Disclaimer: It's all owned by Impossible Pictures and ITV

Author Notes: Set after episode 3 of series 3. Hope people like Sarah/Becker as much as I do. Enjoy and please let me know what you think.

Shadows of Grief and Shared Solace

The weather was really picking up the day of Nick's funeral. There'd be rain coming later maybe. But Sarah still lingered outside, turning problems over in her mind. It was what she did, picking away until she learned its secrets. And it was the perfect distraction.

Everything had felt out of balance today. Conner had been almost silent. He'd looked crumpled too. The only one he was responding to through his haze of grief was Abby.

Abby had been paler than usual. She'd stayed close to Conner the whole time, leant against his shoulder during part of the burial. They'd headed off together. Conner had wanted to go back to the ARC to work on the artefact. But Abby had tucked her hand through his arm and dragged him home with promises of curry and beer and that stupid film he'd made her watch three times already in the past week. It had looked as though she was holding him up. Becker sent a couple of his men with them.

Then Jenny headed home, looking numb and folded in on herself. She wanted to be alone. Her skin was milk-white and her deep plum suit almost matched her hair. She'd looked as impeccable and professional as always. She'd looked like she was going to fall apart.

God, it wasn't that many days since she'd asked Sarah what she'd thought of Nick. And Sarah had meant what she'd said; he was a good man entirely and toxically married to his work, as well as being easy on the eyes. Not her type at all.

Jenny had been planning on asking him out.

Sarah was itching for a chance to look at the artefact, just to clean it up a bit and decipher what secrets were carved there. But Lester, of all people, had ordered the ARC's staff to stay away for the day, skeleton crew only. He didn't want their emotional states to affect their work.

Becker was waiting beside the SUV. He was in all black, suitable today of all days, and he didn't appear to be armed. Appearances were likely deceiving. He was watching her.

"You didn't have to wait," she told him as soon as she was in earshot.

"I have my orders."

Sarah managed an amused smile. Everything else felt off-kilter, but Becker was still following his orders. It brought her some sense of stability.

Becker's expression softened as she reached him. He unhooked his radio.

"You're going home," he told her.

Sarah laughed. "There's no chance at all you're going to disobey your orders, is there?"

"Not today."

He opened the SUV door for her and tuned the radio to the station she listened to when she was relaxing. He drove to his flat. Sarah let out a deep rattling sigh, like it came from her bones.

Becker had coffee, strong, sweet and black, in his hand and she could see the shadows under his eyes. He didn't say anything, just watched as she poured her herbal tea. The strong silent type. God, what a cliché.

But he was there, as she carved out some chocolate cake, watching the patterns steam off her tea. He followed her into the lounge where she piled up books and paperwork that all detailed ideas and tangents that could be connected to the artefact. Her mind filleted and widened, constructing a web. She felt like she could breathe properly again.

Becker watched her silently.

It felt like hours before she stopped. The sun had moved, covering them both in shadows. Her fingers were smudged with ink; there was probably a mark somewhere on her cheek. Becker usually smirked and wiped it away with a sure affectionate movement.

Tonight he took her papers, stacking them together neatly. He set them on the windowsill, where shadows ribboned across the surface. Sarah's hand jerked in response, reaching, but no words made it past her lips.

There was tension in Becker's shoulders and his jaw. His coffee was cooling. He reached for her instead.

Tomorrow she'd look for answers in the artefact, armed with a lot of starting points and a hell of a lot of motivation. She'd keep a clear head, because work had always given her that and someone needed to. He'd watch their backs and keep them safe, tightening every aspect of security. And all the time a single thought would stay with him – his job was to protect the team and he'd failed.

But tonight, they had their ghosts and they had each other. Sarah rested her head against his chest and held on tight. Becker kissed her. They didn't say a word.

-the end