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Lou rode into the yard of the Pony Express Waystation in Sweetwater. She saw no one around to pass the pouch to. Where was Ike? He came running out of the bunkhouse and jumped onto his horse. He signed that he was sorry to her before taking the pouch and riding away.

Lou took Lightning to the barn, wondering where everyone was. She found Noah inside brushing his horse down. She brushed Lightning down quietly, and then joined Noah as he fed his horse.

"Where is everyone?" She asked him.

"Cody and Kid are in town getting something for Rachel. Buck got a letter and rode off somewhere to read it. Jimmy is asleep, and Teaspoon is at the marshal's office." He told her as they left the barn.

"I think Ike was asleep, too. He looked like he just woke up when he came out of the bunkhouse." She commented.

They saw Buck ride up and waited for home to reach them. "Hey Buck." Lou said.

"Hello Lou, is Ike already gone?" He asked.

"Yes, I just got back; he rode off a few minutes after that." She replied.

"I was supposed to wake him up before you rode in. He didn't sleep well last night." Buck explained.

"Well, it's a good thing this is a short run then." Noah said as they approached the bunkhouse so Buck could tie his horse to the post.

They heard a horse approaching and turned to see Katy coming their way. Kid was not in the saddle. In fact, he was nowhere to be seen. The trio ran to meet her as she reached the barn.

Noah took her reins and Buck looked her over, picking up each foot to inspect them. "She's picked up a stone." He noted.

"Where's Kid? Wasn't Cody with him?" Lou asked, looking towards the horizon and not seeing either man.

"Maybe Katy threw him when she picked up the stone." Noah guessed.

"I'm going to look for him." Lou said, heading for her horse.

"Take my horse Lou." Buck offered.

She didn't give him time to change his mind. She ran for his horse, jumped onto it, and rode off, leaving the two of them in her dust. She had to find Kid, and he had to be okay. If he was okay, she'd hurt him for scaring her.

As she rode towards Sweetwater, she tried to calm herself down. She and Kid weren't together anymore, but it didn't mean she didn't still love him. That she still didn't worry about him. They'd done a lot of talking since they'd gone to rescue Amanda a few weeks earlier.

Yes, they'd been talking a lot lately and he had surprised her by actually listening to her. There might be hope for them yet. At least there will be if he was okay. She kept coming back to that, because she had a bad feeling right now. Katy would never leave Kid's side if he was hurt, but would she if he was okay?

Lou could see a horse with two riders coming her way. It was Cody, and most likely the other rider was the Kid. She'd worried about him for nothing. She continued on towards them, getting mad for feeling scared.

As Lou got closer, she felt all the blood in her head drain out. She could see that Cody was supporting the other rider because he was unconscious. Kid was hurt, and he looked so pale. She rode up to them as Cody stopped.

"Cody, is he...?" She barely asked.

"Katy tossed him on his head Lou; I think she might have picked up a stone. We were closer to the Waystation, so I was bringing him there." Cody explained.

"Let me take him home and you go get the doctor." she told Cody, getting ready to help him pass Kid over to her.

"Lou, you're our fastest rider. It would take time for us to move him or trade horses. You go get the doctor and we'll meet you back at the station." He argued.

She saw his reasoning, but was hesitant to leave with Kid looking the way he did. But it was more important that the doctor got there as soon as possible, and she was the faster rider. "Alright Cody, I'll go get the doctor, you take care of Kid." She said and rode off as fast as the horse would go.

As she rode towards town, Lou couldn't stop thinking about how pale the Kid looked. She was so worried he'd slip away from her for good. She couldn't lose him now that there was a second chance for them. He just had to be okay.

She made it to town and got Doc Porter to come out with her. She was frustrated he was taking so long. "Doc, I'm gonna ride ahead to make sure Cody got the Kid back to the station okay."

"Fine Lou, make sure they make him comfortable. I'll be there soon." He replied.

She didn't wait for any other reply; she galloped off back towards home and Kid. Lou couldn't stop her mind from thinking the worst. She was so lost in thought; she didn't hear Teaspoon until he grabbed hold of the reins. He pulled her to a stop.

"Teaspoon, what are you doing? I need to get back to the Waystation." She said angrily.

"Slow down Lou. I saw you in town getting Doc Porter. I ran into him a few minutes earlier, he told me about Kid." He told her.

"He looked so pale Teaspoon. What if he..." She couldn't finish.

