Disclaimer: I don't own any characters mentioned here, I'm not even going to damage them. Well, not in any way I don't fix when I'm done.
A/N: Really, how often do we actually sit back and realize what we have? Do we just get depressed at what we're missing and forget about what we've been given? Sometimes the smallest thing is all it takes to put our heads back on right...
It was a quarter after two when Jim Reed pulled into his driveway, and for a moment, he couldn't even drag his tired, aching body out of the driver's seat toward the front door. He simply laid his head back against the seat, and drew in a deep breath. His entire body was sore, and even drawing in the deep breath caused waves of pain to radiate from his head to his feet. A deep ache had settled into his legs and feet, like he had fallen victim to the torture he had heard of where they beat on the soles of a person's feet. He couldn't imagine that hurting any worse than he was hurting right then. The muscles in his shoulders and back had clenched tightly, screaming at him when he tried to move them, throbbing when he didn't. His head pounded in rhythm with his heart, even the muscles in his hands hurt.
Jim wasn't injured, or hurt in the usual sense. He had sustained no actual injury, and even the fall he took when he took down the 211 suspect earlier that day couldn't be blamed for the fact that he felt like someone had beaten him with a meat tenderizer. What was causing him so much pain at the moment was nothing but plain, simple exhaustion. It had been a rough shift, to put it mildly, and he had taken the brunt of it. Five 211s, two 459s, the fight between four teenagers that he had taken a punch to the abdomen in, 12 arrests over all, and a mountain of paperwork to match. It was Pete's first day back from a nasty bout of the flu, and Jim had taken it upon himself to make sure his partner had taken it easy. Unfortunately, in the process, he had worked himself to a state of pure misery.
Finally, he managed to drag himself out of the car. During the drive home, the adrenaline and worry for Pete had faded, leaving only the aches and pain in its place. He simply wanted to sleep for a year. What had he been thinking? That he was Supercop, going to save the world all by himself? And where had Pete been? Why had he let his young partner take all the abuse? And now what? It was almost three in the morning, would be by the time he got to sleep. Then Jean and Jimmy would be up at six, and he would have to start over even more exhausted.
He headed up the steps onto the porch, looking at the dark house. His shift had ended over two hours ago, and at midnight Jean had been waiting up. At twelve-thirty, he had called, telling her that he was buried in paperwork and to go on to bed. He would be there when he got there. He was a little bit short with her, but he was tired. She would understand. Even though he would still be tired when they got up, he would try to make it up to her.
There had been a time when he would slip inside, into the bed, wake her up, and make it up to her tonight. He was 26 years old, and it depressed him that he was too tired to even consider it. Before going in, he sat down hard in the porch swing, muffling a yell as something sharp bit into his hip. Digging beneath him, he pulled out a well-worn toy police cruiser. Jimmy must have left it there.
Tears filled his eyes as he looked at the toy car. It had been his when he was younger, and when Jimmy had gotten old enough he had pulled it out of the attic for him. The little boy had gotten so excited when he had given it to him. His little body just shook with excitement. "Just like you, Daddy! Just like you!"
Just like that, his bad mood broke as the tears started to fall. Here he was complaining, and his life was dangerously close to perfection. He had the job he loved most of the time, a wonderful wife who loved him even through he routinely put her through Hell with his job. He had a beautiful, perfect little boy who thought his daddy hung the moon. He had a good friend who's well-being was worth every bit of physical misery he felt at the moment.
Guilt flooded him at that moment. How could he have ever allowed himself to give into the depression that had tried to drown him? He had everything he had ever dreamed of. Family, friends (including one he counted as the latter), the ability to help people every day. People lived and died everyday with less than he had been given.
He pulled himself to his feet, surprised to realize the pain that had almost brought him to his knees earlier had faded to simply a dull throb. He raised his arms over his head to stretch his tired body, and saw a rare sight over LA. The full moon was clearly visible through the streetlights. A smile crossed Jim Reed's face. "Thank you," he whispered heavenward. "I'm sorry, and thank you."
He turned quickly and unlocked the door, suddenly unable to wait to crawl into bed beside his wife.