Summery; When a woman is silent she is either over-thinking, tired of waiting, falling apart, crying inside or all of the above. So when Andy comes home, why is she so quiet? And why is Sam so heartbroken when he discovers that she's lost what he loves the most about her? Will it stay gone or will Sam be able to get it back? Will Andy let him? Could a heart that was already dead, break?

Disclaimer: Anything you recognize is not mine, anything you don't, well that's all mine, including any mistakes!

Thanks to Kelly2727 & all my awesome regulars! Welcome if you're a newbie!

Hope you enjoy!

Chapter 1- Time Away

The days had come and gone, turning from anticipating minutes, to wondering hours, to longing days, before they subsided into wanton months.

Swirling the whiskey around in the glass, the amber liquid rippling against the side of the glass he stared blankly into its deep ocean.

Tonight was like numerous others that had slated by over the last six months, he would sit at the bar of the Penny, watching the door, and waiting.

Waiting for her to suddenly come storming through the door and announcing she was back, waiting for her to take the empty stool next to him and ask if she could still have that drink, the one he promised her would be a good place to start the night she left.

The night she left.

The night she turned his world upside down, crushed his final hope of ever rectifying the biggest mistake he had ever made.

The thought caused a shudder to run through him as his heart sagged a little more than it already was when he noticed the time, it was a little after 1am.

Swallowing the last glistening sips of the whiskey, he threw some notes down on the bar top before making his way out of the Penny, once again having spent his few free hours waiting in vain.

But she was worth the wait, and if there was free time tomorrow, he would be back and he would willingly do it all over again. Just like he had been on and off for the last six months.

The first few weeks he had been full of anger, and avoided any human contact, especially the type that would be drinking.

The consequences of that could be disastrous.

He spent his time at work in solitude, riding alone, doing paperwork alone, his anger seething under the surface enough to force everyone to steer clear of him.

Those that were brave enough to venture close were few and far between, all fearing his wrath. They were the closest to him, but even they knew their limits when it came to pushing his boundries.

That was how life progressed until two hours after a shift, when one overly drunk Oliver nearly drove through his front door before managing to park his car over the lawn when he pulled up outside. Having nearly ripped the door of its hinges in a bid to free it of its locks, to open it and let all the pent up anger flow out onto whoever dared to drive up his front pavement, until his eyes met the sight they were seemingly destined to see.

Oliver opened his drivers side door, fumbled with his seat belt and fell out the car in his attempt to climb out. Watching that, seeing Oliver do that, was just so wrong on so many different levels. When he had finally helped Oliver up to his feet and inside, away from the prying eyes of the neighborhood, he would hear the story of how things between Oliver and Zoe were coming to an end, she filed for a divorce and he was served the papers minutes before leaving the bullpen.

Hearing those words, after having seen twenty years of marriage shared between two people, the anger faded. It just seeped away to be replaced by regret. Guilt. And a lot of longing. Not only for his brother, but for himself. And her.

Once Oliver passed out on the couch, he grabbed his keys and drove like a raving lunatic over to the Shaw house, all sensible thoughts escaping him.

He spent three hours trying to understand how such a smart woman can be so naively stupid. She screamed and he yelled. She let tiny crocodile tears dribble down her cheeks, he pinched his nose just above the bridge while letting out huffed sighs on ragged breaths. She talked and he listened. Then he talked and she cried. By the time those three hours had sagged away through time, Zoe knew she was making a mistake by letting Oliver go, a man like that only comes along once in a lifetime. The only reason she understood was because the person begging and pleading for her to give Oliver another chance, knew what he was talking about when he said that this divorce would destroy Oliver, it would break him beyond repair.

He knew because that was where he was, how he felt. Every word he uttered in his friends defense was born out of truth for his own reasoning as to why he was in current circumstances, wrapped up in his own misery.

His eyes flashed with truth, while his heart broke at muttering words to save a marriage he truly thought would stand the test of time, last for all eternity.

