Author's Note: Let us hope that Hanssen comes back sooner rather than later – Holby just isn't the same without him! Not yet sure what to make of his 'replacement', thoughts anyone? Usual disclaimers apply. The offer of a prize for the 50th review still stands. If it's you, please make sure that I can get in touch with you (esp. if you're posting as a guest!). Mucho thanks to all the lovely feedback so far, it's really appreciated. Other than that, on with the show!
"There's something I wanted to ask you," Hanssen says quietly to her as she gets into bed and settles herself in her customary spot next to him, all warm and comfortable.
"Mmm?" She mumbles and he doesn't answer straight away and after a minute of silence, Sahira cracks open an eye to see Henrik staring off into the distance. She sits up to look at him she sees a glimmer of nervousness in his eyes as he turns to face her.
He takes a deep breath before remembering his earlier confusion. "What did you mean earlier, during the football by being able to 'hit a bloody barn door with one leg tied behind your back'?"
"What?" Despite her obvious confusion, Sahira explains about her frustration at the inability of players who are paid an extortionate amount to successfully do what they are paid to do and how that phrase was a verbal manifestation of it and one of the politer ones in circulation.
"Ah, most interesting." He states before settling back down onto the pillows and closing his eyes, pulling Sahira closer into his side.
"Now what was it you really wanted to ask me?" She feels him tense a little.
"Nothing," he attempts a casual lie but Sahira isn't having it, she can feel the increase in his heart rate through his chest against her cheek, he's hiding something.
"Henrik..." He opens his eyes, staring at the ceiling for a few moments longer before turning his head slightly to stare at her, expression unreadable and if Sahira couldn't feel his heart, she wouldn't have known he was nervous.
"Iwantustolivetogetherwillyou moveinwithme?" She has to blink a couple of times but she thinks that she understood it, she tries to taper down the excited response inside her, wanting to be certain that she did hear him correctly before allowing her to respond openly, she'd hate for a misunderstanding and how awkward that could make things.
"Say that again" He nervously repeat his question, slightly slower and quieter, much more like his regular self, she can't recall him ever speaking so quickly or nervously.
"I thought that's what you said." Sahira smiles, deciding it would be unfair to let him stew, "of course, I'd love to and I'm certain that Indy will be thrilled too."
"Thank you," he sounds genuinely relieved and Sahira wonders if he thought she'd refuse, "I've been thinking about it since Christmas and..."
"Since Christmas? Let me guess, it took so long to ask because you had to write a proposal and put it in front of the board and an ethics review committee?" He's about to retort when he sees the amusement in Sahira's expression and realises that she's teasing him. Resisting the urge to glare, he runs his hand through his hair and turns onto his side, facing Sahira and runs his hands down her side until they rest on her hips, wondering how long he'll be able to keep his hands there before they wander.
"Well?" He raises a questioning eyebrow to her query, not realising that she required an answer and not certain which bit she wanted answering. "Why wait so long to ask?"
"I had intended to ask you last week; I was less than certain of the appropriateness of the timing." Seeing Sahira's face cloud a little at the mention of the CTU call-out, he hurries to explain. "We haven't been together for that long in the grand scheme of things, I wasn't certain if it would be seen as too hasty, too presumptuous."
"I'd love for the three of us to live together and your timing is perfect." He offers her a shaky smile in return and Sahira hopes that the move will be a good move for him. She suspects that he still feels like an outsider at times and if there is an acknowledgement that they live together, a proper, solid commitment, he might lose some of those fears. They've not been very good at talking to one another, to confirm or deny the parameters of their relationship, they've drifted by, unwilling to talk about it, just in case. Perhaps it would be time to lay their cards on the table and outline what Sahira wants and what Henrik wants and see how similar they are.
"I can't believe this is all you've been thinking about since Christmas, what else is plotting in that Machiavellian mind of yours?" He is definitely not answering that question and seeks to deflect Sahira's curiosity, hoping that his ears haven't turned pink to give him away.
"I was thinking, well, that is, I was hoping that you would consent to moving yourself and Indy to my house." Thankfully his seemingly unexpected statement has caught her attention and he's aware that his fingers are moving of their own accord, dancing over her pyjama-clad skin, he makes no move to stop them.
"Are you certain?" He can see that Sahira wasn't expecting that option as a solution, possibly expecting them to stay at her house. Hanssen tries to hide his immediate annoyance, of course he is certain, he wouldn't have made the offer if he wasn't. He appreciates that he has had much longer to think about the options and consider the possibilities and any potential ramifications over the past few months than she has in the previous minute, not quite realising that he has slipped back into Mr. Hanssen in a lecturing mood.
"It's the more logical choice," he explains the likely forced sale of Sahira's house as part of the divorce proceedings between her and Rafi and highlights the fact that Rafi doesn't know where Hanssen's house is as another benefit and one he secretly hopes won't be necessary. "I appreciate at the moment, the house is a little spartan..."
"A little?" He winces a little at the shrill exclamation and Sahira apologises, running her hands through his hair and massaging his scalp. He immediately relaxes and closes his eyes, savouring the innocent gesture of comfort she is offering.
