"The dead walk."

Before

The loud beeping of the elevator echoed loudly. All of the men froze, before the platform slowly began to lower. Rhodes stood, his hazel eyes staring upward. At that exact moment, he looked the spitting image of his unborn son when he was sixteen or so, standing on the beach, his dark hair swept back, and his eyes narrowed. But at this moment, he was just a thirty-six year old man. A man who since the age of fifteen had devoted his entire life to the military. A man who escaped abusive, and followed the strict and narrow road of discipline, rules, and order. A man who's relationships consisted of one night stands whenever he was on leave. A hollow empty life with little to no emotion. One who learned to cut out any attachments, and not even be the slightest bit phased as the world fell apart around him. He followed orders, learned of his new station down in Florida, took the first flight down, and sat back watching as Major Cooper made so many mistakes and more and more died. He watched bitter, and cold before finally Alex came into his life. A beautiful nineteen year old girl who loved to laugh, sing, play music, and make this poor excuse of his life actually feel like it meant something. For the few brief months they had been together, they loved a lifetime's worth. He could;d actually say that this young girl actually stole his heart, and then broke it when he held her bleeding dead body.

He couldn't save her, he couldn't stop any of this from happening. Instead, any idea of a future or happiness drained away just like her blood as it pulsed out of her onto the cement floor. He was a man who had tried his best despite it all. A man who turned all his loss and grief into danger. A man who was pushed too far, and driven completely insane while trying to save his men. The moment that freezer opened, and he saw their hacked up bodies, including what was left of his Alex. He blew Logan away for the monster he was, and no longer cared when he blew Fisher's brains out. If these psychopaths were willing to butcher his men and his girlfriend, why couldn't he hurt them the way they hurt him? His will to live was no longer there. All he wanted was to leave these maniacs behind, and save what was left of his men. Standing there, his eyes looked up as the platform lowered and he saw the sixty or so zombies all crowded there, the stench of their rotting flesh in the hot Florida air hitting them like a hammer.

Staring up at them, the only human part left in him was panic. Pure panic. It had finally happened. They had gotten in. Right away his heart hammered up to his throat as he almost reached for his guns before backing up. He needed to get to the complex...he needed to get to the guns. Spinning around, he took off, leaving his men behind. As he ran forward, jumping into the gold cart, he floored it, no longer caring what he was doing. In the distance, he heard Steel yell after him. Ignoring, he drove forward, and instantly saw Torezz and him had forgotten that Flyboy had left the corral open after he knocked them out. There were zombies roaming around in the outside storage area.

Driving forward, focused on making it to the complex door, Flyboy's words echoed through his mind.

"She's pregnant with your baby. Please show mercy man!"

Pregnant.

Either Flyboy was up to lying about anything to save Sarah and McDermott, or he was telling the truth. Thinking of that night in the lab, he couldn't believe it. He was drunk, and missing Alex. To him, Sarah was just the only thing around he could sink his dick into. He hated her, thought she was a stuck up little bitch. Most of all he hated her for being alive. Why should she live while Alex was dead in that freezer hacked up? The idea that he might have actually knocked that bitch up made him feel sick. What if John really was telling the truth? It was too late now, she had ran off into the saves with McDermott. It was over. All fucking over. Hitting one of those things, he jumped off and ran inside, locking the door behind him. They were all over the place. Standing back, feeling his hands shake completely frightened. Standing there, he took deep breaths before knowing he needed to get to the guns.

He could get out of this...he knew he could.

Present.

It was late, but the chopper slowly landed on the beach. The torches were lit, and Lambert was waiting for them. Once they climbed out, he hurried over.

"Ana is with him, she said the bleeding has gotten worse..."

Ignoring him, Sarah carried her heavy bags, eyes dead set, focused as she marched towards the paths. She was going to do everything she could to save her baby, even if it was the last thing she did.

Before.

