Title: 10 Times George Crabtree Saw Things He Wished He Hadn't
Summary: Exactly as the title says.
Author's Note: Anything from season 1 episode 1 through 09x04 is fair game. I've wanted to try something new that I hadn't done before for a while, and this is what finally came to me. Small drabbles of approximately 200-300 words, give or take a few of various times in George's life (beginning with pre-series to the present that he's encountered.
Rating: T for mentions of sex.
Warning: Mentions of William/Julia, William/Other, George/Emily, George/Other, Emily/Lillian
1.) When he was ten, George and his friend Michael would often go down to the creek to skip rocks across the water as boys were wont to do. One day, he stopped at Michael's house and no one responded, despite the curtains being fully drawn amidst other signs that the family was home. Trying hard to ignore the bad feeling that he couldn't shake, George finally gathered enough courage and opened the unlocked front door, only to find that Michael's entire family: mother, children, and even the dog were dead of multiple gunshot wounds or exsanguination from stab wounds in various rooms on the first floor. All, save for Michael, who had tried to fight his father and possibly save the lives of himself and his family but ultimately lost, and was collapsed in a heap on the floor.
In the middle of the parlor in front of the mostly extinguished fire, was Michael's father, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. In the ensuing days, the town learned that Michael's father had lost his job and would also possibly be facing criminal charges amidst allegations of embezzlement and theft of company property. Rather than face a future wherein he wouldn't be able to provide for his family, he'd killed them all and himself. George had once greatly admired the man, and though the man may have fancied himself noble in his intentions, George couldn't help think the man was a first-rate coward, and where George had once dreamt of being a man like him, he was suddenly the embodiment of someone he never wanted to become.
2.) The summer George was thirteen, he learned the truth about the birds and bees as it was sometimes referred to as well as exactly how his beloved aunts earned their income. He loved all of them and they all looked after him with such love and devotion that he never wanted for affection, but it was his Aunt Azalea to whom he was the closest, who was the mother he didn't have, and he was the child she'd never have. As school was dismissed early one day due to a cockroach infestation, George bounded up the stairs and straight into Aunt Azalea's room, as was his typical custom upon his arrival home from school. But as it was not his customary time, Aunt Azalea was otherwise occupied with Mr. Smithers, his previous years' teacher who also lived down the street. They were in a most unusual embrace, and the lower halves of their bodies were intertwined with one another. In shock and amazement, George stood there with both door and mouth agape, and being caught up in the act as they were, neither Aunt Azalea nor Mr. Smithers realized at first that they were performing for an audience but it was only a matter of time before Azalea realized her George was standing there in shock at the tableau before him, and had to quickly shoo him out of the room.
Later on, she explained to him that she earned her income entertaining men and providing for their physical needs in a way that only a woman could. He was shocked at first, but eventually, it all made sense to him and it seemed a perfectly logical thing to do; if people had biological urges, then what was wrong with a woman earning money for performing that service? How did it differ from other service providing professionals? It made perfect sense to George, and despite harboring no ill will to Mr. Smithers; the man wouldn't look at him ever again.
3.) As a rookie member of the Constabulary, he worked the beat in St. John's Ward-an area commonly favored by doxies. Because of his Aunts' chosen profession, he'd never looked down on them as many others did, and over time, many of them came to trust him and would supply valuable tips on various crimes that they would never tell to another constable. Mostly George was there to make sure that their clients wouldn't mistreat them, but almost every night he noticed that one man would drop off two young ladies, and come retrieve them the next morning. George thought he was their pimp, which he was, but as George later discovered, he was also their father, coming to collect their night's wages as well as them each day. When they turned up dead after a depraved man had tortured them before stabbing them to death in a twisted perversion, the father/pimp seemed more upset about his lost income than he did the death of his children.
After vomiting at both the crime scene and the man's selfish focus on his own financial situation, George and another constable beat the man to within an inch of his life. When Station House No. 4's new detective William H. Murdoch discovered what they had done, both of the young constables were certain that the stiff man would have them dismissed for their actions. Surprisingly however, he instead dismissed the man's claims of police brutality, and pointedly ignored the irrefutable evidence of the busted knuckles on both constables. It was then that George knew that while Detective Murdoch was quite rigid in his pursuit of justice and the law, he wasn't impervious to mitigating circumstances either. George began to think that working for the man might not be so bad after all.
