Summary: Maybe some things are just a big coincidence.
I don't own Crossing Jordan or the characters.
Maddie Brandau's POV
"Stop using the 'I almost died' excuse! It has been ten years." I tell my brother, correction half – brother, Hunter.
I storm out of the house, hoping that this time my mom, Lily, actually believes me. Hunter is the youngest child in our group. I'm the oldest, with sixteen. Then there's Jake, with fifteen and Millie, with twelve. They are Jordan and Woody's kids, and they are like my brother and sister from another family. I tell people they are my brother and sister, but I make sure people know that Hunter is my half – brother.
He's over protected by my mother. Millie was protected like that as well, but at least she wouldn't pretend like she didn't do something. Every time Hunter does something wrong, he blames me. And my mom doesn't believe me, only if Jake actually tells her it was Hunter. I don't understand why she believes him but not me. My guess is because of who Jake's dad is, Woody.
Woody is currently working with the FBI to dismantle a group that traffics young girls. He hates that job, not only because he hates people that do that, but also due to the fact that it makes him be away from his family.
He is like a parent to me. He takes care of me, makes sure I'm okay. I don't really know why, but he does. Even when Jake and Millie were born, he took care of me, made sure I wasn't forgotten in the middle of everything.
He has been away for a while now, and things back home have been chaotic. We only see how much a person changes a place, until that someone isn't there anymore.
He is one of those people.
Since he left Jake decided to be 'The Man of the Family'. Woody hates that because he felt he needed to be that when he was younger and he promised himself he wouldn't let his kid do that. Jordan hates it because it makes her think Jake doesn't think she can take care of herself.
Jake always helped me and Millie with our fight against Hunter. When we were younger, Jake was the hero that slayed the dragons whenever we played with Millie. She was the princess and I was the villain. I had a dragon made of carton and Jake had a sword. He protected Millie and killed me. He took that experience and protected the both of us.
I am the oldest but Millie is our little sister. There's always that thing, where brothers take care of their sisters, especially if they are younger. In our case, Jake and I take care of each other and of Millie. It always worked that way with us.
I sit outside our apartment door thinking of my next move. I decide to go outside, to breathe a little bit. I knew what to do if this was two years ago. I would walk to the Pogue where Grandpa Max would be working at. But he died two years from a fatal heart attack. I miss a lot, since he would always have advice to give me. Even though he's not my actual my grandfather, he was like one.
I look around, thinking about a place to go to. I decide to go to the Pogue, even though Max isn't there. I start to run, since it started to rain and I didn't have an umbrella. When I get there, I realize there was someone inside. I want to leave, but my curiosity, as always, took the best of me.
I carefully open the door, making sure I don't make any noise – like I open the door when I get home in the middle of the night, when I was supposed to be in bed – and I get in. I grew up in that place, and used to play hide and seek with the Hoyt's in it, so I knew the best hiding spots.
I hide while, at the same time, I try to see who was inside. Who would have thought that playing hide and seek as a child would help me, in this moment. I move and finally see the person. Problem was, that person was wearing a hoodie and had their backs turned to me. But then, I hear a voice.
I freeze, for a moment. I then think of that voice. I knew I heard it before, somewhere. It finally clicks. I get up, and get closer to that person.
He flashes the classic Hoyt smile – even though Aunt Jordan always says that Woody's smile is better – and he hugs me. He takes me off the floor and spins me around like he always does when he's in town.
"What are you doing here?" I ask, after both of us calm down and sat down.
"I need to speak with Woody. Do you know where he might be?"
"Uh…" I start, and as always, get interrupted. It was always the same with Uncle Cal.
"Because I thought he would be here but I…"
"Uncle Woody isn't in Boston!" I can finally say, interrupting him.
"He's not here? Why not?"
"He's in a mission. Don't know a lot about it."
"Yeah, sure. You? Don't know anything about this mission? And I'm supposed to believe it?" He asks, flashing his smile.
"Well…" I start, blushing a little bit. It's true that I am a bit of a detective. Uncle Woody says that I seem like my mom and Aunt Jordan. They are both amazing detectives.
