It Takes All Kinds

part 5

by Ri

Please see part one for all disclaimers.

Liz was well out of sight and Toni was leaning against the wall of the entrance to the store. She felt pretty secure since she was in a public place out side of Penneyís and Liz was within a few feet in her hidden in a space just inside the door.

Jeanís eyes sparkled with glee upon seeing that her target was all alone. The tall, dangerous, harpy wasnít with the blonde beauty. She smiled and rubbed her hands together inanticipation of having her way with the young woman. She approached her with a large smile on her face, she was so sure she would meet no interference.

"Hello dear."

Toni turned and smiled sweetly, in an automatic gesture. It was a protective mechanism she picked up long ago. She knew if she smiled at a stranger they were less likely to hurt her physically or emotionally. In Jeanís case though, the smile was due to stress, she felt it and so could do nothing about it. She knew that it was a wrong move but she could no more stop that smile then stop breathing so she decided to go with the flow.

Liz was just inside the door watching everything movement that was going on outside. She shook her head at seeing Toni smile, ĎThat woman would smile at a rattlesnakeí she thought with affection and wonder at the blonde's good nature. Every inch of her was ready to be beside her love in a moments notice,íJust in case

Jean walked up to Toni and said, "You look as pretty as a picture."

Toni tensed; Jean had never been so forward with her before.

"Thanks. Whats up?" She asked trying to unobtrusively get away from the scary woman. She backed up till she was against the glass barrier between herself and Liz.

Jean approached closer, joyfully blocking off all ways of possible escape for her intended victim.

"I need your help, Toni."

"With what?"

"Iím in real trouble."


"And I really..." She now slowly put a hand on each side of the young woman and leaned in very close so their heads were a breath apart, "I want you exclusively."

Toni fidgeted trying hard to appear as calm as she could, "Excuse me?"

Jean cocked her head and had smug expression on her face and a crazy glint in her eyes as she replied breathing heavily on her face, "I want you all....Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

She was suddenly pulled off the young woman and flung across to the other side of the entrance of the store. Jean, of course knew who her attacker was before she rolled over to face the tall, dark haired woman.

What she didnít expect was the womanís strength or the rage she would face as she looked into Lizís furious ice blue eyes.

Liz had placed herself between Toni and her attacker. She was in her most dangerous mode; that of a lioness protecting a loved one. Jean had not expected that but she was ready to fight for what was her property.

"How dare you come between me and what's mine you nothing?!" She spat in outrage as she circled her target.

"I may be nothing but this young woman prefers my company to yours. So save yourself from being made a fool of and leave now with your dignity in tact." She knew that the woman was too far gone to act rationally but she had to give one more try for Toniís sake.

"Me, you think you can beat me? I think not!!" Jean replied. She laughed hysterically making Toni cringe behind Lizís back.

Liz shook her head sadly at the insane woman getting ready to attack her. She looked completely at ease but Liz knew that she had ten times the lunatic's skills. She tried once more to reach any reason that glittered behind the insane black eyes before her.

"Give it up, Jean. Donít be a fool. I can take you down very easily." She replied quietly to the angry woman before her. Toni was now able to follow her instructions. She ran as fast as she was able to the security station just inside the mall entrance from Penneyís. Then she rushed back to the hiding place Liz had found her. She could see everything outside but not be seen but the raging maniac she watched attack Liz.

Jean was just launching a flying kick which wasnít too bad but Liz easily deflected it. Suddenly Jean had a knife in her hand which she attacked Liz with but it was clumsily done and Liz again side stepped this attack with practiced ease. Just as Jean tried to strike out at Liz with the knife again she was taken down by security.

"You handled her very well Maíam. You must have some excellent training." The security officer said with admiration in her voice.

"Yep, Iím an insurance investigator. Have the police been called?"

"Yes Maíam, theyíre on their way."

"An insurance investigator? But you said..." Jean cried looking accusingly at Toni who was hugging Liz and making sure the investigator was all right.

"She said that I was her friend, and she didnít lie. She is and will always be my best friend...."

"But you werenít then...." She said crying as she struggled with security. They subdued her and took her to await the arrival of the police inside the security office.

"Oh yes I was, from the moment that I laid eyes on her."

* * * * * *

They were at home in the peace and quiet. Toni was in their room trying to recover from the shock of watching her former neighbor turn into a raging lunatic. Liz was deep into her research of Jennifer Harrison. The investigation of Jean this afternoon had left her troubled. Her instincts were kicking her in the gut telling herthat Jean was involved in the car jackings too. Liz was annoyed at herself becauseshe couldnít put her finger on exactly how the lunatic was involved. ĎShe is not the brains of this Iím sure of that.í She thought to herself her lip curling into an ironic smile.

Toni watched Liz silently from the doorway. She looked liked a teenager cramming for finals. It was amazing to her how many faces this talented woman had. The most amazing thing of all was that all of Lizís skills were at her disposal any time, any place.

Liz looked up and her face immediately transformed from the intrepid investigator to her lover again, "Hi, how are you feeling?í

"Much better. What are you doing?"

"Iím just going through these reports so I can return the files tomorrow as promised."

"Can I help?"

Liz smiled brightly and nodded, "Iíd like that. Would you mind taking half of them? I need to go over each file with a fine tooth comb and if I do it all myself Iíll be up all night."

"Iíd be happy to. What exactly am I looking for?"

"Anything that stands out. Anything that makes you pause and say 'now that is interesting I need that', or 'oh that puts a new light on things I think Iíll jot it down'. Just anything that makes the lightbulb go off. Youíll need to follow your gut. Do you think that you can do that?" She asked the upset woman gently. Liz was concerned about Toniís reaction to Jeanís transformation, she seemed to have taken it as a personal lack of judgment.

It broke Lizís heart that this woman hurt Toniís confidence and she wanted to build that back up for her. It had to be done right though. She wanted Toni comfortable enough that she started to use her own judgment again and not worry about making mistakes.

Toni smiled and put her arm around Lizís shoulder, "Iím fine, Sweetheart. Really, I just shocked me. I...She....It wasnít what I...."

Suddenly two strong arms were around her waist and a little tug was felt as she suddenly was pulled into the taller womanís lap. Those warm arms rubbed her back as soft warm lips kissed her reassuringly.

When Toni calmed Liz pulled back and wiped her tears. Then she rubbed her cheek against Toniís and whispered, "You're fine. There is nothing wrong with you. You always see the best in people and there is nothing wrong with that...."

"But I should know when someone wants to hurt me..." She said quietly back as tears silently fell down her cheeks.

"I swear Toni, she would of fooled most people. My senses have been trained over many years....I.....well I feel evil, I know when someone has it. I know that sounds strange..."

"No, you're amazing. You inspire me." She hugged Liz possessively. "Thank you. I love you."

Liz hugged her back with the same need as Toni, "I love you too, with all my heart."

They kissed passionately then Toni said, "Lets get to work or we will be up all night."

Liz smiled back and replied with a twinkle in her blue eyes, "That wouldnít be so bad if we stay up all night for the right reasons."

Toni blushed and elbowed Liz gently in the stomach, "Come on sex maniac, work before play."

"Aw you're no fun," Liz said tickling Toni and making her laugh. It was just the medicine the smaller woman needed to start feeling like herself again.

To be continued....

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