-1Title: The Morning After

Author(s): The dynamic ding-dongs, T-Bob and Cherazor

E-mail address: ashiedwoofie at gmail dot com; cherry988 at hotmail dot com

Date: 2/18/2006

Rating: Angst (seemingly)

Disclaimer: We don't own SWAT Kats or any of the characters. Nope, but we do own the craziness and insanity we put into this fanfic as well as our army of rubberduckies. Like our fic…or else!

Summary: After a careless night, Chance comes back to the garage miserable and Jake tries to console him.

Author's Comments/Notes:

T-Bob: First, thanks goes to everyone who reviewed our previous fanfic! It really meant a lot to me. Second, thanks go to my lovely co-author, Cherazor. Without her, this fanfic would never have existed. Third – wait, this isn't an Emmy award speech! Anyhow, we hope you enjoy this fic as much as our last one:)

Cherazor: sobs Thank you everyone for giving me this award-- hold on! Errr... Right. Not an Emmy award. Okay. Next speech, then. :P We're back, flairs and all, with a new fic. It's NEW. It's IMPROVED. It's...ah...you'll see. First off, I want to thank T-Bob for still wanting to write stuff with me. It's been fun, hasn't it? Second of all, I want to thank all you readers and reviewers. I hope you'll enjoy this fic as much as the last. If not...well, I'll be sending my rubberduckies your way then. Mwhahahaha!

T-Bob and Cherazor, Wackiness R'Us would like to say thank you to everyone who reviewed our fic, and send a very special thank you to Kristen Sharpe who beta'd this for us. Thank you. You will forever be in out debt…or until you want to borrow money from us.

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Jake Clawson was worried. Where the heck was Chance? Jake hadn't seen him since yesterday, before Chance had taken off to his date with Callie. Of course, Chance could take care of himself; he was grown man, after all. But still, Jake couldn't help feeling worried.

Chance promised to be back hours ago. What on earth had happened on their date that could have prolonged his return this much?

Jake frowned. "I'm such a mother-hen," he muttered as he stared at his watch for the fourth time during the last minute. Okay. He needed something to occupy his mind with.

He could always…uh… Where the heck is he?

Jake scolded himself. He needed to keep his mind on the matters at hand. He was about to go down the entrance in the kitchen leading to the hangar to check up on the Turbokat, when he heard the tow truck pulling up in the garage.

Jake had just closed the entrance to the hangar and was about to check it out when Chance stumbled into the kitchen. Jake noticed that Chance looked disheveled and slightly reeked of alcohol. But what really caught Jake's attention was Chance's behavior. He looked twitchy and kept glancing left to right. He was slouching a little and kept clenching and unclenching his fists.

"Chance, what's wrong?" asked Jake.

Chance looked like he had just noticed Jake for the first time. "Wha - ? Jake? Sorry, sorry, didn't see ya there."

Jake waved him off. "S'okay. Look bud, why don't you sit down first?" Jake motioned for Chance to sit down in one of the chairs and made two mugs of coffee. When Chance was seated, Jake offered a mug to his friend. "Here pal, have some coffee then you can tell me what's bugging ya."

Chance sat down but shook his head at Jake's offer of coffee. "Nah thanks, last thing I need is t'be even more twitchy."

Jake nodded and sat down across from Chance. He decided to wait, knowing that Chance would say what's in his mind sooner or later. Jake sipped his coffee and glanced over his cup, his real intention to study Chance more. Up close, Chance looked ragged, his eyes dull. Haunted, even.

"Well…" Chance began.

"You gonna tell me what's bothering you then?"

Chance sighed. "I've got half a mind not to, but it's driving me up the wall since last night!"

"Does it have anything to do with your date with Callie?" Jake guessed.

Chance's shoulders slumped visibly. He nodded slowly.

Jake frowned. "What did you-- You didn't --?"

Chance closed his eyes tightly before nodding once again.

Jake gaped. "Chance! Why… You told me you wanted to-"

"I know. I know. I screwed up, 'kay? It was an accident!" Chance shoulders, if possible, slumped even more and his ears almost seemed to be plastered against his head. "I screwed up."

Jake sighed, a frown visible on his lips. "Chance… what on earth happened? What does Callie think about this?"

Chance's head jerked up. "She's…" He sighed deeply, looking completely miserable. "She's sick. Kept throwing up all morning."

Jake merely gaped at Chance.

"It was all my fault!" Chance blurted out. "We got drunk and I got careless… and now this happens."

"Aww pal," Jake took one of Chance's hands and patted it gingerly.

"We've been doing this for a week now, yanno?" Chance muttered. "We've made sure to check the schedule and all that…"

Jake flinched. He couldn't believe his ears. A week? Why hadn't he notice this? Of course, it was a rather private matter, and Chance sure as heck wouldn't parade around and brag about things like that. "But it's not your fault," Jake began.

