Weakness deleted scene
I was looking through my old notebooks this week and came across a deleted scene for this story that I rather liked. I remember dropping it because the story went in another direction and I ended up not writing the two other scenes that were supposed to stem from this one. This scene has not been betaed, so it's probably not of the best quality, but, if you read and remember the story that it was supposed to be a part of, I hope you like it.
They were walking towards the stairs together when Turnbull came rushing towards them. His young face looked stricken, and Meg felt a warmth go through her. It wasn't until that moment that she realized how much she'd come to care for him—even if he did annoy her.
"Constable Fraser. Inspector."
"Yes, Turnbull?" Meg asked him sternly, raising an eyebrow.
"I just heard the most awful rumour." Then his eyes took in the boxes, and he stopped, looking first into Meg's face, then into Ben's, before whispering, "It's true."
Meg shared a look with Ben and said, "What are you talking about?"
"You and Constable Fraser have been suspended."
She sighed. "Yes, it's true. The RCMP have decided that it would be best if we didn't represent them anymore."
"But why?" Turnbull's voice came out as a soft whine.
As she tried to think of something to reply, Ben spoke. His voice was as firm as she'd ever heard it. Turnbull's eyes widened at his hero's stern tone, but he listened intently.
"That's not important. What is important is that Sargent Frobisher and Constable Richardson will be temporarily taking on our jobs. You are to obey them as you would the Inspector or myself."
"Of course, sir."
Looking at Turnbull, something made Meg reach out and put her hand on Ben's arm. "It's all right, Fraser. You can blame me for this situation, Turnbull."
"You, sir?" The large Constable shook his head. "I can't see you doing anything that would warrant a suspension. And there is a rumour going around about Constable Fraser, but I refuse to believe it. He would never harm anyone out of anger. Do you want me to tell them?"
Ben opened his mouth to speak, but Meg raised a hand to cut off his comment. Despite the fact that she was no longer his superior officer, he remained silent. Meg's eyes searched Turnbull's face for a moment, and she saw something she never had before. In front of her stood a kind, loyal man who believed that she could do anything. In that instant, she knew she had to shatter his illusions.
"Come with me."
Ben stepped forward, almost as if he were trying to shield her from Turnbull. She could see knowledge of her intent in his eyes. "Sir..."
"If he is ever going to respect me for what I truly am, he deserves to know."
She knew Fraser was only trying to protect her, and she hoped her eyes were soft despite her voice being stern. It was sweet and dear of him and something she was slowly starting to accept, but it didn't matter to her anymore who saw them. After all, she was sure most of the 27th had, and soon so would anyone else who had anything to do with the cases. Ben could not protect her from them, and he could not protect her from her own feelings. Any shame she might feel had to be squashed. She would not be weak again.
Meg led Turnbull to his office, gesturing for him to sit. She put the box in her arms on his desk. Turning from the respect shining from his blue eyes, she rummaged through it. He continued to watch her, looking alert and puzzled. There was a childlike quality to his expression that tempted her not to go through with what she was planning.
Finding the envelope containing her copy of the pictures, she silently handed it over to the Constable. He looked a question, and she nodded.
Drawing his brows together, he carefully opened the envelope and drew out what was inside. Meg watched him closely as he scanned each picture, then put them gently back into their envelope. Only then did he look at her again. "That was you."
"Yes," she admitted.
"You were in a fight?" She nodded. Fiercely, he said, "I'm sure he had you at an unfair advantage, sir."
"You were in some way hindered, were you not?"
"How could you...?"
For the first time since she'd known him, Turnbull interrupted her. "But why the pictures, ma'am?" Meg could practically see the wheels turning slowly in his mind. He frowned, then continued, "It was that man, wasn't it? The one Constable Fraser supposedly assaulted. He knew about the unfair advantage."
Again, she just nodded, unsure of what to say. Turnbull stood, towering over her, and the realization of how much she trusted this large, caring, gentle man washed over her. He would never hit a woman just because he was bigger than she was.
"You are no longer my senior officer, correct?"
She had barely gotten that out when she was suddenly trapped by huge arms in a protective hug. It was so thorough that a shocked Meg actually felt her feet leave the floor.
"I know injuries come with the job, sir," he said quietly, "but I don't like the thought of someone hurting you."
"Well, thank you, Turnbull," she said a little breathlessly as she touched the floor again. Before she could change her mind, she reached up and gave his cheek a gentle kiss. Several emotions rushed over his face—shock, surprise, fear, tenderness, pleasure—and Meg watched them all in wonder.
"You are a good friend," she told him, plunking the pictures back in the box and picking it up.
"Thank you, sir. I will miss you." He stood very straight and saluted her smartly.
With a smile, she said, "Hopefully, I won't be gone forever. Don't let the Consulate fall apart while I'm gone."
With a mixture of sadness and happiness, Meg rejoined Fraser in the foyer. Without speaking, she nodded to him and the two of them left the Consulate.