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Boat of Devotion

Title: Boat of Devotion
Author: Nubiangeek
Disclaimer: I don't own any Psi Factor characters.

    Peter Axon was burnt out.  There was nothing else to call it.  They had just come off of a very strenuous case.  It had involved a teenaged boy with PK abilities who was very troubled.  He had ended up taking his own life at the end.  Peter had blamed himself.  
    Peter began to think about his own life.  What life,  he thought.  Did anybody even care if he lived or died?
    So,  on that day after the case was wrapped up,  Peter made the mammoth decision to take a few days off.
    "So,  where are you going?"  Matt asked.  Peter looked suspicious.  Matt and Peter were not exactly the best of friends.
    "I'm just going to do a little fishing up at Lewis Lake."
     "Oh."  Matt said.
     As Peter readied himself for his trip, he had promised himself that he would not think about OSIR for the next four days.

    Pam Curtis and her son Danny were driving to Lake Lewis.  Pam was nervous.  She kept looking in her rear view mirror to see if she were being followed.  Thank God she wasn't.  Danny was talking incessantly.
    "Hey Mommie,  why is the sun and the moon out at the same time?"  She was barely listening and just said,  "Uh - huh in answer to his questions.  This always tended to make Danny angry.
    "She never listens to me."  He thought to himself.  I wish Daddy were still alive.  Mommie always seemed to be happier then.
    As they pulled up in front of the cabin,  Pam looked around nervously before she alighted from the vehicle.
    "Come on Danny.  Get your things quickly."  She didn't know what difference it made,  but she wanted to get inside as quickly as possible.
    As they settled in,  Pam looked around.  The cabin had belonged to Ed's parents and they had spent many happy times here.  It was a very comfortable cabin and was always well stocked except for perishables.  Knowing this,  Pam had stopped at the tiny supermarket in Beanblossom Falls.
    "Here, Danny. Danny,  help me put away the groceries."  Danny had been zooming around like an airplane.  In fact,  Pam had to stop him and hold his face to get him to listen.
    "Okay, Mom."  The good-natured kid replied.
    Danny could sense his mom's uneasiness,  but he didn't know what it was about.
He knew that it had something to do with him.
    "Mommie,  why are you so sad?"
    It was Danny's turn to take his Mommie's face in his hands.  He knew that it had something to do with listening and he wanted mommy to listen.
    Pam's eyes filled with tears as she looked into Danny's sweet,  innocent eyes and lied.
    "Everything's alright, sweet
ie.  Mommie's just tired.  Now,  you help Mommie put away the groceries and then you can play with your super heroes."  
     The little boy obediently went to the kitchen and started putting things away.
    The morning dawned clear and crisp as Peter prepared to go out in the boat for some early morning fishing.
    The lake was as still and bright as glass.  The sound of the water  birds calling to one another reached Peter's ears and gave him a peace that he hadn't known for a long time.
    He knew that it was silly for him to blame himself,  but he couldn't help it.  The boy was relying on Peter to help him.  He had a responsibility to help the boy.  It was true that Peter had no idea that they boy was suicidal,  but he should have known that something was wrong.
    Suddenly,  Peter saw movement on the shore.  He shaded his eyes and squinted.  He could barely make out the form of a small boy.
    Peter made his way back to shore.
    "Hey,  what are you doing here?"  Peter asked.  The boy was just sitting there,  but as Peter got closer,  he could see that the boy was playing with super heroes.
    "Where are your parents?"  Peter could see now that the boy was crying.
    "I'm lost.   I came out here to play super heroes and I got lost."  He was whispering.
    "Well,  come on,  let's go and find your parents."  The little boy put his small hand into Peter's and Peter felt as if he had been redeemed.
    As they walked through the woods,  Danny chatted about various things.  Danny didn't  really care if anybody was listening to him or not.  Pete felt a sense of peace as he walked with Danny through the woods.
    As they came to a clearing, Pete could see the groups of cabins.  His eyes fell on the woman running frantically in their direction.
    "Danny!"  Her hair was flying in the wind as she came to them.
