Title: Are We Happy?

Author: Lisa

Email: lisacheerio_85@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: I don't have any affiliation with Stingers whatsoever. Oh, and if this starts to sound like an episode from Blue Heelers (especially the one with the mine, and 2 of the officers) I apologise. Also, its terribly romantic, but on the upside, there's no hospital! He he he.

Thanks: Courtney. Thanks for the ideas!

SOMEWHERE IN THE COUNTRY – ON SOME KIND OF ROAD

"It's so hot!" Angie exclaimed. She sat in the back seat of Oscar's car, beside Danni.

"Are we there yet?" Danni asked. "Because I could really do with a beer." Oscar sighed.

"Girls, I know you're hot, but just live with it. We're nearly there. I can't help if the air conditioner's broken. And Danni?"

"Yep," she replied.

"You're not six years old anymore." Angie laughed. "Why didn't I ride with Mac and Pete?" she asked herself aloud. Danni punched her arm.

"You like us better." They laughed as Oscar put on some music.

MAC AND PETE'S CAR

"So explain this to me again," Pete asked, turning up the air conditioner. Why did summers have to be so hot down here? He thought to himself.

"Right. We're going out to Wilston, where we're investigating a string of armed robberies. The offender comes in covered head to toe-"

"Not in this weather?"

"-Yes, anyway, the local uniforms have done thorough checks and have absolutely no suspects. None."

"Yeah, but why are we involved. I mean it'll be pretty obvious to whoever's watching that we're cops. Sort of wrecks the whole undercover thing, don't you think?"

"We're not undercover. You and I will be in town to conduct an independent investigation, which I'm told, some of the local people aren't happy about. Angie, Danni and Oscar have the cover of a counselling team, which travels around the country. I was listening to their spiel and they sound like the real deal."

"Okay, but I still think it's just a little obvious..." Mac sighed leaning back in the driver's seat.

"Pete, can you pass me my water bottle?" Pete turned around, grabbing it off the back seat. He took a gulp himself before handing it to her. Mac looked at him.

"Thanks Pete," she said sarcastically. Pete shrugged. "My saliva's never done any harm to you before, Mac. In fact, once upon a time I thought you liked it." Mac grinned, looking over at him slyly.

"That was a long time ago."

"Not that long ago in the large scope of things."

"Pete, a lot's happened since then..." She drifted off, not wanting to elaborate on his string of serious but failed relationships since they had called things off. Pete shrugged, letting it slide for the moment.

He had broken things off with Collette a few months ago after a fight about his work. She never had understood why he did what he did. Mac understood, he thought, looking over at her as she drove. He saw her left eye slide to look at him.

"What are you looking at?" she asked carefully.

"You," Pete said, smiling. She smiled back.

"Okay. Oh, look," she began, dramatically changing the subject. "Here we are. Isn't that great!" Pete started laughing as she parked the car, not giving him the satisfaction of seeing her laugh at her own stupidity.

LOCAL COP SHOP

Mac walked in ahead of Peter. The Inspector was ready to greet them. "Detective Senior Sergeant Ellen Mackenzie?" Mac nodded, smiling and stretching out her hand.

"I'm Inspector Jackson." He motioned to the plain-clothes officer beside him. "This is Detective Luke Bradley. He'll be helping you any way you wish." Mac shook his hand as well, and introduced Peter.

"This is Detective Nathan Hench." Pete smiled, shaking hands with Bradley and the Inspector. He and Mac had decided that it would be better to give him a cover name, just in case.

MEANWHILE...

Ang and Danni walked into the room they would be sharing. Oscar had the one next door. Angie watched as Danni started unpacking her bags. She raised her eyebrows as she saw Danni pull out a small box.

"What's in there?" she asked. Danni smiled, blushing slightly.

"Oh, nothing, just some things I collect, that's all." Angie stood and took the box from a reluctant Danni. She laughed when she opened it and looked inside. Angie handed the box back to Danni.

"You collect your spent shells?" Danni looked down at the used bullet shells, nodding.

"Yeah, the ones from target practice." Angie burst out laughing. Danni slapped her on the shoulder before she too, collapsed into laughter. "It is pretty silly," she admitted as Oscar walked in, confused by all the noise.

He took one look at Danni holding the box of her old ammunition casings and walked out smiling, closing the door behind him.

TOWN MEETING – THAT NIGHT

Mac sat next to Pete along the bench, facing the townspeople. She fanned herself with a pamphlet on the counselling service Ang, Stone and Danni were running for a few days.

She and Pete had been through all of the security tapes and had turned up nothing. There was no way the offender could be identified. He was completely covered. He didn't speak, simply held a gun as he pushed a typed message over the counter.

The gun, she thought. But that hadn't been too successful either. It was identified as a police issue, and they were working on the assumption that it belonged to Detective Bradley. He had identified it from the tapes as one similar to his gun, which had been stolen a few weeks ago. Searches of likely crims hadn't turned up anything new, and no one in the town was talking.

