Dempsey bounced into the office to a chorus of welcome from the lads. Sitting in his office Spikings could feel the energy that Dempsey's presence brought to the office; whilst the laughter continued outside he was forced to consider the still unresolved complexities of harbouring a cuckoo in the nest.

"Good to see you back mate" declared Dave

"Let's see the scar" demanded Tony

"What can I say – life is hard and then you die" Dempsey said as he raised his jumper to reveal the scar "I guess I just ain't had it hard enough yet"

"So you went after the sextraders that the vice squad lost?" checked Tony

"Nah I went to see the frogs, now that I'm gonna be a limey I thought I'd better get to know the neighbours." he continued as he lowered the sweater back down "it was kinda a celebration that me and Makepeace can keep on working together"

"What about frogs legs?" asked Fry

"Long and slender" Dempsey winked

Fry blushed "actually I meant…" he words faded as Dempsey moved to the coffee machine and poured two mugs of coffee. Dempsey put milk in one and placed it in the centre of Makepeace's desk, taking his own he moved to where Dave and Tony were

"Did you learn any French?" Dave asked

"What is it…" Tony recalled his school boy lessons "– Merci and sil vous…"

"Silver plates" Dempsey finished "that and mercy buckets" he sipped the hot coffee from his mug and that reminded him "I learnt deux cafes noir" he continued and then grinning he looked around the room checking to see who was listening "And preservative means condom – clever hey?"

Tony sighed in frustration wondering how Dempsey pulled where ever he went

Spikings stood at full height at the entrance between his office and the main one "What's going on out here? You've all got work to do" he surveyed the scene "Get on with it"

"What's going down?" Dempsey asked

"Me and Harry are working on a scam" Tony announced proudly

"Yeh and Harry is helping me look through a case about counterfit money" Dave informed Dempsey

"And you Fry?" Dempsey turned to address him "Are you doing it with Harry too?"

"Oh no!" Fry panicked "I've a got a girlfriend now"

Dempsey smiled "So you've not had to do any kissing with the Sergeant" Dempsey noted Fry's blush

Harry stood with folded arms waiting to catch Dempsey's eye which she did as he swung his attention away from his favourite target. He winced and considered how long she may have been there for "Sergeant" he greeted her with a mischievous grin "Fry and I were just discussing the finer points of undercover"


Dempsey paced around; flitting from one project to another he was being nothing more than a distraction. Dave had asked him to look through bank sheets but the numbers had driven him insane; Tony was buried under a mountain of newspapers and Dempsey took an Evening Standard dated two weeks prior and opened it.

He sat on the edge of Harry's desk, passing one page at a time from his left to right hand. "'This the newspaper you always on about me reading Makepeace?" he asked superciliously over his shoulder

Harry ignored him, Dempsey glanced over a few more pages and then folding the paper closed and then in half he placed it on her desk, over her work "Nothing in there" he goaded "Not big enough to have any news"

"I'm surprised that someone with the attention span of a flea finds a newspaper the size of a postage stamp too small"

"Well ain't that just it Sergeant" he leaned down "I'm obviously no flea"

"For god's sake Dempsey couldn't you just do some work?"

"Sure – where shall we go? Do you wanna do a run of the snouts, or hang out at the Bramcote and see what's going down?"

"I'm already working Lieutenant" she said pointedly

"I mean real police work" Dempsey emphasised the 'real'

"Fifty percent…"

"Yada yada…" Dempsey interrupted and catching Harry's warning glare picked up the evening paper again. "So what am I looking for?"

"Murry and…"

"Don't tell me Petrov"

"The very same" Makepeace confirmed "Seem to be shifting large stocks of paste jewellery and we think they're using the classifieds" she was spinning her pen around the central point, Dempsey noted it, he always noted such things

"You mean selling grannies pearls to unsuspecting punters" he watched her play the pen across her lips and wondered if she did it on purpose

"Possibly"

"But?"

