Only Human

Disclaimer: Don't own anything.

Rating: Pg-13

Spoiler: The Fall

Pairing: Aiden/Flack Friendship.

Song: "Slide" by Dido.

Even on a day like this when you're crawling on the floor
Reaching for the phone to ring anyone who knows you anymore
It's all right to make mistakes
you're only human
Inside everybody's hiding something

She had just settled into the loveseat with her favorite blue duvet when the doorbell rang. Aiden cursed her bad fortune and folded a page in a new copy of Old School by Tobias Wolff. It had been a stressful day at work and she decided to unwind by having dinner at Pasha's with a friend and then she took a cab home. It seemed like all she needed now was a cup of chamomile tea and a good book.

It took her a while to make it to the door, she was too sated and relaxed after the dinner to hurry and perhaps it was a mistake because when she opened the door, the sight of her coworker leaning against her doorframe marked a slight glitch in her plans for the evening.

"Aid." He blurted out through a loopy smile, half crooked, playing on his lips.

Aiden opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out, she could tell by the smell of his breath that he was drunk and barely standing on his own two feet, and for some reason he chose to stop by here.

"I'm heavily under influence." Flack said.

Aiden rolled her eyes, annoyance overriding her concern for the tall blue-eyed detective, "So you're just gonna stand here and state the obvious?"

Flack smiled widely and reached out to squeeze her shoulder, more so steadying himself rather than showing admiration. Aiden sighed and stepped aside, letting him trod into the apartment.

She locked the door and walked in to the kitchen, putting on the kettle and opening her liquor cabinet: Bacardi, Southern Comfort, Smirnoff, and White Zinfandel.

"Aye, what did you drink tonight?" She called from the kitchen, as Flack took the liberty of making himself comfortable on the cream couch, opposite her loveseat, "Whiskey."

He replied and leaned toward the side table, picking up the copy of the book sitting on it, studying the cover he smiled, "I just bought it." He murmured, unaware that Aiden was standing right behind him.

"I just started, when I got unexpected company." She smiled in return and he blinked, trying to steady his vision.

Staring at the same four walls, have you tried to help yourself
the rings around your eyes they don't hide, that you need to get some rest

Aiden set her tray down on the coffee table and poured a little water into the shot glass filled with auburn liquid, "Have one last shot and then lie down." She advised and offered him the shot glass.

Flack accepted it and slid down into the loveseat, pulling the duvet from underneath him, "What shall we toast to?" He asked wryly, and Aiden couldn't help but bitterly reply, "Sobriety."

Flack raised the glass to his lips and then smirked, "That's such an oxymoron."

"Yeah, like drinking to your health isn't?" Aiden scoffed, and Flack decided to drain the shot before his conscience got the best of him. She took the shot from him after he was done and was about to take it to the kitchen but Flack grabbed her wrist, pulling her back.

Aiden managed to keep her balance but nonetheless her eyebrow raised, she questioned his move.

"Aid, I hate this job." Flack sucked in his breath and Aiden sat down next to him, "Get out of that jacket and I'll go make you some tea, then we can talk. Okay?"

Flack nodded and pulled off his leather coat, throwing it over the arm of the loveseat, then he loosened his tie, feeling an approaching headache he messaged his temples; hoping that his series of preparation would prepare him for spilling his guts out, which he probably would, because Aiden Burn didn't take shit from anybody and that's exactly why he came here instead of anyone else.

"So I heard about your difficult case." Aiden insinuated and set the mug in front of Flack. He allowed himself a brief sigh, then picked up the cup.

"Yeah." He paused, "You think you know a person…"

"And then you find out they have a 20 year old son?" Aiden questioned, and Flack nodded mournfully.

"A 20 year old son with gang connections." Flack clarified, and Aiden reached up to take her tea.

"It's just as well you know, this job doesn't teach you anything except that you can't be both loyal and do the right thing."

"That's a little pessimistic."

Aiden looked hopefully into his blue eyes, studying their haziness.

"It really isn't. Past couple months I've been thinking of quitting."

It's all right to make mistakes
you're only human
Inside everybody's hiding something
Take time to catch your breathe and choose your moment

Aiden was taken aback by this confession; it seemed unlikely that someone of Flack's status, ranking and family tradition could possibly contemplate a career change, such a drastic one at that.

"Don, please don't think that way. The department would suffer and you would as well. I'm not condoning that a little time off wont do any good but honestly, just running away from this wont help." She put her hand on his, soothing him, or so she anticipated.

"That's bullshit and we both know that. How can I face this shit everyday? Because my father did it or because you think I wont be able to sleep at night knowing that I'm not protecting fellow New Yorkers?" Flack raised his voice an octave, but it didn't intimidate Aiden one bit, she stared him down regardless, albeit with a gentler gaze then usual.

"Calm down Flack, nothing's gonna change and I'm not deaf. Personally, as your friend and colleague I think it'd be virtually impossible for you to close your eyes on what you've seen, what you grew up with. These are people's lives were saving, protecting, avenging, there is no better satisfaction then that."

