Author's Notes: Jules' my favourite character? Say what? A brief insight into the life of our favourite SRU female member. Spoilers up til 1x09: Planets Aligned.
Disclaimer: I don't own Flashpoint.
So Much More
Jules Callaghan does badass really well.
It started off as a defense mechanism from when she was just a little girl because her three older brothers wouldn't stop picking on her, and her father didn't give in to her whining or those practiced tears falling from her brown eyes (all the other girls did that on the playground! she'd come to protest in years to come).
When young Jules found out that those acts always backfire when it came to her father, she tried another tactic. That's when JJ, Jim and John found out that she wasn't going to scramble to the top bunk and scream her lungs off, and so they backed off.
And that's how badass came to be.
As a young boy, Jerry Callaghan had never really seen Jules as an older sister as much as he had seen her as a brother. Well, an older girly sister, at the very least. She's always played rough with the boys, always rolled around in dirt with them and threw punches and kicks like the best of them. When games of Cops and Robbers were in play, Jules even always got her way and got to be the cop.
Not that the other girls on the playground protested that arrangement; they were more interested in being the damsels in distress that Jules had to rescue anyway.
On Growing Up
There's one part of her life that she doesn't like discussing. That's her high school years. Not that she can go back in time to change it, but even if she can she won't anyway. It's shit like that that shapes you, she knows. Except, she's going to be a happy camper if those years can be buried forever and forgotten.
Growing up with four boys and a man in the house does things to you. For a young girl on the cusp of womanhood, the only logical thing she could think of was to rebel.
She was on the journey of self-discovery but it was kind of difficult, if she's going to be honest with herself. At the ripe old age of 14, all of her girlfriends were getting to be interested in make-up, impressing the boys that had been annoying all their lives. Manicures, mall trips… Jules didn't like them at all, but she thought that if she wanted to fit in, she was going to do like Romans do.
If there's one defining thing that Jules is, no matter how old she is, it's that she never backs down from a challenge.
"I dare you to drive that car. 140 sweet kilometers an hour down that road. Two hundred dollars."
When Danny Meyers said that to her, she didn't even bat her lashes before she accepted it.
It wasn't until she had to roll out of the car because she was hitting a dead end and suffer some major sprains and cuts that she admitted to herself that it was probably the stupidest thing she'd ever agreed to do.
It didn't make things better that the boys were all pansy enough to run away or deny any involvement, and Jules was the only one left to clean up the mess that she'd made.
Everything has a silver lining though.
She was shaken after rolling out of that car, but she wouldn't show it on the surface. Showing her emotions meant showing her weakness, and she sure didn't need that RCMP officer reading her like an open book.
Casting her a doubtful glare, Jules slid into the back of the squad car, thinking that she was going to have to be arrested or something, and her Dad is going to throw a fit, like the time he did when she got home all drunk and smelling like it.
Seven hours later with the sun peeking upon them, they were in the same position, still talking. For the first time in her life, Jules felt exposed, yet secure at the same time.
"You can do so much more. You can be so much more."
And Jules believed her.
On Her Career
It starts off simple enough.
Straight after her graduation from the University of Alberta, she signed up for the RCMP. Being on the track team in college is certainly a big asset, as with the knowledge on how to shoot a gun already programmed in her muscle memory.
The 24-week cadet-training program was something else though. Having to watch the 32-member troop shrink down to 27 in a matter of weeks and to withstand the mounted pressure of perhaps the longest job interview ever was nerve-wrecking, but the day she finally got to don the Red Serge uniform and march along with her troop during graduation day was one of the proudest days in her life.
She spent almost three years as a RCMP officer, attaining the rank as a 1st Class Constable and after days' worth of research, she knew that the rank, coupled with her skills and profile ensured her a shot at the Strategic Response Unit in the Toronto Police Service. It wasn't that her job scope at the "O" Division wasn't fulfilling enough, but she felt like she needed a new challenge to rise up to.
Even the act of joining the SRU was going to be a challenge enough – each year, over five hundred cops from all the divisions in the country are going to vie for just two or three openings in the unit. That's what drew her in the most; she's not going to lie.
Jules knows what her strengths are. Her marksmanship is great, her small stature allows her the grace and agility that a lot of other cops lack and she understands people on a deeper level, allowing her to connect with them.
If she thought the weeks of physical training were tough, she was sorely mistaken. At least when the training was going underway, she had something to do. Waiting is not a standard operating procedure for her and she grew so antsy for the results of her background check and application to the SRU.
When the conditional offer was extended to her, she almost cried out in tears of joy.
Female members of the SRU teams weren't unheard of, but she's prepared to leave a legacy of her own, following the same motto she's lived with since she was young, and more importantly, she's determined not to let herself down; determined not to let her father down.
That shouldn't be so hard.
On Team One
These guys are her family. Or as close to a second family that she'll ever get - five years together does that to someone. There's an affection that doesn't quite align to what she feels for her father and her brothers, but they match in intensity. Team members have come and gone but the bond that they've struck up will never be dissolved, and that's the magic of being like family.
Sarge is like another father to her, always looking out for her well-being and lets her know when he's proud of her. Not that she's looking for validation, because she's not, but it's… nice. An affirmation that the job she thought was well-done was, indeed, well-done.
When it comes to work, Ed was the hard-balling, no-nonsense older brother and she appreciates that. And then he's poking his nose into her business on their off-time. Which is often, and even though she gets exasperated with his antics, she knows he does it all out of affection. She knows everything he feels when he pulls the trigger and she connects on that level with him.
