The first thing that he noticed as he stirred awake was the warm body pressed against his. The pounding in his head told him enough to remember how he got in this predicament. Their group had gone to the bar to grab a few drinks, but the day was particularly rough so one drink led to another and another until the room was starting to spin. Typically, he was not one to get drunk when they went out, that was usually reserved for Angela, Lucy, and sometimes Jackson.
He had one-night stands in the past, but that was before he met Isabel. Then it was Rachel once he put himself back out there, but it just wouldn’t work and both of them knew it. She left for New York for her dream job leaving Tim in her rearview mirror. He was happy for her, he really was. They just weren’t meant for each other in the long run. His roots were planned in LA and she was ready to plant hers across the country. They were heading toward different things in life.
Most mornings after a one-night stand he waits for the woman to wake up, give false hope that maybe there could be something there, and leave as quickly as possible. That was his younger years, now if he was going to wake up with a woman, he was going to at least cook some breakfast before she left. It was the least he could do.
The mattress underneath him at least was familiar. It filled him with a sense of security knowing that he was in his own house, his own bed under his covers. He would not be one doing the walk of shame across the lawn to the cab.
Long brown hair filled his vision when his eyes finally cracked open. His arms were draped around her as her bare back pressed against his chest. Tim tried to carefully extract his arms from around her without stirring her from her slumber. He heard her groan in protest as he tried to slowly unwrap his arms from her causing him to stop immediately. His breath caught until she settled back on the bed, pressing farther back against him.
His nose buried in her hair as he tried to ease himself away from her slowly. He took a deep breath when it hit him. That familiar intoxicating scent of jasmine invaded his nostrils. Every intention he had to slowly slip out of the bed came to a screeching halt. His eyes blew wide as his eyes focused on the back that was still towards him. Oh no.
He didn’t want to wake her up. It would be awkward enough when she did on her own to find out she was in his house. Carefully and slowly, Tim started to ease himself away from her. Once he was far enough away, he slowly lifted the covers and grabbed a pair of boxers from the nearby dresser along with a pair of black sweat and an old blue rams shirt. He also pulled out a pair of grey sweats and an old army shirt for her and put it on the dresser.
Tim slowly exited the room careful not to make the floors creak as he did. He took one last glance over his shoulder at the woman still resting peacefully in his bed. This was not supposed to happen like this.
Lucy groaned as the heat pressed up behind her slowly disappeared. Her head was pounding. She didn’t intend to get drunk, but they were celebrating Angela’s promotion to detective and the drinks were flowing. Wesley was buying and he made sure that there was a steady flow of alcohol for everyone involved.
She buried her head deeper into the soft pillow under her head trying to will herself back to sleep to try and ease the pounding in her head. Failing miserably, Lucy huffed in defeat as she rolled to her other side. Her hand landed on the cooling spot where the body had laid behind her.
Typically, she wasn’t one to have one-night stands. She had a few in her back pocket, but it was not something that she longed for. After Caleb, she was never too comfortable around men that she didn’t know. The only ones that she knew she could trust with her life she worked with. Tim, Jackson, John, and Sergeant Grey were the only men that she felt completely safe around.
Her eyes flickered open to take in the soft white and light grey comforter that she was under. The room had a weird touch of masculinity in the details of the décor. It was nothing compared to the bright happy colors that her room screamed, it was darker, but at the same time, it offered a sense of security and comfort in the end.
Giving up on trying to fill herself to sleep, Lucy tossed the covers off of her and the cool air attacked her bare body. She picked her discarded bra off the floor and slowly slipped it on. She made a move to grab her jeans when the stack of sweatpants and a t-shirt on the dresser caught her attention. She padded over to the dressed to grab the clothes with a tiny grin on her face. She just got a free pair of pajamas.
