Never Gonna Survive, Unless, We Get a Little Crazy

BY : OpenPage
Category: 1 through F > 21 Jump Street
Dragon prints: 108
Disclaimer: I do not own 21JS or the characters. I do not make any money from the writing of this story. All characters and events in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead is coincidental.

 

The drive back to Los Angeles took just over an hour, but for the two officers in the car, it seemed like a lifetime. Neither man spoke, not because they had nothing to say, but because they didn’t know how to say it. They’d reached a stalemate, and until one of them decided to reopen the dialogue, they were stuck in a holding pattern. Their battered egos and bruised flesh needed time to heal, and so they kept their thoughts to themselves, while silently wishing the other man would find the words to break the suffocating silence.

As they approached the city limits, the traffic became more congested, and Booker wound up his window. Staring straight ahead, he tapped his fingers on the steering wheel, his impatience steadily mounting. He craved solitude, but he needed to drop Tom off before he could escape to the privacy of his tiny apartment. And while he longed to drown his sorrows, he was sensible enough to know he needed to keep a level head. But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t have a drink to help take the edge off what had been one of the worst weekends of his life. Then, when he’d calmed his mind, he would deal with the issue of his appearance. He needed to think of a plausible excuse for his two black eyes before he fronted up at work the following morning, and although telling the truth and blaming Tom was a tempting proposition, he knew he couldn’t do it. Because to hurt Tom to that extent was no different from taking a knife and stabbing it through his own heart. The young officer was an extension of himself. He was his life’s blood, his one and only, twin flame, and he was certain he would never find someone who shared the same core soul frequency as him, even if he lived to the ripe old age of one hundred. But that didn’t mean he could just forgive and forget. He couldn’t. He wasn’t wired that way. And therein lay the problem.

“You missed the turnoff.”

Tom’s voice jarred Booker from his reverie. “Huh?”

Not wanting to start another argument, Tom kept his tone non-confrontational. “I said, you missed the turnoff.”

“Oh,” Booker muttered. “Sorry.”

“Doesn’t matter.”

Silence followed their brief exchange, the chill in the air having little to do with the ambient temperature. Feeling a need to fill the empty void, Tom spoke again. “If you take the next left—”

“I know where I’m going.”

There was a subtle warning in the pitch of Booker’s voice that said, “Keep quiet, and we won’t have a problem.” Usually, Tom would have felt the need to challenge such an authoritative tone from someone other than his superior. But he was intuitive enough to know when to keep his mouth shut. Booker was tired, and more than likely, in pain, and the sooner they said their goodbyes, the sooner they could regroup and look at repairing their tattered relationship.

Pulling the Cadillac up to the curb, Booker switched off the engine and removing the key, he climbed out of the vehicle. Moments later, the trunk popped open, followed by the heavy thud of a rucksack hitting the pavement. There was a finality to the sound, and a shiver of regret ran down the length of Tom’s spine. Maybe he’d underestimated the extent of their problems, which probably meant their relationship really had reached the point of no return. It was a sobering thought, and one the young officer didn’t want to consider. And so, he did his best to block it from his mind. Time was the great healer, and he hoped after a good night’s sleep, Booker would view their relationship in a more positive light.

Without warning, the passenger door opened. Taking the hint, Tom climbed out of the vehicle and picked up his bag. When the door slammed closed, he turned and faced his lover. “Do you want to come in?”

Booker exhaled a weighty sigh. “I don’t think so.”

“Oh, okay,” Tom murmured. “Well, I guess I’ll—”

“See you tomorrow?”

“Yeah, see you tomorrow.”

With nothing left to say, Dennis walked around the back of the Caddy and closed the trunk with a bang. But before he could reach the driver’s side door, a panicked voice cut through the silence. “Booker!”

Dennis’ body visibly tensed and turning around, he stared at his lover. “What?”

“We’re okay, right?”

The muscles in Booker’s jaw tightened. “I dunno, Tom. Are we?”

“Probably not,” Tom sighed, his shoulders slumping forward. “But can we at least try and make it right?”

“Maybe,” Booker murmured, and climbing into the car, he slammed the door closed and drove away.

**

Throwing his rucksack on the bed, Booker tossed up whether to unpack his belongings or have a drink. In the end, it was his need to cleanse himself of the past thirty-six hours that had him unbuckling the bag and emptying the contents on top of the rumpled duvet. Immediately, an unfamiliar item caught his eye, and it took him a moment to realize he’d somehow managed to pack Tom’s brown suede jacket. Picking it up, he raised the soft fabric to his face and breathed in the musky aroma of his lover’s aftershave. As the familiar scent awakened his senses, his muscles contracted, and a coil of arousal snaked through his groin. Visions of Tom’s fit, lithe body flooded his mind and closing his eyes, he reveled in the memory. But within seconds, the image distorted into an angry face, complete with snarling lips and cold, hard eyes, and the illusion immediately shattered the spell enchanting the dark-haired officer’s heart. His mind crashed back to the present and opening his eyes, he stared at the jacket in his hands. What happened at the condo was more than just a petty argument. Tom had punched him… not once, but twice, and while he wasn’t proud of his actions—calling Tom Mister Fucking Perfect and a repressed momma’s boy was a low blow—that level of explosive anger worried him. Their fight had escalated from name-calling to fisticuffs in a matter of seconds, and it wasn’t only Tom who had lashed out, he had too, making him just as culpable. Never in all the years he’d dated had he ever physically assaulted a partner, and while the dark-haired officer recognized alcohol had played a significant part, it was a new experience and not one he wanted to repeat. The whole scenario had planted a seed of doubt in his mind, the tiny, unsubstantiated concept slowly taking form until it had sprouted into full-blown paranoia. And so, he’d found himself asking the same question over and over again during the drive home. Did Tom love him or was he just holding on to his affection like a drowning man? Or maybe it was as simple as Tom just being in love with the idea of being in love. The speculations were endless, and the problem was, the more Booker thought about it, the more he started to question Tom’s motives. His confidence had dipped to an all-time low, whereas his insecurities were soaring at an all-time high. Especially after his last case. He was walking a thin line, his mind teetering between mild melancholia and full-blown depression. And like his fight with Tom, it was a new experience, and one he hoped he could rectify before it completely changed his personality… and not for the better.

