CHAPTER 10: A New Life
"Hmph, this is certainly a turn of surprising events," remarked a cloaked figure impassively as he and a group of similarly black-robed figures stood by with hidden and growing interest, watching the scene of Jake and the X-Men returning back to the planet Earth of the third dimension, the reality of humans and mutants. He and his companions were all standing in a non-descript yet wide room of colorless, clean marble, silver and stone, so white it was almost sterile. Aside from a few objects, the only thing in the room that was abnormal was an actual fountain of crystal-clear water erected in the very center of the emotionless chamber. The monument was made of cold stone and fire, the rock blacker than obsidian and night and was intricately carved to depict a gruesome myriad of beasts in contorted shapes of agony and macabre, all of them embracing a giant emblem that suspiciously appeared to be a red heart with a barbed "X" through it. Yet the waters that streamed and pooled to the bottom from the mouths and eyes of the engraved figures of the rock acted as a scrying and divination medium for the group to observe and watch the mutant team as it pooled into a gigantic basin at the base of the fountain. Some of the figures were hooded, others were not, revealing human faces both of young and old, yet all hardened by battle and the corruption of darkness and light. Each and every one of them wore black robes along with black gloves made of the purest and finest cloth while etched with shiny metal straps and zippers, and also like the man who commented earlier, each one of the hooded figures bore a unique weapon.
"So now the third dimension of the mutant world of planet Earth had managed to break the sacred boundaries," one strapping man with short dark-brown hair commented, holding a yellow and black broad-sword in one arm, carefully hefting it on his right shoulder, "Once again, I must admit I am thoroughly surprised that these mutants show promise."
"You gotta be kidding me!" snarled a blond-haired girl, her cheeks turning crimson with outraged gall and extreme disappointment, her fingers clenched tightly around her yellow throwing daggers, "There is no way this sorry world could be where the Gathering's to take place! I mean, the door to the Light surely can find a more promising location than this pathetic and chaotic realm! Look at the pitiful shape it's in right now! Hate is rampant, bigotry and hypocrisy is everywhere you turn, and the human race is by far the most evil of all life-forms I've ever seen and witnessed! They enjoy causing others to suffer, they worship the philosophies of greed and avarice and power, and any idiot can see it's only going to get worse! There cannot be any possible way the door to the Light can be found in this world! It is far too corrupt for anything of the like!"
"I disagree, Larxene," another boy commented, his hood lowered enough to show his dark hair and thin face with narrowed eyes, "The Superior had told us Ansem believed that where there is great darkness, there shall also be great light deep within. The little oversight of such a fact had caused him to perish in body when that damned boy sealed Kingdom Hearts along with his friends by calling forth on the light and stopping the World of Chaos."
"Ansem was a fool, Zexion!" Larxene snapped back impatiently.
"Hold your tongue, impudent girl! The Superior would have your head for such disrespect!" snapped another figure, his hood up and cloaking his face in the shadows.
"And keep in mind, Larxene," a sallow-faced, square-jawed man with pale skin and long, flax, pastel-colored hair clarified, carrying a blue, spiked shield of ice, "Earth is not a single world, but a planet made up of different worlds, all intermingling with their own separate yet penetrable boundaries of their own. To spot such a globe of nature to house many realities and worlds at once is by far uncanny, and as such, if the door to Kingdom Hearts is to ever reappear again, this would be a likely place, especially since our residents have managed to break the boundaries outside of the planet."
"Still, it is strange to think that these mutants could be the possible saviors and champions of this planet, Vexen" commented the man with the broad-sword, his eyes narrowing, "They are mere children. If the Sovereign and the Champion were to be one of the other, more-powerful residents such as Superman, Spawn, Hellboy or even Batman and the soulful-vampire, Angel…that I can believe. But the X-Men? It is certainly a development I could not expect."
"Well, who else could it be?" pointed out the man with the spiked shield.
"Still, we must remain vigilant in our search and find the door before the damned Chosen ones are discovered by that infernal mutt, and if Earth shows such promise, it would not do harm to keep a close eye on it like we are doing with the rest of the worlds we have suspected," a figure with wild, long brown hair remarked as he turned from his viewing of the fountain, hefting his pink-and-green flower scythe as he walked away from the organization.
