They've done this before and honestly, experience helps.
Sam raids the women's locker room before he leaves the barn, since he can't get Donna or Winnie to do it for him—and he'd honestly feel weird asking them. Apparently now the Chief of Police knows he's sleeping with his teammate, but if Raf or Winnie start asking him about it, he's gonna go up a tree like a squirrel: towards the nuts.
Things Sam gets from the locker room: Hairbrush, one, and hair elastics, six. Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner, two bottles. Light moisturizer, one bottle; Neutrogena facewash, one bottle. Mascara, one... mascara.
Things Sam forgets in the locker room: Jeans, jacket, and shirt, one each. Shoes, two. Jewellery, assorted. He does remember to get her mp3 player out of her car, though. Tomorrow he'll bring Natalie to drive it home.
He takes an extra fifteen minute to stop by her house and get her jammies and panda slippers, largely due to sentimental value. It's good, though, because he doesn't remember her shoes until he's on the road to the hospital and she'll need something to walk around in, especially since her entire uniform has probably been incinerated or disposed of with the biohazard waste.
She's still out cold, but they let him in to see her.
The fact that she has anthrax in her blood is weighed down by the fact that they got to her early: the mask they put on her was antibiotic, not oxygen. They patched up her artery, though the scar on her arm will be a whopper, like the smooth and glossy lines on her abdomen where the trauma surgeons cut her open and the plastic surgeons pasted over the broken, ropy skin. He knows those scars intimately. They were livid and frightening when new, and she reopened one preparing to requalify for SRU, but the second time he saw them they'd sunk back into the skin and faded pink and white.
Ed and Greg and Dr. Toth had doubted he'd preserve priority-of-life in there. They might know Jules, but they didn't go to bed with her, and they didn't see those scars every time they did. They didn't wake up when those scars ached so much at night Jules rolled out of bed and went into the bathroom, to rub lotion onto them.
The first time he'd made love to Jules last summer, he'd put his hand on those scars and known some things about the two of them couldn't ever change. He had her on the condition that SRU didn't take her first. Rules weren't the important thing. Rules weren't SRU. He had her until the choice to do her job killed her.
And he didn't get to keep her at the price of who she was. He didn't get to rescue his girlfriend ahead of the police officer. If it was a choice between doing his job and letting her die, she wanted him to let her die.
He'd known that. Always known that. It was what he wanted too, from her. And to be honest, not to judge, but from looking at Ed and the Boss and everyone else on the team, he thinks that's he and Jules have going for them. If you weren't a police officer, you married a cop expecting on some level for your relationship to come first, and you resented when you got wedged into all the slots of time not taken over by the job. You didn't talk over and decide that priority of life comes first. That hot call overrides personal crisis, every time.
He knows now that Jules had blue blood and being a cop is who she is. They've spent days struggling with worst-case-scenario planning, both of them trying to figure out what to do if they end up like Wordy. If I'm not a cop, who am I? And of course they've got it more or less figured (Jules keeps wanting to run a private firm teaching tactics and negotiation, so other cities can benefit from SRU research, but she'll never do it while she's on Team One) but there's no kidding each other. Losing his badge, or her badge, for any reason, would be pretty devastating.
But it's still not easy to take Jules's cold hand and watch her chest rise and fall, and comfort himself that he did exactly right, and she'll approve when she wakes up.
Someone needs to call her parents, but right now he can't manage it. It won't be him. If Boss remembers, he'll do it, or Ed. Someone else can tell them that their daughter has anthrax, because Jesus, that sentence scares him.
He brushes her hair, where it got matted in decontamination and from being pushed out of the way in surgery, until it lies smoothly around her face on the pillow. He sets the pyjamas and panda slippers on the counter in her room, since someone will have to help her dress anyway.
And then because he's done this before, he goes and buys thirty dollars' worth of magazines and dumps them on her bedside table, then goes home to sleep and eat, so after the debrief he can see her again tomorrow.
She woke up once in the night, confused and disoriented, feeling the haze of anesthesia and painkillers. It took some flailing in the dim light of the hospital room to find a call button and summon a nurse, who reassured her of the time and day, the safety of civilians and subject, and that her team had come by to pester them all, and all been sent away. Then the man checks his watch and puts more painkillers in her IV, and the world ebbs away again.
