Last Edited: (08.23.12)

Here we are, at the next chapter. Once again, this turned out to be much longer than I'd first anticipated, so be prepared. Also, just another quick thank you to anyone who's still reading, and reviewing and whatnot. The support is much appreciated.

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Sly Cooper and friends. They are owned by SuckerPunch. Any characters not recognized, are mine though.


Chapter 7: Roguelike


The harsh ringing of a phone had Carmelita waking up much earlier than she would have preferred. She groaned softly, and opened her eyes in the dimly lit room, glaring at the offensive object on her bedside table. Her cell phone continued to ring and vibrate, the buzzing noise increasingly jarring against her sensitive ears, before deciding that ignoring it wasn't helping anything. She sighed, and reached a paw from under the warm blankets, and snatched the phone. Without seeing the number displayed, she flicked it open and pressed it to her ear. "Hello?"

"Inspector Fox, you're needed immediately," came Barkley's voice, loud and to the point as he always was. He sounded wide awake, and even a bit agitated, much to the vixen's surprise.

"What's wrong?"

The Chief hesitated, before saying gruffly, "there's been a break in at the Louvre, and we need all units on hand. Just get here as soon as you can. Don't bring Cooper if you can avoid it."

Carmelita froze where she was, and glanced down at the lump beside her. Sly was currently buried in the blankets, curled on his side and breathing deeply. He didn't seem to be awake at the moment, but she knew that if she moved from her position, that the raccoon would be stirred. "I… That may be impossible," she sighed.

Barkley grunted. "Fine, just get here as soon as you can."

With that said, he ended the call, and Carmelita let out another sigh before flipping the phone shut.

"What'd the Chief want?" came Sly's tired sounding voice.

"You were awake?"

"Kind of hard to, when he was nearly yelling in your ear," he chuckled. She watched as the raccoon extracted himself from the cocoon of blankets, and stretched until there was a satisfying crack from his limbs and joints. Sly blinked tiredly at her, and yawned. "Sounded important."

"He said there was a break in at the Louvre, and that we should get there ASAP," Carmelita muttered. Thinking hard, she wondered why the Chief told her to avoid letting Sly come to the crime scene. It was as though he was trying to hide something. But that couldn't be it, right?

"Strange," Sly mumbled, breaking her out of her thoughts.

Carmelita sighed, and stood to walk towards her closet to grab her clothes for the day, feeling Sly's eyes following her every move. To sate his hungry eyes, she let her hips sway in a hypnotic manner, feeling a bit self conscious. But she figured, they'd already taken the next step, so might as well have some fun with it. When she looked back at Sly, she saw that he'd propped himself on his side, with a very pleased looking expression on his face.

He grinned. "Carm, you really need to stop before I do something I regret."

The pet name he'd given her, had shivers running laps up her spine, but she quickly shook it off.

Smiling, she reached into her closet and pulled out a pair of jeans and a shirt. While she was pulling on a pair of panties, her ears perked up at the sound of Sly shuffling around the room, looking for his own clothing. In spite of herself, Carmelita took a quick peek. It was hard to look away as he bent down to grab his discarded pants, and began pulling them on over his boxers. His muscles rippled across his back, and she felt a sudden urge to run her hands through the luscious grey fur covering his body. But she resisted, and pulled a jacket on. She walked past him to the bathroom to quickly run a brush through her hair and pull it back into a thick braid.

Her thoughts wandered to what had happened the night before, and she blushed a deep scarlet. It'd be absolutely wonderful she had to admit, and although she wondered if perhaps they'd taken it too fast her thoughts said otherwise. The fact that she'd let him into the most intimate part of life said a lot about her feelings for the raccoon, and Carmelita knew that to deny him now from a serious relationship would be a blow to his ego. However, she also knew that she wouldn't refrain from doing so, because the vixen really did want to call Sly Cooper as hers. And not as a captured criminal as she'd once thought she wanted. Sighing, she went to grab her toothbrush from its usual perch.

A pair of strong arms suddenly surrounded her from behind, eliciting a gasp from the startled vixen. "Cooper, we don't have time for this," she finally managed with a slight eye roll.

The sensuous sound of his laugh made her shiver. "I know, but it's nice to hold you like this, Carm."

