|Winner Takes All
Author: 1Curlytopq PM
When an unexpected death brings Shane and Kimberly back to Salem, will they be able to resolve past hurts and rekindle their love? Much needed closure for any Kim and Shane fan.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Chapters: 25 - Words: 131,163 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 06-30-11 - Published: 06-04-07 - id: 3575478
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Location: LA, Kim's home; early autumn.
It was a dreary afternoon in the hills above Los Angeles. The house was quiet except for the sound of raindrops pelting against the roof above. Jeannie would not grace this place for another two hours. Her private drama and dance classes after school occupied her right up until dinnertime. Something about this time of year made Kim melancholy. Perhaps it was Jeannie's recent birthday, her sweet sixteen, that was making her blue. Another year or two and her "baby" would be off starting her own life like her older brother and another phase in Kim's life would be ending. Fall seemed to mark the end of chapters in Kim's life…or sometimes a new beginning, so why must I feel so lost? She mused to herself. Kim walked aimlessly towards the bookshelf. Instinctively, she pulled an old favorite out of hiding and positioned herself on the window bench in her living room. As the rain streamed down the windowpane, Kimberly opened the book, turning its pages to one passage in particular. Always the same ritual, done alone without the watchful eye of friend or family, Kimberly began in a whisper,
"What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry…"
Far across the pond and at a country estate in the Cotswalds of England stood another lonely soul in the late of night pressed up against the glass behind a large mahogany desk. Gazing out the massive window into the gloomy night as the lightening from a passing storm danced across the landscape,
"Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more…"
Location: Salem, early morning
Shawn Sr. tells Caroline that he is heading out to do some morning fishing. They exchange the glances and kisses of warmth that comes from a couple that has weathered many storms. He walks out the front door.
An hour passes. An explosion on Shawn's boat rocks the Riverfront and could be heard from the Brady Pub. He is alive but barely and is rushed to the hospital. All of the Brady's are contacted and race there. Kayla frantically calls Kim and tells her to hurry home. It is not good.
Meanwhile, Shawn is conscious and has his final words for Caroline. She is his one true love. He knows he is fading fast and has to speak with his sons. Bo and Roman listen as Shawn gives them instructions. Down at the scene of explosion, John confers with Abe and concludes that the explosion was no accident. It had the markings of a meticulously planned operation. For John, this is personal. Shawn Brady was a father figure to him. Yet, he has enough distance to keep a level head in the investigation. Roman may be o.k., but then you never know how people will react in times like this. And John knows Bo will not take the news too well. He needs another person who has the experience, and the motivation to see the case through. John calls the only one he knows and trusts…Shane Donovan!
Shane is shocked by the news and takes the next ISA private jet to Salem. By the time Kim is able to catch a plane to Salem and arrives at the hospital eight hours later, Shawn has already spoken with his other children; telling each one something that was unique to only them. Kayla escorts her into his room,
"He is been waiting for you…we all have." Kayla says as she squeezes her hand and wiping the fresh tears from her cheek with her other.
Kim is distraught as she observes the scene. Shawn is barely recognizable. Because of his burned body, he is wrapped like a mummy. She kneels beside the bed and takes his hand.
"Papa, I'm here." Kim says; her voice cracking.
Shawn SR, recognizing his daughter, mumbles, "My best and brightest…has finally come home." And at that moment all feelings of guilt and inadequacy resurface. Why did she stay away so long? The sound of that dreaded moniker he placed on her and had caused some hurt feelings within the family…had she lived up to it? Kim felt she had disappointed him with her unsavory past. Then being gone from the family so much. Sure, the first time was running from family… sort of. But the second time had nothing to do with him or the family?
Kim tries speaking but Shawn brushes off her questions. He has only one thing on his mind for his little girl.
"You're stubborn like your, Pop…like all of my kids; but you especially. Quit fightin' it. Search your heart, Kimmie. You found that rare and special love. Don't give up on him. Fight for it, I tell ya'…"
"You keep fighting papa!" Kim cried in bewilderment. Shawn used every opportunity he had to lecture Kimberly on her ex and even on his deathbed the stubborn man would not relent.