"Well? Come on, kiddo! I won't bite!" He says, joking.
"I can't say. If you want to know, ask Aunt Jordan. She'll probably tell you!"
"Yeah… she might. Or she'll do exactly what you are doing, and pretend like she has no idea of what I'm talking about."
I look at him. It was the first time I have seen him since Grandpa Max's funeral. He came to town, I remember, and then he just vanished. I don't know where he went, and no one ever spoke of him. But no matter where he was, those two years didn't seem to have been good for him. He looked older and tired. Woody was the oldest brother, but after seeing Cal, I would've thought Woody was the younger brother. His eyes, once bright and young, were clearly tired and angry. At what, I didn't know, but I intended to find out.
"Whatever it is you need to tell him, can't it wait until he comes back from the mission?"
I see him thinking about my question, something that intrigued me. I mean, it was a yes or no question!
"I don't know Maddie."
"What do you mean, don't know?"
"I'm not sure if I can wait for him to be back."
"Why not?" Cal diverts his eyes to somewhere else. "Cal?! Why not?"
"Because it has something to do with our dad's death! Okay? I need to ask Woody if he's sure of what he saw. I'm asking my brother, someone that took care of me, if he's absolutely sure of what he saw. Because if he isn't, there's something that is going to upset him, and me and everyone else. Maybe even you!"
"Why me? I wasn't even born when that happened."
"You weren't but you were when the plane crash happened."
"Wait! What are you talking about? That was sixteen years ago! I was just a baby, barely smiled."
"Look, I need to tell this to Jordan, I just don't know how. I'm going to tell her that she, and the people she calls family almost died, because of her current husband. And due to me, but I wasn't there when my dad died. I mean, I wasn't next to him!"
"Hold on. Uncle Woody was with your dad when he died?"
"He was there when our dad was shot at. Dad died in a hospital bed. Woody was there, and I suppose it was just to make sure I wasn't."
"Okay, this seems like a complicated matter."
"It is! That's why I need to talk to Woody!"
We both leave the Pogue, and I even forget to ask how Cal got in there without breaking the lock. We head to the morgue, the building being really close to the Pogue, and it was an easy walk from one place to the other.
We head into the floor where the Morgue was situated and as we got closer, the sounds were getting louder and louder.
The door opened and we could both finally see what was going on. Uncle Woody was there, and so was the entire morgue 'family'. Grandpa Macy was there too, even though he had been retired for years now. They all stare at us as we got closer. I hugged Woody and as I got closer to my mom, they all head to the conference room.
Inside, there was the entire paperwork on the crash. I look at Cal, which was already looking at me, and I see him blushing.
"This is absurd!" I hear my mom say. Everyone turns at her. "How can something that happened three decades ago have something to do with what happened with you sixteen years ago?"
"I don't know. Woody, what happened the night of your dad's shooting?"
Everyone looks at Woody. He had let his beard grow and so did his hair. His eyes were just has Cal's, tired. The time I spent without seeing him clearly made him look different. He looked more professional in the suit he was in, but he looked sadder.
"Look, I just got here!"
"Oh, yeah, how was it? Did you get the people behind the whole thing?" I ask. They all look at me like they didn't even notice I was in the room.
"Yes. We did. It was pretty great, we got there and…" Woody started but was interrupted by Dr. Macy.
"Have that conversation somewhere else, and at some other time. Tell us about the night your father died!"
"Why should I talk? Cal was there too!"
"You were with dad!" Cal says looking at Woody.
"It's your fault we were there in the first place!" Woody yells, getting up while saying it. Once he looks at Cal's eyes he realizes he shouldn't have said it. "Sorry."
"Sorry? You still blame me for what happened!"
"Of course I still blame you. If you had done what we told you to do none of it would've happened."
"What are you talking about? You always yelled at me because I never fixed my own problems. And the day that I finally do it, something like that happens and it's suddenly my fault. Why?"
Woody doesn't answer. Instead, he asks something.
"How did you find out about all this?"
"Answer me first!"
