I just couldn't get this story out of my head so here goes. For all of you Emergency fans out there, please pretend (for this story's sake) that L.A. County and San Diego are very near. I'm just a good ole' country girl from Georgia and I've never been to California. Shoot, I'm 33 years old and I just figured how to read a map! Anyway, please put your imagination mode into action and pretend with me.

Title: And along came Matthew

Author: Facefreak

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Face is surprised to find out that Christina has been keeping a few things from him. It will help if you have read (or do read) Deserved Payment.

Archive: Yes

Comments: Pretty, Pretty Please

Disclaimer: Don't own them, wish I did. Characters are used from Simon & Simon, White Shadow and Emergency. Christina, as usual, is mine.

"Christina, there's a package outside on the lawn" Murdock said as he looked out the window.

Christina tilted her head sideways and peaked over Murdock's shoulder. Fear washed across her face. This did not go unnoticed by the rest of the team, especially her husband.

"What's wrong?" Face asked his wife as he got up to check on her.

She picked up the phone and began to dial.

"Lt. Brown, please." She said with a worried look on her face. Face stood at the window staring at the package that was on their lawn.

"Town, this is Christina. Could you please send Tyson to my house? I've got a package on my lawn" she asked.

"Please ask him to hurry. I don't want anyone getting hurt." She added.

After she hung up the phone, Murdock walked out the front door. Christina nearly hurt herself as she pulled him back inside. With a confused look on his face, Murdock asked, "What's wrong? I'm just gonna get it and bring it in."

"NO. You can't. Just make sure no one gets near it." She said.

"Okay, Christina. Out with it. What's going on? What's in the package?" Face asked.

"A bomb".

Murdock was shocked by her answer and then immediately went to the window to watch the street closely.

"There's a little boy walking toward the package. I've got to stop him," Murdock said. The boy stopped and walked up to the package. Christina and Murdock raced to the boy just as he bent down to pick it up. Christina screamed as she pushed the boy away from the package. Just then the package exploded and the shockwave from the explosion sent Christina, Murdock and the boy flying.

Face, Hannibal and B.A. raced to the lawn. Hannibal checked on Murdock while B.A. ran for the boy. Face knelt down beside his wife who was now lying on her stomach.

"Christina?" Face asked as he gently turned her over onto her back.

Murdock and the little boy were fine. B.A. walked the little boy home and made sure he got there safely. The rest of the guys now were at Christina's side.

"Call an ambulance" Face pleaded. Hannibal rushed to the phone and they all waited with Christina until the ambulance arrived. A squad truck with two paramedics pulled up into the drive. They quickly got out and began to help their victim.

"Rampart. This is Squad 51. How do you read?" the dark haired paramedic said into his portable phone. The guys listened intently to the paramedic's one-sided conversation. "We've got a victim of an explosion. Rampart, the victim is Christina Peck. She is unconscious." The guys continued to watch in amazement. Face was more than amazed. He was confused. 'How does he know who she is?' he thought.

The ambulance arrived and the dark-haired paramedic asked Face if he wanted to ride with Christina. Face and the paramedic got into the ambulance with Christina still unconscious beside them.

"I don't mean to be rude, but how do you know my wife?" Face asked the paramedic.

He looked at Face and then replied, "She used to be my fiancé." Face couldn't help but to stare at this man. He noticed the man's badge and nameplate. It said 'Johnny Gage'. Face didn't recognize the man's name or Christina ever mentioning his name. He thought that Salami was the only fiancé she ever had.

"Is she going to be alright?" Face asked him. Gage answered him "She should be. They can check her out better at the hospital and make sure."

Gage noticed that Face was still staring at him and then spoke up. "She didn't tell you about me, did she?" Face shook his head no. Just then the ambulance arrived at the hospital and they took Christina into one of the exam rooms. Gage joined his partner who was now waiting on him. Face and the other team members waited out in the hall.

After about an hour, the doctor came out and confronted Face. "Are you Mr. Peck?" asked the doctor. Face came forward and said, "Yes, I am."

"Mr. Peck, I'm Doctor Kelly Brackett. Christina is going to be fine. She's a little shaken, but she doesn't seem to have any internal injuries. I'd like to keep her overnight just for observation if that's alright with you". Face nodded and then said "Sure. Can I stay with her?"

"Just let me get her set up in a room and you can stay until we release her in the morning." Doctor Brackett said.

"Can I see her?" Face asked the doctor.

"Sure. She's right in there," the doctor pointed.

Face walked in the room and saw his wife sitting up on the exam table. She appeared to be in a daze. "Chris?" he asked. No answer. "Christina" he now placed a hand on her shoulder. She jumped and then looked at him.

"Face?" she said.

"Is the little boy and Murdock okay?" she asked immediately. Face nodded and then replied, "They're fine. It's you I'm worried about." She looked up at him again and then stood up. She was so weak that she nearly fainted. Face reached for her just before she fell to the floor.

