MISTAKE!

Chapter 26: Looking Toward the Future

When Sgt Fallon left the office shortly after Steele, Feral took Elora up to his desk and prepared to feed her lunch. Hadrian came up the pedestal too and sat on the corner of the desk.

Looking down at the surface of the desk and over to the impressive stack of reports in the out basket, Hadrian said, "you've had a very productive morning, my love."

"Yes, I did. No interruptions, thank God. I've also got that extradition paperwork completed for your friend. I can't wait to ship Viper off."

"I can well imagine. He gave me a call just a little while ago to see if we were up and about. When I told him you'd already gone to work, he promised to come to see you in...oh...about thirty minutes. Soon enough for you?" Hadrian grinned.

"Perfect," Feral grinned back. Elora made a burbling noise that made her mother look down at her. "Finished already? My you were hungry," he cooed at her. Hadrian quickly handed him a small wiping cloth he had tucked into his pocket so Ulysses could wipe his daughter's milky mouth.

He handed his daughter to his mate so he could set his uniform to rights once more. Hadrian put her against his shoulder and gently burped her. Feral took her back and made funny faces at her to make her giggle and bounced her on his knee.

He and his mate talked about other things, realizing they still didn't know that much about each other, like what their favorite color was and what hobbies they enjoyed if any, etc. So while they played with Elora, they talked and learned.

When lunch was over a knock at the door signaled the possible arrival of Tafari. Hadrian held Elora while Feral called to the person outside the door to come in. The handsome Korat strolled in through the door, giving his friend a warm grin, a funny face to Elora, then a greeting smile to Feral as he approached his desk.

"Seems you all have had an excellent rest as you both look very relaxed and happy. I've contacted my connection at the prison and made the necessary arrangements for Dr. Viper's incarceration. I'm pleased to say there were no complications and a small private jet will be arriving about four pm to pick him up with the proper guards," Tafari told Feral.

"That is wonderful news," Feral sighed in relief then reached for the folder holding the extradition papers and showed it to Tafari. "Here's the paperwork, nearly completed. It still needs the Mayor's signature but that won't be a problem. I'm supposed to see him this afternoon so the papers will be ready in time."

"Excellent. Then I'll be happy to collect them later, just give me a call. Hadrian knows how to reach me," Tafari said, pleased.

"I truly can't thank you enough for doing this for me and this city," Feral said humbly.

"Think nothing of it, Commander. Consider it a gift toward you and Hadrian's joining and coming happiness together. Have either of you decided on a bonding or marriage or both?" he asked, smiling.

Feral blinked in surprise then glanced over at Hadrian, a question in his eyes. Hadrian shrugged to show he didn't have an answer either. Feral turned back to Tafari and said, "You know, we've not even had time to discuss that..."

"Of course...forgive me...I forgot for a moment that though you're obviously devoted and love each other that you still do not know each other well. There's plenty of time for that decision. Still I want to congratulate you both on the good fortune of finding one another again. And to the lovely surprise that brought you together. She is such a treasure, Commander," Tafari said warmly.

"Thank you for the kind words and she is isn't she. Elora's the most precious thing in my life and though I hadn't planned on being pregnant, I have no regrets and love Hadrian for giving her to me," Feral said, giving his new mate and wonderful daughter a look of utter devotion.

"I want to thank you again, my friend. Are you leaving today too?" Hadrian asked, rocking Elora who was beginning to get sleepy.

"Yes, I'm afraid I must. Duty calls as does the demands of my new mate who misses me terribly," Tafari said.

"Well, if Ulysses doesn't mind me taking out little darling to her sitter, I'd loved to spend what little of your time you have left visiting," Hadrian said, giving his mate a questioning look.

Feral smiled warmly. "I have no problem with that, love. Elora looks like she'll be napping for a bit anyway. Enjoy your afternoon together and I'll see you later, Tafari with Dr. Viper in tow."

"Perfect, have a quiet afternoon, Commander and I look forward to spending a little more time with you as well, my friend. I have a feeling it will be a long while before we see each other again," Tafari said, a small sad smile tugging his lips.

