DISCLAIMER: Murder in Suburbia and its characters are the property of ITV. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: AU PWP OMG. Singles night. I won't say any more -- you'll have to read. Betaed by blob.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

What If?
By Claire G


Kate milled about by the bar, trying to settle on a suitable pose. She tried leaning forward, sideways, back against the bar with elbows propped up behind her; she was attempting to look deliberately casual but actually looking distinctly uncomfortable. A young, handsome man caught her eye; she smiled over-widely and instantly regretted it as he approached, walked straight past her and began speaking to the blonde behind. Kate pressed at her temple, scolded herself silently and checked her watch. Just as she was about to give the evening up as a bad job, she felt the person behind her sharply bang into her side.

"Piss off," the young woman said to the man who had advanced on her, before adding an over-enunciated, "Wanker!" Kate watched the man turn on his heels and scurry off towards the back of the room; she peeked sideways to look at the disgruntled female. Kate noted that she was a sweet-faced picture of symmetry -- that is, apart from the tousled, blonde, low-lighted hair that curled onto her shoulders, and a mole to the side of her chin. "Sorry, didn't mean to bump into you," she said, turning towards Kate, not looking entirely apologetic but more than a little pissed off. "He's been following me round all night." Emma curled her lip.

"No, no, it's fine." Kate looked down into her drink and looked diffident.


"Sorry?" Kate looked up.

"Emma, me. I'm Emma," she said, now glowing and smiling crookedly.

"Oh, sorry. I'm Kate." She stood to her full height and as they shook hands, she noticed that her new acquaintance was almost exactly the same height as her. "I'm in a bit of a daze. Not terribly keen on, or good at, these things." Kate waved her hand about beside her head, to indicate that she meant the type of event they were attending.

"Yeah, I know what you mean. The last resort of the tragically lonely woman: get glammed up and fish for a shag at a singles club." Emma's eyes widened and she touched Kate's elbow. "Sorry, didn't mean to imply that you were fishing for a shag." Emma quickly took a sip of her drink and thought again. "Or that you're tragic."

"Oh, don't worry." Kate waved away the concern. "I'm fast approaching the tragic stage." She swilled her drink around in the glass, pinkie finger extended. "So... did he make an unacceptable overture towards you?"

"Wha?" Emma narrowed her eyes and smiled, slowly catching Kate's meaning. "Oh. Him?" Scrunching her face up, she shook her head. "No, not really. I know him, though; he hit on my sister a few times. He's married and I'm really not going there again."

"You've dated a married man?" Kate's eyes, rimmed with eye-liner, were wide with surprise.

"Mm." Emma nodded. "Whole thing went totally wrong."

Kate narrowed her eyes a little. "I'm not exactly sure how it could go right."

"I could've done with you there to tell me that at the time."

"What happened?" asked Kate, politely adding, "If I might ask."

"His wife caught us. She looked like you, actually, 'cept she was a lot angrier and was wielding things." Emma threw back her drink and looked around for an available member of the bar staff. "Plus you're prettier."

Kate blushed. "But you got away unscathed?"

"I did, but he probably came away from it with one less testicle," said Emma, thinking back and wincing.

"Yikes." Kate sucked air through her teeth. "So, no more married men, then?"

"No more married men." Emma pointed at Kate's empty glass. "What are you drinking?"

"You don't have to."

"I want to."

"Vodka and tonic, then."

"Two double V&Ts, please," Emma called over to the barmaid, who went away to make their order.

"So, are you up for a one night stand?" Emma asked Kate, without turning. "Sorry, on. Nope, that still sounds wrong."

"It's okay -- I know what you mean." Kate scrunched up her nose. "I thought I might, but I think I'll just go home... alone."

"Stay for a bit, though. Keep me company."

"I'll be warding off all your young men."

"Don't be daft; we'll just get double the interest."

"Thanks for the drink." Kate pressed her fingers to the cold glass, then raised them to her hot forehead, pushing her fringe aside a little.

"Y'know, I love your hair. The fringe like that -- it's great." Emma glanced over to her reflection in the mirror behind the bar. "Maybe I should go for something like that."

"Honest opinion?"


"It wouldn't suit you."

"Oh, I don't know." Emma pulled locks of her hair across her forehead and looked up at her makeshift replication of Kate's haircut.

Kate shook her head. "Trust me, it'd be dreadful."

"Fair enough," Emma chuckled, releasing the hair and tucking stray strands behind her ears. "You surprise me, Kate."

"Why?" asked Kate, interested.

