Word Count: 1883
Rating: green cortina
Warnings: considers info from A2A 1.01 as canon
Summary: Does what it says on the tin.
A/N: For jpgr who requested the prompt. Please enjoy!
“This place is an absolute pigsty. I don’t see how anyone can get any work done around here. Hang on, no one does any work.”
Ray grinned as Tyler pranced about the room, turning up his nose at every empty butty wrapper and crinkled nudie mag.
“I thought we had cleaners. Don’t we have cleaners?” The DI continued.
Ray, feet propped on his desk, enjoyed the view as Tyler pulled at his hair, itched his arms, and kicked at the overflowing bins. Lately, Tyler seemed generally unconcerned with the state of CID, but every once in awhile he still became a man possessed.
“Where’s the Wright file? Has anyone seen the Wright file?”
Ray glanced at the Wright file sitting on his desk, kept his mouth shut, and lit a fresh ciggie.
“The Wright file.”
“Erm, what about it, Boss?”
Ray exhaled a ring of smoke as Tyler tensed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Have. You. Seen. It.”
“No. Don’t think so. Have I?” Chris asked himself. “Wait. Ray, weren’t you doing that report?”
Tyler immediately spun towards Ray, his dark eyes shooting daggers at the DC.
“Which report was that?” Ray asked casually, blowing another puff of smoke.
“The Wright one,” Chris said before Tyler could shout it.
“Oh. Not the wrong one, then?”
At that, Tyler stormed the few steps to Ray’s desk, but before the DI could holler again, Ray scooped up the file and handed it over.
“Here you are. Boss,” he smirked.
Tyler ripped it from Ray’s hands and carried it to his own desk. Ray waited patiently and examined his cigarette while counting the seconds before his DI exploded. It only took four.
“It’s not finished.”
“It’s not?” Ray asked, poorly feinging innocence.
“No,” Tyler was fuming.
“I could’ve sworn it was. Not finish a report? That don’t sound like me, does it?”
That earned Ray a healthy laugh from the other detectives. Tyler was able to hold his tongue for all of three seconds.
“Well, DS Carling. Since you appear incapable of something as simple as writing, I’ll have to finish this myself.”
“Suit yourself,” Ray shrugged, swung his legs of his desk, and reached for his coat. “Chris. Pub,” he ordered and walked out of CID, smiling. Tyler may have thought he was being insulting, but he had only played right into Ray’s hands. He had never planned on finishing that bloody report. As he walked down the station steps, Ray couldn’t help but appreciate having an Inspector so easy to wind up as Tyler.
“And how bad was it? The smell?”
“Oh. No so bad. And the cats were really friendly,” Chris said, sipping his pint.
“And are you going to see her again?” Tyler asked, hesitantly.
“Well, her gran were really nice. Kept giving me tea and all. Course, I had to keep running to the toilet for a slash. And every time, her or her gran would accidentally walk in on me. Or that one cat. Frisky, they called her,” Chris nervously tugged at his shirt collar.
“But you won’t be seeing her again,” Ray tried to confirm.
“I did promise her, Ray. Susie says there’s no one else to help her bathe and paint the cats, and she and her gran said big hands like mine would be perfect for holding their pussies.”
Ray choked on his lager. Sam paled. Chris looked confused.
“What’s wrong? They just like to paint the toenails, is all.”
“Chris, it’s probably best you don’t see Susie again. Or her gran,” Sam stated softly. Chris looked to Ray.
“I can find you a nice girl, mate. Don’t worry. But stay away from that Susie.”
“You sure?” He asked, looking back and forth from Sam to Ray.
“Yes,” the men said in unison.
Chris looked a little despondent, but finally agreed to never see Susie again. As the young DC went to the bar to fetch the next round, Ray glanced over at Tyler who was still shaking his head, and was glad it was he who was there and not the Guv.
Gene would have encouraged a second date purely for his own amusement, to be sure. Ray didn’t mind playing jokes on his mate, but even he knew that sometimes Chris needed a hand rather than a shove. He appreciated that Tyler felt the same way.
“I tol’ that bast’rd...bett’r naw scratch me car else I’d rip ‘im a new one. An’ ‘e said, ‘a new wha?’ Wife ‘ad to ‘old me back, she did. Strong...strong as an ox, she is.”
“Very informative. Thank you, Guv,” Tyler sighed as he tried to stuff the Guv into his coat. “Don’t you think we should go and see your lovely Misses?”
“You ‘avin’ it on wit’ ‘er, Tyler?” Gene swivelled in his chair to glare at his DI, barely managing to remain upright.
“Course not, Guv. Mrs. Hunt is too much woman for me,” Tyler said, slipping his hand into the camelhair coat to retrieve the car keys.
“Ha! Course she is. Any woman’s too much for you, innit that so, Sammy?” Gene slurred.
