Thank you to those who reviewed the previous chapters, or added the story as a favourite or an alert!
This is the final chapter of this extended one shot. I'm doing a new case fic, the prologue of which will also stand alone as a one-shot and is called 'Naming'. I'll post it in the next couple of days.
This takes place the evening before Angell goes undercover in DOA for a Day (the episode spanned at least two days, and the evening when this is set contained a remarkable amount of events!)
Distance - Chapter 3
Time had certainly not taken the time to smoke a cigarette tonight. Flack looked at the clock over the counter and wondered how they had managed to pack so much into one evening, or night as it now was. He felt exhausted, but had no plans to go home yet. He wanted time to stand still and take a breath so he could catch him and keep him prisoner, not just because of the continual adrenaline rush the events of the day had brought, but because of who was sat facing him.
"You carry on thinking Flack, and you won't be able to function tomorrow. And tomorrow I could definitely do with you functioning," she said. "I'm aware that male homicide detectives only have small brains, so please don't tire it out too much."
He gave her a sarcastic smile and drained the rest of his coffee with no added extras - just sugar and milk. "You sure you're okay with this?" he said, deciding to wait awhile before enacting revenge for her comments.
"With you and I having coffee, or with being tomorrow's dish of the day?" she said, raising her eyebrows.
"Both, I suppose," he said. Confessions were becoming easier when your priest looked like Angell.
"I'm a little worried about tomorrow," she said. He was surprised at her frankness. Usually, Angell showed no fear of anything to do with the job. He had never seen her flinch at any aspect; an almost ice-queen demeanour had always been present within her work, tackling grim aspects with out flinching.
"I'd be worried. You're meeting a serial killer with you dressed in…" he paused, trying to find the right adjectives.
"A very short dress, which only a man could pick, a pair of stilettos which I definitely couldn't run in before, and now certainly can't get anywhere in as I've sprained my ankle," she lifted the leg that was resting on the chair next to him, the ankle strapped up. She'd stumbled in the heels when she'd tried them on before, and had fallen awkwardly. He'd felt like asking Mac to persuade Lindsay to play the part instead, but had stopped himself: he knew that Angell was the best person for the job and she insisted it wasn't that painful.
"You look good in it though," he said, giving her a smile which told her he already knew her reaction.
"That's twice tonight you've told me I look good in something, Flack," she said, eyeballing him.
"And three times today. Maybe I'm making up for lost time," he said. "You'll be fine tomorrow. I've got your back, plus the ten or so other cops who will be lurking in one way or another. If it looks like she's sussed out your cover and she poses a threat, she'll be taken down. Mac won't put your life at risk," he said, persuading himself as much as Angell.
She nodded, glancing round the diner which, fortunately for them, was open all night. "I know. I also know things go wrong. What's pissing me off the most is if she runs. I can't chase. Not in those shoes."
"You can't with what you've done to your ankle anyway, Jess. Besides, if she runs, which she's likely to at some point, the rest of us are pretty fit," he said, sitting back and folding his arms.
"The last time to tried to outstay me on the running track, you lost," she said, reminding him of a few weeks earlier when they had paid a visit to the gym together, and she had managed at least half a dozen more laps than he had.
"My stamina is stronger in other departments," he said. "I'm quicker than you anyway."
She raised her eyebrows. "Most men are, but you're the first to be so honest."
Flack tried to stop the smile but couldn't. "Don't compare me to others, Jess, 'cause you'll only have to eat your words," he said, finding he was enjoying the conversation now they had detracted from her undercover work.
She laughed, causing a few other diners to turn around and look at them. Her eyes fixed on his and he felt as if the past few days had never happened, that he had never lost his appetite. "I'm glad you've got me covered tomorrow," she said. "Even if your outfit is nowhere near as good as mine."
"Park employees don't do it for you?" he said, enjoying the dancing around they were doing, avoiding talking about the fact that it was now past one in the morning, and neither was wanting to leave.
She smiled. "I'd have to see what was under the uniform," she said. "However, I'm sure you don't have an issue with the dress."
"Neither does the male portion of the precinct," he said. All eyes had been on her as she'd prepared for the morning's operations, a few looks coming his way to gage his reaction when she'd emerged from the locker room. He looked at her now, make up free, tired and yet full of adrenaline with the promise of later and found her just as, if not more, attractive as when she'd been dolled up before.
"There's only one bit of that portion I'm interested in," she said, looking at him intently.
"I'm sure Mulligan will be glad to hear of it," he said, making her laugh. "You mean that?" She nodded and he felt as if his chest would explode. She had the inate ability to wrong foot him; compliments from her had his head spinning, doubting that she meant them. He was confident with women; he had no reason not to be, and he was beginning to wonder if he was so unsure around Jess because this was a little bit more than attraction. He paused, letting the silence hang while he studied her. She stirred the dregs of her coffee, glancing up at him and if he wasn't mistaken, looked a litle shy. "We should be going home," he said. "I know tomorow's not an early start, but…"
Angell nodded. "We should. You want another coffee?"
Flack laughed quietly, understanding what she meant. "I don't want to leave," he said. His fears over the passed few days had evaporated. She'd made it clear that this wasn't simply flirtatious banter and he was beginnng to realised that his feelings were reciprocated. He'd always been straight-talking and honest, sometimes it had been his downfall, and he'd disliked not being able to make it clear that she was more than a colleague, and a friend for that matter.
"Me neither," she said, her voice low. "And it's not because it's the world's best coffee."
He played with the spoon in the sugar bowl, unsure of what to suggest. Now wasn't the time to go back to her apartment or his. Lines that needed crossing were approaching, and sleeping on her couch was no longer a viable option. "Can I take you out for dinner?" he said, rather quickly and without giving himself too much time to think about it.
"Isn't that what you're doing now?" she said, smiling curiously at him.
He shook his head. "I meant on a proper date, where I pick you up, bring you flowers, eat somewhere other than a diner that serves burgers…" he looked at her as she tried to stifle a laugh.
"Flack, we can go on a date. But I'm not wearing that dress."
He laughed, standing up and leaving money to cover the check. "We should go," he said. The last thing either of them needed was to be too exhausted tomorrow and jeopardise the case or themselves, especially Angell. "Shall I walk you home?" He meant it, having no intention of crossing the threshold with her, knowing that relief and anticipation would not be condusive to restraining himself.
She nodded and stood, her ankle obviously paining her as she bared weight on it. "Carrying me might be a better option," she said. "I'll have to dose up with painkillers for tomorrow - or should I say in a few hours."
Flack moved around the table and put his arm around her to give her some support, the closest he'd ever been to her. He could smell the remains of her perfume and the conditioner she'd used on her hair, his heart beat a little faster and he wondered if she could tell. He liked closing the distance between them.
Her arm slipped around his lower back as they left the diner, communicating non-verbally for a moment, although he knew it wouldn't last long. He could swear that her head lent slightly into him, feeling the brush of a lock of hair against the side of his face and the pressure of her fingers as she used him to support herself.
"You want another coffee?" she said, when their silence became overwhelming. She looked up at him, the light in her eyes enough for him to be stood in daylight, even though the night was dark around them.
He laughed. "Where do you suggest?"
She pointed to a late night street vendor, hoping to make his money from the people leaving the clubs and bars. "There's a comfortable lookingbench just over there." Flack saw where she was pointing. Clearly she wasn't the only one looking for a way to pause the night.
The night watched them; bow smoking its cigarette, inhaling slowly and then passing it to time. For some, the night could never be long enough.
Please review. I hope the build up between them has been slow/fast enough depending on your perspective.
Thanks for reading