Monday, 27 February 2012

Story Time - Ashes To Ashes : Marriages and Deaths

It'll probably come as no surprise that Ashes To Ashes and Life On Mars are two of my favourite ever shows. To this end in 2010 I started some fanfics based on A2A which were published and warmly received on a forum I frequent. I thought I'd share them here to keep the fiction side of this blog bargain up. And so here's part 1 of my first offering, entitled Marriages and Deaths.
All feedback and comments are gratefully received.

Ashes To Ashes : Marriages and Deaths

It was a Saturday morning and Fenchurch East's CID room was barely filled with its barely enthused team, unhappy spending their weekend at work.
The watery January sun perforating through the blinds was the only light in the office. DS Ray Carling was busy yawning and sulking as he sat on the edge of his desk, one hand scratching at his groin whilst the other tipped ash from his cigarette on the floor below.
"It's not right is this. Working on a Saturday. We're here, so where's Drake?"
WPC Shaz Grainger walked past with a tray full of teas and coffees she had just prepared in the kitchenette. Ray helped himself to a mug as she explained "She had an appointment at the hairdressers remember? She'll be here in a minute"
"Hairdressers?" Ray scoffed, and then cast a sly glance to his oppo, DC Chris Skelton, who was sat facing him at his desk, unnaturally busy concentrating on the 2HB pencil in his hand, for he knew what was coming next. "She's not the only one who's been to the hairdressers!"
"Ray!" Shaz scolded, leaping to her Chris' defence "This is 1982. It's quite fashionable for young men to highlight their hair"
Chris dropped the pencil and touched at his newly blonde locks defensively "Thanks Shazza"
"It's alright babes" Shaz turned and smiled at Chris, touching his arm and placing down Chris' drink tenderly "I think it really suits you"
"Poof!" Ray sneered and took a big gulp of his coffee.
Just then the door to the Guv's office burst open and a mildly hungover DCI Gene Hunt strode into the outer office, eyes downcast but voice addressing everyone with force "DI BollyKnickers had better get her bony arse in here toot bloody suit. I told her not to be late today of all days!"
"It's a wedding Guv" Ray replied "A bird's perogative to be late"
Gene swivelled across to face his DS "Not on my bloody watch it's not!"
"She's at the hairdressers Guv" Chris explained from his desk.
"Oh you been giving her advice have you Christopher?!"
Ray laughed at this whilst Chris merely blushed and hurriedly concentrated on his pencil once more mumbling a quick "No Guv" whilst Shaz taking to her seat merely rolled her eyes at the neanderthals she found herself working with.
Just then the outer office doors burst open and DI Alex Drake entered the room, smiling broadly. "Ta da!" she explained and did a little twirl in her dark blue denims and white leather bikers jacket. Much to the bemusement of the males in attendance.
"I think it really suits you ma'am" Shaz said smiling equally as broad from over her mug.
"Thank you Shaz" Alex nodded.
"What does?" Ray asked bitterly.
"Oh come on?!" Alex sighed, placing her hands to her new shoulder length hair "None of you notice any difference?" and she looked from one to one at the blank impassive faces of Ray, Chris and Gene.
"She's straightened her hair" Shaz voiced an explanation as if se were talking to a nursery group, and rolled her eyes once more.
"That's right" Alex said "I've ditched the perm!" adding "It was so 1981!" and laughing at a joke only she, given her circumstances, could really understand.
Gene shuffled on his snakesin cowboy boots "Oh good" he said, eyes downcast once more "'cos if you ask me there's only one place a girl should have tight curly hair"
Ray began to cackle at his Guv's dirty joke, but Chris merely looked on dumbly as his brain whirred into life trying to comprehend. Finally he spoke; "You mean Africa Guv?"
"Shut up Christopher!" Gene spat staring at the door ahead and snapping on his driving gloves. "Now, if we're all quite ready, we've a wedding to go to. Raymondo, fire up The Quattro, and let it get me to the church on time!"
And with that, the men stalked out of the office, leaving Alex to look briefly at Shaz "Give me strength" she said in exasperation, before turning on her heels and following them out. Shaz smiled sadly, checked her radio frequency was correct, and began to read her copy of Smash Hits in peace.

