June 3, 4:25 am

Sam allowed Noah and Bobby to lead him into the waiting room, his mind mercifully blank as Noah guided him into a chair. He didn't want to think, didn't want to feel. How could Catherine....

"Sam, it's going to be okay," Noah said gently, wrapping an arm around the other marshal. His eyes widened when the older marshal didn't react to the embrace at all, didn't even seem to feel it. He fought back a wave of despair. They would lose both of them if.... No. "She's going to be okay, Sam. She's going to be okay. That lady held on for two hours down in that basement. She's not going to give up now. She's not going to."

Sam closed his eyes, leaning slightly against Noah. He wanted to believe what the kid was saying, wanted to believe that he wasn't going to lose Catherine but....

"Sammy, what happened?" Bobby asked, a worried look on his face as he observed how the older marshal was responding. Bobby had been shocked that they had been able to budge Sam from the door to Catherine's room but he had let Noah lead him away like he was a lost child. That, that just wasn't normal.

"Brushed her hair," Sam said quietly, the memory of his fingers running through those soft strands playing once more in his mind. He had made her happy, if he lost her at least he knew that he had made her happy before.... He closed his eyes again, fighting back the stinging of his eyes as he thought of it. This.... What would he do without her?

"It's okay, Dad, I promise it's going to be okay," Noah murmured. "Kimble's in there. He's going to take care of things. He's good, really good, remember? Mom's going to be fine."

"She started shaking," Sam murmured, as if he didn't even hear what Noah was trying to say. "She started shaking and the way she looked.... I don't think she even knew that I was there." His shoulders slumped once more. Had Catherine thought that she was alone, that he had abandoned her, in those last frightening moments?

"Seizures?" Noah murmured, his mind swiftly running over the idea. If Catherine was having seizures.... "Wait a minute. The fever. Dad, it's okay. I promise it's okay. Her temperature must have spiked and caused the seizures." He shook his head slightly as he recalled his experience with just that situation. "Happened one time at the school." Noah cringed remembering it. "The kid was fine. Chemistry lab wasn't fine after the explosion but the kid was. Mom's going to be fine too. They've just got to get her temperature down, is all."

Sam looked at Noah, a slight bit of hope flickering in his eyes for a moment before the memory of Catherine staring at him, not seeing him, overpowered it. His shoulders slumped once more, his face going completely blank.

"Dad," There had to be something, anything, that Noah could say to Sam to get through to him. He couldn't stand to see him suffering like this. As he started to speak, though, he heard approaching footsteps and looked up to see Cosmo coming in, his arms wrapped around his cousin.

Sam could feel the change in Noah immediately, the tension suddenly filling the younger man's body. He opened his eyes, looking into Noah's face, not really knowing what was causing that torn expression. Then he looked across the room and spotted Cosmo's cousin.

"Go on, Son." Sam said quietly, "She needs you now." He wasn't going to let Noah make the mistakes that he did, wasn't going to let him lose what was slipping away from him.

I'm sorry to say that it doesn't look like I'll be finishing this story. I was a member of an email list for Tommy Lee Jones fans and that's where I started writing this story and my other US Marshal's fiction. One of the list members that I was really close to left recently and isn't speaking to me anymore. This really hurt me and my heart just isn't in writing anymore. I miss you, Carlie.