|A Very Bailey Christmas
Author: DD Agent PM
Sequel to Harry's Birthday. Bailey and Zaf decide to bring some christmas cheer to the grid. Sorry it's so late. RH RoM and some other surprises.....Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Words: 6,224 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 01-06-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3327831
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: None of these characters (apart from Bailey and others I have created) belong to me; all of them belong to Kudos and the BBC. If you want to use either Bailey or the others please email me first and let me know. I am very nice and probably will let you. If you don't I will come and attack you with a baseball bat (a la 5. 01 and Zaf).
Spoilers: Up to Season 5's Episode 10.
This is a sequel to the popular story 'Harry's Birthday'.
I planned to post this story on Christmas Eve, but due to bereavement three days before Christmas, I found myself unable to write and it is only now that I find myself able to finish this story. I'm sorry this is late, but I hope you enjoy it.
Warning: Contains Ruth/ Harry; Ros/ Malcolm and a few surprise couples.
It was only a few days to Christmas and MI5 officers Zafar Younis and Bailey Shaw were determined to bring some cheer to the Grid, which was captained by Scrooge Harry Pearce. They had a very good plan to bring Xmas to the Agents. It came in two parts. One perfectly legal, one not so.
They were there now: just them. Harry and Ruth had gone home early, hand in hand and her head resting lightly against his shoulder. Although she had to admit they made a lovely couple, Bailey was still pissed that her Aunt was winning in their little game. Bringing Ruth back and out of Mace's grubby hands had earned her five points, while Bailey was only on three. Juliet had won round 1, but Bailey was certain to win round 2.
Starting with a little romance. She knew that neither Ruth and Harry or Ros and Malcolm had made the jump into the bedroom. Bailey had gotten the information from Danny (Malcolm's assistant) and Maria (one of the tea girls) as to the state of their relationships. Well, that was going to change as the younger Shaw had enlisted Zaf to help get Ros and Malcolm snuggling up. However the elder Shaw played dirty and had Jo helping her to set up Harry and Ruth.
At present, Bailey was standing on a ladder while Zaf was keeping a look out. Not that anyone was on the grid at 3 am, but you could never be too careful. She had just finished the last touches to her first plan when she slipped on one of the rings of the ladder. Zaf caught her easily, but Bailey was still shaking. She had never liked heights, and hated falling just as much. She had fallen out of a tree when she was eight, and had to endure a lecture from her nanny.
"Maybe you should try wearing jeans that actually fit, instead of six inches over the edge of your trainers," Zaf reprimanded as Bailey slid out of his arms.
She shook herself down and gave him a look that reminded him just who her aunt was. Bailey packed the ladder away and turned to look at her companion.
"For one, they are converses, not trainers. Two, I like my jeans this length. And three, do you think that this will work?" Bailey exclaimed, getting in a strop.
With a tinsel scrunchie holding up her hair, Bailey bounded into work. Coming through the stand-alone door, she saw a gathering of people waiting outside the pods. Danny was waiting by the wall trying desperately not to be noticed. He was 30, had bright ginger hair, and wore the most awful glasses. Danny was just like Malcolm, totally obsessed with the latest gadget and bugging device; but unlike his mentor, he didn't have a girlfriend.
"Hey Danny, what's going on?" Bailey asked, trying to keep a straight face. She knew exactly what was going on.
Danny instantly froze. Having a massive crush on the youngest member of Section D wasn't a good thing, and neither was fantasising about her in briefings. Talking to her was even worse, especially as Bailey was such a bubbly sort of person who talked to everyone. Turning to face her, he stared into the sweet face of his unrequited, and smiled shyly.
"Someone has put mistletoe all over the pod doors and Harry's office door. No one will enter the pods just in case they're caught under the mistletoe," Danny mumbled, now looking straight at the floor in an effort to avoid looking at Bailey.
Showing what exactly made her a Spook as well as a Shaw, Bailey charged head first into the pods, keeping a look out to make sure that no one had come in early. Jumping out, she twisted round and beamed like a lunatic.
"If everyone goes in one at a time and goes straight to their desk, then we'll avoid anybody getting to kiss anybody else. Okay?"
