Jessie and Katie (in Friends and Lovers)

Chapter 51: Breath of Fresh Air

Written by TVM (mrTVM@tvmspad.info)

Copyright 2002

Jessie and Katie (in Friends and Lovers) Archive


Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created by Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz and are copyrighted to them, with exception of the original characters that are credited to me. I am borrowing their incredible creation to tell this story. So any reposting or archiving without written permission is an infringement on the copyright of this series. In other words You damn well better ask before you steal it.

Feedback: Every author in his or her own way makes it a point to ask for feedback when posting a story, well me I don't usually. But there are several reasons as to why a reader should consider taking the time to give it. The simple fact is that giving some form of feedback is truly the most important thing a reader can do after reading and enjoying a story. Hopefully in the process providing that author with at least one viable reason as to what you liked about the story. This small amount of time spent will no doubt inspire the author to write more and possibly at a quicker pace, knowing that they have a fan base who are waiting on their next works. So thanks for the feedback and please keep it comin.

Summary: The 51st chapter in an on going series, exploring the life of Once and Again's wonderful characters of Jessie Sammler, Katie Singer and their friends and family. In this edition, as the school year begins anew, both Jessie and Katie feel the winds of change begin to blow as both make tentative steps in new directions, without each other for the first time. While the pain of the events that occured at the "Party at the Palace" can still be felt by everyone involved. Meanwhile, Joanna makes an attempt to apologize for the trouble she caused Sarah during her relationship with Katie. Later, Zoe meets a new admirer and wonders what exactly is up with her friends.

Guest Stars: Shady McCree (Lynsey Bartilson), Joanna Christianson (Shannon Curfman), Sam McCree (Alexa Nikolas), Amanda "Mandy" McCree (Camryn Grimes), Jennifer Connelly (Emily Osment), Kevin Singer (Katie's brother), Kyle Singer (Katie's brother), Nurse Jean Molloy (Cori's Grandmother) Dr. Blacklyn (Cori's Doctor) & Will Carmichael

Note: Camryn Grimes takes over the role of Amanda "Mandy" McCree and Emily Osment debuts in the role of Jennifer Connelly.

Getting off the bus at the exit near Sammler-Manning manor, Joanna looked up to see daylight breaking as she walked the mile or so towards the house. For some reason she was as nervous as she had ever been, and it wasn't just the 'first day of school' gitters. It was something more, but for reason she couldn't put her finger on the exact reason she was feeling more and more nervous with every step. She spotted Jessie's bedroom window at the top of the house as the rest of it slowly came into view from around the corner. The nerves cranking up about ten notches now it seemed. Then it hit her like a ton of bricks as to why she was nervous. She stopped beside the bush and fiddled with her back pack and found herself thinking about the events of just two days ago and how much fun her and Jessie had had at the baseball game Logan invited them to.

Her heart skipped a beat or maybe two, she thought when to her surprise, Jessie came out of the house with a towel wrapped around her head and began shaking the water out of her hair. She watched for a long moment and finally began moving slowly up the front walk, hoping Jessie wouldn't notice her. Thinking she'd made it undetected she slipped in behind Jessie, who was bent over at the waist shaking the last bit of water from her hair. Jessie straightened, flipping her hair behind her and giving Joanna a face full of it as she stifled a giggle and slipped her arms around Jessie's waist firmly. Feeling her tense up in surprise, she pulled Jessie's back tight to her chest. Jessie felt her pulse raise for a long moment before she saw the reflection in the glass screen door and figured out who it was.

"You're in so much trouble" Joanna said nuzzling Jessie's neck and sniffing the sweet smell of her bath gel.

"Oh am I now?" Jessie asked as she dropped her towel to the ground.

"Uh huh" Joanna said, "Cause now you gotta gimme a ride to school."

"But I don't have a car" Jessie said as Joanna's hand slid up her stomach an inch or so. "I'm riding with my step-sister."

"So it's her I should be with flirting huh?" Joanna asked as she moved away from Jessie and sat down on the bench beside the front door. Looking particularly nice this morning Jessie noticed as she gave her a pooched lip, puppy dog look and replied, "You are so mean. I thought we had something special."

"Oh god not the puppy dog eyes and pooched lip" Joanna said, "I lose all control when you go there."

"All control?" Jessie asked biting her lip and trying to look cute for a reason, unknown to her.

