Title: Scars of the Past
Chapter 1 – Altered Futures
Summary: AU Ed's life takes a surprising turn when someone with ties to his past unexpectedly shows up, disrupting his future. The person brings life altering news that best friend Wordy hasta help him work through and a deadly foe to help protect him from.
Disclaimer: Sadly I own nothing from the awesomeness that is Flashpoint (I only own my purchased DVD collection)! Lol if I did Ed would be married to me! *wide grin*. Any other OC's are my own and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidence as I use a random name generator for most of my OC's
A/N: Okay so have been mulling this AU idea around for a bit. I don't want to say much as I think it'll be explained in this opening chappy and the next few and don't really want to spoil too much up front. It's very AU but you'll notice the changes to their personal lives only, they are still Team One in a professional capacity. So without much further ado, I will let you read and duck into the closet until you're done.
"Ed behind you…"
Ed turns just in time to see the second hidden perp jump off the darkened landing, his body plowing into the surprised SRU team leader's, sending them both tumbling backward and then down a small flight of stairs.
"Wordy…talk to me."
"Subject two…just jumped…Ed."
"Boss I have subject one lined up," Sam's voice is heard over the headset.
"Hold on Sam. Wordy…"
"A few more seconds boss…" Wordy grunts as he races after his best friend and team leader, grabbing the back of the perp's jacket before he can make a play for Ed's MP5. Ed punches the perp in the chest, the perp landing a soft blow to his lower jaw, forcing Ed's face to wince from the stinging blow.
"Hands where I can see em!" Wordy shouts as he tries to drag the struggling body free of Ed's tangled limbs. Ed finally gets himself free and onto his knees, raising his gun and cocking the trigger.
"Hold it right there or I will shoot…I will shoot!" Ed's angry and almost out of breath voice growls the command; the perp finally stopping his fruitless actions as he comes face to face with the barrel end of Ed's high powered weapon.
"Subject two in custody," Wordy tells the team after he finishes cuffing the suspect they were assigned to chase.
"Good work. Jules tell Mr. Ryerson we have his partner and…"
Ed slowly stands upright and follows after Wordy, his right hand rubbing his tender jaw and frowning at the man before him; a man still sputtering about his innocence despite the tense situation team one had found him in. Subject one finally surrenders, letting team one hand the subject off to the local officers to be processed and head back to the barn for the team debrief and then for home.
About an hour later, Ed looks over at Wordy as he checks his watch for the second time in about five minutes and leans in closer toward his best friend's locker.
"Sort of," Wordy replies as he pulls out his wallet and checks a small slip.
"Wait that's…you bought…it?" Ed asks in a hushed whisper.
"I hafta go pick it up."
"When are you asking her?"
"This Friday," Wordy whispers his reply as he shoves the receipt back in his wallet and then stuffs his wallet into the back pocket of his dark jeans.
"I know Shelly and I have only been dating six months," Wordy shrugs. "But hey when you know you know…still nervous."
"She's gonna say yes," Ed nods as he sees his girlfriend in the distance. "I'll see you later."
"I'll have dinner at Shelly's tonight."
Ed watches Wordy take his leave, heading for the small jewelry store, hoping to get there before closing time so he could pick up his engagement ring and then plan his proposal for a few nights later. As happy as he is for his best friend, Ed's own inner nervousness starts to surge as he ponders Wordy's next move in asking Shelly to marry him. He and Donna Sabine had been dating for about four months and he knew from the moment he met the fiery, golden haired beauty he was smitten. Not being able to read women that well, something Wordy always teases him about, Ed figures she'd say yes, afterall they were at the 'I love you' stage. A proposal was next right? He didn't want to be with anyone else. But did she want to be with him just as much? When it comes to the job, he was sure of most everything, women? He was sure of almost nothing.
"Hey," Donna greets him with a friendly smile, her face morphing into a frown when he turns to her and she sees the slightly bluish mark just below his bottom lip. "Tough call?"
