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Lewis hadn't expected their first case back after their little trip down under to be anything like this one. Not in a bloody month of Sundays.

To be fair about it, he supposed he hadn't expected any of their cases at any point between Oz and retirement to be anything like it. He'd expected the usual: murder and all that, honestly, since it'd turned out to be their bread and butter. Maybe he hadn't set out to be a copper once upon a time with some deep desire to puzzle out whodunnit like a game of bloody Cluedo, mostly because he'd imagined a uniform and chasing after burglars in balaclavas instead of this, but it wasn't like he'd got his eye on a transfer. Besides, better a miserable old bastard he knew than a new one he didn't.

Still, that didn't change the fact that he hadn't expected this. Even if he'd ended up investigating drugs and guns and working girls on a daily basis instead of the usual bevy of suspicious deaths, he still wouldn't have expected this.

"Are you ready, Lewis?" Morse asked, as they were sitting on the tired old settee in his tired old living room. They were both cradling what very little was left of a very large glass of whiskey each and honestly, even with that in him still almost burning his throat, he wasn't all that sure about his answer.

"I don't know, sir," he replied. "It just seems a bit extreme, like. I'm surprised we got the go-ahead, if I'm honest."

Morse sat back. He lifted his glass, scowled at it as he realised it was basically empty, and plonked it down on the table with an irritated flourish. He glanced sideways at Lewis. "You'll recall I did tell you I could find someone else," he said.

Lewis muttered something not terribly charitable under his breath about liking to think he'd done that hypothetical someone else a favour, but the fact of it was the idea of the bloody old curmudgeon asking anyone else to take his place did funny things to his interior. It just didn't seem right, his DCI finding some promotion-hungry lad from some other division to run on like a late game substitution when Lewis was perfectly capable of handling it himself. And, to be fair, the plan made more sense with him in it. It just seemed, well, extreme.

"It might be easier if it's someone I don't know," Morse said.

"For you or for me, sir?" Lewis asked.

"Both of us, sergeant, if you're going to maintain that particular facial expression."

"It's just, I've not done that much undercover work," Lewis said. "It doesn't come all that natural." He polished off his last few drops of whiskey and then set the glass down, too, just with less dramatic flair. He frowned. "Have you, sir? Done much undercover work, that is."

Morse sighed. He rested his head back on the back of the settee and closed his eyes. He rubbed his face with both hands.

"I suppose I was sent to a boys' school once," he said.

"I'd've thought you were a bit old for a boys' school, sir."

Morse cracked one eye open between his fingers. "As a master, Lewis," he replied, with a surprisingly withering look considering his one-eyed squinting. "Not as a pupil." He closed his eye again. He rubbed his face again then dropped his hands into his lap. "You know, if we're going to go through with this, we should do it and get it over with."

"What, and then things can go back to normal?"


"Then we should probably get on with it."

Lewis stood; Morse looked up at him with his brows raised; Lewis nodded, firmly, his hands on his hips. Morse stood himself up with an irritable groan and, once he'd stretched, they made their way to the stairs.

"Have you got the camera, sir?" Lewis asked, and Morse stopped halfway up the stairs to turn and look at him.

"I thought you had it."

"I must've left it in the car." Morse raised his brows pointedly. Lewis sighed. "I'll just go get it, then," he said, and he turned around to head back down. He took the car keys as he heard Morse continue up the stairs and when he came back in and locked the front door behind him, camera in hand, either Morse was already upstairs or else he'd had the good sense to leg it out the back door and vanish into the night. Lewis wouldn't exactly have blamed him, considering he'd thought about just getting in the driver's seat and speeding off back into town instead of just fishing the borrowed camera out of the boot. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been so bloody nervous, except maybe his sergeant's exam.

He jogged up and went into the bedroom and Morse was sitting there on the end of the bed. He'd taken his jacket off and hung it up on the back of the door and he'd unlaced his shoes and toed them off where he was sitting, and he looked at Lewis with his brows raised as he sat there, leaning forward, his elbows to his knees. Lewis had the camera in his hands, both of them, like he half expected it to make a run for it at any moment, and Morse's eyes went down to it. Lewis gripped it tighter and made himself jump like a proper ass when he accidentally pressed the button and a undeveloped Polaroid picture made its way out.

