Title: A Maybe Fairytale

Also known as: You Betcha!

Author: Lisa

Email: lisacheerio_85@yahoo.com

Note: This is a version of how Mac and Pete got together. I really hope that one day on the show they show us. Maybe Mac can remember and then she'll realise that Pete...uh, yeah, okay. I was in a freaky mood, so ignore the brackets if you want to, but I think it's mighty funny! Also, sorry if I offend anyone with my...uh, additions to the story, and I tried to keep them out of the semi-intense or soppy/angsty bits. It's meant to be more funny than serious, I think. Oh, I don't know, work it out for yourself!

Disclaimer: I am writing this for my own, and for reader's pleasure, not monetary profit etc. I also have nothing to do with the television production of Stingers (although a visit to the set would be nice – bummer, hey?) he he he. People tell me I have a weird sense of humour, so I take no responsibility for that or any mental disturbances caused as a result thereof.

Thanks: Courtney, for the ideas. All my friends for the insults on how crap Stingers is – I don't give a s***!! Stingers Rocks!!

Another Note: Picture Dr Walters as a mixture of Brian from armed robbery and that guy who went to the academy with Pete. The one involved in the case where the judge did it.

ONCE UPON A TIME...

Once upon a time, there was an undercover unit in Melbourne. It consisted of some very talented police officers (actors) who spent maybe just a little too much *time* together. But I didn't hear anyone complaining! (No, I definitely didn't hear that!)

And so this wonderful maybe fairytale begins. Let's hope it has a good ending.

SAFEHOUSE

"Mac, you want the bed or the couch?" Mac looked up at Peter. "What if he comes at night, Pete?" He shrugged.

"Okay, then, I'll take the bedroom floor. Mac sighed as her mobile phone rang. She checked the number.

"Mackenzie. Hi Bernie...Okay, I'll be right there." She hung up, looking at Pete. "That was Rocca. There's been another." Pete plonked himself down on the couch, throwing Mac her jacket as she left abruptly.

"Have a nice day, darling!" He called out as she left, playfully giving him the finger before she closed the door.

POLICE STATION

Hollister handed Mac a cup of coffee. Bernie was already in the interview room. "You ready?" he asked. She nodded as Hollister looked at her finger, clad in a small diamond ring and wedding band. She followed his eyes, shocked that she had left them on. She put her cup on a nearby table and struggled to get them off, before putting them in her jacket pocket.

"Work," she explained to Hollister, not giving him any more details. He nodded. "They suit you. Did you pick them out?" he asked, making conversation as they walked to the interview room. (You see, he already had his eyes on her, except for a short break to fall in love with a hooker. Yep, he fell for Pretty Woman hook, line and sinker!) "No, I was in a meeting. My...uh, husband, did." Hollister smiled. "Who's that?" he asked mischievously. Mac smiled. "Peter Church." Hollister nodded. (Damn, he thought, he's going to be a problem!)

"Oh."

"Yeah, yeah. Okay, let's get to this interview."

INTERVIEW ROOM 2

Mac sat opposite a young woman, in her twenties. Hollister paced in the background. Bernie had moved to the observation room.

"So," Mac began. "Can you tell us what happened, Fiona?"

Fiona looked at her hands, nodding.

"Rick and I go to marriage counselling. The counsellor, Mitchell Walters, does lots of different things. Joint counselling, house visits, individual counselling. Just, different things. It was going really well. And then..." she paused. Mac didn't push her; she knew that you just had to give them some time.

"...I was at an individual session. Things had been really bad that morning between Rick and I...I told him that. He said he did some hypnotherapy. Said that I was guarding my feelings and I agreed that maybe me being hypnotised was a good idea..."

"...I don't remember much, I guess a hypnotist can program people to remember or not remember certain things...But, well, I don't know for certain but I know something happened while I was asleep. I keep having these dreams, and when I told Rick, he didn't believe me..."

OBSERVATION ROOM 2

Mac stood facing Hollister and Bernie. They had moved to the observation room to talk privately.

"That's the fourth one so far to come forward."

