Imagine all it took for me to finish was a global health epidemic.
Wash your hands and enjoy the final Chapter of Waypoint.
Gail wasn't prepared for this. She had been this close to happiness. This close.
And now she might die.
She shouldn't have answered her phone. She should have stayed in bed with Holly, wrapped around her and never left. Gail had had her future within her grasp and it was now further away than she ever felt before.
Worse Traci was here. If she only had one thing left to do in life, she would protect Traci. She would not allow Leo to lose his mother. She would do this for her friend. She would do this for Jerry. A life for a life.
She chanced a glance over at Traci who was face down on the ground, unconscious and unmoving. Gail hoped at least she was just unconscious.
They were standing in the empty club where all this had started. It was early in the morning, barely hours before this place was full of people dancing, drinking, and having a good time. Now the lights were up, the floor had the sticky remnants of spilled drinks, where there was once music, now was an almost deathly quiet. The only sound was Gail's heavy breathing, Maya's frightened whimpers, and the clink of a gun.
Traci had told her Maya, the bartender of Gayspiration, had called with a lead asking them to meet her at work as she cleaned up after her shift. Gail guessed the man holding the gun to her head was the lead.
It had all happened so fast. When they'd come up the stairs, Maya was cleaning behind the bar. With their attention on her, Traci and Gail hadn't seen it coming. Gail was in front, already starting to greet the bartender, stupidly not even noticing the man hiding behind the door. So much for her Peck training. She hadn't seen him jump out as the door closed, smacking Traci with the butt of his gun.
As she crumpled to the ground, Gail spun, going for his arm. They wrestled for his gun, setting it off a few times. The sound echoed in the hollow space of the club, bouncing off the metal ceiling and walls like a demented game of ping pong. Gail tried to reach for her own gun, but the man knocked it out of her hand. It skittered across the floor, out of reach and out of sight under one of the tables along the wall.
As they fought, Maya came around the bar, producing a shotgun from god only knows where. She shot it off at the wall beside where they fought with enough distance from their tussle that she wouldn't risk hitting Gail. Gail kicked out at the man, sending him far enough away for Maya to get a clear shot. She cocked the gun and pulled the trigger.
Nothing happened. There was no second round in her double barrel.
Before Gail could react, the man aimed his gun at Maya and fired. The round hit her shoulder, shot gun clattering to the ground.
There was a moment where the man and Gail looked at each other before they both scrambled towards it. Even unloaded, Gail could use the heavy weapon as a bat. She thought briefly of Holly's teasing her about not playing sports.
Gail grabbed it, swinging it out in triumph only to realize the man hadn't gonefor the gun. Instead he had taken hold of the bleeding Maya, his pistol pressed to her head, leaving Gail with nothing but an empty shotgun.
"Put it down," the man said.
Gail dropped it, holding her hands up. "Don't hurt her. You can have me just let her go."
The man laughed tightening his hold on Maya.
It was then that Gail finally got a good look at him. He was tan in that way that came from a bottle. He had spikey early 2000's boy band hair. He wore a polo shirt with his collar popped. All-in-all he seemed more likely to be doing keg stands in a frat house than standing in a gay club holding a gun to a woman's head. He almost looked...
"Wait, you're that guy-" The realization dawned on her. "-the one who tried to hit on me..."
"Shut up..." He snarled, pointing the gun at her.
"That was you right?" Gail persisted, hoping so long as he was paying attention to her he wouldn't hurt Maya. "What'd Arnie call you? Oh right douchebag McGill was it?"
"Or was it McGee?"
He turned the gun back on Maya. "I said shut up."
Gail held her hands up. "Hey now, no need to get violent. I'm just trying to get to know you. Starting with your name."
"I'm not telling you my name," he said. He was growing more and more frantic with each passing second. His eyes were darting to the door, looking for an exit. Gail wondered what his plan had been. Kill Maya before they got there? Kill Maya and then two cops?
She needed a plan and a fast one, but as none were coming to mind, she'd just have to stall til she had one. Her best bet was to rattle him enough that he became distracted. Just enough to give her space to make a move. Luckily she was good at rattling people.
"Well if you won't tell me your name, I'm just gonna have to call you McGill," she said, "And McGill, I gotta know. Is there a plan here? Or were you just hoping your fellow Backstreet Boys would swoop in and save you with a good rendition of Bye, bye, bye?'
