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A Day to Remember
The deliveryman walked by the investigator's desk, carrying two armfuls of roses and peering between the prickly thorns to find his way through the maze of corridors. Shaking her head, the brunette DI continued pecking on her keyboard.
"Wow, somebody must've done something extraordinarily special to warrant two dozen roses," Scribbs noted, craning her neck to see if she could discover the recipient of the flowers.
"Four dozen, Scribbs, four dozen. That's the second trip he's made in the past fifteen minutes. I never could understand why anyone would want to receive flowers. They're just going to wither and dry up, more than likely the same way the relationship will after the newness has worn off," Ash offered, pounding her frustration onto the poor innocent keys.
Perching on her partner's desk, Scribbs countered, "I don't know, Ash. I think it's kind of sweet knowing someone's thinking of you on this special day for lovers."
"Well, I think it's all rubbish and actually kind of sad if you think about it. I mean, really, Scribbs. If two people truly love each other, they should be in each other's thoughts daily, and only do something nice and special for each other because they want to, not because they feel obligated to abide by the traditions of an idiotic day."
"So, I take it you're not fond of Valentine's," the blonde astutely observed, adding, "I guess no one's ever given you flowers or chocolates before."
Standing and grabbing her coat, Ash muttered, "Precisely," and turning towards her partner, she said, "C'mon, we need to go question Mr. Hannigan."
Scribbs quickly snatched her jacket off the nearby desk and scrambled to catch up with her partner. With the mood Ash was in, she certainly didn't want to add to the brunette's gloom by keeping her waiting.
The pair arrived at the Hannigan home and walked up the driveway to the door. Raising her hand, Ash gave the knocker two sharp raps and stood back, waiting for an answer.
"Don't you think we should've gone by his office first, Ash? I'd think he'd already be at work by now," Scribbs asked, wrapping her arms around herself to ward off the chill in the air.
"Scribbs, would you go to work if you knew that the boss had found out you'd shagged his wife?" Ash replied, feeling a bit of a chill herself but stubbornly refusing to place her hands in her pockets.
"No, I suppose not. Now, if it was his secretary, I'd think twice," the blonde answered with a grin.
Just as Ash turned to give her partner a glare, the door opened and both detectives regained their focus on the case. Scribbs looked at the empty opening and then looked back at her partner.
"Magic?" She offered in explanation of the unlocked door.
Shrugging, Ash pushed the door open further and called out, "Mr. Hannigan. It's DI Ashurst and DS Scribbins. We'd like a word with you."
When no reply was forthcoming, the two women cautiously stepped into the seemingly empty house. Closing the door behind her, Ash suggested, "Maybe we can wait for a few minutes to see if he shows."
Agreeing, Scribbs took a seat on the couch and made herself at home while Ash stood near the bookcase, admiring their prime suspect's collection. Suddenly, music began to play from the hallway, and both women stared at each other in surprise before turning towards the sound.
As Scribbs stood to get a better view, a young blonde, clad in a very sheer teddy, began a seductive dance toward the two women, but when she realized they were the only ones in the room, she abruptly stopped.
"Hey, where's Pookie? And why are you two here? He didn't say anything about a foursome," the bleached blonde screeched in a high voice, causing Ash to visibly shudder at the sound.
"We're looking for Pookie, too," Scribbs offered, finding the situation quite humorous, much to Ash's dismay.
The dancer plopped down on the couch, whining, "He said he'd be here at noon. I've been waiting two hours to give him his Valentine's surprise."
Ash groaned at the word Valentine's, and Scribbs chuckled and said, "Well, it doesn't look like he's going to show."
Thirty minutes later, the two detectives walked to the car after a very long conversation with Miss Leggy Lavine. Ash climbed in and laid her head back, closing her eyes.
"What octave would you say she spoke in?" The brunette muttered, pinching the bridge of her nose.
"It was rather high pitched, wasn't it? You'd think she'd have caught a cold running around wearing practically nothing," Scribbs replied, pulling away from the curb.
