DISCLAIMER: Murder in Suburbia and its characters are the property of ITV. No infringement intended.
SPOILERS: Set after the fifth episode of the first series.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
THANKS: To fewthistle for the beta.
Scribbs slammed the car door before turning to stare at Ash. "You think I'm a bad influence," she accused.
"What are you talking about?"
"That's why you won't let me meet your brother."
Ash secured her seat belt and waited impatiently for Scribbs to start the car. After several seconds of inactivity she turned in her seat and was confronted by a pissed off looking Scribbs. "You have to admit that you don't have the best track record when it comes to men."
Scribbs stared out of the windscreen. "It's no worse than yours."
"I," said Ash, "have never dated an entire rugby team."
"It was three players," Scribbs insisted, forcing the car into gear and jolting them out into traffic. "And I didn't date them at the same time."
Ash tugged on her seat belt until she was satisfied that it would withstand, what she assumed was, an imminent crash. "Is there a reason we're breaking the speed limit Scribbs?"
The car swerved down a one way street and Ash was relieved to see that they were travelling in the right direction.
"You think I'd chew him up and spit him out." The breaks screeched and Scribbs turned round to stare accusingly at her partner. "Admit it! You think I'd use him."
"That's not it at all Scribbs."
The engine went dead. "What then?"
"Do you really think it's a good idea to park in the middle of the street?"
"Why won't you let me meet him?"
"He's my younger brother," Ash explained, without actually explaining anything. "He also has a soft spot for blondes."
Ash just looked at her.
"You do think I'd use him."
"It's not that."
"Then why -" Scribbs' voice trailed off and a smirk edged the side of her mouth. "This is about the other night."
Ash neither validated nor denied the statement.
"Just because we got a little drunk and a little -" Scribbs waved her hands in the air in a gesture that conveyed absolutely nothing "- I don't see why I can't meet your brother."
"We didn't just get -" Ash tried to mimic Scribbs' hand signal but it ended up looking like she was directing traffic "- we -" Ash tried to remember if she had any rules regarding how to describe sex with friends, to said friends, but her mind was coming up blank. "He's my brother."
"And you're worried that your brother might get busy with someone you've shagged?"
"We didn't -" Scribbs raised a contradictory brow "- it was the wine -" Scribbs' second brow joined the first "- yes."
"I said I wanted to meet him, not shag him, and besides sleeping with a brother and sister would be majorly weird." Scribbs turned the engine back on. "So is that why you were practically throwing me at Chris earlier?"
As the car eased back into motion Ash allowed herself to relax. "He seemed interested."
"You did the same thing the last time." The indicators started to blink and Scribbs eased the car into the nearest available spot.
"Why are we stopping here?"
Scribbs ignored the question. "The last time we did the whole drunk and naked thing you tried to get me to go out with that traffic warden." She shuddered. "A traffic warden!"
"He was cute."
"He papered my car with tickets for a month after I ditched him."
"I helped you file the restraining order."
"The time before that you gave my phone number to that fraud investigator from Manchester."
Ash began straightening her already immaculate hair. "He asked."
"He smelt of BO and called me Em."
"You still went out with him."
"Only because you gave him my number."
Silence filled the car and neither woman could bring herself to look at the other.
Eventually Scribbs decided that they'd been in silence long enough and turned on the ignition for the third time. As she eased back out into traffic, Ash turned to give her a reassuring smile.
"I promise that next time I won't give out your number."
"Next time?" Scribbs smirked. "You're sure of yourself."
"I didn't mean -" Scribbs laughed and Ash became incensed. "I have no intention of that ever happening again."
Scribbs shrugged. "Why not?"
"You're my subordinate."
"Is that like Mistress and slave?"
"I always thought you had a kinky side."
"Stop the car." The vehicle continued down the street. "I said 'stop the car'!"
The car came to a halt.
"Okay, Scribbs, what are my three rules about sleeping with people one works with?" Ash questioned.
"Don't get caught. Don't do it in the middle of the office and don't get your handcuffs mixed up?"
"No!" Ash tried to regain her cool. "First rule: It should never happen. Second: If it does happen, it should never happen again. Third: If it does happen again -"
"You might as well go with it?" Scribbs cut in hopefully.
"No." Ash released her seat belt and prepared to walk the rest of the way home. "That it should not, under any circumstances, happen a fourth time."
The car door banged shut and Scribbs was left alone as Ash strode up the street towards her flat. As she sat there, trying not to notice how much more Ash's brush off hurt in comparison with her last dozen or so boyfriends, she re-examined the rules.
The car was put in gear, the wheels spun and in seconds Scribbs had accelerated in front of Ash and swerved onto the pavement to intercept her path. Jumping out of the car, she casually leant against its top and grinned at a seething Ash.
"Bobby Holt's retirement part."
"We shared a taxi and you spent the entire ride with your hand down my knickers."
"So that makes four."
"And your point would be?"
"That we've already broken your three rules and you can't add a fourth because that would be cheating." Scribbs' smile disappeared. "Unless the rules were just an excuse and you really don't want to sleep with me."
Ash checked over her shoulder to make sure they weren't being overheard and came eye to eye with an eagerly watching pensioner. "I think we should discuss this in the car."
"That's it, isn't it? You think I'm crap in bed."
"I don't think -" She pointed towards the pensioner. "Can we discuss this in the car?"
"I'm a bad lay."
"You are not -" Having reached the car, Ash lowered her voice and tried to ignore the pensioner drawing closer. "You're very good in bed."
"You're just saying that."
"Four times," she reminded Scribbs. "Do you really think I'd sleep with you that many times if you weren't bloody brilliant between the sheets?"
"Brilliant?" Scribbs' grin returned. "Brilliant enough to make it five?"
The pensioner was practically breathing down Ash's neck and any hope she had of remaining discrete was long since gone.
"Get us inside my flat within the next ten minutes," Ash said with a smile, "and it just might be."
Speed limits and traffic laws lost all meaning as the car navigated the suburban streets... but both women agreed that it was worth it.
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