Things Not Said - Part One

Things Not Said

By Mady Bay – [email protected]

Written – Fall, 1998

Disclaimer – I don't own any of these characters. I wish I did…

*Warning – Mature content. Rated PG-13

Things Not Said

Jon and Ponch met Bear for lunch at a local hot dog stand.

"Hey, Bear, what's up?" Jon replied.

"Man, am I hungry!" Ponch exclaimed, getting off his motor.

Bear just nodded to them and smiled as he got out of his patrol car. The three placed their orders and sat on the picnic table outside the establishment.

"Boy, Bear, you should've seen the chick we stopped this morning," Ponch started.

"Yeah, she had on more diamonds than Zsa Zsa Gabor!" Jon added.

"But at least she didn't take a swing at me, she just kissed me!" Ponch exclaimed.

Bear didn't respond. He just stared at his hot dog.

"Hey, Bear?" Jon called. "Earth to Bear," he called again.

Finally, Ponch waved his hand in front of Bear's face.

"Huh? What?" Bear responded, startled.

"Hey, where were you, man?" Ponch asked.

"Oh, I'm sorry," he said. "I'm just not with it today, I guess."

"Not looking forward to the four extra hours they banged you with tonight?" Ponch asked.

"No, I don't mind the overtime," Bear answered.

"What's wrong?" Jon asked. "Everything okay with you and Sindy?"

Bear paused, wondering if he should talk about his and Sindy's relationship with Jon and Ponch.

"Come on, Bear. You can talk to us," Ponch interjected.

Bear looked at them. Took a deep breath.

"I don't know. It's probably nothing," he started.

"But...." Jon urged.

"She called me this morning, right after briefing," Bear began.

"Yeah, I remember you getting paged," Ponch recalled.

"Well, she sounded funny. She said we had to talk," Bear continued. "She wanted to meet me after work tonight at the Red Dragon."

"Oh," Jon replied, looking down.

"She can't be breaking up with you," Ponch said. "I've seen you two. You've got chemistry."

"Yeah, well, she hasn't wanted to go out for almost two weeks now. And I feel like she's been avoiding me at work, too," Bear said.

"Look, Bear," Jon began. "You can't be sure of anything. For all you know she may want to talk about staying together. Permanently," he finished.

"Ooh, Mr. and Mrs. Baricza," Ponch teased.

Bear and Jon both rolled their eyes at that remark.

"That's just it. I haven't got a clue what's going through her mind," Bear said. "I just know she's not happy right now."

"You're thinking the worst, Bear," Jon remarked.

He was about to continue when they heard a loud crash behind them. Two cars had collided in the middle of an intersection.

"Well, boys, looks like lunch is over," Bear announced.

***

Bear was late. He checked his watch again as he pulled into the parking lot at the Red Dragon. It was a small local Italian restaurant with a bar. The owner named the place after a similar establishment he frequented in his college days. Bear and Sindy discovered the place quite by accident one evening driving around and have gone to it several times since.

"Oh, good, Sindy's still here," Bear said to himself when he saw her car in the lot.

He went inside and looked around. There was a bit of a crowd tonight. He remembered their weekly specials being very popular. Bear didn't see Sindy anywhere. He waited a bit, thinking that maybe she was in the ladies' room. After about ten minutes, however, he nixed that idea. He went to the bartender.

"Excuse me," he started. "I'm supposed to be meeting a friend here. Her car's outside, I was wondering if you saw her," he continued.

"What does she look like?" the bartender asked.

"She's about five feet six with long brown hair," Bear described. "Here," he added showing the man a picture of Sindy from his wallet.

"Yeah, she was here. Bumped into her and her boyfriend on my way in tonight. He was practically carrying her, she was so trashed," the bartender said.

"You're sure it was her?" Bear asked, again showing the man the picture.

Bear had never seen Sindy drunk. They had an occasional drink or two together every now and then, but that's it.

"Yeah, I'm sure. I don't miss lookers like her," the bartender asserted.

"How long ago was this?" Bear asked.

"About half an hour ago. Sorry," he added, seeing Bear's stricken face.

"Yeah, thanks," Bear replied, slowly turning away from the bar.

***

Jon was sitting on the couch reading, when the phone rang.

"Hello?" he answered.

"Hey, Jon, it's Bear," Bear started. "I'm not interrupting anything am I?" he added.

"No, not at all. What's up?" Jon asked.

Bear paused, trying to gather his thoughts.

"What did Sindy say?" Jon asked, remembering their lunchtime conversation.

"Nothing. She wasn't there," Bear answered.

"What? What happened?" Jon asked.

"I was late. I had to transport a God damned prisoner at the end of my shift for Grossie," he replied, anger in his voice. "When I got there, the bartender said she'd left thirty minutes prior," Bear added.

"So, did you call her at home? She probably got tired of waiting, figuring you got hung up at work, which you did," Jon offered.

"Her car was still there. The bartender said she got drunk and left with some other guy," Bear said dejectedly.

"Sindy? Drunk?" Jon asked. "You sure it was her?"

"Yeah. Showed him a picture and everything," Bear replied.

"Oh, man, Bear. I'm sorry," Jon said.

"I kept wondering if she wanted to break up," Bear mused. "I didn't think she'd find someone new in the meantime," he finished.

"Bear, I'm sure there's more to it than that. Sindy wouldn't do that to you. We both know that," Jon said.

"So how do you explain her walking out with some other guy?" Bear countered.