"The standard. What's going on?" Ed nods toward the small commotion she had walked away from for a few minutes.
"Heard about the shooting at Ryan's Flower Shop?"
"That was your team?"
"Sadly yes. I'd gladly defer this mess to you or Troy in a heartbeat," she adds lightly. "Looks like I'll be stuck here a few more hours at least. Tom's got most of it taken care of but still a few lingering questions that…"
"Need the boss at the helm, I get that," Ed replies with a soft smile. "Are we um…still on for Friday?"
"Even if we get a hot call I'll be there," she assures him with a smile. "What are y…" she starts only to have Tom call her name; pulling her back to the political mess waiting for her to try to clear up. "Okay I gotta run. Talk to you later."
"Okay," he replies as he watches her head back and then all of team three disappear into another team briefing room. Knowing it would be a long time to just wait around, Ed heads for the exit doors, pushing himself outside and groaning at the fact that he and Wordy had carpooled and he was now left to take the bus and then walk the short distance to their shared apartment.
As Ed heads for the bus stop, his mind starts to ponder his friendship with Wordy, they had started out as friends in university, but their bond was really cemented their first year in the police academy and then even stronger as they had remained partners and close friends for the following fifteen years in law enforcement. Ed hops onto the bus and slowly heads for the back row, slumping down into a lone two-seater bench near the back and closing his eyes momentarily.
But as soon as he opens them he notices a young man with wavy brown hair hold his gaze for a few seconds and then look down, fiddling with something before he places an ear bud in his ear, not looking at Ed again. Ed merely shrugs it off as a casual glance from a stranger and looks out the window, absently staring at the passing cityscape, not realizing that the young man was once again watching him intently.
Ed thinks about Wordy proposing to Shelly on Friday and smiles, happy that his best friend has finally found someone he can love and cherish; despite Shelly's rather traumatic past, escaping an abusive ex and finding love and protection in the arms of his caring best friend, a man who would die before he'd hurt a woman.
Ed's stop arrives and he gets off with a heavy sigh, the cool night air perking up his senses a little but not really doing much in the way of energizing him to go for a late night run. It would be a quiet night in front of the TV watching whatever preseason hockey game was on, hoping it was the leafs but settling for hockey of any kind. Not really looking behind him to see the young man get off at the same stop; stepping into the shadows as Ed enters his locked apartment building. He heads for the elevator, telling himself he'd get their mail in the morning and now wondering what the rest of Donna's night would comprise of.
As soon as he enters their quiet two bedroom apartment, Ed flips on the TV to avoid being suffocated by silence and then heads for the kitchen, pulling open the fridge and pulling out the box of leftover pizza. Him and Wordy mostly took turns trying to cook whatever they would call a gourmet meal during the week, but relishing in the delight of eating out on the weekends, happy to have someone else do the dishes and cook food that wouldn't come with a homemade salmonella warning
Ed pops the cold pieces of pizza into the microwave and grabs a beer, slumping down onto the couch and grabbing the remote in hopes of finding anything but the lame movie of the week the current channel is offering. He leaves it on the news channel as the microwave dings and heads back into the kitchen, pausing to look at a picture of him and Donna take a month ago at Sam and Jules two year anniversary party; his two friends and fellow team members happily married and proving that two working professionals could make a go of it and keep their priorities straight.
'What's holding you back? You already mentioned the idea.' Wordy's voice rings in Ed's mind as he takes out the hot slices, dumps them on a cooler plate and heads back into the living room.
On his last date with Donna they had broached the subject of their future, each talking about their past, the fact they wouldn't be bringing any baggage into a new relationship and how important trust and communication were to both.
'I could never be with someone who lies to me,' Donna had told him outright, Ed replying with exactly the same sentiments and ensuring that he had told her in truth everything she wanted to know. Working around each other on nearly a daily basis also helped to grow their friendship and cement their romantic feelings for each other. A future together wasn't only possible, it was almost certain if they did things right.