"Come on, let's get home. I only stopped you because you looked so wild eyed in town. I was worried you'd hurt yourself or the horse trying to get yourself home like that." He explained.

They rode together in silence the rest of the way home. The boys were sitting outside the bunkhouse when they rode into the yard. Teaspoon and Lou dismounted and he took the reigns, and then pushed her towards their waiting friends. She walked away from him, holding her breath.

Buck walked towards her as Jimmy and Noah went to the barn to help Teaspoon. Cody never left the spot he was sitting at. Buck pulled Lou into his arms; almost making her think the worst, then led her over to where Cody was sitting. She touched his shoulder, but he still stared at the door.

"Where's Doc Porter, Lou?" Cody asked her, not looking at her.

"He's coming, I couldn't stand to wait for his slow buckboard, and I had to ride ahead. Is Rachel in there with the Kid?" She asked.

"Yes, she wouldn't let us in there. Said we were crowding her and Kid." Buck replied.

"I need to be in there, I need to see him before the doc gets here." She said, moving to the door.

They silently watched her go inside. She walked over to where Rachel was making Kid comfortable. He was in his bunk and looked so still, so unlike himself. He was still unconscious, and she just wanted to reach out and caress his face. Rachel looked up but didn't say anything.

"He's so still Rachel. Kid's never been this still, even when he's sleeping." Lou whispered.

Rachel stood and hugged her friend. "He's going to be okay Lou. He's got a lot to live for and he's not about to leave you behind."

Lou looked at Rachel. She appreciated her friend lying to her, but she still hoped that she was right. "I don't want to lose him, I can't lose him." A tear escaped her eye.

Rachel titled Lou's chin to make her look at her. "You're not going to lose him. We'll get him all patched up and good as new." They heard the doctor's arrival and Lou went to wash her face before sitting at the table to wait.

The door opened and in walked Doctor Porter and Teaspoon. "Can I sit there Rachel?" The doctor asked her and she stood to let him have a look at Kid.

Doctor Porter looked at the bump on Kid's head and wrapped it up to keep it from bleeding anymore. He made sure he wasn't hurt anywhere else before he told them what his findings were. "It's all a waiting game now. He's got a pretty bad bump on his head and he might have lost a lot of blood. Other than that, he seems fine."

"But he's going to be okay, right?" Lou asked.

"It's all up to him now. When he's ready, he'll wake up son." Doc Porter told her.

"Thanks Jonah, we appreciate it." Teaspoon shook the other man's hand.

"Send for me when he comes to and I'll see what's going on with him then. Talk to him from time to time. Maybe it will help." He suggested and then left.

Lou pulled a chair next to his bunk and sat down. She took his hand and caressed it with her thumb. She closed her eyes and prayed. Prayed that he just woke up and opened his eyes. She wanted to see his beautiful blue eyes and have him smile at her.

Lou sat by his side the rest of the day, only leaving when Rachel made her sit down at the table to eat. She wiped his face with a cool cloth and held his hand. Quietly she talked to him, begging him to open his eyes. When it was bedtime, Teaspoon had to force her to get into her own bed to get some sleep.

"You're not going to be any good to him Honey, if you don't get some rest yourself." He told her, making her get into her own bunk above him. Then he sat down to watch over the Kid while she tried to sleep.

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It was same routine the next day. Lou would talk to Kid, asking him to wake up, and keeping his face cool with a cloth. She wouldn't let any of the others sit with him while she was awake. Then she'd only go to bed when Teaspoon made her, and he'd sit with kid. She was driving everyone around her crazy.

Then on the next day, while Lou was caressing his face, Kid opened his eyes. The look he gave her almost broke he heart. He looked at her with a blank stare. It was as if he didn't recognize her. She didn't know what to think.

"Hello Kid, we've been so worried about you." She quietly said.

"Thirsty." Was all he said.

She got up and poured him a glass of water from the table, then took it back to him. Carefully, she helped him sit up and take a sip. When he was done, she helped him lay back down and walked to the door. It was time to tell the others and have someone go for the doctor.

"Teaspoon, he's awake." She called out the door, and then moved back over to the bunk.

They heard loud noises coming form outside as everyone came running inside. Lou placed herself between Kid and their friends. "Hold on, he just woke up. Don't scare him to death." She told them.

