Rita paced the hospital room, throwing her husband desperate glances, willing him to wake up. It had been weeks since he had been shot protecting her. Rita couldn't help but replay the whole thing in her mind. They had taken her hostage and Chris had come to rescue her. He had done everything Montoya wanted him to do. As they walked back to their car, a disguised man wearing black roller bladed past them shooting. Chris shoved her into the car trying to protect her. The memory sent shivers down Rita's spine. She closed her eyes tightly trying to block the thought away for the pain it brought on. As she looked at her partner who continued to lay still on his bed, tears began to roll down her cheeks. How she longed to have him back. To have her best friend back. The person who knew her better than anyone else. The person whom by feeling, knew instantly what she was feeling. No words ever needed to be spoken. It was always something they just knew. Their bond lay deeply embedded in each other's whole being. Without one, the other seemed incomplete. Rita stroked his hair, kissing his forehead repeatedly
"Come on Sam. Come back to me. I need you." She pleaded in a whisper. She placed her cheek against his cheek as a tear fell down. She closed her eyes and said a silent prayer, the very same one that she had been praying since he had been brought into the hospital. That he come back to her. Rita thought she was dreaming when she felt him squeeze her hand, till he squeezed once more. Rita pulled her face back to look at him, and there he was smiling at her with his famous Lorenzo smile.
"Hey Sam." He whispered in his hoarse voice. Rita leaned forward and threw her arms around him. She kissed his forehead and brought her face close to his.
"I told you that if you ever do that to me again, I would kill you. Didn't you listen?" Chris grinned and winced in pain.
"What happened?" he asked.
"Hang on, let me get your Doctor first." Rita ran out of the room and ran back in, the Doctor following close behind.
Hello Sargent Lorenzo. It's nice to have you back with us. You had one devoted lady sitting here at your bed side for quite some time." Chris grinned at Rita appreciatively and mouthed the words "I love you". Rita's heart warmed as the Doctor began to examine him.
"Well Sargent, physically you're doing great. You're healing quite well. The exercise your partner here has been doing with you while you were asleep paid off. She hasn't left your side in weeks."
"Weeks?" Chris looked over at Rita who nodded as an answer.
"What was the last thing you remember Sargent."
"Chris, what was the last thing you remember?" Chris's eyes never left Rita's as he answered.
"Well, I went to Debra Bouchard's place and found that she had a shrine in my honour. Next thing I know she had me half naked next to her on the bed with the gun pointed to my side." As he recalled the memory, Rita looked away and clutched her stomach. He had forgotten. The most important moments of their life and he had no recollection. The reality of it hit Rita like a ton of bricks. She felt as though someone had punched her in the stomach, and hard. Chris noticed that Rita had turned away.
Rita forced herself to look at him, telling herself to pull it together
"What's wrong?" he asked concerned.
"Uh, nothing Sam. I think while you and your Doctor talk I'll give the Cap a call. He and Frannie have been frantic since you got shot." She almost broke down before she could leave the room, but managed to hold it till she was at the end of the corridor. Rita leaned against the wall and closed her eyes. The tears began to pour out. Her feelings were all mixed up. She looked up at the ceiling and sighed.
Harry and Fran were thrilled when she told them. Rita made sure to tell them that he had no recollection of the last couple of years. She made them vow not to tell him about their marriage. About their baby slowly growing inside of her.
By the time Rita made it back to his room, the doctor had left promising to return later on to talk with them some more. Rita stood by the door and just watched him as he stared out the window.
"What you thinking about all by your lonesome?" she teased lightly from where she stood. Chris turned his head to look at her and smiled.
"You" he answered, for a moment Rita thought he had regained his memory.
"The Doctor told me how you never left my side for one moment Sam
"Hey that's what friends are for."
"Thanks Sam." He said sincerely. Chris looked away.
"What's up Chris?"
"The Doctor told me that I have lost parts of my memory." Rita nodded.
"Yeah, I figured it out when you mentioned Debra."
"Sammy? When, I mean, before I got shot. Were you an I are still really good friends?"
Rita walked over to him and took his hand in hers.
The very best" she answered truthfully. Chris squeezed her hand and looked away.
"What is it Chris?" she asked.
I can't feel it anymore." He whispered.
Feel what?" she asked, scared to hear the answer.