"I can't, Bear. Only she can," Jon replied. "Why don't you just try to forget it tonight. Talk to her tomorrow, first thing."

"Easier said than done," Bear answered.

***

Sindy rolled over on the bed with a moan. She blinked a few times, trying to gain some focus in her world. She sat up and looked around.

"Oh, God," she whispered.

She looked around the hotel room. The totally unfamiliar hotel room. She looked down at herself and found that she was naked.

"Oh, shit," she whispered, her voice trembling. "I'm naked in a hotel room and I have no idea how I got here," she assessed.

She got up and looked around for her clothes, wrapping the bed sheet around herself. She stumbled and fell to the floor as a sudden weakness overtook her. She looked around again, trying to remember anything about how she got there and why she was naked. The last thing she remembered was waiting at the Red Dragon for Bear.

"Bear!" she cried.

Sindy crawled to the bedside and grabbed the phone. She followed the instructions for getting an outside line and dialed Bear's number.

"Hello," Bear answered, his voice hoarse.

"Bear?" Sindy called, fear evident in her voice.

"Sindy? Are you alright? What's wrong?" Bear asked worriedly, all previous emotions from the night now forgotten.

"I…I don't know," she started. "I'm in a hotel room. I…I woke up. I was… I am… I… I don't have any clothes."

"Sindy, where are you? Are you hurt?" Bear asked.

"I don't know!" she cried.

"Look at the phone or the table. Is there a phone book or some writing paper there that might have the hotel's name on it?" Bear asked patiently.

"Okay, yeah. It says Cordell Hotel," she read.

"Do you know what room you're in?" he asked.

"Hold on," she said, her voice becoming less shaky, now that Bear was on the phone with her helping her.

She got up and opened the door. She looked on the door for the room number and returned to the phone.

"Room 214," she told him.

"Okay, Sindy, sit tight. I'm on my way," he assured her.

"Bear," she started, then paused.

"I'm still here," he replied.

"I think I was raped," she whispered.

***

Bear broke almost every traffic law on his way to the Cordell Hotel. He was genuinely surprised he didn't get pulled over. When he arrived at the hotel he asked for directions to the room. He took the stairs three at a time.

Sindy was startled by the knock on the door.

"Sindy? It's me, Bear," he called through the door.

She got up slowly from the chair and unlocked the door and opened it. Bear took in her disheveled appearance and immediately took her into his arms. Sindy broke down and sobbed, hugging him fiercely.

"What happened?" he asked quietly.

"I don't know," she cried. "I went to the Red Dragon to meet you. The next thing I know, I woke up here, naked," she continued, shaking.

Bear held her tight, caressing her hair.

"And you're sure you were raped?" he asked gently.

She nodded her head.

"Alright," he said, reaching for the phone.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"I'm calling the police. We have to find the guy that did this to you," he said.

"No!" she exclaimed, grabbing his hand.

"What?!" Bear asked, incredulous.

"I said no," she answered quietly but firmly. "I don't know what happened. I don't know who did this to me. GOD! I'm a COP! I'M not supposed to be the victim!" she shouted.

Bear heard the mixed emotions in Sindy's voice, saw them in her eyes. Fear, shame, embarrassment, anger.

"So what do you want to do?" he asked.

"I just want to go home," she said.

"Okay, but first, I want to take you to the hospital to get checked out," he told her.

"No," she started.

"Just hear me out, Sindy," Bear interrupted. "Go to the hospital. Get checked out. Make sure you're okay. And get a rape kit done."

Sindy started to protest.

"I know you don't want to report it now," he continued. "But if you change your mind later, you won't have any evidence," he reasoned.

Sindy nodded silently, knowing he was right.

Bear got up and looked around the room. Sindy knew he was looking for evidence.

"I looked. There's nothing here," she told him. "And I called the front desk. 'John Smith' rented the room. Paid cash in advance," she added.

Bear nodded. Then they left together.

***

Bear stayed with Sindy while the nurse collected evidence from her. He knew what was involved in collecting rape evidence but never was witness to it. As he held Sindy's hand tight and watched as silent tears fell from her closed eyes, he knew now why so many women refuse to cooperate with the police when it came to evidence gathering in rape cases. The procedures are invasive. He wondered whether it was as bad as the rape itself. When the procedure was done, the nurse gave the complete kit to Bear, as he had shown his badge and told the staff that he was the investigating officer.

"I'll also have the lab do a BAC on her as well," the nurse told him.

"I wasn't drinking," Sindy interjected, hearing the nurse.

Bear looked at her questioningly.

"The bartender said you were drunk," he said.

"I wasn't. I know that much," she responded firmly.

"Have the lab check for Rohypnol or similar drugs in her blood," Bear ordered.

Sindy nodded.

"That must be it. The guy put a roofie in my soda or something," she reasoned.

"That would explain you appearing drunk to the bartender and your lack of memory," Bear added.

"There's one more thing," the nurse interrupted. "It's an option we offer to rape victims," she started. "We have the 'morning after pill' if you are interested," she finished, offering Sindy some pamphlets to read over.

"No, thank you," Sindy answered, refusing the proffered pamphlets. "I won't be needing it," she added, looking at Bear.

He heard an added meaning in her voice.

"Are you sure," the nurse asked.

"Yes," Sindy answered.

Bear immediately took her hand again.

"That's what you wanted to talk to me about," he deduced.

"Yeah," she answered. "I'm already pregnant."

