A.N: Okay, this is my first ever romance fic, so please, please, Please don't flame me. I'm trying the best I can. Oh, and I know Munch's first name is John and the song says Johnny, but the song is just the frame work. This is set around the episode "Slaves" with spoilers from "Remorse".

Disclaimer: Me! You're asking what I own. I own squat. Dick Wolf sadly owns Munch. (I'm borrowing him a. because he's my hero; and b. because it gets lonely up here in my head) and Joe Nichols owns the song, which is my favorite.


Ol' Johnny's got a heart of gold, ask anyone around here.

But some nights his eyes are far away and filled with tears.

"Hey, John, long time no see," I greeted casually from behind the bar as Detective John Munch walked in.

"Oh, hey, Mark," John replied distractedly. He sat down staring blankly ahead.

Walking over to him I asked, "Tough case, huh?"

After all, I've seen that look before. He has it every now and then. The look means that this last case really, really tried his "faith in humanity" as he puts it..

"You could say that," he says, still staring at the wall.

I lift an eyebrow at his lack of acknowledgement, but I don't press. The last time I did was the Sarah Logan case and it didn't go well.

"I'm guessing you want the usual?"

He nodded slowly in a shell-shocked way. There's something amiss about it though. At first I don't know what, but then it hits me. Even under those damn dark glasses of his I can see there are tears in his eyes.

Despite every fiber of my being telling me not to I ask, "She was young wasn't she?"

John looks at me, and shakes his head.

"No," he sighs, "I've just been around the block to often."

The statement suprises me, even though it shouldn't. Twenty years of experience behind the bar has told me the secret tosentences. That particular one is only used by the love lorn. Now despite the sarcastic contempt John has held his wives in, he isn't very good at hiding his true feelings. Well, at least he's not good at hiding them from me. Then again I do have twenty some years on my belt. But it's the bland, straight-forward way he says it that suprises me. There's no sarcasm or joking to hid behind. He laid it all out for everyone to see.

"I'll get you that drink," I say, shaking my head sadly.

Sweet Mary Lou's just as good as they come.

With a weakness for all the wrong men.

From the look on her face tonight she's been wrong again.

As I move across the bar I passed Mary Lou, another usual patron. Her red eyesare moist and glistening. Whatever makeup she had had on was all washed away. Her elegant black dress is all crinkled and haggard looking on her shaking frame.

" Lou, you going to be okay?" I ask, generally concerned. The poor gal has had some heavy blows in life, mainly from the men in her life. This sight of her isn't unusual, but it really tears me apart every time. I think tonight especially since it looks like she had specially prepared her previous look for her last boy"friend".

Lou struggles in pulling herself together as she looks up to me and replies, "Yeah, fine. Plenty of fish in the sea right?"

I nod and answer, "Yep, plenty of fish in the sea."

I head to grab John's drink and hurry it over to him.

Bartender's thinkin' to himself

As he rubs his towel around the glass

Now there's a man with a memory

Here's a woman with a past.

Lost souls on life's highway, forever looking back.

When you're living for the love and the love doesn't last

You get a man with a memory, a woman with a past.

"Here you go, John," I say, handing him the glass.

"Thanks," he mutters and pulls out a couple bills.

As I take the money I see Lou walking to the other end of the bar. At that moment,lightning struck. Looking over at John and then at Lou I let a smile creep up.

Bartender turns the tv down and cranks that old jukebox up

Carefully selects which buttons to push for what each song does.

C-23 after J-19, it's a tonic for a broken heart

A little "Stardust" in the mix, it's a fine, fine art.

Dim the lights a notch or two, the next round is on the house.

For the man with a memory and the woman with a past.

Quickly I walk over to the back. It takes a coupleminutes but I get the songs I need.Thankfully Lou and John are the only customers at the moment, somy devious plan may have a chance.Once I have the main part set I head for the bar and work on the next step of the little plan.

"Here you go, John," I say handing him a drink.

He looks at me, glancing over his glasses.

I laugh and say, "It's on the house."

He still looks at me suspiciously but takes the drink. I roll my eyes as he sips it cautiously and walk to the other side of the bar.

"Hey, Lou!" I call out, "Why don't you come over here? You look like you need something stronger."

She gives me and icy glare but joins me at the bar. At the same moment the music starts playing.

Oh, we've all got something we've got to get around.

Now and then you get the chance to help the lost get found.

Both John and Lou roll their eyes and give a little sigh. They look at each other's direction. John stares over his glasses again as Lou begins to blush. Quickly I make myself scarce as John gets up and walks toward her. In the back I can make out the short beginnings of a long conversation.

Stacking chairs and sweeping up.

He can't help a little smile.

Thinking 'bout the man with a memory and the woman with a past.

Later on, when the muttering isn't so loud I go back to the front. Not suprisingly the bar is empty, two glasses standing next to each other, partially untouched. Under them is a crisp twenty dollar bill and a napkin. Picking it up I unfold it to find a note that reads, "Thanks."

Again a small smile creeps up on me as I clean up. The rest of my patrons fill in and no one seems to notice the change but it's there. You just have to look. After all, it's not everyday to wandering hearts finally meet.

Fin.


Love it? Hate it? Drop me a line, butplease, no flames.