The early scenes of Natural Selection.

      You're in Chris' hospital room with Rita in a chair and Chris asleep or in a coma. And yeah, this is supposed to be a little vague and confusing ;-)--Kilohana

      "Give me a rose full of diaries.

      Let me be the pillow of your heart.

      Kindly set my life right through your glasses.

      Mostly let me live straight with..."

      Rita bit her pen, looking at the gibberish she had written. Poetic. Kinda beautiful. Complete nonsence. She glanced over at Chris' lifeless form in the hospital bed.

      "Mostly let me live straight in your smile.

      Live as though we'll always be within us.

      Love me as our beings ever last.

      Listen to my ramblings when you wander.

      Fear no passes little on our way."

      She looked at Chris again. Damn, what a mess! She could close her eyes, and he would be there, along with all these crazy words and phrases that wouldn't leave her alone. Love. Was nearly loosing someone special enough to create all this? Why couldn't her mind work the way it was supposed to, with clear sentences and understandable chaos? There she went again, mindjogging. "A rose full of diaries..." She saw flowers in a vase. A rose. A gathering of rose petals. One memory on each petal. A rose full of memories... "Pillow of your heart..." Heart, heart. Feelings settle in your heart. Heavy feelings. Rest your head on my pillow, dear, let me make life easier for you.

      "Kindly set my life right" My life sucks, right? I'm cursed, single, alone. "Through your glasses" I like what I see when I see you looking at me. "Let me live straight in your smile" Oh Christopher, wake up now, give me that killer smile of yours, give me courage to meet my changing feelings, let me be the mother of...


      "Rita?", Chris murmured, sencing she was nearby. He spotted her in a chair, sleeping."Good morning, sunshine."

      She opened her eyes the same instant. "Hey...", she smiled, raising from her chair and leaping across the floor to him.


      "Hi." She leaned down, kissed his cheek while grasping his hand.

      "If you ever do that to me again, I will kill you."

      Chris grimaced. "You look like hell."

      "Mm, sleeping three nights in a chair will do that to you.



      I think that Rita and Chris realized they loved each other long before "Soul Kiss." I was always struck by their expressions during the ep "Dirty Laundry," and especially the scene at the end. So, my short is based on that.


      Rita tossed and turned, unable (or was it unwilling) to let go and fall asleep. She had been plagued for years by nightmares, but this was different. Ever since she'd found out about the aneurysm, she'd been afraid. Afraid to go to sleep, afraid to lose her hold on life, afraid she'd lose...Chris. Her eyes popped open at the thought. Chris? He was her partner and best friend. She had other friends she'd lose, too, if she died, she tried to reason.

      But Chris was her family, the only real family she'd had since her foster parents died. That's why she didn't want to lose him, she rationalized. And she was family to him, too. His parents were indifferent to their only son, and Chris and Rita had found the family they wanted in each other, like a brother and sister. From the moment she told him about her condition, he was right there, protecting her, watching over her, making sure she didn't take too many chances in her work, trying to keep her safe. Like a brother, right?

      When Chris stayed the night, trying to read her to sleep, she began to realize a truth she'd been trying to push away for too long. He was asleep across her bed, the open Suzy Pratt book on his chest. The only light in the room was her bedside lamp. Stealthily, she lay down next to him, sleep far from her mind. His face was so dear to her, and she just couldn't leave him. Am I supposed to feel this away about a brother? she wondered.

      She put her hand gently on his chest, feeling his heart beat. He was alive... and maybe, just maybe, she could rely on his strength to keep her alive, too...

      The next night, he fell asleep on her living room floor. She sat close to him, hearing his steady breathing. I love you, she thought silently, looking at his sleeping face. She was overwhelmed by relief at this epiphany. Tears flooded her eyes. "I can't die because I'll miss loving you," she whispered, after assuring herself he was still asleep.

      But I can't love you, she argued sadly with herself. There was no future for them, between the job, their histories, and her couldn't work. Maybe if she never told him-they'd both stay alive...

      Before she slipped out to interview a suspect, she paused a moment to smooth his hair back from his forehead. She smiled tenderly. It was worth everything to stay here on earth with him, and she could keep her secret for all time, if it meant preserving her love for him.