Even though she'd just admonished him, Carmelita leaned into his chest and sighed pleasantly. It certainly felt nice to have someone to wake up to in the morning. After a few minutes of just enjoying each others' warmth, Carmelita finally tried to push the raccoon away. "Alright, that's enough. We need to get to the Louvre, before Barkley or - God forbid - Liam comes around to hunt us down."

Sly chuckled. "You're right. Let's go."

He took his arms away, and she turned to see that he had already changed. Still wearing the clothes he'd taken on the date last night, the vixen sincerely hoped that no one would notice. He'd refrained from wearing the tuxedo coat from last night, but the trousers, and shirt he wore could pass as casual wear on the job. When he saw her staring, he waggled his brows at her. "I thought you said we didn't have any time."

"Don't imply anything," she scolded. However, she laughed soon afterwards, and pecked him lightly on the cheek.

After she brushed her teeth, she let Sly do what he needed to make himself look presentable, and then they were both on their way to the Louvre. The drive there was mostly silent until Carmelita decided that she needed to lay down a few things for the raccoon.

"Sly," she started. His ears perked up to show that she had his attention. "I think it goes without saying that although we had a wonderful night together, I don't want the entire precinct knowing about us. In other words, I'd appreciate it if you didn't breathe a word of this to anyone just yet."

Leaning back in his seat, Sly looked thoughtful for a moment. "Sorry if I'm hearing this wrong, but are you implying that we're - maybe - together?"

Carmelita sighed, but the red flush across her cheeks told otherwise. She caught the toothy grin lighting up Sly's face, and decided to say the one word she knew that he had probably been waiting for a long time to hear. And discreetly, she'd been waiting for it too. "Yes."

Sly laughed, and she saw the grin on his face grew wider with her admittance. Unable to hold back a laugh of her own, the two were chuckling at the final barrier finally being broken down between them.

"That's a relief to hear," Sly finally managed after their laughter died out. "For a while I was afraid you'd never admit to it."

"Like I said before, Sly. Breathe a word of this, and I'll end it so fast you won't even have time to remember our relationship. Don't tell Liam either, because I know how you two like to gossip like school girls," Carmelita warned. Then her face softened and when they stopped at a red light, she turned to look at him. "Look Sly... I know it'll be hard to keep it hidden, but it'll be better for both of us if no one were to find out just yet."

The raccoon gave her a reassuring smile and even went as far as to place a paw atop his heart. "I promise not to say a word, Carmelita. Don't you trust me enough to know I wouldn't dare betray a gorgeous woman such as yourself?"

"Flattery will get you no where, Sly," she snorted.

Now happy that she had finally gotten her points across, Carmelita tried to remind herself, that although they were now going to be in a committed relationship there was still the looming fact that he had amnesia. That, and she was blatantly lying to him about his entire past and occupation. Surely one day, he would find out about everything, and once that happened, everything would collapse faster than a house of cards. And the Inspector was unsure if she could keep it up if he were to ask her about it. The only thing she could hope was that Sly never found out, or if he did he remained at her side. With this thought in mind, Carmelita's paws tightened around the wheel of her car.

"Carm, you missed our last turn," Sly's voice broke through her thoughts.

When she looked at the mirror and saw the Louvre quickly disappearing behind them, she gave out a curse and quickly changed their course. She could feel Sly's eyes on her.

He cleared his throat. "If this is about me saying something to anyone, I promise I won't say anything, Carm," he reassured her again. Although Carmelita knew that she wasn't worrying about that anymore as Sly was more than capable of keeping his promises, she jumped on the change of subject.

"I just like hearing you say that again, Sly," she responded. His chuckle had her smiling slightly as they finally pulled into their destination. Her eyes caught many police officers milling about, some putting up yellow tape, and others checking out the premises.

