Title: Knight in Savile row
Pairing: Chandler/Kent, Kent/OC (one-sided)
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV's. Never mine.
Summary: One night at the pub Kent attracts the unwanted attention of a stranger. Chandler doesn't like it.
Authors notes: I know this is really cheesy and silly, so please don't flame me! ;-) Also I'm very sorry if there are any mistakes, I've checked it for mistakes but as it is 2 o'clock in the morning my concentration is severely hampered and I may have missed them.
Miles, Chandler, Kent and Mansell all sat round the circular table in the darkened pub, each with their own drink resting on the sticky table top in front of them, varying levels of the liquid left in each glass. They had just finished all of the paperwork for a complicated case that day and with the insistence of both Miles and Mansell, the team had been dragged to the pub for the evening to celebrate. Even Dr Llewellyn had joined them, slotting herself into a seat in between Mansell and Kent.
The lighting in the pub was low, casting shadows in the corners and although no one was smoking in the building, the acrid smell wafted in through the open outside door, Chandler quickly turning up his nose at the stench. The pub was quite busy already at 8:30, and there was a gentle hum of conversation from the patrons, the noise steadily becoming louder as more and more beers, wines' and spirits were consumed, eventually drowning out the overlapping background sounds of the TV and the CD player. It wasn't quite late enough for the real drunks to be making their appearances yet, so the team were quite comfortable to sit, relax and enjoy each others company without the underlying situation of an unsolved homicide case.
"Ok, my round. I'm up." Kent announced, standing when a good number of the glasses on the table were either empty or near so. He cast a look around the table. "Whose having what?"
"Same again lad." Miles said, draining the remainder of his pint. Once the rest of the group had also gave Kent their order he turned and made his way to the bar, dipping his hand into his back pocket and withdrawing his wallet.
He folded his arms and lent over the bar, waiting for the attention of the barman, while the fingers of one hand tapped restlessly on the wooden surface. He could hear the strings of a popular song, the name of which escaped him, drifting to his ears from the CD player behind the bar, but that wasn't enough to hold his attention while he waited. He glanced over his shoulder, his eyes scanning the pub solely looking for something to focus on. What he didn't expect was to find a pair of eyes staring intently at him from the booth three tables down from where the team were sitting.
Kent quickly looked away, his eyes snapping back to the bar for a few seconds, before curiosity got the better of him and he hesitantly glanced back over his shoulder. Half elated and half disconcerted by the fact that the man's eyes were still focused on him, he took a few seconds to take in his appearance.
He was sitting with a group of similar size to Kent's, but was ignoring them completely in favour of staring at the DC. The man was probably closer to thirty than twenty, had blonde hair that was a little lighter and longer than Chandler's, which fell down into his eyes and around his ears, lightly gelled and styled. As far as Kent could tell from this distance, he thought that his eyes were blue, but he couldn't really say for sure. His skin was lightly tanned and his features were angular and sharp. The man wore a dark blue button down shirt and a casual pair of jeans, no tie, with the two top buttons undone.
Kent was slightly uncomfortable by now, the guy still hadn't looked away and seemingly didn't plan to any time soon. The young DC gave the bloke a slight quirk of his lips that barely passed for a smile before he turned back to face the bar, just as the thuggish looking barman that closely resembled a boiled egg stopped in front of Kent with the stereotypical rag thrown over his shoulder.
"What'll it be mate?"
The DC quickly gave the groups order and took the money out of his wallet ready to hand to the barman.
"Can I buy you that drink?" came a smooth voice to the young man's right.
Kent's head snapped up and found himself looking directly into the face of the mysterious man from across the room, his lips curved into a charming smile and his arm casually lent upon on the surface of the bar.
The young man immediately panicked. He wasn't a flirt by nature and when he did find himself in situations like this he tended to panic, usually saying something stupid or just making a quick and speedy exit. He wasn't terrible at flirting and if he liked someone then it came much easier, but he always felt awkward and slightly tacky when trying to flirt.
He quickly wracked his brains for a suitable answer.
"Uh…I'm buying for a group, not-not just me." Kent inwardly cringed.
The man smiled and let out a huff of laughter. "I'll give it to you, I've never had that reply before." Kent gave a small smile of his own. The man held out his hand. "James."
The DC glanced at the offered appendage before he unfolded his arms and extended his own hand.
