Original SWAT Kats Story

Trina

By James L. King & Sage

  • 1 Chapter
  • 5,354 Words

A ‘what if’ fic based on Kristen Sharpe’s and Sage SK’s The Light Shines in the Darkness series. What if Jake and Chance actually made it to MBI HQ and what might have happened before they were sent back to Alkatraz Island? (Oneshot – Complete)

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Author's Notes:

By: Sage SK and James L. King
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Date completed: 07-18-2002 Final Revision: 07-22-02

Summary: A ‘what if’ fic. What if Jake and Chance actually made it to MBI HQ and what might have happened before they were sent back to Alkatraz Island?

Legal: SWAT Kats and all associated personas and places are copyright to Hanna-Barbera. Katrina ‘Trina’ Korat and the MegaKat Bureau of Investigation are copyrighted to Sage SK. Further thanks to Sage SK and Kristen Sharpe for inspiration due to their fiction series, ‘A Light Shines in the Darkness’ and it’s prequel series, ‘They That Walk in Darkness’.

Authors’  Notes:

Sagey: What started off as a simple letter ended up becoming a complete “what if?” fanfic. James e-mailed me asking for Trina’s thoughts and opinions, and I think yours truly got carried away. O_o; ::ducks and covers:: The reason I suggested we both write the conversation is due to the notion of Trina’s character… which is so complex that even *I* can’t figure it out sometimes. Shame on me. Creating a complex character. But, all in all, this fanfiction really belongs to ]James basically for the idea from the start. ?

James: Mega thanks to Sagey for helping me out with Trina’s responses and revisions to everything. I came up with this after one of those nights at work where my mind was moving waaaaaay faster than my body. I sent it on to Sagey after writing, ’cause I’m a clueless guy, and needed her help. She suggested we write both the conversation and letter, so here it all is.

“C’mon, you can make, it, bud, we only got a few more steps…,” I say as Chance starts wheezing. I can see the double doors of the Bureau only a short distance away. We get up to the doors and I push them open. Chance is barely walking now, almost all his weight’s on me as we stumble in. Several agents look at us in surprise before starting to draw their sidearms.

“We surrender, please, just get him medical attention!” I shout as they take aim. Chance collapses, and I get real worried. “Hang on Chance, don’t leave me, buddy.” Several agents come up, three taking Chance off, while two more drag me to my feet, slapping cuffs on me. “Make sure he gets treated, please. Make sure he gets better,” I say as they escort me out of the lobby.

They take me off to an interrogation room. Part of one wall is a mirror, made of bulletproof glass, so there would be no chance of escape… I know that the mirror is one-way glass, and Trina, the she-Kat I hurt the most, is probably on the other side, watching me as I sit here. I sit until my arms grow numb, and my tail hurts from sitting on it so long on this chair.

‘God, give me strength. I can’t face her alone, not after what I did to her,’ I silently pray as the door opens and she walks in. I feel a peace wash over me, setting me at ease, even though I know she’s just as uncomfortable here as I am.

“H–Hello,” I manage to stammer, in a soft voice.

She doesn’t say a word for what appears to be endless seconds, her facial features forever frozen in a calm and passive expression. But, her eyes belie her look. It’s those same eyes that met mine the night she tried to stop me, to save me, from making that deal with Dark Kat.

The hurt is still there, even now as she tries to hide it.

She closes the door behind her, the dim light above merely casting shadows around her.

“How are you holding?” she finally asks. The tone in her voice is unmistakable, concern once again covered by the steel that demands she doesn’t show her emotions publicly, much less in the presence of a fugitive.

I can’t help but shrug, “Pretty well, I guess, considering all that’s happened.” I hold her gaze a few more seconds, then look down, because I can’t look at her anymore–too many memories, good and bad. Especially bad are the good memories. They make the bad ones that much worse.

‘Lord help me, I can’t do this.’ I force myself to look back up, and before she can respond, I ask, “How bad are Chance’s injuries?”

“Not too critical.” She sits in front of me. “Furklaw’s* giving us the heads up every ten minutes. Last I heard was that Chance’d managed to regain some strength.”

