DISCLAIMER: I do not own the characters of Wilhemina Chambers of Sara Matthews; they are the property of FOX television. This story may contain graphic depictions of sexual acts; please use disrection.
SPOILERS: Strap-on.

Different Ends of the Law
By Stacia Braver

Part 9

When Milton and Sara pulled up to his store, "King of the Gods Flower Service," she noticed something odd.

"Hey, Milty, are you closed today?" she curiously asked.

"Yeah, yeah, I decided to close up early today. We just had a few deliveries in the morning, so I told Mike and Tony to go home. Besides, we did really well last week--BIG week--so I can afford it, ya know?"

"Oh, well cool," she said smiling at him, "you deserve to take it easy. You work too hard, Milty."

"Yeah, tell me about it!" he said with a hearty laugh. "Let me help you out there, kiddo," Milton said before exiting the truck. He came around to Sara's side, and opened the door for her. "Out ya go, kiddo," he said, assisting Sara down by gently holding her uninjured arm.

"You're such a gentleman," she said teasing. "Thanks."

They walked up to the store; it was quaintly placed at the end of a small strip mall on a moderately busy street. The store was very small; if you were driving and you blinked, you'd miss it. There was cheerful yellow and white awning above the glass door, and the same logo of Zeus that Sara found so amusing, painted carefully on the right window. Milton fumbled for the correct key to open the door.

"Got enough keys there, Milty?" Sara teased.

"Hey, a good businessman always has alotta keys!" he struck back, smiling. He found the correct key, and openend the door, moving aside to let Sara pass him. "Okay doll, we'll just get your check, and be on our way. Sound good?" he said, moving the blinds to lock the glass front door.

"Yeah, yeah, sounds great," Sara said looking around.

"Good, well, I have it downstairs. Come with me, kid," he said, urging Sara with his hand to walk in front of him.

The stairwell was in the rear of the store. It led to the basement, where Milton made his own clay flower pots. The stairs were old, and wooden, and they squeaked with nearly every step the two took. "It's dark down here, so be careful, kiddo," Milton cautioned.

"You can say that again!" she said as she reached the bottom. Milton searched for the light switch. The lights came on, illuminating the small basement.

Sara gasped, as utter fear came over her entire face.

"Well, hello, darlin'," said a well-dressed man sitting in a chair in the middle of the room. "It's...been so long. How have you been?" He asked, crossing his legs.

Sara turned to Milton to try to pass him and go back upstairs, but she was met by a .9 mm handgun pointed at her stomach. "Milton! Milton, please!" she pleaded, but her words fell on deaf ears.

"I'm sorry, kiddo. This is my OTHER job...working for this fellow here. I believe you've met."

Tears welled up in Sara's eyes; she knew there was no way out of this situation. She turned back around to face the man in the chair. "Matt, look, I know why you're here..." she said, her voice trembling.

"Oh, you do, darlin'? Why's that?" Kistler said, lighting a Cuban.

"Your sister. Look, I swear I didn't want her to go to jail, okay? I swear I didn't. I thought Jill had gotten away, and--and I was so happy that she did, b-b-but then, I found out that she didn't, and I just--I just--"

"Made a deal? Saved your own ass? Wimped out?" he concluded.

"Y-yes. It was the only way for me to stay out of prison. I--I had to do it, Matt."

"And what about my baby sister, Sara?" His face turned murderous, "Do you think she deserves to rot in a fucking prison cell?! She has NO life now--NONE!!! All because you're a weak BITCH! Do you know what this is doing to my family? I had to tell my mother, who is on her deathbed, that her little princess is in prison!" He stood up. Sara gasped, and tried once again for the stairs, but once again was met by Milton's gun. Kistler was now face to face with Sara, breathing heavily through his nose. Sara closed her eyes. She knew that this was it for her. She experienced the phenomenon of seeing one's entire life flash before their eyes. She sighed heavily, and opened her eyes. At that moment, Kistler puffed on his cigar. Sara looked from side to side, nervous as hell. She suddenly thought of Milton, who was still standing behind her. She turned her head to the side, catching him in her peripheral vision.

"Why, Milty?" she whispered, crying. "Why? I thought of you as a father. How--how could you do this to me?" she asked, still crying. Milton looked down and sighed, but no words came from his lips.