"I remember a time when you and I needed no words to be spoken, yet we knew what the other was feeling. I used to know what you felt without a word from you. Sometimes you didn't even have to be near me, and I knew what you were feeling. Today as I looked at you, I still see it in your eyes, but it's your projection. I can't feel it anymore Sam. I know I love you. You're my best friend, but it seems our connection was lost through this whole thing." His voice quivered. He was the one thing in his life that he was always certain of and now. Rita was taken aback by what he said. Every fiber of her being was ripping into shreds and she was trying to do her best to keep it together.
"Hey Sam, it's okay. It'll come back."
"If it doesn't?" he replied sadly.
"Then we're still be the very best of friends. I love you Sam." Rita couldn't help it anymore as she choked into her own words. Chris stared into her eyes.
I love you too." Chris knew that he loved Rita. She was his best friend and she meant so much to him, but as he stared into her eyes he could see a huge piece of her that he was closed off from. A part that he couldn't remember and that drove him insane. He once knew her so well, and now, this gap between his memory, prevented him from sensing the undeniable bond that once existed between them.
Chris fell asleep clutching Rita's hand. When Harry and Fran walked in, she freed herself from his grip and got up to greet them.
He doesn't remember anything Cap. He doesn't remember us." As she said the words Rita began to break down in his arms as he gently led her out of the door.
Rita it'll be okay." He said soothingly, trying his very best to reassure her, but it was no use. They both knew that there were no guarantees.
Chris woke up to find Fran standing over his bed.
"Hey Fran. Where's Cap, where's Rita?" he asked with a smile, glancing around the room looking for his partner. Fran gave him a small smile.
"Harry went to get her some coffee. How you feeling Sweetie?" she asked in her usual mothering ways. Chris smiled and had to admit he missed her constant mothering.
"Fine thanks Fran."
After half an hour Rita had pretty much composed herself. She pulled out her fake smile and took a deep breath before entering Chris' room. Chris looked up and smiled at his partner. For a moment he thought she didn't look right, but she flashed him such a convincing smile that he pushed the thought away. He cursed himself frustrated that he couldn't know for sure if she was alright, knowing full well that a time had existed when he never questioned anything that involved his partner. He could tell that it was hard on Rita and he hated himself more for it. He hated to see her in pain, more so when he knew it was he causing her pain.
A week later Chris was released from the hospital. Rita spent a couple of days transferring her things out of Chris' apartment to Fran and Harry's. It felt like all she was doing was moving out every couple of weeks. Rita could feel herself crumble as she packed away any traces of their marriage and crossing of lines. Rita had resigned from the force after Chris was shot fearing for the safety of her baby. As hard as it was to be with Chris and not be with Chris, she could never leave his side. They had organized for Rita to stay with Chris, with Fran on call if ever she needed the break. Rita was three months pregnant and she could still hide the bulge in loose clothing. As much as possible she didn't want Chris to know she was pregnant, knowing she wouldn't know what kind of explanation she could come up with. Tension began to build between them, built up from the frustration of what was lost amongst his memory.
"Chris" Rita spoke quietly interrupting his deep thought. Though Chris heard her, he made no move to respond or acknowledge her presence. Ever since they had brought him back from the hospital the day before he had barely said two words to her and it was driving her nuts. He was closing himself off from her and she didn't know why.
"Chris" Rita repeated, the pleading tone on her voice evident. When he didn't respond Rita sighed and tried to hold back the tears. She grabbed her purse and hastily ran out of the apartment. She wasn't even out the door when the tears poured uncontrollably. She could accept the fact that he couldn't remember, and may never remember. What she couldn't accept was the way he pushed her away. Rita grabbed her cell phone.
"Hello Fran, it's me Rita. Listen could you do me a favor? Could you go over to Chris' apartment and stay with him?"
"Sure doll. You okay?" she asked concern hearing Rita's voice cracking.
"Yeah. I think I just need some time to myself. I might drive around."
"Okay. You take care and you leave Christopher to me"
"Thanks Fran" Rita said profusely and hung up.
Chris heard the door close behind Rita. He turned around and watched the trace of her departure and felt his heart ache. He knew how much he had hurt her, but he was so frustrated that he couldn't remember. That the connection that was once so undeniable was non existent. He couldn't feel it and it made him feel lost. Rita's constant presence reminded him of what he'd lost. He couldn't express into words what he was feeling, even though he knew if anyone would understand it would be Rita. The one person he could turn to was the very person he couldn't.
