About: Brothers & Sisters (general)
Rate: Can’t go higher than PG-13, as this is American Television, but I may add a few ‘deleted scenes’ here and there. ;)
Disclaimer: Just escaping from reality here, not created for financial gain
Summary: It is my very own season 6, you guys! Go with it! ;) Don’t complain! If YOU can do better, post your own story! (I dare you!)
***** Part 4/4 *****
Justin approaches “Fair Willows”, the nursing home where his grandmother had spend the last two years of her life.
“Do you really believe that this will lead to anything?” Tyler asks, hoping that Justin will not get too obsessed with his search for his grandfather.
“I don’t know. Sylvia told me to talk to this Neil Richardson. He had always been interested in Ida. He was close to Ida and Bernie years ago and he was the reason that she really wanted to move here, well, that last bit is according to Eunice, Ida's friend who also lives here.”
“So, that was who you talked to on the phone.”
“Yes. She’s a very smart woman....” Justin opens the door to the home. “Let’s ask for mr Richardson, maybe he can tell us more about Ida and Bernie.” While Justin asks for information on Mr Richardson, Tyler looks around.
The place is indeed cheerful and it all looks fresh and tidy. The nurses walk with confident tread and this place undermines Tyler’s own prejudice about nursing-homes.
“Tyler? He’s in room 218. We can go up and see him, but the nurse warned us, that he sometimes doesn’t know who he is or where he is... So, I don’t know if he will be of any help to us.” Justin sighs.
“Let’s hope for the best...” Tyler replies with a positive smile.
The elevator takes them up to the second floor and then it’s just a little walk to room 18.
“Here we are...” Justin says nervously. He knocks and when he hears a grumbled ‘enter’ he enters the room.
“Mr Richardson?” Justin asks. Mr Richardson looks up and his eyes become big.
“You? Here? Coming to get me, aren’t you?” Mr Richardson seems upset.
“I’m coming to get you? What do you mean?” Justin asks, not understanding the reaction.
“You know, don’t you? You know it and now you come here to take me to hell.”
“To hell...?” Justin gives Tyler a concerned look, not knowing how to move on.
“Yes! ... Well, I’ll go. And I’ll face my punishment. Because I know, that in the end I did the right thing! ... Ida... Ida was too good for you. You were a worthless idiot...”
“He thinks that you’re Bernie...” Tyler suddenly understands. Justin gets an uneasy feeling as he listens to the old man.
“I’m not sure if it will be hell...” He then says calmly. “I need to know what you did and why. Only then can a judgement be made.” Justin replies. Mr Richardson looks at him, but he’s too lost in his past to see that it’s not Bernie standing in front of him.
“I say you. You and that son of yours, Saul. Working on the car.... I knew it would rain the next day... I knew that you wouldn’t suspect anything... You considered yourself invincible, no one could touch you, no one could hurt you... Well, I did... I tempered with the brakes and that was it. Bye, bye to Bernie....”
“But why...? Why did you want to kill... me?” Justin asks confused.
“Ida... Beautiful Ida... I never understood how you could chose another woman over her. She was the prettiest, most delicate woman ever...” Mr Richardson sighs and Justin tries not to laugh sarcastically. ‘Delicate’ would be about the last words he’d use for Ida.
“Did Ida know, what you had done?”
“No. I never told her. I thought that, after some time, appropriate to her period of mourning, I would ask her to marry me, but when I did, she turned me down... Said she was still in love with you...” Mr Richardson sinks back in his chair, eyes closed.
“Neil?” Justin asks. Eyes fly open again.
“I’m sorry, Bernie. I never meant to hurt you. I just wanted Ida... I was so in love with Ida... I would have been a good father to your kids. A great grandfather to your grandkids.... if only she would have let me...” Neil cries.
Justin shudders at the thought of this man being involved with his grandmother, replacing his grandfather to become his grandfather.... He stares at the old man, in his chair, lost in a world of his own, where past and present mix and the future is unknown to him and he somehow feels sorry.
This man had been so in love with Ida and he had never seen that love replied. Justin's sense of justice for his grandfather, makes that Justin considers calling the police, but then he changes his mind. He has no proof and Neil doens't seem to be a very stable person either.
“Neil... I’m sorry if I scared you... I just needed to know the truth.” Justin says. He looks at Tyler. She shrugs, not knowing what to do. Justin takes his hand. “I didn’t come here to take you with me, Neil. I just wanted to know what happened that day and why it happened.
