|Follow-up Hot Fuzz fic: "All Bets Are Off" - Ensemble Cast, Nick/Danny - R
||[Nov. 15th, 2008|04:14 pm]
(lives between pages)
Title: All Bets Are Off
Fandom: Hot Fuzz
Characters & Pairing: Ensemble, Nicholas/Danny
Rating: R (language and references)
Notes: Just a little follow-up to Your Wildest Dreams. I'm a nosy git and want to know what happens the next morning, so I'll assume that you guys are, too. The primary aim of this piece is humor, so POV rotates around the station, as it were. I wanted some practice getting into the others' heads.
Summary: Nobody tells me nothing.
The rotten thing about getting home from holiday was, you were always farther outside the loop than you were when you left. To make matters worse, Sergeant Turner's brother had caught some kind of exotic tummy bug while they were in Goa with their mum, which meant he wasn't even coming back to work on time (the tosser). At least he'd been smart and not drunk the tap water.
The church-hall-cum-station was quiet when Turner arrived, but he was startled to find the front door already open. Hesitantly, he pushed his way inside. Doris was alone in the main room, quietly sat at her desk filling out some forms. Turner wondered vaguely if somebody had died.
"What happened?" he asked, dreading the answer.
Doris looked up at him and shrugged. "Nothin'. I just got here early, is all."
"Ain't that Angel's job?" asked Turner, suspiciously. Everybody knew that Inspector Angel never slept, and nobody knew it better, he reckoned, than Danny Butterman. But Doris, busybody that she was, ought to know it, too.
"Usually," said Doris, sounding rather chipper, "but he's been under a lot of stress lately, what with buildin' the new station, so I reckon he might just be having a lie-in."
Turner glanced at the clock on the wall, which was retro as all hell, and then at Doris. He fully expected Twilight Zone music to start playing any second.
"It's nine. He's usually here by eight thirty, and Danny's not far behind now that he's made sergeant an' all."
Doris shrugged again, breaking the tape on a white box that was off to one side on her desk. She lifted the lid and stuck her hand inside, drawing out something that smelled completely amazing. "Tea cake? Me mum made 'em special."
"Special for what?" Turner asked, advancing a few steps. It did look good.
"For today?" Doris blinked at him as if perplexed, but she sounded guilty. "Here."
He accepted the pastry and took a bite, chewing thoughtfully. "Where's Danny, then?"
Doris was already back at her paperwork. "I reckon he's havin' a lie-in, too," she said, not bothering to look up. "You could give me a hand and do this here purchase order for a hoover, though." She pulled another complicated-looking form out from under the one she was writing on.
Turner swallowed the tea cake, then took the form out of her hand. It was strange, being bossed about by a woman, and he wasn't sure he liked it. Still, he went over to his desk and got to it. At least he still had half a tea cake, and it was amazing.
But it didn't change the fact that Doris was doing worse than telling him nothing.
* * *
"You just wait," said Cartwright, holding the door for his partner. "He'll be sat there in the office, doin' his bloody paperwork, and Butterbum'll be there at his desk and it'll all be business as usual. You just wait and - "
"You were saying?" asked Wainwright. They stood there for a few seconds, staring.
"'Morning," Doris greeted them from her desk, waving. "You all right? Tea cake?"
"S'excellent," mumbled Turner, mouth half full and busy with some kind of paperwork.
"Back from the arse-end of India, are you?" Wainwright asked, forging ahead and already in a foul mood. Lately, that tone had begun to make Wainwright twitch a little. In his opinion, there wasn't the same call for it as there'd once been. Angel had proved he was more or less all right. "Where's your brother? Was he the only one with enough sense not to come back?"
"Sick," Turner said. "You really ought to try one of these. They're smashing!"
Cartwright went over to Doris's desk and helped himself. Turner was right about that.
"You haven't got much of a tan," Wainwright continued, eyeing Doris suspiciously. "They must've turned the sun off when they heard you landed."
"Oy!" Doris scolded him. "Knock it off. Just for that, you can't have any."
"Didn't say I wanted any," Wainwright sneered back, his arms folded across his chest. He was glaring at Wainwright now, a bit too close for comfort. "Of course, Andy here will share if I ask him. Won't you, mate?"
