Author's notes: Several people asked for the scene at the Goose, so why not. Hope you like it despite it being so short.
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
~ A Night Out With the Team ~
"Well, it's about damn time. I was beginning to think you stood us up." Spike called as Sam and Jules made their way hand in hand toward the table at the back of the Goose. Despite his protest though, it was obvious by the table devoid of beers that they hadn't been there long either.
Sam shrugged as they reached the table. "We had a couple of things to do before we could come play." He resisted the urge to hold the chair out for Jules; there was only so far he could push the over protectiveness before he was the one who needed protection from her. However, once they were settled in chairs side-by-side, he didn't feel the slightest bit of guilt about putting an arm around the back of her chair, letting his fingers play with her hair.
Leah shook her head. So much had changed in the time she'd been gone. Before she had to go to Haiti to help her family after the earthquake, Jules and Sam hadn't been a couple. Oh, she'd heard rumors that there had been something between them before she came but whatever it had been seemed to have been long over. It had taken her by surprise once she'd returned to find out Sam and Jules were dating and that it was apparently sanctioned or at least not outlawed by the higher ups. Still, she'd noticed that they were careful to keep things professional while at work so it was almost easy to forget they were a couple. Seeing Sam with his arm so casually around Jules's shoulders seemed almost surreal to her now. Still, she snorted. "I don't know if we need to know what that couple of things were. I'm thinking Spike might not be old enough to hear such things."
"Nice. Thanks, Leah, that means a lot to me that you're looking out for me this way." Spike shook his head as a waitress approached with a tray of beers. A moment later they all had a beer in front of them, including Jules and Sam. Spike shrugged at their questioning glance. "Figured we'd order for you."
Jules felt her heart quicken just a little at the sight of the beer in front of her. She wasn't tempted in the least to even take a sip; the baby growing inside her was much more important to her than any drink. Truth be told, not stopping daily for a double double and cutting down to one a week had bothered her much more than turning down the beer tonight. Still, she didn't want everyone questioning why. Sam had told her earlier to trust him to come up with a reasonable excuse to get her out of it. And she did; she trusted him with every fiber in her being. If he said he had a plan, then he would come up with something.
Almost as if he could read her mind, he reached out and snagged the beer from in front of her and slid it over to rest beside his own frosty mug. "I don't think so. No alcohol for you, remember?"
Ed raised an eyebrow. "Something you care to share with the class, Jules?"
The tips of her ears turned pink and she wondered if she had trusted him too soon. Before she could open her mouth, Sam continued. "Remember the other day when we did that shoot off at the target range?" The rest of the team nodded. "Well, we had a little bet going with it. Whichever one of us with the slower time agreed to abstain from alcohol for a full month. My time was better."
Jules had to hand it to him; she didn't think she would have been able to come up with a better reason. Still, her competitive nature chafed a little at being reminded she hadn't been the best at something. "Yeah, by 3.6 seconds. But whatever, it's only a month. I'll survive."
Spike rolled his eyes. "Seriously, Sam. No alcohol for a month? Couldn't you have come up with something a little more, I don't know, win-win for you as a prize?"
There really hadn't been a bet on that shoot off at work but Jules couldn't help but remember the last bet they had made. The bet they had made the morning Sam had taken her out to Ed's father's land and they took turns aiming at golf balls suspended on a string. It took every ounce of self control in her not to react to the intense memory. Never had she'd been so glad to win a bet. Despite Sam not getting to carry out his own fantasy, she believed he'd been glad to lose in the long run. If she wasn't so sure of the timing of this pregnancy, she would have loved to believe their baby had been conceived the day he fulfilled his part of the bet.
"Don't worry about it Spike. In fact, don't even think about it." Sam warned.
Jules ordered a root beer in place of the beer she now had a good excuse for not drinking. She tried to ignore the glances Sarge kept sending her way. She wondered if he was remembering her questions the day the doctor confirmed she was pregnant and was now putting two and two together and not coming up with Sam's excuse. Jules was pretty sure even if he suspected, he wouldn't say anything, wouldn't confront her about it until she said something or he was faced with irrefutable proof. Just like he hadn't said anything about his suspicions that she and Sam were dating until he had shown up at her house and caught Sam coming downstairs still in the process of dressing.
Once she had her own beverage, she settled back in her seat and listened as her friends bantered good-naturedly back and forth. She was tired, part of it might - not that she'd ever admit it to Sam or anyone else - be because of the pregnancy but she also knew a big part of it had to be due to the anger and hurt she'd held on to after the call earlier. Tired or not, she wasn't going to bail out early.
Sam had told her on the way to the Goose that Spike seemed more than a little shaken about the shot he'd almost had to make. Jules wasn't surprised. Spike was good at his job but was also very tender hearted. Of course he would have trouble dealing with just the possibility that he might have had to shoot a teenage boy. She could also tell that Ed himself wasn't his normal self. Not that she blamed him either. How do you walk away from having to make a decision whether or not to call a Scorpio shot on an armed teenage boy just months after having to pull the trigger or a teenage girl similarly armed and shooting? Spike and Ed both needed this time to unwind and cut loose.
The truth was, she needed it just as much. After feeling left behind and alone during the call, she needed the comforting reassurance of having her friends close. She listened more than participated in the banter; present but slowly feeling her energy zapping. She wasn't even aware of when she put her head on Sam's shoulder. Wasn't aware that she'd completely zoned out and perhaps even dozed until she heard Sarge say her name.
"…Jules home before you have to carry her."
She lifted her head and blinked. "What?"
Sam squeezed her shoulder. "Sarge was suggesting I take you home. I think he has the right idea. Maybe staying up watching that DIY marathon last night wasn't the best idea given we had a long shift today."
Jules smiled; he was still covering for her so seamlessly that no one should suspect anything. "Yeah, next time I'll listen to you. Still I should drive since you kept me from being able to so much as taste a beer that didn't have root in front of it."
He kissed the side of her head. "Jules, I had my last beer an hour ago; I'm good to go. I'm not sure I'd trust you behind the wheel tonight."
"I can out drive you any day." Jules protested, but the slight slur in her words that would have made her sound drunk if they hadn't all known she'd been drinking root beer all night spoke volumes about how tired she actually was.
"Okay." Sam smirked but was careful to make sure she didn't see him. After laying some money on the table to cover their tab, he glanced at Spike. "Remember what I told you earlier."
Spike gave a half nod.
The young couple said their goodnights and made their way out of the bar toward the jeep. Sam looked over at Jules once they were both in the vehicle with their seatbelts on, "If you want to snooze on the way home, I'll wake you up when we get there."
She yawned but shook her head. "I'm not going to become someone who goes to sleep before the sun sets."
Sam laughed. "Jules, the sun set a couple of hours ago. I think you are okay for sleeping."
"No, I think I can last long enough for us to get home. Besides, we have something we need to discuss."
His stomach dropped at her words. Even though her tone was lighthearted, her words sent a wave of dread through him. "Oh, what's wrong?"
"It's a little scary how quickly you came up with those excuses tonight. If I didn't trust you so much, I'd be more than a little worried."
He grinned. "Don't worry, I only use my powers for good."
"Good to know."