This story is based on the characters of the TV series Walker, Texas Rangers. They belong to CBS Productions, Kick Top Productions, etc. I have no claim to them. But the story is mine. All disclaimers apply. No copyright infringement is intended.

Dallas School for the Deaf

He walked in like he owned the place, and God knew he didn't have that kind of money, but his kid was here, and he wanted to see him.  More than that, he wanted to take him home, where his wife couldn't get to him.  He didn't care what the courts said, Billy was his son too.

            "Hi, I'm Billy's father, and I was wondering if I could see him for a minute?"

"Umm, it looks like you're going to have to wait in line; he's got a visitor right now."

"Oh really, could you tell me who it is?" If it was his wench of a wife, he needed to beat it out of there quick.  He wanted his kid back, but he wasn't going to be stupid about it either.

"Let me see, it says that Francis Gage is with him."

Francis Gage, who's that, he wondered.

"Well, I can come back later then. . . I guess."

"Oh, that doesn't look like it will be necessary, there's Billy now. . . looks like he's saying good-bye to Ranger Gage."

"A ranger?!"

"Yes sir.  Is that a problem?"

"No, of course not. . . hey Billy!"  Gage looked up, slightly confused that someone would call out to Billy.  He signed to the boy to turn around, and as he did, Billy ran to his dad and hugged him.  Assuming it was okay, and looking at his watch, Gage turned towards the door with wide eyes.  Syd was going to kill him if he was late again.

Ranger Headquarters

"Hey guys, sorry I'm late. . . I was. . . "

"Save it Gage, we got a lead on that drug ring, and we've got to get going before the deal goes down and we aren't there.  Where were you anyway?"

"I told you I was going to see Billy today, we just kind of lost track of time.  I'm sorry honey"

"It's all right. . . this time.  Let's go."

Warehouse District, Downtown Dallas

"Here's your money Tommy, I kept up my part of the bargain, now are you going to keep yours?"  The Hispanic turned to his assistant and took a black brief case and opened it.

"Calm down, Jose, it's all right here."  He turned to the man behind him.  As he took the brief case and was turning back to Jose, he saw a shadow under the door. 

"But I think we're going to have to curb this bargain, we have company. . . get out of here. . . now!"

"Texas Rangers."  Sydney Cooke Gage called as she kicked the door in.  Surprised, and alert, she walked through the door to a seemingly empty room.  Staying on guard, she checked the room carefully before moving through the door on the other side of the storage room.

            CRASH!

            Sydney ran through the door towards where her partner and husband had been coming through in case anyone had tried to run out the back.  Looking behind her, the Dallas PD officers were bringing in the dogs to search the warehouse. 

She kept running, hoping beyond hope that the crash she heard hadn't had anything to do with Gage.  Gun drawn, and eyes searching endlessly, Sydney walked stealthily between the rows of boxes.  God, she thought, I hope Gage doesn't see me in here; I just got him to stop calling me Shorty.

"What do you think now, Mr. Texas Ranger, hunh?  You ain't so tough when you're by yourself, are you."

Syd could hear the pain in Gage's voice when he replied, "What, you think you got anything. . . four on one, great odds, you. . . " 

Eyes widening, Sydney didn't know why Gage stopped talking.  She hears sounds of punches landing, and feared for her husband.  She couldn't seem to point out where he was in this maze until she saw some boxes ahead of her start to fall.  Stepping back out of the avalanche, she held her gun on whoever had come flying though. 

Relieved that it wasn't Gage, she slapped cuffs on him and peered around the wall in time to see him still being held by two of the biggest goons she'd ever seen.  The last of Gage's newfound problem was slightly smaller and smarter than his boss, who he'd just seen go flying from the ranger's feet.

"Get him down on his knees.  I'll deal with him this way."  Sydney took this opportunity to announce her presence.

"Texas Rangers.  Let him go."

"Ha ha, big ole' ranger needs to be saved by this little filly.  What's the matter Shorty, don't wanna see this pretty boy with his face all bloodied?"

"No one calls me Shorty. . . well, almost no one." She smiled at her husband, knowing she'd pay for that comment later, as she holstered her gun and started circling. 

"You guys never learn do you?"  Gage asked his captors as he spun on his knees, kicking out both men's ankles.  "The bigger you are, well, the harder. . . umph."  Both men had fallen, all right; they'd fallen directly on Gage and they weren't getting up. 

