Fandom: Thief Takers
Title:  Confusion
Author:  Elanor
Pairing:  Bob/Paul
Rating:  NC17
Status:  Complete, but there may be a series of connected short stories.

Disclaimers:  Alas they are not mine, but belong to Carlton TV, though after living with them and their lives for the last couple of years I feel as if they are mine.

Thanks are due to Michelle for reading this, and to all my fellow Thief Takers fans, we are few, but growing slowly <g>.  And last but not least, my long suffering friends who've had to endure over two years of 'you really must watch this one little episode, it's lovely!', and my personal crusade to turn that one episode into a fandom.

Notes:  Thief Takers is not even a well known fandom in the UK, though it's recently been shown in New Zealand and Canada so it is possible to catch it, look out for the episode 'Nasty Boys' on which this story is based.  A quick resume.  Bob Tate is a detective sergeant with the Flying Squad, the Metropolitan Police Force in London's armed robbery division.  In 'Nasty Boys', Bob goes undercover to befriend and entrap a gay driver (Paul Valera), for a gang of armed robbers into giving the police information.  This he achieves by blackmail, Paul's father is dying of Leukaemia, and he tells him unless he helps he'll be in prison on remand when his father most needs him.

However, while at Paul's flat, one of Paul's colleagues, his childhood friend Chris Dixon, turns up and is led to believe that Bob is Paul's latest boyfriend.  Paul only agrees to help the police on condition that Bob continues to play the part so as not to arouse the gang's suspicions.  Bob's boss Charlie Scott agrees to this with alacrity.  Things don't go quite according to plan, for Bob discovers that Paul is no ordinary criminal, he likes him and he likes his dying father. The story continues...


by Elanor


Bob kept his anger held on a tightly controlled leash as he walked back into Paul's flat. Stopping in the middle of the large minimalist main room, all wooden flooring, white walls, the only furniture the black leather couch and the bed.

"What the hell did you think you were playing at tonight?"

"We've had this argument already once this evening, remember, back at the club."

Paul was standing just behind him; Bob could feel the quiet soft Scottish accent rippling through him, Paul's breath warm on his neck. It just goaded him further.

"Oh we had the argument. What we didn't have was the answer. Doesn't look like I'm going to get one now either, does it?"

There wasn't an answer, just silence. Eventually Bob turned, temper still simmering. Paul was just standing there with that lost little boy look he did so well, eyes large and shining with tears.

<Oh Shit>, Bob thought, <what have I done now? > "Paul, come on, we've got a job to do. It's almost over now, just one more day, then all this pretence is finished with." He tried in his most reassuring tone.

"For you maybe." It was said so quietly Bob scarcely heard it. He cursed inwardly again.

Brittle, fragile and emotionally dependent that had been his report on Paul's emotional state, and it was true, especially the last bit. Sometimes Bob just found it infuriating, other times like now, when he could see the pain that Paul carried within him, it cut right through him and that urge rose inside to try and take the pain away, an urge he clamped down on ruthlessly.

Never appear vulnerable to your informant, never ever tell him anything personal, anything important. Let him become dependent, but again that very dependence angered Bob in ways he couldn't explain. Not to his colleagues, certainly not to himself.

Paul sighed and sat down on the leather couch. "I'm going to lose everything, my Dad, my best friend. Chris Dixon will kill me for grassing him up, if Robbins doesn't do it first, and my freedom, for what? To help you put me in prison."

"Christ, Paul. You know the deal, if you don't help us, you won't be there for your dad when he needs you. He'll die on his own Paul, you'll be inside on remand, you know that. We're this close to arresting you all. It's your one chance Paul, think of your dad, don't blow it." Even as he said it, he felt a tendril of disgust for himself worm its way inside him.

"Bastard." Paul spat back, and then closed his eyes as he leant back on the couch.

Bob groaned to himself, he was just making things worse. And the last thing the Squad needed was Paul pulling out the night before the building society job. His Guv, Charlie Scott would crucify him.

You're not supposed to like the bad guy; that was the problem. But Paul wasn't a bad guy was he? Just a decent one who'd had a lot of hard knocks; discharged by the RAF for being gay; his father slowly dying from Leukaemia; and the misfortune to be loyal to a best friend, the only friend he could see that could help him. Pity that friend was an armed bank robber with a sideline in dousing his victims in petrol. And now Bob was going to bring Paul down, put him in a jail he doubted he'd survive right now.

Bob walked over to the small kitchen area, picked up a half full bottle of whisky and a couple of glasses then moved back to the couch, sitting down next to Paul. He put the bottle and glasses down on the low coffee table in front of them then leaned back, sprawling slightly sideways in a strange parody of the first time he'd been in this flat. That night he and his police colleagues Alan and Ted had staged the incident in the pub that had led to Paul bringing him home, bathing Bob's battle scars from defending him, and finally making that pass at him.

