DISCLAIMER: Murder in Suburbia and its characters are the property of ITV. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Ash said goodbye to the elderly gentleman she'd just interviewed, and hurried off in an attempt to catch up with Scribbs. Who was, at this moment in time, powering along the landing of the block of flats towards the lift. Ash called out for her to slow down, and sighed as she saw her partner disappear around the corner, without reply.
She knew Scribbs wasn't her usual self; lately she'd been jumpy and short tempered. And being called out to Swallow Hill hadn't improved her disposition in the slightest. The neighbourhood in question, was on the outskirts of Middleford, and had once been a very respectable area. But now it was rapidly approaching skid row status. In the past couple of months they felt as if they'd spent at least a third of their time there over one thing or another.
"If we've got to come up here once more because of those bloody kids " Scribbs left the threat hanging.
Ash glanced at her partner; she was scribbling away in her notebook, a scowl firmly fixed on her face. She hadn't managed to find out what was up with Scribbs so far, but she fully intended to before the day was out.
"It's a pity they abolished hanging," Ash said, desperately trying not to smile, as she pressed the button for the ground floor and the doors closed.
"Exactly," Scribbs agreed. "If there's one thing I can't stand, its marauding teenagers."
Ash nodded her agreement. "I feel so sorry for him, an old man living on his own, being tormented by gangs of kids at night. No wonder he's frightened."
"You're starting to sound like me, it's creepy," Scribbs replied as she tucked her notebook away.
"It would appear we've switched personalities. This must be what it feels like when the universe is turned on its arse," Ash said, and waited for a smile from Scribbs but none came.
The lift didn't seem to be moving and Scribbs stepped forward to press the button for the ground floor again. She waited several seconds and her eyebrows rose dangerously as she pressed buttons with renewed vigour.
"It's not working. The doors won't even open," Scribbs huffed and jabbed at more buttons. "Oh the poxy bloody council!"
"You're not claustrophobic are you?" Ash asked, desperately hoping she wasn't.
"No," she snapped, "but I've got an aversion to standing in a metal box, that smells like piss, suspended sixty feet in the air!"
Ash turned and laid a hand on Scribbs' shoulder, and looked into her eyes. There was something there, something Ash couldn't quite identify, and then it was gone as quick as it had come. Her heart somersaulted, being close to Scribbs always had the same effect on her but this time it felt like more than that.
"Well seeing as it would appear that we're stuck here, are you going to tell me why you're in such a foul mood?" Ash folded her arms and shot a patient 'I'm listening' look in her direction.
Scribbs rubbed her forehead and sighed. "That time of the month. I'm always cranky, you know that."
"In that case I suggest you ring the doctor because you've been using that excuse every week for the past three months," Ash waited, and this time there was a small smile in response.
Scribbs leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes; she knew she'd been a pain to work with lately. She was normally the chirpy one, but of late she'd taken to walking around with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp. Ash's reserves of patience seemed to be never-ending, but Scribbs wasn't sure how much longer she could avoid the real issue of what was bothering her.
Scribbs tried to deflect the issue. "I didn't press the emergency button."
"Yes you did, twice," Ash replied. "Stop changing the subject."
"See the thing is Ash, and it's hard saying this but I'm lonely," she changed her mind at the last minute and decided that might be the way to go instead of telling Ash the full story.
"Lonely as in, 'I need a good shag' lonely, or lonely in the proper sense?"
Scribbs ears tinged pink. "Possibly quite a lot of the needing a shag part, but mostly lonely as in I'm fed up climbing into an empty bed at night; and having nobody to bitch to the next morning when I've got to get up for work."
"It's because it's Friday. I've always said Fridays were a bit of a bastard," Ash nodded sympathetically, whilst scrunching her nose up.
"It's more than that Ash," Scribbs sighed, realising she probably should just tell the truth, and get it over with.
"Just spit it out Scribbs, you're starting to worry me now," Ash waited, there was no reply so she carried on. "Whatever it is, you can tell me."
