DISCLAIMER: Murder in Suburbia and its characters are the property of ITV. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to mrswoman for the suggestions and taking time out of her busy day to beta this one.
CHALLENGE: Written as part of the 1001 Nights Challenge - whisky and marriage
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Ann


Ash rested her head against the back of the sofa, her eyes closed as she balanced an empty glass on her forehead. A low moan escaped her lips at the sound of loud knocking on her door.

"Go away!" Ash grimaced and moved her free hand to her temple in an attempt to soften the sounds of the mariachi band currently playing in her head.

Scribbs' voice filtered through the trumpets' blare. "Ash! It's me; let me in."

Opening her eyes, Ash groaned and gamely attempted to sit up as the insistent knocking alerted her to the fact that Scribbs wasn't going to heed her earlier plea to leave. Sliding the glass onto the sofa table, Ash slowly pushed to her feet and started towards the door, the spinning of the room making the journey interesting to say the least.

"Damn it, Ash! Open the bloody door!"

"I'm coming, Scribbs, keep your knickers on!" Ash fumbled with the lock, her drunken attempt made more difficult as images of a 'knickerless' Scribbs invaded her thoughts, keeping her from focusing on the task at hand.

A string of curses later, Ash finally managed to manipulate the deadbolt and opened the door. Scribbs brushed past her partner without a word and moved further into the flat.

"Hello, Scribbs, won't you come in?" Ash mumbled with a touch of sarcasm as she closed the door and followed Scribbs into the room, not bothering with another go at fighting the locking mechanism on the door.

"Whisky and chocolate, Ash? What's going on here?" Scribbs scanned the usually neat-as-a-pin room and frowned.

Candy wrappers were strewn around a half-empty bottle of whisky on the sofa table, and Ash's clothes from the previous day were lying on the floor, leaving an obvious trail from the sofa to the bedroom. Scribbs feared the Apocalypse had finally arrived.

Ash stumbled to the couch and plopped down rather ungracefully, resuming her earlier laid back position, albeit without an empty whisky glass this time. Scribbs opened her mouth to question her partner once again when Ash's soft words caught her attention.

"I'm doomed, Scribbs, doomed."

Scribbs glanced around the room and then at the window, wondering if perhaps her Apocalypse assessment had been correct. When only sunshine and blue skies met her eyes, she turned back to her uncharacteristically slovenly dressed partner.

"Why're you doomed, Ash?"

Ash opened one eye and swiveled her head towards the other woman. "My brother is getting married."

Scribbs smiled despite the unhappy expression directed towards her. "That's great, Ash."

A second eye popped open, and Ash would've narrowed the pair at Scribbs if it weren't so painful to accomplish. "No, it isn't. I'll have to go to the bloody parties and then the bloody wedding. Now, mum will be ringing me daily instead of weekly."

"Why? To push you into a loveless relationship?" Scribbs walked over and took a seat next to her partner.

Ash's focus changed. "Loveless? Why do you believe my marriage would be loveless? I'm a very lovable person and a great catch, too. Anyone would be lucky to have me."

Scribbs bit the side of her cheek and eyed the bottle of whisky. This was going to be fun.

"Anyone in particular?"

This time Ash did manage to narrow her eyes despite the pain. "You're starting to sound like my mother, Scribbs."

A shrug was offered in apology. "You're right though, Ash, you would be a great catch, especially when you relax your rules."

"Relax my rules? Don't be mad, Scribbs. Rules are very important."

Scribbs glanced at the clothes on the floor. "True; order in one's life is definitely important."

Ash grinned sloppily and reached for Scribbs' hand. "See? I knew you'd come around to my way of thinking."

"Well, I can certainly agree with your thinking today, that's for sure. In fact, if there were more days like today, I'd say we'd make perfect flatmates." Scribbs eyed the bra hanging from the bedroom doorknob and smiled.

Ash returned the smile, laid her head back, and closed her eyes, never relinquishing her hold on Scribbs' hand. Scribbs watched with a bit of amusement as Ash slowly relaxed, but just when she'd thought the other woman had dropped off, Ash sighed.

"I don't think I want to get married, Scribbs."

"What? Why not?"

"I know what I said earlier, but I don't think I'm marrying material. I'm too set in my ways, too rigid."

Scribbs squeezed the hand she held. "The other person could get used to your rules and such, if um . . . he really loved you that is."

Ash opened her eyes and turned towards Scribbs. She suddenly looked very sober. "You really think so?"

"Sure. Look at me; I'm used to you."

"So, you'd marry me then?" Ash stared into dark eyes, her earlier glassy eyes amazingly clear.

Scribbs hesitated. "You mean if I were a man?"

Ash shook her head. "No, Scribbs, just like you are. Would you marry me as DS Emma Scribbins?"

"I guess. I mean, we'd have to date for awhile, and you'd have to bring me flowers every now and then. And," Scribbs gestured towards the sofa table and then the floor, "You'd have to be able to relax your rules without the whisky."

Ash followed Scribbs' line of sight, her jaw dropping in surprise. Instinctively, she reached for the candy wrappers to start tidying up, but Scribbs pulled her back onto the sofa and into her arms. Ash hesitated for just a moment before relaxing into the soft body, although, she kept one eye peeled on her haphazardly thrown clothes. They were going to be terribly wrinkled.

"So, a date, huh?" Ash tried to refocus on the conversation.

Scribbs tightened her hold. "Yes, a proper one, too; I think dinner and dancing would do it."

"Deal." Ash tilted her head towards Scribbs. "I guess making out on the sofa is out until we've had our proper date then."

"I didn't say that." Scribbs grinned and took advantage of their position to lean down and capture the nearby lips. She was quickly rewarded with a taste of chocolate mixed with whisky mixed with a flavor that was uniquely Ash.

Reluctantly, Scribbs released the soft lips, but not her hold on her partner. "So, are you okay with your brother getting married now?"

"Only, if you'll go to the wedding with me?"

"Now that would certainly give your mum a heart attack."

Ash grinned. "Then it's settled, you'll be my date."

Scribbs chuckled and pulled Ash closer. A few moments later, she was certain Ash had fallen asleep until, once again, a whispered voice made itself known.

"Um, Scribbs? My blazer?"

"Okay, you can hang up your blazer, but if you promise to leave your trousers on the floor, we can make out some more."

Ash nodded and jumped from the couch, sweeping her jacket from the floor. The lone pair of trousers remained in a heap as she fled the room. Scribbs glanced at the whisky bottle and smiled.

The End

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