Using words like a trickster (liquorishflame) wrote in 1973flashfic,
Using words like a trickster

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Out of Time Challenge, by liquorishflame

Title: Closing Down
Spoilers: small for 2.01
Rating: Blue Cortina for insanity, disturbing situations, and angst.
Summary: Annie finally tells Gene about Sam.
A/N: This takes place immediately after credits roll on 2.1
Partially inspired by sophiedb's ficathon story One Thousand And One Yellow Daffodils. Based on two of marsorbiters's bunnies, #1 Annie finally tells Gene about Sam's 'delusion' and #2 the team has to work without Sam. Just barley finished for the 'Out of Time' challange, how ironic :/ Thanks to teh boyfriend who edited this for me :)

Gene had turned towards Annie, the whisky glass still in his hand.
'Can I speak to you, alone?' Her eyes flicked to Sam and then back again.
No, don't look at him, you have to tell someone. Sam's finally stepped over the line.
She wasn't going to let the fact that he'd just promoted her stand in the way.
'Um, can it wait Annie? We're celebrating.'
Gene threw Sam a suspicious look, as that was usually his line.
'No Guv, I'm sorry, but I have to speak to you now sir.'

'All-right Catwright, tell me what's on your little mind. Wait, let me guess. Tyler knocked you up and you want me to be godfather?'
She blushed. 'No, sir. It's Tony Crane...what he said about Sam. That we're not real. Sam does believe he's from the future.'
He walked over to the cabinet and poured himself another whisky.
'You want a drink Cartwright?'
'Sir, didn't you hear what I said?'
Gene turned abruptly around. 'I heard you. As to what I'm going to do about it, nothing.'
She looked at him in disbelief.
'Sir, DI Tyler's suffering from a severe delusion! He needs help!'
'Needs help!? Do you know how much our success rate has gone up since that little shit joined the bloody team?!! By one third, that's how much you tart! You think I'm going to lock up my officer just on your say so? I don't care if he spends his spare time prancing about wearing a saddle pretending he's Queen Victoria's pony! He gets results, he's on the team!! End of story.'
He turned his back on her. As she rushed out of his office, face burning, she failed to see DCI Litton straightening up from his position near the door, a smirk on his face.

'Superintendent Rathbone? Bonjerno.'
Rathbone glanced up from his paperwork briefly before looking down again.
'What is it you want Litton?'
Litton placed a hand on the breast of his neat three piece suit, a lovely dark green if he did say so.
'Only to help you sir. I have the purest of motives, I assure you.'
He sighed and pushed back from his desk, looking up at Litton.
'Well, what is it?'
'You know how you're always saying how you need to teach Hunt a lesson, only you can't sack him because his team would fall apart?'
The Superintendent nodded, looking curiously at Litton.
'What if you could bring him low? Perhaps by...bringing his success rate down, by one third?'
Rathbone leaned forward. 'You have five minutes to make your point.'
Litton adjusted his cuff-links, smirking.

Week One
The next day as Annie walked in, she was surprised to see Sam wasn't at his desk. He was usually so early....
She turned to Chris, frowning. 'Have you seen Sam today?'
Chris shook his head. 'Sorry Annie, not a sausage.' She nodded.

'By the way, did DCI Litton want to talk to you?'
She had a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach.
'No he didn't, why?'
Chris frowned thoughtfully, shifting papers on his desk.
''s just that he had most of us in to see him yesterday. Me, Ray, Jeff, Clive. Even Phyllis!'
'But not me, or the Guv. Why?'
'Don't know Annie. But I think Sam's in some trouble.'
That bad feeling started to feel worse, like she'd swallowed some naff milk.

'Why do you say that?'
He put his hands in his pockets, looking very uncomfortable.
'Why else was he askin' all those questions about things he's said and all?'
'What questions Chris?'
He shrugged, looking embarrassed.
'Well, things about yesterday, what Sam did to trick Tony. An' things about...his first day.'
Annie was about to question him further but then the doors opened and the rest of CID started to trickle in.
'Well well, don't you all look like little Miss Sunshine today.' said Phyllis as she sashayed in.
'Up and at 'em children! Got a fun job for you lot, the ANL are staging a rally and the NF are crashing it. They're allready throwing insults and the plod figures it's not long 'fore they're throwing bricks.'
Ray snorted as he pulled on his jacket. 'Just got in, and now we've bloody well got to go out again! Anti Nazi League....why is it always the sodding pacifists starting things?' As they gathered their coats together, Annie looked around. Still no sign of Sam...or the Guv. Now that was not only troubling, it was alarming.

