“She deserves it,” Sam urges, and you try not to look at him. This disgusts you. It’s not that you don’t like the bird. It’s not that you don’t think the bird would make an excellent DC - better than some on the force. Better than most, if you’re being honest.
“She’s got a degree in Psychology and she’s a hard worker. She could be invaluable in profiling criminals and solving cases.”
‘Bollocks,’ you think, and I have to agree. She’s got brains, and that’s a good thing in a bird, but book learning isn’t what solves cases. I can see your hand wavering on the desk, and I know before you do that you’re going to give in to him.
“We need another DC,” you sigh, and shake your head. “Fine, don’t say the Gene Genie is behind in the times. Bring her in. But you’re in charge of her. If she can’t handle it, you’re the one who’s got to bust her back down to the plonks.”
“She’ll be brilliant,” he enthuses. ‘Sure she will,’ you think, and then correct yourself. She will be brilliant. She already has been. Went from being a barely-competent plonk that can’t type and once bandaged the wrong ankle on a wounded bike plod, to a DC, in a little over a month. All it took was fluttering her eyelashes at the new DI who can’t manage to keep his personal life and his work separate. Doesn’t know boundaries. That was brilliant in an entirely skirt-like manner.
“I’m sure she will be,” you agree, and I can feel you reach out to caress me for reassurance. Your fingers are twitching and I know you’re upset. You won’t let it show of course because that’s not the way of things. You are a copper -- a good copper -- no matter what this smug little bastard says. You run a good team; they’re loyal to you and they work hard. You lead from the front and you ask no more of them than what you do yourself. You fought your way up every rung of the ladder and it shows in the clearance rate you have on cases: the number of criminals you’ve put away and the number of victims you’ve helped by letting them know that the people that hurt them will never do it again. It shows in the graves you and I have stood over and apologized that you didn’t get the bastards before they did this to them; in the way you promise you’ll make them pay for it.
All this little git sees are your bad habits. The way you let the paperwork slide a bit because there are more important things to take care of then filling out requests in triplicate. Because criminals don’t take the time to fill out reports, they just move on to the next way to tear apart this city and destroy more lives.
The way you let this job be personal - because no matter what he tells you, it is personal. It’s personal when you have to see widows cry and scream that their men aren’t coming back. It’s personal when you see children whose daddies and mummies aren’t coming home to tuck them in that night. It’s personal when you have to tell a parent that they are going to do the one thing no one should ever do - bury a child they brought into the world. Every single bit of that is personal.
Me. I’m a bad habit to Sam Tyler. Something you shouldn’t do. Something you should cut back on. Like I’m somehow worse than screwing plonks or mistaking eagerness in the bedroom as qualification to be a detective. He complains about your failings and doesn’t even recognize his own. Doesn’t complain about the one failing you have that actually does hurt your abilities as a DCI. Doesn’t even see it for all he’s a supposedly brilliant DI.
You watch as he pulls her into CID and introduces her to the rest of the team as the newest member. Let the bastard take credit for being so enlightened that he brings his girlfriend to work with him so he can flirt on the job. Your fingers twitch as you just nod, stone-faced, and retreat to your office. No one can tell that this is the Gene Genie’s best poker face. You run your thumbs over me absently and I know your heart is breaking. Not breaking - broken. Shattered like a piece of glass and the bastard’s holding the hammer with a smug smile on his face.
You wait until everyone else leaves at beer o’clock. Chris and Ray have only been gone a moment or two but you can see the self-righteous little bastard and the slag are already wrapped around each other. She looks cautiously at your office, the blinds drawn, not realizing you can see them through the slats. You see her lean up to kiss him chastely on the cheek, see his hand reach round to squeeze her arse. You and I both know that if he doesn’t get an extra special reward for her promotion tonight then he’s twice as brain-dead as we first thought.
You hear them leave the office and take a few moments to collect yourself. Light a fag, reach for your coat, pat me lovingly. I know where you wish you were; whom you wish you were with. Know that I only have you because what you want is so close, but yet just out of your reach.
You are a voyeur into their lives together and even now you know how it’s going to end. How it’s going to fall apart because really -- she has what she wants from him and now it’s on to a bigger prize. Tyler won’t take her any further up the career ladder, and doesn’t have the pay packet for the things she wants.
She’s proved herself to the shrink though, that poof in the brown jacket and wire rims. She’s proved she doesn’t need to be “taken care of” by a man, and now he’ll respect her as a career woman even while he’s persuading her to quit work so they can start a family. He just doesn’t realize it yet.
Neither of them does, really -- your DI or the shrink. The fine detective doesn’t realize that the shrink is one of the “friends” she so frequently goes to see and that usually it’s “friend” singular and not plural when the shrink is involved. The shrink, well, he’s too stupid to even notice that someone else might be in the equation.
You know how it will end and you know you’ll have to pick up the pieces. The git will probably come to you and cry about it. Sob like a little girl, and you’ll pour him a drink and tell him to act like a man. You’ll get him pissed and toss him onto that camp bed of his and sit in the chair all night watching him sleep.
You’re not a voyeur into their lives - you’re a voyeur into his. You’re a moth to the flame that sparks in that bastard’s smug little smile. Like all flames though, it consumes what it nurtures if given the chance. You’re too smart to give it the chance; too afraid to put everything out like you did with your wife and watch as it’s trampled on until you’re left with nothing but me and a gaping hole in your chest that you don’t know how to fill anymore. Until you’re left with cracks in your armor that together you and I will fill as best we can.
See, while you’re a voyeur into his life, I’m a voyeur into yours. Can’t help it really. You take me everywhere. You hold me, caress me; warm me with the beating of your heart. How did you expect me not to feel so protective of that heart and the man it belongs to? I never had a chance against them. I took a bullet for you, and no matter how loyal they are none of the rest of your team has done that - deep down you wonder if they would. If the git, the bastard, Sam, would do that like I did. Hopefully we’ll never know, because those are cracks I don’t think I could fill either way.
You bring me to your lips and swallow deeply as I revel in knowing that I’m the only thing that touches them. The only one who knows how soft they are. No matter what happens we’ll still be together, and I don’t know if that comforts you but it does comfort me.