A new fic, AU but follows the episodes roughly. Just different HR behaviour. Hope it all explains itself in time. Starting at the beginning of series two.
Ruth Evershed checked her reflection in the mirror. It was her first day at Thames House, and she wanted to make a good impression. It was a temporary year long transfer from GCHQ, but she hoped to make her presence felt, with the result that she would stay in section D. Or that was the hope. She'd been at GCHQ for more than five years and she'd become very bored. She wanted to be in with the action, not stuck behind a desk passing the interesting information to someone else. And she knew she was intelligent enough to do it.
Checking that her security passes were in her bag she looked at her watch. She had an hour. Plenty of time to catch a bus and get through the (no doubt very heavy) security. Locking her house, she left for her new place of work, very much looking forward to the new challenges that awaited her.
Ruth looked around the grid as she came through the pods. It was seemingly empty. Looking around she wondered where everyone was. Double checking the time she saw it was only five to nine. She wasn't late. Suddenly someone stopped in front of her looking at her curiously.
"I'm Ruth Evershed," she said more confidently than she felt. "Its my first day, where is everyone?"
"Intelligence analyst?" he asked. Ruth nodded once. "Harry mentioned a new recruit was coming. Everyone's in the meeting room. I'm Colin."
"Nice to meet you," she said with a smile. He seemed friendly enough and judging by the amount of beeping coming from his computer behind him, he was clearly a tech genius. "Do you think I could go in?" Ruth asked tentatively.
"Yes," Colin said. "I'd knock first though if I were you. Harry doesn't like interruptions. Your desk is over there," he added indicating a vacant seat.
"Thank you," Ruth said easily. She took her jacket off and put it over her chair, dropping her bag too before picking up a small stack of files, clearly waiting for her. Without thinking too much about it she approached the meeting room and opened the door. There were several blank faces staring back at her.
"Ah, this is Ruth Evershed," Harry said to the room at large, the only person she recognised from her interview. "Our new intelligence analyst, desperately needed in our department. Take a seat Ruth," he added with a friendly smile.
"I'm not late am I?" she asked. After all, she so wanted to make a good impression.
"You're our intelligence analyst, you should know," Harry said with a chuckle that made everyone look at him. "Right, the Burton street mosque," he said quickly changing the subject very quickly.
At the end of a stressful week, during which they had lost a Syrian agent, as valuable and rare as gold dust in an explosion, Ruth had settled in very well. People were beginning to hand her information without any reservations and she liked feeling like she was making a difference. Ruth was currently on the phone to her counterpart in six, talking about low level information sharing, as Harry watched her through a gap in his blinds.
Ruth was clearly very competent. In the last five days she'd hacked into French, Russian and American intelligence services, and Harry hadn't received any angry calls which meant she'd done it without leaving a trace. A very impressive feat. Harry wasn't stupid, he knew she was a plant from GCHQ. They'd wanted a spy in his department for years, and with Tessa Phillips departure, he hadn't been able to find a suitable replacement without help. So he'd known they'd plant a spy.
What he hadn't expected was to find someone so competent and intelligent. And attractive. Very attractive. Yes, he had noticed, and spy she might be, but she was beautiful. He wanted to spend some time with her outside of this building, but he didn't quite know how to go about it. After all, she'd only been here a week, and he was her boss. It might be seen as in very bad taste, to be linked to one of his staff. If she was spying for someone else, or a plant, spending time with her would be a very bad idea indeed. But his mind couldn't stop focusing on the possibility.
"Okay, thank you. Goodbye." Ruth put the phone down and began to shut down her computer. The end of her first week and she thought it had went very well. She had got on well with everyone, especially Danny and Harry. Mm, yes Harry, she thought to herself. That would prove to be an interesting one. She couldn't deny that she found him attractive. More so now that she'd spent time with him. He had a delicious pout and a very expressive voice, which he used very well to make his point. Add to that his air of authority and confidence and his very intense hazel eyes and she knew she was already halfway gone.
Ruth knew him by reputation months before getting the transfer and she knew that he was a womaniser. She knew that she should be wary of him, in several respects as he had been in charge of the grid for a very long time and knew what he was doing. But she hadn't expected to be attracted to him so instantly, and that pitfall, she knew she was very close to falling into. Even aware of the dangers that posed, she almost found it impossible to stop thinking of Harry in that way, and resort to thinking of her as just her boss. At this point in her musings she realised that her computer had shut down and that she was mindlessly staring at Harry's office while deep in thought. She gave herself a mental shake and started to get ready to leave, putting her coat on. It was extremely cold outside with winter seemingly come early.
She had just put her scarf on when Harry emerged from his office and gave the grid a cursory glance before his gaze settled on Ruth. He made a beeline for her and Ruth tried to pretend that she hadn't been watching or thinking about him when he approached her desk. "Good first week?" he asked quietly.
"Yes thank you," she said. "Its good to feel like I'm making a difference. I hated being stuck in GCHQ for so damn long."
"How long were you there for?" he asked, his eyes scanning her face in a way which was intensely personal and made her feel breathless.
"A little over five years," Ruth said. "I like it in London though. It's a city I've always wanted to live in."
Harry smiled at her and she noticed that his eyes sparkled slightly. "I think you fit in well here," he said lowly. "Would you like to get a drink with me?" He spoke before he could stop himself, and wished he could take it back. Thought he should have waited a few more weeks until she was settled in. Until they got to know each other as more than simply boss and employee.
Ruth watched him for a moment. If she didn't know any better, she'd say he was nervous. He swallowed twice in a short period of time and he was worrying his lip slightly. They were only small tells, but she was very observant, and she noticed. She had made the great and famous Harry Pearce nervous, she thought with a sense of wonder and not a small sense of power. But the honest answer was yes, she would like to go for a drink with him. It had been a long time since she'd been out with a man in any, even remotely personal capacity. Harry was the first man she'd felt something for in almost a year. Even if they barely knew each other. Even if they worked together under incredible tensions, which she knew after just five days of being in this environment. Or maybe that was part of the attraction, she reasoned. Tensions running high, emotions needing to be buried in work, but always bubbling under the surface. No Ruth, she thought. Concentrate on what's happening now, don't analyse the reasons behind it.
"I'd love to," she said honestly. He looked surprised but he covered it well.
"Shall we?" he asked lightly. She smiled as he led the way to the pods, very anxious and eager for what the night may bring.