Author's Notes: I know we didn't get much JAM in episode 6 but if a second of them in the same frame is all we get, I'll take it and hope for more next week. In the meantime, I'll let my imagination run with what might have happened off camera. This fits in with the other post-eps but not necessarily with Growing Up Too Fast. I hope you are enjoying reading these post-eps as much as I am enjoying coming up with them each week. I love reading your thoughts about them.
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.
Worth Fighting For
"Night Sarge. See you tomorrow." Jules Callaghan called out as Greg Parker passed the dispatcher's desk on his way out for the night. There was no answering farewell or even an acknowledgment that she'd even spoken. Anyone else might have taken offense or wondered what she'd done to upset the man she looked up to, but not Jules. She could see the look of consternation on his face and knew something was bothering him. Something that had so locked him into his own thoughts that she didn't think he'd even heard her call out.
If Winnie had been at the desk with her, she would have asked the other woman if she knew what was going on. Sometimes, the dispatcher was able to be privy to inside information just due to her central location in the room. But Winnie had taken advantage of the fact that Jules was waiting for Sam to finish changing to make a quick trip to the ladies room.
All Jules knew was that Dean had shown up earlier in the day but there hadn't been time for any discussion about what was going on. She hoped that things were okay. Every since Dean had decided to come live with Greg, the Boss had been much happier. When Dean had expressed an interest in following in his father's footsteps, Jules had thought that Greg was going to actually burst with pride. She hoped things were okay there.
"Hey, you about ready?" Sam asked as he joined her at the desk. "I don't know about you but I'm starving. What do you think about picking up a large pizza with the works on the way home?"
"Sounds good. Why don't go ahead and call it in so it's ready when we get there. As soon as Winnie gets back we can go." Jules suggested.
"You trading in your Remy for a telephone there?" Ed said as he joined them.
"Not a chance. I don't see how Winnie does it. I would pull my hair out if I had to sit here all day, listening to everything that's going on but unable to do anything to help. Not to mention that she has to almost anticipate what we need before we ask it. Too much pressure, if you ask me."
Ed chuckled and shook his head. "Thus says the woman who stares down the scope of a Remy without blinking."
Jules raised an eyebrow. "You want to do her job?"
Ed opened his mouth to reply but thought about what he was about to say. He shook his head. "No, no I guess not. But I'm very glad Winnie does it so well."
"Good answer." Jules grinned.
Ed frowned. "She's standing behind me isn't she?"
Jules nodded. Winnie gave Ed's shoulder a squeeze. "Nice to be appreciated."
As Winnie took her seat again, Jules stepped out from behind the desk. "Everything okay with Sarge? He seemed to be a little distracted when he left."
Ed nodded. "Yeah, Dean got in a little trouble. Some sort of fight. Police broke it up, brought Dean here. I think the Boss is having a little trouble dealing. First time the kid's messed up or given him trouble since he's been back. It's tough. I don't always know how to handle it when Clark messes up but at least I've been doing it since he was born. Sarge is in new territory. He'll figure it out though."
"Dean had a pretty good shiner." Winnie reported.
"Must have been a pretty good fight if the police had to break it up." Sam mused. "That's tough, having the police bring you home. Not fun to be in his shoes."
"What was the fight about?" Jules probed. Ed shook his head.
"Don't know. I don't think the Boss even got a chance to find out before we got the call. I expect I'll get a call later after he talks to Dean. That or Dean will talk to Clark. I'd love to stay and chat but Sophie has a party to cater tonight so I've got baby duty."
Ed made his goodbyes and started toward the stairs. Jules waited until he was almost out of earshot before she stage whispered conspiratorially to Sam and Winnie. "Right, remind me which one is the responsible one in that pair, Ed or Izzy?"
Sam laughed out loud when Ed responded with an interesting piece of sign language as he disappeared down the stairs. "I'm pretty sure the answer to that is Izzy.
They said their goodbyes to Winnie and made their own way out of the building. On the walk down, Sam called in the pizza order. It was ready by the time they pulled into the parking lot of the Pizza Hut and Jules went in to pick it up. Once at home, they went straight to the kitchen. About halfway though the first slice, Jules looked at Sam quizzically.
"You know I've been dying of curiosity since we left the station." Jules informed him.
Sam set his slice of pizza on his plate and reached over and thumbed away a stray piece cheese that stubbornly clung to Jules's lower lip. The he licked it off his own thumb. "Curious about what?"
"Earlier you said something about it not being a fun place when the police have to bring you home after a fight. Said it like you know exactly how not fun it is. I have a hard time seeing you on the wrong side of the law."
