Disclaimer: I do not won.


It was raining again, the drops of water sliding down the glass pane. John McClane watched the rain, silent and still. His wounds had healed – healed enough for him to walk without limping.

His house was quiet, a small house meant for a man with no family, few friends that visited. He kept the other bedroom ready, the door always open, in the chance that Lucy might visit and stay longer than she meant to, and he would persuade her to spend the night.He kept thinking that if she just spent one night at his house, awoke in the morning and came to the table, still in her pajamas with tousled hair, and he got breakfast for them and they ate while reading the newspaper – that would change everything between them forever.

No more fights, no more angry words over the phone, no more ignored calls, deleted messages. They would be father and daughter again, a real father and daughter.

McClane walked into the living room to watch TV, the news and maybe a sports game.

He had located the remote and moved towards his old recliner when a knock sounded on the door.

McClane hesitated. He hoped it was Lucy, but the knock was too timid, too unsure for Lucy. And anyone else would have called first. You just didn't come to a cop's house unannounced.

McClane reached for his gun as he slowly eased towards the door. His feet barely making a sound, he reached the door and looked through the peephole.

Swearing, he unlocked the door and jerked it open.


Matt Farrell jumped at his loud voice, nearly dropping the stuffed backpack slung over one shoulder.

"Oh, hey, McC-C-Clane," Matt stuttered, seeing the gun. "I was in the neighborhood, not doing much, and remember I knew your address and thought since I was here, it wasn't that much farther, and even if it was, it's a nice night for walking though some people take buses but I've been working out so I thought I'd walk, but I did take the train here, so you know it wasn't the whole –"

"Hey!" McClane interrupted, his voice sharp, "Stop talking."

"Okay," Matt nodded, breathing in and out slowly.

"What are you doing here?" McClane asked, emphasizing every word.

"Just stopped by to say hi."

McClane shot him a hard look, and Matt shifted before admitting,

"Okay, as you know, my place was kind of torn up, and I've been having trouble finding a place to stay. I went to stay with the Warlock for a while, but his mom thinks he had a hand in saving the world and she wants him to get a real job. They were fighting so much . . . I had to get out."

"And?" McClane crossed his arms.

Matt swallowed. "I went to the security guy we met and asked if he had a job, and he said I would be good at Homeland Security stuff, so I filled out a lot of forms, but it doesn't start until next week, and I kind of need a place to stay. I'll be training to do tech stuff, nothing really cool like we did, but it's still security. Gotta help the country, right, save all the people anyway we can?"

Matt looked hopeful, but McClane stood stoically, refusing the answered the unasked question. He didn't believe the kid had the balls to ask him out right, not in a hundred, million years –

"Can I stay here?" Matt blurted out.