Rhodes stopped into the freezer shortly before he went to grab the guns and ammo. Unknown to him, he missed Bub by less than a minute as he shuffled out of the room, now holding onto Sarah's gun. Rhodes hurried in, not knowing the creature that would end up taking him down in less than ten minutes was shuffling down the hallway wandering about. Rhodes walked in, eyes frightened and angry. Walking to the doorway, he ignored Logan's bloody corpse thrown to the side. Looking down, he walked into the cold space before kneeling. Alex's corpse was pushed further back. Her skin a dark purplish gray, small ice crystals clinging to her skin.

Chunks of flesh cut out of her. Kneeling down, he sighed. One of her arms had been cut off. Sighing, he looked down at her feeling his heart ache. Leaning down, he gently brushed back her bangs which were completely frozen, like pieces of icy rope. Closing his eyes, he made a low moaning sound low in his throat. Faintly the rhythm she had played for him faintly rang through his mind.

"I'm so sorry baby..."

He knew he would very well be dead soon, but not before he took more of these puss bags out.

"She's pregnant..."

Flyboy's words echoed over the rhythm, making him open his eyes. Anger filling them, he gently patted her frozen corpse. Faintly he thought he heard a loud banging, and someone yelling. Instead he got up, turned and walked out. Heading straight down the hall, he went straight to the weapons room, Hell bent on destroying anything that got in his way.

Present.

Sarah stood back with Ana.

They had used the equipment and meds, and tried their best. Jay was bandaged up, and now it was just a matter of time to see if it worked. She had stopped the bleeding, and now prayed the infection wouldn't spread. He had been hurt bad, but hopefully these things had worked. Stripping off her bloody gloves, she looked down at her son, and sighed.

"Okay...let's see."

Ana rubbed his arm.

"Go get some rest, I'll sit with him."

Sarah nodded to her friend, thanking her with her eyes as she finished cleaning up. Once everything seemed set, she walked outside, seeing it was nearly dawn. Exhausted, she still wanted to finish this. Walking out onto the beach, she spotted John and McDermott standing by the chopper. Both were holding shovels, an extra leaning against the side of the chopper.

Looking at her two old friends, she nodded before they took the shovels and joined her. Slung over John's shoulder was the giant duffle bag. McDermott sadly smiled at her, clearly John had caught him up.

"Ready?"

Nodding, Sarah took one of the shovels before the three of them started down the beach. A few minutes later she stopped, turning and looking at them. John set the bag down onto the sand. McDermott held onto the handle of the shovel and looked over at her.

"So, three holes?"

Gazing at the sand, Sarah shook her head.

"No, just two...come on."

With that, Sarah took hold of her shovel and sunk the blade into the warm white sand.

Before.

Rhodes sat in the military issued jeep, his rifle laying across his lap, and his bag down by his boots. Sitting there, he listened to the low rumble of the engine, with the younger solider sitting beside him nervously looking out the windows as they traveled down the back highways on their way to the Pittsburgh airport. He had received orders to report to the airport by Major Cooper. He was currently assigned to report here before dawn.

The details were vague, but from what the major said over the radio was that it was a scientific team, four scientist in total. There would be eleven soldiers, one helicopter pilot, and one radio operator. The base's main operation was for the scientist to be working on what was actually causing this virus to spread, as well as a cure for it. The military were there to oversee the operation. Estimated time would be a year, but the bunker would have enough supplies for six plus. The details were vague, and Rhodes was waiting to be debriefed as soon as they landed in Florida. He had currently been pro-trolling the outside of the cities where several major roadblocks were set up. He had seen thousands of people attempting to flee the city, getting gunned down, and turning. He watched as the men around him were torn apart by those things, screaming as their eyes glazed over, and their flesh turned a greenish blue.