"Nice to meet you Kent." James gave another charming smile. "So, you're with that group there?" He asked, nodding his head towards the team. Kent looked over his shoulder, surprised when he found both Miles' and Chandler's eyes on him.
"Doesn't take a genius to spot that you're the odd one out." The blonde man muttered sardonically.
Immediately Kent's defences went up. He frowned at the other man and barely glanced at the barman when he placed three out of the five drinks he'd ordered in front of him.
"Well, you've got to be at least ten years younger than all of them."
Kent glanced at his group again. "They're my work colleagues.."
James laughed. "Where do you work? An old folks home?"
Kent had already decided that he didn't like this guy, and now he was insulting his team. The young man bit his tongue for a second to stop himself from coming out with a reply that would make Miles blush, instead taking a deep breath and allowing one corner of his mouth to curl upwards in a subtle grin.
"No, I'm a policeman." He casually stated, handing over the money for the drinks, when they were lined up in front of him on the bar by the barman. His previous nerves about being approached were now gone, replaced by a mixture of distrust and annoyance at the taller man. He then looked up to gauge James' reaction, hoping that his admission would have deterred him.
Instead he found an almost lecherous smirk plastered on the handsome face.
"Does that mean handcuffs are a must?"
Kent's mouth fell half open at this blokes audacity as he let out a disbelieving chuckle, just as James moved closer.
"Yeah they are. Them and a 10 by 6 foot cell. But that's only if you come any closer." Kent raised an eyebrow and attempted to hold in his laugh at the look on James's face, caught half between disbelief and anger. "Now, if you'll excuse me…" The young man smiled falsely, picking up two of the drinks and turning to leave. He didn't expect to be suddenly caught by the wrist and yanked back, the movement of which spilled half of the contents of one drink (luckily Kent's own) and narrowly missed spilling the other.
The young man's body immediately tensed and his earlier show of bravado disappeared in a split second. He looked up into the taller man's face, which no longer held a charming, handsome smile, but was set in a cold, unyielding frown that sent a shiver down Kent's spine. It was the kind of look that suspects gave the detectives' when they were being brought in and knew that they were caught.
"I wasn't finished."
Both Miles and Chandler had watched as the stranger had approached Kent at the bar, the two men sharing a look. After Kent and the man shook hands Miles let out a quiet snigger and turned back to the rest of the group.
"Looks like Kent might have pulled!" His tone was humorous and his smile was flippant, his attention quickly moving back to the tables' previous conversation, forgetting all about their youngest DC up at the bar.
Joe's attention however, didn't move from the DC at all. He kept his eyes focused on Kent and the stranger, even when both of them looked in his direction, watching their interaction play out. After another minute of his voyeurism he was about to turn back and join in with the groups' conversation, realising that Kent and the stranger were probably just talking and nothing untoward at all was going on. Though the second he was about to look away he spotted the look on the strangers face and watched, his anger slowly building as Kent went to walk away from the man, who grabbed his wrist and roughly pulled him back.
"I'm going to help Kent with the drinks." was the only explanation he gave to the group as he abruptly stood from his chair and made his way over to the bar. Approaching the two men he came and stood next to Kent, placed a hand on the young man's shoulder and gave the stranger a cold stare.
"Is there a problem?"
When Kent felt the warm hand on his shoulder somehow he instinctively knew that it was Chandler and gave a relieved breath, turning his head to face his DI. He blinked in surprise when he saw that the look the older man was giving James was every bit as icy and standoffish as James's own. He also noticed that while James was taller than he was, Chandler was still taller than James, and Chandler could be very imposing-looking when he wanted to be.
"Is there a problem?" His voice was smooth and could even be considered friendly, but Kent could hear the threatening undertone to it, and he was sure that James could hear it too.
The blonde man looked between Kent and Joe, his eyes lingering on the DI for an extra few seconds, possibly sizing up whether starting a fight was worth it. Kent glanced down at the hand that was still wrapped around his wrist, still gripping it tightly enough to hurt.
"No. No problem." James finally replied through gritted teeth, eventually releasing Kent's arm from his tight grip, before picking up his own drink from the bar and walking back to his group, giving the two detectives one last glare when he was a safe distance away from them.
Kent sighed and looked up at Chandler. "Thanks sir."
"Don't mention it. Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I think my hand might have lost it's circulation for a few minutes there, but…otherwise OK." Kent joked. He thought that the joke fell flat however as Chandler's expression didn't even change from the calculating glare he was still shooting to James across the room.
"What did he want?"