    "What are you doing with my son?"  Peter was surprised.
    "I didn't take him.  I was bringing him back!"  she was barely listening as she held Danny in her arms.  After she was sure that he was safe,  she looked up at the man that brought Danny back.
    "I'm sorry.  I was just so scared.  I woke up and he was gone.  Danny,  you scared Mommie half to death."  The little boy got a thoughtful look on his face and said,  
"Mommie, how can you be half dead?"  They all laughed as she hugged him close.
    "I'm  sorry Mommie.  I just wanted to talk to the morning."  Peter looked at him strangely,  but his mother was used to such statements.
    "Well,  uh,  thank you again.'  She said to Peter.
    "Wait,  what's your name?"  The woman turned around and flashed a beautiful smile.
    "My name is Pam and this is Danny.  Nice to meet you."  They shook hands.
    "My name is Peter Axon."  Peter watched as they retreated into the cabin.  Something was wrong,  but he just couldn't put his finger on what it was.  Peter thought,  a lot of parents would have been frantic to have their child missing.  But,  Pam was a little more frantic than most parents would be.
    He made a mental note to keep an eye on them just in case.  
    When Pam and Danny got inside,  Pam scolded Danny.
    "Danny,  you must never leave the cabin without Mommie.  I was very worried."  Danny hugged Pam and it was very hard for her to be angry when he did this.  She had fixed his breakfast and it was waiting for him now.
    "Be a good boy and eat your breakfast,  Danny."  As Danny ate,  Pam thought about Peter Axon.  He was a very attractive man.  She blushed when she thought about him.  She couldn't let herself think about him,  though.  After all,  she didn't even know who he was.  He could be working for the people that want Danny and maybe she caught him before he could walk off with Danny.  Pam had to be very careful.
    When Pete awoke the next morning,  he looked over towards Pam's cabin.  He wondered if they were awake yet and what excuse he could use to go over there.  He gave up the idea and headed toward the lake.  He didn't get far before he heard screaming.
    Pete ran back towards Pam's cabin.  He didn't know what he would find when he got there.  When he opened the door,  he saw Pam trying to protect Danny from some strange man.
     Before Pete could do anything,  something astonishing happened.  The man that was threatening Danny suddenly burst into flames.
    "Danny,  no!"  But before anyone could move,  the assailant had burned to a crisp.
    "Case manager Peter Axon reporting.  Subject seemed to be a victim of spontaneous combustion or PK abilities using fire. Further investigation warranted.  Axon out."
    Pete immediately called the OSIR team over Pam's strong objections.
    "He's just a little boy."  Pam was crying.  Peter came over to comfort her.
    "We won't hurt him.  He's with Lindsay now.  She'll take good care of him."  For a split second,  Pete realized how good Pam felt in his arms.  He pulled her closer,  but the moment was spoiled when Matt walked in.
    "Uh - excuse me.  Pete, have you interviewed Ms. - uh - "
    "Curtis.  Pam Curtis."
    "No,  I haven't interviewed her yet."  Pete was a little upset that matt seemed to be checking up on him.  After all,  he was case manager for this one.
    "Oh, well,  Ms. Curtis, please tell us what happened."
    Peter guided Pam over to the couch  to sit down.
    "Danny has always been a bit different.  He has Asperger's Syndrome."  When both Peter and Matt's eyebrows went up,  Pam went on to explain.
    "It's a form of Autism.  It's a very high functioning form of Autism.
 The fire thing all started a couple of years ago.  Danny,  could start fires just by thinking it.  My husband,  Ray Curtis,  got mixed up with some people that wanted to use Danny's powers.  These people killed my husband and are after my son."  When she mentioned a husband,  Peter looked dejected but he perked up after she said that her husband was dead.
    "Why don't we bring Anton in to test Danny?"  Even though Peter was trying to be independent,  he was still trying to receive approval from Matt.
    "That's a good idea,  Pete,  but I worry about how accurate the testing is going to be due to the autism.
    "Maybe I can help.  Since we found that Danny has Asperger's I was trained in Special Education so that I can be sure that everything is being done for him.
