Written by: Dan E. Fesman and Harry Victor
Directed by: Stephen Cragg
Episode Number: 116
Original Broadcast Date: February 25, 2000
Guest Stars: Chad Lowe (Craig Spence), James Rebhorn (General Irving), Faith Prince (Janet), Terry L. Beaver (Senator Kragen), Mary Catherine Martin (Carla), Luba Mason (Giddy Woman)

Grand Empire Insurance. Roger gets on the elevator, greeting his coworkers Ross and Davenport, who are already on there. "Bender," Ross greets as the elevator doors close. "Well, I hear it's a good thing the windows don't open up on 23."

"What are you talking about?" Roger asks, dumbfounded.

"Well, I hear that little pisser Craig Spence is on a tear," Ross replies. "He's going through the deadwood up there like a buzz saw." Roger is mildly bothered by the comment.

He's even more unsettled when he enters his office to find Spence sitting at his desk. "So, Bender, you know why I'm here?"

"I've got a hunch," Roger says. He's dreading what Spence is about to say as he sits down.

"Good, because, uh, this... this isn't easy for me, you know."

"Well, I'll try to bear that in mind."

"I mean, look, you know someone your entire professional life, you know," Spence continues, "and as your star rises, you... you effectively make an unspoken commitment to them and you imply that you're going to be there for them when it really matters. Then you realize that you can't honor your word. It's... it's very humiliating."

Roger is positive now that Spence is going to fire him. "Well, trust me, it's, uh... it's humiliating for all parties concerned."

"That is why I appreciate your making this so easy."

"Rest assured that if I am, it has nothing to do with you. I'm a big boy. I have a contract. I have attorneys. I know the score."

Spence is taken aback. "Oh... well... I thought you liked me."

"You think what you like, Craig. Let's just get this over with."

"Fine." Spence hands him an envelope. Roger opens it and is stunned to find... a party invitation. It's for a reception thrown by Senator Randall Kragen, an ally to the insurance industry that Spence has been supporting for a while. The reception is that evening, but Spence can't make it, and he wants Roger to go in his stead. "But... If it's going to cause some kind of a great hardship..."

He reaches for the envelope, but Roger pulls it out of his reach. "Hardship? Hardship? Hardly. It would be my pleasure to do this little thing for you, Craig. Don't think twice. If you need me to go, I'm there. If you need me to represent the company, it's done."

Spence gets up, a bit confused. "You're sure? All this talk of... of attorneys, it's... "

"Oh. Oh, that... It's just... My sense of humor... Which I don't ever use at parties, by the way. You can count on me for anything, Craig, you know that," Roger says happily as Spence goes to the door. "I like you, Craig. I really like you."

Spence gives him a strange look before turning and heading down the hall.

Roger's cheerfulness dissolves when he calls Ruth, and his wife refuses to go. "First of all, that Senator Kragen is so crooked he walks on an angle. And, second of all, I just had a face peel day before yesterday." Roger winces at the thought as she continues. "There's no way I'm going out in public tomorrow night, certainly not for him, and certainly not for you."

"Well, then," Roger demands, "who am I supposed to take?"

Lisa's realty office. We hear Dr. Morris, speaking in a voice-over: "The great dancer, Agnes de Mille, once said, 'No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.'"

Lisa comes in to work, only to be confronted by the expectant looks of her co-workers. "Okay. He didn't call." Carla and Janet deflate at that news. Lisa insists she could care less.

As she sits down at her desk, Janet hands her a slip of paper - a ticket for a singles dance. "It'll be fun," Janet insists. "Besides, you need to get the past in the past - put things behind you."

"Get what past in the past?" Lisa exclaims. "Put what behind me? I showed a man some houses. He said he would call and then for some reason, he didn't call. I'll live."

"He checked out of the hotel. He left no forwarding address. You were devastated. We need to boogie."

