DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
SPOILERS: Specifically for series three but written before the Kevin-incident.
SEQUEL: To Rachel Vs. Godzilla and Ending a Mistake
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
THANKS: To the_girl_20 for giving these a look-see.
FEEDBACK: To ralst31[at]yahoo.co.uk
Observing the End
"What're you doing, Slap?"
Julie Dodson peered over her shoulder at her usually so observant friend, "Watching Rachel and her other half implode," she said, "the same as you."
"I'm doing no such thing," countered Gill, who had been peeking over the top of her glasses at the feuding pair for the last ten minutes. "She's off the clock," she added, as if that would bolster her claim of disinterest, "so it's none of our business."
"Uh huh." Julie continued to stare at the couple, her eagle-eyed observation hidden from their immediate view by a well placed folder and several ranks of seniority. "I thought you'd be interested, what with her being your favourite."
"I do not have favourites." Gill considered herself an unbiased and even-handed superior even if the likes of Kevin made it impossible to treat all her officers with the same amount of respect. "She's a good detective," Gill admitted, "and I think she'll go far, if she doesn't let her impetuousness get the better of her." She looked at the death throes of Rachel's marriage being played out for their amusement beyond the glass walls of her office. "Like marrying an overgrown child just to feel safe."
"Be fair," said Julie, "she was having the year from hell, and it's only natural that she'd cling to someone who offered her a respite from the storm." She looked pointedly at Gill. "If you'd given your little review board speech a couple of months earlier it would probably have been you walking her down the aisle instead of the Boy Wonder."
"How do you know what I said at the review board?"
"Karen Zalinsky." Even speaking the name seemed to send a tremor of unease through Julie's system. "She was very impressed."
Gill shrugged off the compliment. "It was the truth." Rachel could be impetuous and bloody minded, at times, but she also had the makings of a first rate detective and, with any luck, she'd one day be in Karen Zalinsky's shoes, if not the Chief Con's.
There was a pause as both women watched Rachel wrench a set of keys off Sean's key-ring before flinging them back at him. "I notice you didn't refute my romantic implication," said Julie, as Sean stomped off in the opposite direction, thus ending the show.
"What implication?" Gill was busy watching Rachel through the glass and wondering whether or not she should phone Janet and suggest she return to the station to offer her friend a much needed shoulder to cry on.
"You and Rachel." Julie waited, but Gill had either decided to ignore her or she was too preoccupied with spying on Rachel to properly understand the question; both options rather proved Julie's point, she thought. "There's something going on between you two, isn't there?"
Gill looked at her as if she'd gone mad. "What on earth makes you think that?"
"I'm a detective," Julie said with a grin. "Besides, Rachel isn't exactly hard to read, especially when she thinks no one's watching."
"What do you mean by that?"
"She complains about you all the time but at the same time she's desperate for your approval and will eviscerate anyone who puts you down." Gill didn't look convinced. "Honestly, the smile she unleashes every time you pay her a compliment could blind half of Manchester."
"Have you been at the sherry, again?" Gill decided that her old friend was either bored, and wanting to cause trouble, or suffering the early symptoms of dementia. Rachel Bailey had zero interest in her beyond the professional and she felt exactly the same... But still, she'd phone Janet, just to make sure Rachel was okay, or maybe she should...
Julie watched as her oldest friend abandoned their conversation and went in search of her stroppy Detective Constable. "Yeah, nothing going on there, at all."
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