Detective Peter Hurst shook his head in amazement as he stepped back
into the police station an hour later.

"Well?"Katherine Krieg asked as she stepped out of her office.

Peter held up a folded piece of white paper,"I think Watson's clerk
processed this warrent so fast the wheels of justice left tire marks on
the pavement."

Krieg took the arrest warrant from him,"Well you know what they say
about the wheels of justice...."

Peter smirked,"Yeah, you apply enough grease or pressure and they spin."

Katherine grabbed her coat,"Come on,maybe if we're lucky we can put a
happy ending on this case."

Hurst glanced at his friend with a raised eyebrow,"Happy ending? And how
long have you been in this business?"

The brown haired woman slapped him playfully on the shoulder,"I'm not
that cynical,yet."She took a pair of car keys from a hook near the
door,"I'm driving."

Peter reached for the keys in her hand,"Uh,uh. Last time you nearly got
me killed."

Krieg ducked out of his reach and dashed through the doorway,"How was I
to know the guy was going to run a red light?"

Hurst rolled his eyes,"It was a high speed chase of course the nutcase
was going to run a red light...."


Tom was looking out the window when he sensed another of his kind. He
didn't turn as the door opened revealing Colin.

"I'm surprised you didn't send a messanger."Tom quipped.

Colin smiled as he closed the door behind him,"And miss the look on your

Tom remained silent as he folded his arms across his chest.

"You are a skillful ally that I would like to keep around."Colin stated
as he walked into the center of the room and sat down in a low backed
black leather chair,"But you set certain things in motion months ago
that must be accounted for."

Tom glared at his captor,"If you're going to kill me,do it."

Colin laughed,"Kill you? My boy, that would be far too easy. We need to
make an example of your actions so that none of our youth think of them
as 'people'. Our species is the only one for this planet."


Ray watched from the foot of Sloan's bed as Ed filled a syringe with a
bright blue liquid.

"Will it work?"Peterson asked anxiously as his brown eyes flickered from

Sloan's still form to the heart monitor and back again.

Ed didn't reply for a moment as he fought off a combination wave of
nausea and dizziness. Once it passed he looked down at his friend's
still form,"I wish I knew,Ray,but there are just too many variables. The
poisons are a match but other than that I still don't know as much as
I'd like about them."Tate looked down at the antidote in his hand then
back at Sloan,"On one hand its too risky to take a chance with her
life,their life. But on the other its the only chance she has."

"Ed,you know Sloan would be the first one to tell you to go for
it."Peterson replied.

Tate nodded pushing aside any further doubts aside and inserted the
syringe into the IV.

As Ed pushed down on the plunger of the needle he prayed that he was
doing the right thing.


"This is stupid."Lucy muttered as they continued to
climb. They had caught up with Lewis on the fifth
Now they were on the twelve. Check that....thirteen.

Walter glared at her but Lucy cut him off before he
could say anything,"Don't tell me to shutup. They
already know we're here. Whispering won't keep our
presence a secret."

"If you two will quit bickering for a moment,"Lewis
said calmly without turning around,"I will tell you
what you need to do. And to calm your worries Ms.
Sanchez, they do not know we are here."

Lucy raised an eyebrow,"Then why take the stairs?"

"Precautionary tactic only,I assure you."Lewis replied
as he stopped on the landing of the fourteenth floor.

"You blocked our presence."Attwood stated the
scientist part of him still amazed at what the new
species's brain could do.

"Very good,Doctor."Lewis replied with a smile,"You
might have a place with our species after all."

Walter glared at him,"I'll pass,thanks."

"Are you going to fill us in on what the plan is or
doesn't the all mighty Lewis have one?"Lucy asked as
she leaned against the wall.

Lewis's only reply was to look at her for a long
moment before turning and opening the door to the

"Great."Sanchez muttered darkly,"I should've shot him
when I had the chance."

Ed Tate fought the urge to glance at the clock. It
wouldn't tell him any new information.
It was nine o'clock.
Three long hours since he had injected Sloan with the
Ed weakly sat down at his desk and rested his face in
his hands.
There hadn't been any change in Sloan's condition.
And what worried him the most was the fact that the
baby's heartbeat was slower.

Ed raised his head and looked over at his best friend.
But then again with the difference in the baby's DNA
the slower heart rate could mean nothing.
Ed sighed he had tried Attwood's number himself over
the last few hours and recieved no answer.
That concerned Tate.
Sure Walter had dropped out of sight a few times but
he'd always let ethier him or Sloan know where he was.

