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made to fall apart

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As Jack paces in front of Vander's office, the same few thoughts run through his mind over and over again.

1. This is by far the stupidest decision he has ever made.
2. He is going to throw everything he has, every sense of security, and possibly (probably) his life away.
3. Over Ginger. Ginger Juice, who probably doesn't love him back, who stares at Pepper the way he wishes he would stare at him, who has the most beautiful brown eyes-
4. He is absolutely, without a doubt, going to go in there and tell Vander to go fuck himself.

He raises a paw and knocks on the door, debating whether or not he should even wait for a response if he's going to be stepping into a minefield anyway, but the door swings open. He composes himself (he's a spy, after all) and steps through into the classy dungeon-esque room beyond.

"Excuse me, sir?"

Vander turns to face him, black fur glistening as usual. "Ah, Lohak. You've brought news about your assignment, I assume?"

"Well, yes. In a way." He steps back. "I'm resigning."

Vander slowly turns to look at him, eyes piercing into his soul. "You're what?"

"I'm resigning. I don't want to do this anymore."

Vander looks at him, a smirk toying at the edge of his mouth. "And why, pray tell, would you do that?"

"I support your cause, but I'd like to live a normal life now."

Vander scoffs. "This is coming from the cat who told me the thing he feared most in life is normalcy. No, I know exactly why you want to resign."

Jack swallows hard enough to be heard in Canada.

"You've spent time around Juice, enough time to get it in your head that you're meant-to-be or some other sort of silly idea that involves the two of you running off onto a tropical island together, completely ignoring the fact that I will ruin both of your lives."

"I'm sure I don't know what you-"

"Oh, quit playing with me. You doodle hearts around both your initials in your notebook. It's a schoolboy crush, nothing more. How could you think a cat like him could love a poor boy like you?"

"It-- It doesn't matter if he loves me or not. I still love him."

"How could he love you if he knows you're a spy?" Vander freezes, looking at the expression on Jack's face. "Oh. Oh, I see how it is. He doesn't know. How quaint, a true romance for the ages."

"Sir, if you'll just let me go, I'll-"

"No!" Vander roars. "Ginger, that idiot, will not steal one more thing from me!" He grabs a knife off of his table, pointing it towards Jack menacingly. Jack tries to dodge, but the other is bigger and stronger and all around more practiced, before he knows it Vander has backed him into a corner.

He watches the knife come closer and closer to his temple, and this is how he's going to die, Ginger will never know how he died, bleeding out on the floor of their enemy's chambers because of love, a stupid, childish concept--

Or worse, Vander will make sure he knows exactly what he died for, will reveal all of his secrets on his deathbed, will dump his body on their doorstep. He takes one last breath, and--

The door swings open with a loud bang. Caramel stands in the doorway, positively fuming. "Sir, I need to talk to you right now."

"Cecil, can't this wait--" Vander starts, exasperated.

"No, and if I were you, I would put down that knife right this instant."

Vander draws back, toward Caramel and, blessedly, away from Jack. He reaches upward, and feels nothing but a small cut near his ear.

Vander stares at her, eyes flashing. "This had better be good."

"Can I talk to you?" She glances at Jack. "Alone?"

"You can do it in front of everyone." He raises one eyebrow. Jack knows that he knows that if he leaves Jack alone, then Jack will be long gone by the time he gets back.

"Fine, then. I will. Why didn't you tell me what we were really doing here?"

"What?"

"You told me we were going to make the world a better place. You told me we were improving the lives of every cat. But I've seen what you've done, and I don't know how you can stand here and tell me to my face that you're bettering anything, how you can sleep at night!"

They continue on like this and slowly, carefully, Jack edges towards the door. Suddenly, as if there hasn't been enough dramatic bursting for one day, Bleu comes through the door, pointing at Jack.

"Sir! He's getting away!"

Jack tries to rush towards the door, sees the cold glint of steel in her hand, and throws himself as far out of the path of danger as he can. There's a gunshot, and--

Caramel crumples to the floor. Bleu rushes over, staring down at the blood on her paws with a horrified expression.

Jack runs and never looks back.