As Colby slowly became aware the first thing he noticed was the large tube stuck down his throat, he began to feebly thrash in what he now recognised as a hospital bed.

"Colby, settle down, I will get a doctor, calm down buddy." David soothed. But as soon as he had said the last words Colby was sucked back under by the swirling black that was circling his mind.

The next surfacing was to the eyes of a concerned doctor. "Mr Granger, you are in a hospital, you are on a ventilator, I know it is very uncomfortable but it needs to stay in place, you are mildly sedated so that it is not as traumatic as it would be if you were fully awake." Colby just blinked sleepily in reply. "Are you in any pain Mr Granger?" Colby closed his eyes and tried to put together a coherent thought, as he could feel little at all he concluded that he was not in any pain and shook his head not bothering to open his eyes as he drifted off again.

David's earlier talk with the doctor had revealed the full extent of Colby's condition. His cough had developed into pneumonia due to Colby keeping his productive cough contained using cough suppressants instead of letting the infection out. This piece of information left David feeling guilty for ragging on Colby for coughing too much. He had the pleurisy that Colby had kept secret, two broken ribs, a high fever, a concussion and a bullet wound in his lower right abdomen. On top of this he was dangerously dehydrated, he would need to be kept on a ventilator to help his severely weakened lungs filled while his ribs healed. The information had almost been too much for David who just listened in stunned silence before affixing himself at Colby's bedside.

The next time Colby woke up David stood over him while the doctor explained things. Colby gestured for a pad and paper: Carrie? He wrote. "She's fine Col, she's upstairs with her Dad."

Call someone for me?

"Sure bud, name number?"

Sarah, number's in my cell, girlfriend. Colby wrote before he fell asleep.

Girlfriend????? Thought David.

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The next time he woke, he was no longer on the ventilator but had no voice, he asked for the pad again. Sarah?? Colby looked worriedly at his partner. He raised his eyebrows in question.

"Colby, man, have you been going out with her long?"

Colby nodded, looking worried.

"I am just going to be blunt; did you know she was married?"

Colby hesitantly shook his head.

"Married with a kid, the, uh, kid's called Carrie...." David trailed off.

Colby just stared at David dumbstruck and shook his head.

"I am so sorry man, we got hold of her here at the hospital, she was visiting Carries Dad, her husband, the vic Mr Manning." David could do nothing as a look of sheer anguish crossed Colby's face. Colby's head turned to the door where his blurred eyes found Sarah. She raised a closed fist to her chest and circled it and then put her opened hand to her lips and made what to the untrained eye was an air kiss without the lip motion. Sorry, thank you.

She turned and left, Colby staring after her, shoulders shaking in silent sobs as tears fell down his face. David simply held his partners hand in quiet support until Colby had cried himself to sleep.

"He must have really loved her." David started as Megan whispered across the room.

"To have kept quiet, learned sign language and cried like that? You think Megan?" David replied sarcastically.

"Carrie has been asking after him, I wonder what Sarah will tell her?"

"I hope anything but the truth."

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Colby made a full physical recovery; Dons insistence however would not force him into putting sign language on his specialist skills list, preferring to keep the information in the team and not wanting to open a still fresh wound. He never saw either Carrie or Sarah again but the following year he received a card on the anniversary of the kidnap, Thank you, love Carrie. Colby dropped it in the bin on his way out to lunch with David, he would recognise Sarah's handwriting anywhere.

A/N My apologies for the downturn in story writing, the ending sucks but my fingers write what they write. Promise to do better next time. Hope some of you enjoyed it.