Kent blushed slightly. "He just…wasn't taking no for an answer." The young man didn't want to give all details of the story, so he just settled for that and hoped that Chandler would fill in the blanks himself. From the look on his superiors face Kent was pretty sure that he knew what he'd meant.
It was a few seconds later that both men realised that the older man's hand was still resting on his shoulder. Chandler blinked, coughed and quickly removed it, while Kent pursed his lips almost sadly and looked to the floor.
"Hey, are those drinks coming any time soon!" Mansell called over to them, the whole group also looking over to the two detectives.
Kent smiled, and looked to Chandler, whose mouth was also curved upwards slightly as he manoeuvred himself around the DC and picked up the three remaining drinks off of the bar and held them in a triangle shape that allowed all three to be carried at the same time.
The two men made their way back over to the table and quickly distributed the drinks, Kent glaring into his half empty glass, slightly peeved that a great deal of it was currently on the floor by the bar. Maybe he should have got James to pay for it after all!
"What was that all about Kent? Had to let the poor bloke down gently did you?" Mansell teased, grinning across the table at the youngest member of their team.
Kent laughed and took a sip of his drink. "Yeah. No one can resist my charms!" The young man joked, running his fingers along the length of his loosened tie. He was too busy listening to Mansell's mocking reply to notice the significant look that Miles gave Chandler across the table, raising one eyebrow and one side of his mouth curling into an expectant smirk. He also missed Joe's reaction; a slight widening of the eyes, a slight flush of the tanned cheeks and a sudden inability to hold his sergeants gaze.
A few minutes later the table's conversation had taken a new turn onto a completely mundane and unrelated topic. Kent looked down at his arm, unbuttoned and rolled up the sleeve of his shirt to reveal the still red skin of his forearm where James had grabbed him. Upon closer inspection he realised that the skin may in fact be beginning to bruise, the shape of the damage in a clear hand and fingers pattern.
"He did that to you?"
Kent looked up into the worried face of his DI once again, noticing that Chandler was staring down at his arm, almost transfixed by the marks on the pale skin.
"Erm, yeah." Kent turned his arm over, examining the redness. "I didn't think he'd grabbed me that hard, but my skin say's otherwise."
"Do you mind if I look?" There was something hesitant in Chandler's question, and in his eyes. Kent glanced around the table to check that no one was looking, before extending his arm into Chandler's space. His breath hitched slightly when he felt the first touch of the long, smooth fingers on his hand and wrist. They gently skimmed the surface of his flesh, as the other man's eyes examined the hurt closely, the DI's fingers eventually coming to rest over the marks on his skin, perfectly in line, covering the damage from view. Kent chuckled inwardly when he saw that Chandler's hands were bigger than that of the imprint on his arm, no wonder James scuttled away when Joe made his appearance!
"It's not bad. It shouldn't take too long to heal."
Kent bit his lip. "I know, it's only a red mark, maybe a bit of a bruise. I've had much worse."
"I know you have." Chandler muttered quietly, loosening his hold on the young man's arm and looking directly into Kent's eyes. The dark haired man found that this didn't unnerve him in the same way when Joe did it compared to when James had. When Chandler looked at him the feelings he felt were indeed nerves, but not in the uneasy sense of the word, more like the cliché, girly butterfly sense.
Just at that moment Dr Llewellyn commanded the attention of the DC from across the table, forcing him to tear his eyes away from Chandler's and to gently pull his arm out of the tender hold. However he didn't expect for Chandler to quickly slip his hand into Kent's smaller one and entwine their fingers.
The young man stuttered out a suitable response to Dr Llewellyn's question before glancing at Joe, who appeared to be glaring at someone across the bar again (and Kent had a good idea who it was on the receiving end). The DC followed his gaze and found himself once again looking at James, three tables down, who was also still sending furtive glowering looks their way.
Kent's cheeks flushed as he looked at their joined hands and then leaned over, whispering, "Sir, he's not gonna come back over, I think he got the message."
Joe turned his head to face Kent. "I'm just making sure." He gave the young man's hand a squeeze, but didn't let go. The two men then rejoined their colleagues conversations, laughing, joking, talking and sipping their drinks, their hands still tightly entwined beneath the highly appreciated covering of the table. Joe's thumb softly and repetitively stroked the sensitive skin on the back of Kent's hand, the touch feeling incredibly intimate and dangerous, hidden from the other detectives' view.
Emerson and Joe's own little secret.