    Matt and Peter exchanged glances.
    "Okay,  Pam,  we'll let you help Anton with the testing."
    She smiled at Pete and mouthed a silent thank you.
    Anton worked with Danny and Pam as Danny showed them what he could do.  When he concentrated really hard,  he could light a match from across the room.
    When the testing was done,  Lindsay came by and asked if Danny wanted to go and get ice cream.  He readily agreed.
       "Uh - Pam I was wondering if you'd like to go for a picnic by the lake."  Pam was surprised.  She knew that he was only doing it to try to keep her mind off of what was going on.  She smiled.
       "I'd love to."
       They picked up what they needed at the little supermarket and headed for the lake.  Pam was still a little edgy  about leaving Danny,  but Peter assured her that Danny was in good hands.
    They soon relaxed together and began to talk about normal things.  Peter talked of his job with the OSIR and she talked about her life as a Special Education teacher before the whole thing with the fire began.  
    Peter liked how the breeze rifled through her hair.  In fact,  there were many things about her that he liked.  she had a quiet way about her and they found that they instinctively knew things about each other without saying it.
    After a wonderful lunch of the things that they found in the little supermarket - things like pop tarts,  Vienna sausages, and string cheese.  It sounded gross,  but it was fun.  They strolled along the beach.  It seemed natural for them to hold hands.  Peter had not felt this way in a long time.  He was happy.
    "So,  tell me something.  Do you really believe in things that go bump in the night?"  Pete smiled.  He had been teased about his profession several times.
   "I'm sorry,  I just keep picturing Ghostbusters and the giant Sta-puf marshmallow man."  They had a good laugh and then Pete got serious.
    "I used to be a 'just the facts ma'am' kinda guy.  But,  I've seen things. . ."  Pam could see that some of the things that he had seen were very horrible.  She instinctively put her hand on his shoulder.  Peter stopped walking and turned in toward Pam.  They both knew that this moment would come as they stared deeply into each other's eyes.  Pete took her face in his hands and kissed her lightly  - at first.  After a moment,  Pete deepened the kiss.
    Pam tried to access how she was feeling.  She knew that she shouldn't be thinking while locked in a scrumptious kiss with a handsome man,  but she did anyway.  Her past boyfriends had been nothing,  but mediocre.  Danny's father was a gem.  Not particularly sexy,  like Peter,  but he was true blue.  In a sense,  she felt as if she were betraying Ray's memory.  But,  on the other hand,  she knew that Ray would approve of Peter Axon.
    She gave into the kiss and let her hands roam over his back pulling him closer.
    Before they both realized it,  the sky had broken open and a gentle rain was falling.  They broke apart laughing as they scurried back to their picnic spot.  They quickly packed their things as the rain began to fall more heavily.
    "There's an old fishing shack near here.  We can wait out the storm there."   They ran to the shack laughing as they came through the door.  The shack was pretty bare.  There was a fireplace,  which,  was good,  as well as a functional kitchen and table and chairs.
    The rain had now become a downpour and the wind was whipping as well.
    "I'll get the fire going."  Luckily,  the owner of the shack had collected dry firewood and there were dry matches as well.
    While Peter made the fire,  Pam busied herself by finding some candles and blankets.
    They ended up toasting pop tarts over the fire.  A few minutes later,  Peter and Pam were snuggled under a blanket in front of a roaring fire.  They had kissed a little and Peter was reminded of his high school days.
   "So,  Peter.  Let me guess.  You've never been married?"  Peter smiled.
    "Does it show?  What's the matter,  do my socks not match or something?"
    It did show,  but not in the way he thought.  She knew he wasn't a virgin,  but he didn't look like he  had many relationships.  Maybe it was his sort of naive quality that she liked.
    "I am a little nervous you know.  You're the first man I've 'seen' since Ray died.  Don't worry I'm not still hung up on him.  I mean,  I still love him, but he would want me to move on and make a life for myself and Danny."
    Peter played with her hair.  It was as if she were trying to convince herself.
    "How do you think Danny will react to 'us'. " He was now twining his fingers with hers.  She took a deep breath because this was a very intimate gesture.