Give me your hand. I want you to close your eyes and forget about this. I want you to know that I forgive you.... All you did was love Ida... It no longer matters...” Justin says with tears in his eyes. “She’s gone, so am I...”
“And so will I be...” Neil sighs and he drifts off to sleep.
A woman enters Cafe 429, where Kevin, Scotty and Tommy have just gathered.
“Good-evening, I’m agent Prentiss. I’m looking for Mr Thomas Walker?” She asks and Tommy gets up.
“I’m Tommy. These are my brother Kevin and my brother-in-law Scotty. We’ve tried to reach our brother Justin, but he’s not answering his phone. Julia may have been my ex-wife, but Kevin, Scotty and Justin are the ones who spoke with her, just before she disappeared.”
Agent Prentiss nods and she explains.
“I want to specify that this is just a preliminary interview. We are not convinced that your ex-wife is connected with the other missing women, because she doesn’t fit the profile that we have of the other victims.”
“We know that. Max Carter informed us about this. And ... that we shouldn’t get our hopes up on finding her.” Kevin says. “Do you wish to speak with us separately?”
“No, that won’t be necessary... I just want to run through the events that seem to lead up to her disappearance late December.
I know that you all gave evidence to the police, but my questions will be different, sometimes even not very logic, because my first job right now, is not to find Julia Ridge, but to determine if she somehow does fit the profile, and if she does, is she the intended target and why her?
Perhaps that in discussing the details, we will stumble across a piece of information that we didn’t have yet, or something that was considered unimportant at the time, that might have a different meaning now.” Agent Prentiss smiles in a comforting way, when she sees that none of the three men really believe in this. “Shall we start...?”
Sarah prints her latest job-application and checks it one more time to see if she didn’t forget any words, when the door-bell takes her mind of the letter. She opens the door, surprised and shocked to see Luc standing there.
“We need to talk.” Luc says.
“I don’t think we do.” Sarah replies.
“This is your way of communicating?” Luc holds up the divorce-papers that Kevin had send him.
“Well, it obviously got your attention.”
“I will not sign this. I will not accept this.”
“You won’t get more money out of me.” Sarah warns him. “This is a fair deal.”
“I don’t want more money. I want you. You’re my wife. We got married and I cannot believe that you want to end it within a year.”
“Luc, our fairytale was nice while it lasted, but you have to face it. The dream is over. This is the real world, Luc, and in that real world, there’s no room for unicorns and fantasy. We were a summer-romance that lasted too long.”
“How can you say that?”
“I knew it the first time we broke up. We speak different languages and I don’t just mean French/American. I mean that we have different opinions on the kids, on work, on responsibility and there lies the essence of our problems. You’re the artist and … I’m not. You believe we can live on love alone and I don’t.
When you got upset because you don’t have ‘inspiration’ and or when you were criticized for your work, I couldn’t understand what you’re so worked up about. I couldn’t see why you couldn’t rise above that and just get over it. I just wanted to kick your ass and tell you to move on. It’s not that important what others think of you. But, of course, it matters to you.”
She sighs and watches how Luc sits down at her kitchen-table. She can see him struggle with what she says and she softly continues:
“I will admit that I wasn’t easy to live with these last few months and that I see why it was hard for you to stay with me, so I’m not blaming you for leaving.
I would have done the same thing, had I been you. But I’m not you. You are a very sweet and loving man, you search for a wife who’s equally loving and caring and supportive and …. I’m just not that person. What you need is woman who’s younger than me, who can give you a family of your own and not one that you have to share with others.
The Walkers love you. Seriously, you cannot imagine the arguments I have had with Kevin, Kitty and mom. Or the questions I’ve had to answer from Justin and Saul. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but I’m not. I’ve never been more sane or more realistic. I love you, but I’m not what you need.
I cannot change who I am and the person I really am, is not the person you need to be happy. And I’m sorry, if I come across as making decisions for you, but you still live in that world of everlasting love for all eternity and … I’ve long given up on that nonsense. I don’t believe in that anymore.”
“And I can’t make you change your mind?” Luc wonders, still not completely getting what is going on. Sarah shakes her head. “You once again just made the decision for us? Just like you did with so many other things… Something comes up in your mind and an open discussion about this is no longer possible, because Sarah is the one who is always right?”
Sarah feels taken aback by Luc’s sarcasm.
“That’s not entirely fair. I’ve thought about this long and hard and I’ve looked at it from every angle. It’s not some random decision because I didn’t have anything better to do that afternoon.”
