What If

CeeCee72

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I don't own any of the characters in this story and no copyright infringement is intended.


This is a "What if?" fanfic. What if in the season eleven episode "Top Gun" Sue Ellen had changed her mind at the last possible moment and instead of teaming up with Kimberly and Wendell to beat JR she voted her Weststar shares to make him CEO?


***


What If


Part 33


***


JR's eyes were dark with fury. McSween and Sly had brought Crystal to see him. She'd confessed to everything. She'd told them how Wendell had first approached her. She was working as a waitress in her father's diner. Wendell had pursued her, taken her out for several glamorous nights on the town and really turned on the charm. He'd convinced her that he cared for her, even hinted at possible marriage. He'd given her an apartment, a car, paid off her father's bank loan, and had gotten her a job at Weststar. Then, once Wendell had her totally dependent on him, he'd started demanding favors and spying. He took advantage of her sexually often and insisted that she sleep with some of his business associates, either to make them happy or to provide blackmail material. Whenever Crystal had tried to refuse him, he'd threaten to call in her father's loan and throw her entire family out onto the street. When she displeased him, he often punished her with physical or sexual abuse. He was responsible for the bombing, and he'd used this poor girl and her family to do his dirty work. She'd already lost her brother, and now she was staring down a long jail sentence for conspiracy and aiding and abetting.


"Oh, you poor thing!" Sue Ellen got up and moved to sit beside the younger woman. She pulled her into a hug and patted her on the back. "Don't you worry, Crystal. JR is going to take care of Jeremy Wendell. Aren't you, JR?" she looked up at her husband.


"Yes I will," JR said somberly. "Harry, what are our legal options?"


"You don't have any," Harry informed him. "It's her word against Wendell's."


"What about the phone logs?" JR asked.


"Circumstantial,"Harry told him. "We can only prove the calls were made.. We can't prove who was on the other end of the line or what was said. Right now, the only people implicated in a crime is Crystal and her brother."


Crystal started sobbing harder, "JR!" Sue Ellen hugged the other woman tighter. "You have to do something to help this poor child!"


"I will, honey," JR promised. He smiled at his wife and realized he had just fallen even more deeply in love with her. Just a short while ago, she'd referred to Crystal as a pop tart, but here she sat in front of him, hugging the pretty, young receptionist and demanding he do something to help her.


"What do you want to do, JR?" McSween asked him.


"Let's set the bastard up," JR said, a glint in his eye. "Get an immunity deal for Crystal, then let's set Wendell up for a hard fall."


"Alright, JR," McSween told him. "Sly, I think Crystal should stay with you tonight. Is that alright?"


"Of course," Sly spoke for the first time.


"See there, sweetie?" Sue Ellen patted Crystal. "JR will make it all okay."


Crystal drew back and looked into Sue Ellen's eyes. "Thank you, Mrs. Ewing. I know he's not doing it for me, but because you asked him too. I'm really sorry I was rude to you when you came into the office that day."


Sue Ellen laughed and brushed a stray lock of hair from Crystal's face. "I was the one who was rude," she said. "I apologize. I tend to get a little territorial where JR's concerned."


"Let's get going and let these folks rest," McSween told the two young women.


Sue Ellen hugged Crystal one last time. "No more worrying. JR will make it all go away."


Crystal nodded and Sly stepped forward to give Sue Ellen a hug. "I KNEW he was full of crap about the divorce," she whispered into Sue Ellen's ear before pulling back to wink at her.


Sue Ellen smiled and winked back.


***


"Should we tell JR and Sue Elllen?" Ellie asked worriedly.


Mandy had called Southfork and told Clayton that the boys were with her. Bobby and Ray had gone over to her apartment, retrieved them, and brought them back to Southfork. They had been banished to the playroom where Lucy was keeping a watchful eye on them.


"No, not tonight," Bobby sighed. "They'll be home from the hospital tomorrow. We'll tell them then."


"Might want to tell them before they get back to Southfork," Ray said thoughtfully. "Give them time to process it and decide how they want to handle it before they see the boys."


"That's a good point, Ray," Bobby agreed. "I'll go talk to them early in the morning before JR is discharged."


"What about Mandy?" Clayton asked. "She kidnapped the boys!"


"She also called and told us where they were,* Jenna spoke up. "I think we should leave her alone tonight and tomorrow morning Bobby and JR and Sue Ellen can decide what to do about her together."


"Bobby, I'm so sorry the boys overheard my conversation with Clayton. I should always be more careful."


"It's not your fault, Mama," Bobby told her. "I am going to have to go talk to them. I'd like for you to come with me. I think I might need backup."


"Yes, I think that's a good idea," Ellie sighed.


"Well, no time like the present," Bobby said, "may as well get it over with."


****


"JR? What's wrong?"


JR turned his head to look at his wife. "I was just thinking about Crystal," he confessed.


"Yes, it's all very sad, isn't it?" Sue Ellen sighed. "Wendell is awful preying on that poor girl that way."


"Yes, and that's what's bothering me. It is awful what he did, Sue Ellen. Nasty. Mean. Manipulative. Abusive.. And what's bothering me is that there was a time not so long ago when I would have done the exact same thing."


"JR, I highly doubt you would have tried to blow up an occupied oil rig. And you certainly wouldn't be physically abusive!"


"Maybe not," JR shrugged. "But I sure as hell would have romanced and blackmailed that little girl to get what I wanted from her."


Sue Ellen couldn't deny the truth of his words. JR had done some truly horrible things in the past. There was no use sugarcoating anything now.


"Sue Ellen" JR whispered. "I'm not that man anymore. And I thank you for loving me all these years, even as though I rarely deserved it.'


Sue Ellen reached out and took his hand. "I will always love you, JR. No matter what."


"Yes. But from now on, I'll always work to make sure I'm worthy of your love. I promise."


***


John Ross and Christopher raised their wide, frightened eyes to see who was coming into their playroom.


"We'll take it from here, Lucy," Bobby told his niece,


Lucy stood up and nodded. She walked over and gave each little boy a hug. "I'll be down the hall if anyone needs me."


"Alright boys," Bobby sat at the play table with them. "Time for a serious talk."


Miss Ellie walked over to a rocking chair and sat down. "We need you to pay close attention to us, alright?"


Both boys nodded somberly.


"Boys, do you know what the biggest problem about eavesdropping is?" Bobby asked, keeping his tone gentle. Both boys shook their heads. "The problem with eavesdropping is that you never get the whole story. When you listen to someone else's conversation, you can't know what was said before or after what you heard. It causes a lot of confusion and hurt feelings."


"We didn't mean to bear it,* John Ross protested. "We just happened to be there. And besides, why are we the ones in trouble when you're the ones who lied?"


"We didn't lie, John Ross," Bobby said firmly.


"We heard Grandma say Uncle JR was my father!" Christopher cried.


"No, Christopher," Miss Ellie broke in. "You heard me say that at one time Sue Ellen thought JR was your father."


"What's the difference?" John Ross demanded.


"The difference is that as it turned out, JR isn't Christopher's natural father," Bobby told him. *His father was a man named Jeff Faraday. He died when both of you were just babies. So, you see? We didn't lie."


"So...Uncle JR is my uncle and not my daddy?* Christopher asked.


"I am your daddy, Christopher," Bobby reminded him. "But yes, JR is your uncle. Your biological father is dead, just as we told you."


"Wow. Hey, John Ross, we just misunderstood," Christopher said.


"So what?" John Ross shot back defiantly. "That still means my Mama's sister was my daddy's girlfriend. That's not right! It's gross!"


Bobby didn't know what to say, he looked over at his mother, silently pleading for help.


"Yes, John Ross, yes. And that was very wrong," she finally said. "You're demanding to be told the truth and to be treated in an adult way, so that's exactly what I'm going to do. Come here," she held out her hand to him.


John Ross stood and walked over to stand in front of his grandmother. Miss Ellie took his hand and moved her face close to his.


"You know perfectly well that your parents have had a difficult marriage and there have been times they weren't living together as man and wife. During one of those times, JR started seeing your aunt. I know it seems horrible, but it happened and we can't pretend it didn't. There was a lot of anger and hurt and it's part of what led to your parent's divorce. But your mother and father love one another very much. VERY much. Sue Ellen forgave JR. She forgave him because she loves him and because she loves you so very much. You know your parents both have had problems, but today they are together, closer than I've ever seen them, and your family is a happy one. The past doesn't matter, no matter how painful it was. What matters now is how much your parents love you - how much this entire family loves you - and that goes for you too, Christopher."


John Ross bowed his head and stared down at the floor. "But what if Daddy gets a new girlfriend and Mama starts drinking again?"


"Oh, John Ross," Miss Ellie pulled him close to her and wrapped his arms around him. "I refuse to lie to you. I can't promise that will never happen again but I have to have faith in your parents that now after all these years they finally understand that neither of them will ever be happy without the other. And if the worst DOES happen, we'll all be here to help you through it. We're a family. We love each other. You will ALWAYS have our love and support."


John Ross hugged her back and finally gave into his tears. "I love you, Grandma."


"Oh and I love you, so very much," she hugged him tightly. "And you too," she said holding her hand out to Christopher who jumped up and ran over to join the hug.


Bobby watched the three of them, holding tightly to one another and crying. He had never been more thankful for his mother than he was at that exact moment.


He sighed and ran a frustrated hand through his hair. He was going to have to tell Christopher about his trip to Canada and why he was going. The boys were right; secrets and lies would only destroy their family in the long run.


Tomorrow morning he would go see JR and Sue Ellen before they left the hospital. The three of them needed to have a serious conversation about the emotional damage they'd all done to their children and decide how they were going to begin to correct their mistakes.


And there was still Mandy Winger to consider. They'd have to figure out what to do about her as well.


***


"JR? Are you awake?"


JR turned his head to look at his wife who was lying on her cot beside his bed. "I am. What's wrong, honey? Are you feeling poorly again?"


"No… I just keep thinking about Crystal."


"Don't worry, darlin'," he told her. "You asked me to help her and I will."


"I know," Sue Ellen said softly. "That's not what I'm thinking about."


"Then what?" JR asked.


Sue Ellen sat up and reached out to take his hand. "Why didn't you sleep with her?"


"What?" JR asked, surprised by the question.


"You heard what she said. Wendell told her to sleep with you. She was flirting and making sure you knew she was sexually available to you. She's so young and pretty. And you and I were separated and planning to divorce. So why didn't you sleep with her?"


JR turned his head away from her and swallowed hard. "I admit there was a time I would have taken her up on her offer gladly, whether you and I were separated or not. But…"


"What?" Sue Ellen pressed.


"Oh, honey. I won't lie. I was tempted. I thought about it. I even tried to convince myself that it wouldn't count as cheating because you'd made me leave Southfork. But then, I guess I just realized it wasn't worth it. You were so angry at me already. If I'd slept with her I couldn't honestly deny it when you accused me. I knew I had a very small chance of winning you back. Sleeping with Crystal would have shut the door on any hope. Besides," he focused his eyes on her face, "I only wanted you. Desperately. Crystal might have been able to give me a physical release but she couldn't satisfy my real hunger. You're the only woman who's ever been able to do that."


Sue Ellen stood up and moved to sit beside him on his bed. "JR, don't you see? Always before none of that would have mattered. You'd have taken the release she offered and not felt one bit guilty over it. You HAVE changed."


"Yes, I guess I have," he agreed. "I'm just glad it happened before I lost you forever."


Sue Ellen laid down beside him and rested her head on his chest. He brought his arms up to hold her and placed a soft kiss on the top of her head. They fell asleep together, wrapped in the comforting protection of their new commitment to one another.


***


"Christopher, do you understand what I've told you? Bobby asked gently.


"I think so, " Christopher said. "My mommy might be dead and you and Uncle Cliff and April are going to go to Canada tomorrow to find out for sure."


"That's right. And I'll call you as soon as I know and tell you the truth, okay? I know it hurts to think Mommy may be gone, but I promise we'll get through whatever happens together."


"Okay, Daddy."


"John Ross? Do you have any questions for me?" Bobby asked the other boy.


"If Aunt Pam is still alive are you going to bring her home with you?" John Ross asked.


"I don't know," Bobby answered. "I guess that will depend on whether or not she wants to come home."


"Uncle Bobby, did you ever meet Christopher's real daddy?"


"I'm Christopher's real daddy, John Ross," Bobby reminded him. "But if you're asking me if I ever met his biological father, the answer is yes. I met him several times before he died."


"What was he like?" Christopher asked.


"He was… well, Christopher, he had problems just like your natural mother. They both had addictions. Do you know what that means?"


"Like with my mama and alcohol," John Ross said sadly.


"Yes. But they weren't strong like your mama. They couldn't stop like she did. It killed Kristen and Jeff knew he couldn't take care of Christopher, so he called me and asked me to take him."


"And then he died?" Christopher asked.


"Yes. But boys - it's important you both understand, Christopher is my son, same as John Ross is JR's son. There's no difference."


"Like with Ray and Lucas?" Christopher asked.


Bobby's eyes grew wide. "What do you mean?"


Christopher shrugged.


"Uncle Bobby, you were going to marry Jenna and she was going to have your baby, but it didn't work out. Jenna married Ray and now he's Lucas's daddy."


"Yes, the only difference is Lucas will know I am not just his uncle, but his biological father. But you boys are right, Ray is his real daddy."


"Man, our family is tangled up," John Ross sighed.


"Yes," Bobby agreed. "But we love each other. And we can get through anything because of that love. Understand?"


Both boys nodded.


