Nearly the end... I haven't planned it out completely, but I have a feeling next chapter might very well be the last. I must say I have really enjoyed writing about Sharon and Andy (and of course Provenza, Brenda and the others) again, so who knows, I might start something new sometime. No promises though. For now, I hope you enjoy this chapter and as always reviews are greatly appreciated.
The genuine surprise sounding through in those words was accompanied by unveiled curiosity in her green eyes. He squirmed inwardly under the intensity of her gaze. Sharon, on the other hand, appeared entirely unfazed by the silence that followed.
"I guess for everything." He said after a long pause. "For being an asshole. For making things harder for you at work. For showing up at your house in the middle of the night drunk. Though I'm actually not sure what exactly happened. Other than me passing out on your couch."
He couldn't help but adding as an afterthought. Sharon raised one sculpted eyebrow at that, leaving no doubt that she did remember what had happened. In fact, it was quite possibly permanently printed in her memory how she'd found the drunken lieutenant on her doorstep and, in particularly, how he'd made a clumsy pass at her prior to passing out. Despite being unaware any of this had even happened, Andy did at least have the good sense to look suitably ashamed, before continuing.
"And for not apologising to you for all this before now. For thinking I could fix this in one evening. The list is quite long..."
Again silence. Andy rocked back and forth on his heels once before willing himself to stand still, suddenly feel self-conscious. The way she looked at him, as if seeing right through him, unnerved and excited him at the same time. Get a hold of yourself Flynn. The little voice in his head berating him sounded suspiciously like Provenza.
"It's not your fault, you know that right?"
She said slowly, but not unkindly in her trademark low, clipped tones that always seemed to make his heart beat faster. Did she have any idea what kind of effect that voice had, not only on him but on a rather vast part of the male police officers within the LAPD? Some of the female officers too, Andy was sure.
Although intuitively he already knew, he felt the sudden urge to hear her say it. To hear her exonerate him from a crime that he had made up entirely in his head.
"Robert Keaton would've come back. After all the preparation, after all the years he spend plotting in jail... He wasn't going to just give up after one try."
As he released the breath he hadn't noticed he'd been holding, it was like a weight lifted off his shoulders. And even though the guilt that had accumulated over the past days didn't dissappear completely, it felt like it had at the very least partly dissolved.
"How did you know?"
So little words were needed between them in that moment. Neither of them had spoken the real reason for Andy's apology out loud, and yet they both seemed to know exactly what the other meant.
"Andy, you're like an open book. Besides, I know guilt when I see it. And though I'd say it is a completely normal reaction to have, that doesn't make it true. The only person responsible for what happened was a sad, bitter man, who couldn't deal with the loss of his wife. And in the end it cost him his own life. It's as simple as that."
He felt an unexpected shiver in his spine when she said his first name and immediately scolded himself. She was being kind, nothing more.
"To be honest, it's me who should be apologise as well."
It wasn't easy for Sharon to concede she'd been wrong. Even as a child, it had never come natural to her to admit defeat, no matter in which shape or form. Undoubtedly this character trait had been somewhat intensified by her position within the LAPD, but it was one she'd always possessed.
"Perhaps you're right, perhaps everything that's happened between us can't be fixed in one evening. But you came to me genuinely wanting to make things right. And I never even gave you a chance."
She'd been too proud, having convinced herself she didn't need the friendship or even respect of any of her colleagues outside of FID. It was in the nature of her job to be disliked and she had guarded herself against that by wearing a mask. Yet if she were to be completely honest with herself, it was more than that. In truth, all of a sudden she'd gotten scared. He had gotten too close and it had made her uncomfortable. After all, Andy Flynn, despite being a complete pain, was an attractive man. One she had every now and then admired from afar. Not that she'd ever say it out loud, but he could be very charming when he wanted to. She'd seen it first hand in some of his interactions with female witnesses. However, this charm had never been directed towards her, enabling her to wonder at it from a safe distance.
There was no denying her marriage to Jack had made her wary of relationships. What had started with Jack coming home tipsy and cheerful, slowly progressed to him waking her up in the middle of the night after she'd finally gone to bed without him, being absolutely hammered. She'd learned pretty quikly he wasn't a happy drunk. Though he'd never laid a hand on her, he could be vicious during those nights when she tried to make him see reason in hushed tones, anxious not to wake the children up. He had called her all the names in the dictionary. It was funny really that Major Crimes thought they were being original calling her the wicked witch, when she'd heard infinitely worse from her own husband. It was almost a relief when he'd stopped coming home at all after a while. Yet she hadn't divorced him, the obvious reason being her catholic background, but in addition to that it provided an excellent excuse not to start dating again. And then there was Andy Flynn; handsome, rugged and safe. Nothing would ever come of it, because obviously he loathed her. He had come onto her once, yes, years ago, during that one faithful night when he'd gotten wasted and in a drunken stupor decided it was a good idea to try and seduce the ice queen of FID. She could almost see him boasting about it to the other frequenters of whichever bar he usually went to. Of course, when she'd woken up he was gone and she'd never thought anything of it. It had been the alcohol, nothing more, of that she was certain. Recently, however, she'd caught him looking at her, his eyes gliding admiringly over her bare legs when she was wearing a skirt. At first, she'd thought the attraction was purely physical. It had to be right? Lately his looks seemed to have changed though, he seemed to have changed. She convinced herself she was imagining things when she initially recognised something akin to tenderness in his gaze. But when he'd started acting all protective during the undercover operation, she hadn't been so sure anymore. When he'd shown up to her condo it had proven to be too much. She hadn't known how to feel about this latest development. Her mind had been racing to cover all possibilities. Did he want to make amends to salvage his own guilt? Or did he perhaps want friendship or possibly even more from her. The idea alone was preposterous. Right? Insecurity got the better of her. That coupled with fear at the thought of having to let someone in again, to be vulnerable again, had led her to completely shut down.
"I was scared, I guess I didn't handle it very well."
There it was, the naked truth, there was no taking it back now. Trying to maintain a calm composure, she looked at Andy, who's mouth was slightly agape in surprise at her unexpected admission. Twice it seemed as if he was going to say something, but then let go of his breath again. His apparent quest for the right words was making her nervous.
"Well if we are being honest- I haven't been completely upfront with you about my reasons for coming to your condo that night. The truth is, I like you. I more than like you. I don't understand exactly how it happened but I seem to be thinking about you all the time lately. And when you were being all cosy with agent Howard and then McGarry I thought-"
Sharon could hardly believe her own ears.
"You were jealous..."
It slipped out before she could think better of it and yet she could see in his face that she was right. The familiar beginnings of panick started to rise up again, but she ignored it this time. She had made up her mind, this time she wasn't going to run from it.