"I'd like to introduce you to Detective Senior Sergeant Ellen Mackenzie and Detective Nathan Hench. They'll be conducting the inquiries into this matter from now on." The Inspector looked steadily at all of the people, sitting on chairs from the primary school. "This matter will be resolved. At all costs." Around half of the residents nodded.

In the audience, Danni risked a small wave at Peter, who was sitting high and mighty in his new position on the bench. An elderly lady beside her leaned over and whispered. "You fancy him then, dear? He is a bit of a hottie!" She giggled to herself as Danni tried not to laugh. She caught the others' curious stares and shook her head, the signal for I'll tell you later.

LATER THAT NIGHT

"I can't believe they gave us the same room!" Mac paced, watching Pete unpack calmly.

"Come on, Mac, it's not that bad. Anyway, the other rooms are taken by Oscar and the girls."

Mac gave up, sitting down on her bed, reading her mail. She hadn't had time to read it before they left, so she had brought it with her. She stopped as she read the confirmation letter she held in her hand.

"Well," she said, looking up. "Pete, your cover's not so much of a cover anymore." He looked up at her, surprised, as she smiled. "Detective Senior Constable Church." Pete jumped up. "You're kidding!" Mac shook her head as she stood and hugged him briefly. He had applied for Detective and taken the exam some time ago, and hadn't expected to get it. Mac continued reading, her brow creasing. Pete watched as she sat back down on the edge of the bed, looking just more than a little disappointed. "What is it Mac?" he asked. She handed him the letter.

"You're getting transferred. No appeals. The transfer is to plain-clothes homicide, CBD. Effective as soon as this case is finished." Pete read the letter.

"This means I'll be working with Bill Hollister?" he asked. Mac nodded, smiling to herself. That was going to be interesting. "Mac, I don't like Hollister. He doesn't like me." Like you ever gave him a chance, Mac thought.

"What do you want me to do about it Pete? You're a big boy now."

"Well, you're the one who slept with him!" Pete exclaimed, sitting back down on the edge of the bed. Mac sighed. He was never going to let her live it down. Mac had been going through as rough patch a while back – her brother, Michael had almost been killed in a serious car accident. Mac had gone to Peter and one night, in the midst of tears, she had blurted out to Pete the details of her very short relationship with Bill. Pete had been sympathetic, knowing she just needed someone to talk to, and he had been great. However, now that everything was fine again, and Mac and Bill were no longer an item, Pete was having a field day, not letting Mac forget for a second.

"Are you really happy with this?" Mac asked. "The transfer, that is? Because I could put in a word..."

"Why wouldn't I be happy?" he asked.

"You do know what it means Pete? We'll hardly ever see each other. Angie, Danni, Oscar...me...we'll just disappear from your lives." Pete stood, shaking his head.

"You, Mac, are not going to disappear from my life. Not if I have anything to do with it." A smile spread across his face as he left to go downstairs to the pub. Mac watched him leave, tempted to follow and question him further, but content to just sit and wait. She had a feeling where Pete was going with all of this, but she wasn't sure whether it was what both of them really wanted at this point in their lives.

THE NEXT DAY

"Alright, everybody sit down now. We're ready to start." Danni, Angie and Oscar took seats, signalling for others to do the same.

"Now," Oscar began. "Any of you can make an appointment to see us confidentially at any time, anywhere. But let's begin today." Angie took over.

"What myself, Terry and Jane do, is travel around Australia, talking to people, helping them with their problems. We can talk about whatever you want to. There's no pressure, so just feel free to say whatever you want."

"Nothing that will hurt anyone else," Danni added quickly. "We're all very supportive. Please don't leave this room and begin to gossip."

"Does anyone want to start?" The schoolteacher raised her hand meekly. Angie smiled. "Go ahead," she urged.

"Well...I'm having some problems controlling my class..."

As Ang, Danni and Oscar began to make up solutions on the spot, Mac and Pete were sitting at the bar, talking to Bradley.

"So, Hench, you been a detective for long?" Bradley asked. Pete cast a glance at Mac, smiling. "Not very long, no." Bradley was pretty much ignoring Mac. As she got up to get herself another drink, the barmaid whispered to her. "He's got some problems with female coppers that man. Old fashioned. Thinks they should be at home, popping out kids. Or serving behind a bar, of course." Mac nodded, smiling thanks to the woman. She could play invisible cop if she had to. She might even pick up on something while she was there.

"So, you married? Girlfriend?" Bradley was asking Pete.

"Ah, let's just say I'm working on it." Bradley smiled.

"Now that's what I like, a man who's not afraid to hunt." Mac raised her eyebrows above Luke's head as she sat back down beside him.

"Bloody chauvinist!" Mac raged as she fell onto her bed that night. "I could've decked him one alright!" Pete laughed.

"You know what he said to me, Mac? When you had gone to the bathroom?" Mac shook her head as Pete sat opposite her, smiling slightly.

