My 20-something-th fanfic and yet only my first one for Endeavour, shame on me!
In case you haven't already guessed it, this is a Morbryn/Brose/Demorse/whatever-it-is-we're-calling-it-these-days fic, set in the third-person-point-view with every second chapter focusing on DeBryn, Morse, DeBryn, Morse, etc. It *should* be about 20 chapters long, if I don't go off script, and there will be blood, violence, tears, love, one decidedly impressive make out scene if I do say so myself, etc. etc.
So, hope you enjoy, and I'll try to respond to any and every review/comment received!
Detective Constable E. Morse was an enigma.
That much was for certain, DeBryn thought, glancing over at the silent boy as he gave him a lift to Jericho. Their first meeting hadn't left him with a very good impression of the lad, all arrogance and hubris, walking onto the crime scene with a dismissive tone and prideful assumptions and-
"I'll take your word for it".
"Squeamish, are we?" He had asked, relishing in the opportunity to knock the constable down a peg or two, "You won't make much of a detective if you're not prepared to look death in the eye".
A pause, and then-
"Find me when you're done".
The nerve of him.
DeBryn wasn't terrible proud to admit he took longer than necessary poured over that particular body, but the slightly irritated look on the man's face when he finally got back to his car was more than worth it.
The boy had a sort of… unconventional beauty, he decided, all sharp angles and soft sides, not beautiful by society's standards, but still bloody gorgeous in his own, unique way. It honestly blew him away for a moment, before he quickly collected himself and snapped out of it, "Entrée this afternoon, three o'clock sharp".
"You can give me your findings over the telephone".
And then that beautiful face just had to open its mouth.
"You know, there's a word for people like you, Morse".
The lad didn't even give him the courtesy of looking ashamed.
"A word for people like you too, I imagine… Anglo-Saxon, though, rather than Greek".
DeBryn did another take.
A brazen young constable with half a brain?
"Weapon's a Webley, Mark VI, if you're interested".
"455, standard army issue".
With more than half, it would seem.
"Not entirely a fool, then?"
Then there was a slight smirk, just the bare upturn of soft lips, before "Any chance of a lift?"
Staring into those baby blues, he found it impossible to say no to the lad.
Which lead him to now, going out of his way to drive Morse to a random address in the middle of Oxford on the off-chance that it held some crucial clues on why the student had committed suicide by the riverside.
He'd bet five quid on Housman having some quote for a situation just like this.
He couldn't help but feel at least some semblance of respect for the lad once he realised Thursday had taken him under his wing, however. DeBryn was no fool, he knew how spectacular you'd have to be to get the inspector's attention like that, and from what he heard through the grapevine, Morse had seemed to do so effortlessly.
The pair worked well together though, much to the chagrin of the rest of the station, and DeBryn wasn't too unhappy about seeing the lad's face again, all sun-kissed freckles and pouting lips. He only got to see even more of him when it emerged that Morse was quite injury-prone and had a personal vendetta against hospitals.
The cocky exterior dimmed down to something rather manageable, Thursdays doing he suspected, and a sharp wit and clever mind emerged.
The boy was a genius.
Simple as that.
DeBryn had always been a sucker for intelligence.
And then the idiot had gone and gotten himself stabbed.
"Not too deep. Thankfully" He said, securing the bandages in place, "But a clean cut like that'll be a bugger to knit. It's far better gashing yourself on something jagged".
Morse scowled, "I'll bear that in mind next time I chase a lunatic under the Bodleian".
"What led you there?"
"An anagram. Well, double anagram… No alibi err badly, near by libra idol. Both phrases use the same letters".
"Bodleian Library" He realised, secretly awed, handing him a beaker of brandy, "Your health, surely".
Watching the detective down the drink in one gulp, he winced, "It's going to be tight and quite tender for the next few days. So, bed rest. And my finest Broderie Anglaise notwithstanding, don't exert yourself overmuch".
"… The girl's still missing" Morse said quietly, "I've got to get back".
DeBryn paused and glanced over at him, watching as he slowly put back on his jacket, unfortunately covering the tanned skin previously exposed in the process.
The lad was going to stay working, despite the injury, despite the pain, despite the fact he could take time off on paid sick leave like every other constable would have jumped at the chance to-
"Morse… If he'd decided to stab and not to slash, I'd presently be getting more acquainted with your anatomy, than either of us might care for- "
Wait, no, that sounded too sexual.
"-soon as not be heaving your tripes into a tray, if it's all the same… Not just yet at least".
Nice one, Max.
He didn't see the strange intellect again until they were all pressing into a small storage closet, Chief Superintendent Bright included.
"Gentlemen" He replied easily, eyes immediately latching on the young man staring intently at the floor and walls.
He'd caught sight of the blood, then, unlike the other two.
DeBryn rather thought that Morse's sharp gaze was hugely underappreciated.
"What have you got?" Thursday asked, snapping him back to the present moment.
"Not enough room to swing a cat, as you can see".
