DISCLAIMER: Murder in Suburbia and its characters are the property of ITV. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for the Second Annual Ash/Scribbs ficathon.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"So, the vicar was having an affair with the butcher's wife. And the baker was having it off with the candle-stick maker who was actually his sister. But the only one who knew that was the librarian who had worked at the registrar's office when the sister had been born. The librarian fancied the candle-stick maker, but was having meaningless sex with the vicar's wife as a stop-gap which means that any bloody one of them could have done it!"
"Scribbs, you are aware that all of those people are fictional and were actually just acting out a script."
"Yeah, but "
"And that we do in fact have a real murder on our hands. One which is almost as convoluted as the scenario you just related."
"Look, Ash, when Hammond found out we were going undercover at this murder mystery weekend, he bet me that we wouldn't be able to figure out whodunit."
"I know! So we can't go back to the station without the identity of the murderer."
"Well, yeah, but definitely the fake one. Pride is at stake."
"You said he bet you how much did you bet?"
"It wasn't exactly a monetary sum "
"What was it then?"
"Well if I win I get his signed Blue Peter annual from 1984."
"A fine prize indeed. And what does he get if he wins?"
"He gets to take me on a date."
"Yes, I thought that's what you said."
"You're angry, aren't you?"
"You are. The tops of your ears have gone all red."
"Why should I be angry? It's absolutely fine that you are accepting dates with other people. It doesn't bother me one iota."
"Well, I'd hardly say it's my fault."
"Oh, so I forced you to go on a date with some random copper, did I?"
"No but you won't tell anyone that we're together. Therefore, to the naked eye, I am young, free and single."
"And you couldn't think of a single excuse not to accept the terms of this wager?"
"I didn't think I'd lose."
"Now I'm not so sure."
"Ash? Ash what are you thinking?"
"I'm thinking that we'll probably need to see the script for this 'murder mystery'. There could be evidence in it somewhere. And if we happen to come across the identity of the fake murderer at the same time well, that's a happy coincidence."
"Yes I am. And apparently quite possessive."
"That's OK. I quite liked that."
"Perhaps when we've solved this case we should think about telling people."
"Well, we'd probably have to tell the Boss at least he'd read the paperwork."
"Not about solving the case, Scribbs."
"How does one go about that kind of thing?"
"I dunno. Maybe we could have a snog in the middle of the office?"
"We could take out an ad in the paper?"
"Failing that, I'll just drop some hints to Christine in the typing pool. It'll be round the whole station within an hour."
"Sounds like a plan."
"Are you sure, Ash?"
"Am I sure I don't want the world and its dog asking you out on dates? Yes I bloody well am."
"OK then, let's get this script and win you your Blue Peter Annual."
"Signed Blue Peter Annual."
"How could I forget? Who's it signed by?"
"Janet Ellis and Peter Duncan."
"A-list celebrities, both. You'd get at least fifty pence for that on ebay."
"Like I'd sell it!"
"No, I don't suppose you would. C'mon, we do have a murder to solve, you know."
"I know, I know. Anyway, I bet the butler did it."
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