Title: Epilogue – Drifting Away

Author: Lisa

Email: lisacheerio_85@yahoo.com

Note: I am not a doctor and have no specific knowledge to the injuries that would be sustained if this occurred in real life...so just use your imaginations.

Thanks: To everyone who kept telling me to write this. Sorry if them dying shocked you...hope this makes up for it. he he he

Previously: The team are investigating a serial killer who follows prostitutes and nails them to the floor in crucifix formation. Mac goes undercover. Meanwhile, she and Pete got back together. The killer surprises the two of them in a hotel and both are nailed to the floor.

To give you some background, I've started on the last page of the previous fic.



HOTEL

Mac could feel herself drifting. The pain wasn't as bad anymore, she was getting used to it. Not a good sign, she realised. She started shaking beyond control as Pete shifted his gaze. He's weak as well, she thought.

This can't be happening. No, not now. No! Mac started crying, trying beyond everything to get closer to Pete. He reached as far as he could go, holding a hand to her cheek. Mac gripped his arm, crying into his hand.

She couldn't hold on any longer. She needed to close her eyes. "I'm so scared," she whispered to Pete, not letting him go. He nodded. "Me too, but everything is going to be alright, okay?" Mac tried to smile, but couldn't; she didn't have the energy.

"Look into my eyes, Ellen," Pete said, struggling. Mac shifted her gaze back to him at the sound of her first name, almost never spoken by Pete before. "We're together, that's what matters." She nodded, her heart aching.

"I love you Mac," Pete whispered.

"I love you too," she choked back as she started sobbing quietly. She felt herself becoming weaker. Still, she didn't shift her gaze from Peter.

They held each other. Pete's hand cradling Mac's face, which was turned to his, and Mac's hand holding onto Pete's arm. "I don't want to die, I'm so scared," she mumbled to Pete over and over amongst tears as Pete soothed her, trying his best to sound brave. "It's okay, Mac, just look at me. Don't think about it. It'll be all right. I love you Mac. I love you and I always will..."

Neither of them heard the car speed up to the hotel and break to a halt. Pete and Mac took one final look into each other's eyes, before closing them one last time, and drifting away, together.

Angie, Danni and Oscar ran to the hotel room with the door open. The three of them stopped, standing at the sight before them. Their two best friends, naked and nailed to the floor. Angie broke free, running to Mac and checking her pulse. Tears ran down her cheeks as she turned back to them, now checking Pete's.

"They're alive. Get an ambulance." Her voice had lost all tone, feeling. She started crying as Danni went to her. They hugged, stunned, and went to sit by Mac and Pete. Oscar took out his phone hurriedly and dialled emergency.

MANY, MANY, MANY HOURS LATER – THE HOSPITAL

Pain throbbed through her entire body. I'm alive, she said to herself.

Mac couldn't move her feet or left hand. Her right was free, but strong waves of heat rushed through it.

She started to panic, her eyes closed. Where am I? She thought, unable to produce the sound.

Angie opened her eyes as Danni hit her on the shoulder. Oscar had left to get a drink. They watched as Mac started writhing in pain in the bed.

"Shit," Danni whispered. "I'll get a doctor." She ran out of the room, as Angie looked on, helpless to do anything.

In moments, a doctor and two nurses ran in. Danni followed. The doctor started talking to Mac calmly as he checked her stats.

"Ellen...You're in the hospital...Everything's okay..." He looked back, motioning for Angie and Danni to move forward.

Angie sat beside Mac, taking her hand.

"Talk to her. Keep her calm," the doctor whispered to them as he left.

In the bed, Mac had settled to some extent. She still couldn't open her eyes; the pain behind them was too great.

Ang and Danni watched, worried, as Mac's face creased in frustration. "Mac, just relax," Danni said soothingly. "Angie and I are here. You'll be fine." Angie turned to Danni at the sound of her shaky voice. Tears ran down Danni's cheeks as she stood and quickly made her way outside, passing Oscar as he returned.

Oscar looked over at Mac. She was wearing a hospital gown and the sheet was pulled up to her shoulders, so the heavy bandages around her feet were not visible. But he could see her left hand.

The paramedics had not removed the nails from Mac and Pete's hands or feet when they had arrived, simply prying them from the floor. On arrival at the hospital, both had been rushed into emergency surgery to remove the nails before blood poisoning festered. Both of them had been given heavy injections to prevent any form of poisoning, and Oscar hoped against hope that they worked.

Mac's injuries hadn't been as bad as Pete's. Church had been shot in the leg, and the bullet had grazed an artery. The nail in his right hand had been driven through the centre of his index finger's bone, ripping apart muscle and tissue.

Davis had gotten soft, though. He had only driven the nails in Pete's feet through a point close to his little toe; the thinner part of the foot where less damage was incurred.

Pete was still in surgery, the doctor deciding to reconstruct as much as possible now, instead of waiting. Mac had been out of surgery for perhaps half an hour.

