The Love of a Family

A/N: I was watching the 8 Simple Rules episodes where Paul died, so I decided to write a few scenes that they didn't show. A tissue or two (maybe more) may be needed, so if you're not in need of a good cry, perhaps it's best just to leave this one alone for awhile. Thanks.

Paul walked into the store after the five minute drive from home. Cate had sent him for milk, but he needed batteries for his remote control and some ice cream, because he just wanted ice cream. He grabbed his cart and started to walk the store.

Now it wasn't that he was out of shape or anything, but Paul had skipped out on every time Fred Doyle had asked him to go on a family jog with him. He wasn't big on the Doyle's or exercising. But he was on a deadline for the paper, so he couldn't hang around the store too long. He headed to the aisle that held the batteries. And that's when he started to feel the pain in his chest.

He kept walking, thinking it was just heartburn from something he had eaten, but he was here for the milk for cereal. He hadn't ate yet that morning. He stopped the cart and stood there, breathing hard. He grabbed at his chest.

"Oh god." He whispered before he collapsed to the floor. Just then, a bag boy walked by, a local kid who knew Paul because of Bridget and Kerrie from school. He ran forward.

"Mr. Hennessy?" He asked. When Paul didn't get up, he began to yell for help, panic filling his voice. The sirens of an approaching ambulance mixed with his yells.

Cate had just finished pouring the cereal into the bowls when the phone rang and she answered it. Paul had probably locked himself out of his car again.

"Hello?" Cate asked.

"Can I talk to Mrs. Hennessy?" A woman on the other end asked. Cate wondered what was going on.

"This is Mrs. Hennessy." Cate said.

"Mrs. Hennessy, I'm calling from County Hospital. We have your husband here and he's had a heart attack. Mrs. Hennessy, I think you should come down here." She said. Cate's world seemed to crash down around her.

"I, um, ok." She said. She hung up the phone and stood there in silence, before rushing out to the car, ignoring her kids questions. She jumped into the car and rushed to the hospital, amazed that she had gotten there in one piece. She ran inside.

"Where's my husband?" She yelled. "Where's Paul? Where is he?" That's when a doctor came up and told her what she had been dreading to hear since she got the call.

Paul was gone.

Bridget, Kerrie, and Rory set in the living room. With Cate running out like she had, they weren't sure if they should go to school or not. They set there in silence, waiting for her to come home. And when she finally did, they knew something was wrong.

"Mom? What's wrong?" Kerrie asked. Cate stood in the doorway, the bag of Paul's things held loosely in her hands.

"Mommy?" Bridget asked. Cate started to cry then and dropped the bag to the floor and went to hug her kids. She wrapped her arms around all three of them, holding them close. She wanted this to all be just a bad dream, but she knew it wasn't.

"Kids, your dad's not coming home." She said. All three looked at her.

"Did you separate?" Bridget asked.

"No Bridge." Cate said. "Your dad collapsed in the supermarket. He had a heart attack. He's…he's…" All three Hennessy children understood then. Bridget ran upstairs and cried into her pillow, Kerrie wrapped herself in Paul's worn Michigan sweatshirt, and Rory punched a hold in the wall of his room, bruising his hand and cutting it up a bit. It was because the one person who managed to always keep the family together was now gone.

The End

A/N: I'm sorry it's so short but I didn't really feel like something long. I hope everyone liked it. Please review. It'll make my day.