"We won't have any film left if you keep that up, Lewis," Morse said drily, and Lewis set the photo and the camera both down on the dresser with Morse's wallet, two pairs of nice cufflinks and a suspiciously crumpled-looking bowtie. When he looked back, Morse was pulling at his tie round his collar almost like it was nothing out of the ordinary, almost like he was just as comfortable with that as anything else the two of them did together, from interviewing suspects to a pint down the local pub. Except there was something about the tension in the corners of his mouth that Lewis had a feeling meant he wasn't comfortable at all. It wasn't like Morse not to express his displeasure somehow. Frankly, that just made Lewis even more nervous.

"Well, are you just going to stand there?" Morse asked, once his tie was off and in his hands, and Lewis winced as he started to undress himself. It maybe wasn't the strangest thing he'd ever done, as he took off his suit jacket and folded it over the back of a chair next to the window with its curtains Morse had either already closed or just left shut from that morning, but it would've definitely been in the top ten if he'd thought that much about it. They'd had strange cases before but mostly those hadn't required anything like this - Lewis thought he'd remember having to strip off in front of the miserable old sod in the name of solving a murder.

Their suspect was a member of a very exclusive club with very particular criteria for membership. The idea was, Morse would get himself accepted; the reality was, the club wanted collateral from him to prove he wouldn't go shouting their other members' names about town. They'd said they'd accept Polaroids of him with a homosexual lover that they'd keep on file, just in case, and Morse said they'd get the photos back when the job was done and they'd burn them, so no one else would ever have to know. They didn't even have to pretend to be anyone else, so calling it 'undercover work' seemed a bit much - Chief Inspector Morse and Detective Sergeant Lewis were just the sort of men who might be members, apparently, with a little tweak to the nature of their relationship to make them secret lovers. Then they'd have all the access they needed to get the man who'd killed three gay men in as many months banged up for life.

It was a good cause, Lewis thought. It was just a terrible idea, but for weeks they hadn't been able to come up with anything better and it seemed simple enough - they just needed to do enough to take photos of, though in one very awkward conversation in the front seats of Morse's car parked in a lay-by they'd discussed artistic sleight of hand and realised they wouldn't get away with it. They photos had to look convincing and they only had one go at it, which meant they'd have to be real.

Lewis untied his shoes and stood on each heel in turn to get them off. Lewis took off his tie and put it on the dresser. Morse took off his socks and unbuttoned his shirt and Lewis tried not to look at him as he started on his own. It was a terrible idea. His pulse was racing. His fingers felt cold and fumbled at his buttons.

"You're making a pig's ear of that, to say you're a grown man presumably capable of dressing himself," Morse said, and he stood up and moved towards him, and Lewis couldn't think of a single thing to say as Morse shooed his hands away and undid the buttons for him. He just stood there dumbly, almost staring at Morse who was standing there with his bare feet on the carpet in his trousers and a vest. He nudged him once the buttons were open and Lewis turned round in a circle, letting Morse pull the shirt off his arms. Then Morse untucked Lewis's vest and pulled it up. The back of his fingers skimmed against his skin. Lewis shivered. Morse's mouth twisted wryly. His hands dropped down to Lewis's belt, except once it was open he stepped away. He came back again with the camera. He handed it to Lewis.

"You'll need this," he said, and Lewis couldn't help but think Morse's cheeks looked flushed as they looked at each other. The light was on, and two lamps were on, and they'd left the light on on the landing outside, so the pictures would pick everything up properly and not just be a dark blur, but that meant Lewis could see him and, more than that, it meant it was very hard to pretend he was with anyone other than DCI Morse. He fumbled with the camera, trying to concentrate on the buttons as Morse unzipped his fly for him. He could feel his own cheeks flushing as Morse pulled his trousers down over his hips and took his boxers down with them, exposing him down to his knees. He was already half hard underneath them, embarrassingly enough, not that he really knew why or that Morse said anything about it. Thank God for small mercies and all that.

They hadn't talked about what they were going to do, probably from some sense of self-preservation because a conversation like that in the office or the car or the pub or Morse's living room settee wasn't something Lewis would've liked to have attempted. He'd given it a bit of thought himself, he supposed, and there were a couple of things it made sense for them to choose, but then Morse went down on his knees on the carpet in front of him and Lewis's eyebrows made a dash for his hairline. Morse wrapped one hand around Lewis's cock and stroked and made him shiver. It didn't take long for him to stiffen up completely. He told himself Morse would say that was just a normal physiological response. He supposed it was at that.

