Just a Quick Jog
So another spur of the moment one-shot. I guess I'm stuck on Spike but I don't mind. :) Please leave me a review, they're so much appreciated! I don't own Flashpoint.
It was absolutely freezing outside. That was the first and most prevailing thought on Spike's mind as he left his apartment building and seriously considered turning back. He probably should have assumed, it was early December after all and it was the dead of night...or was it considered the morning now. Spike didn't really know as he glanced at his watch. It was just after midnight now and he knew that he wasn't getting to sleep anytime soon. He was wired from the day still, even after the debrief and a quick workout towards the end of shift his heart was pounding. He had tried everything, a cup of tea, reading, deep breathing, but nothing would allow his mind to rest. Guess I'll just have to tire my body out so much that I have to sleep. He rationalized as he steeled himself against the cold wind and started his run. He wore sweatpants and a hoodie over his usual workout shorts and t-shirt and he was grateful that he'd bought his hat and gloves along, he needed them.
It was meant to be a brief run, a four mile circuit that would lead him back to his apartment in a little less than an hour and the hope was that his mind would clear and his body tire. The call today was, luckily, a happy ending, but still an intense day for Spike. A high school kid planted a bomb in his homeroom (which Spike quickly realized was meant to scare off the bullies) and then ended up on the roof of the building threatening to jump. Ed had tried to get through to the boy but was having trouble connecting, have trouble seeing how this big, intimidating guy, was able to understand any of the merciless bullying he was going through. It was Jules that quietly suggested Spike give it a try, at least the boy might be more prone to talk to less obviously athletic, self identified geek of the team. It was a success, a few close calls along the way but overall a happy ending.
Spike always found it hard though, didn't know how Greg and Jules and Ed continued to put themselves on the line emotionally. If he'd jumped...I don't know how I'd live with myself. Spike thought briefly as he turned a corner towards the center of the city. Well... He thought to himself as he stopped to let a car pass in the intersection, It's not like they don't have their fair share of wounds from it. Spike couldn't help think of Greg's past alcoholism and Ed's family problems. But things turned out good today. Spike reminded himself with a nod. The kid will get help, the bullies will be punished, the school administration will get a wake up call, and the SRU did their jobs. I did my job and I did it well. Spike repeated in his mind, emphasizing the point as a small smile came to his lips. Finally a little peace. He let his mind wander a bit thinking about what he would make for dinner tomorrow and his weekend plans, wondering if Sam might want to do something. He didn't mean to lose focus, sometimes he just got lost in his mind, but he was suddenly jarred back into the moment when his foot hit something and he fell forward unable to keep his balance. He landed hard on his forearms, resisting breaking his fall with his hands and risking breaking his wrists, it was no less painful though as his left knee hit the cold sidewalk and he slid to a stop.
"What the hell?" He said angrily to himself more than anyone else. This was, of course, the section of the street that was just outside the reach of the two streetlight beams. He laid still for a moment making sure that he wasn't badly injured, he knew that he was have some serious scrapes but it seemed not much other damage. He sat up in the street trying to figure out what had caused such a sudden and dramatic fall when his eye caught on something out of place. Just barely within the beam of lights Spike could see...a shoe. But connected to the shoe was an ankle...he said a quick prayer hoping that he wasn't finding a body right now. He crawled the few feet over towards where the leg should have connected to the rest of a person and found himself in the shadow of some sort of corporate building. "Hey?" He called out, hoping someone would call back. He wasn't too keen on getting too close right now, especially when he couldn't see most of the person's body.
"Hey, buddy?" Spike said a bit louder as he moved forward and saw a slumped man leaning against the body. His first instincts said that he was homeless but something was amiss and was making him think otherwise...he just couldn't put his finger on it. "Hey, you okay sir?" He said, louder again. The man's eyes were closed but he didn't seem to be unconscious, more like in a daze or a-
"Wha'd'ya want?" More like a drunken stupor. Spike almost recoiled at the man's breath but held his ground with a warm smile and a concerned expression.
