Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hybrid Chronicles 02: Micah & Declan

Welcome back to the wonderful world of Kitten2010 and Gweall. I think we decided on Gwitten or Kweall...or Kitteall...or Gweallten. ANYWAYS

Read it. Please and thank you!

oh, and P.S. There is ONE reference in this story (From Gweall not Kitten) And, just to help you out, it's a Doctor Who reference. Come on, you know how I love to sneak references in there to see who can get 'em. 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Declan entered the museum. It was immediately clear what was missing. Display spotlights shone on a huge expanse of blank wall. Declan wasn't sure how the thief had managed to get the painting out, but his nose had no doubts as to who it was. The area wreaked of cat. He wrinkled his nose in disgust as he tried to ignore the unexplainable anger that rose up.


The scent made it hard to focus on what the other law enforcement officials were saying. When Declan finally was able to get out of his head, he was lost. This was the fourth robbery of the type. The others didn't have his keen sense of smell and they had yet to figure out that the thief had to be some sort of a cat mutant. Declan was hesitant to offer this piece of evidence.


He was the only of the Infected to return to a career in law enforcement and it was a huge controversy for some people. Though the Infected had been integrated and were supposed to be treated as equals, many still held on to the old prejudice. Declan knew that if he told them it was an Infected, their hatred would start to surface and he would lose credibility, but he faced the same if they discovered he'd known and hadn't spoken up.


When he realized that his colleagues were preparing for action, Declan spoke up. "I can question the museum employees."


One of the uniformed officers sneered at Declan, "They might be allergic to dogs."


Declan gave the policeman a menacing look and fought back the urge to growl. It was physically painful for him to suppress the urge, but he would not be mocked. His entire motivation for returning to law enforcement even after some of the horrors he and other Infected had endured was to make sure that prejudice was wiped out. Instead, Declan took a long breath in, memorizing the scent. He felt his hunting instincts taking over as he started to track the scent out onto the street.


***


Micah walked across the stone rooftops. He counted the cash one more time before shoving it in the back pocket of his tight leather pants. He was still surprised he had no problem walking in the tight things. His shoes clicked on the edge of the rooftop, and made a delightful sound as he jumped across the gap with ease. He felt his claws inside his shoes, and hoped he didn't ruin another pair. He cracked his knuckles, careful of the claws on his hands. His tail swished back and forth happily, the silver fur reflecting the moonlight. His ears twitched with the sounds of the nightlife, and his smooth white whiskers jumped at the feel of the cool night air. He hated the cold. 


He had dropped the painting off at his buyer's meeting spot just a few minutes ago. The job was easy enough. Get in, grab painting, get out. He almost chuckled at the ease of it. He had pulled much harder cons when he was still a child, not that he was proud of that. He dropped down onto the fire escape and slid down the rusted metal ladder. He stepped inside the fourth story window. The skin on his bare chest adjusted to the warmth of the run down apartment. There was a hole in the ceiling, which black smoke poured out of. His dad sat around a large metal barrel. The fire roared inside the Barrel and Micah made sure he got close enough for his fur to be warmed by the flames.


"Here," He threw the wad of cash onto his fathers lap. "Your money." He sat down on the empty box next to the flame and rubbed his arms, trying to warm them.


"Thank you." His father said. He counted the money quickly before putting the cash into his jacket and pulling out a medium sized bag. "My friend is meeting you on the corner of Cohasset and Lassen. He owes me eight hundred for this. Get it to him for me, would you?" 


"I'm sick of running your drugs for you. The cops are all over that part of town." Micah said, looking at him with his silvery eyes.


"You'll be fine. You're sneaky enough." His father laughed.


"It's not funny." Micah stood up. He grabbed the bag roughly, pulling it from his fathers hands and walking quickly towards the window. He had one leg out before his father spoke again.


"Watch those claws." His dad looked up and smiled, his silver tooth shining in the light of the fire.


"Whatever." Micah said. He climbed the ladder quickly and jumped from rooftop to rooftop again. His phone vibrated once and he pulled it out of the small pocket he had managed to squeeze it into.


"Where are you?" The stern voice said on the other end of the phone.


"Christian, what a surprised you called me again." Micah mumbled the last part.


"What?" Christian snapped. 


"Nothing." Micah didn't pause as he jumped across the gap between buildings again.


"I asked you a question." Christian said.


"I'm doing a job for my dad." Micah said.


"I need you to do a run for me, get over here." Christian said.


"When did I become some god damn henchman?" Micah stopped walking and snapped at the phone.


"When you decided to date me, now get over here." The line went dead. Micah growled and hissed before changing direction and heading towards his own home. Unaware of the eyes that watched him below.


~~~~~~~~~ 


Declan's eyes shot up when he realized the fresh scent was floating down on him. He only caught a glimpse of tight pants and a flash of a tail before the figure was gone. He ran down the street, uncaring of the people he knocked out of his way as he chased after the figure. He saw his prey look back at him for a brief second and their pace quickened. The cat hybrid was much faster than Declan was and for a moment the detective wondered if he was going to lose the thief.


Declan saw the figure drop onto the fire escape of the building up ahead. Declan started to run. After his mutations, he'd found that he was extremely fast and it was clear the fleeing thief had no idea just how fast Declan was. He was able to corner the escaping criminal in an alley. 


"You're faster than I thought." The criminal smiled, showing his gleaming white teeth. His back was to the dead end and his tail swished nervously..


"I can see that," Declan said as he pulled his credentials, following protocol. "I'm going to have to ask you to come with me for some questions." 


"I don't think so, Mcgruff." The criminal laughed and walked the width of the alley slowly, teasing him with his silvery blue eyes.


Declan sighed at the nickname. "Let's try to be above petty name calling," he said. "I just want to ask you a few questions. If you cooperate, I'll leave out the part about the drugs you're carrying." Declan smiled and tapped his nose. Though it still looked human, he had a heightened sense of smell.


"You're not the only one with some tricks up his sleeve, Mcgruff." The cat smiled, showing a Cheshire grin. He ran at Declan quickly and before he had time to react, he had jumped over his head. He climbed up the fire escape faster than any normal human could have, and disappeared over the rooftop before Declan could blink. His shoulders hurt from where the cat had pushed off of them, and he moved down the neck line of his shirt to reveal a few minor scratches his claws had left.


Declan cursed silently to himself. He couldn't believe he'd let the criminal escape. He felt like steam should have been coming from his ears as he watched the cat escape. He was just glad he wouldn't have to explain himself to anyone else.


***


Micah slid in through the window. He wondered when the last time he had actually used a door was. He shook off the thought and set down the bag his father had given him. He looked around for Christian and didn't see a sign of him.


"Christian?"


"You're late." His boyfriend stood up from where he was sitting in the shadows. Micah watched him as he walked over. Christian always had a menacing air about him, but Micah had learned when he was really mad. And this was one of those times.


"Where were you?"


"I ran into some stupid cop." Micah said.


"And you came back here? Do you know how much coke I have stashed in this place?" Christian brought his voice down to a whisper. He slid his hand around Micah's throat. Just as easily as a normal person would put their hand over a friends mouth to keep him or her quiet. Micah tried not to fight and tried to keep calm, but it was hard with his airway closed off like that. His tail swished nervously and his whiskers vibrated with tension.


"I swear, he didn't follow me. I would have known. He's a dog, I could smell him from a mile away." Micah said, choking for breath between words. Christian dropped him and Micah's hand went up to feel his sore throat. He knew he would be feeling that for days.


"God you're so stupid." Christian rolled his eyes and walked into the living room.


"If I'm so stupid, then why am I the one pulling all your cons and deliveries." Micah waved a hand at the bag of drugs sitting on the table.


"Because you're good at it. You don't have to be smart to be a thief." Christian said. Micah glared at him.


"Those need to go to Rory." Christian pointed to a bag similar to the one Micah's father had given him.


"If Rory takes anymore of that crap he's going to die." Micah rolled his eyes.


"It's expected by now, really." Christian said. Micah shrugged.


"Christian, I'm done with this. I've told you repeatedly I don't want to be a con anymore." Micah said.


"And I told you repeatedly, you're not quitting." Christian said, without turning around.


"You cant stop me." Micah said, trying to keep his voice from shaking. He was so calm when he was facing the cops, or stealing something, or pulling a con. But when it came to the rest of his life, it just wasn't his area of expertise.


"No?" Christian turned his head to the side slightly.


"I'm done with this. I don't want to be running from the cops twenty four seven. I'm ready to...." Micah hesitated. "I'm ready to settle down. I want a family. Kids, even." He said. "I want kids who can say that they're proud of their dad. Not that he's some bullshit drug dealer." Micah waved his hand at the bags on the table.


"You couldn't be a fucking father. You're a con artist, Micah. No one will ever want to settle down with you, and no one would ever want you to be anywhere near their kids." Christian laughed and turned around. He leaned up against the table with a drink in his hands.


"You're wrong." Micah said quietly. He looked at the ground and his heart hurt with Christians words. His greatest fear was that he was right.


"You still pull jobs for your dad, why not me?" Christian asked.


"That's different." Micah looked up.


"Why? Because you want to make the old fucker proud of you?" Christian sneered. "Your dad's a dirty con, and so are you. In fact, you're just another con of his. He doesn't really love you." Christian said it like it was obvious.


"You're wrong!" Micah shouted. Christian threw his drink at the wall and the glass shattered. He was across the room faster than Micah could realize and the last thing Micah saw was Christian's fist being pulled back, preparing to come down on him harder than the words that he had spoken only a moment ago.


~~~~~~~


Micah crawled through the window and crashed to the floor, he whined and held his ribs in agony.


"Micah? What happened to you? Did the cops catch you?"


"No, it..." He knew it wasn't what his father wanted to hear, but he wanted to tell him. He wanted everything to be okay. "It was Christian." He admitted.


"Christian? Oh Jesus, Micah. I thought we had gone over this?" His father threw his arms up and turned his back to Micah.


"We have, and I told you." Micah grunted as he sat up against the wall under the window. "I'm gay." 


"No, you're not. This is what happens when you do something as stupid as date a man." His father said, gesturing to his ribs and black eyes. His fur was matted with blood and he took in air in short sharp gasps.


"I don't want to be with a woman, dad." Micah said.


"You're not gay, Micah. Where's my money, also?" His dad asked. Micah paused, uh oh.


