Eight months later, Christmas time was rolling around again and Chance was getting depressed. Mari used to write letters once a week, he hadn't had one in a month. He thought frequently about what he may have done wrong. "Maybe I flew too fast." He thought as he worked under a car. Jake told him that he didn't have to worry about her, it had sounded like they bonded, so who else could take his place? Still he worried.
"Hey Chance, you got someone here."
"Can't you take care of it?"
"Nope, this kat asked for you specifically."
Chance growled and tossed down the wrench, glaring at him.
Jake had been miffed that Chance had told Marissa about their secret identies, but she kept the secret well and he now considered her to be a close friend. She wrote him letters as well as she would have had her brothers.
He walked into the small waiting room, pulling off his gloves and wiping his hands on a rag. There was no one there, but on the table was an orange rose tied with a blue ribbon. He picked up the rose and he looked around quickly, and then darted outside.
"It isn't nice to keep customers waiting."
He whirled around and saw Mari leaning up against the end of the garage with Jake grinning beside her. They both ran up to each other, laughing. Chance grabbed her and spun her around, tossing her up and catching her, falling into the snow, kissing.
They soon sat up, brushing the snow out of their clothes and fur. Marissa pounded the side of her head to get the snow out of her ears. Chance helped her up and they brushed the snow off each other. He couldn't stop grinning. Then he whirled around, pointing a finger at Jake.
"YOU! You knew about her coming back and you didn't tell me?"
Jake started backing off and waving his hands. "She asked me not to tell. Now wait a minute!" Chance was trying to pelt him with snowballs. Jake jumped behind a junked car and stuck out a tongue at him.
"You know, for a pilot, your aim stinks!" A snowball hit him in the mouth. Chance turned to face Marissa, who had already run off.
"You come back here!" He followed her tracks through the snow. "Don't try to hide from me; I know this yard back and forward."
"How about up!"
Chance turned in time to catch Marissa as she jumped down on top on him. They rolled over and over in the snow, stuffing snow where ever they could. Jake joined in and pelted them both with snowballs.
"All right! I call enough!" Marissa yelled.
Chance yelled in victory and pulled her up, brushing her off and brushing himself off.
"You're going to catch a cold with those wet clothes and fur. It's five, so get out of here and get cleaned up. I'm sure that you two have a lot to catch up on."
Chance shivered. "Yeah, I guess you're right."
"Why don't we meet at my house? I live at 731 Lavender Lane. I'll have a hot dinner and cold milk waiting for you."
"That sounds great." She kissed them both on the cheek and went to her car. Jake rubbed his cheek and grinned sheepishly, sighing.
Chance and Jake ran for the garage and the warmth. Chance took a hot shower and quickly got dressed. Jake handed him a new communicator as he was putting his jacket on. "Hey, this is cool."
"Yup, looks like a cell phone, just remember to answer it every once in a while." He pulled on his jacket and put it in his inner jacket pocket.
He picked up a bouquet of wildflowers and found the address. He whistled as he parked his car and looked up at the two story house. It was painted in red and white. The garden was covered with snow but there were two potted evergreens by the door. He tapped his boots off at the door and knocked.
She answered the door in an apron, a bowl in hand. "Come in! You can leave your boots by the door if you want." A delicious smell wafted through the kitchen.
Chance pulled off his boots and went into the kitchen. "Smells good in here." He handed her the flowers. She pulled out a vase and added water to it, arranging the flowers.
"Thank you for the flowers, they're beautiful. It's steak and kidney pie! I was hoping to have it in the oven before you got here, but I got caught up getting ready for you." She blushed and went to the frying pan, taking up the fork and spearing a piece of meat on it. "What do you think?"
He took the hot bite and chewed it thoughtfully. "A bit more pepper and it'll be perfect." She grinned at him and added some more pepper. She rolled out the piecrust and soon had the two pies made up and in the oven. She reached into the fridge and pulled out two bottles of milk. "Why don't you go in the living room and I'll be in as soon as I clean up."
