The Importance Of Time
Forgetting and letting go is never an easy as it may sound. Then again, it doesn't really sound simple does it? There are so many things pulling you in so many directions at the one time. Which direction could one possibly choose? Timing is a huge factor. In fact time is the key. One can be determined to follow a decision, yet if timing is wrong, the results may be consequential. There must have been a time when the timing was just right. Sometimes people just miss it.
Chris sat and waited for his partner to walk in through the doors. It was so unlike her to be late. He hoped that she was okay. He couldn't explain the feelings he'd been experiencing lately. He'd been so uncomfortable around her and jumpy. He also realized that he hadn't really spoken to her properly in quite some time. Then again, he knew the answer to the why. It was the whole thing with Jillian. The fact that she was pregnant. That he would have to move to Boston to be with her and the baby. How could he tell Rita that? How could he say goodbye to the one person who meant the world to him? He knew that the reason why he was avoiding Rita was because he didn't have the guts to tell her about Jillian and the baby, he didn't want to lose her, then again, he also knew he was hurting her by avoiding her. Chris knew that he had to tell her soon. Jillian wanted to move to Boston as soon as possible so they could settle down. But how, he thought to himself. Chris' eyes wandered over to the Captain's office. He watched the man who had become a father to him sift through the paperwork on his desk grumbling. Chris could almost imagine the kind of reaction Harry would have. Harry would begin to have a heart burn as he yells at him about making the biggest mistake of his life, but beneath his anger would lie his deep concern. Chris sighed as he ran his fingers through his hair. He promised himself today would be the day he would tell them. First he had to talk to Rita one on one.
Five minutes later Rita arrived to find her partner in deep thought. Rita stood back for a moment and tried to guess his temperament. Something was going on with him and it was beginning to cause a rift between them. He was slowly slipping away and it tore her apart to think she was losing him. She wanted to confront him but figured he'd come around soon and talk to her about it. At least that's what she had hoped.
Chris looked up from his deep thought and found Rita by the door looking over at him. He felt guilty knowing that she was beginning to feel uncertain of where she stood with him.
"Come on Sam. I'm not going to bite." he teased. Rita gave him a small smile and slowly approached their desks. As she came closer he saw the reservation in her eyes. He wished he could banish them, but he knew he was the one who put the reservation there. Rita sat down on her desk and began to unpack. Not knowing what to say she remained quiet. She hated the silence between them, but what was there to say. For the last couple of weeks she had watched him so uncomfortable around her and it made her uneasy. He was jumpy and there were times where he would snap at her a little. Though he apologized straight after, there was a huge difference in their friendship. She missed him and she didn't know what was going on.
"Hey Sam you got plans tonight?" he asked. Rita tried to hide the look of surprise on her face, but Chris saw it and understood it. It had been weeks since they have spent any time together outside the job. Rita shook her head,
"No. I was just going to stay home and finish the trashy novels I started." she answered with a smile. Jillian must be on duty, she thought to herself. For the last few weeks he'd been busy with Jillian. She wondered if that's the reason why he'd been absent for weeks now. She hoped not. She hoped whatever it was that was going on was temporary. She didn't know what she would do if he dropped from her life completely. She had gotten so used to him. Having him by her side at all times, without a question. Even when they were both involved, the other knew that all it took was a call or a look and they were there for each other. But things were different with Jillian. They were so serious. She hated to admit it but she was jealous that the attention was now divided. She had grown to rely on him, she knew she shouldn't have. She knew that one day, someone would come along and she will no longer be solely his. The thought hurt. Even though it felt that she was filling in an empty slot for his night, she was thankful for the time alone with him. They needed to talk. Once and for all she wanted to know the score. She wanted to know what was bothering him. What had come between them? What had happened to the connection they once had? Had it disappeared into thin air? It hurt to think that it seemed to crumble so easily.
That night she and Chris went straight to her apartment. They ordered Chinese and ate in her lounge room watching TV. Silence filled the room and they didn't know how to overcome it. After a little while of pretending to be absorbed in the show Chris stood up.
"Let's go for a walk Sammy," he suggested reaching out for her hand. Rita nodded and got up. Chris grabbed their jackets and led her out of the door. Hand in hand they walked along the sand of the beach. It was almost pitch dark, the light that was shining came from the streetlights above. Rita watched Chris, he looked as though he was fighting a battle with himself and she just wanted him to talk to her. Rita stopped walking and faced him. She could no longer take the silence, and broke it.
"Chris what has happened to us? Are you mad at me?" The question took him by surprise but he knew it wasn't far fetched. He took her face with both hands and held it.
"No Sammy, I'm not mad at you. I could never be mad at you. How could you even think it was something you did?" Rita's look answered his question.
"If it wasn't something I did, then what? What has happened between us? Isn't our friendship important anymore?" Chris looked horrified at the suggestion. Rita knew that that wasn't the case but she needed to say it out loud.
"No Sammy. You know no one is as important to me as you are."
"I used to" was all she could say. Rita pulled his hands down from her face and walked away from him. Chris watched her turn her back from him. He knew that all the hurt she felt by his absence the past weeks had piled up. She was beginning to lose hope in heir friendship. Chris walked up to her and wrapped his arms around her. Rita did not refuse or accept his gesture. She kept her arms folded and watched the darkened ocean.
"I don't know what I can say to make it better Sammy but there was just so many things going on and I didn't know how to handle them."
"You should have talked to me. You could always talk to me. Unless that's changed and if that can change then what else. The strength of our friendship lies in our trust. Chris, you and I have never hesitated to confide in each other before. It seems like you doubt our friendship now." As Rita spoke Chris could feel his heart tighten.
"No Sammy. You're friendship is the one thing I have never doubted. You have to believe that." Chris spun her around to face him. As moonlight shone on his face Rita could see the sincerity in his eyes. Rita placed a hand on his cheek and caressed it. Chris took her hands in his and kissed them. Without a thought Chris pulled her into a tight hug. His arms wrapped around her protectively.
Rita could hardly breathe through his embrace but she didn't mind. She missed him so much. They remained in each other's arms for a long time before Chris decided that it was time.
"Sam..." he began but Rita placed a finger on his lips.
"Shh Sam. Can we just stay here for awhile?" Chris looked down at her, the moonlight glowed against her skin. She looked beautiful in his arms. Without hesitation Chris placed a gentle kiss upon her lips. Surprised Rita's eyes fluttered up to look at him before closing them as she kissed him back. Moments later Chris jumped back. Stunned Rita jumped back too.
"I want this moment. I really do. Oh man, I love you...I want to be with you." Chris started.
"I do too, I want to be with you too." Rita responded stepping forward placing hers on his chest looking up at him, but Chris stood back.
"I...I can't. I'm sorry." It was then everything was remembered. Rita jumped back again. Shame filled her as she dropped her gaze.
"We better head back Chris," she said quietly. Silence fell before them again as they walked back to her apartment. As Rita closed the door behind Chris she could feel the tears that was quickly forming in her throat. She placed a hand over her mouth to muffle the cry that escaped from her mouth. Chris who stood still on the other side of the door could hear her attempts to silence herself from the misery he had inflicted. Though he knew that what was coming would hurt her even more. He was supposed to tell her, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. They had finally admitted their true feelings for one another. What was supposed to be the start of something special turned out to be the coming attraction of the worst that was still to unfold.
When Chris arrived at the precinct the next morning Rita was already seated at her desk. She looked up as he made his way to his desk. She gave him a quick smile and greeted him.
"Morning Chris." The famous Lance flare was at its best. As her face tried to project what she wanted the world to know, that she was okay. Her eyes were blank.
Before he could say anything more, not that he could find any words Captain Lipshitz called them into his office. Silently they obeyed. Rita sat down in her usual chair as Chris remained standing up.
"Sit down Lorenzo. I want to talk to you."
"Should I be here Cap?" Rita asked.
"Yeah you should be. Maybe you could help your partner explain a few things to me." Chris sat down not knowing what the Cap was talking about.
"Boston PD called me about five minutes ago..." Chris flinched and squirmed in his seat. Rita could feel her knees shake, as she waited for Harry to begin, thankful that she was sitting down.
"They informed me that a certain Sargent Lorenzo had inquired about transferring there. I thought, no they were making a mistake because the Lorenzo I have would be straight with me about it. Then I remembered that a certain Lorenzo had actually made a passing comment that his girlfriend was promoted but the job was at Boston. I put the two and two together and realized that as much as I want to believe the Lorenzo I know would never sneak around behind my back, he just did. Tell me I'm wrong kid." This was all news to Rita. She didn't know Jillian was offered a promotion in Boston. Rita had the urge to stand up and just run from the room, but she wanted to hear the rest. She needed to. Everything began to make sense to her.
"Talk fast Lorenzo" Chris shifted around in his seat. He was trying to look for the words, as his eyes never left Rita as he began. Rita's eyes remained on the imaginary lint on her pants.
"You're right Cap. I went behind your back, and I'm sorry. I was going to talk to you about it today. I promise. I just wanted to...I...I. Jillian's taking the job at Boston."
"And you're what, following her to be Mr Jillian Dupree?" Harry exclaimed in shock and almost anger. Chris threw him a pleading look to let him finish. Rita began to feel nauseous, there was more. What else could there be?
"Jillian's pregnant!" As the words came out Rita jumped to her feet.
"Excuse me..." Rita covered her mouth and rushed to the bathroom. She almost didn't make it. Rita was on her knees, her head over the toilet bowl. The whole thing made her ill. Emotionally and physically, as she replayed the night before in her head the overwhelming feeling filled her again.
