[End of Watch]
What type of cop did he want to be? Did he want to be the cop who did their job with dignity and respect; staying on the straight and narrow, like John Cooper? Or did he want to be more like Sammy, filling his job with personal problems and letting his emotions cloud his actions and judgments?
Or was he going to be a crooked cop? The type who let some local street thug do his dirty work instead of dealing with his problem like a man.
Officer Ben Sherman didn't know. He squeezed his eyes shut, feeling the cold, unforgiving cement against his back and head.
This mess that he had gotten himself into, there was no way out. He had dug his grave from the moment he had talked to Chris about breaking into Sammy's home for the tape.
Ben pulled himself into a sitting position, leaning his back against the railing. He let his head drop into his hands. What was he going to do? He wasn't a cop anymore—not the cop that had started out all those months ago with Cooper. He had long since waved goodbye to the ideals of that young man. He had numbed himself to the horrors he saw each day by drinking and sleeping around.
Ben started to pull himself to his feet, leaning heavily against the rooftop's railing.
Ben's jaw clenched tightly. Whatever happened now, he would deal with and face it like the man he knew was, or at least once was.
If he lost his job, so be it. If, by some prayer, he wasn't kicked off the force, Ben was determined to clean up his act, starting with working things out with Sammy. They were partners after all.
Sammy took another swallow of his beer and stared intently at Nate. The little boy stared back with those big blue eyes of his.
"You know, Nate, I thought that I was making a difference with Sherman. I thought that I was teaching him everything he needed to know to survive the streets of L.A. Turns out…I was teaching him all the wrong things." Sammy's voice broke and the back of his throat burned with unshed tears. "Turns out I was just showing him how he could get himself killed." Sammy thought back to all the times that he ran personal missions against the bangers.
Deep down, Sammy knew that it was his fault that Ben had hired the thug to break into his house. Of course, Ben was at fault too, but if he hadn't asked Ben to lie for him about Tammy then none of this would have happened.
"That's what partners do!"
Ben would have lied for him anyway. That was the type of man he was. Ben was a good man; he had just been knocked off course.
Sammy knew that if had just come clean when the complaint against him had been filed, then none of these would have happened.
"Fuck." Sammy mumbled and then winced, looking back at his son. What type of father was he anyway?
"Listen, Nate, when you get older…hold onto your friends…don't let lies get between you."
John Cooper couldn't breathe. His lungs didn't seem to be working anymore. That probably had something to do with the two bullets he had taken to the stomach.
Cooper's eyes blinked slowly, blurry fellow officer's faces loomed over him, shouting unintelligible words at him.
Cooper managed to take a breath and sweet oxygen filled him again.
If he could laugh, Cooper would have. To survive the streets of L.A. for twenty-two years, to survive an addiction, to survive a kidnapping, to survive all the shit that happened over the years, this was how he was going out?
His downfall was a fucking generator.
"Just hang on, Cooper!"
Cooper felt his chest tighten again, and the fire from the bullets started to fade away into a numbness.
This was it. Death.
Cooper had always thought his death would be different somehow. He had fully expected to go out in a blaze of glory and a rain of bullets, but to be taken down by one of his own? That was something Cooper had not foreseen.
Cooper's eyes rolled into the back of his head, and his chest slowed.
There was nothing there. Just darkness. Death welcomed John Cooper with open arms.
A/N: I just finished the series finale of Southland and, obviously, I'm still not over it. This was my way of trying to bring some closure to the show (for me).