Strewn about were other police cars as well, and Carmelita spotted at least a handful of officers redirecting traffic and crowds away from the entrances and location. The Louvre Museum was a magnificent piece of architecture, with the large pyramid shaped glass structure the main focus of the grounds outside. Sunlight shone off it like it were a giant diamond, and the water surrounding the piece also proved to add to its glory. Carmelita was sure, that the stores underneath the glass pyramid had to be closed, however she wasn't able to confirm this idea. The main building, that had once been a palace, did not pale in the least against the pyramid, as its own impressive stone face sat proud against the Parisian skies. Made of stone with beautiful facets, columns, and statues carved into it, Carmelita was always taken aback by it, even after all these years of visiting and seeing it. The periwinkle blue sky behind it, and the sun itself added a certain elegance to it, but Carmelita's focus was brought back to the situation at hand, when she spotted the stooped and old badger making his way towards them.

Closing the car's door, she and Sly met the Chief half way. Barkley furrowed his brows at seeing the two of them, and stopped right in front of them. He was wearing his normal attire of a white dress shirt, suspenders, and black trousers with the exception of looking as though he'd hurriedly pulled his clothes on. It was obvious, that the badger had been just as hastily called in, and from the look on his face, he was slightly stressed.

"Inspector. Constable," he greeted. "I'm sorry to call you both in on your days off, but as you can tell, something's not right here."

"What happened?" questioned Sly. He was looking about, trying to discover what had happened. It was obvious that whatever had occurred was inside, but it didn't stop the raccoon from looking about.

Carmelita frowned when she saw that the Chief was eying Sly with a critical stare, until he cleared his throat. "A break-in occurred last night around 1 AM, as far as we can tell. So far, the curator, and security guards haven't been able to give us proper information, with the exception of their alarm system being triggered at that time."

The vixen nodded, and looked about herself. She was now slipping back into her work mode, and she said, "would you mind taking us to the scene?"

Hesitance splayed itself across Barkley's form, and he opened his mouth to speak when someone else interrupted him.

"I would prefer if Constable Cooper went to interview the rest of the security guards." Commissioner Arks came up from behind the shorter badger, his authority immediately causing Carmelita and Barkley to stand up straighter. His amber eyes swept across them, and landed on Sly who, although a bit slower than his colleagues, also straightened. "We have more than enough officers at the scene at the moment, but we don't have enough keeping the public out, and interviewing. I do believe you'd do a fine job with that, Constable."

With his brows knitting together, it was obvious Sly wasn't happy with being told to go on the sidelines and act as a reporter. But he shrugged slightly, and said, "will do, Commissioner."

He threw one last look at Carmelita, who nodded slightly, before he was off to do what he had been instructed to do.

When the raccoon was out of hearing range, Isaac turned towards Carmelita. "I don't think Barkley has told you exactly what's happened, has he?"

The vixen shook her head and crossed her arms across her chest, another frown darkening her features. "All I was told was that there was a break-in and that something was stolen." That and being warned not to bring Sly along, she added to herself, but decided against saying it out loud.

Isaac nodded. "Of course. Follow me, and I'll take you to the scene."

A sigh escaped from Carmelita, but she nodded and followed the much taller male into the museum, with Barkley bringing up the rear. Once again, the brilliance of the architecture and various artefacts and artwork in the building stole Carmelita's breath away, but she shook it off to concentrate on the task at hand. She was led through winding halls and large rooms until they were towards the middle of the museum. They were now in one of the large display rooms, where a few other officers were still milling about, some collecting evidence, and others snapping pictures of access points or anything else of interest. Shards of glass lay strewn about in the room like glitter, and a few overturned plants completed the picture of chaos before her. A pedestal set in the middle of the room with a large velvet pillow on it, now stood empty which Carmelita knew had have housed item in question that had been stolen.

As they neared, the vixen found her eyes widening slightly and her tail twitching behind her, when she saw what it was that was now sitting on the pillow in question.

Sly Cooper's calling card.

The folded piece of card was so familiar to her, that there was no way Carmelita could fool herself into believing what she was seeing was a trick of the eye. The bright blue and white card stood stuck out like a sore thumb against the deep plum coloured pillow. She felt the Commissioner's and Chief's hard gazes on her back, so she turned her attention towards them, and stammered, "i-is this is some sort of joke?"

Her paw shook slightly as she waved at the card sitting on the pillow, as though mocking them with its bright colours.

Barkley sighed heavily and scrubbed at the 5 o'clock shadow on his chin. "I'm afraid not, Inspector Fox. This is the only piece of evidence we found, and the item in question stolen was the Star of India on loan from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. It's certainly something that Sly Cooper would go after if he were to go back to stealing. You can only imagine the backlash the French government will get for this."

