Notes: Set some time after the special final episode, so consider this a SPOILER WARNING.

Pairing: Guy/Caroline, Mac/Caroline (though Mac doesn't actually appear)

Over Jelly

by Ijemanja


Mac was stupidly popular, a fact which Guy had, quite frankly, never understood, and which was also inconvenient for the poor bastard who got stuck cleaning up after the Wake That Ate Caroline's House.

Why he was that bastard was another concept he was having a hard time grasping.

It was weird, Guy reflected, as he threw bottles which had once held girly mixed drinks (never again would he let Martin buy the grog) towards the bin in the middle of the room. For a while there this had been Caroline-and-Angela's place, and for a much shorter time, his-and-Caroline's place. He hadn't gotten used to calling it Mac-and-Caroline's yet, and now, well. He wouldn't.

That, he thought, was depressing.

Of course, it was difficult being anything other than depressed when his ginger toss-pot of a best friend was dead, and he was left with nothing to do but pick up the little foil pans from a thousand mini-quiches.

Even if it had been a more sober affair (though not by much) than the last party this place had seen, still there were just mountains of crap everywhere. He would have thought mourners would be a bit more considerate. His own funeral would be far more respectful. And have far more attendees - mostly women, of course, rending their garments at the loss of their sexual paragon.

He paused in the process of wiping off the coffee table to wonder, in the case of him, Guy, being dead, and Mac being not dead - would Mac be here very conscientiously and thoughtfully tidying up? No, he realised, fucking Mac would be upstairs comforting Caroline in her time of need.

Sod this.

When he got upstairs, a trail of cleaning implements left in his wake, the light was off in Caroline's room, but the door was open, and he could see a person-sized lump in the bed. He went over and sat down next to it, flipped on the bedside lamp and patted what he thought was most likely to be a shoulder - not that he minded if it turned out to be something else, of course.

"Are you all right in there?"

"Yes. Fine." Came the rather short response.

"Not asleep then - want some company?" He patted her again for good measure. Well, more stroked this time, really.

A corner of the duvet flipped back, revealing Caroline Todd-Macartney looking very red-faced from being buried so long. "You're unbelievable. You're going to try something, aren't you?"

"No," he told her witheringly. "That would be hugely inappropriate and disrespectful. Speaking of which, whose thoughts just went there - not mine. And anyway, you don't need to worry, Mac and I sorted it before... he... you know."

"What?"

"Last request of a dying man and I intend to honour it because that's the kind of Guy I am."

She did not look convinced - looked, in fact, like she was about to retreat back under the covers.

"What, don't you trust me, don't you think I'm honourable?"

"No, I mean... No. What are you supposed to be honouring, anyway?"

"Well, I promised I wouldn't have sex with you no matter how much you begged me, is what I promised. Because you know our dear Mackintosser was the jealous type and I figured, hey, the least I could do. Bring some measure of peace to that poor man before he... you know. Tossed it in, so to speak."

"That's a complete lie, isn't it? You probably told him we were going to be shagging on his freshly dug grave," she muttered.

He grabbed the edge of the duvet and they wrestled with it as he protested. "No. What? No! Don't you trust me? Don't you. I mean, seriously, don't you trust me. Don't you? Because that's insulting. I'm just, I'm insulted."

"Shut up." She rolled over onto her back and pulled the pillow over her head.

He took that as a yes, and also as an invitation to kick off his shoes and get comfy, leaning back against the headboard.

He sat for a few minutes in silence. Nobody was saying anything, actually. It was weird. What would Mac do, he wondered? Say something to distract the bereaved from her troubles and lighten the mood, he decided.

"Don't suppose you mind if I have a bit of a feel?"

"Yes."

"Really?" He was already moving.

"Yes as in yes, I mind." She emerged from under the pillow in order to roll away from him, arms up to cover her chest.

"Oh." He drew back, and after a wary moment she resettled into her former position, too. "How about a cuddle, then?"

All he got for that was a sigh.

"Come on. I mean it's just a bit miserable and lonely, isn't it? And it was a jo- I was just joking about the," he gestured in the direction of her breasts. "Feeling you up part. Anyway, you look like you could do with a purely platonic, extremely polite and by polite I mean boring and uneventful cuddle."

Somewhere in his stream of words she had rolled over again, this time towards him, curling in against his side. She sniffled as his arms came up around her.

"Oh and you're crying again. That's original. You never used to be such a girl, Caroline."

"Sorry," she said in a small, wet voice, and he could feel where her tears - and he hoped it was tears and not snot, though it was probably just as likely - were soaking through his shirt.

"Hey, I know, believe me I know. He was just such an enormous twat, wasn't he? Just up and dying on us. Didn't even leave me his motorcycle like he said he would. Twat. Arsing... great... twat."

"Guy?"

"Yes?"

"Are you crying?"

"Fuck off. No. So what?"

"Nothing."

"Oh what, you're allowed to cry fifty times a cocking day because you've got titties, nice ones. And pretty hair and eyes and you smell good - most of the time - and -"

"Guy," she interrupted his wavering diatribe. "Would you like a cuddle?"

He nodded jerkily and they switched places, so her arms were around him, and she was petting his hair and rubbing his back, his face pressed into the curve of her neck.

