DISCLAIMER: Murder in Suburbia and its characters are the property of ITV. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: After a discussion about tank tops, it was brought to my attention that the British refer to them as vests, so seeing as how this is for a special Brit and the characters are also British, vests it is. My eternal thanks to the amazing mrswoman for the beta, but especially for helping to make this one a proper British fic. For ralst as a payback fic for something that's since become moot, but ralst doesn't seem to remember that particular aspect of her request. So, here you go, Rachel, Scribbs in overalls.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The miniature brunette doll was molded into a sitting position by a pair of very capable hands, hands which had had plenty of practice manipulating the doll and its counterparts into whatever position was necessary in order to re-enact the latest crime scene. Today, however, the doll served a different purpose. It provided its owner with a way to pass the time, and with no new cases pending, Scribbs was bored and a bored Scribbs could be very dangerous. Her hand paused over the top of the computer monitor, the slim doll hovering in the air just to the right of the blonde one she'd already positioned. Very gently, Scribbs placed the second figure practically on top of the seated one before turning her attention to the living and breathing brunette who sat in the desk next to hers.
"Please tell me you're kidding, Ash."
"What? That I wait for the oil light to tell me when I'm low on oil?" Ash swiveled her chair around so that she was facing Scribbs, her eyes immediately tracking to the two dolls which looked remarkably like a pair of female Middleford detectives. She couldn't help but wonder why they were sitting so close to each other.
"Ash, it doesn't matter if you're low on oil or not." As soon as the words left her mouth, Scribbs tilted her head and frowned. "Well, actually it's very bad to drive your car when you're low on oil, but that's beside the point." Quickly regaining her original focus, she said, "Your oil needs to be changed every 3000 to 4000 miles. How many miles since your last change?"
Ash gazed off into the distance, for all intents and purposes giving the appearance that she was trying to recall if the mechanic changed the oil the last time she'd taken her car into the garage, but in actuality, she had absolutely no idea if her car's oil had ever been changed.
"Probably 3000 miles." Ash looked back at Scribbs and nodded her head firmly to punctuate her statement. "Yes, I'm quite sure of it."
Scribbs took in her partner's tightly pursed lips and the fidgety hands Ash tried unsuccessfully to keep steady as she reached for a nearby file. "You're lying, Ash. You have no idea when you last changed your oil."
"It's not my job to know when the oil's been changed. The mechanic is supposed to keep up with the little details." Ash opened the file and pretended to busy herself with her report, the report that had already been completed, her signature finalizing the authenticity of the typed words.
"Little details?" Scribbs was appalled. "If you don't maintain proper oil levels, your big end could go, and you'd end up with very expensive noises."
Ash stared at her partner wordlessly, hoping that Scribbs would elaborate on her statement; she might as well be talking French for all she'd understood. When no explanation was forthcoming, she finally put into words what she had been thinking.
"Scribbs, what in bloody hell are you going on about?"
"Ash, you could end up having to overhaul your engine."
Ash still wasn't certain what Scribbs was trying to tell her, but overhauling the engine sounded very bad and quite costly. "Okay, I'll call and make an appointment for next week then."
"Forget the appointment, Ash; tomorrow's Saturday, just bring your car around in the morning, and I'll change your oil, free of charge. Well, except for the cost of the oil and filter."
"You? You'll change my oil?" Ash's eyebrows scaled into her hairline.
"Hey, I'll have you know I've been changing oil almost as long as I've been walking. Dad made me his assistant as soon as I was able to toddle."
"I don't know, Scribbs. Perhaps, I should just take my car to my regular mechanic."
Scribbs wasn't able to keep the hurt from her voice. "Fine then, if you want to pay the outrageous prices the mechanic will charge, don't let me stop you."
Ash took one look at her partner's forlorn expression and immediately changed her tune. Of course, the mention of paying more than she needed to factored into her decision as well.