Teaspoon moved her aside after telling Jimmy to go get Doc Porter. Then he went and sat down next to Kid. "Son, you had us all worried. Louise here wouldn't leave your side for nothin'." He said pointing at Lou.

Kid still hadn't said more than just asking for something to drink, and it worried Lou, who was standing right behind Teaspoon. "Kid, are you in pain?" She asked him.

"I don't know." He cleared his throat. "I don't know you, do I?" He asked, looking at her.

Lou's heart broke into a million pieces. "You don't remember me?"

He saw the pain in her eyes and was sorry for putting it there, but didn't know why. "No, I don't know who any of you are. I don't know who I am."

Kid watched everyone in the room as they digested what he'd just said. Then he looked back at the one the older man had called Louise. Tears fell from her eyes and she bolted from the room. He didn't know why, but he wanted to go after her, and comfort her. He tried to get up and chase after her, but felt a sharp pain in his head.

"Hold still son, the doctor will be here soon. She's not going anywhere." Teaspoon made him lay back down in bed.

"What happened? Why can't I remember anything?" He asked Teaspoon.

"I don't know son, the doctor will have to tell us after he checks you out." The older man replied.

Rachel brought Kid something to eat. "You've been out for a couple of days, you must be starved."

"No Rachel, he's not the one starving." Cody said.

"You boys go outside until the doctor sees if Kid is okay. Buck, could you go check on Louise please?" She asked before asking Teaspoon to help Kid sit up to eat.

Buck nodded and went to look for Lou. Kid watched as the others filed out of the room. He was curious about them. They all seemed to know who he was and cared about him. He wished that he could remember them, especially the one who ran from the room earlier.

They said her name was Lou, or was it Louise? There was something about her that seemed kind of familiar, but it escaped his memory. He just wished he could remember who she was and what she meant to him. He didn't know why, but he wanted to take her in his arms and comfort her.

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Buck found Lou in the barn, brushing Lightning's coat. "You're gonna brush the hide right off that horse."

"Kid said that after Emma and Sam got married and left Sweetwater." She turned to look at him and he saw her tears. "Why can't he remember me Buck?"

"I wish I could answer that Lou." He told her as he took her into his arms and let her cry.

"He's not like himself, he a stranger. Even after we stopped being together, he wasn't like this. Why does it have to hurt so bad?" She asked, muffled by Buck's shirt.

"We'll help him get back to normal. We'll help him remember." He told her.

The door opened, Cody and Noah came in. "Is this a private party, or can we join in too?" Cody asked.

Tears streaming down her face, Lou opened her arms to her friends. Cody and Noah walked over and hugged her, too. She felt safe in the cocoon of her three friends' arms, but her heart was still breaking. She did something she rarely did around people; she cried her heart out in their arms.

The boys exchanged worried looks. They'd never seen Lou this devastated, even after she broke things off with Kid. She had hid her pain and tears from them at that time. Now she was crying openly in front of them.

When she finally stopped crying, she dried her tears and stepped out of their protective circle. "Thank you boys, I'm okay now. I have to get ready for my run."

"I'll take your ride Lou, you need the rest." Noah offered.

She shook her head. "I'm okay Noah, I can take my run."

The door opened again, this time revealing Teaspoon who was supporting Kid. They stared at them as they walked further into the barn. "What's going on Lou, boys?"

"I'm taking Lou's run Teaspoon. I'm just trying to convince her of that." Noah explained to him.

"Well Noah, get ready. Ike should be riding up anytime now." The older man said. He and Kid could both see that she'd been crying.

"Teaspoon, I can take my ride." Lou said and grabbed her saddle, only to have Buck pull it out of her hands.

"I never said you couldn't Lou, but let Noah do this one. I'm not askin', I'm telling you to sit this one out honey." He told her firmly. He could see that she was tired and her eyes were puffy from crying.

"How come you brought Kid out here Teaspoon?" Cody asked, trying to change the subject.

"I thought being out here might help him remember." The older man explained.

They all looked at Kid, waiting to see if he remembered anything. He looked at each face, still no memory of them. He felt guilty at the hurt expression on Lou's face; he knew he must be the cause of her tears. He wished he could remember. Kid looked around the barn and then at the horses. With Teaspoon's help, he started walking by each stall until he came to Katy's. He walked up and caressed her mane, then hugged her.

They all watched in shock as Kid hugged his horse. There was a gasp from Lou as she turned and bolted from the barn. She almost ran over Jimmy and Doc Porter. She kept running not caring where she was going, just needing to get away from that barn.