Flack turned to her, watching her speak intently. He smiled half way through her speech, wondering if she believed her own thoughts.

" That's the sugar coated version of this job. Think back to a few months ago to the Cavalla case."

Aiden swallowed considerably as he spoke, "Mary Cavalla overdosed on aspirin, so obvious her death had something to do with her boyfriend but her little brother took the fall for it. Now how is that saving or avenging someone's life."

"It's not." Aiden replied quietly, clearly shut down by Flack's argument, and yet slightly uplifted with the memories of the aftermath of that case.

Danny had really shown her he wasn't just a Brooklyn boy with an attitude, he had shown her he could feel emotion, and even extend some wisdom on to her. Perhaps it was her turn to bestow some of Danny's wisdom onto Flack.

She took his hand into hers, rubbing it to ward off her own cold.

"Listen to me." She said quietly, "Just listen and don't interrupt."

Flack nodded.

Even at a time like this when the morning seems so far
Think that pain belongs to you but it's happened to us all

"I understand that Eric Cavalla is a case where a investigator like me or a detective like you would want to snap in two, but think about all the other amazing things we've done. Think of how many people we saved with the skills we've acquired. You need to look at both the pros and cons of this job, any job in fact, and you'll see that the good far outweighs the bad. Maybe that's why your family has a tradition of going into this career field."

Flack continued to stare at her, keeping maximum eye contact, and with every passing word clarity took hold of the drunkenness in his eyes, until Aiden could tell she was interacting with a completely sane and sober person. The double shot of Southern Comfort and Crystal Geyser always did the trick.

They both exhaled simultaneously, reeling from the intensity of Aiden's words. Then they looked at each other for a moment and the tension was lifted.

Flack smiled first, rubbing his eyes, chipping away the wall of encumbrance.

"Shit happens you know." Aiden said quietly, and took a sip of her tea, feeling her parched throat rejuvenated and pampered.

Flack almost choked on his tea from laughter, "Danny is rubbing off on you."

Aiden blushed slightly, but Flack wasn't attentive enough of his surroundings as he stared at the bottom of his mug to notice. Aiden quickly turned to her pallid expression once again, waiting for Flack to say something else; he seemed to be on a verge of another confession.

But all Flack wanted to do at this point was sleep, and he punctuated this by an involuntary yawn. Aiden immediately reciprocated, "Let's call it a night. I'll drop you off tomorrow at home before work to get a change of clothes."

Flack nodded, suddenly tiredness was seeping into his bones, and he had no energy to neither protest nor decline the invitation politely. Aiden took his hand and led him to her guest bedroom. Half sleepily Flack listened to her until she kissed him on the cheek, said good night and closed the door.

You brought this on yourself
and it's high time you left it there
Lie here and rest your head
and dream of something else instead

The first rays of the morning sun peaked through the horizon of New York City. Aiden woke up feeling refreshed and optimistic. Having helped Flack the night before, she felt like she'd turned over a new leaf in her mentality as well. It felt good that even Flack, who was sometimes so cynical and preoccupied that he didn't seem human at all.

She wasn't sure if he was ready to hear it from her last night, but she thought this situation he had to encounter was to remind him of his emotions, hidden so carefully behind a façade of manliness.

Perhaps, with a clear head and a cup of coffee they could resume their conversation and possible come to a better resolution then the night before. With these thoughts in mind, Aiden rolled over and felt something crumble underneath her body.

She pulled out an orange piece of paper from the pillowcase; it looked like her own stationery.

It read:


Thank you so much for taking my drunken, dumb ass in last night. I seriously owe you one. Look, I understand that I come off as a hardass cynical bastard sometimes, but maybe this case was a remind of how even I can get burned and that I'm not invincible. At least as far as my loyalties and friendships go. For a long time, Moran was my one motivation and mentor, he trained me and I attribute a lot of my 'acquired skills' to him. That's why it hits home you know and I definitely wouldn't have gotten through it without you. Thank you for being there, and I felt like I shouldn't burden you with a ride home. Hopefully for us I'll see you today, that's slightly unfortunate for NY because that means another crime has been committed.

Love, Don.

It's all right to make mistakes
you're only human
Inside everybody's hiding something
Take time to catch your breathe and choose your moment

Despite the morbid ending of the letter, Aiden couldn't help but smile.

She picked up her phone and dialed Flack's number; he picked up on the second ring,


"You my friend have a lot of explaining to do." She informed him teasingly.

"I see you got the letter." Flack's tone was sheepish.

"Damn straight, and I think there's a cup of coffee with your name on it in my kitchen, so get your ass back here when you're done."

"Yes Ma'am."

"Don't ma'am me you're older than me."

"Yea well, sometimes you don't need to be older to be intimidating."

"Oh so Detective Flack is actually admitting a weakness."

"Yeah, surprise, surprise and I'm not even drunk."

"Good, let's not have any more of those escapades. I'll see you soon."

"Yeah, soon."


Don't slide...