“Whatever you say, Guv. Come on. Let’s get you home,” Tyler slipped his arms under Gene’s shoulders and hoisted him to shaky feet. “Ray. Door?”
Ray obliged, rising to his own unstable feet and walking to the pub door. As he held it open for the stumbling pair, Ray remembered how angry he was about the many ways Tyler had replaced him since his unfortunate arrival. But, as he watched the Boss struggle to drag a very pissed Guv out to the Cortina, he was glad Tyler was around.
Ever since the berk did turn up, it was no longer Ray who had to leave the pub early, cart home the drunken behemoth, and take a scolding from the Missus. Ray settled back into his chair with a fresh pint. Yes, he could certainly appreciate Tyler’s presence at times like these.
“Your lot are nothing but a load of incompetent barbarians whose only care is where their next drink is coming from.”
“As opposed to yours, DCI Litton, who never mind the fatality outcome of a situation as long as it lands them on the front page of the Gazette,” Tyler snapped back.
Ray had ducked behind the post office to smoke a fag and clear his mind after the botched raid. He hadn’t expected to find Tyler and Litton out here about to throw punches.
“So you’re blaming RCS for this debacle, I see?”
“We had the situation perfectly under control before your goons...”
“Goons, are we? It appears you’ve been spending too much time with Hunt, DI Tyler. And I believe it was your Sergeant Carling who blundered in and started off the fracas.”
Ray was about to reveal himself and defend his actions to that slimy bastard when, to his surprise, Tyler did it for him.
“Detective Sergeant Carling performed his duty with textbook perfection, Mr. Litton. If he hadn’t pulled his gun on Delgado, I would have done it myself. And, it was your Constable who actually fired the first shot. So, I’d be careful who you start accusing.”
Ray watched as Tyler began walking away.
“Is that all you have to say, Mr. Tyler?” Litton spat out.
“Right now, yes. The rest you can read in my report to Superintendent Rathbone.”
Tyler disappeared one way and Litton the other. Ray remained where he was. He never had trouble defending himself, but he could certainly appreciate having someone in his corner, especially when it happened so rarely.
“Make sure you have that desk cleared off ‘fore you head over to Luigi’s. New DI’s supposed to be in any day now.”
Gene nodded then ducked back into his office, his Manc Lion sign drifting gently as the door shut. Ray stared at it briefly before glancing over at the spare desk. Chris had made that sign for the Guv their first week here. He thought it might help him feel more at home. Ray hadn’t noticed a difference, but he daren’t tell Chris. Striding over to the desk, Ray began picking up the odds and ends that had cluttered it since their interim DI had left three weeks ago. Ray hadn’t put in for the job this time. Gene had wanted him to, that he knew.
There was a Yo-Yo, some empty packs of fags, and a week’s worth of outdated newspapers. Ray chucked it all in the closest bin, except the Yo-Yo which he returned to Chris’s desk. Digging deeper he discovered the missing Beltran file and a set of keys to Chris’s flat. He’d almost reached the surface of the desk when he glanced into Gene’s office.
The Guv was in his chair, a mug in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Ray was positive it wasn’t just tea he was drinking. Despite himself, he kept watching and saw as Gene looked over at his bulletin board, then back at the crossword he wasn’t even trying to finish. Ray looked back at the desk.
An empty evidence bag, a half-eaten ham sandwich (so that’s where the smell had been coming from), and a betting slip. All into the bin. Ray glanced at Gene. Gene glanced at the bulletin board. Ray glanced at the article on the bulletin board, then had to look away.
The Guv was in one of moods again, Ray had been with him long enough to know. They were just subtle changes, but Ray could see the difference, and he knew that this time, it was because of the imminent arrival of a new DI.
It was easier before, with Parker. They’d just come south, Parker was already here and the old bloke wasn’t planning on staying, just remaining long enough to help the new DCI and his detectives settle in. So really, they hadn’t had a new DI since...a long time. Seven years. Ray knew they needed a DI. Ray knew Gene knew they needed a DI.
The Guv needed someone who could keep him in line better than Ray could. He needed someone who could challenge him more than Ray could. He needed someone who could focus him more than Ray could. He needed someone who could snap him from his moods better than Ray could. He needed someone who could keep him at the top of his game better than Ray could.
A blind transfer from another constabulary was probably for the best. Hunt needed a new DI, but Ray knew no one would ever be Tyler.
No one would ever keep Hunt in line better than Tyler did. No one would ever challenge him more than Tyler did. No one would ever focus him more than Tyler did. No one would ever snap him from his moods better than Tyler did. No one would ever keep him at the top of his game better than Tyler did.
A pair of dirty socks, a random bullet, an empty coffee cup. Swept into the bin.
Sam had kept them all that their best, really. Made them all better coppers, and Ray appreciated him for that.
Like hell he would ever admit it, though.
All his thoughts. Into the bin.