KICKIN' AWESOME THUBNAIL ART IS A WORK THAT raygirlramblings ON TUMBLR DID FOR ME FOR FYEAHGHOSTTRICK'S GHOST SWAP 2016 BASED ON MY FIC THE PAINTER AND THE MAN OF MEANS! THANKS! ^)^
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A/N: I do not own Inspector Cabanela or Detective Jowd; they belong to CAPCOM. The plot, and other incidental characters, are mine.
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Cabanela slips Jowd a note asking him to join him in the secret room of the Police Academy that evening and he can't help but wonder why...
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A story I've had banging around in my head for around two years or so. Hope you enjoy! ^)^
Police Academy AU, set in the 1980's

Enjoy! ^)^

Rated K, Romance, Inspector Cabanela x Detective Jowd, male/male relationships

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October 25tth
Hallway of secret place in the Police Academy
Police Academy
10:45 P.M.

Jowd thrust his hands deep in his pockets, sighing loudly as he made his way through the darkened halls. He wasn't at all sure why Cabanela had asked him to meet him in this place; the lack of an explanation had nettled him much more than he cared to admit to himself or to anyone else.

His brow furrowed. I just don't understand why he insists on this idiotic cloak-and-dagger routine when we meet up. I wish he didn't think this was necessary but I suppose given the circumstances, that maybe he's right about taking precautions. He made a face. Besides, we're in enough trouble already and the last thing either of us wants to do is to strain the patience of the Chief Commissioner any further than we already have.

He'd been startled earlier that day when Cabanela had casually brushed up against him in the mess hall at breakfast, slipping a piece of paper into his hand before gliding away with that loping stride of his that never failed to fascinate him.

He wasn't aware of the crowd of Rookies until he happened to see one out of the corner of his eye which startled him momentarily. Stuffing the folded paper in his pocket, he half turned and was surprised to see the curious stares of those assembled as they greeted him.

Damned close call.

He stopped for a moment, looking off into the distance, remembering the breakfast conversation earlier that morning.
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October 25th
Mess Hall
Police Academy
9 A.M.

"What was that all about?" One of his seat mates asked him when he sat down at the long table, placing his tray down in front of him before sitting down.

Jowd shrugged nonchalantly. "Nothing much." He grimaced. "Just another placation from the Head Sergeant." He rolled his eyes dramatically before he picked up his fork and dug in. "You know how he is."

The red haired young man nodded, shuddering slightly.

"What exactly did you do to get on his bad side?" Another Rookie, a young woman who's name Jowd could not recall at the moment who was seated to his left, asked curiously. "He seems to have had it in for you ever since you started at the Academy."

"A small prank, actually," he replied airily, adding mentally, And it's all Cabanela's fault for THAT one! "It seems a pair of his good dress shoes went missing and..." He trailed off, the others bursting into laughter. Everyone in the Academy knew of the Head Sergeant's shoes appearing tied to the top of the flagpole in the main courtyard of the Academy. Their timing, however, was not of the best since it was the Academy's Open House where the mayor, other members in the public sphere and some celebrities came to watch and observe their day-to-day activities. What they made of the pair of shining black shoes tied up at the top of the flagpole he couldn't imagine.

The Head Sergeant nearly had apoplexy after he found out who was responsible for the prank and word had it that it was only the Chief Commissioner's influence that both he and Cabanela weren't sent packing after that one.

Mite too close for comfort, if you ask me.

Amanda Carstairs, a twenty-two year old blonde woman who was seated directly across from him, turned back to her food and began eating with gusto, her violet eyes wide as she stared at him, her expression a combination of disbelief mixed with healthy respect. "Geez, Jowd, you don't pick your enemies lightly do you?"

He laughed before digging into his mountain of scrambled eggs. "No, I suppose I don't."

They ate in silence for awhile and Jowd was glad for the reprieve; he really didn't want the other Rookies to know of the clandestine relationship he and Cabanela now had. Not that he didn't trust them; he knew that they would keep their secret but the less that people knew about the two of them, the better.

