If Anything Happens to Him I’ll (part 2)
Author: Estel Baggins/Emily Carrington
Warning: slash, threats of sexual violence and cross-dressing
Author’s Note: This definitely takes place after the first “if Anything Happens to Him, I’ll…” so still slight AU. Blame the plot bunnies.
If Anything Happens to Him, I’ll… (part 2)
Chance had no idea how many times he’d worried about Jake getting hurt. It had been months since the mess with Dr. Viper and the spore pod but he still had nightmares sometimes. Most of those involved watching Jake, dressed up in helmet and flight suit as Razor, falling off the top of the mayor’s Megakat Towers project. In these dreams, Chance wasn’t right there to catch him. He missed and Jake plummeted to his death.
Now was certainly not the time to be thinking about that. If Chance didn’t watch it, he was going to lose a finger as he fiddled with the troublesome engine of a luxury sedan. Callie Briggs’s sedan.
Still, he couldn’t ignore one more thought: Jake had admitted to checking out Chance’s ass just the way Chance had been looking at him. So, what were they still doing, three years later, being buddies?
He swatted the question into the dark recesses of his mind and focused on his work.
“Not done yet?” Jake asked as he came waltzing into the garage bay. Literally waltzing, his paws up as if he was actually dancing with someone.
Chance grunted. “What are you doing?”
“Practicing for tomorrow night. All the city employees are being invited to a masked ball. Didn’t you get the email?”
Chance hadn’t; his inbox was overly full. Like his snail mail bin, he supposed. It was a damn good thing Jake kept up with the bills and the “you must repay the city” marble slab that would be hanging over their heads for the rest of their nine lives.
And how many lives does Jake have left? Chance wondered.
“Oh crud it all to hell,” he muttered.
Jake, usually perceptive and intuitive to the point of being slightly annoying, apparently missed where Chance’s thoughts had gone because he said, “You haven’t picked out a costume yet, have you?”
Chance scowled at him. “I’m not going.”
He thought he caught a flash of hurt in Jake’s eyes before his partner laughed. “you have no choice. I’ve already picked out what you’re wearing, including a great mask, and you can’t say no.”
“Read my lips: I’m not going.” He wasn’t sure why but suddenly attending a ball where he might watch Jake dance with other kats… Oh, crud. That was why.
Jake wanted to scream. Not because there was anything unusual about Chance avoiding a huge group function but because he could see his brilliant plans going up in smoke. Less than six weeks ago, he and Chance had almost been killed by a coordinated effort between Dark Kat, Mack and Molly mange, and Dr. Viper. That misadventure had taken out the TurboKat. It had been hard rebuilding from scratch. But what had been harder was watching Chance, dressed up as T-Bone, looking at him while enemy fire flew over their heads and seeing the worry in his eyes. Worry not for himself but worry for Jake.
It was time to end all the uncertainty between them. But Jake had a plan for that and it involved Chance going to the masked ball. So, he stopped waltzing and approached the side of the car where his partner worked. “Do you want a hand?” he asked humbly.
That earned him another scowl but this one melted when Chance saw he really meant it. “Sure.”
They worked in silence for a little while, Jake privately cursing Callie’s poor judgment in cars. Then again, this was a gift from Mayor Manx so she’d had little choice but to accept.
“What’s making you look like that?” Chance asked querulously.
“Like what?” Jake asked before he could stop himself.
“Like someone ran over your pet.”
Oh, crud. So, Jake hadn’t managed to keep everything in his own head. “Just…I really wanted you to come to the dance.” He realized how vulnerable he sounded and tried to push past it. Months of therapy after he was attacked while on the Enforcers had taught him two things. First, that it was okay to be vulnerable but, second, he could choose when to let his feelings show.
And why was he hiding how he felt from Chance anyway?
“Because,” he muttered. He could have swallowed his tongue. That single word had come out sounding undefended. He shut up and waited to see what Chance would do or say. Probably he would blow it off and they could act like it had never happened. Or maybe the warning buzzer would sound and they’d be called for some emergency.
Nothing for a few seconds and Callie didn’t call in.
Then, just when Jake thought he’d explode from the tension playing out in his head, Chance said, “I’ll go. But I’ll hate it. You’d better not dress me up in anything silly.”
“Nothing you won’t feel proud wearing,” Jake promised.
Chance took a quick look around, probably to make sure they weren’t being overheard, and asked, “It’s not my flight suit, is it?”