"I'm fine," she said as she stood on her own. Face knew she was hiding something but he didn't want to upset her any further. There was a knock on the door of the exam room. Face quickly said, "Come in". Rick and A.J. entered the room and then A.J. spoke up.

"Christina, are you alright?" A.J. asked. She nodded as she looked at them. She knew why they were there.

"Face, can we speak to Christina alone for a minute?" A.J. asked.

"Yeah. I'll be out in the hall," Face said as he left the room.

"We paid a visit to Matthew after you were brought here" Rick said. Christina looked at them with fear across her face.

"He had all of the components in his bedroom that were in the bomb that was left on your lawn" Rick continued.

A single tear rolled down Christina's cheek as she looked at Rick. "What do you want from me?" she asked.

"The same thing we've been trying to get you to do for the past five years. Testify against Matthew". Rick was upset at her and did raise his voice even though he didn't mean to.

"I can't," she cried. Rick opened the door and spoke to the team waiting in the hall.

"Could you guys come in here for a minute?" Rick asked. The whole team entered the room and stood around looking at Christina.

"Now. Either you tell them or I will. You owe them that much" Rick demanded. More tears fell from Christina's face, as she knew what she had to do.

"Chris, what's he talking about?" Face asked his wife.

She walked over to the window and leaned up against the wall staring out the window. She then began.

"When I first moved here to live with Nicky, I met Salami. Salami took me home with him and introduced me to his family. His mother really liked me and his father kinda halfway liked me, but he had a younger brother named Matthew. I tried really hard to become friends with Matthew. I really did, but nothing I did worked. He said that I was coming between him and Salami. I was very careful not to get between them, but no matter what I did, he hated me. The night that Salami was killed, Matthew stood in my face and vowed he would kill me. I never thought much about it, because he was just a kid. Two months later, there was a package on my lawn just like the one today. I wasn't so lucky. What was it I stayed in the hospital? Two.. Three days?" she asked Rick and A.J.

"Four and you almost died twice" Rick replied. Face was horrified. He watched his wife as she continued.

"This is the fourth time that he's tried to kill me with his homemade bombs" she said watching her husband.

"We're going to the police," Face said. She looked up at him and said sternly "No." Face was in shock.

"What do you mean, no? Why not?" he asked in disbelief.

"I owe it to Salami to keep Matthew out of jail." Face was amazed. "What? You can't be serious!" Face replied.

"He's just a kid, Face," she said.

"A kid that has constantly tried to kill you. Don't you understand? Murdock and that little boy could have been killed today. Not to mention you. This kid has to be dealt with," Face said with his hands on his hips.

"Christina, I'm pretty sure that if Salami were here right now that he would tell you to testify against Matthew." Murdock spoke up. She just looked at him strangely.

"You really think that he would want me to testify against his own flesh and blood brother? I'm not stupid, Murdock. His mother is a good woman and she doesn't deserve to see her only surviving son in jail". Tears continued to stream down her face as she watched everyone's reaction.

"Christina, Murdock's right. I think Salami would want you to testify" A.J. said. She looked down at the floor and then out the window. She could see her husband's reflection in the glass beside her. She thought for a moment and then spoke "I guess you're right. I'll do it under one condition. That I speak to Mrs. Patrino first."

Face could understand where she was coming from but he said, "I don't think that's such a good idea".

"Maybe not, but it's the only way that I'm going to be able to do this with a clear conscious." She said.

That night in the hospital Face decided it was time to mention the paramedic he met earlier in the day. Christina wasn't asleep, but she was deep in thought.

"Chris, this may be a bad time to bring this up, but I have something I want to ask you" Face said as he sat facing her.

"Whatever it is, you can ask me anything".

"Why didn't you tell me about Johnny Gage?"

"The same reason you didn't tell me about Leslie".

"You know about Leslie? I'm going to kill Murdock" Face said through his teeth.

"Murdock didn't tell me. None of the guys did. I read it in some documents when I was doing research on you. I've known long before I met you."

"Why didn't you say anything?" Face asked.

"I figured that it was in the past. What happened to us, the people we met made us what we are today. We can't change anything so there's no use in us hurting each other."

"I guess you're right. It's just that I was surprised when he told me that you two were engaged at one time". He watched her closely.

"I wasn't trying to hide it from you. It's just that I didn't think that it would make a difference. I can't change my past any more than you can." She said softly.

"I know. I didn't mention Leslie because I didn't want to hurt you. I understand".

She smiled. "I guess you want to know what happened between me and Johnny and why we broke up?"

"You don't owe me an explanation," he said.

"It's okay. I don't mind". She fixed the bed so it was in an upright sitting position.

"The day that Nicky was killed, 911 dispatched the call and Johnny and Roy responded. They were wonderful. About four or five hours later after everyone had cleared out, there was a knock on my door. It was Johnny. He was on his way home and stopped by to check on me. I thought that was really nice. He really cared what had happened to me. I mean, I didn't even know this man and he was really concerned about me."

