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 3: Later that evening
Scribbs pounded on the door to the flat. "Ash, let me in." Silence from the interior of the flat. "Look, I know you are in there." Continued silence. "I'm not leaving until you let me in." When there was no response from the woman on the other side of the door, Scribbs muttered a curse about the legendary stubbornness of a certain dark-haired DI before trying a different tack. "Look, you don't have to worry about me fancying you."
"I'm not worried about that." The instantaneous response spoken in a soft, sad voice from just inside the door surprised the blonde woman into a momentary silence. "Look, Scribbs, I really don't want to talk about it."
"Well, then, we can not talk about it, you can come in to work tomorrow in a strop, and take it out on me. Again. That will be much more healthy." She thought about it for a moment, puzzling over the grammar. "Or is that healthier?"
"I'm not leaving."
Ash rested her forehead against the cool wood of the door, wishing that the large glass of vodka she had drunk upon returning to her apartment had already knocked her unconscious. She began to figure out the phrasing for a new rule: "When running away from awkward situations when the person knows where you live, drink faster."
"I'm not leaving," Scribbs repeated from the other side of the door. "Ash, please," she pleaded in that wounded puppy voice, and Ash could picture the doe-eyed expression on her face perfectly. She felt the ridges of the lock under her fingers, could feel herself weakening, so she tried one more time.
"Scribbs, we'll talk, I promise. Just not tonight."
"I didn't deserve any of that today, you know." The hurt was mixed with anger in Scribbs' voice. "You could at least offer me an explanation."
"An explanation?" Ash's frail control snapped, like a slingshot had been released, sending her emotions into the air. "You want an explanation?" The knob twirled beneath her fingers as she flung the door wide, grabbed Scribbs' arm, and hauled the other woman into her apartment. She slammed the door shut before wrapping both hands around Scribbs' coat lapels to pull her close. Scribbs' gasp of surprise gave her the opportunity, and Ash took full advantage, capturing the other woman's lips in an open-mouthed kiss.
Ash tasted chocolate biscuits and tea and felt Scribbs' hands come to rest on her shoulders, passively, not pushing her away but not pulling her closer either. She broke the kiss, gazed at her frozen partner, and leaned in again, not quite willing to give up on the moment. This time, the kiss was gentler, softer, and Ash's eyes fluttered closed as she gave in to the need to make this one count.
Ash opened her eyes to Scribbs' shocked expression. She glanced down, unable to meet those eyes, and loosened her hands, unconsciously smoothing the fabric that had been crushed in her grip. "Look, Scribbs, I'll understand if you request reassignment"
"or even file charges for sexual harassment"
"I mean, I am your superior officer and I just"
"Ash, what are you going on about?" Scribbs mentally caught up with all that had happened in the last few seconds, and she exclaimed, "You fancy me!"
Ash turned and headed back to her kitchen and the safety of her vodka bottle. "My tongue down your throat gave you that impression, did it?"
Scribbs followed, watching as Ash poured a healthy splash into her glass, sobering quickly as she took in the deflated posture of the other woman. "I didn't realize."
"Neither did I. I mean, you are attractive and we do get on quite well, but I hadn't given it much thought "
"Until last night happened."
"Yes, until last night."
Scribbs' smile lit up as she realized that she had been the cause of her partner's uncharacteristic behavior. "It was me, wasn't it? You were thinking about me last night."
"I'm glad this is amusing you."
"Ash, I didn't " Scribbs stepped up behind the dark-haired woman, her hands resting lightly on Ash's shoulders. "I wasn't taking the piss, really, I wasn't. I'm just surprised." This close, she could smell the light citrus-y scent Ash wore sometimes, and it reminded her of the tang of vodka in Ash's kiss.
Ash, for her part, was hard-pressed to stay still, the desire to pull away and stop making a fool of her self warring with the desire to turn in the embrace and make an even bigger fool of her self. There was an uncharacteristic hesitance in Ash's voice when she spoke. "Did you mean it?"
"Did I mean what?"
"That I don't have to worry " She caught her lower lip between her teeth, but it didn't keep the words from coming, nor the hitch in her breath as she spoke them, "About you fancying me?"
Scribbs remembered all the times she had made jokes about growing old together, about rotten men, about only wanting the good bits. She remembered how much she hated seeing Ash make eyes at the boss and how hard she tried to point out flaws in every guy Ash had dated in the last two years.
Smiling a little, she replied, "I meant what I said." She felt Ash stiffen and start to pull away, but Scribbs wrapped her arms around the taller woman's waist to hold her there. "You needn't worry, since I already fancy you."
Ash stood very still and stiff in the embrace. "Really?" she asked, her voice disbelieving.
Scribbs pulled Ash closer and nuzzled her neck, feeling Ash's body relax into hers incrementally, slowly losing some of the stiffness. "Really." She playfully teased Ash's ear, hearing a sound somewhere between a sigh and a chuckle. Turning so she could look at the other woman, she asked, "So now what?"
"What do you mean, now what?"
"We just admitted we fancy each other, so now what do we do? Should we adjourn to the next room and " she wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.
"Scribbs!" Ash's eyes were as wide as saucers, and Scribbs laughed, and then relented from teasing. "So we should go out on a date?"
Ash recovered in time to retort, "Several, before you get anywhere near the next room."
Scribbs grinned for a second, before a look of horror crossed her face. "Oh no, I'm not taking you to those posh restaurants where the menu is incomprehensible and the waiters all think they are better than you are."
"Scribbs," Ash said in her best posh-girls-finishing-school voice, "you most certainly are."
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