The final chapter… it's been a long time coming. The perfect day to bring it to a close.
Happy #LietoMelives Day!
Gillian refused to go with the paramedics to the hospital. They had looked her over and given her plenty of oxygen which had done the job of bringing her out her chloroform induced haze. They weren't convinced she didn't have a concussion, but Gillian insisted she was fine and promised to go to the hospital if any of the numerous things they rattled off at her happened. Agent Gavin was out there and she didn't feel safe anywhere. That wasn't exactly true… she didn't feel safe anywhere that Cal wasn't.
The puzzle had finally come together. Cal had called Ria back in and they had all met in the conference room. Loker showed them the video of Gillian's abduction and they looked at the video of the sandwich shop again. It was definitely Agent Gavin that had stopped the younger man from killing Gillian. She hadn't known him well enough to put that together then. He had seen her at the Lightman Group and had asked Ben about her on more than a few occasions, but she had never even been introduced to him. Ben tried to apologize for being the reason Agent Gavin was in their lives, but Cal and Gillian wouldn't hear it. If Gavin hadn't known her and taken a liking to her, she might not be alive right now. He would have had no reason to stop his partner from killing her.
Agent Gavin had been in Court during the first suspect's trial. He had been near the court room doors when Gillian thought she had heard the suspect's voice. They hadn't considered him to be the suspect since Ben knew and worked with him. Ben had trusted him has a fellow law enforcement officer and it had been through him, innocently, that Gavin had found out Gillian's address, her fondness for basketball, that she was a Duke University alumna, and that she and Noah had been out of town that weekend.
Noah and Ben had given the information on Gavin to all the local and Federal agencies. Everyone was looking for him. They both promised to call if they heard anything about his whereabouts or if he was caught. Gillian had given Noah a written statement. There was nothing else any of them could do for now except keep her safe. The FBI sent the agents that had been with her for weeks back to the office. They would be with her night and day, again, until Gavin was found.
Everyone had left the Lightman Group except Cal and Gillian and her two watchdog agents. As soon as everyone had left, Cal and Gillian had gravitated to Cal's office. They both sat down on the couch and Gillian scooted over against him.
"How you doing love?" Cal wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
Gillian took in a deep breath. "Honestly, I'm not sure." She snuggled further against him. "Everything has been so crazy for the last few hours and my adrenaline has been running so high… I don't think it's all hit me yet." She took in another deep breath, this one shakier than the first.
Cal didn't say anything. He just gave her shoulders a squeeze and reached and took hold of her other hand. He held it for a few moments and then traced along the dark reddish marks on her forearm that would surely be turning purple by morning.
"I fought him." Her voice was quiet almost as if she was talking to herself. "I fought him as hard as I could. But, he was so strong…" She sat up straight and pulled away from Cal. She was staring at the floor. "I smelled the rag as he brought it up and I tried not to breathe." She put her hand on her face mimicking the way Gavin had done it. "He held it against my face so tight and I could feel myself going numb and everything was blurry." She wrapped her arms around her middle. "I was so scared Cal."
He reached up and placed his hand on her back gently. He wanted to reassure her that he was there without pushing himself on her and yet still allow her any boundaries she felt she needed. "I know love. I was scared too. I could hear the panic and fear in your voice."
Gillian turned to him surprised. "You heard me? How?"
"You called. My phone rang and I saw it was you but when I answered, all I could hear was you screaming." Cal shook his head as if he was trying to shake the feeling away. "I don't believe I've ever felt so helpless in my life."
"Oh God Cal, I didn't know the call went through. I'm so sorry." She turned toward him suddenly more concerned for the pain she caused him than she was for her own pain.
"Don't apologize Gill. If you hadn't managed to call, I wouldn't have heard what was going on. I wouldn't have been able to tell Loker where to find you." He leaned over and put his arms around her. "No matter how hard it was for me to hear that; I thank God I did because it helped me get you back."
Gillian nodded her head as she put her arms around his waist and squeezed him tightly.
Cal pulled away and stood up. "Wait right here. I'll go and grab your coat and purse so we can get out of here."
Gillian jumped up quickly. "No!" She grabbed his hand. "I'll come with you. I don't want to be alone Cal, not right now." She gave him a look that was telling him she hoped he understood.
"Ok." Cal squeezed her hand and then let it go. He went and grabbed his jacket from his desk chair. He slipped it on and took her hand again. They walked hand in hand to her office.
Gillian went through the door first. She went and collected her purse while Cal pulled her coat off the coat rack. As he turned to help her put it on, he saw the Duke teddy bear. After her coat was around her, he went and took the bear off the shelf.
Gillian followed him with her eyes. "What are you doing?" Then she realized he was going for the teddy bear. "Ugh. As cute is that is, I don't want it."
Cal was squeezing it all over. He must have felt something because he asked "Where are your scissors?"
Gillian went to her desk, pulled out a pair of scissors and handed them to him. Cal used the scissors to cut open the back side of the bear. He reached in and pulled out a small device.
"It's a camera. A tiny camera. The lens is embedded in the bear's eye."