"Alright, you two try to get some sleep. I'll be right down the hall if you need me, okay?"


Bobby stood up and walked to the door. "Goodnight boys," he turned off the light. "I love you both. Very much."


***


Where was that girl?


Jeremy slammed his empty glass down on the table and raised his hand to let Cassie know he needed another.


He'd been by Crystal's apartment. She wasn't home. He'd called her father's house. She wasn't there either. She had broken his rules. She knew damned well the terms of their relationship was controlled by him and him alone. She obviously needed a reminder of who was in charge. He would have to think about what the appropriate punishment for not making herself available to him was. It couldn't be anything too awfully brutal; after all, now that JR had dismissed Mandy Winger from his life, Crystal was more important than ever to Jeremy's plans.


So, he wouldn't hurt her.


At least not too much.


Just enough to remind her who owned her and to make dead certain she never, ever forgot her place again.


***
 

Miss Texas 1967

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They should get out some pictures of Kristin to show to the boys. Maybe even that one picture JR had of Kristin with the baby in the hospital. It would help to at least put a face to the person.

Also interesting they haven't mentioned Lisa Alden's relation. She's the same degree of separated as Sue Ellen is biologically.
 

CeeCee72

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That's an excellent idea about Kristen.

Lisa is actually going to make an appearance (a small one).

You guys have been so great with all the guesses and suggestions.
 

Karin Schill

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Nice to see Jenna and Ray make an appearance. They are also more rare to come across in fanfics, except for the ones that are Donna/Ray focused.
I still think Bobby was a jerk to Jenna though the way he turned his back on Lucas. Even if I understand his reasons for doing so. (Not wanting to hurt Ray & Christopher).

I am glad to see that Mandy grew a backbone and did the right thing whereas the boys are concerned. She finally realized that JR didn't love her.

I have a bad feeling about the Pam resolution. If she's not coming back I rather would have just left her fate open ended as on the original show, as I hate to see her dead.
I feel bad for Christopher. He's so confused. But at least he's got John Ross.

JR is really trying to be a better man this time. I'm looking forward to the vow renewal. :heart:
I hope it does turn into a family affair.

Over all good job of writing for several characters. I like how you have incorporated most of them into your story. :)
 

CeeCee72

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I don't own any of the characters in this story and no copyright infringement is intended.


This is a "What if?" fanfic. What if in the season eleven episode "Top Gun" Sue Ellen had changed her mind at the last possible moment and instead of teaming up with Kimberly and Wendell to beat JR she voted her Weststar shares to make him CEO?


***


What If


Part 34


***


"Oh my God," Sue Ellen moaned. She was on her knees in front of the toilet. Her nausea had been so powerful it had woken her up out of a dead sleep. She'd been vomiting for what felt like forever.


There was a brief knock on the bathroom door. "Mrs. Ewing? Are you alright in there"


"Yes," Sue Ellen said shakily. "I'll be right out."


She flushed the toilet and stood up slowly. The dizziness returned. She grabbed onto the sink to keep from falling. She took several deep breaths and turned on the water, quickly brushed her teeth, and splashed cold water over her face.


She grabbed a paper towel and wiped her face and then turned to open the bathroom door. There was a young nurse waiting for her on the other side.


"Let's get you back in bed, Mrs. Ewing," Sue Ellen leaned her weight on the other woman and allowed her to take her to her cot. She sat down slowly and took a few more deep breaths.


"Something has got to be done," JR growled. "Menopause, stomach virus, whatever it is, my wife is NOT going to suffer like this, do you understand me?"


"JR, please," Sue Ellen tried to placate him.


"No, Sue Ellen," he held up his hand to stop her. "You get that doctor over here right now," he demanded, turning his attention back to the nurse. "Right now!"


"Right away, Mr. Ewing," the nurse nodded, scurrying from the room.


"Honey, you lay down now. Do you need anything?"


"No, JR," Sue Ellen said. "I think the worst has passed."


"Good morning, folks," the doctor said coming into the room. "Although from the looks of it there's nothing good about it."


"I'm fine, doctor," Sue Ellen told him.


"She most certainly is not fine," JR said.


"I can see that," the doctor sat on the cot and took Sue Ellen's blood pressure and pulse. "You're heart rate is pretty high,* he told her. "Let's increase your dosage of nausea medication. I'll also prescribe something specifically for dizziness. Lay down and rest and I'll come back in a few hours and see how you're doing and if any changes need to be made."


"And you, Mr. Ewing," he chuckled a little, "your blood pressure and heart rate spiked even more than hers. You need to rest too if you still want to get out of here in a few hours."


"Forget about me," JR snapped. "Is this normal? For a woman to be so sick because of hormones?"


"Actually, it's fairly common," the doctor informed him. "It can usually be controlled through medication, but sometimes it takes a few tries to find the right combination. That's one of the reasons she needs to see an OBGYN as soon as possible."


"Would you both please stop talking about me as if I'm it here?" Sue Ellen snapped.


"Sorry Mrs. Ewing," the doctor sighed.


The nurse came back in with some pills and a cup of water for Sue Ellen.


"Both of you rest," the doctor told them.


JR waited for the nurse and doctor to leave the room then turned his attention back to Sue Ellen. "Do you want to rest there or come up here with me?"


"Oh, JR, I'm soaked in sweat."


"So?" JR grinned. "I've slept with you covered in sweat plenty of times. Of course, I was always what had made you sweaty."


Sue Ellen laughed in spite of herself. "I probably would sleep better next to you."


"Climb on up," he said, pulling back the sheets.


Sue Ellen carefully stood and slowly got into the bed. She laid her head on his chest, instantly comforted by the sound of his heartbeat.


"Thank you for being so kind and understanding, JR."


JR kissed her forehead and wrapped his arms around her. "Better late than never," he mumbled as they both drifted off to sleep.


***


"You sure you don't want me to go with you, Bob?" Ray asked his brother."Sue Ellen is liable to lose her mind. She might be a handful. Gonna be hard for you to handle both her and JR."


"You're right," Bobby said, taking a gulp of his coffee. "But I really need you to stay here with the boys. Lucy and Jenna have that meeting with the florist and Mama and Clayton have to go see the sheriff to claim Dusty's body."


"Alright," Ray nodded. "They grounded or can I take them out riding?"


"The fresh air will do them good," Bobby said. "And I don't think a grounding will do anything now but make them angrier than they already are."


"Those boys have been through a lot in a short period of time," Ray said. "No wonder they:re angry."


"Be forewarned, Ray. They're asking a lot of tough questions. Last night they asked me about Lucas."


"What about him?"


"They asked me who his real daddy was."


"What did you say?"


"I told them the truth, Ray," Bobby sighed. "I told them that I am Lucas's biological father, but you're his real daddy."


"Did they understand?"


"I think so," Bobby said. "Listen I'd better get going. I don't want JR getting discharged before I get there."


"Good luck, Bobby. Call if you need me. And Bobby?"


"Yeah?"


"You are always welcome to be involved in Lucas's upbringing as much as you want."


"I know, Ray. I know."


***


"Repeat it all back to me again," McSween said.


"JR called me over to the hospital last night. He wanted to tell me and Sly that he was going to be out of the office for a couple more weeks. We were there until almost 10. After we left the hospital, Sly insisted I go back with her to her place for a few drinks. I got drunk and passed out on her couch."


"And what did you learn from Sly during those drinks?"


"That JR was planning to sell his Weststar stock to April Stevens and convinced Sue Ellen to do the same.It was easy because Sue Ellen is drinking again. Once April has the stocks, JR is going to divorce Sue Ellen quickly, using her alcohol abuse as grounds. He is going to send her to a sanitarium and then buy the stocks back at twice what April paid for them."


"Very good, young lady," McSween said. "JR did you get all that?"


"I got it," JR's voice came out of the speaker phone. "Remember, she has to meet Wendell in a public place. I don't want her alone with him."


"Got it, JR," McSween told him. "Now Crystal, you have to get him to say he masterminded the bombing. Can you do that?"


"Yes," Crystal said. "I think so."


"Okay, you ladies get to work," McSween said to Sly and Crystal. I'll be right behind you."


He turned off the speaker function and picked up the handset. "JR, I talked to Miss Stevens this morning. She'll confirm your story to Wendell if necessary, but is leaving town at 2:00 and will be gone for several days."


McSween listened to JR's reply. "Yes. I understand. I'll call you as soon as it's done."


***


"I'm serious, Mama," Lucy sighed Into the phone. "He seems really different. I'm not asking you to trust him. I don't trust him. But the fact he even wants to invite you and daddy is a small miracle. If you say no, it's going to make it look like he's the bigger person."


Lucy rolled her eyes as she listened to her mother's reply.


"I think he's being genuine, or at least as genuine as he can be. I think you should come, Mama."


Lucy's face broke out into a bright smile. "That's wonderful, Mama. I can't wait to see you! Call me when you have your flight information and I'll make sure to pick you up at the airport. Love you! Talk to you soon!"


"They're coming?" Jenna asked.


"They're coming!" Lucy yelled excitedly, giving the other woman a huge hug. "My parents are coming back to Southfork!"


***


"Feel better after your shower, darlin'?" JR asked his wife when she came out of the bathroom.


"Yes, I think the new medication is working much better," Sue Ellen told him, sitting down on the edge of his bed. "JR…"


"What?"


"I heard you on the phone with McSween."


"So?" JR shrugged. "You asked me to help Crystal. The DA said if she got a confession on tape he'd give her immunity. This is how we get that confession."


"Yes... but…"


"What, Sue Ellen?" he asked, becoming slightly annoyed. "If you have something to say, say it."


"That story. That I'm drinking, that you're going to lock me in a sanitarium and divorce me…"


"Sue Ellen, the story has to be believable," JR sighed. "You heard Crystal last night. Wendell already has it in his head that you're back on the bottle. This is a perfect cover story."


"I guess it just hits a little too close to home for comfort," she said quietly, staring at the sheets on the bed.


"Honey, this is who I am. It's what I do. I'm devious and cunning. It's why I've always been a winner and it"s one of the things that attracts you to me."


"Yes," she looked up at him. "I won't deny that."


"Then what's the problem?"


"I guess using our past problems this way just makes me uncomfortable. What if Wendell doesn't confess and he spreads those awful things all over Dallas?"


"Sue Ellen, our problems are well known. Half of Dallas knew I was living in a condo before I even unpacked my suitcase. We're always going to be the source of gossip. But you don't need to worry. Wendell will be behind bars before he has a chance to repeat one word. And soon the whole world is going to know for a fact that we're together, you're sober, we're happy, and I am so deeply in love with you and committed to our marriage that I can hardly contain myself."


"How is the whole world going to know that, JR?"


"Well...I… " He paused to form a proper response, realizing he'd almost slipped up and given away his surprise. "By the way I live my life. And don't forget, the Oil Baron's Ball is coming up. People will see us there and know all is right in our world."


"Alright, JR," she whispered and leaned forward to kiss him. "I trust you."


"Those are the most precious words you've ever said to me," JR claimed her mouth in a sweet, loving kiss.


Bobby cleared his throat from the doorway. "Sorry to interrupt," he said, "but the three of us need to talk."


"What's wrong Bobby?" Sue Ellen asked, noticing the worn and worried look on his face. "Are the boys alright?"


"They're fine for now, they're with Ray. But something very disturbing happened last night. I decided to wait until this morning to tell you because there was nothing you could do and I didn't want you to spend the whole night worried and upset."


"What happened Bobby?" Sue Ellen was starting to panic. "They're not hurt, are they?"


"Not physically," Bobby sighed. "They overheard something that upset them and ran away from home. And they ran to Mandy Winger."


***


"That didn't go very well," Lucy pouted. "I'm sorry, Jenna. I've never planned a wedding before. Grandma did all the work for both of mine."


"You did fine, Lucy," Jenna laughed. "It's not your fault that you couldn't answer all his questions. How can you possibly know what kind of flowers to put in the bridesmaids' bouquet when you don't even know if there are even going to be bridesmaids? I know JR wants this to be a surprise, but he's going to have to tell her soon. She needs to make some of these decisions and she's going to need to pick out her own dress."


"He's planning to propose to her formally tomorrow night. He said he'd talk to me about it when he got home this afternoon so I could help him set up all the romantic ambiance."


"Two things I never thought would go together is JR Ewing and romantic ambiance!" Jenna giggled.


Lucy laughed too and shook her head. "He really is determined to make this perfect for Sue Ellen. I hope the problems with the boys don't spoil their new peace."


"Considering everything those boys have been through, it's really amazing that they're as well adjusted as they are," Jenna said.


"Yeah. The price of being a Ewing," Lucy muttered. She glanced at her watch. "I'd better get going. I've got to pick up Sue Ellen's ring in an hour."


"Want some company?" Jenna asked.


"I'd love some," Lucy smiled.


"Let me get Lucas ready real quick," Jenna stood up. "I can't wait to see that ring. JR always did have an eye for beautiful jewelry!"


***


"You okay, John Ross"?" Ray asked the boy.


John Ross was sitting on the fence that separated Ray's property from Southfork, watching Christopher ride his pony around in a circle. "Yeah. I guess so. My daddy is gonna kill me when he gets home."


"He'll probably be pretty mad," Ray nodded. "But if you're honest with him about why you did it, you might be surprised at how understanding your daddy will be."


"Maybe," John Ross shrugged. "It's not Christopher's fault, you know. I'm the oldest. I talked him into it."


"It's not your fault either, John Ross," Ray moved closer and leaned against the fence where John Ross was sitting. "There's been a lot of drama in this family for a long time. Your parents' marital problems, Aunt Pam leaving, all the craziness with Clayton's sister. It's been a lot for even us grown-ups to handle."


