Before You and I
by Kayryn

Rated: G
Summary: Everything has a beginning. Sharon/Andrea friendship, Andrea/OC, and established Sharon/Andrea relationship.
Disclaimer: TNT's & James Duff's. Not mine. Never was, never will be. If it was, a certain blonde DDA would be featured in plenty more episodes.
A/N: Takes place in the same fic universe as my other Major Crimes fics, and follows them, and though it's not necessary to read them to understand this one, you might get more out of this if you do. Also, there are references to The Closer episode 7.08.

It was a Friday, well after the normal office hours, and, yet, Sharon and Andrea were at Sharon's office. They were supposed to be on a date, enjoying some well-deserved time alone, but Sharon had been held back because of a case, forcing her to cancel. She was upset about that alone, never mind that the case was turning into a real nightmare.

"I am so sorry," Sharon apologized, sparing a quick glance at Andrea before resuming her search for a file she must have misplaced.

Andrea, who had, until then, thought Sharon was troubled about the case, suddenly realized just how upset Sharon was about their ruined evening.

"Honey, it's all right. We'll reschedule," the DDA assured. Andrea was well aware of how irregular Sharon's hours were, and she never held it against her; it wasn't something Sharon could affect, short of retiring, and Andrea could never even fathom making such a request.

"No, it's not all right," Sharon insisted. "We've been so busy lately, and we hardly ever have time set aside just for us alone. Tonight was supposed to be special, and I messed it up."

"Sharon, look at me," Andrea said and waited until the older woman did so. "You didn't mess up anything. It's work; you can't help it if someone decides to snap and kill another person. So we missed the reservation, we'll go there another time. As for tonight, Rusty's still going to Tao's for the game night with Kevin, so, when we can, we'll go home, grab some take-out on the way, and just relax."

And while the restaurant where they'd planned on going came highly recommended by their mutual friend, Gavin Baker, Andrea didn't really care if they had a fancy dinner at the most popular Spanish restaurant in all of Los Angeles area, or ate take-out out of cartons – as long as she'd get to spend time with the woman she loved.

"Alright," Sharon smiled warmly, wondering, once again, how she'd gotten so lucky to have someone like Andrea in her life. She was about to comment on the possible take-out options when her desk phone rang.

As she answered, Rusty walked in, his ever-present back bag slung over his shoulder, and greeted both women with a nod, mindful of the fact that his foster-mother was on the phone.

Andrea watched, half worried and half intrigued, as Sharon's expression transformed from a cool and collected to aghast and incredulous. Hobbs wondered what could have possibly gone so wrong for Sharon to become so livid in such a short amount of time.

She didn't have to wonder for long.

"Lieutenant Provenza, how do you lose a witness on your way from the crime scene to the police department? How is that even possible?" Sharon demanded her voice rising with each word.

Andrea bit the inside of her cheek to stop from laughing; she couldn't stop grinning, but, right now, Sharon wouldn't appreciate just how hilarious Andrea found the situation. She did feel a bit sorry for the Captain; lieutenants Provenza and Flynn seemed to continue their habit of getting into the most ridiculous situations – it was something of a specialty of theirs.

Rusty, on the other hand, looked slightly surprised and, though not scared, cautious as Sharon kept seething at Provenza over the phone. He'd seen her frustrated, even angry, but the ire that now radiated from the woman behind the desk was somehow different to anything Rusty had witnessed before. Andrea leaned in Rusty's direction and quietly explained to him that Sharon had already been irritated because their plans for the evening had suffered. Rusty nodded, commenting that Tao had called him and told him he'd be a while longer.

When Sharon finally slammed the receiver down, a chuckle escaped from Andrea's lips, earning a glare from the pissed off Captain Raydor.

"Sorry," Andrea offered contritely, though she was still smiling, and held up a hand to stop further ranting. "I can't believe those two ever managed to become lieutenants."

"It's pure dumb luck that nothing they've screwed up has ever resulted in any irreparable damage," Sharon grumbled, and ran her hand through her hair.

Rusty, who was now a bit more relaxed, also seemed to find the humor in Sharon's indignation and quipped: "Remind me to never get on your wrong side."

Somewhat mollified, and remembering that the two people in the room were not to be blamed for this latest disaster, Sharon took a deep breath to calm herself.

"Rusty, you have no idea how right you are," Andrea concurred as she looked at Sharon and raised an eyebrow.

Sharon tilted her head questioningly; she was not at all sure she wanted to know what Andrea was referring to.

"I'm talking about a certain beanbag gun incident."

"God, will I never live that down?"

"Come on, honey, considering the man had just tried to kill me, it kind of makes you my knight in shining armor."

Sharon practically growled, her distaste for the man hired to kill Andrea still fresh in her mind.

"Had I known you were the target, or that he actually hit you, I would have been much more tempted to use real bullets," Sharon admitted.

"Well, while I appreciate your protective tendencies," Andrea assured Sharon and, considering there was a teenager in the room, tried not to think of how hot the image of Sharon shooting down the hitman was, "I think the bean bag was sufficient."

Rusty looked bewildered, shifting his eyes from Sharon to Andrea and then back again. "Wait. Someone tried to kill you? And you shot him?"

Sharon tried to bury her hands in her jacket pockets, but it proved a rather futile attempt, considering how small the pockets were. Andrea hid yet another grin, finding Sharon's idiosyncrasies quite enchanting, and settled to listening as Sharon started to tell Rusty what happened two years previously.