Title: Everything (3/3 of the "Moments" series)
Author: Sarah (aka surrendersomething)
Rating: PG-13 (or whatever the hell it is now)
Summary: (3/3) John&Claire. Vignettes depicting moments in the lives of our favourite detective sergeants.
Characters: Claire Stanton, John Boulton
Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with The Bill, its characters or storylines. The plot of this story however, is all mine. Song lyrics in bold italics in this chapter are taken from "Everything" by Lifehouse. A song which rocks muchly - if you haven't heard it, go find it!
Authors Notes: Okay here's the last chapter. This one took slightly longer as I have issues with writing angst-free stories. However it is here, and I think that I somehow managed to stumble into a massive pile of fluff somewhere along the way. So be warned. Again, thank you to everyone who reviewed - Tammy, Meegan, Gem and Sammie, it's good to know that people are enjoying it. Sammie - duude I love our conversations, and I'd just like to say "shush!" Tammy - cheers honey, you're a star and you already know what I think of you.
Anyway, enjoy the last chapter - I've really enjoyed writing this story, and I'd love to know what everyone thought.
You calm the storms, and you give me rest.
You hold me in your hands, you won't let me fall.
You steal my heart and you take my breath away.
Would you take me in, would you take me deeper, now?
Sliding a hand across his shoulder as they sat in the car, hidden by the cover of darkness, she kissed him softly, feeling him smile against her lips. Sliding her hands around to meet at the back of his neck and rubbing the tense muscles, she threw him a concerned look before pressing her lips to his again, gently. Minutes later, after her whispered 'let's get out of here,' he reluctantly moved his hands from her waist, flashing her a tired smile before starting the engine.
"Give me your phone."
"I'm sorry?" Claire asked, reluctantly moving from her comfortable position, sprawled on top of him on the sofa, and fixing him with a confused look. Rolling his eyes, he clearly decided it wasn't worth waiting for an answer and instead reached a hand into the pocket of her jeans before flipping open her phone and switching it off. Showing her what he'd done, he placed it on the table next to his, ignoring her exclamations of protest as he showed her that his was also turned off.
"I promised you no interruptions," he explained, resting both hands on her waist again. "Now be quiet and come back here." Willingly shifting back into her original position, she allowed a lazy smile to cross her face before meeting his lips with hers.
"I've missed you," she murmured between kisses some minutes later, almost unwilling to tear her lips from his to continue. "I was beginning to think we'd…never get an evening to ourselves." Laughing at his almost frustrated groan in memory, she rested her forearms on his shoulders, giving herself a chance to catch her breath.
"Such little stamina," he teased good-naturedly, reaching around to push her arms away gently, bringing her crashing back down to his lips.
"I'll show you stamina," she muttered in response, fingers playing absently with the hair at the back of his neck as their lips met again. Feeling the lingering tension in his neck, she applied a little more pressure, more worried than satisfied at the slight groan that escaped his lips. "You told me you didn't feel as stressed this morning," she commented slightly accusingly, pressing her lips to the corner of his mouth.
"I'm fine…" he commented defensively, kissing her again, in response to which she expertly found another tense muscle. "Okay, you win. Maybe I am a little tense. It's just been a long week, that's all."
"Tell me about it. I've worked as many hours as you John, but it's not affected me like this. And I know you've worked more hours than this before…" she whispered, resting her hands on the arm of the sofa either side of his head and pushing herself into a sitting position. "Sit up."
"Claire, I'm fine…"
"No you're not. Just stop being so stubborn for once and sit up!" After much muttering, he realised there was nothing to be done except to do as she said, and managed to raise himself into an upright position – only to be pushed forward a little as she wriggled her way behind him. "Jesus, you can be awkward when you want to," she muttered, letting her hands rest on his shoulders.
"Sod off," he replied good-naturedly, secretly enjoying the feel of her body pressed close to his. And when she began to move her hands gently, careful not to put too much pressure on the particularly tense muscles in his shoulders, he began to enjoy the whole experience even more. "What is this, your secret talent?"
"Mmm, something like that," she replied, her concentration evident as she moved her hands down to the top of his back. "Damnit John, why didn't you tell me that everything had got you this wound up?" she asked softly, the slightest hint of hurt entering her voice.
"You worked as much as I did, Claire. It just…didn't seem fair on you." Shaking his head slightly, he rested a hand on her leg gently as she leaned over his shoulder to kiss his cheek quickly.
