Disclaimer: I do not own Keen Eddie and intend no copyright infringement
RIIIIIIIINNNGGG! RIIIIIIIINNNGGG! RIIIIIIIINNNGGG!
The shrill sound of the alarm clock bored through Eddie's sleep-fogged brain like a laser drill. Sluggishly he rolled over to shut it off, groaning as sore and bruised muscles protested every movement.
Their latest perp had had the brilliant idea to try and make a run for it in a subway station – oh wait, they called the damn thing "the Tube" over here – he had tackled the guy and they had ended up tumbling down a short flight of steps.
He had hoped that a good night's sleep would make him feel better, but if anything this morning he felt even worse. He couldn't be getting too old for this, could he? Well, maybe a long hot shower would help – provided he could get there without running into Fiona. He was so not up for one of their verbal sparring matches right now…. Sometimes he wondered just how much of their near-constant bickering had sort of become part of their daily routine and how much was because she truly did not like him….
Just getting out of bed required almost more effort than he was willing to expand right now, but he finally made it to his bedroom door and cautiously peeked out into the hallway. Good, the coast was clear, no sign of his flatmate. Maybe she had already left for work.
The stairs up to the first floor bathroom proved to be as daunting as climbing Mount Everest, but eventually he made it. Turning on the shower, he waited until the water was hot enough before getting out of his t-shirt and sweat pants and stepping into the shower.
The hot water pounding on his shoulders and back felt like heaven. He leaned his outstretched arms against the wall of the shower and closed his eyes to revel in the wonderful feeling. But as much as he'd love to stay where he was for about an hour or two, he had a ton of paperwork to get through at the office – and most probably another case already waiting for him.
Still keeping his eyes closed, he reached blindly for the shampoo bottle….. only to find something tickling against the back of his hand. Something that felt suspiciously like crawling little feet…. His eyes flew open and he found himself looking at the biggest, ugliest spider he had ever seen this side of the Atlantic.
For a moment he felt as if his heart had simply stopped. Then he jumped back with an admittedly undignified yelp – good thing Fiona wasn't anywhere around to hear it, she would never let him live this down – and frantically shook his hand to get rid of it. Barely managing to remember to wrap a towel around his waist, he clambered out of the tub and out of the bathroom. Yes, it was illogical and cowardly, but right now he needed to have a closed door between himself and the spider. Once outside in the relative safety of the hallway, he leaned against the wall to catch his breath before lack of oxygen could become a problem.
Unfortunately, fate just didn't seem to be on his side this morning. Footsteps on the stairs could mean only one thing – Fiona had not already left for work and for some reason or other was coming up here.
Fiona walked up the stairs to her bedroom, carrying an armful of clothes that she had taken out of the dryer –and stopped dead at the sight that greeted her in the hallway: Eddie Arlette, dripping wet and wearing nothing more than a rather soggy towel around his waist, was leaning against the wall beside the bathroom door, panting as if he'd just run a marathon and looking for all the world like he had just seen a ghost – and a pretty gruesome one at that….
"What on Earth is going on here?" she asked, trying to put the usual amount of exasperation with her brash, annoying flatmate into her voice, which was not as easy as it should have been, when she could hear a little voice inside her mind whispering "don't complain, just enjoy the view" and when a small part of her that should have been buried very deeply noticed that Eddie had started to shiver in the draughty hallway.
"There's a goddamn big sp-" Stop! Don't give her any more ammunition than she already has, a warning voice shrilled in his mind, "…problem with the shower!" Eddie answered.
"Oh. Strange, I didn't notice anything wrong this morning. Do you want me to take a look?" Before Eddie could come up with an answer, Fiona had already opened the door and stepped into the bathroom. Looking around cautiously, suspecting another of Eddie's pranks, although somehow he had looked too rattled for that, she did not seen any immediate problem, until she happened to look into the tub and saw the "big problem" perched on the rim of the drain, about to be washed down by the still running water. A spider. One of the usual household variety that you found in every house now and then. Luckily she didn't have to do anything about it, she could just wait until the water did the job for her. For a second she contemplated manoeuvring the spider into one of the glasses standing on the washbasin and taking it out through the back door, but she wasn't too keen on coming any closer to it than she had to. But if she only pretended to have caught the spider...
With a positively evil grin she threw the armful of clothes through the second door into her bedroom, turned off the shower, grabbed one of the opaque glasses and put her hand on top of it before leaving the bathroom again. Just as she had hoped, Eddie was still leaning against the wall in the hallway.
"I found your problem," she announced. "Actually, it wasn't all that big… just about that size…" she continued, holding her thumb and index finger an inch or so apart, while still keeping the rest of her hand firmly clasped over the glass. She had to bite the inside of her lip to keep from grinning at the wary, disgusted look Eddie threw at the glass –and at her for holding it – as he attempted a more or less dignified retreat back down the hallway. Fiona suddenly seemed to stumble over an invisible fold in the carpet and the glass flew from her hand. With a definitely undignified yelp, Eddie jumped back –only to trip over the dog, who had trotted up the stairs to see what all the commotion was about. Eddie barely managed to keep from falling flat on his ass as he frantically tried to keep the towel around his waist from slipping. Unfortunately, Pete seemed to regard the flapping towel as a new and interesting toy. He clamped his teeth into one corner of it, gave an almighty tug and raced off with his prize.
For a second Eddie stood as if frozen, wishing for all the world, that the ground would open up and swallow him. He could feel the mother of all blushes erupting all over his body. Well, at least he had his back turned to Fiona – who by now had possibly died of laughter at his expense. He visibly shook himself and with a roar that would have scared of at least half a dozen tigers, raced back downstairs.
Totally taken by surprise at the unforeseen twist her plan had taken, Fiona could only stare open-mouthed and blushing at the delectable view of Eddie's naked backside. She was so going to pay for this little stunt, but it had been so worth it – in more than one way, although that was something she would never in a million years admit to anyone.
A/N: BIG thanks to cedricsowner for providing inspiration for the ending of this story.