DISCLAIMER: Copycat is the property of Jon Amiel and Warner Brothers, no infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was written for the July Passion and Perfection rare fandoms. The story picks up right after the final scene.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The psycho falls to the ground when the final round from my gun takes off the top of his head. Good thing too because I don't think I can stand any longer as my legs agree, and I slide down the wall. Dr. Hudson walks slowly towards me and asks, "Inspector, where are you hit?"
Smiling, I reply, "Just the shoulder. Lucky I hadn't had time to remove my bulletproof vest before stumbling into Foley's little party. Wasn't it nice of him to invite me?"
Dr. Hudson gingerly sits down next to me rubbing her bruised neck and says, "Well, I for one am thankful you accepted the invitation. This was his final swan song, you know. It was his homage to Darryll Lee Cullum. It wasn't meant to be just another copycat; it was Foley's offering to Cullum. He wanted to successfully finish what Cullum wasn't able to."
Blaring sirens alert our attention back to the street as several police cruisers and ambulances pull up to the scene. Dr. Hudson helps me stand, and we make our way to the closest EMT.
As we walk down the sidewalk, I grin and say, "Helluva way to cure your agoraphobia, Doctor."
She steps into the ambulance and replies, "Oh, I'm not anywhere near being cured, but it is refreshing to know survival has become more important."
The EMTs place me on the gurney and lift me into the same ambulance. Dr. Hudson moves beside me and holds my hand on the drive to the hospital. She never releases it even when I'm lifted out and wheeled into the emergency room.
Knowing her 'problem', I insist we be placed in the same examining room. I explain to Dr. Hudson that I hate hospitals, and she allows me to get away with it. I think her adrenaline is wearing off, and she finally realizes she is outside of her safe haven.
The doctor examines me first and determines that I have bruised ribs as well as a hole in my shoulder. Hell, I could have told him that. He continues to explain that it was a clean shot so there should not be any problem; however, he wants me to immobilize it with a sling. The doctor also tells me I have to rest for two weeks. I'll give him two days, but there is no way I'm staying home for two weeks.
Smiling, he adds, "By the way, I made sure to tell your boss that you had to take a mandatory leave. He wholeheartedly agreed with me."
What a sneaky son of a bitch. I look over at Dr. Hudson and find her grinning. Just wait until he tells her something she doesn't want to hear.
The doctor carefully examines her and concludes that her injuries actually look worse than they are. She was very lucky she didn't break her neck when she tried to voluntarily hang herself, and the doctor told her not to take chances like that again. I highly doubt she will ever be in that situation again, but Dr. Hudson agrees to avoid jumping off toilets with a wire around her neck.
Not amused, the doctor tells both of us to come back if we experience any problems before leaving us alone in the room. Dr. Hudson watches me fumble around trying to put my clothes back on and moves over to assist. I glare at her when she moves closer; I've been dressing myself since I was four years old, I don't need any help.
Sighing, Dr. Hudson offers, "Inspector, if you want to leave tonight, you'll let me help you."
Dropping my head in defeat, I hand her my clothes. With an embarrassing moment or two, we finally manage to get the damaged clothes back on me. As we walk to the door, she freezes in place.
Turning, I softly ask, "What's wrong?"
She shakes her head and replies, "I can't go back to my place. There are so many memories and so much blood."
Taking her hand, I answer, "We'll have someone clean it up. You'll never know anything took place. It will be good as new."
With tears in her eyes, Dr. Hudson says, "I'll know. I'll see the blood from that policeman spurt across me and the floor. I'll see Foley's shadow when he was in there the first time. I'll see Andy's smiling face coming down the stairs telling me he's going out to some club. I'll see Darryl Lee Cullum's face every time I sit at that desk and look at my monitor. I can't go back there. I just can't."
Pulling her into a hug, I reply, "You can come to my house for awhile. It's not as spacious or nice as yours, but it's clean." I release her and smile as I add, "It's also indoors."
Dr. Hudson chuckles and answers, "You've got a deal, Inspector. I promise to help out anyway I can."
