subserviently. "We don't have a lot of time."

"Less than you think." The shadowy figured nodded, and then disappeared leaving Keira alone with her thoughts.

"I'm not sure that's possible." Keira muttered, and strode purposefully toward the control room of her virtual universe machine.

Already in the room when Jake and Javrin arrived was Tasha, Vince and another Knight that neither of them had met, as well as a wiry trio of Lynx Custos.

"Morning Jake, Javrin." Vince smiled as the Knights walked over. "I know you've met Tasha, so let me introduce Jedi Knight Myles Sunbright." He nodded indicating the lanky greyhound knight.

"A pleasure." The Knight said politely. "I wouldn't disturb the Lynxes." He whispered to Jake and Javrin. "They seem to be concentrating on being the strong silent types." He chuckled wryly.

"If everyone will have a seat, we can get started." An authoritative voice said suddenly from the front of the room. Standing on a table in front was a small raccoon, wearing the robes of a Jedi Master. "For those of you who haven't met me, I'm Master Li-quan Tran."

Jake nodded and moved to sit next to Javrin and Vince without a thought to how he was falling into this chain of command so easily from his Enforcer training.

"Thank you." He said, as the lights dimmed and a computer display was project on the front screen. "Our mission is two-fold; first objective is to obtain intel on the activities and background of the darksider calling herself Darth Keira; secondary objective is to retrieve a captured force-sensitive pilot by the name of Chance Furlong." He explained displaying first a picture of the regal but still very predatory Pantheress in black robes, and then a picture of Chance working on the engine block of a truck at the garage. From the tilted angle of the shot, it looked like the camera had probably been palmed by the photographer at the time.

"The tabby will probably not be wearing those overalls or working on a primitive land vehicle, so remember face and stripe pattern." He added, pausing before chuckling lightly at his own light humor. "Sancresti Redoubt is a hot world orbiting a binary star, so be prepared for glaring sun and temperatures around 100 or so. Recon satellite intel indicates that Keira is using an underground fortress as her center of operations, here." He said displaying a map of the planet that slowly zoomed into an area on the western side of the largest of the planet's eight continents. "There is a good possibility that this fortress is leftover from the last Sith War, so be on the look out for the usual traps."

"Any indication what she is doing to ensure he is still there?" Jake asked politely in the break.

"Our inside intel is limited at this time." The diminutive Master acknowledged. "However sensors detect what appears to be an electronic boundary around the fortress grounds. It seems likely that she may be using some sort of control collar. There is little evidence of organized patrols, but then the people of that region revere her, and will likely protect her position without being told to."

"So we have to avoid any contact with the locals then?" One of the Lynxes asked curiously.

"Yes, since we can't discount that she may be communicating with them telepathically." The raccoon nodded. "From what we know about her, she has most of the abilities one would expect of a thoroughly trained knight. There is also the unconfirmed report of her using force lightning, so we have to be on our guard."

"How debilitating will this collar be to him when we find him?" Jake asked quietly. No one present was surprised that his focus was on his partner and not much else.

"Depends on the design." Vince answered, being the technical person in the group. "Some cause pain, some induce unconsciousness, and I've even heard of the occasional kind that explodes if you cross a certain line." He explained. "It's a technology that's heavily research by both sides of the law, since it's used in correctional facilities as well as in slave camps."

"Any way to tell what this one does before it does it?" Jake focused on the Knight. "Aside from Chance being able to tell me."

"Only by examining it." Vince shook his head. "Though usually the explosive ones are larger, but you can't count on that. They're tricky to disarm too, so we really want to get a hold of one of the control boxes."

"I can take care of that much." Jake set his jaw, ready for contention that his Force-gift wasn't controlled enough for that yet.

"Just be careful, Jake." Vince cautioned gently. "You don't want one of those zaps of yours being conducted into your partner."

"We will make a point of capturing a control box." The raccoon said calmly. "It is likely that one or more guards will have one, so that should not be difficult."

Jake nodded to the Master, though no one present doubted that he'd deal with the collar himself if he thought he needed to.

"We'll be using a stealth equipped light freighter that's been equipped for combat." The Master continued. "That will allow us to land close to the base perimeter, and go in on foot from there. The heavy jungle surrounding the fortress is home to a number of large predators, so remember your lessons on controlling non-sentients." He detailed. "We embark in two hours."

Jake swallowed and nodded, the edginess about him settling as he mentally prepared for the mission.

"So how are you guys feeling about this, first mission and all?" Myles asked Jake and Javrin, making light conversation.

"It's not really first mission for either of us." Javrin said easily. "Especially not for him." He chuckled at his boyfriend. "He's probably seen as many missions as any of you."

"First real time Chance hasn't been here," Jake admitted quietly. "But this isn't that different from a lot of what we've handled."

"Don't worry, we'll get him back." Vince said, with easy confidence. "Has everybody eaten breakfast?" He asked casually, since it was still early.

"We have," Jake answered for Javrin without thinking.

"Good." Vince grinned, as the others nodded agreement. "Don't want anyone going on a mission on an empty stomach."

"We should all probably go pack." Myles suggested gently. "And those who don't spend much time in jungles should probably visit the supply section for appropriate clothing and gear."

"That would be us," Jake chuckled a bit and guided Javrin out of the room.

"We left home without enough changes of clothes." Javrin chuckled as they walked. "Actually, I think we forgot to pack anything." He grinned.

"It's not like we could bring much sneaking into that base," Jake reminded him. "How long a flight is this one going to be?"

"Probably a few days." Javrin hazarded. "It's on the outer rim somewhere."

"Not worth wearing the uniform on board then," Jake nodded as they worked their way to supply.

"Probably not." Javrin agreed. "Good thing it's only the nine of us. Those light freighters aren't exactly the roomiest things ever built." He chuckled and found himself drawn into a hard, hungry kiss right in the hallway as Jake tried to placate his fears.

"Not much privacy either, I expect." He said after letting Javrin go, his nerves almost on visible display. "Sorry," he whispered as he leaned his head against Javrin's.

"For what?" Javrin asked quietly and got a soft chuckle for it.

"For being a mess." Jake's voice was a bit shaky. "I know I must be a bear to be around right now."

"It's not so bad." Javrin smiled and kissed Jake gently on the cheek. "And I kind of expected it. I'd be worried if you weren't, considering how important Chance is to you."

"And I just don't work in groups," he let out a breath and tried to settle himself enough to be presentable. "It's almost the hardest part of this. I don't ... I just don't know how to work with that many people."

"It's weird that they're sending so many." Javrin said thoughtfully. "Someone is more worried than their letting on." He wondered aloud. "Maybe we'll break up into smaller teams once we get there. There's a lot of ground to cover."

"Just know, whatever team I'm with, we're going to Chance." He said softly, meaning more than just his focus. "I don't know how, but I can find him."

"Maybe we can manage to grab Vince and make it the three of us." Javrin suggested. "I know they're not gonna let the two of us take off on our own." He chuckled and got nuzzled for it.

"I bet they already know that I'm headed for Chance as soon as I have land to move on. It'd be poor planning not to assign someone to tag along."

"And they know damn well, that I'll be right behind you." Javrin chuckled. "I just figure Vince is a good choice, 'cause you seem to get along with him."

"Yeah, I do." He nodded and let a breath out. "Let's get those supplies."

"Ah crap!" Chance's sleep was broken by the sound of a distant, but large explosion that shook his bed slightly and loosened dust from the ceiling, sending him to his feet and scrambling for clothing before his brain had even begun to really click on line. He also thought he could hear the sound of a klaxon going off, but it was very faint as he rushed out the door and headed for the disturbance.

Out in the hallway, it was easier to hear which way the klaxon was coming from. Another distant rumble caused the lights to flicker and dim, before they went out. After a brief moment, red emergency lights came illuminating the hallway dimly.

It was all so familiar it was easy to forget he was a prisoner on an alien planet as he made quick work of the dim halls. As he got closer to the klaxon the red light became hazy with a mixture of smoke and haze. He could hear a pitched sound which sounded like the blasters the robots that had attacked MegaKat City had used, and then he heard a far more familiar sound; the sound of mini-missiles launching from a Glovatrix.

"Knew you'd find me," the tabby smirked and worked his way towards the battle, his heart pounding in his chest even as he reminded himself he was unarmed.

As he turned a corner, he saw that the hallway widened at the far end becoming double-wide as it reached what appeared to be a storeroom, judging from the boxes he could see. There was the high-pitched scream of a blaster, followed by small form in SWAT colors flying backwards into a stack of boxes, which crumbled and collapsed.

That was the end of thought as Chance bolted foreword to the collapsed boxes and started to tear through them, seeking his partner without getting hit himself.

Just before Chance entered the storeroom, a thick transparent door slammed across the hallway cutting him off and leaving the pile of boxes mere yards away but still out of reach.

"What the fuck?" He snarled even as he felt for an edge or anything he could use to pry it open.

There was an edge, but it resisted his efforts at brute force without striating. Then he remembered passing what looked like a janitor's closet, and a toolbox in there and he twisted around to go for a bit of serious leverage.

When Chance got back he could see a foursome of armored Mastiffs standing around the boxes. One of them reached into the pile and pulled out a limp, unconscious figure and tossed it over his shoulder.

"Great. He's out." The one Mastiff grumbled. "How we gonna question him?" He said as they started walked toward a door on the far side of the storeroom from Chance.

"Just poke him with the shock stick a couple of times." A darker marked Mastiff chuckled darkly making a crudely suggestive gesture with what looked to be a high-tech police nightstick. "That always works." He chuckled.

"I don't know he don't look so good." The first one commented. "Might kill him."

"And this is a problem how?" The second one said. "It's not like we have to question him."

Chance felt the rage flair hot inside him, a familiar warmth that eased thought and fear into action he rarely remembered much of afterwards. Flashes of the next few moments burned into his brain though.

The shock on the Mastiffs faces as he exploded onto the scene.

The crack of a neck being crushed as he dealt with the one holding his partner and claimed what was his.

The snarl of another Mastiff that came after him to a certain fate that wasn't remembered.

The feel of Razor's limp body against his chest as he bolted after the fourth Mastiff fell.

He knew it was really bad before his feet stopped in the medical room he'd gotten his painkillers from. Even without looking he knew this wasn't just unconscious. Jake was too cool, too limp ... and the smell.

That smell of burnt fur and flesh would stay with him forever.

Chance groaned past the tears and blood he could taste through his receding sleep.

The bed was familiar. Not of the nightmare of the last week, but from when life made sense. When life was worth it.

"Hey, Tiger." The calico said, gently from next to Chance. "Having that nightmare again?" He asked quietly, one hand on Chance's shoulder, as he lay on one side facing his old friend.

"Nightmare?" He looked up over his shoulder without really moving and finally placed the where and who he was with.

"Well, maybe not a nightmare exactly." Erik said quietly, in light of the approaching dawn. "You've been reliving Jake's death in your dreams for the last two weeks." He said sympathetically. "Not surprising, given how close you two were."

Chance started at him dumbfounded.

"He's not dead." He shook his head stubbornly, not knowing why he was so sure of it, only that he was.

"I wish that was true, Tiger." Erik said gently. "But we were both at the funeral."

"He's not dead," the tabby snarled, his tears and tone sounding more like a denial than the truth he felt in his soul.

"Tiger." Erik said gently, putting his arms around the tabby. "I know you don't want to believe it." He said sympathetically. "But he wouldn't want you stop living 'cause he died. You can't begin to heal, until you can accept that he's gone."

"Erik, cut the psychobabble." Chance muttered, though he didn't resist the embrace and let his head hang down. "What happened?"

"Dark Kat happened." Erik said quietly. "I don't know all the details but he got his hands on nuke material. Tried to blackmail the city into surrendering, again. You and Jake found out where the bomb was hidden and went after it." He said quietly. "Then Dark Kat attacked the city in one of those flying fortresses of his. Jake took one of your Cyclotrons to go disarm the bomb, while you went after the fortress." He sighed.

"Jake got the first bomb, but while he was on his way back to rejoin you, a second bomb that no one had known about went off." He paused. "The high-tech boys called it an enhanced EMP bomb, but whatever the case, it wiped out 95% of electronics across the city and about 20 miles out. According to Enforcer who saw it, the shockwave slammed the cyclotron into a bridge abutment." He paused quietly. "But it wasn't the crash that killed him, it was Nightside, some Omega assassin who'd teamed up with Dark Kat. Caught him while he freeing himself from the wrecked bike."

"And the Omegas?" Chance asked quietly, numb inside despite the part of him that was screaming how wrong this was. How it wouldn't have gone down like that. Like this.

"You took down the flying fortress. Everybody saw it crash into the bay. I don't know whether Dark Kat was on-board or not. The Enforcers have the crash site cordoned off, and they've had divers there since it went down." He explained gently, though it was clear that it was a question he was used to answering.

"From what I've heard, when you headed back to Jake something fired from the ground ripped through the TurboKat. You said it was like Turmoil's ray, only it actually ripped things as well as scrambling your senses." He said, remembering Chance's description. "Felina had a squad in the area. She got you and Jake to Serenity. They were able to patch you up, but there wasn't anything they could do for Jake. He lived about long enough for you to come around and say good-bye."

That was the first, and only, thing the tabby could really believe. It was very much something Jake would manage.

This time he didn't fight the tears or grief that washed over him in a numbing wave as he curled back up and tried to comprehend being T-Bone without Razor.

Erik just held Chance close and let him cry. It was the first time that the tabby had actually accepted the loss enough to cry, and grieve. It was a good sign for the long run.

Chance knelt by the fresh grave, his vision too blurry to read the inscription past his partner's name. He couldn't take reading the dates, and the words below, some meaningful phrase he was sure, was a lump in his throat as he started to break down again. He knew he should be humiliated by sobbing like a little kitten and clinging to the gravestone like some kind of security blanket, but he couldn't make himself care. It hurt too much to care.

It was still sinking in how much of his world was defined by Jake's presence in it.

How much of his life now had to be redefined by something other than the absence of his partner.

And the almost comforting knowledge that he had no real desire to do so.

"How perfectly delicious." A sneering female voice with a strangely familiar accent commented. A statuesque female in black leather and a long black leather coat could be see lounging against a large headstone in the distance. "Your partner, your jet, your city and now it appears your sanity. Ilyana will be pleased." She chuckled maliciously.

"Nightside." Erik murmured in surprise.

The name spun Chance around and to his feet, his claws leaving three long gashes in Jake's headstone. He barely saw the person as the rage rushed up inside him, no longer held back by a lack of focus. He saw a kill and rushed forward across the uneven grown and headstones without a thought for tactics. All he wanted to rip her apart with his bare claws.

Nightside expected this and grabbed a black metal pole from the ground swiftly, leaping backwards as she did so. "Think you can take me?" She sneered disdainfully at the charging tabby and the mindless fury he represented. "Come on, then."

All Chance did was snarl as the distance closed and it became a fight of skill and agility against rage and mass. If he'd bothered to think, Chance would have realized that it was one of the dumbest things he'd ever tried.

He was in no state to think, though, and the rushing power that came with embracing of his rage only served to fuel his state. That rage fueled not only strength but speed as well, and the fight became one of endurance and attrition.

She was good, very good, but she was used to being able to take down opponents with a few precise and deadly strikes of her staff, or at range with her rifle. The preternatural rage fueling the tabby allowed him to ignore the pain that her staff strikes caused, and made his strikes that much more painful when they connected. Something that happened far too often and far too deeply for her confidence.

