Disclaimer: Not mine. I wish.
Spoilers: 4x07: Shockwave, brief mentions from Terror (3x10) and Fault Lines & Personal Effects (3x13 and 4x01)
The minute those bombs go off, Jules can feel her stomach drop, her heart pounding unevenly as her head spins towards the source. The pulse from the shock is still moving through the air as smoke fills the air, but amidst the screams, she begins to move towards the building. She has three team members, three friends down there, but one comes to her mind immediately, unbidden. Sam. She is only barely able to fight the temptation to go tearing in immediately on her own, instead following Ed's lead.
But that dread begins to mount as Greg continues to attempt to make contact with their teammates inside. Sam, Spike, Raf, talk to me. It's taking everything in her to keep her focus on the task at hand, to not let her emotions show, but she can feel it rising to the surface. And while the relief is immediate as Spike's voice filtered through the earwig, it only lasts moments before Greg's calls to the last member of their team goes unanswered and their sergeant's underlying wave of desperation in his Go find our guy! to Raf bursts the illusion that everyone's okay.
She'll probably wonder later how she manage to wait as long as she did before she made her own plea to the silent constable, but as she runs down the stairs, the words seem to burst out, the few words she allows herself laden with emotion. Sam? C'mon, speak to me, Sam! The panic and fear she's feeling are both laid out where everyone can hear it and she knows it. On any other day, she'd be too paranoid to even look at Sam differently. But right now, at that moment, all she can think is that that man, somewhere inside, can't leave her like this. They'd awoken as they did every morning in a tangle of limbs, laughing together before work. That couldn't possibly be the last time.
Raf's words only serve to further tighten the fist that is clenched around her heart. Oh man, Sam's down! Her hold on her emotions is gradually slipping away as she fights to reassure herself, find that inner calm. He's unconscious, but at least his pulse is good. She's Jules Callaghan, the tough SRU officer, not the girl who breaks down when someone she cares about was in danger, even if it's Sam. Especially if it's Sam, since officially they aren't even together.
As she works, she has to tamp down harder on that box of emotions when she filters Spike's words. Another bomb. There's another, even larger bomb. And they are stuck in that damn hallway. With three hours until a rescue and five minutes until an explosion, the math just isn't working in their favour.
Even as she finishes ushering the crowds away from the building, she finds herself edging towards it until she gets more work to do, more things that will keep her mind off what's going on inside. But Sam's welcome voice, tired as it is, sends a wave of sheer relief through her. Hearing her name coming from him has her blinking back some unexpected tears as she swallow the lump that had been lodged in her throat since the bombs had gone off and their day had gone to hell.
Hearing that he is in fact fine from his own lips is a godsend. And against her own instincts, she can't help berate him. Braddock, you're supposed to leave the bombs to the demolition guys. If asked later, she'll deny there was a tremor in her voice and then berate herself for letting her emotions get away from her. Even if she could feel Greg's eyes on her, Sam's drawling answer of I'd love to is just what she needs to hear and makes her lapse in judgment worth it: familiar, as well as unsettlingly soothing.
I'm good. It's all she needs to rein her feelings in and recover her tough exterior with a long exhale to release the tension.
And while that's one less thing to worry about, there's always more. For every step forward, yet another obstacle arises and it's starting to frustrate everyone. She can hear it in Spike's voice and the sympathy for him washes over her.
He's like her brother, the one who keeps her laughing, who sometimes annoys her, but at the end of the day, she loves him. She knows just how badly he'd hurt after Lou's death and how he had blamed himself. You saying I can't defuse a bomb? Instead of answering his angered statement, she aches for him being in this situation once again, the lives of his friends in his hands. And even later, as she drives away to go to Alexis' house, her heart sinks hearing Spike's side of his conversation with his mom. But his words make her press that gas pedal even harder, watching the speedometer increase steadily. It's my call. This is a drill, okay? I'm last man out. You gotta know where you're supposed to be.
So maybe Sam's the man she's been spending her nights with, whose place she's begun to leave her toothbrush and her shampoo at. She's loved him for so long now and she's only just got him back that the thought of losing him shakes her to her very core. She knows her grip on her emotions has slowly been slipping away today, but if Spike can hold it together as his dad is dying, she sure as hell can too. She owes that to him.
And as one by one, her teammates are pulled to safety, she is slowly letting out the breath she feels like she's been holding all day. Knowing that Sam's safe is one load off her shoulders, but Spike's still down there and even if she's kilometers away, racing her way back to join the team, she can feel that panic, that fear arising from her teammates as the seconds tick away. There's that brief moment where she imagines another explosion, can see what happened to Lou all over again right in front of her eyes. She feels like slumping over in relief when those two words come through. Bomb defused.
Clapping one another on the back, high-fiving one another at the success of an unusually high-anxiety assignment, it's hard to believe that only an hour or so before, they'd all thought it could be an in-and-out type of job, a bomb hoax. She and Sam, they'd been riding in the SUV together, sharing smiles and joking with everyone. But that hour, as nerve-wracking as it had been, showed her just how much she'd fallen for him. Now, more than ever, she knew they were on dangerous territory. It would be near impossible to let him go again and they couldn't possibly fall back into the 'just friends' category. They've already tried that and failed. It really isn't going to go away. And she's beginning to hope it never will.
With Spike safe and off to see his father, there's really only one thing left to attend to. Eyes skimming the area, she jogs over when she sees Sam with Steve. And despite his Jules, I'm fine, she knows better. So she simply makes her 'really-think-I'm-buying-that?' face and uses her hand on his arm to urge him up. C'mon, I'll take him.
The anxiety, panic, and terror, it all fades away when she finally gets to touch him and she can't help but want more than just her hand on his arm. Despite everyone around them, despite anyone who can see, she puts her arm around him, holding him as tightly as she can while still walking. Sam can say it all she wants, Steve can confirm he probably only has a concussion, but she needs to feel for herself that's he's okay. She needs that tangible proof that he is all in one piece, no worse for the wear. She even presses her cheek against his shoulder for a breath, too happy that he's still with her to consider the consequences.
Because it's so easy to put the consequences aside. Everyone's okay. Raf's alive and well. Spike gets to say good-bye to his father. Sam's going to be okay and they'll deal with everything as it happens. So Jules can really only summarize that past hour filled with every emotion on the spectrum with five words that definitely don't do it justice.
That was crazy, wasn't it?
Because it really is crazy, how deep she's let herself go into this relationship with Sam. She loved him before, but allowing herself to love him is a different story. Seeing Steve again reminds her of that conversation about the big picture. She imagined Sam in it before, but now she knows for certain. If she's learned anything from today, it's that she can't picture a life without him. And she doesn't want to.
A/N: So, first Flashpoint fanfiction, but I've been in love with the show for ages now. I'm also equally in love with Jam, so I had to show that in an otherwise Spike-centred episode, which was fantastic. I've honestly watched it about 10 times already and with the break, that's likely to jump. This one-shot's been floating around my head since immediately after the episode aired on Friday, so I hope I did it justice. Review please, I'd love to hear from you! :)