Author's Note: I was watching old episodes on YouTube last night and the start of season 14 with the investigation after the plastics scandal and first time around I totally missed Jac's comments about Sahira being Hanssen's favourite and decided to write a story based along those lines. I hope I've got as many details as possible right but there will be slight differences deliberately between this story and what we saw on TV. If I've made any glaring errors, please point 'em out!
I'll still be writing 'The Next Step', this is totally separate from that one.
Let me know what you think, whether it's something I should continue or not.
Usual disclaimers apply...
The lead investigator, Hugo Black, sighed quietly as one of his colleagues thanks the last of the senior staff to be interviewed as they leave, shutting the door smartly behind them. He meets the eye of the other seated investigator and after a pause, breaks the silence.
"Thoughts?" Although he suspected he knew what they would say, this whole situation wasn't looking good, for any of the involved parties and was almost certainly going to get messier before it got better.
"It's not right, there is a blatant..." The youngest of the three, Nick Hewitt, the only one of the three to come from a non-medical background speaks up first. Black cuts the other man off in an attempt to keep him focussed on the point, he has spent fifteen years as an active member of NHS staff and knows how hard it is for the doctors and nurses.
"We must remember that before we judge solely on the testimony of other staff, remember this, this issue is not what we're here to investigate today." He almost wishes that no-one had said anything and they could have gone home and no-one would be any the wiser. "We are here now to investigate the leadership and suitability of Mr. Hanssen remaining in his position as Director of Surgery for Holby General, not alleged relationships with his staff."
"We can't deny that it needs to be investigated too." The only female member of the team, Angela Murray is clearly not delighted with the prospect either. "And Sir Frasier must be informed."
"I know." Black concedes the point; he doesn't like the man either, too inconsistent, too much a politician. "I am however, reluctant to get the man involved without any proof. Let's begin to look unofficially for some kind of evidence, all we have at the moment is suspicion and speculation. Sir Frasier is to be told nothing until we have something better than professional jealousy." The woman, Murray nods her agreement with Black's assessment of the situation but he can tell that his youngest colleague, Hewitt isn't convinced.
"Well?" The man shuts the door to the conference room behind him as he enters and impatiently comes to stand in front of Black. "Have you concluded your investigation already? What does your report say?"
"Sir Frasier." Black greets the impatient man and gestures for him to be seated. "Our investigation into the leadership of Mr. Hanssen at Holby General is currently ongoing..." Sir Frasier interrupts him, right on schedule.
"So why have you summoned me now?" 'If you let me finish, you'd find out' thinks Black before taking a breath.
"I have important meetings today..." Black tunes the man out until he is aware that his self-important spiel is ending. Taking another breath to calm himself he speaks.
"Sir Frasier, I appreciate that you're taking time out of your busy schedule today and although the investigation is ongoing," he pauses, unsure how to voice the next part, hating that he has to at all, he likes the tall aloof Swede. "Several testimonies suggest the existence of another issues which may further complication our initial investigation." 'A load of non-words' he thinks but he knows he has the other man's attention.
"Several of the staff independently hinted at a possible abuse of power by Mr. Hanssen." He briefly wishes he hadn't sent the other two out of the room but realises that he wouldn't want Hewitt trying to explain the situation.
"How so?" Black is aware that Sir Frasier is like a shark in for the kill – he can smell blood.
"There are allegations of an improper relationship between Mr. Hanssen, the Director of Surgery and one of the Cardiac-thoracic Registrars, a Ms. Shah." He looks back at Sir Frasier when he isn't interrupted and he cautiously continues.
"It isn't purely based on speculation or testimony, there may be some evidence to support these claims. I'm aware that the two have worked together before at three other hospitals..."
"Get on with it. What do you need?" The impatience and frustration is clearly evident in Sir Frasier's voice and Black is glad it isn't directed at him, as such and he feels sorry for the Director of Surgery.
"I need authorisation to launch an investigation into the conduct of Mr. Hanssen and Ms. Shah." Sir Frasier nods distractedly. "If I may say so, Sir, you don't seem entirely surprised by the allegations." Sir Frasier's lack of surprise has surprised Black and without thinking he calls him on it. Sir Frasier sighs, he should probably shout at Black, refute his statement, deny anything and everything but he finds he can't; he's had his own suspicions about this relationship for some time.
"If it was going to be anyone, it would be this 'Ms. Shah'." He's disappointed for sure that Henrik appears to have put his own desires above the needs of his flagship hospital. He turns his attention back to Black who is wearing a blank expression.
"I don't want to know what evidence you've have now, Hugo. Finish your turnaround team investigation today, write this report and then we'll set up the next stage of this. I'll be back around 6:30pm." He stands up, decision made.
