Caveat: Touching Evil and all it's goodies does not with me have an affiliation therefore, a disclaimer this is. Haha, sounded really weird there didn't it? Ah well. Le Finale de Heaven's Burning! Glad it's over aren't ya? Yeah, me too. This story 'twas a result of temporary insanity/obsession. Hope you enjoy it! On a different note: Don't you guys just love the new avatars people are making recently? Sorry Jeffrey Donovan, where ever you are, people just humped your bandwagon to be perfectly honest. All I'm here for is for selfish reasons - like David Creegan perhaps. Hee. Sometimes it makes me feel better to know that JD and DC are two different entities. They both sure are attractive though [laughs]. Okay, enough of this. Read. Now, or forever hold your urine.

- Heaven's Burning -

By Mia [Ai-no-Tora]

Chapter Thirteen: Inevitable [finale]

Green's Hospital. ICU Ward.

She had gone this far and she was determined to end it her way and no other.

She spied upon the sharp object like one would notice a barely conceivable stain; it caught her eye and held it and just as soon as the nurse turned her back, she found it in her hand; cold and hard and real and powerful. She wielded the whole world in her hands within the single swipe of her wrist.

Now under the softened light shining on the sharp edge of the scalpel, Hallie gazed upon the beauty that defeated her in the end. The woman named Susan breathed steadily, eyes closed, delicate lashes laid over delicate ivory skin, ivory skin that was unearthly pale. She tried but failed to see what made her so special in {Andrew's} David's eyes. Her reddish-brown eyes narrowed in observance. She gauged how long it would take for {Andrew} David to come find her, how many seconds would tick until the linear open wound gush blood upon the hospital bed until there was no white left. Her neck seemed to soft, supple, vulnerable. Just one slash and she would be closer to getting her way.

Half her face in shadow, one could only make out Helene Angela's lips which were slightly curved; it was partially hidden but it was there. A crazed smile. So it's come down to this, has it? It's inevitable, love. With life, death is inevitable. No one lives without dying; this is your turn to shine once more amongst your lonely necessities, Agent Branca.

--

Creegan fumbled with the car door until he swung it wide open, denting the car next to it and setting off the alarm. Rivers took only a moment to cringe before following after him inside the hospital, not having any choice but to ignore it. Flipping open his cell, Creegan dialed a number and waited for someone to pick up, adjusting the chain around his neck that had his badge displayed on his chest to avoid questions; he had managed to retrieve a spare badge from one of Enright's operatives.

"Bernal."

Rivers opened the door for Creegan and he swept by, eyes looking around hurriedly as nurses and doctors alike turned to look at him, the badge flashing in the light of their puzzled faces. "We're - Rivers and I - we're at Green's Hospital right now."

"You're visiting Branca at a time like this?" Bernal sounded incredulous as though Creegan were bypassing his duty.

"Shut up, Bernie." David made his way to an elevator as Mark followed closely behind. "Hallie Piper's cousin is in the same hospital as Susan. I have a hunch she'll either be with her cousin who has only five months to live, or she'll be after Susan who's being kept nearby." He banged the appropriate number on the elevator door, cursing breathily. "Why didn't anybody get stationed here to look after her?!" He didn't wait for a reply, knowing he got the point across. "Send for more back-up. We've got a psychotic roaming around a bunch of innocent patients. Tell Enright to get his ass in gear or I'm going on ahead of him." Flipping the cell closed, he turned to look at Rivers who was currently sweating from fatigue and stress.

"I think I need a vacation after this," Mark confessed for a moment's sake. Creegan took a second to regard him thoughtfully; Rivers was just like him, in a way fighting for someone they believed in. Plus he looked like hell.

He reached for his gun, cocked and loaded it with a loud echoing click as his partner followed suit. "I think Susan's the one that especially needs one, after this."

The elevator doors slid open. Mark started to follow after David before he was stopped with a hand on the shoulder. "Go to room 33," he ordered. "Just in case she's in the cousin's room."

