Hello again everyone! I present to you a new Flushed Away story and hope you enjoy the first chapter! I had a lot of fun writing this story, having started it a couple of month's back, so hopefully you'll enjoy it too.
Flushed Away: Where There's Smoke...
Chapter One – Bad Day, Good News
Roddy's day began reasonably well. He left Rita's house at 9am sharp, intending to find some decent clothes to wear for a meeting with the Mayor and his advisory cabinet that afternoon. After taking a major part in the prevention of the City's destruction, he'd become somewhat of a town icon, and was convinced they were going to offer him a job within the cabinet of the Mayor himself.
He would of course refuse as he really wanted to be Rita's First Mate on the Jammy Dodger Mark II and he was not going to let another job offer distract him from this, no matter how much he was offered in the way of wages.
Roddy had never had a job in his life. Being a pet, he obviously didn't fit many job descriptions and in any case, he never needed to in the past because his owners were so rich.
Unfortunately, Ratropolis was a different kettle of fish. Here he was one of many rats that didn't have a great deal of money to rub together. Well... he said this but he knew Rita would be able to pay him with the money she had gained from his generous gift of a Kensington jewel. He would be a bit reluctant to accept this though - her entire family had never seen as much as a whole pound coin in their life, and he didn't want to be a burden. He felt suddenly like a leech, draining away their newly discovered bank account. He was, after all living with them and eating their food.
Rita's Dad had told Roddy about a good men's clothes shop and so that was where he was headed. He found it slightly disconcerting to be stared at by passers by. This time, it was not due to his similarity with a waiter, but because he had literally held the tide back. It had gotten so annoying over the past few days that he sometimes wished he had done nothing and had instead, resolutely ridden the wave into the City on a surfboard. (But not very often, he remembered, thinking of Rita and her family).
Stepping into the shop, a female voice piped up.
'Ooooh it's Roddy girls!' A teenage rat said, breathlessly.
Several of the young female assistants dropped what they were doing and sighed, goggling at him.
'Oh no, you're joking, not Roddy St. James?' a male assistant came stumbling into the room, holding a pair of trousers and a measuring tape, grinning from ear to ear and pretending to be in awe.
Roddy looked apprehensively at them. The surfboard theory was looking better and better this side of last week's actions.
'Er... yes. I've... come to see what suits you have in stock...'
'Step this way Sir!' he seized Roddy's arm and dragged him over to the racks of suits.
'Darren! Don't treat customers like that!' An older blonde woman scalded.
'No no, it's alright,' smiled Roddy, though secretly he was wondering what had been slipped in the water supply this morning.
'Go and stock up the shelves over there!' She ordered.
Darren grinned and moved away to the other side of the shop.
'Sorry about that,' she smiled, taking Darren's place 'Any particular colour's you were looking for Mr St. James?'
'Erm... black I think. And call me Roddy.'
'This one's quite nice. I'll just get it down for you,' she pointed up at a suit hanging out of reach, and then went to drag the steps over.
'Please, let me do that,' Roddy grabbed the steps off her and mounted them himself, taking the suit off the rail.
There was a collective sigh from around the shop.
'Back to work!' the blonde woman snapped.
Roddy stared. And this was just the start of the day.
'But it's the same as your other one!' Rita laughed, holding up the jacket to get a better look.
'Er, actually no, that was a dinner jacket. And if you leave it hanging around here for long enough it will resemble neither,' he said, watching her siblings flicking paint at one another.
She looked at him. They were in the middle of Rita's living room - otherwise known as the Guerrilla war zone.
'Good point,' She agreed, placing it back into the box and making rather a meal of folding it up neatly as though she was thinking about something, 'What do you suppose they want to talk to you about this afternoon anyway?'
'I don't know,' he said, 'Though I expect it's something to do with last week's events - I can't think of anything else they would want me for.'
'Well I expect you'll find out later,' she sighed, looking depressed for some reason.
Roddy wondered if she was thinking about a job offer he might get.
The mayor wore a striped brown suit and sat behind his desk surveying Roddy as he removed a cigar from his top pocket lighting it. Obviously the no smoking ban hadn't quite reached this office.
