A/N: In my mind, this takes place a few days after episode 2.09 leaves off. I still can't decide if I like this or hate it (my opinion changes hourly) but I figured I'd post anyway. Let me know what you think.
Disclaimer: If I owned Rookie Blue, I'd be busy writing Season 4, instead of fan fic.
"Mounted unit training guy asked me out again yesterday. He thought it would make a difference that he's not going to be my instructor anymore, since my rotation ended," Andy tells Traci, her first official morning back at 15th division.
"That's the second time he's asked you out, Andy. I think you should accept," Traci encourages.
"No-o," Andy drawls out while shaking her head in the negative. "No, thank you."
"Why not? You said he was kinda cute, right?"
"Yeah, but… No. I'm off cops, remember? What would I do with a horse cop, anyway Trace?" Andy asks, trying to nix the whole idea.
"Maybe he can further instruct you on your riding skills," Traci says while suggestively wiggling her eyebrows up and down.
Andy rolls her eyes and feigns disgust at the innuendo, shaking her head and rolling her eyes. Then she wrinkles her nose and makes a production out of listing his unappealing qualities, using her fingers to count them off. "He has a huge ego, he's kind of a control freak, and his name is Bernie. Bernie Lucas. Neither of those names makes me think of anything good right now," she persists.
"What does his name have to do with going out for dinner or something?" Traci asks, genuinely confused. "I'm not suggesting you marry the guy; just go out on one date."
"Trace, I'm really just not that interested in dating right now. I need to focus on getting my life together," Andy insists.
"You keep saying that, but I really think it would be a good thing. It'll help you to move on; get you 'back in the saddle'," she adds with a laugh.
"I have moved on. I am soooo over Luke," Andy insists, ignoring her best friend's bad pun.
"If you're so over him, then what's the harm in getting under somebody else?" Traci asks, trying to sound as innocent as possible.
"Really, Traci?" Andy scowls, starting to get slightly annoyed.
"What? I'm just saying, I bet he could provide a good aerobic workout. Hey, it would be better exercise than those stupid yoga classes you're always raving about," she mocks.
"Those classes are not stupid! They are really good for stress," Andy insists. She takes a breath, shakes her head and switches gears. "I can't believe that you of all people are encouraging me to do this. I told you I am off cops," Andy maintains. "Besides, you know how I feel about, um, the… situation."
"Ah, I get it." Traci smiles when the light bulb goes off in her mind. "It's not about the date, but rather who it's with."
"We are done talking about this," Andy stresses while looking at Traci pointedly and slamming her locker door shut. "No dates. With anyone."
"Okay, if you say so," Traci says with disbelief. She smiles knowingly the entire time she follows her friend to the parade room for their morning briefing.
Andy grabs the utility bag and makes her way out to the squad car to find Sam leaning up against it, waiting for her. Once she shoves the bag in the back, he hands her a piping hot cup of coffee, made just the way she likes it.
"Thank you," she exclaims, blowing air through the cut out of the lid to cool it off a bit. "I really needed this."
"Good to have you back, McNally." He walks over to the driver's side and yanks the door open. When he looks up at her, he smiles and shoots her a wink.
She smiles brightly at him in return. "Good to be back." She winks before slipping into her own seat.
It's a fairly easy day out on patrol. Sam and Andy answer a few minor calls, grab some lunch and scan the streets. With their easy flow of conversation, and a few bad jokes from Sam, Andy easily forgets what she and Traci were debating about that same morning. That is, until they are nearly done with shift and Sam asks a question that snaps it right back to the forefront.
"So, how was the equine training?
"It was good, I guess. Different, yet… not," she answers elusively.
"How's that?" Sam questions.
"I mean, I thought it'd be fun, fresh air, change of scenery and all, but my T.O. there was just as much of a hard ass as the one I have here," Andy teases while giving him a stubborn look.
"Is that so?" Sam asks, amused. "Did you give him just of a hard time as you do me?"
"I do not give you a hard time!" Andy insists, "Well, not on purpose, anyway."
"Mm-hhmm," Sam hums, like he doesn't believe a word she is saying.
"It's true," she maintains. "Besides, I must not have irritated him as much as I do you, because he actually wants to spend more time with me," she huffs. Then, just to see his reaction, she confesses, "He asked me out."
Sam schools his features, tries to hide the irritation that he suddenly feels scratching at his bones, but can't help the contempt that seeps through his sarcastic reply. "A Bambi and a horse guy, how fitting."
"Very funny," Andy spits out nastily. Then, softer, in a way that somehow always makes him feel like a jerk, "You know, I really wish you'd stop calling me that. I'm not a rookie anymore, Sam."