"Calvin!" Woody screams. Cal freezes on the spot. "How did you find out about all of this?"
"Hold on now, mate! You actually think the two things are related?" Nigel asks.
Woody looks at Nigel and sighs.
"There's some word around Wisconsin that our family is cursed" Woody smiles. "Of course that I never believed that but, after Riggs shot me, I got a call. An old friend from the force. Brian Peterson. Remember him, Cal?"
Cal looks at Woody and sighs.
"Of course I do."
"Well, we don't!" Kate says. "Who is he?"
"An old 'friend' of Cal's." Woody says, using air quotes in the word friend.
"What do you mean with 'friend'?" Jordan asks, doing the same thing as Woody.
"They were drug buds. But Brian went to the Police Academy while Cal acted like he didn't care about anything."
"That's not true. I cared about some things!"
"Really? Like what? Like the hooker you chose that week, or about your dealer?"
Cal was already up from his chair and only needed to walk a little bit to punch his brother. From there it wasn't hard for Woody to punch Cal back. They fought for a little bit until my mom separated them.
"Knock it off. What are you, children?"
Woody straitens his suit and Cal goes back to his chair.
"Okay. We get that Bryan is a cop and he used to hang out with Calvin. What else?"
"Bryan's not a cop anymore." Woody says.
"What? What happened? Cal asks
"He took things from the evidence look. Drugs, money, things like that. He was suspended and then arrested when he stole things from a grocery store. He was thrown into prison and the inmates killed him. Cops in jail does not work! Bryan is just one of too many."
Cal falls into the chair and sighs.
"He's dead? And I'm only hearing about this, now?"
"Look, sorry about your friend's death Cal, but how does all of this fit into the crash?"
"When I was shot at, Bryan told me that the captain of the PD back in Kewanee was dead. Shot in his desk. No witnesses, no nothing. He said that it wasn't random since there was a letter. No fingerprints. No way to actually identify the killer. But, after the call I asked a favor. I remembered a conversation where they said some people got a security camera in the kitchen to see who was eating all the donuts. I asked for the footage and I saw the same guy that was in that grocery store, in the video." Woody said. Everyone looked at him, thinking the same as Dr. Macy.
How does that fit with the crash?
"Look, what does that have to do wi…" Lily starts. Woody interrupts her.
"The captain of the Wisconsin PD had just got there. He was originally from Boston. He worked in another precinct before he went to Kewanee, but he did work in this precinct between 2005 and 2008."
"Between your shooting and the crash!" Jordan says, clearly proud of herself.
"Exactly. That's the only connection I got. Maybe someone killed him to cover something. I just don't know what"
"Wait a second. Are you saying we all almost died because of you?"
"I don't know. Maybe. But that does seem like a good way to go, am I right?" Woody asked, trying to lighten the mood.
"You are wrong!" Bug, my dad, answers
Woody falls into the chair, and looks at Dr. Macy, who is looking at the board.
The board had pictures of unknown people – at least unknown to me – but people I thought that were probably behind the crash. It had pictures of the crime scene in which Woody and Cal's dad died, and photos of Woody's shooting spot and of his wounds.
Jordan wouldn't look at those pictures, reminding her of what she almost lost – and of she actually lost, for a couple of years. Woody took them down, staring at them for a couple of seconds before putting them down. Jordan smiled at him and mouthed 'thanks you'. Woody just smiled back.
But he then stared back at the pictures and then at the board.
"What if this is just a coincidence?"
"I hate that." Nigel says. Everyone nods in agreement.
"Me too, Nigel. But what if this is all a bunch of things that aren't connected. Think about it. A poor guy was murdered and just because he worked in Boston between years of tragedies, he's guilty? One person was at the same spot where people died? So what? I've seen worse, and those people weren't guilty. They just knew the people."
"So, that's it?" Cal asks. "Dad's murder just goes back to unsolved?"
"Afraid so. Look Cal, it's fine. One day, the murder will probably go arrested."
"What if he's already dead?" Nigel asks, out loud.
"What do you mean?"