Hollister nodded. "And your unit is in the middle of things?"

"Just starting actually." Hollister held the door open for Mac and Bernie. "Watch yourself, oh, and don't forget to put the rings back on." (Can't wait 'till I put one on your finger, he thought excitedly) Mac smiled. "Sure. See 'ya later."

SAFEHOUSE – THAT NIGHT

Pete and Mac sat on the couch beside each other, chewing on greasy pizza slices. (mmm...yummy!)

"Great cooking Mac," Pete said with his mouth full. Mac looked up at him sarcastically. "Don't give me that, Pete. I've never been good in that area." (I'm good in other areas, though) Pete laughed. "I can imagine." (Uh- huh, you can!) He paused, turning off the television and facing Mac.

"So, what's our plan?" Mac thought a while.

"Well, tomorrow we go for our first session. Be prepared for a few house visits. Possibly surprise ones. And then...he'll suggest hypnotism during one of my individual sessions."

"You sure you're alright with this? I mean some of those women are having strange dreams." Mac smiled to herself.

"I've had worse dreams than that," she mumbled. (Like one day when she accidentally pictured Hollister naked. Argh!!) Pete looked at Mac for a minute or so. She cast her glance toward him every few seconds, uncomfortable with the silence. Embarrassed, Pete thought to himself. (You bet! Wait until you see her in the first episode back next year!) He decided to change the topic.

"What's exactly wrong with our marriage?" he asked her. "I think it's going great so far." Pete grinned as Mac looked up. "Well, I'm neat, you're messy. I'm punctual and you're always late. You put me down all the time, and every time I want to talk about something important you just...I don't know, grunt." She started to laugh. (After picturing Pete in a sty, on all fours, grunting.)

"Grunt? Never!" Mac now started to laugh full on, choking on her food. Pete decided he couldn't just take this.

"And you're perfect, I suppose? You make all the decisions about the house, starting a family-"

"Woah, what family?"

"You know, the one you don't want to have because you're scared of children!" He started to laugh but Mac stopped, only slightly insulted. (She did not find Tommy, Chuckie, Phil and Lil scary. Maybe Angelica, but that's another story.)

"I'm not scared of children!" she yelled, standing. Pete still sat, watching her humorously. (he he he)

"You are too! Remember your neighbour's little girl you had to look after about a month ago when Oscar, Ang and I stopped by for a drink? Come on, Mac, do you even know what a Barbie is?" (Yes, you cook sausages and steak on it.)

Mac looked at Pete defensively. "Of course! She's a little doll with blonde hair and a disproportionably small waist and large brea-...ooh!" Pete laughed. "Calm down, Mac. I didn't mean it like that!" Mac walked up to him as he stood. "Yes, you did, Pete! I'm not scared of children! Say it!" Pete shook his head, trying not to laugh. "Nope, because that would be a lie, and when I was a...child...my mother told me that lie's were bad!" He turned, laughing as Mac moved quickly to be in front of him. She picked up a piece of pizza and held it to his face. "Take it back!" She demanded, laughing, as she moved it closer to his face. Pete shook his head, watching Mac's arm carefully. (Okay, let's be serious now, children, or someone will get hurt.) As she moved to squish it on his face, he grabbed her arm and twisted it around.

Mac pulled off quickly, reeling back and holding her arm. "Jesus Christ!" She exclaimed in pain. Pete ran over to her, taking her gently over to the couch. He took her arm, holding it lightly in his hands.

"Can you move it?" he asked. She bit her bottom lip as she moved her wrist carefully. Mac nodded, but looked up at him, tears in her eyes.

"Hurts though. Jeez Pete, I wasn't going to..." She looked away as Pete locked eyes with her. He put a hand to her face. "I'm so sorry, Mac. I didn't realise I had such a strong hold of you." (Yeah, if only he still did) He ducked his head to meet her eyes, gently rubbing his hand up and down her bruised arm. "You going to be okay?" he asked quietly. Mac nodded as Pete turned his head slightly to move in to kiss her. Mac pulled away quickly after their lips met.

