A/N: Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry! I can't apologize enough to those of you who have read, favorite, and alerted this fic! I had every intention on finishing this thing after my finals were over and then I found out I missed my certification exam by ONE stupid point! So I had to hit the books again and then it was Christmas and then it was New Years and I realized if I never sat down at my computer to type this thing up, it probably wasn't going to happen because I'm an accountant and I'm already insanely busy at work and I got another three months of this! And then I sat down at my computer, multiple times, and started to write…but Sanchez and Fitch were not cooperating. They just wanted to do the opposite of what I wanted them to do and I finally had a "meeting of the minds" and told them to suck it up and just do it already (what I want them to do for the story sake) and they finally saw reason and agreed. So, I apologize, deeply for the delay in this. I hope you like how this turns out. I'm not even sure myself how it's going to play out as I put my fingers to the keyboard – these characters are surprisingly stubborn. I know how I want to start this and I know how I want to end it. The rest of it…well, we'll let it write itself and see how it goes. Hope you enjoy!
You ever have that sick feeling in your stomach that comes from knowing you just made the biggest mistake of your life?
That was how Ariana Sanchez felt all weekend long.
The team was off for the weekend. Meaning, she wouldn't be seeing Louis Fitch.
She tried calling and calling but it went straight to voicemail. She left messages the first few times but gave up after that. She would have gone to his house/apartment/living space to discuss this but she didn't even know where he lived. There was a moment of weakness when she almost went down to the precinct and abused her power to get an address, but something told her that even if she hacked her way into his personnel file, the address would be a fake anyway.
There was another moment that she had grabbed her coat, keys, and was out the door of her apartment when she realized, that, even if she could find him, she didn't even know what she could or would say. She only knew that she had to see him. That they had to talk about this…whatever this was. She couldn't leave things the way they were. Something had to change.
It was the longest weekend of her life but she managed to get through it.
Monday morning couldn't come fast enough. She was up before her alarm and knew she'd be to work ungodly early, but she also knew she wouldn't be alone. She'd have some time alone with the man himself before the rest of the team made it in. Grabbing her coat, she hurried out the door, anxious to work whatever this was out between her and Fitch.
All weekend she went from loving the man more, to being angry as hell at him for not telling her, and hurt that he hadn't wanted to tell her. That much was clear. Right now, she was a cross between hurt and pissed and Arianna knew the only way to get rid of this storm of emotions was to hash this out.
The traffic into Downtown Detroit was surprisingly nonexistent. It was eerie and any other day, she would have dwelled on it longer. Today though, she was thankful for the quick drive into work. Entering the precinct, she crossed to maneuvered through the maze of hallways and file cabinets over to her desk. She was disappointed when she didn't see Fitch already at his.
Shrugging off her coat and tossing it over the back of her chair, Sanchez's eyes did a quick sweep of the area. Mason's light was on and the door was closed, indicating the older woman was already in the building, probably going through new cases and deciding who to assign what. Closer inspection of Fitch's desk made her frown. His coat was gone, computer was on screensaver and phone was on "do not disturb".
Squaring her shoulders and trying to tame her anger, Sanchez crossed the office and knocked on Mason's door. A muffled "come in" greeted her as she was turning the knob to open it.
"You're here early," Mason observed as Sanchez stepped into her office.
"I couldn't sleep. Figured might as well just come in." Mostly true.
"Uh-hu. Since you're here," Mason handed out a file in her direction. "We've had a busy night," Mason continued as Sanchez grabbed the file from her outstretched hand and flipped it open to start scanning the contents. "I had to get Fitch and Washington in here two hours ago. Look it over and when your partner gets here, head out. We've got a long day ahead of us."
Taking her dismissal, Sanchez exited the office and sat down at her desk. She glanced at her phone and saw no messages. Sighing, she logged into her computer and opened the file on her desk, waiting for the operating system to load so she could check her email. Review of the case told Sanchez it would be standard – or whatever crossed for standard when it came to murder in the big city. Probably going to end up being some gang fight or someone caught in the crossfire.
Sometime later, Sanchez could hear the rest of the precinct coming in for shift change. She could hear muffled voices of, what sounded like, the rest of her team coming down the corridor. She glanced up just as Stone and Longford rounded the corner. Stone smiled at her and Longford called good morning. She reciprocated and waved the file at her partner.
After a short briefing, she and Stone headed out to begin their day. Getting into his car, Stone looked at her, a frown on his face.
"Are you ok?"
"I'm fine." Sanchez snapped.
"Look, I know you and Fitch had that fight the other day…that guy can be a real asshole sometimes. If you want to-"
"I don't want to talk about it," She snapped, barely managing to stop herself from adding the words 'with you' at the end of her sentence.
"OK, I get it. I just…" He sighed and started the car. "Forget it."
Sanchez sighed and turned her head and looked out the window as he pulled from his space and towards traffic.
This was going to be the Monday from hell.
