Author's Note: This is my first fanfic in a while (and my first about Chenford). I have absolutely loved them together and these last few episodes have inspired me to write a "what happens with their first date and beyond?" scenario. I expect this to be about 10 chapters long. I hope you enjoy!
"So, did you have something you were gonna ask me?" She asked as she made eye contact with Tim. She was trying to keep her voice steady. She felt like she was full of hope, but also worry.
"Oh," he said. He looked away, shaking his head, his lips were curving downward. His hands were clasped in front of him in a typical Tim Bradford stance. It was an intimidating stance, one that he used often with perpetrators, but Lucy wouldn't back down. "I don't remember."
"Don't make me hurt you."
He stepped towards her and made sure to look directly into her eyes.
"Do you want to go out on a date?"
"Yeah, I do," she answered with a smile.
Tim nodded. He took another step closer to her before a sound in the hall made him remember where they were. They were at work with other officers coming and going around them.
"Tomorrow," Tim stated in a hushed voice. "I'll pick you up tomorrow at seven."
She thought about making a wisecrack about how presumptuous it was of him to assume she was free on such short notice, but she didn't. Partially she was afraid that if they didn't have their date soon, one or both of them would chicken out.
"I'll see you at seven."
Lucy turned around and left the room before either of them could change their mind.
The next evening at 6:48 PM, Lucy stared at herself in her full length mirror. She had spent hours panicking over what to wear. Tim had obviously seen her in everything from a hospital gown to her police uniform to the gorgeous emerald green gown she had worn to Angela's wedding. She wanted to impress him, but not go too over the top. After trying on several different outfits, she had settled on a black wrap dress with long sleeves that fell just below her knees. It wasn't revealing or overly sexy, but did have a V-neck that, with the help of a push-up bra, showed off just a small amount of cleavage that elevated the look. It was her hair, though, that Lucy had spent the most time on. She had left it down, taking the time to give the ends a bit of a wavy curl. She had gone light on the makeup, but had given herself red lips. Lucy sighed at the mirror. As the minutes ticked on closer to seven o'clock, the butterflies began to build in her stomach.
"It's Tim," she said out loud to herself. "It's just Tim."
But Lucy knew that it wasn't 'just Tim.' It was the man she had been having feelings for since before she cared to admit. It was the man who had become her best friend. The last thing Lucy wanted was to ruin that. As panic started to set in, there was a knock at the door. Lucy took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. She walked to the door and opened it.
"Hey," Tim said. He was dressed in a gray pair of pants and a dark blue button down shirt that fit him in just the right away to show off some of his muscles hidden beneath. Muscles that Lucy had thought about running her hands over once or twice.
"Hi," she replied. He held out a box wrapped in gold paper with a black bow on top. Lucy recognized it immediately. "Wait, are these my favorite macaroons from the bakery downtown?"
Tim nodded. "I thought you might appreciate them more than flowers."
"The line to that place is usually out the door!"
"I know a guy," Tim said.
"These are way better than flowers."
Tim smiled. "I thought you might say that."
"Because you know me so well?" She teased.
He shrugged. "I know a thing or two. Right now I know that you look incredible."
Lucy met his eyes. She could feel a blush spreading to her cheeks. He had never complimented her in that way before. Although she was not an insecure woman, she had always wondered if he found her attractive.
"Thank you," she said, tearing her gaze away from his and placing the box of sweets on the counter in the kitchen.
"It's a little weird, isn't it?" Tim commented.
"This. Me and you." He gestured his hand between them.
"Are you having second thoughts?"
"No," he answered quickly. "No. Not at all. It's just not like two people on a regular first date, is it?"
"No, it's not," she agreed.
"We're still just…us," Tim said. Lucy wondered if Tim had been having the same conversation with himself that she had just had with herself in front of the mirror.
"If we were still just us, we wouldn't be going on this date," Lucy replied.
"This might be…strange. Maybe even for a little while. But you and I have always been honest with each other so…"
"So if we maintain honesty and tell each other how we're feeling…"
"Then I think we can make this work," Tim continued. "We have to figure out…these new roles we're playing and what we want and that might take time, but…but I know one thing."
"I've wanted to tell you how beautiful you look so many times. And it feels really good being able to say it out loud. You are beautiful."
Lucy smiled and blushed yet again. "Thank you."
"Shall we go? The reservation's for 7:30 and it's a bit of a drive."
She raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"
"I thought it might be best for us to go outside of the city."
"Away from anyone we might know," Lucy pointed out.
"Until we figure out what…what this is…" Tim began, gesturing between them again. "I think we should keep this to ourselves. And that includes everyone at the station. I mean, I am technically your superior and…"
Lucy nodded. "Tim, you don't have to convince me. I was thinking the same thing. It would be unfair if Chris found out before I had a chance to tell him and I don't want to tell him if…"
"If this doesn't go anywhere," Tim concluded.
"Not that I think it won't get anywhere. I don't think we'd be taking this risk if we thought it wouldn't go anywhere, but…"
"It'll be our little secret."
"Good," Lucy said, blowing out a breath.
"Ok. Are you ready?"
Lucy nodded, grabbing her black clutch that held her cell phone and her lipstick in it from the couch. "You know, if this was a real first date, I would be meeting you at the restaurant, not here at my apartment. After all, you could be a dangerous serial killer or something."