"And where exactly are you going, Marluxia?" one hooded, enigmatic man asked offhandedly.
The man with the scythe simply replied smoothly, "The Superior would like to know our efforts and what we had just witnessed. After all, it is of the Organization's best interests if we anticipate this possibility and seek outside forces to deal with these potential X-Men and any more of their kind."
"Well, I for one hope it is this planet," sneered a wild, slightly psychotic figure with spiky, red hair as he habitually twirled his spiked set of twin chakram, "I could certainly use a little fun with the X-Men, especially that one telekinetic called Jean Grey! By my element, she certainly is a fiery one to deal with, and I wouldn't mind seeing how much of a firebird she would be!"
"Word of warning, Axel," Marluxia growled, "The Superior certainly would not appreciate it if our plans were revealed any sooner than necessary, and should the Gathering take place here, it would be best to send our troops on Earth to eliminate the Chosen ones while harvesting enough resources for our ultimate goal."
Axel looked incredibly belligerent and rebelliously offended, but he simply glared at Marluxia's back while keeping his mouth shut. And with that, the discussion ended between the Organization as the shadows grew all around the room and concealed the cloaked figures as the fire and light from the fountain faded into nothingness, extinguishing the scrying session.
At the X-Mansion, it had been two weeks since Jake had moved in as an instructor…
"Spider missiles…AWAY!" yelled Jamie gleefully as he tested out his brand-new, personal glovatrix inside the living room, firing a steel-mesh net connected to a ring of five miniature missiles.
"Jamie!" screamed Ray in anger as he was now pinned against the wall thanks to the spider-net, "When I get out of here, I'm gonna kill you!"
…and life at the X-Mansion couldn't have gotten more hectic. Rogue was attempting to hurt Remy again for accidentally scratching her personal Harley motorcycle, chasing the terrified Cajun mutant with a wrench in one hand all over the garden and saying words that would even make a pro-wrestler wince. Scott and Jean were hunting down Bobby Drake to get hold of the negative and pictures he took of the couple during their date two nights ago, and both of the mature yet furious mutants were searching high and low for the ice-generating mutant teen. Roberto and Piotr were cleaning up the living room as punishment for accidentally breaking the TV in the den when the two violently quarreled over a game of Halo the night before…and the XBOX console still couldn't be dislodged from being stuck from the ceiling. Sam was chasing down Lockheed, trying to stop the dragon (who was now back to his infant size thankfully) from making off with his book report due tomorrow in Beast's class and using it as a chew toy. Forge was putting out his second fire of the day in his laboratory after grabbing it from Tabitha and Amara who were planning to bash Bobby's head in with it for "accidentally" photocopying embarrassing highlights of their diaries and scanning them onto the Internet. Everyone else steered clear of the kitchen as Kitty was trying to find a guinea pig (or a poor soul) to try her newest batch of muffins from the oven which were suspiciously the color of lime-green and smelled like rotten garlic.
"So how are things going so far?" sighed Charles Xavier in his personal office with Ororo and Hank standing next to his mahogany desk for their weekly staff meeting, and noticeably absent were Logan, Jean, and Scott, though not without good reason.
"Same old, same old," said Hank wearily as he took of sip from his tumbler of gin and tonic, feeling the sudden urge to swallow it with a couple of aspirin for his tension headache as he heard another explosion ring through the halls followed by Amara and Tabitha screaming.
"Drake, come back here and die!" screamed Amara as Bobby sprinted past the open doorway, dodging fireballs in a frenzied panic and hollering for mercy.
Ororo rubbed her sore eyes as she commented, "It is highly strange, though. I was a bit worried that with Jake trying to adjust to his new life her in this world, staying at the X-Mansion may not be the healthiest way for him to cope and deal with his past grief and issues…"
"Microwave missiles…AWAY!" Kurt was heard cheering as the blue mutant tried out his glovatrix.