After two hours of shouting, threats and more then one thrown brick, the team finally returned to CID, tired, sweaty, and irritable.
The Guv was waiting for them in the middle of the room, his arms crossed over his chest.
Staring daggers.
'Er...something the matter Guv?'
'Something the matter? Oh yes indeed. Some sodding thing definitely the matter. Look around you. Notice anything?'
There was no reply, everyone too scared to say anything.
'No? Nothing missing? No-one bloody missing?!'
Gene glowered at them all, and then grabbed hold of the nearest desk, tipping it over on it's back, crashing it into the wall.
'Who did it eh? Who got him to sign off the papers?!'
'What is it Guv?' Ray said hesitantly.
He glared at them all, standing with his feet apart, hands clenched.
'DI Sam Tyler is in the bloody looney bin!'

An hour had passed since the Guv's announcement, after which he'd just turned around and disappeared into his office, slamming the door so hard that the windows had almost broken.
'It's all Cartwright's fault.'
Annie swung around to look Ray right in the face.
'They talked to everyone except the Guv an' you. Obvious why they didn't talk to him, he'd 'ave cottoned onto it in a tic. But why didn't they talk to you? Easy, 'cause you're the one turned him in.'
Annie shook her head angrily.
'It's nothing to do with me Ray! I wouldn't betray this team.'
He snorted dismissively, rolling his eyes and walking away.

The door to Gene's office swung open and Gene stood in the door, chewing angrily on the end of a ciggie.
'Cartwright. Office, now.'
She gulped and walked forward, her stomach churning uneasily.
'Close the door.'
She did so.
He stalked up and down in front of his desk, staring at the floor. His hair was all over the place and his sleeves were pushed up to his elbows. Annie watched him pace, jittering nervously.
'It wasn't me Guv.'
He shot her an inscrutable glance. 'What wasn't you?'
'I didn't put Sam in the asylum! I haven't turned on you, I promise!'

Gene walked over to her, standing mere inches away.
'Sit down.'
She did, sinking onto the hard leather settie.
He towered over her, making her feel all of four years old.
'Officer Cartwright.... Did you spend most of last night bouncing up and down on top of Rock Hudson?'
Her eyebrows shot up. ' Guv.'
He nodded. 'Did you come to work today?'
'Well, yes Guv, you can see-'
He leaned over her, his tie almost hitting her in the face as it swung back and forth between them.
'Did you have Sam Tyler taken away to the funny farm?'
He sat down on the arm of the settie, pulling out his lighter and putting the flame to the ciggarette in his mouth. He took a deep puff and then blew it out again.
'Okay then. How do we get him out?'
Annie just stared at him.
'Come on Cartwright! What more do y' want? Sign around you're neck that says 'Did not rat out my DI? Am not a two faced twat?' They're gonna have their doubts about you, but then they allready did. Now go out there and find where they've put Tyler!'

She walked back out to the glares and mutterings of the others in CID. It wasn't her fault, it wasn't! She had every right to be here! Annie froze as a thought occurred to her.
What if she didn't?
Sam was the one who'd promoted her. She'd relied on him to help her out; show her the way. He was the only one here who believed in her. Annie couldn't breathe all of the sudden, and bent over her desk, gasping for air.
'Got a problem Cartwright?' Clive said as he walked by.
Annie shook her head, straightening up.
'No, just got bit of a stomach upset.'
'Yeah? Betrayal's a bitter pill, innit?'
Annie glared at him as he walked away. She would not crumble. She could not. Sam needed her, and she would find him. She'd start with where he'd been taken...

Gene made a point of running into Litton in the hallway.
'DCI Hunt.' Litton nodded smugly as he strolled by, giving Gene a superior look.
'DCI Litton.' Gene grabbed Litton and slammed him up against the wall.
'How are you today?' He grabbed him by the throat, squeezing slightly.
'Me, I've had better.'
'Let go of me!' Litton struggled but Gene had a firm grip on him.
'You took my DI away and threw him in a pit! I don't yet know how or why, but I'll tell you this!' he said, leaning on him for emphasis.
'Your days here are numbered.'
He let go of him suddenly, letting Litton drop to the floor.
'Oh dear me Litton, seems' your suit's gotten a bit rumpled.' Gene scraped of some dirt from his shoe onto Litton's jacket.
'Might want to iron that problem out.'

Week Three
Even Ray had to admit that it was rougher without Tyler. Admitted after three Guinness's and four bitters, but even a drunken admission is a telling one. Bashing in a suspect's head doesn't stick so well when there's no paper work to back it up, or forensics. Sam's virtues had complimented their vices, not disabled them.