'So the bottom line is Mr. St. James, we'd like to make a formal presentation in honour of your heroic act last week - some sort of shindig to go along with it, that sort of thing. And assuming you are in agreement, we'd like to make the date this Friday in the City Centre. What do you say?'
Roddy answered as best he could, surrounded by a cloud of smoke and listening to a disembodied voice.
'Well... I'd say that's very nice of you,' he coughed and a woman, the Mayor's Deputy, knowingly opened the window.
As the smog cleared, Roddy was once again able to see his hands in front of his face.
'... And it would be an honour Sir.'
'Jolly good, that's settled then... Cigar?'
He offered Roddy his case.
'No no... I have a bad chest myself,' he faked a cough. 'Was that everything Sir?'
'Yes that just about wraps it up. We'll sort out the time later this week and ensure you hear of it. Patricia, would you mind showing Mr. St. James out?'
The Deputy Mayor led Roddy to the door.
'Have a good evening Mr. St. James.'
He nodded politely, noting that the room behind her looked as though it was quietly smouldering.
And this was just the middle of the day.
That evening, the Malone's and Roddy sat enjoying a nice supper prepared by Rita's mother.
'... And he said he wanted to make a formal presentation with a party from what I could gather...' Roddy was just finishing telling them the story.
'Well that sounds lovely,' Rita's mum said, 'I'll have to get the old clothes done up, we wouldn't want to miss that for the world.'
'Mum, have you actually thought we could buy some new clothes now?'
Roddy noticed that Rita was in a much better mood. Maybe she had been worried the Mayor would offer him a job.
'Hmmm? Oh yes, I keep forgetting Rita,' She smiled fondly at Roddy.
Embarrassed, Roddy looked down at his plate and one of the kids took this opportunity to aim a spoonful of gravy at him.
The doorbell suddenly rang and pleased for a distraction; Roddy jumped up and answered it.
'Hello,' a man stood on the threshold carrying a briefcase, 'Sorry I'm a bit late.'
'Hello. Might I ask your name?' Roddy enquired politely.
'I'm Mr. Malone's doctor. Dr. Death...' his lips quivered, as he saw that Roddy was too busy announcing him to notice.
'Mr. Malone? It's Dr. De...' he turned back around accusingly.
'Sorry son couldn't resist. The name's Dr. Pearce.'
Roddy stepped aside as he shook his hand.
'Dr. Pearce!' Mr. Malone laughed, 'I hope you're coming to give me some good news this time!'
Rita's dad was still in a full body cast, but he was hoping there might be some improvement this time. He'd been wearing it for six months.
'Well actually that's the reason I'm here - I've been looking at your most recent x-rays...'
Everyone in the room seemed to go suddenly quiet and the doctor smiled slightly. The only sound was one of the children swinging squeakily off the ceiling fan.
'... And it seems that most of your fractures have healed.'
'What seriously?' Mr. Malone looked at him incredulously as though he could scarcely believe it. There was a final squeak and a thump in the background.
As if taking this as the trigger for a display of insanity, the whole room erupted into what some would consider a full scale riot. The kids piled on top of their dad. Mrs. Malone hugged Rita and Grandma took this an excuse to hug Roddy. Roddy consequently found himself hanging out of the window.
'DAD'S GONNA WALK AGAIN!'
'Alright everyone,' Mr. Malone tried not to look amused, as Roddy was climbing back into the house with great difficulty, 'it's not off yet, he's only saying...'
The riot got louder and ignoring this, he and the doctor began shouting over the din.
'Right well, I think I can fit you into tomorrow's clinic to get the cast off - can you make it?'
'MISSED ME! SEE IF YOU CAN AIM IT AT THE...'
'Yeah I reckon' that'll be great doctor,'
'GIVE ME THAT... BACK!'
'Excellent. I'll see you there,' he shouted, and in the manner of playing a video game, turned in every direction to shield himself from flying mashed potato with his briefcase as he left.
Mr. Malone covered his eyes in a defeated sort of way as Roddy finally collapsed back into the house and lay on the floor.
At least this was the end of the day...