    "It's okay.  Danny likes you.  Oh,  no!  I forgot about Danny."  She jumped up.
     "It's okay.  Danny's with Lindsay.  I can call if you want me to."  She didn't answer,  but the look on her face said it all.  Pete picked up the cell phone and called Lindsay.  Peter explained that they were stuck in a downpour and made sure that Danny was alright.  Before Lindsay hung up,  she said,  "Have fun!"
    The next morning,  they had more toasted pop tarts.  Pam was surprised that Peter didn't try something during the night.  It wasn't because he didn't want to.  But,  somehow he felt as if it wasn't the right time.  He spent the better part of the night just holding her.  It felt good and right to hold her.
    They arrived at the OSIR mobile unit the next morning to see Danny eating a huge breakfast of hotcakes and sausage and a big glass of milk.  When Pam walked in,  he had on a milk mustached as well as a huge smile.  He was happy.
    "You didn't even miss Mommie,  did you?"  She said jokingly.
    "Yes I did Mommie,  I love you."  Dear sweet Danny,  always so literal.  Peter went to see Anton to see what the test results were.
       "We have finished our testing.  His abilities are amazing."  Anton was saying.  Pam was sitting on the edge of her chair listening intently while Peter sat next to her.
     "What effect does the Autism have on those abilities?"  Peter asked.
    "Well, I did have some trouble getting him to understand what I needed him to do.  I can see where this would  be a hindrance to whoever was trying to use him.  On the other hand,  the fact that he doesn't understand the concept of death would be helpful to them."
Anton looked at Pam to see if this coincided with what she believed.
    "Well,  I think that it's true that Danny doesn't understand the concept of death.  He still thinks that Ray is just away on a trip no matter how I tried to explain it." Pete put a hand on her shoulder to let her know that he was there.  This gesture did not go unnoticed by Anton.  Pam left to go and see to Danny.  Anton took this opportunity to talk to Peter.
    "Peter,  I'm concerned."  Peter looked alarmed.
    "Is she alright?  What do you think is wrong?  Is it Danny?"  Anton's fears were proven.
    "No Peter,  it's you.  I think that you are getting too involved in this case.  Are you and Pam - uh, together?"  Peter could see now where Anton was going with this.
    "Anton,  I don't think that its any of your business."  An obvious reaction,  thought Anton.
     "I know that it's none of my business.  As I said,  I'm just concerned that you might not be objective when we have to make certain decisions."  Now Peter was confused.
    "What do you mean, certain decisions.  What decisions are you referring to."
    Anton didn't want to tell Peter about news that he had heard from Elsinger.
     "We might have to give up custody of the boy."  He braced himself for the explosion that he knew was to come.
      "What are you talking about?  He's in his mother's custody."  Anton lowered his head and continued.
    "They are trying to prove that she is incompetent because she is ignoring his condition.  They say that they want to take him somewhere where he can be treated properly."  Peter gave Anton another angry look before bolted off to find Pam.
    When Peter came into the observation room,  he was struck by two sights.  One was Danny,  who couldn't possibly understand what was happening to him,  being ripped away from his mother.  And then,  his eyes moved to Pam who was crying hysterically and holding on for dear life.  Matt and Lindsay were there as well,  but all that they could do was stand there and watch.
    Finally,  Pam could hold on no longer and they took Danny away kicking and screaming.  Peter immediately went to her side.
    "Get away from me.  You helped them.  You helped them take my son away.  I don't ever want to see you again."  With that,  Pam got up and left.  Peter remained there on the floor not knowing what  to do next.  He didn't know where Pam was going,  so there was no way to follow her.  There was only one thing to do.
    "Peter, are you alright?"  Lindsay asked.  They had been worried about Peter ever since they realized that he was involved with Pam.  They knew that with Elsinger involved, that the situation could turn out this way.  Peter was too involved with Pam to see that.  If he had,  maybe he could have warned Pam.
   It was not clear if Peter was ignoring Lindsay's question, or if he even heard her at all.  Matt moved over to try to smooth things with Peter.
