Chapter 1: Frustration and Friendship
Author's Note: So, here's a story I've been developing a bit for the last month. It exists in the "Metaphysical Marathon world" where, YAY, Sean exists. So, although it's certainly not necessary, you may want to read that one first if you have not already so that you can understand some of the jokes and references Sean and Jules make. It deals with the very delicate topic of terrorism, and there will be many references to 9/11 and 7/7 (that would be the precedent they're trying to defy), so if that is a trigger for you, you may not want to read this story. I would have had this up sooner, but my internet connection was out. You know, losing your internet connection is like losing your puppy to my ge-ge-ge-generation; I feel so much better now.
I don't own or have rights to Flashpoint, Shaft, Jameson or Powers Whiskey, Tim Horton's, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Star Trek, James Bond, Jeffery, The Little Mermaid, Angel Grove (Ek-HEMM), Nes-Quick, Desperate Housewives, or Sesame Street. Damn, Sean and Jules make A LOT of pop-culture references…
Reminders (and inside jokes): Sean has gone through training and is now an EMT;Sean has 'two pet' Chia-pets, Elvis and Buddy; Jules teases Sean that he's going to marry Carly (with a 'C' (!)) and that their wedding will have a Little Mermaid theme.
After taking off his now bloody surgical gloves, Sean aimed his flashlight around to view the surrounding area more thoroughly. His breath caught as his beam of light touched on an object that sent waves of the panic he had mostly been over in the past few of months coursing through his body.
"Uhh, Jules…" he called out.
"Sean, if you've managed to make a snow angel in the rubble, I'm really not interested now."
"Nothing angelic at all…"
Jules sighed and cast her eyes in the direction of Sean's light. "Oh, you've GOT to be kidding me…" she whispered to the surrounding, debris filled air.
She picked up Sean's emergency radio. "Boss," she began in a steady voice. "Confirmation that this building is the primary target…"
A Few Days Earlier
Jules sighed as she stared down at the dizzying array of table settings she would have to pick from for her upcoming wedding. Sam looked over from the piece of cake he was sampling to smile at her and plant a nice, big chocolate icing covered kiss on her cheek. "Uhhg, Sam!" she shouted his name like it was a curse.
Sam laughed at both her disgruntlement over wedding planning and over his playfully childish act of 'decorating' her face with cake toppings. "Come over here, Sweetheart; I'll lick it off. It'll be twice as sweet that way…"
Jules simply narrowed her eyes at him before she returned to her task of picking out miniscule accoutrements she'd never thought twice about in her normal life. "Get that tongue anywhere near me and I will twist it into a knot. You won't be whistling while you work for a while, buddy," she said with her eyes still cast down upon the samples in front of her while wiping her cheek with a sample 'huckleberry-plum' napkin.
Sam scoffed and said, "Hmmph, you never had a problem with my tongue when strawberries and cream were involved," under his breath.
"OH MY GOD, DUDE! I'M STILL FREAK'N HERE!" Sean shouted through a wretch from his place across the table from Jules.
Jules snorted. She had to admit making Sean feel uncomfortable was always a fun form of entertainment.
Turning her attention back fully to the line of sample silver wear in front of her, she grumbled and shouted incoherent obscenities. "ARRRGGG! Who knew negotiating a schizophrenic in a nut-house would be easier than planning a frig'n wedding!" She looked up at Sam with pleading eyes. "Why can't we just elope? I hear Las Vegas has really pretty lights this time of year."
Sam looked up at his fiancé's haggard expression and stress lined face and shook his head. "No, Jules. We are not leaving the country to go to some hoochy-mamma establishment to be married by a Shaft impersonator."
Jules rolled her eyes, giving them a workout after staring at samples for so long. She was sure the circular motion was better for them than the cross-eyed expression she'd been wearing for the majority of the last hour. "Why does a traditional marriage ceremony mean so much to you anyway, Sam? I thought you'd be down with the idea of quick nuptials," she argued.
