A/N: I don't own Flashpoint or any of its components- only my own creativity. Thank you, as always, to BeautifulFghtr and SYurri for feeding my muse, and thank you to all of you for the reviews and the patience!
Sam felt the cold metal the moment it pressed up against the back of his head, but the flinch he gave wasn't from the weapon's temperature. His captor had pushed his gun against the wound from earlier in the day- the wound Sam never saw coming.
Earlier That Day
"Um, hey, Nat, I am so sorry. I just realized I can't do breakfast this morning. Raincheck for tomorrow?"
"Uh, sure, Becca…" Natalie said slowly, glancing between the woman and her brother, who had just joined the scene. Sam's face was red, though whether that was from him being flustered or from him walking to the house was yet to be determined.
"Great. I'll see you then!" Rebecca grinned and stood up, giving the woman a hug before she left. As Natalie walked past her older brother, she punched his shoulder playfully.
"Call me later?" she requested in a quiet tone. He responded with a subtle nod, earning a grin from Natalie. She kissed his cheek and left, leaving the other two alone in the kitchen.
Even without Natalie there, the room still had an air of discomfort. Rebecca took a step forward and stopped, as if she was waiting to see what he would do. Sam matched her movement, and then the next thing he knew, she was there in his arms. He wrapped his embrace around her tightly and felt her own arms squeeze his torso in response.
A giggle escaped her lips and it caused him to grin. Sam knew that she hadn't been happy in a very long time. He was glad to hear that things were turning around for her- in fact, that was, in a way, why he was there.
Keeping her in his arms, Sam pulled back enough to look down at her. "How did the weekend go?"
Rebecca nodded a few times before answering. "It was an adjustment for both of us." She paused and furrowed her brow. "Do you think he's going to like it here?"
"Like it?" Sam repeated back, grinning softer. "You're his mother, Becs. He's loved you his entire life, whether he lived with you or not. He spent nine months inside you, with you loving him and taking care of him." He leaned and pressed a kiss to her forehead. "This is an adjustment- just like you said. Give it a little time."
He felt her sigh against him; she was giving in. Rebecca could be stubborn. It took a certain kind of person to be able to handle her. For a long time, the only person who could was Matt. Sam felt a pang of loss as he thought about his best friend and the girl who had to live her life without him now. It was Sam's fault that Rebecca was a single mother, and there were some days when he just didn't know how to deal with it.
For that reason alone, the pair had grown apart. Poor sweet Rebecca thought it was because of the war and losing Matt, and because of that, she had been so understanding. She had no idea what really happened over there, and out of some respect for veterans, she hadn't asked. Part of Sam wished she did; he just wanted the truth out in the open. There was just something stopping him from bringing it up himself. Rebecca had a hard enough time as it was- if he could do anything to stop it from getting worse, he would.
"Ready to meet him?" her voice came soft and sweet, a light in his dark thoughts. Sam dropped his arms from around her and nodded. She took his hand and began to lead him through the house.
"You think he'll like me?" Sam asked as they walked side by side up the stairs. He knew he shouldn't feel nervous to meet a kid that wasn't even his, but he wanted to make a good impression. This was Matt's son, after all. That made him the most special little boy in the whole world.
Rebecca gave an incredulous look. "Are you kidding me? You're fun Uncle Sam! And you don't even have the gross white beard!" She tugged on his chin playfully, and Sam swatted her hand away.
"Not yet, anyway!" he winked, gaining another bought of laughter from her.
"You and Jules ever think about starting a family?"
The question took Sam by surprise, though in reality, it probably shouldn't have. While he and Rebecca weren't close anymore, she had still reached out to him through the years. And yes, she knew about Jules. When their conversations didn't revolve around Matt or his son- who Rebecca insisted was already a genius, the two friends talked about the sexy sniper chick who had single-handed changed Sam Braddock's outlook on life. Through all the ups and down, Rebecca was there behind the scenes. When Sam couldn't vent his frustrations or his desires to his teammates, he had turned to his only remaining friend. She had talked him through everything- from the night Jules jumped off the media tower at the mall to save a lost girl to the 'I love you' he heard just as Jules broke his heart. Every time the job had been chosen over him, Rebecca gave him perspective.
"Girls like Jules- they love at arms' length. Just be there for her, Sammy. She's scared, scared of what she's feeling, scared of admitting to herself that she actually has these feelings. Love is confusing for everyone. Hell, you didn't even believe it existed until she came along. Trust me, it will be worth it."
And it was. Boy, was it worth it! The happiness Sam felt when he was with Jules had no equal. What would he do if someone else came along because of that love?
Sam felt his cheeks flushing, and he quickly dodged his eyes away from her. "I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it, yanno? A nurse placing a little pink bundle into my arms. I look down, and all I can think about is how beautiful she is and how I'm gonna love her forever. She looks just like her mom…" He quickly cleared his throat and shrugged his shoulders, trying to appear nonchalant. "I know you haven't met Jules, but you know enough about her to guess how she would react to maternity leave."
Rebecca had to chuckle as she watched him. Sam really didn't know what he gave away in his face. To some, it wouldn't be as noticeable. For someone like her, who had known him since their childhood, he was like her favorite James Rollins book- open and interesting to read.
Before she could make any snarky comment, they arrived outside the door leading to a little blue room. Inside was a boy with golden hair, Rebecca's green eyes, and a smile he could have only inherited from his father.
