Even for a Comms department, the one at Scotland Yard has a fuckton of rooms; so it takes some time for Liz to locate her errant deputy. Not that she’s in a hurry, seeing it’s past seven and everyone has gone back home, but it still is annoying. Especially after what happened earlier in the day.
She eventually finds him in the stationery closet, leaning over the departmental paper shredder, with his back turned towards her. She doesn’t bother knocking. Instead, she yells:
‘Getting rid of evidence of your misdeeds?’
It’s amazing how high she makes him jump (perhaps “jump” would be hyperbole, but Liz will perpetually attest that she saw both his feet leave the ground). Finn’s swearing coincides with the loud grinding of the machine which just as suddenly stops.
Simmering irritation with him momentarily forgotten and replaced with what she later recognises as worry, Liz is about to ask if he’s okay when he shouts:
‘FUCKING HELL, LIZ.’
Yup, he’s okay. And she’s assured of this fact when she comes round to look at him, Finn glaring daggers at her all the while.
It’s a different story, however, for his tie which is caught firmly in the machine. Once he’s managed to calm down, he angrily jabs the “reverse” button but to no avail.
‘Try yanking it out,’ she suggests not-so-helpfully.
‘Thanks, but I’m not willing to snap my neck trying to pull my tie out from a heavy duty shredder.’ She watches him scan their surroundings. ‘Seeing that this is all your fault, the least you can do is to pass me those scissors behind you.’
‘I could do that, or I could cut you loose.’
‘With your current track record with sharp objects? Fuck no.’
She drops them dramatically back onto the shelf – and more importantly, out of even Finn’s long reach.
‘Fine, I’ll leave you here. See you in the morning.’ She heads for the door.
He gapes after her. ‘What? You wouldn’t –’
‘Oh, wouldn’t I?’
She rounds on him. Startled, he angles his head away from her…only to have it jerked forward by his tie.
‘Shit,’ he hisses, rubbing the back of his neck. ‘If I get whiplash from this, I swear I’ll…’
‘What, murder me? Organise a professional hit? Call someone if you like, that is, if you've got your phone with you.’ Her laugh is both easy and taunting. ‘Do you, or is that ridiculous holster there only for show?’
He mumbles something about leaving it in his office.
‘So, just you and me then,’ she preens.
‘Liz, I’m already stuck in this frankly fucking ridiculous machine, I don’t need to be reminded that I’m also stuck here with you.’
Her brow quirks.
‘Is that a description of Scotland Yard? Because yeah, I agree, it is fucking ridiculous at times.’
‘No, but I do know there’s a word for what you just said: heresy.’
‘It isn’t heresy when you’re at the top. Even Charlie admits it’s a dog’s dinner most days.’ She takes in Finn’s horrified expression. ‘Come on, Finn, I thought he was supposed to be your friend.’
He has nothing to say to that, apart from a calm ‘You know what, I’ve changed my mind. You can go now, Liz. Bye.’
Now, Liz has plenty to say, but after a nanosecond’s contemplation (always a healthy amount of time to make important decisions), resolves to let other things do the talking. Especially when her deputy is currently sulking against a paper shredder.
The challenge is irresistible and she does what feels natural: she leans in and…pecks him on the cheek.
When she draws away, he appears more horrified than before.
‘What the f –’, he rasps.
In lieu of his tie being otherwise preoccupied, she buries a hand in his hair and tugs him and his half-open mouth towards her. Lips clash hotly and messily for nearly a minute; she doesn’t even give him time to breathe. Finn’s vaguely oxygen-deprived brain is pretty sure that she means to kiss and tongue him to death. That being said, there are certainly more awful ways to go, seeing that her hand has now descended to his stomach and is hovering about his belt –
The same hand pushes him back, lightly. It hits him as hard as the sudden rush of air in his lungs. He lets out a noise which sounds like the abandoned child of a choke and a moan.
Finn takes an unthinking step towards her and is given a rude reminder of his quasi-state of imprisonment. This time he lets out a real choke.
‘This is like accidental office bondage,’ observes Liz from a safe distance. (Safe? Safe from what? Him? From her own lust?)
