Disclaimer: I don't own anything, I'm just borrowing things for a while and I promise I'll put everything back exactly how I found it when I've finished. Well, almost exactly how I found it. ;)
Foyle turned the collar on his coat up to ward off the chill in the night air. He knew walking home was probably a bad idea, but after the amount of Jack Daniels Captain Kieffer had drunk, Foyle didn't think it was a good idea for him to be driving. Besides, he enjoyed an evening stroll. It allowed him to imagine they weren't at war, that everything was normal again. But Foyle wasn't sure he wanted things to be 'normal'; that would mean he wouldn't have Sam in his life.
When he had watched her dancing with the young American, his heart had done somersaults beneath his expressionless exterior. Foyle had always been able to hide his feelings, but over the last two years he had gotten extraordinarily good at it. Two years. The one night he had spent with Sam. Nothing had happened, but just being able to hold her until the morning was like a dream come true for Foyle, and apparently for Sam too. But the first rays of light shattered that dream like a mirror and neither had spoken of the encounter again, true to their word.
Foyle had been surprised when Sam had announced that she and Andrew were walking out. He didn't even feel happy when she told him Andrew had broken up with her, because the American, Farnetti, had taken an obvious interest in Sam.
Foyle sighed. It seemed it was his fate, if you believed in such things, to only stand in the shadows and watch other men take the place that should be his. Of course, it was entirely possible that Sam didn't even want him now, if she ever really did. Perhaps it was Andrew she had wanted all along, and Foyle had just been a substitute.
The sound of a car approaching made Foyle stop and move as close to the wall as he could get. His pulse began to race slightly as the car slowed down and he quickly surveyed his surroundings, looking for the best place to hide.
He had just climbed over the wall and ducked down when the car stopped, and Foyle held his breath. Then he heard something. Could've sworn it was laughter. Must be the Jack Daniels.
"Sir?" a voice called softly, and Foyle frowned. He'd know that voice anywhere. But what was she doing out at this time of night?
He popped his head over the wall and looked at his driver. "Sam?"
Sam tried very hard not to laugh but she didn't quite manage it. The corners of her lips tugged mercilessly as she took in the image in front of her; Foyle's hat was slightly askew and he had a somewhat bewildered expression on his face. "Who were you hiding from, sir?"
"Er, who said I was hiding?" Foyle replied, standing up straight.
Sam was still battling to keep herself from even smiling. She was losing. "Well, sir, what else would you have been doing behind that wall?"
Foyle raised an eyebrow and gave his driver the 'leave it' glare. "What are you doing out at this time of night?"
Sam's mirthful expression quickly turned into one slightly more sheepish. "Ah, well, sir, I couldn't sleep."
"You couldn't sleep," Foyle repeated slowly.
"And you just happened to be driving this way?" he asked.
"Actually, sir, I thought you might like a lift home after all," Sam admitted.
"I see. And how did you find me?"
"I used my intuition, sir," Sam replied. "And I asked Brookie…I mean Sergeant Brook. He said he saw you leave with the American captain."
"I see," Foyle repeated. He couldn't think of anything else to say, so he occupied himself by climbing over the wall, which unfortunately didn't take very long, and he was faced with an uncomfortable silence again much sooner than he would have liked. "So, er, are you going to give me a lift home?"
"If you like, sir."
"Would you let me say no?"
Sam grinned. "Probably not, sir."
"Hmm. That's what I thought." Foyle opened the passenger door, climbed in, and shut it again. "Let's go, Sam."
"Right, sir." Sam started driving, her concentration fixed on the road ahead, and Foyle forgot what it was like to be alone with her, in silence at that, and off duty. To stop his thoughts from straying any further, he slumped down in his seat slightly, brought his hat forward, obscuring his eyes, and folded his arms.
"Wake me up when we reach my house, will you?" Foyle asked.
"Yes, sir," Sam replied.
