***WARNING; CHARACTER DEATH***
A/N; This is just my mind running off after reading all the speculations I read all over the web about the tragic thing happening further along the season.
I have written this from Sam’s point of view and I got the name for Andy’s mother from the ABC website.
I really need to thank Enits3 and KitKat2012 for being my trampoline to bounce ideas off and RookieBluefan89 and DeeDee920 for editing last minute, as I wanted to get this out before Thursday in case Amazon pulled another early release-stunt on us. (I feel like I am among few that still haven’t seen 3.04.)
And Margie? I wouldn’t even have gone along without your encouragements after first couple of paragraphs!
Disclaimer; I do not own the rights to Rookie Blue, although I wish for it every day.
My stomach churns and my heart shreds to pieces as I watch the man in my arms exhale his last breath. I can’t believe it has come to this. Him, just giving up so easily on the new life he tried so hard to create. All those meetings, all those internal struggles to stay sober. For what? Back to old habits. Old habits that have pushed him to the grave.
We’ve all feared this was going to happen at some point; ever since Claire showed up in Toronto. Jumping into Andy’s life. Into Tommy’s life. Into my life. Into our life. A one-way ticket to destruction is what she’d been carrying in her purse. Never let us doubt her goals for even the slightest moment. Bonding with Andy McNally. Making up for lost time.
Within a day, Tommy picks up the bottle again. We’re all there when it happens. All the three of us can do is watch. The first sip looks innocent, the second shows how dependent an addict will always be on their vice; recovered or not. Tommy McNally the alcoholic returns to us that second. We witness the relaxing and calming effect. Claire has no idea, doesn’t see it, there is no way she can know about the battles Tommy McNally has been fighting ever since she left.
It takes one simple look between Andy and me for us to realise that we are both thinking along the same line. Please don’t let this happen to him. To us. Please God, don’t let him fall off the wagon. Back into the deep.
It’s that same unfaithful evening Claire tells us that she wants in. In on Andy’s life. She doesn’t ask, just demands. As if there is no way this woman is taking ‘no’ for an answer, even though we try. Well, I try. I try for Andy. I try for Tommy. I try for myself. I don’t care what this woman wants; she lost a chance to have a say when she left Andy and Tommy. With the arrival of this woman, Claire, all the alarms have gone off and there’s only one thing I want to do. The thing I do best; protect.
That night, when we go to bed, Andy curls up in my arms and cries herself to sleep. It warms my heart, the way she only shows me her vulnerable side, and that doesn’t happen very often. But it’s bittersweet, because there’s nothing I can do to take away her anguish; I feel it too. All we can do is keep an eye on Tommy.
Two days later, Andy drops by Tommy’s for lunch and finds him passed out on the sofa. Numerous bottles of Scotch scattered across the coffee table. Empty. First thing she does is call me. She tries to stay strong for me. But I can hear the heartbreak in her voice, the quiver she’s desperately trying to cover up. I flip on the cruiser lights and speed off towards Tommy’s apartment.
Devastation hits me as I walk into the living room; the telltale smell of an alcoholic burning in my nose. Not knowing what pains me most; Tommy’s state, or the heartbreak in Andy’s eyes. I guess it’s a tie. I start picking up the bottles, gently asking Andy to call her father’s sponsor, Jake.
Jake comes over immediately, and together we try to clean Tommy up. We need to remind him of what’s at stake. Of what he is throwing away. Of how good life can be without the alcohol. He doesn’t need to forget bad things, because there is nothing to forget. He just needs to realise. Realise that no matter how hard Claire will try, Andy will never stop loving him. No matter what Claire will say, no matter how she tries to bring down Tommy, how hard she tries to be included in Andy’s life. Andy will never forget that Tommy’s been there for her all those years.
Together with Jake we come up with a plan. A plan that involves Andy and I working different shifts. So, it’ll need to be cleared with Frank first. The idea is that Tommy is never left alone, so that he can’t go on another bender. Jake, the sponsor, will jump in regularly too, so Andy and I can spend time alone together once in a while. Because keeping Tommy on track will be taking up all our free time.
It’s that same afternoon when Claire strikes, and succeeds, in clawing Andy into her life. An album full of baby photos is all it takes. It’s a natural reaction; of course Andy wants to know all about her past. Who wouldn’t? Claire is the only one who holds the answers to the all the burning questions that Andy has about her past. Those answers are the final hook in her lure.
