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Fic: Cellmates (DW/Spooks)

Title: Cellmates
Author: lost_spook
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 759
Characters/Pairings: Jo Portman, Jo Grant, Zafar Younis
Notes/Warnings: None.
Summary: Jo first learned what to do when locked in a cell not from MI5, but from someone else entirely…

For paranoidangel42 in the 500 Prompts Meme #54 Leap of Faith – Jo Grant & Jo Portman (DW/Spooks).


When Jo Portman had been a student, she’d gone through an activist period – animal rights, anti-nuclear, green issues, whatever it was this week she felt most strongly about. It had come to an abrupt end when she found herself locked in the local police cell, outwardly unrepentant but inwardly horrified at the whole business – and desperately hoping her Mum and Dad wouldn’t ever have to find out. She didn’t abandon her convictions afterwards, but she found other outlets for them – like writing strongly worded articles, for a start.

Her cellmate that day had been much more cheerful, however, especially once they introduced themselves. She was another Jo, she told her; Jo Jones, though she was a Josephine, not a Joanna. Joanna, she said, was much prettier and suited Jo down to the ground. She also said that she thought Jo was marvellous, getting involved with a small issue like saving a nature area.

“If it’s not a big thing with lots of publicity, so many people don’t bother. Oh, but you! And I thought your leaflets were wonderful.” She gave Jo a huge smile and a hug. “You’re just beautiful, darling. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do anything, because I can just see it’s not true.”

It was impossible not to smile back, but Jo gave her companion a wry look. “What, like ‘you can’t leave that cell until we let you’?”

“Says who?” said Josephine Jones. “Watch this!”

Jo did, and raised both eyebrows when the older woman efficiently picked the lock with the most unlikely tools to hand.

“You see?”

Jo stared at her. “But we can’t just go, can we?”

“Well, no,” said the older Jo, wrinkling her nose, and shutting the door again. “I expect it would only cause more trouble and I don’t think they’ll keep us in here for long, not for trespassing anyway.”

“And damaging council property,” said Joanna, because a person remembered her first time of being charged only too well.

Jo Jones waved a hand. “Oh, well, that silly old sign. That was their own fault. Anyway, it’s the principle of the thing, you see? We’re choosing to wait. We could go, but we won’t.”

“Right,” said Joanna, amused.

Jo Jones only smiled at her again, and leant back against the wall of the cell, as if settling into an armchair at home. “Right. And like I was saying, darling, don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you think you should do. Sometimes you’ve just got to take a – a leap of faith. You never know where you’ll end up, but it’s much better than not trying at all, I can tell you.”

“And where did you end up?” asked Jo. “I mean, apart from in here with me.”

Jo Jones laughed at her. “Oh, halfway round the galaxy, back in time for tea – and then right the way up the Amazon!”


Jo Portman remembered that advice, and despite trying to keep well clear of police lock-ups from then on, and she’d often put it into practice – and never more literally than the day she found an unconvincing gas engineer at the door.


“And so,” said Zaf, who’d been listening to this account (the memories brought on by their current inconvenient imprisonment), “when we get out of here, you want to track down the old girl and give her a piece of your mind or worse. Don’t see that helps us much, though.”

Jo smiled at him. “No, it doesn’t. And I don’t – that’s not the point.”

“And what would that be, apart from feeding my fantasies about teenage jailbait –?”

Jo punched him on the arm. “Hey, I was let off with a warning, thanks. The point is, I watched really carefully when she picked that lock.”


Jo knelt down at the locked door that was currently presenting them with a problem. “You wouldn’t believe what you can do with a pair of tights and a safety pin, darling.”

The door swung open.

“Okay,” said Zaf. “I’m impressed. There is one thing, though.”


“I thought you had a different trick in mind when you pulled off those tights. You could have warned me.”

Jo shrugged, and said, in an undertone, in case any of the group’s members were still around, “There are other things I could do with a safety pin. If you don’t shut up, I’ll demonstrate.”

“No, no, let’s go,” said Zaf, holding up his hands in a gesture of mock surrender.

Jo smiled, and led the way out.


Crossposted from Dreamwidth -- Comments there: comment count unavailable


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 5th, 2014 05:26 pm (UTC)

I love it! I love Jo and Jo, and Zaf... Lovely!
Jul. 5th, 2014 07:31 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you! :-)
Jul. 5th, 2014 07:32 pm (UTC)
Welcome! *hugs*
Jul. 5th, 2014 07:45 pm (UTC)
I do like this - especially Jo Portman writing strongly worded letters and her learning how to pick a lock from Jo Jones. This is the perfect way to have them meet.

And I have an especially relevant icon!
Jul. 5th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you liked it. :-)

And your icon is very relevant indeed! (more so than mine. I am sadly lacking in Jos, apart from this one.)
Jul. 5th, 2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
Excellent! So nice to see Jo showing off her skills to the newbie! And then the other Jo utilising them later to great effect. This is totally canon. :D
Jul. 6th, 2014 11:09 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you! :-)
Jul. 5th, 2014 08:42 pm (UTC)
This is delightful!
Jul. 6th, 2014 11:09 am (UTC)
Thank you! :-)
Jul. 5th, 2014 08:56 pm (UTC)
That works quite well.
Jul. 6th, 2014 11:09 am (UTC)
Thank you. :-)
Jul. 11th, 2014 02:41 am (UTC)
Bwahahah. Oh, JO. She would pick a lock that way, she did escapology, after all. And other-Jo!

(one day, someone will write me the fic of my dreams where Grant, Portman, Lupo, McDonagh and Harvelle fight aliens and spies and blow things up together.)
Jul. 11th, 2014 01:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And, yes, I've no idea whether you could pick a lock with those things, but it sounds both vaguely plausible and very Jo. :-)

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


spooks - Harry/Ruth/Bench = ♥

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