Lisa laughs. "You are so dear. Believe me, when I need to boogie I will call you and only you. But, honestly, I'm not devastated. I'm relieved. Really. Not that it's... anyone's... business..." she adds, glaring at the other real estate agents who are listening in.

Carla turns away, and Bob grabs the phone hastily. Lisa turns back to Janet. "But these last couple of months of my life have been so complicated, and it's not just Ben. There was another guy. I don't even want to talk about it. I am just so happy now to know that the only two people I have to care about are my daughter and me. I can go home and the only man I have to worry about loving is Raymond, Monday nights, on television. You know what I mean?"

"Wow. If you say so."

"I do." Her phone rings. It's Roger. "It's a friend," she hisses at Janet, who is eavesdropping. "Who had a face peel? Oh. Oh. A reception for who? It's tonight? Dancing and... formal, hmm. Uh, well, you know... Roger, as I was just saying to someone here at work--" she shoots a look at Janet-- "I'm not really all that anxious to go out... it's an emergency. Sure, I'd be happy to. Uh-huh. Tonight. 8:00. Can you pick me up? Great."

Lisa hangs up. Janet is resting her chin on her hand, smirking knowingly. "Something you'd like me to tape for you?"

Michael and Dr. Morris are waiting out by a pier. Morris is anxious - General Irving is late for their meeting - but Michael's thrilled to be out after the extended house arrest.

Irving chooses to show up at that moment, and to their surprise, doesn't need them for a Pentagon-approved job. "Not the Pentagon. Me, personally. And it's not an operation - a favor. What I'm asking for is a favor."

Morris is completely confused, so Irving explains that the problem is Senator Kragen. "He's come into possession of some pictures of me. Some fairly, uh... compromising pictures of a personal nature."

"All due respect, General..." Morris replies, "that's not really the kind of work we do."

"I know that. These pictures suggest... that I indulge in a lifestyle not necessarily becoming a military officer and that could be a problem for all of us, gentlemen. You see, Senator Kragen and I have crossed swords before. Nothing he'd like better than to see me replaced. And as your key advocate at the Pentagon, any change in my status could potentially represent a threat to you, as well."

"General... I remain grateful for all the support you've shown me and my program," Morris tells him. "But, frankly, aren't there other government agencies better suited to handle this type of... information retrieval?"

"Oh, come now, Dr. Morris... I'm sure you can appreciate why I can't have this in the system," Irving says anxiously. "It's really very simple. These photos are on an encrypted, uncopyable disk that Senator Kragen keeps in his safe. All Mr. Wiseman has to do is to get into the senator's safe get the disk and get out."

Michael snorts. "Right. I'll just ring his doorbell and..."

"No... no," Irving interrupts, frustrated. "Kragen is hosting another of his extravagant basket-passing socials tonight. Everybody who's anybody will be there. We simply send in our boy here as a party guest. I mean, think about it. It's perfect. A man who never existed goes to a party. The worst that happens is someone sees him breaking into a safe and if they do, so what? Nobody knows who he is. He never existed. It never happened."

Lisa is trying on dresses for Heather, who's none too impressed with her mother's selections. After Heather shoots down three different dresses, Lisa gets frustrated. "Heather, this is a fancy-schmancy event. I need your help."

Heather sighs and hops up off the bed, flipping through the clothes in Lisa's closet. She suddenly finds something, and pulls out a low-cut revealing red dress with straps (the one seen in the "One for the Money" dream sequences). Lisa immediately protests. "Why? What are you afraid of?" Heather asks.

"Afraid? No. I'm not afraid. I just haven't worn that dress since..."

Heather smiles. "Since the last time you wanted someone to notice only you in a crowded room?"

The townhouse. Michael is standing in front of the mirror in a tuxedo, adjusting his bowtie, as Morris comes into the bedroom. "We really have to go, Mr. Wiseman." Michael doesn't move, and Morris joins him by the mirror. "Mr. Wiseman, I believe there's a mirror in the car. Honestly, you and you can continue this love affair there."