    "Peter,  you gotta let this thing go.  It's out of our hands now."  Peter looked hard at Matt and said, "If it were someone that you loved that they had,  would you give up?"  The question remained hanging in the air.  Everyone knew that Matt would never leave it alone.
    "What do you need for us to do?"  Matt asked.  Peter smiled and patted Matt on the back.
    "I've got to find Pam first.  Can you guys find out where they took Danny?"  Matt and Lindsay nodded and they each went off in different directions.
    Peter went to the computer and looked up Pam's last known address.  maybe,  he thought,  she will go back there. The database showed that the address was right there in town.  Peter left immediately.
    Pam,  in the meantime, was in a terrible state of depression.  They had taken her son which was the only thing she had left.  She didn't know where they had taken him and so,  she was not able to follow.  She kept thinking that they might just eliminate him because he might prove too difficult to work with.  She sat in the dark house as the rain poured outside.  She thought about Peter.  She couldn't help but think that he was part of the group that took her son from her.  He pretended to like me in order to get close to me,  she thought.  She wiped away the tears that were falling simultaneously with the rain.  She chided herself for the feelings that she still had for Peter.  
    As Peter pulled up to the small bungalow,  he noted that  there were no lights on anywhere in the house.  As he moved to the front door,  he thought about what he would say to her.  What could he say to her?  He blamed himself for what happened to Danny even though he knew that he hadn't done anything.  She would see him as part of the organization that ha given Danny over,  and it really hurt him.  He rang the bell.  he listened as the sound echoed through the seemingly empty house.  He pushed the bell again and listened again.  This time,  he vaguely heard footsteps getting louder as they came to the door.  The door slowly opened,  and there she was.  He could tell that she had been crying.  He instinctively put his hand up to wipe away her tear.  This gesture brought with it a fresh round of tears.  He took her into his arms and held her.  She let him hold her.  She hadn't wanted to,  but there was only one explanation,  she was in love with him.
    She invited him inside,  offered him some tea and turned on the lights.
    "Believe me Pam,  I didn't know that the OSIR was planning on turning over Danny to those people.  If I had, I would have never brought him there."  She believed him.  She had to,  there was no one left but Peter.  She had to trust someone.
     "What do we do now?"  She asked pleadingly.
    "Matt and Lindsay are trying to find out where they took Danny and then we're going to try to get him back."  She looked into his eyes.
     "There's a possibility that you three  could lose your jobs."   
     She looked at Peter and could tell that losing his job was the least of his worries.
     "We're going to get Danny back.  I promise."  She kissed him and he returned the kiss with fervor.
     In the meantime,  Matt and Lindsay had made some discoveries of their own.  Lindsay had hacked into some very sensitive files and discovered that Elsinger was involved with the people that have Danny.  Surprise, Surprise!
     "Do we have a location yet?"  Matt wanted to know.  Lindsay's fingers were flying over the keyboard.
     "I'm working on it."  She continue working and then. . .
     "Uh - oh,  they know I'm in.  They're tracing it back to me.  I have to get out."  She got out before they could trace it back.
    "Well,  how much did you get?"  Matt was anxious to know.
    "They didn't find out who I was, but I did find out where they're keeping Danny.  It's at a small private hospital.  The only problem is that they'll be expecting us."
      Peter brought Pam into the OSIR office the next day to see what Matt and Lindsay had discovered.  His mind flickered back to the night before where he reminisced about the first time he and Pam had made love.   He knew that it was done out of desperation and that it probably was not the best timing,  but he needed her and she needed him.
     "What have we got?"  He asked as he came through the doors.  Lindsay handed him a piece of paper with the name of the private hospital written on it.
    "They'll be expecting us though."  Peter nodded.
    "Let's just hope that he's still there."
     When they arrived at the hospital,  Peter and Pam stayed out of sight.  They figured that they would know who Pam was and maybe even Peter.  Who knows,  Elsinger might even have given the description of the whole team to them.
