TITLE: 'Til the Sky Turned Blue – Book VI of VI

AUTHOR: Jennifoofighter

RATING: PG

KEYWORDS: MS, D/OC, VM, and friendship all around.

SPOILERS/TIMELINE: Post 'End Game'

DISCLAIMER: Hank and Co. own everything Without a Trace. No copyright infringement is intended ...yada, yada, yada, I get nothing but the satisfaction of having them do what I want if only for a little while.

NOTE: Thank you Pru for the 'Book' idea. It makes it much easier to organize.

SPECIAL THANKS: Sammy and Broni, Thank you for the reviews, the constructive criticism, and most of all, the encouragement to actually post it. You guys rock.

AUTHORS NOTE: I am asking you to take a journey with me. For some it might be a bumpy ride but I promise that you will be very happy once we arrive at the final destination.

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"A home is any four walls that enclose the right person." - Helen Rowland

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Martin stared at the poster on the wall of a family playing with their Irish Setter in the park and felt a small lump in his throat. He had thought that he might feel a little more numb to these kinds of things by now but still, two months later, seeing images like this still felt like a kick to the gut.

"I'm sorry, Martin. I can't find anything wrong with Milo," Simon commented as he returned to the exam room. Simon Murphy was Milo's veterinarian. He was a thin older man with a bushy head of hair and wire framed glasses. "As far as we can tell Milo is in perfect health."

"There has to be something wrong. He hasn't been eating; he doesn't have the energy he used to; he hardly ever wags his tail…he just hasn't been himself," Martin argued as he pet Milo who just lay with his head on his two front paws looking at him with his sad big brown eyes.

Simon leaned against the counter and asked, "How are you doing Martin?"

"What does this have to do with me?" He looked over where Simon stood; the counter behind him cluttered with jars filled with heartworms and tapeworms.

"Dogs are very intuitive creatures," he replied as he pushed up his glasses with his index finger. "If you're happy, he's happy; if you're sad, then he's sad."

"Are you saying Milo is depressed because of me?" he questioned as he returned his attention to the big brown Lab.

"I don't know," Simon replied as he folded his arms. "Are you depressed?"

He sighed before replying, "It's been a tough time but I'm working on it. I guess I didn't realize that Milo was that empathetic." He rubbed the dog's neck. "What do you recommend I do?"

"Well, pay a little more attention to him, more trips to the park, that kind of stuff. I can't tell you to be happy but I think you'll find as your mental health improves so will Milo's."

"Okay, I got it," he replied, adding under his breath, "I just wish it really was as easy as that."

"What?" Simon asked.

"Nothing," he replied as he latched Milo's collar to the leash and headed to the door.

Simon could see that Martin wasn't willing to pursue the discussion any further so he followed them out to the reception desk. "Goodbye, Martin. I hope things get better for the both of you." He reached over and patted Milo's head. "Bye, Milo. Cheer up, buddy."

"Thank you, Simon." The two men shook hands. After Simon went back into the exam room, he looked down at Milo and felt a wave of guilt. The dog looked up at him and Martin said, "I promise to work on being happy if you do."

Milo barked and he took that as an official verbal agreement.

Happiness here we come.