He cringes at her tone but still, he defends himself. "That's only the second time I've ever called you that." Then, because he knows that he upset her and wants to make it right, he adds, "You're right though. You're not a rookie anymore. I'm sorry."
She gives him a weak smile. "It's okay." Then, she adds with a mock glare, "Don't let it happen again, or I might think up a good name or two to call you."
"I'm curious to hear what you'd come up with," he chuckles, relieved that she didn't actually start to pout. He clears his throat and forces himself to ask, "So, you gonna go?"
Andy decides to play at obtuse. "Go where?"
"Out with him," Sam clarifies through gritted teeth.
"I haven't decided yet," she says with a shrug. "I mean, Traci thinks I should, but I don't know if I'm up for all of that again."
"All of what?"
"Dating. The whole 'getting to know you' spiel, trying to be flirty and impressive – it's a lot of work," she explains. "Plus, like, first kisses? They can be downright nerve-wracking."
Sam shakes his head. "You get yourself into near death experiences once a week, but you're afraid of a little kissing?"
"Duh, not of kissing in general, just of first kisses. They are stressful, I'm telling you. You spend the whole night deciding if you even want the guy to kiss you, and then you go through the whole 'will he or won't he' panic, on top of worrying about if your breath is okay and stuff," she rambles on, insistently. "It can be very stressful - and awkward."
Sam gives her a disbelieving look, eyebrows raised high.
"What?" she questions.
"Nothing," Sam replies, as cool as can be. "Nothing at all."
"Tell me," she demands petulantly.
"I was just thinking- you didn't seem all that nervous or shy when you knocked on my door and kissed me for the first time," he reminds her.
She narrows her eyes at his smug smile. "Not the point. Besides," she says defensively, "that wasn't really a first kiss."
"I know I'm getting older, but I'm pretty sure I would have remembered if you'd kissed me before then," he retorts.
"That's not what I mean."
"So are you saying we didn't kiss?" God, how he loves to see the blush that comes to her cheeks when he puts her on the spot.
"We did, but, you know, it was just…" she trails off, delicately trying to find the right explanation without inadvertently triggering any minefields.
"Just what?" Sam asks again, his tone nearly daring her to say something to set him off.
"Just… whatever. It was what it was," she responds, snidely.
Sam winces pretty hard at that one. He guesses that he deserved it. "I guess it was," is all he could respond, his voice flat with disdain and regret.
"I'm just saying, shut up about it. It didn't really count as a first kiss, okay?" Andy declares adamantly.
"Okay," Sam says quickly.
"I'm just saying…" Andy starts again, softer, "A real first kiss is like, when you go out on a date, end of the night kind of thing, you know? That's all I meant."
"Okay," Sam repeats.
Neither of them says anything for a while after that, and the awkward silence becomes deafening. The tension is nearly palpable as the pair ride around for what seems like an eternity, both blatantly avoiding the looming elephant in the cruiser.
Finally, Sam clears his throat and breaks the silence. "Maybe you should," he states matter-of-factly.
"Go. On the date," Sam elaborates. "I think you should go."
Andy blinks, once and hard. "Oh yeah, and why's that?"
"Go out, have some fun, get back in the game," he explains. "It'll help."
"Help what?" Andy snaps.
Help us move this process along, he screams at her in his head. When he doesn't say anything immediately, she plows right on.
"Are you implying that there's something wrong with me?"
"Relax," he says, soothingly. "I just meant that it could be good for you."
Dating someone else is pretty much the last thing Sam wants to encourage her to do. At this point, though, he is itching to try to make a go of it with her, and he wants to make sure. If he is going to take a chance and put his heart on the line, he needs to know she is one hundred percent in it for the long haul; no regrets, no looking back. He couldn't stand to be a rebound guy.
"Oh really?" Andy asks, "Is that what you think I need?"
She's somewhat aware of the fact that each word she spits out is dripping with sarcasm and a hint of hurt, but in this moment she really, really doesn't care. A date is the last thing she needs right now, at least one with a stranger. She has moved on, and to have everyone doubting that, makes her feel like some sort of weak woman; a victim of sorts who can't manage her own emotions.
Sam shrugs in response to her bitter questioning, resigned. "Maybe."
"Fine," she says, peeved. "Maybe I will."
