Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Code Red 2: Life Sentence ~ Chapter 11

Mika’s Note: Has this gotten utterly ridiculous yet?  Or is it just me?

Chapter 11

“I’d take you up there now, but I’m sure that’s where Lockhart’s headed.”

“Why can’t they just give us one night? Don’t they know it’s a little too late for keeping me away completely? She admitted to getting caught e-mailing me.”

Albert nodded. “Yeah, I think that’s the whole point. Damage control.”

“They’re gonna see some damage if I can’t be with her.”

He grinned. “I think I like you, Cowboy.”

“Please don’t call me that…”

“Not unless you plan on sleeping with him…” Shana interjected.

“Not freakin’ likely, Red!” They said in unison.

“Good. I’d hate for Ali to have to murder her brother for stealing her man.”

“Hey Shana?” Albie asked, a bit too sweetly.

“Yeeess?” she asked, not completely trusting him.

“Would you do me… us… a favor?”

“For him, you mean?” She nodded towards Blake. “Of course.”

“Please go distract Lockhart. He was going to go ream Ali for her little, um, joke.”

Shana grinned. “Yeah, I heard. Okay. On my way. I’ll call when the coast is clear.”


“Hey Caleb?” Shana asked, poking her head into the control booth.

“I’m busy now, Shana. Can it wait?”

“Not really. There’s a disturbance outside and…”

He turned angry eyes on Allyson. “Why didn’t you catch that? Can you not get anything right tonight?”

“Um Lockhart?”

“What Kruger!”

“If you’d stop yelling at her, she might be able to do her job.”

“Are you defending her?”

“Nope. What she did was wrong but what you’re doing is worse. Yell at her once we’re back at base and let us do our jobs. Sir,” he added as an afterthought.

“Fine. Show me where this disturbance is.”

Shana allowed Caleb to stalk out ahead of her, taking the time to throw her friend a friendly wink.

“What the hell was that all about?” Jacob asked.

“I’m not sure, but you will back me up when I plead innocent later? Because whatever it was is likely to get me shot on sight.”

Meyers and Kruger looked at each other and then at Ali’s confused expression. “Sure.”

Shana followed Caleb to the outside of the building. Passing Blake and Albert, she gave a covert ‘thumbs up’.

The boys looked at one another and grinned. “Excellent!”


Jacob turned at the knock on the door. “Enter.” The door opened and Albert entered, followed by Blake. “Um, Ali…”

“Yeah?” she asked, not taking her eyes off the screens in front of her.

“She doesn’t love me anymore.”

“Huh?!” She spun around quickly in her chair. “Oh gawds, Albert! What have you done now?”

“Gee Blake, I guess she really doesn’t love you anymore.”

“I don’t love him any less either. You on the other hand…”

“Go take five, Lieutenant,” Captain Kruger told her. “We’ll make this half of the Dorkwad Duo take your place.”

“I shouldn’t…”

“…but you will,” Albert finished for her.

“All right.” She and Blake stepped outside the control room and looked at each other, unsure. “Why’d he bring you back here?” she asked.

“Because I asked him to. This is so messed up I can’t even tell you.”

“I know but they have their reasons.”

“And those are?”

“My job. I can’t be in the public spotlight.”

“You’ve told me that before, and I think it’s bullshit. My ex-wife was rarely in the spotlight. The majority of my fans didn’t even know I was married until I got divorced. Wanna try again?”

“I’ve screwed up in the past, Blake. Badly.” She looked away from him quickly.

“Couldn’t have been that bad? Could it?”

Ali shook her head sadly. “I made a serious mistake once, through no fault of my own, and it nearly cost my brother his life. They haven’t let me forget it either.”

“Doesn’t seem like he holds it against you.”

“No,” she agreed. “He’s the only one who’s forgiven me for it.” She reached out and squeezed his hand. “But, it’s why they’ve made me agree to back off. I don’t want to, but I’m not being given a choice. It happens every time I start to get close to a man. They step in and make me give him up.” A small smile crossed her face.


“Bazooka told me I should become a lesbian.”

Blake choked. “No, please don’t. It’d be a waste.”

Ali laughed. “Glad to hear it, Cowboy.”

He touched her face lightly. “Care to tell me what happened? And what it has to do with me?”

“The sad thing is it doesn’t have anything to do with you. Except that you’re male. And attractive.” She shook off all the bad thoughts forming in her head. “I can’t tell you. Not right now.”


“I don’t have the time right now. And besides, it hurts.”

He kissed her cheek and smiled at her. “I’m here for you, you know.”

“I know. I’m sorry. I want to…”

“But then you’d have to kill me?”

“Somethin’ like that.” She grinned. “Give me some time. I’m trying to convince General Stone that being with you is good for me. I know that it makes me feel better.”

“Me too. I’m cranky without you.”

“I have a hard time believing that.”

“Well, it was worth a try.” He looked over his shoulder as Albert came out of the booth.

“We’ve gotta split. Hawk’s on his way over here.”

“Thanks, bro. I owe ya,” she pecked his cheek.

“Yeah, add it to the tab.”

“Bye, Cowboy. Break a leg.”

“Bye, Cookie.”


“Allyson? Come in.” Stone. Not good.

Groaning, she pulled her two-way off her hip. “Go ahead.”

“Can I make a peace offering?”

“Peace offering? I was expecting detention.”

“You just might get that, too. Get your butt down here to me.”

“Yes, sir. Hart out.”


“What did you need, General?” Ali asked, approaching him carefully.

“Shana has informed me that I’m not treating you entirely fairly.”

“I said he was acting like a prick, to be exact.”

“That’s enough, Shana.”

“Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.”

“Anyway, I realize she’s right. You and I both know why you can’t be involved with him, but to completely isolate you wasn’t right. To make up for it, I wanted to give you the option to watch his performance, at least.”

She caught his eyes and realized he was sincere. “You’ve only done what was necessary. I appreciate the offer, and I’m grateful, but it’d be easier to watch from out back.” She took a deep breath. “Anything else, sir?”

Stone stared in disbelief; Shana was shaking her head. “If that’s your choice, then no, nothing else. Dismissed.”

“Thank you, sir.” She turned and headed back to the control room.

“Ali!” Shana called, once out of Stone’s hearing.

“What?” She didn’t slow.

“Why don’t you want to watch Blake perform?”

She stopped and hung her head. “It hurts too much. I want to hate Albie for bringing him around, but I know he was only trying t help.”

“I’m sorry. I wouldn’t have guilted him into it, if I’d known.” She patted her friend’s arm.

“It’s not your fault, Shana. I knew better back at the beginning.” She sighed heavily. “I just couldn’t resist. Thanks for the thought, anyway.”

“You’re welcome.” She watched Ali start to walk away again. “Hey, how ‘bout a drink later?”

“If I’m not in the klink, then yeah.”

Shana laughed. “By the way, love that you sent her to a closet. Classic!”

“You can thank Andy for that one. It was his idea.”


“Hey Cookie, are ya listening?”

Ali smiled at her two-way. “Yeah, I’m here, Cowboy.”

“I just wanted to hear your voice before I went out there. Wish me luck.”

“Luck, honey. You’ll do fine.”

“I know, but I still worry.”

“Keeps ya on your toes. I’ll be watching you from out here.”

“At least you’re watching.”

“He’s headed out now, Ali.”

“Thanks, Dusty.”


She watched him strut out onto stage and launch into his newest ballad. Her heart ached at the sound of his voice. All she wanted was just one more night. One night to make him understand.

Not a chance.

It was over before she was ready. He was taking his bow and soaking up all the crowd’s enthusiasm. He sure knew how to get them going. Me too, she thought sadly. She watched him walk off the stage and onto another monitor, this one in the wings behind the stage area. He slowed, blew her a kiss, and walked back to his dressing room.


“Well, all in all, we had a pretty uneventful night, doncha think?”

“Yeah, man. Great.” She forced herself to be more excited. “It’s good that the bad guys have focused their attention elsewhere for awhile. Targeting musicians never made much sense to me. Other than the crowd factor, that is.”

“Yeah, they seem to have a fetish for blowing people up.”

Ali gave him a smile and headed to the door. “I’m going to find Stone and then I’m going home for a bubble bath.”

“Care to make it a double?”

“Sorry, Andy, not tonight, but thanks for the offer.”

“Aw man! You never let me have any fun!”

Kruger chuckled. “I’d have to agree on that one.”

“You two are horrible! Good night!”

“Night, honey!” They chimed back.

Shaking her head all the way to Stones’s side, Ali just couldn’t believe the guys she worked with some nights. “Permission for a bubble bath, sir!”

Stone rolled his eyes. “I’d say you could go home, but we have a discussion to finish.”

“You didn’t start it.”

“Well duh, as you’d say. You, me, Tracey and Lockheart are all going to get this settled before any of us go home. Understood?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Why do I have to be involved?” Caleb asked, walking up to their little group. “I’ve made plans.”

That is precisely the reason you’re going to be involved. Rogan made a very valid, if crude, point earlier. Now, both of you, back to base!”

Ali and Caleb snapped to attention. “Yes Sir!”

“About freakin’ time.”

“You know, General…”

“Yes, Dusty?”

“You’re starting to sound just like her.”

“Please don’t remind me, okay?”

“Yes sir.”


