Ni-hao! This is the very oddly titled, “It Doesn’t Hurt To Ask. . .”, part of the Arcana Saga.
You’ll see why it’s titled this way.
Callie senses a familiarity in an unusual place. Jake rummages in old mementos…and memories. Katra goes on the move again.
A special thank you to Kristen Sharpe for being a helpful ear and person in general.
As always, send any comments, questions, or anything else to AkaneKitty@aol.com. Or, drop me a line in my review section on Fanfiction.net.
The clashing of two foils, a fencer’s weapon, one handled more expertly than the other. Easy point.
Again, the same scenario. A twist of the wrist, and the other kat’s foil goes flying.
Feral takes his mask off, glad that he thought of tying his hair back. Slightly bending his foil, he takes a quick look around. The newly built MegaKat City Civic Center had just opened. Anyone could come to learn or practice a skill. Feral’s was fencing. Seeing that he exhausted this current group of fencers, Feral takes a seat.
“Not bad. Not bad at all, bro.”
Feral looks up to see Clawson walking towards him, his foil in one paw, and mask in the other.
“Hello, oniisama.” Feral says to the kat, wiping a few bead of sweat of his face.
“That many kats in a row, very impressive.” Clawson places his mask over his face. “But do you have what it takes to beat me?”
“Of course.” Feral stands up, placing his own mask over his face. “It’s kitten play.”
Clawson laughs and points his foil towards Feral. “I beg to differ.”
” *Jakey-chan, I really miss you. . .*”
” * I was hoping you’d stop by. . .*”
Jake finally stirs, after a renegade sunbeam finds its way into his room. He wanted to turn over, but a prevalent thought keeps him awake.
“Phoebe. . .Gomen.”
Jake rolls onto his back, staring blankly at the ceiling. “I’m not being fair to anyone. Not to Phoebe. . .or to Chance.”
Finally climbing out of bed, Jake sets about the menial task of making his bed up. He tunes his ears to the light snoring coming through the walls. Chance was out like a light.
Certain it was safe, Jake starts to rummage in the back of his closet.
“It’s gotta be around here somewhere. . .” Jake grunts, reaching further into the closet.
Finally, his paw brushes up against something wooden. Jake manages to get a better grip on it and drags it out.
It was a small wooden box, slightly worn from the years. Jake picks the box up and sits back on his bed.
Jake runs his paw over the it, flipping the little latch open. He grabs the top, slowly opening the lid.
It would seem that this box would be too much for some little things, but it was all Jake had of his past.
First, a small, white ring. Imprinted on its surface was the Clawson family symbol: a dragon, facing the west, with an azure orb in its claws. Jake fishes the ring out and holds it to the light.
“My family ring. I haven’t worn it in ages. . .” Jake muses, rubbing it between his claws. “And, I used to wear it so proudly. . .”
Jake continues to fish through the box, slipping the ring over his claw in the process. Finally, he retrieves a piece of prism glass.
“I hate destroying a precious gift,” Jake murmurs, holding the glass fondly, “But, sometimes, sacrifices have to be made.. . .”
“Let’s see. . .We’ve seen the racket ball courts, various other activities. . .” Callie trails off, chewing the end of a pencil. “What else is there to see?
Callie and Anshi were walking through the new MegaKat City Civic Center, the only thing to get built that was good for the city. It seemed that every
square inch of the place was being used. To Callie, it was a personal achievement.
“How about visiting the fencing arena, Briggs-sama?” Anshi, who was walking a few steps behind Callie, speaks up. “I hear there are some great matches going on.”
“Really?” Callie glances over her shoulder to look at the petite she-kat. “I suppose we could stop by.”
Anshi walks ahead, turning to go into the Sports section of the Center. They continue for a spell, Anshi hardly making a sound as she walks.
“Have you spoken to your brother recently?”
Callie pauses, trying to find the right words to say. “Is he upset?”
Anshi shrugs her slender shoulders. “It is hard to read oniisama’s feelings. He doesn’t show them well.”
“So I see.”
“Shall I ask him?”
“No! I mean. . .umm. . .it isn’t necessary.”
Anshi nods. “Very well, Briggs-sama.”
The two she-kats continue, finally coming to the fencing arena.
“The observation deck is upstairs.” Anshi says, turning to walk up some stairs.
The observation deck was situated right above the arena, so that observers could watch and not interfere with the matches.
Once reaching the deck, Callie notices a group of giggling she-kats near the railing. Curious, she walks over to the group, Anshi in tow.
“That kat, the one with the ponytail,” One of them was saying, “Has been defeating opponents left and right!”