"Uncle Ray, I'm going to miss you when you move to Switzerland."


"I'll miss you too," Ray told him. "But I'll be back a lot to help Clayton with the horses. And you can always call me John Ross, anytime, for any reason. If you need me, I'll hop right on a plane and come back. Understand?"


"Yeah," John Ross smiled. "I love you, Uncle Ray.*


***


"I'm going to kill that woman," JR seethed.


"Calm down, JR. You know you can't kill her," Bobby sighed. "Maybe we should just let it go. She called us and told us she had the boys after all."


"Is that supposed to mean something?" JR raged. "She should have called the minute John Ross called her. Instead, she drove all the way to Southfork, put them in her car, and took them home with her! That's kidnapping, Bobby. If I can't kill her, I can damn sure have her arrested!"


"No, JR," Sue Ellen spoke for the first time, her voice quivering, "I don't want her arrested. The publicity would be awful. Our marriage will be under a microscope. And John Ross and Christoher will see it all in the newspapers! I won't have that JR!"


"You listen here, Sue Ellen, I'll not have that woman interfering in our family…."


His voice trailed off when he saw the painful, stricken look on her face. She had always been especially sensitive to gossip. So much of her life has been made into tabloid fodder - Cliff's paternity suit, her drinking, his affairs - she'd dealt with so much humiliation. Gossip hadn't bothered JR one bit since his father had died, but he knew it had always bothered her deeply.


And she was right. If Mandy was arrested for kidnapping the Ewing boys, it would be all over the news. His affair with the other woman would be the source of a lot of ridicule directed at Sue Ellen, and the boys would be able to read about it all in the papers.


"Okay, honey," he said, his voice calm and gentle. "I'll calm down. We'll make sure it stays out of the papers. Just so you understand that I'm not doing it for her, but for you and the boys.'


"Thank you, JR," she sighed, her voice full of relief.


"So no police," Bobby spoke up. "We're just going to ignore it? Let her go on with her life as if nothing happened?"


"No," JR's eyes narrowed, "we'll handle it ourselves. Bobby. You and I are gonna go pay Mandy a visit."


"I'm going too, JR," Sue Ellen said firmly. "They're my boys too."


"Now honey," JR said, "it's going to be ugly. Some of the things I have to say are going to be hard for you to hear."


"It will be harder for me if I'm not there to hear them and I always have to wonder…"


JR sighed and reached out to cover her hand with his. "Alright, Sue Ellen," he said, squeezing her hand. "You just remember how much I love you while I'm dealing with Mandy. Promise?"


Sue Ellen nodded and tried to smile.


Bobby sat back on his chair and closed his eyes. He knew JR was right, Mandy needed to be confronted and handled. He didn't think it was wise for Sue Ellen to be there, but it wasn't his decision.


He just hoped there wouldn't be a cat fight and that JR didn't blow up and ruin this new relationship he was building with his wife.


That would be disastrous, for JR, for Sue Ellen, for John Ross, and for the entire family.


***


"I'll have him buried next to his mother," Clayton told Ellie, sliding behind the wheel of his car.


"Clayton, I wish there was something I could do to help you get through the pain."


Clayton turned his head to look at her. "I regret that I lost touch with Steven. I regret how he died. I regret that I didn't get to say goodbye to him. But, I've been reading about Huntington's disease. Maybe it's for the best he passed before it turned him into a complete shell of himself. "


"Sometimes life seems cruel," Ellie said softly, "but sometimes it only feels that way because we don't understand what we're being spared."


"That's a good way of putting it," Clayton tried to smile. "Anyway, we'd better get back to Southfork. Ray is alone with the boys until Bobby gets back from the hospital with JR and Sue Ellen."


"We're all going to need to work together to keep an eye on those two," Ellie sighed. "I really think they both need some sort of counseling, but JR will never allow it."


"JR might not have a choice," Clayton said, putting the car in gear and backing out of his parking space. "John Ross and Christopher are both traumatized. They may need more help than we can give them."


"You know how JR feels about counselors and psychologists. He'll never stand for it."


"Oh, I don't know, Ellie," Clayton said thoughtfully, pulling onto the highway., "JR doesn't have a lot of redeeming qualities, but his love for those boys is one of them. He'll do the right thing by them."


"I hope you're right, Clayton. I really do."


***


"Mr. Ewing, you need to restrict your activities for the next few weeks. I've scheduled a follow-up appointment with you. The nurse will give you the appointment card with your discharge papers."


"Restrict my activities how exactly?" JR asked the doctor, "because if you think I'm going to lay around in bed…"


"No, Mr. Ewing," the doctor chuckled. "Just ease back into your regular routine slowly. Do half days at the office for a while. When you feel tired, rest. And don't run any marathons."


"I won't let him overdo it, doctor," Sue Ellen promised.


"Don't let yourself over do it either, Mrs. Ewing," the doctor warned her. "I'm glad the new medications seem to be working, but you need to see your doctor as soon as possible."


"I will," Sue Ellen nodded.


"Alright. You both have a nice trip home. Please call my office if you need anything."


"I'm just going to make one last check in the bathroom to be sure we're not forgetting anything," Sue Ellen said and walked away.


"What's wrong with Sue Ellen?" Bobby asked JR when she was out of sight, "why does she need to see a doctor?"


"Oh…. it's nothing, Bob," JR said, looking over the instructions the doctor had left for him."Probably just a stomach virus."


"Listen, JR, I think it's a really bad idea for Sue Ellen to go with us to Mandy's. Things could get out of control real quick."


"I don't like it either, Bob," JR told him, "but you heard what Sue Ellen said. She feels like she needs to go."


"Talk her out of it JR!" Bobby pleaded. "A blow up will bring just as much gossip as an arrest."


"Bobby," JR said, his voice annoyed. "I'm not gonna have my wife always wondering what I said to Mandy and what she said to me. I won't let it come to a blow up. I'll handle it gently, so Sue Ellen isn't upset."


"JR! We're talking about your mistress kidnapping your son! How could Sue Ellen NOT get upset?"


"I know what I'm doing, Bob," JR snapped. "You're just gonna have to trust me for once in our lives. Sue Ellen needs closure on the Mandy Winger affair and I'm gonna make damn sure she gets it!!"


***


"I'm running out of legitimate reasons to fight your extradition back to Texas," the young lawyer said. "The charges against you are serious, but none are capital crimes. The Canadian court will send you back. There's not much more I can do."


"Did you send my letter to my lawyers in Zurich like I asked?"


"Yes. So far I've not gotten a response."


"I didn't ask them to respond to you. Is there anything else you need to waste my time with or can I go back to the peace and quiet of my cell?"


"There is a visitation request," the lawyer sighed.


"Who?"


"A Cliff Barnes...and a Bobby Ewing. They want to see you tomorrow afternoon."


"Oh, by all means," Katherine smiled at him. "And don't worry. It appears my people in Zurich did their job to perfection. Our extradition problem has just been solved."


***
 

Sarah

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I am fearful this isn’t menopause with Sue Ellen.

Really looking forward to seeing The Thing of Evil being put in her place. Once and for all.
 

CeeCee72

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I don't own any of the characters in this story and no copyright infringement is intended.


This is a "What if?" fanfic. What if in the season eleven episode "Top Gun" Sue Ellen had changed her mind at the last possible moment and instead of teaming up with Kimberly and Wendell to beat JR she voted her Weststar shares to make him CEO?


***


What If


Part 35


***


Mandy stiffened when she heard the knock on the door. She'd been expecting it all morning. She didn't know if it would be the police coming to arrest her or one of JR's goons coming to threaten her, but the one thing she was sure of was that JR wouldn't let her get away with what she'd done to his family.


"May as well get it over with," she sighed, walking across the living room. She took a deep breath and opened the door.


"JR?" She breathed out in surprise, "I thought you were in the hospital?"


"I was discharged this morning," JR said curtly. "Step aside, Mandy, we're coming in."


"We?" She looked past JR and saw Bobby and Sue Ellen for the first time. She moved out of the way and the three of them came into the apartment.


"Please have a seat," she gestured toward the living room. "Can I get you anything?"


"No,* JR said stiffly."And you know damned well this isn't a social call."


Mandy nodded and led them to the living room. The three Ewings took seats on the couch and she sat down in a chair opposite them. She noticed JR reach over, grab Sue Ellen's hand, and pull it onto his lap. She inhaled a deep breath and looked away.


"Obviously, you know what this is about," JR told her. "I'm going to give you the opportunity to explain to us why you did something so incredibly moronic and dangerous, then I'm going to tell you exactly what we're going to do about it. Understand?"


"Yes, JR, I understand," Mandy replied, unable to meet his eyes.


"Get to it then."


Mandy took a deep breath. "John Ross called me out of the blue. He said he got my number from the operator. He told me he and Christoher were running away from home and that they had plenty of money but needed an adult to help them get somewhere to hide. I told him it was a bad idea, but he threatened to hang up so I agreed to help."


"Why didn't you call us right away?" Bobby demanded.


"I thought about it, but then…" Mandy shrugged, "it occurred to me that if I could get him over here and make him comfortable, then I could call JR and tell him John Ross was with me. I was going to let JR know that John Ross had sought me out for help and that he trusted me." She paused and locked her eyes on JR's face. "I wanted to show you that I could be a good mother to John Ross, better than Sue Ellen could ever be."


"And you thought JR would drop me like a bag of garbage and come running back to you," Sue Ellen said bitterly. "You thought the three of you would live happily ever after, playing house while you raised my son."


JR squeezed Sue Elle's hand to calm her. "I always knew you thought more with your heart than your head, Mandy, but until now I never thought you were stupid."


Mandy looked away and wiped a tear from her cheek."I just was so in love with you…" her voice broke and she began to sob quietly.


JR sighed heavily and shook his head. "That's my fault,* he said quietly. "I did everything I could to make you fall in love with me," he admitted. "Mandy, I'm going to say some things now that are going to be very hard for you to hear." He turned and looked at Sue Ellen. "It's going to be hard on you too, Sue Ellen, but it all needs to be said. Okay, honey?"


Sue Ellen gave him a small, sad smile and nodded her head.


"Mandy, when you and I first got together, my marriage was in ruins. Sue Ellen and I were at each other's throats. She was drinking again. I was tired. Tired of her drama and her emotional demands and outbursts. She'd stopped sleeping with me and moved into her own bedroom. I tried to make things right with her, but she wouldn't forgive me. It was the lowest point ever in my marriage, even lower than when we divorced. I was frustrated. I just wanted out."


He stopped talking when he heard Sue Ellen let out a soft cry. He bent his head and placed a soft kiss on her cheek. "It's okay, honey," he whispered into her ear. "I love you."


Sue Ellen nodded and he turned his attention back to Mandy. "All those things I told you in the beginning, Mandy, I want you to know I meant them at the time. I wasn't deceiving you. I was deceiving myself. As time went on, I convinced myself that I truly loved you. I gave up on Sue Ellen and did everything I could to drive her to give me a divorce. I created a fantasy in my mind that you and I would marry, you'd move to Southfork, we'd raise a family, and I'd finally have the loyal, obedient wife I thought I deserved."


"But it didn't work out that way, did it?" Mandy said sadly.


"No. It didn't," JR agreed. "One night Sue Ellen sent word through our maid that she wanted me to come to her room and talk to her. I took up a bottle of vodka to torment her. But when I saw her…"


JR stopped to breathe. He looked at Sue Ellen and smiled at her wistfully. "You were so beautiful," he said to her, ignoring that Mandy and Bobby were in the room. "So strong. And so damn sexy. You told me you wanted me. All the anger and bitterness just melted. I forgot about everything except how much I wanted you."


He turned back to Mandy. "She threw me out of her bedroom that night, along with the bottle of vodka. She told me she hated me. But I knew that wasn't true. It wasn't hate. It was passion. And I felt the same way about her. I made up my mind that very night that somehow, I was going to win her back. I finally understood that no woman, not even you Mandy, could make me feel the way Sue Ellen does. The lingerie pictures were just an excuse. I broke it off with you because I wanted her. And when I found out she was the one who orchestrated the Valentine campaign, knowing I'd walk away from you, it made me want her even more. She said she did it to hurt me, but she did it because she was jealous. That meant she still loved me."


"JR, why are you telling me all of this?" Mandy asked tearfully.


"Because Mandy, that girlish fantasy you have that Sue Ellen only holds onto me because of John Ross has to end. I stay with Sue Ellen because I love her. No other woman could ever replace her in my bed for long or in my heart at all. Do you understand?"


"Yes," Mandy nodded, tears flowing freely from her eyes now. "I understand, JR."


"I could have you arrested for kidnapping," he told her. "I won't, because my wife has asked me not to. But I want you on a flight out of Dallas this afternoon. You're not to ever contact me or my family ever again, and you're not to talk about me, our relationship, my son, or especially my wife to anyone ever again, understand? The statute of limitations on kidnapping in Texas is five years. If I ever hear another peep from you, I'll have you thrown in jail without a second thought, gossip and scandal be damned. I need you to tell me that you understand me and that you know I'm serious."


"I understand, JR," Mandy said through her tears. "And I know you're dead serious."


"Good," he nodded at her. "Bobby, Sue Ellen? Anything either of you want to add?"


"No, JR," Bobby stood up. "I think you've covered everything."


"Honey?" He asked Sue Ellen.


"Mandy, I know you won't believe this, but I am truly sorry you got caught between mine and JR's crossfire. I'm sorry you were hurt so badly."


