Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Notes: This fic is a challenge from my friend/sister and beta, Rockerbabe. Apparently she decided I could write this plot bunny better than she could. I don't know, I guess we'll see. Challenge requirements are included for your reference. Thought it might be fun and…well, provides a good decent-ish summary of what to expect and saves me the hassle of trying to provide one myself. Seriously, worst part about fanfiction writing ever is trying to come up with a decent summary. Anyway, hope you enjoy! : )
Set after Broken Engagement/Trash Man
Fitch and Sanchez are alone for some reason at her apartment
After awhile, Fitch comes right out and asks "So, had I gone to (get) drinks with you, would you have had sex with me?"
They get in a fight and goes round and before he storms out (away), she asks why does it matter and his response is "Ask Finley in 10 years"
Sanchez realizes what he means and tries to go after him but he's already gone. Could end here OR she could go to his place/they hook up or something OR whatever your heart desires.
Every Rose Has It's Thorn
"So, you going tonight?"
Not when you're asking one Louis Fitch, Detective Ariana Sanchez though as she twisted the cord of her phone around her finger. Why she didn't go over there and ask the man himself, she'll never know. This thing with the one-to-one phone calls has gone on for longer than she can remember. She always chalked it up to a weird tick of Fitch's, but she's grown to like this means of communication. You don't have to look the other in the eyes. You don't have to hide your reaction to rejection. Though that was only a recent thing. She's always liked the secrecy in it, the way his voice lowered or the game of trying to sound like the conversation was official business. Though sometimes, like today, they didn't bother trying to be covert.
Sometimes, they were just personal.
The long pause was starting to get her nervous, and she glanced over at the man in question across the room. He was glaring at his partner from across his desk.
She watched as Fitch twirled around in his chair, his back to his partner, and thus, his face away from her.
She stated simply, as if that was all that was needed to convince him to go out and be sociable. Ariana should know better by now. Louis Fitch did not do social interactions as a group as a general rule. He might make an effort after a particularly nasty case or to celebrate catching a really difficult criminal, but those were even far and fewer between. Nope, she didn't know why she didn't expect his response. Maybe it was because she thought he'd change. Maybe it was because she secretly wished he would come.
There was a long pause again. She smiled to herself. She could almost imagine Fitch's brilliant mind trying to figure out what she was asking and why.
"Is that supposed to be convincing?" He finally asked, a bit of amusement now twigging his voice. Fitch turned around and was doing something on his computer; probably playing solitaire, or something equally mundane, to avoid looking in her direction.
She quickly averted her eyes before he could catch her staring in his direction and cradled the phone on her shoulder as she looked down at a piece of paper on her desk, picking up a pen and doodling absent mindedly on it. In her peripheral, she noticed Washington getting up from his desk and walking out of the room.
"No, just stating a fact." She responded, with a sigh. "I figured because your partner was the one organizing"
"Just because he's my partner, doesn't mean I have to go out with the boy," Fitch snapped, his words coming out slightly annoyed, but Sanchez knew better. She knew Fitch liked the rookie he now worked with. He was hard on him and Fitch was only hard on the one's he respected. Not that he'd ever admit it.
"Hmmm. Well, you should."
"What's in it for me?" He asked and it was her turn to be stumped.
She was surprised it took him this long. Usually, Fitch was the one to leave her guessing during their double-entendre conversations, not the other way around. She thought she was going to be able to one up him this time, but she should have known better. Though she could think of a thing or two she'd like to do to him, not that he'd be interested. He sort of made that clear the other night, she thought bitterly.
"I guess you'll never know if you don't show up," She retorted, pulling the phone away from her ear and returning it to the cradle before he could one-up her again. She smiled a bit to herself when she glanced up and saw Fitch staring at her, a slightly puzzled, but an intrigued look in his eyes.
Yep. Detective Louis Fitch was going to Freer Bar tonight.
The gang all arrived at the Freer Bar. Ariana was seated at a table, laughing at something Longford had just said, and glanced over at the door. They had all been here for just over an hour and Louis Fitch had yet to show up. The remaining of the gang were all there, sans Longford who had to get home and celebrate his granddaughter's birthday and Mason who needed to get home to her own daughters. Ariana tried not to let her disappointment show at Fitch's absence. She should have known better than to think he would show.
