Sequel to Insanity Pledge

Note: This story was first posted on Destined where my penname is venus567

Still Here is an extension of the poem with the same title, you can read it in Smarty poems. If you liked Poppy's movie, Between and read the poem Still Here, you know what might happen in this fic.

Disclaimer: I bear no connections to Without a Trace or to CBS.

They were out on a stakeout. It was supposed to be one of those simple tasks. The perps would be surrounded; they would grab them, cuff them and shove them in the waiting cop cars.
But sometimes not all is what it seems. Sometimes what could seem as a simple task could turn into a hazard.

Martin turned to his wife of one month and flashed her grin.

"You know Sam, after we take care of this, we should start planning our honeymoon," Martin quipped.

"Yeah that would be nice," Samantha replied, a bit lost in thought.

She still couldn't believe they were together. The past month had been pure bliss. She had someone to come home to. There was no longer the void in her heart.
She glanced around her surroundings. They were hidden behind some boxes. Waiting for the perps to arrive. The culprits had held their missing person, a woman named Marie Carter for ransom. However Marie had escaped but they still needed to catch the bad guys so they wouldn't harm Marie or her family again.

Suddenly Martin perked up.

" Sam do you hear that," Martin inquired.

Suddenly she nodded frantically.

" I think it's a bomb," Samantha exclaimed in a whisper.

Chapter Two- Set-up

The couple headed towards the ticking sound and then they spotted it.

Samantha flashed the torch as Martin glanced at the bomb. He couldn't figure it out. There were so many wires. The bomb squad wouldn't be here in time. This had been a major set up. Marie's kidnappers had probably gone into hiding.

"Sam the clock is ticking, we need to get out of here. The bomb squad may not make it in time," Martin quipped.

Samantha nodded. Her face had come pale. She had just gotten what she always needed and wanted, she wouldn't let some petty criminals take it away.

"Come on Martin, there is two minutes left. Let's head outside and wait for the bomb squad," Samantha insisted.

"Okay but maybe I should try to diffuse this," Martin said.

"No! There is no way I'm losing you so soon after finding you again. You are coming with me now!" Samantha exclaimed.

"Okay, let's go Sam," Martin said softly.
His wife gripped his arm and started to usher him towards the door.

Suddenly the bomb exploded as the couple reached the exit. Something hit Samantha clear across her head, knocking her out.

The debris had only grazed Martin and he was able to catch Samantha. He held her in his arms.

"Sam, please wake up!" Martin exclaimed.

Tears rolled down his cheeks. She wouldn't wake up. Martin checked for a pulse. There remained one. She was still here with him.

Chapter Three- Still Strong

" Mr. Fitzgerald, your wife's pulse is still strong. She remains unconscious but she's stable for now," the doctor stated.

Martin thanked him gravely as he entered the room. He didn't want her to be like this. She was hooked on to numerous machines. He sat down beside her bed, and just stared,

in the days to come family and friends especially Danny would come by and join him in his vigil by Samantha's side. Jack placed Martin on desk duty for time being. He couldn't go out in the field in this state. However bills needed to be paid and Martin was trying to focus on the house Samantha had wanted to purchase before the bombing.

Martin bought the house one Saturday afternoon. He then headed back to the hospital and told her about it.

She was unconscious but Martin hoped his words were reaching her.

"Sam, when you wake up we'll buy the furniture just way you like it. Please don't make the bedroom pink!" Martin joked.

Suddenly he turned solemn.

"Sam it's been three weeks, please wake up," Martin pleaded.

Waiting for You

It's been so long
since I have seen you laugh
I'm trying to talk to you
but you don't respond.
Can you hear me?
Please give me a sign
that you know what
I'm saying.
I love you babe.
I am waiting for your answer.
Please just wake up
for me darling.
I bought us a house,
We'll make it our own
together.
Just want to spend the rest
of my days with you.
Please don't slip away.
Cause I am awaiting your
return.
Don't just leave me here waiting
all alone.

