DISCLAIMER: Murder in Suburbia and its characters are the property of ITV. No infringement intended.
SPOILERS: A missing scene from episode 2x06 'Golden Oldies'.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Lesley Mitchell
Ash returned to consciousness slowly, that morning, which was unusual for her. It had been a long night, but this didn't generally throw off her snap response to mornings quite like this. Generally, it just left a bad mood and required more coffee. There was, she decided muzzily, something different about this morning, and decided to turn her not inconsiderable detecting skills to work on it.
The first thing she noticed was that she was warm. In fact, her back was particularly warm, and this lead her to notice the regular breathing in her ear. It was heavy, but only enough that it indicated that the person nuzzled into her neck was still blissfully asleep.
Next to be discovered was the arm. It was definitely not hers, and as she stiffened a little, unconsciously, it slipped from where it had been lightly resting on her hip, to embrace her more completely. Ash had reached down, automatically, to move it, before she realised, that unlike almost every other stray limb she'd encountered, this one wasn't actually heavy and uncomfortable. In fact, her sleep deprived sub-conscious had decided that actually, she felt safe and protected spooned here, and was beginning to suggest that the higher brain functions might just want to shut up and enjoy this, when the hand attached to the arm began gently stroking the exposed skin of her belly, where her t-shirt had ridden up, and the voice attached to the breath let out a very soft, but decidedly feminine moan.
Full higher brain functions returned with a crash, as she recalled not only where she was, and why she was there, but also with whom she was sharing a bed.
'This is entirely inappropriate and utterly wrong,' screamed her fore-brain, 'you are spooned with your partner, and subordinate officer, in a spare double room at an old people's home, which is, in fact, a crime scene!'
Her subconscious purred quietly and said, 'Face it, Ash, you haven't woken up this content in years, and that thing she's doing with her hand... that feels really good.'
Ash sighed, softly. Her subconscious was right... but when had she ever listened to that.
'What the hell is she doing now?' wailed her fore-brain, as the hand had now moved to toy with the tie on her PJs.
"Emma," whispered Ash, somewhat urgently, wanting to break this spell but still hoping to wake her partner gently.
The tie was loose now, and the hand had gone back to simply stroking. Ash's breath hitched.
"Emma," she whispered again, a little more loudly, but the stroking continued, though she noted that the her partner's respiration rate had increased, somewhat, as had her own heart rate.
Seconds ticked past, and Ash willed herself to move, to speak, to do something other than lie here enjoying the ministrations of Emma Scribbins. The hand was defining circles now. A little bigger each time. A little closer to a thumb rubbing along the curve of a breast, a little more of the little finger dipping under the band of the PJs.
Subconscious was winning in Ash. Increased heart rate and respiration, dilated pupils, the flush across her exposed skin, and her continued silence all pointed to this conclusion. Not to mention the throbbing at her very core. When the thumbnail finally grazed her breast, she gasped.
'You have to stop this,' said her angelic fore-brain, 'it's taking advantage of Scribbs.'
'Stop this and die,' responded the subconscious, hedonistic to the last.
When two fingers made it under the waistband, the circling stopped.
No response. The breathing in her ear was somewhat ragged now, and the body spooned against hers, tense. 'Oh no,' sighed the fore-brain, 'she's realised what she's doing.'
"Emma?" she queried again.
Still no response, but the hand stayed where it was. She was frustrated, now, on so many levels.
"Yes, Ash?" Her partner's voice sounded amused in her ear, but also low and aroused.
"Are you trying to kill me?"
"'Do, or don't do,'" quoted Scribbs solemnly, from her brother's favourite movie, "'there is no try.'"
"Then, Scribbs," Ash managed, "for God's sake, do." She took a deep steadying breath, "We've still got a murderer to catch, you know."
Emma smiled into Ash's shoulder. "Yes, ma'am," she agreed, finally allowing her hand to continue its downward journey.
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