Fed up with thoughts of Tom pulling him down, Booker tossed the jacket toward a nearby chair. But his aim was off, and it slipped to the floor, revealing something in the pocket. Curious, he picked up the jacket and pulled out a white drugstore bag. Without any thought for his friend’s privacy, he opened the packaging… and his heart dipped. Suddenly, everything made sense, and a cold sweat prickled his skin. He’d made a mistake, a big mistake, and at that moment, he wished he could take everything back… the angry words, the drinking, and especially the fight. Because if he’d known, he never would have behaved like such an ass… if he’d known, he never would have hurt his lover.

Shoving the bag in his pocket, Booker exited the bedroom. He may have made a mistake, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t man enough to make things right. All he had to do was apologize and the past thirty-six hours would become nothing more than a bad dream. Or so he hoped. But if not, he wouldn’t give up because he now knew Tom did love him, and there was no way in hell he was going to lose the most important person in his life.

Not one to let the grass grow under his feet, the dark-haired officer headed toward the door. He wasn’t going to wait to right past wrongs and snatching his keys up out of the bowl, he hurried out of his apartment.

**

Kicking off his boots, Tom flopped down on the couch and picked up the remote control. He needed a distraction, and with a click of a button, he turned on the television and flipped through the channels. A mere seventy-two hours before, he’d sat on the same couch, his mind lost in the warm tones of a multi-colored fantasy he’d hoped would become a reality. But it was all for nothing. After the key fiasco, all his plans had turned to shit, and instead of fulfilling a dream, he was left wondering if his and Booker’s relationship were over. He’d thought he was giving his lover the surprise of a lifetime, what he hadn’t bargained on was his reaction. Not that he entirely blamed the dark-haired officer. It was a miscommunication, and if he had his time over, instead of trying to surprise his lover with his life-changing decision, he would have sat him down and spoken openly about his feelings. But he hadn’t because, at the time, he was so caught up in the artistry of Booker’s seduction, he had thought he too, could woo his partner. It was a valuable lesson in what not to do, and if he weren’t so damn depressed, he would have seen the funny side. And maybe he would… one day. But not this day. Because after only thirty-six hours, he was still hurting and everyone needed to indulge in a little self-pity now and then, even self-assured police officers.

A loud knock startled Tom out of his reflective stupor and clambering to his feet, he padded across the room in his socked feet. Without bothering to check the peephole, he opened the door, his eyes widening in surprise when he saw his visitor. “Dennis.”

Booker held out Tom’s suede jacket. “You left this in the car.”

“Ooo-kay,” Tom replied slowly, and taking the jacket from his lover’s hands, he stepped back from the door. “Uh, do you wanna come in?”

Still unsure how to approach the young officer with what he knew, Booker passed a nervous hand over his mouth. But in the end, the soft, inviting depths of Tom’s dark eyes alleviated his anxiety, and a small smile tweaked his lips. “Yeah, okay. Thanks.”

Motioning Booker inside, Tom closed the door. He was surprised to find his lover on his doorstep a mere thirty minutes after he’d dropped him off, but he wasn’t disappointed. He’d known Booker would eventually come to his senses, he just hadn’t expected it so soon. But he wasn’t complaining. The sooner they put their differences aside, the sooner they could get their relationship back on track, and that was all he cared about. Having made one of the most important decisions of his life, he couldn’t imagine not seeing it through. However, he also understood the need to tread warily. Trust was paramount in any relationship, and he and Booker needed to work on their communication skills before falling back into old habits. Otherwise, they would find themselves right back where they started, and Tom wasn’t sure he could endure the heartache a third time around. And so, rather than attempt a hug, he played it cool. “Take a seat. Can I get you a beer?”

Booker perched on the edge of the couch. “No, thanks.”

A noticeable stillness followed, even the house sparrows nesting in a nearby tree seemed to hold their breath, their soft chirpy voices falling silent along with their human comrades. For the second time in less than an hour, Tom felt the need to fill the cavernous void, and so, he came straight to the point. “Thanks for returning my jacket. But I’ve gotta say, I’m a little surprised you didn’t wait until—”

“We need to talk.”

It was the third time in recent history the ‘we need to talk’ declaration had found its way into their relationship, and the hairs on the back of Tom’s neck stood to attention. Booker had said it to him in the park the day after his birthday, and he’d said it to Booker the day after his car accident. Both times, they’d survived the implied portent of doom, but Tom wondered if the term third time’s the charm sometimes had a contradictory meaning, and rather than lucky, it would, in their case, prove cataclysmic. It was a worrying thought, and passing a nervous hand over his mouth, he remained standing in the middle of the room. “About?”

Without hesitation, Booker reached into his pocket and pulled out the pharmacy bag. “This.”

White spots danced before Tom’s eyes. Booker had found his package, and with it, the contents hidden within. The moment had arrived, and although he wished he’d had a chance to reveal his intentions at the condo, he was ready. On shaky legs, he crossed the room, and taking a seat next to his lover, he plucked the bag from his hand. Time stood still, the nervous tension hanging between them rippling the air. But rather than allow his fear to consume him, Tom fed on its energy and opening his mouth, he uttered the three words that had the potential to change their lives forever. “Okay. Let’s talk.”

 



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