"I assure you, ma'am, I'm fully vetted. Not dangerous in the least."
"Mhmm," she teased. "I'll be the judge of that."
As they made their way out of Lucy's apartment complex and to Tim's car, he opened the passenger side door for her. She smiled at him and thanked him. She had known Tim for years and thought she knew him pretty well, but this was a new side of him. This was the side where he was trying to make a good impression on her, not the other way around when she had been his rookie.
"So, what do you think they would all say if they saw us together?" Lucy asked as Tim started the car and pulled away from the curb.
"Nolan, Angela, Harper…all of them."
"I don't think Angela would be too surprised," Tim answered.
"Why do you say that?" Lucy asked.
"Well, I may have mentioned our kiss in your apartment before we went undercover."
Lucy's mouth dropped open. "You told her?" She asked surprised, but not angry.
"I was…working things out and wanted a female's perspective on what had transpired and…" He trailed off.
"And what?" Lucy interrogated.
"And Angela immediately questioned if I had feelings for you."
"That's because she's a good detective."
"Yeah, she is," Tim agreed, nodding.
"What did you tell her?"
"I denied it, of course. But I think she knew something was up."
"That's because she's a good detective," Lucy repeated. "What do you think Grey would think?"
Tim glanced over at her before putting his eyes back on the road. "As a friend? I think he'd be happy. As the Watch Commander? I don't think he would be too happy that we're breaking the rules."
"Is there a specific rule about dating a fellow officer?"
"Not if they're the same rank as you. And if you come forward about the relationship immediately."
"But we're not the same rank," Lucy pointed out.
"Does that bother you?"
"No, of course not. I just don't want anyone to think badly about either of us. We know that we've always conducted ourselves in a professional manner and that none of this started until well after you were my rookie, but…"
"But that's not what everyone will think."
"Some people will always find drama even when there isn't any," Tim stated.
"You're a rule follower, Tim. I don't want you to break the rules for me. If you're uncomfortable with this or…"
He took his right hand off the steering wheel and put it on her hand.
"I'm the one who asked you out, remember?"
She nodded. "I remember."
"Let's not talk about work," Tim suggested. "Let's just try to be a normal couple on their first date. Yeah?"
Tim squeezed her hand before placing his hand back on the wheel. They were both silent for a few minutes. It wasn't an uncomfortable silence, but Lucy tried to think of something to say or ask. They may have been going on their first date, but it certainly didn't feel like a first date. They already knew so much about each other that the normal things one learned on a first date about the other person were unnecessary to learn.
"Tell me something I don't know about you," Lucy finally said.
"What do you want to know?"
She shrugged. "I don't know. Who was your first crush? Your favorite teacher? What book spoke to you as a child?"
There was a slight pause. "Kelly Rhodes. Mrs. McNulty. The Catcher In The Rye."
Lucy rolled her eyes. "Every man says The Catcher In The Rye. It's like the number one book for lost teenage boys."
"I wasn't a lost teenage boy and it was a great book!"
Lucy snorted as they began a discussion of the books they had been forced to read in high school. The rest of the evening went along without a hitch. The restaurant was nice, but not so fancy that they felt out of place. Just as it did when they rode together in their shop, the conversation between them flowed easily. Their colleagues and the department came up a few times, but both were quick to steer the conversation away from work. They stayed at the restaurant for nearly two hours, ending the night by sharing a chocolate tort. Lucy knew it wasn't Tim's favorite dessert, but he had ordered it because he knew she liked it. As far as dates went, it was a pretty perfect evening. They were mostly quiet on the drive home, both contemplating what would happen when Tim brought Lucy back to her apartment.
Inside of her apartment building, Lucy slipped her keys into the lock and turned the knob. She felt her heartbeat quicken. She didn't know what was going to happen. She wasn't even sure she knew what she wanted to happen, but she knew she had just had the best time she had had in a long time and she wasn't sure that she wanted it to end.
"I had a really nice time," she said as the door opened slightly.
Lucy looked from her apartment to Tim. She knew that Tamara was staying at a friend's house so the apartment was empty, but Lucy wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
"I don't…I don't know what to do here," Lucy admitted. "I want to invite you in, I do, but…"
"I think we should take it slow," Tim concluded. Lucy immediately felt both relieved and annoyed.
"Slow is good," she agreed. "I mean, on the one hand I think outsiders would say that we've taken things slow enough, but…
"I think we both need to be sure that advancing our relationship is worth the risk. Before we…"
"Cross that line," Lucy finished.
Tim nodded. "As much as I really, really want to join you inside, and trust me, I really want to, I…I'm going to say goodnight."
"Yeah, that's probably a good idea," Lucy agreed.
"So, goodnight, Lucy Chen. That was an excellent first date."
Lucy wondered if he would try to kiss her, but Tim turned on his heels and started to walk away.
"Tim!" She exclaimed. He turned around, half expecting that she had changed her mind about letting him in her apartment. "Will you go somewhere with me on Friday?"
"A second date?"
"You could call it that."
"It would be my pleasure."
He smiled that winning Tim Bradford smile and Lucy was left with butterflies in her stomach.