Author 's Note: The above poem is inspired by Slipped Away by Avril Lavigne.
In upcoming updates, the events in Samantha's subconsciousness will appear in italics.

Samantha was in a different world since she fell unconscious.
She was experiencing something surreal.

"Where am I?" Samantha thought to herself.

For the longest time everything had been dark. Now as she awakened she realized this wasn't the world she was used to waking up to. There was no Martin, and this definitely wasn't their apartment.
" Samantha time is running out. Tick Tock. Tick Tock!"
Samantha heard the grandfather clock ticking in the distance.
" Who is it? Martin where are you," Samantha said in a frantic. The last thing she recalled was the warehouse exploding as they ran out of it. Was Martin alive?

Samantha continued walking around. It was so dark and gloomy. Soon she spotted the grandfather clock. It read 7:30.

"How are you holding up Martin?" Danny inquired.

"Good. I bought the house she wanted," Martin replied.

Danny took this as a good sign. If he bought the house he believed Samantha would make it through.

Danny cared for Samantha as sister; he didn't want her to leave just yet.

Chapter Five- More than anything

the next setting Samantha spotted herself was much less gloomy. There were clouds and a beautiful sunset. Suddenly the clouds parted. Then Samantha spotted Martin. He was holding a bundle in pink in his arms.

"Look Sam, this is our daughter," Martin said with a smile.
Samantha smiled as she headed towards him.

Suddenly the clouds turned dark and gloomy. The baby was no longer in Martin's arms. He stood there looking sad.

"Sam please comes back," Martin pleaded before disappearing.

Samantha stood motionlessly. She really wanted more than anything to come back to the land of the living and resume her life with Martin.

"Mr. Fitzgerald your wife's vitals a re picking up. Everything seems to be looking up. Hopefully her regain consciousness soon," the doctor stated assurlingly.

Martin let out the breath he didn't realize he was holding.

He sat down in the chair beside Samantha's bedside. He reached for her hand and prayed silently. The heart monitor continued to beat steadily in the distance.

Chapter Six- Waking up

Martin had fallen asleep beside Samantha's bed yet again. The nurse finished checking the machines and smiled at the scene before her eyes. It was moments like this she cherished in her job. She preferred having patients who had someone who cared for them That way there was always hope they could make it through. It made their job easier.

Martin had pleaded for Samantha wake up repeatedly these past few weeks. He hoped for a sign that she would squeeze his hand in assurance, indicating that she was still here.

Samantha felt an intense pain in her head. The sunlight was absent. The first sound she heard was of light raindrops. The first thing she felt was Martin's hand on hers. The first thing she saw was the white ceiling above her head. It was a better thing to look at than the darkness of the scene she had encountered in her subconsciousness.

She squeezed his hand she knew he had probably been there for hours.

"Martin. I'm still here," Samantha rasped.

Martin's eyes fluttered open as she said his name.

"Sweetheart, I thought...," Martin trailed off.

Samantha smiled.

"Call me snuggles. Don't worry I'm not going anywhere," Samantha promised.

Chapter Seven
Samantha had been surprised when Martin drove on a different route after her release from the hospital.

"Martin isn't we going home?" Samantha inquired wearily. She felt strange after being out of it for three weeks. She really didn't feel up to socializing with anyone just yet.

"We are going home," Martin quipped.
Samantha shook her head. Maybe she was still out of it. After all she hadn't been home in awhile.

However when they pulled up to the to the by level development, Samantha realized what was going on.

"You bought the house?" Samantha inquired.

Martin smiled.

"Yes, there are a few boxes that need to be sorted through, but soon it will definitely feel like home," Martin assured her.

As soon as the car stopped, Samantha leaned over and kissed Martin.

"You are so wonderful!" Samantha exclaimed before she rushed out to look over the house.

Martin sighed with relief. He had Samantha back and their dream of owning their own home had come true.

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" Snuggles why aren't you in bed?" Martin inquired as she sleepily got up from their bed.

"I'm in here!" Samantha called.

Martin grinned at the sight. Samantha was dressed in his old shirt and a pair of pajamas. She was going through some boxes.