Despite knowing there was no room for hesitation, Rivers stared intently at him; he knew there was something not quite right. "Creeg -"

Creegan pushed at him. "Go." Stepping back, Rivers bit his lip before turning and running the opposite direction. Creegan only stared after him wearily, a bead of sweat rolling down his brow. He needed to get rid of Rivers for the moment; this was his mission, his job. There was no doubt in his mind that Hallie would be waiting for him, and not in her cousin's room either. His hand gripped tighter around his gun as he made his way to Branca's room.

He was more than ready to fire a bullet into that woman's head.

--

The corridor was sparse with people, the blurred sound of his shoes against the floor was the only thing he heard besides the sound of his blood pounding in his ears. The door came up quickly; dim light spread across the shiny floor as he leant against the wall, gun held up, then slowly, ever so slowly he rounded, gun pointed forward and sweeping the open doorway into the room.

His eyes didn't need a moment to adjust as he scanned the room and the first thing he saw was Susan. His mouth filled with saliva and he consciously swallowed; it was the last thing he needed right now, for his eyes to mimic his mouth as they filled with tears. One eye was swollen and bruised, a darkened yam purple. Her soft lips were split, a bandage on the side of her head as a tube was inserted in her mouth and she breathed somewhat shakily. A shadowed hand holding a shiny-edged weapon hovered near her life support machine and all that was needed was a quick swipe and everything was lost. An angry growl escaped Creegan's lips as he moved forward. "Don't. Don't you dare make her go through it again."

As soon as Hallie stepped into the light, his gun barrel was aimed instantly on her heart; a small battle fought within whether or not to shoot her in the head instead. "You came," Her voice sounded hopeful, two dimensional and breathy. Her eyes flashed brown-red at him, daring, taunting. His finger inched toward the trigger, his lips curled. "I missed you Andrew." She shook her head as though stuck in a reverie. "David . . ."

He was on the other side of Susan's bed when the name clicked in his head. "Oh, so now the cat's outta the bag." He sneered mirthlessly. "You killed Andrew, didn't you Helene? You killed him for cheating on you with Athena . . . Just tell me this: what'd your kids ever do to you?"

Hallie's eyes narrowed, the scalpel nearing the wire connecting Susan to the living. "I never meant to kill my children. I never meant to kill anyone!"

"Yeah, but that didn't stop you from going after Susan, did it?!" His index finger curled around the trigger; all he needed was a little more . . . A little more . . . And she'd be blown away. Just a little more . . .

He was practically begging her to make him shoot her and she could feel it. "Have you ever felt . . .like you were doing something against your will?" She questioned, suddenly innocent and truthful. He hated her for it.

"Everyone has felt like that at some point - but it doesn't exempt their guilt from killing someone."

She chuckled, strained as she gazed down at Susan. "This is different. It's as though I've been feeling someone else's raw emotions ever since . . .ever since Andrew died. I didn't think I could feel in such a way; there was two parts to me, one who would never do anything the other part could - like murder. At first it was just thoughts - the mailman hit on me and I thought to myself how I wanted to kill him then sending his wife his heart in a baggie. But it escalated to something more real, more aggressive - more animalistic afterwards." With her free hand, she ran a hand through her hair. "Then I heard about Athena seducing my husband. That whore . . .she didn't deserve him, you know. She didn't deserve someone so great as Andrew. He loved me, he never loved her, but that wasn't enough. I had to get rid of her and I did . . ."

Gun trained on every movement she made, Creegan was on a standstill. Just a little more. "And Valerie Snider? You killed her too?"

