THE VOICE WITHIN (4/4)

Hearing a gasp, Al turned and glanced down at Marcie. She looked upset and shocked. "Marcie? What's wrong?"

Shaking her head, the person standing before her had changed before her eyes. She could have sworn she had seen Al but now it was Michael looking back at her. She stared at Michael in confusion. What on earth was going on? "I'm sorry, I have to go." Grabbing her purse, she turned and ran away from him. The tears had slowly started to fall down her cheeks as she raced out of Ultra Violet.

Looking up at Gabrielle who was still at the piano, Al saw her nod her head for him to follow after Marcie. He quickly got up off the couch and ran as quickly out the door.

Gabrielle smiled as she saw her father run after her mother. "Good work, ladies. The transition will be done soon." Gabrielle spoke quietly. And with a snap of her fingers, she disappeared.

Al found himself outside of the club but Marcie no where in sight. "That way!" Looking up he saw his daughter pointing him to take a left. "Hurry it up!"

As fast as she appeared, she vanished and Al ran off in the direction he was told. "Marcie! Marcie! Wait up!" He called out for her, hoping to find her before she reached the docks.

Out on the docks Marcie stopped, out of breath. "What is going on? I looked at Michael and I saw Al! It can't be… no, it can't be. I was thinking about Al and I miss him, that's all."

Hearing Michael call out her name, she started running again. She couldn't be around him right now. Marcie had the overwhelming need to clear her head of all thoughts. Especially any thoughts that involved Al Holden or Michael McBain.

As Al rounded a corner he tripped and fell. Looking around to see what he tripped over, he saw his daughter standing above him. "Sorry about that. Go that way, down to Pier 52 and don't yell Mom's name." He stared up at Gabrielle. "Dad! Get going!"

"It figures I'd get a bunch of bossy women in my life." He huffed as he picked himself off the wooden planks and made his way down to Pier 52.

Marcie grabbed at the wooden pillar on the dock, leaning against it for support. Looking out into the water, she could no longer hear Michael calling her name. Just as she was beginning to feel secure, the shuffling of foot steps awakened her ears. Turning towards the sound of the approaching footsteps, she closed her eyes. When she opened them up she knew what she wanted to see. She wanted to see what couldn't be. Opening her eyes, she forced herself to look at him. Al was walking to her in a panic. He started to run towards her when her hand slipped off the wood. Her body contorted and twisted as she began to fall off the docks and into the water.

Suddenly, Dreamer came out of no where and blocked her path into the cold water below. Al caught Marcie in his arms as a splash echoed in the air. "Al!" Marcie shouted, not realizing what she had called him. "Dreamer fell in, we have to get help."

As Al stood there with Marcie in his arms, Luna appeared behind Marcie with his daughter and mother. "I can't explain it, but don't worry about her."

Looking out into the water, Marcie shouted at him. "What? Al, a woman just fell from the docks!" She caught the words that she had spoken out loud and stared at him. "Al? Wait, how can it be?" Her hands roamed his face, feeling every contour of his skin. Shaking her head, she spoke with a low voice. "No, it can't be."

Al's watch beeped an hourly chime, signaling it was midnight. His mother appeared next to him. "Al, Marcie?"

"Ms. Medina? Okay, I must be dreaming. Someone please wake me up!" Marcie's heart beat was racing against Al's chest. She was so confused. Gabrielle reached out and pinched Marcie. "Ouch!"

"You're not dreaming."

"But, but…" Marcie's head swiveled between Al and his mother. "You're both dead."

"Only half right, Marcie dear." Gabrielle explained sadly. "I am dead but Al is not."

"Mom, wait a minute, if I got a second chance, then…"

"No, Al." She said with a sad shake of her head. "It was my time back in September, not yours. You stepped in and sacrificed yourself for me."

"But!"

"No ifs, ands or buts, Al." Gabrielle looked like she was going to burst into tears. Could angels cry? "Since my life was taken by the Music Box Killer, it was deemed there was going to be one too many souls floating around upstairs."

"So I was going to get to come back anyway?"

Grimacing, Gabrielle recanted the rules. "Eh, not exactly. Marcie had to see you inside Michael and that's where Little Gabrielle came in."

Feeling week, Marcie went and sat on a nearby crate, trying to absorb the information that she was hearing. "Little Gabrielle?"

"Little Gabrielle but you knew her as Dreamer dear." Gabrielle said a matter of factly. "But everyone else knows her as your and Al's daughter."

"Our what?" Marcie asked in disbelief.

"Our daughter." Al confirmed. "And she's going to be a hellion."

Marcie gazed at Al with a raised brow. "Wait, she had blonde hair… how did she get blonde hair between the two of us?"

"Dye job." He answered her and watched as her eyes went wide. "I have lots to tell you about our daughter. Thankfully, I now have plenty of time to tell you all about her."

"She is banned from the color aisle at Wal-Mart, forever!" Marcie stated a matter of factly.

Gabrielle looked up to the sky with a worried look. "Uh oh, I have to get back soon. There is one more quick explanation for the both of you. No one else but the two of you will truly know what happened tonight. To everyone else, it will be as if Al never died. Max left Llanview to be with Frank and Leslie in North Carolina. But not because you died, but because he realized how precious life is. He's been missing out on their lives."

Marcie got up from the crate and made her way over to Gabrielle. "Thank you, Ms. Medina, for everything. You were really starting to become a mother to me. I miss you so much."

Reaching out and cupping Marcie's face, Gabrielle looked into Marcie's eyes and spoke with a gentle voice. "I must thank you for everything, Marcie. You saved my son. I am truly sorry that I made us miss out on more time together."

Stepping back, Marcie waited while Al hugged his mother one last time before she disappeared in front of their eyes. Marcie cautiously took his hand before he wrapped her in a tight embrace. Their own lips met for the first time in months.

Gabrielle stood with her grandmother and Luna as she watched her parents walk home, hand in hand. "Well, looks like we did it."

"Yes we did, sugar." Luna scrunched her nose and mumbled. "Looks like you should be born sometime in November, little G."

"November!" Gabrielle huffed. "But that's so close to Christmas!"

"Oh, don't worry dear." Her grandmother reassured her. "I know your father is going to spoil you rotten."

"Really?" Gabrielle's eyes lit up. "Do you think for my sixteenth birthday I can get a car and go to Cancun?"

"No car!" Luna exclaimed.

"And you're definitely not going to Cancun, dear." Gabrielle covered her grand daughter's ears. "Luna, it's not your job to tell my granddaughter what she can or can't have. And stop calling her little G, it makes her sound like some rapper!"

"I can still hear you!" Gabrielle shouted over the women's bickering. "Grandma, no Cancun? I like little G, it sounds cool!"

"No Cancun, not until you're older." She smoothed back her granddaughter's hair. "How about Gabs or Gabby instead? In the mean time, I have to tell you how to get the best of your father and your grandfather Max."

"Oh, Goddess." Luna exclaimed.

Ignoring Luna's remarks, she continued. "And I only have nine months to teach you. We better get going."

Little Gabrielle turned around and watched as her parents stopped and kissed once more. Al and Marcie hadn't gotten much farther than the time before they stopped. Their lips had met again in a passionate kiss while wrapped in each other's arms. They broke apart and walked away hand in hand, sneaking peaks at one another along the way. "I'm going to be born in nine months. It's all because Mom stopped and listened to the voice within."