AUTHOR: elfin
TITLE: Moonshine
FANDOM: Dalziel and Pascoe
PAIRING: Dalziel/Pascoe
ARCHIVE: Britslash only
RATING: PG 13
WEB PAGE: http://www.sundive.co.uk/dp.htm 

Email: elfin@burble.com 


Characters beloved creations of Reginald Hill. Story based on 
characters portrayed beautifully by Warren Clark and Colin Buchanan, 
Peter?s rank based on the books ?Underworld? and ?Bones and Silence?



Moonshine


By elfin


Andy glanced back at his Chief Inspector perched on the top of the 
washing machine as it ended its final spin cycle. "Is there something I 
should know?" he asked with a frown.

Peter grinned and tapped the white metal under him. "Yeah. I'm having 
an illicit affair with your washing machine."

Dalziel shook his head and went back to pouring the hot water from 
kettle to mugs. "I saw Ellie this morning," he could imagine the 
expression change on Peter's face, the rare grin being replaced by that 
terrible sadness and emptiness that had haunted him ever since he'd 
watched Ellie throw a suitcase out of the front door and tell him to 
follow it. "She said... she thought the only chance you two had was if 
I went away."

If her words had surprised Dalziel, they didn't surprise Pascoe. An 
intelligent woman, Ellie, very observant. "Was that it? Or were they 
just the edited highlights?"

"It was all in the same vein." He didn't interrupt the simple, domestic 
routine of making the tea. And he didn't speak again until he'd 
splashed a little milk into both their mugs and put the bottle back into 
the fridge. Then he turned and put a mug into Peter's hands. As he 
did, he brushed the long fingers with his own deliberately, 
thoughtfully. "Thing is, Sunbeam, I couldn't work out what she meant 
completely." He stepped back, and Peter's eyes remained for a moment 
staring at his own hand while something happened so deep within his 
subconscious it was a while before the change propagated through to his 
heart.

When he did finally look up Andy was standing across from him, ass 
against the kitchen unit, one leg crossed over the other, foot tapping 
the floor silently. One arm was wrapped loosely around his belly, the 
other held his mug just under his chin. He looked relaxed, Peter 
thought, like he already knew the answer. For a few seconds, Peter 
couldn't make up his mind which path to take. In his mind he spoke 
silently; one way leads to the truth, the other to peace, one way will 
always be open to you, the other is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 
Or was it the classic, one way leads to certain death?

He stared into his tea but something that had been trodden over for took 
long by his wife perked up within him and he found himself filled with a 
sudden need to head down the path that frightened him the most.
"She wasn't referring to the job." He glanced up to see Andy digest 
that information and nod once, slowly. "She thinks... she is of the 
opinion that I spend more time with you than I do with my family."
Andy sighed at the old argument. "You're a copper, lad...."
"Out of choice," Peter finished. Then he did look up, gaze locking with 
his boss' for a moment.

Dalziel too was looking at the fork in that proverbial road. He could 
see which way Peter had gone, and he thought he understood why. What he 
couldn't be sure of was whether or not his colleague would panic, turn 
around and run back the other way given time.

It was a chance, he decided, that he was willing to take. How often did 
such a chance come along anyway?

"She accused me of loving you more than she ever could," he told Peter 
softly. His unhurried tone and non-aggressive stance gave the other man 
time to think, to plan his route carefully like he was navigating a 
mine-field. He waited, giving Peter a pause in which to speak if he 
wanted. But it seemed he didn't want, and Dalziel started to talk 
again. "I want to tell you something. I don't know, you might have 
already worked it out but...." He sipped his tea. "When you first came 
along, tripped up and fell headlong into the path of my career, I had a 
sergeant in Sgt. Wield. I knew he wouldn't be a fast mover, but I - 
believe it or not - was, so it didn't bother me too much. Seeing you 
shook me slightly, because during those bizarre first few hours we spent 
together I could see something special in you. I could see you rising 
through the ranks faster than I had, going higher than I ever could. I 
wasn't sure at the start whether or not I could cope with you, but the 
longer it went on the more determined I became that you'd be my student. 
I've never held you back, Peter, I wouldn't hold you back. I drove 
through your promotion to Inspector and then to Chief Inspector, if you 
remember me talking to you in that mine while I tried to haul you out to 
safety." 'And almost failed,' his memory reminded him treacherously as 
he saw Peter nod once. "And I will drive through your future promotions 
while I'm still in a position to have such influence.

