Time Frame: 1947
Summary: Alt: Takes place during the episode where Al is accused of being a communist. Linda is wounded at a union meeting, and Anne blames Al for it.
Disclaimer: Homefront doesn’t belong to me it belongs to Warner Brothers and I make no profit from this story.
Al was in the kitchen putting on a tie and getting ready to go to a union meeting the first one he had been to since the rumors were started by Mike and Ruth Sloan.
“I don’t think you should go.” His wife Anne worried. “It’s bound to be hostile there tonight.”
Linda walked in. “Mother he has to stand his ground. He can’t go into hiding over rumors.”
“I certainly don’t want you going.” Anne said to her daughter.
“I have to be there I’m on the committee.” Linda said. “Al are you ready?”
“Yeah I’ll be out in a minute.”
She nodded. “Don’t worry everything will be fine.” She said to her mom before she went outside to wait for Al.
He hugged his wife and then kissed her. “Don’t worry things won’t get out of control tonight, and if they do Charlie and I will get her out of there if we can’t calm things down.”
“And what if you two aren’t able to get her and yourselves out?”
“We will, and when we do get home tonight you’ll realize you’ve been worrying about nothing as always.”
“Don’t patronize me.”
“I’m not, I love you.” He kissed her.
She kissed him back. “I love you too, now be careful.” She said knowing she wouldn’t be able to keep him home no matter how much she wanted to.
Once he left, Charlie came downstairs with the baby and handed him to his mother. “Are you sure you two will be ok?” He asked.
“Yes Charlie we’ll be fine. I have everything he needs down here. Now go and please keep an eye on Linda and Al for me.”
“And be careful.”
“Yes mamn.” He said and then headed out.
Anne doted over and tended to the baby and hoped that she was worrying over nothing. But she couldn’t shake the bad feeling she’s had most of the day.
A little while later at the Union Hall. Charlie arrived and sat with Al and Linda. He then glanced at the very loud crowd of Union members.
“Have they started tossing tomatoes yet?” He inquired.
“Not funny Charlie.” Linda said.
“I wasn’t trying to be funny.” Charlie said. “They look like they’re out for blood. Al do you want me to talk first and calm them down?”
“No, I can take care of it.” Al said and took the podium and tried to call the meeting into order.
“Enough of this avoiding the subject are you a commie or not!! That’s all we want to know!!” One of them shouted to Al.
“Yeah!!” Another shouted and soon others were demanding an answer.
“Hey back off Earl. He’ll answer when he’s ready.” Another member said and shoved him.
Al tried to calm everyone down and so did Charlie but soon it escalated into blows and then one of the members pulled out a gun and aimed it at one of the men he had been fighting with. The other guy grabbed for the gun and they struggled with it. Seconds later a loud bang was heard when the gun discharged causing the room to go dead silent until a moan was heard from Linda.
Charlie and Al quickly glanced her way in time to see her fall wounded to the ground.
“No!!” Al exclaimed in shock and rushed to her side.
Charlie was there seconds later and they frantically checked her over and discovered that the bullet struck her right shoulder.
Linda winced in pain and tried to keep from screaming out. “Ok, what hit me?”
“Sh you’re going to be ok.” Al said and grabbed anything he could to try to stop the bleeding.
Her eyes started to roll over.
Charlie gently shook her. “Linda no you have to stay awake.” He urged.
“I can’t.” She said sounding very tired.
Caroline rushed over. “I called the hospital and they don’t have a working ambulance to send but they’ll be ready for her.”
Charlie nodded and carefully took Linda in his arms being very careful of the shoulder wound. He and Al then rushed her to Al’s car and once she was safely in they rushed her to the hospital.
Linda passed out on the way there. Charlie drove while Al frantically tried to bring her around.
~This is my fault, if she dies I’ll never forgive myself. Anne probably won’t either.~ Al thought in agony while he tried to bring his stepdaughter around.
Moments later in the emergency room. Ginger approached her fiancée once he was let out of the examining room.
“Are you going to live?” She asked him.
