Ray telling Lloyd to buy Julianne flowers and funding their karaoke date seemed out of character to me. This is my take on his feelings about them. Directly follows episode 2x08.

Rated T for language.

I don't own the characters. This is for fun, not profit.

There is nothing a teenage wants more than to defy their parents. They see every order as a direct challenge. Forbidden things always seem more appealing. Sometimes being a good parent means letting them make their own mistakes. If you've taught them well, then they will make the right choices without being told.

At least this is what Ray's ex-wife told him when their daughter started dating a few years back.

At the time, the advice seemed horrible. Let his little girl go out with some horny idiot who just wanted in her pants? Yeah, like that's going to happen. Ray was all for stopping it before it started. He created tons of lists. Some were of things that couldn't happen on the date. Some were of what would happen to that kid's scrawny ass if any of the things on the previous list happened.

Somehow Christina tricked him out of speaking to that kid. Theresa gave up on him in a few days' time. Apparently, they had nothing in common and things just fizzled out. It seemed that this insane approach actually worked.

Ray remembered this insanity when he first saw Lowery talking to Jules. There was something about the way he acted around her. He went from arrogant jackass to almost likeable know-it-all in less than a second when she showed up. They looked almost like teenagers around each other. Lowery was the brainy teacher's pet that everyone wanted to kick the shit out of. Jules was the shy bookworm who just wanted to be left alone.

Ray decided that he would just follow Christina's advice. He would let it fizzle out. Hell, Lowery wouldn't be able to get Jules to go out with him anyway. Let him try to make a move on her. It's not like she would return his feelings. She was smarter than that.

That's when things started to get weird.

Jules was getting better.

Because of Lowery.

His influence was making her stronger. She was making him more tolerable. For a while Ray encouraged the friendship for Jules' sake. For half a minute he even felt sorry for Lowery. The guy stared at Jules with such longing it made Ray forget he was a con. For that thirty seconds Lowery was just a guy who was halfway in love with a girl so far out of his league. Jules deserved to be looked at like that. Ray's suggestion to buy her flowers came out because he forgot that this guy was a convict with a heavy sentence and she was a (sort of) Marshal.

Lowery never took the advice and bought flowers. The dumbass didn't screw up the friendship. They kept getting closer and closer, dancing around each other. Ray tried to separate them by taking Lowery into the field more. Ray kept waiting for the animal to do something to make Jules hate him. He had plenty of opportunities. Ray even funded their trip to God knows where with the hopes that Lowery would mess it up.

Lowery wasn't the only one Ray was trying to influence. He told Jules what would happen to Lowery if they did get together. Okay, so Ray talked to her under the pretense that they were talking about him and Erica. It was the same spiel he gave himself whenever Erica flirted with him. Marshals weren't allowed to date convicts. He could lose his badge. He would sure as Hell lose his job on the task force. The parole board would definitely deny Erica parole if her only reference was her handler/boyfriend. If he wanted any kind of future with her, he would have to keep his hands off her for the time being.

This discussion had the opposite effect on Jules than it should've had. Somehow she spun it into 'kissing Lowery is a great idea.'

(Funny how it always seemed to be Jules and her kissing that caused awkward situations.)

She had great timing too. Damien was fixating more and more on Lowery. Jules could get seriously hurt in the crossfire. She had already been kidnapped once in her time with the Breakout Kings. That time she'd been back in less than an hour and it was still traumatic. Damien was a sick son of a bitch so there was no telling what kind of damage he could cause her. Taking time away from Lowery would keep her safe from that pain.

A little voice in the back of Ray's head warned him that it wasn't Jules getting kidnapped that would hurt her the most. He saw how upset – no devastated - she was after she picked up Lowery. Her hands shook violently. Her breathing looked almost like it did when she had a panic attack. It seemed like a good idea at the time to send her to pick him up. She was the most upset over his kidnapping. She would bring him the most comfort, most reassurance that he was safe. Ray didn't take her reaction to seeing him into account. He still wasn't sure how they made it back alive and in one piece with an upset Jules at the wheel. She was puking her guts out in the toilet as soon as Ray took the others to transpo.

Jules can't put her Lloyd back together and it's killing her.

Lowery could sure as Hell fix his Julianne though. He slowly would undo all the damage, piece by piece.

He would talk with her.

Make her laugh.

Be there for her.

It was completely ridiculous that Lowery of all people was the only one who could fix Jules. There it was though. Somehow those two idiots were right for each other. Perfectly insane had become insanely perfect.

Or it was.

Now, Jules was a wreck and Lowery had a death wish. His scrawny ass wouldn't last another month in Rahway. So it was up to Ray to reassemble them. He didn't want to, but he knew that they would never be whole without each other.

He would give Lowery the next week off (if they got a case) and cite stress from the kidnapping as the reason. He would then set a date for their long time coming funeral for Charlie. He couldn't get the Kings to the actual funeral, but he was going to make sure they could say goodbye properly.

Ray filled out the final paperwork, crossing the t's and dotting the i's. Next Thursday, the Kings would be allowed to visit Charlie's grave and get some closure. A therapist would have to be present and they would be wearing ankle monitors, but it was something. Ray smiled to himself as he signed the last line.

As Ray was packing up he noticed an envelope with a Post-It note attached to it. He recognized the careful handwriting as Jules'.


Thank you for everything.

I'm so sorry.


Ray read the letter three times before his shock allowed him to register what this was.

Jules had handed in her two weeks' notice.

Because she wanted to be with Lowery so much that she'd quit her job and make herself his most obvious target.

So much for fizzling out.