"Bryan Peterson. He was at the scene, blood all over him. How wasn't he arrested before?"
"Never saw that." Woody says.
"So, dad's murder is probably solved and no one's is killing you? Great!"
They all sigh in relief.
Woody gets in the house he had lived in for the last fifteen years – when is son Jake was born – but he hasn't been at for at least six months. The operation was a success but his escape from home was now over. And even though he was happy to see his children again and go back to his normal life – whatever that was – he was not happy to see Jordan again. They both got along just fine when other people were around, but when they were alone, things got bad. They would only fight, over nothing and everything. When the opportunity came to join the FBI on this operation, Woody only thought twice. Once because of his kids, the second because of Maddie.
He knew there were problems at home because of Hunter, and Maddie didn't know where to go to most of the time. She showed up at his place a lot, and she was one of the people that made him and Jordan not fight all the time. She was like a daughter to him and he always tried to protect her. Especially from Hunter, that was always making Woody go crazy.
It was true that Hunter almost died when he was born. But to use that excuse every time it was unfair. It was unfair to all of them.
Woody still remembers that day like it was yesterday.
He got call from Nigel saying that the baby was on the way. I was driving, with Maddie, Jake and Millie on the back seats. It was my turn to pick them up since it was Thursday.
"Okay kids, small change of plans." Woody says, with a small smile on his face.
"What? Why?" Jake asks, alarmed since he didn't notice the smile on his dads face. With five years old, Jake had blue eyes, just like his dad. He was a mixture of both parents, but it was clear that Woody was the father. His personality was too much like Jordan something both loved and hated. Loved because he knew how to handle Jordan and, therefore, knew how to handle Jake. But he hated it because he, at the same time, didn't know how to handle Jordan.
"Aunt Lily is having the baby. That's why we're going to the hospital."
Millie looked at Maddie with the big brown eyes she had. If Jake was a mini version of Woody, this girl was a little Jordan. Personality wise, she was mostly Woody but there were parts of her that were clearly Jordan.
Millie knew Maddie didn't want a baby into her family because everything would change. But Millie wanted a child in the group. She just wanted a baby so that she wasn't the group's baby anymore.
They all got to the hospital and while Woody parked, Jake was looking between his sisters.
"Yes!" Millie screams, causing Jake to cover his ears.
"Clearly." He says, making sure Millie realized she should talk lower. "What about you, Maddie?"
Maddie looks at Jake and shrugs her shoulders.
They all leave the car and head to the entrance were they meet Nigel.
"Hey! I was just about to call you, Woodrow." Nigel says and then starts to get closer to Woody's ear, making sure the kids didn't hear. "There's been complication."
"What do you mean?" Woody asks, making the same as Nigel.
"I don't know. But the kid is in the NICU. It's bad."
Maddie hears the last part of conversation, not knowing what was wrong. Or who was bad.
"Is my mom alright?" Six years old Madeline Brandau asks, worried about her mom.
"Yes. She's recovering. You brother on the other hand…" Nigel says, looking away.
"What's wrong with him?" Millie asks.
Woody looks at the worried face his daughter had on and kneels to be on the level as her.
"Remember those machines babies were in when we saw that movie, the other day?" Maddie nodded. "Well, he's in one."
"I don't know"
But later they found out it was because he's lung collapsed. Now, Hunter was play only needing check ups from now and then, but he did spend half a year in the hospital which delayed his motor and talking skills. He was okay, now, and no one would say he had those problems. Only him, who liked to tell people about his 'almost death' moment.
Lily paid a lot of attention to Hunter and neglected Maddie because of that. Millie didn't like Hunter and Jake… well Jake didn't like him because he hurt his sisters.
Woody put his bags down on the floor of his bedroom and then went to the living room where he turned the TV on. As he was sitting in the couch, he hears the door opening.
"Hey!" Jordan speaks.
"Hey…" Woody responds.
She leans in and kisses his forehead, like nothing had happened.
"Me first!" Jordan says, almost as plead.
Woody lets her talk and watches as she sits on the couch.
