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by the book

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Tim returns to work in four weeks, which everyone thinks it's too early, but when Lucy vocalizes the thought, she gets punished – Tim looks especially pleased at finally having made her do those 50 situps at every red light. Sitting upright hurts, and he ribs her for almost crying in frustration, but he contains it to just the one day. She sometimes thinks his methods need work, never as much as when she can hardly sit and breathe properly.

Work is almost normal – keyword being 'almost'. Nothing's radically different, but she's hyperaware of her behaviour with Tim, so much so that sometimes after work she spends time agonizing over the smallest things. Lopez doesn't tell her anything, doesn't even look at her meaningfully like Bishop did, but Lucy is paranoid.

There is a possibility – a very slight one – that it's not just the TO/trainee relationship that has her so attached to her TO. She doesn't want this and she doesn't need this. Two times now she's been warned to think of her reputation and career and not the men she's surrounded and working with, but it's hard, with Tim especially. He's everywhere.

They drive together in 12 hour shifts and then he trains her – because he's very territorial and doesn't like Harper teaching her self-defense – for another two hours, and then they go out to eat because they might as well, and he sometimes calls her up in the middle of the night to question her on some niche law, and she...

She loves it, all of it. Her job is that much better because she has to spend so much time with Tim. Because he is absolutely infuriating and too intense and sometimes outright wrong and loathe to admit it, but he's also funny, and smart, and kind-hearted, and capable.

(There's also the fact that he's surreally hot, but if she goes there, she's done.)

She's in so much trouble.

She doesn't talk to Jackson or John about it; Jackson would recite IA regulations at her, and she dated John – and there's something to be said about the fact that her type appears to be police officers who are older than her. Her mother would probably love to pick her brain about that.

“What is your issue, Boot?” Tim asks her on a stakeout and she looks at him startled.


“Are you asking me or telling me?”

“Telling you?” he glares at her so hard that she squirms in her seat. “There's no issue.”

“Something's bothering you,” he says. “Don't lie to me, it's not a cute look,” he warns when she goes to protest, so she shuts up. “I don't need you to mess all of this up in your last two weeks. Out with it.”

“It's nothing,” she says, avoiding his skeptical look. “I think I just became aware of the fact that there's only two weeks left,” is the line she decides to try and is surprised herself when it rings true. In the silence that follows, she realizes that, as much as she's been waiting for this, it suddenly all feels too soon.

Afterwards, she'll be partnered up, probably not with Tim, maybe with Jackson or John, and Tim and she will be just normal colleagues. She wonders how long it will take before the instinct to run to him with every concern she has, personal or professional passes. She wonders when she'll stop looking for him in a shootout, when she'll stop being acutely aware of his gaze on the back of her head.

“Thought you couldn't wait to escape,” he says with a teasing note in his voice and she allows a small smile.

“You've Stockholmed me,” she leans her head on her hand and smiles at him. “Classic tactic.”

“Only means I'm doing my job right, Boot,” he says, satisfied. He looks out the window and grows alert. “That's our suspect, get ready, you're primary.”

With a sigh, she unbuckles her seatbelt. This conversation is one she doesn't want to be having either way.


The world is spinning around her and she's on the stage with Jackson, screaming a Taylor Swift song into the mic. The crowd is loud and happy, the bar light is soft, and she is a real, honest-to-god, no-longer-a-rookie police officer.

Scared as she was, the elation that has been brimming under her skin is almost too much; it's all she's been wanting for over a year now, and it's finally here. She's over the moon.

Their TOs are paying tonight, and they're paying handsomely. She doesn't think the pitchers have been empty once the entire night. Even the elusive Harper is there, and looking, as much as she can, happy to be present as she's talking to John. Lopez and Tim are laughing at her and Jackson, and Lopez has her phone out, probably recording them. Tim is actually, really smiling, and it's not a face she's seen a lot during the past year, but every time she sees it, there's a funny feeling inside of her.