"I do believe you, Sue Ellen," Mandy told her. "And for what it's worth, I realize now that what you said to me the day I left to shoot my first movie is true; JR will never leave you for another woman."


Sue Ellen nodded and let JR help her off the couch.


JR leveled his eyes on Mandy's face. "I mean it, Mandy. Get on a plane and out of Dallas. Don't ever do anything to make me hear your name again."


***


"Thank you for calling Weststar. This is Crystal. How may I direct your call?"


"It's him," she mouthed silently. McSween jumped up from his chair and quietly picked up another phone so he could listen in.


"Where were you last night, Crystal? You know better than to be gone at night without my permission."


"I'm sorry, Jeremy," she said nervously. "I couldn't help it. JR called me and Sly over to the hospital. It was late when he let us go and Sly insisted I come to her apartment for drinks. I had too much and passed out on her couch."


"Why didn't you call me?" Wendell demanded.


"I know the rules. I'm not supposed to ever call you unless you tell me to."


"Good girl," Wendell laughed. "Still, you did stay out all night without permission. You'll have to be punished for that."


"But I found out a lot of valuable information from Sly. She likes to talk when she's drinking."


"Meet me at your apartment on your lunch break. We'll see if your information is good enough to soften your punishment."


McSween shook his head. "No," he mouthed at Crystal. "Public."


"I am supposed to deliver some papers to one of JR's business associates at the Cattleman's Club on my lunch break. Can you need me there?"


"I can't be seen there with you and you know it," he snapped.


"How about in your car after I drop off the papers?" she improvised. 'You can park a few blocks away. No one will see us."


"Alright," he reluctantly agreed. "But your information had better be very good or I'll be very angry. And you know what happens when I get angry."


"I promise you'll be pleased," Crystal swallowed hard. *Very pleased."


***


"Welcome home, you two," Miss Ellie stepped up to hug JR and then Sue Ellen. "How are you feeling?"


"Just fine," JR told her. "A little tired is all."


"Well, we didn't plan a big homecoming because we knew you'd both probably be exhausted and want to go straight up to rest. Did everything go alright with Miss Winger?"


"It's all handled, Mama," Bobby told her coming through the door carrying JR and Sue Ellen's things.


Sue Ellen dropped her eyes to the floor. She was so tired. The ride home from Mandy's had been long and silent. She and JR had sat together in the back seat of Bobby's car, holding hands, neither speaking a word. As far as Sue Ellen was concerned, she hoped she never had to hear the name Mandy Winger ever again.


"Where are the boys?" JR asked.


"They're out riding with Ray. He should have them back soon," Clayton told him.


"When they get back, send them both up to see us right away," JR instructed them. "We'll both be in my… our room."


He took Sue Ellen by the hand and led her up the steps and into what had been her bedroom. "Get yourself a gown and whatever else you need."


"Alright, JR," she smiled. It was just like him to hustle her back into his bedroom without giving her time to have second thoughts. She gathered her things and walked across the hall with him following close behind.


"Do you need to talk about what happened at Mandy's?" he asked her.


"No, JR," she shook her head. "I don't ever want to talk about Mandy Winger again."


"Sue Ellen, I need you to promise me something. We'll never let that happen to us again. No matter what. We can get mad and scream and yell and fight like cats and dogs, but then we'll sit down and talk things out, okay? No more separate bedrooms, not ever."


"And no other women?" She asked.


"Never," he bent his head and kissed her hotly. "Promise me," he demanded when he finally lifted his head.


"I promise, JR."


***


"Is Sue Ellen alright?" Ellie asked Bobby. "She looks worse than JR, and he's the one who got shot."


"She's physically tired, emotionally exhausted, plus, JR said she was dealing with some kind of stomach bug or something. She desperately needs rest. But she'll be fine."


"I suppose JR doesn't want me to know how he handled that Winger woman," Ellie sighed.


"Oh, Mama. It was...awful but also…"


"What?"


"I saw a side of JR that I haven't seen since the night John Ross was born. He did what he had to do. It was hard, but he did it, and he did it in a way that made Sue Ellen feel loved and protected. Mandy won't ever be a problem again. And I have never been prouder to have JR as my brother as I was today."


"That's wonderful to hear, Bobby," Ellie sighed.


"I have to go up and pack for my trip. Make sure Christopher goes straight with John Ross to see JR and Sue Ellen when he comes in."


He kissed his mother on the cheek and walked towards the stairs.


Ellie watched until he was out of sight then walked into the living room and sat down in her favorite chair. She closed her eyes and silently prayed for her family, that they all would finally find peace and happiness in their lives. There had been enough ugliness and pain. They all deserved to be happy; even JR.


***


"Oh, my God," Jenna sighed, "it's absolutely beautiful!"


"Thank you, ma'am," the jeweler smiled. "Mr. Ewing was very specific about the design. He wanted it to stand on its own, but also fit well over Mrs. Ewing's current bands.. I still had the specifications of her wedding ring, but since I didn't have it here in the shop I had to use a bit of guesswork. Please tell Mr. Ewing that if there's any problem with the fit, he can bring it in and I'll adjust it right away."


"I'll let him know," Lucy said, taking the boxed ring and putting it in her purse. "Thank you again."


Jenna and Lucy were quiet as they walked from the shop to Lucy's car. "You okay?" Lucy asked, once they and Lucas we're all buckled in. "You were awfully quiet on the ride over here.*


"Yes, I'm fine," Jenna sighed. "I guess I was just a little surprised when we were going over the guest list to see Donna's name on it."


"Yeah, I guess that's another attempt at mending more of JR's fences."


"I wonder if she'll come,"" Jenna said. "I know Ray would love to spend some time with Margaret."


"She might," Lucy shrugged. "Her and Grandma are still pretty close."


"Yes," Jenna agreed. "Miss Ellie still considers Donna to be her daughter-in-law."


"How will you feel if she comes?"


"I… I don't know. I don't want you to get the wrong idea, Lucy. I know Ray loves me and although he'll always care for Donna, I don't view her as a threat to my marriage."


"But?"


"But the hardest hurdle Ray had to get over to agree to move to Switzerland was that we would see Margaret even less than he already does. I guess I'm just afraid that if he sees her before he leaves, he might change his mind.*


"I don't think so," Lucy said thoughtfully. "Ray Krebbs is a man of his word. He never would have made the decision to go if he hadn't thought every detail through. He's made up his mind. He won't change it now."


"I guess you're right," Jenna smiled. "We'd better get back to the house before Lucas starts wailing. It's almost feeding time!"


***


"You're right, Crystal. That is very interesting."


Crystal was sitting in the back seat of Jeremy Wendell's chauffeured car. She'd repeated the story JR and McSween had fed her perfectly.


"Is JR sleeping with April Stevens?" Wendell asked.


"I don't know," Crystal said. "But she has been at the hospital a lot according to Sly."


"That would make sense," Jeremy mused. "It would certainly explain why he trusted her to sell him back the stock, as well as why he ditched Mandy Winger and hasn't responded to your advances. April is an interesting woman. I may be able to use her."


Crystal said nothing.


"And Sue Ellen? Was she at the hospital?"


"Yes."


"How was she?"


"What do you mean?"


"I mean was she drunk, stupid!" He raised his hand and smacked her hard across the face. "Try to focus."


Crystal resisted the urge to raise her hand to rub her stinging cheek. "I don't know how she acts when she's drunk, Jeremy. She looked tired. Worn down. Nothing like the glamorous woman I saw at Weststar that day."


"You did well, Crystal," Jeremy told her.


"Is it enough? Can I please stop now?"


"Stop? Of course you can stop. Anytime you want. Of course, I'll have to have back my condo and my car. Your father will need to pay me for the note on his restaurant. And of course, without my protection, the police will quickly make the connection between you and your unfortunate brother. You won't be able to afford a lawyer, but I'm sure the public defender's office can provide you with a perfectly good attorney."


"Why would I need an attorney? I didn't have anything to do with blowing up that oil rig. You're the one who gave my brother the device."


Jeremy laughed. "Oh my dear. I'm afraid that's not what the trail of evidence will indicate."


Crystal lowered her eyes to the floor mat. "I have to get back to Weststar. Is there anything else?"


"Yes. You said you had to deliver papers to one of JR's associates at the Cattleman's Club. Who and what kind of papers?"


"Jordan Lee," April told him. "Drilling reports on some wells out in the gulf."


"You know I'll check to make sure you're not lying?"


"I'm not lying," Crystal said, never raising her eyes.


"Good," Jeremy reached across her body and opened her car door. "Get out. And be home by 7:00. I have use of you tonight."


Crystal was silent as she stepped out of the car onto the sidewalk. She watched his car drive away and closed her eyes.


"Please let this be over now."


***
 
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zephiey

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I enjoyed this chapter. I can't wait for Wendell to get what is coming to him.
As for John Ross and Christopher, they both need counseling and while JR isn't a fan of counseling I think in this case he may actually be the one to bring up the subject.
 

Honkytonkangel

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All these twists and turns are amazing!!!

Could Winger not just have put the pillow over her head and smothered herself?? Hopefully the doctors will be able to confirm that she is indeed a waste of skin.
Or gone over to Southfork the night before and got caught in the shoot-out.
 

CeeCee72

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I don't own any of the characters in this story and no copyright infringement is intended.


This is a "What if?" fanfic. What if in the season eleven episode "Top Gun" Sue Ellen had changed her mind at the last possible moment and instead of teaming up with Kimberly and Wendell to beat JR she voted her Weststar shares to make him CEO?


***


What If


Part 36


***


"What do you mean, it's not enough?!" JR raged into the phone.


McSween winced at the obvious anger in JR's voice. He turned to the Assistant DA and raised his eyebrows, silently communicating that he was the one who needed to answer JR's question.


"Mr. Ewing," the Assistant DA chose his words carefully, "the deal was that Miss Baker would get a full confession from Mr. Wendell on tape. She didn't accomplish that."


"She clearly said that Wendell gave her brother the device and he didn't correct her," JR pointed out.


"In a way he did," the DA insisted. "He told her the evidence didn't support her claim."


"Isn't there anything on that tape you can use to hang Wendell?" JR demanded.


"Well," Harry sighed. "He hit her. And his words clearly implied a history of abuse. We could get him for assault, but that's not going to keep him off the streets for long."


"Mr. Ewing," the Assistant DA broke in. "Mr. Wendell wants to meet Miss Baker at her apartment tonight at 7:00. I think we would mic her up and let her try again. He may be more loose-lipped in private after a couple of drinks."


"Out of the question," JR answered, glancing over his shoulder at the closed bathroom door where Sue Ellen was taking a bath. "I don't want her alone with him. If something goes wrong and that little girl gets hurt, my wife will never forgive me."


"Mr. Ewing?" Crystal, who had been sitting silently in a chair in the corner listening to the phone call spoke for the first time. "Detective McSween says he'll be right next door listening to the whole thing. He said he won't let me get hurt."


"Crystal," JR softened his voice, "he can't guarantee that."


"No," Crystal agreed. "But I'm willing to take the chance. I want Jeremy to pay for my brother's death. I want my life back. This is the only way those two things can happen. Please let me try."


JR sighed heavily. "Alright, Crystal. Harry? This had better not go south, you hear me? She gets one mark on her, I'm holding you personally responsible. Understand?"


"I understand, JR," McSween replied solemnly.


***


"You're all packed," April said, walking into Cliff's living room from his bedroom.


"Good. Thanks, April."


"Cliff…" April sat down beside him on the couch and covered his hands with hers, "I think you need to prepare yourself emotionally, just in case…"


"April, I've already accepted the fact that Pam might be dead," Cliff told her. "But I have to know. Can't you understand that I'll never have any peace until I know for sure?"


"Yes, I understand, Cliff," April laid her head on his shoulder. "I only worry because I care."


"I know," Cliff smiled. "That's why I love you."


***


"I don't know, Jeremy," Kimberly said doubtfully. "I spoke to April myself. She didn't give me any indication that she was involved with JR."


"Why would she?" Jeremy laughed. "April isn't a stupid woman. She'd not give you any insight into her and JR's plans."


"I suppose…"


"Stop being so sour," Jeremy told her. "This is GOOD news. It means JR and Sue Ellen are on the brink of divorce.*


"I don't care about that," Kimberly snapped, "and honestly, I don't know why you do! Whether or not JR stays married to Sue Ellen is irrelevant as long as he controls her Weststar stock."


"Irrelevant?" Jeremy's voice took on a menacing tone, "Sue Ellen made a fool of me. She has to be made to pay for it. Yes, we'll get Weststar back. But it's just as important to deal with Sue Ellen. She needs to be taught a lesson, Kimberly. I want her totally broken, and I want to be the one to break her."


***


Sue Ellen felt a little better. She'd had a long, hot bubble bath and it felt so wonderful to be in a real bed again. She'd had a bout with dizziness in the bathroom, but it had passed quickly.


The bedroom door slowly opened and she saw John Ross and Christoher peak their heads in.


"Can we come in, Mama?" John Ross asked her.


"Of course, boys!" She smiled at them and held her hands out. "Come give me a hug! I missed you both terribly!"


Both boys walked over to the bed and took turns giving her a hug.


"Where's Daddy?" John Ross asked, chewing on his bottom lip nervously - a habit he had inherited from his mother.


"He's in the shower," Sue Ellen told the boy. "He'll be out soon."


"Is he really mad?" John Ross asked.


"Well… no," Sue Ellen answered. "He's worried and disappointed. But he's not angry."


"I'm sorry, Mama!" John Ross began crying. "I really am!"


