Months had passed and nothing had changed. Carrie still lived with Al, despite recovering fully from all of her injuries. He was still worried about her mental and emotional state, so he wanted to keep her close. She had gone back to work, but found that it didn't help her take what had happened off her mind because they were all searching for her rapist. She started to get sick, throwing up and dizzy, while at the office so Al ordered her to have another leave of absence. For him, a leave of absence meant she was supposed to stay at home and on the couch. But on that specific day she decided to go to her apartment and grab some more clothes. She hadn't been back to her place in months so she expected dust and dirt to have settled in.
But she didn't expect to her door to be unlocked.
Automatically she feels panic settling in, because she's on a leave of absence she doesn't have her gun and right now she needs it. Nina was here twice, maybe she forgot to fully close the door and lock it. But that isn't like Nina, she's not like that. Her heart starts beating faster and she doesn't know how to stop the full fledged panic attack that is coming on. She pulls her phone out of her back pocket and hits her number one speed dial. His voice fills her ears which calms her.
"Hey Carrie, what's wrong?"
"I…I'm at my apartment, you have…have to ask Nina….if she locked the do….door."
By this point she's sitting on the floor trying to control her breathing. A year ago or even four months ago, this would not have bothered her. But now that her rapist is still out there, she doesn't feel safe, especially since the apartment building is really quiet, which doesn't happen often.
"She says she locked it when she left both times. Look I'm in my car, I'm coming just stay on the line with me, it won't take me long to get there."
It's normally a ten minute drive to get where she is, so she doesn't understand how he can say he'll be there soon. That is until she hears his sirens turned on. Internally she rolls her eyes, because he could get in some serious trouble for using his sirens to get to her quicker.
"Carrie you still with me?
"Yeah, I'm here. I just…I'm sorry. I should've waited until you got home to come here. This wouldn't have been a problem four months ago. Do you think I'm crazy, Al? I mean I'm practically having a panic attack over here."
"I don't think you're crazy. You're scared and rightfully so. The team is still working we're gonna get this guy Carrie."
"I don't doubt…I just….I'm scared."
For some reason she didn't hear him turn off the siren or walk up the stairs, but all she wants to do it wrap her arms around him and not let him go. But she doesn't act on the action, instead when he offers her his hand to help her up she takes it and doesn't let go.
"Carrie! Where are you?"
The clatter of the steps as he stumps on them is evident and echoing throughout the building. The people trying to sleep at one in the morning are probably pissed at this guy looking for this girl. They probably think that they're boyfriend and girlfriend and they had a fight. But they didn't fight, he's just worried about her sanity. Finally he finds her on the roof, back against a wall. She's not crying, she doesn't even seem upset but he can read her better than anyone else.
"You couldn't of just told me you were up here, so that I didn't have to wake up the whole building."
"I was kind of hoping you wouldn't find me…"
"I'll always find you. Are you okay?"
"Shouldn't you be worried about the suspect considering I punched him pretty hard? Who cares about me anyways. I'm just the female cop, who can't keep her emotions in check especially on her sister's birthday."
"I don't care about the suspect, that's Jacobs' job. I do care about you, more than anyone else, don't doubt that. And I'm not mad at you for hitting the suspect, he went to far. If I had been in there I would slugged him too."
She starts crying and he takes a seat next to her.
"You're not okay."
She shakes her head, but she can't look at him. She's so ashamed that she couldn't control herself. Al wouldn't have hit the guy, no matter how far he went. But the guy mentioned her sister and she couldn't stop herself. On any other day just maybe, but not today.
"Is it strange that even after all this time all I want is Rachel? I still miss her, so much it sometimes physically hurts."
"It's not strange Carrie, she was so important to you and she loved you so much. It's only natural that you would miss her."
His arm is wrapped around her, keeping her safe and protected.
"Think I'll get fired today?"
"If anyone gets fired, it'll be me. I told Jacobs that I told you to do it."
Her head rests on his chest and somehow through her tears, she laughs at him. Of course he would do that to protect her. She goes to grab his hand, but she grimaces when she does. She holds her hand out in front of her and realizes it's swollen.
"I guess I need to take you to the doctor, huh?"
"Can we just go home? I'll ice it, but all I want is to be in your arms right now."
She pulls herself from her thoughts long enough to see him pull his gun out and push her behind him. He opens the door and makes sure the closets and the bathroom is clear. Everything is clear and it doesn't even look like anything has been disturbed, until her hears Carrie's shaky voice.
