Title: Scenes From The Kitchen Table
Fandom: Dalziel and Pascoe
Author: elfin
Rating: NC-17
Pairing(s): Peter/Wieldy, Peter/Andy
Series: None
Archive: Britslash only

Characters beloved creations and copyright of Reginald Hill. Based on
the characters portrayed by Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan. Story
copyright MJHughes, 2000.
Set in the middle and at the end of "Child's Play", using a few of the
lines from the script/book.

Email: elfin@burble.com
Website: http://www.sundive.co.uk/

Scenes from the Kitchen Table

by Elfin

"...and the last thing he needs right now is a shoulder to cry on."
Andy's words played in Peter's mind like a cassette tape on a loop. He
shouldn't be here, standing outside Wieldy's door, hoping to offer...
what? He'd bought a large bottle of whiskey and three bottles of red
wine. If nothing else perhaps they could just drink themselves into an
unfeeling stupor. It had worked for him often enough recently.

Wieldy opened the door looking for all the world like he'd already tried
the cure of an alcoholic haze and come out on the other side. He stared
at Peter for a time, looked at his watch and back up again. Then he let
the door swing open and wandered back into the lounge. Peter followed,
closing the door quietly.

There was a large tumbler on the coffee table in front of the sofa.
Wieldy had dropped back into the suite and was staring at the glass
hopefully. A bottle of Highland Park stood empty and in an attempt to
pull his colleague from whatever funk he'd slipped into, Peter picked up
the empty and threw it with full force across the room at the wall above
the fake fireplace. It shattered with a most satisfactorily crash of
glass, littering the light carpet in large shards. Ignoring the deadly
mess, Peter put his own bottles down where the other had stood and
fetched a second glass from the kitchen.

When he returned to the lounge, Wieldy was laughing. It wasn't humour,
it wasn't even a pleasant sound to hear. But it was human emotion being
released and that at least was a good start. Peter opened the new
bottle of whiskey and filled both glasses to the brim. He handed one to
his friend before settling back into the other corner of the sofa.
"Thought you might need some company."
Wieldy brought himself under some semblance of control, nodded, and
drank half the glass down. "Andy told you."
Peter nodded. "Right pleased he was with himself too. He knew and me,
the clever sod with the Sociology degree hadn't got the smallest clue.
Bloody irritating."
Wieldy smiled at that. "At least I managed to fool someone, even if it
was a short-sighted, insensitive bugger."

They drank, and Peter refilled the glasses. "I'm sorry," he managed at
last. "I'm sorry for being so short-sighted. I'm sorry for... for what
you're going through."
"Why? Not your fault, nothing you could have done about it." It
sounded like something Dalziel might have said. "Besides, being sorry
doesn't help, does it? Doesn't change anything. He's dead. After I
kicked him out because I was too damn scared of my boss finding out
something he's known for years." There might have been tears in his
voice but there were none in his eyes.
"You think... it might have gotten serious?"
Wieldy looked across at his friend. "What the hell do you know about
serious when it comes to men?" But as soon as the outburst came his
anger drained away. "Sorry... I'm sorry, Pete."

Pascoe shook his head. "No. I... I don't have any right to presume
"Of course you do. You do know me a little, after all. And you are
married." He registered Peter's snort but said nothing. "It was only
one night. It might have become something, it might not. Who knows?
No one ever will now. He was everything I wasn't. He wasn't ashamed or
scared of being gay."
"You're ashamed?"
Wieldy thought about that then shook his head. "No. Scared though.
For some reason I can't imagine people knowing."
"I know."
"And what do you think of me now?"
"Everything I thought of you before. Nothing's changed, 'cept now I
know you better."

Two more refills. Peter was starting to wish he'd bought two bottles.
If they started in on the wine it would only make matters worse in the
morning. "Boss said I shouldn't come."
Wieldy smiled wanly. "Aye, that would be right. Sod's trying to make
sure I think about the error of my ways."
But Peter shook his head. "I think there was something more. I got the
feeling... he might have been planning on coming himself."
They considered this new piece of information carefully and came to no
particular conclusion. "Why did you come?"
"I wanted you to know I was here for you, if you needed anything. I
don't mean.... What I do mean is...." He trailed off, unsure what the
hell he did mean anyway. He looked over at his friend.
"Thanks, Pete."