"But that's impossible," Carmelita protested. She decided to take a closer look herself, and marched right up to the pedestal to see if perhaps they really were pulling her leg. Her legs seemed to grow heavier with each step as she neared, and she knew there was no mistaking the calling card. It was Sly Cooper's, and she even felt her heart sink down to her stomach at the thought.

This can't be, she thought to herself.

The Star of India reminded her fiercely of the Firestone of India that Sly had stolen years ago, but had been brought back weeks later by him. If the gem stolen had been any other, Carmelita would have shaken it off and said it had to be impostor. But the fact that the two gems were so similar, it was as though the vixen was being mocked by the raccoon all over again, and she shut her eyes with a shuddering breath.

"Inspector," the Commissioner's voice cut through her thoughts, and she reopened her eyes to look back at the coyote. Isaac pushed his glasses up his snout and stepped forward so that they were now face to face. "Unless you have anything else to tell us, I'm afraid we'll have to go outside and arrest Sly Cooper. I did tell you if he were to go back to thieving, even I wouldn't be able to help him out of it. It's unfortunate, as he's been doing magnificently as an officer, but due to circum-"

"No," Carmelita cut across. She ignored the way Isaac's brows rose to dangerous heights, and how Barkley spluttered from behind at her outburst. "I won't accept that. This wasn't Sly Cooper. I can assure you that he had nothing to do with this."

Silence fell over them, with only the footsteps of other officers and the clicks that came from cameras taking pictures to permeate it. Carmelita stood her ground, her paws balling into fists. As much as she wanted to defend Cooper to the last moment, there was also something in the back of her mind telling her that this had to be him. There was no one else who would leave behind the card, or steal something that would strike such a familiar blow. However, she also reminded herself that throughout the entire night, she'd been with Cooper and she hadn't let him out of her sight.

But what about when you were asleep?

The Commissioner sighed softly and took his glasses off to clean them, all while saying, "well Inspector. Unless we have any other leads, I'm sorry to say that your words aren't sufficient enough to denounce Cooper as a prime suspect. Unless you have something else you want to tell me?"

Carmelita faltered under the amber gaze, and she opened and closed her mouth like a fish out of water. She wanted desperately you say something that would clear Sly of any charges, but at the same time, she knew doing so would be admitting to the fact they were now together. And even then, that made Carmelita's heart stop as it could put her job on the line.

She finally decided on bending the truth slightly, in order to get Sly out of this jam. "I have proof that Sly Cooper was no where near the Louvre at the time of the robbery." She took another deep breath for what she was about to say. Their gazes made her sweat slightly, as the Commissioner looked willing to listen, while Barkley seemed slightly sceptical. "I was with Cooper last night for some… work we had to finish. We parted ways around 1 AM, so there's no way he could have been here at the time."

Looking interested, Isaac tapped a finger to his chin and then glanced over at Barkley. "What do you think, Chief?"

Barkley sighed. "Well, it's the only thing we have to go on. And frankly, Commissioner, I'd rather refrain from arresting Cooper just yet. So far, he hasn't exhibited any sort of desire to go thieving. Coupled with Inspector Fox with him most of the time, and those officers you had set up outside his apartment, there hasn't been any suspicious activities on his part. I'm inclined to believe Inspector Fox at the moment."

The ghost of a smile crossed Isaac's lips and Carmelita could see something akin to amusement in his eyes. Once again, a shiver crossed her spine at the look. Of course, Commissioner Arks was privy to having those types of looks in his eyes, but it never made the vixen feel any better whenever she spoke to him. She hadn't noticed it before when she'd first started at Interpol, but now with this whole 'Sly Cooper as an officer' fiasco, she'd been speaking with the Commissioner more and more, and these unsettling looks were becoming more frequent.

"Well, if we can trust Inspector Fox's word, then I'm up to ghosting over this matter and trying to find other evidence." The coyote tossed a smile towards Carmelita, and walked towards the calling card and plucked it from its perch. "For all we know this could be just an impostor," he reasoned.