"Ben? D'you remember Uncle Sam?"
The mouth of the gun pressed more into his hair, into a swollen goose egg on his head. Staring into those eyes, so scared and confused, Sam had never hated himself more. Each and every shot he had ever taken, Sam carried with himself. Each had their own different fallout, but none like that fateful day in the desert. Now, it appeared, he would finally face his well-deserved punishment.
Sam swallowed to no avail. His lips and throat were so dry that he could barely make a sound. The order came from behind him once more.
The older man's grip was firm on the firearm. He had already used it several times that day, and showed no signs of shying away now. Rebecca was mumbling something about not understanding, though Sam was only half listening to that. There were other things occupying his attention.
Like the sound of the SUV he drove on shift every day pulling up a hundred feet behind him. Jules. Sam closed his eyes and offered up thanks to whoever was looking down on him.
"He's a special kid, Becs."
"That he is," Rebecca agreed with a warm smile. The pair was standing in the master bedroom, looking at the pictures that adorned the dresser in the corner. Ben's smiling face covered every single picture in every single frame except one. In this lone photo, Braddock and Bryan, the pride of Canada's Joint Task Force stood proudly outside their camp in Kandahar. It was the last thing for Matt to send to her while he was overseas, and it was also the last picture the two best friends would ever be in.
Sam kept his eyes on that one, somber and serious as he looked into a face he would only see in photos now. Some days, it didn't feel real. Other days, like today, it felt too real.
"He loved you, you know," she said softly, catching his attention.
For a moment, Sam gave her that same sober look he had given the frame, but then managed to grin- even if only slightly. "Naw. He liked me. He loved you. He missed you like hell when we were over there…" His voice died off at the end, and like before on the stairs, Sam had to glance away. This time, it was for a totally different reason.
When he did turn his eyes to her again, the dull pain had washed away, or rather, he hid it. "There are so many things I can't wait to teach Ben. Going camping, playing chess, firing a gun, picking up girls-"
"-Oh no! You are not turning my son into a mini Braddock! That's why you have your own offspring!" Rebecca laughed, but was only half kidding. She knew what kind of guy Sam was before Jules made him honest. No way was her baby boy going to end up like that! "I won't have you turning my son into some womanizer!"
The two old friends were laughing and joking with each other so loudly that they didn't hear a third party enter the room. It felt like something exploded behind him as the butt of the older man's pistol can crashing down on his head, knocking him to the floor. Rebecca's hand flew to her mouth as she screamed in surprise and watched the metal crash down on Sam's skull again.
Before Sam blacked out, he could just barely hear the words his unseen attacker uttered. "I will not let you take him away from me too."
At the trucks, the team piled out quickly, and it was hard not to rush right into the situation.
"I'm not losing a man today, Greg."
"No one's losing anyone, Eddie."
Ed and the Sarge were having a difference in opinion as to how to tackle this situation. Even though Ed was technically tactical leader, Greg often had important intel and opinions that would help shape the attack plan.
Knowing there was no time to argue, Ed finally relented. "Fine. Raf, you swing out wide left. I'll go right. We wanna approach from behind and see if we can't get Rebecca out of there before Mr. Bryan escalates again."
"He's already escalated," Spike was quick to point out, earning a disapproving look from the team leader.
"Spike, you go with them too. Wide open field, nowhere to hide except that tree. I want you approaching directly from the back, behind the tree. Raf and Ed, Sierras."
"Got it, Boss."
"What about me?" Jules asked. The whole team knew about her relationship with Sam. It hadn't been a secret for a long time. She was keenly aware that if Greg had it his way, she would be out of this operation; she would stay in the command truck until Sam was safe and the situation was contained. The whole team knew, however, that this wasn't possible.
"I want you as my second," Greg replied. "Grab a shield." His order was met with silence- she was already sprinting to the truck to retrieve the equipment he asked for.
"Tell her!" The man shouted, unknowingly turning the heads of the SRU officers already on scene. Sam was bobbing in and out of consciousness, and while he knew what he was supposed to do, he couldn't seem to get his lips to move. It was like there were wires crossed upstairs. He couldn't get himself to speak.
The gun trembled against his skull for a moment as he heard Mr. Bryan cock the gun. When he spoke again, his voice was low, lethal. "Tell her, or she'll have the pleasure of watching your brains blown out right before her."
"Sam!" The desperate plea rang through again. Rebecca must be so confused and lost. Sam knew that he needed to apologize to her about this one day… If only he had that one day.
"Michael Bryan!" A loud, familiar voice boomed through the field thanks to a megaphone. Team One was closing in.
"Boss…" Sam wheezed, and was promptly kicked in the back for the third time in the past 10 minutes. He slumped forward, face first into the grass. At the same time, Michael snapped his head in the direction of the new voice. 50 feet away, Greg, accompanied by Jules, moved towards the scene.
"My name is Sargent Greg Parker, and I'm with the Police Strategic Response Unit. Let's talk."
A/N: It appears that Team One's arrived just in time to "keep the peace!" All Michael seems to want is the truth- right? If Sam tells Matt's widow the truth, maybe this will all blow over... hopefully.
And to all those who asked- Rebecca was Matt's girlfriend before he went to war. They never got to exchange vows or anything like that, but he had plans to ask for her hand. :/