"Sorry." Michael sighs. "But, believe it or not, it's a little bit of a shock every time I look in a mirror." He adds, "That's a compliment."

"We have to leave. That's a plea." Morris turns and heads down the stairs.

Michael spares his reflection one last glance before following. "Gee, I wonder what Lisa would think."

In Roger's Mercedes, Lisa is fixing her makeup in the shade mirror. Roger is extremely grateful for the help, since this is the first time Spence has ever asked him for anything. "The main thing is that when the moment's right we have to be sure to meet Senator Kragen. Make an impression. Make sure he knows we're from Grand Empire. Make sure he knows we're there. You know."

Lisa finishes her makeup and flips the shade up. "Make an impression. I got it."

In the limo, Morris and Michael are reviewing Michael's cover: William Lerman, owner of a lucrative Internet business. "And what brings you to this party?" Morris prompts.

"Been a supporter of the senator for years. Although, it's only been in the last several months that I've been in a position to contemplate making a sizable contribution to his campaign." Morris nods, satisfied, but then Michael smirks, adding something extra. "You heard of my company? DominatrixPizza.com? You place your order, and then people in leather deliver your food, slap you around if you don't give them a big enough tip." The doctor stares at him incredulously, and Michael shrugs. "I just made that last part up. We don't have to use it."

"We're not going to use it," Morris insists.

"We're not going to use it," Michael echoes reluctantly.

"Because we're not really there to mingle or talk or fraternize. Are we?"

"Nope."

"In fact, we don't really want to make any kind of impression at all, right?"

"Right."

"So once we're inside, where are we going, and what are we going to do?"

"Fifth floor, crack the safe."

"Fifth floor, crack the safe, and then?"

"We're out of there."

Morris smiles. "Damn right."

There is a pause before Michael speaks up again. "What do you think of PizzaDungeon.com?"

The Doc sighs. "I don't even want to know." Michael grins.

Roger's Mercedes pulls up at the curb, and he and Lisa get out as a valet takes the car. Roger and Lisa proceed into the mansion, getting into the line of people waiting by the stairs to be let into the second floor party room. "Well. Sounds, uh, lively," Roger observes.

Lisa takes in the opulent surroundings. "Yeah."

The limo. Michael is getting ready to go. "It's my first dress-up robbery. I guess I'm a little nervous."

"Here." Morris hands him the concealed earpiece. Michael sticks it in his ear. "Truck is around the corner. Just give me a minute. I'll talk you through the whole thing."

The limo pulls up at the curb, and Michael gets out as the limo drives away. He enters, getting into the line several people behind Roger and Lisa.

Lisa shuts off her cellphone - Heather's at home. She thinks. She puts the phone away and takes off her long coat, revealing the red dress. "Wowzer," Roger says admiringly.

They get to the front of the line, and Roger signs them in. "You know what?" Lisa says as they enter the party room. "I have a feeling this will actually be fun tonight." With that, they move into the crowd to get some champagne, just as Michael gets up to the secretary and gives his assumed name. As he waits for her to confirm it, Lisa and Roger are at the other end of the room, as unaware of his presence as he is of theirs.

"Everybody looks like a waiter," Roger sighs. "You know what? The hell with it. Let's just go to the ballroom and have fun." Lisa agrees, and they adjourn to the ballroom just as the secretary confirms Michael. Michael turns back to the crowd, but Roger and Lisa are already out of sight.

Michael snags an hors' d'oeuvre from a waiter, letting Morris know where he is via the earpiece. The doc is in the truck, looking at a schematic of the building. A red blip is lit up on the schematic, marking Michael's position thanks to the tracking device in his head. A waitress offers Michael some champagne. "Certainly," Michael says, taking a glass.

"Certainly not," Morris retorts.

