Forgive and Forget version 2.0

A/N: An alternative look at the season 8 episode 'Forgive and Forget' following Kelly's shooting in an LAX car park.

He ran. His heart pounding in his chest, blood, ringing through his ears. He felt his eyes stinging with tears; fear enveloping him with every step he took, his lungs caught in a vice like grip, leaving him breathless, suffocated. His feet pounded the tiled floor as he sprinted through a maze of corridors, the walls painted with beige, the smell musty, yet clinical all at once.

It was busy, crowded almost; yet, his focus was so determined, so absolute that it barely even registered in his mind as he deftly weaved through the hordes of people in his path. He passed through a set of automatic doors, barely giving them time to open fully in his haste.

I've got to get to her. He thought to himself as he pushed hurriedly past a young man standing in his way. I have to see her…I need to know that she's going to be all right….

He swallowed hard at the unsolicited images invading his thoughts, insidious visions of her lifeless form, an ominous sense deep down that he was already too late. That he had lost her forever, never again to feel the warmth of her embrace.

He couldn't help but feel that his soul would be left incomplete with her absence; that his future would be left dark, his life empty without her beauty, her inspiration to brighten it. She was his destiny; he knew that now, if only from the pain of leaving her behind, the bitter experience of having her missing from his life for the last eighteen months.

He'd tried so hard to move on, tried to forget her, but even with the change of continents, the distance he had chosen to put between them, she was still there, plaguing his thoughts, his dreams. She was his other half, his better half, and it was only with her, that he would ever truly feel whole.

A cold sweat engulfed him, a chill, a realisation, so terrifying that he felt his whole body shake as he continued determinedly towards his destination. Towards her…

'Alright, your turn' he said as he loaded the gun in his hand with another clip.

'Sorry, you know I'm for gun control' she responded hesitantly.

'Yeah, well if you want to control your gun, use both hands," He quipped, trying to convince her. When she still looked uncertain, he continued, 'Come on, you'd be a fool not to learn this.'

'Don't call me that' she replied slightly hurt.

He could feel himself getting frustrated. Why couldn't she see that he was only trying to protect her? That he wanted her to be able to have piece of mind in a city where violent crimes happened every single day.

'Kelly, there are 2 million handguns in Los Angeles alone. How soon before one's pointing at you?' he said, trying to get his point across. "Now come on,' he continued in an attempt to persuade her, 'do one clip. It won't kill you.'

Kelly buckled, finally taking the gun up into her hands and turning to face the range, the target before her.

'There you go' he coached, stabilising the gun for her, 'get it like that.' He stepped back from her slightly before talking her through her doubts. 'Square yourself up to the target like I did. Now just aim and squeeze the trigger.'

'It's going to be loud isn't it?' she asked him nervously.

'Yeah, but just expect it.' He replied. 'The first one's always the worst.'

'Where do I aim?' she questioned.

'At the target,' he answered pointing to the picture before her, 'go for the centre.'

'I can't do this,' she decided, placing the gun back on the shelf in front of her and pushing past him to leave.

'Hey!' he said turning to face her. 'What do you want? Do you want to be a statistic? Do you want to be a victim?' he asked raising his voice slightly in frustration. 'I mean Kelly, the writing is spray painted on the wall. You've got about as much chance of taking a bullet as you have of being in a car accident.'

He paused for a moment before continuing. 'Or am I not supposed to worry about that huh? It's not my problem, I should let other people worry about you?'

"I'm worried about you…" she countered.

She didn't have to be. He thought to himself as he rounded a corner and saw them all sitting, waiting for some news on her condition. Their solemn faces told him more than any words possibly could about the severity of her condition and a wave of nausea overwhelmed him.

He felt his skin pale, his ears ringing, a fog clouding his vision. He put his hand on the nurses' station beside him, hoping to steady himself, to keep from falling.

Suddenly, a hand grasped his shoulder firmly, pulling him back from the precipice of despair and he heard a familiar voice call out to him before hauling him into a tight embrace.

'Dylan," Brandon said, his voice trembling. "You came?"

It took Dylan a moment to register everything that was happening, the group of people suddenly surrounding him, his best friends hands placed atop his shoulders.

Finally, he managed to ask, his voice hoarse, "How is she?"