Tess and the girls barely moved until that evening. Their minds swirled with possibilities; possibilities of the future and what was currently happening at home. Was Felonious still alive? Was he hurt? How would they carry on without him? Tess' mind thought about what she would have to do if Felonious was dead. She'd instantly and unwavering take charge of the girls. They'd have to stay at her parents or Marlena's house until she could find a new home for all of them. Then her mind came to the minions. All eight to nine thousands of them, she had no idea what she'd do with them. She would feel guilty abandoning them. Also, should she take the girls back to remains of their house to see if there was anything to salvage or would it be best to just move on? Tess knew one thing for sure; she could never love another man after Felonious.
All these thoughts weighed on them so heavily, that their bodies' temporarily gave out under the strain. Suddenly, the sounds of engines from the hangar spurred them to action. The girls shot off the couch with Kyle and the minions with Tess close behind, hoping to see Felonious.
She and the girls ran out the door to see a similar airship landing. Tess started to shake and her heart pound at the anticipation of seeing him. What state would he be in? Injured? Unharmed? How badly would he be hurt if he was?
Tess' heart dropped when she saw someone other than Felonious disembark. Marlena hurried down the airship's ramp and swept the girls up in her arms in relief. Tess' parents, Colin, Lizzy and Percy followed. Tess scolded herself for momentarily being disappointed that it was Marlena and her family and not Felonious who arrived. She was truly relieved to see them safe. However, to have Felonious' safety dangled in front of her and quickly ripped away was like free falling and hitting concrete face first.
Tess' parents wrapped her in a bone shattering hug of relief, followed by one from her brother that lasted longer than usual.
"I was so worried, Tess." Her mother quaked.
"We don't know what we'd do without you," Her father muttered, tears in his eyes. She had never seen her father cry before.
"Did you see him? Was he hurt?" Margo asked worriedly.
"No, I didn't see him. He sent the airship to us shortly after everything happened with only instructions to get in from the minion from him. I haven't heard from him." Marlena said gravely, shaking her head.
"I heard from him. He says he knows who's doing it. Who was the last person Felonious bested?" Tess asked.
"Some kid named Vector. He kidnapped the girls." Marlena replied as she shrugged. "Why?"
"It's him attacking Felonious, then" Tess thought aloud.
Tess knew how criminals worked. If one lost to another, they would come back to assert their power. This Vector person was the last person Felonious had beaten. It couldn't be anyone else due to Felonious' lack of recent criminal activity.
"I have to go back." Tess said, resolutely "I may be able to bring him to a cease fire."
Tess wasn't trained in negotiations with a criminal to bring a cease fire, but she had witness countless numbers of them. The only difference was that she didn't have her bullet proof vest, and wasn't hiding behind squad car or in an FBI mobile command center. And that she would be the one trying to get the attacks to stop, rather than a professional.
"What are you talking about? You can't! You'll be killed! You have nothing to offer to his fight and will only get in Felonious' way!" Lev exclaimed.
"I know how to protect myself; I was trained by the FBI." Tess asserted.
"So you can shoot a gun! Big deal! Whoever is attacking Felonious can't be stopped with a gun!" Marlena insisted.
"You're committing suicide." Natalya said coldly as a chorus of 'no's' and 'you're crazy' erupted from her family.
"Well, I'll die defending my family." Tess said as she walked onto the ramp of the airship that brought Marlena and her family. "I'm sorry, but I really think I can stop this and I can't justify just sitting here hoping for the best, when I could possibly stop the attacks. I love you all."
With that, Tess turned and boarded the airship with reluctant minions who were afraid of defying Felonious' orders of protecting her.
Tess knew she was heading to her death, but she couldn't leave the man she loved to fight alone. She knew she was being irresponsible and selfish. Her death, if Felonious had in fact perished before her, would leave the girls without a mother. They would either be placed with Marlena or her parents when they need a stable home the most. If she got there in time and Felonious was still alive and she would be able to successfully negotiate a cease fire, she could save everyone involved. That was worth the risk to her.
The flight back wasn't much different from the flight to. It was still oppressively quiet. Her mind buzzed with ideas of what she would say; constantly replaying every negotiation she had seen, remembering every minute detail. She thought of every possible outcome and scenario so she could to prepare herself as much as possible. Surprisingly, the airship had a Wi-Fi signal and she used it to look up any information on Vector on her phone. Any information on him could be valuable in a negotiation. Somewhere over western coast of Sweden, Tess' phone rang. Tess quickly grabbed it, not even looking at the number. It had to be Felonious.
"Hello?" She answered, hopefully.
