I watched TCOT Maligned Mobster for the first time a while ago, and I was a little disappointed. How could the writers of this movie let out a scene with P and D in the hospital, and how could they let it end just before P and D were going to kiss ?

So, here's some MM's and an ATC with fluff I'd like to add. Some of it came from the fact that in the movie, Perry wears his pinky ring only after he's been shot.

Nothing spectacular, yet very 'shipper' proof. If you don't like it, don't read it.

Rings

" I know. "

" Yes, you know … "

He leaned towards her and she caressed his hair. He sighed deeply. " Frank was a friend, Della. Well, I thought he was ..."

" I know…"

" He tried to kill me …" Perry glanced sidewards.

She looked deeply into his eyes and leaned forward to kiss him while both her hands held his face. " I'm sorry, Perry… but you know you did what you had to do..." She recognized the hurt and despair in his eyes from earlier cases, when things had turned out real bad, when no one had actually won, when there had been only loss. The most difficult part for her was that she could not ease this pain of his, she was not able to put things in the right perspective again. He mostly needed to rest, to sleep, to ease down, some time on his own, some distraction, but not the distraction she could provide him with.

" Perry, let's go … I'll drive you home … "

" Will you stay with me … ? " And always the same question. She wasn't the one to get him out of this state of mind, feeling her own tears burning behind her eyes. She was too emotional and too tired now to be the answer to his questions and to cure his grief. Their earlier experience had taught them that he would drag her down into his darkness of selfpity and hurt, and they both couldn't use that.

" No, Perry, we both know I'm not what you need right now. " She cut him off when he started to say something. " I already phoned Stefan this morning...he should be at your place now. And Walter will be there tonight as well. They are going to cook for you... "

" And get me to talk, you mean? " he grunted.

" Mmmm-mmmm… that's quite possible… but they will definetely make you laugh … " She smiled a small smile to him, and packed his documents in his briefcase. " Come on, baby, I'll take you home ... "

He took her hand and kissed it, then held it a little too long before letting go.

The smell of good food reached them as soon as they entered his appartment. Apparently Walter had already started cooking. Stefan had brought his medical equipment to take care of Perry's wounds. Della made sure he would change the bandages and have Perry take his medicine.

She silently watched the three old friends relaxing and laughing about a politician, and then about a very bad joke Walter made. She saw Perry was already feeling better, this was exactly what he needed. Some good food, some good wine, some good out-of-the-officecompany, laughter.

Everything was taken care of for him now. Now she could start to take care of herself. She said her goodbyes with as much grace she could gather, and left.

" Della…" He walked after her when she left his appartment. She sighed and closed her eyes. He stood still in front of her. " Are you okay? "

She put her hand on his chest gently. " Yes, I'm just really exhausted, Perry. I need some time, some rest…I'll be fine, really…."

" Are you sure you don't want to stay? "

" Yes. " Then she looked down. " You know I'd like to stay, but I know I'll regret it tomorrow. "

" I'd like you to stay. I love you … " He reached out his right hand to touch her cheek. His smile was soft.

" I know. " She tilted her head, and drank from the softness and love that poured from the blue blue eyes that gazed into hers. It took all of her strength to tear herself away from him now. He had always been, and still was the only man that could make her swoon like this, her feelings for him so strong they could easily last for another forty years. At least.

" I really have to go … Have a nice time with the guys, Perry…"

" Call me? Soon? Please? " He whispered.

" I will. "

####

She leaned back on the soft pillows of her sofa, after a hot bath. The bottle of red wine next to her would be finished by the end of this evening.

Allowing herself to let the tears surface, she realised she sat at the exact same spot as where she had been when the phonecall from Ken came in last week.

" Hello ? "

" Della, it's Ken. "

Bad news was best brought immediately, so his boss had taught him. He just hoped that that was also the case when speaking to Della Street about Perry Mason being shot.

" Yes, Ken? " Wrong tone. He heard she heard he didn't have good news. But he didn't know her heart was already pounding before she even picked up the phone. As if she knew it was wrong.

No.

" Della, Perry has been shot, he's wounded but he'll be fine. "

No.

" How bad is it? " her voice was loud, but trembling.

" They don't know yet. But he just regained consciousness, and they're taking him to Denver General now. I'm going there now, and I'll wait for you there..."

Walking into his hospitalroom, she gasped at the sight of him, in the hospitalbed, his pale color was whiter than the blankets, whiter than the room he was in. His eyes were closed. He didn't move at all.

