AN: So here is the final chapter. I thought about writing about what happens after the series ends but since I have no idea where the Donnellys went or how Joey was caught, I don't even want to speculate. I know what I would want to happen but it's unlikely. I might chance my mind, but that too is unlikely.
I do not own the Black Donnellys, I merely write of them. Thanks for the support and sorry for the very long wait in between 10 and 11.
Murphy's Law states, "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong."
Brigit Murphy walked down the streets of her neighborhood and, for the first time, actually felt fear. Before, she had always felt safe because everyone knew she was under the Donnellys' protection and anyone who did not would eventually find out, but everything had changed and the Donnellys could barely keep themselves safe, let alone her. She was not even sure where she could go -- was her apartment or the Donnellys' apartment safe? Maybe the Firecracker? The Diner even?
She found only Helen at home, which gave her mixed feelings. She was unsure why the boys would leave their mother by herself (she thought maybe it was not as bad as she thought if they left her so unprotected) but she was also comforted, at least by the sight of her. Helen Donnelly had always been like a second mother to her. Helen welcomed Brigit in, beaming at the sight of her.
They were in a lively conversation (to which they were happy for, it kept their mind off of current events) when Kevin came in, looking for Sean. Helen questioned Kevin for his abrupt entrance but he immediately, though quickly, embraced Brigit, happy to see she was safe, and then picked up the phone and called someone.
Instantly, his mother was on his back, needing to know what was going on and who he was talking to. Brigit heard something about them packing and leaving and she tried to stay calm. Who was leaving? Where were they going and for how long? Was she invited or would she be left behind? Did she want to leave?
After the phone conversation ended, Kevin badgered his mother to go and pack, to which she resisted. He pleaded for a few minutes until he finally told her she better pack or she would be leaving with nothing because she had no choice in the leaving part.
Finally, he turned to Brigit, "Come on, I'll walk you to your place so you can pack up too."
She furrowed her brows, "Who said I was leaving?"
"Why wouldn't you be leaving? We're packin' the entire family up and going, or that's what Tommy says." His face scrunched into a confused and hurt expression.
"Listen, I want to go off with you and all but there are other things to consider here. I have a job… I can't just run away from that. I have friends outside of the Donnellys that I can't just leave. And my parents!"
"They can come, too," Kevin added hopefully.
"No, I don't want their lives turned upside down because you boys went on a power trip. And we can't ignore the fact that I'm pregnant," Brigit felt herself getting tired of all the arguing, "Do you really want to raise a kid on the run?"
Kevin, on the other hand, was just getting started, "Do you really want to raise a kid on your own then?"
Brigit felt as if she had been slapped in the face. It was not like he had offended her, it was just a reality check. She would either get Kevin on the run or remain home without Kevin. Which was the lesser of two evils?
She tried to form words, but her mouth was not cooperating, so instead she merely turned to leave, and answered Kevin when he asked where she was going with something about having to think. He rushed after her, stopping her on the stairs.
"You can't stay here, Brigit! It isn't safe for you!" he yelled, "I won't leave you here!"
"I have obligations and responsibilities here, Kevin! I can't just drop my paying job on a whim -- I'm going to need that money. No matter how badly I want to go with you, it's more practical if I stay."
"I don't care about practical, I care about you! I need you!" His temper was beginning to lose momentum now, "I'll take care of you, don't you see that?"
She took a minute before answering, "I know that, Kevin, but the way you take care of me… it puts you in danger. I'd rather have you alive than dead."
"I can't let you stay. Dokey's ruthless, he could, could…," Kevin could not make himself finish the thought or the sentence.
Brigit, nonetheless, understood his meaning, "He's trying to make political friends and even he is smart enough to know that harming me, an innocent and pregnant nurse, is not in his best interest, whether I love you or not." She smiled, trying to convince him, "Plus, you'll let me know where you are so if anything goes wrong, I can just meet up with you, right?"
"So you won't leave now but you'd leave then?"
"No one has threatened me, so why do I have to run?"
"And I won't let anyone get the chance to threaten you!"
Brigit sighed, "Kevin, I can't. Let me know how you're all doing, though, please. And be safe. I love you so much."
Kevin mumbled something under his breath but he had enough sense to look ashamed when she shot him a look. He began to understand that she was being serious and she was not looking to be persuaded so he gave up. His body felt numb but he could not leave her like that. He made to give her something to remember, something to miss. So he kissed her with all the love he could, told her he loved her and the baby, and let her go, trying to ignore the tears that fell down her cheek.
Sitting alone in her apartment, Brigit felt as if her life was falling down around her. It was almost evening, but not quite yet -- but still, Kevin had probably left already. They had planned on leaving a few hours ago. Her dearest friends were gone. She had no one to look out for her, she was truly on her own.
