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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By textfiend


"Where's that coming from?"

That was music, not something one heard a lot of in a police station, and Scribbs was just as puzzled as her partner. As they approached their office she could tell it was coming from inside, and as they rounded the corner, she recognized the song as "Only You."

A small crowd had gathered around a computer screen and the snickering and grinning of the assembled officers immediately gave Scribbs a pretty good idea of what was going on. She'd seen enough of it over the past few days. Her first reaction -- well, technically second, after a smirk -- was to check if Ash had clued in as well.

Yep, I think she has, Scribbs thought as her partner stormed right up to the monitor. Scribbs followed. There, blown up to fill the screen, was a freeze-frame of the now-infamous video, transformed into Windows wallpaper.

Ash reached down and slapped the power button on the speakers, killing "Only You." Scribbs bit her lip, eyeing the tense lines of her partner's body and sensing that this latest humiliation was the last straw. The camel's back is well and truly broken. Only question is, what's she going to do?

"Okay, everyone, listen up." Ash's harsh tone silenced some of the chatter, but not all. She raised the volume. "Hello! Excuse me! Can I just say, this isn't funny, okay? It's boring."

With all her might, Scribbs suppressed her smirk. She couldn't pretend not to be amused by her fellow officers' interest in the kiss, and honestly, what was so bad about a little good-natured ribbing? But she knew she ought to at least attempt to look supportive while Ash was trying to discourage it.

"And if you want to have a laugh at someone," Ash instructed her peers, the frustration of the last few days evident in her voice, "I suggest you have a laugh at DS Scribbins. Because if you study that video, you will see quite clearly that it is she who initiates the kiss, the snog, the..." She gestured wildly. "Whatever you want to call it. Not me."

That was the truth, but it was also true that Scribbs wasn't bothered by the attention, and her colleagues knew it. What would they get out of trying to wind me up? They wouldn't get a rant like this, that's for sure. Because if anything, this was just fuel for the fire. No one in the room was looking the slightest bit chastised or sorry. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

Still Ash soldiered on. "Because if it was me who had started it, me who kissed her, then..."

She trailed off suddenly, looking down, and Scribbs's first thought was that Ash's brain had caught up with her. But then the brunette turned to face her partner, and Scribbs saw that her expression was not guarded or remorseful but contemplative. Almost... mischievous. Her eyes tracked over Scribbs in a way that sent the blonde's eyebrows racing skyward. She spoke again, much more softly than before.

"Then... well... then this is what it would look like."

With that, Ash took Scribbs's face in her hands and kissed her. Softly, slowly, with open mouth and searching tongue, with a smoldering intensity that nearly buckled Scribbs's knees. Distantly she heard a hoarse moan, and only when Ash broke the kiss and she could breathe again did Scribbs realize it had come from her own throat.

With her hands still cupping Scribbs's face, Ash looked over her shoulder at the gathered officers. "Okay?" she demanded. "Okay?"

No response from the slightly stunned crowd. Ash let go of her partner and stomped out.

Holy hell, Scribbs thought, glancing down at herself to make sure she was still in one piece. And fully dressed. Because she had definitely felt something shifting with that kiss -- something changing, something falling away. Miraculously, things seemed to be in order. Which was good, since every eye in the room was on her.

And what the hell am I still standing here for? Ash went that-a-way.

So she turned on her heel and headed out the door.

She caught up with Ash in the corridor.

"I think I made my point, don't you?" the dark-haired woman said, not breaking stride as Scribbs came abreast of her.

"Absolutely." The blonde didn't bother holding back a wide grin. "So what d'you want to do now? Get some air? Ask for a transfer?" She could see Ash's colour had risen, and it wasn't entirely due to the brisk pace of her walk. "Commit suicide?"

They reached the exit and as they cleared the doors, Ash stopped. Scribbs faced her.

"How about a drink?"

"Drink it is," Scribbs said amiably.

"No, I mean--" Ash rubbed her forehead. "Let's get a drink. You and I."

"Sure, Ash. Like always." Smothering the grin, Scribbs made her expression as innocent as possible. Got to make her work for it. I deserve some reward for all this patience.

"Not like always," Ash growled. "Didn't you -- Doesn't this -- Oh, bollocks."

Scribbs could have laughed at the brunette's frustration. "What's different?"


"What? That, just now? I thought you were just making a point."

"You know perfectly well--" Ash broke off, eyes narrowing. "Why is torturing me so delightfully amusing to you? Do you know what that says about your mental state?"

Scribbs cocked her head. "What does it say about your mental state that you're still going to have a drink with me tonight in spite of it?"

She couldn't be sure, but she thought she saw a smile tugging at Ash's lips.

"Not important," the brunette pronounced, and nodded toward the car. "Come on. I'll drive."

The End

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