"I think, well I'm sure. I'm you know, gay," she replied, barely loud enough for Ash to hear it.
"Well, if you can say you're gay when you're looking that miserable, then I must be bloody ecstatic," Ash quipped.
"No, I didn't mean gay as in I'm really happy you dipstick," she looked up to see Ash grinning at her and she tutted. "You pick your times to crack a joke don't you?"
"It eased the tension didn't it?" she replied still smiling. "Are you sure you're gay?"
"Absolutely certain, no doubt about it," she nodded.
"That's good enough for me then," she gave her a pat on the arm.
"Doesn't it bother you though?" Scribbs became interested in the floor, not wanting to give Ash her eyes.
"It doesn't bother me at all, it won't change the way I feel about you as a person. Gay or straight, we all want to be loved, and why should it matter which gender we fall for? You're a great girl Scribbs and anyone would be lucky to have you."
"Thank you, that means a lot to me," she replied, a small tear escaping the corner of her eye.
She quickly wiped the evidence away before Ash could see, but she was too late, Ash had already spotted it.
Ash placed an arm around her shoulder and held her close. "Hey come on, don't cry or your eyes will be puffy, and you won't want that if it's a gorgeous female firefighter that rescues you."
"Bloody hell, I've only just told you I'm gay, and you've got me dating already," Scribbs giggled and cried at the same time. "Thanks Ash, you've been really great about this. I wasn't sure what to expect but you've been fantastic," she held up a hand when Ash went to protest. "No really, you've been so sweet to me."
"That's what friends are for," Ash wondered if now was the time to make a confession of her own, she'd just been granted a golden opportunity she never thought she'd get and decided to test the waters a bit first. "Scribbs?"
"Do you think I'm attractive?" Ash asked casually.
"Definitely do. You could park your shoes under my bed any time," Scribbs went a fiery red color. "Shit, did I say that out loud?"
Ash turned to her, a huge grin spread across her face. "You fancy me don't you Scribbs?"
"I do not!" Scribbs wondered how many more times she could blush before she would spontaneously combust.
"You do, you fancy me," Ash bumped shoulders with her. "Go on admit it."
Scribbs rolled her eyes. "Alright, yes I do fancy you. I have done for ages."
"I have wondered at times," Ash tried to conceal the fact she was ready to do a lap of honour around the estate. She hadn't quite foreseen things turning out this way, and it was a big bonus.
"How did you wonder?"
"Like last week, when I had the car keys in my pocket, and an armful of files. You took your time pulling them out I have to say," Ash grinned at the memory.
"It was a tight pocket," Scribbs grinned mischievously.
"And what about the time, when you lost your sunglasses under the passenger seat? You had your face in my lap for a full five minutes while "
"I get the picture!" Scribbs was going red yet again.
"So what do you intend to do about it?"
"Do about what?" Scribbs looked confused.
"About fancying me?"
"Oh for god sake Scribbs," Ash rolled her eyes and advanced on her, pushing her against the wall.
The last thing Scribbs remembered before the world was turned upside down; was the sleepy lusty look in Ash's eyes as their heads moved together as if in slow motion. Ash opened her mouth and caught Scribbs bottom lip between hers, gently tracing her tongue along the edge before moving closer and kissing her deeply.
Her hands found their way to the back of Scribbs' neck, pulling her in closer and tracing her fingertips across the skin; as she felt her hair cascading down when the clip was deftly removed. Butterflies danced in her stomach as Scribbs wound her fingers through the dark lustrous locks, and pressed their bodies closer together.
Scribbs felt as if her legs would buckle when Ash's hand, quietly traced a path across her hip and under her shirt as she stroked the soft skin of her stomach. Scribbs reversed their positions, pushed her up against the wall and let her hands do a little wandering of their own, making Ash gasp and smile into the kiss. Moments later, both could see stars in front of their eyes and pulled back to get some much needed air.
"Wow, what was that?" Scribbs inhaled deeply, as she tried to get her breath back.