Kistler laughed hysterically. "Why, WHY?!" he said, mocking Sara. "Because it's what he does, you fucking bitch!" He laughed again, now walking around the room. "You know...I am...a GENIUS!"

"Yeah, and why is that?" Sara asked, somewhat defiantly.

"Tell me...do you really think that you meeting Milton the day you were released from the hospital was just...coincidence?! Do you think he was just delivering flowers that day?! Oh, and that him spotting poor little one-armed Sara, and listening to her fucking sob story, then offering her a job was just...destiny? No. It was me. It was all me," he said puffing on his cigar again. Sara eyes widened into saucers. "Yeah, that's right, ME," he said vengefully.

Billie parked on the side of the flower shop. She surveyed the building for a few minutes. She noticed that the shop looked like it was closed, and she noticed 3 yellow trucks; one parked on the street, and two parked in the lot that she was in. She got out of her Corvette, closing the door gently. She once again took out her gun, holding it firmly in her right hand. She crept along the brick at the front of the store, then peeked in once she reached the window. There was no one in sight in the store. She looked down at the door, and saw the "Sorry, We're Closed" sign. She tried the glass door, it was locked. "This is just...not right," she whispered to herself. She doubled back, and went to the rear of the building. There was an outside cement stairwell that led to the basement. She began to go down the steps, walking sideways, her weapon ready for any surprises.

Kistler had calmed down some after his rampage. He looked at Milton. "Good job, old friend. The price on this bitch's head will be well worth it," he said, smiling sinfully.

Milton moved away from Sara. "You're right old pal. But," he said, pointing his gun at Kistler, "the price on YOUR head is much higher," he said, squeezing the trigger. Kistler had tried to reached inside of his jacket for his gun, but it was too late. He forcefully fell backwards, onto the floor. Crimson oozed out from his chest, drenching his olive green suit.

"Oh my God!!!" Sara screamed, sobbing, and in total shock over what just happened. Milton walked over to Kistler's body, and spit in his face hatefully. "That's the way the cookie crumbles, eh? OLD friend?" Sara knew this was her chance to run, but she just couldn't. Her mind was telling her to run up the stairs like hell and get out, but her legs were like cement. All she could do was stand there and cry.

Billie heard the shot. "Fuck!" She tried to open the old, metal door, but it was locked. She knew Sara was in the basement, because she heard her scream. Billie had to find a way in. She bolted back up the stairs, to the front of the store, once again approching with caution. She saw that still, no one was upstairs. She spotted a metal ashtray right by the door. She tried to pick it up, but it was heavier than it looked. Once Billie was finally able to get a grasp on it, she turned her head and she hurled it through the window. Glass flew everywhere inside and outside of the store. The store's logo that was painted on the glass, now lay in a thousand pieces. Billie jumped through the huge opening in the window, keeping her eyes on the stairwell.

She moved to the side of the stairwell, watching, listening and waiting. She finally heard rapid footsteps coming up the stairs, and a man yelling and cursing. "Get up there!" Milton ordered Sara, who was still too shocked to say anything. He had his gun pointed at her back, as he forced her up the stairs to see what the hell was going on in the store. Billie knew this was it. The moment she saw Sara's arm, she pulled it, jerking Sara away from Milton's hold. Milton looked at Billie, shocked, "who the hell are you?!" he challenged.

Billie had moved Sara behind her, and Sara held onto Billie's waist with a death-grip. "L.A.P.D.! Drop your weapon and put your hands up, motherfucker!" Billie warned. Milton stood there, smiling defiantly. "NOW!" she yelled, her gun aimed directly at him.

"Or what? What are you gonna do, pussy with a gun?!"

"I...will not...tell you again..." Billie said, talking through her teeth. A combination of being pissed off beyond belief, and adrenaline pulsated through her veins, "drop...your weapon...and put your hands up," she said, both hands on her gun, her blue eyes piercing through Milton.

"Fuck you!" Milton said, once again squeezing the trigger. The bullet hit its mark--Billie. She grunted and flew backwards, knocking Sara over, but Billie still had the presence of mind to get off one round. She hit Milton in the thigh. He fell to the ground, grabbing his left leg, squirming in pain.

