Disclaimer: This was written for the soul purpose of my entertainment. I lay no claim on Walker Texas Ranger or any of its characters. Any reference to the Texas Motor Speedway is purely fictional for entertainment purposes.

 

 

“The Way It May Have Been…”

 

Janis Boisclair

jboisclair@rogers.com

 

Ranger Headquarters Houston Texas

 

“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you… I’ll be so blue without you…” Sydney Cooke hummed quietly to the old Elvis tune as it played in the background. She held in her hands a framed picture of the company B rangers, her friends, out of Dallas and sighed deeply this would make the third Christmas away from them. She knew it was her doing and at the time had thought it was for the best… her eyes lingered on the fair haired ranger, his smiling face and blue eyes… man she missed him the most.

 

“Wow that’s really something in Dallas, did you hear about it Syd? It was her partner, Jimmy Ramsey bringing her out of her thoughts.

 

“No what’s going on in Dallas?” Syd quizzed averting her attention solely on Jim.

 

“It’s all over the television,” he answered flicking on the office television to the newscast.

 

“Tarrant County ADA Alex Cahill-Walker was gunned down in the courthouse today while Texas Rangers looked on,” the announcer boomed out.

 

“Oh my God,” Syd murmured out loud barely above a whisper.

 

“Mrs. Walker is in critical condition and we will be updating as the facts become available,” the announcer continued.

 

“I’ve got to get to Dallas,” Syd cried suddenly standing up.

 

“Dallas… what about the Asher case?” Jim questioned he too standing taking hold of her arm.

 

“It has to wait,” she retorted brushing him off, “I have to get home.” Without looking back Syd took off out of the office.

 

Dallas…

 

“Thanks for the lift Rhett, Kay I’ll see you at the office,” Gage wearily told his counterparts as he got out of the car to head up to his apartment to shower and catch a little sleep before heading back into the office.

 

“No problem Gage,” Rhett answered his eyes straight ahead.

 

“Rhett this isn’t your fault you didn’t pull the trigger,” Gage chastised his friend.

 

“It was meant for me I may as well have done it,” he barked back.

 

“Rhett,” Kay soothed her hand going to her partner’s shoulder, “That kind of talk isn’t going to help Alex.”

 

“Listen to your partner she’s right,” Gage chimed in.

 

“Yeah all right,” Rhett tried to appease the two of them. “We’ll see you later,” he mumbled putting the car in gear and screeching away from the curb to leave Gage standing there.

 

Staring after them a moment Gage shook his head before and with a sigh he headed inside. It still seemed so unreal the guy had just opened fire… he shook his head again pulling his keys from his pocket and unlocking his door.

 

Coming inside he was instantly alerted by the soft hiss of water running. Setting down his keys he reached for his gun slowly drawing it as he made his way towards the bathroom and the noise. Suddenly the water stopped, Gage pressed himself against the hallway wall ready for anything so he thought. Pushing the door open he yelled, “Texas Ranger freeze,” only to come face to face with Ranger Sydney Cooke as she stepped from his shower wrapped in nothing but a towel.

 

“Syd? What the? How did? How come?” Gage sputtered out the questions his eyes wide in disbelief that she was actually standing there in a towel, in his bathroom.

 

“Nice to see you too Gage,” Syd answered, “I’m here because of Alex, how is she?”

 

“Critical, touch and go,” the words came out of his mouth even though he really didn’t hear them he was staring at Sydney.

 

“Man how did it happen?” Syd questioned reaching for her robe.

 

“You tell me,” he came back his mind on only the woman who stood in front of him.

 

“Maybe I should have called Erika…” Syd began only to be cut off.

 

“Erika lives in San Antonio with her father, she and Trivette called it off, but then you would know that if you had kept in touch,” Gage snapped his surprise and shock at seeing her turning to anger.

 

Both stood for a moment at lager heads neither willing to give an inch till Syd finally broke the silence, “Maybe it was a mistake to come here.”

 

“Syd I’m sorry,” Gage backed down trying hard to bury his unresolved feeling for her. “Look why don’t you finish getting dressed while I grab a shower then I’ll go with you to the hospital.”