Ray stepped back into the room carrying a tray of
food. He placed a bowl of chicken noodle soup and a
glass of juice in front of Tate.

At Ed's look Ray shook his head,"Don't argue with me
this time,Ed. You need to eat. Your body's been
through a lot the last couple hours."

Ed nodded as he picked up the spoon. He forced down
three spoonfuls before his stomach started doing
Tate had just pushed the bowl away when he caught the
concerned glance that Ray threw in Sloan's direction.

"What?"Ed asked anxiously as he stood. As he moved
closer to Sloan he saw what had caught Peterson's
Sloan's heartbeat was increasing.
Ed tried to keep a reign on his emotions as he glanced
at other monitors.
Her breathing was calmer.
Could it be.......

"What's happening?"Ray asked his dark eyes filled with

Ed swallowed hard in an effort to get control of his
voice,"She's coming around."


"What was the point of getting a warrant if we didn't
have a fix on this guy?"Hurst muttered darkly as he
tossed the empty sterophone cup onto the dashboard.

"Its not the first time the Feds have lied to us to
save their own buts."Katherine replied wearily as she
tossed down her cell phone and stared out at the dark

They had been pretty much driving around in circles
for the last three hours and Peter wasn't the only one
who was sick of it.

Hurst shook his head in frusteration,"Yeah but they've
never hung us out to dry this badly before."

Krieg nodded as she glanced down at the various junk
food wrappers scattered about the front seat of the
car,"I'm starving let's get some real food and hash
this out. We have to be missing something obvious."


Tom watched neutrally as Colin stepped away from the
door allowing three armed men entrance.
Tom didn't move.
He didn't think.
Thinking would lead to emotion.
Emotion would betray him....betray his secret.

Colin watched him closely,"You're going to make this
as difficult as possible aren't you?"

Tom remained silent....impassive.

Colin shrugged as he nodded to the men,"All the more
fun then."


Sloan Parker felt like she was floating on a white
puffy cloud in a clear blue sky.
There was no pain.
No sound.
Then as if a magician was preforming a magic trick the
cloud was gone....yanked out from underneath her.
She was falling....
Into a world of nothing but pain and fear.....
No matter how hard she tried Sloan couldn't find a
handhold to stop her fall.


"Sloan?"Ed Tate called tersely as he anxiously watched
for any signs of movement.

"Anything I can do?"Ray asked softly from the other
side of the bed.

Ed's gaze didn't wavier from Sloan,"No, there's
nothing I can do. Its up to Sloan wether she want's to
fight through the pain."

At that moment Sloan's body jerked as her
conscienceness struggled to figure out what was going
To figure out how to breathe again.
To figure out how to think again.

"Sloan?"Ed called again as he fought to keep a reign
on his emotions. Sloan needed him to keep a cool head.
Finally....nearly three weeks since Ed had last seen
her standing in her apartment....Sloan Parker opened
her eyes.

"Tom?"The scientist asked in a hoarse,weak voice.


Lucy Sanchez nearly slammed into the back of Lewis as
he quickly stepped back into the stairwell.

"What....."Walter asked but a gesture from Lewis
silenced him.

"Stay put."Lewis ordered as he started to slip out
into the corridor.

Lucy grabbed his shoulder,"There's no way we're just
staying here..."

Lewis snatched her wrist and twisted it painfully as
he slammed her back against the wall next to

Attwood,"Ms. Sanchez, if you wish to survive this
little escapade I suggest you remain silent and trust
that I have your best interests at heart."

Lucy furiously broke Lewis's grasp allowing him to
turn and walk out into the hallway.


Tom had decided that he wasn't going to resist
whatever punishment that Colin decided on.
Especially if it got him back to Sloan faster.
But when the fists started to fly instinct kicked in
and Tom found himself fighting back.
He managed to knock out three of Colin's men before
Colin had enough of the situation.

"Enough!"Colin ordered as he stepped forward,"Take him
outside. You know where to deliver him to!"

The men scrambled to their feet and grabbed Tom
roughly by the shoulders and dragged him out of the


Ed gently helped Sloan into a sitting position as he
handed her a glass of water.

"Take it easy."Ed ordered as he crouched on the right
side of the bed resting his arms on the metal
railing,"The last thing we need is for you to have a
relapse. That means no over doing it on anything
including talking."

