A/N: Hey, all! Right, my birthday so I give you a bumper edition. Not one, not two, but three TB one-shots plus a chapter of 'Change Partners' later. They'll be up as fast as my little fingers can type them. Note on this one: it's a new pairing with mild slash. What were you expecting? Enjoy.


There's always a buzz from getting a result.

All the way back to being a rookie I noticed it. My first collar was some bloke knocking his wife about, small result but it still gave me my first experience of what being a copper was about. It was the right career choice, I knew that right then.

Moving on up into CID, that made it so much better. It took thought to get an arrest, you couldn't just charge in without being prepared; that just made the buzz fifty times more exhilarating. I'm not pretending it's the only part of the job I like- locking up worthless criminals definitely has its plus points- but I will admit it's a big part of why I keep going day after day when things start getting too much.

There was something else that helped the buzz of course, after Samantha Nixon became Acting DI.

All of a sudden, getting results meant something to me and the buzz? Well, it wasn't so much getting the collar that gave me it then, it was giving the news to DI Nixon afterwards. With her, more than any copper I'd worked with, I got the feeling she really threw everything into clearing up the streets. I respected her completely, which meant I'd do anything to get a result for her.

One time, half way through the investigation of the river murders, she was under so much pressure, I had to chip in and do my best to ease it a little. I managed it as well. Some bloke giving despicable tours of the sites where the girls were washed up, made me physically sick, and Samantha too I think. So, a little bit of research, a bit of luck, some work with a video camera and voila! He was history and Sam was patting me on the back. Literally. And it felt good, right even. Anything I'd felt at an arrest paled in comparison to how I felt at Samantha Nixon being satisfied.

I suppose it was about then I figured it out. The reason I wanted to be teacher's pet was because I was in love with the boss. Simple, really. So simple that I couldn't stand facing it. The idea of me and Samantha Nixon was laughable. Gorgeous and dedicated as she was there wasn't exactly a chance of us, was there? Apart from the little problem of me being married, there was the fact that Sam was about as open as a prison cell. I've known nonces more talkative about their private lives than her.

So I ignored the little niggling feeling I got every time I saw her- she was my boss, nothing else. Still, I kept on getting the results and the buzz, but it was all work-related. I told myself that every night when I went home to Paul.

Then Joanna went missing.

I was blaming myself, course I was. My little girl disappears from the station after I'd argued with her, it was all my fault and I knew it. And Paul knew it. Hell, the whole of the station probably knew it from the way I went on. Finding Sam in charge of the investigation seemed a blessing and a punishment rolled into one. On the one hand, I knew her being in charge meant the best copper was on the job; if anyone was going to find my kid, it'd be Sam. But it was like a reminder in a way. Part of the reason I'd been so uptight with Joanna was because my whole family was suddenly colliding with my work reality. Paul and Sam, in other words. And I'd taken the stress out on my little girl. Samantha working on the case was like someone playing a massive joke at my expense- it wasn't enough my daughter was missing, I had to be caught in the middle of my feelings at the same time.

She told me she was gonna be professional about it. She wouldn't hang around holding my hand, it wasn't her style. For a little while I wished to myself it was then hated myself for thinking of that when my daughter could be anywhere, with anyone. But Sam wanted me out of the investigation, I was to stay out of the way and let them do their jobs. It was so difficult being on the wrong side of the wall for a change. Instead of following up the leads, doing the house to house, sticking up the posters, I was listening to hushed voices behind doors from people who knew me but weren't willing to let me in. Sam was one of them. It didn't just sting to be shut out of the investigation. I felt like I needed her with me to get me through.

In a way, her pulling her professional act did me a favour. It meant I leaned on Paul, we weren't as close as we should have been but at least I wasn't lusting after my boss while I should be concentrating on my missing kid.

In the end though, the barricades came flying down. We found Joanna and she cried.

I couldn't believe it, Samantha Nixon cried!

When we were in the hospital by Joanna's bedside I felt so safe, nothing was gonna touch me again. To be honest, I think Sam was embarrassed about showing her emotions but no matter. She had and I was always gonna remember that, no matter what happened in the future. We prayed together then, for a dead little girl I'd thought could be Joanna. It was the single defining moment in my relationship with DI Nixon, something I cherish every time I think of her these days.

I admit I was terrible when I found out the truth about Abi's parentage. In a way, it felt like Sam had betrayed me personally by not trusting me with her secret when really it was Abigail who had the right to feel let down. Knowing I shouldn't be feeling deceived only enhanced the emotion, as usually happens. Of course, I supported her, how could I not? My excuse to Paul and the people who thought she was despicable was that she'd been there for me with Joanna so it was only right I didn't do a runner. I'm not sure Paul was convinced, he never was much after he'd seen me around Sam, but he accepted it. And since our marriage was going down the tubes anyway I think he just reckoned it was best to let me get on with it.

The marriage failed and Samantha was passed over as permanent DI. When Neil Manson arrived I knew my time was running out. If I have one regret it's that Sam was away on some ridiculous course when I left, maybe I would've taken the opportunity to tell her a few things. Now I guess we'll never know.

So, now the familiar zip when I get my results has receded a bit. Don't get me wrong, it's still there, it just isn't the same buzz without the Samantha incentive. It never could be.