He comes running and finds her staring at her kitchen table. He doesn't understand until his eyes catch something on the table. It's a note with something attached to it. The note reads: "So many things to remember me by. You'll need this, Detective Wells." He doesn't touch it just like her because they both know it could potentially be evidence.
"You should call the tech guys, they need to swipe for prints."
She doesn't say anything about what it means and neither does he. But just by the way both of their demeanors changed, they can feel the massive elephant in the room. He's been in her apartment, where else has he been. The fact is that they need to find this guy now, because what if he's following her. What if he knows every move she makes? What if he knows Al has been leaving her at home? He could get to her again.
"You're coming to the office with me every day now."
"Al, you can't let him scare you. I…."
"Carrie, he knows I've been leaving you alone, he knows that you were going to come here today and who knows what else he knows. We don't even know what's attached to the note. You're coming into work with me and you'll do some desk duty that way you can have your gun back."
She knew she was close to hysterics, but what she didn't realize was that he was close too. Finally the tech guys show up and so does their team. Nina starts apologizing before anyone can get out a word.
"I'm so sorry. I promise I locked the door both times. I made sure of it. I don't forget these kind of things."
"Nina, it's fine."
Carrie can't manage to say anything else especially since the tech guys are making noise all over the place. She gasps when Al grabs her hand and gives it a reassuring squeeze. He's always been like this with her, but she feels like it's different because they aren't together anymore and it can never be anything more than a reassuring hand hold or a simple arm wrapped around her waist in protection. They couldn't go further even if they were together because she can't fathom having another man touch her in the way this unknown guy did. It ruins ever trying to be with another man again. The thought of it scares her, to the point of practically having another panic attack.
"Detective Burns, the lock has been tampered with, that's how the guy got in."
The tech guys approach them.
"Did he leave behind any finger prints?"
"No sir, we'll check the whole apartment if you want us to, but normally if they aren't on the door they won't be there."
The tech guys aren't as invested in Carrie as the rest of the team is, so they don't really care one way or the other as long as they get done their job. Roe some how manages to answer before Al can.
"No you need to check the kitchen too. And make it snappy."
Al, Carrie, Nina, and Mike find themselves laughing at Roe and the leadership role he is trying to play. They know that he just wants to find this guy. He has even made Al feel like a slacker, because he's been working overtime and finding leads every day. So far the leads haven't ended up any where but at least they know Roe is trying. They watch as the guys go off to the kitchen, brushing off the table and the surrounding area. They get done pretty quickly and report back to the team.
"The item on the table can't be entered into evidence, because there isn't anything to go, so you're free to do whatever you want with it."
"Thanks boys, you're free to go. So are you three."
"What we don't get to see what's in the mysterious box? No fair."
For once, Mike is the one complaining, which in turn makes Carrie feel a little bit better, but not enough. Honestly, she doesn't even want to know what's in the box, because it's just another way for this guy to get to her and harm her.
"Go take these two back to the station. You're in charge, Mike, for the rest of the day at least."
She feels like they think she's stupid, that she doesn't hear the total double meaning of Al not going back to the station. She knows that, in the end, they're both worried about her current mental state and really who can blame them. She remembers everything, even when she doesn't want to. Everything is embedded in her head at all times. So she remembers that day and the pain and the suffering and she remembers enough to want to make it stop. But she isn't desperate enough to do anything about it other than live in her own personal hell every day.
She looks up at him and realizes that everyone is gone. It's just them in the apartment again and she finally feels like she can breathe again.
"Are you gonna open this thing up?"
He looks pointedly at the wrapped box on her kitchen table. She walks over to it and grabs it. For a second she pauses, because even though his fingerprints aren't on it he still touched it. She hates that he still can affect her; it's been four months and she's sick of feeling weak. She's never, ever felt like this before in her life.
"Yeah I guess so."
She rips the wrapping and is terrified at what she sees. So terrified that she practically throws the item across the room in pure disgust. She starts shaking at the sight of it. Her rapist gave her a home pregnancy test. Everything sorts itself out in her head. She's been sick, he didn't use a condom. She could honestly be pregnant.
She feels like in this moment he is a million miles away and even though she called out for him it doesn't matter. She feels like she's under water and every thing is distorted and not real. But when she feels his hand on her arm, she knows this is real. She knows that everything leading up to this moment is true. Her mind starts to replay the moments, she starts to lose her grasp. She could be pregnant.