"Pete," she said, standing. "I don't know about this. We're not supposed to...What if Bernie finds-" She stopped as Pete moved to stand opposite her, inches away from contact.

"Here's a thought," he whispered. "No one has to know. We'll act naturally at work. We can even have pretend fights. Bernie will be so busy he won't even realise..." He drifted off, watching Mac as she thought. "You won't, feel guilty about this, will you?" Pete asked. Mac smiled, shaking her head. (Not about Pete, but maybe Bill...)

"No," she whispered as she sat down with Pete on the couch, letting herself fall into him.

THE NEXT DAY

"Okay," Angie said to Mac and Pete as she stood in the lounge room. She handed over a tape recorder for Mac to put in her bag, and wires for them both to wear. "You all organised?" They nodded. Angie looked at both of them. "You two all right? You haven't said four words since I got here." Mac cast a glance at Pete.

"I guess I'm just tired, Angie, and Pete and I are practicing giving each other the silent treatment." Angie laughed and wished them luck before leaving.

Pete turned to Mac and kissed her passionately. Mac giggled. "Pete," she whispered longingly as she leant into his chest, kissing him back strongly.

OFFICE OF DR. MITCHELL WALTERS

Mac and Pete sat as far as away from each other as possible. This was going to be tough, Mac thought. She and Pete were far from hating each other at the moment. (Very far) A small smile crept to her lips but she banished it as soon as she realised.

"Now, today is just a get to know me sort of session. I'll be doing some house visits. You're living in the same house at the moment?" Pete nodded. "Good. That's a start. We'll have another joint session before I will see each of you individually. How does that sound?" Pete nodded.

"How long will all of this take?" Mac asked. The doctor smiled.

"That depends on the two of you. You have to be patient with these sorts of things. That's always a problem I find most common among the couples I see. They're just impatient." (Quack)

"No, no," Pete butted in. "I'm sure it's not the both of them who are impatient!" Mac scowled.

"What, and you're the most patient man in the world, are you? I don't think so!" (Well, that's a lie. You were very patient last night...oh, okay, I'm typing here. Oops)

"Beth, Vincent, calm down. Let's stop this argument here and talk reasonably. That's one of the things you need to perfect. As you feel an argument start, both of you stop, look at each other, and talk things through. Reasonably." (Quack)

"Now, Vincent, I want you to tell myself and Beth the thing that most annoys you about her." Pete thought. He asked himself honestly, realising the answer was nothing. (I know, because you love her, don't you.) He smiled, and then became aware of the faces watching him. He wiped the smile from his face as he thought again.

"Well," he began. "She says that I don't listen to her, but I do. I listen to her even when she's not talking. I love...listening to her, and every time I try to tell her that-"

"Oh, come on Vincent! When I'm trying to talk to you about work or-" Walters silenced Mac before she could go on.

"Now Beth, I think he's telling the truth. Maybe it's you who doesn't listen to him," he suggested. (Quack, quack) Mac scowled, unimpressed that she had to continue arguing about absolutely nothing for the next three quarters of an hour. (And because inside, she knew what Pete was saying about loving to listen to her was true. Last night...oh, there I go again.)

SAFEHOUSE

"He's just so...reasonable," Mac complained to Bernie over the phone. There was a knock at the door and Pete went to answer it. Angie entered, followed by Oscar.

Mac hung up the phone, smiling. (Oh goody, more people, she thought sarcastically)

"Hi guys, what are you doing here?" Angie grinned at Oscar. "We brought you two a wedding present." She handed over a small box. Mac took it mischievously and unwrapped the tissue paper, pulling out a cassette tape.

"What is it?" Pete asked them warily. Angie started laughing as Mac put it into her tape recorder. It was the tape from their wires during the joint session that morning. (Simultaneous thought through Mac and Pete's minds: Doh!)

"So, Beth, are you satisfied by Vincent in the bedroom?"

(Hell, yes!)

Angie burst out laughing and Oscar chuckled as the tape continued.

"Sure. He's great. I...haven't been with many others, so I don't really know. But definitely, yes."

