Summary: What SHOULD have happened during "The One That Got Away". Story picks up when Sam leaves her in the street.
Author's Notes: All righty, this was fueled by my complete and total frustration with last night's episode. I'm honestly not sure who I'm more pissed off at: Luke, the King of Douchebag Hypocrites; Andy, for letting Luke's obsession with Nixon infect her to the point that it did that she went off to an unsecured building, conducted a slightly illegal search of private belongings, all without backup; or Sam, for losing his temper, even when he knew she wouldn't give up, and dropping the ball. Again. Never mind Rosati for pursuing Luke with such a single-mindedness that she didn't care whose feelings she hurt or who she alienated. grrr...
Anyway, this is completely unconnected to "You Can Let Go", I'm just trying to fix things.
Disclaimer: I don't own Rookie Blue, I'm just trying to fix the cluster-f*** the writers have made of the relationships.
Andy blinked with shock as Sam stalked off, watching with disbelief when he chucked his hot dog into the garbage. What the hell is his problem? She knew she'd been a little... abrasive lately, angry and defensive, but just because she wanted to help Luke catch Zoe Martinelli's killer did not mean she was being unreasonable.
Okay, so maybe she had gotten a little fixated on helping Luke find justice for that murdered rookie, taking up his cause when it looked like it had been Sohpie's neighbor that attacked her, but Andy was sure she had a solid lead here! Sam was being the unreasonable one!
Hell, she'd been dragged along more than once when he got that relentless look in his eyes (the case involving the kidnapped little girl came to mind), so he owed her this at least.
But Sam was usually rather patient and understanding, so what had crawled up his ass and died today (other than the lack of caffeine)? Andy thought back over her conversations with him today and winced; a good portion of her sentences had started with "Luke says" or "Luke thinks" - Sam was generally dismissive of what Luke thought on a good day and there had been more than a little temper in his eyes when he incredulously asked why she believed the word of a man that had cheated on her. So Sam was pissed off at Luke on her behalf, especially on top of her own anger at him, and her constantly bringing up Luke's "white whale" was seemingly only rubbing salt in the wound.
And while she was thinking about it, how in God's name had she gotten so caught up in trying to fix something for the man that had betrayed her? What happened to using his picture as a dartboard, or burning his name in effigy, and why, why, why was she trying to protect his and Jo's reputations when she was the injured and betrayed party here? After what he did Andy didn't owe Luke anything, and she sure as hell didn't owe the home-wrecker a single thing either.
What is going on in your head, McNally?
Still, Andy McNally was no quitter - she'd started down this road and she was damn well going to see it through to the bitter end. One computer search and two phone calls later, she had a serious lead and she started the car. Her first instinct was to go haring off on her own to check things out but wait, that was the McNally who stood alone and didn't need help from anything or anyone. Not that there was a particular problem with that, but what if Nixon happened to come check up on his treasures while she was poking around private property without a warrant or backup?
Andy remembered the crime scene photos from Zoe Martinelli's file and shuddered. Nixon was at least twice her size and built like a brick shithouse, with combat training to boot - and the way his eyes had felt on her while searching his apartment and car quite frankly gave her the creeps.
That clinched it. Andy put the car in gear and peeled out, headed not for the storage facility, but in the direction of the barn.
She caught up to Sam not far from the precinct and pulled over just ahead of him, jumping out of the car so he wouldn't be able to ignore her. Granted, he did his best, even when she called his name and caught his sleeve in her hand, but eventually she said the two words that made him stop in his tracks, two words that almost never crossed her lips: "I'm sorry."
Sam spun on his heel to face her, eyes wide with disbelief. "I must be hearing things, because I could have sworn you actually apologized."
Andy winced in the face of his sarcasm, but couldn't exactly blame him after her attitude all day. "That's because I did; I'm sorry, Sam, for everything today."
"I'm listening," he said, eyebrows raised expectantly. She was relieved to find that his temper had cooled quite a bit since storming off, and raised her hands in anticipation of an outburst.
"Please, just hear me out, and if you shut me down, I swear I'll forget about it," she promised.
The corner of his mouth quirked with sudden amusement. "You're still a bad liar, McNally. Go on."
Andy told him about the storage facility nearby, and the space rented to 'Zoe Martinelli', which made Sam's eyes widen with surprise. "Will you come with me to take a look?" she asked.