Wordy loves his wife and kids and by extension, she relates to his adorable children like they're her nieces too. She's not even a romantic by a long, far shot but she feels appeased seeing someone on the team so happy with his spouse and having a shot at his happy ending, because apparently that's definitely not part of the pattern of how things go.
She isn't fooled by Lewis' cool demeanor and understands the childhood he grew up from, and on some level she thinks she knows how it feels like, on a much lesser scale. There's always a more deep-rooted sentiment between the both of them and the weight of the silence always carries more than if everything is laid out on the table, and she respects that code with Lou.
Spike reminds her of Jerry, in the way that her younger brother can make her want to tear her hair out. In the best way possible, she means. She finds it comforting that his sense of humour is somewhat the glue of some of the issues amongst the team. She can count on him on making her laugh, on picking her up when she's down, and she thinks that if she's the kind of girl who's easily charmed by good looks, wit and a cheerful disposition, then Spike must be the greatest catch of all time. And that's why she's always sneakily hooking him up with her friends. As she sees it, they ought to be the ones thanking her.
And then there's Sam. She knows she'll be fooling herself if she keeps insisting that she isn't interested in the rookie, but she also knows that nothing can possibly come out of it. She's worked way too hard her entire career just to fuck it all up by displaying the unprofessionalism that she loathes, so she tries to keep her distance. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Except it doesn't work when she finds herself gravitating towards him after they're let off from duty and they're catching happy hour together or sharing the enormous burger, and right before she sleeps each night, she wonders what she's going to make out of it. She always reaches the same conclusion before she dozes off: Nothing.
On That First Time
The first time she fired a shot and actually ended someone's life with that bullet, she went back to the headquarters and spent a good hour in the bathroom throwing up and splashing cold water on her face to stop herself from shaking.
She thought she had been prepared; all the prior psyche evaluations, everything else she had been trained for, but the SIU interrogation that followed didn't make things easier at all.
Sarge pulled the visibly-shaken constable aside to tell her that she'd saved lives, that she had no choice because the man would have started shooting at innocent civilians. Those are things out of the handbook that she's pored over so many times before but wasn't comforting her at all right at that moment.
So she called Jim and choked out her dilemma for him.
"Did you think you were going to hand out candy to little kids?" The level-headed lawyer asked her, not in an unkind manner.
"No, but. Jimmy, I killed him. I know what I was getting into, I just – it's hard to grasp the fact, you know? I mean, it's the right thing, lives were saved –"
And that was when she realized what she'd known all along: the right thing is often the hardest thing to do, but if she is going to do the right thing, then she's going to suck it up and put her best foot forward, like she has her entire life. No qualms, no looking back, no getting squeamish.
It's kind of like wearing an emotional Kevlar vest, you know? Absorbing the impact of the blow. It's kind of poetic for her.
On The Lesser Known Evils of Her Job
She loves almost every part of her job. The adrenaline pumping, the mind working to put together the best possible plan so that everyone gets out safely; the whole nine yards of the fact that she's serving her country with pride and dignity.
What she doesn't love: the yearly psych evaluations.
How do you even get a computerized score out of questions with answers that are neither right nor wrong? And then there's the 'would you rather' questions. Would you rather paint or fix your garden? Would you save five strangers or a sibling?
Would you rather have my pencil in your eye or the back of your skull, sir?
Not that she ever said that outloud to her interviewer. That'll probably cost her her entire career.
So here's the caveat: as candid as she tries to be (missing the mark rather fabulously there, she is aware) she never knows what to answer when she's asked if she likes her mother, and whether she likes her father or mother more.
How do you like someone you've never known past six years of your life, and how much can you compare someone who isn't there to someone you love but can't get along too well with?
Picking guys up isn't a problem. The problem is keeping them: She's never had a steady boyfriend for longer than four months.
It's not her fault, really, she convinces herself.
It's not her fault that she can think of a million other things to do than to listen to the guy of choice rambling on about himself. It's not her fault that she finds them so goddamned boring or – god forbid – too clingy. It's certainly not her fault either that she doesn't pick up her phone calls promptly. Hey, being a cop takes up a lot of her time and she doesn't have an abundance of that essence to waste, alright?
Despite all that, she has her own checklist of qualities the guys she dates must fulfill.
She wants excitement. She wants someone who matches her professional passion and intensity. Someone who understands that work always comes first for her and that her career is the most important thing in her life and that it's highly unlikely that her priorities might change, and someone who doesn't expect her to call in every single day to check in.
Personal space – A valuable concept if any.
Someone should write a damned handbook about it. She'll endorse that like white on rice in no time at all.
On The Future
Frankly speaking? She likes systematic. She likes when things fall in place the way they're supposed to. She likes being in control of her own actions and thoughts and not having to fight off the strays.
It isn't a huge surprise to the others that one of her favourite places to be at is the firing range.
The gun roars, but she's prepared for the recoil and stands steadily, her hand on the trigger as she presses down on it in quick succession. Bang, then bang bang bang again. The earmuffs don't stop the shots from thundering within the enclosed range but she doesn't stagger.
As she hits the recall button, she narrows her eyes at the target. Her excellent marksmanship is something she holds close to her heart for but today, her groupings are a little strange, though it still makes for good target practice.
Displeased with that, in one swift motion, she picks up the Glock again and pushes on the trigger once more. The force creates a perfect, uneven hole by ripping apart the intact spaces between her previous hits and she smirks at no one in particular.
Well, that worked out well.