Chapter 15
A Natural Response

"Sarge can I have a word?" Allie spoke up as she walked into Matt's office where he was working on some of Javis' paper work that he had just handballed to him.

"Sure" Matt responded, a little uneasy about her tone, "what's this about detective?"

"It's about you letting a suspect go before Jen and I had the chance to interview him about the women he potentially murdered!"

"Allie-"

"No sir, we dragged in a man who we had good reason to question about how he knew Maria Hope, and before we had a chance to do so you told uniforms to cut him loose".

"You didn't have any evidence to hold him" Matt finally put his foot down, "so yes I told uniforms to let him go because we couldn't keep him any longer".

Both Allie and Matt turned their heads towards the door as Rhys came in with a few files to put on Matt's desk, the two of them only pausing for a second before turning back to their argument.

"We just got him here half an hour before" Allie protested.

"She's right Sarge" Rhys backed her up, "we could have held him here longer".

Allie glared at him, mentally stabbing Rhys for getting involved. She didn't need him to fight her battles for her. "Look my point is, even though the evidence was circumstantial, it would have been good if we had gotten the chance to hear what he had to say about it".

"I'm going to say this once, and once only because this is confidential" Matt told them. "The man you and detective Mapplethorpe dragged in earlier is an undercover officer working for the Federal Police and as soon as I was made aware of the situation by the commander I let him go because it was what we were instructed to do" he explained, noticing how silent the two detectives had become. "The commander is currently in negotiations with the feds to try and get your guy in here to fill us in as to what he knows about our case, but until then we will continue to search other avenues. Now if that's all then you can both get out of my office and get some sleep before tomorrow, were going to have a big day".

"Yes sir" they both answered, moving out of the office and closing the door. Their eyes met for a minute, Allie's glare letting Rhys know instantly that she was pissed off at him.

"Allie wait" he tried to apologize, calling out after her as she took off, grabbing her bag and making a b-line for the elevator. "Wait" he repeated, grabbing his things quickly and following her, just making it into the elevator before the doors shut. "Talk to me please".

"Rhys, when I'm having an argument with the Sarge I don't need you getting involved" Allie yelled, turning her head to look at him.

"Allie I was just agreeing with you, what's the big deal?"

"I can stand up for myself, don't you get it?"

"Yeah I get it-"

"No you don't" she stopped him, "because if you did you wouldn't have gotten involved in a disagreement that had nothing to do with you".

"Allie..."

"Just, don't". Allie managed to stop herself as the elevator doors opened and they were on the ground floor of the building "I'll see you tomorrow". And with that she walked out of the elevator and out of Rhys' sight before he could say anything.

-*-~AE~-*-

Sometimes it amazed Allie how easy it was to fall into habits, and how once these habits are formed, it can be near impossible to function how you used to. Even if those past habits had been something you'd been doing your whole life, it was so hard to go back. Every night Rhys would be there next to her, his arms wrapped around her, and that was how she'd fall asleep. And now as she lay away in her bed, the right side empty, she realised the reason she couldn't sleep. With the exception of the previous night, she had fallen asleep in his arms every night for the last three weeks, and the only reason she had slept the night before was because she had been too drunk to stay awake.

Glancing over at the alarm clock which read two thirty six, she sighed finally giving up on getting to sleep. She pulled the covers off of her, turning her body sideways and placing her feet on the ground. "Damn it Rhys" she cursed out loud, she felt numb, and before she could even stop herself she was grabbing the keys to her car, and driving herself to Rhys'.

The drive seemed longer than usual, what was only a twenty minute drive seemed like an hour in her mind. She didn't know what she was going to do when she got there, or what she was even doing there in the first place. Her body was on auto pilot, every move was done without even thinking. Finally she indicated right to turn down Rhys' street, the closer she got the house the more she began to relax.

Rhys could hear her car pull up in the driveway; he too hadn't been able to get much sleep, not after the fight they had had that day. Getting out of bed, he peered through the curtains and out the window to check that it was in fact her, sighing in relief when he saw her stepping out of the car. He moved quickly to get out of his room, getting to the door and opening it just as she was approaching it. A smile formed on his face as he watched her in front of him, still in her favourite pair of pyjamas.

Allie looked up to see Rhys standing in front of her and leaning against the door frame with his stupid smirk displayed on his face, still not having the right words to say, she stepped forward, wrapping her arms around him and burying her head in his bare chest.

Without even hesitating, like it was a natural reaction, Rhys wrapped his arms around her in response, his muscles relaxing now that she was here. They stayed like this for a while, their bodies fitting together so closely and perfectly.

"I'm still angry" she pouted, untangling herself enough so that she could look directly at him, "because of you I can't sleep by myself".

Rhys smirked at this, slightly amused by the childish look she had on her face, it was the same expression his five year old niece would display when she was sulking over something petty. "I guess I better let you in then and drag you to bed with me" he smiled, placing a kiss on her forehead before he led her inside, closing the door behind her. Allie didn't argue with this, taking comfort in following him with one hand in his. When they got to his room, both tired from the lack of sleep, they climbed into bed on their usual sides and moved in together; like it was a natural state that didn't need to be thought about, Allie resting her head on his shoulder, one hand placed on his chest and Rhys holding her in close. Both lay in peace, and before long they were both sound asleep.