“Now,” General Stone began, pacing the briefing room, “we have a situation here that has got to be resolved pronto.” He glared at Allyson and Lockheart. “You two have screwed up, big time, and it’s time to own up.”

“I apologize for antagonizing Miss Morgan.” Ali fessed up. “It was childish and I was jealous.”

“It was childish. I think you’re lucky that hick boyfriend of hers likes you so much or you might’ve been in some real trouble.”

“Ex,” she whispered.

“What was that?”

“Nothing, sir.”

“Didn’t think so. Anyway, that’s only part of why you’re here tonight. Your entire relationship with the man was expressly forbidden from the beginning. Yet, you proceeded to get involved anyway. Care to explain to me why?”

Ali hung her head. How do I explain this to them? “I’m sorry sir. I don’t know what to tell you.”

“How about the truth?”

“The truth is stupid.”

“Try me.”

“He’s a nice guy.”


“And… he’s a nice guy. There ain’t much more to it than that.”

“That’s not good enough.” Bryan.

“Sorry, sir. No juicy tales to tell.” Caleb laughed in disbelief; she glowered at him. “Well, I could tell ya some stories that’d curl your toes, but they all happened long after I was taken off that assignment.”

“Please keep on task here.”

“Sorry General.” Ali held her hands up in surrender. “I don’t know what to tell you. Aside from this bozo here, I haven’t had a boyfriend in close to ten years. Not since Thé.” She paused and attempted to rein in her rampaging emotions.

“You are not…”

“For crying out loud, General!” Ali screamed at him. “I was married to him for four years! How can you tell me I’m not allowed to mention his name?” She threw her arms up in disgust. “I haven’t had a boyfriend since Cal and I split up close to three years ago. The closest thing I’d gotten to a date before Blake was going out with either Albie or Zook.” She paused thoughtfully. “Although, Andy was kinda fun that night…”

“What!?!” her commanding officers cried out together.

“When did you…”

“Lockheart – it’s not important! She has a life of her own!” Stone reprimanded.

“Since when?” she mumbled under her breath.

“I heard that, Lieutenant!”

“Sorry sir. But, I’m serious. Since we discovered that Thé turned traitor, I haven’t been allowed a relationship with anyone outside of this base. And sorry guys, but none of you really interest me.” She walked away and stopped at the bulletin board. “That’s not even completely true. The whole point is that I like Blake. I even trust him. And that’s saying a lot, considering.”

Stone stared at his hands. Caleb and Bryan stared at each other and at Ali. She sighed and walked back to the group. “Just forget it. I’ll go back to being on my own and play-dating Albie and anyone else who is desperate enough to spend the evening with me.”

“Hold it right there. We have security to think of…”

“Oh yeah, Blake’s a real threat. Can I go now while you all decide my fate? I think I need a drink to go with that bubble bath.”

Stone came over and put an arm across her shoulders. “Look, I don’t like this any more than you do. But sometimes we have to make sacrifices…”

“For the greater good.” She shrugged his arm off. “Feed me another line. You’ve used that one on me before. Good night.”

Ali walked out and let the door slam behind her. The three men looked at one another and sighed.

“Anyone know where we can find a country singer on short notice?” Stone asked.

“Funny you should mention it,” came Rogan’s voice from the doorway. “I just happen to have a spare.”


“For once, Albert, I have to say that I’m thankful you’re thinking of your sister first. Please sit, Mr. Matson. We need to talk.”

“Go ahead, Blake, I think he’s planning on answering some of the questions Ali hasn’t been able to.”

“Okay, but I don’t like this.” He sat down and faced the foursome.

“You’ll probably hate it by the time you’re done.”

“That’s not very encouraging!”

“No, but it’s the truth.” Albie turned to his superiors. “May I stay?”

“No,” Tracey said immediately.

“I agree. Get.”

“Caleb, Bryan, back down. I think he can fill in the gaps we know nothing about.” Rogan stuck his tongue out at the other two. “But,” Stone smacked the back of his head, “you will behave!”

“Yes sir!”

“Anyway, Ali, hasn’t had an easy life. Her parents practically abandoned her to Albert’s mother.”

“That explains a lot,” Blake looked at Rogan and grinned.

“Yeah, unfortunately, it does. But Ali, being the intelligent girl she is, adapted and thrived, despite being dumped off with someone she hardly knew.”

“Ali always did well in school,” Albert told him, “but never had many friends. Usually just me. Then she met Thé. Timothé Doniciu.”

“And that’s where things went to hell in a hand basket.”

“Hey now, watch your mouth, Lockheart. Thé never did a damn thing to her.” Caleb made to protest and Albert cut him off. “Shut it! He took good care of her, always.”

“He did,” Stone agreed. “They were married when she was 17. Much too young, truthfully, but I think Ali felt like a burden on the Rogan family.”

“Sad but true,” he confirmed.

“So, they got married. She never told me.”

“Nah, I’m sure she didn’t. Ali was already being groomed by the US Government to be a special agent. She’s a linguistics genius, among other things. All good things to have in a soldier.” Albie paused and remembered back to those days. “She and I were ‘recruited’ as a pair. We’d grown up together and had a lot of the same interests. Thé never minded that she went into the military. He was a couple years older and joined himself.”

“Since they were married, and worked well together, we brought them both, along with Rogan here, into our special forces branch. That was our mistake.”

“And that’s putting it mildly, Bryan.” Stone paced the floor. “Things went well for awhile. Not long after Ali’s twenty-first birthday, we found out the truth.”

“I’d come to their apartment to pick something up for Ali. To this day, I can’t remember why she sent me home for her. But, when I got there, Thé and a friend of his, another one of us, were going through Ali’s things. They’d tossed her room and broken into her mini-safe she used to store documents. She’d always told him it contained her birth certificate, passport, and the like. But the truth was, she used it to store sensitive documents she needed for her assignments.”

“Turns out, he was looking for some schematics she was supposed to have had,” Caleb continued. “But she’d never received the documents due to some increased intelligence activity in our area at the time. She was at HQ being debriefed and reassigned.”

“That’s right!” Albert stood and shouted. “She’d sent me home for her shampoo!”

Blake covered his face with his hand. “Is this necessary?” Lockheart asked, annoyed.

“No, but it makes me feel better now that I remember!”

“Anyway,” Tracey continued, irritated at them all, “Rogan interrupted them tossing her room and they attacked him, nearly killing him.”

“Aw crap. That sucks.”

“You got that right, Cowboy.”

“What did I tell you about that?” Blake reminded him.

“Sorry, pal. Slipped out.”

“Forgiven. So, what did you do?”

“Fought back as best I could. Thé had stabbed me twice. Dan, his partner, I managed to shoot before he could shoot me.”

“Then, I stumbled upon the mess they were making of my poor apartment,” Ali continued, stepping into the briefing room.

“What are you doing here?” Stone asked, concerned.

“I came back to apologize for being such a brat. If I’d known you were bringing him back, I’d’ve stayed.”

“Albert brought him here. It wasn’t our idea.”

“Ah, but he’s here now,” she playfully leered, leaning against the wall. Blake flushed red and she grinned. The smile faded quickly as she remembered the destruction in her small home. “I’d come home to grab something I’d forgotten to ask goofy there to pick up. When I arrived, Dan was dead on the kitchen floor. And Thé…” She squeezed her eyes shut for a moment, reliving the horror. “Thé had a knife to Albie’s throat threatening to kill him if I didn’t give him what he wanted.”

“The schematic thingies.”

“Yeah. Those. I’m sure they’ve told you that I didn’t have them. He, of course, didn’t believe me, and he cut Albie pretty badly. He still has a scar…” She walked up behind her long-time friend and patted his chest.

“Without hesitating,” he told them proudly, “she put a bullet into him and saved me.”

“You shot your own husband?” Blake didn’t believe it.

“Murdered him,” she corrected.

“Shot, Lieutenant. Rogan’s life was at stake. You wouldn’t use ‘murder’ if the situation had been reversed and he had saved you.”

“Probably not, but we’ll never know, will we?” She sighed heavily. “I saved my best friend’s life and dissolved my marriage in one shot, so to speak.”

Blake was speechless. How could she be so calm while telling him this? “How’d you cope?”

“Not very well.”

“Um, she had some intense therapy for awhile.”

“He means they locked me up for about three months.” She smiled sadly. “They locked me up until they discovered I was pregnant. Then all hell broke loose.”

Did he really just hear that? “Wh-what?”

“Our dear lieutenant was pregnant, about 6 weeks, when this all occurred.”

Blake stared at them in disbelief. She had a child and hadn’t told him? “Where is he now?”

“McConnell Cemetery.”

“Not her husband, dude,” Blake said slowly. “Her child?”

“Ah,” Stone hedged.

“They took her from me and adopted her out.” Ali caught his gaze and held it, finding strength in the depths of his blue eyes. “She was 7 pounds and 9 ounces of beautiful baby girl. Big blue eyes and a headful of dark curls.”

“Looked a lot like her daddy,” Albert added.

“That she did. I bet she’s a real beauty now.” Ali looked away as the tears came.

“How could you have taken her baby away?”

“The decision wasn’t ours,” Stone told him. “It came from much higher up than me.”

“They were afraid,” Ali said in a small voice, “that she’d turn out like her father.”

“And,” Rogan growled, “instead of letting her be raised around those who dedicate their lives to saving people and giving her a chance, they sent her away.”

