A/N:  Thank you so very much for all of the reviews.  Sorry it took me a bit longer to update but . . . this is it.  The last chapter in the Hannah and Crash chronicles.  At least for now.  I really like the characters so I may revisit them.  Anyway, hope you liked this story . . . now onto the last chapter!

She strode into the stall with the black car armed with the enough stubborn determination to make Crash listen if she decided to recite the Gettysburg Address.  He, however, was not there.

            "You back again?" the man from the office asked from somewhere behind her.

            "Well, where did he go?"



            "Yeah.  He lives in the apartment above the office.  Stairs are around back."

            "Thank you," she brushed past the man and found the glorified fire escape in the back of the garage.  Approaching his door she watched as her confidence ran and hid beneath the black car Crash had been working on.

            The dilapidated door to the apartment was open a crack.  Hannah chewed on her bottom lip.  Her voice was desperately clinging to her teeth and begging not to be forced out into the open.  "Crash?"  He could have been standing with his ear pressed to the other side of the door and not heard her.  "Crash," she tried again.


            Her clammy hand shook as she pushed the door open a bit wider.  "Crash?"  Still nothing.  She went inside and closed the door behind her.

            The apartment, if it could be called that, was only one small room.  The sorry excuse for a kitchen ran along the wall to her left.    There was a small table beneath the only window.  In front of her a couch, that no doubt doubled for a bed was covered with cloths, blankets, and pillows.  There was a door to her right, partially blocked by a wooden painter's easel.  The floor was littered with paints and brushes, and canvas was stacked against the wall.  She thought she could hear a shower running behind the door.

She sat down at the only chair by the table.  Don Quixote sat on the window sill next to a silver picture frame.  Hannah picked up the photo.  Crash was staring back at her.  The old Crash.  The Crash who wore a blue basketball uniform.  He was smiling and had his arm around a girl.  His sister.

            Hannah had never seen a picture of Crash's sister, but she knew that this was Rosa.  The girl had the same dark eyes.  She had long dark hair, tanned skin and a model's smile.  She looked so happy.

            "That was taken the day she died."

            Hannah whirled around in the seat to face Crash.  She had not heard the shower stop or the bathroom door open.  He was standing with a blue towel wrapped around his waist and his long hair was throwing droplets of water on the carpet.  His dark eyes had a far away look, and Hannah realized that this was the first time she had ever seen him without the jet black eyeliner.

            Her heart was turning back flips inside of her chest.  She had come up here to yell at him and tell him that refusing to listen to her was unreasonable.  Why did he have to be half naked and dripping wet?

            With a bit of effort, Hannah was able to tear her eyes away from Crash's decidedly bare torso and refocus on the photo she was holding.  The faces still smiled, but knowing this was the last memory Crash had of his sister made the smiles fade somewhat.

            "She's beautiful," Hannah said.

            "Yeah, she was."

            Crash did not elaborate.  He just stood in his towel watching her.  Not knowing what to say next, Hannah suddenly became fascinated by her own feet.  Crash had never been this hard to talk to before.

            "What are you doing here?" he asked after years had passed in silence.

            "I wanted to talk to you."

            "Well then, I would say you are failing miserably at your objective."

            Hannah thought she could hear his usual grin in his voice, but she continued to stare at her feet, "you're not helping."


            Hannah looked up.  He was still wet and so close to naked that her imagination was falling over itself coming up with scenarios in which that towel fell to the floor.  Nope.  That definitely did not help, "could you . . . um . . ."

            "Could I what?"

            "Oh, I don't know.  Put some clothes on?"

            Crash crossed his arms in front of his chest, "I see my undeniable sex appeal is becoming distracting."

            "I just don't want you to catch cold."

            "You're concern for my health is touching," he said bowing slightly before disappearing back into the bathroom.

            Hannah exhaled deeply.  Shaking her head to dispel the image of Crash and his towel, she pondered how a bit of skin could render her brain completely useless.  She tried to concentrate on the picture in front of her in which Crash was fully clothed.

            The bathroom door opened.  Crash emerged and headed to the tiny refrigerator, "alright, Beauty, I am now safe to talk to."