"Commissioner?" Barkley asked somewhat hesitantly. His brows were once again knitted together into a scowl, but then they rose suddenly when the Commissioner tucked the calling card into one of his pockets. "What are you doing?"

He put his paws up. "As far as I'm concerned, there was no evidence here. We don't know who stole the Star of India and, as I'm sure, you both don't know either." When he shot the two officers a look, they were slow on the up take, but eventually nodded and saluted just as a confirmation. Giving them a curt nod, Isaac walked towards the other officers that were in the room and began to speak with them on certain matters.

Taking it as a sign that their discussion was over, Barkley turned towards Carmelita and cleared his throat. "Inspector, may I have a word with you?"

Carmelita was led outside of the room with the badger's paw firmly gripping her arm. Once they were out of earshot, Barkley cleared his throat again, pulled out a cigar from his pocket and lit it up without a concern towards the non smoking signs in the museum. It was obvious he was stressed out and needed something to calm his nerves.

"Inspector, there's something I need to ask you, and I didn't want to do so in front of other officers. Let alone in front of Commissioner Arks." He paused to inhale deeply from his cigar. "Regardless, we have a few things to discuss."

"Like what, sir?" she asked stiffly.

"Like your relationship with Cooper." The old badger didn't look angry, but he did appear as though he what he was going to say was rather important and that Carmelita should hang onto every word. Another sigh escaped from him. "As much as I wanted to believe that you were just paying him back for whatever favour he's done for you in the past, I think there's something deeper under all this."

Carmelita's frowned slightly.

"The excuse you gave to Commissioner Arks was certainly weak," he continued, "and even I suspect the Commissioner didn't exactly believe you. But he gave you the benefit of the doubt here. No, my main question here is: do you, or do you not have feelings for Sly Cooper?"

The vixen knew this was coming, and yet she hadn't prepared for any type of answer. Panicking slightly, Carmelita tried to stall as much as she could. What do I say? I could lose my job if I say yes, or I could put Cooper in jail if I say no. Torn between each scenario, Carmelita decided to bite the bullet and hope it didn't shoot her in the foot later on.

"No, sir," she replied in as steady a voice as she could muster. Much to her surprise, she actually sounded confident in her denial. "I wouldn't let someone like Cooper cloud my judgment on a case like this. But I can assure you, that it was not Cooper who stole the Star of India."

An uncomfortable silence fell over to two, with Barkley studying the vixen before him, and Carmelita trying to look as calm as possible to the badger.

Finally, the Chief let out a sigh, and exhaled a loud cloud of cigar smoke. He was careful not to let the vixen be shrouded by it, before he said, "I'll trust your word, Inspector. You do understand that Commissioner Arks and I have done a lot to make sure that Cooper is an honest cop, correct?"

She nodded her understanding. Carmelita knew that this was a huge risk that they were all taking. Commissioner Arks was still under fire from some of the other officers and delegates about letting Sly Cooper into their ranks, and Chief Barkley was under the pressure of his superiors to keep Sly Cooper in line. Even Carmelita herself was being trusted to keep Sly in the dark and keep the lies in check. Her heart suddenly gave an uncomfortable twitch when she realized that she didn't like lying to Sly. She tore herself from her thoughts to catch the last of Barkley's words.

"If we find out that Cooper is behind this robbery, then I'm afraid that we'll have to arrest him, amnesia or not."

Carmelita nodded mutely. However, she cleared her throat, and stood straighter. "I understand, Chief. I can assure you that I'll keep a closer eye on Cooper."

Nodding, Barkley crushed the cigar against the wall and swept the cigar into a bin located close by. "I'm trusting you on this. Also, forget what you saw back there at the scene. Commissioner Arks and I will smooth over everything, so just pretend you didn't see a thing."

Carmelita watched as the old badger made his way back to the room they'd just exited, mumbling to himself the entire way back. From the way his shoulders tensed up, she could tell that even he was taken aback by the Commissioner's actions at the scene.

Turning on her heel, Carmelita began the long trek back outside, trying to gather her thoughts and trying to come up with an appropriate lie to tell Sly if he asked what happened.

She still couldn't believe what had just happened.