"Sam, it six in the morning, on a Saturday. What are you doing up so early," Martin inquired.

"I guess I slept enough. I thought I would go through some things," Samantha said as she lifted a box.

"Sam takes it easy. The doctor said no heavy lifting until you feel normal again," Martin said as he took the box from her hands.

Samantha sighed.
" I wish I could feel like myself again," Samantha stammered.

"Don't worry, everything will be fine," Martin assured her.

Chapter Eight- The Phone Calls

Samantha stood up as she tried to balance her one-year old daughter Julia on her hip. She headed towards the phone.

Samantha recalled a phone call she received almost two years ago.

Flashback

" Mrs. Fitzgerald, this is Dr. Sherman," the voice stated.

"Hello doctor. Are my reports in?" Samantha inquired nervously.

Since the warehouse bombing there had been no extreme dangers or health scares, but Samantha wanted to make sure everything was really back to normal.

Samantha held her breath as she waited for Dr. Sherman to continue. The past three months had been great; she didn't want it to end.

"Well Mrs. Fitzgerald you are pregnant," Dr. Sherman stated.
Samantha dropped the receiver as Martin walked into the room.

Martin looked at her curiously.

Samantha stood numbly against the wall.

"Sam is everything all right?" Martin said as he took the phone.

Dr. Sherman congratulated him, without repeating the news.

Martin turned to Samantha.

"Do you have something to tell me?" Martin inquired.

Samantha picked up the phone. Julia suddenly grew quiet. Samantha realized whoever was on the other line was going to say something that would change her life forever just like the time almost two years ago.

Chapter Nine- Addition to the Family

it was her sister Heather.

"Heather it is quite a surprise to hear from you," Samantha commented.

"Listen Sam, I need your help. I got your number from Mom," Heather stammered.

"Heather if something I can do just says the word," Samantha insisted.

Heather paused. A lump started to form in her throat. She hadn't seen Samantha in years, but now she really needed this favor.

"Samantha, my younger son Bryce is five. I know you just had a baby a short time ago, but I need someplace stable for him," Heather stated.

"So how long are we talking about, Heather is you telling me you want me to adopt your son?" Samantha exclaimed.

"Yes, please talk it over with your husband. I hope the three of you can come here to Kenosha and take him back with you," Heather stated.

Samantha sighed. She wasn't sure about Martin's reaction but what about Bryce? Would he be able to adjust in New York and their lifestyle? Would he like being a big brother to Julia?

"Heather, I want to talk to Martin and then if we come, I'd like to talk to Bryce in person," Samantha stated.

"Sure, just please let me know as soon as you can," Heather said before hanging up.

Martin arrived home and the look on Samantha's face told him something was up.

Flashback

" Sam is there something you want to tell me?" Martin inquired again.

Samantha nodded as she moved away from the wall.

"Well I have good news," Samantha said.

"I'm sure it must be if the doctor was congratulating me," Martin quipped.

"Well we are going to be parents," Samantha stated.

Martin stared at her in shock for a moment before twirling her around.

"Sam that is wonderful!" Martin said as he sat her down on the couch.

"Martin, you know when I was knocked out, I kinda dreamed we had baby girl but before I could see her...," Samantha trailed off.

Martin put an assuring hand on hers.

"Everything will be fine Sam. I'll be there every step of the way," Martin promised.

She embraced him.

"Sam, tell me what's wrong?" Martin stated.

Samantha put Julia by her toys and sat Martin down.

"Martin I got a call from Heather, my older sister. How would you consider a quick addition to our family?" Samantha inquired.

Chapter Ten

" Sam what exactly is the problem? Why would your sister, suddenly call out of the blue?" Martin inquired.

"Martin, she asked if we would adopt her five-year old son Bryce," Samantha stated.

"Did she tell you why?" Martin asked.

"No. She said if our answer is yes, we could fly over to Kenosha and meet Bryce. I told her I wanted to discuss this with you and meet Bryce in person. He's five. He is old enough to remember his mother," Samantha quivered.

Martin put his hand on hers.