"Next time, don't worry about me yeah? This works much better when you're not quite this tense," she murmured, bringing her hands back up to his neck, somewhat satisfied to feel him relaxing slightly.
"Feels pretty good to me right now," he replied instantly, leaning into her hands slightly. "And is that a promise of a repeat performance?" he enquired, twisting slightly to look at her.
"Maaaybe," she admitted reluctantly, leaning forward to kiss him quickly. "Feel any better?"
"Loads. You're a miracle worker," he admitted reluctantly, stretching back out into his original position and reaching out to pull her down, smiling slightly as she settled back down on top of him, pressing her lips to his. "You'll have to teach me how to do that; I can return the favour…"
"I might just hold you to that," she whispered as she her arms back around his neck. He kissed her slowly before trailing a path of kisses down to her neck, smiling when she tilted her head slightly in response. Bringing his lips back to hers, his hands trailed a path along the skin just underneath the hem of her top, feeling her shiver slightly.
"Of course, this is good for relaxing too…" he commented against her lips, laughing as she slapped the back of his head gently, before kissing him again.
"You…are insatiable," she murmured, a smile crossing her face as his hands moved to the buttons on her shirt, undoing them torturously slowly.
"Not that you're complaining."
Tracing a lazy pattern across his chest as she rested her head against his shoulder some indeterminable amount of time later, she allowed her thoughts to drift slightly, as they often did when she was lying with him. They could lapse into a comfortable silence without it feeling awkward in the slightest, and that was something she really valued about their relationship – it gave her time to think. Remembering how hesitant she'd been to allow anything to happen between them at first, she realised that it was moments like this that made all the secrecy worthwhile.
Whilst coming clean about their relationship might mean that they would get to spend more time together, there was no way she'd give up the way their relationship felt right at that moment. To let other people in on what had become their secret would cheapen it somewhat. Suspicion, she could deal with. And whilst she knew their CID colleagues had a fair amount of circumstantial evidence on which to base those suspicions – there was the whole dinner incident for one thing, and she was certain Kerry would be permanently scarred were she aware of some of the conversations she had unknowingly interrupted – but until they confirmed anything there was something…exciting almost, about it being just between the two of them.
She was brought out of her thoughts as he pulled the sheets up over them, in response to which she turned slightly and settled herself comfortably against him before glancing up at him questioningly.
"You were shivering," he said softly, his fingers sliding through her hair gently as she glanced down at her arm and noticed that there were indeed goosebumps, before looking back up at him and shrugging slightly, realising that there was no way she was about to tell him that it wasn't because she was cold, it was because of the lazy way his fingers were trailing up and down her spine.
Catching the almost cheeky glint in his eyes, she guessed he probably already knew, anyway. Bringing her hand up to cup his cheek, she tilted her head slightly and returned his smile with one of her own.
"God, I've missed this," she murmured, leaning up slightly to kiss him, lingering against his lips for a long moment. "Just…lying here, with you. I felt like the job was just going to keep getting in the way…"
"Hey, don't go getting all upset on me," he whispered, kissing her again quickly. "You wouldn't want me to go and ruin my reputation by showing I do have a heart, would you?"
"Oh you've already shown me that," was her soft reply as he shifted their position so they were lying face to face. Moving closer to him, she buried her face into his neck, sliding her arms round his torso as his hands came to rest on her back.
"Well, I suppose I should just go ahead and tell you that I love you then, shouldn't I?" he asked softly, allowing a smile to cross his face as she pulled back from him, her gaze both slightly shocked and glittering slightly with what he'd later swear were unshed tears. Bringing his hand up to tuck her hair behind her ear, he whispered the three words again; contented simply by the smile she flashed him before their lips met.
When he first met Claire Stanton, he'd never imagined that she'd have this profound an effect on him – he'd brushed his feelings aside as a simple moment of weakness at first, but they'd refused to stay too far away, particularly as he worked with her more frequently. He had found himself with an absurd need to protect her at times, an unfamiliar emotion that had worried him at times, and one that had certainly led to numerous disagreements between them.
Her hand on his cheek brought him back to reality, and her whispered return of his just-spoken sentiment made him realise that they really had found a common ground somewhere between all their disagreements, their single-mindedness and their independence.
Neither would admit that it had been easy, but both would admit that it had been worth it.
Well how can I stand here with you,
And not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be
Any better than this?