To many, it is known as the City of Love. Also, it is most often a place of peace and harmony. But, then again…in and amongst all this peace, harmony, and love…there will always those that should fight less, and perhaps allow the ambiance of Paris to settle in and maybe, just maybe, they'll find a way to be a bit nicer with one another. One such couple does come to mind….
"Halt! Come back here! COOPER!" Inspector Carmelita Montoya Fox, and her nemesis, Sly Cooper, Master Thief, were at it once again. Sly had just purloined some very rare and one-of-a-kind books from a well-known billionaire's residence. The reason for this theft: first, the guy was stinking rich only because he was a world-class counterfeiter; and second, the books Sly absconded with were very rare, very rare indeed. In fact, only five copies of just one of the books existed in all the world. That bothered the uncommonly honorable thief…only five copies in the entire world, mind you, and where do we find one? In a museum or a library, where it should be? No! In some swanky crooked billionaire's own private collection, for his enjoymentand his alone! That just wasn't right!
Sly ducked, sidestepping, as Carmelita took a shot at him with her trusty InterTec ZX-11 shock pistol, its blue-white plasma shockwaves pulsing dangerously closee around him. Even as he dodged the persistent Carmelita, he could hear Bentley´s voice coming to him via his binocucom. "Sly, we're waiting in the forest. Once you lose Carmelitaand please don't do anything stupid, like hanging around to flirt with her, okay? you can meet us on the fringe of the woods," the turtle told him. Sly hung a sharp right around a ventilator, his breath coming a little faster than normal. "All right, Bentley…I'll see you guys there later. But, first I've got to shake one very angry, yet oh-so-lovely, Inspector off of my ringed tail!" Sly answered, leaping down agilely off the roof of the building he was upon, bounced off an awning, then flipped over to hit the streets on the outskirts of Paris at the run. Sly dashed along, zigging and zagging his way through the last houses to the comparative safety of the fringe of the forest proper. Once safely in amongst the trees, Sly decided to look back, and grinned, seeing the lovely and doggedly stubborn Carmelita still trying to follow him.
Carmelita was angry…and by saying that, it would be a vast understatement! She grit her teeth in anger, sucking air in as she diligently pursued her most annoying, yet most capable, opponent. Even as she ran along, her heart pumping hard, she thought to herself, "Again I had that scoundrel Cooper cornered. And, having said all that, what happened?" Her light brown eyes narrowed, remembering. She had told the wretched raccoon he was under arrest, and just when she was near enough to reach for her handcuffs, what happens? Cooperdamn, but he was fast!had deftly grabbed her free hand. At first, she had thought he intended to handcuff her with her own cuffsagain! But, no, and this was what infuriated the mercurial Carmelita. No, instead, Cooper took her hand, bent her knuckles gently and kissed the back of her hand! As if she were some sort of duchess or something! Then, as she was standing there gaping like a fish, he promptly dashed off and disappeared! She cursed softly in her native Spanish.
Sly continued his acrobatic romp into the forest, first scrambling up a nearby tree, then leaping from tree to tree, using his versatile cane as an aid.
"Stop! Halt!" Carmelita barked, dashing off after him, swelling with fury and indignation, her eyes never losing sight of her acrobatic adversary. As the way became more choked with foliage, her path began to twist and turn, forcing her to divide her time between keeping track of Cooper and watching where she was going. She swore when she saw the raccoon thief deftly leap from a towering oak to a smaller, more flexible conifer. It was then that she thought she saw something glint ahead of her on the trail. She frowned at that, but didn't see it again, so she kept her eyes on that damnable clever thief, watching the trail with only her peripheral vision. Therefore, she was most surprised when she felt herself step on to something hard just off the beaten trail. That surprise was rapidly transformed into excruciating pain, as something crushed her booted foot within steely jaws. Carmelita tumbled to the ground, gasping and hissing with pain. Finally, with tears springing to her shocked brown eyes, Carmelita could endure the pain no more, and screamed.
Sly had just leapt to a sturdy maple, when he heard a woman's scream. And…as far as he knew, there was only one woman in these woods at this time of night: Carmelita! He turned around and dashed backwithout even thinkinglooking down, following the trail…until he saw her. She was lying on the ground, writhing and crying softly to herself. He leapt down silently to the ground, and approached her warily. A part of his mind warned him that this might be a trap…but, he shook his head. No, no one could fake that cry of anguish and pain. He jogged along and then moved beside the obviously injured fox. "Carmelita!" he told her, gently gripping her shoulder. "Lie still! Let me see what's wrong."
Carmelita ordinarily would of ignored him as a matter of choice, but now, with her foot throbbing with pain enough to bring tears to the veteran policewoman's eyes, she merely nodded. Then, another agonizing rush of pain ripped up her leg, making her cry out. "Dios! Make it stop!"
