They’ve just finished at the Home Office and Sharon has returned to Scotland Yard alone. Liz doesn’t blame her and is secretly glad that she’s left one of her phones behind. Which possibly makes things a little less awkward. Or not.
She goes back to the dark panelled waiting room and finds…Finn sitting alone, shoulders hunched and fiddling with his lanyard. The only other time she’s seen him like this was the morning when Richard was found in the Thames. Some ironic part of her observes that she really hasn’t had much luck with police commissioners. In the past ten days, one has ended his life, the second is in cahoots with Finn and is as wary of her as a mouse looking at a cheese-laden, tastefully decorated, but nevertheless deadly mousetrap, and the third…well, she freely admits she could have handled the situation better. Switching horses is one thing, switching them while still entangled in the reins and stirrups of one is not the most subtle way to go.
Finn looks up as she enters, but doesn’t say anything. She retrieves her phone in silence and is about to leave in the same way when he finally speaks.
‘Do the right thing.’
For a split second, she’s taken aback. Not by what he’s saying, more because she was expecting an insult being thrown her way. Her brain belatedly processes this and she turns back to face him.
‘Sky News, Liz,’ he says in slight irritation, as if he’s annoyed that he has to remind her. ‘All that grandstanding about doing the right thing.’
‘I wasn’t grandstanding.’ She bites her lip in an effort to keep herself in check. ‘I meant it.’
‘Is that so? Did you mean it when you tried to use a missing child to bolster your PR agenda and get Sharon to the top?’
Liz is half-tempted to reveal that it’s unlikely that Sharon is getting anywhere near the top now but that thought is promptly jettisoned. ‘Thanks, I’d rather not take lessons in morality from a man who readily smears black teenagers,’ she declares.
If they were back at the office, they’d likely be embroiled in a shouting match by now. But they’re not. Either the fight has gone out of them – for the time being, anyway – as a result of their earlier confrontation in the control room, or more likely, they both recognise that two squabbling heads of Communications does not a good impression make. Finn’s presence here can only mean Inglis is behind the Home Secretary’s door this very moment and Liz has the grace to recognise that.
‘Look, I don’t want a fight,’ he admits. This earns him a raised, sceptical eyebrow.
‘Are we calling a truce? What’s next, we tap into my hippy heritage and whip out the ‘Peace Not War’ banners?’
‘How about taking a leaf out of your own book and instead of sprouting meaningless big talk, put words into action. That’s all I’m ask…saying,’ corrects Finn hastily. ‘Nothing more. Nothing less.’
‘That’s it? No gloating, Finn? No more snide putdowns?’
‘Not when the future of London’s security is on the line.’
The door opens. Inglis is having one last handshake with the Home Secretary and Finn rises to his feet. He shoots her a look which she can only interpret as meaningful as she quietly slips out of the room.