Chapter 9: Long Distance Loving
Jason knew what was on his lover's mind because it had been on his the whole time he waited. The time of leaving was here.....now what do they do about this budding relationship they'd started?
Not speaking, they walked to his truck and climbed aboard and just sat there for many long minutes. Finally, Jason couldn't take the silence any longer.
"Okay, we knew this was going to happen so what do we do about it?" He asked bluntly, not looking at Ulysses. His eyes stared firmly at the building he'd spent so much time cooling his heels in.
Feral sighed, rubbed his eyes and tried to think of what to say. He had to go home, no argument there. Jason had his life and job here. Again, no argument there.....so........damn!
"I don't flippin' know!" He said unhappily.
"Long distance love calls, vacation times for physical closeness, neither of us changes our lives, one or both of us does......pick one." Jason said sarcastically.
Feral could only wince at that nearly hopeless tone in Jason's voice. He'd never dealt with something like this before. He'd been alone so long that he'd lost any skill he had when younger in personal relationships.
"Crud! I've not been in a relationship for more than eight years now! I don't think I even know how to be in one!" He burst out in angry frustration.
Jason blinked in shock and just stared at his lover. "You're kidding? How could you be alone that long? I'd go insane."
"My job is my life. It's so hectic and dangerous that I really don't have a lot of time alone to think about being alone." Feral said, shrugging.
"Oh that's just sad!" Jason said, shaking his head, totally taken aback. He simply couldn't imagine not being with someone, if only to just ease a bodily need or to be held and comforted.
Feral ducked his head in discomfort, not really knowing how to respond to that statement.
Seeing that, Jason turned in his seat and pulled Ulysses to him to hug. "Aw love, I'm sorry. This is just a mess. Come on.......I know you're anxious to go home but we really need to talk about this first and we can check the plane schedules from my house." Jason coaxed.
Feral sighed and looked into the beautiful eyes of his lover and could only nod.
Giving the dark tom another tight hug, Jason released him and started the truck's engine. Soon he was moving smoothly through the early morning traffic for his bungalow.
The ride was quiet, neither felt like talking......each lost in their own thoughts. Jason pulled into his parking spot and climbed out. His lover was slower to do so. They walked to his place and went in. Jason walked through the living room to the kitchen and got them something to drink when he returned to the living room, Ulysses was sitting on the couch and staring out the picture window to the ocean without really seeing it.
Sitting down beside the dark tom, Jason nudged him with his shoulder. Ulysses blinked and turned to accept the drink. They sat there silently for some minutes.
"Now that I've had this experience, I'm loathed to give it up but I can't stay." Feral said painfully.
"I know. I love my job and this place has been my home for some ten years. Frankly, your city is just plain scary." Jason said unhappily.
Feral snorted in pained amusement. "Don't I know it. I love your place......it's so peaceful, something I've needed and hadn't realized until this moment. But the only real choice I have is dropping in a couple of weekends a month, even that might be difficult only because the omegas are a pain in my ass. We do get some months of relief but we just never know when those are."
"And my schedule includes weekends. I work a thirty-six hour shift then I'm off for three days then back on again. Not a good schedule for trying to be together." Jason interjected.
Feral grimaced. "Oh now that's tough! You're right, trying to find a period when we can get together will be a real challenge."
They went silent again.
"Well I don't know about you, but I'm willing to give it a try." Jason finally said. He was actually amazed at himself. He'd never attempted such a thing as a long distance relationship before but something about this tom struck a deep chord in him and he wasn't willing to give him up without at least trying to make it work.
Feral eyed Jason in surprise. He must be mad or truly wanted to be with him to make this attempt because this was just insane to try. Well if Jason was willing, then so was he. He didn't want to give up this wonderful feeling he was beginning to have inside.
"Fine. Then so will I but I think we're both crazy to think this will work." He said fatalistically.
"I liked to think it's a true bonding that's making us willing to do this and somehow, I think we just might succeed." The golden tom said optimistically.
All Feral could do was give the tom a wane smile and a salute with his drink glass.
Jason smiled back and saluted too. They drained their glasses at the same time and placed the cups on the table.
"One for the road, my love!" Jason purred, pulling Ulysses close.
Feral didn't resist. Their lovemaking was much more intense perhaps because it would be the last for a long time.
When they had showered and redressed, Feral checked the flight schedules and booked himself for a flight that was leaving in a couple of hours. It gave them time to share a meal before he left.
Jason took him to a really nice place not far from the airport and they enjoyed a long leisurely meal before heading for the airport. He stayed with Ulysses until he boarded his plane after a long, intense kiss farewell. He would miss his lover.
Feral stared out the window as his plane taxied. Already he felt a pang of sorrow leaving his new lover. It was going to be very lonely without the golden tom.
Once back home, Feral threw himself into his work. It wasn't until about a month later when he heard from Capt. Forence. He'd been writing up a report on the recent depredations of Dr. Viper when his phone rang.
"Feral!" He barked into the mouthpiece.
"Hello Commander, Capt. Forence here."
"Oh, hello. How are you doing?" Feral said more politely.
"Very well, thank you. I have good news for you. That dangling problem we were concerned about has finally resolved itself. The dissidents that were still on the lose including the chemist for the gas turned themselves in last week. It had taken them that long to worry themselves to death about what had happened. At heart, they aren't bad Kats and felt really bad about what had happened. The chemist had brought the formula and allowed my officers to search his place to insure no trace of it or the gas was still around. I can now say unequivocally that the problem and the threat are now ended." Forence said, happily.
