Just a little peek into Sam Swarek's brain. No plot to speak of. This takes us from the beginning of the series, through Andy's relationship with Luke – so first season, basically. Encourage me a bit and I might do some more.
Don't own Rookie Blue, but I do enjoy identifying the Toronto neighbourhoods where they shoot.
He can't really nail it down to a day, or a moment.
No thunderbolts or anything. There was nothing about it that was all that sudden.
It's not like he hadn't noticed her right off the bat. In his defence, it was hard not to, seeing as in their first encounter, she'd slammed him into the pavement none too gently, like some over-eager Rottweiler puppy - and destroyed eight months of hard work in the process.
The dominant initial emotion, if not outright anger – because god help him, look at her, all pony-tailed, doe-eyed, determined and clueless, like a thousand rooks before her – was irritation.
Mixed with relief at finally being able to walk away from an op that was pretty much going nowhere fast, and was making him start to miss, well, everything. Evenings warming a barstool trading insults with Ollie, and cleaning Jerry out in poker games, and the occasional dalliance with that girl who worked at the Art Gallery of Ontario and wore those goofy striped leggings (and really tiny thongs). Being up on the cases everyone was working, and all the watercooler gossip. And having permission to call his sister. Just, you know, being in the loop. Felt good.
So yeah, if she was the catalyst for his being welcomed back into the fold at 15, even if it meant Anton Hill had to slip through his fingers … then okay, so be it. All kinds of fresh faces had invaded the squad in his absence, and hers wasn't the toughest of the bunch on the eyes, but it was his prerogative as a senior officer to ride her ass for her newbie error (that one on the first day, and all the others that followed), and he took a certain amount of pleasure in doing so. Remembering, but never confessing to, how he'd been torn a new one a couple of times himself when he was as wet behind the ears as she was right now. Payin' it foward.
When Boyko put him back on training officer duty, and she started riding with him, he really couldn't hang on to the irritation for very long. She was just so damned young and earnest, and he could see the gears turning in her perky little head. That stubborn set to her jaw that said she was going to prove her worth if it killed her - it was pretty irresistible.
But honestly, after the second day she'd ridden with him, when she followed him out into the parking lot of the Penny, still in overachieving mode, with her Bambi brain and those pouty pink lips going a mile a minute, the impulse to get close to her was really just that, an impulse. It's not something he had plotted beforehand, not something that had occupied his brain all day in the squad car, just sort of a, what-the-hell, she's cute and she smells good and it's been a while, sort of impulse that had him leaning in and almost locking lips, before a slender hand on his chest stopped him and a curtain of hair hid those big brown eyes as she ducked away in apology.
It really had been more his move than hers, but she was the one apologizing, and he let it slide because it really wasn't the best idea anyway. Training officer and all. Not that he hadn't played fast and loose with that once or twice before. But McNally, well, she was just going to overthink it, and who needs that on a Saturday night? He'd just re-entered his life. Last thing he needed right now was complications.
So he lied and said she wasn't his type.
That little hand sure had felt good on his pecs, though.
So was that briefest of contacts what had turned him into someone he barely recognized, the night she appeared at his door during the blackout, all wild-eyed and amped up by the events of the day and in desperate need of solace, distraction … feeling something ELSE? He wasn't sure. Maybe it was just how emboldened she was, launching herself against him all zero to sixty like that and plundering what initially, for him, was a mouth caught hanging open in surprise. Hard … er, difficult not to come along on that ride. She was instant sensory overload, hunger and need exploding in his brain from some rock under which they'd evidently been hiding for a little too long. One minute she was plastered up against him in the doorway, and then she was in his bedroom and he didn't even know how they'd gotten there, and her hands were leaving trails of fire everywhere, and so were his, and she was making those amazing little gasps and whimpers that had him just about losing it like a zit-faced teenager.
And then, of course, the lights came on and it all went to hell in a handbasket.
Pretty hard to look at her the same way after that, for all he shrugged it off with those off-the-cuff dismissals. "Was what it was", his ass. After that, he would catch himself staring at her like a slack-jawed moron when she was otherwise occupied, the flashback reel playing in his head triggering uncomfortable consequences. Seriously, there are few things less sexy on a woman than a police uniform, work boots, and a Kevlar vest. And yet, she could be standing in front of him in the Timmie's lineup doing nothing more provocative than ordering a green tea and a strawberry whole-grain muffin, and he'd find himself dangerously, inexplicably turned on.
Yup, keeping it classy, Sammy boy.
But the notion of actually pursuing her didn't really cross his mind at the time. Or if it did, he dismissed it immediately. Again, there was the T.O. thing, which was a major stumbling block - not that he was a colour-inside-the-lines guy particularly, but some rules just make sense. Plus he didn't want to be that guy, the guy who preys on a different rookie every year. He was certainly wearing no halo in that regard, but he didn't want to get a rep as the squad's worst hound.
It wasn't like he had any trouble attracting female companionship when he was so inclined. It wasn't like she was the be-all and end-all.
And then she got herself hooked up with Luke, that tool of a pretty boy who didn't know a good thing when he had it, and somehow, the whole situation started to become kind of a torture chamber for him. Because he just couldn't stop watching her out of the corner of his eye. Somewhere along the line, she had started to demonstrate some pretty good cop instincts on the job – really good, truth be told, even as she also demonstrated a certain magnetic attraction to trouble. And somewhere along the line, his irritation had morphed into attraction, even admiration.
Affection was in the mix too.
Which brought on some uglier stuff, stuff he didn't recognize in himself. Like a persistent desire to slam Callaghan's head into a wall. Or at least to tell the guy he didn't deserve his good fortune.
Thing was, he'd never really had much of an opinion about Callaghan one way of the other, prior to McNally. The guy was a good solid cop and honest enough, with reliable instincts as a detective. Not one of Sam's close buddies, probably never would be, but a stand-up guy as far as he knew. The hostility he suddenly felt was a foreign thing. He didn't want to analyze what it meant.
But he really thought he was keeping it together fairly well, on the whole. He bit his tongue when she gushed about their new place, about how sweet and considerate Luke was, about her five-year plan. He was supportive. He did nothing that could be construed as being too familiar with her. Teased her a bit, but never crossed the line. And he swallowed hard, a lot, as he watched her giddily nesting …. Not really knowing when his brain had started adding, "with someone else", and not entirely clear on why.
Apparently he wasn't hiding it all that well, either. Should have known he wasn't fooling Shaw, who was way more observant than he let on. But Shaw wasn't the only one who called him out on it … he was just the least subtle of the bunch. And the one Sam was mostly likely to listen to.
So when Ollie shook his head and pursed his lips and said, "Sammy, you got it bad," it kind of solidified what Sam already knew to be true, but hadn't quite admitted to himself yet.
When the hell had that happened? And how had he let it?
Also. When had he become such a coward?
Had he woken up one morning and decided she was his world? Nope. Hell, he didn't even know what it was, exactly, that separated her and every other female rookie he'd ever encountered, so he sure as hell didn't know when he'd started putting her in the 'one of these things is not like the others' category.
He just knew that Ollie wasn't wrong.
And he'd started to protest, make some slightly off-colour innuendo about McNally that showed he didn't consider her anything more than a mildly interesting piece of tail, but Ollie just cocked an eyebrow at him that told him he was wasting his breath. So Sam closed his mouth, conceded the point in a monosyllable, and stared into his scotch.