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Delicate: #19 Red

#19 Red
Waking The Dead//Frankie/Boyd//For 30kisses

She pauses in the doorway – sitting is committing and all she wants to do is run as far and as fast as possible – but the woman in pale blue smiles up at her and gestures to the chair and Frankie realises her only option is to grin and bear this ridiculous exercise.

'Dr Wharton'

'Dr Griffin' Slowly Frankie drops into the chair, not bothering to even feign interest in her surroundings. Fixing her gaze determinedly on the - still smiling – Dr Griffin, she chooses the only escape open to her – a mental one – and begins internally cataloguing the evidence of their latest case.

'I'm sure you know why you're here'

One: Partial print on the doorknob.

'But in case you aren't, I have explained to your colleagues and it's only fair I do the same to you,' she punctuates this sentence with a flutter of her hands and a silvery laugh.

Two: The serrated edge of the wound.

'Earlier this year a break down in communications between your team lead to your friend Dr Foley in a compromising position and at risk from a suspected murderer…'

This blatant misrepresentation of the truth finally pulls Frankie back to the room: 'I think you will find it was a break down in communications between us as a department and the rest of the station that resulted in Dr Foley's being sent alone to Darkly's farm.'

'So your colleagues informed me. However, I'm familiar with the events as the District Commissioner sees them. And that is the version which has led you here, so let's stick to it shall we?' Her voice is sickly sweet, but Frankie knows her question is completely rhetorical. Sure enough, after a few seconds pause and smile, she starts up again, 'So here we are. As you know, the point of our sessions is to discuss your relationships within the department so we can identify why your communications failed, and prevent it happening again.'

Three: A knife, clearly not the murder weapon, was also found at the scene covered in the victim's blood.

'So which of your colleagues do you feel you get on best with?'

Four: The fibre found…'Probably Mel.' on her arm

'You barely thought about that. Would you say you had a particularly close relationship with Miss Silver.'

'No closer than the others. But Spence and Boyd can be hard to talk to sometimes due to their tempers and they are both quite demanding at times.'

'What about Dr Foley?'

Sighing, Frankie accepts that trying to zone out is not going to work and fights not to glare at the other Doctor in irritation as she answers.

'Grace is…well I suppose we have less in common than Mel and I. Grace is older, she's seen more. She is also a psychologist; she's only interested in evidence if it helps her form profiles. Mel and I share the similar need for answers through physical evidence, so Mel understands my work better.'

'I see. Now, in order to properly asses how you feel about each of the other team members, I have devised a collection of questions I wish you to answer. Try and say what immediately comes into your head, don't think to hard about it.'

Frankie gives a curt nod in reply, as a sinking feeling overtook. This was going to be one long hour.


She had not been wrong. Dr Griffin reeled off a list of questions, each more tedious and ridiculous than the last and Frankie could feel her energy seeping through her body into the ground. Everything from first impressions to fake situations and her predictions on how everyone would react was put to her. Her eyes were glued to the clock, counting down every second until this torturous hour would be up. With the end nigh - only fifteen minutes left – she tried to give her full attention but found Griffin had been saving the best till last.

'And finally, an exercise I have found is very telling in these situations: an exercise in association. I am going to list each member of your team and I want you to tell which colour you most associate with them. Again, try and give your gut reaction and not think to hard about this.'

It was all she could do not to gag. Having worked with Grace she realised what a key skill psychological study could be and the contribution it made to the world. But this, this was the kind of new-age, hippy therapy that gave a hugely important area a bad name.

And she'd had her fill of it years ago, when she was unlucky enough to fall into bed with someone who was into to colour psychology and had somehow decided it would make fascinating pillow talk. The scientist in her had found it ridiculous but also, she was ashamed to admit, interesting and she'd applied the basics of it to her home in a huge redecoration project when Boyd had forced her to take a break for a week.


'Good, right, well I think we should start with the person you feel closest to…Mel.'

Frankie didn't bother to correct her about the earlier statements, instead trying to focus on the task in hand. 'Mel…purple.'

'And why do you think you associate her with that colour?'

'Because…it's the colour of her favourite jumper.'

'O-kay. That is not exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. The colour purple is generally associated with sensuality and creativity, mystery, wisdom and nobility. Do you feel any of these seem suited to Mel?'

'What about wealth, ceremony? To be honest, yeah the creativity and mystery because she often comes up with more fanciful ideas than Boyd and she is very quiet and secretive about her past but not so much with the others. I'd say it was more negative stuff, such as exaggeration and confusion that would draw me to that colour.'

With a sweetly innocent smile, she reclines into her chair. For a moment Griffin looks angry, but rapidly pulls herself together. 'So you know something about colour psychology.'

'A little'

'Then maybe you could make more of an effort on the next one? Dr Foley.'


'And why do you think that is?'

'Let's see if I can remember this…blue is the colour of confidence and dependability but also unity and calm. Grace is the glue of the department who fights to keep us together, smoothes over the cracks if Boyd gets angry or Spence. But she also care's a lot, plays the mother, tries to keep us all in line and I don't think there's a colour for all that.'

'But maybe loyalty fits into that as well. That's brilliant, much more what I'm after. So what about Mr Jordan?'

'Spence is easily Orange.'

'Can you explain…'

'Energy, heat and enthusiasm. He's like Boyd but watered down. Energy, I guess, because he's always striving for that answer. When the rest of us are curled in a corner somewhere, slowly picking apart our work whilst barely awake, he will still be fighting on, pouring over files: statements, photos, everything looking for the one thing we've all missed. Heat because, well he's got a temper too and it usually fuels Boyd. And enthusiasm, because, well same as energy I suppose.'

'And finally Mr Boyd?'


The doctor seems slightly surprised at the quickness and fervour in her voice, but when she gestures for Frankie to explain further, she remains quiet. 'Dr Wharton…'

'Oh right, well, I mean it's obvious isn't it? You've met Boyd. Anger and fire and leadership and passion and…'

She trails off as memories of their encounter only a week ago spring to her mind. They'd passed it off as ridiculous pent up feelings after the case, had barely mentioned it since and despite much prodding from Mel, she'd fought to forget it ever happened.

But the colour red has more connotations that she knows. Passion of a double meaning, masculinity and power, lust and sex. The memory floods back: the look on his face, commanding, exciting. And the fire in his eyes; the rush she had felt as his hands had run over her body, under her clothes; the groan she had felt against her lips when she slid her own hands beneath his shirt…

'Dr Wharton?'

And she's back in this depressing little room, with this annoying little woman. She doesn't want to think about Boyd, about that evening, but its better at least than being here. In desperation her eyes fly to the clock again, and with relief she sees its five past.

'Oh god, look – we've over ran. I'll be keeping you from her next appointment!' As she speaks she collects her coat and bag, is already at the door before she hears Dr Griffin insist 'No, my next isn't till half-past and I really think we should discuss...'

'No, it's fine. Can't afford another half hour anyway,' and she closes the door on the session and her thoughts.