"Sod off," Cartwright muttered, shoving what was left of the tea cake in his mouth. "Either that or come and get it. Say," he ventured, brushing the crumbs off his moustache, "where's the Inspector? It's almost ten."
Doris shrugged and smiled at him. Wainwright's eyes fell on her paperwork, bulging in disbelief.
"Fancy that," said Cartwright, rather beginning to enjoy himself. "No sign of Danny, either?"
Still smiling, Doris just shook her head and wrote something down.
"There's no way," said Wainwright, his eyes darting nervously to the empty office. "No fucking way." As an afterthought, he glanced at Walker's empty desk. "What about him, then? And Fisher? What'd everybody do, have a massive bender last night without tellin' us?"
"Me, I'm sober as a judge," said Doris, helping herself to another tea cake. "Ooh, that's ever so good."
Cartwright grinned at Wainwright and followed suit. Never mind Bond girls: this was going to be ace, and he had a front-row seat.
* * *
"What about me?" asked Fisher, coat slung over his shoulder as he came in through the front doors. It was a lovely, warm morning, and he wasn't about to take it for granted. "Sergeant!" he exclaimed, grinning at Turner. "You're back! Where's - "
"Sick," said Turner. "You want a tea cake? Doris is sharin'."
"If you wouldn't mind," he said to Doris, grinning hopefully. Cartwright was sat on the edge of her desk looking happy as a clam, whereas Wainwright was standing in front of the desk looking fit to smash something. He was the one who'd been asking.
"By all means," said Doris. "He ain't allowed, though," she added, pointing at Andy. "So you just smack his hand away if he tries. Andy here's already had to do it once."
Fisher looked at Cartwright, who handed him a tea cake and nodded in confirmation.
"What about me, then?" he asked Wainwright, then took a bite of the pastry. There were just enough sultanas and a hint of demerara sugar. "Doris, these are divine."
"Mum made 'em. She'll have some for sale at the next church fête, they've been so popular!"
"We were wonderin' where you were," said Wainwright, hungrily eyeing Fisher's prize.
"Ah," Fisher said. Mystery solved. "Speaking of which, where's the Inspector?"
"Lie-in, Doris reckons," volunteered Turner. "Paperwork's gone to his head. S'why we're doin' it. Butterman too. And God knows where Walker's got off to. Maybe Saxon decided to chase another lorry on their way in."
Fisher relished the last bit of tea cake. Wainwright looked downright frightening.
"Nobody tells me nothing," he muttered, finally stalking away from Doris's desk.
They all enjoyed a good laugh as he retreated down the hall.
* * *
Doris had got the first text message around one in the morning. She'd been asleep for a few hours at that point, but she was in the habit of keeping her mobile on the bedstand. Even on vibrate, it tended to wake her. Came along with the insomnia.
askin ur advice frm now on was all it had said. She'd laughed herself back to sleep.
It had been no chore to turn up to work early, what when she'd been up again by six. In the event that Nicholas and Danny did turn up - and she suspected at least one of them would - getting more of that paperwork out of the way could only be a help. Of all of them on staff, she had the second-best penmanship. She often wondered if Nicholas's handwriting had ever got mistaken for a girl's when he was growing up.
Her mum had dropped the tea cakes by the evening before, as if she'd known they'd have cause to celebrate. Doris reckoned mums were just like that, and her mum had, after all, done a lot of fussing over Danny after Mrs. Butterman died. Mr. Butterman had always appreciated it. Danny was the kid brother she'd never had, only without the kid part. They were, after all, the same age. Four months apart, almost exactly.
And it was suddenly weird as fuck to consider the fact that her kid brother was having it off with their superior officer, or was at least making progress in that direction. Doris shook herself and continued with the paperwork while all the laughter died down. Cartwright was a miserable bastard, too, but her days of trying to save him were over.
The second text-message arrived during a heated discussion between Turner and Fisher on the subject of scones versus tea cakes. Wainwright, who was still sat on her desk, tried to lean over and see what it said, but Doris turned the mobile over face-down in her lap and tutted at him. "That's none of your business, now! Girl talk."
im sick right? (wink wink nudge) nick is gonna be there in like five min stupid moron wish hed stay but omg fuckin hell doris!!! thanks for the pants did me some good in the long run xoxoxoxo oh btw nick is about to ring you NOW
Cartwright jumped a foot when Doris's land-line extension rang.