"He goes, is she married? I said no, and he said, well, by the time they get to her age, and they're not married, you start to wonder, don't you?" Mac filled up with anger again. She stood, walking to the door.

"That's it! I'm going to kill him! I really am!" Pete laughed, grabbing her from behind as she struggled for the door.

They stopped suddenly, not moving. Pete listened to her breathing as he held her tightly, not making a move to release her. Mac whispered slowly, "What you said to him, though, about...working on getting yourself a girlfriend...was that, uh, person...is that me, Pete?"

Pete leaned his head so that it rested on her shoulder.

"Do you want it to be?" Mac thought a while, before responding. "Do you want it to be?" she asked. Pete smiled. "Yes," he whispered quietly. Mac leant her head back into his chest as they continued to stay in their same position.

"I guess, there's no harm, we don't actually work together anymore..." She drifted off as she felt Pete's gentle breath on the side of her neck. She hesitated, before turning her head. Mac closed her eyes, not needing to see where Pete was. Their lips met strongly, and Mac felt herself turning to embrace him full on. Pete walked her slowly over to her bed, lowering her gently onto the sheets.

THE NEXT MORNING

"Where's Miss Mackenzie?" Bradley asked as Pete walked into the office, taking a seat opposite her.

"Detective Mackenzie is at the pub, talking to some of the locals there." Bradley nodded.

"What's she like to work with?" he asked. Pete shrugged.

"Good. Why?" Bradley looked at her.

"Call me old fashioned, but I would hate to be working up close with a female copper. I just don't get why they all want to do the men's jobs. Carrying a gun must make 'em feel real important. Just watch out when they've got PMS!" Bradley burst into laughter as his own, pathetic joke. Pete forced himself to chuckle. If this guy was going to sit here and do nothing but make degrading comments about Mac, then he was not going to stand for it.

"So you two came down here by yourselves?" he asked finally. Pete nodded. "You expected us to bring an army?" Bradley smiled. "No, I just thought...what division of the force do you work in anyway? Because I used to work in the city, and I thought I knew all the D's in armed robbery."

"We're not from armed robbery. Let's just call us specialists in independent investigations." Bradley accepted that. "Don't you work in a unit for those sort of things though? Why wouldn't all of you come down? It's much more efficient."

"Well," Pete answered. "We don't want to appear too threatening. We're just here to do our job. Quickly and quietly, as fast as possible."

"And how's it going? Any suspects?" Pete shrugged.

"Maybe, but everything is starting to click." Things were starting to click for Luke Bradley as well, but he hid it. Bradley looked at Pete, confused. Pete kept his smile to himself as he left the station. Everything was going perfectly, he thought as he walked down the street to meet up with Mac for brunch.

Mac sat at the bar, sipping a lemonade. She glanced at Pete as he sat down beside her, ordering a coke. They played eye tag for a while, each one looking at the other until they looked back. "So," Pete said eventually as his drink arrived. "Where were you this morning?" Mac looked into her glass. "Oh, I went for a walk, and then I did a bit of a doorknock. Didn't turn up anything, though. How's Bradley?" Pete sighed.

"I don't think you want to know."

"Oh." Pete looked up.

"Listen, Mac, can I maybe talk to you outside?" Mac looked at him. Behind the bar, the waitress was occupying herself with wiping down the benches, but this conversation was interesting her. Reminded her of something off a television show.

"Sure," Mac nodded. She turned to the waitress. "Could you put this on our room tab?" The waitress nodded, watching them walk out side by side.

Pete walked with Mac across the road to the bus stop.

He took her hand, leading her behind the metal shed, out of the public eye. She smiled. "What?" she asked. Pete shook his head. "Nothing, really..." He leant in to kiss her. Mac didn't stop him, and they stood there, engrossed in each other behind the bus stop for some time.

MEANWHILE...

Ang, Danni and Oscar entered the pub. They sidled up to the waitress. "How's everything going?" they asked her. She smiled at the other guests the pub was housing. "Good, good." Angie looked around.

"Those city cops aren't in here, are they?" she asked casually. "They make me nervous. In their suits and everything." The barmaid smiled, and they could see she was just dying to tell someone something.

"Can you keep a secret?" she asked. They feigned innocence.

"Of course. We're counsellors, not journalists." Oscar added as the barmaid decided whether it was worth it. It was.

"Well, those two police officers from the city. The tall, dark haired lady, quite pretty really, and that man with the curly hair?" Ang, Danni and Oscar nodded, wondering what was coming next.

"They were in here only a few seconds ago. You just missed them. You should've seen it! It was like...do you ever watch Friends?" she asked suddenly. Angie and Oscar shook their heads but Danni nodded. "You bet! My neighbour tapes them for me!" Angie looked at Danni, eyebrows raised. "Well, I need to watch some TV," she exclaimed quickly, before turning back to the barmaid.

"They were like...Monica and Chandler when they were in England and when they first...you know, straight afterwards..." Danni cut in.