"Yes Ma'am." He jauntily saluted her with a milk bottle and went into the spacious living room. It was tastefully, if simply decorated. A large TV stood in the corner and pictures of gold records and press releases decorated the wall. Her family was portrayed in the hallway. He sat on the couch and pulled the tabs off the bottles. He took a long drink of one and tried to relax. A few minutes later, she came into the living room with a timer in hand.
"Our dinner won't be ready for about forty minutes. Do you think you can wait so long or do you want me to fix a snack?"
"I'm ok." He pulled her down beside him facing him and handed her the milk. She snuggled into his side and he put an arm around her shoulders. "Tell me what you've been doing for the past eight months?"
She took a drink of the milk and licked her lips. "It took a month to recover from what Dark Kat did to me. Then I went back on tour. I wrote some more songs that'll be published next year. The one I wrote for you 'Star-Crossed Voyager' was so popular that it's heading the new album. Until then, I'm working with the music school here in MegaKat City. "
They were quiet for some time, enjoying each other's company, holding hands. "Your letters kept me going. All I had to do was to see your ribbon or read your letters and I found the strength to go on. I missed you so much, my Chance."
His kissed the top of her head, relishing her scent. "I missed you too. If you've been keeping up with the news, then you know what I've been up to. "
"You've been busy."
"Too many criminals, not enough time. I wonder if we're making a difference." He rolled the bottle in his hand.
"You are." She stroked the back of his neck and head. "Kats I talk to or overhear, you're striking a blow against evil."
"Well, I'm glad to hear it." She took the empty bottles and put them on the table and checked the timer. "There's another twenty minutes to kill, so..." She turned around to face him and kissed him deeply. It took his breath away.
"Umm, that was just as good as before. I just can't stop kissing you."
He put his arms around her. "I'm not going to stop you."
They kissed first gently, then with more urgency. Her tongue snaked to lick his bottom lip and he nipped it. She began to purr.
"You keep doing that and you can forget about dinner."
"What dinner?" she said dreamily, licking his ear. The timer went off.
"I guess we'll just have to get back to this later, won't we?" She tapped his nose with a finger.
"You know I can't get up now." He said ruefully.
She acted innocent. "Oh, is there a problem?"
He growled. "I plan to take care of it in a bit. I'm serious here!"
She laughed merrily and brought out their dinner and more milk.
He had to admit it, she was a great cook. The juices had soaked into the piecrust and it was seasoned perfectly. They both ate heartily and cleaned both plates.
"That was so good. I can't have too many meals like that or I'd never fit in the Turbokat."
"I'm sure Jake will work any fat off of you." He got up and followed her into the kitchen and helped her clean up.
"I see you can move around now." She asked with a grin.
"Yup, feed me and lead me anywhere."
She laughed and rinsed out the plates, putting them into the dishwasher. He came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, nuzzling her neck. "Payback time." He closed his eyes to relish her feline scent, his tongue trailing up her neck to behind her ear and down her shoulder. His hands came up and cupped her, playing with her. He felt her head go back and one arm came up to hug him harder into her neck and shoulder. She gasped and arched back into him as he licked up and down her neck stripe.
"Why don't we take this upstairs?" He swept her up off her feet and carried her up the stairs to the first bedroom she directed him to, kissing her every other step,
It was as tastefully decorated as her downstairs. Green curtains covered the windows and the bed was covered with a silky green cover. There were about ten pillows and cushions on the bed. On the nightstand was the picture of herself, T-Bone and Razor on the day she left MegaKat City. She kicked off her shoes as Chance laid her against the pillows.
He kicked off his shoes and tossed his hat across the room. He lay down next to her and wrapped his arms around her and started to kiss her again. Her hands were busy with his shirt. She rolled him over and unbuttoned it, kissing the fur underneath each button. She pulled the shirt out of his pants and out from underneath him. She gazed at him admiringly, and then lay down on top of him, stroking his fur on his chest and stomach. She let her lips and tongue stroke his neck and chest, then placed her lips against the point of where his collarbones met and began to purr. "I love you, and I've missed you so much." she purred against his chest.