Feral sighed in relief. "That's wonderful news. You are going to broadcast this information so that any criminals including mine will know its no use going after the gas?" He asked.
"It's being written as we speak. I don't want any of your omegas chasing after this stuff and we'll particularly play up the fact it has a very short shelf life anyway." The captain said, satisfaction lacing his voice.
"Fantastic. I'll brief my Mayor on that. After having just dealt with Dr. Viper's attack and the mess he left behind, this news will be very welcome." Feral said, pleased with the happy ending to this case.
"Glad it's you and not me." Forence said. "I would recommend, my friend, that you take a break occasionally to visit our city and recharge. You can't chase the monsters endlessly without it getting to you eventually." He said, warningly. He knew better than most what a high stress job could do to those in this field, burnout and depression being just two of the worst problems.
"Believe me. I will take you up on that. It does get very disheartening to fight these guys over and over again. You just never feel you're winning really." Feral said heavily.
"I can't even imagine it. Take care and stay save, Feral." Forence said by way of farewell.
"Thanks, I'll certainly try." Feral replied then they hung up. He dialed city hall and briefed Ms. Briggs about the good news.
"That's great news, Commander. Thanks for telling me. I'm truly glad that piece of unfinished business is at last closed." Ms. Briggs said, relief in her voice.
"You're welcome, Ms. Briggs." Feral said then hung up. He went back to work in a much lighter frame of mind.
For once he went home at quitting time wanting to get a chance at reaching Jason before the tom went on duty. Since his return, he and Jason had talked on the phone frequently. His phone bill was ridiculous but he didn't care.
Tonight, he relayed the good news and Jason was pleased that particular nightmare was over. But he didn't regret how the gas had brought him a lover and a possible mate. Though they couldn't be together, he felt the ties between them strengthening.
When he'd returned to work, his coworkers noted he seemed happy and sad at the same time. Being close because their job demanded it, they finally managed to worm the secret out of him at dinner one night.
"Okay, Jason, fess up!" One of his friends said as he passed the mashed potatoes.
"Yeah, come on! We can see you're happy but what we can't make sense is why you're also sad at the same time." Another badgered.
"I bet he's got a new lover!" One shouted out.
"If he did then why's he unhappy?" Another demanded.
The crew bandied reasons loudly as they ate, the captain letting them blow off steam. They'd just come from a very nasty fire with casualties and they needed this harmless badgering to help them get over it.
"Alright, already! Geez, you guys are persistent. Yeah, I do have a lover, though I think its becoming more serious than that. I'm a little sad because he doesn't live here." Jason said.
"Wait, is it that tom you saved during the gas attack?" The captain suddenly interjected.
Jason blushed hotly.
"Well I'll be damn! So I was right.....he was mate material then?" The captain chortled.
"Yeah, well maybe......we won't know for sure since we can't be together. We talk all the time on the phone though." Jason admitted.
"Wow! How cool is that." A crew mate said beside him, giving his shoulder a friendly push.
"So who is this guy and why is it so hard for him to just move here and be with you?" Another asked.
"Because he's the Chief Enforcer of Megakat City, is why." Jason snorted.
Silence hit the table as they all stared at him in shock.
"You're having us on?" One of them finally managed to say in disbelief.
"I promise I'm not. He was attending that conference." Jason held up a paw to show he was serious.
"Wow! That's incredible......a lowly paramedic the lover of a high-powered military leader. Man that's just awesome." One of the team said. The rest just nodded their heads in amazement then they began to make harmless jokes about his love life.
Jason accepted the ribbing in good grace but in his mind he wished his lover was here right now. He sighed mentally, at least he got to speak to him on the phone before he came on duty, that always gave him a lift.
It wasn't until another month went by before their schedules matched that Feral was able to fly in and see Jason. Needless to say, they never saw the light of day during his stay except for a brief few hours on the beach together.
They so didn't want to part that they stayed together right up to the start of Jason's shift. Bringing his lover to the station house, he introduced Feral to his crew mates. They were awed at getting to meet the officer they saw on the TV quite often. Feral was pleased to meet the Kats that stood at his lover's side in his job.
The captain spoke for all of them when he said, "You've made Jason a very happy tom even if he misses you a great deal. Must be really hard to maintain a relationship long distance?"
"Yeah, it is but when you love someone a lot you do what you have to make it work." Feral said softly, hugging Jason close to him.
"We can certainly see that. Take care of yourself and a safe trip home." The captain said warmly.
Feral nodded his thanks as the crew made their farewells as well then left the two alone so Jason could say a proper goodbye.
"See you soon, love." Jason murmured after they kissed for a long moment.
"I'll try love. Stay safe." Feral said softly, loathe to let go.
"You too. There's your taxi. Call me when you get in." Jason said releasing Feral and walking him to the taxi.
"I will!" Feral said as he climbed in and waved as the taxi drove off.
They maintained the long distance love life for more than four years. Each visit cementing their relationship until at the end of two years they became mates, all their friends attending the ceremony. After that they maintained a regular schedule of visiting each other and resigned themselves to accepting that this was how their life would be until one of them retired.
It wasn't until Jason received injuries serious enough to remove him from duty a few years later that he finally moved to Megakat City to be with his mate. However, they didn't give up Jason's place. It was their getaway from the city's troubles, giving Ulysses a much needed pick me up to continue his job.
It wasn't until another few years had passed when Feral finally handed the reins over to his second in command and retired. He and Jason moved to Sandeval Bay to enjoy their life together, finding peace at last, their love still as strong as ever.