"Me too!" Christopher started crying too.


"Now, now," Sue Ellen comforted them, "there's no need for tears. You two come up here with me."


Both boys crawled up into the bed and settled on either side of her. Sue Ellen wrapped her arms around them and pulled them close to her. "What you boys did was wrong. You scared everyone to death. You ran away and involved an outsider in our family problems. Things could have worked out horribly."


She paused and kissed them both on the top of their heads. "But, it's over now. And everything worked out alright. Part of being in a family is loving each other so much that you forgive mistakes and move on. I forgive you both, just as you both have always forgiven me for the mistakes I've made."


"Do you think Daddy will forgive us?" John Ross asked timidly.


"Oh sweetheart," Sue Ellen smiled. "Your daddy loves you so much - both of you - that there's nothing you could ever do that he wouldn't forgive you for. You know that! Your father always forgives the people he loves. Look how many times he's forgiven me!"


"And you forgive him too?" John Ross pressed. "For Mandy and your sister and all the others?"


"For everything," Sue Ellen told him. "Your father and I have both made terrible, awful mistakes. But we love one another with all our hearts. We're both going to try very hard never to hurt one another - or our family ever again."


Sue Ellen grew silent and kissed them both again. "I know you both have many questions. I promise I'll answer them all as best as I can when I've rested up a bit. I love you both so very much."


JR smiled and leaned against the bathroom door. He'd heard the whole thing. Sue Ellen had handled the situation perfectly. His heart swelled with pride and love.


He opened the bathroom door and walked into the bedroom. "Hello, boys.*


Both boys sat up straight and prepared to take his wrath. He smiled and sat down on the small space left for him on the bed. "I missed you both."


"You're not going to yell at us?" John Ross asked doubtfully.


"No, son, I'm not going to yell. I think we've all suffered enough. You're both safe now. And I think you both understand that what you did was wrong and neither of you will do it again. That's good enough for me."


The boys were both visibly relieved. "I love you, Uncle JR!" Christopher said, reaching over to give JR a hug.


"I love you, Christopher. And you too, son," JR said, leaning across Sue Ellen to kiss the top of John Ross's head. "Now, you bed hogs scoot over and make room for me!" JR laughed. "And stop hogging my wife too! Leave some hugs for me!"


***


"JR and Harv are coming over in the morning to close on the property," Ray said. "Our bank account is getting ready to get a whole lot fatter."


"No second thoughts?" Jenna asked, looking up from her cup of tea.


"Of course not," Ray walked over to the kitchen table and sat down across from her. "You and me and Charlie and Lucas are going to start a whole new life together."


"What about Margaret?" Jenna pressed. "It'll be harder to see her once we move."


"There's plenty of airplanes, Jenna," Ray told her. "I'll see her as much as I can."


"I just want you to be sure, Ray."


"I am sure. This is the right thing for us. I won't change my mind, Jenna. And I won't have any regrets."


He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. "Besides," he chuckled. "If I backed out of the sale of the ranch now, JR would have a heart attack. Can't be the one responsible for putting the poor guy back in the hospital, can I?!"


***


JR moved carefully off the bed. Sue Ellen and the boys were all sleeping. He didn't want to wake them; they were all emotionally exhausted.


He padded quietly to the door, opened it carefully, stepped out into the hallway, and made his way down to Bobby's room. "You ready to go?" he asked his brother from the open doorway.


"Yes. I'll be leaving in a few minutes. How did it go with the boys?"


"Fine, " JR told him. "They're asleep in my bed with Sue Ellen. We all need to sit down together and have a serious talk once you get back."


"Mama and Clayton mentioned family counseling," Bobby sighed. "It's something we seriously need to consider. Especially if Pam...well no matter what happens with Pam I guess."


"We'll talk about it when you get back," JR replied. "I know I have never had a generous spirit regarding Pamela, but I truly hope you find her safe."


"Do you mean that, JR?" Bobby asked, surprised. "Even though that would mean I would want to bring her home?"


"I mean it," JR said sincerely. "I want what's best for you and Christopher. That would be having her back. At the very least, it's important for both of you to know what really happened."


Bobby shook his head. "You're turning into a big softie, JR."


"Don't you believe it," JR laughed. "Just going to save my nastiness for people not related to me from now on." He walked over to his brother and placed his hands on his shoulders. "You be careful, Bob. And you call me if there is anything you need. ANYTHING."


"I will, JR," Bobby promised. "I will."


***


Katherine put down her book and leaned back onto her cot. Today was going to be a momentous day; she was going to see Bobby and secure her freedom.


It was a shame she was going to have to put up with that idiot Cliff, but she was certain she could intimidate him into silence.


Bobby wanted to know all about poor little Pammy. Katherine could provide him with all the answers. But it would cost him.


And she couldn't wait to make him pay.


***


"That's fine, Lucy. You did a wonderful job," JR told her, looking over all the work she'd done on the wedding.


"That ring is incredible," Lucy sighed. "Jenna and I both wanted to steal it for ourselves!"


JR laughed. "I certainly hope Sue Ellen is as impressed with it as you are. By the way, did you talk to your parents?"


"Yes," Lucy beamed. "They're coming! They'll be here on Thursday."


"I'm so glad," JR said. "That means they'll be here for the Oil Baron's Ball. They should come with us."


"Not sure we should press our luck," Lucy frowned.


"Your ex-husband planning to make an appearance?"


"He hasn't decided yet," Lucy admitted. "He's not wild about leaving Afton all alone in Atlanta."


"Why not?" JR asked. "She's a grown woman. Afton can take care of herself."


"Yes, but it's not just her," Lucy sighed.


"What do you mean?"


"Nothing," Lucy said quickly. "Nevermind."


"Well, I'm sorry to say he can't bring her with him. Sue Ellen wouldn't like that."


"Why does Sue Ellen hate Afton so much?" Lucy asked.


"Well, it's complicated," JR looked uncomfortable.


"Oh please, JR," Lucy rolled her eyes. "I know you had an affair with her. Afton told me all about it."


"Then you know why Sue Ellen doesn't want her around."


"Not really. You've slept with half the women in Dallas. Sue Ellen seems to be able to tolerate the presence of all those other women when she has to."


"Yes," JR said thoughtfully. "But Afton was different. Sue Ellen and I were getting along really well when I made that mistake. It hurt her very badly because it came out of the blue. Of all my affairs, Afton and Holly were the two that she's never really been able to get over."


"Holly?"


"It's a long story," JR sighed. "And it doesn't matter anymore. Nothing like that will ever happen again."


"I hope you're right, JR," Lucy said. "Because when you and Sue Ellen battle, you always end up dragging the rest of us into your war."


***


The plane ride from Dallas to Vancouver had been quiet. Cliff had slept most of the way and April had read a book. Bobby had spent the flight staring out his window, lost in thought.


"We only have a few minutes to get settled in our rooms," Bobby told April and Cliff after they checked into the hotel. "We're due at the detention center in an hour."


"We'll meet you back in the lobby in 20 minutes," Cliff told him.


"You understand April can't come into the visitation, right? Katherine won't react well to having another woman there."


"Don't worry, Bobby," April told him. "I'll stay in the waiting area. I'm only going to be there for Cliff."


Bobby nodded. "See you both in 20 minutes."


"Do you honestly think your sister will give the two of you any real information?" April asked Cliff as they stepped into the elevator.


"No idea," Cliff replied. "But one thing I'm sure of is that if she does know what happened to Pam, Bobby will get it out of her. You can bet the farm on that."


***


"A full house"?" JR laughed at his nephew. "You should have bet more. My two pair would have paid you off."


"You owe us $57," John Ross informed him. "Want to quit while you're ahead?"


"I guess I'd better," JR laughed. "Dinner should be ready soon anyway."


"Is Mama going to eat with us?"


"Oh, we should let your mama sleep, don't you think? We can take her up a tray later."


"Is Aunt Sue Ellen sick?" Christopher asked."She's awful tired."


"She's just fine," JR assured him. "Resting at the hospital was hard. Doctors and nurses were always waking us up. She's just catching up on her sleep."


"When are you going to ask her about the wedding?" John Ross asked. "I don't know how long I can keep the secret."


JR laughed. He's told the boys about his plans to ask Sue Ellen to renew their vows and explained to them what it meant. "I'm going to ask her tomorrow after I pay Ray for his ranch."


"Uncle JR?" Christopher looked up at him. "If Aunt Sue Ellen wants to move to Uncle Ray's house, can I come visit John Ross every day?"


"Well, of course," JR reached out and pulled Christopher onto his lap. "Not only that, but you can have your own bedroom there and spend as many nights as you want to."


"You promise?"


"I promise, Christopher," JR said. "We're a family. It's time for our happily ever after."


***


"We're all set up," McSween said, coming out of the bedroom. "Remember, we'll be right across the hall. You start to feel threatened in any way, you just say your safe phrase. We'll come right away."


"Alright," Crystal nodded. "I'm not scared. I just want this over with."


"Soon," McSween promised. "But you have to get him to admit he's responsible for the bombing. That's the only way to get him in jail and you out of legal jeopardy.


"I know," Crystal nodded. "I will."


"Okay, Crystal, you're all mic'd up," the technician said. "We'll be able to hear every word."


"I'll get you what you need," Crystal promised, "I won't let him leave until I do. I swear it on my brother's grave."


***


"JR?" Sue Ellen sat up and rubbed her eyes. "What time is it?"


"Almost 6:00," he told her. "I would have let you sleep longer, but you need to eat something." He carefully placed the dinner tray he'd brought her across her lap. "Plus, I need to tell you something."


"What?" she asked, taking a sip of her juice.


"I have to go into town."


"Why, JR?" she asked, her face clouded with concern and suspicion. "You just got out of the hospital. If it's something at the office, it can wait until tomorrow."


"It's nothing to do with work," JR sighed.


He told her about Crystal and McSween's plan to get a confession from Wendell.


"You see why I have to go?" he asked. "Something could go wrong. If she gets hurt, I wouldn't be able to live with myself."


"But… JR…"


"What honey?"


"What if something goes wrong and YOU get hurt?"


"I won't get hurt, Sue Ellen. McSween and a room full of cops will be there. So will Ray."


"Ray's going with you?"


"Yes. He insisted. And honestly, I am happy to have him watching my back."


"It makes me feel better too," Sue Ellen said. "Alright, JR. Just promise me that you'll be very careful."


"I promise, darlin'," he said. He leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. "I'll be home soon."


"You'd better be," she teased him.


JR smiled and moved to the door. "I love you, Sue Ellen."


***


"Well, well, well," Katherine smiled sweetly. "If it isn't my loving brother and my sweet brother-in-law. It was so thoughtful of you two to come all the way to Canada just to see little ol' me."


"Cut the crap, Katherine," Bobby snapped. "You know why we're here."


"How could I know?" she blinked innocently. "I just assumed it was because you both missed me so much."


"I'm not playing your sick games, Katherine," Bobby growled. "I want to know where my wife is and you're going to tell me or so help me God, I'll snap your neck like a twig."


"Just a minute," Katherine's lawyer jumped up. "You can't threaten her like that!"


"It's fine," Kathrine held up her hand to hush her lawyer. "He doesn't mean it, do you Bobby?" She turned her gaze on her lawyer. "I'm afraid my brother-in-law has always been something of a hot head."


"Do you know where Pam is or not?" Cliff demanded, speaking for the first time.


"Oh, I know all about what happened to my poor, unfortunate sister," Katherine purred. "I'm happy to tell you all about it, Bobby," she said, locking her eyes on his face, "but it will cost you."


"What's your price?" Bobby barked.


"It's simple, Bobby. I will tell you everything I know in return for my freedom. I walk out of here a free woman. That's my price. And it's non-negotiable."


***
 

Sarah

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Can I thank you for giving Sue Ellen the opportunity to hear what JR had to say in front of Mandy? That should have been on the show - him telling the stupid airhead to leave them alone, and that Sue Ellen is the love of his life.

I'd have liked to have seen Mandy apologise to Sue Ellen, and also for Sue Ellen to yes, be gracious to Mandy, but also to give her a peace of her mind. Something along the lines of, 'I love JR. He loves me. If you ever come near him or my son again, you will see a side of me that you will live to regret...'!!! (Sorry I harbour a lot of anger and pent up hatred towards Mandy - there are too many people who can't see beyond her supposed beauty (bleh if you ask me) and think she's ok, simply because it wasn't Pammykins she messed about with!

Rant over - superb writing and I'm really interested to see where this goes next. I really hope you aren't about to pull the rug from under me and have Sue Ellen be seriously ill. :(
 

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I don't own any of the characters in this story and no copyright infringement is intended.


This is a "What if?" fanfic. What if in the season eleven episode "Top Gun" Sue Ellen had changed her mind at the last possible moment and instead of teaming up with Kimberly and Wendell to beat JR she voted her Weststar shares to make him CEO?


***


What If


Part 37


***


"Don't be ridiculous, Katherine," Bobby narrowed his eyes on her face. "I can't give you your freedom."


"Of course you can, Bobby," Katherine laughed. "You forget how well I know your family and it's history. The Ewings wield a lot of influence in the Dallas DA's office. Use it. Tell them you won't cooperate in prosecuting me for trying to kill you. Tell them you want all my charges dropped."


"You're severely over estimating my power," Bobby told her.


"Then get baby brother over there," she pointed at Cliff, "to use his contacts from when he was a DA. Or get JR to bribe or blackmail whoever he has to. Just get it done."


"You want me to have the Dallas DA drop the charges without one single shred of proof that you can tell me where Pam is? I don't think so, Katherone."