Slowly but surely, everyone filed into the Grid. Zaf entered and gave the younger Shaw a subtle smile. Coming over, they both began to giggle.
"We're genius'," Bailey declared as she watched people edging around each other to avoid the mistletoe.
"Never doubted it for a second. Quick question though, how are we supposed to get them to kiss under the pod doors?" Zaf asked, surveying Harry edge himself through, grumbling about idiots and South Africa.
"Someone enters, someone leaves. Simple. We better split though; we're looking mighty suspicious standing here. I don't like the idea of being posted to South Africa,"
Sitting down at her desk, Bailey surveyed the view. Directly across from her was Harry's office, and quite close was Ros'. A large photo of her and her aunt adorned the desk, as well as a smaller one with both Bailey and her parents in full view. Digging around in her desk, she found her MP3, and was about to plug it in when a shadow overcame her desk.
Ruth Evershed was looking at her with inquisitive eyes. Wearing a lowish cut red shirt and knee length skirt (that was for the benefit of one Harry Pearce) she looked quite different from the woman before Mace intervened. And right know she was looking at Bailey's desk.
"Can I help you with something?" Ruth asked, placing the files on the desk. Bailey slipped the headphones into the MP3 and turned to look at her.
"I was about to ask you the same thing,"
"I just wondered what you're doing at my desk…"
"Bailey, Ruth, a word?" Harry asked, his tone as sharp as ever. He gave Ruth a smile meant only for her, and gestured with his hand for the two women to follow him.
Both went into his office, with them avoiding the mistletoe on his door. Harry rolled his eyes and walked straight through after the two girls. Tinsel adorned the walls with a small tree in the corner. Harry closed the door and sat down at his desk. Ruth stood by the door, while Bailey sat down on the threadbare sofa. Noticing that Bailey was nervous, Harry cleared his voice, preparing for what was going to happen.
"This is not fair," she suddenly blurted out.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked. Bailey stood up and addressed the room.
"I was here first! Well, I wasn't…exactly…but she died…kind of. This isn't fair!" Bailey whined.
"Let's just talk about this sensibly…"
"Stop whining woman," Harry reprimanded.
"Look…" Ruth began.
"Don't. This doesn't concern you. It only concerns Harry and me. When she left, you were so screwed up. I mean, an intelligence analyst had about the life expectancy of an ant in a playground in here. And then I come, and I stick. Then she comes, and I go. How fair is that Harry, hmm?" Bailey asked. She sat down on the sofa once again, the spirit gone out of her.
"Harry, what is going on?" asked Juliet. She wheeled herself through the door, which Harry had had to replace, as well as the size of the pods so Juliet could get through.
"Oh nothing aunt Juliet, I'm just getting fired," Bailey mumbled, picking at threads.
"Juliet…" Harry began, but was viciously interrupted by the Shaw tongue.
"I bring Ruth back to stop your moping and you fire my niece! Harry, she is a brilliant analyst, a little young maybe, but…"
"I am not firing Bailey," Harry retorted, doing some interrupting of his own.
"You're not?" chorused the voices of the three most important women in his life.
Ruth: the woman he loved. Juliet: his nemesis and greatest friend. Bailey: his acting daughter. All three of them looked surprised at his revelation, but a small smile began to appear at the edges of Bailey's mouth.
"Bailey is staying as our Intelligence Analyst. Ruth, I don't know what I'm going to do with you. I'm sorry, I really am," Harry sighed
Bailey began to absolutely beam, and Ruth looked crestfallen. Juliet smirked briefly until she witnessed her niece dancing around in a circle singing.
"I got a jar of dirt; I got a jar of dirt," Bailey sung.
"What?" Harry stopped her from dancing and brought out the Harry face.
"Please tell me you have seen Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead mans chest?" Bailey said in disbelief. Even Ruth looked shocked.
"Stop dancing and get on with your work," Harry growled, pushing Bailey out of his office.
The two remaining women began to turn to him, but Bailey popped her head round the door.
"Do you want me to hack into the Pentagon now or this afternoon?"
- X -
Ruth and Harry sat on a bench watching the world go by opposite parliament. Both were drenched with the rain that had poured down earlier. He gently held her and stroked her hair as she ate the Cornish pasty that was her lunch.