Sloan looked from Ray to Ed and back again. They were
both clearly worried about something besides her

"Baby?"Sloan asked hoarsely her eyes wide with

Ed gently took one of her hands in his,"As far as I
can tell the poison had no effect on the baby. The
heart rate's a little fast but that could be from the
difference in DNA."

Sloan nodded as her head fell back against the pillow
her eyes drifting closed.

Tate stood motioning for Ray to leave the room,"Get
some rest,Sloan. I'll be back in a little while to
check on you."

As Ed turned to leave he felt a hand grab his elbow he
turned back toward Sloan,"Sloan?"

The young woman met her best friend's gaze her eyes
filled with fear,"Ed,find Tom. He needs us."


In a small all night diner near Whitney University
Hurst and Krieg sat at a back booth.
They had four files and two notepads spread out
amongst cheeseburgers and french fries.

"Okay,"Katherine began as she picked up a pencil,"Lets
treat this like any other homicide case."

Hurst raised an eyebrow,"Treat it as a normal case?
Okay we have our victim who's the scientist who blew
the lid on this new human species. The main suspect in
her death is her boyfriend who's an FBI agent. We have
a John Doe who went to college with the victim who
turns out to be one of the new species."

Krieg took a sip of her soda,"Okay so normal may have
been the wrong term but I think you have something

Hurst glanced up from his burger,"What?"

Katherine thumbed through her notebook,"Our John Doe.
If we can trace his steps we might be able to find out
why he was killed in Daniels's room."

Peter smirked,"He was there because Daniels's lured
him there to kill him."

Katherine ignored her partner's attempt at
humor,"Think about it,Peter. This guy's a FBI agent.
He knows his girlfriend's missing he's not going to
risk her safety buy getting arrested for killing a guy
in his rented room."

"You're assuming he cared about her at all."Peter
replied through a mouthful of fries.

Krieg rubbed her head in a futile effort to get rid of
her headache,"Alright,let's forget the love story for
now and concentrate on the John Doe. What was his name

Hurst reached for a file on the opposite side of the
table nearly toppling Krieg's soda in the
process,"Timothy something."

"Here it is,"Hurst stated as he opened the
file,"Timothy Hanson."


When Lewis had peaked out into the corridor he had
been just in time to see Tom being pulled into the
Now as he started to follow the group who had taken
Tom he could only hope that Attwood kept Sanchez under
His plan and Daniels's safety depended on it.


Tom barely noticed that the elevator had reached its
He was too busy trying not to think.
Thinking would give away what he was trying to protect
the most.
Which was hard to do when all his instincts were
asking him if this was the right thing.
But it was too late to back out now.
He had to go with the flow and see where things led.
Perhaps them he could find an opening to escape.

Colin had just stepped out of the elevator and into
the parking garage when his cellular phone rang. He
cursed as he motioned for the men holding Tom to stop.

"Whatever it is,it can wait."Colin snapped as he
answered the phone,"I don't care who it is; you know
what I'm in the middle of. Fine I will be there

As he ended the phone conversation Colin turned to
face the henchmen,"Gentlemen I'm afraid you'll have to
handle this transfer yourselves. I assume you can
handle this without any problems?"

A red haired man in his mid thirties nodded,"Yes,Sir."

With a nod Colin turned and retreated into the


Tate put a reasurring hand on Sloan's shoulder as he
gently pushed her back against the pillow,"Tom's
fine.You need to rest,Sloan, you've been through a

Sloan glared at him,"I know what I've been through,Ed.
If Tom was fine he'd be here. He's trapped in a life
that he's tried so hard to distance himself from."

Ed's eyes flickered to Sloan's heart monitor which had
started to increase,"Ray and I will look for him,I
promise. But only if you promise me that you'll get
some rest."

Sloan's eyes were already drifting closed as she
nodded,"Promise."she replied softly.


Ed slowly stepped away from Sloan's bed as he turned
and motioned for Ray to step out into the hallway.

"How's she doing?"Peterson asked with concern.

Tate nodded wearily,"I think she's out of danger for
now. But the baby's increased heart rate does have me

Ed felt a wave of dizziness threaten to wash over him.
He ignored it as he leaned against the wall,"Any luck
tracking down Walter?"

Peterson shook his head,"No and I've done everything
short of placing an A.P.B out on him."