Bear did not know what to say. He stood there, open mouthed, his mind reeling at this latest information.

"When? How?" he finally stammered. How far along are you?" Bear asked, still rattled.

"Well I think you can figure out HOW," Sindy started.

He rolled his eyes and said, "But we've been so careful."

"Well there's only one 100% sure fire method of contraception, you know. I guess we made it into that 3% failure rate group," she replied. "As for when and how far along…." She paused and took a deep breath. "I guess I've known for about two weeks. But I didn't get the courage up to actually get tested until yesterday morning. The doctor says I'm about six weeks along," she finished.

"Man! A baby!" Bear exclaimed, running his hand through his hair.

"Look," Sindy started, interrupting Bear's musing. "Can we talk about this at my place? Right now I want nothing more than to take a nice, long, hot shower."

"Oh! Of course, sure," Bear replied and went to get her clothes from the chair.

Sindy glanced at his watch as he handed them to her.

"Oh, shit, we're going to be late for work!" she exclaimed.

"How can you even think about going to work?" Bear asked, dumbfounded by her response.

"I have to go. I-" she started, putting on her shirt.

"Sindy! You were drugged and raped last night," Bear said quietly, through clenched teeth. "Less than six hours ago!"

"Don't you think I know that?" she retorted, suddenly angry with him.

"Yes. I'm sorry," he stammered. "But come on! Take a sick day or something and give yourself time to recover," he pled, taking her hand.

"Bear, I can't let this affect me," she started. "I've got more important things to do and save my time for."

"Sindy, all I'm asking is for you to take one day, okay?" he reasoned. "Who knows what affect the Rohypnol or whatever drug this asshole gave you will have? You could wind up having an accident with a cruiser or something."

She sighed and nodded. She realized that she really was exhausted and what Bear said did make sense.

"Okay, I'll call in sick," she relented.

"Good. I'll take the day off too and stay with you," Bear said, opening the door.

Sindy shut the door quickly, almost crushing Bear's hand in the process.

"What?" he asked, checking his fingers.

"I said I'LL call in sick, not both of us," she responded.

"But-," he started, before Sindy interrupted his train of thought.

"But nothing. I don't need you to baby-sit me, Bear. Despite what happened to me last night, I AM a big girl and I think I can take care of myself in my own home," she hissed. "Besides, how's it going to look with both of us out on the same shift?" she asked.

Bear looked down to the floor.

"I don't care," he said. "Everybody knows we're dating. It's not like it was in the beginning when we didn't want everyone to know yet."

"Please, Bear," she started. "I…I just don't want too many questions asked. I don't want the whole department to know," she continued. "Not about the rape. Not about the baby," she finished, still unsure about her own feelings.

Bear looked into her eyes. Saw her plea for understanding in them. He could not resist her, could not go against her wishes. He closed his eyes and nodded.

"Okay," he said quietly.

***

Bear tried to sneak into the line-up room as quietly as he could. God, he felt stupid playing the duck and cover game. He sat directly behind Turner, hoping the tall man would hide his entrance. He wondered if this was how Ponch felt when he was late.

"Officer Baricza! Glad you could make it!" Sergeant Gatrear greeted him.

"Busted!" Ponch yelled out.

"Sorry, Sarge," Bear said quietly, ignoring the applause and comments he got from his fellow officers.

"Obviously you've been paying attention to Poncherello's late arrival techniques. Next time take lessons from Bonnie, she's much better at sneaking in late," Gatraer commented with his own jibe.

Bear just nodded quietly, his face slowly losing its redness.

Gatraer went on with the briefing and instructions for the day before dismissing the shift. \

***

Jon caught up to Bear in the hallway, heading out to the parking lot.

"You alright, Bear?" he asked, putting his hand on Bear's shoulder.

"Yeah, I'm fine, thanks, Jon," Bear replied.

"Did you get ANY sleep last night? You look like shit," Jon chided, but with seriousness, too.

"Gee, thanks," he replied. "But really, I'm fine," Bear repeated quickly, turning to leave.

Jon grabbed his arm and pulled him aside, into an office.

"Bear, you're NOT fine. I can see that," Jon started. "After our conversation last night, I don't see how you could be. What happened? Did you talk to Sindy?" he asked.

"Yeah, I talked to Sindy. Everything's fine between us now," Bear said and tried to leave.

"Bear!" Jon practically yelled, stopping Bear in his tracks.

"Jon, I'm sorry. I appreciate you talking with me last night, I really do. And as much as I'd like to talk to someone right now, I can't. It's between me and Sindy," he said and walked out the door.

Jon just stood there. He didn't know what to say. Yesterday, Bear had been so open and willing to talk to him about his problems. What could possibly have happened to result in a complete turnaround in attitude? It must have been something major, Jon thought.

***

Sindy threw the covers off the bed. No matter how hard she tried, she could not sleep.

"God! How could I let this happen to me! I'm a cop for crying out loud!" she shouted. "I'm supposed to know better!"

She kicked a small trashcan across her bedroom before sliding down the wall to the floor. Her body shook as the tears fell once again. She regretted, not for the first time that morning, sending Bear away. She remembered the hurt and worried look on his face as she basically kicked him out of her apartment. He had tried again to convince her to let him stay.

'Sindy, please. I love you. I'm worried about you,' he had told her. 'I just want to be here to help.'

