Withdrawal 3: Antidote
A/N: Okay, this is it, I'll leave you all alone now. For all of you who asked, especially Rhianne here it is...the last sequel to Withdrawal and Withdrawal Too *G*
You know you've found most of the pieces.
You look closely at him everyday, you see where the bits and shattered pieces have been carefully, lovingly, painfully at times, put back. You've worked hard, you've both worked so hard to find all the pieces and you know it hasn't been easy and he knows it too. You've spent hours, days, weeks, my god two months now dealing with the aftermath.
For the most part, you can't see the seams, the raw edges pushed into place with a frustrated sigh only to slip back out over and over.
You notice small chips missing here and there, a tiny shard missing when you realize he didn't get the punch line of the lame joke you've told a thousand times before and you miss the way he used to roll his eyes and groan and tell you oh man Jim I can't believe you just said that.
You see a tiny flake of self-control peel off as you watch him reach for a beer and then grab a bottle of juice instead, his fingertips trembling because he wants things to be like they used to be when you both could kick back with a beer and watch a game on the tube but now he doesn't trust himself, doesn't trust that there might be traces of the drug still lying in wait to betray him.
And you know his head is pounding sometimes and can you please rub my temples just for a few minutes he asks quietly I don't want to take any pain pills he tells you and you say of course Chief, no problem buddy, whatever you need and you smile and he smiles back because he knows you mean it.
You notice the thin sliver of control that is absent as his right hand shakes and shakes and oh man Jim he tells you, he can't make it stop shaking you hear him whimper, can you maybe help me out here big guy he tries not to beg as the razor wobbles close, too close to his adam's apple. You squeeze his shoulder as you will your heart to crawl back out of the pit of your stomach and you say sure buddy, no problem Chief and haven't we had this discussion you say gently, you're not ready yet you tell him and it's okay you say I've got you.
You both laugh and his laugh is nervous, shaky, not the infectious laugh you love and then he says yeah Jim you're right man, that's right no sharp objects I'm sorry he repeats one more time I just forgot he tells you, it's too soon, I'll try to remember he vows.
The bastards were caught, the bastards that did this to him, you made sure of it, you did everything by the book. And you stood by him as he ID'd the scum, and you were never prouder of him than you were the day he walked into court and put the bastards away for a long, long time. He's the best damn partner you've ever had you tell him, the best damn cop in Cascade you make sure he hears you. And you were at his side the whole time, I'm here Chief you reassure again and again, we'll get through it together, always buddy, I'm right here Chief you remind him.
You wait and wait for the day when the nightmares will stop, and you kick yourself for the millionth time because how many nightmares has he endured over the years you ask yourself bitterly, how many times since he's been your partner, your friend, your guide and then you let it all melt away as you comfort him and he comforts you, it's all right big guy he tells you.
I'm your guide he reminds you as he thwaps your arm, we'll get through it together, right big guy just like you keep telling me he scolds, and you believe him, because even though you know he can be an obfuscating little shit at times, you know because you've learned the hard way, but never again the hard way, that he'd never lie to you and you can trust him and yeah you're right Chief, you tell him, you're always right you agree with a hearty laugh.
Your senses come alive then as your guide comes back to you with a laugh as hearty as yours and a mischievous gleam brightens his eyes that you were afraid, oh lord so afraid, you'd never see again and you know things might not be exactly as they were before but you surmise that it will still be okay and you can finally believe it yourself, what you've been telling him for what seems like forever.
Together buddy, together Chief, always.
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