            Evidently, to a man, a pair of pants and, hopefully, underwear constituted a full outfit.  In Crash's case the aforementioned pair of pants were tight, black, and leather.  He still was not wearing a shirt.  Hannah rolled her eyes, though they protested having to look away from Crash's rather impressive physique.  Sure, that was much less distracting.  In the towel, her mind had to try to envision a few things, in leather pants, she did not need any imagination.

            "Drink?" Crash's voice floated up from somewhere inside the fridge. 

            "Sure," said Hannah, becoming aware of how stuffy the tiny room had become.

            With his back to her, Hannah noticed a tattoo of a cross between his shoulder blades that she had been previously unacquainted with.  Crash set a bottle of Dr. Pepper on the table, sat on the arm of his couch, and looked at her expectantly.

            Hannah downed about half of the carbonated liquid, before finding the nerve to ask what she had been trying to ask since the shirtless Crash had come out from the shower, "why didn't you tell me any of this?"

            Crash sighed the sigh of a man who was tired of being asked the same question, "no reason to," he said finally.


            "My sister is dead.  I don't go to Cabrini and I don't play basketball anymore."

            "Why not?"

            Crash shrugged and sipped his soda.

            "But, your coach said you really loved it."

            Crash cocked his head to one side, "Coach Riley?"

            Hannah could feel her face flush at the prospect of adding 'stalker' to her resumé.

            "You went and saw my old basketball coach?  Do you know my social security number too?"

            "214-67-0045?" she said sheepishly.

            "Not even close."

            "Don't be mad.  But how else was I supposed to find you?  You never told me your phone number."  Among other things, she added mentally.

            Crash stood up and gestured exaggeratedly around the room, "do you see a phone?"



            "Well, you could've at least told me your real name."

            "I did.  No one's called my Chris since I was a kid."


            Crash crossed his arms, raised his eyebrow, and gave her an I told you so look.

            "Well," Hannah was running out of things to say, "weren't you worried that I'd find out who you were?"



            "No.  It wasn't my intention to hide anything from you."

            "No.  I'm sure I would have told you about Rosa sooner or later, but it's not the easiest thing for me to talk about."

            "Well, I would have rather heard it from you than finding out like this."

            "Me too!" he said throwing his arms up in the air.

            "Then why didn't you tell me?"

            "Geez, I don't know," he was pacing back and forth now, "I suppose I didn't bet on you dating a basketball player, ending up at my old school, seeing my old picture and knowing it was me!  Let's face it, I don't exactly look like I did in high school."

            "I recognized your name, not your picture."

            Crash stopped mid pace, and shot her a look of exasperation, "well, I guess I won't take my odds to Vegas."

            "Why did you dye your hair red?"

            "Why not?"

"Did you really go to Egypt."

            "Yes." he was pacing again, "and it really was sandy."

            "When did you get that tattoo on your back?"


            "I think it's sexy."

            "What?" he stopped pacing again.

            "Can you forgive me?"

            "For what?"

            "Calling you a liar."

            He was silent for a moment before answering, "of course I forgive you."

            Hannah smiled and leaned back in her chair, "do you want dinner?"  She watched in amusement as confusion took a hold of Crash's face. 


            "Tuesday's meatloaf at my house," she said picturing Crash sitting at the dining room table at her house.  She liked the way he looked there.

            Crash laughed as he returned to the bathroom.  She had not exactly forced him to give her a detailed account of his life and his reasons for not telling her about that life.  But, she had accomplished what she had come to accomplish.  He had smiled again, laughed again, and most important, he talked to her again. 

            "I might suggest that you wear a shirt, oh, and don't forget to put your eyeliner back on."  Hannah bit her lip and closed her eyes.  Crash was standing in front of the bathroom mirror drawing thick black lines around his eyes and saying something about how hard she was to figure out, but she was not really paying attention to his words.  She was watching way the muscles in his arms moved when he pulled his hair into a ponytail, and the way his eyebrows danced while he spoke.

            Crash pulled a red sleeveless tee shirt over his toned chest and put a black leather cuff around his wrist.  

            "Ready?" he asked.

            Hannah was ready.  She was ready to spend a lot of time getting to know the man who made her heart jump whenever he smiled.

            She shook her head and chuckled, "how in the world am I going to explain you to my parents?"

Well, that the end!  Thank you very very much for all of the great reviews.  I'm so glad you all seemed to like my story.