McCall's Road to the Altar

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to "Hunter" nor am I affiliated with the show in any way. I'm just a fan, and this is meant to be a fan fiction writing exercise. Some situations are based on actual scenes from the episode "Street Wise", with some changes and additions of my own! I give full credit to Steven J. Cannell, Frank Lupo and anyone else who has the rights to "Hunter" for the creation of the series and the original Street Wise episodes. No copyright infringement is intended. I'm just a fan, unleashing her creativity.

Summary: A different ending for "Street Wise," written from Dee Dee's point of view.

Rating: T (this is a rating for the entire story, some chapters I'd consider a K, but I'm giving it a T overall)

A/N: This is my first ever fan fiction writing experience. I am not a writer by trade, just a fan of Hunter & McCall. I welcome any feedback; I just ask that you be kind! :) I hope you enjoy the story! (I will be publishing in chapters, as they are completed)

PROLOGUE:

McCall's been acting a little strange lately, and it's affecting her at work. She's losing focus, and Hunter has noticed. All of a sudden this guy Alex shows up, again, and it's like McCall suddenly goes off the deep end. Hunter's not happy with the situation and decides that he's going to pay Alex a little visit at the St. Claire Hotel, where he's been staying. Hunter approaches Alex's room and knocks on the door.

CHAPTER 1

"Sgt. Hunter" Alex said as he opened the door. Without an invitation to come in, Hunter barged into Alex's hotel room.

"Were, uh, you going somewhere, Alex?" Hunter asked, looking Alex's half-packed suitcase on the bed.

"Yeah, I'm going to London. What can I do for you?"

"I'll get right to the point. I want you to back off McCall" Hunter demanded.

Alex looks at Rick, wondering just who the hell does he think he is, barging in like this and getting involved in his relationship. "Yeah, uh, with all due respect, Sgt. Hunter, what happens between me and Dee Dee is really none of your business."

"It IS my business, Alex! I'm a police officer; McCall is my partner. I'm working on something very, very important. I need her. You're screwing her up. BACK OFF!"

"You're out of line here!" Alex yelled as Hunter headed for the door. "I love her."

Hunter turned back around to look at Alex. "Yeah well, so do I! Back off!" Hunter points to Alex's suitcase, "That's a good idea." And he walked out of the room slamming the door behind him.

A moment of rage flowed through Alex and he picked up his open, half-packed suitcase and threw it off the bed. He couldn't believe what had just happened.

'What does he mean, so do I?' Alex thought to himself angrily.

DEE DEE's POV

I decided that I was going to spend a quiet Friday night at home. Between Alex going off to London for a few days and the fact that my arm was still a little sore from being knocked down earlier, I thought I'd curl up on the couch with a book and a glass of wine. Alex and I had said our goodbye's earlier and his flight was at 9pm. He wouldn't be back until mid-week next week, and I needed a little down time to relax and collect my thoughts.

Suddenly, I heard a knock at the door. I looked over at the clock. 7:15pm. I wasn't expecting anyone. I got up and looked through the peep hole to see who it was.

"Alex? Aren't you supposed to be almost on your way to London? Shouldn't you be at the airport?" I asked while opening the door, confused as to why he was standing at my door right now.

"Yeah, I was on my way to the airport, but I had to stop by first to talk to you." He said as he brushed past me and into my living room. The look on his face and his hasty movements told me that he wasn't stopping by for one last kiss for the road. Something was wrong and somehow I knew that this conversation wasn't going to go too well.

"Your buddy, Sgt Hunter, paid me a little visit to my hotel earlier today." Alex started off the conversation.

"Oh yeah? What did he want...?" I asked, not overly concerned, yet…

"You tell me that nothing's going on between you two, but ol' Ricky boy comes bursting into my hotel room telling me that he loves you!" Alex yelled. "What's going on here Dee Dee?"

Confused, I looked at Alex, "what are you talking about? There's nothing 'going on' here, Alex. Rick and I have been partners and friends for six years now. Of course we care for each other; it's part of the job," I explained, even though I still wasn't really sure what was going on and why Hunter had even gone there in the first place.

With his voice taking on an increasingly nastier tone, he continued, "part of the job? Is it also "part of the job" to fall in love with your partner?"

"What? Alex, he's not 'in love' with me. Will you please stop this? You're acting crazy." I pleaded as my mind was scrambling wondering what exactly went down in that hotel room. Hunter didn't mention that he was going to see Alex...

"Am I, Dee Dee? Am I crazy? You weren't there, you didn't see the look on his face when he told me that he loves you and when told me that it was a good idea for me to leave you alone and go back to London."

