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Chivalry

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They're just little things he does, probably doesn't even notice that he's doing them half the time. After all, Alesha didn't even notice it in the beginning, how he'd always hold the door open for her, stepping back so she could go through first; how he always insisted on buying the first round when they ended up in the pub after a tough case. 

She noticed it more when they actually started dating, because that's when Matt began insisting on paying for everything, which irritated her a little bit - she had her own money, she told him on more than one occasion, she could spend it on him if she wanted. Every time without fail though, he just gave her a little smile that made her knees go weak and a little shrug, all "what can you do?" and just like that, she found her irritation disappearing like the morning dew. 

She began noticing him holding the door for her, chiefly because he'd use the excuse of following her to ghost his hand down along her spine, letting it linger ever so lightly on the small of her back. The goose pimples that touch left in its wake were something she couldn't ignore, and from the grin on his face, he knew just how he was affecting her. 

The bastard. 

Now there are a million more little things he does that she notices, that make her smile. Holding her coat for her, the way he gently pulls her hair out when it's trapped in the collar. Making her a cup of tea first thing in the morning, warming her side of the bed last thing at night. 

Saving her life, pushing her out of the path of a bullet and nearly getting himself killed was a bit over the top, she always tells him. She tries to be teasing about it but she thinks it's going to be a long time before she pulls that off. 

But that's ok, because they've got all the time in the world. 

She reminds herself of that first thing every morning when she's retching into the toilet bowl, when she feels him hold back her hair, when she takes a glass of water from his outstretched hand and rinses her mouth. 

"I hate you, you know," she tells him and he smiles that little smile that still makes her knees go weak and makes her glad she's kneeling on the floor. 

"Yeah," he tells her with a shrug, all "what can you do?" "Me too."