The sun shone through the trees of the redwoods and the shade underneath

the park cast the two friends in shadow, the 76 year-old Wolf and the 72 year-old Twitchy were

both staring hard at the chess board. Wolf leaned on his cane as his eyes

focused on Twitchy's black pieces while Twitchy's grey tail kept flicking

as his eyes, also surrounded by grey fur, darted with dizzying rapididy.

After a long moment in silence, Wolf finally spoke as he moved his knight,

"remember when we used to make fun of the old people playing chess in this

very same park?" Wolf asked with a smile. Twitchy then smiled and moved his

rook to the other side of the board, folded his little arms and declared,

"Checkmate."

"Wait. What?" Wolf said confused looking around and sure enough his king

was cornered, "I still haven't figured out how you always manage to beat

me so fast at this game." he laughed rubbing his forehead. "All in the game

baby" he chirped as he raised a cup to his lips, before it was snatched

away by Wolf's paw. "nah. ah . ah. this aint coffee is it? You know how you

get whenever there's even a drop of caffeine in your system." Wolf said

smelling the contents, after realizing that it was juice he handed back to

his long time friend and partner. " sorry Twitch, I have to keep an eye on

you, I don't want you dying before I do, we're both probably going to kick

the bucket at the same time anyway, we even retired together"

##################################################################

The fifty-two year old Wolf was sitting at a table decorated with a candle

and little signs that blared "Happy retirement Wolf and Twitchy".

Wolf was not as grey as he is now but there were streaks of it all over his

muzzle and head, he didn't own a cane yet, but the thick black framed

glasses laid in front of his aging brown eyes were there. Anne sat next to

him while the rest of the seats at the table were taken up by Emily, her

husband Jerry and Anna and William, both of whom were only a couple of brown

bundles only a few months old, with one seat right next to him on the other

side was Twitchy, his longtime friend and partner since he was at the

bottom of the journalism food chain. Everyone was wearing their best suits

and ties to honor the occasion of Wolf and Twitchy leaving the agency after

nearly thirty years. They had both achieved the rank of lieutenant, which

meant that they were one level below the CEO, and were both the ones who commanded the field agents and task forces.

Twitchy wasn't immune to aging as well, he was still very energetic for his

age but his fur was more of a tan color than the brown he and Wolf were used to seeing,

and his new arthritis made it very clear to him of his age.

The banquet room was filled with several members of the HEA and their

families, with a few of his friends from journalism college here and

there. On the stage stood Red, now the head of the HEA after Nicky had

retired, she still had her characteristic red hood on, except she always

wore it with a dark red blouse and skirt. She addressed the sea of antlers,

ears, and eyes as she started. "Now that everyone has been fed, we're gonna

get this show on the road, but first I wanna say a few words about our

retirees. Wolf, I remember how the first time I met you when I was thirteen, you thought I was the goody bandit and wanted my basket and as a result of that I

gave a few good kicks to the bottom of your muzzle," she said looking right at the middle aged Wolf, he grimaced and rubbed the bottom of his

muzzle, it still hurts every now and again from just thinking about it. "I still feel it" he yelled up to Red, causing most of the audience to laugh, and Anne to rest

her head against his shoulder lovingly. Which he returned with a kiss to the top of her head.

"I bet you do Wolf, after we had made amends after the Hansel and Grettel case. We were made permanent partners in the HEA, and for almost twenty

years we both cracked cases, we both dodged gunfire from the blood clan, we both were put under spells and trusted each other with our lives. On that same

note, you probably have more visits to the hospital and sick wing than anyone in HEA history, I don't know how you kept your sanity Anne." Red said to Anne

as Wolf kissed her again while feeling the faint mark across his neck where the blood clan had tried to hang him. And Anne nudged her muzzle against her

husbands.

"Don't get me wrong Wolf, the only time that you were in there for a non-life threatening reason was when you had to have your gallbladder taken out. Which

made everyone worried. But, in all seriousness" Red said as her typical tough nature began to melt, "even though at first we really didn't like each other at all, if

I hadn't been partnered with you Wolf, I probably would not be here today. We both also had help from our hyperactive little friend, Twitchy, I never thought that

I would ever even see you breathe at a normal pace let alone grow older, and you were always the one with the best timing in some of the worst situations, like

when me and Wolf were both about to be cut up during the Paul Bunyan case. All you had to do was just pour water onto the wires of the giant buzz-saw."

