sam_storyteller: (Default)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-12 10:55 am
Entry tags:

Protective Custody; Southland, PG-13

Title: Protective Custody
Fandom: Southland (Spoilers for S1)
Rating: PG-13 (profanity)
Summary: Fuck you, Cooper likes saving people.
Warnings: Implied child abuse.
Notes: BETA CREDIT to [ profile] 51stcenturyfox.

Originally Posted 9.15.09

Also available at AO3.


Ben Sherman's in the hospital.

It's not John Cooper's fault.

Except, you know, it kind of is. It's not like Cooper was even within shouting distance of the kid when it happened, but he's his training officer. That makes everything that happens to Sherman his fault in a kind of abstract way.

The thing is, he's never met anyone who needs less training than Sherman. All rookies need to get slapped around a little, and this one's no exception, but Sherman's already basically Coop's partner, and once he gets his impulses under control he's going to be fucking awesome. So yeah, okay, technically Sherman is in the hospital and technically it is Cooper's fault but he really doesn't feel too bad about it. Except where he worries about the kid with any energy he has to spare while he does the paperwork and clocks off and gets his ass over to the hospital.

Man, Sherman looks like shit.

Cooper doesn't go inside the darkened room, because someone else is sitting in there already, but the light from the hallway shows just how much trouble you can get into when a crackhead comes after you with a baseball bat during a bust. He's got a black eye, a raw-scraped cheekbone, one arm in a sling (but no cast, at least) and a thing on his collarbone that might be a bandage or might just be tape holding down some medical bullshit, Cooper can't tell.

He stands outside the doorway and watches for a while, not so much wondering if he should interrupt as waiting for a change, and he'll go from there, because he's good at waiting. When the change does happen, he decides to wait a little longer.

Sherman's eyes open and he looks around, confused, until whoever-it-is touches his hand, and then -- ahh, there's his boy, that laser focus flickering up into Sherman's eyes so fast you'd think he'd blinked, instead of passed out.

"Dad?" he asks. Cooper swears inside his head.

"Hey, kiddo," Sherman's father says, leaning forward so his face too catches the light. Cooper considers shooting him in the back of the head, but murder trials are boring and they put you on paid administrative leave. He hates missing work. Plus, prison et al.

"The hell you doing here?" Sherman asks.

"What, I can't come see you when you're sick?"

"No," Sherman mutters. He tries to roll over and groans. Have fun with that, kid; wait till you're forty and it's every day.

"I heard you were hurt," Sherman's dad says, and Cooper almost feels sorry for him, until he remembers who walked out and let who get his ten-year-old ass kicked by drug dealers. "I wanted to see you."

"Yeah, well, you saw me. Fuck off," Sherman replies. Good kid.

"I know you think I don't care, but I do," his father says. Cooper rolls his eyes. "I'm proud of you."

Sherman is silent, looking away -- anywhere but his father's face.

"I am. I brag about you to my friends. I mean, you know where their kids are?" Sherman's father ticks them off on his fingers. "Prison. Rehab. House arrest -- "

"Says something about the kinds of friends you have," Sherman rasps. "Get the hell away from me."

"Not until we talk about a few things," his father says, and Cooper finds himself knocking on the open doorway without thinking about it. Both men look up sharply; Sherman winces. Sherman Senior frowns.

"Officer Carter, right?" he says, and then he's all smiles, offering his hand as he stands up. Cooper looks down at it. Sherman's watching Cooper.

Well, isn't this just a fucking kitchen-sink drama.

"How you doin', kid?" he says, turning away from Sherman's dad.

"Cooper." Sherman's found a smile somewhere, but there's desperation in his voice. "Sorry to stick you with the paperwork."

"Yeah, I'll take that out of your ass later," Cooper says. He turns his attention back to Sherman Senior. He's a cop, he prioritizes; check the kid before you deal with Daddy. Get Daddy out of the room. "John Cooper. Kid looks tired. Why don't you let me buy you a cup of coffee?"

"Ben and I have some things to talk about," Sherman's dad says.

