Sam walked out into the parking lot at the end of his shift, surprised to see his truck parked halfway down the row of cars.
Since he hadn't seen or heard from McNally since he had left the D'Abramo residence, he had assumed that she was still at the hospital.
He had contemplated taking a cab there, figuring that she probably needed someone to keep her company or drive her home.
It seemed odd that she would have returned to the station and not bothered to find him. He saw Nash exiting the station doors and called out to her.
"Nash. Have you seen McNally? She has my keys."
Nash nodded, motioning to the door.
"She'll be out in a minute." Traci waited a moment, considering whether to add anything else. "She's had a rough day. Her witness didn't make it through surgery."
Sam nodded, things starting to make sense.
"Thanks, Traci." He said, waving goodnight to the rookie.
Sam leaned back against the hood of his truck. He closed his eyes and breathed in the cool night air. He was tired but finally starting to feel human again.
"You coming for a drink, pal?" Sam opened his eyes to see Oliver standing before him. He smiled and shook his head no.
A drink was the last thing that he wanted. The pain of his hangover was a little too fresh in his memory. He was pretty sure that he had no interest in drinking...tonight, at least.
Maybe he would even go home and pour all of his alcohol down the sink for good measure.
"You still feeling it?" Oliver asked, obviously still feeling it himself. When Sam raised a sceptical eyebrow, Shaw replied, "Yea yea yea. Hair of the dog my friend it's the only cure." Sam laughed.
"Na. No I'm just waiting for my keys."He glanced towards the station and saw Andy exiting the building. "And you my friend" he said turning back to Oliver, "should go straight home and go to bed."
"Yea. You're taking care of everybody today." Shaw replied his eyes following Sam's earlier gaze. He pivoted on one foot so that his back was to Andy and leaned in towards Sam.
"Are you, uh, waiting for your rookie?"
"No, I told you," Sam said in a low voice, glancing at Andy who was only a few paces away "I'm waiting for my keys."
"Yea, yea, yea, you know, Sammy, training officers and rookies...can't..." Oliver couldn't seem to spit out the rest of his sentence but Sam knew full well what he was getting at. The no relationships between training officers and rookies policy was one that the department took very seriously. Sam raised his eyebrows to indicate that he had never even considered doing what Shaw was implying. He had, of course considered it, but if he was being honest with himself, Sam was doubtful that Andy reciprocated his feelings. She was sleeping with Callahan for God's sake.
Andy had reached them and Shaw attempted to extricate himself as quickly as possible.
"I'm going to go. I'll be at the penny, if you wanna hang or anything. Hi" he waved to Andy. "Goodnight."
Sam chuckled at his friend's antics and slapped him across the shoulder before turning his full attention to Andy. Her eyes were moist and her nostrils a little red. It was obvious that she had been crying but she looked beautiful. She held out the keys and dropped them into his hand limply.
"Thank you, for the car." She said, looking deflated and sad. He had a sudden urge to wrap his arms around her and hold her but realising how inappropriate that would be in the police station parking lot, he crossed them tightly across his chest instead.
"I heard about your witness."
"Uh. He was never a witness." She sniffled. "He was always just, evidence." She tried to explain why she was upset but couldn't seem to find the correct words. "It's a...this job is...I guess I just have to get used to it, right?" He had seen Andy sad, angry, and frustrated but never defeated and disillusioned with police work. The smile fell from his face as he nodded. He had tried to save the world too when he was a rookie. Maybe he wasn't entirely out of the habit.
"Do you need anything?" He asked. She shook her head. "Wanna go for a drink? Need a ride home?"
"No, I just need a..."She paused and an idea swept across her face. "Actually, what do you know about plumbing?" Sam grinned.
"Jump in. I can't wait to see where this is going."
She smiled radiantly and he mirrored her expression.
Sam squeezed into the driver's seat. His knees scrunched up against the steering wheel.
"Geez, McNally." He said, giving her a once over as he readjusted the seat. "I had no idea you were so short."
She just rolled her eyes and buckled her seat belt. "So, where exactly are we headed?" Before she could answer, Sam turned the key in the ignition and country music filled the cab.
"Whoa, girl! What have you been doing in my truck?" He cried, pressing one of the preset buttons as quickly as he could.
The twanging of guitars was cut short by a foreign correspondent reporting from Kabul. "Three Canadian soldiers and one embedded journalist were injured today when a roadside bomb exploded outside of Kandahar..."
"Turn left here. I happen to like country music you know." Andy said, her shoulders set for a fight. Sam glanced over at her and smirked, he enjoyed their little spats.