"I don't think that'll do us any good anyway."Tate
replied softly,"Attwood will resurface when he chooses
to and not a moment before. What we have to do now,for
Sloan's sake, is find Daniels."

"You think he's still alive?"Ray asked as he glanced
at Sloan's still form,"If they found out about his

Ed nodded,"I know,but Sloan believes he's still alive
and that's what counts."


As Tom was being herded into the black sedan he felt
an all too familiar presence behind him.

"Gentlemen,"Lewis ordered hoping he had his
'brother's' mannerisms correct,"You may leave,I will
handle this on my own."

The red haired man blinked as he turned to face the
older man,"But you just said that you wanted us

"Are you questioning my orders?"Lewis demanded as he
took a threatening step forward.

The man hesitated,"No,but....."

"Leave,before I decide to increase your
punishment."Lewis replied in a clipped tone.

The men quickly left the garage without a backwards

Tom stood his ground his hands clasped behind his
back,"You might as well kill me,because I will not go
back to you."

Lewis smiled,"If I wanted you dead I would've done
that a long time ago. There was a time I wanted to
punish you for your betrayal of our species but a
larger threat has come into focus that must be delt

"He let me get Sloan out."Tom replied softly his blue
eyes constantly watching the garage for signs of a
threat,"She's with Tate."

Lewis started walking toward the stairs,"Good,then the
four of us should be able to take care of what needs
to be done without any distractions."

"Four of us?"Tom asked as they entered the stairwell.

Lewis nodded,"Yes I thought reinforcements might be a
good idea."


"That's it,I'm out of here."Lucy announced as she
sprang away from the wall and gripped the door handle.

Walter snatched her by the elbow,"I do not wish to
stay here any longer than you. But did you forget that
we are unarmed?"

Lucy grinned,"Since when did that ever stop
you,Walter? Or have you gotten soft in your old age?"

Attwood smiled briefly,"Soft no, realistic,yes."

Lucy gestured toward the closed door,"He's left us
here to die. I don't know about you but I'm not going
to sit here and wait for them to find us."

"He'll come back."Walter replied as he stepped away
from the wall.

Lucy's eyes narrowed,"Why do you suddenly have so much
faith in him?"

"The players have changed."Walter said quietly,"But
not the game. We have to choose our alis's whenever
opportunity permits us to do so."


With Attwood nowhere to be found Ray and Ed decided
that Peterson would be the best one to look for Tom.

"You know when this is all over we're going to need a
few more people to fight for the good side."Ray said
with a grin as Tate walked him out to his car,"This
one against a million odd thing is getting a little

Ed nodded in agreement,"Hopefully Daniels will be able
to bring a few of them over to our side."

Ray unlocked his car,"Guess I'll start from where Tom
was staying and work from there. Unless you have a
better idea."

Peterson turned at the younger man's silence only to
discover Ed's still form sprawled on the sidewalk.
The effects of fighting the remnants of the poison
combined with the stress of the past week had finally
taken their toll.

Ray shook his head as he gathered his friend in a
fireman's tackle,"You just wouldn't take care of
yourself,would you?"

Peterson carried Ed back into the lab hoping that Tom
could take care of himself for a little while longer.


Lucy and Attwood had just stepped out into the
corridor when they came face to face with Lewis.

"I thought I told you to stay put."Lewis demanded in a
hushed tone as he and Tom manuvered the duo back into
the stairwell.

Lucy glared at him,"We got tired of awaiting your

For the first time Walter noticed Daniels,"Tom,what
are you doing here?"

"Its a long story which we don't have time to explain
now."Tom replied with a grim smile.

Attwood nodded,"Do you know about Sloan?"Walter asked
quietly as he glanced at Lewis.

Tom nodded solemnly,"Yes and she's safe."

"Then we have no need to stay here."Attwood replied as
he turned around and started to head for the stairs.

"I assure you doctor,"Lewis replied,"There is a larger
threat that must be delt with."


"You know it would help if we had the guy's
birthdate."Peter Hurst muttered as he tapped the
necessary information into his laptop computer as
Krieg pulled the car away from the diner.

"That's what computers are for."Katherine replied as
she made a left turn.

"Funny."Hurst commented dryly as he tapped several
keys,"Okay I've got at least twelve Hanson's listed in
the general Los Angeles area."

Peter glanced out the window,"Isn't this the way back
to Whitney?"

"I figured if he was sent to keep an eye on Parker
he'd stay close to where she worked."Katherine replied
as she changed lanes to pass a slow moving car.

