A/N: Wrote this on a whim when I got home when it came to me during my walk home. As we all know, I don't own the characters. The only characters I own are Karen and Harper. Enjoy! Thanx for the reviews all!

Samyo: Thankies!

Cartergal131: Thanx! I was so worried that Karen's "anger" didn't get across.

Chapter 4: The Initial Step

A week later...

Carter hadn't seen Karen since her discharge. A discharge which she made sure was far from him. But he'd been too busy though with his 15 minutes of fame on the 6 o'clock News and Susan busting his chops about it to worry about Karen. He'd done the right thing by making a statement on Zarictal on the news. He'd probably saved some lives from the same torture that Gabriel, Katie and Hannah Milner went through. He was sitting outside now, contemplating the past few days when he heard the Ambulance sirens in the distance. He looked up to see if he could spot the lights but found Detective Karen McKay instead.

"Detective McKay." Carter said with mock surprise standing up. "Can I help you?" He asked rhetorically and rudely as he started to head inside.

"I deserve that. After what I did to you, I don't deserve to even be here right now but...I just got off and I wanted to apologize." He stopped and turned to face her skeptically.

"It's not necessary." He lied as he walked toward the bench to sit down again. "But it is appreciated."

"I really am sorry-for everything." She said walking over to him but not sitting down. Karen just stood in front of him with her hands in her coat pocket, practically avoiding his eyes. "I don't blame you for Lucy's death. I don't know why I even cared. We weren't that close."

"Karen, you don't have to explain." He stated simply with very little simpathy in his voice.

"I don't have to, but I want to." She said finally staring him in his eyes. Carter nodded respectfully and offered her a seat next to him which she reluctantly took. "You see, growing up, Lucy and I always butted heads." She said chuckling and smiling wistfully. "Even though we always fought, I could always count on her-like a sister of sorts. I hated her, too. I hated her so much then, but...now...I was on my 3rd year of college as a lost, undelcared major when I found out she died." She admitted a little embarassed. "Her death hit me hard, you know?"

"Yeah, I know." He replied sadly, as he looked up at the sky. Karen cursed herself and looked at the sky, too. Of course he knows, dumbass! He was there!

"Anyway...her death put things into perspective for me. I decided that if I couldn't save her, then I'd save others." She stated proudly before adding onto it with a hit of laughter. "In a way that would require force so I could get my point across easily without trouble. Um, Lucy, uh...she helped me to become a cop, she helped me make that choice. And even though she's gone, in some small way, I can still feel her, you know? Almost as if she's guiding me." Carter looked down at her a little taken aback my her statement and the two were silent for a moment. "That must sound pretty morbid, right? Call a Pysch Consult." She said laughing at herself, bringing her head down to wipe her eyes free of the small tears that dangled ever so lightly.

"No, not at all." She looked at him and the two just smiled at each other for a while in the winter air. When the Ambulance finally showed, the two shook the others hand and parted. Karen said she'd drop by once in a while, but more often than not it would be on a case. She left, alone, into the night and Carter went back to work a little happier. Both of them had got the comfort, in some way, they needed and never recieved after 5 years of agony and pain.

A/N: Sorry, but this is the last chapter. It wasn't meant to be long anyway. If anyone wants to use Karen or even Harper in a fic of their own, email me and I'll send you a character profile.