Half an hour after Rita made the call Fran Lipshitz let herself into the apartment with the keys that Rita had given her just before Chris was released from the hospital. Fran walked into the apartment and saw Chris sitting on the stairs that led to his bedroom. Fran also noticed every trace of reminder that he and Rita were together no longer lingered around the room. She could only imagine what Rita was going through, to have her husband back, only to find out that he wasn't really there or at least the person that became her husband. Fran hoped and prayed that they could get through it, though she knew if anyone could, it was Chris and Rita. Fran continued to pray that it would be soon, keeping in mind the baby growing in Rita's womb.
Rita drove to the beach and sat there for hours thinking. As much as she wanted to be with Chris and build the family they had longed to have. It wasn't that simple. He wasn't the person she fell in love with. He wasn't even her best friend anymore. It seemed since he had come out of the coma all they had done was sit in silence, too uncomfortable to talk to each other. Every time she would try to carry a conversation between them about anything, especially old times a dark cloud seems to park over their whole presence. It was too much for Rita to sit through. She didn't know how long she could hold on and fight for them when he was pushing her away so much. All Rita wanted to was hold him in her arms. How she longed for her Chris to come back. Not even the Chris she married, but Chris her best friend. He was the one she missed most. Rita had to accept that Chris may never get his memory back and she was willing to live with that, but where did that leave them? Does she tell him about them? Would it really make a difference or would it just make it worse? The doctors discouraged her from divulging such big news fearing its consequences and Rita agreed. It would destroy him to know they were married and he couldn't remember.
When Rita returned she could smell that Fran was cooking in the kitchen. She could also hear the Captain talking in soft tones with Chris. When she walked in, for a moment she had convinced herself it was like old times. Having dinner with the closest thing to parents they had, talking and laughing, but the room was no longer that. As she walked in the somberness was so evident that Rita was exhausted just thinking about it.
"Hey Cap." Harry looked up at Rita and saw the dark circles under her eyes. She looked as though she hadn't slept in weeks. She was holding her stomach gingerly as she smiled at him sadly. The Lance spark was no longer in her eyes. She looked defeated and exhausted. To anyone that was obvious. Before Harry could say anything Chris spoke softly but determinedly
"I've made arrangements to hire a nurse until I'm back on my feet. So you don't have to wait on me hand and foot."
"I don't mind doing it Chris. You're my best friend." She replied as the tears threatened to fall once more. Harry could see it and wanted to tell Chris to shut up. He had just spent the last half hour trying to talk him out of it, to no avail. Chris shook his head.
"I'd prefer if you didn't." As the words came out Rita's knees began to weaken. It felt as though someone just knocked the wind out of her. Harry stood up but Rita held her hand up and composed herself.
"Cap, could you give us a moment?" Rita said politely, it wasn't a request it was an order. Harry nodded and joined his wife in the kitchen
"Why Chris? What's going on between us? Why are you pushing me away?" she asked evenly, trying her very best to keep leveled. Chris didn't answer and refused to look at her.
Are you just going to give up on us? We've been through too much to..." but before she could finish he interrupted.
"Don't you get it Rita. I don't remember. I don't remember much. What I do remember is all blurry and when you keep talking about everything it just makes it worse. I don't want to hear anymore. That part of my of my life is over. I know you want me to remember but I don't, and probably never will. So don't hang around waiting for that to happen, because there's nothing to wait for." Harry walked back in after hearing what Chris was saying, to try and stop him before he said anything more but as he looked at Rita's face he knew that the damage was done. He watched Rita begin to walk backwards staring at Chris through different eyes. She looked up at Harry and shook her head. It was her way of telling him she couldn't take anymore. Without a word Rita turned around and walked out of the apartment. Harry hurriedly went after her. Rita ran out of the building, Harry running after her close behind. Before she could jump back into her jeep he grabbed hold of her arm.
"No Cap. You can't talk me out of what he just said."
"Rita, he's just bitter. You know that in your heart." He tried to reason.
"It doesn't make it hurt any less Cap."
"I know sweetheart. I know it's hard."
"Cap, I wanted to talk to you about something earlier but more so now..."
Rita talked him through what she wanted to do, knowing what she was saying was too much and too hard to understand, but it was something that needed to be done.
