I'll just insert my whole "Omgthisistheend!" speech here, because I don't want the last thing you remember about NST is my babbling.
Well, this is the first ever chaptered story I've ever finished (and first fanfiction, not that it matters), so I guess No Such Thing is kind of a milestone story for me. I can't believe I actually stayed up to two in the morning some nights to just finish a chapter, or how I obsessed over these series for weeks on end (ok, just typing that sentence reminded me how much of a geek I am...).
But enough of that. I want to thank anyone who ever read even a section of the prologue. It makes my heart leap just to see some hits on my page. Thanks especially to the reviews I got, you guys don't even know how much they made me smile. You brighten my life. Literally. And thank you to the people who put up with my procrastination and actually read my updates even though they were months apart (coughlike these chapterscough).
And I guess I should send a thanks out to everyone who had any part in these wonderful TV series. They've brought so much entertainment in my life since, well, 2006 I guess. Even to CBS, even though they have completely ruined my Friday TV watching, but whatever. CBS is still wonderful.
I have a few weird ideas roaming around in my head for future stories, but they will honestly probably be far away. Someday though, someday...
Anyway, enough of me, here's the last chapter of No Such Thing. I hope you like it.
Thanks again for reading. I will be back with mores stories in the future. But for now I'm out.
A Little Bit Alright
Colby shut the file with an unsatisfying quick plop and threw his pen onto the desk to make up for it. He then stretched his arms out far in back of him, nearly whacking David in the back of the head. "Done," he announced.
Four heads raised briefly at his voice. Liz looked down at her part of the paperwork and looked back up. "No way!" she exclaimed. Colby shrugged. "How is that even possible?"
Colby gave her a sideways glance, "Only a little," he admitted. All of a sudden, four heads were lowered again. "The point is it's only seven o'clock, we caught a six month old serial killer today, and Bradley's buffet is still open. We can do paperwork when we're dead."
"Sometimes I feel that's going to happen sooner than I think," Nikki muttered.
"Come on, celebratory dinner's on me," he said, grabbing his coat from the back of his chair.
"I'm game," Nikki said after a moment. She closed what she was working on and stood up, cleaning up her stuff as she did.
Liz sighed and shut her paperwork too. "Why not," she agreed, "It is free food."
"David?" Colby turned to him, shrugging on his coat.
"Nah, I think I'm gonna pass this time," he told them, stretching from his seat, "The only thing I want to do is sleep for the next two weeks."
"Suit yourself." Colby turned to where Don had been sitting quietly for the past few hours. "What about you, Don?"
Don leaned back in his chair and linked his fingers behind his head. His right eye looked just a little darker than the other in the artificial light. He thought about the offer, "I think I'm just going to call it a night guys," he finally said.
"See you tomorrow then," Liz told him as Nikki, Colby, and her headed to the elevator. Don nodded and gave a thrown "You too," in response. A few minutes later David got up and left for the night too with the same goodbyes.
Don sat at his desk for a while, not working, not really thinking, just sitting. There was still a slight nagging feeling that gnawed on him and refused to go away. I messed with him too; making him hungry, but not hungry, tired, but not tired. It seemed to tap into his decision making so he wasn't sure what he wanted to do, whether go home or finish up the paperwork.
He was just about to grab his stuff to make the trip to his apartment for some sleep, when his phone rang, starling him just a bit. It was the person he knew from the LAPD
"I just thought you should know," he said once Don answered, "Rolands never made it to the penitentiary."
Suddenly Don was alert. The ever present nagging feeling dropped into the pit of his stomach at the thought of Rolands escaping. "What do you mean?"
"He offed himself on the ride over there. Picked a pocket knife off of the driver and slashed his throat right there in the backseat. By the time they got him to the hospital he was already gone."
Don swallowed and thanked him for the information before hanging up. After setting the phone down, he ran a hand across his eyes as a way to try to fight the sleep that threatened. All of a sudden he just felt exhausted.
He could only think of how incredibly selfish Parker Rolands was. It was obvious that he was going to at least be put away for life, possible get the death sentence anyway for what he did. But somehow taking his own life seemed incredibly unfair. A person like Rolands didn't have the right to decide when he was going to die himself. Everything about or connected to Parker Rolands seemed totally unfair.
But there was also a sense of closure about the whole thing. Somehow it seemed the only thing that could end the past six months was his death.
Feeling only a tad bit lighter, Don changed his mind again, grabbed his coat, and left the office for another day.
Once again, the world felt right.