There was something about being drunk that made the usually agile mind
of a senior detective slow to a crawling pace. Peter and Wieldy sat and
watched one another for a time. "What will he do when he finds out you
disobeyed him?"
Peter shrugged. It amused him greatly when people used the single word
'he' when referring to their boss. Andy Dalziel wasn't God, no matter
what others thought. Although now and again he had Almighty-like
tendencies of knowing things he couldn't possibly know and of being in
the right place just before the right time.
"Nothing, probably." Peter finally answered.
"And what would he have done had it been anyone else?"
The question took Peter a little by surprise. In his current state of
rapid decline into drunken haze he had no idea how or even whether to
answer. He shrugged, confusion showing on his face at least, even if
such a complicated emotion hadn't pierced the fog of his mind.

"You don't see that he treats you differently to everyone else?"
For some reason that he wouldn't grasp until much later, this question -
this assumption - triggered a response within him that could almost have
been set to go off. "Of course I see," he said with a bitterness that
seemed to come from nowhere. "He's more vicious with me. I don't know
why he keeps me around, he obviously can't stand me."
His answer brought an expression of total bewilderment to Wieldy's
usually stoic features. The man sat up, and his hand went out of its
own volition. His fingers brushed Peter's cheek. "Pete, you're the
most precious thing in the world to him. He loves you, adores you, how
can you not know that?"

Later, when they lay in bed, neither could say what possessed them. But
Wieldy's touch, his words, ignited something deep within Peter's heart
and stomach and he too reached out. He wrapped long fingers around the
back of his colleague's neck and drew the other down while moving
himself up. That initial kiss was scathing. They attacked one another
as if all the battling emotions stirred up within each of them could be
exorcised with this intimate contact.

There was no gentility or pretence of anything more than desire. But
friendship at least tempered the violence. When Wieldy's hand dove
between Peter's legs his strangled cry alone eased the grip. He was the
experienced one here, Peter the naïve student and the thought flitted
through his mind that he wasn't supposed to be the one to show him
this. He had the feeling of taking something that wasn't his and
tonight that feeling was enough to push him onwards.

Rage boiled up from where he'd buried it after seeing Cliff lying dead
on that stretcher, after Dalziel had all-so knowingly asked him about
his affair with the deceased, told him about young Singhe and finally
ordered him to go home and stay there. He wanted blood and now even the
darkness behind his eyes had become tinted with a scarlet stain. He
pushed the willing man beneath him, pinning him into the sofa cushions
with his full weight. He clawed his fingers into the soft hair, using
that hold to drag the head back and penetrate the open mouth with his
tongue, delving as deep as he could go.

His other hand unfastened trousers with an expert's skill and pushed
down inside the material, fingers combing roughly into coarser hair
until his progress became restricted and the trousers and underwear had
to be pulled down. Then he could reach his goal. He used his knee to
force the legs apart and allow his hand to get between the muscled
thighs. He sort that entrance like a crazed man, fingers jabbing at the
tight ring of muscle, demanding entrance.

Suddenly the whimpering beneath him penetrated his mind like a red-hot
blade. Shocked, dismayed he lifted himself from the struggling body of
his friend and then changed his mind and took the quivering body into
his arms, hugging, whispering. "Pete... oh God, Pete, I'm sorry, I'm so

The thought that he was about to be raped had only just taken control of
Pascoe when Wieldy came to his senses. His friend's roughness at first
had been welcome. Years of pretending for Ellie that he was someone he
wasn't had meant locking down much of what he honestly wanted and Wieldy
with one push had released all that need suddenly and violently.

Wrapping his own arms around Wieldy, Peter managed to calm the
near-desperate man. Still with Wieldy holding him down, he stroked the
man's shoulder and forced him to meet his own gaze.
"It's okay. I want this, I want you. Just... you don't have to take
it, I'll give it to you."
"I could have hurt you." The gentle, low voice vibrated with fear of
"It's okay. A little hurt's not too bad, is it? I'm a big boy,
Sea-green eyes smiled a little. "Why don't you call me Mac?"
"Mac. Okay. Just... fuck me. Please."

His superior's words took him aback. If Peter imagined he didn't know
his friend then Wieldy wondered how very little he really knew of
Peter. Where was this coming from? Could it really just be the drink
talking? Could half a bottle of whiskey turn a straight man into a
desperate, pleading bisexual? He doubted it, but Peter was sincere
enough to have a hand at his groin, stroking his erection through the
thick material with long, luxurious fingers.

