A/N This story was written last year for the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11 but was never sure about posting. I decided though to go ahead and post before the 16th anniversary comes in September. I have researched the places they visited in this story as closely as I could. The ceremony I write about at the site of the Flight 93 memorial actually did take place on the 15th anniversary. The exhibits they saw at the museum are also actually there as is the tour they all took. I know this story isn't perfect but was written the best I could.

I know in reality that there was no way Mike would still be able to be a cop during the year this story was to take place. When I was writing this story I saw the characters much as they were on the tv show and besides this is fanfiction not reality so please just try to read the story and envision them in your heads as they might appear on the show if you can.

Dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives that September day in 2001, as well as the ones who survived the attacks. Also dedicated to the family members who were left behind to mourn the loss of all their loved ones.

Disclaimer: I do not profit from the characters of "The Streets Of San Francisco. I am not the creator of the series, that is Quinn Martin

NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED

Jeannie was determined that this year the trip would be taken as had been planned so often before. It seemed that Mike's work always interfered with previous plans. She knew it was one of the hazards of being a detective's daughter and couldn't be helped. Tonight though when Mike arrived Jeannie would have a surprise waiting. After she had made more than several phone calls all plans seemed to be in place to her satisfaction. Now she just had one other call to make. She wasn't sure about this call, but finally decided it was the right thing to do. Jeannie was relieved when he answered his direct line rather than his secretary.

"Keller." Steve sounded a bit tired.

"Steve, did I call at a bad time?" Jeannie hesitated.

"No Jeannie, in fact your timing's perfect. What's up?" Steve sounded as though his feelings were mixed.

"Remember the trip we've had to put off in the past?" Jeannie inquired

"Yes the three of us had planned to visit NYC. Mike still doesn't trust anyone with his city." Steve halfway joked.

"Well, I made some calls about travel arrangements and such. I don't guess you could get away on short notice could you? Our plane leaves tomorrow by 11:30. I thought if you could, you could come over tonight." Jeannie's voice sounded as hopeful as she could.

"Jeannie wait a minute, Mike doesn't know about this does he? I mean you sound like all of this will be a surprise." Steve guessed correctly.

"Yes, it will be, you are right. I...uh called Captain Olsen and told him about my plans as well how we three had planned this trip in years past but never got to go. He recalled those times and was very accomodating. He's arranged Mike time off but told me I had to tell Mike. I think he was teasing. So you think you could go?" Jeannie asked without stopping to catch her breath.

"You sure you still want me to go with you two? I mean considering the past couple of months." Steve's tone sounded heartsick.

"Steve, the past couple of months aside the plan was always for the three of us, so as far as I'm concerned the plan stands. If you don't want to go it's your choice." Jeannie's tone was a mixture of sadness as well as being terse.

"Let me call you back Jeannie. I'll need to arrange it with the head of the department." Steve informed her.

Once he'd gotten the travel information from Jeannie they hung up, after he'd promised to get back in touch. Steve hurried to talk to his superiors about the planned trip. They too knew about the cancelled trips in the past and granted him the time off without hesitation. He rushed to clear his desk of any work and arranged for another professor to take over his classes for the time he was out. Once that was arranged he informed his superiors that Professor Tim Cooke would be conducting his classes for him. He checked the clock as the conversation ended. He left his secretary a memo informing her of his absence, as well as other information she'd need. He then locked the office door behind him. Once he arrived at his house he packed his luggage and drove on to Mike's rather than calling Jeannie. As luck would have it, he had just pulled into a parking space just before Dan Robbins dropped Mike off. Steve had seen the car arrive and debated with himself about his luggage. When Mike got out of the car a broad smile crossed his face. He and Steve greeted each other with a tight embrace. Neither even seemed to notice that the LTD had left.

"It's good to see you buddy boy. It's really good to see you. How've you been?" Mike asked just managing to keep his emotions in check.

"It's fantastic to see you too Mike. I've been good." Steve reassured him.

They headed up the stairs. In the house Jeannie wondered what kept Steve. She was about to call him again when she heard the front door open.

