Title: Make the Most of Life's Little Pleasures
Author: Sara (aka Storm)
Keywords: Claire/John. Beech. Corruption. Hodges.
Summary: In the episode 'Room Service', Hodges told Claire to make the most of life's little pleasures. I'm sure this isn't quite what he had in mind though.
Archive: Anywhere else that wants it, just let me know first.
Spoilers: Based off the episode 'Room Service'. What if someone else was on the other side of the door?
Disclaimer: The Bill, and its characters don't belong to me. They never have and never will. I'm just playing with them for a bit. Can I please have John and Claire? They're not in the show anymore after all.
Author's Notes: This was written as a alternative version of some of the scenes in the episode 'Room Service'. All comments, questions and complaints in a review please. Pretty please with sugar on top.
Make the Most of Life's Little Pleasures
"Make the most of life's little pleasures," I mumble, repeating Hodges words from earlier today.
"You what?" asks John, moving closer towards me in the bubbles.
"Just something someone said to me earlier today," I mumble, relaxing into his arms.
We both let out a sigh of contentment, relaxing and enjoying ourselves. John then starts giggling uncontrollably obviously having thought of something funny.
"What?" I ask him, wanting to be let in on the joke.
"I just had a thought," John explains, "Imagine if Meadows could see us now; John, Claire, what are you doing in a Jacuzzi?" he imitates.
We both burst out laughing, glad he's not here to see us like this. What would he say?
We are rudely interrupted by a knock on the door. I wonder who that is.
"Did you invite him round?" I ask John, maintaining the joke, "You can come in Gov."
We both burst into fits of giggles.
"It's probably room service," says John, climbing out of the water and wrapping one of the hotel issue gowns around him, "are you hungry?"
"Starving," I say, waiting for him to go answer the door, before carefully stepping out of the water.
"What in the hell is going on? What do you think your doing?" I hear John shout from near the doorway.
I peer around the bathroom door and spot someone bursting into the room. "John, what's going on?" I ask making my presence known, and strongly wishing I hadn't when I notice who is now near the sofa.
Things are going from bad to worse here.
"Claire, when I said those things this morning, this isn't exactly what I had in mind," says the person, ignoring John and approaching me.
"Guv," I mumble knowing there's no easy way to explain this situation.
"Save the explanations, just get dressed, this is an emergency," Hodges demands.
"What's going on?" asks John, totally bewildered and getting rather angry at the intrusion.
"No time to explain, just get dressed both of you, we need to move, fast."
I blindly follow the orders I've been given, silently encouraging John to do the same. Within a few minutes we are both fully dressed and standing in front of Hodge's in the hotel lounge room.
"What's the emergency?" I ask.
"He's on to us, so we've got to move fast if we stand a chance of catching him," Hodges explains, knowing I'll understand what he's on about.
"Catching who? What's this all about?" John asks me.
"No time to explain," Hodges says directing us both out to the car park, where he's parked, "Get in," he instructs us both before pulling out of the parking lot, well above the speed limit.
We zoom down the roads of Canley, in silence, too shocked by what's happening to bother with conversation. I can see John still hasn't got a clue what's going on and is getting rather ticked off with Hodges. I silently watch the both of them, not wanting to say anything for fear of upsetting one of them.
We pull into a parking space in a secluded spot beside the river. "Stay here," Hodges informs us before getting out of the car and approaching a parked vehicle not far from our current location. I watch in fascination has Hodges speaks to whoever it is that's residing in the vehicle.
"What's going on Claire?" John asks me, breaking through the silence.
"I dunno," I respond truthfully, "but from the looks of it, some secret surveillance work, why they disturbed us though I'll never know."
Hodges returns to the car to give us more instructions, "Ok, he's moving north, towards the shopping centre. Chris will tail him, but we need to be available for backup."
"Backup what? Neither of us has got a clue what you're doing here, and what's the big idea anyway, it's supposed to be my night off?"
"Claire, Claire, Claire, in this line of work there's no such thing as a night off, I'm sorry for disturbing your little get together, but this is big; the biggest yet, this operation could make or break this case and I can't do it alone."
With that said, he gets into the car and drives off, this time heading in a familiar direction.
"Now where are we going?" I ask, losing my patients with this wild goose chase.
"Head office to get the GPS tracking equipment, then we can hopefully pin point his exact location, if that fails, we'll just have to hope Chris has got a good visual on him, enough so as not to lose him."
"I'm still confused," I mumble struggling to make sense of all of this.
Nobody comments as we pull into the CIB staff parking lot. Hodges gets out of the car, indicating for us to follow this time. He leads the way through the corridors to the equipment room. After unlocking the door, he rifles through the stuff on the shelves, passing various things to me and John who are standing in the doorway.
