Written by Rachel

Author's notes: I caught the last thirty seconds of Fallen Heros last night and I was struck once again by the power of that final scene in the hospital with Frank holding Tim's hand and then I noticed Mary holding Frank. I ran to my computer and this flew out. It's a little raw, but that's kind of the tenor of that moment. Thanks to Vali for taking a quick look at it. Any errors are my own.

I stand here holding Frank in my arms watching him suffer. Tim is so silent, so still there on the bed. What have we done? What have we all done?

The call was the one I never wanted to receive again. I knew what it was two years ago when they called to tell me about Frank's stroke and I knew it again tonight when he called to tell me about Tim. Why would such a violent thing happen to such a gentle man?

He's been tortured lately. Actually, I think Tim has been tortured as long as I've known him. Of course I heard about this Bayliss person, the new guy, for a long time before I ever got to meet him. From the way Frank bitched about him I knew that we would get on. Many people don't understand this, but Frank's bark is so much worse than his bite. Even I've forgotten that from time to time.

I pull my husband tighter, trying to ease his pain, his sorrow. I know that he feels responsible, that Tim took this bullet that was meant for him. I feel Frank's pain and then I feel guilty, for I'm glad that this bullet is in Tim and not in my husband. Why do I feel this way? I hate myself for it.

I look over and can see his mother. She is scared and she should be. We don't know if he will survive. He has to survive. I don't think that Frank would ever get over losing his partner this way. He may not share his feelings very often, but I know that he feels a bond with this man on the bed that I may never understand.

I love this complicated man, this Frank Pembleton. I love him for his faults and his strengths.

We wait. The others leave, but Frank, Virginia and I stay on; our vigil will not end until Tim rejoins us. I wonder how Tim will feel about Frank's decision to leave the force. This doesn't really matter right now as I watch the tube in his throat pushing his lungs full of air. He could die. Frank could have died. Tim might die.

Frank comes back into the room. I hadn't even noticed he was gone. He hands me a cup of coffee. It's got that burnt taste from sitting in the pot too long, but it's hot and I drink it. We wait longer.

I come back from calling the babysitter. Olivia has thankfully slept through the night, but Frank Jr. is teething and has made it hard for the sitter to get any sleep at all. I feel bad for her, but I don't leave. I can't. Frank can't. We're waiting for Tim.

Giardello comes and goes. The doctors are back and forth. Tim's mother never leaves, not even for food or the restroom. I'm not sure where she gets her strength.

Morning is coming soon. We've been here 12 hours waiting for Tim.

When he does wake up, it's a little anti-climactic. I was in the hall and when I returned Frank was talking to him. He couldn't respond because of the tube in his throat, but he was back. We kissed him and told him we loved him. He didn't die. He lived and so will we.