A/N:This story is based on the episode 'The Indelible Stain' (Lewis, season 6, episode 4). You might make less of this story if you haven't seen it yet.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my thoughts, these are they.
Why don't you invite doctor Hobson? Get in there quickly before someone whisks her away.
You said it yourself; stuck in the past, me.
Hathaway got in his car and left the scene. Lewis looked at the house of the professor they'd just arrested for a double murder. You think he'd be smarter than that, being a professor and all. But what was his motive? Love.
Lewis sighed. What people do in the name of love! His thoughts wandered off to Val's death. Would he have killed for her? He hadn't killed the man that ran her over. He just despised him wholeheartedly and hoped he would rot away in prison. Would he kill for Laura, if she was threatened in any way? The question surfaced before he fully understood its implication and when he did, he was shocked. Did he love Laura? It was time to leave this place, way too many associations.
Nonetheless, Hathaway's question kept ringing in his head while he got in his car, closed the door and put his seatbelt on. He could invite Laura; they'd had drinks before without pretences. And he really didn't want Peterson to take her out again. Action man, as he'd put it. Hathaway was probably right in thinking that Peterson would 'get in there' sooner than he himself would. He rubbed his face in despair. Too much thinking, Laura said she didn't fancy Peterson either. There was effectively no reason not to ask her to accompany him to the pub. He took out his phone and called her.
He greeted her and then went silent.
"You have a question for me, Robbie?" she asked.
"Er.. yeah. You still at work?"
She looked around. "About to wrap up, why?"
"Would you fancy a pint later?"
For some reason he felt anxious for her answer. Maybe Hathaway wasn't right after all. Why did he listen to his sergeant?
"Laura, if you don't want..." he started, but was interrupted by this voice that had become so familiar to him.
"Of course I want to, Robbie, but there's a match on tonight..."
Now it was his turn to interrupt. "I know just the place. Let's say, seven?"
"Fine by me."
"See ya, then."
"Bye" she replied before hanging up.
He put his phone back in his pocket, turned the key and drove off looking smug, as Hathaway would have called it.
He didn't feel the need to get all dressed up for the evening. No point in it if you're in a sweaty pub. A quick shower and some casual clothes would do. Besides, this was not a formal date, just a meet for drinks with a co-worker. Then why did he feel tensed? He kept checking his watch. It was probably because of this dentist appointment tomorrow. Bad tooth or not, he would not go if he could help it. He spent the rest of his waiting time making up excuses to tell Hathaway in the morning, when he came to pick him up. It didn't help, he remained anxious.
At exactly 7 p.m. Laura arrived at the pub where Lewis was already waiting for her, not being able to stay at home any longer and worry about the dentist.
"Hi" he greeted her.
"Shall we go in?"
Laura nodded and smiled. Lewis smiled back at her and the tension he'd felt faded. Once inside, it completely disappeared. It was fairly crowded in the pub but not too much. Lewis ordered a pint for himself and a glass of wine for Laura. The table she picked had a good angle on the telly and after a "cheers" they both sipped their drink. The match didn't start in half an hour so they had time to talk first.
"How's your tooth?"
Lewis glared at her, annoyed.
"You don't want to talk about it." She smiled. "That's fair."
"Hathaway made me an appointment tomorrow morning. Still deciding how to wave him off. And that's all I'm going to say about it. This is supposed to be a nice evening."
Laura looked at him with a motherly worried kind of look but decided not to say anything.
"You think that's going to happen, given this match?"
He shrugged. "Probably not, but it doesn't just depend on the outcome of the match now, does it?"
"You really know how to flatter a girl, Robbie" Laura said amused.
"Would you rather have I said with you around, my evening is always nice?" he returned.
"That would be flirting... and you don't flirt."
"Unlike Peterson, you mean?"
Laura smirked at him. "Do I detect some form of envy there?"
"Me, jealous of Peterson? Not in this lifetime. But if you like him..."
"Like I said, I don't." She took a sip. "Not my type. Unlike you." She looked at him over the rim of her glass.
Meeting her eyes, he said: "Now look who's flirting."
They both laughed and turned towards the television which was louder now that the match began.
"Which one has your support?" Lewis asked.
"The losing one, of course." Laura responded naturally.