The tips of Sam's ears turned pink. "I wasn't perfect by any means."
"That's not what I heard." Jules commented as she took a swig of her beer. "Nat and I talk, you know."
Sam snorted. "Yeah, well my little sister has her own distorted views of what I was like as a kid. She just doesn't remember my screw ups because she was usually too busy getting into worse trouble. I got into my fair share of fights growing up. Only once did the MPs have to bring me home."
Jules winced as she reached for another slice of pizza. "Ouch, that couldn't have gone over well with your father."
He looked at her over the rim of his own beer. "You have no idea. I thought he was just going to tell them to lock me up and throw away the key. I don't think I've ever seen him that mad before or since. And trust me, I've seen him mad plenty of times."
"What happened?" Jules asked and then took a bite of her pizza.
Sam shrugged. "When I was about fifteen and we were stationed in Vancouver, there was a big court martial trial going on. I don't remember any of the details but it was a pretty big deal at the time. Everyone was talking about it. The thing is, the soldier had a family who was living on base, including a son who was a year younger than me. All the guys at school treated him horribly, like he had something to do with his father's supposed crimes. I felt bad for him. Imagine all of Spike's geekiness without any of his more endearing qualities thrown into the mix and you've got Randy. He wasn't any better off physically either. Thick glasses that he was always having to push up. Bad asthma so he always had a wheeze to his voice. Looked like he'd break in two if you just looked at him."
Jules nodded to show that she had a mental picture to work with. Sam continued. "One day I was walking home from school and the biggest bullies on base were giving him a hard time. Pushing him around and talking trash about his dad. Not that they knew anything about the case other than what they'd heard their parents talk about. Poor kid looked like he was going to collapse or wet his pants or both at any minute. I couldn't let them torture him. It was like watching someone torture a helpless puppy just to hear it yelp. I told them to leave him alone. The lead bully suggested I make them. So I did."
Jules smiled at the image of her boyfriend taking on a gang of bullies to defend a weaker kid. "How many?"
Sam shrugged. "I don't know. More than two less than six. I didn't care. They were picking on someone weaker than them and I couldn't let them get away with it. Besides, they were bullies and all I really had to do was take out their leader and the others would turn tail and run. I was so focused on taking him down that I never even heard the MPs approach. They pulled me off him and I knew I was in big trouble. Randy tried to explain but he was practically having to suck down his entire inhaler he was so scared. Fortunately there were others in the park who saw what was happening and filled in the gaps. They still had to take me home though. I don't know which part made Dad madder; that I had been in a fight or that I embarrassed the family by having to be brought home by the MPs."
"But you were defending someone who couldn't defend himself. I would have thought your father would be proud of that. Isn't that what the military is all about? I didn't even know you then and I'm proud of you." Jules argued, getting up and retrieving two more beers from the fridge. She gave one to Sam before sitting down with the other. She reached for a third slice.
Sam shook his head. "Dad didn't see it that way. Fighting was against the Braddock family rules and a good reason didn't give you an exception to the rule. I think I was on house arrest for about two weeks for the fight and another two weeks for the MP involvement. But I didn't really care. It was a fight worth having and if I'd seen it happening again, I would have done the same thing. Without a thought to the consequences."
"What happened to Randy?"
"His mom moved off base. Took Randy with her to live with her parents in Victoria. His father went through the court martial and was found guilty. I don't know what happened after that. For all I know, Randy is the CEO of his own computer company or something. Who knows, maybe even some of the gadgets that Spike loves so much were created by him."
"And the bully?"
"Became a politician. Last I heard he was elected as a councilman in Vancouver. I don't know if he's changed or not."
As he polished off the last of the pizza, he rose from the table and disposed of the box. Then he took her by the hand and led her to the living room where they settled on the couch. Sam pulled Jules's legs up into his lap and slipped off her shoes and socks. As he started to massage her feet she leaned back against the back of the couch. He knew all the right spots to touch and the right amount of pressure to use in order to get her to completely relax. Then he looked at her.
"Did your brothers get into many fights growing up?"
"Some but nowhere near as many as I did." She didn't bother to open her eyes as she enjoyed the effect that his touch was having on her. When he stopped rubbing her foot, she bit back the whimper of protest and opened one eye. Sam was looking at her with a bemused smile on his face. "What?"
"It shouldn't surprise me to hear you got into fights growing up but it does. Were you born a badass or something?"
She shrugged. "More like I was born the baby sister of four older brothers. Wasn't a chance in hell that I was going to turn out to be a girly girl. I was too busy trying to be one of the boys. And heaven help the boy in school or in the neighborhood who tried to tell me I couldn't do something because I was a girl or because I was too small. I was a scrappy little fighter too."
