RATING: PG - Green Cortina - minor language
DISCLAIMERS: The characters of Gene Hunt, Frank Morgan and Sam Tyler are not mine, no profit made
SPOILERS: For both seasons - consider it an AU take on the series finale. Gene Hunt and Frank Morgan meet, post 2:08, mentions of Sam. This hasn't been beta-read, any feedback appreciated.
When he steps into the bull-pen the room falls silent. It doesn't feel right. The room is too airy for one, back-lit by windows and the low hum of an air-conditioning unit that actually works. The desks are neatly aligned, two columns that march toward the office situated near the rear of the room. He misses the crannies and nooks, the disorganised chaos of his own filth, everything is white-washed, transparent and overly clean.
Hunt straightens, the envelop crackling in his fist. He wonders what they think when they look at him; he wonders, briefly, how Sam used to fit into all of this, then decides he doesn't care either way.
Fifteen pair of eyes track him silently until a man, sitting closest to the office, stands. "D.C.I Hunt."
It's an educated voice, smoothly modulated, and Gene feels the first stirring of anger. They know him here. They know his name, they know his methods and his rules, they probably know what his missus cooks for tea on a Tuesday night; anger that's bright as broken glass. "I"m here to speak with your boss."
The D.I makes an abortive move, "D.C.I Morgan is unavailable, sir. Perhaps if you had called earlier..."
"Right, if I called any earlier he would have been booked out to bloody Christmas time."
Gene moves fast when he needs to - it's deceptive - his size and stature would indicate someone less so; but he learnt at the feet of an old man with poor tolerance for the drink, and Gene's always been quick to push the boundaries.
The D.I holds a hand out as if to stop him, his features waxen in the early morning light - Sam Tyler's replacement - with none of the darkly grit, and Gene drops his shoulder and rams into him.
He hears a curse, bitten off sharply, then the doors swing shut, and Gene squares off against Morgan. He thought he would have shot the man on first sight. In his darker moments, Gene fantasizes about the pig farms out near Werring, about animal squeals blotting out a different sound altogether. He hates Morgan, and not because of the allegations, not even for setting Gene up with his own private snitch, but for the train job. For the botched morality that would have seen Gene's team murdered; for all but writing the bloody toe-tags himself.
His own leg is long healed, a glancing bullet that tore off flesh and skin. His missus still runs her fingers over it, though, tracing imperfections late at night, her eyes watchful. It aches now, a sharp flare of heat like a phantom sun.
Morgan laces his fingers over his stomach and doesn't bother to stand. He's a small, dapper man with kindly eyes and steel behind the veneer. "Where's D.I Williams?"
He's also about as trustworthy as an Irishman in an empty pub.
Sam hadn't explained; instead he had apologised, profusely, after shooting Leslie John in the gullet with extreme prejudice, and Gene....never pushed. "Who?"
"Sam Williams," Morgan repeats.
There's an edge to his manner, a fine undercurrent that Gene seizes on. "Never heard of him. Now Sam Tyler, him, I know. His background all checked out, his transfer request was bloody spotless - but then, it would have to be, wouldn't it? To get past me." Gene grins, shows all of his teeth. The envelop beats a rapid tattoo against his leg, a one/two, the jab and cross-hook. "You send a UC into my kingdom, Morgan, and you better be prepared for war. You're not internal affairs, you scum."
"Sam is. Has been for two years. Cleaning out stations one by one."
And Gene had said it, four months back and in the heat of an argument. Is this what you do? Tearing into stations and ripping them apart? Destroying their camaraderie? Glen Fletcher, who had remembered Sam's face from Hyde, before all the shit went down, floating aimlessly from station to station. They would have done that to Gene - to Gene's men - cored out the rotten seeds and disbanded them. "You self righteous prick. You think we're bent, then you report it, you don't send an undercover into my station. You're a D.C.I Morgan. You're not Internal Complaints Division, you had no...."