Ed finishes his supper and heads for the bathroom, wanting to have a shower and then just hit the sack early, maybe do some reading before turning out the lights for good.
"Wordy?" Ed calls out from his bedroom about two hours later.
"You get the ring?"
"I did," Wordy answers as he heads into Ed's bed, Ed putting aside a book on police tactics as Wordy hands him the small black velvet box.
"Nice," Ed remarks as Wordy snatches the box away with a chuckle. "What?"
"Where's your sentimentality?"
"It's beautiful…stunning…perfect…did she say yes?" Ed counters in a cheeky tone.
"I haven't asked yet smart ass," Wordy retorts as he leaves Ed's bedroom, Ed watching him go and smirking before he looks over at the clock and then turns out the light; his mind now wondering what Donna's reaction would be if he asked her to marry him. Might she say no? His mind ponders as he finally succumbs into darkness. Morning coming ever too soon.
"Okay you wanna tell me what's going on?" Wordy asks, pulling Ed's somewhat perplexed gaze away from the window the next morning during their routine patrol.
"You seem…nervous. You like Shelly right?"
"What? Yeah…Shelly's great and I'm happy for you, I really am."
"She hasn't said yes yet," Wordy reminds him.
"Okay, so then what is it?"
"Look I wasn't meaning to push you about Donna…you'll ask when you're ready."
"Okay last night I was on the bus…I was tired…there was this kid staring at me and then…I swear I just saw him again outside the barn this morning but…but it's nothing…am sure it wasn't him…" his voice trails off just as the announcements for a hot call comes in from Winnie, the details quickly flooding the airwaves next.
"Boss, Wordy and I are around the corner. We'll be there in two minutes."
"Copy that Eddie. Sam…"
Ed's mind switches into work mode as soon as they reach their destination, a hostage taking at a bank; the rest of team one arriving and all game faces in play. The situation is peacefully resolved over the next few hours, the tension taking a bit longer to deescalate due to the man inside not fully understanding everything being told him; but finally at the urging of his disabled daughter, surrenders peacefully and is taken away.
Ed starts to pack up his sniper rifle, having been Sierra One atop the adjoining building, thankful that the father might only get a slap on the wrist, as nothing was taken and no one was hurt; he even apologizing for his rash actions but saying he needed the money for his daughter. Ed stows his unused sniper rifle gear into the back and then looks around, his eyes catching an oddly familiar face in the crown, his brain instantly registering the face as the young man on the bus from the night before and outside the barn this morning.
"Eddie?" Wordy's soft tone pulls Ed's wondering gaze to his. "What?"
"Nothing," Ed replies as he turns back to the crowd to see the boy's face gone. "I'm…let's get back to the barn."
Wordy says nothing further as it was public and getting into a tense discussion with his best friend and team leader with myriads of strange onlookers wasn't something he would relish; but Ed's almost skittish behavior the past almost day was now unsettling. Something was bugging him, but what? Who was he seeing? A potential stalker? Or just mere coincidences and something else inside was feeding his paranoia?
After their day was brought to close, Ed and Wordy change into their regular street clothes and head for the car, having carpooled that same morning. Both of them sit for a few seconds in silence before Ed looks over at Wordy in the driver's seat and frowns.
"Okay what's going on?" Wordy asks directly.
"What? With what?"
"With you. You've been more than a little distracted."
"Wordy, it's nothing…really," Ed insists as he looks away; pausing a few seconds and then looking back to see Wordy watching him in concern. "Really."
"How long have we know…"
"Okay fine…I saw that kid again today. At least I think I did. I swear that's it Wordy. It's just…it just struck me as an odd coincidence but we were in the same area so that had to be it."
"It's odd but nothing to be that worried about," Wordy acknowledges. "But…" he starts before Ed can utter another word, "if you see him again start to take it seriously."