Shawn reaches out for the others. As Caroline held his hand, he flat lines, the other hand going limp in Kim's hands. Stunned for a moment, they stare in silence. Then they all fell apart. All paired up: Roman holding Caroline, Steve catching Kayla in his arms as she falls back a little, Hope wrapping her arms around Bo from behind. Only Kim was left sitting at the bed sobbing, begging for him to stay longer. One by one the family retreated until Kim was left alone in the room except for an attending nurse.
And then Shane entered the ICU. Consumed by her grief, Kim didn't hear him come in but felt strong comforting hands as Shane places them on her shoulders to pull her up out of the chair. Shane pulls a sobbing Kim to his chest as a tear streams down his cheek. He sweeps her into his arms and carries her out of the room. Along with consoling Kim, Shane felt like he had lost his own father all over again.
Location: Brady Pub, three days later
"May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows your dead?" John Black toasted heartedly after giving his emotional speech retelling for anyone who did not know how the old man had been a father to him in life. Marlena gave him a tight squeeze on the arm for support and leaned closer to him.
The glasses clanked together among the pub's patrons as they tossed the twenty-one year old Bushmills back in honor of Salem's favorite Irishman.
"To Shawn!" They said in unison with boisterous laughter that followed.
"And Shane, thanks for treating us to the very best!" Laughed Bo as he held up the bottle of Irish whiskey to a thunderous applause. "Pop would have been proud!'
Shane shrugged off the gesture as the crowd began to murmur among themselves. Kim eyed him quietly from the safe distance across two tables. The past three days had been a blur. One moment she was safely ensconced in her life in sunny L.A., the next Kim was abandoning a board meeting at the clinic and flying home to say good-bye to her father. Kim observed detached from the event, numbed by the reality that her father was murdered and she would never be able to settle things with him. Making the death worse in some respects was the paradox that the one person to comfort Kim and give her what she needed, was the same who had plunged the knife ever so deep into her heart! Kim tried to push back the feelings welling up inside her and watched each person give tribute to her father with toasts, speeches and song. Her father's words floated back to her as Kim watched Shane politely engage family and friends in conversation.
"Search your heart, Kimmie. You found that rare and special love. Don't give up on him."
Kim blinked away the tears and looked towards the floor when she noticed Shane give her an encouraging wink from across the way. It was as though he was reading her mind.
"Okay, sis?" Inquired Hope who had been standing to Kim's left and observed the quiet exchange between the two. Before Kim could muster an evasive response, Roman and Bo interrupted with a loud pronouncement:
"Raise yer glasses for another round!" Bo hastily filled the shot glasses of the crowd before he and Roman commanded attention from behind the bar. It was clear that the alcohol had taken effect but the scene was too amusing.
"Here's to women's kisses, and to whiskey, amber clear;"
The brothers chanted in Irish brogue. Bo gave Hope the eye as Roman paraded the bottle around,
"Not as sweet as a woman's kiss, but a darn sight more sincere!"
The room erupted with laughter and a "here, here" from the men and a lighthearted eye roll from the women.
Steve had given Kayla a peck on the lips after the toast right before she moved to make a speech with her sister Kim. As she left his arm, Steve realized who was standing to his right and backed off towards the corner of the bar. For the better part of the day, Steve had kept his distance from Shane. When he arrived in Salem with Jack several months before, he had no memory of anyone. But as the scents, sounds and faces came pouring back to him; one odd visual began to take shape: that of him in a small room, strapped to a table and begging for someone not to leave him. Steve had focused on the positive aspect of remembering the one person that had kept him struggling on those long and painful years, his Sweetness. When Shane entered the hospital room three days ago, the flash ran across his psyche and Steve instantly felt animosity towards the Brit.
Shane walked over to the dartboard where Steve Johnson was located. He had to get this over with.
"Steve." He greeted him by patting his arm. Steve was meandering with the darts and had abruptly turned away from Shane when he saw him approach.
"Thought you were smart enough to take the hint, Donovan." He said acidly. Shane clenched his jaw tightly to keep from exploding. He had to handle this correctly.
