DISCLAIMER: Murder in Suburbia and its characters are the property of ITV. No infringement intended.
SERIES/SEQUEL: First story in the 'Dealing with Dad' series.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Ann for the beta.

Gone Fishing
By ralst


Scribbs stared at the end of the pole, willing it to jiggle and release her from the boredom that was fishing. She had agreed to the trip merely as an excuse to spend some quality time with her girlfriend, but that was before she'd realised 'fishing trip' wasn't a euphemism for sexy-time between the sheets. Now, all she wanted was to escape.

"Ash," she whined, pitching her voice low enough to avoid being overheard, "Can we leave yet?"

With a quick glance to her left, Ash confirmed that her father, the instigator of their little trip, hadn't overheard, before replying, "No," in a voice that brooked no argument.

Scribbs pouted. "Please?"

Ash squared her shoulders and tried her damnedest to pretend she wasn't just as miserable as her girlfriend. She had thought, in a sudden and unaccustomed bout of optimism, that all it would take to bridge the gap between her father, and his conservative values, and her not-even-close-to-being-a-man lover was a little mindless bonding. Obviously, she'd been mistaken.

"Katherine," said her father, "if your friend wants to leave, I can drive you back in our car."

Scribbs had jumped at the sound of his voice, having grown accustomed to his stony silence and brooding distaste, but she wasn't about to lose this most recent skirmish in the war that raged between them. "That's okay, Mr. Ashurst, I'll hang around until Kate's ready to leave." She smiled at Ash. "I'm sure she'll make it up to me when we get home."

Mr. Ashurst grunted. "Your mother wanted me to ask you to Sunday lunch," he said, his hands tightening painfully around the fishing rod, "but I don't suppose you'll be able to make it."

It was like being in the middle of a tug of war, Ash thought, only there was no helpful referee to blow his whistle and call an end to the battle. "Scribbs and I have plans." After five hours sitting on the side of a riverbank, freezing her tits off, she owed Scribbs big time. "Sorry."

Scribbs smiled in victory, but before she could pour salt into her opponent's wounds, the pole began to bob and dance in her hands. "Ash? What's it doing?" She stood, ready to haul in a Great White or run for the nearest Coast Guard. "Ash?"

Ash was aware of her father's irritation, but she refused to let it sour her pleasure at seeing Scribbs so well and truly flummoxed. The last time she'd seen that particular mix of excitement, fear and confusion on Scribbs' face, she'd just cornered her in the ladies' room and kissed her senseless. "It's a fish, Scribbs," she said mildly, sliding into position behind her partner and gently coaxing the line until she was sure of their quarry's surrender. "Slowly, you need to reel him in," she coached.

Scribbs hesitated. Fishing, as an office appropriate euphemism, was one thing, but actually impaling some poor defenceless bit of cod was another. "Can't we just let him go?"

"Pfft!" Mr. Ashurst looked ready to tear the pole out of Scribbs' hand and reel the fish in himself, but one glance from Ash was enough to still his hand. "It's just a damn fish," he mumbled, the rest of his words lost to the breeze.

Ash sighed and admitted defeat, resigned to forever be caught between the people she loved most. "Yes, Scribbs, we can let him go." Taking the net, she scooped up the fish from the water's edge, and gently removing the hook, released him back into river. "Come on," she said, taking Scribbs' hand, "let's go home."

The End

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