Chance thought he was going to go out of his skin. He groaned and flipped her over on her back. "Fair play." He growled and started to kiss her just as fiercely. He sat her up and pulled off her shirt. He reached behind her and unsnapped the bra and pulled it off. Her breasts spilled out and couldn't help but sample them. She gasped and moaned, holding his head against her. He purred, licked and sucked at her. She began to thrash on the covers. "Oh god!" she moaned.
"God doesn't have anything to do with this" and off went the rest of her clothing. His wasn't too far behind. About an hour later he collapsed beside her, one of her legs was over his hip, he was still within her. Her tail came around and brushed his arm; his tail came up and crossed over hers. They had somehow made it under the covers, White silk and satin. He cuddled her against him and they fell asleep.
Chance woke her up during the night to more lovemaking, then back to sleep again. The alarm went off at 7AM. He threw a shoe at it, and then snuggled down again into the warmth. Then his eyes shot open and he turned over.
Marissa was still sleeping there, on her back with her head turned toward him, a smile on her lips. He turned over and stroked her face.
"If this is a dream, I don't ever want to wake up." She murmured without opening her eyes.
He chuckled and nuzzled her cheek, kissing it. "Better than a dream, I think, isn't it love?"
She stroked his shoulder and chest in return. "Can you come by tonight?"
"We'll see, depends on what the schedule says."
They both laughed and Marissa slid out from underneath the covers, slipping a robe on.
"Oh crud, what a rip."
She tossed a pillow at him. "You need to get up and get ready for work. The bathroom's that way. I'll have coffee ready in a bit." She went out of the bedroom and he heard her footsteps down the stairs, humming. He leaned back and put his hands under his head. He hadn't felt so good in so long. His Mari was home and still in love with him.
He really wanted to go back to sleep but his growling stomach told him that he'd better get something to eat. Growling, he got out of the bed and went to the bathroom to get ready. A few minutes later, he was downstairs and she was serving up bacon, eggs, toast and strong coffee. She poured herself a bowl of hot cereal and stirred in some honey, then kissed him and went back upstairs herself to get ready.
By the time her breakfast had cooled enough, she was back downstairs in a smart dress of blue and white, her hair in a long braid down her back, her blond stripe making it appear that she had ribbons in her hair. He recognized it as the uniform of the music conservancy facility.
"You look great, Miss Callistane."
"Thank you, Mr. Furlong." She curtsied and sat down to eat.
He wiped off his mouth and licked the last bit of egg he'd dripped on his hand. "Crud, I'm running late. I'll call you later." He got up and she stood up too, they hugged and kissed. "God I missed you, sweetie."
"I missed you too, flyboy."
"I love you," they said together, chuckling at each other, feeling entirely silly.
"Don't forget your lunch."
She pointed to the counter behind him; there was a lunchbox with a thermos of coffee beside it.
"Just remember to bring it back for a refill."
"A guy could get used to this."
"But never be bored?"
"I don't think so. Just be careful out there today with the traffic and everything. I'll get Jake to make you a communicator, just in case you ever need us."
"I don't imagine what trouble I could get into at the conservancy, but I do appreciate it. Thank you."
"I'd feel better if you had it."
She licked the last of the cereal from her spoon. "I'll be home about six. I go to the gym whenever I can."
"I'd like to see you tackle our obstacle course, but it's frozen over right now. I think we're going to the gym after work today too. Want to meet there?"
"Sounds like fun. I've always wanted to know what a Swat Kat does to keep in shape."
He laughed and picked up the box and thermos. "We have our own place we work out in, but I'll see you later."
Chance was in a good mood when he got to the garage. Jake joked with him for hours on how he spent his evening, trying to get details. "Hey, a guy doesn't kiss and tell."
"Geez, even girls gossip."
"Let's just say we're very glad to see each other again. "The grin told Jake everything he needed to know, he pretended to throw up in an engine.