"We need to talk." Shane said calmly.
"I got nothin' to say to you." Steve said with a gruff. Throwing a glance over his shoulder to Shane, Steve gave him a menacing stare.
"Well, nothing that is appropriate under these circumstances." He said with a growl as he looked over the pub.
Shane grabbed Steve's arm.
"Now, you look Johnson! You are certainly justified in your opinion of me so I have given you plenty of leeway since you showed up in Salem alive but ISA needs to debrief you on what happened during the past sixteen years!"
Steve tossed a dart angrily towards the board. It landing squarely on the Bulls eye and he whirled around to face Shane head on. With mock appreciation, he threw his body back and clasped his hand upon his chest, exclaiming,
"Awe, I'm touched by your admission."
Composing himself quickly Steve leaned forward within inches of Shane face and hissed,
"So tell me, gov'nor, which bothers you more: sleeping with my wife or leaving me to rot with God knows who?"
Steve noticed the sting the statement had on his ex brother-in-law, who for a brief second lost his cool British resolve, the color draining from his face and looking genuinely remorseful.
"Now, you listen here…" Shane began with his finger raised up to Steve's face. Realizing the full force of Steve's statement, Shane discovered that Steve obviously had holes in his memory but what he did remember posed a serious problem for him. Shane took a deep breath, clenching his fist. The altercation was interrupted by something that took Steve's attention away from Shane and towards the entrance to the pub. Shane turned his head in the direction and back towards Steve, shaking his fist
"We'll finish this later…" He said as he started off towards the door.
Steve eyed Shane cautiously as he departed softening his stance slightly towards the man.
"You can bet on it, gov'nor."
The bell to the door of the Brady Pub chimed, signaling another well-wisher whose appearance was observed by only a few. Andrew being closest to the door, popped up from the booth where he sat with various relatives and other Salemites and greeted the older gentleman. Extending his hand in proper gentlemanly fashioned, Andrew said,
"Thank you for coming…" He paused as he studied the man whose appearance advertised extreme wealth and influence. The sinister way the man surveyed Andrew made him pull back and proceed with caution.
"Do I know you?" He asked, breaking all formality as he eyed the man with suspicion.
"I'm an old friend of the Bradys." The stranger replied with a hearty laugh. It was low and jovial, yet Andrew sensed that he was being toyed with.
"And you are the spitting image of your father!" The man continued. "Why, you don't remember this but I held you the day you were born!"
Andrew looked dumbstruck. He had heard the story of his birth in the West Virginia wilderness countless times from his mother, usually around his birthday. He had the impression that it had been only his father present at his birth.
"How, who are yo…." He fumbled with his words before feeling the firm familiar hand of his father grip his right shoulder.
"Thank you, son. You can go back to your cousins. I'll take care of this." Shane said sternly without looking at him. Andrew had never seen his father look at anyone with such contempt. While Shane's demeanor was calm and collected, Andrew could tell his jaw was clenched and was ready to strike at any given moment.
"Victor," Shane began with a flick of his tongue and suddenly Andrew knew the connection. There was a brief pause as the two men sized each other up. It was uncle Bo's biological father, a little fact that was never discussed in the family and easily buried if you didn't live in Salem. Andrew had stumbled upon the news while boating with his cousin the summer before college. When he brought up the name to his father later, Andrew received a perfunctory,
"Your grandpa Shawn is Bo's father in every sense of the word," in a tone that indicated the topic was not up for discussion.
Along with a stern warning,
"And don't mention that man's name in front of the Bradys…especially your mother. Victor Kiriakis has hurt a lot of people and it will only upset them." There had been something ominous about his father's warning and Andrew detected that his father might be including himself in that group. Having only learned of his father's profession a few weeks before, it was difficult for Andrew to imagine that anyone would have gotten the best of Shane Donovan. For a young man who viewed his father as in evincible, the conversation had been a little disconcerting.
The memory flooded back to Andrew in that moment standing in the doorway at his grandfather's wake. Andrew complied with his father's order and backed away but stayed close to observe the confrontation that most people in the Pub did not see because of the music and crowd.