"I just wanted to make sure you were okay, sir. I tripped over you a minute ago..." Spike motioned towards the encroaching leg. He was trying to figure out if this man was drunk or if he was in need of medical attention. His breathing seemed a bit labored and his movements slow, neither of which told him much about the man's state. He wasn't shivering which was troubling considering temperatures were just below freezing and he seemed to have slumped off again. "Sir?" He called out loudly again to get his attention.
"What!" The man turned quickly and yelled right in Spike's face. He was surprised by the sudden move but didn't back down.
"It's really cold out here tonight sir, do you have a place to go right now?" Spike asked before adding, "I can cover your cab fare if need to get to a relative's..." It took a moment before the man moved to respond.
"Just leave me...I'ma lost cause." His words slurred but his resolute yet saddened tone worried Spike. The man moved to his original position, he head slumping down below his left shoulder, his left hand in the pocket of his light jacket, and his right arm wrapping around his body.
"I'm Mike," Spike said as he moved to sit more comfortably with the man. He was shivering and was finally getting tired but something was really bugging him and he couldn't bring himself to leave this guy. "Can I ask your name, sir?" Spike moved slightly in order to catch the other man's eye but instantly froze when, from his left pocket, a gun emerged and was pointed at Spike's forehead with a stunningly steady hand.
"Get back." The man said simply, his voice suddenly clear. Spike nodded, only letting himself realize for an instant how happy he was to stop and not let some random civilian stumble upon this guy.
"Okay," Spike nodded slowly, his hands raised without even realizing it. "Okay, I'm gonna get up and move back a little bit, is that okay?" Spike asked gently. He felt his heart pounding again. Two negotiations in a day, dear god. The man hadn't signaled either way so Spike slowly inched his body backwards and got up into a crouch about two feet away. He hoped that staying on his feet, even in the crouching position, would give him better maneuverability if he had to lunge either out of the way or for the gun.
"Leave me." The man said, his voice getting slightly slurred again as, it seemed, his moment of sudden clarity was fading. The gun began to shake and Spike suddenly became very fearful that it would misfire.
"Sir, I don't want anyone to get hurt right now. Do you think maybe you could point the gun at the ground, just to make sure no one gets hurt." He asked softly but with a bit of vigor. The man didn't seem to hear and didn't seem to be responding for a moment. Spike was going to try again, really not liking the shaking gun being pointed in his direction, but the gun suddenly shifted targets. "Sir!" Spike let fear take over for a moment as the gun swiftly changed direction from Spike's head to the man's own temple. He was afraid that he would hear an immediate gunshot but was overwhelmed with relief when the man paused.
"I told ya'ta leave." He said again, still angry but almost pleading now.
"I'm not gonna do that sir." Spike said strongly but with compassion. "I'm not gonna leave you alone out here in the cold to die."
"No'one else cares. Why should you care what happens t'me?" He asked, seemingly confused.
"Well, I know I just met you sir but I know that you must be in a lot of pain to be thinking about taking your life right now and I'm sorry for that." Spike said sincerely. "No one should feel like suicide is their best option and I really want to help you through whatever's going on right now." Spike was trying to keep his sentences short and his points brief, he wasn't sure how much the man was getting in his state but he was hoping that he was sobering up quickly. He saw another moment of clarity come to the man's eyes.
"You're a cop." Spike was surprised at the statement of fact, there was not even a hint of a question. Spike did a quick mental inventory to try and figure out if he was wearing anything that identified him as police and if admitting it would help or hurt this situation but he didn't want to lie.
"Yes sir, I'm with the Strategic Response Unit." Spike said simply but was again surprised by the man's response; a harsh, ironic laugh and tears in his eyes.
"This is just perfect, perfect!" He shouted as Spike's muscles grew more tense. "I try to off myself and of course an SRU hotshot just stumbles over me. So goddamned perfect!" Spike took a moment, confused now. So he knows what SRU stands for and what we do and he doesn't seem too fond of us.
"Are you in law enforcement sir?" Spike asked with a curious smile, just now realizing that the type of gun the man held was a standard issue police pistol. Damn, I should have realized that early. He chided himself before the man licked his lips.
