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.

Author's note:  This is it for awhile, finals approach, and then it's back home to the still broken computer.  When it's fixed I'll be back. . .

St. Matthew's Hospital

            "Hello, can you tell me what room number Francis Gage is in, please?"

            "I'm sorry, ma'am, we can only release that information to family.  Are you family?" the receptionist asked sarcastically.

            "I'm not, you're right," Alex returned the sarcasm, "but you see this little boy right here?  He hasn't seen his father or his mother in over a week now, and we would really appreciate it if you didn't make him wait any longer."

            "Well!"

            "Alex, it's this way."  Jimmy came around the corner and Taylor went running to his uncle.  "Hey there, sport.  Your mom's downstairs, you wanna come with me to see her?"  The look he gave to Alex let her know that something was wrong.

            "Yeah, yeah, Mommy, Mommy!"  The little boy wasn't hard to please.  "He's in the third room on the left, and Walker's there too."

            "Thanks Jimmy.  I'll see you in a little bit."

            "Yeah, c'mon Taylor, let's go find your mom." He picked up the little boy and headed towards the elevator.  He knew that Taylor shouldn't see his father just yet, and needed to know what was going on with Gage beforehand. 

            Alex walked down the hall to find her husband pacing outside Gage's room.  One look at him told her that something was wrong, and she simply went to Walker and hugged him. 

            "I sent Julie and Sydney down for some coffee to get them out of his room for awhile.  They left, and everything just went crazy.  All the monitors went off and everyone started running in, and they haven't come out yet.  Alex, if something happens, how am I going to tell Sydney?  How can I tell her and Julie that. . . that. . . "

            "He'll be okay, honey, you'll see.  He always comes through.  Nothing's going to be different this time."

            "I hope you're right."   

Cafeteria, St. Matthew's

            "Mommy, Mommy I missed you!" Taylor jumped into his mother's lap and into her protective embrace at the same time.  The tears that had been welling up in the corners of her eyes broke as her little angel hugged her back.  Trivette reached the table that the women had been sitting at, coffees only half-drunk in front of them.  He tried to conceal the concern for Gage, but Sydney picked up on it instantly.

            "What's wrong?  Is it. . . " she looked down at her boy, his blue eyes shining as he looked from her to his uncle and then over to his aunt.

            "Yes, I'm afraid it is.  Umm, I wasn't there, but when I saw Walker, he said to come and get you two, and then I saw Alex and Taylor."

            "Is he. . . ?"

            "Honestly, I don't know.  Walker didn't say anything, but I know he wasn't awake, that's all."

            "Daddy?"  Taylor was only starting to comprehend that his father wasn't okay.

            "Uhh, yes sweetie.  Daddy got hurt this week, and the doctors' are helping him."  Taylor pursed his lips and looked up at his mother as only a Gage could, disbelieving that this was all, but not really able to understand how badly his father was hurt.

            "I can kiss Daddy's boo boo better, then he can come home and play with me."  The innocent words served to break Julie's barrier and Trivette had to look at the ground to keep his own eyes dry.

            Sydney, tears still threatening to soak Taylor's beach blond hair, forced a smile and hugged her son even tighter.

            "Let's go upstairs then, shall we.  We'll see how Daddy's doing.  Is that okay, Tiger?"

            "Yup.  Sounds good.  I wanna tell Daddy everything I did this week.  I had fun with grandma."  Smiling, he jumped up and took his mom's hand, leading her to the elevator.

Upstairs, Gage's room

            "It's been too long, Doc. . . Doc, he's asystole.  You have to call it."

            "No, I won't, not yet.  Come on ranger, you've got too many people counting on you to quit now."  The monitor toned on for another few seconds as the paddles charged, but after the sixth shock, Gage fought back and the monitors registered a faint and weak heartbeat.

            "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.  It's like he heard you."

            "He doesn't know how to quit, this one.  You should have seen him the last time he was in here, I've never seen a man fight so hard to not quit."

            At that moment, a blur of motion rushed past the two doctors and jumped into Gage's bed.

            "Daddy, Daddy, wake up, I missed you."

            "You're Gage's son?"

            "Un-hunh, that's me.  What's going on with him?"  He pulled another Gage look as the two men searched for an answer to his question.

            "Taylor.  Don't do that.  You know what Daddy would say."

            Taylor looked at Gage, and down at the ground.

            "What would he say, Taylor James?"

            "He'd say that I wasn't 'posed to run away from you, no matter what, 'cuz. . . 'cuz bad people could get me.  But I saw Uncle Walker, and I thought. . . I thought. . . " trying to change the subject off of himself, he looked down at Gage again.  "How long is Daddy going to sleep for, Mommy?  How long?"

            "Well, he was hurt pretty badly, Taylor, so it may be awhile."

            "What happened?"

            "He was saving a little boy like you.  Well, he's older than you.  Do you remember Billy?"  Taylor bit his lower lip and looked at the ceiling, trying to remember.

            "No, who is he?"

            "He's Daddy's friend from the Deaf School."

            "Why did Daddy hafta save 'im?"

            "Someone took him away from his Mommy without her knowing about it."

