Author's Note: This is another missing scene from If You Could See What I See. You may think I'm obsessing about this episode, but not really. I just had one more curious notion of what happened with Mark and the Judge between the time when the gun went off in the gatehouse and the next morning. Now with this episode to rest, maybe I can get on with my life ;-)

Disclaimer: These characters aren't mine, but belong to Stephen J. Cannell Productions. I just like to peer into their lives every now and then. No harm intended.

An Innocent Lamp

Georgi1961

Mark glanced at the gun in his hand—empty and being transported solely for cleaning—and then up again at Millie. The look on her face was intent on conveying a meaning, but not speaking. Mark kissed her goodnight, "Is there something wrong?"

Millie responded simply, "No."

The walk back to the gatehouse seemed interminably long and slow. The gun in his had felt heavier than usual, although there were no bullets inside. Those were safely in his pocket for the time being. What was Millie trying to say with her eyes—what had remained unspoken? Is this danger she sees real? Is something supposed to happen tonight? His thoughts were causing him to walk slower into the night, and momentarily diverted him across the yard and towards the ocean. He stood there, the gun at his side, trying to make sense of the past few days since Millie had moved in. It had been his idea to hire a housekeeper, and he was paying for it out of his salary. But now he felt an increasing unease as each of Millie's visions had become realities.

Of course, the Judge thought they were both crazy. Am I a fool for believing this—or is he just being a stubborn, narrow-minded donkey? Mark didn't have a lot of experience with this type of thing, but felt it was best not to tempt the powers that be.

He continued back towards the gatehouse.

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The Judge pulled back the curtain to look out of his bedroom window, eyeing Mark watching the ocean. He saw the gun at his side and watched as Mark brought it up seeming to look at it. It was too dark for the Judge to see the expression on his young friend's face, but he knew that he was feeling uneasy, not his usual highly-excitable self.

Millie is filling his head with crazy ideas. The Judge shook his head wondering if this distraction could be dangerous for Mark. They were working on a murder investigation, and he needed Mark focused and ready.

Hardcastle watched as the young man headed back in the direction of the gatehouse. The light upstairs in the loft now shone brightly. As the Judge let the curtain fall back over the window, he made his way to bed.

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Plodding slowly up the stairs to his bedroom loft, Mark sat heavily on his chair and set the gun and bullets on the desk. With exaggerated diligence, he cleaned each chamber thoroughly before replacing the bullets. He had done this a hundred times and could do it without looking, but somehow that didn't seem like a prudent idea tonight.

As the last bullet was inserted, Mark's mind again wandered to Millie. Just what is it she really sees? A gunshot? My death? His mind kept replaying the words she spoke 'I'm saying I see pictures. I'm saying they come true.'

Mark was surprised to feel his hands shaking. This is nuts…

His thought was cut short by a gunshot, and then darkness.

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Hardcastle bolted up in bed at the sound of the gunshot. Unsure of its origin, he thought first of McCormick and took the 3 steps to the window quickly and efficiently. Peering out, there was no longer a light shining from the gatehouse loft. Surely McCormick would have heard this and reacted, yet he could not see him through the darkness.

Hardcastle acknowledged a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach and pushed his initial thought out of his head. Grabbing the gun from his nightstand, he started quickly down the stairs—not stopping to waste time putting on his robe.

He crossed the distance between the main house and the gatehouse with the speed and agility of a much younger man. Surely, adrenaline was helping his trek. He paused briefly at the door to the gatehouse, and then opened it cautiously with his gun ready.

"McCormick?!" Hearing no answer, he called louder, "MCCORMICK!?"

"Yeah…Judge I'm okay" McCormick replied with an odd tone to his voice. It sounded more like confusion than pain.

The lights were still off in the gatehouse, and Milt reached awkwardly towards the wall, feeling for the light switch to the main room. Finally, the room was illuminated. He saw Mark, still sitting up in the loft—barely holding on to the gun. He was leaning forward, not looking at anything in particular. The Judge crossed over to the stairs, and ascended them a little more cautiously now. At the top, he stopped short taking in the blood on McCormick's arm.

Placing his own gun on the table, he reached quickly but gently for the gun McCormick was holding. With the safety off, he didn't want to take any chances. With it safely out of Mark's hand, the Judge knelt down to assess the damage.

"Hey, kiddo, you're bleeding!" the Judge said with a composure he didn't quite feel.

"S'okay, Judge. It's just glass from the lamp I shot out…I think I got some in my arm."

Mark noticed the Judge was breathing deeper now, and more frequently. He appeared to be growing more agitated. Mark started to speak up but was interrupted by his older friend.

"Mark" he was still working on at least sounding calm, "What the hell happened?" His failure in the calmness department now more apparent.

"I don't know. I was cleaning the gun, and I guess I got distracted thinking about what Millie said. Next thing I know, it discharged and I…uh…took out a lamp" he was still ginning sheepishly and not making eye contact with the Judge.

"Millie, huh" now it was the Judge that was distracted. He was busy assessing Mark's arm and pulling pieces of glass out of it. The bleeding had stopped, and he figured a quick clean up and bandage would suffice. He looked at Mark, wanting to say something else, but decided on, "Can you make it downstairs? I'd like to get this arm taken care of."

"Of course, Judge. I told you this is no big deal." He caught the glare from the Judge, clearly indicating that this was a big deal—certainly not the injury, but obviously his carelessness. He stood slowly, still a little shaky and descended the stairs a step behind the Judge. He guessed the slow speed at which the Judge took the stairs was more for his benefit than the Judge's.

His arm was quickly taken care of. The bleeding was minimal once the glass was removed from above his elbow. This also gave the Judge some time to choose his words carefully. "Uh, Mark, we've got to talk about what's going on here. If Millie's presence is distracting you, then maybe we need to reconsider her 'help'. The work we do, especially during a murder investigation, requires complete attention. I can't afford for you to be distracted." That seemed to the Judge to be a much safer argument than simply telling him that he was worried.

Mark looked a bit annoyed, but didn't feel that he had the right to be—after all, he did just exterminated an innocent lamp. "Judge, really, this was just an accident. I don't know what happened…I mean I've cleaned this gun a million times…"

"You just said you were thinking about what Millie's been saying…that tells me that you are distracted and maybe you don't need to be listening to somebody who's telling you you're going to die. Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy, Mark?"

Mark. He only calls me Mark when he's mad. Or worried.

"But you didn't see the look on her face…and how do you explain all of the other things she's said that have come true?" Mark quietly spoke now, realizing he was on thin ice.

"Hmmph…" was the only reply he got.

The Judge now looked over at Mark carefully, noting that he had apparently calmed down a bit from the shock of the gun going off unexpectedly. He, himself, had also relaxed now that he knew Mark wasn't hurt. It certainly could have been worse. Softening a bit, he continued more empathetically, "Just because you get a little careless and shoot out a light, doesn't mean your whole life is in danger."

Feeling his point had been made, Hardcastle changed the subject. "Well, you better get that cleaned up. And make sure you get all the glass" using the louder tone that McCormick was much for familiar and comfortable with.

"Yeah, Judge. I will." He cut himself off from saying anything more, and simply finished, "Good night" as he reached for the broom and dust pan.

Hardcastle took one glance over his shoulder at the kid, hoping that he could put this nonsense behind him once and for all. "See you in the morning" he called back as he closed the gatehouse door behind him.

THE END