+++ My first fanfic for "The Rookie" and only my second published story here. I am happy about every feedback. And if you find an expression, phrase or word that sounds off, let me know - English is not my first language and I am always trying to improve. +++
Make it a reality
Tim was sitting on the couch, Kujo next to him with his head laying on his dads thigh. The were rewatching a Dodgers game from 2020, a comfort Tim Bradford needed on a bad day. It hadn't been that bad - considering their daily encounter with violence and death - it definitely wouldn't crack his top10 of traumatic days at the job, maybe not even the top20. But it got him rattled and so he turned to this place of security, this game where he knew exactly what happened next.
Of course the scare today was about Lucy. Days when she got in danger were basically the only days that got him scared at all anymore. Except maybe when his ability to walk was in jeopardy. They had been riding together for the first time in what seemed like an eternity. Aaron was on the shooting range, getting his last scores before the big exam. If everything went well, he would be a P2 in less than two weeks. Which meant that Lucy's last day as his rookie had been well over a year ago. Tim shook his head in disbelief when he thought about it.
So today they had been back together in the shop as partners, the way Tim preferred it, even if he would never say it out loud because of the superiority he technically had as her Sergeant. Nothing much happened the first few hours, only minor traffic violations and a heart-felt conversation with an angry citizen about screaming in the streets - even if the whole world was going to hell. But late in the afternoon they caught a robbery in progress at a small electronics store. The two guys were still in the shop moving flatscreens, printers and computers out into a back alley. Tim and Lucy split up to corner them from both sides. The first thug was lying on the floor in less than 30 seconds but the other one decided to run. Lucy chased after him while Tim slapped handcuffs on the twenty-something on the pavement. He could see her dashing around the corner and then he heard the screeching sound of tires and a clash. He gave one more look to the guy below him, nicely bundled up and now tied to a pipe with a second pair of cuffs – and then Tim ran like crazy.
That's when he saw Lucy lying in front of a minivan. When he reached her she was already stirring, holding her head and touching all her limbs to see if something was broken. He did the same, touched her softly, because he needed to make sure her bones, her head, her body was unharmed. He held her face in his hands to search in her eyes for any sign of drowsiness. But she just brushed him away, "I'm fine", and got up to ask the driver if she was was ok. Of course she took care of everyone else first. The women stepping out of the car was shaken but alright. She had been quick to break and therefore nothing bad had happened and Lucy had gotten away with only a few bruises on her forearms and shins from when she had first hit the hood and then the asphalt. Unfortunately the thief had escaped.
Lucy's report later stated that she had caught up with him, they had struggled and when he tore free of her she was propelled into the street. So no big deal and naturally she had refused to go to the hospital for a check-up. She actually looked absolutely fine after she came out of the locker room that evening, freshly showered. Just another day on the job.
But when Tim got home he couldn't shake the fear he had felt that moment just yet. It wasn't surprising to him, really. Every incident involving Lucy had been stressful for him in the last few months. He didn't question it anymore, didn't reflect on it, because it would only bring trouble. So he had decided on a quiet night in on the couch with his favorite baseball game to calm down. The second inning had just started when Kujo lifted his head from Tim's lap and stared at the door, listening intently. A second later he jumped off the couch and ran to the door. But he didn't bark, only wobbled back and forth at the front door like an excited five-year-old at Christmas. So no intruder, thought Tim to himself. Nevertheless he got up, switched off the TV and walked over to where the dog was waiting. "What is it, boy?" Sure enough the moment he reached the door, the bell was ringing. The security monitor next to the door frame came to life and showed a picture of a small women waiting with a slightly worried face.
What was she doing here? They didn't meet up at home after work – with that one, no two memorable exceptions last year. But of course Tim opened the door immediately. Before he or Lucy could get a word out, Kujo jumped between them, pawing Lucy's legs and trying to get as close as possible to his mum. And she obliged with a big laugh, cuddling the dog, kissing his head, holding him close. "Hey boy, how are you doing?" Tim tried not to acknowledge how he wished to be in the dogs place right now, because that was ridiculous. Finally, Lucy got up again, now with a broad smile that reached her hazel brown eyes.