Alex turned away, and under his breath he muttered, "this is why women shouldn't become police officers; especially beautiful ones. I guess I shouldn't at all be surprised that he fell for you."

"What did you just say?" I snapped back at him. Was he insulting my profession and my very being as a woman here? I felt my blood start to boil.

"Nothing." He snarled.

"Well, I'm pretty damn sure I heard you, and I can't believe you'd say that! Police work is my life! How dare you say such a thing!."

"Your life? Need I remind you that we are getting married?" he yelled as he got in my face.

"Yeah, and why do I feel like the honeymoon is over already?' I shot back out of frustration. I'm starting to see a side of Alex that I didn't particularly like…

"Listen, I don't need to worry everyday about MY WIFE getting killed out there on the streets of LA! I'd be devastated if something happened to you!" He paused for a minute and lowered his voice. "Look, I think we should strongly consider moving to London. I've been made a very lucrative job offer there. We'd be very happy there."

"London? Alex, you are asking me to give up my entire life here and move to another country! I don't know if I can make that kind of sacrifice. That's a really big move. Everything I know is here; my family, my friends, my career..."

"Rick..." he said as he rolled his eyes at me.

"Yes, Rick too. He's my BEST friend. He's been there for me through so much. With Steve's death, and after what Mariano did to me... he was always by my side. He's very important to me. He's the best friend I've ever had. C'mon, you know that..."

"Best 'friend', huh?" he said sarcastically, insinuating that there was more to this 'friendship' than I was divulging.

"Yes, Alex, a friend, what do you mean? This is crazy talk. Please stop this." I pleaded and reached out for his hand to try to console him, "you know I love you." He wasn't having it. He angrily pulled away from me and turned in the other direction.

'So much for my quiet Friday night…..after this is done, I'll need the whole bottle of wine, never mind a glass' I thought to myself as I rolled my eyes behind his back. I couldn't understand what was happening here.

"Do you? Do you, really?" he asked as he whipped back around, facing again in my direction.

But before I could answer, he blurted out…."I'm sorry, but I gotta know... you two seem awfully chummy….a little too chummy to just be "friends"" he said while making those annoying quotation marks with his fingers, "...did you, or do you ever think about him as more than a 'friend?'"

If looks could kill, I'd be a dead woman right now. 'Ugh, great! Here we go,' I thought as felt my heart begin to race. This was a road that I did not want to go down with him. Not now, not ever.

My close friendship with Rick had always been a sore spot with most of the men I dated, and I hated having to explain the complexities of it to any of them. Hell, I couldn't even define it myself half the time, much less try to explain it to anyone else. There was definitely something between us, but for the most part we just danced around it with our flirtatious banter and our sexual innuendos. We walked a very fine platonic line, except for that one time when in a moment of weakness, we crossed the line of partnership and friendship into a forbidden, unchartered territory. But, since I never really could adequately define our relationship, I settled on "he's my best friend" and tried to leave it at that. But somehow, even if I was dating someone else, Rick was still always the first person I called, whether I was in sheer danger, needed a shoulder to cry on, or if I needed someone to come over and move a heavy piece of furniture. That bothered some men and they wondered why my 'best friend' wasn't a woman. A lot of men felt very threatened by Rick's stronghold in my life. I guess who wouldn't? After all, Rick is a tall, strong, charming and feverishly handsome man, who was always very protective of me, and was always there for me at a moment's notice without question. I guess you could say in some ways that he became the man in my life, and that left a lot of boyfriends feeling very insecure. The same was true with the women he dated, too. He often told me that they were not happy with Rick having such a beautiful female "best friend" and it caused problems for him too. We were always sort of in the same boat when it came to a lot of things, and we always understood what each other was going through. There was an unexplainable bond between us that was like no other bond we ever had with anyone else. I didn't even have that with Steve. I should have expected that Alex would broach this subject eventually; everyone else did. But, I really thought that Alex was different; more secure. Rick never seemed to bother him before.

I heard Alex's voice continue, and it snapped me out of my thoughts. I was inherently bracing myself because somehow I knew what was coming next.

"Better yet, I'll just be blunt here. Did anything ever happen between you two? Did you ever sleep with Rick?"

And there it was; he said it.

