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    THE SPIN-OFF

Second Chance

Ms Southworth

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Congratulations! :spinning: The epilogue DID get better than your last update! :jolly:
But you know what? :p. You'll have to write a second part to your epilogue, because you left out the baby's name!!! :mo: You have to give us that much, please! :cool1 Another beautiful love scene would be much appreciated! :kiss:

Don't you forget, ... ... :best: :gotcha:
 

Karin Schill

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Great epilogue. The part with them arriving with the baby at Aunt Lil's house was so cute. :)
I was wondering if you would have the baby be Margaret or not considering that the story picked up before the dream season. But yeah the lost baby in the dream season was a boy I recall.
 

Ray&Donna

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Congratulations! :spinning: The epilogue DID get better than your last update! :jolly:
But you know what? :p. You'll have to write a second part to your epilogue, because you left out the baby's name!!! :mo: You have to give us that much, please! :cool1 Another beautiful love scene would be much appreciated! :kiss:

Don't you forget, ... ... :best: :gotcha:

Thanks!:) Hmm...I must have saved Michael Raymond Krebbs for another story I was writing, but that was undoubtedly his name here. But since it's not given in the epilogue (apologies!) everyone is free to supply their own :D
 

Ms Southworth

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Thanks!:) Hmm...I must have saved Michael Raymond Krebbs for another story I was writing, but that was undoubtedly his name here. But since it's not given in the epilogue (apologies!) everyone is free to supply their own :D
BUMMER ... ... :( :frustration: :mad:

Oh well, I had to give it a go to see, if the nameless baby could have made you change your mind about writing one last update! :D Michael Raymond Krebbs is a beautiful name not only for a child but also a grown man! :) Thanks for sharing the name with us! :)
I do hope that you will share other fanfics with us! :spinning: You truly are a great writer! :spinning:
 

Ray&Donna

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BUMMER ... ... :( :frustration: :mad:

Oh well, I had to give it a go to see, if the nameless baby could have made you change your mind about writing one last update! :D Michael Raymond Krebbs is a beautiful name not only for a child but also a grown man! :) Thanks for sharing the name with us! :)
I do hope that you will share other fanfics with us! :spinning: You truly are a great writer! :spinning:

You are so kind! :hugs: I have some things from this same era that we used to call "challenges"...they usually just focus upon one episode, scene, or storyline. I will try to repost those in a separate thread as soon as I figure out where I backed them up...:)
 

Presea

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Thanks, everyone! The story continues...:)

***


Ray rode out to the fence at the end of the ranch, along the Braddock Road. Braddock was where he’d spent countless nights drinking, where he’d met Donna, where he received his mail. And yet it had always been a mystery to him. Sometimes he felt like Donna was a mystery to him, too. She seemed able to read him, know every emotion he was feeling, just by looking at his face. She knew him inside and out, knew all his faults, his failings, his self-destructive need to prove himself—and yet she still loved him, still stuck by him. Until, finally, he had cut her too deep. He thought back to his dream—a life without her, without their child, a life so miserable he thought about leaving Southfork. No matter how real it had seemed, he couldn’t believe that could ever be him—and yet, at this moment, it was.

Last night he had let her back in to his life, and she had opened her heart up to him. Their problems didn’t seem the same anymore. He knew he’d have to learn to compromise, learn to be more flexible—he couldn’t bend her to fit an ideal in his mind, he had to let her be herself, the woman he’d fallen in love with all those years ago. It all sounded so easy. He knew they might never completely fit into each other’s worlds—but dammit, they could be happy together. And it could be sooner rather than later. She was too important to him to let her out of his life.

***

Donna walked back into Southfork, somewhat hopeful, but the house seemed to be empty. Her mind was still in a fog over what Ray had said. She didn’t know what had gotten into him, but she liked it and she realized how much she missed talking with him. As she walked into the front hall, she heard the phone ring; since she didn’t see Teresa anywhere, she went to answer it.

“Hello?”

A familiar voice spoke next. “Donna? It’s Dave.”

She smiled—he’d been so busy that they hadn’t been able to talk much lately. “Hi Dave. How are things in Washington?”

“Right now, pretty good. How are things with you?”

“Well, a bit better than the last time we talked.” She paused for a moment. “I just found out I’m pregnant.”