This time he decided to be more gentle despite what Peter might have
thought he wanted. This could easily destroy their friendship yet in
Peter's voice had been a note of something suggesting that if his plea
was turned down it might do even more damage. So Wieldy kissed his
friend's swollen lips with care and when he tasted blood in Peter's
mouth he soothed the small teeth wounds with his tongue.

Peter's hand was starting to become more than a little distracting.
Leaving one arm around his lover's shoulders 'Mac' reached down and
unfastened his own trousers, pushing them down his legs with his
boxers. Alcohol had dissipated any shyness, and Peter was happy to
explore, to touch and grip until he found a handhold that coaxed long,
deep moans of pleasure from the man above him.

Wieldy had done this before. His touch was immediately right. He drew
Peter's cock through his curled fingers with just the right pressure at
just the perfect speed. Within minutes Peter was coming into his hand,
a hard, violent climax which triggered Wieldy's own.

Outside, a dark Rover drew up opposite Wieldy's block and halted at the
side of the road. The driver's eyes fell on the silver Astra parked up
across from him and sighed. "Peter, ya silly bugger," Dalziel
muttered. But his expression held a mix of frustration and affection,
and as always it was the affection that won out. "Let's just hope you
don't do 'owt you'll regret, either of ya." And quietly he pulled away
from the kerb and headed home.

They lay together in Wieldy's bedroom, the curtains pulled against the
eventual dawn. They hadn't said much to one another since moving from
the lounge, but Peter had his head pillowed on Wieldy's chest and
neither felt the awkwardness that might possibly have been expected.
"I asked you to fuck me," Peter murmured into the silence.
"Yes, you did." Wieldy lifted his head off the pillows and ran fingers
over Peter's cheek then under his chin, directing the head to rise and
the blue eyes, shining in the dim light, to meet his own. "But, my
sunshine, I couldn't. You don't belong with me, you belong with someone
It was the most poetic thing Peter could remember his colleague saying,
something he himself might have said under the right circumstances. But
he would have found some similar quote. These words came from Wieldy's

"I don't know who I belong with. I used to think it was Ellie...."
"Did you?" Wieldy let Peter lie back down, combing his fingers up into
the chaos of blonde hair now tickling his chest.
"Once upon a time."
"And now?"
For a while Peter didn't answer. He stared at the moon's vague shape
through the curtains, enjoying the feel of being so close to another
human being, not just physically but emotionally, intimately. "Why did
you ask me to call you 'Mac'?"
"It's a name Maurice called me."
"Possibly the person I belonged with, a long time ago. Not anymore. He
always claimed I slept with my eyes open."
"Do you?"
"I hope one day not to."
"Why did you...?"
Wieldy smiled. "Because he was very special to me. And so are you. I
wanted you to know... even though we'll never... you're special. It
wasn't just sex. I wasn't using you."
"What if I was using you?"
"I know you weren't. You didn't answer my question."
Peter closed his eyes. "The one about who I belonged with?" Wieldy
nodded, a movement felt by Peter's hand as it settled at his lover's
shoulder and neck. "What if he doesn't want me with him?"
Wieldy chuckled lightly. "For a BA honours student in the human
sciences and a senior detective making his way rapidly up through the
ranks, you really can be thick sometimes."

* * *

Andy pushed open the door of the darkened ward hoping he'd schooled his
expression well enough to fool the others there into thinking he was
concerned only with the well being of one of his men. He'd found a
doctor and enquired about Peter's condition. It was late and the doctor
he'd cornered was obviously having as bad a night as he was.
"He's been beaten up and strangled." The doctor stated it as if having
said it a thousand times already. "There are serious injuries to his
throat and windpipe. He's taken a heavy blow to the head and there's a
deep gash which we've stitched. There are bruises to the stomach and
groin. He's in a bad way and you might tell your superiors that he
needs to rest."
And with that he'd strolled off in the opposite direction to that in
which he'd been heading when Andy had stopped him.

Raymond and Hiller were at Peter's bedside when Andy approached.
Raymond was standing slightly back, as if watching something that turned
his stomach. Hiller was asking Peter questions to which he wasn't
getting any answers.
"Why were you at Marsh's house? What did you find? What do you know?
Why were you there?"

Peter was lying on his side away from his interrogator, eyes closed, a
snow-white dressing over the wound above his left eye which might have
matched his shirt were his clothing not streaked with blood. His face
was contorted with pain and his left hand weakly gripped the edge of the
blanket in an attempt to pull it further up over him.