(It's not funny at all, if she allows herself to think about it, but that's not the point of tonight, it is not.)

When they return to the table, Harper is dressed and Tim is pulling Lopez up by the upper arm as she stumbles.

“You're leaving?” Jackson asks, a very obvious disappointed note in his voice.

“We're very old and very tired,” Harper says in a droll voice.

“And Lopez is very drunk,” Tim adds.

“I am not!” she protests.

“Lying to a police officer is getting you nowhere, Lopez. She thought she was filming you, but she was filming herself,” Tim reveals and Lopez punches his shoulder none-too-gently, and even through the haze of drink, Lucy sees him freeze up for a second and roll his shoulder lightly.

“You have another round paid,” Harper says. “Uber home, don't be dumb. Congratulations again.”

It's the highest order of compliment as far as Harper goes, and Lucy almost wants to hug her, but she contains herself to a very excited hand-shake. Lopez on the other hand is three sheets to the wind and wraps her arms around Lucy's neck in a snake-tight grip, blurts praise and well-wishes and “I'm so proud of you” in her ear, and Lucy is too drunk to not be emotional about the praise and the drunken sincerity it's delivered with. She hugs her back with the same intensity and thanks her, for all the advice and help, for how good she was to Jackson, and so much more, when Jackson flat-out pushes her off and lifts Lopez up in an exuberant hug.

When she turns, Tim is already there, face carefully neutral, hands in his pockets.

“Look at you,” he says, and she feels hot. “You're a real girl now.”

“You don't seem surprised,” she says and she swears the corner of his mouth lifts up.

“You're the best rookie I've ever trained, remember?” he says and her smile splits her face. “I'm only surprised they didn't promote you six months earlier.”

“Gosh golly, that's a real compliment right there,” she laughs. “Who are you and what have you done with my TO?”

Before he can answer, she throws herself at him, and he stumbles back a step before he automatically wraps his arms around her.

“I loved every minute of this year,” she mutters in his ear, throat tight. “Every single one, whatever I said. And I wouldn't be half the cop I am if I hadn't had you to show me what it means to be a good one.”

“Don't get emotional on me now, Boot,” he says, but there's no teasing, no mockery. He tightens his hold on her before he releases her. “Don't you dare be late for shift tomorrow. I'm not your TO anymore, but I'll happily have you doing cavity searches for a week.”

She laughs and he smiles and with a step back it's over, and they're colleagues in a bar.

“Deal,” she says and watches as he picks up Lopez, who has slumped against Jackson and might actually be snoring. With a last round of goodbyes, they're out of the bar, and the rookies – police officers – are left inside in almost a reverent silence. The waitress brings over the last round and they huddle around the table.

“To us,” John says, and they chink their glasses together. The sounds are full of promises.


An hour later finds her in front of a single-level house half a city away from her own apartment.

This is a bad idea. There's nothing good about the idea, but she rings the doorbell and leans against the doorframe. Her head is swimming; she's on the cusp of too drunk, and she knows she won't be anywhere near sober enough any time soon.

This is a bad idea, she thinks again as the light comes on and she hears a key unlocking the door from the inside. Tim Bradford looks sleepy and confused as he rubs his eyes.

“Did you forget where you live, Boot?”

“Not your boot anymore,” she says and pushes herself away from the doorframe to stand up straight(ish). “I uh-”

Why did she think this was a good idea again? He's growing more awake by the minute and studying her carefully before he steps to the side with a sigh and lets her in.

His home is surprisingly tidy, feminine touches all over, from the colour scheme to the frames and knick-knacks set around. She wonders if it's leftovers from Isabel or whether Rachel managed to leave her mark as well.

God, Rachel. They're supposed to be having drinks this weekend.

“Wanna tell me what you're doing here, Boot?” he asks roughly and she turns to see him yawn. “At... Jesus, it's four in the morning, Lucy.”

