I'm so so sorry that it's been so long but I've had a few hard months lately, we lost someone close to us, and there were exams and stuff (also, thank you to the one person who "reviewed" and made my bad week in December even worse. if you don't have anything constructive to say, please keep it to yourself). Anyway, I should be able to finish up the updates on this as long as you guys are still interested. Please read and review, thank you (:


Chapter Eighteen.

Two weeks later, Allison received a phone call.

"Hello?"

"Hi, Aunt Allison, it's Hannah."

"Hannah!" Allison hadn't heard from her since the night she had left, "How are you doing?"

"I've been better. I went to the doctor's today, and they say that my stomach looks good,"

"That's great, sweetie!" Allison exclaimed, "How's, um… how's home?"

"This isn't home, Aunt Allison. Phoenix is home," Hannah sighed, "But, uh, I have good news."

"Oh, really?" Allison was interested.

"How would you feel about driving out to the airport around 7 o'clock tonight to pick up your favorite niece?"

"You're coming home?!" Allison felt as though she might cry, "You know I'll be there!"

"I'll see you then."

"Oh, I love you, sweetheart." Allison said, smiling brightly.

"I love you too."

Allison hung up the phone, still smiling brilliantly, "GIRLS! Come on, we have to get ready! HANNAH'S COMING HOME!"


Allison, Ariel, Marie and Bridget stood in the airport, Marie and Bridget hold a large sign that they had made, reading Welcome Home, Hannah!, and when Hannah came limping out of the gate, Ariel reached her first. Her platinum hair shining, she threw her arms around her cousin, "I missed you!"

"I missed you too!" Hannah exclaimed, "All of you," She said as she scooped Marie and Bridget into a tight hug, "I promise I won't leave like that again,"

"Good!" Marie exclaimed.

"Yes, good," Allison nodded, as she hugged her niece tightly, "You had me worried sick about you."

"You don't need to worry about little old me, Aunt Allison," Hannah smiled into her aunts embrace, "I'm a big girl."

"I know you are," Allison kissed her forehead, "But I still worry about you. Because you're a Benoit, and Benoit's are notorious for attracting trouble. Especially you, little girl."

"Well, I'm hoping to stay away from trouble, for a little while at least," Hannah said, "Now, who's ready to blow this popsicle stand?"


That night, after the younger girls were in bed, Allison knocked on the door to Hannah's room.

"Come in!" Hannah said cheerily.

Allison pushed the door open and found Hannah sitting on her bed in a pair of worn out Snoopy pajama bottoms, and a white t-shirt. She was reading one of Ariel's Twilight books and the faint sound of Taylor Swift flowed through the room.

"Hi, little dreamer," Allison smiled.

"Hey, Aunt Allison," Hannah smiled back, "For the record, I would never date a vampire."

"Oh, no?" Allison raised her eyebrows.

"No way, Edward Cullen is a creep, and apparently it's super risky dating a vampire." Hannah said.

"Oh, so it's less risky to date a cop?" Allison asked, smirking slightly.

Hannah's pale face blushed bright pink, "We're not dating," Her voice squeaked slightly, a sure fire sign that she was lying.

"Okay, so not officially, but you two are in love." Allison nodded.

"Who told you?" Hannah asked.

Allison looked at her niece, "Birdy told me that she heard a very interesting conversation between you and Detective Scanlon. A conversation in which you said "I love you too"?"

Hannah blushed darker, "Yeah, um… that happened."

"But you're not dating him," Allison nodded, "That makes total and complete sense to me."

Hannah looked at her, "Well, we didn't really get much of a chance to talk after. He left to interrogate that Perkins guy who was all over the news, and I left for Jersey. I wouldn't be surprised if he hates me by now."

"He wouldn't hate you. You got Birdy to explain it, right?"

"I don't know how well she explained it, Birdy's never been one for being compassionate, or understanding the fact that I'm capable of loving someone and being loved." Hannah murmured.

"Did you call him?" Allison asked.

Hannah nodded, "I called him twice, and he didn't pick up. I left him messages to call me, and he didn't call back. He hates me, Aunt Allison."

"He doesn't hate you, Hannah, he loves you." Allison said confidently, "Listen, tomorrow, I hate to go in to see Devalos, and Lee's probably going to be there, do you want to come?"

"Could I?" Hannah looked hopeful.

Allison nodded, "I don't see why not, sweetie."


The next day, Allison and Hannah entered the DA's office, and Hannah felt strangely nervous. She'd never liked a guy this much, so she'd never had a reason to chase after them.

"You two will work things out, don't worry," Allison assured her niece, "He really does love you, Hannah. You just need to show him that you love him too, and that you're not going to run off again."

"Running off in the first place wasn't really my idea." Hannah said.