It was things straight out of the movies, yet somehow it was real. This had all begun months ago, and he watched as everything slowly began to fall apart. He felt grateful to have an assignment with purpose. He truly didn't believe these guys could figure out what was causing it. But still, maybe they could make a difference. He wondered about his parents and instantly pushed the thought aside. The last time he saw them he was fifteen. It had finally been enough when his father beat him so badly he actually passed out. His childhood wasn't exactly happy, and as much as he tried to please his parents, all he received in return were beatings and reminders that he was the reason his parents were locked into a loveless marriage. He wasn't exactly sure how the last beating happened, but he remembered being thrown so hard against his living room wall that he crumpled over in a heap as his father spit down in his direction and said he was a useless piece of scum. That night Rhodes slowly came to, his father gone, most likely down the street at the local bar. As he slowly stood up, holding his ribs, and limping down the hall, he looked in on his mother chain-smoking in the kitchen. She looked over at him in complete disgust before telling him to get out of her sight. Rhodes remembered grasping onto the doorway, looking at her.

"Mamma, please..."

She glared at him before stubbing out her cigarette and said...

"Clean yourself up Jimmy, you're bleeding..."

Rhodes looked down, touching his face before seeing blood smeared all over his fingertips. Knowing he wasn't going to get any help from her, he slowly limped down to the bathroom. Unzipping his pants, he held himself, sore all over before he began to pee. That's when he saw blood spraying into the bowl. It was then he knew if he stayed with these people any longer...he would die.

That night he stuffed the few ratty clothes he had into an old trash bag, stole thirty dollars out of his father's wallet while he laid passed out drunk and left without so much as another glance. Hitching the first ride he could, he traveled to Pittsburgh, where he lied about his age, and luckily was able to fully enlist after he hustled together some fake papers he worked for three months straight at a warehouse before getting accepted. Sleeping at local shelters, he breathed a deep sigh of relief when they stamped his papers, and everything passed. As soon as he rode the first bus to his training camp, he instantly felt safe...and at home. Now all these years later, he watched the strong foundation he had learned to live by get destroyed in just a matter of months as this virus spread. The jeep turned into the empty runway of the dark airport that chilly November afternoon and drove next to the plane that was waiting for them. Several other military jeeps and trucks were waiting.

Climbing out, Rhodes circled around and began walking towards the plane. He dug into his front pocket to grab a package of smokes before he had to get onboard. The younger solider walked beside him, shifting his eyes from side to side. Rhodes stuck one of the smokes into his mouth before offering the package.

"Want a smoke?" The young man shook his head.

"No thanks..."

"What's your name soldier?"

The man glanced over.

"Anderson."

Rhodes offered his hand and shook the young man's sweaty hand quickly.

"Rhodes."

The man nodded quickly before they headed over to Cooper. Unknown to Rhodes, he was shaking the hand of the man who would murder the woman he loved.

Later...

A half an hour later they had boarded. Rhodes sat back, next to two men that seemed pretty familiar. He figured maybe he had trained with them at some point. Sitting back, he waited when he looked across and saw the only woman on board. She was pretty, in a hard sort of way. Her hair light brown, her eyes light. For just a brief second as the engines fired up, he looked over and locked eyes with her. Looking away, he sat back having no idea that years from now the two of them would have a beautiful son together.

A son that was the only good thing to come out of this terrible doomed mission.

Later...

The plane landed in the fenced in area. As soon as everyone started getting out, Rhodes saw it was nearly dawn. The fences weren't closed yet, but surrounding them appeared to be all dark swamp land. Following the rest of the men, Cooper turned, cigar sticking out of his mouth. He motioned backwards. "We just had the men drive in the trucks with the supplies, after that those fences are getting locked and we're staying put." Rhodes looked over and saw a helicopter parked off to the side, a man getting out of it talking with one of the other military men. Walking, Rhodes stopped before a solider about his height chomping on gum laughed as they waited.

"Great, talk about being a corpse. I heard this place used to be a storage mine, there are hundreds of boats, trucks, even an underground lake down there. Talk about depressing!"

Rhodes ignored the man who's uniform said Armstrong. Standing there, his eyes scanned the area as two trucks drove out of the fenced in area, just finishing with delivering the last of the supplies. Cooper motioned for them to all gather on the platform. Everyone, mostly strangers all stood around. Rhodes looked over, looking at all of the men with suspicious eyes. Cooper stood before them all.

