I'm never getting the Epilogue finished *sighs* Back to studying!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the CSI franchise. I play with the characters but unfortunately I can't keep them. Otherwise, I'd have a few of them chained to a bed in my non-existent basement and you should be glad I don't own it because I'd add so many hook ups that they would have to change its name to Grey's Anatomy j/k.
A/N: Good afternoon sweeties! I'm still with my family but tomorrow I will return to my shared flat finally! My number of reasons to not have the chapter ready on time will be decreased to studying and procrastination again =P Anyway, last week's chappie Morgan got herself in trouble and some of you were about to ask for my head if I didn't update soon hehehe. Also, I tried to show the degree to what Morgan's psychotic break was messing up with her head but I think that wasn't too clear... well it is spelled out in this chapter however underwhelming the revelation might be...
I get really happy reading your reviews and every time I see a new e-mail telling me someone new is following or has favourited the story or when I check the daily traffic and there is a new country added to the list... it just puts a smile to my face. You are all awesome ^_^ Enough sucking up to all of you wonderful people and let's get to what you really want, a new chapter of this story!
Trigger warning: Mention of rape.
The grimy mountain of a man had a steely grip and pulling to free herself was only going to dislocate her shoulder. It sucked that she couldn't even get the small caliber gun she had in the tiny purse. She tried kicking him in the groin but he was expecting it and he blocked the hit. She was probably not the first woman this beast had harassed and he had learnt a few tricks on the way.
-"If you try to scratch me, I'll cut your hands. I promise to be gentler if you behave. Your choice" -he had big creepy grin as he said this and Morgan started to seriously panic. There was no one in the room and the one next door was so loud her screams wouldn't be heard and, even if they were... no one from there would want to get into this kind of situation. They'd just think that she deserved it for being there or for being a prostitute... as if someone ever deserved to be raped.
Instead of losing time weeping about how sick some people were she gave it a try. She screamed with all the strenght her lungs allowed while she continued resisting and he laughed at her efforts.
-"Shout all you want but I'd prefer that you'd reserve it for when I've got something inside you" -the creep chuckled and she shuddered.
It was true that in none of her nightmares calling up for help had actually worked and she was quickly losing faith. The beastly man started feeling her up with the disgusting dirty appendage he wasn't using to hold her wrists.
-"Get those filthy bacteria riddled claws out of her!"- Hodges came out of nowhere like a knight in the rescue of his princess (the mental image of David Hodges in white leotards and a sword in a gilded scabbard was priceless) and she started pulling harder trying to untangle herself from the gorilla.
Using the surprise factor in his favour he shoved the thug away from her but the shock at the interruption lasted for just some seconds and the creep looked ready to counterattack. He seemed like an angry bull, fumes coming from his nostrils. He only needed to scratch the floor with his hind legs before charging to complete the mental image.
-"Get those hands where I can see them!- she shouted at him, the metal of the gun she had quickly pulled from her bag glinting under the artificial lights of the fluorescents tubes.
Hodges looked at her with a fond smile and she momentarily forgot why she was mad at him or what logical reasons were those for keeping everyone at bay.
The brute was staring at the barrel of the firearm dumbfounded but then a devilish smirk started spreading through his rough features.
-"I'd say you should be the ones putting your hands up" -a raspy voice said from behind them. The noise of a pair of guns being cocked followed the subtle menace.
When they turned around they found Tierney MacAuliffe with the other one of his men and another Chinese man pointing a pair of revolvers at them. She felt anger hot as lava boiling inside her being so close to the criminal she was eagerly pursuing.
He had gotten there at the nick of time. Some disgusting pig had his paws all over her.
He had passed unnoticed as one of the many of the businessmen who came to blow all their pay money on the Baccarat tables. He looked everywhere and there was no sign of Morgan or the Irish American boss at any of the tables. The place was big and full of smoke but it didn't take him long to circle it whole without finding evidence of the blonde investigator.
He was starting to think he had gotten it wrong when he thought he heard a really soft muffled scream. The distortion from all the noise in the loud stance made it so he could barely pinpoint the direction from where it had come. He got closer to the back of the room and found a pair of doors behind some crates. The faint citrus-y smell of Morgan's perfume made him check the first one and there she was with her wrists grabbed by some asshole.
He shouted the first thing that came to mind and threw himself against the man. It was a similar sensation to banging a wall but he manage to destabilise him and push him away from her. Victory! Not so fast... his eyes were turning red with rage at having being interrupted and he reminded him to King Kong after the little airplanes fired at him. Gulps!
In that moment, Morgan pulled her personal firearm she had gotten after her kidnapping. It wasn't a big caliber weapon but the thug was clever enough to know she could blow his brains out with it and would definitely do it if he resisted. The no-nonsense way with what she was pointing her gun at the gorilla made him admire her a bit more if that was possible.
Then things got complicated again... that might be karmic retribution for complaining about the tedious shifts. Two armed men were now at their backs.
Morgan still hadn't lowered her gun or dropped it and neither had the other two, so before things escalated dangerously, he pulled out his field work credentials that he had brought because they made him easily recognisable as a law enforcement worker. Who would have thought there would have been something useful to having to do field work?
-"We are CSIs" -he hoped that was deterrent enough because right now he didn't have another Ace under his sleeve -"If you do something to us you'll be in deep trouble" -his voice didn't shake as he stated it matter-of-fact-ly.
At first it didn't seem to go over well. Tierney's face blackened and he had to tighten the leash on his two dogs as they started to salivate for their kills. He finally called them off and they lowered their firearms.
-"The LVPD is now stalking law abiding citizens? You do have some warrant for searching this nice establishment, don't you?" -his voice had gone ice cold despite his general politeness and it was eerie -"If you do, you should show it to me because if you don't have it, I'm putting a complain against the whole Department and you two personally".
