Fandom:  Dalziel and Pascoe.
Pairing:  Dalziel/Pascoe
Rating:  PG13
Author:  elfin
Website:  www.sundive.co.uk 

Email: elfin@burble.com 

Characters beloved creations and copyright of Reginald Hill

Beyond


by elfin


Immediately following 'Above the Law'


Peter's hand dropped to Dalziel's shoulder and he almost walked out of 
the door. But something stopped him. Before he could voice it, Andy 
spoke first.
"I owe you one, don't I?"
In the silence he heard Peter's swallow, and the first sniff of 
impending tears. Reaching up, he touched the back of his inspector's 
hand with the back of his own. "What are you worried about? You can 
manage on your own, you know."
"I'm worried about you. I've heard what happens to old coppers when 
they retire."
Dalziel made a face. "What? They start existing only at night and turn 
to dust if they stand out in sunlight. Or do they join the bowls club 
and end up getting shafted by old widows?"

Peter stepped back and sat down on the arm of Andy's chair. "It's all 
you've ever known, Andy. You've given up everything else for the police 
force."
"Like you've done, you mean?" But there was no venom left in the 
argument. The truth was that when Peter had first mentioned London the 
possibility of losing his inspector to the great smoke had scared him 
silly. He didn't want to have to OK the transfer of his beloved 
colleague, his protégé. Peter wouldn't have survived a day in the Met. 
Too sensitive, too compassionate, too much his student. "Sorry."
"It's the truth. I stepped on to the same path you'd taken a long time 
ago, Andy. It's who I am. Shooting Della proved that to me, if it 
needed proving. I was there at the right time with the right skills."
"You saved my life." He wondered if he would feel this for much longer, 
this fear of having stepped too close to death a second time.
Peter seemed to be feeling the same thing, if the tremor in his voice 
was anything to go by. "I can't have you shot in front of me again!"

Andy laughed. "Believe me, Petal, once was enough for me too."
"Is that why you want to walk away? You're scared of getting killed?"
"With you looking out of me? Nah, I'm not worried about that." He 
smiled to cover the lie. "This is Wetherton, not New York, after all."
"Then what, Andy? One slithers out from under us, it's not the first 
time and it won't be the last."
Dalziel supped his beer. "That's the problem, Sunshine. It won't be 
the last. I don't know if I like the force any longer." Peter sighed. 
There was barely any chance of winning when Dalziel was in this mood. 
But the conversation wasn't over. "What's wrong, lad? Why all this 
concern about me?"
Peter wasn't ready to answer that. "Would ya... leave Wetherton?"
Andy's face crumpled in a disbelieving frown. "Nay, Sunbeam! How could 
I do that? Where would you live if I moved away?" It was a joke, but 
Peter took it at face value as he had a habit of doing years ago when 
they'd first started working together.
"I'll find a flat."

Andy shook his head. He reached out and hesitantly laid his hand on top 
of Peter's. "I don't want you to move out."
Peter could barely believe what he'd heard. "But you're always saying...."
"Forget what I'm always saying." He cocked his head to one side. "I 
love you, Peter lad. I get at ya because I hate to see ya moping about. 
I miss the happy man you were."
"I miss my family."
"I know. I miss my Goddaughter. But she's still your little girl, 
Peter. You'll never lose her. Ellie wouldn't do that to you."
Peter lowered his head. "How about... we make a deal. I'll come back 
if you will."

Dalziel put his can down on the floor in front of him. "Why all this 
sentimentality all of a sudden?"
"I... care for you." Peter looked everywhere but at Andy. "I've lost 
Ellie and Rosie. All I have left is the job, and you. And believe it 
or not, you're more important to me than any ambitions I harbour about 
taking over the nation's police force."
Andy smiled. "When did this happen, Sunbeam?"
"I don't know." Peter looked at Andy then, eyes shining. And the smile 
faded to be replaced by something else. The young inspector was worried 
then that he'd spoken his heart and was about to have what remained of 
his soul trampled underfoot. "Andy?"
Dalziel was watching him with undisguised trouble in his expression. 
"Peter... I'll ask once. And then we'll forget it." Pascoe nodded, 
wondering what he was letting himself in for. What was that puzzle, 'if 
I ask him if this door leads to certain death....' "Do you want me just 
for my mind?"

Peter's face broke into a smile. Then he tipped his head back and 
laughed. Possibly for the first time in over a month. And then he 
leaned forward and kissed his boss.

Soft lips pressed to Dalziel's, a gentle tongue traced the line of his 
mouth and the simple caress sent a jolting signal straight to his groin. 
But Andy barely had time to register surprise before Peter was on his 
feet and heading out to the kitchen to get that beer.


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