"So, how did it feel to be demoted to uniform?"
"Eh? What d'you mean? It's part of me job."
"You know...." DS Erin Gray lowered her voice and whispered conspiratorially to him. "He doesn't exactly work by the book now, does he."
"Not everything is by the book in this world. When you've been on the job long enough and have enough experience, you'll realize that."
It had only been temporary anyway, during the department investigation; and he'd always been proud of his badge and uniform, the outward symbols of his work. DS Justin Ripley felt privileged to work with DCI John Luther, had put in a request to and had eagerly followed up on its status way back in the beginning, he remembered with fondness, and was happy to be assigned to work with him again, once John returned from administrative leave. They had been cleared of any wrongdoing in connection with the death of DCI Reed; and John had needed time to mourn his wife, Zoe.
Justin was looking forward to resuming their working relationship. John's years of experience and abilities, both on the street and for forensics and criminology, were remarkable. A gift, and one that John did not always want. It was not about titles anyway; it was about the job. Navigating them through it all, of course it would wear on anyone, seeing the kinds of things they did. And for some, John was not a man who was easy to work with or to understand. Not that their relationship was without conflict at times. But having worked together for so long, Justin understood John's orders implicitly, almost without words needing saying; or perhaps it was just one of those relationships that had clicked, right from the start.
He took one last sip of cold coffee before leaving the police station.
"Mornin', guv." he said, meeting John at the police car. "Welcome back."
She would do whatever she could to help him. Alice Morgan didn't know what it was that drew her to him exactly, but she knew that she was her better self whenever she was with him; or at least the possibility of it.
Or perhaps it was just one of those relationships that had clicked, right from the start.