Past and Present ~ part 7 (conclusion)

For disclaimers: see part one

An insistent ringing could be heard in the dark room, yet the sprawled form on the couch made no attempt to get up. Not a muscle moved as blue stared intently at the ceiling, focusing on nothing in particular, but reliving images from the past.

Sydney had been thinking about Kelly’s visit to her mom, acknowledging the fact that it was necessary to at least talk to her mother. ‘So she was right in that department,’ the woman snorted to herself.

Lifting her hand to take a sip of the bottle in her right hand, she frowned when the movement was hard to coordinate.

‘How much did I have already?’

After a mental shrug Sydney decided she didn’t care. ‘At least it’s helped get rid of that miserable feeling somewhat. I knew it would do that, I’ve got more than enough experience with that,’ she thought wryly, drowning the last drop and tossing the bottle in the direction of the trash can.

It fell on the ground with a dull thud and the tall women rose from the couch, wavering a bit before making her way into the kitchen to get another.

She passed the phone on the way back and, annoyed by the ringing all evening long, yanked the cord from the wall, greeting the sudden silence with a relieved


Flopping down on the sofa again, she turned on the TV, mindlessly flipping the channels while drinking bottle after bottle until she finally passed out.


Tamara worriedly glanced at her sister from the corner of her eye. The blonde was really stressing out at the moment, trying to reach the absent cop and blaming herself over and over for hurting the other woman.

When she couldn’t take it any longer, she forcefully removed the phone out of the blonde’s hand, stopping her protests by pulling her up and pushing her to the bed, meanwhile stating: "You’ve been trying to call non-stop for the last 2 hours. She’s either not there, is completely ignoring the phone or maybe she has pulled the plug. You look like you’re about to collapse any minute now, so get some rest."

"I can’t sleep anyway," Kelly protested in vain.

Tamara kept pushing until she had her sister lying on the bed. "Just lie still then, you’re not going to get anywhere this evening. Give Sydney some time to think and try to talk to her in the morning."

Bending down the brunette pressed a tender kiss on Kelly’s forehead, noting the still anxious expression she added: "Don’t worry, I know she’ll listen to you. I’ve seen her, she really loves you, Kels."

Closing the door, she missed the whispered reply: "That’s why I’m not so sure."


J kept banging on the door and ringing the bell, mumbling: "Come on Syd, open the damn door, you’ve got to be here!"

He had seen the bike outside and knew she was inside, he would have preferred to talk to her at a later time than 5 am in the morning, but they had a location for Thomas Shine and arrest teams were on their way. The dark cop came to get his partner, knowing she would want to make the arrest in person.

When the door finally flung open, he stared at the disheveled woman in shock. "Geesh, what have you done to yourself?" he exclaimed.

Waving him off, Sydney turned and stumbled back inside, occasionally using the wall as support. Collapsing on the couch again, she threw her arm over her eyes and grunted in reply: "Had a lousy evening. What are you doing here so early anyway?"

J had followed her inside and looked around disgustedly. Bottles were decorating the floor, the blinds were closed and the whole room smelled like someone died in it.

Hurriedly he strode over to the window to let fresh air inside. "Never mind," he answered.

"You’re not capable of anything right now anyway. I came to pick you up to go arrest Shine, but I’ll do it on my own."

Suddenly alert blue eyes fastened on the broad back, sitting up Sydney demanded a more detailed explanation.

J sighed and gave her the information she wanted, watching worriedly as she rose swiftly from the couch, swaying a bit, but still determined to go with him.

"I don’t know if that’s a smart idea," he offered gently. "You’re not really at your best right now," looking pointedly to her appearance.

Grabbing a clean shirt Sydney changed and turned focused eyes on her partner. "You just try and stop me!" she stated, striding past him to the patrol car outside, leaving him no other option than to follow her.