"It would be great to have another child. We should wait on having another of our own since Julia is still young but I think it would be a great idea if we talked to Bryce first," Martin stated.

Samantha smiled slightly.

"I guess we should decide when we are going. Heather wants us to bring Julia," Samantha added.

"So we will," Martin replied.
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In the end they flew out to Wisconsin a week later. But upon arriving at Heather's address, her husband James was in tears.

"She is gone Samantha," James stammered after learning of her identity.

"How?" all Samantha could muster as Martin was held her?

"She had cancer," James stammered.

"She never said a word, Samantha cried before rushing off.

Since Julia was with her grandmother, Martin was free to simply run after his wife.

He found her at the newly dug grave of her sister.

Chapter Eleven - The Reason Why

Martin knew Samantha was far more upset than he had been at his aunt's death. At least he knew it was coming and was able to be with her. However Samantha never had a chance to reconcile with her sister, not to mention meet her nephews before this tragic turn of events.

Martin found her staring at the gravestone. She was shell shocked that no one had warned her of this situation. He realized more than ever his wife needed to be held right now. She needed to be just let go for a bit. So when Martin touched her shoulder, Samantha turned around and embraced him.

She sobbed and questioned why things were the way they were. The truth was no one except Heather could have answered the questions in Samantha's mind at the moment. Heather was still there in spirit because soon Samantha pulled back and began to dry her tears.

"Martin there is a little boy who needs some love. It's best if we go meet him now," Samantha stated as she composed herself.

Martin nodded solemn.

"Do you need a minute, or do you want to head back now?" Martin inquired with concern.

"I could use a moment, could you just hold me?" Samantha asked.

"Of course," Martin said before planting a kiss on her forehead and pulling her close.

"I'm here, Sam no matter what you decide," Martin stated.

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Later when they returned to the house, James let them in and he explained the reason why Heather wanted Samantha to take Bryce from Kenosha.

"Heather was healthy until Bryce was two years old. The cancer came along soon after. Bryce really hasn't had much attention. Our older son, Eric understood everything and got to know Heather before she was sick. Bryce really only has memories of her being sick. Heather wanted you to take him away and shower him with all the love he needs and deserves," James stated.

"James, we have a year old daughter. However if Bryce wants to come live with us, we'll give him all the love and attention he missed out on," Martin promised.

James nodded his understanding and thanks. He turned to Samantha.

"Heather told me you didn't adjust well as a child either. You missed out like Bryce did. She thought you would be able to relate to him and make sure he didn't feel as awful as you have," James stated.

Samantha smiled slightly.

"James I was lucky that Martin came into my life. If it weren't for him, I don't think I would be what I am today," Samantha stated as she put her hand on Martin's shoulder.

"Thank-you both for coming here. Bryce is in his room if you want to talk to him now," James stated.

"Yes, we would like to speak to him," Samantha stated solemnly.

Chapter Twelve- Angel from my Dreams

Bryce sat in the corner, on the window seat staring into space.

He noticed Samantha and Martin, Samantha stepped into the room first.

Bryce looked lost and confused. Samantha held out her arms.

Bryce slowly but surely began to walk towards her. Martin seemed to think it happened in slow motion. Bryce wrapped his arms around Samantha. Suddenly he stood back and said," She told me you would come for me," Bryce stated.

"Who told you we were coming?" Samantha inquired.

"The angel from my dreams said that my new parents would come and take me way. She showed me a picture," Bryce said.

Both Martin and Samantha looked at Bryce in wonderment.

"Would you like to meet your little sister?" Samantha inquired.

"I have a sister to love. I never had little kid to play with," Bryce stated.

"Now you do. I'll teach you about all the sports and maybe if you like we'll all go see a real game someday," Martin promised.

"That would be great," Bryce said with a yawn.

Samantha noticed a rocking chair in the corner. She picked up Bryce and began to rock him to sleep. She whispered sweet sayings in his ear.

Martin looked at them and realized it had been a great idea for them to come to Kenosha. Samantha needed to seal away her hurtful past and Bryce needed a fresh start.