"She's a good analyst you know," Harry stated, breaking the silence.
"She probably is. But, Harry, what am I going to do know? I can't return to GCHQ. We're a couple now; I couldn't go back to Cheltenham. I could see my mother…I'm not going back to GCHQ,"
"You could always work for Juliet,"
Ruth ended up having potato coming out of her nose due to the laughter that had erupted from that suggestion. Harry started chuckling too and drew her into a big hug. Kissing the side of her neck, he didn't think he could ever be so happy.
"You could always work WITH Bailey. She's not as bad as her aunt, and you're always saying how it's too much work for just one person," Ruth pulled a face, but nodded.
Slowly sitting up to face him, Ruth ran a finger down the side of Harry's face, following the remaining raindrops. His hands were on the small of her back, and hers had gotten intertwined around his neck. She leaned in and kissed his lips lightly, drawing a moaning sound from the back of her beloved's throat. Pulling back and looking at her watch, Ruth realised it was time to return to Thames House. Catching her and her lips off guard, Harry drew Ruth into a deep kiss with passion and soul imbedded into every movement. She massaged his lips and let her tongue explore his mouth with an aching lust. As he released her, both were breathing heavily.
"What's she like?" Ruth asked.
"She's bonkers. But brilliant,"
- X -
Back at the Grid, at least six couples had kissed, including a very grumpy Ros and a very cheerful Zaf. It had been like Christmas Day for him, he had gotten four kisses just this morning. He was sitting contently behind his desk, a large lipstick imprint on his cheek. Bailey and Malcolm, on the other hand; were moving a desk next to hers, and placing all Ruth's old stuff on there. While they were doing that, Bailey was surveying her handiwork of the mistletoe.
"Why do I have the feeling that you are responsible for this?" Malcolm asked, as they finished unpacking the brand new computer screen.
"I have no idea what you mean," Bailey mumbled, sniggering lightly as she watched female techie Cassandra sneak past Barry and Chelsie who were excavating each other's tonsils to get to them.
Cassandra was 39, cheery and quite cute in that whole not knowing it way. And she had a huge crush on Malcolm, which was oblivious to him and Harry (well Harry didn't really notice anything.)
"Hi Malcolm," she said, slightly giggling. "I was wondering if you could help me with this new gadget,"
Malcolm looked distraught. Help the damsel in distress, or help put in a new computer? Bailey rolled her eyes in a way that even Ros would be proud of and shoed him away.
"Go. I can do other things beside hack into yank computer systems and dance around quoting from Pirates of the Caribbean," Bailey smirked, forgetting to turn the plug off and nearly electrocuting herself on the new hard drive. "I'll try not to kill myself," she muttered as an after thought.
Juliet had decided to stay on the Grid for the rest of the day to observe the mistletoe and the effect it had on the officers of Section D. She had no meetings for that day, and found it quite interesting and amusing to either watch them blush horribly and try to avoid kissing their fellow colleagues or kiss each other like there was no tomorrow. Wheeling around watching, Juliet passed Bailey's desk; and stopped to watch her niece try and install a computer.
"Don't you have little children to butcher or the entire cast of Eastenders to annoy? Oh Sorry, I was mistaking you for Pauline Fowler. Or the devil. Either one is an apt description,"
"You know, I fed you. I clothed you. Well I paid someone to feed and clothe you. I bought you that nice expensive flat that you love. I even bought you the complete Monty Python Movie Collection,"
"Don't diss The Life of Brian," Bailey mumbled back, sparks spitting everywhere.
"I didn't have to take you in,"
"No. You took me in because my alcoholic bastard of a father left my mother to start a new life with some whore in Cheltenham. And then my mother killed herself. And then my brother got himself killed. I had nowhere else to go, and you felt sorry for me,"
"Is this your doing? The mistletoe? You won't win you know, I'll get Harry and Ruth into bed before you can get Myers and Malcolm," Juliet snarled, looking at the pictures on her niece's desk. One picture dominated the desk, and in it her brother David looked happy with his wife and daughter. Peter had been obviously been off doing other things and had missed the family portrait.
