Title: Two Red Roses

Summary: Michaela and Sully's second anniversary is cut short due to an emergency in town, which threatens Matthew's life.

Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not own Dr. Quinn or any of its affiliated characters.

Chapter 1

Sully brushed his horse's mane as he had done after every long journey. It had been a tiring day for both the horse and Sully. The day had begun early before anyone else had woken up and had ended long after everyone had gone to bed. The sun had set almost six hours before.

As Sully looked up at the homestead that he had spent so much time building, he smiled, knowing that his family was safely sleeping inside.

When he finished brushing the horse and cooling him down, Sully put the brush back where it belonged and quietly made his way out of the barn. He turned towards the barn to close the door when he heard footsteps. He quickly turned, his hand resting on top of the tomahawk that hung on his hip.

"You make it very difficult to sneak up on," a female voice said.

Sully's hand immediately left his tomahawk as he reached out to take his wife's hand.

"If you'd like, I can turn around and let you sneak up on me all over again."

"Maybe next time."

He leaned towards her and kissed her deeply.

"I missed you," he whispered.

"And I missed you."

"Why aren't you sleepin'?"

"I tried but I couldn't sleep without you there with me."

"Well, let's get back inside and we can work on that little sleepin' problem."

She smiled as he took her hand and they walked together towards the homestead. They were silent, so as not to wake Katie, Colleen, or Brian, as they walked up the stairs and into their bedroom. As Sully hung his beads on the bedpost and took off his shirt, Michaela took off her robe and laid it across the end of the bed. She climbed into bed and waited for Sully to climb in next to her. Sleep was the furthest thing on her mind.

The next morning, Michaela woke up to the smell of bacon and eggs. She slowly opened her eyes, still feeling Sully's arms around her. She rolled over and Sully pulled her closer.

"Good mornin'," he said as she cuddled closer to him.

"Morning."

"Happy anniversary."

He handed her two red roses.

"I wasn't sure if you'd remember."

"How could I forget? Two years ago today, I became whole again."

He brought her hand to his lips and kissed each of her knuckles.

"You've just been so busy…"

"I'm never too busy to celebrate our marriage," he whispered, kissing her on the lips. He paused. "I made you this." He picked up a tray from the floor and placed it on the bed. A plate of steaming hot eggs and bacon was on the tray with two more red roses on top.

"The roses are beautiful," Michaela commented.

"So are you." Sully leaned over and kissed her deeply, bringing his hand to cup her cheek.

"Ma! Ma!" Colleen yelled, pounding on the door. Michaela pulled away from Sully but he held on tightly to her arm.

"Tell her you'll be down later," he whispered.

"It sounds important," Michaela insisted.

"So is this," Sully said as he placed small kisses down her neck.

"Ma! There's been a fire and…"

Both Michaela and Sully jumped out of bed. Sully quickly struggled to put his shirt on while Michaela completely ignored her robe, which had fallen to the floor during the middle of the night, and swung the bedroom door open.

Colleen was standing in the hallway, panic set on her face.

"What happened, Colleen?" Michaela asked.

"Horace rode up while I was outside milkin' the cow. He said there was a fire at one of the houses outside of town. They're tryin' to put the flames out but Horace said the family's been hurt real bad. He rode back into town to help out but he said we gotta hurry, ma."

"I'll be right there," Michaela said, quickly rushing back into the bedroom to get changed.

Sully stepped outside into the hallway and shut the door. He placed his hand on Colleen's shoulder to comfort her but he was just as shaken up.

"Where's Brian?" Sully asked.

"He's still asleep."

"Alright, go wake him and then get Katie. I'm gonna go out and saddle Flash for your ma and get the wagon ready for us to follow her. She'll get ta town quicker on her own without the wagon. Get Katie and Brian and I'll meet ya at the wagon." Colleen nodded. "Everythin's gonna be alright, Colleen." She gave Sully a swift hug and then raced down the hallway.

Meanwhile, Michaela finished putting on her shoes. She ran out of the room, not bothering to even brush her hair. She stopped in the kitchen only to grab her medical bag and check that it had all the supplies that she would need. As she flung the front door open, Sully led a saddled and ready Flash out of the barn.

"We'll meet ya there in the wagon," Sully said, handing Michaela Flash's reins.

"Have Colleen stay with Katie and Brian at the clinic," she instructed, as Sully gave her a boost on to the horse's back.

"I'll be there as soon as I can ta help." Michaela secured her medical bag to the saddle. "Be careful, Michaela."

She nodded before galloping away.