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Wonder of Wonders

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'What's going on here?'

'What does it look like?'

'...like your missus went off to her sister's again.'

'It was to her mum's this time, but does it look like I bloody well care? It's always been code for her spending time with her bird in Blackpool, only this time, she's gone to stay.'

'...oh. Sorry.'

'What's about you? What's your excuse?'

'I broke up with Annie – well, actually, she broke up with me. We haven't been dating since last month, not that anyone noticed.'

'Not that I noticed, you mean to say? You could have said something.'

'And risk you turning it into a joke, or somehow rubbing it Annie's face? She felt bad enough already, I didn't want her feeling any worse. I was trying to spare her more hurt.'

'Sam Tyler, always the white knight, only ever thinking of those around him, never his selfish self.'

'Guv – '

'But what about your feelings, eh? What about you?'

'Honestly? I was hoping she'd still want to have Christmas dinner, even just as friends, but she's gone off to spend the holiday with her family the way she always does, and I don't know why I tried convincing myself this year would be any different than any other – '

'Christ above, Dorothy – breathe.'

'...I'm okay.'

'I don't know if I believe you.'

'It's Christmas, Gene – even though it's the shittiest one I've had in decades. Have a little more faith in me than you usually do, just this once.'

'See, the thing about that is... Never mind. It doesn't matter. Here.'

'Oh – this is the good stuff. Thanks.'

'Cheers.'

'...but I have all this food to cook and no one to cook it for, and it's all going to go to waste, and – oh.'

'What's the laugh for, eh?'

'We've been presented with a Christmas miracle, that's what – you should come to mine for dinner.'

'And why do you think I'd want to?'

'Because you hate eating by yourself, and you love it when someone else does all the cooking. There's going to be turkey with all the trimmings, mince pie, Christmas pudding... come on, Gene. Aren't you even a little bit tempted by my invitation?'

'Only because I've got nothing better to do.'

'God, aren't you're just as gracious as ever. I hope I don't live to regret this.'

'Now that we've settled that – what time do we eat?'


'And to what do I owe all this bloody splendour?'

'It's nothing really. Just thought it wouldn't hurt if we could end the week better than it started.'

'So there's no hidden agenda?'

'Nope.'

'Full Sunday roast on a Saturday. This fancy looking chocolate thing for pudding. Must have cost you a pretty penny... hope it doesn't mean you plan on being late with your rent.'

'I wouldn't dare. Look, Gene, could you just... There's no need to be suspicious. I just want us to have a nice night, where's the harm in that?'

'I haven't forgotten – '

'God, no, it's nothing like that. You're going to make me explain myself, aren't you?'

'You'd do the same with me.'

'I notice what you do for me, that's all.'

'So I'm a ray of bloody sunshine, I brighten up your life? Say that again the next time we disagree on procedure, or you want to go off on a lark and waste departmental resources, or, when you....'

'If we could focus on Wallace for now, it'll save us time in the long run. He worked with Peterson, he knows more than he's letting on. You think he's a waste of time because he's an accountant, but what you haven't considered is the intimate knowledge he has about Peterson's finances – '

'So says you. What I really think is – '

'Look, please – can we not do this tonight? It's been a bad week, it's been hard on all of us. We're stressed out, we're tired, and you're... you've been running yourself ragged. I notice what you've been doing for me, trying to make it... work. It's a bad habit and all, but it's still a sacrifice – I know it isn't easy.'

'Oh – well.'

'Thought you weren't being obvious, right?'

'Yeah.'

'The headaches, the late nights... there's no easy way to put this, but it's had a very adverse effect on your already bad moods.'

'Been cranky, is that what you're trying to say?'

'Exactly. Nicotine withdrawal is serious business, and I should let you know how grateful I am that you are trying, seeing as how I'm the one who nagged you about it in the first place.'

'Guess it's good that you noticed. Means I'm not doing it for nothing. And this is how you're rewarding me?'

'Ah, well... the stomach is the way to a man's heart and all that.'


'...what are you doing?'

'Dancing the hully gully with a side of the twist, what do you bloody well think?'

'Like you're cooking breakfast; is that bacon? Yes, before you answer me, I know it's bacon, but come on. Your idea of breakfast is whisky paired with a platter of cold beans on soggy toast.'

'Now you're just playing stupid. It is a game, right?'

'It's nice, it's different. It's kind of... spontaneous, actually; are you sure you're feeling alright?'

'Sam – '

'Normally when we're acting spontaneous, one of us ends knocked about.'

'Don't you mean, your poncy narrow arse gets knocked about and my manly self shags you through the wall?'

'Yes, well, maybe that's true, but we've been here before, Gene – there are exceptions to every rule.'

'There's some oatmeal, too, and that wheat toast that tastes like cardboard that you're so bloody fond of. You're always doing nice things for me, I thought to myself, why not... what? What's wrong?'

'The bacon. You cooked this in the oven.'

'Yes, well, you were going on and on about polyunsaturated-fatty-whatevers and omega-cholesterol-acids and how eating healthy shouldn't be such a trial, oh, and how I never want to try anything new, which you know is a sodding lie, and... what now?'

'It's good. I mean, before my compliments go to your head and you end up even more full of yourself than you already are, you should have put foil down before tossing it in to bake. But it's crispy and a bit smoky and here. Just, try it, okay?'

'Mmm. I mean, a good fry up would have been even better...'

'...but this is still nice.'

'So you approve?'

'I do.'

'Mhmm. Stop picking at the bacon, maybe go and set the table – I've got the rest of this to finish up.'

'Y'know, Guv, you really know how to suck the joy out of being an obnoxious brat... Oh, I know – how about I go and set the table?'

'Ha-bloody-ha. Your refined deductive reasoning, that's clearly why I keep you around.'

'And I was sure it was because the delightful way my poncy narrow arse bounces when you knock me against the wall.'

'Shush now, Irene. Spontaneous breakfast is nice, yeah?'

'Spontaneous blow-jobs are also nice, hint hint.'

'Yes that's true, they are. You should give them more often.'

'Keep cooking meals for me, and we'll see.'