Disclaimer: *shakes head* Don't own 'em. Wish I did so I could have fixed their ending officially. lol.

Rating: K+

Pairing: Lilly/Scotty. I went down with the ship. They're still meant to be imho.

A/N: Omg. lol. *looks at calendar* So, hmmmm, I think I'm a TAD later than I promised with this. lmao. Can't apologize enough guys! I'm SO sorry I made you wait 4 years. I know you all hate me - those of you who even care to be reading this, that is. I don't blame any of you one bit but I thought I'd post what I had already started and just recently (lol) got around to finishing. I owed you that much at least! Having said that, I'm not completely happy with it but I never am so I hope it doesn't make you hate me more. I also have to thank the lovely lovely people who posted reviews/pmed me, even recently inquiring on whether I would be finishing. It was you all who helped me plough through and get this done! So thank you very much for your encouragement! One last thing, I went a bit long on this chapter. Ooops. I kept thinking "I'll end it now" but I really didn't like cutting it off between certain scenes so I just kept it all together. Alright, that's all I'm going to say. Those of you who are still interested, enjoy! Oh and since it's been SO long, you might need to check out the end of chapter 3 to remind yourself.
P.S. Still pissed at the way CC ended. Seriously LS deserved more than that. But I digress.

XX=Scene Changes

Italics=Thoughts

XX

Lilly walked slowly into work, the room echoing a stillness that sent a bitter chill through her body. The lights seemed brighter than usual, stinging her eyes as she made her way to her desk. Glancing around the vacant office, she wondered where everyone was. Too early? She thought to herself musingly, blinking down at her wrist to check the time, only to find it bare - she hated when she'd forgotten to wear her watch. Just then, she noticed a single case file lying atop her keyboard as she rounded her chair, but before she had a chance to read the name labeled in black ink at the top, the interrogation room door opened and out walked Scotty, flashing her his trademark smile.

"Hey," He said, approaching confidently. He paused briefly to drop some papers on a nearby table and Lilly stared at him for a long moment, her heart beating faster with every second. She watched his dark brown eyes intently and slowly traced the curve of his bottom lip before he smiled again and opened his mouth to speak. Suddenly, Stillman's voice averted her attention.

"Lil," Lilly turned toward the sound but found no one. Turning back, she noticed Scotty had disappeared from where he'd been standing and her eyes drifted to the case file still waiting on top of her keyboard. Her breath caught when she saw Scotty's name etched in ink.

"Lilly," She heard her name again and this time, felt a light touch of a hand on her shoulder. With a jolt, her eyes snapped open revealing the cool walls of a hospital corridor and Stillman's concerned eyes peering down at her.

"You okay?" He asked, carefully investigating her face.

"Yeah." Lilly cleared her throat, realizing she had either been dreaming or having a nightmare; she couldn't decide which. "… just fell asleep, I guess." She answered, bringing a hand to her face. Reality returned to her instantly. "Scotty?" She asked, requesting an update on his condition.

"No word yet." Stillman spoke quietly, hesitant to report anything to Lilly right now.

"Listen, Lil…" He took a seat beside her. "I think you should go home." He continued. "You need to get away from here for a bit. I'll have Kat drive you. We'll call you the minute we hear anything." Trying to assure her, he gave a nod and turned to fish his cell phone out of his overcoat.

"No." She said simply, focusing on the creamy white paint of the wall in front. "I'm not leaving."

"Lil," Stillman tried to persuade her with his tone but before he could speak again, Lilly cut in. "Boss," She shook her head at him tiredly. "He's in there because of me." Lilly turned her eyes forward again. "I can't leave til I know he's alright."

Stillman could do nothing but nod in acceptance, knowing – frustrating as it was – that there would be no changing Lilly's mind once it was made.

XX

Lilly stared blankly into a coffee cup Kat had brought her, but the black liquid staring back offered little more than a backdrop to her thoughts. Two hours had ticked painfully by, allowing Lilly too much time to replay the events of the shooting over in her head. She felt rage bubbling up inside her as she tried to recall details of the scene that put her partner in critical condition. She hadn't seen the shooter first or last but made a silent vow that whomever was responsible, was not going to get away with it. She needed more time. More than what she gave Scotty when she had the chance. Just then, the heavy hospital door opened and a surgeon emerged with an indecipherable expression on his face. Lilly stood instantly but every muscle in her body felt weak. All her life she'd forced herself to be strong in any given situation but somehow, this time, she wasn't sure she was prepared to handle whatever the doctor had to say.