“Yes, you thought it over, you made the choice, you think about what is best for all of us, you, me, Paige, Cooper, but you never, ever think about consulting those involved. When did you talk to me about what I wanted from this marriage? Or when did you actually listen to Paige or Cooper or even Joe about anything.
And the best of it is that Sarah Walker never makes a mistake about anything, right? Not ever…. Not about Ojai? Or Narrow Lake? Or Holly? Or on who your father is? And how you never want anything from Brody? Or on how wrong Kevin is to fight for Elizabeth, because that is not what Tommy would have wanted?
It must be so great to the one with all the divine powers, able to look down on us mere mortals who make mistakes and cannot hold a candle to your perfection!” Luc shakes his head and sighs. “But you are right about one thing… I was wrong about you… but it’s not me who’s living in a fantasy-world, it’s you.”
“I’ve spoken to the family of Julia Ridge. I’m beginning to believe that, from the point of view of the kidnapper, she could fit the profile… She pretended to be different from who she really was…” Prentiss reports to Hotchner. Penelope Garcia breaks in on the conversation.
“I’ve received her computer, which was confiscated by the police and I have to agree with that.”
“Why?” Hotchner asks, not that he would doubt Penelope’s words, because he knows that she wouldn’t make such a bold statement without evidence.
“I’ve searched her on the internet and indeed, if you don’t know that she became Mrs Julia Walker at some point in her life, you would believe that Julia Ridge is a very lonely woman, with no kids, no family, no support, no job… Nothing.”
“Garcia, I want you to go through all the new data, cross-reference as much as you can, we need to find the killers quickly.”
“Plural?” Prentiss asks. She hates that she’s not on the spot and aware of all the new information.
“Yes, we’ve established that when this Oliver was executed, there were at least two other persons in that field. Prentiss? Well done, now get back here to Kansas.”
“On my way… PG, I will send you all the data I have on Julia Ridge…”
“Can’t wait.” Garcia answers.
“Have you thought about it?” Brody asks, taking off his shoes. Nora shakes her head.
“Yes, but no, not really. I wanted to talk to the kids first, but somehow the anniversary of Kevin and Scotty didn’t seem like the appropriate time.”
“No, of course not. What would be the appropriate time, you think?”
There’s a sarcastic undertone to the question and Nora turns around.
“Sorry. I didn’t realize that the selling of my house has to be done on your time-schedule.” Nora answers sharply and Brody sighs.
“That’s not what I meant… I don’t mind if you don’t want to sell, just say it…”
“I can’t tell you that, because I haven’t made up my mind yet.” Nora answers. “It’s complicated and I want to make the right decision. I want to make sure that I won’t regret whatever choice I make and I don’t like to be pressured into making a choice, one way or another…”
“Again, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pressure you. I just don’t understand why you have so much trouble making a choice. But, then, I’ve never had a house that was a real home to me, so maybe that is why I don’t understand your inability to chose if you should sell the place or not.” Brody recognizes.
“Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, but this is my house and I love this place. I don’t know what I want, and until I do, I will not make the choice. I hope you can respect that.”
“I can… Of course I can, Nora. I love you.” Brody says soothingly and he takes her in his arms.
Penelope Garcia’s fingers move quickly over her keyboards. Her computers are all in full operation. Slowly the lives of the victims take shape. Names, patterns, words, faces, pictures. She searches the internet, dives into background stories, cracks a few codes to get information that she needs from places where she’s not allowed to be.
She cross-references Face-book accounts and credit-card data, she checks charts and searches locations. Flight-patterns, car-rental information. Addresses, phone-numbers, until… she can see where all the focus of attention is going to. She can start to pinpoint the origins….
“I got it!” She tells her team. “There were four of them. Three guys, one girl. They met in high-school. Three guys working under different aliases, but eventually all leading to one address…. Oliver was one of them. When he was seventeen, he got his girl-friend. Petra, pregnant. She had the baby, but didn’t want it.
A couple paid them a large sum of money to become the parents of that baby… This must have put the idea in their heads. Petra had two other babies, that were sold, but things went wrong with the delivery of the last baby. Due to an infection, she no longer could have children.
So there came a change of plan. My idea is that they used other women to have the children. Oliver and his two friends lure the girls into a trap. All three men are good-looking, smart and funny. Petra became a midwife, so I assume that she could help with delivery of the baby.... One of the guys seems to own a large house in Kansas, in the middle of nowhere. I’m sending the address now!”