 

“Gage I’m sorry too… I…” Syd stammered out Gage not letting her finish.

 

“We’ve put our feelings on hold this long we can wait a little longer for this. Just go ahead and get dressed and I’ll be right with you.”

 

“All right Gage,” Syd agreed stepping past him.

 

“Oh and Syd…” she turned at the sound of his voice, “Don’t disappear on me.”

 

She smiled wanly knowing how much she had hurt him then nodding replied, “I’ll be right here.”

 

Gage began to close the door leaving it open a crack unable to take his eyes away from her until she went inside his bedroom the door shutting behind her. Quickly he striped away his cloths and turned on the water stepping in to let the steaming spray wash over him. It was as if she hadn’t been away all this time, like she had never left… what ever her reasons he was going to get to the bottom of it, he wasn’t going to let her get away as easy again.

 

Kay’s Apartment

 

Kay Austin had sat quietly letting her partner weave his way through traffic his foot a little heavy on the gas pedal his mind weighing heavy on what had transpired at the courthouse. Alex’s shooting had been accidental they all knew it even Rhett but that wasn’t stopping him from blaming himself.

 

“You not stopping to let me out?” she quizzed as they passed by the driveway.

 

“Yeah sorry,” Rhett mumbled pulling over to make a U-turn.

 

Again a silence fell between them until Rhett had stopped in front of Kay’s building.

 

“Rhett why don’t you just park it and come on up?” Kay asked resting her hand on his forearm.

 

“I don’t think I’m very good company right now,” he answered looking straight ahead.

 

“Come on Rhett if you don’t come up you know neither of us is going to get a very good breakfast,” she tried to coax. “I’ll go upstairs and pour a bowl of cereal and you’ll go home and do the same. But I will make fresh coffee not warm up all those old grounds that are floating around your pot.”

 

“I don’t know Kay…” his voice drifted off.

 

“Well I do get this car parked I can taste the bacon and eggs all ready.”

 

“All right, all right you win,” he retorted pulling into the nearest parking spot.

 

Kay waited for Rhett to come around to her side of the car for them to walk upstairs together. Once inside Kay went right to work putting the coffee on and setting the bacon to sizzling while Rhett wandered to the living room window to gaze at the street below.

Staring out the window he wondered how things had got to this point, he’d simply stopped at the bank to retrieve his mother’s locket from his safety deposit box…

 

“Penny for your thoughts,” Kay smiled handing her partner a cup of coffee.

 

Hesitating a moment Rhett bit his lip before beginning, “I just was wondering how everything got so turned around. This time last week we were just thinking about winding down a few cases so we could hopefully have a nice quiet Christmas. If I hadn’t gone in that bank at that precise time everything would have been different.”

 

“That’s true but you did walk into that bank and well I can’t help think that there was a reason for it, a reason why things have unfolded like they have,” Kay spoke from the heart.

 

“A reason for Alex being shot? A reason why Walker might loose his wife, Angela her mother? I don’t buy it,” Rhett bluntly stated.

 

“Maybe we just don’t see the reasons yet but we will,” Kay declared.

 

“Believe what you want Kay all I know is that fate has just given all of us a hard slap in the face and we’re going to have to live with it for the rest of our lives.”

 

Memorial Hospital

 

The X-partners had to take a cab over to the hospital since Gage’s new car had been demolished in the high speed chase when he and Walker had captured part of the bank robbery gang.

 

The ride was pretty quiet both had lots to say but neither knew where to begin so they sat in anguished silence. Once reaching the hospital Gage paid the cabbie and the two headed inside together.

 

Trivette caught sight of the pair first standing he pulled Syd into a hug. “Syd what are you doing here?” he asked his lips brushing her forehead in affection as he took her hands in his.

 

“I came for Alex,” she answered pulling away to face Walker. Taking his hands they pulled together in a hug. “Gage says she’s holding her own,” she whispered in her old friend’s ear as she fought back tears, “I know Alex is going to be all right she just has too much to live for.”

 

“Thanks Sydney,” Walker forced a smile rigidly keeping his emotion in check.