He rarely ever uses her name, and she flushes all over when he does so this time. She's pathetic, honestly – she's 29 years old, which makes her about 15 years too old to be acting like this.

“Grey told me,” she says and crosses her arms. “About you requesting me to be your partner.”

He stares at her with an unreadable face.

“He shouldn't have -”

“But he did, that's not the point anymore,” she interrupts. “I told him I'd rather be partnered up with Jackson.”

“Didn't realize you were so fond of West, but that's your choice-”

“The problem isn't how fond I am of Jackson, the problem is how fond I am of you,” she says loudly and he looks taken aback. Her cheeks flood with blood. Everything about her feels uncomfortable, but she crosses her arms tighter and marches on. “I don't think it would be in either one of ours professional interests if I continued our partnership.”

“So this is a noble thing?” he asks. “You trying to protect me, Boot?”

“Both of us,” she corrects him. The world is spinning. “I can't work effectively if my... Feelings cloud my judgment like that-”

“We're still gonna be colleagues,” he points out, arms across his chest. “You think you can control yourself in the Department or will you be requesting a transfer to New York because you're too deep in your fee-fees?”

“It's not...,” she says, blushing even harder, wondering if she's imagining the utter lack of bite in his words. “I'll get over it once I'm not forced to spend 12 hours a day with you. It's the proximity, not-”

“Stockholm Syndrome, right?” he asks with a smirk and she nods, shoulders slumping insecurely. She runs her fingers across her temples where a headache is blooming. He sighs and uncrosses his arms, rests his fingers on his hips. “I... appreciate your honesty. And an envy-worthy amount of professional conduct.”

She looks up at him and he looks more closed off than he was even on the first day of training. Her heart sinks in her chest. It's not just the professional capacity she's damaged, it's an honest-to-god friendship that Tim would never admit to and she would never bring up. It's a year of her life, one of the deepest relationships she's had, platonic or otherwise, and she has just irreparably broken it.

She sways on her feet, all of a sudden too tired and too overwhelmed.

“I'm sorry I woke you,” she says quietly. “I'm gonna... I'm gonna go.”

“I'll call you a cab,” he says, uncrossing his arms and she goes to protest. “Sit. Down. Boot.”

She falls heavily onto the cream couch and closes her eyes to gather her thoughts.

When she opens her eyes, it's to bright sunlight and she blinks a few times, startles when she sees the unfamiliar room, before the events of last night come flooding back to her. She groans loudly as she leans her head in her hands and sighs, nose scrunching when she feels the stench of alcohol coming from her skin.

On the coffee table in front of her, there's a still-steaming cup of coffee, a pack of ibuprofen, a glass of water, a pair of keys and a sloppy note.

You're late .

She gulps down the ibuprofen, burns her tongue on the coffee, picks up her stuff and the keys, makes sure to lock up behind her and pulls out her phone to get an uber.

She groans when she sees her battery is dead.

She knows where Tim's house is in relation to the station, and she knows it's a long way away. With a sigh, she starts running.

It's only at the station, when she's sweating buckets and feeling like she might puke as she gasps that she notices the time on the clock.

There's still an hour before shift starts. She stares blankly at the wall.

“Morning, Officer Chen!” she turns around to see Tim sauntering in, cool as a cucumber, smirking at her from behind glasses. “You're here bright and early!”

She slicks her hair back, and stands up straight, swallows the bile rising in her throat.

“Morning, Officer Bradford,” she says, and her voice shakes only minimally. “You're early as well.”

“Had to oversee something,” he gives her the most giddy million-dollar smile she's ever seen on him. “You doing alright? You look a little breathless,” he asks as they're walking in the direction of the locker rooms.

“Think I have a cold,” she replies coolly. She enters the women's locker room without a word and leans against the door to catch her breath. Her head is spinning, and she's pretty sure she's definitely going to throw up before she gets to the showers, but there's a smile on her face, and a lightness in her chest.

It's alright. Things are the same.


