My first fic so very scared!!...

5.5 never happend set after 5.4

Rising up to the challenge.

Chapter 1

Ruth entered Harry office without knocking, carrying a bundle on papers in one hand and a small paper bag in the other.

"Harry I've got the last of the paper work from operation shock wave, just needs your signature to sign them off. Oh, and I've got your lunch."

Harry paused in mid writing; his eyes looked up to find her. Frowning for a moment before a soft smile played across his face.

"Thank you Ruth. Your organisation skills are second to none, though I do note that you still don't quite grasp the concept that this is my office." He teased light heartedly.

Ruth tilted her head slightly and threw a questioning frown at Harry and he explained: "Your hand, my office door, you could of grace the two with some contact before coming in?"

Ruth didn't catch the lightness in his tone and frowned before retorting, "Well if my arms weren't full carrying your lunch half way across Themes House perhaps knocking would be more of an option." Ruth surprised herself at her own forcefulness and dropped the lunch filled paper bag on his desk in front of a stunned Harry.

It had been a long morning, she'd spent the previous two hours on the phone and wasn't in the mood for Harry's light-hearted nit-picking, even so she released she'd overreacted.

Harry's face, had by now turned to concern. "Is everything ok Ruth?"

She took a deep breath, "Yes, sorry."

Seeing a simple apology wouldn't allay Harry's concerns she continued, "I was kept on hold for the best part of the two hours this morning to some pitiful civil-service department. The tune of Green Sleeves will be forever and painfully ingrained onto my mind." Ruth gestured a smile. "Hasn't put me in the best of moods"

"Ah I see." Smiling back he rose from his seat, "Well in that case, can I suggest a drink?" Harry gestured his arm towards his, half full, crystal cut decanter.

"Isn't it a little early? It's only half one, after all."

Throwing her a cheeky grin "Yes, but it being my Birthday today, I thought I might allow my self the luxury."

Ruth's faced lighten. "Your Birthday?"

"Hmm, as if you didn't know." He replied incredulously, raising one eyebrow to her.

A pale rosé tinted her cheeks as she recalled watching him with some amusement from her desk, earlier that morning.

It had over time become a private unspoken game of theirs, giving cryptic clues in the morning briefing as to the whereabouts of the other's present. Harry managed to decipher today's after a few incorrect guesses which coincided with some comical frustrated facial expressions. Utilising his most imploring puppy-dog face he'd looked to Ruth forsome help and she'd struggled to maintain an even breathing pattern whilst doing all she could to maintain a face of indifference.

Continuing his search he'd finally discovered the present taped to the bottom of Malcolm's chair. Knowing he was a keen cricket fan, she'd managed to get hold of one of only 4, signed signature sheets from the winning England 1981 ashes team. His eye's had lit up with delight, and she'd rolled her eyes at how people could invest so much interest in sport but was pleased with the reaction, and Harry's obvious delight.

Ruth was brought back to the 'here and now' sharply when the warmth of Harry's hand on her shoulder melted though her.

"Thank you." A smouldering look was attached to his sentiment and Ruth couldn't help but take a deep gulp of air as she struggled with her body's urge to step in closer. The smell of his aftershave and low soft spoken tone teasing her senses.

The phone rang and whatever spell they both were under was broken.

Harry turned and picked up the phone. Ruth watched as Harry's eyes rolled. Covering the receiver with his hand he turned.

"Sorry I have to take this."

She nodded her understanding and turned to leave. Harry watched as she did so, his eyes loitering over her hips as they swayed from side to side and sub-consciously, he rolled his tongue across his lips.

Back at her desk, Ruth continued her work, grabbing bites of her ham and cheese sandwich in-between reading though various files from the tall stack on her desk. A cool shiver ran down her spine and she bit her lip as she felt Harry's eyes burn over her though the glass walls of his office.

"Still coming out tonight Ruth?" Jo chirped, She sat perching herself on the end of Ruth's desk.

Ruth jumped at the voice, partly having thought everyone else was out for lunch and partly being lost in the feeling of Harry's far off glances.

"Ermm yeah, should be there about Eight." Ruth smiled turning back to her screen. "Just got to pop home first."

"Great!" lowering her voice to a playful tone, "Hopefully we can get Harry drunk and persuade him to give us all a pay rise." Jo chuckled.

"I'd settle for the promise of a nights sleep."

In an instant she released what she's said, unsure as to whether her words would be misinterpreted she turned from her screen and looked at Jo, the possible innuendo had caused Jo's jaw to drop slightly and eyebrows rise.

"That's not what I meant!" Starting to babble, "Working late and not knowing when you're finishing, not that I don't like working or anything but-"

"Ruth!" Jo interrupted her "I didn't say a word" Jo gave her a warm smile and left a still flustered Ruth.

Ruth took a deep breath, damn! Why is it that that man is capable of turning me into such an inarticulate loon. She prayed a simple prayer that Jo would have mercy on her and not broadcast the latest the incident to the rest of the grid.

Ruth busied herself with work for the rest of the afternoon. She was spared the distraction of Harry, who had meetings scheduled for the rest of the day.

At six she tidied her desk, shutting down the computer and picked up her coat placing it over one arm headed for the pods.

She walked hastily towards the pods. Having already spent the last half hour mentally assessing her wardrobe, she had a feeling that the wardrobe change form work wear into something suitable for birthday drinks was going to be a time consuming task and wanted to get it underway as quickly as possible.

"See ya Ruth" Zaf beamed, giving Ruth a wink as he looked up from his desk.

"Yep see you later." Ruth replied as the pod doors slid shut.

She headed for home with school girl excitement, she didn't get a chance to go out all that often and was now looking forward to spending the evening with Harry and the rest of the team, freed from the confines of the grid.