After they finished, Harry sent Chris to see if his partner was okay. Chris stayed outside the bathroom for ages, waiting for her to emerge. When she didn't Chris entered.
"Sam...you okay." With all the effort she could muster up Rita quietly got up and closed the bowl so she could sit on it. She brought her knees to her chest, hoping he'd go away when he found that nobody was in the stalls. One by one Chris looked under the doors and found no feet.
"Sammy, I know you're in here. I'm so sorry. I don't know what else..." At that same moment a female officer entered. Embarrassed Chris apologized and left. As soon as he did Rita put her legs down and buried her face in her hands. After ten more minutes she cleaned herself up and grabbed her toothbrush from the locker room. When she had finally emerged her face showed no color. Rita noticed that Chris was no longer in the precinct.
"I sent him to pick up files from Donovan" Harry whispered in her ear. Rita jumped in surprise. He noticed Rita hiding behind some filing cabinets scanning the room.
"I'm sorry Lance. I thought you knew." he apologized regretfully. He knew how close Chris and Rita was. He didn't know that Chris hadn't told her. He also knew how that must have felt to Rita. Chris and Rita had become more than just his detectives. They had become the children he and his wife were never able to have.
"Yeah well Cap it wasn't your fault. Chris had plenty of time to tell me." As the words came out the anger poured out.
"Cap you mind if I take the rest of the day off." For the first time Harry looked at Rita's face. The paleness of her face and the redness in her eyes began to worry him.
"You look like hell Lance. Sorry. Yeah go home Rita. See you Monday. You need anything you call okay?" Rita nodded and gave him an appreciative smile. If they weren't in the middle of the precinct she would've hugged him. Rita grabbed her jacket and purse before sprinting to her jeep to go home.
When Rita got home she packed an overnight bag. She needed to think things through and she knew she wouldn't be able to do that knowing Chris would be hounding her door. She threw the bag in her jeep and drove off without a backward glance. She grabbed her cell phone from her bag and made a point of turning it off. She didn't want any distractions. Rita found herself driving for hours to nowhere in particular. When the sun had set she grew tired and looked for the nearest motel. She had no idea where she was, but it didn't matter. In fact she liked not knowing. Rita dumped her bag on the corner of the room and collapsed on the bed from exhaustion. She didn't know how to even begin to comprehend all that had happened. She was in love with Chris and he was moving to Boston with Jillian to raise their child? What was with that? If only the night before hadn't happened. Maybe it would have been easier. But it did happen. How could she just pretend it didn't and bid him farewell with a smile. She couldn't. She was angry. At Chris, at life it self and most of all herself for letting it get as far as it did. If she could only take the words back, and pretend. Rita felt humiliated. She thought she knew Chris and she trusted in him completely. He lied to her. How could he say what he did when he knew that he was moving to Boston with Jillian? Rita then reminded herself that Chris stopped them last night from going any further. Rita let out a huge breath. She didn't care. All she knew was that everything she had ever believed in seemed to have crumbled before her eyes. Rita closed her eyes and tried to stop the thoughts. Whatever she thought about hurt and she just wanted them to end.
When Chris got back to their desk he noticed that Rita's jacket and purse were gone. He knew it was a safe assumption that he had gone home to think things through. He tried to figure out a way to say everything, but still came up blank. No matter how he tried he couldn't get past the fact that he was in love with his partner and didn't want to leave her. At the same time his responsibilities laid elsewhere. He couldn't abandon Jillian. In truth he loved her, but he wasn't in love with her. It was his partner who owned his heart and his soul. But how could he ever take away the misery he had put her through. Chris was about to head over to Rita's place after work when Captain Lipshitz called him into his office. Chris sat before the Captain. His glance remained on his partner's usual place. The chair beside him remained empty. Harry watched the agony Chris was in. It was hard on both Chris and Rita. He knew that Rita felt betrayed, though if he only knew to what extent and why. At the same time he understood Chris' hesitation.
"You wanna talk Son?" he asked gently in a fatherly tone. Chris couldn't even begin. Guilt was eating him alive as he hung his head.
"I didn't know how to even begin to tell her. Rita trusted me Cap, I was the one person who she believed she knew. She relied on me and we swore to no lies and what did I do?" Harry came around to where Chris was sitting and placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Just give her time kid." Harry knew there was no point in consoling Chris because he was inconsolable. Just as he imagined Rita would be. One thing he learned in his early days with the famous duo was that they were each other's strength. If there was anyone who could ever snap them in or out of a mood it was the other. They were the ultimate team. It broke his heart to watch them lose the most important person in their lives. Chris barely heard Harry's words. As much as he wanted to and needed to give Rita time to heal from the fresh wounds he had inflicted, Jillian wanted them to move and soon. As if to read his thoughts Harry interrupted them.
"You gotta give her that time Lorenzo. If you ever want to regain even a little of what you shared with Rita you won't leave her until she is through this. Because if you walk away from her now. You may as well not come back." As Chris heard the words he believed them to be right. If there was any other person in the world who knew Rita, it was the Captain. Rita had grown to love him as the father she had always longed to have to share her life with.
Chris drove to Rita's apartment and knocked on her door. When she didn't answer he figured she knew it was him and still refused to speak to him. He understood that, but he hoped that they could talk soon.
Rita woke up in a cold room. She looked around not knowing where she was. All the walls were white and there were noises around her. She looked around and found herself in what seemed like a hospital room.
"Where am I?" she asked groggily. A nurse approached her within moments.
"Miss Lance. You're in the county hospital. The motel manager heard you scream out in your sleep repeatedly and wanted to make sure you were okay, so he got his wife to check your room to see if you were okay. When they found you, you were on the floor doubled over in pain, you were in a fetal position clutching your lower back. Not knowing what to do they brought you here to assure your safety." Rita couldn't remember anything. The last thing she remembered was thinking about everything that had unfolded before her. Now she was in hospital? What happened?
"So what happened? What's wrong with me? I'm okay aren't I?" she asked the nurse not really concerned with the answer the nurse had to offer. The nurse shifted uncomfortably.
"I'll just go get the doctor." Before she could head out Rita called out.
"You didn't call anyone did you?" She said in fear. The last thing she needed was for Chris to start hovering over her. Staring at her with his guilt oozing from his eyes.
"No. We were going to call your partner since you had him listed as your emergency contact number but his cell phone was off."
"Probably busy packing for his move." As the words escaped from her mouth Rita hit herself on the forehead. Shocked at the bitterness that came out of her.
"Would you like me to try again?" the young nurse asked. For the first time Rita had a good look at her. She was young, bubbly and cute. The type Chris would have hit on if he was with her. The thoughts wouldn't stop. She hated herself for it. Rita shook her head.
"No thanks I'll be out of here soon right?" The nurse didn't answer and just left to fetch the doctor.
A man who looked as though he was in his early sixties came into her room, his hair was almost all white and he wore glasses. He walked in with confidence but his compassion was evident as he approached her.
"Sargent Lance I believe..." Rita smiled.
"Please call me Rita"
"Nice to finally meet you Sar...Rita. I'm Doctor Theodore Reed."
"Likewise. So what's wrong with me Doc?" she asked lightheartedly. She wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, and as charming as this doctor seemed to be she wasn't about to stay there a moment longer than necessary. The Doctor approached the bed and stood beside it as he began to speak.
"Rita, we're not quite sure exactly what is wrong with you which concerns me. You were brought in last night and you were delirious from the pain. You screamed repeatedly that your back hurt. You told me last night that it was something that had been re occurring the last few weeks." Rita nodded, though she didn't remember what she said the night before, that part was true. She started getting the pain a few weeks ago. Right before things began to change between dramatically between her and Chris. She thought it was stress related. Cursing herself for thinking of Chris again she tried concentrating on what the doctor was saying.
"Quite frankly Rita I can't find anything....which is what worries me. Your blood shows nothing, but I would like to do a ultrasound on you to rule out all possibilities."
"What do you think it is?" she asked beginning to worry.
"I would rather not speculate. Would you agree to a ultrasound now?" Rita sat still and nodded. She was beginning to get frightened. Once again she found herself looking for Chris.
"Is there anyone you would like us to call? To make this easier for you perhaps." Rita shook her head sadly.
"Not anymore." as she said the words she began to believe them. She was alone again and she no longer felt scared. Being alone was familiar to her. Doctor Reed saw the pain in her eyes and wondered who was responsible for making the woman want to go through it all alone.
"I'll have someone come and get you in an hour. In that time if you want to make any calls. Do it now." She tried to give him a small smile as she watched him leave her room.
As Rita waited for the hour to pass she started thinking about Chris. It wasn't really his fault. One of the things she loved most about him was his nobility, she knew that he would never turn his back on his unborn child. He shouldn't have to. As much as it hurt her that he never told her, she understood. He was scared of what she would say. The way she reacted is exactly the reason why he hesitated to tell her. As she began to think about it, the bitterness began to fade. Though the hurt remained, she was willing to talk to him and offer her support. At the same time she wanted to break free from him. As much as she didn't want to lose him completely she didn't know if she could bear watching him build a family with Jillian. Jillian would be living out the life she had dreamed of. Before Rita could decide once and for all what she should do, the orderly came in with the wheelchair to wheel her into the X-ray room.
Chris sat on Rita's steps for most of the morning hoping to catch her. For the first time, it occurred to him to look in her garage. When he did he saw that it was gone. He wondered when she had left. He wanted to wait for her to return but Jillian had him running errands for her. He called her cell phone repeatedly and received no answer. He wondered where she was. Though he wanted to give her time to think, he longed for her. He longed for his best friend.
That afternoon Doctor Reed visited Rita in her room looking so solemn that it scared Rita.
