||[Mar. 23rd, 2013|10:39 am]
“Jesus Christ, I’m so tired, I think I could sleep for a month,” Sammy groans as she starts slowly up the last flight of stairs to her apartment – Cam disappearing as Stark pauses for a moment at their doorway.
“You get eight hours, Sammy, and then it’s back to the grind, even if I have to drag your ass all the way back to the station.”
“Aye aye,” Sammy gives a lazy half a salute as she continues to drag her feet, hearing Cam calling for Stark as he closes the door and both disappear below the landing. She feels sluggish opening the door, pauses uncharacteristically against it as she shuts it behind her, letting her eyes close, too.
“To bed with you, Sammy,” Julia says, receiving a mumbled ‘yes, ma’am’ in response, and Sammy thinks it’s her coming around to guide her to her bedroom, but realizes she’s dead wrong with a jolt when hands slip under her to carry her to her bedroom. And suddenly she feels more awake than she’d been before the storm had even hit.
“Wil –“ the name dies on her lips when she realizes it’s not him, eyes open to see his face. “Cillian? Dad let you out, then?”
“He held on a pretty long time, I’ll tell you that,” Cillian says, setting her on her bed, which she lays down on rather immediately. He sits on the edge, brushing hair from her face. “It’s been a long day.”
“Two days,” she corrects, letting her eyes close. She guesses she really is just exhausted – that he couldn’t even fully hold her attention.
“Three, actually,” he sounds a little distant, but he usually sounded that way. He tended to be quieter than other people, something enigmatic, something like a panther, according to Julia and Cam, anyway.
“Mr. Murphy sure does hate us,” she mumbles through the haze of impeding slumber. Cillian smiles, watching her face calm and smooth. He wonders just what he’d been expecting, wondered what it was about her and all her friends that made him want to be there, be here, when he gets the time to be away from the office, away from his father, away from responsibility and duty.
The trouble is that he isn’t sure whether he’s entirely satisfied, just being friends – but he knows she loves Wilson, knows Wilson loves her, knows they’re some kind of destiny or whatever. So he feels guilty every time she comes to him or he comes to her and wonders how long it’ll last until she feels awful enough to make it stop.
Maybe that was exactly what had happened just now.
Maybe it would still be a while before he knew.
He’s bruised and beaten and bloody and she feels like she’s about to burst, like she’ll just suddenly cease to exist if she can’t go to him and feel him and know he’s okay – broken, but okay. But instead she’s trapped across the room, sputtering to come up with something, anything that’ll let her go to him. So she shares an uncertainty, and feels his hand on her stomach and sees the glint from a blade and, maybe she shouldn’t have been at all surprised, but, truthfully, she’s more worried about the look in the eyes all the way across the room.
She flinches as he shifts behind her, struggling for a moment to free herself from his embrace while she’s trying to figure out which reality is real and which isn’t. His arms only tighten until she relaxes, her hands finding his around her middle while she closes her eyes to breathe deeply.
He sits up and takes her with him, his lips rest against the thin fabric of the button down shirt she’d taken from his side of the closet, his nose resting just above her shoulder, and his breath making warmth spread through her body, emanating from that spot on her left shoulder.
“Johnny told you, right?” She’s doing her best to completely tangle their hands together, though it doesn’t take him much effort to pull one away from the pile to brush her hair back to see her face, even as he lifts his chin to sit upon her shoulder.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” There’s nothing accusatory – he understood. After all, there were things about his subconscious he wasn’t telling her.
“It’s not important,” she says, trying to sound resolute, trying to convince herself, “We’re past that. We’ve been past that.”
“Since the funeral?” He asks, and when she finally looks at him, he’s looking away, like he’s realizing it’s his fault.
“Do you regret going?” She counters. He shifts again, lips pressed in nearly the same spot as before, eyes still focused on something far away. She waits patiently for him to admit the truth so she could clear up his misunderstanding.
“No,” finally sounds through the quiet room, soft and muffled against her shoulder.