"L.A.P.D.!" Van and Deaq yelled at the top of their lungs, using Billie's homemade door to get in. "Hold it right there, asshole!" Van ordered, holding his gun to Milton. But, he was no threat. His pistol had flown out of his hand, and was laying out of reach. Van quickly handcuffed him, and sat him upright against the counter. He found a towel, and wrapped it around Milton's leg to slow the bleeding. Milton sat there in shock; it was now his turn to be speechless.

"NO!" Sara screamed, holding Billie's head in her lap.

Deaq was with them on the floor. "Call an ambulance, V!" he said, panicking. "Shit, this can't be happening, this CANNOT be happening! Hold on, Billie, hold on!" yelled Deaq. He quickly took off his dark blue tank top, and made a tourniquet for Billie. Billie's tan turtleneck was now almost entirely red. Deaq saw Billie's wound; it was an ugly open gash. He took his shirt, put it under her arm, and over her shoulder. He pulled on it as hard as he could, to make sure it would stay, and then tied a knot. "We're with you, boss. You're gona be okay. You'll be back bustin' our balls in no time," he said, trying to convince himself.

"Oh my God, oh my God, she's bleeding! She's bleeding so much! Look! Help her! Please, you gotta help her!" Sara pleaded with Deaq. "Oh my God, Billie....please...please..don't--" Sara said, then completely lost her composure, burying her face in Billie's raven hair, sobbing uncontrollably.

Van had called both the ambulance, and for backup. He was notified that a backup unit was just minutes away from their location. He ran over to the others, sliding on his knees across the floor. "Oh, Billie," Van sighed, on the verge of tears. He looked at Deaq, whose face was solemn. "Where's she hit, man?!" he asked urgently. He was unable to tell because the tourniquet hid Billie's wound, and there was so much blood. Deaq pointed to his own chest. "Fuck!" Van said, his voice cracking. He looked down at Billie with intense grey eyes, "Billie? Billie! Don't you even fucking think about it! Stay with us...stay with us...you're strong Billie, you can do it! You c- ca--" his voice trailed off, too distraught to go on.

Sara stroked Billie's hair, she looked at Billie's face; sprinklets of Billie's blood were all over her face. Sara wiped them away. "You listen here..." she started, her voice trembling. "I didn't almost get killed today for nothing, okay? I've come too far to...to have you...leave me. You're gonna be okay, honey. We'll get through this. I...I love you so much, Billie. You can't leave me! You can't!" Sara felt Billie slipping away, and she began to shake her vigorously. "Oh God, please! Please, no!"

"Ay, ay, easy, easy!" Deaq commanded. He took Billie's hand and held it tight, stroking it. Tears fell endlessly from his eyes, and he was at a total loss for words. At that moment Van began to cry as well. He tried to be strong and keep it in; he tried to be "manly," but seeing Billie like this was just too much for him to bear. He squeezed Billie's other hand, and kissed it repeatedly, gently, his tears diluting Billie's blood on her hand.

Billie could see the three of them; they looked like three angels oddly paired up with one another. Her piercing blue eyes had lost some of their fire; she looked at each of them one at a time. Then, her gaze fixed on Sara. "Sa-Sara..." she said weakly.

"Yes, sweetie?" Sara said through tears, stroking Billie's face.

"I--I love y--y--you..." Billie wheezed. She licked her lips, trying her hardest to finish her sentence. She was able to manage two more words: "b-be good." With that, her lids closed. Right then, backup arrived. Deaq, Van and Sara sat there, mouths open, barely breathing, staring at Billie.

"Billie!!!" Sara screamed in agony, holding Billie as tight as she could. She rocked her back and forth, crying hysterically, pleading with God. Van and Deaq looked at each other, their eyes surfing in tears. Van used his free hand to grab Deaq's free hand. They sat in silence, daggers piercing through their hearts with each agonizing cry Sara unleashed.

Part 10

"Hey! Hey, Ray! Hayes!" yelled one of the two officers now on the scene. "Hey!!!"

Van heard him yelling, but it was faint and echoed. He finally looked over to him, half-focused. The other cop moved over to them. "Lyons--" Van said, looking down at Billie's blood on his hands.