Working with Jackson is definitely very different than working with Tim was – no one is torturing her on a daily basis, and she gets to lead the show more often. She sees Tim around the station and at roll call, and they're friendly enough. She consults him on cases when she really needs to, and she's never made to feel lesser than, because of any reason. It's not avoiding him, it's strategically planning her routine to minimize any possible awkward situations.

Everything is fine.

(Everything is not fine; to her growing horror, she realizes that what she assumed to be a crush is not passing, even when she barely sees Tim in comparison to before.)

(That's a problem for another day.)

(Please let it be a problem for another day.)

Jackson asks her “Did something happen with you and Bradford?” and she pauses her cup of coffee halfway to her mouth.

“No,” she answers before a taking a sip. “Why do you ask?”

“Lopez asked me,” he says uncomfortably and she raises her eyebrows at him. “It's not gossiping or anything, but you rarely ever go out with us, and you declined his partnership request-”

“Because I wanted to be partners with you,” she interrupts. Liar.

“And I appreciate your fine taste when choosing a partner,” he says and she snorts. “But you were so close – I know how the TO/trainee thing works. I don't spend my days with Lopez anymore, but she's one of the closest people I have in my life.”

“Have you considered that you and I might just be radically different people?” she asks with a false smile. “Tim and I are fine, nothing happened, we just grew a little distant.”

“And you're... okay with that?” he asks and she looks straight ahead.


“And there's no bad blood or anything?”


“Great,” he starts the shop just as someone speeds past them. “It's my birthday Friday, and you're both invited. I just wanted to check.”

Her tongue stings from the hot coffee, but she just pulls out her radio and calls the chase in.


On Friday, she stands before her closet and despairs. She has more than enough clothes and she has no one to impress and yet. She's acting like a teenager. She's worse than that. She's six years old mentally and someone has allowed her to run around with a gun in her hand.

“Don't be stupid,” she grumbles at herself and pulls out the most casual outfit she can that's not sweats and an LAPD t-shirt. She's already given Jackson his present, so all she has to do is show up at the bar, and she does that. She hugs Jackson, and the colleagues she's close with, and she has a beer in her hand and she's the picture of a relaxed, normal person.

She is under no circumstances painfully aware of the heavy gaze of her ex TO as she laughs with John about an arrest including a very grumpy cat, a cactus and John's ex mother-in-law.

She's not looking at him, she's not, but she did see him when she entered the bar, and he looked good, and it's too much.

She downs a shot with Jackson and she switches to gin, but makes sure to sip it slowly because she doesn't need to be in a situation where she's drunk and not in control of her faculties again.

None of it matters when she crashes into him as she's leaving the bathroom and his grip keeps her from falling on her face.

“Thought I trained you to handle your drinks better than this, boot,” he says and she snorts.

“My liver is ever-so-grateful that we don't patrol together anymore,” she says and he almost smiles, she can see it in his face. “Can I...?” she gestures at the hallway and he seems to only then realize he's still holding her by the arm before releasing her.

She walks out to find Jackson, who's by the bar with Gino and she taps his shoulder, tells him she's going home. It's not hard faking a headache, especially when she doesn't feel like herself at all, and Jackson looks at her worriedly before telling her it's okay and to get some sleep; he'll be at Gino's tonight anyway, so she shouldn't be disturbed. She hugs him tightly before saying goodbye to everyone else, and then she's out of the bar, gulping lungfuls of air and berating herself.

Her mother would say this is an indication of her obsessive tendencies, and her father would say that she's emotionally stunted due to the nature of her job, and Lucy... Lucy herself thinks she's just in too deep.

She walks home, feeling relatively safe on the streets even with the late hour. The cool air helps sober her up and clear her thoughts. By the time she arrives home, it's almost midnight, and she can't wait to slide into her bed and fall asleep. That gets interrupted when she sees a figure sitting on her doorstep. She grabs for the gun in her purse as she approaches the suspect slowly and carefully until she's close enough to recognize the figure under the weak hallway light. Tim turns to look at her before getting to his feet.