“Then I don’t, either,” she says. She twists around to face him, his arms loosen enough for her to do so and she sets her hands on either side of his face. “We’ve been through this, if you’ll remember. It’s not my fault and it’s not yours, either.” He shakes his head ever so slightly, almost a hint of a smile. She whispers, further, “It’s just – I’m scared. I mean, I was prepared that maybe while you were in Iraq, or maybe one day when you head out of the station on a normal call, or maybe we get that one world altering call for that matter –“
“Babe, I’m not going anywhere – hell couldn’t hold me back,” he puts his forehead against hers. She smiles, looking down. “Anyway, you’re not the only one.” She looks back up as he pulls back slightly, hands finding hands in the midst of the mess of sheets surrounding them. “My dreams – God, Cam –“
“Like the ones you used to have?” She prompts when he doesn’t continue. She remembers how she’d wake up with the weight of him missing, how he’d be sitting on the edge of the bed, trying to fold in on himself, trying to keep it all inside. She remembers a lot of sleepless nights when she hadn’t fallen asleep for fear of what might happen in his mind and what if he needed her? She remembers how he’d finally break and let himself fall into her, let her hold him, let her whisper words that didn’t mean anything – but still, to him, they meant the world.
“No, I mean, yeah, but worse – they usually involve you.”
“I guess we’re both a little fucked, then,” she says, if only to make him give his half a chuckle, before catching his gaze again. “Hey, hell can’t hold me back, baby.”
“Don’t I know it,” he says as he pulls them back down, his lips dancing across her ear lobe as he adds, “Let’s get some sleep.”
“You don’t have to walk me out, Julia,” Luke says, as they continue down the stairs, her following him, catching the scarf trying to escape from the back of his bag. Walt follows, too, desperately trying to catch at the scarf himself. Julia manages to get it back in the bag, even as they descend. “I’ll be back for breakfast, anyway.”
“’Course you will, Luke,” Julia smiles at him, leaning against the door after Luke exits into the light drizzle and he swishes back around to face her. The act also effectively traps Walt, though his snout slips between her knee and the doorframe. She puts her hand down toward him, distracting him with it.
“Don’t want to miss them while they’re actually off the clock,” he gives her a look. There are people passing by on the streets, occasional cars passing through, limbs and bushes sit on sidewalks and in the middle of the streets, and things seem somehow cleaner and dirtier at the same time. She decides that before a storm is undoubtedly the best – afterward things are drearier than they were before.
“Even Johnny?” She quips, like if they make light of things, it’ll lighten the city, too.
“Even Gallagher,” he sighs in a kind of fake exasperation. She laughs. He steps back up the stairs to kiss her forehead.
“See you later, Luke,” she watches him drift down the street, watches him throw a hand up in acknowledgement. “Come on, Walt.” She heads back up the stairs, stopping on the landing below hers, and making her way quietly inside. Walt even manages to be fairly quiet, as he bounds in front of her. She winces as he’s settling himself at the foot of the bed, but the pair barely shift and he’s looking up at her in probably the most adorable way any animal ever could. Or at least it seems like he is.
It was a clear indication that the storm really had exhausted the police officers – Stark was anything but a heavy sleeper. And when she makes it back upstairs, and peaks in on Sammy, she’s completely out, too. Cillian looks up from his slouched position in the chair in the corner of the room. They share tight smiles, neither intending to possibly wake Sammy.
“Everyone in order?” Lee asks, softly from her doorway. She pushes him aside lightly to enter herself, pulling her phone from her pocket as she does.
“I need to properly invite Johnny to breakfast, but otherwise, yeah,” she groans, flopping on to the bed and lying still for a moment, before typing out her message to Johnny. He sits on the bed, pulling her into a sitting position to let his hands massage her shoulders. She lets her eyes close in pleasure. “I should be the one doing this for you.”
“I’m not in any hurry,” he murmurs, close to her ear, and she tries not to shiver as he does. “I’m sure you were more stressed than I was.”
“Well, you never know what’s going to happen with them,” she tilts her head further to the side as he’s letting his lips trail down her neck, too.
“I want to talk about you. How was your hurricane, aside from the stressed bit?” His hands are finding other places to touch.
“Long,” she can’t stop the slight pleased groan from slipping through her lips. “Boring,” she twists, her fingers running along the base of his neck. “Would’ve been better with you,” she pulls his lips toward hers.
“I’m here now,” he says, between their lips connecting. “Anything in particular you had in mind?”
“Maybe a few things.”
“Good morning, all!” Johnny’s chipper as ever when he enters the apartment early the next morning. Luke rolls his eyes at his entrance, but moves his chair slightly for Johnny to pull his in between him and Cam. She’s still half asleep on the table, half reading Stark’s paper, which fully engrosses him (early reports of the disastrous wake aren’t boding well for them – of course, their general area wasn’t hit too hard, they’d more likely be lent out – a logistical nightmare for him, an annoyance for Cam and Sammy). Lee’s ferrying things from the kitchen, where Julia’s finishing the cooking, to the table, though most dishes don’t actually touch the table before someone picks it up.
