I do not own Blue Murder. All rights I think belong to ITV television. No copyright infringement is intended nor should be infered.

Fear.

Richard stared at the wall, the body already in the midst of being cremated. He felt sick, she was gone. It was too late. His best friend. The woman he had worked along side for more years than he cared to remember was gone. He took a shuddering breath as he realised he was on the verge of tears.

"Boss?" Butchers asked quietly as he closed his eyes. He knew Shaps and Butchers were right. If she was gone then he was the boss. The DI had to step up to the plate when the DCI wasn't there. It was part of the role. Not one he normally shied away from. He closed his eyes as he tried to think of something to say. Just this once he would relish not being the one in charge, just this once he didn't want to be the strong one for the others. That was Janine's job. But she wasn't there. He shook his head as he turned to face Shaps, finally able to drag his eyes away from the burning coffin he believed contained his best friend's remains.

"Yeah?"

"Hi." His eyes widened as they fell on her. She looked exhausted, terrified and angry. Not a good combination when it came to Janine Lewis.

"Hi." He smiled in disbelief.

"Shaps, Butchers." She spoke to the others but her eyes never left Richard. "Get him back to the station. I think it's time we all got out of here." Shaps smiled broadly as he nodded before leading his younger colleague away from the senior officers, he couldn't wait to tell Kez when they got back to the station.

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"You ok?" Richard asked as Janine rested her head against the window, watching the streets rush by as he drove towards the station.

"Yeah." She lied. "You?"

"Me?"

"Yes, you Richard." She smiled slightly. "You looked like you'd seen a ghost when I walked back in the crem. I've never seen you looking so pale."

"I'm fine." He sighed as she turned her attention to him. She knew him too well. There was no way DI Richard Mayne, her second in command would ever admit he had been scared. It just wasn't him. She shook her head slowly as he reached the traffic lights a few streets away from the station.

"Richard."

"Yeah?"

"Over the years, just how much have we been through? I mean you and me. We've been shot at, held hostage. How many times have we faced psychos and nutters that want to kill us. Just for doing our jobs?"

"I dunno." He smiled slightly. "I lost count around the million mark."

Janine smiled. The banter was back. Richard smirked as he waited for the lights to turn green. He had no idea why Pete had run off with the mysterious Tina when he had her. Janine was not a dolly bird but she was the brightest, most intelligent woman Richard had ever met. He frowned slightly as he realised what he had been thinking. He could not be in love with his friend. It would be like fancying Shaps. He shuddered at the thought.

"So?" Janine seemed oblivious to what was going around his head. "So? Why were you so scared this time? You've faced nutters before and not freaked out like that."

"I did not freak out."

"You did."

"Janine."

"Richard."

"I did not freak out." He paused as he pulled the car into the curb. Janine frowned. They were still a few streets away from the police station.

"You did."

"I didn't want to see you hurt." He confessed.

"Me?"

"Yeah. You weren't there when we arrived. I thought." He closed his eyes as she finally realised what he had been afraid of.

"Yeah?"

"I think I've said enough."

"No." She shook her head. "What did you think?"

"You were nowhere to be seen. There was blood on the tiles. I thought. I didn't know where you were. That's all."

"I can take care of myself, you know."

"Yeah." Richard nodded as he felt the barriers come back up. Janine was still his boss and still determined to make sure he never saw her as the weak, feeble female others had underestimated her for.

"Hang on." Janine stared at him properly for the first time since he had parked the car. "You thought I was dead."

"Well."

"No, Richard." She rested her hand on his arm. "You thought it was me in that coffin. Didn't you?"

"Yeah." He sighed as he closed his eyes.

"Hey." She smiled slightly. "I thought it was where I was going to end up, an all."

"Janine. I was too slow. I'm so sorry. I was too slow."

"Nonsense." She smiled as he opened his eyes. For a moment neither of them spoke. The understanding between them obvious without words. He smiled as her hand slipped away from his. He could only imagine the gossip back at the office.

"Boss."

"Come on." Janine smiled. "Better get back. Shaps and Butchers will have terrified Kezia at this rate. And then I'll buy you a drink. You need it."

"It was you that was hit over the head. Almost burned alive."

"Yeah." She conceeded. "But I wasn't. And it was you that was scared witless. I'm buying."

"I was not scared witless." He smirked as she raised an eyebrow.

"Really?"

"Yes. Really?"

"You were." She smirled as he shook his head.

"I was not."

"Richard. How old are you?"

"I was not scared."

"What? Not even a bit? I was."

"Well, a bit." He smiled as he restarted the engine. Janine nodded as she returned her attention back to the main road. She had a feeling things were going to be alright.

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A/N Thanks for reading. Please review. SHould I write more Blue Murder? Are there any fans of the show still out there?