DISCLAIMER: Murder in Suburbia and its characters are the property of ITV. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Fit To Be Tied
By Ann


Ash moved to stand in front of the set of weights, hoping that she wasn't actually going to have to catch the heavy barbell from landing on the larger woman's chest. When she'd been asked to spot, she'd thought she simply had to be on the lookout for something or someone; she'd had no idea that she was actually supposed to catch the rather heavy looking bar should the woman lose her grip.

"Hey, skinny, you sure you can do this?"

Clamping down on her jaw, Ash nodded and widened her stance, placing her hands at the ready. It would serve the woman right if she got squashed by the weight. Ash preferred the term slim.

Across the room, Scribbs moved from apparatus to apparatus, collecting the various towels the guests had left behind. She and her partner had been undercover for three days already and hadn't been able to find one sign of a crime or even an impropriety by anyone. Well, not counting the hundreds of phone numbers that had been exchanged by various members who were obviously not married to each other. If they didn't catch a break by the end of the week, Scribbs was going to ask Sullivan if they could call the whole thing off. Obviously, the department had been misinformed about the number of drug transactions taking place at the spa.

Finally, their shift came to the same end as it had each day, and the two unhappy women headed to the locker area to retrieve their bags.

"Ash, I'm tired of being the towel girl. Do you think we could switch jobs? All you do is walk around and monitor the various machines. I haven't seen you do one constructive thing all week."

"I'll have you know that I spotted a woman today."

"Spotted her doing what?"

"Spotted her on the weights."

"Ash, we're in a spa. Of course, the woman was using weights."

"Scribbs, it's a term for offering assistance to someone lifting weights. The spotter stands to the front of the lifter and keeps the bar from falling on him should it slip out of his hands."

"Then we definitely need to switch. You'd never be able to grab a bar with too much weight on. Ash, remember the time I had to put your suitcase in the boot for you because it was too heavy?"

"I'd been sick. I didn't have my strength back."

"Ash, you only had a broken toe."

"Well, it hurt. I couldn't concentrate on anything else."

Scribbs opened her mouth to ask how come Ash seemed to remember her rules concerning the proper procedure for placing a suitcase into the boot, but the sound of approaching voices caught the two women's attention. Scribbs pointed to a small changing room, and Ash quickly followed. The pair stepped into the cramped space, just managing to pull the fabric curtain closed as the voices drew near.

"You got the stuff?" Ash immediately recognized the voice as belonging to the woman she'd spotted at the barbell area.

"You got the money?" Scribbs leaned closer to pick up the intonation of the respondent. She was almost certain it was the mouthy cow who'd thrown a towel at her earlier.

A rustling was heard, and Ash slid next to her partner, both women jockeying for the best position to peer through the slit in the fabric. The next sound heard was that of the curtain being torn from its hangers as the two detectives fell onto the floor and, before either woman could move, they'd been wrapped tightly in the curtain by the two suspects.

In the sauna, Ash and Scribbs sat back to back. Their hands and mouths were taped with athletic tape, and their torsos and wrists were taped together as well. At least, they now knew who was responsible for the drug dealing as the trainer's tape began to chafe the corner of Scribbs' mouth.

The temperature in the room began to rise, and that same corner slowly began to pull away from her skin and, after using her tongue to push it towards the edge, Scribbs successfully managed to remove the tape from half of her mouth.

"Ash. I've almost got the tape off my mouth!"

Ash's stifled reply was unintelligible.

A little more tongue play, and Scribbs' mouth was tape free. "Ahhh, that feels good. I hate the taste of adhesive."

More muttering came from the still muffled DI, and apparently not happy with her current predicament, Ash began to thrash around, trying to slip out of the tight knots binding her wrists to her partner's.

"Bloody hell! Keep still, Ash; the tape is cutting into my skin."

"Mmmm! Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!"

Scribbs chuckled despite the burning sensation on her hands and wrists. "What's the matter, Ash? Tape got your tongue?"

