The end of one double life.
Jake didn't go out much, his introverted nature usually enjoyed sitting on the couch watching old horror movies and Scardey Kat more than going out into the wide world. But tonight he was itching to get out, to prowl the neon lit dance floor like a hunter. He needed to do this alone for three reasons: the first was practical, Chance needed to be there to man the phone in case Callie called, the second was that he was afraid Chance would get in the way of him getting laid, and the third was that Chance didn't know Jake was gay. In all the years they had known each other, this was the one thing that Jake kept secret. It started out as necessity; he would have e gotten kicked out of the Enforcers if he was openly gay, then when they got kicked out anyway, he didn't want to ruin the good thing he and Chance had going with the Swat Kats. He would come out to him, eventually, but right now he didn't mind living two "double lives".
That night, Jake went to Discography, one of the less popular gay clubs in Megakat City. Jake preferred the smaller size of the club, and the friendly demeanor of its patrons. As he walked in, a wall of bass hit him as it reverberated off the walls. The music wasn't much to his liking, but the thumping rhythm seemed to have an effect on tom kats that put them in heat. Jake walked past the bar and headed straight for the dance floor. He scanned the crowd until he found someone he liked. He was a little younger, twenty one or so, but he had the most luxurious looking black fur, and a slightly husky body that might have turned off some kats, but not Jake. The tom was standing at the fringe of the crowd. Jake approached him, hoping that he had gotten the smell of oil and grease out of his fur.
"Hey," Jake's amber eyes were sparkling.
"Hi," the tom replied, his voice unsure.
"I'm Jake," he said, taking the tom's arm.
"Ch…Ch...Chris." the tom stuttered as Jake pulled him onto the dance floor.
Jake was thankful that Chris was just as bad a dancer as he was. After about ten minutes they had decided to call it quits and head to the newly added lounge area. Unlike the frantic atmosphere of the rest of the club, smooth ambient music permeated the lounge as Toms sat on chic leather couches while sipping cocktails. Matt sat down on a secluded couch while Jake went to the bar and ordered drinks (a beer for him, a gin and tonic for Chris).
"So Chris," Jake said, putting down the drinks on a table, "what do you do?"
"I study architecture at Megakat City University. I just transferred here from Tennant University."
"So this is your first time in the big city, huh?"
"Yup. What do you do?"
"Yeah, have my own shop and everything."
"Really? You need to give me a card, I have no mechanical skills whatsoever.
They delved into more small talk and drinks until about one in the morning, Chris said:
"Do you want to come home with me?"
Even though Jake lost cognitive thought quite easily when he drank, he had no trouble thinking up the answer to that one.
"So Jake, when do you think you're going to get a place of your own?" Mrs. Clawson asked after taking a sip of her coffee.
Jake just looked at his mother for a few seconds. "Why?"
"Because, you'll never get a girl if you don't have a place of your own."
Then I'm never moving out, Jake thought.
"And besides, there's something a little fishy about your relationship."
"I mean, you haven't had a girlfriend since you joined up with the enforcers, you two spend all your time together, either here or out doing who knows what,"
"Where exactly is this headed?" As much he loved his mom, he really wanted to strangle her right now. Her nagging wasn't making his hangover any better.
"I think Chance is a sissy."
"You know, one of them."
"That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
"How old is he? He's 27 and not married."
"Neither am I; and I'm only two years younger."
She patted his arm, "But you're my son, you can't be gay, it's just his bad influence. That's why you need to move." Mrs. Clawson stood up.
"Whatever." Jake didn't get up.
"It's your decision, but..." Mrs. Clawson kissed Jake on the forehead, "don't come crying to me if he tries to "mix your salad" or "fold your fudge" or whatever those people do."
Just then, Chance walked through the door.
"Hey little buddy, I rented Brokekat Mountain. Wanna watch it later?" Mrs. Clawson walked to the door, "Oh hi Mrs. Clawson."
"Hi, bye," she replied coldly, then mouthed "told you" to Jake before stepping out.
"What was that about?" Chance poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down.
"Nothing. She's just convinced your gay." Jake watched to see what Chance's reaction would be. He was surprisingly nonchalant about it.
"Oh, she's just trying to think up excuses for me not being married."
Chance laughed, "I guess my movie choice didn't help."
Jake laughed a little. "Well," he said getting up, "I'm gonna start building those guns I designed, then we can watch Brokekat Mountain."
"Great, I'm gonna go over to the bathhouse and get some tail."
"I'm just kidding Jake."
"I wish I knew how to quit you." Cried the angsty cowcat.
"This movie is so dull." Jake whined.
"Then stop watching it."
"Well, I gotta see how it ends."
Jake welcomed the sound of the doorbell ringing.
"I'll get it," he said, leaping out of the couch and towards the door. He opened it
and gasped a little. Chris was standing there in a black leather jacket and a cigarette hanging out of the side of his mouth.
"Well, are you gonna let me in or what?" He asked, pushing his way past Jake, "It's way too hot out there to wear leather, but I couldn't resist the sex appeal." Chris's shyness from last night seemed to have disappeared.
"Who is it?" Chance asked, getting up from the couch and walking towards them.
"Chris Ledford." Chris reached out and shook a confused Chance's hand, "I met Jake yesterday, and you are?
"Chance Furlong, I live with him."
"Oh," Chris looked taken aback, "oh." He began to laugh coldly.
"Chris, it's not what you think," Jake said.
"I'm sure it's not, these things never are." Chris looked at Chance, "Nice to meet you Chance. I came here for you to tune up my bike, but it looks like you two are busy."
Chance looked at Jake and Chris, dumbfounded.
"Chris, I'm serious, we're just roommates."
"Yeah," Chance said, still in shock.
A blush spread across Chris's face. "Oh god, this is embarrassing."
"What's going on here?" Chance said.
"Nothing, I'm just an idiot," Chris walked to the door, "sorry about that."
"Wait, Chris, it's not a big deal," Jake said, but Chris had already opened the door.
"Do you still need your bike tuned up?" Chance called after him, but he didn't turn around. After he had left, Chance and Jake looked at each other.
"Jake, where did you go last night?" Chance asked, breaking the silence.
"I went to Discography."
"You mean a gay club?"
"Yes." Jake felt ashamed and he didn't quite know why.
"So he thought…" Chance went back to the couch and sat down, "did you tell him we were a couple?"
"No, I didn't even mention you."
There was an awkward silence as Chance turned off the movie.
"So were you even going to tell me you were gay?" Chance's voice wasn't accusatory, but it sounded hurt.
Jake stared at Chance's feet, "Eventually."
Chance got up from off the couch, "Look at me Jake," he lifted up Jake's chin, but Jake turned his head, "look at me god damn it!"
Jake reluctantly turned his head and looked into Chance's eyes; there was no rejection in them, just concern and a little bit of sadness.
"I would never hate you for being yourself; I just wish you could have figured that out without me telling you." Chance walked to the door, "I'm gonna go for a ride, I need to be alone for a bit."
As Jake watched Chance walk out the door, he mentally kicked himself for keeping this a secret. At least he knew now that Chance accepted him, so he could stop leading this double life, because one was enough.