Author’s Note: Hey guys! Here’s chapter 13 as promised. I hope you guys like this chapter. It was kind of difficult to write due to the confrontations that take place here, so let me know if there is any area I can work on to make it better… I’m always open for corrections/opinions. Till Chapter 14 (which is the last chapter of this fic! (Yes! I am excited:D )
Razor was fading quickly, and the piece of cloth Callie had tied across his wound was now soaked with blood. Callie gently coaxed him to sit back down and to rest against the stone table’s base.
“You need medical attention now,” she stated, trying to keep her increasing fear for his life out of her voice as much as possible.
Razor shook his head. “I’ll be fine,” he murmured, his eyes growing heavy from blood loss and weariness.
She caressed his cheek with a shaking paw. “I’ll be right back, okay? I’m just going to go let T-Bone in. I want you to try to stay awake, okay?” she choked as she felt tears stinging in her eyes.
Razor smiled faintly as he looked at her through half closed eyes. “Don’t cry,” he whispered as he managed to wipe away a shed tear from her cheek with one of his paws. She grasped his paw in hers as the tears began to flow freely.
Despite the numbness that was beginning to take over his body, he felt a sharp pang of sadness as he watched her cry. Soon, the tears that dampened his paw were no longer felt as his eyelids grew increasingly heavy, and the pain soon melted away along with his body heat like some soothing tide of weariness and sleep that claimed him at last.
The library doors burst open with a thunderous explosion, and a thick cloud of smoke billowed forth from the other side. T-Bone ran through the smoke and into the room, his bazooka raised in ready for a fight. But, the sight of blood that covered the floor made him drop his smoking weapon unconsciously. His mouth grew dry with fear as the sound of someone sobbing came to his attention. He walked over to the other side of the stone table to where the blood stained the floor in an unnervingly large crimson puddle. The burly tom’s heart literally stopped when he saw Callie cradling his limp and barely breathing partner in her arms.
Several Days Later……
MegaKat Memorial Hospital…..
Distant, yet familiar sounds of conversation and ringing phones filled her head as she slowly came to. She shifted uncomfortably in the stiff cotton sheets that rubbed roughly against her bare skin and breathed in deeply as she prepared herself as she slowly opened her eyes. At first, everything was blurry and indistinguishable but after a few, slow, steady blinks everything came into focus. She was in a whitewashed hospital room that was illuminated by the bright, warm rays of the rising sun. Many vases of bright, fragrant flowers and roses lined the room and dominated the shelves along with a seemingly countless number of ‘Get Well’ or ‘Feel Better Soon’ cards that were pinned on the walls or perched against the vases.
As she slowly took in the sight of the room, she heard a relieved chuckle come from the other side of her bed.
“Good morning, Sunshine! I was worried you were never going to wake up.”
Callie turned her head stiffly to face a smiling Abi who was sitting in one of the bedside chairs.
Callie smiled faintly so as not to make her bruised face throb even more. “You wouldn’t happen to have any chapstick on you, would ya?” she croaked.
Abi’s smile grew wider. “I just knew you were going to say that.” She chuckled as she handed Callie a stick of chapstick with her free paw. “Now, in return of my dutiful services, you have to sign my arm cast.”
Callie smiled gently as she slowly applied the chapstick to her dry, chapped lips. Abi grabbed a small cup of water and exchanged it for the chapstick. Callie drank the water slowly and savored the feeling of her dry throat being quenched by the cool, refreshing liquid. After finishing the cup, she laid back down and tried to get comfortable.
“How’s everyone?” she asked finally.
Abi nodded. “Oh, they’re good. Felina’s recovering fast despite all the blood she lost and from those stitches she had to get. She’ll be up and around in no time.”
Callie smiled at Abi’s comment about Felina; it was good to hear that she was still herself. Her smile disappeared though as she began thinking about Jake and how he was more dead than alive when she last saw him.
Abi noticed the abrupt change in Callie’s expression and knew who she was thinking about. “You’re wondering how Razor is, huh?” she asked softly.
Callie broke her gaze with the ceiling and looked Abi directly in the eyes. “Have you heard anything about his condition?” she asked, almost breathless as she feared the worst.
Abi shook her head. “None of us have heard anything,” she sighed in regret, still shaking her head. “I don’t remember anything past the time when Pagane threw me into the wall.”
Callie looked back up at the ceiling, her expression revealing her worry. “God, I hope he’s okay.”