"But the stock we've seen come in is in too large a quantity to get rid of on a one to one level"

"Well if you know the stuffs coming in and it's fake…"

"We need to prove that they're selling it on - you know evidence that will stand up in court" Makepeace raised her brow "The sort Spikings likes"

Dempsey huffed and not rising to the bait moved on "So you think there's a code hidden in 'The London Evening Standard'"? he mocked disparagingly

"It would be an easy way to communicate"

"I can think of easier; say using the phone or writing a letter"

Tony called across "This way all the players can be informed at once and they can all know what's going down"

"So let's read papers" Dempsey conceded, starting at the small ads he declared that 'his nose would find it'

Two minutes later he was itching with restlessness "No one seems to be selling large stocks of fake jewellery" he announced "How about a cat scratching post? Or a Haynes Escort Manual? Or a roof rack or 10 assorted videos?" His eyes scanned down one column and back to the top of the next "Ooo look there's a book keeping course - you should get that Dave you might catch your scumbag" Dempsey didn't expect an answer and so was not disappointed when none was forthcoming, he continued for a few more column inches "A Ha – Ladies costume jewellery" he picked up the phone and dialled the number "You still got that stuff for sale" he asked "only I need something that looks classy but costs nothing" he paused to listen to the voice at the other end "Well can you let me know if you sell anymore" he looked across to Harry "only the mistress is costing me a bit much at the moment". She glared back

Dempsey put the phone down. "Well?" asked Tony

"Sold it a week ago" Dempsey shrugged "belonged to his ex" he turned over a couple of pages searching until his eyes rested on his goal.

"Now let's see what we've got here" Dempsey's grin was audible and unfortunately for Fry he walked back into the office at just that point.

"Lonely hearts" Dempsey announced to one and all "Female aged 40 looking for LTR"

"Huh that counts you out then Jim" Tony called

"Why?"

"Long term relationship" Mac chided "never known that to be your scene"

"Oh I have been known to go in for the occasional one" He glanced at Harry who was hanging her head in mock interest at the page in front of her

Fry squeezed past Dempsey in an attempt to deliver the files he had fetched from records but his actions drew Dempsey's focus directly onto himself

"Fry! There's a whole load of women needing a man" he watched Fry shuffle uneasily and stack the files on his own desk "Hot blonde wltm man for fun and games" he looked back to Fry who was head down in his notes "Blondes not doing it for you? How about sexy female with gsoh looking for like minded guy"

"She'll do me" Mac called out

"and you've got a good sense of humour?" Dave challenged

"I'm sexy" Mac swung his hips and everyone laughed as he pursed his lips "and gsoh could mean good salary own house"

"when a guy puts it he really means good standard of hygiene"

"what like he's not got crabs"

"well that's kinda important"

Dempsey took charge again "Ok guys who wants Lovely Lorraine NSA, brunette with long legs"

"NSA?"

"No strings attached" chorused three together

"See Brian, Mac and Joe - they know their stuff"

Most of the guys were by now grazing their own edition and each threw out ads over the other creating a cacophony of acronyms and lust; as the interest built the office debated the possible pros and cons that Cody's discreet Massage held over Foxy Kittens Escort Agency and whether 'Unhurried Hawksleys Angels' would really take their time. The conversation plummeted towards filth with the imagination as to why wild cherry was so named and then Fry coughed: "Damn" he announced. Feeling flustered Fry had kept his head down, copying details of old cases onto a chart in an attempt to hide his discomfort, but now he addressed Dempsey "I need a rubber"

Dempsey's eyes widened in disbelief "Um best go visit the bathroom" he suggested a little awkwardly

"But have you got a rubber I can use, you always seem to have one" Fry persisted ignorant and assuming Dempsey was after going to the bathroom himself

"Just wash your hands after" Dempsey advised in a louder whisper than he intended

"So pass me a rubber" Fry re-iterated "And I'll wash my hands"

"Well now I don't usually carry one for work" Dempsey glanced up at the rest of the guys, intrigued as to their interest he forced a mock smile

"But I've seen them on your desk, there's usually one you've left lying around" Fry proclaimed

"What?" Dempsey was actually bamboozled "Not here, not in the office at least…"

Harry grinned, she had gotten used to the guys ignoring her at such times as these and tended to ignore them back but now her mission was twofold: one to save Fry and the other to save herself - good grief what would Dempsey let slip. She called Fry's attention "Fry - here's one of Dempsey's erasers" she tossed it across the room and Dempsey swung round "Wrong inference" she pronounced with a satisfied grin and a rise of her brow "We call condoms johnnys!"

The eruption from the team finally drew Spikings from his office and silence fell.

"Dempsey!" Spikings flicked his head towards the office door and as Dempsey made his way across the room Spikings dropped his bombshell "All leave and rest days are cancelled until these cases are solved." He announced "Upstairs are expecting a miracle and we are going to deliver"