Note: This was written for the officathon challenge on livejournal. See the end note for more information on the challenge.

ISD is an agency that I created. For the purposes of this agency, this story and any other story I use ISD in, is an alternate universe (almost completely unrelated with Earth as you know it). Things written in italics (those stand-alone phrases) are intended to just be whispers of words and will all culminate in an ending for the story. I can't really explain it anymore than that.

"Unexpected Circumstance"
Part One

'Sweetie, open your eyes for me.' The man's voice was rough, like he hadn't slept in days. 'I need to see those beautiful brown eyes…' Who was he? Who was she?

Belle shuddered as she left the warmth of the log cabin. The snow storm wasn't as bad as the weatherman had said it would be, but as a New Englander she knew that the weather could change in an instant. There was no doubt in her mind that the snowfall would become heavier and she would be locked away in the cabin for days until the roads were cleared and her fiancé could get back; her Nissan Maxima wasn't made for snowstorms and mountains; but for the roads of Boston, where there was only the occasional bad snowstorm...blizzard.

She knelt outside the door to the storehouse and grabbed at the shovel that was half buried under the snow. She would need to have it closer to the cabin than the storehouse or she would really be stuck; it was good thing she had enough nonperishable's and a generator that was newly filled with gasoline, but she wouldn't rely on the generator for heat—that was a sure way to drain the power quickly. She yanked open the door and shoved the cut logs into a carrier. She would have to make a few more trips before she had enough wood for the fire.


"Derek," she turned to look at her fiancé who was trudging his way through the snow from his Jeep. "What happened? Aren't you supposed to be on staff at the hospital right now?"

He scowled. "I'm supposed to be there now, but I was halfway there when I realized I had forgotten to grab my ID and they won't let me into the hospital without it." At her curious look he continued, "Haven't you been listening to the radio? A bus transporting criminals to the jail overturned on a patch of ice. Two of the inmates are missing, one is supposed to be injured; they said that one of the guards managed to hit him."

"Hit him?"

"A bullet wound," he elaborated. "So you didn't hear anything?"

"Oh, no. I didn't hear anything about that. I turned the radio off when you left and listened to a cd instead." She sighed. "I suppose it's a good thing I have my gun with me."

At Derek's raised eyebrow, Belle unzipped her leather coat and pulled one side away from her body to show him the underarm holster that carried her Smith & Wesson. After a moment where he just stared at the gun, she zipped her coat back up and continued to put wood into the carrier. He moved into the shed next to her and gathered up some wood in his arms.

"I'll help you bring these in."

"Thanks Derek," She kissed him on the cheek. "That'll save me another trip."

"You're definitely welcome. Anyway," as he spoke Belle slammed the shed door shut and locked the door, "I have to double time it back to Boston. This was supposed to be my weekend off; I hate that they called me in."

She chuckled, "I'm surprised I wasn't called back in to work."

"You work for ISD in their special cases department. I highly doubt that they would call you in for a snow storm; enjoy your weekend off and I'll see you back in Boston, Sunday night."

"If," she continued, "I can get out of here by then. The storm is supposed to last until Sunday afternoon so I may not make it back in time." They stepped up into the enclosed deck and let the logs fall to the ground in one of the corners. "I trust my team to be able to run itself without me. I've trained them well."

"I know that." He glanced down at his watch. "I have to get going."

"Do you have your id this time?"

"Of course I do," He said while he held up the laminated badge. "I grabbed it before going to help you with the wood."

She snorted. "Well, it's a good thing I found out your real priorities before we got married."

"Sweetheart, you're always going to be my top priority and we both know that if I had helped you out from the get go you would have ripped my head off."

"Eh…oh. Your right, I definitely would have." She rubbed her forehead above her right eye. "Whoa, I didn't realize I had those feministic qualities within me. Mah, well I suppose it comes from having three older brothers who never let me do what I wanted."

'Belle, it's Liam.' Belle? She was Belle…but who was Liam? 'Wake up soon, okay? ISD isn't the same without you.' ISD? She knew what that was…didn't she? Like the other times, she tried to force open her eyes, but failed, again and again.

By the time midnight rolled around, Belle was wishing she had gone back into the city. As much as she loved being in the cabin, she didn't like being alone, especially during a blizzard. The meteorologist may not be calling it that, but the storm was a blizzard, not a meager snowstorm. Already, she had watched a few movies on the television…before the wind caused the power to cut out. While there may be a generator, she wasn't going to waste it on watching some movie she had probably seen fifty times.

"Ugh. So boring."

She snagged a book from the table and settled down on the rug in front of the fire place. This was one of her favorite books, about a woman who had just found out she had given birth while in a coma, and her ex-husband and ex-doctor—who were now married—had hidden it from her and raised her child as their own. Unfortunately, since she had read the book so many times she already knew what to expect.

With a sigh, she grabbed her cell phone and pressed a few buttons before lifting the phone to her ear. "Hey Liam. How are things in Boston?"

'Everything is fine as far as I know.'