“Her parents were specially selected,” Ali reassured Blake, “and were truly nice people. I got the chance to know them without knowing why they were there on our base. I wasn’t told until months later.”

Blake stood and went to her side. Taking her into his arms, he felt his own tears coming to the surface. “I’m so, so sorry. Now I understand why you didn’t tell me. Why you couldn’t.” He hugged her tightly, pressing his face to the top of her head.

“We were at least reassured that Rhi had a good home to go to. She’s being raised right and being loved. That much is for certain.”

“Rhi?” Blake asked. “Cute name.”

“Named her Rhiannah. ‘Rhi’ for Albie’s father Reese, and ‘annah’ for his mama, Anna. Thought it more appropriate than giving her one of my family names.” She gave a slightly bitter laugh, untangling herself from his embrace. “Rhiannah Rae was her name.”

“Rhiannah Rae,” Blake let the name roll off his tongue. “That’s almost as cute as you. So, where’s the Rae come from?”

Ali was obviously still fighting her demons; she just shook her head. Alex looked at her for a long time and told him, finally. “From Miss Allyson Rachael herself.” He grinned. “The middle name was my idea.”

“Ya did good, for a dope.”

“Why gee, Blake, thanks!”

Stone was watching the scene from a distance. He could see why Ali cared for this man so much. Here he was, obviously confused and full of questions, but instead of demanding answers, he was trying to distract her from the pain she had to be feeling. He was comforting her but not smothering her. And not once had he told her it was going to be okay.

He knew it wouldn’t ever be. It would never ‘be okay’ ever again. All they could ever hope for was for it to not hurt so much.

And there she was. Betrayed all over again, hurting for her lost love, her lost child, and her lost innocence… and she was just letting him comfort her. In all the years he’d known her, he’d never seen her so at ease with another man, aside from Rogan. But Albert was different; Stone wasn’t even sure she ‘saw’ him as another man. He was just ‘Albie’. But Blake… he was another story.

Stone watched as Blake traced the edge of her chin with his fingers, wiping the tears from her skin. His eyes never left hers, always letting her know he was listening, even when she was silent. The General knew he had to do something. But was it the right thing?

He was about to find out.

“Tracey, Lockheart, you two are dismissed. I think we’ve all had enough excitement for one evening.”

“Yes sir!” they both snapped quick, half-hearted salutes and headed for the door.

Ali sighed, smiling up at Blake. “Guess this is goodbye then, Cowboy. Sorry it had to end with such a sad story.”

He hugged her close one last time. “It wasn’t sad, it was just life. Things could have been so much worse. I’m sure your heart doesn’t think so, but you could’ve lost a lot more that day.” He grinned suddenly. “Ya coulda never met me, after all!” She playfully slugged him and started to cry. “Ah crap, Ali. Don’t do that. I don’t know what to do with a cryin’ woman,” he begged. “ A screamin’ tantrum throwin’ one yes, but not a cryin’ one.”

“Lieutenant?” Stone said gently. “I think it’s time to go home. Why don’t you take a few days and come back on Monday?”

Ali nodded weakly, pulling back from Blake’s arms. “Sure, General. Thank you, sir.”

“Anytime.” Stone turned to watch Blake before speaking again. He was studying Ali’s body as if he’d never see her again. Instead of the lust and desire he’d expected to see, all he could decipher was sadness and regret. Too many unspoken words seem to hang between the two. Knowing the decision he had to make, he took a deep breath and slowly let it out. “Mr. Matson?”

“Yes, sir?” He stepped up next to Ali and waited.

“You’ve been here too long, if you’re responding like that, but that’s a good thing.” He cocked his head and studied the pair. “Are you ready for Rogan to take you back?”

“But General…”

“Albert, stow it!”


“I’m serious! One more word out of you and you’ll wind up in a cell!”

“Yes sir,” he spat.

“Mr. Matson?” Stone prompted.

“Truthfully, sir, I’m concerned for Ali. I don’t think it’s good to leave her alone tonight.”

She forced a smile to her face. “Don’t worry about me, I’ve lived with this for ten years, I can live with it for another night.”

“But you shouldn’t have to do it alone,” he protested.

“No, you shouldn’t,” Stone agreed. “Why don’t you take her home and take care of her for us?”

Blake grinned. “Aw, cool! Can I keep her?”

“You’ll have to argue that one out with him, I’m sure.”  He pointed at Rogan. 

“Aw man, you can have her,” he teased. “Come on, let’s go grab your stuff. Ali, we’ll be back in fifteen.”

She nodded and watched them leave. Turning to Stone, she asked, “What made you change your mind?”

“Watching you. And him. He put all his questions aside just so he could be sure you were okay. It takes a lot for a man to swallow his questions, you know.”

Ali grinned. “Trust me, I know.”

“He never once took his eyes off you. You were everything in the room at that moment.” He watched her as she digested all that for a moment. “And you. I’ve never seen you so comfortable, so at ease with anyone, any man, other than that nutcase that just walked out the door. I could see almost instantly why you care for him so much. And you were right. He is a nice guy.” He looked away for a moment. “And Tracey was wrong. It is enough.”

“I’d always thought so.”

“I hope he takes good care of you.”

“Don’t worry. Albie and Zook have already threatened him on that point. And Shana too.”

“Well, we all know he won’t mess with Shana,” Stone said, in mock horror.

“I hope not. She’s worse than me.”

“Go home, Lieutenant. Enjoy him while you’ve got him.”



“So,” she said, snuggling into his arms, “now you know.”

“And knowing is half the battle, or so I’ve heard.”

“Dork.” He got a light smack for his cheekiness. “What do you think?”

“I think you’ve gotten the raw end of the deal for way too long.”

“But, I think it’s getting better.”

“I’d have to agree.” He got serious for a moment. “Do you miss her, Rhi, I mean.”

“All the time.”

“Do you ever think about having another?”

“Didn’t we just go through this a few weeks ago?”

He grinned at her. “That was different. That was an ‘oh shit’ kind of thing. This,” he rubbed her flat belly, “is different.”

Ali was speechless. “I think we’ll need to think about this…”

“Whatever you say,” he murmured against her lips. “Just know, the offer is open.”


Mika’s end note: This chapter rips my heart out every time, even after five years.  Even with all the inside jokes that no one will ever get.  I hope that you enjoyed. 

Oh, and my apologies – this was edited on the fly so if there are random names that don’t make sense… um, I’m sorry?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Business as Usual (Common Law Fanfic)

Title: Business as Usual

Fandom: Common Law

Pairing: Travis/Wes

Rating: PG-13, some language and that’s about it.

Word Count: 1,799

Warnings: Language, fangirling by the therapy group

Cheer Squad: skyesurfer12. I honestly don’t know what else to say.

Spoilers: None that I can think of offhand, but you now officially know that I’m a dork of epic proportions. (This still fits, so I’m leaving it)

Hate mail:

Author’s Note: All because of this prompt here.  And believe it or not, no audio inspiration either.

Here you have it, the final installment of this crazy ride.  It all comes out in the wash eventually, right? 


Dr. Ryan stood back and watched the couples enter. Two by two, they made their way around the circle of chairs and found their usual spots, settling in and waiting. As per procedure, neither Travis nor Wes had arrived, but that didn’t much surprise the doctor. At this point in her relationship with the detectives, she expected nothing less.

The moment the detectives finally strolled into the therapy room – at exactly two and a half minutes till – Dr. Ryan knew that something had changed between them. Despite being trained to notice such things, she’s relatively certain that it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to perceive the difference in her favorite couple today. Interesting. I wonder what’s transpired while they’ve been away?

Wes slowed as they approached the circle, allowing Travis to pass by and take his seat. Once his partner was securely ensconced in his familiar spot, Wes eased past and lowered himself down into his. He angled his chair away from Travis, creating the illusion of space between them, but the nearness of his right knee to Travis’ left hints at the truth.

Something’s definitely brought them closer, even if Wes is silently trying to deny it.

“Oh my god, you two,” a voice chirped, startling Dr. Ryan out of her reverie. “Did you hear about that crazy guy with the love potions? Doctor Love Something? How weird was he?” Dakota earned a grim look from Wes for bringing up the subject so soon.

Dr. Ryan was almost certain that there was a slight tinge of pink highlighting Travis’ round cheeks after Dakota’s enthusiastic request, but she couldn’t be positive at this distance. Curiouser and curiouser, she thought. Both boys pointedly ignored the questioning looks from the rest of the group and busied themselves with settling into the hard, plastic chairs that came standard with the room. It was time to call their bluff.

“Wes,” she began, drawing his attention back to her. “Travis, I thought I remembered hearing Captain Sutton telling me that you two were the ones responsible for bringing this man into custody. Am I wrong?” She knew she wasn’t, she’d only just gotten off the phone with the Captain minutes before the session had started to fill. He’d been concerned that there might have been lingering after effects of the aphrodisiac potion, even though both detectives denied having been exposed in any way. “They’ve been all over the board lately, Doctor, and frankly, I’m concerned. One minute they’re at each other’s throats, the next, they’re like a newly married couple, laughing and hanging onto each other. It’s a bit disconcerting.” Indeed.

The two detectives looked at one another, searching for an answer written on the other’s face. Not finding what they were looking for with their partner, they turned to face Dr. Ryan. Wes’ mouth opened, but Travis’ voice emerged.