Shrugging he went after her and settled himself behind the wheel, knowing perfectly well he couldn’t stop her when she was in a mood like this. He just hoped he’d be able to keep her on the background.


Tamara stood in the door opening watching her restlessly sleeping sister. Kelly hadn’t been able to fall asleep until early in the morning and she hated to wake her up again. But J had sounded urgent, so she gently shook the sleeping blond.

The slightest touch caused green eyes to open, glancing around in a confused manner before settling on her sister.

"There’s a phone call for you. It’s J," Tamara added after seeing the hopeful expression cross the blonde’s face.

Kelly brushed her hands over her face and picked up the receiver besides her bed.

Seeing the shock on Kelly’s features, Tamara got on the bed with her and wrapped her arms around her sister, trying to listen in to the conversation.

She could feel the blonde tremble in her arms and sobs escaped as she could barely make out: "What happened?….When…How is she?"

After thanking J, Kelly hung up the phone and turned around, crying uncontrollably in the brunette’s arms.

A few minutes later she pulled back, scrambling off of the bed and throwing on the nearest clothes she could find. Tamara looked on in confusion, finally halting her sister by barking: "Hold up! What’s going on here and where are you going?"

Kelly looked at her as if she hadn’t even known she was there. "Sydney has been injured during an arrest, she’s in the hospital at the moment. I’m going over there," she replied absently, putting on her shoes while she spoke.

"Oh my God!" Tamara gasped. "Hold on, I’m coming with you."

She got ready while Kelly called for a cab, pacing across the room, impatiently waiting for it to arrive. Within half an hour the siblings were on their way to the hospital.


Weary blue eyes looked around the room, seeing a sparsely decorated room filled with a bed and equipment. Glancing down her body and noticing the bandages on her left shoulder, along with the white sheets and tube that led from her arm made Sydney realize she was lying in a hospital bed.

Still a bit dazed she tried to remember the events of the last few hours when an angry muttering caught her attention. Turning her head she saw her partner sitting in a chair besides the bed, staring into the distance while he kept talking under his breath.

J startled a bit when he noticed the blue eyes were on him, instead of saying anything he just looked at the woman in the bed with an unreadable expression on his face.

The man was still upset by what had happened and angry with the tall woman cop for rushing in like she did.

"Well, you handled that one great, Rambo. Now didn’t you?" He asked sarcastically, deliberately ignoring the look of confusion coloring her face.

"And no, I’m not going to tell you what happened, think about it…You should know how stupid you acted." J continued to lecture Sydney, so caught up in his emotions that he hadn’t noticed the arrival of Kelly and Tamara who were now hesitantly looking in.

Kelly glanced in the room, a gasp escaping her lips when she saw the tall woman lying in the bed, a painful expression covering her face as she tried to pay attention to J, who was still ranting at her.

The blonde couldn’t stop herself; she rushed in and positioned herself between the dark cop and the bed, shoving him back while ordering him out of the room.

"Can’t you see she has no idea what you’re talking about? She’s in pain J, open your eyes and take a good look. I’m sure she acted stupid, but can’t you wait until she’s a bit better before going off on her like that?"

Sydney watched the interaction with surprise, she hadn’t expected to see that protective streak of the reporter in her benefit. Sighing, she let her head fall back

against her pillow.

The cop felt really tired and she zoned out on the conversation, slipping into a deep slumber as the events of the last night and the arrest caught up with her.

Tamara had entered the room and ushered J out, silently pointing to the bed and the exhausted woman in it. Kelly took a quick look and followed them outside, wanting to know what had happened during the morning.

J started recounting the story, starting with the state Sydney had been in when he had arrived at her place. Kelly let out a sad sigh, feeling guilty for what happened.

Tamara heard the sigh and swiveled around to face her sister. "No, you’re not going to blame this on you Kels. You won’t gain anything by that and neither will she. Okay?" she asked, grabbing her sister forcefully by the shoulders.