"Bijon, you gonna be dead by tomorrow?" Cooper asks. Sherman frowns -- they must have him on the good drugs -- and shakes his head. "Good. Then it can wait."

"Officer Cooper, I have things to discuss with my son," Sherman's dad says.

Oh, this is gonna be good.

"And I think he told you to fuck off," Cooper replies.

"What did you say?"

"I said," Cooper raises his voice as if speaking to someone slightly dim or slightly deaf, "Your son...told fuck off." He lowers his voice again. "Now you can leave, or I can throw your ass out."

"I'm his father," Sherman Senior declares.

"Congratulations, you can come," Cooper remarks. Sherman, behind them, is so quiet and still, eyes darting back and forth. "Or could twenty years ago, anyhow."

"Get out," Sherman's dad says.

"No," Cooper says.

And then of course, because this is a domestic in a twisted kind of way, Sherman's dad starts shouting about his parental rights and Cooper just keeps repeating that Mr. Sherman needs to leave and his poor kid's lying there, pleading, Coop, please, please, sir which Cooper would take as a cue to leave himself, except he knows what's being asked, because it's the way kids say things when they can't say them.

And then Sherman's dad shoves him.

In the half-second between the shove and Cooper regaining his balance, all sorts of thoughts go through his head. Now that this asshole's thrown the first punch, there are a lot of things he can do. He could still shoot him, but administrative leave is really boring. He could kick his ass, but they've been cracking down with the Excessive Force charges lately. He could book him for assault, but the guy's a criminal defense attorney. That's not really going to work.

What he does, in the end, is bounce back with his weight forward, spin the other man around by one shoulder, and armlock him. He kicks Daddy's legs out from under him and hauls him outside, and several nurses look up in alarm as a uniform drags a screaming man out of a hospital room.

Security is there pretty fucking fast for a pair of rent-a-cops, and Cooper shoves Sherman's dad into their arms.

"Get him out of the hospital. Don't let him back in," he tells them, and they obey without question. Man, a cop could really get away with murder in this town if he knew how to go about it right.

Inside the hospital room, Sherman is agitated -- trying to sit up, studying the tubes and wires hooked up to his body, swaying back and forth when the drugs make him dizzy. Cooper puts a hand flat on his chest and pushes him down, and Sherman goes as soon as he sees who it is. Cooper leaves his hand there for a moment, until Sherman gentles and quiets under it.

"Sir," he mumbles, but he looks up at Cooper with...gratitude, with the look that's the reason Cooper keeps training rookies, a sort of wholehearted but wary devotion. And lingering behind that, Cooper sees shame and relief in equal parts, like he sees in every little kid he ever pulled out of harm's way. Yeah, fuck you, maybe it's dysfunctional that Cooper likes to save people, likes being liked for pulling an abusive parent off a six year old or dragging Sherman's asshole dad away from him when he's bedridden and drugged.

Cooper puts up with enough bullshit in life that he's okay with having a hero complex.

"Thanks," Sherman adds.

"No problem. Go to sleep," Cooper says, and pulls up the chair Sherman's father had been sitting in. His back's going to punish him for it tomorrow, but once you take responsibility for a rookie they're kind of yours for life.

"Yessir," Sherman slurs, already only half-conscious.

Cooper leans back carefully and settles in for the night watch.
florahart: (writing)

[personal profile] florahart 2009-09-15 05:49 pm (UTC)(link)

Now, you should write more fic in this fandom.

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 05:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Okay, well, I found this on my network page, and I already know about Dove showing you Southland (the love, it spreads!), and, well, this is pretty much AWESOME. Yay, and thanks for writing it!

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 07:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! It's an awesome canon, it deserves good fic :)
girlpearl: (cas feels a sin coming on)

<pimp on>

[personal profile] girlpearl 2009-09-15 08:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Shell--that's her, umbo--makes good fic :D And, uh, she's also writing something about mountain lions. Judge not, dude.

Re: &lt;pimp on&gt;

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 08:18 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm sorry, did we somehow miss the novel I'm writing about nongendered butlers?

