Second Chances: Saving Simons

When Rick and A.J. are trapped during a forest fire in the hills above Window Rock, the next generation of Simons risk everything to save them.

(This is a work of fiction. All characters (except original characters to this story) are owned by Universal Studios and are only being borrowed for a little while. .)

A/N: For any new readers, "Second Chances" is my "what if?" for Rick and A.J. Simon...What if they didn't end the partnership or A.J. didn't marry Janet or Liz... What if Rick had a long-lost sweetheart who needed protection from a crazed stalker? And...what if Rick and his girl fell in love, adopted her niece and nephew, and made a home first in San Diego, then in Arizona? These "what if''s" are the basis for my continuing "Simon & Simon" as if they never went off the air. This series also includes crossovers from Six Million Dollar Man/Bionic Woman and Dark Shadows...so feel free to read my other stories for the whys and wherefores of these three worlds meeting!

"All right, what set you guys off this time?"

Rick Simon stared down three sets of eyes, as he took in a familiar sight.

Lala Simon was rumpled and her jean shirt was torn, but her look was defiant. Next to her was Petey Simon, a dark bruise forming under his left eye, and his t-shirt soaked with punch. The Simon who was the worse for wear was their cousin Robin, who sported a bloody lip and nose, and the threat of tears in his eyes.

To their credit, none of the younger Simons pointed fingers. Remaining silent, the three teenagers met Rick's gaze with a set look. Until he cleared his throat….

"All right, I guess this means I have to leave your Grandmother, and your Auntie and run you all home," he remarked, looking pointedly at Robin.

That broke the logjam.

"No, Grandpa….you don't have to do that…" Petey began, then Robin interrupted him.

"It was my fault, Uncle Rick….please don't tell Dad…"

"No, Grandpa, I'm the oldest, I should have stopped it." Lala finished, glaring at the two boys.

"Does this have anything to do with fighting over your Grandmother's computer? 'Cause if it does, I'm going to ban any of you from using it." Rick told them firmly, then saw the face Lala made.

"Well?"

"Yes, Grandpa, I was using Grandma's computer for some homework, and Petey started saying I was hogging it, then Robin complained and they started pushing each other…." She confessed reluctantly.

"And Lala just tried to stop us, and I accidentally knocked her down…but Grandpa, she really fights well." Petey added brightly, bringing a smile to his cousin's face.

"Who really fights well….oh no!" Laurie limped into the living room, and saw her two grandchildren and nephew's disheveled appearance.

"Sweetheart, they're okay, we're just having a little talk, so go back to bed and I'll bring you your lunch." Rick explained hurriedly, wanting to hustle her back to their room.

"Little talk? I don't think so…." Laurie sat wearily down in her chair, then beckoned the three teenagers to her. Now Robin's remorse broke through.

"I'm really sorry, Auntie….We didn't mean to make you upset."

"I'm not, honey….just sad that you three seem to set each other off…" Laurie told them, indicating the sofa next to her. Immediately, Lala took a place next to her, followed by Robin and Petey. "Rick, can you go get a couple of wet washcloths?" winking at Rick. He dropped his worried look and smiled.

"All right, darlin'."

"Grandma, don't be sad…I'm sorry they were fighting….They won't do it again." Lala started, feeling bad. Laurie just shook her head as Robin added, "and I promise to share with Petey…"

"That's good….except we need to figure out why you three haven't been getting along. You're cousins…and while it's okay to disagree once in a while, it's not right to come to blows about things. Now Petey, was that fair to pick on your sister?" she asked, looking him in the eye. Slowly he shook his head.

"No, but she was using your computer for over an hour…and I wanted to see if my teacher had posted my science grade."

"And you, Robin…did Lala ask you to get involved?" Again he shook his head.

"No…but I had called dibs on the computer after Lala was done…..so I told Petey to stop bothering her."

"Okay….so you were defending your place in a one person line, is that it?" Laurie figured she guessed correctly, as her nephew turned red with shame.

"Yes…" he mumbled. Laurie wanted to ask him to repeat himself, but she decided he was embarrassed enough. "All right, now Robin..what did your Mom and Dad say about fighting?"

"Not to…but …" he began, only for Rick to come back into the living room. Handing Laurie one wet cloth and shooing Robin over to her, he gave the other one to Petey, who sheepishly cleaned his face and hands.