Hadrian sighed and had to concede that was true as he wouldn't be leaving Megakat City. He planned on transferring to a local office, closing his home but not selling it (hoping to take Ulysses and Elora there on vacation sometime), and moving his things here. He knew his mate couldn't leave so he was the one that had to and he didn't begrudge it a minute.

With a final kiss to his mate, Hadrian and Tafari left Feral's office together.

Feral sighed and returned to work. An hour later, he left to brief the Mayor on all that had transpired. It took another hour to cover it all and answer Ms. Briggs' questions.

"Well, that's the best news, I've heard in a long time, Feral," Mayor Manx said, smiling happily.

"Yes, I have to admit it will be great to be able to plan things that could bring in new business and tourism to the city with those two gone," Callie sighed, truly relieved. "May I also say, you are looking very happy yourself, Commander, she commented.

Feral blushed a little. "The father of my kitten has come back into my life unexpectedly and we're getting to know each other better. He's quite wonderful and Elora loves him," he admitted.

"He's the one that killed Dark Kat?" Manx asked, curious.

"Yes, he is."

"Well, he sounds like a very brave Kat and a wonderful catch, Commander. Hope we get to meet him sometime soon," Callie said, happy for Feral.

"Oh, I'm sure you will soon enough," Feral promised.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

At four pm sharp, a squad of guards kept a tight watch on their prisoner. Viper was shackled with heavy chains held by four powerful guards as they waited to load him aboard the jet that had just arrived and was pulling up to the parking spot set for it. Feral was no taking chances.

Hadrian and Tafari had arrived right on their heels and were now standing beside Feral and waiting too. Feral handed the folder with the extradition papers over to Tafari who accepted easily.

Soon the jet parked and a group of grim faced individuals off loaded. One who was apparently the one in charge of the detail stepped forward of the group and saluted Feral. Feral returned the salute then Tafari stepped forward and presented both his badge and the papers. The leader took the folder, studied the badge a moment then looked the papers over, signed the release sheet on top before giving it back to Tafari, taking the rest of the folder with him.

Without saying anything, the guards at his back moved forward and took custody of Viper who was completely confused as to what was going on. He demanded to know where he was going but no one paid him any attention. Within minutes he was being hauled up the jet stairs and inside.

Feral dismissed his squad back to duty while he, Hadrian and Tafari waited and watched as the jet sealed up, taxied then flew off. Only then did Feral relax completely.

Hadrian hugged his friend some thirty minutes later, as Tafari prepared to board his own flight home. Feral again thank the handsome Korat then watched with Hadrian as the special agent boarded his flight.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Over the next few months, Feral and Hadrian learned a lot about each other, decided to simply bond rather than fuss with a wedding, found a house to buy near the bay with a nice yard for Elora, and began their new life together.

Hadrian followed through on his promise to help Ulysses acquire test weapons from various weapon's development labs which significantly beefed up the enforcers ability to defend the city and raise their spirits as well. Enforcer recruitment levels rose steadily over the next few years because of it.

Feral had given Hard Drive the choice to leave town and the techno thief took it without a backward glance. The Commander put the former criminal on a greyhound bus himself and watched it leave for some distant city.

For reasons of his own, the Pastmaster had not appeared to trouble them but they had other bothersome problems to keep them busy. Out of control robots, exploding experiments as well as biology experiments gone wild almost reminiscent of Viper's pests but not nearly as deadly as annoying, and a few gang related problems. Nothing the enforcers couldn't handle.

As for the SWAT Kats, Feral followed through with his original idea to use them for special cases. They were extremely useful in taking down a slave ring and a major illegal weapon's pipeline. They were also very helpful during a flooding disaster and a major fire.

As he sat in his office more than two years later, Feral stared out his office window and smiled. The city was enjoying a golden era. He and Hadrian were madly in love and little Elora was a very precocious two year old who kept poor Professor Hackle on his toes to his delight.

She was particularly thrilled when she was allowed to spend time with her uncles the SWAT Kats who spoiled her endlessly.

Yes, life was very good and all due to what he used to think of as a mistake but turned out to be the most wonderful mistake of his life.

The end