Excited chatter and several bodies fill the Boardwalk Empire as all the photographers and reporters try their best to get shots and interviews from the Sparta contenders. Sarah makes her way through the crowd with her arm in Tommy's. She's wearing a breathtaking short, black dress. She's never looked better but obviously she fancied up a little bit knowing there would be cameras here. Paddy leads the way smiling at all the photographers and reporters. Tommy looks at none of them. His only focus was making sure no one touched, talked, or breathed on Sarah. Tommy finds a cozy spot in the back and Sarah sits beside him. Paddy mumbles something to Tommy but it doesn't look like he cares. Paddy walks off and finds the tap out crew. Koba makes his way through the crowd with a huge smile on his face. He looks pretty snazzy and not terrifying in his suit. Non-stop flashes as everybody enters. Even Mad Dog with his stupid white Mohawk. Everybody seems so amped for this.
Tommy barely says anything as the two of them sit there. Tommy takes a sip of his water and watches Paddy talk to the crew. He overhears something about sponsoring but Tommy doesn't care. He just wants to take home the prize money. Sarah is all smiles as she looks around at all the people pouring in from the outside. She doesn't pay much attention to Tommy as he stares off into the center of the room. She figures he's just glaring at someone so she scans the room, looking at all the faces.
In less than 10 seconds, Tommy stands. "Let's go." He whispers to Sarah. She looks up at him, surprised. "Why? You're supposed to do the interview." Sarah says, very anxious by how shaken he is. "Sarah can we go come on." Tommy says before he helps her up and walks toward the exit. She just stares at Tommy, trying to make sense of them coming all the way here to just leave. Paddy comes running up behind them calling out to Tommy. Sarah doesn't look back. She just keeps her hand in his and walks with him, passing several photographers who anxiously take pictures of them exiting.
Tommy lies stiff in bed with one arm behind his head and one on his stomach. He's wearing an incredibly tight white beater. It looks like the exact same one he wore when he whooped Mad Dog's ass in Colt's gym but because Tommy is all beefed up and muscley, he looks like he was squeezed into in. He is staring up at the hotel bedroom ceiling. He looks like he's thinking but then again, you never know with him. A vibration comes from a cell phone on the night stand by the bed. Tommy turns to look at it then stares back up. The vibration comes again minutes later. Tommy moves over on the bed to glance at over at it. He doesn't pick the phone up because it's not his. He looks at the screen. It's a text. Brendan – Why didn't you tell me Tommy was in Sparta. You had to have known when you saw me if you saw my name on the list. Is that what you really came to tell me the other night? Tommy looks confused for a split second then catches on. Brendan's name was never brought up between the two of them. Anger flushes his calm face right out.
He sits up on the bed. Sarah walks through the door and shuts it behind her. She looks pretty comfy in her baggy grey sweats and tight short sleeve shirt. Tommy glares at her. "Ya phone went off." He gestures towards the night stand then stares blankly at the door. She walks quickly yet hesitantly toward the night stand and looks at her screen. Panic. She shoots a look up at Tommy who is staring at her, nose flaring. "That's nice. You two are almost blood brothers. He has your number and you're meeting up with him?" He asks but of course didn't mean to say it as a question. More like a statement because that's what he believes. "Tommy…" She lets out a deep breath and folds her arms. She looks like she's getting pretty tired of his damn random anger and mood swings. "Say something to help me understand why the hell you talking to him for." Tommy says through gritted teeth.
"You know that I know Tess. I went to school with her and you know who she's married to." Sarah says. Tommy stands. "I'm not stupid. Here's the thing. That name wasn't Tess that popped up on your screen." Tommy says, looking like he's about to lunge. The scariest part about this is that he's not raising his voice. It's that calm tone that made her stomach bulge up in knots.
She's about to answer him when Paddy comes bursting through the door. "Come on. You gotta see this." Paddy says as he anxiously jogs back out. Tommy bites his lip as he slowly walks towards the entrance of the bedroom. Sarah slowly creeps up too and the first words she hears is: Water was coming in from everywhere. She's so confused. Her first thoughts were a little negative like maybe Tommy has driven Paddy back to the bottle again and he's going loopy but Tommy's face tells it all. He's stiff. He stares at the T.V. and nothing else.
