Title: At the Crossroads
by magique
: The Bill
Pairing(s): Zain/Kristen, implied Zain/Mickey.
Genre/Rating: Drama, Angst/T
Word Count: 497
Summary: In prison, Zain considers the two paths his life could have taken. A bad word, introspection, hallucinations.
Warnings: Some coarse language.
Notes: I'm doing a 100 themes challenge. Basically just for the prompts so I have inspiration to bother writing. And because The Bill's m/m fics are few and far between. And there aren't any Zain/Mickey fics at all. Which I thought was stupid since it's, like, the most obvious pair to slash. Ever.
This is for number 95: Two Roads.

Zain hadn't recognised the crossroads when he reached it. He'd had two roads to choose from: to continue as he was and eventually realise what it was about Mickey Webb that made his stomach twist uncomfortably, or to infiltrate that goddamn nightclub and worm his way into Kristen Shaw's affection before ruining his life (not to mention his career) by falling too far himself.

He hadn't had a clue about what either future could hold. Not until now. Not until he had ten years worth of introspection up his sleeve. He'd been so sure the operation would be a success, so sure he'd be enveloped in glory and, later, so sure he'd made the right decision. Holding Kristen before she was bodily taken away from him, he'd been so sure. But not now.

Looking back, he should have known, should have withdrawn while he could. But he didn't. Because he was in too deep; love had already blurred his vision.

And now it was almost half a year later and this cell was so claustrophobic he couldn't breathe. This wasn't what he signed up for. Jessica was the reason. Everything came back to Jessica. Everything always came back to Jessica. His parents, his colleagues, his friends, everyone he had known, they all loathed him. No distractions, no visitors. No one liked a bent cop.

Jessica sat with him every night in his dreams and told him so. She sifted through his memories and pointed out each mistake he'd made since he lost her. During the day she lingered in the back of his mind, teasing and smiling the way he remembered her from their youth.

Jessica kept him going and broke his heart. Everything always came back to Jessica.

Sometimes she blamed him, the way he blamed himself. She'd hit the walls of his tiny prison and scream and cry and ask why he didn't stop her, why he didn't try hard enough to keep his little sister beside him. And Zain allowed it. Because she was right. He allowed it. Because he'd let her down. He'd let them all down and had no way to show he understood, at last, where he should have stepped back. He had no way to apologise. No visitors.

When he'd first been brought in here, he'd deluded himself. He'd somehow hear from Kristen. Phil would come to see him, if only out of fury. But he'd heard nothing on any front. And he'd gradually come to accept that that would be how it would stay.

Mickey, he'd known from the beginning, would not visit. It had been clear from the distance the blonde had suddenly put in their friendship when he'd found out the exact role Zain was playing while undercover – which had been before the whole truth had come out.

Zain hadn't recognised the crossroads when he reached it. But, lying alone in his prison cell, he did. And he was starting to think he'd chosen the wrong one.