Michael hesitates. "I meant, no, thank you. I'm in training." He doesn't relinquish the glass, taking a sip of the champagne.

The waitress looks him up and down. "It's working."

She resumes her course through the crowd as Michael takes another sip of champagne. "I must say, I'm quite impressed with your restraint, Mr. Wiseman," Morris says.

"Yeah, I know I make it look effortless." Michael puts the half-empty glass on another waiter's tray.

"All right, then," Morris says, "let's leave the party and make our way up to the fifth floor."

"So soon? Can I at least take my tux for a spin? I'd like it to mingle with the other tuxes."

"I need you to go upstairs. Now, Mr. Wiseman."

Michael sighs and goes into the hallway, heading for the stairs. He stops, however, when he sees his passage blocked, turning away. "Not so fast, Truman Show. You said you didn't want me to create a ruckus at this thing, but there's two guys built like redwoods camped out at the top of the stairs."

Morris reluctantly orders him to return to the party for the moment. Michael not-so-reluctantly obeys, taking a fresh glass of champagne from a passing waiter. "Gosh, it's great to be back."

"Turn towards the wall furthest from the ballroom," Morris instructs him. "You should see a doorway that leads to a service stairway."

Michael sees the doorway, all right, but there's a bar set up in front of it. "With glasses and ice and guys trying to ply girls with liquor," he clarifies for Morris, who mistakenly thinks he's referring to a bar he can bend or lift.

"Lost, Mr. Lerman?" a familiar voice asks. Michael turns to see General Irving making his way through the crowd. Morris is surprised that Irving is a guest at the party, but doesn't question it. "Have you been upstairs yet?" Irving asks. "That's where the real action is."

"Oh, I was just on my way," Michael assures him, but his exit is detained as Kragen himself comes up to them.

Morris tells Michael to get the hell out of there, but it's too late as Irving introduces "William Lerman" to Kragen. "Mr. Lerman, I don't believe we've met," Kragen observes as he shakes hands with Michael. "Are you in our business?"

"Well, not at the moment. But soon."

"Not too soon, I hope. I don't want to be looking over my shoulder. I have a hunch you'd do extremely well with the female electorate."

"Paranoid as ever, Randall," Irving chuckles. "Don't worry, Mr. Lerman isn't a public servant. He's one of those Internet hotshots."

"Is that so?" Kragen asks. "My committee is tackling several major pieces of telecommunications legislation. Tell me - what is your opinion of the unauthorized registration of Internet domain names?"

At a loss, Michael takes a drink of champagne, stalling. "Well, uh... It's, uh, you know clearly..." Kragen looks suspicious and Michael is nervous. Suddenly, Michael pauses before continuing confidently. "Actually, what I think is that it impairs electronic commerce and, let's face it, electronic commerce has become vitally important to the U.S. economy."

Morris is feeding him lines through the earpiece. "...and the irony of this is that a simple amendment to the Trademark Act of 1946..."

"...would almost certainly provide sufficient protection," Michael finishes.

"I'll look into that. That's an excellent idea," Kragen says.

Michael nods. "Thank you."

"You're welcome," Morris says through the earpiece.

"Well, good to have you here," Kragen adds. "Now, you wouldn't by chance be considering a sizable donation to the party?"

"Absolutely," Michael replies. "A few kegs, maybe some chips."

The three men chuckle, and Morris tells Michael to say goodbye. Michael finally excuses himself as the Doc considers their next plan. "Let's follow the music. Let's go to the ballroom--" he checks the map-- "where I'm guessing the band would be."

Michael enters the ballroom. The band is playing at the far end of the room. "Can you get behind there?" Morris asks.

"Eh, I don't know." Michael tries to see, but it's hard through the crowd of dancing guests. "Let me get closer."

He carefully picks his way across the dance floor, trying to get closer without calling much attention to himself. But he stops dead in his tracks as he spots Lisa standing beside the piano, alone. Michael can't help but gaze admiringly at his wife, who doesn't see him standing there. "No... not the red dress," he murmurs.