"Tess, it's me, Michael. Michael Fisher. I have information that can save Felonious Gru. Look, don't ask me how I have this information but I feel terrible for I have done. I should have trusted to you about him."
"Yeah. Yeah you should have." Tess said testily, all her emotions and memories from that past situation coming back to the front of her mind.
"I know." Michael said, sadness dripping from his voice. "Like I said, I have information. I want to help."
"Great. You can start now." Tess replied tersely. "Where can we meet for you give me this information? My phone could be tapped."
"Meet me on old access road 23." Fisher replied.
"Got it. I'll be there in a few hours."
"Ok. Tess, please be careful." Michael pleaded.
"I think that's a bit redundant given our current situation." Tess said as they ended the call.
Tess had to think about where that location was. It was in the middle of nowhere, with literally nothing for miles. The road and area was virtually forgotten by the city when a more direct route to and from the city was built. That location was a major benefit to them, it lessened the possibility of Vector finding out the information Fisher had.
When Tess arrived at the location, it was dark. A cold sweat broke out when she saw angry red flames in the distance. She knew was looking at the fires that engulfed her home. She could even smell the smoke from where she was standing, some miles away. In the distance, she could hear sirens and military and police aircraft flying overhead.
Shortly after, a car a pulled out and Fisher emerged. He sighed in relief and wrapped Tess in a hug. Tess was a bit taken aback by this action. Even after years of working together, they weren't particularly close. They maintained a very professional and formal relationship. However, this was a very stressful situation and she could see how he'd worry and act in such a way.
"I was beginning to worry something awful happened." Fisher said worriedly.
Tess ran a hand through her disheveled hair, trying to look somewhat presentable. "We hit some turbulence over the Atlantic."
She saw Fisher's eyes lock onto something on her hand, but thought nothing of it. "What information do you have?"
Fisher was silent for a moment, "I lied. I don't have any information. I heard that you were in a relationship with him and I've come to talk some sense into you. He's a dangerous man, Tess. He can hurt you and those girls."
Tess didn't know where to begin, the fact he was intruding on her personal life or the fact that he still believed Felonious was dangerous to her and the girls. She was pissed and she was exhausted, she really didn't want to deal with this.
"Felonious genuinely accepts those girls as his daughters and he their father! Those girls couldn't be safer even if they were hidden in the Obama's fallout bunker!" She exclaimed, waving her hands wildly.
Fisher caught her left wrist tightly in his hand. Tight enough to leave finger shaped bruises. She hoped that he left bruises, because the minute Felonious saw them, Fisher would have to pray that that was all Felonious left behind on him. Then she remembered her engagement ring. Her heart stopped.
Michael roughly pulled her hand closer to look at the diamond ring. The look on Fisher's face was a mixture of disbelief, anger and disgust. "How long has he been fucking you?"
"Goodbye, Michael." She said evenly, pulling her hand away. She looked her wrist, already starting to bruise. She raised her hand to where the bruises were in Fisher's plain view. "I'd lock your doors tonight and get out the country tomorrow. Not that locks can stop him or he can't find you wherever you go. Better make sure your will is up to date." She said darkly and turned to walk off.
Suddenly, she was grabbed from behind and she felt something all too familiar against her head; the cold muzzle of a gun. She gasped.
"I can't believe you fell for this." The voice of Fisher said from behind her. "I don't care about you or those girls. I just had to lure you out of his hiding spot to bring him about."
In that moment, everything made sense. It was him all along. Felonious knew Fisher would come after him. His father was the only man Felonious ever purposefully killed. Felonious was planning for his attack all along! The readings spiked when they met and Felonious had seen that Tess was working with Fisher. He recognized him as the son of the man he had killed. After Fisher disappeared, the readings decreased with Felonious thinking that he was dead and that he and his family were safe. Fisher was trying to avenge his father's death.
"You're his weakness you know…" Fisher sneered in disgust. "He'd never let you get hurt. Now, I know he's still alive after the barrage of bombs I sent earlier. Let's call him and have a little chat, shall we?" Fisher said, pulling out his phone.
"I'm already here." Felonious said ominously.
Fisher quickly turned them around and faced him. Felonious looked worse for the wear, dusted with soot and his sweater was torn in places, other than that, he was fine. He had has plasma gun already pointed at Fisher. He was a good enough shot to hit him without hitting Tess.
"Felonious!" Tess exclaimed.
"Let her go."
"Or what? You'll kill me like you did my father?" Fisher asked, angrily.
"No, I'm going to kill you either way." Felonious said flatly.