"I didn't get a chance to deliver them. I'm sorry. Christian called me halfway there and needed me at home." Micah said.


"Ugh, he's not going to be happy about this." Micah's dad said, referring to his buyer. "Where's the coke then?" Micah hesitated. "You left it there?!" His father shouted.


"I'm sorry! Just send someone to pick it up, Christian wont do anything with it." Micah said, but didn't even believe the words himself.


"Get out." His father said coldly.


"Dad...I'm hurt, I need your help." Micah said. This wasn't the first time Christian had done something like this. He didn't usually need any medical help, but he could hardly move this time.


"I said get out." His father kicked a rotted piece of floorboard at him. Micah hid behind his arm before forcing himself up, and crawling out the window.


~~~~~


***


Declan's pride still stung as he arrived home, though the scratches seemed like they would heal fast. His phone chirped from his pocket and he answered it as he was unlocking the door. "Declan Moss," he said.


"Moss, this is Chief Vick," a stern female voice said. "I know you're on the museum robberies, but we could really use a fresh set of eyes. There's been a string of murders. We think it's a serial, but we can't confirm."


Declan nodded. Of course he'd heard about the murders and his pride stung at the fact he hadn't been invited on the case sooner. His dad loved making snide remarks about it at their Friday night dinners. "I can look at it first thing in the morning," Declan said. "I really need to catch up on some reports tonight." It was a lie, but Declan had a selfish need to sound important.


"Thanks, Moss. I don't know if you'll catch anything we haven't yet, but maybe you will," the chief worked in a minor insult as she hung up.


Declan sighed and pushed the door open. He heard a loud crash soon after he did so and his ears perked up. He turned toward the source of the sound. He was standing upwind, so he couldn't detect the smell. He closed the door and went to investigate.


The sound had come from a few trash cans toppling over. Declan could see a slender young man struggling to get up. His protective instincts took over and he rushed to aide the distressed individual before realizing that it was the thief. 


"Ugh, you smell like dog." The thief spoke, before looking up and realizing who his savior was.


"Well, you smell like cat and garbage," Declan replied. "What the fuck happened to you?" 


"It doesn't matter, get your hands off of me, Mcgruff." The thief used the same nickname he had back in the alley.


"Be a good kitty and let me see if you're hurt," Declan said. "I'm still an officer of the law. Protect and serve, all that shit still applies here." 


"I said get your hands off of me." The cat elbowed him away and stood up, gripping his side in pain. He began skittering away as fast as his obviously injured body would allow him.


Declan let out a frustrated sigh and lunged after the cat. He reached out blindly and gripped the criminal by the back of the neck, finding a loose bit of furry skin provided a handle for him. The criminal went limp against Declan and the detective used the opportunity to get a better hold on the thief. Declan was shocked that the criminal had started to make a soft purring sound. Declan laughed, for a moment forgetting that he was dealing with a criminal. "That's a good kitty. I'm going to take you inside, alright?" 


"Not alright, I told you to let me go." The criminal said, though there was no longer any real resistance in his voice. The purring came from deep within his chest and was a soothing sound, even to Declan. 


"Stop being so fucking difficult," Declan said gruffly. "I'm off duty right now. If you cooperate I might even cut you a deal." 


"What kind of deal?" the thief asked, though his eyes were shut as Declan's hand stayed wrapped around the furred skin of his neck. He tried to keep up with the conversation, but it was becoming to easy to just drift off to sleep right there.


Declan rolled his eyes. "Well, show me how helpful you can be and that will decide what kind of deal," Declan said. "I'm going to take you inside and clean you up. Unless you're afraid of water, then I can just let you lick yourself." 


"Look who's talking, I had a dog when I was little. Are you sure you don't want me to give you and your dick some alone time on the edge of the bed?" The thief asked as he slowly let Declan pull him inside the house, still half awake due to the firm grip Declan had on his neck.


"Believe me, if I'd gotten that particular talent, I wouldn't leave the house. How about you stop being a smart ass for a minute? You're still trying to get on my good side. Why don't you tell me your name to start off?" The thief hesitated for a second. Declan couldn't tell if he was asleep or thinking.


"Micah. Now how about yours? Or I could keep calling you Mcgruff. But honestly, even after you tell me I'll probably keep the nickname." Micah managed to open his silvery blue eyes and stare at Declan.


Declan opened the door and helped Micah to the bathroom of his house. "My name is Declan. Detective Moss, to you. And if you call me Mcgruff again, I'll pull your tail." Micah grunted as Declan sat him down on the side of the bathtub, his hand still around his ribs.


"You wouldn't dare," Micah smiled, now that Declan had let go of his neck he was beginning to get some form of coherent thought back. "I thought you were supposed to be man's best friend? Best friends don't pull tails." Micah sneered at him with a mischievous grin in his eyes.


Declan turned the water on and plugged the drain. "Well, you're a cat and I've already been a little too nice to you." There were a few inches of water covering the bottom of the tub and Declan shoved Micah in. He stood and threw a clean washcloth at the thief, laughing at the cat's angry reaction. 


Micah's ears were laid down flat against his head and he growled low in protest. Declan laughed and Micah swiped at him with a clawed hand. His small pointed teeth were bared and he didn't look happy.


"You're going to pay for that later, Mcgruff." He hissed again. Sounding more like a pissed off snake than a human hybrid.


Declan shrugged. "It was worth it. Now wash yourself off."


"Do you know how hard it is to get this fur dry?" Micah was still hissing as he gently scrubbed away the bits of blood that flecked his fur. "You're going to be fluffing me with a towel for hours." He hissed for the thousandth time.


"Quit with the hissing. You don't really look so tough right now and I'm trying really hard to stop laughing at you." Declan leaned against the wall. "So you wanna tell me what happened? Did you get in a fight over an empty tuna can or something?"


"Go fetch a stick, dog boy." Micah glared at him as he gently washed blood off of his face, revealing a black eye hidden underneath the very light fur on his face. He didn't look happy, and it wasn't just because of the water. It was obvious he had something else running through his head.


Declan sighed. "Alright, you need to start playing nice. I'll try to stop making jokes if you will. Truce?" Micah glared up at him with angry, yet sorrowful eyes. It was obvious he was caving.


"Why bother. There's nothing you can do to help." Micah said. He washed off the last of the blood and dirt and tried to stand up, but crying out and falling back into the water holding his tender torso. "These pants are hard enough to get off as it is, it's not going to be fun when they're wet. And this is real leather you just ruined by the way." Micah tried to change the subject as Declan helped him out of the bathtub.


Declan grabbed two towels, handing one to the thief. He started to help Micah dry himself. "I'm sincerely sorry about your pants situation," Declan said, only a fraction of a smile cracking through his serious face. "Now look, I know you're at least involved in the museum robberies. How much help I can offer you depends on how much information you give me. If anything you tell me leads to a bust, I could probably get you a light prison sentence. Maybe if you purred and rubbed against the judge's leg, you could even get off with probation." 


"Oh a light prison sentence, is that so?" Micah said, as if he was truly interested before rolling his eyes and drying his tail. "Information on what, Mcgruff?" He asked bitterly. Declan was beginning to see what Micah had been talking about. His fur held in the water like no other. He could put a sponge to shame.


"Well, you could tell me about the drugs you were carrying earlier to start and work your way up to telling me where that art work is," Declan said.


"The coke was just for a local John. I doubt the name he gives us is his real one. I cant be much help there. And you might as well give up on the art work. The same buyer every time. He has me drop off the paintings and the money is hidden there. If I don't leave the paintings...Well, lets just leave it at I never saw the last courier again." Micah glanced up at Declan. He dried his ears thoroughly. "If I get an ear infection its your fault." He growled.


Declan looked Micah in the eye, gently moving the towel around the nasty bruise. "That might be more helpful than you think. You might want to see what else you can give me. I don't think a pretty kitty like you would last long in prison." 


"I can hold my own." Micah said simply, He showed his claws on his right hand and began drying each of the razor sharp nails. When he was finished with that hand he moved on to his left. "I don't know what else I can give you though. Yeah, I pull some major heists but I really don't know much about what I steal or who it goes to. My job is to get in, get out, and get the money." Micah said.


Declan shook his head. "Well, those claws obviously didn't help you much against whoever beat the crap out of you. I'll give you a moment to think about that, maybe it'll help you come up with something else." Declan walked out of the bathroom, leaving Micah to himself. He doubted Micah could escape quietly in the shape he was in. He made a pot of coffee quickly and returned to the bathroom, only to find it empty. He looked around and saw Micah asleep on his bed. He raised an eyebrow and chuckled.


He debated waking the cat up and trying to get more information, but he didn't have it in him and instead let the thief rest while he sat at his desk and caught up on paperwork. Though he knew on an instinctual level he shouldn't like Micah, it was nice to hear the soft purring coming from his bed. He chalked it up to having been single for so long and tried to focus on his work.


***


Micah woke to the sound of light snoring in his ear. He sighed and was about to push Christian awake when he felt the ache of his bruised ribs. He winced and the pain brought back the fresh memories of his fight with Christian and his father, and then stumbling on the cop he had run from before. He wondered why he had told the cop everything he had. He could have marked it up to being in pain. But he knew that wasn't true. He had been in worse pain than that. He wanted to tell Mcgruff the crime dog everything he had. He felt comfortable around him, despite his floppy ears and long tail. Speaking of his tail, Micah heard the steady thumping sound Declan's tail made as it hit the mattress. He was apparently having a good dream. His own tail swished back and forth lazily, resting on Declan's leg every now and then. He knew he should have woken up the dog spooning behind him, but he liked the comfort he brought. Christian wouldn't ever hold him like this...He was brought back to reality when Declan stretched and yawned.


Declan seemed confused when he looked at Micah and then shrugged. "Sorry, but you were in my bed and I figured it would hurt our budding friendship if I made you sleep in the laundry room."


"I'm sure that was your first concern." Micah rolled his eyes but made no move to get up. He could still feel the thumping of Declan's tail. "You want to stop that?" He raised an eyebrow, head already back on the pillow.


"Sorry, guess I'm just happy. You know, you're not so bad when you're sleeping. Probably has to do with the fact you're quiet and cuddly instead of annoying and hissing."


"Here's a hint: If you don't throw me in water, I don't hiss quite as much." Micah said without opening his eyes. He found himself getting used to, and even liking, the smell of Declan. Before he would have hated it, but just overnight it had grown from being a pain in his ass, to a comforting homey smell.


Declan shook the bed with his laughter. "Sorry, but I had to get you back for scratching me when we first met."


"You were in my way." Micah said simply. "Anyways, you best get started on breakfast." He opened an eye and smiled at Declan. Who, for some reason, stepped over Micah and headed towards the kitchen. "I don't like eggs." Micah called out and rolled over to take up Declan's warm spot in the bed.


Declan returned rather quickly with two bowls of cereal. He waited for Micah to sit up before handing him his breakfast. "You act like I cook often," Declan laughed. "You're just lucky there's milk on those Cheerios and not whiskey."


"Classy guy, why don't you cook a lot?" Micah asked, digging into his cereal. "I like cooking, I would do it more often if I had the money." He said, through a mouthful of Cheerios.


"I think you underestimate the quiet dignity of getting buzzed during breakfast," Declan said with a shrug as he drank the milk out of his bowl. "So, you wanna tell me who punched you? I'm starting to think you might not have deserved as much as I originally suspected." 


"Is that a dog's way of saying you like me? Or is that when you lift your leg...I always get them confused." Micah said, dodging the question.


"I wouldn't piss on you. Then I'd be stuck with you because it would never come out of your fur. Seriously, you can tell me who hit you. I won't make a joke, I promise. I won't say a word. It just might be important for me to know later." 


"Now that I think about it, the pissing thing is a really bad idea." Micah said, stroking his fur with a worried look on his face. He stared down at his cereal for a moment before finally deciding to answer. "My boyfriend." He said, before adding. "The one who hit me....I guess I should say ex..." He mumbled the last part to himself.


Declan set down his bowl and got in the bed beside Micah, petting him behind the ears. Micah started to move away, but Declan held him there. "You look all sad and shit, it's depressing."


"What's depressing is that I'll never get the smell of Fido out of my fur now." Micah made a joke out of the serious situation. He didn't try to move away, though. They sat there for a moment, Micah purring as Declan stroked his ears and the soft hair behind them. "I want to help you, as much as I can. On one condition." Micah said, finally.