"Vincent, what about you? Are you satisfied?" Mac remembered the grin that had spread across Pete's face.

"You betcha," he had answered. (You really, very betcha!)

"Well," Walters continued. "No problems there, but it's not all about sex-" (Quack...And who says that?)

Mac turned the tape off.

"I'm sure you've already listened to the rest," she replied to Angie and Stone's disappointed looks. She undid her ponytail and let her hair fall over her shoulders.

"Oh, come on Mac, don't be mad. It was funny," Angie started laughing again. (It was true, too)

"Yeah," Oscar added, looking at Pete. "You betcha!" He mocked, bursting into laughter. Pete stood to get himself a beer.

"Well look at her Oscar! Wouldn't you be?" Mac turned, shocked but glad that it had come out sounding like a joke. She punched him in the arm as she passed around glasses. (Meaning of the punch: Thanks for the compliment lover boy! Same to you.)

"So, I can't wait until the individual sessions!" Angie said, rubbing her hands together excitedly. Mac looked at her strangely. "Except yours Mac, of course. I meant Pete's..." (Cover story, cover story) She drifted off as Mac smiled, forgetting she had said anything. Oscar took a gulp of beer.

"Do you guys just make up all of these problems or what?" Pete shrugged, looking at Mac.

"Bernie gave us a list," she said. "I guess he talked to a psychologist because we have pretty much every problem under the sun with our marriage!" She laughed. (Or they were problems from his marriage, but that's a little while in the future at this time)

"Yeah, all problems except for the sex part," Angie murmured, breaking into a smile as Mac started laughing again. Pete just looked at them.

"Women!" He and Oscar said, clinking glasses.

(But inside, he secretly said, You betcha!)

THAT NIGHT

Mac was curled up against Pete under the sheets. Pete gently stroked her long, brown hair. She looked up at him. "Does the, you betcha, really apply?" she asked. Pete smiled, looking down at Mac's arm, which lay lightly across his chest. It was bruised, and Mac tried not to move it too often, but it was healing. He took her hand in his, looking into her eyes.

"You betcha," he whispered as they disappeared under the covers together for the rest of the night.

THE NEXT MORNING

"Knock! Knock!" (We heard you the first time, moron) Pete went to answer Dr Walters, who was standing on the doorstep. He let him in quickly. (So as not to alarm the neighbours' dogs)

"So, where's Beth at the moment?" Walters asked. Pete smiled.

"She's actually got a bit of a headache this morning. I think she's gone back to sleep." It was true. Mac had woken up with a splitting headache that morning, for apparently no reason. She had assured him that everything was all right, that she was hardly ever sick but occasionally got a bad headache, and that it went away within the day. Pete was glad. (Not only that it went away, but that she didn't have one last night.) For a moment there he had become worried.

"Oh, that's no good. Maybe I should come back later?" Walters watched Pete as he thought, but his thoughts were interrupted.

"No, it's fine. I'm up." Mac stood in the doorway, in her boxers and an extra large t-shirt. Pete walked over to her.

"You sure you're okay?" he asked her quietly. She nodded, smiling. "Yeah, it's clearing up. I'll be fine." She moved her head to look at the doctor. "I'll just go and get changed." Walters smiled. "No hurry. I'm just here to observe. Just act naturally." (As if anyone could act naturally with him in the room) Mac smiled slightly as she disappeared back into her room.

"Things seem okay at the moment between the two of you," the doctor commented. Pete nodded.

"Yeah, we've been using that stop and talk reasonably thing. It's working." Walters smiled.

Mac sat down on the bed. There was still a dull ache, but it had definitely cleared up. She laughed as she thought of Pete's reaction when she had woken up. Mac knew Pete had thought that he had done something to induce the headache, and she had tried to convince him otherwise. (Lie, in other words. No, not really...As if Pete would ever...) Mac had been having occasional headaches since she was a girl - nothing to worry about. Pete was so protective of her, she thought, smiling. Mac liked that idea. She hugged herself as she got up and changed out of her pyjamas.