"Hi!" "Yeah, hi!" There was a moment of silence with only Kujo still panting until Tims brain started working again and he asked her to come in. "Thank you, sorry to bother you so late. There is just something I needed to talk to you about and …". She didn't seem to know how to finish the sentence. It got Tim curious, but he remembered his manners and first took the coat from her and offered her something to drink. She refused and looked around a little lost as if deciding what to do next. He could visibly see her take a deep breath and then she looked him straight in the eyes to say what she had come here to say.
"Ehm, sorry again for intruding. It won't take long - I think." Another deep breath. "Is something wrong? Does your head hurt from the fall?" The urgency in his voice made her smile and oddly it seemed to calm her. "No, no worries, it really was nothing. I'm perfectly fine. I just … today just reminded me of something again and so I finally decided to do something I should have done a while ago." He looked at her even more puzzled, what was she talking about? "I broke up with Chris." Pause. Tim blinked a few times before he understood what she had said. "When?" "About an hour ago, right before I came here." Again, what was she saying? "Why?" - he realized it was none of his business. "I mean, why are you telling me this?" "It's the same answer to both questions" was her very enigmatic answer. He just stared at her, waiting for more information, because right now his mind was blank as a white sheet of paper and he couldn't form a coherent thought on what this was all about. But he could see how his confusion set her back, her smile faltered a little and when she took another breath to explain she seemed to be steeling herself for something bad. "The reason why I broke up with him - and why I should have broken up with him months ago – is that I really like him." Now Tim was officially lost. "But I love you."
When he gaped at her without a clear reaction, she decided to keep going, to get it all out there once and for all and be done with it. "I don't know when it started, when I started to fall for you. But I know, and I think we both know, that it became obvious that night when we came back from Las Vegas. After that I should have ended things with Chris, but I just couldn't with what had happened and I felt sorry for him and even more guilty and then you made it clear that you wanted us to stay away from each other and you were still with Ashley and I just didn't want to be alone and …" she trailed off from her babbling. Now he made an attempt to start saying something, even though he hadn't decided on what exactly, but she stopped him. "Just let me get it all out." He nodded silently, actually glad not to have to find words right about now. "So I stayed with Chris, pretended that this thing between you and me didn't exist and that it didn't matter anyway. But the truth is, it does. And it wasn't fair to Chris. He really is a good guy. So today, when I was lying on that street in front of a car that could have easily run me over I decided that it's time to come clean, even if … even if it doesn't amount to anything. But I need to be honest with myself. So I went to Chris and told him, well, at least parts of the reason, and then I came here, to tell you … so that you know and can decide for yourself." Another sigh that spoke of a battle already lost escaped her. "I know that what I am telling you isn't easy and that it means trouble for the job that is so important to both of us. And if you don't feel the same way, it's ok, I just …"
That's when he finally stopped her - with his lips on hers. She gave a noise of surprise but he didn't let her go and before long she answered his kiss with the same fervor. And he put everything in it, everything that he couldn't express any other way. His hands framed her face on both sides and he pulled her as close as possible. Meanwhile she had wrapped one arm around his waist with the other bracing against his broad chest where she could feel his heart beat fast. When his tongue swept across her lower lip there was no hesitation and they sank into each other even deeper.
Even though the kiss had brought waves of emotions over him, he still remembered every word she had told him and he needed to respond with words as well. Because he couldn't have her thinking – even for a second – that he didn't feel the same. So when they needed to break apart for air, he dipped his forehead to hers staying as close as before. His voice was quiet and husky when he started speaking, but she was close enough to hear. "You know how I feel about you." Now she broke the contact and looked into his eyes. "I really don't." She needed to hear it, needed the reassurance that this was as meaningful to him as it was to her, that it wasn't just biology like she had reasoned months before to keep them on safe ground. And he understood. He even realized in this moment that the words weren't just important for her but for himself as well. He needed to say it out loud to make it a reality - and he wanted to finally make it real. "I love you, Lucy. I'm in love with you."
