Hey ya'll :) I'm sitting here in bed, recovering from my bug and this idea comes to me..so here it is :)

Without Ruth

Tariq wasn't sure what to do. If he was Dimitri he would have given her a quick squeeze on the shoulder, Harry a massive hug- even Lucas would have known how to be sympathetic. But he wasn't so good with women, and Ruth breaking down in front of him didn't help. He had watched for years now, watched as she fell more in love with her boss. And he was the one who was there when Harry had come back devastated at her refusal. And now, the man she loved might be dead, and she seemed to only realise just how much she did love him.

It was three days that Harry walked into the grid, as he had just come back from lunch. He was greeted with a suffocating hug from Beth, a manly handshake and hug from Dimitri and a more father/son like hug from Tariq, before looking for the person who mattered most.

"She's by her desk" Dimitri said, looking almost angry "And, don't ask Beth what I mean, because she'll explode she has built up so much anger"

"Anger?" Harry asked, looking in Beth's direction-which proved to be a bad move

"YES ANGER!" she screamed

"Told you" Dimitri put in, before standing with Beth and Tariq facing Harry-after all he was as angry as they were

Beth carried on "you go to a situation that is most likely going to result in your DEATH! Don't even give her a meaningful squeeze; let alone telling her just how much you love her! THEN you don't bother to let us know you're ok for THREE WHOL DAYS!" most of the grid was beginning to stare now "Do you know what happened to Ruth? She shut down completely! She hasn't slept, eaten or drank in three days! She cried non-stop for two days and then must have run out of tears. All she does is stare into space muttering to herself, things like 'it's my fault' or 'I should have gone, the insufferable man'. Do you what? We've taken shifts looking after her because we've been so worried! And do you want to know something else? We simply CANNOT function without Ruth! We've always thought you or maybe even Lucas once upon a time, but it's not. It Ruth! It's always been Ruth! The one who knows her work and then everyone else's on top of that. Who knows exactly when you need a hug or a good cup of tea or coffee-AND she knows just how to make it for you. The one with the quick short jokes or quips about everyone and everything which helps to brighten these tragic days that we have to work. It's Ruth who holds us all together! Without Ruth it's like, like living without love. Something even you cannot hide from any longer." Beth's tone had become far more calm and stable-and seeing Harry about to break down she turned to Tariq and said "Go find Ruth for me"

Tariq's voice came from around the corner "Come on- you gotta believe me!" he was saying. A moment later he walked around the corner, but on his own "she won't come-she doesn't believe me"

This finally made Harry come to his senses, and he got up and went to where Ruth was sitting-but he had to stop before he got there. Never before had he seen someone alive yet looking so "Oh Ruth. My poor, poor darling"

Ruth looked up at him, and got to her feet slowly and then stepped towards him. She gently cupped his face with her hand and gasped out "you're alive" before she fainted from sheer exhaustion, starvation and dehydration all at once.

The next day, she was out of hospital and practically ran through the pod doors, across the gird and into Harry's office. He was sat on the edge of his desk, and looked up when she burst in-a small smile playing on his lips "Don't you ever knock?" this undid her. She threw herself at him, sobbing into his shoulder

"You never" she managed between sobs "Do that to me again" They stood there for a while before she dared to inch her face away from his slightly so that she could get a better look at his eyes "You know I can't live without you" She whispered

Harry kissed her forehead and told her "A wise young spook once told me that life without Ruth is life without love. And that I agree with wholly and completely- I only hope that life with Ruth would mean life with her love...for me only" he added, his eyes full of pleading. She sighed

"Yes Harry, a thousand times yes" and he kissed her. And she kissed him back. Completely unaware of the audience they had outside the office windows, until they heard Tariq shouting rather loudly,

"Everyone here owes me twenty quid!"

There you go- a short sweet one-shot to keep us all going through these last few weeks until it's back :) speaking of which-any one know exactly when?

Thanks for reading folks-please review! They make me smile xxx