Although I expected it, those words still pierced through me like a knife through my heart. Alex had asked me the one question that I was hoping he never would. I felt my face begin to flush. Yes, I had slept with Rick, once, 3 years ago. And, if I am being totally honest with myself, I'd say it was probably the single most beautiful and romantic night of my life – which was quite something since we weren't even "together." It was unplanned, it just happened, and it was wonderful. It was a night that I thought about often. It meant something to me. But, it was in the past. I knew that admitting it wasn't going to do either of us any good; as it would only create more problems. But, I wasn't a liar and didn't want to start off my marriage with a lie. Besides, it's not like I was with Alex at the time or anything so it's not like I did anything wrong. But still, I didn't want to lie to him, and God forbid have him find out that I had. I couldn't take that risk. I shouldn't, right? I thought for a minute about what to say next, but I guess the look on my face and my lack of an emphatic "NO WAY!" spoke volumes.

"Well...judging by your silence, I'll assume that's a yes. Just great! Just what I want to hear!"

I started to get flustered and began fumbling over my words, "Ok, yes... I did. We did. One time. But it was a long, long time ago, and...and... it didn't mean anything." I found myself now reluctantly admitting to it, while trying to downplay the significance of what that night really had meant to me.

"WHAT? Here I am hoping that maybe I am crazy and you'll tell me that nothing ever happened between you two, but there goes that! This is unbelievable!"

"Alex, look, it was one time. We were both pretty lonely and vulnerable at the time, and it just sort of happened."

"Just sort of happened? What, did he just happen fall on top of you, naked? How is that even possible?"

"Look, I'm not gonna get into details about this with you! It was ONCE, and that was it! The next day, I left for Quantico for 6 weeks and when I got back to LA, we went right back to business as usual. We never even spoke about it. Case closed!"

Ok, so that was a little white lie, but I was trying my best to diffuse the situation. I already admitted to the bigger truth, so that's what makes me the better person, right? Or, was I absolutely crazy for doing so? Either way, the fact was... that night had meant everything to me. It replayed like a movie reel in my mind, thousands of times. It had felt so natural...so right. At the time, I hoped it would have been a prelude to something more... but that all ended fast, and we went back to being just partners and friends - although a little lighter on the friendship side of the pendulum. Beneath the surface, our romantic union had created a wrinkle in our friendship and in our partnership and things were never quite the same afterwards. Since we are both so stubborn, neither one of us brought it up, and we dealt with it the only way we knew how – we threw ourselves full force into our work. I forged ahead, trying not to look back, and did what I could to suppress my feelings and remain professional. Despite my best efforts, I never forgot the beautiful night we spent together.

"I can't believe I am hearing this!" Alex screamed and again I was snapped out of my thoughts.

"Alex, look, its ancient history. We both have a past, and it never bothered you before. I'm not bothered by your past, so let's just let this go, okay?"

"I'm not bothered by your past, Dee Dee. I get it, we all have one. The only difference is that mine doesn't hang around still! There's something about Rick Hunter that I don't like and I don't trust. He's after you and I know it!"

"Alex, will you listen to yourself! He's not 'after me.' He's my best friend, my partner; he looks out for me, just like I look out for him! That's how it works. How could you even say that?"

"So how did your 'best friend' take the news of our engagement? You did tell him, didn't you?

"No. I haven't told him yet."

"I see." He said and made a face at me.

"It just has to be right time, ya know?" I hung my head realizing how bad this is beginning to look for me.

"The right time? What is this? What, you have to break it to him gently? Do you have to let him down easy or something?"

"Alex, stop. A fellow police officer was just killed this week; one that he was close to. So, it hasn't been the best time, okay? I'll tell him when the time is right. He's got a lot going on right now," I pleaded.

"I don't think you should see him anymore, outside of work. In fact, I don't think he should be at the wedding, either. That is, if there's still going to be one."

"Not at the wedding? What do you mean? He's my best friend, and I want him to stand beside me in place of a Maid of Honor...sort of like a Man of Honor, or a Best Man!"

"Oh that's cute, so I can look back at our wedding pictures, and be like 'Oh, here's my wife, not only did she sleep with the Groom, but the Best Man too! NO!, I don't think so!" Alex shook his head angrily at me. His face was beat red. He was really, really mad at me. I was suddenly second-guessing my 'honesty is always the best policy' motto.

"Alex!" I screamed back after his brash comment.

"Ya' know, London is looking better and better, and I am actually kind of hoping that this UCLA thing doesn't pull through." Alex said as he stormed towards my front door. "I need to go. I have a plane to catch. I'll call you tomorrow, once I land. Goodbye." And out the door he was, without even so much as a kiss goodbye. Suddenly I was on trial here and what was the crime? Being honest? Where's my wine, I thought.

This is crazy. I mean, Alex had nothing to worry about when it came to Rick….. right?

(continued….)