Paul still wasn't moving, lost in his own thoughts. So Bob snagged the bottle and glasses and filled both to near the top. "Here, take it."

Paul did turn his head to look at him then. Then he smiled. God he was infuriating. Who else switched back and forth between biting sarcasm and painful vulnerability like Paul did?

"You should have seen your face in that gay bar, especially when medallion man was eyeing you up." Paul laughed at him. "You deserved it as well, payback time for that first night."

For once Bob wasn't going to argue back, it wasn't worth the hassle of antagonising Paul now. He'd got the information he needed. The building society raid was going ahead tomorrow night and then playing the part of Paul's boyfriend would soon be a happily distant memory. Just keep him on side till then that was all he needed to do.

"Well" he said, downing the last of his whisky, "I'll be off... see you tomorrow," he paused. "You'll be arrested along with the others remember, to make it look good, and don't worry, they won't know. You just stay calm and it'll all be over."


"No, what?" Bob snapped back, alarmed. Paul had better not have changed his mind, not after what he'd had to go through on this case.

"No, you're not leaving. Chris is coming over first thing tomorrow morning, you're the one told him we were off for an early night remember, he'll expect to see you here."

"Tell him we had a fucking row."

"No way."

"Paul, I'm not staying, this couch is way too small."

"Now who said anything about the couch?" Paul smirked.

"Oh for Christ's sake, I left for work early, right?"

"That won't work Bob. Chris is paranoid. He won't trust a thing you say."

"What are you saying here? He vouched for me to Robbins and the others."

"Yeah, he said "you being with me wasn't an issue", he never said a thing about trust. Believe me Bob; I know what Chris is capable of. He could turn up anytime night or day, and he'd want an explanation of where my boyfriend had gone. And I think you'd know how well, 'he's left early to go off to his job with the Flying Squad' would sound"

"You're not that stupid or suicidal, so cut the blackmail, I told you, tell him we had a row, its feasible, all too feasible."

"Bob, please... It's not just that. It's me, there's no way I'm going to be able to stand up to him on my own and lie through my teeth to him. I'm frightened Bob. Really."

Paul had a point. Right now, Bob needed to keep Paul safe and above all calm. Calm enough to go through with the robbery tomorrow night without giving himself away.

"All right you win. But that couch no way."

"It's my bed, I'm not giving it up. Trust me Bob, we can share, your honour is safe with me," Paul's evil smile belied his words.

"Let's get this straight from the beginning, you try anything with me, and I'll break your neck, tomorrow night or not, get it?"

"Yes Bob."

It was still dark outside; he was drowsy, warm and heavy, a delicious tingle from his morning erection drawing him to wakefulness. Bob groaned softly, beginning to appreciate the feel of a warm soft body in his bed, rubbing his face against the silky blond hair next to him. Yet something wasn't quite right, the spicy scent, the body more muscular. Snapping wide-awake, he realised who he was in bed with. Paul!

Even as Bob thought it Paul rolled over half across him, wrapping his arm firmly around his waist.

"Paul," he squawked hoping to get him to move off. But Paul only hugged him tighter, snuggling contentedly, and bringing his cock into direct contact with Bob's. The resulting electric shock made Bob's insides contract in a sudden rush of pleasure.

'Down boy', he prayed. But Paul was increasing his movements, rubbing gently against Bob. The bastard was awake.

"Paul, cut it out, now."

Paul looked at him then, but his face wasn't the usual expression of mischievous glee he'd expected, just mindless misery.

"Sorry, wishful thinking, I just woke up and... I didn't mean anything, honest."

For once he sounded genuine.

"It's ok mate,' Bob started again, trying not to let his concern show. 'Come on, what's up?" Then he laughed at his own unintentional double entendre.

Paul appeared oblivious. "You know, the usual, Chris, dad. You've no idea what all this is doing to me, you did take advantage of my grief over dad, and you used it to get me to betray my closest friend. I feel like a fuckin' Judas."

"There's a bit of a difference between Jesus and an armed bank robber."

"He's still my friend. He kept an eye on my dad for me when I was in the air force. He protected me from the kids at school, the ones who took great delight in making the life hell of anyone who was different. Do you have any idea of what it was like growing up in Glasgow with the kids calling you queer, beating you up at every opportunity? Chris stuck up for me, when everyone else just walked away."

There wasn't a lot Bob could say anymore, guilty as charged. Yes he had used Paul's grief to intimidate him into informing. Instead he hugged Paul closer, hugged the man he had grown to know, one he could have called friend in another life. Almost without thinking he caressed the silky blond hair, running his fingers through the long strands on top, down the shaved sides.