This was what it would look like if he would never wake up again. The sudden thought struck her unexpectedly, and shook her hard all the way into her core.

" Oh, God…" She held onto the doorframe, and turned to stand in the hall, next to the door. She closed her eyes, and pushed her head to the wall. " Dear God…" Her breathing wouldn't steady.

" Della? " Ken walked out of Perry's room, and took her in his arms without thought when he saw her. " He'll be fine … the bullet went through underneath his shoulder and hit nothing vital. He'll be fine, really … he just wanted to have the wound cleaned and have the stitches without anaesthetics, to be able to be sharp in court tomorrow. That's why he's in so much pain and that's why he looks like hell. " Ken tried to sound solid as Della was shaking against his shoulder. " He'll be fine…"

" He's a fool…without anaesthetics..." she sobbed, then laughed through her tears.

" Yeah, he is. But we already knew that, didn't we? " He stroked her back lightly. " Now you go inside. Kiss him awake. I could really use some coffee now, so I'm gonna get some."

She bit her lowerlip, when she walked towards his bed. The nurse that stood at the footend smiled to her.

Della hesitated to touch his right hand. " Can I…? "

" Yes, you can. " The nurse came to stand next to her. " He's been telling me over and over he wants his baby. I take it that's you, Mrs. Mason? "

" There is no Mrs. Mason, but I'd like to think I am his baby…" she smiled a small smile. She turned her attention to Perry, and stroked his hand.

" He'll be fine… the bleeding has stopped a while ago, and I just gave him something mild against the pain, so he won't get too drowsy. He is one tough guy. " The nurse glanced to the lady beside her and the worried and loving look on her face. " But you probably already know that. "

Della just nodded, her voice was again taken away by the sight of him.

" Let me know if you need anything, Miss. I'll be just around the corner. "

" Baby…. " His groan was one of pure pain. His face frowned into a painful grimace while he shifted a little, and he squeezed her hand.

" Perry, dear…"

" I took a bullet…...damn…..it hurts like hell…..it went right through…"

" You don't really want me to be proud of you, now do you…? " she tried not to choke in her tears, and sat down on the chair next to his bed.

" Are you crying? "

" No…"

" Yes you are. " He opened one eye to her, and squeezed her hand again. " Don't… I'll be fine. "

" I know you will. But it could have been so much worse..."

" I'm still here…"

" I just hate seeing you like this. " She sniffed softly.

They were quiet for a while, his breathing was calm again and deep, it seemed as if he was sleeping. She just stroked his hand, held it with both hands, and watched him carefully. It gave her time to get herself together again and she felt the strong tension leave her body slowly. Then his hand moved, until it was in the right position to stroke her palm with his thumb.

" Della…"

" Perry…"

" I'm glad you're here … "

" I'm not glad you're here … "

He chuckled softly.

" Baby…"

" Perry…"

" Did you get our rings? "

" Yes, I picked them up from the jeweller. "

" Do you have them here? "

" Yes... "

" Can you get them ? "

" Sure. " She searched for the little box inside her purse, and took out the rings they both usely wore at the little finger of their left hand. Every year, she took them to the jeweller to have them re-engraved with the number of years they were together, which was forty-three now. The rings were polished as well, and shone as if they were new.

" What do you want with them? "

He snorted softly. " What do you think? Put them on…"

" You want yours on your right hand now, I suppose? "

" No, left. Where it always is. "

" Are you sure? "

" Mmm-mmm ..."

She walked to the other side of the bed to take his left hand, and very lightly and carefully brought the ring around his little finger. She rubbed it gently, making sure she didn't move his arm because that would hurt him.

" Give me your ring and your hand. "

" Yes, sir…" She walked to the other side of his bed again. Now he took her ring and her left hand in his right and fumbled until he could push the ring on her little finger. Then he brought it to his lips to kiss it softly.

" There…. now I feel complete again…well, except for the hole in my shoulder..."

She laughed when she bent down to kiss him. He groaned.

" Oh, did that hurt? I'm sorry, Perry. "

" No, that wasn't pain, that was pure pleasure. Give me some more of that please….it's better than painkillers..."

He groaned again when she placed her soft hands on both sides of his face and kissed him deeply. " I love you so much, Perry Mason, you big lug…." He opened his eyes, and smiled at her worried face. " I love you too… I love you more than anything. " He pulled her into an embrace at his right side, and she buried her face in his neck, very careful not to touch his hurt shoulder.