Arthur nodded. “Yeah, it’s not even broken. Just a sprain wrist.” He assured her and kissed her. “Now how bout we go out to dinner like we planned on tonight.”
Before she could answer. Charlie rushed in with Linda in his arms with Al not far behind. A couple of orderlies rushed a gurney over and Charlie gently placed her on it. Ginger rushed over to her.
“Oh my God what happened?” She asked near tears. “Linda.” She called out.
One of the doctors quickly checked on Linda’s shoulder. “She’s lost a lot of blood.” He started shouting orders to the rest of the staff. “And we need to get that bullet out.” He then had Linda taken to one of the examining rooms.
Ginger tried to follow but Charlie stopped her. She turned around at locked eyes with him.
“Did he say bullet?”
“Charlie what happened? Who shot her?”
“Gus and Earl.” He answered and brought her up to speed.
“But she’s going to be ok right? Right?” She looked at him for reassurance.
“I don’t know I’m not a doctor.” He said to her.
Her tears fell hard at that point, so Arthur came over and hugged her and did what he could to comfort her.
Charlie glanced around for Al and found him sitting in one of the chairs in the waiting room looking completely devastated, worried, and guilty. He walked over and sat with him.
“Al I know what you must be thinking but this isn’t your fault.”
“Yes it is. I should have kept her from showing up tonight. I knew things might get ugly and I should have made sure that she wasn’t going to be there.”
Jeff walked in having been there to check on his former teammate even though he didn’t like him very much. “Made sure who wasn’t going to be where?” He asked.
Ginger walked over to him. “Jeff don’t listen to him, he’s just blaming himself when he shouldn’t.”
“Blaming himself for what?”
“Linda’s been shot.” She told him and then explained the rest.
Jeff lets out a choked gasp and was in shock for a few seconds but then that shock turned into anger and he lunged at his stepfather ready to tear him apart. Charlie and Arthur stopped him and held him back.
“Let go of me.” Jeff demanded
“Not a chance Mutt.” Charlie said. “Now come on you know this isn’t Al’s fault. Earl and Gus are the only ones to blame. Earl mostly for being stupid enough to bring a gun in there in the first place.”
Jeff glared at Al and walked away to go and wait elsewhere.
Meanwhile at the Metcalf-Kahn house. Gina was there with Emma visiting with Anne and Michael.
“He’s grown so much just in a few weeks.” Gina said while holding the baby.
Emma peeked at him and then said. “Baby.”
“Yes honey, he’s a baby.” Anne said. “Just like you were not so long ago.”
Emma smiled at him and kissed him on the cheek. Michael cooed. Both the mom’s smile at this.
Their happy moment was interrupted by a special news report coming on the radio about fighting at the Local 311 Union Building that night. “A gunshot was fired ending the fighting. It is not known yet whether the bullet struck anyone or not. We’ll keep you informed of further developments.” The announcer said and then returned to the regular scheduled programming.
“Oh no, Charlie.” Gina worried.
“Gina I’m sure he’s fine.” Anne said but couldn’t keep the worry out of her voice or out of her eyes while she hoped and prayed that the bullet didn’t hit her husband or daughter.
“If someone were shot they would be taken to ST. Anne’s right that hospital is closer to the Union Hall.” Gina said.
“I call Mrs. Seneff she’ll watch the babies.” Gina said and went to call her not leaving any room for argument with Anne.
Mrs. Seneff agreed to watch the babies and once she arrived. Gina and Anne headed for the hospital.
Once they reached the hospital Gina rushed to Charlie and hugged him. Al approached his wife and hugged her and knelt so they were at eye level seeing that she still needed the wheelchair sometimes and was in it.
“We heard over the radio that a gunshot was fired at the meeting. It’s so good to see you right now.” She smiled at him but the smile faded when she realized where she found him. “Al why are you and Charlie here?” She then glanced around and noticed that her son, Ginger, and her fiancée were there. “Al.” She glanced at him and finally realized that he was very upset. “Where’s Linda?”
“Anne the bullet struck her.” Al said in a barely audible tone.
