A/N: I don't own Sea Patrol.

Chapter 28

Kate smiled grimly at Mike as she hung the phone back onto its hook.

"They've got a lead."

"Kate, we're due to go back out tomorrow," Mike said sadly hoping that Kate wouldn't bite his head.

"I told you to get a replacement. I'm not leaving Annie, not until I know she's safe," she said as she tilted her head to the side as she thought of something. "You know I think I already told the Commander and he I think was getting someone to replace me for a while. Why don't you ring him and see?" Kate said as she grabbed her keys, bag and sunnies.

"Where are you going?" Mike asked as he followed her.

"I'm off to find my baby sister and no one," she looked at him. "Not even you can stop me," she said fiercely as she walked out the door.

"Kate, wait for me."

Down at the Police station Kate paced the floor, while Mike sat on a chair watching her.

"Kate, why don't you sit down, you're going to wear a hole in the floor."

"I can't Mike," she replied. Her eyes filled with guilt. "I don't want to be like my mum, where I didn't know what she was up to and living off the bottle but not even a month has gone by and I've lost her Mike! Even my mum did a better job of me than what I've done with Annie. Hell, I may have gotten beaten but at least I didn't loose her until I decided to," she snapped as she sank into the chair next to Mike. She put her head in her hands. "I don't know what I'm going to do if I loose her Mike. She's so young and she shouldn't have to go through what I did."

Mike's mouth dropped open in surprise. Finally he was finding out about her past and now he wished in some ways he hadn't. Looking back on her when he first met her and when she had first come aboard the Hammersley he could finally understand why she was so closed off and like an icicle. He placed a hand on her for comfort while he mentally berated himself for not realising what had happened in the first place.

"Kate, I'm so sorry. I didn't know," Mike said stricken with guilt. "I should have tried to understand what had happened to you but I just never…" he broke off unsure on what to say.

Kate looked up at him with sadness and surprise. "It's not your fault," she said softly. "I never told you. How could you have possibly worked it out? You're not a woman with psychic abilities," she said with a quick smile. "Besides that's in the past, you're here right when I need you."

He placed a hand on her's and opened his mouth to reply when a Constable walked up to them.

"Miss McGregor? We have a lead, I've just finished interviewing the witness and he said that he saw the van outside of Darwin heading away from it. We were just going to go and check it out. Did you want to come?"

Kate stood up immediately. "You bet."

They day stretched out and by the time they had stopped for lunch it was 1500hrs (aka 3pm).

"Hey, how are you holding up, Miss?"

Kate looked up and realised it was the same Constable from the Police station. "Ah ok… I guess."

"Now that we have a direction we can canvas the locals, like the farmers to find out where they went. It will take time but we will find the woman who took the girl. We probably need to head back soon though."

Kate sighed; she had really been hoping that this would be their lucky break.

Five days later…

They had been going further and further away from Darwin. Everyday Kate would get up with hope and everyday she would come home defeated. To make matters worse Hammersley had left port days ago and Kate was missing Mike's presences.

Before Annie came along her house had seemed cosy but every since she was taken it had felt empty, even more so with Mike not there to help Kate. The emails from him and Nikki helped a bit but not much.

Today, Kate held her head up and kept praying and hoping. She never really prayed but at this point she was willing to try anything.

It had been a long day and the sun was going down. They were just turning around to head back to Darwin a gunshot went off in the distance.

"We'd better check it out," the Constable said. He radioed in to let base know and he, his partner and Kate headed out to where the shot had fired.

They pulled up a long drive way to where a van stood out the front.

"Is that the van?" Kate asked quickly.

Glancing down at the photos as they approached the house, they realised it was the same one. The Constable spoke into his radio again but this time more urgently.

"Back up will be there in three minutes." (they had another team in the area)

As soon as they pulled up Kate got out of the car.

"Woah, Miss. We don't know what's going on in there. We best wait."

"Don't you Miss me," Kate hissed at him. "I'm a Lieutenant in the Navy. I can use a gun and am trained to take down hostile people plus Annie may be in there. So don't you tell me what to do."

"If you don't restrain yourself, I'm going to have to restrain you by putting you in the car. Ok Ma'am? I know you're worried but we know what are doing."