"When they were at the buffet table at Ross and Emily's party?" The barmaid nodded as Danni jumped off her seat in shock. "You're not serious!" The barmaid nodded again, only slightly starting to wonder why Jane was getting so excited over the matter. She must like to gossip too, she thought. Angie and Oscar looked from Danni to the waitress. "Uh..." Angie started. "Could someone fill us in?" Danni looked down at them, grinning. "I'll tell you later! But come on, we have to go and do...one of those private sessions..." She ran for the door. Oscar turned to the waitress.

"She's new to this travelling shrinks thing. The excitement will wear off once we get to Adelaide." The barmaid laughed as Danni ran back to her.

"Where'd they go? The police officers?" The barmaid thought, a smile appearing on her face.

"I think he took her across the street to the bus stop. It's the usual place...isolated, I mean..." Danni nodded, walking past Oscar and Angie and out the door.

Pete and Mac backed up as they kissed one another passionately.

"Ow!!!" Mac exclaimed suddenly. Pete pulled off her straight away.

"What is it?" he asked, a hand still gently on the side of her face. Mac had a hand to the back of her neck. Pete slowly pulled it away. Mac's neck was bright red. "I burned it on the metal, Pete." She looked up into his eyes. "You going to be okay?" he asked as she nodded slightly, holding in tears. Pete smiled. He kept a hand on the back of her neck, protecting it from the heat of the metal as they began to kiss again, this time much more fervently.

Danni had led Oscar and Angie around the main street and now they stood, watching Pete and Mac going at it behind the bus stop.

"I can't believe this!" Angie gasped, shocked. She looked back at Oscar. "When did this start?" Oscar looked down at her, smiling. "Maybe it's a good thing you didn't drive up with them, Ang." The three of them laughed as they walked away, not really wanting to watch any further.

THAT NIGHT

Mac leant into Pete's chest as they went back over the file. Nothing. A big, fat, nothing.

"I can't believe it!" Mac said. "This has been the biggest waste of time!" Pete smiled, running a hand along her collarbone and down her arm.

"Well, not a complete waste of time..." Mac laughed, slapping him on the chest. He turned to her.

"Mac, when I go to Homicide...will you, I mean..." Mac smiled at him.

"What? It can't be that hard to say." Pete looked at her.

"Well, last time, we just sort of fell into things, and it was a bit of a mess. I don't want that again. I want to..."

"Do things properly?" Mac finished. Pete nodded, reaching up and tracing the side of her face with his fingers.

"Uh...this is going to sound a little juvenile, but, Mac, will you go out with me?" Mac laughed. She pretended to think, before answering him by pulling him close to her.

"Oh, come on guys, can't you wait 'till we get home?" Danni exclaimed as she Angie and Oscar opened the door on Mac and Pete entangled on one of the beds.

"Have you ever heard of knocking?" Pete asked as they sat up. Mac smoothed her hair and tucked it behind her ears.

"You guys aren't...uh, curious?" she asked. Angie, Danni and Oscar walked in, closing the door behind them.

"You bet we are," Angie said. "Care to share how long this has been going on?" Mac looked at Pete.

"About twenty-four hours," Pete guessed. "Maybe a little less." Angie started laughing. "You two do know that's not allowed. Working together and all." Danni cut in.

"Yeah, good example Mac." Mac smiled as Pete put a hand in the small of her back.

"Well," Pete said. "We've got some news there. I don't work with you anymore." Oscar stood in pure shock. "What?"

"Yeah, I made Detective, and I've been automatically transferred to Homicide." Angie, Danni and Oscar looked at him apprehensively. They didn't want him to leave. He was one of their best friends.

"Congratulations. We won't see you then?" Danni asked. She knew what happened when you worked in undercover. All of her friends had disappeared. She really only had the four of them. But Pete smiled.

"No, I'll see you. Often, I hope." He smiled at Mac as the others clicked to what he was saying.

"Oh, I get it. So now, you two are a...uh, you're...together?" Oscar asked awkwardly. They nodded.

Angie's mobile rang, interrupting the moment.

"Ann speaking...oh, hi Detective Bradley...who is?...oh, I see...sure, do you mind if I bring Terry with me?...Great. I'll meet you in the bar in five. Bye." Oscar looked at her, but it was Pete who spoke.

"What does that moron want now?"

"Why is he a moron?" Danni asked. Pete glanced at Mac. "Let's just say he has a problem with Mac being in a higher position than himself. I've got a bad feeling about him, Ang. Watch yourselves, okay?"

"What do you mean a bad feeling?" Mac asked. Pete pulled him close to her as the others watched his display of affection. "Firstly," he whispered to her. "I don't like the fact that he's a chauvinistic pig who can't see how wonderful you are." Mac blushed as she looked up at him. Angie and Danni grinned at each other as Pete continued, this time talking to all of them. "Secondly, I think he suspects your cover, guys. And I've done some thinking. Who else would be so good at covering his tracks? A cop? They've got the inside lane, especially out here. Everyone trusts them so much..." He paused as Angie nodded, standing.