The next morning Rita entered Chris' apartment. The place that once held so much happy memories seemed to be the darkest room she ever entered. It seemed so cold inside and it made her heart ache just thinking about it. She found him sitting on the edge of his window. She knew that he was alone. She had spoken to Fran earlier, the new nurse was due to arrive later that morning. Chris felt her presence but made no move to acknowledge her presence. Rita sighed before she began,
"I can't do this anymore. You obviously want to live out your life differently and I apologize for trying to mould you back into the Christopher I knew. I didn't know I was forcing you into something you didn't want to be in. Taking your lead, I think it would be best if I stay away. My presence seems to upset you and I don't want that. Just know that I will always love you." With that Rita left without waiting for a response. As the door closed Chris wanted to scream for her to come back. To at least tell her he loved her too. To beg her to stay and understand him. But he couldn't. His mouth couldn't even open to let out a sound. Rita sat in her jeep and looked up and stared at his apartment. She let out a deep sigh before reversing out. Rita drove for hours headed for nowhere in particular. All she knew was that she couldn't stay in Palm Beach. She couldn't have her baby in Palm Beach. As much as she wanted her baby to know Chris and for Chris to know their baby, it was too hard.
"Are you sure about this Rita?" she recalled Harry asking. Rita nodded.
"He doesn't know I'm pregnant Cap, and at this point I don't want him to know. He's going to question and I would hate for him to know about us not remembering it for himself. It would destroy him Cap and it would destroy us. It would destroy any hope for us." Harry just sat there reluctantly, not quite sure what the right thing was. But he let her go. She had to do what was right for her. He knew if she stayed things weren't going to get better and he feared for her health. Rita dropped by their house before going to Chris' apartment and made them promise to take care of her husband. As they made her promise to take care of herself.
Months passed and no one knew where Rita was. Her letters came a couple of times a week with no return address. Every now and then she would call from her cell phone but those conversations were brief and distant. She would casually ask about Chris in her calls, the restraint so evident. Rita did her best to move on with her life. It felt as though Chris had died in the shooting. The baby grew larger in her womb and it saddened Rita that Chris could not be a part of it.
Chris missed Rita so much that it drove him to be even more bitter than ever before. To an extent where he was pushing away Fran and Harry. He had no idea where Rita was. He had not heard from her since she had left. He knew that was his fault. It wasn't until he asked Harry how she was that he realized she had left Palm Beach all together. It was then Harry regretfully admitted that even he didn't know where she was. Guilt swept through Chris fast, he wanted to find her but something was stopping him. The sense of loss hit him unexpectedly. Chris regained his physical strength. He was walking and in a matter of weeks he could re-qualify and be re-instated into the force if he wanted, and that he did. Harry realized that if Chris knew what had happened he would have thought twice about the hasty decision. If he knew just what he would be putting on line. Harry was fast becoming frustrated with Chris' new attitude. He walked around with a huge chip on his shoulder. All Harry wanted to do was shake him, make him see what he was willing to throw away. Though Rita was right, the fact that he wouldn't remember about him and Rita would destroy him.
Chris' memories were slowly beginning to clarify, those that existed. The Doctors and specialists have warned him that he may never get his full memory back. With the clarification of his memories he couldn't help but long for his best friend. How he hated himself that she had left town because of him.
Rita moved from town to town, looking for a place where she felt most comfortable, but it seemed that no such place existed. With the exception of Palm Beach and to go back would be impossible. Rita's cell phone was still the right number but was turned off most of the time. Harry and Fran's calls were constant, though as the months passed it lessened. Rita sat along the tide on the beach waiting for the sun to set. She picked up her cell phone ready to give Harry and Fran their weekly calls. It was always so hard to try and reassure them that she was okay, when she didn't feel that she was. She missed them so much, and admittedly she missed her husband so much. His pushing her away was something she was slowly coming to terms with. She began to accept the fact that Chris may be alive but the Chris she knew died in the shooting. She wondered what step to take next. Rita's thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of her phone. Disoriented she answered,
"Hello" silence filled the other side of the line.
"Hello" she repeated, not putting much thought into it, Rita was about to hang up when she heard someone speak.
Rita" Rita's whole body grew tense. She closed her eyes and let the wind blow against her face as she tried to compose herself.
"Chris?" she questioned evenly.
"Yeah it's me." Rita wondered what was going on, for a moment she feared that something might have happened to Fran and Harry.