"And if I start snoring, I apologise." As soon as the words left his mouth, Foyle mentally kicked himself good and hard. He had no idea what Sam thought about the night they had spent together, even if she thought about it at all, but that last thing he wanted to do was upset her. He blamed his thoughtless comment on the whisky he had drunk.
But Sam didn't seem bothered. "Not a problem, sir, I shall just start singing. I'm sure that will drown the sound out."
Her nonchalance surprised him, and all he could say was, "Er, right. Good."
The journey seemed to pass quickly and quite uneventfully, and before long, Sam was announcing their arrival at Foyle's house. "We're here, sir."
"Good. Thank you," he said as he unwound himself and got out of the car.
"I'll see you in the morning, sir," Sam said, once again taking the policeman by surprise. Usually she angled for a reason to come in, and especially after the news she had received today, Foyle thought Sam would be more insistent on at least accompanying him to the front door. But she seemed quite happy to just drive away; she wasn't even waiting for an invitation to enter the house, and that made Foyle want to ask her even more.
"Don't you want to come in?" he asked, sounding mildly astonished.
Sam smiled. "Thank you, sir, but I'd better be getting back. My landlady doesn't actually know that I sneaked out. I thought the car engine would wake her up but it didn't. Surprising, really, that she can sleep through that yet will wake up if one of us is back a minute after curfew." Sam had started to take the car home with her as her digs were too far away form the police station to the leave the Wolseley there and walk to it in a morning.
Foyle returned the smile. "I can imagine. Well, you could always…." He actually bit his tongue to stop himself from finishing that sentence, and unfortunately, he couldn't blame it on the Jack Daniels any longer as the nap during the drive had cleared his head.
But Sam already knew what he was going to say, and she looked at him both seriously and sadly. "Please don't say that, sir, unless you mean it," she told him in a quiet voice.
It seemed to be a night of surprises, and Foyle, who normally didn't like those things, took them all in his stride. He felt very proud of himself. He also made a firm decision about what he was going to do, and he knew he wouldn't regret it in the morning. Removing his hat and leaning into the car, Foyle said, "You can always stay here if you like. We can't have you getting into trouble."
"If it's alright with you, sir," Sam replied, smiling slightly.
"I wouldn't have said so otherwise, would I?"
"I suppose not, sir." Her face suddenly fell. "Oh, I can't. I haven't got anything with me."
Foyle quickly reassessed the situation and still came to the same conclusion. "I'm sure we can sort something out, Sam."
Sam realised that Foyle was all but insisting that she stayed, quite possibly with him, and it wasn't an opportunity she was about to pass up. "Well…thank you, sir, that's very kind of you."
"Good." Foyle pulled his torso out of the car and walked up to his front door. Sam locked the Wolseley up and followed the policeman, hesitating on the threshold to his house. This felt different than last time; this was planned, after a fashion. She knew there was still time to change her mind if she wanted to, but she didn't. Sam also didn't want Foyle to misread her hesitation.
As if he knew she was thinking about him, the policeman turned round. He saw his driver dithering on the step, and he wanted to reassure her without pressuring her into a decision. He finished taking his hat and coat off, hung them up, and walked back to the front door. "It's okay, Sam. I want you to stay because I don't like you driving around alone at night. And I'd like your company. And the spare room is made up, if you like."
Sam smiled. "Thank you, sir. You really are considerate," she replied without really thinking.
Foyle blinked in surprise at the compliment. "I try. Are you coming in then or are you just going to stand there and let all the cold air in?"
"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir." Sam slid passed him, taking her driver's hat off as she entered the house.
"Would you like a drink?" Foyle asked as he passed her again, heading towards the kitchen.
Sam followed. "Yes, please, sir."
"That would be lovely, sir. Thank you."
They sat in the kitchen and talked about the case they had just completed while they drank, then Foyle broached the subject his son breaking up with Sam. "I truly am sorry things didn't work out between you and Andrew," he said in a quite voice.
Sam looked at him unblinkingly. "Really, sir?"
Foyle allowed himself to reply with a rueful smile. "Well, Andrew would be preferable to the American, but that is only because Farnetti is, well, American."