J caught the blonde’s eye. "Tam’s right. Sydney is a cop, trained for situations like this, she knows better than acting like some fool. Don’t ever blame yourself."

Kelly nodded, not totally convinced but willing to let it drop for the moment.

"So, tell me J, what happened. What’s wrong with her? Will it be all right?…."

The dark man held up his hands to fend off further questioning. "Hold on missy, I’ll tell ya…Let me get a word in first."

The blonde sheepishly closed her mouth and sat down in the waiting area, flanked by her sister and paying close attention to the large man in front of them.


"Well," he started, "Syd and me arrived on the scene, seeing several squad cars around and officers trying to secure a apartment on the first floor. Sydney had been edgy on the ride over and even though I tried to talk her out of getting involved, she just wouldn’t listen, so I was hoping all would be over by the time we got there."

"Unfortunately it wasn’t." J sighed and recalled the most frustrating minutes of his life.


"Sydney! Wait up!" J yelled after the retreating back of his partner and cursed under his breath. He quickly threw on a vest, got his gun ready and hurried after the reckless woman.

When they had gotten out of the car, the place burst out in to a flurry of activity; Sydney had grabbed the nearest agent and demanded he’d tell her what was going on. The minute she heard, she had taken off on a run.

Apparently a rookie cop had been the first on the scene, not knowing he’d accidentally stumbled upon the guy everyone was looking for. Shine had taken his chance, knowing that other cops were bound to arrive shortly he had grabbed the young cop and used him as a shield to make his way to the fire escape.

Sydney came upon the scene to see Shine facing several cops, still holding the rookie in front of him with a knife against the frightened guy’s neck. There was few second’s standoff before Shine smiled wickedly and slowly pulled the knife over the cop’s throat, pushing him away and leaping backwards to the stairs.

Sydney narrowed her eyes and without thought went after him, evading the men trying to help the fallen cop and slipping away from J once again.

Rushing down the stairs Sydney closed the distance between herself and the fleeing man, reaching out she could just about grab his shirt. Stretching her arm as far as she could and pushing off with her legs, she jumped at him, throwing them both over and hitting the ground with a loud thump.

She quickly rolled back to her feet, seeing the man rushing towards her as she tried to avoid him by ducking to her right. A flash of hot pain originated in her shoulder and spread down her left arm, leaving it paralyzed.

Kicking out her legs she connected with something solid, and she heard a grunt when Shine went to the ground as well. Trying to get up Sydney rose to her knees and located the man just a few yards away from her.

She cautiously moved over, ignoring the blood trickling down her arm and the nauseating pain penetrating her senses. Reaching the still body, she awkwardly crouched down, pushing his shoulder. Then she noticed the pool of blood forming under him and she leaned back against the cool bricks at one side of the alley as the sound of footsteps could be heard.

Turning her head she saw her partner advancing on them, gun drawn and pointed at the man lying on the street. "Don’t bother, J..I think we need to call an ambulance."

The dark man glanced at her, immediately concerned when he saw the pale face and painful expression. The last sound Syndey heard was J requesting an ambulance before she closed her eyes and let pain and exhaustion take her away.


Kelly looked up from her position on one of the benches in the waiting area. "So, tell me J, what’s wrong with her arm?"

The dark cop smiled encouragingly at her. "She’ll have to desk duty for a while, which is sure to put her in a godawful mood, but with some therapy she’ll be back in active duty within a few months. Sydney was lucky, the knife missed the plexus and only did severe damage to muscle tissue. It will take some work, but nothing she won’t be able to handle with her stubborn nature."

The blonde nodded in relief as she rose from the chair to get back into the room where the injured woman was laying. Crossing J she put her hand on his arm.

"You know you shouldn’t blame yourself either, don’t you?" Kelly questioned the man who looked away, not meeting her eye.

"It’s not your fault at all and Sydney will be the first to tell you that. Don’t beat yourself up over this."

