A/N: Found/Founding/Founded. I've become a real odd sort and started having fun by naming my fics alphabetically. I wrote this and THEN had to think of something that started with F. I like Found for the different meanings. Found, as in the past tense of find. Or that thing you come across unexpectedly or after searching. And Found as in setting up, laying the ground work, establishing or launching some enterprise.
In Driven to Distraction, Sgt. Siobhan Maitland, an expert in crimes against women, works with Morse and Lewis to solve the murders at hand. Siobhan and Morse get on well, but the relationship is professional. There was that parting scene. They wished each other well. She acts concerned for him and had seemed to want to stay in touch. The night they had spent working together, they had seemed to size up what each had in the way of a significant other, as if there was some interest there. The question asked was something along the lines of, "Is there... someone special waiting at home then?" He had said for him there wasn't. She had replied a bit mysteriously, as if she was not quite sure - that she thought for her there was someone waiting at home.
In my mind, she returns home to find she is wrong. That the only one she is thinking of suddenly is the enigmatic Chief Inspector.
Updated A/N: This was originally a one-shot, but I am currently working on lots more chapters...
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Chief Inspector Morse stopped scanning the room; he'd found her. Siobhan nodded to him, but resisted the urge to wave like a school girl. From her side of the hotel's foyer, she watched for signs her acquaintance was as nervous as she was as he crossed to join her.
There was the awkward moment of not shaking hands... of not treating each other like two police professionals reunited. But that left them with little greeting at all.
"You're here," she said.
"I'd written that I would be." There was no cutting reproof for her nonsensical opening line. Instead his quiet tone seemed to show he appreciated the unease behind it.
They ended up at a table on the hotel's terrace. Morse's glass of white wine in deference to hers. Hers being something quick to move the situation beyond its tense, inauspicious beginnings.
"Was it a good seminar?" he tried gamely. Work was what they had in common. It made no sense to not talk about it in general terms at least, they both sensed.
"I suppose," she told him. "You learn a bit. You get a break from the paperwork..." She saw her segue then. "It gave me the excuse to write you to see if you would be coming."
He nodded, understanding. He had welcomed hearing from her. But because they had worked together, because there had been the difference in their rank, with him senior, Morse would not have felt comfortable writing to her first. If he had contacted her and it had been viewed as an unwelcome advance by a senior officer, God knows, that would have been embarrassing at best. Possibly disastrous.
But they had sorted it with an economy of letters. She had written to ask if he would be at the London seminar on Police Reporting Procedures and to let him know that she would be... and that she would welcome seeing him. That she would enjoy speaking again on nearly any topic... not ones confined to a car repair shop near Oxford from 4 months previous.
He had labored over the reply. Did she know that? He wondered as he watched her over his glass. Alas, he was not scheduled to attend the weekend seminar. But he wrote to tell her that he frequently did visit London and was not averse to scheduling a trip in to coincide with the end of her course.
If the Detective Sergeant knew him at all. Knew his manners and his temperament, she would know that 'frequent' did not describe his willing visits to London in any sense. He left his home territory in his off hours only under high inducement.
"You had said you thought there was someone... waiting for you," he began. There was a motion with his head. "Back home, last we spoke."
God, he was wary, she thought. Merely honest? Unwilling to proceed without knowing the score.
She smiled uneasily. "I was a bit wrong on that. There was someone waiting. I found it wasn't who I thought it was."
"You'll have to explain that one, I'm afraid."
"Do people ever turn out to be someone you didn't think they were?"
He raised his eyebrows at her to shame her. Their shared occupation alone would have answered that question, and certainly the case they had worked on together - and promised not to discuss - had been full of people not being who they appeared.
"Yes, well..." she continued sheepishly. "He was not what I wanted waiting for me."
She shook her head. "I've recovered obviously. I... well... you know..."
Morse smiled. She is nervous, thank God. That helps somehow. "You wrote me... told me you would be here..."
"Exactly." She blew out a breath. "Forgive me. This is fairly nerve wracking for me. I wrote you the letter asking if you would be here for the seminar. Sort of, well, fishing. I didn't want it to come across that way though. So, since I was so horribly vague in the letter, I've been left wondering if, when you saw me, you would know..."
She laughed at that. His detective's annoying habit of simply repeating the last thing said so as to prompt a witness to say more.
"If you would know that I was interested in you," she supplied with more confidence. "Which you do at this point with all the idiot rambling and stumbling about. Which only leaves the second thing I was worried about."
"Which was?" he said with a teasing look he could not hide behind his steepled fingers. It was obvious the second thing would be whether or not he was interested.
"I was wondering how your car fared," she pretended to lie with a laugh.
"I would not have come for any other detective sergeant," he said meaningfully, answering her unspoken concern. "Although it does pain me that you would have to BE a detective sergeant." There was a tight little smile then.
"Yes, a bit of a complication," she admitted.
They had both gone to pains to avoid running into anyone from their stations. Siobhan had moved her things to this new hotel and met the Inspector here. He had dodged the few questions he had gotten about his weekend plans and left his distinctive Jag at home.