"God you are so hot" Joanna said in a whisper after standing and moving to within inches of Jessie's face and smiling, "I seriously wanna jump you right now."

"Joanna Christenson" Jessie said in a high pitched whisper as she covered her mouth. "Well you stop that."

"I know I'm sorry, I'm coming on to strong" Joanna said shoving her hands in her pockets, "I do that when I really like someone. And with you it was like instant attraction. I know, I know. I'm shutting up now."

"Instant?" Jessie asked as she blushed and Joanna's smile brightened as the screen door popped open and both turned to see Lily as she looked surprised to see Joanna.

"Jessie breakfast is ready" Lily said, "And I checked and that movie you wanted to see is playing tonight at 7:00 if you wanna make plans to go see it."

"OK.." Jessie said as Lily smiled and asked Joanna, "Are you staying for breakfast?"

"Free food. If you're inviting me hell yeah" Joanna said and covered her mouth as Jessie laughed, "Ummm I mean, yes ma'am, I'd like that if you have extra."

"Well come in before it gets cold" Lily said as she disappeared back into the house.

"You're gonna be fun to hang out with" Jessie said as Joanna shrugged her shoulders and picked up her back pack and followed Jessie inside. Entering the kitchen just as Grace came out lost in conversation on her cell phone.

"Joanna's ridin with us this morning ok?" Jessie asked as Grace nodded her head and went on down the hall as Joanna laughed and watched to see if Grace was gonna turn around. But she didn't as Jessie dragged her into the kitchen a moment later.

"Hey who was that?" Sarah asked as Grace laughed and turned to go up the steps.

"Jessie saying her friend Joanna was gonna be ridin with us this morning" Grace said.

"Joanna who?" Sarah asked as she slipped on her pants and tried to hold on to the phone.

"Ummmmmm Joanna.....I know the girls name...she's a friend of Katie's...ummmm....Joanna Christenson" Grace said as it finally came to her.

"Really?" Sarah asked, "What is she doing there?"

"Beats me, she's been here like three days in a row now" Grace said as she closed her bedroom door.

"I remember her, she was always mooning over Katie when we dated" Sarah said sounding a little jealous Grace thought. "Got a big mouth too, really annoying."

"Tell me how you really feel" Grace said as Sarah laughed.

"Well you ain't seen much of my jealous, controlling side yet" Sarah said, "that's a small preview. Don't worry I'll try to limit it's appearances."

"Yeh I like you much better when you're just you" Grace said, "The girl that I fell head over heels in love with."

"And that would be me?" Sarah asked with a giggle.

"And who do you think it is?"

"It better be me" Sarah said, "cause I'm so in love with you."

"Enough to tell the whole world?" Grace asked as Sarah felt goosebumps on her arms and knew exactly what Grace was talking about.

"You mean you really wanna tell the entire school about us?" Sarah asked.

"I dunno, maybe" Grace said as she blushed, "We'll figure out when we get there."

"Yeh exactly, so you picking me up in a few?" Sarah asked as she flopped down on the bed. "After all you are driving my car."

"Will you please stop reminding me" Grace said as Sarah laughed, "I know it's your car."

"Why is it getting annoying?" Sarah asked with a giggle as Grace pulled the phone away from her ear and stick her tongue out at the reciever. Giggling to herself at her own reaction. "Besides you never seem to mind me reminding you of how much I love you."

"You're right" Grace said feeling her heart skip a beat and goose bumps spring up on her arms as they always did at least once every time she talked to Sarah. "I love hearing that."

"Cause you know it's true" Sarah said with a huge smile.

"It goes both ways you know?" Grace asked quietly, in a 'for you ears only' only voice, Sarah thought.

"Yep" Sarah said as a short silence ensued, "Anyway, pick me up in a few?"

"Yep, let me get ready and get Jessie and we'll be over" Grace said.

"Ok love ya Gracey" Sarah replied.

"Love you too bye" Grace said as both hung up and she opened her closet.

** ** ** Meanwhile @ Singer Place

Katie looked out the window as she heard a horn blow and about dropped her eggs and bacon burrito on the floor as she saw a shocking sight before her eyes. She gawked for a minute as she dumped the rest of the make-shift breakfast in the garbage and grabbed her back pack before walking out onto the porch as Kevin came around the side of the house and stopped and joined his sister as they made their way to the fence.