"Your choice," Katherine shrugged, "But without me, I promise you'll never find out what happened to your precious Pamela."


"We're done here," Bobby stood up. "Come on Cliff."


"No just hold on one minute," Cliff held up his hand to stop Bobby. "Katherine, be reasonable," he turned to look at his sister. "You're right that we could probably get you out of legal trouble, but given your track record with the truth, I'm sure you understand that we need a show of good faith from you in order to believe a word you say."


Katherine looked at her lawyer and nodded.


He pulled a picture out of a manilla folder and handed it to Cliff. "This was taken four days ago, notice the date on the newspaper lying on the bed."


Cliff snatched the photo from the lawyer and looked at it. His face broke out in shock. "Oh my God, Bobby," he breathed out. "It's Pam."


***


McSween looked up at a pacing JR. "Calm down," he said. "She's wearing a microphone and every room in the apartment is wired for sound."


"He's late," JR said, glancing down at his watch.


"Only five minutes," McSween said.


Ray sat in the corner and watched JR closely. He could tell his brother was in pain. Every now and then he'd wince and bring his hand up to hold his side where he'd been shot. "JR, sit down," he said firmly. "You're not going to be of any use to that girl or anyone else if you end up back in the hospital."


JR gave Ray a dark look and started to protest, but decided not to bother when he saw the stern look on his brother's face. He walked over and took a seat beside him. "Happy now?"


"Yes, I am, thanks," Ray chuckled. "It'll be fine, JR. There's so many cops in here it looks like a police precinct."


"I know, Ray," JR sighed. "I just want it over and done with so I can get back to my family."


***


"Are you worried?" Jenna asked.


"Yes. A little," Sue Ellen admitted. "JR is recovering from a bullet wound. He should be at home in bed."


"Don't worry, Sue Ellen," Jenn assured her. "Ray won't let anything happen to JR."


Sue Ellen looked at the other woman and smiled. "You know, it'll be hard to adjust to Ray not being here. As hard as his and JR's relationship has been, we could always count on Ray to back us up and support us whenever we needed him. It's always been Ray to the rescue."


"Yes," Jenna laughed. "He's always the cowboy that saves the day, hasn't he?"


"That's an apt description," Sue Ellen agreed.


"Good evening, ladies," Clayton said, coming into the living room and moving to the bar to fix himself a drink. "Sue Ellen, it's nice to see you up and about."


"Thank you, Clayton. I feel much better now that I've had a nice, uninterrupted sleep."


"Where's Miss Ellie?" Jenna asked.


"Oh, she went out to put some flowers on Jock's grave," Clayton told them. "She'll be back directly. I saw the boys upstairs in the playroom fleecing Lucy at poker."


"Yes," Sue Ellen sighed. "I'm afraid JR has turned them into little card sharks."


"Oh, I wouldn't worry, Sue Ellen," Clayton smiled. "It's good practice for learning how to bluff during a business negotiation."


"Yes, still…"


Sue Ellen's words were lost. There was a sudden, loud crash followed by the loud sirens of the security alarm blaring.


"Oh my God!" Jenna shot out of her chair.


"Stay here," Clayton ordered them, putting down his drink and moving toward the foyer. "Neither of you move."


***


"Ray and Clayton have a fine collection of horses now," Ellie told the head stone. "It will be hard on Clayton to run the business himself when Ray moves to Switzerland, but he's promised to hire someone to help. JR is buying Ray's place and has agreed to let Clayton keep the horses there."


"I think JR and Sue Ellen might be moving into Ray's place. I'll miss them if they go, but at least it's right next to Southfork. Sue Ellen loves to work out so much, I'm sure she'll come over every day to use the exercise room anyway. JR really wants to go. He said he thinks they need a totally fresh start. Too many bad memories at Southfork. I think I agree with him."


"Lucy invited Mitch to the wedding. He hasn't given her an answer yet, but I'm glad they're at least talking again. And I am so deeply happy that Gary and Valene are coming. It will be so nice to have them both at home, even if it's only for a little while."


"I'm very concerned about John Ross and Christopher. And Bobby too. He went to Canada to try to find Pam. I worry how he'll react if it turns out that Pam is really dead. That situation could cause even more pain for the boys."


Ellie sighed, stood up, and placed a bouquet of flowers on the head stone. "I have to get back to the house now, Jock. I'll be back in a few days to give you an update. I love you."


***


"That could be anyone, Cliff," Bobby sighed.


"I know my sister," Cliff insisted. "That's her."


"I admit it looks like her," Bobby said, "but with the hair covering her eyes, we can't be sure.*


"It's her," Cliff said stubbornly.


Bobby returned his attention to his food and dropped the subject.


He knew Cliff desperately wanted Pam to be alive, but that picture didn't prove anything.


They'd made an agreement with Katherine's lawyer. Bobby and Cliff would return to Dallas and have a conversation with the DA about dropping Katherine's prosecution. Once it had been worked out and her lawyer could verify the DA was serious, they'd provide Pam's location. No charges would be officially dropped until Bobby and Cliff saw Pam.


"It's getting late," April said, pushing her plate away. "I think I'll take a shower and then turn in. Cliff, come get me if you need anything."


"She's been uncharacteristically quiet," Bobby said when she was out of the room.


"What do you expect? She likes you Bobby, a lot," Cliff told him. "She just found out your wife is still alive."


"Might be alive, Cliff," Bobby corrected him. "I won't believe it until I see it for myself."


***


Crystal opened the door and stood aside to let Jeremy inside her apartment.


"Fix me a drink," he ordered her, stepping into her living room and taking a seat on her couch.


Crystal moved to the bar and poured him a drink. She took it over and handed it to him.


"Sit down, Stupid," he told her. "Let's talk about your day."


"There isn't much to talk about," Crystal said, keeping her eyes down. "JR hasn't been back into the office and all Sly has been doing is delivering papers and taking phone messages.'


"And nothing interesting happened today?"


"Not that I can think of."


"Really, now," Jeremy snarled, "because my sources tell me that a detective from the Dallas PD was in the Weststar offices for quite an extended period of time."


Crystal fought down a wave of panic and kept her eyes fixed on the floor.


"So what I want to know is, are you a liar or just useless? What happens to you next is completely dependent on your answer."


"A detective?" Crystal repeated, trying to keep her breathing under control, "I didn't see any police detective."


Jeremy's eyes narrowed to evil little slits. "Don't you lie to me girl!" he said. "I know very well he was there. His name is Detective Harry McSween."




***


Clayton grabbed a poker from the fireplace and moved as quietly as possible into the foyer toward the front door. He saw Lucy and the boys at the top of the staircase and held up his hand to stop them. He took a deep breath and lifted the poker over his head and lunged to the front door.


"Clayton?" the word was slurred. "I dropped my suitcase. I dropped myself too I guess," he laughed, seemingly noticing her was laying sprawled on the floor for the first time.


Clayton froze for a moment, then brought the poker down to his side when he saw who it was who had tumbled into the house. "Jack?"


"Yep. Hey Clayton. Nice to see you. What are you going to do with that?" he laughed, pointing at the makeshift weapon, "Poke me to death?"


"Oh, my Lord, it's Jack!" Sue Ellen cried, joining Clayton in the foyer, stepping over Jack's prone body, and punching in the code to the security system to silence the alarm.


"Hi there, Sue Ellen," Jack winked at her. "You look as pretty as ever. Hey, did you guys change the security code or something?"


***


"This is bad, Harry," JR said, standing up and moving across the room. "We have to get her out of there!"


"Just wait, JR," McSween told him. "Let's see how she handles it."


JR cast a questioning look at Ray. The other man shrugged his shoulders. "Up to you, JR."


"McSween?" he heard Crystal's voice. "Oh, Sly's uncle? He came to see her today. I had no idea he was a cop."


"You know how easily I can find out if they're related, don't you?" they heard Wendell's reply.


"Yes. He's her uncle. He's been to the office before. Many times."


"Stand up, Stupid. Get undressed."


There were a few moments of silence.


"What's going on?" JR worried. "What's he doing to her?"


McSween held up his hand to indicate JR should be quiet.


"Now, Listen Harry, if you think I'm just gonna stand here while that animal rapes her…"


He was silenced by what sounded like a belt hitting skin, a thud, and a soft cry.


"Don't worry, Stupid," they heard Wendell laugh. "I won't hurt you too much. Get on your knees."


"Now!" JR shouted. "Ray we're going now!"


Ray shot out of his chair and moved with JR towards the door. They heard another smack of the belt and a whimper.


"It's not black and blue!"


JR and Ray froze at the sound of Crystal's voice.


"What did she say?" Ray asked.


"Black and blue is her safe phrase," McSween told them. "She's telling us she's okay."


JR shook his head "I'll be damned if I am going to…"


There was another thud, a soft cry, and then they heard Crystal's voice again. "It's not black and blue!"


"What are you babbling about?" they heard Jeremy. "What's not black and blue?"


"My face where you hit me. My ribs where you kicked me. My arms where you grabbed me. You're not even man enough to leave a mark!"


Ray's eyes grew wide. "She's going to get herself killed, JR!"


"If I haven't left a mark it's only because I've been taking it easy on you," came Jeremy's reply.


There was another crack of the belt.


"That didn't even hurt!" They heard Crystal scream. "You can't do anything right! Not beat a woman. Not f*** a woman. Half the time you can't even get it up! You're an impotent old man. You can't even bomb a rig right! You killed those men. You said it wouldn't go off until morning, but they all died because of you!"


They heard Jeremy laugh. "They died because I wanted them to die, you stupid little cow! It made for a much bigger loss for JR when your brother and his friends got blown to pieces! And impotent? I'll show you impotent you nasty whore!"


They heard more thumps and screams.


"That's got to be enough!" JR shouted. "Come on Ray!"


"Move now!" the Assistant DA instructed the cops. But it was too late. JR and Ray were already in the hallway. They looked and each other, nodded, and crashed their bodies into the door at the same time. The door broke open and they ran inside Crystal's apartment. They saw her on the floor, Wendell on top of her. Ray ran forward, pulled Wendell to his feet and gave him a brutal punch to the side of his head. JR grabbed Crystal's dress from the floor beside her and used it to cover up her naked body. She was bleeding from the nose and lip and her left eye was starting to swell.


"Did I do okay?" she asked JR, her voice thin and shaky.


"You did perfect, girl," he assured her, helping her to her feet. "Just perfect."


***


"Will she be okay?" Sue Ellen asked, "does she have somewhere to go?"


"She'll be fine, honey," JR told his wife. "Her father is meeting her at the hospital. Hang on just a second." He put the phone down and yelled at Ray who was keeping a watchful eye on Crystal while the paramedics loaded her onto a stretcher. "Make sure the hospital calls Southfork when she gets there. Sue Ellen will want to know her room number so she can call and talk to her."


Ray nodded at his brother and passed the request onto the paramedics.


JR put the phone back up to his ear. "Have you heard from Bobby?"


"Yes," Sue Ellen told him. "He called to tell the boys goodnight. They're coming back in the morning. He said he still doesn't know for sure if Pam is dead or alive."


"Damn. Hate to hear that," JR said. "Tell Jenna Ray is fine and I'll have him home soon. I just want to gloat to Wendell before they take him down to the station. Do you feel well enough to wait up for me?"


"I couldn't go to sleep without you," Sue Ellen admitted. "Oh, wait! There's something else! Jack showed up here at Southfork. He crashed through the front door, drunk as a skunk. Set the alarm off and everything! The sheriff showed up. Miss Ellie was mortified.'


"Jack, huh?" JR laughed. "Where is he now?"


"In one of the guest rooms sleeping it off."


"Good," JR told her. "I'll be home soon, darlin'. I love you."


"Hurry up, JR," she told him. "And I love you, too."


***
 

CeeCee72

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Can I thank you for giving Sue Ellen the opportunity to hear what JR had to say in front of Mandy? That should have been on the show - him telling the stupid airhead to leave them alone, and that Sue Ellen is the love of his life.

I'd have liked to have seen Mandy apologise to Sue Ellen, and also for Sue Ellen to yes, be gracious to Mandy, but also to give her a peace of her mind. Something along the lines of, 'I love JR. He loves me. If you ever come near him or my son again, you will see a side of me that you will live to regret...'!!! (Sorry I harbour a lot of anger and pent up hatred towards Mandy - there are too many people who can't see beyond her supposed beauty (bleh if you ask me) and think she's ok, simply because it wasn't Pammykins she messed about with!

Rant over - superb writing and I'm really interested to see where this goes next. I really hope you aren't about to pull the rug from under me and have Sue Ellen be seriously ill. :(

I thought about an apology...even wrote one halfway out. But it felt wrong to me, like Mandy wouldn't apologize because she always manages to justify her actions in her own mind.

I think that's one of the things that made her such a one dimensional character. She lacked empathy and self awareness.
 

Sarah

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I thought about an apology...even wrote one halfway out. But it felt wrong to me, like Mandy wouldn't apologize because she always manages to justify her actions in her own mind.

I think that's one of the things that made her such a one dimensional character. She lacked empathy and self awareness.
Where have you been all my life???

You are absolutely spot on - she’s a self absorbed nitwit - you’re right. I just hoped at one point she would have said sorry. Like even at JR’s memorial she managed to talk about herself. I don’t know how well you know me but I cannot describe the level of white hot incandescent hatred I have for her.

You are right - she wouldn’t have said sorry.

I think I love you.
 

CeeCee72

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I don't own any of the characters in this story and no copyright infringement is intended.