After work, they drove to the MegaKat City Gym and went to go work out. He heard Mari's voice laughing merrily and saw her with Callie.
"Hey, I didn't know you worked out here too, Callie"
She nodded and grinned at them. "Yes I'm usually here in the morning, but the mayor had an early meeting. Marissa and I are getting caught up."
"You weren't the only one I was writing letters too. Callie asked me to look her up when I wanted to move here and she helped me get everything done."
"So you knew too and didn't tell me!"
"Is all she-kat kind against me or something?" He tossed his towel over his shoulder and went to a treadmill. Jake, laughing followed.
Chance noticed the looks that both Callie and Marissa were getting from the other toms in the gym. He didn't like it one bit and he could tell that Jake felt the same way but regarding Callie. He tried to keep his temper out of it but by the time he and Jake went to work on the punching bags, he was completely out of sorts, literally punching the bag across the room. Marissa looked up from where she was working out with weights with an uplifted eyebrow.
"Geez Chance, we're going to have to reinforce that rafter with steel if you keep this up. That's the third one this month." Henry, the boxing instructor called. "You punch as hard as one of those Swat Kats."
Jake grunted "If they only knew."
Chance rubbed the back of his head, ears flattened. "Sorry Henry. My girl's here and I just don't like the attention she's getting."
Henry looked over to the weight section. "You mean that foxy kitty working out with Callie Briggs?"
"Well I will admit that I've been trying to catch her eye too, but she's got eyes only for you. You're lucky Chance. She's beautiful. She's just better at watching you and not being noticed. I wonder if she's related to Targus Callistane?"
"Really?" He smiled at Marissa, who blushed and smiled back.
"If things get sweeter between those two, I'm gonna die from sugar shock." Jake said, batting his eyes at Chance.
They all laughed at his discomfortature.
"Why do you ask about Marissa's brother?"
"She is related?" Henry whistled and shook his head, "I wouldn't want to get on the bad side of him. He's a kickboxing and martial arts world champion. He'd kick the crap out of you if you ever hurt her."
"Good thing I'm never going to."
After finishing their workout, they met in the café for a light dinner.
"What are you going to do this weekend, Marissa?" Callie asked.
"You can call me Mari, Callie. I think I will go decoration shopping. I don't have anything yet. Can you come with me and help me pick out stuff?"
"Actually, I was going to ask Jake if he'd like to come with me to look at Christmas lights." Jake about choked on his milk. Chance pounded on his back, grinning at him.
"I – I'd love to come with you." He gasped, pounding on his chest, trying to catch his breath.
"Then would you like to come with me Chance?"
He winked at her. "You bet."
"He's willing to give up a Scardycat Christmas marathon to do this? Boy does he have it bad."
"Yeah, it's the most stupid show, but he likes it." He pointed a thumb at Chance who was glaring at him.
"You just don't get classic TV."
They decorated the garage the next day, but were interrupted when the report came that the Metallikats were trying to rob the diamond district. They changed into their uniforms and flew out in the Turbokat.
"I guess Molly wanted diamonds for Christmas."
"Yeah, nice of Mack to go shopping with her."
It didn't take long for them to take care of the Metallikats, but they got away again when they pulled a section of a wall down to get away. It was either the Metallikats or a group of shoppers inside the district. T-Bone caught the wall before it fell. His muscles screamed with pain. Razor got the kats out and he helped T-Bone lever up the large piece of masonry to the side. He bent over, breathing heavy.
"You ok, buddy?"
T-Bone stood up straight, rubbing an arm and hissing. "We didn't need to go to the gym; we could have done a whole workout against the Metallikats."
They went back to finish the decorations, but by afternoon, it was difficult for Chance to lift his arm.
"Aw great, what am I gonna do? I need two hands to pilot the Turbokat."
"Well, maybe you should get a massage or go to the urgent care center to see what's going on."
"No way! It's not broken or anything. I'll just ice it up and see what happens."
He called Marissa and told her what happened. She was silent for a moment. "Why don't I come over? I've got something that I can use to fix it."
