Author's Notes: Last chapter. Hope you enjoy it. The very end is something new for me so I hope you like it.
Disclaimer: The show Flashpoint and its characters were created by Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern and belong to them and its respective networks. I am making no money off this story and it is for entertainment purposes only. However, this particular story is my creation and should not be used without my express written permission.
Things That Go Bump in the Night
Spike stared at the busted sound system. Random Halloween sounds were still playing over the speakers at irregular intervals. But even though an hour had passed since back up had arrived to take Bud and his crew into custody, the one sound he wanted to hear hadn't been repeated. It was the only reason he'd been reluctant to completely kill the sound altogether.
Had it only been last Halloween, while he and Lew had been setting up for the party, that they'd gotten silly and recorded themselves doing their best impersonation of their coworkers? Lew's best one had definitely been the one he'd done of Ed on a takedown, the one that had played out at so apt a time. Spike had found it all the more funny because right after the recording, Lew had grumbled that he didn't think he'd ever get to really say the words because he it seemed he was always relegated to the truck.
Spike tore his gaze away from the system and surveyed what was going on. Sarge and Ed were both talking to the lead detective from Drug Squad that had shown up to take command of the scene. Sophie and Sylvia were packing up the food so they could all leave once cleared. Winnie and her date were similarly packing up the decorations that were worth keeping. Medics had checked both Wordy and Jules and determined that only the former needed to get checked out further at the hospital. The ambulance, with a worried Shelley following behind, had pulled out about fifteen minutes earlier. Jules was giving her statement to one of the officers, a cold pack replacing the napkin wrapped ice cubes Sam had given her. Sam was talking quietly to Anna who seemed more than a little rattled by what had happened, but he was also casting anxious looks in Jules's direction.
Everyone was okay save for some bruises and maybe a slight concussion in the case of Wordy. Spike was grateful; he didn't think he could handle the guilt that would have washed over him if anyone had been seriously hurt. Logically, he knew that it wouldn't have been his fault but he'd been the one to pick the location and the one to insist on having the party in the first place.
"Holy drug deals gone bad, Batman." Anna's soft voice pulled him from his thoughts. He smiled at the young woman. Maybe she hadn't been as shaken as he had thought if she could still make jokes. "Bullets and soundboards don't mix well, do they?"
Spike shook his head. "I hate to pronounce it dead though. We've had a long history together."
Anna knelt gracefully next to the component that had taken the worse of the damage. She frowned thoughtfully. "We can rebuild it. We have the technology. We can make it better than it was."
Spike couldn't help but grin. "Beautiful, funny, smart, computer savvy, and knows the opening to the Six Million Dollar Man. Does Sam realize he's lucked upon the absolute most perfect woman?"
Anna gave a little laugh. "Far from perfect; I can assure you. Anyone who's tasted my cooking can tell you that. Not to mention the different fire departments who have had to respond when I managed to blow up microwaves because I forgot to remove foil from containers before I heated them. But those are stories for another time. You okay? Sam told me it was your buddy's voice that provided the distraction for saving us."
She also remembered the day Sam had shown up at her apartment after Lewis Young had died. She'd only seen two other deaths affect him more. The evening had been spent with Sam telling her story after story about his lost colleague over pizza and beer. He'd finally passed out on her couch sometime after one in the morning. But from the stories he'd told her, she thought she'd gotten to know the man as well as if she'd actually met him.
"This party was supposed to be for him. Halloween was his favorite. He and I would go all out planning the night. It was always great. I wanted tonight to be great as well."
Anna turned to sit on the large speaker. She crossed her feet at her ankles. "Spike, it was great; well up to the point that we were shot at and held at gunpoint, but that wasn't your fault. Lew would have been proud you carried on the tradition without him."
"When I heard his voice, I looked around expecting to see him there. I wanted to see him there. Once I realized it was probably an old recording on the sound system, I was torn between the pain of accepting he was really gone all over again and wanting to hear more of the recording. I realize that probably makes no sense."