Inwardly, Andy is reeling over his suggestion. She had thought that by sharing the date invitation with Sam, he might've been motivated enough to finally make a move on her. But, no. There he sits, right next to her, stoic and as unaffected as ever; pushing her, once again, into someone else's arms. Maybe she is constantly misreading the vibe that flows steady between them. Maybe he really just isn't interested, after all. 'He's just not that into you' her brain shouts at her, like a curse.
"Good," Sam responds, his tone equally as churlish.
Neither one says another word to each other for the rest of the shift.
"I'm thinking about going on that date after all," Andy announces, as she shoves her uniform into her locker at the end of the day.
"Oh yeah?" Traci questions with a skeptical look on her face, "What changed your mind?"
"You made a convincing argument this morning," Andy lies. "Plus, other people think it would be a good idea, too, so…" she trails off with an indifferent shrug.
"What other people?" Traci questions.
"Just some… other… people," Andy says, willing Traci to read between the lines.
"Ah," Traci realizes, "Swarek still pulling the 'too cool to care' card?"
Andy frowns at her friend and glances around the mostly empty locker room before giving her a marginal nod that lets her know that she's got it exactly right.
Gail, who emerges from the shower right at that time, speaks up. "Ugh, why don't you just do Swarek and get it over with already? It would put you both, and all of us, out of this misery."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Andy says, trying to fake ignorance.
"Right," Gail mocks in her usual, sarcastic and indifferent tone while rolling her eyes. "And Dov's the coolest person in the room. Seriously, if you two ever actually admitted how you felt about each other, I think I'd die from shock."
"Well, that'd be reason enough," Andy shoots back just as sarcastically.
"Ooh, feisty," Gail hisses. Andy simply rolls her eyes in response.
"Whatever, you know it's true," Gail maintains.
Andy turns to Traci for support, but Traci only shrugs and hides her head inside of her locker.
Gail finishes dressing quickly and heads toward the door. "See you at the Penny." She bids them goodbye in a sickeningly sweet voice. Just before she rounds the corner of the doorway, she turns back. "He likes you, you know, and he is actually a decent guy. Don't screw it up." Although her voice is warm and friendly, it would be impossible to ignore who exactly she's referring to, as well as the warning tone underneath the sentiment.
At that exact moment, Andy's phone vibrates with a new text message.
Bernie Lucas: Just got off shift. Headed out for drinks at 'Grindhouse'. Would be honored if you joined me tonight.
Andy texts him back:
Sorry, can't. Headed to The Black Penny with some friends. She hesitates, debating whether or not to add more. She thinks of Sam and Traci and decides: to hell with it. 'You're welcome to come' she adds, quickly pressing send before she can change her mind.
There, it's out there. Not an actual date acceptance or invitation, just a casual suggestion for hanging out. If Traci and Sam were so insistent that she should date, it shouldn't be a bad thing that she throws the invitation out there to see what happens. Bait in the water, she thinks, but isn't exactly sure who she's trying to lure.
She smiles at Traci and follows her out the back door, to her car en route to the Black Penny.
Sam is ridiculously relieved when Andy walks through the door of the Penny. Her grey shirt against her black, form fitting jeans show off all of her curves, and to top it all off, she is wearing makeup. Makeup or not, she is drop dead gorgeous. Plus, he is instantly fifty times happier over the fact that that she's alone. No date she spoke of earlier doting along behind her. She takes her normal seat amongst the rookies and raises a glass of beer in salute to 'another day, another dirt bag'.
Sam sits back, and exhales, relieved.
The relief, however, is short lived when he watches tall-dark and handsome stroll through the door and make a beeline straight towards Andy. He lets out a humorless chuckle and shakes his head. It shouldn't be a surprise. He damn near dared her to go on a date with the guy- a guy that was not him. Idiot.
Sam's outward appearance seems as calm, cool and collected as usual, but in reality, his eyes were beginning to burn holes through the mirror behind the bar, which reflects each move Andy and her so called date make.
He feels his muscles stiffen, and his jaw tighten with each and every centimeter they advance toward each other. He could really use a distraction right now, but Jerry's still on a case, and Oliver's home, on best behavior trying to return to Zoe's good graces. He's not exactly sure why Frank and Noelle haven't been around much lately.
So, the guy is nice enough, Andy thinks. He's good looking, has spent almost the hour that he's been there talking about work and has this kind of arrogant air about him. Basically, he reminds her a little of Luke – and not in a good way. She excuses herself, under the premise of getting more drinks, while he is deep in conversation with Chris and Dov about the importance of mounted unit police officers.
Really, she just needs to get away from the guy for a few minutes.
"McNally," Sam acknowledges her with a rueful smile when she slides up next to him, signaling for the bartender.