"Take those things through to my office and load up my laptop," he instructs us when he realises we are loaded with items.
I follow his orders without comment, leading John through more of the corridors, and towards Hodges office. Once inside the office, we deposit the items carefully onto the floor, then I step around to the other side of the desk to load up his laptop as instructed, hoping that he hasn't changed his password since I last used it.
I turn around to see John staring at the name plaque on the door, with his mouth hanging open. "CIB," he mumbles in shock.
I am saved from explaining when Hodges walks in the door. "Did you get my laptop on?" he asks me, walking around the desk to see for his self.
"Guv," I murmur, silently alerting him to John's curiosity about what's happening.
"Sit down," he instructs us both, motioning to the sofa behind us.
We do as we're told, eagerly awaiting more information.
"If you don't mind me asking," interrupts John, "Where are we? Who are you and what's going on?"
"John isn't it?" Hodges asks, receiving a nod in response before continuing, "Sorry to drag you into this like this, that was never my intention, but unfortunately I've got no choice in the matter at the moment. To answer your questions, not that you probably haven't already figured it out for yourself, this building is home to the Canley CIB offices, I'm Detective Superintendent Stephen Hodges, and you're here because you've accidentally got yourself caught up in one of our investigations. I need to keep an eye on you till this is sorted out encase you, inadvertely or otherwise, say something to the wrong person."
"I think I get that bit, but why did you simply barge in like that, couldn't you have said something or anything?"
"I had to get you both out of their as fast as possible for your own safety. As I tried to explain before, they're on to us, which puts all of our lives in danger. It's unlikely that they'll be able to link you to us, but I'm not taking any chances. These are very dangerous people, who won't hesitate to kill, in order to protect themselves."
"Who are these people your talking about, and how could they possibly connect you to me, I'd never even heard of you until tonight?" John asks.
"Through me," I answer, barely above a whisper, l look at Hodges for permission to continue, "they know you're close to me, and could have linked you that way, I never intended for things to go this far, but …"
"Got him," Hodges interrupts us, "it looks like he's heading straight for Sun Hill."
Hodges jumps up, grabbing various equipment from the floor, "Ok, you can either come with us, or stay here," Hodges says to John giving him a simple choice.
When he notices that I'm getting prepared to move, John agrees to come with us. "Nothing personal, but I wouldn't feel comfortable staying here on my own," John comments as his reasoning for joining us.
Nothing else is said as we grab the items we'll need and jump into the car, squealing out of the parking lot in the direction of Sun Hill police station.
We arrive outside the police station less than 15 minutes later, where we are met by various other CIB officers working on the case.
"Right lets move in," Hodges gives the order and everybody around us charges into the station.
I wrap my hand in John's to keep him close, knowing how dangerous this could turn out to be. Staying within the center of the group, we all head up towards the CID department office. When we arrive on the scene we see several CIB officers, pinning Don Beech against one of the desks. Hodges walks up to them, and gives them an order. Shortly afterwards we see them dragging Don out of the building and down to the awaiting cars.
John and I stay where we are, waiting for things to settle down a bit before deciding to move. Hodges approaches us, just before we get a chance to follow the others. "Good work, now we've just got to tie up all the loose ends," he says to me, "and I think we need to have a little chat," he adds, hinting to how he found us in the hotel room earlier tonight.
A few hours later, we're back in Hodges office and I'm busily trying to defend my earlier actions.
"I know you think I'm being harsh here Claire, believe me I don't like this anymore than you do, but it's got to be said," Hodges bellows.
"I don't see what the problem is here; I wasn't interfering with department resources, I was off the clock, and we were discreet. Nobody else even suspected a thing, so what's the big deal?" I argue, trying to get my point across.
"The point is you could have put this entire operation in jeopardy, whether you meant to or not. Sleeping with a potential suspect is just about the worst thing you can do in circumstances like these."
"John Boulton was never a suspect," I point out.
"Potential suspect Claire, it's still the same thing. It doesn't matter how you word it. Besides, forget about it now, the investigations over, so it doesn't make much difference anymore, but I want you to think carefully about what you're doing here. Is it really worth the risk?" Hodges explains before dismissing me from his office to return home.
I find John and quickly lead him out of the office and back towards his flat, where we settle down into the bed blankets to relax. We soon fall asleep in each others arms. This may not be Hodges meaning, but it is our way of making the most of life's little pleasures, when they come around.
Who ever would have thought that I could turn that simple saying into a story? Well I have now, and it may not be what I was originally planning, but it's certainly different.
What did you think?