"What's that?" Declan said, making small circles on the back of Micah's neck down between his shoulders.


"I help you with whatever case you're on now, and you help me get out of this life." Micah sat up and looked Declan in the eyes.


Declan seemed surprised. "Sure, I could do that, but you're going to have to be honest with me all the way." 


"Fine," Micah said. "I'll do anything. I'm just sick of playing cops and robbers." He mumbled the last part and laid back down, letting Declan resume his petting.


Declan nodded and held Micah against his chest. "You seem too sweet for that lifestyle anyway," he whispered. "I'll help you, I swear."


"I think you're the first person I've ever met who's called me sweet. After I scratched you, and all the name calling?" Micah asked. He felt safe against Declan's chest, a feeling he hadn't felt in awhile. He was always on the run and had just gotten used to the feeling.


Declan smiled. "Yeah, even after all that. Because you might growl and hiss and try to act all tough, but I got you figured out. You're just a fluffy little kitty." Declan stretched and grabbed his cell phone from the bedside table. "I don't have to go in for another hour," he said. "But can I trust that when I leave, you'll stay here?"


"Probably not. But I'll do my best, Mcgruff." Micah rolled onto his back so he could face Declan. He saluted with a smile before rolling over more and burying his face in Declan's shoulder. He had only met this cop not twenty four hours ago, and they were already snuggling in bed. He wouldn't do this with any other cop, no matter how cute.


'Did I just call him cute?' Micah thought to himself. He looked up at Declan and nodded to himself. 'Yeah, alright. He's cute.' He smiled and buried his head in Declan's chest again.


"What if I promised to bring home a laser pointer? You could chase it all around to your heart's content," Declan said. 


"Then I'm going to Pet-co, and getting you a collar. I don't care how much you protest I will strap it to your neck, Mcgruff." Micah glared at him with one eye.


Declan laughed. "I don't see that happening," he said.


"Don't test me, Fido. Don't forget I snuck past a whole group of cops and took a diamond right out from under their noses. I'm sure I could get it around you while you were sleeping." Micah smiled.


"First you were talking about me pissing on you, now you want to put a collar on me? Guess you're a kinky little kitty," Declan teased. 


"Maybe just a little. Rules are no fun." Micah brought his tail up and tickled Declan's nose.


Declan smiled and brushed the tail away. "I guess I'll have to learn to deal with that." 


"Does that mean you want me to stick around? This place could use a felines touch." Micah rolled onto his back and looked around the room playfully.


Declan ran a finger from Micah's chin down his neck and chest. "I guess it could. I guess whiskey Cheerios aren't exactly the finest things in life." 


"To each his own." Micah shrugged. He swung his legs off the bed and began poking around his, apparently, new home. "It's so very.....single man." Micah smiled at Declan as he looked at the books on the shelf and the movies next to the T.V.


Declan stretched on the bed. "What can I say? It's been a while since I had a boyfriend in here. When left to my own devices, I'm rather helpless."


"Ah, so boyfriend, not girlfriend. I was hoping you weren't just a really friendly straight guy." Micah winked at him, giving him a sly smile.


Declan smiled. "Yeah. Unfortunately my alcoholic cereal isn't exactly a turn on for either sex, but dogs can be trained so..." Declan shrugged. "We'll see how it goes."


"Cats cant be trained, you know." Micah winked. "We're too free spirited. So how do you plan to pull me from my evil ways?" Micah sat back down on the bed.


"Well, you seem to like this," Declan said, lightly gripping the back of Micah's neck and pulling the smaller man to his chest. "I'm sure I'll figure out ways to bribe you to doing what I want." Declan started massaging Micah's back and laughed at the purring. 


Micah's purring got louder until his claws slid out and he began kneading at the bed. He had a mischievous grin on his face as his tail flicked in pleasure. "You can't make me do whatever you want. I do have SOME free will." Micah laughed as his claws dug in through the sheets.


Declan sighed. "Yeah, way to fucking ruin my sheets. Guess you got your revenge for me ruining your pants?" 


"You know it."


Declan laughed. "You know, I still can't take you seriously. You're just too cute for your own good." 


"Why thank you, wish I could say the same for you, Fido." Micah said, though he admitted to himself that the cop did have a sense of charm about him. He turned around and nuzzled into Declan's chest again, purring even louder than before.


"Give me time, I think I'll grow on you. I mean, even you stopped being so annoying I wanted to yank your tail. Maybe I can gain a little cuteness." 


"Yeah, right. So what kind of mutt are you anyways?" Micah put his bowl in the sink and sat down in the chair.


"Gordon setter," Declan replied. "My grandparents used to breed them."


"What kind of dog was Mcgruff, again? I need to make sure the nickname fits. But even if it doesn't, I'm still calling you that." Micah winked at Declan.


Declan rolled his eyes. "I have no idea. So, what breed of cat are you? If there even are different breeds. They all are the same to me." 


"I'm an Egyptian Mau, for your information. My mom used to have one, I guess I got the mutation from that stupid hair ball." Micah stroked his striped silvery tail.


Declan smiled. "Do you realize how big a cliche you are? You're a cat burglar." 


"And you're a police dog. Look who's talking, Fido." Micah laughed at him.


Declan rolled his eyes. "Well, I guess that's true. But I was in law enforcement before I got Infected, so whatever causes these mutations has a sense of humor."


"And I was a thief before mine, so no excuses." Micah stood up from where he was sitting and was checking out the room again.


"So you were always a thief?" 


"Born and raised, my dad is too. I guess it runs in the family." He shrugged and sat down on the bed, tail landing on Declan's lap.


"So what made you want to get out?" 


"I've always wanted to get out. It's not all it's cracked up to be, you know...living like this." Micah stood up and looked at him. "I get sick of running from cops, and being everybody's errand boy. I risk my life, and get none of the profit." Micah went over to the wall and mumbled quietly. "And I didn't always want to live like this. I want a family too, you know..." He whispered.


Declan nodded. "Well, I'll help you out. You're pretty cool, for an annoying fur ball." Declan stood and started to get ready for work. "So your ex didn't want to have kids...kittens...whatever?"


Micah chuckled, though it was more like a scoff. "No, Christian would have killed me before he would start a family. He lives for the con." Micah rolled his eyes and shook his head. His whiskers twitched as he walked around the medium sized house. He sniffed through the kitchen, investigating his surroundings more.


Declan pulled on his trench coat and grabbed a note pad from his pocket. "This Christian guy got a last name? Address?" 


"He does, but that's not for you to know." Micah glared at him.


Declan shrugged. "I figured I could go give him a good scare, but if you don't want that I won't do it." 


"Is this you protecting me? Well I guess what they say is true... Chivalry isn't dead." Micah leaned up against the wall and smiled. His tail swished back and forth happily.


Declan grunted noncommittally. "Maybe. I'm just saying, the option is out there." 


"Well, it's sweet of you." Micah smiled and walked over to him, kissing his cheek. "You're going to be late for work." Micah smiled wider.


Declan put his arms around Micah. "I can be a little late if I want."


"Down, boy. You're a fast mover aren't you? I think I like that." Micah kissed his neck.


Declan made small circles in the patch of fur at the base of Micah's neck. "You be a good kitty while I'm at work." He kissed the top of Micah's head and then gently tilted Micah's chin up. "Promise?"


"I'll do my best, Clifford." Micah kissed him on the lips and lightly scratched his claws on his broad chest, making Declan smile.


"Well, try not to tear up the furniture and there might be a reward in it for you." Declan kissed Micah, pressing his tongue lightly against the smaller man's lips. With a purr, Micah allowed him to explore his mouth. Declan pulled away and laughed at Micah's expression. "Good to know you don't have a sandpaper tongue."


"And you don't have puppy breath, though to be honest, I always did like puppies." Micah flirted with him. He backed up away from Declan, laughing at the scowl on the cops face. "Have a good day at work, stud." Micah smiled and winked at him with one of his silvery blue eyes.


Declan shook his head as he turned to leave for work. "What have I gotten myself into," he muttered.


***


Declan was so anxious to get home, he'd almost forgotten his dinner with his father. Overall, it had been a fairly productive day as far as Declan was concerned. Declan had done his research and was able to track down the low life that had the nerve to hit Micah. He'd sent a few uniformed officers over there and they had discovered a fairly large amount of narcotics. Christian wouldn't be bothering Micah again for a while. Declan also had looked in to the murder of a fairly young drug addict named Rory. He had earned a bit of praise for noticing what could have been a calling card that would connect this murder to all of the others. The pattern drawn in the spilled cocaine may have been a coincidence, but at least it was something to go on.


Declan arrived at his father's house, eager to get the visit over with. He hated spending time with his father. He always left in a bad mood, feeling like less of a man. He didn't know why he kept subjecting himself to the criticism.


"Dad, I'm here. I picked up a pizza," Declan called. He put the pizza on the counter and went to the living room. His father was where he always was, in his recliner with a blanket spread over his lap.


"It better not be covered in those nasty sausages," the old man grumbled.


Declan sighed. "It's only on half. How have you been feeling, Dad?"


"Oh, nice to see you care about your old dad. I haven't heard from you all week."


"I've been busy on a case."


"You still haven't figured out those museum robberies?"


Declan sighed. "No, Dad, that case is still going on. I did bust a drug ring today."


Declan's father shrugged. "Those addicts aren't so hard to figure out. Son, are you gonna get me my walker?"


Declan grabbed the metal contraption and set it before his father, doing his best not to grumble about the fact that his father could have done it himself. "It was still a good bust. Could give us a few more leads."


"Any uniform with half a brain can bust a drug ring. Hell, in some parts of this damn city you can toss a rock and hit a small operation. You're never gonna make a name for yourself with that small time shit. When are you going to figure out the museum robberies?"


Declan rolled his eyes and led the way to the table. He grabbed plates and two glasses. "Is water alright with you?" he asked.


"You know, when you decided to return to the force, you talked big about how your new abilities would make you the best detective in the county. So far you haven't done jack shit."


Declan let out a low growl. "I've solved over twenty murders since I got back. I've just been put on another one that may be a serial."


"Doesn't fucking matter, does it? You never make any big busts. Just the small time shit. I'm surprised you even made detective. Now back when I was a detective, I probably would have had this case all figured out already. They just let any moron play detective these days."


Declan sighed and didn't respond. He set a glass of ice water in front of his dad as the verbal assault continued.


"You got a girl yet?" his dad asked through a mouthful of pizza.


"Dad..." Declan left it at that. He didn't know how many times he was going to have to tell his father that he wasn't interested in women.


"Oh well, fuck it. I thought you'd get over that phase of fucking queers, but I guess that's all you can hope to get looking the way you do."


Declan stood up. He'd had about enough. He couldn't see why he should have to keep enduring that. "Dad, I'm leaving. Don't expect me next week. I'm sick and tired of trying to impress you. It's clear we don't like each other, I don't know who we're pretending for."


Declan didn't have the nerve to look back on his father as he left. He just couldn't deal with it anymore. As hard as he tried, he would never make his father proud. It hurt, but he was about to turn thirty and he had to move on.


Declan wondered if Micah would still be there when he got home. He was really hoping that Micah had stayed. The more he thought about the cat's soft fur and witty sense of humor, the more he hoped and prayed that his house wouldn't be empty when he got there.


***


Micah stretched and yawned, waking up from his day long nap. His ribs felt better after he had taken some pain killers and rested. He had continued to poke around the house for awhile after Declan had left and had found nothing of interest. His nap had been long, but not that great. He couldn't sleep without Declan's warm body behind him. He was beginning to miss Declan when he heard the door open.


"Hello?" Declan called as he shut the door behind him. "Here, kitty kitty." 


"Don't test me, Mcgruff." Micah strolled out of the bedroom, still in his leather pants. But he had lost his shoes somewhere in the day. His feet were similar to cat paws, and were speckled with black just like the rest of his fur.


"Do you ever wear a shirt?" Declan laughed.


"Nope, I get overheated. Plus, it feels weird on the fur." Micah ran his hand across his silvery gray chest fur.


Declan smiled and looked very happy to see Micah. He took off his coat and Micah could see his tail was wagging rapidly. "So, what did you do all day?" 


"Not much. Slept. Cats sleep a lot you know." Micah winked. He walked up to Declan and hugged him tightly, rubbed his face against his chest, inhaling his scent.


Declan held Micah for a moment and then tilted his chin up for a light, gentle kiss. "Your eye still looks horrible," he said. 


