A/N: I haven't written and shared a fanfic for quite some time, so please forgive me as I do seem to ramble on a bit with this story. I recently watched this episode again, and it struck me how...controlled...the first meeting between the two characters appeared to be. I wanted to explore this new relationship between Foyle and Sam. So, here goes. Feedback is always appreciated.
As always, no copyright infringement intended.
Former Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle stood staring at the theatre notice, taking in the small details even though he felt quite distracted. "I feel old," he said to himself. He was tired from days of travel, of wearing the same clothes, annoyed at not being able to go home when that was simply what he wanted to do, and most of all, irritated at being played.
He clucked his tongue and made a face at the poster on the wall of the theatre. They knew just what would get him to cooperate - not threats of extradition or punishment, but a photo. A specific photo with murmurs of dangers, espionage, treason. And here he was, suddenly in the middle of an investigation and not entirely sure he wasn't in a mess. How had they known? That would be Hilda Pierce, he thought ruefully after a moment. She had such a knack for reading people - why she was doing this job, of course.
So, now he stood in London, mixed up in a game he wasn't sure he could play, about to find the one person he had tried to forget. Well, he corrected himself, perhaps not forget, but certainly "alter ideas of." Foyle sighed heavily and forced himself to move forwards.
He studied the ground as he came around the corner of the theatre building, a bicycle bell tinkling a warning in case he should miss it whizzing past. Foyle looked up at the sound, and shook himself - "there is a job to do here," he told himself firmly under his breath.
He arrived in a large square and after a few moments he saw her. Wearing a red dress with a cardigan to keep away the chill of the wind, Samantha Wainwright stood looking rather bored next to two men. Foyle remembered her as she had been during the war years when they had worked together - Sam Stewart, MTC, cheeky, bright, and ever ready.
Foyle walked closer, his heart thumping in his chest like a drum. He forgot to breath. He had often wondered what it would be like to see her again, now married and older, but he hadn't been prepared for this. He stopped in his tracks, drinking in the view of her; he couldn't believe the change in Sam. She was looking down at the ground, as if waiting for one of the men. Her face was drawn and looked haggard, deep circles under her eyes. If the photo Hilda Pierce and her lot had shown him this morning was recent, then it certainly hadn't indicated this level of unhealthiness. His concern for her doubled in that moment, and he knew instinctively that he was not going to let this investigation go.
Suddenly, Foyle felt his stomach drop - she had seen him! They caught each other's eyes, and though he tried not to grin like a school boy, she did not smile until she had turned away from the two men. He heard her ask if she could take an early lunch. His smiled deepened - "Yes, I can take her to lunch, she would love that," he thought. Studying her as she walked towards him, he moved slowly forwards to greet her. Finally, she smiled broadly at him, and he saw the old Sam in front of him.
"Mr Foyle," she called out, "what are you doing here?" They had reached each other now and it was all Foyle could to stop himself from stretching out to touch her arm.
"I've come to see you," he said warmly, eyes twinkling a bright blue.
Sam smiled, "How did you know I was here?"
"Your husband." Foyle thought it felt odd saying that.
"Oh right. How was America? It seems such an age since you went away. So much has happened," said Sam, sounding slightly wistful.
Foyle scanned her face curiously and blatantly, "Well, you can tell me all about it." He inclined his head and she followed him.
Over lunch Foyle was able to study her more closely. He knew she could feel his eyes on her, and he only hoped she would open up a bit to him. Something was certainly wrong. Sam was picking at her food, which was something he had never seen her do in all the years he'd known her. He was inclined to feel even more worried.
He ordered cups of tea, hoping it would restore her a bit. Sam spoke to him about Adam's bid for MP, where they had lived after the hotel had burnt down, and what they were doing these days. Foyle thought she seemed distinctly unhappy with life in London.
He was just about to say as much when a voice called out, "Ah, there you are Mrs Wainwright."
A tall man came over to their table bringing folders stuffed with papers. Sam quickly introduced the men, saying, "This is my former employer, Mr Foyle. Sir, this is Professor Frasier." The two men shook hands.
"So, what brings you to London, Mr Foyle?" asked Frasier.