Jake grinned as the awkwardness passed behind them. “Nope. But just as sexy.” He blushed. He hadn’t meant for that to come out of his mouth. But, hell, Chance knew he was gay. What more damage could be done?
And that was when the emergency button began to flash and the klaxon began to sound.
“Crud!” T-Bone watched as the two new bad guys in town split up and took different streets.
“You take the little one,” Razor said. “He looks faster. I’ll get the slow guy.”
T-Bone didn’t like that idea but there really wasn’t any time for debate. If they didn’t move, the two bank robbers would get away. “Radio if you run into trouble,” he said before Razor could deploy the small scooter that would take him down to the ground and let him keep chasing their quarry.
“Affirmative.” And Razor was gone.
T-Bone swung the TurboKat to the left and tried to spot the “little guy.” The two wore masks; they moved like a well-oiled machine. He didn’t like that he knew nothing about them. They were low tech but that was all he had to go on.
And, crud again, he couldn’t find the little mite. Where had he gone? T-Bone turned on the heat seekers and searched for someone running. Finally, he found the crazy kat, three streets over from where he’d expected. “Little guy really moves.”
He wasn’t going to be able to get at the robber from up here. He decided to land on a roof and use the portable heat-seeker Razor had invented. He’d follow the desperado as long as he kept running.
His hope was that the creep would meet up with his buddy again. Then Razor would be where T-Bone could keep an eye out for him.
He landed and started down the fire escape. His quarry was still running, heading actually toward the building where T-Bone had landed. That was a stroke of luck.
It wasn’t that Razor couldn’t take care of himself. He was accomplished as a fighter, a marksman, and even, in a pinch, as a pilot. It was just that Razor put himself in all sorts of dangerous circumstances. Like wanting to chase the bigger of the two bank robbers. What did he think? That the tom kat, assuming it was a tom, would just surrender? No, Razor wasn’t that foolish. But he’d never seen his opponent’s size as something he needed to worry about. From Dr. Viper to Volcanus, he believed he was invincible. T-Bone knew better. Maybe Razor’s heart was the most tender part of him. The deception Dark Kat had created, where Razor thought he’d injured innocents, showed that was true. But Razor was also a slight kat. He could be overpowered.
All right, T-Bone thought as his feet hit the ground and he made his way quickly and quietly down the alley toward the avenue where his quarry would soon appear, that’s not fair. I can be taken too.
But Razor was… Oh, crud, just admit it. Razor was precious to him. He didn’t want anything to ever happen to this kat that he’d never even kissed.
He crouched in the shadows and waited. The smaller of the two bank robbers drew closer and closer.
And then, he veered, cutting into a building.
Nothing about this was going to be easy, was it? T-Bone got moving again.
Razor had stalked his prey to the site of an old library that was scheduled for demolition. He didn’t know what the larger kat was going to do here, probably try to hide. He slipped off the Cyclotron and crept warily into the cavernous space, maybe using the same broken window his prey had used.
It was dim inside but Razor refused to use a light. His eyes would adjust in a few moments. And a light would only alert the kat he was chasing.
He smelled something odorous. Disgusting. He gagged as quietly as possible. Had something died in here?
Something scraped the floor off to his right. He backed away carefully, straining to see.
That was when his radio crackled to life. Luckily, it was in his helmet so it wouldn’t alert anyone. Razor, come in.”
He didn’t dare speak. Not until he knew how hot the trail was. He typed a quick message on his gauntlet “Stalking. Radio when I can.”
His eyes had adjusted. He moved silently through the huge space, seeking. Seeking.
“Razor, come in. The little guy’s off my radar. Do you copy?”
The room he’d just entered was deserted. Razor risked a quick verbal response. “Affirmative. Mine is att the old MegaKat Library, OakHaven branch. Rendezvous—”
Something scratched the floor behind him. Razor spun. But not quickly enough. Something connected with the side of his head. It bounced off his helmet. But then a huge figure pounced on him.
“Oof!” His back hit the floor.
“Razor! Come in!”
Massive paws closed around Razor’s throat . They tightened until Razor couldn’t speak. He could only rattle.
He passed out.
“Razor! Come in!”
Nothing. No reply. Then: a grunt. That was not Razor’s voice. It was too deep.
T-Bone whispered, “If anything happens to him, I’ll…” He wasn’t close enough to the TurboKat to use its speed. He was nearer the library. He kicked his run into a sprint.