"He's stable." He stated, gesturing with his hand as he approached. Lilly let out a short breath of relief and dropped her eyes back to the cup she was holding. Kat saw the anguish all over Lilly's face and snuck a hand around her arm in support. "He lost a lot of blood so he's not out of the woods yet, " The surgeon continued. "But his blood pressure is stable and as long as it stays that way for the next 24 hours, he should pull through."

"Can we see him?" Stillman spoke up, knowing Lilly likely couldn't find her voice to ask.

"Soon. He's being transferred to ICU. I'll have a nurse come to get you."

"Thanks Doc." Vera nodded at the doctor before he disappeared back through the big steel doors.

"That's good news, Lil." Jeffries said softly as all eyes were on her.

Lilly nodded but still felt numb.

XX

Half an hour later, a nurse had taken the team of detectives to a different waiting area in the ICU wing of the hospital. She indicated that she would let them know when they could see Scotty but Lilly felt her body tensing up at the mere idea of his weak form and the tubes that would be coming from him in every direction. In the distant background, she could hear the quiet hum of hospital equipment emerging from various rooms and memories quickly assaulted her mind as remnants of her own injury flickered before her eyes. She remembered feeling nothing; her limbs lifeless, her body drained of its purpose; only the blank white ceiling above leaving her empty and the fear that she might die before... Her thoughts trailed off and returned to Scotty lying in that same vulnerable state. The partner she'd almost lost; this man who had been through almost everything with her. Her eyes fluttered closed momentarily and she tried to swallow but her mouth had gone dry.

"Okay," A voice startled Lilly out of her trance. "He's still resting but you can go in to see him now." The nurse instructed Stillman on how to find Scotty's room and gave a sympathetic smile toward Lilly before departing, clearly making assumptions about their relationship. The rest of the detectives stood and began heading down the hall, as Lilly wearily got to her feet. But suddenly, she couldn't move. Stillman glanced back and noticed her lingering behind.

"Lil...?"

She looked up at him quietly; desperation, fear, paranoia and myriad other emotions reflecting on her features. They exchanged a weighted look as Stillman stood studying her pale face, but it didn't take much to figure out what was wrong. She couldn't see Scotty. She couldn't meet his eyes. Not today. Not without melting into a puddle on the floor in front of him. In front of everyone, for that matter. He was okay. It was all she needed – all she could handle – for the present.

"Tell him..." Lilly swallowed. "Just tell him to get better, okay Boss?"

Stillman said nothing, giving only a nod in understanding as Lilly quietly headed toward the stairwell. Stillman watched after her for a moment, helpless with how to reach the demons Lilly was battling.

XX

"Hey," Scotty whispered groggily as Jeffries, Vera and Kat quietly crept into the room.

"How you feelin' slugger?" Vera quipped, making his way to Scotty's bedside.

"Like I been shot." Scotty joked through his haze, trying to find his voice. Just then a pain shot through his stomach causing him to wince.

"We get you somethin'?" Kat asked instinctively.

"Nah." Scotty swallowed. "I'll be alright." He replied with tired eyes before suddenly noticing Lilly wasn't among the officers. Panic instantly set in. His memory of the shooting was vague enough to allow his mind to run wild with his worst fears. What if he hadn't gotten to her in time? What if something had gone wrong after he was down? What if she'd gone and done something stupid again?

"Lil?" His eyes suddenly widened and he tried to sit up.

"She's fine." Stillman answered, just now entering the room. "She just...uh... I told her to go home, Scotty." Stillman lied as best he could, even though he was sure Scotty was aware of it. "She was exhausted, but she wants you to get better real soon." Scotty relaxed his muscles, but worry still played heavily on his brow as Kat and Vera exchanged an inquisitive look regarding Lilly's sudden disappearance.

"I don't remember much, Boss." Scotty said apologetically.

"Don't worry about it, Scotty." Stillman interjected before Scotty could continue. "We'll find him later, you just get yourself better."

"The little girl?" Scotty inquired thoughtfully after Alison.

"She's fine too, thanks to you." Stillman nodded in acknowledgement of his bravery. "But don't you dare do that again, Valens." Stillman warned. He'd seen far too many cops die prematurely in his day.

