Disclaimer: I claim no ownership to Third Watch or it's characters. This is purely for fun, and I am making no money from this story.

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Chapter Three

The news swept through the firehouse and precinct, Alex Taylor was finally out of the ICU, by that afternoon the waiting room on the medical surgical unit was packed with fire fighters, medics, and police officers.

Alex was still listed as being in critical condition, which along with the ward's policy meant that they were only being allowed in two at a time.

Whilst Alex's colleagues were visiting, her family opted to go home for a while, get some much needed rest.

Only Kim, Carlos, DK, Walsh, and Ty had seen Alex, and for those who hadn't, even if they had been told of the extent of her injuries, at first glance, lying under blankets she seemed alright, but then without fail they would realise that the blankets fell too soon, and it was unmistakable that her legs were gone.

Doc was one of the hardest hit, he'd told Taylor to get off that car, he'd ordered her, but she hadn't listened, and now she was lying in a hospital bed, her career over, her life changed forever.

And still she was defending her choice to stay with the couple, despite the devastating outcome.

"I was fine, the fire was in the engine, the squad was putting water on it, I was safe and I wasn't going to leave them."

"The investigators said the car was modified, there was a nitrous tank in the front seat. No one knew about it," Doc saw what Alex was going to say next coming, and cut her off, "but that doesn't excuse you ignoring a direct order. You ignored me, you ignored-" Doc paused, struggling with his memory of Lieutenant Johnson's final hours, "You ignored Lieutenant Johnson, you know he wouldn't have been half as close to the explosion as he was if you hadn't been on that damn car!"

"What're you talking about, Doc? Johnson's okay, right? Everyone else is okay, right!?"

"Oh man," Doc murmured, realising his error; Alex didn't know, "Lieutenant Johnson wasn't wearing his turnout coat, he was burnt in the explosion, badly. He died that night, Alex, he died."

Alex was stricken by grief, she had known that she was placing her own life in danger, it had never occurred to her that she had placed others in danger too. Had her actions really cost the lieutenant his life?

Kim and Jimmy had gone in together, in the aftermath of the accident they had begun to rekindle their relationship. They did not stay long, as soon as Kim laid eyes on her best friend, all she could see was that day, the accident, Alex lying on the road, covered in blood, pleading with them to save her life, Kim stood there in the doorway for a few seconds before running from the room, her hand clasped over her mouth.

"It's that bad, isn't it?" Alex asked Jimmy, in a tone which needed a straight answer.

"It is, Alex..." Alex sensed a but, and a moment later Jimmy went on to say, "But it's been harder on Kim, than the rest of us; the department shrink thinks she's got post traumatic stress, she's out on medical leave, and everything. Look, I've got to go check on her, but I'll come back when I can. I'm glad to see that you're doing okay."

"It's fine, go," Alex said softly, lowering her gaze as Jimmy rushed from the room in pursuit of Kim.

Sitting alone in that room, Alex knew that this was how life was going to be from now on, sure her friends would visit, but at the end of the day she was alone in this.

Four weeks later Alex was ready to be discharged to a rehabilitation centre. It was far from what Alex wanted, but it was deemed unavoidable - to send home someone who had sustained such severe injuries as Alex, without any rehabilitation was simply out of the question.

Alex still had a long road ahead of her, but she had survived the unsurvivable, the rest would sort itself out eventually.

The End.

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