2. Really?

Sandra placed the mug of tea back on the table as Esther watched her. She knew that she didn't like having her team split up. Brian being unwell couldn't be helped but having Steve and Gerry sent to Glasgow was not something she could say she was over the moon about. She had no idea what Esther was implying. Everyone knew when Gerry and Sandra first met they were not friends, now years later she really could not imagine UCOS or her life without him. She shook her head.

"Miss Gerry?"

"That's what I asked." Esther sipped her own drink. "I know you two argue like cat and dog but you do care about him. Its obvious how much he cares about you."

"We are friends." Sandra conceded as Esther raised an eyebrow.

"No. You and Jack are friends. You and Brian are friends. You and I are and I dare say you count Steve among your friends but its different with Gerry."

"Oh please." Sandra paused. "What are you saying?"

Esther shook her head once, knowing she had got under the detective's skin. Sandra had always been an intensely private woman but she had noticed her younger friend had been spending more and more time away from work with Gerry. He had always been over protective of her, something Sandra had initially put down to his age and being a sexist dinosaur. She sighed.

"I am saying." Esther paused. "That since you were abducted that time. Remember? That Sally woman."

"How could I forget." Sandra slumped down in her chair. Esther smiled sympathetically. She knew that Sandra had been through more than she would ever tell them. Intensely private and able to put up the strongest of walls was a talent Sandra Pullman had in spades. She sighed as Sandra waited for her to continue.

"All I am saying is, ever since then. No actually, before then. When you went scuba diving he has been over protective on you. He cares about you."

"He cares about the lads too. We both do."

"Yes." Esther agreed. "But what would happen if Gerry decides he likes Scotland? Wanted to stay?"

"He wont."

"You sound so sure. C'mon Sandra. Gerry wont stay up there because you are here."

"As are his daughters and ex-wives. Look, I dunno what you are saying."

"I am saying life is short. Very short. If you think of him as more than a friend. If." She raised her eyebrows as Sandra opened her mouth to protest. "Then tell him." She smiled as the mobile phone next to her mug started to ring. Esther tapped her hand before heading into the living room so that she could check on Brian while Sandra took her call.

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"Well, the plan was they were going to help set up a Scottish version of UCOS. Help interview retired officers." Jack explained. Brian shrugged as Scampi jumped from the sofa to settle in his basket.

"But?"

"They've hit a snag, according to Steve. Seems they were called up there a week early. They've ended up working on an old murder case which, somehow is linked to a paedophile ring. Very nasty stuff."

"Sounds it." Brian drank his Lemsip, pulling a face as he did so. He glanced up as Esther entered the room. "You two are very quiet out there."

"Girl talk." Esther smiled. "Nothing for you to worry about."

"Now I am worried." Jack smiled. He knew Esther was as much part of the team as he was. She had been a police officer's wife all her adult life, she knew what they did and how they worked. At times it felt as if she was the sixth unofficial mentor to the whole team. He hoped whatever she had said to Sandra would be helpful, the Guv had been like a bear with a sore head since Strickland had sent two of her team to Scotland.

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Sandra paced the kitchen as she listened to the caller on the other end of the line. It seemed Gerry wanted to come home as much as she wanted him to. He was not sounding happy. For a moment Sandra couldn't help but feel relieved that he wanted to come back to London as soon as possible.

"Not enjoying the haggis and bagpipes?" She smiled slightly as Gerry explained just how much he was not enjoying the visit to Scotland. "The office is being decorated, so we are out of there for the next week anyway. Brian is off with the flu." She paused. "And Esther is being odd."

"ha." Gerry scoffed. "Lived with Brian for too long. Ow do you mean? Odd?"

"Asked me if I am missing having you and Steve here."

"And do you?" Gerry teased. He knew she would hate having any of the others work out that things had changed, that they weren't just friends and colleagues anymore.

"Just."

"Because I am missing you." Gerry paused as Sandra startled.

"Just get back here. And try not to mess up while you are there. You don't have me to get you out of trouble now." He laughed as she spoke.

"Ok, ok. But do you?"

"What?"

"Miss me, eh?"

"Yeah. A bit. Just get back ere in one piece without me having to cause a diplomatic incident." She snapped before ending the call.

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a/n is anyone reading New Tricks fan fic anymore? Please review if you are. Only one chapter left