I nod, breathing a small sigh of relief. At least I know that Chance is alright. I couldn’t bear to lose him again, not after getting him back. I’m still worried about him; he was very weak when we got here.

Once again, the inevitable silence surrounds us both. She doesn’t appear to want to say anything… not that I blame her. What *is* there to say? I watch her quietly, her eyes no longer locked into mine. Instead, she focuses on her hands, her fingers twitching fretfully. Yet another habit I recognize from her. She’s nervous… and upset.

Upset. I’m pretty sure why, too. I’m sitting here, not in my cell. I’m reminding *her* of all the memories, good and bad. And… that’s making her nervous.

Searching for anything to say that might break the ice, I ask, “So, how are you doing? Anything new happen recently?” Anything new other than my unwanted escape, that is. I just hope I’m not opening a can of worms.

“Not really. If you count working 24/7 as new.” She smiles gently, but continues to look at her hands.

I just nod, my arms now numb as they’re locked behind me on my chair. I feel like all the blood’s rushed to my hands. But, putting that thought aside, I focus on Trina once again.

I haven’t yet written her, to ask her something that had been bugging me. So, at least I can ask in person, now that we’re in the same room. “I’ve been wondering about this for a while now. Why didn’t you ever turn us in? You knew who we were, so why did you stay silent?”

She bites her lower lip, then just closes her eyes. “There were a lot of reasons behind that, Jake. All I can say is… it was the only way to protect you and Chance from getting hurt.”

I have no idea what she means by ‘hurt’. We hurt enough people, and we hurt ourselves. How would her turning us in hurt, other than the anger of betrayal? I sort of expected her to turn us in. I did betray her, after all.

“Hurt, how? Did anyone have a death warrant on our heads? Or were there a few agents that were too trigger-happy?”

She shakes her head slowly. “Not from us. We were protecting you from Dark Kat and the crime syndicate. If… they realized we were coming after you, they’dve killed the two of you just to get to us.”

“That does make sense. Still…” I can’t help but feel that there is more to it than that, but I decide to let it go for now. Ever since reading her letter I’ve been wondering about something, so I ask, “You, uh, said, in your letter that is, that we had been framed, for a couple break-ins?”

She nods, looking up a bit towards me. “Puma Dyne and City Hall. I can’t release the records. The only thing I can tell you is the same thing I wrote… Creeplings performed the Puma Dyne break-in. Burglars attacked City Hall. Though I wouldn’t doubt Dark Kat sent them to perform that task, too…”

She pauses, her eyes narrowing ever so suddenly. And, that’s where I realize she can no longer keep quiet. I brace myself for whatever she’s about to say.

“You two knew what you were getting yourself into,” she says sternly, “yet you did it anyway. I already know the answer for *why* you did it. It’s the ‘how could you?’ part that’s been bugging me all this time.”

I wince at her words. They hurt, like being stabbed with a knife, but I’m sure it’s not even close to the pain she’s experienced because of me. While I try to collect my thoughts, she continues to stare at me with the hurt evident in her eyes.

I sigh, shake my head, and look back up at her, then say as my expression grows dark, “I was angry at Feral for what he did. The anger grew into hate. That hate burned everything kind and good outta me. I hated so much that it killed our love. That’s how.” Then I realize something as I see her expression change from anger to near shock. I never really did express my feelings towards her. Never really did tell her that I loved her.

I can feel the hate creeping back. No more. I refuse to feel that. I close my eyes and whisper, “God in heaven, remove this hate. I don’t wanna hate.” She opens her mouth to respond, but I cut her off, “I ain’t done yet. I didn’t give a darn about no one, or nothin’. I even went so far as ta kill.” I can hear the quiver in my voice.

She tries to interject that I didn’t kill anyone, but once again, I cut her off, “No, I killed. The two heroes who stopped us died at my hands. I’m sure of it, even though it’s kinda hard to prove I killed who I might have been if I had listened to my conscience… and you.”

I slump back in my chair and hang my head, wishing I were still in my cell, waiting for whatever response she may give. “Now I’m done,” I mutter.

“You can believe that all you want, Jake, because I sure don’t.”