Hurst cast his partner a sideways glance,"You're
starting to sound like the X-files. You're assuming
this new species even knew of his connection to

Krieg nodded,"I know it sounds like a stretch,but its
the only thing that makes sense. They knew of the
connection and he knows why she was killed. Which is
why he ended up at Daniels's place."


In less than ten minutes Lewis's team had a plan. Or
at least one that he could live with.
Whether or not it would work was another story.
Leaving the others in the stairwell Lewis and Tom
ducked back into the hallway.
Tom didn't like the fact that the plan called for
Lewis to have a gun pressed against his back.
He had trusted Lewis once before and it had ended
badly. How could he do it again with so many lives
riding on it?

As if sensing his doubts Lewis said quietly,"We've
come full circle from student/teacher to equals. This
will work."

Tom was about to reply when he realized they were at
the door to Colin's office.

Lewis kicked open the door coming face to face with
Colin who had sensed their approach,"I believe you
lost something,brother."

Colin's eyes narrowed sharply,"You don't have as much
power as you think,brother. I would take great care of
how you approach this."


After Tom and Lewis left Lucy and Attwood took the
guns Lewis had given them and headed out into the
hallway in the opposite direction.

"There's no way this is going to work."Lucy muttered
darkly as she and Walter rounded a corner,"How are we
going to keep the 'soilders' occupied with just two
guns between us?"

Walter smiled grimly as he warily looked in an open
doorway as he passed,"Well you know the old

Lucy glanced at him,"Once a fool always a fool?"

Attwood shook his head,"No,the pen is mightier than
the sword. Weapons aren't always the only way out of a

Lucy moved a few steps ahead of Walter as they moved
single file against the wall,"Well,if you have any
ideas now would be a good time."

Before Attwood could reply three of Colin's 'henchmen'
appeared almost out of nowhere.

"Drop your weapons."A young brown haired man ordered

Lucy shook her head,"Drop yours first."

A blond man who appeared to be the leader of the trio
stepped forward a dark smirk on his face,"Do you
really think you can take on all of us?"

The black haired woman grinned as she took a step
foward,"I think we could take out more of you than you
think. Do you really think we were dumb enough to come
here alone?"

Walter sighed inwardly as he took the safety off of
his gun. His mind was scrambling to come up with a
safe way out of this standoff.

He'd been in worse situations than this....he just had
to think of a plan.


Now Ed completely understood what the term bone-weary
ment. All he wanted to do was bury himself under the
covers for a month or so but something was telling he
couldn't, not yet.
Ed just couldn't figure out what that was.
Finally from somewhere he found the strength to open
his eyes.

"Hey,"Ray said as he walked over to the small cot,"I
thought you were going to sleep for at least a few

Ed blinked as he struggled into a sitting
position,"What happened?"

"You collasped outside."Ray replied,"My guess is that
your body finally decided that it needed some rest."

Tate glanced out the door and across the hall to where
Sloan lay,"How's Sloan?"

"Sleeping."Peterson replied softly,"As you should be.
Get some rest. I'll wake you if there's any change
with Sloan."

Ed shook his head as he stood shakily,"No, you've got
to look for Tom. I'll rest when this whole mess is

Ray placed a hand on Ed's shoulder and forced him back
down onto the cot,"You're not going anywhere. And
don't worry about Tom I've got a couple leads on Tom
that I'm waiting to hear back on. So get some sleep."

Ed nodded as he felt the exhaustion resurface in his
body,"Alright, but only for an hour."Tate replied
softly as he layed back down.
Ed was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.


"You only have one choice here."Colin began as he
moved the group to the center of his office,"Turn Tom
over to me and the elders might not see your actions
as betrayal."

Lewis's eyes narrowed,"And what would they consider
your actions to be? Are you really that deluded to
believe that you are acting with the consent of

Colin leaned against the front of his desk as he
folded his arms across his chest,"You've been out of
the loop for awhile,Lewis. There are things being
planned that you do not know about."

Lewis pressed the barrel of the gun harder into the
small of Tom's back forcing the younger man
forward,"Are you going to spend all night enlightening
us or our we going to get down to business?"

Colin's eyes narrowed sharply,"You interfered with my
plans, brother dear, why should I make any kind of
deal with you?"

"Because you know as well as I do how valuable Tom is
to our future."Lewis replied quietly.