"Lady and gentlemen! Welcome to the U.S.A Scientific Military issued team on the behalf of research and all that happy horse shit. We will be holding a meeting imediately down below. Now I've all ready been down below. It's big...it's a shit hole, but there are labs, and a complex with living quarters. After our meeting I will be assigning duties as well as weapons check. There is quite the set up down below that Dr. Logan and I have all ready looked at. This was a mine, and we have a corral rigged with some of those things...must be at least sixty or so of them inside there."

The solider named Anderson gulped loudly, rubbing the back of his neck.

"There are zombies?" Cooper glared at him, looking annoyed.

"Yes, zombies. The corral is secure, but this is the only way we can use these assholes to experiment on. Now we have a fail safe system on how to collect them. I'll be going over all of the safety measures once we're downstairs. Now..."

Before he could finish, one of the men yelled out...

"OVER THERE!"

Everyone turned as Cooper rolled his eyes.

"Christ..."

In the distance were three lumbering zombies, one of which had a straw hat on as it groaned and approached them. Cooper stepped forward, aiming and fired at them. The second shot got the middle one. Annoyed, Rhodes drew one of his custom pistols from the hostler and aimed, arm steady. In just two shots, the other two zombies fell. Silence washed over the group of them before Cooper grinned putting his gun back.

"Nice shooting Rhodes."

Rhodes shrugged putting his pistol back. Stepping back, he didn't see the exchanged looks everyone gave as he put his gun pack. These were two custom Smith & Wesson, model 629's. He custom ordered these the year before. Never honestly spending money on himself, he started wearing these when everything went to shit. He figured it was from his younger days watching old Westerns. Part of him felt pretty foolish wearing these, but in the last few weeks they had honestly become quite helpful, and gave him a solid piece of mind. Standing back, not exactly enjoying the sudden attention, he glanced over at the giant solider named Steel. He grinned at him. Rhodes rolled his eyes before Cooper motioned as the last truck rolled out, stopping after the fence as the men jumped out and started to chain it up, locking it behind them.

"I have a feeling there will be more of those things. First thing tomorrow we'll be securing the entire area. So everyone, take a nice deep breath of this fresh air, because where we're going, you're going to miss it awfully fast."

With that Cooper reached down, taking hold of the hand box and pressed the button. Instantly a loud beeping began sounding. Everyone looked around as the platform began to lower. Rhodes looked across, and stared at the girl. Another solider, a Spanish guy was standing beside her. The two were talking, and she was smiling. Staring at her, Rhodes thought vaguely that she looked kinda pretty that way. Pushing that thought into the back of his mind, he stood there as the platform continued to lower.

Present.

Sarah stood in the giant hole she had helped dig. Standing there, she wiped the sweat off her forehead. John and McDermott were standing in the other hole which was larger. They had been at this for at least an hour. Taking hold of the duffle bag, she lifted it up and lowered it into the hole. Unzipping, she carefully took out the top remains. Lifting it, she took out the few remains she could find of Ted. They had gone back out to the storage area, which was ten times darker out front of the corral. It took almost a half an hour before they found where Ted had been tragically shot. The only way they were able to discover it was him was by the filthy lab coat that billowed around his remains. Sighing, she had scooped up the few remains, laying them on top of the others. She wasn't sure if it was all Ted, but at least it was something. Sighing, she laid them out before pressing her fingers against her lips and putting them against the side of the dirty skull with the shattered side.

"I'm sorry Ted..."

Laying them out carefully, she shook her head staring down at him.

"I should have paid better attention. You were the one...I'm sorry..."

Lifting the bag, she handed it off to John before reaching up and taking hold of McDermott's hand, as she climbed out. Standing, she brushed the sand off her pants before going to the other hole. Carefully she climbed into it as John handed her the other bag. Sighing, she opened the bag and looked down. There laying, crammed in the bag were the remains of Alex, and Rhodes. She could only find Rhodes' upper half, and whatever hadn't been eaten in the freezer. She packed away what she found, and now laid them out.