"Cool, Kurt! You actually caused the windows to melt! I've never seen liquid glass run like that!" exclaimed Forge excitedly from the den.
"…and yet, if anything, it hardly seems to faze Jake. If anything, he's adjusting too well. He loves the students so much that I have yet to see him lose his temper at them. I'm astounded that he hasn't even raised his voice at them once, even after Sam and Ray accidentally singed his whiskers off with the blowtorch several days ago when they were reconstructing the engines on the Blackbird."
"Well, his therapy sessions with me are helping somewhat," the Professor offered as he refilled his brandy glass, "but I can agree with your uneasiness and anxiety for young Clawson. He has been through so much, too much for anyone to bear let alone live with for the rest of his natural life. And I can sense the state of his mind, how much healing and contact he truly needs before he can comfortably move on. I would say he is dangerously on the borderline of severe depression, but if anything, life here at the mansion could possibly be the best thing he needs, better than anything his home world at Megakat City. Being an instructor and a role model to the children has given him a sense of purpose, one that is quite different from being a vigilante cockpit fighter and jet pilot hero."
"It's quite ironic, wouldn't you say?" Hank mused as he traced the rim of his cup, "Before, Jake was a vigilante, a lone anomaly and wild card in the politics of law and order. And now, he is actually teaching a class of mutant teenagers to be vigilantes exactly like he and Chance were once before. This is a true case of passing down the SWAT Kat legacy to the younger generation, and I can confess that I would certainly have been the last one to willingly hire a maverick of the law to teach our students without some reluctance."
"Like, slicer missiles…AWAY!" Kitty yelled excitedly from the hall.
A second later…
"HALF-PINT! MY HAIR!" screamed Logan from the bottom of the stairs.
"Oops, like sorry, Mr. Logan! I was so not aiming for you!" Kitty gasped apologetically.
"LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO MY HAIR!" Logan continued to holler.
"Um…on the upside, only half of your head is like totally bald. Uh…heh, heh…I love you, Mr. Logan," the adults heard Kitty meekly offer, gulping before she phased through the floor, avoiding certain death by mere inches.
"Scott and Jean don't seem to think so. They love the fact that they have another instructor and member of the personnel to help them out with the duties of classes and staff…especially since Jake is the only one among us who is actually willing to give Kitty and the others their driving lessons," Xavier said, smiling and chuckling a bit. He remembered how in the first week, when it was time for Kitty and Bobby to have their weekly driving practice for their awaited-licenses, Scott and Jean tricked Jake into being the designated adult for the two wild teenagers for that day, desperate to avoid the brutal torture. Yet to everyone complete astonishment and bewilderment, Jake was actually a bit cheerful when the lessons ended and asked if he could be the official driving instructor for the mansion, especially since he wasn't the least bit intimidated by Kitty and Bobby's driving habits and remarked how after flying in a jet for so many years, Kitty and Bobby's daredevil and maniac driving was a walk in the park. In fact, Jake praised Kitty and Bobby for driving exactly the way Chance did with their Turbokat.
Jean actually started crying with joy when she heard that, and the X-Men adults couldn't stop thanking Jake enough. Logan even went down on his knees as he hugged the kat around his legs (Ray actually managed to get a picture of that with his camera before Wolverine started chasing him).
Xavier continued, "I just hope Jake will grow to trust us fully in time. He does like living here and he can see we are sincere and dedicated to our beliefs and our goal for the Institute, but it would be foolish to think that he would automatically commit his life with us, even though we are giving him food and shelter. But that is to be expected. Trust and faith take time, after all. And with Chance gone, it is up to all of us to help Jake with that."
Then there was a sudden eruption of chaos and breaking objects as Jake and Logan's angry voices rang through the kitchen downstairs, their tones so blaring that it was nearly in the decibel proportions.
"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING, YOU HAIRBALL?" bellowed Logan, his voice shaking with shocked outrage.
"What does it look like, Logan? I'm having a drink!" Jake shot back heatedly.
"Over my dead body, you will, punk! That's the last beer in the fridge! Hell, that was my beer in the fridge!"