"Hey Singer" Shady said with a smile and looking stunning in skin tight jeans and a baseball jersey that perfectly suited her. Katie, having a hard time taking her eyes off of Shady at the moment, slowly rubbed her hand gently on the original source of her gawking, the ride Shady had pulled up in.

"That's a 69 Pontiac Firebird right?" Kevin said as he admired it from behind the fence.

"Yeh it's a classic and damn it flies" Shady said as Katie asked her in a stunned voice. "What are you doing here?"

"Thought you might need a ride to school" Shady said as Katie smiled and asked, "In this?"

"Yeh duh" Shady said giggling.

"My sister folks, she's kinda slow" Kevin said as Katie shot him a dirty look. "I guess I'm off the hook this morning for that ride, huh K?"

"Yeh I'd so say, ohmigod this thing is fine" Katie said as she smiled brightly and felt a rush of excitement at the thought of arriving at school in this thing. "Does it goes fast?"

"Oh yeah" Shady said with a knowing smile. "Baby got some horses, and they like to run."

"Wait, hold on" Kevin said as Katie gave him another dirty look. "Katie look if you gonna drive reckless, I'm not letting you go."

"Bite me Dad" Katie said as she turned back to Shady and said, "Let's go already, screw him."

"Holy shit" Kyle said from the porch as he came running down the walk with his back pack, "K, shit you gotta let me ride to school with you in that."

"Are you serious?" Katie asked as she opened the passengers side door and Shady did the same on the driver's side, "Last time she gave you a inch you tried to grope her."

"Hey I said I was sorry now please?" Kyle asked with a pitiful look as Shady got in and closed her door as did Katie.

"Guess that's you're answer Prince Charming" Kevin said as he laughed.

"Wait, Kyle" Katie said as she rolled down her window and Kyle stopped, "We changed our mind. Come on get in."

"Shit, yes" Kyle said as he took a couple of steps forward and reached for the driver's side door, just as the wheels began to spin so hard smoke shot into the air and a moment later the back end fish tailed for a moment and roared off into the distance in a cloud of dust. Kyle stood there looking stunned as Shady spun the car completely around at the far end of the street and came screaming back down the road and slid to a rubber burning stop in front of the house. The driver's side window rolled down and two middle fingers pointed directly at Kyle both belonging to Shady. Shady let a smirk cross her face as she took ahold of the wheel again and floored it again and squealed the tires as her and Katie sped off into the distance.

"Damn you're fucking crazy" Katie said as her heart raced from the passengers seat as Shady focused on the road and said, "You wanna see crazy? Let me show you crazy."

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" Katie screamed as Shady pressed on the gas and break at the same time and drifted through the turn to perfection as Katie held on for dear life. "Good god you gonna kill us, slow down."

"You sure?" Shady asked as she pressed on the break and slowed. "I thought you'd like it fast and freaky."

"I don't wanna die today."

"You won't" Shady said she slowed down to a normal speed as Katie had requested and pulled into the McDonald's a few blocks away to get breakfast. "That drifting is childs play."

"What do you want?" Shady asked as she pulled into the drive thru.

"Nothing" Katie said, not wanting to admit she didn't have the money to buy breakfast. Shady gave her a weird look, "You need to eat, come on what do you want."

"Nothing really" Katie said looking away.

"I'm paying Katie" Shady said as she flashed her a 20 dollar bill.

"I can't let you buy me breakfast and knowing I can't pay you back" Katie said as the car in front moved up and Shady pulled up to the order speaker.

"Ok two things, you don't have to pay me back and I offered" Shady said with a smile. "Katie, I've been there and it sucks to be broke, let me spoil you?"

"I dunno" Katie said as Shady ordered hers and then said, "Double that."

"Shady McCree I said..." Katie started as she felt her mouth being covered and Shady saying, "I'm gonna spoil you, even if you don't want me to."

"But..." Katie said as Shady moved her hand away and handed the cashier a 20 and took her food before smiling at the cashier, who Katie observed she obviously knew, and saying. "Keep it, buy that baby something pretty."

"I don't know what to say" Katie said with a smile towards Shady as they sat in the parking lot a few moments later.

"Good, no thanks necessary" Shady said as she started eating, "Get used to it."

"No Shady I can't have you do this all the time" Katie countered, "This just isn't right."

"But what if I want to?" Shady asked as she turned to look at Katie, "I'm serious, I wanna impress you and the one thing I got plenty of is money."