"A camera?" Gillian shook her head. "So he's been watching me for the past few days?" She visibly shuddered at the thought. "I need to check this office over." She frantically started pulling things off her shelves and looking around the room. She had gone into panic mode.
Cal grabbed her arms after trying several times to get her attention verbally. "Gill! Let's get out of here. We can have this whole office and your apartment checked thoroughly for anything suspicious before we open back up after the Holidays."
"People will be here tomorrow Cal! It might not be safe!"
"I closed us down until Monday. Friday was all ready a Holiday for Christmas Eve. Based on everything that's happened, I thought it would be better to keep everyone out of here until it's checked over. I had Loker and Torres notify all the employees." He pulled her into a hug. They stood there for a few minutes.
"Let's go love." Cal turned her in his arms and led her out of her office.
Cal had followed Gillian to her place so she could pack a bag. She left her car there and rode with him to his house. They had both decided it would be safer for her to stay there until Gavin was caught.
Emily had gone to Zoe's for the Holiday and wouldn't be home until late Christmas night. Cal did his best to keep Gillian distracted with Christmas in attempt to keep her mind off the fact that Gavin was still out there. He had taken her to the grocery store on Thursday and they had loaded up on everything for Christmas dinner and every dessert Gillian could think of.
Thursday evening and most of the day on Christmas, Gillian spent in the kitchen. Cal knew she liked to bake when she was upset or stressed so he left her to it. Most of the time he sat in the kitchen with her. He feigned working on his laptop and they discussed the book they had been working on but mostly he just watched her. It thrilled him to see her working in his kitchen like she was always supposed to have been there. He loved her reactions every time he made a smart remark about her sugar addiction or the fact that his kitchen now resembled Willie Wonka's Factory.
Cal hadn't truly enjoyed the Christmas season in a very long time but as he sat there smelling all the wonderful things Gillian was making and listening to Christmas music he found himself strangely happy and content. The only thing that could improve the situation was a call from the authorities saying they had caught Gavin.
Cal got his wish around 7pm. Ben called to tell him they had found Gavin at a rest stop off Interstate 95 in Florida. He had been sleeping in his car and had been taken into custody without incident. Cal felt sick to his stomach when Ben described the flex ties, rope, duct tape, and thick blankets they had found in his trunk. That was something Gillian didn't need to hear. She walked into the room right as he was ending the call.
"They got him Gill." Cal stood up from the couch and walked toward her.
Gillian's eyes widened. "They got him?" Cal nodded at her. "So, it's over?" He nodded again as he wrapped her in a hug. She said it again as if to convince herself "They got him. It's over." Gillian felt the tears run down her face. "It's over."
"It's over love."
Emily got home around 9pm. She found her Dad and Gillian cuddled together on the couch. She took out her camera and snapped a few pictures. Cal woke and saw her.
"Hey love. Merry Christmas." He gently rolled from under Gillian. He walked over and gave Emily a big hug.
"Merry Christmas, Dad." She backed away from him and looked at Gillian who remained asleep on the couch. "How long do you think she'll sleep? I mean, she's got months of lost sleep to catch up on."
Cal nodded his head. "Yeah, she does." He put his arm around Emily and led her into the kitchen. "Would you be terribly disappointed if we waited until tomorrow to do gifts? I don't have the heart to wake her just yet."
"Not at all, Dad. I'm actually beat. Mom's whole family was at Grandma and Grandpa's and they woke me up at 4am." Emily rolled her eyes and shook her head. "I was never that crazy on Christmas, was I?"
Cal laughed. "I seem to remember a few Christmases where Santa almost didn't come because a certain little miss would not go to sleep." He scruffed her hair and pulled her in for another hug. "And I also remember a few where Santa barely made it out of the house before you were up!" Now they were both laughing.
"Em. I want to thank you for everything you've done for me and Gillian. Even though you went against my wishes, I know your heart was in the right place." Cal walked over to the refrigerator and pulled an envelope from under a magnet. He handed it to Emily. "Here. Open this one."
Emily walked over and took the envelope. She opened it and pulled out the card. She immediately giggled. "So, you were paying attention?" She was staring down at her confirmation card for a lifetime subscription to Cosmopolitan Magazine.
"Always love. To every word. That advice was bloody brilliant!"
And so it goes…
It has been a long ride and I am grateful for those of you that have stuck with me this entire time. I never imagined the fic idea I had back in January of 2010 would grow into the monstrosity it is now. 21 months I worked on this fic (not continuously of course or you would have had much regular updates!). I had doubts along the way that I would ever finish it… especially when the show was on the maybe list and then when they screwed with the Cal/Gillian dynamic in S3 and then after the cancelation… BUT-here it is! Marked complete!
I wasn't sure how to go with this last chapter. I ultimately decided that simplicity would be best since it has been a complicated series of things all the way through. I hope everyone is satisfied and at least somewhat entertained by the whole thing. I have enjoyed bringing it to life!
The reviews and comments were instrumental in keeping me going. Thank you to all who took the time to drop one and especially to those that I heard from on nearly every chapter. You guys rock!
I loved this show and these characters. I hope we can keep them going in fan fiction land for a very long time!