J caught her eye and held it for a moment, finally acknowledging what she had said with a small nod. "Ok, I’ll make you a deal. You won’t blame yourself and I won’t blame myself. How’s that?"

A small smile crept onto the reporter’s face. "I’ll take it," she answered, squeezing his arm before walking away to see the dark haired woman.

Reaching the door, Kelly turned around and searched for her sister. Upon locating her she directed: "Take him home, all right Tam? He needs some rest."

Holding up her hand to forestall any arguments from the tall man, she pointedly added: "No discussion J, go home. There’s nothing you can do here at the moment, make sure you get some sleep and see her this evening. Sydney will be more awake then anyhow. Besides, I need to talk to her for a little while," she added in an undertone.

J caught the remark and understood the blonde’s need for some privacy. "Ok, I’ll call Bailey and give him the details. He’ll probably stop by this afternoon. If he’s not on his way already," the man responded.

"See you tonight."


Kelly entered the hospital room and softly closed the door behind her, silently padding over to the side of the bed and looking down at the woman she loved, noting the dark circles under Sydney’s eyes and knowing she was to blame for them.

Sighing she pulled a chair up and sat down, hesitantly reaching out to grab the tanned hand, starkly outlined against the white sheet. A smile crossed her face when that hand tightened slightly, before a shadow fell over her eyes.

‘Will she still allow me to hold her hand when she is awake?’ The blonde pondered, not knowing how the tall woman felt about her but determined to speak to her at the very least.

‘I’m not giving up without a fight, Syd,’ was the last thought that crossed her mind before succumbing to her own exhaustion and laying her head down next to Sydney’s hip.


The silky texture of the blonde strands calmed the dark-haired woman’s nerves while she stared into the distance, going over the events of the last couple of hours and her own actions.

Glancing down, a smile quirked at her lips. Waking up and seeing the blonde woman right next to her had been a surprise, a very welcome one though. One she hadn’t thought she’d be getting. Not after the way she had took off the other night.

Her temper had gotten the best of her once again. She sighed in frustration. ‘How long do you think you can act like a fool, Rambuletti?’ Sydney asked herself.

She knew she had over-reacted and the only excuse she had for that was the surprise about Kelly doing something behind her back and the enormous hurt that that thought had caused.

The woman hadn’t reacted to what the blonde had done, she knew Kelly had meant well, it was a reaction to the knowledge how big the power was that the reporter held over her.

‘I got scared, plain and simple.’ Sydney snorted disgustedly to herself; ‘I’m not used anymore to people close enough to hurt me.’

She closed her eyes when thinking about the pained look on the blonde’s face when she had sped away on her bike. "I’ll make it up to you Kel, I swear." Came the determined whisper as she gazed lovingly at the blonde head under her hand.

The body in the chair started shifting a bit and Kelly raised her head, startling when she caught sight of the blue eyes staring at her.

"Eh, hi," she offered, still groggy. "You’re awake."

"Uhuh," came the teasing reply. "As usual, I’m the first one to open my eyes."

"Haha." Kelly retorted, noting the small grin that threatened to break out on the other woman’s face before they got serious again.

"Syd, I…."

"Kelly, you…"

They both started at the same time, pausing awkwardly. Sydney sighed and pushed on.

"No, let me go first, please." She said, waiting for Kelly nod before continuing.

"I’m so sorry for the way I acted last night. And this morning for that matter. I was a complete fool and I want you to know that you did nothing wrong, you didn’t deserve me driving off on you like that. Not picking up the phone all night because I was mad."

"Yes, I knew it was you," she added softly, reaching out and caressing Kelly’s cheek.

"And I wasn’t mad at you, I was mad at me. I got scared, Kelly. It hit me all of sudden how easily you can hurt me, you mean everything to me and instead of welcoming that sensation I turned and ran. As fast as I could."

The blonde grabbed hold of a restlessly moving hand and pulled it to her heart, pressing a kiss on the palm.

