Just a Kiss
Summary: Andrea/Neil - set between their first kiss and the episode where they deny anything happened. We all know it was never 'Just a Kiss'.
Notes: After re watching a few clips from The Bill, in research for another story I am working on, I couldn't leave this idea alone. After all, can anyone who has seen the episodes really believe that the kiss between Andrea and Neil after the bomb blast was really 'Just a Kiss'? I know a couple of stories have a similar idea, but I couldn't help but throw my own version out there. Let me know what you think if you do decide to read it. I'm giving this a PG-13 to be safe, but there is nothing any more explicit than you would see on an onscreen episode. Just to clarify, this is a completed one-shot and I have no intention of continuing it.
Neil pulls up the car in the street just outside Andrea's flat. He cuts the engine and both remove their seat-belts; they know that this isn't just one colleague dropping another home after a stressful few days. The flame between them flickering dangerously at the interactions between them over the past few days; the mutual attraction stronger than ever.
"If it's any help, I know what you are going through," Neil states, turning to face Andrea, in a subtle attempt to delay her departure from the car.
Turning to look at him Andrea replies disbelievingly, "Do you?"
Pausing momentarily to choose his words, Neil decides to take the safe option, "The explosion gave us all a scare, just because you're in uniform, it doesn't mean you are protected."
He shakes his head slightly, realising that he is still hiding from his feelings towards the Scottish brunette and wishing he could gain the confidence to find out if his strong attraction is reciprocated.
"I can't stop going over what might have happened if I had been killed," Andrea replies, also choosing her words carefully. "Is that selfish?" she asks with a self-depreciating sigh, looking at her feet.
"If it makes you realise what matters, that's a good thing, surely," Neil responds almost instantly, giving her his full attention.
Shocked by his words and obvious effort to offer her reassurance, the so called anti-social, and often rude DI, acting so out of character with her tonight. Andrea turns in her seat to face him, "I thought coppers weren't supposed to think like that, we're just supposed to get on with it?"
Turning quickly to face her and leaning closer towards her, Neil answers instantly; "Why are you beating yourself up about this? You're being honest, that's good, I like it."
Andrea sighs in response, automatically thinking about the lies she has told everyone in an effort to protect the secret of her role as an undercover journalist.
"This job can be lonely," Neil adds, hinting at something more, and testing the waters.
"I didn't feel lonely yesterday when you came to see me in the hospital," Andrea states, glancing at Neil for his reaction, hoping she isn't misreading his signals, "Or like being with you now," she adds.
They both stop and stare at each other, reading the hidden message behind the other's words and realising that a decision needs to be made and quickly. Are they willing to confront this attraction between them head on or are they going to back away from each other scared of the intense feelings that are brewing.
It's Neil who makes the first move, slowly closing the gap between them and giving them both ample opportunity to stop this before they cross that line. As if frozen, Andrea just stares at him, unable to move. Neil backs away after a quick peck of the lips, to gauge her reaction. Both are shocked by the intensity and sudden flaring of emotions.
Seconds later he kisses her again, more forcefully and with much more emotion this time. His lips are soft on hers, his hand warming the side of her face and neither have the willpower to break the spell that has settled over them. The kiss intensifies until neither can tolerate anymore, and they have to part for air.
"We shouldn't be doing this," Neil voices his thoughts aloud, still lost in the cloud of passion that is surrounding them and unable to pull away from her.
His words are not enough to temper the raging heat between them, and he quickly pulls Andrea back into another intense kiss. A car horn nearby is what breaks them from their passionate embrace the second time.
"We shouldn't be doing this here," Andrea amends his previous statement, both subconsciously aware that this is way more than an innocent kiss between friends and co-workers.
Picking up on her silent cue, they both exit the car, Neil remembering to lock it before following her upstairs to her flat. Letting them both into the second floor flat, Andrea barely has time to close the door behind them when their passion reignites. Slamming her against the nearest wall, Neil is quick to start off where they left off in the car, kissing her with a shocking intensity, both unable to control the growing desire between them.
A trail of clothing is left from the doorway of the flat, to Andrea's bedroom, as they both give into the temptation and let their desire rule their actions. No longer thinking about how wrong their actions are or the complications it will bring up, they make love deep into the night.