“Yeah, right, that’s right, Doctor Ryan. We did bag the crazy man.”


“He was a fraud,” Wes supplied, looking away.

“A fraud,” she parroted.

“Right,” Wes agreed, still avoiding meeting the doctor’s penetrating gaze.

“What Wes means is, it didn’t work. Right ba—buddy?”

This time she was certain Travis’ cheeks held a tinge of pink. And so did Wes’, now that she looked more closely. I wonder what all the embarrassment’s about? The suddenly guilty expression plastered across Travis’ face, however, intrigued her more than anything. What had he been about to say before he changed his mind at the end? “Is there something you’d like to share with the group, gentlemen?”

“No,” Wes shouted, almost too emphatically.

“Yes,” Travis chimed in at the same moment.

“So, which is it?”

Wes frowned at Dakota and her penchant for always being the first one to open her mouth demanding details. Damn woman. He’d suddenly gained a new level of sympathy for her husband. He decided to ignore her and concentrate on the real issue – Travis. “What the hell do you mean ‘yes’?”

“What the hell do you mean by ‘no’, Wes? I mean really. What am I supp—“

“I don’t know, maybe keep it to yourself for a change?”

“Boys?” Dr. Ryan wouldn’t normally interrupt, but she had a feeling this ‘discussion’ just might erupt into violence if not kept in check.

They ignored her. Travis locked his gaze onto Wes’, staring into his fiery blue eyes and not looking away. “Damn you, Wes, we have got to talk about this because it’s not gonna go away!”

“Well,” he growled, “if you hadn’t decided to take a fucking bath in the stuff –“

“And I was supposed to know that it was going to work?”

“Hah,” Rozelle cheered. “I knew he was lying.” She elbowed her husband knowingly.

“You could have used less than the entire bottle, Travis.”

“I don’t remember hearing you complain much, Wes.”

“I’m suddenly remembering why I don’t like you,” he snarled.

Wes rubbed that sweet spot between his neck and collarbone with the tips of his fingers, attempting to work out the sudden ache in his muscles. Dr. Ryan’s gaze fixed on the movement, watching Wes’ reaction to the situation intently. She was about to redirect their argument when a flash of purplish skin caught her attention and held it fast. “Wes, are you okay?”

“No,” he seethed, waving his hands at the group. “I am not okay. My partner’s an id—“

“Wes, that’s not what I meant. Your neck,” she pointed at his barely exposed flesh with a fingertip, “looks like its bruised.” She tapped her own neck in the same area.

The entire group watched as Wes’ eyes widened almost imperceptibly. His fingers flew back to the spot and his heart stopped. He’d forgotten about his partner’s fascination with that spot on his neck. And his fondness for biting him right there. Silently, he cursed Travis and his luscious lips.

“That’s not a bruise,” Rozelle sang happily.

“Nope,” her husband, Clyde, interjected helpfully, leaning over to get a better view. “Looks like a hickey to me.”

“Now wait a minute,” Wes protested, struggling to stand and face his accusers. “It’s not –“

“But it is,” Travis muttered from his seat.

Wes stared down at his partner, speechless. Well, he’d done it this time. Now, there’d be no end to this session.

“I’m sorry, Travis,” Dr. Ryan spoke up. “What was that you just said?”

Travis looked at Wes in advanced apology. Wes stubbornly refused to meet his gaze. Shoulders slumping, Travis looked back in the direction of the doctor and sighed. “I said that it is a hickey. I gave it to him, I should know.” He felt more than saw Wes’ shoulders stiffen at the confession, he knew better than to go there, but he didn’t have a choice. He couldn’t hide it any longer. Damn Wes anyway.

“Wes, is this true?” His lips formed a thin, tight line and he faced the wall, staring past the rest of the group members like they didn’t exist. Dr. Ryan smiled. Despite his efforts to appear uninterested, Wes was belying his real emotional state to anyone with two eyes. Wes is afraid of admitting the truth. “Wes?”

He swallowed, fighting the enormous lump that had found its way into his throat. Despite himself, he felt the urge to open up, to be told it was okay to feel this way again, to gain appreciation for having finally moved the fuck on. “Yes,” he whispered. “Yes, okay? Yes.”

The sound of thunderous approval echoing around him almost knocked him from his seat. Wes looked each of the grinning, leering faces in shock, at first, and then slowly, their enthusiasm took over. Travis beamed at him from the chair to his right and all the tension eased from his body. Leaning into his partner’s side, Wes breathed, “I’m sorry, Trav, I…”

“…am a prick? Yeah, I know, but it’s all good.” He slanted in closer to Wes and mock-snapped at his ear. “That prickiness of yours has its uses.”

He tried to be pissed, but it just wasn’t possible, not with all the commotion going on just feet from his face. Not to mention Travis’ warm, sweet breath on his neck. “Just for the record,” Wes shouted above the cacophony of voices, “I’m still not completely okay with this!”

“That’s okay,” Dakota assured him, “because we are.”

“Right,” agreed Mrs. Dumont. “Maybe you two will start being nicer to each other now?”

“Not a chance,” Wes growled, only half-teasingly.

“Yeah, Mrs. D, trust me – you don’t want Mitchell to be too nice, it ruins the fun."

Dr. Ryan sat back and watched the celebration. It was obvious Wes was telling the truth, he really wasn’t completely okay with this, but he was more okay with it than he would have been a week ago. Progress can be a beautiful thing to behold. “Okay folks, let’s get back on task. Our topic for today is…”


Dr. Ryan watched as the boys filed out of her office, the last two to leave, for once. Wes hip checked Travis, almost knocking him into the door frame. “What are you thinking about for dinner? My treat this time.”

“Reallly,” Travis drawled. “In that case…”

“But none of those food trucks, okay? I mean, gross. Who knows when they last washed their hands. I don’t even want to think about the last time they washed their utensils.”

“You are so high strung, man. You need to let loose once in awhile.”

Wes looks down the length of his partner’s body, appraisingly, and then back up, until meeting his dreamy gaze. A smile twitched at the corner of the blonde’s mouth, a tinge of color blemishing his pale skin. “Haven’t I let go enough for one week? Can we maybe try this, say, next Thursday?”

Travis’ face broke into a smile of epic proportions. “Yeah, I guess you have let go a bit more than usual lately, huh baby?”

“Can you please not call me that in public. Please?”

“If you insist, baby. Whoops, I meant, honey.”

“Travis,” Wes begged, his voice filtering down the hallway.

“Okay then, no baby, no honey, what about sweetie? Pumpkin? Cutie Pot Pie? No? But Wes…”

Dr. Ryan covered her mouth with one hand, listening to the echo of their banter as it faded out. Obviously, her couple’s therapy sessions were going to be a bit more interesting from now on. What on earth am I going to tell their captain? That one of his best detectives bathed in a love potion and then seduced his partner? Who’d ever believe that?

But then, this was Travis Marks she was talking about.

Maybe she’d just tell him that they were still working out the kinks of their newfound respect for one another? Yes, that just might work.


Author’s end note: If you’ve made it this far, congratulations!  And as a bonus, I found this very fitting cartoon this morning:


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Let Me Down Easy (Common Law Fanfic)

Title: Let Me Down Easy

Fandom: Common Law

Pairing: Travis/Wes

Rating: PG-13 (talk of sexy things, but no actual smut)

Word Count: 3001.  And yes, that one word makes a difference, darnit!

Warnings: Language, emotions, too much introspection for six pages worth of words

Cookies to: skyesurfer12. Thank you for the return favor.  Again. 

Spoilers: None that I can think of offhand, but you now officially know that I’m a dork of epic proportions.  (This still fits, so I’m leaving it)

Hate mail:

Author’s Note: All because of this prompt here. This chapter’s theme song is courtesy of Billy Currington – Let Me Down Easy

Well, this is the end.  Maybe.  My lovely friend up there ^^ gave me a great idea for a therapy session after the fact… or after the sexin’, whichever.  But, I don’t know if I can pull it off or not.  I do know that it will be fun to try at least.  So, watch this space…


Let Me Down Easy

Four AM.  He blinked, then rubbed his eyes for good measure.  Yup.  Still four o'clock.  Wes arched his back, loosening the stiffness in his aching muscles. At the height of a most delicious stretch, Wes' shoulder brushed against something hard and warm.


It all suddenly came into focus.  Dr. GoodLove's love potion.  The car.  His poor couch.  A headache began building at the back of his head and he didn't know if it was from the imminent love cologne hangover or from the sudden understanding that he'd spent the better part of yesterday sexing his partner.

And liking it.

He didn’t remember much about what happened after they’d vacated the living room and reconnected in his bedroom - Hah! Reconnected. There’s a good word, Wes. Lovely case of denial you have going on - but he was slowly starting to piece it together. Bits and pieces of the night flooded his memory. Kisses in the dark, touches he couldn’t resist, the slide of skin on skin. Amazingly enough, they took turns, teasing and taunting, loving and fucking. Vaguely, Wes recalled an appearance by someone’s handcuffs and, judging by the bruises blossoming around his wrists, he assumed that they had not been his set.

