Please be aware, I am NOT a writer. I'm an artist, I paint, so the grammar will be terrible, you'll find I love a good long run on sentence, and I throw full stops in where ever I please. I call it artistic licence...

Also, I own NOTHING.

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He rubs Tiger Balm into his temples before unbuttoning and rolling up his cuffs, he turns on the tap and rubs the soap between his palms, once he's rinsed he takes the fresh towel and dries his hands all the while watching his own reflection in the mirror.

Deep breaths, yes that'll work.

He has to pull himself together, he knows Kent's waiting in the corridor for him, coat in hand. They're supposed to be going back to his flat, he'd offered to cook for the DC to save him from having to spend the evening alone while his flatmates are away.

It had all been fine, He'd known Kent favours Italian and had a dish in mind he was sure he would love, there'd not been a problem. Until Miles had commented on his plans for the night.

"Good for you" He'd said "It's good to see you dating"

But they're NOT dating. They're NOT.

Shit Shit Shit

He unscrews the balm and when he's done rolls up his cuffs, turns the tap, uses the soap, rinses his hands then takes the towel.

Sure they've accompanied one another for drinks on occasion, and perhaps the odd trip to eat out, but they're not just colleagues now, they're friends, and that's what friends do, right? The restaurants were never really romantic, and just because he pays it's not as if he's taking the other man out to dinner.

Shit Shit Shit

Tiger balm, Roll cuffs, Turn tap, Rub soap, Rinse hands, Towel.

Last time they'd ended up in a cosy little pub not far from the station, it had been nice and they'd sat together in a little booth at the back, purely for the quiet, and there's nothing wrong with that. Afterwards he'd walked Kent home so he didn't have to take the bus, it was a nice night and that's what mates do right? He'd then had to walk all the way back to the station to pick up his car.

Shit Shit Shit

Balm, Cuffs, Tap, Soap, Rinse, Towel.

Anyway, he's not gay. He's had girlfriends, years ago but he has had girlfriends.

He runs through the list like a mantra in his mind hoping that somehow the memories of old flames will bring him clarity.

Molly Johnston, He'd been 19, She never wanted to do more than hold hands, thank god for that.

Kate West, He'd been 24, Owned her own place, great taste in music.

Louise Hardy, He'd been 31, Supportive, Friendly, Made really great cheesecake.

CHEESECAKE?

Shit Shit Shit

Balm, Cuffs, Tap, Soap, Rinse, Towel.

He looks up to find the reflection of Kent standing in the door way, eyes full of concern and possibly a hint of fear.

"Sir?"

"I'm fine, really, it's fine. I'll be out in a moment"

Kent doesn't look convinced but he leaves just the same, door swinging behind him.

Emerson Kent, He's now 42, Caring, Loyal, Funny, handsome.

Shit Shit Shit

Balm, Cuffs, Tap, Soap, Rinse, Towel.

He stares at his own reflection again and he feels a little like he's looking at a stranger. It crosses his mind that he has no idea what Kent must think, he knows the the DC looks up to him but that's to be expected with a junior detective.

He likes Kent, he really does, but he likes Miles and Riley and some times Mansell too, Sure he doesn't spend his spare time with them but he likes them just the same. This is no different, they're just two coworkers ready to unwind at the end of the day. Yes, that's it.

Besides, Kent's never treated any of their other outings as dates.

He rubs balm in to his temples one last time before fastening his cuffs and straightening his tie. It's fine. He's got this.

He exits the rest room purposefully. He's in control.

He spots Kent waiting for him and plasters on his best confident smile, then he notices that Kent's curls have been tamed somewhat, they look a little less wild that they had a few moments ago. And has he changed his shirt? Yes, Chandler knows he has, because this one is a lighter shade and offsets his eyes beautifully.

Shit Shit Shit.