Gill reached for another Haribo sweet, far too engrossed in self-critiquing herself on the television screen. Her fingers brush against Rachel’s as they both try to enter the bag, and she apologises, unaware of the fire she had just caused in her detective's heart. Not paying attention to the glow that had just shot up her own whole body.
“Do I always look that bad in interviews?” Gill asks. Not wanting an answer.
“You look great boss,” Rachel answers a bit too quickly and she shoots Janet a look as if to say what else could I say.
Janet rolls her eyes. Rachel has never been one to play it cool around Gill or hold back when it came to praising her, although Gill never appears to notice, or if she does she keeps it close to her chest. Both were applicable with Gill, either acutely aware of everything or blind as a bat.
“You look great Gill, you are great, I mean you know, once you get going.” Janet begins, before being cut off.
Gill spins around in her chair. “What do you mean ‘Once I get going? What’s that meant to mean Janet, am I slow or something? What? Tell me!”
Janet shakes her head. “You look great, you are great, you'll always be great. How's that?” she says as she begins to slowly stand, deciding that this is her time to escape. Gill is one of her oldest and closest friends and she’d only hung around to catch Gill doing the big press conference before heading home. The last thing she wanted to do now was to sit around and watch Gill fish for compliments and hear Rachel so willing to dish them out.
“Ladies, I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ve got to get home. Maisie is cooking dinner tonight and she will kill me if I am late.” Janet grabs her bag and coat and leaves while Gill is focused back on the screen.
Rachel follows Janet to the door, sticking her tongue out as Janet makes rude gestures with her fingers and draws love hearts in the air.
“So what did she mean? Am I slow?” Gill asks Rachel as she headed back towards her desk.
Rachel groaned silently, cursing Janet and her poor choice of words. “You were great. You were calm and composed, you were to the point and, well, and you looked beautiful.” Rachel bites her tongue. That wasn’t what she had meant to say out loud. But she had. And now the word beautiful was lingering in the air between them. They were alone in the darkened squad room. The only light coming from the computer screens.
Gill reaches for another sweet. Then turns to Rachel. “Beautiful? Really?”
Rachel is thankful for the darkened room, so the flush of embarrassment on her cheeks can’t be seen. “Well, you know…”
Gill reaches for her hand. “No. No, I don’t know.” And then she asks blunt and to the point, “Have you got a crush on me?”
And Rachel nods. “Yeah.” she clears her throat. Saying it felt right and normal, a relief. “I do.”
“Oh.” Gill pops another sweet into her mouth and walks off to her office, going inside but leaving the door open and Rachel sitting there in a quandary, watching the silent screen and the images of Gill on replay.
Rachel doesn’t know what to do now. Should she go in and say something or just leave. Go to the pub, have a few drinks and forget that she had just said that to Gill. She logs off of the computer system and glances over towards Gill’s office hoping for a look or some acknowledgement from Gill. There is nothing. Gill simply packing up her stuff, putting her coat on. Obviously can’t get away quick enough Rachel thinks.
“So, where are we going?”
“Where are we going? Pub?”
“What are you on about?”
“Come on Sherlock. How much clearer do I need to be? You fancy me. You just told me so. And I want to know more.”
“I think I’ve made enough of a twat out of myself for one night, I think I’ll pass.” Even though all Rachel wants to do is float out the door happily anywhere with Gill.
Gill makes a point of looking at her watch. “The night is still young kid. You’ve got a lot more time to put that right. Unless you have other plans?”
“Are you asking me out, or what? I’m confused.”
“Jesus Rachel.” Gill crossed the space between them and planted her lips on hers. She looks at Rachel's stunned face. “I’m not good at this, but yes. I am asking you out. For a drink. With me.”
Rachel nods slowly. “I’ll get my bag.” In an effort to be nonplussed by this she casually saunters to her bag, nearly tripping over her own feet, and Gill stands perfectly still, trying to hold still a laugh. A crack of a smile appears on her lips. Rachel notices. She notices everything Gill does.
“Are you laughing at me?”
Gill nods. “Yes. I love the way I make you nervous.”
Gill smirks. “If only you knew how right you are.” and winks.
‘That was a joke right? I mean sometimes it isn’t always easy to tell with you, you know when your joking.”
Gill laughs. ‘Of course, I was joking. I’m not a sadist. More of a masochist. Working with you all day long and having to keep my hands to myself I’d have to be. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Rachel looks dumbfounded for a moment. “What do you mean hands to your self?”
“I’ve obviously given you far too much credit. Haven’t you noticed how I’m always trying to get you alone? No? So much for being subtle. There’s a fine line between flirtation in the workplace and sexual harassment. I’ve tried to be discrete.”
You can sexually harass me any time Rachel thinks and shakes her head. 'How did I miss it?'
'Oh, I asked myself the same questions time after time. I put it down to the fact older woman didn’t do it for you.'
'Why didn’t you say?'
'Same, why didn’t you?'
It didn’t feel right, I mean your my boss.'
“And you're a member of my team, it would be taking advantage. As much as I wanted to, it still could be seen as that.”
“You’re not taking advantage of me. I’ve wanted you for ages..”
“Then why wait…?”
“Sometimes things are better left... I admit, watching you, knowing I could come over and say almost anything to you and know you wouldn’t say anything it was a bit of a turn on. I knew I could get away with almost anything. Of course, when it came down to it, I never did. I had my reputation.”
“And now? What about your reputation?”
Gill shakes her head. “I have no idea. I haven’t got the foggiest. I hadn’t planned this. I had a quiet night in front of the box planned. Not seducing my best detective.”