"It's like you're this shy little person sometimes, but brimming under the surface is all this tension and passion."

"You got that from two minutes of conversation with me?" she asked, incredulously.

"I've also been standing next to you for the past hour." Emma shrugged. "Just going on my instincts."

"You'd probably make a good detective. Not that I'm saying you're right."

"I almost joined the police once, but I woke up late on the day of my assessment and decided not to bother."

"So what do you do?"

"I work for my dad's plumbing firm."

"You're a plumber?"

"Oh, no. Well, I can a bit. No, I'm admin mostly, sorting out dockets for the guys, advertising and things." Emma stuck out her bottom lip, pouting, clearly disinterested in her own job. "What do you do?"


"Oh, wow, so you're the authority on it then. Maybe I should re-apply. Do you wear a uniform?"

"Not in CID." Emma frowned, not knowing what it meant, so Kate added: "Criminal Investigation Department."

"What does that cover?"

Kate was not used to people taking an interest in her work; they were usually a little wary. "Fraud, serious assault, grand theft... murder."

"That's amazing. It must be so rewarding."

"It can be."

"Know any single coppers?" Emma laughed.

"You do not want to date a police officer," Kate replied resolutely.

"I'd ask you on a date if you were a man, or at least I'd come on to you until you asked me out."

"Don't be silly." Kate took a long sip of her drink.

"I'd totally fancy you if you were a bloke. Wouldn't you fancy me?"

"I don't know; you're a woman."

"Yes, I know, but imagine me as a man."

"I can't," said Kate, dismissively.

"'Course you can. Look, I'll do you. If you were a man, you'd be all dark and brooding, with strong shoulders and eyes like emeralds."

"I'm starting to think I would have been better off as a man," Kate said, looking around at the couples dancing and kissing.

Emma nudged her in the side with her elbow. "Come on, do me."

Kate stared at Emma for a good while, musing to herself. "You'd be blonde... with kind eyes." Emma rolled her aforementioned eyes. "You'd buy me a drink, be personable and have a distinctly cheeky face." Emma rolled her hand over and over in an indication for Kate to get on with it, smiling encouragingly. "Slim build, nice toned --" Kate raised her hands to the air. "Can't do it! Your woman shape is putting me off."

"That was rubbish."

"Hey," said Kate, mocking offence, as she poked Emma in the side. They laughed together.

"Have you ever fancied a woman?" Emma smiled as she sucked on a shard of ice.

"I can't say I've ever thought about it."

"Oh, come on."

"Honest," Kate said truthfully.

"Do you think you could fancy me?" asked Emma.

"Are we talking about man-me or me-me?"

"Either." Emma slunk her shoulders back and posed in her little black strappy dress.

Kate looked her up and down. "You're very attractive. But I'm straight."

"Me too, straight as a die. But aren't you curious?"

"About what?"

"Having sex with a woman."

Kate almost choked on her drink but managed to swallow the gulp, which went down her throat painfully. She spoke with a rasp. "As if."

"Don't tell me that having sex with a woman isn't on your list of things to do before you're thirty-five?"

"I'm thirty-six," she replied, brusquely.

"Never too late, Kate."

"Are you offering yourself up to me, Emma?"

"Can't do any harm, can it? Take the night off from bastard men."

For some reason, the idea appealed to Kate, but she could offer only a "Hm" in response.

"Stop thinking and just do it."

"You mean do you."

"Come on, I bet you've got a bit of tiger in you. It'd be a shame to waste that sexy bra you're wearing." Emma looked down at the peep of a red underneath Kate's low cut top, which Kate proceeded to pull up a little. "Just once; we'd be ships passing in the night."

"I hardly know you." Kate looked down at her knee-high boots, avoiding eye contact with Emma. She frowned at a small scuff on the heel and pursed her lips.

"That's the point, isn't it?" Emma could tell that Kate's principles were being placed under extreme scrutiny. She imagined Temptation and Conscience playing out their roles on Kate's shoulders; they took the form of a Joan of Arc type character and a rather more licentious figure in a scanty slip. Emma pouted and wondered if she should get a another drink or whether she had already overdone it. She thought that perhaps she had pushed a little too hard with Kate and decided to give up on the idea. "Look, don't worry. I didn't meant to make you uncomfortable. Forget about it. I think you've probably just been misunderstood by men. I was curious and you're nice and I thought it'd be a chance to relax with someone; y'know, just to see. It was really great to meet you, though." Kate looked up and into Emma's eyes. "Maybe I'll see you around, Kate."