Doctor Walters smiled as Beth emerged from the bedroom in jeans and a shirt. "Are you sure you want me to stay?" he asked. Mac smiled. "Of course. So...what exactly do you do on these house visits?" (Whatever you want, baby) She took a seat as Pete put a plate of toast in front of her, with small restaurant packets of Vegemite, Jam and Peanut Paste. "Thanks," she mumbled, as she started to eat.

"You don't mind if I eat?" she asked, with her mouth full. The doctor laughed. "No, go ahead." He took a seat beside Pete and Mac.

"Well, I'm just going to ask you some more questions, mostly about your lifestyle. The way you live. I want you to be as relaxed as possible, just like you'd be if I weren't here." Mac nodded as Pete chimed in.

"So how often will these visits be?" (Yeah, you're starting to annoy me too)

"Not too often. I like to surprise my clients, though, to see how they really live." (Quack) Pete pretended to listen as he looked over at Mac. She really did look sexy in that loose cotton shirt and jeans, munching away on her breakfast. He smiled to himself as he turned back to the doctor, who was in the middle of a question.

"-meet?" (Did you say steak?)

"Sorry, could you repeat that? I just drifted off for a second." Mac looked up at Pete. Now that was unusual, she thought, I wonder what could have distracted him that much? (Only you, my darling.)

"How did you and Beth meet?" Pete skimmed through his memory to find the details that had been drilled in earlier, but Mac cut him off.

"We met at the beach one day," she said. "I dropped my sunglasses and he returned them to me." The doctor smiled, hiding his thoughts that this couple really didn't seem that uncomfortable around each other at the moment.

Mitchell Walters sat in his office that afternoon. He ran through everything he remembered Beth and Vincent Marsden saying to him. They had this peaceful sort of anger, which only came out at certain times. (Quack) They must have terrible fights, he realised, which would definitely work in his favour. And at the rate they were going, being so serene around each other, a fight would be expected to occur any moment. (Quack, quack) He thought of Beth. Beautiful Beth. She was tall, slim, brunette – all of his favourites. (Taken, mate) He smiled to himself, deciding what he was going to do.

"Pete," Mac said, moving to sit beside him on the couch after hanging up the phone. "That was Walters. He's changed our individual sessions. Yours is in an hour's time, and mine's tomorrow morning."

"He's separated them so that we don't go together." Mac nodded, leaning her head onto his chest.

"But you will be there, right?" Pete looked down at her. They locked eyes and Pete realised just how nervous Mac really was. She had never done anything like this before, only joining the unit six months ago. Pete, Angie and Oscar had all been there for around a year. Mac herself hadn't done that much undercover work, especially not on these kinds of assignments. She had joined mainly to help with organization, and to do small undercover stunts. Pete smiled, pulling her up to him and kissing her forehead.

"I will definitely be there. You nervous?" he asked, curious if she would admit it to him. Mac brushed her hair behind her ears, a (nervous) trait Pete had picked up on about a month ago. She looked up at him, slightly smiling. Mac nodded, mouthing, yeah. She put her head back onto Pete's chest as he held her close.

PETE'S INDIVIDUAL SESSION

Mitchell Walters sat opposite Pete in a small, uncomfortable chair. "So Vincent, what first appealed to you about Beth?" Pete thought, not answering.

"Was it her physical appearance? Considering you met her on a beach, I would think that..." Pete nodded.

"I guess so." His answer was cold and callous as Pete was pretending he and Mac had had a small argument. Walters nodded, making notes in a file.

"And what was this argument about this afternoon?" he asked.

"Her hair," he replied dismally. In actual fact, they had had a bit of an argument, although Pete was pretending that it was much worse than it had been. Mac hadn't been too happy when he left though, he thought to himself. However, their argument had had nothing to do with her hair. (Of course not. It's gorgeous...) It had been about what sort of recording device she would wear tomorrow.

"What about her hair?" (Well, it's brown for one, oh...)

"Oh, well, she wants to change it. I don't know, cut it or something."