Kate nodded stiffly and moved away from the Officers to the other side of the car. Glancing down the driveway the other Police car was coming up the drive. The Police officers hopped out of the car and quickly talked to their counterparts.

Looking the other way she saw a body on the ground. She gasped in surprised but training took over and she calmed down.

The Constable came over to Kate. "You stay here and don't come inside," he said.

"There's a dead body over there, looks like he's been shot."

The Constable looked over. "Shit you're right," he talked into his radio and told the rest of the group. He looked at Kate. "Stay."

He then left her to get into position.

One of the men kicked down the door and everything went out of control after that…

… Kate slipped around the back… …Smoke started coming out of the house…

…Gunshots rang out… …Kate looked in the rooms for Annie… ….People were everywhere… …There was Sophia with guns blazing… …Annie hiding under a table… …Sophia laughed as she pointed her gun at Kate… … Sophia falling from a gunshot…

Silence

Kate finally moved to where Annie was. "ANNIE!" she screamed. She pulled the little blonde into her arms and held her tight.

"Kate," Annie said as she cried into Kate's shoulder. "I knew you'd come."

Epilogue:

"Mum, I mean Kate it's not fair. I don't want you to go," Annie said angrily.

Kate stood in front of Annie. "Annie I have to, how else am I to give you a good education and all that other stuff you need."

Annie shrugged then sniffed and turned her head away from Kate.

"Oh Annie, I love you," Kate said softly as she pulled the little girl into her arms. "You taught me a really important lesson. You got me to learn how to love and I love you no matter where I am in the world, always and forever."

"I love you too but what if you don't come back?" Annie looked at Kate with tears in her eyes. "I don't want to loose you. I won't feel safe til you're home."

"Oh Sweetheart," Kate's heart lurched as she listened to the girl. "It's not for ever and I promise this is the last one."

Annie looked up surprised. "Really? You promise?"

Kate laughed. "Yes I promise. I got a transfer to a shore position, just for you," she said as she tweaked the younger girl's nose. "Well not just for you, for my sanity as well as other things."

"What about Mike? Will he still come and see us?" Annie asked.

Kate smiled.

"Of course he will," was the reply from behind Kate. Mike stood behind her with a smile on his face. "I'd miss you too much Annie-girl."

Annie smiled mischievously. "What about Mum-Kate?"

Mike's smile widened. "Her too."

The End.

Just an add on:

Sophia, didn't get killed but got treated in hospital with a bullet wound to the shoulder. She had concussion from hitting her head after she got shot. She now is in prison and can't get to Annie.

Derek died, but Annie spoke up and said that he was trying to get her home. The McGregors' attended the funeral.

John (if you remember) visits Annie when he can get time off work.

Josie (RO's sibling) gets her act together and finally decides to join the Navy, best choice she ever made.

Marie was ok, glad that Annie got home in one piece. Steve and Marie both think that Annie is the Grand-daughter they never had.

Annie had counselling from what had happened. Annie later on ends up joining the Navy after she finished High School with honours. She is expecting to be the Godmother to Nikki and Josh's first child. (I hope this satisfies N/J fans)

And of course Kate and Mike get their act together and marry. They give Annie two siblings.

And I think that pretty much wraps it up. (hopefully)

A/N: I can't believe that I actually finished this one. It's been about 3.5yrs since I started this fic. I hope that I've done it justice and that the ending seemed realistic.

I just thought I'd put here where I got the idea from. I remember cleaning stuff from under my bed (yeah its scary under there) and I found comic books that I got when I was a kid. One of them was Barbie (and yes she is soo much better than Bratz). In the comic book she has a kid sister named Skipper and I always wondered what would Kate do if she found out she had a sister too… Hence Learning to Love, though on my pc its called My Kid Sister.

There are a few people who I'd like to thank for being with me from the beginning:

Shewritesincursive (though you changed your name on me :P), PunkPrincess145, Stars2008- thanks guys for your support, I really appreciated it.

There are many more of you that have been with me for ages to and you have my heartfelt thanks for your support and encouragement. This fic would have been abandon if not for your words.

So thank you all,

Fantasy