James was leaning against the wall as Robbie came around the corner of the pub. It was a warm evening and James had left his jacket in the car, his sleeves were rolled up and his tie loosened from around his neck. His head was tipped back against the wall, his long neck stretched and elegant. The sun was setting and as James took a drag on his cigarette the golden light shone on him as he blew the smoke into the air.
Robbie stopped mid step. The air catching in his throat making him gasp. James looked like a god standing there basked in golden glory.
"God you are beautiful."
The words were out of his mouth before Robbie could stop them. He had spent years biting back that sentence or others like it. The "you mean the world to me" or "never leave me" or lord help him "i love you" . Years hiding what James meant to him.
There was a hope that maybe, just maybe, James hadn't heard but slowly his sergeant turned his head towards him a look of confusion on his face. Then a quick glance around himself before settling his gaze back on Robbie.
"You are talking to me. " It wasn't quite a question not quite a statement.
Robbie nodded. His mouth was dry. He wanted the world to open and swallow him. He wanted time to rewind. He had blown it. That was it now. He had lost his best friend, his partner, his life.
James gaze stayed on Robbie for what felt like hours. His expression had morphed from one of surprise to that blank unreadable one that he used on suspects and to distance himself from difficult conversations.
Robbie needed to say something.
"Well lad, " he started, "I suppose we have a few choices now. "
James expression didn't change, nor did he say anything.
"We can pretend I never said that," he continued "and carry on as before. Never mention it again."
Still no change from James. Just a steady gaze, waiting Robbie out.
"Or you could request a transfer....."
James shifted a little against he wall and looked down at the floor.
"There is another option." he said quietly.
Oh. The lad wanted to report him. For what though? Harassment? Inappropriate behaviour? Letchery?
James glanced up to him briefly then back down to the floor. He shuffled his feet.
"If this was an ideal world, if you could have anything, anything you wanted what would you like to happen now?"
As he spoke he shifted so that he was facing his governor. Still leaning against the wall but with his shoulder against the brick.
A small slither of hope entered Robbies brain but was quickly smothered by many other thoughts. If he was going to be reported, well it might as well be for something worth the paperwork.
"Anything?" James nodded minutely. Expression still completely unreadable.
Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound. "I would take you back to mine, strip you, lay to out on my orthopaedic mattress and ravish you until you forgot your name."
There he had said it. One of his many fantasies about his younger colleague. He couldnt take that back. Couldn't laugh it off. That there was reason for dismissal.
After a beat James pushed off of the wall and walked quickly past Robbie towards the car park.
Robbie's shoulders slumped. That was that then. Career over. All he could do was stand there. Looking at where James had been moments earlier. The sight of him bathed in evening light seared into his brain. He would probably not see his beautiful sargent again now. Not until the court hearing anyway.
He was snapped out of his musings by an "Oi!" and turned to see James head poking around the side of the wall. A look of impatients on his face. "You coming or what?"
Robbie really didn't know what James wanted.
"Where?" he asked.
"I thought we were going to yours?" James replied looking confused. "Orthopaedic mattress? I thought I was going to get a ravishing."
"You want that?" Robbie asked dumbly.
"God yes." James replied breathlessly.
A massive grin broke out over Robbies face as he made his way towards his sargent.
"I that case," he grinned, "home James."