Title: Returning to Normal
Author: Ceridwyn2
Feedback address: jlynnsca@gmail.com
Date in Calendar: 19 June 2013
Fandom: Scott & Bailey
Pairing: DCI Gill Murray / DSI Julie Dodson
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1336
Summary: Gill Murray tries to return her life to normal after a traumatic incident.
Spoilers: Up to S3 finale (3.08)
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD11

Disclaimer: The characters and setting belong to Red Production Company. Just borrowing them temporarily.

The late afternoon sun poured through Gill’s office window as she and her team finished writing up the reports of yet another murder. As murders go, it had been fairly uncomplicated; a dead body, strong forensic data and, for once, cooperative witnesses and even a suspect who confessed in the midst of Janet Scott’s interrogation. Gill figured a quite night at home, relaxing with her partner, Julie Dodson, would be the best end to the day.

Gill sat up straight in her chair, taking her glasses off and rubbing at her eyes. If she had to stare at the computer screen for much longer she was going to lose her sanity. Standing up, she grabbed her purse, shutting down her laptop and sliding it into her briefcase. Since her abduction by Helen Bartlett she’d started taking a good look at her life, both personal and professional, and deciding what was important. She loved her job and she was good at it; she loved the details of solving a murder and putting right the wrongs in the world. She also loved her personal relationships, with her son and Julie, and she’d been trying to find a balance between the two facets of her life.

She was glad that two of her lead detectives were not only back on speaking terms but back to working as a strong team, drawing on each other’s strengths rather than focusing on the other’s weaknesses. Gill had noticed the occasional glances they both threw in her direction, somber and knowing, acknowledging that she’d survived something that had shaken and made made them realize their own fallibility.

The team worked as a cohesive unit. The investigation into Kevin Lumb’s actions in leaking procedural information to the press was under way and the detective constable was on leave until the internal affairs investigation was complete and punishment was decided. His actions were vindictive and he didn’t seem to find any fault in his actions outside of his intent to make Gill ‘pay’ for suggesting that he would find a better fit outside of the Major Incident Team. Gill had been furious once she’d learned of his reasons – Helen Bartlett wouldn’t have been driven to the point of desperation – and to the point in which the distraught woman had abducted her.

Leaning on the doorframe to her office, she glanced at her team. “Don’t take too much longer. It’s the weekend. Go. Enjoy.”

“Cheers, boss,” Rachel fired back, smiling. “Just finished.” Turning to Janet, she suggested a drink down at the pub before turning back to her boss with a smirk. “I promise not to get shit-faced.”

“As long as it’s not men related, you sometimes have brilliant ideas that way,” Gill quickly quipped back, remembering that Rachel had figured out where Jeff, the sister of Janet’s deceased friend, had hidden the diaries of his killings. “Just don’t make a habit of it. Now off with ya.”

Janet picked her mobile up off her desk and indicated to Rachel that she needed to make a call before they headed out and Gill noted the tightened look on Rachel’s face.

“What’s wrong, Sherlock?” Gill asked.

Rachel sighed, not quite knowing where to start. “It’s Taisie. I screwed up big time.”

Gill shrugged her shoulders, and nodded, knowing that Janet’s daughter looked up to the younger detective, a bit of hero worship. “You’re human. She knows that.”

“I know but, I let her down, and I’m not quite sure how to fix that. Men, I can pretty much figure out,” Rachel stopped a moment as she noted the rise of Gill’s eyebrow. “Okay, I’m not perfect, but I want to fix this – whatever this is – between Taisie and me. How do I get her to trust me again?” Rachel sighed. She really did like the girl; she was smart, pretty and she had potential to do whatever she set her mind to do.

“By not being a dickhead. Rachel, this takes time. Talk with her. Tell her the truth. Spend time with her.” Gill didn’t often do the real nurturing thing with Rachel, but the younger detective constable reminded her of herself at times; confident - usually, intelligent, insightful, and willing to think outside the box. But the other woman also needed direction, and with a bit of guidance from Janet and herself, she’d be a fine DCI one day. One day. “Anyway, I’m off. Keep clear of any free-standing poles, will you?” Gill chuckled as she headed out the doors towards the exit.

Fumbling with her keys near her car, she took a deep breath and checked the front and back seats before she got in the car…a new one. She loved her other car, but the combination of Helen’s bloodstains coating a fair bit of the rear seat and memories of being strapped into the driver side by a belt at the neck meant that she felt she could never get away from those memories of Flamborough; so she’d sold the car, after it had been detailed. Taking a deep breath, Gill turned the ignition just as her mobile rang and, in her surprise, she dropped the phone to the passenger side floor. “Shit.” She reached down and picked it up, hitting the connect button.

“Hey you,” said the sultry voice on the other side of the connection. “Been thinking about you all day.”

“Slap?” Gill responded, noting the loud voices in the background. “Where are you?”

“Getting a take-away curry. Interested?” DSI Julie Dodson responded.

Putting her keys into the ignition, Gill said, “Yeah, sorry. I was just about to head home. Meet you there in a few?”

“Perfect. Look, I’ve got to go, I’m up next. See ya.”

Gill smiled and put her phone back down in her purse, and then started the car and heading out of the station’s carpark. It wasn’t long before she was home, bringing her purse and briefcase into the house. Heading in to the kitchen, she pulled out a couple of plates and wine glasses, placing them on the counter. From a rack along the rear wall, she pulled out a bottle of red wine, and set it out to breathe. She turned on her home laptop and set about checking messages. After the usual deletion of junk mail notices she found one from her son and laughed at its content - something about what he and his friends had been doing. She was proud of him; even though policing hadn’t been her first or second choice of career opportunities for him, given how much it had affected her own life and her ex-husband’s. But he’d stuck to his guns and convinced her that it was what he wanted to do.

A little while later, Julie got home and greeted Gill with a kiss before heading to the kitchen to deposit the food.

“Hey, you. Everything okay?” Julie asked when she felt Gill behind her, the other woman’s arms wrapping around her waist.

“Uhm-hmm.” Gill nuzzled at Julie’s neck. “That smells divine,” she said as her partner was dishing out the curry.

Food served, they moved back to the living room and curled up on the settee and ate, as some music playing from Gill’s computer filled the room. They talked briefly about work before focusing on a trip they had decided to take together; their first as a couple rather than as just friends as they’d done many times before. Gill had picked up a few brochures for places in Spain, Portugal and Italy for them to choose from and she was very much looking forward to sharing it with Julie. Meal finished, they put their plates on the coffee table and curled in to each other, relaxing for the evening, listening to the music. Contented, Gill closed her eyes, Julie’s arms loosely wrapped around her and she felt the other woman press a kiss to her temple.

“Thank you,” Gill said softly. “I love you.”

“And I, you.” Julie pressed another kiss against Gill’s temple.