Disclaimer: So, is there a statute of limitations or something for TV characters long forgotten and neglected by their creator? What? NO? Hmph. Fine. Donald Bellasario owns them I suppose - though he has a pretty bad record of mis-treating the characters and the fans! Life isn't fair. If they were mine, Gold Monkey never would have left TV and no network would have been able to force it off either! Yes, my dream world is a very nice place.
Pairing: If you need to ask, you're new to the show But yes, Jake and Sarah.
Spoilers: General info. from various shows.
Authors note: This is my first attempt at a Tales of the Gold Monkey fic… hopefully it's somewhat okay. Apparently I'm having some sort of mid-life crisis because along with Monkey I'm also back into Manimal (which I've always loved), Sweating Bullets/Tropical Heat and Matt Houston. Perhaps there is a bit too much reality um… stuff on TV lately?
Summery: With the beginning of WWII looming over the world, Jake finds himself having to go off on a secret mission that puts Sarah in the position of worrying. Secrets are revealed among the small group on Boragora that could put everyone in jeopardy.
The sun was just rising above the horizon on a particularly hot and humid summer day. Life was only beginning to stir.
It had been a sleepless night for most of the residents of Boragora, including pilot Jake Cutter. As he stood at the edge of the dock ready to board 'Cutter's Goose' a familiar voice shouted, "Jake Cutter, you are the most impossible man I have ever met."
With a knowing smirk, he turned around to find himself face to face with one very angry Sarah Stickney White. Her eyes drilled into his own, daring him to making any kind of snide remark. He had learned long ago when it was best to say nothing at all to Sarah. This was definitely one of those times.
"You aren't even going to defend yourself?" she hissed.
"Damned if I do and damned if I don't," he replied.
"Ugh! Why do I even bother?" She turned and began to walk away from him but he grabbed hold of her arm and spun her back towards him and kissed her.
"Could that be why?" he grinned as he felt her melt in his arms.
"Mmm, may…" Quickly she pulled away and stood tall. "That is not going to work this time. You were going to leave for a whole month and not even say goodbye."
"You'd only want to come along and this is far too dangerous…" Inwardly he cringed realizing he had just said the wrong thing. "Besides, your 'Uncle' needs you here to keep him updated."
Unsure whether to slug him or to agree, she just huffed and stood her ground, though her features softened a bit.
"Sarah, it's only a matter of time until we are forced into this war and you and I both know it. I need to do this."
"It could be a suicide mission," she whispered.
"It could be."
They stood gazing at each other in silence. Slowly she lifted a hand to his face and pressed her palm against his cheek. "Don't go."
"I have to."
Sarah shook her head. "I could make some calls. I could get them to reassign it. You aren't technically in the military anymore."
"It's either me or someone else."
Tears filled her eyes. "Then let it be someone else."
Jake ran his fingers through her hair, resting his hands on her shoulders. When and how had their relationship become so… committed? Sure they had been drawn to each other from their first meeting, who wouldn't find someone like Sarah attractive, yet… despite their unspoken agreement to keep it simple and uncomplicated, he had fallen for her and he knew she had fallen for him just as deeply. Lately when other women would throw themselves at him he would turn them away. Never had he had a problem kissing other women even though he and Sarah were more than friends but not quite lovers. What happened? What changed? One look into her eyes gave him his answer. He was in love with Sarah.
"Come here," he said as he wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly. "I'll be back, I promise."
Fighting back the tears, her voice cracked when she replied, "Don't make promises you can't keep."
He pulled back enough to look at her. "Sarah, in case… I mean if…." He sighed. "Sarah, I lo…" He was stopped by her finger on his lips.
She shook her head, smiling sadly. "Don't say it. If you say it you won't have any unfinished business to live for."
Taking her hand and holding it in his own, Jake leaned in closer. "But I need you to…"
"Jake, please. I know. And as much as I want to hear you tell me, I can't hear it right now. It makes everything too final about your mission but… if it makes an difference I love you too."
He grinned at her. "So you can say it but I can't?"
