(This story takes place during and after the movie the Italian Job. I'm playing John, and Supergirl is playing Charlie and Stella)
Coldness erupted through his entire being as the electricity coursed through John and his momentarily stilled heart came back to life. His eyes widened in shock to see he was surrounded by men in police uniforms, flashing lights, and the snowy embankment of the bridge where Steve had betrayed them and left them for dead. He blinked confused by this sight before his vision blurred into murky darkness.
That was a year and a half ago. He had spent nine months of it in a coma, and when he had come around, he was in a hospital handcuffed to his bed's railing. The authorities had had plenty of questions for him like why had he been shot three times and left on the side of the road and more importantly, why had he been carrying identification that belonged to a man that had been deceased for five years. By all rights he should have been deceased himself, and he was presumed to be so when the police car had rounded the bin leading to the bridge. Luckily for John, one of the officers in that patrol car was also a practicing EMT and there was a hospital in the small town only seven miles up the road. When he had come to, they had told him the only thing that had saved his life had been the cold water he'd been submerged in; if it hadn't decreased the rate at which his blood was pumping, he would have bled out before they'd arrived. The shock from his revival had given him a mild heart attack, and on top of the wounds he had already suffered, his body had sent itself into a coma to which the doctors had thought he might never recover.
Charlie had pulled John's body out of the water thinking him dead. If he'd been able to spend a few more minutes with him, he might have realized the man was drawing very shallow breaths. Lyle had been looking out from atop one of the snow banks and had noticed the patrol car coming from over a mile away. The remaining four had made themselves scarce before the ambling patrol car could see them. Time had went on, and with it the four remaining members of the Italian job set in motion plans to bring their traitorous friend, Steve down and get back the gold he'd stolen from them.
John had spent several months in the jail's hospital infirmary recovering, and when he hadn't given the authorities the answers they were searching for, they had refused him a phone call and worse his freedom. John was a smart man though, and after much deliberation he managed to get released within a few months as they had nothing they could really hold him with besides a fake ID. Trying to get a hold of Stella was John's first priority, and when he hadn't been able to reach her, he was terrified for her safety. He had then tried to connect with Charlie and the rest of his crew with no success. It had taken him a better half of a year to find out the truth that Charlie had brought the crew back together and located Steve. He didn't know all the details, but from his connections he'd found out that Stella and Charlie were living together in Venice, and Charlie had somehow managed to get their gold back from Steve.
Now, here he was standing in front of their country estate looking across the cedar chipped driveway at the warm glow of a fireplace and listening to the soft chirp of crickets. He'd come so far, and waited so long for this moment, and now that he'd finally arrived at their doorstep, he hesitated. There was so much to say and so much he wanted to know. He took a deep breath and rapped on the door awaiting a response.
Charlie and Stella had sat, side by side, in their hotel room. It was still hard to believe that they'd managed to pull off the heist. Sure, they'd been confident, but there were times when it felt like the odds were against them. John's death, at the hands of one they trusted, almost shattered Charlie. The only thing that seemed to keep him going was getting revenge on the man who had cost John his life.
After they'd pulled off the heist, it was Stella that had kept him going. Stella, with her amazing capacity to love even though she knew that, like her father, Charlie was, in blunt terms, a thief. Now here they were a year and half after John's death, cuddling on the couch in their sitting room. They both had a glass of champagne, and they silently toasted each other.
Stella's eyes were already drooping as Charlie took her glass from her and put both glasses on the table before them. Sleep was coming when the sound of a knock could be heard throughout the house. Stella woke up and looked at Charlie. Both rose and started for the door curiously. They knew it couldn't be the other guys, as they always called before hand.
With a nod from Stella, Charlie opened the door slowly. Their jaws dropped and two voices rang out as one.
John's eyes softened to see his daughter again; it really had been too long. He held out his arms to give her a hug as she rushed into his arms. He squeezed her tightly and responded, "Oh Stella! I'm so happy to see you two. It took me about half a year, but I finally found you."
Stella clung to her father, "They said you were dead. I thought...I..."
Her voice trailed off as Charlie moved closer, feeling the need to touch the man who had mentored him and become like a second father to him.
