It's another late night in the UCOS office, Steve's up making us all a drink, Brian's writing at the whiteboard and Sandra's hidden herself away in her office. As for me I'm not doing a lot, I'm supposed to be reading through the case file for anything we may have missed but as a result or being tired and having too much on my mind, I can't concentrate.

I don't know what's wrong with Sandra and she certainly wouldn't tell what it was that was wrong, if she admitted there was something in the first place. I walk over to Steve and pick up the gov's mug.

"I'll take it through to madam." I tell him as he nods his head and laughs slightly. I knock on the door as I got up to her shut office door. This was another sign something was up, usually the door was wide open.

"Come in." I hear Sandra say from inside, so I walk in and shut the door behind me.

"I brought you a coffee." She looked up at me wondering why I was being so nice.

"Thank you." She gave me a wary look but accepted the drink; I get the look again when I sit down opposite her. "What are you doing?" she asks me.

"I want to have a chat."

"Why what have you done now?"

"Nothing Sandra." She gives me another wary look. "I wanted to know if you were okay."

"Yes Gerry I'm fine." She told me but I honestly didn't believe her. I wish she'd open up to me, if only she had any idea about how I felt. I wish she'd take a break, I wish she'd let herself go a bit more. I wish she'd let someone in. Someone like me.

You tell all the boys no

Makes you feel good yeah

I know you're out of my league

But that won't scare me away oh no

You've carried on so long

You couldn't stop if you tried it

You've built your wall so high

That no one could climb it

But I'm gonna try

"Was that it Gerry?" She asks me after we'd sat silently for a while.

"Why don't you go home Sandra?" I ask her.

"Because we're all busy."

"Yeah but we'll cope. You look exhausted."

"Keep the compliments flowing."

"Sandra you look gorgeous as always but don't tell me you aren't dying to go to bed."

"I am tired." She admits to me.

"Well then go home."

"No." she was always stubborn but I wish she'd listen to me sometimes. I was trying to do what was best for her, to do right by her.

It had been a hard day, one of our suspects had tried to make a pass at Sandra with me standing right next to her, when Sandra had turned him down he'd tried to hit her. Yes she was strong and tough but these things always gave her a fright.

It made me realize how much I wanted to be with her; how I felt I needed to protect her even if she didn't want me to. Most of all though it made me realize that I was in love with her and had slowly fallen for her over the years I'd known her. Now I needed her to know whether she wanted to or not.

Would you let me see beneath your beautiful?

Would you let me see beneath your perfect?

Take it off now girl, take it off now girl

I wanna see inside

Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight?

I got up and left her office with the intention of doing some more work so Sandra didn't have to do it another time, I'd tell her later how I felt. For now though I'd let her get on with it.

Okay so this is a joint fic with Team_NewTricks, there will be more to come soon. Reviews welcome.

Beth and Team_NewTricks xxx