The fight ranged across the graveyard with Nightside generally in retreat until fatigue and injury caused her to miss her footing on a gravestone and fall on her back, her staff clattering out of reach. She didn't even have long enough to curse, much less reach for the weapon before Chance was on her, fags and claws and unnatural strength tore into her body as an enraged tiger might.

By the time he calmed enough to remember to breath and look around all that was left of Nightside were bits of flesh, cloth and shattered bones. Not even her head had survived in one piece.

"Erik?" He eventually called out.

"Oh wow, Tiger." Erik said, clearly stunned by what he'd seen as he caught up with the wide ranging fight. "Guess Felina had the right idea when she asked you to head Hunter Squad." He said looking in stunned amazement at the destruction his old friend had wrought.

It only sort of registered that Erik had mentioned something else he didn't remember. It was starting not to surprise him.

"You'd better call them." He said quietly without moving from the middle of the blood and guts he'd created of a shekat. "Murder's still a crime." He added as he started to feel sick at what he'd done. At what Jake would think of him for it.

"Not in this case, Chance." Erik said quietly. "Nightside was never going to make it to trial, and everyone knew that. Her bomb killed at least a dozen Enforcers when their choppers went down, she crippled Commander Feral, and she killed Razor." He said softly. "You weren't the only one out for blood, Tiger. Not by a long shot."

"I promised him," he whispered, his eyes closing against the tears that were threatening. "I promised I wouldn't become a real vigilante. That Feral wouldn't be right."

"Chance, one slip doesn't make you a vigilante." Erik said quietly, putting his arms around Chance. "Tiger, you've obviously got a lot of anger to deal with, so why not put it to good use?" He suggested gently. "Take Felina up on her offer, and the take the Omegas down for good." He encouraged. "With her support and the tech Jake left behind, you could finally put an end to it." He said softly. "I think he'd approve of that."

"He'd want me to not get my fool hide killed," he murmured and leaned into the contact, absently surprised that anyone but Jake would be willing to touch him when he was this messy. "Why not," he sighed. "It's all I'm really good for anyway."

"You were a good officer before Uly Feral booted you." Erik reassured his old friend. "That hasn't changed, you've just gotten stronger. Personally, I think you've got a good shot at the second-in-command position." He grinned. "But lets get you cleaned up." He said, helping Chance stand. "You've made quite the mess of yourself."

The comments left him a bit bewildered, but he wasn't in a state to care either. "Somebody needs to tell them what happened," he motioned to the gore.

"We'll get you cleaned up, then we can tell them." Erik said simply and urged the tabby to stand and come with him. "It's not like this is going anywhere."

"No ..." he admitted, though he was still torn between what he knew he should do and the sense his friend made.

When it came down to it, Chance did what he'd always done when he was lost. He followed the person he trusted and let Erik lead him to the car.

"Come on, Tiger." Erik encouraged gently as they entered his apartment. "Let's get you cleaned up." He said, gently steering Chance toward the bathroom. As out of control and destructive as the big tom had been in the graveyard, he was now as submissive as a kitten and allowed his lifelong friend to guide him, help him get his blood-soaked clothing off and turned on the water till it was hot.

As strong and alive as he'd been in the fight, Chance was now completely drained, even more than usual.

"In you go, Tiger." Erik said gently guiding Chance into the shower, and his fur thoroughly wetted as he stood in the spray without really moving, only soaking in the warmth as most of the blood ran from his fur and down the drain. "Want me to do your back?" He offered gently, careful not to presume too much on a role that had probably been Jake's.

The question earned him a blank look for a moment, then hesitation as the question was processed.

Erik was almost ready to leave the tabby to clean himself up when Chance's voice stopped him.

"Yeah," the tabby murmured. "Come in."

Erik stepped in behind Chance, picked up the shampoo and began working it slowly but thoroughly into his old friend's fur starting at his broad shoulders and working his way down. His touch was cleansing with a light kneading of the tabby's back to help him relax. In all the years he'd known Chance, he couldn't remember him seeming quite so lost. That in and of itself was a testament to just how central Jake had been to Chance's life.

Deep inside, Chance still couldn't believe his partner was really dead. He could barely believe what he'd just seen himself do.

But the hands on his back were comforting. The touch of a friend he'd known much longer, but not as well, as the tom he spent his adult life with. It felt almost right in a warped way. Someone that would be home for him when he came back from a fight. He couldn't do it alone, he'd known that his whole life, but there were few friends left in his life.

Maybe Erik could never be his partner, but he could be a gentle touch and warm bed after another hard day.

Erik gently turned Chance so he could rinse out the shampoo he'd just massaged in. As he worked the shampoo out, he hoped that Chance would take Felina's offer. It might not be SWAT, but it was still a way for him to be the good kat he always wanted to be and to protect the city against the Omegas. The calico had to admit to himself that it was partially a selfish wish, because he didn't want Chance going solo against those threats. And deep in his heart, he didn't think Chance would be able to ignore an attack on the city, even without Jake. Or worse, Chance might be more reckless solo.

Erik shuddered slightly inside thinking of that possibility, and even more, just how likely it was. The tabby was always at his worse when he didn't have someone to come home to. Someone he cared enough about to be careful for.

It was a hell of a roll to fill, especially after who had been there before.

He was startled into freezing when he felt Chance's mouth against his. The calico let the kiss go on for a little while, before gently breaking it. "Let's get the front of you clean, Tiger." He said gently. It wasn't that he wasn't attracted to Chance, hell it was well established that he was and under just about any other circumstances he'd jump at the opening. But he knew his friend was on autopilot, and he didn't want to take advantage of that. He'd accept filling the roll Jake had to a point, but he couldn't and wouldn't take Jake's place. Assuming that was even possible, which was an assumption Erik didn't consider likely.

"I'll get it." Erik said getting up from the couch where he and Chance had been hanging out after the long day. With the city still in the process of rebuilding the electronic infrastructure there still wasn't a lot to do in the evening. Basic electricity had been restored, but extras like television transmitters were still under repair. A few radio stations had been restored, mostly in case they were needed for emergency announcements.

"Hello, Commander." Chance heard Erik say, just out of sight at the front door.

"Is Chance around?" The tabby heard Felina ask, in a voice that sounded fairly exhausted.

"Yeah, he's here. Come on in." Erik said closing the door.

"Hello, Chance." Felina said, as she followed Erik into the living room. She did look a bit tired which meant, if she were anything like her uncle, that she was downright exhausted. She was still in uniform too; only it was the full Commander uniform that Chance was used to seeing on Ulysses Feral. "Good job on Nightside." She said with a smile. "Maybe a little overkill, but she had it coming. Just wish I'd been there for it."

"I'm glad you weren't," the tabby said softly, only just managing to look up at her. "I probably would have killed anything that moved right then."

"Have a seat, Felina." Erik offered.

"Thanks, Eric." The tall shekat said easily. "I know this may be a bad time to ask, but have you thought about my offer?" She asked Chance politely and waited as his blank and panicked look passed after a moment.

"Hunter Squad?" He asked uncertainly.

"Yes, I left the paper work here for you." She said looking around.

"I know where it is." Erik nodded, and went into the bedroom.

"Callie and I decided that we have to get more aggressive about the Omega problem." Felina said quietly. "Fifteen years of reacting, instead of acting have brought us to this." She gestured out the living room window where only a small fraction of the lights that should've be visible could be seen. "Too many good kats have died. It's time for us to go after them. Hence, Hunter Squad." She said firmly. "Next to my uncle, you have the most experience fighting Omegas. I know you're not big on authority, but I'd like you to be in charge of the Squad." She asked quietly.

"I donno," he admitted with a soft sound. "I'll fight for you, for the city," he continued before she could say anything, "but I don't know about leading anyone." He glanced up. "It's not really what I did."

"I can respect that." She nodded understandingly. "I just wasn't sure how you'd feel about following someone else's orders."

"Not great," he shrugged. "But I'm not about to be responsible for others when I can't even control myself."

"Well, the person I've got in mind shouldn't get to you quite as bad as my uncle used to." She said with a smile. "Lieutenant Commander Silverblaze, you might remember him better as Havok."

"Yeah, I remember him," he actually chuckled softly. "Had a real talent for pushing things right up to the point of getting booted, but not quite. Still like that?"

"Pretty much." She shook her head. "The rank has calmed him down a little, but he still gave my uncle headaches right up till he retired." She chuckled lightly, half of it being the bizarre concept of Ulysses Feral actually retiring. He hadn't wanted to, but retiring was more dignified than being removed by the medical officer. "He's a good squad leader."

"If he'll take somebody who's got no business on active duty, I'll go." Chance shook his head, still a bit disturbed by the idea that no one seemed to care what he'd done.

"Chance, you went overboard on an Omega who'd killed your partner." Felina said quietly. "You're not the first officer to do that, maybe the first to be strong enough to take an Omega solo, but nobody who's ever had a real partner, would blame you." She said firmly. "But the number of people who are willing and capable of taking on Omegas, isn't huge. The city is vulnerable now, we need every fighter we can get." She said simply.

He nodded even as he looked at her, dead serious. "Commander," he stressed the rank, "I didn't go off on the person I know killed my partner. I went off based on a name she never confirmed was hers from a story I heard of what happened." He ran a hand through his hair in distress. "It could have been anyone standing there for all I knew. I got lucky this time. But I don't remember any of the last three weeks. It could be anyone next time." He said softly. "I'll fight on your squad, Commander, as long as you understand just how screwed up my head is right now."

"We're all screwed up right now, Chance." Felina said quietly. "City in a shambles, at least a third of the force should be on grievance time, but we need them more than ever." She said quietly. "We're keeping an eye on everyone right now. Check in with Havok, when you're ready." She said standing. "My uncle wouldn't agree with me, but I'm glad to have you back."

"Understood, Ma'am." He straightened, old training kicking in at the odd moment but uncertain without being in uniform himself.

"And Chance, she did take credit for killing Jake and for shooting down the TurboKat." Erik reminded his old friend quietly. "If she wasn't NightBlade, she wanted you to think she was."

The tabby glanced at him, then nodded in acceptance of the details on what was largely a blur. "What shift is he on?" He asked Felina.

"He's on Delta shift currently, though you can usually catch him at the Tower near the end of Gamma, and the beginning of Alpha." She said after a moments thought. "Beta shift he teaches fundamentals of flight at the Academy."

"You reworked the shifts on me," Chance muttered slightly. "The new ones detailed somewhere in that paperwork?"

"Yes, they are." She nodded. "And they aren't new, we just haven't needed them in a long time." She shook her head. "Their war-footing shifts, six hour shifts to keep troops fresh. Midnight to six, six to noon, noon to six, six to midnight."

"Gotcha," he nodded and rubbed his face. It had been a seriously long day and was only getting longer. "I'll catch him at the Academy in the morning." He said quietly as he worked out when and where would be easiest to track him down.

"Sounds good, and good to have you back." She said, extending one hand. "See you in uniform."

"Yes, Ma'am." He accepted the handshake, though his wasn't nearly as sure as hers.

"Well, good evening Chance, Erik." She said, as she left, with Erik letting her out.

"Good night, Felina." Erik said easily, as he closed the door. "For what its worth Tiger, I think you're doing the right thing."

"It's better than sitting here and slowly going crazy," the tabby nodded with a wide yawn. "It's going to be an early morning too." He added and got up from the couch.

"Doing nothing probably would drive you crazy Tiger." Erik nodded. "You've never been one to let the world happen around you."

"Whether or not it was a good idea." He sort of chuckled and turned towards the bedroom. "I'm gonna try and get some sleep before I have to get up and hunt down my new CO."

Javrin shuddered under the intensity of Jake's emotions as he was pushed against a bulkhead and kissed with more fire and need than he'd ever felt before from his lover. It was almost out of control as Jake's hands moved along his body even as he rubbed against Javrin's body, unheeding of the clothing they both wore.

The grey tom didn't mind the attention, but he was feeling more than a little self-conscious since they hadn't made it to anywhere private this time. Giving in to the passion of the moment, he began running his hands over Jake's body while carefully avoiding removing any clothes. It was a strange combination to feel from Jake; the raw, demanding need fueled by something other than desire. He could feel the fear at its core, the loss so intense it made Jake want to cry. Even the distant knowledge that Jake knew this wasn't right and couldn't do anything about it.

He wasn't sure what to make of it all, but knew that the best thing was to just get Jake off as soon as possible since that seem to calm him, at least for awhile. Gently he shifted his tactics to rub and caress Jake in all the sensitive places that would bring him to orgasm, while he still had his clothes on. He felt the lean tom groan into his mouth as his touch began to work on him, the shudder and increased force against his body as Jake sought the release that would cool his body and mind for a while.

Suddenly Jake broke their kiss and pressed his clenched teeth against Javrin's shoulder. He clutched his lover against his body tightly as he came with a groan and trembling body.

Javrin held Jake close as the lean tom panted and came down from his orgasm, mentally and physically. A very small sound caused him to look up, and he blushed brightly beneath his fur when he realized that Tasha and one of the Custos had walked in on two of them.

"I believe we're needed on the command deck." Tasha stammered, trying to ignore what she'd seen as she dragged the much less inhibited Lynx back toward command with her. She couldn't deny that they were attractive felines, but she really, really shouldn't be having thoughts like that about one of the Padawans.

"Gods, I'm sorry." Jake whispered, as embarrassed as his lover but too sated to actually react much.

"It's okay, Jake." Javrin said gently, as he worked on settling his rather unsettled mind. "But I think we just embarrassed Tasha, and probably gave Rynce ideas." He chuckled weakly.

"Normally, I'd think that was a good thing," he chuckled weakly and nuzzled him. "Right now ... I just don't know what's wrong with me."

"I really don't know Jake." Javrin said honestly. "Though it felt like some of that was coming from someone other than you." He admitted, more than a little concerned. "I think you should talk to Master Tran." And then he spotted the time. "And I'm supposed to be relieving Vince at piloting."

"Go let him wonder around for a while," Jake smiled slightly and gave him a gentle, chaste kiss. "Unless you want to duck into a room for a quick blowjob to deal with what I started."

"Maybe later, Jake." Javrin grinned, and kissed him playfully. "It's a great way to work off the tension from piloting." He smirked.

"Anytime, lover." Jake claimed a last kiss before they separated; Javrin to the cockpit and Jake to the sonic showers.

"We need to talk." Master Tran told Jake firmly, with an expression that brooked no argument. "In private." He said, dismissing the rest of the team from the small forward cabin.

"You have been having some difficulties, since the mission began." He commented to Jake, once the others had left and the uneasy feline was paying full attention to him. "Do you know why?" He asked, though it was clear that he wasn't seeking information but was in fact wondering if Jake knew something that he had discovered.

"No," he glanced away, embarrass by what had been happening, and even more that he'd embarrassed Javrin by his lack of self-control.

"I don't know how, but you have a mental link with your partner." He said gently. "And that is causing you to receive emotional bursts from him, when he experiences very strong emotions. These bursts are enhancing any feelings you already have...so you're feeling of loss at his absence becomes a fear of loss." He explained without reproach. "So you feel a need to keep what you do have."

The lean tom nodded. It was an accurate description of what was going on to be sure.

"That's how we can find each other so effectively," he almost stated, his gaze still down and submissive.

"Yes, it would facilitate location greatly." The Raccoon nodded. "It's nothing to be ashamed of." He said gently. "You have no experience or training in controlling what is happening, and if I read the pulses correctly they are very strong." He said quietly. "Even a trained Jedi would have difficulty dealing with them."

