Title: What To Do About “This”
Disclaimer: I don’t own them; E. George and BBC do.
Pairings: Lynley and Havers (L/H)
Spoilers: The most recent aired eps in the States (and I guess, the world…).
Summary: Lynley + Havers = ?!?!
Notes: Sequel to Sadness to Happiness. Read that one to understand this one. “Happy” by Martin Sexton off the LP “Seeds” is the title of the song. Also posted on my dA.
Havers arrived at her flat at 7 AM after she had slept over at Lynley’s house. It was strange, but she felt elated. It was then that she noticed that she was still wearing his shirt. She just shook her head and took it off in her bedroom. First, she had to shower, then eat something, then get to work before 9.
Lynley had moved to his bedroom. Barbara stayed overnight; nothing happened. Well, not nothing, since they did sleep together on the couch. He felt his heartstrings being pulled to her. He felt like he was betraying Helen because he felt this way toward Barbara. He just hoped she felt the same way.
Havers coaxed her Mini into the parking spot at the Met. She had a ton of things go to over, especially if Lynley wasn’t available to help her. She went into the Met’s front door, and was instantly bombarded with questions. Hillier had wanted her to do a press conference and hadn’t consulted her about it first.
“Havers,” stated Hillier.
“Press room. You have to go over this with the media, since you are lead on the case; what with Lynley out and all.”
Oh, shit. Usually Lynley handled all the press and I’m able to do the legwork he needed. I preferred that. “Ok, sir,” said Havers. “Just one question.”
“What do I say?”
“What do you mean ‘What do I say?’; you say whatever needs to be said. I’ll handle the bits about who’s working the case and also the identities of the victims. All you need to do is present part of the evidence. Just tell them that we found three bodies in the river, wearing cement blocks on their feet, white males, etc.”
“Ok. Thanks, sir.”
Barbara walked into the press room. It was a zoo of press photographers, telly news cameras and reporters. She swallowed before walking up to the microphone.
Pausing slightly, she collected her thoughts, then started in with her statement. “The police have found three bodies in the river, over by the factories in South London. They all have had cement affixed to their feet. They are all white males. The bodies came up waterlogged and bloated.”
The first reporter thrust her recorder up toward Barbara and the podium. “Tell us what the motive is.”
“It looks like an American mafia-style killing. Specifically, New York or Detroit.”
“What basis do you have for these claims?” asked another reporter, this time with a video camera.
“Well, it’s all just preliminary evidence right now, but that’s my educated opinion.”
At the last comment, Hillier said “No more questions for the lead detective. Thank you, Havers.” She stepped down and exited out of the room as quickly as she could. She could hear Hillier talking about how many people he had working on the case and contacts at the FBI in Washington.
Barbara wanted nothing more than to get over to her cubicle and work on piecing this together. As soon as she got over there, Winston Nkata made a beeline to her desk. “Barbara,” he said, “is it true you’ve been made lead on this case?”
“Yeah,” she said, looking down at her shoes. “I’m not sure if I can do it properly. I mean, I’m not as good as Lynley.”
“You’ll be just great,” he said with a toothy grin. “I have total confidence in you!”
Great, thought Havers. Now I’ve got Winnie to think I’m all great. It’s bad enough that I’m dealing with the media with this. She was snapped out of her thoughts with Hillier’s voice.
“Yes, sir.” Barbara felt dejected. She had failed somehow. Not surprising, considering how many times I’ve fucked up in the past.
“You were BRILLAINT in there. The media are lapping it up! They wanted something big for the twelve and six o’clock, and they got it! I love the way you presented the evidence, and your thoughts.” Hiller was excited.
“Uhm… thanks?” she said, questioningly.
“Call DI Lynley and tell him he may have to move over. If this goes well, you might be promoted.”
“We’d be the same rank, sir?”
“Yes. We need another Inspector on the team. We’ve got plenty of Sergeants right now.” Hillier breezed off to his office. He left with a “If you need any help, feel free to call me! Nkata is assigned to you, so he can help you as well.”
Great. Even more pressure. I’ve got Winnie totally impressed, the big boss totally impressed, and he’s saying “Lynley may have to move over”. Fucking great.
It was 12 noon before Lynley realized it. He needed something to eat, so he started preparing some food with the television in the background. He heard a familiar voice. “… preliminary evidence right now, but that’s my educated opinion.” It was Barbara. That perked his ears up. He missed her, even though she had just left him before 7 this morning.