"No buts about it, Rob….you and Petey…are to count to 20 next time…before you so much as say a bad word….capice?" he said firmly.

"Yes, Grandpa."

"Yes, Uncle Rick." The two boys answered, then Laurie looked at Lala.

"And you, honey….next time set a time and let your brother and cousin know that you will use the computer for so much time….after all, I might want to use it." She added.

"I promise, Grandma….whoops, it's time we went home and I started dinner." Lala replied, getting up then leaning over for a hug from Laurie.

"That's my girl…and you too, you rascal" she giggled, embracing Petey.

"All right, enough mush…" Rick teased, then shooed Lala and Petey out of the living room. As they left, A.J. pulled into the drive, and Robin turned a pleading eye toward his uncle.

"Please, Uncle Rick…don't tell Dad what we were doing."

Sighing, Rick fixed a stern look at his nephew. "And how are you going to explain your face?"

"Uh…." Robin didn't have a comeback for that…so when A.J. came in to say hi, he took one look at his son, then shook his head.

"Don't tell me, Rick….Sis, what was it this time?"

"Somebody stood up to their cousin ….but he'll have a better reason next time, won't you Robin." Laurie remarked. Nodding anxiously at his father, Robin breathed a sigh of relief as A.J. stared at him, then let out a deep breath..

"You won't fight your cousins again, right?" His youngest son nodded again, and A.J. smiled.

"Okay, Rob…I'll hold you to that.." Looking over at Rick, he added, "Seems Ricky's not the only one to take after their uncle."

At that Rick and Laurie started laughing. "Oh, now that's funny, A.J…." Laurie wheezed after a while, and both brothers grinned at her.

"I'm glad you think so, Sis…speaking of which, how's your back feeling?" A.J. finally asked, wiping his eyes.

"Much better, little brother….it's all this humidity…." She replied, leaning against Rick.

"Well, humidity or not-she's not going anywhere until Rudy comes back on Saturday…."
Rick answered, belaying his sudden seriousness with a kiss. Laurie sought to put the brother's worry at rest.

"Rick, it's only a little achy, I'm sure it's just the arthritis…." She explained, then stood up without help when A.J. glanced at the clock. "Oh, oh, come on, boxer boy..time to pick your Grandmother up from bridge…I'll be back with the kids tomorrow, guys, can I bring you some sandwiches and a salad?"

"Sure, wouldn't say no…" Rick smiled as Laurie added, "and I promise a nice dessert."

"Just make "Buttons and Bows"…that's all I ask." A.J. replied, then hugged them both goodbye. As he and Robin drove away, Laurie waited for Rick to close the door, then said, "Rick….please don't worry….I'm going to be all right…."

"I can't help it, darlin'….I can't stand to watch you in pain…" he responded, putting his arm around her. "Plus, with helping Ramona with her class and all….I'm afraid if it's a disk going out, you might have to have surgery again."

"I know, love…." Laurie leaned against him. "But the pain isn't bad now….I'll just be careful when Ramona and I practice. Now…what are you and A.J. working on?"

"Not really working, sweetheart…Rob says with the dryness of the brush around the old ordinance caves, all it would take would be some careless camper or lightening storm, and the whole valley would go up." Rick explained. Nonchalantly he continued talking as he walked her back to their room.

"With the new mapping system Rob has on his computer, he's been able to pin-point the bad spots, and A.J. and I are helping him chart them then check to see who's responsible for clearing the area."

"Oh boy…I bet most of the spots turn out to be military ownership"…Laurie surmised, then realized she was back in their room.

"Rick! Come on…I said I was all right." She protested, then surrendered as Rick sat down on the bed then pulled her into his arms.

"I know…darlin…but please let me take care of you….."

"All right…but not one word to the kids…" Laurie surrendered to his embrace, then giggled as Rick promised, "My lips are sealed."

"You mean, like this…" she met his mouth with hers, until both were breathless.

"No..more like this…" he whispered, kissing her passionately. Finally releasing her lips, he grinned as she murmured, "We'll have to share secrets more often, love. Now do you want to help me make the cookies?"

"Later, I want to take advantage in having you all to myself." He answered. Just then the phone rang.