 

“Ranger Walker?” a young nurse called out his name.

 

“Yes?” he asked turning to her.

 

“You can go back in and sit with your wife Ranger,” the nurse informed him.

 

“Walker can I come sit with you?”

 

He nodded his head yes saying, “Alex would like it that you’re here.”

 

Smiling slightly Syd joined Captain Walker as they went down the hall and entered the ICU.

 

As the door closed behind them Trivette turned to Gage smacking his arm. “How long Syd been back?” he questioned.

 

“Not sure,” Gage admitted, “I found her in my shower when I got home.”

 

“In your shower!” Trivette exclaimed the story becoming more tantalizing by the second.

 

“Yeah in my shower,” Gage repeated saying no more.

 

“Has she said anything about why she left you high and dry?” Trivette persisted.

 

“No Trivette,” Gage had turned to face him, “And I’m not going to push her, she’s here to be with Alex not me.”

 

“Aren’t you just a little curious?”

 

“No,” Gage lied while in reality it was the only thing on his mind.

 

“Well if it was me…”

 

“Well it’s not you so just leave it at that…”

 

“All right Gage, all right,” Trivette backed off deciding to let it go for now knowing once Alex was well she’d ferret it out of Syd… if she survived.

 

A Short Distance Away In ICU

 

Together Walker and Sydney walked over to the bed where Alex lay, respirator protruding from her mouth, an IV drip in her arm, she lay motionless.

 

“Oh Alex,” Syd whispered taking her friend’s hand, “I’ve missed you so much… please Alex, please open your eyes.” A tear threatened and she wiped the back of her hand across it keeping it from trickling down her face.

 

Swallowing hard Walker reached around Syd to take his wife’s hand from hers, Syd stepping back letting him. Both stood silent for a moment their eyes riveted to wife and friend Syd finally speaking, “She’s going to be all right, she’s going to recover…”

 

“I know Sydney,” Walker murmured his eyes not leaving Alex.

 

Once again they fell silent Syd pulling a chair up next to the bed. They stayed that way for quite a few minutes Walker speaking first this time. “Have you had a chance to clear the air with Gage?”

 

“I… we… it’s complicated,” she stammered out.

 

“And if this happens to you or him… at least Alex and I know where we stand we each other Sydney, make it right with you and Gage.”

 

Much Later Outside The Hospital …

 

“See Clancy I told you she was back,” Duke Whitham jeered as Gage and Sydney emerged from Memorial hospital.

 

“Well I’ll be,” Clancy grinned from ear to ear he had waited along time to get even with Ranger Cooke and it looked like the wait was over.

 

“Whatcha gonna do Clancy?” Duke quizzed as they watched Sydney and Gage get into a cab.

 

“You’re just going to have to wait and see,” he grinned even wider if that was possible. Duke too grinned he knew what ever it was it was gonna be good.

 

Ranger Headquarters

 

Things were still very strained between the X-partners as they stepped out of the elevator doors at headquarters. Everything was different from when Sydney had last been there. They had moved the offices to a new more modern location and well if the truth be known Syd felt more like a duck out of water then she thought she would. “That proverbial third wheel,” she thought to herself.

 

“Gage,” Kay greeted him even though her eyes were on Sydney.

 

“Kay,” Gage acknowledged sitting down at his desk to check his messages.

 

“Well at least some things haven’t changed,” Syd grimaced hitting Gage in the shoulder. Turning she offered her hand to Kay, “I’m Ranger Sydney Cooke.”

 

“Gage’s Sydney?” Rhett asked joining the conversation immediately getting an elbow from Kay.

 

“Nice to meet you,” Kay cut in taking Syd’s offered hand, “I’m Kay Austin and this is my partner Rhett Harper.”

 

“Pleased to meet you,” Syd answered trying to size up Gage’s partners. “When I heard what happened with Alex… I had to come,” Syd offered hoping she didn’t sound too lame.

 

“Listen if there isn’t too much happening here I think Sydney and I’ll take off for a bit, we’ve been back at the hospital and it’s sort of taking it’s toll on me,” Gage cut in with a yawn all ready standing to leave.