"As you know, my dad's death wasn't easy on me. It wasn't easy on anyone but I wasn't at my best when it happened. I took it on you, and I shouldn't have. In the las..."
"Jordan." Woody interrupts her. "I'm your crutch. You need someone to yell at, I'm fine with it. But at least tell me you're doing it."
"Woody, in the last six months I had a lot of time to think. I don't know if I can do this anymore."
"Do what?" On Woody's head, thoughts of divorce crossed his mind, and he got scared.
Jordan takes Woody's hand.
"Work." A simple word that came out of Jordan's mouth, but made Woody so much better.
"Work?" Jordan nods.
"Yes. Work. I want to retire. I think you should too." Woody looks at her.
"You want me to retire?"
"Woody, I don't want to spend any more time freaking out over the fact that you might get shot and not return home." Jordan says, with a lump on her throat and tears threatening to escape. "I don't want to live scared of not seeing you again." She finally allowed the tears to escape.
Woody looks at his wife crying. He looks down to his wedding ring, remembering the day he received that ring. He was scared she wasn't going to show up, that she was just going to run away. But then he looked to who was in front of him, Jake. Their son. She wasn't leaving.
But Jordan leave every day of her life, terrified that her husband wasn't returning home. Not running away. Just that he was shot at or kidnapped, and would never return home.
He hugs, letting her cry in his chest, while he felt the tears on his shirt and on his eyes. He makes them stay, for some reason. Maybe it was because Jordan had this feeling for a long time, just inside of her, never letting it out.
"I'll do it." He says, when he felt Jordan had stopped the crying.
"Really?" She asks, just to make sure she had listen correctly. After seeing him nodding she smiles.
"I'll put the papers tomorrow."
"Okay." Jordan says, smiling and sighing in relief.
"I love you Jo. You know that, right?"
"I do. And, I love you too. Farm boy." Jordan says, causing them both to laugh. That nickname, something Woody hadn't heard in months, made him remember the first time she called him that. It stayed, forever engraved in their hearts. And on their rings.
Maddie got home. Or better, that place she lived in every other week – and then she would go to her father, Jeffrey. He didn't deserve the name dad, he was never one to her. As she grew up she realized he only wanted full custody of her so that he could finally win something. She preferred Bug that one was her dad. He took care of her, and even though he used her, it was for a good cause – to get her mom.
He did try to make Lily understand that Maddie existed, that she wasn't just someone that lived in their house from time to time. But, unlike Woody, Bug never accomplished that.
Lily kept thinking that Hunter was just going to die in front of her one day, and that she would never see him again. Maddie was always a healthy child, always able to do things by herself. Maybe that was the problem. Maddie was always independent, maybe Lily thought Maddie didn't need her mom anymore.
To test her theory, Maddie went to find her mom. She found her in bed, with her eyes glued in the book she was trying to read ever since Maddie was born – never really finishing it.
Maddie got closer to her mom, and climbed into bed with her. She had seen Hunter do that before, and she knew that Millie and Jake used to do that as well. She didn't know if they still did it, but Maddie was going to.
She rested her head in her mom's leg and closed her eyes, waiting for a reaction from her mom. She didn't get any so she looked up to her mom. She was staring at her daughter, not really knowing what to do. Maddie knew her mom wasn't one to not know what to say or do, so she was surprised with that attitude.
She put her head in the same position as before, and allowed her mom to stroke her hair. Bug entered the room and saw what was going on. He decided to close the door and let his girls have that moment. Maybe things were going to be just fine.
I know Crossing Jordan's last episode was over ten years ago, but I wanted to write something for this show. My first two attempts were a little bad (My first story ever was a Crossing Jordan story) so I decided to redeem myself.
So, I wrote a story that had four times what I wrote the first time I wrote a CJ story. Hope it's a better story than the other one, since I am now a little better at writing (I think, and hope).
And also, for those confused as to why I used Maddie's point of view in the first part of this story, I like to use OC's or children like Maddie - that weren't old enough to have a personality - because I get to do whatever I want with them. There's nothing I need to follow, I'm free to do whatever I want!
Anyway, hope you all like it!