Standing back, she began to carefully lay the pieces out onto the sand. Sighing, she put the two skeletons as close as she could, all wrapped up around the ruined torn rags of Rhodes' dirty uniform. Standing back, she stared down. Turning, she climbed out before looking down. McDermott took a seat and grabbed the pieces of drift wood he had found. Taking his carving knife, he started on Ted's. John looked over at her and sadly smiled. "You sure?" Looking down, Sarah nodded, brushing her bangs back.

"The only time that bastard ever acted half human was when he was with her."

Turning, he looked over at McDermott.

"Just carve Alex's name...that's all he deserves."

Looking down at the two skeletons disgusted, she nodded before grabbing one of the shovels. Digging into the sand, she threw the first pile onto the bones. John watched her for a second before grabbing the other shovel and filling Ted's grave. Together, the continued filling the graves without so much as saying another word as the sky lightened up. It appeared to look like it was going to turn into quite the beautiful day. The three of them worked in silence, finally putting these three souls to rest.

Before...

It was happening. Rhodes went into the guns and ammo room, grabbing one of the MGC M16's. Taking it, he grabbed two clips, and quickly hurried out. He planned on going back to the complex door, whipping open the door, and gunning down as many of these bastards as possible. He knew it was a long shot, but hopefuly he could make a path. He wasn't exactly sure if the others had made it, but he needed to try. Running down the corridor he stopped dead in his tracks. Down the hall stood Bub.

That fucking puss bag. Logan's little pet. The same fucking piece of shit that had been eating one of his men, or maybe even his Alex. The same puss bag that had tried to salute him, then pull a weapon on him. Everything he hated about those things was standing right before him. It was as if Anderson had risen to life and was standing right before him. In one hand, he held a pistol. Rhodes' face glared. Trying to act with lighting pace, he tried loading in one of the clips. His hands shaking, he couldn't believe he couldn't get this fucking thing in.

"Come on, come on, COME ON!"

Just then a bullet flew over his shoulder hitting the cement wall. Jumping, Rhodes spun around to run.

"SHIT!"

As he tried to turn, instantly another shot was fired, ripping through him. Hitting him right in the shoulder. A horrible white lighting pain went through him making him cry out. He had only been accidentally shot once, but it had grazed the skin more than anything. This had ripped right through him. Slamming against the wall, he instantly left as if his good arm weighed a million pounds. His entire side went slack as he limped and braced himself against he wall. Turning, he moaned out with the pain he felt as he leaned against the wall. Looking forward, he saw the clips he had dropped. All of his ammo was gone. Hearing Bub's shuffling steps, he instantly felt more rage boil through him that he thought he was capable of. He slowly saw the shadow of Bub walking closer. Instantly he whispered... "You fuck..." Limping forward, he turned and went to open the door to the ammo room. Again a horrible lighting pain tore through him. Screaming out, he used his other hand to see that the door had swung shut and was locked.

Frustrated, he screamed out. Bub lumbered towards him. Turning, he glared.

"YOU PUSS FUCK!"

He began limping away. He started gaining a little bit of speed when another bullet fired over his shoulder.

"YOU FUCK!""YOU..." Before he could say another word, another shot was fired, hitting him right in the back shoulder, sending him flying forward.

Hitting the floor hard, tasting blood, he screamed out dropping his rifle. Instantly he collapsed screaming. No, this couldn't be happening. Not like this. He needed to find his men, make up for running. No, he couldn't let this walking puss bag kill him. No... He screamed in agony as he began to crawl, slipping on his blood. He swore, crying out as he slung himself against the wall, his back shoulder going completely numb. Hearing Bub shuffling closer, and seeing his shadow, he looked down the hall and saw Logan's lab. There might still be a chance, something he could grab to bash that fucker's head in.

"COME ON!"

Hurling himself up to a standing position, he braced himself against he wall as he shuffled, screaming at Bub to come on. Behind him, he heard his shuffling footsteps come closer. He tried the first door which served as one of Sarah's labs. Locked. Turning, he saw him at the other end of the hallway. Waving him over he screamed down at him...

"COME ON!"