"Right, okay Stone, let's go. Pete, we'll be careful, okay?"

Once they had left, Danni turned back to Mac and Pete.

"Uh, do you two want to be alone?" she asked. Mac smiled, not wanting to push Danni out of the room.

"How about we go downstairs for a few drinks?" she suggested. "Danni, follow us down in a few minutes and come introduce yourself to us." She and Pete stood and walked out, leaving Danni to sit all by herself on Mac's bed for five minutes.

ANG, OSCAR AND BRADLEY

"So, where are we going again?" Oscar asked Bradley. They had driven out of the main area of town and were heading down a dirt road.

"We got a call from someone who had locked themselves in their basement, and was threatening to commit suicide. Thought you could help." Angie and Oscar nodded, not questioning him for a second. Angie watched Bradley as he drove. He didn't seem that bad, she thought. Oscar had made the same comment to her while they were waiting. They didn't see why Pete found him so repulsive. Oh well, Ang thought as Bradley pulled to a stop at an old shack.

"We should get a storm tonight," he yelled to them as the wind picked up.

"It's hot enough for it," Oscar added. Angie nodded, pulling her jacket around her body.

Bradley led the way into the house.

"Herman?" he called, looking back at Ang and Stone. There was dust everywhere.

"He lives here all the time?" Angie asked quietly. Bradley nodded. "Yeah, but the basement's his main room. Hardly comes up here anymore. A bit of a recluse." Bradley stopped at the door leading to the basement. He tried the knob. It turned, and Bradley pushed it open slowly. "I thought you said it was locked..." Angie commented. Dim light shone through the opened door. Bradley shrugged, one of his arms spread. "Please, you first." Angie and Oscar obliged, entering the basement.

They looked around. Nothing. There was no one here. They turned suddenly as the door slammed shut behind them. Oscar ran up to the door, pounding. "Let us out of here!" Angie looked around. The basement itself was small. Very small. She turned in her spot, fears escalating. No, she told herself. Calm down. I'm sure it's just jammed.

Oscar backed up to reach Ang. He pointed to the door. "It's got metal re- enforcements on the hinges and lock. The door itself is mighty strong."

"You bet it is." Oscar and Angie turned to see Bradley standing at the top of the small staircase, his gun pointed at them. "It really was quite fun, this game. Pretending to have my gun stolen. It was all part of my plan." He didn't move, looking down his nose at the two cops staring up at him. "'Cos that's what you are, isn't it?" he asked. "Cops?" Oscar and Ang didn't answer.

Bradley readied his gun and clicked off the safety.

"It's not hard for me to shoot you at this point. But..." he lowered it to his side. "I think I'd rather let you rot here. Do you know how long someone can survive in a summer out here without any water?" He laughed as he closed the door, but added, "Oh, and don't try your mobile phones. There's no reception out here. Bye, bye."

Angie listened as he turned the lock. She took in her surroundings. The basement was no more than two by one metres. She stopped as she heard Bradley drive away.

"They'll never find us," she muttered as Oscar took a seat on the floor. "Come on, Ang..." He drifted off as he watched her.

Angie kept looking around the room. I didn't remember I got like this, she thought to herself. Suddenly, she remembered her first experience with enclosed spaces when she was eight. She looked up, picturing that she was in the hole, which she had fallen into during a walk in the bush.

Oscar watched as Angie suddenly starting struggling for air. He stood as she ran for the door. She grabbed the handle and started shaking. "Let us out! Please! Please, let us out!!" She cried repeatedly as Oscar ran to her. He pulled her towards him. She turned, wrapping her arms around his back, crying. "I can't be in here, Oscar! I can't!" Stone hushed her softly as she calmed down.

"Just take deep breaths, Ang. It's okay." She held him tightly as he whispered to her. "You're claustrophobic?" She nodded, wiping away tears with her hand as she looked around slowly.

Oscar led her over to the corner of the room. They sat down against the wall as the small drops of rain started to hit the ground above their heads. Stone looked down at Angie, concerned. He had never seen her lose control like that. She had never told him that she was claustrophobic.

As if reading his thoughts, she said, "It only happens sometimes." She started to cry softly again as he hugged her to him, gently stroking her hair.

THE PUB

Danni stopped laughing for a moment. She, Mac and Pete were back in their room, and had been talking for ages.

"Shouldn't Angie and Oscar be back soon?" she asked. Mac looked at her watch, nodding.

"I told you," Pete began. "That bastard's done something to them-"

"Oh, come on Pete, I wouldn't go so far as to accuse Bradley of anything," Danni exclaimed. "They're probably just talking to the guy who locked himself in the basement. I mean if he seriously was trying to commit suicide it could take a while." Pete leaned back against the wall. He supposed so, still. Danni stood.

"Well guys, I'm dead to the world. See 'ya in the morning." She smiled as she left. "I'm sure that when I wake up, Angie will be right there, okay?" Pete nodded as she closed the door behind her.