"Hey, you're okay. You're right here with me."
He pulls her back from her memories, because he can see the look on her face when she goes back. He can't look at the object in her hand because it pains him, he doesn't want her to have to go through this. He keeps a hold of her, hoping to hold her to this moment instead of letting her go back to the past.
"Can we go home? I don't want to take this here, where he was. I don't feel safe."
"Yeah, sure, come on."
The trip back to the apartmentis silent. He doesn't dare speak about this whole thing and she doesn't think she's capable of speaking right now. They get out of the car, they walk up to the third floor and then stop dead in their tracks. There's a note at the door that reads: "Didn't feel like breaking the lock. Hope you like the results." He's been there too, he's everywhere. Neither of them know how to get away from him.
"We'll start looking for apartments with better security tomorrow. I want a place where this guy can't get to us. It'll be okay Carrie."
She only nods, because her brain isn't processing much right now. She watches as Al bends down, grabs the piece of paper, crumples it up and throws it down the hallway. She's glad he didn't throw it away, because then it would haunt her. They get inside the apartment and close the door. She only feels slightly comforted when she hears him lock and dead bolt the door. She stands still by the couch in the living area, thinking about everything and nothing at the same time. She can't process what she's supposed to do next.
"I think I need to go take this test. I'll be back in three minutes with the results."
He wait's a minute or two and then stands in the hallway by the door to her bedroom. His forehead rests on the door as he tries to give her some of his strength. He listens as she lets out this tortured sounding sob, he wants to break in and take her in his arms, but he knows she needs a moment to collect herself all by herself. So he waits and when the crying stops, he realizes they're thinking about the same moment.
"Al, I think I'm pregnant."
"How? I mean I know how, but we were so careful."
"I know...I know, but nothing is one hundred percent effective and I know you don't want kids…and I…"
"Where'd you hear I don't want kids from? We've never even talked about kids, you don't know."
"Jacobs told me that you broke up with your last girlfriend because she wanted kids and you didn't. He figured it was pretty common knowledge so I might as well be informed too."
"You know Jacobs has a huge crush on you right? And with Julie…I didn't want kids with her, because I didn't see us going anywhere. But with you it's different. I wouldn't mind having a baby with you."
She smiles at him, her fear having vanished by his simple words of encouragement. He wraps one arm around her waist and kisses her forehead. Later that day they go and grab a home pregnancy test for her to take and figure out for sure. In the three minutes it takes for the test to be complete, they can only talk and sit in each other's arms.
"Do you think the department is going to be mad?"
"They already know we're together, sometimes a baby is the next step, honestly they can't stop us as long as we keep our solve rate up which so far we have. You don't worry about it."
"We'll have to look for a new apartment if I am, there's no way we'd be able to fit a baby in here."
"Don't hold this against me, but I really hope you are pregnant."
"Don't hold it against me, but I really hope I am too. So many things will change, but I know we'll be okay as long as we're together."
Before he can speak again the buzzer on the timer goes off and their three minutes is up. Slowly, they both get up and go to the bathroom where the test is sitting. For a while, they can't look because they're frightened and scared. With this test, everything can change or nothing can change and for them they want the change. Finally Carrie reaches out and turns the test over.
On it is a big, fat negative sign.
He feels the door slowly opening before him. So he stands up straight and watches as the door reveals her tear stained face. He knows she was crying before the results, but he isn't sure she's looked yet.
"Have you looked at the results yet?"
She shakes her head at him.
"I'm really scared. I don't wanna be pregnant. I didn't ask for this and I'm so scared. Will you come with me? Look at it first."
"Yeah, I'll come with you. Come on."
He grabs her hand in his and they walk to the bathroom together. He knows that this will decide how she recovers from what happened to her. He shakes her hand back and forth to try to keep her with him. He reaches for the test and holds it in his hand.
"As ready as I ever will be."
So he steadies himself, because he's scared too. He's scared for this woman he has loved for a long time. He's scared because he doesn't think she can handle that is on the other side of the stick. He's scared because he doesn't even think he's ready to see the results. But he turns his head and looks her in the eyes. He tries to smile to make her feel better, even though it probably doesn't. He takes a deep breath, steels himself for whatever it is, and turns the test over.
On it is a big, fat positive.