“This is going to be his twentieth point so far!” Another one adds.
Intrigued, Callie looks over the railing down toward the fencers. It was easy to pick out the one with the ponytail, as he was the biggest kat there. His
mask was down on his face, and he held his foil upright.
Callie watches as the kat deftly avoids a move by another fencer. Finally, he effortlessly touches his foil to the other kat’s chest.
This time, the bigger kat parries the foil of another challenger and again touches the foil to the kat’s chest.
Strangely, Callie felt her face grow warm. “Why does this seem so familiar? Is this one of the qualities of the Knight?”
Callie forces her eyes away from the kat and towards the voice that called her name. “Annie?”
“I’ve finally caught up with you!” Ann gasps, a notepad and pen in her paw. “I’ve been chasing you all over the Center.”
“You could have called, you know.” Callie says, looking around for the reporter’s camera kat. “Where’s Johnny?”
“He’s off today.” Ann regains her composure. “But, I doubt you’d want him here.”
Callie looks at her. “What do you mean?”
“I’ve heard through the grapevine that you had a date with the Commander.” Ann says deliberately, looking into Callie’s eyes.
“Word gets around.” Callie says after a while.
“Should the public expect more?” Ann presses.
“Off the record, it wasn’t a date.” Callie turn to look at the fencers again. “It was dinner.”
“With the Commander.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing. I just never saw you two together in that way.” Ann scribbles on her pad.
“Why is that?” Callie asks, her eyes still on the fencers. “It would be accepted back home.”
“So, you two could be. . .”
Ann is interrupted when a foil goes flying and lands at the reporter’s feet.
“Come on, Clawson!” The kat with the ponytail was saying, “You can do better than that.”
“Huh?” Callie and Ann both look over the railing.
“That *is* my best.” The smaller kat, whose foil went flying, takes off his mask. “You’ve improved, bro.”
“Have I?” The kat with the ponytail takes of his mask.
“Feral?” Callie gasps.
“That’s him?” Ann ask, surprised. “No wonder. . .”
“Did someone call my name?” Feral glances up. “Oh. . .Ms. Briggs.”
“Very impressive, Ulysses.” Callie calls down to him. “Can you spare a moment?”
“Sure.” Feral tosses his mask to Clawson. “Be right up.”
“Huh?” Chance appears in the kitchen doorway, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes with his paws. “What time is it?”
Jake looks up from the kitchen table, which was covered with different parts, towards the clock. “11:00 o’clock.”
“It’s that early?” Chance plops down in a seat next to Jake.
“You’re lucky it’s our day off.” Jake says, return his attention back to his project.
“What are you working on?” Chance asks, looking at the table.
“That light gun Jem was talking about.” Jake replies, screwing in a screw. “Too bad I couldn’t get a better look at it.”
“Do you think it’ll work?
“Has to, or we’re back to were we started.” Jake aims the gun. “So, what’s up?”
“You up for a spin around the city?”
“Sure. But it’s going to be boring.”
“Why do you say that?” Chance asks.
“Because the only threat out there is Lokii.” Jake shrugs. “And the rest are in hibernation.”
“Yeah, yeah. But, can you think of something better to do on your day off?”
“No. . .”
“Then let’s go!” Chance gets up from his chair, grabbing Jake in the process.
************************ MegaKat City Docks. An old, worn down warehouse.
“What a time to run out of Katalyst 38!” Katra slams the empty canister down onto the ground. Growling, the kingpin wanders over to her own personal cabinet.
“The Katalyst is too volatile for my subordinates to do. . .” Katra mutters, filling a duffle bag with her favorite tools. “Time for a daylight heist. . .”
“I’m supposed to be mad?”
“Hmmm. I’m not sure. Would it be to my benefit if I was?”
Calico and Feral were in a small room, one that the fencer prepared in. Feral sits in a chair, his paw still holding his foil.
“And what do you mean by that?” Callie crosses her arms.
“Nothing,” Feral shrugs, “But, it doesn’t hurt to ask.”
“So, what would you have done if I was mad?” Feral looks at her.
“I don’t know. What would you like?”
Feral narrows his eyes. “A hug would be nice.”
Callie blinks. “Nani?”
Feral chuckles a bit. “Like I said, it doesn’t hurt to ask.”
Callie says nothing for a moment. Composing herself, she crosses the room and stands behind Feral chair.
“Be careful what you ask for, Ulysses.”
Callie hugs the kat around his neck.. “Why are you surprised? You asked, didn’t you?”
“. . .”
“What’s wrong now?”
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” Feral finally says, trying his hardest not to purr.
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