Authors note:

By now, we all know that the finale of Walker is a Hays Cooper episode.

Wendy and I wanted to do this story in case the writers of the show didn’t

end the show the way ‘WE’ wanted them to.

So this is our ‘finale’. We hope you enjoy it.

Patty and Wendy

CROSSROADS

By:

Patty and Wendy

February 2001

Walker lay silent as the final evidence of night yielded to the hint of sunlight across their bedroom signaling the beginning of a new day. Turning his head to the right, he let his gaze slowly caress the woman that lay so peacefully sleeping beside him.

He loved to watch Alex sleep.  She was and always would be the love of his life and the most beautiful woman in the world to him.  She was due to deliver their first child in just two short weeks but even with her body being heavy with that child, it still only took a simple glance before he could feel the hot fire of desire flood his loins.  He smiled softly as she sighed and snuggled closer to him in her slumber, knowing that even in a deep sleep she had to make sure some part; if not all of her body was touching his.

Focusing on her face that rested so peacefully on his shoulder, he was relieved to see that the worry that had etched itself on her beautiful features and had been so evident over the past few weeks was finally gone.  The guilt that he felt from causing that worry to her roared its ugly head, filling him with a sadness that was overwhelming.  He knew he had put her through a living hell three weeks ago when he had been shot.  He had come so close to crossing the river that the mere thought of it made him shudder.

Reluctantly Walker thought back to that day.  When he had felt the bullet rip savagely into his flesh and as the darkness of death descended on him, all he could think of was Alex.  Would he live to tell her just one more time that he loved her?  Would he live to see their child born?  But once again, he had been lucky and was now making a slow recovery.

How had he survived?  Without a doubt it was because of Alex’s love.  At the hospital, when he was fighting for his life, Alex had never left his side as she willed him the strength to keep fighting.  Even once he had passed the critical moments of his struggle, she remained stationed on the chair next to his bed refusing to leave until he was able to.  When he was finally able to come home, she found that delicate balance of caring for him without overwhelming his stubborn pride.  And not once, through all the turmoil, did she ever complain.

“Why?” he thought to himself.  But before he could even begin to try to answer that complex question he felt her stir softly beside him, drawing his attention back to her.

As her heavenly blue eyes opened to meet his, he smiled at her warmly as she mumbled, "What time is it?"

"A little after five," Walker replied.

"You okay?" she immediately questioned her husband.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Walker smiled.  "You still have about a half hour before you need to get up.  Why don’t you go back to sleep?"

"No, I want to fix you a good breakfast before I go."

"Will you at least stay and eat it with me?"  Walker asked.

“Sure.  With today being the beginning of my maternity leave I can do what I want to.”  She replied with a smile.  “I just need a few hours this morning to make sure my files are up to date so the DA can assign them to someone else, then it is back to the ranch and to you.”

“I like the sound of that!”  Walker replied kissing her forehead. Rolling gingerly to his side so that he faced Alex, Walker felt the sudden twinge of pain from his wound.  Taking extra care to mask the discomfort he was still feeling from Alex, he began a slow and amiable stroke up and down her swollen abdomen with his hand.  Immediately the baby acknowledged its Daddy’s presence with a series of swift and steady kicks underneath the expanse of his hand.

“Boy this baby sure can kick.”  Walker laughed as he watched the gentle roll of the baby's movements.

“You’re telling me.  It’s my bladder it’s always kicking these days.”

“Alex do you regret us not finding out the baby’s sex?”  Walker questioned.

“Not at all.  Boy or girl we will love this baby with all our hearts.  Just the way that we love each other.”  Alex sighs as she leans in to kiss Walker passionately.

As the kiss promptly deepens in intensity, time seems to stand still as the two lovers share their wondrous love for the each other through nothing but their intimate touches.  As Walker’s hand travels slowly up to her breast to explore its round firmness, Alex’s breathing quickens as the sensations he is creating stir her own fires of desire.  Her hand begins a journey of its own as she softly moves it up and down the muscles of his furred chest as she cuddles her very pregnant body even tighter against him.  Their moans of mutual pleasure waft through the room as their passion builds.  When Alex’s hand begins working its way lower between their bodies to grasp his engorged manhood, Walker momentarily forgets about his injury and moves too suddenly sending a hot bolt of pain shooting up his entire left side.  Unable to stop the groan of pain from escaping from his lips, he opens his eyes to see the look of extreme anxiety etched on his wife’s face as she releases him and gasps loudly, “Oh my God Walker, I am so sorry.  I didn’t mean to hurt you.”