"Why won't you be quiet!?" McGill yelled, pushing the tip of the gun into Maya's wound causing the woman to scream in pain.
Gail swore. "Stop, STOP! No jokes! I swear. I won't mix up the songs of N*Sync and Backstreet Boys..."
He dug it in a little further. Maya groaned, struggled as much as she could to get away from the gun and the pain, but McGill held her tightly against him.
"Don't hurt her anymore please!"
"Concerned about your girlfriend?" McGill snickered. "She's hot. I'll give her that, but a little too punk for my tastes. Now those first two. They were hot. Too bad they were dykes."
"Caroline and Sally."
"Sally? Was that her name? I never got it."
So this was about Caroline.
Gail took a step towards him.
"Don't move!" He brandished the gun at her.
Gail froze in place. "Okay, okay. So Caroline, then. How did you know Caroline?"
McGill scoffed. "Like I'm going to tell you. This isn't some comic. You can't get me to do a big villain monologue."
"Just trying to understand, McGill."
"That's not my name!" He snapped.
"Well since you won't tell me your name, you're going to have to live with it, McGillicuddy."
He was backing himself and Maya up towards the bar. Gail stayed where she was. She had a plan. The further he got away from her the less of a chance he had to get a shot off. The quicker she might be able to grab a weapon. Her own had fallen too far away for her to reach, but Traci's...if she could just reach Traci's. She just prayed if she did reach it that Maya wouldn't get caught in the middle. She needed to get her out of the way.
"Tell me. How do you plan to get out of this?" Gail asked. "You just gonna kill us all cause you hate the gays? Gotta tell you buddy, Detective Nash isn't gay. I would know I inadvertently asked her on a date once. Instead she chose my brother. Huge mistake I know."
"Do you ever stop talking?"
"People have told me I have a way with words, McGruber." Gail gestured towards the bar. "Why don't we talk about all this over a drink huh? I mean I don't know about you, but I could sure use one, and we have a bar tender right there."
Gail looked hard at Maya. She knew the girl was losing blood, making her a little delirious, but she needed to communicate to the other woman that she should play along.
Maya gave her an almost imperceptible nod, before turning her attention to McGill. "Let me stop the bleeding in my arm, and I'll fix you whatever you'd like. I make a mean peach mojito."
McGill pushed Maya over to the bar. "Tequila shots."
Maya clutched at the counter, looking pale. Blood was running from her arm staining her white tank top.
"You got it."
"Move it," McGill said, pushing at Maya with the tip of his gun.
In his distraction, Gail moved an itch closer to Traci, before he turned back to her. "Tequila, huh? Guy after my own heart."
"Stop that," he snapped. Maya managed to pour him a shot of tequila. He took the shot, spilling more of it in his haste than what made it into her mouth. He thrust it back to her, his eyes trained on Gail. "We're not doing that."
"Being buddies so you can trick me into giving up."
"I'm just trying to make small talk here. I'm a planner, you know? I like to know what I'm doing three, four days in advance. Just wanna know what the plan here is. What's the future looking like for you," Gail assured. She had moved another inch closer to Traci as he took another shot from Maya. "Do you picture yourself getting out of here? After you attacked the Chief of Police and almost murdered his daughter?"
That seemed to have shaken McGill. "Attacked who?"
"You broke into the Murphy home and tried to strangle Chief Murphy from behind. Was this revenge? Did you think you would find Caroline there and finish the job?"
He seemed truly confused by what she was telling him, shaking his head vigorously at the accusation. "I didn't...I didn't do that. I was just..."
"You were just what, McGee?"
He came at her then, getting so close Gail would smell the tequila on his breathe. He pressed his gun to her temple. "I told you to shut up."
Behind him, Maya dropped the tequila bottle. It shattered as it met the ground, the sound echoing in the empty space. McGill took his eyes off Gail for just a moment and a moment was all she needed.
She unarmed him, knocking the gun out of his reach, before twisted his arm around to trap him. She kicked out his knees sending him collapsing to the ground.
"You're under arrest, McGee."