Fades to Billy Idol's White Wedding

The Quattro raced and skidded its way through the back streets of London, a vibrant red blur to the rare passers by in that area. Gene grappled manfully at the wheel, controlling the snarling horse power like a veteran rodeo rider. Next to him in the passenger seat sat Alex, who drummed her freshly painted fingernails against the car door's interior and wondered once more why they always had to be in such a rush.
In the back seat sat Ray and Chris. Both with their hands clinging to the grips above each window to save them sliding about, for neither wore a seat belt. 
"Guv" Chris asked loudly above the roar of the car "It being a Saturday and us working like, I was wondering, do we get any perks?"
"Yes Chris" Gene said as he expertly turned the car at the last moment down another side street, sending its rear sliding out dramatically "You get the perk of not having my boot up your arse ok?!"
Chris gulped and turned to Ray who shook his head with a mixture of sadness and disappointment in his friend asking such a foolish question.
Finally the Quattro braked to a halt and all four officers shifted backwards into their seats from the slamming force of the stop. Only Gene handled this with composure and no sooner had he took the key from the ignation that he was kerb side, slamming his door shut (and ending Billy Idol as abruptly as ending the Quattro's drive)
"Bugger" Gene grumbled almost to himself as he surveyed the empty pavement outside the church "We're late...they're already in there"
Alex climbed out of the passenger side and looked to Gene who was still staring impassively at the church beyond them.
"You're seriously going to do this?" she asked, her eyebrow raised.
"I said I'd do it, and I will Bolls. The Gene Genie is a man of his word" he sniffed gruffly and made his way around the car just as Ray and Chris clambered out of the rear.
"He's seriously going in there now?" Alex asked the pair as Gene breezed past her. Both Ray and Chris shrugged. Alex threw her hands in the air and let them land with a slap on her hips "Unbelievable" she said "Oi Hunt!" she called after her superior " can't do this!" she was following his wake now "Hunt!" she called again, but her pleas were falling on deaf ears, the Guv had made his mind up.
Ray leant his arms on the roof of the Quattro and lit a cigarette. Exhaling the smoke he said; "Say one thing about the Guv, he's a determined sod. That Drake needs to realise that"
Chris nodded "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do"
Ray threw his head back and looked down at his partner with creased, cynical features "And what would you know about what a man's gotta do?"
Chris sighed "They're just highlights Ray"
Ray snorted a laugh and breathed his cigarette smoke deeply as he began to follow Drake and Gene "And I suppose if Shaz said put your finger in the fire you'd do it"
"Hey!" Chris shouted, chasing after Ray "Shazza didn't tell me to do me hair"
"That makes it worse!" Ray said over his shoulder "Time you acted like a man...bein' down south's made you soft!"

By now, Alex had caught up with Gene, whose leather driving gloved hand was on the door of the porch to the church. Alex threw her hand over his and they both stared into eachother's eyes. Alex's first instict was to criticise Gene, but something unspoken occured between them and inside she suddenly felt like melting. Catching herself, she looked down to the floor, removed her hand and cleared her throat, before attempting eye contact with the nonplussed gruff Manc Lion once more "Guv, I can't let you do this...this is someone's wedding day"
"Correction DI Drake" Gene countered, back stiffening to ram rod straightness "This is some scrote's wedding day"
"Ok" Alex said "but thing of the poor girl, the bride Gene think of the bride"
Gene sniffed and stuck out his chin in a show of stubborness "Probably some slapper Bolls, don't waste your sympathy" and with that he pulled open the door and entered the church, walking in purposeful strides up the aisle, his long black overcoat's tails and belt flapping behind him as he did so with Alex Ray and Chris now at his heel. The former looking suitably embarrased whilst the latter two looked to be positively enjoying it.

Up ahead was the vicar addressing the congregation, the bride with her head bashfully pointed down at her groom, resplendant in his morning suit.
"Therefore, if there's anyone here can show any just cause as to why they may not be lawfully joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace"

"Yes cock!" Gene's voice boomed across the church.

