Now is always the time by magensby
Summary:

 

When tragedy strikes some survive unscathed but others wonder when will things return to normal.  Time is the key.  But when is the time to let go, time to move forward, time to reclaim one's life?


Categories: Daytime Television, One Life to Live Characters: Evangeline Williamson
Classification: Cannon
Genre: Drama
Story Status: Completed
Pairings: None
Warnings: Un-betaed
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 18 Completed: Yes Word count: 17871 Read: 15687 Published: June 01 2020 Updated: July 06 2020

1. Chapter 1 by magensby

2. Chapter 2 by magensby

3. Chapter 3 by magensby

4. Chapter 4 by magensby

5. Chapter 5 by magensby

6. Chapter 6 by magensby

7. Chapter 7 by magensby

8. Chapter 8 by magensby

9. Chapter 9 by magensby

10. Chapter 10 by magensby

11. Chapter 11 by magensby

12. Chapter 12 by magensby

13. Chapter 13 by magensby

14. Chapter 14 by magensby

15. Chapter 15 by magensby

16. Chapter 16 by magensby

17. Chapter 17 by magensby

18. Chapter 18 by magensby

Chapter 1 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

 

(During this coronavirus pandemic everyone please remember to keep calm and stay safe)

 

  

Now is always the time

 

(If not now, then when; if not here, then where, if not you, then who)

 

 

Chapter 1

 

They pity her so much.  The vibrant defense attorney now only a shell of herself, lying in a coma as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.  What a pity they say.  Although she won many cases, she did lose a few.  How about that custody case for Kelly Cramer or the one for Antonio Vega and they can’t forget that murder case against Todd Manning?  They guess she wasn’t so high and mighty as she carried herself.  Oh my and they talk about her relationship with that cop John McBain.  That was so embarrassing.  Gracious they question how can anyone forget that he left her to burn and rescued that Natalie Vega chick instead.  Add to that she even underwent hypnosis to help the police find that Vega girl anyway.  The worse thing though was she ended up in a relationship with Natalie Vega’s ex-husband, Cristian Vega.  She went from bad to worse.  At least the cop had a job while Vega is a wanna be boxer painter whatever.  They tsk, tsk for how the mighty have fallen.

 

But there are those who stand by her even while she languishes in the coma.  Of course, her family surrounds her with their love.  Her mother visits regularly as does her Uncle Clay.  Her sister Layla is a constant fixture along with Layla’s boyfriend Vincent Jones.  Her family has eased visitation rules and now allow others to visit her.  The doctors contend that the visits continue to stimulate her mind even though they hold little hope of her ever recovering from this devastating injury. 

 

There are two visitors who come as often as they can.  They want her to know that they are there for her, that they will never forget her or allow her to be forgotten.  Although the two of them don’t get along they agree that Evangeline is worth whatever effort they have to expend to keep her engaged.  Nora Hanen and Todd Manning put aside their differences to help their friend.

 

Nora Hanen counts herself as her best friend.  She too suffered through a coma but she survived and she expects nothing less of her friend.  She talks with Evangeline about what’s happening in Llanview but she also talks with her about new legal precedents so as to keep her friend abreast of what’s changing in the legal world.  She tells her about the new thing that Matthew, Nora’s son, is doing and how he is growing so much.  During her visits Nora fights to not cry but it grows more difficult each day that Evangeline remains comatose.  Nora vows to prosecute the perpetrators of this dastardly act to the fullest extent of the law.  She thinks to herself, ‘no one hurts my friend and gets away with it’.

 

Todd Manning considers Evangeline to be his best friend, his only friend in the world.  He doesn’t get along well with many people because he can be obnoxious on his best day but for some reason, he has a soft spot for the lady legal eagle.  She’s saved him many times from legal entanglements and even though he was convicted of murder and executed, she risked her career and reputation to help him and he will never forget that.  She was his listening ear when he needed someone to talk to and his shoulder to lean on when he was weak.  She didn’t coddle him, she always told him the truth and he appreciated that to no end.  If he could he would kidnap her and take her somewhere to get her the best medical care possible but he knows that would devastate her family.  He remembers all of the flack he received when he flew in medical experts to operate on her when she was blind.  Even with those limitations he has offered to assist in her care.  Todd can’t totally commit at this time because he’s in the midst of trying to find his son, the son from Margaret Cochran, the crazy lady who drugged him and raped him.  She’s now dead but his son is alive out there somewhere and he intends to find him.  Maybe if he had allowed Evangeline to travel with him to Chicago this would not have happened to her.  He can’t change the past but he can promise to get justice for his friend.  On that he and Nora agree.

Chapter 2 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

 

Now is always the time

 

 

Chapter 2

 

Three months have passed since the attack at Cristian’s art studio and since Evangeline lapsed into a coma.  The Llanview police force has been swamped with following leads on possible suspects.  As all of the victims were ethnic or religious minorities the attack was designated as a ‘hate crime’ and the FBI joined in on the investigation.  Lt. John McBain serves as the Llanview LPD liaison with the FBI agents since he was formerly an FBI agent.  He has made it his mission to find those responsible for this crime while still working on other cases.

 

Although John has not visited Evangeline as much as he would like, he does keep abreast of her condition by talking with his brother Dr. Michael McBain.  Evangeline is no longer in the hospital but at a specialized care facility under twenty-four hour guard.  Michael checks in daily with the medical staff there at the facility.  Even after Evangeline and John’s relationship ended Michael remained friends with Evangeline.

 

The break in the case comes exactly four months to the day of the initial attack.  A fire was set at a warehouse owned by Vincent Jones.  The warehouse stored shipments awaiting distribution.  Warehouse staff had left for the night and the security guards were changing shifts.  Just in those few minutes that it took for the shift change someone started the fire in an area away from the security offices.  What the arsonist did not know was that a vagrant had set up his bedding in that same area and had a clear view of the man planting the chemicals and starting the fire.  The vagrant hid and made his way out of the building just as the flames ignited.  He made his way to the security office and told the guards what he saw.  One of the guards called the fire and police departments and two of the other guards immediately went to the described area and were able to apprehend the arsonist before he made his escape.  The fire department arrived in time to extinguish the flames before they totally consumed the warehouse.  The police took the arsonist into custody.

 

Upon arrival at the police station the arsonist was questioned and it was learned that he was paid for his services and at first opted not to talk anymore.  When the police informed him that he would also be charged with attempted murder he started to ‘sing like a canary’.  He gave up names, telephone numbers, bank accounts and anything he could think of that he could use to make a deal to lessen his sentence.  Upon learning of how well funded and extensive this group was the FBI put a ‘lockdown’ on the case and a ‘gag order’ on the police staff involved in the case.  They wanted an airtight case with no weaknesses.

 

Two months later, after exhaustive searches, surveillance and interviews the cases went to trial.  Some members of the One Pure People (OPP) provided state’s evidence in exchange for lesser sentences while others maintained their innocence.  The trials lasted two weeks and all ended in guilty verdicts.  But that wasn’t the end of it.  Several victims filed civil lawsuits against the leaders of the organization as well as the organization itself.  Those lawsuits ended in judgments for the plaintiffs.  The OPP was now penniless and its leaders were in federal prisons.  Those who plea bargained for lesser sentences still have to serve time, probation and provide community service upon their release.

 

(If not now, then when = the answer is now)

End Notes:

Thnx for reading.  Really appreciate your support.

Chapter 3 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

 

Now is always the time

 

 

Chapter 3

 

Llanview the quiet town in PA not too far from Philadelphia.  It may seem quaint but it has its share of difficulties.  There are many skeletons in the closets of many of its citizens especially those who consider themselves the ‘rich and famous’.  The Buchanans, the Lords and the Cramers are just a few.  They have their country club, their gated communities and their mansions to set themselves apart but they sometimes forget that they all breathe the same air and unless they have a private water spring on their property, they drink the same water.  Too many times citizens forget that they have more in common than they think and in order for their community to really be great it must provide for all of its citizens.  

 

The OPP case opened the eyes of those in the higher echelons in Llanview to the fact that their sense of exclusivity allowed newcomers and others to believe that such evil actions were welcome and that the greater populace would agree with their methods.  Although Llanview didn’t have the mob bosses Corinthos, Sorel, Zacchara, and Alcazar or the high class gentry of the Cassadines running Llanview like they were running Port Charles, NY or like Victor Newman and the Abbotts in Genoa City, WI or like Victor Kiriakis and Stefano DiMera in Salem, IL there are still the have and have nots as found in most towns and cities across the nation. Hate spreads when good people do nothing.

 

(If not here, then where = the answer is here)

 

Upon that realization the community came together to make changes.  They did not want their community to be remembered as the place where the OPP set up shop and terrorized the city because they found a ‘fertile feeding ground’.  No, they would not allow such to ever happen again in their town.  Forget committees, no sitting around a table for weeks or months talking about what changes are needed.  They already knew and they implemented those changes and those who had the funds made certain that those changes received the necessary funding.  Not only the usual Buchanans and Lords but Manning, Hanen, Jones, McBain, and Antonio Vega Santi contributed and those who could not contribute financially they contributed their time and talent.

 

(If not you, then who = the answer is you)

Chapter 4 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

 

Now is always the time 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

 

And this changed Llanview is the one to which Evangeline Williamson awakens, exactly one year after she lapsed into a coma.  Her recovery was not easy and she had her ups and downs but she was determined to leave the facility on her own terms and able to take care of herself.  Instead of returning to her old apartment building she opted for a small cottage on the outskirts of town.  She wanted peace and quiet.  

 

Nora assisted her in renewing her law license.  Evangeline then decided to teach some courses at Llanview University while getting her CLE (Continuing Legal Education ) credits.  The University is so impressed with her that they offered her a permanent position but she declined.  She told them that her place is in the court room and she plans to return as soon as she can.  Nora also tried to convince her to return as the Assistant District Attorney but Evangeline declined that also and prefers to be her own boss and choose for herself which cases she will handle.