"Was. Now I'm not." The man said distinctly. Apparently the alcohol was wearing off or the man was seeing the seriousness of the situation because he was getting slightly more lucid. Spike nodded, not really sure where to go from this point.
"What happened?" Spike asked, taking a risk in asking the man to disclose what would inevitably be an emotional laden moment. He wondered for an instant if he was over his head, if he could somehow subtly get a signal to someone to call the police but the street was abandoned and his phone was in the pocket of one of the inner layers of his clothing and not easily accessible. There was a pretty long pause before the man began to speak.
"I was on vice. There was this young girl, runaway from an abusive home...tried so hard to get her off the streets before...found her a few weeks later, brutally raped...head pounded in...only fourteen." Spike cringed as the man went on, almost in a daze. "Couldn't get that image out of my head...can't get rid of it...'cept when I've got the hard stuff. Bosses aren't...weren't happy, coming in late, coming in hungover...the flashbacks...I was on desk duty for a while but..." The man trailed off, his eyes open wide, almost as if he was seeing all the horrors he'd seen again. Spike felt his pain, had his fair share of ghosts, now he just had to communicate that.
"I hear you buddy." He said very softly. "I know what it's like to have seen far too much for an entire lifetime in the matter of a month...it's hard to get those memories out of your head long enough to think or function...or sleep." Spike gave the man a smile and in that smile he expressed more than he could with words. He was able to express that they were together in this struggle. The man saw that gesture, understood the meaning and the care and tears freely ran from his eyes now as the gun shook.
"We're different though. You've got your whole career ahead of you, you've probably seen more of this horrible world than me on the SRU and you haven't turned to the bottle. You haven't thrown away your life." Spike sighed and nodded.
"You're right, I've seen a lot and it's been hard and I haven't turned to alcohol, and I've thought about it, but let me tell you about this guy on my team...my Sergeant actually." Spike said confidently as the man seemed to nod. "He's probably the most caring, devoted, sympathetic guy you'll ever meet and I thought he was one of those absolutely perfect people until a few years ago when I learned about his past. He was a homicide detective at the time, had a really bad case involving a kid and he turned to the bottle. It got so bad that he lost everything." The man looked skeptical but Spike nodded. "His wife left him in the middle of the night with his son who still doesn't talk to him, he got demoted to desk duty, drove away all his friends but one. He was going down a bad path but, he made it. It took a lot of work and now he has a lot of support but he's the Sergeant of Team One now and...I think he's happy." Spike added thinking about Greg and how important he is in his life.
"H...How did he do that?" The man asked in awe. Spike hesitated again, not sure what to say, not sure what exactly happened to get Greg on the right track.
"I'm not exactly sure. I know that his one buddy, he's also on my team, he helped him out a lot but...I'll tell you what: how about you give me the gun and I'll buy you a cup of coffee and we can call him and ask him exactly how he got things together?" Spike felt his heart pounded, could hear his blood pulsing through his ears, and he wasn't sure what he'd do if the man turned down this invitation. As he was developing a new angle though, the man in front of him slowly lowered the gun and handed it to Spike. He let out a sigh of relief as he took the cartridge from it and put the gun in the waistband of his pants. "Thank you...I'm sorry, I never did catch your name." Spike felt a blush rise in his cheeks for forgetting to gather this vital piece of information.
"Darryl...Wainwright." The man said as Spike offered his hand to help the man up.
"Well, it's nice to meet you Darryl." Spike said with a smile as they stood on the sidewalk for a moment. "There's a Timmies down about a block and a half, want to stop there and then call my Sergeant?" Spike asked, making it clear that he wasn't backing out of this deal.
"Yeah, yeah I guess that would be good." Darryl said softly. "Won't he be sleeping?" He asked, concerned. Spike groaned inwardly as he glanced at his watch. So much for a quick jog under an hour and then to bed for your early shift. He thought to himself. Well at least I won't be the only one that's a zombie tomorrow...
"Nah, we don't sleep much on SRU..."
So I actually like how this one turned out. There's a few sentences in here that I love and it rounded out pretty well...I think, do you agree? Leave me a review and stay tuned for (hopefully) some more stories to come during this winter break!