"I am so bored up here. Derek got called back into the hospital because of the storm."

There was a bit of laughter. 'That isn't surprising. Why didn't you come back down when he left?'

"That's definitely a good question; one which I have no answer too. I honestly don't know why I stayed. Maybe it's because this is my first weekend without a case?"

'You could always come back down now.'

She stood up from the couch and walked over to the one of the windows. "I don't suppose you've been watching the weather; this storm is a virtual blizzard. How's Amy?" An effective change to a different topic.

'She's fine. Outside, enjoying the snow. At least her agoraphobia isn't at the extent that she must hide inside.'

"Give her-" she spotted something moving out by the wood shed.

'Belle? Everything okay?'

She swallowed and answered slowly with a blatant lie, "Of course. I was just putting another log on the fire." She shook off the bad feeling building in her bones. "Give Amy my best and don't let her stay out too long."

'Of course I will." He hesitated. "Belle, are you sure everything is okay?"

"Any word on those two convicts who escaped?" She asked taking each word slowly.

"Not that I've heard. Are you worried?"

Belle snorted. "Not at all. I have my gun and a I can fight hand to hand with the best of them. I think they are the ones who should be worried if they come across me."

"That is true." She could hear the smile in his voice. "I gotta go Belle, I think Amy is having a panic attack."

She tossed the cell phone onto the couch and grabbed her leather coat and gun holster from where they hung on the back of a kitchen chair. A moment later she was on the front porch staring out at the grouping of trees to the right of the cabin, behind the shed. Something was moving out there and it definitely wasn't an animal…not unless bears had suddenly started to wear camouflage.

"Do people really think camouflage works in winter during a snow storm?" Belle muttered under her breath. "Anyone there?" She shouted in the direction of the shed. "Hello?"

Nothing. Not a sound. Not even a flash of movement in the trees. She was so sure she had seen something out there. No, not something. A person. She had seen a person. Slowly, she stepped outside onto the top step. Another step and she was already sinking into the snow. The snow seemed to be sludge; it was hard to move through. Heavy, wet, and cold. After what seemed like an hour, but was really only a few minutes, she finally made it past the shed. What she saw stunned her. A woman was lying in red snow.

"What the hell?" Her reflexes took over and she was by the woman's side in an instant. "Miss? Can you hear me?" She pressed her hands against the woman's cheeks and cursed herself for forgetting to grab her gloves. Her hands were too cold; she couldn't accurately get the woman's temperature. "Miss?" She patted the woman's left cheek and then checked for a pulse. "Dammit."

"Why are you breathing? Nobody said you were allowed to breath. How I wish you would die."

Somehow Belle managed to get the woman back to the cabin and onto the couch. There was no way she would be able to care for the woman outside in a bloody snowstorm. A few moments later after grabbing every single spare blanket and the first aid kit, Belle was back at the woman's side. Slowly, and with some difficulty, she tore the woman's shirt and pealed it away from the wound. Nerves set in and she bit her lower lip and took a few deep breaths to calm down. The sight accompanied by smell of blood did not mix with Belle; most of the time she would throw up just at the sight of it. However, she somehow managed to make sure that didn't happen.

"How I wish Derek were here to take care of this," she muttered under her breath. "I only managed to get through Medical School before I gave up."

She pulled on the rubber gloves from the first aid kit and started cleaning the woman's wound. The wound wasn't incredibly deep, only an inch deep, probably caused by a knife, which partly explained the copious amounts of blood, but it didn't explain why the woman was unconscious. Did she have a head injury? Exactly how much blood had she lost? From Belle's point of view, the woman hadn't lost enough to be concerned about. There had only been little teardrops of blood coming out of the trees; if the woman had bled any more than Belle had seen, then there was nothing that she could do about. Belle snagged her cell phone and dialed her fiancé's number.

'Hey Belle,' he answered after only three rings. 'How are things going out at the cabin?'

"Not so great. I have a woman bleeding on the couch; it looks like she was stabbed."

There was silence at his end and then a soft, 'Tell me your joking?'

"I'm not the kind of person who would joke about this," she hissed. "The wound is about an inch deep, it doesn't look like any major organs were hit and I don't think she's lost a lot of blood."

'Did you clean the wound?'

"Yes," she tried not to sound insulted. "We met in Medical School Derek. I would think I learned something from it."

She could tell he was annoyed with her, just by how his breathing changed. 'Is there any thread and a needle in the first aid kit?'

"Yes, but there isn't any antibiotics or bandages to put over the wound after I stitch it up."

'Alright. Stitch it up, and use one of the sheets as a bandage. I'll call the hospital in Plymouth and see if they can send anyone or get an ambulance out to you.' He was silent for a moment and then when he spoke again, his voice was troubled. 'Be careful Belle. The person who stabbed her could be out there still.'

"I'm armed Derek and that third degree black belt I have must mean something; I'll actually get to use it if anyone happens across us."

'For once couldn't you just-' He exploded, but she cut him off.

