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Late Night Surveillance
Hunkered down in the driver's seat of their surveillance vehicle, Scribbs let forth another in a long line of sighs. They had been sitting there for hours, simply staring at the dark house, the heat slowly seeping from their bodies. Four days spent watching the same empty building and nothing to occupy her mind but counting bricks.
"I'm bored," Scribbs complained.
Ash's eyelids fluttered and with some effort she roused herself into a semi-alert state. "Read the newspaper," she instructed, her yawn muffling the words and sapping the last vestiges of superiority from her tone.
"It's too dark." Night had descended several hours before and switching on the overhead light wasn't an option. "Any other bright ideas?"
The light from the glove compartment sparked into life and Ash rattled around amidst the debris of too many hours spent staring at brickwork before extracting a small thermos. Shutting off the light she unscrewed the thermos' top and carefully poured the contents into a plastic cup.
"Try this." She pushed the cup in Scribbs' direction. "It should warm you up."
Scribbs sniffed at the contents, her nose wrinkling at the overly sweet smell. "What is this?"
Although she'd heard the name Scribbs had never tried the drink and if the smell was anything to go by she didn't see that changing any time soon. "I'm not thirsty."
Ash retrieved the cup and took a modest sip. "It's my brother's recipe," she explained, "and not that bad, once you get over the sugar rush."
Scribbs' look was dubious to say the least.
"The brandy means it has a bit of a kick but -"
Holding out her hand Scribbs motioned for the cup, her first swallow met with a widening of the eyes and impulse to gag.
"- he made a special non-alcoholic version for me," Ash finished, gently patting Scribbs on the back as her coughing fit grew worse. "Are you okay?"
"This is non-alcoholic?" Scribbs spluttered.
"Scribbs, what are my rules about drinking while on duty?"
Scribbs rolled her eyes and proceeded to ignore the inevitable list or do's and don'ts. It wasn't as if she routinely got pissed at crime scenes - okay, there was that one time with the vicar and the fortified wine, but that was all - and she only ever drank on undercover operations if it was strictly necessary.
"Are you listening to me?"
"I'm still bored," Scribbs complained, neatly avoiding the question and twenty minute lecture her inattention would generate. "How about a game of something?"
Ash took a further sip of the eggnog, her brows scrunched together as she tried to fathom what kind of game they could play locked inside a police issue Vauxhall in the pitch black. "What sort of game?"
With a shrug Scribbs leaned over and started riffling through the glove compartment. The sudden movement had caught Ash off-guard and the way Scribbs was practically laying across her lap left her feeling somewhat perturbed.
"What are you doing?"
"Looking for a pack of cards." Scribbs abandoned her search and slammed the glove box closed. "I could have sworn Jameson left a pack in there after the last poker night."
"Poker night?" With a shake of the head Ash nullified her own question. "Besides, it's too dark to play cards."
"We could turn on the overhead light?" Scribbs suggested.
"Or better yet," Ash said, "we could take out a full page advert in the Chronicle announcing to the world and its mother that we're on a stakeout."
"All right, no need to get shirty."
Outside a light sheen of rain began to tap against the windows and the distant street lights faded further into the background. The last vestiges of life drained from the world around the car and left its occupants trapped in a sea of nothingness.
"Still bored," Scribbs announced.
Ash's fingers tightened on the plastic cup as she imagined her hands circling Scribbs' throat and strangling the life out of... "I spy with my little -"
"It's too dark for that."
Scribbs' interruption was met with a scowl and the sound of a plastic cup splitting its sides and delivering the last of its contents to the floor.
"Truth or dare?" Ash asked, her mind preoccupied with her attempts to mop up the spilt eggnog.
With a smile that was more a leer, Scribbs sat up and began paying closer attention to her companion. "Truth."
Head bowed and fingers furiously working on the stain that was spreading across the car's interior, Ash failed to notice Scribbs' interest or put much thought into her question. "Have you ever broken the law?"
"Yes. Truth or dare?"
Ash discarded the tissue. "You can't just say 'yes' you need to expand on your answers."
Scribbs held up her hand and began counting off on her fingers. "Speeding, naturally, underage drinking, underage sex, pot, graffiti, slashing the tyres on Dave Walson's Jag and assaulting a police officer."
Ash tried not to look shocked.
"Okay, truth or dare?"
"Ever shagged someone in a car?"
Ash's sigh put Scribbs' efforts to shame. "I should have known you'd go straight to the sex questions." She paused to think how best to answer without giving too much away. "Once, when I was younger."
"It's not your turn," Ash said primly. "Truth or dare?"
"Hold on, that wasn't a question, it was a request for you to 'expand on your answer' which was your rule, not mine."