So far, no one suspected anything other than they were two mismatched Rookies constantly pushing their luck, and the Commandant's patience, to the limit and Jowd was content to leave it that way

Maybe we might just be able to pull this off. He drained his coffee, bringing another forkful of scrambled eggs to his mouth. Maybe, just maybe...

"How did you ever end up partnered with Cabanela in the first place?" Another young man, Rookie Paul Sandon who sat on his immediate left, articulated out loud, his blue eyes fixed on him. "I wouldn't have thought that the two of you had anything in common, let alone ending up being partners!"

We didn't... at least not at first. But now...

He swallowed. "I was supposed to be some kind of... steadying... influence on him," he replied, picking up a strip of bacon and popping it into his mouth, chewing and swallowing before he continued. "The Head Sergeant felt that, by pairing up Cabanela with someone less flighty, and more stolid and responsible than he is, might help to take the edge off of him." He grinned broadly, much to the amusement of his seat mates. "Didn't do a lot of damned good, if you ask me!"

Rookie Sandon chortled, picking up his glass of orange juice. "I'll say! You two are the talk of the Academy!" He drained the glass before setting it back down on top of the table, leaning back and sighing contentedly, giving Jowd a lazy glance. "I'm surprised that you weren't sent packing after that last escapade you guys pulled at Open House."

Jowd grimaced, spearing an orange slice with his fork. "Don't remind me."

Another Rookie, Gerard Hanson piped up, three seats down the row from Jowd. "What was it that Sergeant Holbrooke was calling him?"

"Dancin' Fool." Jowd's voice was soft as he said it, picking up a piece of toast and biting into it. "He called him a Dancin' Fool."

He meant it as an insult but Cabanela takes it as a badge of honor. He grinned. And I'm pretty sure that he does it just to irritate Holbrooke. His black eyes took on a dreamy look as he chewed and swallowed. Still... that walk...so graceful...

"Huh." Carstairs' voice reflected her speculation. "Wonder why he called him that. Doesn't sound very nice, if you ask me."

"It wasn't." Sandon's voice was firm. "He said it to make fun of him for that odd, loping walk he has." His eyes gleamed with mischief. "Said he'd break him of that 'damnable habit' if it was the last thing he did." He waggled his eyebrows. "Hasn't said that in a long while."

Jowd laughed. "I'm certain he hasn't!"

"Sure, Cabanela IS a pain in the ass," Sandon continued, "but if you ask me, the Head Sergeant asked for it by pushing him too much." He swooned dramatically, everyone bursting into laughter around him. "I'd say he damned well deserved it."

Touche.

"I'll bet he's hated him ever since he set foot in the Academy." Hanson saluted dramatically drawing titters of laughter from all at the table. "Of every Rookie who's come through, Cabanela's the only one I've ever heard the old buzzard harping about on a regular basis."

I'm pretty sure I've made that list of people Holbrooke doesn't like as well, Jowd thought with a half smile, peeling an apple and slicing it into four equal pieces, setting the peel and seeds to the side of his plate. Though you're too polite to say it.

"Well, all I can say it that life sure is interesting around here with you two around." Sandon winked at him. "Gotta say it's much more enjoyable watching your antics than it is studying!"

You would, wouldn't you?

"Anyway," Carstairs broke in abruptly, changing the subject, "what do you classes do you have for the day?"

"Hmm." Jowd paused a moment. "I have Martial Arts later this morning, Weapons training after lunch and then C.S.I. and Fingerprinting until supper."

She grimaced, her expression sympathetic. "Ouch."

"Tell me about it."

"I have radio duty." Hanson looked woebegone, the others murmuring sympathetically. "I really hate doing that, especially since I'm paired up with Myers."

Sandon winced noticeably. "Can't blame you. Not my favorite thing to do, either or a Rookie I care to be paired with."

"You're tellin' me." Hanson's voice reflected his distaste.

"How about you, Carstairs?" Sandon asked curiously.