"Kid's probably just enamored with cops. I was at that age. And I was in the paper last week...am sure its nothing," Ed shrugs, outwardly trying to show that it meant nothing to him; his tone suggesting it was time to drop the subject. "Nervous about tomorrow night?"
"Shelly's gonna say yes," Ed answers in haste, thankful for the distraction from his own anxious thoughts. As they reach their apartment and go about making a modest dinner for themselves, Ed's mind can't help but remember the boy's face; his expression mostly. It was like he was…wanting something from Ed...almost searching. But searching what? Wanting what? And why him? Just an odd coincidence, his mind tries to convince himself as he and Wordy head into the living room, each taking their respective chairs and slumping down before the third member of their living arrangement – the ever necessary big screen TV.
The two of them make quiet small talk about their day before one heads into his bedroom to unwind, the other to take a shower and then call it a night.
Ed awakes the next morning to the sound of his phone buzzing, his sleepy eyes forcing themselves open to look at the time and then at the message being proudly displayed on the small LCD screen.
Was all it said, a gentle reminder that he had set himself when they first started dating, telling himself that he if always allowed the job to come first he'd lose the woman he was in love with and it would be his own fault. But after dating for four months, the reminder was almost moot now; but still the little flashing message makes him smile as he turns over in bed, stretches and then forces himself to get up, get dressed and head out into the early morning fresh air for a run.
As much as he enjoys working out with the rest of the team at the barn, Ed enjoys the early morning solo runs, able to clear his head and mentally work through any deeper issues plaguing his subconscious. Of course when Donna joins him, he enjoys it almost as much – mostly watching her body in her workout gear. His lips offer a soft chuckle to his own private joke about one aspect of why he enjoys her company before he rounds the corner and stops short, watching two young men talking, stop and look up at him.
His forehead furrows as he nears and then bypassing them with a small nod, gives his head a shake for thinking one of them was the same young man he had seen the past two days in a row. Get a grip Ed, he inwardly orders himself as he picks up the pace and starts the quickened sprint toward home, not looking back and seeing an all too familiar face step from the shadow of a nearby building and follow at a discreet pace to Ed's own apartment, hanging back as Ed enters but once again being seen as he takes a step forward; Ed turning and spotting him for a few seconds before disappearing inside.
"Morning," Ed greets Donna as he and Wordy enter the barn about an hour later.
"Morning your…self," she pauses as she looks at him with a small frown. "Late night?"
"Musta been something I ate," Ed replies with a small frown of his own, not wanting to tell her that it was a small strain of paranoia that he was now infected with. "So…about tonight."
"We still on?"
"We are," he assures her in haste.
"Okay good. My turn to pick remember?"
"That's a meat place."
"You like meat," she quips and he smiles. "Actually…just the name is the same. A new rib place opened up on Dundas. We are going…tonight."
"Sounds good," Ed replies before he looks over at Wordy and smiles. "Tonight's the big night."
"She's gonna say yes."
"That's what I keep tellin' him," Ed lightly chuckles before he gives her a more serious smile. "See you tonight."
Donna watches him leave, her smile slightly morphing into a small frown. The day before wasn't as tense day for any of the teams, in fact it could have been classified as downright boring. She knows he didn't stay up late and since Wordy wasn't sick, it couldn't have been food poisoning. What was it? Something about him was off? Agitated? Anxious even? Maybe it's nothing…maybe just a long week, her mind offers as she spies her Team Three Team Lead, Tom Chambers and heads toward him.
"Am itching for some action," Sam groans as team one lingers around their SRU team meeting table.
"What kind of action samtastic?" Spike lightly goads his friend and fellow team member, earning a small arched brow glance from Greg and not offering anything further, Jules slightly snickering as she offers her husband Sam, a sympathetic glance. "Right…I meant work of course," Spike stammers with a nervous cough, garnering a few chuckles.