"But no. I couldn't tell him how scared I was. I couldn't show any weakness!" she reminded herself. "I still can't. Jeez, Sindy! He's supposed to be the ONE person you CAN tell!" she cried.

She looked at the phone on her nightstand. Again. Making up her mind she went to it, and sat on the edge of the bed. She was about to dial the station when the phone rang in her hand. She jumped a little, startled by it, but she did not answer it. She listened as the answering machine picked up.

"Sindy? It's me, pick up," she heard Bear call. "Come on, please, pick up," he practically begged. "If you don't pick up, I'm just going to come over there," he said finally.

At that last statement, Sindy picked up the receiver.

"Sindy?" he called, realizing that someone did pick up.

"Hi," she replied quietly.

"I just called to see how you were holding up," he said, hoping she wouldn't be mad.

"I'm fine," she lied, silently berating herself for it.

"Do you need anything? Lunch? Groceries?" he asked her. "Me?" he added quietly. "Anything at all, name it," he offered.

"No, thanks, Bear. I'm fine," she repeated.

"Well, you know how to get a hold of me," he began.

"I know," Sindy said. "I do love you, you know," she continued. "I just need to try to figure things out. I need to… Oh, I don't know…" she finished, frustrated.

"You need to gain a little control?" Bear offered.

"Yeah," she answered, with a brief half-smile.

"I'll stop by after work, okay?"

"Sure, see you then," she replied and hung up the phone.

***

Ponch had court appearances for several traffic tickets he had written. With Sindy out sick and two other officers on vacation, Gatraer didn't want to lose any more road coverage, so he had Jon out on his own. Jon was in the neighborhood near The Red Dragon restaurant. Bear's attitude this morning after briefing was still bothering him. When he saw that Sindy's car was still in the parking lot he decided to stop in, to see if he could find out a little more about what happened. Part of him knew it was none of his business, but he was genuinely concerned for his friends. He parked his motor out in front of the building and went in. He immediately went to the bar and introduced himself to the bartender.

"Hi, I'm Officer Baker," he started. "I was just wondering about the blue Chevy in your parking lot," he continued.

"Man, don't you guys know what you're doing?" the man interrupted.

"Excuse me?" Jon replied.

"I just talked to one of you guys," he replied. "I already told him everything I knew about that chick that got raped and the guy she left with."

Jon was stunned.

"Was that Officer Baricza that was here?" Jon asked, hoping it wasn't.

"Yeah, that was his name. Tall dude. Left me his card," he answered, showing Jon Bear's business card.

"That's right, he said he'd talk to you. I guess we got our witness schedules mixed up," Jon lied. "Sorry to have troubled you," he added before leaving.

Jon sat heavily onto his motor, blowing out a breath. 'If this guy was talking about SINDY being raped, then that would DEFINITELY explain Bear's behavior this morning,' he thought. 'But now what?'

"Shit," he said aloud. "It's none of your business, Baker," he reminded himself.

***

"You sure about this?"

"Yeah," Sindy replied. "I've got to get back in the saddle, so to speak."

He parked his car in the parking lot behind Central. He touched Sindy's arm, stopping her from getting out of the passenger side of the car. She saw that he was worried about her.

"Don't worry. I'll be fine," she soothed. "And I promise, if I'm not, I'll call you. Okay?"

Bear nodded his head. They'd talked practically all night about her coming back to work so soon. He knew he couldn't change her mind now. She leaned over and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and got out of the car.

"Come on, you don't want to be late two days in a row," she teased.

Jon watched Bear and Sindy interact in the parking lot. He saw what seemed to be a serious conversation in the car. Then, just like that, they were back to normal. Or so it appeared. Most people wouldn't see any difference in their behavior. But Jon saw the bit of uneasiness in Sindy's eyes, as she looked around the parking lot en route to the office. Jon also saw the protectiveness in Bear's posture as they walked. 'No, most people wouldn't notice anything different,' he thought. 'But then again, most people don't know what I know.'

***

Three days later Jon was doing some paperwork when he overheard Gatraer call Sindy into his office. He was in the report room next door, and could hear the conversation. He knew he shouldn't eavesdrop, but he was worried about Sindy.

"What's up Sarge?" Sindy asked.

"Well certainly not the number of citations you've written," he replied.

"Come on Sarge, you know, 'I don't have a quota. 'I can write as many as I want!'" she cited one of her favorite cop jokes.

"Yeah, well, Cahill, it seems you haven't written any all week," he responded.

"So, I haven't caught anyone," she tried to reason.

"Cahill, last week you were averaging twelve cites a day," he began. "What gives?" he asked.

"I don't know, Sarge. I guess I'm just not catching them this week," she said simply.

"Come on, Sindy, off the record," he urged. "What's going on? Even I can tell that something's not right. Everything okay with you and Bear?" he asked.

"Like I said, Sarge, I just haven't caught anyone," she repeated, refusing to go off the record and get personal with Gatraer.

Gatraer sighed, realizing he wasn't going to get any answers.

"Fine. Let's try a little harder then, shall we?" he finally told her.

"Yes, sir," she replied and left the office.

Sindy made her way out to the parking lot. She found Jon waiting for her at her cruiser.

"Hey, Jon, what's up?" she asked.

"Well, I was hoping we could talk," he replied uneasily. "I, uh, overheard Gatraer and you talking."

"Yeah, so?" she replied.

Jon heard the uneasiness in her voice.

"Look, Sindy," he started, looking toward the ground. "I know what happened."