Bailey had stopped talking due to the Phillips screwdriver in her mouth. Juliet, bored, took in the contents of Ruth's desk. A large picture of the group at some birthday party dominated the biggest frame. A smaller one held an image of her and her mother. In an oak frame, a serene picture that mirrored Bailey's own showed Ruth, her mother and Bailey's father.
"What did you do? Please don't tell me you forgot to destroy the world again!" Bailey muttered, sticking the business end of the screwdriver into the tower.
"I am going to disown you if you are not careful. No, look at Ruth's picture,"
Bailey shifted over to her aunt's position and took in the photo of her father. Ruth and Harry entered at that point, kissing gently over the mistletoe.
"Six, three. Look, Bailey, we need to talk about this. The picture I mean. Your father is Ruth's stepfather by the looks of things," Juliet began until Bailey poked her in the ribs.
In the corner of the Grid, Ros and Malcolm were quietly kissing. No one had noticed them in the shadows except the Shaw's.
"Six, four. And, I don't want to talk about it," Ignoring her aunt, Bailey went over to Harry and Ruth's position and began to fill in the two about her trespassing into the Pentagon computer system.
- X -
It was the 24th December, and everyone was there to celebrate the season of goodwill. The Christmas party was in full swing, and more mistletoe had found its way onto the ceiling due to Jo and Juliet. Zaf and Bailey had taken a better shot by spiking the punch with two bottles of vodka, amidst the alcopops and the Tia Maria.
Harry was never without Ruth by his side, and Ros and Malcolm seemed to be in a private world of their own. Zaf and Jo had been sitting next to each other nattering all evening. Adam was at home with Wes, taking some time off. Juliet was surveying the party with great curiosity, or rather like a predator observing their prey. Cassandra and Danny were wandering around as well.
As the music shifted to old Christmas records, Harry grabbed his first glass of punch. Taking a large mouthful and after tasting it, Harry spat the ruby liquid all over the floor.
"Who has spiked the punch?" Harry yelled, startling the group, and leaving them all to look around nervously.
"Lets put it this way, whoever tells us who did it can pick the party game," Juliet smirked.
"Bailey did it," cried Zaf, pointing as well.
"ZAF!" Bailey yelled, whacking him hard on the arm before nodding.
"I'm disappointed in you Bailey. You can do the Christmas shift tomorrow for behaving in such an immature and dangerous way,"
"Well, back to the party…I pick Truth or Dare for us to play," Zaf announced, gaining a few groans from the older members of the Grid.
"Here are the rules. I'm ringmaster. I ask all the questions and come up with all the dares. We spin the lovely bottle of whiskey that someone found in Harry's wastepaper basket (Zaf ignored the Harry Stare), and who ever the edge of the bottle points to has to choose between Truth or Dare. If you choose Truth, I will ask you a question. If you lie you will be stripped to your underwear. If you choose Dare, you will have to kiss someone of my choice. Everyone okay with that?"
Zaf breathed out and witnessed his plastered colleagues take all the information in. All of them had either consumed a serious amount of alcohol or had a bottle in their hand. Some had both. Juliet was in the circle too, but only on Harry's 'request'. His theory was that this game was her fault, and she had to join in. Ringmaster Zaf was atop a desk above his colleagues and was wearing a party hat and a false moustache.
He spun the bottle gently, it landing on Cassandra. She was cute, and Zaf had even asked her out once. Dinner, dancing and doing the dirty later was all he could remember about her. He hoped she would choose Dare.
"So Cassandra, Truth or Dare?" Zaf smiled wickedly, more flirting than anything. She had drunk a considerable amount of the spiked punch, and started giggling infuriatingly. Out of the corner of his eye, Zaf witnessed Juliet sipping a spiked paper cup full of punch.
More of the drunken spooks had chosen Dare rather than Truth. Cassandra snogged a very nervous Malcolm, much to Ros' annoyance. Harry kissed Ruth attentively. Jo gave Zaf a very drunk kiss. Ros pecked Bailey on the cheek, whacking Zaf on the leg because of his need for girl on girl action. The bottle spun round to Juliet, extremely tipsy, as the paper cups had mounted up next to her.