"Well, um...friends," Foyle paused, catching Sam's eye and giving her a knowing look. She smiled slightly before he went on, "I'm just passing through really."
The three chatted briefly and Frasier was kind enough to invite Foyle to dinner for that evening. "Convenient," thought Foyle. Their cups of tea arrived and Frasier left them alone again. Sam was now studying him over the rim of her tea cup. She finally had a bit more colour in her face.
"I'm glad you found me, sir," she said shyly, "Nice to see a familiar face here."
Feeling he couldn't say, "I've missed you," or "I had to," or "I'm investigating your boss, so it's business really," he just simply smiled and resisted the impulse to pat her hand. He watched her gulp the rest of her tea and stand.
"I really must go now, sir. Thank you for lunch. You must come see Adam and I before you leave London."
He stood as well, "I will."
He watched her leave the restaurant, his heart feeling heavy. "Darling Sam," he murmured, "What have you got yourself into?"
The next few days were so busy that Foyle hardly had a moment to think. Therefore, it was a surprise when he came down one morning to find Sam at the reception desk of his hotel. As he came up behind her, he heard her say, "Do you have a Mr Foyle staying here?"
"They do," he said, "What are you doing here?" He smiled but his expression quickly changed once he saw her face.
She said, "I've been told you are investigating Professor Frasier and you used me to get to him, and I wanted to know if it was true." This came out very quickly and Foyle paused a moment before ushering her into the drawing room of the hotel.
He sat her down and pulled out a photograph. It showed her standing with a man in front of a theatre. He explained what the Security Services had been trying to figure out, and what they had assumed about the professor. Sam looked at the photograph indignantly, "But I've never met this man before in my life."
Setting the photograph on the table between them, Sam turned to Foyle, her voice now cutting him to the quick, "I don't understand why you didn't just come straight out with it when you first saw me - why didn't you show me the photograph if you suspected me."
Hearing the hurt in her words, Foyle replied softly, "I didn't...suspect you." Chewing his lip slightly he continued, "But it is clear to me, from the moment I saw you, that something is the matter. You're not yourself. There's something your hiding. I assumed it was related and thought it in your best interest to deal with the situation as carefully as I could."
He caught her eye, "I can see that I'm wrong and I'm sorry."
Sam's eyes filled with tears and she waved his apology away, "Don't be sorry."
"What is it?" Foyle asked gently.
"It's rather a personal thing, sir, and I really...I'd really rather not..." she wiped away the tears that suddenly streamed down her face.
"Can I help?" Foyle said, suddenly feeling rather worried.
"Nobody can help," Sam whispered, tears overwhelming her handkerchief and slipping down her cheeks.
Foyle quietly handed her his white hanky, hoping it was clean, and waited patiently.
"I've had some difficulty...something has happened that makes me believe starting a family might not be as straight forward as I once imagined."
Foyle swallowed hard, "What does Adam say?"
"I haven't told him yet," she sniffed, "So, now you know. I'm not a spy." Suddenly her sadness turned into indignation again. "I can't believe you used me and lost me my job!"
Foyle interjected quickly, "None of this was intended. The only reason I became involved was because I thought you were in trouble and I thought I could help."
He saw her eyes soften, though the look on her face was still fierce.
Continuing, he said, "And I still believe I can. Although you are completely innocent, this photograph has been faked - and for a reason. Don't you think?"
"Where do we start?" Sam said.
"Now, hang on," Foyle protested.
But she won in the end - "It's the least you can do, sir."
"Fair enough," sighed Foyle, smiling slightly.
They walked out of the hotel, Foyle touching the small of Sam's back as he let he go first. She turned to smile at him. Buoyed by this, he said softly, "I thought you looked unwell when I saw you a few days ago. But I see your spirit hasn't failed you. Just like old times, eh Sam?"
She looked at him, seeking his eyes, "It felt good to tell someone."
"I'm glad you could tell me. I was concerned for you."
"Yes, I understand that now. I was angry at first - I thought you were investigating me."
"Am I forgiven?" he asked, grinning.
Sam grinned back, some of her former radiance shining through, "We'll see."