"You're a charmer." Micah rolled his eyes and walked away, swishing his tail and looking over his shoulder as he disappeared into the bedroom.There was a hole in his leather pants, just above that perfect bubbled ass. Micah's tail swished playfully out of it, curving into a perky S shape.


Declan followed after Micah. "Well, it takes real effort to be this amazing. Be grateful I let you see it. I have to keep my charm hidden or else all the boys would be fighting at my door."


"Right, I'm sure." Micah laughed and sat on the bed. "You obviously have to beat them off with sticks." Micah rolled his eyes.


Declan shrugged. "Well...maybe not." He sighed and it was clear he wanted to talk about something, but was hesitant to bring it up.


"What's wrong, Mcgruff?" Micah asked, patting the bed next to him.


Declan flopped onto the bed and pulled Micah into his arms. He laughed, but it was a sound empty of all humor. "I went by to see my dad today. I should know better than to do that."


"Daddy problems?" Micah asked, purring from the steady rhythm of Declan's hand running down his neck.


"The typical set. Nothing I do impresses him..." Declan shrugged and kissed the top of Micah's head. "It doesn't matter now. I'm an adult."


"It matters. I know how you feel. My dad and I have never really seen eye to eye. He's just waiting for the day I declare my straight-man-ship." Micah laughed bitterly. "He says it's just a phase. I'm no expert on phases, but I'm pretty sure a phase is shorter then my whole god damn life." Micah was angry for a minute before he went back to purring.


"My dad is the same way. Of course, now he's figured that since I look the way I do, I couldn't get a woman anyway." Declan sighed. "I told him I wasn't going back there."


"Do you think you can stay away? He is your dad..." Micah said.


"Probably not permanently, but I'm not going back for at least a few weeks. I'm just tired of him and tired of thinking about this."


"I don't think I could ever give up on my dad. I would miss him to much. No matter what. He was the one who raised me. My mom ran out on us when I was really young. I don't even really remember her. He's the one who got me into crime." Micah said.


Declan sighed. "The whole reason I became a cop was to make my dad proud. My mom got sick when I did, but she didn't make it. She was always the one that kept us from clawing each other's eyes out. Since then, it's been sort of strained between us. I know my mom would want us to get along, but I'm just sick of it all."


"I'm sure it's tough. I wish I could do something." Micah sighed. Suddenly his eyes lit up and he gave a mischievous smile. He reached around and began scratching Declan behind his ear.


Declan's tail thumped against the mattress at a frantic pace and he arched his back. "Oh, damn." His tongue started to stick out a bit and he let out a few panting breaths. "Damn, that's good." 


"That's a good doggy." Micah teased, and continued to scratch behind his ears. Then he had another idea. He pulled his other hand away from Declan's and began rubbing his belly and chest.


Declan closed his eyes and started panting harder. "Fuck, this is embarrassing. Don't stop."


"How do you think I feel when you make me purr like that. Makes me feel like one of those fat lazy house cats." Micah joked.


Declan rolled over on top of Micah, his tail still wagging. "Alright, that's enough. I'm still the alpha dog here, little kitty." 


"Alpha dog here huh? Well cats can be alphas too." Micah smiled and straddled his hips, scratching his stomach and chest for all he was worth.


Declan reached around and grabbed the little patch of fur at the back of Micah's neck, pulling him down and kissing him passionately. "You were saying?" he whispered.


"Okay, you win." Micah mumbled.


Declan smiled. "I'd say we both win."


"Win win situation." Micah smiled. He curled into Declan's chest and began purring and meowing softly like a warm kitten.


Declan held Micah a little tighter. "You know, you actually smell really good for a cat," he said, kissing the top of Micah's head again. "I could get used to this."


"You're not the only one." Micah purred louder and kneaded Declan's chest, minus the claws this time.


Declan rolled over, gently pinning Micah to the mattress. He lightly smoothed down the translucent whiskers on Micah's face and then kissed the smaller man. Micah gasped audibly and shifted, his tight pants growing more and more uncomfortable.


"Let me help you with that," Declan said, palming Micah's crotch and feeling the hardness struggling beneath the ruined leather.


Micah mewled softly as Declan started to tug and fight with the tight leather, finally Declan was able to pull the pants down over the bubble of Micah's ass. He freed Micah's tail carefully and pulled the tight pants all the way off. He tossed them on the floor and kissed Micah again. He pulled his gloves off quickly and pressed a padded finger to Micah's nipple. Micah moaned softly into his mouth. Declan started to lick and kiss Micah's neck and the smaller man writhed with pleasure.


Declan started moving down, licking each of Micah's nipples and pinching them lightly. Micah moaned and purred. Declan was moving closer and closer to his destination when suddenly Micah stopped and cupped his hands over his dick.


"What?" Declan said as he rose up and removed his shirt.


"I just...I'm not very..."


Declan smiled, finding the sudden lack of confidence cute. "Let me look at you," he said.


Micah sighed and started to move his hands away. "If you laugh at me, I'm going to scratch your face."


Declan smiled and grabbed Micah's wrist. "Trust me," he said. He looked down at the hard five inches between Micah's legs. The uncut head was pressed against the soft dusting of fur on his belly.


Without comment, Declan swooped down and licked Micah's cock from base to tip with his unusually long tongue. Micah gasped and arched his back, meowing and moaning at the headboard as Declan started to suck him. His claws extended and he barely had the presence of mind not to start clawing at anything within his reach.


Declan released Micah's cock with a soft pop and pressed his tongue to the tip, pulling the foreskin back and licking at the precum. Declan was grinning up at Micah and watching him come unglued.


"Don't stop, damn it," Micah purred.


Declan started to lick Micah's cock again, his tongue swiping over every sensitive spot. He reached up and teased one of Micah's nipples with his filed down nails. "Yeah, I'm definitely the alpha dog," Declan said with a chuckle.


Micah purred for a moment and then wiggled out from under Declan, gently pushing the man's shoulder to get him to roll over. "Alright, dog boy. Challenge accepted." Micah retracted his claws and went to work on undoing Declan's jeans. He tugged and pulled at the denim and Declan helped him get them off.


Micah gasped softly, wrapping his hand around the stiff, eight-inch, cut cock. The head was flushed red and oozing precum. It looked absolutely delicious. Micah's whiskers twitched as he slowly brought his mouth over the tip of Declan's cock. They both moaned when Micah started to suck. Micah started to purr even louder, bobbing his head and sucking loudly and happily.


"Baby, you're good at that," Declan said.


Micah pulled away from Declan's cock. "Who's the alpha now?" he teased.


Declan smiled. "It's still me," he said. He sat up slightly and Micah licked his lips at the way Declan's abs looked when he did so. He firmly grabbed Micah by the hips, careful of his still tender ribs. He turned Micah around into a 69 position.


Micah wiggled his hips seductively before he started to suck Declan's cock again. Declan sighed and enjoyed the sensation for a moment before he reached up and brushed Micah's tail aside. He spread the globes of Micah's ass and pressed a padded finger against the tight, pink hole.


Micah arched his back and wrapped his tail around the back of Declan's head. Declan licked lightly, teasing at the entrance. Micah moaned softly, his tail tightened around Declan's head, pushing him forward.


Declan gave another teasing lick. "Please," Micah panted. "Please, oh God..."


"Say I'm the alpha dog," Declan teased.


Micah growled in frustration and then moaned. "Please, just...please..."


Declan smiled and started to lick the spasming, pink hole. Micah's tail continued to press on the back of Declan's head and the smaller man started to suck Declan's dick again, though it was hard to keep focused. Micah had never experienced anything like it before and the thought he was going to cum all over the place if Declan kept it up.


Declan paused and Micah heard him rustling around in the drawer of his bedside table. He pulled out a half-used bottle of lube. Micah looked at it with a mixture of excitement and nervousness. "I'm...I don't know if I..."


Declan pulled out a condom and set it down. "Is this too fast for you?" he asked.


"No, please, I want to," Micah said.


Declan rolled Micah onto his back, grabbing a pillow from the head of the bed and wedging it under Micah's backside. He coated his forefinger with lube and eased it inside Micah's tight hole. Micah gasped and pushed himself down on Declan's finger. He whimpered as Declan started to slide his finger in and out. Declan squeezed a bit more lube and added a second finger.


"You doing alright, baby?" Declan asked.


Micah's claws extended and dug into the comforter of the bed. He moaned and nodded as his head moved back and forth. "More, please, more."


Declan added even more lube and a third finger. Micah hissed at the slight pain, but started to purr once again when Declan's fingers probed his prostate. "Oh, right there," he said, clawing up even more of Declan's comforter. "Right there, that's it."


Declan removed his fingers and Micah hissed in displeasure. Declan grabbed the condom and opened the wrapper carefully with his teeth. He dabbed a bit of lube on his cock and then rolled the condom on. He lubricated the outside and smiled at Micah. "You ready?"


"Yes, damn it," Micah said, with a hiss. He spread his legs. "Fuck me, now! I want you."


Declan swooped down and kissed Micah, lining up his cock with Micah's waiting hole. He kissed Micah on the top of the head and pressed inside. Micah hissed a bit at the sting of the stretching.


"You alright?" Declan asked.


"Yeah, I can take it," Micah replied breathlessly. "Just...go slow."


Declan slowly pressed inside and after a moment, he bottomed out. He groaned at the tightness and waited a moment before starting to move inside of Micah.


Micah moaned as Declan struck his prostate. He loved the way Declan's cock felt. Almost like it was too much, but the sting was fading into pleasure. "You're so big," Micah moaned.


"And you're so fucking tight," Declan growled back, kissing Micah's neck as he sped up his thrusting.


Micah shredded the comforter in his hands. It occurred to him that they were making love and it scared him a little but his fear faded when he looked up at Declan. He thought that maybe it would be okay to give himself completely to this man. Maybe he would be safe. 


Micah bit his lip and closed his eyes, the pleasure becoming almost too much to bear. The comforter was reduced to rags as Micah's orgasm approached. His back arched and he let out a loud moaning meow as his cum spilled out onto his stomach.


Declan pitched forward and Micah knew from the pulsing of Declan's cock that the condom was being filled. He almost wished the seed was shooting into his ass, but he hoped that there would be time for that in the future.


Declan rolled onto his side and held Micah against his heaving chest. "Well, it's a good thing I didn't spend a lot of money on that comforter," he teased. His cock softened and he pulled the condom off, tied the end, and tossed it at the trash can.


"I love you," Micah blurted out. He covered his mouth after he said it. "I mean...I..."


Declan's tail thumped against the mattress and he licked the side of Micah's face. "I love you too, little kitty."


Micah wiped his cheek. "Ew, you licked me."


"You seemed to like it earlier," Declan teased.


***


Micah held up the comforter and wrinkled his nose at it, who would ever buy a baby puke green comforter. He threw it down and kept looking through the 'bed' isle of bed bath & beyond. He finally found a dark blue one that looked sturdy enough to stand up against his claws, at least for a little while. Micah walked over to the register and paid for the comforter and matching sheets, before leaving the store. Since Declan was at work he was forced to walk to and from the store so he turned down the side walk and headed towards home. He liked the feeling of that word. Even if he was only thinking it, it still sounded warm and nice.


"Are you Micah?" A deep voice said. He turned and saw a lurking figure in the alley to his left. He hesitated. Nothing good ever came from lurkers. The man stepped out of the shadows and into the light. He was huge, making even Declan look small.


"Who's asking?" Micah switched on his bad kitty routine.


"Christian is looking for you." The man with the deep voice said again. Micah noticed he had a large scar across his neck and a similar one across his cheek.


"Christian? Why?" Micah asked, annoyed.


"A few days after you ran out on him, the cops busted him." The man said, voice gravely and menacing.


"Cops? Oh no..." Micah mumbled. Declan wouldn't...


"Yep. And word on the street is, big bad Micah is running with a police dog, now." The man said.


"I don't 'run' with anyone. After your boss beat the shit out of me, the cop found me and threatened to turn me in." Micah said.


"Don't matter," the man shrugged. "Christian wants you back, now." He grabbed Micah's arm and pulled him to the alley. Micah fought against him but the mans grip was tight, he didn't even flinch as Micah twisted and pulled. Finally, after a few feet of dragging Micah, he had enough. He turned around and scooped Micah up, carrying him pressed against his chest. 


"Let go of me!" Micah hissed and growled.


"I don't think so, pussy-cat." The man chuckled deeply.


"Hey, I'm sorry." Micah stilled. The man looked confused.


"Sorry for what?"


"For adding to your ugly!" Micah hissed and scratched him across the face. The man dropped him to the ground and Micah scurried up quickly. The man held his face and when he pulled his hand away, blood dripped off of his palms and his face. Several large claw marks cut across the cheek that was previously baby-butt smooth. That was going to leave a scar.


"You little rat!" The man shouted and lunged for him. Micah pranced over his shoulders and climbed the fire escape on one side of the alley.


"I'm a cat." He stuck his tongue out and disappeared over the rooftop, comforter still under his arm.