In the truck, Morris notices the lack of movement on the schematic. "Are you moving?" he asks Michael.

Still entranced by the sight of Lisa, Michael passes his champagne off to a waiter. "Practically floating, Doc."

"What? Are you heading towards the bandstand or not?"

"Not. Although I'd sure like to." Michael sighs, recalling his last encounter with Lisa. "I'm just afraid it might get a little bit ugly."

"Well, what's the problem? More goons?"

Michael hesitates as Roger comes up beside Lisa. "Well, I wouldn't say 'goons,' exactly." As Roger and Lisa turn towards him to join the rest of the couples dancing, Michael abruptly turns away before either of them can see him. He immediately collides with a somewhat inebriated woman crossing the dance floor. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

"No, it's my fault," she says laughingly. "That's what I get for walking through the middle of a dance floor." She looks up then. "Wow, you're cute. Are you a Republican or a Democrat?"

"Mr. Wiseman, what are you doing to get behind that band?" Morris asks.

Michael glances back at the band, then back at the woman, as an idea pops into his head. "Independent. Completely independent. Would you care to dance?"

As Michael maneuvers her across the dance floor, trying to stay out of Lisa and Roger's sight, Roger catches a glimpse of him and stops dead. "What?" Lisa asks. "Did you see the Senator?"

"Huh? Oh, uh, no, no. Uh... I could have sworn it was that fellow across the room there that looked like that, uh... Newman character."

They resume dancing. "Do you mean Mr. Newman? Our Mr. Newman?"

"Yeah."

"Our mysterious Mr. Newman," Lisa adds derisively.

"Yeah. Yeah, uh... perhaps. It has to be my imagination."

"Well, I hope so," Lisa says. "As far as I'm concerned, if I never see him again, it'll be too soon."

Morris stares at the schematic. "Mr. Wiseman, are you spinning in circles?"

"Trust me," Michael mutters, "I know what I'm doing."

"Mm, I do, I trust you completely," his dance partner moans. "I feel like Ginger Rogers."

"Mr. Wiseman," Morris tells him, "I need you to go through that doorway behind the band - now."

"So what's your name?" Michael's dance partner asks.

"Michael..." He catches himself, and tries to correct it. "William."

"Well, Michael William. I get the feeling you're not giving me your full attention."

Michael hesitates, then stops dancing, looking down at the floor in surprise. "What are you looking at down there?" his dance partner asks.

"I think a bunch of mice just ran across your foot."

"Mice?" she echoes, then screams, "There are mice!!"

The ballroom erupts into a panicked commotion, and Michael is able to slip behind the band unnoticed and through the door. He finds himself in a kitchen, and Morris directs him to the nearby window, which is blocked on the outside by metal bars. Stealing a snack from the counter, Michael hops up on the counter by the window, opening it and bending the bars until he can climb out on the ledge. "Corner window, three stories up," Morris tells him, "will take you into the study with the safe."

Michael balances on the ledge, feeling along the wall of the building, when something occurs to him. "Uh... Doc? You remember if I put that gun with the little hook thing in my tuxedo pocket?"

"What?"

"Never mind," Michael sighs, realizing he's forgotten the grappling hook. "What's that old expression? 'Necessity's a mutha.'" He reaches up and punches his fingers into the limestone, literally digging himself handholds and footholds into the wall with his bare hands. "When did they stop using brick?"

He finally reaches the study, and a quick scan of his surroundings reveals where the safe must be - behind the prominent and oh-so-obvious portrait of George Washington. Michael takes the portrait down and tries to open the safe using a combination the General gave them. It doesn't work. "How 'bout I just..."

"No, do not rip off the door," Morris tells him. "That will trigger the alarm." His suggestion: try the combination again.

