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Fanfic page with pictures, music, previews, staff bios and episode listings, all you could want, and more, for Highlander fiction fans. HFS season one is finished, we have a total of 23 episodes, and they're all available if you follow the HFS link.

Flood - by Angela Mull  

Part 3/4

Life with the Davises was a nightmare for Richie. What had started out as a great home had shattered into a thousand broken pieces, and no matter what Sherri or Richie did or said, they couldn't mend it.

One night in late March, Richie came home from the club and met Sherri in the driveway. Grant's car was parked on the street, but he should still be at work. They walked into the house cautiously.

Closing the door behind them, Sherri gasped and Richie pulled up short at the sight in front of them.

Grant sat on the couch, leaning over the table. A thin line of white powder was atop a small mirror, and traces of the powder were on Grant's nose. He looked up at them more in anger than surprise. His eyes were bloodshot, and he wiped his nose as he stared at his wife.

"Guess what, hon?" he asked in a high-pitched voice. "I lost my job today. Can you imagine? I used to be a software genius, and yet these imbeciles fire me from scanning groceries."

Sherri's eyes were open wide, and she stood frozen to her spot. Richie moved to stand near the table and looked down at Grant.

"Oh man, don't do this," he said in a pleading voice. "Don't do this anymore."

"He won't," Sherri said in the coldest voice Richie had ever heard from her. "Not here. Not in our home."

She walked around the other side of the table and snatched the mirror away from Grant, dumping its contents on the floor as she raised her arm back and flung it against the wall. Richie jumped in surprise as the glass fell to the floor. He watched as Sherri spotted a plastic baggie of more cocaine on the couch and grabbed that, too. Backing away, she shook her head, her face a mask of misery.

"No more, Grant. No more. Either tell me you'll quit or leave here now. I Grant stood up and pushed past Richie. He stopped a few feet away from his wife.

"Give me the bag," he said.

"Richie, go pack your things," Sherri said without taking her eyes off of her husband. "We're leaving."

Richie stood there for a minute, weighing his options. If he left the room, Grant might do something crazy. The best thing would be for Sherri to hand over the drugs, and then they could leave.

"Sherri, just give him what he wants and we'll get out of here."

"No. He doesn't get them until we're on our way out the door," she said, looking at Richie for a moment before fixing a determined gaze on her husband. "Grant, I don't trust you. Not when you're high. You just stay back until we're ready to leave."

Grant lunged at her, shoving her into the wall. Her scream was cut short when her head smacked into the hard surface behind her.

"Give them to me!" Grant screamed as Sherri somehow kept her grip on the plastic bag, even though he was using one hand to try to rip it away. With the other hand, he held her jaw in a vise-like grip.

Richie used all of his energy to pry Grant off of Sherri, but Grant was too strong. The older man released his grip on the bag and threw his elbow back into Richie's face.

The elbow connected solidly with Richie's jaw, and the impact stunned him and sent him reeling back. He fell awkwardly onto the ground and half laid there, shaking his head to regain his senses and watching the scene before him unfold as if in slow motion.

Sherri screamed Richie's name and kneed Grant in the groin. She twisted her body and used her free hand to try to pull Grant's hand from her jaw, but he didn't let go.

Richie tried to get up, but he couldn't keep his balance and fell back down. "Leave her alone!" he yelled.

Sherri wrenched her head to the left, and Grant jerked it back. The combination of the drugs and his brute strength proved deadly. Richie heard the sickening sound of Sherri's neck snapping. He watched as Grant released her and she slumped to the floor, her eyes still open.

The world stopped for Richie. He saw Sherri dead on the floor, and all of the anger and pain from years past rushed in on him. Foster home after foster home had been a failure, but for a little while, this one had seemed like it might actually work out. He heard Sherri's words again: "You can have a normal life. We'll give you a normal life."

But this wasn't a normal life. It was a sick joke. And not a very funny one.