"He's in a lot of trouble then," Jake whispered as he translated the impulses he could identify from when he felt out of control. "Grieving, suicidal, so much rage ..." he shuddered. "Someone is dying."

"Something you should remember." Master Tran said gently. "Not all these things are necessarily real. The Sith have always been good at manipulating perceptions. They may be holding him in an illusion, trying to goad him to the dark side." He said quietly. "Would you say your partner has a temper that could be prodded into serious anger, rage even?"

"Yeah, he does." He nodded slightly. "He's got a good heart, but he's not hard to anger either. With illusions ... it wouldn't be hard, honestly. He's not difficult to understand."

"Then that is probably what they are doing." He said gently. "But it also means that we have no time to waste. It is much easier to get addicted to rage, then to give it up." He said simply.

"I know," Jake shivered. "He'll probably take some serious TLC to get his head back on right." He sighed. "And we are not heading into a situation that's going to make it easy either."

"Is there some situation aside from his current predicament that I should know about?" Tran asked, a little concerned. "And we have treated rage addiction before, it happens to Custos occasionally."

"The two of us are pretty much all that stands between our homeworld and being concurred by an Omega, our version of the Sith." He said quietly and leaned against a bulkhead with his eyes closed. "Since the most powerful of them was in on the plan to capture Chance and probably knows I'm gone too since that shuttle we came in disappeared from his base, he's not going to waste any time. If we don't get back quickly, we won't have a home to go back to."

"I understand." Tran nodded simply. "Unfortunately, there is only so much we can do to speed things up." He said gently, and then paused for a moment. "What can be done, will be."

Jake looked at him seriously, then nodded and smiled slightly. "Thank you."

"You're welcome, Jake." The Raccoon said, with a gentle smile. "And thank you, for what you did for our Padawan."

Vince had spent the first thirty-six hours of the trip trying to decide how to bring up the subject that Master Kastoris had asked him to discuss with Jake. It was important and Vince could understand why the Master had asked him to do it, but it was still a very sensitive subject and there was really no good way to discuss it. In the end he waited until Master Tran and Javrin were on the command deck handling flight operations, to track the lean cinnamon tom down.

"Jake, you got a moment?" He asked politely. Normally, it would be an unnecessary question given that none of them really had anything to do, if they weren't piloting, but Jake had been extremely distracted since the trip started.

"Yeah, sure." He looked over his shoulder from the prime star-watching spot of one of the main turrets before swinging up to out of it to join the Wolf on the deck.

"Oh, no need to get down." Vince smiled. "The turrets do give a good view." He said easily. "Jake, have you given any thought to what you'll do if your home isn't there when you get back?" He asked gently, clearly bothered by the idea of a world being lost so thoroughly.

Jake stared at him for a while, his expression going foreboding and hurt.

"Depends a lot on what happens to Javrin," he started quietly, his gaze distant. "But it'll involve finding something to do with ourselves in your known space."

"I don't know your partner, but I can see two options easy enough." He said, trying to be reassuring. "You've got the ability and the training to be a Custos, especially if Javrin gets promoted which I think likely." He started, answering two questions at once. "And from what I hear, you could probably make it as an inventor, designer or both. Probably even do it freelance, if you wanted to."

"Yeah, that and we really could do anything we set our minds to," he nodded. "And there's what we've done our entire lives. You've got enough trouble to keep us busy for a long time."

"That's certainly true." Vince nodded. "There's certainly never a shortage of work in the mercenary or private shipping industries." He nodded, then looked at Jake curiously when the feline chuckled with a shake of his head.

"Nobody clued you in on what we did back home, did they?"

"Javrin said you were in law enforcement, and freelance because of a local military commander who had issues with talented people." Vince said simply. "We didn't get into details. But Master Kastoris says you are probably one of the most talented inventor-designers in the Republic."

"I am on Aristal," he nodded without a bit of doubt or conceit about it. "And he was being nice about the description," he chuckled a bit. "SWAT Kats aren't mercs, we don't fight for pay. We were real vigilantes. Good guys, but really outside the law." He glanced out the turret for a bit. "We did what we did to protect our city. To keep our oaths. If the city doesn't exist ... I don't know. It's all we've ever been." He rambled a bit, trying to think even as he was talking and trying to deal with the intense sense of loss and failure just thinking about it caused.

Eventually he stilled, staring at the stars streaming by. "Chance is a fighter pilot. Maybe we'll find a new home to protect. Maybe it's not possible. We'll probably end up going wherever we're needed where he can fly as a good kat. There's a lot more out here for me than him, for all he'll probably adjust better."

"Just remember to give yourselves time to adjust, if it comes to that." Vince said sympathetically. "And the universe can always use good people, and it seems like it's becoming more true." He added quietly.

"That one's pretty universal." He sighed and closed his eyes briefly. "A lot depends on Chance and Javrin, really. I've got a lot more options than either of them."

"Inventive geniuses usually do." Vince nodded. "Just remember you're not alone." He said supportively and got a weak smile for it.

"I kinda doubt this chat was your idea either."

"Not entirely, no." Vince admitted. "Mostly Master Kastoris' idea. He was worried that you weren't thinking beyond." He said quietly. "Well, Javrin was worried, it came up during the exams."

"I'm trying to focus on it not being necessary." Jake said quietly. "Things are bad enough without inviting the universe to make it worse."

"A logical approach." Vince nodded approvingly. "After all, our thoughts do make the universe." He said easily. "Or at least they influence the shape of it."

"Sometimes more literally than others," Jake managed to chuckle at memories of what he managed in various vehicles and weapons.

"Basic Force lesson." Vince chuckled. "Convincing the universe that there's no reason that starfighter shouldn't float across the lawn to where you want it." He grinned, vastly simplifying the art of levitating things that your mind screamed you couldn't move.

"Or my specialty; convincing the universe that there is no reason that said starfighter can't have a cargo bay capable of holding several of the same class of starfighter." He smirked. "I don't make things float, but I do make them hold several hundred times what they should be able to."

"I'm not even going to try and think about that one too hard." Vince shook his head. "But it'd have to involve constructing tesseracts without realizing it. Internal pocket dimensions." He shook his head. "You realize you really revolutionize the cargo industry with that. Or make a killing in the smuggling market." He chuckled.

"Or what I usually use it for, self defense." He held up his arm with the Glovatrix. "Only trick is that I have to build it. It never works the same if they just use plans, for all those are good."

"Yeah, sounds like unconscious tesseracting alright." Vince nodded. "Master Kastoris knew someone a few decades ago who did that, only he did it with houses. He was homebuilder who managed walk-in closets in the damndest places. Hid an entire biochemical lab in a broom closet."

"I've managed that too," Jake snickered. "Bit I'm much better with machines and equipment. The more personal, the better the results are."

"That was true for him as well, his best works were for the home he built for himself. The outside was one bedroom apartment, the inside was a mansion with all the luxuries." He chuckled. "Including swimming pool and tennis court. Unfortunately, the tesseract collapsed when he died. They found bits of the mansion appearing over a hundred mile radius."

"Mmm, well, I haven't died that I know of, but I've had plenty of them blown up without anything too weird happening."

"Well, he did have a lot of mass compressed into a very small space." Vince chuckled. "I suspect it required a lot more maintenance that say a few stacked starfighter."

"Not if you listened to the TK," Jake snickered. "But any girl is high maintenance. Especially one you have to count on for your life, and has 'died' for you a few times."

"Given my inexperience with both females and starfighter, I'll take your word for it." Vince grinned. "I can see where the 'died' part could get you some backtalk though."

Jake paused, looking at him seriously for long enough that the Jedi began to wonder if he'd said something very wrong.

"That's almost to much to think about really," he finally murmured. "The TurboKat as a starfighter."

"Oh, she wasn't?" Vince blinked in surprise. "My mistake. The way Javrin talked, I got the impression you'd gotten a few generations ahead of your planet and built the first starfighter."

"Oh, she was generations ahead alright. She could go into space with difficulty for low orbital battles, make it to the moon and back if you were willing to spend the time on a trip to see nothing, but she wasn't a starfighter by any stretch." He said softly. "You're talking about a world that barely has practical satellite technology and has yet to put anything into space and get it back in one piece."

"Somehow, I see that changing now that you've had a look at actual starships up close." Vince smiled. "Just remember to get a good long look at the slipstream core if you plan to built FTL ships."

"Already did," he chuckled. "I had three days of total boredom while Javrin piloted us to this chunk of space."

"I should've known." Vince grinned. "Just don't stick a slipstream core inside one of your spaces that are bigger than they look." The Wolf cautioned. "As you've seen, tesseracts and slipstream interact in an interesting way and that's under specially controlled situations."

"And that advice assumes I actually remember I do things weird," Jake shook his head. "Which is more of a trick than doing it most of the time. It's as natural to me as breathing."

"A few times ending up in the wrong galaxy might help." Vince snickered, teasing, and got a tongue stuck out at him. "Slipstream drives are temperamental on their good days. There's a line in the basic textbook on slipstream mechanics: Slipstream isn't the best way to go faster than light, it's just the only way."

"Oh, now you just don't say things like that around the psycho-engineer." Jake's eyes lit up and glittered at the challenge in the first real sign of what he was normally like since Vince had met him.

"Find another way and you'll have every university from Coruscant to the Capella arm lined up trying to get you to teach there." He snickered. "Assuming they could get past all the multi-stellar companies wanting to buy the rights to produce the new drive."

"Assuming anyone but someone like me could build the thing." Jake chuckled, though there was a note of sadness too. "The down side of things. I can only build prototypes of things that'll never see production."

"Who knows." Vince shook his head. "Maybe somewhere in the Republic is someone who can translate your prototypes for production use."

"Maybe," he consented, long past the point where he doubted that anything was truly impossible, even someone who could make his impossible creations common. "It'll make for a hell of a power shift to whoever has them."

"New inventions usually do that at least for awhile." Vince nodded. "Then the other side catches up and it starts all over again. Over the long run, the universe stays in balance. Sometimes it just doesn't happen fast enough for us mortals."

"And sometimes it happens far, far too fast." He said softly.

The street was dark; it wasn't the best part of town and it was far too late for anyone sane to be out and about, much less looking for a bar and playmate. But this was where Chance felt at home too. It was only a few weeks, but it was worlds away from anywhere he'd have been with Jake, and that made it comfortable. He'd also point out that he was about as far from 'sane' as anyone had a right to be and still walk the streets.

Yet even here, where the value of a kat's life was minimal, many recognized him as the Omega-killer of Hunter Squad. He didn't even object when even his official call-name started to shift to 'Killer'. And in this part of town, bars tended to open later, if they ever closed. Sure enough, a loud rowdy bar presented itself without too much searching. The clientele was distinctly lower-class and bit rough around the edges, but that suited the tabby's mood.

So did the muscular black and white tom that would have made a good wrestling match for the tabby if he'd been an Enforcer, or if Chance had been in a mood for something other than getting nicely buzzed and fuck something very much like the offering at the bar senseless. He licked his whiskers and moved in, jostling the regulars with the best of them and accepted the bear laced with catnip that was about all that was offered as he appraised the black and white a few seats down.

The appraising look he got back from the black and white was pretty clear indication that his interest was returned, though Chance wasn't the only kat in the place who was interested. It was obvious that the black and white planned to go home with someone, but he just hadn't made up his mind yet. It was all the reason tabby needed to move in.

"So what's your name, handsome?" Her rumbled as he stepped just inside the other tom's space.

"Rick." He said easily. "You'd be Chance Furlong, the Enforcer's top hunter." He smirked. "What brings a star to the wrong side of town?" He asked in mixture of curiosity and playful invitation.

"Looking for something that's not likely on the right side of town," he returned the smirk and leaned forward, sure he'd read the tom right. "Company that likes things a bit rough and has the endurance to make my time worth it."

"Sounds like the evening I'm looking for." Rick rumbled deeply and felt Chance's hand run up his chest with a possessiveness that was unmistakable.

"Good, cause unless they're stupid, I'm off for the weekend." He grinned and moved his hand lower, across Rick's abs and up his side.

"Sounds very good." Rick rumbled, leaning into the touch while running one large hand along Chance's chest and found his mouth claimed by a hungry one that left nothing of the tabby's intentions or authority in doubt.

"Then let's get to someplace a little more fun to play in."

"Sounds good to me." Rick rumbled in agreement. "Your place or mine?"

"Mine," the tabby told him without hesitation and moved to guide his night's entertainment to the door.

"There you are, Rick." A deep voice rumbled, annoyed. "Leave you alone for a second and you'll follow anyone home." The muscular orange and black tabby, a good six inches taller than Chance, growled possessively.

"What part of 'just one night' don't you get, Malken?" Rick shook his head, reflexively retreating to put Chance between him and the orange and black.

"The part where he is smart and avoids getting the tar beat out of him apparently." Chance snorted, not even blinking at Rick's submission to his protection. The entire city did that after all.

Malken turned his attention to Chance, and it was pretty clear from his movements that he was hopped up on something. "I think you're the one who better butt out." He growled low. "Unless you want a world of hurt."

"Right," he snorted and moved in for a first hard strike before the fight was actually declared. After taking out Omegas with his pare hands, slamming this kat into the wall with a fist to the chest was pathetically easy. "Try me."

Malken was tougher than he looked, and he hit harder too. He was up quickly, and threw a solid punch that only connected with Chance's shoulder because Malken was quite intoxicated. "Don't even think you're gonna one punch me." He growled aggressively.

"That's fine," he grinned as the excitement of a serious fight started to work him into a good mood with the adrenaline and power it promised. "Definitely fine," Chance licked his lips and sank into the combat crouch not many survived seeing directed at them before connecting with a solid blow to the bigger kat's face.

There was something to be said for Malken's intoxicated state, as he kind of naturally rolled with Chance's punch. After a moment on the floor, he staggered aggressively to his feet and charged at the much better trained tabby with a roar reminiscent of both an outraged bull and a drunken tiger.

It was also left him less than the most observant opponent, and he all but ran right into Chance's full power kick to the chest that made the entire bar echo with the crunch of bones.

There was a kind of stunned silence in the bar as the large orange and black hit the floor with a thud, and didn't move, though he did appear to breathing, if painfully.

"Oh wow." Rick muttered in stunned amazement. "That was incredible." The black and white rumbled appreciatively.

"Might want to call an ambulance for him," Chance called back to the bartender and pulled Rick close to walk out.

"That was seriously intense." Rick rumbled, his arousal heavily evident in his scent. "Is everything with you that intense?" He asked curiously as they stepped into the night air for the walk to the tabby's car.

"Yap," he rumbled and nuzzled Rick's neck with a light nip.

"Good." Rick rumbled excitedly and accepted the passenger side seat Chance offered him and all but melted at the demanding kiss he got before the door closed and Chance got in his side to drive. "Very good." He murmured as the engine rumbled to life.

"It's going to be a fun night," the tabby grinned at him and pulled out into the street to head home.

Rick took in the upper middle class apartment with a glance as Chance closed and locked the door after entering first. What really struck him, besides the rather grizzly trophies from each Omega Chance had taken down and the most kick-tail entertainment center Rick had ever seen, was that the place was seriously under-personalized. Lived in, definitely, but not a hell of a lot there said anything about the tom living there that hadn't been in the news in the past few weeks.

"Awesome entertainment system." Rick said, a bit enviously. "And they really let you take trophies." He said noting the Omega trophies. "Intense decorating style."

