Driving for 6hrs+ on the motorway by myself made by plot bunnies go wild and here is the result.

First thanks to anmodo an awesome writer for faithfully betaing yet another of my fics.

Oh and the disclaimer – Without a Trace and it's great characters are not mine, people at CBS etc own them lucky people, so don't sue me.



Running her hands through her hair, Sam watched in anxious anticipation as the computer ran through the latest results. It was something she did every week, sometimes twice a week. It had been an unspoken rule, since the case had been opened, that someone would run the results once a week. But even though she knew that she ran the results every week, she'd still seen Jack holding his head in hands staring at the computer screen late at night. She didn't doubt that the rest of the team did the same.

Feeling a single tear roll down her cheek, she traced his photo with her fingers. They had been told to close the case, they had been told that he was dead – but she knew he wasn't. Jack had refused to close it. So for over a year, every week she had sat in front of the computer running results – hoping, praying that it would bring her news. Hoping it would somehow bring him back to them.

"Sam – anything?" Jack asked sadly as he laid a hand on her shoulder.

Sam looked up and rested her hand on his. "No. Where is he, Jack? What happens if they were right? What happens if he is dead? I just don't know what we are going to do."

"He's alive – I know it. Don't ask me how I know, but I do," Jack said tiredly. Rubbing a hand over his weary face, he looked across at his missing agent's desk. His gaze then travelled across the bullpen to his office where his missing agent's personal affects lay; he just couldn't bring himself to get rid of them. His agent was still alive – his agent would want his stuff when he got back. "Damn-it Sam, maybe he is dead – but you know me, I'm a hope junkie. I have to believe he's still alive and I'm not going to close the case until he's sitting at that table debating theories with us."

"But that's not going to happen, Jack, is it? I mean it's been over a year," Sam said desperately as she stared at the computer screen. "It's been over a year. You know as well as I do that the chances of finding him alive are slim to none. They told us he was dead – and there is just a minimal chance of finding him alive."

"I know Sam, but until I get evidence to the contrary – I need to believe that he's still alive," Jack said as he ran his hand through his hair. "I have never lost an agent before and I'm not about to start with him, especially not him."

"Yeah," Sam said as she tried to produce a small smile. She ran her hand over his photo again, as she tried to pull herself back to reality. "So have we got a new case yet?"

"U-mm," Jack stammered temporary confused by Sam's sudden change in subject. "No not yet. I'm going…I'm going to try and get through some of that paperwork that's been plaguing me." He took one final glance at the phone before scurried off to his office. For the first time in his life, he welcomed the paperwork. It was his chance to bury his emotions.

Continuing to run her fingers over the photo, Sam angrily wiped away the tear that rolled down her face. It had been over a year since he had gone missing, since they had to open the case. She looked across at Jack's office, were she knew he was staring at the corner of his office – where the box of personal affects lay.

"Where are you? Why did you leave us? I'm not - none of us are going to rest until we find you."