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Picking Up the Pieces


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"You scared, Bo?" He waved the gun out in front of him, "God, it feels good to know that I can put that kind of fear in you, Boy." Sawyer was high on his own horse and ready to strike without a moments notice.

Luke held out his hands, "Look Sawyer, we don't want any trouble." His eyes cut to Bo so that he could check on his reaction. He knew what the gun was doing to his Cousin and wanted Sawyer to put it away. "Nobody needs to get hurt."

Sawyer snapped at him, "Do you think I'm going to believe that you're just going to keep quiet about everything?"

Cassie nodded slowly, "Yeah, we're that stupid Sawyer. We completely believe that." As she spoke, she noticed Bo's reaction also and wanted the gun to be put away. She spent a good while with Bo after he was shot and he looked out for her. Sadly, that was the last time they'd spent together running for their lives while trying to find Luke.

Cocking the gun, Sawyer shook his head, "You're a spitfire, Cass. But, I figure I'd prey on the weakest first." He looked over at Bo and winked.

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Bo shook his head, clenching his jaw as Sawyer waved the gun around, standing still in his spot and refusing to put his hands up like Cassie and Luke had done.

"I'm not scared of you Sawyer...yer just a bully with a big mouth and a weapon....of course i'm scared of a gun...if ya arn't scared o'one then yer a fool..."

He said with a firm, steady voice though inside he was quaking.

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Cassie had taken a few steps towards Sawyer, "Quit tauntin' him!" She just wasn't that frightened of Sawyer because she knew there was a good man somewhere within in.

Luke reached out for her, "Cassie.." His attempt was weak and he didn't move a whole lot. "Look fella, just leave us alone. We don't want any trouble."

Sawyer ignored Luke, but focused still on Bo. "You're not scared of me. Looks like that makes two of you because Little Miss'us here knows no fear. Do ya, Sweetheart?" He stopped talking for a few moments, which no one else took the opportunity to speak. "You know, I'm a little tired of talking." Checking his watch, he took his a deep breath and sighed, "You people are really wasting precious time, which is not something you have a whole lot of."

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Sawyer grunted, as he hit the ground. The little wrestling match between him and Bo was a bit difficult, but he still found the strength to chuckle almost wickedly. Overpowering Bo for a second, he was able to get the blonde Duke on his back to gain the upper hand.

Luke saw this and attacked Sawyer without thinking. Somehow, Sawyer had managed to hold onto the gun even after Luke hit him in the face with all of his might. The hit knocked Sawyer over, but he recovered quickly and tried not to take his concentration off of Bo.

Cassie gasped and for a moment had no idea what she was suppose to do.

Sawyer used the hand that clutched desperately onto the gun to backhand Bo across the face with the steel. Suddenly, he pointed the gun at Luke who was about to charge him.

"No!" Cassie's voice broke through the commotion as she lunged towards the men. Luke froze for a second with fear not of the man, but of the gun just as Bo had said.

Sawyer didn't waste anytime because he was tired of playing games with these Dukes. He pulled the trigger and the only sound that could be heard for miles was the shot fired. Somehow miraculously, Cassie had hit Luke in her attempt to stop the fighting, but that was her intent to save Luke. The gun scared her, but it scared her more that Luke was going to be hurt.

The bullet hit her in the side, as she and Luke tumbled to the ground. Luke's eyes widen and he couldn't believe what had just happened. This was serious and Sawyer wasn't a man for bargaining anymore.

Laying Cassie on her back gently and quickly, he whispered for her to hold on.

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Bo groaned, holding his jaw as he staggered back to his feet just in time to see Luke lay Cassie on the floor. Spitting the blood that was swelling his mouth out onto the ground, Bo charged Sawyer again, hearing the police running towards the scuffle as once more he was left to wrestle with Sawyer, battling desperatly either to take the gun or to make Sawyer drop the gun.

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Sawyer did not for the life of him want to let go of the gun. He fought Bo hard to keep hold of it, "Give up, plowboy!" He muttered through gritted teeth. Suddenly, he used his boot to push Bo back to give them a little distance. Finding that split second to **** the gun, he pulled the trigger without thinking. The gun went off, but less than a second after the sound rang through Luke's ears, he had hit Sawyer with a hard right hook.

It was enough to knock the man from his feet and so off guard that the gun feel from his hand. Taking hard breaths, Luke picked up the gun and planted his foot hand into Sawyer's cheek. There is where he held him with his foot and with only a few shots left, he cocked the gun himself. "I don't take to kindly to people that hurt my family." Pointing the gun down at Sawyer, he dared him to make a move. A new side of Luke was showing one that he had left back in Vietnam, but was resurfacing now. He wasn't suppose to have a gun, but that didn't matter to him at the moment.

"Bo!.. Bo!" He wouldn't look away from Sawyer, "Are you okay?!"