"Well who can we fault for crime being down?" Greg mildly retorts.
"I don't mind closing the week on a lighter note," Ed pipes up.
"Lighter? The most exciting call we had yesterday was a potential missing person at the Alderridge old folks home."
"The lady had just gone across the street," Jules adds with a smirk.
"Better than chasing a cat from a tree," Spike interjects.
"Eddie…too bad we missed that cat call," Wordy ribs his best friend by slapping him on the back; Ed just smiles and nods in return but says nothing about his dislike of the feline species.
"Okay so barring any cats stuck in trees," Greg pauses and looks over at Ed, "let's get out there and…" his voice is interrupted by Winnie's overhead page.
"Team One hot call…"
"Yes," Sam whispers under his breath, drawing a small amused gaze from his wife across the table.
"Let's go team one!" Ed shouts, a little too energetically, the whole team anxious to get out into the situation and put into practice the skills they were hired to execute. The only sounds that follow are heavy footsteps, racing for the weapons locker and then for the elevator to head down to the parking lot, into the waiting SUV's and then out into the busy early morning traffic.
"Sierra One do you have the solution?" Greg inquires over the headset.
"No solution boss," Ed grumbles as he checks his scope once more. "He's moved…I take the shot and the boy dies."
"I got the solution."
"Sierra Two is now sierra one," Greg quickly changes. "Sam you be ready…"
"Boss he's just…" is all Spike manages before the gun is raised and Greg calls 'scorpio', prompting Sam to take the shot and the situation to be resolved – finally. One dead hostage, one dead gunman and five others brought out safely. Ed packs up his gear while Sam waits for SIU to come and collect him for their routine follow up investigation; Ed able to get out a bit early, get home, get changed and head out to meet Donna, her team not involved in a call that required SIU.
"She's gonna say yes," Ed smiles just before he and Wordy part ways later that night, each taking their own car this time; Wordy heading toward his future fiancé's place and Ed to pick up Donna for their date.
"Wow you look great," he offers a warm compliment as she gets into the car, his lips happily accepting a tender kiss and forcing his entire being to flood with warmth.
"Saw the call on Winnie's TV, what happened?" Donna inquires as they head toward their destination.
Since Ed had not seen the mysterious boy again during the day, his mind was able to focus on the details of the call and then concentrate on looking forward to the night ahead. They finally arrive at the new restaurant and take a booth in a quieter section, but still near a window looking out into the bustling city nightlife.
"Rachel and Glen have been here before," Donna informs him, referring to her fellow team three team member and her husband. "They say the duck and the…"
"Don't say rabbit," Ed smirks.
"I was…how did…"
"It's marked house specialty. Rabbit? Thumper?" He asks with a weak frown, making her lightly giggle.
"Well they don't have bambi on the menu so I think you'll be okay. But if you don't want to eat Donald duck either…"
"I'll stick with a steak."
"So much for that Lane sense of adventure," she playfully mutters under her breath as he looks up in haste. "Just sayin'," she hands him one of his favorite comebacks. Ed utters a heavy sigh but then surprises her by ordering the stuffed rabbit, praying inside that he'll actually be able to eat it and enjoy it.
"How are Richard and Sara?" Ed asks, referring to another one of Donna's team.
"Okay," she answers with a somewhat glum tone; her mind thinking about Richard and his wife having some marital issues. "Trust is such a big thing but sadly I hafta say that Richard is also partly responsible."
"Always takes two right?"
"It does. Trust…it's big."
"You know you can trust me right?" Ed asks softly as he takes her hand and tenderly fondles it between his fingers.
"I do," she puts his mind at ease with a loving smile. "I think we got all the major stuff out of the way and now…now we just concentrate on the everyday stuff. The important stuff," she squeezes his hand. "I hope things work out for…" she pauses as she notices him sharply look up and narrow his eyes. "Ed?"
