"Alex will you marry me?" He murmurs softly, watching her eyes light up, and as they fill with tears, she circles his neck with her arms and he holds her gently as she whispers, "Yes … yes … oh, yes." Then he pulls back slightly and kisses her softly. She can't ever remember being as happy as she was when he asked her to marry him.
Walker brushes her hair back and places another cold compress on her forehead. He watches as a smile appears on her face, then fades away, only to return again. He wonders what she is remembering that makes her smile that way. She starts mumbling and, as a single tear escapes her eye, he leans close trying to hear what she is whispering. Holding his breath and listening carefully, he hears her quiet 'yes' repeated twice more. He gently wipes the tear away with his thumb and kisses her softly on the cheek. As his lips feel the heat of her skin, he replaces the compress on her forehead.
'I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may now kiss the bride.' "I love you Alex," He lowers his lips to hers in a soft kiss that promises everything. As they part, she looks up at him with love in her eyes, "I love you, too, my husband." As she watches, Walker begins to fade away. She reaches out to him, "Don't go Walker, I love you." The vision of the wedding disappears as her mind slides back into the darkness.
Alex suddenly seems restless, rolling her head from side to side and mumbling again. He hears her plead, 'Don't go, Walker, I love you.' "Alex, I'm right here. I'll never leave you. I'm here, honey." He keeps reassuring her until she gradually relaxes again. He replaces the compress and touches her cheek allowing his fingers to linger there. Her eyes flutter, open and gaze at him for just a split second before slowly closing again. He relaxes a little as she settles into a more even breathing pattern. He takes her hand in his, gently rubbing the back of it with his thumb.
The nurse enters the room with a cooler filled with cold compresses and leaves it near him. She goes to the other side of the bed and checks Alex's vital signs, the IV in her arm and then adjusts her pillow. "She's doing fine. She's strong; she'll be just fine. The next time I come in I'll change her gown and freshen her up a little. Keep changing the compresses, it'll help her fight the fever and I'm sure it feels good against her hot skin, too." She touches Walker's arm, smiles, and then leaves him alone with Alex. He leans over and lays his head on the edge of the bed next to hers sending a silent prayer to the man upstairs to watch over her. His body slowly relaxes and he falls asleep.
She smiles as she sees Walker looking down on his son for the first time. As Walker picks him up and holds him close, tears fill his eyes as he looks from the baby to Alex. When she touches his cheek to wipe the tears away the vision of Walker and the baby fade away into the darkness. "Come back, Walker, come back!"
Walker wakes up to Alex's restless movements and mumbling. He can only hear bits and pieces of what she is saying. 'Come back!' and 'Walker' are a couple of phrases that he picks up, and he also thinks he heard the word 'baby' once, but isn't sure. He wipes her face and digs out another cold compress from the cooler. Just as he places it on her forehead, the nurse comes back in.
"How's our girl, doing?" She moves to the front of the bed, makes sure everything is working properly, and feels her forehead.
"She's awful restless. Like she's having dreams, some bad, some good. She's doing a lot of mumbling, too."
"That's the fever. A fever can conjure up all kinds of things in the mind. The past, the present, and even the future, if that's something she thinks about a lot. I notice she's wearing an engagement ring. Have you two set a wedding day? If you have, that could be one of the more vivid images in her mind. She could also be experiencing things from deep in her past. There's just no way of knowing what visions the fever will produce." She takes a clean gown from the closet and turning to Walker, "If you'll step outside, I'll freshen her up a little, get this sweat soaked gown off. That'll make her feel better."
Walker leaves the room, pulling the door closed behind him. He leans back against the wall, thinking about what the nurse had said about her dreaming. No wedding day has been set, could that be what's uppermost in her mind. I should never have let her go by herself. I should have taken off and gone with her. The nurse opens the door and sees Walker leaning against the wall with his eyes shut, walks up to him and touches his arm, "You can come back in now. She seems to be sleeping peacefully so you should try and get some rest, too."
"I will, I promise." He gives a half smile, turns and goes back into the room. Moves up to the side of the bed, looking down into her face, "Alex, I love you. I'm sure you know that, but I should say it to you more often. It's such a little gesture but I know those words mean a lot to you. I know how I feel when you say them to me." He picks up her hand, brings it to his lips, and kisses her fingers gently, "I love you so much. You are my life."