"No," he said as her shoulders slumped with disappointment. "We're going to go back to the barn, drag Frank into his office to talk about this, and he'll get us a search warrant so we can do this right. If we just go nosing around, any defense lawyer worth their salt will start bleating about illegal searches and try to get anything we find in there excluded. Something like this has to be done calmly, coolly, and, most importantly, legally. Can you live with that?"
It was less than what she wanted, but frankly more than she was expecting, so Andy graciously accepted his counter-offer. "Thank you, Sam."
Sam knew he would be starting another series of nightmares that night, all revolving around would might have happened if she hadn't thought things through and just ran off, half-cocked and full of damnable self-righteousness. "You're welcome. Can we go back to the barn now?"
Andy laughed and got in the passenger's side of the squad car - after Sam's rather major concession and what she had almost done, giving up rare driving privileges was a small sacrifice to make. She never wanted to give him another reason to mistrust her or her judgement ever again.
Two hours later, a small force, armed with a search warrant, raided the storage space with Andy in the lead. She quickly regretted it when she came across the boxes of carefully catalogued trophies and pictures, her stomach churning. They called in the Crime Scene Unit upon verifying the find, and several units were dispatched to arrest Ray Nixon on several counts of murder.
Once they had him in custody and showed him the mountain of evidence they'd recovered, Nixon freely (almost happily) confessed. Andy watched the interrogation from the observation room, inspecting Luke's face and expecting to see some sort of emotion besides a hollow sort of numbness - jubilation, smugness, gleefulness, anything.
She looked at the face of the man she once would have done almost anything for, the man she loved, the man she had wanted to marry, and felt only hurt and anger. His betrayal and subsequent lies and cover-ups had done more to poison her emotions for him than anything else could have.
Andy might have been able to forgive him almost anything but cheating - after learning that her mother had been cheating on her father for years and had only gotten the nerve to leave once she discovered she had gotten pregnant by her lover, consequently erasing her first family from her life and memory, Andy's tolerance of infidelity was in the negative numbers. Watching her father fall apart afterwards had been the icing on the cake.
She ran, she bolted, she pushed and pushed and pushed, but she never ever cheated (well, her slight indiscretion with Sam aside). The object of her thoughts quietly entered the observation room and came to stand next to her, watching the interrogation with her for a minute. "Thank you for not running off half-cocked," he said softly.
Andy cast Sam a sideways glance through her lashes as the corners of her lips turned up. "Thank you for trying to talk some sense into me. I'm sorry it took me so long to understand."
"You were right; you have good instincts, McNally, you've just got to keep tempering them with caution and common-sense. You do know what could have happened if you'd gone there by yourself without any backup and he'd wandered by to check up on his treasures?" Sam turned his head to look fully at her, trying to communicate the enormous severity and consequences of her possible actions.
For the first time since he entered, Andy looked back at him and nodded. "I have an idea. I'm sorry you felt you had to give up on me."
"I'm sorry I left you alone in the first place." Andy bumped her shoulder into his and suddenly they were perfectly fine again. "Come on, better get changed; you cracked a three-year-old cold case today - everybody who knew Zoe Martinelli is going to want to buy you a drink for helping to bring her killer to justice. I'll even give you a ride and buy the first round, what do you say?" Sam rocked back into her with a flash of dimples.
"Wow, such generosity," Andy exclaimed sarcastically, "however will I get over the shock?" She cast one last look at her ex-fiance over her shoulder as they left the observation room, and then turned to face forward as she followed her TO.
It was another of her rules: no looking backwards, no regrets. Andy admired the way Sam's uniform pants molded to his ass as he walked with a secret smile. She was planning to take some time to herself, to rediscover who she was and what kind of cop she was - so much of her career had been dominated and overshadowed by the fact that she had taken up with Luke within her first two weeks on the job, and she was looking forward to finding out who she could be without the distractions of dating.
That didn't mean she couldn't look, however.
Sam smirked at her over his shoulder, winking at her knowingly. Caught, but not embarrassed, Andy hurried to catch up with him, nudging him with her hip when she did.
Yes, this is going to be a hell of a lot of fun.
That's all folks, and thanks for your encouraging reviews for "You Can Let Go", I appreciate each and every one. :o)