When Razor regained consciousness, he was aware of two things right away. First, his head ached as if he’d been out drinking all night. Second, he couldn’t move. His arms were pinioned behind him and there was a knee on his tail, holding him effectively in place. He squinted aginst the pain in his head and tried to see. Finally, out of the gloom, a figure swam. It was the shorter of the two bank robbers, identifiable by the orange mask he wore as well as his height. If he was here, where was T-Bone? Had this sneaky little jerk shaken his tail?
“Hi there, Jake.”
Razor’s gut froze. He knew that voice. “Murray?”
The kat backhanded him. “Good ears, but that won’t save you. Soon, everyone will know Jake Clawson and Chance Furlong are the famous Swat Kats.”
Did that mean they’d captured Chance too?
“You’re a pretty piece of work,” Murray said. “Right, Burke?”
“yeah,” the other kat grunted. ‘Pretty.”
Murray chuckled. “You’re lucky I got here when I did, Jakey. Burke has a thing for you.”
The words were impossible to misunderstand when a massive paw reached around Jake and touched him.
In a flash, he was back in the barracks at Enforcer Headquarters. He was being held down by three other recruits while two others used a knife to shave away the fur around his eye. One of the kats holding him had stomped on his left hand and the only thing that saved him broken fingers was that the kat wore no shoes.
One of them, the one holding his head, had been sporting an erection and Jake had feared they were going to try something worse before they were done. At the time, they’d been content with cutting him. But the excited one had promised he’d be back for Jake.
“nothing to say, Jakey? If you’d stop looking so delicate…” he licked his lips suggestively.
He wouldn’t give Murray the satisfaction. He glared and waited for a chance to fight. He hadn’t fought his attackers at Enforcer Headquarters because he’d been afraid he’d be kicked out if he was seen as a troublemaker. Now, there were no such restraints. And he knew these two. They were arrogant. They’d make a mistake eventually.
That was when the little bit of light in the room went out.
Jake reacted instantly, yanking his paws out of Burke’s slackened grip and twisting his body so he could deliver an elbow to the big kat’s stomach.
Burke doubled over and Jake was ready with another elbow, this one catching Burke under the chin. He hoped he’d gotten the lummox’s windpipe.
Off balance, Burke fell sideways, moving the knee that had been on Jake’s tail.
Someone seized Jake’s arm. Jake struck.
“Woah, woah, it’s me!” his partner cried.
Jake made a light and held it high. Not because he didn’t know his partner’s voice but because he needed to see their enemies. Murray was trussed up and unconscious, but Burke was struggling to his feet, probably preparing to run.
Jake shot him with a knockout dart and the big kat toppled.
They were home and out of their flight suits. They were safe. Chance could let his paws shake.
“They know who we are,” Jake kept saying, his voice taut with suppressed emotion. “We’re going to be surrounded by Enforcers, Feral leading them.”
Chance caught Jake’s shoulders in a gentle but firm grip. “We’ll find a place to hide everything. It’s not like there isn’t a code to get in. And nothing’s obvious from topside.”
“If I hadn’t let him get the jump on me—”
“Don’t you dare blame yourself.” Chance realized he was snarling and tried to force himself calm. “Jake, listen. What happened wasn’t your fault.” He hesitated and then added, “Not burke bringing you down and not what Murry said.”
To his surprise, Jake laughed. “yeah, I know. Rape isn’t about attraction Its’ about power.”
“Crud, how can you talk so casually about that? Has someone… Did anyone ever…”
“I’ve been threatened with it before but, no, no kat’s ever hurt me that way.” Jake laughed again but this time he covered his face with one trembling paw. “Trust me; it’s not easy being the ‘little one.’”
Chance pulled him into a hug. As he bowed his head and buried his face against Jake’s shoulder, he realized this would probably be seen as unwelcome. He started to step back. “Jake, I—”
Jake pushed his face against Chance’s chest. “Thank you. I needed that.”
“Rough day?” asked a stern voice.
They sprang apart. Chance glared at Commander Feral, who stood in the open bay doorway. “Haven’t you ever heard of knocking? Sir?”
Feral frowned at them both. “Answer my question.”
“Yeah, it’s been a rough day,” Jake snapped. “Has someone ever threatened to rape you, Commander?”
Chance’s mouth went dry. Was Jake going to confess? Explain who they were?
“Some of the customers who come through here leave a lot to be desired,” Jake went on. “If Chance hadn’t come in when he did…” He shook his head. “I’m going to start carrying a wrench everywhere I go. Just to split a few skulls.”