Chance woke up in an uncomfortable position in the chair he had fallen asleep in by Jake’s bedside. He yawned and groaned at the same time as he carefully stretched to bring his sore, strained muscles back to life.
“Good morning, my boy,” he heard a voice say from the doorway.
“Morning Professor,” Chance yawned as he slowly got to his feet.
Hackle just shook his head as slowly made his way over to Jake’s bed. “I know that it must be very uncomfortable to sleep in that chair, especially for a tom of your size.”
Chance shrugged as he pulled the chair closer to Jake’s bed and sat down in it again. “It’s not that bad, Professor,” he lied. “Besides, I want to be here when Jake wakes up.”
Hackle looked Jake over. “Well, I wouldn’t be expecting him to be waking up for another couple of days, Chance. I’ve put him in a medically induced coma so his body can start replacing all that lost blood. He needs all the sleep he can get.”
Chance’s ears drooped slightly. “But, he’s going to be okay, right?”
Hackle chuckled. “He’s quite a fighter, and that’s what makes the difference. Yes, Chance, he’s going to be himself in no time. But, for now, I suggest you go home and get some real rest yourself so your wounds can heal as well.”
Chance nodded as he rubbed the back of his neck. “Okay,” he mumbled as he looked at Jake worriedly. He let Professor Hackle lead him out of Jake’s room.
“Are you up to flying or do you need me to give you a ride home?” Hackle asked as he watched Chance slip on his flight suit.
“I’m fine, Professor,” T-Bone replied as he put his helmet on.
Hackle nodded. “Alright then, fly safe. I’ll contact you if there is any change.”
“Thank you, Professor.” T-Bone shook the Professor’s hand in gratitude. He then turned to the back door that led out to the immense back yard where the Turbokat was concealed by a huge tarp. As T-Bone was about to turn the doorknob, he looked back at Hackle. “And, I just want to apologize for just showing up on your doorstep like that that night and for just shoving our secret on you. You’ll never know how much we both appreciate your help.”
Hackle smiled. “There is no need for you apologizing, son, for we all need help sooner or later, no matter who we are. It has been a pleasure assisting you and I can assure you that your secret is safe with me. Now go on home! No more dilly dallying!”
T-Bone smiled as Hackle gently shooed him out of the house and out towards the Turbokat.
Hackle watched as the Turbokat lifted off with a mighty roar into the air and screamed off towards the city skyline until he could no longer see it against the bright rays of the morning sun. “Just because you two are special doesn’t mean that you have to be alone in this world.”
T-Bone jumped out of the Turbokat and walked up to his locker. His helmet and bandana were the first to come off, and after he had peeled off his flight suit, he realized that it was too far gone to be saved. He grumbled as he rolled his tattered and bloodied suit into a ball and threw it into the trash. He then walked up to the stairs that led up to the living room, turned off the hangar lights, and then slowly climbed up the stairs.
He was expecting a rather sunny living room once he had opened the trap door, but when he pushed the door open and let it fall softly onto the carpeted floor, the living room, along with the kitchen, garage, and hallway were dark.
Chance cautiously pulled himself onto his feet and slowly stood up as he looked around him in alarm. He didn’t remember pulling every blind and curtain in the house shut. A cold shiver ran down his spine as he came to the realization that someone was watching him close by, and as he slowly turned his head toward their armchair, he saw a pair of slitted, golden eyes burning in his direction.
“Hhhmmmm, just when we everyone was beginning to fear the worst, you finally show up,” a deep voice that was all too familiar rumbled.
“What are you talking about?” Chance growled back, his temper short.
A lamp snapped on with a resounding click that echoed throughout the room’s uneasy atmosphere. Even though he already knew who was sitting there, Chance’s heart still fluttered when he saw that it was Commander Feral sitting in one of their armchairs.
“You know what I’m talking about, Furlong.” Feral sighed wearily. “Don’t forget that I was the one who helped you get Jake from the cathedral to your jet. He was in really bad shape, and I was just wondering how he was doing since you didn’t bring him in to the hospital.”
Chance laughed mockingly as he glared at Feral. “Did you really expect me to bring him to the hospital?”
Feral shrugged. “Why not? I already know your alias, so you had nothing to loose.”
