Breakfast Burritos - 4/9
Fandom: The Killing
Pairing: Stephen Holder/Sarah Linden
Category: Angst, Romance, Humor
Series/Sequel: Oh Snap!
Summary: They try to keep it together
Warning: Adult Fanfiction, Spoiler for season two
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I´m writing for free.
Feedback: You feel me?
Released: September 2014
Word Count: 4.575
They didn´t speak one word the whole way back to his car. There he opened the trunk and gave her Rosie´s backpack. He was barely able to breathe. He was still having the shakes like he was suffering from withdrawel. In silence they drove to Stan Larsen´s house to keep watch of the front. The rain was pouring down on them as if the sky was giving him a beating as well. They had both still said nothing. Fuck it. Even if he hadn´t anything to say he couldn´t bear to sit here all night not talking. He knew she could. That was her thing, yeah. Never his, though. He had to break through the wall. "How did you find me?" he croaked, hurting in every way possible.
"A woman called me on your cell telling me that you were acting crazy."
No shit! He ducked his head a little further, a hilarious achievement considering his height, and thanked his one night stand in silence. It wasn´t her fault that she had made out with him at the worst time possible. She was nice and decent enough to get him help. Not that this made the affair right here and now any easier but still...he owed her. "Linden, I thought the Richmond photo was legit, okay? I mean Gil saved my life. I had like ten days when I met him." He sounded desperate, worse, he sounded defiant as if he were guilty. "I was at rock bottom..."
"I don´t care," she cut him off cruelly. "We´re in the middle of a shitstorm because of you."
She was right. Of course she was right. Still she could show a little bit of sympathy for what he had been through or his current struggle. No. Don´t argue. Just go along. Be grateful she´s here. She came. That matters. Fuck everything else. "I just trusted the wrong guy," he offered to make peace.
"Yeah, I guess you did," she accepted.
He pocketed the cold comfort like a man and turned his attention to the world beyond the windshield. Okay. Good. Move on. Leave that shit behind. A van appeared at the front of Larsen´s home and ended any private conversation anyway. This was for the better. He got a second chance. He couldn´t expect more. She started the car and they followed the van into the night. He didn´t
mind where they were heading as long as they were together. As long as the worst was over. As long as he wasn´t alone.
In the morning she dragged him to the FBI. They met up with an agent she once worked with. "So how do you know this FBI guy?"
"He´s a mob expert."
"Organized crime? That´s not exactly your beat."
"Linden." The guy in question cheered and stood up to shake her hand. A Tom Jones look alike wannabe, Stephen backbit sourly. Great! Seeing the big smile Linden offered in return was even more painful to watch. Fuck it! More competition. Yeah. He knew he was lying to himself every time he stated she was only his partner.
"Thanks for seeing us," Linden said.
"Of course, of course," the slick fop replied, overfriendly.
He clenched his teeth. So. Linden had slept with the guy.
"This is my partner, Detective Holder," she introduced him.
He shook the fop´s hand like a man. "You the big mob expert? For real?"
Neither the guy nor Linden were amused. Hey. I´m the one walking in deep shit. Not you. So cheer up, folks.
They started talking about the tattoo on the photo and let him stand by like a dumped cigarette butt smoldering in a corner. Thanks. I´m feeling so much better, assholes. The guy put his glasses down and walked to a file cabinet. He picket the glasses up and put them on. Maybe Linden liked him better looking more distinguished? No. Her glare was certainly a no go. Quickly he put them back down. The guy hadn´t even noticed. Ha! What a loser. He joined the professional talk to smooth the troubled waters. Yet he was more than relieved when they could leave and were back on the streets. Back to the car, back to their personal comfort zone, a space belonging to them only. Not weird at all, right?
In front of the house of the mother of a suspect she threw him his badge. He caught it awkwardly. Shit! That meant she had heard him hammering at her door that night, that she had picked up the stupid thing after he had left. He was completely embarrassed remembering how he had been begging her to let him in. That´s why he couldn´t say a thing, not even thanks. Not that she expected any gratitude. She had only given it back to him to move on. Right. Quickly he shoved the thing into his pants. That´s all there is. Move on!
The interview with the mother didn´t go well. All in all it was a fucked-up day. Hey! All in all it was a fucked up month.
