Underneath Your Clothes
Disclaimer: I don't own 'Waking the Dead' or any of its characters, the BBC has that honour – I'm just taking them out to play for a bit :)
Rating: T for now, for language.
Spoilers: Nothing specific but up to and including Series 7.
Dr. Eve Lockhart took a deep drag on her cigarette, drawing a hefty lungful of blissful intoxication into body before blowing it out with satisfaction, watching the silvery smoke as it curled upwards towards the ceiling of her lab. She glanced at the clock on the wall through narrowed hazel eyes, sighing in resignation as she realised she was on her fourth cigarette of the day and the hour hand had yet to reach ten. Who am I kidding that I'm trying to quit? She mused ruefully, reaching out a finger to silence the restful voice emanating from her CD player, which was assuring her serenely that her body was a temple. Body is a temple, my arse...
The phone ringing roused her from her rebellious thoughts then and she paced across the tiled floor of the lab to pick up the receiver.
"Eve, it's me." The familiar French accent on the other end of the line was instantly recognisable as that of Detective Constable Stella Goodman.
"Please, please tell me Boyd's revealed the details of a long and complicated case that'll take us months to solve." Eve's husky voice addressed her friend as she took another guilt-free puff on her cigarette. "I think I'm starting to lose my mind alphebetising my test solutions."
Stella laughed. "Well, he just called Grace into his office..."
The forensic scientist groaned with disappointment. "Stella, that means nothing. He does that all the time."
"They look like they're having an argument."
"Again, what else is new?"
"I think he's explaining something to her. Maybe it's a new case." The young woman's voice sounded hopeful. "Come up and see for yourself."
Eve shook her head. "No point. If they were fighting about a new case or, indeed, about any case, I'd be able to hear Boyd from here."
"Come on, Eve." The Frenchwoman wheedled, almost girlishly. "Spence'll be back from Starbucks any minute if that's an incentive."
"Not if he's bringing that low fat crap you made him buy last time."
"No, I swear, I've told him to go all out – full fat milk, whipped cream, the lot."
Eve grinned broadly. "Excellent; hundreds of calories and voyeurism, what more could I possibly want to pass the time with?"
"Exactly. See you in two."
They hung up then and Eve savoured the final draw on her cigarette before stubbing it out, indigo fingernails flashing through her hair as she secured the dark tresses at the nape of her neck, her amethyst pendant swinging slightly as she bounced enthusiastically from the lab.
"She wants us to do what?"
Dr. Grace Foley sat back in her chair, folding her slender arms over the peacock blue of her cashmere jumper, her expression incredulous as she addressed the man sitting opposite her across the desk. Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd sighed deeply and ran a hand across his rugged features.
"She assured me it'll be a piece of piss, Grace..."
Grace raised her eyebrows. "I'm not a Police Officer, Boyd. Or have you and she conveniently forgotten that fact?"
"Look, if it was up to me, we wouldn't be going any where near this, all right?"
"So, you did challenge her on it, then?"
Boyd blew out a hot breath, his voice rising sharply in volume as he replied. "Well, of course I bloody well did! What do you take me for?!"
"I don't know, Boyd. It just strikes me as the kind of thing you might get a kick out of, that's all."
"Oh, for God's sake!"
"It's outrageous to expect me to do this, it's bloody..."
"You think I don't know that? You really think I wanted us put in this position?"
She shrugged, looking at him evenly, ignoring his attempt to vocally overpower her . "So, what do we do, then? Roll over and take it?"
He sighed heavily, his irritation deflated instantly by the soft, yet firm, tone of her voice. "I don't think we can do anything else. My hands are tied, Grace."
"And if we refuse?"
"You know the power she's always had over this Unit. It could be final nail in the coffin time."
Grace closed her sapphire eyes briefly and sighed, letting the silence between them elongate to allow her intelligent mind a few moments to absorb the gravity of his words. "Okay." She said finally, a small smile flickering across her features as she registered his surprised expression.
"Is that it, then? That the extent of your resistance or are you just setting me up for a good few hours of arguments?" His dark eyes were warm as he looked at her, humour lacing his voice.
"Well, it doesn't look like we've got much of a choice, does it?"
He shook his head, his expression sobering. "She made that pretty clear. If I want to keep this Unit running, I do as she says."
Grace blew out a frustrated breath. "And sod the consequences for yours or my safety."
"Something like that."
She smiled bitterly. "Nice to be so highly regarded, isn't it."
"That's par for the course in my world, Grace. I thought you'd be used to that by now."
She gave a hollow laugh, feeling the strain of their conversation ease fractionally, and she rose from her seat, following his lead as he moved towards his office door and out into the main meeting room.