Cats and Dogs Ch. 10byingarlm©
So, this is the last bit. I am working on a sequel because I had far too many ideas to fit into this story (if you've stuck with this you'll have read over 80,000 words). I've got no idea when that will be done and get posted because real life keeps getting in the way! I have finished a story about how Peter and Michael met in training and I'll get that up at some point when I've done the final edit.
Anyhow, thanks very much for reading this, and for your votes, e-mails and comments. Just a reminder that there is m/m in this story.
The first arrival to the house in the morning was the medic, who was greeted warmly by everyone. His first task was to see to Dill, and he confirmed to Tilly and Sam that he was pleased with his progress and they would leave him without sedation to see when he woke. A quick check on Sky revealed she was recovering well and only needed to keep going as she was. His rounds left Finn and Sky very pleased, but Tilly even more worried than before. She continued to sit by Dill's bedside but every twitch of his body made her concern rise. She didn't know when or if he would wake up, and any indication set her on edge.
About mid-morning she heard a car arriving and Sam shot her the thought that it was Mark and another representative from the Council. She made her apologies, not wanting to leave Dill's side even to see their boss. She knew Sam would let her know later what had gone on, but right now there were more important things on her mind.
It was about an hour later when she started to feel something. It wasn't anything definite at first, but as the feeling grew it became more clear. It was confused and weak, but for the first time she felt Dill's presence. It didn't ease her concerns but it was an indication that he was waking. If only she could tell what state he would be in and whether he would wake completely. In the end her own nerves meant that she asked for the doctor to keep her company, hoping that he would be able to reassure her. He gave Dill another check up but couldn't help ease her worry.
'I'm sorry, but I still don't know. I can't feel him like you can, I'm just going on his responses. He does seem more alert and the drugs should be wearing off now, but until he speaks to us I can't be certain of anything.'
'Sorry, I'm just going slowly crazy here and I thought you would be the most useful person to be with. I know you can't make any promises.'
'I will stay. I want to see him awake too, and if you can sense him it will help.'
The two of them kept sitting, Tilly holding Dill's hand and stroking it gently, talking to him and both asking and willing him to wake up. The presence became stronger, but there was still no outward sign and he didn't wake.
Meanwhile, Sam and Tom had been downstairs to greet Mark. They were rather surprised that the other Council member who had come was Sandra. She didn't seem overly keen to see them, but was at least polite this time and made no mention of her feelings about their relationship. They were pleased though when Mark indicated they should retire to Sam's office, and she was left with the four rescued weres to organise their transport back to HQ and start to interview them.
Mark started to talk as soon as they got the door shut on the office. 'My apologies for bringing her, but she is best suited to dealing with the captives and finding out what they know. You were aware she has a strong empath ability, and since Tilly hasn't been able to speak to them it was the logical choice. I assure you that she has been given orders to keep her mouth shut about anything else.'
Sam was pleased to hear it. 'And about Peter and Michael?'
'She doesn't know about that yet. I need to find out from them how they want to play things before I start getting involved.'
Tom wasn't so sure about that idea. 'Can you be sure she won't out them like she did with us? I don't trust her to deal with matters delicately and the boys are only just starting to understand their relationship themselves.'
'I have considered that possibility, and I have a suggestion, or perhaps a request would be the more appropriate way of putting it. But there are a couple of other things I need to discuss with you first.'
'Yes?' asked Sam.
Mark smiled. 'The Council is very pleased with the work your teams have done. The information you have gathered will be invaluable, and I'm sure you don't need telling how much freeing those held means to all of us.' the two men nodded. 'As a result, and perhaps a little thanks to my interference, the feeling is that it would be best for your teams to stay as one. This is of course assuming you have no objections?'
Sam and Tom shook their heads, but the broad smiles they shot at each other said how happy they were with this instruction.
'I didn't think so!' continued Mark. 'Ordinarily two Alphas would be a problem, but with things between you the way they are, I think it will work very well. The Council also like the idea of having mixed teams. Most of our units would not work well like that but you have shown how it can be. We are going to try more mixed units in the future, with those people who are most open minded about it, and by introducing trainees to units to broaden their membership. Which brings me back to Peter and Michael...'