To Chance’s immense relief and amusement, Feral looked embarrassed. “Were they Enforcers?” he asked, trying for his original stern tone.
“No, sir.” Jake shrugged. “They’re just ordinary crud-suckers.”
Feral hesitated; his indecision was all over his face. “The Swat Kats brought in the bank robbers.”
None of this had hit the news so Chance blinked in apparent confusion. “Bank robbers?” All the while thinking, It must be killing you to give the Swat Kats any credit.
“The two were city employees.”
“Well, the city does pay next to nothing,” Jake said.
Feral scowled. “They made a claim that you two were the Swat Kats. I want to see every inch of this place.”
“Sure,” Chance said easily. “It’s kind of a mess but I’m sure you can handle a little dirt on your paws.”
They took him around the top floor of their domain; Chance noticed that Jake discreetly unplugged the emergency phone from its wall jack.
“Do you need to count all the screws we’re using?” Jake asked, offering the commander an inventory book.
Feral shook his head. “I should have known better than to listen to those two.” He looked profoundly uncomfortable for a moment. Then he said, “You two are running this place better than I expected.” He turned around and stomped out.
Chance stared at the long black cape and beautifully beaded leather mask. Jake had spent a lot of money on this. Well, if he wanted to… Chance got dressed and wen out to the garage bay to see if Jake was dressed and ready to go.
Jake was glorious in a cape of deepest purple. His mask was like Chance’s. Leather an beads. But it covered more of his face so that only his mouth was visible.
Chance’s body woke at the sight of that inviting mouth. He salivated and only hoped he wouldn’t embarrass himself. “You look good,” he said as neutrally as possible.
“Do you like your cape? Let me see you swirl it.”
Chance did, feeling a little foolish. But the grin Jake flashed him made the embarrassment disappear.
“Let’s go,” Jake said. “Do you want me to drive?”
It was an old tease, like a needle finding a groove. Chance snorted. “Never.”
Jake’s pants felt tight. He was wearing leather trousers in addition to his leather mask and swirl-worthy cape. He’d put on a pirate-style top, with the front open halfway down his chest. He caught Chance shooting glances at him instead of focusing on the road and he was quietly pleased. Tonight was going to go better, maybe, than he’d hoped.
Step one was get inside. Step two was dance with Chance until they were both half crazy with lust. Step three was find a quiet place, preferably back at the junkyard they’d made their home and make love. Three years of waiting; it was more than enough.
But when they walked in, Chance hesitated. He looked around and the obvious discomfort in his eyes made Jake uneasy too. “What is it, buddy?” he whispered.
Chance’s voice was louder than Jake’s and rough with some emotion Jake couldn’t name. “They’re all straight couples.”
Jake scanned the crowd and, yes, everyone was paired off tom and she-kat. “That’s okay. We don’t need to fit in.”
“We’d be in the only… well, you know…here.”
“I’m sure we could take anyone who tried to start trouble,” Jake said, trying to turn it into a joke.
Chance shook his head. “I’m not risking…” But he wouldn’t finish that sentence even when Jake gave him a look.
“You’re going to not dance with me because—” Jake bit off the rest of the words. He was furious and he knew the anger carried in his voice.
“Let’s eat, dance a little, with other kats, and get out of here.” He brushed past Jake and disappeared into the press of bodies.
Jake gaped after him, feeling lost. Then he growled, “Crud.”
”Excuse me,” said a soft female voice he recognized.
He pasted a smile on his face and turned toward Calico Briggs, the deputy mayor. “Yes, Ms. Briggs.” She wasn’t wearing a mask but was dressed as a fairy princess with wings and a tiara. Her glasses clashed with the costume but otherwise she could have stepped out of a dream. Someone else’s. Jake’s only dreams were of Chance.
“It is you.” She lowered her voice. “Razor.”
He swallowed despite his suddenly dry throat. “Yes, ma’am. How did you know?”
“I heard you talking to T-Bone.” She was grinning but keeping her voice down. “This is chancy for you, isn’t it?”
“Yes, ma’am. But even vigilantes need to have a little fun.”
“Will you step outside with me?” she all but purred.
Instantly on alert, not because she was a threat but because he didn’t want Chance, wherever he was, to get the wrong idea, Jake said, “I’m just here with my partner, Ms. Briggs.”
She nodded and he saw by the look in her eyes that she hadn’t been coming onto him after all. Her gaze was sympathetic. “I heard your argument. I have an idea.”
