ROOKIE BLUE (isn't mine)

THE RIGHT MOVE

Thanks again guys for all the support, it's greatly appreciated. A few weeks after "Take Down": Andy is finally moving in with Luke.

-o-

"Yes I know Trace, I'm a nutcase but I can't possibly back out on him now." She put a lamp in the box and closed it. Holding the phone between her head and her shoulder, she put one knee on the box and scotch-taped it.

"Of course you can! If you're having cold feet, I'm sure you can arrange something with the landlord about your lease. Or you can stay on my couch for a few weeks. It's never too late."

Andy could hear Dex and Leo laughing in the background. Traci was going through a rough patch and yet she was bothering her with last minute second thoughts. What kind of a friend would do that? "But what am I supposed to tell Luke? He bought a house… for me." She did not like her whiny voice. She was turning into a brainless idiot.

"You don't buy a house for someone, Andy, unless you're Rockefeller. He bought a house. Period. He's simply blackmailing you into it."

"Oh God, Trace, what would you say that?"

"Because homicide Luke isn't perfect."

"Yes, because perfect would be boring," she smiled. "So you think I should do it?"

"Only if you want to," Traci insisted. "Is Luke coming over tonight?"

She could not lie to her friend, though it would probably be best. She sighed. "No. He's working on this case, you know."

"Andy, listen to me. Think positive."

"Like what?"

"Like… I don't know. Something nice you did together."

"Huh," Andy hesitated.

"What? When was the last time you two actually spent some quality time together? And I'm not talking about a quickie in the locker room…"

"Oh, you know that…"

"… I mean real quality time, a cosy restaurant, a stroll in the park holding hands, well, you get the picture."

Andy winced and stayed silent. She pushed the box to the wall and tucked a lock of stray hair behind her ear.

"Andy, you still here?"

"Yep, sorry, I'm here. Just processing. That would be… never."

"Excuse me?"

"Never. We never spend time together, Trace. Except when he's asleep and I can't seem to find a way to stay at his place, well you know, after… You know what I mean!" She opened out a new box, put a pillow at the bottom and threw the content of her desk drawer inside.

"You mean that you take off every time?"

"Yep. I'm a cop with intimacy issues," she chuckled, embarrassed.

"And you're hoping that it will just go away once you're together together? Because it won't. Moving in with the guy isn't going to magically make it okay Andy, you know that."

"Yes, I know. But I thought for a moment that I could do it." She took a deep breath. "When obviously I can't."

"God! And his damn house is not even in town!"

"I'll take a cab."

"In the middle of the night? To go where? Your flat will be gone. Seriously, you can't crash at your dad's every other day."

"If I have to…"

"You don't have to. You cancel the damn thing. Luke will understand. He's a great guy." She sighed. "You sure that Mr Perfect isn't another one of your wrong guys? What was that?"

Andy waved her hand at the door. "It's the bell. Someone's at the door. Probably Luke. Maybe he was off early."

"Wait a minute, why would Luke ring at your door? Andy! You're moving in with a guy that you can't even trust with your keys? You should have yourself examined asap!"

Andy chuckled and opened the door without even looking. "Got to hang up now Trace. See you tomorrow."

"Okay then, sleep on it. Clear your head."

"I will. Thanks. Tomorrow Trace." She turned around with a smile on her face. Sam Swarek was standing in the doorway.

"Sam?"

"Are you alone?"

The memories of their interrupted romp a few months earlier came rushing back in full force. "Yes, I am."

"We have to talk," he said. "May I come in?"

"Yes, of course, come on in."

He walked inside and his eyes fanned the room. "I can't believe I was never to your place, McNally. We've known each other for what? A year? More than a year!" He threw his arms in the air and swirled to the opposite wall. "I see that you're all packed."

"Oh, no," she closed the door behind him and wiped her hands on her jeans. "You're still coming tomorrow yes?"

"I'll be there at 7 sharp. But you're gonna need more that my truck to move all that stuff." Stacks of boxes were piled up everywhere against the walls.

"Traci brings some friends and Chris and Dov promised to give me a hand."

"I see. What about Callaghan?"

"He's…" she paused and looked down.

"He can't make it, right? Working on a case or something? I told you. To live with a Detective, it's not easy. You always got an open case, you can't make time for anything. Don't worry, it'll be okay." He strode across the room and lifted a box. "Wow, McNally, what's in there? Your anvil collection?"

She chuckled. "That would be books, and silverware, and a bunch of vinyl albums and cds, I guess."

"Vinyls? Really? I thought you weren't even born yet."

"Maybe you should let the boys handle the heavy ones, Sam."

"Oh, oh, you're a mean woman!" he protested.

"Want a drink? I'm pretty sure I can find two glasses and a bottle of scotch."

"Scotch is good." He went to the couch, took off his jacket and sat it on the coffee table. "Since I'm here, do you need some help?"

She was back with their glasses. "No, no, I'm good!"

"Really, you don't look good Andy, you look exhausted."

"Thank you. Well, you know, ten hours roaming the streets, that what it does to a girl," she said.

"I heard you were with Peck? She's a good cop. I trust her completely."

"Yeah, I bet you do," she snapped.

She thinks I slept with Peck, that's priceless. He managed to hide a smirk. He always enjoyed watching her lose her composure when she was jealous, that would make his day anytime. She handed him his drink and sat on the couch. He took the opposite armchair. "Andy, a spot at the drug squad is opening up." She looked away and took a sip, managing to hide behind her glass as long as possible. "I should probably take it."

"Oh... That's… great isn't it? I mean… I'm not rookie any more. You don't have to train me or anything." Sam was leaving the 15. She had not seen that one coming. Technically, that was the first thing he had told her on their first day, that he would rather work the streets than take a desk job. And yet, it hurt. Not only was she moving in with Luke but Sam will be gone.

"Just going up the food chain."

"Be careful Sam, before you know it, you'll be a white shirt!" Even to her ears, her little speech sounded a little off. She got up briskly. "Are you hungry? I have this great pizza place on speed dial."

"McNally, calm down, I didn't say yes… yet." His dark eyes went darker. "I wanted to make sure that you were okay with it first."

She sat back, put her feet on the couch and encircled her legs with her arms. "Me?" she shook her head, fighting a panic attack. "Why wouldn't I? That's a great opportunity Sam. Of course you should say yes." She started rocking slightly. "You've been waiting long enough. You deserve it. You're a great cop."

"I know I am a great cop, McNally, that's not the point. Are you okay with it?" he put his elbows on his thighs and leaned towards her. "Can you answer me, please?"

"Yes, you should, definitely."

He stared at her for a good thirty seconds. "Okay." He sat back and glanced at his watch. "Like they say, you're not supposed to eat after 7:00, but I'm not trying to win a beauty contest, am I? If we order in, I prefer Chinese."

She fought back angry tears and handed him the phone. "Go ahead. I'll have an eggroll and Kung Pao chicken with fried noodles."

"Coming right up." He dialled the number. But before he reached the restaurant, he covered the phone with his hand. "Your place or mine?" he asked casually.

She blinked. "I'll get my things," she said, jumping from the couch. After all, moving in or moving on, that was just a matter of semantics.