Heads gasped and turned to view the uninvited guests. Up at the alter, the bride looked startled, but the groom and his best man looked downright angered.
The vicar, a quiet and civil middle aged man, rubbed a hand to his head "I'm sorry" he said unsure that what was going on before him was actually happeneing "but do you have just cause?"
"I most certainly bloody well do" Gene replied just as the father of the bride began to rise up from his pew. Gene thrust his hand down on the man's shoulder sending him crashing back down again. "The groom, Nicholas Palmer is one vicious evil little bastard and I am hereby nicking him"
More gasps echoed around the church. Ray chuckling, nudged Chris in the ribs. Alex rolled her eyes heavenwards and apologised to everyone and no one in particular.
The groom met Gene's eyes with ice cold hardness "Mr Hunt" he said as calmly as he could "Are you serious?"
"Oh yes Nick" Gene said, looking round the congregation before turning his gaze to him with equal frostiness "I'm as serious as a night in with Melvyn bloody Bragg. You're nicked"
"You're making a big mistake Hunt" snarled the best man.
"Keep your kid brother on a leash Nick" Gene retorted "he's too young to be playin' with the big boys yet"
Nick Palmer placed a hand on his brother, the best man's shoulder "Leave it Joe"
"Listen to your brother" Gene said and moving forward he grabbed Nick's arm.
Suddenly the bride wailed "But it's my wedding day!"
"Oh my baby!" a voice cried out, and the owner of it, a plump middle aged woman raced from her pew. It was the bride's mother.
"Sit down woman!" Gene ordered and pushed her backwards with one hand.
"Right!" the man next to her yelled. He was he rhusband, the man Gene had swatted down before "I've had enough of this!"
"Raymondo" Gene ordered swiftly as he frogmarched Palmer out down the aisle and Ray obediently jabbed the bride's father in the kidneys, sending him dropping to the floor with a groan.
"And I thought Four Weddings and a Funeral was funny?!" Alex muttered under her breath before jogging along to catch up with her departing colleagues and their prisoner.

Outside in the crisp morning air, Gene opened the Quattro's rear door "Get in Palmer, and mind my bloody upholstery"
"I expected more from you Mr Hunt, this, well this is just a cheap shot"
"You could of at least waited til after they were wed" Joe, the brother said venomously.
"Oh shut up you southern fairies" Gene said and was about to throw Nick into the car when he heard a click behind him. Slowly he turned, just as Nick said "Joe don't" and found himself staring down the barrel of a gun.
"You got a new toy Joe is that it?" Gene said, barely showing any emotion for his situation.
"Just let him go" Joe demanded as levelly as his voice could possibly manage.
"Guv!" Ray shouted as they stepped outside and saw the situation, he was about to run forward but Alex grabbed him. "No Ray, it's too dangerous"
Chris, a little way to Alex's right, saw an opportunity. "Not for me it's not" he said "This man's gotta do what a man's gotta do" and he raced along the church grounds aiming to come out alongside Joe, Nick and his Guv.
"Chris no!" Alex called out, just as some members of the congregation stepped out, and gasped at the fresh set of events once more.
"Joe" Nick was saying "There's no need for this, I'll be out in time for the reception you see"
"Let...him...go" Joe repeated.
Gene's eyes narrowed. The tension filled out the second before he replied like a yawning chasm "Ok" he said and side stepped to allow Nick to move.
"Guv!" Chris yelled as he reached the scene.
"Chris no!" Gene called out. But it was all over in seconds. Chris pushed Nick back into the Quattro, but in getting between Gene and Joe, Joe saw and opportunity to grab him. Now the gun was pointing hard into Chris's neck and his arms were up behind his back in a tight grip from the muscular Joe.
"Let my brother go" Joe said.
"No" Gene replied folding his arms and resting his bum against the rear door of the Quattro, closing Nick inside. "Let my DC go"
Joe laughed, an evil excited laugh and bared his teeth before running with Chris down the street and into the wedding limo, Gene, Alex and Ray gave chase, Gene with gun raised, but it was too late and the limo sped off in a cloud of dust and a hail of bullets from Gene's gun.
"You idiot!" Alex yelled at Gene's back.
"Guv, what do we do now?" Ray pleaded. Hoping Gene would have an answer.
"Bugger" was the only answer Gene could provide right now.

To Be Continued....

(C)Mark Cunliffe 2010

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