Disclaimer: 'Judging Amy' and its characters are the property of Barbara Hall/Joseph Stern Productions, in association with CBS Worldwide Inc. & Twentieth Century Fox Television. I'm writing this story for entertainment purpose only. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's note: In The Netherlands we've only seen a few episodes of the beginning of the first season. If I've got something wrong, please remember that!
English is not my native/first language. If you find an annoying writing error in this story, please email me (instead of mentioning it in a review) and I will correct it immediately. Thank you!
"I grant full custody to the the mother. I..."
"You will pay for this!"
The gun appeared out of nowhere, pointing straight at her. Bang. An excruciating pain filled her body as the bullet penetrated her shoulder. She cried out in pain, then fell backwards on the ground.
"Oh God, no!"
A man knelt beside her. Strong arms were wrapped around her, so as to let her head rest against his chest. She could hear his heartbeat. It was comforting and steady, lulling her to sleep.
"No, stay with me!"
Totally confused she blinked her eyes, struggling to stay focused. Though her vision was getting hazy, she detected people standing around her, all talking at the same time. Someone was crying loudly, almost hysterically.
'What's going on?'
She wanted to sit up – to see what the fuss was about – but a blinding pain in her shoulder made her gasp for breath. The pain sharpened her though. It made her aware of what had happened.
'I am shot'
The horrible truth sank in. She tried to look at the wound, but the amount of blood turned her stomach. Her whole robe was soaked in blood.
She gulped. Her mouth was as dry as dust, her throat burned. A groaning sound escaped her lips as the person holding her pressed something against the wound. She tried to move away from him, but he held her tightly.
"Don't move. You have to lie still or the wound will become worse."
She looked up to him. His dark eyes filled with concern and fear ran over her face.
She raised her hand and grabbed his sweater. Her grip was so firm that her knuckles became white.
"I'm here."Bruce caught her bloody hand in his.
"How… how bad is it?"
"Pretty bad," Bruce answered in all honesty. "But you will be all right. The doctors are going to fix you up in no time."
Amy conjured up a trembling smile. "Even monks lie better than you do." The fear in his eyes had given him away; she already knew it was bad.
After a few minutes of silence, she asked in a husky voice: "Is this the end, Bruce? Please be honest. Am I going to die?"
When he didn't answer – caught off guard by her question and unable to come up with a reassuring answer - tears welled up in her eyes. 'God, I don't want to die.'
She took in shuddering gulps of breath, but no matter how hard she tried, she could not stop the tears from running down her cheeks. Her shoulders heaved as the sobs wracked her body.
Without saying a word Bruce tightened his arms around her and rocked her gently back and forth, as if she was a little child. As if she was…
"Ssh, you will see your daughter soon."
She shook her head despairingly. "Bruce, will you tell them? Don't let some officer go to my house. They know you."
Bruce turned his head away. "No one will tell them anything. You will not die."
"Please, Bruce. Promise me."
"I will," he gave in, "but only if you promise me to hold on. The ambulance will be here any minute now."
She nodded. 'That's okay,' she wanted to say, but a bad fit of coughing kept her from saying anything.
"Don't try to speak. You should save your strength." His heart missed a beat as Bruce noticed the red substance in the corner of her mouth. She was coughing up blood. Trying not to show his concern, he gently brushed the back of his hand along the side of her face. "It's going to be all right. Everything will be all right. You are…"
Bruce swallowed the last words as Amy's body suddenly started to convulse. Her face had become deadly pale; her lips were blue and she was gasping for air. It was an awful sight.
"Judge... Amy? Hold on! God, where is that ambulance?!"
The convulsion stopped as suddenly as it had begun and Amy relaxed in his arms. Her eyes were closed, her head to the side.
"Amy? Answer me!" She did not respond. A feeling of utter despair came over him as he felt her pulse. It was getting weaker, she was slipping away from him.
"Amy no! Fight! You hear me? Fight! You will not die! I won't let you die!"
Bruce desperately tried to bring her round, but it was in vain. She was too weak. Too tired. She could not fight any longer. Giving in on her exhaustion, she welcomed the comforting darkness that was beckoning her. Within seconds all her senses went black.
"God, no!" Bruce cried out in terror. A tide of panic surged through him. "Amy, don't leave me." With one hand he cradled her closer, while the other fondled her face, her hair, as if he was hoping that somehow his touch would make her open her eyes again. "I need you. I...love you."
Those words were the last she heard.
"Is mommy going to die?"
"No, Lauren. Your mom is going to be just fine."
"Then why isn't she awake?"
"She's very tired. She needs her rest."
"Lauren, stop asking me these questions."
'What a hell of a way to wake up.' She moaned as a sharp pain made its way through her entire body.
Amy opened her eyes slowly so she could get used to the light that was pouring through the window. Her gaze wandered about the white room and then with a sigh of relief locked onto the familiar faces standing around her bed.
"Where am I?" she murmured.
"You're in the hospital, dear. Don't you remember?" Maxine Gray gently took hold of her daughter's hand and gave it a squeeze. "You were shot in court and…"
"You almost died," Vincent finished. "According to the doctor you will be fine. They did say that if the offender had been a better shooter he would have hit your heart."
"Lucky me." She coughed. Her throat was sore and her left shoulder, professionally taped up, hurt like hell.