Several hours later Neil wakes up, Andrea's head resting on his chest, her fingers ticking the hairs on his chest. A part of him wants to stay and enjoy the moment, but then reality sneaks into his subconscious and he analyses the possible repercussions of their actions. Not only has he betrayed his wife and family, there is also the complication of them working together. Reluctantly he untangles himself from the bed covers and Andrea's arms, still not able to really feel guilty for giving into the attraction he has held for the Scottish Brunette from the day he met her on her first day at Sun Hill.
Glancing briefly at the clock, before silently gathering his clothes, Neil knows he needs to get out of there before she wakes up. Seeing her innocent, sleeping face just strengthens the attraction he feels for her, and he knows that if he doesn't get out of the flat quickly, he will never get up the courage to leave.
On the drive home he goes over and over in his mind about his actions earlier on this evening; Unable to quite believe what he has done. Sure things have been falling apart between him and his wife Phillipa for a long time; their marriage one of convenience rather than love; but he never could quite believe he would ever find the one for him and so at the time was willing to settle for the convenience of a loveless marriage and putting on a show for appearances sake.
In recent months he has become restless, he realises. Craving more than the distant relationship between Phillipa and himself. Both of them focused more on their individual and often clashing careers, than maintaining any sort of relationship or even friendship between them. Their 3 year old son Jake is the only thing still keeping them together. Their son who was conceived on the only night in over six months that they had any form of intimate contact between them.
Since his birth, their relationship has been even more strained, neither willing to give up their career and both resenting the other for the extra demands a young and unexpected child has placed on their lives. Since Jake's birth, almost 4 years ago, Neil quickly realises, he and Phillipa have only ever had one sexual encounter and that was over 2 years earlier.
This realisation lessons his guilt over his actions tonight, and even though he knows what he's done is still a betrayal of the sanctity of marriage, he realises that the last threads of his slowly crumbling marriage are slowly falling apart in front of his very eyes.
Now he realises, he needs to decide how far he is willing to take this. Should he put tonight down to a one off, brought about by the heightened tensions and stressful few weeks, coupled by the loneliness of his personal life, or should he follow his heart, and try to make something of this overwhelming at times attraction he feels for the young, pretty, Scottish PC.
His thoughts block out the entire journey from Andrea's flat to his own house a few miles away and without realising it, he is pulling onto the pebbled driveway in the early hours of the morning.
Arriving home, he showers and changes before collapsing on the sofa so he can pretend he simply got in late from work and slept on the sofa when confronted by Phillipa later. He tries to get a couple hours of sleep but can't shake the memories of the events of the previous evening and it's the smell of coffee brewing in the kitchen that shakes him out of his thoughts.
"I'm working late tonight, so I called in the babysitter to look after Jake," Phillipa says whilst rushing around the kitchen, a piece of toast hanging from her lips. "Don't wait up for me," she adds, quickly rushing out the door without so much as a goodbye.
Not phased by the cold reception, more than used to it by now, Neil pours himself a coffee and focuses on getting his own mind back on the job.
It's late afternoon before Andrea shows up in the CID office, working a case with Ken and Rob. On seeing her he gets an instant flashback to the previous night and knows he is going to have to confront her at some point and clear the air between them.
Waiting until she is about to leave the office, he quickly walks up behind her and after checking for eavesdroppers he speaks quietly whilst still walking, knowing she is close enough to hear him. "I thought we should talk about what happened the other day, I don't want to give you the wrong idea."
Stopping her exit and turning to face him, Andrea responds casually, making believe that they are having a normal everyday conversation, "It was just a kiss,"
"Right," Neil confirms, catching onto her casual attitude and running with it.
"Can it be any other way?" Andrea puts out there, "You're a married man and my life is complicated enough." she adds, unable to meet his eyes.
Looking away to hide his emotions, Neil replies with "Good, glad we got that straightened out."
"Yea, Sir," Andrea responds, still unable to meet his eyes, quickly exiting the CID office before anything else can transpire between them.
Feeling unsatisfied at the way the conversation went down, Neil returns to his office pondering his thoughts; glad in a sense she has taken the difficult decision away from him, but also feeling a sense of loss at the fact that she is acting so casual towards him today, like the whole thing was no big deal to her.