Intrigued, and expecting something ingenious because Calico Briggs was sharp, Jake said, “Let’s go outside.”
Chance was slightly drunk. He’d been plied with wine and other things, mostly punch laced with katnip, by hopeful she-kats. He’d lost track of time for a while as he’d staunchly refused to look for Jake. He danced with female after female and refused to acknowledge the growing worm of worry in his gut. Probably two hours had passed and he’d seen nothing of his partner. Had Jake gone home? If so, how had he gotten there? A cab would be expensive and surely he wouldn’t leave Chance stranded here.
Another she-kat approached him. She was small in stature, which he preferred because it reminded him of Jake. He was a bi tom, attracted to both genders, although he’d done no dating since becoming a Swat Kat. He didn’t have time for one thing. For another, he spent many hours dreaming about a certain tom and no she-kat could measure up.
This one was small in other ways too. She had minimal breasts and the tight, short skirt revealed legs that were more masculine than feminine. She had a long and flowing head of hair; it was longer even than Ms. Briggs’s. It was the color of milk chocolate, perfectly complimenting the dark orange of the she-kat’s fur.
She wore a mask that covered almost her whole face, leaving only small slits for medium brown eyes and a tiny mouth.
Chance realized he’d been staring. It was certainly too late to pretend he hadn’t seen her. So, he held out his paw. “Want to dance, beautiful?”
She bobbed a curtsey and didn’t say a word.
“Shy?” Chance asked. “That’s okay. I can talk enough for both of us.”
But once they were out on the floor, he was preoccupied with the way she held him and the way she moved. She glided but more like a stalking lynx than a dancer. She was perfectly balanced on feet that were, actually, a bit too large for the rest of her. Muscular feet, bare and dark orange like the rest of her. He speculated that if he’d seen her feet and Jake’s feet side-by-side, they’d be nearly identical. Except he’d know hers because her claws were polished with a rosy pink coat.
She cupped his ass unexpectedly and he groaned, wriggling away from her. “I’m sorry, but that’s too personal. I don’t even know your name.”
She rose on her tiptoes and whispered, “Jake.”
Chance’s jaw dropped. He wanted to shout his partner’s name but Jake covered his mouth with a slightly trembling paw.
“Listen to me, Furlong, and listen good. Ms. Briggs dressed me up like this so you’d give me a chance to dance with you. But she thinks I’m Razor. So, keep any name behind your teeth.”
“What about when you switched masks?” Chance asked after Jake had freed his mouth.
“She gave me everything and told me to change in private. The only thing she actually did for me was paint my toenails.”
“Do you like being a she-kat?” He was honestly curious. Jake made a sexy female.
“It’s a little uncomfortable but would have been ten times worse if I’d put on the shoes.”
Chance laughed. Then it hit him. “You really wanted to dance with me, didn’t you?”
“I got all dolled up, didn’t i?”
“Do you like wearing that stuff?”
“Never tried it before and the skirt’s a little constricting but it’s not the worst thing I’ve never worn.” He smirked. “now. Do you want to dance with me like this or…” He stopped. “I don’t want to make dancing with me as a tom a stipulation of our relationship. It’s important to me but not that important.”
What Chance wanted to do was take Jake home and get him out of those clothes. He weighed his desire against the three years of nothing but “buddy” they’d had. “You won’t be disappointed?”
“As long as we somehow move past the ‘buddy’ stage tonight, I’ll be satisfied.”
Chance lifted Jake’s paw to his lips. “Absolutely we can move past it.”
“Then let’s get out of here.”
As they lay together in the tangle of bedsheets and blankets afterward, both of them spent, Jake asked, “Chance?”
“Yeah?” The bigger tom pulled Jake against him and nuzzled against his shoulder.
But Jake wasn’t quite ready to say “I love you.” So, he settled for what he knew was probably on Chance’s mind. “This doesn’t change anything in the sky. No matter who takes whom in bed.”
Chance grunted. “So, that means you’re still going to run off and put yourself in danger?”
“I’m a Swat Kat. Danger is my middle name.”
Chance grunted again but it sounded like an acknowledgement instead of a protest. “All right. But I reserve the right to defend you like you’re mine.” He hugged Jake fiercely. “Because you are. Unofficially for three years but officially from now on.”
Jake buried his face in the fur on Chance’s chest. “I can live with that. Just so you know it goes both ways.”
“You worry about me too?” Chance seemed startled.
“OF course I do. You’re my partner. In all things.”