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When he feels the gradual slide of a hand up his arm, he doesn’t think much of it at first. It is a crowded space, after all.

“Why Jack,” her voice yells into his ear over the pulsing music of the disco, “fancy meeting you here!”

Of course.

The hand slips onto his shoulder as she dances around him, coming into view. She grins at him and leans in again. “That’s a DELIGHTFULLY tight shirt you’re wearing! It suits you!”

He already feels like a sight in the bright colours. An undercover operation in a disco in the ’70s was not his first choice of a mission for the Time Police, but it's not as if he was given a choice.

She looks stunning, like she always does. Her outfit fits her form like it's moulded to her, making it hard to keep his eyes on her face. She fits right into the setting too. Even her dancing looks convincing and era-appropriate, making his own attempts look feeble.

He leans in. “Miss Fisher! What are you doing here?”

She smoulders and places her arms around his neck, as if he’s just shouted something scandalously flirtatious into her ear. “I’m here to prevent a murder, of course!”

Her cheek brushes against his as she shouts into his ear. He swallows and decides that it’s impossible to have a conversation in this way.

He grabs one of her arms and tugs her off of the dancefloor, searching for a quiet corner.

“Here, Jack,” she calls, taking the lead and tugging him in another direction.

He halts when he realises she’s tugging him towards the bathroom, but she is relentless.

The loud pulsing of the music becomes slightly muted when she closes the door behind them. He scans the room. All the stalls seem to be empty.

“How do you keep doing this?” he asks. “I thought the Commissioner confiscated your time machine after you barged into the Ellis-case.”

She grins at him. “I have my ways.”

He can't argue with that. “Why are you here?” he asks, trying to gauge how much she knows.

“The short waitress,” she says with a knowing gleam in her eye. “Future politician. Some madman decided to pay a hitman to go back in time and kill her before she can reach her full potential.” There’s a flash of anger in her eyes, but she quickly returns to her facade of flippancy. “So what are you doing here, Inspector?” she simpers.

He tilts his head in reprimand and ignores her question. “Any suspects so far?”

Her eyes become keen. “Have you seen the bouncer? The burly one that keeps lurking near the counter?”

Jack nods, and she continues. “He seems very attentive.”

Very attentive,” Jack rumbles, pleased that she has the same suspect in mind., “and missing from all historical records of the employees of this place.”

She smiles in appreciation of his thoroughness. “That could be for other reasons too… But I’m placing my bet on him.”

Jack opens his mouth to make a quip about betting. The bathroom door flies open.

Before he can think of anything, Phryne pushes him into one of the narrow stalls. She squeezes in with him and slams the door.

“Helloooo,” croons a drunken, female voice from outside the stall. “Michelle, is that you in there? You’ve been gone for a while and we’re worried!”

The door starts swinging open. Phryne didn’t have time to lock it, Jack realises with dawning mortification.

He expects Phryne to reach out and stop the door from opening. Instead, he feels her hands on his face, turning him towards her, and then –


Her lips are soft and warm and when she opens her mouth, she tastes sweet, like one of the fancy cocktails sold at the bar.

Her fingers thread through his hair and he lets out a muted moan.

“Oh, damn, sorry,” says a voice nearby, and suddenly Phryne isn’t kissing him anymore.

The drunk woman giggles. “I thought it was Michelle in here, but nevermind. Enjoy yourselves!”

She slams the door.

Jack’s chest is heaving. The fact that his chest is still pushed up against another heaving chest doesn’t help at all.

“What was that?” he stutters.

“Trying to maintain our cover,” she says, and the still-functioning part of Jack’s brain is pleased to hear how breathless she sounds. “A man and a woman having a serious discussion in here would seem rather out of place.”

“Alright,” he says, trying and failing to sound collected. “But it was hardly necessary to… go to such lengths.”

She smiles, and Jack wants to kiss that damned smile right off of her mouth.

“Not really,” she admits, her thumbs wiping her lipstick from his mouth, “but it certainly was a lot of fun.” She steps away from him and winks. “Shall we go catch our hitman, then?”