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. ;)
The atmosphere in the office was somewhat subdued as everyone packed up the notes for the case. Boyd had given Spencer a few more days off to spend with his family, but also to keep him out from underfoot while they made sure Peverell wasn't going to worm his way out of a conviction. Boyd wanted complete closure this time, not only for Spencer, but for himself as well.
"Right, that's me all done," Frankie announced, walking into the squad room and clasping her hands together. "Who's up for a drink?"
"Ooo, I wouldn't say no," Grace said, flicking the lights off in her office and closing her door. "Mel? Drink to celebrate your promotion?"
Boyd could hear his colleagues talking and he felt a pang of guilt as he was reminded how Mel's promotion had fallen to the side because of the case, and Spencer's personal involvement with it.
Mel smiled at them. "Thanks, but I've got to finish up here, and with Spence away, it's going to take me twice as long."
Boyd came out of his office, his tie and jacket long since discarded. "It's alright, Mel, I can do the rest. You go and enjoy yourself."
Frankie and Grace exchanged 'blimey' looks. "I'd say yes quick, Mel, before he changes his mind," the scientist joked.
"He let Spence off for a few days, he's letting Mel go early," Grace murmured. "Do you think he's ill?"
Boyd glared at them "*He* is still here."
Grace nodded. "Yes, we'd noticed."
"Thanks, guys, but I'd rather get this lot finished," Mel said, gesturing to the scattered paperwork on the desks.
"Your promotion won't disappear if you don't do the work today, you know," Frankie told her friend.
"I know, but if I don't do it now, and we get another case…."
"True. Last chance…."
Mel smiled again and shook her head. "Thanks. Maybe another night."
"We'll hold you to that," Frankie said, smiling back.
Grace looked at Boyd. "What about you? Fancy a drink?"
"Someone's got to lock up," he replied with a weary smile.
"Come on, Grace, you know Boyd sleeps in his office," Frankie said.
"I just thought I'd ask," Grace replied. "Well, I guess we'll see you both tomorrow."
"Night," Mel said.
"Enjoy yourselves," Boyd added.
There was an awkward moment when the two of them were left alone. "So…," Mel started with a shrug.
Boyd nodded. "So. If you need me, I'll be in here." He gestured to his office and smiled. "I'll leave the door open."
Not ten minutes later, Boyd was back out in the squad room. "I'm no good at this."
"Sir?" Mel asked, frowning.
"It's sort of my fault we never made it for a meal to celebrate your promotion, and now I've given Spence a few days off, it means you're stuck with the extra workload," Boyd said. "You should be out celebrating."
"I don't mind, Boyd, really." Mel shrugged. "Like Frankie said, my promotion's not going anywhere."
"I know, but…." Boyd ran a hand through his hair. "Why don't we order in?"
Mel blinked in surprise. "Order in?"
"Yeah," Boyd replied, smiling. "Whatever you want. Chinese, Italian, Indian, whatever. And some alcohol. If you want."
Boyd held his hand up. "Forget it. Bad idea."
Mel frowned. "Actually, *sir*, I was going to say that would be nice. Thank you."
"Oh. Right. You know what you want to order?"
Mel's frown turned to a grin. "And the place I want to order it from....speed dial one," she said, holding her mobile up.
Boyd nodded, his face straight. "Of course it is. You'd better tell them to come around the back, otherwise I'll get into trouble," he said, walking back into his room
An hour later, Boyd's usually tidy office looked like a student living room with empty containers and beer bottles all over the floor. He had been surprised when Mel presented him with Guinness to drink; he was expecting wine or some sort of pilsner, not a full-bloodied beer. He didn't voice his astonishment, though; he wanted to live.
"So, Detective Sergeant Silver, what's next for you?" Boyd asked the young woman next to him. Both were slumped on his couch, sat practically shoulder to shoulder.
"Inspector, I think," Mel replied.
"You should get that without a problem, I think," Boyd told her sincerely.
"Yeah, not before Spence, though."
Boyd nodded in understanding. "Maybe one day Grace can explain to me why he's got a ten tonne chip on his shoulder."
"I think even she might struggle," Mel replied with a smile, then she gestured at the mess before them. "Thank you for this, sir."
"Mel, there's no one else around. You can manage 'Boyd', can't you?" he asked. "You don't have trouble usually."
Mel laughed. "Alright, Boyd."
"Good. And you're welcome, although I don't think this was how you wanted to celebrate your promotion, with only my miserable company."
She hit him on the shoulder. "You're not miserable. Yeah, it would have been nice if the rest of the team was here, but there's plenty of time for that. This was…nice."
Boyd glanced sideways at her. "I sense a 'but'. Is there a 'but'?"
Mel looked embarrassed. "It's nothing."
"It's something. Try me."
Boyd stared for a moment while the word percolated his brain. He was certain there was more to the sentence than that single word, but Mel's voice didn't seem to want to say them. It didn't matter, though; for once, he understood what she was asking.
Standing and kicking the rubbish to one side, Boyd bent at the waist and extended his hand. "My lady."
Mel managed to look even more embarrassed. "Boyd…."
"No one else around. And if someone sees, blame it on the drink," he replied, a mischievous glint in his eyes.
"Alright. As long as you don't mind me standing on your toes," Mel said, taking his hand and noting with surprise how warm and soft it was beneath her fingers. "I don't dance very well."
"Neither do I, so we'll both be hobbling tomorrow," Boyd told her. "May I?"
Mel giggled; there was nothing else for it. "You may."
Boyd smiled and placed a hand gently on her waist. Slowly he started to sway them to the invisible music, moving in small circles around his office. Feeling brave, Mel slid both hands around his neck and rested her head on his shoulder, listening to his heart beat through the thin fabric of his shirt, the heat radiating from his body warming her through.
Boyd moved his hands up a little and laced his fingers together, resting them in the small of Mel's back. He pressed his lips to her hair briefly before putting his cheek on the top of her head, breathing in deeply. He wasn't sure if Mel needed him to be a friend, a father, or something more, but at that moment in time, he didn't care. All Boyd knew was she was holding onto him fairly tightly and he wasn't about to let her go. In time to a silent beat, they carried on slow dancing around the room.