A/N: I always wish that they had showed the scene in Ladder 49 where Mike tells Linda that Jack is dead, but, since they didn't, I decided to make up my own. Right now this is a oneshot, but if I get enough reviews asking for more, I may continue it. Please read & review!
Disclaimer: I do not own Ladder 49 or any of the characters from the movie. If I did, I would be rich. I also wouldn't have had to write this, because I would have already put this scene in the movie. Enough said.
Linda Morrison couldn't pull her eyes away from the scene she saw outside the window. Fire Chief Kennedy and a priest had gotten out of the red fire department car that had parked across the street from her house and were walking towards the house. Silently, she willed them to change direction, to go to another house, although she knew of no other firefighters who lived on the street.
She watched as Mike and the priest started up the sidewalk. She willed herself to move from the window, but couldn't. She sobbed quietly, not wanting the kids to hear her.
Mike glanced towards the window and saw her standing there. His eyes were filled with sadness and sympathy. She knew that he was not looking forward to giving her the news that he had come to tell her.
"Katie? Nicky?" she said, without turning away from the window, "go upstairs please." Her voice was shaky.
Katie and Nicky looked at each other, and then obeyed. They could tell by their mom's voice that something was wrong.
Linda waited till they were upstairs, and then moved towards the door. Just as she reached it, the doorbell rang. She unlocked the door, and, shakily, turned the doorknob.
"Linda," Mike began, "I am sorry to inform you that your husband, Firefighter Jack Morrison, lost his life tonight in the line of duty."
Linda began sobbing, tears streaming down her face. Mike stepped into the entryway where she still stood and pulled her into his arms.
"Linda, I am so sorry. We did everything we could, but we just couldn't get to him. I'm sorry."
Mike's tears mingled with Linda's. He gently pulled away and began leading her into the living room to sit on the couch. The TV was still on, still tuned to the cartoons that the kids had been watching just minutes earlier, unaware that their lives were about to drastically change.
As he led Linda to the couch, he looked up at the top of the stairs and saw Nicky and Katie standing there, their own small faces streaked with tears. They knew there was only one reason why their Uncle Mike come here at this time of night, especially knowing that their dad was on duty tonight at the firehouse.
Mike finished leading Linda to the couch, and then nodded to the priest to sit with her. He walked back to the stairs and slowly began climbing to the top. He had only made it halfway, however, before two sobbing children rushed down the stairs and into his arms. His heart broke at the sound of their sobs. He gently rocked back and forth, holding their shuddering bodies, his own tears making it impossible to say anything.
After a few minutes, he picked Kate up and took a hold of Nicky's hand. Katie buried her face in his shoulder as he made his way back down the stairs with the still-sobbing children. He took them over to the couch, where Linda sat, still sobbing, with the priest.
Nicky let go of his Uncle Mike's hand and rushed to his mom, throwing his arms around her. She immediately wrapped her arms around him and held him tightly. Mike, still holding Katie with her head in his shoulder, sat down next to Linda and wrapped his arm around her. He knew that his conduct was not professional, but right now he was no longer Chief Kennedy, but Mike, a close friend to Linda and Jack, and "uncle" to Nicky and Katie.
Several minutes passed before Mike was able to gather himself together enough to speak. "It was a four-alarm fire at a warehouse. There were men trapped inside, and Jack went inside with the others to rescue them. He found a man, and started lowering him to the bucket truck when the floor collapsed. He fell several stories, Linda. He had numerous injuries. We tried to get to him, but the fire was just too bad. We tried, Linda. He told us to stop, that it was no good. He told me to pull everyone out. His last words to me were, 'Tell Linda I love her, that I loved her from the second I saw her.' Katie and Nicky, he also said that he's always with you." Mike couldn't go on.
Linda looked up at Mike, and spoke to him for the first time since he had arrived. "Did he…how did he die? Did he suffer?"
"He probably died from smoke inhalation. He was pretty out of it due to his injured by the time I gave the order to pull everyone out. I…I never heard from him after that. He'd been in and out of consciousness since the fall, so I can only assume that he lost consciousness again," Mike replied. "That…that…that order that I gave, for all units to evacuate. Linda, it was the hardest order I've ever given. I'm so sorry, Linda, I'm so sorry."
It wasn't until nearly an hour later that Mike and the priest finally left Linda and the children. Before he left, Mike promised Linda that he would be back as soon as he could. He fully intended to keep the promise that he had made to Jack, the promise that he would take care of Linda and the kids.