Is that how she really feels, he ponders or is she just saying what she thinks I want to hear, taking the easy way out.
Several days pass, with them both in a war with their emotions and what is the correct way to behave around each other now that unspeakable boundaries have been crossed. Neil relishes the time she spends close by helping in CID, even though he knows it's wrong to use his rank as an excuse to fuel his need to be close to her.
Andrea feels frustrated by his obvious efforts to keep her nearby but inability to address the elephant in the room, namely their ever growing attraction towards each other and shared night of passion, which quickly escalated from just once, to several times on consecutive nights.
Both know it's only a matter of time before they will have to face the realities of the situation they have put themselves in, and really talk about how they keep letting their emotions get the better of them, and how neither of them are able to fight the ever growing attraction between them.
The unresolved sexual tension growing ever stronger and more obvious by the day, Andrea can't help but tease him and try to encourage some kind of reaction from him. Anything that will break the unbearable tension between them.
It's on the morning that he asks to see her notes and not the more experienced PC Young's about an incident regarding an assault that makes her realise that they need to do something about this growing sexual tension between them. She cheekily throws him a suggestive line, about "looking for anything in particular," and then subtly throws out a line about asking her out for a drink; which causes Neil to retreat quickly, still not ready to face the undeniable attraction he holds towards her and face up the the reality that they can't blame their night of passion on a one off, now they have repeated it several times.
An excellent opportunity arises at the announcement of a Sun Hill wedding and a reception at a fancy hotel, between two of their much loved colleagues, DC Jim Carver and Sergeant June Ackland. Andrea takes the opportunity to book a room, hoping by some small miracle, and excessive amounts of alcohol, they will be able to spend just one full and uninterrupted night together to get each other out of their systems.
Unfortunately her plan turns pear shaped when not only does Neil not get the chance to warn her that he will have to bring his wife Phillipa along to the event, instantly putting a stop to even any light flirting between them, but towards the end of the event he is called away to an emergency by DCI Jack Meadows.
Although what surprised Andrea most about the whole event was the obvious lack of affection between the married couple and instead Phillipa's almost constant flirtation with DS Phil Hunter. She herself spent the day flirting with the DS's little brother, not only to wind Phil up but also to tease Neil into giving her some kind of sign as to what he wants from her.
Neil takes the only opportunity he can to apologise to Andrea for not warning her about Phillipa attending the event and to warn her off from flirting with Steve Hunter, his jealous streak showing through strongly.
Realising that his unexpected behaviour means that their messing around for the past few weeks has not just been a game to him, she is actually shocked by the amount of emotion he is publicly displaying towards her.
It's the day after the wedding before they are actually able to face the realities of the situation they are in and talk about things properly.
Neil sends her a message asking her to come and find him for a chat before she clocks off for the day. Pretending she is just dropping off some files, Andrea heads up to CID,but before she can knock on his door, she is stopped by DS Debbie McAllister, begging her to babysit for her tonight.
Throwing out some lame excuse about being busy, she decides to leave and try again later. Just as she reaches the doors to exit CID, Neil catches up with her and informs her he wanted to talk to her.
Cornering her just outside the main entrance doors to CID, Neil asks if they can meet up after work, but before Andrea can give any sort of response he is called aside by the DCI.
Waiting for him in the stairwell, Andrea gathers her thoughts, knowing that if she agrees to his plan to meet, they will have to find a way to discuss what is going on between them before being able to either move forward or move on from it.
When Neil approaches her on the stairwell a few minutes later, a silent discussion is held with their eyes only. "Ok," Andrea finally relents, knowing they can't really put this discussion off much longer. "Where?" she asks at Neil's relieved look.
"Yours," Neil suggests quickly, knowing that with the topic of conversation, their evening can go in either one of two directions and secretly hoping that he can convince her of the benefits of giving 'Us' a go.
"Just to talk," Andrea confirms, sensing the only talking they are going to be doing is with their bodies.
"Just to talk," Neil confirms, with an unreadable expression.
Andrea nods her acceptance of the idea before disappearing down the stairs, unable to resist glancing back at him one final time. Both of them spend the rest of the day filled with anxiety and are nervous about the outcome of their upcoming "talk," this evening.
That evening Andrea is glad she walked to work, as she jumps in Neil's car just around the corner from the station and they head home to her flat together.
