AUTHOR: Quick Shot.
DATE STARTED: May 19TH, 2005
DATE FINISHED: May 20TH, 2005
WARNINGS: Some violence, mostly implied.
DISCLAIMER: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron,” its characters and concepts are copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc and are used without permission.
SUMMARY: This story is the start of my ‘Too Close’ series. This is after my fanfic ‘Training Time’ that I haven’t written yet. In this fic Jake is clamed to be dead, but is he? That’s something that you’re gonna have to find out. This is my first fic that I’ve written in this style. So, it might be a bit, no wait it might be *very* bad, give a kat a chance, I’m experimenting new ways to write. Sue me. Well, a bit more about the story. This more or less is about how much Jake really means to Chance or how Chance finds out how much Jake means to him. Which is where the saying, ‘You don’t know what you’ve got, until it’s gone,’ comes into play. Please read!
The death of his best friend, partner, lil brother has not yet sunk into the tabby’s mind. Each day since that fatal day a month ago now, he would look in his friend’s room in a hope what happened was a nightmare and his younger friend was in his bed sound asleep, but every morning it was the same, the bed was empty the room was dark.
‘Who am I kiddin’? Jake’s gone and it’s because of me; it was my fault, my fault! That my partner, my best friend, *my* little brother! is dead, and I had a part in it, in his death! I wish it was me, lil bro, and not you! You didn’t deserve to die! I did! Oh, how I wish it was me, not you! How I long to be with you again bud. Every day I wonder if I can go on without you. I should have fallen back when Feral ordered me that day! If I did, then we would have been on the force and had back up. And, you wouldn’t have been shot twice! No, you would be here with me!’ A tear escaped the big tabby’s eye as he remembered the day Jake died. ‘I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since, that day, that day you died! In my arms! I would give anything to go back and save you, anything!’ Another tear escaped the tear filled eyes of Chance Furlong.
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Meanwhile, in a small hut in the mud drenched part of Mega Kat forest, Mac and his wife Molly with a prisoner hide out.
“You will do it!” Molly yelled to her husband.
“Will I? That’s the first I’ve heard of it!” Mac yelled back to Molly.
From in a muddy and cold cell, their prisoner can hear them argue. That’s all the two robots do, is argue, for the last month.
The prisoner was frustrated and sick and tired of hearing them argue nonstop, so he finally built up the energy to say something.
“Don’t you two bolt butts ever stop fighting?” he asked with a dry, weak voice.
It’d been two weeks since he had anything to eat or drink. He had two gunshot wounds, one in his right shoulder, the other in his right side. He had to bandage them up with the clothes he was wearing. He had mud in his wounds and mud and blood mixed together all over his body and clothes. He once had beautiful creamy fur, but now, that had faded into a colour close to white. He once was a powerful fighter, but now, he’s had no muscle, and not much body fat. He was skin and bone. You could see bone poking out everywhere on his body. He also had a daily beating from the two MetalliKats. They used him as their punching bag. There was not one part on the prisoner that didn’t hurt. Everything from the tip of his ears down to the tip of his claw hurt or sting. His gunshot wounds were infected. He slept on the muddy hard ground, when he slept. The pain kept him awake most nights. Two of his ribs were broken, the rest of them bruised badly, He had bruises and cuts all over his body.
Molly walked up to the cell the prisoner was in.
“If I was you, I’d shut up now!” she growled.
“Well, you’re not me, and I wish you two wire heads would shut up. How one of you haven’t killed the other is a miracle!” the prisoner said back, growling the best he could.
“That’s it – no one back mouths Molly Mange and gets away with it!” Molly opened the cell door walked up to the prisoner and grabbed him by the neck, lifting his body off the ground. The prisoner gasped and tried to get free from the grip, but he was too weak and depleted. Molly slammed the prisoner’s already wounded back up against the brick wall of the cell twice before letting go of his neck.
He dropped to the ground with a loud thud on his right side. He gasped heavily as air flowed into his lungs. With every breath he took pain shot through his lungs and ribs.
Molly was just about to dig her claw into his gunshot wound on his shoulder when Mac came running up to the cell.
“Molly, we gotta go. The Enforcers have found us!” he said.
“What about this piece of crud?” she asked, pointing to the fallen prisoner.
“He’s as good as dead. Leave him; we must go now!” Mac said as he took a glance at the prisoner then looked at Molly.
With that, both MetalliKats left before the Enforcers got there.
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Back at the salvage yard, Chance was still groping in pity and sorrow.
‘Jake, my only family, I let you down!’ Chance sobbed. He was now crying, looking at an old photo of him and Jake together. In the photo Jake had his elbow on Chance’s right shoulder, grinning with half his fangs showing. Chance had his arms folded across his chest and the same grin as Jake.
