|Just Checking You're Alright
Author: Rollieo 122 PM
Jones is concerned about Stephens, and when her behaviour changes, he decides to investigate and see for himself that she's alright. Very slightly Jones/Stephens.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Hurt/Comfort/Friendship - Words: 1,222 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 11-29-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5544498
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own Midsomer Murders, or any of the characters in this, they are owned by ITV. In fact, I own nothing, apart from the laptop I wrote this on... which isn't even completely mine (it's my dad's)!
Author's Note: SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't seen 'The Glitch', I strongly advise you to go and watch it, because there are probably some spoilers floating around in here...
Anyways, this is a 'what if' scenario from a scene about half way through the episode, because I wondered how Jones would have dealt with Stephens when she was upset, but as that wasn't shown in the episode, I thought I'd do something about it..! And this is how it turned out, so I hope it's alright...
Just Checking You're Alright
It was strange, Jones thought, that he couldn't get Stephens out of his head. More specifically, the look on her face when he and Barnaby had arrived at Emily Harte's mother's house as she watched the young children laying flowers and drawings of the primary school teacher outside from the doorway of the house. He had wanted to go and check that she was alright, but Barnaby had told him to wait outside, so he didn't really have much choice in the matter. Barnaby had also claimed that she was alright when Jones asked, but the sergeant wasn't so sure and wanted to check for himself. But every time since then he'd seen Stephens or tried to talk to her, she avoided him.
It wasn't until just after they finished their shift that Jones actually managed to catch up with Stephens – she walked into the locker room just as he was getting ready to leave. As soon as she saw him though, Stephens turned to walk away.
"Hey, Gail, wait a second..!" Jones shouted after her.
She sighed and turned to look at him. "Yes, serge?"
"Are you alright?" he said, beckoning her into the room.
"I'm fine, serge…" she replied, a weary smile appearing on her face.
"Hey, we're off duty now…" Jones teased. "But seriously though, are you sure? You looked a bit upset earlier…" He mentally chided himself as soon as he said that. Subtle, Ben, subtle… he thought.
"Honestly, serge, I'm fine…" Stephens insisted, still smiling, although her eyes told a different story. Jones noted the fact she still called him by rank, which was another indication that she was actually not alright, aside from the look on her face when he mentioned the events of earlier that day.
"Well, if you want to talk to me about it, I'm here, you know…" he said, picking up his bag and getting ready to leave. Just as he opened the door, she spoke.
"Not here, not right now… Perhaps we could talk later this evening?"
Jones smiled. "Sure. Ring me." He winked at her. "See you later!"
"Bye Ben…" she replied, smiling back.
Jones knew that she'd want to talk about it at some point, so he wasn't really surprised when he got a phone call from a very upset Stephens at nearly eleven. She sounded so upset that he told her that he was coming to hers, whether she liked it or not, and despite her protests.
However, he was surprised when she practically threw herself at him as soon as she opened her door about 15 minutes later, tears running down her face. "Come on, let's go inside…" he said quietly, leading her back into her house.
He found his way around her house surprisingly easily, considering he'd never been there before, although by the time he'd made them both a drink, she was sitting on the sofa in her living room and had seemed to have stopped crying.
She looked up when he handed her one of the mugs. "Thanks…" she said.
Jones sat down on the sofa next to her, putting his own mug on the table next to him. "Do you want to tell me what happened?" he prompted quietly. Stephens looked at him, and then back at her mug. "I'll stay for as long as you want me to…"
She gave him a tiny smile before looking back at her mug, still clasped in her hands. She took a sip before she spoke. "Well, you know the boss sent me to go and talk to Emily's mother about her…" Jones nodded. "I went, but I wasn't sure what there was I could have said to her anyway…" She took another sip from her drink. "I thought I was doing really well, and that's when the children arrived with one of the other teachers…" Stephens glanced back at Jones, who was watching her carefully. She started sniffling, as if she was trying not to cry. "I wasn't the one who spotted them; it was Emily's mother… She… she…" Jones wrapped his arm around her as she started crying. "Sorry…" she said, looking at him apologetically.
"Don't worry, take your time…" he said, holding her closer to him.
"She was the one that noticed the children out of the window… And then a couple of the kids came to the door to ask if they could lay some flowers and put up some drawings, and that's when she broke down…" Stephens paused, looking around the semi-dark room. "She went outside with the children to watch, and I stood in the doorway, and that's when you and the boss arrived… I couldn't help it…" she finished, crying uncontrollably.
"Shh… Come on, it's alright…" Jones whispered, taking the mug out of her hands and letting her cry into his shoulder. The children laying flowers had touched him too.
A bit later on, when Stephens had stopped crying, she looked up at Jones. "Thank you…" she said.
"For listening to me… You didn't have to do this; the boss did it anyway…"
"I know he did, but I wanted to check for myself that you were alright…"
Stephens smiled at him. "What time is it?" she asked, yawning.
Jones looked at his watch. "It's just after midnight…" he replied.
"It's getting late… You ought to go home and get some rest before shift tomorrow…"
"But you're not going to?"
"Not until I'm certain that you're alright…"
A mischievous glint appeared in her eyes. "Will this prove I'm alright?" she said, leaning in and kissing him gently on the lips.
Jones thought for a moment. "Hmm… Well, I suppose it will have to…" He smiled. "Are you sure you're going to be alright on your own? You can come and stay over at mine tonight if you'd like…"
"Nah, I'm sure I'll be fine…"
"You can ring me if you want to talk or anything…" he said, standing up to leave.
"I know…" They walked to the door together. "Thanks again…"
"That's alright, anytime…"
"I guess I'll see you tomorrow then..?"
"Yeah. See you tomorrow, Gail!"
"See you tomorrow, Ben!" she said, waving as he walked away, before she closed the door and went to bed.