Some of the people laughed, others clapped for Twitchy as he puffed out his little chest. Wolf patted him on the shoulder, remembering him from his days as a

new reporter, he never thought they would be saving each others lives and watching their backs.

Twitchy puffed out his little chest with pride as Red continued to comment on their accomplishments.

"So, without further ado, and I'm pretty sure everyone is tired of me talking, Wolf and Twitchy come on up." She said taking out two wooden plaques with a brass HEA symbol on it. Underneath the symbol said "In recognition of

this agents accomplishments throughout an extensive career. Wolf W. Wolf is rewarded this plaque in recognition of accomplishments and the hope of a happy retirement."

Loud applause filled the banquet hall as many of the animals and humans stood while still clapping for two of the most well-known agents in HEA history.

Wolf and Twitchy had both gotten up from their seats and walked up onto the stage, with Wolf's tail swishing and Twitchy on his shoulders. red gave him a sincere hug and shook Twitchy's paw before they walked onto the

podium.

Wolf adjusted his glasses as he began to speak.

"To be honest, when I joined I never really thought about retiring..that is until I became the only one getting hurt." several people laughed "in fact, most of the staff in the hospital knows me by name. But, I'd like to thank Nicky

flippers, who, well, gave me a job. I'd also like to address my wife Anne, she was the one who really kept me going when I came home every night with bruises or sprains, or ringing in my ears, or bullets in my stomach. And

to my daughter Emily. She was the one who I really stayed in the agency for. After, well, Timmy passed away," his ears flattened a little at even the mention of Timmy, and the audience bowed their heads and kept silent, "we

had her about two years later, and like it was for Timmy it's the same for her. I did what I did for the both of my children. I wanted them to live in a world where they were at least safe from those that want to harm 'em, or cook

them, or whatever I could make list this stuff all day." he said with a wave of his paw with a small chuckle. "But, now I have the full intent to just settle down, watch daytime tv, fall asleep on the couch when I babysit the

grandkids, all that jazz. I also always have either new HEA agents or aspiring journalists even asking for my opinion and advice." he said feeling his name etched into the plaque "It's like the minute I turned fifty I suddenly

became all knowing somehow but anyway. My advice to everyone here, is that you never know what life is gonna throw at you, I thought I was going to be a journalist till the day I die, but then me and Twitchy met each other in

the investigations department and became partners and best friends clear up until now. But just take life in stride and anything that you accomplish feel good about it, don't try to outdo every little thing that you've done or else

you will live in misery. Thank you all for the award, I'll miss most of you." he back away from the podium as thunderous applause filled the banquet room as Twitchy jumped off Wolf's shoulder and came up to the podium and

began to give his thanks to all that helped him.

###############################################################################################################################################################################

Twenty-four years later, the grey and sometimes really achy Wolf was staring off into space as he remembered his retirement. His vision was getting even more dreadful and his hearing was definitely not as good as it was even

when he retired. His cane that he now needed to get up because of his osteoporosis still rested in his paw, feeling the polished wood. Sad, but true. Thought Wolf as he recounted how much he had aged since then. So much

happened after he retired. His grandkids growing up, William was at Woodland University for media studies and Anna had just gotten engaged and was already making preparations for her wedding. he sighed almost sadly at

the fact that: he wasn't gonna be around for much longer, he was definitely up there in the age category, and missed waking up without his bones feeling like they are on fire.

His daughter and grandchildren still come to visit him and Anne regularly at the log cabin he had lived in since he was married. Anne talked about hospice, but they both refused that and the idea of a retirement home. They

were going to live independently until the day they both pass on, something Wolf and Anne promised each other on.

A loud "ahem," snapped back to reality as Twitchy was irritable glaring at him after he had reset the chess board. "Sorry Twitch, got sidetracked" said Wolf with a kind smile as they began to play a new game.