She had to roll up the grey sweatpants around her waist because the legs were pooling at her feet. The black shirt swallowed her whole. Lucy looked up at the mirror to see the yellow letters across her chest. There was only one person that she knew of that had served. Hesitantly, she looked down at the contents of the dresser trying to find something that told her she wasn’t living a dream. When her eyes landed on the simple black framed photo of the end of the dresser that contained her and her former training offer, she froze. Oh no.
Lucy slowly pulled the door open. She could hear the movement in the kitchen as she walked into the living room. She took her time making the short walk from his bedroom to the kitchen. She wondered if the slight touches of décor were leftover from Isabel or Rachel or if Tim had done some redecorating trying to rid himself of the memories that lingered every time he walked in.
She heard the jingle of Cujo’s collar as she slowly turned the corner into the kitchen. “No, down,” Tim ordered as Cujo stood on his hind legs begging for a bite of the food that Tim was preparing.
“Come here buddy,” she called squatting down as the dog bounded across the kitchen towards her. She caught the embarrassment that filled his features quickly before he masked it. “Oh you’re such a good boy,” she cooed scratching behind the pup's ears as he tried to lick her face. Her eyes flickered up to Tim still standing at the counter. He met her eyes briefly before he looked away refocusing on the food cooking in the pan.
Lucy looked back down at Cujo and scratched his favorite spot behind his ears. He barked when she stopped and stood to her feet. Lucy crossed the kitchen and opened the backdoor. Cujo bolted out the door into the fenced-in backyard. Lucy smiled at him for a moment as he ran around the back yard before she shut the door and turned back to Tim, who was still trying to keep his attention on the stove before him.
They had spent over a year riding together for her rookie year and then a few more months as partners before Tim was promoted to be a sergeant at Mid-Wilshire. It was not supposed to awkward between them yet standing in his kitchen, not able to recall the events from the night before had the room spilling over with awkward tension. Waking up in his bed, naked, head pounding, it was not hard to put the pieces together. If they had not been under the influence, they would have easily stopped the events from happening, but when something is meant to happen, there was not stopping fate.
“I uhh made some breakfast,” Tim said breaking the silence first. “I didn’t know umm what, so I just made some eggs and turkey bacon. I can make some toast if you want or maybe some,” he rambled as he looked in the cabinets quickly trying to find something that she might like.
“Tim,” she stopped him mid ramble causing him to look at her. For the first time in the relatively short time she had known him, Tim Bradford was not his usual composed, calm self instead he was flustered and rattled. Almost as if Earth was tilted on its axis and left Tim scrambling. To Lucy it was comical to see her former straight-laced, typically composed, and cool training officer completely flustered and beside himself. “It’s fine.”
He swallowed heavily before nodding and looking away. “Well uh…breakfast is ready,” he said with a timid smile looking back up from the cooked food to Lucy.
“You didn’t have to make anything,” she said making her way slowly across the kitchen until she was standing beside him. She felt him tense once she was beside him. Not that he was mad, but more as if he was scared of her being so close. Lucy could feel the heat from his body on her and tiny moments from the night before rushed back to her. A flash of his lips trailing down her body sent a shiver down Lucy’s spine.
“Well, apparently we had a little too much to drink last night,” he said softly meeting her eyes.
“Yeah,” she returned just as softly. She searched his eyes trying to find how he was reacting to the whole thing. Trying to find a hint of regret in his eyes, yet there was nothing to be seen.
Tim silently passed her a plate full of food before he grabbed his own and headed towards across the kitchen to the small dining room table. Lucy followed after him slowly taking a bite of her bacon on the journey over. Tim sat his plate down and walked to the door where Cujo was waiting impatiently to be let back inside. The dog bounded across the kitchen and sat eagerly beside Lucy hoping that a crumb of something would fall from above. “Traitor,” Tim muttered.
“Not his fault he likes me better,” she teased taking a bite of the eggs grinning down at Cujo.
“He’s just begging for food. I’m clearly his favorite,” he tried to reason with himself as he pulled out his chair to sit down across from her.