“Huh, this was taken two days before you… died; it took us three shots before we set the timer right.” Chance couldn’t help but smile at the memory.
He was in a trail of thought when the phone ran.
Chance wasn’t sure if he wanted to answer it or not.
But, after five rings, he finally answered the call.
“Hello?” he answered.
The kat on the other line was one kat that he never thought would ring him.
“Hey, Chance, it’s Felina. I’m calling to inform you that Jacob Clawson isn’t dead. He’s alive and at my uncle’s infirmary. You can come see him,” Felina announced.
Chance was speechless. He’s alive!? Wait, but how? He watched Jake die in his arms, wait! Who really cares!? He’s alive! Jake’s alive!
“Chance?” Felina asked when she didn’t get any reaction from the tabby.
“I’ll be there in ten,” Chance said then hung up the phone, grabbed the tow-truck keys and left, heading to Enforcer headquarters.
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“There’s a chance that young Jacob still might not make it. I mean, just look at him. How he survived with the MetalliKats for a month is a miracle in itself. Not to mention the two bullets he received started to rust, giving him gangrene. Plus, the fact that he is skin and bone. He’s been through more than I have through my years, and I used to be in the recent army. I’m sorry to say, Mr. Furlong, but he might not make it through this night,” an old grey furred doctor said to Chance as the tabby and the doctor stood outside Feral’s infirmary room.
“But, there’s a chance he might make it, right?” Chance asked, fighting the urge to shed tears. Jake needed him to be strong, for him.
“A slim one,” the doc replied with a sigh.
“Can I see him?” Chance asked with his head now down after the doctor’s words.
“Yes, but he’s asleep. Try not to wake him. Young Jacob needs all the rest he can get.”
Chance just nodded and walked into the room. In there, he saw just Jake in the bed, a small arm chair next to the bed and one large window the chair is placed next to as well. Jake had tubs coming out of his nose, mouth and one in his wrist. A heart monitor was the only noise in the room, beeping over every second as Jake’s heart beat. His chest moved up and down slowly.
The tabby sat down in the chair. He looked at his best friend. His face was so pale, and he could see his cheek bones clearly.
His sadness was taken over by anger, anger at the MetalliKats.
‘I swear I’ll get Mac and Molly for what they did to you, lil brother! If it’s the last thing I do, I’ll get them and make sure they don’t come back!’
Just as Chance finished his train of thought, Felina walked in, closing the door behind her.
“Hey, how are you doing?” she asked in a whisper so she didn’t disturbed Jake.
“Better than him,” Chance replied, looking at Jake. “Who found him? And where?”
“I found him in a muddy cottage in the swamp. My uncle found where the MetalliKats hideout was, and I took some Enforcers with me to check it out. We didn’t find them, only Jake covered in mud and his blood. Seeing him walk out of a cell the MetalliKats must have had him in, I’ll never forget what he looked like. When I saw him, I froze. I think the shock from seeing him alive and the way he was, skin and bone. I don’t reckon the SWAT Kats could be prepared for what me and the other Enforcers saw. He took two steps then fell, but Tabmon caught him before he hit the ground. And, we brought him back here,” Felina replied as she stood by the window facing Chance.
It was silent for two minutes until Chance and Felina heard a groaning noise.
“Jake!?” Chance said in a whisper, standing up and looking at the faded form of his buddy.
Jake’s eyes flattered open only halfway, and his amber orbs looked at his friend standing by his side then shut again.
“Buddy?” Chance whispered again.
Felina was standing behind the tabby, looking over his right shoulder.
“That must be a good sign, Chance, that he will pull through,” Felina whispered as Chance sat back down with a sigh.
“I have to go. Paperwork’s not going to file itself. Don’t worry; he’ll make it,” Felina said, then walked out, closing the door behind her.
‘Don’t worry? Huh, easy for her to say. It’s not her only family she’s got lying in that bed.’
The next morning, Chance found himself asleep on the chair beside Jake’s bed with a blanket over him.
“Wow, I must have fallen asleep,” he said to himself as he stretched and looked at Jake.
But, there was something different about him; something was missing. But what? The tub in his mouth’s gone! And, that machine, the one that monitors his heart! It’s gone as well! That must mean he’s gonna be ok!
The tabby couldn’t help but smile. ‘He does look better than he did yesterday. Only a bit, but at least he’s looking better!’
Then, there was a knock at the door.
“Mr. Furlong, I need to talk you for a minute,” the aging doctor said as he opened the door.
Chance got up and walked out. “Yes, doc, what is it?”