“Hardly,” comes Cam’s reply, earning a glance from Stark, and a whine from Walt, whose head’s in her lap (part in affection, part in begging).
“Where’s Sammy, then?” Johnny ignores her, reaching across the table for the discarded sections of Stark’s paper. Luke subtly lets his arm rest on his untouched one.
“I saw her on her way out on my way in,” he says, shoveling a forkful into his mouth. Julia and Lee finally sitting down bring the table beyond its capacity, strictly speaking, but still, it was more space than they usually had.
“Could you make that sound a little more confusing?” Lee lifts his brow in Luke’s direction, pausing in the process of filling his own plate. This earns chuckles from the rest of the table.
“She was going for a run,” Luke says, spreading his arms as if daring Lee to question him again. Lee gives a slight nod.
“Anyone heard from Wilson?” Cam asks, looking slightly more awake as she drenches Stark’s pancakes in syrup, handing him a fork before she follows suit with her own.
“He got home alright,” the voice doesn’t come from around the table, but emerges from the hallway instead. “Might have some minor water damage.” Julia starts to shift her chair but Cillian lifts his hand. “Nah, I ought to get going. Did you want me to check on Sammy?”
“Tell you what,” Stark says, setting his paper aside, and twirling his fork into a proper eating position, “she doesn’t show up for shift, you’re the first person I call.” Cillian nods, pulling on his coat. Julia stands again, going the few feet toward the door with him.
“Benefit concert, me and you, buddy,” Johnny says, looking eagerly at Stark, who seems to be debating it. Cam’s agreeing with Johnny, and Luke and Lee are already planning how to get word out – Julia could get a venue if they didn’t have any luck at their usual places – and enumerating how excellent it would be to have people from the NYPD raising money for the city. Julia smiles looking over her shoulder at them, though they’re all oblivious to her and Cillian standing at the door.
“He was okay, she seemed okay, too,” Cillian says, without waiting for Julia to ask. She nods.
“Yeah,” he smiles, “I never thought two people could be so oblivious to one another.”
“Well, it’s Sammy and Wilson we’re talking about,” Julia concedes.
“True.” His hands are in his pockets, waiting on something else to happen, but he’s not sure what. She’s not either, so instead he leaves.
“Julia, tell him that a concert is a fantastic idea,” Johnny accosts her before she’s all the way in her seat. Lee’s arm comes around the back of the chair once she’s settled, giving her a secret sort of grin. Stark still doesn’t look wholly convinced, though he now seems to be locked into a signature Hasser stare.
“I don’t think you need me to do any convincing,” Julia nods in their direction.
“You’d think you’d know the way to his heart by now, Gallagher,” Luke says.
“Benefit concert is a go!” Johnny shouts, before Stark even has a chance to say yes. He looks back at Cam with a question of regret written in his eyes but she smiles at him and their lips lock sweetly. Johnny’s already working on a set list, Luke adding input when he’s asked and even when he’s not.
“Not too terrible of a storm, huh?” Lee asks, his hand touching her side lightly.
“No,” Julia agrees, “Not too bad.”
Sammy felt like she’d been running for days, though, truthfully, it had only been a few hours. Her stomach growling makes her almost regret leaving before Julia had even gotten up, but she needed the fresh air, needed to clear her head. The rain still lingered in the air, and, though the people were back in full force, they were sluggish somehow, slower than they usually were, as though the storm had shocked them and they were afraid to move too much for fear of another.
She didn’t know for sure where she stood with Wilson. Hadn’t they laid down proclamations like that before? Didn’t they just keep circling back to one another? Didn’t that have to mean something? Surely, if they could just forget each other they would, but instead they always find themselves traveling down the same road.
If only he’d move slower. That was the problem, really. He was ready to jump into marriage – Sammy wasn’t there yet. She didn’t know when she would be, but she knew the idea of finding love, real, true love was terrifying and she felt that every day she was with him.
She thought, she knew, now, that Cillian was more like comfort, and she loved him for that, but she had to stop going to him. At least like that. She was pretty sure he knew that, too. He missed the way they used to be as much as she did. As much as Wilson did, for that matter.
She’s breathing heavy when she stops in the middle of the bridge, ready to turn around after a breather. The city seemed quiet, still, not ready to fully acknowledge the massive clean-up and the damage that was coming and had come.
It’s funny, she thinks, that standing on a bridge is where she’ll decide what’s more important – whether she’ll keep running away or whether she’ll run back, even if she has to fight her way back in. Poetic, in a way.
She turns on her heel.