He took a photo of Morse on his knees with his hand around his penis, and he dropped it down onto the bed over Morse's shoulder. Then Morse leaned in and Lewis's eyes went round as saucers as Morse's tongue touched the tip of his erection. Morse licked his lips then he took the head of Lewis's cock into his mouth and Lewis stared because he could honestly have said he hadn't expected that at all. He'd thought maybe they'd feel each other up in front of a mirror so they could get both of them in the picture or maybe he'd be the one on his knees, but Morse sucked, his tongue teasing at the tip, and as he looked up with his mouth pulled tight around an inch of Lewis's erection, he took another picture. It gave Lewis butterflies. It made his cheeks feel hot.

There was a full-length mirror on the front of the wardrobe door; Morse gestured to it and Lewis took the hint; the next picture he took was the two of them in it, with one of Morse's hands around Lewis's cock and one around his own. Lewis had no idea when Morse had undone his own trousers but there it was: he was tossing himself off as he sucked Lewis's cock and that should've been enough, Lewis thought - they had the pictures they needed. Except then Morse bobbed his head and took him deeper and Lewis groaned out loud. When he came in Morse's mouth with a surprised sort of shout not even a minute later, he still had the camera in his hand, but he didn't take any more photos with it. When Morse came, he still had Lewis in his mouth. When he pulled back, they looked at each other. Lewis coughed. Morse stood. When he turned his back, he complained about his knees. Lewis wasn't sure if that was strange or not, good or not, but he turned around and he put his clothes back on. In the mirror, he could see Morse do the same.

"Can I get you another drink?" Morse asked, when all their clothes were back in place, and Lewis watched him turning off the lamps.

"I think I'd best be going, sir," he replied, and ducked his head with an apologetic smile. Morse nodded. So, Lewis left.

The plan had been to get Morse access to the club and find the man who'd killed a local MP's son, not to mention two others. Morse handed in their photographic collateral and waited; two days later, he swore under his breath as he got into the car.


Morse sighed. He fastened his seatbelt.

"They want more," he said, irritable about it in a way that was even more than usual. He patted the bag sitting on his knee; when he unzipped it, there was a video camera inside, and Lewis's stomach started to perform death-defying feats of acrobatics.

"What, you mean because we're coppers?"

Morse did something with his face that was more grimace than smile but involved recognisable elements of both. "Yes, Lewis," he said. "Because we're coppers."

Lewis started the car. His hands went tight at the steering wheel as he pulled out of the car park. It made sense, he supposed, because who wanted a couple of Thames Valley police officers snooping about unless you were really bloody sure of them? He followed the road away from the station, wondering what more meant, but he had a feeling he knew.

He thought about it as he drove, with his eyes firmly on the road, about Morse's bed in Morse's bedroom in Morse's house, maybe after a couple of drinks, just enough to take the edge off but not enough that he'd forget to press the button on the camcorder. He'd thought a few times about what had happened the last time, and he'd told himself it was normal to think about it considering it was something so different from normal. Maybe it was even normal to think about it when he was getting a shower in the morning before work, leaning against the tiles with one hand between his legs. Maybe that was just how he was dealing with it, but he could feel his cheeks starting to get warm.

"We'll just have to be more convincing, then," he said. He even sounded like his usual upbeat self.

"You're sure about that?" Morse asked.

"As sure as I'm likely to get, I'd say."

"That's not a resounding endorsement, Lewis."

"Well, it's not how I thought I'd be spending my evening when I got up this morning."

"I could still find someone else, if it's going to have such an adverse effect on your social life."

At the traffic lights, Lewis glanced at him with a frown. "Is that what you want, sir?" he asked. "To find someone else, I mean. Maybe with a bit more experience? I wouldn't take it personally if--"



"No, I don't want to find someone else."

"Oh. Right, then."

"The lights, Lewis."


Morse gestured out of the windscreen. "Green generally means go," he said, and Lewis smiled sheepishly as he took the handbrake off and set off again.