      After that, sleep was no problem. Rita was secure now, knowing Chris would always be there for her. All her life, she'd looked for love, and many times came up empty. No more...she drifted off to sleep....

      The phone rang besides her bed, and it was Chris, "Sammy, I can't sleep," he whined.

      She smiled, flicking on the light, "I finally get to sleep, and now you tell me you can't. This is crazy." Is he not sleeping for the same reason I was? she wondered silently.

      But she readily acquiesed to his request that she read to him from Suzy Pratt.

      "Sammy? I-uh," his voice faltered.

      "Pipe down and let me read," she smiled, feeling breathless. "Anyway, I know," she replied softly. She opened the book and read to him, secure that mere words couldn't convey what their hearts felt...



      They had just finished one of the Plasmeyers stupid sex betterment exercise called the "soul search." Only for Rita it had not been so stupid she had looked deep into Chris' eyes and truly seen all the wonderful memories that they had shared, the good times and the bad. Now it was time for the "Soul Kiss" they were expected to French kiss for an hour without breaking the embrace. How can I do that? Thought Rita. She sat across from Chris and looked into his eyes. They started kissing and she pulled away. "What we were doing so good" exclaimed Chris. "You don't have to make it feel so good" said Rita. Then Rita tells Chris that she is loves him, but she is not in love with him. As she is saying those words she knows she is lying. Rita wishes she could stop holding the feelings inside and just let Chris know how much she loves him. She would tell, but she is worried about ruining the wonderful partnership and friendship that her and Chris shared. So Rita realizes that although she loves Chris she will wait for him to tell her how he really feels. Then maybe the two of them could live together and share the magical love she knew they had in them................................. By Clorenzo


      Yes...I beleive in love at first sight.......when I first met my husband,I felt something different then when I met any other person.....though at the time,I didn't feel I was "in love" with him. That actually came later,but I'll never forget those kismet type feelings I had that very first day.


      "Think back to the day you first met...what did you think of each you still feel that way today?" Dick spoke,his voice low,soft,almost hypnotizing....


      She stood there under the pavillion of the roach coach,cramming herself along with with the others who had come running to escape the sudden rain shower that surprised them all. She was forced to take a small step backwards to make more room and she felt herself bump into someone just behind her.She turned her head to offer her apology,her eyes meeting with his,and in that instant,she could feel as if her life was about to change. A tingling energy ran through her,and suddenly it felt as if that exact moment had been one she had been waiting for her entire life,though she had no idea of why she felt that way. Maybe it was those incredible blue eyes of his dancing amusingly,as they looked directly into hers.She couldn't tear her eyes from his,nor did she want to. He towered over her,grinning as he looked down at her,nodding his head "not a problem" he had said. She was being pressed against him,and another person was pressing into her. He stepped back a bit more himself to try and give her some more room. She was surrounded by a sea of heads,and there she had stood,her tiny frame barely meeting most of the shoulders.That was first he first noticed about her,how lost she seemed in that crowd,but he forgot about that as he gazed into her eyes.....loosing himself in that incredible depth of green.

      There was something about her eyes that captivated him. It was if they held all the answers to his unspoken questions . He saw in those eyes an unyeilding stregnth he wished at times he could possess,and yet also a gentleness and compassion,he had never believed existed in the world.

      He smiled at her,as he glanced out to the falling rain "Looks as if we may be here awhile....I'm Chris Lorenzo...and you are?"

      She was taken in by his smile. It had a charm all it's own,and for some reason ,although she had just met him,his smile tugged at the strings around her heart.His smile assured her that all was right in the world.

      That was when she knew she would never be happy in her life unless she saw that smile every day of it.

      She smiled back at him, memsmorized by the twinkle in his eyes as he looked at her."Hi. Chris..I'm Rita Lee Lance."

      It was her smile that caused him to hold his breath briefly,and he could feel the beat of his heart quicken it's pace. Suddenly it didn't matter that the weather was gloomy,or even chilly.When she smiled,it was like the sunshine was beaming it's rays directly into his heart.That was when he knew he couldn't live without seeing that smile every day of his life.

      Yes.....I still feel that way today,she thought,only more then I 'd ever imagined.

      Remember a happy time.....a sad time....a good time....a bad time.....................