 

“Sure Gage we know where to find you,” Rhett smiled getting another glare from Kay.

 

“So what do you make of that?” Rhett asked once Gage and Sydney had left the office.

 

“I’m suppose to make something of it?” Kay answered with a question.

 

“I know you have some thoughts on it or I wouldn’t have got your elbow in the ribs.”

 

“I think it is none of our business, you’re getting as nosey as Trivette,” Kay retorted going back to her paperwork.

 

“Well I think something is up,” Rhett added he too going back to his reports.

 

Memorial Hospital

 

A well dressed, yet flustered, older man toting a small blonde child came blustering off the elevator into the ICU corridor of Memorial hospital. It was hard to tell that this gentleman was a fast thinking hard nosed lawyer as he made his way to the nurse’s station, lines of worry and stress creasing his brow. “Where’s Mommy and Daddy?” his little blonde charge was asking as she clung tightly to his neck.

 

“That’s what we are going to find out Sweetheart,” he answered the child. Turning his attention to the nurse he cleared his throat before saying, “We’re looking for Cordell Walker he’s here with his wife Alex Cahill-Walker.”

 

“If you have a seat in the waiting room I’ll find Ranger Walker for you,” the kindly nurse told him. Nodding his head the man complied still holding the little girl in his arms.

 

It didn’t take long the child being as perceptive as both her mother and father for her to ask, “Grandpa is my Mommy going to die?”

 

“Angela, what would? Why would?” the questions tongue tied the seasoned lawyer having had the same thoughts running through his mind since his son-in-law had called him.

 

“No Angela Mommy isn’t going to die.” It was Walker who spoke with deep confidence.

 

“Daddy,” Angela cried scrambling off Gordon Cahill’s lap and into the waiting arms of her father.

 

“Mommy is very sick,” Walker explained to their daughter. “She was shot by mistake and it is going to take a very long time for her to get better but she is not going to die.”

 

“Okay Daddy,” Angela smiled knowing it must be true because her Daddy had said so.

 

“Excuse me but if you two gentlemen would like to go in this young lady can stay with me at the desk,” the nurse volunteered.

 

“Thanks,” Walker replied still holding Angela in his arms. “Can you be good for this nice lady?” he asked his daughter. “Grandpa and I won’t be gone long.”

 

She shook her head yes and Walker handed her over to the nurse for safe keeping while he and Gordon headed for Alex’s room.

 

Stopping him outside the door Gordon questioned the wisdom of Walker, “Are you sure you should have told her Alex will be all right?”

 

“It’s all right Gordon,” Walker smiled his all knowing smile, “She will be I know and feel it.”

 

Gordon remained silent a moment not as assured as Walker but not wanting to jinx anything by voicing his own doubts and worries. “Okay Walker, okay.”

 

Back Home At Gage’s Apartment

 

Sydney and Gage were no sooner in the door back at Gage’s that Syd took up her old role of bossing her partner around. “I know you’re tired Gage so why don’t you go lie down and I’ll wake you up in a couple of hours.”

 

Gage hearing her behind him, hearing her words stopped short Syd almost running into him. Whether it was anger, or maybe the emotion of the last twenty-four hours, the sparks that still flew between him and her, not even Gage was sure what caused him to do what he did next. Spinning around he took Syd in both arms pulling her body hard against his and bending his head he caught her lips with his forcing one of the most searing kisses that either of them had ever experienced.

 

Syd true to form fought him punching him, struggling to get away, slowly melting in his embrace finally giving in to return the passionate kiss.

 

“What the hell was that for,” she huffed finally able to break away from him wiping her hand across her mouth as if the fire from that kiss would disappear with the swish of her hand.

 

“I just wanted to see if it was still as passionate as the other two times I was able to kiss you,” Gage matter-of-factly replied.

 

“I… you… how dare…” was all she got out before Gage had her in his arms crushing her lips with his once more.

 

Breaking the kiss but still holding her trembling body close Gage breathed deeply before murmuring, “I was right there is something definitely there for both of us and Cooke don’t you dare try to deny it.”