Her mind was reeling, sending her head into a spiral of confused thoughts. Had Sly gone back to thieving behind her back? Was he lying to her about his amnesia? Who could have done it, if Sly wasn't the one stealing again? And most importantly, why did the Commissioner effectively break the law to keep Sly out of jail? All of these questions flashed across her mind in mere seconds, and it left her feeling dizzy. The vixen found her vision swimming slightly as she walked, so she carefully sat down on a bench located in one of the hallways and buried her face into her shaky paws.

What are you getting yourself into, chica?


Meanwhile…

A heavy sigh escaped from the raccoon's muzzle as he walked towards a security guard, with a pad of paper clasped in paw. Overall, he wasn't pleased with being sent off like this, but at the same time he tried to convince himself that there wasn't an ulterior motive to everything going on. A little voice told him that this wasn't the case at all, as he had barely managed to catch Carmelita's conversation on the phone with Barkley earlier in the morning.

He had his sensitive hearing to thank for that.

His ear twitched when he caught the sound of his name being called. Turning, he found himself seeing another officer running up to him. Frowning, he stood where he was to let the dingo catch up, studying the way the shorter, and slightly on the pudgy side, male looked. The canine was wearing a simple blue dress shirt and dark pants, with a black coloured jacket thrown on top. His sandy fur was much messier than Sly would have thought for an officer of the law, along with bright hazel eyes that held back a light of almost boyish excitement. In a sense, Sly was reminded of a teenage boy, who looked as though he'd accidentally walked in on a crime scene.

"Thanks for waiting," the canine breathed out heavily. He took a moment to catch his breath, before extending a paw in greeting, the biggest grin that Sly had ever seen on a man blossoming across his face. "I was asked to come and help you get the information we need. I'm Constable Dominic Bordeaux."

Sly's eyes widened and his brows rose at hearing the name, before taking the dingo's paw hesitantly. "Bordeaux?"

The Constable nodded and grinned. "Right. You probably know my older brother, huh?"

Rolling his eyes, Sly muttered, "of course."

A chuckle escaped from the shorter male and he raked a paw through his already messy hair, tousling it even more. He shrugged. "Yeah, he has some anger management issues, doesn't he? Anyway, I can tell you right now I'm nothing like Phil. Trust me."

"R-right," Sly stammered, clearly taken aback by the enthusiasm that Dominic was showing. It was like night and day trying to compare the brothers, from the way they looked, to their personalities, to their attitude towards the raccoon. Soon enough, Sly found himself coming to grips with the fact that Bordeaux's brother seemed to have no hard feelings towards him. If anything, the younger dingo seemed star struck, which had Sly squirming a bit in discomfort.

"I don't think I introduced myself properly…" started the raccoon, but Dominic only grinned wider.

"I know who are you," Dominic nodded eagerly. "The entire precinct talks about you when they don't think you're around."

Sly quirked a brow, which had Dominic's face falling into one of horror.

"Oh crap. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that," he apologized quickly. Sly's paw was beginning to numb from how hard the dingo's hold was, but made no move to pry it away. Even though this Dominic seemed rather enthusiastic, and naive, it was also rather gratifying not to be glared at for a past he wasn't even supposed to remember.

"Don't worry about it," Sly smiled back. He gestured to his paw. "But I think I need my paw back so we can get back to work." Dominic jumped and immediately let the raccoon's paw go, with a sheepish smile.

"Sorry about that," he apologized quickly. He fell in step with Sly, as the raccoon started walking back towards his intended destination, all while rambling the whole way. "It's just great to finally get to meet you. You know, Phil says a lot about you, and you're nothing like he makes you out to be. He says you're a snob and think you're better than everyone else in the precinct. Oh, and he said you weren't that good looking, and that you look like a rat or something."

The sudden onslaught of chatter had Sly's head reeling and scowling at Bordeaux's supposed words, but he quickly reformed his face into one of amusement. "Geez, normally I'm used to getting the short end of the stick here, but I'm not complaining if you want to stroke my ego a bit more."

Dominic barked a laugh and slapped a paw against Sly's shoulder. "Man, my brother is wrong about you! You're a funny guy! Hey, maybe when we're done here we can go get a drink or something?"

"Uhhh…" Sly was still not quite prepared for this, but he quickly blurted out, "sure, I guess."

