Five things that could have happened to Tommy Gavin-by Karen Dragging himself out of bed at 5am in the morning, shaving, dressing, and all the daily rituals of making himself presentable before he was scheduled to clock in at the fire house, had become almost a robot -like routine.

And it was more than he could manage to not think of the lyrics of The Boss' classic song "Dancing in the Dark" that had been playing almost constantly in the break room ever since it had traveled down through the rumor mill and then be substantiated in fact, that their chief might actually be considering putting in for retirement.

Tommy Gavin dragged himself to the bathroom, brushed his teeth, and while he did, gave his reflection in the mirror above the sink a good hard look; not that he had ever been vain about his appearance, he figured he looked like a tough, no-nonsense, typical New York fire fighter, sure there were a few more fine lines around the edges of his blue eyes. He had acquired a few more dark circles from lack of sleep, a the hairline had begun to recede just a little, but taken all in all, Tommy liked what he saw in the mirror.
The station house was still quiet when he arrived later that morning, and he liked it that way, less hassle to deal with, and first cup of coffee from the dispenser in the break room would be fresh.

From the moment that he walked into the restaurant, he knew without having to be told that his ex-wife would not be at all accommodating about re-renegotiating the terms of their separation, if it had been up to him, which he thought would be about as likely as him being able to afford the fancy cars the DA drove around town, Tommy would have dearly liked the answers to all the questions and scenarios that played through his mind at night, to what special thing he had or hadn't done to make him the fall guy for everything that had gone wrong, and made his life shot to hell and back.

'Maybe if he had the answer to that question, and maybe, just maybe my wife will take him back, he'd get to the husband and father that I have always wanted to be, and not the jerk that his abrasive and let's be honest with ourselves while we're at it.'

Tommy thought about this in the back of his mind as he waited for the hostess to escort him to the booth that had been reserved, and then place the menus on the table before the woman moved back to the front entrance of the restaurant. 'You've been a jerk, rough edges aside, life is about making choices, and you track record in that department has been, to put it mildly, less than stellar.

His wife came in late, looking as beautiful and incredible as ever, and for the first time in a long while, Tommy thought, maybe, just maybe this might actually work, just give us this one night together, without it dissolving into a shouting, fighting match.

"You're looking good," Tommy said aloud, by way of greeting, fumbling around, standing up and offering her an outstretched hand to shake. Like they were casual acquaintances instead of husband and wife.

"I'd say the same of you," she replied, shaking his hand and then took her seat across from him. "Tommy, look, this isn't easy for me, despite what you might think, and to be fair, this isn't easy for either of us.'

"Damn it!" Tommy shouted and then glanced around at the table, wanting to shake something or hit something, he had been sorry about that outburst so early on; maybe he was a jerk, maybe he was overly competitive but he really did want to try and patch things up with her. He loved her, didn't he? Well didn't he?

A few days later, after he had left gone home to stash the packet of legal documents on the crowded coffee table among the other paperwork, glossy magazines and sundry piles on the table surface. Tommy wanted nothing more than to sink back into the cushions of his favorite chair and knock back more than a few bottles of beer.

The Police Chief was a moron, and despite several warnings and the good advice of his friends, there was something about the man that he just could not resist going up and confronting. It was better than beer, if not better than sex, but that was getting ahead of himself.

The week had a been productive one if not in any way, shape or form and one that made much sense to anyone but him. He could tell by the looks and smiles in their eyes. Maybe there was something about the nature of the job they did, maybe he was the one who just screwed up. The job was what mattered, along with the men and the one woman that had joined their unit, that mattered to him. His personal problems, the alcoholism, the domestic issues, and what not aside, the job was the important thing, and looking at his reflection in the mirror late that Friday night, Tommy Gavin came to one conclusion; he can live with that. Life was good, but strange that way.