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Title: For One Night
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Original/Ace Ventura, Pet Detective
Character/Pairing: Original Characters, including Kat O'Hara and Captain, and some mild Ace/Kat
Rating: PG/K+
Warning(s): None
Word Count: 1,668
Summary:
Disclaimer: All characters within except Ace belong to the author and may not be used without permission. Ace belongs to his rightful owners, not the author, and is used without permission.




She shouldn't be letting him get to her like this, she thinks as she digs in a closet she hasn't opened in five years. Every article of clothing seems laced with memories she once cherished but are now painful. She refuses to give them any power over her mind as she continues digging in search of one particular item. She'd much rather think about the leathcheann who prompted her to do this instead. If she has to choose between the two, she by far prefers that he have power over her rather than her own past.

She focuses her mind by trying to replay her day's events. She could concentrate on trying to determine her next move against the Environment's latest political foe or the move she made earlier this evening, sneaking into the Senator's masquerade ball. She almost got him today. "Ah would've tae," she growls testily at the cat by her side, "if'n ye'd jest shut up an' let me do me work."

Captain pauses in licking a striped paw and looks calmly up at her. "What and let you fry every one at that ball? Including that one guy's guide dog?"

"Aye 'cept fer th' dog. Th' guy could go. 'Tis what Ah was there fer." She pushes pass another colorful skirt.

"No," Captain argues calmly with a swish of his long, ragged tail. "What you were there for was to kill the Senator, not everybody else, and there was a live feed. You could have fried all the cameras there, Kat, but not without being seen on nationwide TV."

She shrugs. "All Ah would've had tae di was take that one oot first."

"There were too many guards. Somebody would have called for backup, and you would have had the whole military breathing down your neck."

Once more, she shrugs as though they're discussing something as trivial as what movie to watch that night. "Ah could've taken 'em."

"You're good," he says calmly. "So was your grandfather. He'd be proud of the woman you've become, Kat, but you know how he felt about needless deaths."

"It's nae needless if it's a bloody human. Every damn one o' 'em's goin' tae hurt somebody somewhere down th' road, an' most o' 'em already ha'e."

"They're not as evil as you think," Captain murmurs. He knows theirs is the worst species. Instead of being the ultimate species at the top of the food chain as they think they are, theirs is a bottom feeder, preying off of their own kind not just for survival but for meager things, their most cherished goal being simply reaping as much money as they can get off of anybody's pain and suffering. But they're not all like that. Her grandfather wasn't like that. Nor were her parents. Captain thinks easily of two others who are also cut from a higher cloth.

He's surprised Kat's not arguing with him, but she's clearly distracted. "There th' bloody t'ing is," she mutters, yanking a black hat out of the closet she hasn't opened since her grandfather's funeral. Her fingers tug at the brim of the black hat before she sets it on her head. "He can nae say Ah'm no' wearin' a costume now."

Captain almost falls off of the clothes basket on which he's sitting. He covers his mouth with both front paws and presses hard against his furry lips to keep from laughing out loud. His tail swishes again. Oh, his Kat is a funny one all right! Here she is hating humans, claiming she wants to fry them all, and she can't stop thinking about that goofball, Ace Ventura!

He half expected her to follow him today when they saw him walking ahead of them. Ace had been aware of them for some time, but Captain had known he was there and had simply waited to see what his girl would do. She had snarled when the scrawny man had turned around to face her, still tossing around the package he carried like it was one of those odd-shaped, brown balls with which some of the humans play. He'd looked directly at Kat, faced her fury, and sang, "No costume, no candy."

It had been a while since Captain had heard that song. Though traditional for today, the song wasn't a favorite of any member, furry or otherwise, of the O'Hara clan and thus had never been played that often around him. Kat had once found it funny, but today it only added fuel to her never ending fire, both of temperament and magical. The poor man had had a firebolt coming at him before he could even register Kat's fingertips were lit.

To her credit, she actually hadn't exploded the goofball. The firebolt had circled around him instead and struck him in the rear end. He had yelped, jumping and grabbing his butt for all to see, but by then, Kat's fire had disappeared from sight. The other humans passing nearby had looked at him as though he'd taken leave of his senses. From what Captain's seen of the man, he's not entirely sure that's possible for he's never once seen him display actual common sense.

