Author's Notes: This episode shows up at different places depending whether you are following the Canadian or American line up. Since all the other post-eps I've done have been based on the Canadian feed I'm sticking with that. So for those of you reading this since it's shown in the US before "We Take Care of Our Own" there's a MAJOR spoiler in this story for it as well. Hope you enjoy; not sure it's one of my best works, but hopefully we'll get some real JAM soon.
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.
Never Left Alone
"Jules, what are you doing?"
Jules looked down at her boyfriend from where she was standing on a counter reaching up to a shelf out of her reach from the floor. "Getting supplies to restock the command truck. Noticed we were getting low on a few things. Finished with SIU already? That's got to be some kind of record."
"It was clear cut; nothing to get excited about. But don't change the subject." Sam Braddock frowned. "Get down from there. What are you doing climbing like that?"
Jules rolled her eyes and stretched out to reach a box almost too far away. "I'm climbing because some giant idiot decided it would be funny to design shelving too high for normal people to be able to reach with ease. Then some other idiot decided we should make use of the space despite it being unfeasible."
Looking around to make sure no one else was around, Sam reached up and placed his hands on either side of her waist and swung her gently off the counter before depositing her on the floor. Then he spun her around so she was looking at him. He frowned. "Seriously, Jules, you shouldn't be climbing like that. What if you fall?"
Jules also looked around to make sure no one was watching. When she spoke, her voice was low. "Sam, seriously, we had that conversation a long time ago. I rappel from much higher heights all the time without incident. I don't think I'm in danger three feet off the ground."
Sam narrowed his eyes slightly. "Jules, we talked about this. I thought we agreed that you wouldn't take unnecessary risks."
Jules's own expression matched his. "Really? You're going to jump on my case about standing on the counter after today? That's just …" She huffed out her breath in annoyance. "You know what, Sam? I'm not doing this here. I'm going to take this stuff to the command truck so we can sign out on time. Unless you don't think I can handle that either."
She stalked off and Sam just stood there watching her. Was she upset that he'd pulled her off the cabinet or was there more to it than that? He wanted to follow her and find out but he knew she wouldn't tell him anything more until she was good and ready. And he also knew that while she was upset like she apparently was, she wouldn't appreciate any attempt he might make toward trying to appease her, especially since he didn't know what he'd really done.
Sam ran his hand through his hair in frustration. His best chance at getting out of whatever doghouse he'd sent himself to was to figure out what he did in the first place. He didn't think it could be him pulling her off the counter. She might get aggravated when he went into overprotective mode with her, but she was slowly getting used to it. She would never admit it, not to him and maybe not even to herself, but Sam was sure she was secretly amused by his attempts to protect her and their unborn child. So why was she lashing out now?
"Hey, Sam. I didn't expect you to be finished with SIU this soon." Spike commented as he came into the gun cage. His normally affable expression was missing and a serious, more somber one hat taken its place.
Sam looked at his friend with concern, the earlier exchange with Jules momentarily forgotten as he realized just how much the call and the position Spike had found himself in had affected the other man. Spike was more accustomed to working his computer magic or defusing bombs rather than the role he had had to play today. None of them would have found it easy staring down the barrel of the rifle, prepared to take the life of a deaf teenage boy who was just trying to protect someone he cared about. Sam could only imagine it was much worse for Spike. "You okay, Man?"
Spike shrugged. "Yeah, sure. I mean, why not? It's all good. They talked the kid down…"
Sam shook his head. "Doesn't make it any easier when you are sitting there wondering if you're going to have to take the shot or not. Knowing if the call is made, it's the right one because people are in danger but at the same time hoping and praying there's some other way."
Shifting his weight from one foot to another, Spike focused on a spot on the back wall instead of on Sam himself. He hooked his fingers through his belt loops. "And this time there was some other way. Besides, it's not like I haven't had to pull the trigger before. We all have; it's part of the job. Not the fun part of the job, but a part nonetheless."
Sam nodded, leaning against the same counter he'd just pulled Jules off of moments earlier. "I know. Still, you've never had to draw down on a kid before. It's not the same as having to shoot an adult that's breaking the law. It stays with you. Why do you think May Dalton's shooting is affecting Ed so much?" Sam didn't talk about his own experiences; the times during his deployment when the target he'd been required to neutralize had been nothing more than a kid pressed into service at far too young an age. Those were nightmares he didn't talk about with anyone except for Jules who saw the effect those dreams had on him.
Spike shrugged. "Maybe, but again, I didn't have to make the shot so no problem."
Sam nodded. "I know, and I'm glad. That doesn't mean it's not going to bother you. Just don't be surprised if the 'what-if's' hit you later on tonight. If you need someone to talk to, I'm here for you."
