Title: The Art of Surveillance
Author: cortina_quattro
Gene, Alex
Rating: White Cortina/ G

Note: This was a Secret Santa gift for someone over on LiveJournal. It is a bit rough; my December was complete hell and I ended up writing this last minute. I tried to do two of her specified requests: G & A in the Quattro and Luigi as matchmaker. Alas, neither turned out as strongly as I'd hoped. I think I owe her some Quattro smut in the very near future.

Huge kudos to my beta, Emmylou, over at Luigi's. She saved my bacon by giving it a read the night before I had to have it posted. You rock, babes.

Surveillance was not something he particularly enjoyed, especially when it involved Drake in his motor. She harped on about his smoking and inevitably either prattled on about nothing or started in on him for something. By his watch, it had been nearly ten minutes now that she'd been going on about various "studies" and how they showed the effects of smoking on the body. As she paused to take a breath, he hurriedly offered his flask to her before she could continue. When she took a healthy swig, he sighed in relief.

"Keep your eyes open, Bolls. Spencer isn't brilliant, he's more apt to stand there and cry rather than give you any trouble, but he's a skinny little weasel and may try and enter the building from either side. Chris and Ray are at the back of the alley, just in case."

She rolled her eyes at him. "Believe it or not, Guv, I do know how to do surveillance. And I'm not Chris, who was busy reading a comic book the last time Spencer gave you the slip."

Gene grunted in acknowledgement and they sat in silence, looking up and down the darkened street, waiting. "So how did Ray get that spectacular new black eye?" Alex mused, lightly drumming her fingers on the window in boredom.

"A bird hit him. And stop smudging the glass."

She straightened, a gleeful smile on her face, "A woman gave him that?"

"Took her out on a date, dinner and all. When they went back to her place she suggested some warming up, a little slow-dancing in front of the fireplace, soft music and candlelight. Raymondo went straight to the zipper of her dress and she went straight for a left hook."

Alex sighed, "Can you blame her for wanting something a little nice?"

"I'm sure he thought it would be very nice, Bolls," Gene chuckled in return, watching her eyes narrow. It was entirely too easy to bait her sometimes.

"I certainly wouldn't have found it 'nice' to have been pawed at, as you men always seem to do. No build-up, just straight for it, get it over with, and down to the pub!"

"Well, Bolly, I suppose she wanted him to lick her toes first and recite Indian love poetry or some nonsense, as you women usually do!"

"How observant of you, Guv, you always know just what women want," Alex snorted.

"Well, yes, Drake, my amazing powers of deduction are exceeded only by my striking good looks and the exceptional length of my reproductive organ. Now if it's all right with you, we should get back to the job at hand!" Bloody women.

He continued to scan the street, hoping that Spencer wouldn't take too damn long to show. He wanted out of the Quattro and into Luigi's. More importantly, he wanted her out of the Quattro before she started doodling in the fogged-up glass of the window. He watched her surreptitiously, studying the fall of hair across her face, slender fingers now drumming on her thigh. He was doing his own bit of personal surveillance, really.

Alex was silent for a few minutes before starting up again, "So you don't believe in foreplay?"

He wasn't expecting that. He took a long swig from the flask before replying. "I believe in getting down to business, Bolls, as you said. Next you'll be telling me how unromantic I am, how women want to be wooed, all hearts and flowers. Well, I'll tell you, I've never lacked for feminine appreciation, and I don't spout the works of Shakespeare before getting down to it."

"But there is something to be said for taking one's time and savouring it, putting a little effort into building up to the main event, something to look forward to before getting down to your... business," she broke off, clearing her throat a little.

He glanced over at her and she was studiously not looking at him. Even in the dim light afforded by street lamps, he thought she looked a shade pinker than usual and suddenly a devilish spirit rose in him, "Now see, Bolls," he purred, "You're not talking about foreplay, you're talking about anticipation. Two different things."

She started to protest and he cut her off, drawling, "You're talking about the rush... the game of seeing who breaks first, who makes the first move, who's gonna give in."

Her mouth had fallen slightly open and her cheeks were definitely flushed now as she gave him a sideways glance. He continued, lowering his voice, "You're talking about tension, maybe a bit of teasing... all about a bit of control."

He leaned in slightly at this last part and saw her chest rise and fall rapidly, felt his own blood race as he watched her lick her lips.

Emboldened, he leaned in further as if to whisper and saw her mirror the movement, coming closer. "All a game of control, Bolly. Who's got it, who's losing it."

His voice had lowered to a husky growl and she licked her lips again and looked at him from under lowered lashes. That was it, he couldn't stand it, had to taste her. He leaned farther over, thinking this was finally it, when she suddenly straightened up.