"Smell that buddy boy? Pot roast, my favorite meal." Mike couldn't help smiling as he smelled the aroma.

"Yeah I remember Mike." Steve acknowledged with a slight grin. "You don't think she has another guest here do you?"

"Let's go wash up." Mike suggested. They were at the bathroom before Mike realized what Steve had said. "What do you mean another guest?"

"Remember one of the last times she made pot roast? It was while I was still a cop. Chris Cavanaugh was here. I just wondered if Jeannie might have invited someone else." Steve remarked as he scrubbed his hands as Mike dried his.

"Hmmmm the table was set with three places. We'll find out soon." Mike remarked as he recalled that unexpected visitor. He and Steve headed toward the kitchen. Mike called out to Jeannie. "Jeannie guess who I found outside when I got home!"

Mike's call made Jeannie hurry from the kitchen where she had been fixing glasses of ice. When Jeannie saw Steve she couldn't hide her relief and even displayed a slight happiness at his presence. She wasn't sure whether to hug him or keep her distance. She settled for a comment.

"I'm glad you came, but I thought you were to call back." Jeannie sounded perturbed.

"After I'd cleared my work from my desk, I decided to just hurry over here rather than calling. I apologize." Steve sounded contrite.

"Well both of you are here, I'm glad of that. You two have a seat." Jeannie urged them.

Although both offered their help it was declined. Before long the food and glasses of tea were on the table. Steve seated Jeannie, before all fixed their plates. During the middle of their meal Jeannie and Steve glanced at each other. He nodded his head to encourage her to let Mike in on her surprise. Unknown to them Mike had seen and wondered what those two had cooked up now.

"What's going on? You've both got that look." Mike questioned.

"Well, Mike you recall how in the past we've cancelled a trip quite a few times." Jeannie reminded him and saw him nod. "Well, this year we're going on that trip. I've got it all arranged. Our plane leaves tomorrow about 11:30.

"Jeannie I haven't arranged time off. I doubt Steve has either. I mean that's short notice." Mike almost stuttered.

"I spoke with Captain Olsen earlier today and he was very accomodating. After I had all the travel arrangements made and your time off, I called Steve and told him. I've even got your luggage packed Mike as well as mine." Jeannie informed Mike with a beaming smile.

"You are something Jeannie Stone. You have nerve." Steve couldn't hide the admiration in his tone.

"What can I say? Uncle Rudy can't resist my requests for the most part." Jeannie answered. "And the name's Jeannie Stone Keller."

"I'll say he can't." Mike couldn't hide his pride. "So let us know everything sweetheart."

Over their meal Jeannie told them all the details. Steve and Mike listened with rapt attention. Jeannie had thought of just about every little detail there was. Jeannie explained that on the anniversary only family members and 9/11 survivors were allowed in the 9/11 Memorial Museum. She knew they could still see the 9/11 Memorial on the anniversary, but thought why not just arrive on the twelth and see both. After some discussion amongst them though it was decided that it might be emotionally overwhelming to do both in one day. Jeannie called back and luckily managed to get someone who had stayed late. She found out they could tour Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial on the thirteenth so she arranged they would be there then. After Steve helped with the dishes that night he went and got his luggage from his car. The next morning before Bill arrived to drive the trio to the airport, Jeannie delivered leftovers to a couple of elderly neighbors. Bill helped with getting luggage inside the airport once they arrived.

"You all have a good trip and stay safe." Bill cautioned.

"We'll do our best Bill. I hope that things go smoothly for you while we're gone. If you have any trouble at all get a hold of Devitt. I'm sure you'll handle everything though." Mike spoke with confidence.

During their flight Jeannie and Steve kept a close watch on Mike. Steve tried not to let on but he felt almost as nervous as Mike. His reasons had to do with more than just the flight. All had decided to forgo the in-flight meal. Jeannie instead requested cups of chamomile tea for each of them.
When the plane landed all let out a low sigh of relief. Once they got their luggage they heard a shout and looked toward the sound. As the man rushed their way he and Mike grinned at each other. Steve took Mike's luggage from him so Mike could greet the newcomer.