"And you don't want her to cut it?"

"Yeah, I do. No, wait, I don't know...Beth would look terrific with shorter hair, but I have to admit that I love it long." He thought about what Mac had said to him earlier. She wanted to wear a wire, and not have a tape recorder in her bag. Pete wanted it the other way around. She wanted to wear jeans; he wanted her to wear a dress. When Pete had mentioned that if she didn't wear a dress, Walters wouldn't be able to "cop a feel", Mac had retreated to her bedroom, slamming the door in his face. (Nice move, Pete) She was just a little edgy, he thought, concerned.

Pete turned his attention back to Walters, who was babbling on in shrink talk. (Quack) "...and so I think it should be her decision. Everyone should make their own decisions in order to retain their sense of self..." Pete drifted off. Yeah, he thought, but not in these situations. (Author's thought: and as if a woman would be able to decide...oh wait, I'm a woman. Oops, I always forget that...kidding! lol!)

THAT NIGHT

Pete opened the front door to the safehouse and walked in. Mac was nowhere to be found. He put the bottle of wine on the kitchen bench and went looking, flowers in hand. (Okay, I'll admit it, I'm a hopelessly, romantic, macaholic!)

Mac was lying on her stomach, looking at her open wardrobe. She put her head into her folded arms as Pete slowly opened the door behind her. He smiled to himself, walking over and sitting beside her. Mac rolled over to face him. "Pete," she said softly. "You were right. I have to wear a dress...I...have to..." Pete produced the flowers, handing them to her and planting a kiss on the top of her head. Mac sat up and embraced him tightly.

"I'll be right there, Mac. I'm not going to let anything happen to you." Mac looked up at him, smiling.

"Sometimes you just can't help the stuff that happens, Pete." Pete smiled at her reassuringly.

"Mac, listen to me. We'll be in there. Stoney's installing cameras tonight. As soon as he does something we can charge him with, we'll be there in a minute." Mac nodded, accepting. "Yeah, I know. Thanks anyway, Pete." They looked into each other's eyes, smiling. (You know what happens next...)

THE NEXT MORNING

Angie, Oscar and Bernie were standing with Pete in the safehouse, waiting for Mac to emerge.

"I can't believe you got her to wear a dress!" Oscar said, amazed. Pete smiled apprehensively. While seeing Mac in a dress for the first times (and one of the last) in their lives was exciting, Pete didn't like the idea of why she was in a dress for them.

Mac emerged, wearing a long, blue, button-up dress. Her hair was loose around her shoulders. Pete moved to stand behind Bernie's line of vision, before giving Mac a look that told her, very *nice* indeed. (Translation: Sexy lady, I want you) Mac smiled slightly, going and getting a drink of water.

"Okay," Bernie said. "Peter, you'll be outside with uniforms. Angie and Oscar, you'll be in the Com-V, and I'll be in my car. Are we all ready?" Everyone looked at Mac, who was gulping down her water. She set the glass on the bench, turning to them.

"What?" No one said a word. Bernie, Oscar and Angie filed out, deciding to wait for Mac and Pete outside. Pete walked over to her.

"Just relax, Mac."

"Oh, yeah, you can talk. I mean, what if you can't get me out of this hypnotist thing?" Pete laughed, taking her arm and leading her to the door.

"Then I'll simply instruct you to cluck like a chicken every time I click my fingers!" Mac laughed, relaxing.

LATER ON...

"Beth, I just want you to relax. Close your eyes. I want you to relax your head. Feel all the tension releasing itself from your eyes, jaw, mouth..."

"Jesus, this'll go on forever!" Oscar commented. Angie was glued to the screen and didn't reply. Oscar grinned.

"So Ang, would you ever do something like that?" Angie looked at him, wide- eyed.

"I don't know. How is she supposed to relax when we all know how goddamned tense she is?"

"Because they visited a proper hypnotist sometime and he taught Mac how it was going to be done, and he taught Church how to get her out of it. All sorts of stuff."

"Well I think it's just scary." She looked back at the screen, turning up the volume. (Oh, Angie, if only you could see yourself a few years in the future. And yes, it was scary. I was very scared.)

