Author: Sage SK
Rating - K
Genre - General
Warnings - None
Comments: To be quite honest, I really don't know why I wrote this. The question I gave myself when the beginning of this fanfic popped into my head was, "How does stress affect Jake?" This was especially after watching "Razor's Edge" and how much insight we were given to Jake's feelings and fears.
Disclaimer: I don't own SWAT Kats. But you already knew that.
"We're losing altitude!"
"I know, I know! I'm bringing the systems back online!"
"Just hang on!"
"They're not responding!"
"We're gonna crash!"
Amber eyes scanned the dark room, their owner recently awoken, gasping out a breath of shock. Jake's eyes slowly began to readjust to the darkness as he caught his breath, willing his now palpitating heart to ease down to a more calm beat. He buried a hand into his face, willing away the images and the yelling he'd heard previously.
"Again," he murmured as he pushed back the covers. Again he'd had the same nightmare, the dream coming from a subconscious fear of failure. Why, he wondered? What was the reason for this sudden string of dreams involving some sort of failure, on the Turbokat or anything else he'd designed in the first place?
Pacing, he thought over the events in his head. Without giving himself some time to sit down and think things over, he headed straight down for the hangar.
Chance hadn't a clue why he woke up. It was odd for him to even be waking up in the middle of the night, especially when there wasn't an emergency and patrolling had been done for the night. Usually he'd be outcold and not even an earthquake could've woken him up. And yet there he lay, staring up at the ceiling and wondering why he wasn't sleeping.
It was then when he heard what were the unmistakable sound of tools being used. Frowning, he sat up and perked his ears to get a better idea of where the noise was coming from.
For a split second, he'd thought someone had broken in, but a quick check in Jake's room once he sprung out of bed told him otherwise.
"What in the world...," he muttered, half annoyed as he made his way downstairs.
"... are you up to at this time of night?" was the first thing Chance asked when he made it into the hangar. It annoyed him just a little more when Jake made it clear he wasn't listening. Jake probably didn't even notice his partner standing there. All Chance could make out in the end was technical babble.
"... adjust wing span by three inches, recalculate navigational system by thirteen, readjust landing gear by..."
Jake was clearly sleepwalking, Chance mused. Or something. It'd almost looked like the smaller kat was in a hypnotic state of sorts.
The tabby watched his partner walk back and forth from the jet's blueprints back to the jet itself a few more times before finally getting in his way.
"Jake." He clapped a hand on his shoulder loudly, half startling Jake back into reality. "Wakey-wakey, Sure Shot."
"Huh?" Jake rubbed at his eyes, now realizing who was talking to him. "Hey, buddy."
"Kinda late to be gettin' your gears started up. Don't you leave that for when there's actual sunlight?"
Jake managed a chuckle. "Just needed to fix a few things."
"Like what, dare I ask?"
The smaller kat was quiet for what seemed an eternity, then finally said, "Everything."
"So you've been waking up almost every night for the past month to fix anything you may've missed?" Chance eyed his tired parter from across their kitchen table, a can of milk against his forehead.
"Pretty much. It's just..." Jake sighed. "I don't know why I'm doing it. It's like I'm so sure of myself when I get things done, but then..."
"Jake, please don't tell me that incident back at the warehouse is eating at you again. You know Dark Kat hired those two."
"I know, I know. But... Chance, what if it really were to happen?"
"It won't. You're a lot more careful than that."
"That's what I keep telling myself, but then I have these nightmares. Not only am I hurting innocent people, my mistakes are sending us to our dooms and I can't help but think that I could've done something to prevent it."
Chance finally rolled his eyes good naturedly. "You know perfectly well why we took on this job. We did it to protect the same people we were supposed to help protect in the Enforcers. And, guess what? We screwed up. What did we do?"
"Ended up doing the exact same thing we were doing in the Enforcers." Jake merely smirked, eying the can of milk in his hand. "I don't regret any of this, Chance. I'm proud of what we did, what we've accomplished so far."
"And, it's what we'll keep on doing 'til we're sent to some nursing home by our grandchildren."
"The thing is that... if we go down... if I'm responsible for it..."
"Jake." Chance gave Jake a stern glare. "The day we go down because of something YOU did, I promise I'll beat you over the head with a halo while saying, 'I told you so' over and over as we both float up towards the Pearly Gates. But until THAT day comes, the only thing I'll be sure of is that I can count on you, mistakes and all."
For the first time that night, Jake smiled. "Thanks, buddy."
"Anytime." Chance finally stood up. "Look, sleep in tomorrow. I don't care how long you do. If I have to handle everything tomorrow, I'll do it. Just do me a favor and stop doubting yourself, alright?"
"I'll keep that in mind." Jake clapped a hand on Chance's shoulder.
"You better." With a mock grumble, Chance headed back upstairs. "I'm going back to bed. If I hear anymore tools, I'm locking you outside."
The orange kat chuckled as he followed his partner upstairs. "Don't worry."
Jake felt a small load of stress lifting itself off his back. Maybe for the first time in weeks he'd be able to sleep the number of hours his body required.
He perked his ears to hear their klaxon abruptly going off.