"She heard of my plans of getting rid of Athena. She was the first to go." Creegan flinched as she smoothly brushed the edge of the scalpel against Susan's jaw. "Then it was Athena . . . Then your Agent Rodriguez. He tried to rape me you know - he'd asked me on a date after I visited you at your office. I was . . . upset after I'd seen what this woman meant to you," She gestured toward Susan. "I saw the way you looked at her, the way you touched her, how you breathed in her scent. I didn't need a sign to advertise how you felt about her. I was the only one in the room who knew." She took a deep breath. "I desperately needed to do something. . I wasn't going to let him defile me with hands sworn to serve and protect." She laughed out loud at the iconicity of her words. Creegan moved toward the foot of the bed and jerked the gun at her. She only absently looked toward him, bemused. "I thought I had found something in you. Turns out you're just like all of them; a lonely little drone so thirsty for love. I didn't have a choice with this one, David. I didn't."

"But I do." He was only a few feet away; the risk of Hallie's blood falling on Susan was the only thing that made him hesitate. "You better hope your insurance covers facial reconstruction because after I'm done with you, nobody will ever recognize you as either Hallie Piper or Helene Townsend."

Hallie almost shrunk away from his icy threat. "Go ahead," she taunted, trembling, the scalpel biting into the life support cord. "Shoot me. Make your choice."

He could hear the clock above the door ticking; he could hear Hallie swallow, her throat contracting and releasing saliva; he could hear Susan's heart monitor and its steady beat. Surprisingly he didn't feel like God at this point of no return; he felt human, inobstrusively and undeniably human. A small stain that mattered. To Hallie's surprise, his gun lowered and she recovered a little. "I better not," said Creegan, slowly laying the gun near Susan's still hand before turning fully toward Hallie. "Or you might end up as clever as me . . .!"

She saw him lunge forward - giving her enough time to splice through the wires in the cord - and yet again there was that sound that defeaned him as he tackled her to the floor. Too late from saving the cord; he grabbed her wrist and banged it against the floor, the scalpel falling out of her grasp and clattering somewhere under the bed as his hands wound around her neck, thumbs pressed forcefully on her throat. "Bad . . . choice!" Creegan cried, straddling her there on the floor, choking what life she had but didn't deserve. The tears were exposed now, falling onto her face as her eyes shined under the dim light, mouth parted in a silent plea as her head hit the hard floor over and over, her hands clawing at his.

"P-Please . . . An-Andrew -"

Creegan sobbed angrily. "Don't call me that!!" The hands grew tighter, her eyes bulging in their sockets. The sound of several footsteps resonated from down the hall, nearing and entering the room. Susan's heart monitor ever so present in the abyss of his control. "You . . . die . . .!"

"Creegan, stop!" Someone - Rivers - was struggling to wrench David's hands free from Hallie's neck and at first he was met by difficulty before several more strange hands got a hold of the wild detective and restrained him, as he spat at them to let him finish what he came there to do.

Then there was nothing. All he could see in his mind's eye was Susan, all alone in the hospital bed, pale as the full moon on a clear night. OSC agents, hospital security - everyone else disappeared all within the blink of an eye.

One last time. Just give me another chance. One last time.

He once again felt something puncture his skin, and with his last ounce of strength, he made his way toward Susan and grabbed a hold of her hand before his world turned blacker than death.

--

24 Hours Later . . .

"Hey. Hellooo . . . Hey!" He jerked, startled at the blinding light coming from a large window and he squeezed his eyes shut again, hands shielding his face. "God, I was wondering when you would wake up. I bet you've never slept this long, have you?" Creegan opened one eye and glared it upon the perky face of Mark Rivers. "Didn't think so. Here, have some java - it's kinda cooled off but you'll live." He chuckled, slapping his shoulder. "You always do."

Once more he was in some kind of small office; different this time, it seemed like it was a small living arrangement for doctors who stayed overnight. He sat up in the cot he was slouched on as though someone hurriedly dumped him there. One side of his neck creaked in pain as he rubbed it thoroughly, accepting the cup Rivers offered him. Groggily, he looked into the coffee's surface, seeing his haggard reflection stare back at him. "Yes or no, Mark." He didn't look up as he braced himself against the inevitable.

The opposite detective looked at him thoughtfully, slurping his own cup of coffee from where he sat in a nearby folding chair. "Creegan," He began in a gentle tone.