Wordy's there when she wakes up in the morning. Today Detective Wordsworth has turned his wardrobe all the way up to a polo; he must be doing something spiffy. When she turns her head she can see sunlight glitter off his shield. Her mouth is so dry separating her tongue from her palate hurts.
Wordy glances back from the window and instantly sits up, seeing she's awake. "Hey," he says, that same old delighted warm Wordy way. "Good to see you."
She smiles back, and lifts her hand to sign for a drink. He scrabbles for a minute to get a water bottle out of the bag under his chair and crack it open, then to find the switch that will lift her bed so she can sit up. She knows how to work it herself, but it's on the side that hurts like fire whenever she moves, out of pain from the gunshot and the bandages themselves; when she shifts her arm the tiniest bit the dried blood pulls, and the bandages are so tight she knows that if she unwound them now the skin on her upper arm would be wrinkled and bloodless and ugly, like a golden raisin.
The trickle of water frees up her tongue, but her mouth still feels gummy; she takes another mouthful to swill around, which helps marginally, and then has an honest, good drink of water. When she gives the bottle back and leans back against her bed, she's glad it's Wordy, because she can close her eyes and gather herself for a minute and he'll be patient and wait.
"So I hear your new job's so easy you don't even have to show up," she says with a grin.
"I could spare a little time this morning," he tells her with a smile. "The team's at the barn this morning, going over the case, and they wanted somebody to be here with you."
"Thanks." She swallows again, wishing with all her might for a shower. "How's Shel?"
Wordy pauses for a minute, grave, and for a minute his eyes dance away over the room before he looks back at her, that makes her think for a moment, shit, something's wrong with Shel. "Dr. Toth recommended to the Chief that you and Sam be permitted to stay on the same team," he says.
That stuns her, hits her solar plexus, reminds her what it's like not being able to breathe. What's that got to do with anything? Did they find out? Sam, did Sam do something? "Toth?" she rasps. "Where'd he come from?"
"He caught something in the old transcripts about you and Sam," Wordy says. "He went to the Boss with it, Boss came clean. Greg's suspended, but Toth's not doing reign of fire on this one."
"He says we should stay."
"Yeah. Surprised the hell out of everybody. But I think he was pretty impressed by what Sam did in the cleanroom."
"What'd he do?" Is there something she's not remembering? There was so much she couldn't see; by the end she was fighting to pay attention but she could feel it slipping from her.
"He went for the wounded tech before he got you, I think."
Frowning, she says, "Well, yeah." Is that so impressive? At least they could give Sam credit for something hard. Even when Tomasic shot her—when Sam tore up inside as bad as she did—he still finished the job, still made the solution with steady hands. It's what Sam does.
Wordy chuckles, takes Jules's hand and gives it a squeeze. "Law enforcement professional of the year, ladies and gentlemen."
"I do my job." She squirms for a more comfortable position in the bed. "Can I get more of that water?"
He passes it to her and casually asks, "You and Sam, huh?"
She drinks, then wipes her lips, left-handed. "Every team's got its secrets. Team One's as good as two teams, so it got two." She looks him up and down. "Did you know?"
He shrugs at her. "It was kinda hard not to think there was something, but half of that's just you two being so good in the field together, and I told myself... I just thought about when Rollie's wife thought you two had something going on, and how much it bugged you. So I gave you the benefit of the doubt."
"Thanks," she whispers.
He sets the water bottle on the window ledge and looks at her sidelong. "So you gonna tell me about it?"
"What's there to tell?"
"Julianna." He drapes his arms onto the bed, leaning on his elbows, grinning, and he's joshing her. "Been seeing anyone lately? Dating someone? Defying established authority for somebody special?"
Oh god, she's missed him, as she smiles and says, "Sam. Now that you mention it."
"Yeah?" He props his head on one hand. "How long's that been going on for?"
They'd celebrated that anniversary secretly with the end of suspension. "More'n a year."
"Sounds serious," he says, and her heart clenches another way, because when this was just a secret between Sam and her and maybe Natalie, she didn't have to name it. She didn't have to say what it meant and what it was leading to. There were all these hopes buried in her that she'd let Sam say first so she could shoot them down in the name of impossible.
"Yeah," she says, and her voice comes out hoarse again. "Yeah. I think it is."