Sighing, Wes sat up and looked around. His hotel room had never been so wrecked. Somebody’s pants were lying across the dresser, Travis’, he surmised in the darkness. His suit jacket was on the floor. The comforter for the bed was MIA and the sheets had been ripped from their nicely tucked corners. Only Travis could come into someone’s life and, in the space of fourteen hours completely and utterly turn it on its head. He had started to realize that he wasn’t nearly as disturbed by this as he should be. And that worried him.

Travis lay on his side, one arm tucked under the pillow, the other resting across his chest. Wes smiled at how peaceful he looked, body relaxed, chest rising and falling in a steady, unhurried rhythm. It never failed to amaze him how easily the boy was able to let go. To be honest, it made him just a little jealous because it was common knowledge that Wes wasn’t able to relax. Period.

He had a brief urge to wake Travis and start it all over again. To indulge in his body and revel in his scent. But he resisted. So far, the captain hadn’t called, wanting to know why they’d never made their second stop yesterday, but it was undoubtedly on the horizon. And by getting Travis – and himself – going this early, well, it was a possibility that they’d never leave his hotel room. Ever.

Besides, he had no idea if Travis was even interested in more than what had already gone before. Wes had known Travis for a long time and, in all those years, he’d never stayed with a woman for more than a night or two. The thought of being rejected after a couple rounds of sheer passion sent a lump of panic straight into Wes’ chest.

It’s the damn love potion talking, Wes, get a hold of yourself. Right. The eau du amore that Travis had slathered all over himself yesterday. He looked over at Travis again, happily snuggled into the warmth left by his body, and sighed. First order of business: a shower.

Leaving the bed instantly became the hardest thing he’d had to do all week. What if Travis wakes up? Something squeezed his chest tightly, forcing the panic up into his throat, cutting off his ability to breathe. What if he thinks I’ve abandoned him in my own home? His stomach rolled, the nausea simmering and threatening to overcome him. Oh God, what if he knows where I am and decides it’s the perfect time to sneak out without me knowing? Pain radiated across his chest, a sweat breaking out on his skin. What if…

“For the love of Mike, get a fuckin’ grip,” he scolded himself. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“You’re too loud,” was the sleepy reply from his side. “That’s what’s wrong with you right now.” Travis cracked an eye and looked up at his partner-turned-lover. “Come back down here and keep me warm.”

The simple sound of that voice, heavy with sleep, helped put him at ease. Rushes of anxiety and doubt still flooded his nervous system, but it was lessened knowing Travis was still there, still being Travis. He closed his eyes and forced himself to clamp down on his raging emotions. “I will, but I need a shower first.”

Travis’ eyes were closed again but a smile graced his face. “Took you long enough,” he teased. “Figured you would have slunk off somewhere around midnight to do just that.”

He frowned at the man in his bed, knowing he couldn’t see it. “I was tempted, but every time I thought about it, I was given a better reason not to.” Wait, why did I just say that?

A chuckle rose from Travis’ chest, amusement and fond memories of doing exactly that flitted across his consciousness. “Go then, have your shower. I’ll be here. Snoring.”

Wes snorted. “Yeah, that I can believe.” Oh god, he’s going to stay. What do I do, what do I… “Don’t get too comfortable there though, Marks. You’re next. Need to wash off that stuff you decided to bathe in yesterday.”

“Stuff?” Travis was confused momentarily before Wes’ meaning sunk in. Oh. “Yeah man, okay. Just wake me when you’re…” The rest was consumed by a yawn of epic proportions.

Wes smiled down at him, watching his eyes drift closed and his face melt back into that sleep-relaxed perfection of minutes before. It took enormous effort to pull his gaze from Travis’ face, but he knew what he needed to do. As soon as possible.

Shower, Wes. Wash away the love making, wash away the potion, wash away your doubts.

As if it’d be that easy. He still had no clue if what he’d been feeling for the last fourteen hours was real or chemically induced. And if it still lingered even after all traces of the unnaturally-induced romping had been washed away? What would he do then? Guess we’ll figure that one out when we come to it, right? Right.

God, he wished that so much of this didn’t rest in Travis’ hands. Those strong, skilled hands.


He heard the bathroom door click closed, followed shortly by the sound of water hitting tile. Travis pushed himself wearily into a sitting position and looked at the empty side of the bed. It went without saying that he shouldn’t have been arrogant enough to even attempt to mess with the potion. But honestly, who would have even guessed it’d work, let alone be as potent as it was. He knew better and yet, couldn’t resist messing with Wes – he made it so easy sometimes - hoping for that chance to have what he’d wanted for so long. Even if he got it under false pretenses.

Travis supposed that made him a tiny bit pathetic, to be so willing to grab at Wes’ affections when they were only temporary and nowhere near to being real. But he’d understood from the very beginning that it wasn’t ever going to be. Wes had had a wife back then, for craps sake. How could he ever expect him to desire another guy, when it was obvious he wasn’t even interested in other women?

It didn’t change the way he felt, unfortunately. From day one, Wes had accepted him, trusted him, and treated him like an equal. Not something he’d gotten much of over the years so, when it’d come from someone like his by-the-books partner, it meant more. It mattered. It’s what caused him to fall so hard, so fast.

And to break so bitterly when he hit the bottom.

To his credit, he’d done a damn good job at keeping his feelings from Wes. As far as Travis knew, Wes didn’t suspect anything more than a very strong friendship between the two of them, despite what had just taken place. Repeatedly. And amazingly. He needed to pull himself together quickly because, if he kept on this train of thought, it’d be blazingly obvious the minute his partner laid eyes on him. There was no doubt all his fears were written in bold block letters across his face.

This was the reason why Travis was always the first to leave. He who did the leaving had the control. You weren’t forced to face the pain of rejection if you weren’t the one being left behind. Or pushed away. But for some reason, he found himself glued to his side of Wes’ bed, unable – unwilling – to be the one to leave this time. Wes would have to throw him out to get him to leave this time.

Their relationship had reached that point where it was now or never. Like he’d jokingly mentioned earlier, their partnership had already hit the rocks, hard, and they were currently stuck in therapy. How much more damage could his confession do? Aside from the obvious destruction of what was left of their relationship.


He’d finally convinced himself that this was what needed to happen, today, when the bathroom door opened, light spilling into the dark bedroom. For a second, Travis’ heart stopped beating, words wedged in his throat. Hot, humid air wafted in Wes’ wake as he made his way to the dresser beside the bed, white hotel towel wrapped tightly around his hips. Travis’ conviction melted in the steamy air, leaving him voiceless. The sight of Wes’ pale skin glistening in the muted light didn’t help much either.

“Oh, you are up,” Wes teased, spying his partner in a locked and upright position finally.

“Yeah,” he replied. “Look, Wes, there’s something we need to talk about…”

Crap. Here it comes. He knew it was a mistake. Hell, even I knew it was a mistake, but he smelled so good and I just couldn’t help it, couldn’t stop touching him and… Wes gave himself a mental head slap and tried to focus on what Travis was saying before freaking out. Maybe he…

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

Wes blinked. “Like what?”

“Like I just pulled a gun on you. Trust me. I’d recognize that look anywhere.” It was a lame joke, but it seemed to help. One corner of his lover’s mouth turned up slightly.

“Wha? Oh. Sorry. Just thinking about our to-do list for today.”

Travis smirked. “Does that list include me?” Please say yes…

“Trav, look,” he began, unsure of where to start. Start with the obvious. “You need to shower before we can do this.” He waved a hand in the general direction of the bed.

Something within him cracked, just a bit, when Travis’ face fell. Even though he struggled to pull it back into his typical casual grin, it wasn’t any use. Wes had seen it. And it hurt him to know that look was his fault. I have to fix this.

He climbed onto the end of the bed, crossing his legs and facing his partner. Taking one dark hand in his, he squeezed. “Look at me.” Reluctantly, Travis met Wes’ gaze, and held it, not breathing. “It’s not what you think, not really. I promise. I…” Wes was the one to look away, unsure and insecure. “I need to know if what I’m fe—feeling right now, I need to know if it’s real. I have to know that it’s not something chemically induced because I…” He took a deep breath and forced himself to meet Travis’ deep blue eyes one more time. “I refuse to be the one to hurt you.”

A slight hitching breath came from the body across from him. Wes watched Travis intently, holding his hand tightly, waiting for the tears to fall. Instead of waterworks, he was blessed with a giggle-snort of laughter followed by the kind of shy smile you’d never expect to see on Travis Marks’ face. Not in this lifetime. “Are you okay?”


“What’s so funny?”

“I was first afraid you were going to boot me out. Then,” he looked at the ceiling for encouragement, “I was afraid you were going to tell me just how big of a mistake this was.”

“Oh, this was a mistake,” he drawled, “and a big one, too, but not because of what you’re thinking.”

Travis was confused. “What are you babbling about?”

“Look. This is crazy. I can’t get enough of you. You obviously can’t get enough of me, either.” Travis snorted at this declaration. “But we have to still be able to work together. It’s not going to be easy.”

“It’s not as hard as you think,” Travis confessed.

“Wait, what?”

Travis shrugged, feigning nonchalance despite his racing heart. “I’ve been in love with you for a long time, Wes. I’ve just… kept it to myself.”

Wes was dumbfounded. “You have? How… why?”

Travis’ brows pulled together as he studied his partner. “Why what?”

“Why me? Why haven’t you said anything? Just fucking why?”