      Images played in her mind......Memories that also stirred up other feelings,feelings that were better left buried.Chris and Rita,...Sam and, friends..... and yet no one ever really understood the connection that they had between them.

      Now think of the future...What do you see?

      She had tried to envision thier future..... but what she saw was a future in which she would either be with him,or without him,...and she knew she couldn't bear either one . He could never know how she felt about him....yet she couldn't stop loving him either,even if it made her heart ache just being with him.

      She tried again,hoping to push the feelings out of the way,and just do the excercise........only this time what she saw frightened her more then she could handle, forcing her to turn away,and causing the excercise to halt.

      She could only see herself surrounded in a mist of white......and Chris wasn't there at all.

      It was in that one single moment of truth, that she was forced to confront her true feelings for him...........................By Lisa


      Chris Lorenzo was exhausted as he walked into his loft. He tossed his keys onto the desk, and noticed the flashing light on the answering machine.

      Probably Ricki, he mused, pressing “play.” Sure enough, it was his girlfriend of the moment, wanting to know if he and Rita had caught “Good-time Charlie,” so she could come home and resume her life. He sighed as he heard her voice. For some reason, he was not very anxious for her to return home just yet. Before he could wonder at that feeling, another message played.

      “Hey, Sam, it’s just me, your partner. I just wanted to say good night.” There was a little pause, then… “You saved my life…thank you. Wait a minute-that seems so insignificant.” Another pause. “I’m just glad I have you in my life, that you’re my best friend. I’ll see ya!”

      A beep and the message ended. Chris sank down into the chair and rewound the tape.

      Again, Rita’s voice filtered out. Best friend. Yes, that’s what they were to each other. He sat for a long while in the dark, forgetting the muddy clothes drying on his body.

      To any casual observer, Chris was focused on the faint glow of the streetlight outside. But in reality, his thoughts were out on a country road, hours before….

      Charlie said he had the person who meant the most to him. It was Rita, HIS Rita! Chris’ heart pounded crazily in his chest, as he drove to the isolated spot where Charlie was holding Rita hostage. Please God, don’t let anything happen to her, he prayed.

      In his mind’s eye, he saw it all, Charlie’s sick attempt to kiss Rita, her struggle to get away. He could feel the blows that he landed on his nemesis, and the ones Charlie aimed at him. The water and mud were soaking him, but Chris didn’t notice. The mist swirled in the dead of night. Chris heard the terror in Rita’s voice as she screamed, “He’s got a gun!”

      The roar of the gun’s discharge and the smell of gunpowder filled their senses. Then, silence. Dead silence. Chris focused on Charlie, dead in the mud, and then his partner. Flooded with relief, he freed her from her bonds, and held her tightly. Two hearts, beating in perfect time.

      Through all the paperwork, the IA interviews, and debriefing with Lieutenant Hudson, Chris was calm, even cracking jokes.

      But as he sat in the gray dawn light, he realized how close he’d come-how close THEY’D come to losing it all. He began to shake…

      Maybe a shower and a little sleep would help his recovery, Chris assured himself. He climbed into bed a half-hour later, but his mind wouldn’t shut down.

      He’d prayed for Rita’s safety, he marveled, looking up at the ceiling. When was the last time he’d prayed for anything or anyone? Chris had a much closer relationship with God when his grandmother was alive, but hadn’t had a lot of time for Him since. Why was that? Was it because Chris’ life held an emptiness he’d tried in vain to fill? First it was with a succession of women, then with the job. Since Rita had come into his life, and become his partner, he didn’t seem to notice that emptiness as much.

      Rita had far more emptiness in her life than he, and yet she hardly ever commented on it. She had an aneurysm that could kill her at any moment, she was an orphan, and had seen more tragedy in her young life than most people see in a lifetime. Still, she made it her mission to help others in any way she could. She was more than willing to lend a helping hand to the teens they met in the course of their work, she volunteered at a runaway shelter, and she took care of her friends, treating them with the concern most people didn’t have for their own families. He counted himself lucky to have her in his life.

      Chris and Rita stood outside PBPD, shivering in the cool dawn. After the hell they had been through tonight, he was reluctant to leave her. She kissed him gently on the lips, a thank you for saving her life. Words bubbled to Chris’ lips, words that his conscience stopped in the nick of time, “Will you come home with me?”