It was dark by the time they pulled into Morse's drive and when they got inside, Morse toting the camera, he offered Lewis a drink. When he accepted, Morse poured whiskey into a small glass until it was full enough that it almost spilled all over his hands and the floor and maybe the settee. Morse sucked a drop or two off his thumb and Lewis watched him do it, feeling a tingle of something in places he probably shouldn't have as he tried not to choke on his drink.

"So, what are we going to do?" Lewis asked. Morse frowned; Lewis flapped one hand in the direction of the camera.

"Well, I think it's clear what they're looking for," Morse replied, when he'd caught on. "Is that a problem?"

"Well, no. It's just I've never..." Lewis shrugged. "Well, you know. With a man."

"But you understand the general mechanics?"

"I suppose I've got an idea which bits go where."

Morse gave him a brief, pained smile. "Then it should be over in no time," he said, then he knocked back his glass, set it down on the coffee table and stood. "Shall we?"

Lewis downed his whiskey with a wince then stood himself up, too. "Well, there's no time like the present," he said. Morse nodded and turned to leave the room. Lewis picked up the camera and then followed. He took it out of the case and put it down on the dresser.

"You don't have to look so nervous," Morse said, as they started to undress. "It's only sex, for God's sake. I'm not going to tie you up and read you Byron."

"Or make me listen to Brahms?"

Morse raised his brows. "A bit of Brahms would do you good, Lewis," he said, and he took off his shirt. "But I don't think we need a soundtrack."

Lewis chuckled in spite of himself and they kept on undressing, piling their clothes on the dresser and the chair next to it, glancing at each other as they bared more and more skin with each thing they took off.

"Have you got any, err..." Lewis said, once they were naked, grimacing awkwardly as he rubbed his hair with one hand. Morse gave him a rather disparaging look and went to the bedside cabinet and came back with a box of condoms and a tube of some sort of lubricant. Lewis took the condoms, turned the box in his hand, and raised his brows. "You know, it says these expired in 1987," he pointed out.

"Well, I've been busy," Morse said, his tone and the look on his face somewhere between irritable and flippant. He looked at Lewis with his hands on his hips. "Do we actually need them?"

Lewis looked down at the box in his hands, then he looked at Morse, then he looked back down at the box again. He felt that same tingle of something not quite proper as he thought about what Morse was saying - logically, he supposed it maybe didn't make much difference if they used one or not, at least not if they were both sure they weren't going to give each other a dose of the clap. Logically, all it was was a bit more mess to clean up after, but somehow the presence or absence of a thin layer of latex between them seemed to make a world of difference. It turned out he had a preference.

"I think we're fine without," Lewis said, and he put the box down on the dresser. "I should probably..." He patted the camera and Morse nodded.

"I'm ready when you are."

Lewis surveyed the buttons, took a breath, then pressed record. And when he turned round, his eyes went wide. Morse was on the bed, on his hands and knees, and in one hot, blushing moment Lewis understood they'd had very different ideas about what was going to happen. It wasn't that he minded, he was just sort of surprised and after a second he joined him on the bed, shuffling up behind him. He ran his hands over the sides of Morse's thighs, his hips, up to his waist, as he felt his cock start to stiffen. He stroked himself with one hand, quickly, just enough to help him on his way to an erection, and he rested it against Morse's arse.

"Are you going to get on with it?" Morse asked. "I don't have all night."

"What, you've got other plans?" Lewis replied. He reached for the lubricant that Morse had left sitting on the mattress and unscrewed the cap.

"Well, not exactly..."

"So you've got all night, then."

Morse harrumphed. Lewis chuckled. Then he squeezed out some lube down the length of his cock and rubbed it around with his hand to get a not very even spread. It all felt not completely real when he got some more on his fingers and spread Morse's cheeks, and he rubbed the pad of his thumb against the hole between them. Morse shifted, moving his knees a bit wider apart, and Lewis felt his stomach flutter. Then he guided the head of his cock into place and paused to take a breath before continuing.

He slipped out of place the first couple of times but third time lucky, he supposed; he felt the tip of his cock push in, and he kept going, putting it in him in fractions of an inch by fractions of an inch with shuffles of his knees and not very steady shifts of his hips. He could hear the camera, and he could hear Morse's breath, and he could feel him all hot and tight around the length of him. He'd never done it with a man before - he hadn't lied about that back downstairs in the living room - and he'd never really felt like having a woman from behind like that since it seemed sort of, well, impolite, if he was honest about it.

