Come back to me
by Tammy

Staring at her wedding ring, Alex began twisting it around on her finger. Thinking back she remembered when Walker had ever so slowly placed the engagement ring on her finger. For weeks following the shooting he had been by her side, making sure she was comfortable.

As time had gone by they had finally gotten married. When Walker had slid the wedding band on her finger she remembered the radiant expression he had worn.

Now three years later their marriage was facing a new struggle. This one was different from anything they had been through before. Going undercover in a drug cartel Walker had been found out. Thankfully help was able to get to him in time. But not before he had been tortured and forced in the "hole" with the only source of nourishment coming from the roots of a tree. When he had been rescued he had been flow immediately to Dallas and spent three weeks in ICU.

His body malnourished...half dead, lying in the hospital bed. The images were enough to bring tears once again to her eyes. This had been her time, her turn to sit vigil over his near lifeless body. The demons had started there.

After his release from the hospital he had shut her and everyone else out. He had accrued vacation days and minutes out of the hospital had put in for them. Yet now nearly six months later his vacation time was nearly up and he wasn't showing signs of anything changing, in fact he seemed worse.

What was she going to do? She had vowed for better or for worse, but what exactly was worse? Was it really expected of her to deal with a talkless marriage? He had moved out of their bedroom and down the stairs into the spare room. For days now she hadn't even seen him, only his quiet footsteps late at night, when he returned from wherever he was spending his days.

Calling up on the services of Dallas' best psychotherapists she yearned to find a way to deal with her distraught husband. Yet they all told her the same thing, you have to wait until he's ready to admit there is a problem. Otherwise she would be risking losing him forever.

A tap at her door brought her back to reality. "Hey, Al, was just checking to see how you are holding up?" Trivette asked walking into her office and closing the door.

"Do you want the fantasy version I give everyone else or the full reality?" She replied settling back in her chair trying to joke through her pain.

"Reality..." Trivette answered with a hint of hesitation showing through in his voice. Alex knew this was just as hard for him as it was for her.

"No change. He isn't around, I haven't seen him for...I can't remember the last time I saw my husband. Jimmy...I don't know what to do." Alex finished her thoughts with a tone of desperation and Trivette could see the wear this was doing to her.

"He just needs time." Trivette said trying to reassure himself, but even he was skeptical this time. So much time had passed he knew it wasn't likely his partner would be back and even if he was he wouldn't be the same Walker. But he needed to remain strong for Alex, she needed the strength.

"So anyway, how is Tara, you're temporary partner?" Alex asked quickly changing topics and to one a lot more "perky". The Captain had partnered Trivette up with a very interesting female. Even though she had been with the Rangers for a short time she took it upon herself to take charge of their partnership. She didnít care for Jimmy and well Jimmy didn't really care for her.

Trivette was lost for what to do. She was good with a gun and followed leads almost as well as Walker, but boy was Trivette getting flack from the guys for letting the newbie walk all over him.

But if that wasnít bad enough he had made the biggest mistake of his life. He had asked her out. His reasoning...maybe it would settle the waters between them.

Alex knew that he had really done it because he was James Trivette and had been taken by her beauty and her take charge nature. But right there in the middle of the courthouse she had turned him down.

"Let's just say we have to get Walker back and fast. She's trying to tell me what to eat, not to mess with the market, she won't invest with me, always has to drive, seems to know what is going to happen before it actually does..." he stopped, exasperated already.

"Jimmy, that sounds just like Walker."

"I know, but from him I could handle it, from her, NO WAY!" For a few minutes they laughed, caught up on cases and just regular life stuff.

"Well, Al, I better get going. I promised Big Dog I would come down and have supper with him. Care to join us? Trivette asked not wanting her to have to eat alone again.

"No, but thanks for the offer. I will take a rain check though. I am going home, I have an idea."

"Care to share this idea?"

"No, I'll tell you about it if it works." Both stood and moving they joined in a huge hug. Each knew one would be there for the other and saying goodbye Trivette left.

Looking back at her diamond, she put the remaining report papers in her briefcase and headed for home. She was going to hopefully make the first move in saving her marriage. Entering the house she had to will herself not to break down, it was so hard. The silence was deafening... the ticking of the clock above the mantle, was the only sound. Going into the kitchen she noted that he had been home sometime that day because a coffee cup and saucer were in the once empty sink.