“Why you? I don’t honestly know. Because you are you and that’s good enough for you. It damn well better be good enough for everyone else, too.” Wes laughed, knowing that that was exactly how he put himself out there in an effort to hide his fear of failing, of not being enough. “But why didn’t I say anything? One word, man: Alex.”

He nodded, it made sense. But it still sucked to know that his partner – his friend – had been having feelings all over the board for him and there was nothing he could do to help ease them. “Is that why you pulled that stupid stunt with the cologne?”

A faint blush crept into his cheeks. “Sorta. I mean, I didn’t honestly think it would work. You know, because it hadn’t worked for the perp?” At Wes’s nod of understanding, he continued. “I did it mostly to mess with you, but…”


“Well, you know. You were here. You saw how it played out.”

Wes grinned and it caused Travis’ insides to turn to liquid. “Yeah. I was here. And out there. And in the elevator, and the car…”

“And in the shower?” Travis raised his eyebrows in suggestion.

“You,” he chuckled, “are incorrigible.”

“You’ve been reading my social worker’s files again, haven’t you?”

Wes just shook his head. “I guess I should make a confession, too, now that we’re airing all our dirty laundry.” He paused and Travis waited patiently, giving him the same respect he’d been given earlier. “I was terrified that I’d finish my shower and you’d be gone.”

This took Travis aback. “I’d never leave you, Wes. You’re my partner. And my friend.” And more.

He nodded, slowly, taking time with the movement. “I know that, now. But I – I was afraid. I’m so tired of being alone.” Swallowing back the tears waiting to burst forth, he leaned forward and pushed at Travis’ shoulder. “Now, you still need to get in the fucking shower. I suggest you do it before we’re called out of here and you have to face the captain smelling like sweat and sex.”

“And you,” he added.

“And me,” he agreed, liking the way that made him feel inside. “Now mush. If you’re a good boy and you get your ass in the water in the next five minutes, maybe we can have dinner?”

“I’d like that.” Travis grinned and then faltered. “But, what… what if you’re not interested once I’m aphrodisiac-free?”

There was genuine fear in his partner’s face, it killed Wes to see it there. “I don’t have an answer for that other than I’ll always have your back. We’ll find a way to work through it. You, me, Dr. Ryan…”

“And all those wingwangs in our couple’s group.”

Wes smiled fondly. “Yeah, and them, too. Now MOVE.”

He watched Travis pull his naked self out of bed and lumber unhappily into the bathroom. As the door closed behind him and the shower started up again, Wes took a deep breath. Holding it for a moment, he made a promise to himself to give things – Travis - a chance, before blowing the air back out of his nose. Something occurred to him then. He cautiously took another sniff. And then another.

“I’ll be damned,” he mumbled.

“Are we going down this conversational route again,” Travis asked from the vicinity of the sink.

“Aren’t you in the shower yet,” he deflected.

“Not yet. And what are you out there muttering about anyway?”

“I can’t smell you,” he spluttered gleefully.

“You can’t what?”

“I. Can’t. Smell. You.” Wes enunciated each word clearly.

“And that’s a good thing?” He put a touch of mock-hurt into his reply.

“In this case, yeah, it is.” Wes made his way over to where Travis stood, using Wes’ razor. Oh lovely, Trav, thanks for asking first. He ghosted the tips of his fingers along the curve of one shoulder, testing. “It means that the potion’s worn off, you idiot.”


And I still want you. "And nothing. Everything. Hell, I don't know." He dropped Travis' jeans at his feet, having grabbed them on the way over. "I just know that I'm oddly looking forward to our dinner later. Now - get in the shower. Please don’t make me ask you again." He gave his partner a playful shove in the right direction.

"Okay, okay!" Travis winked, picking his jeans up. He closed the door behind him before fishing in a front pocket for the secret he kept there. Smiling, he popped the cap off the tiny bottle and upended it into the toilet. "You were fun while you lasted, but it looks like I don't need you anymore." His grin widened. "You see, once Wes gets started, there's no stopping him."

He flushed the toilet and ducked into the water.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Code Red 2: Life Sentence ~ Chapter 10

Mika's Note: Where the hell did my chapter titles go?  Somebody forgot them when she transferred things I think! LOL

Chapter 10

“I think she’s lucky she didn’t get sued,” Albie was telling Bazooka over lunch.  “Doesn’t matter these days that she and Red didn’t start it.”

Bazooka just grunted in response; he was a man of few words.

“No, that bitch is just lucky Ali didn’t break her into little pieces,” Andy put in, infuriated at the way Lockhart and Tracey had reacted to last weekend’s barroom brawl.  “She’s more than a trained soldier, she’s practically a trained assassin and they just expect her to sit there and let the cow humiliate her?”

“Not our Ali,” Bazooka agreed.

“Or our Shana,” Dusty amended.

“Definitely not Shana,” Albie acknowledged.  “Ali can be more dangerous, but Shana’s got the worst temper ever.  Aw,” he whined when his phone rang, “what now?”  He pulled it from his holster and frowned at the caller ID.  “Yeah?”

“Hey,” Blake greeted him, “are you free?  I need to talk to you.”

“Excuse me for a sec,” he told his lunch buddies.  Once out of earshot, he muttered, “Okay, what’s up?”

“I’m about to go nuts.”

“Too late for ‘about’.”

“Ha ha, Albie.  I’m serious.  I never thought things could get so serious so fast, but I am miserable without your sister.  I sneak as many phone calls and e-mails as I can, but it’s not the same.  I need to see her.  Hold her.  You know.”

He did.  “Yeah, I do.  I just don’t know what I can do to help you or her.”

“Get me some time alone with her, please,” Blake begged.  “I’ll be in town next month for that big charity thing.  I know you guys will be there for security, my label’s told me that much.”

Albert though about it for a minute.  “You do know that she’s in a bit of hot water over the um… incident with your ex, right?”

Blake frowned.  “Yes, I heard.  But she’ll still be there, right?”

“I honestly don’t know, but I don’t see how they can keep her out.”

“Good.  Just get me a few minutes, I want more, but will settle for what I can get.”

“I’ll do my best.”

“That’s all I can ask.”


 “Yes, Mr. Stewart.  Right down that hall and to your right,” Allyson instructed the towering, glowering musician.


“Excuse me, sir?” she asked.

“John, honey.  Just John.”

“Yes sir!” she replied automatically.  “I’m sorry, I meant John.”  She blushed and shook her head.  “I apologize I’ve…”

“Been in the military too long?” he finished for her.

“Yeah, that too.”

He graced her with one of his rare smiles.  “Don’t worry about it,” he paused, “this time.  But,” he teased threateningly, “next time…”

She smiled and waved him down the hallway.

“Boy, you sure know how to charm them all don’t you?” sneered a voice.

“Gee, Miss Morgan, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”  Ali gave a mental eye roll to the barely-twenty-year-old blonde standing before her.  “Down the hall, to the left, and the third door.”

Leslie grunted and stalked off in search of her table.  Ali could barely contain her grin. 

“I promise not to tell Stone you sent her to the Janitor’s closet,” a voice whispered in her ear, “if you promise not to smack me for telling Blake you were here tonight.”

“Ah crap, Albie!  He wasn’t supposed to know.”  She glared up at her brother.  “Hell, I wasn’t even supposed to be here!”

“I know, babe, but he heard your voice on the two-way when I met him at the drop-off.”  Albert shrugged helplessly.  “I told him you were doing communications work tonight and wouldn’t be visible.  Soo...” his voice trailed off.

“Soo… seeing as I can see his curly head over all the rest of these people, I guess I oughta split then.”

“Might be a good idea.”  He cringed inwardly at breaking his earlier promise to Blake.  Tried as he might, he was unable to find a way to get them any time alone.

“Yeah, right.  If you ask me, it sucks.”

“Conveniently, no one asked you, Lieutenant.”

The pair turned to see General Stone directly behind them.  “Yes sir.  On my way to locate the communications and security command post, sir!”  She gave them both a mock salute and high-tailed it out of eyesight.

“Now you,” Stone pointed at Albert, “take over her job.”

“Yes sir!”

The general rolled his eyes and asked the ceiling silently, “Why me?  Why?”


“All right, Blake, turn around,” Albert instructed.

Blake obeyed, allowing Albie to briefly frisk him for weapons and/or explosives.  “I’m not your bubble-headed friend, you know.  I’m not going to blow anything up.”  At Albert’s grin, he continued.  “And you’re not the one I had in mind to frisk me, either.”

“Yeah,” he replied in a falsetto not suited to him, “blue-eyed brunettes are so not my type.”

“You are so lucky you’re armed tonight.”

Grinning, “You’re dressing room is down this direction, second door on the left.”

“Thanks, I think.”  Leaning in towards Albie, he whispered, “Where is she, really?”

At the look of desperation in Blake’s eyes, he let the grin slip.  “Hanging out with our security out back.  There’s no way to get to her.  Not until later.”  He caught the other man’s gaze and tried to smile.  “I’m sorry.  I tried.”

Blake sighed and leaned back.  “Doesn’t matter anyway, does it?”  Dejectedly, he stalked off.


“What?” Blake turned anxiously.

“I’ve got an idea…”




“Are you here with us tonight or not?”

“I’m here, Captain.  What’s up?”

“You’ve been monitoring those video screens like it’s the end of the world or something.”