Chance shook his head in disbelief. “Nothing to lose, huh?” he spat back. “To tell you the truth, Feral, I have my whole life to lose. And, the reason behind you wanting me to bring in Jake to the hospital was because it would’ve given you the perfect opportunity to arrest us on live television.”
Feral nodded. “Yes, it would seem that it would be the perfect opportunity for me, but it really wouldn’t. You see, if the public found out that the Swat Kats were indeed the two pilots I kicked off my squadron several years ago and that you had turned an old MWW II bunker into your hangar underneath my own junkyard wouldn’t exactly be the best publicity for my career or my reputation. You see, I would lose my respect and trust from the citizens of MegaKat City if I brought you guys in because of the fondness this city has for you two”
“Don’t tell me that the reason why you haven’t brought us in is because of our popularity,” Chance growled as he folded his arms across his chest.
“I am not the monster you and Clawson have made me out to be these past couple of years. If I remember correctly, we used to tolerate each other.”
Chance’s patience snapped. “Just tell me what you want, Feral! I’m not going to let you play head games with me!” he snarled as he continued to glare at Feral.
The commander shook his head. “Your temper hasn’t changed in the least, that’s for sure. Just sit down here on the couch so we can discuss this whole situation like a pair of mature adults,” Feral shot back, his tone biting.
“I’d rather stand, thank you,” Chance growled.
Feral got to his feet and walked over to Chance, his face hard set and grim. “Alright, since I can see that you’re not in civil mood, I’ll just lay down the cold hard facts.”
“Knock yourself out.”
Feral breathed in deeply. “For starters, despite the good you and Clawson have done, you two have broken countless laws that can land your tails in Alkatraz in a heartbeat, and you two have made me look like an incompetent fool on live television, so I wouldn’t be mouthing off if you valued your freedom, Furlong.”
Chance forced himself to bite his tongue, but the glint in his emerald eyes told Feral that he was still ready to fight back.
“And, if I brought you two down, my career along with yours would be in the litterbox, so I think a compromise is in order.”
Chance looked at Feral in shock. “Are you telling me you want to strike a bargain with us?” he stated in disbelief.
“If you want to put it in those exact words…yes,” Feral mumbled.
Chance just stared at Feral as he gently shook his head. A sneer appeared on the tabby’s face as he started to laugh. “I can’t believe you think I’m that stupid.” Chance laughed in Feral’s red face. “I’d rather make a deal with Dark Kat than I would you.”
“You forget yourself, Furlong; those are smart words coming from your wanted mouth,” Feral snarled.
“Like I give a care! Arrest me now and get it over with; we both know its what you really want to do!” Chance raised his voice several decibels as he glared challengingly into Feral’s hard eyes.
Chance expected Feral to snap back at him with an equal, if not greater amount of temper, but instead Feral just stood there in front of him with his paws clenched and shaking. When the commander finally spoke, his shaking tone made Chance, deep down, regret what he had said.
“Instead of helping you get Clawson to the jet, I could of arrested you while you were weak and could’ve left Clawson there to die…… He was already on the brink of death, so why do you think I even bothered?” Feral walked up closer to Chance so that they were now face to face. “Hell, I could have even brought the media and my entire squadron here for your arrest… but I didn’t. I’ve had a hunch as to who you two could be ever since the first day you showed your faces in your spunky little outfits and, if I had followed that hunch and pursued my own self interest, I could of arrested you guys a long time ago, and I could’ve smashed your faces in the dirt in front of the whole city and I could’ve thrown your tails in Alkatraz for the rest of your nine lives without chance of parole….. but I didn’t and do you want to know why?”
The room had grown deathly silent as Feral and Chance continued to stare at each other with flaming, angry eyes.
“You’ll never know why, Furlong,” Feral hissed, “because you’re too stubborn to let go of your grudges and to see past the mistakes others have done to you. And, those grudges, Furlong, will come back and bite you in the tail someday, and nobody will be around to help you.”
Feral then turned away from a speechless Chance and walked over to the main door. Before he stepped out the door, he paused and looked back at Chance who was still rooted to the spot where he had left him. “Don’t make the mistake thinking that I am doing any of this for you or for Clawson. Even though I’m letting you two off for now, you had better watch yourselves because, if you step out of boundary, I swear to God, I’ll come down on you two with full force and there will be no place on this earth where you can hide from me.”
And then, with a harsh slamming of the door, Feral was gone and Chance was left alone to be with the mind pricking fragments of their conversation that promised to haunt him.
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