“We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.” – Felton Ousler
The holidays were over, and Hondo was glad about it. With Darryl back in school and Leroy keeping a low profile, Hondo’s mind was free to drift to those other things in his life that needed fixing; things that kept him awake at night. Like most people, there were things he’d do differently if he had a second chance but as he’d heard so many times during his life, hindsight was twenty-twenty.
Work had become Hondo’s hiding place and his solace. Fighting crime had given him a sense of cover against those unresolved personal demons. There seemed to be no resolution in so many areas of his life and he was grateful that being a part of SWAT was his rock in a crazy sort of way. He’d fought and earned his place; one that most believed he did not deserve, merely a political beneficiary of an agenda that had nothing to do with Hondo. It was an election year and Buck’s sudden death gave the city an opportunity to give visible proof that it was moving in a more humanitarian and racially diverse direction. Cmdr. Hicks had said as much, not so secretly wanting to give the leadership role to Deacon who was next in line for his own team.
Now after almost four years, all of the vocal and not so vocal naysayers respected Hondo for what he had accomplished in such a short period of time and the fact that his principles and his fierce loyalty to the city often put him at odds with the community he loved; a community that had birthed and raised him to become the man he was now.
S.W.A.T. Headquarters – Morning –
Chris was surprised to see that Street had beat her in. He was always late; always. Dating Molly didn’t make things any better, but he was happy; she could see it all over him. Chris wanted him to be happy, she really did but his obvious happiness made her wonder if she had made a mistake not letting him into her life. They had been friends and he had feelings for her that he didn’t hide while Chris wanted to deny her own feelings as if he would wait until she made up her mind. It had been a gamble and she lost. Now she had a front row seat to his happiness in the arms of Molly Hicks.
Chris still remembered the day that Molly had asked her about Street’s relationship status and Chris was more than willing to fill her in and before she could blink, the two were an item; both thanking her for her encouragement. Now here she was alone after two unsuccessful attempts at love and she still wasn’t sure what or better yet, who she wanted. What she did know was that it hurt to see Street with someone else. It was supposed to be her. She was wrong.
“Good morning.” She began.
Street turned to face her and smiled. He still thought about her, the woman that insisted that they could only be teammates and friends.
“Hey! How’s it going?”
“You’re here early, that’s so not like you.” She teased.
“Just trying to do better, that’s all.”
“Trying to impress the boss, uh?”
“Maybe. Nothing wrong with that, is it?”
“I guess not.” Chris replied.
Chris opened her locker and tossed her bag inside. He seemed so awake and light; not like the Street she knew.
Street looked over at her as she began to change into her uniform. He kept wondering if he had tried harder if things would be different.
“Can I ask you something, Chris?”
Puzzled, she looked over at him.
“Do you ever wonder…”
“Wonder about what?”
“Us, I guess.”
“I don’t know, maybe but we both know that it couldn’t work, right?”
He shook his head; he felt defeated and he wondered why he kept insisting on having this conversation with her even though he was in a relationship with a great woman.
“Yeah…right. I just…” He began again.
“Please, I can’t talk about this okay? You’re with Molly, she’s great and I’m just getting out of a really crazy situation. So, if you want to know if I ever think about us, yes even though I know I shouldn’t.”
Street approached her and placed his hands on her shoulders. For a brief moment, she looked hopefully into his eyes, then pulled away nervously.
“No, no…I gotta go; I don’t want to be late.”
Street exhaled and watched her rush from the locker room.
Molly had nearly collided with Chris as she ran out, passing her without speaking and obviously upset.
“Hey Babe. I didn’t know you were coming by.” He said nervously.
Molly had become a fixture around the building. She was the commander’s daughter, and she was Street’s girlfriend. She pretended to not notice that his face was flush, and he was nervous, not able to look her in the eyes. Molly wrapped her arms around his waist and pulled him close trying desperately to get his attention as she planted a kiss on his lips.
“What’s going on? I saw Chris, she nearly ran me over. She seemed upset.”
“Uhh…she’s just going through some things.”
“Whatever she’s going through seems to have you upset too. Is there anything you want to tell me, Jim?”
Jim pulled her close and kissed her once, then twice before answering.
“She’s still upset that she has to compete against Tan and me.”
“I told her I’d withdraw if it jeopardized our friendship.”
“That’s really nice of you.”
“Yeah, well she didn’t think so. I just hope it doesn’t affect our working together on the team.”
Molly kissed her boyfriend. She admired his loyalty to his friends and to his team. She loved him for it among so many other things.
“She’ll get over it. She just needs some space.” She kissed him. “You know Chris is really lucky to have a friend like you.”
Street pulled Molly close and buried his face in her hair. She didn’t know him at all. He wasn’t a good friend, and he wasn’t a good boyfriend either. He thought he’d moved on, but it wasn’t true, and Molly didn’t deserve the deception. He hugged her as if his life depended on it, there was so much to lose if he hurt her. He wanted to be happy and Molly made him happy still, he couldn’t help but wonder how things would be if it were Chris in his arms right now instead of Molly. He’d made his choice and he would do whatever it took to make their relationship work, no matter how his heart felt.
“I do not regret the things I’ve done, but those I did not do.” – Rory Cochrane