"What is that? A screwdriver?"
He nodded, "Driven into the right ocular orbit with some considerable force".
"Death would have been instantaneous?"
And now that inquisitive gaze was locked on him.
"More or less".
"No chance it could've been an accident?"
"Not unless he picked himself up and dragged himself in here" DeBryn couldn't help but reply sarcastically.
"There's blood on the skirting and on the wall" Morse added helpfully.
"Any idea what time?"
"Body temperature suggests about four hours ago. Certainly not so much as five".
"Just about the time Her Royal Highness arrived".
He watched as the young constable disappeared from view, clearly having picked up on something that the star-struck chief and world-weary inspector hadn't. DeBryn shook his head and quickly turned his attention back to his notes.
It wouldn't do him any good getting caught staring at the lad, after all, and Thursday amusing yet inappropriate comments were more than enough to keep him entertained for the moment.
"Watch what you're doing, Morse. For God's sake!"
He looked up at the harsh beratement, only to find Morse wandering back into the dead man's room alone, head ducked awkwardly.
"… There is one other thing. Not that it's likely to be much use to you" He suddenly said, holding out the stop watch, "But this was in his pocket".
DeBryn doesn't know why he gave it directly to the lad and not to his superiors.
Perhaps, because underneath all that standoffish attitude and rude remarks, there was a brilliant mind…
Or, perhaps, he was simply trying to become friends with him.
When he get's the call that Morse has been shot, the entire world tilts on its axes.
He doesn't know how he manages to drive there safely, heart pounding loudly in his ears, hands shaking, and his deceased mother's voice echoing in his head you don't know what you have until it's gone-
Except Morse isn't gone, of course he isn't gone, the bastard's too stubborn to die, and the case still hasn't been fully resolved yet so-
DeBryn finds him in the sitting room, propped up against a hideous armchair, Strange on one side, elbow deep in blood, and Thursday on the other, frantically talking to the seemingly unresponsive constable who had one hand tightly clutching the rug and the other thrown over his eyes to block out the sight of all that red-
"Doctor!" Thursday snapped, and he quickly shook himself out of it, rushing forwards and all but collapsing next to the lad.
"Keep that pressure on the wound" He ordered Strange, before turning back to the inspector, "What happened?"
"The suspect, or, rather, the murderer shot him. Revolver. Point blank".
"Where?" He asked, pulling from his bag a needle and thread and searching frantically for morphine, for opium, for anything that would help take the edge off of what he was about to do.
"Just above the hip, right-hand side".
He came up empty handed.
DeBryn cursed loudly, and then startled as he heard a snort.
Looking up, he found the blue-eyed constable smirking at him, even as he held the rest of his body unnaturally stiff.
"Hopeless swearing's not something I wanna 'ear right now, doc".
His voice was hoarse, taut with pain.
"You need to get to a hospital" He responded, but the boy only shook his head, "Can't. Not now".
Glancing over at Thursday resulted in a shake of the head and then a nod at the wound.
He tried again.
"I don't have anything for the pain, Morse. And this is going to hurt. A lot".
The lad remained resolute.
DeBryn had to admire his courage.
"… Okay" He finally said, "Okay, I'll just… here-"
Taking off his belt, the constable took it with shaking hands, confused.
"It's leather; tough" He replied, "… It'll stop you breaking your teeth at least".
Thursday inhaled sharply.
Strange looked sick.
Morse simply folded it in half and bit down on the strap, hard.
Shuffling closer, the pathologist carefully peeled back the lad's blood-soaked shirt.
He was tempted to make a joke about removing his clothes and I didn't even have to buy you dinner first! but based on Strange's shell-shocked look and Thursday's pinched expression, it wasn't the right time.
Telling the inspector to hold the boy down, he switched places with the police constable, steady hands threading the needle before-
Counting down from three, he braced himself.
Twenty minutes later, he quickly followed Strange as he led the pain-stricken detective down the steps of their murderer's home, every movement pulling a low groan from the lad, and every low groan pulling at DeBryn's heart strings.
"I've made as best a running repair as I can, but you really need to go to Casualty" He insisted, half-jogging to remain level side-by-side with the pair, but Morse continued to shake his head with a harsh "I don't have time" and the doctor found that he could do nothing, nothing but stand by the gateway and watch, terrified, as the self-sacrificing breath-taking idiot limped away.
So yes, he finally concluded, Detective Constable E. Morse really was an enigma.
A brazen, unprofessional, rude martyr with a sharp tongue, a brilliant mind, and a kind heart, a contradiction of terms and traits, a paradox in his own right and-
-and a paradox that one Maximillian DeBryn was very interested in getting to know indeed.
Bent over the most recent body to have graced his table, a scalpel in one hand and a liver in the other, he suddenly sat back and paused as that Housman quote finally struck him.
Night holds Hippolytus the pure of stain, Diana steads him nothing, he must stay; and Theseus leaves Pirithous in the chain, the love of comrades cannot take away.