After she arrived at the hospital, having gotten a ride in the ambulance with the paramedics and her partner, Casey stopped following after him just short of the operating room, then began to nervously pace back and forth outside it, refusing to go sit down in the waiting room as the nurses suggested.
She thought through the day so far over and over in her mind as she tried to figure out how this had happened. When she picked Walsh up this morning at his diner, he looked like he was hurting, but he had reassured her that he was fine, which she realized quickly was an oversight on her part to listen to him, but she ignored her gut. As the first half of the day passed, she started to notice that he was getting worse, but still she didn't listen to her conscience and now he was paying for her mistake.
Two hours passed by the time Sergeant Brown arrived, followed by Alvarez, and as they walked over to her, their boss spoke up as he asked curtly, "So, what happened this time? I thought I told you to make sure that he went home to rest."
Shraeger nodded as she replied, "Yes Sir, you did, but… We were going to head back to his place, but on the way out, he stopped down at the evidence room in hope of getting footage from the other night. I went to go talk with someone and when I went down to meet up with him, that was when I found him, unconscious on the floor and burning up. He was complaining of a headache. Actually, we wasn't, but I noticed earlier he was hurting and that was all he would tell me. I should have listened to my gut and try to find a way to get him to stay home and rest, but… I didn't."
"In your defense, we all know how hard headed your partner can be," Serge responded calmly. "I have to admit that that is one of the reasons why I admire him so much and consider him one of the best detectives in the precinct. He pushes through his pain and gets the job done no matter what. This is partly my fault too."
"What about me?" Eddie quickly asked. "Aren't I one of your best?"
Brown simply glared at Eddie, then turned back to Casey, and asked again, "Do you have any idea what's wrong with him? I mean, do you think that maybe his wound became infected somehow, or is just because of his lack of sleep and rest over the last several months?"
It was then that one of Walsh's doctors walked out and answered for her, "Actually, those aren't the only reasons for your partner's collapse. That may be a part of it, but the main reason why he became unconscious is because he's been poisoned."
"Poi… poisoned?" Casey cried softly. "But how… how is this even possible? When did this even happen?"
"I'm guessing not too long ago, less than twelve hours perhaps," the man replied.
Alvarez spoke up again as he responded, "You're saying that he was poisoned last night."
Casey added, "Those scumbags never intended to kill Walsh, at least not then. The blade they used was tipped with the poison."
"That would be my guess," the doctor answered confidently. "But no matter how it was administered, the poison used isn't just your run of the mill kind of poison. It looks like it was specially made and not in an average soup kitchen like most are."
"What exactly are you saying?" Shraeger asked fearfully. "Can't you help him?"
The man looked between the three agents, then turned back to Casey, and replied sadly, "I can give him some antibiotics that will help to prolong the poison's affects and then when they no longer work for him, we can treat him here the best that we can, but… I'm afraid that unless you can find the people responsible for hurting him and figure out what type of poison they used, then there will be nothing more I can do. I am sorry. If you'd like to see him, he's been moved into his own room, room number 204, and he's awake. Just take it easy on him. He's worn out."
As the doctor began to walk away, Sergeant Brown quickly called out, "Thank you, doctor."
"Sergeant, you can't take us off this case," Casey quickly said as soon as the three of them were alone again. "I mean, Walsh will want to hunt these men down until he can't any longer, just as badly as I do and I refuse to let you leave his life in Banks' and Delahoy's hands, or Beaumont and her new partner's. I mean no disrespect, but…"
"Relax Casey," Brown responded gently, hoping to calm her down. "I don't plan to take either of you off of this. If and when Jason feels up to going out to follow your lead the two of you started on, then be my guest. Do whatever it is you have to do. All of us have your backs. Each of us are going to work our angles to track down and get these sons of bitches. Now, go and see your partner. Reassure him that we're all here for him."
She nodded and they walked off, then she slowly headed toward her partner's room, but when she arrived, she suddenly stopped outside of his room. Suddenly going inside made her nervous. Once again, her partner was fighting for his life and a part of her blamed herself for not doing anything more to convince him to take it easy. If she had, then maybe he wouldn't have been so quick to dive into the next few cases. However, after a few minutes, she finally blew a few breaths and slowly walked inside.
As she walked in, he spoke up wearily saying, "Well, it's about time. You're looking worse than me. Are you okay?"
Shraeger shook her head as she smiled and then answered quietly, "You're unbelievable. You're the one who's been poisoned and you're asking me if I'm okay. If you want the truth, then no, I'm not okay. This is the second you've been in here in two days, and at least the fifth or sixth time you've been in here in the last few months. This is getting really old."
"Hey, it's not like I've chosen to get attacked this much?" he retorted. "And I certainly don't like to be here, any more than you do. I promise you, I am not trying to get myself killed. And right now, I really want you to get me out of here so that I can help you find the bastards that did this to me before I no longer can."
"All right, I'll get you out of here, but when we do leave, I'm taking you back home so that you can finally get some rest," Casey replied sternly. "If you promise me that you'll take it easy for the rest of the day, then I will allow you to watch that footage with me."
Walsh smiled and responded, "I promise. Look, I know that the others are all fully capable of finding these men, but I can't let you or them go out there and risk everything for me, without trying to do all I can too. This is my fault. You were right about me before. I have been taking risks because I am going through something. I owe you an apology. I'm sorry, Casey."
Casey shook her head and then spoke up again saying, "I don't need you going soft on me now. I need that fighter in you. Are you still with me?"
"Yeah, I'm with you," he answered as he sat up and slowly maneuvered to the side of the bed with his partner's help. "Thanks."
"That's what partners are for," she said sincerely. "Now, let's go find us some bad guys and kill that poison trying to kill you. I'm not ready to break in a new partner just yet."