"Are Fran and the Cap okay?" she asked. She would never forgive herself if something happened to them while she was gone. Chris could sense her panic and reassured her.
"They're fine Rita."
"What's up?" she hated how that sounded but what could she say. It had been months since that day. Her most vivid memory was one that cause so much pain, and though she didn't blame Chris for it, the last thing she wanted to do was chit chat on the phone as though nothing happened.
"Can I see you?" he asked. Taken aback Rita didn't know what to say.
"I don't think that's a good idea." She replied, as she said the words her heart began to ache. She wanted nothing more than to see him, but it was complicated, With the pregnancy and his memory loss. It was all too overwhelming.
"Please Rita. I miss you." Rita closed her eyes once more and savored the moment.
"I can't Chris."
"Please Rita." Rita sighed and reluctantly agreed. She wasn't sure how she was going to explain everything, but she couldn't turn him down.
"Fine;" she agreed defeated.
"Meet me at the beach, usual place Sunday afternoon."
"Thank you." He said solemnly. Rita hung up before she could change her mind. Rita cleared her head before picking up her cell phone once more.
"Hey Cap. How's Frannie?" she asked. Pleasantly surprised Harry Lipshitz's face scrunched up into a smile.
"Rita, we're well...;and yourself?"
"Fine Cap. The baby and I are well too. Listen Cap, I talked to Chris." Rita began to fill him in on everything.
"So we'll see you Sunday morning then. Do you want me to pick you up from the airport?"
"No, I'll get a car from there. It'll be easier to leave after Chris and I talk." Harry had no choice but to go along with her decisions
The week seemed to fly right on by, at the same time it seemed to drag on by. It just depended on the perspective a person took. Rita flew to Palm Beach for the day. She arrived at Harry and Fran's in the morning and spent the morning with them. Rita looked well, but a part of her seemed closed off. As though a part of her died along with the Chris she knew at the shooting. Her second trimester was almost over, she was visibly pregnant now. Harry broke into a grin seeing her for the first time. At two in the afternoon Rita said goodbye to Fran and Harry. Vowing to call them the moment she goes into labor. Rita drove to the beach filled with apprehension. With one look she knew Chris would be baffled with questions. Questions she would have to answer, whether she wanted to or not. Whether she was ready to or not. She found him sitting at their spot. For a moment she wanted to pretend that everything was okay. That the person sitting there was her partner. That they were meeting for one of their secret rendezvous, but as quickly as the thought entered, it quickly flew out. Those moments seemed many moon ago and it pained her to think of them. She walked towards him quietly, not wanting to interrupt the obvious peace he seemed to have been in. Just as she got closer Chris opened his eyes and looked up at her. He was about to smile when his eyes dropped to her stomach. His mouth gaped open. His eyes searching hers for an explanation. She sat down and pretended to be unaffected by his stares.
"There's something I didn't tell you Chris. I'm married." The shock that passed through his body left him speechless as he waited for her to go on.
"I was pregnant before you got shot. Actually you were shot trying to protect me and the baby."
"Where's your husband?" the words finally came out softly out of Chris' mouth. Rita looked at the ocean and stared for a moment, not saying a word.
"He's not around anymore." She replied sadly as the tears began to pour from her eyes. Chris could see the love she felt for the man she called her husband. He placed a hand on her shoulder, uncertain of what he should do. He felt Rita's body grow tense at his touch. It had been so long and it unnerved her how it could still feel so right.
"Did he die?" he asked. As he asked the question Rita's whole body shook as she began to cry uncontrollably. She couldn't give him an answer. How does she answer a question she can't even answer for herself.
"I'm sorry." He whispered against her ear as he uncomfortably shifted himself closer. Rita could see the unfamiliarity he was feeling. It was as though he had never touched her before in his life. The thought made Rita sadder. After a little while Rita had regained her composure.
"Why did you want to see me Chris?" she said looking over at him. Chris lifted his gaze and met hers only to look away as he spoke.
"I just wanted to say sorry about the way I acted towards you. You didn't deserve that." That and I love you. I'm in love with you. But it's too late...,he continued inwardly.
Chris had finally figured out how he felt about Rita, but now after finding out that she was pregnant, and that she was grieving for the lost of her husband. He could no longer tell her what he wanted to tell her,
"That's all?" she looked into his eyes, her heart filled with hope that he would take her into his arms and tell her he loved her. How she longed to be in his arms. Chris still refused to meet her gaze and nodded.