"I'd like to try."
While he waited for her, he painfully took off his shirt and made an ice bag for his arm and shoulder. He cursed under his breath, calling the Metallikats everything he could think about and threatening to take them apart piece by piece when he saw them next, no matter WHAT Professor Hackle said.
Marissa came into the door twenty minutes later; she looked concerned over the swelling. He hissed in pain as she touched it.
"Go lie down on your bed and let me work on it."
He grinned at her and she poked his arm with a look of irritation. "OUCH! All right, all right." He stretched out on his stomach and watched as she got out a bottle of something that smelled like lavender but was green, a green crystal and put something around her throat. He started to sit up. "Crystal working?"
"Yes, now lie down and let me work. This takes concentration and a lot of energy. I'm going to encourage the muscle to heal and the body to take away the inflammation. It's a form of speed healing my da discovered when I was working with him. I can also see with my inner eye the damage you've done to it." She snapped the crystal into the front of the throat device.
"Is fine." She touched a button on the side of it and a red light went on. She rubbed the lotion into his arm and shoulder. It was lavender, but warming. He hissed, hands digging into the mattress in pain.
She started singing softly in Irish, then in English. It was 'Avalon Rising', one of the first songs he heard her sing. He felt her hands grow warm, the warmth spread throughout his arm and shoulder and felt so good. He suddenly felt tired and couldn't keep his eyes open.
Jake came up and heard Mari singing softly in Chance's room. He peeked inside the open door and saw Mari standing on the side of the bed, hands on Chance's shoulder. There was a green glow coming from her hands. Her eyes were unfocused and the stone at her throat glowed green. He leaned up against the doorframe and watched her.
Her hands moved rubbing lavender scented lotion into his shoulder, the liquid even glowing green before fading. She finished the song and slowly crumpled to her knees beside the bed. Jake was beside her in an instant, helping her up and taking her into the living room. He got her a cup of coffee. She wearily took off the throat device and put it back on the table, wiping off her hands with a towel.
"Are you all right?"
"Yes, he tore some muscles in his shoulder and speed healing takes a lot not only out of the healed but apparently the healer as well. It also takes a lot of energy to do this."
"Hopefully, he'll appreciate what you've done."
"I hope so, but no offense, being a typical guy.."
They sat in comfortable silence for a while, watching David Litterbin for a while. He looked sideways and noticed that she was asleep. He put a blanket over her. She woke up not too long later.
"I'm sorry; I didn't mean to go to sleep. It's not the company, I assure you."
He chuckled. "Nah. I'm not offended."
She got up, stretched and yawned. "I've got classes tomorrow. Thanks for letting me nap on you."
She reached into her bag and brought out a container of liquid. "Make sure he drinks this tomorrow. It's minerals that will help. It's going to taste like exhaust from the Turbokat, but make sure he drinks it. I'll leave him a note too."
Jake took it and put it in the fridge, grinning. "I'll make sure he drinks every drop."
Chance woke up to his alarm the next morning. His arm and shoulder felt almost completely healed. There was a note on the table from Marissa.
"I forgot to tell you that you would really be tired after the healing, sorry about that. Drink as much as you can today, your body will be ridding itself of the toxins from the torn muscles. It wasn't broken but badly torn. I left you a mineral drink in the fridge. It will taste horrible, drink it anyway! Call me when you get a moment. Love Marissa."
He read the last two words again and again, sighed dreamily and went to get the drink. It was as foul as she said it would be, but he held his nose and drank it as fast as he could. His fur literally stood on end from the taste.
"You ok today?" Jake asked him when he got down to the garage.
"Yeah, Marissa used a device her dad developed for speed healing. Uses green crystal energy and she made me drink a mineral drink that made my fur stand on end. Yecch."
"I saw it last night when she was finished with you. That might be great to have around here."
"I don't see you having perfect pitch to run it. We'll need Marissa for that."
"I don't think she'd mind."