Wield knew, the moment he saw you, and the moment I told him I'd keep 
you. But I sometimes watch the way he looks at you and there's no 
hatred there, no jealousy. He admires you, looks up to you. There 
might be more to it, I dunno. You're an attractive man, I'll admit that 
graciously so I'm sure he'd be happy to."

Peter was looking at him bemused. But he didn't say a word. Andy was 
strolling down that road now, arms swinging by his sides, whistling a 
happy little tune against the impending storm that had to be looming. 
He smiled sardonically at Peter. "You're not gonna help me out here, 
are ya, Petal?"

Pascoe shook his head, smiling over his mug. Still he remained silent. 
"Ellie wants me out of your life because she thinks I have some sort of 
influence over you."

"That's not what she said." It was abrupt, setting Andy straight again 
on the path that he was attempting - if unconsciously - to stray from. 
Dalziel conceded the point, tipping his head to one side and letting his 
gaze fall onto his Chief Inspector. "I'm not denying it, Sunshine," he 
said in a moment of bravery. He found it disconcerting that in this 
Peter had the upper hand which was usually his own. "I don't know the 
depth of her feelings for you, I can't know. But I know the depth of my 
own." He drew his arm tighter around himself and took a mouthful of tea.

Peter saw both movements as gestures of self-protection. His boss was 
putting his whole being on the line, laying himself open in his own way. 
Pascoe knew any harm he could possibly do would never show on the 
outside, it would simply join the hurt already buried inside this man. 
But he knew himself. He knew why he'd moved in with Andy rather than go 
to a local or even out-of-town B&B. He'd hoped that at some point they 
would have this conversation. He couldn't have guessed that it would be 
Ellie who would inadvertently start it off.

"The real problem is that I love you more than I love her."

Andy's breath caught. He couldn't quite believe, for a moment, what 
he'd heard. "Peter...."

"That's what Ellie meant when she said you were the reason our marriage 
broke up." He shook his head, his expression introspective. "She knew. 
Perhaps she knew before she married me and thought she was saving me."

"You never felt that way...."

Peter was already shaking his head. "I wanted the career. I wasn't 
going to stay a police constable and when you took me on I knew you'd 
aim my career upwards. You wanted to teach and I was more than willing 
to learn. And then Ellie came back into my life, and you and her were 
like... matter and anti-matter. At the start I imagined her hostility 
toward you was the job and your male chauvinist attitude. I was wrong, 
some detective that makes me."

Andy sighed. "Why didn't you get a transfer, Peter? Why didn't you get 
out?"

"Why should I?" His gentle smile was starting to fade and the path he'd 
chosen was already starting to look as if had been the wrong choice.

Andy saw the change immediately. He pushed away from the kitchen unit. 
"Listen, Sunbeam, I don't know what you're feeling right now, don't know 
where you want to go with all this and I'm not in a hurry to find out, 
don't worry about that. Despite all the badgering, I don't mind you 
staying here. I love having you around in the mornings and evenings. I 
want you to be sure about what you're doing when you do it."

The smile returned to Peter's face now. He pulled one leg up, foot 
against the edge of the machine, knee tucked under his chin, one arm 
hugging his limb. "I don't want to move out," he told his boss 
straight. Andy shrugged as he smiled, that at least was one thing 
decided. "Passed that... I don't know. I'm not sure of anything much 
at the moment. But when Ellie pulled my life out from under me, you 
were there for me." He thought about saying more but he wasn't 
convinced it would be welcomed.

Andy hesitated but he finally made up his mind and headed off down that 
narrow, dangerous path after Peter. He crossed the kitchen, putting his 
mug down onto the table as he went. He stopped in front of the washing 
machine, eyes level with those sparkling blue ones watching his every 
move. Peter ridded himself of his own mug, on to the unit next to him. 
He reached out nervously, touching Andy's arm but going no further.
"How could she leave you?" Dalziel pushed his big fingers into the soft 
short hair at the side of Peter's head. "You're beautiful, Petal. I 
thought if I helped you get the career you deserved I'd have given you 
everything I could. But there's more, and whatever you want from me, 
whatever you need for however long, it's yours."
Peter squeezed the big man's arm gently, glancing from that physical 
contact to the eyes regarding him steadily. Dropping his foot from the 
metal edge he leaned forward and as he wrapped his arms around Andy's 
shoulders, powerful arms came up to return the desperately needed hug. 
He was held as if he were the most precious thing in the world. But 
just maybe he was in Dalziel's eyes. That kind of love was so very 
tempting to him, something he couldn't ever remember having.

