Usually Miles Straume kept his personal life away from his job and vice-versa. Working for the L.A. police precinct was a rewarding, albeit exhausting, job and trying to keep your life as simple as possible when you worked as a cop was definitely a challenge.

And then, Detective Juliet Burke walked into his life and turned it all upside down.

She came on special assignment detail from the Special Victims unit. The victim was a young girl who had been recently kidnapped and they were all assigned to try to try to track down the absentee father who was responsible.

It was an unsettling case for all of them but even more unsettling was that Burke always had to have everything done her way, when she wanted it, and it drove him nuts. After a hard day's work, he and Ford would hit the bar and instead of congratulating himself on a hard job well done, he'd find himself grumbling about "the redhead who was stealing all of his thunder".

"You know...if I didn't know any better," Ford had mused with a crooked grin, "the way you two are at each others' throats all day long, I'd think you secretly had the hots for her."

"No way in hell man." Just the thought of a date made him feel ill. "The day I ask out Juliet Burke is the day I die."

"O-kay," whistled Ford with a mischievous smile, "famous last words...hell, maybe I'll take a crack at her."

"Be my guest," Miles replied flatly and went back to his drink, content to think about anything except Juliet Burke.

Ford would ask her out, and according to his account, it had gone perfectly. They'd gone for coffee, "dutch", and though Miles warned him about dating someone from work, Ford insisted that "there's just something about this woman, Miles...I don't know how to put it, but it's...almost like I knew her already from someplace before..."

Miles had to groan at this; was James Ford actually in love? "Just be careful, partner," he warned. "She's a devil in disguise."

The case went on, with things getting more and more awkward as Ford and Burke made moon-eyes at each other as they rode around in the company vehicle (Miles, stewing, now sat in the back).

Unfortunately, the girl's body was found two days later in a dumpster and he and his partner James Ford had to track the man down, only to find him cowering in a trailor park being hidden by his equally idiotic excuse of a mother. They first had to talk him down from killing himself, and then they arrested him.

That night, Miles was packing up and passing by the locker rooms when he heard something strange. Poking his head in, he found to his amazement the "famous" Juliet Burke haunched over on one of the locker room benches, in tears, sobbing her heart out.

"Hey..." Miles, feeling awkward, slouched towards her hesitantly, and Juliet jumped as though a gun had gone off.

"Oh...I'm...sorry," she gasped, staring at him with red-rimmed eyes that filled him immediately with a strange and unexpected sympathy, "I didn't know anyone was still here."

"Well...I am," Miles said, trying to mask his discomfort. "Sorry for having startled you-I'll go," he said quickly, turning without a moment's hesitation towards the door.

"Wait!" Juliet stopped him abruptly, and this time it was Miles who was startled. "Miles...would you just...stay, for a minute? I...could really use the company."

"What about James?" Miles muttered flatly, his back still turned, "shouldn't he be the one on your mind?"

"James was really upset." He could tell she was still crying but still he didn't turn around. "He wouldn't let me talk to him. I-I don't know what to do, Miles," she said haltingly, and to his horror, she began weeping.

"Juliet..." He used her first name without thinking, and before he knew what he was doing, he was sitting next to her and she was sobbing uncontrollably into his chest. He was astonished; he had never had a woman cry like this in front of him before, and suddenly he was comforting the woman he'd detested, and Juliet-so headstrong-was falling apart in his arms. "Ford isn't the type to need a shoulder to cry on," he reassured her as calmly as he could. "He deals with things like this on his own. It's not you, okay? He'll come around."

Much to his relief, his words seemed to calm her. "I...I've never seen him so angry," she murmured, shaking her head dismally. "He looked like he was about to punch the wall or throw something."

"Ford doesn't deal well with failure." This much had become obvious after working with his partner for over a year. "Most cops don't." He waited for a moment as she tried to regain her composure. "Times like this makes me wonder why I became a cop at all."

"Why did you?" Juliet asked him after a moment.

He had to think about that, but came up blank. "Don't know." He shrugged listlessly, then found himself smiling with amusement, "Actually I think Ford put me up to it...as a bet, to see if I could do it."

He found himself pleased to find that she was smiling. "So...who won?" she asked him.

"I did," he answered proudly.

He wasn't sure when it happened, but suddenly she kissed him, and he was kissing her back, and the softness of her lips surprised him, and he didn't want it to end. When she abruptly pulled away, she was staring back at him, both of them in shock. "I-I don't know what..." He, too pulled away sharply, feeling ill at what he'd just done. (Dammit, he was in for it; if this ever got out, Ford was surely going to kill him.)

"I'm-sorry," she choked out, face reddening, and also looked away. "I swear, Miles, I hadn't intended to..."

"Can we-just forget that ever happened?" Miles asked, but his eyes were on the ceiling, on the floor, anywhere but Juliet Burke. "If he ever found out," he added painfully, "our partnership-as well as our friendship..." He trailed off, not wanting to say the words, but thinking them all the same-and that was enough to make him mentally kick himself in the head for letting his hormones run away with him.

"I understand," said Juliet quietly. "I-really don't know what came over me," she murmured, as she stood up and gathered her things.

He sat there not knowing what to do or what to say. Dammit, Ford had been right...Ford was always right.

"Goodnight, Miles," she said from the doorway, and he hated how sad she sounded right then. (And damn, did he feel guilty.)

"Night," he said to her retreating back, and then he shook himself a little; because he had to admit, she was a hell of a good kisser.

A/N: So, what'd you think, readers? Should I continue this? Were the characters in-character? (I rarely write Miles, so feedback is preferred!)