"Yes well, I have very little need for any furniture when I spend so little time there. Hopefully soon I will have a most pressing reason to return home."
"Or two." He opens his eyes at her, not sure what she means.
"Or two?" He parrots back at her.
"A most pressing reason or two..." He understands and a mischievous quirk of his lips almost gives him away before he replies.
"Ah, as Indy is a most pressing reason indeed, I suppose I can be persuaded to add you to the list, if you are feeling neglected?" He smiles as he catches her hand which was on its way to strike him playfully and tugs her off-balance until her body is partially draped over his. Foreheads touching, he tilts his mouth just enough to initiate a soft kiss which Sahira responds to, her mock annoyance forgotten. "So, what do you think, Ms. Shah?"
"I don't know..." She's teasing him and he knows it and she almost shrieks as he rolls them, pinning her beneath him. Grinning at him, she reaches up to run her fingers through his hair, "perhaps I could be persuaded..."
Hanssen gulps but sets to work, lowering his head and trailing kisses across her jaw, down her neck and along her collarbones, making Sahira arch up into him and he smirks to himself, still a little in awe at the responses he can cause in her. "How about now?"
"Well, it's a big thing to organise and I do have my son to consider..." He growls and softly bites the side of her neck as his hands find the buttons of her pyjama top and he begins to undo them, peeling the fabric aside and exploring the newly exposed skin with his mouth.
The alarm blares and both curse it, it's far too early to be time to get up; managing to drag themselves out of bed, Sahira sluggishly following a few minutes after Hanssen. She wanders into the bathroom, eyes protesting the sudden light and jumps in the shower as he shaves, having just showered, trying not to nick himself with his razor in his tiredness. The shower stops and wrapping herself in a towel, Sahira stands next to him, reaching for her toothbrush.
"You look as tired as I feel," she states as her gaze meets his in the reflection of the mirror. He gives a small, tired smile in response.
"I was ready for bed at a reasonable hour, however, some woman threw herself at me and kept me up until all hours of the night." Hanssen says, keeping a straight face as he speaks, staring into the mirror, his gaze not leaving Sahira's.
"You poor delicate flower, must be a hard life, being so irresistible," she teases, leaning forward to rinse her mouth, then suddenly frowning as she realises what it was that Henrik said. "Hang on. What do you mean by 'some woman'?" She turns to face him but he's already slipped out of the door.
Hanssen is on Keller ward, performing rounds and checking on a couple of his post operative patients, judging their recovery and prognosis. Hanssen is relieved that he has managed to evade the ever enthusiastic Mr. Malick, not particularly in the mood to talk to anyone that he doesn't have to, still a little more tired than he'd have hoped.
His gaze automatically flicks to the bed which housed Mr. Douglas after the CTU call out fiasco but it's now occupied by a different patient. Greg had been discharged the day after the incident and is recuperating at home. Hanssen is aware that it is petty but he is glad that Mr. Douglas has not been at work and won't be for a few more weeks.
Performing the final checks on a patient and comparing them to the notes of the last observation, he is confident that one will be discharged at some point today and informs the patient as such. Satisfied with the progress of his patients and replacing the patient's folder, Hanssen scrubs his hands and he turns to leave the ward when an agency nurse timidly approaches him.
"Excuse me, sir. The patient in bed eight would like a word..."
"Find Mr. Griffin then." The reply is succinct enough that Sahira would probably glare at him.
"Mr. Griffin is in theatre and they've asked for you by name, sir." Hanssen sighs imperceptibly and pauses, trying to remember who the patient is but failing. He turns his head and stares down at the nurse who just about manages to hold his gaze before he capitulates and follows her to the patient in bed eight.
"Mr. Raza, I should have guessed." Is the terse greeting from the Director of Surgery to Sahira's husband. He picks up Rafi's folder of notes, checking that all is as expected.
"Henrik," Rafi replies and Hanssen bristles at the man's informality, "you look awful."
"What are your symptoms?" Hanssen ignores the man's comment, not wishing to prolong this interaction any more than absolutely necessary.
"Then as all is in order, we have nothing more to say, Mr. Raza. I anticipate you will be released soon. Good day." He turns to leave, his patience permanently stretched thin with regards to Rafi.
"Like I said Henrik, you look awful. Has she left you?" Hanssen turns back to face Rafi, about to remind him that he has nothing to say to him but Rafi's next words beat him to it. "I know about you two, Indy told me."
"No she hasn't." By the look on Rafi's face at Hanssen's answer, he hadn't known and was fishing for information, Hanssen curses his stupidity, blaming his tiredness.
"Oh she will. She might tell you that she loves you now, you may even believe it, after all, who knows what goes on in that head of yours, Henrik." Hanssen ignores the dig, keeping his face impassive, boredness personified in the face of Rafi's smirk. "But she'll leave you, she always does. I had a good run with her, nine years..."
The tension between the two men has become very thick, neither of them willing to back down from the other although Hanssen wishes he'd left after checking Rafi's vital signs and notes. Suddenly Hanssen realises that Nurse Lane has appeared at his elbow and checks Rafi's notes.
