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28 August 2007 @ 02:12 am
Flat Feet  
Title: Flat Feet
Author: shaychana
Disclaimer: I do not own Nicholas Angel.
Word Count: 2569
Warnings: PG. Language and sexual innuendo.
Pairing: slashy gen
Summary: A day in the life of The Two Andys after the events of the movie: paperwork, gossip, doughnuts, and a recalcitrant swan.
Feedback: All comments and criticism welcome.


"Morning, Andy," Andy says, taking off his helmet and placing it on his desk.

"Morning," Andy replies.

"Where's your policeman's helmet?"

Andy rubs at the thinning patch of hair at the top of his head. At thirty-three, he's no longer as young as he used to be, but he's not yet so old that he's lost all sense of vanity. It's a sore spot, is what it is. A folly of fallible follicles. He'd shuffled furtively into the shop to purchase some hair-growth tonic on the sly, and had been caught by a gang of local yahoos. Ever since then, the boys had taken to ambushing him at the most inconvenient moments and nicking his helmet for sport. It's harmless enough, and his helmet always turns up in the station's lost and found the next day, but damned if it doesn't drive him cuckoo every time.

Last night, he'd paused in his drunken stumble home from an evening in the pub to take a much-needed piss in the bushes by the church, when who should happen along but those wretched little pissants, who'd left him helmet-less and still holding his pecker in his hand, their laughter still ringing in his burning, humiliated ears.

He looks up at Andy balefully. No words necessary. Andy makes a sound of sympathy.

"Anyway, it's police officer's helmet," Andy says.

"Eh?"

"Police officer's helmet, not policeman's helmet. Like the Inspector said."

"You can tell Angel to fuck off. I was perfectly happy being on the force, but no, now we're in the service, aren't we? As though we're some nancyboy waiters in a fancy London restaurant or something."

Andy laughs, but he says, "Leave him alone. His heart's in the right place."

Andy grunts his assent.

Andy continues, a twinkle in his eye and his tone now conspiratorial though there's no one else in their office to overhear, "Besides, you might not be so far off there, Andy."

"What?"

"The Inspector. He's a bit of a…" Andy whistles suggestively, "isn't he?"

"What?"

"You know, a…" Andy ends with a rude gesture.

"What?"

"A… homosexual," Andy whispers.

"What?"

"You heard me!"

"You think the Inspector's a poof?"

"Well, yeah. It's kind of obvious, isn't it?"

"You think the Inspector's a poof?" Andy asks again, this time louder and with more incredulous bewilderment on his face.

"Shhh. Call the whole station in here, why don't you? Jesus. You're like a goddamn parrot, repeating yourself like that. Think about it, man. He and Danny –"

"Danny?"

"Yeah. He and Danny are like that," Andy says, crossing his fingers. "Tight, you know."

"But –"

"But nothing, shit. They're always buying each other fucking pansy plants. Everyone at the station's seen them lugging them pots in. Angel's office is practically a greenhouse. You'd think he ran a flower shop on the side. And you know they always go on patrol together," Andy says with an eloquent waggle of his eyebrows. "Who knows what happens in that car."

"Come off it. They're partners!"

Andy sniggers. "I'll say. They even live together. Remember the house-warming party they threw when the Inspector moved into Danny's place? Just flaunting it in people's faces with no shame at all."

Just then, the devil himself pops by their room. One look at them, and Inspector Angel demands to know what's going on. "Nothing," Andy says, and Andy strives his best to look completely innocent while holding in giggles. With the presence of the man himself before them, uniform pressed to regulation-precise standards and regulation-issue bullet-proof vest regulation-snug against his chest, it's hard to imagine that the Inspector has any sort of life beyond his job, much less the scandalous luridity of what he suspects Angel gets up to in his off hours that may or may not involve giant stuffed monkeys.

The Inspector assigns a bunch of routine paperwork. Before he leaves, he holds his forefingers to his eyes then points them laser-straightly, one each finding their bull's-eye at the tips of their noses. Andy swallows nervously and grins his Sunday best. When the door's barely closed, he relaunches the terrible arc of his gossip grenade.

"Ever noticed that Danny calls him Nick? It's Inspector Angel to the rest of us, thank you very much, but he lets Danny call him Nick," he lobs, each over-enunciated word lingering in the still air of the room with nudge-nudge-wink-wink significance. He can see Andy coming slowly round to his view with almost-audible clicks of his internal cogs.

With widened eyes, Andy chips in, "The lads were talking about movies the other day, and the Inspector did go on about Will Smith. That's pretty queer, isn't it?"

"Good point! Not much gets past you, does it, Andy?" Andy says admiringly. "Nose like Hercule Poirot's, eh?"

They settle down to do some paperwork, bloodhound noses to the grind. At half-past ten, Andy makes two cups of tea. One lump of sugar and a twist of lemon for himself, and two sugars with a splash of milk for Andy, just the way he likes it.

"Ta," Andy says with an appreciative smile.

With the warm steam rising up his face, Andy muses meditatively, "Doris told me that Angel never once made a pass at her. I think that's noteworthy, don't you?"

