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By missblueeyes63

Drama / Action

Breathe, just breathe

Sam Braddock slowly opened the door of the patrol car and stepped out. Glancing up at the entrance to the SRU Headquarters he felt so drained. "Thanks for the ride" Sam mumbled quietly as he shut the door.

The seasoned patrol officer replied "just doing my job" as he shifted the car back into drive. As he drove away the officer could only shake his head slowly and thought to himself 'I've been on the job a long time, too long and I've seen so much over the decades. But never, never, never something like this. How do they do it? Day in and day out they had to deal with stuff like this. It would take a strong, resilient person to handle the burdens of their job.'

He doubted if he could ever do what they have to do so often. He silently chided himself that he didn't say something other than 'just doing my job'. That boy is in pain, so much pain, it's etched into his soul and all I can say to him is 'just doing my job'. How pathetic.

'Just doing my job', wasn't that my mantra Sam dully thought. He stood in the parking lot, for how long he didn't know. His head hanging down, not moving, stone cold still, still as a statue, not even breathing. He finally succumbed to the need for air and took a slow painful breath in.

He was so tired. It hurt so much. Could he walk in? Should he walk away? His heart, mind, and soul were torn to bloody shreds and so very conflicted. His physical body wasn't in much better shape but at least it wasn't bleeding out uncontrollably.

Here, this place is where family is, a safety of sorts he had never really known before joining the SRU. But after yesterday …? His thoughts stopped 'Oh god was it only 24 hours ago?' he asked himself, 'yeah only 24 hours'. So much had happened in just that short period of time.

Did he belong? Did they still want him here? Would they really care if he left?

All he had known from family, the biological kind, was condemnation. Never good enough. Every little error flaunted in his face over and over. Never acceptance, no tolerance, no concern or care, only unfulfilled expectations of being the perfect son. No, not son, not son, that's wrong. The perfect what … soldier? Yeah, that's it, the perfect soldier. Pain so deep … breathe, remember to breathe, slowly.

Could they, his chosen family, want someone like him around? Could they accept him after what had happened? Was it only yesterday that the light filled him and he felt like he really belonged?

But now, oh god, now would he find solace or retribution with them? He forced himself to take another slow painful breath in. God it hurt so much. 'I'm a killer; I was trained to be one since I was old enough to hold a gun. No emotions, breathe, hold, aim, squeeze softly like a caress, and snuff out a life' he said softly to no one.

Was SIU agent Richard Donner right? Was he unfit? Was he too quick on the trigger? Was he a murderer? Was he a liability to his team? He blanched when he recalled Donner's accusations "SIX! Six Braddock! Do you hear me? Six people you killed today! Without a second thought. In cold blood. In the span of 13 hours you murdered SIX PEOPLE! You are so sure of yourself, so cocky, too fast on the trigger. Your badge is NOT a license to KILL. How can YOU even believe you are fit to be an SRU officer? You put your team at risk every time. With every person you kill you put BLOOD on THEIR HANDS TOO!"

A deep sigh escaped followed by a shaky shallow intake of breath. It hurt too much to take anything other than shallow breaths. He lifted his head slightly and started to move listlessly towards the entrance. Time to face whatever was coming. He was many things, but coward was not one of them. Even if it ripped the last vestige of his soul from him, he would face his team.

It was all his fault. Wasn't it? So much blood on his hands, he's the one that pulled the trigger six times. No, wait, only five times. But six deaths belonged to him because he failed to be quick enough on the fourth shot. 'Aw damn I'm so confused … death comes if I'm too fast or too slow'.

Sam kept moving towards the entrance. Just a few more steps and he'd be at the door. He would endure whatever they threw his way. He always did. He would allow them to vent every hateful feeling they had for him and pin the blame for all this blood where it squarely fit, on him.

He would take it in, push it down, seal it in the dark, thick walled place he contained all his hurt, shame, guilt, pain, inadequacy, and failures. He'd never let it show. His mask, his façade, his walls were well-built after years of construction.

Hand on door. Breathe, just breathe …
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