"Juliet, my dear Juliet: Truth or Dare?" Zaf spluttered, his voice becoming a tiny bit slurred around the edges.
She propped herself up on the edges of her chair and whispered: "Truth,"
Oohs and Aahs went around the circle. She had been the first one to choose Truth, and her history with Harry was something that the junior spooks were desperate to investigate. But Zaf had other ideas.
"Why is Bailey with you and not her parents?" Zaf asked. A few grumbles went around the circle, but not many. Bailey and Juliet's relationship was up there with Harry and Juliet's affair. The younger Shaw took a large intake of breath and slowly sipped her water. She looked up at her aunt and shook her head desperately, but the elder Shaw didn't notice.
"Bailey's father David was my brother. He was an alcoholic, always fancied a drink since he was a teenager. When Bailey was one, he divorced her mother Christine Haigh. She stayed with her mother, while her brother went with their father. Surprisingly, Peter took his mothers surname, while Bailey took her fathers.
She was only three when David married some widow in Cheltenham. She had a fourteen-year-old daughter, and it was thought that her and Peter could grow up to be best of friends. The widow didn't know about Bailey. Her mother Christine attempted suicide when Bailey was six. That's when I took her in," Juliet explained.
A hush had fallen over the group. Juliet was too far-gone to realise what she was saying. Harry had kept his eyes on Bailey all the time, as she slowly contracted into the foetal position.
"What was her name, the widow?" Barry asked, gulping down his tequila.
"Elizabeth Bickley. My mother's name was Elizabeth Bickley," muttered Ruth before running out. Bailey bashed her head against one of the desks and followed her. Turning to look at Juliet, Harry saw she kept drinking the spiked punched, unaware what she had done. He stood up and followed after the two women.
- X -
On the roof, Ruth had burst into tears. To hear her mother, stepfather, and stepbrother talked about liked that was heartbreaking. To think that she was related to both Bailey and Juliet, even by marriage, was too. She clung to the side of the roof, tears overcoming her system. They covered her face and choked up her air passages. Her face was burning with hurt.
"I'm sorry she said all those things," Bailey stated, hands in her pockets nervously.
"You're sorry? You're sorry? I am forced to fake my own death for the sake of the country, and you swan in with your tacky trainers and cheap shots and steal everything: my desk; my friends; my job; Harry,"
"I never stole Harry,"
"And then I find out that my brother is your brother. My stepfather is your father. That my mother is just some whore that broke your family up," Ruth choked out, and to Bailey's credit she took each hit.
"I don't care! I never knew my father. Never knew my brother. They are just people my mother used to tell me about. " Bailey exclaimed. "I'm sorry if you had to find out that way, and I'm sorry that my view on your family is so terrible. Harry should have told you about it,"
"What?" Ruth's voice was bitterly sharp on the roof.
"Harry knew that Juliet's brother was your step father. It must have come up on the vetting…"
A small cough and footsteps alerted them to Harry's presence on the roof with them.
"To my credit, I didn't know that you were David's daughter," Harry replied.
Harry stood near the door, his eyes full of comfort for his Ruth. But she didn't want it, or him. She stormed past, brushing off his arm as he tried to reach for her. Bailey just stood there, frozen on the roof. Harry moved towards her, and placed both hands on her shoulders.
Back down on the grid, Ruth had been and gone. Everyone else was preparing to go home and have a quiet Christmas. Harry and Bailey entered, her eyes red from crying. Juliet had been snapped out of her drunken state by a concerned Malcolm, and was on the verge of actually apologising to her niece.
Harry walked slowly over to his office and stayed in his chair, blinds drawn, and whiskey open. Jo and Zaf sat by each other, although Bailey sat on the other side of them. By the pods, Malcolm was helping Ros into her coat.
"What are you planning for Christmas?" Malcolm asked Ros, straightening down the lapels.
"I'm coming around yours aren't I?" Ros pondered, running a finger gently down his tie.
"Oh yes. Must get the chicken out. Not much for turkey, me. Is that alright?"
"Course it is. I could stay the night, save me driving with a hangover," Ros wondered, smirking with innuendo. Which Malcolm missed.