~~~~~~~~ 


Declan couldn't help but have a stupid smile on his face as he arrived home. For the first time, it actually felt like home. The fact that Micah would be there made it so. He pushed the door open and shrugged off his trench coat, dropping his briefcase as he did so. "Micah?" he called out. He'd been hoping to be greeted at the door, but maybe that would take time. He walked through the house and finally saw Micah seething on the mattress, a shredded pillow at his feet. 


"What the fuck were you thinking?" Micah stood up, stepping over the shredded pillow and stormed up to Declan, getting in his face. His whiskers and ears were laid back and he was obviously doing everything he could to keep from hissing. His tail hung low and twitched angrily.


Declan backed away a fraction of a step. "What are you talking about?" 


"I'm talking about you busting my ex! I didn't tell you his name or address for a reason, Declan!" Micah turned away and put his hands over his ears. He was shirtless, as usual and his silver, black dotted, fur was on edge. His hackles on his back were up and his tail continued to twitch. "I didn't tell you because it's not like he's some small time high school drug pusher, Declan!" Micah shouted. "He's powerful, and he's got friends in higher places than you would know! He got out of jail today and he sent one of his lap dogs, no pun intended, to come and get me!" Micah explained.


"Shit," Declan sighed. "I'm sorry, I was just trying to get him put away so he couldn't hurt you again."


Micah sighed loudly, shoulders slumping. "I know you were. I shouldn't have gotten so pissed. But...I just need you staying out of stuff like that. It's to dangerous for you, and it could get both of us in trouble." Micah said. He walked over to Declan and rested his head on his chest. His ears came up again and his whiskers curved forward as usual. His tail calmed down and his fur began lying flat again.


Declan softly stroked the fur on Micah's back. "I'm very sorry. I won't let anything happen to you, I swear. Next time, I'll listen to you."


"Thank you." Micah purred softly. He sighed, relaxing. "Sorry I yelled at you. How was your day?" Micah kissed Declan's lips softly.


Declan gave Micah a slight squeeze and then sighed. "I've been put on this murder investigation. There's literally no leads. I was wondering if you could take a look at this symbol we found at the scene. It's been found at a few other scenes as well. We're starting to suspect it may be gang activity or a serial killer, but I'm at a loss." 


"Sure, let me see it." Micah took the folder and the couple sat on the couch.


Declan pulled out the photo of the symbol. "This was found next to the latest victim. An addict named Rory. He's been in and out of jail for a while. We were all surprised he lasted this long. It's kind of sad really."


"Rory?" Micah said, shocked. He moved through the folder, finding more pictures. He found a picture of Rory's body. "I knew that poor bastard would die." He mumbled.


Declan gently pried the picture of the victim away from Micah. "You knew him?" 


"Uh...No. Just sucks to be him, you know?" Micah put down the picture and kept looking at the other things in the file. All of them looked familiar. The poor man had been dead for awhile when they took the pictures. It was unnerving to Micah. The design that Declan had asked about was very familiar. He had seen his fathers calling card more than enough times to recognize it. But he didn't dare tell Declan that. "I don't know what its from. I guess it could be a gang symbol or something." He shrugged and closed the file.


Declan sighed. "I thought that, but I've never seen it before. I spent some time working a lot of cases involving gangs and this never popped up. I hadn't heard of a new one, but do you think that could be what this is?" 