An emotion he didn't want to feel washed over him, and made his voice disappear for a moment. It was the same feeling that made her swallow her tears at the same time. " This was a close call, Perry…."

" Yeah, it was..." he whispered and pulled her closer. He rest his head on hers, and swallowed hard. She sniffed softly, and he kissed her cheek.

Then he was able to use his voice again. " What time do we start tomorrow? "

" My, Perry, I can ask for a suspension…I'm sure they'll allow it under the circumstances..." She stood up and sniffed again.

" No. I want whoever did this to know that I can't be stopped by a bullet."

" Well, it starts at ten. "

" Get Ken in here please, will you? "

" But, Perry … "

" He's here … ," Ken walked in with a plastic cup with coffee.

" Ken, take Della to my home, and get me a clean suit and tie and my documents for tomorrow … and help her through the press outside, ok? "

" Sure, Perry… whatever you say. "

" I really don't think you should … " Della started her protest, and then stopped it. " Oh, you. All right. "

" Don't leave her out of your sight, Ken …"

" Oh, Perry! " she had enough of him now. " I'll be fine. You just concentrate on you now. "

" If they can shoot me, they can shoot you, Della. " He closed his eyes as if it was a way to stop the conversation.

" If he wants me to jump in front of you, he's going to have to pay me much more … " Ken whispered to her, which made her laugh out loud. " Let's go. "

####

The morning newspapers were all about the question if he had or had not won the case yesterday. After yesterday's conversations with Stefan and Walter he considered he had won. But he wasn't really convinced yet, because it had cost him a friendship. That wasn't a friendship after all.

Getting his thoughts in perspective, he listened to the familiair sounds in his kitchen. Breakfast was always made for him by his housekeeper, when he was home Thursdays, just as his house was cleaned and the laundry was done.

His smile was broad. It wasn't Thursday. It was Friday, so this had to be someone else in his kitchen. Someone who also had a key to his house, and knew the way to the drycleaner, although he had told her not to take care of him in that respect. But, apart from a key to his home, this special person held a key to his heart as well.

He hadn't expected her to be here today already.

She opened the door to his bedroom, and disappeared for a moment to come back with a tray with his breakfast.

" Goodmorning … sir ..."

" Now, that's a very nice and pleasant surprise, dear. "

" I thought you could use some breakfast at.. ehm… eleven…." she tilted her head a little.

" Thank you…" his voice was low, the rumble was there again, but his eyes were still weary. He threw the newspapers and his book to the other side of his bed, to make room for his breakfast. She stayed at safe distance from him, and sat down on the bedside.

" Have you been crying? " he queried, watching her face.

She looked down demurely. " My way of cleaning up after a difficult case, you know. I still had some unfinished crying to do. " Her hand stroked his leg up to his knee. " And this one had some unexpected side-effects. "

" I was shot before … "

" I know. And I know you're tough, I know it's always been like this, I know it's part of the job, I know it's cliche, but I just can't … I'm sorry…" The tears spilled all over her face again. " I can't bare the thought that one day I pick up the phone and someone tells me… you're gone. "

" But I'm still here now …" With a painfilled grimace he grabbed the tray and moved it sidewards to the other on his bed, to reach for her hand and pull her to him.

" I'm sorry, I shouldn't do this…" accepting his embrace, she leaned to his right shoulder and cried silently.

" I'm here, baby…." the soft and low groan held a seductive hint. He kissed her temple, and whispered. " I'm here and I love you ..."

He stroked her back lightly, before asking her to stay with him.

" No, Perry, I have to go … "

" Do you ? " He pulled her to him again and kissed her deeply. She pulled back, but he held her tighter and she felt so very eager to surrender that she did. His gentle request for acces to her mouth made her melt even more, when his tongue sought for hers and found it. Smoothly, she moved closer to him on the bed and placed her hands on either side of his thighs. His hand lingered from her cheek, down along her neckside to the V of her blouse and disappeared underneath the silk fabric. A soft moan escaped her, before she pulled back from his demanding mouth reluctantly and sighed. Her hand held his at the place it was, underneath her blouse. He could feel her heart pounding. His eyes questioned her.

