Title: A Day Late and a Million Words Short
Author: Kristen Sharpe
Date: February 25, 2002 March 10, 2002
Disclaimer: “SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.
I’d been wanting to do another first person, one SWAT Kat point of view fic for a while. But, I never planned on this one… This is just a few emotions and words I had to get out set into a fanfic. Hopefully, it will read as true to the character, and not just an upset author forcing words into his mouth.
References and takes quotes from “Mutation City,” “The PastMaster Always Rings Twice,” and “Razor’s Edge.”
There’s an old saying. A day late and a dollar short. Bad enough position to be in. But, what do you do when you’re a day late and about a million words short?
A million things you should have said. A million times you should have said them.
A million “Thank you’s” unsaid.
A million compliments unsaid.
Just once saying how much you cared… unsaid.
There’s so much I never said.
So much I needed to have said to you.
I remember teasing you those times when I realized how much you’d been worrying about me. How you’d start thinking I was dead if I didn’t radio in every five minutes. I thought a good laugh was enough to snap you out of it. To assure you I was fine. And, I half-thought you were being silly. I *am* a grown tomkat and a trained Enforcer, same as you. But, I always appreciated the sentiment. It was always nice to know you cared enough to worry about me. But, I never told you that. Did you know? I don’t know if you did or not.
I should have told you.
And, I never told you that I worried about you too. I don’t let it show as much, but I do. I never told you how scared I was when I realized you weren’t playing games with me when you almost drowned in the obstacle course pool that day.
“What’s the big idea?! Pretending to drown just so I’ll lose?!”
“I… just had a cramp.”
“A cramp, huh? But, you’re okay now, right, buddy?”
For Kat’s sake, why didn’t you tell me you couldn’t swim?!
You should have told me. But, I guess you had your reasons. And, I shouldn’t have taken my worry out on you. Not like that. Not angrily.
You knew I was sorry I had yelled when you told me the truth. But, I never said I was sorry. I thought you knew. And, I guess you did.
But, I should have told you.
Just like I should have told you the real reason why I didn’t eject from the TurboKat that one time it was *you* who passed out.
“Why didn’t you eject?”
“And, miss that look on your face?! No way!”
The look on your face? Yeah, that shocked look on your face, reflected back at me in the mirror, was a sight. I’ve been able to picture it in my head for years now. And, it’s always made me laugh when we were both safe on the ground. But, that look wasn’t why I stayed in the jet with you, buddy. I think you knew that too.
But, I should have told you.
I should have told you how much your words helped me that day I thought I’d done the unthinkable and nearly killed that elderly couple. “I still can’t believe I hurt those people…” “Hey, I feel bad too, but what’re we supposed to do? We were in pursuit of a dangerous criminal.”
“But, I’m the one who fired.”
“But, it was an accident.”
You tried to reason with me. You tried to reassure me that it was unavoidable. Tried to help me put aside my doubts. My feeling that a better weapons officer could have avoided it. You’d have taken the blame on yourself if you could have convinced me you’d done it. Or, you’d have gone and fixed it all just to make me smile if you’d had the power.
I knew that. And, I was so glad that you were there for me. Supporting me. Believing in me when I couldn’t believe in me. I think you knew how grateful I was. But, I should have told you.
I should have told you a lot of things.
I should have made sure you knew how much I appreciate a lot of things.
How much I appreciate all those times you take over the garage work so I can get the sleep I miss staying up to repair the TurboKat’s systems. Those times when we both work hard into the night until there’s nothing left to do but repairing circuitry. When you go on to bed reluctantly and leave that to me… then do twice the work the next day on precious little sleep of your own.
How much I enjoy the steak dinners you cook with that special marinade. They’re about all that saves us from overdosing on frozen food.
How much I appreciate your being my ever-handy stepladder.
How much I appreciate your always being there for me in general.
But, most of all, I should have told you, just once, that you were my best friend.
But, I can’t right now. I can just sit here by your side and pray you’ll wake up again, so I’ll have the chance to tell you everything I should have told you. The chance to say all those words I left unsaid for far too long.
–For MaMa, my grandmother.
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Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.