Second Chances: It's No Holiday Without You

A holiday excursion turns into a fight for survival when Rick and A.J. rush to save a missing Oscar Goldman. Giving up is not an option when a bleak future is shown one of the brothers, who does what it takes to save them all.

(This is a work of fiction. No money is being made on it, and the characters are owned by Universal Studios and are only being borrowed for a little while. .)

A/N: For any new readers, "Second Chances" is my "what if?" for Rick and A.J. Simon...What if they didn't end the partnership or A.J. didn't marry Janet or Liz.... What if Rick had a long-lost sweetheart who needed protection from a crazed stalker? And.....what if Rick and his girl fell in love, adopted her niece and nephew, and made a home first in San Diego, then in Arizona? These "what if''s" are the basis for my continuing "Simon & Simon" as if they never went off the air. This series also includes crossovers from Six Million Dollar Man/Bionic Woman and Dark Shadows.....so feel free to read my other stories for the whys and wherefores of these three worlds meeting!

"Dad! Where are you? Can you hear me?" Rick Simon hollered into the wind, then listened for a response.

"I still think he must have headed in the other direction, Rick." His brother called to him, his words all but swallowed up in the howling storm. Visibility was poor above Lost Valley, and both men shivered in the rapidly dropping temperatures.

"No A.J.…this is the direction Rudy last saw him in…." Rick began, then stopped in mid-sentence as a faint voice caught his ear.

"Go back…danger!"

"It's Dad….up there…" he yelled, then gingerly headed up the ice-covered slope to a small indentation in the hillside. A.J. followed, then called out, "Oscar…wave something if you can!"

A sudden rumbling sound caused both men to look up, then Rick saw an arm stick out of an alcove in the rocks to the left of them, beckoning to the Simons.

"Avalanche!" he cried, grabbing his brother's arm and pulling him along, having seen the spray of snow shoot out above them. As they ran, Rick prayed that they would find shelter before the shower of snow and ice overtook them.

Just as they reached where Rick had seen the signal come from, A.J. stumbled, and quickly Rick caught his arm before the avalanche could drag him down the mountain. Helping him duck down through a scraggly bush into what looked like a small cave, Rick saw another figure huddled inside, and he smiled with relief.

"Dad?"

Suddenly the figure rose, and to his horror, held a gun in his hand, pointed at his chest.

"Nice to see you both showed up, Mr. Simon. Take a seat over there with your father-in-law."

Rick squinted at the man's face; it was familiar, but ..

"What's this all about?" he began, then saw in the dim light Oscar Goldman's face, blood dripping from a cut on his forehead.

"Dad? Are you all right?" The older man looked at him, and for a moment Rick saw worry in his gaze, before he seemingly slumped into a half-sitting position.

"What did you do to him?" A.J. demanded angrily, his hand going to his pocket. At once the sound of a hammer being drawn back was heard.

"Freeze, Mr. Simon, or your brother's dead."

Instantly A.J. withdrew his hand, as the stranger gestured the Simons to sit next to their father-in-law.

"You might as well get comfortable, you're going to be in here a long time"

"Listen, I don't know what's going on…" A.J. began, subsiding as the man again pointed his weapon at Rick's chest. Growling under his breath, Rick awkwardly sat next to Oscar as A.J. maneuvered into place on the other side of the older man.

"Okay, you have us, so what next?" Rick asked, then saw fire in the eyes of their captor.

I've been without my brother over 20 years, and now your family'll know what it's like to suffer." the man spat at them. All of a sudden Rick knew who they were talking about.

"Your name is Peter, right?" he asked, as A.J. turned and stared at him. The younger man gave them a twisted smile.

"So, you do remember me….well, let's hope Mrs. Simon does, 'cause I'm going to be your messenger, Simon. I'm going to be the one who delivers your last words, so I can watch her grieve over losing a loved one. I'm going to tell her how you three will die-she's going to pay for helping kill my brother."