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Teaspoon explained what had happened with Kid and Katy. Jimmy looked back at the door, unsure if he should go after Lou or not. He was asked by Teaspoon to help Noah get ready for his run, making the choice for him. The boys stayed behind as Teaspoon and Doc Porter took Kid back to the bunkhouse.

"Lou's a mess over this." Cody said after they were alone.

"Yeah, I figured that out Cody." Jimmy replied.

"I wonder what the doctor is going to say." Buck said.

"I hope we find out before Ike gets here or I'll have to wait until I get back to hear." Noah commented as they all walked out the door of the barn. Noah tied his horse to the post of the bunkhouse.

Lou was no where in sight. They sat on the porch to wait for word from the doctor. Jimmy kept looking around to see if Lou was out walking. Buck also looked for her, he was worried about her.

"I don't know about you boys, but I'm hungry. I'm going inside to get something to eat." Cody told them.

"Always thinking with your stomach, Cody." Noah teased.

"Yes, and proud of it." Cody replied as he went inside.

Noah, Jimmy, and Buck quietly waited to hear what happened. They heard Cody and Rachel arguing. Rachel won of course, and a defeated Cody walked out of the bunkhouse empty handed.

"Rachel doesn't care if I starve to death." Cody grumbled.

"You won't starve to death Cody." Jimmy said.

The door opened again, this time Teaspoon and Doc Porter walked out. "Except for the memory loss, he's fine Teaspoon. The bump should go away in a few days. Just make sure he gets rest, and no runs until I check him out in a few days."

"Thanks Jonah, we'll see you then." The older man replied.

"What's going on Teaspoon?" Noah asked.

"Kid's gonna be okay. We'll just have to help him remember. Where's Lou? She can help him most of all." He looked around for her, but she was not in sight.

"She's not inside?" Jimmy asked.

"No, she's not." He answered. "If she's not back soon, we'll go look for her. Noah, looks like you're up."

They watched as Ike rode in and handed his pouch off to Noah. Then they filled Ike in on what was going on.

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Hours later, Lou still hadn't come back. The boys ran for the barn to get their horses so they could go and look for her. They stopped when Kid walked outside. Teaspoon told them to go on and find her, and they entered the barn.

Kid wanted to help find the young woman who wouldn't leave her mind. He couldn't remember, but he wanted to help look for her too. It was his fault she had run off.

"Kid, get back in bed right now." Rachel said as she followed him outside.

He ignored the bossy woman. "I want to help."

"I'm sorry son, you're gonna have to stay here. The doc said for you to rest." Teaspoon insisted.

"Please let me help find her. It's my fault she ran off." Kid pleaded.

"How do you know that Kid? Do you remember anything?" Rachel asked.

He shook his head. "No, but I could see that I upset her somehow. I know she was crying because of me." He replied.

"Come on then. I'll help you saddle your horse. We can ride together." Teaspoon told Kid as the others rode out.

"Teaspoon, you can't let him go out there." Rachel said then grabbed his hand. Neither saw Kid head for the barn as they argued.

Kid walked into the almost empty barn. The others had already ridden off. He walked by Lightning and promised to bring her back, not sure how he knew the horse was Lou's. He went to Katy and patted her, then looked at the saddles and just knew what one was his. He wasn't sure he could remember how to saddle a horse, but he closed his eyes and just went through the motions.

By the time Teaspoon had calmed Rachel down; Kid was riding Katy out of the barn. He let her just lead him. If he and Lou were close, and he was beginning to think they were or had been, then Katy might know where to go. He could hear Teaspoon and Rachel yelling after him, and knew Teaspoon would be after him soon.

"Come on Katy, I need you to help me find Lou. I need to apologize to her and ask her some questions." He coaxed his horse, shocked that he knew her name was Katy. Maybe his memory was coming back, or at least, some of it anyway.

He looked up and saw they were coming to a pond, hidden behind some trees. He saw her sitting there, looking small and lost. He dismounted and slowly walked over to her. She had her head resting on her arms and he couldn't see her face. He wondered if she was still crying.

"How did you find me?" She asked without looking up. Lou knew it was Kid approaching her. She recognized Katy's walk and snort.

"I let Katy lead me here. I don't know why, but I thought she might know where to find you." He confessed.

"This used to be our spot." She told him.