"I never asked," the tabby chuckled low in his throat and grabbed Rick to slam him against the door and press him there with his own mass. "I don't ask anyone's permission anymore." He rumbled in his ear even as Rick felt a claw slice the ass of his jeans open and the sound of a zipper coming undone.

"Why would you?" Rick murmured breathlessly, his arousal saturating his scent and soaking his fur. "Strength means you can do what you want, take what you desire."

"And right now, what I want is screwing you senseless." Chance growled and closed his jaws around Rick's scruff before driving into the tom's unprepared ass with a single, powerful thrust.

"Oh, yeah!" Rick moaned excitedly as the pain of the sudden penetration shot through his body. It was the most intense opening he'd had in weeks. "Fuck me, Chance. Fuck me hard."

In response the big tom behind him grabbed both his wrists and pinned them to the door along with his body and thrust even harder, his sharp teeth an undeniable control on his scruff as Rick was taken as hard as anyone had in his life and the tabby's growls promised so much more to come before the weekend was out.

The sheer intensity of it was more than he could take, and he shot his seed inside his pants, while his ass clenched and released around the invading cock, milking it as it pounded into him relentlessly. Pleasure bordering on ecstasy reduced Rick's voice to moans and groans of satisfaction mixed with enjoyable pain.

Rick almost whimpered when his scruff was pulled tighter and the body behind him tightened with ever increasing force before Chance roared his completion and flooded Rick's ass with his seed.

"Oh, you are mine tonight." The tabby rumbled hotly and pulled Rick away from the door even as he pulled out of the tom's body. "I'm going to ruin you for anyone else." He promised lustfully.

"Promises, promises." Rick grinned, loopily, as he slowly came down from the high of the opening fuck. "But definitely the best I've had in a long time." He rumbled encouragingly and found himself silenced by a kiss as demanding and consuming as the fucking was. It wasn't anything he resisted as he was hauled to the bedroom and pushed over the edge to be taken again as soon as Chance pulled his jeans out of the way.

The only resistance Rick put up was trying to grip Chance's cock with his ass muscles and hold the punishing spear of flesh inside him longer on each stroke. Other that he just dug his fingers into the bed with each powerful stroke that brought him closer to another orgasm.

"Hold." Rynce said quietly, from the lead position. "We're at the force field boundary." He said, indicating the humming sound and shimmering curtain in front of them. "We'll need to locate one of the generator pods and disable it."

"This is my job," Jake broke from his surprisingly compliant behavior since landing and made a beeline through the foliage.

"Cover him." Rynce said to one of the other Custos, who quickly followed Jake to one of the generator pods. Without hesitation, Jake quickly opened a hidden panel and made a couple tweaks and cut wires, and the field shut down.

"They won't know it's down."

"That's a good thing." The Lynx nodded. "Keep any auto defenses from hassling us." He said noting the gap in the barrier.

"This way," Jake motioned to him and headed through the jungle, homing in on his partner's distress with a confidence and acceptance that it was trustworthy that he'd never dared have.

Javrin came up quickly behind Jake, as the rest of the group formed in behind, silently keeping watch around for opposition. It was opposition that never materialized, and then they were at a secured door on one side of the plateau that overlooked the red-bronze ocean close by.

Another panel came off, more wires messed with and the Glovatrix was hooked in. Then the door was open and Jake off again, trusting his companions to keep up, though he wasn't counting on them to spot the security ahead of him either.

Jake spotted a fair bit of security that seemed both advanced and ancient, but more importantly was disarmed. There seemed to be more security designed to keep people in, than out. Overall there was a distinct arrogance to things that was faintly annoying.

"A Sith outpost to be sure." Tran commented quietly. "Though the current owner is not taking advantage of the available defenses."

"Movement ahead." Tasha noted suddenly, as shadows on the wall of the intersection ahead indicated two large individuals approaching the intersection.

Jake nodded and let the Jedi move ahead. For all he didn't doubt he could take whatever it was, he'd rather save his energy for dealing with his partner and whatever was causing the emotional rollercoaster of the last week without pissing off the Jedi with him.

The movement turned out to be a pair of male Lions dressed in lightweight clothing, neither of whom was at all combat trained or inclined as evidenced by their freezing at the sight of the group of warriors.

Tasha quickly stepped up to the pair. "Either of you seen a tabby around here?" She asked in a very no-nonsense tone with her lightsaber visible at her belt. "And where?"

The pair looked at each other and then at the group in front of them. "Lower level." The one said quietly. "Virtualizer room."

"Thank you." She said simply. "I suggest the two of you make yourselves scarce."

"Yes, ma'am." The pair said taking off at a run.

"Pleasure slaves." The Borzoi shook her head. "Pretty, but not good for much. Look for stairs down." She said to Jake who'd been leading the search. "There's probably an elevator, but we shouldn't use it."

"Stars are faster anyway," he spread his fingers on the wall and focused, trying something new. Trying to see if he could literally make the walls talk to him. Or at least the wiring inside them. The walls didn't talk so much as whisper ,and there was a dark cold feeling to them as well.

"This way," he nodded after a moment and took off again, still taking reasonable care for traps and people as his heart began to pump faster.

"Something remains of the Sith in this place." Tran said quietly as they located a set of downward stairs, and descended to the lower level.

"It's in the walls even," Jake added to her and let the Jedi lead the way down the stairs and fell further back in the group as they entered the lower level and a group of darksiders came rushing around the near corner.

The battle was an odd contrast between the precise, flowing martial style of the Jedi, the more close-quarters commando style of the Custos and the impassioned, almost berserk aggression of the darksiders. The darksiders were wielding what appeared to be metal swords, and yet they were able to parry the deadly energy blades of the lightsabers.

Master Tran held back, a look of stern concentration on his face as the Force flowed around and through him. If any took the time to look in the Force, they could see a bright shell of Force energy emanating from him and surrounding the battlefield, repelling a dark crackling energy that battered at its edges.

Javrin stood next to the Master, holding off any darksider who got close enough. The first one who managed got the surprise of the battle as Jake entered the fray to entangle him with two bolos from his Glovatrix and lost his sword to the cinnamon tom. Then it was business as usual as the darksiders fought and gradually lost, and Javrin and Jake protecting Master Tran by holding attackers off until one of the others could finish them.

"You do that good," Jake commented with a smile for Javrin as they assessed the aftermath.

"Eight years of practice had to be good for something." Javrin grinned. "Don't think I've ever seen anyone looking quite as surprised as the one you took down with the bolos did." The blue-grey tom smiled.

"Ten years of using almost all non-lethals has to be good for something," Jake grinned back at him.

"You both fought well." Master Tran said approvingly, as he relaxed from his defensive position. "There is definitely as Sith spirit still active here." He added, before turning to Jake. "We should keep moving. Which way?"

Jake paused for a moment, then nodded and motioned them to follow as he took off down one hall.

The group followed closely, staying watchful for any further attacks as they followed Jake deeper into the fortress.

The remaining guards weren't Force trained and fled at the sight of ignited lightsabers, leaving an open route to the door that Jake was sure Chance was on the other side of. The door was thick, reinforced metal as was the wall it was in. The lock was of an unusual design and looked very complex, but not half as complex as the alien machinery Jake could feel humming and pulsing in the chamber beyond.

"Cut it," the lean tom growled, his heart pounding like never before. "He's hooked into something in there."

Master Tran nodded and ignited his lightsaber, as he began slowly cutting through the thick metal, he realized that it was reinforced by Sith alchemy and was going to be time consuming. But the lock was likely to be no easier, since it looked to be part of the original fortress.

He saw Jake move foreword, apparently no happier at the speed cutting was going, and kneel in front of the lock to insert a small spike from his Glovatrix as the Force coalesced around him to focus in much the same way as it had at the security fence. However, unlike like the fence, the lock remained stubbornly locked and Jake could feel a dark presence inside the electronics defying him and taunting him.

"Careful Jake." Javrin said quietly. "There's something distinctly 'wrong' about that lock." He cautioned, having felt that dark emanations.

"You have no idea," the tom said quietly and stepped back with a frustrated growl. "Dark Kat times ten, and he's still active."

"One of the more annoying Sith habits." Tasha commented, as Master Tran continued to slowly cut the door. "They refuse to let death keep them from causing trouble."

"So how do you get rid of one?" Jake asked, his armed crossed as he glared at the door in annoyance and forced himself to be patient.

"Usually takes a Jedi of equal strength, or multiple Jedi acting in concert." Vince said quietly. "It's a difficult task at best, because of the strength of will and in the Force that's required to defy death. These spirits are why we generally stay clear of Sith ruins, a Sith Lord can lure even a dedicated knight away from the light, if he or she is not very careful."

"That is why so many of you are here now?" He asked, though he was fairly sure of the answer.

"Yes." Tasha nodded. "Jedi missions aren't usually this large, but where there's a chance of a Sith wraith, we go in heavy." She explained, watching for trouble while the Master worked. "Keira's taking of a Sith title and abilities suggested that she'd either found a large Sith library intact, a Sith holocron, or a Sith wraith. The first two would be trouble enough, the third possibility warranted extra firepower."

"A good idea," he nodded slightly. "I'm sure it's the last. Something here is very much 'alive' and fighting us."

"I agree, as does Master Tran." She nodded at the Raccoon who was getting close to finishing with the door. "It's got us all a bit on edge. This much darkness is uncomfortable." She said quietly.

"Yeah, it's not fun," he agreed quietly even as he caught a whiff of intense male musk from the other side of the door and shivered as his self control was sorely pushed from all sides. "Though it makes Dark Kat's fortress seem like a cakewalk in comparison."

"Unless this Dark Kat was a Sith Lord, his fortress is a cakewalk by comparison." Tasha nodded, as Master Tran finished and stepped away. The Master motioned everyone to position themselves to the sides of the door, just in case.

A gesture from the raccoon pushed the door open and revealed a dark room lit only by an intricate web of light beams that held a very battered looking naked tabby who was breathing heavy, and judging from the rock hard erection and the heavy male musk in the air was trapped in some sort of sexual illusion.

"Careful of the light web." Vince said as the group entered the room. "We don't want anyone else getting sucked into that virtual reality."

It was under debate whether Jake heard him. At the first sight of his partner and the kat was in the room, skirting around the light web to the darkness beyond it and up a flight of stairs to where the controls where hidden. Javrin followed quickly, thinking Jake should have someone to watch his back, in case the darksiders were not entirely gone.

"Everyone stay watchful." Master Tran directed as he walked the outer perimeter, carefully examining the tendrils of darkness that were interwoven with the light strands. "Tasha, get ready. He will need a medic once the web is deactivated."

"Yes, Master." Tasha nodded, sheathing her 'saber and unslung the advanced medic pack she carried.

The controls were to as complex a computer system as Jake had ever seen, his own designs included. One monitor indicated massive amounts of data being transferred to and from Chance, along with infusions of drugs, fluids and a concentrated nutrient mixture.

He took a deep breath and touched his hands to the controls without pressing any and began the work of integrating and understanding this device enough to shut it down; or to know he'd have to simply pull his partner out by force.

The system was actively uncooperative, rerouting activities around him and pushing back when he tried to push in. Even understanding it was difficult, as the system seemed designed to conceal parts of its operation. As annoying as the system was, and as dark and cold as it felt, it was impossible to ignore the brilliance behind the design.

It was a brilliance that triggered a destructive hatred deep inside Jake he didn't even realize was there, much less the ego that fueled it. In the time it took him to realize the first emotion the control center had faced his full destructive potential and shattered in a shower of sparks and fire.

"Shit." Jake's eyes went wide for a fraction of a second as he realized what he'd done and he spun on heal to charge down the stairs to his partner, not at all sure what would be there.

Downstairs was carefully controlled chaos with Vince and Master Tran shielding the rest of the group from exploding energy supplies and projectors while Tasha began checking Chance out to see how he was doing.

"We need to get him back to the ship." Tasha said calmly, not liking what she could see both with her own trained senses and with the portable diagnostic equipment. "And he's definitely not up to walking on his own, and probably won't be for at least a day, probably more."

"Right." Rynce nodded, as the Custos set to constructing the collapsible stretcher they'd brought. One of the other Custos handed Tasha a large, warm looking blanket that she wrapped the tabby up in as Jake came to a skidding stop next to his partner.

Though he tried not to get in the way, Jake couldn't stand to not touch his partner, to claim, and may give, a little reassurance that they were both still alive and would be getting out of this mess like they had every other.

"Shu, relax." He murmured with a touch when Chance tried to move against the Custos' putting him on the stretcher. "We're getting out."

The tabby mumbled something, neither particularly conscious nor coherent, and let the Lynx move him.

"You can ask questions, Jake." Tasha said gently as she tended the battered tabby gently. "I'm quite capable of answering while working. His condition is serious, but not critical." She said after about an hour of Jake watching her working intently, with a need for questions very clear in his mood and face.

"Can you tell if his mind is intact?" He asked quietly, addressing the core of his fears first.

"Intact, yes." She nodded. "But he's going to be very disoriented when he comes around." She began as he came up and moved around to the other side of the bed Chance was laying on so he could touch his partner without being in the way. "I'm sensing a lot of uncontrolled anger and rage, and he's been using that anger and rage to tap his Force abilities." She cautioned. "There's a very strong possibility that he's become rage-addicted."

"As long as Chance is still in there, the rest can be dealt with," he almost smiled as he brushed his fingers along the tabby's face. "We've dealt with worse with a lot less help."

"He's still in there." She nodded and smiled to herself that Jake had finally accepted them as something more than a necessity to get his partner back. "The Sith were trying to corrupt him, which means that destroying him was something they were careful to avoid." She shook her head. "Just understand that he probably has no idea that he's been anywhere but the real world. The illusions are very complete, drawing on his own knowledge and perceptions to maintain their realism."

"We'll just have to see what they did to him after he wakes up," he murmured. "Though I've got a pretty good idea of the basics probably where."

"It's also going to be at least a week before he's physically up to traveling." She cautioned. "And I'll be very surprised if he's up to walking before we arrive on Coruscant."

"Just don't tell him that," Jake managed a weak smile for her. "He's more stubborn than I am about defying docs."

"I won't have to." She smiled softly at the light touch and how much it calmed both of the toms to be in physical contact without either being aware of it or why it happened. "His body will. I can't be completely sure without more comprehensive tests than I have equipment for here, but I'm fairly certain that the simulation had him existing at an accelerated rate. The week he's been missing may have been months for him."

"It's almost a requirement," Jake actually chuckled, but it wasn't in mirth. "Nothing could break him in a week. At least not as much as you're talking about."

"I'm sure they figured that out fairly quickly." She nodded. "Even with the confusion and rage, there's still a very stubborn personality in there." She smiled softly. "Which means he should rehabilitate well."

"He's a good kat too." Jake smiled down at his partner and brushed unkempt sandy hair gently with his fingers. "He has a temper, but he's not the kind that enjoys it."

"Rehabilitation will be helping him to remember that." She said gently. "And I expect he'll have an easier time remembering himself with you around." She added with smile.

"I hope so," he nodded, though his attention was on Chance. "How long are we talking about, before he's safe to be loose in combat again?"

"That's a very individual thing." She said honestly. "A week at least, though very few recover so fast. He's strong willed so two wouldn't be unreasonable. But some have taken months, and others never feel comfortable in combat again." She admitted softly. "Part of the rehabilitation is that he has to understand that there is a problem. That can be the most difficult step, as with any addiction."

"Yes," he murmured, and brushed Chance's hair from his face. "Will it affect his ability to fly outside of combat?" He asked very quietly.

