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"Ash, why don't you just come back to bed?"
The only sound to answer Scribbs' plea was that of the bedroom door closing; the intended bang somewhat hampered by the cushioning effect of the thick carpet Ash had recently had installed. With a weary sigh, Scribbs untangled herself from the sheets and padded after her fleeing friend, not quite sure what had upset her this time, but determined to smooth it over and get some much needed rest.
"Ash?" Scribbs hadn't heard the front door slam, so she was pretty certain that Ash was somewhere in the dark recesses of the flat, she just couldn't see her in all the gloom. "Why's it so dark in here?"
"There's been a power cut." Ash's voice came from somewhere in the vicinity of the kitchen; its Arctic tones enough to keep the entire contents of the freezer from defrosting.
Although rare, Scribbs didn't see what was so upsetting about a power cut. "Is that why you're in a mood, 'cause the electric's gone out?"
"No." It was always a bad sign when Ash didn't even try to pretend that she wasn't angry. "I think you know why 'I'm in a mood', as you put it."
"I do?" Ash's faith in her powers of observation would normally have delighted Scribbs, but on this occassion she hadn't the foggiest idea what she was going on about. "Can you give me a hint?"
Ash's anger deepened, but her ire had to take a back seat to her curiosity when the moon came out from behind a cloud and bathed the kitchen in muted light. "Scribbs, what are you wearing?"
"Is that the hint?"
"Scribbs." The warning tone was obvious. "What are you wearing?"
The air stilled. "Nothing?"
"I didn't have ti -"
"You're naked?" Ash closed her eyes and prayed that the power cut would never end. "What if I'd put the lights on?"
"There's a power cut."
"You didn't know that!" She squeezed her eyes tighter. "I could have seen you naked!"
"So?" Scribbs was used to her partner being uptight and controlling but hysterical was a new development. "Is this about what happened earlier?"
"Nothing happened earlier."
Hysterical had obviously made friends with denial and set up home together. "And the moon is made of blue cheese."
"You're babbling Scribbs."
Condescension was a good sign; it meant the real Ash was still alive and well amidst all the irrational denial. "And you're freaking out because we shagged."
"We did not!"
"Okay, okay." Scribbs moved closer to where Ash was skulking in the shadows. "Made love. Is that better?"
"Don't be ridiculous."
"Whatever you want to call it, we did it." Ash tried to interrupt but Scribbs stepped forward into the moonlight and momentarily derailed her thoughts. "And if you want proof I'm sure the guys over in S.O.C.O. could match your dental records to this bruise I've got on my left boob."
Ash's traitorous eyes had refused to stay shut and therefore she had a clear picture of the bruise in question; not to mention the breast it adorned. "I ... I did that?"
"You don't remember?"
In truth the entire incident was a bit hazy for Ash; not that she didn't recall each and every sensation with vivid clarity, but the exact chronology of events was a mystery. One minute they'd been celebrating a particularly difficult case brought to fruition, and the next she'd been overwhelmed with the taste and feel of Scribbs' skin beneath her lips. She would happily have blamed it on the wine, but the bottle stood unopened on the side, and the only thing she'd been intoxicated with had been Scribbs.
"I'm not usually like that."
"Really?" Scribbs was inordinately please with herself. "Does that mean I bring out your inner beast?"
"Scribbs," Ash warned.
"Ash," Scribbs mimicked, taking her lover's hand, "why don't you just come back to bed?"
Ash looked ready to protest.
"Okay, what are my three rules about sex?" Scribbs asked.
"Rules? You don't have rules."
"One," Scribbs announced, "never apologise for a healthy sex drive."
"Libido," Ash edited.
"Two: never have sex in my parents' house."
"Goes without saying."
"And three: if you're ever lucky enough to make love, rather than just shag, don't be an idiot and turn down a repeat performance when your girlfriend is naked and gagging for it."
"That's hardly a proper rule." Ash's brow crinkled in thought. "Girlfriend?"
"Isn't that a bit presumptuous?"
"No." Scribbs started to lead the way to the bedroom. "You have rules about one night stands, remember? So either I'm your girlfriend or you just broke rule number twenty-three."
Ash followed Scribbs into the bedroom. "I do hate to break the rules."
The robe slipped from Ash's shoulders. "Especially yours."
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