Back at the office he only cared about filling the hole in his stomach. He was so hungry and exhausted he even ate ham and sausage.
That got her curious. "What happened to your whole lacto-ovo-vegan thing?"
"Nothing. I´m just ready to embrace meat again." He didn´t even know what he meant by that. Was he serious? Was he just teasing her? Was he giving it a try?
Really? That´s all I get? Despite all the shit going on his insides bubbled with amusement. That woman was a miracle worker. She managed to make him feel the silliest sensations at the most inappropriate times. He enjoyed every second in her company, he even took pleasure in just talking about his eating habits. How humble and modest he had become. He snorted. Yeah.
She got a call and he tried not to listen in, though he sensed she was in some kind of trouble. Not that she confided in him. No. That was over. He fucked up. She didn´t trust him anymore. She kept him at bay. Now more than ever.
A few hours later they visited the state prison to interrogate an inmate. He watched Linden buying something from a vending machine. "Picking up Jack´s dinner?" he joked, and even made a mocking laugh. He knew he was cruel but sometimes he needed to cut her down a size to keep his
head up, which was pretty ironic considering how tall he was compared to her. She said nothing to him in return, didn´t greet him with a hint of weakness, just ordered him to find out why there was a holdup for their interview.
Seeing Linden giving the inmate the recently bought candy bar under the table to make him talk he figured again how naive he was considering how street-smart she was. She always had a plan. She was good at her work. She was a leader. That´s why he didn´t mind following her. The inmate had a tip which put them back on the streets looking for, hey, whatever, didn´t matter as long as they were able to make progress. He still felt awkward around her, not sure what they could talk about. "Look, I gotta piss," he said. Oh, yeah, playing caveman, that was his thing in such a situation. She ignored him. Sure, he would ignore a guy like him, too. Restlessly picking at his pants he tried once more. "So, Rosie liked bad boys like her father."
"I don´t buy that she knew about Stan´s past. There is no way that he told her."
"It´s in the DNA. Like sins of the father and all that."
"Did you read that in O Magazine?" she turned down his theory.
He laughed. He didn´t believe the shit he just said either. He was just talking to break the tension. He always felt more comfortable saying something, even shit like that than nothing. "Alexi could have taken off for Alaska by now."
"He´s not a runner. Two years in each home. That is plenty of time to figure out how or where he´s gonna bolt."
"So what is he?"
He observed her stony expression and thought again how much of this foster home crap related to herself and how much it must hurt to think back. Who was Sarah Linden really? What did she like? What made her tick? What was she looking for in a man? Was she even looking or did men just throw themselves at her? He knew he would if she gave him the slightest chance.
"So what´s up with you and that FED? You and that Tom Waits wannabe ever hooked up or what?"
She said nothing, of course, but her expression tensed one tiny bit.
"Oh snap, Linden rocked the booty-call." Oh, look, there was a reaction showing on her face. He was dead on. "Dial 1-900-LINDEN."
"That's not even enough numbers."
Okay. Good. That was a smile. Be clever now. Be nice. Sweet-talk like a cop. "That was pretty slick, Linden, that candy bar move in juvie."
"They trade them in there. It´s like money."
"Did seem familiar."
"It was my first job I worked out of the academy."
Hey, and now she even shared some personal stuff. Keep going. "You´re alright?"
"Yeah." She took out a fresh piece of gum. She had traded her smoking addiction for chewing gum.
"Based on that you were running back in the day when you were in that foster home..."
"I didn´t say that," she snapped at him.
"Yeah, you did. You said you bolted every six months." No. He couldn´t let go and shut up. "It makes sense, you know, Sonoma and everything." Yeah, he had to ruin the moment.
She glared at him.
Aw, shit. Don´t you dare and get turned on by this. "I´m just making conversation, since we´re wasting our time here anyway." Shut up. Shut up now! He made a huffing noise. He was angry, but mostly at himself. He had a chance to get to her and he fucked it up. Story of his life.
"You´re right. This is a waste of time. Get out." She started the motor and buckled up.
Oh shit! That again. "Come on, Linden. For real?" Fine! Whatever! He got out. "What I´m supposed to do out here?"
"Your job. Call in for a car and keep your eyes open for Alexi."