"Used to be?" He asked and sat down on the rock next to her.

"We haven't been coming here together since we stopped being together." She explained. She knew she could have told him they were still together, but it would be a lie, and she wouldn't lie to him.

"Why aren't we together anymore?" He asked.

"It was a few things. You wanted to protect me when I can take care of myself. You were lovin' me and I felt crowded. You wouldn't listen when I spoke." She counted off.

"I proposed and you weren't ready." He whispered as that day came back to him in a flash.

Lou looked at him finally. "What did you just say?"

"You heard me Lou. Don't make me say it again; it hurt just saying it now." He replied.

She pulled his chin to look at her. "You remember?'

"Not everything yet, but when you started talking about it, I remembered that day." He replied and took her hand, pulling it away from his chin.

Lou smiled at him. "Well, it's a start Kid. It means you'll remember the rest eventually."

"If it's more like the pain I felt remembering that day, I'm not sure I want to." He starred at the water.

She reached up to caress his cheek lovingly. "We had a rough patch for a while Kid, but we started talking lately. The biggest thing is you've been listening to me when I tell you you're crowding again."

"I guess I never learn?" He asked, loving the feel of her hand on his cheek.

"Kid, you're wrong there. Since we got back from rescuing Amanda, we've done a lot of talking and getting to know each other better." She told him.

He smiled at her. "I guess until I get all of my memories back, we'll have to have more talks. Just think, I'll have to listen, if I want to remember."

"Yes, we can do that. I'm glad you're almost back Kid. I thought I'd lost you forever." She confessed to him.

"You'll never lose me Lou. I could lose my memory completely and I'll always find my way back to you." He promised.

That made her so happy that she threw her arms around him and kissed him. He pulled her closer and returned the kiss, taking her breath away. When they pulled away from each other, he smiled at her like he used to. She could see in his eyes that he remembered their kisses.

"I do remember being here with you Lou. This place was very special to both of us, and I hope it can be again." He said and watched her blush.

"How much do you remember Kid?" She asked.

"I remember a lot, but not everything yet. I remember our swims and some of what we were to each other." He replied.

"What we still are to each other Kid." She corrected.

He nodded as more of his memories came to him. "I remember we promised to start over as friends and take it slow this time."

"Yes, we did. We don't want to end up like we did the last time. I don't want to lose this second chance with you Kid." She told him as a tear slipped from her eye.

"We won't Lou; we are going to move forward now. I promise to keep on listening to you and trust your judgment more." He promised.

Lou was about to kiss him again when they heard horses approaching. They saw Buck and Teaspoon coming their way. Kid knew he was in trouble. Teaspoon looked fit to be tied.

Kid got up and helped Lou stand. Still holding her hand, he turned to look at the older man sitting on his horse. "Before you say anything Teaspoon, I'm sorry I left when you told me to wait for you. I just knew that I had to find Lou and I felt that Katy would be the one to help me."

"Rachel's worried sick about you Kid. She's afraid you'll fall off of Katy again." Buck said before Teaspoon could say a word.

"I know Buck, and I'm sorry. Besides, Katy would never hurt me for no reason." Kid said.

"How do you know? You can't remember anything." Teaspoon finally said, watching Kid closely.

Kid looked at Lou and smiled. "Well, that's not entirely true now."

"What does that mean son?" The older man asked.

"I don't remember everything yet, but thanks to Lou, I remember some." He replied.

"It's a start though." Lou finally said and smiled back at Kid.

"Yes it is Honey, that it is. Now, let's get back home before Rachel sends the boys out after us." Teaspoon said.

"Lou, you wanna ride with me?" Buck asked her, even though he knew she'd refuse.

Lou did in fact refuse his offer and she rode back to the station on Katy with Kid. She held onto him as they rode back. She had always loved to listen to him breathe and she could hear it now as she laid her head on his back. She loved this man with all of her heart and she knew now that she wasn't going to lose him, ever. They were meant to be together, and in time they would get back to it.

As the waystation came into view, Lou could feel hope for their future. She and Kid would talk, and he'd listen to her this time. Maybe the next time he was ready to propose to her, she would be ready to say yes this time. She hoped that she had the chance to say yes. Her heart swelled with the idea that there might be a next time.

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Thanks for reading, this was what came to me when I heard Buck's comment. I hope it works.

Author's Note: Thanks to Wendy for beta reading this for me.

Email Trisha Steere

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