"Yeah, you gave us quite a scare." Jeffries added. "Doc said you were pretty lucky."

"Not lucky enough I guess." Scotty mused at the two bullet wounds sending periodic waves of discomfort through his body.

"'Least you got a better view." Vera motioned toward the window. "When I broke my leg when I was 15, I couldn't see nothin but a 70 year old guy's buttcrack." Keeping the conversation light was Vera's speciality. "Oh and Nurse Becky, of course." He wiggled his eyebrows as Kat shook her head in disdain.

Scotty tried to smile as his colleagues chatted but his mind was still preoccupied with his partner. Was she okay? Why hadn't she come? What was she blaming herself for this time? - though he had ideas as to the answers of the latter two. Regardless, he had to see her. Now all he needed was to find a way to bribe a nurse to let him out of this place as fast as possible...

XX

Lilly made her way down the hospital stairwell, picking up pace with every step. This had been the longest 24 hours of her life – and that included her own gunshot wound. She could handle not knowing about herself but not knowing whether Scotty was going to live or die... She couldn't do that. She suddenly needed away from here. She needed to breathe. And most importantly, she needed to catch the bastards that made her feel like part of her was dying in an O.R. Finally, reaching the bottom floor, she flung the door open and welcomed the cool air that met her skin.

XX

"Room 204, just down the hall." The night clerk at the only vacant motel left in Pennsylvania handed Lilly a card key and motioned with his hand.

"Thank you." She replied genuinely, picking up her overnight bag and heading down the narrow hall. It'd been 10 days since she disappeared from the hospital, 9 days since she'd heard a message that Jeffries left on her voicemail stating that Scotty had been deemed out of danger by doctors and 6 days since Stillman had instructed her via email and text message to take some time off. But Lilly couldn't bring herself to face anyone or anything right now. All she wanted to do was catch the guy who endangered her partner's life. She needed to work. It was all she knew. Lilly had already returned to the scene of the crime, found a bullet casing, identified the tire tracks to an exact car and model and discovered a shady dealership out of state. It was the precise opposite of what Stillman had instructed of her but at this point, she didn't care.

Lilly swiped the cheap plastic card through the card key slot and made her way into the room. It was nothing special but she didn't need it to be. She was here to make sure someone was brought to justice, not eat strawberry dipped chocolates at $10 per berry.

Throwing her bag on the bed, she immediately headed to a drawer for a phone book. She had the name of a dealership but hadn't been back to the office to acquire an address and though she doubted it would be listed, at least she could find a general area in order to ruffle some feathers. Lilly scribbled a few names of streets down on a pad and anxiously went to her bag for her gun. If she was going to solve this thing, it would have to be now.

Cocking the chamber, she snapped a new cartridge into place and holstered it at her side. Just then, two raps on the door caught her off guard. She paused a moment. She was definitely not expecting company. Short of it being the desk clerk at the motel, she was at a loss for who could possibly know she was here. Quietly making her way to the door, her hand instinctively hovered over her weapon, and Lilly brought an eye to the peephole. Her lips parted slightly when her focus landed on Scotty standing on the opposite side. She dropped her head and stood frozen with her hand clasped on the handle.

"Open the door, Lil." Scotty anticipated Lilly's hesitation a mile away.

Finally, nervously and with a deep breath, Lilly cracked the door open and their eyes met for the first time in two weeks. For the first time since he'd saved her life. For the first time since he'd almost...

"Scotty." She didn't know what else to say.

"I come in?" His voice was hard to read, though, if she knew Scotty, he was only waiting to let the shoe drop.

Another moment passed before Lilly apprehensively walked the door open for Scotty to enter. She noticed him favouring his left side, and knew there was no way the hospital would have let him leave in his condition but all things considered he looked well and a tiny wave of relief washed over her.

Scotty cradled his arm as he walked into the small motel room, trying not to agitate the muscles in his back. He was sore and tired, he wasn't going to deny that, and he was quite sure he was going to get reamed out by his doctor when he went back home but right now, this was the only thing that mattered to him. He could have written a book on the ways that Lilly Rush handled these situations. Any time a painful memory resurfaced, Lilly was predictably unpredictable. He knew everything there was to know about her avoidance tactics and how recklessly she would act when presented with something she really didn't want to think about.

