DISCLAIMER: Murder in Suburbia and its characters are the property of ITV. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for the Second Annual Ash/Scribbs ficathon.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
When God Gave Out Gaydar
Kate Ashurst took a long drink of vodka, using the time to scan the crowded pub over the rim of her glass. She finally lowered it from her lips when she realised that there was nothing but ice left. She turned to her companion.
"I'm not sure."
Scribbs rolled her eyes.
"Jesus Christ, Ash! How can you not be sure?"
"Scribbs, just because I am, apparently, a," Ash lowered her voice to a stage whisper, "lesbian, does not mean that I should be able to identify other," her voice dropped again, "lesbians, on sight."
Scribbs leaned back against the bar regarding Ash with an amused expression.
"You sound like my granny. For years I thought you had to whisper words like 'lesbian' and 'hysterectomy' and 'alcoholic'. But that's not the point. Clearly your gaydar is not all that sensitive, Ash, which is possibly why you got to thirty-sev-"
"For two more weeks," Scribbs mumbled, "Thirty-six without actually realising that you were attracted to women. If you didn't even notice that you were gay, how are you going to notice that other people are?"
"Why do I need to?" Ash asked, confused.
Scribbs gestured around the room.
"It helps to have an idea when you ask someone out if they're likely to be interested, or likely to slap you across the face," Scribbs said, nudging Ash.
"Well, I must have some of this so-called gaydar, mustn't I?" Ash countered.
"On what evidence are you basing that assumption, Inspector?"
"On the fact that I ended up snogging my subordinate on the dancefloor at Charlie Fowler's leaving do. So I must've picked up on some kind of vibe."
"I prefer 'colleague' to 'subordinate'."
"That's because you're the subordinate."
"Whatever. Anyway, I think that had more to do with excessive amount of alcohol that you'd consumed than your finely tuned gaydar," Scribbs said, a single eyebrow arching. "And the fact that you can't look around this room and say with any certainty that you could identify a single other lesbian kind of backs up my theory."
"It's difficult. I'm not used to thinking that way."
"Ash, we're in a bloody gay bar! There are women holding hands, feeling each other up and snogging all over the sodding place! I'm starting you off easy here!"
Ash placed her empty glass on the bar and turned to face Scribbs.
"I'm a little confused as to why you want me to develop this gaydar thing if it involves identifying potential partners. I would've thought that identifying you would've been enough."
Scribbs looked at Ash and tilted her head to the side, a soft smile playing at her lips.
"Well, when you put it like that I suppose that I'm a bit grateful that you were at the end of the line when God gave out gaydar."
Ash blushed slightly and Scribbs couldn't help but lean in and kiss her, her hand gently holding the back of Ash's neck. Scribbs pulled back and smiled.
"Yeah, on second thought, I've got much better ways to be spending this evening than developing your gaydar."
"I hope at least some of those ways involve going back to yours for a shag."
"I love what alcohol does to your mouth."
"Just you wait and see what I can do with my mouth."
"I'm not butch."
"I never said you were."
"The implication was clear."
"I heard you talking to Gallimore earlier he said something along the lines of 'I bet DI Ashurst keeps you in line' and you said 'Yep, she definitely wears the trousers'."
"So I wear skirts far more often than you do."
"I know that."
"And my hair is longer than yours."
"You made me get mine cut."
"Nevertheless, I have long, flowing feminine locks."
"Have you been getting those romance novels out of the library again?"
"Scribbs! You are avoiding the point."
"Ash, you don't have a point."
"My point is that you are far more butch than I am."
"Not that you're particularly butch, of course."
"Well, I wouldn't have said so "
"Except when you insist on sitting with your legs wide open. Honestly Scribbs, is there any need?"
"That's how I sit! That's how I'm comfortable."
"Anyway. I'm not butch."
"I never said you were."
Ash answered the door and was greeted with a huge grin and a kiss. As always, Scribbs' smile found a way to transfer onto her own lips during the embrace and they ended up smiling shyly at each other when they parted. Ash stepped out of the doorway.
"S'pose you'd better come in."
Scribbs held up two carrier bags.
"I come bearing goodies!"
Ash smiled, then frowned, then blushed.
"When you say goodies you don't mean "
Scribbs rolled her eyes.
"Yes, Ash, I popped into Ann Summers on the way over here and stocked up on strap-ons and lubricant."
Ash's mouth dropped open before she plastered on a fake smile, her eyes focussed somewhere over Scribbs' right shoulder.
"Evening Mr & Mrs Rogers. Lovely weather we've been having."
Scribbs turned to see an elderly couple shuffling down the hallway, whispering and occasionally casting curious glances over their shoulders. Ash reached forward and dragged Scribbs into the flat, slamming the door behind her.
"You realise that I'm now going to have to move."
"Don't be daft. They must've known we were at it. The walls here are so thin that I could set my watch by your neighbour's orgasms."
"She's certainly more entertaining than the talking clock," Ash agreed.
Scribbs bustled past Ash into the kitchen where she set down her carrier bags on the counter.
"Tonight, for your viewing pleasure, I picked up a few educational DVDs."
Ash leaned against the doorframe.
"That had better not be a euphemism for pornography."
Scribbs shook her head.
"I think we're early enough in our relationship that I don't need to break out the porn just yet," she said. "No, what I have here is an introduction to lesbian cinema, to help you embrace your new culture."
"Two bags worth of lesbian DVDs?"
"No, that one's full of popcorn and chocolate."
Ash ventured further into the kitchen and wrapped her arms around Scribbs' waist from behind.
"So what've we got then? Considered studies of the turmoil of women coming to terms with their sexuality?"
Scribbs pulled out the DVDs, 'But I'm a cheerleader' was on the top.
"Career women coming across prejudice and homophobia in the workplace?"
Scribbs shuffled to the next DVD in the pile. It was 'D.E.B.S'.
"The awkwardness of dealing with family and friends after the big revelation?"
Scribbs glanced down at 'Eulogy'.
"Sort of "
Ash dropped a kiss on the side of Scribbs' neck.
"That all sounds a bit heavy and depressing how about you just re-enact the good bits for me?"
A grin spread across Scribb's face as she held up one of the titles for Ash to read. Ash raised an eyebrow.
"'Bound'? Sounds interesting."
"Oh, it's definitely interesting," Scribbs said, with a glint in her eye. "So, you got a bed somewhere?"
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