"Good" he said, taking another sip of his drink.
Hathaway sat in his chair, legs put over the armrest, head leaning against the back, book in his hands. On the nearby table nothing but a bottle of Scotch and an empty glass. Every now and then he looked up from his book, poured himself a glass, took a sip, put it back down and glanced at the empty chair on the other side of the table in complete silence. Eventually he fell asleep.
The first half of the match was quite boring, so Laura and Lewis talked – and drank – more than they watched. During half-time Lewis fetched them some more drinks, watching her as she explained to another man how the team should play according to her. He didn't know Laura liked sports and it amused him she did. When he returned to their table, the man with whom Laura was talking, turned to Lewis and said:
"You have a lovely lady, mister. And she knows football too." He winked at Laura.
Lewis opened his mouth to contest that Laura was his lady but changed his mind, seeing the wink.
Instead he opted for a genuine "thank you", which made Laura smile.
It was about eleven when Laura yawned for the first time. The match was long over, no success but the second half had definitely been better than the first. She'd had a lovely evening, sitting here talking to Robbie about everything and nothing and watching the match in between. But now she was tired.
"You tired?" Lewis asked.
"Hmhm" she nodded.
Knowing she'd had too much alcohol and realizing she'd arrived by car, he asked:
"Are you going to drive home yourself?"
"No" was her immediate answer, knowing he wouldn't let her, even if she wanted to. "I'm afraid I've had too much of this" she said, downing the last bit of her drink. "I'll call a cab."
Lewis contemplated his thought. Could he? Should he?
"You think you'll manage a five minute walk?"
"You could stay over at my place tonight." Lewis watched her carefully, looking for any hesitation that could make him abandon the idea. What was he thinking?
"I got the impression you wanted to take this slowly, you and me?"
Before he could even realize that what she said, was in fact a hesitation, he answered:
"I do but I said stay over not sleep with. You can have the bed, I'll take the couch."
"Right. Sorry. I'm a bit..."
"Drunk?" Lewis stated with a smile.
"I was going to say hazy but drunk will do." Laura met his smile with her own.
"Come on you, we're going home."
Upon arrival at Lewis' house, they were both yawning and in need of sleep. Lewis showed Laura the bedroom and bathroom, in which she immediately disappeared. He grabbed himself a pillow and blanket for his night on the couch and waited for her at the nearest light-switch. When she crossed the hallway from the bathroom to the bedroom, she looked at him drowsily.
He killed the lights and lay down on the couch. Sleep came within minutes for the both of them.
Hathaway had gotten up early, because he had to pick up Lewis for his dentist appointment. When he arrived at his boss' house, the curtains were still closed. He'd been prepared for this, thought Lewis would put up some sort of fight, but he expected it more by means of excuses. So he just banged on the door in order to at least wake up his governor. To his surprise, the door opened immediately.
"Doctor Hobson?" Although Hathaway tried to hide his surprise to find the doctor in Lewis' house, it was audible in his voice. She smirked at his face.
"Come on in, he's in the kitchen."
Hathaway passed doctor Hobson and walked into the living room, looking over his shoulder to check if it really was doctor Hobson who'd let him in.
"Good morning, sir" he said, spotting Lewis in the kitchen.
"Good morning, sergeant." Lewis looked at Hathaway, who was still looking astonished.
"What is it?" he asked.
Hathaway coughed once and came to his senses. "You have a dentist appointment at eight, sir."
"Oh, that." Lewis turned away, not wanting to lie to his sergeant's face. "It's not necessary any more. I'm feeling much better, thank you."
Laura overheard their conversation from the hallway and joined Hathaway in the living room.
"Robbie..." she said, looking at him with that worried, caring look again. He met her eyes.
Hathaway just stood there, perplexed, looking from one to the other.
"Okay" Lewis sighed. "Let's go, sergeant."
He pushed the two of them aside to grab his jacket from a nearby chair and walked to the door. Hathaway looked at Hobson, who shrugged in innocence.
"Are you coming, Hathaway?" Lewis yelled from the doorstep.
"Yes, sir." Hathaway turned and followed his governor outside.
Once they were in the car, he needed to know.
Lewis just smiled and looked out of the window.
Gros Bisous, Suzanne