I perk my ears at her reply, then look at her curiously. What did she mean by that?

“There was no sign of the other jet,” she continues, standing up to pace around the room as she speaks, a Hispanic** accent escaping as she stresses her words. “We saw the dog fight from a distance. We calculated where the other jet would have ended up *had* it been destroyed. We found *nothing*.” She ends her sentence with a simple arm gesture. Sighing, she rubs her loose bangs back into her hair, murmuring somewhere within the lines of, “This was a bad idea.”

I know my expression is probably mirroring the sadness I feel as I reply, “Probably, but this conversation’s been a long time in coming, and you know it. We don’t have it now, we’ll just have it next time we meet. If we meet again.”

“Yes, I do know.” She steps up behind me to remove the handcuffs. Why did she do that? What is going through her mind? “I trust you enough that you’re not gonna try and break out of here… just like I trusted you three years ago.” I watch her sit down in front of me again, my once numbed arms regaining their feeling. That’s when I abruptly catch something familiar around her neck – the necklace I gave her for her birthday.

I can hear my voice crack as I ask, “Why are you still wearing that? I thought you would’ve gotten rid of it.” I have to blink back the tears as I realize she still loves me. I hurt her that much and she still loves me? I murmur, “You haven’t moved on yet, have you?”

She looks at me, her brown eyes narrowed gently, tired, depressed. “I have my reasons.” Her eyes close at that and, after all her efforts not to show any sentiment, a single tear escapes down her cheek. “But I can’t say what they are. I already broke a Bureau rule by walking in here to talk to you.”

“We don’t need you getting in trouble for releasing me then,” I say as I pick the cuffs back up and snap the one end over my wrist. I place my arms behind me, and struggle to get the other end on my other wrist. “It wouldn’t look good for one of the Bureau’s top agents to let one of MegaKat’s most wanted criminals free of his restraints. I mean, who knows what he might do,” I mutter, just before I feel the click of the cuff on my other wrist.

I look back up at her, and see a dumbfounded expression on her face. “What, you never saw a criminal cuff himself before?” I say with a slight grin.

She manages a very short and halfhearted laugh before she rubs her eyes, yet another tear running down her cheek. “Is that what you’ll always consider yourself, Jake? A criminal? Despite all you’ve done, you actually believe that there’s no chance of reforming?”

“Yeah, I’m a criminal. Prison’s where I belong. If you want to you can always reform. I want to.” I see a smile start on her face, but it disappears as I continue, “Even if I was reformed right now, I have to go back to my cell. By the time the legal system considers me reformed I’ll be too old to do anything except lay down and die. I doubt I’ll make it to that age, especially with Dark Kat’s price on both Chance and my heads.”

She knows it’s the truth, even though it’s become hard for her to understand. She knows the justice system better than I do.

Trina looks down for a few minutes, as though thinking, then lets her eyes shift back towards me. “Then it *is* true. Dark Kat’s not gonna give it up until he has the two of you.” She rubs her arms. “We’re trying to convince Feral that you two didn’t mastermind that breakout. Jason’s*** probably still on the phone with him. And, once all this over, we’re gonna make sure you have protection 24/7.”

“If ya wanna prove we were dragged out of our cells unwillingly, the cell-block cameras will do the proving for you. As far as protection, it’d take an army to protect us. Since you don’t have an army, don’t bother. Just catch Dark Kat when he comes for us.” I smile as I say, “For the first time, I’m not afraid of what may happen to me.”

She narrows her eyes. Clearly, I’ve said the wrong choice of words.

“So you’re giving up on me. Is that what you’re saying?”

“No. I only meant that you have a good chance of capturing him if you use us for bait. I’m not afraid of what may happen if it goes wrong. Besides, after looking at the cuffs, I can…” I extend my pinky claw and insert it into the keyhole of the one cuff. I twist, and just like I expected, it comes off. “… pick the cuffs with my claw.” I hold my now freed hands in front of me. The surprised look on her face was priceless. Quickly, I place my arms back behind me and snap the cuff back over my wrist.

She leans back against her chair and sighs, then shakes her head.

