He was a little bit broken, he figured. A little bit dysfunctional. This wasn't the way he'd worked over the past thirty-some-odd years. Somewhere along the line-- and maybe it was the gunshots and maybe it was the divorce, and maybe it was just life and how it took you apart and forced you to piece yourself back together-- he'd gotten just a little bit broken.
He was a serious man, after all. Always had been. A serious cop who tore out his hair at night over not being able to complete the detective's exam. Who got into serious fights with his very serious wife about serious subjects like careers and children and saving for retirement and how they would pay the mortgage if he never got his promotion.
He was always looking into the future, always trying to peer past the foggy veil of now. He had no room for humor or bravado. That wasn't what he did. There wasn't room for it. In that huge house, where he knocked around on his days off and wondered why he felt so incomplete, there was no room for it. There was no room in that expansive county where he stopped strangers for speeding and cordoned off crime scenes. He didn't have time or space or energy to do anything besides think and plan. There was no feeling. There was no action. He was a good, working machine in that way.
Except for now he was broken.
He knew it because he lived utterly in the now, getting through each day like a man without a memory. What had come before meant nothing; it was yesterday's dinner, gone bad and tossed aside. What was to come meant nothing; it was dark and frightening and best put off until another day. Now was a moment of sunshine, the eye of a hurricane, and he was determined to enjoy it.
He knew it because he did nothing but feel these days. He knew it because when a hand came up to lightly trace the line of his collar he grabbed the wrist connecting it to big, lean man and pulled it in toward him, feeling the heat of bodies connecting, the warm mingling of breath.
He knew it because things were funny now, and so was he. He'd gone from soldier to clown, and when he sent the both of them tumbling and tangling in the sheets, he laughed, and the face beneath his laughed, and it was so funny.
He knew it because he had room now. He could explore the length of that beautiful body, taking all the time in the world, eliciting as many gorgeous gasps as he could handle, and there was always still more to do, more to touch and hold, more to adore.
But surely all this meant he was broken.
It was just that he never knew it could feel so much like being whole.