"Uh-Come-Yeah-Alright." He watched her driving off. "At least we are back to normal." Yeah. Here he was. Once more she had abandoned him, leaving him without a ride on the streets. Once more she had punished him for getting too close. He huffed and walked to the curb. He wouldn´t want to be run over by a car, right? She wouldn´t care to visit him at the hospital for being stupid. Difficult to say if her carrying on with their usual ritual was a good or a bad sign. Did she mean something by that? Did she give him a secret message even? No. Don´t be ridiculous. Don´t be a child wishing for the moon.
Guess what happened next? The sky opened up again and was pouring down a load of rain on him. Fucking perfect! He hooded up and in utter need for release he took a leak on the streets like a common bum. Not that he wasn´t some sort of a bum. He knew very well how he looked. I am what I am. A piece of shit pissing on the streets. If only... That was the moment Alexi chose to show up. The boy took one good look at him and started running. Shit! He pulled his zipper up and went after him, chased him down a few filthy streets, panting. No. He was so not in shape. No surprise the boy got away. He called in for back up, glad that Linden wasn´t here to be a witness to his failure.
The good thing was they were allowed to search Alexi´s place now, where they found new evidence. The bad thing was the hours of work piling up. She locked them in a room in the precinct so nobody but them could listen in to them discussing the evidence. She only opened the door when a young officer brought fresh coffee and food. "What are you two doing in there?" he asked curiously. She closed the door right into his face.
He snorted despite his bone-deep exhaustion. "Keep that up and they gonna say you broke up with Sonoma because of me." Yeah. He wished. He knew she wouldn´t satisfy him with a reaction and that it was just a joke and would always stay a fantasy. "Yo, wouldn´t be the first time, you know what I´m saying." No. She did not. Not a chance she would care for silly rumors anyway. She didn´t even care that her son called and was obviously sick. "Just go, Linden. Take care of little man. I got it." She refused his offer. It was 1 a.m.
They were up the whole night, for fuck´s sake, to find that boy Alexi. They finally did but the interview with the boy didn´t pay off. She was angry and frustrated. "Give me a cigarette." He looked at her. "Please," she added. He threw her the whole pack. He was concerned
about where this was going. She planned to do something without having any warrant. "Come on, Linden. Carlson is looking for any reason to sink the..."
"Why is Carlson gonna find out? Just keep your mouth shut and we´ll be fine." She chucked the cigarette away, unlit, and rushed out.
He sighed. What had he brought upon himself? Where were they heading? Why didn´t he put a stop to this? Why? Fuck. Why? He pressed his forehead against the glass and closed his eyes. A few hours of sleep would be good. A few hours of rest. Yeah. Dream on.
Instead they both ended up in the car again, following a new lead. They sat there for hours, not talking, though he didn´t mind that right now, because he was drifting on a cloud of haziness.
The sun had already set when Jack called her again. She put her son off again.
"You wanna smoke?"
"You sure you don´t want a cigarette?"
"It's just a matter of time before you're back to the fold. At least live a little."
"Smoking isn´t how I define living."
"Well, just don´t go all fallin' down on me 'cause you can´t get your fix." He was kind of sad because the one thing that made it easy to connect to her was cigarettes. So, what now? Trying the other subject they could talk about. "So, how´s little man?"
She didn´t show any sign she would go take care of her son. The job always came first. No. He wouldn´t let her do that to Jack - and herself. He came to a rash decision. "Right." He opened the door of the car.
"What are you doing?"
"I´m callin' the station, having the unit sending over a car. You go and check up on Jack. I got this." He was pretty amused by her stunned expression. Yeah, babe, I´m a nice guy. Didn´t you figure that out by now? "Don't worry about me."
"I never do."
Yeah, I know. Still that shy smile she gave him was enough to make him feel
You´re welcome. He lingered at the curb and watched her driving off. The wet weather soaked in through his jacket, and he could see his breath in the cold air. Fuck, Stephen. Happy now? You know you´ll never get her to like you. So, you playin´ the good Samaritan is in vain, okay? He pulled his cell phone out and called the station. He shivered and the need for a fix crossed his mind briefly. He shook his head. Jesus! That fucking need. Would it ever stop? Would he ever get over it and settle down? Would he ever be in a better place? He buried his trembling hands in his pockets. That´s why he liked being with her. She made him forget. She made him think about her. She made him feel like a man not a junkie.
