ROOKIE BLUE (isn't mine)

PLAN B

Tag to "In Blue". I wasn't the only one to notice that little Gail/Sam stunt at the Penny. Here's my take. Missing scene. Thanks again guys for the massive support, you're so awesome!

-o-

Gail Peck was not eager to go back to the barn. She had had enough of rejection and sarcasm for a lifetime. If no one could see that she was a god copper, so be it. But she knew she was good. This day with Swarek had opened new horizons. He was not the judgmental prick she had expected him to be. And he was quite a good listener actually.

They were cruising back to the 15 Division after leaving the crime scene when she thought she had to do something to put him out of his misery. He had been nothing but nice to her and she was willing to return the favour. "I'm sorry I let you down today sir," she volunteered, breaking the silence.

"And why's that? Enlighten me Peck! I thought we were a good team today."

"I mean, with the body and everything. I simply couldn't let her alone, you know."

"I know," he shot her an understanding glance before staring back at the road. "This kind of case, that does take a toll on you, I understand plenty. You don't have to be ashamed to feel something Gail, that's what makes you a good cop."

She could not hide her surprise. She had always thought that he considered her a selfish bitch and today of any day, she felt like she had acted like a fool. But he did not seem bothered.

"You see, Peck, you got to do what you got to do. It's fine by me. I didn't hold your hand, I didn't have to boss you around. We're cool."

That was refreshing after Williams' constant disdain and Shaw's rebuffs. She took a deep breath.

"I know it's not my place but… sir, I think you should know."

"Really? That sounds promising."

"Andy is moving in with Callaghan. I know for a fact that he's buying a house. She doesn't know yet. He's going to propose or something."

His hands clasped on the wheel and his face went from cheerful to blank. "Good for them!" he quipped.

"Don't. I know how it feels to be rejected."

"I have no idea what you're talking about Peck."

She could see him processing the news. He winced and turned to her with a provocative smirk. She had been around cops too long not to recognize the signs. The poor guy was in agony. She did not hesitate.

"I think you know exactly what I'm talking about sir."

He glanced back to the road. "So you and Diaz?"

If he's expecting me to react to his cheap provocation, he's on for a major disappointment, she thought. "I saw you on the parking lot that night."

"The parking lot?"

"At the Penny, when you almost kissed McNally…"

"And? To my recollection, there wasn't much to see."

If he wanted her to be more specific, she could do it. The hell with it. Bracing herself for any potential outburst, "Everyone can see how you look at each other. Man, can't you just get a room or something?"

"What? You're out of line Peck."

"I can help you with your problem Sam."

"That's the point, I don't have a problem therefore I don't need your help," he said, his head tilting slightly.

She was impressed of the way he could at the same time keep his feeling and his anger in check. "Listen, I don't care to be bossed around and judged because of things I have no control on…"

"What's got to do with anything?"

"… but I can help you," she insisted. "Please?"

He made a big show of giving up. "Okay, I'm actually curious to hear what's on your mind," he said a bit too loud, waving a hand at her. "For the sake of argument, let's say I'm listening. But you promise you'll shut up after that?"

She grinned.

"First, you promise you won't get mad…"

"I'm already mad Peck, that a major invasion of my privacy!"

"Can't we stop for a coffee or something?"

He swung the patrol car around. It skidded a foot away from the entrance of an all-night diner.

"Is that good enough for you?"

-o-

"I still can't see why we're doing this. She made it clear that she was with Callaghan."

"What have you got to lose?"

He shrugged and nodded sheepishly, engaging in traffic.

"Told you that already," she sighed, buckling up, "because you need to know how she feels about you. For Christ's sake, Sam, you're pretty dense for a cop. Aren't supposed to know how to read people?"

"There's nothing to read here Peck. She's with Callaghan, period."

"You don't remember being a rookie?"

"Huh?"

"Do the math! You're so off limits. She couldn't get together with you, that's actually a rule, you know."

"But I don't have any rule!" he protested.

"That's the point. You're trouble."

"Good to know." He parked and killed the engine. "We're here."

"So you pull yourself together and when we meet later at the Penny, you try to look happy to be in my company!"

"Don't push it, Peck."

-o-

"So how do we do this?"

"Just follow my lead."

They headed to the counter and managed to stay as close to each other as possible without arising Shaw or Barber suspicions. Peck had made it clear that they had to be alone for her act to work. Unconsciously, his eyes fanned the room for McNally and Gail's elbow reminded him with one sharp blow in the chest that he had to quit behaving like an idiot. But Ollie was having a big conversation with Dov and looking quite proud of himself and Jerry was on a quest of his own.

"I want you to be spontaneous," she said softly. "Don't try to perform or something. Just pretend you're into me."

He winced.

"Pretend I'm McNally then," she snapped.

They settled at the bar comfortably, engaging into an inept, - and loud conversation. From his new vantage point, he spotted Andy instantly. She was playing darts with Nash and Diaz, her back on them. He could not believe he had not noticed she was already in there. He had been drinking for at least a half hour with Noelle and Ollie and there she was, merely fifteen feet away. But should he have talked to her, it would have compromised Gail's plan. "It's useless," he whispered, gulping a handful of salted peanuts.

"Just drink and do as you've been told."

"Yes, M'am."

"Look who's there..." she smiled.

"You know that I have better things to do than watch Callaghan making out with McNally, right?"

"Why are you being so difficult? It is fun!"

"You know what, actually no, it's not."

"Sam? Relax, if you look depressed, it won't work."

"Right, right," he laced his fingers on the counter, unable to avert his eyes from the happy couple. And then Callaghan waved at him. Gail watched him decompose.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, great, you?"

"Can we get some air?" she said for the crowd.

"Sure, sure…" he looked sad and puzzled at the same time.

Oh god, he's so totally in love with her, she thought. "I want you to pay and walk out with me. Smile and take my hand or put your arm on my shoulders."

"Why's that?"

"Plan B."

"Whatever," he mumbled. "This better work Peck, 'cause you're not my type."