Pete turned to Mac, smiling. "How's your neck?" he asked. Mac put a hand behind her head. "I don't know. Have a look for me?" Pete moved behind her, lifting her hair to the back of her head and holding it there. It was still red. He put two fingers gently on the centre of the burn. Mac cringed and reeled back in pain. "Sorry, sorry," Pete mumbled softly as she turned back around. "I guess it's sort of bad. Does it hurt normally?" Mac shook her head. "It's only just started again." Pete smiled.

"Well," he said softly, only centimetres from her face. "Let's see if we can get your mind off it, what do you say?" Mac smiled as she kissed Pete gently, pulling away to answer. "Hmm...It's working already." She leant in, pushing Pete gently down onto the bed. He rolled to be beside her as they became inseparable once again, their kisses strong and constant.

Angie leant into Oscar's chest as she closed her eyes.

"Good," Oscar was saying, helping her to relax and forget where she was. "Now picture that you're on the top of a mountain. A wonderful, picturesque mountain with plenty of trees, colourful flowers and lovely green grass." Angie smiled as he continued. "And you get to the top. You look around and all you can see is space. The sun is setting, and you watch as the sky turns pink and purple. In the distance you can see other mountains, but none as magnificent as yours. You sit, looking at the view, taking deep breaths of pure air..." Oscar drifted off as he saw Angie start to relax. She opened her eyes, looking up at him. "That was great, Oscar," she said. He smiled.

"I know," he said. Angie let out a small laugh, hitting him on the shoulder.

Angie jumped at the sudden crash of thunder. The storm had almost reached its peak. She shivered as the old wood let through the cold draft. The day may have been stinking hot, but Angie was suddenly very cold. Oscar pulled her close to him again.

He really did like the feeling he was getting by holding Angie in his arms. Safe, secure. He tried to remember what had happened between them, but it had been so long ago. He remembered he had been the one to stop things before they had gotten serious, and he remembered saying something about Ang choosing her job over a house, three kids and a dog. He laughed quietly to himself.

"What's so funny?" Angie asked, looking up at him.

"Nothing. Sometimes I just wish it were me getting the transfer..."

"Why? That's stupid, then you'd only see us if...oh." Angie looked up at Oscar.

"You know, you don't need to get a transfer to be able to do that." Oscar grinned. "I know," he said to her.

"Do you want to see...I mean, I know that things wouldn't be allowed to get...but Oscar, what if no one ever finds us again?"

"They'll find us Ang. Mac, Danni and Pete aren't going to leave until they've torn the town apart. Trust me." He paused. "What was it you just asked, though? About seeing..." Angie shook her head.

"Don't worry. It's stupid." Oscar put his arm back around her shoulders. "No, what was it?" She looked up at him, blushing.

"Well, do you want to try...you know, see whether there's still anything...there? Between us, I mean? I know there probab-" Oscar cut her off as he pressed his lips onto hers. At first, Angie resisted, through pure shock. However she soon relaxed into his embrace, taking his head in her hands and kissing him back passionately.

"Do you think we should?" he asked her quietly. Angie could hardly hear him as the rain became harder around them. She thought. "Do you...ah, have anything...on you, I mean?" Oscar shook his head. "No Ang, sorry...I... wasn't expecting this..."

"That's okay," she said softly. "We won't, you know...we'll just, do what we can." She and Oscar smiled at each other as they took each other in their arms once again.

Danni checked her watch. It was five in the morning. She looked over at the other bed in the room. Empty, and hadn't been slept in, she analysed. Danni bit her bottom lip, thinking. This wasn't good. She got up and checked Oscar's room. It too, was empty.

"Bugger!" she mumbled under her breath as she approached Mac and Pete's door. If it had been any other time, she would have knocked first, but she wasn't thinking.

Pete turned to Mac as her eyelids fluttered open. He kissed her gently. "mmm..." she muttered drowsily as Pete pulled her close to him. "Good morning," she added. Pete put a hand to her face. "Yes," he said, kissing her repeatedly. "It is." He landed a final kiss on her lips and pulled away, looking into her eyes. Mac smiled as she took her turn and pulled him back to her.

"Guys, get up and...oh, guys!"

Mac and Pete pulled away immediately, drawing the sheets up to cover Mac's chest.

"Danni! What do you think?" Pete reached for under wear as Danni continued, not caring what she had interrupted.

"Angie and Oscar aren't back yet!" She walked over to the pile of clothes and found Mac's. She threw it to her. "Hurry up! We have to find them!" She slammed the door as Mac and Pete shared a worried glance. They had to admit that they hadn't thought about Ang and Oscar that night. And now, it seemed something had definitely happened.

The morning sun was already heating up the room, even though it had no access. Oscar watched Angie sleeping beside him. They had taken off their jackets, constructing makeshift pillows and had lain next to each other all night, talking. They had finally drifted off to sleep only a few hours ago.

