A/N: Well, here we are at the concluding chapter of this little tale. I want to thank those who stepped out on a limb to indulge me in this little fairytale. I know that for some of you, this isn't your ship and I appreciate that you took the time to support my little dream of Laddie. I do hope that at some point, the writer's will bring Felicia Terrell back to the show as Addie. Even if it's just for one episode. The fact that her character was active duty working with NCIS is much more realistic than what the three shows portray, in fact there is usually always an active duty member working within the ranks of NCIS (Hence the N stands for Navy not strictly Civilian Agents). So why wouldn't' at least one of three the television series use active duty personnel too?
And a little romantic/banter between LaSalle and Addie again. Well that would just be bonus for people like me. If we can't have Cherri on screen I'd take Addie back in a heartbeat!
Over the last month and half, Addie stopped sleeping over as much, gradually trying putting the distance between them. She thought it was better that way. But Chris would beg to differ. He wanted to keep seeing her right up to the point where she boarded the plane.
She also argued that it wasn't fair to continue in a relationship that was doomed to fail. If they stayed together the distance and lack of physically being able to see or touch each other would eventually make their love fade which if she was honest was probably the kindest way to go about it.
Addie didn't know how to tell him that due to her impending transfer things had changed. The comfort and the easiness that she had shared with him began to dissipate replaced by the heartache of knowing that their time together was on a clock, a timer that was constantly counting down much faster than either of them could imagine.
Wasn't time supposed to fly when you are having fun?
Not when you were slowly sinking in misery.
But she and Chris were adults and agreed that neither of them were ready to give up their career to follow the other. So it was settled then. This should be simple.
She should have never used the "L" word, never let that little phrase slip past her lips. Yes, that must be the reason they were both having such a hard time letting one another go.
The only trouble was they both meant it. But apparently not so much that either of them was willing to resign.
"That's the last of the boxes, Ma'am. Sign here." Addie looked at the man from the moving company and suddenly realized her apartment was empty, everything packed away in preparation her for new life across the Pacific.
In less than 24 hours she would be gone.
Chris waited outside until the movers were gone and poked his head in. "Ya ready?"
"Just about," Addie took one last look around. Everything seemed so bare now as if she had never lived there. "I'm really going to miss this place."
"Me too," Chris quipped, slinging an arm around her shoulders. "I'm gunna miss the couch, the dinin' room table, the kitchen floor, the patio and the bedroom."
"You forgot the shower, you really loved my shower," Addie teased into his awaiting lips.
"Not as much as I love you," he watched her eyes begin to tear up and cupped her face, anchoring her into a long, slow kiss as if he could somehow absorb her pain into his own.
"Do you have to make everything so difficult," she quipped, tears in her eyes when they parted.
His eyes widened a bit, "You'd rather me tell you as soon as ya walk out the door, I'm going to start datin' other women? Cause, I can if that's what ya want?"
"You can do whatever you want LaSalle. I just don't want to hear about it." She was trying to be tough, the sailor, he'd always known her to be.
Of course she didn't want him to date other women. But she eventually she knew the time would come when he would. She couldn't ask him to wait.
He dropped his hands to her hips and stared deep into her chestnut colored irises. "Whatever I want huh?" He wet his lips in nervous anticipation. This was really hard. There was part of him that wanted to play the part of the hopeless romantic and entice to her stay by putting a ring on her finger. In fact he'd given it some serious consideration. But in the end, rational thought had won out.
Marriage wouldn't fix the issue.
"I gotta proposition for ya. What do you say, that we re-examine all of this in six months and if we still feel the same way about one another, well then…
His voice went a little hoarse as she looked at him with big round, searching eyes. Was he saying that'd he'd really leave NOLA? Give up the city and the friends he loved?
"Maybe I'll come visit ya at Christmas and we can pick up where we left off."
She wound her arms around his neck. Six months was a long time, but the sheer idea that he was actually considering the idea made her want to cry. He was actually giving her something to hold on to. Addie clung to him for several long minutes until the need to seal the deal with a devouring kiss, became an urgent need.
Breaking a part, she palmed the side of his face, letting out a conflicted sigh.
"What?" His brow furrowed.
"I know you." She said, pressing her forehead, against his. "You're an insatiable flirt." Who was she kidding, he'd never last six months. He probably couldn't make it a week.
"Now that ain't fair." They'd been dating nearly half a year which was longer than he'd been with Savannah. It wasn't as if he planned on fallin' off the wagon and was going back to sleepin' with everything female in a pair of good look'n jeans.
"Have I even looked at another woman since we've been together?" he challenged, watching her grin grow impish. Obviously, it was easier for her to keep up with the banter than to let things go serious.
"All right, LaSalle. I'll give you that one," She smiled at him admiringly before suggesting they go somewhere a little less empty.
Early the next morning, Addie did the most cowardice thing a woman who claimed to be in love with a man could do.
She left him while he was still sleeping.
For nearly an hour, she sat on the edge of the bed with long streams of silent tears flowing from her eyes. How Chris had not managed to wake up from her occasional hiccupping she didn't know.
It was fate she supposed and as with most cowards, she left him a note along with a simple package; a parting gift.
It was better this way, it was really was she thought signing her name. She'd debated about including a small black and white grainy looking picture of what she hoped would seal their future, but then decided it was better not to try and lure him back to her that way.
Three days ago, at her check out physical the command doctor had informed her, she was pregnant. So, she was leaving with a piece of him growing inside of her and she was leaving him with a stupid video, a DVD that represented their initial missed opportunity.