Emma grabbed her handbag from the bar and went to leave, but Kate caught her by the wrist. "It would need to be my place."

"Fine by me -- mine's a dump, anyway."

The cold air made them both feel a little wobbly. They waited in line for a cab, chilled to the bone, hugging themselves and rubbing their arms. Kate gave Emma a small, thin-lipped, smiling shrug, trying to look content. As the cab approached, Emma opened the door and, clasping Kate's hand in her own, suddenly pulled her into the back seat. Kate gave directions to her street. They were still holding hands; Emma squeezed Kate's fingers tightly, trying to reassure her. They did not speak until they reached the flat; Kate was grateful for the quiet taxi driver.

"I'll pay," said Kate.

"No, we'll go halves." Emma reached for her purse.

Kate leaned over and whispered directly into Emma's ear. "It's only fair because you'll be paying for another taxi when you go home."

Kate unlocked the main door to the block of flats and let Emma in. They entered the lift and the doors closed behind them; instrumental music played quietly in the background.

Suddenly nervous, Kate broke the awkward silence. "Maybe this isn't such a good idea." Emma held her by the wrist, turning to bring their lips into close proximity, and tentatively placed a hot, tingling kiss on Kate's mouth, silencing her. The lift clunked into position and they exited, entered the flat and made their way up to the bedroom. "I'll be back in a minute," said Kate, hesitantly. After a few minutes, she re-entered the room, bringing with her a couple of wine glasses and a bottle of sparkling water. "I hope it's alright; I don't think I could drink any more alcohol."

"Just what the doctor ordered." Emma took a glass and Kate poured. "Cheers." They sat on the edge of the bed, clinked glasses, sipped and then caught each other's eye. A sudden hunger, they both leant forward and indulged in another kiss. Kate took the drinks and put them to one side. "You're a lovely kisser; all soft yet firm," said Emma.

Kate tilted her head to one side and smiled. "This will be fine; we can just be ourselves -- no angst, no worrying."

Emma placed her hand on Kate's knee and began running her fingers slowly up her thigh. Kate swallowed, mentally brushing away any nerves she had. She leant over and kissed Emma's neck, evoking a small moan. Emma pushed Kate's skirt further up, revealing the tops of her stockings. Emma looked down. "Oh, nice hold-ups; where did you get those from? La Senza?"

"They're from Marks, actually." Kate blinked and suddenly realised how different this sexual encounter was already.

Emma had obviously thought the same thing as she had stopped her hand. "Um. Tell you what: do you fancy a shower?"

"Oh, you mean and then come back to bed?"

"Well, yes, but I mean a shower with me."

"I do feel a bit grubby after walking through the smokers." Kate could not think of a reason not to, apart from, "I'm a bit shy."

"Well, this'll help you get over it." Yet again, Emma grabbed Kate and pulled her out of her comfort zone.

Kate unclasped her hair and let it fall about her shoulders; Emma ran her fingers through the dark waves. Shower running, steam filled the bathroom as they carefully undressed each other. They could not help but giggle a little as they entered the shower together, but once in the warm, vapour-filled environment, their attentions turned again to each other. Water cascaded off their shoulders and ran between their bodies as they kissed deeply. Kate ran her hands all over Emma's back, sides, bottom, neck and shoulders; soap suds frothed on Emma's skin. Emma, meanwhile, was centering her attentions on Kate's breasts, relishing the smooth feel beneath her palms. Kate gasped her way out of their kiss when Emma started to rotate her thumbs over her nipples. Closing her eyes, Kate began to revel in the sensation of Emma's hands on her body; she craved more.

Emma moved down, placing her tongue where her thumbs had previously been, nipping slightly. She descended further, gently kissing her way from the area beneath Kate's breasts, over her stomach, to her inner thighs. Water ran down Kate's abdomen, catching on Emma's eyelashes, nose and lips. Kate held onto the tiled walls of the shower cubicle as she felt the tip of Emma tongue caress the most sensitive area between her legs. Emma pushed Kate back slightly, placing her shoulders directly under the shower. Water surged down her body and hit Emma's mouth as she continued to satisfy Kate's burning carnal desires; she varied her actions, from light to soft, from fast to slow, from deep to barely a flicker of a touch. She held onto Kate's lower back so as to exert sufficient pressure and stimulate Kate to the edge. Kate's knees began to give way a little and she reached down to pull Emma up by her shoulders.

