I feel that every time I update, I start by apologising for not updating sooner. Well, I officially suck at updating, and I am really sorry about that and for keeping anyone waiting for a new chapter. I can promise that I have never forgotten about this story, however. I have a somewhat vaild reason - the short of it is that I have a new job. Rather than bore you with the details, you can head to my profile page. I have written about ten chapters in my absense - the problem being, I probably need about ten chapters to get to the point where I can post them. I am also working on a little something else for y'all (hopefully something of a treat) - so stay tuned!
But Who's Going To Save You?
Chapter 22: The Rugby Final, pt 1
A Field full of ravers with their ribs broken
Bounce up til their shins open
Bones poking through,
All beat up but a token few
Was hoping you would come to riot
Bring storms for you to ride it
If you aint hurt and covered in dirt
You didn't turn up, shudda gone to work
Dean slipped his jacket on, grabbed his car keys and opened his front door. After spending a night in hospital under observation (and with surprisingly no objections on Dean's part), the doctor had allowed him to be discharged on the condition he had 24 hour supervision at home. With Chase at work, he had spent a few days with his dad and dad's girlfriend. By the weekend, the doctor had allowed him back to his own place, on the condition he take the weekend easy before returning to work on restricted duty.
Again, Dean had agreed. However, he had no intention of staying in his apartment. True, despite his boredom, he wasn't going to go into work. There was no way Michelle was going to let him within a hundred feet of the station, to start with. But that didn't mean he didn't have other plans.
Zoe. With the exception of her coming to see him that first night in the hospital, he hadn't seen her since, she wasn't answering her phone, and her text messages were short and evasive... I'm working.
Which was why he was about to walk out the door. Only he stopped when he found Lara in front of him, her hand raised as though to knock, looking a little startled at his appearance. He blinked in surprise. "Shouldn't you be over at the Sun Stadium?" he asked her.
"I don't care how shiny that new stadium is," Lara muttered, pulling a face. "I still think they should have been playing at Moore Park, and also," she added. "I don't care how much money Sun Airlines is sponsoring them..." she trailed off at the amused look Dean was giving her.
"I was just on my way out," Dean told her.
Lara shook her head. "You have strict instructions not to leave the house, so you can turn around, sit down on the couch and wait for me to cook some popcorn up ready for kick off."
"If you're such a big rugby fan, you should be at the final with the others," Dean pointed out without budging from the doorway.
"I'm not," Lara responded. "But it seemed unfair that everyone else had such a good view of the game and you couldn't go."
"You don't have to do that," Dean told her, trying to work out how to get rid of her so he could leave his apartment.
Lara eyed him sharply. "I'm going to pretend you're not trying to think of a way to make me disappear," she informed him. "But you are going to do a yewy and park yourself on the couch."
Growling under his breath, Dean turned, quickly deducing Lara was going to get her way. He shrugged his jacket off, dumped his keys on the table and dropped down on the couch, flipping the television on. From the kitchen, he could hear Lara rustling about in a carrier bag, followed by the sound of the microwave pinging open as she put a packet of popcorn in. Moments later, the sounds of the popcorn beginning to pop, she emerged in front of him, brandishing a bottle of beer. "Where was the fire?" she asked him.
Dean gave her a puzzled look, taking the beer from her. "Thanks. Fire?"
"You seemed a little eager to get out of the house," she shrugged. "And that's going to be your only one, so take it easy," she added.
"I was going to see Zoe," Dean sighed, unable to refrain from rolling his eyes. One beer, indeed!
"Fairly certain she's working," Lara muttered.
"You've spoken to her?" Dean asked in surprise.
Lara shook her head. "Dean, it's the Rugby League Finals. For the first time in god-knows-when that the Roosters are playing the Warriors. I'd heard that they were trying to call in as many police officers off their leave as they could. As soon as the finals were announced, the police were told that there wasn't a chance in hell that they were getting today off."