"You don't have to buy me things to get me to like you" Katie said honestly, "I'm not like that. I like simple things."

"OK then walk to school, that's simple" Shady said with a grin as Katie opened her mouth in surprise. "Then you tell me what I can do."

"Be yourself and be honest with me" Katie said, "I'm tired of being lied to and neglected."

"Ok" Shady said, looking at if she were making mental notes. "No more showy displays of money trying to impress you I guess."

"Wait, wait, I didn't say you couldn't do it" Katie said, "What I should have said is it's not gonna get you laid."

"Not looking to Joey...I mean Katie" Shady said as frustration came across her face and she closed her eyes and said softly, "I'm sorry, really I am. I just suck at being close to someone."

"Don't try so hard" Katie said simply as she touched Shady's hand, "I know you still got feelings for Joey."

"Yeh....she found someone else just as I figured out how special she was" Shady said as Katie listened, "She finally gave up on me."

"We're in the same boat" Katie said as she stuffed the garbage into the trash bin. "I still got feelings for Jessie but I'm pretty sure she's done with me now after what I did."

"Katie you broke up with her, remember?" Shady said, "You didn't cheat on anyone. I did, not that it's a surprise to anyone who knows me."

A long silence filled the car as both got lost in the thoughts filling their mind and a loneliness filled both of their hearts. Katie looked up after a few minutes and saw that tears were streaming down Shady's face as she looked off into the distance. Katie took a tissue out of her purse and touching Shady's arm handed it to her as Shady gave her a slight smile as she wiped her eyes.

"You're really hurting" Katie said as she took Shady's hand gently and saw Shady give her a strange look and say, "Do you honestly think I have a shot with you?"

"Huh?" Katie asked in confusion.

"You know, as a girlfriend" Shady said as Katie shrugged her shoulders and said, "If this is the real Shady McCree I'd say yes."

"Don't say it just to make me feel better" Shady said.

"No I'm not really" Katie said, "You know wanna exactly what I want in a girlfriend?"

"Yeh, please, tell me" Shady said as Katie went on, "Someone who pays attention to me, likes being with me when it's just me and them, doesn't make me feel bad for simply wanting that. Someone who's pround to be with me, no matter who they're with. Smart, funny, maybe a lil bit crazy I dunno. Someone who will hold me when I cry and just love me."

"That's a lot" Shady said simply, "I have trouble just trying not to say something stupid, that and losing my temper over not getting my way."

"You're doing pretty good so far" Katie said, "and I know all about your temper too."

"Yeh figured you did" Shady said, "I'm in therapy for it."

"You are?" Katie asked.

"Yeh I didn't want to really, but I thought it might help save my relationship with Jo...yeh well that didn't work to well" Shady said as she looked away again.

"But it has helped, right?" Katie asked as she again touched Shady's hand.

"Some I guess" Shady said, liking the feel of Katie's hand on hers. "Is all I know is your really pretty and I wanna spend some time with you."

"You keep saying that" Katie said as she stroked her fingers up Shady's arm playfully. "I might start to believe you really do like me."

"Well you sure seem to like the attention Miss Singer" Shady said as she bit her lip and looked directly at Katie. "Am I wrong on that?"

"Maybe...maybe not" Katie said with a coy smile. "Keep flirting with me and see what happens."

"Katie I really do like you" Shady said with a serious tone to her voice, "If you ever feel the same way, do you think you can tell me?"

"MMMMM HMMMMMM" Katie said with a knowing smile directed at Shady as both laughed.

** ** ** Meanwhile @ Sarah's Apartment Building

"Sarah are you coming?" Grace asked as she pressed the buzzer and Sarah responded, "Yes on my way."

"Ya think she'd already be ready we got places to see and people to do" Joanna said as Jessie rolled her eyes and laughed.

"I think you got that backward" Jessie commented.

"No I didn't cutie" Joanna said with a confident grin towards Jessie. The moment was suddenly broke as Sarah came bouncing out the front door of her building and stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Joanna standing between Grace and Jessie. Joanna got noticably quiet as Sarah gave her a cold look and asked Grace, "Why didn't you tell me she was coming?"

"I didn't think it mattered" Grace said as Sarah shot back, "You thought wrong."

"What's the big deal?" Jessie asked as Sarah looked at her coldly.

"This is the little....well she's the one who thought it was ok to keep hitting on Katie when I was so obviously her girlfriend" Sarah said as Joanna suddenly spoke up and said simply, "I'm sorry."