Dalziel stepped up to the bed and immediately became the new target for
Hiller's unanswered questions. He ignored the man and after a
preliminary visual check of his inspector he pushed Hiller out of the
way and stood in his place. "Peter?" Reaching down, he covered the
hand gripping the blanket with his own. As he wrapped his fingers
around the cold ones, he glanced up at DCC Raymond and took some little
pleasure in the conflict he saw on the man's face. Unnecessary contact
between two men or just comfort for a wounded comrade? He could see the
senior officer wasn't sure either way and that just added to his dislike
of this man. "Peter?"

The patient turned slightly and his eyes opened a fraction at the sound
of Andy's voice. Dalziel saw, as Peter moved his head, the bruising
around his throat where his own tie had been used to strangle him. "I
want to speak to him alone." The rough sound penetrated Dalziel's
concern and he was about to order the other two out when Raymond,
instead of insisting they stay, ushered Hiller away from the bed. The
other's protests were no match for Raymond's obvious distaste either for
the questioning of an injured man or of the setting itself, Dalziel
didn't know which.

But a few seconds later they were alone. And to Dalziel's surprise,
Peter sat up. "You should see the other guy." Andy smiled, watching as
his inspector reached under his pillow with his free hand and pulled out
a plastic folder, handing it over. "Tell me I'm a good detective." He
explained about finding it in the ice box - where Dalziel had hidden his
own secret treasure regarding this case. Andy listened as intently as
he could. Peter was still holding his hand, or was he still holding
Peter's? Whatever, he stood with the package in the other hand
listening to his inspector's story and finding anger warring with
pride. "So, tell me." Peter finished by reiterating his first demand.

Andy looked over what he held and smiled again. "You're the best. I'm
glad you're with me and not any other bugger."
Peter settled back down, inordinately pleased and too tired to care that
every good word from Andy made him feel like this. Only a little while
later did Andy slowly let go of his hand. Yet the superintendent wasn't
quite ready to walk away.

He sat up on the next bed and read the letter through once, then again
and a third time. He read the other letter too, the one not from James
Westropp, before looking through the bible, the significance of which
didn't hit him quite yet. Peter seemed to have fallen asleep by the
time he tucked the package into his coat and returned to his inspector's
bedside. He watched for a short time before leaning down and touching
his lips to Peter's forehead. Then he turned and left.

* * *

Inside the house, CID and 'the funny buggers' (anyone wearing a black
suit as far as Dalziel was concerned) were trying to clear up the mess
in their own separate and different ways. Each party was claiming
responsibility for the solving of an ancient case while at the same time
denying any involvement in the cover-up that had subsequently taken

Andy and Peter walked together in silence across the garden for some
time before seating themselves on a wooden bench some way from the
house. It was early morning. The dew was still sitting like crystals
on the uncut grass and the clean fresh haze of a new day was permeating
everything, even the chaos it welcomed.

"You did well, lad," Andy told his inspector, a pat on the back indeed.
"I had incentive." Peter felt that same sharp bitterness he'd felt so
often in the last forty-eight hours.
"Me banging on about loyalty you mean? Thought that might get your back
up, especially when I told Wieldy to reiterate it. Wasn't sure he'd
play along but he has his moments."
Peter stared at him. "But... I thought... I mean, the only reason all
this was so painful was your tie to Wally Talantire."
"Aye, Sunbeam, and reckon you could remember that when I'm old and
decrepit and some young bugger starts dragging my name through the mud."

Pascoe nodded. Sometimes it was hard to remember Dalziel actually had
feelings, and at other times they shone like the sun so clear that
people had to shield their eyes so as not to see them. It appalled and
saddened him to find out how many people did just that. For a time they
sat and watched the activity continuing without them behind the tall
glass windows at the back of the house.

Peter felt strangely separated from the case now it was over. It wasn't
a feeling he hadn't had before but this one had been so close to him he
was surprised to find himself experiencing it now. His separation from
Andy had been heart-wrenching not because of what it entailed but
because it had forced him to re-examine yet again the way he thought of
Dalziel and the standing the man had in his life. He was more than his
boss, that was certain, a friend that could possibly have been lost in
the upheaval of their working partnership.

But so often he'd thought back to the night spent in Wieldy's arms, as
his confidant and his lover, to the words spoken. "Pete, you're the
most precious thing in the world to him. He loves you, adores you, how
can you not know that?" So far nothing that had happened, nothing that
had been said or done had confirmed this statement that Wieldy had given
with absolute conviction. Why would he have made it up? After that one
night there hadn't been another. But neither of them had ever denied
nor ignored what had happened between them and they'd become closer,
more at ease with one another since.