Sam laughed. "I agree, sir. As I said this morning, they are very fresh."
"Too fresh?" Foyle asked, a small flame of hope flaring in his chest.
"I think so, sir. Joe is very nice and I enjoyed the dance very much, but he's no Clark Gable."
Foyle nodded and steered the conversation onto different topics. After a while, he noticed Sam attempting to yawn discretely and he smiled. "Tired, Sam?" he asked in a kind voice.
"A little, sir," she replied.
"Let's see about getting you something to sleep in, then. I don't have a spare toothbrush, though, I'm afraid," Foyle said as he walked upstairs. "At least I don't think I do."
"That's alright, sir, I'll manage." Sam waited by the spare bedroom door while Foyle went into his room and began rummaging through his drawers. He found a pair of pyjamas that he had never worn because they were too small, but he had never gotten round to getting rid of them.
"Will these be alright?" he asked as he handed the clothes to her.
Sam smiled. "I'm sure they will be, sir. Thank you."
"Well, good night, Sam."
"Good night, sir." There was an uncomfortable pause, something that was unknown to happen between the two of them. Foyle really wanted to show her into his room, to tell her to make herself comfortable in his bed, with him…. But then Sam smiled, walked into the spare room, and closed the door.
Foyle stared at the door for a moment or two, then went back downstairs. He tidied up the kitchen, leafed through the newspaper, and finally decided to go to bed himself. He didn't think he'd be able to sleep but he had to at least try.
It was his policeman's senses that woke Foyle some hours later. At first he didn't realise he'd fallen asleep, then he wasn't quite sure why he'd woken up. Finally he realised he could hear something, like a faint tapping. Frowning, Foyle sat up and groped about for the lamp. Once he had it lit, he realised someone was knocking gently on the door.
"Yes?" he said in a quiet voice, and the door opened. Sam's face peeked through the crack, and Foyle couldn't help the smile that appeared on his face. Her hair was down and around her face, and her eyes were looking at him somewhat sleepily.
"I, er, I, er," Sam stuttered. "I'm sorry, sir, I shouldn't have woken you." Her head disappeared but Foyle wasn't having any of that.
"Sam," was all he said, but it was enough. Her head reappeared and now she looked apprehensive, perhaps even scared. "What is it?"
"I couldn't sleep, sir, and I was thinking about what you said before," Sam replied, deciding honestly was the best policy.
"Which part?" Foyle asked. "And please, come into the room. I don't bite." *Hard*.
Sam smiled and ducked her head. "Yes, sir." She opened the door wider and pushed it to again once she was in the bedroom. "Well, when you said I could stay. I was wondering - and please don't think I'm being too forward - but did you mean stay in the house or…stay…with you? Sir," Sam added quickly.
Foyle looked at her thoughtfully, then patted the edge of the bed next to his hip. It was a good spot on the bed to sit; it wasn't too close to him that she would be invading his personal space, but it wasn't too far away either, which would make her feel uncomfortable. Sam sat down, hands clasped and resting against her knees, her head down. Foyle decided it was time to go against his character and be a man of action. He leant forward and put his finger under Sam's chin. She tensed at the sudden touch but soon relaxed, so Foyle knew it was only surprise that had made her freeze. He guided her face around so he could look at her, but even when she did, his finger didn't move.
"Sam, you and I both know how difficult things could get for us if we follow our hearts, but I've never been surer of anything. That night we spent together two years ago haunts me every day, but I knew it was a hopeless case. You would never see me as anything more than a father-figure, someone to protect you."
Sam suddenly looked quite indignant. "That's not true at all, sir. Yes, I want someone to protect me, but I want that person to be you. And I definitely do not think of you a father-figure." She blushed when she said that, leaving all sorts of things to Foyle's imagination. "I rather think of you as something more like…an equal, a partner."
"But you started walking out with Andrew, and then Farnetti. And now, suddenly, you're here with me, and I can't help but think…." It was Foyle's turn to be shocked as Sam silenced him with a finger against his lips.