"Oh yeah now" Sarah snapped, "Sure wouldn't back then."

"Look I said I was sorry and I meant it" Joanna replied, "It was kinda...ok it was a whole lot stupid."

"Well what's gonna stop you from hitting on my girlfriend now?" Sarah asked as she stepped directly in front of Joanna. "Huh? Let me tell you what will stop it, I'LL KICK YOUR FUCKIN ASS."

"Sarah Renae Grasser" Grace exclaimed as she drew Sarah's attention and moved in front of her and backed her away from Joanna, "Calm down. geez it's not worth hitting someone for something that happened years ago."

"Bitches has got it fuckin coming" Sarah said as she glared at Joanna. All attention being brought back to Joanna when she said simply, "She's right."

"Excuse me?" Grace asked as she looked back.

"She has a right to feel that way" Joanna said, "Don't get mad at her, I caused them trouble."

"See" Sarah said looking at Grace, "she admits it."

"Go ahead sarah take your best shot" Joanna said as she boldly moved in front of Grace and went on, "If hitting me will make you feel better go ahead."

"You so deserve it" Sarah said as she clinched her hands into fists, "And if it wouldn't for Grace I'd...God I...."
"Go ahead Sarah I wanna see this" Grace said stepping away, "I wanna see if you can really do it."

"I won't hit you back" Joanna said, "Look you wanted to hit me so go ahead I can take it."

Sarah looked to Grace and felt the anger slowly fade away as the seriousness of the moment loomed in the air. She looked at her fist and swung it a moment later and stopped an inch from Joanna's face and barely touched her chin and moved it away. Joanna peaked out of one eye and saw Sarah pull her hand away and look back to Grace as Joanna covered her nose and said aloud, "OH GOD I THINK SHE BROKE MY NOSE."

"Oh shut up, drama queen" Jessie said as her and Gace laughed and even drew a smile from Sarah. Joanna fell back against Jessie and pretended to be in pain. "Can we go?"

"I knew you couldn't do it" Grace said as she smiled at Sarah and took her hand as Sarah smiled and blushed. "I'm proud of you too."

"But I do have one thing to say" Grace said as she touched Joanna's arm to her attention, "You remember how much I loved Katie?"
"Yeh" Joanna said meeting Sarah intense gaze.

"Well this is Grace" Sarah said as she moved behind Grace and wrapped her arms around her girlfriends waist before going on. "She's more important to me than Katie ever was. She's part of my soul."

"Yeh I get that..."

"Maybe you do" Sarah said cutting her off, "But you need to understand I love her with all my heart."

"Its not one sided either" Grace said with a loving smile at Sarah, "I been looking my whole life for someone like her."

"I get it" Joanna said.

"Now can we go?" Jessie asked as Grace and Sarah kissed softly and smiled at each other. "Get a room."

"You wanna get hurt you'll try and fuck this up pretty baby" Sarah said to Joanna with a deadly serious look as she opened the passenger's side door. "I swear to god I mean every word of that."

"Sarah..." Joanna said with an honest smile, "I get it ok? Hands off the marchandise."

"Yeh" Sarah said as she couldn't help but smile and said, "Now get in."

"After all that you still letting me ride with you?"

"Let's just say I know how it feels to not have anyone or anything you can count on" Sarah said as Joanna smiled and said softly, "I am sorry."

"God you're sexy when you're pissed off Marsha" Jessie said with a smirk as Sarah gave her a dirty look as Joanna settled into the back seat.

"Get in and shut up Jan" Sarah said as she tried to hide a smile.

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh ok I get, I can't hit on Grace, but Sarah's fair game right?" Joanna asked as her and Jessie started laughing from the back seat.

"You're close to walking to school, big mouth" Sarah said as she looked at Joanna with a small grin.

** ** ** Meanwhile Zoe arrives @ school

"Bye Mom" Zoe said as she got out of the car in front of the school. Spotting Sam down the sidewalk as she saw her getting out of her sister Mandy's car. "Hey Sam."

"Hey Zo" Sam said as she looked Zoe up and down and Zoe noticed the skin tight t-shirt and low-riders Sam sported. "What are you wearing?"

"It's a dress" Zoe said thinking she looked quite nice today, even if Lily did pick it out for her. Undetected by the other two, Mandy slipped in behind them and listened for a moment. "Don't you like it?"