“What a day it’s been.” Kevin sighs and he puts his shirt over the chair.
“I know. Justin finding out what happened to your grandfather, the possible lead to Julia, Marcus showing up... It’s been an insane day.” Scotty agrees. “Did you and Tommy finally manage to get a date for the hearing on when Tommy can get Elizabeth back?”
“Set for next Thursday. The day after he gets the keys to his new apartment. ”
“How do you feel about that?” Scotty wants to know.
“Stop asking me that. It has to be done. Elizabeth is his child and that’s all there is to it.” Kevin answers a bit annoyed.
“Sorry, baby, I just don’t want you to...” Scotty stops, not sure what it is, what he doesn’t want Kevin to feel. Kevin regrets his sharpness and pulls Scotty closer to himself.
“No, I should be the one apologizing. I love you...” He sighs and he wraps his arms around his husband.
“It’s unlikely that the court will decide straightaway and hand over Elizabeth based on Tommys beautiful brown eyes.” Kevin says gently. “So, I’m afraid that we’re stuck with her for a little while longer.”
“I somehow don’t believe that you’d mind.” Scotty laughs.
“No. I don’t.” Kevin laughs.
“Talk to me, baby-girl.” Derek Morgan says, when he notices that Penelope needs his attention.
“I checked for the lay-out of the house. It’s unlikely that you’ll find anything in the house, it's too small to hide that many women.
I think you need to look underneath... Checking pictures with infrared imaging used to get a better view of the area, show that the house got extra spaces underneath the house over the last 10 years. The pictures were randomly taken because they searched the area for other things. The house most likely wouldn’t have caught anyone’s attention, because they weren’t looking for missing persons.”
“Thanks, baby-girl. Will check it out.” Gun in hand, he approaches the quiet and dark house. He can see Hotchner give quiet orders with his hands. Derek is the first to enter the house once the door is kicked down, there are noises in the house and shots are fired, but it happens elsewhere in the house, probably at the back of the house.
He checks every room he passes, but they are empty. Downstairs. He must get under the house somehow... In the kitchen he finally finds a door leading to a cellar, but in the cellar is no evidence of a door or anything else leading to anything under the house. He checks the entire ground level, but cannot find anything.
“Garcia!” He calls her again..
“Here, baby.” Garcia answers. “Find anyone?”
“I can’t find any evidence of anything being underneath the house. The cellar is a closed area. No other doors...”
“Checking....” Garcia’s fingers once again torture her keyboards. “I think I found something! There’s a barn on the property as well. The underground space seems to move from the house to the barn, but not be near the barn...”
“Thanks, I will have a look around.”
Morgan has no trouble finding the barn and once inside his flash-light quickly finds a hole in the floor covered under straw.
“Found something?” Hotchner asks. He had followed Morgan when he had seen him leave the house.
“Not sure. Help me move this...” Together they lift the wooden plate on the floor.
“There’s a tunnel underneath...” Hotchner says. Morgan nods. Together they follow the small tunnel until they arrive in a dimly lit place and their faces turn to horror. There are several large cages, holding about 10 women, in different stages of pregnancy...
“Oh, my God.” Hotchner says horrified.
“We need to get a medical team in here. Now!” Morgan runs back to get help, while Hotchner looks around at the women who look terrified and confused. He starts to recognize faces of the women he had studied for this case. He goes from cage to cage, gently speaking to each of the women.
“Don’t be afraid. I’m from the FBI. And you must be Liandra, right?...” The woman nods, shying away from the bright light of the flashlight. “... Samantha... Rachel....” The women back away from him and the light, clearly terrified. God knows how long some of these women had been here.
He kneels at the seventh cage and looks inside. Hiding half behind her bed he can see a blond woman. It takes a few seconds to recognize her, because her hair has been rudely cut and she has lost a lot weight, taking away all the cheerful roundness of the face he had seen in the pictures.
“Hi. Don’t be scared. We’ll get you out of here... We’ve been looking all over for you... You’re Julia, right? Julia Ridge?” Hotchner asks. Big eyes stare at him and for one moment he wonders if she had heard anything he said to her, but then she opens her mouth.
“Yes, I ‘m Julia.... Where’s my baby? ... I want Elizabeth!” And she starts to cry hysterically.
END OF EPISODE 23
The finale - episode 624 "Let the sunshine in" will be posted either 29 April or 30 April
As you may have noticed, I'm not always EXACTLY on schedule. :) The PLAN is to post on Sunday, but I fear it might be Monday instead. :)