“That’s great. Did you tell Ray?”

“I did. We’re still not back together, but we’ve been talking some more.”

“That’s good to hear. Listen, I have a favor to ask of you. I’m flying in this weekend, and I was wondering if you could come with me to a meeting?”

Donna chewed on her lower lip as she pondered it. “Well, I think I could do that. What’s the topic?”

“It’s a meeting on the impact of the oil business in Texas. They’re going to bring a panel together of independents to discuss its influences, both good and bad.”

Donna froze. She’d pulled back from the oil business and politics lately, to try to sort out her life. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to drag herself back into it just now.

“Donna? Are you still there?” Dave startled her from her thoughts.

“Yes, I’m still here. Let me give it some thought, okay?”
“Sure thing. I’ll see you this weekend, either way.”

“Okay. Goodbye, Dave.”

“Bye.”

She placed the receiver of the phone in its cradle. This was the kind of thing that, in the past, she would jump headfirst into, and ask Ray to be by her side. Now, though, she didn’t know what to do. Maybe Ray was different now. Maybe they were both different now. She remembered that, once upon a time, Sam Culver had told her she could accomplish anything she set out to do. Now she wondered if that were truly possible.
I've always liked Dave Culver. He helped make a good family dynamic with Donna and Ray. I can understand why Donna is afraid to jump back into all of that right away, despite Ray's reassurances earlier. It is probably better if they take more time for themselves to repair things between them right now.
 

Presea

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You're both so kind :) And yes, there will be some romance on down the line ;)

***

It was early the next day when Ray was driving the cattle down the south side of the river. He heard the clomping of hooves and then heard Clayton call out his name as he rode toward him.

“Morning, Clayton.”

“Thought I’d come out and help you today.”

“I could sure use the company. I meant to ask you at dinner last night if you wanted to come help today.”

Clayton nodded in understanding. “But you were distracted by something else?”

Ray smiled at him. “Yeah, I guess I was.”

“I noticed Donna looking a lot happier lately—and you, too. You’re different now.”

“Well, I can’t hide anything from you.” They rode together toward the cattle. “I love her, and every time I see her I want to tell her so, to tell her that I want to make the best life I can for her and our child.”

“If you don’t mind my saying so, I think she already knows.”

They stopped for a moment. Ray pushed his hat back and looked off in the distance. “I know. I just don’t always know the right thing to say. I don’t have everything on my mind that I did a few months a go. Something happened and one day I woke up and realized all of that stuff just wasn’t important.”

Clayton pondered it for a moment. “Well, to tell you the truth, none of us knows the right thing to say. We just gotta play it by ear.”

Ray looked at him, a twinkle in his eye. “Is that so?”

Clayton smiled back. “Yep.” They both laughed as they rode away toward the cattle, surrounded by a cloud of dust from the summer’s drought.

***

Donna sat by the pool and read over a pamphlet Dr. Danvers had given her. She thought she knew what to expect over the next few months, but she figured it never hurt to read a little more about pregnancy norms. The table umbrella blew in the strong, hot wind and she placed her glass of lemonade on the pamphlet to keep it from blowing out on the range somewhere. She’d been sitting there nearly a half-hour when Pam pulled up in her Porsche. Donna waved and Pam waved back. Pam grabbed her purse and pushed her hair behind her ear as she walked over toward the pool.

“Hi Pam.”

“Hi Donna. Bobby told me your good news, I hope you don’t mind.”

She smiled. “No, that’s just fine.”

“Congratulations on the baby.”

“Thanks.”

“He also told me you and Ray were having problems.”

“We were. It had been coming for a while, and I was hoping it would pass. And now, it seems like it has, but it still worries me. I don’t want him to resent me all the time.”

“I don’t think Bobby ever much liked me working outside the home, either. What is it about the Ewing men that make them think they can corral you like a wild horse?”

“I wish I knew. I really do.”

“That may be why Miss Ellie’s so tough—she had to be to keep Jock in line.”

Donna smiled at her.

“And that’s why we have to be just as tough as them—so anytime they get out of line, we can show them who’s boss.”

Donna laughed. “I guess you’re right. I just don’t want to see myself as a divorced single mother.”

“Well, it wasn’t always easy for me—and I worried that Christopher might grow up only seeing his daddy on weekends. But after Bobby and I remarry, I don’t plan to stop working at Barnes Wentworth. We’ll just have to work at our marriage. That means no giving up, and no more letting anyone come between us.”