4.) George was happy to accompany Detective Murdoch on the recent case of the murder of Professor Samuel Bennett, a newly arrived Physics professor from England. As they approached the campus of the University of Toronto, not for the first time George found himself wondering what it would have been like to have had the chance to attend classes here in this modern co-educational environment. He thought about what societies he might have belonged to, what his major course of study could have possibly been when he caught a wistful expression on Detective Murdoch's face, one that he was willing to bet closely matched his own. If he sometimes longed for a chance to continue his studied beyond his rudimentary education, a man like Detective Murdoch with his intelligence must really be devastated at having been denied an opportunity to an education beyond his schooling with the Jesuits.
Still, if the man was upset at being denied an opportunity to further his studies, he didn't show it, as he was all business in Dr. Bennett's office, carefully studying the crime scene and making notes to add to those he had found earlier. As they moved about the office, speaking with Mr. Perry about how how the killer had fabricated his automatic rifle (one that didn't actually need a man to fire it), George stood in front of the window, listening to Detective Murdoch probe Mr. Perry for further details when he heard a gunshot. It wasn't until he felt himself falling to the floor and a sharp pain that he realized he'd been the one to be hit before he blacked out.
5.) One night well after at the end of his shift, when the day shift had long since departed the station, and the night shift had already left for their patrol, George had stayed late to work on some reports, and finally having finished them, made his way to leave them on Detective Murdoch's desk, who he also thought had long since departed. Only, it quickly became evident that he hadn't. Even with only his desk lamp illuminating his office, George could make out the Detective both slumped and sprawled in his chair, legs spread and arms akimbo, seemingly moaning in pain. Just as George was about to rush to his aid, he noticed that the Detective wasn't alone; Dr. Ogden, who was mostly obscured by the desk was on her knees, and judging from her bobbing head and hand gestures, was orally pleasuring Detective Murdoch.
Noting that the man was most certainly not having a fit of agony but rather a fit of pleasure, George carefully backed up and left the vicinity of the Detective's office as quietly and as quickly as he could. Shocked that such a proper man had been seen semi-publicly engaging in such a private act, it was difficult to make eye contact with the normally polite man for the next few days. It was also a week before he could bring himself to even enter the man's office that had been the setting for such a shocking scene. But for the next few months, when he was home and lay in his bed alone, George often wondered what it was that the peripatetic Detective Murdoch offered to get such a beautiful, accomplished lady friend who would willingly give him pleasure in his place of business, and what he might possibly do to find such a lady.
6.) A couple of years later, George was again working late at the station when he heard some slight commotion from direction of the jail cells. Knowing that Detective Murdoch was down there with Miss Anna Fulford, he hurriedly checked to see what the disturbance was, fearing that the Black Hand had somehow infiltrated the area and was harming them. Stopping by the armory on the way, George rounded the corner only to be greeted by Detective Murdoch and Miss Fulford, locked in a lover's embrace, and kissing one another with Miss Fulford's back against the bars and her legs wrapped around his waist while Detective Murdoch thrust into her repeatedly in a mixture of both pain and pleasure. Again, as quickly and quietly as he could, George made his way back to the armory to return the weapon that was no longer necessary.
As soon as he was out of eyesight of the couple but not earshot, George heard Miss Fulford moan a strange name, "Harry." Meanwhile, the Detective grunted a single name in response, "Julia." He was no innocent in either thought or experience, and George would never begrudge anyone finding comfort wherever they could in this harsh world, but even he couldn't fathom physically enjoying one person while imagining that they were actually someone else. His heart ached at the thought.
7.) As he lay in bed, reflecting the events of the past few days, George thought about his melancholic mood of late and the root causes of it. Lonely and missing the distinct pleasure that accompanied female companionship, George wondered if he'd been rash to hastily put an end to the courtship with Emily. There were times when her encouragement and her words exhilarated him, and he wasn't sure if he even wanted to live without those things in his life. However, he also thought back to the times when she'd made him feel dumb, inferior to her in some way, that what he could provide wasn't enough for a woman like her, and that he was somehow beneath her. It was then that he wondered if maybe parting was for the best, that maybe they were much better off as friends than they were as lovers, and this end was actually a natural course for things. He needed someone who would support him and believe in him, and apparently, she needed someone who could thrill her, and ultimately, he just wasn't sure if he was up to the challenge of continuously exciting her.