Sam's smile widened. "Never would have figured that. Well, maybe the little part." He laughed when she shot him a glare. She put her legs down and twisted on the couch to settle into his side.
"Jerk. You would have thought the word would have gotten out around town not to mess with me but apparently not. It only got worse when I got older. I think every junior high and high school has that group of girls who are determined to make life miserable for the girls who don't quite fit their mold. But I swear my school had more than its fair share. And they were determined to make life miserable for anyone they could. My friends and I were frequent targets because we didn't pay homage at the altar of their superiority. It got worse after my mom died because I was just one big fight waiting to happen. I didn't need much of an excuse to go off on anyone and the mean girls seemed more than happy to give me almost a daily reason to fight. I probably spent more time suspended from school that year than I was able to attend."
Sam held her tightly and kissed the top her head. She didn't talk about her mom's death and the effect that it had on her often. He knew it had been a hard time for her and he never pressed her for details. Yet whenever she opened up to share any information about herself during that time, like she had about how Officer Mary Fallon had influenced her life, he cherished every word. Even if the memory was painful. "Were the fights worth it?"
She shrugged, twisting so that she was wedged between the side of the couch and his warm, comforting body. "At the time yeah. It gave me an outlet for the pain and anger that was threatening to consume me. Looking back now, I doubt it accomplished anything else."
The tips of his nails skimmed up and down her arm. "I got in a fight with my best friend in college. Not argument fight but full fledged knock down drag out fist fight. Freshman year, college frat party. We were both drunk. I walked in and caught him kissing my girlfriend and went totally ballistic. I think I could have seriously hurt him if some of the other guys at the party hadn't pulled me off of him. I felt really bad about it later because once we all sobered up, my girlfriend admitted that she was kissing him not the other way around. Only fight I was in that I completely wish hadn't happened. I dumped her and my friend and I made up but it was never really the same. Totally wasn't worth it."
"There was one fight I wish I had fought. " Jules admitted softly. "I saw the hell my best friend was going through after her mother committed suicide. I knew she was slipping away. A few days before she did the same thing, we got in a fight. Argument fight at first. She knew what buttons to push though and she was spoiling for me to lay into her. I wouldn't do it though. I knew she was grieving and I didn't want to make things worse. To this day I wonder if it would have changed the outcome. If it would have made a difference and kept her from following in her mother's footsteps. But I'll never know."
She sounded so wistful that Sam pulled her even closer and brushed his lips against hers. "You can't blame yourself for the choices your friend made, Jules. You know that."
She nodded, her hand lazily slipping under his shirt so she could feel his warm skin beneath her fingers. "I know. And I don't blame myself. Not really. I just wonder sometimes. Have you ever walked away from a potential fight and later wished you hadn't?"
"Argument fight, yes; fist fight, no." Sam replied and then fell silent.
Jules waited for him to finish but when it was clear he wasn't going to continue she sat up. She briefly chewed on her bottom lip. "What fight was that?"
"When you called us quits." He gently pressed her down against him again. "After we talked that morning I knew where the conversation was going to go. I sat there in the coffee shop and listened to you explain why we couldn't be together. I heard the 'I love you Sam, but…' and knew it was over. The logic part of my mind said you were right. Neither one of us wanted to give up our careers, and if we weren't willing to put each other in front of everything, was it really worth sticking together? That's what the logical part of my brain was saying but my heart had a different story. It was saying 'Don't be a fool. She's the best you're ever going to find. If you let her walk away, you are crazy out of your mind. Fight for her; make some sort of grand gesture to let her know you love her and want her in your life.' But I didn't. I let you walk away even though it was killing me to do so."
Jules reached up and caressed his cheek. "We're together now. We got that second chance."
Sam nodded. "Yeah, we did. And I don't know, maybe the time a part did us both some good. Helped us appreciate what we were missing. But I got to tell you; there's not a day that goes by that I don't wish I could have that time back. Cause even if we spend the rest of our lives together it won't be long enough."
Her heart did a slight flutter at the raw emotion and sincerity of his words. She kissed him, pouring as much love and feeling into it as she could. He reciprocated, his hands sliding under her shirt as well to softly knead the muscles in her back. After a few heated minutes, Jules pulled back. Her hands left their spot under his shirt and gently framed his face between them. "In that case, we'll spend the rest of our lives making up for that time we lost. Because I'm not about to let anything get in our way again. Our love is worth any kind of fight that tries to get in our way."
"No arguments there."