"I suppose you could. I'd have to get the camp bed out of course. I have a new puzzle that you could assist me with,"
"I was hoping that we could fully consummate our relationship, Malcolm. I know we haven't been together long, but I would really like us to," she replied, and he flushed a deep red. Ros did too, realising that she may have gone to far.
"Well, if you insist…" Malcolm muttered, giving Ros a very subtle wink. She threw her arms around him and kissed him lightly on the nose.
The two left the grid, leaving Zaf, Jo, Bailey, and Juliet on the floor, and Harry in his office. Juliet turned to face the junior personnel.
"Guess you win child," Juliet whispered, looking down at her own flesh and blood. But Bailey was only looking out into space, only noticing the molecules of the air. Not noticing her aunt.
"I don't care about our stupid competition," was the last thing the young analyst said before she, too, left the grid. The bang of the door was the last thing they heard.
Sighing gently, Juliet began to roll towards the pods to follow her niece out. Zaf and Jo followed, leaving Harry alone in his office with the lights off.
- X -
On the roof, Bailey stared out onto London. Danny came up from behind her, holding two paper cups of water.
"Hi Bailey," Danny stated, smiling at his crush.
"Hey Danny. I left my watch at home, do you know the time?"
"One am. Merry Christmas!" he chuckled dryly, handing her one of the cups of water. A chill began to creep around the pair of them, until they noticed it was snowing.
White flakes of melted ice were slowly falling over the London citizens. Boys and girls would slowly wake up in the morning to mind their gardens covered in a fine white powder. They would open their presents, and have dinner and have a jolly Christmas. For the officers of Section D, life wouldn't be so simple.
"A White Christmas. How perfect," Bailey snarled, perfecting the Shaw Sarcasm. Danny grabbed her hand on a moment of impulse and gently squeezed.
"If there's anything I can do…" Danny replied, giving one of his reassuring smiles.
"Actually, there is," Bailey answered, before gently running her hands up his shoulders and tying them around his neck.
Closing the gap between them, she pressed her cold lips to his, spreading warmth through his body. Losing the nervousness he seemed to give off, he tenderly extracted his mouth from his. Danny removed a few stray strands of hair from her face and placed them behind her ears. Stroking the deep brown hair, he softly held her as the snow flurries increased around them.
Wes Carter woke up at 2 a.m. and jumped on his father's bed. Adam woke up cranky, feeling a sudden sadness at the lack of Fiona beside him. But the energetic child soon replaced the coldness he felt in his heart. Grabbing his son, he took him to the window to watch the snow fall down.
"Can we make a snowman Dad?" Wes asked, his innocence charming the Spook.
"Let's make a snow woman, eh?" Adam smiled, and tickled his son under the armpits.
Zaf and Jo entered their flat and ran to the window, noticing the snow falling outside. Pouring two large glasses of water with alka seltzer mixed in, Jo sat on the sofa and put on a black and white horror flick. Zaf soon joined her and the sunk into the black leather of the furniture.
"Well that could have gone better,"
"It's your fault. You and that stupid game,"
"Juliet was the one who decided to get pissed and blab Bailey's life story. I always thought her parents died in a car accident or something. Or that she was the only relative in London or…"
But Jo's lips on his cut off Zaf's words. He softly melded into the kiss as it deepened. Outside, the snow got heavier; and the water and the movie were forgotten.
Malcolm watched the woman he loved beside him, in his bed. She looked so small, lying there. Her platinum blonde hair was beautifully splayed over his pillows, and the analyst noticed a smile growing over her features. Finding a shirt, he threw it on and looked out of the navy curtains to watch the snow. Two arms found themselves around his waist, and he turned to see Ros hugging him. She was snuggled into the king size duvet, and looked nothing like the Ice Queen she was at work.
"Ah, my soldiers have come," Ros, whispered, engulfing her now lover in the duvet.
"I'm the Ice Queen. Snow and Ice are my minions. They've come to attack all Spooks who use to much mascara steal my CD's."
"Nah, schnapps is alright. Jo on the other hand? A danger to all frozen royalty. Come on, Malcolm, let's get back in the nice, warm bed,"
Ruth sat at home, stroking fidget's fur. Tears had stained her face, as well as her neck. Her arm was bleeding due to the intense activity she had done when she first had arrived back home. Wooden Frames and broken glass and old family pictures covered the hallway and bedroom. Burnt faces of parents both step and full lied in the bin in the kitchen. There was only one family portrait left intact.