But he gripped Morse's hips with both his hands and he rocked his own hips against him and he supposed he had to admit the reason he'd never done it with a man was less about politeness, and less about what he thought he might like, and more about opportunity. He bit his bottom lip and he closed his eyes and he moved in him slowly. Morse groaned and pushed back to meet him, taking him deeper each time. Maybe Morse was a miserable old sod sometimes, but Lewis often thought he was lonely, too, his heart went out to him. It just turned out sympathy wasn't the only thing he'd got for him. Apparently he'd got a stiff one for him, too. He probably should've been more surprised about that.

At some point, as they did it, Lewis moved one of his hands from one of Morse's hips and reached forward, reached down, and wrapped his fingers round him. He was hard, and Lewis couldn't help but think that normal physiological responses be damned: he'd done that. Morse had been clear that he didn't want to go stalking round the station to pick up someone else to put on camera, and that was probably pragmatism or something but it was easy enough to chalk it up to something else.

Lewis stroked him, overhand with his knuckles on top and his fingertips stroking the thick vein underneath because it was just easier that way, and his shoulder ached but the way Morse's arse pulled tight around him as he groaned and pushed against his hand, it was nice. He felt a sort of warm satisfaction flush through his cheeks and his neck and his chest and a warm tickle of pleasure flush through his cock and his bollocks and the odd space behind them where he liked to press his fingertips sometimes when he felt the urge to have a crafty wank. He could feel his own arsehole pulling tight and the fact was, he wouldn't have minded very much if Morse had wanted to be the one doing the buggering. Maybe it would've felt okay. Maybe he'd've liked Morse to want to do that to him, stupid as that sounded in his head.

One of Morse's hands closed over his and made him grip him tighter. Morse's breath hitched and Lewis felt Morse's cock pulse against his palm as he swore under his breath and came on top of the duvet. Lewis felt Morse going tight around him frankly that was all it took to do it for him, too; a few more shallow thrusts and he pushed in deep and clenched his teeth to muffle the groan as he came in him. All his limbs felt pleasantly warm and heavy and he leaned his head back as he tried to catch his breath.

Then he pulled away. He pulled out. He sat back on his heels and Morse grumbled under his breath as he did the same and the next thing Lewis knew, before he realised he'd meant to move at all, he'd shuffled up behind him and wrapped his arms around his waist. He turned his head and rested his temple against the crown of Morse's head. Morse's hands settled at his arm. He could feel Morse's pulse beating a bit too fast, and he couldn't say he minded the bit of extra padding round his middle because honestly, it wasn't like he was in tip-top shape himself. Morse was still Morse, though; after a minute or so, he twisted and looked at Lewis over his shoulder, one-eyed.

"As pleasant as this is, we should probably stop the tape," he said, and Lewis nodded, faintly embarrassed at having to be told, before he clambered off the bed to go press stop. He didn't turn back after that. He wiped himself off on a towel hanging over the radiator then started putting his clothes on.

"Can I get you another drink?" Morse asked, when he was wrapped up in a dressing gown that looked like it belonged in the 70s.

"Thanks, but I'd probably best get going," Lewis replied, and Morse nodded, and Lewis left the camera where it was and made his way downstairs. And when he got home, he sat there in the driver's seat in the dark with his forehead against the steering wheel. All he could think about for one long, ridiculous, breathless moment was that when he'd left, Morse had still had his semen inside him. Maybe he still had then, too. It shouldn't have mattered or it should've been disgusting, but he went inside and got straight in the shower and when he leaned his forehead against the wet tiles instead of his steering wheel, and when he wrapped his fingers around himself - overhand, like he'd done with Morse, he was still thinking about the moment he'd come in him. Morse hadn't even seemed particularly fazed, not like he was.

The next day, he went to work and told himself to put it all out of his mind; he had plenty of paperwork to be getting on with while Morse grumbled at the crossword, so he got stuck in and maybe, for a while, it helped.

The second day, Morse came in about eleven with an unreadable grimace on his face.

"Bad news, sir?" Lewis asked, looking up from his paperwork. Morse turned the grimace on him. Lewis grimaced back. "Don't tell me they want more."