"No, it shouldn't affect his ability to fly at all." She said confidently. "The problem is that he will tend to respond with inappropriate amounts of anger and aggression in any situation where anger or aggression occur. People who annoy him will tend to get hit, often without warning."

"So pretty much what he was like before, without the grumbling so I could stop him." Jake nodded, more relaxed now that at least Chance would be able to fly. "It's probably a good thing we'll be somewhere that most people can dodge that punch."

"He'll also tend to hit harder than he might have otherwise." She warned. "And he's had a fair bit of practice in using the Force to enhance his strength, when he's angry." She explained. "But yes, it is a good thing."

"Something that'll be useful, once he's in control of it," Jake said simply. "And he will. He can't stand to let something else control him."

"A useful trait in a situation like this." She nodded, fully aware that it was a trait they shared. "Anger controlled can be useful tool." She admitted.

Jake went from sound asleep next to his partner to wide-awake in a heartbeat as the naked tabby began to move. For a disoriented moment he thought they were back home and he'd had just fallen sleep in his clothes again. Just the idea, as fleeting as it was, was enough to turn him on and respond to the arousal behind him, holding him, breathing against his neck as in a decade of memories that may well have belonged to another kat they were so far removed from reality right now.

Still, it was his partner holding him, wanting him, and it felt better than any orgasm could right at that moment.

He knew he should remind him that he was supposed to be taking it easy. That there was a ship full of Jedi just outside the door that would get a head full of their play. That Javrin was sleeping not three feet away on a second bunk.

Then Chance sleepily got his hands under Jake's shirt and all thoughts vanished but to get undressed as quickly as he could so those hands could roam over his entire body. He moaned, already mostly hard when the nipping kisses along his neck began and he shuddered. After two weeks and with no lube, he knew it was going to sting and he couldn't make himself care as their morning ritual began to play itself out. It was a last vestige of a normal life as he knew it and he embraced it fully.

In another heartbeat, that all changed.

Lovers' hands grabbed him and pushed his to his stomach with far more force than was even remotely required as their light blanket slid to the floor.

Chance's feral growl, a sound familiar from other circumstances, echoed in his ears as his scruff was taken forcefully, nearly tight enough to choke him and his legs were forced apart while he was too startled to cooperate.

The panic settled in when it registered that there wasn't going to be any prep. That this wasn't his partner. Chance wasn't like this. This was what the Sith had made of him.

"No!" Jake cried out, desperate to get through before either of them got hurt. Even though he struggled, he knew that once he'd been pinned like this the tabby didn't need enhanced strength to keep him there. "Chance, don't."

The tabby's arms and legs were abruptly restrained by invisible hands, which while gentle were strong and unrelenting in holding him back.

"*Chance!*" Javrin's mind-voice lanced through the storms of rage of aggression seeking the true-Chance somewhere within. "*See who you are hurting.*" He projected, forcing Chance to see the fear and desperation in Jake and hoping that it would trigger enough response in the core personality that mind control wouldn't be necessary.

It had an effect all right, but not the one anyone was hoping for. Jake's scruff was released and the lean tom instantly started to squirm his way our from under Chance's hands. The hate and pain filled snarl that echoed through the room next caught the full fury of a mind ready to snap as Chance tried to lunge and rip the person apart who'd put such a thought in his head about his dead partner.

"Chance!" Jake's voice rivaled his partner's in volume as he stopped trying to get free and used the shift in Chance's body weight to twist to his back under the tabby and grab his face in both hands. "Chance. Open your eyes. I am alive. I am here." He said with as much authority as he could muster.

Everyone in the room all but held their breath as blind rage and grief intense enough to kill warred with the order and presence of the one whose loss had created it.

"I'm here," Jake repeated more soothingly, caressing the tabby's face with his thumbs and holding his attention. "I'm always going to be here for you." He promised softly and felt the tension begin to melt away even before Tasha released her hold on Chance's body and the tabby sank down to the bed, exhausted and nearly unconscious.

"That's right," Jake murmured with a gentle kiss. "Rest. There'll be time to play later."

Chance mumbled something apologetic to the affirmative as he sank to his side so he didn't crush the smaller tom and was out cold in moments.

Jake wasn't nearly so lucky. He was very much wide-awake and trying to process what had just happened before he got sick, all while he tried to remember where he could get sick without making a mess.

"C'mon, Jake." Javrin said gently, putting his arm around Jake's shoulders and easing the naked tom out of the bed. "Bathroom is this way." He added quietly, quickly guiding Jake to the safe and more private place to be sick. "Tasha will look after Chance." He added reassuringly, as Tasha got Chance tucked back into bed.

"Thanks," he managed to mumble and held himself together until the door was closed behind him. He was only superficially aware that Javrin held his shoulders as he threw up more stomach juices than food and began to shake for real as the reality of what had just happened started to sink in.

Javrin wasn't sure what to say, so he worked on helping Jake clean himself up while keeping at least one hand on him at all times. The one thing Javrin was sure about was that touch was very important to Jake, and probably now more than ever. "Did you want to lie down?" He asked gently when Jake seemed to be past any danger of throwing up again.

It took him a long time to answer, his jaw working to say what he was still trying to form the words for.

"Dressed, with you." He finally managed.

"Okay." Javrin agreed easily, still holding Jake as they walked into the room and Jake made very short work of getting dress again, an uneasy look at the sleeping tabby and another a Tasha. Still, he didn't object when Javrin guided him to the second bunk and gently pulled him down and held him close under the blanket.

"How long will he be like that?" Jake asked no one in particular as he tried to push the events out of his mind.

"I don't know, Jake." Javrin said quietly. "Once he integrates the fact that you're really alive back into reality, you shouldn't have to worry. No one expected that they'd have him believing that you were dead."

"I did," he murmured, his body trembling. "It's the only thing that'd make him break in less than years."

"He'll get better." Javrin murmured reassuringly, as he held Jake close. "Even if we can't do anything on board, the healers at the Temple will be able to help him."

"Can they make it go away?" Jake asked softly, his eyes closing briefly with the comfort of Javrin's scent in his nose before they snapped open with the warning that no one could be trusted that much.

"Make what go away?" Javrin asked quietly, thinking there were at least a couple of things Jake could be referring to.

"What just happened," he shuddered. "What turned him into ... what happened to him."

"With time, maybe." Javrin said quietly, not really sure what the Healers could or would do. "But a lot of the healing is going to be Chance taking control of himself again. Organic memory isn't like a computer, you can't just erase the sectors that are bad."

He felt Jake nodded against his chest as the lean tom tried to accept living with the last half hour and still be as supportive as Chance needed him to be.

Jake walked next to Javrin from the Jedi transport after it set down on Coruscant. Despite that their physical contact was very light, barely fingers touching as they passed by each other, no one there missed how Jake leaned on Javrin for support psychically. Even those who didn't want to pry could feel how badly the mission had scared Jake's mind. The Kat still didn't know how to shield well and he all but broadcast his state despite Javrin's attempts to minimize it.

Those who knew of Jake from his previous visit looked a little closer when he didn't follow his partner's sleeping form to the Healers. Most looked away and tried to mind their own business when he pressed a little closer to Javrin, unsettled by the way he reacted to anyone looking at him.

"You want to go straight to quarters?" Javrin asked quietly as they walked. "Get out of sight for awhile?" He suggested.

"Probably be best for everyone," he nodded, his voice low and shaky. "I'm unsettling everybody out here."

"Because you're unsettled." Javrin said sympathetically. "And with good reason. I'd suggest you learn how to shield, at least the basics, but you need to be able to calm your mind to do it. That may take a while."

"I need to learn a lot of things," he murmured as they made short work of the distance to their guest quarters without running, for all Jake really did feel like running and hiding from the eyes watching him, seeing far more of him than he wanted. "And if it means being calm first, I have to learn that too." He sighed. "It doesn't come that naturally, you know."

"I forget that." Javrin admitted sheepishly. "Calm was something that was easy for me, because my father, before he died, was big believer in the power of calm, cool intellect. For all my Jedi training, I still can't match the glacial calm that he came by naturally." He said quietly. "But you're right, can't build a house without the tools." He smiled as they entered their guest quarters and found himself wrapped in a trembling Jake as soon as the door shut with its illusion of privacy.

"I'm scared." Jake whispered, his face buried against Javrin's neck as the last of his self-control that had held him together when there was no privacy for three days unraveled completely with a low sob.

Javrin gently led Jake to the bed so they could sit down and held him close as the cinnamon tom curled up against him. "I'd be surprised if you weren't." He said very gently. "Chance is a very big part of your life, and now he's not what you're used to, what you depend on." He said understandingly. "But he will be again." He added reassuringly.

"The real question is whether or not we'll have a home to return to when that happens." Jake shuddered.

"One concern at a time, Jake." Javrin said gently. "You won't go home without him, and he can't leave until he can control himself again." He said quietly. "Focus on the present, the future will be, what it will be."

"I know," he murmured, more resigned than accepting it. "I've just spent my life changing the future, sometimes literally. Wait and see isn't how we do things."

"Jake, have you really slept since that incident?" He asked gently, knowing that sleep deprivation would only make things worse and not wanting to get into a conversation about the future and possibilities.

"I haven't really slept since he disappeared," he murmured. "That just made it worse."

"I'm not a big one for drugs, but you might want to consider a sleep aid for a night or two." Javrin said gently and felt the tom tense for a moment before he relaxed into acceptance again. "Being overtired makes everything more difficult."

"Promise to stay till I wake up?" He asked quietly, the difficulty in trusting anyone to that level too easy to read in his voice even without feeling it directly.

"Of course, Jake." Javrin nodded and nuzzled him reassuringly. "And maybe when you're more rested I can try and teach you something about calming your mind." He smiled gently. "I think you could really use it right now."

"No argument there," he murmured and let his eyes close, though sleep was well beyond him without help. "Think about a threesome with Chance too, when he's better."

"That's easy." Javrin chuckled lightly. "I've thought about that more than once since we started dating. Did you want a hot shower before bed to help relax you, or would you rather skip right to the sleep part?" Javrin asked gently.

"I think just sleep," he murmured after a moment and snuggled a little closer. "Shower in the morning."

"Okay, I'm going to in the bathroom and get the sleep meds." Javrin said, as he stood up from the bed. "I'll be right back."

"All right," the lean tom murmured, his gaze following Javrin until he disappeared. By the time the grey tom returned, they both knew it was Jake testing his own self control, and that he felt he'd won. One small victory that gave him strength for the next test.

"Here you go." Javrin handed Jake a glass of water and two pills. "These are a little stronger than normal, but I thought that maybe a night of deep sleep without dreaming, might be just what you need."

"It would certainly be welcome," he smiled slightly and regarded the pills for a moment before going through with it and swallowing them dry, then took most of the water for hydration. With a soft sound he shifted and made quick, if slightly uncoordinated, work of getting most of his clothing off. His underwear stayed on though, a testament to how much those few moments of fear still affected him.

Javrin helped Jake get nestled in under the covers, and lay next to him, waiting and watching while his boyfriend finally got the sleep that he desperately needed.

Chance drifted into a new dream, one that he liked less than when he'd had Jake in his arms like last time. But it wasn't hurting either, which was an improvement, and no one was restraining him either. Another plus. A soft bed, clean, comfortable clothes and good smells ... food smells.

He licked his lips before he even opened his eyes and worked his way to a sitting position to take a look at what reality looked like this time and took in a room that looked and felt very much like a private room in a hospital, if the hospital was the equivalent of five-star hotel. The colors were soft, muted pastels mixed to be calming and soothing. His bed was far softer and more comfortable that a hospital bed, hell, it was nicer than his bed at home. Sitting in a padded chair near the door was a tall golden and black Borzoi female wearing brown and white robes.

"Feeling up to a meal, Chance?" She asked politely, watching him discretely. Her movements as she stood were not those of a nurse, but more those of a trained warrior. It was an intriguing mix to the tabby.

"Always," he grinned at her, putting up his habitual bravado to cover his uncertainty. "You have a name, gorgeous?"

"Tasha Sergenski." She said easily as she rolled the meal tray over to him.

It definitely did not look or smell like hospital food. He blinked couple times, then grinned at the steak and baked potato, heavy on the sour cream and cheese. "All right," he grinned a little wider and dug in with relish. "So where is here this time?"

"You're in the infirmary of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant." She said simply. "Though I can appreciate why you'd be skeptical."

"You cook better than any of the other spots," he chuckled. "Care to fill me in on the current version of my last few weeks?"

"Actually, it's only been a little more than a week." She said calmly. "You were abducted from your homeworld during a darksider raid and transported to a world on the edge of the Republic known as Sancresti Redoubt. We don't have all the details, but most of the remaining time you spent trapped in a virtual reality net." She explained.

"And Jake?" He asked, feigning near-indifference poorly.

"Your partner is fine." She said easily and got a raised eyebrow and the first warning flicker in the Force that his anger was about to show. "He's finally getting some long overdue sleep. I expect he'll be over once he's awake."

"Jake ... not ..." He hit the answer even before he finished his statement and guilt squished his burgeoning rage. "He's with Javrin?" He asked almost submissively and picked at the food he didn't have much of an appetite for anymore.

"Yes. He wouldn't sleep unless Javrin promised to stay in the room till he woke up." She explained easily.

"Yeah, I bet." He murmured, mostly to himself. "I bet a pretty good tranqu was required too, even if he hasn't slept in over a week."

"Prescription sleep aids were required." She nodded. "The Doc wasn't happy about it, but Jake wasn't going to sleep without them. At least he was willing to take them."

"Testament to how badly he knew he needed the rest," Chance sighed softly and gave up on trying to eat. "Any idea how long he'll be out?"

"Not exactly." She admitted. "It's really up to his body, now that his mind is sleeping and not forcing it to keep going. I'd say at least twelve hours, maybe as much as twenty-four."

He nodded slightly, accepting is as quite likely. "And how long am I stuck here?"

"Depends on how long it takes for you to recover from the damage done by the virtual world." She said, simplifying something fairly complicated. "Physically, you'll probably be up and around in three or four days." She said and then paused. "The psychological damage will probably take longer to heal."

Chance winced as he was remained of just what he could do. "Yeah, I bet." He muttered quietly, words not really meant for Tasha. "So what are you guys getting out of helping us?" He asked.

"Javrin is one of our own." She smiled. "And we needed intel on Keira's operation, so combining a rescue mission with the intel mission was not a big deal."

That caught, and held, his attention. "So what are you, that's he's one of you?"

"We're an order known as the Jedi." She said simply. "Depending on who you ask we're anything from a force for justice and peace in the Republic to a bunch of do-gooder busybodies who stick our noses in places that don't concern us." She chuckled lightly. "The truth is that we try to be the former, but being far from perfect we also end up being the latter."

It cracked a grin on the tabby's face, and the first actual sense of approval from him. "That sounds so familiar." He shook his head with a chuckle. "No wonder Jake fell for him so hard."

"And why Javrin fell for him as well." She nodded with fond smile. "And why both of them have been worried about you."

"And if I know Jake at all, he started being worried sick about getting home while it's still there as soon as he got his hand on me." He chuckled, but it was a strange mirth; the amusement of a warrior who'd seen and done too much to take bad news any other way least it break him completely. He sighed and lay back down in bed to close his eyes, suddenly exhausted and wanting little more than to escape reality and the insanity it had become for a while.

Jake murmured sleepily and stretched in place with a big yawn and feeling calm and normal for the first time in far too long. "Good stuff," he mumbled with a loopy grin and looked down at Javrin, who was looking back with a smile. "Morning."