"I'll be careful. I'll call you or Liam if anything happens, okay?" She didn't wait for an answer and instead hung up; her patient was waiting.

Belle settled back on her heels and looked at the bandaged wound on the woman's side. Her work wasn't great, definitely not that of a doctor, but she still managed to close the wound and bandage it well enough. Sometimes she wished she had become a doctor, but that whole fear of blood thing, wouldn't have made it easy.

She should make some soup, Belle decided. That would warm the woman up, even if Bella had to feed her only the broth. But, when she was halfway to the kitchen, she realized something. There was a draft coming from the front door to the porch. She unsnapped the top of the gun holster that rested under her left arm and removed the Smith & Wesson .9mm. as she pivoted to face the door. With the gun raised in front of her—her left and right arms both bent to keep the gun close to her—she moved across the space to the front door. After a quick scan of the porch, she tugged the door shut and locked it. Her fingers relaxed around the gun and she lowered it to her side and slid it back into the underarm holster.

"Idiot," she called herself. "You're too paranoid."

Twenty minutes later she placed a wooden tray of soup and a sandwich—the latter being for her—on the coffee table. She knelt down on the carpet and settled herself under the table, much in the traditional way of Asian families at dinner time. She took a bite of her sandwich and stirred the bowl of broth and hoped that it wasn't too salty; you never could tell with soup from a can.

"Okay," she muttered, "now to get her to eat."

When Belle turned to the woman, soup in hand, she almost dropped the bowl in shock; her eyes were opened. She noticed the fear in the woman's eyes immediately and so, instead of saying anything she set the bowl back on the table and retrieved her badge from her leather jacket—she made sure not to go anywhere near the underarm holster. Slowly, she turned back to the woman and flipped open the wallet.

"How are you feeling?" She asked once the fear in the woman's eyes was abated. When there was no answer she swallowed and introduced herself, "Belle Li, I'm an ISD agent. This," she motioned around, "is my fiancé's cabin. He's a doctor at Mass General."

The woman licked her lips and looked around warily before she spoke, "Maggie Broderick."

"Can I call you Maggie?" At the nod, Belle continued, "How about some water, then? You're throat seems to be a bit dry. We can try the soup later when it cools off."

At the next nod, Belle stood up and went into the kitchen. Maggie was definitely afraid, which was understandable. After she grabbed a glass of water, she walked back into the living room and hit the power button on the radio. Instead of the news, like she thought would come on, music blasted from the speakers. She moved to change the radio station.

"Wait. This is my favorite song," Maggie requested.

"Isn't this Interpol?" Belle tried to remember the name of the song, "Wrecking Ball right?"

"Yes…do you like them?"

"Interpol?" At the nod, she continued, "Not really. I used to, years ago. But now, not so much." And like that, the conversation was over.

"You aren't like any cop I've ever met."

Belle raised an eyebrow, "Well considering I'm not a cop, that would make sense."

Maggie blushed. "Sorry. It's just that all I know about law enforcement is that they don't really care about people's feelings; they'll just ask away and not care about anything but getting the information they need."

"Not all law enforcement agents operate that way. There are a few of us that actually care about the victim. Besides, I'm not very good at interrogating; that honor goes to my partner. I'm too impatient."

"You haven't asked me anything though."

"I know enough." She shrugged. "I may not know who it was that stabbed you, but that doesn't mean much."

"Two men in dark clothing. At first I thought they were the two convicts that had escaped the prison transport…but it wasn't."

Belle settled back onto the floor and handed over the water. "Do you know who they are? The two who attacked you."

"I've never seen them."

"Where were you attacked?"

"My house; it's not too far from here." Maggie hesitated slightly. "They were waiting for me. I walked into my kitchen and they were there." She looked worried. "My brother was supposed to be there, but I don't think he was. What if-"

"Maggie. Don't think about that. I'm sure your brother is fine. As soon as the snow lets up I'll go over there, okay?"

"I hope your right."

So do I, Belle added in her mind. "As soon as the snow lets up," she repeated.

"Can I…use the restroom?"

"Of course, you just need to be careful not to pull the stitches. Here," Belle stood, "Let me help you to the bathroom."

Maggie smiled but Belle couldn't tell if it was genuine; something was still bothering her about all of this. "Thank you Belle."

"What the hell is going on?" It was Derek. "She should have woken up by now!" She wished she could tell him, let him know, that she had been given a paralytic drug.

Part two will take awhile to appear. I had originally only wanted this to be one long one-shot, but real life wouldn't let that happen, so I got to the 3000 word minimum and the rest of the story will follow later when I actually have time to write and finish the storyline. Sorry.

Challenge 4
Genre: Suspense, Action/Adventure, Drama
Rating: K-M
Like: Zombies, Fight Scenes, Hurt/Comfort
Hate: Any Other Supernatural-Type Creatures, Fluffy Gushy Romance, Low-Brow Humor
Words/Quotes: Agoraphobia, "Nobody said you were allowed to breathe," and a mention of any song by Interpol.