She had no one to tell her if she was doing the right thing or not -- all her confidants were Donnellys. It was times like this she wished her brother was there. Kenny would tell her what was the best thing for her.
If Kenny was still with her… he would most likely be caught up in all of this, right alongside the Donnellys, and would also be forced to run. Brigit knew if that had been the case, she would go. Not only for Kevin, but for her brother as well. Kenny would not allow her to be alone like that, unprotected.
But there was no Kenny in this scenario. Did that really matter though? He would want her to go with them. He had trusted them with his life and hers. Her parents always trusted Kenny's judgment when it came to their daughter.
Why could she not just know the answer? Shouldn't she be able to feel the right answer in her bones?
"On an unknown path every foot is slow," Kenny had always said when she came to him for advice. It was an Irish saying that their grandfather had always quoted. Brigit had the general idea of what her life would be like if she stayed but she had no idea what it would be like if she left and that scared her.
Sorting through all the facts, she came to a disturbing realization: she should have gone with them.
She ran into her bedroom and pulled out a suitcase and threw anything and everything she could into it, not even wasting time to fold things. She made sure to bring every medical supply she had with her because knowing the Donnellys, they would need her expertise along the way and would refuse to go to a hospital. Grabbing the suitcase and her purse, she ran out onto the street, hailing a cab, giving them the Donnellys' address.
Brigit began to lose hope as it grew darker and she found no one at the apartment. But she did not give up, she demanded the driver take her, at last, to the Firecracker. It was the only place left.
She threw money at the driver and thanked him as best she could before dragging her bag onto the sidewalk and banging on the bar's door. They had to be there. Sean's car was no longer outside and there was no sound indoors and she felt herself begin to break down.
"Kevin! Please! Please open up, you have to be here!"
Suddenly, a commotion came from inside and the door flung open. Kevin stood before her. He merely stared at her, in complete disbelief. He had somehow accepted the fact that she was not going and seeing her there, in front of him, made him think he was truly losing it and he was seeing things. To make sure, he reached out a grabbed her hand and actually held it, meaning she was completely real. By confirming this, he pulled her inside, but only after grabbing her bag for her, to keep her out of danger as they waited for Tommy to return with Jimmy.
As the sun sank below the horizon, Tommy finally came in with Jimmy, who was still claiming he would not go. Joanie, who was going no matter what, wanted Jimmy there with her and took it upon herself to convince him to come. None knew (well, except Joey) what she said for sure but she took him outside and they could all hear that she was, at least, yelling at him.
Inside, Tommy could not wait any longer for Jimmy's decision so they all piled out of the bar, intent on piling into the van. Thankfully, Joanie had convinced Jimmy to come along and then Joey hopped in as well… but there was no Jenny. Brigit finally thought she could breathe when she realized they would finally be on their way. They had to be safe now.
But as the van began to move, not even a yard, they were surrounded by vehicles and people with guns, all pointed at them. The girls -- Helen, Joanie, and Brigit -- watched as Tommy and Jimmy got out to confront Dokey, and then Kevin went to join them, despite Brigit's protests. She felt her hands reach for Helen's and Joanie's, for some kind of support.
After what seemed like forever, Tommy turned around and began walking back toward them, but Dokey then aimed a gun straight for him, and everyone froze. Brigit tore her eyes away for a second to check Kevin, but then looked back at Dokey and saw his aim had changed and it was right for them.
The gun fired and Brigit's reaction was to duck and with it, Joanie and Mrs. Donnelly moved downward as well. Helen was hit, but most like not as badly as Dokey hoped, because she had moved at the last second. Instantly, Brigit laid Helen down and told everyone to back away. Tommy did not listen and tried to crowd them, but Brigit pushed him back as bullets flew through the air and suddenly, the van was moving.
Tommy was unfazed by her action, knowing she knew best, and he listened as she barked out orders, handing her her bag and pulling out the first aid kid, a towel, and a plastic bag. She used the towel to apply pressure and yelled at Tommy when he moved to live his mother's legs up, in hopes of preventing shock, which would have only worsened the situation.
Everything around Brigit seemed to fade out as she tried to save Helen, who was slipping away into unconsciousness. She placed a plastic covering over the wound so air would not rush in.
Eventually, she began to become conscious of what was going on around her. Everyone was so loud: yelling, screaming, crying. They were still driving and she had no idea where to.
Complete darkness fell over the car as they entered the Lincoln Tunnel and they all quieted down as everything that had just happened settled in. A little over a half hour, they entered and exited New Jersey and found themselves headed straight for New York again, as they crossed the George Washington Bridge. Somewhere over the Hudson River, Helen Donnelly regained consciousness, causing everyone to breathe a sigh of relief. She asked where they were going but no one could give her an answer. No one cared either, just as long as they got there, in one piece, together.