“You left an hour ago,” he says accusingly.

“I walked,” she says in confusion. “Wait, what are-”

“You walked? At this time of the night? Alone and inebriated? Are you looking to become a statistic, Boot, or -”

“Hey!” she pokes his chest with her finger harshly. “I am a fully trained police officer and I am not your damn boot anymore!”

She hears the lock rattling on one of the doors down the hallway and hastens to open her own door and pushes Tim inside; she doesn't need a neighbour calling the cops on her and then someone from the station finding Tim in front of her apartment this late at night.

Of course, the issue now is that Tim is inside her apartment.

He looks at her with a mixture of irritation and confusion, and she feels like she's in training again.

“Do you want something to drink?” she asks because she might as well play host; Mrs Rost will relentlessly be monitoring the hallway for at least another half-hour, hoping to catch her breaking the law somehow. She seems to have a lifelong dream to screw over police officers, or maybe she's just wildly racist – whatever the issue, Lucy doesn't have the time or the capacity to deal with it on a good day, let alone now.

“Water,” he says and she looks at him. “I drove here and I need to-”

“You drove?” she asks as she whirls around to look at him. “I saw you having at least two beers-”

“The legal limit is .08 and no signs of impairment-”

“And you had a breathalyzer nearby to test yourself?”

“I know my limits-”

“Of course you do, because you definitely sit on my doorstep when you're sober a lot,” she fills a glass with water and hands it to him roughly. He nods in thanks and an awkward silence descends upon them. She bites at her lip. “Why were you sitting on my doorstep?” she asks, finally realizing that she can't fathom any reason.

“Maybe I missed your company,” he says snarkily, but there's no heat behind it. He's not looking at her. She puts her hands on her hips and waits as he rubs his face in agitation.

“Somehow I don't buy you miss my company at almost midnight,” she says as she walks around getting comfortable – taking off her boots, pulling down her ponytail. “Remember that Stakeout with Andres? How we almost missed him leaving because you were being a grumpy baby-”

She turns around to watch his face as she makes fun of him, and she's cut off mid-sentence when Tim's hands cradle her jaw and she blinks in surprise when he kisses her.

Wait, what? Is the first thing that crosses her thoughts.

There is no second thought – there's only her body going into autopilot, standing on her tippy-toes and wrapping her arms around his neck, kissing him back soundly, pressing against him like any space between them is a personal offense. His hands slide down her neck, one wrapping around her waist, the other firmly placed on her ass, and he pulls her up, closer, tighter, harder.

They break for breath and she stands with her eyes closed and her forehead pressed against his. He's breathing as quickly and as roughly as her heart beats in her chest, and oxygen slowly makes its way to her brain.

“What the hell?” she whispers and he sucks in a breath. “What the actual hell?” she asks as she pushes against his chest and he lets go of her. “What do you think you're doing?”


“No,” she holds up her hand firmly. “What is this? It's been six months and you just remembered you might get your rocks off with the stupid trainee who couldn't contain her feelings?”

“'Get my rocks off', what the hell-”

“Honestly, you're not even half the man I thought you were if you think you can just waltz in here and-”

“I spoke to Grey,” he says loudly and definitively and she stops mid-sentence.


“I spoke to Grey,” he says, calmer this time. “I went to him and told him that I'm planning on asking you out on a date.”

He looks straight at her, but everything about him screams uncomfortable, from the frown between his brows to his hands on his hips and the tapping of his foot against the floor.

“Is this the police version of you asking my father for permission?” she asks dumbly and he laughs shortly.

“This is the police version of making sure IA doesn't ride either of our asses if they see us having dinner,” he says as he runs a hand across his face.

“It's been six months-” she says, throat tight, feeling like she's experiencing headrush. Is she still drunk? Did she actually fall and smack her head back in the bar and is just hallucinating wildly?