“Call me Orlandoo, You might have noticed that the air tub and heart monitor are gone. Well, that’s a good thing. Young Jacob will pull through this. In about five months he will be able to go home,” Dr. Orlandoo said with a hopeful smile, which made Chance feel hopeful himself.
“That’s radical, Dr. Orlandoo, but what brought this on?”
“Yesterday, young Jacob wasn’t fighting at all. It was like he didn’t want to live any more, but when you showed up yesterday, he began to fight, as if seeing you gave him a reason to live.”
Chance didn’t say anything; he was too shocked. Why would Jake want to die? Why wouldn’t he fight? Jake’s always been a fighter. Nothing’s ever made him stop fighting, so why did he stop? It doesn’t make sense!
After those thoughts, the tabby returned to his position on the chair back in the room.
He looked at Jake, then outside. It was a sunny day. From the window he could see the park and all little kittens running around playing while their parents laid back and watched their kittens play happily. It is a Sunday, the day parents get to have away from their jobs and relax and have fun with their loved ones and kittens. But, for Jake and Chance, this would be another ordinary day. They never had any days off, not even on New Years or Christmas. Those days they would be repairing a car or fighting a villain of Mega Kat city.
Chance sighed. He couldn’t believe that the MetalliKats had Jake for a whole month. What did they do to him? Well, starved him for one! Beat him! The more the striped tom thought of what they could have, and would have done, the more it angered him.
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Over the next month, Jake kept getting better. The colour of his fur was starting to get its colour back, back to its wonderful creamy colour, and his bones weren’t as visible as they used to be, and the bruises had faded, the cuts had healed, but one cut on his lower right arm had became a scar that will stay with him for life.
Chance visited Jake every day after he closed the garage.
But, Jake still hadn’t woken up since the second day he was in the infirmary.
“Hey pal, I hope you can hear me. Just keep fighting! Just three months and two days and you’re back home. I can’t wait. I miss training with you, lil’ brother. Callie came around the yard and told me she came and visited you. Crud, how I miss you. Seeing you in here isn’t the same. I miss you so much that I even miss hearing your voice. Please wake up soon so I don’t have to talk to myself in here.” Chance said something to Jake every time he went to see him in the hope he will wake up and say something back, but each day it is the same. The only reply he gets from the slim kat is his breathing.
“You’re lookin’ better today too, kiddo.”
With those words Chance walked out to see Dr. Orlandoo standing by another door. Looking at a clipboard.
“Hey, Dr. Orlandoo!” Chance called. “Can I talk to you for a minute?” he asked, running up to the old doctor.
“Yes, of course, Mr. Furlong,” he replied, turning to face the tabby.
“Call me Chance. Why hasn’t Jake woke up?” the striped tabby asked. He so badly wanted to know why his best friend hadn’t woke since he arrived there.
“Young Jacob has been through more then any Kat should go through and still be alive. I’m amazed he’s alive after the condition he was in. He’s strong for someone so small. It may be a bit longer before he wakes. Chance, it’s a miracle in itself he’s alive right now, so just have patience he will wake up when he’s ready. I’m afraid I can’t say when he will wake up. I’m sorry, I have to go.” Dr. Orlandoo then turned and left.
Chance sighed; he wanted so badly to hear his friend’s voice again, to hear him laugh, to hear him say his favourite catch phrase, ‘Bingo’. The tabby went back and sat by Jake’s side for a bit longer.
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Two days later, a few hours after Chance’s visit to Jake, he awoke.
The slim Kat’s eyes flattered open. His vision was blurry for a few seconds than become clear. He looked around. The only movement he could do was turn his head. He tried to move his left arm, but in trying all he got was a sharp pain in his arm and then through his whole body.
‘Crud, where am I? Chance… I heard him earlier; where did he go? What is this place? It looks somewhat familiar.’ The slim Kat looked over to the door. On the top of the door above the frame, was two words. ‘Enforcer infirmary!? What?.. How did I get here?… No wait, I remember now! Tabmon! Felina! And, some other Enforcers came to the hut I was prisoner in. they brought me back here! Then, Chance… I remember seeing him! He survived! I can’t believe it! I was going to not fight because, big brother, I thought you were gone! But then, I saw you standing by my side. At first, I thought I was dead! In the big litter box in the sky with you, but then I saw Felina behind you. Then, I instantly knew that I wasn’t yet gone and nor were you. So, I fought. I wanted so badly to say something to you, but I was too weak…..’
Jake didn’t get to finish his train of thought when someone walked in, an old tom wearing a white lab cot with grey fur. ‘Who’s that? The doctor?’ The old tom was looking down at a clipboard.
