After Happily Ever After
Pairing: Pete/Other, mentions of Sam/Pete
Spoilers/Keywords: S8, post-Threads specifically, but if you don't know about the Arc Of Pete, it's all a spoiler. Angst, romance, fluff.
Notes: So, you've probably heard these rumors about me being a Sam/Jack shipper who also, wackily-enough, likes Pete. And they're true. So here is fic that comes out of that liking and out of some guilty need to give Our Pete a bit of closure.
Detective Pete Shanahan sat at his desk, staring at his monitor without seeing it. He was supposed to be working on a report and finishing out his latest case, but all he could see were blue eyes filled with pain, wordlessly begging him not to hate her. He remembered the weather in Denver this time of year and that little hole-in-the-wall diner he'd enjoyed going to for lunch.
Pete sighed and hit save. Yep. Definitely time to consider going home.
A cheese danish suddenly appeared on his desk.
Pete looked up to find Andrea, one of the secretaries, standing over his desk, her expression sympathetic. "Uh…thanks?"
"You look like hell, Detective," she replied, her hazel eyes kind. She passed over coffee. "I, uh, heard about you and-you know."
"Oh." Pete looked down at his monitor again. "It was…yeah."
Three weeks after the broken engagement and he was still making the rounds of the station grapevine? Great. Just great.
"Hey." Andrea touched his hand, suddenly shy. "Look, I understand if you tell me to bug off, but can I, I don't know, buy you dinner sometime?"
Pete blinked. "Wait…did you just ask me out?"
She smiled, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "Well, yes. I know this great little Greek place and-"
"But, I just…" He stared at her. "That's not a problem to you?"
She shrugged. "I like you. I'll take my chances." She grabbed a piece of paper from his memo pad and scrawled down her phone number. "Don't think of it as a date, Detective. Think of it as…hummus with a friend. Seven o' clock tomorrow work for you?"
Pete took the paper, looking slightly dazed. "Sure, seven's great. I'll, uh, call you, Andrea."
"See you then, Pete." She smiled again and walked away.
He stared after her for a moment, then shook his head and got back to work, still not concentrating, but suddenly feeling a lot better about it.
Pete stepped out onto the front stoop of his apartment, locking the door behind him. He looked up at the brilliantly starry night sky and idly wondered about Sam. How many of those stars had she been to? Was she on one right now? He fought the sudden urge to wave at the sky.
No hard feelings, Sam. I still want you to be happy.
A honking horn caught his attention and he looked to find Andrea's slightly-battered Camry waiting at the curb. She opened the passenger side window and grinned.
"You coming, Pete? Or do you just want to stare at the sky a little longer?" Her long, light-brown hair was pulled into a slightly softer, more elegant style than she usually wore around the office and her v-necked top revealed a pale throat and an elegantly long neck. Pete swallowed slightly, suddenly struck by the fact that this was a beautiful, engaging woman. And she was waiting for him.
He suddenly smiled and walked over to the car, getting in on the passenger side. "No more stargazing," he said. "I've got plenty of things on Earth to keep my attention."
Andrea flushed faintly, a small, pleased smile crossing her face. "Is that so?"
"Yeah." Pete fastened his seatbelt and looked up at her, still smiling. "Hummus?"
"Hummus." She nodded, chuckling and started the car. "And I hope you like Greek coffee."
"Don't think I've ever actually had Greek coffee before." Although Sam had mentioned something about Dr. Jackson once-Pete clamped down on that thought quickly, wanting to keep the evening pleasant.
"Then you are in for a learning experience, my friend," Andrea replied cheerfully. "And I hope you like it strong."
"I think I can handle it," he answered.
She was smart, funny, and occasionally let out one of the sweetest smiles he'd ever seen. She also appeared to have her own opinions when it came to movies worth watching.
"Jack Ryan. Han Solo. Indiana Jones." Andrea eyed him challengingly across the table as she took a bite of falafel.
"Harrison Ford?" Pete replied, raising an eyebrow.
"Action movies," she countered. "Really good ones."
Pete grinned. "Lara Croft?" he replied, his voice teasing.
A mildly mischievous light filled her eyes. "Only if I can't get Harrison Ford with his shirt off."
"Cop movies?" Pete asked hopefully.
"Bit like a busman's holiday, isn't it?"
"Maybe," Pete replied, slumping a bit. No one ever seemed to want to just give Harry Callahan a chance…
Andrea reached over and touched his hand. He looked up to find her smiling gently. "That's not to say that I don't enjoy the occasional busman's holiday, Pete."
He grinned back. "Have I mentioned that I really, really liked Raiders of the Lost Ark?"
Her smile got that sweet edge to it again. "Is that a fact?"
"Oh yeah." Pete nodded, feeling his insides turn to mush. "It's a great movie. We should see it together sometime."
Andrea laughed. ""Why, Detective Shanahan…you wouldn't be asking me out for another date, would you?"
He shrugged, still grinning. "Kinda thought we were on a roll here. Besides, I know this really great little Chinese place…"
"Is that a fact?" Andrea murmured, taking a sip of water and eying him over the edge of her glass, amusement lurking in her expression. "You like tiramisu?"
"Who doesn't?" Pete frowned slightly. "Isn't that Italian?"
She chuckled. "Just don't tell Mr. Petros that."
"So…you gonna answer my question?" he asked, suddenly realizing that he really, really wanted to get to know this woman better.
"I, uh, kinda thought the answer was obvious," Andrea said, almost shyly reaching out to touch his hand again. Pete swallowed and let his fingers lightly curl around hers.
"Friday night work for you?"
She nodded, not pulling her hand away. "Friday's perfect."
"It's a date." He suddenly realized that the grin on his face was a foolish one and that he didn't particularly care. "You, uh, mentioned tiramisu."
"Yep. I did mention tiramisu." She shot him another quick, sweet smile and signaled their server.
The evening ended, as it had begun, on the front stoop of his apartment.Andrea walked him to the door, her hand firmly in his. They stopped at the door.
"Thanks. This was a lot of fun," she said, giving him that sweet smile again.
"Yeah, I…uh…" Pete swallowed and gently touched her cheek, wordlessly asking permission.
Her smile became even sweeter as she leaned closer, her free hand going to his shoulder. Their lips met in a warm, undemanding kiss that quickly morphed into something warmer and a bit less undemanding. Pete pulled away reluctantly a few moments later, smiling at the slightly dazed look on Andrea's face.
"I…er," she whispered, "…I'll call you. About Friday."
"Looking forward to it," Pete said, his fingertips still against her cheek, tangling with one of the soft wisps of hair that had escaped the rest of her upsweep and curled attractively around her face. "Egg rolls with a friend."
She chuckled, then leaned in to give him another quick, warm kiss, her breath smelling faintly of chocolate and coffee. "A very, very good friend," she amended softly, the words tickling his cheek. "Good night, Pete."
"Good night, Andrea." He watched her walk to her car, a slightly foolish grin on his face, and waved as she got in and drove away. His gaze was drawn back to the stars and this time, he did wave, still smiling a bit.
Be happy for me, Sam. And, wherever you are, take care of yourself.