 

She didn’t deny anything, in fact she did something that was so un-Sydney like that Gage was at a loss for what to do next. She simply did something so out of character, so well girl like… she broke down in sobs.

 

“Syd I’m…I’m…. sorry,” Gage stumbled out releasing her from his grip.

 

“No… I’m… sor… sor… ry,” she cried between gulps of breath. Pushing past him she ran down the hallway to the bathroom slamming the door closed behind her.

 

Closing his eyes for a moment and cursing himself under his breath Gage followed after her rapping lightly on the bathroom door. “Syd.”

 

“Just go away!”

 

“Come on Syd please come out we have to talk about this, we can’t put it off any longer,” Gage pleaded with her.

 

Slowly the lock on the door clicked, the knobbed turned, the door opened to reveal Sydney standing with her back to him.

 

“Syd look…”

 

“I almost got us killed,” Syd blurted out before Gage could really say anything.

 

“You almost got us killed? Syd what are you talking about?”

 

Spinning around on her heel she faced him. “The last case we worked on, the Whitham brothers, I almost got us both killed. That’s when I knew I was just too close to you I had to put in for a transfer before something really did happen to you.”

 

“Syd what are you talking about you aren’t making any sense.”

 

“Gage when Duke knocked you out instead of keeping my cool I went charging right in let Clancy get the drop on me,” she blandly stated. “If it hadn’t been for the commotion outside…” her voice dropped off as the events that had followed passed through her mind as if it was yesterday.

 

“Look what I got Clancy, ain’t she purdy… for a ranger?” Duke had drawled out.

 

“Yeah but that’s exactly what she is,” Clancy sneered standing in front of her resting his gun against her forehead. Syd had glared into Clancy’s eyes the same time struggling to get out of Duke’s grasp.

 

Suddenly there had been a loud popping outside, gunfire, yet it was later discovered to have been a separate incident, nothing to do with the Whitham brothers. No matter it was probably that exchange in the alley way outside that had saved their lives. In that moment Gage was able to hook Duke’s leg and knock him off his balance, he in turn shoving Syd forward into Clancy whose gun going flying out of his hand.

 

Within minutes the Whithams knew they were no match for the partners, taking the cowardly way out both took the opportunity to flee, Gage still feeling the effects of the hit he took fell backwards. Syd fired after them winging Clancy so she thought but in the end she went back to instead of pursuing the brothers. Gage was fine but the Whithams disappeared not to be found.

 

“That’s what this is all about?” Gage quizzed astounded by what he had just learnt. “Syd I…”

 

“Gage I know I made the right decision…”

 

“The right decision… the right decision… the right decision for you maybe,” he blustered out his head swirling with the revelation that had just been revealed. “Do you know how I felt when you went away? How hurt I was? You left without even saying good-bye Syd. You ripped a part of my heart out. You… you…” The emotion got the better of him and he turned and walked away.

 

Jimmy Trivette’s Apartment

 

Trivette lay staring aimlessly at the ceiling, true he was worried about his best friends but it was more then that. First everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours and then seeing Sydney again… well it got him to thinking.

 

He sat up in bed and opened the drawer of the night table beside it to pull out a framed picture. He stared at the image for a few moments fondly tracing his fingers over the woman’s face. Sighing deeply he rubbed his hand over the back of his neck before addressing the picture. “What happened to us?” he questioned as if expecting an answer. “Things were going so good… we were in the middle of planning our wedding… what happened?”

 

Once again he went over in his mind that fateful evening that everything had fallen apart. If he had only listened to Walker… if he had only been up front with her… He sighed again it was water under the bridge… he’d blown it and lost the only girl he had ever really loved and cared about.

 

He set the picture on the nightstand and frown slightly at the smiling image his mind wandering ahead of him. Then as if his hand moved of its own accord he reached for the phone and began to dial.

 

Hesitating a moment when the gruff voice at the other end picked up Trivette cleared his throat and asked, “Fred it’s Jimmy would Erika be there?”