They got a visit from Murray and Burke later in the day as they towed a couple of Enforcer choppers in from the diamond district.
"Hey Furlong! We hear that you've gone up in the world and snagged yourself an international singer. You gonna give up the junk business and tour the world?"
"Yeah, face it Furlong, you don't have enough class to keep a broad like that with you."
Chase growled and punched one fist into his hand. "Don't start with me today guys."
"Yeah, it's almost Christmas. You know, peace on earth and everything." Jake added.
"What's Chance gonna get Miss Ritzy for Christmas? He can't even afford kat litter!" Both of them bent over laughing.
Chase growled and stomped over to them and drew back a fist. "Oh I don't know. I personally think that being here at Christmas is present enough for me. Now if he added a red ribbon around his neck, I wouldn't complain. Oh, by the way, my name's Marissa, not 'Miss Ritzy." Marissa's voice sounded amused, but it had an edge to it.
Chance turned to see her getting out of her car, two lunchboxes and thermoses in her arms. Burke and Murray gaped at her. She went up to Chance and kissed him on the cheek. "I thought I would bring your guys your lunches today. Would you like to introduce me to your friends?" He was beginning to hear the tone in her voice that said that she was at her most dangerous. He grinned to himself and pointed his thumb at the pair.
"Murray and Burke, they're with the cleanup crews here and used to run the place before we took over."
"The pleasure is all mine." She tapped Murray's mouth closed and straightened Burke's hat, then linked her arms with theirs, pulled them toward their tow truck. "Now, why don't you two just run along and go see what Commander Feral wrecks for the pleasure of your cleaning." She pushed them toward the truck and sauntered back toward Chance, her tail swaying. Their heads followed it as she walked with Jake and Chance into the garage.
"Are they still watching?" She whispered out of the corner of her mouth.
"Good." She purred. "Follow my lead." She stopped at the garage door and put her arms slowly around Chance's neck and kissed his cheek. He saw where this was going and hugged her to him, snuggling her cheek as well. Murray and Burke looked shocked and jealous. She took his hand and with a final flip of her tail, went into the garage.
"Five, four, three," Jake counted. The tow truck's engine revved and they heard them cursing each other as they drove off. They all looked at each other and started laughing. Jake fell on the floor, he was laughing so hard. Chance and Marissa held each other, laughing. It was several minutes before they could stop laughing long enough.
Chance wiped his eyes off on a rag. "Where did you learn that?"
"A girl on the group was rather…active in her affections. She taught me how to slink and how to use my wiles."
"Didn't you have any sisters?"
"Nay, me mom died when I was ten years old. Well, eat your lunch before it gets cold. I've got to get back to the school. I'm conducting a lesson in group dynamics this afternoon."
"You need to do my shoulder again?"
She looked him over with a critical eye. "Not unless you get into trouble again. Come on over after work tonight and let me look at it."
"Look at it, huh?"
She rolled her eyes at him and walked out to her car. "Later, love."
Jake opened the lunchbox and took out a large sandwich. "Wow, she's defiantly a keeper if she makes us lunch like this."
"Well eat it up. We've got work to do partner."
The rest of the afternoon was devoted to fixing and tinkering with their Swat Kat equipment and vehicles since there were no cars to work on.
Since it was Friday, he went upstairs and packed an overnight bag and headed to Marissa's house. In his lunchbox he had found a copy of her house key. He grinned to himself as he tapped his boots on the landing and let himself in.
She wasn't downstairs, but the oven was on, cooking a dinner of a pot roast. It smelled so good. "Honey, I'm home." He called out. He grinned; he'd always wanted to say that.
"Upstairs, my Chance."
He rubbed his hands gleefully together and bounded upstairs. She wasn't in the bedroom. She was in another room at the other end of the upstairs hall.
It was a small library with a computer desk, an inglenook settee and several chairs and tables. In the best lit corner was Marissa in a rocking chair, knitting.
"Wow, you knit?"
"Yes. My mother taught me how to knit, crochet, weave, sew, and quilt. Even the boys learned how to, when she could pin one down.