She wasn't going to allow the pain to overtake her, she was stronger than that. Yet this was so much harder, not knowing what to do. For years even when Walker was having trouble dealing with the stresses of his job he would allow her in but this, for some reason he was lost, or at least close. They had spent so many years together, he had shared so many of his secrets and fears that she always assumed he could always come to her. Apparently this was different because she wasn't even allowed into his life at all anymore.

I never had no one that I could count on
I've been let down so many times
And I was tired of hurtin', so tired of searchin'
til you walked into my life
And it was a feeling I've never known
And for the first time I didn't feel alone.

After saddling Angel, Alex started out on her ride. She headed down towards the river. There was a very special place that Walker had shown to her back when they had just started dating. After they had gotten married they would both ride out and spend hours just lying in each others arms and talking. These moments had meant more to her than any other time they could have spent together. Lying there out near the river Alex was able to get her husband to open up and he they told each other nearly everything. Best friends, that was how Walker had referred to their relationship, he always saw that as so much better than just lovers. Now he wasn't even that.

As she neared the river riding over a small hill she reined up as she spotted Walker. There he was down near their spot on the river, sitting, legs crossed, on a blanket. His back glistened in the sun and she yearned to rush to his side. Wanted those powerful arms wrapped around her, telling her everything was going to be alright. She wanted to run her fingers over the defined muscles in his chest and feel him lying next to her when she woke in the morning.

Starting down the slight incline Alex was prepared to confront her husband. Suddenly Angel reared up and threw Alex to the ground. Her scream cut through the air alerting Walker. Seeing Alex lying on the ground motionless he raced up to her. Kneeling next to her she noted his concern.

"Alex, are you all right?" He asked as she sat up.
"Yeah, I think so. Sure scared me though." She answered as they both stood up.
"What...are you doing out here?" He asked walking to Angel to check her.
"Oh I don't know..." she started but stopped short, the last thing he needed was her to come off as though she were angry. HE needed her love, he needed his best friend. "I was out riding and..." again she stopped not sure how much to divulge. Did she tell him she was worried sick about him, that she loved him and wanted him back home where he belonged? Or should she just talk and see if he came back? Her mind was racing with a million thoughts and she didn't want to mess up, afraid she would push him even farther from her.

"Can we sit?" She finally asked. He nodded and led Angel down to the water. Straightening out the blanket the each sat in silence. Finally wanting to begin Alex looked up and found Walker's eyes filled with tears. Not knowing what to say she took his hand tenderly in hers.

"I'm sorry." He finally said looking up into her eyes.
"Walker..." Alex started in but he shook his head bringing his fingers up to her lips to seal her words. He needed to speak, to tell her what he was feeling.
"No, I need to do this. I've tried so many times to come to you, but just wasn't sure how. So much has happened...and coming down here, to our spot helped me to think. I can only imagine what I've done to you...and I can only hope that you are able to some day forgive me for what I put you through. For years you have been my best friend, someone I could confide in when there wasn't anyone else around.
You stand by me and believe in me. Every time my world has gone crazy there you were to save me from the troubles of the real world. Through you I've learned how much I have and yet I messed things up."

For several seconds neither spoke. Alex was still hurting from being pushed aside, but yet she also knew there was more than just not wanting her around. She knew he was hurting and also knew she would never leave him, they just had a long way to go. At least this was a step toward a new beginning.

You're more than a lover
There could never be another to make me fell the way you do.
And oh, we just get closer
I fall in love all over every time I look at you
I don't know where I'd be without you here with me
Life with you makes perfect sense

You're my best friend
You're my best friend

"Walker, really...yes...it's been hard...I won't lie. But we'll get through this. I'm not sure how...but I love you too much to give you up. No one else can make me feel the way you do. You're my best friend."

Walker slowly pulled Alex next to him and she laid her head on his shoulder. Healing and closure would take along time, they both knew that. But they were finally on the right track, headed toward that new beginning Alex had been praying for, for so long. Their love was built on more than just being lovers, they were each others best friend and it would be this that would get them through the rocky road ahead.