Hearing that, Fisher jerked the gun away from Tess' head and pointed it at Felonious. Felonious didn't hesitate in firing his gun, disintegrating the one Fisher held.
Fisher growled and pushed Tess to the side and she fell to the ground, landing on her side, knocking the wind out of her. She saw Fisher charge at Felonious and she quickly got to her feet, running to her fiancé's aid.
She ran and punched Fisher in the back of the head, hard enough for her hand to hurt and slow Fisher down. Tess had her gun on her, but would only use it if she had too.
Fisher crumpled to the ground but didn't stay down long. He lunged at Felonious, his fist balled, but Felonious quickly moved and dropped the plasma gun and grabbed Fisher by the neck, poised to snap it with his bare hands.
"You will never come near my family again." Felonious seethed.
"I can say the same for you." Fisher replied. He punched Felonious, who recoiled temporarily.
Seeing her opportunity, Tess grabbed Fisher and bound his wrists in her hands, putting the muzzle of her gun to his head, Felonious pointing his Beretta at Fisher's heart and knife ready in his other hand, his last resort weapons. "You lost." She said.
"THAT MAN KILLED MY FATHER!" Fisher exclaimed as that made everything better.
"You're father attacked me! Your father was crooked, not half the man you and this damn city thinks him to be! He lost his mind trying to bring me in and resorted to the lowest measures to do so!" Felonious yelled.
Suddenly, red and blue lights and sirens pervaded the moonlit darkness and silence. Local police and SWAT teams along with FBI flooded from the police vehicles and surrounded them.
"Hold your fire!" Tess heard the voice of Chief Daniels holler.
The weapons pointed at them lowered and Daniels parted the crowd, walking up to Tess and Felonious.
"Well, don't we have a little sordid story don't we? The man who was one of the best criminologists the Federal Bureau of Investigations has ever seen cracks under pressure to bring the great Felonious Gru to justice and turns to evil to bring him to justice. The suspect kills him in self-defense and the suspect's son believes his father was anything but. So he seeks to avenge his father as one of his superior's falls for the suspect. It's almost too good to be true. Agent Sutterfield." Daniels addressed, officially.
"Yes sir?" Tess asked a twinge of confusion in her voice as to why he was using her former title.
"Is Felonious Gru a threat?" He asked.
"Yes." Tess stated, evenly.
"Will he re-offend?"
"Is he a threat to Freedom and Democracy?"
"I am confident that he is."
"Are you and those little girls safe with him?" The air of formality was dropped and seriousness laced Daniel's voice.
Tess smiled, "Without a doubt." She squeezed Felonious' hand affectionately.
"Well that's all I need. No further questions. Felonious Gru, for your cooperation in bringing Michael Fisher the terrorist his for use of bombs, you are no longer under FBI surveillance. The United States government apologizes for intruding." Daniels said casually.
"What cooperation?" Tess asked.
"I tapped Fisher's cell phone and I heard your conversation with him. I called Daniels and told him what was happening." Felonious explained.
"But you could have been arrested!"
"It was a chance I was willing to take for your safety."
"So he's free?" Tess asked Daniels.
"Uh huh." Daniels replied, walking back to his squad car, Tess and Felonious followed. "I have every confidence that you will keep him below our radar. Also, I know that you will not come back to the force if we're investigating your," Daniels paused, thinking, "whatever he is to you. We're barely productive without you! I have the Vice President breathing down my neck!" Daniels complained.
"So I'm getting my job back?" Tess exclaimed, happily.
"Yep. Just don't piss off the CIA. They're terrifying and will not leave you alone. Kinda like an ex –wife." Daniels said to Felonious as he got into the squad car and drove off.
"It's all over…It's all over!" Tess exclaimed throwing her arms around Felonious' neck.
He laughed heartily as he pulled away and a put cupped Tess' face in his hands, looking her in the eyes, "No it's not. Everything is just beginning! We can finally live and not have to worry about the next obstacle!" He said happily.
"Of course Felonious! If you think you can put up with me for 70 plus years!" She teased.
"I think I can," He grinned as he kissed her with all the love he had for her.
That is how a criminal and a criminologist fell in love.
Author's Final Note: I want to thank you all for reading this story. I am truly appreciative. I do plan to continue on with these characters. I'm already writing a vignette of Tess' and Felonious' wedding day, which will be included in my story The Despicable Gru Family, along with a few other vignettes that include her or some that don't. I'm playing around with the idea of writing about Fisher's father and how he tried to bring Gru to justice, his fall from grace and just how that battle took place. I don't know if that'll be a full length story or just a vignette. Would you like to hear that story?