A/N: Just a little one-shot inspired by the episode 'Lucky, Lucky, Lucky' which aired in the UK on 22/5/08. No relationship! Let me know what you think and there'll be more from me soon.
'Stevie, you're with me.'
Raising an eyebrow, she dropped the file she'd been about to open onto her crammed desk and followed DI Manson out of CID, grabbing her jacket on the way. She caught up with him half way down the stairs. 'Guv?'
'Armed robbery,' he said curtly, barely glancing at her. 'CO19 have secured the area, forensics are taking a look now.'
'Oh… Okay.' Luckily for her, Stevie had always had the fantastic capability of playing an excellent game of catch-up. It came from years of hangovers and early starts. She had the feeling all that practice would come in handy if she was working with Neil Manson on a regular basis. 'Any injuries?' she questioned jumping the last step to keep up with his lengthy strides.
He shook his head. 'Nope. Owner's pretty shaken up though.'
'And what business was it?'
Slowing to a halt as they left the station he pursed his lips and looked at her. 'It's an… adult shop.'
Stevie managed to suppress most of her grin but cleared her throat. 'Right. Any particular reason you wanted me on this case, Guv?'
'You had the least to do,' he replied shortly. 'Let's get down there, shall we?'
Being in the same car as Neil was probably never going to be a barrel of laughs. On the plus side? He was completely focused on the case in hand. On the negative? He was completely focused on the case in hand. She could imagine conversation getting stale around him. Still, she tried to keep up with his vocal train of thought. He was detailing the little he'd learned about the robbery and the owner of the shop, a Mr Matthews.
The shop itself was on Canley High Street. Half the street was cordoned off and Stevie could see why. Half the stock had been spread down the pavement, obviously dropped from bags as the robbers escaped. Yeah, if you let the public at that lot you'd have a riot on your hands. Stevie followed Neil under the cordon and glanced at the pink corset resting half in the gutter. Neil just carried on walking but she wasn't fooled- she'd seen his head tilt that little bit. What's more, she wasn't going to let him forget it either.
Inside the shop was a little bit dingy. Stevie herself preferred those new motorway outfits, the ones that didn't attempt to hide what they were doing. Places like these… Well, they made it seem sordid, didn't they? Moving alongside Neil she briefly looked at his face. It was tinged with a shade of red that had nothing to do with the strobe lighting. Grinning, she let him take the lead in the interview with the owner.
Ten minutes later they left the shop with little information. The thieves had been smart. Well, as smart as you could be when you decided to nick thirty corsets and a hundred pairs of kinky knickers in broad daylight. They had worn masks though. Crossing her arms and drawing to a stop, Stevie looked around. 'Guv?'
Neil, already a few paces ahead, stopped and turned back. 'What is it?'
'Just… Across the road you've got an electrical shop. Two doors down here there's a music shop and the other way there's a jeweller's. I mean, they both had masks on; both had handguns… The robbery site had CCTV. The whole street's crawling with it.'
Manson exhaled. 'Are you making a point?'
'Yeah,' she answered. 'We're dealing with two idiots. Either that or hired helps.'
Neil frowned. 'You think he was targeted for some other reason?'
'Guv, you're an armed robber. Do you nick half a dozen top of the range tellys or a couple of whips? Imagine selling them on the black market!'
Eventually he nodded. 'Look into it.'
If there was one thing Stevie liked it was being right. It was up there with hot water in the morning instead of the lukewarm stuff her shower liked to squirt at her. Gripping her piece of paper triumphantly she located the DI in his office and brandished it.
Only half glancing up, he muttered, 'What's that then?'
'Cheers for the enthusiasm, Guv,' she shot back.
He sat up properly and leaned back in his chair. 'I'll be enthusiastic if you've got something.'
'Can I have that in writing please?'
'Okay, okay.' Lifting the paper up, she checked her details. 'Our shop owner, Sam Reynolds, was implicated in an assault case a month ago. Now, no charges were brought against him but one of the people that Kezia spoke to suggested that Sam was angry because this Malcolm Clinton was having it away with his wife.'
Neil rested his chin on his hands. 'And how do we get from that to Clinton being involved in the robbery today?'
'Well, he does have form for armed robbery,' Stevie replied nonchalantly.
She wasn't sure just why but she had the feeling this arrest wasn't going to go smoothly. Neil was covering the front of the property with C019 and half of uniform and Stevie herself was hidden out of sight beside the gate with a surly CO19 officer of her very own. Listening over the radio she heard the DI charge inside and then heard scuffing footsteps over grass in the back garden behind her. Steadying herself she waited and then…
BANG. Malcolm Clinton swept out of the back gate carrying a great open holdall that was spewing women's underwear. Forgetting the fact he could be carrying a gun, she leapt after him, deftly catching a lacy pair of pink knickers in her hand as she tried to catch up with the balding thief. Feeling herself sliding along the wet grass she threw caution to the wind and decided to make her slip into a dive, lunging at his legs and bringing him down.
Her triumphant feeling only lasted a second. She could smell something. And feel something on her knee. Clinton was struggling but she kept hold of him until back up arrived. Though she had her eyes closed she heard a click that, unless she was mistaken was…
'Holding a prisoner with one hand, a pair of knickers in the other and your knee in dog diarrhoea. Always knew you had style, Stevie.' She opened her eyes in time to see the DI putting his phone back into his inside pocket. 'Might make a nice screensaver that,' he added casually before hauling Clinton to his feet. 'Michael Clinton; I'm arresting you for…'