It was late afternoon by the time preliminary investigations were completed. Sanchez sat at her desk, running background checks on her victim and close contacts, looking for anything that could connect anyone to the man found shot on Jefferson Ave.
Hearing loud voices, she looked up from her work and saw the door to the interrogation room opening. A man she didn't recognize stepped out, looking pissed – as most suspects do – and storming out of the precinct. He was followed shortly by Washington, who looked a bit like a scolded school boy.
Now as her chance.
Rising quickly from her desk and crossing the room, she could hear Fitch's voice yelling at Washington as he moved away from the room.
"Hey Sanchez" Washington greeted, but she pushed past him as Fitch was exiting the room. Using all her strength, she shoved him back into the room and slammed the door shut behind her.
"What the hell are you doing?" Fitch demanded and Sanchez ignored him as she flipped the blinds closed and turned her attention back to the fuming man before her.
"You've been avoiding me."
"I've been working," Fitch stated, his voice condescending and she resisted the urge to hit him.
"You can't just drop that kind of a bombshell on someone and not have a follow up conversation!"
"This isn't exactly the right time for that!"
"I don't care!" Sanchez yelled, moving closer to him. "If I didn't have you locked in a room with me, you wouldn't even be entertaining the idea of this conversation, and you know it," Sanchez hissed, letting her anger course freely through her.
"What do you want me to say?" Fitch demanded, throwing his hands up in frustration. "That I regret saying anything? That you need to keep your mouth shut?"
"You don't trust me," She stated, laughing bitterly at the statement. Somehow, she managed to keep her voice from shaking as she said the words because it was true. If he had trusted her, he would have told her that night what he was doing. He would have taken her with him.
"You don't trust me," She said again, repeating the words, feeling the weight of them on her soul and her heart.
"Where did you ever come up with that idea?"
"You would have told me sooner, or…"
"What was I supposed to do? Invite you to break the law with me?"
"Are you insane?" He demanded. "You need to drop this," he said, lowering his voice. "This could get us both fired or worst…" He trailed off a moment before pulling himself out of wherever his thoughts had trailed off for a moment. "You don't want to ruin your life like that, Ariana."
"That's what you're worried out?" She scoffed and turned away from him. "You don't have to worry, Louis. I won't tell on you," She spat, crossing to the door and throwing it back open and storming out of the room, not caring that the whole team was acting like they weren't trying to see or hear something of their spat.
She crossed to her desk, grabbed her coat, and stormed out of the office before anyone could stop her. She needed to get away from here.
Somehow, she found herself sitting at a bar, nursing drinks. She felt numb inside, like something inside her had broken and now she wasn't sure how to fix it or even what it was to begin with. She was angry. She was upset. She wanted to yell and cry and scream at the heavens for being so cruel. Mostly though, she wanted a man who was more mysterious and infuriating than anyone she had ever met before. He got under her skin, in both the good and bad way. He challenged her. He understood her. And she thought, somewhere along the way, she had seen want in his eyes. But she must have been mistaken.
The ringing of her cellphone pulled her out of her reverie. Without glancing at the caller id, she answered the call with her standard greeting.
"I know this guy," Fitch. She hadn't been expecting to hear his voice on the other end. Part of her wanted to hang up and throw the phone into the river and switch numbers and providers but shock, and something else, kept her on the line. "and he's been a bit of an ass to his best friend and may have totally ruined a good thing. Anyway, he hasn't been able to stop thinking about her and he wants to say that he's sorry."
"He does, does he?"
"So he says."
"Uh-hu. Sounds to me like he has to do some groveling," She said, smiling in spite of herself. It was typical Fitch. Make up over the phone.
"Oh, I'm sure he'll be doing some major groveling, maybe even some begging for her to forgive him. I hear she thinks he doesn't trust her and she's wrong. She couldn't be further from the truth, because he trusts her more than anyone and it scares him sometimes. And it's my fault that I somehow made you think differently."
"I thought this was about your friend."
"Oh…well, he and I have a few things in common as of late." Fitch recovered and she couldn't help but grin at his words.
"I hadn't noticed,"
"Can we start over?"
"No. I don't think we can." She answered, "but we can move on."
"Where are you?" Fitch asked.
"At a bar. You gonna buy me a drink, Louis?"
"Are you asking me to?"
"I think it'll take more than a drink to make me forgive you completely." Sanchez stated, but knowing it was futile. She couldn't hate the man forever. She loved him too much. Needed him too much.
"Oh, I had more than a drink up my sleeve," Fitch stated, his voice going deeper.
"Promises, Promises," She said, trying to keep her voice steady.
He asked for where she was, and she gave directions. She hung up the phone, replacing it in her purse and took a sip of the beer she'd been nursing before his call. She wasn't sure what was going to happen next. Maybe they'd go back to her place. Maybe to his. Or, maybe they'd just stay in the bar and drink and flirt and talk.
Whatever happened next, she knew for sure that something needed to change between them.