"Hmm. But Danny? Danny's not queer. We've known him all our lives!" Andy lifts his teacup to his lips –

"Careful!" Andy shouts, leaping to Andy's aid even before the cup has fallen clinking onto its saucer. "It's hot," he says, helping Andy wipe the spilled tea off his uniform. "Wait. You've got tea on your moustache. Here, let me get it for you."

"Thanks, Andy. Don't know what I'd do without you."

"You really ought to be more careful," Andy chides. "You do that every day."

"Sorry."

"Nah, don't worry about it. Anyway, you know Danny's never had a girlfriend."

"That's only because no woman'd have him!" Andy retorts, and they both laugh. After a while, he adds, "The Inspector's had a girlfriend, though, back in London before he came to Sandford."

"How do you know?"

"Overheard him talking to Saxon."

"What, the dog?"

"Yeah. I think he likes that dog more than he lets on."

"Saxon's a good dog. Good copper."

"Yeah."

Ten minutes of paperwork later, Andy says, "But he doesn't have a girlfriend anymore, does he?"

"So?"

"So the relationship ended, didn't it?"

"So?"

"So why did it end?"

"Dunno. She dumped him, maybe."

"But why?"

"What're you driving at?"

"Maybe Angel doesn't have a girlfriend anymore because he's gay," Andy pronounces triumphantly.

"Well, I'll be damned, that's fiendishly clever of you to think of that. Brilliant detective work, Andy! Flawless reasoning! You've convinced me now."

Andy beams.

They work in companionable peace for the next two hours or so, the silence uninterrupted save for the occasional ka-chunk of the stapler and the rhythmic tick of the wall clock. Soon after they both started working in the station, they established a symbiotic rapport at work so that they no longer have need to recourse to speech to communicate when processing paperwork. Andy fills in the forms, his large, loopy scrawl colonising the empty boxes, and Andy punches and files them into the cabinets under the appropriate section. It's a system that has worked for them for years.

At one, they both get up for bite to eat, Andy giving Andy a friendly slap on the arse on their way out. In the locker room, they get their sandwiches from their respective lockers. Before going back to their office, they drop by the lost and found to pick up Andy's helmet. Andy is sure that someone in the station is in on the helmet-stealing ruse – how else to explain the way the helmet always reappears so mysteriously? – but he can't prove it.

"What sandwich have you got?" Andy asks, unwrapping the cling film from his sandwich.

Andy lifts the last layer of aluminium foil from his and peeks between the slices of bread. "Ham and cheese. You?"

Andy says around a mouthful of bread, "Egg mayo."

When Andy has eaten half his sandwich, he passes the rest over to Andy, accepting Andy's half in return.

"Is your mum any better?"

"You know how she is. She'll complain about pains in her back and knees and head, and then be perfectly fine on bingo nights. How's Suzie doing?"

"She's huge. She'll be having the baby in two weeks. You want to go to hospital with me?"

"Yeah, all right. Someone's got to make sure you don't faint."

"Ha."

A cheerful face appears in the doorway. Danny's brought cake. "Cheers, mate," Andy says, waving the little plastic fork around.

"Who do you think's the woman?" Andy wonders when Danny's gone.

"What?"

"Who do you think's the woman?"

"What?"

"Who do you think's the woman, Inspector Angel or Danny?"

A pause.

"Got to be Danny."

"Yeah," Andy agrees.

Suddenly, Andy says, "You've got cake on your cheek."

"What?"

"You've got cake on your cheek."

"Oh." Andy scrubs at his cheek with the back of his hand.

"No, the right side… no, the other right… here, let me."

"Ta, mate. You're a real pal."

"Any time."

At two o'clock they sign out the patrol car. "Where to, partner?" Andy says.

"Don’t know, Andy. Anywhere you fancy going?"

"Shop?"

"What for?"

"We could get some hair tonic for you."

"I don't –"

"Andy."

"I… you'd do that for me?"

Andy smiles, wide and easy and happy. "I'd take a bullet for you."

At the shop, Andy waits in the car and watches through the rear-view mirror as Andy goes in and buys the hair-growth product. As Andy trundles out with a brown paper bag clutched in a hand, he gives a little wave with his free hand. Sliding into his seat, he hands over the bag.

"I owe you one."

"Love you too."

Andy feels an impulsive urge to hug Andy. He squeezes Andy's shoulder instead.

They drive down High Street, under the jaunty Welcome to Sandford banner, past the slightly-tarnished sign proudly proclaiming Village of the Year. Crime is up but accidental deaths are down, and the people remain as eccentric as any other hamlet in England. All in all, it's still a great place to live. Andy says so.

"Greatest place in the world," Andy concurs.

"Swan!" Andy yells, pointing at the roadside bushes, and Andy pulls the car to a halt with a screech of tires. They topple out of the car, only to have Mr Staker's runaway swan honk belligerently and eye them with a baleful eye before flapping away.

"Damned swan," Andy swears, taking off after Sandford's number one most wanted.

From there, it's a wild swan chase down side roads and alleyways, the escaped swan mocking them every other second with raucous honks, asserting with joyful cries its independence against the world. It finally comes to rest against a backyard fence.