"Mike Stone you haven't changed a bit! It's good to see you again. I must say when your daughter called I was happily surprised." Harvey Hays greeted his old friend with a warm handshake.

"She surprised me too Harvey. When she told me she had made contact with you I couldn't believe it. Pardon my manners. This is my daughter Jeannie." Mike introduced them with a loving hand on Jeannie's shoulder.

"Mr. Hays it's a great pleasure and honor to meet you. Mike has spoken about you often." Jeannie smiled warmly as she shook his hand.

"It's a pleasure to meet you as well. You're every bit as beautiful as Mike has told me. And this young man I take it belongs to both of you young lady." Harvey teased gently.

"This young man is Steven Keller, Harvey. He's one of the best friends anyone could have and my surrogate son." Mike introduced them. "And yes he belongs to both of us you could say."

"Mr. Hays it's an honor." Steve and Harvey shook hands as well.

"An honor to meet you too but please you and Jeannie call me Harvey. I know Mike and I are older than you two but still I would be pleased if you'd call me Harvey. Shall we go?" Harvey smiled.

"Lead the way Harvey." Mike smiled warmly.

They headed to the exit as Harvey led the way. Outside they followed him to a charcoal gray Ford 500. Once the luggage was in the trunk and they were on the road, he suggested a nearby eating place.
After a short wait their orders arrived and the conversation flowed. Harvey was a man who didn't miss much in his time on this earth and this time was no different. He and Mike talked of the trio's planned trip while the younger people mostly were silent. Once in a while Jeannie or Steve might contribute to the conversation but it was kept short. Later when they finally arrived in Berlin, Pennsylvania, they soon were at Harvey's house. After the luggage was taken in Harvey showed them which bedrooms could be used. Jeannie made the excuse she was tired and excused herself. Steve sat with Mike and Harvey and listened to some old war stories before he too excused himself. Harvey's eyes were on Steve as he went outside for a walk around the place. After a minute or two he turned back toward Mike. He saw his coffee cup was empty. Harvey got the pot and refilled both cups before he sat back down.

"Mike do you mind if I say something?" Harvey asked in a low tone.

"Of course not Harvey. Speak your mind. Wasn't that always how it was with us?" Mike smiled and saw Harvey nod. "What is it?"

"Those two kids of yours, there's something going on with them. I don't mean to pry but I don't miss much. They both seem not completely happy." Harvey mentioned.

"They're separated, Harvey. It's been difficult, not only for them but for me too. Once I finally stopped being so bullheaded and supported them being together, it was like they always were a couple. Now that there's a problem I would give anything for them to reunite. They love each other very much but both are as bullheaded as me." Mike concluded.

"Maybe something will give them the jolt they need. I know it's not extra marital..." Harvey started to voice his thoughts.

"No, no it's not that by a long shot, you're right there. If they could just stop being stubborn." Mike spoke than saw Steve headed back toward the house. "Steve's coming back I better just leave it at that for now."

The next morning they had a cup of coffee before they left for Stonycreek Township. Harvey planned to treat them all to a late lunch after their visit to the memorial site. Once everyone was ready they made the drive. When they arrived in Shanksville Harvey stopped at a shopping center for restroom break. Afterwards they drove the two miles or so to Stonycreek Township. When they arrived at the Flight 93 Memorial site they weren't surprised many others had the same idea. Almost every visitor there was very solemn. Some released tears that either had never been shed or were shed more times than could be counted. They made their way to the visitor center where the fifteenth anniversary observance would be held. Harvey was able to get them seats together. When the observance started at 9:45, there was a collective hush over the throng of people. During the next hour they heard remarks from different dignitaries, along with special selections of music. Finally the names of the passengers and crew members of Flight 93 were read, followed by the ringing of the Bells of Remembrance. Steve who was seated beside Jeannie heard a soft sob from her. He passed her a clean white handkerchief and she gave him a nod and small smile of appreciation. After the open air ceremony was over people milled about. Mike and Harvey led the way to the white marble wall of names. As the four of them slowly walked the enormity of the meaning of this wall struck Jeannie and Steve both at the same time.