The dingo's grin widened even more. Sly had to wonder just how Dominic's face wasn't breaking apart at the seams. However, he shook all those thoughts from his mind once he met face to face with the security guard in question and started the routine questions and answers. Dominic was not too far behind to interject his own questions, and just as they were starting to get into the thick of things, Sly's phone started to vibrate in his pocket.

He blinked and paused in the middle of his sentence, earning a quirked brow from the guard and Constable both. When he pulled his phone out and saw the name on the screen, he sighed and said, "sorry about this, but I need to take this call. Would you mind finishing up Constable Bordeaux?" The name still left a bit of a bitter taste in Sly's mouth as he was quickly reminded of the older brother.

Dominic saluted. "Will do."

Sly gave him a smile in thanks, and then left as quickly as he could to answer the call. He pressed the button once he was out of hearing range, and pressed the phone to his ear. "I'd think you'd have better timing than this, Wizard."

"Glad to see my call is so well received. If you want I can hang up now," the turtle deadpanned.

Sly chuckled, and leaned against the wall of the Louvre, while propping a paw under his elbow. "Alright, I deserve that. What do you I owe this wonderful call to?"

"Well, it's been over a month since we've last seen each other and Murray's back in the city. He misses you and we wanted to try and get back together again as soon as possible," Bentley replied. There was a pause as Sly heard the usual ticking of a keyboard in the background, before the turtle started again. "And I figured now would be a better time than never."

"Right," the raccoon sighed softly. He looked outwards at the officers still milling about, some on the phone just like he was, or taking a break from their investigation. "I'd love to buddy. Just give me a place and time."

There was a pause. "That was certainly not what I expected," came Bentley's nasally voice, with a hint of surprise sprinkled in his tone.

"What do you mean?"

"There was the fear that we wouldn't be able to see each other as often as before, you know," sighed the turtle. "And I was prepared to hear you give me an excuse to why you couldn't meet up again."

Sly frowned. "Come on, Bentley. You think I wouldn't try my best to see you guys again? I did promise I would whenever I could. Sure, it might not be as often as before, but at least it's something, right?"

Another sigh. "Of course. I'm sorry for that. Just Murray and I got to talking, and we realized a few things during that talk. And that was one of those things."

A smile softened Sly's features as he realized that this was a bit more serious than he thought. Of course, even the raccoon had been thinking about the fact that they wouldn't be able to meet as often as before, and it was really making his heart ache at the thought. However, ever the positive type of man, Sly quickly said, "don't worry. It's not like I'm going to forget you guys. And Coopers always keep their promises."

Although Sly couldn't see it, Bentley was grinning to himself. "Of course. How could I forget that?"

Sly was about to answer back when a voice cut across him.

"Cooper!"

Sly glanced around and spotted Carmelita standing by her car, with an expression on her face he couldn't quite read. He frowned, but quickly pointed out the phone and gestured that he only needed another minute or so. Once she got the message, he pressed the phone back to his ear. "Sorry bud, but I just got called in by Carmelita. I need to go before she gets suspicious."

"Don't worry about it," Bentley replied.

Sly could hear the barely contained tone of amusement from the turtle, and he demanded with his own smirk, "what?"

"Nothing," Bentley coughed. "It's just funny to hear you actually listening to someone for once."

Chuckling, the raccoon returned with, "sorry Bentley, but you don't have certain assets that deserve my attention."

He gave another hearty laugh at hearing his turtle friend choke and splutter incoherently into the receiver of the phone. "Anyway, I'll let you mull over that. I'll call you later to set up another get together, alright?"

"R-right," the turtle muttered back, still clearly appalled at what Sly had said.

A grin crossed the raccoon's face as they both exchanged goodbyes and ended the call. He tucked the phone back into his pocket and jogged back to Carmelita's car, with his widening grin just barely held back in order not to raise suspicion. Although he wasn't entirely comfortable with it, he now had another supporter on his ranks in the form of Bordeaux's younger brother. He was now in a relationship with Carmelita; secretly of course. And he was going to meet up with Bentley and Murray again soon enough.

Yeah, this day just keeps getting better, and better.


Okay, so a lot happened in this chapter. I can assure you guys, that things will pick up from here on out, so I hope you guys aren't bored with this just yet. Anyway, until next chapter!