Disclaimer: Spooks belongs to Kudos and the BBC, which is probably for the best.
A/N: Fluffy, plot-less one-shot inspired by the idea of someone making a comment to Harry that Ruth overhears. And then Harry having to attempt to explain it. Bit naughty but not quite an 'M' rating...
Ruth watched the CCTV feed, waiting for the smoke from the stun grenades to dissipate. Eventually, the haze cleared enough for her to be able to make out the figures of Harry and Dimitri. The younger man had an arm around the shoulders of his boss and was helping him out of the warehouse, pausing occasionally so they could catch their breath and cough up the last of the acrid fumes. There was a sudden blast of static, interspersed with clicking noises, indicating the comms were trying to kick back in.
"Alphas one and two, status please," Ruth said.
A whistling noise, clearly audible at both ends judging by the profane response it provoked, temporarily distracted everyone.
"Jesus, Tariq. Are you trying to deafen us?" Beth snapped.
"Sorry." The techie tapped rapidly at his keyboard. "Let's try that again."
Ruth was about to repeat her request for a status update when Dimitri's voice sounded clearly across the Grid. "Don't worry, Harry – I'm not going to kiss you. Not after last time."
"Oops," said Tariq.
"Oh shit," said Beth.
Ruth said nothing.
"I wonder why he hasn't told her," Beth said, slowly spinning her chair around.
"Why would he?" Tariq asked, trying to keep one eye on a trace he was running and the other on Ruth, who was sitting at her desk, apparently busy typing.
"Because, Boy Wonder, they are together."
"You don't know that for certain."
Tariq's desk shook as Beth grabbed the edge, abruptly stopping the momentum of her chair. "Oh yes I do." She winked conspiratorially at her workmate. "I most definitely do."
"It's not really any of our business, is it?" said Tariq, wishing Beth would be a little less obvious and lot more spy-like if she insisted on gossiping about colleagues.
"Ugh! You're no fun," the young blonde retorted, pushing away from his desk and wheeling herself haphazardly towards her own workstation. "No fun at all, Geek Boy."
Ruth looked across the Grid towards Harry's office. He and Dimitri were still chatting. And laughing. Yes, there was definitely a lot of laughing going on. Which was unusual, for a debrief. She shifted in her seat, itching to get up and interrupt the pair. There had to be some sort of pretext she could use for bursting into Harry's office, after all, it was one of her talents.
The door slid open just as Ruth reached for the handle. Dimitri took a step back.
"Sorry," he said. "I didn't realise you were there. You're clearly in full stealth mode today." He gave her a cheeky smile and started walking down the corridor. "And yes," he called over his shoulder, "Harry's all yours now."
Ruth turned back towards the open door to find Harry sitting on the edge of his desk looking very amused by the exchange.
"I er, I need you to sign this." She waved a file at him.
"What is it?" Harry asked.
"A thing...report thing. That you need to sign."
"A specific report thing or an excuse to come and talk to me report thing?"
Ruth considered trying to keep the bluff going but decided honesty might be more successful. "I just wanted to make sure you're OK."
"Ah, I see." Harry stood up and started to move towards her. "Sweet."
Ruth found herself being backed into the blind spot in the office as Harry slid the door shut. "So are you?" she said.
"Am I what?"
"Oh, yes. Just a little frayed around the edges," Harry said, pressing himself up against her. "Nothing a warm bath, a glass of Macallan and a night of hot, passionate love-making with you won't fix."
"Harry! We agreed – not in the office."
He laughed then kissed her, chastely, on the cheek. "I wasn't suggesting we do it in the office. Not today, anyway."
Ruth watched Harry saunter back to his desk and wondered how to reply to his last comment. Or even if she should.
"Sadly, the Home Secretary has to come first, in a manner of speaking," Harry said, picking up his phone and slipping it into his jacket pocket. "And I'm going to be late for my meeting with him if I let you continue to distract me."
"Me distract you?"
"You know you do." Harry took his coat off the stand and shrugged it on. "But it's one of the many things I love about you."
"We'll finish this conversation at home," Ruth said, annoyance vying with arousal.
"We certainly will," Harry paused by the door to kiss her - on the lips this time. "Then you can help me recuperate."
Ruth had been back at her desk for several minutes before she realised she'd completely forgotten to ask Harry about Dimitri's kissing comment. Bloody man. Never mind, she'd get the information out of him later.
Ruth re-arranged the pillows and pulled the duvet over her naked body. She was warm and comfortable, and alone. For the moment, anyway – she knew Harry wouldn't stay in the bath on his own for very long, not as she'd got him rather worked up. Smiling to herself, she closed her eyes and waited.
"You know, it's not nice to get a man of my age into this state and then abandon him."
Ruth opened one eye and looked at Harry. "I've been in bed for the grand total of three minutes. It's hardly abandonment."
