Even as his world crumbled around him, Malcolm Tucker was formulating his next move. He’d fought the way through the mob of press, both at Number 10 and outside his home, his mind whirling all the while.
He threw himself down on the sofa, wondering how the hell everything had gotten away from him so damned quickly and how the hell he was going to fix it.
Steve Fleming may have won the battle, but there is no fucking way in hell that he is going to win the war.
As he had walked down the hall towards his office, his mind had been racing despite having Fleming right at his heels. Fleming. Julius Nicholson. Even Nicola fucking Murray (and he has to admit, he hadn't been expecting it from her). He knew- had always known - that he was alone in this. Hell, he didn't even have Jamie around anymore. But seeing it in such stark relief fazed him more than he'd have thought it would.
How many resignation letters had he put down in front of people? Fuck, Sam had a folder full of templates for every possible variation of them. "The Prime Minister supports you in whatever you do next." Bad enough to hear those words from anyone. But from Steve Fleming? Un-fucking-acceptable.
Options. God, there had to be fucking options.
Pushed out the back door. That was never supposed to happen. Wheeled out in a body bag, maybe. Hell, people took bets on when exactly he was going to have an aneurysm and keel over dead. Instead he was taken down by Elmer Fudd and Lord Cunty Twat-Face. Jesus. How had it come to this? They'd even taken his Blackberry away. He already felt lost without it. It was like a goddamned phantom limb. Despite popular rumor, Malcolm was not really a violent man by nature. But right now, he could really use something, or rather someone, to punch. He had almost come close with Nicholson, right at the end.
Fucking hell. Didn’t he deserve even a scrap of loyalty?
Without Malcolm, the Prime Minister wouldn't even be the bloody Prime Minister. He was in power, hell the PARTY was in power, because of Malcolm's work. Because he had done anything and everything necessary to make it happen.
All those years –YEARS – of sleepless nights. Of late night phone calls and planning sessions. Always desperately trying to keep the party one step ahead of the opposition. Fighting off the media hacks with promises, threats, blackmail and occasionally the pure force of his glare.
He’d let himself be accused of every sin under the sun. He’d let himself be painted as the boogeyman. Hell, he’d embraced it. Because it made it easy to get things done. Made it easier for him to protect his party.
He hadn’t sold his soul to the devil. He’d become the devil.
And this was the fucking thanks he got.
Malcolm sank against the back of the sofa, closing his eyes against the memories of the past few hours. That moment with Sam had been one of the worst parts.
It played out again clearly in his mind’s eye.
As Malcolm got nearer to his office, he could hear a commotion going on inside, even with Fleming nattering in his ear. He pushed open his outer-office door and he saw a swarm of suits inside. Julius and Steve’s fucking goons.
"Out of the way! What are you doing to her?"
He put his hand on her back. "Don't worry," he said, before turning back to the men who surrounded them.
"Leave her fucking alone!"
Then he went back to Sam. "Don't worry," he repeated. "It's alright, it's alright."
If' he'd been angry before, he was now apoplectic. She was crying. She was actually crying. You did not fuck with Sam. It was simply not allowed. It was a rule that Malcolm had taught quickly and brutally to anyone stupid enough to try.
As loyal as Malcolm was to the party, there were very few individuals to whom he felt the same type allegiance towards. Sam was one of those few. With everything that he handled, Malcolm had needed a good PA, and Sam was one of the best. She was excellent at her job. Never let anything slip through the cracks, never batting an eye at the streams of profanity and threats of violence that often emerged from Malcolm's office. Much to the surprise of everyone (including Malcolm himself), she genuinely seemed to like him.
And now some Julius's little worthless pieces of fuck her were making her cry.
They were there to make sure Malcolm didn't have access to his own files. To see that he was completely cut out before he could try to find a way to undo this fucking coup they had engineered. They’d all planned this out very well. Even in his rage, Malcolm could appreciate just how well they'd done this. But bullying Sam was across the fucking line.
"It's all right, love," Malcolm said softly, putting a hand on Sam's shoulder. "It'll be okay."
Sam's voice quavered, and he saw nothing in her eyes but concern for him.
Malcolm wasn't sure he had a heart left, but if he did, it broke a little in that moment. The woman would have done anything for him, though god only knew what he'd done to deserve that kind of loyalty.
He looked up to see Fleming disappear into his office and had to fight the bile rising in his throat. He’d have to sterilize the place when he got it back. And he would get it back.
"It's fine," Malcolm said again, handing her his handkerchief. "Just do what they say. It's fine. It'll be okay."
He glared up at where Julius hovered in the doorway, the bastard avoiding looking at Sam, as if that would absolve him of responsibility for making her cry. In that moment, Malcolm swore that he'd find a way to hurt the bald cunt. All his bollocks about manners and professionalism and about civility in politics. Well, the hypocritical prick was going to pay for it.
"Oi!" Malcolm shouted. "Get your cronies to back the fuck off before I tear their fucking scrota off and shove them down their throats!"
"Malcolm," Julius began imperiously "They are simply here to make sure that you do not remove anything from this office that does not belong to you and to ease the transition of power."
"And what part of that involves making the lass cry?" Malcolm still stood protectively over Sam. "And I'm just here to pack up my personal effects.
"Malcolm, you need to leave. Ms. Cassidy can pack up your personal belongings. I'll see that they get to you."
Malcolm glared. "I'm not going anywhere until you call off your goon squad."
The men still surrounding the desk looked questioningly at their boss. Julius seemed to consider for a moment, then nodded, waving them away.
"Now, Malcolm, are you going to leave, or do I need to call security?"
"Just hold your fucking horses!"
Malcolm knelt down next to Sam. He placed a reassuring hand on her arm, and could feel her shaking slightly.
"Don't worry, pet. You haven't seen the last of me. Go along with them for now. But, I will be back. Okay?" He spoke lowly, for her ears only.
He saw a steely look of resolve enter her eyes as she nodded her consent, and breathed a sigh of relief. He gave her arm a gentle squeeze and stood up.
Back in his flat, Malcolm took a deep breath and opened his eyes. He still had one person loyal to him. That was something.
He’d fight his way back. He was Malcolm fucking Tucker. This wasn’t over.
They’d see him again.