Chapter 6: A Home away from Home

(A/N: A big thank you to Ulyferal for being my beta otherwise my work would probably suck)

(A/N: Yea i know it's been a long time since i posted anything. Sorry for that. As for this chapter don't get too comfortable with it as i'm going to be re-vamping the whole story. I re-read it when i finished this chapter and couldn't believe the blunders i had made. Idk when i'll get the re-do done. Kinda busy at the moment. Just playing it by ear. Anyway, enjoy it the way it is for now. ttyl Shadwatcher.)

'Thoughts' "Speaking"

Megakat City Other Reality…

Thoughts of going to bed were long gone in light of seeing just what Sely could do; they went back to the living room to settle in for an explanation. Chance stepped into the kitchen and snagged some cans of milk and brought them back, doling it out to the other two then took a seat in the old reclining chair. Jake and Sely flopped down on the couch.

Settled again, Sely launched into explaining the basics on how her magic worked. The different symbols and movements involved had Jake listening raptly; following along fairly easily. Though poor Chance was able to keep up while they were on the basics but he became totally confused as it got into the more technical and in depth magic. After several hours he finally gave up and began dozing instead.

Sely noticed and smiled, mildly amused. "I guess we better stop now and get some sleep. Look, dawn's nearly here...," she nodded towards the window where the sky was getting lighter.

"Yeah, you're right. Sleep would be best," Jake agreed, reluctantly. Though he was still rather leery of magic, he was excited and felt Sely's form of magic would be far more beneficial to them all while she was with them. The possibilities were endless. He stood and stretched then reached over to nudge his barely aware partner. "Come on Chance. Time to hit the sack."

"Huh! Wha...oh yeah...bed...okay...see you guys in the morning," the tabby said, his voice fuzzy and thick. Getting to his feet, he stumbled off to his bedroom yawning.

Jake chuckled then he and Sely followed after the tired tabby. Halting outside their rooms, Jake said, "I'm sorry you're stuck here, Sely, but I'm not sorry that you're with us. I feel fate has sent you to us to help us save our city and when you've done so, you'll get home." He wasn't given to making predictions but in this instance, he had a strong feeling his words rang with truth, however, he couldn't have said why. Maybe being it was around Sely and her magic was rubbing off. Who knows?

Sely blinked at him in some surprise. "Really? Don't you think that's reaching a bit?" The cinnamon tom shook his head, his warm green eyes showing how serious he was about it. Sely shook her head in wonder. "I'm no psychic so I wouldn't know, but I hope you're right. Thank you for that vote of confidence, the help and a place to stay when I needed it most."

"You're welcome. Try to get some sleep. I know it will be hard as what you left behind was truly awful. If you need me, I'm just next door," Jake said softly, opening his door.

"You're a very perceptive tom, you know that? Sort of like Calvin," Sely said smiling wistfully. "I appreciate the offer, but I think I'll be alright. Good night." Jake nodded, smiled briefly, and then disappeared into his room, shutting the door behind him.

Sighing, Sely went into her room and slowly stripped her clothing off the normal way and slipped into a pair of comfy pajamas. Flicking the light switch off, she went to the bed and slipped under the covers. She lay on her side staring out the window watching the morning's light growing brighter against the closed curtains. Her thoughts were still racing keeping her from much needed rest.

She'd been incredibly lucky...she knew that. Dropping into another dimension could have placed her in serious danger or been her death, depending. Instead, here she was safe enough to allow her injuries to finish healing and lucky to have found both shelter and protection from these two genuinely caring toms. And because they were SWAT Kats as well, they were more equipped to help her than anyone else in this reality. Perhaps Jake was right...fate might have taken a paw in sending her here rather than wherever Dark Sage had planned for her to go.

But despite all that, this wasn't her reality and she realized just how much she missed home and everyone she'd left behind. Her best friend would have loved coming here but it would have been nice if it had been voluntary and not what had happened to them ... was that really just a few hours ago? The memories, pain, and sorrow slapped her with fresh tears. She'd been able to keep all her anguish at bay with all the distractions but now in the quiet of her room, it all came crashing back down to swamp her. In the darkness of her new surroundings, she sobbed herself quietly into an exhausted slumber.

o*o

Later than he normally rose, Jake got up to start their work day. As usual, he had to roust Chance from bed, much to the tabby's grumpy displeasure, considering how little sleep they had gotten. As they settled down at the table with breakfast, only then did Sely walk into the kitchen. Both toms looked up to greet her only to be stopped by her miserable and disheveled appearance.