"Listen, Ray, the ambulance is on it's way, they should be pulling up any minute now. THEY will take care of Lt. Chambers. You're a cop-- you have to focus on your job right now. You can't do anything for Billie, man," he said, his voice heartfelt. "Come on," he said, urging Van to get up, trying not to look at Billie too much. He looked over at Deaq, "you too, man."

"I--I can't," Deaq said, wiping his eyes. "Not just yet. I can't leave Billie right now. She-she needs me here."

"Hey Lyons," said Pruitt, the other officer, "help me with this bag of shit," he said, referring to Milton. He grabbed one of the clear evidence bags they had brought in with them, and carefully placed Milton's handgun inside.

"Yeah, alright, "Lyons said, leaving Van and Deaq with Sara and Billie.

Sirens wailed outside, it was the ambulance, at last. Two paramedics hurried in. The male went to Pruitt and Lyons who were with Milton, and the female went to the boys and Billie and Sara.

"Whooo, you were lucky, Sirtis," said Pruitt. "She almost shot your boys off. Too bad she missed."

"I'll check the place out," Lyons said. He carefully looked around the store, checking every nook and cranny. He headed for the basement.

The paramedic, Alvarez, removed the towel that Van had wrapped around Milton's leg. "This helped stopped the bleeding, but we gotta get him to Sinai--right now," he said to Pruitt, while helping Milton stand up.

"Fuck you, you bastards!" Milton said, still full of fire.

"Oh yeah? Why don't you fuck THIS?" Pruitt said, giving him the middle finger.

Lyons came back up the stairs, shaking his head. "Partner, we got a DOA down in the basement."

"What the fuck?" Pruitt said.

"Yeah, and you'll never believe who it is--Mr. Matthew Kistler."

"Oh, holy hell," Pruitt said with a slight chuckle. "Well, that asshole had it coming." He began to speak into the police radio on his shoulder, "Yeah, this is Pruitt, unit 71...send the coroner, we got a DOA at this location..."

Meanwhile, the female paramedic, Slayton, was checking on Billie. "Please, please help her. Is-is she--" Sara said, her voice trembling.

Slayton checked Billie's pulse; it was there, but very weak, and if they didn't get her into surgery soon, it wouldn't be there much longer. "No, she's not dead. She's just passed out from shock. Plus, she's lost a significant amount of blood." Alvarez had already loaded Milton onto a gurney, and put him in the ambulance, his handcuffs still tight around his wrists. He hurried back with a second gurney for Billie; the glass on the floor crackling as he pushed it.

"Watch out, I need some space here, people!" he demanded. Sara and the boys stood up and moved back. "What do we have here?"

"We've got a 340, Blue, shot in the chest," Slayton said, quickly removing Deaq's tourniquet shirt, and placing a real one on.

Sara looked at Billie, tears still streaming down her flushed cheeks. "What's 'Blue?'" she asked Deaq, her voice barely there.

"It means she's a cop," he answered.

"Okay, let's get her outta here!" Slayton ordered, as she and Alvarez quickly pushed the gurney with Billie on it across the room. Sara and the boys ran with them, Sara holding Billie's hand the entire way. "Billie...if you can hear me...I'll be right with you. I'll be with you," she said, kissing Billie's hand.

"Step back, please," Slayton told the trio. She and Alvarez loaded Billie into the back of the ambulance with Milton, and took off, sirens wailing, lights flashing.

Sara covered her face, still sobbing. Van put his hand on her shoulder to comfort her. Lyons approached them. "Ma'am," he said gently, "I'm Officer Lyons, and this is my partner, Officer Pruitt," he said, placing his hand gently on her uninjured arm. "You're gonna have to give us a statement; we need to know everything that went on in here.

Sara looked at Van, then Deaq. "It's okay," Deaq said.

"I'm Sara. Sara Matthews." She sighed. "There was a hit out on me," she said, sniffling. "I worked for Milton for about a month..." she realized that she needed to back up in her story. "I was once involved in...well...robberies. M-my partner, Jill was arrested, but Billie made me a deal...and--I..." Sara took a deep breath. "I didn't shoot the maid, and I told the cops where the money was. So, I walked, but Jill--she was sent to prison. Kistler is--was--Jill's brother. He hired Milty to befriend me, offer me a job...then---kill me," she said, still sniffling. "But, Kistler was the one who would get the surprise, 'cause Milty shot him, right in the heart."