Sam faux huffed and delicately wiped a spot of icing from the corner of his mouth. "Because, Jules, just like every young boy, I always used to imagine my perfect wedding in my playhouse when I was growing-up," he claimed with his head held high.
As Sean snorted a piece of sample chicken half-way across the room, Jules smiled brightly and tilted her head to the side. "Oh my God, Sam. This engagement is teaching me so much about you. I had NO IDEA you were gay," she said in a higher pitched voice than normal to signify her jest.
Sean chuckled and spoke through a mouth full of chicken cordon bleu. "Ya could'a had Steve," her gurgled out.
All thoughts of playful banter immediately left Sam's face as he grumbled and seethed.
Jules smiled at his reaction and leaned over to place a chaste kiss on his temple. "Good to know my options are open."
Sam narrowed his eyes in anger before reaching out to hug Jules closer to him so as to physically claim her in some manner. "Besides, don't you want to look all pretty for our friends?" he asked as if he was attempting to change the subject away from the direction of Jules' ex-boyfriend and close high school friend.
Jules scoffed and rolled her eyes. "Sam, our friends are sweat-hogs. They'd be perfectly happy with Father Joe Flynn performing the ceremony over a Jameson Whiskey at the Goose."
"Hey!" Sean shouted in a mock argumentative tone. "I resent that (!). He's (somehow by the grace of God) a Mon Senior and he drinks Powers (!)."
Jules fought to hide her chuckle. "I concede to your point."
Sam ignored Sean's quip and grumbled disgruntledly at Jules' lack of enthusiasm as he pulled her even closer to his side.
As he pulled her in, he glanced down at his watch and caught site of the time. His eyes grew wide in realization of how late it was. "Whoa, I'm gonna be late for that TL meeting with Ed at Timmy's." He placed a kiss on Jules lips before rising to grab his keys. "See ya later, O'Brian," he fist-bumped Sean then turned to Jules. "Love you," he said as parting words, but then added, "Call your father," over his shoulder as he whipped through the open door.
Jules sighed again.
Sean raised an eyebrow in confusion. "Well, Callaghan, it's good to see you're marrying a guy who isn't too cryptic," he voiced with his signature irony. "Maybe he's training you to solve puzzles on Wheel of Fortune so that you can win your millions and retire from this life of crime."
Jules blew out a breath. "No, not really that cryptic," she said evasively. "And by the way, I'm marrying Sam, not a senior citizen." She held Sean's gaze with a flat, straight expression for a beat before continuing. "And we plan on making our millions on Celebrity Jeopardy. Chevy Chase isn't as smart as he thinks he is."
"I see absolutely no flaws in that plan what-so-ever," Sean replied with a mirrored, straight wit expression.
A beat passed where Sean and Jules shared a familiar chuckle before Sean queried, "Is your father actually Q?" out of the seeming blue.
Jules tilted her head and made an affected line of her mouth. "That depends. Do you mean Bond or Star Trek?"
"Well, you know, ever since Jeffery I have had a thing for Patrick Stewart," Sean responded, but failed at keeping a grin off his face.
He knew there was a reason why Sam would be demanding that Jules call her father, but he was hoping she'd tell him freely without too much coaxing on his part. That was just how their relationship worked. They'd been through the fire of PTSD together and were comfortable enough with each other to voice any problems or concerns they had, albeit, usually in a very sarcastic manner.
Jules sighed and shook her head. She knew what Sean was dancing around. "I haven't really talked to my Dad in about 10 years," she reveled without a hint of irony.
Sean puckered his lips and brought steepled hands to his mouth. "Well now, Constable, that's not something you shared in group Kumbaya." He was referring to their group therapy sessions at PTSD rehab. "And you just KNOW Carly (With a 'C' *Sean fake smiles*) would have had brilliant insight into that one, most likely in relation to her yorkie-poos."
Jules snorted. "She has cocker spaniels, lover boy. And by the way, I need to see the color of the vest for your wedding so that I can coordinate my dress with it. I'm already memorizing all of the songs Ariel sings."
Sean huffed and dramatically threw his hands on his hips like the diva he sometimes pretended to be. "I'll share if you share."
