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An Alternative Ending
by Kara

This is short because it replaces only the very end of the original, and
closely follows the original.  More to follow!  Kara  9/17/99

Peter leans in close toward Assumpta at the bar: "I love you," he whispers.
Assumpta smiles and flushes. Glancing at his dog collar, she asks: "Would
you take that thing off before you say things like that?" "I can't help it." 
"I know."  Suddenly there is a faint sparking sound and the lights go out.
From the far end of the bar, Padraig offers: "I'll go." 
Somewhat aggitated Assumpta replies: "No - stay·" and descends the steps
to the cellar. 
After a moment the lights briefly return and some of the occupants of the
bar give a half-hearted cheer, then suddenly there is a loud sparking
sound and the lights go off again.  
"Assumpta?"  Peter immediately heads for the cellar and finds a pale,
life-less Assumpta lying on the cold stone floor.  Brendan, Padraig, and
some of the others follow close behind him down the steps. 
Peter kneels beside her body: "Assumpta!!"  She doesn't move or make the
slightest sound.  Indeed, she looks dead. 
Brendan feels a cold hand twist his gut.: "God!  Doc - Michael - come down
quick."  Doc Ryan hurries down the stairs.
Peter is beside himself with concern: "Assumpta - can you hear me?"
Padraig groans: "Oh my God," when he gets a full look at her, and he
feels terrible.  If only he had gotten that old wiring replaced for
her...  money or no money...
Peter, with little regard for the presence of the others, continues to
plead: "Assumpta. Assumpta - speak to me!"
Doc Ryan moves to Assumpta's side:  "Peter let me."  Peter stands and
moves away just a bit and watches in fear as the doctor checks her vital
signs.  Michael turns and looks to the others by the stairs.  "Niamh -
cardiac ambulance."
The implications of that request hit Peter hard and he raises a hand to
his mouth to stifle a cry: "Oh God!" Brendan moves to put a comforting
arm on his shoulder, but he catches Michael's attention.
"Brendan can you do mouth-to-mouth?"
"I can," and he bends down beside Assumpta on the floor.
"Right. Two breaths. One... two..."
At the sight of two of his best friends working to save the life of the
woman he loves, Peter is overcome with emotion.  His next words, "Come on
Assumpta .. don't leave me..!" are full of the tears that choke his
throat.  Father Mac hears the words with concern.  He moves nearer Peter
but makes no attempt to comfort him.  Peter's words register in the minds
of the rest of the group in the cellar, but they are too concerned with
Assumpta to wonder at their significance.  His distress, however, is very
evident to them all.  Peter feels as though his whole being is coming
apart at the seams.  Such helplessness... and he a priest...  It is
Siobhan who now moves to put a comforting arm around his shoulders. 
Brendan continues the mouth to mouth and Michael works to get Assumpta's
heart going again.   Suddenly there is an audible gasp for breath and
Assumpta is breathing once more.  She is unconscious, but alive.
"Oh!  Thank you, God."  Peter is so relieved that his body leans heavily
against Siobhan who lends him her strength and support.  Tears roll down
his cheeks.  Though to somewhat a lesser extent, his relief is shared by
everyone in the celler and they echo his words.  "Thank God, indeed!"  
Also feeling very relieved, Brendan and Michael stop administering to
Assumpta and the doctor attempts to make her more comfortable.  He grabs
some empty potato sacks, that are neatly folded and lying atop a wooden
crate nearby, and gently places them under her head.
"Brendan.  Can I have your coat there?"  Brendan removes his coat and
Michael lays it over Assumpta's upper body and arms to give her some
warmth.  He takes the time now to make a more careful examination of her
injuries.  As he comments on what he finds, Peter joins him to kneel
beside her again.
"Her left hand is burned on the back side here.  That must be where she
made contact.  And she has a nasty bump on the back of her head that's
starting to swell.  She must have been knocked straight back by the
shock.  Niamh, can you bring some ice in a cloth from the bar?" 
The ambulance has had to come from Kildargan.  As Niamh runs upstairs to
the bar, she begins to hear the sound of a siren growing nearer.   She
quickly brings down the bundled ice then hurries back upstairs to direct
three paramedics down to the celler.  One of them carries a defribulating
machine, which thankfully will not be needed now. 
Peter and Michael move aside to allow the paramedics room to work.  One
of them checks Assumpta's heartrate and her breathing.  Both now seems
steady.  He turns to Michael and smiles.  "Good job, Dr. Ryan.  If you
weren't here, we would probably be preparing now to take her to the
morgue, not the hospital.  She's a lucky lady."
"I had good help."  Doc Ryan gives the thumbs up sign to Brendan who
grimly smiles back.  It was a bit too close for him.
The paramedics attach an oxygen mask over Assumpta's mouth then they move
her on to a stretcher.  Brendan takes back his coat and a paramedic lays
a blanket over her, then two of them lift her from the floor.
Peter steps forward to ask: "May I ride in the ambulance with her?"
"Are you her husband?"  "No... I'm... I'm a priest."
The paramedic is a bit surprised.  "Allright Father, let's go."
Peter turns to Doc Ryan: "Thank you Michael."
Michael nods: "I brought Assumpta into this world; I'm not about to let
her leave it yet."
Niamh, Ambrose, Padraig, Father Mac, Siobhan and Brendan move up the
stairs ahead of the paramedics and Peter and Michael bring up the rear. 
As Peter passes Brendan in the bar he shakes his hand and thanks him. 
Brendan puts his arms around Peter's shoulders and hugs him.  It is an
expression of relief for both of them.
"I never want to go through that again," Brendan whispers.  "Neither do I."
The paramedics move Assumpta out of the pub with the group following and
lift the stretcher into the ambulance.  Peter climbs into the back with
Assumpta and one of the men.  Some members of the group, now standing in
small clusters, see Peter quietly take her hand into his and lift it to
his lips as another paramedic closes the rear doors of the ambulance.
Reacting to what she has just witnessed, Niamh whispers: "My God, heloves her."
Standing beside her and Ambrose, Brendan quietly replies: "Yeah, I'd say
that's obvious now.  "Niamh asks: "Do you think Father Mac..."
Brendan glances toward Father Mac who is standing with his back to him,
talking quietly with Padraig and Siobhan.  "He's probably known longer
than we have.  He misses nothing, especially where his curate'sconcerned."
Niamh wonders aloud: "So what happens now?"
Brendan shrugs: "That depends on a lot of things, I'd say."
Niamh, as though just remembering, whispers: "She's a married woman!"
Ambrose feels it is time he joins the quiet conversation: "Someone needs
to let Leo know what's happened.  I'll give him a call."
Brendan frowns. "I suppose you have to."
Niamh nods. "He's her husband, Brendan.  He should be here with her." 
Brendan nods in reluctant acceptance of the truth.  Father Mac then
addresses the assembled group. 
"It has been a most trying evening.  I think we should all go home and
get some rest.  I will go to see Assumpta in hospital in the morning. 
Goodnight everyone."
They respond nearly as one:  "Goodnight Father.  Goodnight..."  The
various members bid each other goodnight and the group begins to disperse.  
Niamh suddenly remembers the Chinese food fair.  "All that food!  Its got
to be put away in the cooler.  Ambrose, come help me."  Ambrose nods and
follows her back into the pub.  Together they bid Brendan goodnight and
shut the door.  
Brendan remains standing alone for a few minutes, looking at the front of
Fitzgeralds.  Then slowly he walks away up the street, following Padraig
and Siobhan.
[Roll end credits!]

Stayed tuned for Episode 11: Amongst Friends