"It really makes you think doesn't it?" Jeannie quietly asked with a tremor in her voice.

"Yeah it does. It really does." Steve admitted as they caught each other's glance.

Harvey and Mike shared a hopeful glance and a slight nod. They noticed candle lanterns had been placed below the names of each of the passengers and crew members of Flight 93. Once they'd looked at the wall of names and saw from a distance the boulder that marked the site of impact, they visited the restrooms in the learning center before they left. In the car they quietly talked of what they'd seen and of the tragedy itself. Harvey was pleased that both Steve and Jeannie were contributing much more to the conversation. He took them to eat at a restaurant in Jennerstown as by now the lunch crowd would be cleared out.

After their late lunch Harvey drove them around the area so they could see different items of interest. He knew tomorrow they would be gone and this was his only chance. When they finally went back to Harvey's house later that afternoon Harvey and Mike fished in his pond. Steve and Jeannie sat with them but mostly stared at the water. Although they'd had a late lunch, all couldn't help but partake of the fish fry, that Harvey cooked up that night over an open fire.

"Harvey you'll have to come visit us in San Francisco. I know we'd all love to spend more time with you." Jeannie invited.

"I'd like that. Maybe once you all have recovered from this trip we could discuss it." Harvey smiled.

"Count on it my old friend." Mike beamed.

The next morning after a breakfast of homemade biscuits and coffee and juice and cereal they were on their way back to Pittsburgh. Once they arrived at the airport Harvey helped with their luggage. Their plane was to leave earlier than expected so there was only time for quick hugs and handshakes with their friend. He watched until their plane took off as his lips uttered a prayer for their safety.

Although all felt sad about leaving Harvey, in the same breath they were excited about the trip to New York City. They landed at JFK without incident. Once they had their luggage they made their way to the exit. They were relieved that a taxi waited almost right at the exit. On the ride to the hotel the taxi driver pointed out the Tribute In Light to his passengers. All were awestruck by it. They had not expected to be able to see it so well in the daytime. Once they arrived at the hotel Jeannie had booked rooms at, they encountered a bit of trouble. Steve and Mike who had stood off to the side a short distance as Jeannie registered could tell something was wrong by how Jeannie stood. They gathered the luggage and moved up where she was, regardless of other guests.

"I reserved for three of us. Why didn't the hotel call and tell me there was a problem with our booking?" Jeannie remained as calm as she possibly could.

"We're terribly sorry. I assure you this wasn't intentional. There were some rooms double booked. We just discovered the error a couple of hours ago. I've been authorized by the manager though to offer you a suite at the same price you would have paid for the two rooms you reserved. It would include two queen sized beds and a sofa that makes out into a bed, if that would be acceptable to your party." the hotel clerk offered hopefully.

"That would be fine thanks. We appreciate it." Jeannie accepted gratefully than noticed Mike and Steve were there. "That's okay with you guys isn't it? If it's not please say so."

"Sounds great to me sweetheart." Mike assured Jeannie and Steve nodded with a smile. "See it's unanimous."

The desk clerk had a bellhop show them to their suite. Steve tipped him as he turned over the key. He thanked him and then left them alone. After they had made sure their luggage was secured in the closet they decided to head to the museum. Mike and Steve kept Jeannie between them as they walked down the sidewalks. The hotel wasn't that far from their destination. Once they got there Steve paid for three tickets and they were allowed to enter. Jeannie put all three tickets in her jeans pocket after they were inside.
Along with other visitors they were captivated by the different exhibitions. The museum not only had photographs of the different ones whose lives were lost, it also had remnants of the towers that fell as well as personal effects and memorabilia and personal tributes and remembrances. They were able to hear oral histories as well as see FEMA photographs from Ground Zero as the search for survivors turned from a search and rescue mission to one of recovery. What normally would have taken two hours ended up being almost a five hour stay. The three of them at times almost were too overcome by emotions but managed to continue. Jeannie saw Mike stop at one particular exhibit and saw how he couldn't stop staring. She touched him gently on his shoulder just as Steve came up to them.