"Yes or no."

Rivers sighed. "Yes. Yes, Creegan. She lived." He uncrossed his legs. "Susan. She's okay."

Creegan's eyes drifted shut, head tilting up toward the heaven's as he took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Good . . ." He laughed loudly like a crazy man. Like Creegan. "Good."

--

A day later . . .

Something hard and firm wrapped around her hand. Susan whimpered, muttering something about five more minutes before she could open one of her swollen eyes but it wasn't from pain that a tear leaked down the side of her face as she fought to focus the blurry image on her bedside. "Susan . . ." It wasn't David. Something in her cried.

"Wh-Who . . ."

The large figure barked in laughter. "You'll figure it out eventually. Tell David not to play with divine matches. He'll know what I mean." He patted her hand before she closed her eyes and drifted back to sleep. "They'd let you in, you know. Alpha-9. Dream reality, Susan. There's always you." The sentence ended abruptly in a whisper before she was out again.

She couldn't tell the duration of time that went by in between speaking with Cyril until the next time she woke up - it could have been hours, days, weeks . . . All that she knew was that she ached all over.

She experimented by flexing first the fingers of her right hand; that didn't seem so bad. Then it was her left that seemed to be wrapped in something. Someone else's hand. She glanced off to the side; there by her bedside was David, resting his head near her forearm, eyes closed and his breathing steady. The mere sight warmed her inside but it hurt too much to cry. Who knew how long he'd stayed by her side since the accident. Speaking of which, she didn't even know how she got there, what exactly had happened.

As she lost herself in her train of thought, Creegan stirred and dreamily peeked open his eyes and as they met hers, he straightened quickly. "Susan . . .!" Her breath was taken away when he leaned over to hug her, and she let out a small noise at the gesture. He leaned back as though he'd burned her, concerned eyes trained on her face. "Oh - Sorry, did I hurt you? Shit - I forgot that -"

"I'm all right, it only hurts when I breathe," She chuckled and winced at the single splice of lyric from a Melissa Etheridge song. She reached up and pulled his arm down to her, resting a hand on his cheek. "David, I . . ." Her voice caught as he covered her again, her face hidden in the hollow of his neck and shoulder. Her lips brushed against his neck and he fought to focus at a time like this. "I-I missed you - God . . . you were right. The tough part was coming back." He smiled slightly, caressing her hair as he kissed her head. "You lied to me, David. You lied . . . that's one reason I was sent - I mean, that's one reason I came back." Because I love you. He leaned back a little to look down at her.

"Lied to you . . .?"

"It wasn't Starbucks this time. KFC, David. Kentucky Fried Chicken." He blinked for a couple moments before a huge grin widened out across his mouth and he leaned forward and kissed her mouth tentatively in order not to harm her split lip. In between kisses, Susan giggled much like a gleeful young girl. That was her true self; innocent to the heart and that was another thing he loved about her.

"I'm so sorry this . . . that you . . ." David began, but she cut him off with another kiss before she set her head back upon her pillow; she never knew that such a simple action could exhaust her so.

"I get it though. I knew from the very beginning that I'd have to go through this much to stay with you; every little bit is worth it." She held her hand in his, taking a deep breath as he adjusted her pillow for her. "You know, that time when Judith Carny applied doxygen to your system and you had died again? Remember that?" He nodded in recollection. "You have no idea how afraid I was to lose you. I wasn't even thinking about catching Judith - only saving you. You'd died two times since the time you were born - probably more so emotionally. Me too, David. Me too . . ."

"And for that . . . I'm both sad and glad to have met you. " Creegan looked sadly down at her as he brushed aside a lock of her hair to the side of her face, hearing her breath catch. He reached for a cup of water on a nearby tray and offered it to her, helping her drink it. He'd prayed, surprisingly, to any god or entity with power that he'd be able to do this, to help her, to see her alive and talking to him and that he would give anything to pay the price. He just hoped the price was never too great for something like a life this woman obviously deserved. Once she finished, he stared down at her and he tried to think of the right words to say.

