Fandom: Life on Mars
Word Count: 1100 +
Notes: It's Ray week at The Railway Arms, and so, I present a fic I've been working on for around two months. Oh, Ray. Difficult to like sometimes and difficult to write for. This is gen.
1. One man’s fish is another man’s poisson.
Ray fixed Sam with a glare and waited for his orders. That was the only reason Sam ever stood there, looming over him like the Eiffel Tower. It was never a “hello, Ray” or a “how are you today, Ray?” No, it was always “do this”, “do that”, “say please”, “say thanks”, say you felt like punching his lights out, what would happen?
He had that self-righteous smirk on his face again. Like he’d won at cards or had a really good screw. Unlikely. No, he was probably just pleased with having made some stupid little point. Barrington couldn’t have committed this burglary. It’s against his ‘modus operandi’. Ray wanted to shove all mentions of modus and operandi up Sam’s arse. It’d be alright if, every now and then, the bastard admitted he might be wrong – but he never did. If it turned out he’d gone off half-cocked he always managed to blame it on someone else; on missing evidence or incomplete details - never his own faulty logic.
Ray would never understand how the Guv put up with him and his blaze of stick-it-to-ya. He seemed to like him. Polar opposites, those two, but the Guv asked the poncey git down Railway Arms and to poker and there was Ray, off to the side again. No more Raymondo. No more anything. Typical. And Ray had done all in his power to be a right-hand man. He’d worked extra cases. Been constant back-up and support. Once - only once, mind, but still – once, he’d worn a City scarf when going to the match. That was real devotion, that was.
2. Is that a gun, or a rocket, or are you just happy to see me?
See, Ray, he was pretty good at biding his time. He’d worked and struggled and achieved as many detections as was humanly possible, consequences be damned. He’d left halfway through dates and skipped meals and given up on going to a club just to have fun – no, the girls were always contacts. Then Sam came along with his strut, jacket, heels and most of all, ability to weasel out of anything he damned well pleased. And Ray. Ray had been demoted. Not just shoved out on the street, but shoved out on the street with less than he’d arrived in.
“Ray, I want you to go down to the Rostrevor Estate and assist Chris, please.”
“I believe there will be evidence that Barrington may have had an accomplice.”
Ray always figured he had two choices. He could argue the point. Or he could go.
“Seeya later, boss.”
Ray worked, did his best. He made mistakes, sure. Everyone did. He wasn’t the only one with a life on his conscience, but Sam always seemed to forget that when he was giving his grand sermon. Ray was guilty of sin, all others absolved.
He thought he’d been doing his job.
3. Children should be clean and not heard.
“Right, Chris, get me up to speed.”
“There in’t nowt.”
“How hard have you looked?”
Ray sighed and resisted the urge to clap Chris around the head. It wasn’t his fault, the dopey git. But, if there was anything that pissed Ray off more than the Guv’s wanton disregard for him, it was the blind devotion to all that was Sam that Chris showed. Like he was an excitable and loving pup. He was supposed to be Ray’s excitable and loving pup. He’d told Chris he’d stand by him, set him on the path, show him all the moves. Chris chose tape recorders and stupid overly complicated methods and seven thousand different small but heartbreaking forms of betrayal.
Ray worked with Chris on case after case. He tried to show him the way. But Chris was easily distracted. He got himself into muddles and got oddly orchestrated thoughts in his head. And then he was patted on the back for one right move. They solved the Barrington case together, but it was Chris who got all the glory, because it was Chris who had suggested they follow the paper trail – and the paper trail was Sam’s favourite journey. But Ray, who’d smacked Barrington down to get the answers, he got nothing but a roll of the eyes.
4. A stitch in time saves just fine.
When Sam started getting weirder – there was no other word for it – he was just weird, Ray thought he’d start climbing up the ladder some more. It didn’t quite work like that. Sam ranted and yelled and said he was going to disappear, pop back into the future, and never see them again, and Ray was still told to look after the stationery cupboard.
The odd thing was, he was about the only person who believed Sam with his wild eyes and wilder gestures. Hated his guts, yes. Believed him also. Maybe he was a gullible sort, but there were always things Sam knew that no man should know. All the screaming, all the antics, they weren’t just protestations of a man deranged.
He couldn’t help but wonder what it was like, the future. If they were all like Sam, it was a sorry day for men. He only hoped Sam was considered as much of a git then as he was now. Something told him - he wasn’t sure what, but something persistent – that this was probably true.
5. Better to have hated and lost than never to have hated at all.
When Sam left, Ray thought it was the strangest thing that so many people were upset. Even Phyllis was quieter than usual. Still a mouthy bitch, but quieter than usual. Slightly more reserved or something. That Cartwright bird must’ve sobbed more in that week after than in the whole of her life. Chris was all furrowed brow and nose to the ground. DCI Hunt managed to bring enigmatic to all new heights.
Here was a man who’d caused nothing but fuss, had delighted in being a giant twat, had expected more and demanded more than anyone had the patience or inclination to give, and half of CID were mourning his absence. Lucky for some.
But Ray, well, Ray guessed that really, the strangest thing was that even he felt like he’d lost something. He hadn’t lost a friend, and as a colleague, Sam had been a complete twit, but he’d lost an adversary. Someone to whom he could direct his stare; created from a meticulously measured phial of contempt and disdain. He didn’t know why, but this annoyed him.
Still, he pushed on. That was life. People came and went. Bonds were formed and cut. And he had a promotion to seek.