 

Parked Outside Of Gage’s Apartment

 

Clancy Whitman shifted his position, man his leg was giving him a lot of bother today. He knew in his mind that the leg would always bother him and he would walk with a pronounced limp but he assured himself that it wouldn’t be as bad once he had made Ranger Cooke pay for his injury.

 

He grimaced with the pain, not only from the injury but from what the two rangers had cost them that day. He had not only lost the use of his leg but they had lost three shipments of high grade pcp forcing them underground so that the guys they were working for didn’t catch up to them. When Ranger’s bullet had pierced his leg fragmenting the bone he had dropped the satchel containing the shipment hardly being able to make his escape…

 

They had sat there for hours now waiting for the two rangers to appear once again. That was okay they had no where to go he was really going to enjoy and savour every moment of his revenge.

 

“Here they come,” Duke cut in on his thoughts as Syd and Gage emerged from the building.

 

“Good follow them,” Clancy directed, “And don’t loose them.”

 

“Right Clancy,” Duke acknowledged starting the engine and throwing the car in drive.

 

Inside The Taxi

 

“I need to get to the Eastside car dealership,” Gage had informed the driver as he and Syd got into the waiting cab.

 

“Yes Sir,” the cabbie replied clicking down the meter and pulling away from the curb.

 

Sydney stared out the window her mind going over what had just transpired between her and her former partner and she bit her lip warding off tears. She had gone over in her mind a million times what Gage’s reaction was going to be yet walking out on her had never been one of the scenarios. She had stood silently watching him go down the hall weeping quietly, coming to realize for the first time how much she had really cut him to the quick.

 

Finally she mustered up her courage enough to follow him standing for a moment in the doorway of his bedroom her eyes on his back as he gazed out the window. His body suddenly shuddered slightly and she knew that tears had taken over him as well.

 

“Gage I don’t know what to say,” Syd sobbed out.

 

“Did it ever occur to you to ask me? Is what I think that unimportant to you? Can you not trust me to help make a decision that was that important to both our lives?”

 

“Gage no… I… it was me. I just could trust myself if I actually faced you. Damn it Gage I was in love with you then and I’m still in love with you now,” she blurted out.

 

“Well you sure have a funny way of showing it,” Gage wrangled back spinning around to face her.

 

“Oh Gage…” was all she got out they had been interrupted by the telephone.

 

They both stared at the phone that excessive ringing sounding once, twice, three times Gage finally picking up.  “Yeah,” Gage answered as he picked up the receiver.

 

“Sure Rhett I’ve got to pick up my new car anyway, Syd here can back me up. We’ll catch up with you at headquarters.”

 

Gage hung up the phone and turned to face her. “You’re not off the hook here Cooke but duty calls.”

 

“Give me a minute,” she answered wiping her hand across her tear streaked cheek and heading to the bathroom to fix her face…

 

The car pulled into the dealership giving Sydney no more time to mull things over in her mind. Gage paid for the cab and they got out to pick up Gage’s second new car that week. It would have been exciting if the current dilemma wasn’t hanging over their heads.

 

Gage signed the papers and they got in the new vehicle heading out to address Rhett had provided them with. Maybe if they hadn’t been so focused on what was happening in their personal lives one of them might have noticed that they were been targeted and followed.

 

Alex Walker’s Room At Memorial Hospital

 

“Cordell you need to go home and get some rest, I’ll stay here with Alex,” a haggard Gordon Cahill volunteered.

 

“I’m okay,” Walker shot back his eyes on his wife’s lifeless face. “But you on the other hand have had that long trip down here… why don’t you take off for awhile?”

 

“Cordell…” they argued back and forth for a few minutes more Walker finally prevailing.

 

“You got my cell number?” Cahill questioned.

 

“Right here,” Walker answered patting his breast pocket.

 

“You call if there is any change… I can be back here at a moments notice…”

 

“You have my word.”

 

“Okay then I’ll only be gone for an hour or so,” Cahill begrudgingly agreed.