“Wanted to make sure it's all by the book,” he says. “Didn't want the whole last year to end up wasted because I couldn't -” he stops himself and takes a breath.

“Keep it in your pants?” she asks quickly and laughs somewhat deliriously when he glares at her.

“You truly are a poet, Chen,” he says, but his demeanour is now more relaxed. “But that is... The general idea.”

“Wow,” she says and runs her hands through her hair. “Okay. So – you know, this doesn't really count as asking me out on a date.”

“What?” he looks genuinely confused.

“I'm just saying,” she makes a valiant effort not to smile. “Coming here in the middle of the night, pawing at me like that-”


“And there was no official invite or anything to indicate a post-date nature of this encounter – I don't think this would hold up in court, Officer Bradford.”

“You gonna take me to court over, what, failure to send a formal invitation with dinner details?” he ask as he takes a step towards her. Anticipation builds up in her stomach.

“You're surprisingly incompetent for someone who boasts he's the pride and joy of the precinct,” she takes a step towards him as well.

“I'm using predictive analytics to conclude that a real date is a certainty in the nearer future because both parties know where they stand. That's very pride-and-joy of me.”

“Is it really?” she asks, going for coy and sounding much more insecure than she planned on being. “It's been six months. My standing may have changed.”

“Mine hasn't,” he's almost pressed up against her again, only a sliver of space between. “Mine's been roughly the same for the past eight months or so.”

She blinks at him.

“Huh,” is all she can conjure up, but her mind is racing. Eight months - she thinks of the way he looked at her six months ago through her hazy memories, of how he held her tighter for a moment back in the bar. She thinks of Lopez's warning, of all things, wonders if that was meant to warn her about more than just her own behaviour.

“Are you done overanalyzing the situation?” he asks, anxiety seeping into his voice. “If I waited too long – if I misjudged the situation, I'm sorry, Chen, I am, but I couldn't-”

“I'm done,” she interrupts him. “You can kiss me now.”

He doesn't wait a second, dives right in like a starved animal, and a moan escapes her mouth automatically as she finds herself being walked backwards.

“My bedroom's on the left,” she murmurs and he responds by bending down to grip her thighs and pulling her up, her legs wrapped around his hips. It's the hottest thing imaginable, and she feels herself growing wet as he walks them into the room. He stops by the wall, presses her against it, rolls his hips against her, drawing out moans from both of them. She runs her hands inside his opened button-up, pulls at his shirt and lets her fingers dance against his skin, dip beneath the hem of his jeans.

(She was wrong – the hottest thing imaginable is hearing Tim Bradford moan for her, hearing his breath hitch when he rubs against her, feeling his cock through the few layers that separate them.)

He drops her on the bed and pulls off his shirt and t-shirt, and she grabs at her own shirt to pull her over her head, leaving her in her bra. It doesn't escape her notice that he stumbles as he's toeing off his boots and his eyes fall directly onto her breasts. She smirks as she runs her hands down to unbutton and unzip her jeans. By the time she pushes the tight fabric down her hips, his trousers are already on the floor and he slaps her hands away from her jeans and continues peeling them off her legs, and she sighs where his fingers trail against her overheated skin.

They've both seen each other in various stages of undress, during countless hospital visits, impromptu uniform changes, pulled each other's clothes off to fix up wounds as quickly and efficiently as possible; this is a completely new experience, Lucy thinks as he climbs onto the bed, settles between her legs in only black boxer briefs and presses against her, drawing out another content gasp from her. He slides his arms around her and she feels him unclasping her bra, pulling it easily off of her and immediately diving in to kiss and lick at her breasts.

“God, should have known you'd be a breast man,” she gasps when he nibbles at her nipple and he smiles against her skin.

“I'm actually an equal opportunity kind of man,” he says, quickly palming her ass. “Be quiet, Chen.”

