A/N: Unfortunately, this season brings more angst. But there are some great moments coming up that I can't wait to write about!
Spoilers for episodes 4x1 and 4x2, Assume Nothing and All For Our Country.
I knew a thing or two about bullies.
Just because I was a ghost in high school, didn't mean that I floated by unnoticed from day to day. I encountered my fair share of jocks and football quarterbacks hyped up on testosterone that just loved to shove the nerdy kid with glasses around. And somehow, from day to day, I managed to wipe the blood from my nose or cover the bruise on my arm with my sleeve, and convince my mother that everything was just fine at school, thank you.
The bullies didn't manage to boil my blood then, so why did they now?
Fromansky got to me. That much was certain. I wanted to nail him for everything that he stood for, for his skewed notions of justice and brotherhood and his holier-than-thou attitude. And I'd ended up breaking my number one rule: don't get ahead of the evidence.
I wasn't objective. I wasn't following the evidence. I was trying to lead the evidence in the direction I wanted. And that, that made my blood boil.
I set up a new target and re-loaded my gun. Usually one round would do it. Today seemed like it needed at least two. I started unloading on the target, relishing the feeling of power coursing through my veins with every shot. I kept my eyes focused and my mind blissfully blank, while I was shooting, nothing mattered but me, the gun and the target. I fired the last shot and pulled my target nearer. Though I'd hit near perfect shots every time, I contemplating re-loading and doing it all over again. It felt so good to be in control of just one thing in my life. I didn't want it to stop.
As I stared at the box of ammunition, I heard someone entering the target area next to me. I had thought it was closed for the night…
But when I backed slowly around the wall separating each target area, I saw Sara, setting up her target and getting ready to unload her gun, just like I had.
And then I did something I'm ashamed of.
I tried to sneak out.
I returned the checked-out gun, signed out of the target area and tried sneaking out the back way, hoping that Sara had already put on her earmuffs and was dulled to any sound around her. It's not that I didn't want to talk to her… exactly. It was just… we had avoided any sort of real communication since I turned down her dinner offer a few weeks ago. I knew that when she'd left that night, she'd been hurt, but I'd done nothing about it.
Then, I'd disappeared for a week after my surgery. I'd told Catherine I'd prefer keeping the specifics of my surgery between us, but to let the team know that I'd had a medical procedure and would be out for a week to recover. Sara tried to play it cool, but I knew she was upset, and perhaps even offended, that I hadn't told her myself.
So to say the least, I probably wasn't Sara's favorite person right now.
But she must not have had her soundproof muffs on yet, because I was only inches from the door when she called out.
She backed out of her target area and emerged with a confused look upon her face.
"What are you doing here?" she asked.
"Just… unloading," I said as she smirked. "In more ways than one."
"Good way to let off steam."
I nodded. I knew she was waiting for me to say something, but not a single word sprang to mind.
"You, uh, here for any particular reason?"
"No," I said, a little too quickly. I could see the doubt flash across her face. "Well, I'll, uh… let you get to it."
"Yeah, sure," she grumbled.
I had obviously done it again. Said something to upset her. I really don't know how I had such a knack for it, when I didn't even know when I was doing it. I should have said something else, maybe should have stayed and fired a few rounds with her, but I just couldn't. I wasn't ready for Sara Sidle just yet, not ready to sit down and figure out what all these emotions of hers meant.
So I went out the back door, as quietly as before, with the sounds of rapid fire going off behind me.