Wieldy had found Edwin, or Edwin had found him, Peter wasn't sure
which. But he was happy, happier now than he'd ever known him and he
found himself delighted for his friend and colleague. Still what they
had shared was not pushed into a secret closet and hidden forever.
Peter was an important and special part of Wieldy's life, the sergeant
had assured him one night when completely sober and just before heading
home to his blissful country existence. And Pascoe had a sneaky
suspicion that Edwin knew about it too, the way the other man looked at
him now and again, when he thought no one else would notice.

He turned his head and looked at Dalziel who still seemed deeply buried
in his own thoughts. "I have a confession," he said quietly, out of the
Andy didn't move, didn't take his gaze from the windows into which he
was staring over the distance. "Oh, aye. Reckon it's the day for 'em."

Peter nodded to himself. "The night after Wieldy came out, after Cliff
Sharman was killed. You told me to leave it, not to go round there
until the morning. I went anyway."
Andy, still staring ahead, nodded. "I know. I went round myself and
saw your car. The reason I didn't want you going was because I knew how
guilty you were feeling about everything. I was worried you would do
something to atone, something you or him or I would regret. Turned out
I was wrong, so I stood corrected and said nowt."
Peter followed Andy's gaze to the windows, but like his boss he didn't
pay any heed to the activity behind the glass. "You were partially
right. We did do something. Only neither of us regretted it."

"Aye, I think I might have worked that out too, all things considered."
"We slept together." Peter only said it to get a rise out of his boss;
a reaction of some kind. He'd expected indignation, shock, accusation,
something, but not this stony acceptance and the telepathy of Andy
Yet this simple statement had little more effect. Andy did turn his
head to look at his inspector. "Did you?"
"Well... not in the extreme connotations of the word. Although I asked
him to, he wouldn't."
If Andy was at all surprised by any of these admissions he didn't show
it. Maybe there'd just been too many surprises over the last couple of
days. Maybe there was a 'surprise' armistice today. "Why wouldn't he?
You not his type?"
"Don't know about that. I seemed to be his type that night. But he
told me he wouldn't, told me I belonged with someone else." He
hesitated, but he'd come this far. "You."

Now Andy met his friend's clear gaze directly. He left it for a moment
to roam over the rest of Peter's expression and then returned. "And why
did he reckon that?"
"He said you loved me. He said I... was precious to you."
"He were right."
In all his time as a student, a policeman, a husband and father, in all
his time spent as a human being he couldn't remember a moment when his
heart had stopped beating as they described so often in songs and
novels. But as he heard the three simple words uttered in Andy's rough
Yorkshire accent he had to will himself to breathe. Had he really heard
that? Then why? "Why do you never show it?" In to that bitter
question he poured every doubt, every hope and every dream of the last
seven years.
And Dalziel smiled gently. "Why do you never see it?"

It was like finally reaching the edge of a cliff you'd known about for
so long, and seeing when you looked over that actually the drop was only
a couple of feet down. Peter stared at Andy who stared back. "I never
knew to look," he stammered eventually. "I've been waiting, hoping...."

"Hoping for what?"
"Andy!" He rubbed his eyes, suddenly tired. "For some sign that Wieldy
was right and I did belong with you."
Dalziel let out a long breath. He reached out then, trailed fingertips
over Peter's temple, down the side of his face, his cheek, over the line
of his jaw, stopping just above the angry bruising around his throat.
"Out of all the people who I know, who know me, you know me the best and
yet see the least. I know I'm hard to read but I thought...." He
smiled. "Come on, Peter, you must know! So often... Petal, I love
you. Is that clear enough?"

* * *

They stepped through the front door, Dalziel closed it behind him and
then they fell together as if drawn by invisible strings. Peter wasn't
going to give Andy time to change his mind. But there seemed to be no
danger of that. He found himself pressed against the wall of the
hallway, Andy's tongue exploring his mouth with the passion of a young
lover. Arms surrounded him as if he might run or break at any moment,
neither of which he was inclined to do.

Peter combed his fingers into Andy's fine hair, humming happily into the
kiss. When they finally came up for breath, he dropped his head back
against the wall, eyes sparkling. "Slow down." He grinned. "I'm not
going anywhere."
"Sorry...." He took in his friend's flushed face. "I should have told
you earlier, sooner... ages ago. I didn't know.... I thought you and
Wieldy might be involved after that night but there was no sign and then
he met Edwin. I imagined I'd put two and two together and come up with
two hundred and seventy."
"With Wieldy... it happened. I didn't go round there to offer myself to
him. At least, I don't think I did. It was sudden, almost violent and
I think for a while...."
Andy drew him closer, if that was possible. "He hurt you?"
"No. No. Somehow it was what we both needed."