"You know what I think," He started, running his fingers down her arm. "I think that you and I were meant to be. Our near death experiences must have canceled each other out - we're two of a kind you see. We're . . .We're like this," He brought up a hand and crossed his index and middle finger, bringing forth a smile from her. "And I think this is only the beginning of the beginning, not the end like everything else."

She knew it was true. Death is the illusion. A soft smile graced her lips. But death hurts too much to be an illusion, David.

Yeah? So does life. It's called life for a reason.

True.

"Cyril wanted me to pass a message onto you."

Creegan's brows raised. "Cyril? He was here?" Part of him wanted to doubt her; maybe it was the drugs. Maybe she saw things. Maybe he should just believe her because in his heart he wanted to.

"Yes - I don't know of anyone else who'd invite me to Alpha 9." Creegan chuckled and waited for her to go on. "He wanted me to tell you 'not to play with divine matches.' He said you'd know what he meant. What did he mean by that?" Thoughts echoed in the hallways of his brain as he worked on that particular message. Through the curtains, the sun burned a bright orange like a lively flame; it was a beautiful sunset on such a long day.

Heaven's burning down for this, Susan.

A nurse came in the doorway to ask if Susan needed to use the bathroom, arising an interest in Creegan instantly. "Ooh! Can I watch - I mean, help with your gown if it slips down or something?"

"You really want to be slapped again, don't you?"

From that moment on, seeing his gentle childlike smile never meant more to her than that point in time.

--

Weeks later . . .

"She's sleeping for the moment."

Alex glared balefully at the nurse who blocked the doorway to Susan's room. "Oh really. Why, praytell, is her boyfriend doing in there talking with her then?" Indeed the 'boyfriend,' who was Creegan, was standing beside Susan, back toward her.

"W-Well . . ." The nurse stammered, looking down at the file in her hands. "He's a detective and her partner -"

"Partner is right," She grinned to herself before it faded and she waved the bouquet of flowers in front of the nurse's face. "Step aside, hun and let me through." The nurse's lips pursed at Alex's flippant tone. "Oh yes: by the way, what's your name?"

The nurse looked skeptically at her. "Laura Bridgeton."

"Noted. Excuse me Ms. Bridgeton - your lack of hospitality will be reported in due time. Thank you." Sidestepping the nurse, she went on ahead and entered the room. Susan looked up and smiled just as she came by and Creegan followed suit, raising an eyebrow at her. "No need to get territorial, Mr. Creegan," Alex held up her hands, indicating the innocent bouquet of flowers. "Just a bit of a peace offering, mind you."

"Nice to see you too, Alexandria," David grinned and to her surprise, enveloped her in a hug. Susan noted with amusement as the color rose in her friend's cheeks as he released her. "Okidoke, I guess I'll leave you two ladies alone for the moment." He gave Susan a meaningful glance, one that meant a playful I'm not finished with you, one that he'd always give her every time he left her in the company of someone else.

"Bye," The ladies replied and as Creegan turned toward the door, he'd received a sound slap on the ass from Alex as Susan's laughter echoed down the hall.

--

About a year later. Women's State Prison/Insane Asylum.

Autumn had descended and the days grew shorter as the Rivers, Creegan and Branca all climbed into Branca's new car on one of her 'errands.' Susan had told the other two that she was merely visiting someone she knew from way back when, and Creegan, ever the curious one decided to join her after work, and Rivers, who had nothing better to do than to go to some titty bar and wallow in alcohol, decided to make himself the third wheel. It was a long drive, but before any of the two males could say 'are we there yet,' they'd arrived at a classically dark place borne from some cheesy horror movie.

"Hey Brancs," Rivers was well on his way to wearing out the nickname as he looked out the window at the depressingly gray building. "Why are we at a women's prison?"

"It's also an insane asylum, just for you Mark," she said sarcastically. Branca put the car in park, engaging the hand brake as she looked at Rivers in the rearview mirror. "This is where the person I'm to visit is staying. Lovely place isn't it?"