Turning his attention away from Andrew and towards Shane, Victor tilted his chin upward in a show of dominance.
"Shane," He began in a patronizing tone. "I am merely here to extend my sympathies to the family." Victor paused before surveying the room victoriously,
"I am, after all, an old friend." He said with a smile.
Shane scoffed at the statement; inhaling deeply so that his chest puffed up showing that he was every bit the game player Victor was.
"Is that how you view yourself after all that you have done?" Shane asked rhetorically, letting the bitterness ooze from his lips. "The devil himself would make a better friend."
"Now, now, Shane, let's not cause an unnecessary scene. After all, we're here to pay tribute…"
Shane interrupted Victor by stepping closer to him and placing his hand firmly on Victor's back to guide him out of the pub,
"You're absolutely right, Victor." Shane said icily as he motioned for Victor's bodyguard to get the door.
"That is why you and your goon are leaving."
Shane stood in the doorway blocking Victor's view inside as well as providing a protective shield so no one would see whom Shane was speaking with.
"You can try to harass the Bradys another day; but not this day, Victor! No, you will not upset this family by humiliating Shawn on the day his loved ones lay him to rest."
Andrew noticed Mr. Kiriakis's arrogant bravado had been replaced with a simmering hostility towards his father.
"We're not done here, Donovan." Victor warned as Shane was closing the door in his face.
"Oh, of course we're not." Shane answered with a smile as he turned around.
Andrew leaped forward from the corner where he had been observing the conversation.
"What did he…you mean by that?" The young man asked in almost a child-like way to his father.
Shane wasn't able to address the question at the moment because his attention was divided. His eyes were fixed on Kimberly who was racing over towards the two men. She had seen Andrew talking to Victor and the following confrontation. Her eyes were wide with fear and Shane's only goal was to erase that look from her face. Patting his son's shoulder reassuringly as Kim came towards them,
"Not a concern for you, son. I'll deal with Mr. Kiriakis another day."
"Shane, what was he…how dare he come…?" Kimberly stammered, visibly shaken.
Shane placed his hands on her shoulders, pulling Kim closer,
"Shh, it's okay. I got rid of him."
Their eyes were locked together and Andrew witnessed their unspoken language play itself out before him. Tears streaming down her face, Kim whispered breathlessly,
"Thank you." And she buried her head in Shane's chest.
"It was nothing." He replied tenderly. Kimberly looked up into his eyes. Shane wiped her tears away. The fear was gone and she had a relieved look. Kimberly countered,
"It was everything."
Location: The Docks, the day after Shawn's funeral
Shane shuffled his feet slowly across the pier. The water lapped against the pier and the gulls flew overhead, squawking as if guiding him to his intended destination. Shane reached the railing and started down the steps quietly, never taking his eyes off her along the way. She sat pristinely on the dock completely apathetic to her surroundings, dressed in a pair of olive green capris and a brown t-shirt with her legs swinging freely and in rhythm to the river's tide. She had already baited the hook, caste the line and was waiting for a bite. From a distance, Shane could not get a read of her expression because of the old tan Brady Fish Market cap that masked her face partially, her hair peering out from behind in a loose ponytail. She looked more like his young daughter in this light than his ex-wife. The breeze picked up slightly and there was a hint of an autumn chill in it despite the warmth of the late September day, nature's warning to proceed with caution.
As he inched closer, Shane saw her face, focused, solemn and lost in thought. Her eyes were moist from a random tear here and there and the only movement was from her left fingers as they toyed with the reel to pull the line in slowly to entice the fish.
"You look like a little lost girl." Shane said sympathetically as he laid his rod down on the pier and squatted down beside her. Without taking her eyes off the water, Kimberly simply replied,
"I think I have heard that line before," Her voice was cool and steady.
Shane casually gazed across the water at a boat that was sailing downstream. He knew what she was referring to. So much had transpired since that night after Roman's wake.
"I think I used the term "innocent" before, which was a true statement then as it is now." He corrected her, unfazed by Kim's snub. Shane's eyes met Kimberly's at the exact moment she turned her head to address his remark. Shane's reassuring smile exposed his dimple and for a moment he thought he had broken through her impenetrable wall and elicited a faint smile but Kimberly turned her eyes back to the water and began reeling the line in without responding.
