"Tomorrow"
by Greywolf Lupous
Disclaimer: Both my birthday and Christmas have gone by, and Rowdy still doesn't belong to me. I was very dissapointed to not see him stuffed into my stocking Christmas morning. I really was. So yeah, I don't own him or anybody else from the show. I wish I did, I'd be rich. And I'd know Clint Eastwood. I'd really like to know Clint Eastwood, he seems like a cool guy. He's also pretty sexy... well, for a seventy-year old. Oh come on! He's got the cutest smile in the world. Fine, you're not fun. I think CBS and Viacom own all this stuff, but I'm not sure. They aren't exactly specific in their copyrights.

Warnings: This is a death fic. Sorry, I was a wee bit depressed, and for some reason, that equals out to me killing my favorite character, so somebody else can suffer! I'm sadistic, I know, but it's in a good way. Okay, maybe not. But you've been warned. So don't try to kill me or anything, because you might hurt my feelings. And then I'd have to kill him again. And we'd start everything over again. What a vicious cycle.

No... this can't be happening. Please lord, tell me I'm dreaming...

"SOMEONE GET WISHBONE!!!" I can't believe how high-strung my voice is. This most definitely has to be a dream.

"Boss...?"

I look down at my ramrod, his torso is covered in blood, and as each moment goes by, the stain on his shirt grows darker. God, please let this be a dream... "Don't move, Wishbone'll be here any minute."

He looks at me strangely, but doesn't say anything. He looks like he's trying not to show how much he hurts, damn kid. Don't be so stubborn. That was something I never could break him of, since the first day he walked into my camp. I didn't know what I was getting myself into, hiring him.

It seems like just yesterday I was in that small town near San Antonio, having to replace some drovers that had run out on me during the initial shakedown. He was trying to charm some saloon girl when I walked in, and I didn't give him a second look. Of course after I'd announced the job, he came up to me... admitted he didn't have too much experience driving cattle, but he was willing to learn. I gave him a week.

And here we are, years later. He's quit, been fired, and re-hired so many times I've lost count. And there were other close calls. When we thought he'd caught small pox. When he was shot in Sedalia as we tried to break the herd out of that lady's ranch. And other times I can't think of right now. They all felt like this.

"You're gonna be okay, just as soon as Wishbone fixes ya up..." I tell him softly.

"Right..." he grunts, squeezing his eyes together tightly.

I keep applying pressure to his side, trying to stop the bleeding. He's already lost so much blood. I hear the thundering of hooves beside me, Wishbone's here. Everything's gonna be all right now. I move out of the way to let Wishbone work, but I can't force myself to move more than a couple of feet.

Time seems to crawl by. It's been an eternity since I turned around just in time to see Rowdy's horse throw him. As he sailed through the air, my heart had to have leapt to my throat. My horse wouldn't run fast enough as he slammed into a bull, his side hooking onto one of the animal's horns.

Wishbone calls my name, and I think my legs just give out as I reach Rowdy's side. His breathing is labored. My old friend looks at me sadly.

No!

I can't look at him, instead I look at Rowdy. Damn you Rowdy, why are you doing this to me?

"I'm sorry Mr. Favor, there's nothing I can do," Wishbone sounds just like I feel.

Rowdy opens his eyes and looks at me. He knows it, and I do too. But I don't want to admit it, "You're gonna be fine..."

"Bullshit," he smiles weakly and I feel his hand grab mine, "It's been fun Boss..."

"Yeah, it has... there anything we can do?"

He clenches his eyes as another spasm of pain shoots through him, "Send all my pay to my ma..."

I nod, the lump in my throat is making it hard to talk at first. But I manage the next sentence, "Anything else?"

"Get back to your little girls... they need a papa."

I nod again, a million thoughts race through my head, a thousand things to say, but only one of them is appropriate right now. But I can't bring myself to say it. Some part of me tells me that if I don't say good bye, he can't leave. He squeezes my hand as his face contorts with pain. I can't let him suffer like this. I have to let him go, no matter how much I don't want to.

I'm having trouble blinking away the moisture that's gathered in my eyes as I swallow that damn lump again, "I'll see ya on the other side, son..."

"Don't hurry... I can wait..." he whispers and stiffens as he feels another wave of pain ripple through him. A moment later I feel the grip on my hand relax, and my heart twists in agony.

I let my head fall, and my shoulders shake. Life never felt so unfair or so wrong. Unfortunately, I don't have anyone to tell me tomorrow will be better. I know tomorrow I won't have someone to make me smile at every turn. Tomorrow I have to continue on with my life. I have to, I promised him.

And I keep my promises.

End Notes: Okay, so maybe Gil isn't really the crying type, but come on, work with me here. It's not like he was bawling... maybe just a tear. Use your imagination.