His brow furrowed as she gave him a sweet, calm smile, "Control. Yes, I see." The smile changed to a knowing smirk as she neatly assessed what he'd been thinking. He'd been had, and they both knew it.

"I think that's Spencer leaning against the wall over there, smoking. He's been there a few minutes now." And as he stared at her, she was on the radio calling for Ray and Chris and bounding out of the Quattro with weapon in hand. As she glanced back at him, Gene could see a wicked gleam in her eye.

That little... He laughed, ruefully, watching her wrestle Spencer to the ground. She'd won that round. Next game of control, he'd be the winner.

When they filed into the restaurant later than usual, Luigi instantly saw that Signor Hunt was up to mischief and that la Signorina also looked as though she was the cat in the cream. They were playing one of their games again, against each other. He had seen this so many times since Signorina Drake had come here. For two people who avowed to mean nothing to each other, Luigi had never seen so much concern over what each was doing.

Signorina Drake came sauntering over to the bar, a smile playing across her lips. "Good evening, Luigi!"

"And you, Signorina. A glass of wine?" He already knew the answer, was already polishing a glass for her. "You look very merry tonight."

Her eyes gleamed, "Oh, just a job well done." She took the proffered glass, raised it to him in a little cheer and sipped at it. Her eyes flicked across the room to where Signor Hunt sat scowling.

"You caught some criminals, eh?" He tried to lead her out, see what was making her smile so much and Signor Hunt frown so much.

"Mm, yes. Among other things." She tilted back the glass and swallowed all of her wine. All too quickly, as usual. "I'm going to run up to the flat and change but I'll be back down for dinner. Shrimp linguini tonight?" She hopped down from the stool and out the door, smiling.

Hunt's eyes followed her as he got up from his table and came over to the bar. Luigi brought out wine and glass for the bellicose DCI and watched as the man poured some for himself. His sharp eyes never left the doorway where Signorina Drake would eventually reappear.

"The signorina seems very happy today," Luigi hazarded.

"Yes. She's always chirpy when she gets one over." Hunt growled, but Luigi noticed the tiniest little smile hovering at the man's lips.

"Did you do some good work today, you two?"

"We caught someone, yeah. Took a bit of watching, but we got 'im."

Watching, ah. That was what it all came down to, Luigi thought. "Watching, Signor Hunt?"

"Yeah, y'know, surveillance."

"Sur...?" Luigi continued to play the fool, prompting the other man to continue.

"Sur-veill-ance, Luigi. Watching someone's every move, where they go, what they do, figuring out what they're up to. Catching them up."

Hunt quickly downed his glass of wine, poured another as Luigi braced himself and smiled innocently, "Oh! You mean like what you do with Signorina Drake."

There was a beat of several moments where Hunt stared at him, eyes becoming narrower and narrower until suddenly he let out a bark of laughter. Luigi wasn't sure whether to cross himself from the momentary fear he'd had that the man would launch a fist over the bar or the sheer surprise that the man in question was laughing.

Signorina Drake chose that moment to walk in and she looked as surprised as Luigi himself felt. She dropped into a chair at the bar, "You're laughing? What did I miss?"

Hunt stopped himself, clearing his throat, "Nothing. Luigi just told a funny one, for once." He nodded at Luigi, taking the bottle of wine and his glass back to his table in the corner as Luigi poured another glass for Signorina Drake. "You are both of you in a merry mood, it would seem, Signorina."

"Hm. I haven't seen him laugh like that since... well." Her face was contemplative as she looked over at the lion in the corner.

"Perhaps, Signorina," Luigi said softly, "you should try and make him laugh more often?"

She looked back at Luigi for a moment and her eyes softened. "Maybe." She smiled her thanks for the glass and walked back to Hunt's table, joining him.

Luigi found himself humming as he wiped down the bar. Surveillance. That's what he did, he supposed. Waited, and watched. Watched as their lives played out in front of him. Perhaps if he did a little more nudging than watching, he might get the two of them out of their separate miseries and into amore. Not that he was always certain that was a good idea. But it might be good for the both of them and it was obvious they were both fighting it.

Surveillance. These policemen knew nothing of it, Luigi smiled to himself. He, Luigi, was the true master of the art.

Yes, I lifted the "Indian love poetry and toe licking" line directly from the Gene Hunt 'article' in Fabulous Magazine, March 2008. It's too hilarious not to use. I'm not thrilled with this little ficlet, but I hope the recipient enjoyed. And if nothing else, it's got me inspired to do a little writing again, hopefully better next time.