“No. I refuse to use you and Chance as bait and I will *not* suggest it to the team. And, don’t you start on the whole, ‘it’s the only way’ bit because you know as well as I do that there’s more than one way to skin a kat, especially one with a hide as thick as Dark Kat’s.”

Before I can respond, I hear Feral outside the door, bellowing at the guards to be let into the room. Trina glances at the door, rolling her eyes. I snicker and remark, “Commander Personality is here for me. Better than Dark Kat, eh, lieutenant?” She looks back at me, and I put on my best imitation of Commander Feral, “‘Lt. Korat, you give me the SWAT Kats now, or I’ll make sure… you don’t get funding next year!’”

He bursts in the room just in time to hear me finish.

Trina winces, squinting her eyes before she stands up to face Feral.

“We’re in the process of interrogation, Commander,” she says gently.

“It doesn’t look like you’re interrogating him,” Feral growls.

“You caught her on an off-moment, but she’s almost done. If you’ll kindly wait outside while she finishes beating the snot outta me, then you can take me back to prison,” I say in a serious tone, but affect a smile that throws Feral off guard.

Trina places her fingers on the bridge of her nose and quietly sighs.

“Stay out of this, Clawson!” Feral bellows.

“Excuse me? You stay out of this, Commander!”

“That’s enough, Clawson.” Trina turns to eye me with a cold steel, then turns back to Feral. “If Captain Korat hasn’t already spoken to you, then I suggest you go talk to him, Commander. There’s recovered evidence that Clawson and Furlong did not mastermind that breakout from Alkatraz.”

“Your organization is threading through dangerous waters, Korat.” Feral narrows his eyes. “Where’s Furlong?”

“He’s being treated for injuries.”

“Too bad he didn’t die,” Feral mutters under his breath before saying, “He was probably shot by a guard.”

I interject. “He was dragged from his cell by a prisoner who wanted to turn us over to Dark Kat for a cash bounty, Commander. He was shot by that prisoner for trying to resist. He told me this while we made our way here. ”

“Then why aren’t you injured, hmm? Probably because you’re lying!” Feral snarls at me.

“They said they’d kill me if I didn’t come, and I knew they meant it, Commander. Besides, I knew we’d have to try escaping *then* before they could turn us over to Dark Kat.”

“I don’t believe a word of what you’re saying, Clawson,” Feral growls.

“That’s enough!”

I freeze. Trina’s tone of voice went from cool and passive to angry and threatening in a matter of seconds. Never have I seen her so upset. Never have I seen a fire building up in her eyes. Not since the night we fought anyway. However, not once has she ever lost her temper. Not in the presence of a commanding officer, especially if it was Feral. But, the situation may suddenly change all that. Mentally, I have to smirk. It must be a Furlong trait.

“We’re *not* finished here, Feral.” She speaks through clenched teeth, her accent escaping once again. “I advise you go speak to Captain Korat. Once I finish the interrogation, I’ll let you know. For now. Let. Us. Be.”

Feral says, “Very well, I’ll talk to him, but…” He leans down close to her and growls, “Don’t speak to me in that tone, or I’ll have your job, little girl.” He turns abruptly and leaves, slamming the door.

Trina turns and looks at me, the anger still written over her face. I can’t help but cringe a little at her gaze.

“I can’t believe you, Jake. You wanna get more added to your sentence? Feral’s probably ready to ask the judge for another fifty years!”

She’s shaking all over, her voice quivering. The steel is starting to melt.

“You’re right. I have screwed things up more, haven’t I?” I hang my head and mutter, “I deserve more than what I got anyway.”

She sinks into her chair finally and doesn’t say another word as she covers her face with both hands in a frustrated gesture. And, from there, I hear the sounds of soft sobbing, her slender figure quivering mildly.

I look up, and I can’t stop my own tears as I say, “I deserve more than what I got just for hurting you like I did. I can’t understand why you still love me. I never deserved you.” I can’t look at her anymore, and hang my head again. I watch my tears fall into my lap as I silently cry and pray. ‘Lord God, she loves me more than any kat I’ve ever seen. Give her someone who deserves her and can accept her love. Most of all, let her be able to love him, whoever he is.’