The anger burned inside him with a force that was overwhelming. Richie's jaw clenched, and his eyes narrowed. A bitter need for revenge rose up inside of him. Revenge for everything that had gone wrong in his life, but mostly revenge for Grant killing Sherri. Whether the man had meant to do it or not didn't matter to Richie.

As the world resumed its normal march of time, Richie let out a scream of animal rage. Adrenaline pumping, he threw himself against Grant. They crashed into a bookcase and toppled back on the floor. Richie was pinned underneath Grant, but a fist into the older man's windpipe was enough to make Grant roll off for a moment to regain his breath. Richie staggered up and looked around wildly for something to knock the man out with.

His eyes landed on a vase that held a bouquet of flowers he'd bought Sherri a few days ago. Calla lilies and iris. He'd picked them up on a whim. They were dying now, his mind registered. *So what?* he asked himself. *She's dead anyways.* Richie reached for the vase, but was stopped when a fist landed squarely in his back, driving the breath from him and sending him to the floor in front of the table. He rolled over, gasping, and couldn't avoid the punch that landed on his jaw and nearly rendered him unconscious.

Grant hauled Richie up by his t-shirt, and the pain was unbearable. It was all he could do to stay awake as the room went in and out of focus.

Richie used his waning strength to drive his body into Grant's. They slammed against the wall, and Grant moved to throw Richie off of him, but his foot caught on Sherri's hand. Looking down, he let go of Richie and bent over his dead wife. Richie saw Grant's eyes clear, as if he were suddenly sober, and the man stroked his wife's cheek.

"What have I done?" Grant cried in a voice drenched with grief.

Richie watched in confusion, trying to reconcile the man so high on drugs that he'd killed his wife with the man before him now: a man broken and contrite. But he couldn't. Unable to stand the sight before him or his own grief, he staggered to the door, threw it open, and ran out into the street. His head ached, and his thoughts were a twisted tangle of heartache and anger. He never heard the car that roared down the street. The driver couldn't stop in time, and the front end of the vehicle slammed into Richie's body. Richie felt himself heaved up into the air, and was dimly aware of landing somewhere. Somewhere very dark and cold and quiet.

***

When he woke up, the pain made him wish he was dead. Every part of his body ached. He didn't even attempt to move, but stared at the ceiling above him, trying to remember what had happened, and where he was.

"Richie?" a young woman's voice asked.

Richie turned his head toward it, expecting to see Sherri. But it was a woman in a white uniform. A nurse's uniform. Richie groaned as pain lanced up his body, and the woman reached to the side of the bed and pressed a button.

"Just take it easy, Richie. The doctor will be here soon, and he'll be very glad to see you're awake."

Richie tried to speak, but nothing came out. His throat was too dry. The nurse saw his discomfort, disappeared from his vision, and came back with an ice chip. She put in his mouth and he let it dissolve, grateful for the moisture.

"What happened?" he asked, still unsure of why he was in the hospital. He remembered some kind of fight at home with Grant, and Sherri was there, too, but it was all so fuzzy.

"Just wait for the doctor," she said.

The pain was so excruciating, Richie would have cried if he wasn't so tired. As it was, he carefully moved his head to take in as much of the room as he could. An IV stuck out of his left arm in the crook of the elbow. His right arm was in a cast. Machines beeped to his left.

As Richie tried to recall the events of the fight, he heard the door open. A thin man in a doctor's uniform approached him.

"Well hello Mr. Ryan," the man greeted him and bent down. As he flashed a light into Richie's eyes, he introduced himself as Dr. Whiting.

"You're a lucky young man," the doctor said. "We didn't know if you'd make it. You've been in a coma for almost a week."

"A week?" Richie repeated weakly. He closed his eyes and opened them again. "What happened? Why am I here?"

Richie saw the doctor exchange a nervous glance with the nurse before pulling up a chair next to his bed. "You don't remember anything?"

