I don't like to lose.
Some days it's a blessing, some days it's a curse.
Back in grade school, it was something that brought me favor and praise, my determination to ace every test, worksheet, book report. I didn't really have a drive to learn but a drive to succeed. It probably wasn't healthy.
It still isn't healthy.
Yet, my hunger to achieve is what brought me all the way to the FBI. I became known as a case closer – finishing every case brought to me swiftly, never having to leave a case behind because it got cold. I would move heaven and earth to find the evidence I needed to catch the suspect. I faintly knew of the agency joke about me marrying my job and divorcing my wife as soon as I joined. It didn't faze me at the time.
My ex – wife used to have fits every once in a while about how I always brought my work with me home. I was Agent Donnelly in the office, at the dinner table, and in bed. I always had an excuse back then. But "I'm chasing a possible terrorist" and "It's bigger than me" grew old fast. In time, I learned a few soft spoken words and wine did the trick to sooth her. In the first few years anyway. As the time flew and the house still just the two of us, things became more tense. She want to have a Christmas party, I had work. She made dinner for our anniversary, I had work. She wanted children, I had work. She said I had changed from the Nicholas she had known in high school. The shy nerd with the retainer that would hold open doors for her at every turn. "I knew as soon as I saw those beagle eyes, you were different," she used to say, with that adorable slanted smile of hers that made her blue eyes wrinkle. She used to call me her beagle bloodhound and proclaimed to her friends how I could smell a rat a mile away.
Yet I couldn't smell my own stench.
One day I came home to an empty house, all the furniture moved out except the king mattress we shared laying on the floor and the fridge. There was a folded up note atop the bed and her wedding band. I burned the note without reading it and pawned the ring.
I didn't accept my failure at marriage for a long time. I made up excuses, telling myself it was her who was selfish and that my job was far more important than a romantic relationship.
The argument didn't last long.
She invited me to her wedding a year later. Some mailman with two kids of his own already. I dragged myself to the ceremony and watched her from a distance. It was when she smiled that wrinkle – eyed smile to her new lover, I felt the need to leave.
After that, I knew I had failed as a lover. Yet I was the best at my job and that was the only thing that kept me going. I buried myself even deeper in my FBI work, shoving criminals into jail with precision. I grew a mellow sort of happiness from solving cases.
Until the Man in the Suit came along.
I went in over drive. I could not, would not fail at my job. If I did, all was lost. It was the only thing left in my life to be truly proud of and this man was tearing at it like a vulture.
In my blindness, I began seeing shadows everywhere. No one was safe from my scrutiny. Except Carter.
Carter became my partner in justice. She was capable, strong and just as eager as me to catch this man. The admiration turned into something more a little while ago. I began finding excuses to see her, pretending to catch her up on the Man in a Suit search, the case that had gone bone dry at the moment but I didn't care. I just wanted to see her face, see the same drive to win that I had in me. I think I saw it.
Of course, I know now I imagined it.
Naturally, when I heard about the bank, she was the first I contacted. I was so eager to please her, to show her we could get him together. A fool in love.
The day John Warren was released, I followed her. My mind had formed the story of betrayal in my head but I needed more proof. A simple pitiful look at the man wasn't enough for me. I was going to confront her. Half of me prayed to be wrong. I had a hope that she would prove her loyalty in a kiss and confess her love for me. I scolded my schoolboy fantasy.
But when she came to the bridge and he appeared, it was like the wrinkle – eyed smile all over again. I had failed. I had failed at knowing my partner, the woman I was infatuated with, was an accomplice to the one man that had been evading me for months.
When I asked her what her price was, I admit, I thought she would say they were lovers.
"Just helping a friend."
Then she babbled about doing good and that John was a good man. A good man? A criminal? No. Not ever. Simply not an option. I felt sorry for her, as ignorant as she was that she was being played by this man. A man clearly capable of manipulating a woman. I started to think of a way to easy her sentence. Maybe if I claimed her was forced to help – that John threatened her child.
Then my phone rang and a panicked voice urged me to stop the car. I stopped listening to him when he said he was the Man in the Suit's partner. Surely it was a trap. That's when the car was hit.
Lying in the car's remains, I was convinced his partner had set up the car crash and I struggled in vain to reach my gun. My ears were ringing from the sheer noise of the collision and I didn't hear her coming.
I didn't hear the shots either.
AN: Tumblr has gotten me into Donnelly xD I'm sorry I didn't update He's A Friend – I will eventually