"You know, I imagine it'll take weeks for me to get an appointment. I don't think I should chance my, um, my big end going, should I?"
"Come around nine." Scribbs smiled and turned her attention back to her dolls. She carefully bent the blonde's arm around the brunette doll's shoulder, secretly longing for life to imitate art; already thinking about servicing Ash's big-end, she couldn't wait.
At precisely nine o'clock the next morning, Ash wheeled into Scribbs' drive and stopped just short of the ramps that were located directly behind Scribbs' car. She'd just turned off the engine when the front door opened and Scribbs stepped outside. Ash took one look at her partner and was suddenly very grateful that she was sitting.
After sweeping her eyes up and down Scribbs' attire at least twice, maybe even three times, she did manage to open the door and slowly climb from her car, taking a moment to rein in her runaway thoughts by going through the motions of straightening her clothing.
Dark hair swept neatly atop her head, Ash was dressed in neatly pressed black trousers and a white, freshly starched shirt. A short, black jacket completed her ensemble. Scribbs took note of the proper attire and just shook her head as she walked toward the other woman.
"You dress like that on the weekends?"
Unconsciously, Ash swiped her tongue across a pair of suddenly dry lips before replying, the sight of Scribbs in blue overalls still knocking her off kilter. She'd never seen a mechanic look so good. Breaking eye contact, Ash looked down at herself. "This is one of my older suits."
Scribbs opened her mouth to tease Ash about her choice of apparel, but the beads of sweat that had already formed above her partner's upper lip gained her notice. Mistaking it for a reaction to the unseasonably warm weather instead of Ash's response to her overall-clad body, Scribbs said, "Why don't you go inside and get yourself a cuppa?" Grinning, she said, "Or you could always whip up one of my Sugar-Puff drinks."
Ash visibly shuddered at Scribbs' suggestion that she ingest a glassful of pure sugar. "I don't require anything at the moment." Feeling her shirt begin to dampen under the warmth of her jacket, Ash decided to take Scribbs up on half her offer. "I think I will go inside though. You'll call me if you need some help, won't you?"
Just the thought of a prim and proper Ash crawling beneath the car to position the oil pan in place had Scribbs swallowing the laugh that threatened to escape. "Sure, Ash. If I get in trouble, you'll be the first one I'll call." Smiling sweetly, Scribbs watched Ash walk into the house before she moved to slide the small ramps into place. Climbing into Ash's car, she slowly angled the front tyres up onto the inclined ramp. Setting the emergency brake, she stepped from the car and placed a set of blocks behind the rear wheels.
Inside the house, Ash had moved to the sofa, only sitting a few moments before she nervously stood to move around the room. She forced herself not to pick up the clutter from the floor as she stepped toward the window to check on Scribbs' progress. Squinting through the glass, Ash felt the moment her breath was forcibly pushed from her lungs. Her eyes widened as Scribbs leaned over the bonnet, and she swallowed hard, the earlier beads of sweat returning, but like before, the climate had nothing to do with their presence.
Outside, Scribbs had no idea that she was the object of Ash's scrutiny as she struggled to remove the cap which led to the oil tank of Ash's car. She'd slipped out of the top of her overalls and had tied the sleeves tightly around her waist. The white vest she wore underneath clung to her body like a second skin. From inside the house, Ash stared at the firm biceps that tightened even more as Scribbs grabbed hold of the oil cap firmly. Like an ancient mariner drawn to the call of the Siren, Ash slipped her coat from her shoulders and unknowingly steered her ship toward Scribbs. Seconds later, she was standing mere meters behind the blonde, having no idea how she'd gotten there. Scribbs, on the other hand, had no idea that she was even there.
"C'mon, you stubborn bugger, turn loose!" Scribbs gave the cap another hard yank, and this time, the metal was freed from its confinement. The sudden lack of return force caused Scribbs' arm to fling backward with the cap still in her hand; the thick, black oil that had clung to the underside flew from the object to land behind the blonde mechanic, and directly onto Ash.