"Hey, I had just finished teaching three engineering classes in a row full of eager students who caused three explosions and broke two windows and somehow managed to solder my chair with metal to the chalkboard! And that was before I tried Kitty's experimental 'Tuna-Surprise'! Since I just finished drinking what was left of the Pepto-Bismol in the infirmary, I need this beer more than you!"
"Let's get one thing straight, punk!" Logan could be heard snarling, "Any beer in the fridge was bought with my own money and is thus, under my property! It's mine, not yours! And for God's sake, did you have to ruin a potentially good brewski by mixing it with MILK?"
"Hey, it's what I'm used to back home! And if you don't like it, tough flea-collars!"
"Finish that beer and you're dead meat, bub!"
"I don't see your name on it, so stop whining and get over it, old man!"
SNIKT! The adults could hear Wolverine's adamantium claws pop out in warning.
"Come over here, and I'll give you something to whine about, hairball!"
"Make me, baldy!" snapped Jake, and with that, the sounds of the fight intensified by more than ten-fold, curses, insults, and punches thrown about as carelessly and effortlessly as confetti in the wind.
Xavier winced as he sighed at the wanton destruction and tussle, saying, "Well, almost all of us."
Ororo smiled as she stated, "Still, it is not as it would appear to be, Charles. Even though Logan would deny it until the day he dies, he actually has a lot more respect and affection for Jake than he would ever be willing to admit openly."
"So do the other students and X-Men," Hank emphasized as he sipped his drink with his oversized elbows on the Professor's desk
Hank had indeed spoken the truth. All the adults could have seen how quickly Jake was accepted and trusted by the younger X-Men. It wasn't easy to overcome his apprehension and nervousness when he was still learning the interesting similarities and quirks of the human-universe, but Jake was adjusting steadily enough. The New Mutants attended his engineering and science classes with interest (Bobby had yet to fall asleep once), especially since Jake was more practical than theory and taught the students first-hand how to properly examine a jet, how to fix a motorcycle, how to take apart and reassemble an engine in minutes, and even how to build their own glovatrix weapons from scratch. In fact, the last one was the most popular project. It wasn't long before all of the X-Men, including the hard-core ones such as Scott and Rogue, were testing out their new glove-apparatuses and copying the SWAT Kats (and this brought several new holes in the walls and the front lawn).
And despite being older, Jake always treated the kids with respect and as equals, never once patronizing them and being warm, protective, yet openly compassionate and caring. Logan and Ororo were especially pleased to see some of the students seek Jake for counsel, for a tender ear, and for a person to talk to during their bad days. If one of the students needed a partner to play Tekken on the PS2 console, Jake would join in without any hesitation or fear of appearing too childish. If one of the guys wanted a partner to lift weights or play poker, Jake would drop what he was doing and step in. If one of the girls wanted to talk about the latest fashion or the latest development from the last episode of Lost or Desperate Housewives, Jake would smile and give his undivided attention regardless of how trivial or stupid it would be. In fact, Jake was more of a brother than an instructor to the students. He grew especially close to Jamie, Kurt, Jean and Scott, and Sam, Tabitha, and Amara also grew incredibly and exceptionally fond of their new instructor. It wasn't surprising, considering that without Jake's help, Sam and Amara would have died from their wounds after the battle with the Enforcers in Megakat City. Even Lockheed noticeably treated Jake differently from the other X-Boys, particularly since Jake would discreetly offer scraps and morsels of his dinner to the pet dragon under the table when no one was looking.
