A/N: So, thanks strange1, Solostarr, darkness4eva, Gem6, miz greenleaf, stacey, leilani and StarQuality for the reviews and thanks to anyone else who read. A couple of you helped me with this one, help much appreciated so I don't completely go off track like I am with this note. Anyways, thanks, and for those who care I'm planning another slash fic for this fandom, let's just say it's a pairing I like. Any guesses?
Sam bashed her head continuously against the toilet door. It wasn't helping.
She'd let Hopkins go and then told Meadows she'd lost him in an alley. How could she bring him in and have him alert the whole world to Andrea's double identity? Which he would, it was a station full of coppers, they were bound to figure it out.
But now she'd brought the entire investigation to a standstill. Hopkins wouldn't surface again and MIT would look at other avenues, eventually pinning it on some innocent bystander. That was just the way these things worked, for the death of a copper someone had to pay.
She didn't really know why she'd done all this for Andrea. In part it was self preservation, the PC could have easily spilled the beans about her blackmail attempts and implicated her in the shooting but... there was something else.
Maybe Eva was right, perhaps she was changing into a nice, unselfish woman. The kind of mother Abi deserved. It wasn't what she'd envisioned turning into, all she'd thought of was moving up the ranks, becoming the highest female of her time. Somewhere along the way she'd changed, helpful towards others, jeopardise her own career to help a potential child-abuser and an undercover journalist.
This self analysis wasn't getting her anywhere so she resumed the head banging. Unfortunately the main door opened and she didn't stop quick enough.
'Is everything alright in there?' The voice was Gina's.
Sam slowly opened the door. 'It's only me.'
'Well, that makes sense then,' Gina said. 'You alright?'
'Jack's fuming over you losing Hopkins.'
'Couldn't be helped,' Sam shrugged.
'Thought you'd be a bit more, I don't know, angry.'
'What good would that do?'
'Never stopped you before,' Gina commented. 'What's wrong with you, Sam?'
'I could've sworn you looked guilty last night.'
Sam immediately put up her protection shield. 'You're not seriously saying I had anything to do with that?'
'I'm asking you, Samantha.'
'I didn't arrange for our DI to be shot,' Sam said clearly.
'I believe you,' she insisted. 'But I'm willing to bet you know who did.'
'If I knew that I'd tell MIT.'
'I wouldn't expect anything less, Sam.'
The MIT officers wandering around aimlessly didn't really reassure the Sun Hill group that the investigation was going anywhere. Neither did the image of DCI Meadows banging about the station like an ape.
Of course, it was business as usual in CSU. Jim had just finished interviewing some lad who claimed his girlfriend was missing. More likely she was avoiding him but it had to be followed up anyway.
It seemed bizarre to be carrying on as normal while all this was going on around him. But bizarre in the way people were acting and not what happened.
'Alright, Jim?' Tony questioned when passed in the corridor. 'You find June?'
'Yeah, it's sorted.'
'I'm glad. Didn't want Manson doing damage as a ghost.'
'You're all heart, Tone.'
'Heard the gossip?'
'What's gossip's that?'
'That Samantha had him bumped off?'
'Rubbish, isn't it?' Jim laughed. 'It's as likely to be Andrea.'
'As long as you and June are alright,' Tony smiled.
'Andrea?' Sam pushed open the locker room door lightly. 'You're a tough woman to track down.'
'I see you've figured it out,' she muttered weakly.
'Figured what out?' Sam asked.
'You know I told Danny Milson where Manson was gonna be and that he'd have a clear path.'
'Yeah, I know you did that.'
'Then why aren't you arresting me?'
'Cos I let the one person who could reveal the truth go.'
Andrea looked up. 'You did what?'
'I had to,' Sam answered. 'I got you into this mess, I couldn't drop you in it.'
'So the investigation won't be continuing?'
'MIT have taken over but they won't track down anything or anyone that'll pin this on you.'
'Why would you help me like that?'
'You helped me out.'
'Only because I had no choice!'
Sam sighed. 'A friend of mine thinks I've changed lately, become more helpful towards others. I've even been branded a guardian angel.'
'That's a new one.'
'Yeah, you're telling me! But suddenly I wanted to protect Tony, push June and Jim back together, save the world from Manson. For the first time I was putting other people first. You know, before recently I don't even think I put my daughter ahead of me, ahead of my job. I know how awful that sounds but I think it was true. At first I thought I was just after Manson, a personal vendetta, but I wasn't. I truly wanted to help. Blackmailing you wasn't part of the agenda but... well, I didn't feel I could just leave you to take the flak.'
'You also knew I could drop you in it,' Andrea said.
'I admit it crossed my mind but I don't think you'd do that, however desperate you were for a story. You're a decent person under all this, you'll make a good copper if you try hard enough.'
'You're asking me to quit my journalist job?'
'I'm not asking anything of you,' Sam countered. 'All I'm saying is you could be a good police officer.'
'I still don't understand why you're doing this for me.'
'Maybe I just like helping people.'
'Can you be sure it won't come out?'
'There's no guarantees,' Sam replied evenly. 'But I won't say anything. Manson's gone now, the station's returning to normal, there'd be no reason to drop you in it. I think things'll be alright from now on, the root of the problem's disappeared.'
'You really believe all that?'
Sam smiled. 'You know, I think I do.'