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Dead and Not Lovin' It
"Do you think we'll end up patrolling the underworld together?"
Ash looked up from her position - approximately two feet above the wet concrete on which lay her mangled body - to scowl at her partner. "I am going to Heaven," she sniffed, or at least would have sniffed if her ability to sniff hadn't been snuffed out along with all of her other bodily functions.
There was a second's pause, "I reckon Heaven's dull."
"Well, I'm sure you won't have to worry about that." Ash would have turned her back and walked out on her former - in the alive sense - partner if she'd known how to work her disembodied spirit. As it was she was forced to hover, or whatever the technical term might have been, above her mangled remains which, due to a certain somebody's inability to drive within the speed limit, were tangled up with Scribbs' slowly cooling corpse. "You did just murder me, after all."
Scribbs peered down at her corpse in morbid fascination, her worries about the afterlife subsumed beneath more pressing concerns, "Why didn't you ever tell me my hair looked like shit?"
The urge to strangle her partner nearly overwhelmed Ash, but the whole disembodied thing was a real obstacle, so instead she settled for addressing her in the most scathing tone she could managed. "You're dead, you moron, what does it matter?"
"I like to look my best, is that a crime?"
"No." Flashing lights cut through the air and provided Ash with a nice counterpoint to her next comment, "But driving eighty-five in a forty mile an hour zone, is!"
Paramedics rushed to the scene but one look at the bodies was enough to tell them that it was a lost cause. There would be no last minute wrenching from the jaws of death, because death had already been and picked the souls right out of the two unlucky sods.
"I'm hungry." Scribbs sounded amazed. "I thought not having a body would have done away with that."
Ash would have thought the same but she wasn't about to let her ignorance of such matters show. "It's probably a body memory, rather than an actual feeling," she surmised. If so, she hoped it didn't last, because she'd been dying for a wee ever since she died. "Just ignore it, Scribbs."
A police car arrived on scene and even before it had come to a complete stop a tall figure emerged from the back seat and ran toward the wreckage.
"Boss?" Ash and Scribbs' essences shared a worried look, or what would have been a worried look if they'd had eyes and facial muscles with which to form such a look. "He looks dreadful," said Scribbs.
They both watched as he stood by the car, his face pale with grief, and simply stared at the mess that had been their bodies.
"Oh, Boss," Ash lamented. "We're sorry."
"Yeah," Scribbs echoed, his grief bringing home the full impact of their deaths. "Do you think he'll be the one who tells our families?"
"I would think so," said Ash.
"I'm glad." Scribbs knew she couldn't protect her family from the truth of what had happened, but she was somewhat comforted to know that Sullivan would be there for them. "He's a good man."
"I'm sorry that you and he... That you never got a chance with him."
Ash watched as Sullivan knelt by the side of the road, his breathing rapid as he tried to control the tears that were threatening to break. She loved him, she realised, but not in the way Scribbs probably assumed. "He and I would never have worked." Not in the way she'd always loved her infuriating partner. "You'd have always been in the way."
"Me?" Thoughts of grief and comfort and family vanished from Scribbs' mind to be replaced with petty indignation. "I like that, even dead you're accusing me of trying to steal your fella. I'll have you know that I wasn't the slightest bit interested in the Boss. I mean he's great and all, but he just isn't my type, and if you think -"
"I didn't mean it that way, you idiot." If she'd died alone, Ash thought, she'd probably be in Heaven by now practising for her place in the choir. "I meant that my feelings for you would have always got in the way."
"Oh." Scribbs was now more confused than before. "What feelings?"
At that moment Ash was quite grateful to be lacking a body, because there was no way she could have said what she was about to say without her cheeks flaming a vibrant red. "I'm in love with you," she said in a rush. "It's stupid, I know, but even normally sane people do stupid things sometimes, and falling in love with you was my one big stupid thing."
There was a pause of such length that Ash began to suspect that Scribbs had already ascended or descended to her final resting place. "And you call me stupid," Scribbs said at last.
"You mean you really didn't know that I was head over heels in love with you?" She sounded incredulous. "I mean, even the night cleaners knew how I felt, and they only knew me through the rubbish I left in the bins." One had left a sweet little note last Valentine's Day, commiserating her on Ash's decision to go to the station's annual gathering with the plonker from Serious Crimes. "You call yourself a detective," she scoffed.
"I'm a very good detective!" Not so good, it turned out, to notice that her body had been removed from the scene and that she was now hovering over dirty scrap metal. "If you'd have been in love with me, I would have noticed."
"Well, I was and you didn't." This was definitely not the scenario Scribbs had envisioned when she contemplated expressing her love, but needs must when you're disembodied and waiting for the fast-train to Hell. "I love you! Okay?"
"Okay." It was all rather academic now, Ash realised, but that didn't mean it shouldn't be said. "I love you, too."
They both fell silent.
"Ash, if they offer use reincarnation, do you think we could come back as bunnies?"
"Yeah, really horny, lesbian bunnies."
There was a slight pause before Ash said, "I'll see what I can do."
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