“… lead detective. Thank you, Havers.” It was Hillier.
Lead detective? Was Barbara ready for that role? Lynley wasn’t sure if she was ready for the responsibility of being lead detective on a case, but she would always come to him if she needed help. Maybe we can work together on this one, even though I’m not official on the case. It would be like when she was on suspended leave. Lynley smiled a little bit at that one. She owed him (even though he’d never admit it to her) for getting her out of her issue with the top brass. The best way for her to repay him for it was to do well in a lead role on a case. He had been encouraging her to take a lead role, but she had always refused, giving that over to him. Now was her time to shine. Lynley smiled to himself. At least it would give them something to talk about at dinner tonight.
Havers was exhausted after her press conference. She still had the photographs to go over, statements to go over and her theories to go over. She also wanted to contact the FBI BAU in Washington. Maybe they’d need a profiler. If these were mafia/mob killings, they wouldn’t need a profiler. If it was a serial killer (with a strange way of killing) they would need a profiler. Anyway, it wouldn’t hurt to call over there and ask.
Going over statements and photographs wasn’t her favorite thing in the world, but she needed to find a connection with the killings. Then, she got an idea. Illegal dogfighting and gambling was a huge problem in the US, so why not in Britain? She started going over the arrests for dogfighting in the area where the bodies were found. It turned out that there was a crime ring operating in one of the abandoned warehouses there, and they were using the betting on the dogfights to finance their crimes. Anyone who couldn’t pay got dumped into the river, Jimmy Hoffa- style. Or so she thought. She’d have to go over it tonight with Lynley. Heh. Tonight with Lynley. Maybe things will progress some more. I don’t know.
Havers finished up her work around 5 PM and was on the way out of the Met when Hillier called her over. “Yes, sir?” she asked, hoping that he wouldn’t ask her to do overtime, since she did about three hours of it yesterday.
“Havers, you did really well today. Get an arrest in this case, and I’ll promote you to the same level as Lynley. You’ll be a team.”
“But sir, we are a team…”
“Yeah, but you’ll be an equal team. And you’ll have detectives under you. I wouldn’t split apart a good team like you two though. You work well together.”
“An equal team? That sounds… nice.”
“Yeah. Now, get along home before someone else stops you.”
“Yes, sir.” Havers hoofed it out of the building. She wanted to get over to Lynley’s as soon as she could. I hope my car will start she thought with a sigh.
Meanwhile, Lynley was preparing things for Barbara’s visit. He had made a simple, but satisfying meal of beef stew and rolls. Cooking was something that relaxed him. It made him feel like he was useful again. Maybe it was just having someone to cook for again that did the trick, but no matter. He wasn’t going to question it.
Havers smoothed her clothes before ringing Lynley’s doorbell. She at least wanted to look decent. She had brought the files from work with her, so she could go over them. At least they’d have something to talk about after eating. Awkward silence drove her nuts.
The bell rang inside Lynley’s house. He had everything prepared for dinner. Walking to the door, he stopped for a minute and smoothed his clothes. Usually he wasn’t nervous seeing Havers, but something had changed between them. He opened the door, and she was standing there, looking a little nervous, and clutching some file folders.
“Havers. Thanks for coming,” said Lynley. “I’ve made beef stew. Hope you like it.”
“I’ll like anything, sir. I’m famished.” Lunch was a noodle bowl flavored with chicken this time.
“Good. What would you like to drink?”
“What do you have?”
“I’ve got some local brew, Guinness, Killian’s, and some strange American stuff: ‘Miller’. I got it from an American friend. Also, water and milk.”
“I’ll have some of that local stuff you said before,” said Barbara.
Lynley cracked two bottles of the beer and brought them to the table. “Well, sit down. You can do that, you know.”
“Thank you sir.” Barbara sat down at the table. Lynley served her some of the food, and watched as she dug in, like a famished refugee. He started on his and pondered bringing up their relationship.
Barbara took a long swig from her beer. This afforded Lynley a long look at her neck. What was it with her neck? he wondered. It’s like I’m a madman. He was deep in thought about her neck, and didn’t realize that he was staring. She grinned and asked, “Are you ok?”
Lynley, startled that he’d been caught, just replied, “I’m fine.”
“Alright. Just making sure.”
They ate for a while longer. The food was delicious and both of them were satisfied after dinner. Havers sat back and asked, “Would you like some help with the dishes?”