Yet what warmed up Jake the most to the X-Men was when Kurt and Jamie showed Jake the "SWAT Kats: the Radical Squadron" DVDs they ordered from the internet-store, Amazon. Jake was especially curious to see the cartoon-series and how his life and Chance's life were played out. At first, it became a simple movie night, just Kurt, Jamie, and Jake sharing popcorn and sodas while watching the adventures of Razor and T-Bone in Megakat City. Then Roberto and Bobby got interested along with Amara and Tabitha. Jean and Scott actually then decided to take a rain-check on their teaching-preparations for the next week (a miracle upon itself for the two perfectionists) as they joined on the couch, despite them being a bit too old for cartoons. Remy surprisingly stopped pestering Rogue with his unwelcome advances when he saw the kids watching the SWAT Kats on TV, and curious, Rogue also joined in. Then Kitty and Piotr. And the rest of the New Mutants and X-Men. Lockheed was soon welcomed into the bunch, resting on Kitty's lap while he flicked his tongue at the cartoon with curious interest, nibbling on his share of caramel corn. Even Hank, Ororo, Forge, Professor Xavier and Logan joined in, and the entire family laughed and keenly watched the series unfold, showing them the depth of Jake and Chance's lives along with the lives of Callie Briggs, Commander Feral, Felina, Abi and Dr. Hackle. Jake had to admit it was strange and entertaining to see the scenes again (though not without some pain and guilt). And the X-Men grew to be enthralled with the brown, furry, anthropomorphic cat, almost viewing Jake as a famous celebrity.
Storm was right. Jake was appearing to adjust to life as an X-Man well. And later that very day after the staff meeting…
"So what do you think, Jake?" Jean asked as she smiled in anticipation. Jean and the rest of the X-Men, including Professor Xavier, were in the Danger Room, watching Jake try on his brand-new X-Men apparel custom-made just for him.
Jake Clawson looked in the wide-mirror at his X-Man uniform. It was basically a modified pilot G-suit exactly his size, but the material was specialized polymer-spandex along with hidden, inflatable bladders around the chest area to constrict the body from G-forces should Jake ever do some serious flying. It was a noticeable improvement from his SWAT Kat uniform, flexible and allowing him freedom for any movements of fighting or flying. The entire suit was black, like the New Mutants' uniforms, but the torso-region had a red X with a yellow outline crisscrossing Jake's chest, and over the kat's right pectoral was an X-communicator electronic voice-box, the yellow and red button hardly noticeable and not the least bit cumbersome. Jake also had a yellow pocketed vest and a small yellow pack attached to his left leg with a secure leg-strap to keep his instruments in. Jake also discovered that his newly-rebuilt black and red glovatrix fit snugly with his new uniform on his right arm and complemented it wonderfully, almost putting the kat more at ease with the comforting familiarity. Yet unlike the X-Men, Jake had no gloves or boots, and one could obviously notice his oversized, brown, furry paws and claws sticking out. Jake preferred it though; any fabric covering his paws would have felt too constricting and uncomfortable.
Jake smiled back at the X-Men.
"I like it," he said softly.
"So what should we do about your code-name, Jake?" Rogue asked, "Should be think up of a new one for ya'? Or have you thought of one yourself?"
Jake shook his head as he murmured, "Just call me Razor as always. Let me keep my code name, 'Razor', to help honor Chance and keep the memory of the SWAT Kats alive. Besides, the kids pretty much remember me by that alias anyway, so it'll be easier to remain consistent."
Kurt's eyes crinkled a bit in confusion as he grinned at Jake. The blue furred mutant pointed out, "But…you don't have your mask like you used to. Isn't it going to be a bit awkward for you?"
The kat gave a chuckle as he clarified, "Nah, it won't be, Kurt. I don't need a mask to be a SWAT Kat, just like how you don't need your uniform to be the mutant vigilante, Nightcrawler."
"Are you sure you do not wish to have an image-inducer, Jake?" Piotr asked, "If you had one, it would be easier for you to go out and leave the mansion whenever you wished, just like Kurt."
Jake again shook his head.
"No. It's pretty much why Hank here doesn't want an image-inducer; it's because I have no reason to hide nor would I wish to. Not only would it not do much good here, but even though I'm not blessed with the X-gene, people in your world would still pretty much hate me since it wouldn't take them long to figure out I'm staying with you at the mansion and view me as a mutant as well. To them, a freak is a freak, regardless of being born in this dimension or another dimension. Besides, I think I've done enough hiding for a while. Chance wouldn't have wanted that."
"Welcome to the X-Men then, Razor," smiled Professor Xavier.