Sly frowned, not liking at all to see the proud and nobleif somewhat mercurialCarmelita brought down this way. Her ragged cries of pain tore at him, and he bent down to examine her leg. He gasped as he saw the ghastly jaws of a rusted fox-trap clamped firmly about her right foot, which was nauseatingly misshapen. "Don't you worry, Carmelita. I'm on it!" He reached down, and tried to pry the steel jaws open. Now, Sly was a pretty strong fellow…but he had an acrobat's strength, not a strongman. His best attempt, which failed, only made poor Carmelita briefly howl, then softly weep. Strangely touched, he bent over to gently stroke Carmelita's dark wavy hair, trying to comfort the poor girl. "Let me think," he said softly. "Let me think…"
Carmelita sobbed softly, her foot feeling as if it were on fire. She had never experienced pain like this before. A part of her rebelled at the feel of Cooper stroking her hair…but, another more insistent part, clung to that comforting gesture, relieved she wasn't alone now.
Sly hated this! He couldn't free her poor foot, and the girl was in absolute agony…and it was all his fault! He had to think of something! If only he were stronger, he wished…then he laughed. That's it! He picked up his binocucom from around his neck. "Yo! Bentley, Murray! You guys hear me?" Sly called softly into the device.
"Yeah, we hear you, Sly. What's the matter?" Bentleys voice came back.
"Well…we got ourselves a situation here, Bent," Sly said, then turned the binocucom on the distraught and hurt Carmelita. "She stepped on a fox trap, guys…"
Bentley blinked. "Whoa! Is she hurt?" Bentley asked, concerned…even if she had tried to have them arrested, she was still a woman, and one that was hurt. If Sly Cooper and his gang had anything, it was their unwavering sense of honor. One does not leave a damsel in distress, and do nothing. It just wasn't right! "Let me see her foot, would you?"
Sly focused his binocucom on her foot, which was clamped tightly between the jaws of the nasty trap, its teeth piercing the top of her boot, and undoubtedly the bottom as well. "Well, Bentley?" Sly prompted.
"Well, no doubt about it, Sly…her foot is probably broken. But, don't sweat it, Sly, we'll be there in a few minutes. Now, leave your binocucom on, okay? We´ll track you two down using it's signal. See you soon," Bentley assured him. He then turned to his big hippo friend. "C'mon, Murray…let's go!"
"Thanks, guys," Sly said and release his bionucom, allowing it to softly thump upon his chest. Reassured that help was indeed on its way, Sly returned to where Carmelita lie upon the leaf-strewn trail. "Hey, there beautiful," he said, trying to keep her mind off of her pain any way he could. It tore at his heart to see her wince with pain, still softly crying on occasion as the pain became too greateven for her.
Carmelita felt him return, and couldn't believe how relieved she was that heSly Cooper, Master Thief, and oft time pain in her butt!was still here with her. She opened her glistening, tear-filled eyes to him. "Why? Why Cooper? Why did you come back for me?" she whispered in a pain-filled voice. She wanted to know.
"Why, didn't you want me to?" he asked, looking down into her face.
Carmelita looked away, embarrassed. "No. I didn't say that…"
"Look," Sly began, "I came back because it was the right thing, the gentlemanly thing, to do. I know we have our differences of opinion, Inspector, but you've always played fair with me. Could I do anything less for you?"
Carmelita blinked, then nodded. Still not able to return his gaze, she tried to nonetheless. "T-Thanks," she said softly, but meaningfully.
"Don't mention it," Sly replied cleverly, then heard a rustle of foliage not too far off. "Ah, the cavalry, I presume? Yep! Now, lovely lady, you wait right here, and we'll have you out of that blasted thing in no time!" He looked, then moved over to greet Murray and Bentley as they came jogging out from the deep forest.
"Gentlemen, you know Inspector Fox," Sly intoned formally, making the introductions. He smiled down at Carmelita, and gestured toward his two friends. "Carmelita, I believe you already know Bentley and Murray here?"
"We've met," Carmelita managed, not believing the set of circumstances that had brought all four of them together this night.
Bentley moved down to take a look at the trap cruelly binding Carmelita's foot. "Hmm, it's in pretty bad shapethe trap I mean!but, if I had to guess, I'd say it an old IronJaws 590…nasty bit of work. they are. There's not many of them left, especially after they became illegal, you know. The authorities outlawed it, saying that its teeth were too sharp and too short, unnecessarily torturing the animals the hunters intended to capture."
Carmelita listened to the turtle's long-winded explanation, then growled, her teeth bared. "That's all well and fine, fellas…but, all I'm interested in is GETTING IT OFF MY DAMN FOOT!" She shivered with her pain and outrage.
Sly gave Carmelita an apologetic look, then grinned, knowing that would infuriate herkeeping her mind off of her pain. "Spirited little vixen, isn't she?"
