"Alright, who is she?" Sarah asked the second the front door of her two-story home shut behind Sam.
"The girl. Who is she?"
Sam abandoned his bag by the front door and collapsed on the brown leather sofa. "What girl?"
Sarah raised both eyebrows, "Come on You drove up to St. Catharines after shift on a two day weekend and you want me to believe there's no girl."
"I'm happy to see you too, sis."
"I'm sorry, Sammy. You know I love you to death, but other than Christmas and the kids' birthdays you only come visit if you're running away from your lady troubles."
"She has a point, Sam." Edward, Sarah's husband, said, walking into the room with three bottles of beer in his hands. "And you know how Sarah is when she gets an idea in that pretty little head of hers." He passed a beer to his wife, dodging her hand as she reached out to swat him.
"Thanks," Sam raised the beer in a mime of a toast before taking a swallow. It had been a hell of a shift, and adding the two hour drive to St. Catharines on the end of it hadn't helped the exhaustion. He probably should have stayed in Toronto, but the idea of running into Andy and Luke at the Penny turned his stomach almost as much as the idea of going home alone. Most of the time he liked his solitude, but on a day like today it was nice to have somewhere else to go.
"So?" Sarah sank onto the couch beside him and nudged him with her shoulder. "Who is she?"
Ignoring her, Sam turned to face his brother in law. "How're the kids?"
"They're good." Ed grinned, "Samantha's ballet class had a recital last week and Mitch made first string on the soccer team this year."
They chatted about Sarah and Ed's two children for the next ten minutes while Sarah alternated between watching Sam for any hint he was ready to divulge a name and glaring at her husband for allowing the conversation to be diverted. When there was a lull, she broke in with, "You're training a new rookie aren't you?"
Sam nodded, taking a sip of beer to cover his expression. Sarah was like a blood hound, she could smell out a secret like no one he had ever met before. Sometimes he teased her that she should have been the cop. The teasing helped them forget that she hadn't always been this way.
For more than a decade after she was attacked, Sarah was afraid of everything. When he'd joined the academy Sarah was twenty three and still waking in the night, throat raw from screaming. It wasn't until she met Edward Henley that she began to trust the world again. It had been hard for Sam at first, to let the sister he had been caring for and trying to protect since he was nine years old be cared for and protected by a near stranger. But now, seventeen years later, he couldn't imagine Sarah without Ed.
"How's life as a training officer?"
"Not bad. Beats having to do my own paperwork." He grinned.
"Is she pretty?"
"Andy?" He asked before realizing his mistake.
"I knew it!" Sarah crowed in triumph.
"You knew my new Rookie's name was Andy?" Sam recovered quickly, but not quickly enough.
"Nice try, Sammy." Sarah held out a hand expectantly in Ed's direction. "Pay up mister."
Grumbling under his breath he extracted a twenty from his wallet and slapped it in her palm.
Sam focused his betrayed expression on Ed, he expected this of Sarah. "You bet on this?"
Ed shrugged. "If you can't beat them…"
"Now," Sarah said, using both hands to turn Sam's head so he was facing her directly, "tell me everything."
"I'm going to need something stronger than this," Sam said, downing the last of his beer.
"Hun?" Sarah, didn't take her eyes off her brother's face, "Go grab the whiskey and a couple glasses?"
Chuckling, Ed did his wife's bidding.
"Seriously Sam," Sarah began the second her husband was out of earshot, "your rookie? How did this happen?"
Sam sighed. It was no good pretending he didn't have feelings for McNally, at least not in front of Sarah. "I don't know."
She patted him on the arm. "What have you done about it?"
"Nothing. She's my rookie."
"Riiiight." Sarah shot him a look filled with scepticism. "Which is why you can't look at me right now, is it?"
"She's seeing someone." He left out the night they 'd shared and the hand he'd had in getting her and Luke back on the same page.
Ed returned with a forty of whiskey and a trio of shot glasses. Sarah took the loot from his hands and poured them each a shot. "Apparently Sam's girl has a boyfriend already." She told him, her tone indicating how little credence she gave Sam's claim.