Michael gets a better idea. Abandoning the combination, he grabs the frame of the safe, literally pulling it free from the wall. He sets it down on the desk, and punches his fist through the back of the safe. "What are you doing, Mr. Wiseman?" Morris asks, hearing the impact.

"Not ripping off the door."

The Doc groans and covers his eyes. "Please, Mr. Wiseman. Don't damage anything. Just get the disk."

Michael obliges, reaching into the safe and feeling around for the disk, offering a running commentary as he does so. "Let's see... proof that aliens exist... ah... where Hoffa's buried... Hmm. Another Pamela Lee video... where the rest of Hoffa's buried..." There's a snapping sound, and he pulls the disk out. "Ah. The disk with the General's pictures. Got it."

He puts the disk in his tuxedo pocket before picking up the safe again and inserting it back in the wall, replacing the portrait in front of it. Seeing the white chalk marks on the desk, he brushes it clean as best he can and brushes off his tux before going to the window and sticking his head out - only to see one of the guards leaning out the kitchen window, staring up at him. "Uh-oh," Michael says, ducking back into the office.

"What?" Morris asks.

"Can't talk."

"Mr. Wiseman, I demand to know what's going on."

"Well, I think Kragen's boys have just figured out that I'm here to make a withdrawal, not leave a donation." Michael goes to the study door and opens it a crack to see a guard hurrying up the stairs and heading for the study. He backs into the office before he can be seen. "Damn. I was really hoping not to dirty this tux."

The security guard enters to find the study empty. He shuts the lights off and leaves. A second later, the portrait comes off the wall as Michael sets it down and carefully climbs out of his hiding place - the recess where the safe was placed. He reaches under the desk, pulls out the safe and puts it back along with the portrait. "Okay, I'm out of here."

"Great," Morris says, relieved. "Get downstairs, find the General, and let's be done with this."

Only too happy to oblige, Michael peers out to see if the coast is clear before leaving the study and heading down the stairs. But as he hurries down the stairs to the second floor, he stops short - Lisa and Roger are standing at the foot of the stairs. They don't see him; Lisa is reaching down to fix her shoe and Roger is looking for the Senator. Michael backs away, turning back up the stairs before they can look up and see him.

Roger is too preoccupied with scanning the hallway. "That waiter said the senator was out here somewhere, but I..."

"Yeah," Lisa sighs, standing up.

He notices she's tired. "You'd love to get out of here, wouldn't you?"

Lisa insists she'll be fine. "But you said that you wanted to say hello to the Senator. Can't leave till you say hello to the Senator."

Roger suddenly spots Kragen over by the bar. "Is that him?" Lisa asks.

"Could be," Roger says.

"Let's follow him," Lisa suggests as they head towards the bar, away from the stairs. "And that way, when he slows down, we can just pounce."

As they follow Kragen, Michael hurries down the steps and makes his way back to the ballroom. He gets Kragen's attention, and the General heads over, but tells Michael not to give him the disk there. He doesn't want anyone to see them make the exchange. "Wait one more song and meet me downstairs by the coat check."

"The thing is, I really need to get out of here," Michael protests. "There's someone here that..."

"It's a party. Have fun. One more song." Irving pats Michael on the shoulder and heads back into the crowd, leaving Michael standing at the entrance to the ballroom.

Morris couldn't hear, and asks if the exchange was made. Frustrated, Michael tells him that they have to wait one more song. "One more song? That's no big deal," Morris says. "Why do you sound so down?"

"I just have a bad feeling about this is all. I just want to be done with it."

"Well, brighten up. Sounds like you're almost done with this, Mr. Wiseman."

As Morris speaks, Michael's dance partner from earlier passes him, with another man. "Hi, Michael William."

Kragen passes by next. "Mr. Lerman."

"Senator," Michael greets, fidgeting anxiously as the song ends and a slow dance song starts.

Roger and Lisa are still tailing Kragen, and Roger makes a face as he passes Michael. "Mr. Newman."