Sely, usually was a morning person, especially after all those years of training to be a SWAT Kat and working with the Enforcers, but this morning it had been hard to face the day after the horrible few hours she'd spent in sleep that was filled with the horror of those last moments before she was hurled into this reality. With her blond hair tousled and her usually bright blue eyes all puffy from crying, she presented a very sad sight.

"Aw Sely, nightmares keep you up?" Jake asked, solicitously.

She gave him a miserable look.

Chance got up from his seat and went to the distraught she kat's side. Wrapping an arm around her shoulders, he gently tugged her toward the table, pulled out a chair, and pushed her into the seat. "Let me get you some hot cocoa or would you prefer tea? And do you think you could eat anything?" He asked.

Sighing deeply and putting her face in her paws, she mumbled, "Tea would be nice and I'm not very hungry at the moment. Thanks anyway."

Nodding, Chance went to a nearby cabinet, drew out a box of tea then grabbed a tea kettle from a shelf and began filling it with water.

Jake reached across the table and squeezed her shoulder. "I'm sorry you had such a bad night. Wish you would have taken my offer of comfort ... at least you wouldn't have been alone and might have gotten some sleep at least."

Raising her head, Sely quirked a small sad smile toward the tom. "It's alright...really. I needed to grieve for those I've lost and though they're mostly gone I'm still recovering from my injuries. I just need some R and R is all."

"And food!" Chance said, firmly, as he set the mug of tea before her and a plate with a piece of buttered toast, a slice of bacon, and a soft boiled egg. "I know you aren't hungry but you'll only heal if you eat. How else are you gonna rebuild your strength?"

She stared at the food stupidly a moment then her stomach growled. She blushed in embarrassment. 'Guess I am hungry after all', she thought, picking up the fork he'd set next to the plate. Glancing over at the tabby who had returned to his seat to finish his own breakfast, she smiled. "You're right and thanks."

"Just remember, we're here for you. Don't hesitate to ask for our help," Chance reminded her.

That thought almost made her snicker as she remembered last night he was suspicious of her and didn't want her here. 'What a difference a few hours and a demonstration of magic could do in cementing their budding friendship.' She mused. Picking up the mug of tea, she blew on it a bit to cool it then drank deeply. 'Hmm, that helped a lot', she thought. Setting her mug down and reaching for the bacon, she flashed them a more positive smile. "Thanks guys. You don't know me well at all but you've done a great job of making me feel welcome. It means a lot. I am really starting to like you guys."

"Aww...you're welcome, Sely and we like you too," Jake said, smiling warmly and patting her hand. Chance reached over and squeezed her other shoulder in a show of solidarity before returning to finish his cereal.

As she munched her breakfast, she studied the two males more thoroughly. It was still uncanny how much she resembled Chance ...it was a bit creepy, actually but at the same time reassuring. How strange. "You know, I didn't really expect you to be so supportive of me this quickly. I am after all still a stranger to you..."

"No you're not!" Chance interrupted. "You're a SWAT Kat and we stick together." Having seen her amazing abilities and knowing she could have taken them all and done what she wanted to them but hadn't, had proven her honesty and trustworthiness to him.

"I agree! And I'll go one further ...," Jake jumped in. "We're family and we look out for one another. Oh, and just wait until you meet Mom Furlong. Everyone is a kitten to her and family once she knows you."

"Speaking from there experience Jake?" Sely asked, smirking at the image in her mind of the pair of tough toms being coddled by Chance's mom.

Chance burst out laughing. "Oh, yeah, mom always makes Jake and I feel like kittens again. It's just her way. To her everyone needs a little TLC and she's the one to give it whenever someone visits our home. Add to the fact that you already look like one of us and you'll never get out without being dubbed, at the very least, an honorary Furlong."

Jake groaned, "Don't remind me. She always insists on calling me little Jakey because all the Furlongs are about as big if not bigger than Chance. So it makes me the smallest kat in the house when we visit. Huh, guess that won't change either since you two are close to the same size."