"How are you doing, Mr. Raza, everything ok?" Hanssen knows that the nurse can almost certainly tell that something is up between the two men but tactfully ignores it, he feels grateful at her well-timed intervention but doesn't allow it to show.
"Oh, I'll be fine," Rafi dismisses the nurse's concerns, "I have Mr. Hanssen checking up on me, what could possibly go wrong?" Hanssen frowns at Rafi's words, wondering what game the other man is playing. "Mr. Hanssen and I have known each other years, isn't that right?"
"Indeed." Hanssen mutters, 'for far too many years' he adds silently.
"In fact," Hanssen's gaze snaps back to Rafi who smirks at him and he freezes as the man leans towards the nurse, whispering conspiratorially, "we were just talking about Mr. Hanssen's new girlfriend!"
Hanssen glares at Rafi who lies back onto the pillows with a smug look on his face, enjoying the look on Hanssen's face as the nurse explodes into excited chatter. "Oh how lovely," she gushes and Hanssen cringes, "I bet she's absolutely beautiful. Oh and smart too – she'd have to be smart to keep up with you, you're a genius."
Hanssen desperately wants to make an abrupt exit from the ward and hide in his office, refusing to listen to any more but doesn't. Instead he fixes Rafi with a smirk of his own, the previous night's events and the reason he is so tired this morning providing the reason. The expression on Rafi's face falters slightly in light of the unexpected change in Hanssen as he answers the surprised nurse's questions and the tall Swede enjoys the increasingly angry look that Sahira's husband is sporting.
"Nurse Lane, a word if you'd be so kind. Mr. Raza." He places a gentle hand on the nurse's back, guiding her away from the bed as he bids good day to Rafi, confident that he won this round. Guiding her into the staff room, away from the prying eyes and ears of the ward he returns to the ever-serious Director of Surgery and the nurse worries a little, suddenly wondering if she over-stepped any lines or done something wrong.
He allays her fears, thanking her for her timely intervention, warning her to take any future information from Mr. Raza with a generous pinch of salt and makes it clear that should any word of his relationship make it onto the hospital grapevine, he would hold her responsible. "Carry on, Nurse Lane," he says kindly before sweeping from the room and the ward with the slightly arrogant walk everyone associates with him.
As he leaves the ward, he decides that he is still in need of some caffeine and heads towards the ground floor to buy some coffee. It's not a drink that he would normally drink, preferring tea but he feels in need of something a little stronger. Taking the stairs down to the ground floor, seeing that the lift is already in use he meets Sahira and Dr. Valentine heading back up the other way.
"Ah, Ms. Shah, Dr. Valentine. All going well?" He doesn't wait for an answer, instead turning back to Sahira, "Ms. Shah, I wondered if I may have a word?" Although it is phrased as a question, the younger doctor takes his cue to leave, heading back to the ward ahead of Sahira. Hanssen watches him leave, until he is certain that he is out of earshot as well as sight before relaxing from his stiff, professional posture moving to lean against the wall, transforming from Mr. Hanssen into Henrik before Sahira's eyes.
"How have you managed to look so awake?" Hanssen wonders out loud as he removes his glasses to rub his eyes and the bridge of his nose, peeking through his fingers as Sahira waves a plastic cup of something in front of him.
"These caffeinated lifesavers. I think this is my fourth one." She holds it out to him in offering and he gratefully takes a large gulp of what he realises is coffee.
"Thank you," he hands the plastic cup back to its owner.
"So did you actually want to speak with me or just get me alone on the stairwell?" He tries to look disapprovingly down at her but can't quite manage it when she waggles her eyebrows at him.
"Actually, I have been thinking about our plans. I am unfortunately behind on a report to the DOH to the extent that I will be unavailable all weekend," he pauses and reaching out takes Sahira's drink out of her hand and taking another mouthful of her coffee, ignoring her exclamation. "However," he continues smoothly.
"Given that your proclivity for hoarding has not abated in the last seventeen years, the process of moving will be an arduous one," he smirks at the expression of offence that Sahira is wearing. "To that end, may I propose that we delay by one week to next weekend?"
"As your house is bordering on empty, there will be plenty of room for my hoarded possessions. No cull necessary." He releases a long-suffering sigh which earns him a glare.
"The sacrifices I make for you..."
"Are because you love me," she finishes for him, cheekily adding a further comment. "I thought selfless self-sacrifice was an innate trait of yours anyway, Mr. Hanssen?" He raises his eyebrows at her, knowing full well that he would do almost anything that she asked of him, allowing her to fill his tidy, ordered house with her chaotic clutter was a small price to pay for having her near him all the time, he told himself.
"Lucky for you, Ms. Shah. As it is, I have already catalogued our combined furniture..."
"Of course you have," Sahira shakes her head in amusement at him, she is interrupted by her pager, frowning at it before looking up at him, apologetically.
"Go, Ms. Shah. I can wait, the patient undoubtedly cannot."
She sees him eyeing up her drink and admonishes him, "get your own coffee, Mr. Hanssen," before heading up the stairs back to Darwin, taking her drink with her as she answers the summons, aware of his eyes on her until she disappears from sight.