“It’s all right.  You didn’t.  I just moved too fast.  I’m ok.”

“Are you sure?”  she asks as she moves away from him.

“Yes I’m sure.  I just need to catch my breath.”  Closing his eyes and taking several deep breaths, Walker waited until the worst of the pain had subsided before opening his eyes again.  Seeing the look of concern still on Alex’s beautiful face, Walker gives her a small grin as he gently guides her reluctant body back to his.  Cradling her delicately against him he lifts her chin so he can look deeply into her eyes. “Alex...don’t you know that the only way you could ever hurt me would be by not loving me.”

“Well that will never happen because I will love you for all of eternity.”

“Just as I do you.”  Walker whispers as he kisses her tenderly.

After lying for several minutes just snuggling, Alex begins to move as she returns from their peaceful haven of love to the realities of the day. "You know, I could lie here like this all day," she sighs.

"That would be okay by me.”  Walker replies.

"But unfortunately I need to get up and showered. Besides, I really have to go to the bathroom,” she giggles as she continues, “And I still want to make you breakfast too.  But tomorrow Cowboy, you have a date!"

“Sounds good to me.”

Kissing him lightly, Alex turns and moves to sit on the edge of the bed.  Smiling back at him over her shoulder she says, “You know...if we are a little more careful we could finish what we started here when I get back home.”

Walker winks and smiles back, “Now that really sounds good to me.”

********

During breakfast, Alex made Walker promise her over and over again that he would not exert himself while she was gone.  He joked with her about whether washing the dishes would be too much exertion but immediately leaned over the table to follow his joking with a kiss that signaled he understood. 

"Well, I better get going.  I'll be back as soon as I can."  Alex states as she pushes herself away from the table.  "Will you be all right?"

Walker stands from his place at the table, moving to her side. Wrapping his arms around her he kisses her nose as he says, "I'll be fine. Would you please quit worrying?"

Placing her arms around his neck she replies, “It’s a wife’s job to worry about her husband.  I love you!"  Pressing her lips to his, they enjoy a long and passionate kiss.

As they both lean back to gain composure, Walker whispers,  "Me too. Hurry back!"

"You bet I will," Alex responds with a pleasant smile as they move arm and arm into the hallway.  When her things are gathered and she is ready to leave, she turns and kisses Walker one last time before moving out the front door.  As she moves slowly down the front steps she calls back over her shoulder,  “Remember, you promised to take it easy.”

“I will.”  Walker calls back with a chuckle.

“Good. I’ll see you in a few hours darling.”

Walker watches as she starts her car and drives down their driveway.  As she turns right and heads towards the city, Walker continues to watch until she is totally out of sight.

********

After drying the last dish, Walker walks around the house searching for something to do.  Finding nothing downstairs, he heads up to the baby’s room.  There are still things to be done to prepare for the baby's arrival, but unfortunately his injury has placed these projects on hold.  He knows it would anger Alex if he even tried to finish any one of them.  They had already set up the crib and the bassinet, so they did have those ready.  The other projects would just have to wait.

While he stands inspecting the baby's room, Walker glances at a box that remains sitting in the corner of the room.  Walking over to it he leans down to inspect its contents.  In it were treasured keepsakes of both his and Alex's...a sketch Alex's mom once gave her, a framed picture of Walker and C.D., the diary of Hays Cooper that Alex, Trivette and C.D. given him for his birthday two years ago.

Lifting the diary out of the box, Walker ambled back downstairs. After grabbing another cup of coffee, he made his way to the living room to make himself comfortable on the couch.  It had been awhile since he had read the diary preferring to read only a few days of entries at a time. Opening the book towards the back where he had left off he slowly began to read.

May 12, 1875

Glancing at his watch, he was taken back when he realized that today's date was the same.  The coincidence was like an omen that he was meant to read these last few entries about his hero on this particular day.  Taking a long drink of his coffee he continued.

"I have been home the past three weeks recovering from a near fatal bullet wound on my left side..." 

As a chill ran down Walker’s spine, he gently touched the bandages that still covered his own wound...also on his left side.

Walker remained still as each page seemed to capture more and more of his concentration.  He slowly turned each page after reading and re-reading it, only to flip back for another look at the words that seemed to hold special meaning for him.  As Walker finished the very last words written by Hays Cooper, he closed the diary ever so slowly uttering to himself, "Wow!"