"Oh, no, we've been accepted," Morse replied. "We'll go in for an official welcome tomorrow afternoon."

"So they watched it, then?"

Morse gave him a sort of pained nod. "Enough to make their minds up."

"They believed it?"

Morse smiled wanly. "Lewis," he said, "when I watched it, I almost believed it." Lewis's stomach turned an unexpected somersault as he swirled what was left of his lukewarm tea in his mug. "Lunch?"

"It's not even twelve yet."

"Does that matter?"

"Well, someone's got to do all this paperwork." He gestured at the sea of it across his desk.

Morse nodded and Lewis went back to it, but if Morse had looked at what he was doing he could've seen he was just trying to look busy.

The next morning, about threeish, they walked into the club together. The manager took them into his office, which was far too la-di-da for Lewis's taste, and they signed their membership papers at his desk. He took them into a salon after that, where two blokes in pricey suits were snogging indiscreetly on an uncomfortable-looking green leather sofa, a proper Chesterfield one with the quilting and the buttons in the back that Lewis had never really understood the appeal of because they just looked like they'd gather dust. There was another couple sitting on a matching chair under the window with its fancy lace curtain Lewis assumed was there to obscure the view, one sitting on the other one's knee with his hand stuffed down the front of his trousers. The manager abandoned them there and Lewis looked at Morse like he had no idea what they were meant to do next because, well, he had no idea what they were meant to do next. It was probably another test, he thought, just in person this time.

Morse took him by one elbow and walked into into a corner, with a bookcase covered in pretentious hardbacks to one side and dark wood panelling to the other. Morse eased him back against the wall, one hand at each shoulder, and then took him by the lapels as Lewis's pulse started to race. He swallowed. Morse leaned in and nuzzled at the side of his neck above his collar, and Lewis took a startled breath then rested his head against the wall. He didn't even mind the dado rail in the small of his back as Morse mouthed at his neck and let one hand wander down.

With his eyes closed, he could almost pretend there was no one else in the room. He could almost pretend it was Morse's living room and not some strange club in the outskirts of Oxford for posh gay men who wanted some privacy. He took two handfuls of the back of Morse's jacket and he could smell his awful aftershave over the leather-and-books of the room, and Morse unbuckled his belt and pushed his hand down into his trousers and the next thing he knew, they were kissing. Morse had his mouth against his and his hand around his cock and Lewis was more or less overwhelmed as he leaned against the wall until he made a quick decision. He pushed him back. He stepped him round. He swapped their positions and Morse raised his brows.

Lewis unbuckled Morse's belt. He could feel himself blushing as he undid the button and opened his fly and then got his hand far enough under his shirt to find the waist of his underwear and get down under the elastic. He was looking Morse straight in the eye when he slipped his fingers round him. He stroked him, still in his trousers and his underwear, his range of motion a bit limited but it got the point across. Then, his stomach all knots, Lewis dropped to his knees on the nice parquet floor. He mouthed at Morse's erection over the top of his briefs, then he eased him out, glanced up at him just for about half an almost panicked second, then he took the head of Morse's cock into his mouth.

As he sucked him, one hand around the base to keep him steady and the other one pressed to the wall, Morse got his fingers into his hair. Lewis sucked him deeper, down to his hand that he kept there so he couldn't take him in too far and gag on him like a proper prat, and it dawned on him it didn't really bother him who might be watching, at least not there. He didn't really mind when his jaw started to ache, either, or when his own erection strained at his trousers, or when he heard the door open and close and footsteps moving across the room behind him. He kept going and he could hear Morse's breath and feel Morse's fingers at the back of his neck and maybe he was rubbish at it but Morse didn't seem to be complaining. He didn't mind it when Morse made a sort of strangled sound and came in his mouth, either, though the bitter taste was strange and he almost choked before could swallow, which he supposed he'd better do since spitting into a hanky seemed so much like improper etiquette.

He looked up when he was done, sitting on his heels still in all his clothes though his belt was hanging open. Morse looked down at him, his cock starting to soften, blushing and sort of dishevelled. Morse reached down and chucked him under the chin and Lewis smiled awkwardly, red-faced and still hard.