"Yes, it is!" Chance raised his head and looked Jake in the eye. "I was the one who was supposed to pay attention to her schedule more." He buried his face in his hands again and mumbled to himself. "I'm the one who convinced her to do it in the first place…"

Jake looked pitifully at his friend. He knew that it had to be consensual and that it wasn't Chance's fault entirely, but he seemed adamant about taking all the blame. Jake wished he knew what to say. He'd have been happier if Chance started to go wild and maybe even threw something at their TV. But the silent torment Chance was giving himself was too painful to watch. "So, what do you two plan to do now?"

"Well, I'm plannin' to take responsibility for this…" sighed Chance.

Jake nodded. "But Chance, I thought you were planning to –"

"I know what I was plannin' to do, bud!" Chance blurted out. "I was plannin' to pop the question, give her some gifts, go through the ceremonies and all that jazz! But this," Chance slammed a fist on the table, "I never expected this!"

"You didn't expect it, none of us did," said Jake, sounding sympathetic. "S'why they call it 'the unexpected'." Jake was happy to see Chance give him a small smile. At least he was smiling now. "And, not to pour salt on a recent wound, but how did it happen?"

Chance slumped back into his seat, looking completely defeated. "Well, the evening started out nice," he started, his voice flat. "We had a nice time. We were talkin', soft music… all that, y'know." He sighed. "But then the amount of drinks started to pile up and…and I guess we got a bit carried away because the next thing I know-"

Jake broke him off rather hastily. "Okay! I don't need any details."

Chance frowned lightly. "I thought you wanted to know-"

"I still don't need any details, buddy."

"But how can ya understand if I don't tell you the way it is?" asked Chance.

"There's a fine line between details and too much information, Chance." Jake's mouth was set in a prim line.

"It started with meatballs."

Jake covered his ears with his hands. "Okay, that's too mu - ," Jake blinked and slowly lowered his arms. "Come again, buddy?"

"I said it started with meatballs." Chance leaned back onto his chair and looked up at the ceiling, remembering it all too clearly. "I'd ordered spaghetti with meatballs for dinner and I noticed Callie looking at my meatballs hungrily. 'Course, I asked her what's wrong and she says she wants to try eating it."

Jake stared at him.

Chance sighed. "An' you know I can't tell her no. So I let her... She looked so happy chewing on it…I let her have the other ones as well."

Jake continued to stare at him.

"An' one thing led to another, if y'know what I mean?"

"Too much information, buddy!" Jake exclaimed.

Chance raised an eyebrow. "What? Just because I told you she found my meatballs tasty?"

Jake looked like he was about to gag. Then his eyes widened as if he'd suddenly realized something. "Wait, you're talking about meatballs? Not – you know?"

Chance looked at him blankly. "What?"

Jake shook his head quickly. "Nothing. Never mind. Okay, so go on with your story."

Chance still looked at Jake weirdly. "Well, Callie said the meatballs were tasty and decided to order some steak as well."

"That doesn't sound too bad…"

"Yeah, well she also ordered a t-bone steak, sausages, and some kind of chicken dish!" Chance exclaimed.

Jake shuddered with a grimace, his facing taking on a rather unnatural green tint. "And she ate it all?"

"Almost."

Jake frowned. "No wonder she's that sick."

Chance grimaced. "Yeah, I knew I should've stopped Callie. She just stopped being a vegetarian for only a week and then she had to eat that much meat. It was a bad choice; I knew I should've been more careful and stayed sober," he finished with a sigh.

"What about Callie? Where is she now?" Jake asked, looking concerned.

"She's in the Megakat General Hospital now. The doc says she'll be okay but she just needs to rest for now. He says that much meat musta shocked her body or somethin'." Chance took his untouched coffee and began to drink it, grimacing in disgust when he realized it had grown cold. "I'm just relieved she's gonna be okay!"

Jake, however, was feeling something other than relief. "Chance! I can't believe you made me think that… that…"

"That what?" Chance asked, looking confused.

"That you and Callie had…ugh! You know what I mean!" Jake threw his arms up in exasperation and sighed in disgust.

Chance stared at Jake until it finally dawned on him. "You mean you thought…?" A smirk formed on Chance's lips. "But Jake, it's not my fault you have a dirty imagination!"

Jake flushed and glared daggers at Chance.

Chance ignored the look Jake gave him and began to laugh, "Jeez, buddy! I never thought you'd be thinking like that! Just wait till Callie hears about this! She'll have a hoot!"

Jake picked up his now cold coffee and dumped it on Chance's head before stalking out the door in a huff, Chance's laughter still ringing in his ears.