DISCLAIMER: Murder in Suburbia and its characters are the property of ITV. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Part of the ‘One cliché, Many Fandoms’ series.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The Appalling Flat Incident
Part 2: The next day
For once, Ash was the one dragging herself in at half past nine, looking noticeably worse for wear. She plopped down into her chair with an exhausted sigh and commenced with rubbing her temples.
"Ash, are you all right?" asked a worried Scribbs, unused to seeing her partner in such disarray.
"I'm absolutely knackered. I didn't sleep a wink all night."
Scribbs poured two cups of coffee and passed one to Ash, who smiled gratefully and took a sip. "Why were you having trouble sleeping? What were you thinking about?"
The extra-strong coffee in the squad room seemed to do the trick, as Ash sat up, suddenly alert. "Nothing, I mean, you know how it is when your mind just circles around things as you are trying to nod off."
Scribbs nodded knowingly. "Yeah."
"Ash, Ash!" Scribbs called, waving her hand to get the other woman's attention.
"Huh?" Ash blinked, trying to focus on the conversation and failing miserably. "Wait, what were you saying about your lips?"
"I said, you're watching my lips move but you aren't hearing a word I'm saying." Scribbs shook her head, beginning to lose patience with Ash's lethargy before hitting on a solution. "I may have to come over tonight and tuck you in to make sure you get a proper sleep."
"I really don't think that would help."
Scribbs grinned, mischievously, and slid down her chair. "Yeah, you need Sullivan to give you a proper tucking-in."
Ash's reply came out harsher than she intended. "I most definitely do not need that."
"No need to get snippy. I was only teasing."
"You were staring."
"I was not."
"Yes, you were."
"I was not!" Ash waved a hand to stop her partner from continuing the childish back-and-forth. "I'm tired. I was obviously staring off into space or something."
"No, you weren't." Scribbs was surprisingly insistent in continuing the argument. "You've been staring at me all afternoon. Every time I look at my computer, I feel your eyes on me."
"Maybe I'm just surprised to see you actually using it to do something other than computer solitaire," Ash snapped back.
Scribbs looked hurt, for a second, before realization dawned on her. "This is about last night."
"Last night, the, um"
"you're freaked out about last night."
"I most definitely am not."
Scribbs' mouth hung open for a second as her eyes grew big. "You think I fancy you." She shot up in her chair. "You're worried that I fancy you."
Ash was on her feet, hands firmly planted on their joined desks so she could lean over the other woman, in a manner she usually reserved for the interrogation room. "For heaven's sake, Scribbs," she said between clenched teeth. "I am NOT freaked out about last night. I am, however, exhausted and thoroughly tired of this childish conversation." With that, she turned on her heel, grabbed her coat from the rack, and disappeared out of the squad room.
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