Oscar put a hand to Angie's face, gently waking her. "It's morning," he said. She sat up, looking around. The basement seemed less sinister in the daytime. Even though no immense amount of light could get through, it still seemed brighter. Angie put a hand to Oscar's neck, drawing him to her for a quick kiss. They hadn't taken it much further last night, but had continued along those lines. Oscar had ended up with his shirt beside him, and Angie's had been unbuttoned to reveal her sports bra underneath. She smiled as she sat up, doing her shirt back up. Oscar put his on as well and they both sat there, waiting.

"Hungry?" Oscar asked. Angie nodded.

"Thirsty?" She nodded again. He smiled, going up to fetch the bowl. Oscar had discovered a leak in the side of the house, in the corner of the basement roof. They had managed to find a small bowl to rest on a nearby shelf, to catch as much as possible. He brought it back to her.

"It's not much, Ang, and it's not too clean, but it'll have to do." He handed to her. "Take as much as you need first."

"Should we try to save some?" she asked. Oscar shook his head. "No, if we don't drink, our kidneys will start to shut down, and out systems will begin to fail." Angie looked at him, wide-eyed. She nodded, taking a sip. She tried to only drink half, and then handed it to Oscar. He finished it off in half a gulp.

"So..." he started. "We wait."

"We wait." Angie sat, not talking for about a minute, before breaking the silence. "Well, Oscar Stone, why don't you tell me about yourself?" Oscar smiled, jumping at the chance for a distraction. They took up their former positions against the wall, Oscar's arm draped loosely around Ang's shoulders. "Well..." he started as Angie leant her head to his shoulder, relaxing, listening to Oscar's voice.

Pete, Mac and Danni stormed into the police station.

"Where are they?!" Pete demanded, grabbing Bradley by his collar and lifting him up. "Tell me now!" Bradley looked at them, sizing up the situation. The other officers were standing, arms folded. Mac had rung the Inspector early that morning, to inform him of the situation.

"You got some explaining to do here Luke," he said flatly. Bradley looked around him, giving up. He hadn't planned it like this, but he supposed he hadn't really thought about it.

"Okay, okay, they're in the Dobson basement." Pete let him down as another constable read him his rights.

"Where is that, Inspector?" Mac demanded. The inspector grabbed his jacket.

"Follow me," he said.

"...and basically, that brings me to where I am today, sitting here trapped with you." Angie smiled at Oscar. That was more than she had wanted to know, but she was extremely glad he had told her. They looked into each other's eyes.

"What's going to happen between us when we get out of here?" she asked him. Oscar thought.

"Ang, it's true what I said all those months ago about wanting the whole package, but going over my life just then, I don't know if I'm ready for the whole package just yet. Neither are you, but one day..."

"Oscar, one day, I will be, I promise. And, really, it might not be that long off. But it depends..."

"I know," Oscar said quietly, but was interrupted by the squeal of breaks outside.

"Angie! Oscar!" They jumped at the familiar voices, running to the door. "We're in here!" They pounded as they heard their friends fiddling with the lock on the other side. They stood back as the door broke free. Mac, Pete and Danni ran in, embracing both Angie and Oscar. Pete simply patted Oscar on the back, though. Suddenly, all of them started laughing together. This had been one crazy assignment, they thought.

THE FACTORY – THREE DAYS LATER

Pete gathered up his bag. "Nearly ready?" he asked Mac as she finished typing on the computer. She looked up, smiling. "You bet!" Ten minutes later, she walked out to see Pete hugging Angie, Danni and Oscar goodbye. Angie was crying. "We'll still see each other, Angie," Pete said, smiling. She laughed, wiping the tears from her eyes. Oscar put a hand secretly on her back, comforting her. "I know. It's just...so...oh, I don't know. You better keep in contact, Pete, or I'll-"

"Okay," Mac interrupted, breaking things up. "Pete, we have to go. We'll be late for our reservation."

"Reservation?" Pete smiled at Danni.

"Yeah, we're doing it the proper way this time." He turned, stopping as he realised what he had just revealed. Mac hid a laugh, walking down and putting an arm around his waist.

"This time? You mean there was a last time?" Danni asked carefully. Mac nodded, smiling. "Yeah," she whispered. "But this time, it's got a chance of working." She turned to Pete. "It's got more than just a chance honey," he replied, taking her in his arms, showing off for their friends.

Angie, Oscar and Danni cheered and clapped as he whisked her away in his car for a romantic dinner at the *Stokehouse* (or whatever it was called).

TWO MONTHS LATER

Mac entered the factory. Oscar, Angie and Danni and their newest recruit, Mark, were standing at their desks, talking. Mac smiled as she got out of the car.

"Hey Mac!" Danni called as she walked to her office. Mac found her drink bottle in her bag and took a drink.

Angie was on her way over to help Mac with all of her work, but stopped midway. Mac put the top back on the bottle and looked at them. "You look different," Angie said. Mac stepped back in surprise.

"How?" Angie shook her head. It's probably nothing, she thought. Mac grinned as she made her way into her office.