Looking through family albums, she had found a small photo that had been tucked into the back. She must have taken it, or Peter must have given it to her. Juliet stood with David, holding each other as brother and sister would. A young Peter with his hair sticking up was on his father's shoulders. A small child, who could only be Bailey, was in Juliet's arms.
The photo was on the mantelpiece, next to one of her, Sam, Malcolm, and Colin.
Juliet was looking at the same picture in her monstrous abode. She was sitting on her bed, legs splayed out in front of her, enjoying a private moment. Like Ruth, tears were running down her face, but not through someone else's betrayal. Bailey teased her often, satanic wise cracks mostly. But there was something about her that Juliet loved, and it was more than her being her niece. Bailey asked her on her first day of work never to tell anyone what happened to her parents. She had wanted to be judged on her own merits, not be a sympathy case. Juliet had promised that day to keep that secret, and tonight she had gone back on her word.
She looked out the window, and noticed the snow falling outside. Scoffing at the romanticism and Christmas symbolism, Juliet pressed a button on the remote to turn the blinds around to spare the image of the flake filled streets. Her bedroom door opened and in stepped the last person (apart from possibly Ros Myers) who she would want to see her like this.
Harry crept in, and perched himself on the end of the bed.
"I didn't mean to tell the Grid. I just enjoyed having a drink, I haven't had one in so long. I was actually enjoying myself with your lot,"
"I'm sure they'll be pleased," Harry replied, grasping her hand.
"Does Ruth hate you? You did know that David was Ruth's step father," Juliet replied, staring at the photo of her holding Bailey.
"Yes. But I hope that she will eventually forgive me. I didn't know that Bailey was David's daughter, I thought she was Eric's,"
"Another waste of space. I found that photo of me, Peter, David, and Bailey. There's one of you holding her too. She was only a few weeks old at the time; Christine couldn't bear to let her go. Bailey was born in February, so we were still together. You used to love visiting her,"
"So did you, if I recall,"
"I never wanted children of my own. Career first, that was me. I ended up having Bailey all the same. You asked me a while ago, rhetorically, what you ever saw in me. Why did you Harry?" Juliet asked, shunting herself to the edge of the bed to allow her friend more room.
"I fell in love with you because you were beautiful, intelligent, wise and so…cynical. I loved the way you used to question everything and used your so-called innocence and sexuality to get what you wanted. You were exciting, you were dangerous. And there was the side that hardly anyone saw, the sensitive side that you didn't let out often. You cried when Bailey was born, as she was your first niece. You cried after the disciplinary hearing that told us we couldn't be together. You cried out my name when you were hurt. That is what I saw in you Juliet," Harry whispered, kissing her on the knuckles.
A smile showed itself on her face as he did.
"I didn't know you were in love with me Harry. Not truly," Juliet muttered, staring at the photo beside her.
"Truly," he said, as he shifted towards the head of the bed. Harry gently stroked the side of her face, as she pressed the right side of her face into his hand.
"Don't do what? This?"
Moving one hand to rest on her side, Harry kissed her lightly on the lips, savouring her smell. It was like coming home after a long time: twenty-five years to be exact. He strengthened the kisses on her mouth and moved down to her neck. Juliet relaxed in his presence, until he begun to kiss her collarbone. She pushed him away gently with both hands.
"I can't Harry. I don't want your sympathy. I'm a broken woman and I'm not in to comfort sex," Juliet whispered, the words choking in her mouth. A small tear escaped her and it made a trail down his face.
"I could say 'Let me fix you then', but it seems to clichéd for these circumstances. Let me say that if everything had happened just the way it had done, every last bit: Ros coming, Ruth leaving, Bailey arriving; and the only thing that changed was your accident…I would still want you right now," Harry smiled, his words like brown sugar.
Grabbing his tie, Juliet slowly pulled Harry towards her; and the two began to kiss. Softly at first, but with more passion as the kiss grew hotter and deeper and stronger.
And outside, the snow fell.