DISCLAIMER: The characters in this belong to Thames TV and a collection of other people I have no connection with.
SPOILERS: The episode this was based on was aired the middle of 2005 in the UK.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Raised Stakes
By CharmedLassie


'A servant of the national psyche…' Gina muttered as the relief filed out of the room. 'God help us.'

June smiled at her repetition of one of Reg's philosophical phrases and listened as the eruption of arguments echoed outside in the corridor. The fall out from the twelve-hour shifts was going to be terrific. 'This is going to be popular.'

'We're not here to be popular.'

'No, of course not. Ma'am.' Having added the last word while glancing innocently at her boss, June waited for the retribution.

Sure enough, after a moment where the last of the relief dispersed noisily, Gina touched her arm. 'And here was me thinking you didn't care about what that lot thought about you.'

'I'm not overly concerned what anyone thinks of me.'


Shrugging off the hand, June instead moved towards the door. 'Honestly.'

June Ackland… Could charm the birds out of the trees or drive an Inspector up the wall. Gina had followed her out of the room and almost got embroiled in a boxing match with Adam as referee over Honey Harman and Amber Johannsen of all people! There were decidedly better things to argue about with the woman you'd been flirting with for the last two months.

Of course, the 'lame ducks' had worked out alright in the end, even Gina had grudgingly admitted that they weren't as idiotic as they both appeared at times. June had almost seemed amazed at her admittance. Then again, being the boss wasn't supposed to make you popular, Gina smiled as she walked straight out of her office and into Reg… carrying a skirt in a bag. Really not his kind of thing as far as she was concerned. And who did that leave? Lame duck number one.

Wait until she had a chance to rub June's nose in that one, how she loved being right!

The way Gina was smiling as she closed the office door behind her told June she was either about to get suspended for some reason or that the Inspector had come up with something relating to their earlier argument. Without concentrating too long on her boss' face, she looked back to her appraisal of PC Harman. 'Did you want me, Ma'am?'

'Now you mention it…' Gina said quietly, though not in so low a voice that June didn't hear. She decided, though, not to draw attention to it. Instead, she let the Inspector continue to speak her piece. 'I've just had to fill in PC Johannsen on the dangers of accepting gifts from victims.'

'It's a mistake every officer makes at some point,' answered June, glancing up briefly and removing her glasses. 'I take it you reprimanded her on it then.'

Gina leaned against the doorframe. 'Not as such. I explained it another way.'

Intrigued (against her will), June stood, moving out from behind the desk and perching on it. 'Oh? Is it a secret?'

'If I told you I'd have to kill you.'

'I'll take that as a yes.'

Smiling again, Gina flicked the blinds shut. 'You haven't got anything festering in that top drawer of yours have you?'

'My paperwork.'

'I meant something with a bit of substance.'

'I know what you meant,' replied June glancing back at the appraisal waiting for completion. 'I do have a bottle at home though. The trouble is, my boss is a pain in the neck and she'll be expecting this finished by the morning.'

The Inspector shrugged. 'Tell her where to stick it.'

Considering this for a moment, June finally nodded. 'I might just do that.'

Watching the Sergeant pulling the cork on their second bottle of wine Gina carefully hedged her bets on what making a 'suggestion' would do for her relationship with her colleague. There were several options- June could hand in her resignation or, Saint June as she was, she might make a complaint, sexual harassment or whatever the busybodies called it these days. The third option was a little less likely- the 'falling into arms' scenario.

Seeing June struggling with the corkscrew, she reached across to take it. 'Let me.'

'I'm not incapable, you know.'

Their hands touched briefly. 'I've got more experience, that's all.'

'Well, that I'm not denying.' Releasing her grip on the bottle, June looked at her boss, a question in her eyes. 'Are you going to tell me what you said to Amber Johannsen then?'

'Is this a last request?'

'I'm just curious.'

Pulling the cork, Gina poured two large glasses of red wine. 'I'm not telling you that. I will tell you something though.'

The Sergeant nodded. 'I'm listening.'

After holding her gaze for a long thirty seconds, Gina abruptly stood. 'I've got an early start.'

June also rose, glancing at the fresh bottle. 'You can't leave me with that. I won't be worth having at work in the morning.'

Half way out the door, the Inspector turned back. 'Why do you want me to stay?'

'Why are you so eager to leave?' countered her colleague.

Gina flinched. 'I shouldn't have come.'

Approaching her slowly, June questioned, 'Then why did you?'

Something happened to the once unshakable Gina Gold. She looked down to her clenched hands then brought her gaze back up- via June's legs, to her complete embarrassment. 'I wanted to spend time with you, away from that place.'

June nodded slowly. 'May I ask why?'



'Alright, alright.' Moving back to the sofa, the Inspector sat down indicating for her Sergeant to do the same. 'Don't ask me how it happened but…'

'I'm in love with you too,' June interrupted softly.

For someone apt at dealing with things in an emotionless manner Gina's face clouded with relief. 'What?'

'Come on, that's what you were going to say isn't it?'

'Well, I… Yes, it was.'

'Good. Now we've got that in the open, can we finish this bottle. It...'

'Never tastes the same the morning after,' they finished in unison.

June laughed, pressing a glass into Gina's hand. 'I wonder where I picked that one up from.'

The Inspector shrugged innocently. 'I really can't think.'

Eight hours later, the pair drove to the station, Gina's hand resting on June's leg the entire way. A night of no promises and resolves that would be broken had resulted in a closeness between the women that June readily admitted was the most secure bond she had ever had the fortune of being involved with. And with Gina Gold of all people!

Certainly, it was unprecedented, on both sides. How many of the relief were going to believe that June, beaten and broken emotionally by the last two men in her life, had succumbed to what had been a mere attraction to yet another work colleague? Equally, would they understand how Inspector Gold suddenly went from a relationship-hating alcoholic to someone who cared and was cared for in return? Well, June smiled to herself, probably no one was going to believe it, and there the fun started!

After all, what need was there to hide a relationship no one believed was possible?

The End

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