Natara Williams

I was told I cried upon waking. Not sobbing, but simply lying still as silent tears streamed down my face. I don't remember it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were true. Upon reflection of that day I can barely make any recollections of any of the events that took place, but I've been told many times what happened. My first memories are foggy, as if I had watched them through a long tunnel. They were of lying in a hospital bed, listening to music. Not just music, but what sounded like many people singing. That is what I assumed was the reason for my tears. All I could think of was sitting in a muggy-hot car with Mal the last summer, waiting for something I can't remember anymore. A song had come on the radio, and I had stated that I liked it.
"You like-" he had taken a moment to look at the screen below to see what it was "-Daughtry?" he had gave a slight teasing smile "Isn't that country music?".
"I never said I like Daughtry, I just said I liked this song" I had retorted, blushing slightly. That was what I heard, the familiar lyrics that wafted from my window. I was told later they were having a candle-light vigil, and that was the first time I thought about how badly I must have been hurt.

In the middle of September we'd still play out in the rain
Nothing to lose but everything to gain
Reflecting now on how things could've been
It was worth it in the end

This is what I heard upon waking. This is why I presumed I cried, since I had only ever told one person that I liked that song. That is how I knew that Mal was there. I saw him later, and he had explained to me what had happened. That I had been shot just below my shoulders in the back, that I was lucky to be alive. He was there when I was told I would never walk again. I was told I took it well, when really I didn't. I think when I was told I was in pure shock and didn't react at first, only later having it truly sink in as I cried into my pillow that night, away from prying eyes. They said later I should be happy. If I had been shot a few inches higher I would have died. But the down side was if I had been shot a few inches lower I wouldn't have suffered spinal chord damage. That I wouldn't be paralyzed from the weight down. I'm not sure if it was determination, a stubbornness towards accepting fate or plain stupidity, but I tried to walk many times. I only managed to push up with my arms, and I fell from my hospital bed. Mal walked in on me like that, picked me up and told me thing would be alright. I told him I wasn't so sure things would ever be alright again. That was the beginning my refusal to give up. I told him I couldn't accept the fact that I couldn't walk again. He told me he didn't expect I would. That was the beginning. He would hold my shoulder, supporting all my weight as I tried to move my legs. They said I couldn't, and I think it was partly out of spite that I did. After weeks of that he would hold my arm, supporting about half my weight, and we would walk together through the halls.
"Look at her" I heard one woman remark one day "Her gaits wrong, she walks funny". I ignored this cynical remark, only offering the woman a scowl as I passed. I became self-conscious about this later, and even told Mal this once. He said the way I walked showed I was strong, that I was a surviver. He later told me he thought it was fine. That there was nothing wrong with the way I walked now. I think he thought anything I did was good, that he was only glad I was alive. Later I could walk alone, but I still never did. Except that one time, but I knew I wouldn't be for long. That it was only a mere hundred yards until I reached him again. I knew every eye was on me that day, but I only had eyes for the one person I was walking towards. I nearly cried on that day too. They played that song again, it was our song now. We danced to it that day, shortly after my first kiss as a married woman. Nothing was ever the same after that, it wasn't a bad thing nor a good thing. I still walked with a limp, and left the FBI because of it. I still worked with Mal, but at a distance. I helped in interrogation, looked over files and crime scenes. He was no longer my partner though, and before we were married I used to get slightly jealous when I saw the young blonde woman who had replaced me. I never admitted this, but I think that Mal knew at times. Everyone said we were a miracle couple, I'm not so sure I think it was a miracle that happened. I think maybe part of it was, but a large part was the fact that I didn't give up, and that Mal didn't give up on me. That when I heard those voices outside, I knew Mal was waiting for me to walk out there to him.

Disclaimer, neither CoD nor the song is mine.