 

Once Alex’s father had left Walker took up his position beside his wife’s bed. Taking her hand in his he began to talk to her. “Well Alex so far those wishes that you professed to me the other night are starting to come true. Rhett and Kay seem to be growing closer, and your father who was too busy in New York to come for Christmas is here. Got a call from Trivette not more then an hour ago he’s on his way to San Antonio let me see his exact words were to bring his wife back home. And well you know that Sydney is here and she is staying with Gage…”

 

Alex moaned softly before gently squeezing Walker’s hand as if in understanding yet she didn’t open her eyes.

 

“Don’t worry Honey,” Walker continued. “You’ll get your last wish then you can grant mine that you come back to Angela and me.”

 

Leaning down Walker gently kissed her forehead keeping up his vigil.

 

An Old Abandon Warehouse In A Rundown Section Of Dallas

 

This was suppose to be just a routine check, a neighbour had reported a lot of comings and goings from the old building at all hours of the day and night. As Gage pulled into the section of town where the address was an eerie feeling of déja vue began to creep over him. “Syd?”

 

“I know Gage it’s too weird,” Syd answered feeling butterflies begin to flit in her stomach. They hadn’t been there since their last encounter with the Whitham brothers, the very case that had split them apart.

 

“Just stay focused Syd it’s not going to be the same as last time,” he confidently spoke sneaking a sideways glance at her as he pulled the car to a stop.

 

“I hope you’re right,” she muttered under her breath as she opened the car door to follow him.

 

Cautiously they entered the building, guns drawn through the same side door as before, Gage nodded his head for her to go one way while he circled round the other direction just like last time. She shook her head no.

 

“Come on Cooke don’t get stubborn on me now,” he hissed at her.

 

“Francis so help me!” she challenged in a whisper through gritted teeth staying a step behind him.

 

He jerked his head again motioning her to do what he said and finally with a lot of reservation she complied darting away to the right leaving Gage to bear left. After a few minutes of finding nothing it seemed as if they had been sent out on a wild goose chase. She was just about to call out to Gage when she caught a flash from the corner of her eye from the catwalk above. Looking up she caught sight of Duke Whitham a high powered rifle pointing at partner.

 

“Gage,” she cried the same time firing off her weapon. The shot missed Whitham by only an inch but it was enough to cause his shot to go wild and miss Gage.

 

True to form Duke hightailed it for the door Syd right behind him. By the time Gage made it to the door Whitham had jumped into the car with his brother and they were heading into the street. Syd was behind the wheel of Gage’s new car she wheeled it over to where he was slowing only for him to dive in the window as she began pursuit not wanting to loose the pair in the car ahead of them.

 

“You all right?” she yelled without even a sideways glance.

 

“Fine but slow down,” Gage shouted as he righted himself and grabbed for the radio.

 

Her answer was leaning a little heavier on the gas pedal. As Gage began to call it in they hit a bump in the road the cars under carriage coming down to bang on the street. “Syd it’s my new car,” Gage whined out.

 

“Sorry Gage but I don’t want to loose them,” she cried out careening around the corner narrowly missing a pole but loosing a hubcap that rolled to the side of the street.

 

As she neared the fleeing vehicle ahead of them Duke leaned out the window and began to fire at them both having to duck to miss the bullets that hit the windshield to lodge in the seats. Without a seconds hesitation Syd moved up long side the car swerving hard into the side of it.

 

Gage had closed his eyes for a second at the impact images of last times chase and his new car dancing before him

 

 Being unsuccessful at stopping the fleeing car Syd tried a second time this time pushing it into a parked car and forcing it to flip on its side.

 

Syd was first out, of course that was only because Gage had to crawl out the driver’s side as well the passenger side of the car totally demolished. “Get out of that car,” she shouted gun pointed and ready to fire, “You two aren’t going anywhere this time.”

 

By now Gage was standing beside her he too with gun ready to fire. Rhett and Kay had just pulled up as well as cars from DPD.

 

As the cuffs were snapped on the Whitham boys Gage stood looking at what was left of his car. Coming up behind him Syd touched, “I guess I have something else to be sorry for.”