Paul lifted his head in wonder to gaze at him, blue eyes soft, yet wary looking, eyes that looked directly into Bob's soul. What he could see there Bob didn't know, but it was enough for Paul, he lowered his mouth with agonising slowness onto Bob's, kissing him oh so gently.

A wave of pleasure spiked through Bob again, it wasn't supposed to be like this, feel like this, it wasn't supposed to, not with another man. But when Paul kissed him again with the same hesitant gentleness Bob kissed him back, pushing Paul over onto his back, rolling on top of him.

He looked deep into Paul, searching for something, anything to fight this with. But Paul's eyes looked back at him guilelessly. Reaching up to pull Bob's head down for yet another kiss, deeper this time, turning it into a mock struggle for domination, forcing Bob to act, rolling Paul back, using his heavier weight to pin him to the mattress. Then he froze clueless. Yeah he'd chatted up guys undercover in the past, he'd flirted, progressed on occasion to a quick mutual wank, let some guy go down on him, but never ever had there been emotion involved. Christ, he cared about Paul. He had to; most of his women he'd never cared about, so to let a man get this close...

Paul felt the drawing back, mistook the reason. "It's ok," he whispered into Bob's ear. "Sshh." He gentled, and he rocked upwards, sending those oh so delightful tingles through Bob once more.

Charlie was right; his brain must be between his legs after all, for the last of Bob's will power disintegrated dissolving into a world comprised of feeling alone. He thrust back until they moved as one, writhing sensuously against each other, each touch of Paul's sending him higher and higher, waves of pleasure that started in his cock, in every nerve in his skin. Hyper aware of every inch of Paul's burning hot flesh moving against his own. He couldn't stop, couldn't slow down... groaning he succumbed to it, letting the waves of pleasure get closer and closer, upwards and upwards until his brain and body exploded in pure pleasure.

Drowsy he lay there, desperately aware of Paul's still hard cock pressed into his thigh. What must Paul be thinking of him? He hadn't come that quick since he'd been an eager raw teenager, desperate to grope anything female that would let him near enough.

It was embarrassing, but Paul seemed content enough, as he chewed on Bob's throat, then kissed and licked his way across Bob's abundant chest of black hair. Paul moved lower teasing out the last traces of semen, and then sidled back upwards. He raised his head, and looked into Bob's eyes, then kissed him again. Bob almost gagged at the sudden taste of himself in Paul's mouth, as it suddenly brought the fullness of what he'd just done home with a horror which made him want to flee. The Guv would kill him, putting an operation in jeopardy like this, what had he done? What had he done... Slept with a suspect, and a male suspect at that.

Jesus the CPS would make mincemeat of him, after he'd been thrown off the force, though Charlie Scott and DCI Uttley would kill him first so that was a moot point.

Paul was looking at him again, a questioning look in his eye. " My turn now. I... know... you're not used to this, whatever you're comfortable with Bob, it's ok, just say no if you want." Paul grasped his hand guiding it down, entwining their fingers together and taking hold of his cock. Oh god, he couldn't do this, he couldn't.

The bell to the flat rang, "shit, must be Chris," Paul cursed, swinging his legs out of bed and grabbing his worn robe, as Bob frantically grabbed his discarded clothes off the floor, and hurriedly struggled into his trousers.

Chris Dixon pushed his way into the flat's one large main room, throwing a stare at Bob that sent shivers through him, malevolence, a touch of jealousy, it was all there, and all aimed right at him.

"Nice night Ladies?" Chris practically snarled it.

"Chris, please..."

Bob could imagine what he looked like, covered in love bites, chest a sticky mess, pink with embarrassment. At least the cover story was looking good, but time to leave. He finished buttoning his shirt, grabbed his jacket and stopped dead as Paul moved right in front of him. He put all his years of undercover work into practise and held himself together, "Sorry Paul, I'm running late, got to get back to my place before work, I'll leave you two to talk." Sod him he'd have to deal with Chris alone now, frightened or not.

"You've forgotten something..." Paul leaned in and gave him a quick kiss on the lips, stopping to stare back at the watching Chris with a smile that made Bob shiver down to his very marrow.

It had been a smile of challenge, a smile to make that evil bastard Dixon green with envy. One that made Bob suddenly sick at the perceived betrayal, suddenly more confused in his mind than ever he fished for the keys to his jeep and practically ran from the flat slamming the door behind him to the sound of Dixon's sarcastic laughter.

He frantically forced his thoughts into order. Home, shower, get dressed and be late as usual for the Flying Squad's morning briefing. Forget what had just happened, he had to, there was no other choice to make, was there? It had all been one big ghastly mistake. Even come the day he could give up his reputation as the super-stud of the NW division of the Squad, Paul was a non-starter. He was a man, he was heading for jail, and he still held a torch for that bastard Dixon; he'd been used, big time.

There was no future for him and Paul, and there never could be.

The End?

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