Turning he yanked Logan's door open, only to be faced with twenty or so rotting stinking zombies.

All of them waiting for him. Terrified, he knew this was it. He had failed. Screaming, instead of seeing these zombies, he saw his parents, he saw Logan, he saw Anderson, he saw them all. Screaming as the hands reached forward he turned to run only to lock eyes with Bub's dead glazed ones. He watched as the zombie leveled the pistol and fired, shooting him right in the stomach. The pain hit him like a bucket of cold water as he was stopped dead in his tracks. Instantly he felt millions of hands grope around him.

Being pulled down, he moaned out not just in pain, but defeat. He watched as Bub smirked and slowly raised his rotting hand to salute him. Eyes wild, he stared at him as the zombies slowly brought him down to the floor. He watched as Bub turned away, shuffling off finished with him. He watched as millions of hands reached down and dug deeply into his flesh. In just seconds he watched as they tore him apart, ripping him open. Blood sprayed everywhere as they grabbed, holding up his guts. He went freezing cold in a matter of second, not feeling a thing. How badly he wished he could be near Alex's body. Say he was sorry and die beside her. Instead he was here, being eaten alive by these horrible creatures.

In the last final moments of consciousness as Rhodes laid dying on the ground, a beautiful rhythm played in the back of his mind. Laying there, he heard it clear as day. Feeling bitter and half crazed he suddenly felty very sorry for the things he had done. Knowing there was no going back, he decided to die the way so many thought he would. Watching the rotting stinking monsters rip him apart, he felt blood gurgle deep in his throat before he watched them drag his lower half away.

"Choke on 'em! C...Chh...oke...on em'!"

Then everything became bomb and began to fade to black. Shutting his eyes he died seconds later, all he while the beautiful rhythm kept playing in his head. In the darkness he franticly searched for Alex, calling her name and searching for her. Sadly...he was unable to find her, now forever trapped in this endless darkness.

Present.

It didn't take long, but the graves were now all filled. One piece of drift wood carved by McDermott's life said Alex Foster. The other said Dr. Ted Fisher. It was simple, but it seemed fitting. Beneath the sand laid her friend, the man she should have been with. The other, a poor innocent girl who honestly tried to save the disturbed man who now laid with her for all eternity. Staring down, she knew the man she wished was Jay's father laid in one spot, and the actually one laid in the other. Unmarked, with his lover. It was more than he deserved, but she knew she needed to finally put this to rest. She suspected Jay very might die, and if he did, at least this way she would stop thinking of that awful bunker, and all the mistakes she made.

Sighing, she turned and looked at her two friends.

"Thank you..."

Both nodded before Sarah opened her arms and hugged them tight. Holding them close, she breathed deeply, standing there on the same beach they landed on all those years ago. Finally pulling back, Sarah quickly wiped her eyes before looking at them.

"I'm going to sit with Jay for a while..if he is going to die, I wanna be with him when it happens."

John and McDermott stared at her with sad but understanding eyes. Nodding, Sarah walked away, up towards the paths. In a few minutes she reached the cabin, climbed the stairs, and walked in on Ana sitting beside Jay. He still looked so pale and frail. Seeing her baby like that broke her heart. Ana looked tired, but smiled.

"Still no change..."

"I'll sit with him for a while, get some sleep."

"You sure?"

Nodding Sarah thanked her friend before pulling up a chair and sitting beside her son. Looking him over, she remembered when he was just a little baby. Laying on a blanket she had spread out on the sand, his eyes wide and sparking, his thick black hair all ready coming in, his smooth tanned skin, his beautiful smile, everything about him was perfect. Looking at him, Sarah took his hand.

"Jay? You can go now baby...it's okay."

Blinking back tears, she squeezed his hand before sighing.

"I didn't tell you about your father because he was a horrible person. A madman who I made a terrible mistake with...but the end result was you. I guess I didn't want to taint you in any way...you were the only thing I did right, and I didn't want you to think you were anything like that bastard. Originally I was afraid, I wasn't sure if I could have you...but when you were born, and when I held you...I didn't see any of him. I saw you...as your own person, and I knew from that point onward you were the love of my life. I'm sorry baby...if you need to go you go...I'm here..."

