2x01 - Reflections

He holds the little man tightly, for maybe a second too long. Can't help it, he feels closer to this idiot kid than he does to just about anyone else. Except maybe his tough little mom. He wasn't really lying just now when he called Linden his BFF. She and the kid might be his only friends, actually, pathetic as that is.

Lots of smoldering bridges in his rearview mirror, all these black carbon shells holding their shapes and waiting for a stiff breeze to blow them down to ashy piles. His sister wasn't even pissed he didn't make the kid's school thing the other day, when he was helping Sarah. "Typical," his sister said. Didn't even let him come inside when he finally showed up at their door after dropping off Sarah. Typical. Yeah.

That's why he holds this kid, his BFF's kid, this near-stranger's kid, so tight, cuz he wants another chance. Cuz he wants to make amends. Cuz he frickin' likes kids, okay? He likes being a role model and dumb shit like that. He likes the idea of being Jack's friend, his big brother, his uncle, maybe even...

Alright so in his most fevered, celibacy-induced nighttime mind wandering, he maybe just maybe imagined what it might be like to be more than a friend/big bro/uncle-figure to Jack Linden. Like, maybe even a dad. One day. Somehow. Talk about no blueprint, he never had a dad himself. But he's not a junkie thief punk anymore, he's a real cop now. He could be a dad, too, he knows he could.

Whatever. It was just a little daydreaming at night, nothing serious or for real. Just...thinking. Of Sarah Linden. And that tiny tight body of hers. And the way it feels to be in the pit with her, bracing shitbags like Belko Royce, their minds one, their cylinders clicking in time: that's a connection no online dating service could ever sell. And God help him, he's been lonely, alright? He's with the woman like nineteen hours a day, so his head goes places. To possibilities.

He likes Linden. Hell, more importantly, he respects her. That photo of that politician fuck...the guy's guilty as sin, he knows Linden is right. She's a terrible mom, maybe, but the best cop he knows and a super genius. But she was going half-mad putting it all together and he's sick to Christ of all the twisted circumstantial bullshit getting in their way.

And now...she's here, she's back. And he's not real sure why. Twenty-third missed flight? Bad blood with Mr. Sonoma? Cold feet? She is the ice queen and she ain't saying, pry as he might. He sits back down in his chair and says some nonsense about nasty stewardesses. But he'll eat his cigarette if she actually does go back to the airport again.

"Good luck cleaning up the mess," she says sharply. "I hope it was worth it."

His stomach drops down like a lead brick and pushes a choked laugh from him. He has no comeback, no words. That connection, that single-mindedness with her, his partner, his friend, it tells him this: something's wrong. Something big.