He was rewarded by a smile that lit up the entire universe.
The next minutes went by in a fog of kisses and caresses and soft words hushed in between. Finally, Tim broke their intimacy by stepping back just a few inches. One of his hands was still on her neck, to keep some physical contact. He looked down on her, seeing her lips being swollen from their make-out session. "It won't be easy … at the station." She nodded slightly, their problem of being superior and subordinate on the job hadn't just vanished. She searched in his face for a hint that he was backing down because of it, but there was so uncertainty, no waver. "We will figure it out", she said and knew they would. "Tomorrow." The twinkle in her eye made him laugh out loud. "Tomorrow then", he let his voice go deep. And when he saw her eyes grow dark, the last of this mental capacity went out the window. He lifted her easily and her legs wrapped around his hips to hold on tight while he carried her into the bedroom.
After roll call Tim was walking through the office to get the last crime statistics from one of the clerks for a report he had to finish later that day. Aaron was already preparing the shop for their shift and he would join him in 10. It was good, that the boot was back to being his aide, because after last night both Lucy and he agreed that riding together should be only the exception from now on. He stole a glance through the hall over to where she was standing talking to Nolan. She looked up like she felt his glance and they shared a secret moment just for themselves. Or so Tim thought.
He heard a snort before he saw Angela appear right next to him. "So that finally happened, huh?" He wouldn't give in so easily, but how the hell did she know?! "I don't know what you mean." "Oh come on", no she openly laughed at him, "you have turned from brooding love-sick puppy to swooning love-sick puppy. Don't tell me, you two didn't finally hook up to make that change?" Her words made him angry, because they cheapened what Lucy and he had just discovered. So he gave up pretending and growled at her. "We didn't hook up! We, I - I love her." So much for keeping this a secret. Angela seemed stunned for a moment, then her expression grew soft. "I thought you did. Still you need to decide how to proceed. One of you will have to get out of here. If it comes out that a Sergeant and an officer …" She left the obvious truth unspoken. "I know, and we will. I will apply for posts at other stations." "You've already decided?" Angela was surprised how quickly things were moving when she had been observing the two of them for month dancing around each other. She liked Lucy and she was sure that they would be good for each other, but still she wanted to make sure that her best friend didn't rush into something and jeopardize his career.
Tim actually read all that in Angela's face and from the tone in her voice. He knew she was protective of him, the same way he had been protective of her when things got real with Wesley. So he decided to tell her something he hadn't told anyone, not even Lucy. "You know this morning, when I woke up, it was quiet." Angela looked at him curiously, she didn't get the change of topic. But Tim only went on, looking down on his shoes. "There was no split second of fear. No image of getting dragged out of bed at the ankle by my father, so I would hit my head on the floor. No anticipation of an IED going off next to my squad the next instant. No shock of thinking I have been shot in the chest. No checking my hands to see if they were dirty from digging Lucy out of her grave. I was just lying there, feeling her in my arms, her constant breathing, her soft skin - and my mind was calm." He stopped for a moment. "I haven't had that in … forever." Tim knew he couldn't articulate the magnitude of that feeling. He didn't find better words to describe that this morning was the first morning for as long as he could remember that hadn't started with a minor panic attack. And that the reason for the calm that had engulfed his mind and body had been the women in his arms.
But he was wrong, Angela fully understood what he was saying. She hadn't known that he had been hurting so much for so long and just the possibility that Lucy was able to give him peace was all she needed to know. Since no words could be enough as a response to his confession, Angela simply took him in her arms, no matter that they were standing in the middle of the station. Of course Lucy noticed right away and she looked at Angela across the space. The detective just nodded and both women understood what needed to be understood.