Sarah nodded. "Do you have a moment to come back to my room? I want to give you something." Off his smug expression, she replied. "Jake Cutter!" Amused, she took his hand and led him back to the Monkey Bar.
Jake stood in the middle of Sarah's room while she rummaged through a small box. Of all the thoughts that could have and should have been running through his mind before a trip such as he was about to take, the only one he found himself concerned with was that Sarah loved him.
"Here it is!" Sarah walked over to Jake, took his hand and placed a small object in it.
In his palm lay a necklace with a strange pendent. He looked at her for an explanation.
"It's an ancient symbol for protection against harm and… death. It was my father's and he gave it to me just before… before…"
Pulling her to him once again, he understood. "Thank you." Her nails dug into his skin through his shirt, but he did not mind. For the first time in his life he found himself wanting to walk away from a job, a mission and never leave again.
Their embrace soon turned into a heated kiss and before long they broke only for need of oxygen. Jake wiped away Sarah's tears. "You'll hardly know I'm gone. I'll be back before you know it."
They stood there, in each other's arms, longing for more time but that was not a luxury their positions as spy and pilot allowed.
Taking a deep breath, Jake lifted her head so he could look into her eyes once more. "Sarah, I know why you don't want me to say it, but I have to. I need to."
Understanding and acceptance flashed in her eyes and she gave him a tiny nod.
Cupping her head in his hands, he kissed her gently then looked into her eyes again. "I love you, Sarah." He smiled. "I think I always have."
"When I get back we'll figure out where to go from here but no matter what happens, Sarah, I will always love you." He kissed her deeply once more then, taking her hand, led her out of the room and back to the plane.
With goodbyes said to all his friends, Jake's eyes fell upon Sarah and his heart broke. She had given up fighting the tears and stood before him looking lost and helpless.
Louis and Willie suddenly found the still water fascinating while Corky quietly went onto the plane. Only Jack remained. He walked over to Sarah and nudged her ankle with his nose, whimpering.
Sarah knelt down and held the terrier close to her. He nuzzled her neck as if comforting her and letting her know everything would be okay, he would see to it himself. When she let him go, he took one glance back then went to sit by the Goose to wait for Jake.
Standing up, Sarah once again stared at Jake. "So this is it? This is the real goodbye."
"It's not goodbye," Jake told her. "Just think of it as a long vacation."
Suddenly she broke down like he'd never seen before and in an instant they were holding each other as if it were the last moment in time.
"I have you to come back to," he whispered softly. "I have your dad's pendent." He pulled back. "I have you." With that they kissed one last time.
Louis and Willie stood on either side of Sarah, who held onto Louis tightly while Willie laid a comforting hand on her shoulder. Any other time Willie might have considered taking advantage of the situation but not this time. Sarah and Jake had come to mean too much to him, despite his best efforts, and even he was finding it hard to believe they may never see Jake again. Despite his job as a Nazi spy, Willie had chosen to 'not hear' about Jake's mission.
Jake picked Jack up and said, "I want you to stay here."
Jack replied with one bark.
"Not because I think it's too dangerous. I want you to stay with Sarah."
Jack glanced back at Sarah.
Reluctantly, the small dog barked twice and ran over to Sarah when Jake put him down.
Sarah looked at him questioningly.
Jake shrugged. "Jack doesn't like to be away that long."
New tears filled her eyes and she picked up the small terrier and held him close.
As the plane took off, Jack struggled out of Sarah's arms and ran to the edge of the dock, barking while Louis held Sarah as she cried.
The month had passed by slower than most it seemed. Life went on as usual. Louis running the bar, Sarah singing and even Jack had managed not to mope around too much. It was only Jack who knew that Sarah cried herself to sleep nearly every night and, as he had promised Jake, he was always right there with her as she did.
A new excitement filled the air as this was the day Jack and Corky were returning home.
Louis smiled as Sarah busied herself cleaning the bar and anything else she could find to do to pass the time.
Late in the afternoon they heard the loud roar of engines and ran out to greet Jake and Corky. As Louis, Sarah and Jack made their way to the dock they heard Willie shout for them to run to the church. Turning towards him, they saw him waving his arms frantically and shouting over and over for them to run.
