A/N: My first Boomtown fic, because I can't sleep. Tom, Joel, Fearless, and Ray get drunk, for reasons only they understand.
It's not often they all get together after a hard day of work. Okay, it's almost never happened before. Hell, it's not often they're all on speaking terms either, but tonight was just one of those nights where they all needed it, needed whatever it was that they all had together.
Ray and Tom stopped off at the Astor after work, and it wasn't long before Joel and Fearless show up. After four hours and ten shots each they're all getting along better. Fearless won't stop talking, Joel won't stop smiling and Ray won't stop laughing at his stories, and Tom...well, he hasn't said anything for a while now.
He knows that whenever he gets drunk, he starts getting philisophical-like. He notices things he'd normally write off, and tonight he notices that there's so much he doesn't know about the other men at the table. He notices the way Joel can stop Fearless' story mid-sentence with a well-timed eyebrow raise. He notices how Ray looks at the empty seat beside him whenever he starts laughing again. He notices the fact that he's the only one out of all of them who doesn't have somebody, anybody to go home to. He notices the fact that they've all still got their badges on, and it's more than likely that they've still all got their guns on, too.
"Hey." He finally mutters, and the others looked at him, almost surprised that he's still there. Tom raised his shot glass. "To Sandra Cahill."
They all raised their empty glasses with a clink, and there was a moment of almost-silence...until Ray calls for another round of drinks so they can toast her with full glasses, despite everyone's protests.
It's like Fearless said. You can't talk about this stuff with anyone but cops, which was why so many cops only hung out with other cops. No one else understands. And no one does, Tom decides. No one else would put up with Ray's babbling, Fearless' bravado, Joel's secrets, his sulking. No one else gets the sick humor of going to Denny's late at night, badges hanging out all over the place, and ordering plate after plate of bacon, just daring the waiter to say something.
No one else gets the reasoning behind toasting the fact that their victim died almost instantly, so that she didn't feel anything else the scumbags did to her.
No one else understands the reality, and that right there, he decides, is a good enough reason for another drink.