Sarah slowly walks closer to Tommy and stands right beside him, fitting perfectly in the gap between Tommy's arm and the wall. She sees a man on the T.V.: Mark Bradford. He's wearing a uniform. Marines. She looks at Tommy. He's just emotionless as he stares at this familiar face. "..the back ramp gets ripped off and there he was." Bradford says, looking into the camera as if he was looking at Tommy himself. Tommy's face gets hard and he goes back in the room.
A light switch flicks on in Sarah's head. Tommy saved that marine. Well then Tommy should be proud right? She wasn't understanding his reaction as she walked up to him grabbing a long sleeve shirt from the back of the edge of the bed. "Tommy you did that? You saved that man?" Sarah had a light in her eyes but the look Tommy gave her knocked the light right out. He walked past her, shirt in hand and heading for the door. She grabs the shirt and tugs it, trying to stop him from shutting her out. Again.
"Tommy you told me you were gonna try to let me in. Please don't walk out." Sarah pleads as she walks closer to him, their bodies touching. He looks at her, clenching his jaw. A few seconds go by when Sarah realizes what Tommy's eyes are trying to tell her: LET ME GO. Weakly, her hand slides off the shirt and swings back to her side. She shakes her head realizing the monster she created by leaving him those years ago. She follows him into the main room. "Tommy, did you—where you going?" Paddy asks. "Taking a walk." Tommy says before leaving the room and slamming the door behind him. Paddy shouts his name and turns to Sarah.
She shrugs her shoulders, knowing he's an impossible force. They both turn back to the T.V. screen and stare at Bradford. "Thank you. You saved my life brother. Anyone seeing this at Sparta, anybody out in Pittsburgh, you reach out to Tommy Riordan and tell him Mark said thank you." He says. Sarah slips onto the couch. She's speechless. The man she loves. A bigger hero than a villain.
"Footage taken from the helmet cam on the ground in Iraq captured the heroic incident." The news reporter says. The phone rings. Sarah zones out to any other sound but the shouts coming from the T.V. She sees Tommy swim into the sunken tank and her heart stops. She shuts her eyes. Yes he's a hero but it looks like they're at war. She knows they're at war but this is the reason she broke up with him. She had nightmares of him being shot at or dying from an explosion every night leading up to that day at the airport. It was very different actually seeing real footage of him out there doing his job.
She didn't know what to feel. She was feeling more in love and more hurt. Scared then terrified. Hating herself to loving him again. Wanting to just hold him and say how proud she was of him. But then wanting to close the door in his face because he won't open up to her when he said he would try to. All these feeling fade in the matter of minutes. She doesn't know the whole story. 5 years is a long time. Maybe something deeper happened. Any marine would feel proud but Tommy's not. She picks up the remote and turns the T.V. off.
Paddy sets down the phone and whips his head around at Sarah. "Did you know that?" Paddy asks. HE slides down on the sofa too. He's bewildered and shocked all at once. Sarah shakes her head staring blankly at the black screen. "I found out when you did." She looks up at him. "Who called?" Sarah asks pointing to the phone. "That was Brendan." He says while rubbing his head. "Brendan?" Sarah asks. She's so confused. What did Paddy do? Give Brendan the room number? Paddy can see she's thinking of how to word the most obvious question. "Don't ask." Paddy says as he smirks and walks to his bedroom.
Sarah folds her arms and leans back on the sofa. She's thinking really hard and Paddy can almost hear her. He spins around. "He'll be fine Sarah. He's a big guy. Don't wait up for him cuz odds are he'll show up 5 minutes after his match tomorrow." He says as he walks in his room and closes the door.
10 minutes. 25 minutes. 30 minutes. Sarah sits on the couch, in the same seat and still pondering. Wondering what he's doing right now. Wondering why Brendan called the room. Wondering why she's still sitting here. She walks to the room, grabs her jacket and slips on flats. She's calm but curious. She heads to the room door and pulls it open to see a tall, man with his hand raised like he was about to knock. She can't make out his face until she inches a little closer. She can't seem to understand why Mad Dog is standing in front of her with a smile on his face…