"Why? It's all twanging and yodelling, my wife left me, my dog died, and I ran out of whiskey." He said loudly. Andy hmmphed.
"Country music usually has a story. I like that. Besides it's better than that screeching death metal that was on the radio when I got in here."
"That is not death metal. It is CLASSIC ROCK. Clas-sic as in widely considered to be timeless."
"Whatever, it sounded like a cat being run over by a train to me." He wasn't quite sure if she was being serious but judging by the small smile ghosting on her lips, she was enjoying the argument just as much as he was.
"You know, McNally, it's a good thing we are only allowed to listen to the police radio in our squad car, otherwise this might become a big issue for our partnership."
Her head snapped towards him, an unreadable expression in her eyes. He tried to think over what could have said that would have caused such a reaction. It quickly dawned on him that he'd said, "our squad car" instead of his usual "my car, my rules" schtick.
"Turn right" Andy said and she was about to say more when the radio caught her attention.
"In other news, the Toronto Police Department have two suspects in custody who they believe may be connected to a string of high profile car-jackings and murders. The suspects were apprehended after a drive-by shooting in the o-hundred block of Seneca Drive. One man died later in hospital." Sam reached forward and clicked the radio off.
"They didn't even get it right." Andy said quietly.
"They never do. Every time, I'm involved in a case that's reported on the news, they get something wrong." Sam assured her but Andy wasn't listening.
"I killed him!" She said pointing to her chest. "I killed him and they said that he died in a drive by shooting."
Sam pulled the car over to the side of the road and turned to Andy.
"Andy McNally, you did not kill that man."
"I did! He didn't want to have the surgery. He did it for me." Tears spilled down Andy's cheeks.
"Listen to me." Sam lifted her chin with his hand so that she was looking directly at him. "You didn't kill him. You saved his ass. He told me so himself." She sniffed. "Benny had a hard life. He was a good kid but he made a lot of bad choices that had nothing to do with you." His thumb brushed a tear off of her cheek.
"I know it's stupid. That it's part of the job but I can't stop thinking that he didn't have to have surgery. I could have convinced him...he trusted me. He just wanted to do the right thing."
"Shh...It's not stupid to feel like this." He pulled her close into his chest and held her. She didn't resist, her hands coming up to ball his shirt.
"You did good police work today. He volunteered to do the surgery because he respected what you had done for him. That was his choice." He whispered into her hair.
"Oh don't go all Luke on me now." She half-laughed, half-sobbed. She lowered her voice into her best Callahan impression. "It's not your job to tell people what they should and shouldn't do, Andy. It's your job to help close this case."
"No offence Andy, I know that you and Callahan have a thing, but the guy's a complete tool." He could feel Andy hiccup her agreement into his chest.
"Yea, he is a tool." She sniffled. "I guess...I guess I thought that people always came first in this job. I mean you could have had the evidence to send Anton Hill to jail but you decided that Emily was more important. I really respect you for that decision."
"We all have regrets, McNally. I wish that I had never had to make that choice." He said, remembering the terror he had felt for Emily when his cover was blown.
"But you made the right one." She said looking up into his eyes. "Luke never saw Benny's value as a person, just as a missing piece of evidence. If that is the kind of police officer I am supposed to be, I don't think I can do it."
"You don't have to. Come on, Andy you already have great instincts as a cop and you are only going to get better. Callahan is a decent officer. He works hard and he gets results but there's a reason he works homicide and doesn't get invited to poker games. He doesn't understand the human element of policing. He deals better with pictures and dead people."
"I have horrible taste in men." Andy groaned. Sam was surprised that she was broaching this topic.
"I'm sure it can't be that bad." He said, curious but unsure if he wanted to hear it.
"I always go for the bad boy and it never works out. So this time, I told myself I was going to do myself a favour and go for the nice guy. I thought he was perfect but it ended like all the rest." Sam tried to focus on the conversation at hand rather than on some extremely interesting pieces of information that she had just imparted.
"Oh come on McNally. What are you, twelve? Perfect is boring. You'd never have anything to talk about."
"You're right" she sighed.
"Besides, I'm pretty sure perfect girls don't like country music." Andy hit his chest in mock offence and pulled away from him.
"Har, har. Very funny." She chuckled and tried to wipe away the damp patches that her tears had left on his shirt. He wished that she would stop. Her hands on his torso were stirring up feelings that he wasn't sure he was ready to deal with at that moment.
"Sorry. I don't remember the last time I cried like that." She said, giving up on the spots.
"Are you feeling better?" She nodded. "Want me to take you home?" She shook her head. "Want to tell me where we're going?"
"Plumbing." She replied.
"Plumbing, it is."