Together by DD Agent

I do not own Spooks or any of its characters, or its settings

It had been several months since Lucas North had killed himself, since once again they had been faced with another global crisis and once more their feelings had got in the way of what they had to do. So, instead of going to the embankment or sitting down in fancy French restaurants laughing about Charlie Chaplin, they decided to get away for a little bit and have an honest talk.

The country was pleasant. They tried not to go near any churches, or farm houses, or any woods. They made old jokes and references to spooks long forgotten as they sat in little coffee shops where there was tea and cake and brushes of fingers against sugar cubes.

They looked over a river from the bridge, looked at the ducks and listened to the children playing football and cricket mere metres away. A hand reached around her hip, and she closed her eyes, savouring the sensation. He was glad she didn't move it.

"You know, I'm thinking of retiring before they get the knives out for me."

Ruth looked up at his remark, startled. "I see."

Harry was confused. He thought that was what she wanted - for them to get out of the business, for them to stop spying and being thrust into constant danger. He thought she wanted a cottage where they could have cats and dogs and have his small grandchildren run around. He reached over for her hands, realising he should ask what had been on his mind for too long.

"What do you want, Ruth?"

She turned and smiled at the people coming across the bridge, smiled as the sun beat down on them. The smell of a barbecue was in the air. She could only hear laughter. She had had this, and look where it had got her. Above everything, all she wanted was him.

"Harry, if I need to spell out what I want, then…"

"Well you did turn down my proposal Ms Evershed; forgive an old man for asking."

She laughed softly, and he reached over for her chin. He pressed his lips to the crease of her cheek, and she smiled.

"If they come for me, Ruth, I may not be able to protect you. You could lose your job."

Ruth didn't immediately respond, just looked out over the river, gripping Harry's hand tight within her own.

"You've always protected me before. Doesn't matter, Harry, what happens. We'll face it together."

He flushed at her use of the word, and squeezed her hand back. "Always."