Alex sighs deeply and leans back into the arms of her husband as they sit in the swing watching their children playing a game of tag football. Jimmy has been drafted to be the referee and C.D. the scorekeeper. Two redheads, two blondes, two boys, and two girls. Almost like they had been special ordered. She looks up into Walker's eyes, smiles as he lowers his head to kiss her softly on the lips. It's the perfect day. A day she has been dreaming about forever. She takes a deep breath, thankful for the scene in front of her, when she realizes that everything is vaporizing right in front of her eyes. No, not this, too. Tears flood her eyes, as all before her darkens.
Walker wakes to Alex's restless movements and incoherent babbling. He wipes her face and kisses her softly. "Shh … it's all right, honey. Go back to sleep, I'm here. Shh … I love you." He brushes her hair back then puts another compress on her forehead, but wanting to take her into his arms and hold her close to his heart. Her body looses its rigidity and as she relaxes, her breathing calms, too
Earlier in the day:
Alex pushes open the door to Ranger Headquarters and strides up to his desk, "Walker, I pulled a dumb stunt yesterday. I left the folder on Jenny Lipscomb at the camp. Now, I've got to go get it because I need it when her case comes to court tomorrow." She flashes one her beautiful smiles at him, one that always melts him, "Would you, by any chance, be able to go with me?"
"I wish I could, Alex. But I've got to finish this paper work then I've have to pick up a prisoner in Ft. Worth. Sorry." He looks at her with regret in his eyes, knowing he would much rather spend the day with her and the trip out to the camp would be … nice.
"Well, I thought I'd try. I'll see you when you get back, then?" She reaches across his desk and touches his hand, giving it a light squeeze.
"You bet." He catches her fingers before they can leave his hand and holds them for the briefest of moments as he looks deep into her eyes. His voice lowers, "Be careful."
Her voice just loud enough for him to hear, "I will. I love you." He mouths the same words back to her and as he lets go of her fingers, she turns and walks out of the room.
The day was warm so the drive to the camp was very enjoyable giving her plenty of time to daydream about her cowboy. When she reaches her destination, she glances around at the beauty and serenity of the place in the late morning hours. Moving to the door, she unlocks it and pushes it open, gasps, "Oh, no! What in the world happened in here." Looking around the large room at the total destruction of the place. Couch cushions, ripped and stuffing pulled out, broken dishes, and bottles, papers scattered everywhere. "Papers! Oh, God I hope Jenny's folder isn't in this mess." She moves over to the desk and pulls open the top drawer. Breathes a sigh of relief as she picks up the folder. "Thank God." Just then something large and furry drops down in the middle of the desk. Startled she jumps back, trips over some debris on the floor, and falls backward, cutting her arm on broken glass as her head hits the floor with a resounding thud, knocking her out.
This is where Walker finds her late in the day. When he returned to Dallas with the prisoner, it was after 4:00, the task taking longer then he figured. He finds Trivette huddled over a table full of papers with two other Rangers. "Trivette, have you seen Alex? I stopped by her office and Amy said she hasn't returned yet."
"No, man, I sure haven't." As his attention is returned to the table, Walker turns and walks out of the room. Realizing that it shouldn't have taken her all day to drive to the camp and return. The closer he gets to the camp, the faster he drives. When he sees her car parked in front of the lodge, he jumps from the truck and rushes up to the door. He hesitates for just a second then pushes it open. The first thing that crosses his mind when he sees the destruction of the room is that Alex has been attacked. But as he scans the room with his eyes, a large furry animal, seeing the open door, rushes past him out into the yard. "A raccoon!" He finally sees Alex huddled on the cushionless couch, a rag tied around her arm, covered with blood, and her arms wrapped around her head. As he gets closer, he hears her moaning softly. "Alex?" No response. "Alex?" He touches her shoulder, she jumps, opens eyes that are glazed and weakly says, "Walker?" She straightens her legs and attempts to stand but instead starts to fall. Walker catches her, and brings her into his arms. Noticing the large bump on her head, he says, "God, I've got to get you to the hospital." He scoops her up in his arms and carries her to the truck and races back to Dallas. He notifies the hospital by radio that he is on his way in with Alex.
He pulls up to the emergency entrance just as a gurney is wheeled out. As they wheel Alex into the hospital, Walker is right beside her. When they push her into a room, they block his path and tell him he'll have to wait outside. He turns back toward the waiting room and sees Dr. Jerry Matthews hurrying toward him. "Can you tell me anything about what happened Walker?"