"Mommy, are you not going to die?" Lauren's face took on an anxious look; her bottom lip started to quiver. "I don't want you to die."
"Oh no, honey." Amy pulled her daughter closer and tenderly caressed her long brown hair. "Mommy is going to stay with you for a very, very long time."
"Is that a promise?"
Maxine gave her a warning look, but – like usually – Amy ignored it. "Yes, darling. Cross my heart."
Before Maxine could open her mouth and make a remark about that promise, Amy quickly skipped over the subject. She already knew what her mother wanted to say: 'It's wrong to raise false hopes. Everyone is going to die eventually, some sooner than others. It's best to prepare children.'
Amy knew and didn't care. She only did what was in the best interest of her daughter and she sure as hell was not going to frighten her child.
"I hope I didn't scare you, Lauren."
Lauren's face had lit up by her mother's promise. "No, not really. I was just scared of all that blood."
Amy frowned. "What do you mean, darling? Did you see me?"
"No, Bruce had blood on his clothes," Lauren explained, pulling up her small shoulders. "It looked just like ketchup."
That certainly caught Amy's attention. "Is Bruce here?"
Maxine and Vincent exchanged looks. Before any of them could speak, Lauren answered: "He's been here all night, holding your hand!" She giggled.
Amy could not help but blush. "Oh, did he?"
"He's waiting outside." Vincent pensively stared at Amy's rosy cheeks. It did not take a genius to figure out what was going on inside his sister's head. Without a moment's thought he took Lauren by her hand. "Why don't we get him, Lauren? I think he would like to see your mother."
Without a murmur Lauren followed her uncle. "Can I have a ice lolly, uncle Vincent? There's a shop downstairs. Please?"
"You know what? Why don't we all get some ice cream? We certainly deserve a treat. Mom, are you coming?"
Maxine had other intentions. "Amy, about Bruce. I…"
"Mom!" Vincent spoke severely. "We are waiting for you."
He grabbed his mother's hand and pulled her out of the room.
"But Vincent, I just wanted…"
The sound of her mother's voice faded away and Amy heaved a sigh of relief. No matter how much she loved her mother, there were times she…
A knock on the door startled her out of her thoughts. Bruce appeared in the doorstep. If she wasn't so weak, his presence would have made her burst into laughter. He looked as if he came right from the set of a horror film. His bedraggled clothes were covered in blood, her blood.
"My God, you look like hell," she remarked, while a smile curled upon her lips.
"So do you."
"At least I have the right to look like hell. I was shot, remember?"
His face clouded over. "How could I forget?"
They both fell silent, thinking back at the incident of the other day. Right now, it all seemed so long ago.
However, the pain in her shoulder, caused by her efforts to sit up, proved her otherwise.
"Should I get you a doctor?"
"No, I'm fine." She leaned back in the pillows. A sigh escaped her lips as the pain slowly decreased.
"Are you sure?"
Amy nodded. She looked up to him. The concerned expression on his face filled her with happiness. It felt good to have someone, next to her family, worrying about her.
"Please, sit down," she said in a warm voice.
Bruce took the seat next to her bed. Again a silence fell. They both did not know what to say or do. Just when the silence became really awkward, Bruce tried to break it by asking the obvious: "How are you feeling?"
"Like I've been shot," Amy answered soberly. She tried to hide a grin, because she knew it was meant well. This whole situation was difficult for him too. "What happened?"
"Obviously the man was carrying a gun. I have no idea how he smuggled it into court. There will be a thorough investigation."
"And the man?"
"He's in jail now. His lawsuit will be soon."
"Let's hope I won't be the judge," she joked.
Bruce smiled, but the smile did not reach his eyes. Something was obviously on his mind.
Amy shot him a piercing glance. "Okay Bruce, what's going on?"
Instead of insulting her by pretending nothing was wrong, Bruce immediately popped the question that had haunted him the moment Amy'd been taken away for surgery.
"Did you hear what I told you just before you went into cardiac arrest?"
Amy nodded a bit shyly. "Yes, I did. But I understand that it meant nothing."
"Do you want it to mean nothing?"
Bruce kept on staring at her, which made her feel pretty uncomfortable. Nervously she fixed her gaze on her very interesting blanket. Her face was a flattering shade of bright pink. "You thought I was going to die. In the heat of the moment people often say things they regret and I will certainly understand if you…"
The last words died on Amy's lips as Bruce slipped his hand around her neck and pulled her into a kiss. It took her off guard, but she didn't pull away. She wanted this just as much as he did.
As they parted, Bruce placed his hands around her face. "I don't regret anything I said. I love you, Amy Gray."
A wide smile came to her lips. "I love you too, Bruce."
They kissed again, only this time with a passion that surprised them both. They had no idea what tomorrow would bring, no idea what was lying ahead of them. Difficulties – people's reaction to a biracial relationship and to the fact that he was working for her – or joys. It didn't matter. Yesterday all hope on a future together had been lost, now they could hardly wait for tomorrow and all the other days they would spend together. They had a future; they had today.
I hope you enjoyed my story. Let me know what you think of it. Just remember that this is my first fanfic, so please be kind. I can take criticism, as long as it's serious and well founded. Thanks! - Karin -