When the doctor looked up, he got a big shock, seeing young Jake awake.
“Mr. Clawson! You’re awake! Well, that’s a pleasant sight. I’m sure Mr. Furlong will be very happy. Can you talk?” Dr. Orlandoo said, walking up to the left side of Jake’s bed.
Jake opened his mouth and tried to talk, but nothing came out. The creamy kat then got worried.
The doctor saw the worry in the young kat’s eyes, and said with a smile. “Do not worry, young one, it will come back. I’ll go call your friend.” With those words he left.
‘Why can’t I talk?’ Jake thought worriedly.
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Half an hour later:
“Now remember, Mr. Furlong, young Jacob can’t talk at this time. Try not to make him,” the doctor said as he and the tabby stood outside of the infirmary room.
“I remember, but you seemed to forget that I want you to call me Chance, not Mr. Furlong. Can I go in now?” Chance wanted so bad just to go in and see Jake awake.
“Go ahead, Chance,” Orlandoo said with a smile then walked off.
When Chance entered the room, Jake was looking out the window, but eminently turned his head to see his buddy close the door and smile. That smile made Jake forget about his pain. It was so warm and friendly. How Jake missed that feeling. When he was around Chance, he felt he could do anything. He felt wanted.
“Hey, bud, I know you can’t talk, but I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I left you in the woods when you…” the tabby hesitated for a moment. “… You got shot ‘cause of me.” Chance looked so ashamed and sad.
Jake wanted so bad to say it wasn’t his fault and he had no other choice but to leave him. He wanted so bad to tell him that it was him that kept him alive when the MetalliKats had him. The reason he fought was so he could see his big brother again, to see if he survived. And, he did! So, Jake tried to talk, so his buddy didn’t feel so bad and stop blaming himself.
“Ch-Chance it’s not…. Your fault,” The slim kat managed to say, but his voice was dry and filled with pain.
“Jake! Don’t talk. Please save your strength. The doc says you shouldn’t try and talk, just rest,” Chance pleaded with his friend to save his energy, to not talk until he was a bit better. ‘I can’t believe he just said that. It *was* my fault; no matter what you say, bud, it is my fault. If I had just paid attention, if I didn’t let my guard down, you wouldn’t have suffered for a whole month! Or you wouldn’t be suffering right now! And then, you forced yourself to talk, just to try and make me feel better. How did I find a friend like you?’ the tabby thought as he smiled sadly at his best friend.
Jake didn’t say anything, just shot Chance a look that told him not to be so worried about him.
“I can’t help it, bud. A few days ago, I thought you were… gone, for a whole month, I thought you were…,” Chance said as he read the look Jake gave him. The word ‘dead’ just would not come out. That’s one thing he never wonted to think of, Jake dead. “I’ve never had a friend that I call my little brother, my family. I’ve never had anyone care for me more than my own parents. It hurts me to see you this way and think that I was half the reason you’re like this, suffering hurting. Bud, I will always worry about you and protect you, and nothing you say or look at me like will stop me. I’m sorry, I just can’t. You mean more than the world to me. Heck, you are the world to me, Jake,” Chance said, not holding anything back like he would normally. Nearly losing Jake made him see a new light, just how high the stakes are, and showed him just how much Jacob Cory Clawson meant to him, and he was determined to let Jake know. He was too close to losing him.
What Chance said caught Jake off guard. The slim kat was dumfounded. Chance never spoke his mind about how much anyone meant to him. Jake just wanted to say, ‘All right where’s the real Chance? And, who the claws are you?’ He just smiled at his one true friend.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Hmmm, not what I had him mind, but hey, it will do for now. This is the shortest story I’ve written so far. The doctor hmm, his full name is Barren Orlandoo. Don’t know if that’s important, but hey, I can’t think of anything else to write. In this story Chance finds out the true meaning of the old saying. ‘You don’t know what you’ve got, until it’s gone.’ Wouldn’t you say? But, as you can see, I couldn’t do it! I couldn’t kill my favorite SWAT Kat, at least not yet. (Does evil laugh).
So, to whoever reads this, what do you think? Go easy on me, please. Like I said, this is my first fic I’ve written in this style. ? Just have to say don’t hold back if you do not like this; tell me what’s wrong. I won’t get mad or upset, but, if you do like it, please tell me why and what part you liked the most or if there was a particular part you didn’t like, but liked the story, please (I’m getting sick of writing the word ‘please’) tell me so I can make my next story better, in this style. And, tell me if I should keep going with the next chapter. And, if you want me to write ‘Training time’ to see what happened to poor Clawson.
“You’ll be in My Heart”-Phil Collins.
“ST. Elmo’s Fire”-John Parr.
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