A/N I do not unfortunately own The Bill... But here's my take on Max's thoughts in the final scene of Smash and Grab.

"You did well," Was what Max said, it was the appropriate thing to say. He didn't know how to speak his thoughts, say what he really meant.

"Thanks," Was all Millie replied with, non-committal and not bothered. Max wasn't sure what to make of her answer.

"Always knew you would," He responded with, he felt nervous for some reason, wondering if she would call him on his words.

"Liar," She did. He had hoped she would leave it, but this was Millie.

"Yeah, sorry," Max hung his head. He wished that he wasn't, lying that is, but Millie had always seemed so fragile, so slight, to him that he would forget she was a police officer and not a delicate china doll. It was unfair, he knew, to see her as such a breakable thing - but it had been his only thought when he had first seen her and it had stuck.

You should tell her, he thought, so he whispered, "Been unfair," but trailed off.

"Yeah, you have." She stated bluntly and Max cringed inwardly, he didn't like hearing his china doll speak like that. He didn't like seeing his china doll looking like that, so lost and barely hanging together.

Reassure her, was the only thought that flitted through his mind, fix your china doll. "What you've been through today most coppers never have to face in their entire career... and you handled it."

Max watched as Millie smiled lightly and glanced away, "That a compliment Sarge?" she asked and Max longed to take her hands and shower her in the compliments and whispers of adoration she deserved. Instead, he hid behind his gruff Sergeant exterior.

"If it hadn't been for you things could have got worse." Max saw the flash of disappointment on Millie's face and wished he'd replied differently. He knew what he wanted to say, and he found himself murmuring the words as they entered his head, "Look, er, if you need to talk about it... I'm finished for the day."

Max's heart felt tight in his throat as Millie opened her mouth to speak, "Thanks," It leapt, "But, uh, I just want to go home." It fell.

She turned to leave and Max watched as his china doll walked away from him. He didn't think he would get another chance.

It was ironic, he thought, that following their conversation it was he who left shattered and not his china doll.