"And now?"
"You, Andy. You're what I need now." Leaning forward he touched his
mouth to the other's, stroking his tongue over the warm lips that
welcomed him. Hands begun an exploration that would take years to
complete. This shared intimacy was the small beginnings of something
they both yearned for, something they both needed more than either cared
to admit right now.

Sometime not too much later they moved upstairs, hand in hand. Heavy
curtains closed against the day, bedroom door closed against
interruptions, there was nothing for either but the other. The outside
world could wait. They slept on and off. Their lovemaking at first
slow and deep, later became intense. They buried themselves in one
another, leaving no room for any further doubt that they did belong to
each other.

Peter could only marvel at how easy it was, how they seemed to fit
together, to melt together almost. Day dreams and fantasies were a long
way off what was the truth of reality. Andy was gentle, almost
painfully so at the start but in his manner Peter detected a side of him
he was keeping hidden for now, a side that could be drawn out over time
as he would allow himself to be drawn.

Andy thought Peter to be not only the most precious but the most
beautiful thing he'd ever held. He was wonderfully reactive, moving
sensuously and surely to a rhythm Dalziel hoped one day soon to be able
to hear. During one interval between sleep and love making, Andy took
it upon himself to experience every part of his lover, from the silky
hair on his head to the closely cut toe-nails. From wide shoulders to
slim hips and the crop of coarse light-brown hair from which his long
erection stood upright once again. Andy chuckled. "How the hell I am
supposed to keep up with you, Petal?"
Peter smiled, directing Andy's mouth lazily to doing something more
productive than talking. "We'll just have to work on that, won't we?"

* * *

Never before had the phrase 'headless chickens' seemed so fitting.
Wetherton CID today was home to more senior policemen and secret service
'funny than perhaps had ever been in one place at one time. One of
their own - Oliver Fisher's second - was shouting about being hit by
Inspector Peter Pascoe's car at Superintendent Dalziel's order. More
loudly shouted were the calls for both Dalziel and Pascoe's resignations
and heads on blocks. Louder still, clamouring above the rest was the
singular question of where the two detectives actually were.

Sitting at his desk late in the afternoon, Wieldy answered his phone
while watching the on going farce playing out before them to the
amusement of constables and sergeants alike.
"Sergeant Wield."
"It's me."
"Hey." A smile broke out over his face as it always did when he heard
Edwin's voice.
"Will you be home before or after midnight?"
"Sooner rather than later. It's chaos here, like The Professionals on
speed." He grinned at Edwin's chuckle. "Peter and Andy are in it up to
their necks, with everyone from the armed guard down looking for them
and they've apparently disappeared off the face of the planet."
"Really? So where is our doe-eyed beauty?"

Wield warmed at the use of the nick-name he'd once used to describe
Peter. He'd told Edwin about he and Peter one night just after they'd
moved in to Corpse Cottage. Edwin had approved, had even suggested in
jest that they ask Peter if he cared to join them one night. In jest it
might have been, yet now and again it was an image that crept into
Wieldy's private fantasies.

"I was sent out as the search party," he explained to his partner.
"There was no one at Peter's place but I found the Audi parked outside
Andy's. The curtains were all drawn, no one answering the door bell so
I stuck a note through the letterbox and told this lot here that I
hadn't found either of them."
"You're so sneaky. I think it's one of the many things I love about
Wieldy smiled appreciatively. "I think I might come home and find out
what else you love about me."
"Home? Now? I'll consider myself honoured." But there was more humour
than sarcasm.
"See you in an hour." Wieldy hung up the phone and grabbed his jacket.
The farce would go on for several hours yet. No one would notice a
missing sergeant, not when they had a missing Superintendent and his
inspector to worry about.

* * *

Sometime after the sun had set, Peter and Andy finally surfaced. Their
stomachs were no longer prepared to take second place to other physical
needs and finally they'd been forced to face the world again, at least
that tiny part of it that was Dalziel's kitchen. Dressed only in one of
Andy's old white shirts (long enough to almost cover his buttocks but
short enough to give Andy a tantalising glance of what hung beneath
whenever he moved) Peter headed downstairs. As he passed, he pushed the
'Rewind' button on the answering machine but continued into the kitchen
and didn't hear what was played back to him.