A particularly hard jerk stopped Scribbs mirth. "Ow, stop that. Just give me a minute, and I'll try to figure out how to get the tape off your mouth."

Ash slumped her shoulders in defeat. Her tape was sticking to her skin like glue; there was no way either one of them would be able to remove it.

"Hey, Ash? Turn your head to the right as far as you can."

The brunette hesitated, but she slowly rotated her head until her cheek was flush against her partner's. The warmth emanating from Scribbs was both refreshing and reassuring, and something else, too; however, Ash chose to ignore than particular tingling sensation, chalking it up instead to the heat in the sauna; however, Scribbs' next move definitely caught Ash's attention.

The blonde had worked her tongue out the corner of her mouth and was using the muscle to try to lift the closest edge of tape from Ash. The brunette shuddered when the wet tongue finally made its way under the tape and onto the edge of her lip, but the enjoyable moment was cut short when Scribbs had to pull away.

"Whew, this is hard work. Your tape is really on tight. I guess you shouldn't have made that remark to that weightlifter person about her having shoulders like an ox. The bit about her arms being as thick as tree trunks probably didn't help either."


"Hey, don't yell at me. I'm just stating a fact. Now, turn your head back this way and let me try again."

Scribbs continued to lick her way across her partner's mouth until she finally managed to get a grip on the tape with her teeth, but then she had to figure out how to pull it in the opposite direction. Eventually, she leaned as far right as she could and yanked her head back to the left. The resulting scream let her know that she'd been successful.

"That bloody hurt, Scribbs! I don't think I've any skin left on my lips."

"Yeah, well, at least the tape's off. Now, we can figure out how to get out of this hothouse. The incredible hulkess and the trainer must be miles from here by now."

Ash slowly ran her tongue over her lips, whimpering when she encountered the raw skin.

"When we catch up to her, I'm crowning her with one of those bloody barbells."

"That's the spirit, Ash."

Silently, the two women sat, working on an escape plan, and Ash was the first to come up with an idea.

"Um, Scribbs? What if we leaned our weight back against each other and tried to stand?"

The DS looked down at her freed feet, running the possibility through her head. If each of them could get push off the other, perhaps they could get their feet up under them.

"Let's try, Ash."

"Um, okay. Should we count or something? Kind of like push backwards, and then count as to when to try to stand. If we don't stand at the same time, we'll topple over."

"Right. Let's count to three then."

The pair began to apply pressure against each other. "Wait, Scribbs! Do we stand on three or after?"


"Do we try to stand when we 'hit' three or after we've said three?"

"On three; that sounds about right."

"Okay, lean back against me." Ash waited until her partner had pushed backwards before returning the pressure. Together, they started to count. "One, two, three!"

On three, both women slid their feet underneath and stood; the pair tottered slightly but managed to stay upright. Temporarily forgetting that they were taped together, Scribbs tried to take a step forward as Ash stumbled behind her.

"Stop, Scribbs!"

"Oops, sorry."

"Yeah, well, you may have unwittingly found a way for us to get to the door. One of us will have to go forwards and the other follow, walking backwards."

"Oh, sort of like dancing then."

"Yes, Scribbs, like dancing, but I'll lead, if you don't mind."

"Do you have experience leading, Ash?" Scribbs asked in a teasing tone, a quiet chuckle following the question.

"Yes, I always led my partner when we practiced dancing in school."

"So, you've danced with other women before have you?"

"Scribbs, I went to an all girls' school. Of course, I've danced with other girls. How else were we to learn how to dance?"

"Seems to me if you led all the time, then you only learned how to dance with other women."

"Well, um, I . . . Let's just get to the door, shall we?"

Scribbs laughed. "Okay, Ash. You can lead."

The pair slowly made their way to the exit; their dance less than smooth. In fact, Scribbs bumped into the back of her partner on more than one occasion.

"Hey, Ash. We're dancing cheek to cheek."

