A/N: I've always loved the interaction between Brookie and Sam, but was glad that theirs remained a friendship. I've played about with the character here a bit. We'll see where it leads! Feedback is always welcome!
As always, no copyright infringements intended.
The windscreen wipers beat a furious rhythm against the rain. Swish, squeak; swish, squeak. Samantha Stewart leaned forward over the wheel of the Wolseley and peered out, trying to make out the road ahead. The pitch dark of the blackout didn't help, nor did the special blackout headlamps, and they kept a slow and steady pace.
DCS Foyle glanced over, and seeing his driver's concentration asked, "All right, Sam?"
"Tickety-boo, sir, not to worry, we'll get there in one piece."
"Glad to hear it," murmured Foyle, pushing up the brim of his trilby hat, resisting the urge to rub his forehead.
Sergeant Brooke leaned forward from the back seat, "Coo, haven't see a night as black as this in ages."
"I'd better give you a lift home then, Brookie," said Sam cheerfully. She did not notice the wistful look come into Foyle's face. He quickly turned to look out at the rain.
"Did you both have a nice time this evening?" Sam went on, still maneuvring the car carefully around each corner.
Foyle chewed his bottom lip, thinking about the Hasting's Constabulary Fundraiser Benefit they had been to. Many familiar faces had been there, and someone had scrounged up a few bottles of something half decent. It hadn't been an unpleasant evening, but it wasn't his first choice of ways to pass the time. He'd had to make the expected speech, shake lots of hands and smile. And Sam kept being swept away to meet people and chat with young constables. Brookie had kept her occupied most of the evening too. He cleared his throat, realizing what he had just said to himself.
Luckily Brookie spoke up, repeating moments he had particularly enjoyed. Listening to him was like seeing the evening again on a picture screen, Foyle thought. With Sam as the leading lady. He cleared his throat again. What on earth had been in that bottle of stuff?
"Are you all right, sir?" Sam asked, giving him a searching look.
"Yes, thank you, just the night air." He stared back out at the night intently and pulled at his tie. He felt quite surprised at himself, as well as slightly concerned.
All too soon, Sam said, "Here we are, sir."
Foyle leaned forward as the car came to a rolling stop. "Right, well thank you for a lovely evening." The last bit of his sentence was swept away as Brookie opened the back door and jumped out. The rain thundered on the pavement. Foyle looked at Sam and twitched his lips. Right, he thought to himself. He felt the moment was passing so he thought he ought to say something. "Erm…" he began.
Before he could go on, his door opened and Brookie stood holding an umbrella he had somehow conjured up.
Foyle bit his lip and thought grimly, "Bloody efficient sergeant." He stepped out into the wet night, pulling his jacket close around him. "Nevermind, Sergeant, it is only a few steps, you get back in."
Brookie grinned back at him, "Right you are, sir. Pleasant evening."
Foyle nodded and turned quickly up his front steps. Once he stepped inside he looked back, raising his hand to wave. But it went unnoticed as Sam had turned her attention to Brookie, talking at top speed. Foyle let his hand fall as he looked regretfully at the retreating, shaded lights of the glistening car. A sudden emptiness came to him, right in the pit of his stomach, threatening to wash over him entirely. He shook his head crossly and went indoors, having only the small satisfaction of slamming the door quite forcefully.
Sam pulled away from Steep Lane, chattering freely in Brookie's easy company. They talked about the Benefit and he made her laugh with his stories about some of the constables she had met.
"Oh you should've known me as a Constable, Miss. I was incorrigible according to my Superintendent."
Sam giggled, "I bet you were a right terror, Brookie."
"I was, Miss Stewart," he said solemnly, " I was indeed. Once me and a mate of mine put worms in our sergeant's milk, just to see his face."
"Oh you didn't, Brookie, that's such a waste!" Sam said in mock horror.
"Well this was before the War, wasn't it," Brookie said seriously, "And this sergeant didn't like a joke. We thought we get our own back a bit, see, because he'd had us up before the Super' a few times for mischief and the like."
Sam nodded to show she was listening.
"Right, so we put the worms in, yeah, and what do you know, Sergeant goes in, makes a cuppa, and one for the Superintendent too!"
"No," said Sam with a small squeal.
"Yep, so there we are, thinking we'd get a right old show, and instead we was quaking in our boots, thinking we would be out on the street by lunchtime. They set to drinking and what does the Super' say?"
Brookie put on a nasally voice, "Well, Sergeant, I must say you make a most interesting cup of tea."
" 'Yes, sir?' he says," went on Brookie, "And then he says, 'Yes.' Plonks the cup on the table and there, floating on top, is the worm, looking happy as Larry." Brookie finished with laugh and looked rather pleased with himself.
"But what did you do?" Sam asked.
"We scarpered of course!" Brookie grinned. "Poor old Sergeant didn't know what to do, kept apologizing and had one hell of a go at the milkman the next day, I can tell you."
"Brookie, you rotter," Sam said affectionately. She pulled the car close to Brookie's billet and yanked the hand break.
"Well here we are. Don't get drenched."
"Will you be all right getting back, Miss? I could drive you home and take the car back to the station myself."
"I think I'll put the car at my place tonight. I don't fancy walking anywhere in this."