"I said I didn't know. Sorry I cant be the expert of all things illegal." Micah rolled his eyes, mad that he had to lie to Declan.


"I'm sorry, Micah. I just don't want to have to stand over another dead body."


"I'm sorry." Micah curled up with Declan. He sighed, he felt horrible lying. He kissed Declan in a silent apology. "I bought us a new comforter." Micah gave a weak smile.


Declan smiled and scratched behind Micah's ears. "That's good. Baby, I love having you here with me." He sighed. "Shit at work can get so fucked up, but as long as I know I can have you purring beside me when I get home I think I'll make it."


"Oh...I love you, too. I cant believe I'm so lucky..." Micah felt even worse with Declan's confession. But what was he supposed to do? It was his dad...


"You know," Declan said, his lips brushing the tips of Micah's ears. "If you aren't tired, we could go see just how sturdy that new comforter is."


"Right...actually I was hoping to take a shower. and I had...other stuff....to do..." Micah lied. He just didn't feel like he could face Declan in their bed when he knew he was lying to him. "What are we gonna do about Christian?"


"I can have some of my uniform buddies keep an eye out for him," Declan said. "You don't have to worry. I'll always protect you." Declan kissed Micah lightly on the cheek. "You know, I really do love you and I want you to know that. I know we said it before, but I want you to know I wasn't just saying it because we'd just had sex. I promise, I'll help you stay away from crime and I'll do all I can to make sure you have all you ever wanted." 


'He's making this really hard on me.' Micah thought to himself. "I love you so much." Micah purred louder. He really didn't want to go, but he felt obligated to at least warn his father. They were family, after all.


~~~~~~~~~ 


"Dad." Micah hopped through the window easily.


"What are you doing back here? You seem to be doing better." His father said, while bagging some of the illegal white substance.


"I wanted to warn you." Micah said.


"About?" His father didn't look up.


"The cops found Rory." 


"Oh, yeah. He didn't pay up. Tried to convince me to give him more time, again." His father chuckled coldly.


"They're starting to connect the murders. You have to lay low for awhile."


"They're never going to find out, Micah." His dad glanced up at him.


"But they're on the right path. Don't push your luck dad. They're smarter than you think." Micah said.


"Are the rumors true?" His dad asked.


"Rumors?"


"That you're screwing a cop." His father said.


"It's more than that." Micah said, after hesitating.


"So what? he's screwing you?"


"Thats not the point."


"So he is then!" His father slammed a fist down on the table.


"Yes." Micah said coldly, just to annoy his father. "I just came to tell you to lie low. They're on to you." Micah said. One foot out the window. He looked at his seething father one more time before jumping out and heading home.


"They wont be on to me for long." His father said, going back to his work with anger filling his heart.


***


Declan paced the floor, wondering where Micah had gone. He'd done his best not to ask too many questions, but he couldn't help but wonder what exactly Micah had run off for. Declan rubbed the palms of his hands against his eyes and let out a loud sigh. He was pretty sure he had scared Micah off. He'd probably been coming on way too strong with all he'd been saying before. He should have just kept his mouth shut. So what if he was pretty sure he was already in love? He didn't have to be a freak about it and say it all at once. They hadn't even known each other that long. Declan was sure that Micah had just run off and wasn't expecting the front door to open. He was startled when it did. 


"Hey look, I learned how to use a door." Micah joked as he shut the door behind him.


Declan had the urge to run and hug Micah, but he stayed settled on the couch. "Looks like you can be trained after all," he teased. 


"Don't push it, I WILL start using windows again." Micah threatened. "What? No kiss?" Micah sat down and curled up next to Declan.


"I was waiting for you to come to me," Declan replied. He smiled and leaned down to give Micah a quick kiss. "So...I'm doing my best not to pry, but I'm dying to know what you ran off for." 


"I wasn't doing anything illegal, if that's what you're getting at." Micah frowned.


"I trust you," Declan said, holding Micah a bit tighter. "I was just wondering."


Micah hesitated. "I went to go see my dad." He looked ashamed.


Declan's eyes widened. "For what?"


Micah hesitated more. "I...I lied to you, Declan." He blushed and looked like he really regretted what he was saying. "I told you I didn't recognize that symbol but I did."


Declan sprung up and grabbed his notebook. "Where is it from? I need you to tell me everything."


"It's...." Micah sighed and gave in. "It's my dads symbol, Declan. He killed Rory because he didn't pay up on time. And he's killed before and I definitely cant promise he wont again." Micah sighed. His voice shook and it was obvious it was hard for him to tell Declan this.


Declan put down his notebook and sat down next to Micah. "I'm glad you told me." He sighed. "I'm thankful for it but...Micah, you know what I have to do now?" 


"I know...I'm sorry I lied to you. It's just...He's my dad, Declan." Micah cried into Declan's shoulder. "He's all I've ever had besides my cons, and I'm even giving that up."


Declan started to stroke behind Micah's ears. "I know, baby. I can't imagine what that's like. I promise you though that I'll help you build a life that worth giving all that up. You'll always have a home with me." 


"If it has you in it, it will be worth it. I'm sure of it. You don't hate me for lying to you, do you?" Micah asked, tears still falling.


"I understand why you did it. Just don't do it again, please." Declan kissed the top of Micah's head. "I was worried I'd scared you off with all my lovey dovey talk." 


"What? No, of course you didn't. I...I kind of like it." Micah blushed. "I promise I wont lie to you again, I'm so sorry." Micah leaned up and kissed Declan firmly on the lips. His tail swished happily.


Declan smiled. "Good. Because I meant what I said. I do love you." 


"I meant what I said, too. I love you." Micah purred loudly as he hugged Declan tightly. He ran his hand down Declan's chest, enjoying the feel of the muscles under his tight shirt.


Declan smiled and pulled Micah closer for another kiss. It started off slow and sensual but as they both became more aroused, they started to breathe a bit heavier. Micah's hand tangled in Declan's curly black hair. Declan put a hand on Micah's bottom and then gently pinned him to the couch.


Micah purred and arched his back. He moaned as Declan started to grind his hips. "Take me," he whispered.


Declan grinned. "Someone's eager."


Micah's claws extended and he sliced away the buttons on Declan's shirt. "I want you," he groaned.


Declan pinned Micah down with another kiss, grabbing both of the smaller man's wrists and pinning them above his head with one hand. With his other hand, Declan started to undo the tight denim pants Micah was wearing. 


Micah writhed beneath Declan. "Come on..."


Declan smiled and lightly bit Micah's neck. "Such an eager kitty."


Micah wriggled his way free and was conflicted by his urge to get his own pants off and getting Declan's pants out of the way. Declan smiled and helped Micah with his dilemma. He gave Micah a soft push and then pulled the denim away from Micah's body. Micah moaned and bit at his lip as Declan took the length of his cock into his mouth.


Declan grunted softly and reached up to caress Micah's cheek. Micah looked down on him, his face lit up with pure pleasure. He chewed his lip and let out another moan. Declan planted his hands behind Micah's thighs and spread the younger man's legs apart. Micah shook with anticipation. Declan grinned and teased Micah a bit before loudly eating him out. Micah was nearly screaming with pleasure. He clawed at the arm of the couch, bits of white foam started to fly.


Declan pulled away and grabbed the lotion from the coffee table. He squirted a bit on his hands and slowly worked his finger into Micah's tight entrance. Micah moaned and grew impatient. He twisted around and pushed Declan back, easily maneuvering the bigger man. Declan leaned back on the couch and watched as Micah gracefully climbed onto his lap and sat on his cock.


Micah's face twisted with pleasure and pain and he clawed the back of the couch while rubbing his head against Declan's cheek. Declan planted his hands on Micah's lower back and Micah started to move up and down.


Micah threw his head back and let out a joyful cry. Declan smiled and watched Micah move. He reciprocated the motion and together they came.


Micah was breathing heavily as he slumped forward into Declan's chest. The cum started to drip from him. Declan let out a low whistle of appreciation. "Damn, baby."


"Yeah...wow," Micah laughed.


Declan held Micah tightly and stood up. He shook his head at the shredded couch. "Sex with you is hard on my furniture."


Micah didn't hear Declan's complaint. He'd already fallen asleep, purring gently. Declan shook his head and sighed. The couch wasn't that important. He laid Micah on the bed and then quickly settled down right beside him.


***


Micah sat at home alone, bored. He needed a job. He searched through the newspaper lazily and ended up just turning to the cartoon page. He was trying his hand at the crossword when the phone rang. Without blinking he reached over his head and picked it up off the hook.


"Hello?" He said in a slightly distracted voice as he tried to fit 'Permission' in a slot that definitely wouldn't fit the word with both S's in.


"Hey, baby," Declan said. "The car was still making that weird sound. I went ahead and dropped it off at the mechanic's. I'll be walking home, so don't get worried if I take a while."


"Are you sure? You can always accept my offer on that lesson on roof jumping." Micah chuckled. "I could always teach you how to climb through windows like a creeper, too."


Declan laughed. "I'll stick to good, reliable solid ground. So, what are you up to?" 


"Looking for a job. Again." Micah stressed the again part with a sight. He rolled over onto his stomach, taking the paper with him. He turned back to the job adds and looked at one of the ones he had circled in a red pen. "Can you see me as a school crossing guard?" He asked, grabbing a pen and flipping back to the crossword puzzle.


"Baby, I told you you don't have to work," Declan said.


"But I'm so bored." He whined and rolled onto his back again. He played with his tail as he threw the paper on the floor, giving up on the crossword. "I cant even solve a stupid crossword!"


"Well, I can help you with the crossword and the boredom when I get home," Declan replied. There was a crackling sound at the other end of the line and then a bang so loud that Micah had to hold the phone away from his ear.


"Declan?" he said.


There was no reply. Micah listened to the grinding sound, confused about what was happening. Finally he heard the words, "Be still," and the line went dead.


***


Declan struggled to open his eyes and slowly became aware of his surroundings. There was a sticky bit of blood on his forehead and he could feel that his arms were tightly restrained, as were his legs. He coughed quietly as he looked up. He saw a bloody, mangled body against the wall next to him and he did his best not to panic. He continued looking around. He saw barrels stacked brimming full of bags of a white substance. As best he could tell, he was in some sort of attic. The floor looked rotted and he assumed the building was abandoned.


His ears perked as he heard the sound of heavy footsteps approaching.


"That's my son's last boyfriend." The voice seemed to almost gag at the last word. The man stepped into the light and Declan realized he had never seen the man before. He was kind of hoping he would at least be kidnapped by someone he had some relation to, not some stranger.


"Where am I? Who are you? What do you want? I hope you know I'm a cop."


"None of that's important, what's important is what I want." The man said, and brought out a large hunting knife.


"What are you doing?" Declan tried not to panic.


"I'm going to make you hurt." The man said, with a wicked gleam in his eye.


"Your son, who's your son? "Declan said, though the sick feeling in his stomach made him think he already knew.


"You know who he is. You've been screwing him for awhile now." The man nearly spat the word 'screwing'.


"You're Micah's dad?" Declan went pale. He had caught lots of serial killers, but he had never been alone in a room with one. At least not without armed policemen nearby. At the very least he was usually armed.


"I am. I've tried to convince my son. He just wont listen to me. Once he realizes you left him, he'll realize that he's not gay. He's not one of those sick faggots." Micah's father looked over at the mutilated corpse against the wall. "Screwing one of his disgusting boy toys." The older man looked like he was filled to the brim with hate.


"Look, you don't want to get into this. You'll get into a lot of trouble for killing a cop." Declan said, though he knew it was pointless.


"Who's going to tell? You? Trust me, after I'm done, you're going to be saying just about as much as he is." He pointed to the corpse. Declan swallowed loudly.


"Dad! Stop!" Micah climbed through the window.


"How the fuck did you even get up here? We're on the third floor, Micah!" Declan shouted, forgetting where he was for a second. Micah winked at him.


"I told you I would start using windows again, they're faster than doors."


"Actually, I'm glad you're here for this Micah, maybe I can make this less painful for you, after all." His dad gave a wicked smile.


"Dad, what are you doing?" Micah asked, hands out, pleading with his father not to do this.


"Taking care of what's making you sick. I'll get rid of this faggot and maybe you'll finally realize that you were wrong." His father said.


"Dad, please. This isn't going to change anything, I love Declan and he loves me. We're starting a life together. I'm happy. I've stopped conning and I'm even looking for a job. I want to adopt kids, and buy a house together, and fight about stupid shit like how he drinks straight from the jug of orange juice, or how I leave towels on the floor."


"Or how you're always climbing through fucking windows." Declan added from the side. Micah glared at him.


"Make a choice, Micah. It's me, or him. I've already taken care of your other faggot." His father moved aside, showing the mutilated corpse of Christian.


"Oh my god." Micah's blood went cold. "Christian..." He mumbled. "He was a dick...but he didn't deserve this. No one deserves this." Micah said quietly.


"Choose!" His father shouted. Declan felt dizzy. It was obvious he had lost a lot of blood from the wound on his head, and he had to have been tied up for hours. He felt the ropes chafing his wrists and his mouth was dry. The tension in the room was huge. Micah looked at him, and looked at his dad. Declan could practically see the thoughts running through his mind.


Micah had said it himself. It was his dad. He loved him, how could he not love his own father. He had only known Declan for a few weeks, he couldn't be expected to choose him for the rest of his life. Micah had been raised with no one and nothing but his father and the illegal errands he had learned to run. He would be giving all of his life up, if he chose Declan. Everything he knew and was familiar with. Declan made the decision that if...when... Micah made his choice, choosing his father, he wouldn't be mad at him. He would always love him.


"Dad, please don't do this. Don't make me choose. I'll come back and work for you, just leave Declan alone." Micah pleaded.


"You know I cant do that, son. You'll go to him. I cant watch you all the time. And I doubt he'll let either of us go after this." His father laughed. He turned to Declan. "How much has Micah told you about himself? What has he told you about the things he's done?"


"Dad..." Micah said, voice cracking.


"Has he told you that he's hurt people? Innocent people. He's even killed before, did you know that?" His father asked, Declan froze.


"Dad, please!" Micah cried.


"He's done more than just steal and rob, cop." His father laughed.


"I choose Declan!" Micah shouted, and the room went silent. It felt like even the termites in the floor had stopped moving.


"What?" His father said, surprised.


"I choose Declan. I told you, Dad." Micah was out of breath. "I never wanted that life...I want a normal life. I want to have kids, a family." Micah cried. He stepped over to Declan and his father watched him move, but didn't even flinch. Micah began untying Declan as he spoke.


"I want to wake up at night, and have him there, next to me." Micah said. "I want him to be there in the morning, and when I go to sleep. I want to sit at home and think about him out there, helping people....Just like he helped me." Micah said. The ropes fell away and Declan turned to hug him. Declan squeezed his shoulder tight as they both cried. He didn't think....He never believed Micah would choose him.


"Can we go home now?" Micah whispered to Declan.


"Yeah, baby. Lets go home." Declan said.


"Micah..." His father whispered. Micah ignored him, and let Declan lean on him for support. He headed for the door and reached for it with his hand.


"You cant choose that faggot over me! I wont let you!" His father shouted. He pulled a gun from the waist of his jeans and leveled it with Declans chest.


"No!" Micah shouted. The gun rang out, the smell of a shot being fired filled the tiny room. Declan shut his eyes and waited for the pain.


'Where's the pain?' He asked himself, when a good five seconds had passed. He opened his eyes and saw Micah's father standing there, still and pale.


"Micah..." His voice cracked. Micah, who stood in front of Declan protectively, whimpered. He fell to the ground and moaned in pain.


"Micah?" Declan whispered. "Micah!" He shouted when he realized what had happened. He turned his lover over gently and saw his chest stained with red, but he couldn't tell where he was hit. "Micah, baby. Hold on for me." He whispered. He ran his hands over his lightly furred chest and finally found the small hole in his left shoulder. Micah moaned and rolled his head to the side.


"Hold on, baby." Declan whispered so only Micah could hear. He ripped off a piece of his shirt and tied it around the wound tightly. Micah yelled out in pain and Declan shushed him softly. "Micah, did you call the cops?" Declan asked. Micah didn't answer. He grunted in pain and held his shoulder. "Micah, answer me!" Declan shouted. Micah didn't speak but nodded his head twice, quickly. Declan kissed him and held his hand. He was still bleeding heavily and Declan was doing all he could to stop it. 


"I...I didn't mean to...." His father stood there, gun pointed at the ground now.


"You shot your own son!" Declan shouted. He would have torn the gun from his hands in a heartbeat if he wasn't so afraid to leave Micah. After all the people his father had killed, it was strange for him to have this reaction.


Suddenly, the sound of a dozen loud footsteps on hardwood floors came up through the thin floor beneath them. The door swung open and a bunch of armed cops poured into the room. Guns were heard being cocked and aimed.


"Freeze!" One said, as the many police surrounded Micah's father. He got down on his knee's with his hands in the air, as one cop took his gun. Another stepped forward and handcuffed him quickly.


"We need a medic!" Declan shouted. Several other cops looked over and one ran out to get a medic while another crouched next to Declan to help Micah, who was still moaning in agony.


"Do you know who that is?" One cop asked, pointing to the body.


"A local drug dealer, Christian." Declan said, not really paying attention or caring for that matter. The cop seemed to relax, glad it wasn't some Innocent bystander. The medics came up and began helping Micah. They lifted him onto a gurney and carried him down the stairs carefully, and into the ambulance, leaving Declan alone.