Carmelita turned to Sly. "I'll give you spirited, Cooper…" she growled.
The two adversaries dialogue was cut short by the kindly Murray. The big burly hippy moved up, and looked down at the trap that held Carmelita's foot. "Pff…this one'll be no problem for the Murray, Sly! I'll have it open in no time at all!"
"Here's my hand. I suggest you take it," Sly suddenly offered Carmelita, which made her blink at him, then scowl.
"Right," Carmelita growled. "Like I want to hold your hand, Cooper…"
"Okay now," Murray announced, moving his hands inside of the strong jaws of the trap. "I'm not sure…but this might hurt a bit…" He took a deep breath, then began to slowly bring his enormous strength to bear on the trap's jaws.
Carmelita hissed, her eyes snapping closed as pain lanced up her leg, her foot pure agony. She brought her hand up to grip Cooper's so quickly that their hands smacked together loudly. She clung to his hand tightly. "Oh, it hurts! It hurts so much!" she cried softly through clenched teeth. She gripped Sly's hand harder still, feeling her knuckles pop as the pain increased as well as the pressure she exerted on Sly's hand.
Murray grunted softly, the muscles in his neck, shoulders, and arms becoming taut as cords, and slowly the jaws of the trap were prized apart. Murray groaned, sweat beginning to form on his brow as he applied even more strength, and finally Carmelita was able to remove her foot with a cry and an obvious sigh of relief. She didn't let go of Sly's hand though…
"Okay," Sly said in a grim voice. God, but that girl had quite the grip! His hand throbbed from the pressure she had given his hand. "You can let go now, Carmelita," he told her, then to snap her out of her trance, he added, "unless of course you're starting to get sweet on me, that is…"
"That'll be the day, Cooper!" Carmelita replied, snatching her hand away. She rolled over on to her knees, and Sly shook his head as he realized she was going to try and stand on her foot. Carmelita managed to get to her feet somehow, but the first time she tried to put weight on her injured foot, she nearly toppled, being saved from a fall only when Sly deftly grabbed her from beneath her armpits.
"Whoa there, Inspector!" Sly warned her. "Easy does it…"
Bentley sighed, stooping down to look at her foot. "Well, sorry to be the one to tell you this, Inspector…but you've got yourself a broken foot."
Carmelita growled back at him. "No kidding? I guess my groans and cries of pain were definite clues, huh?" She groaned as Sly carefully helped her down to sit upon the ground. She sighed from her spot, leaning back against an elm tree. "Great. Just great," she grumbled. "Just what am I supposed to do now?"
Sly grinned, not being able to help himself. "I suppose a quick game of cards is out?"
Carmelita groaned. "Why? Why, God…why do you have to make him my problem?" She then shook her head, her foot better, but it still throbbed something awful. "Well, I'm not going anywhere any time soon," she observed, mostly to herself, not liking that prospect at all. Not that she was afraid, mind you…it's just that woods at night were not exactly her cup of tea, you understand.
Bentley decided to add his two cents worth. "Well, I suppose we could anonymously call Interpol, and they'd send someone out for her," he mused. But, then he shook his head. "No, it would take them hours to get here, and her foot really needs to be looked at, Sly. Too bad that the nearest hospital is twenty miles away…"
"Yeah, that is too bad," Sly himself mused, looking from Carmelita to his friend, and back again. His clever brown eyes lit up, and he smiled…an all-too-familiar smile.
Bentley, seeing that irritating smile that bode no good to them at all, put two and two together, and gasped. "No way, Sly! Absolutely no! We can't…it'd be suicide. Look, I know she's in trouble and everything…but, c'mon Sly! She'll show our base of operations to every Constable and Inspector at Interpol! We'll be ruined at best…incarcerated at worst." He looked at Sly, who continued to smile that same smarmy smile. "Oh, man…you're still going to do it, aren't you?" Bentley's shoulders sagged in misery.
Sly continued to smile. "We'll be fine, Bent. Not to worry. Look, we can take her there…but she won't be able to tell anyone anything if she doesn't see where we're taking her. Right?"
Bentley frowned, then nodded. "Well, yeah. That's true. So, how do you suppose we do that, Sly?"
"Elementary, my dear Bentley," Sly replied dramatically, then extended his hand to him, waiting. "Your handkerchief, if you please, Bentley my good man."
Bentley sighed, pulled out his dark blue handkerchief, and handed it over to Sly. "You do know that she's never going to agree to this, don't you?" the turtle admonished his leader. Besides, if Sly had wanted his handkerchief, he'd of had it already, if he wished. He was only being courteous in his asking.
