Based on the TV Show "Silent Witness"

Chapter 4

Author's Note: Last chapter! I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who has reviewed this! Thank you for welcoming me onto the Silent Witness team!

Harry is back at his flat. Again. He is meandering through from room to room half-heartedly pointing out a flat-screen TV here and a skylight there. He comes to a halt as he leans against his kitchen table and folds his arms to face the slightly awed looking twenty-something who has been following him around 'viewing' his flat.

Harry shrugs, 'I'm a doctor, not an estate agent. If you need somewhere to live, this place is empty. It's yours if you want it.'

Michael, who has been working as a lab technician at the Lyell Centre for the last sixteen months, yet could easily be mistaken for an off-duty Premiership footballer, shakes his head and spreads his hands wide.

'The missus would've probably asked you ten questions about putting in heated floorboards,' he jokes, looking around the kitchen.

He gives Harry a 'I-can-hold-this-together-I'm-a-big-boy' sort of brave smile.

Harry raises his eyebrows and nods once in understanding.

The reason Michael needs somewhere to live is because his girlfriend of six years has kicked him out so that she can move in 'some braying posh boy from her work who ties his jumper round his shoulders.'

'I should probably mention that the TV has every sports channel,' offers Harry seriously, trying to sound like a newsreader breaking big news. 'All the Sky Sports, Eurosports and…ESPN.'

'Yessss! Good man!'

Michael punches the air and guffaws at Harry's apt choice of selling point.

'I'll take it, mate.'

Later, when he and Michael have finished going through insurance policies, contracts, bills and dropping off keys, Nikki is still having trouble getting her head round it. They're sitting with a glass of wine each, half-watching the 8pm Keira Knightley film on channel 4.

'He took it because you said it has ESPN?' she echoes in disbelief, her eyes clouding in confusion.

Harry swallows a mouthful of wine. 'Well, yeah. That and a few other things,' he says, reasonably. 'To be honest I think he would have taken a flat in sheltered accommodation, complete with an incontinent OAP roommate if it meant he didn't have to stay living with his parents and his Bieber-loving sister.'

Nikki pulls a face in distaste.

'Your bachelor pad though, Harry,' she reminds him softly, squeezing his arm.

'I know, the end of an era,' he sighs heavily, voice full of mock-distress. 'It's an emotional time.'

He chuckles and presses a kiss to her hairline, resting his free hand on her knee.

'My bachelor days are over,' he informs her loftily. 'According to Leo, anyway, he's written me off.'

Nikki, who has shifted closer to him to rest against his shoulder, cranes her neck to look at him properly.

'What's Leo been saying?' she asks, with a half-smile on her face. She sounds amused.

Harry regards her for a moment and lowers his wine glass.

'He as good as told me,' he murmurs, choosing his words carefully, 'That one of us would have to start looking for a new job if we became more...'

'More than what we are now,' Nikki finishes for him, calmly, guessing at what he's about to say.

'Yeah, something like that,' says Harry offhandedly. Apparently the University wouldn't like it.'

Nikki leans forward to put her wine glass down on the coffee table in front of her with a chink and tucks one foot up underneath her, angling her body towards Harry. She waves the remote control in the direction of the TV and mutes Keira Knightley crying in a green dress.

'I thought that, anyway,' she says, sounding not in the least bit ruffled. 'Are you surprised?'

She gives him a bemused smile, as if he's being particularly slow on the uptake.

'Well…taken aback a bit, yeah,' grumbles Harry with a self-conscious laugh. 'I hadn't really considered it, to be honest. I've had other things on my mind.'

He picks up one of Nikki's hands and starts playing with it.

'Like?' she prompts, watching him entwine their fingers, release them then entwine them, again.

'Like you know… you. And a twenty-one year old girl dying of hypothermia,' he says matter-of-factly, referring to the case he is currently working on.

Nikki rolls her eyes at the 'you,' but then her eyes light up in interest.

'Oh! Have you identified the DNA found on her body, by the way?' she asks, keenly.

Harry laughs at the whiplash-inducing change in conversation and her ability to get side-tracked.

'Yeah, whoever she slept with before she died, it wasn't her boyfriend,' he tells her with the air of an old woman revelling in scandalous piece of gossip.

'There's no evidence that she was raped?' Nikki persists.


For a moment Harry goes back to looking at the muted TV, where WW1 soldiers are stumbling through what looks like a dark barn.

'I'll go,' he tells her with a sort of quiet finality, getting back to the subject. 'If…when such an occasion arises that we can't keep working together, I'll ask to leave.'

Nikki doesn't answer him. He feels her stiffen beside him, hears her sharp intake of breath.

'Does that mean you're not going to trade me in for a younger, perkier post-graduate any time soon?' she asks him, jokingly, her smile wide and eyes soft with affection.

'Well…not any time soon, no. Not any time, ever. That all right with you?' he asks, glancing at her out of the corner of his eye, pretending to be anxious.

'That's fine,' Nikki agrees, warmly, giving his hand a squeeze and leaning forward to press a kiss to the corner of his mouth.

'You know,' she says finally, sitting back on her heels with a nervous giggle. 'I used to think that if you and I ever got together…we'd probably never break up. We'd have no reason to,' she admits, softly. 'It seemed overwhelming. I was…scared.'

She doesn't quite meet his eyes as she says this, preferring instead to look at something just over his shoulder.

They both stay quiet for a moment.

'Hmm,' says Harry at last, tilting his head to the side as he replays her words a few times through his head. 'Used to think?' he asks her, raising an eyebrow at her.

'I do think,' she corrects herself.

In response, Harry taps her cheeks twice, giving her his most childish smirk before he kisses her, his hands either side of her face, holding it gently as if it were made out of bone china.

He pulls away to look at her appraisingly with a small frown, sliding his hands down to her shoulders.

'And are you still scared?' he probes cautiously but in a tone which suggests that he's almost afraid to hear the answer.


'Oh thank God, me too!' he half-shouts, throwing his head back in relief. They both laugh as Harry raises his left hand at they have an almighty high-five to celebrate.

'But let me tell you something, though,' he tells her, narrowing his eyes at her and pointing at her severely. 'And this is the last time I will ever say it to a new person.'

He sniggers, unable to keep a serious expression and lowers his hand.

'I love you,' he tells her, abruptly, his entire face softening. 'A ridiculous, embarrassing amount. And do you know what I think?' he asks her conversationally, not letting her get a word in.

'What?' Nikki croaks making a noise that is half a laugh, half a happy sob, her eyes watery and her cheeks pink and blotchy.

Harry inches his face closer so that they're almost nose to nose.

'I think you might just…' he murmurs, sounding very pleased with himself.

'Love you too?' Nikki suggests, talking over him before he can tease her. 'Is that what you think, Harry?

She clasps her hands around his neck and hugs him, her eyelashes tickling the side of his face.

'Because you'd be absolutely right!' she declares, giggling into his ear, still with her arms around him.

Harry smirks into her shoulder and instinctively rubs her back in small circles. He likes being right. She never tells him he's right.

He's going to have to remind her of this occasion. Every so often.

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