 

Evangeline’s family wants her to return to the Washington, D.C. area but Evangeline refused once again.  She explains that she has made a life for herself here in Llanview and she wants to stay here.  Her mother, Lisa, even went so far as to ask Dennis, Evangeline’s ex-boyfriend, to talk some sense into Evangeline and let her know how fantastic of a life she would have in D.C.  That conversation went ‘south’ quickly and Dennis knew right away that he had lost that battle.  

 

Uncle Clay ever remained the calm influence in all of the upheaval.  He personally traveled to Llanview and stayed with Evangeline at her cottage and asked her point blank why she wanted to stay in Llanview and even if she didn’t want to return to D.C. why not move to a bigger city and further advance her career.  Although Evangeline was tired of explaining her choices to everyone, she did appreciate that her uncle took the time to come to her in person and hear her out.  After about an hour of listing all of the reasons why she wanted to stay she ended with, “Uncle Clay, I feel that I can make a real difference here.  I’m comfortable here and I have had enough upheaval in my life in the last few years that I just need some peace.  There is so much to do here socially and with its close proximity to Philadelphia my choices are further enhanced.  Even with all the things that have happened to me during my time in Llanview, I am still a respected member of the community.  Contrary to what others may think I didn’t go to law school to one day sit on the Supreme Court.  I went into law to make a difference and I do that here.  Many may not agree with my decision but it is mine to make.  When I was attacked my choices were taken away from me.  I will not allow that to happen again.”  Uncle Clay just smiled because he was so proud of the strength that his niece showed.  She is her own person, thoughtful, enterprising, considerate, strong, intelligent and she has every right to make her own decision about her life without interference from others, including her family. He replies, “Evangeline, I am so proud of you and I will support you in your choice.  This is your life and live it as you see fit.  I am confident that you will make the right decisions for you.  I just want you to be happy.  Things have been rough for you here and we just wanted you a little closer home so that we can look out for you but you are a grown woman and can take of yourself.  I will leave tomorrow but know that if you need me, I am only a phone call away.”  They hug and decide to go out to dinner at the Palace restaurant.

Chapter 5 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

 

 

Now is always the time

 

"Remember then: there is only one time that is important - Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have power." - Leo Tolstoy

 

Chapter 5

 

That next day Clay Williamson has every intention of leaving but before his departure from Llanview he has one important stop to make.

 

(Knock, knock)

 

"Come in," Clay hears the office's occupant respond.  As Clay enters the room he sees the surprise in the eyes of the office's occupant.

 

"I hope that I'm not interrupting Lt. McBain but I wanted to see you before I left town."

 

John had no idea that Evangeline's uncle was in town, but then again how would he know.  He was no longer in her ‘inner circle' of friends.  

 

"Sir, is Evangeline all right?  Has something happened to her?"  John hurriedly says thinking that something bad has happened to Evangeline and that is why her uncle is here in his office.

 

Clay smiles at John's concern and he calmly says, "No Lieutenant.  Nothing has happened to Evangeline.  She's fine.  I just spoke with her a few minutes ago.  I would like to invite you to lunch. I would rather not meet here in your office.  That is if you have the time."

 

John is doubly surprised at the invitation and checks his calendar for any pending appointments.  Seeing none he gathers his jacket and prepares to leave the office and notifies the officer on the desk that he's leaving the building and will return soon.

 

They arrive at an eatery near the police station and Clay wastes no time in stating his purpose.

 

"Lieutenant McBain, may I call you John?"

 

Surprises are evidently the thing for today because once again John is surprised by Mr. Williamson's request but agrees to allow the non-formality.

 

"John, my family never did thank you for all that you did to bring Evangeline's attackers to justice.  In the past you did not always do right by my niece but your work on the OPP case made up for all of that. Your dogged pursuit of evidence and witnesses was the key to establishing rock solid cases against all of those involved in the gas attack.  I know also that you visited Evangeline regularly at the long-term facility while she languished in the coma. Her mother doesn't even know that part and neither does her sister."

 

John bowed his head at hearing that Clay knew about his visits.  He didn't tell anyone about them.  He went on his days off and read to hear, talked to her and just sat with her.  It was something that he had to do, no needed to do.  Looking up he sees Clay looking at him with an expression that John cannot decipher.  

 

Clay's expression is all due to one climactic moment.  Clay remembers visiting Evangeline just when her condition started to improve.  It was late one night and he was the only one there.  Lisa, Evangeline's mother, had left for the evening to get some rest.  Clay heard a sound and looked up thinking that the nurse was returning to check on Evangeline but it wasn't.  The sound was coming from Evangeline.  It was just a whisper but it was said clearly and concisely, J-O-H-N.  In that moment Clay knew that in spite of everything that happened between John and Evangeline while they were together and everything that happened since they broke up, his niece still loves John.  He can personally relate to that feeling.

 

In the meantime, John remembers his conversation with Clay years ago when he accompanied Evangeline to her great aunt's funeral.  Clay was not impressed with John and didn't think that John was the man for his niece.  At that encounter John told Clay that Evangeline didn't need a man to get where she wanted to go.  He also remembers saying that to Evangeline when she was in the hospital after the rescue from the Killing Club Killer at the Love Center gym fire.  But her response to him surprised him at the time.  She said yes she didn't need a man but at the moment he rushed through those gym doors, at that moment she wanted one.  She wanted him and he failed her.  When she was attacked at Cristian's study he made a vow to himself that he would not fail her again.  John prepares to respond to Clay but not before Clay says,

 

"John let me tell you something about myself.  I've made mistakes in my life too so I can't judge you for yours.  One thing though, when it comes to my niece, of course I am biased, but I want her to be happy.  She's had enough sadness in her life, especially in the last few years.  Let me not digress.  What I want to say to you is this.  When I was a young man I fell in love with a lovely, generous and kind woman but I left her with her heart shattered.  There were other women after her and the years passed but I didn't have that feeling of peace with anyone else that I had with her.  Fast forward to five years after our breakup.  I see her again and realize my mistake.  Wanting another chance with her how do I convince her to give me that chance?  So I took my heart in my hand and met with her and apologized for my atrocious behavior towards her.  Knowing that I deserved a slap in the face from her, do you know what she did?"

 

"Did she slap you?" John asked.

 

Clay laughed and said, "No, she didn't slap me.  She said, ‘Clay we all make mistakes but I'm a believer in second chances. The past is the past and we don't know what the future may hold. All we have is now'. She gave me another chance and I married her within a few months and we were together for over twenty years before she died.  I know about your deceased fiancé John.  I know about your previous relationship with Natalie Vega.  Yes I know that the two of you broke up before Evangeline's attack and have not reconciled.  I do my homework John.  If you want Evangeline John let her know that you do.  Don't risk losing her again.  She's worth it."

 

John is totally dumbfounded to hear Clay Williamson say these things to him so he asks, "Mr. Williamson, I don't know what to say.  I'm not sure that Evangeline will ever give me a second chance after what I did. During our relationship I told her continuously that Natalie was a non-issue but after Evangeline broke up with me and I rescued Natalie from the Killing Club Killer I entered into a relationship with her and add to that I kept secret that her husband, Cristian Vega was alive.  How do we come back from that?"

 

Clay looks at John with a determined mind, takes John by the shoulders and leans into him so that they are face to face, "You tell her the truth John.  You can't change the past but you can tell her now that you love her.  None of us are as we were before this attack.  It changed all of us, you, me, her family and most of all Evangeline.  I believe that my niece never stopped loving you and I know that when she was with you that she was happy.  Unfortunately her family didn't share in her happiness but that was our mistake.  So tell me John, what do you plan to do to make this right?"

 

John knows this is it, the moment of truth.  Blazing blue eyes look into steely brown eyes and John says, "Mr. Williamson I understand what you are saying. Yes I'm quite aware of all that I lost when she walked out of my life.  I can't thank you enough for talking with me because I didn't think that I had any chance of ever getting back into her good graces let alone getting her to love me again.  So many times I have thought of calling her and asking for another chance but the time was never right.  I understand that I can't wait for the time to be right I have to make it right.  As your wife said, ‘all we have is now'."

 

Clay is pleased and knows that now he can leave assured that Evangeline will be surrounded by those who love her.  But he also knows that Evangeline will not take John at face value because she does not trust him but more importantly she does not trust herself when it comes to John.  Like anyone she doesn't want to be hurt again.  That is why Clay called Evangeline just before he met with John and recounted to her the same story that he told John.  The story about second chances.  Clay didn't specifically tell Evangeline to give John a second chance.  Instead he told her to give ‘love' a second chance.  Clay is confident that John and Evangeline will find each other again just like he and his wife found each other.  They simply have to open themselves up to the possibility and let love take its course. 

 

 

 

(A/N: Well that was a surprising turn of events.  Continue to read to find out if John follows through and how Evangeline responds.)

Chapter 6 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

Now is always the time

 

Chapter 6

 

Well it seems that love has several more allies in its corner when it comes to Evangeline and John.  Todd knew about John's visits to Evangeline during her coma.  He made certain that he knew everyone who visited her. He was not taking any chances on any OPP confederates getting into that long-term care facility and causing her any further harm.  Todd hasn't said anything to Evangeline about it nor has he said anything to John about it.  As long as John doesn't cause Evangeline any heartache then he will keep silent.  But, and it's a might big but, Todd knows that Evangeline is still in love with John.  He knew that the only reason that she hooked up with Cristian was because she was so hurt by John's rejection.  Todd also realized that although the attraction that he felt for Evangeline was real it would have destroyed their friendship had they crossed the line over to lovers.  He's glad that they didn't because he would never want to lose her friendship.  Todd does wonder why John has not sought out Evangeline now that she has recovered.  Perhaps it is time for Todd to have a conversation with Lt. McBain of the Llanview Police Department.  Not one to procrastinate Todd goes directly to the police station to talk with John not knowing that John just returned from his lunch meeting with Clay Williamson.  Oh well it looks like it's going to be a busy afternoon for one John McBain.