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When Luke stopped talking, nothing but silence filled the gap afterwards. It was several seconds before a choking sound came from Bo.

As the gun shot had gone off, Bo had been on his feet and had stumbled backwards. At first the pain hadn't hit him, but then it had exploded full force with the choke. Looking down as he raised his hand, he touched the area of pain gently, the area between the bottom of his ribs and his belly button, and gasped as he found his hand stained red when he pullled it back. As if happening in slow motion, Bo's legs slowly gave out on him and he crumpled to the ground, blood dribbling faster from his mouth and the wound.

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Luke had a whole lot of emotion tugging within in, "Bo!" He pushed Sawyer's face into the ground harder. Taking a deep breath, he pulled his foot up and reach down slamming the gun across Sawyer's face a few times. After a few groans of pain, Sawyer slipped unconscious. Not risking leaving the gun, he clicked on the safety and tossed it away from them.

Looking over his shoulder, Cassie had tried to move, but couldn't. "Hold on, Cass."

"Bo!" Luke hurried over to his cousin and knelled beside of him. "Can you hear me?" Frantically, he checked Bo's wound and tried to get the bleeding to stop. Without thought he ripped the shirt from his back and placed it on the wound. Gently, he tried to get it tied around him to stop the bleeding. "You'll be alright.. you'll be alright.." Obviously, Luke was upset because tears filled his eyes and his hands were shaking.

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Bo gasped in pain as Luke pressed on the wound, having barely enough strength to get his eyes open more than halfway, gasping for breath and choking with every breath, bringing up more blood as he did.


Bo stuttered out in what little breath he had, fading fast as the police slapped cuffs on the downed Sawyer and carried him to a car, while others were calling for two ambulances for both Cassie and Bo, other police sitting with Cassie to keep her still and calm.

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Luke shook his head, "Shh, don't be sorry Bo. Don't be. Just stay quiet you need your strength, Cousin." He worried about how long Bo was going to have and he just wanted to make sure that he kept him conscious. "There ain't no need for apologizin' here. Maybe we should be plannin'. You want to go huntin' this weekend? Or, maybe fishin'?" This was Luke's attempt to keep things light.

Cassie looked over at Luke and Bo, but because the police wouldn't let her move she couldn't do much of anything. They repeatedly told her to remain still, but she was too hardheaded to listen. Wincing through the pain, she called out, "Bo!.. Luke! Is Bo okay?" Still she was trying to crawl her way over to them and failed each attempt.

Luke didn't look back at her, "He's alright Cassie don't move, Honey!"

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"God," Luke whispered at seeing Bo's state. "Stay with me, Bo. You can't leave me, I lost my brother once and I refuse to do it again."

The sirens could be heard coming from the distance. To Luke, they didn't seem to be coming fast enough. Both Cassie and Bo needed to get to the hospital fast. Cassie didn't show her pain, but Luke knew she had to be hurt. Afterall, she took the bullet for him. Now, she could be dying and so could Bo. When did everything get this crazy?"

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Luke stepped back, as he watched men load both Bo and Cassie into the ambulance. The choice had struck him hard that he'd have to pick whether he road with Cassie or Bo. Right now, he did not count on leaving Bo's side because it looked bad for his cousin.

Before he hopped into the ambulance with Bo, he yelled to one of the policemen. "Radio Sheriff Coltrane and tell him what's happened. Then, have him get in touch with my Uncle Jesse." The officer nodded at Luke and headed over to his patrol car.

All Luke could do now was wait to see what happened at the hospital.

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***Much Later that Day, well into the Night***

By the end of the day, all the action had settled down and Cassie and Bo were in their respective rooms.

Bo was up in the ICU, completly unconcious and hanging onto life with a variety of different life support machines that monitored and beeped around him in the large room. Nurses and doctors constantly were in and out, checking his vital signs and writing notes on charts.

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Outside the room, Luke paced back in forth. While the doctors were in scribbling their notes, they asked that Luke step outside. Daisy came down the hall with two cups of coffee. One was for herself and the other for Luke.

Jesse watched Luke with a bit of sadness seeping out of his eyes, "Son, slow down. You're going to wear a hold in the floor."

"Sorry Uncle Jesse," he took the coffee that Daisy had offered him. "Thank you."

She nodded towards him and took a sip from her cup. "How long until we start knowing things for sure?"

Jesse was unsure, but he had to offer comfort to both Daisy and Luke, "It'll be soon. You all don't worry Bo's going to be alright."

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Luke looked over at his Uncle Jesse who had answered the doctor, "Alright Doctor." The old man nodded as he followed the doctor to his officer.

In suit, Luke and Daisy followed. No one sat down once they got to the officer. Almost eagerly they waited for the news except it wasn't so much excited anticipation as it was dreading to hear the worst, if it had came to that.

