CH. 9

Back at the beach house, the She Spies are sitting around the television, snacking on some popcorn and watching a movie. They figure that they'd earned it with all the work they've had to do over the past week or so with the cartel case. They had asked Amy to join them, but she had declined, saying that she wanted to go sit down on the beach for a while. She hadn't given a reason, but the girls suspected why she had chosen to do that. They didn't question and allowed her to go off by herself.

The girls are enjoying their movie when their viewing is interrupted by the sound of the doorbell. They look over at the clock and then at each other, wondering who would be coming to their house since they hadn't been expecting anyone.

"Who could that be?" asks Shane.

"I don't know, but there's one way to find out," says Cassie, standing up.

"Do you want us to pause the movie for you?" asks DD.

Cassie thinks for a moment before shaking her head. She had seen the movie before, so she wasn't too worried about missing a few minutes. Besides, she was only answering the door and she didn't think it would take too long.

"Nah, I'll be back in a minute. Unless it's a salesman or something," she says, walking towards the door.

"In which case you either don't answer or you tell them to go away and shut the door in their face," says Shane.

DD looks at Shane, a curious look on her face.

"You'd really be that rude?" she asks.

"If it gets them to leave me alone, then you bet your butt I will," replies Shane, nodding.

Cassie smiles at Shane's comment and opens the door. Standing on the stoop is Cross, in his street clothes. She's surprised to see him, but she's also, in a way, not surprised. There hadn't really been time to catch up after the arrests were made and they figured that he'd probably want to catch up with Amy at some point.

"Cross? What're doing here?" she asks.

"That's a fine way to greet your superior," says Cross.

"Hey, we're off the clock now, so you're not my superior until tomorrow," replies Cassie, grinning and moving to the side so Cross can enter.

Cross gives a half smile in return as he enters the house. Cassie shuts the door behind him and he glances around, seeing the others. The only one he doesn't see is Amy. He hadn't had the chance to talk to her after the cartel members were arrested because he had to deal with the police and then do some quick paperwork. This was the first chance he had had to see any of them since then.

"Is Amy here?" he asks.

"Actually, she's down on the beach," says Cassie.

"Thanks," he replies.

As he starts to walk by the living room, he slows down for a moment. He wanted to make sure that he didn't forget to greet the other She Spies. He wouldn't hear the end of it if he didn't.

"Ladies," he greets, nodding to Shane and DD.

"Hi," says DD, in her usual perky manner.

"What're you doing here? Is there some mission we don't know about? 'Cuz if there is, can't it at least wait until after the movie's over?" asks Shane, pouting a little.

"Relax, there's no mission. Not today anyway," Cross answers, smiling and shaking his head as he walks by them and out the back door.

Cassie sits back down on the couch and picks up her glass of soda. Shane looks at her.

"So what did he want?" she asks.

"He came to talk to Amy didn't he?" asks DD, looking over at Cassie.

"Yeah, looks like it may finally be the time for that talk they didn't want to have," Cassie replies.

"It's about time," says Shane, taking some popcorn.

Cassie and DD nod in agreement and return to watching their movie. They know that things with Cross and Amy should go smoothly, so they're not worried. Besides, it was a good movie and they wanted to concentrate on it and enjoy it.

Down on the beach, Amy is sitting quietly on a bench, looking out at the ocean and going over the day's events in her head. There is a light breeze that is blowing her hair just a little as she sits there, soaking in the last of the sunset. As she's looking out over the horizon, Cross comes up beside the bench. He stands there for a moment, watching his niece and noticing how much she's grown over the years. His thoughts turn to past events, but he doesn't keep them there for long.

"Mind if I sit down?" he asks.

Amy looks up to see who is standing next to the bench. She sees that it's her uncle, so she turns her attention back to the ocean.

"Sure," she says.

Cross sits down next to Amy. He is silent for another moment, doing as she is, looking out over the sea. They both know that there are things that need to be talked about, but neither wants to be the one to bring it up first. Finally, Cross reaches in his pocket and takes out the locket that Duncan had found on the floor of the beach house. He had given it to Cross, figuring that he would want to be the one to give it back to her.

"Duncan found this on the floor," he says, handing the necklace to Amy.

"Thanks," she says, taking the locket.

Silence follows again as clasps the locket in her hand. She doesn't put it in her pocket or even put it on, just sits there with it clasped in her hand. It was an emotional moment for her, because it was almost like he was giving it to her again, which made her think of the past. She missed the way things were, but wasn't sure if he'd allow them to return that way. She tried her best to get those thoughts out of her mind, knowing that she'd want to cry if she continued to think about it too much and she really didn't want to do that in front of her uncle.