Things would get better, Zoe allowed reason to settle in around her, she was willing to hear Oliver out, once he slept it off. That was all he needed to hear, all he needed to know, before issuing a sincere goodnight, and making a hasty retreat back to his own territory.

Territory where he would spend countless sleepless nights, wondering if she was okay, if she was warm, or had dinner, had hot water for a shower. Desperate to know if she was still such a bad liar, in situations that could cost her, her life.

That night had changed his mindset, turning him back to more of the old person he used to be. It gave him a sliver of hope that if there was a tomorrow, there would be a chance to fight for what he wanted, a chance to fight to get her back. He just needed her to come home in order to do that.

That's how the free time on his hands evolved to spending a little time everyday waiting for her. He had moved on after that night, his life settling back into the less rigid routine it once had. Although it had been empty for longer than six months, it had been empty since he made his mistake.

Before she left.

The time spent waiting was equaled by his time spent working out any frustration in the gym, or pounding pavements, running all the dreaded thoughts from his mind. It was also spent studying for and eventually passing his detectives exam.

Now all he needed was her to come back. And give him the chance he had asked for, a chance to make good on his words of making her dinner and getting a dog. A chance to do everything.

A chance to take back his words, well some of them, with a chance to prove some of his other words.

Oliver and Zoe had spent some time working on things, although Oliver was still renting an apartment downtown. But they were getting there, they even had date night once a week, and a family day once a week when he was off shift, with the kids.

Arriving home as the memories faded, he didn't have to wonder if tonight would be another sleepless wrestling session with his pillows and blankets, he just knew it would be. It had been ever since she no longer slept there, ever since her lingering scent obliterated from his house purely from her absence.

Walking into the darkened room, a small smile tugged at his lips as he kicked off his shoes, tomorrow was another day, and as long as there was tomorrow, there was a chance.

Six months she had waited for this day to arrive. Six months she had patiently let herself and her heartbreak hide behind a fake name, with a fake story, now in a few hours her fake life would come crashing down as reality would force it aside like the garbage they had been working.

That's what these people were, uncivilized, dirty, disgusting garbage.

Looking over to the other people in the room with her, she caught sight of the only connection she had to the real her. He smiled knowingly. He too had been hiding. Hiding what he could no longer run from, no longer deny. And today, like her, he too would be facing what he had been hiding from... if it was still there.

The thought caused a rattle to take over her hand as the soft trembling caused her hands to mess some of the white powder across the table.

"Ashley, are you stupid!". The voice droned in her ear, yelling a remark that made her defiantly turn to face its source. She wanted nothing more than to wipe that stupid look off of his face, with a brick.

The way he treated his 'staff' was ridiculous, he was cruel and belittling, and always up in her face. Had she been in her uniform right now, her baton would have been a useful accessory.

She whispered a soft 'I'm sorry, take it of my pay' before turning back to weighing the finely ground white powder, and funneling it into the tiny plastic bags.

The only thought present in her mind, 'just a few more hours'.

She had spent six months of her life sucking it up, taking the torture of being far away from home, away from civilization and dignified people, no point in wasting that time now by letting him get to her. She exhaled a deep breath, as the thought of home cascaded through the anger.

She had made more than one tiny little mistake before leaving, but her biggest mistake was not leaving, it was not asking him to wait.

Going home was all she had wanted to do since she left, but now that the time was rushing towards that moment, that impending freedom, she couldn't help but drift off into thoughts of what she would find when she was given her life back, her real life.

She knew this would be hard, she was warned numerous times how quickly things could go sideways with this specific kind of UC, every possible precaution drilled into her mind for over a week before they were let loose, but having been through it now, she knew it changed her. She knew she had become a little tougher on the inside, a little more jagged, and who knew, maybe she lost a part of herself along the way, but these things happen, it was natural.

She instinctively knew that she would never do this again, could never do this again, it was not something she was made for. How people could do it over and over again was beyond her, how they could punish themselves to willingly put themselves through seeing the things she had seen, and worse, repeatedly, was something she could not fathom, could not wrap her mind around.