She's tempted to speak just to annoy him, but he makes his way quickly down her stomach. He sucks a bruise into her hip as he hooks his fingers in her underwear, pulling them down and when she's bare before him, he settles between her thighs comfortably, pulling her legs to rest on his wide shoulders, before he starts kissing up her thigh. His stubble scrathes her skin, and she gasps with every bite he places on her.

She worries, for about half a second, that she's not shaved well, that she should have freshened up, a million things more, but his tongue is on her clit and she fists the bedcover, hips bucking as pleasure courses through her veins. He lays his forearm across her hipbones, effectively pinning her down to the bed, and tortures her with his tongue and fingers until she's pleading and moaning his name. She sees his hips rutting against her bed as he's eating her out and the image alone has her eyes rolling back in her head. She sinks her nails into his forearm and her whole body shakes when her orgasm hits her and she arches up, colour exploding behind her eyelids.

Her legs are shaking when he pulls his fingers from her and kisses his way back to her lips. He kisses her so dirty she bucks her hips up into him, feeling the bulge of his cock behind his underwear. She pushes his underwear down with her hands as far as she can reach, and then uses her toes to push them further, and he helps her with the job while kissing her jaw and neck.

“Condoms?” he asks and it's surreal. She laughs hysterically. “Didn't anyone ever tell you not to laugh at a man during sex?” he growls and her skin erupts into goosebumps where he's sucking at her earlobe.

“I can't help feeling like I'm being reviewed again,” she says and runs her fingers down his chest and to his cock, delighting when he swears as she grips him. “Nightstand,” she says and he bucks into her fist before looking at her with wild, confused eyes. “Condoms, Tim, nightstand.”

“Yeah, yeah,” he mutters and reaches towards it, pulls out a foil packet and tears it open with his teeth. He rolls the condom on and settles between her legs again, both groaning when his cock rubs against her clit. She tilts her hips and he reaches down to position himself, and when he enters her he kisses her, moans into her mouth, starts fucking her quickly and methodically, hitting all the right spots. He grips her thigh and pulls her leg up higher, makes more space for himself, hits her at a deeper angle. She chants his name and runs her hands through his short hair and down to his shoulders. He wobbles when she grips his shoulder, and she suddenly worries whether or not he'll agitate his injury as he's fucking her into oblivion. She uses the leg she has hooked around his hip and with some adjustment manages to gain enough momentum to turn them over, straddling his hips and leaning heavily on his chest.

When she fully takes him, her muscles clench and he swears again, grips her hips as she rides him wildly. He rubs her clit with his thumb, making her cry out his name, other hand gripping her skin so hard it might bruise. All she's aware of is his touch and his rough moans and the way he chokes out her name – Lucy, fu- Lucy – and the way he meets her movements with his own, his fingers on her, all of it sends her over the edge and she comes undone with his name on her lips. She falls forward, almost too spent, and she clenches her muscles intentionally as she rides out her orgasm. When his eyes roll to the back of his head and he stiffens, babbling praise at her, heat blooms in her belly again, but she chooses to press against him and enjoy the way he wraps his arms around her, mindlessly rubbing her back with his hands.

She kisses his neck as she catches her breath, and she hopes really hard she's not hallucinating wildly at the floor of the bar.


A persistent beeping and loud vibration wakes her up and she swings her hand out wildly to attempt to shut down the alarm on her phone. The hand hits a human face and the ringing doesn't stop.

“Jesus Christ, Boot,” a low, rough voice reaches her ears and she blinks several times as she watches her former TO push her hand away and get up from bed, butt-naked, to dig through his discarded jeans and find his phone. She groans and hugs his pillow closer to her, burrowing into it.

“Rise and shine, Chen,” he says as he stretches. “Shift starts in two hours.”

“I don't need to get ready yet,” she mumbles but forces her eyes open to admire his form. He's hot; that's a very objective truth. She wasn't blind even when she was just his rookie, and she's definitely not blind now.

“I do,” he says pragmatically. “Gotta go home before I go in. Can I shower?” he asks and she nods. “You wanna join me?”

It's a far better strategy than an alarm.