"Don't say it, please. It isn't true."
"You think that because Andrew only broke up with me recently that I'm not over him. You're worried I'm using you as a replacement for Andrew, or even Joe," Sam told him, and she knew she was right by the look in Foyle's eyes. "Well, sir, I'm not. As I said, Joe is jolly nice but he isn't the right person for me. And as for Andrew…." Sam's voice trailed off.
"What about Andrew?" Foyle asked, having removed her finger from his lips, but he still had hold of her hand. His other hand was hovering under Sam's chin.
"Well, sir, truth be told, I was using him as a replacement for you."
The silence after that admission was deafening, and Sam thought she had gone too far. She was about to stand up when she felt Foyle's hand ghost over her cheek and tentatively cup her face.
"My dear Sam," he said quietly, but then his voice caught in his throat. He didn't know what else to say, so he decided to give the 'action' man thing a try, although he managed a few words. "You feel cold." He removed his hand from her cheek and lifted the bedcovers up. Still holding one of her hands, Foyle guided Sam into bed. "Better?"
Sam nodded. "Yes, sir. Thank you. It was rather chilly out there."
"Good." They were still holding hands, Foyle sat up, Sam lay on her side, but she wasn't close enough for the policeman. "Sam, I'm not very good with these situations, or with words or actions to make them go smoother."
"That's alright, sir. I'll let you know if you do something wrong," Sam said, and he could hear the mirth in her voice.
"Yes, I'm sure you will," he replied. "Are you comfy?"
"Not really, sir. Are you?"
"You're not? Oh." Foyle sounded despondent. "Er, no, I'm not really either. It is cold, isn't it?"
Sam smiled. "Why don't you lie down, sir?"
"Do you want the lamp leaving on?"
Sam shook her head. "No, sir. I don't intend on moving any time soon, and I think I'm safe here with you."
"Yes, you are," Foyle murmured as he turned the lamp out and snuggled back down under the covers, lying on his back.
"Is that better, sir?"
"Yes, Sam. What about you? Still not comfy?"
"You can move, you know."
Foyle wasn't prepared for the feeling of Sam's head on his chest, right under his chin. She snaked an arm across his torso, tucking it round his side. Foyle instinctively wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tightly into his side.
"Sir…I…." Sam paused to collect her thoughts and her strength. "Please don't let me go again."
"Well, I'll have to in the morning, Sam. We need to go to work," Foyle said lightly.
"You know what I mean," she told him in an uncharacteristically firm tone, pushing herself up to look down at him.
Foyle nodded gently and traced his fingers over her cheek. "Yes, Sam, I do. You know I can't promise anything."
"But, if you like, we can try."
Sam smiled. "I'd like that."
Action man was in charge of Foyle's body again as he guided her down to meet him, and when their lips brushed together, the sparks were like fireworks. Foyle didn't want to rush anything, but the kiss had a life of its own as it deepened and refused to end. When they finally pulled apart, Foyle looked carefully at Sam.
"Oh, tickety-boo, sir," Sam said, grinning broadly.
Foyle frowned. "I'm not sure I can cope with you calling me 'sir', Sam. Not in a situation like this."
"Well I'm not quite sure I could manage 'Christopher' at the moment," his driver replied.
"Hmm. Well, how about neither? For now."
"Yes, sir," Sam said, her expression impish as she lay her head back on his chest.
"You are utterly impossible, Miss Stewart," Foyle replied, shaking his head and trying desperately not to laugh.
"Yes, but you still love me." As soon as Sam had spoken, she wished she hadn't. It was a stupid thing to say and she didn't really mean anything by it as such.
Foyle felt his driver stiffen, and while he knew she hadn't said it in a serious way, it had hit home. He pulled her closer to his body and kissed the top of her head. "Yes, I do," he murmured quietly.
She held onto Foyle tighter, like he was her lifeline, her rock, and unbeknownst to Sam, Foyle was holding onto her for exactly the same reasons. She was his reason for everything now, and finally, they were both right where they belonged. Together, completing each other.