"Dungeons and grungy motels are more my style," Creegan muttered as he no sooner caught on to her game. "What ever made you think of her now? And after what she did to you . . ."

Susan shrugged, tracing the outline of the steering wheel. "I'm only going to thank her. That's all." She brushed a lock of hair in front of the small scar on her forehead in order to keep it discreet. She remembered how Creegan had come over to her house one time and found her applying cover-up to the small scar, and he immediately went over and wiped the stuff off. His only explanation was it's the only way people can tell that we are linked to each other. She'd laughed and told him it isn't what's here, she indicated to the scar, but what's here, she laid a hand on his heart. Hopefully over time he'll be able to understand. She came here to thank Hallie for making her understand herself; some simple things could be the most complex to some.

"Creegan almost thanked her for you; he almost killed her the second time she tried to kill you," Rivers remarked from the back-seat. "Almost split her windpipe. I would have gone the easier way and shot her to death."

All this morbid talk was turning her off as she opened her door then stopped when she noticed Creegan doing the same. She grabbed his coat as he fell back in the seat. "You," She said firmly. "Stay here."

"What? Why?" Even if it was ridiculous to feel jealous, she kept it hidden under weary cautiousness.

"She's crazy, remember? You might trigger something."

Creegan looked at her as though she'd just stolen his dignity. "Just in case you've forgotten, she tried to kill you, not me."

She patted his head like a small child. "Don't fidget, you might wrinkle your jeans." Rivers laughed at that as Creegan glared him down. "Besides, it's not like she can configure a wreck to happen while she's in handcuffs."

"Hm, I dunno Brancs, I've seen people do some wanky stuff in cuffs." Both Creegan and Branca raise a suspicious eyebrow at him as Rivers shrugged. "What . . .?"

Branca shook her head and stepped outside, leaning down to bark orders. "Keep him company for me Fetish-Boy and you," Reaching across the gearshift once again for Creegan's jacket hem as he once again became an attempted escapee. "Behave." She waited patiently until he reluctantly closed the door again, mumbling and crossing his arms in deviance. She closed her own door and adjusted her jacket, then made her way to the gate.

"Hey, this isn't so bad," Rivers piped up. "We can play the alphabet game or Guess the Bitch Leader," He pointed toward the yard where several women prisoners were running around.

"Ugh," Creegan groaned. "Shut up or I'll fart something bad and lock you in."

There was only exactly one minute of silence before Rivers opened his mouth again. "So. Have you and Branca . . .?"

"I'm seriously letting one, Marky." Creegan warned.

"You're boring," Mark childishly complained as he sat back and looked around for something else to amuse him. Creegan pouted thoughtfully; this time around it was Rivers who needed amusing. That in itself was amusing to him. He glanced toward the gray building that Susan just disappeared into. What exactly was she doing in there?

--

Susan watched with bright blue eyes from where she sat as a guard led Hallie, who was bound in cuffs on the hands and ankles to a chair across a table from her. Hair mussed, deathly pale and dark shadows inhibiting under Hallie's eyes, she resembled death herself.

Hallie was first to speak. "Do you have any smokes on you?"

Susan frowned. "I don't smoke and neither should you."

Hallie laughed, all the color in her voice gone and it sounded empty. "I'm in here on death row and you only came here to tell me to stop smoking? Fine job, detective."

Susan's face softened as she laid a hand on the cold table. "I came here to thank you. Really, Helene. You helped me straighten out a few things."

"Too bad you weren't able to stay fully in the light," The haggard woman replied, biting on a hangnail. She fixed a forlorn eye on her. "So let me get this straight: you came here to thank me for killing you?"

Susan cleared her throat a bit, glancing out the window. "Technically, yes. For letting me in on exactly how David ticks. I never quite understood him until now." She paused. "Also, I'm sorry about Danny . . . He didn't quite make five months."