            "Was it a bad person?"

            "Yes, Taylor, it was.  He hurt your Daddy and the little boy."

            "Oh.  Is he why I'm not 'posed to run away from you?"

            "Yes, Taylor, him and people like him."

            "Okay, Mommy, I promise not to do it again."

            "Good boy.  Now let's give Daddy some time to rest, and we'll come back later to see him, okay?"

            "No.  Daddy's gonna wake up soon, and I want to see him, not his eyelids!"  Taylor crossed his arms over his chest like his father did, and clenched his teeth.  His baby blue eyes trained on Sydney and she knew that the Gage stubbornness had definitely manifested itself in her son.

            "Okay, Taylor, we can stay for a little while, but we do have to go home sometime."  The only response she got for her trouble was a smile and his little tongue sticking out, knowing all to well that he had won another contest.

            Walker came in to let Sydney know that he was heading home, and that he'd check in with her later on.  He was planning on stopping at the office first to check if there was anything about Mike and Tommy, but he doubted there would be anything, but he wanted to be sure.  He had placed a guard discretely outside of Gage's room, making sure he was a plain-clothes guard that Sydney wouldn't recognize.  She needed to concentrate on her husband and son, and not finding Mike and Tommy.  He hoped, however, that this wouldn't backfire on him.

Walker Ranch

            "How is he, Walker?"  Alex had just finished getting Angela's meal, and the precocious child had run out back to play with her colt. 

            "Not so good, but better than when he crashed today, man Alex, we almost lost him.  Sydney and Taylor are still with him, but no one knows if he'll even make it through the night.  He is breathing on his own, though, so he is off the respirator."

            "Oh, Walker.  That's going to be so hard on that little boy if his dad. . . " she stopped and shuddered before continuing.  "He won't do that to his son, Walker.  Gage doesn't know how to fail, and he promised that little boy the day he was born that he would raise him, and that he wouldn't leave Taylor or Sydney for a long time.  That little boy only just turned 4, Walker, that isn't a long time.  Gage doesn't know how to quit, and he won't quit on his little boy.  You know that."

            "Yeah, I sure do.  You're right, honey.  Now what smells so good?"

St. Matthew's

            "Taylor?  Hey, Tay, it's time to go home.  We'll come back in the morning to see your Daddy."

            "Just a little longer, Mommy.  Daddy's gonna wake up soon, I know it. . .puh-leease?"  His lower lip quivered just slightly, giving him the appearance of an adorable pout that could melt any heart.

            "Tay, he's probably not going to wake up for a while, but we can stay just a little longer, as long as you promise to sit in that chair and try to sleep."

            "O-tay.  But you'll see; Daddy's going to wake up in just a little while.  He's just tired right now."  He sat down in the chair, biting his lip and waiting.  Sydney couldn't help but notice the faith in her husband's health was strong in her child, the same as Billy had.

Later

            Taylor sat in his chair, watching his parents sleep.  They didn't move often, and Taylor could only sit still for so long.  Biting his lower lip and watching his mother intently, he slipped off the chair and wandered over to the window.  There wasn't much to see, just the vast parking lot, so he ambled back over to the bed.  He climbed up next to Gage, careful of the wires and tubes that were sticking out of his father.

            "So, guess what Daddy?"  He didn't expect a response, but still wrinkled up his nose as his father slept on.  "Anyway, I had fun at Grandma's, but I missed you and Mommy last week.  I know you were helping somebody, so it's o-tay."

            Gage slept on, oblivious to his boy's ramblings.  Taylor droned on for a while longer, but noticed that Gage still didn't make a sign that he'd heard anything.

            "Daddy, it's time to get up now.  You gotta wake up so you can come home and play with me."  The little boy's face fell, and he climbed off the bed.  With his back to Gage, he almost didn't hear it.

            "Hey there, Sport.  I missed you."  His voice was scratchy and quiet, but unmistakably, it was there.  Taylor spun around and pounced on his father's bed.

            "DADDY!  I tole Mommy that you'd wake up tonight.  I missed you too."

The next morning

            She must have dozed off in the chair opposite Taylor, because when she opened her eyes again, sunlight was streaming from the window, and her husband was sitting up in bed, laughing with Taylor about something.  Taylor noticed her first.

            "See, Mommy, I tole you so.  Daddy woke up just a little while after you fell asleep."

            "G-G-Gage?  You're okay?  I mean. . . "  She stumbled, searching for words that wouldn't come.

            "Yes, honey I'm okay."  He smiled the smile that she had fallen in love with, and she leaned forward to take his hand in hers.

            "It was so cool, Mommy.  I got bored sitting here, so I started talking to Daddy. . . but I stayed in the chair like you tole me too.  Then I tole Daddy to wake up and he did."

            Sydney smiled as the Walker's and Trivette's walked in.  Everything was going to be okay.  She believed that now, affirming what the faith of the two children had tried to tell her hours and days before.

So what do you think?  Like I said, I've got exams coming up, so I don't  know when I'll get around to a possible sequel.  But for those of little faith, why on earth would I kill Gage, that'd be just wrong, you know?