I live in a house so made of glass it's still sand, or something.
girlpearl: (i've got issues)

Re: &lt;pimp on&gt;

[personal profile] girlpearl 2009-09-15 09:11 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm just going to pretend that made sense and move on :) *pats*

All I can say is, they're not were-cougars.

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 06:03 pm (UTC)(link)
&hearts _ &hearts Cooper!

He showed such restraint, and didn't just toss Sherman Sr. around the room like a Nerf ball. I'm so proud. :D I love Cooper so very much.

ETA: Also, there is a comm for Southland fic, if you are so inclined.
Edited 2009-09-15 18:09 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 07:24 pm (UTC)(link)
I am a little bit in love with that comm for being so completely full of great fic. But it feels weird to join up just to pimp one fic, you know?

Glad you liked it :)

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 06:46 pm (UTC)(link)
I've actually never heard of Southland! This fic is intriguing, though.

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 07:00 pm (UTC)(link)
You should check it out! It's an awesome show and there's not much catching up to do -- it was a mid-season replacement or something, there's only 7 episodes, and then S2 will only be 13 episodes starting sometime in October.

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 07:03 pm (UTC)(link)
*loves Cooper*

this is fantastic - Cooper is a hero, and Ben totally needed saving just then. I really loved this - hopefully you'll be inspired to continue playing with these characters

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 07:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Officially the first Southland fanfic I've read, and it didn't disappoint. Cooper is pretty much spot on, the whole story is, really. I could easily see a scene like this on the show. Great read, thanks!

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 07:23 pm (UTC)(link)
You should check out the fic comm, at least on [ profile] southland_fic the fanfic is almost uniformly AWESOME.

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 07:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm like [ profile] yehnica, this is my first Southland fanfic. I'm eager for S2 to begin. The show grew on me, quickly, as over 7 episodes I went from 'full of itself' to 'That's it?!' and checking online to see when it would be back.

I like your Cooper and this was a nice scene, that I too could see happening. I mean, it's like it did happen! ^_^

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 07:28 pm (UTC)(link)
I have to admit I'm really enjoying the show. S2 is apparently slated to start in OCTOBER sometime, which is damn near unacceptable. :D

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 10:22 pm (UTC)(link)
but at least it gets a second season??

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 10:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Indeed! 13 episodes only, but I find I prefer shorter, better seasons to longer, crappier ones :D

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 10:30 pm (UTC)(link)
concise arcs are much better than seasons that drag. unless the show itself is episodic, then it's less of a problem. i can watch law and order and its spinoffs without a care, simply because they're tied up neatly at the end.

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 07:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Dude. Southland fic! Epic stuff.

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
The thing I like about Samfic is, you don't even have to know what the TV show is, or the book or whatever-- the scene, characters, and dialogue make sense like little islands on the page, without their background. These are cool!

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 09:22 pm (UTC)(link)
I hadn't really thought to look for Southland fic before, though I adore the show, but you writing some makes me SO HAPPY. Cooper is just win, in so many ways.
musyc: Silver flute resting diagonally across sheet music (Default)

[personal profile] musyc 2009-09-15 10:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, Sam, this is amazing. You nailed them both, fantastically. I love Cooper's paternal sense of responsibility over his rookie, and his little asides about administrative leave. Man's clearly been there, done that. :D edit for overuse of 'fantastic' >.>
Edited 2009-09-15 22:16 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 10:21 pm (UTC)(link)
heh. that's very much cooper's voice. and the fact that the guy playing ben sherman is so tiny puts this so very heartwarming. i love it when a guy's protective instinct comes out.

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 10:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Dang it, Sam.