"You look like a 5th grader" Sam cracked as Zoe suddenly got nervous and looked at herself again. Sam seemed to notice she might have hurt Zoe's feelings as she started to say something when she was cut off by Mandy.

"Hey, I think you look really nice today, don't any attention to the skank" Mandy said with a look to Sam, who gave her a seriously dirty look for her trouble. "I like your hair too, you look cute."

"Thanks" Zoe said as she blushed a little from the compliment, "You do to."

"Thanks cutie" Mandy said with a casual smile as she turned before leaving and said, "See ya skanky, bye Zo."

"Bitch" Sam said as Zoe tried to hide her smile and before she could reply, Sam asked, changing the subject. "You seen Jennifer this morning?"

"No why?" Zoe asked as they filed into the school with the rest of the students.

"No reason" Sam said over the crowd, "I gotta run and holla at some people's with importance, see ya at lunch k?"

"K" Zoe said as she turned and almost bumped into someone she didn't even recognize. He looked at her with a strange look and then seemed to be shocked as he said, "Zoe Manning?"

"Yeh that's the name" Zoe giggled, "Who are you? Do I know you?"

"No but I know you" He said with a mysterious smile. "You really look pretty this morning. You changed over the summer."

"Thanks" Zoe said as she blushed, thinking about Mandy's compliment, and couldn't help but notice this guy hadn't took his eyes off her. "So how do you know me?"

"We been in class together for like 3 years" He said, "I just never had the courage to talk to you before this morning."

"Why?"

"I liked you and I was totally chicken" He said as he gently touched her arm and guided her into a spot out of the main flow of traffic.

"You liked me?" Zoe asked as she smiled and realized he was cute in a different sort of way than Michael had been.

"Yeh and this year I said if you didn't have a boyfriend I was gonna ask you out" He said.

"But I still don't know your name" Zoe countered as the boy smiled and said, "Will Carmichael."

"Will?" Zoe said in a questioning manner and suddenly remembered were she knew him from, "You play baseball?"

"Yeh" He said in surprise.

"My sister Jessie and her friend, Joanna something took me to a game over the weekend" Zoe said, "You played in one of the games."

"Yeh that was me" Will said, "You know Joanna Christianson?"

"Jessie does, not me I just wanted to go" Zoe said as she spotted Jennifer out of the corner of her eye. "Hey will you be around later? I gotta meet a friend."

"If you want me to be" He said with a laugh, "Yeh I have to run too, maybe, we can meet at lunch or after school."

"Hope so, bye" Zoe said smiling as Will returned it and watched her leave and chase after Jennifer.

"Jennifer" Zoe said as she caught up to her friend and noticed she looked really nice today. "Sam asked about you."

"She did?" Jennifer asked with a noticably interested smile. "When?"

"Earlier when we were coming in" Zoe said as she smiled again at Will as he made his way through the crowd the opposite way.

"What did she say exactly?" Jennifer asked as Zoe giggled and replied, "You act like you got a crush on her."

"I do not" Jennifer responded defensively and all to quickly Zoe noticed. "I just wanted the message, I know how you are at remembering stuff."

"No message really she just asked about you" Zoe explained as she looked to see the hall had emptied out for the most part as she leaned closer to Jennifer and said in a whisper, "I think she wanted a kiss good morning."

"OHHHHHHHHHHH Zoe Manning I'm gonna kill you" Jennifer said as Zoe started laughing and went running down the hall with Jennifer giving chase.

** ** ** Meanwhile @ at the hospital

"Hey Jean..I mean Grandma" Cori giggled as Jean came up on her sitting in the visitor's lounge resting after a short walk.

"Why lord child how did you get all the way down here?" Jean asked.

"I wanted to walk and well got here and got tired" She said.

"Well I'll get your wheel chair and when you're in the mood you can go back ok?" Jean asked as Cori stopped her and said, "No Thanks."

"You sure?"

"Yeh Joey says I gotta get used to walking so I'm trying to" Cori announced as Jean sat down beside her on the sofa, "I'm just resting."

"Cori I realize that you wanna impress your friend" Jean said, "But if you are too tired to do anything when you see her again what good will that serve?"

"But I'm not tired, tired" Cori said, "My legs and back started hurting a little and I sat down for a few minutes, I can walk back, really."

"MOM!" Cori said in excitement as Lily came through the main door. "I mean Lily."