"You worry too much, Bent," Sly replied, holding the handkerchief behind his back. "Now, let's see to our damsel, shall we?" Bentley snorted at him calling Carmelita a 'damsel'…oh, yeah, he could see the fiery Carmelita in a long dress with one of those silly pointed hats. I think not…
Carmelita looked suspiciously as Cooper and his tech buddy jawed at one another out of her earshot. Her Inspector's instincts kicked into overdrive as the two calmly sauntered over to where she sat with Murray, who was entertaining himself by breaking the fox trap into pieces with his amazing strength. "All right, Cooper. You look like you just stole the Crown Jewels. What are you up to, Ringtail?"
"Carmelita. So suspicious," Sly chided her, smiling his most charming smile. "I had a discussion with my pal, Bentley, here. Here's the situation, my pretty one. You are too far away from medical care for anyone's liking, and by the time your Interpol buddies could get to you you'd be in a bad way. So, we had to make some hard and fast decisions as to what to do, Inspector. As chance would have it, I have in my possession a comfortable abode that must might suit our needs. So, that being said, I think it best we take you there, and see to your poor foot, dear lady."
Carmelita frowned, absorbing what he had just said. As she realized just what he's proposing, she shakes her head vigorously, her light brown eyes blazing. "Absolutely not! I am notnot!going anywhere with you, Sly Cooper! I refuse!" She began to edge away from him, gritting her teeth as her movement increased the pain in her broken foot.
"Such stubbornness," Sly observed with a smile. "I'm dreadfully sorry, lovely lady, but I'm doing this for your own good." He dashedand Sly was fast!with amazing dexterity behind Carmelita, and before she could mutter a word of protest, looped Bentley's handkerchief about her eyes, knotting it. "Don't worry, my dear Inspector, we're not that far away. You'll be relaxing before you know it…"
"Cooper, I'm warning you," growled Carmelita, not liking at all that she couldn't see a thing. Her displeasure was increased twofold a moment later when she felt Sly Cooper slip his arms beneath her knees and around her back and lift her into his arms with seemingly no effort at all. It took her a moment to realize what he had done, but then she protested…vehemently! She longed to punch him oneright his smug, undoubtedly smiling faceput she didn't…for two reasons. One, she didn't really have an idea where his face might be, and two, if she did slug him, he'd most likely drop her, perhaps injuring her foot even more.
It was a wicked choice she faced. "Cooper!" she growled loudly, kicking her pretty booted feet a bit in protest. "Put me down…right this very minute! Do you hear me? This is called kidnapping, Ringtail! Put. Me. Down. NOW! Ooh…" She glowered at him, disliking the futility of her protests.
Sly was surprised at just how much he was enjoying the feeling of the lovely Carmelita in his arms. She was surprisingly light…most likely because her reputation and determination always seemed to make her appear a bit larger than life. It was refreshingin a wayto realize that she was a young slender woman. One whose hair smelled wonderful…he frowned at that, wondering why that should of leapt into his brain at that moment. He grinned, then responded to the fuming Carmelita in seeming nonchalance. "Kidnapping? Why, I never! Goodness me... Hey, fellas! Get this. Here, I find a beautiful womanin distress, mind you!and then offer what meager resources I have to come to her aid. Pretty noble, huh? So…what thanks do I get? Hmm? I'm accused of kidnapping! Can either of you believe that?"
Bentley sighed, knowing Sly all too well, and wants to at least attempt to bring him back to reality! He's having way too much fun right now! "Well, Sly, technically at least you are kidnapping her…"
Murray, realizing that his buddy Sly does pretty much what he wants, and that everything usually works out for the best, casts his vote by putting a kindly hand over Bentley's mouth, silencing any further protests. "C'mon, Sly…let´s go home."
"Right you are, Murray," Sly agreed, giving Murray a thankful wink.
Carmelita just continue to protest loudly, but found she really couldn't move her leg without incurring throbbing pain from her broken foot. She can't struggle with her arms, as she's afraid that would cause the mysterious thief to drop her. But, that doesn't prevent her from using her rather piercing voice on the rogue! "Sly Cooper! I demand you release me…immediately! If not sooner! Damn it…I'll have you arrested for thievery...of me! Yeah, I will…and that on top of the kidnapping charge! Grr…put me down! I can walk! I can! I'm an detective with Interpol! Hey, if anyone should see me like thisI mean, I demand you release me! Look, I promise to dismiss the kidnapping charges…if you just put me down! Cooper? Cooper! Are you even listening to me?"
Sly didn't reply, he just smiled. Oh, and began to whistle a jaunty little tune to himself…mustn't forget that!
Carmelita sags in his arms, realizing that she really doesn't have much of a choice in the matter, and succumbs to being carried away in the arms of the man who's been her most bitter rival and adversary…
AN: Hey guys my first Sly fic so be nice OK. I upploaded the first chapter again to fix the in- betweens. Allrigth i am going to use a bit spanish in the story but don´t worry i´ll put the translations at the bottom of the pages each time