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Knickers on the Chandelier
By Jenn


I've never been what you'd call, well, organized. Combined with my (self-admitted of course) procrastination... and well, I'd found myself in a rather sticky predicament. Had I been asked a year ago if I'd be packing to move with my partner into a new duplex, I would've laughed and called the questioner completely batty. However, here I was, standing in chaos trying to pack for just such an event.

My flat looked like something from one of our more confusing domestic scenes. The lounge had books and films everywhere, boxes end over end and random items spilling out from around the corners. The only area that still had a discernable function was the loo, and that was only due to nature's demands after the first pot of coffee. I wasn't quite sure where one pile began and next ended now, and the plan that had seemed foolproof last night as I dumped the contents of my wardrobe on the floor was now twisting and mocking me in my own head.

Worse than that, were the voices that I could hear.

"No, I'm certain." Ash. I couldn't help the smile that came to my face. The smile is a constant now when I hear or see her unexpectedly. Of course, I'll never let her see because I'm certain that puppy-love smiles would fall somewhere outside of her rules on decorum or some other nonsense. Now to figure out who else was about to walk in.

"Certain enough to wager the drinks for the event next week?" Oh, bloody hell. She must have run into Jess at the coffee shop.

"Absolutely." Accepting the bill for our weekly gathering at the local café? She must be confident in whatever statement she had made. 'Never wager if you aren't at least 95% certain that you'll win Scribbs.' Rule something or other on friendly bets with friends.

Looking around wildly, I tried to figure out if there was anything I could do to help the disaster zone I was standing in. Just as I was thinking to blame a wandering band of escaped zoo animals, 'Really Kate darling, the monkeys, they just came in the window', my gaze was caught by a fluttering bit of color.

My blue lace knicker set. Hanging from the chandelier in my front entry. Could the powers above laugh any harder today? I'm sure that if there had been a camera nearby, I'd be winning a good chunk of cash on one of those homemade film shows. Diving over and around piles, I teetered precariously on top of one of the few packed boxes just as I heard the key turn in my door.

"Uh, hello Ash…"

"She's awake! And packing… or… uh, trying to pack?" Jess' head poked around the frame and she looked confusedly around at the mess formally known as my flat. "You're buying drinks next week!"

"Scribbs. I'm sure there is a logical reason why you've perched yourself on a box, and are waving your personal items around like a flag." Ash gave me the look that she occasionally gives our suspects when she's decided they'd be better off at the local loony bin.

Quite a few thoughts popped through my head. Thankfully, I still had enough brainpower to realize that my girlfriend had just lost a bet, and that my witty commentary probably would not be considered useful.

"Packing my wardrobe. Or I was packing my wardrobe, but then I realized it would probably be silly to fold all the clothing into boxes when it's much easier to stuff it in bags. So I started on my books and films, but then got distracted by the kitchen when I made the first pot of coffee. Which was great, but then I had to figure out how to get to the toilet, so I started in there. Then I realized it was starting to get light out, so I made a second pot of coffee and started back in the kitchen. But I forgot where I put the paperwork for my landlord, and so I started looking for that…"

Both Ash and Jess were looking at me with faces that appeared blank. I narrowed my eyes. Ash had a suspicious twinkle in her eye, and Jess' ears seemed to be going pink at an alarming rate.

"Are you two tarts laughing at me on the inside?" That seemed to be the final straw. Both of them practically fell into my living room laughing.

"Scribbs, you're standing on a box, with a bra on your head, bubbling on like a fountain. Love, we're not laughing at you, we're, well…" Ash desperately tried to pull herself together.

"We're laughing at you out loud now! This is better than the times that I watched you try to learn salsa to impress Ash." Jess cheerful added in.

I desperately wanted to come up with something to put both of them in their places, but even I had to admit that this would be a memory that would haunt me forever. More off, if the shoes had been reversed, I'd be doing the same to Jess. Never Ash of course, since she would never find herself in this situation. Of course, that didn't stop me from taking a small bit of revenge.

"Lovey-poo, you didn't give me my good morning kiss yet!" I hopped from the box and lunged to pounce on her. It'd been one of the wonderful things that I'd learned when we'd finally started dating instead of lusting unrequitedly at each other. I was quite certain that none of our coworkers would believe that the stiff upper lipped DI Ashurst was A) Ticklish and B) enjoyed a good friendly wrestling snog-fest more than any other person I'd ever dated.

"No public displays of affection!" Ah, there was my rule-abiding girlfriend. Who was currently standing on my couch fending me off with what appeared to be my old pyjama pants. Jess had found a safe corner to collapse in and was quietly dying of laughter at our antics.

When order had finally been restored, and Ash's hair had miraculously returned to the pristine bun, a new plan began to play out. Standing in front of Jess and I, Ash began to list off her new schedule for our day.

"The lorry will be here in 6 hours to start getting loaded. Jess, you'll start by ringing a few of the gang to see if they'd be willing to help out earlier and then keep going on the books and films. I'll continue packing the kitchen, and Scribbs, you'll need to start folding and boxing all this clothing." With her hands on her hips, Ash meant all business. Her rules and take-charge attitude might rub me the wrong way when I'm feeling puckish, but most of the time, I found it downright adorable.

"Yes Ma'am!" Well, I couldn't make it easy now could I?

As we all scattered to do our individual tasks, I couldn't help but reflect on the changes that had come, and would still be coming. I might've been kidding when I'd asked Ash for a good morning kiss earlier, but I still wanted to say a proper hello to her. Crossing into the kitchen, I hugged her from behind and snuggled into her.

"I wanted to surprise you with being all done. It just, went batty at some point. I do love you, and I'd be hopeless without your help you know." Ash turned around and gave me a soft kiss.

"I know love, and I have to say, I don't think I've seen you look quite as adorable as you did perched on that box. I keep thinking that it will be very nice to wake up and be able to see you first off instead of trying to be polite in front of Sullivan." Ash sighed happily as I leaned into her embrace.

"As long as I don't sleep diagonally or breathe heavily yeah?" That earned me a soft swat and a shove back towards the pile of clothes. "Oh, and Ash? You left your CD's on the counter yesterday; I put them over the sink with the stereo."

I found myself happily sorting clothing to the sound of my girlfriend humming quietly along to an acoustic CD from the kitchen, and Jess laughing quietly as she rung our friends and relayed the story from this morning. Peace had been restored, plans had been made, and things would work out as usual.

I heard Ash shift a few boxes around, and suddenly a forgotten moment from early this morning popped into my mind.

"...Scribbs, love, are these dirty socks packed in around your grandmum's china?"

The End

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