He watched her work for a while, she was knitting a sock. One of his socks lay on her lap. She was working with four needles and it looked like a wrestling match with an octopus. "Is that for me?"
"Yes it is. I've made the socks for my family ever since I could knit. Fargus makes the sweaters, Braiga the mittens, Tragus the scarves and hats. Why buy it when I can make it as well as any machine."
His communicator went off, he answered it. "Yeah Razor".
"Got a situation with the Metallikats again. I'll come by and pick you up in the Turbokat."
"I don't have a uniform."
"I have it here with me. Jake gave me one at the garage the other day in case this happened. She got up and went into her bedroom, coming back in a few moments with it.
"Be ready in five."
He dressed quickly, Marissa handed him his flight helmet. "You ok with this?"
She took back the flight helmet and put it on his head. "I'll be waiting up for you. Just be careful out there, my T-Bone, my love"
"I'll be home soon." He kissed her good bye and raced out the door to catch the trailing line that Razor had let down from the plane. He had the plane on silent mode, so all that people in the neighborhood heard was a stiff wind blowing through the trees.
Chance got an idea on how famous she was. While they were shopping for ornaments they passed by a calendar kiosk at the mall. He spotted a "Celtic Feline" one and stopped to look at it.
"Oh, I forgot about that one." Mari said, blushing.
She was featured in August, her birth month. She had her back to the camera, looking over her shoulder, one hand on her hip and the other straight down holding an orange rose with a blue ribbon. Her white gown was the low cut one he'd remembered from her first concert. The image was captured as if she'd been turning in place. His mouth went dry. "Wow."
A young girl was down a few feet from them. She was looking at Marissa with an open mouth and astonished eyes. Marissa smiled at Chance, walked over to the girl and closed her mouth.
"There. Isn't that better now?"
She raised a shaking hand to point at Marissa. "You, you're Marissa Callistane!"
"Last time I looked in the mirror. How do you do?" She shook the girls hand.
"Ohmygawd! I am one of your biggest fans! I'm in the music group at school and they say that you're going to judge our High School Vocal Finals this year, and that you now live here in MegaKat City, and you wrote a new song the night after you met someone and that you're going on tour again and that…wow" she finally stopped for breath.
"Just remember to stop and breathe sometime." She said, her voice filled with amusement.
"Oh wait here! MAMA! DADDY!" She grabbed a couple's arms at another kiosk and dragged them over. They saw Marissa and their eyes widened.
"I'm sorry if she's bothering you, it's just that, well, you're one of her favorite artists." The dad said.
"She's not bothering me at all. I like to meet my fans and interact with them." She shook their hands.
"Ohmygawd! I forgot! My name's Amy Miller and I go to MegaKat City High School! My BFFs are gonna flip! Hey, is this the guy you wrote the song for?"
"Yes, this is Chance."
"Oh wow! He's so hot! Did you meet him here?"
"Yes, after my first concert here. It was love at first sight. "Chance put an arm around her and hugged her, slightly embarrassed."
Amy clasped her hands together and sighed. "How romantic."
"Dear, we should let them get back to their shopping." Her mom said.
"Oh, ok mom. I'm sooo sorry. Can I get a picture and an autograph?"
"Of course!" Amy snatched her phone out of her pocket and had her parents take their picture and she signed Amy's calendar of "Celtic Feline".
After waving good bye, Chance bought his own copy and they continued on.
"Do you get that a lot?"
"I'm afraid so. The price of fame, my Chance. You can either have fun with it, or don't be a star at all."
Christmas was fun that year. He had a lot of fun helping Marissa decorate and they all had a wonderful Christmas dinner. Jake and Callie came as well and they exchanged gifts.
Mari had made them all sweaters. Callie got them all movies, Jake gave Callie and Mari necklaces made of clear quartz crystal. They glittered like diamonds. Chance gave them bracelets of the same crystal. Jake gave Chance a gift certificate and Chance gave Jake the same thing.
