I recently started reading Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe books, and was inspired by them, rather than by the TV series, to write this short piece. I do not own these characters; Reginald Hill does, and I apologise if he has already covered the subject of this drabble in his work. As I've only read 2 or 3 of the books so far, this is possible.

My thanks as always to RedSkyAtNight76 for beta; thanks to all who read, and especially for reviews.

When Amanda Marvell, usually known as Cap, manages to fall asleep before Andy Dalziel, she doesn't require the earplugs. On the occasions when Morpheus visits him first, however, she knows that she will undoubtedly need recourse to them.

It isn't just that the snores which issue from the Fat Man's recumbent form are rhythmic, reverberating, and above all, simply loud. It is more their inexorable quality, the way they inspire in any listener the conviction that they will without doubt go on in the same relentless manner until Doomsday, which would drive anyone forced to endure them for more than a few minutes to the very brink of sanity. That is why she feels the overwhelming need to block them out if she is ever to get to sleep herself.

It is one of the many reasons why she and the Fat Man have never set up home together, but retained their own domiciles, choosing to stay over at one another's only one or two nights a week. Because of this, there is a good chance that Cap does in fact get to sleep first, because when she shares a bed with him, it is almost always when she is feeling languid and sated, endorphins and oxytocin coursing around her bloodstream as a result of Andy's amorous ministrations.

Neither Fat Andy nor his statuesque paramour is aware of the curiosity inspired in most members of the Mid-Yorkshire force as to the geophysics of their sexual relationship. Were these casual speculators to know the facts of the case, they would probably be surprised as to how eminently satisfactory to both parties their carnal union actually is. If the two protagonists were aware of the debate which went on concerning their sexual congress, they would no doubt be not at all embarrassed, but merely amused.

Tonight, Cap find herself in the happy position of sharing the Fat Man's bed; a bed, incidentally, to which she is very partial, since quite apart from containing her bulky Adonis, it is luxurious in its goose-down softness and moreover, possessed of handsome walnut bed-ends. Although on this occasion she at first managed to drift off to sleep before the snoring built up to its peak, she has awoken a few hours later to find it implacable and merciless, the very air of the bedroom seeming to resound with each sonorous respiration.

Cap has never complained to Andy in any way about his snoring, largely because she has a strong suspicion that she herself probably makes a very similar noise while asleep. Tonight, after lying awake for a few minutes, trying to be patient, she prepares to concede defeat. She gets up, and in the dark pads barefoot to the bathroom to empty her bladder.

On returning to the Fat Man's tenebrous bedroom, she sits on the edge of the bed and quietly opens the bedside drawer. Her fingers deftly locate the necessary items, but before she can insert them, there is an interruption in the regular noise behind her. A staccato series of snorts is followed by a short cessation, then a couple of wheezing grunts. As she pauses, Cap feels a hand sneak around her wait to cup her ample breast. One arm, then two, pulls her down to a horizontal position, and the not insubstantial lips of Andy Dalziel nuzzle into her neck. Cap smiles to herself in the darkness. Perhaps this time she won't need the ear-plugs after all.