Shit!  “No, not the end of the world.  Just hoping…” For what?  For him to appear out of nowhere and wave?  

“Why are you even back here with us tonight?  You should be out with the people.  You’d blend in so much better than those bunch of grunts.” Jacob, their resident computer geek, commented.

“Yeah, but Stone and Lockhart don’t trust me.”  Ali grinned suddenly.  “And Tracey doesn’t trust him.”

“Him?”  Captain Kruger asked.  “Him who?”

She beamed as a familiar hat stopped in the middle of the busy floor area.  “Him,” she tapped the screen as Blake grinned and waved.


“Blake,” Leslie questioned, coming up beside him and sliding her arm through his.  “What the hell are you doing?”

“Waving!”  He waved again and turned to his one-time girlfriend.

“To who?”  She looked around, confused.  “Everyone’s that way.”  She pointed in the direction opposite of where he was facing, frown planted firmly on her face.

“I was… never mind.”  He sighed and turned away from the surveillance cameras.  “You look nice tonight, Lee.”

“Thanks, cutie.  You’re not so bad yourself, ya know.”

He forced a smile and waded out into the sea of people in an attempt to find their seats.



“Um, Lieutenant…”

“Stuff it, Kruger.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

“Yes, Captain,” Jacob Meyers cautioned, “just obey and be a good boy and you shouldn’t get hurt.”
“Not too badly anyway.”  Ali flashed Kelly Kruger a playful smile and went back to monitoring the now Blake-less video screens.  “Bitch!”  She growled under her breath.


“No, Lee, I’m sure there was a mistake,” Blake said again, looking into the janitor’s closet and wondering.  

“Oh, no I seriously doubt there was a mistake.  That cow did it on purpose!”

Cow?  “What do you mean?”

“That… woman… soldier… that was guarding you before.  She was the one who sent me here.”
Good one, Ali.  “I’m sure she was mistaken.  Here, we’ll go get it figured out.”  Blake directed her back towards Albie and his desk, pausing briefly to flash Ali a ‘thumbs up’ as he passed the surveillance cameras.  


“Huh?”  Turning, he saw Blake’s barely restrained grin and Leslie’s irate glare.  “How may I help you this evening?”

“Are you her supervisor?”

“Her who, ma’am?”

“You know… her.  The one who was here,” she waved angrily at the table-turned-desk, “before you.”

“Ah.  Sorry, no.  She’s my supervisor technically.”

“Maybe, but I am her supervisor, so to speak.”

Damn!  “Caleb, its okay…” Albie began.

“What is the problem?” Lockhart asked, not really wanting to know.  He listened intently, growing angrier by the moment.  I knew better than to bring her here tonight.  We just couldn’t risk not having her here either.  When Leslie finished her rant, Caleb slapped Albert across the back of the head.

“Ouch!  What was that for?” he asked, rubbing his skull.

“What part did you have in this?” Lockhart demanded.


“I’m not buying it.  She’s not ever up to anything that doesn’t include you and/or Shana!”

Albie glanced at Blake and grinned.  “I can think of a thing or two she’s been up to lately that I know for sure I had nothing to do with.”  Blake suddenly decided to study a very interesting spot on the ceiling. 

“Maybe not directly, but I know you two.  Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.”

“Speaking of which,” Blake interrupted.  “Where’s Bazooka?  I wanna stay clear.”

Leslie stared at her ex and opened her mouth, ready to question him when Lockhart interrupted.

“He’s outside.  I know about his track record with you.  I made a point to keep him… and Allyson, damn her… out of your hair tonight.”  He turned to Leslie then.  “Miss Morgan, please accept my apologies.  I will insure that she is properly disciplined for this.”

“Thank you.  Now, come on Blake.  We’ve got to get ready.”

“I’ll show you to your dressing room, Miss Morgan.”

They both turned to see Bryan Tracey, arm out, waiting.  “Yeah, why don’t you let him escort you, Lee?”

“Well,” she looked at Bryan and smiled sweetly, “okay.”

Caleb shook his head at the couple as they walked away.  “Mr. Matson, do you need an escort as well?”

Knowing he wouldn’t get the one he wanted, he shook his head.  “I’m fine.”

“Good.  Looking forward to the performance tonight.”  Blake nodded and started to walk off.

“So,” Albert began, “please explain to me why Ali’s not allowed to even talk to Blake and that ass is able to parade Leslie around?  Hmm?”

“The situations are different.”

“Ah, so, what you’re saying is that because Tracey’s male, it’s okay to sleep with his charges but it’s not okay for Ali or Shana because they belong to you and him.”

“That is not what I meant and you know it!” Lockhart fumed.  “You, of all people, know exactly why she isn’t allowed to do this!”

“It may not be what you meant, but it sure as hell is what you implied.”  He stood up.  “Now, if you don’t mind, everyone is signed in and ready to go.  I’m going to my position to watch the show and watch for bad guys.”

Unable to refute his logic, Caleb kept his mouth shut.  Still angry over the practical joke Ali, a senior officer, had pulled on one of their guests tonight, he stormed off to confront her, never noticing Albert and Blake walking off together.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Code Red 2: Life Sentence ~ Chapter 9

Mika’s Note: Even after four years, I take an exceptional amount of joy out of this chapter.  *snerk*

Oh, and if some of the dialogue sounds an awful lot like hijacked song lyrics, well, it's because they are.  Not mine and I admit it.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Having to say good-bye for good the second time was even harder than it had been the first go ‘round. Seeing the hurt and anguish in his beautiful blue eyes made it hell. Neither of them had wanted to be the first to say the words they knew had to come, but eventually Ali took it upon herself to start the unpleasantries. At first, he had refused to listen to her, but he came around before long, crying and holding her tightly, begging her to find a way to fix this.

No such luck.

He’d eventually pulled himself together, although it had been hard. They’d spent most of the night before discussing where they might have gone had the outcome of the weekend been different. Ali refused to consider the idea that she’d have to raise his child on her own; there wasn’t any way she could have coped with that. She’d been down that lonely road once before. Never again.

She sat in her office, staring at the computer screen, wishing she was anywhere but here. Despite her best efforts, her mind kept wandering back to their last moments together. It became almost impossible for her to get him off her mind. And it had been two weeks since their last good-bye. He’d had no idea that last night what he was going to do when he left her, although he’d sworn he’d never go back to Leslie. Not after the lying. The cheating. All the heartache.

But Ali often wondered.

He’d probably be easier to get over if he quit texting her every twenty minutes. She looked at her phone as it buzzed on the desktop. Snagging it and reading the message, she couldn’t help but smile. He was trying; he just wasn’t succeeding very well. With a sigh, she responded quickly to his standard, “I miss you, this is BS” text with her usual, “Ditto x 2”.

“And just what are you smiling about?”

Ali looked up guiltily, attempting to hide her phone. Seeing her redheaded roommate standing in the doorway, she sheepishly waved her cell at her. “A text I just got.”

“Hmm,” Shana mused, stepping inside and closing the door. “And who might it have been from?”
Shrugging dismissively, Ali lied, “No one special.”

Shana grinned, knowing better. “I know these last couple weeks have been hard and I was thinking we both needed a night out.”

Studying her friend for a moment, she became aware of the dark circles under her eyes. “Shana, I’m so sorry, I’ve been so self-absorbed lately, I hadn’t noticed…”

She stopped her friend before she could go any farther. “It’s not like my issues are anything new, you know. Caleb’s on my ass about everything these days and becoming more annoying by the minute. I finally just told him to take a flying leap.”

“And thus your need to go out?” Shana nodded emphatically. “Good. Not that either of us needs a reason!”

“Amen, sister.” Shana grinned and hugged Ali tightly. “Eight sound good?”

“Perfect.” She patted the other’s back. “I’ll meet you at home.”


“Hey Ali,” Shana semi-shouted into her friend’s ear, “I think that guy’s checking you out.”

“Which one?” she asked, looking around the crowded bar.

“That one,” she replied, half-pointing to an attractive, brunette sitting with a young blonde at a table on the other side of the bar.

“He looks… familiar. I just can’t place where from.”

“Not our base,” Shana agreed. “But somewhere. He’s cute anyway.”

“Yeah,” Ali confirmed. “But if he’s not a green shirt, why’s he here? Not too often we get non-military in here.”

“I’m not sure but he’s headed our way.”

Ali looked up, taking a drink of her margarita. Seeing who was headed her way, she almost choked. Smiling past the burn of tequila, steeling her nerve, she waited for him to close in.

“Don’t I know you?” he asked Ali. Turning to Shana, he got quiet for a moment and then pointed in her direction. “You look familiar too. Have we met?”

Trying to hide her embarrassment, Ali nodded. “Yes sir, Mr. McTavish, we’ve met, but just once.”

Ashton McTavish, up and coming country music heartthrob, blinked his blue eyes at her and thought. “Hm, I can’t figure out where though. And have I met you as well?” He looked at Shana; she nodded. “I’ll have to think on it then.”

Waiting until Ashton had gotten a safe distance away, the girls giggled and spit margarita all over each other. “Oh my god…” Shana spluttered.

“Yeah, no doubt!” Ali agreed. “Good thing he’s married.”

“Why’s that? Having naughty thoughts like I am?”