"I remember there was a fight," Richie said slowly. "Sherri was crying. I was hitting Grant. I don't remember anything else."

Dr. Whiting paused before speaking. "Richie, you ran out into the street after the fight and got hit by a car. You were seriously injured. You sustained a concussion, broken arm, sprained ankle, four broken ribs and internal bleeding. You almost died on the operating table."

Richie was stunned into silence. Almost died? A car had hit him? An image of him running outside of the house flashed through his mind. He'd been upset, but why?

Then he heard Sherri's voice.

"Grant, I don't trust you. Not when you're high. You just stay back until we're ready to leave."

He remembered everything. The drugs. The fight. Grant killing Sherri. Everything came back at him in an overwhelming flood of emotions. The intense grief over Sherri's death. The murderous rage toward Grant for taking her away. His bewilderment at watching Grant cry over his dead wife. The tears rolled down his face, and his upper body shook. The movement jarred his tender ribs, but that pain didn't hurt nearly as much as the pain in his heart.

"She's dead, isn't she?" he managed, hoping it was all a dream, but knowing it wasn't.

"Yes."

"Where's Grant?"

Richie wanted to talk to the man, although he didn't know what he'd say. Part of him wanted the old Grant back, the one who was happy and had a job and didn't take drugs. He wanted to ask him why; why did he wreck his own life and take Sherri down with him?

Another part of Richie hoped that Grant was suffering for what he'd done to his wife.

"Mr. Davis passed away," the doctor said quietly.

"Passed away? As in dead?" Richie asked in astonishment. Grant was fine when Richie left.

"He overdosed. He died on the way to the hospital."

Richie stared. Sherri and Grant dead, and him alone. Again. And what now? What would happen when he was well enough to get out of this place? Would he get stuck in another foster home?

He couldn't do it. He'd rather live on the streets. Richie had had enough of getting stuck with foster families who left him feeling like he'd been run through a meat grinder.

Before he slipped into a restless sleep, his last thought was of Sherri and how he hadn't been able to save her.

***

A few days later, the nurses unhooked Richie from the machines and dumped him in a room with a man who'd just had a colostomy. Richie spent most of his time looking out of the window at the April sunshine, reliving that night over and over again. Sometimes his roommate's moans interrupted his thoughts.

George was getting on Richie's nerves. The man was not adjusting well to life with a colostomy bag. Every time the bag filled up, he'd start whining that it took the nurse too long to come in and empty it.

As much as George irritated him, Richie agreed with the man that the service around here sucked. Richie would tick off the hours until his next pain killer, but it always arrived late. The nurses seemed to have a lot of patients to watch, but Richie didn't care. McDonald's this wasn't, but he still figured the wait time should be less. He was miserable physically and mentally, and cranky from the sharp pain of his injuries.

One thing that added to his aggravation was the food. Richie had never been accused of having a lack of appetite, and his hunger constantly gnawed at his stomach. When the nurses stopped dripping the liquid diet crap into his arm he thought he was home free.

*Solid food, look out. Richie's back,* he'd said to himself.

The food was solid, but soggy. Actually, Richie wasn't sure it was food. A glop of some mystery meat even fouler-smelling than Spam, a stale dinner roll and putrid green jello with funky fruit floating in it was the normal lunch and dinner. Breakfast was always the same tasteless oatmeal and clumpy orange juice. Just the smell of it all made him want to hurl.

Richie asked for a menu change, but the nurses acted like he'd requested that Kim Basinger show up and do a free striptease. The food stayed the same, and Richie only nibbled at it. He knew he was losing weight and found this ironic, since hospitals were supposed to make you better.

The worst part of his stay was how helpless he felt. He could barely get out of bed or walk around his room without a nurse nearby. Usually it was Nurse Fielder, who'd been there when he'd emerged from the coma. She was also the one who changed his bedpan, a humiliating event Richie dreaded almost as much as mealtime. He hated being weak in front of people.


End of Part 3

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