“Look at me, Jake Clawson.”

I pause as I feel both of her hands on either side of my face. Meekly, I look up at her, trying not to meet her eyes. My eyes meet hers anyway, and that’s all I can see.

“Nothing you do or say is gonna change what I feel about you.” She narrows her eyes gently. “I don’t regret anything. I don’t regret meeting you. I don’t regret dating you. I don’t regret letting my feelings for you remain where they are.”

I sit there for what seems to be a long time, staring at her as she stares at me from inches away. How can she still love me after what I did to her? How can she still care? My first thought is to push her away, but I can’t bear to hurt her more. Deep inside, I still love her, but I know there’d be no chance for any kind of relationship. I can’t let her waste her life away waiting for me when I’m not worth her wait.

“Why? You’re killing yourself over a nobody. If you do still love me, build a bridge and get over me.” My voice is soft, and I hear it crack several times.

“Like I said before, I have my reasons. I’m not looking into the future, Jake. Right now I’m focusing on the present.” She lets me go. “I don’t know what will happen from here.” She stands up the minute we hear the doorknob turning. “But, I still believe in miracles.”

Feral walks in with two armed Enforcers. Jason follows them in, expression impassive, although I can almost feel an undercurrent of anger. I can feel Feral’s anger and displeasure as he glares at me. He stands there for a second, then says gruffly, “Well, Clawson, the cameras *did* show that you were telling the truth about your escape. Now tell me *why* they took you.”

“Dark Kat has a price on our heads. They were going to turn us over to him for cash. We escaped them before they could,” I respond, voice soft but firm.

“I still don’t believe you,” he growls, less gruffly.

“I don’t care whether you believe it or not, Commander. It’s the truth.” He narrows his eyes, then acts surprised by what I ask next. “Now, can I go back to where I belong, a cell in Alkatraz?”

“Commander Feral, if I may.” Jason steps in between the two of us and looks up towards Feral. “I rather we kept him here for further questioning… at least until Ch… erm… Furlong’s back in health.”

“No offense, Captain, but we would be safer in prison,” I say, looking Jason in the eyes. “If Dark Kat decides to come for us…” I shake my head as my voice gets stuck. I clear my throat and swallow before saying, “Like I told the Lieutenant, you’d need an army to protect us. You don’t have one. Get us back to prison. We’d at least have a measure of safety there.”

Feral stands, hand to his chin, rubbing it thoughtfully. Finally he says in a calm, even voice, “They go back to Alkatraz. I don’t want them to escape again.” He looks at me, narrowing his eyes ever so slightly and remarks in a slight growl, “I still don’t believe what you say about Dark Kat, but it does make some sense out of some things that have happened lately.”

Jason sighs inwardly, then steps away from the two of us. “Then, I suppose I have no other choice but to put them in your custody, Feral.”

Trina looks away, trying not to gaze in my direction, arms crossed over her chest, slowly gaining back the attitude she’s supposed to show when she’s on duty.

I know she’ll start crying as soon as she’s alone. ‘God, help her. She needs it. I didn’t wanna hurt her again, but I did. Please heal her heart.’

“Very well,” Feral says before turning to the Enforcers with him. They each take an arm and escort me out of the room. Chance is wheeled out into the lobby a short time later, while I wait with the two Enforcers. Commander Feral comes out, too.

As we leave, I can’t help but think of how things might have gone differently as I glance back at the building. That other Jake, he was me, but he was good. I pray he treats his Trina well. If he doesn’t know the treasure she is, he’s as big a fool as I am.

At the very least, I’m right with my Creator and my best friend. I can never make it right with her, no matter how hard either of us tries. I just can’t forgive myself for hurting her so much.

I know I’ll have to write her back when I get back to my cell. I have a lot to tell her.

* * *

There’s an absolute numbness within me as I watch the Enforcers escort Jake and Chance away. My eyes never leave the window. Not once have I moved from my position against the sill, feeling a cold air against me as I rub my arms again, an annoying habit I haven’t been able to break.

“Trina?”

I take in a deep breath, then glance askance towards my brother, distantly feeling him lay a hand on my shoulder. He watches me, then gently forces me into a hug.