 

Smirking slightly Gage turned to face her, “You know Syd I’ve come to the conclusion I’m just not meant to have a new car but I am meant to have you…”

 

“Gage…”

 

“Listen to me Shorty, what happened before with these two it was just one of those things, it could have happened with Trivette backing me up, Rhett or Kay… none of us would have transferred out. It was just our misfortune that it happened with us and I think we’ve both paid enough for it. So Shorty if you do love me like you say you do then you’ll stay here with me and see what it was I was going to give you the year you left me high and dry.”

 

Syd’s eyes narrowed and her hands went to her hips. “You know if we weren’t standing here with everyone watching us…”

 

“Yeah Syd, I take it that’s a yes,” Gage grinned only to get a punch in the arm.

 

“You win Francis but be fore warned it’s the last time you win!”

 

Memorial Hospital’s ICU Ward ~ Alex Walker’s Room

 

Even though the respirator had been removed and Alex was breathing on her own she still lay in a deep sleep. Walker had found some time to go home for a quick shower and spend a little time with Angela before heading back to the hospital to be with his wife. Even so he was exhausted and couldn’t help letting his head drop down beside Alex’s hand that he held sleep over coming him.

 

Alex would explain what happened next as an intervention from her guardian angel. For her the room had become brightly lit and a beautiful angel in all her glory had surrounded her telling her it was all right to come back all was right. It was at that moment her eyes fluttered open to see Walker at her bedside.

 

“Cowboy,” she had whispered out. Encouraged by his slight stirring she tried again a little louder squeezing his hand at the same time.

 

“Alex,” Walker smiled seeing her eyes upon him.

 

“Everything’s all right,” she smiled.

 

“I know Alex and now with your eyes open everything is perfect.

 

A Couple Of Weeks Later December 24th

 

“Will you two stop fussing,” Alex chided her father and husband as they tried to make her comfortable before their guests arrived.

 

“We just want to make sure everything is perfect for you darling,” her father crooned.

 

“It’s more then perfect Dad,” she answered just as the doorbell rang.

 

“I’ll get it Angela volunteered running a head of her father who had stopped to wink at his wife.

 

A few minutes later Jimmy Trivette was entering the room with his wife Erika and by the hold her had on her hand it was pretty clear that the misunderstanding they had six months ago had long been forgotten.

 

“Alex it’s so nice to see you up and around,” Erika smiled breaking way from her husband to join her friend that she had missed tremendously since moving to San Antonio.

 

“I’ll say,” Kay agreed entering with Rhett the locket he had gone to the bank to retrieve that had put everything in motion around her neck.

 

“Thank you one and all,” Alex smiled, “it’s nice to be spending this time with you.”

 

“Hey where are Gage and Sydney?” Jimmy quizzed.

 

“Gage late as usual?” Rhett chimed in.

 

“I heard that,” Gage called from the doorway causing laughter from the rest. “This time it wasn’t my fault it was Syd on the phone with her boss in Houston or should I say her X-boss,” he grinned.

 

“Your transfer came through,” Kay exclaimed excited to have some woman company at headquarters.

 

“It did,” Syd smiled adding, “But that isn’t our only news.”

 

“Well are you going to keep us in suspense or what?” Trivette cut in.

 

Looking at Gage she smiled again, “You tell them.”

 

“Nope you,” he grinned back.

 

“Well someone tell us,” Trivette blurted out.

 

Taking Gage’s hand Syd smiled again simply saying, “We got married.”

 

“You got married,” Kay cried.

 

“Don’t you mean engaged,” Trivette cut her off.

 

“No we mean married, last night at city hall,” Gage informed them. “I didn’t want to give her anytime to change her mind,” he said with a smile leaning down to kiss his wife.

 

As everyone gathered around the newly weds to congratulate them Walker sat down beside Alex. “Merry Christmas Honey,” he murmured, “Did you get all you wished for?”

 

“Almost Cowboy but that’s something you’ll have to work on when I’m up and about again,” she smiled as Walker lifted their daughter on to his knee.

 

“Look Daddy mistletoe,” Angela cried holding it over his head, “Now you have to kiss Mommy.”

 

Smiling he leaned in, his hand going to her cheek he kissed her whispering softly once again, “Merry Christmas.”

 

The End