A silence seared through the cold air as the chains rattled and clung heavily to Hallie's still soft skin. "You know. Don't you?" Branca turned her gaze toward her. "A man nearest you - the one who shot and left Andrew for dead. You know who he is, don't you?"

"Andrew . . .?" Branca tried to make sense of it. "You mean David."

"Andrew, David . . . they're one and the same," Hallie waved a hand absently in the air as though fanning smoke away, an insignificant detail flying before her. "He's amongst you. You work closely with him. He loves you more than you know and he's come back to finish what he's started."

Susan looked more intensely at her. "Who are you talking about?"

In reply Hallie only laughed cruelly, making the chains that bound her rattle in the air hovering over them. "He hates Andrew! He's tried to get rid of him before - and he'll kill him again if you don't stop him, Agent," She continued to cackle loudly, turning to shrieks as she thrust an accusing finger only an inch away from Susan's face, trying to jump over the table. "I should've killed you when I had the chance . . .!" Getting up from the chair, Susan automatically reached for the gun that wasn't there but was being kept down in the secure lobby, and she turned just as Hallie lunged for her. A security officer made a grab at her hair and held her at bay like one would with a dog and a chain choker. She howled incessantly for him to release her, and as she was being dragged away back into her cell, Susan couldn't help but think over the words of a mad woman, still hearing her parting yells of, "Murderer! You've killed him! You've KILLED him!!!"

He's tried to get rid of him before . . .

. . .and he'll kill him again.

The room suddenly grew so cold as to the point where she could see a faint trace of her breath in the air. What - no, who was she talking about . . .?

As she walked out to the car, still Hallie's words haunted her but she made no effort to mention it as she saw Creegan leaning against her car, rising and closing the gap between them. "Hey, what's wrong?" He looked worriedly down at her. "You look like you've just seen a ghost."

No, I'm just deciding whether or not to trust the words of a lunatic. "No, I've just had a long day, plus I just visited a woman that tried to kill me. Let's go." He obeyed reluctantly and got in the car, reading her every movement from the door slamming to the key turning. She only turned to him once with a wrinkle of her nose. "What is that smell . . .?" Innocently, Creegan pointed a finger at a comically passed-out Rivers in the back-seat.

"He did it."

Temporarily Hallie's chilling warning was forgotten as she laughed it off, pushing the button to roll down all the windows.

Heaven has burned down, but it's recuperating.

"Anybody up for a visit to Planet WD40?"

"It's Alpha 9, Susan. And yes, we'd love to see Cyril."

She smiled back. "David."

He stopped mid-reach toward the radio. "Yes, Susan."

"Buckle up."

- THE END -

[of the beginning . . .?]

--

Notes: I've always thought that the "Space Between" song by The Dave Matthew Band or "Caught in the Sun" by Course of Nature would be good at the end. Eh.

THERE! AAAAAH...Finally done. There. Ah. Okay, I've already said that. Yay! [jumps up and down and doing the mambo] Okay, maybe I'LL be the loon here, lol. Hope you liked this story. I think you did . . . something tells me that you did, hehe. The ending opens it to a sequel, but who knows? [shrugs] I think I'm going to wait until Season Two. Maybe not. We'll just see. Depends if people are still interested. On a lighter note: I got my tapes! So far I've seen every single ep of Touching Evil there is. I'm such an obsesessed idiot. Forgive me. Hey, I haven't written any letters to USA Network, nor have I made any websites in honor of Touching Evil or any of its cast members. Hm. Only 'cuz I can't, haha.

[THE END ROLLING CREDITS] THANK YOU KIND SUPPORTERS:

Mrs. Rhett Butler: Aw, yeah, I ain't patient either, but who really is?? Yep. Cry all you want. It's over [waaaah!] lol! Susan's awake - I made it so easy for her to wake up - not even a limb amputated, ain't that great?! Eh. Maybe in the sequel [if I do decide to do one], I'll go more into detail about how the accident effected her. Now I must go and write this hurriedly fast 'cuz I'm on a sedative 'cuz of my insomnia. Hope you stay in touch. Peace out doll. P.S.: No, my brother in law's not as cute as Creegan. But who is? Hee.