It explained a lot, when she rallied the thoughts around one person she knew that was testament to repeatedly having done this to himself, and now she had a new found understanding of why he was so distant, so shut down, so…himself.

It would have been crazy to have done this and not let it change you, not let it become part of who you are.

Over the last six months, he had consumed her nightmares, images of the last day she had seen him taking a turn for the worse and she would wake up screaming after her mind changed the scenery to him holding a live grenade and looking her way before he was engulfed in flames of red, orange and blue.

He occupied her daydreams, and her thoughts, and even her dreams the few times she had peacefully succumbed to slumber without waking up from a torrent of sickening images that left her trembling and visibly shaken.

She often wondered how he would react to seeing her once this was over, or if he would be part of the team to make the bust. If she ran when they came through the door, would he chase her? Would he be the one to present her with her own set of shiny new silver bangles, before arresting her and stuffing her into the back of a squad car before taking her down to the barn and locking her in a cell for the sake of keeping up appearances.

Would he even look her way, or muster a smirk while she was led away handcuffed by another familiar face?

The last thought to run through her mind before doors burst open and loud voices carried through the spacious warehouse was, would he even be here?

Time stood still in that instant, all movements ceasing, all voices silent, until a booming "Run" sounded from somewhere distant.

What ensued thereafter could only be described as chaos.

The violence that erupted was only outweighed by the shrilled screams that ripped through the air, followed by the loud gunshots that echoed through the silence.

Sharp footsteps raided the concrete as a wave of blue uniforms swept into the room, guns drawn and flashlights flickering their radiant beams across any surface they met.

Bodies scattered in all directions at the order to run, wreaking havoc on any strategic plan that may have been in place by the TPD to collect the occupants in a closed off area.

The first shot rang out just a little to her left, causing sudden panic to surge through her as she realized that it was one of the scumbags that was firing shots towards her friends clad in blue.

In the back of her mind, the thought that things could get messy always lingered, hanging by a thin thread that was only matched by the knowledge that if there was a familiar face on the bust team, they were professional and they were trained for this, and most importantly, they had eachother as back up.

Ducking down behind her wooden work table to avoid being riddled with bullet holes, she inhaled a shaky breath as she reran the flashes of faces that were in her line of vision for milliseconds since they came barging through the door, her mind subconsciously searching for her single vice, the one thing that she was counting on if things went sideways, was having him here, watching her back, but no where in the kaleidoscope of images was his face, so there would be no leaning on him, or trusting him to get her out of here alive.

More shots rang through the air, just as a strong hand grabbed onto her and began dragging her up and forwards. Looking up into the hard face of Bobby, she noticed the dark color of the gun pointed at her face as her heart that was already stampeding gave a flutter before it felt like it stopped.

"Up". He yelled at her while she tried to find her footing on the smooth surface of the floor.

"Bobby, let her go", a familiar, sweet voice sounded out firm and strong.

"Babe she's our ticket outta here". Bobby whispered before turning too see his loving wife with her own gun pointed at his head, her sandy brown hair pulled up out of her face, her cold blue eyes glazed over with an icy stare.

"Sorry Sweet-Cheeks, but its over". Sally's voice was laced with sarcasm using the name he usually addressed her by.

The next few seconds moved in slow motion as realization dawned on Bobby, as he let out a snarl while his hand tightened around the woman he now had the intention of holding hostage and using as a human shield.

His finger on the trigger twitched before his eyes closed down to mere slits as his elbow lifted, bracing for the kick back the gun would deliver when he fired it. He had every intention of firing.

His hostage cast her eyes from Sally to Bobby before pinching them closed, waiting for the expected loud bang, which suddenly came, along with the feeling of wetness gliding down her face.

She had expected the ground to come rushing up to meet her, but instead she felt his tight grip loosen, before it slipped away, his body hitting the ground forcefully next to her.

The sudden brightness from opening her eyes, delayed them focusing on the smiling face in front of her, before a hand stretched out towards her holding a torn piece of material, that just happened to magically appear out of nowhwere.

"I got this one, its only splatter" the words carried out as the slight dimple of her left cheek sunk in.