"Break it to me gently Doc." she said trying to make it easier for both of them.
"Rita, we found a mass in your pancreas." Rita stopped still. The whole room began to spin as she listened to the rest of what he had to tell her.
"What I would like is to schedule you for a biopsy to find out if the tumor is malignant."
"If it is?"
"We'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it."
"Am I..." she couldn't even begin to say what she wanted to.
"We're going to do everything we can Rita." He gave her hand a gentle squeeze before getting up to leave. Rita liked his honesty, as much as it shocked and scared her, she found comfort in the truth he was willing to share.
"I'll schedule it for tomorrow morning. We should know the results in within the week." All Rita could do was stare at him. She was stunned. More than anything she wanted Chris by her side, but that wouldn't have been fair. She would be making her choose between her and his baby and that wasn't what she wanted to do. She loved him and she wanted him but she didn't want him that way. She knew that if anything was wrong with her, he would stay. It was just the way the way they worked. Rita's night was sleepless as she tossed and turned about the possibilities.
Chris slept fitfully himself on Rita's couch. Jillian was on duty that night and he hoped to catch Rita at home and if she wasn't, he was going to wait. He wondered where his partner was. When he asked the Cap if he knew anything, he said no.
Rita's biopsy didn't take very long and she was only under the local anesthetic. When she came to Doctor Reed was in her room waiting for her to awaken. It was his day off but he knew that if he didn't convince Rita to have the biopsy done right then and there she wouldn't get it done at all and just hope for the best. For some reason he was drawn to Rita. It was perhaps because she looked so much like his daughter who died at such a young age to 21 only a couple of years before. She was their youngest. Daddy's little girl, they were so much alike and shared so much. They played basketball together, listened to their favorite music together, talked deep and meaningful, there was nothing she hid from him, and she was even following his footsteps in medicine. She was their only girl and she was so special. The one day, she got sick.
Rita woke up to find the old man staring wistfully out the window. In obvious deep thought, she cleared her throat quietly. Doctor Reed looked up and smiled at his patient. He still couldn't comprehend the significant similarity between Rita and his Samantha.
"Nice to see you're up Rita. How do you feel?" he asked approaching her. As he came closer Rita caught a glimpse of the pain in his eyes. She wanted to ask him if he was alright but she didn't want to pry.
"Can't feel anything yet. That's about to change right?" she asked lightheartedly. Theodore laughed. She had a sense of humor like his Sam too.
"Afraid so. Which brings me to a point I wanted to discuss with you. I don't really want you to work for a few days. It may have been a minor surgery but it is still surgery. You have small stitches and I don't want them to open up or get infected. So if I have to tie you to this bed to make sure you don't work, I will."
Rita laughed. In the last day or two she and Theodore had gotten to know each other. As he told her about his wife. Rita told him about her life as Sargent Lance in Palm Beach.
"Your workaholic days are put on hold..."
"Me? A workaholic? Excuse me, it's Sunday afternoon and who is here when they don't have to be?" she interrupted teasing him. Ignoring her interruption he continued but gave her a smile to acknowledge her observation.
"As I was saying Sargent Lance. If I can trust you to go back to Palm beach without going back to work, then I will sign your release papers. If I feel I cannot, I won't."
"I promise I'll go and see and my Captain first thing in the morning. I won't work. I'll just inform him personally. I have to do it face to face. If you like I could get him to call you to assure you that he won't let me work..." she teased further.
"I'll accept nothing less...otherwise I will admit you to the nearest hospital in Palm Beach." he said half serious. Rita picked up on it and nodded.
"I will. Promise is a promise. When will I know?" she asked carefully. Theodore gave her a comforting smile.
"As soon as I do. I'll call you. I promise you that." Rita nodded.
"Can I go now?" she asked. He shook his head.
"This afternoon. Hang on. I'm not letting you drive home. You just had surgery."
"How do you propose I get home to Palm Beach huh?" she asked
"Mary Beth and I will drive you back." Rita shook her head.
"No way. It's your day off and you don't even know me. That well anyway. No." But her protests went unheard as he continued to persist.
"Well then you are obligated to have dinner with Mary Beth and I. Mary Beth would love to meet you. I have the day off tomorrow anyway so I'll just take Mary Beth to Palm Beach for the night. You know a honeymoon thing?" he said winking. Rita burst out laughing at the thought. In the end she agreed. They would take her jeep down and drive her home. They were spending a night in the hotel and the next morning they would drive her to the precinct and that night they would take a plane home. It sounded so simple.
Doctor Reed and Rita left the hospital together that afternoon. They were going to pick up her things and head straight to his house. He had called Mary Beth after he convinced Rita. Mary Beth didn't hesitate for a moment. It had been awhile since she had heard a certain tone in his voice. A tone that she thought had died with Samantha. But as she watched Teddy talk about this woman Rita, she could see that fatherly spark in his eyes. The same spark that only Sam could bring out in him. At first Rita was hesitant about meeting Mary Beth but as soon as she did her fears were calmed. In a lot ways she reminded her of Fran. Harry's wife. Mary Beth's eyes nearly filled with tears as she saw Rita. Her husband had neglected to tell her how much Rita looked like Samantha. After half an hour with her, she realized that it wasn't only looks that Rita shared with Samantha. It was brains, heart and soul. She was strong, but there was a vulnerability about her. Rita and Mary Beth became fast friends. Rita found herself warming up to them so easily that it scared her. After dinner they headed for Palm Beach. Rita sat in the back with blankets and pillows as she spoke with the two the elderly people in front. Rita almost felt like she was little again, when she along with Tom and Sue Lance were on their way to their summer house at the beach. She and Michael sitting at the back while their parents sat at the front.
The hours in the car brought them up to speed with each other's lives. By the time they got to Rita's apartment they felt like they had known each other for the longest time. Rita invited them to stay with her but they refused knowing that Rita needed to rest. Rita made them promise that the next time she wasn't going to take no for an answer. They postponed the tour of her apartment till the next day. After Rita closed the door behind Teddy she found a note on her kitchen counter from Chris.
"Sam, I hate this. I hate what's happening to us. You're the most important person in the world to me. You have to know that. I know I haven't exactly backed that up very well these last few weeks, I'm sorry. We need to talk. Please talk to me. I love you. Sam." As Rita read his note she felt a tear fall. For the first time she began to cry. She had thought about everything and she knew what she had to do. She needed to talk to Chris.
The next morning Teddy and Mary Beth picked her up early to take her down to the precinct before everyone else got there. Rita practically forced them to take her jeep to sight see while she walk back to the station. It wasn't far and she knew after telling the Cap, she would need the time to think. She needed to prepare mentally and physically for her conversation with Chris.
Harry walked into his office and didn't notice that Rita was sitting on the couch that faced his desk. She sat there for awhile while she waited for him and reminisced about the amount of times she and Chris had been in his office just to talk to him about every day stuff. It was then Rita realized just how hard it was going to be asking him for time off and why? Harry didn't notice Rita until he had sat down and looked up.
"Geez. You scared the living crap out me Lance. Where have you been? Your partner has been worried sick. Are you okay?" The questions continued without much of a chance to answer them. When he realized that he hadn't really given her much of a chance to respond he stopped and smiled at her sheepishly. Rita took a deep breath and began. When she finished, it was awhile before Harry said anything.
"When do you know once and for all?" he asked.
"Within a week maybe a little over. Teddy said he could probably rush the results but I don't know Cap. I think for now I'd rather not know so I'm not really protesting. He promised to call me as soon as he finds out."
"Oh Rita. Have you talked to Chris?" Harry asked carefully. Rita shook her head.
"Not yet, but I will. Not about this though, because I don't want him to know." Rita watched Harry's face scrunch up into disapproval.
"There's nothing to tell yet Cap. There's no reason to worry him about it. Second of all, I know that if he finds out that there's a possibility that I'm sick, he'll be obligated to stay and see that I'm okay. I want him to stay Cap, but I don't want to pull his heart strings to achieve what I want. I'll make sure that we straighten everything out before he leaves. All I ask Cap is that you leave this up to me. Promise me that." Reluctantly Harry agreed. He respected her wishes and granted them. Rita stood up from where she sat and walked over to him. She leaned against his desk as she took his hand in hers.
"I'll be okay Cap. However which way, I'll fight. You know that. First we get Chris out of here. I don't want him in this. He has enough on his plate." Without another word she placed a kiss on the older man's head and started to leave his office.
"Lance!" he called out. Rita glanced back to look at him.
"You need anything you know Frannie and I are only a phone call away." Rita's face broke into a grin.
"Yeah I know Harry. Thanks, for everything." Rita left before Chris walked in the doors. Though she knew she needed to talk to him, she was still trying to rehearse what she had to say. She walked towards her apartment slowly and took a detour.
As soon as Chris walked into the precinct his first instinct was to look for his partner. She had been missing the whole weekend and he wanted to make sure that he was okay. He knocked on the Captain's office door hoping that Harry would have an answer for him. Harry waved him in and pointed to the seat.
"Listen Frannie, we'll continue this later. Chris just walked in." He said to his wife. Frannie was as devastated as Harry, she loved Rita as a daughter.
"Love you too Frannie" Chris smiled as he heard them. He had often dreamed that in years to come that would be him and Rita. Harry caught Chris' look and already knew what he was thinking. Harry gave him a sympathetic smile. "Cap, where's Rita? It's already 9." Harry leaned back on his chair and tried to act casual. He had been practicing since Rita left to pull of a convincing job.
"Taking a few of personal days off. She'll be back in a couple of days." Chris nodded, though it was so unlike Rita to ask for time off. He couldn't blame her.