      I can’t ask her that, he realized, as she looked up at him, her green eyes tender but questioning. I can’t risk breaking her heart. “I’m-uh-glad you’re all right,” he stammered, stroking her cheek. “I love you.”

      “I love YOU,” she returned tentatively. “Night.”

      “See ya!” he grinned.

      Why was it wrong? He fretted, pounding the pillow beside him. Because I’m in love with her, came from his soul. The epiphany made him sit bolt upright. Yes, he was in love with her. The thought thrilled and terrified him. It also made him aware of some hard truths. I would just be using her, and that was wrong. She always said that if the powers-that-be broke them up as partners, she would race him to the nearest motel. But he knew in his heart that she wouldn’t. Rita was by no means a virgin, but she was old fashioned in a lot of ways.

      A one-night-stand was not what she was all about, and it wasn’t what he wanted for them, he realized. As sleep overtook him, he knew he wanted more for them. His dreams were filled with a future for the two of them, where their pasts were put to rest, and they had the courage to admit they were in love with each other. He woke with a peace and contentment he hadn’t known for a long time.

      He tried to explain it to Rita as they waited for Ricki to return. “Maybe Charlie saw something that I couldn’t see,” he offered tentatively, his arm securely around Rita.

      She looked up at him, but couldn’t admit it to him, “Loving and being in love are two different things,” she said, finally, playing with his fingers. “You just have to explain that to Ricki,” she added lightly.

      He kissed her forehead as Ricki pulled up, “As soon as I figure it out myself.”


      As we all know, Chris DID figure it out, but it took him a good long time! Lorry


      The moment he saw Derek,the fury rose from deep within him. It was unreasonable to direct it at him,and Chris knew it,but that didn't stop him from doing so.From the second he had been told that Rita had been shot at,and was taken to the hospital,he hadn't had control of any of his emotions. He felt them all, fear,rage,and distress and they all overwhelmed him.It was the anger he focused on now though, because it was better then caving in to the heartsinking dread that had seeped into him when he thought of anyone taking away his Sammy from him.

      And seeing Derek sitting there, his feet propped up on a chair, and leaning back,as if he didn't have a care in the world,while Rita was somewhere in this hospital, he lost it.....Damn it! Didn't that man have any idea of what was going on? Didn't he know that the world would simply cease to exist if anything happened to her...Didn't he have a clue as to how precious her life was?

      The dispatchers words echoed through to him now...Detective Lance and George Donahue were involved in a drive by shooting at the police garadge....they were both hurt and taken to the hospital.....Captain Lipshitz wants you to meet him there right away."

      Chris kicked the chair away from Dereks feet,and grabbed him by the shirt,slamming the sorry SOB against the wall.

      "I thought I told you to watch my partners back!" he yelled,readying himself to throw a punch to the guys jaw.

      "For your imformation,she was on the way home!" Derek defended himself. "Chris...Rita is fine...Knock it off!...Rita is fine...she wasn't it...Now knock it off you two." Cap yelled,trying to calm Chris down at the same time he tried to stop the fight from going any further.

      Chris reigned in his temper,already a bit more easier to control now that he knew she was fine...she hadn't been hit. Thank God. His heart could resume it's beating again "Where is she? I want to see her " he demanded.

      "She's in with George.He's going into surgery." Cap answered. Chris' relief turned right away to guilt. His friend was fighting for his life.He worried for him...and the thought of Rita sitting with him. She would be upset,anxious for her friend.

      "George shoved her out of the way..Rita was lucky, man" Chris heard Dereks words,not sure exactly what he had been saying.

      "Yeah" he agreed,but only halfheartedly.She had been lucky...but he had been luckier. He still had her.Still though,he was worried for her,and for George....Rita couldn't loose another friend...especially not this way. Chris waited another hour before she finally came out.

      She had been crying,and was still trying to compose herself,as she stood there looking at them.

      "They just took him to surgery."

      Chris sprang from his chair,and went to her. She was emotionally wrought.and she looked probaly as bad as she felt ,but to Chris she was the most beautiful sight he had ever layed eyes on.

      "How are you?" He asked concerned,pausing as he reached her,not used to seeing her this way.She seemed so fragile just then,but when she held out her arms for him ,needing to be held in his, it was all the urging he needed. He wrapped his arms around her tightly, possessively, never wanting to let go of her.She was where she belonged,safe in his arms.