But if Chris wanted to come back to her in six months, then it truly needed to be his decision and if not, she would somehow learn to deal with the fall out.
She would not try to trap him. Wrong or right, things would turn out the way they were supposed to or at least that's what she preferred to believe.
Dwayne Pride looked down at the DVD case sitting on his bar. "It's a Wonderful Life?"
"Addie gave it to me before she left," Chris answered before taking a long pull from his beer.
Pride was pretty sure the movie must have some sort of symbolic meaning for the star crossed lovers but didn't want to ask. "So, I take it she got off ok?"
"Yup," Chris took another long pull. As far as he knew she had left on the early morning flight. There had been no last minute romantic show of him rushing through the airport in effort to get a proper good-bye. He'd simply chosen to honor her wishes.
Waking up to find an ol' fashioned Dear John letter had been quite the shock. Well, it hadn't really been that kind of letter, as much as I need to do it this way. But he understood. Addie wasn't the type to be selfish; she didn't want to hold him back.
"So ya gonna watch it?" Pride asked, pulling his young friend from his morose thoughts.
"Someday, I suppose, but rght now, I think I'll have another beer."
Pride reached into the cooler and pulled out a cold bottle of Shiner Bock. "Not going off the deep end this time. Promise?"
"I promise, King." Chris shook his head with a grin. Addie hadn't died tragically like Savannah leaving him knotted up with guilt. The good Commander was still very much alive and kicking in what might as well be the other side of the world. Not that it mattered really. Addie had her purpose in his life and now that purpose was over.
She was his healing rebound and as she had put it so eloquently a few months back, his fuck buddy.
Ok, so that wasn't true. She was more than that, a lover whom through different paths in life had chosen to separate. He'd fallen for her, and she'd fallen for him.
It'd been good, but now it was…
"So you wanna help me close it down tonight?" Pride asked, he was about to open a set and need Chris to tend to the bar.
"I reckon, I could do that. "Chris grinned as a pretty blonde accidently brushed up against him, in effort to ask for a new beverage.
Yes, sir, it looked like it was a wonderful life in deed he quipped inwardly turning on the LaSalle charm.
It was after two a.m. when he finally raked his Henley over his head and decided to call it a night, padding into the bedroom, thankfully alone. Fending off the blonde hadn't been much of a problem and he'd let her down easy to boot. The flirting had been fun however.
He'd had a good time with Pride tonight but now it was time to hit the sack, he thought as he went traipsing into the bathroom and flipped on a dying light.
He'd been meaning to get that fixed and would replace it as soon as the dang thing finally went out, but now all he wanted was to brush his teeth, and take a hot shower to get the smoke smell off of him before climbing into bed.
His hand moved for his tattered bristled brush and stopped along with his heart. There beside his blue toothbrush was Addie's purple one. Obviously, she'd left it behind. He hadn't noticed it this morning, but then again he hadn't been looking for it.
Had it been there and he'd been too upset by her 'love 'em and leave 'em' letter to notice it?
Yes, that was probably it, dismissing any other thoughts before brushing his teeth and pulling back the shower curtain that overlapped the clawfoot tub.
For several minutes, he stood with one arm pressed up against the shower wall, letting the warm spray wash away the emotions from the day. Saying goodbye or not saying goodbye was harder than he thought but he would get through it. The only down fall, now he wouldn't be able to sleep.
After toweling off, he pulled on a pair of blue checkered sleep pants and reluctantly made his way to into the living room, placing the DVD Addie had given him into Blue Ray. So what if it was June and he watching was a Christmas movie?
It was nearly three in the morning. Who else was going to know?
He wriggled around bit on the couch trying to find a comfortable position as the black and white classic began to play. Stretching out his long legs to the coffee table, he reached for his University of Alabama throw and covered up with it pulling it up to his chest.
Damn it, all to the hell. It was covered with Addie's scent. But he had just washed it? Evidently, the scent had lingered. Tossing it aside, he decided upon crossing his arms over chest, muscles all locked up tight until he felt a delicate touch land upon his shoulder, making him start.
He jumped nearly three feet! As a trained Law Enforcement Officer he should have been embarrassed about that but the sight her standing behind his couch looking down at him made his heart turn over.
She was back?
How was she back?
Why was she back?
A dozen scenarios ran through his mind as he picked up the remote and put the dvd on pause before rising to his feet with only the couch standing in between them.
"What'd the heck's going on?"
Addie lowered her eyes. Didn't he know? Well obviously, he couldn't know about the baby, but the fact that she had come back. It was all for him.
"I got to L.A. and I decided-" She wasn't sure if it was the surge of raging hormones that had taken over her body but now that she was pregnant, she couldn't bare the idea of having to leave behind a child to deploy for several months at a time. Other women did it, and she applauded them for their courage. But deep down, it wasn't for her.
The opportunity for a family and a wonderful husband/partner was staring her right in the face. How could she just let all of that love go?
"I'm going to resign, Chris."
LaSalle averted his eyes and then rubbed his chin. "Ya sure about this? Because for the last 3 months, you've been saying-"
"That, I love you," she finished, watching him sport a big ol' grin.
Addie yelped as he reached for her, pulling her over the top of the couch into his arms. She would tell him about the little seed they had planted in the morning, along with the name she had formulating in the back of her mind.
Addison King LaSalle. Addison for her father and King for his. She wasn't sure why she had already decided their unborn child was going to be a handsome boy with Chris' pretty blue eyes, it was just a feeling but just in case she had a girl's name picked out too.
Boy or girl however, either way it was looking like it was going to be a wonderful life.
A/N: Cliché, I know but the story ends happily.