He could swear he could feel murderous intent coming from his right. He put a hand on her shoulder to calm her down.
-"That's your right. My name is David Hodges and you can complain about me as much as you want" -he answered maintaining his composure -"We will be taking our leave now".
-"And your little partner?" -he pointed at Morgan smirking.
-"CSI Brody" -she answered through gritted teeth.
-"I said we are going now or do you want to face charges of unlawful imprisonment of a law enforcement officer" -that was a mouthful.
-"That's rich coming from you after entering here without a warrant but sure... you can leave and do not return" -the threat was more than implied.
They scrambled out of there and the first breath of fresh air felt fantastically invigorating like a good night's sleep or finding a new type of diatomea you could name but now wasn't the time to wax poetic about how awesome it felt to have survived that.
-"Morgan, you know that monster was right, apart from being suspended, you've come here without a warrant or back up" -he hated having to be like this but if nothing else had penetrated her skull by now... -"You could have ended in a nameless grave and everything would have been in vain".
-"It's not your fucking business" -she blurted back -"I am nothing to you anymore".
-"Of course it's my business. I care about you and that's not something you can turn off just because we've broken up" -he counter-claimed, his heart dying a little saying the last part aloud -"Besides you could still lose your job over this".
-"I prepared myself to lose it if it meant getting closer to getting Jennifer back" -she was stubborn as an ox.
-"And what would that have accomplished? You didn't get anything and if I hadn't figured it out no one would have even known where to start looking before it was too late" -it irked him that she put so little weight on her personal safety and well-being.
-"Sara knew it. She found me 5 days ago and we talked it out" -she had a look of triumph at having out-argued him.
-"How?" -he babbled -"She didn't come back until Tuesday night".
Morgan grew pale suddenly and her eyes bulged. She stood there quietly and Hodges started to get worried when she didn't utter any answer back in the next few minutes.
-"Morgan" -he shook her shoulders gently -"Talk to me. What's wrong?" -she still didn't say anything -"I don't mind if you never want to look at me again, I'm calling your father".
He started dialing. Conrad answered before the second beep.
-"Hi sir. I found Morgan" -he assaulted him with a flurry of questions -"She is... okay. We are in Bellevue with G street" -that got Conrad on overdrive again -"Don't worry, we are safe. Just send some patrol car to take us wherever you are and we'll explain everything" -or so he hoped. He sighed while he hanged up.
He was surprised to find a teary-eyed Morgan looking at him not with a fiery expression but with pure desperation etched in every feature of her face.
-"What's wrong? You can tell me. I'm never gonna judge you whatever it is" -those must have been the right words because she gave into the hug and started heaving and sobbing while he tried rubbing soothing circles against her back and said sweet nothings against her ear like he had done when she had her nightmares. Soon she calmed herself enough to explain.
It was awful to think she had been suffering from such vivid nightmares and to have to deal with them by herself. It broke his heart to learn she had wanted to maintain her distance because she was scared of hurting him again during one of them. He wanted to tell her that she should never have had to deal with a kidnapping that triggered her own trauma but that would sound like a recrimination and he didn't want to interrupt her now that she was talking.
When she got to the part when it started getting difficult to distinguish reality from fiction and the incident in the supermarket when she had become convinced there was a quasi-magical meaning that would lead her to the truth she sounded absolutely embarrassed. He could understand why she felt like that because CSIs valued Science and their mental acuity over everything else but still...
When she was about to explain the thing about Sara she paused. She seemed unsure about if she should reveal whatever it was but Hodges was pretty convinced he had already figured it out.
-"She wasn't really there, was she?" -he gave her a soft smile -"Your brain created a made up version of Sara. I don't know much about the topic but extreme stress and lack of sleep can drive you to a psychotic break where it's possible to have hallucinations" -he hugged her reassuringly -"You just need some rest and some help to resolve your trauma from the kidnapping and you'll be back on the job turning on piles of evidence and complaining about how slow I am".
That managed to get a small smile out of her and that was reward enough.
-"I don't know why are you consoling me after everything I said to you" -she said drying the tears with the heel of her hand.
-"I just don't know when to give up" -he said with his best smart-ass smirk. This time it got him a chuckle and a short peck on the cheek.
-"It seems so foolish now all the effort I put into keeping this secret. I was worried you'd look at me like I'm a dangerous demented person" -she was at her most vulnerable right now-"Part of me still thinks that's how you are going to see me from now on".
He embraced her wanting to erase every negative thing that had happened to her, every nightmare, every depressive thought, ... with the force of his feelings for her. He knew it was impossible but he still tried. He just wanted to transmit to her that she wasn't ever going to lose him, no matter what.
Finally she stopped him and, looking seriously at his face, she said:
And he kissed her.
A/N: Well, to everybody who was looking forward to this chappie, was it worth the patient or not so patient wait? Did you enjoy it? I didn't want Hodges to be the typical knight in shining armor who always saves the demure princess because they are a partnership who work best when they work together. I also wanted Morgan to show the brave take charge kind of woman she is... even when she is plenty damaged right now. About that... well, yeah... there was no Sara, no one talking to her to convince her to stalk Tierney... that was all a delusion. Was it too much? too out there? Morgan has a lot of work to do and I think now she is ready to accept help =) It's still a pity to see her so defeated. At least things are on the mend now. Did you liked their reconciliation or was it too simple? Tell me in a review please!
Tomorrow will be a mini version of a moving day and on Saturday I'll be in class all day. If any of you have to actually move I commiserate with you... how do we manage to accumulate so many possessions I don't know. Have a splendid weekend my lovely readers!