Later that night, under the cold and cloudy sky, Jake was silently moping on the Institute grounds, sitting on a sturdy tree-branch while wearing his trademark red baseball cap backwards along with a gray, cotton jumpsuit, staring at the stars above. Even though he could be working on the Blackbird or Velocity or hanging out with the X-Men at the living room, Jake needed some time alone and every night, he would creep out and spend some quiet reflection in the woods nearby the X-Mansion.
Jake felt his vision blur as his vision of the starry sky clouded over, and Jake realized he was crying again. It was still strange, to be happy one moment and then sobbing your guts out the very next. There were times Jake needed to break down, and even though he would do it in the privacy of his room or the bathroom, it was apparent the students and staff knew Jake was still hurting. As much as Jake cared for and appreciated Xavier and the X-Men, it would be highly unlikely he could ever find a best friend exactly like Chance was in his life.
"I miss you so much…" murmured Jake as he looked up at the heavens, his mind drifting to thoughts of heaven and the afterlife.
"Sorry, bub, but I can't say the same likewise," Logan grumbled from behind as he stepped out of the brush and woods only to stand underneath the branch Jake was sitting on. Jake rolled his eyes at Logan irritably.
"What do you want?" he asked coldly, incredibly bothered at the intrusion.
"Just checking up on you. Is that a crime, hairball?" Logan shot back as he crossed his arms and watched the sky alongside the SWAT Kat. Jake raised an eyebrow at the remark; he wasn't so sure how to feel about that. For a good fifteen minutes, neither of them spoke, remaining perfectly still, as they just watched the stars together and the clouds drift by lazily against the brightness of the moonbeams shining from behind them and hearing the distant roars of the ocean not too far off. Even though his hackles were rising and his brown fur was bristled, Jake remained silent, not wishing to be the one to blow up and instigate a fight. Yet it was Logan who broke the serenity first.
"You know, in some Native cultures, they believe that the stars are testimonies of fallen heroes who sacrificed themselves for the good of people, that for every hero who dies to fight evil unselfishly and bravely, their souls will rise to the heavens to become a star, a guiding light to instill courage and inspiration to all future children so that they can be influenced by the light of the hero's soul and in turn, the kids will grow up to be heroes as well, completing the endless cycle of virtue."
Jake gave Logan a curious yet grave look.
Logan then brusquely added, "I'm not sure if it's true or not, hairball, but from what I've seen of you and from what I've seen and heard about Chance…if you see the brightest star that seems to appear every time you go out and look up like some mindless idiot…you'll know who it's from."
Though he had no idea why, Jake stared at the diamond blanket of darkness again, and to his slight surprise, he could swear there was a large, glimmering star he had not noticed before, rivaling the intensity of the moon's, making itself distinctively separate from the other tiny specks in the sky. In fact, it almost seemed to be winking at him.
"You're not so bad after all," Jake finally responded weakly.
"I still can't stand you, though," Logan smirked, "and I frickin' hate your cat-hair and body-odor. Every time I get a whiff of you, I'm tempted to grab you by the scruff of your flea-bitten hide and dunk you in a tub and scrub you 'till your raw and bleeding. Or better yet, grab one of the Elf's razors and shave your completely bald. And if that won't do, I could just beat the crap outta you and get it over with."
"Not without losing a few teeth you won't, old-man," sneered Jake as he gracefully leapt off the tree branch and landed on his paws before going toe to toe with Wolverine, "And keep in mind, I've faced Dark Kat, dinosaurs, evil counterparts, the Alliance, the kat-version of Apocalypse, aliens, and giant oil-sucking worms…you think I'd be scared of you? I'm strong and agile enough to be a fair match against you and your so-called skills, Logan."
"You know, now that I think about it, I could always bribe the Ice-cube to switch your shampoo with 'Nair'. That'll be the quickest way for me to deal with your scent, hairball," Logan ridiculed, undaunted.
"Can you at least stop calling me 'hairball'?" Jake asked wryly, shooting Logan a semi-annoyed look of amusement. Logan made a mock-appearance of giving it some exaggerated thought.