"I had every right to investigate a bent copper. I had every right because Commissioners like Rathbowne don't. You think you're blameless in this? You think beating a confession out of a villain is part of the job description? Yes, Sam's a UC. Yes, I sent him in. He does his job, then I clean up the mess. The future of policing has no room for the likes of you."
Twenty years on the job, and his city has never been safer. "I get...the...job...done."
"At what expense? Deaths in custody. Fudged reports. Broken bones. The list goes on, D.C.I Hunt, and it's all here, in Sam's hand-writing."
It's a marked folder, stained yellow and thin. Morgan's rests his hand against it, his fingers curled inward.
Gene takes a breath and lets it go. Whatever partnership Sam had with Morgan died in that tunnel, ethereal as smoke when Sam realised Frank had set them up to die. The file is too thin.
"It's meaningless if he doesn't testify."
And Sam had his chance. He had his chance eight months ago when Gene confessed he was on the take, before they took down Warren. He had his chance two weeks ago, when Morgan accused Gene of murder. And it was ironic - that Morgan's own UC had proven Gene's innocence - that Sam was the only one Gene had trusted to help.
Twenty years on the force, nineteen of them bent as a bloody fish-hook, and it's when Gene finally cleans himself up, that the shit hits the fan.
"He will," Frank insists, stubborn as a git.
Gene drops the envelop onto his desk and says softly, "I found it in his waste-basket."
It's a transfer request back to Hyde, unsigned and uncompleted.
Morgan fingers the envelop, his eyes slated grey, "He doesn't remember." Frank doesn't look so neat now, his suit is rumpled as he pushes to his feet, one hand running through his hair. "He took on his false identity in lieu of the accident. He doesn't know who he is, Hunt. He needs help."
"Funny, considering how little help you've provided." He can feel the sneer on his own face, because Tyler or Williams it doesn't matter to Gene, not one bit. "He's a copper. He gets the job done."
"If you believe that, then you're even more deranged than he is. He needs to be someplace familiar, with people who can help him remember. Sam Tyler doesn't exist."
"And Sam Williams spent the last two years stitching up coppers. How long until someone puts two and two together? How long until some plonk with a mate in the nick hunts him down? And Sam takes a walk down an alleyway and doesn't come out again?" Gene pushes forward, anger and something close to fear skating down his spine. "Cos he doesn't remember, Morgan, or maybe he doesn't want to remember, but if you take away his false identity then he's a target for any copper with a chip on his shoulder."
"And he's perfectly safe in your station." Waspish, Morgan straightens so fast that Gene's surprised his spinal cord doesn't twang
"We look after our own. Sam's my D.I. They won't touch him." It's the truth. Gene's happy to beat the ever-living crap out of Tyler when he needs to, but that is his prerogative, and a boundary that no one else would over-step. Discounting Ray, of course, but then, those two hated each other on sight; Sam being a plant wouldn't change that any, and Sam, whatever else you may say about him, was a scrapper, the type that would wade in with his boots kicking.
"He isn't going to testify, Morgan, and he's not coming back to Hyde. You used him up." You sent him to me when you knew he was already damaged, Hunt doesn't say. Less than a year on Gene's team and CIDs solve rate has doubled, you didn't need to be a detective to figure out why. Tyler's like a greyhound, eyes fixed on the rabbit, and twice as likely to bite the hand that feeds him.
Hunt knows him, knows when to slacken the lead, he knows when to smack him in the ribs, too, to drop Tyler down a few notches. It's all part of the civil service.
"If you think I'm going to leave my officer in your custody..."
"Sam Williams doesn't exist, and Sam Tyler, well, I think he likes it there, likes going after bona fide crooks for once. I think he likes having someone at his back." Gene shakes his head, drops his voice until it's a warning hum. "Leave my team alone, D.C.I Morgan, and stop sending my D.I transfer requests. Didn't Sammy tell you? I keep all the orphans."