"I have to go around to the area schools today." She finished her orange juice and apple slices, dabbing her mouth with her napkin. "Part of the joint Community Outreach program that the Chief Commissioner and Commandant are doing."

"Boy and I thought that I had it rough!" Sandon's voice sounded horrified.

She gave the unapologetic Rookie a hard look though Jowd noticed the corners of her lips twitching with unspoken amusement. "It really isn't that bad, Sandon," she retorted,"I really do love seeing the kids."

Hanson snorted in disgust, picking up his coffee mug. "Speak for yourself."

She snorted, turning away from him. "Anyway, Zeva will be going along with me; she loves kids and laps up all the attention they give her."

Jowd smiled at that. Zeva had been the unofficial mascot of the Academy since her retirement from active K-9 duty three years earlier. She knew how to work a crowd and went all out during her presentations; words had it that she'd received many kudos, and as many treats, hugs and pets from the children, that made her a perennial favorite of tall the schools in the district. Even though who were hard pressed to like dogs loved her which Jowd thought of being some kind of miracle.

Hanson looked coyly at her. "I'd give you a lot of attention, too," he murmured, fluttering his eyelashes at Carstairs who nearly dropped her fork in surprise before she fluttered right back at him, drawing another round of laughter from those assembled.

They chatted for another hour before Hanson, Carstairs, Sandon and the other Rookies stood up, wishing Jowd a pleasant good morning before they made their way to the corner of the hall, where a table stood and plastic tubs lay for them to put their dirty cups, glasses, mugs, plates and utensils which they did, tossing their garbage in the garbage can located to the right of the table.

Jowd watched them as they waved at him and exited, disappearing into the crowd that was now leaving the hall. He was the sole occupant at the now deserted table and he continued eating his breakfast with relish. He didn't mind the company of Carstairs, Hanson, Sandon and a few of the other Rookies but he preferred to be left on his own, eating his breakfast in peace.

Besides, he thought roguishly, I can think about Cabanela without having anyone else notice.

After he'd finished eating, he'd exited and went quickly to their shared quarters, shutting the door before he sat on the bed, pulling the piece of folded paper out of his pocket and opening it, reading the words printed on it.

Meet me tonight at 11 O'clock in the secret place. I will await you there.- Cabanela

Really, Cabanela? He'd rolled his eyes at that; the cloak-and-dagger approach that his lover insisted upon was wearing thin but they had to keep their relationship strictly under wraps for the time being. As much as he hated to admit it.

So far as he knew, he and Cabanela's five month relationship was still a closely guarded secret, at least for now. Jowd didn't know how long that would last before the truth came out and god only knew when that would happen. That nettled him; he wanted them to be open about their relationship but knew that they couldn't go public with it at this time since fraternization was strictly against the rules.

They had to be very careful; since that prank that he and Cabanela had pulled on the Holbrooke-exactly WHY was it that he'd allowed Cabanela to talk him into doing it?-they had been under close watch and it hadn't been easy shaking the ever present shadow that followed the two of them around.

Jowd sighed loudly. Not that Cabanela ever let that stop him. Damned adolescent.
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10:55 P.M.

This is ridiculous, he thought with annoyance as he peered around the corner, having to sneak around like a pair of thieves, desperately hoping that we won't get caught. why must he insist on this damned subterfuge every time we want to spend some time together?!

He'd had a close call fifteen minutes earlier: Jowd had paused at the end of the hallway, peering around the corner and, much to his shock and dismay, right into the pinched face of Officer Cranston who was on duty that evening. To his gruff "What are you doing here, Rookie?" he'd been stunned into silence momentarily but managed to wheedle his way out of trouble by spinning a yarn that answered why he was here in the first place.

Once he was finished, Cranston looked at him skeptically but seemed satisfied with the made up excuse, much to Jowd's relief. he made his way down the opposite end of the hallway and, once he was out of Crasto's line of vision, quietly retraced his steps in the opposite direction. He knew there was another adjoining corridor that lead to the secret room and he paused again at the end of the hall, staring hard into the funeral gloom; satisfied, he continued on his way.

We're lovers now, he thought with annoyance, his eyes darting right and left as he scanned the hallways for any sign of another's presence and found none, you'd think that he would have told me why he wanted me to meet him here! He froze for a moment, a scuttling sound coming to his right. He waited for a few moments, holding his breath until he realized that the sound was a tree branch lightly scraping against the window.

He allowed himself to relax a little as he continued on his way. It was a little known-unless you were in the know-room in the Academy; as far as he knew, they were only four people who knew about this place and two of them were himself and Cabanela.

He stopped at the fork, staring hard into the funereal gloom that surrounded the hallway. He's acting like a ridiculous adolescent. It wasn't easy making sure that no one saw me coming here since we've been under strict supervision since the prank we pulled on Holbrooke. He squared his shoulders. Now why did he have to go and damn fool thing like that in the first place? And why did I ever agree to be part of it?!

He reached the room and, with a quick look around, knocked five times in quick succession, waited a moment and then knocked again. For a moment all was silent and he wondered if he had even arrived.

"Cooome in," he heard Cabanela's silky voice say and, with rolled eyes, Jowd opened the door, walked quickly in and shut it quietly behind him.

In the gloom, he could barely make out Cabanela's silhouetted form on the opposite side of the room and was startled when he became aware of his presence. His mouth went dry when Cabanela struck a pose, his chocolate brown eyes dancing with mischief as he slowly undid the front of his white suit, the red scarf he was wearing dangling languidly off of his right shoulder.

The red certainly makes for an interesting... compliment to his skin. He sucked in his breath. Where did he get that red scarf?!

Jowd swallowed. Hard. "Oh...my..." His tongue felt thick and he couldn't conjure up one single coherent thought as he stared at him, his heart racing, his lips suddenly dry.

Cabanela smiled saucily, his fingertips running slowly up his arm as he shrugged the top half of his suit off of his shoulder, his eyes looking smokily at Jowd who was suddenly having a very difficult time looking away.

"Do yooou like what you seee?" His voice was soft, teasing though his tone was heavy with meaning.

Jowd nodded quickly, his cheeks brick red, swallowing a few times in order to clear his throat.

"Very... much." He could feel his fingers growing numb. "I-"

He fluttered his eyelashes coyly, chuckling softly as he saw Jowd's eyes widen and pulling his suit back up over his shoulder.

Jowd tried again. "I-"

He paused again, cursing his inability to speak, his face flushing a dirty red as Cabanela sauntered toward him, his hands outstretched, a soft, inviting smile on his face.

"Shall we daaance, Jooowd?"

"Dance?" Jowd blinked in surprise. "How? There's no music and-"

Cabanela grinned as he turned, and Jowd noticed, for the first time on the table adjacent from where he was standing, that there was a tape player resting on the top.

Jowd's eyes widened. When did he...? How...!

Cabanela grinned broadly as he saw the look of stupefied surprise on his lover's face. He did so enjoy shaking things up every once in awhile and throwing Jowd a curveball; in his opinion, it made life so much more interesting, and fun, when something unexpected happened. He looked at him once more as he pressed the 'play' button and the first strain's of Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon floated over the still, quiet air.

My deeear, dear, Jooowd... His face shone with affection and love as he stood there, Jowd's breath catching in his throat at the intensity of emotion he could feel emanating from him as he slowly took his hand, feeling Cabaenla's slim fingers curl around his own. Hooow dear you aaare to me... aaand how much I waaant to show yooou.

"You...remembered..." he managed to choke out, his throat so tight that he could hardly get the words out.

He remembered my favorite song...!

"Of cooourse I did," he replied smoothly, pulling Jowd close against him as they started to dance, Jowd melting into the embrace.

"Thank you, Cabanela," he whispered, very moved.

"Yooou're weeelcome, Jowd." Cabanela's murmur in reply was tender, planting a soft kiss on his temple and Jowd smiled softly as he closed his eyes, basking in his lover's warmth.

They danced through the night, enjoying each other's company, bright moonlight shining in through the half-open curtains.

.:FIN:.