I, sadly, do not own Flashpoint. Props to CTV and CBS on that shiznit.
Uhm. This is my first attempt at fanfiction. Please be gentle.
And yeah. Spoilers for ... upcoming plot according to the CTV website? I don't know. I read the bios and was intrigued. Thus ... this fic.
Technicolour lights flashed across the crowded dancefloor, illuminating the mass of gyrating bodies, coated in a thin, glistening layer of sweat and an even thinner layer of glitter. The long bar was crammed with women in teensy dresses and sky-high heels, accompanied by men in designer jeans and button-down shirts in an array of colours that burned the retinas. It was, according to the most recent reviews in the Toronto Star, a savvy and hip bar catering to young urbanites.
Not Sam's usual fare. He tended to favour smaller, quieter establishments. Backalley bars where he could get his beer and drink it in peace. Where the bartenders looked more out-of-work sumo wrestlers than Malibu Barbie. Why the hell would any self-respecting adult want to be squirted with a glitter-gun, he wondered to himself, watching the crowd to wild as a trio of extremely well-endowed women in sequined bikini's shot streams of shimmery liquid out of water-guns from their positions on the stave above the dance floor.
Yes, indeed. Not Sam's usual fare. And as he leaned over the bar to shout his order to the bartender he already missed the quite atmosphere of The Hole, where he habitually caught his post-shift beer. The bubbly blonde behind the bar, surely a favourite given her crowd of admirers, gave him a blank look at his request for a Keith's. Sam shrugged.
"Whatever you got then." He remarked, running a frustrated hand through his hair, causing it to stand on end.
What the hell am I doing here? He thought to himself, gazing around the room. Maybe it was him. It had to be. The other people seemed to be having a great time. The whole bar seemed to buzz with an excited, jittery aura. People were laughing, dancing, drinking.
Sam just felt cranky.
The bartender plunked a short, stubby glass in front of him, half filled with ice and a deep copper liquid.
The colour of her eyes.
Yeah. That was the reason he was there.
To drown out the memories. To drown out Jules.
He'd seen it. The way she's smiled at the paramedic. The way his arm had brushed against hers and then paused. The intimate contact that betrayed their desire for one another. The image of it was stuck in his head, firmly embedded in his brain. Festering, like a damned infected wound.
Steve. That was the guy's name. Steve and Jules. He'd been out on a couple calls. He'd had a gut feeling, a sinking in his stomach, but he'd never had anything to confirm his worst fears until today.
He didn't want to think of it. Of her.
He knew he didn't have a right to be jealous. He had no right to be bitter. Or to still want her like he did. But he'd never really played by the rules, had he. Sure, he'd known that she would move on some time. That she would date other men. But seeing them together had been like a punch straight to the gut.
The ride back to station the thought of them together had needled him, stuck like a stubborn slinter. He hadn't been in the mood for the cheerful banter that usually accompanied a successful case, but he'd grinned and beared it. Only Ed's eyes had narrowed with suspicion from his forced response to Spike's teasing remarks. Stomach queasy, heart aching he'd sat across that narrow briefing table carefully avoiding eye contact with a baffled Jules.
He couldn't help but think, as Greg reeled off the case's rundown: How would she look at Steve? Had she ever looked at him with the same vulnerability as she had Sam? The same openness from the usually closely-guarded face? Would she huff and roll her eyes when she was irritated with him? Would she sleep with her head buried in the crook of his neck like she had with him?
God. It killed him.
He didn't want to think. He just wanted to be free from the images that had tormented him all evening. So here he was in the middle of the reeling crowd in a urbanite bar, trying to drown out his sorrows with bad music and, taking a sip of his drink, what he judged to be even worse alcohol.
He turned, not recognizing the voice.
His heart sank as a tall, brown hair man emerged from the pulsing mass of people.
"Uh. Steve, right?" He asked, extending a hand in what was a practiced and automatic gesture, rather than one of actual pleasure.
He found himself annoyed at Steve's hearty grip. Hands that were calloused from hard work. Not unlike his own. He'd have found it easier to dislike Jules' new friend if the man had been a stockbroker from Yonge street with pillow-soft palms and a manicure. He could have felt triumphant then. He could have felt smug, even, if Steve had come dressed like some of the other men in the bar, in their elaborately decorated jeans and their vividly coloured and patterned polos and button downs.
Instead, Steve was decked out in a pair of casual denims and a weathered leather jacket, creased from wear at the elbows.
"You usually come here?" Sam asked quickly surveying Steve.
"Hells no. I got conned into this by my brother. It's his bachelor party." He jerked a thumb over his shoulder to where the three bikini babes had plastered themselves to a thoroughly glittered man wearing a t-shirt proclaiming him the groom. "Uh … you?" Steve asked, leaning over the bar to smile at the bartender.
Sam found himself irritated when his charms were rewarded with a tall brown bottle of Alexander Keith's. He scowled at the bar-tender who had already turned to deal with one of her more persistent patron's. Wasn't that exactly what he'd ordered?
"Not on your life." Sam muttered, knocking back the rest of his drink. Suddenly he just wanted to get out. Get home. Maybe hit up the 24 hour gym a couple blocks from his house. He no longer craved the loud, excited crowd to dull out his memories of Jules.
Steve chuckled, cracking the top of his beer and taking a brief swig.
"I'd much rather be watching the game right now." Steve said wistfully, glancing across the floor to where his brother stood. "But, you know. Family comes first."
Indeed. Sam thought guiltily. Family came first. The SRU was his family. The family he'd chosen. The family that had chosen him. He owed it to Jules, as a member of that family, to try and like her new boyfriend.
"'Nucks will win, no problem. The Flames are pretty solid and Iginla's always pretty reliable but their goalie's been hitting a weak spot." Sam remarked.
"With you on that one. Twins are in it to win it this year." Steve grinned. "I favour the Oilers myself, but I'm just happy as long as the Leafs are losing."
That was possibly what Sam hated most about Steve. He was the kind of guy that, under normal circumstances, he would have liked. The kind of guy he'd have enjoyed catching a beer with, watching a game. Bullshitting over sports and shop with. He was a good guy. A nice guy. He worked hard, he was friendly, he was talented at what he did. He was cool and controlled, he didn't crack under pressure as they'd been shown today. He wasn't even a leaf's fan, for crying out loud. He was just the kind of guy that he pictured Jules settling down with – he fit her to a damn tee. The kind of guy he could see Jules marrying. Starting a family with.
And it torn him apart inside.
As selfish as it was, Sam couldn't help that fervent desire that maybe, just maybe, she still loved him too. Steve, with his competent and scarred hands and his beat-up leather jacket, was just evidence that she didn't.
He wanted to be happy for her. He wanted to be happy that she had met somebody she could love. She deserved to be happy – to be loved. It should have made him happy to know that she was. But it didn't. It just made him miserable.
He fought to turn his grimace into a genuine smile.
"You'd better go rescue your brother before somebody takes some pictures that are going to get him in major trouble." Sam jerked to his head to wear the young man had buried his face in one of the young women's heaving bosom's and was merrily blowing.
"Christ. If Chelsea knew." Steve gritted his teeth and smoothly parted the crowd, quickly striding across the floor to his brother, extracting him from his precarious position and steering his drunken sibling towards a more secluded area of the club.
Sam turned, heading for the door, battling through the multiplying mob of partiers.
He'd be happy for her. He'd make himself. Because if he couldn't – if he couldn't work with her without those jealous seeds taking root he'd be forced to quit. To leave the only family he'd ever loved. The only family that had ever loved him.
He simply couldn't let that happen.