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It had not been a good evening for Trixie. She was arriving back at Nonnatus almost two hours earlier than expected, her shoes once again filled with someone else’s vomit (why was it always her that got caught in the firing line of other people’s sick? She was certain she got more than her fair share even among the midwives, where such things were a hazard of the job). She wasn’t sure whether it made it better or worse that this time the offending matter belonged to the man she had supposed to be going on a date with rather than a patient. She examined the now drying gunk clinging to her once beautiful and currently disgusting red high heels. Worse, she decided. Definitely worse. Not only would she have to be reminded of tonight every time she wore them in future, she had also wasted an entire evening off on a man whose idea of fun was trying to drink 10 pints in under two minutes.

That was the only reason she had been carrying her shoes and so moving almost silently in her stockinged feet as she headed towards the kitchen in search of soap and a good stiff brush. She hadn’t meant to sneak up on them. She hadn’t even known Barbara had a guest, let alone… well, the rest of it. She was about to push open the kitchen door when she heard voices lowered in conspiratorial tones. Alright, she probably should have made some noise, or called out so they’d know at once that someone was there. But something about their tone made her pause, caught between mortified embarrassment and a sort of horrified curiosity.

‘I’m so glad we’re finally alone. I’ve been afraid all evening that someone would notice the bulge it was making in my suit. It’s a relief to finally get it out, it was rather a tight fit’.

‘Gosh, it’s enormous! I didn’t know they could be as big as that’

'Aren’t you pleased? I thought… well, most people seem to think bigger is better’

'Oh Tom, it’s… it’s a little intimidating. I’m sure I won’t be able to fit the whole thing in my mouth, I really won't’

'Just start at the top and work your way down. You can borrow my hankie if you get sticky’.

Trixie had heard enough. She was preparing to flee when her chilly fingers lost their grip on her shoes and they clattered loudly to the floor. She wanted to turn and run but it was too late, the door was opening. She expected to see Tom and Barbara looking flustered and sheepish, quickly straightening rumbled clothes, but they seemed perfectly calm. Then she noticed what was in Barbara’s hand and let out a whoop of relief.

It was the largest lollipop she had ever seen in her life.