"Cap made me see what a jerk I've been and you didn't deserve that." Harry had finally reached his limit with Chris and drew the line. He told him exactly what he thought without holding back.
"You're apologizing because Harry told you to?" she questioned. Did she even know a part of this man at all? Anger began to surge through, all the emotions she had pushed below was beginning to rise. Chris could see the anger in her eyes as she spoke,
"That's not what I meant...he stammered.
"Then what did you mean?" Chris could not respond. He hung his head down low, unable to speak. The silence dominated their conversation for the next half hour. After awhile Rita spoke softly.
"We don't even know each other anymore Chris. We can't even be comfortable in the same room as each other. I think my decision to move was the right one. This isn't going to get us anywhere. Maybe someday, we'll catch a glimpse of the old Rita and the old Chris. Maybe then we can be in the same room without this tension, without all this hidden anger and emotions. Maybe then we could finally be honest with each other..." Rita brushed his hair away from the side of his head and placed a gentle kiss on it before rising from where she sat. As she walked away her last words lingered in Chris' mind. Rita wiped the tears away from her face as she walked. As she did her arm caught on something around her neck. Rita pulled it out and stared at the two golden bands she kept on a chain close to her heart in hope that one day she would be able to put it back on where it belongs. Out of frustration and devastation Rita pulled the chain off. She stared at it in her hands as it shook. She clasped it tightly one last time. She brought it towards her lips and as she put her hands to her side once more she unclasped her hand slowly and walked towards her car.
Rita flew back to what was now her home in a trance. In a lot of ways she felt better that she almost had a closure, at the same time it hurt like nothing else. Her departure from Palm Beach was different from the last, this time she knew as she boarded the plane, it was her last glance at Palm Beach. As much as she loved Harry and Fran, the memories that lived in Palm Beach was too painful to bear. She felt more alone that she ever did before. It broke her soul knowing that Chris was alive, yet it was almost as though he had died. As hard as it was Rita tried her very best to move on with her life, permanently. She closed her cell phone account and started a new one. She got a teaching job as a guidance counselor at the local high school. She was in the stages of her labor. She couldn't wait to hold their baby in her arms. The little piece of evidence that proved what she and Chris had wasn't a dream. At that point Rita had begun to doubt everything. If it wasn't for her baby, she wasn't quite sure she'd believe that she and Chris really knew each other, let along husband and wife.
Harry was distraught with the sudden disappearance of Rita. Chris had told him about what had happened. How Harry wished he could just tell Chris that he and Rita were married but Rita would never forgive him.
Chris sat in the Lipshitz garage he was looking for the box where all the things from his desk. Harry had told him that when Rita packed up her things after he was shot she put his things in another box. He found boxes labeled PBPD, he grabbed the closest one and opened it. There he found Rita's belongings. The little knick knacks that sat on her table. A framed photo of the two of them. Chris didn't recognize when the photo was taken and assumed that it was taken at a time he couldn't remember. They were looking at each other laughing. It was as though they shared a joke that no one else understood. They were sitting by the beach. Overwhelmed Chris grabbed the nearest thing next to him and sat down. For the first time he felt it, he felt their connection. The connection they had as the best of friends. Chris continued to sift through her belongings. It was as though he was trying so hard to feel her presence through her belongings. Chris glanced around and found many more boxes that were labeled with Rita's name. He found clothes and other belongings in there. Old letters, CD's, videos, her trashy novels. It was as though he was searching for Rita. There was one box left that was not labeled. Chris made his way to it apprehensively. It was as though he feared what was in it. What he found was more photos of the two of them. He found a photo of them taken on her wedding day. He could see how happy she was. How he wished he could remember. At the bottom of the pile he found what looked like a journal. He took it in his hands and held it before him. He brought it closer to his face and took a deep breath. He held the book close to his heart and closed his eyes.
Harry was beginning to worry about Chris all alone in the basement. He didn't know what he would find. Though he remembered Rita made sure that any trace of their marriage was kept somewhere hidden. Rita was adamant about Chris never finding out they were married unless it was something that came from him only. As Chris went through the boxes he could feel that he was slowly regaining his memory, but he wasn't sure. There was a knock on the door interrupting Harry's deep thought. A young girl greeted him with a shy smile on his front porch.