"Mike you alright?" Jeannie inquired very quietly.

"I had almost forgotten about this. February 26, 1993 there were six killed at the World Trade Center when a bombing took place. They believed that was the evolution of that group that attacked on 9/11. You recall it Steve?" Mike asked as he gave him a glance.

"Yeah. A truck bomb was detonated below the North tower. Six were killed and over a thousand suffered non-fatal injuries. The bombers hoped the North tower would fall into the South tower collapsing it as well but it didn't happen." Steve remembered.

"You might be a professor now but you'll never stop being a cop Steve." Jeannie spoke with a good natured tone and smile.

Steve almost threw a sharp retort until he saw her smile. He could only answer with an impish grin. Before they were to leave the museum Steve cornered Jeannie. After what took place a couple of months ago he wanted to discuss his thought with her. He was pleased that she was in agreement this time. Before they left the museum he wrote a three hundred dollar check for a donation. When they finally left the museum Mike took all of them out for a meal. He knew all were emotionally drained from what they had seen today but knew a pleasant time out was needed. One of the museum workers was about to leave at the same time and Mike stopped him. After they had spoken for a minute or two they followed him to a restaurant that was nearby. After he had made sure they found the place he continued on his way.

As they entered they saw a sign pointed toward the restaurant area and headed to a vacant table. A wait staff worker noticed them as they sat down. She got three menus from a stand and approached the table. She gave all of them a smile but to Jeannie she seemed to zero in on Steve most. Steve hadn't even given the wait staff worker a glance. That fact was all that saved him from the kick Jeannie had intended to deliver to him under the table. All agreed on the hot roasted turkey entrees with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables with tea to drink. Their orders didn't take long to be delivered to the table. As they ate they talked quietly together. Mike offered to take them out to a show or someplace before the return to their hotel. Jeannie caught Steve's wary look. As she knew both Mike and Steve had worked extra lately she declined for them. Mike saw that she gave a slight nod toward Steve. He took a good look at Steve and commented.

"You do look a bit tired Steve." Mike tried to sound teasing.

"Me? What about you?!" Steve shot back lowly and saw Mike glance at Jeannie. "Mike, Jeannie never told me. You forgot I used to be a cop. It's been in your voice when we've talked on the phone. It's in your face and eyes now."

"He's got you busted Mike. This time he's right you look tired yourself." Jeannie couldn't hide her agreement with Steve.

Mike chose to not argue. Once the check had been paid they headed back toward the hotel. On the walk back Mike and Steve's protective instincts remained on alert.

The next day the trio arrived ten minutes before the tour's start time as directed. After they'd given their names to the tour guide they waited for the last two people to arrive. Just then a taxi sped up and stopped quickly. Two people hurried from the back after they'd paid the driver.

"Sorry we're late. We couldn't get a taxi to stop." the man explained.

"That happens at times. Since you're only a minute late don't worry about it. Everyone's here now." the tour guide noted with a smile.

The newcomers names were checked off by the tour guide and finally the tour got underway. A second tour guide accompanied the tour to ensure there were no people left behind. Their tour started at St. Paul's Chapel, noted for being the oldest public building in NYC. Although it was only a block from the World Trade Center it survived the falling debris. During the aftermath it was used as a rescue center. The tour group was able to view mementos of tribute to NYC from all over the world at this location. The tour guides told of their own experiences, as well as of others they knew who either survived or didn't. Mike, Steve and Jeannie listened emotionally as the tour group heard what was experienced that fateful day. Other stops included on the tour of Ground Zero and 9/11 Memorial, were the Firefighter's 9/11 Memorial Wall as well as the fire station at Ground Zero. Finally they entered the 9/11 Memorial. Every tourist was astounded by the Reflecting Absence Memorial. They were allowed to wander and view the names of the lost that was placed around the waterfall. As they looked at all the different names, they recalled the photos at the museum that went with those names. Steve saw Mike hand Jeannie his handkerchief. As his attention drifted to his own thoughts he felt Mike's hand squeeze the back of his neck. They heard the tour guide as she spoke.