    Lindsay had found a nurse's uniform and made her way to the nurse's station.  She tried to look as inconspicuous as possible.  She was looking for the room number and scanned the charts that were there.  One of them where they had listed the age of the patient had caught her eye.  They were not dumb enough to use his real name.  She quickly scanned the rest of the information and decided that she had found him.  she left the nurse's station, she went to a supply closet and pulled out her communication device and contacted Matt.
    "I found a patient in room 213 that they have listed as being eight years old.  He's the only one that seems close." Matt acknowledged this information.  Now it was his turn to come in.  Peter stood by in case he needed help and Lindsay was coming out.
    Matt came into the building dressed as a doctor.  He made his way nonchalantly through the halls acting as if he knew people and saying, hello.  When he reached room 213,  he looked around to see if anyone was watching.  He also looked for cameras, but knew that just because he didn't see a camera,  there still could be one there.  He quickly slipped inside the room.  There was Danny.  They had sedated him probably out of the fear that he might start a fire.  There was a quiet knock at the door which Matt recognized as Peter.  Matt let him in with the gurney.
    They quickly placed the boy on the gurney and placed a mask over his face.  Peter was dressed as an orderly and he and Matt walked slowly out of the room.  Matt saw some of the same people that he had said hello to earlier and this time they recognized him from before and said a cheerful hello back to him.  What he was banking upon was that the normal employees at this hospital did not know who the little boy was and thought that he was just another patient.
    They made it all the way to the front waiting area before one of the doctors stopped them.
    "Excuse me doctor,  where are you taking that patient?"  Matt and Peter exchanged glances and both made a break for the door.  Just as they had planned,  Lindsay had pulled the van up to the front door and all Matt and Pete had to do was load Danny into the van.  They had accomplished all of this before the doctor had alerted security.  By the time security came,  they were speeding away.
    Pam had already packed her and Danny's things and loaded them into a vehicle that was waiting at another location.  Pam carefully placed Danny in the backseat of the waiting car.  Then, came the time that Peter regretted more than anything.  Matt and Lindsay waited for Peter in the van.
    They both knew that Pam and Danny had to get away and that it wasn't safe for them to be together right now.  But, even though they both knew this,  it was tearing them apart.
    He took her into his arms and held her before breaking away and kissing her deeply on the lips.
    "I love you."  He whispered softly into her hair.  His words sent a chill through her.  And she squeezed him tighter.
    "I love you, too. Will I ever see you again?"  Peter knew that when Elsinger found out that he would be hopping mad.  He wouldn't be able to protest too much or it would incriminate him.  He also knew that they would be watching him like a hawk for some time hoping that he would lead them to her.  He stroked her cheek with his hand.
     "Maybe someday."  She had said that she and Danny would travel around and perhaps send a postcard only when they were leaving a location so that he would never know where they were - only where they had been.
    He kissed her again.  This time even more deeply when he realized that it would be the last kiss.  She  was crying now and even Peter had a tear or two in his eyes.  Pam slipped into the car and Peter walked slowly back to the van.
    Peter decided to go back up to Lewis Lake to finish out his vacation.  As he sat in the he boat in the middle of the lake,  he thought about the love of his life.  He wondered if he would ever see Pam again and if they would ever have a life together.  He looked out to the shore and half expected to see Danny sitting there as he did on that fateful day


                               Boat of Devotion
            (written by Chris Eaton and Marty Magahee)

Mountains high on a crimson tide
Reflecting down on the water side
All alone my lord and I
In my boat of devotion
All these hills have a tale to tell
Of the restless heart we are know so well
Join with me for I am setting sail
In my boat of devotion
Boat of devotion
Find me my peace
From the waves of emotion unsettling me
Row me away and set my soul free
In my boat of devotion
Wash me with your righteousness
Like a mountain stream in the wilderness
There I'll drown in your tenderness
In my boat of devotion
Boat of devotion find me my peace
From the waves of emotion unsettling me
Row me away and set my soul free
In my boat of devotion
Pure is the sun refreshing the rain
When I feel the hand of forgiveness
Great is the hope this sinner has gained
Now heaven is one breath away
Heaven's just one breath away
Row me away and set my soul free
In my boat of devotion