Donna smiled. “I’d deck any woman that tried to come between me and Ray.”

Pam laughed. “So I’ve been told. Listen, let me get in here and find Miss Ellie so we can go look at wedding dresses. Would you like to come with us?”

Donna closed her pamphlet and stood. “Sure, I’d love that. Might help me get a little perspective on things.” She winked at Pam as they walked in the house together.
I've always liked the father-son scenes with Ray and Clayton. Pam has the right idea here. I always hated how the Ewing husbands usually always bitched about their wives working, but when THEIR careers got so bad that they were barely even home, they just expected them to never complain!
 

Presea

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I do apologize if my alternate timeline is somewhat confusing. I guess I picked and chose elements from the episodes leading up to Bobby's death...without actually killing him :)

***

Miss Ellie knocked on the sliding glass door. She was hoping Ray was home so they could discuss his plans for the evening. She’d always been able to talk freely to him; in many ways he was more like her than her other sons. She loved both he and Donna—they were members of her family, and she couldn’t imagine a life without them on Southfork.

“Miss Ellie.” Ray opened the door and welcomed her in. “Would you like anything?”

“No, Ray, I’m fine. I wanted to invite you to come to dinner tonight.”

“Yes, ma’am. I’ll be there.” He smiled at her, and a silence fell between them.

“Donna went with Pam and me to the dress shop today. She really misses you.”

“I know. I miss her, too. We’re both taking the time to sort some things out now.”

“Good. I want to see my grandchild grow up here, and I’d like to see the two of you together again.”

“Yes, ma’am.” She placed her hand on his and he walked her out. He stared through the glass as the ranch hand drove her back to Southfork. The distance to Southfork represented the distance between he and Donna now; two people who shared the same space but needed a way to bridge the canyon between them. The late afternoon sun cast a pall over the ranch, covering it in shadows. Ray smiled to himself, locked the door and went to shower.

***

Donna sat in the living room, her fingers absently playing the piano. Dinner would begin soon, but no one else had arrived. Clayton was the first person to come in, and he went to fix himself a drink.

“Donna?” Clayton broke the silence.

“Hi, Clayton.” She squeezed his hand as he came close to her. “I was beginning to think I was going to eat dinner alone.”

“No, no, Ellie’s invited everyone tonight. Were you just sitting here all by yourself?”

“Yes, but I needed the quiet to do some thinking, about everything that’s gone on lately.”

“I was out on the range with Ray this morning. He smiled when I mentioned your name.”

“I miss him.” She smiled to herself as she thought of him. “But I’ve got a problem.”

“If you wanna tell me about it, I might be able to help you.”

She sighed. “Dave is coming in late this week. He wants me to speak at a function about the oil business.”

“I see.”

“And it’s the kind of thing I would want Ray to be there for. But I know he’s not comfortable with politics and the oil business, and I’m afraid if I do it and I ask him to come…”

“…you’ll upset the applecart?” He finished her thought.

She nodded as she looked away. “We’ve been communicating so well lately. I’m just afraid that if I do this, he’ll think I’m trying to pull away from him again—and the last thing I want to do is pull away.”

“I think if the two of you talk it out, he’ll see how important it is to you,” he reassured her.

“Thank you.” She stood and hugged him. They both could hear murmurs as the rest of the family started to arrive. They walked toward the main hall and when she saw Ray they both smiled. He took her hand and they walked into the dining room together.
I always liked Miss Ellie's relationship with Ray. I just hate how she never gave JR even half of the amount of attention with real conversations like this that she always gave to Bobby and Ray.

Once again, Clayton shows just how much smarter he is than everyone else. lol. I understand why Donna is uneasy about the function, but as long as she and Ray really talk about it, I think it will be alright.
 

Ms Southworth

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I always liked Miss Ellie's relationship with Ray. I just hate how she never gave JR even half of the amount of attention with real conversations like this that she always gave to Bobby and Ray.
Miss Ellie just never had the emotional "connection" with JR that she did with Bobby and Ray, and also Gary. On so many levels, JR was a difficult man to talk to about "heavy" topics. Even Sue Ellen didn't have many "deep" talks with her hubba! ;)
 
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