"Hmm about three years worth of sexual frustration on my part I think," Ash replied with a shy smile.
Scribbs began to sing, "Love in an elevator "
Ash rolled her eyes. "Don't expect me to do as the next bit of the song suggests though."
"The bit about going down? I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about, so you might have to show me," Scribbs grinned wickedly.
"Emma Scribbins! I should speak to your mother, you little beast," Ash raised an eyebrow as she joked.
"I got a feeling you could teach me a lesson just fine on your own," Scribbs grinned seductively at Ash as she closed in for another kiss.
Some time later, when they'd pulled apart, there was still no sign of the emergency services. Up until now, neither of them had thought about it but both had to admit it was pretty nice being trapped together. To while away the time until they were rescued, they sat side by side holding hands, and grinning stupidly at one another.
"Who'd have thought, that the prim and proper DI Ashurst would resort to snogging the face off a female colleague, in a lift? You learn something new every day," Scribbs beamed.
"If you will go around telling me you're gay, what do you expect?" Ash grinned back.
"I had no idea you swung that way, although I suppose it makes sense now," Scribbs grinned. "Someone not a million miles away from me, was so understanding about me coming crashing out of the closet, because that certain someone was having similar thoughts."
"I fully admit it," Ash wrapped her arm around the shorter woman's shoulders. "Although you know I'd never take advantage, I've got rules about it. I respect you too much to do that."
Scribbs rolled her eyes, Ash and her bloody rules. "Can you actually see me complaining? Stop worrying woman."
"What do you say; shall we get out of here?" Ash desperately wanted to get Scribbs on her own again, in more comfortable surroundings.
"Well here's the thing. You may not have noticed, but we're trapped in a lift," Scribbs chuckled.
"I could quite easily go off you when you're being sarcastic," Ash stuck her tongue out at her playfully and stood up.
"I'm not that lucky," she joked and looked at her watch. "Tell you what though; they're taking a bloody long time about getting us out of here."
Ash looked at her guiltily. "Ah well, I think I can sort of help there."
Scribbs stood back and watched, as Ash walked towards the doors, and opened the loose control panel a little. Her hand slid inside, and almost instantaneously, the lift began to move.
"What did you just do?" Scribbs narrowed her eyes, as Ash gave her an overly cheery smile.
"I flipped the main power switch back on."
"And why didn't you do that almost an hour ago when the bloody thing ground to a halt?"
Ash replied, "Well, it's sort of my fault it stopped. I flipped the switch off, when you were writing in your notepad."
"You did what?!"
"Well, you were moping around with a face like a wet weekend. You wouldn't tell me what was wrong, and I had to get you to talk somehow," Ash watched as Scribbs' facial expression turned from confusion to recognition.
"You've had me stood in this bloody thing, for nearly an hour, to get me to confess that I fancied you? A simple 'oi Scribbs fancy a shag' would have sufficed; you know I'm not posh."
"Be fair, I didn't know you fancied me. I just thought you were being a miserable git. Cornering you in here paid off though, in more ways than one though didn't it?" Ash said, looking pleased with herself.
"I never knew you had it in you. That was very, very devious," Scribbs shook her head in surprise and grinned, "and I'm strangely turned on by it."
"You're going to have to stay turned on by it a bit longer. I never sleep with anyone on a first date," Ash said as the lift doors opened, and they both stepped out into the fresh air.
"I have no problem with that," Scribbs replied, "but you can repay me in other ways for forgiving you."
Ash looked askance at her as they walked. "Excuse me? I owe you? I did you a big favour by trapping you in that lift," she joked.
"And I've done you a big favour by forgiving you. I could for instance, refuse to take you out to dinner tonight. I could refuse to kiss you again. Or even refuse to let you stay over at my place, when you've decided not to stick to your rules about sex on a first date after all."
"You wouldn't dare," Ash grinned at her, confident that she wouldn't.
"Try me," Scribbs winked at her, as they neared the car.
"Oh I intend to, more than once," Ash replied huskily, causing Scribbs to hurry along after her.
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