 

Once John returns from his meeting with Mr. Williamson he works on the files on his desk.  But before he can get too involved with the burglary case file he hears a knock on his door.  Thinking that it's the desk clerk with another file he tells them to ‘enter'.  Looking up he's startled to see Todd Manning.  Never one to miss an opportunity to rile up Todd, John smirks and says, 

 

"So Manning. are you here to give yourself up for all your many crimes?  So your guilty conscience has finally gotten the best of you.  I have my handcuffs ready for you and a jail cell all prepared."

 

Todd, never one to back down from a challenge, smiles and responds, "McBain, on your best day you could never pin anything on me.  You and your rag tail crew aren't fit to wear a badge.  Anyway I'm not here about me."

 

John gets up from his chair, moves around to the front of his desk, sits on it, folds his arms in front of his chest and asks, "Then why are you here Todd?  We are not buddies so I know you did not drop by to ‘check up on me' so what do you want?  I have a lot of work to do so I don't have time for your games."

 

"When are you going to tell Evangeline that you're in love with her and that you want her back?", Todd asks John.

 

John was in the process to turning around to head back to his seat but he stopped in his tracks when he heard Todd's question.  Clay Williamson and now Todd Manning ask him the same thing on the same day.  John thinks to himself, ‘do I have it written on my forehead, I love Evangeline and I want her back?'  John does sit down and leans back in his chair.  He doesn't know what to say.

 

Todd takes John quietness as confirmation of the truth.  Plus he knows that John told Natalie, when he broke up with her, that she's not the one for him and he's in love with someone else and has been for a long time.  Of course his niece didn't believe John.  She told him that she hasn't seen him with anyone else so he was lying.  John didn't argue with her, he simply stressed that he didn't want to be with Natalie anymore.  That was over a year ago and Natalie has tried everything to get him back but John has not budged in his steadfastness, which is quite contradictory to his actions in the past when he would always reconcile with her.

 

"John I know how it is to believe that you don't deserve better than what you have.  I thought that for years and that's why I always went back to Blair.  I was a rapist and so I didn't believe that any self-respecting woman would want me.  Blair wanted me for my money and I wanted someone to want me.  We did this thing of break up and get back together.  When she deserted me during my murder trial that opened my eyes to her.  Then when Evangeline and I grew close I realized that I deserved better.  Evangeline believed in me when I didn't believe in myself.  She fought for me when I gave up fighting."

 

When Todd starts talking about his relationship with Evangeline John feels like someone punched him in the stomach.  He then notices that Todd has stopped talking.  Todd waits for John to focus again on the conversation.

 

"Are you listening to me McBain?  Stay focused.  Evangeline gave me the courage to make a change in my life.  She allowed me to see that I could do better than just settle.  When she was in that coma, I missed her support so much.  I knew that I had to find my son and make a life for him.  I had to make changes in my life and one of those changes was to eliminate negative influences.  My relationship with Blair was one of those negative influences so while searching for my son I set things in motion to divorce Blair, share custody of Starr and Jack and have full custody of my son when I found him.  Blair didn't believe that I would do it just like Natalie didn't believe that you would stay away from her.  Don't make the same mistakes that I made McBain.  Find the person who improves you and believe me when I say there is no one better than Evangeline.  You were almost human when you were with her.  When you two broke up you turned back into your ‘dark, moody and brooding self."

John asks the question that he's wanted the answer to for some time but was afraid to ask, "Manning, why didn't you pursue Evangeline?"

 

Todd looks a little sad when he hears the question but he wants to be honest with John because this conversation is very important to him so he quietly answers, "I wanted to but I wasn't good for her the way I was.  As long as Blair was tied to me I wasn't good for anyone.  I didn't want to do anything to hurt Evangeline and if I couldn't give her all of me then I would not try to have a romantic relationship with her.  Then the attack occurred, I found my son, divorced Blair and built a life with him and my other children.  I had to focus on them and only until recently have I opened myself up to love. Evangeline will always have a special place in my heart but I know that she does not love me as a lover.  She loves me as a friend and I treasure that more than anything."

 

Todd's answer eases John apprehension a little but he still hasn't answered Todd's question of telling Evangeline that he loves her and wants a life with her.  Still contemplating a response John hears Todd say,"Do it soon McBain."  Receiving no reply from John, Todd leaves and returns to his office knowing that he did what he set out to do and only John can decide whether or not to heed the advice given.

 

Once Todd exits the office John reflects on his conversation with Clay Williamson about making the time right to approach Evangeline.  Now Todd tells him to act soon.  John wants to make a move but he's not sure which move to make.      

Chapter 7 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

  

Now is always the time

  

Maybe fate won't wait for these two to make up their minds.  Maybe fate will do a little interceding of its own.

  

Chapter 7  

 

This must be the day for folks to go crazy because the police station is humming with bookings, arrests, and all-around drama.  Entering into this midst of mayhem Evangeline stops by to get a copy of a police report to take with her to court this morning.  She makes her request known to the officer at the desk and waits for his return from the file room.  

 

She sits at one of the chairs in the area and again checks her briefcase to make sure that she has everything that she needs for court.  She realizes that she hasn't spoken much to John since she recovered.  The extent of their interaction has been the occasional hello or how are you.  For some reason she misses talking with him.  Maybe that will change soon.  She's feeling better every day so she'll just be patient.

 

A shadow falls over her.  She looks up and sees Natalie Buchanan standing in front of her.  Not knowing why Natalie is in front of her Evangeline continues sitting and ignores Natalie.  Not one to be ignored Natalie says,

 

"Evangeline, are you here waiting for John?  He's not here.  Do you plan to chase after him now that you and my Uncle Todd are no longer an item and Cristian broke up with you long before the attack?"

 

Not at all surprised by Natalie's scatterbrained accusations Evangeline continues to ignore her.  That only irritates Natalie more and as she starts to raise her hand to slap Evangeline, Evangeline stands, grabs Natalie's hand and menacingly says to her, "If you touch me you will not see daylight for a long time.  This is a new day Natalie and your old trash no longer works here."  Then another hand, from out of nowhere, holds Natalie's other hand in a steel like grip.  "You touch her and you will feel a world of hurt.  Now unless you want to get arrested for assault I suggest that you leave now."  Standing there totally embarrassed as other officers look on, Natalie turns and leaves.

 

Evangeline looks up at John and thinking that he's about to apologize for what Natalie attempted she quickly says, "John you don't need to apologize for Natalie's actions.  She knew full well what she was doing.  I can take care of myself but thank you anyhow."

 

John looks Evangeline up and down and relishes just looking at her.  Evangeline smirks at John checking her out but she doesn't say anything.  Instead John says, "I had no intention of apologizing for Natalie's misbehavior.  That's not my responsibility.  What I will say is that you are looking beautiful and if you are available I would like to take you out to dinner tonight.  Oh, by the way here's the file you were waiting for Officer Burton to bring to you.  I was in the file room and he told me that you wanted it so I'm making a personal delivery."

 

"Who are you and what have you done to Lt. McBain?" Evangeline jokes.  John seizes that moment, "Just have dinner with me tonight and I will explain everything.  There's no better time than the present but we both have work to do so it will have to wait until this evening.  Please Evangeline."

 

Intrigued by his request Evangeline agrees to meet him but suggests not going to the Palace or any of the other regular places.  John agrees and tells her he will make all of the arrangements and call her with the time and address.  Checking her watch she sees that court will start soon and she needs to leave right now in order to arrive on time.  Saying goodbye she leaves John standing in the bullpen with a huge smile on his face.  

 

 

Making it to court on time and winning her client's case puts Evangeline in a very good mood.  After the earlier encounter with Natalie she thought that it would darken her mood but it doesn't and she's thankful for that change in her.  Before, such encounters would have a lingering effect on her but now they roll off like ‘water on a duck's back'.  Checking her schedule she sees that she has a few moments before her next court session but as she turns to walk to the next courtroom someone jerks her around to face them.

 

"Vangaleen, don't think that you will get away with this.  Todd is mine, will always be mine and your little ‘woe is me' act isn't going to change that.  You are pathetic.  Nobody wants you.  John left you, Cristian left you and Todd is confused.  He has another girlfriend but he still makes ‘googly eyes' at you," Blair practically screams as she tightens her grip on Evangeline's arm.  

 

Grabbing Blair's hand by the wrist Evangeline squeezes so hard she almost breaks Blair's wrist.  In an effort to free herself, Blair raises her other hand to slap Evangeline.  (What is it today with people trying to slap Evangeline?)  But before Blair can raise her hand it is caught in mid-air and a body encloses Blair and with enough force and heat to melt metal says, "Let her go or you are dead."  Blair recognizes that voice and knows that he will do what he says.

 

Todd removes Blair's hand from Evangeline's arm and pulls her away to a corner in the hall.  Evangeline stands massaging her arm to rub away the pain.  She has grounds for an assault case and she has witnesses, but, she doesn't' want to pursue it as she doesn't want to cause any problems for Todd.  What she does though is walk up to Blair and stands face to face with her and says as forcefully as she can, "That's your one ‘get out of jail free card'.  Don't ever touch me again because it will be the last thing that you do.  That is not a threat, that is a promise.  You may think that you are ‘all that and a bag of chips' but I'm here to let you know that no longer will I allow your nonsense.  Grow up and realize that the man doesn't want you.  Don't take your anger about that out on me.  You don't want a cat fight with me.  I don't just have claws, I have fangs.  Take heed Blair.  I never bluff so take my words to the bank.  Don't ‘write a check your behind can't cash'."  Evangeline looks at Todd and he nods his pleasure in her response.  She walks away to her next court case.