"Anything to add before I go and break the news to Henrik?" Black doesn't raise his eyes from the files on his desk but shakes his head and tells Sir Frasier that he has nothing further to add at this moment. Black is relieved when the other man leaves and he continues to stare at the open staff personnel file in front of him. The faintly amused photograph of 'Ms. Sahira Shah, Cardiac-thoracic Registrar' stares back at him.
"If nothing else, Mr. Hanssen," he whispers to himself. "You've got surprisingly good taste." before shaking his head, packing up the files and putting them back into his briefcase. He gets up to grab himself a coffee before he returns his attention to the accounts he'd pushed to one side when Sir Frasier arrived.
After leaving conference room 3, Sir Frasier stalks along the corridor to the Director of Surgery's office and enters, not sure what he's going to say to the Swede. The office is empty and he installs himself in Henrik's chair while he waits for the man to return to his office.
After a few minutes, there's still no sign of the Swede and becoming bored, the older man spots Henrik's diary upon his desk and he opens it to the current day and is dismayed to see that Henrik is not due to return from his ward rounds for another 45 minutes. Glancing at his watch, he decides that he can't wait that long, after all, he has very important meetings to attend, he's an important man.
Releasing a frustrated sigh, the only way he is going to see Henrik before he has to leave is to go to the man himself. He strides across the office, leaving the diary opened on the desk and flings open the door startling himself and a man with grey curly hair who was standing outside the office.
"Oh, err, Sir Frasier, how, um, nice to see you. Is, erm..."
"He's not in there and won't be for another hour or so." He snaps before heading down to the wad leaving a bemused Elliot Hope behind. When he reaches the ward, he sees the unmistakably tall figure of the Director of Surgery at the far end of the ward and moves off in his direction.
The Swede is stood a little way away from the beds and instead is talking with two doctors, one male and one female; with no regard for their conversation, Sir Frasier is too busy for polite introductions, he steps up and interrupts the male doctor mid-sentence.
"Ah, Henrik, there you are, I need a word if you'd be so kind."
Hanssen saw Sir Frasier Anderson as soon as he arrived on the ward. His venture was unlikely to be a positive one and Hanssen was struck by the sudden urge to hide. He held his ground although not really paying attention to Dr. Valentine or to Sahira, instead tracking the inevitable progress of his ever-obnoxious boss towards them. He allows a flicker of annoyance cross his face as Sir Frasier interrupts Dr. Valentine mid-sentence.
"Ah, Henrik, there you are, I need a word if you'd be so kind." Although the man's tone is almost jovial and his words phrased as a request, Hanssen is aware that he has no choice in the matter.
"As you wish, Sir Frasier. My ward rounds will be completed in the next thirty minutes, perhaps..." He isn't certain that stalling will work but it's only 3:15pm, the turnaround team can't have finished their investigation already and if they have... it certainly doesn't bode well for him. He feels his heart rate increase a little. Nervous suddenly.
"Now, Henrik." The tone is firm and allows no room for manoeuvre and Hanssen knows he has no choice at all now. He dismisses Dr. Valentine and Ms. Shah and he doesn't like Sir Frasier's reaction to Sahira's name or the way he is looking at her and Hanssen feels a surge of an emotion which he can't readily identify.
He turns to stride off the ward, if Sir Frasier has come down onto the ward to find him then this conversation is probably best behind closed office doors on the fifth floor, only for a small, warm hand to find its way to his forearm. The unexpected touch roots him to the spot and he doesn't miss the other man's surprised expression but tries to ignore it as he turns back. He draws strength from Sahira's touch, he knows it's her, no-one else would dare, he allows the touch to calm him and his gaze lingers on her hand for a moment before moving up her arm to her face.
"Ms. Shah?" He questions her, puzzled why she should hold him back from his 'word' with Sir Frasier who is now looking faintly murderous. She moves to take his notes out of his hand, giving his arm a quick reassuring squeeze before releasing it.
"Your ward rounds won't do themselves..." She states and Hanssen allows his face to relax and he nodes at her, letting go of his notes with a soft smile, gone as soon as it appears.
"Thank you Ms. Shah." Sir Frasier watches the exchange with narrowed eyes before following Henrik up to his office.
"You will be subject to a period of observation and monitoring and anything suspicious will result in a suspension pending investigation and possible dismissal, Henrik. Do I make myself clear?"
"Perfectly clear, Sir Frasier." Comes the terse response from Hanssen with a stony expression. Sir Frasier helps himself to one of the apples on Hanssen's desk who says nothing but his eyes narrow and he tracks the other man as he stands up and prepares to leave.
"How could you have been so bloody stupid, Henrik?" Sir Frasier takes one last look at the Swede before he leaves. Hanssen waits until he's certain that Sir Frasier has left the corridor outside before swearing violently and slamming his hand against his desk. Standing up suddenly, nearly knocking his chair over he makes he way to the window in his office, his emotions running wild, vying for control.