"Get up," Morse said, so Lewis pulled himself back up to his feet. "You might want some of that," he said, with a wave past Lewis's shoulder, and he turned to the coffee table in the middle of the room; he had to lean past the couple still canoodling on the settee to get to a bowl full of sachets of lubricant that looked worryingly like tomato sauce packets you'd get down the chip shop. He looked back across the room at Morse. Morse raised his brows and then turned to face the wall, and on his way back Lewis tried not to look at him like he'd lost his marbles down the back of the bookcase.

Thankfully, tearing the top off the packet was easier than tomato sauce. Morse pushed his own trousers over his hips and Lewis did the same with his own and he slicked himself with the stuff that seemed to want to drip all over his boxers. He inched his feet apart so he was more or less level with Morse and he rubbed his slippery fingers in between Morse's cheeks and maybe it wasn't the best idea they'd ever had but they'd come too far to sack it off so Lewis rubbed his cock where his fingers had been and then slowly pushed himself inside. He leaned against the wall with his mouth pressed to the back of Morse's shoulder and he moved his hips as best he could. Maybe there were people watching but that was sort of the point and sort of okay and Morse braced himself so every thrust of Lewis's hips ended with a muffled sound of skin on skin. He wrapped one arm around Morse's waist, his fingers spread out by the base of his cock, and maybe Morse didn't get stiff again but it felt like he enjoyed it with the way he squeezed around him , and it sounded like he enjoyed it with the way he stifled groans against the back of his hand. Lewis finished in him not very long after they'd started, but neither of them seemed to care much about stamina.

"We should probably get back to the station, sergeant," Morse said, under his breath, and Lewis chuckled against Morse's shoulder.

"I mean, we should probably have never left," he replied, and he pulled back and grabbed a handful of conveniently located tissues to clean himself off with. Morse pulled up his trousers. They both fastened their belts. Then they signed back out and they left together.

Three days later, their suspect struck again and this time he was caught in the act; maybe their info from the club helped and maybe it didn't - the killer was a member there, just not an active one - but the fact was they closed the case. They had nothing on the club itself so with Strange's permission they made a bit of a bargain: they kept it out of the reports and Morse took the photos back. Like a fool, Lewis was almost sorry they hadn't just left them there, but he'd always known it was just for the case.

The thing was, as days passed, and weeks passed, things never really did get back to normal. Lewis looked at Morse sometimes and couldn't help but remember all the lights on in the bedroom or the smell of old books, or the things sensible officers wouldn't have done but they did anyway. Sometimes he caught Morse looking back and he'd make some sarcastic remark about the case or pedestrians crossing the road or the state of his gas-pumped beer, and Lewis would smile and nod and they'd get on with things, just not quite like before.

It's been that way for more than a month now, but one way or the other it's really got to stop.

Tonight, they're back on that tired old settee in Morse's living room again, and he has another glass of whiskey in his hand.

Morse burned the photos, but there's still one left and Lewis has it. It's the one he took by accident, with Morse sitting there at the end of the bed, more than half his head cut off but Lewis knows it's him. Morse burned the photos from the club in an ashtray on the coffee table, and pulled the tape out of the cassette and burned that too - Lewis was there, and he almost thought he'd set the house on fire so he put it out with a hastily-poured cup of water from the kitchen sink. Morse burned the photos but he kept that one. Lewis found it yesterday morning, locked in his desk at work.

Lewis drops the photo on the table. Morse drinks, and Lewis chews his bottom lip. He remembers the last time he was this nervous: it was that night they'd borrowed the Polaroid camera, definitely not his sergeant's exam.

"Do you want me to burn it?" Morse asks.

"Not especially," Lewis replies. "I'd just like to know why you kept it is all."

Morse's mouth twists wryly. "You're not an idiot, Lewis," he says. "You're a detective sergeant. Why don't you tell me?"

Lewis takes a breath. It's meant to steady him but it doesn't because afterwards he's still all knots inside as he puts his glass down on the table and then puts his hand on Morse's thigh. The case is closed so there's no reason for Morse to leave it there if he doesn't want to. He leaves it there, and Lewis feels himself light up inside a bit like Blackpool illuminations.

"I think we need to talk, sir," Lewis says.

Morse looks at him. He reaches over and he cups his jaw.

"For once, Lewis," he says, "I think you might be right."