The following day they were invested in working the case. Once again she was close to losing it. He tried to calm her down. "Empathy can poison your brain. It´s like elephants. I mean they mourn their dead. Go nuts over them. Pace around. Piss on themselves. You gonna need the diaper soon, Linden?"
"You still watching discovery channel?" she replied coolly.
He snorted, not surprised that she didn´t take him seriously. She never had. That´s when she got a call with apparently shitty news. She hung up and was breathing harshly. She looked close to having a panic attack. He felt sick to the stomach seeing her like this. He sometimes hated her hardness but watching her falling apart was worse. He waited until they arrived at the precinct before he opened his mouth again. "You wanna count to ten or something?" He silenced when he saw Gil walking out of Lieutenant Carlson´s office. What the fuck? Their boss had the next nasty surprise waiting. The warrant they needed was pulled back. Their main suspect brought their lawyers in and ordered them to stay away from him.
Linden freaked out and shouted at the boss-man.
"That is a direct order, detective. Don´t let your emotions get the best of you. I looked at your file," Carlson replied coldly and left the room.
He was shocked to see Linden stand down. Hey! What now? What just happened? What was it Carlson had to use against her? "You´re okay, Linden?"
"I´m fine." She walked out.
Yeah, sure. I´m fine, too. Everybody´s fine. The whole world is fucking perfect. Shit! He pulled himself up and followed her. He should go home and sleep, instead he went along on a path that could only lead to self-destruction. And he guessed right. She didn´t back down. No, far from it. She came down with dangerous ideas. "We should put a tap on Amses´ phone."
"Yeah, right, because that worked like gang-busters last time," he ridiculed that at once. Shit, Linden. What´s your problem?
She gave him one of her icy glares.
Oh, man. "You´re serious. Linden, you gotta chill, I mean, Carlson´s gonna ride our asses just for coming here."
"What? You gotta promotion? You´re suddenly Carlson´s boy?"
What the fuck, woman? "Whoa. I´m just trying to save you from getting that file whatever it is thrown into your face again." What is it, huh? You can tell me. I won´t be shocked, promise. Not with my past and reputation. Not with what I´ve been through myself. Come on, talk to me. Please.
Not a chance. The whole drive back to the precinct she gave him the cold shoulder for even trying to help her. Great! One more failure in wooing a woman that never gave him the least bit of hope. Maybe the fucking meth had frozen up his brain after all.
The same night she called him and asked permission for her and Jack to stay over at his flat. He was stunned but tried to act casual. "Yeah. Sure." He noticed the fear in her eyes. She looked damn scared. She needed someone she could trust. That she obviously trusted him enough to seek shelter in his dojo made him stupidly happy. Fuck, man, pull yourself together. It´s not as if she called you her BFF, okay? Still, right now he couldn´t ask for more. Jesus! She looked awful. He clenched his jaw. Pale. Strained. Shaky. Little man didn´t look much better. Kind of bleary-eyed. A kid his age shouldn´t be under that much pressure. He should have a normal life in a comfy home. Yeah, right. A life I never had myself. A life as far away as fairyland. He knew pretty well how shitty Jack must feel right now. Not that he wasn´t so sure about what he himself was feeling right now. Having her here at his home was something he had never believed would happen for real. No. Never.
He jollied Jack along by wrestling him for fun and playing monopoly. Linden didn´t take part in any of it. She was staring out the window, nibbling at her nails. A weakness he found endearing considering her usual strength. He walked over to her. "Hey, trust me on this, Linden. You´re safe. No one ever comes around here. Not even Jehovah´s witnesses," he joked to cheer her up. She made a brave face but continued being restless. He went back to playing Monopoly with Jack. The little gangster robbed him of his money, but only because his mind was somewhere else.
"I think your Zen rock garden and fountain are what´s really gonna help me relax."
Mamacita, don´t talk bad about my place. "Laugh it up Linden, my dojo’s a sanctuary of light." He wanted to make her feel safe and at home, he wanted to let her know that he cared for her without making a fool of himself. That was a task pretty much impossible to achieve, right?