I put my hand out for her to take and say, "If you're going to be staying with me, you need to drop that Inspector crap. It's M. J., Doctor."
Dr. Hudson replies, "No Doctor for me, I'd prefer Helen if you don't mind."
Helen takes my hand, and we head for the nearest exit. A police cruiser is waiting to take Helen back to her apartment, but I inform him of the change of plans.
On the drive over, Helen's hands begin to tremor, and she closes her eyes. I don't hesitate to take her hand in mine, and the motion of my thumb on the back of her hand has a soothing, calming effect allowing her to make the rest of the trip without incident.
Once inside the apartment, Helen begins to relax. She looks around and notes my small, neat den that is very tastefully decorated if I must say so myself. I give her a quick tour of the kitchen, guest bedroom, and master bedroom. The two bedrooms share a large bathroom which is located between the two. Helen instantly falls in love with the clawfoot tub located against the far wall.
I offer Helen the bathroom first while I make a few phone calls. Helen jumps at the chance and makes her way to the bathtub. She tells me a hot bath always soothes and relaxes her, but she usually opts for the quick shower. Tonight, she is going to indulge herself, and I make it even more inviting by giving her bubble bath to add to the water.
Once I'm sure she has everything she needs, I make my way into the bedroom to place my calls. First, I phone Lieutenant Quinn to let him know two days will be sufficient enough time for me to recover, and he informs me I am to come in tomorrow to make my statement and then I am banned from the station for a period of two weeks. We'll just see about that.
My second call is placed to an FBI friend of mine who has lots and lots of connections. Something Darrell Lee Cullum said to Helen has me very worried. I have to wonder if there isn't some other nut out there exchanging letters with Mr. Cullum. If so, Helen is still in danger.
John answers on the third ring, and I give him the details of the Cullum case. I also express my concern about his letter writing, and John agrees with me one hundred percent. He tells me there is something he can do, but it is well outside the realm of the law.
I don't hesitate to reply, "John, this guy will not quit until Dr. Hudson is dead. I want him stopped, and quite frankly, I don't care how you do it."
He explains that he has friends who have access to prisoner's outgoing and incoming mail in every prison in the state. This won't be the first time he has asked one of them to monitor an inmate's mail, and he assures me it won't be the last.
Before hanging up, John says, "Don't worry, M. J. It will be taken care of. Any letter having anything to do with Dr. Hudson will never reach its destination, but there is something you need to do on your end. You need to consider the possibility that Darrell Lee Cullum may have already contacted someone else. I would make sure Dr. Hudson has someone watching her back for at least a month. After that, I think she will be safe."
Crap, I hadn't thought about that. Thanking John I say my goodbyes. How am I going to broach this little subject with Helen?
Rising from the bed, I go to check on Helen. The door is open to the bathroom so I peek in to find Helen lying in the bathtub with her eyes closed. The bubbles are covering everything but her neck and head so I take a step into the room when she suddenly begins to stretch.
Whoa, I quickly turn my back as two perky nipples rise to the surface. If Nicoletti had a pair of those, we'd still be together.
Pushing my lascivious thoughts to the background, I ask, "How are you doing? Is everything okay?"
Helen moans and replies, "Oh yes, this is absolute heaven."
Oh honey, absolute heaven would be if I were in there with you. Instead, I answer, "I just wanted to make sure you were okay. When you get out, I've got something I need to talk to you about. Do you drink tea? I thought I'd brew us a cup."
She agrees, and I step toward the door. Reaching back, I begin to close it as she steps out of the bathtub. Holy Mother of God, what a body. She has got to be six foot tall. Oh my, I have a six foot tall goddess staying with me.
I manage to successfully shut the door, and I even make it to the kitchen without drooling all over myself or the carpet.
Helen enters the kitchen wearing one of the robes I keep on the back of the door. I had forgotten she doesn't have any spare clothes, but jeez, did she have to choose the shorter of the two?
