A/N: Soooooooo - this is it. The end. The last and final chapter. I'm a little sad to see it finished, but all good things need to come to an end. And I know, I leave a few questions probably unanswered. But I couldn't think of any - other then Mama Plum. Who knows, if enough unanswered questions are found, I might add a very very last post-epilogue chapter :) Thanks to everyone for sticking with me for this long ride and for actually really keeping the faith that this story wouldn't be what it at first seemed (with Carlos being dead) LOVE YOU!
Our honeymoon was supposed to last two weeks, but we ended up being gone for almost a month. It wasn't as if we didn't know that RangeMan wasn't in good hands with the Core Team and no immediate fires required our attention. The small, few issues that did come up usually could be handled with a single phone call – or at worst a video call – and then it was back to the beach.
In a weird way I could really have gotten used to this if I was honest. Sure, I did miss people from time to time and also the office and my job and responsibilities, but Carlos made up for what I was missing very well and expertly. But eventually it was time for us to return to Trenton and our lives as well as RangeMan.
When we returned, we were amazed at the realization at how much some things had changed in some areas and how little in others. I was told that my mother for example had received my little letter and had called every single day since. I hadn't been in – obviously – and also had turned of my phone the moment we actually got onto our plane to Tahiti. I had barely switched it on since I did not need to and therefore missed out on a whole string of messages from her. I didn't listen to any of them, especially seeing that by the time I switched my phone on first, my display had shown 68 missed calls from her as well as 23 voicemails. I had very little motivation to actually listen to any of them at that time and only realized that when we touched down in New Jersey again, almost a month after we had left, that number had moved up to 120 missed calls and 47 voicemails. While there would have been times in my earlier life where that number would have worried me, I had by now reached a don't care attitude. I figured someone would probably have informed her of our expected – and now also real – arrival date. If not someone from RangeMan I'm sure one of her Burg-minions. She could always stop by and plead her case – which there probably wasn't really one.
I was surprised to learn that Morelli and Joyce were still in business together – though not any more successful than before we left. Connie was still drowning in work and case files and by now Tank and Lester seemed to have just taken it up themselves and also personal to save her of a desk that showed mountains of files, but no Connie anymore since she long ago got buried by them. Well, for another week after our return at least. After that, I just couldn't watch it anymore and decided I needed to help her and eventually even me as well.
About half a year after Carlos' return RangeMan introduced its Search&Rescue division, trying to aid in moments of crises that would require dogs trained to actually find and rescue people. Another six months after that the K9 unit-pioneer squad was introduced and was a smash hit, just as assumed by everyone at RangeMan who had been dealing with TPD and knew how eager they were awaiting the finalisation of the project. It took another three months for the TPD to decide to integrate their remaining dogs and the few trainers they had on hand with RangeMan. At that point, the division had already grown so much that a liaison between RangeMan and the TPD was the smartest choice. It would obviously not be Morelli and he would have to find out from the papers that first Eddie, who had been looking for a slight change in careers and something a little less in the line of fire, handled the liaison. He had the obvious experience with TPD and enough general knowledge about RangeMan to be perfect for the job. It was however decided to keep the 'grey-area' stuff far, far away from his ears and desk. Just to make sure. Since his office was on my floor, it was easier than assumed. Connie was added when I really couldn't watch Vinnie seeing the dollar signs in bonds but not putting in the effort for finding suitable BEA's that kept Connie's desk empty.
Whenever she mentioned it to him, his only response was that all the files were handled and what she was therefore complaining about. Connie tried explaining that the only reason the files were handled was thanks to RangeMan who bled money with each low-bond file – her words, not Carlos'. Ranger actually saw it slightly different, quoting that maybe they didn't make thousands of dollars with the files, but the training and exercise counted for something else well. That's my man, always seeing something positive in everything.
Anyway, I couldn't watch it anymore and offered Connie a job, working with Eddie in the K9 and Search&Rescue unit, liaising and handling communication. Connie had enough friends everywhere that the job was almost made for her. And she saw the law as variable as Carlos and RangeMan in general. With Connie gone from Vinnie, RangeMan returned back to the usual high bonds and Vinnie was in trouble. But that was really not our problem.
Our search for the head of the LA office had been fruitless for the longest of times. The names Tank, Lester and the others had offered up all declined and we had to start from scratch until we found someone very suitable among the guys from the Boston office. He had actually been suggested by the Head of the Boston office and hadn't applied himself, assuming he wouldn't have what it took. Almost everyone had to disagree and Ranger seemed more than happy with the fit. Finally, one thing of my desk, I could move on to other things. We would leave most of the recruiting up to him and just ordered the mobile team to LA for the time being. Things finally seemed to move in the right direction – a direction which was off my desk.
In regards of Morelli… it didn't take an awful long time for updated news to reach me. I hadn't heard from him after that odd application he sent my way and wasn't entirely sure what he was up to now, after his career with TPD had ended and then eventually HardCore failed as well. It was a surprise that they lasted as long as they did, since I yet had to meet someone who actually could say anything positive about them. At all. Several different sources told me several different stories. Lula swore she had seen him at cluck-in-a-bucket behind the register the other day, but even I found that rather hard to believe. But who knew, if you were desperate for money…The usual jobs for retired police officers or detectives were usually in the private security sector or as consultant, but with the way Morelli had left the job and with the heads he butted in regards of security companies, it was hard to imagine him in any of these capacities any longer.
Maybe the button factory was hiring. Or the personal products plants.
I'm sure whichever way he would go, he would find something suitable and it all would work out. Because sometimes that was all there was to do- hoping for the best and assuming everything would work out in the end. Just as long as you kept the faith.
~~~~~~~~ THE END ~~~~~~~