Sely couldn't help but chuckle at that. It was soo cute and reminded her of her own mother a lot. It made her want to share something from her life with them, so she told them about her and Jess' parents and how it had only been a few years ago that they had died in a horrible accident. The perpetrators had been caught but it had truly been an unfortunate accident, and nothing more.

"Crud! That's rough; I don't know what we'll do when the parents pass. Going home is like an outlet for us to take the edge off all the bad stuff we have to put up with," Chance said thoughtfully and it was too. Considering that the Furlong family knew all about his and Jake's activities there wasn't anything they couldn't talk to them about which helped when they needed to rant and vent their frustrations at times.

Listening to Chance talk, Sely suddenly realized that Jake hadn't said anything about his own family. Turning her head, she asked, "And what about your family, Jake? Do they know what you do in your spare time?"

A melancholy look flashed in the tom's eyes making Sely realize she probably shouldn't have asked. The clues pointed to either estrangement or loss but Jake was already answering her question so she couldn't very well apologize for bringing the subject up at all.

"I lost my parents when I was very small. I'd been told they'd been killed by a hit and run driver. Apparently, there were no other family members willing to take me in so I ended up at the Megakat Home for Orphans. Chance and I met as we went to the same school together. Though we didn't become best friend until we were about eight or nine years old. Right, Chance?"

"Yeah, that's about right. It was also the first time we fought together too. Some bullies at school were picking on the smaller kittens and made the mistake of trying to pick on Jake." Chance laughed at the memory. "Even back then that wasn't a good idea. He may have been small but he was smart and tough. That was also when Mom basically adopted him into the family and he's been part of it ever since. So Mom is Mom to him too."

More comfortable now, Jake laughed too and continued the story. "Yeah ... by then Chance and I were already hanging out together but that incident just kinda sealed the deal for us. When it was over and we were all taken to the principal's office, that's when we made our pact to be best buds forever. And here we are still, years later."

Sely listened to their history with rapt attention. This was amazing and bizarre as well. Their life story sounded very much like the tales Granny Furlong used to tell the kittens about how the original SWAT Kat team met. It just seemed too weird that this reality seemed to follow her home world's history, with just a few minor variances. Like there being no magic here. In the context of what they'd said so far and what she'd already observed her own world appeared to be several years ahead of and more technologically advanced than this world was. And being a fourth generation SWAT Kat in her world made Sely realize that it was entirely possible that, not only was she in another dimension, but that she could very well be in their version of the past on top of that. She shook off her musings when she realized the duo was waiting for a response from her.

"Sorry guys, I kinda got lost in the story there. So really you've been working together since you were just kittens. That is soo cool. Jess and I were like that too but we were raised to be SWAT Kats. It was our heritage. Having been handed down from Mother to Daughter since the first of us took up the mask years ago."

"And I find that just amazing to think about! On another world, our legacy lives on in our kittens ... still keeping the SWAT Kats alive. Being descendents, things must have been far easier for you compared to us. Must have been nice not to have to hide and actually be able to work with the Enforcers rather than always running from them," Chanced mused, his head resting on an upraised palm as he studied her.

"Must be nice to work together catching the omegas, without the constant attempts by the Enforcers to catch us. Not to mention the lectures from Feral for working outside the law. It's really a pain in the tail trying to keep the city safe and also avoid the Enforcers all the time on top of it. You'd think saving their bacon all the time would get us some consideration from them...but no...just more abuse and threats to arrest us. I know a Thank You is too much to ask for but, crud!" Jake grumped, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms in annoyance.

Sely worked hard to hide the smile that threatened to break out on her face as she listened to the two complain about their treatment by the Enforcers. 'Hmm, wonder if they realize they are their own worst enemy', she mused, thoughtfully. 'Perhaps I should enlighten them about it? I know Granny Furlong had to get over it, guess they must too.' Nodding to herself she began to mentally hatch a plan to help these two come to the same conclusions that her own great-grand fore-bearers once did. Hopefully they would accept it faster knowing that it was what had happened in the past on her world. 'Well I won't know until I tell them. Now I just have to find the right time to do it.'