To put it in pure and simple terms, I'm in hell. Did I mention I'm only five foot two? Even I can do the math on this one. I pour the boiling water into the mugs and try to avoid looking below Helen's neckline. I just have to keep my focus on her face and try to ignore the tight fitting, cleavage hugging, short robe.
We sit across from each other at the table, and my overactive mind can't help but wonder if there is enough robe left for her to sit on. I change my focus to my tea as I stir until the sugar has more than evaporated.
Helen takes my silence as avoidance of our talk, and she is the type of person who definitely doesn't like to be coddled. In a no nonsense tone, she says, "M. J., just tell me straight out. I want to know."
I carefully outline my suspicions and explain John's involvement in monitoring Cullum's mail. She takes the news rather well so I go one step further. "Helen, I'd like for you to stay with me for awhile. John thinks a month is a sufficient amount of time, and I agree. I can get someone to pack up your apartment and put your things in storage. I'll have your clothes sent over, and if there is anything special you would like, let me know, and I'll arrange for it to be brought here as well."
She stares into her mug for quite some time before she replies, "Thank you, M. J. Under normal circumstances, I would gracefully decline and get Andy to arrange for my lodging, but Andy's not here anymore, and honestly, you're the only person I trust. I accept your offer, but I insist on paying room and board."
We sit and talk for awhile longer while we map out our plans. She offers to cook, and since my only claim to fame is spaghetti, I quickly agree. We both begin to yawn so I suggest we call it a night. I walk her to her bedroom and make sure to stay in front of her the entire time. There's no way I could go to sleep if I were to sneak a peek at her ass.
As I climb into bed, I realize I still have my clothes on. Not wanting to bother Helen, I manage to kick off my shoes and pull the covers over me. I am asleep the minute my head hits the pillow.
Sometime during the night, I am awakened by a scream. I grab my gun from the nightstand and make my way down the hall. Pushing Helen's door open, I quickly glance around to be sure no one else is in the room but me and her. Satisfied that there is no intruder, I look to the bed to see Helen wrestling with the covers.
I hurry to her bedside and softly call her name, but she doesn't respond. Being careful of my shoulder, I sit on the bed with my sling facing away from Helen. I reach over and lightly touch her, and she sits straight up crying and gasping for breath. I pull her into a one armed hug and try to calm her fears with reassuring words. She leans into my body and takes a firm hold of my waist.
When she finally relaxes, I take stock of the situation. I am sitting in Helen's bed, and we are holding onto each other. That's not so bad, but the part where she is completely naked is so not good.
Helen lifts her head and leans forward toward me. Shit, is she going to kiss me? My question is answered as her lips make contact with mine. Oh man, she tastes good. She slowly works her tongue into my mouth, and mine decides it wants to play. We continue to passionately kiss until my mind finally kicks into gear.
I quickly pull away, and my lips are so pissed. They're just going to have to get over it because this is moving too fast. Besides, I'm not even sure Helen wants this.
Helen looks down at the mattress and offers, "I'm sorry, M. J. I shouldn't have done that. It's just I haven't had any physical contact with anyone in a very long time, and I'm attracted to you, and I just shit."
I lift her chin and gently kiss her lips. Looking her in the eye, I reply, "Hey, don't apologize. You're one hell of a kisser, Doctor. You don't have anything to be sorry for."
Smiling, she answers, "You're not so bad yourself, Inspector. I'm just sorry I attacked you. It's just I'm so frightened, and you make me feel safe."
Lifting the covers, I say, "Why don't I stay in here with you tonight? No hanky panky, just sleep. We both need rest."
She slips under the sheets, and I start to follow until Helen notices a small problem. "M. J., do you really want to sleep in your pants?"
Hell no, but my pants would be a barrier between her skin and mine. Dare I put myself through such torment?
Several minutes later, we are both under the covers, Helen totally nude and me pantsless. She puts her head on my shoulder and her arm around my waist. A short time later, we both drift off.
We easily fall into a daily routine. We get up and have breakfast, and then I accompany Helen to the park across the street. Of course, it took some time to actually make it to the park. The first day we got as far as the front porch before having to turn back, and the second we made it to the end of the sidewalk. Each day a little more progress was made, and by the end of the first week, we were sitting on a bench in the park.