Time seemed to fly by and Valentine's Day approached. Mari was the most understanding person regarding his Swat Kat duties. She'd either wait up for him or go to the hanger to wait for them or help repair things. She took direction well from Razor and she didn't mind getting her hands dirty. She had helped manufacture the crystal singing equipment her father had developed, so repair work wasn't too far off the mark for her.
One day Chance went over to her house after work to pick her up for the gym. She was just answering the phone when he came in.
"Oh hi Jason!" Jason was her agent.
She was silent for a moment, then her face lit up. "Really, and they want me to sing? Of course! Oh, it's on Valentine's Day? Hang on a moment."
She covered the receiver and looked up at Chance. "The Irish All-Star rugby league and the English All-Star rugby league are playing an exhibition game here in MegaKat City, but it's on Valentine's Day. They want me to come sing the Irish national anthem and another song called "Ireland's Call."
He had been planning a romantic dinner with some much needed private time with her but saw the wistful look in her eyes. He couldn't say no.
"Sure. Can we come to the game too?"
"Jason, can I have tickets for myself and three guests? Great! Sound check at what time…five? Game is at six. We'll be there!" She hung up the phone and hugged Chance.
"My brother Targus plays on the Ireland team! I think you'll love it! I can't wait for you to see how a game is played."
"Can't wait to see it too."
"We can have a dinner afterwards. I can pack a picnic dinner and can have it on the beach or something."
He could see that she was really trying. He smiled for her behalf. "It's probably a matter of national pride. Of course you've got to sing for them."
He, Callie, and Jake got to be on the field where she would perform. The Irish National team greeted her with enthusiasm, her brother Targus tossed her up in the air. The English team greeted her with more reserve.
After the National Anthem and "America the Beautiful", another singer sang the Anthem for Great Britain and another song. Then it was Mari's turn. She sang the Irish Anthem, which was received with great enthusiasm.
"Thank you. I would like to bring up my brother, Tragus Callistane of the Irish All-Star team. Many of you don't know this, but my brother has a decent singing voice so I would like to have him accompany me in singing "Ireland's Call. Please join in if you know the words." Targus came up with her, glaring at her, but took the microphone she handed him. She sang the first verse then he joined in. His voice was deep and mellow and women started yelling. Many on the Irish team began crying as they sang. The crowd erupted into wild cheering afterward. Targus kissed his sister and rejoined his team.
Jake and Chance had to admit, rugby was an exciting sport. It combined football and soccer and everything but murder was allowed. They found themselves jumping up and down in their seats, yelling with the crowd. The Irish team won by a single score, but no one seemed to mind.
Both of them were hoarse when it was all said and done. "That was great! I want to learn this game!" Chance yelled.
Marissa sighed. "I have a feeling that I'll be using the crystals more on you two. You sound as bad as my brothers." Callie laughed as well.
The next day, she called Chance and told him that she had gotten two tickets to the new "Top Kat" movie. He'd been wanting to see it, but just had not had the time.
Marissa and he took his new motorcycle to the movies. He'd built that with spare parts and it looked like a brand new one. Marissa always loved driving with him. He was building one for her as well.
In the theatre, it was hard for Marissa to keep quiet. Chance had a habit of ducking his hands and 'piloting' behind the seat, muttering to himself to the annoyance of others sitting around them. She giggled and chuckled.
"That was a great movie, thanks Mari."
"Anytime, love. Just can't stop being a pilot can you?"
He chuckled and rubbed the back of his head, embarrassed.
"Well then." She stepped up and wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him lingeringly, then whispered in his ear.
"T-Bone, you big stud, take me to bed or lose me forever."
He grinned. She'd never called him 'T-Bone' when he wasn't in uniform. He kissed her back, ignoring the kat calls and 'get a room!' people yelled around them.
He put on his helmet and straddled the bike. Mari put hers on too and he held out a hand for her to take. She settled behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. He revved the engine and took it into a wheelie. Marissa not only hung on but yelled excitedly. He yelled out too.
"Hang on to your afterburners!"