A/N: I'm apparently on a Jam spree at the moment!
'Sorry, can we do this somewhere else? Some other time.'
Jo moved over to the blind and flicked them shut. 'There, they're not watching.'
'That's not the point, it's completely unprofessional!'
'So was pulling me off the McCullum assault case!'
Sam let out her breath and rearranged some papers on her desk. 'Letting you stay on that case given your… history with the wife would've been unprofessional. You know that as well as I do.'
'No,' Jo replied angrily. 'It was a way in. She would've talked to me, Grace won't get anything out of her!'
'Well, let's see, shall we?'
After a few moments of silence, Jo's immediate anger began to fade and she sat down opposite her boss. 'You didn't even have the guts to tell me yourself. You left it to the DCI!'
'I talked to him about it,' Sam answered, looking up briefly. 'He was of the same opinion. You working on that case would've compromised it.'
'What did you tell him?'
Sam shrugged. 'Just that you knew the wife.'
'So not that I've slept with her then?'
The DI blushed and uneasily sipped from her coffee cup, the contents of which had been cold for half an hour. 'Jo, we're at work.'
'You can't handle it, can you?' she questioned, crossing her arms and settling back in her chair. 'I mean, it's okay for you to share my bed but the moment…'
'Jo!' Sam burst out, evidently uncomfortable. 'This isn't the place.'
Grudgingly, she had to admit that. She was less inclined than Sam to have a bust-up in the middle of the nick; her private life was her own, she'd always maintained that. But Sam got right under her skin sometimes, it was difficult to reconcile her work and personal lives without them colliding head first. 'Well, I'd best get on with my paperwork then.'
Sam said nothing as she left, which was a bit disheartening. Then again, what had she expected? This was the trouble with relationships with so-called 'straight' women. If they had any real idea of what they wanted they refused to show it. She hadn't thought Sam would be any different but she hadn't particularly cared before. It was starting to matter now though, two months after they started seeing each other. It was getting on her nerves, the enforced secrecy, the sneaking around. Maybe that was the attraction for Sam but Jo couldn't see it herself. All it did was make her working day just that bit more difficult and that was the last thing she needed.
By the time dusk rolled around there were only a few people left in the office. Sam was behind her door, Jo knew that, and Grace was finishing off a report before she left. Finally, her fellow DC muttered a goodbye and left, giving Jo the chance to just sit back in her chair and wait for Sam to appear.
Eventually, she did, though she checked the office was empty before she came out of her own little secluded corner. 'Hi,' she said, perching on the edge of the desk. 'Thought you'd have gone home.'
'Had nothing on so…' She dropped her pen and looked at the blonde. 'I'm sorry if I went off a bit before. I mean, you might've had a point. My relationship with Nancy could've affected the case, but only if I'd let it, Sam. I'd not stupid enough to let my personal life mess up my professional one.'
The DI slid to her feet again, her arms crossed. 'The implication being that I am?'
'I didn't say that! I was saying you were right, for crying out loud!' Jo shook her head. 'This is hopeless, isn't it?'
Sam glanced to her. 'What is?'
'This. Us. We should stop kidding ourselves.'
Pulling a chair from a nearby desk, Sam sat down. 'I don't understand.'
Jo took her time answering, trying to form some sort of coherent answer with the distracting presence of Sam's middle finger tickling her arm putting her off at every turn. 'The reason you didn't want me investigating Nancy Harper today was because of my history with her. I'm right, aren't I?'
'No, it was for…'
'For the good of the case, okay. If that's what you wanna stick to. But, from my point of view, it looks like jealousy. And this is coming from the woman who won't acknowledge the fact that's she's in a relationship with a woman. I mean, what am I supposed to think, Sam?'
The blonde was quiet for a minute. 'You want me to shout about us do you? Tell the world?'
'Why not?' Jo questioned.
Well, for starters it's unprofessional!'
'That's your line of the day!'
'It's true! Can you imagine how it'd look to everyone else if they knew I was seeing one of my DCs? I'd be accused of favouritism at every turn, there's no way I could do the job!'
'What, and that's the only reason?'
Sam sighed and smiled wryly. 'I can't say I'm not embarrassed a little bit. 'But,' she added quickly as Jo felt her face harden, 'it's not how you think. Everyone here, they know about Phil and they know about Stuart and the baby and… I feel a bit like I've cheated them by falling in love with you. I mean, it's been coming for a long time. I knew it, even if I wouldn't admit it. But it still feels like I've been lying to everyone and I'd really rather not tell them the truth just now. I don't see why it's a major issue. When I'm with you they don't matter, do they?'
'No,' Jo admitted. 'But they do matter here. Have you any idea how humiliating it is when your objectivity is called into question, in front of Grace of all people?'
'Well, I'd imagine it's quite a bit like the things Neil put me through when he first arrived,' she said. 'And I'm sorry. But the majority of my focus was on the case.'
'Yeah, I know. Maybe I was a bit harsh. Only a bit though.' She could feel to resolve to stay aloof crumbling beneath Sam's gaze.
Slowly, Sam's fingers intertwined with her own. 'We could forget about it over dinner.'
A smile crept onto Jo's face. 'Your place or mine?'
'How about that Thai restaurant you've been talking about?'
'Wouldn't that involve being in public?' Jo teased.
'Would it?' Sam replied innocently. 'Oh, well.'