"Oh, hey," she returns, like she just realized he was sitting there.
"Having a good time?" Sam questions warily.
"Yep," she answers, looking anywhere but at him.
When she finally looks over, he has his eyebrows raised high, the way he does when he doesn't believe her. "Oh, yeah?" Sam questions, "Because you're frowning."
"I am not," she argues and rolls her eyes.
"So, uh," Sam throws his head over his shoulder quickly and looks back at her, "Is that your date?"
"Uh-huh." She nods, and then throws back at him, "Why you want to meet him?"
"I, uh, think I'll pass," Sam says bitterly. He eyes the guy again, sizing him up one more time and then asks her, "So that's the horse instructor guy?"
"Yeah, so?" she questions defensively, preparing herself for some snide remark.
"Nothing. Good." Sam takes a long sip of his drink. "So, how's it going?"
"Fine. Good. Great," she says immediately and all at once. She always has been a terrible liar.
"He seems nice, respectable," Sam hedges.
"Yeah, like I said, he's nice," she says weakly. Sam raises one eyebrow to silently call her bluff and her façade instantly crumbles. "Okay, and maybe also a little boring and self-centered," she whispers conspiratorially.
"Ah, just your type," Sam quips.
"Shut up," Andy demands, as she slaps his forearm. She can't help but to laugh along with him, though.
"Well, good luck with that," Sam says as he begins to stand.
Andy grabs his arm to stop him from getting up completely. "Where are you going?" she asks, nervously.
Sam glances down quickly at the place where both of her hands remain wrapped around his forearm and can't help but smile. "I'm hungry, McNally. I'm going to get something to eat."
"Eat something here," she encourages him. And yup, there is definitely a hint of pleading in her voice. She's not exactly sure why she wants or needs him to stay so badly, but she does.
"Uh, as much as I'm enjoying the show," Sam says sarcastically, "Nachos and hot wings for dinner really isn't my style." And I'd rather not have it come back up my throat watching you with another guy.
"No, yeah, of course," Andy agrees, shaking her head as she backs away and finally releases the grip she has on his arm.
Sam narrows his eyes and takes in all of her over exaggerated gestures along with the uneasy look in her eye. Before he can think better of it, he hears himself ask, "What? You want to come with me?"
"No, I mean, yeah," she stutters, "I mean, no. I can't, obviously."
"Well are you hungry or not?"
"I am," she stresses. "But you know," she says gesturing towards the rookie table, "I can't just like… leave."
"He hasn't seemed to notice that you've been gone this long," Sam says with a shrug. "Up to you."
"Well it's not like it was really a date…" Andy admits coyly.
"Meet you at the truck in a few," is all Sam says before he tosses some money on the bar and heads for the exit.
Andy escapes to the bathroom to think for a second. She studies her appearance in the mirror, futzes with her hair and re-applies her lip gloss. Then she rolls her eyes at herself. What the hell is she doing? She takes a few deep, steadying breaths before she yanks the door open and heads back to her table.
Dov jumps all over her immediately. "Where the hell is the beer?"
Crap. She forgot to order the drinks. "Um, yeah, see the thing is, I've got to go," she answers nervously, sidestepping Dov's question.
"Go?" Bernie, her date, asks confused.
"Yeah. Sorry, my dad called, I really need to go help him out with something that can't wait," she lies.
"Do you need a ride?" he offers, standing up.
"Um, no. I called a cab. Thank you though. I'm just gonna," she hitches her thumb over her shoulder, "go now." She gives one quick wave of her hand, "Bye everyone."
"Good luck with your dad," Traci says, smiling from ear to ear. "Call me later… or … tomorrow, yeah?
"Yep," Andy calls out, already headed for the door. "Later."
Flustered, she scrambles into the passenger's side of Sam's truck and slams the door behind her. She looks over at him and exhales loudly.
He can't keep the smug, dimpled grin off his face when he asks, "So, what do you want?"
She blinks up at him, "What do you mean?" Sometimes she swears he deliberately asks questions with multiple meanings. And why the hell is she suddenly so nervous around him?
His dimples deepen as his smile widens. "Food, McNally. What are you in the mood for?"
"Oh. I… I'm up for anything," she responds as he puts the truck in gear and begins to back out of the parking spot.
"Up for anything," Sam repeats, slowly, like he's debating what exactly she means by that. "You sure?"
Andy really doesn't know if they are still talking about food or not, but it doesn't matter because she is with him. She figures that there really is only one answer to that question. "Absolutely."
E/N:Please let me know what you thought. If you want to read more, I can have the 2nd and final part up tomorrow.