Lisa is right after Roger, and as it registers, she stops and backs up, turning to stare at him. "Oh... my... God."

"Hi," Michael says.

"I cannot believe that you are here."

"I know." Michael looks at her admiringly. "You look great, by the way."

"Do these people know who you are?" she demands. "Do they know how you behave?"

Michael shrugs. "Yeah."

"What?" Lisa asks, seeing the hopeful expression on his face. "You look like you want to say something. What?!"

"I don't know. I suppose a dance is out of the question, right?"

For about a split second, Lisa almost looks tempted. She stares at him in confusion and exasperation, then, unable to deal with the situation, she turns and storms off after Roger.

"Mr. Wiseman, who are you talking to?" Morris asks. "That voice sounds very familiar."

"There’s nobody. Nothing." Michael sighs deeply. "Just the sound of the other shoe dropping."

Morris leans back in his chair. "She's there, isn't she? She's been there the whole time."

"Yeah, but don't worry. She despises me, Doc. It's a shame you're not here to see it. It would give you tremendous pleasure."

Roger has finally caught up with Kragen, but one of the security guards catches the Senator and whispers in his ear. Lisa grabs Roger's arm. "I need to leave. Now."

"Fifth floor?" Kragen mutters.

"Oh, uh, well, I-- I just need another minute here," Roger protests.

Kragen's eyes widen. "My safe?"

"I don’t have another minute," Lisa tells Roger. "I need to go. I really need to go now."

The guard relays the situation to Kragen, and the Senator excuses himself. Roger gives up, and he and Lisa head for the coat check.

The song is ending, and Michael's headed there too... but he's only gotten halfway down the stairs when a security guard appears at the bottom. Michael turns and hurries back up to the second floor just as Lisa and Roger come down the stairs. Michael passes them and heads for the next flight of stairs, but his path is blocked by another guard. He turns to find that he's cornered on both sides.

"Mr. Lerman!" Irving shouts.

Michael leans over the railing to see Irving standing by the coat check, looking up at him. "Aren't you supposed to be down here?"

"Good idea," Michael says, leaping clear over the railing down to the first floor.

He lands neatly on his feet right behind Irving, who whirls in surprise. "My goodness," Irving gasps. "Did you just..."

"No big deal. Gravity does most of the work."

Lisa and Roger have reached the bottom of the stairs, and are a bit unnerved to find Michael down there. As Lisa pushes past them to get her coat, Irving beckons Michael to follow him. But they've only gone a few steps when Kragen yells, "Stop!"

Irving and Michael turn to see the Senator coming down the stairs. "Young man, I don't know what the General's told you," Kragen tells Michael, "but that disk contains top-secret designs for a new generation of stealth weaponry. I fear he plans to sell them to our enemies. Give him that disk, and you'll be his accomplice in treason."

"Don't be fooled now," Irving says. "The material on the disk is what I said it was. It belongs to me. The only traitor is in this room..." he adds, pointing to Kragen, "is that man right there."

Michael backs away from Irving, refusing to give him the disk. Exasperated, Morris tells him to hand the disk over, but Michael insists something's wrong. Morris tells his agents to get a hold of the Pentagon.

Lisa and Roger don't know what's going on, but they decide to get out quickly. Unfortunately, their path is right between Irving and Michael, and as Lisa passes him, Irving grabs her, pulling a gun and holding her hostage. Lisa screams. "That's enough," Irving says. "I have a plane waiting. "If you'll be so kind..."

Morris gets off the phone with the Pentagon, telling Michael that Kragen is right; he can't give Irving the disk.

Michael pulls the disk out of his pocket. "Come on now," Irving says.

"Let her go first," Michael insists, his voice nearly breaking.

"Not until you give me the disk."

"Then give me the gun."

"Not until I have the disk."

"Then how about you point that gun at me?!" Michael cries.