"John..." For once in his life, Charlie was at a loss for words.
John understanding Charlie's awe and confusion turned a warm smile to the man and opened himself up wide so that he could pull Charlie into a hug alongside Stella as he said, "Hey kid; get over here."
That was all Charlie needed before he found himself clinging to his mentor. With one arm around John, Charlie put his other arm around Stella.
They stood like that for a few moments before Stella finally unwrapped herself and ushered her dad into the sitting room.
"What happened dad?" Stella glanced over at Charlie who had the same question written on his face.
John knew there was a lot to explain, and it was very late. He responded, "I know you two will have a plethora of questions you want answered, but how about we hold off on all that until tomorrow. For now, why don't we go with a little lighter topic like you two tell me all about living in Venice in such a lovely home."
"Oh dad, isn't it gorgeous?" Stella beamed. "Charlie actually found the place."
Charlie blushed, "I just took what Stella wanted and found someone who could help me find it."
"You've got to see the place," Stella stood and took her dad's hand in hers before dragging him all around the house.
John followed along happily taking in the many rooms, the balcony, the terrace and the soft lamp lit vine laced trestles leading to a serene man-made duck pond. He sat a moment on one of the concrete benches overlooking the pond taking it all in and gathering his thoughts before he replied, "This place is remarkable Stella, and I'm so happy for you and Charlie. I'm proud of you two, and I'm glad in the world we live in that he would be your choice to make a life with. There's no better man."
Charlie could feel himself actually blushing under the compliment. Stella dropped her dad's hand and took up Charlie's, "He's good to me."
Charlie gave a peck to Stella's cheek but remained silent under his mentor's gaze.
John nodded responding, "I can tell, and I wouldn't expect any less," he gave Charlie a mock glare before losing it to a small chuckle and smile. He added, "I saw you had a little bubbly in the living room, and after the long trip I had, I was wondering if you could spare a glass?"
"Of course," Charlie gave the other man an apologetic smile as he led the way back into the sitting room and poured John a glass.
The three stood around looking at one another before Stella spoke up, "How about a toast?"
Charlie grinned, "To John."
Clutching her father's hand once again, Stella beamed, "To dad."
John lifted his glass, "To rediscovering my family." The three clinked glasses and sat in the living room enjoying their drinks and small talk about the house and the neighborhood.
Charlie smiled and talked with the two people he cared most for. As he sat though he couldn't stop his mind from wondering. What had happened to John? Charlie knew he was dead...so how was he very much alive? Would John hate him for leaving him there? Would Stella hate him for the same reason?
He took a sip of his drink and put the conversation going on around him out of his mind momentarily; allowing himself to dwell on the 'what ifs'
John could see Charlie was off in his head, his own mind was racing with questions, but he didn't want to have that discussion until morning when all three had rested. He said, "I don't know about the two of you, but I'm worn out. How about we call it a night, and you two can take an old man out for breakfast in the morning."
"Of course dad," Stella jumped out of her seat. "I'll show you to the extra room."
Stella took her dad's hand and looked over at Charlie questioningly.
Charlie gave her a small smile, "I'll be in the...um..."
Stella chuckled, "I'll be in, in a minute."
John chuckled at Charlie's embarrassment remarking, "It's okay Charlie; I'll see you in the morning." He turned following Stella upstairs to one of the guest bedrooms giving her a hug and a kiss on the forehead. He smiled warmly down at her and said, "You really are a sight for sore eyes, and for the record, this old man is retired. From now on, I'm going to work on being a better father for you and hopefully an obnoxious grandfather to be."
Stella laughed but remained non committed, "Love you dad; see you in the morning."
She walked down the hall and entered the bedroom, she and Charlie shared. "You ok Charlie?"
"Yeah," Charlie nodded, "Just thinking..."
"About dad?" the woman asked.
Charlie nodded again, "I checked Stel, he wasn't breathing."
"Oh Charlie," Stella held him close until sleep overcame both of them.
John sat on the edge of the full size bed kicking off his shoes and laying back on the bed to let out a long sigh. And after a good hour of curious thought, John's troubled mind slipped into darkness.