"I still missed you," he said, moving further into the bedroom. "And look at what you did." He pulled off the towel that had been wrapped around his waist and waited for Ruth to respond.
"I do hope you're not complaining," she replied, deliberately keeping her gaze on his face.
He grinned at her. "Never."
"Before we get distracted," Ruth said, as Harry got into bed, "I need to ask you something."
"Dimitri made a comment earlier, when he was helping you out of the warehouse. He said 'Don't worry, Harry – I'm not going to kiss you. Not after last time.' What did he mean by that?"
"Ah." Harry slid an arm around Ruth's shoulders. "He was referring to something that happened when you were in Edinburgh on that advanced encryption course."
"Ruth, it was work. Remember the two Ukrainian gun smugglers we were watching? After months of nothing they suddenly started getting busy. Unfortunately it was at the same time as things picked up with the Kurdish group in Hackney. We were spread thin so I had to help Dimitri."
"And that involved kissing him?"
"Are you going to let me finish explaining?"
Ruth huffed and wriggled away from Harry, whose hands had begun to wander. "Go on then," she said.
"We arranged to meet the Ukrainians at the The Royal Western Hotel posing as buyers. We knew they'd be wary of two men together so there was no option but to put Dimitri in a dress and a wig."
"Why couldn't Beth do it?"
"The targets had already met her." Harry stopped for a moment. "You wouldn't have minded me kissing Beth then?"
"Of course I would. And stop trying to change the subject."
"Well, things went reasonably well to begin with but then the Ukrainians started to get a bit suspicious so Dimitri decided to help the legend along and kissed me."
"Anything else?" Ruth asked, not entirely sure she wanted to know.
"No, nothing else. Just one kiss. And no tongues, I promise."
"Talking of tongues," Harry said, shuffling closer to Ruth again.
"Was there really no alternative to Dimitri dressing up?"
"Well I'm too old for it now."
"What do you mean? 'Now'?"
Harry sighed. This particular conversation was clearly nowhere near being over. "I have been known to don a frock and a pair of stockings, Ruth. Heels are a bloody nightmare though – I don't know how women walk in them."
"Was this a regular thing?"
"A few times, Ruth. I was a bit more sylph-like in my twenties and thirties. I could get away with it."
Silence followed that particular revelation and Harry interpreted it as a sign they could finally pick up from where they'd left off in the bath.
Until Ruth spoke again.
"Have you ever...you know...had...been..."
"Are you trying to ask me if I've had sex with a man?"
"Would it bother you if I had?"
"That's not answering my question."
"So it does bother you."
"It's not that it bothers me, per se, it's just that, well...I wouldn't have thought it was your sort of thing."
"It isn't and I haven't," Harry said, slowly stroking his hand across Ruth's stomach. "In case you hadn't noticed, I much prefer women."
Ruth gasped as his fingers found a particularly ticklish spot, close to her hip.
"Women have soft skin," Harry continued, happy to have moved onto a more interesting topic of conversation. "Curves. Warm, inviting places. Not to mention breasts."
"You do know that some men also have those things."
"Are you trying to ruin the mood?"
"All, right, some of those things."
"I'm beginning to wonder about the men you've known."
"Cheeky sod. You have soft skin."
Harry raised an eyebrow.
"OK. Smooth skin. Lovely, smooth skin. Especially here." Ruth squeezed his buttocks for emphasis.
"Now who's being cheeky?"
"No breasts though, thankfully."
"Mmm, we'll just have to make do with yours," said Harry, deciding it was time for less verbal teasing and more physical teasing.
But not quite yet.
"Have you ever been intimate with another woman?" he asked, trying to ruin Ruth's concentration by pressing a prominent part of his anatomy against her thigh.
"Well, you asked about me and men. I'm curious to know if you've ever explored the Sapphic side of life."
"Now who's trying to ruin the mood?"
"And you're avoiding the question."
Ruth decided to humour him and answer. "I have been chatted up by women a couple of times."
"Nothing wrong with that."
"But I was never tempted."
"Not even a tiny bit curious?"
"Not in the slightest."
It was only then, Ruth realised, that Harry had managed to draw the covers away from her and was leaning back, openly staring at her naked body. He clearly thought the banter was at an end although she was determined to get a little more mileage out of it.
"The only person I'm interested in sexually, Harry, is you." She leant back against the pillows and arched her back a little. "You are, after all, very sensual. And definitely all man."
As she'd suspected, he couldn't resist a little ego massaging.
"Definitely all man, Ruth. Every. Single. Inch."
"I am curious about something, Harry."
"What you look like in a pair of stockings..."
"Well," he replied, one hand sliding down her stomach whilst the other did wickedly naughty things to her right breast, "if you're good, you might just find out."
Thanks for reading. :)