Meanwhile, Finn’s gaze is dark and heady and…sweet Jesus, she’s started a fire for which there isn’t a fire extinguisher. She should also really desist with the extinguisher metaphor.
‘Looks like you’ve discovered another one of your batshit kinks,’ he murmurs.
Looking at him, it’s clear that he can’t tell whether that sound is one of agreement or misgiving. She can almost see his cock twitch regardless. She continues in a maddeningly conversational tone:
‘Tell me, Finn, did you stuff your entire pen collection down your trousers or are you pleased to see me?’
‘You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?’ he says weakly.
‘Immensely.’ He can’t see her smile because she’s now stepping behind him, but he can certainly hear it.
Liz hears him inhale then groan faintly when she trails her fingers down his backside. Then she smacks him. Hard.
‘Christ!’ he yelps, involuntarily grabbing the sides of the shredder for support.
‘You can end this any time, you know, by saying that you were wrong about redacting my comments for the press release.’
Another sharp inhale. ‘I knew it. I knew this was all about that bloody thing.’
What’s turning her on is the contrast between how detached she sounds and how desperate he clearly is. Always a kick, really. And also because she’s pressing her breasts into his back and even with the layers of clothes between them, his skin is burning beneath her touch.
He stubbornly resists giving in, despite his eroding sanity. She refrains from thinking about her own.
‘I bet you were an interrogator in your past life,’ he says. ‘Explains a lot, really; I’ve always wondered what kind of person would freely bring German dictators into a conversation about HR.’
‘Apparently the kind you don’t mind sucking you off every now and then.’ She pauses. ‘FYI, Hitler was actually Austrian.’
‘And you’re an American wreaking havoc on a British institution, how is that, or a point about nationality any different?’
That merits another loud smack across the arse and Liz leans in close, so that her breath is warm upon his cheek.
‘Did you just call yourself a “British institution”? Wow, I know you had a lofty opinion about yourself, but I didn’t expect…’
‘I didn’t – that wasn’t what I –’ he stammers. ‘I – fuck you.’ His display of defiance is marred by his frantic – and evidently unconscious – attempts to crane his face towards her.
He emits what sounds suspiciously like a squeak when she skims her hands down both his hips before settling on his straining hardness in front.
‘Christ,’ he says again, shivering. Liz is trembling, too, and by the surprising dampness of his trousers, he’s as wet as she is. A rough caress there makes him arch and he tilts his head back. She instinctively nips the exposed skin beneath his collar. A soft moan – and which could as well be hers – makes her realise that she’s no longer sure if she’s still doing this to tease him, or to satisfy the telltale ache coiling low and insistent in her body.
She lifts her eyes and sees that his own are closed. There’s a sudden, unsettling lull. Then:
Finn opens his eyes and she takes pity on him at last.The scissor blades deftly tear through his tie and she releases him – and herself – in every sense of the word.
His hands immediately dart to her face, crushing her mouth to his, returning her earlier favour. She clumsily reels him in by the remnants of his ragged tie and they knock over a stack of official Met stationery paper which flies everywhere. They serve as a useful substitute for a mattress, Liz supposes, when they end up on the floor. Between the paper and their discarded clothing, they both wrestle briefly for dominance, but with need overriding everything else and already brought to the brink, she lets him be on top. But she has her way first, coming with a wail which she stifles by biting into his shoulder, so unintentionally hard in fact that it draws blood. With his face buried in her neck, Finn doesn’t seem to notice, breathless as he is from his own orgasm.
‘Call it payment for my redaction,’ he comments, five minutes later, only moving from her side to fold his jacket into a makeshift pillow for her. He huffs when she gestures for him to share; Liz rests his stubborn head against her chest instead.
‘I really didn’t mean to,’ she says.
‘And I’m sorry about ruining your tie.’
‘It’s all right; I was meaning to get rid of it anyway.’ He notes her curious gaze. ‘I wore it the day you turned up on Sky News,’ he explains then admits, ‘Not my finest hour.’
‘Okay, so you’re basically saying that wearing it makes you double the bastard you normally are.’
‘Maybe. Maybe not.’
‘You’re still a bastard.’ He’s about to come up with a sarcastic reply when she blows against his ear. ‘And I still love you.’