"No." Brookie paused, looking suddenly at a loss for words.
He smiled nervously, "Sam, can I be very forward for a moment?"
She looked at him in surprise, "Of course." She felt a slight flutter in her stomach and her pulse quickened.
"May I kiss you? You know, as a thank you for driving out of the way, and the nice evening, and putting up with me and the lads and our jokes." Brookie said this all very quickly.
Sam smiled and laughed softly. "I think I should like that, Brookie."
She heard her blood pounding in her ears as he leaned in. He took her face in his hand, tilting her chin towards him. He brushed a few stray strands of hair away, thinking how lovely she looked with her hair down. He was nervous, but felt that melt away as soon as their lips touched.
Brookie had meant not to linger, but make it a quick kiss so Sam wouldn't feel he was being overly fresh, but she kissed him back with such fervour that he couldn't break himself free. He was both surprised and pleased.
Sam liked kissing. Andrew had been quite good at it. Joe had not, and Brookie was a nice in-between. She liked that he tasted of cigarettes and was thrilled when he flicked his tongue questioningly along her lips. He pulled her to him and before she knew it, she was sat across his lap, kissing him passionately.
Her hands were in his dark, close-cropped hair and she felt how soft it was between her fingers. When his lips whispered over her cheek and onto her neck, Sam threw her head back, guiding him down to her breasts. She wasn't sure why she had done so, but it felt lovely, feeling him against her like that. He worked his hand down her back and onto her knee, wanting desperately to find the forbidden warmth below her blue skirt. His desire was close to getting the better of him. Brookie looked up at her, finding Sam's lips and crushing them. He grinned wickedly and they laughed softly together.
She traced his smile lines with her fingers, leaning in to kiss him again. She felt the urgency behind his lips now.
"You are beautiful, Samantha Stewart," Brookie said softly, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
His breath became shallow as his hands wandered freely. That familiar feeling inside Sam began to rise and she felt a similar urgency, one she did not understand. It was a feeling she felt when the other man who had been in the car that evening gave her certain looks. Looks that seemed to go right through her and send shivers of pleasure down her spine. Or when he touched her absently, handing over files, or when his arm knocked against hers. Or when he would let his hand sit just behind her shoulder, resting on the back of the bench of the Wolseley. This recognition made her slightly afraid and she paused.
Brookie smiled reassuringly, "Sam we don't need to do anything you don't want to do."
Her face dropped, "I do." She paused again, "But I don't."
She put her head against Brookie's chest, burrowing in. "Oh you must think me a terrible girl, teasing you like this."
Brookie was surprised at the amount of feeling behind her words and he stroked her hair, saying gently, "Not at all, Sam, I do understand you know."
She pulled away to look at him, "Do you? Do you really?" She looked miserable, "Because it is so complicated. I do like you Brookie, very much so, but… I find that I have feelings for another, ones I shouldn't, you see, and…" Tears welled in her eyes.
He sighed and smiled down at her. "As much as I have dreamt of kissing you, and as much as I want to make love to you right now, I think I've known from day one on the job, love. It was clear as day to me."
It was Sam's turn to be surprised and she gave him a worried look. "But I hardly knew myself. I mean I tried not to, he is…" she broke off, unable to find the words.
Brookie kissed her gently on the cheek, and said seriously, "In times like these, when you have feelings for someone, you've got to go for it."
He winked, "And that's not just me trying to have my way."
Sam smiled weakly.
"For all we know the next day's bombing raid could take them away," Brookie continued, "And you'd always regret never having said what you thought."
"But what if he doesn't feel the same way? In fact, I'm sure he wouldn't. It would ruin everything," Sam wailed.
Chuckling slightly, Brookie said, "You didn't see the way he was looking at you tonight. He may not know it himself, but he feels something all right."
Sam looked both astonished and relieved.
"Brookie," she said, wiping her nose, "How on earth do you know people so well?"
He grinned cheekily, "Oh natural talent. You should have seen my neck of the woods, love, that place will teach you to read people right quick." He gave her a squeeze. "Sleep on it, think it over, and then decide."
Sam nodded, sniffing.
"And perhaps you are right, Sam, maybe things should be left as they are, but only you can make that decision."
She nodded again. "We'll be all right though, won't we? You don't hate me?"
Brookie laughed, "No! It only makes me want you more."
"I've been so unfair to you." Sam said, still miserable.
"Well, I can think of a way you can make it up to me," Brookie said and winked again.
Pulling a face, she punched him playfully.
"Nevermind, Sam. It's for the best and it is fine. I will be my usual self behind the desk tomorrow, and I hope you will be too."
She nodded, smiling. "Yes, of course. You are lovely though, Brookie. Thank you."
He smiled sadly, "As are you, Miss Stewart."
Sam hugged him tightly, then slid across back behind the wheel.
Brookie tugged his cap on, touched it, and said goodnight, racing away through the rain.
Sam turned on the car and pulled away, waving. Although she had her doubts, she felt buoyed by Brookie's level headed reasoning. She knew what she would do. Determinedly, she turned the car about and headed back into town. She would drive past Steep Lane, and if the lights were on, she would knock. Otherwise, her sudden resolve might trickle away like the rain.