Anna thought about the cell phone bill she still paid every month in Paul's name just so she could call and listen to his voicemail when she really needed to hear his voice. Thought about the long messages she'd left just so she could feel like she was still having a conversation with him. "Makes more sense than you know. I kind of like to think the ones who leave us still watch over us from time to time even if we can't see or hear them. Maybe that glitch with the sound system was really Lew's way of looking out for all of you tonight."
Spike flashed her a grateful smile, glad that she didn't seem to think his reactions were odd. "What about you? You okay? Somehow I doubt being held at gunpoint is something you go through every day."
Anna shrugged, not wanting to show just how unnerved she'd been when the shots were fired. "I'm Supergirl, I'm faster than a speeding bullet, remember?" Spike raised a questioning eyebrow and she gave him a wink. "I'll admit, tonight was a first for me and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't scary. But I'll be fine. Thanks for being concerned."
She glanced back across the room. Sam was no longer just watching Jules; the officer had finished taking her statement and Sam had brought her another cup of punch. Anna couldn't imagine how scary it had been for Jules to be held at gunpoint the way she'd been, even if the other woman was a trained cop. Spike caught her look.
"They're friends. Good friends. If you didn't know it about him, Sam's a pretty protective person. She's hurt and he's going to check on her."
Anna wondered if Spike really was that clueless about the feelings his two co-workers had for each other or if he was just worried she would take Sam's concern the wrong way. Which was pretty funny considering she was pretty sure and certainly hoping that Sam's protective feelings about Jules right then were much more than platonic.
"No worries, Spike. I know exactly what's going on there."
Across the room, Jules sipped at the Drunk Punch Sam had given her. If nothing else, she hoped the rum in the punch would dull the pain in her cheek and throat. She'd have to drink the rest of the bowl to even begin to dull the pain of regret that seemed worse tonight seeing Sam and Anna together. She didn't know why it bothered her so much. She was the one who had ended things but yet it got harder and harder to climb into her bed every night alone, remembering what it had been like to share the space with Sam. She didn't want him to be as miserable as she was but at the same time, it wasn't easy coming face to face with the idea that he probably wasn't facing an empty bed anymore. She lowered the ice pack from the bruise on her cheek to let it rest against the whelp she was sure was forming on her throat.
"That bruise looks nasty." Sam commented, reaching a hand out but stopping just short of actually touching it. "Are you sure you shouldn't have gone to the ER to get it checked out?"
"Yeah, I've gotten worse in training exercises. It'll look uglier than it'll feel. I'll be fine."
Sam nodded and resisted the urged to tell her not even a nasty bruise could make her look ugly. "You probably shouldn't drive home. Anna and I could give you a ride."
Yeah, cause being a third wheel in a car with both of them would be just want she needed. She shook her head. "Thanks, but Sarge already offered. Sylvia is going to drive his car and he'll drive my jeep. You might want to make Spike that offer. He's looked pretty shell shocked since Lew's voice came over the speakers. Surprised me as well but it really seemed to throw Spike for a loop."
Sam glanced over to Spike and saw that Anna was talking to him. He wondered if she'd mention Paul; it wasn't that she tried to keep him a secret, but it was more like her emotions were still sometimes still too raw for her to talk about him without getting upset. She caught his eye and winked at him. He smiled back at her.
"Jules, you about ready?" Sarge joined them, giving her a careful once over to see that she really was okay.
"Yeah, let's go."
Sam watched her follow Sarge out of the barn and only once the door closed firmly behind them did he turn back to Spike and Anna. He squeezed the blonde's shoulder and looked at Spike. "Spike, how about you let us give you a lift home? Or if you don't want to leave your vehicle here overnight, Anna can drive my vehicle and I can drive yours."
Spike shook his head. "Thanks, but I don't think I'm going to go straight home. I'm good on my own. Sam, you should take this pretty lady home. She's probably had enough excitement for one night. Seriously. I'll come back tomorrow after the scene has been fully cleared to get the rest of the stuff."
Sam nodded. "Call me and I'll help you."
They shook hands. Spike leaned over and gave Anna a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks for not thinking I'm crazy."
