My first Plum fic. Recently discovered the series and read straight through all 18! Wasn't enough so I turned to FF. I am not anti-Cupcake at all but I am a Babe.

Everything recognizable belongs to the author – I'm not her –I'd have more Naked Ranger in the books – so I just took her characters out to play.

"One phone call." The man tossed the phone at me and I stared at it a moment. "You have exactly sixty three seconds of credit on the pay as you go."

I took the phone with shaking hands and without thinking I dialed.


"Ranger." I half sobbed into the phone.

"Babe?" Instantly concern washed through his voice.

"I'm kidnapped again." I whispered. It would be funny if I weren't so freaking terrified.

"Where are you?" He demanded.

"I don't know."

"Are you hurt?"

I shook my head forgetting he couldn't see me, "I'm scared." I sniffled.

"I'm coming Babe." He promised. I knew he'd do everything possible to find me. "Stay strong. Don't go crazy."

"Don't get shot." I whispered back. It was as close to a goodbye as I could choke out. I was going to die. I knew it before I dialed his number.

"Babe." I wasn't sure if there was more he was going to say or if that was it because the phone cut off.

A girl walked out of the shadows.

"Why did you call him?" I looked over at her, confusion clear in my expression. "Why not the cop."

I shook my head, fresh tears burning my eyes, I'd called Ranger because I hadn't thought, I'd just dialed. I was scared and I needed someone to save me. I always called Batman when I needed help. I always called him when something went wrong. I also always called him when something went right. I'd shared the news of my first capture with him, the day I'd first caught someone that wasn't a naked old man and the day I'd first caught a difficult FTA without getting covered in anything icky. I called to tell him I'd gotten a new car, knowing he would already know and likely have someone in line to bug it but I liked to share things with Ranger. The best and worst moments of my life were always followed by a phone call to Ranger. Well usually he just showed up to take care of me after the worst but for the bad I'd call him, like Grandma Mazur knocking an entire casket over while trying to get the lid up and having the dead guy roll across the floor or the time there were no Boston Crème donuts at Tasty Pastry, that had led to sweaty hot Ranger sex later so it wasn't so bad a thing, or the time I set my kitchen on fire trying to make soup when I had a cold. He'd laughed, yummy rare Ranger laugh, and then brought over soup Ella had made for me. Ranger was just the first person I always called for anything, his voice calmed me, made me feel braver and I needed to feel brave right now, I was about to find out the ultimate question of where my life was leading, heaven or hell.

"I'm going to kill you." She said evenly.

I nodded. Of course I sort of knew that and even the fear was ebbing away as I accepted my own demise. It was bound to happen eventually after all and I'd gotten to at least hear him call me Babe again. Just one thing I needed to know, "Why?"

She moved further into the room, "To punish him."


She shook her head, "No."


"I thought I'd twist the knife by letting him hear your voice one last time." She chuckled darkly. "I'd say you wrecked my plans but I'll be sure he knows your last call wasn't for him."

I nodded, "I love him."

"Not as much obviously." She smirked.

I supposed, in that instant, right before she shot me, I knew she was right. I loved Joe but I had admitted to myself after Scrog that I loved Ranger too. Sitting here on the cold stone floor, about to die, I realized I didn't just love him, I was in love with him and I stayed with Joe not because I loved him, though I did really love him but because he was familiar and safe and I knew he loved me too. Ranger didn't do relationships but that didn't stop me from loving him with a soul deep passion and need. He was why I could never marry Morelli, as much as I loved Joe I couldn't give him what he deserved, I couldn't give him all of me, because deep down, I belonged to Ranger.

I swallowed and met her eyes and then nodded, at least someone would know I loved Ranger. I hadn't admitted it to anyone, barely even to myself. I closed my eyes as she lifted the gun, "Ranger." I wasn't sure I spoke it allowed or if his name just rang through my mind, I felt a tear escape as I pictured him, a rare smile teasing his mouth as he called me Babe.

I heard the bang of the gun, felt the impact in my chest. I felt the blood welling in my chest and bubbling out my mouth. I gagged on it as I tried to breath. I was seeing black spots as I felt my body convulse on the cement floor.

The girl walked up to me, the man flanking her, she held the gun to my face but her eyes had gone from ice cold blue to an almost liquid, "I'm sorry." She whispered.

I gurgled at her, choking on the blood. Her hand shook on the gun and then she dropped her arm and turned to the man. "Call an ambulance as we leave. Make sure they know it's her. I want Morelli to be one of the first on the scene." Then she walked away. "Be quick about it, she might still have a chance."

I heard him make a call as their voices got further and further away. I struggled to stay awake. The blackness was closing over as I heard sirens in the distance. Its too late I thought as the blackness closed over.

It's a Babe fic so don't freak out. She's not dead.