Shutting her eyes, she squeezed his hand and closed her eyes, waiting for any second for it to be Jay's last breath.

Later...

"Hey lady...wake up."

Sarah's eyelids slowly fluttered open before she lifted her head, still sitting by Jay's side. Her vision clearing, she looked across and couldn't believe her eyes. Sitting across from her was Rhodes, looking exactly as he did the day she escaped the bunker. Instantly Sarah felt her heart leap in her chest, causing a terrible chill to overtake her. At first she thought she was dreaming.

Closing her eyes, she waited for a second before opening them again. Rhodes still sat there, staring at her. Instantly her eyes widened in disbelief. Rhodes looked down at Jay, his chest very slowly rising and falling. Instantly Rhodes cocked his head to the side, looking down at Jay as he slept. His eyes filled with complete wonder.

"This is our son?"

Sarah stared before she glared, bearing her teeth at him.

"He's my son."

Rhodes didn't respond, instead he leaned over, and gently brushed back Jay's fallen bangs. At first Sarah thought she would scream, yell at him not to touch him. Instead she sat frozen watching this ghost look at the boy they made one drunken night almost twenty years before. The look on Rhodes' face was something she had seen before. It was the same look he used to give whenever he was staring at Alex. Often Sarah would glance up at the rec hall, looking at them as he stared at her as they ate with the same overwhelming look of wonder and love.

"He's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen..."

Sarah controlled her anger, staring at him feeling her blood pressure rise. If this was indeed a dream, it was the most vivid one she had ever experienced. Rhodes continued staring at Jay's sleeping face before he looked across at Sarah.

"He's got your face for sure."

Sarah's eyebrows went down.

"I think he looks exactly like you."

Rhodes slowly shook his head as he continued staring down at their son.

"No, he's all you for sure. Thank God he got you're height..."

Rhodes lightly chuckled, a sound that chilled Sarah down to the bone. Rhodes looked at her again.

"Is he smart like you?"

Sarah gripped her armrests tightly, still glaring.

"He is...he's brilliant. He's kind, and loving, and decent. Everything you weren't."

Rhodes and Sarah locked eyes, before he looked back down at Jay's bandaged chest. Instantly he sighed. His brow wrinkling.

"He's hurt bad huh?"

"Yeah, it's my fault."

Rhodes shook his head slowly, still staring down at him.

"No...it wasn't."

"What do you know?"

Rhodes stared up at her.

"I know this kid is a fighter like his mother, not a coward like me. He'll make it Sarah."

Sarah felt tears of anger roll down her face. Wiping them around roughly she glared at him before Rhodes patted Jay's hand.

"What's his name?"

"What?"

"What's his name?'

"Jay."

Rhodes smirked, still looking down at him.

"I like that..."

"Why are you here?"

Sarah harshly whispered, still staring at him. Raising his eyes, Rhodes looked at her.

"To thank you."

"For what?"

"For getting Alex out of that Hell back there. I know I didn't deserve it, but she did. She was a good person, and I shouldn't have been with her. I tried using what happened to her as an excuse for what happened that day. That I snapped finding what Logan did...but there was no excuse. I murdered those men, and ran out on my own. I treated everyone like shit, and resented them for being alive. I lost Alex, and blamed myself...but on my way down I took a lot of people down with me. I'm sorry lady...for everything. I deserved what happened to me. I'm why all of this happened."

Sarah thought she would lunge across their son's body to attack him. Glaring, she slowly breathed in and out. Rhodes looked at her, actually looking half human, and very tired.

"When he wakes up...and he asks anything else about me, tell him I was a bastard, and that he doesn't deserve someone like me to call his father. He has enough family with you...someone who isn't a coward, someone who he's lucky to call family."

"He's has family. Remember John and McDermott? They were more fathers to him than you ever could be. They saved my life all those years ago when I was carrying Jay. They made it possible for us to survive."