He was smiling now, he knew. And he felt a strange contentment settle on him as she returned his happy expression. As he had gotten ready for this trip, a part of him had complained that this weekend was foolish. That his efforts were wasted. That doubting side to him was silent now as she tugged her chair a little closer... as the story she was beginning took on an entertaining, conspiratorial tone that drew him in.
They spent hours out on the town after drinks at the hotel. They took in a museum and a meal. She enjoyed the smile that he wore so easily in this situation.
Morse, for his part, was completely taken in by how enjoyable and relaxed her off duty personality was. The rhythm to her speech, even her walk, had a happy ease to it.
All too soon, it had grown late.
Siobhan stopped on the sidewalk and gestured off down the block. "We're near enough the station here," she told him with obvious reluctance. "You could catch the train back... might be the last one soon," she confirmed looking at her watch.
"No, I'll get you back safely to your room."
"And miss your train?"
"I'll be all right," he said a bit gruffly.
"Sorry. It's all a little ... awkward."
They walked on then a dozen more steps. And she pulled at his arm gently until he stopped to look at her. "Do you want to share my room? Go back tomorrow?"
She hadn't said, "spend the night," he noted. As confused as conversations like this left him (on the rare occasion he had them) this one seem even more distinctly unclear than normal.
"I don't even know what I want to have happen," she continued. "Although I know I'm glad you aren't in a rush to catch that train." Her hand moved up then to touch his cheek and his expression softened. His hands stayed in his pockets even as she moved closer, as if he didn't trust those hands to do things quite correctly or as if he was conceding this moment to her. But he leaned forward. Felt his weight move to his toes, as he mirrored the small movements she was making toward him.
They had held hands at times over the day. She had shown a fondness for taking his elbow. For touching him when they talked. He had known, had let himself believe, that there would be this kiss at some point. But as she kissed him, one hand to his cheek and the other on his lapel, he forgot about expectations. Suppositions. Probability.
It was a bit of a question, that first kiss. One for both of them to answer. As it ended, they didn't pull back. Rather, they lingered there an inch apart. There was a sigh. Another breath and he kissed her back. His hands came from his pockets then as part of his answer, and his fingers took a safe but possessive place on her waist. And with her hands and lips, she replied in kind.
She looked pleased with herself as she eased away from him finally. Or perhaps, he allowed, she was actually pleased with him. With the situation. With the kisses.
"I could get a separate room," he offered.
"If you want..." They started walking then, and she waited. Weighing her words before she said them. "We've managed a night together before in the same room," she said. She was breaking her rule... mentioning the case and the hours they had spent pouring over old car records till dawn. Good hours, despite the work. "Are you against a night of reasonably chaste behavior in a shared bed." She laughed then and put a hand to her forehead. "Is that just a ridiculous thing to propose? I'm sorry, I don't even know. It's likely there is a book I missed on expected behavior in these situations."
"A dozen books, most likely. But don't feel badly, I missed them, too."
She answered him with a little laugh, and by leaning up against him as they walked.
"Is it a suitably large bed?" he joked then, hoping to save the conversation.
"Four, I believe. Although they are of middling thickness."
"Ah, must be a tourist hotel," he pretended to complain.
They were stopped now, waiting for the light. She looked up at him. Dissatisfied with merely remembering their kiss, she rose on her toes and gently pulled him to her. Now it was not the searching, languid kiss of before. Just something quick to feed the desire his banter and the warm tones of his voice created in her.
Was it the kiss or the smile that followed that left him standing there stock still while traffic waited? He didn't know. But she seemed chuffed that it gave her the opportunity to take him by the hand and lead him off the curb.
He was recovered then. Still, Morse felt it was someone else, some other man, who leaned in and whispered to her, "Will there be a bundling board in this room of yours?"
"What?" she replied with a mixture of shock and amusement. She knew it was foolish to be surprised that he would mention something so arcane, but she couldn't help it. "One of those boards down the middle of the bed? That was a Scots invention, I am sure. Not an Irish one." She squeezed his hand. "I'm going to want to have my arm around you while you sleep," she told him plainly and honestly. It seemed almost a warning as to her depth of feeling.
She was already picturing it, he believed as he stopped on the far corner to look into her eyes. She reached up to disturb the hair at his temple then. Mussed it with a single finger as if creating her scene. What he found in her face was intoxicating. Genuine. And it made him want the privacy of that room now.
"Come on," he encouraged her as he pulled her in to walk beside him.
They were silent for the rest of their walk back. Their pace a bit more lively than leisurely.
He faded behind her as she unlocked the room door. He watched and waited for the clues. Siobhan lit only the small light at the desk in the corner... She pulled her pajamas from her suitcase.
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He held the covers open. She seemed to be eying him suspiciously, but she complied and slid into the bed on her side.
He covered her up and walked to his side of the bed. He lay down then - on top of the covers.
Morse kissed her. Worked his arm under her head. He put his other hand out and traced her hip bone through the layers of blankets.
"You think me silly for what I said earlier?" she demanded. "That we could share this room and not..."
"No. I think this is a good idea. I don't want to rush this."
"And these blankets you've got me wrapped in?"
"A bit of insurance," he told her quietly. "So I don't forget myself."
"Oh, God," she said in a strained voice.
"That notion is incredibly sexy," she told him. And she tugged at his shirt to pull him closer.
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