"It’s okay," she whispered. "I shouldn’t have gone to see your mom behind your back. The least I could have done is talk with you before sticking my meddling nose in your business."

Raising her eyes to look into blue, she continued: "I was misjudging the situation because of the problems with my own mom."

Sydney shook her head insistently. "No, that’s what I’m trying to tell you. I want my business to be your business. I love you, Kelly. I just hope you’ll be willing to give me and my awful temper another chance."

Green eyes sparkled when she heard those 3 words coming from the very lips she loved. Standing up, she leaned forward until they were breathing the same air.

Gently pushing some hair out of Sydney’s face she stated convincingly: "You can’t do anything that would keep me away from you. I’m totally head over heels in love with you. I’m sorry, but you’re stuck with me for life."

"For life huh?" Sydney asked. "That’s the absolute minimum I want from you."

Lifting her head, she closed the space between them and pressed her lips against the soft ones beckoning her. First tender, but it soon became more passionate and Kelly ended up half on the bed, half on her lover when a cough was heard from the door opening.

Sydney smirked at John Bailey and waved him to come in, while a red-faced blonde buried her face in the cop’s neck. Not planning on coming into view in the very near future.

"Hi John," Sydney greeted him, a big smile on her face.

The older man grunted a reply, but couldn’t keep the twinkle from his eyes when he looked at the woman he loved like a daughter and saw the happy expression on her face.

"I take it everything is all right here again?" he rumbled in a low voice, crossing over to the bed.

"It’s perfect, boss, absolutely perfect," Sydney replied, tightening her hold on the blonde reflexively.

"Good, good," he nodded. Jerking his head to her left shoulder, he said: "You’re on desk duty for a while, you know that right?"

Not waiting for her reply his face turned stern. "And it’s your own fault as well. What were you thinking? You know better than that."

The injured woman looked chastised. "I know John, believe me. I know. It’s not going to happen again."

"It better not," he grumbled good-naturedly. "I don’t like my whole family worried sick."

Sydney smiled a bit. "You’ve been great for me John, all of you, I’m sorry to have made you worry."

He waved her off. "We’ve covered that for now, just make sure it never happens again."

John winked at her and suddenly barked: "Hey, Redface! Listen up, this next part is of importance for you as well."

Kelly groaned, but raised her head to look at the commissioner meanwhile swatting the chuckling woman beneath her. "I’m not red," she muttered indignantly, ignoring the identical looks on the unbelieving faces.

"Yeah, yeah. Whatever you say my little tomato," John replied, causing the blonde to roll her eyes.

"What I was wanting to tell you both though is that I’ve made arrangements for the both of you to take some time out and spend it at my cabin near the lake. You know the one, Syd," he offered.

The women glanced at each other before Sydney replied. "That’s very thoughtful of you John, thanks. We could use some time on our own, talking some stuff over."

"Talking?" the older man smirked. The only reaction he got was a twin roll of the eyes and sighs.

Grinning he went to the door and motioned his wife and daughters inside. "I hope you don’t mind me bringing them along, they wanted to know for themselves that you were all right."

Sydney smiled, feeling grateful for the friendship and love surrounding her. Catching Kelly’s eye, she padded the surface beside her, indicating the blonde should hop on and settle against her.

Throwing her arm over her lover’s shoulder, she leaned into the cushions and let the conversation wash over her. Feeling content and knowing she’d have the woman that stole her heart with her for the rest of her life.

Sure, rough spots would arise and they needed to discuss a few things, but things were right in her world for now. For the first time in a long while she felt happy and that had everything to do with the green-eyed blonde whose head was resting on her shoulder.

After pressing a kiss on the blonde hair she rested her cheek on it, entwining her fingers with the small ones resting on her thigh. Letting out a satisfied sigh when she felt the slightest of squeezings.

She was doing okay and looking forward to the future.


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