"Another round?" Her partner, John Stone asked. She shook her head and took another swig of her beer. She hadn't yet finished her first one.
"You didn't need to go home to be with the baby?" Mahajan asked Washington as he glanced at his phone for the fifth time this evening.
"No, I got the night off." He said, smiling at the group.
"Looks like it," Mahajan quipped as said phone rang the tell tale ringtone designated for Washington's wife. This week, it was "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Michael Bolton. Washington glared at the devise before hitting the ignore key.
Everyone "oooh-ed" in response and laughed at the young detective, knowing his wife would only call back until she got an answer from him.
"She knows where I am. I don't need to answer it." Washington stated, glancing nervously at his phone before he placed it back in his pocket.
"Uh-hu. I think someone's going to be in trouble later with the wife," Mahajan stated, rolling his eyes. "That's another why I won't get married. Nag, nag nag."
"She doesn't nag," Washington defended, his point being made moot as his phone went off again. Washington looked annoyed as he reached into his pocket.
"You better answer that, Kid."
Sanchez glanced up from staring at the label on her beer and up at the voice who spoke. There stood, Detective Louis Fitch, looking smug as a bastard as he pulled a chair from the table across from him and planted it at the end of the table. Washington sighed and did as Fitch suggested and answered the call. He moved away from the table, sounding flustered.
Stone came back from the bar with another beer and took his place next to Ariana. She glanced over at him as he scooted his chair a little closer to her. She snapped her head in his direction and glared at him. What did he think he was doing? She told him what had happened between them was just…it wasn't meant to happen. It just…did. It was the product of being upset, a rough case, someone to talk to and a bunch of booze.
That was it.
That night with Stone meant nothing.
She had tried to let him down easy, knowing he did care for her more than she cared to admit.
It didn't give him the right to suddenly become possessive when Fitch was around. With a discrete jab in the ribs, she muttered to her partner "Stop it!"
"What?" He asked, looking at her like she grew a second head.
Before Ariana could rip him a new one, Washington returned to the table. He smiled at Fitch as he sat down at his chair.
"I thought you weren't coming," He stated, sounding pleased.
"Had nothing better to do," Fitch stated, his voice nonchalant, but the look he sent Sanchez was anything but. She shivered slightly and took another swig of her beer to hide her emotions.
"Well, Peeps, it's been fun, but I see some hot blondes over there," Mahajan stated, nodding at a couple of, as he stated, hot blondes, across the room, "that are calling my name."
"I didn't hear anything," Stone stated, a dead pan expression on his face. "Did you guys?"
"You're funny," Mahajan stated, looking annoyed. "See you people later, I'm blowing this joint" he said, moving away from the group and over to the blondes.
"I give him two minutes," Stone observed, watching his comrade approach the girls.
"They're out of his league," Fitch stated. "He'll get….15 seconds, if that."
"That a bet?" Stone asked. Fitch shrugged. "Loser buys for winner."
"It's your money."
"You guys are seriously betting on if those girls take an interest in Mahajan?" Washington asked, sounding incredulous.
"Men," Ariana agreed, with a sigh, but watched the interaction across the bar along with Fitch and Stone, unable to keep her interest away. Sure enough, he didn't get further than "hi" before the blondes moved away from him. Mahajan turned back to the table, still smiling and shrugged as he made his way back over.
"I believe, you owe me a beer, Stone." Fitch smirked as Mahajan made it back to the table.
"Thought you were 'blowing this joint'" Washington joked.
"They weren't interested. They don't know what they're missing," Mahajan preened as he retook his place at the table.
The gang continued to rip on each other and generally, unwind. It felt good to be together without having to stress about suspects and interviews or solving some kind of crime. The camaraderie was something that could only be created by a small group of people would lie down their lives for the others at the table. They hoped it wouldn't come to that, but they all knew they would.
Getting up from the table, laughing at something Stone had just said, Ariana walked up to the bar to order another beer. She signaled the bar tender and waited, cash in hand. Ariana jumped slightly when she felt a hand on her back and stiffened as she felt someone lean into her.
"I hope this isn't what you had in mind earlier when you propositioned me into coming,"
Ariana shivered at the voice in her ear.
She hadn't seen follow her when she got up.
She smirked and turned around to face him, leaning her side against the bar as he assumed a similar position next to her.