"That concludes this tour but you're welcome to stay and look around. Bret will be here in case you have anymore questions." Michelle announced. "We appreciate you all coming."

Steve glanced at his watch and was surprised that ninety minutes had passed that quickly. He saw Jeannie as she made her way over to him and Mike. He studied her for a few moments then he finally spoke.

"All of this that we've seen the past couple of days sure helps put things into perspective for a person doesn't it?" Steve pointedly asked Jeannie. "I'm really happy you planned this trip."

"I know what you mean. It does make you think and realize that some things are so trivial." Jeannie admitted. "If you guys don't mind I think I'd like to go home."

"Whatever you kids want is okay with me." Mike spoke quietly so as not to disturb the other tourists.

Steve followed them after one last glance at the Reflecting Absence Memorial. As they walked back toward the hotel Mike kept an eye on Jeannie. He had known that this trip would be emotional, but he felt Jeannie's thoughts were on more than just their trip. When they made it to their hotel they got their luggage together and checked out. Jeannie didn't care that their flight wasn't until the next day, she just wanted to go home. The doorman of the hotel hailed a taxi for them with a whistle. When the taxi arrived at the airport Steve and Mike got the luggage and followed Jeannie inside. Mike looked at Steve and nodded. Steve gave a soft groan hopeful Jeannie hadn't heard. Just as Steve approached the ticket agent the woman looked up. Steve was relieved she looked more Mike's age than his or Jeannie's. Steve explained quietly to her about their wish to fly home a day early. She checked her screeen and found a flight to SFO within the hour. She made adjustments to their reservations. After he had the new boarding passes in hand the trio went to catch their flight.

After only one layover in Chicago there was nothing else between them and SFO but sky. Once they landed, rather than call Bill for a ride they took a taxi that waited near the exit doors. On the ride to De Haro Street, things that Jeannie had seen so often during her life all of sudden seemed new. She was thrilled to be back in the city by the bay. When they arrived at De Haro Street Steve paid the fare. He stopped to put his luggage in his trunk than headed up the stairs. Mike had left the door open for him, when he came in he saw Mike and Jeannie whispering. He felt a bit guilty and started to back out. Jeannie's voice stopped him.

"Steve don't go. Would you mind if we talked, in my room?" Jeannie requested.

"Sure if you want." Steve agreed.

Steve wasn't sure what to expect. He knew their time apart hadn't been easy, at least not for him. When Jeannie closed the door he felt nervous as he waited to hear her thoughts. A little over an hour later when they came from her room Mike saw Steve carried Jeannie's luggage. He went to put it in his car and came back to get a couple of boxes from her room. Once those were in his car he stood with Jeannie.

"I'm going home with Steve Mike. We're going to give our marriage another chance. After our trip a bathroom sink doesn't seem that important." Jeannie sounded a bit embarrassed.

"I should have talked it over with you before I changed it. I was wrong." Steve admitted.

"A bathroom sink?" Mike inquired flabbergasted and saw both nod. "That's what this separation has been about? Two months of Jeannie not wanting to talk about it or talk to you buddy boy? You left him because a bathroom sink got changed?"

"Yes Mike. He had the bathroom sink we had changed for a different one. I got upset because he hadn't talked it over with me first. I admit it was a silly thing to walk out on him for. When we talked though he admitted the other one had gotten cracked. Thank you for letting me stay here at home." Jeannie gave Mike a hug and kiss.

Mike walked Steve and Jeannie to their cars. After all had exchanged hugs and kisses, Steve and Jeannie headed back to Berkeley. Mike stood for a minute and thought about the victims from 9/11. He knew he had probably never met any of them, but he felt grateful that in a roundabout way they were responsible for his kids being back together. He remembered words from someone else and hurried back into his house. He had a phone call to make. After he'd locked the door he picked up his phone and dialed a familiar number. When he heard the man's voice as the phone was answered he didn't waste time.

"Harve, you remember the jolt you talked about?" Mike asked and heard the answer. "Well, it happened..."