Closing the book slowly, Walker laid his head back taking slow and calming breaths as he reflected on what he had just read.  The haunting words ran turbulently through his mind, causing him to seriously contemplate his own life and future.  Unfortunately his time for contemplation was suddenly cut short as the ringing of the phone caught his attention.  Glancing at the clock as he slowly made his way across the room, he was surprised to see that over two hours had passed.  "Hello?" he said as soon as the phone was in placed next to his ear.

"Walker?"

"Oh, hi Trivette," Walker answered distractedly.

Trivette continued, "Walker...Alex is in labor.  We are rushing her to Methodist Hospital now.”

Walker's heart pounded loudly as he fired questions at his partner. “Alex is in labor?  Are you sure?  What happened?  She was fine when she left here this morning.”

“Yes I’m sure.  She is in labor.  As for what happened…I would say your baby has decided to make its appearance a little early.”  Jimmy chuckled at his best friend's nervousness.  “Walker are you well enough to drive yourself and meet us there or should I send a unit out to get you?"

"No, I am fine.  I'm on my way.  I’ll meet you there."

Walker began to take the phone away from his ear but quickly brought it back, "Trivette?"

His partner's voice responded, "Yeah?"

"Is Alex all right?"

"She's doing great, but wants you here now.  You sure I can't send a unit out there?"

"I'm sure.  Tell her I am on my way...and that I love her."

"You tell her yourself, partner, when you get here."

Walker smiled and in a single motion placed the phone back on the wall and headed out the door.

********

As Walker raced down the highway, his thoughts were filled with his desperation to get to Alex's side before his child was born.  But even in his anxiousness to get to the hospital, the passages from Hays Coopers diary kept running wildly through his mind.  He couldn’t believe how the words that his hero had wrote mirrored his own life of late.

Walker had read how Hays Cooper, a few weeks before his last entry, had watched a suspected hideout of a known thief - just as Walker had tracked down a burglary ring prior to his injury.  Hays had also noted how his wife, who was pregnant, had asked that he get help and not take chances.  He heard Alex's voice as he replayed their own conversation,  "Walker, I know you want to get these guys.  So do I, but why can't you have other Rangers do the stakeout?"

"I am not going to have them sit all night on a crazy hunch of mine. If anything happens, I'll call for backup. I promise!"  he had said to ease her fears.

Walker paused for a moment and thought, "Was that what Alex and I said or did I just read that in Cooper’s diary?"

Shaking his head, Walker thought about the other coincidences between himself and his hero Hays Cooper.  Hays had written in his diary about his happiness and anticipation of becoming a first time father.  Cooper’s words echoed Walker’s own excitement of impending fatherhood.  So much so that Walker had to agree with his writing that he had only twice before felt this much excitement.  The first time being when their wives had first said they loved them and on their wedding day. 

Walker continued to think about one of the entries Hays had written as he continued his journey to be at Alex’s side.  Cooper had made a trip to town in the early morning before his wife had risen for the day.  With a quick kiss to her cheek, he had left, expecting to be only gone a couple of hours.  When the hours had turned into most of the day, Hays wasn’t really surprised when word from his nearest neighbor reached him that his wife was in labor and wanted him to get home as soon as possible.  With a huge smile and a quick thank you, Hays left town at full gallop as he rushed back to be with her.  That is when he noticed a couple of horses outside an abandoned shack. 

So, it was no surprise to Walker when he noticed two trucks parked outside an abandoned warehouse along the highway.  Two men were loading boxes into the back of them.  Slamming on the brakes, Walker grabbed his binoculars to take a quick look at the license plates on the truck.  Picking up the microphone to his car radio, he quickly said, "This is Ranger Walker.  I need a check on Louisiana plates ABS8434 and TVC4598.” 

He waited for the response on the radio.  It was exactly as he suspected.  "Ranger Walker, those plates were reported stolen 5 days ago.” 

"Have all available units meet me on the south side of the old Rogers warehouse."

"Roger, Ranger Walker.  All available units, please meet…"  Walker tuned out the rest of the message as the rustling of the leaves seemed to echo passages in his mind of Cooper's diary.  As he focused on the sounds, the words from the diary seemed to play out before his eyes.

Hays Cooper, while rushing to his wife's side, had stopped for a moment to investigate why so many horses were gathered around an abandoned shed.  He slowly approached the shed only to recognize Mark Sydney, Scott Bruce and Pete Jackson sitting around at a table. Those three men were among the most wanted criminals in the state of Texas at that time.  Hays had been tracking them down for months before he had been shot.   And now, they had fallen right into his lap.

Thinking that he could capture these men and still make it in time for the birth of his child, Cooper planned to surprise these men through the front door…after all, that was his style.  As he moved around to the porch, a board groaned under his weight sending all three men running out of the shed to jump on their horses in an attempt to escape. Instinctively, Hays Cooper jumped on his horse in fast pursuit.