      She nodded that she was alright,but to Chris and the two other watchful men,she looked anything but alright. Chris had never seen her look quite so vulnerable ever before,and it caused his protective instincts to go into full alert.

      "George is hurt pretty bad ,Chris." Her voice was shaky and as she pulled away to tell him about George.Chris could feel her tremble.He could see that her knees were about to betray herand realized that her grasp on whatever composure she had tried to muster up wouldn't last very long.

      "Yeah....Let's sit you down." he guided her over to a chair,keeping his hands securely on her until she was safely seated.He sat across from her, watching her,not able to take his eyes off of her until he assured himself that she really had escaped any other harm. Cap hovered over her as well,and made sure she had been examined thoroughly by a doctor,"a real doctor".

      She had a slight concussion,that was all...but it was enough,he thought. He intended to stay with her that night,,to watch over her,just in case. He couldn't tell her he wasn't ready just yet to let her out of his sight anyway.

      He drove her home,and together they sat on her sofa,as sudden new thoughts and feelings thundered in his mind,and drove him crazy.

      He convinced himself it was just the events of the night that had brought out all these feelings he was having right now. It was understandable that ones feelings would be intensely heightened after what they had gone through...he was just being overly emotional now,wasn't he?

      Instead,he decided to focus on finding whoever had shot at her,and at George. She was helping him with the tape he had brought home,but he could see the pain killer the hospital had given her was beginning to have some affect on her. She was growing very sleepy. He wrapped her in his arms,as they viewed the tape of the garadge,finding what they needed.She leaned forward to read him the license plate numbers of the van,and Chris felt an aching loss the minute she was out of his arms. After reading him the numbers,she wearily leaned back against the sofa,and into the security of his arms once again,and Chris felt as if he was relieved from the weight of the world with her slight weight against his arm.Finishing the conversation, he hung up the phone and encircled her completely in his arms.He had so much he suddenly longed to tell her,but he pushed those thoughts away. She was already exhausted ,and now was not the time to bring it up.

      Then she had gone to bed,and Chris fixed up her sofa for himself.He layed there tossing and turning for two hours before he gave up on the idea of sleep.Images of her lying on the ground of the parking lot,knocked out cold when she had been pushed out of the bullets way vividly haunted him...images of her when she had first come out of the pre-op room ... her vulnerablity then tore at his heart. His Sammy....His Rita....thank you God,thank you for keeping her safe.....Please be with George now......

      He knew he needed to see her assure himself she really was alright.He would never fall asleep until he did. Sneaking up to her room,he quietly peeked in on her. She was deeply asleep. He tiptoed across the room to her bed,and sat on the edge,just watching her softly breathe.

      What would I ever do with out you Sammy,he thought. He caressed her soft cheek,noticing a tear stain . She must have been crying before she fell asleep,he realized....Oh Sammy,you should have called for me...I would have been right here for you in a heartbeat if I had only known you were crying...Your not alone don't need to bear your pain alone anymore,Sammy.....Don't you know that? Don't you know just how much you mean to me....that I love you?......No...I don't just love you,....,I'm in love with you,Sammy...there...I know it now...I will finally admit it to myself........

      It's useless to deny it anymore......Sammy....I love you.......I love you so much...more then I have ever loved anyone. Something happened to me tonight... When I thought I was going to loose you.....Sammy,.it's like all of a sudden,everything was as clear as day for me.... and I knew then that your soul is somehow a part of my soul.... that I begin where you end,and I end where you begin........I love you , heart and soul Rita Lee Lance......more then my own life.......but I can never tell you that,can I? Here I am sitting here,just staring at your beautiful face as you sleep,and all I can do is think these things..... knowing I can never tell you ,can I? If I did,I know I would loose you right then,wouldn't I....You would run from me.......and I couldn't bear that,ever... ...

      How do I do this though do I pretend that I don't love you...that the feelings I have for you don't exist? ...I know I need to find a way to deal with this though...because there is no way in hell that I will risk loosing you with the truth.....As much as I love you Sammy...I think I need you even more.


      (Which is why Chris immediately immersed himself into that ghastly relationship with Jillian...didn't you all know that already?) LOL!.....Lisa



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