"Good morning, Sandford Po - oh! Hello, Inspector." Instinctively, Doris raised her voice. "What, really? Ooh, gosh. That doesn't sound too good. Are you sure he'll be all right? Mm-hmm? I mean, are you really sure you ought to leave him? Ah-hah. I see. Well, heaven knows you're the glue that holds this place together. Er. Right. Of course, Inspector. We'll see you shortly." She hung up and pulled the most concerned face that she could muster. "Danny's not feeling well. He won't be in today. Inspector's runnin' late on account of Danny having called him over this morning. He says you lot had better quit stuffing your faces and get to work."
That was sufficient to get Cartwright off her desk, which was all she really cared about. Besides knowing that Danny had done well for himself, of course. Nicholas was often a prat, but at least he was a responsible one. And he did have a nice arse.
* * *
"Doncheverdoidagin," Walker told Saxon, sternly, shooing the dog into the station.
Saxon went straight for Doris's desk, and it was soon apparent why. She'd brought those lovely tea cakes again. Walker wished her a good morning, which was all it took to procure him one of the pastries. A little courtesy got you a long way. Most young folks didn't seem to realize that. Doris, though, she was a good girl. Not in the usual fashion, mind, but she had a big heart and proper manners when it counted.
It only took Walker a few seconds to realize it was much quieter than usual. Patiently, he broke the tea cake in half and gave the other bit to Saxon.
"Angelaintinthen?" he asked, trying his best to sound casual.
"Not as yet," Doris said, smiling conspiratorially. "No Danny, neither."
Walker considered that for a second, which was all the thought it needed, nodding.
"Doris reckons they need sleep," said Turner. The lad was better informed than usual.
"Inspector's on his way, though," Wainwright added, skulking about the doorway as if he was waiting for something to happen. He kept glancing back the hall, presumably at Cartwright. Those two, now - no manners at all. "He rang five minutes ago."
"I'm already here," Nicholas said, the front door swinging shut behind him. Such an energetic lad, Walker had always thought, and very dedicated. He'd do all right. Bless him, but Danny had always needed looking after. "Have I missed any calls?"
"None," said Doris, holding out the clipboard. "Got you a head-start on the rest of these. Turner's got the one for the new hoover. I've made sure it can do shampooing."
"Ah," Nicholas said to the sergeant. "Welcome back. Did you sample any local specialties?"
"I can't tell none of them curries apart," he admitted. "But they were all nice."
Walker liked a good lamb vindaloo himself, whereas Saxon preferred chicken balti.
"Wonderful," Nicholas replied, noticeably more relaxed than usual. Whatever fabrication he had constructed to cover Danny's absence and his own tardiness, he had convinced himself to do it without looking guilty. Bloody dedicated, Walker thought. "I'll be in the office if anyone needs me," he finished, waving the clipboard.
"'Morning, Inspector," said Wainwright, blocking his way. "How was your lie-in, then?"
"Leavimbe," Walker insisted. Saxon barked in agreement.
Wainwright made a face at him, then turned back to Nicholas. "Well?"
"Pardon?" Nicholas asked, giving the cheeky lad the most condescending are-you-sure-you-know-what-you're-on-about look he had in his repertoire. "Danny's having a bad time of it this morning. I gave him some painkillers and told him to stay in bed. Speaking of which," he added, over his shoulder to Doris, "I'm going to leave slightly early today, for which I apologize. He'll need checking up on."
"I'd have gladly done it for you, Inspector," said Doris. "But I understand! We'll hold down the fort right enough. It's best you make sure he ain't having a relapse."
"Thank you, Doris. Now, if you don't mind - ?" Nicholas made a curt gesture that suggested Wainwright ought to get the fuck out of his way. Walker grinned.
"Not at all, Inspector." He hung to one side with Wainwright until Nichoalas was gone, at which point he zeroed in on Walker and said, "Not so fast, mate. All bets are off."
"Not the way I see it," Doris said, waving her mobile in the air. "I've got evidence!"
"Jesus Christ," said Cartwright, grudgingly reaching for his wallet.
Wainwright looked fit to burst, and if he wasn't careful, one of these days he might do.
"Payup," Walker said. "Twennyeachseptinyou," he added, nodding at Doris.
"You can have another tea cake, though. You've earned it!"
Forty quid the richer, Walker couldn't help but agree.