Walker watched the warehouse, as a chill overcame his body.  Try as he might, he couldn’t quite shake the feeling that over came him.  It was as if Hays Cooper was sending him a message.  Seeing the backup units approaching quietly in the distant, he checked to make sure the trucks were still being loaded.

When other officers arrived, Walker quickly filled them in and outlined his hunch about this being smuggling ring that they had been trying to capture for months.  As Walker laid out a plan to surprise these men, the trucks began to pull away and speed off.  "Let's not lose them," Walker said.  "I'll order a chopper to cover them from the air.”  With that said he jumped in his truck, speeding off in pursuit.

As Walker led the chase of the suspects the last entry of Hays Cooper's dairy whirled through his mind.  Cooper was still on the trail of the men he was chasing.  He noted how sad he was that he could not be with his wife when she gave birth to their child but promised in his diary to spend more time with them both.  He realized he was now ready to teach the younger Rangers so they would be prepared to carry on without him. He regretted that he did not tell his wife that morning that he loved her and hoped she knew how he felt. 

"That will be the first thing I tell her when I see her next."  Cooper had promised to himself.

Those were the last words in Hays Cooper's diary.  Legend has it that Hays Cooper's work took him far from his home that day and after capturing the suspects he was pursuing he immediately moved onto another assignment.  That assignment proved to be a fatal one.  He was killed in the line of duty...never having returned to his wife or ever seeing his newborn son. 

With his wound suddenly pounding furiously, Hays' last words echoed in Walker's mind.

"That will be the first thing I tell her when I see her next."

Walker noticed the chopper in the air and radioed back to the senior officer in the line of cars behind him. "Sergeant Hayes, this is Walker."

"Go ahead Walker."

"Do you have a handle on this?"

"Roger.  You want me to take the lead?"

Walker paused before responding in the radio. 

********

When Walker runs through the hospital doors, Trivette meets him in the waiting area.   "Man, we were afraid you wouldn't make it." 

"Has it come yet?  Where's Alex?"

"Right through those doors, Delivery Room 5."

Walker races through the doors to find the delivery room on the left.  As he walks in, Alex's eyes are filled with tears of fear and relief.  Between laboring breaths, she manages to mutter,  "I was so afraid you weren’t going to make it here before the baby came." 

Walker just stares at her as he moves closer and closer to her side. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, he strokes the side of her face with his hand.  Slowly he moves his hand along the side of her body and over her stomach to assure their child that Daddy had indeed arrived on time. Leaning over he kisses her lips firmly.  Then, locking his eyes with hers he murmurs,  "I love you, Alex Walker.  I love you."

********

Two days later, Walker and Alex return home with their beautiful newborn son.  Cordell James Walker, lovingly nick named “C.J.”, slept peacefully in his mother's arms as they walked through the front door.  The house was just as Walker had hurriedly left it when he headed to the hospital two days prior; choosing not to return home but to camp out in Alex's room until both mom and child were discharged. 

After placing the baby down in the bassinet, Alex meets her husband on the couch.  Hays Cooper's diary catches her eye as she snuggles up beside him.  "Did you read more from his diary the other day?" she asks as she points to the book.

Walker kisses the top of her head as he replies,  "Yeah, I did. In fact I finished it."

"He certainly was amazing man wasn’t he?"  she responds sleepily as she snuggles closer to his warm and inviting body.  

"Yes he was...and still is," Walker whispers.

Walker smiles warmly as he brushes his hand through his wife’s silky hair.  Knowing that Hays Cooper's life…and death had taught him many valuable lessons over the course of the last few days, Walker took those lessons to heart.  He knew they were lessons that would soon change his life dramatically.  But the changes were for the woman he loved. 

Placing a kiss on the top of his now sleeping wife’s head, Walker tries to picture in his mind what Alex’s reaction will be to the news that just this morning the Captain had offered him a promotion...again.  But unlike past offers he was going to accept it.  He would no longer be out on the dangerous streets, but would be giving new Rangers the benefit of his extensive knowledge of solving even the toughest of cases.  It was something that he had never even contemplated before.  But after reading Hays Coopers diary, Walker suddenly realized that he no longer wants to take the growing daily risks that came with his dangerous job.  He had too much to live for now.  He wants to be around to watch his son; and hopefully a couple more of his and Alex’s children grow up.  But most importantly, he wants to be around to tell and show his beautiful wife how much he loves her...each and every day for the rest of their lives.

The End