Grasping at Emma's wet hair, Kate drew her in for a fierce kiss, their tongues pushing forcefully against each other. Pressing their bodies together, they fell against the wall of the cubicle, which felt cold compared to the water. Emma reached between them and down, sliding her hand along Kate's pelvis, which moved against her palm, willing for a more intimate touch. As she pushed her fingers deep into Kate, the response came in the form of a gentle bite to her shoulder. The prickle of pain added to Emma's feelings of lust; her heart was beating its way out of her chest. Kate held onto Emma's upper arm and began to tease at her neck with her teeth. Emma let her head tilt backwards, using her right knee to support her hand as she nudged back and forth. Kate's body shaking, Emma curled her free hand around Kate's neck to support her. Kate grasped onto Emma's right breast, and with every deep plunge she squeezed, rubbing her fingers against Emma's pert nipple. Emma struggled to contain her voraciousness; she closed her eyes, bit her bottom lip and began to use her thumb to once again bring Kate to the edge.

Kate shuddered, held up by Emma, waves pulsing through her, her muscles tensing pleasurably. Emma allowed Kate to catch her breath before kissing her gently. Kate looked as though she were in heaven: eyes closed, breathing softly; she looked serene.

"Come on; let's get dried off and get you sat down. You look like you might fall over."

They sat back on the edge of the bed, swathed in white towels. Emma dried her hair roughly, rubbing back and forth, while Kate gently gripped clutches of hair in her towel to soak up the water. Kate reached over and traced the back of her hand over the left hand side of Emma's cheek; Emma kissed her knuckles as they passed her mouth. Their lips clashed together again as Emma found herself being pushed back onto the bed. Stomach to stomach, breasts heaving against Kate's, nipples rising with arousal. Kate placed her thigh between Emma's legs and pressed gently; Emma's hips rose to create more pressure, her back arching slightly to maintain skin to skin contact. Kate ran a hand down Emma's side, over her hip, and began massaging the muscles of her thigh. Emma let out a murmur of approval but ached for more, having been highly turned on already by their antics in the shower.



"I want you inside me," Emma whispered into her ear. "Please."

Happy to have so much control over another person's pleasure, Kate obliged, her strong hand held tight by Emma's contracting pelvic muscles. They rolled over onto their sides, Kate's arm under Emma, holding onto her back as she steadily slid her fingers back and forth, provoking throaty moans.

Kate reached over and took a drink of water. She moved down Emma's body, not ceasing her current attentions. She let her free hand grip onto Emma's side, her thumb nudging the sensitive area beneath her left breast. When she reached the apex of Emma's legs she kissed the most sensitive area; still holding a little of the water in her mouth, she formed a seal and allowed the bubbles to dance over Emma's soft flesh. With fingers curling upwards inside her, it was all Emma could do not to buck her hips; she clung onto the sheets with her hands. As Kate's tongue lightly flicked against her, she could no longer contain herself and gave in to the intense exhilaration. The climax was strong and just a fraction away from being unbearable. Emma cried out. Kate continued her soft attentions until the ripples died and Emma relaxed. Kate made her way up the bed and rested her head on Emma's chest, listening to her still racing heartbeat.

"Well, it's goodbye then," said Emma, holding out her hand to shake Kate's for the second time that evening.

"I suppose so. I..." she began, but could not form the right words.

"It was a lovely evening." Emma opened the door to the flat. "I'd better get home." She pointed behind her.

Kate leaned forward to kiss Emma's cheek, but thought again and kissed her full on the lips for the last time. "Thank you."

"What for?"

"Everything." Kate shrugged smally.

Emma held her hand. "You're a wonderful person, Kate; don't let anyone tell you any different. I can see what you're truly like and there's someone to love in there."

Kate stood in the hallway with her back to the door; she sighed deeply, Emma long gone -- she had watched her walk to the lift and heard it descend. She had considered running after her; 'But what for?' she thought. 'To proclaim undying love? To proclaim undying lust?' It seemed so absurd. She had felt so instinctively drawn to Emma and now she was gone; she missed her, her eyes, her voice. Looking up at herself in the mirror, Kate noticed a small business card wedged into the frame. She plucked it from its position. It read: 'A1 Plumbers. Proprietor Henry Scribbins.' Kate wondered if Scribbins was Emma's surname as she ran her fingers along the card's edges. She turned it over to find hastily scribbled note: 'I won't ever forget tonight'. Flipping the card between her fingers as she walked through the flat, Kate looked in the direction of the kitchen sink and began to wonder how easy it would be to loosen a pipe or two.

The End

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