"All I know is the way I found her. A raccoon had ransacked the lodge and there was broken glass and paper everywhere. She was curled up on a couch when I got there. Somehow, she had bandaged her arm, but it had bleed a lot before she got it stopped."
"A raccoon. I don't like the sound of that but I'll let you know what I find as soon as I can." He turns and enters the emergency room leaving Walker to wait alone. C.D. is away visiting relatives and Trivette is deep into a manhunt for a cop killer.
When Walker sees Jerry coming down the hall, he stands and starts walking toward him. "How is she, Jerry? Is she going to be all right?"
"She has a bad infection from the dirty broken glass so she's going to be fighting a fever for awhile, probably most of the night. The x-ray of her head shows no trauma, so I'm not worried about that. We'll keep a close eye on her, though. The infection is going to be our biggest worry. She'll be given antibiotics through the night, and I've left word if any problems arise they are to call me. I take it you'll want to stay with her?" When Walker nods his head, "I thought as much, so I've had another cot set up in her room for you." He calls to a nearby nurse to come over, leaves instructions with her and as he turns to leave, hesitates, than facing Walker again, says, "She's going to be fine, Walker. She's one tough lady." He then turns and walks down the hall as Walker is taken to Alex's room, where he has been ever since.
"Snake!" She squeals, comes out of the bushes, sees Walker on the sleeping bag, laughing, she jumps on him, and as he puts his arms around her, "I …could … kill you …for scaring me …like … that." She lowers her lips to his as his hand goes up behind her head, holding her close. As the scene slowly fades, the smile on her lips remains as she remembers the rest of that evening of 'finishing what you started'.
Walker sees the smile on Alex's lips, feels the tension leave her body as she relaxes, and smiles when he hears her murmur, snake. There is no doubt what she is remembering this time, the first night on the Whitewater trip. He brings her hand to his lips, kissing it softly, as he also remembers that night. He leans over, lying his head next to hers and whispers softly, "I love you, Alex." He feels her hand grip his and stands up to look into her open eyes.
Weakly, "I love you, too." Then her eyes close as she falls in to a restful sleep.
He touches her face and, finding it cool, he removes the compress and leans over to kiss her forehead. "You're going to be all right, honey. We've made it through another one." Walker pushes the call button and when the nurse appears, he explains that the fever has broken.
The nurse checks Alex's temperature, "You're right, it's gone. Now she should be able to get the rest she needs. By morning, we should see a very noticeable change in our girl." She looks at Walker, "Now, would be a good time for you to get some rest, too."
After she leaves the room, Walker stands by the side of her bed for several minutes, then leans over and kisses her gently on the lips. He moves over to the cot, lies down and falls into a restful sleep.
When Alex opens her eyes, the first thing she sees, is Walker asleep on a cot at the side of her bed. She closes her eyes, trying to remember what had happened to put her in the hospital. As the vision of the lodge appears, everything falls into place. She vaguely remembers that it was Walker who found her but from there it's just disjointed pictures.
She vividly remembers dreaming of Walker's proposal and a part of a wedding but that fades before she can really see much of it. She remembers dreams of a baby, Walker holding a baby, but it too, is fleeting. Another dream scene of four children playing with C.D. and Jimmy while Walker holds her as they sit in a swing appears just long enough to see that the children are two boys, two girls, two redheads and two blondes, then it is gone as well. A soft smile forms on her lips as she whispers, "My elusive dreams."
A soft murmur, "They won't be elusive forever, Alex."
Her eyes open quickly to see Walker at her side, "Oh, I'm sorry, honey, I didn't mean to wake you. I was just trying to remember what happened."
"I know. Me, too." He pushes the button to raise the bed so that Alex is sitting up.
She looks at him with a puzzled expression, "I don't understand. What …?"
"I'm not sure I do either. Your fever kinda brought a lot of things out that I think I'd kinda lost sight of." He picks up her hand and sits on the side of the bed.
"What things, Walker?"
"Things … like us, our life together, our future. I think I was too content with things the way they are. But after last night, you kinda brought things into perspective."
"Yes, honey, you did." He leans forward and kisses her softly on the lips. "After you get out of here, why don't we do something about your 'elusive dreams'?"