Eventually deciding that the true answer would reveal itself to him in time, he still somehow hoped that time would heal the wounds between Emily and he. A week later as he was walking up Jarvis Street to follow up on a routine robbery, he encountered Leslie Garland and Emily walking hand in hand, laughing from a distance. Stopping to watch them from behind a tree where they hopefully couldn't see him, George couldn't help but realize that Emily had a glow about her that he'd never seen on her while she was with him. Leslie made her happy in a way that apparently he never could, and to add insult to injury, he apparently hadn't meant that much to her, as she had already moved on with another while his heart was still broken. It hurt, and he didn't want it, but it was then he knew he needed to move on and find the girl for him. It wasn't Emily Grace.
8.) As he, Edna, and Simon sat around the table excitedly making plans about their upcoming future with one another: plans that included a promotion, a move for Edna and Simon out of the tenements, a wedding, and even the addition of a possible new family member, George could hardly believe that his time for happiness had finally come. It had been a long, hard road for him since he'd left the Reverend and his Aunts in St. John, and the path had not always been easy, but here he was, engaged, about to be recognized in his career with a long sought after promotion to detective, and soon to be a father. He truly had everything he had ever wanted and was silently thanking God for his good fortune when Archibald Brooks opened the front door and did the seemingly impossible by returning from the dead like some terrible creature he had often wondered about.
Quickly excusing himself from the table and the house, George stepped outside and saw all of his dreams slip away as the door closed behind him both figuratively and literally. He stood there and cried at the unfairness of it all. He thought God had loved him and was finally rewarding his faithful servant, but instead, had decided to impose a Job-like test upon him. He wasn't sure that he even wanted to rise to the challenge as he walked away from Edna's apartment and towards the nearest bar where he could get drunk.
9.) It was true that things hadn't worked out romantically between him and Dr. Grace, but George wasn't unhappy with the current stage of their relationship. George had found that while they weren't romantically compatible, Emily Grace had quickly become one of the best friends he had ever had, and while the journey had been painful, it was ultimately for the best. Whilst he'd once been heartbroken that they were never meant to be sweethearts, he was ultimately distraught for his friend that her new relationship had ended with the senseless murder of her lover, any dreams of a future with one another abruptly over. While he'd been surprised that Emily had been engaged in a Sapphic relationship at first, he didn't think any less of her once he discovered the truth and had a moment to think about it. George felt that one couldn't help but love who one loved, and he keenly felt Emily's loss just as she'd felt his own several weeks earlier when Edna had left him again.
So as they were at Union Station and Emily was preparing to depart on her long journey for London, he sensed her reticence at leaving. He knew that her mind was swirling with doubts as to whether she should fulfill Lillian's wishes to go, and whether or not she wanted to leave everyone and everything she knew behind. He could also sense that she was second doubting her decision to leave George behind, possibly for good, and while he'd had those doubts more than once, he knew that they would never be satisfied with one another ultimately; that they both wanted and needed different things that they could give one another. Because he cared about her, he encouraged her to go, knowing she would find her destiny in London, and that she would soon find another to love and be loved by. No, he and Emily were no longer sweethearts, but that was okay, because what they now had was infinitely better.
10.) Once upon a time, George had thought Henry Higgins suave and skilled at attracting members of the opposite sex, and was quite envious of his abilities. But now he knew better, and as they were taking a routine patrol of Yonge Street, he was once again forced to bear witness to Higgins' ever-increasingly desperate attempt to persuade Miss Mary Lawrence to accompany him to a musical show that evening. George knew he wasn't the most intelligent of men, but even he knew that a woman was not interested in you when she had repeatedly made plans with you only to fail to show up on more than one occasion. He wondered how obtuse Henry could actually be to not notice that fact, and as Henry's casual questions began to border on desperate pleas, he grew increasingly uncomfortable and ardently began to wish that he were somewhere else, anywhere else (save for back in prison) so that he wouldn't be forced to bear witness to the groveling Henry was currently engaged in.
Seeing Miss Lawrence's friend also shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot, George caught her eye and motioned her away from the tragic scene unfolding with Henry and Mary. Just as desperate to escape the unfolding catastrophe as he was, George had no difficulty in getting her to engage in a more acceptable form of conversation. It seems her name was Edith, and it didn't take very long to find out that they had both attended the same lecture on mythical creatures at the university just last week. After agreeing to his proposal that he accompany her to the next lecture in the series, George and Henry left the two ladies. Henry was dejected and inconsolable that Miss Lawrence wasn't interested in him, and couldn't understand why she would pass on a fine man as he. George lent a sympathetic ear (at least as best as he could muster), while he completed his patrol with a spring in his step. It would be most pleasurable to spend an evening in the company of a young lady who shared his interests once again.