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The doctor hung up some x-rays on the light boards, taking his pen and pointing to an area.

"Here is where the bullet was lodged...its position caused massive internal bleeding and damage, which was why he was in surgery for so long...there are going to be complications with this which is why we're having to monitor him 24/7...as soon as something changes we need to know to make sure Bo's life isn't anymore at risk...that will also explain why he has so many life support machines...they monitor him as well as keep him sustained..."

The doctor paused to let this sink in, hating to add this next part.

"Also...where the bullet is lodged...may have caused some damage to his spinal cord...which could...could lead to Paralysis..."

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The news affected Luke badly. Hearing that Bo could be paralyzed was the last thing he wanted the doctor to say to him. He had faith that Bo would make it, but not even being able to walk again. Without warning, he turned and walked out of the office. To his right was temporary storage shelving in the hallway. To vent his frustration, he grabbed the shelving and slammed them again the wall. This sent medical supplies everywhere and nurses scrambled to pick them up.

Cassie had walked out of her room and stood there watching Luke's little rampage. It was hard for her to stand, but she was doing it regardless. It startled her, when Luke had looked down the hall and spotted her.

Daisy had remained in the office with tears in her eyes. She didn't speak, but had so many questions. Not being able to find her voice had a lot to do with her not trusting her emotions.

Jesse Duke looked at the doctor, "What's the chances that it'll lead to paralysis? Percentage-wise?" He tried to keep his questions simple so that he could keep a level head. After witnessing Luke's reaction, both Dukes that remained with the doctor were trying to keep it together for Bo and Luke's sake.

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Jesse Duke took that information in and nodded slowly. It was the only gesture most people could do in this case. "Just keep doing what you're doing, Doctor. And, we'll keep praying. Thank you." Turning he put his arm around Daisy, who had been silently crying. Leaning down he whispered, "Come on Daisy."

Cassie had locked eyes with Luke, "Luke.."

He just watched her and wondered how she could even stand. What was she doing? "Cassie," he started toward her, "Get back in bed. Are you crazy?"

Standing still she scoffed, "Do I look crazy to you?" She paused, "Fine, I'll get back to bed." Turning to go back through the doorway, she stumbled a little. Luke, having made it closer to her room, was in arms reach. He caught her in mid-stumble and lead her back to her bed.

Cassie sat down on her bed and smiled at Luke, "You did good today."

Luke lost himself in her eyes, but was aware enough to disagree with her comment. "Doesn't make up for the past year."

She shrugged, "Doesn't matter."

"It matters."

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"Now, Daisy don't think the worst because Bo's stronger than that." He knew that she would be crying for a while. Most of the time, she would've been just as much of a spitfire as Cassie had been earlier, but she was entitled to cry now. This was serious and life changing situation for everyone. All they could do now is wait for the doctor to tell them, when they could see Bo.

"Honey, sit down," Cassie patted the empty space beside her on the bed. Luke hesitated, but obeyed. "I know things have been rough, but you've got to be more positive."

"What's gone right for me, Cassie?" Luke interrupted her.

Cassie smiled at him, "You need to stop thinking like that Lucas or you're going to worry that pretty little dark head of yours gray."

Luke almost let his guard down and smiled. She made him feel like anxious and more relaxed like he could handle whatever life threw at him. Sitting his hands in his lap, he looked over at her. "What you did today.. thank you."

"Don't mention it," Cassie let her hand cover his and she gave it a squeeze. "I would've been no match for Sawyer if it would've game down to me trying to save Bo."

Luke looked sad, "There's that girl I tried to tell Bo about."

"What do you mean?" Cassie looked confused.

He sighed, "Bo, hated you.. he refused to hear anything I had to say about you." Cassie had nodded throughout that whole sentence because she already knew that Bo didn't act too kindly around her. "He told me I was too obsessed to see what you were doing to me. I tried to tell him though that the girl we both use to know what still in there."

"Hey, hey! I've always been in there somewhere. I don't blame Bo for hating me though. I was too far gone on the drugs, Luke." She paused, "I'm clean now. It took me almost dying and a little jail time to straighten me up, but I'm back. I don't plan on getting that bad again, ever."

Luke squeezed her hand back, "I saved you and I saved Bo.. is that enough for redemption."

"Depends.. who's going to save you?" Cassie looked at him with a kind face.

Luke looked confused, "What do you mean?"

"I mean look at you Luke. You're not the man you use to be. You've tried so hard to make things right with everyone else that you've lost yourself."

He didn't know what to make of her statement, but took it in regardless. "God can let me stay lost, if he let's Bo walk."

Cassie winced, "Don't say that, Honey." Sliding up into her bed, she needed to lay down. Being up was beginning to take its toll on her wounds and that was never good.

Luke moved so she could get comfortable, "It's what I'm saying."

"Bo'll make and so will you," Cassie smiled. "I know so," she winked at him.

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