Walter knew he'd regret this later but he aimed his
gun anyway. With one shot the blond adversary went
down clutching his shoulder. The other two 1.6er's
glanced at each other than down at the wounded man
before reluctantly lowering their weapons.

Lucy jumped slightly before turning to glare at
Attwood,"*That* was your plan?"

Walter grinned,"It worked didn't it?"

Lucy shook her head,"Warn me next time."

Sanchez moved forward ushering the trio into a nearby
closet. Just as she was about to lock the door the
brown haired youth lashed out striking her hard across
the face.
Lucy's eyes blazed with anger as she brought the
weapon back up using it to shove the man back into the

Loosing his footing the man tumbled into the other
two,"Try that again and I will shoot you!"

Attwood joined her just as the blond man glared at
them,"You may think you have the upper hand but Prey
will die they always do."

Walter shook his head firmly,"Not this prey."

Lucy slammed the door shut making sure it was locked
before turning away.

Walter noticed the rapidly forming bruise on her left
cheek,"You alright?"

Lucy shook her head,"Its nothing, lets move and round
up the rest of these toy soldiers."


Tom blinked in surprise at Lewis's statement but kept
his face expressionless.

Colin shook his head as he walked around the corner of
his desk and press a button on his phone console,"This
absurdness ends now."

Five tense long minutes went by before Colin hit
another button and then another.
Still no one came.

Lewis grinned,"Rather hard to keep up this pretense
without your army isn't it?"

"I can handle you without an army."Colin replied in a
voice that was clipped and harsh. He calmly hit one
more button on the phone console.
On the wall closest to Tom a wood panel about the size
of a mousepad slid open revealing a semi-automatic
machine gun.

Lewis whirled to face the weapon then looked back at
his 'brother',"Your ace in the hole won't work."

"Why is that?"Colin replied as he leaned on the desk
his hand just inches above the button that would
trigger the gun.

Lewis raised his gun and pressed it against Tom's head
as he cocked the hammer,"You forget that I always
finish the game my way."

Tom heard the trigger being pulled back and forced
himself not to close his eyes. Whatever happened he'd
meet his fate with his eyes wide open.
Trusting Lewis this time may have turned out to be his
Achilles' heel.

Colin laughed,"You don't have the nerve to kill your
prize pupil."

"Never underestimate me,'brother'."Lewis replied
coldly as he squeezed the trigger.
Then at the last possible second Lewis spun around and
fired. The bullet hit Colin square in the chest. The
recoil sent him flying through the plate glass window
to his death on the street far below.


Katherine Krieg was just about to turn into Whitney's
parking lot when a call came over the radio.

"43L go ahead dispatch."Hurst replied as he turned up
the volume of the radio.

"There's a John Doe with a gunshot wound at 2828

Peter glanced out the window at the building in
question which was only two blocks away,"That's a
highrise,what floor is the body on?"

"Negative,the body is not in the building."

"Sounds like a stiff right up our alley."Krieg replied
with a weak grin as she put the car in reverse and
pulled back onto the main street.

Hurst grimaced as he cowered in his seat mockingly
holding up his hands in a defensive postion,"Please,
don't tell any more jokes. Unless you want to dispense
then to the whole department to use instead of their

Krieg glared at her partner but didn't respond as she
smoothly changed lanes.
She could only hope that this body answered a few
questions instead of leaving them with more.
That is of course if this John Doe was even connected
to the case at all.


Six months later.....

Sloan Parker squeezed her eyes shut as her right arm
sprang out and grabbed the bed rail.
The contractions were a hell of a lot more painful
than she had ever expected.
But as she opened her eyes and looked into Tom's the
pain seemed much more bearable.
Especially when she remembered the source of the pain.
After all they had gone through by some miracle Tom
was by her side and she was giving birth to their

The contraction finally subsided and she glanced
around the room. Despite Ed's protests Sloan had
insisted that she have the child at the University.
A hospital would just have too many questions,Sloan
had reasoned with her friend.
Besides they would know better than anyone how to
handle any medical complication that came up during
Now that the moment was finally there Sloan could only
pray that her child was healthy.

"Okay,Sloan,"Ed Tate called from the foot of the
bed,"You're fully dilated. On the next contraction you
can start to push."

Sloan nodded as she glanced from her best friend to
Tom. She didn't know who was more nervous.
Ray and Walter were standing quietly against the wall
near the door. Ready to help if they were needed.