Spike smiled but Sam could tell that it was forced. "Thanks, but I think what I need more than anything is a fun night out with the team. I've already got Leah, Sarge, and Ed on board for the Goose tonight. You and Jules bailed on us the last time we went for drinks so I'm counting on the two of you to join us this time."
It was hard to keep the goofy grin off his face as Sam thought about the last time the others had gone for drinks. It had been the day the doctor had confirmed the pregnancy. When the idea for going out for drinks had been mentioned at the debriefing Sam's initial thought had been that it would be a great time to share their good news with the team. He immediately dismissed the idea; their first night of knowing they were going to be parents needed to be spent just the two of them. Telling the team could wait until they had fully processed and celebrated the news as a couple. Ruefully, Sam thought to himself, they were still processing the news instead of telling the world.
Spike frowned. "Right, gotta check with the little lady before you make plans. Jules got you that whipped all ready?"
Raising his eyebrow, Sam looked around to make sure Jules hadn't picked that moment to return from her restocking mission. "Spike, Buddy, you do remember who you are talking about? If she heard you call her 'little lady,' she'd wipe the floor with your ass and you know it. But yeah, I should check with her first before I commit us to coming. Not because she has me 'whipped' as you so bluntly put it, but because it's the right thing to do."
Sam didn't add that Jules was currently pissed at him because his friend would then want to know what they were arguing about. Sam didn't want to admit that he had no idea; besides he and Jules made a point of keeping their private lives separate from the job, or at least as much as they could.
Spike shrugged. "Yeah, sure, Man, I get it. If you can't, you can't."
Was this his day to upset all his teammates? Sam sighed and narrowed his eyes. It occurred to him that maybe Spike was having a harder time dealing with what happened out in those woods today than he wanted to admit. Maybe he really needed his friends close by so he didn't have to dwell on those "what if's" all evening. Sam had just told Spike he was there if he needed him. Did Spike feel like it was only lip service? "Spike, I didn't say we wouldn't come. I don't know if Jules has something else planned. A couple of rounds at the Goose sounds good; down time with friends sounds even better. I'll do my best to be there, even if it is just me. Okay?"
Spike nodded, and his grin looked a little more natural. "Yeah. Sounds good."
"What sounds good?" Jules asked as she re-entered the gun cage.
"The team getting together for beers after shift. Sam wouldn't commit until he talked to you. Come on, Jules, say you'll come. We haven't all been able to cut loose in what seems like forever. Please."
There was something endearing about Spike's pleas that made Jules almost immediately say of course they would. She parted her lips ready to affirm they would join the rest of the team but stopped herself just in time. She wasn't ready to reveal the news about the baby yet. She knew Sam was almost busting at the seams ready to tell everyone he came into contact with, but she couldn't help or really even explain this intense need she felt for keeping the news just between her and Sam at least a little longer. There was no written or unwritten rule that said the two of them going to the Goose after shift meant revealing the news that night. However, the team might find it a little odd if she didn't join in for at least one beer. She felt slightly guilty for her one double double a week she was allowing herself but there was no way she was going to drink anything with alcohol in it for the duration of the pregnancy.
Feeling almost panicked that the secret might come out, Jules was set to tell him no. To her surprise though, the words she heard coming from her mouth were the opposite. "Yeah, sure; we'll be there."
Spike was whistling softly as he left out of the gun cage. After glancing around to make sure no one else was around, Sam reached out to take Jules's hand and tug her closer. She didn't protest but she also wouldn't meet his gaze. Sam raised an eyebrow. "Come, on, Jules. What is it? You know I've always hated it when you're angry with me, and lately I hate it even more."
Jules shook her head, still not looking at him. "I told you, Sam, I'm not going into it here. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to change so we can get out of here."
Sam shook his head. "No, not this time. Jules, seriously, if you're this upset with me I want to know what I did so I can not only apologize and make it up to you, but so I don't do it again."
Jules took in a shaky breath. "Please, Sam, we can talk about it but I really don't want to do it here. Let's change and get out of here."
Sam reluctantly released her hand and allowed her to leave the gun cage once again. He followed behind and branched off to the locker room. He didn't bother to shower, settling for just changing clothes so he could be ready to go as soon as Jules exited her own locker room.
He was leaning against the wall next to her locker room when she finally emerged. He fell into step beside her and they silently made their way down the stairs and out of the SRU building. Though he really wanted to press her for answers as soon as they were in the jeep, Sam refrained. He didn't want to have a potentially upsetting conversation in which it wouldn't be easy for him to take her in his arms and hold her. Instead he drove to a densely populated park and pulled into a space.
Jules continued to sit in her seat staring out of the front window; Sam sighed, got out of the vehicle and went around to her side. He opened her door and held out his hand. "Come on Jules. I can't go through tonight at the Goose wondering what I did to make you this mad at me. Let's go sit in the back and talk."