Andy heard. Thirty seconds later as he too padded downstairs with his
old blue robe wrapped around him he heard the series of progressively
shorter and more explicit messages all from DCC Raymond.
'Andy, your presence at the station is still required, whatever the hell
you're doing.'
'Superintendent, please get yourself down to the station as soon as
'Andy! Now!'
In total there were twenty-seven messages before the tape ran out. He
stood and listened to them all and as he did his eyes registered a small
piece of folded paper on the doormat. He pressed 'Erase' as he took the
final stair and stooped to pick up the note that had obviously been
pushed through the letterbox. Then he turned and stopped to admire the
view presented to him.

Peter was in the kitchen, reaching up into a cupboard on the far wall
for two mugs. The shirt he wore was pulled up, exposing his gorgeous
buttocks to anyone who cared to be watching. Possessively Andy promised
himself that while Peter wanted it this way, he would be the only one
with that care. Moving into the kitchen behind his lover, Andy wrapped
his arms around Peter's waist, hugging him tight. "God, lad, you've got
one gorgeous ass."
Peter leaned forward to take two tea bags from the box, pushing that
admired part of his anatomy against Andy's groin. Andy groaned. He
couldn't believe how many times they'd woken to find their bodies ready
for more. He felt like he should be exhausted for the next month at
least. But Peter's close proximity and his randy teasing were already
having an effect.

In an effort to keep their minds on food for the moment, Andy turned
Peter in his arms, hugging him until it was returned, Peter's head on
his shoulder, his lips in the blonde hair. "Are you sure about this,
Peter?" he asked suddenly. The man in his arms just tightened his own
embrace around Andy's neck.
"I think it's a little late to ask that."
"Is it? We could put it down to experience if you wanted. Or...."
"Or what?" The suspicious tone of his voice made Andy change his mind.
"Or you could move in."

Peter pulled back then, the smile on his face taking Andy totally by
surprise. "Really? You mean it?"
He hadn't ever thought about it, hadn't imagined for a moment that it
would be something Peter would want. But now he'd said it, and seen the
reaction, he knew he wouldn't withdraw the offer. "Of course I mean
it. Waking up with you in the morning, taking you to bed every
"I have disgusting habits."
"You ain't seen nothing yet."
"The answer's still yes." He turned back to making the tea so that Andy
wouldn't catch the grin on his face when he added, "I bake my socks, I'd
like to see what you can come up with."

Chuckling, imaging that his lover was joking (it would be some time
before he found out the terrible truth), Andy backed up and sat himself
on the kitchen table. A part of him still refused to believe that this
was real. But while this fantasy continued to play out he was happy to
be a part of it. Smiling to himself he unfolded the paper he'd picked
up from the mat and read the neatly scrawled words.

'Whatever you're doing, keep doing it. Nothing else matters, everything
else can wait. E.W.'

Andy handed the note to Peter, a swap in exchange of the mug he was
holding. "From Wieldy. Must have been round sometime. From the
messages on the machine I would guess our presences are being missed."
Peter read Wieldy's advice and smiled, shrugging. "Screw 'em."
Andy's eyebrows rose in mock offence. "I don't expect that kind of
language from you."
Peter came to stand in front of him, wrapping his arms once more loosely
around his neck. "You didn't seem to mind earlier."
"Umm... true." He put the mug on to the table, unable and unwilling to
keep his hands from Peter's body when it was being offered so freely.
Sliding his fingers down over his lover's back to where the material
ended and the tight globes of his buttocks rounded to his thighs, Andy
resumed earlier explorations. "I didn't realise my shirts could be so
sexy," he told Peter truthfully.
"I hope you've never had a man parading around your house before wearing
nothing but one of your shirts."
"Only me. And that's hardly grounds for excitement."
"Oh, I don't know." Peter once again met those full lips with his own,
gentle at first, then using his tongue to part them and slip inside the
hot mouth that had driven him so wild today.