Face smiled. He remembered how Christina had done the same for him and the rest of the team. She was so selfless. She had tried to find a way to prove their innocence even though she had never met them before. He knew exactly what she meant.

"He gave me his phone number and told me that if I needed anything to call him. The nights got almost unbearable so I picked up the phone and called. One thing led to another and we started dating. We dated for about a year when he proposed to me. His work schedule became more and more strenuous and I hardly ever got to see him. One day while he was on a rescue, a rattlesnake struck him. The hospital called me and I was there when they brought him in. He was unconscious and very pale. I thought I was going to lose him too. Anyway, after he was better we got to talking and decided that it would be best if we didn't get married."

Face was now at the window sitting on the edge of the sill. She watched him as he took all of this information in.

"But it's you in I'm in love with. I guess I didn't want you to feel threatened that I might have feelings for someone else. We're still friends, but that's all".

He got up and walked over to her bed and sat down beside her on the bed. "I believe you. On our wedding night, when you told me that you saved yourself for me, I can't begin to tell you what that meant to me. Now that you're telling me this about Johnny, it means even more. It means that you never slept with him while you were dating him. Not many people can say that."

"You're not mad at me?" She asked.

He reached over and placed his right hand on the side of her neck, leaned down and gently kissed her and said "Not at all. You're the love of my life and I know you feel the same way about me".

The next day, Christina was released from the hospital. On the way to the car, Face wrapped his jacket around her shoulders and walked her to the car.

"You okay?" he asked as he helped her in the car.

She smiled and softly said "Yeah. It's just that I don't know how Mrs. Patrino is going to react. At least with Mr. Patrino, I know that I'm going to get yelled at. For someone who didn't take up much time with his kids, he gets real defensive about them".

"I still don't think it's the best idea, but I understand. You do what you think is best". He leaned over and kissed her on the lips.

That afternoon Christina decided that it was time to go talk to Matthew's mother. She walked across the street and knocked on the door. Mrs. Patrino came to the door and invited Christina in. They sat in the kitchen and drank some ice tea at the kitchen table.

"It's really good to see you again, Christina" Mrs. Patrino said with a smile.

"Thanks, it's good to see you too. But I'm afraid that there's more to being here than just visiting" Christina said as she took a drink from her glass.

"You know you can tell me anything," Mrs. Patrino said.

"I'm afraid it's about Matthew" Christina said carefully.

"Go ahead" she said while patting Chris' hand.

"Matthew put a homemade bomb in my front yard and caused me to spend the night in the hospital".

"I see" Mrs. Patrino got up and called Matthew to come downstairs.

Matthew appeared and stopped when he saw Christina.

"You told me it was a school science project" Matthew's mother said while looking at him. He held his head down and waited for his mother to finish.

"You put her in the hospital, Matthew. You could have killed her". Christina looked up at him and spoke "A little five year old boy and one of my friends was also real close to the bomb when it went off. They could have been killed". Matthew's mother shook him and said "Why, Matthew?"

He looked up at his mother and spoke "She killed my brother". His mother's head began to shake from side to side and then said "No, Matthew. She tried with all her might to save him. It was an accident."

He looked at her and said "I didn't mean for anyone but her to get hurt".

Christina said, "Matthew, I've protected you ever since Salami was killed. This is the fourth time that you tried to kill me with these bombs. I didn't want it to come down to this, but you're going to be arrested this afternoon."

Matthew was scared and said, "You can't prove anything".

His mother spoke up and said "You're wrong, Matthew. Two detectives came yesterday with a warrant and found evidence. All you had to do was accept that it was an accident. Christina is a good person. She loved your brother with all of her heart. She tried to save him."

Matthew thought that his mother would defend him. "My father won't allow me to be arrested". Just then his father appeared from the bedroom.

"Yes I will". Matthew turned around to face his father.

"But, Dad" Matthew pleaded.

"You could have killed three innocent people yesterday, Matthew. You need to be arrested. Maybe then you will come to terms with your brother's death." His father watched his son as the doorbell rang. It was two police officers.

"Matthew Patrino, you're under arrest for the attempted murder of Christina Peck" one officer said. He then placed handcuffs on Matthew and read him his rights. As the door shut, Christina had tears streaming down her face. She looked up at the Patrinos' and said, "I'm so sorry".

Mrs. Patrino sat down beside Christina and said, "You didn't have a choice. The choice was Matthew's. We understand. We're just sorry that it happened."

Christina went home and explained all the details to the team.

"It all worked out for the best" B.A. said.

"Then why do I feel so terrible" Christina said.

Face placed his arm around his wife and said, "Because you're compassionate".

"Sometimes I wish I didn't care so much." She smiled.

"I wouldn't have it any other way. Your compassion is what brought the five of us together." Face said.

"Six. You forgot Billy" Murdock quickly replied as he patted the thin air.

"Ain't no dog, fool" B. A. yelled as he wrapped his hands around Murdock's throat.

"Well, at least things are back to normal" Face said.

"Yeah, I love it when a plan comes together" Hannibal added.