"Okay everyone. In ten minutes we have a briefing. Be there or be square." Oscar and Danni burst out laughing as Mac closed the door to her office. Mark simply looked at them. "She's cheery today," he mentioned. Angie nodded, thoughts rolling through her mind.

Mac was looking very happy indeed. Angie walked up the steps and entered Mac's office.

"Mac, how's everything with you and Pete?" Mac looked up from her files, smiling.

"Couldn't be better. Why?"

"Well, I just thought, you're living together now...just wondering when he was going to pop the question, if he hasn't already?" Mac laughed.

"No, he hasn't." She paused, looking at Angie carefully. "Why, exactly, are you so curious?" Angie shrugged.

"You just seem extra cheery this morning..." She stopped as the phone rang. Mac picked it up, raising her gaze as Danni, Oscar and Mark slipped into her office as well.

"Mackenzie..." Mac broke out into a smile. "Hi...yes, I got them back...um...well..." The others watched as Mac put a hand to her head, struggling on how to say this. "Well, you see, Pete, everyone is here in my office, so I can't exactly...yeah..."

On the other line, Pete was becoming frustrated, but his excitement was growing. Mac just wasn't able to tell him over the phone. It meant that it was probably what they were expecting; he just needed to know for sure. No matter, he thought, looking at the large stack of papers on his desk.

"Mac, Mac, Mac. Stop talking right now. Listen, I'm coming down there...Yes...I'll see you soon." He hung up, smiling to himself.

Mac hung up the phone slowly. She looked around at the four faces smiling in anticipation. Danni broke the silence. "Come on, Mac. Talk to us. Please." Mac shook her head, standing. She walked over to the doorway and turned back to them. "Just be patient," she said, grinning. She closed the door, leaving them sitting in her office. Danni sighed. "Just be patient," she mocked stupidly. The others laughed and exited the office, just in time to see Mac raise the garage door for Pete.

She ran up to him as he got out of the car. Pete cast a glance up at his friends, who waved, grins spread across their face. "They're happy," he muttered, turning back to Mac. He looked into her eyes, taking her waist in his hands. "Well..." he urged. "Are we...happy?" Mac's smile spread across her face as she put a hand loosely to Pete's chest. She nodded. "Yes...we are," she whispered. Pete grinned, letting out a small chuckle. He hugged Mac tightly, lifting her off the ground.

Angie, Danni, Oscar and Mark walked down the stairs to find out what was going on. Mark had met Peter a number of times, and was now just like one of the team.

Pete started to spin, but Mac stopped him. He grinned. "Sorry...how you feeling?" Mac shrugged. "Pretty good, really..." They hugged each other again before their lips met for a brief kiss.

"Ohh, that's so sweet," Danni rushed flatly, now standing just beside them. She waved a hand in front of their faces. "Hello?? What's going on here?" Pete and Mac turned, one of his hands lingering on her temple. They smiled at their friends.

"Umm..." Mac started. "Well...I'll give you some news. I won't have to leave here for a few months yet, but I will be leaving." The others stood, shocked.

"What? Why?" Mark exclaimed. Pete pulled Mac close, wrapping his arms around her.

"Well, I for one don't want Mac working into the third trimester. Not here, anyway...Too stressful..." He drifted off as he watched his friends grasp the information. Pete let go of Mac as Angie and Danni realised what was going on.

"Oh my God, Mac!" They hugged her tightly. So did Oscar and Mark. There were congratulations all around.

"So how pregnant are you?" Angie asked. Mac smiled, looking up at Pete. "Uh...two months, since the assignment down in Wilston." Angie turned to Oscar.

"Well, it's a good thing that we didn't-" She stopped, realising who was listening, and blushed.

"-walk...in...on you that night that we wanted to talk about the case, then..." Oscar laughed as Angie turned an even brighter shade of pink. "I agree," Oscar said quietly, glancing slyly at Angie. "It's a good thing we waited until things were...better..." Mac and Pete burst out laughing. They knew what had been going on between those two, but Mac couldn't really care any less. Not anymore.

"Good save, guys," Mark mumbled as he slapped Angie on the back and went back to Mac and Pete.

"Mac, you won't be coming back, then?" he asked. Mac looked at them, tears coming to her eyes.

"Sorry guys. I just don't think that I'll be able to..."

"Oh good," Angie said. "Pete's gone, you're going. We'll never see the both of you!" Mac shook her head, going over to hug Angie. "I promise that you will. You just have to promise to return my calls." Angie started to cry as she hugged Mac tightly. "I promise." Mac pulled away, laughing. "I'm not leaving yet, guys," she said, looking around at four depressed faces.

"Yeah, yeah, we know...Congratulations," they said, rather dimly, but Mac didn't care.

"Thanks," she whispered, turning back to Pete, who took her in his arms and kissed her passionately. Everyone in the factory stopped and turned, and a loud cheer rose up as the good news was passed along the beeline.