"Fine. Alan something. He gave me a lift back from a friend's twenty-first birthday party and somehow we ended up in the back seat of his mini-metro." Ash's voice lowered to a conspiratorial level. "It was like having sex in a sardine can."
Scribbs' instinctively glanced back at their rear seats and noticed how much more roomy they would be compared to a metro. "Truth."
"Did you sleep with Jackson in Traffic?"
"No. T or D?"
"Do you really fancy Sullivan?"
Ash opened her mouth to reply and then quickly shut it again. It wasn't that she didn't want to answer the question, it was that she wasn't sure what the answer would be. "I don't know."
Scribbs waited for more but when nothing else was forthcoming she decided to take advantage of the penalty clause. "Inability to answer the question means you have to take a dare," she recited.
"Since always." Scribbs knew she didn't have long to issue a dare before Ash started to protest the bogus nature of that particular rule. The only problem was that dares, inside a locked car, where severely limited. Unless, of course, she asked for the one thing she really wanted. "I dare you to..." She couldn't. "Kiss me." But she did.
Despite the thumping of her heart Scribbs was pretty sure she hadn't stuttered. "I dare you to kiss me."
"Scribbs I don't think that is an appropriate request given the circumstances."
"Why? It's not as if I asked for a shag."
Ash made a show of tidying her already tidy hair and otherwise ignoring her companion.
Scribbs refused to sigh but she wasn't so sure she'd be able to hold back the string of curses that were fighting to be let loose. After three years of working side by side and suffering through the ever increasing sexual tension she'd gone and blown her one good chance. She began drumming her fingers against the steering wheel and counting down the minutes until their relief turned up.
The drumming sound was driving Ash mad, so she did the only thing she could think of to shut it up. Turning she took Scribbs by the collar of her jacket and brought their lips together in a brief and somewhat painful kiss.
"Ow!" Scribbs gently dabbed at her bottom lip. "Was that an assault or a kiss?"
Ash ignored her. "Truth or dare?"
The rain was coming down harder and no matter how tempting it was, Ash couldn't quite bring herself to force Scribbs from the car and risk exposing their surveillance. Which didn't leave a lot of options. "I dare you to... drink a cup full of eggnog." It was extremely lame but, aside from a repeat of Scribbs' dare, it was the only thing she could think of.
"You broke the cup."
"I have a spare." Ash retrieved the item in question and quickly filled it to the brim with eggnog. "Cheers."
Squeezing her eyes shut and using her left hand to pinch her nostrils closed, Scribbs managed to gulp down the contents of the cup without gagging. "That's truly disgusting." She quickly popped a couple of tic-tacs in her mouth before continuing with the game. "Truth or dare?"
Ash had learned her lesson. "Truth."
"Have you ever slept with a woman?"
But new lessons appeared to be waiting for her around every corner. "Yes. You."
"Me?" There wasn't enough alcohol on the planet to make Scribbs forget something like that. "When?"
"Last month, at the retirement home."
"That doesn't count," Scribbs scoffed.
"We slept, didn't we?" Ash didn't wait for an answer. "Truth or dare?"
Scribbs glared at her. "Truth."
"Did you really not sleep with the journalist?"
It took a moment for Scribbs to realise what journalist Ash meant but a quick smile lit up her face as she remembered her friend's pique of jealousy as she'd talked with Chris during the Anderson case. "Nope. And I didn't have sex with him either." She smiled. "Dare or truth?"
It didn't take a mystic to realise what Scribbs' next question would be, so Ash settled on the seemingly lesser of the two evils. "Dare."
"I dare you to let me kiss you."
Ash fought against a smile. "I'm beginning to detect a trend."
Scribbs didn't bother to deny it. "So?"
It was patently obvious to Ash that she should refuse the dare and put an end to the silly game before they did something they would regret. Surveillance operations were meant to be taken seriously, not used as an excuse to make out with your colleagues. Not that it had stopped Sullivan from trying it on, a fact that she could use to her advantage if word of this little escapade ever got back to the station, but she was Scribbs' superior officer and she was meant to be setting an example.
But then Scribbs hardly ever took notice of her instructions anyway. "I'm ready when you are."
Scribbs' version of a kiss was neither hurried or painful and, Ash readily admitted, it was a hell of a lot more fun than any of her previous vehicular flirtations. Scribbs' ability to unbutton her shirt and unhook her bra without once breaking the kiss was also something of a triumph in comparison to her previous dates. Not that it was a date. But if it were Scribbs would have definitely earned extra points for the way she managed to get them into the back seat and semi-nude without breaking lip contact.
Hours later, as the sun began to rise, their replacements finally arrived and, oblivious to their dishevelled state, grumpily released them from the boredom that was a late night surveillance.
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