You had the worst possible day at work. The Murphy’s Law of days, really. Every hour, a client called to give you a difficult time about something that wasn’t under your control. While you usually had “the miracle touch,” when it came to a problem, it seemed like you had lost it for a day. When you couldn’t offer any real solutions to the clients, your boss pulled you into his office to have a chat.
All beady eyes in a stiff suit, he stared you down, his hands knitted on top of his desk. As he looked at you down his nose, he acted as if you were the only employee having issues when, in reality, you were the only competent person working there. In fact, your boss was the most incompetent.
The twenty-minute condescension fest (or, “little talk,” as your boss called it) consisted of the same three questions asked in different ways: Why didn’t you make that impossible deadline? Why can’t you fix everybody’s problems? Why can’t you carry this entire company on your back, Y/N?
Dread gripped your veins when you left work on the verge of tears. You always hated that job. Your boyfriend, Sam Tyler, always told you to quit. “I’d take care of you,” he always said. “What else is a DI’s salary for?”
All you wanted to do was drive home, climb into bed, and use what was left of your depleting energy to scream into your pillow.
But Sam was taking you out to dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant in downtown Manchester called Fratello’s. According to Gene Hunt (who never gave anything high praise), it had the best pasta dishes in the entire city.
You could hear the grin in Sam’s voice when he called you about taking you out.
“We need a night away from the pub,” he said. He was right. Gene always wrangled the two of you into spending the night with him and the boys – a few rounds of drinks and some poker. It was fun, but it wasn’t what Sam truly liked, which was alone time with you.
What Sam liked best was relaxing with you after work, jacket off and shirt unbuttoned, leaving the little bit of chest exposed above his tank top. He knew that was your favorite part of his body. You always peppered his collarbone with kisses, burrowing your head into the soft skin while the two of you watched TV.
But the two of you never did fancy meals. He insisted you had to do it at least once. Again, what else was a DI’s salary for?
Yet, all you wanted was your boyfriend and a terrible pizza from the restaurant by his flat. But the thought of telling Sam killed you, and even worse, you could feel the frustration and sadness bubbling up in your chest. Talk about being the downer to your amazing night.
The moment you turned the key in Sam’s door, you half-expected to feel his arms snake around you. You expected him to pull you in close and burrow his face into your neck before he pressed a quick kiss to your lips in a wordless greeting. That was how it always went.
After the initial greeting, Sam’s gaze would linger over your lips before he’d smile into another kiss – one so hungry and desperate that the two of you would temporarily lose yourselves in it. After a moment, the two of you would break apart and Sam would breathlessly tell you how happy he was to see you.
Your Sam, your perfect Sam. That’s just how he was. He lived for your comfort. He loved to touch you, have your lips soft against his. You couldn’t think of a time when you were together that some part of your bodies weren’t touching. There was always a gentle palm at the small of your back, an arm around your waist, hips close, his fingers absent-mindedly reaching out to be intertwined with yours.
But instead, when you peeked in the door, you found an empty flat with the sound of water running, Sam humming a Beatles song in the shower. On a usual day, you would have slipped out of your clothes and stepped in with him. But today, you slowly closed the door behind you, breathing a shaky sigh of relief.
It clicked shut and you leaned against it, swallowing hard, hoping you hadn’t drawn too much attention to your arrival. While every part of your body swelled at the idea of seeing Sam, you knew that he would see right through your act. There was no way you’d be able to hold it together much longer after that.
As you glanced around his living room, you could tell Sam had just gotten home. He had tossed his leather jacket on a chair, leaving his wallet, badge, and keys nearby.
You glanced up as the water turned off with a jolt. More relief ran through you. He was just getting out of the shower, buying you time. You could relax, try to bury your emotions far down into your stomach, and come up with an excuse as to why you weren’t up for your dinner date.
As it was, after the horrible day you had, your lungs sat like anchors in your chest. It was getting harder to hide your shaky breaths. A lump grew in your throat, sobs threatening to surface in vicious heaves. That was the last thing you wanted, especially that night.
This was supposed to be a relaxing night, just the two of you. No Gene Hunt or Nelson or a group of men sitting around a table, spitting insults at each other. It was going to be just you and Sam, the way you both liked it.
You slipped out of your jacket and draped it on a chair, moving to sit on the couch. When you sat down, you just continued to breathe. In, out, in, out…
Slowly, you ran your palms over your pants, trying to fight the tears that stung at the corners of your eyes.
After a beat, the door in front of you opened and Sam stepped out, all wet hair and freshly-showered in a black shirt and pants, making you freeze. His gaze fell on you and a wide smile grew on his face. He hadn’t even noticed. “Hey, babe. How was work?”
He quickly padded across the floor to sit down on the couch next to you, his whiskey-colored eyes brightening as he placed a warm hand on your face. He didn’t even wait for your answer before he kissed you.
“Was fine,” you mumbled against his lips.
“Just fine?” Sam laughed, stroking your face with his thumb. “I hope you’re more excited than that for our date.”
You swallowed shakily, an audible gasp that made Sam pull away and look at you. Within seconds, you were heaving sobs.
“Oh, Y/N,” Sam murmured, taking you into his arms. He rested your head against his chest – the spot you loved so much – and let you cry, tears dripping down onto his dress shirt. “Do you want a glass of water? Anything?”
“I just want you to hold me,” you whispered, your voice shaking with every syllable.
Sam let out a sad chuckle and pressed a soft kiss to your forehead. “I can do that.”
Sam rubbed your back as you cried into his chest. His hand played with your hair, while the other arm held you tight. After a moment, he pulled you away, searching your eyes. “Will you tell me what has you crying like this? Who do I have to nick?”
A bit of a laugh bubbled out of you as you stopped crying. Sam smiled softly, wiping the remaining tears from your cheeks. His gaze lingered on you, waiting for you to tell him what was wrong, so he could fix it. He was the real one with “the miracle touch,” after all.
You swallowed hard, rolling your eyes at how emotional you got. “Work is awful, but I don’t want to talk about it.”
Sam shrugged. “Okay, then let’s talk about good stuff then.”
He moved to his side on the couch, turning you with him. As you tried to face him to look at him, he nodded for you to face forward. “No, let me take care of you, Y/N,” he whispered.
He ran his hands down your spine, and you shivered, your breath hitching in your throat. He began kneading his hands against your shoulder blades, working to get the knots out of them. The tension always built the most in your upper body. You sighed, melting into his touch, as he asked, “Do you remember our first date?”
Of course, you did. “You took me to the pub,” you said, blankly. “Why did you do that again?”
Sam ignored your jab. You could imagine his little eye-roll as he continued to work harder on your back. His touch running down your spine made a moan leave your mouth. He had you like putty in his hands. “You told Gene Hunt off, of all people and walked away as if it was nothing” – you smiled at the memory, leaning into him – “I knew right then that I loved you.”
“You know when I knew I loved you?” you asked, glancing back at him, a grin tugging at your lips.
Sam hummed, stopping at the small of your back. He took his hands away when you turned to face him, reaching for his hand. “The moment I first saw you.”
A sparkle grew in Sam’s eyes as he looked at you – a man completely in love. He looked at you for a moment – taking in the sight of you, all puffy and red-faced, before leaning forward to press his lips to yours.