"Oh Chris...Boston PD wants to know when to expect you." Harry said interrupting Chris' thoughts. As much as he didn't want to bring up Boston at a time such as that, it was the only thing that would keep Chris from asking further.
"Um, Cap...In about a week, sooner if possible. Jillian needs to get settled."
"WHAT!!!!!" Harry yelled. Chris jumped back in surprise.
"You haven't even talked to her yet." Chris knew who he meant and what he meant.
"I will Cap. I won't leave unless I know we're okay." Harry shook his head. With what Rita had planned Chris would leave according to plan. He knew that Rita was willing to put aside everything to make sure Chris leaves with Jillian because she felt that it was the right thing to do.
"Cap, can I take the rest of the day off. I want to go and see Rita."
"Go ahead kid. Things are pretty slow anyway. She should be home now." he replied looking at his watch. Chris got up and went straight to Rita's apartment and found that she wasn't there. He let himself in and found that she had been home and there was only one other place she would be at.
He found her sitting on the beach at their favorite spot along the dunes. Her eyes were shut tightly. He could tell from where he stood a few feet away that she was in deep thought. Quietly he sat down beside her. Rita so absorbed in her thoughts that she didn't notice that he had sat down.
"Sam" he whispered uncertainly. Rita's eyes flew open for a moment and closed again. It wasn't a surprise that she was thinking about him only moments before.
"I am so sorry." as he said the words, he knew how lame they sounded, no words could ever take the pain he saw in her eyes as she looked at him. Rita stared into his eyes for a moment. She could see the regret and anguish that filled every single being of his core. She sympathized.
"I know you are Chris. I do. I've had a lot of time to think about this. I came to a conclusion that what happened between us was a mistake....no hear me out." she continued before he could protest.
"It was a mistake because we had let time pass us by. See if the timing was right, everything would have worked out. It wasn't so it didn't. Our biggest mistake was that we took so long to figure out how we really felt, and by the time we did there were other forces working. It's not just your fault but mine also. I was as much to blame about letting opportunities pass, but there's nothing we can do about it now. Fate has taken a different turn and you must follow it. You know that if we continued this path together in the end we would both be miserable. You would be miserable because not being with your child would have you doubled over with guilt. How much of yourself could you possibly devote to our relationship? At the same time I would be miserable because I would keep thinking that one day you're going to turn around and resent me because of the path you had chosen to take simply because it felt right for one moment. We can't be selfish Chris. It's not just the two of us anymore. It hasn't been for awhile. So we can't keep acting like it is." When she had finished Chris let what she said sink in. It made sense and she was right. He knew that if he didn't go with Jillian he would just drive Rita insane with worry that one day he would regret his decision. He wished that she didn't know him so well. He was ashamed to admit to himself that a day would probably come that he would make them both miserable by the choices he made. Rita could see that Chris was agonizing with himself. Rita felt the best friend part of her come out. She took his hand in both of hers.
"You're doing the right thing. Go with Jillian. You need to do this. You and I will always be friends. You know that. It's inside of you. We are a part of each other, we always will be." Chris' eyes began to fill with tears as he pulled her into his arms and hugged her so tightly. Rita choked back the urge to start crying, she knew that if she did, she may not be able to stop. For the time being she had to be strong for both of them. Especially if things were going to go the way she had planned. She wanted Chris to leave without knowing. She wanted him to leave with as little guilt as possible. It was something she had to do. It was awhile before Rita pulled away, when she did she looked into his eyes, the window to his soul. She could see the love that he felt for her, and she was sure that as he stared into hers, he would see the love she felt for him.
"When do you plan on going?" she asked. Chris looked down and played with the sand. Rita pulled his chin up with her finger so he was looking at her.
"Tell me" Chris sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, unable to even comprehend what he had to tell her.
"By the end of the week. Jillian needs to get settled before the baby gets any bigger. I'm sorry Sam." was all Chris could say as he glanced back down on the sand. Rita sat for a moment, almost in a catatonic state. It was so soon.
"I guess we better get you started packing huh?" she said lightly. Giving him a shove with her shoulder. Chris' face was inconsolable. As Rita gave him a reassuring smile she could feel her heart pull into shreds. It hurt, but she had a decision to stick by and in a way having him leave so soon would make it easier for her.
"Well the sooner we get rid of the official stuff to do, we can hang out. I have the rest of the week off. I'll help you. Then you and me okay?" She tried to say the words bravely but Chris knew her better. He was thankful that she was still willing to spend time with him after everything he had put her through. But that was his Sam. It was just the way she was. It made him smile to know that she had the same thing in mind as he did. He had already told Jillian that he wanted to spend his last days at Palm Beach with Rita and Jillian agreed. She envied their closeness and knew he needed the time with Rita if he was ever going to adjust to the move. Chris pulled her into his arms again. Rita rested her head against his chest and breathed him in. She was going to miss him. She was afraid of what was ahead of her and wished he would be there to hold her hand. Yet she knew she rather he went on with his life. He needed to. Just like she needed to know once and for all.
They spent most of the morning at the beach, sitting there in each other's arms not really talking, just enjoying each other's presence. Rita could feel her back go into spasm's as they sat there but she tried to ignore it. When she couldn't anymore she suggested they go back to his apartment and start. Reluctantly Chris agreed and helped her up. Rita flinched as she got up, Chris noticed her wince and questioned her about it.
"You okay Sam?" he asked worried. Rita smiled.
"Yeah, I guess my back just got a little stiff from sitting down for so long." she answered hoping to convince him as she looked down pretending to brush of the sand on her pants. Rita didn't want him to look into her eyes knowing he would then know that she was lying. Chris hesitated and took her word for it. Hand in hand they walked back to his car and headed for his apartment. As soon as they got there Rita went to his bathroom and pulled out the pills Teddy had prescribed. She took a couple and took a huge gulp of water. She straightened herself out before going back downstairs to where Chris was preparing lunch. Rita could smell that he had started to make his famous Lorenzo Spaghetti.
"Smells good Sam." she praised. Chris looked up and smiled at her.
"Ah thanks Sam. Your beeper went off." Rita nodded and grabbed her purse. It was Teddy wondering if she was okay. Rita searched for her cell phone and called him. As she dialed she let herself out of Chris' apartment and stood outside his door.
"Hey Teddy. How's the sightseeing going? Mary Beth having a good time?" she asked. Teddy laughed. He and Mary Beth were having a great time, they decided to take a late flight that night hoping to have dinner with Rita before they headed back.
"We're having a ball. She made me promise to bring her back. Listen we still have your jeep and we were wondering if you wanted to have dinner with us, you know before we head back." Rita hesitated for a moment as she looked at Chris' door. Teddy could feel her hesitation
"You don't have to Rita, I mean we will see each other when you come up for your results...."
"No it's not that I don't want to. Believe me. Actually I would love to. I'll ask Chris if he wants to come." She said reassuring him that she didn't feel obligated.
"Have you told him?" he asked in an almost fatherly manner that reminded her of the Captain. Rita smiled to herself touched at her new friends concern. She found it hard to trust people but she felt so drawn to the Reed's.
"Of course not. We discussed this. So promise me you won't slip?" she said knowing him well enough at that time to know he was capable. Teddy laughed he could read her almost as well as his Sam.
"Promise is a promise and I promise Sargent Lance." Rita laughed and asked to speak to Mary Beth.
"Is he behaving?" she asked teasing. Mary Beth could feel the smile Rita had on her face as she teased them. She knew why her husband had been so drawn by her.
"Just barely. Mind you he can't keep his hands to himself." she replied dryly giving her husband a teasing wink as he pretended to be wounded.
"I bet. Well how about I'll see you guys at my apartment at 6:30. Your flight is at 11:00pm right? We'll have plenty of time." Rita bid them both goodbye and told them to behave and be careful. When Rita entered the room a curious Chris had leaned himself again the kitchen counter looking at her questioningly. Rita tried to ignore his curious stare, but he continued.
"What?" she asked innocently. Chris looked at her,
"Uh uh, what was that about?" he asked.
"What was what?" Chris gave a look that said don't try that with me.
"That was just a couple of friends I made while I was away. They came back down with me, they're great. They're a little older than Harry and Fran, they're actually leaving tonight and I had promised to have dinner with them. I was wondering if you wanted to come with me?" As the words came out she could see that Chris was trying to decide whether or not he was going to take such a vague and simplified answer.
"Tell me about them." he said to her. He was a little worried at the sudden closeness Rita felt for the new couple. He hoped that she wouldn't get hurt in the end. Trusting her judgement he kept an open mind as she told him about them.
When he asked how they met it took Rita awhile to respond. How could she say it was when she was taken to his emergency room after she had a screaming fit because of the pain she went through, somehow she just couldn't say that. She told him that they ran into each other and started talking. Hoping to take his thought away from when they met she asked him again if he was willing to come with her.
"If you and Jillian have plans it's okay. It is Chris. Really!" she said as she read the hesitation on his face. Chris shook his head.
"No, we don't. Yeah I'll go. Where and what time?" he asked.
"Well we're meeting at my apartment and I was thinking of just picking up Chinese on the way home from here."
They worked on his apartment, putting his belongings in boxes. Both their hearts sank when they realized how much memories, lived in his apartment. They left a little before 6 after ordering dinner that they planned to pick up on the way back to her apartment. When they arrived they found that Teddy and Mary Beth were already there. She gave them a sheepish smile knowing that they were a little late.