Andy stops a short distance away from it so as not to scare it into further flight. Andy is right behind, also bending over and panting hard. They watch the bird. The bird watches them, the gleam in its eye a beady malevolence, assessing its strategy for optimum mayhem. They inch closer, getting ready for a final pounce.

The bird takes off.

Over the fence the swan goes, its honking now a mad cackle of pure evil. "Fuck!" Andy curses in unison with Andy, and they hurdle in tandem over backyard fences after les criminel oiseau. No one could ever have thought that the physical training Inspector Angel insisted on would ever be put to this ignominious purpose. Ten fences bring them to a lane bordered by a high brick wall, the lane devoid of any hint of recent feathery activity as far as the eye can see, and Andy is forced to admit the bust a bust.

"We'll get it next time," he consoles Andy, shaking a righteous fist of thwarted justice at the sky, as they tramp back to the patrol car.

"I feel an urgent need for doughnut," Andy says when he collapses into his seat in the car.

Andy grabs Andy's knee in comfort and gratitude. "So do I, mate, so do I."

A baker's dozen of cream-filled and powdered and jam-filled and glazed is the natural prey of homo policus, the staple food of all self-respecting members of the grand tradition of law enforcement, a magical elixir that makes all troubles go away, sluiced by the soft textures of confectioner's flour. Many a flat foot, from ancient times to modern, can be found grazing by the shores of the fount of happiness that is the doughnut shop.

"Ah, that hits the spot," Andy sighs, licking his sugary fingers.

"So good," Andy moans, sucking on his greasy fingers.

"Another?"

"Don't mind if I do."

The bite into their second doughnuts, and as one, let out mewls of orgasmic satisfaction.

"Do you know, I've never seen Inspector Angel eat a doughnut. It's just Cornettos with him."

"You know who else fancies Cornettos, don't you? Though mind you, Danny's always up for a doughnut or three too."

"God, the phallic imagery. They might as well fellate lollies and be done with it."

Andy laughs. Andy loves making Andy laugh. He loves watching Andy laugh. Andy has a merry, infectious laugh and his cheeky incisors have a hypnotic quality to them. So he makes Andy laugh again by miming the open-mouthed up-down action over his closed fist. Andy laughs so hard that his doughnut crashes into his face, leaving a wet smear of jam on the tip of his nose.

"Look at you. You're a mess," Andy says, laughing too. On a whim, he grabs Andy by the face and licks the jam off his nose with his tongue.

Andy doesn't stop laughing for minutes.

By the time they return the patrol car, it's time to knock off work. Andy says, "What are we going to do tonight, Andy?"

"Pub?"

"No. Angel and Danny'll be there, and I don't think I could keep a straight face around them tonight."

"Doctor Who repeat on telly tonight. It’s a good one, with John Barrowman in it," Andy suggests.

"Nah. I already bought the DVDs, remember? No commercials. Let's go to my place and watch them."

"That reminds me, I've got to go to the shop and pick up the Hamlet DVD I ordered."

"Since when were you a fan of Shakespeare?"

"I'm not, but Hamlet is fantastic. Everybody dies!" Andy enthuses, spreading his arms in an expansive gesture of goodwill to all men.

Andy takes his scarf out from his locker and winds it around his neck. "Who's your favourite character, then?"

"Rozencrantz and Guildernstern are my favourites – they're the first to die!"

"Well, let's go, then," Andy says, slinging an arm around Andy. "I can pick up the new Batman and Robin comic at the shop, and then we can go to your place and watch Ken Branagh angst prettily while poncing around in tights for four hours."

"Don't you already have all the Batman and Robins?" Andy protests.

"There're always sequels."

Arms around each other, they step out into the evening chill, kept warm by each other's body heat and the police officers' helmets riding on their heads. The slightly-dented Village of the Year sign squeaks on its slightly-rusted hinges as they walk by.
 
 
 
Seiberwing: Loverseiberwing on August 27th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
God, that's beautiful in its intense irony.
firmitas, utilitas, venustas: ook!shaychana on August 27th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
*glee!*

if you got that, my job is done.
Seiberwingseiberwing on August 27th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
Your job is not done! More is needed!
firmitas, utilitas, venustasshaychana on August 27th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
i won't say never, but: *runs away!*

i'm far too fandom-butterflighty for sequels.
Seiberwingseiberwing on August 27th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
Aw. *sadface!*
Hippie Geek Girl: HF - I <3 Ugypsyjr on August 27th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC)
Heee. Can't see the forest for the trees, can they?
firmitas, utilitas, venustasshaychana on August 27th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
or maybe you're reading too much into it? ;)
neek_love: mighty_3neek_love on August 28th, 2007 09:31 am (UTC)
Ooh, lovely :)
Very well written, and giggle worthy :D
firmitas, utilitas, venustasshaychana on August 28th, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
aw, thank you very much! i'm glad it amused.
when regiment is gone: Hot Fuzzkindkit on March 4th, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
This is hilarious. And kind of sad. But kind of sweet, too, in its strange Andys-ish way.
firmitas, utilitas, venustasshaychana on March 4th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. :) It really pleases me to hear that you enjoyed this silly thing.