A/N: I don't own the shapeshifter series, or any of the old characters. I am not Ali Sparks. I only own John and Keri and any other characters that I create on the way.

1

Keri woke just before she heard her stepmother scream. So they had come for her at last, the enemy, the Government. She knew that eventually they would track her down and if they could not keep her, for experiment or for 'service' to her country, they would kill her. She slipped on her ring the Topaz that gave her courage and the black Obsidian, for more dangerous uses, and faced the door. She felt the power from the Obsidian coil within her and felt the flame rise from her spirit, from her very being, and the Topaz that added to the power when she herself was not enough. There was a shout from outside, it sounded like her brother, John, yelling at her to run but this time she would not, not with out John.

She saw a red liquid, blood, and let out a low scream that was more of a growl but crushed down the urge muttering to herself at the same time "Not now for a last resort". Then the door was kicked open and she saw her brothers corpse just before a man dressed head to toe in black, except for his face which was covered in a full face mask. He said nothing, just aimed his gun at her and just as he was about shoot to her, she made her move. The man screamed just as he was engulfed, from head to toe, in flame that burnt him until nothing was left but ashes. Then she checked her brother, making sure he was dead and checking to see if he had any weapons. He didn't so she bid farewell to her twin and moved on checking each room for enemies.

There were two more, one in the bathroom and one looting her stepmother's jewelry. She dealt with that one with particular malice, burning him in the balls and his eyes and mouth so he could not escape or scream. She felt guilty but then remembered her brother and how her would-be killer had dealt with him, without mercy or conscience, which made her feel better. Once upstairs was clear she descended and hurled a fireball at one who saw her then going directly to her mother and burnt through her rope.

Then as her mother hugged her she noticed the slight drain in her power and checked for her ring, only to see it was gone. Then her mother hit her with a crack across her jaw. Her mother then called the assassin squad to attention and five stepped out of the shadows, pointing their machine guns at her. Then one of them threw her mother a Desert Eagle and addressed her "All right that's enough surrender, if you don't you will not be spared". "Don't bother with that stupid girl, she isn't smart enough to join us willingly. I told you we should have gone after the boy, he was more evil, the dark side of the coin that they are. We should have used her to blackmail him into joining her. " "But we didn't do now we are stuck with her, so do we take her or kill her?" "Kill her, she will never join us." "Ma'am" and that was it they pointed their guns at her and just when there were five bangs and Keri had shut her eyes, expecting pain then oblivion, there was nothing. She opened her eyes and noticed the beautiful ways that her muscles moved under her fur... wait fur? She had done it again she had shifted into a Jaguar again.

She slashed her claws through the first man then lunged at the second sinking her strong jaws into the mans neck, crushing his jugular and windpipe. The third and fourth men were dispatched by powerful swipes that launched them both 10 inches into the wall. The fifth managed to get one desperate shot off that hit her in the left shoulder then he had his skull crushed in one massive bite. Then just as Keri dropped her guard, licking her wounds, Keri turned to see her mother standing and pointing her gun straight at her head "Don't move girl, if you do I will kill you. I always knew you were different, that you weren't quite human, and now that I see you I know that I was wrong...you aren't even human at all". Then she pulled the trigger. There was a loud flash a defending roar and a hot flare of pain right between her eyes.

"Keri, KERI. Wake up! It's all a dream. It was all a dream, calm down. Now Keri, WAKE UP!" Keri woke up in her bed and saw John looking at her with affection, worry and something else, something deep, buried deeper than anything she had ever seen ... was it pride?

"What's up?" she muttered but it came out as a large amount of growling and some snarls which John seemed to understand, twin telepathy.

"Keri, first of all, Happy Birthday sis and secondly you've done it."

"Happy Birthday to you too and what do you mean done it? What have I done now?" Growl, growl, string of yowls and snarls.

"You shifted in your sleep. You are now a beautiful Jaguar."

"What I can't let mum see me like this. You've shifted how did you get back? What do you shift into; you said you'd tell me if I ever managed to shift, so what is it? Is it a cat like me? Is it a bear? Is it a elephant?" Growl, snarl, yowl, yowl, growl...English.

"Ok, ok shut up, one at a time. Ok to shift back you need a good long sleep; I have some pills for when I do it unexpectedly. You can borrow some if you like. Ok anyway I shift into a cat like you. It's not a Jaguar though, it's a Panther. Much better than yours and just before you ask yes the sleeping pills do work on big cats like us or I wouldn't use them would I? I'm not stupid am I? Wait don't answer that last one."

"Thanks bro, your the best I owe you one, but what do I tell mum about why I slept so late?"

"Oh, I'll tell her that you're sleeping in as a B-Day present, it's a weekend after all."

"Ha, thanks, now where are my prezzies?"

"I'll tell you when I get mine."

"Fine, I got you a book on camouflage now about mine..."

"Oh fine, I got you £75 in cash and breakfast in bed." Then he left room and came back a few seconds later with a tray that contained one cup of tea, two pieces if buttered toast, two eggs sunny-side up and about fifty pieces of fried bacon as well as a medium size envelope with the promised £75 in it. Then he left the room and returned in two minuets with a bowl and a very flat, well supported, plate. He then proceeded to transfer the tea into the bowl and the food onto the plate then dropping the pills onto the food then noticed that in the relaxed conversation she had shifted back into human. Blushing he re-transfused the food and tea into the cup and plate and removed the tranquilizers but gave her a packet, just in case.