The engines were getting closer and Sarah was turning back when suddenly Louis grabbed her arm and dragged her away while Jack barked as she struggled to break free.
"Let me go," she hissed but found herself being shoved into the church and following Willie through a door to a shelter. "What is…" She turned to the two men. "What is going on?"
Willie hesitated knowing anything he said would give away his true occupation. "They were German fighters."
Jack barked twice.
The sound of gunfire could be heard above them.
Sarah froze. What if Jake and Corky were flying in at the same time? Then something dawned on her and she turned back to Louis and Willie. "How did you know?" she asked Willie.
Louis, knowing the real reasons why both Sarah and Willie were on the island, quickly tried to think of a cover but could not.
Willie touched Louis' arm. "It's alright. I knew eventually they'd find out."
"Find out what?" she insisted. "What is going on? More importantly, what if they shoot down Jake!"
"They won't," Willie assured her. "They think the Goose is with us."
"Us? Who? What?" Her mouth hung open and she took a step back. "You… you are a…" She took a deep breath and shook her head. "I don't believe it. I mean, I guess I should, because you certainly made one unconventional priest," she rambled then laughed. "How ironic. How completely ironic that you and…"
Realizing what Sarah was about to reveal about herself, Louis quickly jumped in. "You are sure that the Goose is safe?"
Willie nodded. "I only heard right before the fighters moved in that it was going to happen. Apparently they believe there is an American spy on this island and they wanted to make sure they didn't find out about me."
Sarah's eyes went wide. If the German's searched her room… She went to the door but was stopped by Louis. "I forgot something I want to give to Jake back in my room."
Jack barked once to stop her.
"You can get it later."
"It's something very important," she replied hoping Louis would catch on. Even though he had never said anything, she knew he knew about her as well.
Willie walked over to a far corner to comfort his 'followers' and when he was out of earshot, Louis continued. "He saved your life. He made sure Jake and Corky were protected and you are going to turn him in?"
Jack nudged Sarah's leg and softly barked once.
"No, I'm not. I know what he did but if the German soldiers start searching rooms…"
Louis immediately understood. "Then let me. Tell me what you need and I'll put it in a safe place."
For a moment, Sarah pondered if Louis was a spy as well but, assured he wasn't, she gave him the needed information and waited.
Though only an hour had passed since the attack, it had seemed like days. Louis had returned safely and the small group remained secure in the bunker. Willie had said nothing more to Sarah or Louis, somehow feeling he had betrayed them and discovered he actually felt badly about it.
Sarah walked over to Willie. "Do you think it's safe for us to go out yet?" she asked quietly.
"No. They will let me know when they are done. Just you being an American would be enough of a reason to kill you to them."
"And you don't feel that way?"
"In the beginning, yes," he admitted. "But now you are my friends."
Part of her wanted to tell him that she was also a spy but she knew that would not be smart to do. Part of her knew she should be radioing in that there was a German spy on the island with her but, as Willie had just stated, they were friends so for now her choice of action was to just pretend she never knew and try to go about life as usual. "Thank you for earlier, Willie. Thank you for protecting us. All of us." She gave him a smile and went back to Louis.
Another hour passed and the distant thunder of engines could be heard once again. Jack barked twice trying to say it was Jake and Corky. Sarah stood up and ran for the door but Willie stopped her. "Not yet. I'll go out and bring them here."
"I'll go with you."
"I'm sorry, Sarah, I know how important this is to you, but you can't."
"I am not going to hide away in some room after waiting a whole month…" but Louis held her arm.
"He is right. He can bring them back here."
Growling in frustration, she broke from Louis' grasp and stomped away from them.
"Thank you," Willie said.
But Louis did not back down this time. "You had better make sure they are safe. If they aren't…"
All three friends silently wondered to themselves why war had to make things so complicated.
"Jake, why are there German soldiers standing on the dock with guns?" Corky asked as they neared their landing spot.
