Disclaimers: I own nothing to do with QaF, this was just for fun.

Note: This was written for the X-mas Fic Fest on the Stuart/Vince QaF yahoo group. The challenge was: What if Vince got tired of being a store manager, and tired of Stuart always making his disparaging remarks? What if he was looking for something more out of life? Something more rewarding? An actual career, where he could help people, and make a difference? What if he were to decide to become either a policeman, or a fireman? (After all, who doesn't love a man in uniform? And can you see Vince in uniform? Yum...) Anyway, he'd be filled with resolve that he was going to change his life. He'd be all forthright, and determined. And, naturally, Stuart would hate the idea. Mostly because he'd think that Vince was trying to be "The Man", part of straight society. Meanwhile, Vince would be settling in nicely. And being invited to join the Gay Policeman/Fireman' s Club, etc. Going out with the new gang. And Stuart starts getting anxious that Vince is moving on (an old favourite plot point, I know, but we've got to bring Stuart around somehow. ) Not to mention the fact that Stuart finds himself totally turned on by the sight of Vince in uniform. Rowr... Heh. Mostly, I think that it would be great to see Vince developing his own identity, apart from Stuart, while still being friends with him. Not being despairing, or anything, just trying to do something good for himself. And to see Stuart developing a real respect, grudging or otherwise, for a grown-up Vince. And Stuart realizing that he needs to work at keeping Vince around also. It could end up with them hitting the sheets, and Vince using his newly buffed up muscles to turn Stuart inside out. Or it could be about their friendship reaching a new level. Whatever. Challenge issued by Dee. What I ended up with was a oneshot inspired by the idea of Vince as a policeman. I hope you enjoy.

Come Clean:

It was the uniform Stuart tried to convince himself as he stared into his drink. He glanced over at Vince. Yes, just the uniform. He wasn't going crazy with want. Maybe he should just stop coming back home, revisiting old memories. No, that wouldn't work because the longer he was away from Vince the more miserable he became.

"Poor tortured Stuart," Alex teased as he came up.

Stuart gave him a glare. It wasn't just the uniform, it was the new confidence that seemed to come with it. Vince was still Vince, but he held his head higher, his shoulders straighter.

"Who'd have thought, our Vince a policeman," Alex smiled.

Stuart shifted, swallowed his drink, then turned to take in Vince.

"Fuck off."

"Don't you approve?"

"I never did and Vince knows it," Stuart told him with a scowl.

"Don't you want him to be a contributing member of society?"

"He was that before."

Alex shrugged, "And now he has a career ahead of him, one that makes him happy, fills him with a sense of purpose."

Stuart glared at him.

"Our Vince is all grown up," Alex told him with a mock sniffle.

"Would you just…"

Alex's voice switched from playful to serious as he cut Stuart off, "Not about this."

"This?" Stuart challenged, eyebrows raised in question.

"You're miserable without him."

Stuart nearly sputtered, but held himself in check.

"Don't deny it, don't even bother. The only question is what are you going to do about it?"

"I don't know…"

"What happened to Stuart Alan Jones?" Alex challenged switching tactics, "Thought he could get anything he fucking wanted. Now that he realizes that there's a man he wants to be with more than the whole world. Now that that's finally hit him upside the head and he can no longer live in denial, he doesn't make a move. Oh, how the mighty have fallen."

"Did you hit your head?"

Alex leaned in close, "Hazel's probably already told you this, now I am, make your move soon or you're going to lose him forever. Then you'll always wonder."

She had, but Stuart wasn't about to admit it.

He glared, but before he could say anything Alex had flitted of to annoy another person. Stuart turned and took in Vince dancing. It made Stuart frown, eye the man Vince was dancing with. He couldn't just take Hazel's and now Alex's advice. He did what he wanted when he wanted, but if he didn't act then he was still letting them dictate his actions.

Stuart wanted Vince, he'd always wanted Vince. He'd half convinced himself he didn't in an effort to calm his fears that he couldn't possibly make it work between them. He hadn't been ready to mess up the best friendship he'd ever had, knew he would ever have. Moving had proved to him that he had to face his uncertainties. He needed Vince in his life. When he was with Vince he was home, anywhere else was just a place. He had to act. He couldn't wait.

Vince was just starting his new career, was just getting settled into his new job. Stuart could move back. He'd already had several job offers, he just needed to pick one. He had to move back, he was tired of being miserable because he'd been an idiot and hadn't dragged Vince along with him.

Decision made he pushed off the bar, slide through the crowd and cut in to dance with Vince. Vince let him, only gave the man he'd been dancing with a small apologetic grin before winding his own arms around Stuart. Stuart smiled and breathed him in. He wasn't taking a chance that there could come a day when he couldn't do that, just cut in whenever he felt like it. He rested his forehead against Vince's.

"What's wrong?" Vince asked.

"Nothing now."

Vince smiled. Stuart kissed him for it.

"Let's go back to yours."

"Tired of dancing?" Vince asked.

"Around each other yes," Stuart told him.

Vince froze, blinked and then wet his lips.

"You don't," Vince stumbled then tried again, "You mean…"

"Don't you think it's about time?"

"Overdue actually," Vince told him.

Stuart pouted, shrugged then smirked, "I'm slow when it comes to some things, you always forgive me though."

Vince smiled, one of those beautiful smiles that lit him from within. Stuart returned it with just as much enthusiasm, before he kissed him again.

"Could get used to that," Vince told him as he pulled away.

"Oh you'll be loving more than that," Stuart teased.

"Really, you think?" Vince smiled.

Stuart laughed at the banter, then nodded before he looped an arm around Vince and began to lead him towards the door. As they exited and headed towards Vince's car Vince leaned in and asked, "So was it the uniform?"

"No, it was the thought of you and handcuffs."