"Good morning." Javrin smiled warmly. "Sleep well?"

"Seriously," Jake murmured and shifted to lay against him for an affectionate nuzzle and hug.

"That's good. You seriously needed it." Javrin smiled, as he nuzzled Jake back. "Chance is awake too, in case you were interested." He added, clearly engaging in some light teasing and stopped Jake from the kiss his was about to go for.

"Good," he grinned for real and hugged Javrin tightly, kissing him on the side of his neck in thanks. "How's he doing?"

"Well, he seems to be accepting that this is really reality, though Tasha thinks that he's still waiting for something to prove it before he fully accepts it." Javrin said, going on what the knight had reported. "Her guess, and I agree, is that he's probably waiting till he sees you."

"Touches, more likely," he nodded and gave Javrin a quick kiss before he got out of bed. "I know it's what I'd be going on after something like that. Come shower ... a quick one," he added with a grin.

"Can you do a quick shower?" Javrin teased playfully as he followed Jake. "When there's someone else around?" He smirked, since he enjoyed playing in the shower as much as Jake did.

"I think so," he chuckled and stripped, his tail uncharacteristically tucked down between his legs. "When I have a good reason too."

"Well, I'd say this probably counts." Javrin smiled, stripping quickly as Jake turned the water on and got the temperature set. He decided better of saying anything about Jake's uncharacteristic modesty for the time being. After what had happened with Chance, it wasn't all that surprising.

"Yes it does," he turned and caught Javrin's hand to pull him under the hot spray for a heated kiss that was as much about a simple affirmation of life as it was for desire.

Javrin's response was to pull Jake close and continue the kiss while his hands gently caressed his boyfriend's back. He welcomed the moan and returned caresses as Jake began to unwind.

"Gods, I've missed this," he whispered into Javrin's rich grey fur while his fingers made small furrows for the water to run in.

"Makes two of us." Javrin agreed softly, grateful that Jake was starting to unwind. He'd been worried that the last two weeks might just push Jake over the edge before they were able to pull things together, especially with the incident with Chance. The healing for both of them was far from over, but at least Jake wanted that normalness back enough it was what he chose when he wasn't thinking too much.

Another kiss claimed his mouth and Javrin willingly surrendered to the slowly riding pleasures of touch and gentle desire that had been so absent from their lives since leaving Aristal. He moaned softly as Jake slid a hand between them to gently caress his velvety balls and sheath.

Javrin moaned softly in response, as his hands slowly caressed their way down Jake's back to the curve of his ass and felt the lean tom's pleasure at the touch and willingness for more, even as it brought back a nasty memory of what had almost happened that was shoved down ruthlessly.

"Want in there?" Jake offered with a rumble.

"If you want it." Javrin rumbled heatedly, teasing a little but leaving no doubt as to interest. His stiff cock left little doubt about it either.

"Remember how to prep?" He breathed in his ear hotly and gave his cock a squeeze before reaching back for a small tube.

"Hasn't been that long." Javrin chuckled quietly and felt Jake draw his body away a bit. "Any position you'd prefer?" He asked gently, giving Jake as much control of the situation as possible.

Without a verbal answer, Jake relaxed with his arms against the side of the shower and spread his legs a bit with his tail up and looked over his shoulder at Javrin with hunger in his eyes.

Taking the tube of lube, Javrin liberally slicked up his cock, and then put more on one finger and gently pressed it against the furless pucker of Jake's ass, until his finger worked its way in to Jake's moans and soft sounds of pleasure at the welcomed intrusion. Gently, he worked that finger back forth letting his lover get used to its presence before working a second lubed finger in.

He felt through his fingers as well as saw the shudder that passed through Jake's body as he moaned and arched back into the contact, eager for the familiar pleasure to come.

"Oh, yeah," Jake rumbled and squeezed down lightly around Javrin's fingers.

Slowly, Javrin removed his fingers and placed head of his cock against the well-prepped opening and pushed it in slowly until he was inside Jake up to the first barb hairs. "Been too long." He rumbled heatedly, as he paused to let Jake get used to the presence and felt the lean tom press back, taking him in more fully.

"Oh, yeah," Jake moaned. "Godda let you top more often. I forget you don't get any without me."

"It's not like I complain." Javrin rumbled, as he pushed in to the sheath, and then began thrusting, slow at first, but gradually building in tempo at his lover's encouragement.

"Mmm, no, you don't." Jake agreed and arched back in pleasure, his body squeezing Javrin's gently in rhythm with the thrusts that made his cock achingly hard. "Oh, yeah. Fill me up." He groaned deeply.

"Oh, yeah." Javrin rumbled, and reached around to gently stroke Jake's cock as his thrusts increased in urgency. The jolt of pleasure that shot through Jake's body echoed right into his without warning. Suddenly, he roared as he began shooting his seed deep into Jake and felt him clamp down around him as Jake seed sprayed against the shower wall.

"Ohhh, kats, I needed that." Jake mumbled as he relaxed against his arms, coming down from an orgasm that was only part of what settled him so much.

"I think we both did." Javrin murmured as he slowly withdrew his cock and rested with his arms around Jake while they both began to relax for real.

"Just to let you know, he's a little wound up at the moment." Tasha said quietly when she met Jake and Javrin outside Chance's room. "And I'm guessing its something the two of you were up to a little while ago, since there was activity on the link he shares with Jake, as he was getting wound up."

"I'll take care of it," Jake promised, even as he flushed a bit at forgetting about that facet of things.

"I'll go in with him." Javrin told Tasha simply.

"Very good." Tasha nodded. "I'll be out here, in case you require assistance." She said, settling into a chair next to the door.

Good," Jake nodded and opened the door to his partner's room and suppressed a shot of uneasiness with uncharacteristic ruthlessness.

"Hay, buddy." Jake smiled at his partner as the door closed behind him and Javrin, leaving Tasha outside.

"Hay," Chance's smile suddenly became very real as part of him finally relaxed. "Where have you been hiding?" He half-demanded with a grin.

"Looking for you," Jake grinned, his tone teasing as he sat down on the bed before leaning foreword for a light kiss that ended up confirming every word of Tasha's warning about how riled up the tabby was. "Mmm, feels like you could use a little relaxation." He rumbled and reached down under the blankets to rubbed the tabby's full erection.

"Ohh, yeah." He groaned and thrust his hips up into the contact. "You ...."

Jake cut him off with a kiss and slid down the bed, pulling the blanket, and then Chance's loose pants, down as he went. He nuzzled the full erection, licking it to the tabby's shivers and moans before he took it easily into his mouth and down his throat.

"Oh, gods," Chance moaned and caught Jake's head in his hands as his hips thrust up into the hot, wet pleasure. He managed to keep it loose enough to let the kat do what he was good at, but it was hard to miss the controlling nature of his grip either.

Still, Jake accepted it, even to Javrin's senses, as Chance was quickly worked to an orgasm that left him panting and weak in bed.

"Better?" Jake grinned up at him after licking him clean.

"Yeah," he grinned down loopily as Jake pulled his pants back up and accepted being pulled alongside his partner for an affectionate nuzzle and a real breath of relief. "I was beginning to believe you really were dead," Chance admitted painfully.

"I know," Jake murmured and nuzzled him, relaxing into the embrace more than he expected he could.

"Feel up to trying to learn calm now?" Javrin offered the afternoon after Jake and Chance had spent most of the day in each other's arms, reassuring themselves that reality was as it should be. He figured things were about as settled as they were going to get, at least until they got home.

"It wouldn't hurt," he nodded, liking the idea more and more.

"Calm is mostly an exercise in controlling what goes on in your own mind." Javrin said, as he sat down on the floor in their quarters in a classic lotus position. "Ordering a space that is inherently disorderly, to quote my Master."

"That I can believe," Jake chuckled slightly and copied Javrin's position with less grace.

"Part of that ordering is learning to accept the flow of events in the universe. Most anxiety comes from trying to change things that one can't." He said trying to remember everything he'd been taught, most of which he didn't think about anymore. "Ocean waves are a good metaphor for the events of life, and most people experience anxiety because they constantly paddle against the waves, trying to stay where they were." He said simply. "Calm comes in accepting the change, and floating with the waves." He said quietly. "Or for the more dynamic it's like surfing, you still go with the waves but are a little more active about it." He said, and then chuckled. "I bet it's painfully obvious that I've never taught anyone before."

"I guessed as much," he chuckled softly and tried to relax. "I like the surfing analogy."

"My homeworld is 85% water, so most of my analogies involves water, boats or fishing." He chuckled. "But the real trick to calm is in letting the things you can't use go. No surfer can use all the waves in the ocean, and it doesn't help to worry about the ones you don't." He explained. "But the first step in calm is quieting your mind, quieting all the noise and activity that fills it normally. Different Masters teach different ways, but my father taught me what he called the 'ripple in the pond'. You create a single moment of quiet in your mind, and that becomes the stone that creates the ripple. You then let the ripples of quiet spread outward, pushing away the noise and confusion. Behind the ripple is left the still water of calm."

Jake considered that. The theory made sense, but applying it to his own mind left him at a loss. Finally he looked up at Javrin.

"Define 'calm'." He asked in complete seriousness.

"Quiet is usually the best definition, though highly ordered works better for some people." Javrin said after thinking a bit. "Calm could also be compared to a machine working exactly the way it's supposed to."

"Quiet," Jake murmured, thinking back though his life for when he felt that way. "Peaceful?"

"Yes, peaceful is also commonly associated with calm." Javrin nodded encouragingly. "Another technique for achieving calm is to take an image of a place that makes you feel at peace and relaxed and overlay it over all the noise and chaos in your mind.

"It's a start," he said quietly and closed his eyes to let his mind drift back to the various streams and ponds he'd relaxed by in his life and smiled softly.

Javrin kept his reaction to the incredible stillness that spread through Jake's mind so quickly to himself. The tom did know how to do this, he just considered it an incredibly guilty pleasure he rarely indulged in.

"That's very good, Jake." Javrin said quietly. "That calm is the first step to learning how to use the Force consciously, in addition to the unconscious way you do naturally." He said encouragingly, letting Jake know that it was okay, not anything to feel guilty for.

"So how do you think like this?" He asked, sounding almost sleepy as his mind relaxed from it's naturally hectic pace.

"Using the Force isn't about thinking." Javrin explained. "It's about instinct, and about trusting the Force. Thinking too much actually gets in the way of using the Force." He said simply. "For example, do you actually think through the 'how' of how some of your really incredible inventions work? Or do you just do them?"

Jake opened his mouth to say of course he thought about it, then stilled as he realized that when it came to real details on the special parts, it was just rough sketches and built.

"I just build them," he answered, a little surprised.

"That's very much the way the Force works. Best when you let the Force guide you, even if you don't realize it." Javrin nodded. "For example, lightsaber combat works best when your mind is calm, and you trust the Force to guide your blade. According to the personal journals of some of the greatest Masters, they could go through an entire combat without consciously thinking about it." He explained. "Most of us have to think a little more than that, but that's the ideal." He said.

Jake processed that slowly. "I think I can relate to that," he nodded. "When things are really flowing, we don't have to think about the fight, we just go through it."

"Exactly." Javrin nodded. "Chance probably flies much the same way, it's not anything he thinks about he just does." The blue-grey tom said easily.

"On the good days at least, or when he's dealing with a completely new craft, like when I first gave him a TurboKat."

"Everyone has off days." Javrin said easily. "My slip-piloting on the way here was a good example." He chuckled.

That raised an eyebrow as Jake opened still tranquil amber eyes on him. "When did you mess that up?"

"It shouldn't have been as tiring as it was." Javrin shook his head. "But I was trying too hard, and not flying the stream on instinct like I should've. Back when I did it regularly, I could've shaved a day or two off the trip out."

"Given you were eight years out of practice, getting us where you wanted was an accomplishment." Jake pointed out easily. "That is not a simple skill from what I saw of it."

"It's easy for some people, and impossible for others." He nodded. "There are even a few races who can't, and at least one who won't." He chuckled lightly. "Of course I don't blame the H'tari for refusing to do it. H'tari slip-pilots routinely end up in the most unexpected places, including the occasional accidental time travel."

"Sounds like one might be a relative." Jake rolled his eyes, his mind a bit active but still calm overall. "So I could actually work better like this?" He asked, both curious and a bit disbelieving.

"Quite possibly." Javrin nodded. "Though you might not always get what you were aiming for. The Force doesn't always give you what you want, but it usually gives you what you need." He smiled and got an amused chuckle for it.

"Half the time I'm not sure what I'm building till it's finished anyway." Jake grinned and shifted into a more comfortable position. "I'll take what I need over what I want any day."

"Telekinesis is the talent where you really have to stop thinking though." Javrin chuckled. "Accepting that you just think something the size of starfighter into the air can be difficult. I know it was for me."

Jake cocked his head, about to say something when he snarled and lunged to his feet, his mind a hurricane of rage that he shoved out of the way to focus on finding his partner as fast as he could.

Chance walked through the grand halls of the Jedi Temple, alternately amazed and unsettled by the huge place that made cathedrals look like ramshackle sheds. Everything was so bright and airy and there was an incredible sense of self-assured safety about the place and people. This was there world, and nothing would intrude upon it.

It was both comforting, and a bit galling.

The looks he got, however, those where irritating. Superior looks. Scrawny creatures that thought they were better than him.

But one, a Mouse of all things, seemed to look right through him like he wasn't even there.

It was just too much to stomach and he lunged with a snarl of pure rage.

The blue female Mouse sidestepped the lunge with ease such as to make it appear that she'd hardly bothered moving, leaving Chance to encounter one of the very solid walls. She contemplated simply restraining the enraged feline telekinetically, before realizing that he didn't need to be merely stopped, he really needed to be beaten in a way he'd understand.

He ricocheted off the wall, taking a couple backwards steps before he zeroed in on her again, oblivious to the fact that she had stopped all others from interfering, and closed with her, trying to get close enough to get his claws on her.

This time she let him get so close he taste it, before vaulting effortlessly over him and out of his reach once again. She had no intention of laying a hand on him; she was simply going to let him charge himself into exhaustion. She was very certain that he needed the demonstration that all the rage he could summon would avail him nothing.

Her intentions shifted in an instant as the Darkness erupted inside him, granting him at least as much speed as she had, and reflexes sharp enough to make dodging a risk, even for her.

With a moment to spare before his next strike Master Yamari relaxed into the Force and committed her defense to the Light.

"Oh, fuck." Jake's terrified voice greeted the sounds of battle and the palatable feel of the two sides at work.

"What's wrong, Jake?" Javrin asked, as he kept close behind Jake. He could feel a conflict that shouldn't be going on within the Academy grounds, but it seemed Jake had more info on it.

"Chance ... the Sith won." He whispered deep in his throat as they caught a glimpse of the battle between the enraged tabby and the blue Mouse who blocked or sidestepped his every attack.

"It's just a setback, Jake." Javrin said gently. "It's to be expected with rage addiction, a few steps forward a couple back. This fight should actually help, since Master Yamari can beat him, without actually hurting him." He commented quietly, as the blue Mouse gracefully blocked an attack, and then gracefully sidestepped the follow-up strike.

"This ... this ... is what rage addiction does?" Jake shuddered as he watched something he could barely comprehend.

"It causes irrational behavior, yes." Javrin nodded. "His natural reactions have been shifted toward anger-driven ones. Something that he might not have noticed before becomes annoying, something annoying becomes enraging." The grey tom explained. "This is why we can't rush returning home. Can you imagine him encountering Commander Feral as he is now?" Javrin suggested softly.

