One more Chance: 5.13 Deleted Scene by DD Agent

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, settings etc of The Closer, I'm just playing with them!

He was exercising viciously on the rowing machine, pushing his body to the limit. Push yourself back, pull the cord taut. Pull yourself forward, stretch your arms outward. Quicker you do it, the quicker you row. Faster pace, the sound of blood pumping in his ears. Sweat was trickling down his back, but he didn't care. He had a goal, he had a mission. As the timer ticked over into ten minutes, he put the cord back in its place, and let himself breathe.

"Going at quite a pace there Chief."

He wanted to know who the intruder to his thoughts was. Will Pope looked up to see Captain Raydor standing near him, smiling at his show on the rowing machine. She was wearing the customary LAPD t-shirt and shorts of gym wear, and an old pair of trainers. He smiled weakly at her, and nodded.

"Captain. Haven't seen you down here for a while."

"Could say the same for you, you used to come down regularly. I had to change my time - board meetings are a killer."

He nodded at her, not sure what she wanted him to say, if anything. Will took a gulp of his water bottle, downing half of it in one go. He set the timer again, and steeled himself for another ten minute row. New target, beat the old one, become better.

Next to him, Sharon Raydor settled down on the machine, and set her own timer. Stretching her legs, Will tried to avoid staring at them. He knew that beneath the suits and high heels there was quite a body there, but he had tried to avoid being too obvious. He knew from past experience that relationships with co workers never ended well, even if it was just a sexual one.

"Race you?"

"If you can keep up." She grinned at him and they both started, moving back and forth on the machine.

They had been going for a few minutes, each taking a gaze at their opponents screen to see how they were shaping up. Every once and a while Will would look at Sharon's toned legs, and she would stare at the muscles in his arms. About three minutes in, Sharon started a conversation.

"How did the gang case go?"

He smirked. "You following Major Crimes now Captain?"

"Like baseball."

While she was distracted for a moment he ploughed ahead, and she struggled to catch up to his broad strokes. "Yeah it went okay. You heard about the girl right?"

Sharon nodded, and sped up faster. Rape was one of those subjects that affected every police officer. They continued rowing, the stereo in the Gym playing some obnoxious pop song that Will half recognised from his kids CD collection.

"I hope it didn't affect the Narcotics investigation too much," Sharon smiled, rolling her eyes at the subject of Chief Johnson. However, Pope didn't smile. His eyes went dark, and his pace on the machine sped up. When he replied to her, his tone was bitter.

"Investigation went down the toilet, all their work, all the knowledge, the contacts. We lost it all."

They continued on rowing for a few minutes, his pace furious while hers was slow and steady. He knew she was watching him, waiting for something more to happen. She would be waiting a long time, there was nothing more to say.

Their race concluded, and it was obvious that Pope was the winner. He left Raydor sitting on the machine, not wanting to talk to her or anyone. He left the Gym and went straight into the locker room. On the bench opposite his locker he put his head in his hands, the adrenalin still pumping round his body. He was finding it difficult to breathe, difficult to sort his head out and it was making him feel worse, like he was drowning.

"Chief?"

He looked up to see Sharon in the men's locker room, concern on her face. He couldn't deal with her concern, didn't want her pity. She shouldn't even be in the men's locker room anyway.

"I'm fine Captain. You're in the wrong locker room."

She was stubborn, he knew it, so he wasn't surprised when she didn't leave. He glared at her, but it must be as awful as the rest of his working practices as it didn't move her at all. So they just remained like statues, until she spoke up.

"You know you did the right thing, don't you?" she said, and Will looked at her dispassionately. He wasn't sure what that was anymore.

"Oh yeah, I know I did the right thing. We ruined a narcotics investigation, put several officers' lives at risk and destroyed any chance of helping drug running in that area to find some rapists that actually killed each other."

She began to leave, realising that trying to talk to him wasn't a good idea. But his voice grew soft, and Sharon twisted to hear what he had left to say. "The Chief isn't happy. He's tired of perfectly good investigations being ruined because Major Crimes have to come first. He's tired of inter departmental anger, and outer departmental distrust. And he's tired of me."

Sharon didn't know what to say. She knew she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that he shouldn't be telling her this, but she was the only person there. The only person who might listen. It was quite a place to be in, but she didn't move, didn't say a word. All she had to do was listen.

"Chief has given me until the new year to shape myself up as a decent police officer, to shape up this department and to lose my 'connection' to Chief Johnson that means I can't act as a decent Assistant Chief to any other department."

She coughed slightly. Everyone knew the rumours, that back in D.C. Chief Johnson and Chief Pope had been involved in an affair. What wasn't generally talked about was how the Chief still seemed to treat Johnson better than anyone else, give her more breaks. Sharon had always suspected that they may still be carrying on their affair, or that Pope may still be carrying a torch for her. It seemed that the Chief thought so too.

He raised his eyes to meet hers. "It's more than you wanted to hear, I'm sorry Captain. If you could not repeat that, I'd be very grateful. Guess it's another of my faults huh, not learning when to keep subordinates as subordinates."

Will opened his locker, pulling it open to block her from view. It was her cue to leave, to leave him to his self loathing. He drank the remainder of his water bottle, and wiped the back of his mouth. He got out his towel, intending to take a shower. When he pulled back his locker door, Captain Raydor was still there.

"Captain? Is there something I can do for you?"

She raised her hand and rested it on his upper arm, squeezing gently. He looked down at where her hand was pressed, and then back at her. She removed her hand as quickly as she had placed it there, and blushed slightly.

"You're a good cop, Chief. Ever want to talk, or need a helping hand, my office is always open."

He had his shower, washing the sweat off his skin. As he walked past Major Crimes, he saw Captain Raydor waiting for a lift to take her down to the parking garage. She was dressed back in her suit and heels, like he was back in his own suit. He gave her a nod, and she gave him a smile.

He felt much better, having someone on his side.