"Have you heard from Andrew yet?" She asked still pretty reserved with him. Kim baited the hook and caste it again. Shane had to take a step back to avoid the hook in the process. Following the line into the water with his eyes, Shane answered casually,
"Yes, he plans to call when the plane arrives at Heathrow."
Shane looked back at Kim, not deterred by her well-built wall; one he had helped build many years ago. He knew Kim was very vulnerable at the moment and not likely to let him comfort her too much. They had spent hours talking, reminiscing over Shawn. In the late hour when no one was around, she had let him hold her and on the day of Shawn's funeral, Shane took her hand and rode in the limousine with her to the church so Kim would not be the only one without a partner.
"So no luck despite the good weather?" He asked lightly, changing the subject. Kim knew that tone was a challenge and couldn't help herself. Kimberly broke her cool reserve, exposing her competitive spirit.
"I beg your pardon my dear boy!" She said gesturing towards the small cooler set between them. Lifting the lid, Shane peered in and discovered a small catfish just above the limit and two medium-sized trout.
"I don't think most people would ever peg you to be a skilled fisherm…, uh, woman." He said with amusement.
"It's in me bones." Kimberly replied, in an accent borrowed heavily from her father. Her expression darkened once more as the image of her father lecturing her and her siblings on the fine points of fishing pierced her aching heart. The tears began to form again and Shane responded by moving the cooler back, sliding into a sitting position and placing his left arm around her. Kim let her head rest on his shoulder for a moment before observing,
"I don't think many would list avid fisherman as one of your talents gov'nor," as Kim motioned towards his pole that lay next to him. Shane pulled Kim close as he took control of her line, reeling it in, a good fortune for the next would-be victim as he released the remainder of the bait into the water below.
"Tis, true and like you, I learned from my father." Shane said as he kept his eyes on the task at hand. Kim straightened up and studied his facial expression that was saturated with nostalgia. Partly reading Kim's thoughts without looking at her and half lost in his own contemplation Shane continued,
"I let Shawn teach Andrew and Jeannie the way because a man needs to have a legacy to pass onto his children and grandchildren." He said as he placed Kim reel next to his. Kim detected Shane's cool resolve crack as he said almost choking up:
"That way the children have something that was uniquely tied to Shawn. He was owed that much."
Kimberly didn't have the strength to carry the statement to its full meaning after seeing the altercation between Shane, Andrew and Victor from the day before. Instead she plainly asserted,
"Papa, thought a lot of you." And remembering her father's last words to her, added with a hint of bitterness in her voice,
"You were one of the few people that could do no wrong in his eyes."
"Oh, I know that's not true. We both know I failed him." Shane confessed gravely, pulling away slightly from Kimberly. The admission hung in the air and seemed to be echoed by the passing birds that swooped onto the pier around them for meager scraps of fish.
"Hmm." Kim said in a huff not wanting to address the implications of Shane's last statement. She hastily retreated back to the safer topic of fishing. "You can take the girl out of the fish market but you can't take…"
Shane placed his hand onto hers and interrupted Kimberly's thought, knowing where she was heading with the remark. There was always a part of herself that Kim was ashamed of and despite her pronouncements to the contrary, Shane knew she couldn't let it go.
"I was blessed to graduate from the finest schools, attend the finest soirees… I've traveled the world and met women from all walks of life," he said, his accent thick with affection.
"And you my dear Kimberly are the finest lady I have ever had the honor of making an acquaintance with." He said with such feeling without saying those three little words. Kimberly was taken aback at Shane's candor and boldness that she blushed before breaking his gaze, sliding her hand out from beneath his. Still smiling demurely, Kimberly threw her attention to the passing boat returning from the days catch. Having nowhere to put her hand she let it fall to her side. The remainder of the time was spent in silence as the two old friends merely sat on the pier in peace; their fingertips finding their way back to within an inch of the other. They sat comfortably as the sun lazily slipped beyond the horizon.