 

Just before she enters the courtroom for her next case her phone rings.

 

"Hello."

 

"Are you all right. I just heard about Blair's attack."

 

"John I'm fine.  Goodness gracious news travels fast."

 

"Are we still on for tonight?"

 

"Yes, but I have a few more hours of work ahead of me.  I'll call you when I'm done.  When and where are we going to eat?

 

"We have reservations at 7 p.m. at Cassidy's in the warehouse district.  I'll see you there."

 

"Okay I will see you then John."

 

Evangeline continues on her day with a smile on her face not knowing that John has the same smile on his face for the remainder of his day.

 

 

 

 

(A/N: Well, well, well, John and Todd to the rescue but Evangeline clearly does not need rescuing but it was so chivalrous of them to rush into the mix.  Our girl has a little more sass to her and willing to back it up with some action.  You go girl!)

Chapter 8 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

  

Now is always the time

  

Chapter 8  

 

‘Never will I let them get away with what they did. I will wait for my time but I will pay them back for all of my pain.'

 

Finding out the location of the dinner they wait in the shadows, biding their time to make their move.  It may seem a drastic measure to take but they don't care.  They know what they want and they will use any measures to attain their goal.  No one takes what ‘belongs' to them.  The longer that they wait the angrier they feel and casting common sense aside they become more determined to exact their revenge.

 

The only decision to make is to act before or after the dinner.  Not even wanting to give them that time they make their stand as they see the couple approach.  This will be the last time that that person will ever get in their way.

 

Confident that they cannot be seen or recognized they take aim and fire.  But something unexpected happens.  At the very last second a movement takes place that shelters their intended victim from the path of danger.  All is wrong and there is no way to remedy this.  Slinking out of the darkness back to the shelter of their vehicle they realize that life as they know it has changed irreparably.  Screeching car tires are the only sound that marks their departure that is not deadened by the screams emanating from their intended victim.

 

Others surround the couple and someone calls 9-1-1.  She sits on the ground holding his head in her lap and coercing him to remain conscious.  Blood seeps from the wounds and "Stay with me, stay with me!" is all that she can say.  Within minutes the paramedics and police arrive.  Recognizing the victim, the officers cordon off the area and line up the witnesses to take statements.  The paramedics work to stabilize the victim before moving him to the ambulance.  She rides in the back of the ambulance with him, holding his hand as she prays for his welfare.  How did things go so wrong so quickly?  Is this some retribution for some arrest he made?  "Stay with me John, stay with me," Evangeline whispers as she caresses his face.

 

Arriving at the hospital they rush him into surgery.  His brother, Michael, is on duty and of course cannot assist in the surgery but he does go to observe.  He doesn't bother to ask what happened he just wants to know that his brother will make it through surgery.  That leaves her alone in the emergency waiting area.  Two police officers approach her to take her statement.  She tells them all that she knows.  They were entering the restaurant when shots rang out.  He fell into her and they both fell down to the ground.  She did hear car tires screeching as she sat on the ground holding him.  Quickly several people surrounded them and tried to offer aid.  Soon the paramedics and police arrived and that's all that she knows.  The officers thank her and tell her that other officers will stand guard as long as the Lieutenant (Lt.) is in the hospital.  They are not taking any chances that this is a ‘revenge hit' on Lieutenant McBain.

 

Every minute in the hospital seems like hours.  Soon she is joined in the waiting area by Commissioner Bo Buchanan, Nora and Layla.  Todd calls her to make sure that she is not alone.  He is working on the front page of his newspaper so he cannot leave.  She thanks him for calling but assures him that she understands and that Nora and Layla are here for her.

 

Nora, Layla and Bo all ask her what happened and she repeats what she told the officers.  They all three ask at the same time, "Are you two back together?"  She shakes her head and says, "We were just going out to dinner together.  I saw him earlier after a confrontation with Natalie and he asked me out to dinner.  A girl has to eat so I said yes.  He made all of the arrangements and I met him at Cassidy's and then everything went crazy.  We did not have an opportunity to talk about what this meant for us if anything.  Whether we're together or not at least I always took comfort to know that he's alive somewhere even if it's not with me."  She tries to stop the tears from falling but to no avail. Nora and Layla surround her in hugs.

 

Bo reaches for her hand to get her attention and says, "He's tough Evangeline.  He'll pull through this and if for no other reason than to have you nursing him back to health.  He will probably move in with you.  I don't know if you know this or not but that time that you stayed with him after you were assaulted at the train station he was a changed man.  Instead of staying late at the office he was out on time each day hurrying to see you.  I don't know why he didn't make things work between you two but his asking you out to dinner today was a step in the right direction.  Natalie may be my niece and I love her but she and John were not right for each other.  He finally realized that and broke off things with her long before your coma.  He'll survive this so that he can finish what he started with you. Don't give up hope and don't give up on him.  By the way, what was the altercation with Natalie all about?"

 

Evangeline suggests that they sit and so they all do and she recounts what happened with her and Natalie and the later incident with Blair.  They look on with confused expressions as to why both Natalie and Blair decided to blame Evangeline for the drama that was happening in their lives.  John has not been a part of Evangeline's life for over three years and Todd is Evangeline's friend.  Although at one point it looked like they might cross the line from platonic friends to a full-blown relationship her coma stalled that and they never resumed it.  Todd has moved on and seems quite taken with the new lady in his life.  Nora doesn't say it but she is glad that Todd and Evangeline are not involved romantically.  She has never been a fan of Todd's and doubts that she will ever be but she will not hinder Evangeline's friendship with him, as if she could.  They settle down to wait for word on John's surgery.  Bo leaves to get coffee for the ladies.

 

A noise at the emergency room desk captures their attention.  Detective Antonio Vega rushes in looking for Bo.  Just as Nora is about to tell him that Bo went to the cafeteria Bo returns.  He hands off the coffees to the ladies and pulls Antonio aside as he guesses that Antonio has an update on John's case and wants to hear it first.  

 

Bo surmises correctly and Antonio tells him all that he knows.  The warehouse district is fairly new for Llanview and the owners of the properties there are very diligent in their security.  They have cameras on their individual properties but also negotiated with the city to have security cameras on streetlamps and that's above and beyond the cameras on bank ATMs or service stations and other regular establishments in the area.  

 

Cassidy's management immediately released their security camera copies to the police and contacted their neighbors to do the same in an effort to capture the perpetrators of this shooting.  They know that the sooner the culprits are apprehended the more comfortable people will be to return to the area.  If people don't feel safe they will not patronize the establishments and that is bad for business.

 

Antonio reports that the technicians are reviewing the camera recordings and the LPD Crime Scene Unit (CSU) is at the scene.  He asks about John's condition but Bo only says that John is still in surgery.  Just then Michael McBain comes to the waiting area with the surgeon who operated on John, Dr. Hayward.  

 

Upon seeing Michael and the surgeon everyone gathers around to hear what they have to say.  Dr. Hayward begins, "Lt. McBain sustained two gunshot wounds to the back, upper torso, one on the left side and the other on the right side.  He had a substantial loss of blood but we were able to successfully remove both bullets and stop the bleeding.  He's in recovery now and is in stable condition.  He'll be in the hospital for a few days and we expect a full recovery."  Dr. Hayward leaves after reporting his findings and Michael remains to speak with Bo and Antonio.  He tells them that the officers collected John's clothing and the bullets for the LPD forensics team to examine.

 

Michael asks the question that has bothered him ever since his brother was brought into the emergency room, "Bo and Antonio is there a ‘contract' out on my brother?  Someone tried to kill him tonight.  Do you have any idea who did this?"  Michael is both worried and angry.

 

Bo and Antonio fully understand Michael's worry and anger.  They too want to know who did this to John.  Wanting to be as transparent as possible, but still not wanting to divulge anything that might hinder the case if it ever reaches trial, Bo responds, "Michael we are doing everything we can to find out who did this.  We will use all of our resources to make certain that the person responsible is held fully accountable for their actions.  It's early in the case and my major concern now is John's condition.  The doctor says that he will recover, and that is good news.  But we will not take any chances with his life.  Officers will be assigned to guard his room while he is here at the hospital and when he returns home, unless your brother has other ideas.  You know how stubborn he can be sometimes."  That last comment caused a smile to appear on Michael's face because yes he knows just how stubborn his brother can be, especially if it is something he does not want to do. "All right Bo I will try to be patient but please catch them as soon as possible.  I can't lose my brother," Michael says and then walks over to speak with Evangeline, Nora and Layla.

 

Not to be left out of the conversation, the three ladies patiently wait until Bo, Antonio and Michael walk over to give them an update on the situation.  Thankful that John is now out of surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, they all breathe a sigh of relief.  Michael tells them that he will notify them when John is moved to a room where they can visit with him.  He will be medicated so he may not be very talkative but they all look at each other as if to say, ‘when was John ever talkative?'  Bo and Antonio decide to return to the station and Nora has to pick up Matthew from her neighbor's house.  Layla stays with Evangeline because she knows that her sister isn't going anywhere until she can see for herself that John is still alive.

Chapter 9 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

Now is always the time

  

Chapter 9

 

Finally Michael returns and takes Evangeline and Layla to John's room.  On the way Michael explains that John is progressing well but may still be a little groggy.  Just as they round the corner to John's room Michael's pager beeps and he leaves the Williamson sisters at John's door so that he can answer his page.  Layla goes in with Evangeline so that she can offer her support should she need it.  

 

The lights are muted in the room and Evangeline slowly approaches the bed.  She doesn't want to wake John if he's sleeping because he needs his rest as any surgery can be taxing on the body.  She views the monitors beeping with John's vital statistics of blood pressure, pulse, etc.  Although she would prefer that he not be here she's just glad that he is alive.  ‘How could this happen?' she thinks.  Pulling a chair up next to the bed she sits and looks at him.  It's been a long time since she's seen him asleep, years really.  It seems so long ago and she never envisioned this scenario. 