"I am so sorry. Chris and I were packing up his things in boxes and we lost track of time." As she said the words Rita caught Teddy's raised eyebrow that reminded her that she was supposed to take it easy. Rita read his look and gave him an assuring smile that she didn't do anything that may cause him to worry. She made sure that she was sitting down while she packed the boxes and made sure that she didn't lift anything. Chris opened the door for the rest of them, unaware of the silent conversation between the three behind him. She asked Chris to set up the table while she gave them a quick tour around her apartment. As they went around Teddy whispered his concerns.
"I promised you didn't I? I swear. I behaved. I didn't lift a thing." Rita held up her hand and made a peace sign. Mary Beth laughed.
"Leave her alone Teddy. She gave you her word."
"Speaking of word, I expect you to keep yours Dr. Reed. Patient, Doctor confidentiality." she teased. The three of them laughed as they made their way back down the stairs. Before they reached the bottom Rita pulled Teddy back a little to whisper in his ear.
"He thinks we bumped into each other and just started talking."
"Oh smooth save Rita." he said sarcastically making fun of her. Rita gave him a playful shove towards her kitchen.
After Chris got over his over protectiveness he could see why Rita felt so drawn to the couple. He could also see that the feeling was very much mutual. He could also feel that there was something they weren't telling him. When it was time for them to start getting ready to go they offered to take a taxi.
"No way. I'll drive you." Rita protested. Chris saw the look that passed between them that made Rita back down and nod in compliance. Wondering what it was all about.
"I think you've done enough for today. Rest." Teddy said gently knowing that she read the look he had given her.
"Why don't I take you?" Chris offered. After many protests the Reed's finally accepted.
"Chris do you mind if I come?" Chris shook his head no. He wanted to spend time with her and he didn't care what they did as long as they were together.
Chris was surprised at the intimacy Rita shared with the couple. It was as though they had known each other for so long. As Rita hugged Mary Beth goodbye they both had tears in their eyes. The three of them were so scared of the results Teddy would have to give her.
"You take care you hear?" Mary Beth said sternly. Rita nodded.
"You two take care of each other okay?"
"Deal." As Teddy embraced Rita could feel the worry within him.
"Don't worry. Everything will be okay," she said giving him a smile.
"Aren't I supposed to be the one telling you that?" They laughed.
"Call as soon as you get there, it doesn't matter what time."
"I'll call in the morning." he bargained. Rita relented. One last hug she waved to them goodbye. On the walk back to the car Rita stopped. Chris stopped sensing that something was wrong. Rita looked around her and looked at him. At the same moment he knew. In a matter of days, they would be back there, saying their goodbye. For a moment Rita wanted to tell him to stay, that she needed him, but she knew it wouldn't have been fair. Chris took her into his arms and held her. How could he say goodbye to her in a week, less, at all? That night after Chris dropped Rita home he drove back to the beach. He felt so torn. At the same time he was worried that something was up that she wasn't telling him.
Rita couldn't help but worry, something about the way Teddy said goodbye to her gave her an idea that he was worried. She hoped she could keep up what she had began. She really didn't want Chris to know, but it was getting harder and harder keeping it from him.
The next morning Teddy called to let her know that they had arrived safely. It was then Rita made him promise.
"Ted, will you promise not to open my results until I'm there. I know that sounds weird, but I don't want to know until Chris leaves and I don't want you knowing if I don't know. Am I making any sense?" she asked,
"Yeah you are. If you insist. I still think you should tell him Rita. It's not fair." Rita agreed that it wasn't fair, but she believed she was doing the right thing.
"I know. Thanks Ted." After talking to him a little while longer and to Mary Beth, Rita hung up the phone and headed for the bathroom. She closed the door when she heard knocking. Rita put her robe back on and went downstairs. She found Chris at her doorstep with a bag full of bagels and two cups of coffee. She greeted him with a smile and waved him in.
"Thanks Sam. Looks great." Chris put the goods down on her table and encircled her in a hug.
"You're welcome Sam." Rita found herself blushing in his arms.
"Hey Chris, I'll just grab a shower and I'll be back down." He gave her a smile and sat down and threw himself on her couch.
"Go ahead Sammy take your time." He reached for the remote and pointed to the TV. Rita left him in her lounge room watching TV. When she had returned from her shower she found that he had fallen asleep while watching. He was hugging the remote to his chest and snoring lightly. He looked so peaceful. She sighed to herself knowing that the feelings that had come out remained. She was in love with him. It hurt to think she could never have him. Rita sat beside him as gently pulled the remote from his hands, hoping not to wake him. He stirred a little but didn't wake up. Rita brushed his hair away from his face and continued to watch. She planted a kiss on his forehead.
"I love you Sam. I always will." Rita got up and wiped the tears that had started to flow. She went back into the kitchen and prepared the food he had brought.
As she left the room Chris opened his eyes. He had awoken from her touch. He heard her words. He wanted nothing more than to say them back to her, but that wouldn't have been fair. It was so hard already.
The next few days were hard for both of them. They spent every waking moment together. Together he said goodbye to their friends. As the week grew to a close they both knew he would have to say goodbye to her. On his last night the Cap had planned a surprise going away for him. Although he was touched he was regretful that he wouldn't be able to spend his last night solely with Rita.
"It's okay Sam. We had the whole week. We still have the rest of the night and tomorrow morning." she whispered giving his hand a squeeze as they entered the Harry and Fran's home. Chris nodded. He had taken Jillian to the airport that morning, and he was spending the night at Rita's apartment and she was taking him to the airport the next day. After his flight she was getting on a plane to get her results. Teddy had called that morning while Chris was at the airport with Jillian, as promised Teddy didn't open them. He knew that it was better if he didn't, knowing that he would drive himself insane knowing. He feared the worst.
The party seemed to drag on by for both Chris and Rita. As much as he appreciated the sentiment, all he wanted to do was spend his last moments with his best friend. Knowing he had to say goodbye to her the next day. Their constant presence in the passing week had strengthened their bond with each other. It made the thought of having to be apart even harder than what it already was. Chris said his goodbye to the Lipshitz that night. It was harder than he could ever imagine. As he stared at the two people who had been more of parents to him than his own, he felt the overwhelming feeling of loss. As Harry and Fran hugged him goodbye he made them promise to take care of Rita. To make sure that she was okay. Harry and Fran nodded through their tears feeling as though they were losing their own son.
The drive back to Rita's apartment was silent. Rita didn't know what to say to him. All she knew was that there was a hole in her heart that seemed to be getting wider and wider as time approached for them to part. Instead of going straight home Rita drove to the beach. Chris glanced up and smiled. It was exactly where he wanted to be with her, one last time. They walked to their spot in each other's arms. Chris sat down and guided Rita to sit in front of him between his legs. Rita leaned back and closed her eyes. She couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be like without him. It felt like he was abandoning her. Rita sat up and leaned forward, breaking free from his embrace. The hurt of him leaving her began to resurface. She had spent the whole week ignoring the feeling, keeping the promise she made to herself that they were going to part at the best of terms. But it wasn't as simple as that, moments away from his departure. Surprised Chris watched her whole body tense up. He leaned forward and wrapped his arms around her again.
"I'm sorry Sam. I know it feels like I'm abandoning you, and I hate myself for it. But I'm not. I am always with you. I am still a phone call away. I promise, I will always be here for you." he whispered against her cheek. He noticed the tears that began to slide down from her eyes and all he could do was hold her tighter. "No matter where you are, no matter what you're doing and how you're doing. I will always be there for you. I told you that once before and I am telling you that again."
"And I told you that as long as we keep holding onto each other, we wouldn't drift too far. But Chris you moving to Boston isn't exactly holding onto each other." she replied sadly.
"Oh Sam, just because we won't be able to do it physically doesn't mean we aren't doing it in our hearts. I know I will. You're a part of me. You'll always have a piece of me, just as I know I will always have a piece of you. Closeness resides in the heart, and by the strength of our feelings. You're my best friend Sam. That will never change." Rita didn't respond. She sat there and tried to believe in the words he offered.
When they returned to Rita's apartment they watched 'Casablanca' one last time. They were lying down on Rita's couch in each other's arms. Rita's head rested against Chris's chest. Throughout the night Chris would plant kisses on top of Rita's head. Just before sunrise Rita looked up at Chris who had fallen asleep, she played with his chin until he woke up. When he did he looked down and smiled at her. He kissed her forehead and waited for what she wanted to say.
"I'll always take a piece of you with me." She said the words so simply but it meant the world to Chris to know that she wasn't closing the door. "I love you Chris. I want you to be happy." As she said the words she could feel his strong arms around her tightening.
"I love you too Rita. I always will. I want you to be happy too."
The rest of their morning was spent getting ready for the airport. His flight was just after lunch. They decided to have lunch at the airport while they waited for his flight. When his flight was called, a sound escaped from Rita's lips. It was horror, inclination to beg for him to stay, and sadness all rolled into one. Chris was at her side immediately embracing her.
"Hey, we'll be okay. I promise. You know I'm only a phone call away." Rita tried to nod but the tears prevented her from doing much. Chris' tears were pouring too as he said goodbye to the one person who he truly loved more than life itself. The thought of leaving her brought on such an empty feeling. Regretfully they pulled away from each other. Chris planted a kiss on her lips before whispering an, I love you as he began to make his way to the plane. Rita mouthed the words back and watched him walk out of her life.