Fear gripped Jake as his first thoughts were of Sarah and if she had been discovered as being a spy. What would they have done to her? It was his life that was supposed to have been in danger, not hers. "I don't know, Corky." Swallowing hard, he debated whether to land or suddenly change plans and take off again but… Sarah. He had to know.
As the plane touched down in the water, he saw Willie walk down to greet them as well and for a brief moment felt a bit more assured until he realized that just like Sarah, Willie might be a spy as well, but for the other side. As Willie waved to them, something inside told him that Willie did, in fact, know what was going on.
Cutting the engines, Jake opened the hatch and stepped out. No sign of Sarah, Jack or even Louis.
Willie ran over to them. "It is so nice to have you back, Comrades. I take it all went well with your delivery?"
Corky looked around, confused. "What's with all…"
But Jake caught on. "The natives were very grateful for your delivery of Bibles. Everything went very well."
"Wonderful. Well, let us go to the church and we may catch up."
When they were far enough from the soldiers, Willie whispered, "Everyone is fine."
For a moment Jake was grateful until he glanced at the Monkey Bar and saw three soldiers enter Sarah's room. "I… need to get something from my room," he said quickly.
Willie, also, had noticed the soldiers and everything made sense. Sarah was the spy they were looking for. It was his duty to tell his colleagues where she was.
"So you're a spy?" Jack whispered.
"And apparently so is Sarah," he replied. "But don't worry. Whatever Sarah had in there, Louis took care of, so they shouldn't be able to find anything." He smiled at Jake and opened the door to the church.
Leading them down a narrow staircase, he knocked on the door and Sarah opened it. "Willie, we heard…" He quickly stepped aside and before Sarah could finish she saw Jake and ran into his arms and kissed him.
It was many moments before the others could also properly welcome him and Corky back and even then rarely did Sarah and Jake look away from each other.
"What happened here?" Jake asked, sitting beside Sarah on the floor and putting his arm around her shoulder.
"The Germans are looking for an American spy," she told him, unaware that Willie had already guess it was her.
"Yes, that is why I brought Sarah down here," Willie said. With the only others in the room being two native girls who 'assisted' him and understood little English, they were somewhat free to talk.
Sarah looked at him. There was no point denying it, it was obvious he knew. "How did you know?"
He smiled a little. "I didn't. Not until you were desperate to get to your room after I mentioned they were looking for an American spy."
Worried, Jake started, "You're not going to turn her in, are you?"
Jack stood in their midst and barked once.
Willie shook his head. "Jack's right, no. Although I admit I was sure you were going to turn me in earlier but when you allowed Louis to take care of whatever was in your room, I knew that you weren't."
"I owe you for saving their lives," she said softly.
"And I owe you for owing me," he grinned. "Besides, as far as I know you are just a singer who wanted to get away from it all."
She grinned back at him. "And as far as I'm concerned you're just a priest who is here to spread the Word."
Jake silently thanked Willie with his eyes.
Four hours later they were given the all clear to leave the confines of the church. The soldiers had found no evidence of any spy and Willie had assured them that he suspected no one on the island.
As they sat around a table inside the bar, Jake could not stop staring at Sarah, which made her self-conscious. Finally, as Corky began a tale of adventure, Jake motioned to Sarah to go upstairs. She followed him to his room and once again found herself wrapped in his arms with his lips pressing urgently against hers. "I was so scared," he mumbled then looked at her. "When I saw the Germans standing there I was so sure…"
"Takes more than a couple of Nazis to get this ol' spy," she joked.
But Jake didn't smile. "Sarah, I really thought they had caught you. And then when I saw them go into your room…"
Sarah traced his lips with her finger. "I thought I was suppose to be worried about you."
"You weren't?" he asked.
"Every damn day," she replied.
"Oh, I almost forgot." He let go of her for only a moment to reach into his pocket then placed the pendent in her hand. "I had to come back. I had to return this to you."
She looked down at the pendent and, as memories of that night flooded her mind, tears filled her eyes and she wrapped her arms around him and buried her head between his neck and shoulder.
As he was quite tired from the long mission and flight back home, he gently urged Sarah back to his bed where they sat and held each other long into the night.