Ed looks out the window to a lone figure across the street, his breath catching sharply and his mind racing. What the hell? That's the boy again? Here? Watching me here?
"Ed?" Donna's voice implores again, forcing his confused sapphire gaze back to her. "What? What is it?"
"It's um…no I thought I saw…"
"This…no one…it's no one," he insists as he turns back to her with a tense smile. "Well I do hope…"
"You can tell me you know," Donna urges with a little insistence in her voice.
"Just someone from the scene yesterday and…"
"I'm tired and…and it's nothing, really," he shakes his head as he looks down at his drink and then back up at her. "It's been a long week and maybe I'm just a tad nervous tonight as well."
"Nervous? With me?" She asks weakly.
"Wordy's popping the question."
"She's gonna say yes," Donna assures him with a knowing smile. "So Richard…" she starts, wanting to change the subject and ease his mental anxiety.
Finally their meals come and the banter dies down as Ed expresses his surprise enjoyment of the somewhat foreign substance before him, his mind starting to settle once more. It wasn't him…you are now officially paranoid, his mind insists as he plucks the dessert menu from her grasp, telling her it was his turn to order; wanting to surprise her.
Donna watches his face and fingers and knows that something's not quite right; he's tense...on edge...agitated? It was just before Ed had mentioned Wordy about to propose. Was he worried she'd expect the same now from him? Was he getting cold feet and wanting to back off a little? Or was he maybe wanting to also follow Wordy and was nervous she'd say no? Ed, what are you not telling me? What is going on? Is there possibly someone else?
Just as Ed finishes placing the order, he glances up and out of the corner of his eye notices the boy outside, peering in the window at the far end; hoping not to be noticed.
"Ed? I lost you again."
"No I just…damn it is…they just won't..."
Without waiting for his mind to tell him it was just an over tired trick, he pushes himself up from his chair and bolts toward the door, leaving a very confused and surprised Donna left at the table to wonder just what was going on.
Ed reaches outside, the boy watching him advance and turning and rushing away from the restaurant, Ed in pursuit. He races after the young teen for a few store lengths before a group of older people exits another restaurant and impedes his escape.
"Hey! Hold it! Hold it right there!" Ed shouts as he reaches out a long arm and grabs the back of the jacket of the boy and gives it a firm tug backward, forcing the boy to stop and nearly stumble; Ed letting go before he can get hurt.
"Now…what's going…on?" Ed asks with a small pant as he edges the boy to the right where there are less onlookers.
"Don't lie to me kid," Ed states sharply as he glares at him. "Whe are you?"
"Look, I said it's nothing okay."
"You've been following me around for the last week. On the bus, at a job…outside my apartment. You have a problem with me then I wanna know about it."
"Look its nothing okay," the boy stammers as he pulls back, looking at Ed with a mixed expression of wonder and almost fear.
"Okay I'm getting…tired of this. I can tell you're lying to me," Ed huffs. "What is going on?"
"I can't...never mind," the kid states again as he prepares to leave.
"Hold on a sec," Ed states impatiently as he tries to grab his jacket once more. The boy sidesteps his lunge and pulls back out of reach, looking at Ed with a heavy frown. "What's going on? Who are you? What do you want? Do you need help? Is that it?"
"I just…I just had to see you and…know a bit but that's it okay? I swear…"
"About me? You want to know about me? Why? What's going on? Who are you?"
"I'm your son!" The boy shouts before he turns and bolts between the two buildings, disappearing down the darkened hallway and into the night, leaving an utterly shocked and dumbfounded Ed Lane standing on the street – speechless.
A/N: Okay so what did you think so far? Who is this kid? Is he really Ed's son? Or is that a lie? What will Donna think? Wordy? The team? What's the real reason the boy's seeking Ed out now? And what will the future hold for Ed? For all of them? Want to know more about the mystery? My first AU for my boys so am nervous about this one but please review and let me know what you thought so far about all this and thanks so much in advance!