Dean sighed and sank back into the couch. He glanced over at Lara and frowned. "You know something, don't you?"
"I've already told you what I thought about Zoe," Lara replied carefully. "And you didn't like it. If there was something to know, and I'm not saying there is, but I'd rather it didn't come from me." From the kitchen, the microwave pinged. "Excuse me," she muttered.
Dean watched her leave. They'd been working together for so long now, he knew when she was hiding things. And she was hiding things. That being said, even though he'd chosen not to speak to her, it had been lonely. He sighed. Partners were supposed to trust each other – if Lara didn't want to tell him, he was going to have to trust that she was doing it for a good reason.
She returned then and settled down on the couch, placing a large bowl of popcorn between them. As she took a handful and started nibbling on it, Dean sighed inwardly. No, this was a better situation. He would have to wait and talk to Zoe directly.
It was a grey day, really. The sun wasn't really trying to break through the clouds, but neither was the rain. It also had the added advantage of being a pleasant temperature – cool enough that you needed a jacket, but warm enough you could leave it undone. Unless of course, you were Felicity, and still amazed at how much warmer it was there than in England.
According to Cole, they (he and Felicity) were the reason Rescue were at the match. According to Vince's account, Rescue had put in the tender months ago, and as soon as Lifeblood had done a very quick disappearing act, it had been awarded to them. Frankly, Felicity didn't give a damn. She was working, surrounded by friends, and all whilst having a front row seat to one of her fiancé's most important games of his career.
There had been units called in from the surrounding areas, but it was their team which had the prime position in the south stand. The Sun Stadium – the new home ground for the Sydney Warriors - had only just finished construction in time for the final. That being said, there were still large areas boarded off, unfit for public entry. Consequently, it was the stand allocated to the Rooster fans that still had some work left to be completed on it. (Although officials would never admit to it, there was a fierce rivalry between the two Sydney teams, and the Roosters would have done the same thing, given half the chance). What the Warriors failed to realised, was that today, it had the best atmosphere.
"Are you not tired from all this dancing around?" Vince asked Felicity, watching her in amusement. He, Chase, Lachie and Felicity were the only four in their section. When it had been discussed with Michelle a few days prior, there were originally going to be two teams from their unit. He, Lachie and Felicity were one, and Chase, Heidi and Jordan were making up the other team. Then Heidi had scheduled an appointment with her psychiatrist, and only hours before the game started, Jordan had called in sick.
"Shhhhhh!" Felicity hissed at him.
"Well you're making me tired, watching you," he told her – half joking, half serious.
"Vince, there are three minutes left on the clock and the score is tied," Felicity pointed out, her gaze never leaving the game.
"Still a tie?" Chase asked, rejoining them. He and Lachie had gone for water a while ago.
"Took you long enough," Vince grumbled taking the offered bottle from Lachie.
"Felicity?" Lachie offered, waving the bottle in front of her.
"Thanks," Felicity muttered, barely sparing him a glance. Just as her hands wrapped around the bottle, she froze. On the pitch, things had suddenly become worrisome.
It had been a close match all through the game, with no clear leaders. As soon as one team scored, the other would quickly equalise. Currently, the score was tied at seventeen-all. With minutes left on the clock, the remaining game was crucial, and the Warriors were pushing ahead. Then Cole went in for a tackle.
Felicity's eyes widened. Truth be told, she preferred to watch football – the English kind. But with a boyfriend who played rugby professionally, she had started watching games and trying to learn as much about the sport as possible. That was why her eyes flew to the referee. From the angle she was at, it looked like a high tackle – an illegal move. Her attention flicked back to the player. He was on the ground and not getting up. It wasn't until a cheer erupted around her that she realised Cole had made a try.
With her lower lip still caught firmly between her teeth, she continued to watch the referee. He was over by the injured player, waiting for him to be carried off on a stretcher. By the looks of things, he'd injured his collarbone. And then the referee gave the signal – the points would stand – just as the time went.