'You were wondering if we wanted a couple of trainees?' asked Tom smiling.
'Am I that predictable?! In all honesty though, the boys are ready for their training with a team, and I think this would be the best place. They already know you and there is the advantage that their relationship will not be judged here. I know it's partly because he is my son, but I do feel the need to protect him, and Michael too.'
Sam and Tom looked at each other for confirmation they were both thinking the same. It only took a glance for Sam to be able to reply. 'We'll take them on boss. They are good guys and everyone gets on with them. Plus they came out on surveillance and have proved their worth with the work they've been doing at the house since. We'd be pleased to have them join our team.'
'Thank you. I will of course have to ask them if it is okay, but I really don't think they will have any objection to staying with you.'
'I think it will be more of a problem wiping the smiles off their faces when you mention it!' Tom laughed. More even than Mark he and Sam knew how much the lions enjoyed being at the house and the freedom to develop their relationship. 'Shall we call them through and give them the good news?'
Mark replied. 'I already did. Once you agreed I didn't want to keep them in suspense any longer.'
The knock at the door just then confirmed that Peter and Michael were eager to hear the news, but from the looks on their faces when they came in, they were fully expecting to be returning to HQ that day and not keen to do it either. Sam and Tom could hardly resist the urge to laugh, but waited for Mark to give them the news, trying not to let their faces give any indication.
Mark started by giving Peter a hug, and surprised everyone by doing the same to Michael. 'I'm really glad to see you both, and I am pleased to hear from the Alphas here how helpful and useful you have been. It's a good indication that you are ready for the next stage of your training.' Peter and Michael just looked at each other slightly confused, so Mark continued. 'I've given the situation some thought, admittedly also in light of your relationship, and I want to place you both with a team so you can develop your skills further. If you agree, you will be assigned here to work for Sam and Tom, with immediate effect.'
The two lions looked stunned for a moment, and Peter recovered his voice first. 'You mean we can stay here? We don't have to go back to HQ?'
'Yes, you can stay here. I hope you will come visit me sometimes though!'
Peter and Michael couldn't stop their smiles beaming. They hugged each other tight in their excitement, and then, suddenly seeming to realise where they were, let go quickly. The other men just smiled back, and Peter gave his father a hug. 'Thank you so much. You have no idea how much we were dreading going back. And you all need to know, even if we had been going today, we don't intend to hide the fact that we have a relationship and want to be together.'
Michael took Peter's hand in his and squeezed it for reassurance. 'Thank you all. We really appreciate this opportunity and we won't let any of you down. And to confirm what Peter said, we are together and we want to stay that way. It's been an eye-opening experience being here and not having to fear or keep our feelings secret, and we don't want to go back to that, but it will be easier doing it here and we are glad to have that option.'
'Good, that's settled then. If you two could go to the car you'll find your personal possessions are in the boot, as I thought you might like them.' Mark said.
'Were you that sure we'd agree?' asked Tom, but in an amused tone.
'I was fairly sure you all would. I'm glad to be proved right of course! I think it's best for everyone.'
'Thanks dad. If there's nothing else now we'll go get our stuff and take it to our room.'
Mark shook his head no, and the two lions left quickly, still smiling broadly. Mark gave a querying look to Sam and Tom. 'Their room?' he asked.
Sam nodded. 'I hope you don't mind. The first night we got here there was only one room ready and we didn't have the energy to sort anything else out. After that we kind of left it and they didn't object, and according to Tilly were really glad they got to keep sharing.'
'I bet they were!' Mark laughed. 'Of course I don't mind, they're adults after all. It's been something of a surprise to me to see how into each other they are though, now that they are away from HQ. I'm glad to be able to leave them somewhere they can be safe.'
'We'll take good care of them, don't worry.' Tom replied.
'I know. And speaking of taking care, how are the patients doing?'
Sam sighed. 'Dill is still not back with us, but that's partly because the doctor has had him sedated so far. He's left off the drugs this morning so we are really hoping that he will wake up soon. I think Tilly will go crazy if he doesn't. She says that today she can sense him, but it's really faint and she can't tell if he's okay or not, which is almost making it worse.'
