In the unusually quiet atmosphere of the Thames Valley Police HQ on a Sunday afternoon, the sound of needles clicking against each other was too loud and too out of place to ignore. Clack clack clack. It was enough to make Morse lift his head from the report on his desk, frowning as he tried to discern where the oddly domestic sounds were coming from. Report in hand, he went into the hallway to find the source of the racket.
What he found was Lewis sitting behind his desk, a pair of needles in his hand and some sort of multicolored monstrosity forming in his lap, fed from the ball of yarn sitting snug at his hip. He did not notice his partner stepping into his office, watching him knit to the rhythm of the clack clack clacks of his long needles until Morse finally had the sense to clear his throat, loudly.
"What in good heavens are you doing?" he asked before Lewis had a chance to say hello.
"Knitting, sir." Lewis lifted up his needles as if to illustrate the point. At that, Morse gave him a look, like a disgruntled school teacher telling one of his young wards to knock it off. "Something I've picked up from the wife to pass the time."
"You work in a police station, for heaven's sake. You shouldn't need to pass the time." Morse eyed up the massive blob of yarn on Lewis' lap. "And what is that you're making anyway?"
The younger man shrugged. "Don't know yet, sir."
"Well." Morse mentally tugged at something to say and managed to come up with, "You can knock off knitting long enough to drive me to the pub and back, then," before leaving Lewis' office long enough to grab his jacket and the keys to the Jaguar.
Of course, he managed to ignore the fact that Lewis brought his knitting along to the pub. He would allow young Robbie this one odd hobby as long as it didn't interfere with their work.
Several weeks later, Morse was sitting on the rooftop of an abandoned factory to the sound of police car sirens whining below him on the ground. Somewhere amid the hubbub was the young man he had been forced to chase up several flights of stairs to the roof where thankfully Lewis had been waiting to apprehend the little upstart. He was now hopefully in cuffs and seriously regretting committing a crime within the vicinity of Oxford's finest – one of which was leaning against one of the entrances to the building and trying not to think about how high up he was, or how hard his heart seemed to be rattling against his ribs, or even the night air cutting through his jacket.
One of his feet was dangling precariously off the edge, but Morse was too numb and yet too acutely aware of where he was to pull it back to safety. The wind whipped up his hair and he felt helpless in the face of his oncoming acrophobia-related panic attack. He heard the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs and wondered vaguely who it could be.
A familiar Geordie-accented voice answered his unspoken thoughts. "Morse? Are you all right then?" With a slightly labored breath, Robbie Lewis vaulted himself out of the door and at Morse's side, clutching an oversized canvas bag like a child to his chest. Despite the fact that their current case had just been closed and the criminal good as locked away for life, Lewis looked grim as he found Morse shivering by himself; the man was all too aware that one of Morse's major phobias was of heights.
"Lewis, do I look like I'm all right?" Morse managed through gritted teeth. He sounded exhausted enough to fall asleep on the spot.
"Of course not." Lewis turned his back on the older man momentarily to pull something out of his bag. "I'm afraid the lads downstairs have a bit more processing to do before they remember their lead man on the case is still up here. So I've brought something to make the wait a little easier."
Morse was already opening his mouth to chastise Lewis for treating him like an old man in need of a sitter when Lewis laid the knitted afghan across his shoulders, wrapping his partner up in waves of heavy (and warm) multi-colored yarn. The chill in his bones seemed to melt away underneath the weight of the blanket; he faintly registered the presence of Lewis' arm lying across his shoulders as if it was holding him down.
He ended up mumbling something that sounded like thank you but it was carried away by the wind and he didn't know for sure if Lewis heard him or not. Judging by the faint smile on the other man's face, illuminated by the blue flashing lights from below, Morse could probably guess. They waited side by side underneath the stars until Morse was fit to go downstairs, although in his opinion they could have stayed up there all night and it wouldn't have bothered him (well, except for the lack of alcohol).
Of course, everything was fine for the two of them until Lewis started knitting hats.