 

During their time together Evangeline and John never talked about marriage other than the times she said that she was afraid of marriage and that ‘marriage is one thing but love is everything'.  If she was really truthful with herself she did have one dream about them marrying and having a life together and in that dream there was a glimpse of what her life would be with a policeman.  Being a policeman is a dangerous job and the odds of John getting injured are substantial but her dream did not involve such a scene.  It then would have changed from a dream to a nightmare.  She remembers waking up from that dream and rolling over and snuggling with John, kissing his neck, her fingers making trails down his front to . . .  Coming out of that daydream she finds Layla looking at her and realizes that her fingers are on John's leg ‘making trails'.

 

"Evangeline, Evangeline," Layla smirks as she watches her sister jump and move her hand back to her lap.  "What were you thinking about girl?  You know it's against the law to grope an unconscious person.  Don't want to get arrested now do you?"  Layla laughs as she watches the expressions pass over her sister's face.  She's knows that this is difficult for Evangeline.  Not only because John is hurt but because it brings up memories of her own time in a medical facility during rehab from her coma.  "It's all right Evangeline.  I understand.  I can testify that they were only ‘loving touches'.  I know that this is hard for you Sis.  I'm here for you.  Do you want to talk about it?"

 

Evangeline looks at her sister totally embarrassed by her actions but knows that Layla will understand once she explains.  "Layla, I've never told anyone about this but I did at one time dream of being married to John.  I loved him Layla and although I didn't put much faith in marriage, with the divorce rate the way that it is, I evidently, in my subconscious, thought they he and I could make it work between us.  It was just a dream that I had one night.  I guess that's what brought that on, remembering that dream.  There were times that we were so connected it seemed like he was a part of me and I was a part of him but then it was if I didn't know him at all.  He'd let me see a brief glimpse of the real him and then he would hide himself from me.  That's the best way that I can explain it Layla.  I don't really want to talk about it anymore."

 

"That's fine Sis.  So tell me about this dinner tonight," Layla asks as she pulls up a chair to sit by Evangeline. Not knowing really what to say about the dinner because she wasn't sure herself what it meant Evangeline says, "John just out of the blue asked me to have dinner with him.  I didn't see any harm in it so I agreed to meet him.  We hadn't spoken in some time and Layla it is really strange to say but I have missed talking with John.  When we were together, no, let me correct that, even when we weren't together we would talk and offer our perspectives on things and I know it helped me many times and he told me that it helped him too.  Being in law enforcement there are some topics that one can't discuss with the general public so we became sounding boards for each other.  I don't know if that's what he wanted to talk about tonight but I was willing to listen.  In that he initiated the effort is a huge thing because you know John is not one for talking.  Anyway, we need him to get better now and that is the most important thing.  Right?"  Evangeline says as she takes John's hand and squeezes it.  

 

Michael returns and Layla and Evangeline take that to mean it is time for them to go.  Michael hugs Evangeline and tells her that he will keep her updated on John's condition.  Layla thanks Michael for supporting her sister and she and Evangeline leave the hospital.  Layla drives Evangeline to pick up her car at the restaurant and they each go their separate ways.

Chapter 10 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

  

Now is always the time

  

Chapter 10

 

Back at the Llanview Police Department the investigation into John's shooting is in full swing.  Crime does not take a holiday nor wait for appropriate moments so the staff is spread thin but everyone is making certain that nothing is overlooked in this investigation:

 

-the camera recordings,

-the bullets retrieved from the hospital, and 

-officers still canvassing the area for evidence and witnesses and searching for any evidence to identify the shooter

 

Antonio is in Bo's office as they view the doctor's official report which was faxed over a few minutes earlier.  Just as they finish, Ballistics Supervisor Connor Rand knocks on the open door and enters with the ballistics test results in his hands. 

 

"Commissioner Buchanan and Detective Vega, we have a preliminary report on the bullets and wanted to get this information to you as soon as possible.  The two bullets are of different calibers and fired from two different guns."

 

Both Bo and Antonio stand wide eyed in front of Rand and with Bo taking the lead, asks, "Am I to understand you correctly that these bullets came from two different guns?  All the witnesses, so far, said that they heard only one shot.  How can that be?"

 

Rand replies, "Sir, if the guns were fired at the same time then it may have sounded like only one shot.  The evidence suggests differently.  Two different guns were used a .22 and a .38."

 

Antonio grabs the doctor's report from Bo's desk and points out one section to both Bo and Rand, ‘two gunshot wounds in the back in the upper torso, one on the right and one on the left'.  "Bo, if this is correct then we have two separate shooters and not one person shooting John twice in the back."

 

Before any of the men can make a comment, Officer Cerutti knocks on the door and sticks his head in and upon seeing Rand there with Bo and Antonio he decides to give his update on the perimeter search.  "Commissioner we've found two weapons and they are now in the lab."  Bo looks at Rand and Antonio and asks, "Calibers?"  Cerutti responds, "A .22 and a .38.  But they were found in dumpsters behind buildings on opposite sides from the shooting.  How can one single person fire two different guns from two different locations at the same time?"  Rand answers for everyone in the room, "It can't be done.  There were two shooters."

 

This case has just grown exponentially more difficult, or has it?  Rand states that he will return to the lab to oversee the testing of the retrieved weapons and will report back when he has more information.  Officer Cerutti leaves and Bo and Antonio remain in the office strategizing on what to do next.  They don't get to strategize for long because another knock on the door interrupts them.  This time it is a technician reporting on the findings from viewing the camera footage.  Not sure if they are ready for any more surprises Bo decides that he and Antonio will go down to the lab themselves and view the footage as the technician explains his findings.

 

Many hours later, after viewing the footage, receiving updates from ballistics and forensics, categorizing witness statements, checking on John's condition, cataloging gathered evidence, Bo arranges to meet with the District Attorney at her office in the courthouse.  All the evidence points to one conclusion, there were two shooters, this was not a professional hit, and the camera footage and the fingerprint evidence from the guns and the gloves discarded with the guns give undisputable proof of the identities of the assailants.  

End Notes:

Dum ta dum dum.  Ugh oh!

Chapter 11 by magensby
Author's Notes:

John wakes up and has a decision to make.

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

  

Now is always the time

 

Chapter 11

 

While all of this is happening back at the station, in the hospital John wakes up.  Michael is in the room with him at the time and the first thing that John says is, "Where is Evangeline?  Is she all right?  Did she get shot too?"

 

Michael tells John that Evangeline was with him until a few hours ago when she went home.  She is fine and will probably return to visit with him.  John is relieved to hear that.  He asks what happened and Michael tells him that he was shot twice in the back but expects to make a full recovery.  Michael also tells John that there is a police officer on guard outside his door just in case the shooter decides to return to finish the job.  

 

John can see the worry on Michael's face and tries to allay his fears.  "Michael, I'm sure that the LPD is working furiously on this.  We take care of our own.  Don't worry okay.  I can't think of anyone who would go to this length to get back at me.  Most of the really serious arrests that I've made, all of those guys are in maximum security prisons and so I doubt that it's one of them.  The other arrests weren't folks who would go to these lengths to get back at me.  Maybe it was mistaken identity or something," John says but he's pretty sure that Michael doesn't totally believe him.  He too wonders who hated him enough to try to kill him.

 

The nurse comes in to take John's vitals and tells him that someone is here, after visiting hours, wanting to see him.  They don't usually allow visitors outside of the allotted time but she's decided to make an exception this time.  Opening the door a little wider she allows the visitor to enter.  John's eyes open wider and Michael just smiles.  He knew that she wouldn't stay away for long.  Maybe, just maybe, these two will get things right this time.  They both deserve some happiness.  

 

"Thank you Nurse Peterson.  I know it's against the rules so I really appreciate you allowing me to visit now.  I won't stay too long," Evangeline says as she looks at John as he sits up a little higher in the bed.  He winces as he moves and everyone sees it.  Michael rushes over to help him sit up, Nurse Peterson takes his blood pressure and Evangeline stands to the side biting her lip feeling sad that he's in pain.

 

In an attempt to calm everyone John says, "I'm okay.  Just a little pain but I can handle it." He attempts to smile to let them know that he is really okay.  After completing her tasks Nurse Peterson leaves and Michael tells John that he'll check with him later so that will give Evangeline time to visit with him.  Before Michael leaves he whispers to John, "I told you she would be back to visit.  Make the most of it."  John looks at Michael trying to figure out why he said that and Michael sees his confusion so he adds, "Now is the only time you have.  Don't waste it."  On his way out of the room Michael stops and kisses Evangeline on the cheek and whispers to her, "I'm glad that you came back.  He needs you whether he realizes it or not.  Make the most of the moment."  Evangeline squeezes Michael's hand to let him know that she understands what he's trying to do.  That's one of the reasons that she came back to the hospital.

 

When Evangeline left earlier she went home to her cottage, took a shower, ate, and tried to go to sleep.  But something, some thought kept her awake.  She's been given a second chance at living.  The OPP tried to kill her but she survived and she's now living life on her own terms.  Before the attack she was trying to please everyone else but now it's about her.  When she told Layla, earlier at the hospital, that she dreamed about marrying John when they were together it didn't strike her then but that was the only time she ever dreamed about marrying anyone, not Dennis, not RJ, not Cristian, not anyone else.  That's not to say that she wants to marry John now, there are so many unknowns between them now, but just the idea that he's the only man that she's ever dreamed about marrying must mean something.  Anyway she's here now because she couldn't sleep and she wanted to check up on him.  She took a chance coming because it isn't visiting hours but it seems that things are looking up in her favor.

 

All the time that Evangeline is thinking John is watching her.  He's so glad that she's all right and that she came back.  Should he tell her what he wanted to say at dinner?  Should he wait?  Would she listen or maybe she might think that whatever he says is because of the medication?  But will he get another opportunity to have just the two of them alone together like this, not including the medical staff coming in and out of the room?  He'll be here in the hospital for a few days and she will be at work so who knows when they will see each other again.