"Oh? What happened?" she replied innocently, though she knew by Jon's tone of voice exactly what he was talking about.

"Sindy…. I know what happened at The Red Dragon. I know-" he started.

"Did he tell you!" she shouted. "I'm gonna kill him! How could he betray me?!"

"Sindy! Calm down!" he said, grabbing her arms. "Bear didn't tell me."

She looked at him, disbelief in her eyes. She still struggled in his grasp.

"Bear didn't tell me," he repeated. "I saw your car at The Red Dragon. I went and talked to the bartender, and asked him about it," he asserted. "Next thing I know, he's telling me that he'd already talked to Bear about a woman that got raped and the guy she left with," he explained, still holding onto Sindy.

Sindy looked to the ground and then away from Jon's view.

"What's going on?!" Bear exclaimed, shoving Jon back away from Sindy.

Neither had seen his approach. Sindy saw the anger in Bear's eyes.

"Bear, it's alright," she said, her voice shaky as she putting a calming hand on his arm. "I'm alright," she added.

He looked at her, needing to see for himself that she was indeed alright. Then he backed away from Jon.

"Bear, I know what happened. At least the basics," Jon said quietly. "I talked to the bartender at The Red Dragon." Then he turned to Sindy and said, "You can tell me to shut up and mind my own business if you want, Sindy, but just know that I want to help. I'm your friend."

Sindy leaned back against cruiser and sighed.

"God, does everybody know?" she asked no one in particular.

"What do you mean?" Bear asked.

"Even Gatraer knows something is up. He called me into his office because haven't written any cites all week," she said. "Hell, I haven't even stopped anyone," she added.

"You're afraid you'll see the guy again," Jon responded.

"That's just it. I didn't see the guy the first time," she retorted. "It could be anybody. And he'd know it and I wouldn't," she added.

"Sindy, you know we'd always be there for you," Jon replied.

"That's not the point!" she cried. "How can I do my job if I'm going to wonder if every guy I meet is the guy who raped me?!"

Sindy," Bear started.

"I'm scared," she whispered, tears forming in her eyes.

"You don't have to be anymore," Bear offered, handing her a case file.

Sindy looked up at him, confused.

"I know you didn't want it 'officially' reported," he said, a tinge of guilt to his voice. "But I had to find him. I had to find the bastard that did this to you," he added.

"And did you?" she asked tersely, part of her curious and part of her furious.

"I don't know his name, but I know what he looks like," Bear replied, pointing to the case file.

She opened it and pulled out what looked to be a printout of a video image.

"There's a gas station across the street from the Cordell Hotel. They use video surveillance on their pumps. I checked to see if any of them also picked up the hotel's entrance. One did," he explained.

Jon leaned over and looked at the image of a man half carrying Sindy at the hotel's main doors.

"Do you recognize him?" Jon asked.

"No," she replied, shaking her head.

Jon noticed a change in her demeanor. He watched as she continued to gaze at the photo. Her features hardened.

"What do you want to do?" Bear asked.

"I want to nail him," she answered, looking up at the both of them.

***

Bear and Sindy sat in Gatraer's office. They had just finished telling him about what happened.

Gatraer took a deep breath and let it out.

"Okay," he started. "I'll fax this picture to all the local departments. Somebody's gotta know this guy. In the meantime, Sindy, I want a written statement from you to add to the ones Bear got from the bartender and the hotel clerk," he continued.

"Sarge, I know it's impossible to keep this from everybody around here," Sindy started.

"I'll mark the file confidential. I'll personally make sure it's contents are on a need to know basis, with only the officers directly involved in the investigation having access to it," he assured her.

"Thanks, Joe," Sindy replied, relief evident in her voice.

"And speaking of the investigation," Gatraer continued. "I don't want either one of you involved in it anymore, unless you happen to run across this guy yourself." Seeing their objections coming, he put up his hand and continued further. "You two are too close to this to be objective. I don't want this guy to go loose because one or both of you lost your temper," he warned.

"Yes, sir," they both replied.

***

Sindy sat down heavily onto the couch. Bear put his arm around her shoulder and gave it a squeeze.

"So how do you feel?" Bear asked.

"A little better," she replied. "I don't feel so afraid anymore, now that I know what this guy looks like. I don't have to wonder about every person I meet."

"And what about your decision to report it?" he asked.

"A whole lot better," she answered with a smile. "I feel like a big heavy burden has been lifted. All I kept thinking was that since I didn't see him or even remember it happening that I had no case whatsoever and why bother reporting it. And then I kept wondering if he'd raped any more women this week. I wonder if he's raping someone right now," she said, her smile gone, now.

Bear pulled her closer to him, kissed the top of her head.

"Let's talk about something else," he suggested.

Sindy took his hand and placed it on her abdomen, covering it with both of her hands.

"I'm going to keep the baby," she said, looking up at him.

"Me, too," he replied, leaning down to kiss her.

***

"LA, Fifteen Seven David," Sindy spoke into the microphone. "I'm stopped with California plate Nora Two Five Seven Adam Henry on the Santa Monica Freeway, mile marker fifty-two."

"Ten-four Seven David," the LA dispatcher replied.

As she was getting out of her patrol car, Sindy heard Jon and Ponch call LA to say they would back her up. She approached the car and ran her hand across the trunk, making sure it was secure. She checked the back seat and then the front as she walked to the driver's door.

"May I see your license, registration and proof of insurance, please," she told the driver.