Annie was trying to a) do her job, b) prove she can do her job, and c) look for Sam.
She'd looked all over Manchester and the surrounding area's with a fine toothed comb, but there'd been no hide nor hair of any Sam Tyler's.
Litton wasn't telling them anything, or more then likely, he didn't know anything. At least that's what he said after Gene had bounced him off the walls like a rubber ball.

What if he was under another name? she thought, her heart sinking.
What if they sent him to another country? What if he's-
Annie shook her head. Come on Annie! Snap out of it! Think!
They wouldn't change his name because they'd think (whoever they are) we wouldn't find him, so they'd keep it the same because they're arrogant bastards.
Wouldn't send him to another country, too much paperwork.
But maybe another city....

Annie crashed into the Guv's office.
He looked up at her, eyes red from yet another hangover.
'This better be good!'
'I found him sir! London, Friern Mental Hospital.'

Annie couldn't help staring at him. Sam was a mess. The white pajamas they'd provided him with were stained with food and muck. His hair was greasy and limp, and as he mumbeled he looked at them with hollow eyes that still seemed to recognize them. Annie had thought he was crazy before, but clearly she hadn't even seen the extent of it all. This was real insanity.

'What's the matter with him?' said Gene to the nurse, pulling back hard on his anger.
She smiled patronizingly at him.
'We've had quite the time of it, trying to peel back the layers of his psyche. At first, he would only tell us that he was DI Sam Tyler from Hyde. But we soon got to the root of the delusions. He says he's DCI Sam Tyler from Manchester in 2006.'
'Time traveling copper? Make a great show that.'
'Yes. He was hit by a car and woke up here, thirty three years into his "past".'
'Heard it all. Just 'cause he like tall tales don't mean he's gone cuckoo, do it?'
'Fully confronting his delusion caused him to relapse, withdraw into himself. He's much better then he was really.' She smiled with false comfort through tightly closed lips.
'Maybe you should come back later, when he's feeling better.'
As they'd left the room, Gene had leaned over to Annie.
'You've got a new job Cartwright.' He looked over at her, trying to burn the words into her brain.
'Find a way to get him out.'

Week Seven
Chris was the only one who could make it in to see the Boss today. The Guv said they all had to take turns to go an' see 'im, cause otherwise he'd paste them one. He walked close to the wall beside Doctor Beaumount, hugging his bag, eyeing the other nurses and patients uncomfortably. Worse then the chokey this. The doctor opened a door and let Chris in. Sam was sitting on the bed at the end of the room, plain, without sheets.
'Why's he got no sheets?' Sam looked vacantly at Chris as he spoke.
'In case he tries to hang himself with them, of course.'
Chris looked around, seeing nothing you could hang from, but then again he was a copper, not a doctor.
'I'll just leave you with him then, shall I?' The doctor turned to go.
'Wait! You can't leave me here with some...with him like this.' Chris said nervously.
Doctor Beaumont smiled gently.
'Of course not. One of our aides, Fitz, will be right outside in case you're in need of any help. Just knock on the door when you're done.'
Chris looked doubtful, but nodded his head, glancing sideways at Sam as the Doctor left the room.
''re you doing?'
Sam looked straight at him and cracked a smile.
'I've had better days.'

As Chris looked at him, slack jawed, Sam stood up, stared to pace with his hands behind his back. He didn't seem very crazy right now. What happened? Did they cure him?
Sam looked at him and he was amazed at how clear that look was.
'I've got to get out of here Chris. If I stay here any longer, I'm going to lose my mind.'
Chris just looked at him. 'Umm...haven't you already? Sir?'
Sam sighed, putting his head in his hands and then looking up again.
'Look, Chris, I'm not crazy. I have a few...modern ideas, but I don't think that I'm from the future, allright?'
'Boss...why haven't you told us before?'
'Cause I couldn't.'
Sam spat something into his hand, held it out to him.
'Thorazine. Ask Annie about it.'
Chris looked at the tablets dubiously.
'Do I have to?'
Sam snorted. 'Don't be such a girl.'
He slapped them into Chris's hand, who winced at the slimy feel.
'For God's sake, put them in your pocket, and stop looking at me like you're brains are dribbling out your nose!'
Chris nodded, doing so, though not without a wince.
'I'll tell them sir, don't worry. You can count on me.' He turned to knock on the door.
'Oh, wait a mo.' He opened the bag he'd brought with him and brought out a orange and green sweater.
'Me mam made if for you. I told her how cold it got in here.'
He held it out to Sam proudly. Sam took it gently in his arms and then hugged Chris.
'S-steady on Boss.' Chris said as he stood there, not quite sure what he should do with his arms.
He'd heard that prison did funny things to blokes...
Sam suddenly pulled away, wiping tears from his face.
'Thanks for the thought Chris, but they won't let me keep personal things in here. If you want to give me gift, get me out. That'll be present enough.'