Felicity blinked. That meant... she (along with half the stadium) let out an excited scream, knocking the bottle out of Lachie's hands as she leapt at him and wrapped her arms around him.
"Thanks, Flick," Vince grumbled at her, rubbing his ear. "Now I'm deaf in that ear." But even he was smiling.
After the celebrations, the crowd began to leave in good spirits. The four of them were beginning to gather their kit together when a pair of guys appeared – both on the wrong side of sober. Although they were clearly celebrating the win, one had a large cut on his knee. Upon seeing Chase's raised eyebrows, his friend grinned. "He's drunk. He fell up the stairs."
Vince sighed. "Flick, you and Lachie make a start on loading up Rescue One. We'll deal with this twit," he said, indicating to himself and Chase.
Lachie gave his brother a very unsympathetic grin as he hurried after Felicity who had already skipped away with a couple of bags. "Wait up, Goldfish," he chided.
"You need to work out more," Felicity teased him, slowing her pace slightly.
"You need to come to one of my training sessions," Lachie retorted.
Felicity gave him a sideways glance. "I'd want to keep the weight off, not buff up."
Lachie grabbed at her arm, twisting her around with an exaggerated shocked expression on his face. "Felicity Lowe, was that a compliment you just paid me?"
"Depends if you think I like buff types?" she shrugged.
"You're getting married to a rugby player," he pointed out. A grin just spread across his face. "And here I thought you thought I was a moron."
"You are a moron," Felicity quickly assured him. "Unfortunately, you missed the branches on the ugly tree as you fell to earth," she added, rolling her eyes.
"Fell to earth?" he repeated, the grin growing. "Now you're comparing me to an angel?"
"Only if he's called Lucifer!" she shot at him, turning on her heel and continuing along the large corridors to where Rescue 1 was parked.
Behind her, Lachie chuckled. "He was still an angel," he called after her.
She smiled. She couldn't help it. But the moment he caught up to her, she changed her expression to one of nonchalance. At the sight of his slightly smug, slightly proud smile, she rolled her eyes again. "It was a moment of weakness brought on by the Roosters winning. Don't get used to it."
"You think I'm a buff, good-looking angel," Lachie told her.
"I never said you were good-looking," Felicity responded. "You're twisting my words."
"You're not denying it," Lachie noted.
"And we're right back to you being a moron," Felicity said, smiling. They rounded a corridor, and pushed through the exit into the back area. She had taken a few steps towards the patrol vehicle when two things happened almost simultaneously. First she noticed the group of guys fighting. Secondly, Lachie had grabbed her arm again – this time with force – and pulled her back against the wall. She turned, ready to chew him a new one, but he had already discarded his bag and charged past her.
It wasn't a fight, so much as about ten men – Warriors fans – in a circle, beating the crap out of someone who was huddled up on the floor, trying to protect himself from the vicious beating he was receiving.
The first two men didn't see what hit them as Lachie bounded into the fight, yanking them away and punching them so hard, they staggered to the ground. It was enough for the remaining men to pause in the beating – focusing their attention on Lachie. "Leave him alone!" he yelled at them.
"Oh look, a hero," one of them called back. He was the tallest, widest and ugliest of the bunch. "And let me guess, a cheating Roosters fan," he added, advancing towards him.
"I said, leave him alone," Lachie repeated as the apparent leader squared up to him.
Felicity blinked, finding her feet and ran over. "No!" she bellowed. "That's enough. Just get out of here!"
"You bought a little girl along," the guy sneered.
"Jez, that ain't any old girl," another man told him, as Felicity tried to pull Lachie back. "That's Turner's woman."
Felicity froze again, the hairs on the back of her neck standing up. "Hardly," Lachie snorted. "If she was, don't you think she'd be with the rest of the wives?" One hand snaked backwards, reaching for Felicity's hand and giving it a warning squeeze. The other hand slowly reached into his pocket.