"I guess I could use other nicknames…flea-bait's a good one and so is 'neuter-punk' now that I think about it. How about it? Want me to call you those names instead?" grinned Logan evilly.
"Only if I can call you the ninja-pining-badger-who-hasn't-gotten-any-for-the- past-two-months," Jake shot back with his eyes gleaming. Logan then gave the kat a dry, deadpanned look of annoyance touched with a mild death-glare. Jake had to admit that the hairy, tight-assed, know-it-all had some good ones.
"Who told you?"
"Jamie through his 'Multiple News Network' who got it from Tabitha who was paid by Jean and Rogue to tell him even though you bribed all the X-Men and the New Mutants to not reveal anything embarrassing or humiliating about your life here as an instructor because you didn't want to seem stupid or inferior to the new guy, not to mention give me any ammunition to take some jabs at you," smirked Jake.
"Damn kids robbed me over a thousand bucks," muttered Logan as he crossed his arms bitterly, but he decided to let it go. Turnabout was fair play, after all.
"It pays when the kids absolutely adore you," Jake leered.
"Well, give it time, and they'll have you running back and screaming to return to Megakat City with your tail in between your legs like a true quitter," Logan mocked.
"You wanna settle this, then…Badger?"
"The day I get shown up by some snot-nosed, furry little punk will be the day I lose my adamantium skeleton! Bring it on, hairball!" Logan snarled.
"I wonder where on Earth could Logan be? You don't suppose he went to go antagonize Jake again, do you, Charles?" commented Ororo worriedly as she and the Professor strolled down the halls, making sure that all the teens were in their bedrooms with respect to their curfews. It was past midnight and none of the X-Men had seen hide nor hair of Logan or Jake for that matter.
"Actually, I think I can sense them in the kitchen again," the Professor stated, suing his telepathy to detect the two instructors. At this, Ororo sighed with exasperation as she and Xavier quickly ambled over to the cooking area.
"Honestly, Logan should know better than to fight over alcohol in such a childish manner, and it would hardly kill him if he learned to share his…"
At this, whatever Ororo was going to say trailed off as she and the Professor entered the kitchen and stopped and stared at the sight in amazement. There, seated directly across from one another on the oak table were Jake and Logan, between them were a tall glass of cold milk and a gigantic jar of red habanero chili-peppers floating in oil. Both Jake and Logan were slightly twitching, their faces red and breathing heavily through their noses, their tongues screaming and their blood actually being pumped madly by their rapidly-pounding hearts. Jake just ignored the churning feeling in his stomach as he deftly picked a habanero pepper from the jar and tantalizingly brushed the tip of it against his tongue, teasing Logan maliciously before popping it in his mouth and biting down with a satisfying crunch.
Jake and Logan were having a pepper-eating contest. The milk would be for the loser who would be unable to carry out the torture of the spicy-brutality any longer. And it appeared that neither of the two X-Men was willingly to back out to the other.
"Give up yet, Logan?" smirked Jake with a wicked, gleeful look.
"Not on your life, hairball," hissed Logan, his brow already starting to sweat and his eyes and nostrils feeling as if they were inflamed with lighted-gasoline as he reached for another pepper.
Ororo and the Professor both rolled their eyes at each other, but silently, they retreated back into the den, leaving Jake and Logan to settle their petty rivalry on the kitchen, unbothered.
"I guess what you said earlier about Logan was true, Ororo," Xavier chuckled as he sighed heavily, "Who knows? Maybe Logan is the one thing to help out our resident cat and make him feel more at home."
Ororo sighed as she then overheard Jake and Logan taunt each other rudely and chauvinistically.
"I'll remind you of that observation when Logan and Jake try to kill each other," groaned the weather-witch.
Author's note: First and foremost, I wish to dedicate the story to the character, Chance Furlong, and even though he was just a cartoon character, killing him was really hard to do, and I also found out that the voice-actor, "Charlie Adler" who does the voice of Chance ALSO did the voice of Low Light in "G.I. Joe"! Amazing, huh? And like I said, this isn't your normal conclusion, people! Things will really heat up for the Misfits and X-Men in the next cross-over (yes, they will finally meet up), but until then, I'll fool around with one or two one-shots for the next Friday or two as always. Until then, review and constructive criticism welcome!