"Do you think we're being watched?" he mused into Andy's ear.
"I doubt they've got the intelligence between them to double check
Wieldy's search." But he wiggled his eyebrows. "If they were watching,
we could provide them with some entertainment." Peter smiled but didn't
for the moment accept the offer. Instead, Dalziel watched the serious
expression crease his inspector's sharp features. "What's up?"
"Andy... you asked me... but are you sure? I mean... you're a bit of a
woman magnet I've noticed."
"And you're wondering if I can give them up for you?"
"No... I'm not suggesting.... I'm not expecting you to give them up for
me. But if you want to get married again?"
"Nay, lad. You should know that. Maybe sometimes we'll both get the
urge and go off to find ourselves the company of a good woman for a few
days. But as far as I'm concerned, I want to come home to you at
nights, whether we're working together or not. I want to hold you when
you're happy or sad. I want to cheer you up when you're down and share
obscene phone calls if one of us is away."
Peter's smile was back, and he snuggled closer again. "I like the sound
of that. So... shall we eat, or shall we give those funny buggers in
the garden something to gawk at?"

* * *

They were in early the next morning. So early that the only other
person in the building, with the exception of the desk sergeant, the
on-duty constable and Shelia in the canteen, was Sergeant Wield. And so
he alone was witness to a rare, never-to-be-repeated scene. He looked
up as Peter and Andy wandered in to the office, smiling, talking, and
most surprisingly, each with one arm around the other's waist.

Wield's eyes grew large, taking in something he couldn't quite believe
he was seeing. "Sirs?"
Andy glanced across and smiled. "Morning, Wieldy." Then he turned back
to Peter and their eyes met. As one, they leaned into a long kiss that
Wieldy found himself incapable of tearing his eyes from. They parted,
moving away from one another so completely and naturally Wieldy wouldn't
have believed what he'd seen had he not actually seen it.

Wieldy watched while Peter sat down opposite him at his desk and Andy
wandered off toward the DCC's office. The inspector wore an open-neck
shirt, no tie. The darkening bruises around his throat were still sore
to the touch and a fastened collar was out of the question for a time.
Wieldy lifted his gaze. Sea-green met sky-blue. "It's about time," he
murmured with a smile.
"We sat in the garden of that house yesterday morning and had a
"Good." Wieldy crossed his arms on the desk, leaning forward, and Peter
mirrored his actions. Reaching out hesitantly, the sergeant brushed the
backs of his fingers against the backs of Peter's. "And the rest of
Peter grinned wryly. "I think you know the answer to that one. We got
your note." Then his smile changed and his voice lowered. "Between the
bed and the kitchen table."
Wieldy grinned wider, eyebrows dancing. "So while this lot were running
around like headless chickens you two were at it like rabbits."
"Hyperactive rabbits."

DCC Raymond stepped into his office to find Andy Dalziel waiting for
him. He smiled wanly. "Yesterday we couldn't find you with two
government agencies and three forces on the job. And now here you are."

"Well they didn't try very hard, I was at home. Peter wasn't well, took
a serious clock on the head the night he was attacked. The doc
suggested he shouldn't be left alone while he was still feeling groggy
so I had him at my place for the day."
He moved behind his desk. "Between us we must have left going on thirty
messages on your machine."
"Aye, it's one of those all-in-one things and it's not been working
properly recently. You think it's recording but it's not."
He eyed his superintendent suspiciously. "In your absence, you'll be
relieved to know, Oliver Fisher's right-hand man was arrested last night
by his own people. They thankfully seem to have bigger worries and
they've all gone home." He sat down and fiddled with the papers on his
desk for a second or two. "I'm not happy, Andy. You and Inspector
Pascoe acted highly irregularly regarding certain aspects of the case."
Andy sucked on his bottom lip wondering for a moment if there had been
someone in the garden last night. He reasoned that if Raymond had had
any idea of what he and Peter had actually been up to yesterday he'd be
the colour of beetroot and attempting an exorcism. He continued on
about the behaviour of his officers. "For example, I don't ever want to
know what forensics would find on the bonnet of Inspector Pascoe's car.
And I'm not convinced that Westropp shot Fisher either. But I've no
evidence nor care to say otherwise."
Dalziel waited a few seconds. "So, Sir?"
It was the first time ever, in his recallable memory, that Dalziel had
asked for him orders. He was lost. "So... back to fighting the forces
of evil." He forced the smile to accompany the straining lightness of
his reply. Andy left his office before he could come up with something

His found his own right-hand and left-hand men sitting looking guilty.
Peter's concern glazed his eyes. "Everything all right?"
Andy smiled and nodded. "Everything's fine. Back to normal." Except
for the obvious of course. Except that Peter had been in his bed most
of yesterday. Except that his inspector was moving in tonight. Except
that for the first time in what felt like forever he found himself
almost deliriously happy. He rubbed his hands together in anticipatory
glee. "Right, let's get out there and find some real crimes to solve."


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