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We worked, we ate lunch, we worked some more, we went for Chinese. 

Those words floated around River’s head all the time.  And he figured it was because it didn’t stray too far from their daily life.  They’d work, they’d get a burger or some general fast food that he couldn’t stomach while Stevie told him how many points were in each food, they’d work some more, and then they’d go back to their respective homes- River to his swanky flat with the windows big enough to see for miles, and Stevie to her cozy, brick walled oasis.

There were however, certain nights where they didn’t go their separate ways.  The reasons varied- they were too tired to make the journey back to their places, they were hungry, or Stevie needed to make sure River was ok.  And if he was being honest with himself, it was usually the latter.  

His mind flashed back, however, to one night where things were different.

“Can I come to yours tonight?”  Stevie asked, sitting in the passenger side of the car after a long day of a rather draining steak out looking for a man wanted for rape and murder.

“Sure, why?”  River said nervously.  He loved Stevie, and he would love to have her over.  But he didn’t want to seem too eager.

“Just don’t want to be alone tonight, that’s all.”  She responded, looking out the window and offering no further explanation. 

“Sure...must have something in the fridge we could whip up.”  He said, laughing.

“Just as long as it isn’t some outdated Chinese.”  She said, looking at him and grinning.

 

When they made it back to his place, he unlocked the door and she let herself in first, making herself at home on his sofa.  Sitting cross legged against the pillows, she watched as he took off his jacket and made his way over to the record player.

It was one of his habits, putting the music on.  He would carefully choose one from the wall, take it out carefully and she waited with bated breath to hear what song would fill the room.

He knew her well- in fact he knew her more than anyone- so he always tried to pick an album she’d like.

“Tina Charles or The Nolans?” He asked, turning around and giving her a cheeky grin.

“The Nolans.”  She smiled, legs still crossed almost like a child.

The beginning notes of “I’m In the Mood For Dancing” started and she perked up.  

“Good choice.”  He said, making his way over to the sofa to sit next to her.  They were colleagues, yes, but they were more than that.  Lovers- no, not in the usual sense of the word.  Friends wasn’t the right word either.  Their relationship was somewhere between mutual saviors and two lost souls.

They were two people who were perfectly comfortable sitting in silence.  But that night, River felt something was off.

“So what’s this about, then?”  He asked, The Nolans filling the spaces between his words.

“What’s what about?”  

“Well I’m the one who’s usually asking you to come over.  You’re not one to let a night in go to waste.”

“Never make friends with coppers.”  She laughed.

“What do you mean?”

“They never stop analyzing you.”  She smiled, still dodging his question.  “Shall we look in the fridge to see what we can find?”  She got up from the sofa and made her way to the kitchen and he followed.

River found himself in an unfamiliar situation.  Usually it was him who couldn’t get out of bed, him who needed help getting dressed and into the shower, him who needed her.  But that night, he sensed she needed him but didn’t know how to ask.

So he watched her bend down and look in the fridge and admired her like he always did.  She pulled out a container of eggs and turned around with a shake of her hips.

“Sing you nutter.”  She laughed, looking up at him.

“I don’t sing.  You know this.”  He rolled his eyes to tease her.

“Then dance with me.”  She said softer than her usual tone, sounding almost embarrassed.

So he grabbed her by the waist and his forwardness caught her off guard.  She only half expected him to comply. 

He swirled her around his kitchen while their eggs and toast almost burned.  And he realized that perhaps, while he needed to talk when things were bothering him, Stevie needed to dance.

 

So the day before her funeral, he found himself putting on The Nolans and turned around to see Stevie in her favorite chair, laughing quietly at their shared memory of that night that they danced to the very same song.