~~~~~~~~~~~~ 


"Don't move," Declan said. He rushed to the passenger side of the car and opened the door. He reached across Micah and carefully undid his seatbelt. "Alright, lean on my arm."


Micah smiled. "Declan, I'm alright."


Declan sighed. "You said I could take care of you. Now be good and let me help you to the door. You're going straight to bed."


Micah groaned. "I've been in bed way too long."


"Well, you ruined the couch, remember? So your ass getting in bed."


"The one time that I don't want to hear you say that," Micah grumbled.


Declan smiled and targeted Micah's one weakness. He started to massage the base of Micah's neck and his boyfriend became much more agreeable.


"You suck," Micah said, but his words lacked all venom and were weakened even further by the loud purring.


Declan opened the front door. "Welcome home, babe," he said. He kissed the side of Micah's head and then started to help him to the bed.


Micah smiled and allowed Declan to help him into the bed. "Well, if you're going to make me stay in bed, you'd better fetch me my paper, dog boy."


Declan rolled his eyes and left the room for a moment to grab that day's paper off of the kitchen table. "Babe, check out this headline."


Micah started to tear up a bit as he read the short piece about a heroic former criminal who had been cleared of all charges by saving the life of one of the police force's best detectives.


~~~~~~~~~ 


Micah rolled his bad shoulder carefully. It had finally healed well enough for him to try what he had been planning for weeks. He checked for the last time to make sure Declan was asleep. He kissed his boyfriends forehead lovingly before climbing out of their bedroom window. He pushed off the wall and grabbed the edge of the window of the house across from them. He pulled himself up onto their roof and started running.


He reached the end of his trip shortly. He peered into the window and saw the older man sitting in a reclining chair with a blanket over his lap. Micah's eyes glowed in the moonlight and he leaped silently to the targeted house. He slid down the drainage pipe and looked into the window on the other side of the house. The old man wasn't asleep, but he wasn't doing anything. The T.V. was on but he wasn't watching it. Micah searched the house for an open window and finally found one in the master bedroom. He crawled through and stepped softly onto the ground.


His paws were silent as they moved across the carpeted floor. His claws were sheathed and his silvery fur was standing on edge, sensing any change in the air around him. His tail was still in the air, not swishing. He crept through the hallway silently and stood in the opening to the living room. The old mans back was to Micah and he was about to step forward when he spoke.


"Take what you want." He said, without turning around. Micah's ears went up, shocked. He had never been heard if he didn't want to be.


"I'm not here to take anything." Micah said.


"Then why sneak in?"


"Because, I didn't want you to slam the door in my face." Micah raised an eyebrow. 


"Who are you?" The old man asked.


"My name's Micah." Micah said.


"The thief from the paper?" 


"You read the article." Micah said.


"I did." 


"And?" Micah asked.


"And what?"


"Your son is a hero." Micah said.


"With help from a criminal? I don't think so."


"He was right. He was right to give up trying to please you." Micah said coldly. "All he does is try and make you happy. The reason he's a cop is to make you happy. And you treat him like shit." Micah said.


"Watch your tone with me." Declan's father snapped.


"No!" Micah jumped over his chair and stood on the coffee table in front of him.


"All he wants is your respect and you cant even give him that. Do you know how much it hurts him? For you to repeatedly turn him away?" Micah asked.


"Well then maybe he should grow the hell up." His father snapped.


"You should cherish your son while you have him. I'm living proof that not all father son relationships will last. You two are lucky to have each other, and you're just throwing it away." Micah said quietly.


"Just because you and your father were criminal dumb asses who couldn't be reasonable, doesn't mean my son and I are the same." Declan's father spoke.


"Well, Declan thinks you don't love him. You should fix that. Because, even if you don't think so, you're losing him. Fast." Micah said. Declan's father was silent. Micah stood there for a few more minutes before jumping off the table gracefully and stepping towards a window. He opened it and glanced one more time at the old man, before climbing out and disappearing into the night.