Once they were alone, Sam reached out to help Anna to her feet. "Wonder where he had to go."
Anna had a feeling she knew exactly where he was going. He had that look in his eyes that she knew all too well. A look she'd seen reflecting back at her in a mirror many times since Paulie died. She glanced at her watch. It was after midnight so technically Halloween was over and All Saints Day had begun. If she were a betting person, she was sure he was heading toward the cemetery. She gave Sam a slight hug. "I think he mentioned needing to say Hi to a friend. Take me home Hot Shot?"
Anna waited until they were halfway to her apartment before reaching over and giving Sam's hand a squeeze. "Jules okay, Hot Shot?"
Sam nodded. "She's tough. Nothing fazes her much."
She hid a smile. "Oh, I think seeing you with me fazed her more than a little bit. Seriously, Sam, maybe you should drop me off and go by her house to check on her. Be that good friend she needs."
Sam shook his head. "She doesn't need me. She's made that clear."
"Maybe not," Anna agreed. "But she sure as hell wants you and wants you to want her."
Rolling his eyes, he shifted lanes, not taking his eyes off the road. "Did you hit your head tonight?"
Anna shook her head. "No. But sometimes people do things they think they have to do even if it's not what they really want. Did I ever tell you that Paulie left me?"
Stopped at a red light, Sam glanced over at her. "No, when?"
"Right after his cancer came out of remission. The doctors had told us there wasn't much hope of a second remission and that this time we shouldn't expect a favorable outcome. I don't know, I guess he thought it would hurt me less if he walked away rather than me having to see him suffer. I told him he could run all he wanted to but I was just going to run with him. I wasn't going to let him give up on us a moment before we had to. Different situation from yours I know. Paulie was going to die regardless of what we did, but one or both of you could have lost your jobs if you had stayed together. But, don't assume just because she broke things off that she doesn't still have feelings. Seeing the two of you in the same room tonight, I can tell you both love each other. Now, do yourselves a favor and go to her. Maybe you two can't be together but that doesn't mean the two of you have to be miserable as well."
Sam shrugged noncommittally as he pulled into a space at her apartment. "Want me to go up with you?"
Anna shook her head. "No, I just told you what I wanted. Don't let her get away, Hot Shot. You never know how much time you'll get."
She leaned over and kissed his cheek before getting out of the car. As she made her way to the elevator, she pulled out her cell phone and hit the first number on her speed dial. She waited until the voicemail message came on.
"Hey, Paul here. You know what to do so go for it."
"Hey sweetheart. Just needed to hear your voice…"
- FP - FP - FP -
Shelley opened the front door of the house. Wordy, a bandage on his forehead, stepped inside and waited for Shelley to close and lock the door. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her tenderly. Then, hand in hand, they made their way up the stairs to their bedroom.
- FP - FP - FP -
After Sarge pulled the jeep into her driveway and made her promise again to call him if she started hurting too much, Jules made her way up the path to her front door. She bent down to pick up the empty bowl she'd set out before leaving full of candy for the trick-or-treaters. Once inside she didn't even bother to turn on the light as she locked the door. She made her way upstairs and quickly changed out of her genie costume into comfortable sweat pants and a t-shirt. She looked at her big comfortable bed and couldn't bring herself to face another night in it alone. Instead, she grabbed a comforter off the end and made her way back downstairs. Settling onto the couch, she covered herself with the comforter and waited for sleep to wash over her.
- FP - FP - FP -
Sam turned off the car's headlights before he even got closed to Jules's house. The house was completely dark and he wondered if she was even home. But her jeep was in the driveway so he had to assume she was. At her front door, he raised his hand to knock on the door. But he stopped just short of rapping on the door. What was he doing? What good could he do for either of them by showing up unannounced. So without making a sound, Sam turned around and returned to his car.
- FP - FP - FP -
Spike allowed the light of the full moon to guide his steps through the old cemetery to the headstone he knew so well. He crouched next to the grave and rested his hands on his knees. "Hey Lew. Buddy, missed you tonight. But I guess you were sort of there anyway in your own superhero way. You really saved our butts tonight…"