 

Both try to figure if this is the best time to talk so it's no surprise that they start talking at the same time, "Maybe we can talk now about what we were going to discuss at dinner."  They both laugh that they are thinking the same thing at the same time.

 

"You go first John since it was your idea for dinner and you said that you would tell me why you wanted to have dinner with me," Evangeline says as she moves the chair closer to the bed.

 

As has been the occurrence in the past, someone comes in and interrupts them, but unlike the other times the nurse doesn't stay long this time and John prepares to say what he has wanted to say for some time.

End Notes:

Thnx for reading.  Take care and stay safe!

Chapter 12 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

 

Now is always the time

 

(John says what is on his heart.  Is it too little too late? Or is now the perfect time?)

 

Chapter 12

 

Sitting up comfortably in the bed he waits until he has her full attention and then makes a clarifying point.

 

"First, let me say that I am not heavily medicated.  What I have to say is not due to any grogginess from the medications.  Evangeline, I know that it's been a long time since we've talked and I want you to know right off that I have missed our talks. You were always able to give me another perspective on what I was thinking and I can't tell you how much that meant to me. We've both said it before that what went wrong between us when we were together was my fault and I agree.  I've apologized so many times that I've lost count and anyway it doesn't change what happened.  But I don't want to live in the past anymore.  That's what I did when we were together.  I compared everything to my past with Caitlin.  I never gave my present a chance.  So I have to let go of my past, in order to live in the present.  It took me some time to get to that point but I did and you probably don't know it but I did it long before your attack.  

 

I took a long hard look at my life and realized that I was standing still, stuck in the mud, not making any progress and I knew that I did not want to stay that way.  I eliminated from my life those things that held me back from moving forward.  Believe it or not I also took an assessment of how I viewed the ‘adult beverage'.  I was using it as a crutch when things didn't go my way so I also cut back on that.  Work I also used as another crutch not to face up to the things that I needed to change in my life.  Losing myself in work didn't make my problems disappear.  They were still there at shift's end.  One by one I faced those things that held me down.  I let go of the weight of the guilt that I felt as a result of Caitlin's death.  Having solved my dad's murder case was the start of enabling me to let go of the guilt that I felt about Caitlin's death.  All through this cleansing process one thought was constant in my mind.  ‘I wish that I could tell Evangeline that I finally made a breakthrough.' But I couldn't do that and that hurt more than I want to admit.

 

Letting go of Natalie was a difficult task, not because I wanted to stay, but because I had wasted so much of her time trying to make a go of a relationship that was going nowhere.  Finally I did what I had to do, whether she believed me when I said it, it doesn't matter, but I did tell her that I did not love her enough to have a forever life with her.  That was not a possibility for me with her.  I once read somewhere, I don't remember where but someone once said, ‘Live right now and just be yourself.  It's doesn't matter if it's good for someone else'

 

So I'm being myself right now.  After we broke up and I saw you with Cristian or Todd, it hurt.  I know it sounds selfish but if I couldn't have you I didn't want you with someone else even though I was with someone else.  That was wrong and I realized that.  I got over it and you want to know how.  I said to myself that even if we're not together at least you are still alive.  I had comfort in knowing that you were still living and breathing.  So imagine how I felt when the One Pure People group attacked you and the others.  I went ballistic.  Talk about someone out for blood, I was that person.  Working with the FBI to solve that case was all I did day and night.  It didn't matter how long it took I was determined to get those b******s that did that.  So when we caught everyone and they were convicted you would have thought I would celebrate but I didn't.  You were in a coma and I felt lost without you.  Even though you were breathing you weren't really living and that was not all right with me.  So many times I visited you and just talked with you even though you could not respond but I felt better just being with you.

 

When you recovered I waited for you to reach out to me but you didn't and I didn't reach out to you because I didn't want to do anything to upset you.  I don't know why I expected you to reach out to me when before you went into the coma we weren't really talking to each other.  

 

I've gone a long way around to come to this point.  I love you Evangeline.  I really do.  When you were hurt it felt like someone put a burning coal in my chest where my heart should have been and then kept pressing on it constantly.  When you survived the coma the hurt eased but there remains a void in my heart.  L-O-V-E.  I know what love is now.  I know whom I love. I want so much but what I want the most is a life with you. I want to marry you.  I want to have children with you.  I want to grow old with you. 

 

And before you think that this is ‘out of the blue', it is not.  I can tell you the exact moment that I fell in love with you and realized that I waited too late to tell you.  It was the day that you came to my office and broke up with me.  I knew that if I told you then that I loved you that you would not believe me.  The second time that I fell in love with you was after the verdict in Todd's trial and we were in the courtroom and we talked.  You talked about crying on my shoulder the day before and that ‘it made you think about everything you had lost and you had way too much on your plate right then to add anymore'.  Yes I have fallen in love with you more than once but each time I was too late.  Please don't let me be too late now."

 

Chapter 13 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

 

Now is always the time

 

(Evangeline has her say.  It might not be what we want to hear but hey it's her life.)

  

Chapter 13

 

A lawyer at a loss for words is really something so see but here sits Evangeline shell-shocked at John's words.  Wait a minute, wait a minute she thinks to herself, ‘This is not the first time that I have heard him say this.  I thought it was just a dream.'  

 

Coming out of the mental fog that she was in Evangeline asks John, "Did you say any of this to me when I was in the coma.  Some of these things sound familiar to me.  While you were talking just now some of the things you were saying were so familiar to me."  

 

John smiled and said, "Yes I did but I didn't think that you would ever remember them.  I talked to you about things that we did and that I love you and that I want to marry you.  I thought for sure when you heard those words that you would pop right up and slap me and say, ‘Right John wait until I'm in a coma to profess your love to me'.  It wasn't a purposeful thing it was just want I was feeling at the time."

 

"I thought it was a dream or my subconscious making up its own story.  Now that I'm not dreaming nor in a coma, can you say them again?" Evangeline looks John directly in the eyes to see if he will change his story.

 

"You want me to repeat everything that I just said?" John asks smiling as he reaches out his hand to grab hers.

 

"No just repeat the important parts," she says as he kisses her hand.

 

John then lowers her hand to his heart and does as she asks. Looking into her eyes he sincerely says, "I know what love is.  I know whom I love.  I love you.  I want to marry you.  I want to have children with you.  I want to grow old with you."

 

After all of this time John finally tells Evangeline that he loves her.  Years after they broke up to be precise.  And add insult to injury he says that he loved her years ago but never said the words because he thought that it was too late to say them.  At this juncture in the conversation a women might grab him to hug him and kiss him and tell him that she loves him too OR she might slap him and tell him where to shove his ‘I love you' but looking at this scene it's hard to tell just what Evangeline will do.  She's giving nothing away with her posture or her facial expressions.

 

"I never stop loving you John, even when we weren't together.  I could rant and rave right now about your timing but since I recovered from my coma my views on things have changed a great deal.  It's so interesting that we're having this conversation now.  A few days ago I was talking with my Uncle Clay and he shared with me something about himself that I did not know.  He and Aunt Elizabeth dated and then broke up and years later got back together and married.  They had their second chance at love.  And then tonight when I was trying to fall asleep one thought kept me awake.  I've been given a second chance at life.  The OPP wanted me dead but I'm here alive in spite of all of their efforts.  And I too read somewhere recently a saying about living for the moment, ‘Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.' (Alice Morse Earle).  

We've both changed since we were last together and I don't want to go back to the way things were between us.  Let's make the most of now and make it spectacular.  When you are out of the hospital and recovered then we can talk about marriage, children and growing old together.  You're probably surprised with my reaction but I told myself that if love came my way that I would not turn my back on it.  You once told me that we were worth fighting for John, so fight for us and don't give up on us.

It's late and I'm tired so I will go now.  Get some rest and I will return during visiting hours. It's good that I don't have court tomorrow because I don't think that I could concentrate.  I need some sleep and I think now that we have talked that I will be able to fall asleep when I get home."  Evangeline stands to leave and John pulls her to him and gently kisses her lips.

"Thank you Evangeline.  Knowing that you love me will make my recovery go much quicker.  I will not give up on us this time.  Go home and I'll see you when you come back," John says as he releases her to leave.

Chapter 14 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

Now is always the time

 

(The powder key explodes!  Duck! You might get hit with the debris.)

All legal procedures are the work of the writer. ;-}

 

Chapter 14

 

Two days later at the Llanview Police Station in interrogation, as the cameras record, we hear,

 

"It was an accident!  It was a mistake!  I didn't mean to do it!  He got in the way!  I was aiming at her!  It was an accident I tell you!"

 

These words solve the entire case.  The person was brought in for questioning since evidence showed that they were in the vicinity where the crime took place.  The interrogator did not divulge that they had camera footage evidence, fingerprint evidence, or any other evidence implicating the person in the shooting.  All that the interviewer asked was, "Where were you between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening?"  That is when the floodgates of words open wide.

 

"I'm sorry.  How is John?  Oh my goodness, I don't know what I was thinking!  I was just so angry with her.  I wanted to hurt her but he got in the way.  It was an accident."

 

At this point in the interrogation the interviewer stands, requests that the person stand and reads them their rights.  Although the interrogation proves quite successful it adds one more ‘wrinkle' to the case.  

 

Detective Vega in Interrogation Room A says, "Blair Cramer you are under arrest for assault with a deadly weapon against John McBain and based upon your confession here in this room you are also under arrest for the attempted murder of Evangeline Williamson."

 

Detective Givens in Interrogation Room B says, eerily enough at the same time, "Natalie Buchanan you are under arrest for assault with a deadly weapon against John McBain and based upon your confession here in this room you are also under arrest for the attempted murder of Evangeline Williamson."