"How's your arm?" asks Cross finally.

"Still hurts a little on occasion, but it's going away," she answers.

"That's good," he replies.

He pauses for a second, taking a deep breath.

"Duncan told me why you did what you did today," Cross says finally.

"I had to. He wanted to kill you for sending me to rehab," she replies, continuing to look out over the ocean and avoiding his gaze.

Cross smiles to himself, seeing that what Duncan had said about her doing everything she had done to save his life was true. It surprised him, because she had been acting like she hated him like he was the enemy and he usually only made things worse. And yet, she still helped him. It was one of those things that couldn't help but make you smile.

Silence follows once again. This time it persists for a little longer. Cross knows there is one more thing he wanted to bring up, sensing that tonight was finally the night to bring up that day from the past. Amy knows what Cross is going to bring up, but she's no longer nervous.

"I only did it for your own good, you know," he says, looking out over the horizon.

"I know," she says, doing the same.

"It was also to protect you from Gavin," he says.

Finally, Amy looks at Cross. She hadn't known that he had known about Gavin beating her when he got angry. She could tell that that's what he was referring to.

"You knew about that?" she asks.

"Well, it wasn't too hard to figure out when I'd see you with new bruises. Plus, I knew you don't wear makeup often, so when you did I figured something was probably up," he explains, turning to meet her gaze.

Amy smiles at his mention of makeup. He was right, she almost never wore makeup. The fact that he was allowing himself to remember things from the past made her eyes glass over with tears. She immediately turns to face the water again, not wanting him to see her cry. Sure, she had known that it was for her own good, but when she realized that he had known it would help to protect her from Gavin, it made everything hit her a little harder.

"I also realize now that you didn't intentionally go back on your word," adds Cross, looking back out over the ocean.

"I should've tried harder though. I could've told mom and dad when you asked me to, but I didn't. And even when I tried to get through to Gavin, he wouldn't listen. I should've broken up with him a long time ago, but I didn't," explains Amy.

"Everyone was at fault here. It wasn't just one or the either. Everyone had a choice and could've done something differently."

Amy looks at Cross. Their gazes lock for a moment, with unspoken words being exchanged. After a moment, a tear falls down Amy's cheek. They both know that everything's okay now. Amy smiles at her uncle, who returns it with one of his own. Without saying anything, Amy leans in and hugs him. He smiles once more to himself as he embraces her, thoughts of the past flooding back to them both. They have both longed to have things return to normal between them and they finally have.

Since they're in their own world for the moment, they don't hear the She Spies approaching. The girls had noticed that Cross and Amy had been outside for a while, so they figured they'd go see how things were progressing. They can tell that things were worked out, at least for the time being. They girls look at each other for a moment and smile.

"Aww, how sweet," Shane says, purposely louder than necessary.

Cross and Amy part and look up to see the three She Spies standing behind them, grinning. Amy sniffles a little and wipes the tear off of her cheek.

"Leave them alone," says Cassie.

"Yeah, it's a family moment," says DD.

The girls look at each other and grin. Then they look back at Amy and Cross.

"Speaking of family moments, which really has nothing to do with what I'm about to say," starts Cassie, "we talked it over. We know that you're supposed to be going home within the next couple of days and we decided that you're welcome to stay here as long as you want, Amy."

Amy looks at her uncle before looking back at the She Spies.

"Really?" she asks, wiping the tear off of her cheek.

"Yup," says DD, nodding and smiling.

"As long as you behave yourself," adds Cross.

Amy looks back at her uncle. She looks at him with a annoyed look on her face. For a moment, they are unsure if she's upset or not.

"I will," she says finally, smiling, showing that her annoyed look had only been an act.

Cross smiles in reply as the She Spies laugh at her dramatics.

"So, it's still early and the movie's not over yet, you guys wanna watch it with us?" asks Shane.

Amy smiles.

"Sure, why not?" she says.

The girls look at Cross, knowing that he's not usually into that sort of thing. Usually he's all business. His answer surprises them all.

"I suppose I can squeeze in a movie. The paperwork can be finished tomorrow," he says.

Everyone smiles as Amy and Cross stand up from the bench. As they all walk towards the house, Amy lifts up her arms and puts the locket around her neck. Cross sees this. Amy can sense him looking at her, so she looks back at him and smiles. He smiles in return and they go back into the house to finish watching the movie, knowing that, in the end, they were all able to pull through it all. And that's what can make life worth living sometimes - especially when you have friends and family to help you do so.


Note: I was thinking about maybe adding another story or two after this, with Amy still in them, so keep your eye open for them:)