Rita had little time before she had to check in to her flight too. She quickly ran back to her jeep and grabbed her overnight bag before entering the plane that led her to what was destined. An hour later she was greeted at the airport by Mary Beth and Teddy. A look of worry passed between them as Rita came out of the plane. Her eyes were puffy and red. She looked like she hadn't slept in days. More than anything they hated to see the emptiness in her eyes. She was pulled into an embrace by Mary Beth who held her safely in her arms, feeling overly emotional Rita began to cry again, she cried for the loss of her best friend. She cried for the sudden feeling of being alone. It was all so scary all of a sudden. She was staying with The Reed's in the duration of time that she was staying. When they got there Teddy insisted on opening her results the following day. Exhausted Rita didn't bother arguing. At that point she didn't know what to feel. From the moment Rita arrived at the Reed household she slept till the next morning. When she woke up she felt disoriented not knowing what day it was. She found the towel they left for her and took a quick shower. When she came back to the room her cell phone was ringing.
"Hello" she answered.
"Sam, where the hell have you been. I've been calling you since I got here and nobody's answering at your apartment or here on your cell phone. Where the hell are you?" he asked. Rita let out a little laugh.
"I was sleeping. I haven't had much sleep this week you know." she teased. They joked around for a little while and made sure they mentioned how much they missed each other. After a few more minutes Rita told him he better go and get himself settled. He was going to work for Boston PD the following Monday.
"It sure will feel weird not being partners anymore. I don't trust anyone to watch my back, the way I trust you," he said to her.
"I know, me too. So be nice to your new partner," she said lightly.
"I don't trust anyone to watch your back but me."
"Yeah, but we have to start trusting other people Chris. Things have changed. You're going to have to start trusting somebody there. Your life depends on them," she said reasonably.
"Is it that easy for you?" he asked in a hurt tone. Rita let out a sigh.
"What kind of question is that Christopher?"
"A dumb one. Sorry Sam. I just miss you."
"It's okay. I miss you too, but...."
"I know, I know, we have to start getting used to the change." he interrupted completing her sentence. After a few more minutes they put the phone down. Rita headed downstairs and found Teddy and Mary Beth sitting in the dining table reading the newspaper.
"Sleeping Beauty awakens" Teddy teased, earning a light smack from his wife.
"You guys should have woken me."
"No way." Mary Beth exclaimed,
"You needed the rest."
The three of them talked during breakfast. Rita noticed that they were all avoiding the purpose of her visit.
"Come on you guys, pretending isn't going to make it go away. Teddy, do you have the results here?" she asked. Teddy nodded and got up from his chair and grabbed an A4 envelope that sat on wall cabinet behind them.
Mary Beth stood behind Rita's chair, offering support in case needed. Rita played with the thread from the table cloth as she watched Teddy's hands shake as he opened the envelope. Rita watched his facial expression as he read. She saw his face falter, as he looked up at her he didn't need to confirm her worst fears had been realized.
"Oh my God." Rita said stunned, as it slowly began to sink in.
"I'm sorry honey." Teddy said to her, anguish filled his voice. It was like Samantha all over again. Mary Beth kept her arms around Rita as she began to ask questions.
"What now? Surgery?" Teddy shook his head. Pancreatic Cancer was inoperable. Her best chance was radiation. The tumor was still quite small, he hoped that that would help fight the odds they had to face. As Rita realized there wasn't much they could do, she began to shake. What was going to happen now?
"Rita, don't give up yet. I want you to try radiation therapy. Your tumor is still quite small, I'm hoping that because of its size we can treat it. So don't give into this. Fight. You hear me, you fight." All Rita could do was nod. She couldn't even speak. She was determined to fight, but what if she lost? Then what? Things seemed to move so quickly after that. Rita went back to Palm Beach to face Harry and tell him the results. Rita decided to have her treatment at Teddy's hospital mainly because she didn't want to change physicians. Teddy referred Rita to his colleague. Dr. Manning was to be Rita's oncologist but Teddy was the one who would take care of her.
Alexandra Manning had been friends with Theodore Reed since she had treated his daughter Samantha. Alex knew the devastation Teddy went through when he lost his daughter. Now as she watched him with Rita he could see the direction he was headed. He was too close to it, and Alex could understand why. The similarities between Rita and Sam were nerve racking.
"Teddy, you're too close to this one," she said to him giving him a friendly pat on the hand. While Alex took care of Sam, she had grown close to the whole Reed family. She knew how much Sam and her Father meant to each other.
"I know Alex. I can't help it."
"You're not going to get Sam back through her." Teddy hung his head.
When Rita got arrived back at Palm Beach she went straight to the Lipshitz household. As soon as Harry saw her face he knew what she had to tell him. Without a word Harry pulled her into his fatherly arms and hugged her. She spent a few hours there talking to Harry about her plans. She would spend the duration of the chemo with Teddy and Mary Beth during the week. Then go home afterwards to Palm Beach till treatment starts at the beginning of the week again. The course of treatment lasts 6 weeks, it'll be after the 6 weeks that they find out once and for all where they stand. On the way home from the Lipshitz house Rita drove to the beach. She felt closest to Chris there. She missed him terribly and wished that he was with her. She imagined that he was busy getting ready for his new life. She sighed with sadness. Her thoughts were interrupted, by the ringing of her phone.
"Hello" she answered expecting it to be Teddy or Mary Beth checking up on her.
"Are you ever home?" he asked her. Rita smiled as she heard his voice. It had only been days since he left, but it seemed forever to her.
"Where are you?" he asked. Rita looked at the ocean remembering their times together.
"At the beach."
"Sam, it's almost 10. What are you doing there?" he asked worried. He didn't like her being alone at the beach at that hour. Actually he didn't like her alone at all. Rita shrugged off his concern with a laugh. Chris picked up on the phoniness of her laugh. He also knew that Rita only went to the beach when she was worried about something.
"Spill it Sam." he said.
"Spill what?" she asked innocently.
"Why you're there. I know something's bothering you. That's the only reason why you go to the beach. It must be big if it's got you there at this hour. I know how you value your sleep." he teased.
"It's nothing. I was just on my way home from Harry and Fran's and I was driving pass so I thought hey why not. Besides I miss you. I feel closer to you here than anywhere else." Rita hoped that would take his focus away from being suspicious.
"I miss you too Sammy. I wish I could be there with you."
"Where's Jillian?" she asked changing the subject. She didn't want to get into the whole thing again.
"She started her shift today. Night shift would you believe."
"How's the baby?" for the first time Rita inquired.
"Okay I guess."
It was then a sudden cloud seemed to have parked itself over their head, the wounds were still fresh and as much as Rita hated to admit it, she was uncomfortable discussing his unborn child.
"Listen Sam, I better go and head home. I have an early day tomorrow and so do you." Rita suggested after a moment of silence. Reluctantly Chris agreed. He didn't want her hanging out at the beach at that hour.
"Okay, talk to you tomorrow Sam. Love you." Rita felt her heart melt into his words.
"Love you too Sam. Take Care and have a great first day tomorrow." Not waiting for an answer Rita hung up. They both had a big day tomorrow. Alex and Teddy had scheduled her first chemo the following afternoon. Fran insisted on driving her and being with her for her first one. When Rita got home she packed up her clothes for the next week and prepared herself. Alex had warned her of what to expect and she wasn't looking forward to it.
After her treatment Fran drove her to Teddy and Mary Beth's place, where the couple were waiting for her. Rita couldn't describe what she felt. She felt exhausted that she knew. As she was settling down into the guestroom her cell phone rang. She knew it would Chris and demanded to answer it even through their protests.
"Hello" As soon as he heard her voice he grew worried.
"You okay Sam?" he asked.
"Yeah, just a touch of the flu. Nothing to worry about. Enough about me, how was your first day?"
"Are you sure you're okay." he insisted.
"Yes, now tell me." She tried to concentrate on what Chris was saying. Making sure she made sounds where necessary. He sounded as though he was going to be okay in his new precinct. As much as it hurt Rita knew he would be fine without her.
"I miss you Sam," he said detecting her negative thoughts.
"Yeah me too." she replied
"I wish I could come over and make you some chicken soup."
"You and me both Partner" she said closing her eyes and resting her throbbing head against the pillow. As soon as she put the phone down she reached for the bucket that Teddy provided by her bed. Fran held her head up as she lived through the after effects of chemotherapy.
The next few weeks were the worst Rita has ever lived through. Fran and Harry watched in horror, as they witnessed Rita's torment. They both wanted to call Chris and tell him to get his butt back in Palm Beach but Rita wouldn't have it. After the first week Chris could barely find the time to call. Between Jillian's needs and the demands of his new job, the time to call Rita became less and less. Though Rita understood she couldn't help but feel neglected. She knew that she wanted him to go on with his life. She just found it hard to accept that he did it so quickly. Chris felt frustrated not being able to call Rita. Every time he had the time it would be late at night and he didn't know what to say to her. As much as the call would have been worth it just to hear her voice, it was beginning to feel uncomfortable. When he called her late at night she was already in bed and tired. He could feel the distance that was coming between them and he felt helpless. He felt her slipping away from him knowing that she was beginning to think that he had abandoned her. Rita was on her way to the hospital for her last week of chemo, when her cell phone began to ring.
"Hey Fran, I'm on my way already, and I'll be fine" she said keeping her eyes on the road. Fran was worried about her driving all that way by herself, knowing that Rita was anxious about the results.
"On your way where?" he asked. Rita's whole body tensed up as silent filled the car. She stopped the car on the curb and stared helplessly at the phone. It had been awhile since she had spoken to him. It had been weeks since she'd stopped taking his calls that were basically filled silences. Every time he called she would hand Fran or Harry the phone.
"Sam..." he pleaded. Rita sighed.
"Yeah. What's up?"
"I just wanted to see how you are?" Chris stammered. There was an edge to her voice he had never heard before.