 

Not wanting any delays the arraignments are held, passports held since the court deems that both defendants are flight risks, bail set, bail posted and both released to face trial.

Of course news of the arrests spreads quickly and they are on the front page of every newspaper within 100 miles of Llanview.  With both defendants from well-established families all eyes will be upon Llanview to see justice served.  Also with memories of the harm inflicted upon Attorney Williamson by the OPP group, the residents of Llanview will pay close attention to how this is handled in the courts.  All those involved know that they must not fail in their endeavors to prosecute this case to a just ending.

 

A/N:  Not too much more time will be spent on Natalie and Blair.  Their attitudes of ‘it's all about me and I get what I want' hinders everyone else's progress and now is the time to remove those impediments.

Chapter 15 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

Now is always the time

 

(Goodness gracious this makes the second time that someone has tried to kill Evangeline!  Our girl needs some peace and happiness.  Now that she and John have professed their love for each other let's hope they can enjoy it before something else happens.)

  

Chapter 15

 

Evangeline is at the hospital visiting with John when they hear news of the arrests.  They are both utterly surprised that both women would shoot John but not at all surprised that they would shoot Evangeline.  It was sad that both women would go to such lengths to eliminate a rival but neither realized that Evangeline was never their rival.  The men that these two women loved just didn't love them and Evangeline had nothing to do with that.

 

Evangeline's phone rings and it's Todd asking where she is and if she's alone.  Todd doesn't trust either Natalie or Blair not to try again since they are already charged with attempted murder why not go for the full count of murder.  Todd tells Evangeline that she will have a guard with her at all times and he will send one to the hospital before she leaves.  He warns her not to try to dodge the guard otherwise he will have to put her under lock and key.  She teases him, "Oh my, that's sounds kind of kinky Todd.  I love you but I don't love you like that."  Todd chokes on the coffee that he is drinking.  After finally getting air back in his lungs he replies, "I am not kidding Evangeline.  I can't lose you again."  Evangeline realizes that Todd is afraid and not wanting to cause him any additional worry she assures him that she will abide by his request.  

 

"So I take it that you will have a guard," John says after Evangeline ends her call with Todd.  "For once I agree with Todd.  Both women have it in for you and we can't allow them to have any access to you.  It is too dangerous.  And before you say that you are a big girl and can take care of yourself you've already agreed to have a guard so let's leave it at that.  I have to hurry up and get out of here so that I can guard you myself."

 

"John you won't be able to take care of yourself so how will you guard me.  Speaking of which how will you take care of yourself when you leave the hospital?  You don't have full range of your arms with that back wound," Evangeline says as she puts her phone in her purse.

 

"The insurance will have someone to come in and help with things and I will manage.  Now that I know that I was not the intended victim that changes things but I am more worried about your safety at this moment.  Promise me that you will be careful," John asks as he reaches his hand out to her.

 

Evangeline takes his hand and puts it over her heart and curtly says, "John, I promise that I will be careful.  I will not try to lose the guard.  I will take all precautions to stay out of the line of fire of Natalie and Blair.  Does that make you feel better?"

 

"Yes it does," John says.  "See that big box over in the corner?  Can you bring it to me please?"

 

Evangeline stands to retrieve the box and lays in on the bed. "Someone sent you a present.  That's so nice.  Do you want me to open it for you?"

 

"Yes if you don't mind."  John doesn't tell her that the present is really for her.  He had it in his car when he met her at Cassidy's and had planned to give it to her after dinner if things went the way that he wanted them to go.  In that things didn't work out that way, one of the officers retrieved it from his car after they dropped his car off at his apartment building garage.

 

Evangeline is like a little girl at Christmas time snatching the wrappings off in a hurry as if the gift is hers and when she opens the box she stops and just stares at the item laying there in the box.  She looks at the item, then looks at John, then looks back at the item and puts her hand over her mouth, once again speechless.  To have made Evangeline speechless twice in the course of a few days is something not seldom done but John McBain has done just that.  

 

John asks her to remove the item from the box, she holds it up in front of him and with pleading in his eyes he asks, "Evangeline Williamson, will you wear my jacket?  Will you be my girl?"  It is a custom-made letterman/varsity jacket* in classic navy blue with white piping with the name ‘McBain' embroidered on the back.  John figures that she can wear it with so many different things if it is in a simple color.

 

Evangeline slowly pulls off her suit jacket and replaces it with the varsity jacket then walks over to the mirror in the bathroom and admires herself.  John can see her from his bed.  She turns with her back to the mirror and looks over her shoulder to see the wording on the back of the jacket.  Turning back around to face the mirror she smiles.  All this time she does not say a word.  Walking back out to John's bedside she looks at him and sees that he is patiently awaiting a response from her. Not to keep him waiting a minute more she softly answers his questioning eyes, "does this mean we're going steady?"  Without hesitation John eagerly replies looking into her loving eyes, "yes it does".  They seal their declarations with a kiss.

 

A knock is heard on the door and the police officer guarding John enters to tell John that the station has been informed that a bodyguard has been assigned for Ms. Williamson.  John thanks the officer for informing him and then the officer leaves the room.

 

"Well I take that as my cue to leave.  I do have some work to do before I call it a night.  Thank you for the gift and I will proudly wear it for all to see."  Evangeline says that as she stands to leave.  She keeps on the varsity jacket instead of removing it and replacing it with her suit jacket.  "I won't see you tomorrow because I'm in court all day.  This should tide you over until I see you again," she says as she kisses him giving him a taste of what's to come and all that he has missed since they parted.  John doesn't want it to end but he must and so he does.  She leaves and he settles in for a quiet evening.

 

When Evangeline enters the hospital lobby camera lights flash up in front of her.  Reporters stick microphones in her face asking for comments on the McBain shooting and her being targeted.  Evangeline's bodyguard rushes in front of her to make a path to the exit.  As she leaves the building she hears someone say something about her jacket.  Now Evangeline knows what will appear tomorrow on the front page of the newspapers.

 

She makes it home and locks up while the guard makes himself comfortable in his car parked in her driveway.

 

A/N: *reference to the episode aired on 10/6/04 in which John attaches string around Evangeline's wrist, indicating an advancement in their relationship after her return from a trip to San Francisco.  Enter on YouTube ‘hzhxG36fKgy'    

Chapter 16 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

  

Now is always the time

 

(The trials begin.  As previously stated, all publicly recognizable characters are the property of their respective owners.  Livia Frye Cudahy and Jackson Montgomery are characters from ‘All My Children'.  They are residents of Pine Valley, PA which is across the river from Llanview.  Many liberties are taken in describing the court scenes and proceedings.) 

 

Chapter 16

Two months later Natalie Buchanan and Blair Cramer appear in court for trial.  Early in the process the judge merges the cases because the issues in the defendants' cases overlap enough to make a single trial both fair and more efficient. Both of the high-priced defense attorneys request a change of venue for their clients, proposing that they would not be able to find impartial juries in Llanview.  Furthermore they demand that District Attorney Nora Hanen not be allowed to act as prosecutor due to her friendship with both of the alleged victims.  The judge denies the change of venue request but does agree to assign a different prosecutor.  After consulting with lead Judge Livia Frye Cudahy from Pine Valley, DA Jackson Montgomery* is assigned to act as prosecutor.  

Two weeks of witnesses testimony, evidence review, objections made, psychological evaluation results disputed, postponements denied, closing arguments are made and jury deliberations begin.  Two hours later the jury returns with a verdict.

The court room is packed with family members, reporters and spectators.  After reviewing the verdict the judge orders the defendants to stand.  The jury foreperson hands the verdict to the bailiff who hands it to the judge.  The judge reads the verdict, hands it back to the bailiff who returns it to the jury foreperson.

"On the charge of assault with a deadly weapon against the defendant Blair Cramer how do you find?"

"Guilty." The jury foreperson answers. 

"So say you all?" The judge asks of the entire jury.

"Yes, Your Honor."  The entire jury responds.

On the charge of attempted murder against the defendant Blair Cramer how do you find?" 

"Guilty." 

"So say you all?"

 "Yes, Your Honor." 

"On the charge of assault with a deadly weapon against the defendant Natalie Buchanan how do you find?" 

"Guilty."

 "So say you all?"

 "Yes, Your Honor."

 On the charge of attempted murder against the defendant Natalie Buchanan how do you find?"

 "Guilty."

 "So say you all?"

 "Yes, Your Honor."

 A silence falls upon the courtroom.  

 The judge speaks to the defendants and passes sentence.

"Ms. Cramer, you have been found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder.  On the charge of assault you will serve five years in prison and on the charge of attempted murder you will serve 15 years in prison with the possibility of parole.  These sentences are to be served consecutively."

 "Ms. Buchanan, you have been found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder.  On the charge of assault you will serve five years in prison and on the charge of attempted murder you will serve 15 years in prison with the possibility of parole.  These sentences are to be served consecutively."

The judge thanks the jury for their time and adjourns the court.  The defendants are immediately taken into custody for transfer to prison.  Their families are distraught and quietly exit the courtroom.  

The defense attorneys leave knowing that they presented their best defense but the evidence against their clients was overwhelming and they had warned their clients that they would probably be found guilty and the probable sentences.  Although they could press for an appeal but they have no grounds for such and even though it would put money in the pockets of the attorneys it would be a waste of time to the courts.

The actions carried out by Natalie and Blair caused ripple effects for so many.  Bo Buchanan, had to testify to the evidence against his niece, Natalie.  On the one hand she is family but on the other she is a defendant.  Vicki Davidson knows Natalie was wrong to do what she did but she had to support her daughter while her brother Todd supported Evangeline.  This trial has torn apart Todd's family.  His children can't understand how their mother could do what she did but they didn't want her to go to prison and they are upset with their father because he supported Evangeline. Todd hopes that they will, in time, realize that they love their father and need him as much as he needs them.