“Sure, if you want to.” Lynley started clearing the table. Havers joined in. Lynley turned the radio on in the kitchen; there was an adult alternative show on. They came in right when the announcer was talking about the next song:
“And from the US of A, it’s Martin Sexton, from his newest CD, ‘Seeds’. The song is ‘Happy’. Enjoy!”
And the song started:
“You and I here all alone
Sunday morning here at home
The sky is blue as the coffee’s strong
But then I open my eyes
To this dream realized
In front of me
Oh and I haven’t got a clue
What in the world is happening to me
I think I’m happy
Like the first day of summer vacation
Happy when I get some rest and relaxation
Happy like the choir on Sunday morning
Sweet and true
Sister when you cook that way
Sweet distraction rules the day
The kitchen table honey just might break
To the sound of you and I rockin’ our bodies
I don’t understand why I wasn’t your lover man
A hundred years ago
The fellas are gonna have to understand
And tip their hats to the man who scored
I’m so happy
Like lovin’ you all night long
Happy and sleeping on our front lawn
Happy like hearing my favorite song on the radio
Take me to the bridge
Cuz I’ve been round this world a hundred times
And I never knew love could happen this way
I think of you soften and I know that you are
Thinking of me too
That makes me so happy
Happy like the first day of summer vacation
Happy apple pie and relaxation
Like peace all round the world we’re living on”
Lynley and Havers just listened, all thoughts of finishing the dishes forgotten. “Wow. That song is really great,” said Havers. “I didn’t know you liked that type of music.”
“I usually don’t listen to this, but I wanted something different. I really like that song too.”
“Dishes?” Havers held up a towel.
“Yeah, I guess we should.”
They finished up the dishes and Lynley shut off the radio in the kitchen. “What do we want to do now?” he asked.
“Do you want to go over these case files?”
“Sure, we can.”
The next two hours were spent meticulously going over the case files. Havers rubbed her eyes after the two hours were up and said, “I think we should quit for the evening. Anyway, it’s 8, and I should go home…”
“Barbara, wait!” exclaimed Lynley, as she started cleaning up the mess the files made.
“Could we at least watch telly or something together?”
“We didn’t watch that much last night.”
“I know. Let me turn on the cricket match.”
“Ok.” Barbara wasn’t much for cricket, but whatever to make the boss happy, right?
They sat and watched the match. Havers was getting restless. The game was boring to her, but Lynley was fascinated with it. Finally, she got up to go to the bathroom. “Be right back,” she said to him as she got up off the couch and walked to the bathroom.
Lynley shrugged. She seemed bored with this match. Maybe I should put it on something else? He was pondering switching the channel, when she came out of the bathroom. “Wanna put on the radio?” she asked with a shrug.
“Sure.” Lynley shut off the TV and turned on the radio in the living room. He also dimmed the lights a little bit. At least if they fell asleep, then there wouldn’t be much light to bother them.
Havers settled into a comfortable position on the couch. She was a comfortable distance away from Lynley, so he wouldn’t get a wrong impression. They were just friends, right? Anyway, she wanted to at least let him make the first move. He was still grieving from the loss of Helen.
Lynley had that song in the back of his mind as he sat with Havers on the couch. She was close enough for him to touch her if he wanted to. And he really wanted to touch her. I want to wrap my arms around her and kiss her on the lips he thought to himself. But I can’t do that. It’s not proper.
Havers was having her own thoughts. She wanted to scoot over to Lynley and lay her head on his shoulder. Maybe she would do just that.
The radio decided to play a long string of slow songs. Lynley leaned his head back on the couch and started dozing again. Havers leaned back on the couch as well, and started to fall asleep.
In her sleep, she managed to lay down on Lynley’s lap. He felt something fall onto his lap, but paid no mind. He was exhausted. His hand slid down to her shoulder and rested there as they both slept.
They slept through the night, until about 7 AM the next morning, when the sun started streaming through the curtains. It was Lynley that woke up this time, with Havers’ head in his lap. He looked down at her; she was so peaceful. He smiled, and allowed himself the small pleasure of touching her hair while she slept. This woke her up, unfortunately. She yawned, stretched, and opened her eyes.
The first thing she noticed was that she was laying down. She didn’t start out laying down. She couldn’t help the small smile that appeared on her face.
“How’d you sleep?” asked Lynley.
Havers yawned. “Just fine. You?”
“Fine.” Awkward silence followed. Lynley looked down at Havers; she just laid there. “You comfortable?”
“Well, my leg is falling asleep…”
“Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t realize,” Havers said as she sat up.