Neil follows her cautiously up the concrete steps, nerves getting the better of him now they are alone together at last.
"Come in," Andrea invites him, knowing this is the first time Neil has properly been back to her flat since that first night, where they let their emotions run wild. "Can I get you a drink? Some wine," she suggests, knowing they both need the dutch courage the alcohol brings.
"Yeah, thanks," Neil agrees, wandering around the flat and taking it in now he's got the time to appreciate it properly. Anything to delay the inevitable discussion about their feelings for each other and how far they are willing to let this fling between them go. "Nice place," he comments casually.
"Yeah, it helps that daddy's the landlord," Andrea states, approaching him with two empty wine glasses and a bottle of white wine.
They run into each other as Andrea steps out of the kitchen and they both realise that they can't put this off any longer. Walking past him, Andrea walks to the dining table, placing the glasses down and begins pouring them each a glass of wine. "So, here we are," she begins, not knowing where to start.
"Yep," Neil agrees, looking around for a distraction, a sudden urge to kiss her rising up within him. "I've never done this before you know," he says, hands in his pockets in the hope it will stop him from just grabbing her and kissing her senseless.
"What, watched me pour wine?" Andrea jokes to break the tense atmosphere. On seeing the joke has gone over like a lead balloon she adds, "and I don't normally have anything to do with married men."
"That's telling me then," Neil replies quickly, too quickly, walking towards her, unable to control his emotions any longer. He stands facing her, taking a sip of the wine she holds out to him and looking at his feet.
Realising that it's up to her to move the conversation along, Andrea asks him, "What do you want Neil?" with a sigh.
Unable to look her in the eyes, Neil admits, "You," his eyes never leaving his feet. Eventually looking up to gauge her reaction he repeats, "I want you." to make sure he is clear. "I wanted to talk about this before but, I dunno it didn't seem right somehow," he sighs, "It didn't seem fair to you to...," he pauses unable to sustain the conversation.
"Well you're the one with the wife and family," Andrea reminds him, "you've got most to lose." she adds walking over to the large balcony window and peering out at the street below, not yet willing to give in to her attraction.
"What do you want?" Neil asks her, stopping her in her tracks.
"I don't want to hurt anyone," Andrea replies immediately, turning to face him.
"That's not what I asked," Neil cuts her off quickly, needing her to be completely honest with him. They both look at each other momentarily before Neil speaks up again, "Oh look, this is stupid, we are both walking round this, avoiding it," he begins pacing up and down, finally approaching Andrea again with his next words; "Look, I tried to back off, I tried to leave you alone, you want me to go?"
Andrea nods her head in the negative, unable to fight her feelings towards the detective any longer.
"I think we've got to the point where we need to be honest with each other," Neil states, placing both wine glasses on the table he says, "Ok, so, this is me being honest." On his last word he quickly raises his hands to the side of Andrea's face and initiates a passionate kiss.
Also feeling the rising tension between them break free, Andrea allows herself to be drawn deeper into the kiss, quickly wrapping her arms around him and deepening it; both getting lost in their forbidden passion. It doesn't take long for it to escalate and once again they find themselves naked and exhausted, beneath Andrea's warm pink bed sheets. Neither of them ever able to contain the fire between them after a simple, but passionate kiss.
Afterwards when they have calmed down, they lie cuddled in each other's arms, unwilling to break the spell that has fallen over them. Both content to simply watch the other breathe.
"What are you thinking about," Andrea asks, the first to break the silence, whilst twisting his chest hairs between her fingers, "not feeling guilty are you?"
"No," Neil reassures her, rolling onto his back and pulling her into his arms more closely. Unable to share his current thoughts and feelings, he decides to take the neutral ground and discuss something about work. Neither are fond of discussing feelings, especially when it comes to the things they feel about each other.
After a short discussion, about the Superintendent being arrested for being caught in possession of a large amount of cannabis and more cuddling, they make love once more before falling asleep in each other's arms. This time Neil stays the night and upon leaving for work the next morning he is certain he has made the right decision, or more like they have made the right decision for them in deciding to give a relationship between them a chance.
Knowing that if they are going to make this work, they will need to keep it a secret from their friends and co-workers, both agree, that the risks are worth it for them both.