Custody Arrangements

it was decided that Bryce would go to New York for sometime to try it out.
Ultimately it would be up to him if he wished to remain with them in New York or return to Kenosha to live with his father and brother Eric.

The adoption would not be finalized until Bryce made a decision. Since their flight left on July 20, James and Eric would come visit them before school started in September. If Bryce wished to stay in New York, the adoption would be finalized. If not, he would fly back to Wisconsin with his father and brother.

Both Martin and Samantha noticed how sweet Bryce was with Julia instantly. They seemed to share an instant connection.

"You know even if Bryce decides to go back, I think he'll always be protective over Julia," Samantha commented.

"Yeah I was the same with Jamie and Alison. I always kept a watchful eye out for them," Martin stated.

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On August 25, James and Eric arrived in New York.

Samantha was cooking dinner when Martin brought them home.

"Hello Aunt Samantha," Eric greeted.

"Hi Eric how was your trip?" Samantha inquired.

"It was great. Is it okay if I see Bryce?" Eric inquired.

"Yes before anything else, he's your brother," Samantha assured him.

Eric went off and played with Bryce and Julia watched them.

"You know it seems like Bryce never left us," James said looking at the scene before him.

"I agree," Samantha said.

"James, Samantha and I love Bryce like our own all ready but we feel like we are taking away your son. He is part of Heather as well," Martin quipped.

James turned solemn.

"I was thinking of another arrangement," James stated.

Samantha and Martin sat down across from him.

"We're listening James. Go on," Samantha urged.

James sighed.

"Well Heather wanted Bryce to have the love he missed out on because her being sick. What if you didn't adopt Bryce legally? If you two moved out to Wisconsin. Bryce could come to your place and you could visit with Julia. He would have everything Heather wanted for him and still be with us," James proposed.

Martin and Samantha exchanged smiles.

"James we are happy to report that we are one step ahead of you," Martin stated.

James furrowed his eyebrows.

"What exactly do you mean?" James inquired.

Chapter Fourteen

Bryce had told them what he wanted the night before. After James talked to him, Martin revealed that a job opening had opened up for James in New York. The job more advanced than what James did in Kenosha and the kids loved New York all ready.

"What about you're Mom, Samantha? We cannot just leave her alone in Kenosha," James insisted.

Samantha smiled slightly.

"Well Mom got a job at a retirement home in Florida. She is in good health and we could always fly her up or go see her ourselves," Samantha stated.

"Well it's settled. I guess living here in New York could be interesting," James stated.

The adults exchanged smiles before calling their kids for dinner.
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Shortly before Julia's third birthday, Martin and Samantha welcomed their second bundle of joy, which was named Heath in honor of Heather.

As Julia twirled around in her party dress on the day of her third birthday, Martin and Samantha beamed at their newborn son.

"Heather wanted to give me her son. It's strange how things work out. She sent us a child to name in her honor," Samantha commented.

"I cannot believe how much his nose is just like hers," Martin said as he compared his son and a picture of Heather.

"I bet she still here in spirit," Samantha said softly.

Martin nodded in agreement.

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Over the years, James started to date again. Eric and Bryce would take the subway and head over to the Fitzgerald home.

When Heath turned ten, Eric decided to take them all out for a Yankees game. Samantha was startled that her daughter tagged along. Martin would be home later, hence a case had he occupied up until the second inning.

"Julia, are you sure you want to go?" Samantha inquired warily.

"Of course Mom! Did you see how cute that new second baseman is? I'm definitely getting his autograph," Julia exclaimed.

Samantha warned the kids to be careful as she finished preparing for Heath's birthday party.

Later that evening Heath blew his candles out, Martin wrapped his arm around Samantha.

"What are you thinking Snuggles?" Martin asked.

"How lucky I am to be still here," Samantha commented.

Martin smiled and kissed her forehead.

"I'm happy you're still here, otherwise there wouldn't be a house full of happy kids here," Martin stated.

Samantha sighed in contentment. She truly had everything she could ever want.

The End