In a state of shock, Ash stood frozen like a statue, her arms extended out in front of her, unmoving, locked into place at the elbows, as she glanced down at her once white shirt. The black sludge had cast a rather interesting pattern down the pristine white, its splatter perfectly symmetrical from the vee of her shirt to the top of her trousers. Slowly, she lifted her head to gaze into a pair of amused dark eyes.
"Um," Scribbs gestured toward Ash's shirt, "kind of looks like that blood spatter on the victim's walls from last week." Scribbs tried to interject a little humor into the situation, but Ash's focus had once again turned to her ruined shirt.
"This is my best shirt!" Ash freed the shirt from her trousers and disgustedly pulled it away from her body to better assess the damage.
"I thought you said it was an old suit." Scribbs used Ash's earlier words to buy her a little more time. Ash had no idea that the black oil was currently painting her face and hair as well as her shirt.
"Yes, the suit is old, but the shirt is new."
"Sorry, Ash." Scribbs bit down on her lip and tried for a sincere sounding apology. She was just able to keep her laughter from escaping.
Ash's head snapped up at Scribbs' words as she readied herself to lay into her partner, but the front view of the white vest, clinging tightly to Scribbs, robbed Ash of her speech. Instead of glaring holes into Scribbs' darker ones, her eyes zeroed in on the bead of sweat that had slowly begun its descent from the base of Scribbs' neck downward into the valley between two rather healthy-looking breasts.
"Ash? Are you okay? You're looking a bit pale." Worried, Scribbs took a step toward the other woman. "Why don't you go back inside? Maybe you'll feel better after you shower. The towels are next to the sink, and there's a pair of clean sweats in the top drawer of my wardrobe."
Ash seemed confused. "Why do I need to shower?"
"Well," Scribbs pointed to her partner's face, "you've um . . . got a little oil on your face and hair."
Ash's hand reflexively moved to her face and rubbed her cheek, unknowingly smearing the black substance across her face and down to her chin. She removed her hand and stared down at it.
"Why didn't you say something?"
Scribbs shrugged. "You seemed upset enough about your shirt. I didn't see any need to make matters worse than they already were."
"Fine." Ash turned on her heel and started toward the house, hesitating before she stepped inside. "You're paying for the oil and filter." The door slammed closed on her words.
Scribbs chuckled before turning her attention back to the task at hand.
In the shower, Ash scrubbed her face vigorously with the face cloth, practically rubbing the skin raw in her attempt to remove the oil. Satisfied that she'd removed most of the substance, she turned her attention to her hair. The overwhelming smell of the citrus shampoo filled her senses as her thoughts immediately turned to the woman who she normally associated with the scent. Pouring a generous amount of liquid into her hand, she began to scrub her scalp as visions of an overall-clad Scribbs filtered into her mind. As her fantasy began to take shape, Ash took her sweet time washing the oily substance from her hair.
Scribbs wiped her greasy hands on her work towel as she stepped into the house, making sure to leave her dirty shoes just outside the door before she entered the sitting room. She hadn't noticed Ash sitting on the couch, watching Scribbs' every move, or rather, staring at the hard nipples that were attempting to push their way through Scribbs' white vest. The real thing was so much better than the images Ash had conjured up while showering.
Caught somewhere between reality and fantasy, Ash stood and moved toward her unsuspecting partner. Scribbs finally noticed the movement and looked up from her efforts to remove the worst of the grease. She grinned at the sight of Ash wearing the smaller sweats, the sleeves drawn up at the elbows and the pants sitting at mid-calf, way too short for the taller woman.
"Ash," Scribbs started to mention the very unflattering clothing but bit down on the rest of her words when she spied the feral look in Ash's eyes, a look she'd never before seen from the other woman, a look that was undeniably obvious in its intent. Ash wanted Scribbs, and she wanted her now. Scribbs stood quietly and waited, hoping that Ash wouldn't spoil everything by coming to her senses.
