A little post-Season 3 scenario. What does Andy and Sam's reunion look like? Don't own the show or the characters, just playin' with them. This is my first Rookie Blue fic, so I welcome your comments!
And just like that, she was back. Making a beeline for Frank's office with her head down, her fingers clenching and unclenching. Fidgety in the once-familiar environs of the squad, and very clearly not interested in eye contact.
He'd been poring over some files, trying to find the common thread in three cases he had a gut feeling about, but which had not yet officially been connected. Since he'd made detective, he'd found that this sort of mental puzzle was a not-half-bad replacement for the street work he used to thrive on. It kept his brain busy. Kept him from dwelling on other stuff.
Kept him from having to interact with anyone, too, which was just as well because he was getting a reputation for being kind of surly. Okay, maybe he'd bitten off the heads of a couple too many rookies recently. He just wasn't in the mood to humour them anymore, and though he and Frank had had it out a couple of times over his attitude, in the end his commanding officer had caved and given him what he wanted, which was relative solitude.
His eyes had caught the sudden movement past the glass, someone moving with urgency, and his head snapped up involuntarily. Tracked her as she swept past, her figure a little gaunt from weight loss she could ill-afford, her hair dyed an unconvincing red.
Otherwise, still Andy.
Shit, his brain whispered to him. Just when I'd stopped expecting her.
Truth was, he hadn't stopped expecting her, just had managed to stop looking for her in every doorway in the squad and on every street corner between home and work, or at least, had learned to be a whole lot less obvious about it. He didn't swivel to look every time the door to the Penny squeaked open anymore, not after five months. His heart had learned not to leap with the possibility it might be her. Had just settled for the regret that had seeped into his bones the first night he'd realized she was gone. Once acute, now chronic, a distant ache that never quite left his system. Like a drinking buddy who warmed the barstool next to you but didn't say much.
It's not like he didn't have an action plan for this moment. He'd thought about it a million times. He wasn't conflicted about what he wanted, but at the sight of her all the certainty dissolved, and his stomach clenched. What did she want? Was he even on her radar anymore, or had she moved on? Gawd, he was acting like a stupid schoolboy. Just grow a pair and face her, he told himself.
He made himself be still, forcing his eyes back to the files, but with little success. His gaze might have been lowered, but he was keeping a sharp eye out for movement in the squad room that would tell him her debriefing with Frank was over. He worried at his bottom lip.
After an endless and unproductive hour, he saw her leave Frank's office out of the corner of his eye. He gave her a little lead time before he strolled, with feigned nonchalance, to the door of the women's locker room. He could feel Shaw tracking him as he moved, but his buddy held his tongue. He'd have to thank him for that later.
She was standing with her back to him, staring into her open locker like she'd never seen any of the stuff in there before.
Noelle was there too, chaperoning, no doubt. Coming off a cover assignment was always disorienting, and Noelle was equal parts sounding board, mother hen, and psychoanalyst for cops reconnecting with reality. But when she glanced up and caught Sam standing there, something in his face must've been enough, because she just gave him an appraising once-over, nodded slowly, squeezed Andy's arm, and stepped off to the washroom.
Andy turned. Jesus, her eyes were deep hollows, and her cheekbones far too prominent. The red hair washed her out, her skin almost translucent in the harsh fluorescent light. She was clutching a hairbrush.
He forced a smile.
"Hey," she returned without enthusiasm. If he'd hoped she would fly into his arms, well, that scenario wasn't happening. So, okay. He knew that wasn't all that probable. Not with the way they'd left it.
"You're a sight for sore eyes," he lied.
"I'm just a sight," she sighed in return, plunking herself down onto the bench. She could see he wasn't going to leave her be. Might as well just get it over with.
He made his way over to her and straddled the bench, facing her. She was a deer in the headlights, her arms crossed across her ribcage defensively. He needed to move slowly. Not get too close. Sam regarded his knuckles and cleared his throat. "We've missed you around here." Raised his eyes to meet hers. "I've missed you."
She opened her mouth but nothing came out.
"Are you okay? How did it go out there?"
Andy looked away. "It was what it was."
Once upon a time, he'd said that to her. His brain flashed back to that unexpected evening of the blackout, the glimpses of her hungry eyes in the candlelight, the way she'd felt so warm and pliable in his arms, the way his pulse had skyrocketed, and he realized suddenly how dismissive and hurtful those next-day words had been.
He tried again. "Andy …. I know it's a rough adjustment. I don't know much about what you went through out there, but I've been where you are right now. Let me …"
She gave a little hollow laugh and brushed a limp strand of the electric hair out of her eyes, and that's when his eyes fell on the track marks on the insides of her arms.
"Christ," he breathed. He knew it was a possible hazard of doing undercover work in the drug world. Sometimes it was the only way to demonstrate you were authentic and gain the trust of the people you had to bring down. He himself, had managed to steer clear for the most part during his operations, but clearly she had not been so lucky.
He couldn't help it. Damaged and gun-shy as she was, he couldn't stop himself from reaching out and gathering her in his arms. She was stiff and wary in his grip for long moments, before burying her face in his collarbone and going practically limp against him.
Eyes squeezed shut with regret, he stroked her hair and murmured, "I should have been there. Andy, I'm so sorry …."
She just took a long, shuddering breath against the solidity of his chest. "Not your fault. Noelle's taking me to a treatment centre in about an hour so I can get clean."
"Okay. Okay. That's good."
"Sam, I don't …."
If she was going to say she didn't want him there, he didn't want to hear it. "Please, Andy, let me help. What I said to you still stands. I've been waiting here, ready to prove it to you. I'm gonna spend the rest of my life proving it if you'll let me." Realizing he was crushing her with the sheer force of his conviction, he made himself loosen his grip, fighting down a little spike of terror at the thought that she might slip from his grasp like a wraith.
"Guess we're a long way from normal, now, huh?", she said, glancing up at him through damp eyelashes. A thrill of hope vibrated through him at her black humour.
"Normal's over-rated," he responded with a little chuckle.
"You tell me what you need, I'll be there. Every time." His face serious again. "Will you let me do that?"
She pushed herself away from him and met his eyes. He saw a ripple of different emotions flicker across her face. Mostly, resignation. "I was so pissed at you, for so long, Sam. But you know, I couldn't hold on to that forever. And when it went away, then I just …. I just missed you again.
"I'm not naïve enough to think I'm gonna get through this next part alone. If I were stronger right now, I might tell you to get lost, but as it is …." Andy shrugged and trailed off, embarrassed.
He could live with resignation. Could build on it, maybe create something close to what they'd had before. Sam leaned forward, and with infinite tenderness, claimed her lips with his own. "I'm not going anywhere," he promised. "Let's get you where you need to be."