It was going to be a hellish night for Mike. He was exhausted. This case had to finish. But he remembered now that he HAD told Jakes that he was a federal agent. So that was good. "Right. I told you that, remember?"

Jakes nodded. "I do remember. And I was able to confirm that someone faked your death. I don't know who or how, but I found you in the death log."

"Yeah, I noticed that myself. I think it was a warning."

"It very well could have been," Jakes responded as he ran a hand through his dark hair. "I've got good news for you, though. Jaun was arrested for falsifying information. So was Clarke."

"Whoa," Mike said, his eyebrows raised even as he attempted to move his IV cord. "I did not expect that."

"Well, it happened," Jakes said with a smile. "We busted them on more, but I was able to prove you weren't suicidal and that you were actually a federal agent. I explained to internal affairs that the case pushed you way, way way beyond your limits, and that that wasn't cool."

Mike frowned. "Jakes… What all does internal affairs know?"

"Does it matter?"

"Of course it does. I'd like to know if I have a job at the end of all of this." Mike swallowed hard, looking pleadingly at Jakes. The man sighed.

"I told them everything, Mike. I told them how Clarkes and Juan blackmailed you into the case. I told them how he forced you into this, that you were sexually assaulted because if it. I told them how you reached out to me to find help. I told them Briggs had to go way beyond his case role ever should have. I told them they threatened your family."

"What did they say?" Mike asked. It all couldn't be over too soon. This had to be a dream. He reached out and pinched himself. Nope, this wasn't a dream. Well. Then.

"They said they were arresting Clarke and Juan. Bello's still on the run, but many of his men are apprehended. We're still looking for Johnny."

"How did you find me, Jakes?"

"You reached out to Alisha, she found my number in your pocket and a note and called me."

"Oh, right," Mike said. "I feel like shit."

"I don't blame you. Why don't you get some rest?" Jakes asked kindly.

"I think that sounds like a winning plan."

### break ###

Briggs was at Bello's door. This was it. This was the moment he'd been waiting for. No longer was he Braxton. No longer was he dating Mike. Which was good because he had eyes on Paige, not that she'd ever consider him after what he'd been forced to do to Mike.

This was the day of the big reveal. The day that he KNEW. That Bello was going down.

He flashed the sign.





The door broke open. The dam flew. The gates flew wide open.

Everything was chaos.

Bello was up and screaming. Johnny was on the floor in chains. Matt was there – why the hell was Matt there? - and Nathaniel was there.

It didn't matter. He grinned as he put handcuffs on Bello and read him his rights. Bello started absolutely screaming. Screaming that he was innocent, damn it. That the mother fuckers had no business arresting him because Briggs was just as guilty.

Paige shoved him into the back of the SWATT car – perhaps too gleefully.

Charlie was over Johnny, checking his pulse. "He'll be okay, but we need a medic," she said.

Briggs nodded, motioning the correct way for the medic.

Maybe their life was coming together after all….

### BREAK ###


The beach was crystal clear. Most of Mike's scars were gone. The ones that remained weren't visible. Johnny wasn't so lucky, scars dotted his torso. But that was okay, he said. It didn't prevent him from doing his job and it kept him wooing all the girls.

The case had wrapped up wonderfully. Juan and Clarke, imprisoned for ten years. Personally, Mike felt it should have been longer but it was what it was. Bello was sentenced to life in prison. Matt was sentenced to five years. Nathaniel was sentenced to twenty-five years. Ryan was sentenced to fifteen years.

The surf was up for Paige and Charlie. Briggs was trying to talk the ice cream girl into getting a discount – even though he had the money for an ice cream cone. Seriously, who wanted to pay $5.00 for one scoop of ice cream anyway? Mike couldn't blame him.

Johnny nodded over to Mike. "You seem distracted."

"I don't know. I'm glad Graceland is still there. It just seems like everything was wrapped up too smoothly."

"I know it was. It seems like we should be waiting for the other shoe to drop. But we've got to enjoy it well it lasts. We got Jakes on our side. Jakes got dirt that took out Clarke and Juan, and we're still at Graceland."

"Yeah. And I don't think I want to go to D.C. anymore."

"I don't blame you. What's next in the cards for you?" Johnny asked. Mike had been given a gracious amount of time off by the F.B.I. and was recovering. The FBI were also paying for Mike's therapy and HIV medications.

Yes, HIV.

"I don't even know if I should be an agent anymore. The one case I worked I got HIV from."

"But it's manageable and treatable, and caught really early on. You've been handling it fine so far."

"I still… I feel dumb."

"If anyone was dumb, it was Matt."

"Doesn't make it any easier," Mike said as he looked at the waves. Johnny sobered.

"No, I suppose it doesn't."

"I can't believe the bastard only got five years," Mike whispered. "But then again, I don't want to see him suffer either."

"I can understand." Johnny rested his hand gently on Mike's shoulder.

"I appreciate you all not treating me any differently due to HIV," Mike whispered.

"It is no problem," Johnny said. "You're still the same person you were before. Changed, sure. You molded through fire, just like we all do."

"And Briggs is innocent."

Johnny chuckled. "Yeah, we all saw that one."

"Come on," Mike said as he stood up. "Surf is up."

## BREAK ##

Mike was looking over the ocean that night as Briggs came out of the room. "Hey, Mike."

"Hey, Briggs."

There was silence for a moment as the two walked out and looked at the stars. Briggs and Mike leaned on the Graceland house.

"I'm sorry," Briggs said.

"I forgive you," Mike replied.

Truly, no more words needed to be said.


I'm sorry for the delay in posting this finish. I hope you enjoyed the ride. I know the ending was a bit bumpy, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway.