Hey Guys - just a couple of things straight off.
1. I don't own Flashpoint. If I did ... I wouldn't be dying of curiosity over what's going to happen in the next freaking season. I joined Twitter to follow the Flashpoint Writer. Never thought I'd stoop that low. Twitter. Really. Twitter. It's sad.
2. I don't usually do one-shots. I don't have the kind of mad skills necessary to condense plot, ideas, characters into one chapter. So this is kind of an experiment for me. Also never dabbled into the song-fic realm. It's always been just a lot to hazardous imo. But ... whatever. Brancing out.
3. Flashbacks in italics, Lyrics in Bold; First flashback is about 3 months before the rest of the story, the others are earlier in the week.
It was 1:30AM on a Friday night in mid July and Julianna Callaghan was painting her living room. She could think of a million and a half other things she'd rather be doing. But it had to be done.
She dribbled an eggshell white paint into a large plastic tray, watching the spongy orange material soak up the thick liquid. It was mindless work, rolling paint onto walls – that's probably why she hated it so much. It gave her too much time to think. She turned on the radio, skipping to a rock station. She wanted something harsh and foul and gritty to match her mood. She felt a surge of satisfaction at the hot and angry guitar solo that erupted into the too-silent room. Yes. That was much better.
She watched as the sea-blue disappeared under a coat of white. And a part of her ached.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. She cursed herself. Stupid for even caring.
It couldn't be helped. It was inevitable. She'd known from the start that it would happen. He wasn't hers anymore. She doubted he ever had been.
The paint grew thin on the roller, leaving nothing but ghostly streaks on the wall. She dropped the roller back in the tray to recoat it with paint. Realizing her mistake a second too late, her hands flew out, missing the roller's wooden handle. Paint spattered across her legs, chest and hands. She groaned inwardly, vainly searching about the room for a rag to wipe her paint-slicked hands.
The music shifted, the angry tempo fading into the more mellow tones of No Doubt.
You and me
We used to be together
Everyday together always
I really feel
That I'm losing my best friend
I can't believe
This could be the end
It looks as though you're letting go
And if it's real
Well I don't want to know
Jules clenched and unclenched her paint-splattered hands. She reached for the stereo, suddenly craving the silence she'd rejected earlier. She pulled up short, torn between getting paint on her radio and her need for the song to end.
It was her own bloody fault really.
She was the one who'd encouraged him to go out – date other people. She'd been the one, as a matter of fact, that had practically pushed him into Rachel's arms in the first place.
It had been a long call – a routine drug bust had veered suddenly south when Team One had realized, moments too late, that the drug dealer's son, an twelve-year old child, was sleeping on the couch in the same room his father was cutting coke in. He'd caught a bullet to the chest in the crossfire and Spike had taken two in his vest.
They'd sullenly crowded around a table in the nearly empty tavern, staring gloomily into their glasses. No word back from the hospital over whether the boy would make it, and with his fate looming over them, they couldn't take any great joy in having pulled a minion of one of the most influential cartels off the street.
"Can I get you anything else." The pretty blonde waitress asked, leaning over the table, balancing a tray of empties on her denim-clad hips. Her jeans were so tight they looked girdled on, Jules thought maliciously. She sent Sam a particularly inviting smile. Beneath her meticulously applied makeup she was gorgeous – a face dominated by wide brown eyes that tilted up at the corner and high cheekbones that slanted down to full lips. Jealous curdled in the pit of Jules' stomach. She bit back the urge to bare her teeth. The woman's whiskey coloured eyes met hers over the wooden table, inquisitively. Jules pushed back from the table slightly, angling towards Spik, indicating the path was clear. Girl politics. She thought with contempt.
"I think we're good thanks." She heard him reply. He hadn't bothered to even met her gaze – hadn't bothered to skim his eyes down her endless legs or her bountiful rack which she so prominently displayed as she leaned in to retrieve their empties. Her name tag, pinned strategically low on her ample chest, read Savannah.
"Well. If you do…" She said. Her voice was thick and husky – a mix of sex and mystery that Jules had never bothered to master. She strutted away on heels that would have given any regular woman vertigo.
It was nauseating.
Wordy was the first to call it a night, eager to get home to his wife and daughters, with Ed and Parker coming in a close second and third. The rest of the team settled their bills and headed for the door. The air was surprisingly chilly for April, a cool breeze sweeping through the dead street. Leah waved a quick goodbye and, having been promised a ride back to his parents' Woodbridge home, Spike took off after her, leaving Sam and Jules standing outside the bar.
They lingered, neither really sure whether to go or stay.
"Today was messed up." Sam said at last, huffing out a breath as he reached up to shove a hand through his hair.
"Can't argue with that." Jules said lightly.
He looked up the street. "You didn't bring you jeep." It wasn't a question but an observation.
"No. I walked."Jules couldn't help the fluttering in her gut at being alone with Sam. He jammed his hands into his pockets, staring up at the star-less sky.
"Walk you home?" He asked .
"Sam. I'm a police officer for Christ's sake. I don't need you to walk me home."
"It's on the way. I thought you wouldn't mind the company." He glanced over. "Obviously mistaken on that account. Jules. When are we going to go back to normal. We used to be friends. I miss you."
She couldn't deny they'd both danced around the issue for the past few months, alternatively sniping at each other and then palling around like nothing had ever changed.
"I don't know." Jules rubbed weary eyes.
They stood in silence on the curb, each one waiting for the other to make their move. A few of the bar's patrons sauntered past them, heading on to the next pub, the next drink. The night was really only beginning.
"The waitress was pretty." Jules said suddenly.
"I didn't notice." He said, baffled at the sudden turn in the conversation. Jules couldn't deny the surge of joy at his statement. But she quickly squashed that.
"You should go back. Talk to her." She encouraged, forcing herself to look up from the sidewalk to meet his confused gaze. His eyes, caught between blue and green, betrayed his frustration.
"I don't think I want to." He said finally.
"What do you want?" She asked, stalking away. He was too close. She needed space.
"You." He said it so quietly she almost didn't hear. The words – the promise and possibility behind them – made her heart jump in her chest. She wanted him too. She hurt, all the way down to her fingertips, with that greedy, selfish want. "Just you, Jules."
"You can't have me, Sam. We both know that." She said. Her voice was surprisingly clear, resonating in her own ears like a cannon. "We've been down that road before. Things are better as they are, Sam. Go back inside. Flirt with the pretty waitress. Buy her a beer."
Sam rubbed his brow, shrugged a shoulder. He supposed the numbness he felt now was better than the anger and the hurt he'd felt the first time she'd rejected him. He'd ripped himself bare, once more, and as before she'd turned him away. He supposed she couldn't help that he was in love with her.
"Okay. All right Jules. Goodnight." Sam spoke slowly, turning back to the bar.
If only she'd know what she'd started. If only. Jealousy chewed on Jules. She frantically wiped her paint-slicked hands against the fabric of her t-shirt desperate to shut off the music. If she could just have silence again. Hand pausing over the off-button she froze. Who was she kidding? Thinking of him was the dictionary definition of inevitable.
I know just what you're saying
So please stop explaining
Don't tell me cause it hurts
I know what you're thinking
I don't need your reasons
Don't tell me cause it hurts
Jules was late for the team workout. Again. Second time this week. She was never late. Ed was going to have her ass. She sped around the last corner and slammed into a solid, male body.
"Shit." Sam swore as hot coffee slopped down the front of his shirt.
"Oh Crap. Sam. I'm sorry." She said, scrambling back up to her feet. She could hear the roaring laughter of Team One.
"Nice one Jules." Spike called from his stationary bicycle. Leah shot her a sympathetic look
She opened her mouth to shoot a comment back at him – after all, Spike was far from the master of grace and stealth – when Sam reached for the hem of his shirt peeling the damp fabric away from his body.
"It burns." He muttered under his breath, tugging it off.
The retort she'd been preparing for Spike died on her tongue.
Light scratches raked up the centre back and small white marks the shape of tiny crescent moons were dug in around his shoulder blades. Tiny little indents that could only be made by one thing. Only she was close enough to see them – those intimate markings. The rest of the team continued their stretches and warm ups, oblivious.
Jules spun blindly, rapping her shin hard against the pedals of a bike. "Fuck." She muttered. "Shit."
Sam frowned at her cocking his head slightly as he studied her. He looked baffled. "I'm going to go grab another shirt." Sam jogged back to the dress room.
"You good Jules?" Parker asked quietly. "You seem a little off."
"I'm fine." She said, her voice bright as she tapped in a program for the bike. She chose a grueling mountain route that would get her heart pumping. She tried to focus on the burn as she launched into her routine, to push the image out of her head. But it stuck, lodged there, a prickly ball of anger and something Jules couldn't quite identify.
There was an insistant rap at Jules' front door. She cursed, surveying her progress. She'd only covered a quarter of one wall. She hated the white already. She should have known. She'd always hated white. It was too sterile. To hospital-like. But she'd just wanted to strip away that stupid blue. She wanted bury the memories of painting it with Sam – the playful banter, the way the paint specked across his face. The long hours they'd spent in bed afterwards. She hated that every time she looked at the colour she thought of him. She hated that it was the same stupid blue as his eyes.
The rap persisted.
Jules sighed, crossing over the plastic traps, crinkling beneath her bare feet. She stepped into the hallway and froze.
Well, they can be inviting
But some are altogether
As we die, both you and I
With my head in my hands
I sit and cry
Growing up with four brothers, Jules had become extremely adept at eaves-dropping. She'd honed it done to an art by high school – but she'd also learned that sometimes there were things you didn't need to hear. Things that you shouldn't hear.
So when she'd strolled into the men's locker room on Monday Morning, following through on Sarge's request to round up Wordy and Sam for a team brief, she'd known. She should have just called out – asked if they were decent or ragged on them for taking so long to get ready. She should have. But she didn't.
"Saw you at the Park last night. With the blonde girl. She's cute." Wordy joked.
"Yeah. Savannah. She's a sweetheart. She wanted to see the Canada Day fireworks. Should have figured you and Shell would be there with the girls." Sam replied.
Jules felt like she'd been punched in the gut. Your choice – she reminded herself. It was your choice.
"Careful, Samtastic. Evenings at the park falls into the category of a real date. Not really hook-up material."
"Yeah well. Vannah's not really a hook-up at this point." Sam responded uncomfortably.
"Really? How long have you been seeing her?" Wordy asked, snapping his locker shut and leaning on it non challantly
"About three months I guess?" Sam answered.
"In Samtastic time that's a freaking century. Jeez. I didn't even know you were dating anybody." Wordy clapped a hand on Sam's shoulder. "Congratulations. When are we going to get to meet her?"
"I don't know. She's been asking about you all. But I … thought I should, uhm. I thought I should wait to run it by … you guys first." Sam fumbled. Jules stomach gave a sick churn. He wanted the team to meet her – this Savannah. But he hadn't brought her by, hadn't had her meet up with them for a beer after, hadn't so much as mentioned his new girlfriend. It didn't make sense. Spike brought around his beaus so frequently Ed had started giving them numbers.
She closed her eyes and heaved a sigh as it struck her. It was because of her – Julianna Callaghan. He didn't want to hurt her. He didn't want things to be awkward. He'd moved on. He and Savannah. The blonde-haired waitress from the bar. The one she'd practically thrust him at that night. He'd offered her his heart and, when she'd tossed it back at him, he'd given it to somebody else. He'd moved on and she hadn't.
She pressed a hand against her stomach, urging it to stop clenching.
"Do you think you're in love, Sammy?" Though his tone was light and playful, the question was real. Jules spinning head ground to a halt. She could hear every slight noise - the pounding of her heart, the slight huff of her breath. No - she caught herself. She couldn't know. She shouldn't know. That was his business. She reached behind her yanking the door open and quickly jamming it shut. She strode forward loudly into the room, rounding the bank of lockers that separated the entrance from the change area. She smiled brightly – too brightly to Sam's mind.
"Hurry up guys. Sarge wants us in the briefing room. You guys sure take a long time. Longer than Leah and I combined. You could have sewn a circus tent by now." She joked lightly. She rounded on her heel, hurrying back out.
Wordy jogged after her but Sam froze for a minute. He lifted a hand to run through his hair and wondered just how long she'd been standing there.
"Sam what are you doing here?" She asked, baffled. She fought the urge to brush her hair back from her face. She knew it was a mess – tugged back ruthlessly so it wouldn't fall in her face as she painted. She glanced down. She'd smeared paint across the old worn t-shirt. It wasn't how she wanted to look when he'd come to tell her that he was dating somebody new. She wasn't particularly vain, but it wouldn't have killed him to come by when she was fully dressed in something that didn't look like something left, sad and rejected, at the bottom of the lost and found box of a junior high school.
"It's almost 2 AM." She said, glancing down at her watch.
"Yeah. I was just walking home and saw the light on. I thought we should have a talk." He shuffled his feet – something she knew he only did when he was nervous.
Jules thought about refusing, but bit back on that nasty streak and stepped aside so he could enter. She wished he would just go away. She didn't want to hear about him or her or Savannah. She was just tired. She just wanted to be alone.
I know just what you're saying
So please stop explaining
Don't tell me cause it hurts (no, no, no)
I know what you're thinking
I don't need your reasons
Don't tell me cause it hurts
"What is it Sam?" She asked crossing her arms.
He glanced over her shoulder. Frowned. "Your re-painting?" He asked looking back at her. She couldn't' quite meet his gaze.
"Yeah." She shrugged a shoulder.
"It's white." He pushed past her, striding into the half-blue, half-white living room. She hated to admit it but the white looked like a cancerous growth, spreading over the deep blue.
"So?" She asked defensively.
"You hate the colour white." He said scratching his head.
She scowled, even though she'd thought the same thing only moments before.
"I needed change." She crossed her arms.
"Sure. But a change would be something orange. Something given some dumbass name like Tuscan Twilight or Dawn at Damascus or something." He patted the still-blue wall. "I remember painting this – we got paint everywhere."
The memory was raw on her angry nerves. She reached down, picked up the roller. She had to keep her hands busy. Her mind busy.
"What do you want Sam?" Jules asked.
"You asked me that before." Sam mused, watching her deftly roll more paint onto the roller.
She straightened, applying the roller to the wall, covering more blue. They both watched for a moment in silence. Sam tucked his hands into his pockets to stop himself for grabbing her and shaking her. She was too damn stubborn for her own good.
"I couldn't give you what you want." Jules responded mechanically. She still refused to turn around and look at him. Couldn't she at least look at him when she was stomping on his heart?
"Wouldn't." He couldn't' help himself.
He got what she wanted. She stopped rolling and turned to look at him, eyes cold. "Couldn't. Wouldn't. It comes down the same thing in the end, Sam."
He thought it over a minute. Screw it.
"I came here to tell you that …" He started.
"Don't." Jules shook her head, turning back to the wall. She slopped paint on it, rolling over the same small square patch. "I don't want to hear."
Sam frowned. No. He had something to say and she'd damned well better listen. He stalked forward, ripping the roller from her hands and tossing it down on the tarp. Pain seeped out, pooling out in a white puddle.
"I already know about her Sam. You don't need to tell me or ask me permission or anything. " She huffed out a breath. "I really need to get back to painting."
"What are you talking about Jules?" Sam asked, genuinely confused.
"You came by to tell me about Savannah right? That's why you're here." Jules' eyes narrowed.
"No. Well. Yes and no." Sam rubbed a hand over his furrowed brow. "Kind of."
"Listen. I'm okay if you want to bring her around to meet the team. I'm okay. But I'm not in the mood to rehash your new lovers tonight Sam. You'll have to excuse me. I'm a little tired." She couldn't help the bite in her tone. She bent to pick up the roller again but as her hands clasped the handles they were covered by Sam's larger, calloused ones.
"Don't." Was all he said.
He stared at her for a full minute. "You think I'm here to tell you I want you to meet Savannah. You and the team." He said slowly. She hated how dumb it sounded on his tongue. She didn't answer.
"You're wrong." Sam said. Her eyes flickered up to meet his.
"What?" She asked.
"You're wrong. I broke up with her tonight."
"Why?" Jules blurted out. She couldn't deny the flood of warmth that surged through her body – the sudden energy that pulsed through her veins.
"Because. I couldn't give her what she wanted or what she needed. She was falling in love with me. And I couldn't love her back, Jules. I wanted to. God knows I tried." He leaned forward, drawing inches closer. She could see the flecks of green around his irises. She stopped breathing.
"You told me you didn't want me. You all but shoved me back into that bar to talk to her. And I thought – hey, maybe if she doesn't love me this girl will. But that isn't fair either. That's not fair to anyone. So, yeah, I wanted to love her. But I couldn't. Because I'm still in love with you." He finished. It was liberating to have it off his chest, but terrifying to know that his future rested in Jules' hand. And he wasn't sure what she was going to say.
"I don't know what to tell you Sam." She murmured.
His heart sank. "Right. Well. It's okay. You don't have to feel the same way. I just thought I should tell you." Christ, he was a moron. He felt like the stupid human being on the planet. How many times had he done this? How many times had he offered her his heart? And yet he kept coming back for more. At least he hadn't begged. He still had his pride.
He turned to leave, unable to bear the weighty silence any longer.
"No. Wait." Jules leapt forward, grabbing his arm and pulling backwards. Her momentum brought him spinning into her with dizzying force. Together they stumbled and fell to the floor. Paint splattered them both as the roller skittered across the tarp.
He pivoted mid turn, taking the brunt of the impact. Landing on his elbow, he cursed – he rolled them, bodies interlocked, until he rested on top of her. She fit perfectly beneath him. And he felt, for the first time in months, home. His mind went happily blank. And then he gritted his teeth as he fought to do the right thing and roll away. But when he looked down Jules shoulders were shaking with silent laughter.
"Funny, Jules. Really funny." He muttered crossly. He was covered in sticky, white paint.
"You've got some right here." She ran the back of one of her fingers down his cheek. "And here." She trailed it up around to his neck, tracing small circles on smooth skin. "Here too" She brushed a hand over his jaw and felt it clench beneath her fingers.
"Jules." His voice had a dangerous, warning tone.
She reached up, yanking him down crushing her mouth to his. At first the kiss was desperate, intense, needy. She hadn't felt that huge passion inside her in months. Hadn't felt that need for somebody. It was like an explosion, rippling through her body from head to toes. It was so familiar and, yet, still exhilarating and new. Slowly they gentled.
Sam buried his face in her hair, breathing in the intoxicating scent that was Jules. "Julianna Callaghan. This had better mean what I think it means." His gruff voice rumbled against her ear.
"It does." She laughed brightly. She pushed at his chest until he rolled off. She sprang to her feet, pulling him along with her.
"I love you." She watched his face light up at the words. "I love you." She said again, wrapping her arms around his neck. "I love you." She murmured again before his lips covered hers once more.
Her grip on his hand tightened as she eased back, grinning wildly. Wordlessly she backed out the room, tugging him by the hand.
"What about the paint?" Sam said, kicking the door shut behind him.
Jules paused a moment. "I've still got some Santorini Sky in the garage. I'll cover up the white tomorrow."
Sam grinned as she led him through her house. He knew she'd hate the white.
"Don't even say it." She warned as they crossed into her bedroom. "Don't even -" but his lips locked on hers, drowning out her warning. She couldn't help but smile.
oh I know what you're thinking
And I don't need your reasons
I know you're good,
I know you're good,
I know you're real good
Oh, la la la la la la La la la la la la
Don't, Don't, uh-huh Hush, hush darlin'
Hush, hush darlin' Hush, hush
don't tell me tell me cause it hurts
Hush, hush darlin' Hush, hush darlin'
Hush, hush don't tell me tell me cause it hurts
AN: Yeah - it's a bit emo-ish. I heard the song on the epic drive into Toronto to drop off my housemate for her flight to Africa and I couldn't help but think that it would be the perfect song for a fiction about them each struggling to move on. At least. Kind of. It's a little angsty - but I'm going to place the blame for that on the influence of my housie's boyfriend. He's been pretty mopey about having to say goodbye and it's defs rubbing off.
Love or Hate let me know.