"What did I do, Officer?" he asked as he opened his wallet to retrieve the requested items.

"Sir, do you know what the speed limit is on this road?" she asked.

"Yeah, fifty-five," he replied.

"Do you know how fast you were driving?" she asked.

"Yeah, fifty-five," he repeated.

"Well, sir, I estimated your speed –," Sindy started to say, when she suddenly got a sharp pain in her abdomen.

Sindy practically doubled over as a cry of pain escaped her. She leaned heavily on the man's car and staggered toward the rear of it.

"Hey! Are you okay?!" the now startled man exclaimed.

He got out of his car and followed Sindy to the shoulder of the road and helped her sit down. Sindy had her eyes shut tight and was trying to fight back the pain.

"Please," she gasped. "I need help. Use my car radio," she said, pointing to the patrol car.

"Yeah, okay," the man replied, fear and confusion evident in his voice.

He ran to the patrol car and opened the door just as Jon and Ponch pulled up.

"HEY!" Ponch yelled at the man.

"Sindy!" Jon shouted, seeing her on the shoulder.

Ponch took a look at Sindy, saw her doubled over on the ground. He grabbed the man roughly and pulled out his handcuffs.

"I didn't do anything!" the man cried. "I was going to call for help!"

"We'll just see about that," Ponch said through clenched teeth.

"Sindy? What happened?" Jon asked, kneeling beside her.

"What'd this creep do to you?" Ponch interjected.

"He didn't do anything. Let him go," she managed.

"Ponch, call an ambulance," Jon instructed.

"She pulled me over for speeding. I was just talking to her and she grabbed her stomach," the man explained after Ponch released him.

"Sindy, what's wrong?" Jon asked.

"The baby. I'm losing it," she whispered. "Call Bear. Please!" she urged, grabbing Jon's hand.

Jon was dumbfounded.

"Baby?" he questioned as Ponch returned.

"Baby!?" Ponch exclaimed, hearing Jon.

Sindy cried out, bringing Jon's attention back to the situation at hand. He'd have time to ask questions later. He hoped.

"Ponch, get the blankets," he ordered.

He eased Sindy down, so that she was lying on the ground.

"We've got to get your legs raised up, Sindy," Jon thought aloud.

"I've got a suitcase and a duffel bag in my trunk," the man offered. "Will they help?" he asked.

"Perfect," Jon replied.

Ponch went to help the man after handing Jon the blankets he'd retrieved.

"Please, Jon," Sindy begged. "Call Bear."

"I will, Sindy. Don't worry," he soothed, spreading the small emergency blankets over her.

As Ponch placed the man's duffel bag under Sindy's legs, the fire department's paramedic team and an ambulance arrived.

"Hey, Ponch, Jon," one of the paramedics greeted them, placing his equipment onto the ground near Sindy.

"Hey, Doug," Ponch replied.

"Sindy? What's going on?" Doug asked.

When Sindy didn't respond, Jon answered for her.

"She's pregnant. She thinks she's losing the baby," he said.

"Do you know how far along she is?" Doug asked.

"No. We didn't even know she was pregnant," Jon answered.

"About nine weeks," Sindy gasped.

"Okay, Sindy," Doug soothed. "We're going to take good care of you and the baby. Dougie, I'm going to need your help over here," he called to his partner as he started to take Sindy's duty belt off her.

Jon and Ponch stood by as the paramedics took care of Sindy. They watched helplessly as her level of consciousness dropped. The Dougs carefully placed her on the awaiting stretcher, careful not to dislodge any of the IV or oxygen tubes.

Shortly after the ambulance pulled away, lights flashing and siren blaring, a patrol car, its own lights and siren on, screeched to a halt in the roadway. Bear was out of his car in an instant.

"What happened? Where's Sindy?" he demanded, worry and anger in his voice..

"She's on her way to the hospital, Bear," Jon spoke, as calmly as possible.

"What happened?" he asked again, impatiently.

"I think she's miscarrying," Jon replied.

Bear paled. He closed his eyes.

"Come on, I'll drive you there," Jon started to say.

But Bear was already back in his car, putting it in gear.

"Bear!" Ponch shouted, pounding on the car, hoping to stop him.

Gatraer pulled up to the scene, then.

Jon and Ponch filled him in on what happened, including Bear's reaction.

Gatraer sighed, rubbed his hands down his face.

"Okay. Baker, you come with me to the hospital," he started. "Poncherello, you wait for the transport for Sindy's car," he instructed.

***

Jon and Gatraer arrived at the hospital ER, only to find Bear and a nurse in a heated argument.

"Officer Baricza!" Gatraer boomed, interrupting the two.

Bear backed down, taking a deep breath as he looked to the floor.

"I'm sorry," he started. "I'm just worried. Nobody will tell me how she is," he finished.

Gatraer nodded and put his hand on Bear's shoulder giving it a quick squeeze. Then he looked expectantly at the nurse.

"Officer Cahill is still in with the doctors," she explained. "I don't have any more information. She only arrived a little while ago."

"Thank you," Gatraer said. "Please, as soon as you know something, let us know," he added.

"Of course," the nurse replied, heading back to her desk.

"Now, let's go sit down," Gatraer said to Bear, guiding him toward the waiting room.