This is a "What if?" fanfic. What if in the season eleven episode "Top Gun" Sue Ellen had changed her mind at the last possible moment and instead of teaming up with Kimberly and Wendell to beat JR she voted her Weststar shares to make him CEO?


***


What If


Part 38


***

"Well, well," JR grinned. "You called a lawyer yet? Seems to me like you really need one."


"Well played, JR," Jeremy laughed. "But too dramatic. Any lawyer worth his salt will be able to suppress any evidence collected here tonight on the basis of entrapment."


"I doubt that," JR shrugged. "But even if you're right, if the tape leaks, it will do so much damage to your reputation, that you'll be through in Dallas anyway. By the way, you know my brother, Ray? You may have met before, but I believe tonight, your head became intimately acquainted with his fist."


Ray rolled his eyes. "I wish I had beaten him just a little more, JR," Ray said. "God knows he deserves a good beating."


"Touch me again and I'll own everything you have, including those cheap boots," Wendell warned.


Ray laughed and shook his head,"This guy doesn't know how to quit when he's behind."


"Oh, I wouldn't worry about it, Ray," JR grinned. "This story will be on the front page of every newspaper and the lead story on every newscast in Texas by morning, I'll see to it."


"I wouldn't do that if I were you, JR," Jeremy warned him. "Not unless you want to see a companion story about the poor, unfortunate Mrs. Sue Ellen Ewing and how she was driven back to the bottle and to a near certain trip to a sanitarium by her unfaithful husband."


"Your sources aren't worth what you're paying them, Wendell," JR glared at him with glittering eyes. "My wife hasn't had a drink of alcohol in a long, long time. She's happy and healthy and waiting for me at home right now. If you so much as say her name again, you won't have to worry about your legal problems because I'll kill you myself."


"Sorry, JR,* McSween came over and interrupted them. "It's time to read him his rights and get him downtown."


"That's alright, Harry," JR said. "I'm done with this piece of garbage anyway."


"I'll be seeing you soon, JR," Jeremy smiled as McSween stood him up and cuffed his hands behind his back. "And give your lovely wife my best wishes for her continued good health."


***


"Boys?" Sue Ellen knocked on the bedroom door. "Can I come in?" She smiled at John Ross when he opened the door for her. "The two of you about ready for bed?"


"Yeah," John Ross said. "Christopher's gonna stay in here with me. He was going to back to sleeping in his own room tonight, but…"


"But Jack causing such a commotion and setting off the alarm scared you a little?" Sue Ellen asked Christopher who looked at the floor and nodded.


"Hey," Sue Ellen said, moving over and giving Christopher a hug, "I'll tell you a secret. It scared me a little too!"


"Mama? Can you stay with us a little while?" John Ross asked.


"Of course," she smiled. "I was going to ask you if I could anyway. I have some things I want to show you both. Come sit on the bed with me."


Sue Ellen and the boys all settled together in John Ross's bed.


"What's that?" Christopher asked, pointing at the box Sue Ellen had brought into the room with her.


"This is a box of keepsakes," Sue Ellen told him. "When my sister died, it was very painful for me. I put away all her pictures and other things that reminded me of her. I thought you'd like to see them."


"Do you remember this?" Sue Ellen asked John Ross, pulling out the silver heart shaped locket she'd kept in her jewelry box for years.


"Yes," John Ross smiled. "I got it for you for Mother's Day. I put a picture of me and Daddy in there."


"Yes. Did you know I put another picture in there too? One of my sister?"


John Ross shook his head. Sue Ellen opened the locket and showed it to both boys. "This is my sister, Kristen."


"My real mama?" Christopher asked.


"Your natural mama, yes," Sue Ellen told him.


"She sure was pretty," John Ross said.


"Yes, she sure was," Sue Ellen agreed.


"This is a picture of Kristen at mine and your daddy's first wedding," Sue Ellen told John Ross. He looked at the picture then passed it over to Christopher. "This is the card she sent me on my 30th birthday, and here's a postcard she sent me from France."


"Why was she in France?" Christopher asked.


"She was on vacation with my mother," Sue Ellen said. "This is a letter she wrote me when she first went away to school. She was very lonely and wanted to come home."


"Did she come home?" John Ross asked.


"No. Our mother insisted she stay. For her own good, Grandma Patricia said."


"This one… Christopher, this one is of her and you right after you were born."


Christopher looked at the picture. "That tiny baby is me?" he asked, in awe.


"Yes it is," Sue Ellen laughed.


"She looked happy in that picture, Mama."


"Yes...she did. She loved Christopher. If she hadn't died, I'm sure she would have straightened out her life and been a good mother."


"Why are you showing us all this stuff?" John Ross asked her.


"I wanted you both to know that Kristen and I had a very ordinary sisterly relationship. She was a big part of my life and I miss her very much. It's true that we had a falling out, but that doesn't mean that I didn't love her and wish I still had her in my life."


"Can I keep this?" Christopher asked, holding the picture of him and Kristen.


"Yes," Sue Ellen told him. "And when your daddy gets home from Canada he is going to call your Aunt Lisa and ask her to send you a picture of your biological father."


"Really?" Christopher asked.


"Really," Sue Ellen assured him. "Christopher, you're a Ewing. We love you so very much. You belong here with your daddy and all of us. But since you've been asking so many questions about your biological parents, we want you to know who they were and where you came from."


"Thanks, Aunt Sue Ellen," Christopher hugged her. "I love you.*


***


Bobby let out a frustrated sigh, kicked off the covers, got out of bed, and walked to the window. There was no point in lying in bed any longer; he wasn't going to be able to get any sleep.


Nothing about the situation with Katherine made sense. If Pam was still alive, how did Katherine get those lawyers to send him a certified letter announcing her death and their intention to distribute her estate to her heirs? And where was she keeping Pam? He couldn't imagine any circumstances under which Pan would consent to being kept under Katherine's care, so if the woman in the picture was Pam, she was either being kept against her will or was too sick to know where she was.


Bobby walked back to the foot of the bed and sat down. He felt so lost. He and Pam had been so happy together the day of her accident. He'd had a happy marriage. A happy family. A well adjusted son.


Now his son was a wreck. Between losing his mother, all the drama over JR and Sue Ellen's separation, the chaos and upheaval because of Jessica, and the confusion about his paternity, Christopher was a mental and emotional mess.


And Bobby didn't even know if the woman he'd loved for most of his life was dead or alive.


Bobby hurried his head in his hands and did something he hadn't allowed himself to do in months - he grieved


***


"Do you think Jeremy will get the tape tossed?" Ray asked.


He and JR were on their way back to Southfork. JR had been unusually quiet during the ride.


"No," JR answered. "The DA had a warrant.*


"Then he's done for good," Ray said with satisfaction.


JR grunted and shook his head. "Something's not quite right."


"What do you mean?"


"I don't know, Ray. I can't quite put my finger on it. But I've known Wendell for years. He's always been an evil bastard. But murder? Rape? Beating up a young girl? I wouldn't have pegged him for that kind of business."


"Sometimes people are real good at hiding their true colors for a real long time," Ray sighed.


"I don't like what he said about Sue Ellen," JR said suddenly.


"About the drinking?"


"No, about her continued good health. It's almost as if he knew…"


"Knew what?"


"Oh, it's nothing Ray."


"Don't give me that, JR," Ray growled. "Is there something wrong with Sue Ellen? Is she sick?"


"No, nothing like that," JR assured him. "She'd probably not want it broadcasted but the doctor said she might be in menopause. She's had a lot of sickness and dizziness. It was almost like Wendell knew."


"I don't think so, JR," Ray said thoughtfully. "I really think it was a crack about her drinking."


"You're probably right, Ray," JR shook away the bad feeling. "You're probably right."


***


"Feel better?" April asked.


Cliff nodded. "Yeah. The pills are kicking in. Earlier I felt like a horse had kicked me in the head."


"The doctor said you'd have bad headaches for a while. When you get back to Dallas you're going to have to take it easy for a bit. Maybe work half days."


"Yeah, I'll go slow," Cliff promised. "You want to talk about it?"


"About what?"


"Pam," Cliff sighed. "I know how you feel about Bobby, April. Must be hard to deal with the fact that Pam might very well still be alive."


"Oh, I don't need to talk about it," April smiled. "I like Bobby. But I know how he felt about Pam. He needs to know. I care for him and that means I want what's best for him. If finding Pam alive and bringing her back to Dallas is what's best for him, I'll be happy for him. Besides," she laughed, "it's not like I'm madly in love or he's the only man on Earth. There are plenty of fish in the sea."


"Just remember I'm here if you need a friend."


"I could never forget that, Cliff," she leaned down and placed a soft kiss on his cheek. "Get some rest, Cliff. See you in the morning."


***


JR opened his bedroom door and frowned when he saw the room was empty. We walked quiet across the hall and opened the door to John Ross's room. He smiled when he saw both boys sound asleep in the bed and Sue Ellen dozing in the rocking chair. He padded over to her, bent down, and woke her with a gentle kiss on her forehead. She opened her eyes and smiled at him, letting him help her out of the chair and lead her across the hall.


"Anymore sickness tonight?" he asked her, closing the bedroom door behind him.


"Just a little dizziness," Sue Ellen told him. "And it was right after Jack's dramatic entrance, so it might have just been adrenaline."


JR undressed as he watched her pull back the covers and climb into bed. "Wendell is taken care of. It'll be all over the news by tomorrow morning."


"I talked to Crystal at the hospital," Sue Ellen told him. "She's going to stay with her father for a few days, then figure out where to go from here. Don't be angry, JR, but I told her we'd help her."


"Why would I be angry?" he chuckled, walking over to get into the bed beside her. "I knew you'd feel that way. We'll help her get settled in a new place and do something about the loan on her father's restaurant."


"Thank you, JR," she smiled, reaching up to cup his face to pull it down to hers. They shared a soft, searching kiss before JR pulled away.


"How did it go with the boys?" he asked her.


"I think it went well. They seemed to like seeing Kristen's pictures, especially Christopher. He kept the one of her and him as a baby."


"Bobby wants to talk about family counseling," he told her. "How do you feel about that?"


Sue Ellen shrugged. "I think it's something we should seriously consider."


JR nodded. "I told him we'd talk about it when he got back from Canada. Sue Ellen?"


"Yes, JR?"


"I have to go to Ray's right after breakfast and close on the ranch. Would you put aside some time for me after?"


"Of course, JR. You have something planned?"


"Yes. But we'll talk about it tomorrow, okay? Also, I want you to promise you'll call your doctor first thing in the morning and get an appointment. I don't want you dragging your feet on that, alright?"


"Alright, JR," he said softly.


JR pulled her into his arms and held her tightly. "I love you, woman," he said before turning off the bedside lap and claiming her eager mouth in a passionate kiss.


***
 
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Sarah

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Beautiful. Really lovely and I loved Sue Ellen’s talk with the boys about Kristin and seeing that human side of Kristin which I want to believe existed before she went psycho.

I think the series could have gone as far as you have too with Jeremy Wendell. He was definitely more evil than JR in that he had no human side at all. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of that on the show.

Please please don’t let anything bad happen to Sue Ellen :oops:
 

CeeCee72

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I don't own any of the characters in this story and no copyright infringement is intended.


This is a "What if?" fanfic. What if in the season eleven episode "Top Gun" Sue Ellen had changed her mind at the last possible moment and instead of teaming up with Kimberly and Wendell to beat JR she voted her Weststar shares to make him CEO?


***


What If


Part 39


***


"Morning, Lucy," JR nodded at his niece as she took her seat at the breakfast table. "Everything ready over at Ray's?"


"Yep. Just like you asked. I'm taking the boys into Dallas with Jenna for some shopping. They want to get you and Sue Ellen a wedding present."


"Thank you," JR said. "I couldn't have pulled this off without you."


"You haven't pulled it off yet," Lucy reminded him. "You still have to convince her to say yes."


"Oh, don't you worry," JR laughed. "I have total faith in my ability to close the deal."


"Good morning everyone," Clayton greeted them. "JR, have you seen this morning's newspaper?"


"Yes, " JR answered. "Wendell arrested for the Weststar oil rig explosion. Seems he has quite a bad PR problem to go along with his legal problems."


"Couldn't happen to a more deserving fellow," Clayton observed.


JR snorted. "I still don't understand how a man can go downhill so far so fast."


"Well, JR, I'm just glad it's over," Ellie sighed. "When are you planning to go back to the office?"


"Tomorrow," JR told her. "Probably won't be working full days again until next week."


*Good," Ellie smiled. "I wouldn't want you to overdo it. Where's Sue Ellen this morning?"


JR frowned slightly. Sue Ellen had a serious bout with sickness earlier. He'd stayed with her until it passed, but she'd been so exhausted afterward that she'd gone back to bed. "Sleeping late," he finally answered. "She's still catching up on her sleep."


"I imagine Jack won't be up and around until later either," Clayton said. "He's going to be sleeping off a hard one."


"Does anyone know why he decided to show up back at Southfork out of the blue?" JR asked.


"No, he wasn't in any condition to answer questions last night," Ellie said.


"Well, hope he doesn't need a loan," JR said standing up. He walked over and kissed his mother on the cheek. "I'm headed over to Ray's. Be back shortly. Don't let Jack con you out of any money until I get back."


Ellie chuckled and shook her head. "New leaf or not, I guess some things never change."


***


Kimberly sat her coffee down on the bedside table and reached for the remote. She flipped on the TV and turned her attention to the morning paper.


"Oh, my God!" she muttered, bolting upright in the bed.