For the first time in a long time- almost forever, what it seemed to him- Charlie felt normal. He had finally been able to concentrate today, finally able to focus on something more than a few minutes. No headaches, no dizziness, nor unexpected exhaustion since that morning. The heaviness that had been oppressing him seemed o have finally lifted, making him feel as light as air. After all that time, he felt like he had been drowning and suddenly saved from death, able to gasp at the air that he had been deprived of for so long.
There were a couple explanations to why he was feeling this way. One was the reason that Charlie favored- he had been so stressed out about the case that he lost touch with reality. Now that Rolands was safely caught and behind bars, he was able to relax. The other was the impossible; Melinda Gordon had been right all along about Stacy and ghosts and everything. It was still ridiculous to Charlie to believe, even though the last thing Melinda had told him puzzled him. But he would figure it out later, another time, another day. Eventually he would make sense of it.
Right now however, he was making use of his returned concentration and catch up on some much needed grading. Charlie was only about a third of the way through the huge stake when the front door opened. He raised his gaze to see Don enter the house. "Hey," he greeted him, a little surprise, "I thought you would be working late."
"Eh," Don gave him a curt reply. He motioned to the stack, "What are you doing?" he asked.
"Grading," Charlie told him. "I guess it started piling up since I got…" He paused for the longest time, searching for the right thing to say. Finally he decided on, "sidetracked."
Don came over and sat down, glimpsing his brother's expression. He looked at the stack of papers again and said slowly, "Well, it's good that you're not… sidetracked… anymore."
The odd tingling feeling of knowing this conversation meant something entirely different trickled up Charlie's spine. "Yeah. It is good," he agreed.
There was silence in the room for a couple of minutes. After a little while Don took a breath as if he was going to say something but then thought against it. Charlie looked up, "What?" he prompted.
Don hesitated. It seemed like he had something important to tell him, perhaps about the case, perhaps not. Whatever it was, Don shook his head and said, "It can wait till another time."
Charlie gave him a funny look for a moment before nodding. The familiarity of the statement struck him. It seemed that a lot of things could just wait.
A day later, Grandview
"Oh, it is so good to be home!"
Melinda stepped into the house and promptly set her bags down. She took one deep breath and let it out slowly and noisily. Home never seemed as wonderful as it did that minute.
Jim stepped in behind her with the rest of the luggage. "Tell me about it," he sighted, setting everything by the stairs. "I think I need a vacation from that vacation."
Melinda gave him a small smile but didn't say anything. She still couldn't believe all that happened in California, it still didn't seem real even a whole day later. She had wondered all through the plane ride when it would hit her and how it would feel when it finally did. Maybe it would come when she told Delia. All she knew is that she just wanted to put it all behind her.
They had left on the first flight of the morning. Neither of them had felt much like staying on the other side of the country for the rest of the week, so going home early seemed like the natural thing to do. And now that they were finally home, Melinda felt like it was the best decision of her life.
Jim collapsed on the couch, yawned, and rubbed his eyes. "I don't think I can remember a worse week that this one," he said.
"It wasn't all bad," Melinda countered, sitting next to him. She thought about the sights, the weather, and Stacy. Not to mention the family of the professor that Eli had helped. If there was one thing Melinda knew, it was that nothing was all bad.
Jim didn't say anything at that. Of course it wasn't as easy for him to compensate for what happened.
For a few moments they just sat there, enjoying the familiar coziness of the house and each other's company. After a while, Melinda broke the silence by mumbling drowsily, "I think I could sleep for a month."
There wasn't any answer to that either. Melinda narrowed her eyes and looked at her husband. Apparently he was getting a head start on that month.
Sighing, Melinda got up, careful not to wake Jim, and made her way to the kitchen. She took a glass out of a cabinet and a bottle of juice form the refrigerator. Before she shut the door all the way though, Melinda thought she caught a flash in the reflective surface of the fridge. She stopped what she was doing and searched the door to catch another glimpse, suddenly very alert.
"Hello?" she called, her voice uncertain in the quiet room. It was a few moments later when she saw it again, this time flashing across the appliances and on the light. There it paused long enough for Melinda to make out the general shape of a person before it was gone.
Melinda suddenly remembered the plate at the shop before she had left for California. As it turned out, she had left a ghost behind. And she would have to deal with it now.
A yawn escaped her. Well, it could wait until tomorrow.
Pouring herself a glass of OJ, Melinda went back into the living room and curled up next to the sleeping Jim. A warm sort of feeling grew inside her and, for the first time since she was in Parker Rolands house, she felt like the world was safe again.