“No.” She shook her head as her eyes welled with tears.
“I’m sure she’ll be all right, it hit her shoulder I don’t think it ricocheted and hit anything else.”
“You think but you don’t know that for sure.” She lashed out. “I trusted you and Charlie to protect her tonight!!”
“Mom go easy on him it all happened too fast.” Linda said sounding very much in pain. One of the nurses got her sitting down while another filed the release papers.
Anne wheeled over to her and checked her over.
“She’ll be in a lot of pain for the next week but she’s going to be all right.” The doctor assured Anne. “I don’t want her moving that shoulder because there’s a chance that the wound can reopen if she does.”
Anne nodded and gently hugged her daughter. She then kissed her forehead. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Linda said and hugged her back with her good arm.
“You really know how to scare a guy don’t you?” Jeff smiled at his sister and then kissed her. “How are you feeling?”
“Pretty horrible, it really hurts, it really hurts a lot.”
“The pain killers will kick in soon.” The doctor assured her.
“Soon can be an eternity at a time like this.” Ginger shook her head at the doctor and then hugged her best friend. “Don’t ever scare me like that again I thought I was going to lose you.”
Linda hugged her back and worried when she noticed that her mom was still very angry with Charlie and Al.
Later at home after Linda is settled in bed and sleeping. Al was there waiting when Anne ventured out of her daughter’s bedroom using the braces and her cane.
“Anne let us take care of her you shouldn’t be straining yourself like this.”
“Don’t touch me.” She snapped at him.
Jeff helped her downstairs and into her bed down there.
“Mrs. K, you have to know that no one wanted Linda to get hurt tonight.” Charlie said.
“Charlie I realize that and I realize that you two couldn’t get to her in time. You’re not one of the ones I’m mad at anymore.” She assured him.
“But you’re still angry with Al?”
She sighed and at that moment Al walked in.
“Leave her alone she’s been through enough tonight.” Jeff glared at him.
“Jeff it’s ok, will you and Charlie please take the baby upstairs?” She asked.
They nodded and then took Michael upstairs giving Al and Anne their privacy.
“Anne you have to know that I never wanted this to happen. I would have never forgiven myself if she had died tonight.” Al said.
“I know.” She said. “But that doesn’t change the fact that she could’ve died tonight. Al, she’s my only daughter do you have any idea what it would have done to me if I had lost her tonight? Do you have any idea how much pain she was in before the pain killers kicked in?”
“Yes I was there and saw her trying not to scream out, and I know it would have devastated you if she didn’t pull through tonight.”
“Oh you don’t know the half of it.” She said as her eyes welled with tears. “Ok I get that you want to stand by your principles, and yes I agree that you have every right not to answer that silly question that’s being asked since the rumor was started.”
“The safety of my children comes first. Now if your principles mean more to you than that then I don’t know the man I married.”
“That’s not fair. You know I would never let anyone hurt our child or your children without putting up one hell of a fight.” He said getting a little angry himself.
“Then how do you explain my daughter being shot in the shoulder tonight? If the bullet would’ve gone higher it could’ve struck her jugular and she would’ve died instantly.”
“I am well aware of that and if I could turn back time she never would have been in its path. She never would have been at the meeting.” He argued.
Anne observed him and finally realized how broken up he was about what happened which quieted some of her anger.
“If you want me to call up the TV Station and tell them what I believe I will.” He promised her. “Just say the word and I’ll do it for you and our family.”
She motioned him to come and sit with her so he did so. She then hugged him.
“Don’t you dare.” She said to him.
“Just knowing that you would to keep all of us safe is good enough for me, and I’m sorry that I lashed out at you I was scared.”
“You had every right to be you’re her mother.”
“And her mother has forgiven you it’s time you’ve forgiven yourself.”
“It’s not that easy.” He admitted.
“Al she’s going to be all right. She walked away from it.”
“By the Grace of God.”
She hugged him and kissed him. They stayed up most of the night talking and comforting each other. She finally got him to come to terms with what happened and forgive himself.