"Hey there" Lily said sitting down on the opposite side of Cori as she said, "If you wanna call me Mom, it's ok with me."

"I must get back to work my Cori" Jean said as she kissed her granddaughter's forehead gently, "I think you're in good hands."

"Bye Grandma" Cori said sweetly as Jean touched her heart and walked off.

"So how did you get all the way down here?" Lily asked, "and I don't see your wheel chair."

"I walked" Cori said with a proud smile. "Wanna see me walk back?"

"Can you?"

"Uh huh I think so" Cori said as Lily helped her rise out of the chair and walked beside her as Cori slowly made her way back down the corridor with her walker towards her room as Dr. Blacklyn and Henry came out of the Doctor's office and stopped as they saw Cori and Lily.

"I swear Mr. Higgins you are a miracle worker" Dr. Blacklyn said as he looked at Henry. "I'm gonna be sad to see you go."

"Go?" Cori asked with a concerned look on her face. "Henry you leavin?"

"Yeh I wanted to leave with a happy memory and you certainly were some of my best work, look at you" Henry said with a proud smile. "It's time to move on."

"I won't see you no more?"

"No I'm not gonna away forever" He said, "I'm gonna open my own clinic downtown."

"I think I already have a patient for you" Lily said as she placed an arm around Cori's shoulder.

"That was my thinking" Dr. Blacklyn said. "You'll be missed Mr. Higgins."

"Oh yeah Doctor B when can I go home?" Cori asked as the doctor laughed softly and said, "I was wondering when I was gonna hear that."

"How about right now?" Lily asked as Cori's eyes opened in shock and she looked to Dr. Blacklyn who smiled and nodded his head, handing Lily some papers and saying, "Yeh I think it's about time we got you out of here."

"Wait...I can't leave yet" Cori announced as everyone looked at her strangely. "Joey's at school she'd be worried if she can't find me."

"Well let's just put the whole world on hold till Joey shows up" Dr Blacklyn said as Lily and Henry laughed, "Cori Tyler, you are priceless."

** ** ** Meanwhile @ Mickey D's

"Do you think we can hang out after school?" Shady asked with what Katie could clearly see was a nervous smile crossing her face.

"Yeh remember I've already got plans for you and me?" Katie asked as Shady thought back to their conversation at the house and Katie's mysterious invite. "I'm gonna test this new found resolve of yours to get to know me."

"I can promise you Katie Singer that I'm up for whatever crazy scheme you're cooking up" Shady said as she smiled directly at Katie, "You'll see."

"Yeh we'll see" Katie replied as she giggled mysteriously. "Whoa it's almost 8 we better get going or we gonna be late."

"Oh yeh, we better get to school" Shady said as she started the car and got ready to pull out when she suddenly closed her eyes and turned the car off as she laid her head on the steering wheel for a moment and Katie looked over and asked, "You ok?"

"Yeh yeh I think so, I got a little dizzy there for a moment" Shady said taking a deep breath, "Happens sometimes when I eat to fast."

"Sure you're ok?" Katie asked as she noticed Shady's skin go pale white as Shady opened the door and stepped out for a breath of fresh air and Katie quickly got out and circled around the car. "You look pale white, you're not ok."

"No I'm fine really" Shady said as she stepped in front of Katie, "Just need some fresh..."

"OHMIGOD NOOOOOOOOOOO Shady" Katie screamed as Shady's eyes rolled back in her head and fell back limp against the car as Katie caught her before she could fall to the ground and lowered her down and watched in horror as Shady simply slumped over on to the ground unconscious. "HELP! PLEASE SOME ONE HELP!"

Katie looked around in desperation and to her horror couldn't find anyone around. Looking into the car she spotted what she hoped was a cell phone as she grabbed it and was relieved when it was as she fumbled with it and finally was able to dial 911 and practically screamed what had just happened into the phone and gave them the best directions she could to the place. A couple in a near by car that had just pulled up got out to assist as Katie began to cry and took a hold of Shady's lifeless hand and prayed she could fell a pulse. She feel a faint one at best she thought as the minutes passed so slowly it seemed like hours before the ambulance arrived with sirens blaring. The EMT's had Katie move away as they worked to revive Shady. Moments later, Katie could swear she heard one of them say, "She's not breathing..."

To be Continued....

Preview of Chapter 52 (Peace of Mine): Sarah and Joanna have a showdown.