Jules relented and followed him to the back of the vehicle. He opened the back door and they sat on the floor. Sam couldn't help but remember them sitting there sharing coffee and talking way before he'd ever convinced her to give them a chance for the first time. And now they were going to be parents. He never would have thought they would reach this point.
"I'm not mad." Jules started off.
Sam raised an eyebrow. "You aren't? Could have fooled me. Is this because I made you get down off the counter? I know you can take care of yourself but I can't stop myself from worrying. It's not just you I have to think about now. There's our baby to consider."
Jules bristled beside him. "Sam, give me some credit. Do you really think I'm going put our baby at risk?"
Sam shook his head. "Not on purpose. No. Jules, I know how much you want this baby; how much you love him or her already. But Sweetheart, we both know you're independent and you throw yourself heart and soul into whatever you do. Those are traits that made me fall in love with you but now that you are pregnant they scare me too. I'm scared something is going to happen and I'll lose you both."
"You were shot at today." Jules accused, her tone hurt.
"Yeah, but he missed. He was scared but I don't think he really wanted to hurt me." Sam explained. He closed his eyes and leaned his head against the seat behind him. Her earlier accusation ringing loudly in his ears. "You're pissed because you think I'm taking unnecessary chances."
She shook her head. "No, Sam. I get that you were doing your job and I can't ask you not to do it, risks and all."
Sam reached over and drew her into his embrace and held her. She didn't fight him. He nuzzled the side of her head. "So if you aren't mad at me…"
"You all left me alone." Jules admitted almost too softly for him to hear. "There I was, left behind at the command truck while the rest of you were in the thick of the action."
"Jules…" Sam started but his girlfriend shook her head.
"No Sam. I know I had my own job to do and that it was just as important as what the rest of you were doing, but sitting there in the command truck listening as you were coming under fire… I don't think I've ever felt so alone. It's a horrible feeling."
Sam tightened his hold, hoping that if he held her tight enough then maybe it could erase some of the pain she'd felt earlier. "I'm sorry, Sweetheart. You know it wasn't intentional. Besides, if you hadn't been at the command truck, we might not ever have known about the aide's involvement. You helped crack open the case."
Jules shrugged. "Yeah, I guess, but it doesn't change how I felt."
Sam tilted her head up so that she was looking directly at him. "Jules, whether you are miles away in the command truck or two feet from my side on a call, you are never alone. You can't be. You stole my heart and you carry it with you wherever you go. And at least for the next seven months, wherever you go, whatever you do, the life we created with our love for each other goes with you. I know you will do everything you can to protect him or her; in return, I'm going to do everything I can to make sure you both stay healthy and safe."
Jules rested her head on his shoulder. "I know I'm making a big deal out of this. I know I wasn't left behind because I'm pregnant; no one but you even knows. I'm just overly sensitive about it, I guess. I want to juggle being a cop and being a mom and sometimes I feel like I'm losing myself in the process. It scares me, and today I took it out on you. I'm sorry."
Sam kissed her. "It's okay. I helped put you in this situation; it's only right I'm there when you need to vent a little. Jules, you are an exceptional cop and you are going to be an amazing mom. Yeah, figuring out how to do both at the same time will be a work in progress but I've no doubt that you'll figure it out. And I'm there for you every step of the way. I promise you that."
The corners of her mouth turned upward but a full smile didn't emerge. "I know you are. But I gotta tell you, Sam; you getting shot at doesn't help."
Sam chuckled and kissed her again. "It's not like I went to work today thinking; 'Gee, wouldn't it be great to be shot at today.' It's just the job."
Jules frowned. "It's not like I climbed up on that counter at work earlier thinking; 'Gee, wonder if I can do a face plant from up here.' I needed to restock and the stuff I needed was out of reach. It's just the job."
Sam sighed. "I guess this parenting thing isn't going to come easy for either of us. We'll try harder tomorrow?"
Jules nodded. "And we're in it together, right?"
"All the way." Sam kissed her again. Then he pulled back. "I guess we should go to the Goose before Spike thinks we stood them up. You okay with being there?"
Jules nodded. "Yeah, Spike looked like he needed his friends around. That's important. I'm still not ready to share the news yet; you okay with that?"
Sam nodded. "I'm okay with wanting you to be okay with when we tell people. If it's not tonight, fine."
This time, she was the one who kissed Sam. "Thanks. We'll tell them soon, I promise. I just need a little more time. Of course, now I've got to think of a good reason why I'm not drinking beer with the rest of you."
Sam grinned cheekily. "Start with the truth. It's my fault."
Jules raised an eyebrow. "I like the sound of that but still not sure how that's going to not raise their suspicions."
"I've got it covered. You trust me, don't you?"
Jules smiled at him. "Absolutely."