Tom winced inwardly as he saw the pain cross Sloan's
face as another contraction began.
He glared at Ed,"Can't you give her something for the

Sloan grasped his hand," drugs."

"Sloan...."Tom replied quietly as he took her hand in

Sloan shook her head,"Drugs will risk the baby's

"We don't know that."Tom replied quietly,"I don't want
to risk your hea...."

Sloan tightened her grip on Tom's hand cutting off his
sentence as another contraction started.
This one was more powerful than any of the others.
Sloan bit her lower lip to keep from crying out.

"Sloan,this is it."Ed stated with a smile,"Start

Sloan nodded as she clamped her eyes shut. She forced
herself to ride the wave of pain, using it as
controlled energy.

"That's it,Sloan."Ed commented excitedly,"I can see
the baby's head. Two more pushes...."

Sloan's eyes snapped open as she glared at her best
friend,"Easy for you to say."

Her attention was snatched away from her friend as her
body was wracked by another contraction. Sloan forced
her exhausted body to funnel all the remaining energy
into one more push. No matter what Ed said this had to
be the last one.
She didn't think she could do any more after this one.

Ed watched in amazement as tiny shoulders appeared.
Followed by tiny legs....then suddenly he was holding
a brand new life in his arms.
Sloan collapsed back against the pillow so tired she
could barely keep her eyes open.
Tom was on his feet as he looked anxiously toward

Paniced Sloan forced herself into a sitting
position,"Ed? What's wrong? Why isn't it crying?"

Rising to his feet Ed was about to reply when a tiny
wail interrupted him.
Ed walked around to the left side of the bed and
gently handed the infant to its mother,"Say hello to
your daughter,Sloan."

Sloan felt tears stream down her face but she didn't
care. Carefully she shifted position so Tom could see
their new daughter.
Part of her still couldn't believe that somebody was
going to be calling her Mama.
But as she looked into Tom's eyes she knew that
whatever lay ahead for them they would make it through

"Would you like to hold her?"Sloan asked in a quiet
Tom didn't look away from the tiny pair of eyes
staring back at him.
A daughter.
His daughter.
Tom felt such a rush of love surge through him that it
nearly toppled him.
He had a family.....a place where he could finally be
truly happy.

At Sloan's question he reached toward her,"I....."Tom
replied his voice thick with emotion,"I'm afraid I'll
drop her."

Sloan smiled at him as she gently placed their
daughter in Tom's arms,"No,you won't."

As he accepted his daughter Tom slowly sank into a
nearby chair. Afraid if he stood any longer his legs
would give way. The baby slowly reached up and grasped
Tom's right forefinger in its tiny hand.
Not looking away from the absolute perfect picture
before her Sloan asked Ed,"Is she really okay?"

Tate nodded as he leaned against the bed
rail,"Yes,she's perfect,Sloan."

"So what are we going to call this new little bundle
of joy?"Walter asked as he and Ray came to stand next
to Ed.

Sloan looked down at her new daughter,"I'd like to
name her Melissa.....Melissa Ann."


Detective Katherine Krieg stood in front of her file
cabinet, manila folder in hand.
More than anything she hated filing cases that had
more holes in them than swiss cheese.
The John Doe they had discovered by the highrise
turned out to be Colin Montgomery a CEO of a
multi-million dollar computer company.
But his business didn't explain his death.
Or for that matter the connection to the Parker case.
Tim Hansen had been employed by Montgomery for five

While she was grateful that Parker had been found
alive the good doctor's reemergence had only led to
more questions.
None of which were answered by Daniels to her
But as it seemed to be more and more these days
politics had interfered with justice.
The Commissioner had forced her to close the case and
place it in the cold file among countless other
unsolved murders.

"That wouldn't be the Parker file would it?"Peter
Hurst asked as he leaned against the open doorway.

Katherine grinned,"How could you tell?"

"Your forehead crinkles when you're frusterated."Hurst
replied as he walked into the room.

Katherine sighed as she filed the folder and shut the
door,"I just don't like loose ends and that case is
full of them."

Hurst nodded,"I know,so do I. But its been six months.
If there were any new leads we would've found them by
now. The people involved in the case aren't exactly
cooperative. Not that I blame them, they want to move
on with their lives."

Krieg turned around,"Is that your subtle way of saying
we should move on as well?"

"That and the six open case files on my desk."Peter
replied with a grin,"Come on, I'll buy lunch."