'Is Tilly coping?'
'Yes, so far. I don't want to think about what will happen if he doesn't wake up though. She's been by his side almost constantly, and when she has left him she's been with Sky. I think keeping herself busy has helped.'
'So Sky's being looked after on more of a rota basis then?'
Tom couldn't help laughing. 'Not exactly boss. It's more a question of Tilly popping in to do the more personal care, and Finn growling at any other man that goes near. He's just about okay with the doctor!'
Mark joined in the laughter. 'I thought I was putting the best teams together for this mission, but it seems I've started a dating agency! I assume that Sky is okay with it?'
'We made Tilly check things out, and yes, it seems to be a mutual attraction. Tilly has reminded them both that they need to take it easy until Sky is better, and I'm happy to trust her that they will heed her instructions.'
'Well, I suppose that leads me neatly into the last thing I need to say, about taking it easy. You'll be pleased to hear that your teams are officially off-duty as of now, and barring anything unusual, there won't be any more assignments for at least six weeks. Enjoy your break.'
'Thanks Mark, I'm sure we will.'
Mark nodded and left the office, leaving Sam and Tom smiling. A six week break sounded good. It would give time for Alex and Cal to move their families closer and the rest of them to have a quiet and relaxing time, assuming of course that Dill came out of his coma soon, else all they would do is worry.
Peter and Michael had headed straight to the car to grab their stuff, glad to see that he really had brought all their personal bits. They could now put things in their room and would probably unpack now they knew they would be staying. Peter stood for a moment just staring at the mansion.
'We really landed on our feet with this assignment babe. Can't think of any better accommodation than this place!'
'Nope, me neither. And we get to keep sleeping in that great big comfy bed too.'
Peter grinned. 'I think we've established it has much better uses than sleeping!'
Michael couldn't resist smiling too. 'Definitely! Race you to it then...' he said, running up the steps closely followed by Peter. When he got into the hall he stopped dead in his tracks and the smile fell from his face. The last person he expected to see just then was Sandra, and he stiffened, expecting some comment from her. She'd made it very clear to him that she didn't like him, and it seemed be purely because he was gay. Peter only stopped once he'd run into him, but Michael barely noticed the contact.
Peter suddenly saw Sandra and realised why Michael had gone from playing catch to statue. He gave her a quick nod in acknowledgement, knowing that it would be expected, and then grabbed Michael's hand, pulling him past Sandra and up the stairs whilst he spoke out loud. 'Come on babe, we've got unpacking to do.' A quick glance back showed him the relief on Michael's face, and the shock on Sandra's. He was quite happy with that.
* * * * * *
Back upstairs, Tilly heard the sound of the two lions heading up the corridor, and could feel from their emotion that something good had happened. There was only one good thing she was waiting for just then though. She had kept talking to Dill and updating the doctor, and she could tell he was getting close to waking. His presence was stronger but still confused, although the drugs he was on could explain that.
'Come on lazy. It's time to wake up now, you've been lying there long enough. Some of us have better things to do than sit here waiting for you. Open your eyes for me.' she gave the doctor a weak smile, and he returned one that was mean to reassure her, but didn't really help. Suddenly her attention was fully back on Dill. She felt almost a surge in his presence, as though he had heard her and was trying to do as she had asked. She stroked his hand gently. 'I know you can wake up if you want to. Come on. I need to see those pretty brown eyes of yours.'
Again there was a surge in the presence, and this time she felt some pain with it, which could only mean Dill was aware at least vaguely of his situation. She almost held her breath, willing him to wake and keeping on asking him to. It must have been about five minutes later, but felt like a lifetime, when they heard Dill groan. He seemed to be trying to move and the pained groan increased in volume. 'Don't move, you're injured. Just open your eyes and speak to us.'
She could feel his struggle, but he wanted to wake up and was trying hard. After another moment she finally saw his eyelids flicker and start to open, very slowly at first, but she couldn't help smiling as he managed to get them half open. He looked at her, trying to process what was going on, and groaned again as he moved his arm.