"Now Beth, I'm going to ask you some questions..."

"I mean, what if she gets so relaxed she forgets who she's pretending to be, and then blurts out Pete instead of Vincent or says something about her wire...Is she wearing one?" Oscar shook his head. "There's only the tape recorder and the mike from the camera."

Dr Walters looked at his feet. He had hit something when he uncrossed his legs. A tape recorder? He became immediately suspicious, being careful not to look around the room. Trying to ignore the activated record button on the tape, he continued his questions. Should he still continue? (with his master plan, that is.) He wondered. I'm just being paranoid. She probably just wants to know what I asked when she wakes up. (Keep telling yourself that. Quack)

"Beth, has Vincent ever hurt you before?" Angie watched Mac on the television screen. Mac didn't flinch as she answered exactly what she had been told to.

"Yes, but not for a while." Angie grabbed Oscar's arm for him to look at the camera relay. Oscar picked up the radio as he watched Walters reach down and raise Mac's dress to above her knees.

"All units stand by."

"Did he ever hit you?" Angie watched as a small smile appeared on Mac's face.

"Never. He wouldn't hit me." Angie picked up her other headpiece.

"Pete, can you hear this?" she asked.

"Yep. What's he doing?" Angie checked the screen.

"He's lifted her dress and is undoing her buttons."

"What do we wait for?"

"He has to touch her...you know. Or get close to it. I'll keep you informed. Get ready, though."

"Roger."

"But I thought you said he hurt you?" Walters asked curiously. All his previous clients had taken this as physical abuse.

"No, he wouldn't hit me. He hurt me by...he hurt me...by..."

"How did he hurt you Beth?" (And all Beth/Mac could think about was what Pete had told her: I'll be there with you. And he had never hurt her. Just her arm, but...she'd, uh, forgiven him for that...a few...times ago.)

"What's going on here?" Angie asked. "Why can't she answer?" Oscar put a hand on Angie's shoulder.

"Ange, it's not you in there, you know. She's got two different answers rolling round in her head and has to pick the right one."

Walters watched Beth as she struggled to answer. Even now, he thought, she was still guarding her emotions. He placed a hand on the side of her neck, following the lines of her body. He slid his hand inside her bra, running it slowly over her breasts.

Angie looked away. "I can't watch this, Oscar. Can't we call it in?" Bernie entered the van, watching the screen. They both looked pleadingly at their boss.

"Not yet. Just wait a while."

Mac lay completely still, unaware that anything out of the ordinary was happening. Walters ran a hand in circles over her waist, tracing her hipbones with his index finger.

"Has Vincent ever hurt you?" he asked again. She still refused to answer, only to say that he had never hit her, which only Pete, Angie, Oscar and Bernie knew she was not supposed to say.

"Stuff it! I'm calling it!" Angie grabbed the radio and turned from the screen, but Oscar grabbed her shoulder, forcing her back around. She stared into the blank screens. "What happened?" she asked. Oscar looked around the van as Bernie ran back outside.

"Our power's gone!" He exclaimed and Angie relayed the information over the radio. Bernie's voice was next heard loud and clear through the Com-V.

"All units move in now! Move in!"

Pete burst into the office behind three uniformed officers. Walters had kept all of his clothes on, but had nicely removed almost all of Mac's. (As any psycho would) He stood in front of her, a hand slowly moving onto the desk to his side, grasping the letter opener.

"Put it down," the officers urged. Walters held it to Mac's neck.

In the Com-V, Oscar had done some quick fixing and restored the video, but almost all other electrics were still down.

"Oscar look!" Angie yelled, pushing back in her chair, right into Oscar's gut. "She doesn't even know it's there! I refuse to watch this, Stone. Here, you take control." She stood and turned to Oscar, who smiled gently at her.

"Mac'll be fine, Ange," he said, placing a hand on her shoulder.

"Yeah," Angie replied. "But I'm not fine, I'm nervous as hell! So sit down." They laughed and Oscar sat back down, watching. Ange was content to just listen.