"Hmph," Pruitt said, "another hit. I know the price on that bastard's head was probably at least 700 G's."

"I know this is hard, but go on," Lyons urged. "What maid? What money?"

"Uh, Officer Lyons," Van interrupted, "what she's referring to is another case, if you need to check it out, I'll tell you what you need to know."

"Yeah, I'll need to know that. You put that in your report, the case number, when it happened, and whatnot. Appreciate it." Lyons' eyes moved back to Sara, and she looked up into his deep brown eyes.

"And, what about Lt. Chambers? When did she come into all of this?" Lyons probed.

"I--I don't know. I don't even know how she knew I was here! God!" She said, looking at Billie's blood on her shirt. "I wish she didn't know..."

Van stepped in, "Lt. Chambers was in contact with us all day. We knew that Sirtis would most likely be at one of two locations; here, or at the garden supply store he owns. Officer Hayes and I checked out the garden store first, where there was no sign of anyone, she notified us of her location, and we immediately came here to assist."

"So...she was concerned with Sara's whereabouts?" Pruitt asked.

"Uh...yeah, yeah she was," Deaq said. He and Van noticed that the two officers looked somewhat confused. They knew that giving statements was part of the job, but the only thing on their minds right now was Billie; they had to be there with her. "Listen, man. One of our own is lyin' in a hospital bed, okay? She might be dyin'. V and I need to be with her right now. So, are we finished here? We'll file a full report with Captain Parrish. And everything she knows will be in that report as well," he said, pointing to Sara.

"Yeah, man, I understand. Me and Pruitt will wait for the Wagon to get here." He looked at the guys. "Chambers is a strong woman. I admire that most of all about her. I'm sure she'll pull through," he said, smiling.

"Yeah, we're with you guys. Stay strong," Pruitt said. "Now, get outta here."

"Let's go, Sara," Van said. The three of them hopped into a lime- green GTO with dark blue stripes on the hood, Van behind the wheel.

On the way to the hospital, Sara sat in the back seat and observed Van and Deaq. She finally broke the silence. "So, which one of you shot me?" she asked, flatly.

"Uh..." a nervous Van said. "That would be me. I'm-I'm sorry about that."

"No you're not. You were protecting Billie. I understand that....NOW," she said, releasing her first smile since she and Milton arrived at his shop.

"Would you really have shot Billie that day?" Deaq asked, turning back to look at Sara.

She thought for just a moment. "Of course not. I mean, I was pissed off like hell that she played me in order to bust me...but I'd never shot anyone before. And, even though she had betryed me--or, at least I thought she did back then--I--y'know...I was falling in love with her. I never would have pulled the trigger that day, no way."

Van and Deaq looked at each other, and both fell silent. Sara felt their awkward vibes. "Um...what is it?"

"Uh..." Deaq chuckled. "We uh...you see, V and I? Uh...ohhhh, shit..."

Van stepped in, "We didn't know...about Billie. I-I mean, but hey, we're not TOTAL dumbasses, ya know, I mean we suspected--"

"Yeah, man, you right, we DID suspect! You remember that all girl biker gang? Billie looked right at HOME, G! My wheels were turnin' then, man!" Deaq said, laughing.

"Yeah," Van laughed. "But, ya know, Sara...Billie's a very private person."

"Man, she like Michael Jackson...or...the 'Artist Formerly known as Prince,'" Deaq said, laughing.

"You know?" Van chuckled, "she is definitely a recluse."

Sara looked at them, amused. "Jesus Christ, you guys are like freakin' Laurel and Hardy."

Van and Deaq laughed. "But seriously, Sara," Deaq said, "Billie IS very private. We've never even been to her crib. She never, ever talks about her family, or her childhood. And, she sho 'nuff ain't never talked about her love life. But, I mean, V and I are cool--we cool with it. You know...she's like a sister to us. We love her dearly."

"Yes, we love her a lot...don't tell HER that, though!" Van said as Sara giggled. Van suddenly became serious. "God, I hope she's gonna be okay. "

"Me too, bro. Me too. Positive thoughts, man. You know Billie ain't goin' out like dat."

"Yeah, I know, man," said Van, sighing heavily. "Okay, this is it...showtime," Van said. He could see Cedars Sinai hospital just ahead on his right.

Part 11

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