After the trial ends the victims and their families meet together.  They gather at Evangeline's cottage.  There are no pats on the back, no high fives, no laughter and no disparaging remarks about the defendants.  Everyone is simply relieved.  They give thanks that the trial is over, justice was served and now they can move on with their lives.  After a delectable catered meal they leave and Evangeline settles down to unwind.

"Do you want a glass of wine?" he asks her as he prepares to take the last of the garbage bags out to the bin.  

"No, I'm fine.  You can have one if you want," she replies.

Coming back in the house he washes his hands in the sink and moves up behind her, "No, I'm good.  Let's just sit awhile."

She takes his hand and walks with him to the sofa in the living room.  They sit together and enjoy the quiet and the peace.  

"So what do you want to do now?" he asks her as he kisses her cheek.

Turning around to look at him, she traces his lips with her fingers, smiles and says, "Now we have a wedding to plan."  Her fingers are replaced by her lips and in that kiss she says all that he needs to hear.

 

Author's Note:  These two have come a long way from Evangeline ‘not believing in marriage' and John ‘not knowing how to love again' to a totally in love with each other couple.      

Chapter 17 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

 Now is always the time

 

 (Only a chapter or two left in this story so continue to read until the end.  This chapter we have the wedding and some surprise characters show up to celebrate with Evangeline and John.)

 (Music playing in the background as I finish up this chapter, "The Bones" by Maren Morris, "We're in the homestretch of the hard times/We took a hard left, but we're alright/Yeah, life sure can try to put love through it, but/We built this right, so nothing's ever gonna move it/When the bones are good, the rest don't matter/Yeah, the paint could peel, the glass could shatter/Let it rain 'cause you and I remain the same/When there ain't a crack in the foundation/Baby, I know any storm we're facing/Will blow right over while we stay put/The house don't fall when the bones are good")

 

Chapter 17

(Flashback) Just as Bo Buchanan had joked John did ask to spend his recovery time with Evangeline and she agreed.  During his recovery they faced the challenge of handling the furor of the arrests of Natalie and Blair and the upcoming trials and all of the publicity that those entailed.  Plus it made it easier for the police and private security guards to protect them if they are both in one place.  

They made great use of the time by growing closer and falling deeper in love with each other so it really did not come as much of a surprise when John proposed to Evangeline on a quiet evening just the two of them sitting on the couch talking about how far they had come. With candlelight illuminating the room and soft music playing in the background and glasses of white wine on the coffee table in front of them John asked her to stand and he got on one knee, took her hand and in his most sexy, smoky voice asked Evangeline "will you marry me?" Looking down into his clear blue eyes, which shone with so much love for her, she said, with so much emotion in her voice that she had to fight to keep from crying, "yes"(End of flashback)

Once the trial ends Evangeline and John set a wedding date and the plans are progressing well.  The guest list compiled of course is made up of family, friends and some co-workers.  Once word spreads about their engagement they receive letters and notes from colleagues who can't believe that either of them finally found the person that they want to marry.  

John's group knew well about his grief after Caitlin's murder and his obsession with solving his father's murder.  They didn't think that he would ever allow himself to love again.  So when they hear that McBain is engaged they had to get it touch with him to congratulate him.  They also let him know that they plan to crash his wedding if they don't receive an invitation.  The first letters he receives are from two of his former FBI colleagues Tobias Fornell and Derek Morgan.  Tobias was more of a mentor to John and Derek was a colleague before he moved to the Behavioral Analysis Unit.  Then he receives a note from Tony DiNozzo who worked in the Baltimore Police Department when John met him and now works with Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).  Tony tells him that he has to see it to believe and plans to have a front row seat at the wedding.  

Evangeline has some similar reactions come her way.  Two of her mentors were so shocked to hear the news that straight away they sent notes inviting themselves to her wedding.  They just need her to supply the date and they will make certain to arrive.  Jessica Pearson in New York City is so happy for her little ‘Evie' that she will not miss the happy day. Not to be left out without making his wishes known her long-time advisor who she met while in undergrad, Jack McCoy, who is now District Attorney in New York City, sent a colorfully worded note that he would not miss this event for the world. Then she receives detailed letters from two guys who have designated themselves her ‘brothers in the law' as they are both lawyers themselves, Michael Baldwin in Genoa City, Wisconsin and Harvey Specter in New York City.  Harvey and Jessica are partners in the same law firm in New York City.  Michael and Harvey tell Evangeline that no way in the world will she get married without her ‘brothers' present.

So as not to feel rushed on the day of their wedding since they know that they will leave for their honeymoon after the reception, Evangeline and John plan a get together for the out of town guests at the hotel the evening before the wedding.  A buffet dinner is scheduled and everyone can then relax and chat to their hearts content.  

All of those who said they would crash the wedding didn't have to because they all receive invitations as their wanting to be there was enough for the couple to know that their day would not be complete without those persons who knew of their struggles and still wanted to be a part of their day.  Each of them congratulate their friend individually and the couple.  John makes sure to have several pictures taken with Tobias, Derek and Tony and they pledge to keep in touch with John.  

Jessica tells Evangeline how proud she is of her and to see her so happy is all that she could have wished for her.  

Michael Baldwin and Harvey Specter each remind her that they expect her to keep in touch.  They may not be her blood brothers but they love her like a sister.  They are probably the only two men who know her struggle with ‘love' and being an attorney in a male dominated town.  When she needs a second opinion she calls them for a ‘man's view' because she knows that they will be straight with her and not say things to make her feel better.

Jack McCoy hugs her so tight because he has not seen her in such a long time and he apologizes for his absence.  He promises to do better and assures her that she will always have a place to stay when she comes to New York.  She smiles because now that she has reconnected with Harvey and Jessica that her choice of places to stay has greatly expanded.  

Gia Campbell Cassadine is a young attorney who Evangeline mentors and Gia and her husband Nikolas Cassadine are so excited to share this time with Evangeline and John.  Evangeline helped Gia so much while Gia was in law school and after that Gia always kept in touch.

So on a beautiful, sunny, not too warm day in June, Evangeline Williamson and John McBain become husband and wife in the presence of their family, friends and other invited guests.  Nora serves as the matron of honor as she and Bo remarried a month before the wedding (in a quiet intimate ceremony) and Layla and Uncle Clay's daughter Celeste serve as the maids of honor.  Michael serves as John's best man and Antonio and Todd stand as a groomsmen.  Evangeline insisted on Todd being there since she knew that she could not have a wedding without her other best friend as part of the wedding party.  Uncle Clay and Evangeline's mother walk her down the aisle.  After the vows are exchanged and after the minister pronounces them ‘husband and wife' and John kisses Evangeline the entire gathering break out in applause.  Everyone is so happy for Evangeline and John and they cannot contain their joy.  The Palace ballroom is the venue for the reception and everything looks spectacular.  

The reception goes on with everyone enjoying themselves.  The food and the music are superb.  The happy couple dance and mingle.  The atmosphere is festive and after all that has happened with these two even the town of Llanview is happy for them.  Their wedding makes the front pages of the newspapers and you can hear fireworks in the distance.  The happy couple prepare to leave but stop a moment to address their guests,

"As we prepare to leave we want you to stay and enjoy yourselves.  To our family, we thank you for all of your love, support and encouragement.  We would not have made it to this day without you.  To our friends, all that we can say is that you are the best. You have laughed with us and you have cried with us but you never deserted us and for that we are most thankful.  To all of our other guests, your presence here this day has made this occasion so special.  Thank you.  We love all of you.  Now we must go if we expect to catch our flight and we will see you guys in two weeks.  Enjoy!" 

And with those parting words, Mr. and Mrs. John McBain leave for the airport for a late-night flight to Paris, France.

 

A/N:  Introducing our surprise guests: Tobias Fornell and Tony DiNozzo from the tv series NCIS; Derek Morgan, from the tv series Criminal Minds; Jessica Pearson and Harvey Specter, from the tv series Suits; Michael Baldwin, from the tv series the Young and the Restless; Jack McCoy, from the tv series Law & Order; and Gia Campbell Cassadine and Nikolas Cassadine, from the tv series General Hospital.

Chapter 18 by magensby

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

 Now is always the time

 

(We've made it to the last chapter.  Aren't you so glad that you stayed around to the end? With all that is happening in the world today let us not waste a moment of this precious time that we have.  Be kind and generous to one another.  We all share this planet and we must take care of it and ourselves.  Our actions do affect others.  Stay safe!  Thnx for reading and maybe we will meet again on another story.)

 

 Chapter 18

Five years later and things continue to improve in Llanview.  Bo Buchanan is now Mayor Buchanan.  John is the Police Commissioner and Antonio is Chief of Detectives.  Both Evangeline and Nora now are Judges.  Todd continues as editor of The Sun newspaper.  Also Llanview has a few new citizens:

Alessandra and Colin McBain - both age 4, twins of Evangeline and John McBain.  That was some honeymoon!

Phillip Buchanan - age 4, son of Nora and Bo Buchanan.  He was a total surprise but of course a joyous one.  Now Bo and Nora can experience raising a child from birth together.

Christopher Manning - age 3, son of Simone and Todd Manning.  Yes Todd married again and has a beautiful wife and another son. Simone is an attorney and partner in Evangeline's law firm and now manages it since Evangeline became a Judge. Starr and Jack did finally reconcile with Todd and live with him.  Their Aunt Dorian takes them to visit their mother in prison.  

Wilfredo Vega - age 2, son of Layla and Antonio Vega.  They married three years ago, a year after Layla realized that Vincent Jones wanted to be a gangster more than he wanted to be with her and Antonio finally realized that Jessica was not the woman for him.

So there will be McBains, Buchanans, Mannings and Vegas in Llanview for many years to come.  "Forever is composed of nows." -  Emily Dickinson

This story archived at http://https://www.valentchamber.com/viewstory.php?sid=3878