Also to my beloved reviewers:
Red Witch: Again, I dedicate this story to you as well. Since I'm using your Misfits to write, it's only fair, and besides, it's a great honor to be able to fool around with your universe. And I'm glad you remember the SWAT Kats cartoon better than you remember the Dinosaucers. And yep, not a lot of people expected Dark Kat to follow Apocalypse! As for the future with Jake being in the X-Men, you're right that he'll be in for a wild ride.
Asha-man72: Remember how you said the way I write encourages you to wait and check back every Friday? Well, your reviews make me want to keep writing! Not only are you my favorite reviewer, but you really know how to make me smile with your reviews. Forget Cloud-9! Your reviews put me at least on Cloud-100! Heck, every Friday, I'm eagerly awaiting you to review the chapter cause it's the one I enjoy the most! And yes, Feral hate for the SWAT Kats was based on JJJ's hate for Spider-Man! I'm glad you caught onto that, and I'm also touched by how you respected the way I had Chance die just like how I'm pleased you were able to see what the chapter "Saying Good-Bye" really meant. Hey, as long as you leave great reviews, I'll always keep up the excellent work! And I hope to read your Misfit story someday as well! I can't wait!
Sparky Genocide: Thanks for the reviews, and actually, I did want Callie to kick Feral in the breadbasket, but Feral would have probably thrown her in jail ASAP if she did. You might like the next crossover I'll do, but to clarify on something: I never made a reference to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but…let's just say the Misfits will make four new friends someday in the future (hint, hint). Glad you liked this, and Jake will be acquainted with alcohol enough.
Prophet-Song: Yep, Jake joins the X-Men. And "SPIFFY"? I actually like that word! And I'm glad you were touched by Chance's death scene, not to mention I'm also glad SWAT Kats was one of your favorite cartoons growing up. As for something bad happening to Feral, I can't kill him off, but does Bobby blowing up his car satisfy the urge somewhat? Hope you check back soon and enjoy your Spring Break. And BTW, I love Dr. Hackle too.
GothikStrawberry: Thanks for reviewing, and yeah, it seems like the scene with Jake begging Feral to mercy-kill him struck a chord with everyone. I'm still surprised how dramatic it was for a lot of people. And yeah, I feel bad for Callie too, but she needs to know Jake needed to leave. Thanks for reviewing.
Raelina: Thanks for reviewing, and hope to see you for the next crossover! And I'm glad you spotted the cross-word references.
Lonegrowlithe: Hey, glad to hear from you! Glad I got a new reviewer, and yes, that was the whole reason I did this crossover. Jake joining the X-Men was something I have been planning for quite a while, and later down the road, you will find out why I'm doing so many crossovers. Until then, glad to have your reviews.
Aaron: Yep, Dark Kat's master was Apocalypse. And I agree with you; the tide before the storm, when the lines are drawn and everyone is on the same page before the final battle is what I love best of all too. It's like the most climactic part of the story, and yes, I got the idea for Feral's hatred for the SWAT Kats from JJJ's hate for Spider-Man. Not only did it make sense, but it gave Feral a more 3-D outlook in that he's not a complete heartless jerk, just too tight-minded about following the law. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Hope to hear you back soon! And yes, Razor will eventually meet the Misfits like how Whitelighter will eventually meet the X-Men. And yes, now I know Jenni Starr and the Southside Misfits are your creation. I'll see if I can use them as a cameo soon.
L1701E: Thanks man for the e-mails! And check back soon for my one-shots! I'll give the Starr brothers and the West Coast Misfits a cameo or two soon!
Xenomorph666: Thanks, and again, once your next Misfit story is up, it's going to the C2 community for the Misfit-verse.
Metalomaniac: No problem. I hope your Spring break is the vacation you need to recuperate from school, and hope you enjoy the Dinosaucers fanfics too! Let's just say when they meet the X-Men, it'll be awkward to say the least.