Scotty knew. So here he was. Again. Trying to break another one of her walls down.

"How'd you find me?" Her voice was unsteady.

"You ain't the only detective in the world." He replied snidely with his back to her.

"You alright?" Lilly needed to hear him say the words that he was fine. She didn't trust her eyes. She didn't trust anything these days.

"Good as new." Scotty replied wryly, turning around to face her.

"How long we gonna do this Lil?"

Lilly dropped her eyes once more and began fiddling with the pen she was holding. Here it was. The shoe. "You...you shouldn't have done it, Scotty."

"Right, so you'd be the one with holes in you right now?"

"Better me than you." She said helplessly. "You don't have to protect me, Scotty."

He saw the hurt that lingered in Lilly's eyes but he couldn't let her off the hook- not this time. His anger at the way she disregarded herself drove him mad. Scotty scoffed and let out an exasperated chuckle, dropping his head.

"You just don't get it, do ya?" Scotty locked eyes with her. "You're my life, Lil." Scotty shrugged, not letting her look away.

His words literally took her breath away. She'd been with a few guys over the years, a few she might even say she loved, but this was different. For the first time in her life, she felt like the man standing opposite her really knew who she was. He knew more about her than any other boyfriend, girlfriend, aunt, cousin, doctor, or dentist she'd ever had. He'd become her best friend. The one person she could always rely on – that was why the stuff with Christina hurt so much. She didn't want to share Scotty. But until now, she couldn't bring herself to let herself love him either. He meant too much to her. If she lost him -for any reason- she'd have to go back to being alone. And she didn't want to be alone anymore. Her eyes began to glass over as the wheels spun in her head.

Scotty watched her for a long moment. "But..." He began. "Lil, I can't do this anymore." He said, suddenly realizing that as much as he loved her, he shouldn't keep running after this woman. He'd done everything he could think of to get through to her but he felt like he was in a maze that consisted only of dead ends. He knew there was an extremely fragile woman behind that badge but glimpses of that woman were fleeting. What could he do? If anyone had any ideas, he was open to them.

Finally, Scotty broke the long silence that hung between them.

"I guess just... try not to get shot?" Scotty offered half-heartedly, shaking his head at the ridiculousness of the words he had to say to this woman. This detective who should know better!

Scotty tried to keep his composure but coming here was clearly a mistake. He'd been through this exact moment with her at least 10, no, 20 times before. It wasn't like he was getting through to her, right? But why was it so hard to leave? He knew he shouldn't run after her. But also knew that there was no way he wouldn't. Still, he was at his wits end. For tonight anyway.

Scotty gave one final look toward Lilly before brushing past her and reaching for the handle.

That was all the time it took for Lilly to find her voice.

"Scotty." She inhaled sharply. He stopped at the door, close to where Lilly was standing but didn't make eye contact. Not yet.

"Don't go." She swallowed. "Please?" Her words were barely audible but Scotty picked up on the emotions running through each syllable.

"Why shouldn't I?" Scotty shifted his eyes to the side, listening intently for her reply. The ball was in Lilly's court. Scotty had laid all his cards out on the table, it was her turn.

"'Cause I..." Lilly closed her eyes briefly. "I need you, Scotty." She breathed out.

It was all Scotty needed to hear right now. Lilly giving any sign was monumental. And for Scotty, it was pure music to his ears.

With one swift movement he suddenly turned and pulled Lilly into an embrace, landing his mouth flush with hers in desperation as he kissed her with everything he had. His back ached from the action but at this point, Scotty didn't care. He loved this woman too damn much - and had waited too damn long- to care about anything else. A breath hitched in Lilly's throat as he took her by surprise but she accepted the kiss willingly, matching his intensity as they stumbled back toward the wall together.. Almost losing Scotty was the one thing that had forced the walls she had built to crumble. He was her partner. Her best friend. Her rock. She had realized while she waited in the hospital that she needed him more than words could say. And she was done taking advantage of time. Lilly snuck her hand around Scotty's neck and slid her fingers into his hair, finally allowing herself to get lost in a moment.

XX

Ok. So, I haven't decided whether to continue this or not... it'll depend on the interest, I guess? But I do have ideas. :P Actually, on second thought, I don't think I can just end it there. lol. Anyway, thanks SO MUCH for reading even though I made you wait so long!