It turned out McGill's real name was Robert Smalls. He was part of a gang who had it in for the Chief of Police. Murphy was the main target, but Smalls' goal was to kidnap Caroline. When Sally got in the way, there was a fight and Smalls had thought he'd killed them both.
The plan was all laid out after interrogation. The perps were caught. Traci was awake in the hospital. Maya had her shoulder stitched up and had laid a sweet thank you kiss to Gail's cheek. After Caroline had finally woken up, she and Gail had a nice long chat, which if asked Gail would deny there was any crying involved. She introduced her to Holly. Introduced Holly to her parents. To Steve.
A house. A dog. A white wedding. All of this lay in their future, in the days and weeks and months that would pass by.
But in the direct aftermath, Gail sat on a gurney outside Gayspiration. The Calvary had come blazing in in all of the Toronto Police Department's glory, lights flashing, sirens blaring. They had taken Smalls into custody. Traci and Maya were both taken to the hospital while Gail was left to be checked by an EMT even after her protests. Oliver stood watch beside her, making sure she played nice, but also waiting for the all clear to ask her some questions.
Gail didn't want to answer questions. Didn't want the EMT poking and prodding at her. All she wanted was to go home. To see Holly again.
Holly's voice called through the crowd of cops, onlookers, and ambulances. Gail stood up, knocking the EMT's hands away from her, ignoring Oliver's insistence that she sit down. She needed to see Holly, make sure she was there. That she was safe. That she was still hers.
There she was, crawling under the barricade, pushing past the officers who tried to stop her. No one could stop her from finding Gail. It was then that all of Gail's doubts, all the uncertainties of what they had fell away. It was the two of them versus the world.
Spotting her, Holly raced to her side and launched herself at Gail, clinging on for dear life. Gail buried her face into Holly's neck, breathing her in, feeling her warmth. They stayed like that for a while just holding each other, like they had in bed earlier, as their hands had that first plane ride. Holly was her waypoint. Her rock. The point where her journey didn't end exactly but took a new road. When Holly pulled back, taking Gail's face into her hands as though checking to make sure she were real that she was safe, Gail knew it would be the best journey of all.
"Hey beautiful," Holly said, stroking her thumbs across her cheekbones.
Gail kissed her. There in front of all her friends and coworkers and the world she kissed the beautiful woman who changed her life.
"Let's go home."
"Attention Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain. Sorry for the inconvenience. We're loading the last of the passengers now. We should be off soon. Thank you for your patience."
This time around no screech could be heard.
"Seems like they got better speakers."
Gail looked up at the woman standing over her. She was tall and slender with long brown hair. She smiled down at Gail with a kind but crooked smile. She pushed her glasses up on her nose nervously.
"I think that's my seat." She pointed to the unoccupied window seat.
"Oh, sorry." Gail muttered, standing up.
"Don't be sorry." The woman said with her half smile.
As the woman squeezed by, Gail was taken with her gorgeous brown eyes. Their gazes locked and for a moment Gail felt like everything in the world could be narrowed to right here, two people meeting on a plane.
The moment passed and the woman settled into her seat.
"Think we'll ever make it off the ground at this rate?" The woman remarked, those eyes focused intently on her seat partner.
Gail smiled at her. "In a hurry, Miss...?"
"Doctor, actually. Dr. Stewart."
Gail laughed. "Imagine that! My last name happens to be Stewart too."
The woman hummed. "It's a good name."
Gail shrugged. "Can't say I can take any credit on that. I just married the right lady."
"She must be a lucky lady to be your wife," the woman remarked her gaze running over Gail's body appreciatively.
"You'd have to ask her."
"I'm sure she'd agree. In fact, I happen to know she would."
Gail rolled her eyes. "So Dr. Stewart, you gonna answer my question?" She lowered her voice seductively. "There a reason you're in a hurry for this plane to take off?"
"Well I am on my honeymoon, so the faster the plane takes off the faster I can get my wife in bed," Holly took her hand.
Gail laughed. "I like the sound of that nerd."
Holly leaned over and kissed her wife. "But really anywhere with you, and I've got all the time in the world."
Thanks so much to this fandom. To all of you who are reading this after 4 years of silence. Any of you who've stuck with this fic for 6 years. Shout out to witwit8 for probably the NICEST review I have ever received. Y'all be safe out there. Plus ones forever!