Scribbs' worries were unfounded as Ash allowed her earlier fantasy to play out. Firmly grasping the sleeves of the overalls that hung loosely around Scribbs' waist, she pulled Scribbs hard against her, their bodies molding together in a perfect fit. The scent of intermingling soap and sweat made its way into Ash's nostrils and added fuel to the fantasy that was playing out in real time. Dipping her head, Ash captured the full lips she'd dreamt about so often. Reality was good; it was so very good even if Ash wasn't quite certain that this was truly happening.
As the sounds of soft moaning filtered into Ash's consciousness, she seemed to slowly come back to herself; next becoming aware of the hands that were gently, almost lovingly stroking the warm skin of her back. At the feel of soft lips against her own, Ash wondered how she hadn't been consciously aware of the amazing sensation, and when she suddenly realized where her own hand was situated, Ash began to worry that she'd taken advantage of Scribbs, but more importantly, that she'd taken advantage of Scribbs and couldn't remember. Slowly, she eased away from the silky, sweet lips and offered an apology of sorts.
"I don't know what came over me, Scribbs." Ash discretely attempted to remove her hand from inside the front of Scribbs' overalls.
Scribbs looked up into eyes dark with passion. "I don't care what came over you, Ash. Just tell me that you aren't sorry that it happened."
Ash released an unsteady breath and shook her head back and forth. "No, I'm not, but I practically attacked you."
"It was a good attack, Ash." Scribbs continued to rub light, reassuring circles on the other woman's back.
"But . . ." A finger to her lips stopped Ash from explaining how she wasn't any better than the blokes the two of them always complained about.
"Just tell me what made you decide to kiss me." Scribbs asked the question lightly, hoping to change the focus to the why and not the how. Besides, whatever she'd done to cause Ash to finally make a move on her, Scribbs wanted to be certain that she did it again and again.
Ash's cheeks turned pink, but she managed to whisper her reply. "Those blasted overalls."
"My overalls?" Scribbs pulled away slightly to look down at herself, not seeing anything extraordinary in her appearance. In fact, she looked rather slovenly with her overalls barely clinging to her waist, her stomach and hips bare for all to see, and her white shirt clearly wearing the stain of oil and sweat. She was the picture of something Ash always complained about, and she was quite certain she'd broken at least two of Ash's clothing rules.
"You look positively hot in them, Scribbs."
"Of course, I was hot, Ash; why'd you think I slipped the . . . oh! that kind of hot." Scribbs broke into a cocky smile. "Well, you look kind of hot in my sweats, too."
Crimson became Ash's new color as she found the wall over Scribbs' shoulder quite interesting. She'd have found a way to walk away if her hand wasn't still trapped inside Scribbs' overalls.
"Okay, I may be hot in these overalls, but I'm dirty as well. What do you say we go take a shower before we take this," Scribbs motioned between the two of them, "somewhere more comfortable?"
"Um, I've already showered." Ash really needed her hand back.
"Yes, but now you're all oily and sweaty again; my oil and my sweat, but still sweaty." Scribbs grinned. Ash hadn't realized that her clothes had gotten soiled when she'd pulled Scribbs against her.
"Um . . ." Ash's mind raced with excuses, but she wasn't able to pin one down. The image of naked Scribbs kept getting in the way.
Chuckling, Scribbs pulled the front of her overalls away from her body and freed Ash's hand, but only long enough to grasp it tightly into her own. Turning, she tugged Ash behind her as she moved toward the bathroom.
"You know, Ash; when I was under your chassis, I noticed you're in need of a lube job as well."
Her mind going straight to the gutter, Ash almost tripped as she trudged along behind Scribbs. She briefly wondered what would happen if she didn't have the lube job; more than likely her big end would go with lots of expensive noises.
Within seconds a smile creased her face; of course, she'd have a lube job, but there'd better still be noises afterwards. Inexpensive, but bloody loud noises she hoped.
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