Jules rolled her eyes and sucked in a breath. "That fell into the 'I don't talk about my past' clause. It wasn't pertinent to me being Post Traumatically Stressed. In fact," she paused to twitch her head at a thought and scoff through smiling lips, "I'm pretty sure not talking to my Dad staved off me actually getting PTSD for a few years…" She trailed off her words, lost in thought.
Sean raised an eyebrow at her, got lost in his own thoughts, and flattened his mouth and shook his head. "You're getting Sarge to walk you down the aisle because Q is too busy either making super secrete gadgets to help save The Crown, or detained while he annoys a bald British guy."
Jules moved her pointer finger in a quick rhythm between her head and Sean's as she shook her head in apparent disbelief. "I tell you, O'Brian, one brain, man, one brain."
Sean nodded his head at her gesture with a knowing look, but soon a laugh cracked through his efforts to remain serious.
"Oh, and speaking of the fact that you're my best girlfriend," Jules began without a beat to let Sean recover from such an odd and incongruent declaration. She smiled and tilted her head like a valley girl from Angel Grove. "You still haven't signed-up for a dress fitting as my Maid of Honor (!)". She shook her hands at him as if she was just TOO exasperated by this oversight.
Sean sighed heavily and shook his head with an open mouthed frown as his eyes looked up to the ceiling. "Jeeeweellllsss, I told you I can't wear a dress to your wedding until after my pregnancy (!). Those seam lines are just gonna hug me in ALL the wrong places (!)."
Jules nodded knowingly. "Yeah, I was afraid about that." She sighed. "Well, it's a good thing I have Nat to take one for the team and stand in for you. You and the baby will be in our hearts the whole time," she said while nodding her head.
She paused her motion while a pure, true, thoughtful look lit her face. "Actually, I'm pretty sure Natalie would make Sam break off the engagement if I didn't have her as the MoHo…" she trailed off.
Sean scoffed. "God, she's more high maintenance than a PTSD sniper."
"Ha-ha-ha," Jules voiced with a dark grin before a devilish glint lit her eyes. "Speaking of Nat, I've seen you eyeing her…" Her eyes sparkled as her grin deepened. "You ask her out on an awkward first date yet?"
Sean shrugged. "Nahh. Every time I have a chance, your friend Spike is around and growls at me," he replied with evident, true confusion.
"Yeah," Jules nodded knowingly, then returned Sean's shrug. "The rabies shot didn't take."
Sean looked down at his own watched and winced. "AHHHhhh! I hate having third shift," he grumbled darkly.
"It's been figuratively sweet, Callaghan, but I gotta work in the middle of the night. I'm gonna go home, make some Nes-Quick, snuggle with Elvis and Buddy in front of Desperate Housewives, and grab a nap," he declared, trying once more to hide a sardonic smile.
"Yeah," Jules began in a normal tone before adding, "Lucky bastard," under her breath. Returning to her normal communicative tone, she continued, "You go home to sleep and save the world in a few hours while I'm stuck here looking at," she paused to shudder, "wedding dress catalogues."
Sean chuckled at her disconcerted look of dread as he walked forward to give her a half hug and place a friendly kiss on her cheek. "Oh how the mighty have fallen," he said with a smirk.
Jules narrowed her eyes and looked like she was on the verge of giving him the finger. Instead, she smiled slightly, even through narrowed eyes. "Later, Sean."
Sean jutted his chin out to her on his way out the door. "And call Q. Sesame Street taught me that it's a pretty sweet letter in the alphabet…" he said with a slight laugh as the door closed behind him.
Jules sighed to herself. Both her fiancé and best friend were encouraging her to call her estranged father.
She guessed she was calling her estranged father…
What in the world could be harder than that?
Additional Author's Note: Yay, Witty Jules! I'm so happy to be writing her and Sean again. Comatose Jules just isn't as lively for some reason…Of course she would fall to her knees in defeat at, dun dun dahhh, wedding planning.
Please leave a review and let me know what you think of this story so far.
Thanks for reading,