I'm back! Sorry guys. I've actually had this document for a while, New Year's I think, but I forgot about it till today. It's set during 1x06, "Burnout."

5. Worry.

After a while, I realize something.

The spine only affects men.

I mean, the spine boosts testosterone levels, for one thing. And back during the Middle Ages, there were no women warriors, only men. Women were seen as useless and good for nothing but cooking, cleaning and providing sons.

So not one of the spine's victims had been a woman. Jack, the gang, Officer Clark, and most recently, that man whose ex-wife just ran away. Pete and I are back to back. Him or me? I wonder.

That's when it crosses my mind. Any bit of concern for myself fades and every inch of me worries for Pete, for what I know but refuse to admit I know will happen to him. My mind races with a thousand thoughts, jumbled fragments of sentences, running together, not really making any sense: Ohmygod—Pete—stop spine—how—save Pete—spine coming—where's spine—can't lose Pete. Ect cetera.

And suddenly I'm pushed and I lurch forward Pete's scream pierces the air, and I whip around, heart pounding in my ears, the world a blur and everything happening in fast-forward so I don't really know what's happening and it's all happening so fast and I'm saying things and I don't even know what I'm saying, something about Artie I think and—

"Agent Bering? Agent Bering?" I hear faintly.

Slowly, my eyes blink open, my brain muddled and my entire body aching. Where's Pete? is my first thought, and when I'm able, I voice it out loud, ignoring the officer's questions of whether I'm alright. My only concern is for my partner.

"We don't know," he tells me, and it's the last thing I need to hear. In an instant I'm on my feet again regardless of him trying to stop me. I find Rebecca and then, we find Pete.

"Myka, you've gotta do this!"

I see the crazed look in his eyes, the fear, the determination. He's just like Jack, a tiny voice in the back of my head says, willing to die to save others. I get it, and I want to do what he asks. I just can't, and I tell him so, sobbing. I will not lose another partner. Ever. Not after what happened with Sam. Especially not Pete—even though he's a pain, and annoying, we've grown close. I couldn't stand it if he—

I'm sobbing so hard I don't even notice Rebecca. She's brave enough to do what I can't and she takes the things from Pete's hands and clamps them to the spine. Then she pulls the lever and Pete's body jolts with electricity. I can't take it.

The spine detaches and I forget all about it, I just need to make Pete okay. He won't move and so I do CPR (those Secret Service courses actually came in handy). "Don't—leave—me!" I push on his chest with each word and then he gasps and I let out a breath I hadn't known I was holding.

He looks up at me. "You okay?" he asks, and I burst out laughing and just smile at him.

He'll be okay.