She shook her head, and whiped her tears away. " Perry, I just came in to see if you were okay, and get you breakfast. I really have to go now …"

" You do? "

" Janice is waiting for me. I don't want to be late. "

" You're not staying with me? "

" No… We settled this appointment four weeks ago, and I don't want to cancel it. "

She turned to him at the door, but not enough for him to see her tears. " I'll call you tonight, okay? " Not waiting for his answer, she shut the door and walked out.

####

" Mason."

She chuckled. " Now, that was a real grunt…"

" I can do it very well, don't you think? "

" U-uh. I can hear you've practised. "

He snorted, then asked in a soft voice. " How are you ? "

" I'm … not sure. I just got home now. "

" Come to me, Della. " It was a plea.

" No … " She sighed.

" I want to hold you, baby. " His low voice was husky, it made her heart race when he said things like that in this way. He knew it, and that's probably why he did it.

" I want that even more, Perry, but I really need to sort some things and get some sleep ... " and she softly added " … alone. "

" You can sleep here. Alone. Only I'll be next to you. "

" I wouldn't be just next to you … "

" I can behave, you know that. "

" Yes, you can. I know… "

His silence made her smile.

" I tell you what, Perry … what if you return the favour tomorrow, and bring me breakfast? "

" I'll be there…"

" But not too early, honey…"

" I'll be there…"

They both smiled and heard that through the phone.

" Goodnight, dear… "

" Goodnight, Della... "

####

He wasn't too early. But earlier than she had expected.

The moment she stepped out of the shower, she felt his presence. She leaned against the doorframe of her bedroom, and held her hand against her forehead, chuckling, and in all honesty, marveling at the sight of him like this. He felt much better obviously. Sitting at her bed, sling taken off, his back against her pillows, wearing an off white shirt, dark slacks, no tie, his handsome face freshly shaved where needed, the scent of his after shave was mixing with her showercream. His staring blue eyes were very intensely watching her, taking her in completely, wrapped in only a towel. The slight hint of a grin and the sparkle in his eyes told her how he felt, which made her heart skip a beat first, and then race in an oldfashioned way.

" I said, not too early, " she pouted playfully.

" I'd say, I'm rather late… I missed the fun part, " his voice sounded labored, low, and had the same effect on her as his appearance. She had a hard time breathing. Feeling young, beautiful, in love.

She walked towards him, but stopped just before where his arm could reach her.

" Hey, that is vicious. I'm wounded, remember? "

" U-uh, your shoulder is. Does that also mean, you can't move the rest of you anymore? "

" Actually, Miss, I can't move at all, when I see that body of yours wet, and covered by just a towel that only needs one tug to reveal your secrets…" He said, locking his eyes on hers.

She gasped.

Now, dearly dearest, how strong could physical attraction be?

" My secrets? Is there still anything secret about me to you? "

" Every time feels like the first time, isn't that what you tell me at special occassions? Or, should I say, after special occassions? "

" U-uh. I better get dressed ... "

" Do you need to? "

" Eventually… yes…I could think of a short adjournment to confer so to speak, with my associate, but uhm… " she sat down next to his legs " … you're wounded, right? "

" Very wounded, baby, very wounded ... "

" Oh, but that also means I can take advantage of you now... ? "

" Please, don't ... " but his eyes told her otherwise.

Her eyes narrowed at him, while her hands travelled upwards on his legs, and he groaned when they reached his groin. He closed his eyes, and pushed his head into the pillows.

She continued her caressings with a wicked grin, watching his face while he breathed heavily, obviously enjoying every movement of her skilful hands, working their magic even through the fabric of his slacks.

" You better stop that…" his darkened eyes opened slowly, and he exhaled firmly.

" Why? Can't you handle it? " she moved closer to him.

" There is still a taxi waiting outside to take us out for breakfast…" his index finger brushed a curl away from her cheek, and travelled very slowly along her throat to her chest, to rest between her breasts, where she had tied the towel. He felt her heart pounding to the back of his hand. The rythm was matching his.

She caressed his cheek. " Do you know, I think you make enough money to be able to pay him if he has to wait a little longer. "

" It's Ricardo. "

" Oh, well, he won't mind, would he? "

" I actually don't care…" it took him indeed just one tug to reveal all her secrets. He inhaled, and threw the towel on the floor.

He halted his breath at the sight of her. " My dear … I would want you to … "

" What? "

" You know what…"

" Tell me…" her dark eyes were provoking him.

" I can't…"

" Oh. Sure … you can't? " she tilted her head, pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes in that typical saucy way.