"Great, just great," stuck as he was, he could only hope that Sydney was holding her own with Jose's assistant.  He pushed as hard as he could, but he had done a face plant into the floor and was trapped on his stomach, and couldn't get any leverage against his heavyweight captors.

After Sydney spun and knocked out her attacker, she turned to her bruised and battered husband…and laughed.  "Gage, do you need some help?"

"What does it look like, Shorty?  You think I'm just lying here for my health?"

"Well maybe I should just leave you there for awhile. . . I thought I told you not to call me Shorty?"

"Yeah, hun, but you told me not to call you Syd either, but I don't hear you complaining about that one anymore, do I?"  Hhe smirked.  "Now come on, get 'em off me, they're heavy you know!"

"All right, I'll get 'em off big shot, but you owe me dinner for it."

"Aww, come on Syd, you don't really want to go out again for dinner, do you?"  Gage smiled hopefully.

"Oh no, you don't get off that easy. . . home made dinner. . . by you. . . and no take out."

"You really want toast for dinner, okay. . . Texas toast, French toast, or just plain toast?"  He laughed this time.

"Grr. . . I should just leave you here to suff. . . " she trailed off when she saw Gage's mask of calm break for just an instant. . . he was hurting. 

"Hang on, Gage, I'll see if I can roll them off."  That one instant of seeing her love in more pain than he was letting on was enough to stop her from joking around and get down to business.

"Gage, are you okay?"

"Yeah, yeah, course I am, just got worked over a little.  Help me up, will ya, Syd?" he asked innocently.  His face was bruised and there were some minor cuts, but other than that, he looked okay.

"You're sure you're all right?  You look horrible."

"Gee thanks.  I'm fine, just a little. . . ahh."  He clutched his side and grimaced.  "Okay, so my ribs hurt a little, but really, I'm okay."

"So you don't need to get checked out, right. . . I don't have to worry about it, right?"

"I'll be okay Shorty, just need a couple aspirin and maybe, umm, some good food tonight. . . " he said hopefully.

"I don't think so, you. . . you aren't weaseling out of cooking dinner that easily."  She smacked him on the arm.

"Oww. . . two seconds ago you were concerned about my well being, and now you're beating me up. . . geez!"  Gage retorted in mock pain.

"And you said you were fine.  I don't want to hear about it later, Francis."

"I've asked you not to call me that, Syd."

"And what about Shorty, or Syd. . . are those any different?"

"Yes, they are. . . umm. . . those are terms of endearment I use for you…Francis is, well, it's. . . it's just bad, that's all."

Meanwhile. . .

"Billy, I know you can't hear me, so I don't expect you to understand, but you can't go back to that school.  You're going to stay with me now, and we're going to go someplace where your mom can't find us."

Billy, who could read lips, tried to sign to his father that he wanted to go back to school, that he was still learning, and that they could help his dad too, like they had helped Ranger Sydney learn.  He knew his dad couldn't understand him, and he had been deaf for as long as he could remember, so he hadn't fully developed his speech.

"Don't you get it kiddo?  I can't understand you and your hand. . . things.  I don't get it, but we'll work it out.  Now all I gotta do is get us out of the country and away from your mom.  Tommy said he'd help me with that."

Ranger Headquarters

"Gage, wake up and pick up your phone.  It's been ringing off the hook for five minutes now!"

"What?  Oh, sorry. . . Ranger Gage. . . "

"What, when?  I saw him today yeah."

"Yeah, I'll be right there.  Syd, lets go."

"Wait, where?"

"Billy disappeared from the school today, shortly after I left."

"Yeah, okay, let's go. . . but I'm driving."  Gage started to argue, but one very well placed jab to his ribs changed his mind.

Dallas School for the Deaf

". . . so I left him with his dad in the hallway." Gage signed to the head of the school.

"You did what?!?  His parents are divorced and his mother has full custody.  His father isn't even supposed to come around here."

"I didn't know.  You think Billy would leave with his dad?  I'm sorry, I just didn't know."

"He probably doesn't know about what goes on between his parents.  As far as I know, there wasn't any reason for Billy to be afraid of his dad, I mean, he didn't abuse him or anything.  So he may have simply assumed that his dad had come back to see him."

"We'll find him and get him back, I promise.  It's because of him and his friends that I got through that time, and I feel like I owe that to him at least."

TBC. . . if anyone thinks it's any good, mind you I have no idea where I'm going with this yet!