"I know that, sweetie, just like I know that you would've liked to stay in Phoenix instead of flying to Jersey, or at least have waited until you could explain it to him properly," Allison nodded, "But Lee doesn't know that." She looked at her niece, "He's been burned by women in the past, Hannah, and I don't think he knows that you're different from the rest of them." She brushed her niece's dark hair out of her face, "But he will."

"If you say so, Aunt Allison," Hannah muttered, feeling nervous again.

Both Devalos and Lee were running late, so Allison suggested that they walk down to the coffee while they waited. Unfortunately, on their way down to get coffee they ran into Lee.

Running into Lee wasn't the problem. The problem was that he was with someone else, a tall, red-haired someone who distinctly resembled Hannah's art professor, Lena Everett.

Lee and Lena both turned to see who had walked down the stairs, and when Lee spotted Hannah, he gaped at her.

But as soon as Hannah absorbed the fact that the man she was in love with was getting coffee with her professor, she looked very confused, and turned on her heel, walking out of the lobby.


Allison found Hannah sitting on the hood of the car, crying, when she went outside to find her niece.

"Are you okay?"

"No," Hannah mumbled, wiping at her tears angrily. "I'm pissed."

"I'm sure it didn't mean anything, Hannah," Allison said, inching closer to her niece.

Hannah looked as though she was going to say more, when suddenly Lee walked up to them.

"Oh, uh, I guess I'll be right back." Allison hurried off and left Hannah and Lee to stare at each other awkwardly, before Lee said, "What are you doing here?"

"I live here," Hannah said as thought it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"Really? Because I got the impression you didn't want to live here anymore." Lee said.

"Well, that was rather stupid of you, then, wasn't it?" Hannah crossed her arms over her chest.

"How is that stupid of me?" Lee asked, "Your grandmother told me you left."

"That's all she told you?" Hannah looked disbelieving, "Oh, God," She shook her head.

"What more was she supposed to tell me?"

"She was supposed to tell you where I was going, and why I was leaving," Hannah sighed.

"Where did you go?" Lee asked. "And what the hell was so important that you couldn't wait half an hour?"

"I went to New Jersey," Hannah shot back, "To see my mother, who apparently is dying from liver cancer," She pursed her lips together, and set her jaw, looking very much like Allison when she was angry, "I couldn't wait for half an hour because my grandmother bought me a plane ticket before I got shot."

"Your mother has liver cancer?" Lee repeated softly.

"Yes, and if you answered my phone calls, you'd know."

Lee looked at her, "I'm sorry. I thought you were one of those girls who said "I love you", and then took off."

"How could you think that?" Hannah asked, looking at him incredulously, "You honestly think I'm one of those girls, even after everything I told you?"

Lee looked down at the ground, before looking back at Hannah, "I wasn't thinking clearly."

"Obviously," Hannah's voice was harsher than he'd expected, "And, like ignoring my calls isn't bad enough. I come home, and find you out on a date with my professor. God, that's classy."

"Hannah,"

"What? You were pissed? You were hurt? You were frustrated? What, Lee? What the hell can you tell me to make me feel better right now?" Hannah was crying again.

"I don't know," Lee murmured, "I don't know what to say to make you feel better right now, except I'm sorry."

"Yeah, well," Hannah stood up, and sniffled, "Sorry isn't good enough right now."


Later that night, Lee was at home, feeling miserable as the rain poured outside, when there was a knock on his apartment door.

He dragged himself off his couch, and walked tot he door. He pulled it open, and found a drenched Hannah standing on the other side, looking every bit as beautiful as she usually did. Her dark hair was hanging in long tendrils, her clothes were sticking to her, and her dark eyelashes were framing her pretty eyes in awkward triangles.

"Hannah?" He was confused as to why she was there.

"Look, you're stupid." Hannah said in a completely serious tone, "You're stupid, and an idiot, and I don't even know why I'm here right now. And I'm so mad at you, I can't even think straight." She took a deep breath, "If you were any other moron in the world who had decided that I wasn't good enough, and that you would rather date someone more your age, I would've dropped you without a second thought."

Lee looked at her, interested to see where this was going. She continued, "But you're not any other moron in the world, Lee Scanlon, you're the only moron in the world who makes me so mad, and gets under my skin so I can't even breathe without feeling pissed off and confused." She crossed her arms over her chest, "And why do I feel like this, you may ask? Because I'm an idiot too."

"Why are you an idiot, Hannah?" Lee looked at her.

"Because even though you're stupid, and an idiot who makes me so mad I feel like screaming, and you go on dates with my art professor, and ignore my phone calls, I'm still in love with you." Hannah still sounded mad. "I love you, Lee Scanlon, and I'm an idiot."

"It's okay that you're an idiot," Lee nodded, "Because I'm an idiot too," He pushed the door open wider, "And I'm an idiot who loves you, Hannah Benoit. Not your stupid art professor who took me out to coffee once, and it's not going to happen again, not ever, because you know what?" He cupped her face with his hands, "You're the girl for me."

Hannah smiled faintly, "God, it's about time you noticed." Before kissing him.