“Maybe…” she admitted. “Blake’d have a fit if he finds out.” Realizing her mistake, she quickly amended her faux pas with, “Not that he has a say any longer, that is.”

“And speaking of the devil…” Shana grinned as Ali’s cell phone began ringing, Blake’s voice coming from the speaker.

“Yes Cowboy, what can I do for you?” She turned from watching Ashton return to his table and watched the bartender instead.

“Just checkin’ in on ya, as usual. This being away from you is killing me.”

“I know, me too, but so far, I don’t have any ideas on how to fix it.”

“Hurry, please.”

“I’m trying, honey, I swear.”

“Glad to hear it. Where are you now? It’s kinda loud.”

“Hangers. It’s a bar not far from base. Red and I are unwinding.”

“Uh-huh,” he said doubtfully. “I’m jealous. Don’t go home with anybody if he isn’t me, okay?”

“Hey!” Ashton shouted, coming up behind Ali. “I remember where we met.”

“Hold on a sec, Blake.” Ali covered the phone briefly and grinned. “Really? Where?”

“Who the hell are you talking to?” Blake demanded.

“Someone. Give me a sec.”

“Tell him you’re taken!” Blake growled.

“Hush you, you’re not allowed to own me anymore, remember?” Turning back to her visitor she asked, “Where is it we’ve met?”

“In Vegas last year, for the awards show. I remember you both from that night.”

Ali and Shana grinned at each other. “I’m Shana, Mr. McTavish. This is my partner, Ali.”

“Hi ladies. Can I get you a drink now that I know who you are?”

“Tell him no and to go away,” came the angry voice in Ali’s ear.

“Mr. McTavish?”

“Ashton, sweetie.”

“Okay, Ashton…”

“Ashton? I only know one person with that name, Allyson. What the f…”

“Blake, shut up.” She said into the phone. “Ashton, my friend on the phone here told me to tell you that I have no life of my own and that I belong to him,” she waggled her eyebrows at him in amusement, “and then he wanted me to tell you to go away.” She grinned evilly at Ashton.

“Did ya tell your friend I was married?” he asked.

“I doubt he’ll care.” Turning back to her phone she murmured, “I’ll call you when I get home. I promise to be good.” Before he could reply, she hung up.

“So, what jogged your memory so quickly?” Shana asked him.

“My tour mate over there said she recognized you,” he pointed to Ali, “as being the bitch who stole her boyfriend. And I’m paraphrasing here.”

This time, Ali did choke on her drink. Looking up she remembered suddenly that Leslie Morgan was touring with Ashton McTavish this year. “Oh god help me,” she muttered into her glass, seeing Leslie steaming over at the table. “I swear I didn’t steal him…” she began to laugh.

“Nope, sure didn’t,” Shana confirmed. “Blake came by his own free will.” Taking her own words in the wrong way, Shana began to laugh too.

“Oh, and then some,” Ali coughed into her margarita. “Bartender? Another two please.” She continued to laugh, not knowing what to say now.

Ashton’s eyes widened. “So, you’re the one she’s been ranting about for the last several months?” He laughed along with the girls. “I guess Blake has better taste than Lee’s been giving him credit for.”

“That’s debatable,” Ali and Shana said together.

Grinning, Ashton shook his head at the two tipsy girls. “So, I’m guessing that he was who you were talking to a minute ago?” Ali nodded. “Hm, I’m guessing he didn’t have any idea who you were talking to when he told you to tell me off?” Ali shook her head this time, trying not to die of embarrassment. “Nice Blake. Don’t ever tell my wife about this or I’ll never hear the end of it.”

Ali laughed and took another sip of her drink. “Yeah well, you know how it goes, jealous men and all.” She didn’t have the heart to bring up the very evident fact that they weren’t together any longer.

“Really? That’s too…” Ashton was suddenly pushed aside and a glaring, angry Leslie Morgan stood in his place.

“You fucking cow!” she screamed.

Ali looked at Shana and raised her eyebrows. Shana swigged the last of her drink and set her glass on the bar.

“Pardon me?” Ali asked, attempting to remain as calm as possible. If she flipped, so would Red, and then Leslie would be in little bleach-blonde bits on the floor.

“You heard me, you whore! Man-stealer! Home wrecker!”

Ali looked at Ashton and repeated what she’d said earlier. “I swear to god, I did not do anything to encourage that incorrigible man.” Looking back at Leslie, she grinned. “Home wrecker, huh? So, is that why you were sleeping with my commanding officer two weeks after you left Blake’s side?”

Knowing Bryan had been bragging loudly about it certainly helped her cause. “Still think that I’m the home wrecker?”

“Absolutely, you bitch!”

Ali set her glass down on the bar and stood up. “Well then, in the words of Gretchen Wilson, babe, ‘You can take this somewhere else or we can take it outside.’ Which do you prefer?”

Despite being three or four sheets to the wind, Ali sidestepped the swing coming her way. Placing her boot to Leslie’s ass, she pushed her while she was unbalanced and watched her fall. Turning, she downed the last of her margarita quickly, waiting to see if the blonde would resurface.

Instead of Leslie, she got two angry men. Band mates of the downed singer. Shrugging, Shana asked Ali, a little too eagerly, “You want the blonde or the brunette?”

“I’ll take the blonde. Got a grudge against them at the moment.”


Totally in synch, Ali and Shana pulled back and let loose, hitting both band members square in the jaw. Ashton couldn’t help but laugh; watching two drunken women take out two young men in one punch was more than he’d bargained for. He knew he should be rooting for his tour mate, but he couldn’t help but like these two feisty girls.

Leslie pulled herself off the floor and got back into Ali’s face. “I don’t know what he ever saw in you except for a cheap lay,” she spat angrily. “But I do know that I’m better off without him.”

“All I know for certain is one: I’m not cheap. Two: you are one psycho bitch and I feel sorry for him for ever getting mixed up with you.”

Paling with anger and embarrassment, Leslie pulled her fist back and connected with Ali’s abdomen. Pissed, Ali swung again, not holding back like she had before. Her fist met the bitch’s eye, knocking her into Shana. Grabbing hold of the instigator, Shana kicked the back of her knees, sending her down to the ground yet again.

Ali reached out, shook her friend’s hand, and noticed the combination of amusement, fear and awe on Ashton’s face. “Thanks, Red.”

“Anytime, Ali.”

“Okay, ladies. Break it up.” Came a stern voice from the back of the bar.

“Crap,” Ali and Shana moaned together.


“Caleb, I swear to you, I was just defending myself.”

“Yeah, Cal, it’s true.”

“You two are on my list at the moment. I’d keep my mouth shut if I were either of you.” Caleb Lockhart marched angrily down the row of jail cells. He’d bailed them out, but he wasn’t happy about it. Fuming might be a better word. Steaming, even. “What the fuck possessed you to take on a celebrity, Allyson?”

“She called Ali a man-stealer and a home wrecker,” Shana giggled.

“You two are freakin’ drunk to boot,” Lockhart sighed angrily. “I give up.”

Ali stuck her tongue out at Leslie Morgan as they passed her cell. Wiggling her fingers at the blonde, she watched her blanch and then turn red. “Yeah, I swear, I didn’t steal him. He gave himself to me.” Ali started to laugh again too.

Caleb turned to the officer in charge and moaned, “Can’t I leave them here until they’ve sobered up?”

Grinning, the officer shook his head. “Sorry, once you’ve claimed ‘em ya gotta keep ‘em.”

“Hey Ali,” Shana perked up suddenly.


“I bet Blake would love the handcuffed look.”

“No doubt. He’s funny that way.” Ali laughed and looked at Caleb. He was beyond pissed.

Stopping short, he turned on Ali, fuming. “I just don’t get you. You have the man you were after, why did you have to pick a fight? She’s half your size for cryin’ out loud!”

“First of all,” she spat in frustrated anger, “I don’t have him any more, remember? You and freaking Bryan made sure of that.” She caught her commander’s eyes and refused to let them go. “Secondly, I didn’t pick…”

“I don’t care. I want to know why you fought with her.”

Ali looked at Shana and shrugged. Taking a deep breath, she sang loudly, “I watched her for a while but I didn't like her walk. She came across kinda cheap to me, but hey, how's that my fault…”

Shana grinned and joined in, “I'm a crazy ex-girlfriend…”

Caleb looked them both over and sighed. “I give up. When they’re sober, I think I’ll try again…”

Pushing them both into the back of the Jeep, he buckled them in and drove off towards base.



“Blake? It’s Asthon. How’re you doin’?”

“Um, good, I think.” Depending on whether you had the nerve to touch my woman or not. “What’s up?”

“I wanted to tell you that you have one spitfire of a woman on your hands.”

“Ah, so you’ve met Ali then,” Blake braced himself for what was coming next. He never knew how people were going to react to Ali.

“Yup. And her redheaded friend too.”

“Oh gods,” he moaned, putting his head in his hand. “Please tell me they weren’t drinking when you met up with them.”

Ashton laughed. “Oh yeah. What a team those two make, attractive, intelligent, and feisty. Oh, and don’t be expecting that call she promised you until tomorrow sometime.” He laughed even harder, thinking about all three women being led out in handcuffs.

“Why? When should I be expecting it?”

“Probably not until she and the redhead make bail.”

“Oh. My. God.” Blake hung up the phone and stared at the wall. What now? Not like he could just come to her aid.