"Just keep your humor to yourself, Scribbs; we're almost there."

A few more bumps to the arse, and the couple finally made it to the door. Both women were sweating profusely from the exertion, not to mention the stifling heat of the sauna.

Ash took a moment to eye the doorknob, trying to figure out how in the world they'd open the door. With their torsos taped tightly together, there was no way they could swing their hands far enough to reach the knob.

"Um, Scribbs? There seems to be a small problem of the doorknob."

"What? There isn't one?"

"No, there's one there alright. It's just that I don't think either one of us can grip it with our hands."

"Let's turn around; let me get a look."

Ash sighed and began to shuffle to her left until she'd turned 180°. Scribbs looked at the handle and smiled. Slipping off her shoe, she lifted her leg upwards, the movement causing the unsuspecting Ash to totter.

"Hey! What are you doing?"

"Hush, Ash. Just brace yourself for a minute."

Scribbs ignored her partner's mutters and placed her toes on the doorknob. Gripping tightly, she turned the knob until it released from the striker. She grinned broadly when the fresh, cool air hit her in the face.

"Got it, Ash! Follow me."

The brunette didn't have time to rebut her partner's suggestion or ask how Scribbs had opened the door; she just blindly followed as she was pulled from the room. An alert spa employee immediately ran towards the two women when she spotted them emerge from the sauna.

Ash and Scribbs sat outside the building, watching the entrance. Their research had uncovered the address of the trainer's sister, and the pair was hoping that she'd taken refuge with her sister.

"You know this is a long shot, right Ash?"

The brunette sighed. "Yes, but we've got to try. I hate thinking that those two outsmarted us."

"Well, they certainly got the drop on us, that's for sure. I wonder how long it'll take for the jokes to die down. Did you see what was on my desk this morning? Two of my dolls, back to back, taped together. At least, it was Xena and Gabrielle. They always got their man."

"Or woman." Ash sighed. "Let's give it another hour, and then we'll call it a night."

Just as the words left the DI's mouth, the doors opened to the building, and two women stepped out. Scribbs could hardly believe what she was seeing.

Ash narrowed her eyes, setting her sights on the trainer and the weightlifter. "Call for backup, Scribbs." The brunette detective reached for the door handle as Scribbs hurriedly made the call, grappling for her own handle to join her partner on the pavement.

The detectives stayed in the shadows as they moved parallel to the unsuspecting couple, but the flashing lights of a police cruiser had the suspects turning and running back in the other direction. Instinctively, Ash and Scribbs sprinted across the street, each angling towards a target as they went airborne to tackle their prey to the ground.

As luck would have it, it was the weightlifter who Ash quickly cuffed. "No one calls me skinny, you muscled-up cow!"

Scribbs laughed aloud as she cuffed her own suspect.

Two hours later, the weary detectives walked out of the station, heading for their car. Ash climbed into the passenger seat and closed her eyes as she lay back against the headrest.

"Well, I'm certainly glad we're finished with that one. Good job Sullivan gave us the day off tomorrow. I think I could sleep until noon."

Scribbs looked over at her partner and smiled. "Me, too." Pulling from the curb, the blonde headed for Ash's flat, silently wishing that they would be sleeping 'til noon in the same bed.

Soon, Scribbs maneuvered the car next to the kerb, and Ash turned towards her partner.

"Would you like to come up for a drink, Scribbs?

"I thought you were knackered."

"Yeah, but not too tired for a drink."

Scribbs hesitated, and Ash opened the car door, stepping onto the pavement.

"C'mon, Scribbs. I'll even throw in a dance, and you can lead this time." Ash closed her door and headed towards the building while Scribbs sat motionless in the seat, watching her partner walk away.

Scrambling for the door handle, Scribbs quickly jumped from the car and hurried after the other woman, wondering if perhaps she could talk Ash into re-enacting the lip licking scene as well; without the tape barrier, of course.

The End

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