The sound of the panic alarm was all it took in those few seconds for Joe's heart to drop. He immediately stopped what he had been doing and ran in the direction of the alarm. A uniformed officer and Joe got the the interview room and began kicking down the door when they had realised it was locked from the inside. As soon as they were in Joe ran straight to the suspect they'd had in custody. The man's name was Budgie and was yelling and screaming. The uniformed officer ran up behind Joe and handcuffed the man and escorted him back to the cells. When Joe had made sure Budgie was out the room he turned around to see his Boss on the floor with a look of terror on her face. He couldn't remember ever seeing her as scared as she did at that moment.

"Are you okay Boss". He asked. Kneeling beside her.

When he got no reply from her all it took was a gentle and caring touch to her shoulder to brake her from her trance.

"Vera. Are you okay". He asked again. With a look of concern now showing on his face.

"What. Yeah pet I'm fine. Help me up will you". She asked.

Joe took hold of her arm to help her up and realised that she was shaking.

"Maybe I should take you home".

"Don't be bloody daft. I'm fine". She insisted.

"Look I'm not askin' you. I'm tellin' you. Besides, we're done for the day anyway".

Vera decided that she was too tired to even bother arguing with him so she allowed him to drive her home.

The drive back to her house was extremely quiet. He looked over at her several times and took note that she was still shaking. When they arrived at her house a few moments later. He parked the car and helped her into the house.

"I'm not a bloody invalid Joe". She snapped.

"Course your not. Just trying to be helpful. Accept it for once will you".


She allowed him to escort her over to her chair by the fireplace and he went to grab her a drink.

"Here. Get that down you".

"You are bloody joking. I think you forgot to add the Scotch to that". Handing it back to him.

"Your not meant to be drinking".

"Well one's not gonna kill us Joe. Scotch. Now. She snapped.

"Yes Boss".

He walked over to her liquor cabinet and poured her a large Scotch and handed the glass back to her.

"Thanks Joe".

"So. Are you gonna tell us what happened or not". He asked.

"What's to tell. When I re-entered the interview room I didn't notice he was hiding behind the door. Was too busy reading his file. He grabbed me and pushed me to the ground. He started yelling. I think he thought he was still at war. Anyway he let go of his grasp on me and that's when I crawled over to the desk and pressed the panic alarm". She said. Drinking her Scotch.

"Your still shaking".

"For god sake Joe. I'm fine". She snapped.

She got up from the chair and began pacing the room. Joe went over to her and placed both hands on her shoulders to stop her.

"Will you stop pacing and just try and relax a bit. Please Vera".

"Why the bloody hell do you care so much. Am I a project for ya to fill the void since your seperation from your lass". She said in anger.

"That was a low blow Boss. You really wanna know why we seperated".

"None of my business luv".

"Actually it is. Your the reason".

"Don't be bloody daft".

"I'm not. Celine said that you and this Job take priority. That I'm at your beck and call 24/7. She said I care more about you than her".

"Well I hope you told her she was being ridiculous".

"How can I when she's right".

They stood silently as Vera took in what Joe was telling her.

"Joe. I'm not entirely sure what it is your trying to say here". She asked. Quietly.

"I think you do".

"If she thinks I mean more to you that her then that's crazy".

"It isn't you know. You know your the reason I joined the force. I wanted to be just like you. I don't think you realise how great you really are".

"Stop it right now Joe".

"I know what your thinking". He said.

"I hope to god I'm wrong. Joe I am as far away from your type of woman as you can get. So just don't say anything else".

"Your embarrassed. You don't need to be. I'm not".

"Look at me Joe".

"I am". He said. Smiling.

"No. I mean really look at me. Lets be honest here. I couldn't care less about hair and make-up. I wear as some people call 'shabby clothes' so I'm as far from a fashion icon as you could bloody get and I'm not exactly thin. Why on earth would you even give me a second glance and consider me any sort of, well anything".

"That's exactly what I love about you. You don't follow suit with everyone else. You are your own person. What I'm about to say sounds bloody awful but I love spending my days with you and when I'm with Celine all I can think about is getting back to the job and you. I'm happier when I'm with you".

"You are bloody insane. Your crazy. You really are".

He smiled at her and she gave him a very apprehensive smile back and that was when he leaned in to kiss her. She was unsure of what to do. Does she pull away or kiss him back. The latter won and she responded to his kiss.

"See Boss. That wasn't so bad". He smirked.

"This is wrong Joe".

"Oh come on. How can you say that after one kiss. Don't make assumptions so quickly. Have dinner with me".

"What. Why". She asked. Still confused.

"Well because I think deep down you want this to happen even if you are afraid to admit it to yourself".

"I couldn't stand the snide remarks and the bloody whispers behind our backs Joe. It would never work anyway. I'm too old for this. For you".

Vera allowed Joe to take hold of her hand and he pulled her towards him taking her by suprise and he kissed her once again.

"You can't be afraid to take chances Vera. You deserve some happiness. I want you, us to take that chance. Please". He asked. Innocently.

"If this happens then work has to be kept seperate. I mean it Joe. End of the day I'm still your DCI".

"Is that a yes then".

"Will you keep personal and work seperate". She asked.


"Then yes".

If there was one thing Vera loved and cherished more than anything it was her work. It had been a part of her life for so long and nobody, not even Joe would ever destroy that for her but Joe was also right. She did need to take some chances in her life and what better way to start that with him.

Fin xx