Rhodes nodded.

"Like I said. He has family, he's like you Sarah, he's a fighter...he'll make it through. He's tough."

Sarah wiped another tear away staring at him, feeling her rage pulse.

"Answer me one thing?"

"What?"

"All those years ago when John told you I was pregnant. Did you believe him?"

"I didn't want to believe it lady...but if my poor excuse of a life meant anything...this is it. He'll make it Sarah...I know he will."

Sarah tried not to cry, instead she looked down at Jay's sleeping body and shook her head, tears rolling down her face.

"I hate you..."

"I know..."

Patting Jay's arm one last time he stood and stared at her. Still dressed in the uniform he wore when he was torn apart. The two locked eyes before faintly they heard a voice call from the front porch.

"Jim?!"

Rhodes' eyes widened in his own disbelief. Turning, he looked and standing in the doorway was Alex. She hadn't aged a day either. Standing there in jeans and a loose bun, she smiled that beautiful smile of hers as she crossed her arms. Rhodes stood there stunned, his own shocked tears running down his face.

"A...Alex?" Alex giggled looking at him.

"I've been looking all over for you...come on, let's go home."

Rhodes let out a loud staggered breath before turning and looking at Sarah who seemed just as stunned. Looking at her, Rhodes glanced down at Jay for one last look before Sarah stared at him. Nodding, she decided to let enough alone. He had been punished long enough. Sitting back she watched as Rhodes turned back and slowly walked the few steps to the doorway. Staring at Alex, he grasped the side of her face in complete disbelief. Laughing, Alex looked up at him before taking his hand.

"Come on...I''ve been looking for you..."

Rhodes laughed, crying through his tears before Alex pulled his arm. Rhodes glanced one last time over his shoulder at Sarah before he sadly smiled, and was pulled through the doorway with his long lost love. Both hurried down the steps, and out of sight. Sitting there, Sarah loudly sighed before she felt two warm hands on her shoulders, slowly rub her gently.

"Sarah?"

Sarah drew in a harsh breath as she stared forward, unable to believe it.

"Ted?"

With that Sarah awoke. Her eyes slowly fluttering opening. Warm wet tears all over her face. Blinking her eyes, she sat up, seeing it was still just Jay and her alone in the room. Looking around, she faintly heard wind chimes sounding in the distance.

Then... Humming... Jay's eyes were open, he was softly humming a rhythm she had never heard before. Blinking, she suddenly almost cried out. Looking at him, she couldn't believe it.

"Jay?!"

Jay looked at her, his eyes still slightly dazed, his voice sounding dry and rough.

"Mom? Were you singing to me?"

Sarah almost cried out as she laughed, grasping his hand tightly.

"No..."

Jay blinked, still drugged up and warmly smiled.

"I was dreaming you were humming this song to me...sounded nice."

Laughing through pure joy, Sarah leaned over kissing her son's forehead, silently thanking God.

Later...

Jay was recovering nicely. His injuries were still bad, but in these last few days he was getting much stronger. Mary was currently sitting in with him. Tonight, Sarah and John sat out by the beach with a bonfire going. She had just tossed the photograph and journal into the flickering flames. The fire swirled and popped in the darkness, before Sarah sighed, looking at John. She had just finished telling him about the vision or dream she had before Jay woke up a few days ago.

"So do you think I'm crazy?"

John laughed and shook his head.

"No Sarah daddy, I think you did more than help your boy that day. You freed some souls, even a damned one like Rhodes."

Looking out at the dark ocean, Sarah sighed and looked over at her friend.

"Do you think...all of this could actually be over?"

Sitting beside Sarah he smiled and looked out at the flickering flames.

"Maybe Sarah, I guess we'll just have to see."

Nodding, Sarah laid back, looking up at all of the beautiful stars shinning above them, and faintly hummed the same song her son had hummed to her the day he woke up. A rhythm that was beautiful, as well as comforting. Sitting back with John, the two hummed together, watching the tiny embers swirl up into the dark night sky.

THE END.