"You mean you're not having fun?" She quipped.
"We have different ideas of … fun, if this is yours." Fitch stated, his eyes looking darker as his gaze locked with hers. Or maybe it was the light.
"It's a night out with co-workers. What did you expect?" Sanchez asked, raising an eyebrow, but not looking away from his gaze.
Could the beer, She thought.
"I'm not sure," He stated, simply.
Definitely the light and the beer, she decided.
Silence passed between them. Not the uncomfortable kind, but the kind of silence that exists between two people completely at ease with each other. Ariana found she couldn't look away from his eyes. They seemed to pull her in, trap her, drown her.
"Here ya go," A voice said and Ariana jumped as the sound of a bottle hit the bar before her, spilling a bit of the amber liquid on her arm resting on the surface and snapping her out of her reverie and back to the present.
She had to be more careful.
She couldn't let herself get caught up in him again.
"Thanks," She muttered, handing the man her cash and turned started to head back to the table.
"What, Fitch?" She snapped, not really sure why. Maybe it was the beer. Maybe it was her own frustration over him, her emotions, her partner, the fact that he wouldn't go get a drink with her after a particularly nasty case. Maybe she's mad that she can't depend on him like she thought. Maybe she's mad at herself for even thinking she could. She wasn't sure, but for some reason, for all those reasons, she was angry at their situation and the man before her.
"What's going on with you and Stone?" He asked. She stopped abruptly, feeling all walls come up around her heart.
"What are you talking about?" She dismissed.
"Oh, come on. You can't think we haven't all noticed Stone walking around like a kicked puppy for the last couple days. Did you sleep with him?"
"It's none of your business if I did or didn't, Fitch." Ariana snapped.
"So if I had gone to get drinks with you that night, would you have had sex with me?"
"What the hell kind of question is that?" She wasn't sure if she wanted to slap him, strangle him, or kiss him. Violence seemed to be winning out though, but she curbed the impulse. Last thing she needed was to explain why she decked her coworker to Mason tomorrow morning.
"Forget it," Fitch said, brushing past her and heading back towards the table.
"No, you don't get to walk away this time Louis," Ariana said, grabbing his arm and pulling him back, though she knew he let her. If he really had wanted to go, there wasn't a force that could stop Louis Fitch. "You turned me down. Why the hell do you care what may or may not have happened that night?"
She saw something in Fitch's eyes snap as he looked at her. The hard look in his eyes turned her stone cold inside. It was a look she'd only seen when he interrogated some scum bag he knew was lying to him and she hated to be grouped into that category. She hated that he used that look on her. She wasn't a suspect. She didn't need to be interrogated and he didn't have the right to intimidate her. It took everything she had not to step back as he moved closer, bodies barely an inch apart and he whispered five words in her ear that turned her veins cold.
"Ask Finley in ten years."
Before she could absorb the words and what they meant, Fitch was across the room and grabbing his coat.
Ask Finley in ten years.
Those words rang in her head.
Finley Mitchell, the two year old that was doomed to The System.
Or so she thought.
And suddenly, it all mad sense; Fitch's rejection. The Campbells' disappearance…
Ariana snapped herself out of her thoughts and saw John, her partner, looking at her with concern. She couldn't speak. She couldn't find her voice. She just nodded her head at Stone, not trusting what would come out of her mouth if she said something.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I just…" She shook her head and pushed past Stone, trying to spot Fitch, but he was already out of the bar.
She didn't hear what he said. She rushed away from her partner and outside, not caring about the cool Michigan air outside. She had to talk to Fitch. Her eyes scanned the street, trying to spot his car parked but it wasn't in sight. She began to jog down the street a bit, scanning cars, but it was pointless. He was gone.
Ariana reached for her phone in the holder clipped to her belt. She pulled it out and hit the speed dial number for Fitch's phone and waited impatiently while it rang.
"Pick up, pick up, pick up" she chanted as she waited impatiently.
"I'm not available. Leave a message."
Her heart sank and she opened her mouth and closed it, trying to figure out what to say. Closing her eyes against the tears that threatened to fall, Ariana Sanchez pulled the phone away from her ear and ended the call.
To Be Continued
This is a two-shot because otherwise, Rockerbabe will kill me in my sleep and I'm too young to die. Reviews never hurt to prompt faster continuations ;)