Disclaimer- The SWAT Kats don't belong to me. They belong to Ted Turner and
various other corporate entities. Too bad; I'd love a plushie Razor. This
short is rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America.
First, Last, and Always
It was another beautiful day in Megakat City. The sky was blue,
the sun was shining, and the smog count was relatively low. The afternoon
was absolutely gorgeous, a fitting backdrop for Ulysses Feral's mood. He'd
just made Captain, and rumor had it that he was on the short list to be
picked for Lieutenant Commander when the position opened up. From there, it
was more than likely that he'd be in line for the Commander's position one
day. The young kat grinned as he got out of his car. Commander of the
Enforcers-- then he could REALLY get things done.
With a spring in his step, he climbed the stairs up to his
apartment. By the time he got his keys out of his uniform pocket, he was
whistling. Nothing could possibly spoil a day like this. Unlocking the
door, he pushed it open.
And stopped dead, staring in utter disbelief. The walls and
shelves were half-emptied, sporting bare patches where pictures and books
had once been. And in the center of the main room, methodically placing
pieces of bric-a-brac in a large carton, was a tall, slim she-kat.
"Carolyn?" Feral asked, as she turned towards him, alerted by the
opening door. "What's going on here?"
"Isn't it obvious?" she asked, brushing a strand of brown hair
out of her blue eyes. "I'm moving out."
Shutting the door behind him, the young Enforcer moved to join
her beside the couch. "I can see that. Why?"
"You got another promotion, didn't you?"
He was momentarily thrown by her seemingly irrelevant response,
but answered. "Yes, Captain. But why--"
She began to speak even before he'd finished, overriding his
question. "That makes you-- what, a Captain now? At twenty-eight? That
makes you one of the youngest Enforcer Captains on record."
"I suppose so." He blinked. "I don't see what's bothering you
about this. You knew I was an Enforcer when we first met."
"You just keep climbing the ladder, Ulysses. Promotion after
promotion, higher and higher. You're running though the ranks like a kat
possessed, and they just keep coming."
"I'm good at my job, and I love it. Carolyn, I don't see what the
problem is here."
"No, you don't, do you?" She smiled wanly. "If it were just
dedication, I suppose it wouldn't bother me. If it were just ambition, I
don't think I ever would have fallen in love with you. But it's more than
"You're a control freak, Ulysses. It's a harsh term, but it's the
truth. You like to be able to arrange the world around you to your liking,
to suit your needs. And every step up the Enforcer ladder lets you do that.
A little more power, a little more control. The job doesn't throw you any
curve balls, does it? You know what it's going to ask, and you don't have
to worry about any unexpected surprises."
She brushed past him to reach for another picture frame, and he
caught her arm gently. "Is that what this is about? I'm too controlling?
Have I ever tried ordering you around?"
"You'd lose your whiskers if you tried that, and we both know
it," she replied, not without some humor. "No, I'm the one thing in your
life that you CAN'T control, and you're smart enough not to try. But at the
same time, that means you won't- or can't open up to me. Especially when
the person you control most rigidly is yourself." She shrugged. "I guess I
got tired of loving someone whose emotions were always under glass."
"Carolyn..." he trailed off, suddenly lost for words.
"See? You're doing it now. Stone-Face Feral. Good for the
Enforcer rookies-- not so good for your girlfriend. If you could yell, or
scream, or cry, I might not walk away. But you just can't, can you?" For a
second, she fell silent, then shook herself out of her reverie. "At least
you're honest enough not to promise that you'll change."
He didn't respond to that; him changing was unlikely at best, and
they both knew it. "I do love you," he managed at last.
She smiled, but only weakly. "I never doubted it," she replied,
sealing the box shut. "Unfortunately, it's not enough.
Straightening, she cast a long look around the room. Picking up
the box, she started for the door. As she reached it, she stopped and
turned back around.
"You'd better learn to roll with the punches, Ulysses, because
sooner or later, something's going to come along that won't fall into line
when you growl. Either you learn to handle the occasional x-factor, or
you're going to worry yourself into an ulcer." She laughed humorlessly.
"I'd worry about you, but I know you'll be all right. You'll have the job,
after all. And you're an Enforcer; first, last, and always." Then she was
gone, and the door clicked shut behind her.