“No problem. I just thought I’d better tell you before you got up and I started limping around.”
Havers smiled. “That would be funny to see.”
“Yeah, I’m sure it would be.”
Havers paused. She was thinking about what to say. “Sir, do you think I should call in? Maybe we could work on this,” she pointed to the file folders on the coffee table, “and this,” she gestured at herself and him.
“Sure, if you want to. You never take any time off.”
“Ok.” Havers dialed the number for Hillier on her mobile phone. “Yeah, Hillier… I want to go over this information with Lynley. I think he can contribute to the case, even though he’s not working it.”
There was a pause as he responded.
“Great. Lynley will be happy to work with me. You did say we were an equal team.”
There was another pause while Hillier talked into the phone.
“Thank you sir! I won’t forget it!” Havers snapped her phone shut, and turned to Lynley. “I’ve got the day! We can work on this together.” she exclaimed.
Meanwhile, Lynley had disappeared. “Where’d you go?” asked Havers out loud.
“I’m in here, Barbara.”
She walked in the direction of his voice, which happened to be in the kitchen. He was fixing some cereal and tea. “Looks good, sir.”
“First off, you can start by calling me Tommy or something of the like. ‘Sir’ just doesn’t fit right now. And second, what kind of cereal do you want?”
“Wasn’t ‘Tommy’ Helen’s name for you?”
“Yeah.” Lynley’s face dropped. That was a painful memory.
“I’ll have Cheerios.” Havers quickly changed the subject.
Lynley poured another bowl of cereal and sat down at the table. Havers followed. They ate their cereal in silence. The last comment was weighing on both of their minds. “I’m sorry, s… I mean Tom. I didn’t mean to make anything awkward.”
“Thanks for your concern, Barbara, but this whole thing is awkward for me. I’m not sure if I’m ready for this,” he gestured between them with his spoon, “and I’m not really over Helen.”
Havers didn’t want her boss to become emotional over his breakfast so she didn’t mention it again for the rest of the time they ate.
Lynley finished his cereal and tea, and put the dishes in the sink. Havers did the same. “S… Tom, maybe I should go home.”
“No. Barbara, you’re fine.”
“I didn’t mean to make you angry with me.”
“I’m not. It’s just… I’m not sure about how I feel right now.”
“How do you feel?”
“I feel… conflicted,” Lynley said, as they walked back into the living room.
“Conflicted? How so?”
“Well, I’m still in mourning for Helen. I should be. Even though she left me,” he paused to take a shuddering breath, “months before she died, I still feel very sad.”
“That’s understandable,” said Havers.
“How do you feel?” asked Lynley.
“How do I feel? Well… uhm… I’m not truly sure.”
“Really? How do you mean?”
“I don’t really want to say.”
Another uncomfortable silence settled over them as they sat back down on the couch. Havers picked up the file folders from the coffee table and started going through them again. She noticed a few more similarities in the cases. but nothing truly exciting. She took a sneaking glance at Lynley on the couch. He was just sitting there, watching her. “What’s going on in your brain?” she asked.
“I’m just thinking about… you,” he said, pursing his lips. “How nice you look right now.”
Havers was dumbfounded. She had been looking over the files, but she was feeling his eyes on her, and they felt penetrating. “But s.. Tom, I haven’t taken a shower or anything yet.”
“That’s ok.” He slid over to right next to where she was sitting. “What do you feel like?” he asked.
“I feel like… I want to…”
Before she had a chance to form a complete sentence, Lynley leaned forward and kissed her gently on the lips. Havers closed her eyes and leaned into the kiss.
Lynley relaxed when Havers leaned into him. He knew he did the right thing and he got his answer about how Havers felt about him. He allowed his arms to wrap around her and hold her gently.
Havers was not only silenced vocally by Lynley’s kiss, but it silenced her brain as well. Her brain turned to mush as he continued his slow meandering exploration of her mouth. She couldn’t stop her hands from burying themselves in his hair. One of her hands moved down to the middle of his back.
Lynley had to stop for air. He pulled away so he could breathe, and he saw Havers’ eyes open. She smiled at Lynley as he took a breath. She took the initiative this time, and leaned in to give him a kiss. That one lasted just as long as the other, and involved much more tongue.
They stopped again to breathe. Lynley looked into Havers’ eyes and said, “I think I finally know what to do about ‘this’.” He stood up, grabbed her hand, and led her upstairs. He was “Happy” for the first time in about three months.