"A little too well," he nodded and took a deep breath as he forced himself to watch, and accept, both sides of the fight and what they could do. "He's capable of being an Omega like that."

"Yes, and a very dangerous one if he managed to tap any other Force abilities unconsciously." Javrin said quietly. "Possibly worse than Dark Kat."

"I'm beginning to really not want to know." Jake shook his head slightly, seriously unnerved as he comprehended just how outclassed they were in the big picture. It made him ache for the simplicity of just a city to defend and nothing much worse than Dark Kat to face. Life would never be that simple again. He and Chance had both unlocked something that couldn't be ignored, something that took any possibility of 'just going home' and having life be normal again away.

"I wish it had stayed simple too." Javrin said gently. "Nothing more to worry about then what would chase my boss home from the latest dig, and whether my boyfriend would get himself killed saving the world." He said softly.

"I'm too stubborn to die," he chuckled a bit, trying not to think about what he was watching and why he wasn't in the middle of it already. It was only after he saw the way a couple Jedi looked at him with a hint of worry that he realized that it wasn't the reassurance it was before. "I didn't mean it that way."

"I know what you meant." Javrin said reassuringly. "Doesn't help the worrying part any, especially back when I wasn't supposed to know." He chuckled quietly.

"And I would have not reacted well if you'd shown any sign of knowing," Jake shook his head and drew Javrin close.

Chance's head abruptly snapped around to lock onto the pair and a feral snarl echoed in the hall as his rage found a new target and a fresh source of power: jealously.

"Chance!" Jake's eyes went wide even as he ordered the kat to stop without effect.

Javrin wasn't the true combat master that the Mouse was, so he resorted to put a strong telekinetic wall between himself and Chance, to give Jake time to calm the tabby down. It was something the lean tom was not going about in the safest manner as he move forward, closer to the furious kat.

"Chance, calm down." Jake put all his authority behind his words and reached out to add the reinforcement of his touch to the order. He met invisible resistant for a moment, then found himself with an armful of enraged kat trying to get to Javrin. He gritted his teeth and focused on what he's learned about them in the last two weeks to force the tabby to submit to his authority and calm down as he always had.

It earned him an irate growl, but he could feel the shift in Chance's body that marked acceptance of a disliked order.

"I'm here, Chance." Jake said more softly as rage began to give way to panting. "I'm never going to leave you."

"Perhaps it would be best if you are not standing there for a time." Master Yamari told Javrin quietly as they both watched the unusual dynamics of the pair play out. "Meditation would be of benefit."

"Yes, Master." Javrin nodded obediently, and turned to head back to his quarters. "*Jake*" He thought carefully to the cinnamon tom. "*I'm going back to quarters. My presence is just agitating Chance right now.*" He finished, as he turned a corner out of sight.

"*Understood.*" Jake's much less skilled reply came back with a warm mental hug of both appreciation for his disappearance and apology that it was such a good idea.

Then Jake turned his full attention to his partner. "Let's get you back to your video games." He suggested and urged the tom to come with him to the quarters they were assigned.

"Right," he mumbled, still quite disoriented but willing to go with his partner's very reasonable-sounding idea.

"You wanted to see me, Master Kastoris?" Javrin asked as he entered the small, private garden that served as the Master's meditation area.

"Yes, Javrin." He nodded. "The Council just finished reviewing the reports from your mission to Sancresti Redoubt. According to the Master Tran and Knight Sergenski you acquitted yourself very well."

"Thank you, Master." Javrin blushed at little at the praise.

"In fact, the Council has decided to accept the mission as your final trial, when considered in conjunction with your interviews with the members of the Council."

"It has?" Javrin blinked at the very unexpected decision. The Council was certainly allowed to do that, but Javrin worried that it hadn't been enough.

"Yes." Kastoris smiled. "Despite not having a Master for most of the years you were a Padawan, you have stayed true to the Code and your skill with the lightsaber makes you competitive with Knights who have been in the order as long as you have." He grinned. "Which is appropriate, since the Council has decided to bestow on you the rank of Jedi Knight. Congratulations, Javrin. Your Master would be proud."

"Thank you, Master."

"With that rank comes what may be a difficult assignment." Kastoris cautioned. "You still intend to return with Jake and Chance at such time as they return home?"

"Yes, Master." Javrin said certainly. "It's been my home for eight years now. I feel more at home there, then anywhere I've been since my parents died."

"The Council's concern is that, since Jake and Chance are Force-sensitive the ability may be beginning to emerge there." He explained. "The Council needs someone to monitor the situation. That will be your job."

"Of course, Master." He said, thinking that that wasn't that difficult really.

"The other consideration is that should either Jake or Chance have kits, they will likely be sensitive as well." The Master continued. "You will need to keep an eye for any who may be candidates for training."

"I could not train more than one, Master." Javrin objected softly.

"It is only a week from there to here." Kastorin noted. "Should this come to pass, contact us for further instructions."

"So primarily I'm to watch and report back." Javrin asked, wanting to make sure what he was supposed to do.

"Yes, and stay in touch." Kastoris grinned. "We'd like to hear from you, more than every eight years."

"Of course, Master." Javrin grinned back. "Will the Council be constructing other ships with TFG capability?"

"Discretely, but yes." Kastoris nodded. "For the time being, we don't see a need to bring the Senate in on matters. This new world is completely outside Republic space or even the Rim."

"Understood, Master." Javrin nodded. "Is there anything else?"

"Yes, one more lesson before you leave." He said simply. "Assuming that your Master did not teach you how to construct your own lightsaber?"

"No, he didn't Master."

"Then I will, and if Jake should ask, you may show him how." He smiled. "He'll probably figure it out on his own anyway, but it would hurt him to actually know." He chuckled, amazed at how capable the cinnamon tom was at building things without entirely knowing how he got the results he did.

"Understood, Master. When are lessons to begin?"

"Tomorrow is soon enough. I suspect Jake would like to have you back now." He chuckled, thinking how like a teenager Javrin was in many ways, especially where dating was concerned. "You may go."

"Yes, he probably would." Javrin grinned, and turned to leave. "Thank you, Master."

"Hay Jackson," Chance grinned at the White Lion standing behind his partner. Hew as still a bit loopy from all he'd been through but coherent again and feeling much better. "Good to see they got you out too."

"They didn't, you did." He smiled warmly even as Jake turned in his chair to see who had snuck in and blinked a couple times at the translucent White Lion standing there.

"Umm, Chance ... who is this guy?" Jake asked cautiously, still more than a bit paranoid by the whole lesson on Sith ghosts.

"One of the other prisoners, an aerospace engineer like you." The tabby answered his partner by habit before looking at Jackson again. "How'd I get you out?"

"You said I could grab a ride when your friends came." Jackson smiled. "So I did. I apologize for not pointing out that I was already dead, but honestly I just wanted out of that place." He explained, a bit sheepishly.

"Already dead?" Both toms repeated in unison; one in confusion, one completely freaked.

"Yeah, Keira wanted more than I was willing to give her." He sighed. "So she put me in the virtualizer. It didn't quite work as planned, and my spirit and body had a parting of the ways. Unfortunately, there's just no easy way out of that fortress for a ghost, and I knew I wasn't up to tackling that Sith head on." He shook his head. "I'd learned that much before I bailed from the Academy."

"So you had to sneak out with a live mind?" Jake half guessed, still very much on edge, though his partner's acceptance did a lot to calm him down.

"I needed cover." He nodded. "Kind of like hiding a message on a sub-frequency. It gets missed in the noise of the main transmission." He explained. "Actually, I meant to explain but Keira lost her patience with him before I could."

"Somehow, I'm not surprised," Jake chuckled and ruffled the thick fur on Chance's chest. "He's got the thickest skull ever known."

"Hay!" The tabby in question objected, though it was almost playful. Almost.

"You know I love the way you are," Jake murmured soothingly and shifted to kiss his partner, willing the tabby to calm down before he found out what it felt like to get slugged by him hyped-up.

"Mmm, yeah," he smiled and caught Jake's head for another kiss that wasn't resisted at all.

"So what now?" Jake asked as he relaxed his head against Chance's chest, more concerned about the very real tabby that was getting possessive of him than the non-corporeal creature behind him.

"Not sure exactly." Jackson shook his head. "Go talk to one of the Masters I guess. Fortunately, pretty much everyone around here is sensitive enough to see me." He chuckled. "But I wanted to thank you for getting me out of there." He smiled at the tabby. "I know it's not much, but your being there did rescue one person." He grinned, though the tone was quite serious. "I'll leave you two alone now." He smirked playfully as he disappeared into the ceiling and Chance's full attention focused on his partner with a demanding kiss.

"Chance ..." Jake pulled away a bit, trying to keep how badly freaked he still was under wraps. "Not now."

The tabby frowned, clearly unhappy, but his grip loosened and he stroked Jake's cheek with a thumb. "Sorry, buddy." He mumbled as it sunk in why Jake was so tense and fought down the intense self-loathing it brought to realize he was capable of that, much less against his partner. "Gods, I'm sorry buddy. I ...."

"You weren't in control of yourself," Jake murmured and turned his head to kiss Chance's palm and brought his hand up to keep it there. "I know. It's not something you'd ever do if you knew what was happening. I'm just ... not quite there yet."

"And I'm not quite myself yet." The tabby finished for him. "Not enough not to be afraid of." He brushed his thumb over Jake's mouth when he began to object. "Jake, I'm not so completely self-absorbed that I haven't noticed." He paused, then sighed. "Hell, Jake. I couldn't blame you if you never wanted to be alone around me again."

"I know," he murmured and closed his eyes briefly. "You're still my partner, Chance. We'll make it though this like we have everything else."

"Yeah," Chance smiled slightly. "Yeah, we will."

Jake murmured in the intoxicating pleasure of having Chance back and completely himself at the controls of an agile, powerful aircraft. It no longer mattered, for these few hours, that they were stuck in a different galaxy among strange people with strange customs and beliefs that had all but destroyed them both.

"There's the park," he pointed out the floated chunk of several hundred acres of green grass, carefully sculpted rolling hills, a scattering of trees and groups of trees. What caught Jake's attention was the large pool fed by a small waterfall and he guided Chance to it without even thinking he was.

When the small craft set down, Javrin was the first one ready, as he was the only one not actively involved in guiding their wild canon tag adventure that was sure to bring many complains and neither of them could care about it. He waited and followed Jake out and sat down by the large pool that reminded him of his first home, a home he hadn't seen in almost a dozen years. Not that he really wanted to go back, since it just reminded him of the parents he'd lost very young.

"You found a good spot," Jake smiled at him as he put out a blanket and handed out plates so Chance wouldn't start to eat without them.

"I had a little help." Javrin chuckled. "Tasha gets stir-crazy if she's cooped up too long. Something about needing space to run in." He said thoughtfully. "It's a Borzoi thing apparently."

"I know Cheetah's get like that," Jake chuckled and snagged some of the fried bird, creamy potato salad and one of the slices of desert from the basket before Chance got to it all. "Grab what you can. He's insatiable." He grinned at his partner.

"The food's good." Chance countered with a grin. "And you've got some work to do. That thing is hot for a transport."

"Well, it's technically a military drop craft." Javrin grinned as he helped himself to bit of everything. He didn't usually eat large amounts of anything, just some of everything offered. "Designed to get below enemy sensors before they notice something came down. So it's all engine and control systems."

"And she flies sweet." Chance grinned around a big bite of fried meat. "Oh, kats, does she fly sweet."

"You'll have better when I'm done rebuilding the TK." Jake promised with a grin.

"Sienar Systems builds the best." Javrin grinned. "Most of the major developments in starfighter technology come from them, along with the top of the line civilian craft. Of course they're limited by only having access to garden-variety geniuses." He smirked at Jake. "Not super-geniuses."

"Ah," Jake blushed and ducked his head.

"Now that we can use more of." Chance licked his lips and grinned. "He is so cute when he blushes."

"Very true." Javrin grinned playfully. "The blush goes well with his fur." He added appreciatively.

"Okay, so you two have something in common," Jake mumbled, his cheeks burning.

"Yeah, we both are seriously hooked on you." Chance smiled, something in his voice making the statement a very serious one despite the teasing words. He reached out to gently brush Jake's cheek. "You're where we're at."

It took Javrin a moment, and some measure of telepathic sensitivity to realize what Chance meant. "Very true." He nodded with a warm smile as Jake's color deepened. "Basically what I told Master Kastoris the other day."

"You really are coming back with us?" Jake looked at him with a smile even as he shifted a little closer to Chance without thinking.

"Yes, I am." Javrin nodded. "I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about it, and for all its problems, MegaKat City is the closest thing to 'home' I've had since my folks died. And I really don't like how I feel when I think about watching as you guys leave." He admitted quietly. "Only a masochist would set himself up for that much pain."

"Or someone who has another reason to stay," Jake said softly. "But I'm glad you aren't staying here. I'd miss you."

"I'd have to have a pretty big reason to stay." Javrin said simply. "And I don't, and I'd miss you too, a lot." He added quietly.

"You know, I'm glad you aren't a pilot." Chance shook his head after a bite of the fried bird. "Or I might think you're trying to be more than his boyfriend."

"I prefer to fight with my feet on the ground." Javrin chuckled; deciding to leave unsaid the fact that he was a pilot. Even if he wasn't as good as Chance he really didn't want to create the perception of competition. "Besides, who'd handle Abi's paperwork?" He added with a wise-ass smirk.

"I don't even want to know," Jake snickered. "Probably her again."

"Sure as hell won't be me." Chance puffed up his chest again.

"Oh, gods, only if she wants it to look like your room." Jake snickered and shot Javrin a reminding look that this was meant to be a 'make friends' outing when Chance was actually in a good mood.

"Exactly, you fly and I do paperwork." Javrin grinned at the tabby. "Better for everyone that way. 'Sides, I don't think anybody but you can handle the stuff Jake builds."

"Especially after we get back," the tabby rumbled eagerly and pulled Jake close for a near insistent nuzzle that wasn't resisted, but wasn't quite returned either.

"You have that much right." Jake grinned despite being a bit uncomfortable and uncertain about how this was working.

"Yeah, antigrav will give you a whole new range of maneuverability to play with." Javrin smirked. "And the inertial compensators will let you pull significantly more G's."

"No more blacking out for you," Chance teased his partner. "We are going to be so unstoppable."

"At least we'll have the tech edge for a few years." Jake chuckled slightly.

"I should hope more than a few." Javrin chuckled. "I haven't seen anything that indicates that anybody on Aristal is even close to a working antigrav unit. Should we throw a starfighter in the cargo bay, so you have it to study at home?" He asked Jake, his tone mostly teasing but partly serious.

"If you can get away with it," Jake all but lit up with a grin. "And at least two Omegas have them, and Blackie had a partial system, but nothing like what you've got here."

"Now you've done it," Chance laughed easily and shook his head. "He'll be no good for conversation or playing for days now."

"But just think of what you'll have when he's done." Javrin smirked at Chance. "That flyer there is nothing compared to a military spec starfighter." He chuckled. "And I think I can swing it." He said, fairly confident that the Council would back the request. If for no other reason than to avoid having it vanish anyway.

"Yeah, yeah, but you have no idea what it's like living with him like this." He made a general motion towards his partner, who was clearly absorbed in other things than their conversation.

"He forgets to come out of the lab, and you have to go check on him every so often and make sure he does things like eat?" Javrin asked with a knowing grin.