"I'm okay." she answered with no emotion. She wasn't up to having a conversation with anyone. Him most of all. She could no longer hide the anger that had erupted within her and the hurt that surfaced from it.
“Look Chris it may be a convenient time for you, but it isn’t a convenient time for me. Now, if you don’t mind I have somewhere to be.” As the words flew out of her mouth Rita knew that it would hurt him. She almost regretted saying them, but a bigger part of her was so angry that she didn’t want to care. Before Chris could respond she hung up on him. As Chris heard the other line cut off his heart sank. Could he ever gain her trust again? Could he ever have her in his arms again? Chris sighed and hung up the pay phone and sat down.
“Flight 117 to Palm Beach now boarding.” Chris picked up his duffel bag and headed for the plane.
The tears that flowed from Rita’s eyes almost blinded her as she drove. “Why did he have to call, why now after all these weeks? Why did I have to be the one to pick up the phone?” Rita grumbled to herself annoyed. She thought she had finally accepted reality and let him go. Now after one phone call it seemed like she was back to square one. As soon as she walked into Teddy’s office she flopped herself down on his couch and tried to regain her composure as Teddy watched her from his desk, concerned. In the weeks together he had gotten to know Rita quite well, and finally Rita knew about Sam. Mary Beth had confided in her about the loss they felt when they lost their daughter, for a while there Teddy was afraid to tell Rita about Sam in case she felt as though she was living out somebody’s ghost. He admitted to himself that at first it seemed that way, but as they got to know Rita even more, there was so much more to her. She was definitely an extraordinary person.
“You wanna talk about it? Or do you just want me to ignore the fact that you practically broke my door down and threw yourself on my couch?” Rita looked at him surprised. She was so angry she didn’t realize that he was sitting there. She saw that even though his face was serious there was a twinkle in his eye that brought her to laughter.
“Sorry Ted. Having one of those days,” She said to him apologetically. Teddy got up from his chair and approached her sitting down at the foot of the couch.
“You okay?” Rita nodded.
“I will be. Hey, I’m ready for my last week treatment. Let’s get it over and done with shall we?” Teddy stood up and held a hand out to her to help her up. He placed an arm around her as they walked out of his office to start her last week of physical torment.
As soon as he got off the plane Chris headed for the Palm Beach P.D. knowing that everyone was there. He had a lot of explaining to do. He hoped that the day would come when Rita would forgive him. He walked in and his eyes scanned the room for his partner and found that she wasn’t there. As his eyes fell to the joint desks that they once shared, he realized that both desks were empty. Rita’s small sentiments no longer sat on the table. The photo she kept of the both of them in a small frame, small little keepsakes from all the years no longer cluttered the table. What he saw was two empty desks. His mind began to race. Wanting to know what happened and wanted to know where she was. On his way out of the office Harry looked up to find Chris standing by the door in a state of shock as he stared at the desk he once shared with his partner. Harry was the only one who knew that Chris was arriving. Chris had called him from the airport too. Harry silently motioned Chris to his office. It was time for Chris to know, but he wasn’t going to tell him. The only thing he could do was lead Chris to the truth.
Harry didn’t say anything as Chris followed him into his office. All he did was write down the address of where she would be. Chris looked at him appreciatively and gave Harry a hug before running out to find his Sam.
Hours later Chris found himself in front of a Colonial style house. He wondered whose front door he was staring at but he didn’t care. As long as Rita was on the other side of the door, it didn’t matter. Chris was shocked to see Mary Beth when the door opened.
“Chris” she exclaimed shocked. Rita had just arrived with Teddy, they didn’t make it as far as the bedroom. Thankfully they made it into the bathroom where Teddy was holding Rita’s head up. The treatment that morning put a strain on Rita. She felt worse than she did before.
“Mary Beth” he said just as surprised. Mary Beth looked at him uncomfortably, glancing behind her from time to time.
“Sorry Chris, I was just shocked to see you. Come on in.” At that very same moment Chris heard Rita cry with agony. Instinctively he ran to follow the sound of her voice. Mary Beth tried to protest but to no avail. Chris stood at the bathroom door and stopped still when he saw her. She was slumped against the toilet, Teddy trying to hold her up. Chris watched in horror. Rita’s long dark curls were now replaced by wisps of hair that was covered by a brightly colored bandana. Her rosy cheeks were now pale and her eyes seemed dark and empty. Chris wanted to run to her and throw her arms around her and tell her everything was going to be okay. But his feet couldn’t move. Teddy looked up at him. The distraught in his eyes were evident. He signalled Mary Beth to take him to the living room. Almost in a catatonic state Chris let Mary Beth lead him to the living room. Rita who was almost unconscious thought that she was dreaming when she saw Chris.
“Teddy this chemo stuffs up the mind. I’m starting to hallucinate.” She said to him as he helped her into bed.
“Shh, get some rest. You can tell me all about it later.” Rita was about to protest when her eyes closed. Teddy knew then that she was fast asleep. He left the bucket by her bed and went to see how Chris was doing.
He found Mary Beth sitting with Chris while he sat there not saying a word. He was shaking his head angrily. He wanted to know what was going on, but he couldn’t find the words.
“Chris lets take a walk.” Chris followed, as Teddy let him out. They walked to the park in silence. It took awhile before Chris broke the silence.
“What happened?” he asked.
“Do you remember the weekend she left after she found out about you moving to Boston?” Chris nodded. How could he possibly forget?
“Well she went for a long drive to think and she ended up at a motel 10 minutes away from here. Chris, Rita and I met when she was taken into emergency room at the County hospital.” Chris’ head remained lowered as Teddy continued.
“She was screaming from pain that came from her lower back. The pain was so intense that the motel manager and his wife brought her to the emergency room. I haven’t to be on there that night and I treated her. We ran tests and we couldn’t find anything. So I convinced her to have an Ultrasound that afternoon. I found a mass on her pancreas and I scheduled a biopsy the next day. The reason why Mary Beth and I were at Palm Beach those couple of days was because we drove Rita home. She insisted on going home and I didn’t want her to drive home, so Mary Beth and I convinced her into letting us drive her back.”
“Why didn’t she call me? I would have been here in a heartbeat.”
“She knew that Chris. That’s why she never told you. She wanted you to go with Jillian because you had already made that decision. She knew if you knew that there were any possibility, that she was sick, you wouldn’t leave.” It was then Chris began to piece it all together. The silent conversation that went on between Mary Beth, Teddy and Rita. From time to time he even caught Cap and Fran doing it too. “After she put you on a plane to Boston, she got on a plane to come here, where her results were waiting. She made me promise not to open them so neither of one of us knew. She was so adamant about not wanting to know till you were gone. When she arrived she was so distraught about you leaving that she slept for about 16 hours. After she woke up we opened her results and found that the tumor was benign. That night she went home to tell your Captain and the following day she was scheduled for her first course of treatment. No matter how sick she was, she wanted to be the one who answered the phone when you called so you wouldn’t be worried. She looked forward to your calls daily.” Teddy stopped himself.
“Then I stopped calling.” He said finishing Teddy’s thoughts.
“Chris she knew you had to move on. She counted on it. She told me what she said to you this morning and she felt bad about it, knowing that you must be busy with your new life with Jillian.”
Chris was overwhelmed with guilt and anger directed at himself. If he wasn’t so self absorbed he would have seen it. What was worse he practically deserted her.
“Chris there was no way you could have known. She didn’t want you to know and she made a point that you wouldn’t find out. Believe me, you couldn’t have known.”
Teddy’s words remained unheard. Teddy could see that Chris was crucifying himself.
“Can I sit with her?” as though he was asking for permission he didn’t need.
“Sure. Come on.”
By the time that they arrived back to the house Rita had showered and gone back to bed. Teddy realized that they had been gone for quite some time.
“How is she?” he asked his wife.
“Exhausted. She took a quick shower hoping to feel better. Then she went back to bed. You can go see if she’s awake if you want?” She said to Chris giving him an encouragingly smile. Chris nodded and went upstairs. He found Rita fast asleep. He sat beside her on the bed and brushed the hair away from her face. He planted a kiss softly against her temples as continued to stroke her hair.
“Looks like I messed up big time huh Sam? I ignore you for weeks and get all jumpy when you’re around because I know I’m lying to you. I then tell you that I love you finally. After all these years of being a coward and within the 24 hours I manage to blow the trust between us when you find out what I have been hiding and that after telling you I love you. I was moving to Boston with Jillian, within the week. Some friend I turned out to be.” He said bitterly. “If that wasn’t enough I happen to overlook the fact that you were having all these back pains that I had managed to not see because I was so self absorbed about my dilemma. If to make things worse. I leave you alone to fight the biggest battle of your life. While you fight I stop calling, because once again I was being self absorbed. I’m sorry Sam. I am so sorry.” Chris broke down crying. Rita turned around and placed a hand on his cheek. She had woken up when he entered the room. She just didn’t know what to say to him.
“It’s okay Chris.”
“No it’s not.”
“Yes it is. This was something I guess I had to go through on my own. Everything happens for a purpose. Yes it hurt when it seemed as though you had abandoned me. Only because I had gotten so used to you being there all the time. That was wrong because nothing lasts forever. I was being selfish because I wanted you all to myself. But that can’t be.”
“Yes, it can and yes it should be. Sam, it’s always been you.” Rita looked at him. He wasn’t listening to what she was saying. She was trying to tell him that it was okay that he be with Jillian. At the same time Rita wasn’t listening to what he was trying to say.
“Sam why are you here?” she asked him. Curious to who ratted on her. As if to read her thoughts he answered.