Week Eight
Annie was walking back from the canteen. They'd tried to get Sam discharged, but had been firmly informed that he could not be released without his own specific request to do so. "Which he had not done, so sorry, thank you very much for visiting."
Suddenly, a coffee mug, an empty bottle, and a phone came sailing through the air to smash into the wall opposite Gene's office. Loud cursing was heard from inside, causing the men walking by to duck their heads and quicken their pace.
Annie cautiously looked inside the office to see Gene standing there, gripping the back of his chair.
'That place 'snot a real asylum. Just a place they put you to die. Sick an'.....Went to see Sam today. Patted him on the back, an he flinched like a wasp stung him. Bruises all over and it's our fault. They hurt him cause he told us. And they've got him back on those sodding pills.'
He looked away.
'An he's gotten worse.'

Week Twelve
Sam cocked his head. There's a man looking at him. Looking and frowning. There's something about the man...He wears anger like his coat, but he doesn't make him afraid. Not like Fitz.

The man ran his hand through his long honey hair.
'Do you have to keep him blasted out of his mind on these?' he asked Her. The Nurse smiled.
'It's for his own good sir. If we don't, he starts hallucinating again.'
The angry man glared at Her.
'Can we have one bleeding moment of peace without you hoverin' over us Nursie?'
She nodded and walked a short distance away.
The angry man leaned forwards and whispered in his ear.
'Tyler, I've got Annie and Chris workin' on getting you out of here. They're sneakin' around the records for this sodding hellhole, seein' if they can find anything, allright?'
He pulled back and looked at him.
'Tyler? Sam?' He peered into his face, and fell back disappointed.
'Maybe I'm wasting me time here, maybe we've already run out of time. Jesus Sam! It's not like you to give up. Come on! Scream, shout, something!' He sighed, stood up, and left. He's alone again. The Nurse takes him back to his cell and he lies down to sleep.

'Poor Sam. He that endureth to the end shall be saved.'
He opens his eyes. He sees the girl again, little girl in red. He smiles.
'Have to go Sam, have to go now. Fly away home.' She beckons him onwards. She's his friend, his only friend here.
So he follows her.

Gene was about to leave the building when he heard a loud rattling sound.
It's Sam. There was no doubt in his mind.
He ran back the way he'd come, sliding to a stop outside the grate between the patients area and the hallway. Sam was rattling the grating violently. The nurses were trying to tear him away from it, but he clung tightly.
'What are you doing to my officer you bloody bunch of bastards!?' Gene roared. The nurses looked somewhat cowed, letting go of his DI.
'Sam?' Gene looked at him.
'Sam, what is it?' Sam opened and closed his mouth but nothing came out.

'Guv!' Annie and Chris came running down the hall on Sam's side. They flanked him, pushing away the nurses, glaring at them.
'Guv, it's his medication! The Thorazine! The levels they have him on, Sam should be in a coma!'
Gene glared at Nurse Beaumont.
'Oh is that so? Better skip off and get our lad discharged then!'
She looked flustered and then smiled meanly.
'I'm sorry, but I can't do that unless the on duty doctor signs him out or he asks to go.'
Cartwright and Gene looked at Sam.
'Tyler, come on. Say something, you've never had trouble gabbing before.'
He swallowed, opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. He was trying, but he couldn't...
'Tyler! Come on blast it!'
Sam rattled the grating, looking tired, trapped, about to crumble. Chris put a comforting hand on his shoulder.

Suddenly, he smiled.
'Gene! Gene Genie!'
Sam who looked down, his eyes flicking back and forth. Then he looked at Gene, his eyes shining.
'Get back home.' He said it again.
'Get back home!'
'Right! That's good enough for me! Nurse, let my officers out, all of them.'
'Now! Unless you want the next issue of the Manchester Gazzette to be about your asylum as the new Bedlam!'

They almost had to draw on the staff, but Gene's 'forceful' personality won the day. They walked Sam out, throwing a blanket over the thin white pajamas to protect him from the rain that was now falling.
'Come on kiddies, into the car.' Gene looked behind him to see Sam standing in the rain. Not just standing, basking in it, bathing in it practically. Annie walked up to him.
He turned around and took her gently in his arms. And started dancing, slowly, in little circles.
Gene looked on bemused but strangely pleased as his DI and his WDC dance in the mud and the rain. He pulled back to look at Annie, and she smiled. Sam leaned forward and kissed her lightly. Gene rolled his eyes.
'Oi you mental case! Put that plonk down and get in the car 'fore you drown!'
Tags: out of time challenge
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