The Charles Boyle/Rosa Diaz dynamic starting with “geeky guy pines for hot girl who is clearly out of his league” and then subverting the cliche and evolving into “two platonic friends who, despite their apparently huge differences, trust each other and know the other person inside out” is something I think about a lot
Jake’s never prayed in a hospital hallway before. He’s seen plenty of people doing it, sometimes on tv, sometimes on an average day in his job. It’s always sickened him a little, stuck with him, caught in his thoughts, the fact that watching someone praying that they don’t lose their whole world is just another day at work for him. It must be worse for the doctors and nurses, he guesses, the people on the very front lines between life and death. The memory that’s sticking in his mind, right now, on the hospital floor, is the man who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time with his family.
He remembers it sharply, acutely, agonisingly, even though it was years ago now, and memories from the days before that one are faded, time-bleached. The man had paced the floor for two hours, the whole time Jake had been here with his old partner. His eyes had been wild, his lips graced with whispered curse words, prayers, spit-flecked bargains, and blood had been running down his arms from his neck wound. But that hadn’t mattered to the man. Oliver Lawson. His name had been Oliver Lawson. And once those two hours had been up, a doctor and two nurses had approached him with certain looks in their eyes, looks that Jake didn’t have a name for. Looks that Oliver understood instantly, like the half-madness of terror and grief had taught him a new language, taught him to understand what each individual crease on someone’s face meant. Oliver had crumpled to the ground, screaming a sound that Jake never knew humans could make. Through being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Oliver Lawson’s wife and two daughters had been lost to him forever.
Jake wonders, from the cold hospital floor, knees drawn to his chest, where Oliver is now. Whether he still replays that day over and over in his head. Because if this goes the way that Jake has convinced himself it’s going to, he can’t see himself ever leaving this day, not really. His body might carry on (or actually, it might stay here on the pale blue tiles forever), but his brain will live right here. It will analyse every single thing that’s happened since they woke up this morning, wondering what he could have done differently. It will rewind to her excited, apprehensive smile. To her, ‘the baby’s coming. She’s coming.’
A hand find Jake’s shoulder, and he snaps his attention to the faces in front of him. They’re not doctors, or nurses, not angels, not some deity come down to say they’re sorry. It’s Captain Holt and Rosa, crouched in front of him, hands on his shoulder. Rosa’s face is stony, determined, brow furrowed, jaw set. Captain Holt’s is sombre, readable for once. For a split, blood-turns-to-ice second, Jake’s convinced that they’re here to tell him. That they’re here because the nurses couldn’t face him, so they’re making his friends tell him instead. They’re only here because Amy went into labour whilst Jake was at work, only here because he announced to the whole precinct that he was gonna be a dad real soon. Only here because everyone swung by once the night shift took over, because they were excited too.
“Did she-?” Jake can’t finish the sentence, can’t even wrap his tongue around the words properly. They splutter and falter in his mouth, the taste of them making him feel sick.
“Come sit down,” Rosa reaches for his hand, nodding in the direction of the waiting area.
“I can’t.” They don’t get it. He’s sitting right outside of the doors of the hallway that leads to the operating theatre. If he sits right here, if he keeps wishing and praying and listening, something’s got to work.