It takes some persuasion from my side, but after a good talk, Frank agrees with the switch in our schedules. He’s known Tommy for a long time, and like us, he is worried about the former detective. Together with Frank, we also decide to keep it from our colleagues; there is no need for them to know.
The first couple of days we struggle with a reluctant Tommy. Apparently he slams the door on both Andy and Jake a couple of times. Apparently, and thankfully, he is too scared to slam the door on me. After a few days he just accepts, starts drinking water and soda instead of Scotch, and tries to eat regularly again.
After a week of progress we decide to ease up on the ‘Tommy-watch’. Instead of someone being there permanently, either Andy or I will be there during dinner and the first hours of the evening. Jake assures us he is just a phone call away and we can ask for his help whenever we need to.
That night is the first time since Claire’s arrival that Andy seems relaxed. I can tell by the way she moves around the house, humming and dancing. She hands me a beer, grins lazily and leans in for a kiss. All I do is enjoy the sight of her moving through the house. Carefree, like a child. All that I can think of in that moment is how much I love her. I can feel a smile growing on my face. We have been through so much together; life brings so many uncertainties. The only thing I am certain of these days, is that I am in love with her. Head over heels.
Three days later my whole world, our whole world, crumbles down.
It’s my turn to stay with Tommy while Andy works the evening shift. Around dinner, I realise there is barely anything in the fridge. Tommy grudgingly confesses that he hasn’t been out to get groceries for a couple of days now. An alarm goes off in my head; self-neglect is one of the first signals of alcoholism, after all. After a quick search in all the standard hiding places we know of, I find no reason to worry for now.
The minute I return from the grocery store, I can sense that something is wrong. Tommy McNally is facedown on the sofa, his cheeks a strange shade of purple. I can feel my heartbeat picking up and the adrenaline kick in as I start to panic. I take a minute to scan the room and my eyes widen when I see the bottle of sleeping pills that the doctor prescribed for Tommy’s insomnia.
It’s empty and a quick calculation in my head tells me that it shouldn’t be. I yank my phone out from my pocket and hit speed dial two, 9-1-1, and ask for an ambulance while struggling with what I need to tell them. I know there will be police presence too, and all I can do is hope that Andy hasn’t heard anything over the radio.
Time seems to slow as I start trying to resuscitate Tommy, waiting and silently pleading for the ambulance to arrive quickly. Doing everything I can to keep the man, who is so important to Andy, alive. By the time the paramedics arrive, it’s too late. Tommy McNally blows out his last breath in my arms.
A minute after the paramedics come in, the police arrive. Everything is a blur. I register the yelling and moving around and all I can do is sit still and hold on to Tommy.
“LET ME IN!” I hear a familiar voice scream and a second later, I notice her long brown ponytail bobbing through the door.
I rise to my feet as she closes in on the one scene I don’t want her to see. I try to stop her and block her view, but she takes one look at the lifeless body on the floor. It’s all she needs. The next time she looks at me, her eyes are full of hurt. And accusation. I read her immediately. She blames me.
“He DIED!” she yells. I can hear the panic in her voice as she chokes out the words. “He died on your watch! You were supposed to keep anything from happening.”
I shake my head slowly and make an ill attempt to hold her as she bats away my arms.
“You were responsible and he died, Sam. He died because of you,” and with those words Andy McNally runs out of the apartment, out of my life.
My head’s spinning out of control. I stand there, lost, wanting her to scream at me. Hit me if she needs to. Take it all out on me. Wish she’d just let it all her emotions go instead of running away. I want to chase after her, beg her not to leave, but I know the attempt will be futile. Things will just get worse if I do.
It’s only a few seconds later that Jerry walks into the room with one of the bottles of water Tommy has been drinking from.
“Sammy, did you know these bottles contain Vodka?” he asks carefully.
There is nothing else to do but look at him, my eyes wide with shock.
“And together with the amount of pills he took, it must have been lethal. Don’t need a tox-screen for that,” Jerry finishes.
I drop my head, hiding my face in my hands and let the tears stream freely. She’s right. I am to blame. I disappointed her. The assignment was simple, protect Tommy from himself. And I could not fulfill it. I let her down. Hell, I let myself and Tommy down, too.
Tommy McNally died. On my watch. I should have known things were too good to be true.
Please don’t be shy and let me know what you think!