*goes to find downloads*
ext_3669: bodie (from the wire) against a cloud texture (southland: lydia)

[identity profile] 2009-09-15 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
this was really great. your cooper voice is really strong, and i love this whole paragraph:

"Sir," he mumbles, but he looks up at Cooper with...gratitude, with the look that's the reason Cooper keeps training rookies, a sort of wholehearted but wary devotion. And lingering behind that, Cooper sees shame and relief in equal parts, like he sees in every little kid he ever pulled out of harm's way. Yeah, fuck you, maybe it's dysfunctional the Cooper likes to save people, likes being liked for pulling an abusive parent off a six year old or dragging Sherman's asshole dad away from him when he's bedridden and drugged.
ext_3545: Jon Walker, being adorable! (Default)

[identity profile] 2009-09-16 01:34 am (UTC)(link)

By which I mean, I am also okay with Cooper having a hero complex!
(deleted comment)

[identity profile] 2009-09-16 01:20 pm (UTC)(link)
LOL. He is the Cooper! :D

[identity profile] 2009-09-16 04:15 am (UTC)(link)
Aww, yay! That is so very Cooper. :D

[identity profile] 2009-09-16 06:05 am (UTC)(link)

Awesome as always, plus Sherman and Cooper, plus also SOUTHLAND by SAM.


[identity profile] 2009-09-16 11:18 am (UTC)(link)

I have never seen an ep of Southland but I really enjoyed this! :) Also: awww. In a screwed up kind of way. :D


Some storytelling, indeed

[identity profile] 2009-09-16 01:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I have no idea about the show Southland, and I doubt I ever will. Regardless, I enjoyed this as much as the other one of yours -- the SPN one -- I read today. I like to read well written stories. It doesn't matter too much to me what a story is about if you write it as well as these two stories.

I find the characters appealing. It's easy to care about them even though this was the first time I met them.

In addition, I have no idea if you're a romance writer or not; the most fanfic writers I have read happen to be. I don't much care about romance; I'm more interested in some other genres. In any story, romance can be a good spice, but I don't want to eat a cake made of spice instead of flour, if you get my meaning. That I found something else than romance as the focus of the story, in particular, was a welcome surprise.

[identity profile] 2009-09-17 01:19 am (UTC)(link)
This is cool--strong Cooper voice, affecting not sappy. :) I like it.
ext_2408: (Default)

[identity profile] 2009-09-17 02:39 am (UTC)(link)
Awesome. You nailed it.
greenapple: (sherman and cooper)

[personal profile] greenapple (from 2009-10-04 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
I like.

[identity profile] 2009-10-05 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
I almost had a heart attack when I saw your name attached to a Southland fic. I literally kicked my feet and squealed, because Southland is one of my new, shiny toys and to see that one of my favorite writers has stuck a toe in its fannish waters was like presents.

Fantastic, as expected. Your Cooper is spot on.

You rock so hard.

[identity profile] 2009-10-05 01:57 pm (UTC)(link)
LOL! Glad you enjoyed it :D IT IS SUCH A SHINY TOY.

It's coming back in like...two weeks! *fists of glee*

[identity profile] 2010-01-01 09:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Cooper puts up with enough bullshit in life that he's okay with having a hero complex.
and this is exactly why I love reading fics about Cooper, he's just so goddamn NOBLE under that layer of cynicism and addiction. Perfectly in character, I love it!

[identity profile] 2010-01-20 03:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I really love this.

[identity profile] 2010-03-18 04:47 am (UTC)(link)
This is really good.

[identity profile] 2010-03-18 03:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you!

[identity profile] 2010-04-03 08:24 am (UTC)(link)
Just stumbled over this - it's excellent. John dragging Sherman Sr. out of the room is not an image I'll forget soon.

[identity profile] 2010-10-03 05:13 am (UTC)(link)
I love this. Thank you-- you nailed Cooper, here.
oxoniensis: sammy and nate (fandom: sl punching water)

[personal profile] oxoniensis 2011-01-20 12:07 am (UTC)(link)
You've got their dynamic so spot-on here - wonderful!
theatervine: Brown Angel  (BrunetteAngel01)

[personal profile] theatervine 2011-02-05 05:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Everything about this is spot on, the characterization, the thought process Ben's utter adorableness and how, despite being the most competent beat cop I've ever seen on television, he brings out the protective instincts in everyone around him. Well done.
tabaqui: (Default)

[personal profile] tabaqui 2012-07-03 05:27 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, that was so very *Coop*. Excellent stuff.

(Anonymous) 2012-09-06 11:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Love this, really good.