"I was told that I could find a Harry Lipshitz in this address." She spoke quietly. Harry nodded his head,
"That's me. May I help you?"
"I found this at the beach and I took it to PBPD, I know that if I owned it, I would like it back. They said that the best way I could give this to its owner is through you. So here you go." She handed him the chain that two sacred golden bands. Harry gasped. He never thought he would ever see the day that Rita would part with it. Harry thanked the girl as she began to leave. Harry sat in the front porch holding the chain in his hand. Chris came out and found that Harry was clutching his hand tightly, tears were beginning to slide from his cheeks. Chris rushed over.
"Cap" Harry hastily stood up and wiped his tears. He shoved the chain in pocket, but not before Chris noticed,
"What is it Cap?"
"Nothing Chris." Chris didn't take his word for it. He held out his hand and waited for Harry to pull whatever it was out of his pocket. As he unclasped his palm, Chris' knees began to shake. Without a word Chris ran to the garage and shoveled through all of Rita's belongings. He knew what he was looking for, while Harry stood back wondering what Chris was looking for. He thought he had seen something while he looked through the boxes and ignored it, but it made more sense now. He found that picture of them at Rita's wedding. As he looked down at their hands he recognized he golden bands that both of them were wearing. It was then that it dawned on him. He and Rita were married. Chris' head began to spin as his head was filled with little flashbacks. To the first time they made love. Rita telling him she was pregnant. Their wedding. His knees wobbled and Harry came rushing to his side to hold him up.
"Oh Cap what have I done?"
Chris came to the next morning. He had fainted and after Harry called his Doctor he rushed over and sedated him. They were worried about him, and thought it was best he rest before he faced the truth head on.
"Rita." Harry placed a hand on his shoulder. Chris began to stand up,
"I gotta find her Cap. She needs me, she and the baby need me."
"You remember Chris?" he asked. Chris nodded.
"I remember it all Cap. Rita I gotta find her. She has to know I love her Cap."
"Chris I'm trying. I've been trying since she left, but you know Rita. If she doesn't want to be found, she won't be."
"What have I done Cap? I pushed her away."
"Chris she understood, she'll understand."
"But I left her alone Cap."
"We'll find her kid."
It took another month before they could track her down. It was only until Rita went into false labor that they found her. She had signed on as Samantha Lipshitz. It was all a simple twist of fate. Someone who had known the Captain from long ago wondered if she was related to him. When he saw the in case of emergency contact number, he took it upon himself to call Harry to inform him that his daughter had gone into false labor. Harry made him promise not to tell Rita that he called him. Rita went home feeling foolish going to the hospital when it was only false labor. She carefully parked herself into her lounge chair. She put her head back on the chair and rested her eyes. It had been months since she had left Palm Beach. She felt bad that she couldn't fulfill her promise to Fran and Harry. She wanted to call them, she wanted them to be there when she gave birth, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. She missed Chris terribly. More than ever before. Rita grumbled annoyed as she heard the soft knocking on the door. She peeked through and saw that no one was standing there. She opened the door slightly and found Chris standing there smiling at her.
"Hey Sammy." Rita thought she was dreaming. Did he just call her Sammy? He hadn't called her that since, since before the shooting. She looked at him questioningly trying to figure out whether he had regained his memory. Chris just nodded reading her thoughts. He pulled her into a tight hug and held her for what seemed like eternity but she didn't mind. She didn't mind one bit. She had so many questions but it no longer mattered. He was back. Her Sam was back.
A couple of days later Frances Rose Lorenzo was born. Both her parents were there to welcome her into the world as her honorary grandparents stood outside the delivery room waiting for the news. Chris held Rita in his arms as they handed them their daughter.
"Oh baby she's beautiful, just like her mother." Chris whispered tears running down his cheeks as he kissed his wife's forehead repeatedly. Chris refused to leave Rita's side,
"Go on Chris. Tell Fran and Harry they have a granddaughter." Chris reluctantly left her side and ran out to tell the Lipshitz that they were the proud grandparents of a baby girl. A few hours later they were all standing around Rita's room waiting for the baby to be brought in. Chris handed his daughter to Fran,
"Fran I'd like you to meet your granddaughter, Frances Rose Lorenzo." Fran gasped.
"Really?" she asked in disbelief looking at Rita who nodded as a confirmation.
"She's beautiful Rita." Harry said proudly.