Davis had been even softer on her. Maybe, Oscar thought, it was because he realised he wasn't killing a prostitute, but two people who truly cared about each other. He smiled sadly to himself, hoping that nothing would go wrong, that Pete and Mac would get another chance.

Mac would almost certainly regain all use of her hand and most in her feet. Davis had driven the nails in her feet through the webs between her third and fourth toes, only fracturing those two bones and little muscle. However, the bullet wound had required a lot of repair. Reconstructive surgery to restore tissue and muscle to Mac's hand had been successful. Oscar guessed that Davis hadn't taken the time he usually would to nail them down. The nail through Mac's hand had missed every bone, entering the large web between her thumb and index finger.

Angie felt Oscar's hand on the centre of her back, and she leant back into it. "She's waking up," Ang whispered as Stone took a seat next to her. He nodded as Mac turned her head slightly towards them.

Danni re-entered the room quietly, a tissue in her hand. She leant down next to Angie's ear. "The doctor said Pete's out of surgery and is okay for now." Angie nodded as Danni brought another chair around next to the bed.

Mac shifted again, calmly this time though. But as soon as she did, she felt a hand take hers. A friend, she realised in the warm, secure grasp. Who? The same one as before, Mac answered her own question. Angie, it had to be. She held onto the hand as she struggled to open her eyes. The pain was subsiding. They've given me something, Mac said to herself. She was feeling weak, drowsy.

"An...gie..." Mac managed to gasp as she squinted to catch as glimpse of her friend.

Angie sat forward in her chair, putting a hand to Mac's face. She smiled, holding in tears as she replied.

"Yes, it's me, Mac. Danni and Oscar are here as well." Mac opened her eyes, tiny slits revealing two scared, blue eyes. Contrast to that, Mac smiled back, glad to see her three best friends beside her. But the one person she wanted to see the most wasn't there.

"Pete?" Mac asked, choking on tears as she remembered his last words to her, before they had both closed their eyes, losing consciousness. Angie tried to maintain steady eye contact with Mac, but tears began to run as she spoke.

"He just got out of surgery. He's all right as far as we know. We can't see him yet...oh Mac!" She started crying as Oscar put an arm around her. Mac tried to reach out to them, but couldn't.

She was starting to tingle all over. Sleep, she thought. I have to sleep.

Danni noticed Mac had closed her eyes and ushered everyone out. Before she left as well, Danni whispered to Mac. "Glad you're okay, Mac. We'll let you sleep now." Mac nodded drearily, smiling as Danni left her alone in the large, empty hospital room.

Pete's doctor approached the three friends. Two women, one man. They had been sitting with the other police officer that had been injured with his patient, obviously very close friends of both of them. The man stood upon recognising her.

"I'm Doctor Helen Browning," she shook the man's hand as he introduced himself as Oscar Stone.

"How is he?" he asked. Helen smiled professionally.

"Mr Church is in a stable, but critical condition. His ability to walk won't be impaired, but it will take a bit of time, and a lot of support. His hand will take longer. The preliminary reconstructive surgery was completed, although more will be needed in a week or so. At the moment, I'm most concerned with the bullet wound. We told you that it had only grazed the artery, where in fact, when we operated, we discovered that it had grazed one artery, but lodged itself in another, preventing blood flow."

"Oh my God," the taller woman mumbled. "Is he going to recover though?" she asked.

Helen nodded, feeling so sorry for these officers, obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now three of them were left to wonder whether the other two would ever lead normal lives again.

"Mr Church should recover completely. I'm warning you, it will take time. Both he and Miss Mackenzie, I'm told, will almost certainly have recurring problems with these injuries. Pain mostly. Just every now and then. Now, I'm not up to date on Miss Mackenzie's condition, but from what I've seen of Mr Church's, depending on his recovery, returning to the police force would mean low risk duties only, I'm afraid." The three friends nodded as Helen went off to find Jimmy, who had operated on the female officer, Ellen Mackenzie.

THE NEXT DAY

Mac was sitting in her bed, eyes watering constantly. Doctor Herschwin, who had conducted her surgery, hadn't told her much about Pete's situation at all. Mac was so worried. Her feet ached dully, and her hand was painful to move, but Mac's heart ached most of all. And no amount of drugs would stop it. They had said they loved each other, and they had meant it. Mac wanted to see his smile, feel his touch. I want to be near him, she thought as she fought back tears.

She sat up straighter as Danni walked into the room with flowers. They smiled at each other.

"How are you feeling?" she asked. Mac nodded.

"So-so. Are the others with Peter?" This time it was Danni's turn to nod. She took a seat on Mac's bed. Tears came to Mac's eyes as she continued.

"I want to see him, Danni. Can I do that?" Danni looked around the room, unsure.

"I...don't know...do you want me to check?" Mac smiled.