"Eat, sleep ... remember that there is life outside his shop," the tabby rolled his eyes. "He's impossible to distract."

"Abi says that about me when I get my nose buried in a translation." Javrin chuckled.

"Bastet save me," Chance groaned, though it was in good humor. "I have two of you now?"

"If you want to." Javrin winked, teasing playfully. "I don't think Jake'll object."

The tabby blinked a couple times as his brain made sure he'd actually heard what he thought he'd heard. "You're into that?" He asked a bit uncertainly with a glance at Jake as if he could discern where this had come from from his distracted partner.

"Not with just anyone." Javrin clarified, wishing Jake was paying attention. "And you're far from being just anyone." He smiled.

Chance regarded them both for a while, then focused a bit more on Javrin. "Jake's idea, or yours?" He asked, really just curious.

"Jake asked me to think about it, but it wasn't a new idea." Javrin smiled. "You're too attractive for me to not at least have that fantasy once in a while."

"A fantasy is quite a bit different than reality a lot of the time," he cautioned gently, remembering Jake's assessment of Javrin's sexual experience and the likely extent of how far Jake would have taken it in a few months. "But you'd be welcome to play with us."

"I know it is." Javrin nodded. "But I trust Jake's judgment. He wouldn't ask if he didn't think I could handle it." He said simply, but the level of trust it implied went much deeper. "And thank you , I'm sure it'll make Jake happy." He added, and it was clear that making Jake happy was very important to him.

"No, no he wouldn't," Chance nodded as he considered his partner. "Think we should get his attention back to the real world?"

"Any suggestions on how?" Javrin asked curiously. "You've got more experience than I do."

"Well, how pissy are they about fooling around out here?" He grinned devilishly.

"We're far enough inland to avoid being scene." Javrin chuckled. "Well, you know what water does to him." He grinned impishly.

"Oh yeah," Chance's grin turned absolutely wicked as he got halfway up. "I take him in, you get ready to kiss the squawking away?"

"I can do that." Javrin grinned playfully, as he stood up gracefully and made his way to the water's edge.

Chance waited until he was close, then went for a rushing roll that tumbled him, and the kat in his arms, right into the pond. Jake's squawk of outraged surprise and confusion came out over the splashing, then the gurgle as he got a mouthful of water.

Javrin waited until Jake had surfaced to claim a playful, yet passionate kiss. He'd never have pulled something like this on his own, but it sure seemed like a fun idea when Chance suggested it. He felt the startled tension in Jake's body, the conflicting desires of returning the kiss and demanding what was going on.

Then Chance surfaced behind Jake to nibble on his neck and everything become crystal clear. Without any more hesitation Jake pulled Javrin against him and returned the ravaging kiss and wondering hands.

"Told you I'd think about it." Javrin whispered playfully, as his hands caressed Jake's body through his clothes.

"Yes, you did." Jake shuddered at the gentle, teasing touch of his boyfriend and the much bolder and no less loving touch of his partner. "And you two know you've got me." He moaned as Chance kissed his neck, his words only half finished but easy to discern.

"Yes," the tabby murmured and rubbed his full jeans against Jake's rump. "I was thinking of a reverse Jake sandwich while we do."

"I'm game." Javrin grinned, glad that he'd surfed the 'net for pictures and stories. He always preferred to have some idea what was going on, especially when he was a complete novice at something.

"Ohh, the tabby is getting experimental on me," Jake grinned and shamelessly rubbed back as his shirt was quickly removed despite the way it wanted to stick to his body.

"And this waterfall just happened to be nearby to get things moving." Javrin smirked, as he playfully undid Jake's pants and lightly fondled the already hard tom while Chance's hands moved over Jake's chest, teasing his nipples and indulging all the touch-hunger they both had built up despite having other partners. The blue-grey tom then claim another passionate kiss as one hand gently fondled Jake's already hard cock.

It didn't take long before Jake had gotten him undressed. Chance had tossed his clothes to the shore at some point before the tabby claimed a surprisingly gentle kiss from Javrin and closed a hand around the grey tom's cock to pump it a few times while Jake worked on Javrin's balls.

"Mmm, or maybe something simpler." Chance grinned and urged Javrin into shallow enough water that he could sit without drowning the tabby who nuzzled his groin.

"Ohh, that works," Javrin moaned and leaned back into the shallow water as his cock was taken all the way down Chance's throat.

"It means you can watch me." Jake rumbled hotly as he slid a hand under the tabby's tail to check if he was ready and murred at the low moan his fingers received. He didn't waste any more time and pressed into his partner's body with a heated growl of pleasure, his eyes locked on Javrin's pleasure as the rhythm built with their pleasure.

Javrin shuddered first, his body pushed to its limit quickly by the skill and desire of both his partners. He felt Chance's arms come up to support him as he came hard, his seed shooting down the tabby's throat.

He was still panting when he felt a shockwave of pleasure from Chance and opened his eyes to see Jake's open-mouthed pleasure and feel the moaning against his groin as Jake stroked Chance's cock to come in unison. Chance's grip on him slowly loosened as his breath shortened and Jake's thrusts became more erratic.

Then it exploded with Chance's roar as his body clamed down around his partner's to draw the last moment of control from Jake. The water under them turned a creamy white as each kat surrendered to the moment.

Slowly they separated and moved up to collapse in the shallow, lapping water next to Javrin.

"That was fun," Chance grinned at the pair.

"Sometimes reality is better than the fantasy." Javrin grinned, still feeling a little loopy. "This certainly was."

"Good," Chance smiled a little more warmly as he made the effort to begin to let Javrin into his heart and the small circle of people he truly cared about. "Maybe you'd stay in our room tonight?" He offered with a gentle kiss even as Jake nuzzled along Javrin's shoulder to steal one for himself from each tom.

"I'd love to." Javrin replied with a smile, and a gentle kiss in return.

"Then why don't you entertain him," Chance grinned and gave him a gentle push against Jake, "while I dry off."

"He wants a real bed." Jake snickered and claimed a heated kiss.

"Damn straight," the tabby laughed and got up. "Water turns him on, but I like a nice soft bed."

"So you think we can drag him out of that workshop long enough to get him on the ship without having him take it apart again?" Chance smirked at the shorter tom next to him as they walked through the halls that had become familiar over too many weeks of having his head put back together.

"Well, we could literally drag him." Javrin snickered to the burly tabby. "Between the two of us we've got enough leverage."

"Oh, yeah," he laughed easily. "But that assumes none of his new toys object to him being dragged off."

"That's what Master Kastoris is for." Javrin chuckled. "He talks to stuff the same way Jake does. Might not be as strong on the inventing end, but he's very good at commanding stuff."

"Ohh, any chance we can katnap him to get Jake out of the shop on a regular basis?" The tabby grinned eagerly.

"I think the Council will object if we try to walk off with a Council member." Javrin chuckled. "Still it'd be fun to watch the fireworks the first time he caught one of Feral's anti-SWAT Kats rants on TV." The blue-grey tom snickered.

"Oh?" He grinned, a rush of fire spiking his heart rate at the idea of the Commander getting seriously hurt.

"Oh, just longest lecture on the stupidity of his way of doing things that Feral's ever had." Javrin chuckled. "From someone he couldn't ignore or order out of his office. Feral'd be lucky if he didn't find himself resigning at the end of the day." The lean tom smirked. "Feral's no match for a Jedi Master, not even on his best day."

"I doubt he's a match for you." Hew smirked, though he meant the words.

"If I was trying to kill him probably not." Javrin murmured as he blushed brightly at the compliment for a little while, before he got enough control to force the blush to retreat.

"You're almost as cute as Jake when you blush too," he chuckled and ghosted a finger down Javrin's neck.

"You've got a talent for making both of us blush too." Javrin grinned with a tiny shiver of excitement. Playing with Chance was still new enough that it excited him more than it should, kind of like the first few weeks with Jake. The two had such different ways of playing too, for all they were both gentle and saw to his pleasure as well as their own.

"Hay, the muscle has to be good at something to put you geniuses off balance." He smirked.

"I heard that!" Jake called out to them from where he was sitting cross-legged on the floor and literally up to his ears in a disassembled something. "Time to eat already?" He asked as he started to unwind and stand up.

"Yap," Chance grinned at him and all but hauled him out of the pile with a bear hug. "But they finally let me go today."

"Let you ..." Jake's eyes went wide as he stopped his playful struggling. "We get to go home?"

"Whenever you're ready." Javrin nodded. "Master Leona thought it would be soon, so I've been prepping the ship the last few days." He smiled.

"Now!" Jake rumbled even as he kissed Chance with all the passion he had, proud beyond words of the recovery.

"So anything in here than needs to get lugged along?" Chance rumbled, his breath quickened by the attention and intensity he saw in his arms.

"No," Jake shook his head and got his feet under him when he was set down. "You got everything packed from our quarters?"

"Yap." Chance nodded easily and kissed him back, much more lightly. "Let's get the hell out of this place."

"Then we better get moving before the universe comes up with something else." Javrin chuckled lightly, only about half joking and got a pair of matching looks that understood the statement a little too well.

"Any idea on an ETA to Aristal?" Jake asked as they dropped into the utterly barren real space between galaxies. He tried not to be too edgy about it and put even more pressure on the only slipstream pilot they had, but it wasn't easy for him to be cooped up with so little he could really do.

"Difficult to say." Javrin admitted, as he deactivated the slip-piloting console. "Time in slipstream travel is largely a factor of pilot skill and experience, as well as the amount and frequency of travel on the route. And using TFG-slipstream just complicates estimates." He shook his head. "Probably six to ten days from Coruscant to Aristal. Not bad for crossing half the universe."

"No, it's not." Jake admitted, reluctant about being hyped up that long about being so near and so far. "Right now, you look like you could stand a break and some TLC." He said softly and knelt next to the chair to nuzzle him.

"How about giving me a shot now." Chance grinned at them from where he was leaning against the bulkhead. "You know I can do it."

"I wouldn't be surprised." Javrin grinned as he got out of the pilot's station and had it clamed by an eager tabby while Jake settled into the background to be out of the way. "The theory is fairly simple; the pilot simply chooses from diverging pathways as they occur. According to most theorists choosing the pathway usually means it's the right one, as long as you're not overthinking the decision. The only reliable way to pilot the slipstream is to trust your instincts, and don't let the speed and number of pathways intimidate you."

"Nothing intimidates me," Chance grinned at him and relaxed completely into the pilot's chain.

"That much is true." Jake chuckled and watched in fascination as Javrin showed him the simple controls and they dropped into the slipstream again under his pilot's guidance. He couldn't help but smile at how this both relaxed and energized his partner.

Javrin had to admit that the tabby did seem to have the gift for piloting the slipstream, though confidence in one's abilities was half the battle in successful slipstream piloting. "Your destination is Dragus Proxima in Reticulum Galaxy." He explained, standing to one side of the pilot's station. "It helps to have an idea where you're going before entering the stream."

"I'm going home." Chance told him evenly and simply. "I know where it is." He added, not even questioning that it was impossible for him to know.

"Come on, Javrin." Jake smiled warmly and slid his arm around the other tom. "Let's get you a meal and rest. We're in good hands."

"There's a very good reason for the indirect route." Javrin said quietly once they had left the bridge. "A direct course would pass through a galactic core, and that's just a bad idea."

"Trust Chance," Jake kissed his cheek. "No one is better at what he does, and that's getting his ship through things in one piece."

"Sorry, I've just heard the story of Suliman's Glory one time too many." Javrin shook his head. "A ship that tried to slipstream through the heart of the Draconis Galaxy, and got caught by a black hole. When they finally pulled free of the event horizon, a thousand years had passed."

"Javrin," Jake stopped and stepped ahead to face him and tipped his face up. "I understand. But either trust Chance with a shift, or go take him out of the cockpit. Don't worry. It doesn't help."

"No it doesn't." Javrin admitted. "It just disturbed me when he brushed off the navigation instruction I tried to give him. And if I didn't trust him, I wouldn't have left the bridge." he pointed out as he kissed Jake on the cheek. "But as the person with the most space experience, I feel somewhat responsible for getting us home safely."

"He didn't brush you off," Jake smiled at him gently. "That's just Chance in the pilot's seat. He heard you, and he paid attention. He's just got this macho-kat thing going on the outside."

"Ah, yes the macho-kat thing." Javrin chuckled and shook his head. "I do tend to misinterpret that one, always have actually." He admitted sheepishly as Jake drew him close into a gentle hug.

"Now lets get you fed and rested, and maybe a little wound down," he winked, "so you can take a shift after him."

"You think he'll willing give up the pilot's station?" Javrin grinned playfully. "Though actually he probably will. First time slip-piloting is always exhausting, no matter how talented you are."

"And I can offer him an alternative he won't want to turn down." Jake chuckled and guided Javrin to the galley.

"Satellite count correct," Jake softly counted off his personal checklist as they approached Aristal's blue and brown orb. He was paying nearly as much attention to trying to keep control of the near-panic level terror that gripped him as the readouts. "Katsat-3 made it into operation." He added with a slight smile. "Transmission level is good. Encoding unchanged. We've been gone for a hundred and thirty two days, just shy of three months."

"Switching to stealth mode." Javrin said from the command station. "Stealth fully operational, visual cloak engaged. We are now completely invisible to detection. Where do we want to land?"

"Well, we still have a city in the right place," Jake said with a real breath of relief. "And it looks right too, minus MegaKat Towers, again." He chuckled nervously. "Head for the Yard. If it's still intact, it's our base of operations."

"You want to take her in, Chance?" Javrin offered.

"You know I do." The tabby grinned broadly and efficiently swapped places with Javrin.

"Enforcer bands sound normal." Jake added as they swept over the city. "And the Yard is as we left it. Logging into the security system now." He commented, his heart pounding in his throat as everything that could have happened in the three months they'd been gone ran through his head.

"Setting her down out back," Chance reported to Jake without really thinking about it as they began to synch up as they usually did when co-piloting.

"System intact," Jake's voice began to tremble in relief, his body not far behind in surrendering to the release of tension and fear that had build up over far too long. "Hanger is unbreached." He added as information came in far too slowly. "We're as safe as it can be to check on foot."

Javrin sank into the soothing calm of pre-battle meditation as he unclipped his lightsaber without igniting it as the ship settled in the dusty ground. He could feel relief at being home in both of them, and the cautious paranoia that was very well warranted with their lives.

"Let's go," Jake took charge without thinking. They picked up a Glovatrix each and surveyed the familiar terrain of the home, searching for anything out of place before they moved forward to enter the building and begin a formal search.

Javrin nodded quietly and followed the two of them out of the ship. He could feel Jake reach out, touching the base he'd done so much conversion and work in with a conscious intent he hadn't known was possible when he'd last seen the place.

He saw in Chance the knowledge, a moment before he caught it, that the area was clear according to Jake. He knew without asking that there would still be an inch-by-inch inspection of the Yard, home and Hanger and followed them through their home to learn it as they assured themselves it was still theirs.

Go to Part 1         Part 2        

War Between Worlds part 2 of 2

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

195 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written November 22, 2004 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Todd McCall

Setting: Star Wars (Furry), SWAT Kats

Primary Races: Feline, Kat

Contents: Furry. Slash (M/M).

Pairings: Jake/Chance, Jake/male

Blurb: All healing must begin somewhere. Sometimes it is by being hurt. Sometimes it is by following your instincts and opening yourself up to it. For Javrin, stranded on a world far from home and alone, it is by facing the demons he holds inside.

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.

Page Hit Count from February 25, 2005    1501