"Nah, it's be been all over the papers, Jez," the second guy continued. "That Turner found a Brit and brought her back – that she works for Rescue."
Jez cocked his head, his attention on Felicity instead of Lachie. "Are you a liar and a cheat like your husband?"
"What?" Felicity stammered, feeling herself being slowly inched backwards by Lachie.
"Turner cheated. It was a high tackle and he should have been sent off," Jez told her, to a chorus of agreement from the men behind him.
"Then why didn't the ref call it?" Felicity demanded, despite herself.
"Felicity, shut up," Lachie hissed at her, his grip becoming tighter.
"That game was ours," Jez added. "Your fella took it away from us. Maybe we should take something away from him."
All of a sudden, Rescue One burst into life. With everyone's attention on the blaring alarms and flashing lights, Lachie moved quickly, first punching Jez in the side of the head, then, amongst the commotion, he turned, his grip still on Felicity and pulled her away.
He took off at a run, Felicity stumbling behind him as she tried to keep up, and led them back into the stadium. They had just reached the doors when there was a roar behind them. They pushed the door open with a bang and flew through. Lachie stopped, turning, and ran for the fire hose, pulling it from the wall and using it to tie the door shut, just as the gang reached the doors.
Lachie watched the door for a moment. It looked like it was going to hold. He turned his attention to Felicity – just in time to see the hand hurtling towards his cheek. He reached up, stopping it just before Felicity's palm connected. "What the hell?" he cried.
"Are you INSANE?" Felicity bellowed at him.
"What the hell?" Lachie repeated, glaring back at her.
"Are you insane?" Felicity roared back at him. "What in god's name possessed you to go charging into that? There were a dozen of them!"
"There were ten!" Lachie yelled.
"I don't give a shit!" Felicity exclaimed, stamping her foot. "There is only one of you!"
"And there was a guy who needed helping!" Lachie cried back. His hand shot up, again stopping Felicity from slapping him. This time, he held her wrist. "Will you stop trying to hit me?"
"Will you stop acting like a tool?" Felicity shot back, yanking her arm free. "Yes, he needed helping, but what good are you to him, when you're lying in a bloody pool next to him?"
"I could have taken them," he responded, defensively.
"No, you couldn't!" Felicity snapped. "There was one of you, and ten of them. This isn't the movies. They wouldn't have waited to take their turn while you beat them up."
"I made a pretty good start!"
"Yeah, which they would have quickly finished," she all but growled at him.
"Then what should I have done?" he demanded.
"Call. For. Backup," she told him, emphasising each word.
Lachie glared at her, his nostril's flaring slightly. Then, with a huff, he snatched at his radio. "Vince, we need-" he was cut off by a loud, high-pitched squeal.
"What was that?" Felicity demanded.
"We..." he stopped, frowning. The commotion at the doors had suddenly stopped. "I don't like the sound of that." The muffled sound of the Rescue sirens also went quiet. "Felicity, move!" he yelled.
They moved out of the way of the doors just in time. With an almighty boom, Rescue One went flying through the doors, sending clouds of dust and rubble raining down around them.
Thanks for sticking with me! I know the disappearing act can be frustrating, but I do appreciate all the reviews, adds and hits I get! You make a girl feel special!
wickeduk - You can't see, but I'm blushing - thank you! The amount of times I've had to rewrite scenes because I didn't think I was being true to the characters - I feel relieved!
scifigirl - I have a soft spot for Chase - but my favourite is most definitely Vince. I wish I knew that character in real life!
Elizajo - Real life has really kicked my butt recently but I really can't complain - I'm finally in a job where I'm happy. But i truely do feel bad for taking forever to update!
MissShawnaAlice - Long day? I hope you're not working too hard? You need to keep time to write :)
meddrama - I really do have too much fun writing them - to the point that they overshadow everyone else... but I'm glad you like them :)
Jane - Sorry to make you wait!
xxletgoxx - They will find out everything... eventually (:P)