~~~~~~~~ 


"Micah!" Declan ran up to him, phone in hand.


"Yeah?" Micah struggled with his old enemy, the crossword puzzle. 


"You'll never guess who just called." Declan had a huge smile on his face.


"Who?"


"My dad!" Micah smiled.


"What did he want?" 


"He...he wants to make amends! He called and said that he was sorry for being so hard on me. And that he wanted me to know he loved him." Declan sat on the bed with a wide smile.


"That's great!"


"Yeah...I'm meeting him for lunch...He never leaves the house."Declan smiled even wider.


"I'm happy for you." Micah kissed him. Declan stared at him for a second. 


"What did you do?" Declan asked.


Micah smiled and kissed Declan. "That's my secret."


"Micah, what did you do?" Declan smiled and tackled his boyfriend to the bed.


"I didn't do anything. Just opened his eyes a little." Micah shrugged. Declan sighed and kissed him passionately.


***


Epilogue: One year later


Micah was sleeping soundly against Declan's chest when he heard a crash. His hand flew to the scar of his gunshot wound and he woke the snoring man beside him. "Declan," he whispered. "Declan!" he shouted again, when his lover refused to wake up the first time.


Declan groaned. "What?"


"I heard something." He ran his hand across his scar, remembering.


Declan yawned. "No you didn't." There was another crash and Declan couldn't pretend he hadn't heard that one. 


"See." Micah whispered. Without another word he stood up and moved his way over to the door to their bedroom. He peeked out the door but couldn't see anything. He had no trouble seeing in the dark, in fact he saw better in the dark than he did in the light. He stepped out into the living room silently.


"Micah, get back here," Declan said. "Curiosity killed the cat and we don't know how many of your nine lives you have left." Micah did not appear to be listening. "Micah, get your ass back here. Micah!" 


Like a cat hunting it's prey, Micah stepped silently past their coffee table, and their still shredded couch. He tuned out Declan as he heard him fall out of bed in his attempt to chase him. Micah heard a crash in the kitchen and turned his ears that way. His padded feet moved quietly across the padded floor and he hardly noticed when Declan joined him in their hunt, although he was much louder. Micah turned the corner and saw the figure stooped over a fallen plate. Micah pounced and grabbed the shirt of their intruder, holding up the small figure at his eye level. Declan turned on the lights and they both gasped.


"Down, kitty," Declan whispered. The child couldn't have been older than seven. Her brown hair was matted to her forehead. Small, round ears stuck out from her matted hair. Micah set the girl down and she started to cover her face with hands tipped with tiny, pointed black nails. She was crying and the hair on her tail was standing on edge.


"I was just hungry," she shouted. 


Micah stared down at the girl, wide eyed. Declan stood behind him and was just as speechless. Micah stared, mouth open, for a moment before blinking and coming to his senses. "Declan, get her some of the leftover pizza, please?" he asked. Declan looked up at him and then moved to the fridge, stepping over the broken glass of the plate she had broken.


Declan put a slice of pizza in a skillet and started to warm it on the stove.


Micah raised an eyebrow. "What are you doing?" he whispered.


"I'm warming up the pizza," Declan replied in a whisper.


Micah shook his head. "You're so weird."


"It keeps the crust from getting rubbery," Declan replied.


"Who the hell does that?" Micah laughed.


Declan rolled his eyes. "Now isn't the time to question how I warm up pizza." Declan glared at Micah in mock anger for a moment and then smiled at the very confused looking little girl. "What's your name?" 


"Uhm..." she stared at the two men for a moment. "Sydney," she whispered.


"What were you doing in our kitchen, Sydney?" Declan asked.


The little girl gathered her tail in her hands and twisted it. "I just wanted something to eat."


"Where are your parents?" Micah asked. He sat down at the table with her while Declan continued to warm up the pizza in the weirdest way.


"I don't need parents." Sydney turned up her nose.


"Really? Then what did you do with yours?" Micah asked, playing along with her game.


"I gave them away!" She tried to look tough.


"Really? I think I would miss my parents too much if I gave them away." Micah said. Declan looked up and saw the sadness in Micah's eyes. It had been awhile since the big blow out with his father, but he still caught him looking out into space or crying at night.


"Really?" Sydney asked. Micah nodded.


"Don't you miss yours?" Micah asked.


"They didn't want me." Sydney said quietly. She picked at the edges of the deep claw marks on the wood of the table.


"Why not?" Declan asked, as he set the pizza down in front of her.


"I heard Daddy telling Mommy I was sick, and when I grew my tail they started acting funny. I woke up one morning and they were gone." She said. Micah looked at Declan, exchanging a silent message.


Declan nodded and sat down across the table from the child. "How long ago was that?"


"I dunno," she said through a mouthful of pizza. "But I'm doing just fine." She resumed her tough act.


Declan smiled. "I see that." He was just playing along. In addition to severely matted hair, Sydney was dressed in clothes barely a step up from rags and she was obviously thin.


"I break in to stupid houses and I take stuff. No one ever finds me. Except for you, but that's just...your plates are stupid."


"Right." Micah smiled, trying not to laugh. "I think you just picked the wrong house, sweetpea." He smiled. "Declan here is a policeman." He nodded at his partner, watching Sydney's eyes widen.


"Declan, could I talk to you for a second?" Micah stood up and walked to the hallway in front of their bedroom. They could still watch the hungry girl, but were far enough away that they wouldn't be heard.


"Declan-"


"No, Micah." Declan frowned. "It's not like we're picking up stray animals here, this is a little girl!" Declan said.


"She needs us!" 


"We can bring her to an orphanage. Someone will adopt her."


"You know they won't. Look at her, Declan. Who would adopt an infected?" Micah asked, and he was right. Declan looked at her as she gnawed on the crust, which wasn't rubbery, just as Declan had promised.


"Micah..." 


"She's alone. Just like I was." Micah whispered, looking at the ground. Declan stared at him a moment before breaking into a soft smile.


"You're too nice for your own good, Micah." Declan hugged him tightly.


They held hands and returned to the kitchen. Sydney quickly stopped licking her plate and waited quietly for them to speak. After a moment she asked, "Am I gonna go to jail?"


Declan shook his head. "No, you're not going to jail. Micah and I decided that it really isn't fair that our plates are so..."


"Stupid," Sydney said.


"Right, stupid," Declan said with a smile. He glanced at Micah.


"We decided you can stay here if you want to," Micah said. His face was lit up with happiness. "And well...since Declan is a policeman he really can't let you keep breaking in to houses."


"Oh," Sydney whispered.


"But you could stay here for a long time, if you wanted," Micah said. 


"Really?" Sydney asked. The two men nodded. Sydney thought for a moment. "Is there more pizza?" She asked, face lighting up. Micah laughed and took her plate, going to get her more pizza.


Declan sat down. "Look, I know you're tough, but most kids need parents. Micah and I need a kid. Now, you seem to be pretty smart, so I'd say you should take advantage of this."


Sydney nodded. "I'm very smart." She kicked her feet under the table. "Yeah, I guess you can be my Dads."


"You don't mind having two dads?" Micah asked, as he brought in a plate with pizza on it.


"That was fast." Declan said.


"Yeah, cause I microwaved it like a normal human being." Micah winked at him.


Sydney giggled at their conversation. "I think I will like two dads because you are both funny and also got tails like me." She started to eat the pizza and wrinkled her nose when she got to the crust. "Why is this one funny tasting?"


Declan laughed. "That's one point for Declan."


"It tastes fine, your dad is just starting to spoil you already." Micah glared at Declan.


Declan shrugged. "I've got to spoil her now because there's no way she's bringing any boys in this house."


Sydney giggled. "What would I want boys for? They're smelly."


"Yes they are." Declan nodded in agreement.


"Jesus Declan. We've known her for ten minutes and you're already brainwashing her and about ready to bring out your shotgun." Micah stretched and yawned.


Declan shrugged. "Gordon setters are very protective."


"And Egyptian Mau's are sleepy." Micah stared at him with his slightly creepy unblinking cat eyes. "Get the spare bedroom set up, for me?" Micah blinked his eyes innocently and walked to their bedroom, climbing onto their soft bed.


Sydney followed Declan as he put sheets onto the twin sized bed in the back bedroom. She rubbed her eyes sleepily and wiped her mouth on the back of her hand. She looked so remarkably small and young and for a moment Declan worried that he wouldn't be good enough to be a father.


"You'll sleep here from now on," he said.


Sydney yawned and held her arms up to Declan. He stared at her for a second, confused, but then he snapped out of it and lifted her in his arms. He set her in the bed and covered her with the blanket.


"It's going to be alright," he said.


She yawned and nodded. "I think I like it here."


Declan turned off the light and went to join Micah in bed. "You think we can do this?" he whispered. 


"We caught a serial killer, got shot in the shoulder, impressed your father, escaped an abusive boyfriend, got out of the criminal life, and became one of the best cops in the city...Yeah I don't know if we can do this." Micah sighed heavily. "But we sure as hell are gonna try." He smiled over at Declan. He snuggled into his chest and began purring loudly. Declan's tail thumped against the bed quickly.


"I love you, baby." Declan said.


"I love you too, Declan." Micah smiled into his chest, and began drifting off to sleep.


The END

5 comments:

  1. I just found this story, I love it! Simple as that :)

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  2. Love. I love that they saved her.

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  3. Love. I love that they saved her.

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  4. Love. I love that they saved her.

    ReplyDelete