Back in the relative safety of his bedroom, Eddie sagged against the door and closed his eyes. Could this day get any worse? Rather than providing Fiona with even more of a spectacle, he had decided to let Pete keep the towel, if the damned dog wanted it that much, but now he was really feeling chilly, the relief from the hot shower had already dissipated again and his bed looked so inviting…..For a moment he contemplated actually calling in sick. What he wouldn't give for a massage right now. Yeah, so not going to happen…

With a sigh he moved away from the door. He had to get dressed at some point; the room was definitely not warm enough to stand around buck-naked, and Fiona had already appeared at exactly the wrong moment once today, so there was no sense in delaying the inevitable.

Meanwhile Fiona was having second thoughts. That pesky little voice in her mind was getting quite insistent. That really was a pretty rotten trick, it said. And perhaps it had been, even if the end result had been more than she could ever have imagined. What if Eddie had played a similar trick on her? She actually shuddered at the thought. Maybe she should go down and apologize… With a put-upon sigh she walked down the stairs.

In light of recent events she decided to give Eddie a little warning this time, instead of just barging into his room as she did sometimes. "I hope you're decent, I'm coming in," she called through the door. Not really waiting for an answer she opened the door and stepped inside to find Eddie sitting on the side of the bed, apparently struggling to put on his trousers. If the half-suppressed groans and the occasional wince were any indication, something was definitely wrong. And Fiona was pretty sure it had nothing to do with the spider.

"Looks like you had a pretty rough day yesterday, huh?" she said, moving closer until she was standing at the foot of the bed.

At the sound of her voice, Eddie quickly turned to face her. A little too quickly for his sore muscles; he barely managed to suppress a groan as something in his shoulder vehemently protested the sudden movement. Owwww, damn…. He tried to reach up to rub at the aching spot, only to find his hand batted away by Fiona. She had moved around the bed and was now kneeling behind him with her hands on his shoulders. When she started gently kneading the tense muscles, for a second his instinctive reaction was to stiffen and pull away. This couldn't really be happening. It had to be another one of her pranks – it just had to be.

"What are….. You know you don't have to…..mmmmmmmmmm "

"Yes, I know I don't have to. And ordinarily I wouldn't even consider it, but since you're obviously in no shape to catch any more criminals like this, I'll just think of it as doing my share to help keep London safe…" Fiona answered, never stopping what she was doing. "So just relax and let me do this, before I change my mind."

"Okay…." Eddie mumbled, too lost in the wonderful feeling of her hands on his skin to really care if it was a trick or not.

After a few moments of silence, Fiona realized that if she really wanted to do the job properly – and if she was honest with herself she had to admit that that was what she wanted – she'd need some kind of massage oil. Hmmmm…. hadn't someone given her something like that for her last birthday?

As soon as Fiona took her hands away and stood up, the words "For God's sake, don't stop" slid out of Eddie's mouth before his brain could engage enough to stop them. Something inside Fiona seemed to melt like butter in the sun at the pleading look in his eyes.

"Don't worry, I won't. I just need to get something first. Just lie down and relax, I'll be back in a few minutes."

Upstairs, Fiona rummaged through a drawer. Ah, there it was….. yes, that should work perfectly. Especially if she warmed it up a little first. A minute or two in warm water should do the trick.

Back in Eddie's bedroom she found that he had stretched out face down on the bed with his head pillowed on his arms. The look he gave her when she sat down beside him and put the massage oil bottle on the nightstand hovered so much between "please go on and don't stop this time" and "this can't be real, I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop", that Fiona silently vowed not to think even one unkind or mischievous thought for the next few minutes.

As soon as she poured some of the warm oil on his back, Eddie couldn't suppress another moan, the heat was so soothing. Then he inhaled deeply. "Jeez, what is that stuff, a pack of melted cough drops?"

Just this once Fiona firmly decided not to take offense. "No, silly, it's a special massage oil with essential oil of eucalyptus and cinnamon leaf oil. It's supposed to deliver a feeling of heat to relax and loosen up the muscles," she explained, putting the bottle back on the nightstand. Then she put her palms on Eddie's back and slowly and gently, with slight pressure, moved her hands around in small circles to spread out the oil and feel for places with the worst knots and tightness. Neck and upper back definitely, across the shoulders and, well to be honest, everywhere she could reach. For a few moments she just let her hands roam aimlessly.

"Holy sh….. mmmmmmmm….. oh god, Fiona, that feels wonderful. I know I'm seriously going to regret this, but whatever it takes, please don't stop…."

Fiona kept up the gentle stroking, kneading Eddie's neck and shoulders and moving the heels of her hands up and down his spine.

While Fiona was secretly enjoying her task, Eddie was trying not to spontaneously combust under her surprisingly gentle ministrations. The feeling of Fiona's hands roaming over his back was better than he could ever have imagined. Every once in a while he flinched when she found a really tender spot, but her murmured "sorry" and even gentler touch in that area let him relax again and almost drift off to sleep.

Fiona reached down again, pressing a little harder with her thumbs from the waistband of Eddies trousers all the way up to the base of his neck, then back down again with her fingertips. She moved her hands apart slightly and continued up and down, feeling the muscles loosen and Eddie relax more with each stroke.

After a few more minutes she realized that she had worked out as many of the knots and tightness as she could – and that Eddie had fallen asleep. With a smile that could almost be considered tender – good thing Eddie wasn't awake to see it – she pulled the cover over him, gathered the massage oil bottle and left the room. Guess she would have to call Scotland Yard to let them know that Eddie wouldn't be in to work today…..