Viviane Aeryn: Thank you so much for sticking around until the very end. Hope you liked this chappie.

Meghan: Screw my vacation? LOL I did actually - I screwed it until this weekend Yay - going to Vancouver, BC. Too bad TE's not filming anymore. Boo. Haha, dunno if I can do both a prequel and a sequel. Great idea though. Maybe I will if I get bored enough. Or inspired. Hee.

Lillybell: Aw thanx for wishing me an awesome vacation! That was so nice! [hug] Thank you for reading the whole story. That means a tremendous lot, really. [sniff]

Sandra hinson: Waiting impatiently, eh? Well, love the honesty! Heehee. Love that you were waiting in the first place. Awesome. Thanks for the review!!

Wiseoldman: I hope this chapter rocked really intense uber. LOL Gotten any wiser yet? Thanx again!

Self Injured: COME ON, Syd! I was really contemplating whether or not to send you an anonymous hate letter about your fic 'cuz I WANNA READ THE REST OF IT!! LOL! Seriously. Come back from wherever you said you went for vacation. I can't WAIT!!

NBLkolt: Here ya go! You wanted to see what happened, this is what happened. Hope it wasn't too hurried. Thank you so much for all the kind reviews you've give me from the very start. They're what kept me going. :D

Diddly day: Alas, my fic doesn't cure up anything with me. I want the real stuff, and I want it now!! [turns crazy - er . . . Crazy-er . . .] LOL! Thank you for your review.

Galxychld: Another request for a sequel? OH man! LOL Don't get me wrong, I do want to write one, it's just thinking up one is the tough part. Perhaps. We shall see. :D Thank you for all your wonderful reviews, Galxychld. This is the result. I hope it's good.

Crimson Alessa: LOL I hope you enjoyed the other chapters. Totally kickass, I love the phrase. Rock on. Thanx very much for everything.

Jennifer: Of course Susan didn't die. Everybody'd hate me if I let her die! LOL Sounds like she was running a marathon: "She beat your record, Creegs." Haha, next we have the 90 meter hurdle! Or whatever . . . Hee. Another sequel/prequel request. My. Thank you so much.

Flame31: Dude! Here's the next and final installment. I hope you didn't hate it. If you hated it, well, hm, there's always a first. :D Thanx man, for your cut-to-the-point reviews.

Janie: "Janie's got a gun!" LOL Sorry. Thanx hun, hoped you liked this.

Mad-mad-world: I know this story's not the best, but I sure am glad you thought it cool. :D

Alamo Girl: Thank you so much Alamo, and I hope you had a kickass vacation. Kudos to you, and a very big thank you hug. :D

GeorgieQ: Me? Your favorite fanfic author? [faints and dies] Holy. Matrimony. I do feel honored, unworthy is the word. Still, thank you so much for every single review you bothered to put out. Special they are, indeed. :D Hope you liked Creegan trying to off Hallie. I thought it only fair, but she didn't die 'cuz well, I wanted her to rot in jail instead, lol.

Snosamie6: Nope, not a super-angsty sad story. Not really for the most part anyway. Kept that way. LOL To hell with your 5th grade English teacher [I hated mine, just so you know lol!]. She can suck a big fat one haha! You can start and end with 'and's and 'but's as much as you want when reviewing to me! [Just don't do it when you're in class, eek] Thank you snosamie. It's been real. Stay cool, stay in school or whatever the heck they say haha.

SassyAngel05: Last but definitely not the least. My sedative's working now and I must run. I'm glad you thought it was amazing. Thank you. All your reviews were amazing to me. Have fun you. [drug-induced hug]

And I thank all who have lurked around reading this story. You know who you are. ;D [wink and a slap on the ass]. It'd be nice if you'd delurked and left a little love for someone so bored such as me. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.

-Always me, Mia

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