“Mmhmm,” Lucy hummed causing Tim to look up from his plate at her. A teasing grin crept across her face at the tiny look of annoyance that crossed his. Silence fell over them as they both started to eat their food. When Tim was not looking her way, Lucy would drop a bite off eggs down to Cujo, who would lap them up enthusiastically.
Tim was the first to finish. He laid his fork down and just looked at Lucy from across the table. Lucy could feel the elephant in the room getting bigger and bigger as Tim continued to stare at her. She wondered if he remembered anything that had happened the night before. She remembered only a few pieces herself, but those pieces were enough to keep her weak in the knees. Lucy sat her own fork down after clearing her plate. It did not surprise her that Tim was a good cook, he was good at a lot of things.
“Are you finished,” he asked after a minute of just looking at her from across the table. Lucy nodded and Tim pushed his chair back and reached for her plate before taking the empty dishes to the sink.
Lucy watched as he stood in front of the window for a long minute looking out the window to the backyard. She wanted to be able to read his thoughts in that moment. She wanted to know what he was thinking if he had the tiniest bit of regret on his mind.
She didn’t want things to turn awkward between them. As partners they were exceptional. They knew how each other operated and how to read each other in every situation. It was their year of working together that propelled them to succeed, but it was also how easily they clicked since that first day of working together that was the pathway to success. She wanted to be able to go back to that without anything being tense between them.
Lucy stood from her chair and gently pushed it back under the table. “I’m going to call a ride,” she said softly as she started to make her way out the room.
“Lucy,” Tim said calling after her. “Wait…I can give you a ride home,” he offered hesitantly. He did not want to infringe on her. She probably wanted nothing to do with him. She probably wanted to go home and get away from him. He couldn’t blame her. It seemed that he always hurt everyone he cared about in one way or another and he did not want to add onto anything that Lucy was already going through.
“No. It’s alright, I can just call an Uber or something,” she said looking back at him and immediately wished she hadn’t. She saw his face fall at her words and her heart crumbled at the sorrow that poured out of him.
“Oh…okay,” he said softly as she disappeared around the corner. He hung his head as she disappeared around the corner. Of course, he had messed it up. He had felt something that for his last rookie while he was still with Rachel and had to put those feelings on the back burner. It was against the rules for a TO/rookie relationship. If anything was going to blossom between them, it was going to be after her training was over and only if she wanted it.
He had not meant for last night to go as far as did. John had driven them to his house and even offered to drive Lucy to her apartment, but she refused, instead, she clung to Tim as they were driven across town to his house. He did not want something like this to happen before it was time. He was willing to play the long game if he had to, he’d do anything he had to for Lucy Chen.
He looked up in time to see Lucy step back around the corner of the kitchen still dressed in his sweats and old t-shirt. Tim could not stop the hope that filled just at the sight of her walking back up to him. He tried to make himself stand tall as she approached. She always seemed to make him feel like he was ten feet tall and invincible.
His eyes locked on hers as she sauntered towards him. Again, he swallowed heavily. He wanted so bad to reach out and pull her against him again. To kiss her, hold her close, and remember every fleeting second, but he was not going to until she gave him the go-ahead.
“Tim,” she whispered once she was close enough.
Their voices were just loud enough in the empty house for the other to hear. Almost as if they were afraid of someone else hearing or afraid to hear themselves admit what they wanted.
“I want to remember,” she stated softly looking into his eyes.
Tim’s brows furrowed looking down at her. “Remember what?”
“Everything,” she whispered closing the distance between them. Her lips pressed against his softly. It felt like a big mistake and she was just about to pull away until his lips started moving against hers. His hands slowly found their way to her hips pulling her flush against him. Her arms wrapping around his neck trying to cling to him as tightly as possible.
“I do too,” he mumbled against her lips before moving his hands under her thighs and scooping her up. Lucy wrapped her legs around as he carried her back towards his bedroom. Finally giving in to the want that both of them wanted for so long, this time they would remember it for a lifetime.