"Please?" she whispered. Danni rose, looking for a doctor.

TWENTY MINUTES LATER

Angie and Oscar turned as Danni pushed Mac in a wheelchair, into Pete's room.

"Look who?" Oscar said, grinning as he stood to make way for Mac. Mac let out a small laugh as she saw Pete. He was awake, propped up in the bed with maybe five pillows.

Tears came to both their eyes once again as they saw each other, alive, for the first time in what seemed like a lifetime. Danni pushed Mac right up beside the bed, as close as she could go.

"Pete," Mac said quietly.

"Mac. How are you?" Mac smiled.

"Getting there. You?" She looked up at Pete's silence.

"They're saying I'll live. But...I'm going to have to leave undercover and...learn to write with my left hand. The right one's stuffed. It'll look like a six year olds." Danni spoke up.

"And that's different, how?" The five of them laughed. Pete looked back down at Mac. Thankfully, his left hand was closest to her, and he reached out, taking her hand in his. Tears streamed down her face as she started to cry into his hand once again. Pete held in his own tears, trying to be strong. "I'm sorry," Mac whispered to them all, apologising for her breaking down.

They didn't respond, watching as resolution came over Mac's face. She used her good hand to try to push herself up, but failed, slipping back down into her chair.

Oscar rushed over. "You want to get onto the bed?" he asked quietly as she nodded. Pete watched, smiling as Oscar helped Mac to sit on the bed, facing Peter. She used her good hand to steady herself, and smiled as she looked into Pete's eyes.

He leaned forward as best he could as they hugged tightly. Pete let the tears finally escape from his eyes. He felt Mac relax as she started to sob into his shoulder. Pete held her to him with his left hand, stroking her hair. He started laughing as he looked over at Angie, Oscar and Danni. Mac pulled back, wiping her eyes. "What's so funny?" she asked.

"Two things," Pete said. "One, I just realised how these guys found us." He started laughing again, the pain in his leg seeming less and less. "Umm...you three want an explanation?" he asked as Mac realised where he was going. She blushed, deeply embarrassed. Angie, Danni and Oscar laughed.

"No explanation needed," Oscar said jokingly. "We know what the two of you were doing."

"Yeah," Angie said. "It's okay with us."

"Are you...uh, going to continue doing what you were...doing? I mean do you love each other?" Danni asked, grinning. The three of them looked at Pete and Mac expectantly.

Mac turned back to Pete.

"What was the second thing?" she asked. "That you were laughing about?" Pete thought back.

"Oh, I wasn't laughing about that. I was...just glad that I finally got the chance to see you, hear your voice, that's all." Mac nodded. "Oh," she answered. They looked into each other's eyes. Mac steadied herself on her good arm as she moved closer.

"You need help?" Oscar asked. Mac turned to him, blushing.

"No thanks, I think I can manage this myself." She turned back around as Pete leant forward, his hand moving underneath her hair to the back of her neck. Mac took a deep breath, feeling herself melting into his touch already. She tilted her head as her lips met his. Her good hand went to the back of Pete's shoulders as she held onto him to keep her balance. Their kiss was strong, fervent. As they pulled away, their eyes met. Full of emotions, pain, fear, compassion, love, Pete and Mac smiled gently at each other. They looked back at Angie, Danni and Oscar simultaneously.

"Well that certainly answers my question," Danni exclaimed. She turned to the door, grabbing Angie and Oscar to follow. "You two just continue that. We'll be outside if you need us..." Mac nodded, holding in her smile as they left.

She turned back to Pete as she moved closer still. His hand settled on her back. No words were exchanged between them. Both held in tears as Pete pulled Mac into him, kissing her deeply, never wanting the embrace to end. Mac felt a million emotions rush through her as her lips caressed Pete's strongly, her hand gripping the side of his face.

They pulled away, Mac leaning into Pete's chest. He held her to him, a hand gently stroking her hair as Mac cried into his shoulder.

"Do you think we should go back in?" Angie asked, unsure. She, Danni and Oscar had been outside Pete's room for nearly half an hour. They exchanged glances.

"Yeah," Oscar said. "But only for a second if they want more time. Being in that position together, they'd have a lot to talk about." Danni nodded as they stood and opened the door to the room.

They looked in at Pete and Mac. Both of them had fallen asleep, holding each other. Mac was lying across Pete's chest, her face buried into his neck. Pete's good hand was across her back and shoulders, holding Mac close to him, his face turned towards hers. Mac and Pete slept peacefully, content that they were together again, both having the rest of their lives to spend by the other's side, as one.

Angie, Oscar and Danni stood for some moments, observing their two best friends. None could wipe the smiles off their faces. For now they knew just how much Mac and Pete cared for each other, and there was no way any of them were going to inhibit that.

"Perfect," Danni whispered as they quietly left Pete's room, staying outside until they had woken from their peaceful slumber.

The End