Bear sat silently. Jon and Gatraer tried several times to reassure him and to get him to talk, but he didn't reply. He just kept staring at the door to the trauma room Sindy had been brought to. Jon couldn't help but feel frustrated. He saw how scared Bear was. He was scared for Sindy, too. But then, he wasn't the father of that unborn child, either. Jon still couldn't grasp that concept. 'Sindy pregnant?' 'Bear and Sindy as parents?' His thoughts were interrupted when Bear sprang out of his seat and headed toward the hallway.

"How is she? Can I see her?" Bear quickly asked the doctor.

"You must be Bear," the doctor deduced.

"How is she?" Bear repeated.

"She's stable," the doctor replied, eyeing Jon and Gatraer, who had joined the meeting.

"And the baby?" Bear asked quietly.

The doctor took a deep breath and looked down, not wanting to say the words.

"I'm sorry," he said. "Officer Cahill had what is termed a spontaneous abortion, or a miscarriage."

"Bear, I'm sorry," Jon said quietly, putting his hand on Bear's upper arm, hoping to lend support.

"Me, too," Gatraer added.

Bear ignored the two, though and looked back at the doctor.

"I want to see her," he said, determined.

"Sure, but just for a little while," the doctor replied, leading Bear to the trauma room. "We'll be admitting her and bringing her up to a room, shortly."

Jon and Gatraer watched as Bear entered the room. Despite Bear's aggressiveness and demands to see Sindy earlier, Jon saw hesitation in his step now.

Jon and Gatraer returned to the waiting room. There they found Ponch and Bonnie.

"How's Sindy?" Bonnie asked.

Jon looked down and answered, "She lost the baby."

"Man! We didn't even know she was pregnant!" Ponch exclaimed.

"How's Bear?" Bonnie interjected.

"He's really worried about Sindy," Gatraer answered. "And I think he's taking the loss pretty hard, too."

"How come she didn't tell us?" Ponch wondered aloud.

"Obviously she didn't think it was any of our business yet," Bonnie replied matter-of-factly.

"But of course it is!" Ponch countered. "We're her friends. We take care of each other. If we'd known, we'd have made sure to help her out more often!"

"Maybe that's exactly why she didn't want us to know yet!" Bonnie responded, obviously getting upset.

"Bonnie, Ponch, calm down," Jon cut in. "Bonnie's right, it's Sindy's decision to make," he said. "But I agree, it still would have been nice to know so we could have helped her out when we could," he added.

"Yeah, remember last week when we just rode by and laughed at her when she was changing that woman's flat tire?" Ponch reasoned.

"That's just it!" she exclaimed. "Don't you guys realize how hard it is for a woman in this job to begin with?! Constantly having to prove ourselves equal if not better than you! Turning down help, even when we DO need it, so that the MEN don't have to come to our rescue!"

"Bonnie, you know we treat you fairly," Ponch admonished.

"Yeah, most of the time, you do," she admitted. "But there are still some "good ol' boys" out there that would just jump at the chance to say a female officer couldn't pull her weight," she added.

"But this is different, she was pregnant!" Ponch countered.

"And still perfectly capable of doing the job," Bonnie responded. "Some day ask Sindy the real reason she transferred back from Sacramento!" she added.

"Alright, that's enough," Gatraer scolded, coming between Bonnie and Ponch. "What's done is done. Let's just focus on helping Sindy and Bear through this. Okay?"

He no sooner finished speaking, when Bear joined the group.

"How is she?" Bonnie asked.

"She's sleeping," Bear answered softly. "They're bringing her up to a room right now. Sarge, I… um…I'm going to need some time off," Bear said.

"Of course, Bear," Gatraer replied. "As much as you need."

"Come on, since Sindy's sleeping, why don't we head back to the station," Jon suggested. "You can drop off the patrol car and change out of uniform. Maybe by the time you come back, she'll be awake."

Bear nodded his head, agreeing.

***

Bear emerged from the locker room and headed straight to Gatraer's office.

"Sarge? Can I talk to you?" he asked, poking his head into the office.

"Of course, Bear. Come on in," he said, gesturing toward a chair.

Gatraer watched Bear closely as he closed the door and sat. He waited as Bear took his time gathering his thoughts.

"Bear, I know you and Sindy have been through a lot lately," Gatraer said, ending the silence when Bear failed to. "And I want you to know that you can talk to me about anything. And nothing goes beyond these walls unless you want it to," he added.

Bear looked up and sighed.

"I talked to Sindy's doctor," he started. "I asked him if the miscarriage could have been caused by the Rohypnol she was given," he continued.

When he didn't finish, Gatraer asked, "What did he say?"

Bear looked away. He pinched the bridge of his nose, fighting the tears that threatened to fall.

"Bear?" Gatraer called softly.

"He said it was possible," Bear replied. "He said that there was no way to tell for sure. That some women just don't carry to term. That miscarriage at this point in a pregnancy is common. But…." he went on.

"But he said it was possible that the drug could have caused it, too," Gatraer restated.

Bear just nodded.

"Does Sindy know?" Gatraer asked.

"I'm sure she suspects. I don't know if she's actually asked, though," Bear replied.

"And you're wondering what to tell her?" Gatraer surmised.

Bear stood up and started pacing the office.

"She hates this guy so much for what he did to her. Hell! I hate him for what he did to her!" he shouted, his anger filling the room. "But I don't know if I can stand by and let her hate him even more. She's already been torn up. Between finding out she was pregnant, then being raped, she's had enough trouble regaining control in her life. And deep down, I know she still feels that she's partly at fault for the rape," he said, then held up his hand at Gatraer, stopping his comment. "I know and you know she's not at fault. But she still feels like she could have or should have prevented it somehow," he explained.