Naturally he couldn´t find any sleep and that wasn´t because he slept on the sofa. He had slept in worse places in his life. The thought of her sleeping in his bed made him think some pretty naughty stuff. Jerking off fantasies hello. Fuck! Why was he doing this to himself? Why was he torturing himself? Why couldn´t he let go of his silly crush? They were friends. End of story. Yeah, sure. Friends. You barely know her, Stephen. You are a stranger to her. So? She came
to him in a time of crisis to look for help. So? Only because she had no one else she could go to. That´s a fact. Her fiancé is far away. She has no real friends. Hey! You don´t know that. There was the Tom Waits wannabe. Why didn´t she go to him, huh? Why did she choose him? Did she trust him more than that guy? Did that mean she was starting to like him, even if just a little? That was surely better than being hated. A lot better than being no one. A friend you care about. Friends are often more important than lovers. Okay. I can be that. A friend. You never know what will happen. A friendship is a relationship. A friendship you can treasure. A friendship can last forever. He couldn´t have sex right now anyway. He was wrecked. His performance a few nights ago had been beyond embarrassing. He had learned his lesson. For now a friendship was safer. Fine. Friends it was then. Didn´t hold him back from having inappropriate feelings, duh. Didn´t hold him back from thrashing his sofa and the blanket for hours. Fuck! He was worse than pathetic. A pussy, that´s what he was.
The morning, well, fuck me, the morning started pretty well, considering. She got up last, meaning she must have really slept for a bit, meaning she trusted him enough to let herself fall. She even feigned a laugh over a joke he made. Way to go, man. The peace didn´t last long, though. She got a call which turned into a new lead on the case. She only had one cup of coffee and didn´t take the time to taste one bite of his famous breakfast burritos, no, she even rushed little man to hurry up, and didn´t accept his invitation to stay here as long as she needed to. Not that he was surprised. Why should she suddenly change her ways? The case was always her priority. Surely more important than him, the wellbeing of her son, or her good health. He told her about the spare key under the flower pot anyway. You never knew. He didn´t want her and the boy out on the streets by night. He wanted her safe and sound under his wing, if possible day and night. Shit, Stephen. Quit it!
She proved how delusional his wishes were not much later in the car. She had stolen a book from his collection, the one with the monarch butterflies. She didn´t realize she had done something wrong, and that he was upset. She didn´t even notice he ate mints to keep himself from smoking, only to make her a bit happier. No, she didn´t give a fuck, rather she argued with him, insulted him for trying to talk to her about the way she handled her son and herself.
She hit the brakes and stopped the car at the Casino gate. "You can walk from here."
Oh, shit! Here we go again! He snorted and got out. He should have known. That woman didn´t like close.
"You talked to your sponsor lately? You might gonna give him a call, make sure you don´t go off the rails again."
That really hurt, but he didn´t let her know. "Yeah, at least I own my addiction," he fired back, and walked away, keeping his head up. He couldn´t resist turning around once to see if she maybe had changed her mind. She hadn´t. He sulked. He thought she liked him, at least a little bit. Fact was she cared more about Rosie´s backpack and solving the case than him. She was not good for him. Yeah. That´s why he walked into the Casino and put himself in danger without having any backup, only because she had asked him to. That´s why he put himself in the limelight by smoking inside a public building. Yeah. The way to blend in. He was crazy. Crazy as fuck. Well, not the first time he did things that weren´t good for him. Not the first time he made choices that were leading straight into disaster, right? Not the first time he was god damn stupid.
Right! The Casino boss and her bodyguard bitch caught him snooping around and drove him out there into the woods. He knew what was coming. They beat him up. He was kicked. He was punched. He was humiliated and left behind like a sack of shit. Alone. Cold. Forgotten. He was gonna die. He would never see her again. Once again he had failed her.
Eventually the worst pain ebbed away and left only numbness. Not good. No. Feeling nothing was never good. He coughed. The taste of cooper filled his mouth. He knew that meant his insides were bleeding. He turned even colder. He would die. Okay. Right here. Alone in the dark. Nobody cared about him anyway. His sister would be glad he couldn´t fuck up his nephew´s life anymore. Linden would be glad to finally get rid of him. Will she mourn me? Will she feel guilty for sending me here all alone? Will she regret leaving me, if only for a second? Will she miss me at all if I´m gone?
Jesus! I don´t wanna die. Please. Not like this. Not after all I´ve been through. Not like some dumped trash in the woods. Not today. Not being clean. Not having found a reason to live. Not like a tweak-head piece of shit. Oh God! Jesus! Help me. Where are you? Where...are...you?