"If you don't put the letter opener down, we'll shoot you." Walters smiled. "If you shoot me my reflexes will ensure that she gets cut anyway. And I'll be dead, so what will I care?" One of the officers stepped forward.

"You won't be dead if we shoot you in the arm, will you? You'll just go to jail." Pete stepped forward, eager to get to Mac. "And you know how many men in jail have wives and girlfriends. I can tell you one thing, they don't like the idea of sharing a home with people like you." Walters looked from one to the other, making a quick decision.

He flicked his wrist as the guns went off, all three of them at once. Walters was thrown back over Mac and his desk. Mac didn't stir. Walters had told her at the start that the only sound she would hear and register would be his voice, and that she would not respond to any sensations.

Pete ran to Mac. She hadn't moved, a small smile staying on her face.

Angie couldn't help it. By the time the guns exploded over the wires, she was glued next to Oscar, fingers tapping tensely on the table. Oscar had had enough. He put his hand on top of Angie's, just to get some peace and quiet. They smiled at each other as neither of them went to move.

They watched as Pete ran to Mac, reaching for some tissues. He wiped Walter's blood off Mac's body as best he could, grimacing. (His thoughts: I've seen it all before, baby...oh, wait, that was the dinner with the hooker and bill...yeah)

Pete buttoned up Mac's dress as Bernie, Angie and Oscar rushed into the room. They stood silently as the rest of the office was cleared of people.

Pete knelt down beside Mac's head, whispering to her in a voice similar to Walters.

"Mac, it's Pete." Mac responded quickly, her subconscious making a connection.

"Pete. Vincent. Walters."

"Yeah. Mac, it's all over now, so I'm going to get you to wake up slowly, okay?"

Mac nodded slightly. As Pete talked her through the stages of coming to, he held a hand gently on her forehead. The letter opener hadn't done any damage, thankfully, he thought. Mac turned her head as she opened her eyes. Pete leant close to her, smiling a smile that only she could see. She mouthed a, thankyou, quickly as Pete helped her sit up, as she was surrounded by her workmates, ready to fill her in.

THAT NIGHT – THE FACTORY

"You two coming?" Oscar asked as he handed Angie her jacket. They were heading off for a drink (or maybe a few) at the local pub, to celebrate. "Yeah," Ang added. "You're the guests of honour!" Mac smiled at Pete.

"In a minute," he said, turning to Mac as Angie and Oscar left to wait by their cars. As they walked out the door, Mac could hear them discussing their new recruit, who would arrive tomorrow. Kaye Kelso. Mac had handpicked her, and hoped that she would fit in with everyone. (And so she did, for around three episodes) After all, Mac thought, we are a tight-knit bunch.

"You okay?" Pete asked Mac. She nodded. They had shown her the tape and she smiled as she remembered watching Pete wiping blood off her chest. (That's gotta be fun)

"What's so funny?" He asked curiously. Mac shook her head. "Nothing. You know, we're not married anymore Pete. But...I don't want to stop our...uh, marital activities. Do you?" (Please say no, Please say no) Pete looked into her eyes, shaking his head slowly. "No way." (Yes!) They smiled at each other, not risking a kiss in the middle of the office.

"What? No, you betcha?" she asked, laughing as she grabbed her jacket. Oscar and Angie had walked back in to see what was keeping their friends. Mac turned back to Pete, purposefully knocking files off her desk. (Woopsy)

"Oh God," Angie said flatly as Pete and Mac bent down to pick them up. Mac looked at Pete and whispered, "My place. Tonight." He nodded, smiling. As they stood, he whispered back to her.

"You betcha!"

And so it continued...until Bernie caught on. Don't you hate when that happens?! And there was Christina Rossi, who, if memory serves me correctly, Mac shot. And now there's Collette and...ahem... Hollister. (Oh God, no!)

Hopefully (fingers crossed) one day Mac and Pete will be together again, and when the unit finally closes, they will live happily ever after.

(Ohh)

The End.

(Cue the sweet music)