Lisa stares at him, stunned, as Irving obliges, pointing the gun at Michael. Michael steps forward... and grabs Irving's wrist, making it impossible for the General to point the gun anywhere else. With his free hand, he tosses the disk to Kragen, who catches it, bewildered. "What are you doing?" Irving demands. "Do you want me to shoot you?"

"I want you to empty that thing into me," Michael tells him.

"I mean it. Let go," Irving hisses. "I'll shoot."

Michael doesn't let go, and the General is as good as his word, firing twice into Michael's chest. Lisa screams, but Michael doesn't fall or let go of the gun. Irving fires once, twice, then four times in quick succession. In obvious pain, but unwilling to give up, Michael lurches toward Irving, knocking Lisa free of her captor's grasp and wrapping his hands around the General's throat. "Stop! Please!" Irving cries. "I can't breathe."

"That's okay," Michael manages to gasp as Lisa and Roger huddle a few feet away, staring at them in disbelief and horror. "I think I'm bleeding to death." With that, the two men collapse to the floor.

Eight days later. Lisa enters a hospital room, where Michael is lying in bed, hooked up to several monitors and apparently in recovery. "You are a tough guy to get in to see, Mr. Newman," she tells him. "Ever since that night I have been calling hospitals and newspapers - the I.R.S. Nobody seemed to know where you were. Nobody seemed to know who you were."

"Well, in my condition," Michael says weakly, "I don't think anybody was sure of... you know?"

Lisa nods. "Right, right. Well, you're doing better. That's the most important thing." She suddenly remembers the small wrapped box she's holding. "Um, I brought you this. It's a book. It's the new Grisham. My husband always... liked Grisham."

Feeling awkward, she sets the book down on a stool nearby. Michael smiles. "Thank you."

Lisa chuckles. "I don't know what to make of you, Mr. Newman. One minute I am furious with you and the next minute you're saving my life." She leans forward. "Who are you?"

Michael hesitates for a few moments, opening his mouth as if to say something - but then the door bursts open. "Hey!" Dr. Morris exclaims. "There he is." The moment broken, Lisa sighs as Morris heads on into the room. "Everybody at the office is asking about you." He brandishes a small bouquet. "The girls in data processing asked me to bring you these." He suddenly notices Lisa's presence. "Mrs. Wiseman, it's nice to see you. He's looking pretty good, wouldn't you say?"

"Mmm-hmmm," Lisa says.

"Oh, yeah, he mentioned that you were there that night," Morris adds. "Sounds like it got pretty wild." He hesitates. "Uh, I'm sorry. Did I interrupt something?"

"No, I was just leaving," Lisa tells him. She looks down at Michael, smiling. "I am so happy to see you're recovering, Mr. Newman."

Michael gazes at her adoringly. "I'm so happy you came to see me recovering, Mrs. Wiseman."

Lisa lets out a small laugh before turning and heading for the door. She pauses in the doorway, smiling, before heading down the hall.

Morris gets up, puts the bouquet aside, and goes to the door, watching her go. He closes the door and turns back to Michael, the good mood gone. "I am not happy, Mr. Wiseman."

"What are you talking about?" Michael sits up, disconnecting the tubes that he was supposedly hooked up to. "It went great. She saw me, she saw that I was okay. Now she'll stop calling every media outlet in the city and asking about me." He pulls off the gauze over his chest, revealing no marks whatsoever, before getting out of the bed. "Isn't that what you wanted?"

"I think she likes you again," Morris says. "At least that's the way it sounded to me. In fact, I think you were just about to tell her the truth when I walked through this door."

"You know," Michael mutters, pulling on his shirt and picking up the discarded bouquet, "I didn't know that there were girls in data processing. Ready to go?" He grabs his jacket, stopping to pick up the gift Lisa left for him. "This was really nice," Michael says. "Although I was hoping for chocolate."

Morris nods knowingly, and the two men head out the door and down the hall.

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