Peter felt one large hand stroke his back soothingly, while the other 
petted his neck and fingers combed into his fine, sun-blond hair. He 
buried his face in Andy's neck, unable to hold back his tears any 
longer. He wasn't sure what Dalziel's reaction to his crying would be, 
and he was nothing less than amazed when he heard soft hushes whispered 
to him and the embrace became a cocoon in which he could hide from the 
world for now at least.

After a long time, Andy released him, letting his hold loosen but not 
fall altogether. His hands rubbed gently up and down his colleague's 
arms. "Best to let it out, lad. Whatever's gonna happen between us, if 
anything, will wait until you're ready. She might come back." But his 
voice wasn't hopeful and Peter shook his head.

"She's not coming back. If she was, I wouldn't be here would I? We 
wouldn't be here having this conversation."

"No." He had to admit, his conversation this morning with Ellie had 
seemed pretty final. But he didn't want to see that last glimmer of 
hope vanish from Peter's eyes, despite how he felt about the young man.

They remained in silence for a while, Peter feeling as vulnerable and 
small as he had when he'd been left an orphan, yet Andy's warmth was 
surrounding him, making him feel that this time he wasn't alone. 
Dalziel was happy to stand here all night if by doing so he could anchor 
Pascoe here. It came as a surprise when Peter leaned forward again, 
resting his forehead against Andy's for a few seconds, eyes closing 
before he moved again, tilting his head and touching his mouth to Dalziel's.

It was the very last thing he expected, which wasn't to say that he 
didn't want it. But his initial reaction was shock and he hadn't gotten 
passed that when Peter drew back. If the light kiss had surprised him, 
the move to retract it scared him and he moved one hand up to the back 
of Peter's head, cradling it gently.

Peter looked everywhere, anywhere but into his eyes. "Sorry...."

"Don't, lad. Nowt to be sorry about. Just took me by surprise that's 
all." Blue eyes that still shone with tears finally met his own. 

"Don't think I don't want you, didn't want what you just did. I'm not 
sure why you'd want to...."

"Shut up." The words, usually Dalziel's to Pascoe, were murmured with 
affection just before Peter repeated his action.

This time there was no surprise, and Andy responded carefully. He 
opened his mouth under the soft lips, letting Peter control this. When 
his tongue slid slowly over Andy's the big man just let it happen, 
teased the underside of that exploring tongue with the tip of his own. 
Peter prolonged the contact, finally drawing back a little 
self-consciously. Andy's fingers touched a lock of his hair at his 
forehead.

"We shouldn't do this, should we?"

Dalziel smiled. "Why, lad? Cos of who we are or what we are?"
"You're my Superintendent."

"And you are my pride and joy, my beloved sergeant who's risen to the 
lofty rank of Chief Inspector on his own multitude of merits." His 
heart leapt to see the shy smile cross Peter's face. He mirrored that 
expression, feeling inordinately happy. "What's you r point, Sunshine?"
Peter thought about it. There were a million and one points that he had 
to make. Everything from having to work together while living together 
to what his little daughter would think, to whether anything suspicious 
in his life would make a difference when it came to getting access to 
her. And yet he could allow himself just a little bit of happiness, 
couldn't he? Didn't he deserve that?

"No point," he told Dalziel finally.

"I'll protect you, I won't let anyone hurt you. Everyone knows you're 
living here, no one's going to suspect anything. I mean, who the hell 
would even imagine it?" He found himself stroking his hand over Peter's 
hair just for the feel of it against his palm. "Wieldy would approve."
Pascoe chuckled, a sound Andy realised he adored. He moved one hand 
down from his colleague's shoulder over his back to his waist. To have 
his arms full of a happy Peter Pascoe seemed something he might 
willingly die for.

"So... what do you want to do now, Sunbeam?"

Arms still wrapped loosely around Andy's neck, Peter shrugged. "Find 
somewhere more comfortable to sit than your washing machine?"

Dalziel smiled. "I thought you were intimate with my washing machine."

"More intimate than I ever wanted to be."

Andy backed up, laughing, and as Peter jumped down off the machine the 
big man gathered him into his arms. Peter rested the side of his head 
against Dalziel's, returning the almost fierce hug. And then they 
separated and Andy turned, leading the way out of the kitchen and into 
the lounge.

*

The following morning Dalziel poured two cold mugs of tea down the sink 
and washed up the ceramics. As he did so, he whistled to himself.



fin
elfin
19th August 2000


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