Because he knows I need it. “At ease, lieutenant,” he whispers.

From there, I basically cling to him, unable to control my tears any longer.

* * *

I come back from graveyard shift at HQ a few weeks later, my tired mind focused on one thing – sleep. For some reason, the incident that happened not to long ago somehow managed to lock itself within the darkest corner of my mind, my present thoughts begging not to let it out ever again.

I pick up my mail from the floor after entering the apartment. As usual, bills and junk mail are tossed onto the counter. Then, I catch it. A letter. But, not just from anywhere.

Its return address reads Alkatraz Island.

Dazedly, I drop everything else, the sound of my backpack, CDs, and jacket meeting the floor hardly reaching my ears. Without hesitation, I sit down beside my fallen belongings and open it. The writing is crabbed, but still legible.

From there, I start reading.

[Trina,

If I may call you that still. Thank you for your help in convincing Feral that we didn’t try to escape, that we were dragged along against our wills. I want to thank you again for writing to me in the first place. Even though, at the time, I hurt you badly, I also want to thank you for trying to stop me.]

I sigh heavily at the first paragraph, my mind already writing a letter in response.

{I did what I could, Jake… Really, I did. But, I can’t put aside the fact that it’s also my fault. I should’ve tried to see what you saw. But, I simply couldn’t. I should have tried harder to stop you. I should have tried harder.}

[I know you had a hard time facing me in headquarters, but so did I. I knew that we’d eventually meet and have that conversation, but I never realized how deep the hurt was, or how much you loved me. It hurt me to know you hurt that much but still loved me. I can never truly make it up to you.]

{Yes, Jake Clawson. Get it through that thick skull of yours now. You hurt me, but I can’t hold a grudge forever.}

My eyes sting with tears, a hand dug into my loose hair as I continue reading. The words in his letter are so… lost. So… haunted. Good kats, Jake. Just what happened to you when you made that deal? Just what was it that drove you to the brink of just sacrificing everything for vengeance?

[That’s what brings me to the difficult part. The part that is reopening, for me at least, the wounds I inflicted on myself, and on you. I better write this before I start losing my nerve.]

I frown at his words, wondering just what he means by it. Then, my eyes go wide in shock.

[Why haven’t you moved on? What reason is there in not moving out of the past and getting on with your future? There are hundreds of toms in this City who would care for you more deeply than I ever could. You had wanted to be married by now. I lost you when I lost my soul. I’ve given my heart to Jesus, but I’ve still lost you. Why do you wait, when there’s nothing to wait for?]

{There is something to wait for, Jake. I’m keeping a good grip on faith. I told you the last time. I still believe in miracles. Marriage wasn’t anything I had counted on. I didn’t even imagine marriage. All I saw was… just the two of us…}

Darn you, Jake Clawson. My tears are inevitable, soaking the writing, my hands trembling. Losing him was never anything I’d counted on. I thought it’d been definite when he and Chance ejected out of the Turbokat. Never in my life did I feel my stomach twist so many times at the sight of that jet exploding. Never in my life did I stand there, frozen, my eyes forever focused on that one spot in the sky where the jet terminated. Then, when I’d heard they were alive, I simply collapsed. Delayed shock? Maybe. Everything from there was just a blur. But, losing him as a friend, as the tomkat I trusted, as the kat that my cousin introduced me to… I never thought of it that way.

[I do want to end this letter on a positive note, so I’m just going to say, I’m doing fine. Chance is healthy again and he sends his love. Please tell my Mom how much I love and miss her. I’ll write her again, and you if you want.

God bless you, –Jake]

My trembling hands clench the letter tight, more puzzling thoughts crossing my mind. Leaning against the wall, I curl myself up into a ball.

Then, from there, I just can’t stop crying.

————————————————–

Sage’s Notes:

* – Furklaw is the MBI’s medical officer.

** – Even if I’ve never mentioned it in any of my fanfics, though I probably will in the near future, it’s been intended for Trina and her brother to have a Hispanic/Latin background.

*** – Jason is Trina’s older brother and captain of the MBI.

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