"Ugh, I can't believe she arranged that whole seduction scene for Valentine's," Ash said in disgust, almost choking on the V-word.
Grinning, Scribbs teased, "Well, she certainly got your attention, that's for sure. I'm fairly certain that she was your height, so you really shouldn't have had trouble making eye contact."
"Very funny, Scribbs, just drive please and leave the humor to the professionals," Ash replied, the redness of her cheeks belying her weak attempt to deny the accusation.
Entering the offices of Smythe & Smythe, the two detectives made their way to the receptionist. Every secretary had a vase of some sort of flowers with a prominent card poking out between the petals, and Ash had sneezed twice by the time she'd made it to the desk.
"May I help you?" The redhead greeted in a haughty tone, clearly not happy with the sneezing woman.
Whipping out her warrant card, Scribbs replied, "I'm DS Scribbins, and this is DI Ashurst. We're here to see Mr. Hannigan."
"Well, he's not in. He's away on business," the receptionist explained.
Standing next to a bouquet of daisies, Ash sneezed once again, and Scribbs took her by the arm to move her away from the flowers. Turning back to the redhead, she asked, "When is he expected to return?"
"Thursday," was the short reply, and Scribbs nodded before escorting her sneezing partner from the building.
"So that's why you don't like Valentine's. You're allergic to flowers," the blonde surmised, continuing to lead the brunette to the car.
Pulling free, Ash countered, "Only daisies, but that's not the reason. I just don't believe in instant romanticism."
Scribbs smiled and drove the pair back to the station, grinning widely when she parked next to another florist truck. Ash just shook her head and walked into the building with her head held high as a chuckling Scribbs followed closely behind.
At shift's end, Scribbs stood to stretch her back. The two detectives had been working tirelessly at the computer for most of the afternoon, and the blonde was more than ready for a long soak in the tub.
"Um, Scribbs? Would you like to get a bite to eat before heading home?"
Shrugging, Scribbs replied, "Sure, I don't see why not. We could even ride together if you want. I could pick you up in the morning."
"Yes, I'd like that," Ash answered, standing and putting on her coat and, side by side, the two women walked down the steps of the station.
Driving away, Scribbs asked, "Where would you like to go?"
"The Blue Boar will be fine."
"The Blue Boar? Are you mad, Ash? We'll never get a table on Valentine's Day."
"Oh ye of little faith, Scribbs. Just head over there, will you?"
Sighing, the blonde accelerated down the street on her way to a restaurant she knew they wouldn't have a prayer of getting into.
Ash walked past the line of people towards the maître d'. She spoke softly to the man, and soon, she and her partner were being seated at a private table.
"Wow, I'm impressed, Ash. Did you have to bribe the owner?"
"No, my dear Scribbs, I did not. Now, let's look over the menu, shall we?"
The two women enjoyed a nice meal and very pleasant conversation. Ash purposely avoided discussing work issues and, instead, concentrated on topics which she knew first hand that Scribbs enjoyed.
When the bill arrived, Ash swooped it up, promising Scribbs she could pick up the tab the next time, and the blonde seemed extremely pleased at the possibility there'd be a next time.
Pulling into a parking space in front of Ash's flat, Scribbs switched the engine off and turned to her partner.
"Thanks for the meal, Ash. I can't remember when I've had such a nice time."
Smiling, the brunette asked, "Would you like to come up for a drink?"
Not wanting the pleasant evening to end, Scribbs nodded, and the two climbed from the car.
Bumping hips with her partner, Scribbs said, "You know, if I didn't already know how you felt about Valentine's, I'd say you were trying to romance me, DI Ashurst."
Opening the building door for the blonde, Ash replied, "Well, DS Scribbins, you're partially right in your assessment. I am definitely trying to romance you, but I had no idea when I made those reservations that it was Valentine's Day."
Chuckling, Scribbs stepped through the doors and reached back for her partner's hand. Valentine's or not, it was a day she'd always remember.
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