"There, there," she said. He breathed in shakily. "There, there. Are you smelling me?"

"No."

Actually, she smelled really good.

Really, seriously good.

Actually, the duvet was all bunched around her and in the way but if he could just get a better angle - ooh, that was all right. He just hoped she didn't notice... anything.

Suddenly she froze. Of course she did. It was impossible to not notice something so - frankly - so very massive, poking you in the leg. Not that he knew from experience. It was only logical.

"Guy!" Caroline hissed, attempting to pull away, but his arm tightened around her waist and held her there.

"It's an involuntary reaction," he protested. "It's not my fault if you're all warm and rubbing your soft bits all over me and anyway it's normal for people to seek out life-affirming acts when they're grieving!"

He said all this loudly against her neck, having latched on tightly, and with no intention of letting go any time soon - persistence, that was the key. She went from patting him gently on the back to slapping his head. Not at all gently.

He let go. "Ow, hey!"

"You promised!" She backed away out of bed, finger pointed accusingly.

"What? I didn't do anything -"

"Yes you did! You did - I knew it!"

The next thing he knew, he was being hounded out of the room, something hard with nasty-looking edges whizzing dangerously close by his head. He almost tripped on the stairs in his socks, spray-and-wipe bottle he'd shown little foresight in leaving on the landing her next source of ammunition and "Ow!"

"Out! I want you out of my house!"

Bloody hell, he took a moment to note admiringly, she had seriously good aim, he would have to put her on his side next time they had a game of -

"Out!"

"Anger - second stage of grief - this is good! It means you're making progress!" All this, yelled from under his arms which he was using to protect his head and face as he ducked.

"Shut up!"

"God you're a scary woman," he said as he dove round the couch.

"I'm not! I'm just - this isn't - I hate - oh god I wish he was here instead of you!"

Crouching, head pressed against the back of the sofa for safety and support, he replied, "Well I wish he was here instead of you !"

She subsided almost immediately. There was silence. After a moment he peeked over the edge. "Do you mean that?" she said.

"Yeah. Kind of." He thought about it. "Not in the 'I wish you were dead instead of him' way. Just in a, 'I wish he were here'. Way."

"Oh. I think I meant it the other way." She looked around awkwardly, wincing slightly. "Sorry."

"That'll be the grief talking. I guess. Was it?"

"Yeah. I mean, probably. No, yeah."

Slowly, he stood up, watching her as he might do a crazy escaped mental patient. "Do you... still want me to leave?" he asked tentatively. "Or I could stay down here on the sofa. In case you need anything."

She didn't answer, just turned and walked off. He followed her. Into the kitchen, where she stood for a moment, looking lost. He sat down at a safe distance, keeping a close eye out in case he needed to duck.

There were lots of throwable items in a kitchen.

Eventually, she went to the sink and poured a glass of water, took a sip, then set it back down. She was all quiet and spooky. He almost rather wished she would throw another fit. Then she moved again, this time over to the fridge, where she took something out, and brought it to him along with a spoon from the drawer.

He looked down at what she'd just set in front of him. "You've got jelly."

"It's from... before."

"Before, when you were engaged to me first - that before. Before the big faker came up with a good enough excuse to marry you. Well, that's all right, jelly lasts forever."

How weird was it though, he thought as he opened his raspberry jelly, that Mac hadn't taken and eaten it. He would have known it was Guy's. But he hadn't, he'd just... left it there. Almost as if on purpose.

Caroline sat down across from him, toying with the lid as he took his first, solemn spoonful. "He wouldn't have done it, you know," she said conversationally. "If he hadn't been... He would have just arsed around, driving me mad for years."

He looked over at her sharply. "You're not allowed to do that, speak ill of the dead."

"Speak ill of the giant twat who stole your fiancé and didn't leave you his bike in his will?"

"Fucking Martin." He took a large, comforting bite of jelly, hunching lower in his chair. "But yeah. I'll do the bad-mouthing, all right? You remember all the sunshine and bloody kittens that sprang forth from his giant, hairy, ginger-freckle-faced nostrils... And as for Martin," he continued, warming to the topic. "Martin. His name doesn't even sound right without a big fat 'fucking' in front of it. Fucking Martin. Fucking Martin on my fucking bike."

"Maybe he thought Martin needed it more than you did."

"Well," he scoffed, "Yeah, hello. Thank you. Of course I don't need it. A motorcycle wouldn't make me look cool, it would merely compliment my pre-existing state of cool."

"Maybe," she tried again, "He... thought you were getting something better."

"His hair?"

She pinched the bridge of her nose. "No."

"Good. I wouldn't want it. My hair is twice the man his - oh."

"Yes."

"Right." He paused, looking up at her uncertainly. He dropped the jelly. "I have to kiss you now."

"I'd really rather you didn't."

"You can't stop me, we're having a moment."

All he did, though, was pick up her hand and hold it in both of his, pressing his lips to the back of her fingers just once, softly. No tongue or anything.

"I hate it when you're nice," she said then, staring up at the ceiling and blinking as tears welled up in her eyes again.

"So do I!" he wailed, face crumpling.

"Stop it."

He stopped, and went back to his jelly instead. It was awkward going, though, as he was holding her hand the whole time.

end