“No one ratted on you Sam. I came back to Palm Beach and I headed straight for PBPD. Imagine my surprise to see that our desks were empty. Harry called me into his office and handed me a piece of paper with Teddy’s address, but I didn’t know that at the time. He didn’t tell me a thing. When I got here I heard you scream so I ran to you and found you in the bathroom.”
“So I wasn’t hallucinating?” Chris shook his head and continued.
“After a little while Teddy took me for a walk and told me everything. I’m sorry Sam. For not being here.” It pained Rita to see the agony he was putting himself through.
“You’re here now and that’s all that matters.” Chris pulled her into his arms and held her tightly.
“Now tell me why are you here?” she asked again. Chris let out a huge sigh.
“When I called you this morning I was already at the airport, on my way back?”
“No Sam. For good, I shouldn’t have left in the first place.” Rita broke free from his embrace and sat up to look at him as he began to explain. “I moved to Boston with Jillian because Jillian was pregnant and I had a responsibility to her and our unborn child. When Jillian was promoted she knew that there was no way I would go to Boston with her. Unless, there was something so important that I would have to go with her. That’s where the baby comes in. Jillian isn’t pregnant. I became suspicious when she was supposed to be a few months pregnant and she wasn’t even showing. Then one day I found hormone pills in her bag, you know the kind helps you ovulate. Anyway, I didn’t know that at the time so I asked Frannie what those pills were for and she told me. I confronted her about them and she tried to lie but in the end she admitted that she was never pregnant. She said that she just wanted to be with me and she knew while we lived in Palm Beach she could never have me to herself. She knew that I was in love with you. By bringing me to Boston she hoped that I would fall in love with her, using the baby as a starting point. As soon as I found out what she did I packed up, called you from the airport and then called Cap. I’m sorry Sam.” Rita looked horrified that anybody could be so deceitful. “Sam I want you to know that nothing happened between me Jillian. From the moment I knew it was you, nothing has ever happened.” Rita watched Chris’ eyes fill with tears. “I love you Sam,”
“Oh Chris...” Rita wanted to say the words back but she couldn’t. Her future was determined by a piece of paper that states whether or not she lives or dies. How could she tell Chris she loves him only to have to leave him in the end? Without saying a word Rita took him into her arms and held him as he broke down.
“Sam, it’s okay.” Chris lay beside her resting his head against her stomach as she played with his hair with her fingers. Chris fell asleep moments later. Exhausted from everything that he learned. Rita stared at him as he slept. He was breathing heavily and was in a state of deep sleep.
It wasn’t fair. Now that she had a chance to be with him, her life is hanging in a balance. She wasn’t sure what the piece of paper would say in a week as she sits in Alexandra Manning’s office.
Rita carefully got up and left Chris sleeping on her bed. Teddy looked up surprised that she was out of bed. She looked better than what she looked like hours before.
“You okay?” he asked.
“I finally have what I want and now I’m not sure if I have the time to actually appreciate and enjoy it.” As she said the words Rita began to cry uncontrollably. “I think it was better when we didn’t have a chance. Having to leave would be much easier.” What teddy did next surprised Rita. He grabbed her by both shoulders and shook her gently.
“You’re not going anywhere. You’re the strongest person I have ever met. Through it all you fought, and not once have I seen you ever feel sorry for yourself. Don’t start to falter now when you have something more to fight for.”
His words left her shocked, as she looked into his eyes the pain the lingered from the death of his daughter stared into her eyes. Teddy didn’t want to lose Rita. He couldn’t begin to imagine losing her. Rita fell limp into his arms as she buried her face against his chest. Teddy held Rita in his arms as she tried to compose herself.
"Look the battle hasn't been lost. In a lot of ways it's just beginning. Don't waste your time thinking you're going to lose everything anyway. That would be an even bigger mistake."
"What if..." she began but Teddy silenced her.
"If the time comes the you live out your life without hesitation. No regrets! You deserve all life has to offer and take it. Not because you may or may not die, everyone will die at one time. Live your life to the fullest because that's what you're supposed to do. God gave you a very special gift Rita. He gave you friends who love you dearly and through it all, you have never really been alone. If you die tomorrow, you know that your life meant something. To a lot of people! A lot of people die not knowing that Rita, and you know it in your heart. Don't give up the fight because you feel like you've been cheated, because you haven't. Every day we get, is one more than we deserve." Rita looked up at him, love could be clearly seen in both their eyes.
"Thank you" it was so simple yet her face said so much more. She knew that if things were to turn for the worst, she would live with no regrets.
For the next few days it was Chris who went through the ordeal with Rita. Getting her to and from and dealing with the after effects Chemotherapy had on her. His heart broke every time he saw her wince with pain. He never thought it could be possible but as day passed he loved her more and more. Instead of going back to Palm Beach after her treatment she and Chris decided to stay until Rita got the results. She had an appointment with Dr. Manning Monday morning. Chris offered to go with her but she refused. Rita saw the look of hurt that crossed him face and placed a hand on his leg.
"Please understand" Chris nodded and tried. He knew that her reasons were valid and respected them. He took comfort in knowing that she wouldn't be alone, Teddy would be with her as her Doctor. On the weekend before the results Harry and Fran drove up. Even though they had planned to stay at a hotel Teddy and Mary Beth insisted that they stay with them. Teddy knew that however which way it turns out Rita would need support. After everyone had gone to bed Chris and Rita decided to go for a walk. Hand in hand they roamed the streets in silence. When they reached the park Rita sat down on the swing as Chris stood behind her and gently pushed.
"Sam, if I'm going to die...." But Chris tried to stop her
"Shh, Sam. You're not going to..."
"Christopher, hear me out." Chris nodded and sat on the swing beside her.
"Chris, whatever happens tomorrow I want you to know I have no regrets. I know you feel bad for the time we lost, but Chris think of what we've had. Most people don't even get a glimpse of what we've shared let along be a part of it. If Alex tells me my time is up then it is. It doesn't mean that I'm giving up, it just means I have to try harder and make sure that I live each day without reservation or hesitation. I love you Sam. I always have and I always will. I hope that after tomorrow we can pick up where we left off that night at the beach." Chris' eyes lit up at the suggestion and Rita had to laugh at the cheeky grin that had formed.
"You sure you're up to that Sam?" he teased.
"Ha! Are you up to the challenge?" she threw back. Chris stood up and pulled her towards him. He drew near till they were face to face.
"You bet I am Sam." Before she could respond Chris closed her mouth with his. Rita's arms wrapped themselves around his head as she buried her face against his neck.
"Oh and Sam, I love you too." he said whispering in her ear. Tickled by his soft breath against her ear she squirmed a little. It felt good to be in his arms again. After everything, they survived and a piece of paper can never take away what they had. If they had to, they will part, but not without a fight.
The next morning they sat around the breakfast table in a solemn mood. Rita was almost amused by their somberness.
"You guys, we don't know anything yet. Smile!" She said trying to make light of the situation. Chris walked them to the car, Fran, Harry, Chris and Mary Beth were going to stay home and wait, while Teddy and Rita see Alex. Chris held her outside the car for a long time.
"I love you" she whispered. She could feel the fear setting in within her and she didn't want any of them to see it.
"I love you too. I'll be right here when you come back." Rita nodded and got it the car. It had taken them so long to get to where they were. After so many obstacles they finally reached their time. No matter what happened with the results, it no longer mattered because they had finally found the right time for both of them. It wasn't because they both no longer had partners, it was because they were both ready to accept that with loving each other came a whole list of other things. They both understood that a situation doesn't have to perfect as long as the feeling was right. For the first time they took the chance without a thought. Following their hearts as they should have time and time before. The timing was perfect because it came without thought, nor conditions. No matter what they would follow through.
The car ride between Teddy and Rita was quiet for most of the twenty minute ride to Alex's office.
"Teddy, if...and I know you don't want to hear this, but if things do head for the worst. Will you and Mary Beth help take care of Chris? I mean I know Fran and Cap will, but a couple of extra pair of arms wouldn't hurt." Teddy gave Rita's hand a squeeze.
"You know we would," he said reassuringly.
"Teddy, if they are for the worst I have to do it right."
"Do what right?" he asked confused.
"Let go." She said quietly. Rita could feel the tears that were threatening to fall.
"I don't want him to ever think that there was something he could have said, or done, or what he didn't. I can't let him do that to himself and I won't."
Rita looked out the window as she spoke the last words. Teddy could see the determination on her face and hear it in her voice. All he could do was pray, pray that she be okay. That she has a chance to share her remarkableness, so anyone who meet her can benefit from just knowing her. Every life that Rita touched became more than what it was.
Rita fidgeted as they waited for Alex to walk through the door. Teddy could now clearly see the fear that Rita felt. It was evident in her eyes. She was scared. When Alex walked in the room Teddy stood up to greet her and placed himself behind Rita. As she sat he stood behind her offering a hand to hold onto. Rita smiled in appreciation and took it. Rita bit her lower lip as Alex told her the results. When she finished Rita looked up at Teddy, her eyes begged for his confirmation that she heard what she heard. She couldn't believe it. Teddy pulled Rita into his arms as they both began to cry. Rita told him that she wanted to go home and he nodded. Rita gave Alex a small smile before leaving her office. Rita's mind buzzed. She didn't know how to tell Chris, all she knew was that she wanted to be with the people she loved, who loved her. As they were pulling into the driveway they saw Chris, Fran, Harry and Mary Beth run out. All four faces looked at them expectantly. Chris opened the door for her and helped her out of the car. Without a word Rita threw her arms around Chris and began to cry as she spoke.
"It's gone. It's all gone!"
I don't own any of the characters from the show Silk Stalkings,and you know who they are.Elisa
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