"Clean up, you're under arrest, and no way are you getting into the back of my squad car looking like that".

Twenty minutes later, cuffed in the back of squad car 1531, they pulled up in the sallyport of fifteen division. Noelle had been casting worried glances at her throughout the drive over here, infact she had been casting her worrisome looks since she had arrested her.

She seemed different.

Booking was a buzz with activity, they couldn't even make it through the door, so without hesitation, Noelle pulled her gently by the arm to walk around the building, heading straight for the front door. It was customary to welcome back a successful UC by parading them through the bullpen still in their cuffs, it was a 'walk of fame' as they termed it, and it was never cheered, or applauded, it was done in silence, in a way in memory for those who never made it back.

Noelle's smile came out in full as she pulled open the door and led her suspect into the barn.

Today had been a long, exhausting day. It started at four am with a call-out to an assassination style homicide at the marina. He had requested that late night calls always come to him first, before going to Nash.

The only reason being that he knew she had a kid at home, and would have to find a sitter at really short notice all hours of the night.

He loved working with her, and it was nothing personal, he just thought that life would be easier for her and her kid while they adjusted their lives to now living with the empty void Jerry had left behind. She was really good for Jerry, and a good mother, and when she found the courage to go back on the detectives rotation, he tried his best to be there for her any way he could.

It took them six hours to process the scene before he made it in to the barn, only to find it mostly empty. No surprise there, considering everyone was out on patrol.

Filling out paperwork and ordering pizza for lunch, he noticed the sudden burst of extra faces in the bullpen as Frank waived around issuing orders and sending the blue bodies in the directions he wanted them to go in.

Before he could leave his office and find out the cause of commotion, the call came down the hallway that they were coming in hot, as several cruisers pulled into the sallyport, while extra uniforms walked past him, brandishing shotguns, ready to do heavy duty guard in the holding cells.

Looking towards the movement that caught his attention at the front door, he noticed a familiar face walk through the doors, his head hanging low as though to hide his identity. Holding onto his arm was a smirking Oliver, who looked towards him, before darting is eyes away to the floor.

He watched as Collins lifted his gaze to survey the room until their gazes met, a hard, cold glare being driven on by Collins.

He drew in a ragged breath as he understood what he was seeing, they were done, and they were back, she would be here soon, if she wasn't in the holding cells or an interview room already.

Tomorrow had arrived, and it was in time to be today.

He perched on the edge of his desk, watching and waiting for her presence to be more than a myth, as time strung by in slowness.

He hadn't even bothered with his pizza when it arrived, he just sat there watching for any sign of her. Sure enough his eyes eventually found her when Noelle opened the door and led her in. Standing up, he moved slowly to stand in front of the glass windows adorning his office, as he watched her being led in, right past his glass windows.

Noelle looked up, and shook her head, showing him that it would be better if he stayed away.

She had her head kept down, her eyes tracing the floor, while her dirty hair hung in a curtain covering her face from him. But she felt his heated gaze, and looked up towards him, visibly paling more than she was when her eyes met his.

Her face was void of any emotion, her eyes burnt out, a dead brown rather than the flickering orbs they had once been. Her skin was paler than he had ever seen, her brown tan now merely a memory, and her healthy glow was missing. She looked like crap, and he hoped that the marks up her arm and across her cheek were nothing more than dirt.

She watched him as she walked past, the smile she often flashed him in the past, now absent, and her usual rosy red hue when he flashed her the dimples like he did now, never graced her neck or face. It was just...stolen away.

He watched as she turned away before disappearing from sight as his heart shredded itself up until there was nothing left.

Andy Mcnally had lost her blush.

The one thing he had hoped to see when she returned, the one thing he missed the most about her, the only thing he was counting on happening when she came back, was not there.

A knock on the door pulled him from his dark thoughts before a soft breeze washed over him and a familiar smell snuck into the room, as a sweet voice filled the silence. "Sammy".

Turning to face the intruder, he felt literally sick to his stomach as he turned to face her before snarling out her name "Sally".

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