Disclaimer. I do not own New Tricks. BBC and Wall to Wall own all. No copyright infringement intended nor should be inferred.

This is set in series 9 when Steve and Gerry went to Glasgow. So no Sasha, Dan or Ted.

1. Facts

"I told Steve you have the flu. Now stop worrying about work." Esther smiled as the doorbell rang. She knew Jack and Sandra would be rushed off their feet with three detectives missing. What she didn't want was Brian rushing back to work. It was bad enough getting him to admit he was unwell in the first place. The man seemed to think he was invincible, that there was no way UCOS would survive if he wasn't there. What he didn't seem to realise is that he risked passing the flu over to everyone else on the team.

"Brian. You are ill." He sneezed as she spoke. Moments later she was answering the door to Jack and Sandra. "Hello. I spoke to Steve. Brian is not well."

Sandra nodded. "Its not Brian missing work we are here about."

"No, its you." Jack smiled handing her a take away coffee. "We know what Brian is like, thought you would need a break." He stepped past her into the house.

"He has the flu and you have a bad heart."

"And we have an office that is out of bounds. Gerry and Steve in Glasgow and Jack and I have had our flu jab." Sandra smiled slightly as Esther ushered them into the kitchen.

"And no case?"

"Only what Gerry and Steve are working on in Glasgow. Apparently they are supposed to be helping Glasgow CID set up their version of UCOS. From what Gerry tells me it sounds more like this DCI MacDougal has got them doing her dirty work. Still it keeps them out of my hair for a week." Sandra smiled as Jack wandered into the living room to talk to Brian who had ensconced himself on the sofa with a duvet and soup. Scampy sat in his basket watching the men as they talked.

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"How long are they up there?" Esther sat down with her coffee mug in one hand. She knew Sandra would be the last person to admit it but she missed having Gerry, Brian and Steve around. She watched as Sandra looked in her own mug. She knew that the younger woman had always considered the team as a surrogate family and whether she admitted it or not Sandra Pullman missed Gerry Standing.

"A week." Sandra looked up.

"Sandra?"

"Um?"

"Why are you here?"

"I said. Jack and I thought you might need a break."

"From Brian?"

"Yeah."

Esther laughed. "Oh I am used to him. He's a terrible patient. A really terrible patient. I know that. But I can deal with Brian. I have since I was twenty years old."

Sandra smiled. "He was a nightmare in the office yesterday. I sent him home because he was getting on my nerves. Him moaning and sniffing. Then it occurred to, well Jack that you were probably having to put up with a lot more than we were and since we have decorators getting under our feet I thought we could come and see if we could help."

Esther raised an eyebrow. "Do you miss him?"

"Brian?"

"No. Gerry." Esther watched as Sandra blushed. "Well? Do you miss him?"

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