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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Building a Reputation
By ralst


"If we put the siren on we could be out of here in minutes," Scribbs complained.

"And before the Commissioner by the time our shift is over," Ash countered. "You know how strict he's been lately about the 'abuse of power'."

"I was only planning on getting out of traffic, not extorting money from pensioners."

Ash put on her best Commissioner's voice. "It's a slippery slope, my dear, one minute you're speeding through red lights and the next you're the biggest pimp in Middlefield history."

"He'd never say pimp." Scribbs drummed her fingers against the steering wheel. "He's more of a 'procurers of ladies of the night', type of bloke."

"You didn't see him when they brought Sullivan in for questioning." Ash grimaced as she thought back on the day their boss was hauled out of one interrogation room and marched across the station to another; that time as a suspect. "His veins were bulging and I'm sure he used the word 'slapper' more than once."

"I didn't think you were allowed to witness the interview?" Scribbs eased the car forward another few feet. "What with your 'special' connection to the boss."

Ash glowered at her friend.

"What? I'm not the one who snogged him in front of the entire CID."

"I was illustrating a point."

"What, that you could tickle his tonsils with your tongue?"

"Scribbs," Ash warned.

"All I'm saying is that, given your illustration the week before, I'm surprised they let you listen in on his interrogation." Scribbs paused, debating with her self the wisdom of continuing. "Barry from traffic was taking bets that you were one of Sullivan's 'girls' and the kiss was your way of asking for a pay rise."


"I stood up for you," Scribbs reassured. "I told 'em that you were too high class to work for someone like Sullivan."


"You're much more of a classy hotel and Champagne on tap kinda woman."

Ash grabbed Scribbs by the jacket collar. "You said what?"

"I was standing up for you."

"By telling everyone I'm a high class call-girl?"

Scribbs shrugged. "It worked, didn't it?"

Ash was too livid to speak and Scribbs took the opportunity to ease out of traffic and down a small side alley. It was a dead end but it beat sucking in the exhaust fumes from the lorry in front of them. It also meant no one would notice if her boss started foaming at the mouth.

"You're telling me," Ash ground out. "That I have to sit for my promotion board next week and face three old Etonians who all think I give blow-jobs for money?"

"I never went into detail."

"I'm ruined."

Scribbs laid a comforting hand on Ash's arm, until the look in her friend's eyes made her pull back, quickly. She'd seen Ash in a mood more times than she cared to count but this was the first time she'd thought her capable of murder.

"It's not as bad as you think." Ash's death glare forced Scribbs to elaborate. "Only about half of them believed the prostitute story."

"Oh, I'm saved," Ash said sarcastically.

"Yeah." Scribbs was lost to another internal debate, which she again lost. "The other half think you're frigid."

Surprisingly, Ash perked up at that news. "Really?"

"Oh yeah, frigid or gay, one or the other."

Ash's relief vanished. "Frigid or gay?"

"Don't worry," Scribbs again reassured. "I stuck up for you."

Ash looked as if she was going to scream.

"I told them all you were gay."

Ash's scream, when it came, rattled the windows and left Scribbs with ringing ears.

"So let me get this right. I am going before an interview panel made up of three of the most conservative and misogynistic men in the country, and you've told them all that I'm a gay call-girl." She let out a breath. "Anything else?"

"I might have given them the impression that we've been having a torrid affair for the last three years and were thinking of getting married now the laws have changed."

Ash's head hit the dashboard with a thunk.

"I know how you feel about weddings," Scribbs continued, somewhat missing the point of Ash's mumbled cries. "But three years is a long time, and you can't expect me to act as your personal love bunny for ever. A girl has her pride."

Lifting her head, Ash peered cautiously at her friend. "Scribbs, you do realise that we're not a couple, don't you?"

"You say that now," Scribbs lamented. "But it's a different story when you want your leg over."


A blush coloured Scribbs' cheeks. "I just meant that 'if' we'd been a couple you'd have wanted your leg over and I'd have been ... Do you fancy a curry?"

Ash was confused. "Everybody thinks I'm a high class call-girl who's been carrying out a secret lesbian affair with my sergeant for the past three years, and you want to go for a curry?"

"I'm hungry."

Ash shook her head in wonder.

"That reminds me, Elaine and Connie have invited us round to their house Friday night for dinner with the girls." Scribbs' tone took on a conspiratorial edge. "Did you know that Jean Wentworth and Siobhan from the CAD room are dating? I'd love to be there when Mike Harris finds out, he's been pining over Jean for years."

"I take it you forgot to mention to Elaine or Connie that we're not actually a couple?"

A shrug was her only answer.

"I'm not pretending that we're a couple when we aren't."

"Elaine is a wonderful cook."

"I won't lie to them." Ash thought for a second. "Is she the one who brought the fancy French pastries to Abecrombie's retirement do?"

Scribbs nodded.

"I won't lie," Ash repeated.

Scribbs looked up and down the alley before clicking free of her seat-belt.

"What are you doing?"

Scribbs' hand made itself comfortable on Ash's thigh. "A little revisionist history."

The kiss Scribbs planted on her surprised partner far exceeded anything the disgraced Sullivan had managed and within seconds Ash had gone from a startled bystander to a more than happy participant. It wasn't until Scribbs' hand had travelled as far as it could physically go that Ash pushed back from the embrace.

"Did you really spread all those rumours?"

A smile quirked at the side of Scribbs' mouth. "Did you really have to kiss Sullivan in front of the entire station?"

Before Ash had time to answer, Scribbs' hand decided to attempt to defy physics and climb even higher. The growl of satisfaction mixed with hunger it produced was soon swallowed up in another kiss, and then another, until neither woman was aware of their surroundings or the CCTV camera pointing towards their car and confirming one rumour after another.

The End

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