Author's Note: This is the end of "A Star in the Jaw of the Clouds". I thought I had enough of the story left to go on for a few more parts, but so much of it was a lot of redundancy and incoherent ramblings that are typical of an insane and sleep-deprived teenage girl- not to mention the fact that I strayed so far from the original story that I overestimated the amount of material I had left.

Okay, so it's like this- this whole story started out as just one *really long* story (those who regularly keep up with the "NewsRadio FanFic Board" and my erratic posts there know that it's about 130-some longhand pages) with no *real* definite direction, no real ending, dozens upon dozens of cross-outs and write-ins, and just one basic jumble of words that all tie together in a loosely-connected storyline. It has since become a multi-part story that *still* has nothing real definite about it- save for a small group of loyal followers who have been a real boost to my both ego and to my faith in my abilities as a writer. Thanks to all of you who have written to me and told me how much you've enjoyed this ongoing saga of characters that I can't even claim as mine. I also thank all of you who aren't too fond of my story and *haven't* written to me- you all allow me to continue on with my na´ve delusions that make my life so much better.

"...res quas non posimus mutare..."

Part 8

Even though he was only a matter of inches away, the policeman reading the rights sounded so far away from her. Lisa had dropped the small handgun as soon as she realized what she had done. Or rather, *almost* done.
"Are you okay, ma'am?" one of the police offers asked Lisa, as the other two arrested Johnny. Lisa nodded silently, still a little dazed. It was only by the intervention of God- or her own poor aim- that all six of the bullets she fired whizzed by Johnny and imbedded themselves in her wall. She stared blankly at the round holes in her wall for what seemed like an eternity before Lisa managed to shake herself from her reverie.
"Where's Dave?" she asked suddenly, almost panicking when she realized that he was nowhere in sight.
"I'm sorry ma'am, who?" the officer asked.
"There was another man here.... kind of short, looks really young. He has a kind of a gap between his two front teeth-" Lisa cut herself off before she began to ramble.
The officer just smiled understandingly. "He's in the kitchen, ma'am, talking with another officer."
"Is he okay?" Lisa asked, still a little distraught.
He nodded. "Just a little roughed up." Lisa quickly thanked him and dashed to the kitchen. "Dave!" she exclaimed, feeling relieved. Dave, who was seated at the table with his back to Lisa, turned around and saw her. He grinned and got up to hug her. Lisa rushed to Dave, embracing him and let herself sob uncontrollably. Dave held Lisa as she cried.

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The police had left over an hour ago. Dave was glad to finally get rid of them. He had a feeling their presence bothered Lisa even more and Dave knew she wanted to be alone with him. Dave understood why she was so upset- he himself was still shaken up by the whole incident and there was a dull pain where Johnny had hit him on his head with the poker. Dave was lucky Johnny was so drunk, for his aim was off and his swing wasn't as powerful. He silently thanked God that both he and Lisa were safe and Johnny would be in prison for a *very* long time.
Lisa had eventually calmed down enough for Dave to talk to her, although neither of them had much to say. Dave wasn't sure what to say to Lisa and he didn't want to push her to talk tonight. He was more than just a little worried about her; Lisa was still trembling a bit, her eyes were glazed over, her face was still very pale, and she felt oddly cold. Dave wondered if she was in shock. Lisa eventually broke the silence.
"I'm really tired, Dave. I think I'm gonna go to bed." She got up from the couch. "Are we still leaving for New York tomorrow?"
"Are you sure you're up for it?" Dave asked. He wasn't sure if spending three hours in a car would be the best thing for her.
She nodded. "Yeah, I'd really like to get out of here for a few days."
Dave understood. "So... wanna leave at noon?"
Lisa shrugged. "Sure." She bent down for a quick kiss and left the room Dave watched her leave, and suddenly felt very alone. He had a very bad feeling that the night's events might drive a wedge between them. Dave understood that Lisa had been extremely unnerved by the whole thing, and he was amazed at how she handled the situation while Johnny was there, but he was the one with the painful goose-egg of a lump on his head. The possibility of a concussion ran through his head for a moment, but Dave quickly dismissed it. He sighed, wondering how the events that had transpired only hours before would affect their future relationship. Would Lisa push herself away for a while in an attempt to recuperate from the emotional trauma? Would the fear of almost losing him make her clingy and dependent? Would she try to forget about the whole thing and go on as they normally would?
And Dave had planned on proposing to Lisa when they got to New York. He had wanted to stop by Tiffany's and pick up an engagement ring, but would Lisa be willing to get married now? Her first marriage ended in a disaster - would this embitter her to the whole idea of marriage in the future? After all, she and Dave had a totally different relationship than she did with Johnny. Johnny was a stranger she hardly knew anything about. Lisa had known Dave for more than six years. They knew they were able to hold a steady relationship.
His head was starting to hurt. Dave wasn't sure if it was from the bump or from thinking too much. Still feeling very confused, Dave picked up the remote control and turned on the TV.

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Lisa sat on the edge of her bed, thinking very hard about what had happened to her earlier that night. Admittedly, she was still shaken up, but not a basket case. Lisa realized that Dave probably thought that she was traumatized by the whole thing. The truth was, it didn't really bother her that much. If she was anything, Lisa was angry. She was angry at herself for not being better prepared for Johnny's imminent return and for allowing him to get anywhere near Dave. Lisa was angry at Johnny for thinking that she had put her life on hold while he was gone and for thinking that she would pine away for him. But Lisa also finally understood several things that night, and it overwhelmed her. That's why she was such a wreck. The most important realization was that she could have very well lost Dave. Just the thought of it made her want to cry.
Lisa couldn't imagine life without Dave. Sure, she had been able to deceive herself into thinking that she was over him before, and that worked for a while, but they really *were* like one person. Even when they weren't going out, they still had an amazing connection. Dave was one of her closest friends and Lisa trusted him more than anyone else. When they weren't together, Lisa couldn't help but feel a little empty and incomplete. Which is why she never understood why they fought like an old married couple when they were dating.
Lisa smiled, and sprawled out on her bed. She was becoming incredibly sappy. She yawned and got up off the bed to turn out the lights. Lisa was too tired to think anymore.

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Dave woke up the next morning with a crick in his neck and the sensation of being licked by someone. At first he wondered what kind of kinky sex trick Lisa was pulling on him, but soon realized that Daisy was licking his face. It took Dave a few seconds to realize that he had fallen asleep on the couch. He wondered what time it was. Dave trudged to the kitchen, deciding that it couldn't be too early for coffee.
When he reached the kitchen, Lisa was already there, much to Dave's surprise. He walked over to her. "I didn't know you knew how to cook," Dave said, still half asleep.
Lisa smiled. "I don't. I'm using the microwave."
"It looked like you were cooking."
"Johnny must've hit you harder than you think for you to be imagining such things," Lisa remarked, still grinning.
Dave smiled back. "Nah, it's just wishful thinking." Lisa giggled and kissed him.
He willingly returned the kiss. After a beat, Dave said, "Are you okay? I mean, last night-"
She cut Dave off mid-sentence. "Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks. I just did a lot of thinking last night and it was all very overwhelming."
Dave nodded, not sure how to respond. He didn't want to push Lisa to tell him anything, but Dave wondered what could have possibly made her so upset. He shrugged it off, figuring that if Lisa seemed in better spirits and said she was okay, she must be fine. Besides, he'd known her long enough to know when she was upset and, unless Lisa had gotten extremely good at hiding her emotions, she seemed pretty stable for the time. Maybe he'd get to propose to her after all.

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