Helen is making tremendous strides, but right now, she wants to limit her outdoor activity to the park. I'll allow her to do whatever she wants because damn it, I find myself falling in love with her.
Our nightly routine has moved from her bed to mine, but she at least has her clothes now so she no longer sleeps in the nude. We exchange sweet kisses each night before falling asleep in each other's arms.
Tomorrow, I am scheduled to return to work, and unbelievably, M. J., the workaholic, wants to stay home. Helen assures me she will be just fine, but even though I have a state of the art security system, I can't help but worry. I promise to call her during the day to make sure she is okay.
Helen has started writing another book so I guess you could say she has returned to work as well. The first week I went back to the station, she threatened to unplug the phone. Maybe calling every hour was a little excessive.
The doctor has finally agreed to take this sling off, and I have almost regained my range of motion. Even though the doctor has given me a clean bill of health, I still continue to maintain my regular hours.
Every one at the station is amazed that I leave work on time, and if I do have paperwork, I take it home instead of spending all hours of the night at the station. My co-workers have complimented me on finally having a life outside of work. Well, all except Nicoletti; he thinks that life should include him.
Helen and I truly enjoy our evenings together. Some nights, she sits on one end of the couch working on her laptop while I sit on the other looking through case files. Other nights, we pretty much talk about growing up and discuss our life experiences.
On occasion, we will talk about Foley, and it seems we take turns reassuring each other. I hold Helen and tell her Andy's death was not her fault, and she holds me and explains that if Reuben were here today, he would tell me I did the right thing.
As the end of the month nears, we both begin to relax a little more, and it looks like Cullum didn't have time to train another disciple. It appears John's plan has worked. He called to assure me that he will keep everything in place until Cullum is no longer a problem. I don't dare ask what that means.
Several days later, I realize that maybe I should have asked John for more information when the evening news runs a short story on the death of Darrell Lee Cullum. I quickly phone John, and he assures me it really was an accident. While showering, the dumbass got some of that orange hair dye in his eyes and took off running on the slippery tiles. He ran into the corner of the door and fell backward onto the tiles basically splitting his head open. The prison doctor said he took a direct hit to the temple and died instantly. If he had lived, the doctor is fairly certain the blow to the back of his head would have put him in a vegetative state. I guess Karma really is a bitch.
Helen and I continue with our living arrangements well past the first month. Neither of us ever brings up the subject of her moving. It's like we're in silent agreement that she will stay. She's even called up a psychologist friend who has been coming to the house regularly. I think Helen is going to beat the agoraphobia.
On a Friday night, I come home to find the table set and candles lit. I wrack my brain and finally come up with a reason for the celebration. It's been six months to the day that we survived Peter Foley's attack, not to mention six months since Helen's been living with me.
The object of my last thought comes into the kitchen wearing a silk robe. Thank God, it's hers and not mine.
Helen walks up to me and gently kisses my lips. Pulling me close, she says, "I've drawn you a bath. I thought maybe I could join you, and then we could have a nice dinner together."
Grinning, I ask, "Why Helen, are you trying to seduce me?"
Helen returns my grin with one of her own and replies, "Yes I am, M. J. How am I doing?"
I blow out the candles and take her hand as I lead her to the bathroom which is pretty appropriate if you think about it. The bubble bath was where I first realized my attraction to Helen, and it will be the place I plan to affirm my love for her both physically and vocally.
Stepping into the water, I put my hand out and assist Helen into the tub. She sits behind me, and I relax against her body. She kisses me gently on the neck and asks, "You do know what today is, don't you?"
I turn my head and reply, "Yes, it's the six month anniversary of our survival and you moving in with me."
Helen slides her hand to my breast and says, "It's also the six month anniversary of us not having sex, and I plan to remedy the gross oversight and blow it right out of the water."
She does just that as she moves her other hand to the inside of my thigh. And the bit about the water . . . well, let's just say by the time we made love to each other numerous times, there was more water on the floor than in the tub.
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