ROOKIE BLUE

A Fresh Start

Tag to 'Honor Role'. Andy & Sam. Sam POV. R&R, no flame please!

-o-

He was a listener. That was probably the main reason he decided to join the force, - skipping college was the bonus. When you're 20, you rush into decisions you might regret but he never did. It was not in his nature to mull over the past.

A guy who can listen and be perceptive is a babe magnet. He'd never been frustrated in this department either, even though he might have wanted to settle down eventually. He never met the right girl. That was that simple. Or if he did, she was not willing to commit. Lots of women are attracted to the thrill of danger, and cops are their primary targets, on par with fire fighters and car racers. There's a lot more coppers than car racers, so he was generally lucky. Now, he was in his late thirties and alone, but feeling good and still kicking, most of the time.

When you go undercover eight months, you have to assume it'll put a strain on your love life. It did to his relationship with Monica. But she was the one who said 'no strings attached' from the word go. Was he supposed to read other signs? He was not enough into her to try. As a matter of fact, he was perfectly happy with one night stands or typical arrangements with female friends on the force or not. Friends with benefit they call it these days. He found this expression perfectly despicable. He should have been honest with Monica though. It was not fair.

Anyway, here he was, dazzled by 'his' rookie, the last woman on earth he would have dated after her little stunt on her very first day. Star struck. Feeling like he was going to prom night with the head cheerleader. Noelle was right. He was in love, might be, he corrected. Come to think of it, he'd never put it that way, but he was, in love, most definitely.

Toasting at his reflection in the mirror, he chuckled, leaning against the counter. His fellow officers were still celebrating the end of their annual retraining day. He pushed his glass aside and left a 20 on the counter. He was not in the right mind to mingle with the guys tonight. They would want to know why he went head to head with Callaghan. He beat him pretty hard and Callaghan surely didn't hold back either. He felt sore from head to toes and ashamed of himself. That was no secret that he loved a good fight. He was a worthy opponent, efficient, and fast, but to beat the crap out Luke? What got into him? It's been years since he let his anger get the better of him. You're not angry. You're jealous, dumb ass.

He was all in for some competition, and couldn't resolve to consider Callaghan a serious threat. She'd come back to her senses in the end. He'd been the perfect gentleman, warning her about the object of her affection, having her back, nothing that he wouldn't have done for any other trainee. He gave her some space after their 'thing'. He shouldn't have. He should have called her. No, he should have come over to her place to set the record straight. It's no secret that you make hay when the sun shines. With Callaghan yet engulfed in one of his cases, he should have lent her a shoulder or simply give her a chance to confide in him. He knew first hand that she'd been surprised by his relation with Emily. She clearly didn't picture him as the good guy before Anton's episode. That was his first mistake. Not technically, it was not. He should have made his move right from the start instead of refusing her peace offering. Not to mention his 'You're not my type' line. That one was very clever. She wasn't supposed to follow his lead and fall for the other guy. He was ready to take the blame. Maybe, he was responsible for her going out with Callaghan. He had no previous beef with the guy and yet he lost his temper. Callaghan was a decent detective, but it was not like he'd hang out with him, far too bossy for his taste. He much preferred a lighter environment and a single malt after his 14 hour shift rather than rehashing some current case gory details.

Jerry dating Nash, the poster boy sleeping with this annoying blonde who had hit on him since day one, Epstein yapping about threesomes, that was just the tip of the iceberg. Ah, new rookies, same old, same old. Except for him since he never fell for a rookie because he never had to train one. But hey, he was not against breaking some rules.

He walked out briskly from the Penny through the back door without looking back. He didn't slow down before his truck. He was too drunk to drive and he needed to think. Not about Andy and her beau in his love shack, just to clear his head. He bought a burger on the way to his apartment, tossed it in the next garbage can. He did not even bother to flip the lights on or check his mail. More bad news could wait until tomorrow. He took a long hot shower. Bruises were already turning purple and it'll be even worse in the morning.

Bottom line, he was an idiot. Why take it out on her? Why give her the silent treatment? She had no control over Callaghan behaviour. Should he have put his mind to it, he could have talked her out of going to his cabin. It would have been so easy. He moaned in retrospect. He could have said that he was ready to have the talk she'd been so vocal about.

He threw the wet towel in the basket and turned on the TV on his way to his bedroom. The loud anchorman voiceover filled the apartment. Bad habits die hard, he thought, while digging through his drawer for a fresh short. You'd better trash that plasma screen just in case she might visit you again.

Today, he had failed her on every level. He was in a good mood though, but it was before Callaghan started to brag about his foreseeable nookie. The guy was an asshole. You don't violate people's intimacy like he did, not with anybody. It was his civic duty to make him suffer.

He should have stuck to his previous agenda. Give her the latte he'd bought at her favourite place and have the honest conversation she deserved. But their relationship or whatever it was, that was not the point. Their non-affair, it was simply bad timing. They'll get over it. He didn't have her back today. He let her down with this Bibby character. She had the balls to come forward with something this big, and all he could come up with was 'I was distracted'? No one will ever forget what she did today, and with her father's record, it was not going to be pretty. Now he will have to show where his loyalties lie. If he was impressed before with her ability to bend the rules, -and he was quite the expert, now he was in awe. When she managed to find this flash drive and rubbed it in Anton's nose, very impressive, very sexy. But it was nothing compared to what she did today. Today, she acted like a great cop while he was drowning in his testosterone delusions. He had to make it up to her. She had to understand that today was only a huge bump in the yellow brick road.

He will give her proof that he was still worthy of her trust. Starting with the biggest apology he could manage to put together. And no paperwork for a semester, he smiled, flipping his cell open. First thing first, he'll call her. Make sure she's okay. He turned off the TV, breathed in and dialled her number. Perfectly still in the dim light of his apartment, he waited for her to pick up but his call went directly to voicemail. He tossed his phone on his bedside table and lied down. He put his arms behind his head and closed his eyes.

But if Detective Luke is disrespectful again or if he puts her at risk, so help me.

It was his last coherent thought before he sank into a dreamless sleep.