" No. "

" Hmmm … why not ? "

" There is a lady around …"

" Where? "

He chuckled. " Oh, you're so bad for my health…" He sighed, answering her provoking attitude. " So, you're not a lady ? "

" It depends … "

" On what? "

" On what you want me to do... "

" Can't you guess? "

" Of course I can. But uhm … I want you to tell me … "

" Move closer … " She did as she was told, and placed her hands on either side of his thighs. His breathing was still heavy, and became heavier when his eyes went all the way down to her thighs up again to her face. His right hand caressed her cheek shortly and moved to the back of her head to draw her to him. His breath hot on her skin, he whispered to her ear.

She gasped and showed a surpised smile. " Oh, really? "

" Yes, really… "

" I can do that…"

" I know… "

" Watch me…"

" I will…"

She stood up and brought the clothes she was going to wear today into her bedroom. Getting dressed very carefully and slowly in front of him, she felt his gaze glued on all her movements. It made her feel beautiful and young again. He loved to see her get dressed, almost as much as he loved to undress her.

The part he loved most, was the way she caressed the fragile fabric of her stockings in slow delicate movements around her slender legs. The soft clicking of the garterclips brought them both back in time, to memories that didn't need words. When she brought up her legs one by one to be able to fasten the clips at the back of her thighs, he breathed audibly, which made her smile and watch him from under her lashes.

The silken laced panties were placed on top of the garters. He had requested her once, a very long time ago, to do so, and she did that ever since.

She'd normally let him clasp the matching laced bra, but now that he couldn't, she did it herself. The white slip she put on over her head, and slit down along her body, hugged her curves in the way he would do that himself, roaming tenderly but tightly. The pinkish skirt was tight too and she had to wiggle just a little to pull it over her hips, and then fastened the zipper in one smooth movement. Her white blouse had a lot of little shiny buttons, he counted them because he'd be the one to unbutton them sometime today, as they both knew now.

After she put on her make up, his soft loving stare watched her when she sat down next to him, fully dressed. Impeccable as always.

" You still love the reversed striptease act, don't you? "

" I do, " was his soft reply " I'm still very impressed by it …" and his low voice added " … by you…"

" Ready to go, my love? "

" Almost…" he took her hand, and placed it on his chest, so she could feel his heart pounding. She leaned forward to kiss him deeply, and nuzzled to his cheek. " I love you…"

" I love you too…"

####

Breakfast had been so long and lingering that it had become brunch. The walk afterwards along the boulevard had been as lovely, pausing enough to rest his knee. Then they had taken a taxi to his house, and picked up a simple diner on the way to have it later on. They had spent the rest of the afternoon reading, with easy conversations, and enjoying their shared soothing silence.

After diner, he had admitted he had been counting the buttons on her blouse when she was doing the reversed strip act in the morning. It had made her laugh out loud, and then she had challenged him to count again. And he had taken the challenge. And more.

Now she carefully leaned back to his right arm and shoulder, and toyed with the ring on his little finger. Making love at this stage of life, was still so fulfilling in all respects. She wouldn't change anything in the world for their mutual passion and the utterly relaxing warmth she felt afterwards. To lay her hands on his chest, to take in his scent, to feel his love for her still coming in passionate waves. His sounds for her, his delicate moves.

His breathing steadied slowly. He slipped his arm around her and pulled her tight to him. " I guess Frank was right, I am lucky. " he whispered.

" What makes you say that ? "

" He said I wasn't good, I was just lucky. "

" Well, I don't think you're just lucky. I think you're also very good. Even with one arm functioning. "

" Does that go for me showing you how much I love you? Or in court? Or taking your clothes off? " he asked playfully.

" All of it, dear. All of it. "

" Do me a favor … Have it printed in tomorrow's paper … "

" I don't think you really want me to tell everybody how good you are as my lover … " She chuckled " even with just one arm functioning … "

" Of course I do. I like to be remembered as the one armed lawyer. " He snorted and laughed " The one armed lover. "

" But you're my one armed lover. Perry, I just don't want anybody else to know how good you are ... " she looked into his face, and stroked his beard.

" So, I'm lucky and good, hmmm? " His broad smile answered hers.

" Of course you are, baby, have you ever doubted yourself? " She narrowed her eyes to him.

" Never. " He kissed her nose.

" Hmmmm…? "

" Well, hardly ever … "

The smile she gave him, made him forget the pain in his left arm long enough to embrace her in a way that told her all she needed to know.

###########