"Bear, she's going to ask and she does have the right to know," Gatraer started.

"But how can I let her when I know she'll add the death of our baby to her guilt?" Bear questioned.

"I don't know, Bear," Gatraer responded. "What I do know, however, is that there are a lot of people here that care about both of you. And there are other people she, and you, can talk to – about the rape and the miscarriage."

***

Sindy woke up in a darkened room. The dull ache in her belly reminded her where she was and why. She started to reach down, to feel her now empty womb, but found she couldn't move her hand. She looked at it and realized why. Asleep on the side of her bed, head on his forearms, his hand entwined with hers, was Bear. She smiled at him and squeezed her hand in his. Then she went back to sleep.

***

"Good morning," Sindy whispered, a half-smile on her face to greet him.

"Hi," Bear responded, leaning over to kiss her. "How are you feeling?" he asked.

"Sore. Tired," she began.

"How about up here?" he asked, lightly touching her forehead.

"Okay," she responded. "You?"

He just shrugged his shoulders.

"So everybody knows, huh?" she remarked.

"Yeah, stuff like this kind of spreads, you know," he answered. "But it's not gossipy. Everybody just hopes you feel better and said they were sorry."

Sindy nodded her head. They both recognized the awkwardness in the conversation. Bear took a deep breath and finally broke the silence once again.

"Sindy, I…uh…didn't want to tell you," he started. "I talked to your doctor. I asked him if the Rohypnol could have caused the miscarriage."

"I know. I asked too, in the ER," she interrupted. "He said it was a possibility. But I don't think that was it," she said.

"You don't?" Bear asked, surprise evident in his voice.

She shook her head and said, "No. Part of me wanted to blame it on the Rohypnol. Give me another reason to hate that bastard for what he did to me," she replied. "But deep down, I don't think that was it. I've taught crime prevention and self-defense classes that include talking about drugs like Rohypnol. I've studied it. I even checked my sources, after the rape. I couldn't find anything solid linking it to miscarriages. And…,"

"And?" Bear encouraged.

"And, the truth is, I think it would have happened anyway," she said.

"What?" he asked, incredulous.

"One of those things I tried to deny. Hoped to avoid," she started. "My Mom, my sisters, my aunts. They've all had miscarriages or problem pregnancies. I didn't let you know about the pregnancy right away because I honestly thought that I'd miscarry before I had to tell you.. Then, when nothing happened, I thought that… somehow I beat the odds. I guess not," she finished, sorrow in her voice.

"Oh, Sindy," Bear said, gathering her up in his arms. "I wish I'd known. I mean, I understand why you didn't want to tell me, but you've got to know that there's only so much you can keep inside. I'm here for you. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week." He lifted her chin up, so that she could see his eyes, and hear the sincerity in his voice and continued, "I love you more than anything in the world. I don't want there to be anything that we can't talk to each other about. Ever. There is nothing that we can't handle, as long as we're together."

Sindy nodded her head, causing the tears she'd been holding back to fall.

"I love you, too," she whispered.

***

One week later the day shift was in the line up room, listening to Gatraer's orders for the day. He was about to continue when Lt. Beck, from the Special Investigations Unit came in to the line up room.

"Excuse me," she said to the shift as she walked over to Gatraer.

Gatraer nodded his head in response to what she had quietly told him. After she left the room, as quickly as she had arrived, Gatraer finished the line up.

"Okay, that's it, people," he intoned. "Get out there and be careful."

The group got up and headed for the doors. Some stopped by the desk Sindy still stood at, giving her a warm welcome back after a week's absence. Gatraer walked over to her and put his hand on her shoulder, silently asking her to stay behind. He made eye contact with Bear as well, telling him the same thing.

"What's up, Sarge?" Bear asked.

"Lt. Beck told me that they've got a suspect in holding," Gatraer told them.

Sindy looked up sharply.

"Is it him?" she asked.

"She thinks so," Gatraer replied. "They're bringing in the clerk from the hotel and the bartender from The Red Dragon to see if they can ID him from a line up."

"How'd they find him?" Bear asked.

"The Sheriff's Department got him last night. He had another victim," he began. "Only, she woke up before he was finished and got away."

Sindy sunk into a chair. She took a deep breath and nodded her head. She had mixed feelings. She was sad that the man had found another victim, but happy that he'd been caught.

"You okay?" Bear asked, seeing the mixed emotions in her eyes.

"Yeah," she replied.

"Lt. Beck wants you to take a look at him, see if you recognize him at all," Gatraer said.

"You up for that?" Bear asked, concerned.

Sindy thought about it. Part of her wanted to finally see the face of the man that had so affected her life. But another part of her didn't. That part was still afraid. That part wanted to avoid the confrontation completely. She looked at Bear. She remembered his words to her in the hospital room. She took a deep breath and let it out. She took his hand in hers and stood up.

"Let's go," she said confidently, still holding Bear's hand.

Author's Notes – Just so you know, Rohypnol, also known as "Roofies" and other nicknames is an actual drug. It is popular in college towns and bars as the "date rape" drug. It is odorless and tasteless when added to drinks. It makes its victims appear drunk. The victims then wake up with no recall of the events since ingesting the drug. It is illegal in the U.S., but is imported illegally from places like Mexico and Europe where it is still used for "medicinal" purposes. So if you go to bars or parties, get and watch your own drinks!