"Does she? Well that's too bad." Ed raised his glass, "To the imminent breakup of Andy and…? He trailed off.
"Luke Callaghan." Sam filled in, "But we're not toasting to that."
"Like hell we're not," Sarah grinned as she clinked her glass against her husband's, "To the breakup of Andy and Luke, may it be both soon and painless." The couple downed their whiskey in unison.
"And you wonder why I never visit." Sam grumbled.
Five shots of whiskey later Sarah had managed to learn that Andy was second generation cop, freshly twenty eight, essentially motherless for the last fourteen years, and a hopeless trouble magnet who over thought everything. Ed retired to bed after their third toast, claiming an early morning, but really just wanting to get out of the way for Sarah's real interrogation.
"Tell me about Luke Callaghan."
"Homicide Detective. Good cop. Solid guy." Sam shrugged. "Apart from the homicide detective part, he's the kind of guy I always wanted you to meet when we were teenagers."
Sarah leaned her head against her brother's shoulder. Sam had been taking care of her since she was thirteen years old. She remembered the first, and only, time she brought a boy home before Ed. James Connelly had been a nice guy, sweet, a little silly, and very cute. Thirteen year old Sam had taken one look at him and told Sarah that James would break her heart. She'd gone out with the guy anyway. Three weeks later she caught James making out with Patty Marsh. She'd never told Sam, but somehow he'd figured it out because James showed up at school with a black eye two days later that he refused to talk about and had never come near Sarah again. "You're a good guy too Sam. One of the best."
Sam shook his head, "It doesn't matter. She made her choice."
Something in his tone caused Sarah to pullback so she could look him in the eye. "Did she make the choice or did you pull out of the race?"
"Does it matter?"
"Sam. Answer the question."
"He's a good guy"
"So you pushed her away?"
"Drop it, Sarah."
"Because you've been taking care of me for twenty years and I think it's time you let me return the favour."
"Ever since I was attacked your entire life has revolved around my wellbeing. From that ridiculous joke book to deciding to become a cop to working the streets of Toronto where we grew up rather than moving to a district where you would have a better chance at becoming a detective. You're always so busy looking out for others that you forget you have needs too, Sammy."
"Don't…" He sounded pained.
"Don't try to make me out to be some knight in shining armour. I'm not." Sam sighed, "I tried, ok? I nearly slept with her and she still went running back to Callaghan. I'm not being selfless. Just realistic."
"Oh Sammy," Sarah wrapped both arms around him, "I'm sorry. I didn't realize."
He sat perfectly still and let her hug him, only the fact that she was his sister kept him from pushing her away.
They sat in silence for several minutes, sipping their whiskey, lost in thought. It was Sarah who broke the silence. "Andy's an idiot."
Sam raised his eyebrows but didn't respond.
"She chose some homicide detective who probably works eighty hours a week and only pops over for a goodnight kiss and a shag once a week over you. Clearly she's an idiot and you're better off without her."
Sam swallowed the urge to defend Andy, instead he kissed Sarah on the forehead. "I love you sis" and rose to leave the room, "Goodnight."
The topic of Andy didn't come up again the entire weekend, much to Sam's relief. By Sunday night when he hugged them all goodbye and climbed back in his truck for the drive home, he felt rested and ready to get back to work.
Sarah waited only until Sam's truck had begun to roll down the driveway before turning to Ed, "How do you feel about going to Toronto for dinner?"
Ed shook his head, chuckling. "I suppose the kids can stay with my parents for a night."
"Perfect. After you clear it with them, call the Keg on Jarvis and make a reservation for Friday, table for four?"
"You wouldn't." Ed watched with a bemused smile on his face as Sarah herded their kids back inside, humming to herself the entire way.
… … … … … … … … … … …
A/N: The idea of Sam having a sister was just too intriguing to leave alone. I hope you enjoyed meeting my version of Sarah as much as I enjoyed writing her.