Her mouth dropped open as she read the front page story about Jeremy's arrest. The police claimed an informant gave them enough information to allow them to secure a warrant to set up a sting operation. They said they had his confession on tape.


She turned up the volume on the TV and listened to the story on the morning news. The charges included three counts of murder, conspiracy, fraud, blackmail, and assault. She buried her head in her hands and let out a loud groan.


How could he be so stupid? Under what circumstances would he allow himself to be caught on tape talking about setting up the explosion? And what exactly did he say on that tape? Did he implicate her in any way?


She jumped in surprise at the sound of a ringing phone. She reached over and pressed the answer button and put the call on speaker. "Hello?"


"Good morning, Kimberly. I assume you've seen the news?"


"You shouldn't be calling me, Jeremy!" she snapped.


"Don't be ridiculous," came his reply. "All of this will be cleared up soon.. I need you to contact my attorneys. Tell them to get down to the main Dallas detention center as soon as possible. They need to arrange for bail."


"Jeremy, I think you should call someone else to help you with this. I don't want to get involved."


"But you are already involved, aren't you Kimberly?" his tone contained a subtle threat. "Just get it done."


The line went dead and Kimberly took a deep breath. She had to be careful. She didn't want to appear to be too friendly with Jeremy now, but she also couldn't afford for him to get angry and start talking about her.


"What an absolute mess," she groaned to herself.


***


"Well, boys," Smithfield said, gathering up the papers spread across Ray's kitchen table and placing them in a folder, "that does it. JR is the new owner of the ranch and Ray is a considerably more wealthy man."


"Thank you, Harv," JR stood to shake his hand.


"My pleasure," Harv smiled. "By the way, do you know when Bobby will be back from Canada?"


"He should be landing in about an hour," Ray told him, glancing at his watch. "Why?"


"He asked me to look into something for him. I'm afraid he's not going to like what I found."


"I'll make sure he knows to call you," JR promised.


"Thank you. I'll file this paperwork as soon as I get back to the office. See you boys soon."


"Well, guess that's that," Ray told JR. "When I built this place, I never thought I'd sell it."


"I'll look after it, Ray," JR told him.


"I know you will," Ray said. "Have you and Sue Ellen decided whether or not you want to live here?"


"No, not yet," JR sighed. "I plan to talk to her about it while we're here today."


"Everything is ready for you. Jenna and I will both make ourselves scarce."


"Thanks, Ray. I really appreciate everything you've done for us lately. I need to ask for one more favor though."


"What do you need, JR?" Ray asked suspiciously.


"I was wondering if you…" JR stopped to gather his thoughts. "I know you and I hardly ever see eye to eye. And I know most of the problems between us have been my fault. I wasn't very accepting of you, and I always made sure you knew it. I don't deserve your loyalty or support, but you've always been someone I could count on when the chips were down. I haven't treated you with the respect you deserve, and I'm truly sorry for that."


*Hell, JR…" Ray squirmed in his chair, shocked at JR's admission but also slightly uncomfortable. "We're family after all."


"Yes we are," JR agreed. "I may never say this again, but I'm proud to have you as a brother. And I was wondering… would you be willing to stand up for me at my wedding?"


"Me?" Ray asked, his eyes with surprise.


"Yes. I am going to ask Bobby too, of course, but I'd be really happy and proud to have both my brother's standing at my side on my wedding day."


"JR… I… I don't know what to say."


"You could say yes," JR laughed.


"Yes," Ray laughed along with him. "Yes, JR. I'd be honored."


***


"Hello, Jack," Miss Ellie smiled as he came into the kitchen.


"Miss Ellie," Jack moved to hug her. "I'm really so sorry about all the commotion and embarrassment I caused last night."


Ellie laughed. "Don't let it trouble you. With everything else that's been going on around here lately, last night's disturbance was mild."


"Still, I apologize," Jack sighed. "Does there happen to be any coffee left?"


"Of course. You know there's always coffee available at Southfork. You know where it is. Help yourself."


Jack fixed himself a cup of coffee and sat down beside her. "I guess I should explain what I'm doing back here."


"You don't have to explain anything. You're family, Jack. You're always welcome here. You know that."


Jack nodded. "I've been kinda wandering around since Jamie died. Rootless. I guess I've just had one bad relationship and one bad career choice too many. Decided it was time to get myself together. Figured doing it here among family would work out best for me."


"Well, you know we're so very glad to have you back."


"Thanks, Miss Ellie. I won't be underfoot long. I intend to start making changes soon. Find something useful to do."


"Take as much time as you need," Ellie told him.


Jack nodded and smiled at her. He'd known Ellie would welcome him with open arms, but he couldn't help but wonder how ol' JR was going to feel about having him around again.


***


Bobby walked to his desk and picked up the stack of messages Phyllis had left for him. He sorted through them, putting aside the ones that required a response.


He'd decided to stop by Ewing Oil before going back to Southfork, mostly because he knew the entire family would have questions about what had happened in Canada and he was in no mood to answer them.He also needed some quiet time to think about what he was going to say to Christopher.


He paused when he came across a message from Harv Smithfield marked "urgent." He sat down and reached for the phone.


"This is Bobby Ewing returning an urgent call from Mr. Smithfield."


He grimaced as he listened to the reply. "Tell him to call me as soon as he gets back. I'm at the office."


He put the phone down and leaned back in his chair. He hoped Harv had found some solid information for him. The last thing he needed was another piece of the puzzle that didn't quite fit.


***


"Alright, thank you. I'll see you tomorrow morning."


"Who was that?" JR asked from the doorway as he watched Sue Ellen put the phone down.


"My doctor's office," she told him. "They can see me tomorrow morning."


"Oh, good," JR smiled. "I was going to go into the office tomorrow morning, but I can wait until after your appointment."


"Are you sure, JR?"


"Positive," he smiled and walked over to take her into his arms and kiss her gently. "How are you feeling?"


"Much better," she smiled. "You asked me to make some time for you. Lucy and Jenna took the boys out, so I'm all yours."


"I like the sound of that,* he chuckled and kissed her again. "Do you feel like coming down to the stables and taking a ride with me?"


"You want to take a ride?" Sue Ellen asked him doubtfully. "On a horse?"


JR laughed and playfully swatted her behind. "Maybe all this is just a plot to get you alone in the barn."


Sue Ellen giggled and hugged him tightly. "You don't have to plot to get me alone, JR. All you have to do is ask."


***


"So no bail?" Kimberly asked the lawyer.


"Not at the moment. There are very few judges in the state of Texas who'll grant bail on charges of three counts of murder. We're appealing, but it will take a few days to get a hearing. In the meantime Me. Wendell is being isolated in a single cell for his protection."


"I'm not sure why Mr. Wendell asked you to come see me," Kimberly said.


"He asked me to give you this," he handed her an envelope. "He said you should deliver it to Mr. JR Ewing personally. He also asked me to remind you," the lawyer looked uncomfortable, "that you could be joining him at the detention center if you don't follow his instructions. You're to call me and let me know when you've made the delivery to Mr. Ewing."


"Anything else?" Kimberly snapped, tossing the envelope on her desk.


"No, ma'am," the lawyer said standing. "I look forward to hearing from you soon."


Kimberly kept her face expressionless until he was out of her office.


"Dear God," she grumbled once she was alone, "what have I gotten myself into?"


***


"Mornin' Ray," Clayton said as the other man approached the patio table where he and Jack were drinking coffee and reading through the paper.


"Clayton," Ray nodded, taking a seat. "Jack. Jenna told me you got back last night," he grinned. "She said you made quite an entrance."


Jack grimaced, "please apologize to her for me if I frightened her.*


"Oh, she's fine," Ray told him. "She actually got a kick out of it."


"You're early, Ray," Clayton told him, glancing at his watch. "We're not supposed to leave to go look at those horses for another hour."


"Yeah, JR's got Sue Ellen over at my place proposing to her. I had to vacate the premises."


"Proposing?" Jack asked. "Aren't they still married? Or did I miss a divorce while I was away?"


"No," Clayton laughed. "JR is asking her to renew their vows. He wants to make a public statement about his commitment to her."


"JR? Commitment?" Jack repeated.


"Pretty surreal, isn't it?" Ray laughed. "But a lot has changed around her recently." He leveled his gaze on Clayton. "He asked me to stand up for him at the wedding."


"Really?" Clayton's eyebrows raised. "That's surprising. What did you say?"


"I said yes," Ray answered. "I really think he's trying to change. Put family first."


"Wait," Jack broke in. "Are we still talking about JR? JR Ewing?"


Clayton and Ray both burst out laughing as they filled Jack in on all the events and changes that at come in the past few weeks. Jack shook his head in amazement.


"Well, I guess there's hope for me after all," Jack said after they'd finished the story. "Hell, if JR Ewing can get his act together, I can too."


***


JR and Sue Ellen stopped their horses near the fence that separated Ray's property from Southfork. JR dismounted first and then helped Sue Ellen down.


"Have you thought any more about moving in over here?" he asked her as he tied up the horses.


"Yes," Sue Ellen sighed. "Honestly, I don't know how it would affect Christopher. And I'm not sure you could be happy away from Southfork. And then there's all those amenities at Southfork to consider."


"I can add on an exercise room, put in a pool, and hire a maid and a cook, Sue Ellen," JR told her. "I already talked to Christopher and told him he could have his own room and sleep over as much as he wanted."


"And what about you, JR?" Sue Ellen asked. "How are you going to feel abandoning Southfork?"


"I won't be abandoning Southfork. It's right next door." He turned and bent his head slightly so that he could look directly into her eyes. "Sue Ellen, I think maybe it's time we have a home of our own. One that you put together, exactly the way you want it to be. One where we can talk freely and raise our son the way we want to without interference from well meaning relatives. Bobby is always going to be at Southfork. With Pam or some other wife. Lucy will probably always live there too. And now Jack is marking out territory there. I love my family, but I am ready for a new start with you. And I like the idea of being king of my own castle, with you as my queen."


"I have to admit," Sue Ellen said thoughtfully, "I would really love to have a home that I control instead of…"


"Instead of having to defer to my mother?" JR finished her sentence for her.


"JR, you know how much I love Miss Ellie…"


"But you'd like the chance to pick out your own wallpaper and carpet and invite your own guests and make love to your husband on the kitchen floor if the spirit moved you?"


"Something like that," Sue Ellen smiled up at him.


"Well, this is your chance, honey. This is OUR chance."


"I… JR, are you sure? I mean really, REALLY sure?"


"Sue Ellen, I have never been more sure of anything in my life."


"Alright then," Sue Ellen hugged him. "I guess this is our new home."


JR hugged her back for a moment before gently pushing her away. "Come with me, I want to show you something."


He took her by the hand and led her toward the house. Instead of going inside, he walked around to the back yard and to the patio. Sue Ellen gasped in surprise and pleasure when she saw all the yellow roses, the table with the picnic basket and the sparkling cider, the wine glasses and the candles.


"Sit down," he said, pulling out a chair for her.


He sat down across from her and took a deep breath.


"I rehearsed this in my head about a thousand times, but now I'm so nervous I don't know what to say."


"JR?" Sue Elllen's eyes were wide with wonder.


He stood up and took a velvet ring box out of his pocket.


"I feel like an idiot," he grumbled, getting down on one knee in front of her. Her hand flew up to her mouth and she inhaled deeply.


"Twice before I've stood with you in front of our family and friends and a minister and vowed to love, honor, and cherish you. Twice I've broken those vows. I can't change the past, God knows I wish I could. But I can start over again with you now. Sue Ellen, I've already rededicated myself to you and our marriage. Now I want to do it in front of the entire world. I want everyone we know to see how happy I am and how much you are deeply loved. Sue Ellen…" he paused and opened the ring box,revealing the exquisite diamond arrangement he'd had made just for her, "will you stand with me and renew our vows to one another? Honey, would you do me the honor of marrying me all over again?"


Sue Ellen choked on her response. Tears of joy poured out of her eyes and ran down her cheeks.


"Please tell me those are happy tears," he said, handing her a handkerchief he pulled out of his pocket.


"Yes," she nodded her head as she wiped her face. "Oh, JR! Yes, yes, yes, YES!"


***


Wendell put aside his crossword puzzle when he heard someone approaching his cell. Jail wasn't so bad. He'd spread enough money out among the guards that he had access to almost anything he wanted.


"Mr. Wendell?" a guard appeared. "Come with me. You have a phone call."


Wendell stood up, allowed himself to be handcuffed, and let the guard lead him down the corridor. He was taken to a small room, furnished with only a folding table and chair and a phone.


"Five minutes," the guard grunted, uncuffing his hands and leaving the room, shutting the door behind him.


Wedell picked up the phone. "Yes? This is Jeremy Wendell."


"Mrs. Ewing has made an appointment for tomorrow morning," the feminine voice on the other end of the.line said. "They'll do more extensive blood work than what the doctor did in the hospital."


"And what will they find?" Jeremy asked.


"Low estrogen. Possibly low vitamins and minerals. They'll probably put her on supplements and hormone replacement therapy."


"And you know what to do with that, right?"


"Of course," the voice said. "I just thought you should know."


"Thank you," Jeremy said, hanging up the phone.


He walked over and knocked on the door. It opened and the guard stepped back in. "Make sure the record of that call gets lost," Jremey said as he let himself be handcuffed again. "My attorney will make sure you're well compensated."


***
 

Sarah

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So beautiful - loved JRs proposal it was so sweet!! I could just picture it and how happy it made Sue Ellen.

Wendell is going to mess with her results and make out she is seriously ill isn’t he? Stupid evil little man!
 
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