'What happened? I feel like I've been run over.'
Tilly was speechless, trying to resist the urge to start crying yet again, this time with relief, but then she still didn't know whether he was going to be back to himself. The doctor started to answer his question.
'You were attacked. You've got quite a few broken bones, so you need to stay as still as possible, because it's going to hurt. I'm a medic. I'll give you some painkillers in a bit but we needed you to wake up to see how you were first.'
'I'm awake. I'm a little hazy on what happened though.'
'That's understandable. The most recent memories are often the hardest to recover, and sometimes with a trauma the actual event doesn't ever come back. I need you to answer some questions for me if you can, to check how you are. Don't worry if you don't know, you've had a head injury and a lot of drugs, so it might be difficult.'
'What's your name?'
'Dillon Cyril Andrews.'
Tilly couldn't help laughing. 'Cyril?' she asked.
Dill gave her a withering look, making her heart skip a beat because it was such a familiar look and made her hope that he was completely fine. 'Don't laugh at me, I'm broken and ill, it's just mean.'
The doctor interrupted. 'Next question, who is this young woman?'
Dill looked right into her eyes. 'This is the gorgeous Tilly, light of my life.' 'and my mate.' he shot into her head. Tilly couldn't hold her relief in any more and the tears started to run down her face. Dill tried to reach out to her, but groaned again when his ribs hurt and had to move his arm back. 'Don't cry Tilly, what's wrong? What did I say?'
The doctor put an arm around Tilly and smiled with amusement when Dill hissed a warning at him. 'That's a good sign.' he said. 'I think Tilly's just a bit overwhelmed. We've all been very worried about you, and it's been hardest on her. She'll be fine in a moment.'
Dill still looked concerned, and wasn't happy about the doctor touching Tilly either, even though he knew it wasn't with any devious intent. He wanted to be able to comfort her himself. 'Come here Tilly, I wish I could come to you but it doesn't seem like that's a good idea.' She moved back to the side of the bed, sitting on the chair she had spent so long in, and held his hand again, trying to smile through her tears. She rested her face against his hand and he started to stroke her cheek gently, the most comfort he could give at that moment. 'I'll be fine babe. I'm sorry if you've been worried about me, I don't want to hurt you.'
Tilly sniffed back the last few tears and spoke. 'It's not your fault. I've just been on edge for too long and it had to come out. It's so good to see you Dill. I've missed you. Everyone has.'
Dill smiled and yawned together. 'How long have I been asleep? It sounds like it's been ages for you, but I could do with more already.'
'The mission was two days ago now. The doctor has been keeping you sedated because of your head injury. We had to wait for the swelling to go down a bit before you could be woken.'
'You've been here all that time?' Dill asked, seeing the tiredness and relief in Tilly's face.
'Not the night we got back, but ever since pretty much all the time. If I wasn't here then Sam was.'
'What happened that first night?'
Tilly didn't want to get into that just now. 'Nothing much. I'll tell you later.' She squeezed his hand tight. 'God, it is so good to be able to talk to you again. I didn't know if you'd be yourself when you woke up.'
A realisation dawned in Dill's drugged mind, and he understood her relief. He spoke softly. 'You were worried I wouldn't know you.' Tilly nodded and started to cry again. 'Sssh. It's okay. How could I forget the most beautiful cat woman I've ever seen, and the only one who will put up with me?' He tried to smile to reassure her but ended up grimacing as the pain went through his face. He looked over to the doctor.
'Can you fill me in on what's wrong with me, and how long it's gonna take to get right. I am still in one piece, aren't I?'
The doctor smiled. 'The broken bones will heal up fine, and you are all there. The head injury was the worst thing. You've got a broken arm and probably eight or so ribs gone too. Otherwise it's just bad bruising. You were certainly kicked a few times while you were on the ground. Thankfully weres heal comparatively quickly. The bruises will take a few days, the bones three weeks or so. Then you can gradually get exercising and back to usual shouldn't take long then.'
Dill considered that information. He'd had breaks before but never so many at one time. The idea of no exercise didn't sound appealing. He glanced at Tilly, wondering how he would manage to keep his hands off her.