The chuckle finally slips free of the old cat's restraint. Kat's emerald eyes shoot to his reflection in the mirror hanging on the back of her old closet door. "What're ye laughin' 'bout?" she demands, her voice holding that dangerous edge warning him he's now the one risking a firebolt -- except that Kat would never harm him or any animal. She'd even asked the spider hanging on her door for permission to enter her own closet.

Aisling barks from the bed, but Captain lets both women's warnings slide. He knows she's not going to hurt him. He shrugs his lithe, furry shoulders instead and offers up a partial truth, "I was just thinking about that crazy Ventura today."

"Aye," Kat says, fingers again sliding along the brim of her Witch's hat as her gaze returns to her own reflection. "Ah din't t'ink there's e'er been a bigger dumb ass."

"Oh, Ah din't know about tha'," a familiar, disembodied voice speaks suddenly. The sound has every older being in the room grinning in expectation before the old man appears behind his granddaughter. He reaches out and gently scratches Captain's head. Captain purrs, tail whisking, and butts his head against his master's hand.

Kat whirls around, her smile betraying her glower. "Ye would like 'im."

Her grandfather shrugs as he calmly meets the fury in his granddaughter's eyes. "He's funny." Growing solemn, he adds, "He's good tae animals, an' he's good tae ye."

"There's nae a t'ing between us fer 'im tae be good tae me or nae!" Kat exclaims hotly, her accent growing thicker.

But her grandfather just smiles, a knowing twinkle in his eyes. "He could've turned ye in, Kathleen. He could have screamed an' ran from ye." He shakes his head. "He's nae afraid o' ye."

"Well, he should be," she snaps, but then she softens just a little. This is her grandfather, after all, and by the Gods, how she's missed him! "How di ye knae any way how he's been actin 'round me?"

"Simple." She's missed his warm smile almost as much as she's missed him. Tears shimmer in her eyes. She doesn't fight as he takes her gently into his arms. "Di ye honestly t'ink," he asks, gazing up into her face, "that there's a moment Ah haven't been lookin' down at ye since I had tae leave this world?"

"Ye din't ha'e tae leave," she whispers, her voice suddenly raspy with the tears she's fighting.

"I didn't want tae," he agrees. "It was mah time, though, luv." He reaches up, brushes a loose strand of bright, red hair away from her beautiful face, and strokes her cheek. "Ah would ne'er ha'e left if Ah hadn't had to."

She nods, and an old streak of self-hatred rises within her when a sob breaks free from her careful control. Tears begin speeding down her face. She wants to claw them out of her eyes, but he holds knowingly to her hands. "There, there now," he says, consoling her just as he did when she lost her parents when she was only six. He hugs her tightly, then pulls back just enough that he can look into her eyes again. "Ye din't want tae spend th' rest o' taenight cryin', di ye?" He strokes her cheek again, petting her just as he would have one of his many animals. "Not when we're finally taegether again."

"Nae, Grandpa," she whispers breathlessly and hugs him tight. "Nae when we're taegether." She wants him to stay, but she knows already he can't. Her heart breaks again with that knowledge, but then for the rest of the night, she pushes away her anger, sorrow, and self hatred. She's got him back for now, and even if it is for just one night through the magic of Samhain, she's going to make the most of it.

She hears his smile in his voice as he hugs her tightly once more. "There, there," he coaxes. "That's mah good Kat. Ah luv ye, darlin'."

"Ah love ye tae," she whispers and lets him lead. Tomorrow, she'll get drunk on the whisky she bought earlier. Tomorrow, she'll hate herself and every other human in the world again. Tomorrow, she'll cry and blaze and kill some more humans. But for tonight, she's got him. Tonight, she's loved. Tonight, she's whole again, even if only for a little while.

"Now," the old man says, pulling away from her once again, "let's talk 'bout these unnecessary risks ye've been takin'."

"Aw, Grandpa," Kat actually whines, and every animal in their room does their version of a laugh.

Her grandfather reaches out and scratches Captain in his favorite spot behind his old, torn ears again. He purrs, leaning into his embrace, but can't resist teasing Kat. "Told ye," he says and winks, and through her tears, Kathleen O'Hara actually smiles.

The End

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