Rating: White Cortina
Word Count: 630
Notes: Some canon borrowed from A2A for Ray's background.
Summary: There's a reason Ray wants to become DI so much.
When Ray Carling fucks up no one knows it better than he does. Not that it happens often, depending on who you ask, although he’d like to think it’s not that much. He’d like to think his reserved chair at the pub, his place next to the guv at every crime scene (right hand side), and even that nickname “Raymondo” are all well-deserved perks. The guv will never pat his detectives on the back and say “well done” so these social honours are the General Service Medals Ray hoards to indicate his worth.
The medals make him hope one day he'll be like the guv. Gene Hunt is the hero of Manchester. He’s a copper, not a soldier, but his guv fights battles out there on the streets just the same and like Ray’s father and grandfather Gene reeks of whiskey and honour.
But "one day" always seems too far away, especially on days when he fucks up.
Cause on days when he fucks up he’s not his guv’s best friend anymore. He’s treated to silence and scorn because the guv will never tell him how royally he’s messed up just like he’d never say how well he’d done. These are the demerits Ray collects.
The demerits remind him he’ll never be like Gene Hunt, no matter how desperately he wants to. But if he wasn’t Gene Hunt then he would just be Ray Carling, and nobody wants to be Ray Carling. That man doesn’t have any family, at least not anymore, he doesn’t have any friends except for that one div in the office, and he doesn’t even have a good story about turning some sorry bird down when she desperately wanted to marry him because he hasn’t been able to get a steady girlfriend for years.
He has to be Gene Hunt. So he talks a big game and lies to a couple of snouts hoping they give him the information he needs. Except the next day that snout shows up with a black eye and tells his guv everything. Gene scowls and Ray knows he’s fucked up. So he pushes a spindly twat about when he makes a pass at Gene until he “accidentally” falls out of a window. Except Gene looks disappointed and he knows he’s fucked up. So then Ray tries to solve a case on his own, a simple one, it shouldn’t have gotten that out of hand. He thinks Gene looks at him in restrained disgust. Ray drinks so heavily he wants to forget his own name.
It was getting better, he thought. Ray learned from his mistakes no matter how grave they were and he hadn't fucked up for a while. Their last DI had transferred 3 months back. He thought this could have been the chance he needed to make something better of himself. He promised himself he would try even harder if he made DI. He would never let Gene down. Maybe he'd even drink a little less.
Then Sam Tyler came.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if Sam was like Gene. It wouldn’t have been so bad if he was just better at being Gene than Ray but Sam was the complete opposite. He did everything to piss Gene off but some how his guv gave that man respect, gave him honour, gave him more tiny medals in a month than Ray had ever gotten in his time here.
He didn’t understand Sam and Ray knew he never could, but on some weird level Gene seemed to. It ate him up inside. Sam represented the true canyon between him and his guv. It reminded him of how disappointed he was in himself.
When Gene Hunt calls him Detective Sergeant Ray Carling it feels like a prison door being shut.