The Right Thing
Disclaimer: Much as I'd love to, I don't own Blackpool...disappointed? I know I am...*sigh*
Disclaimer Take Two: I don't own Brilliant Mistake either, it belongs to Elvis Costello...and features in Episode 3 of Blackpool!
A/N: Soooo...I've done one Blackpool fic from Natalie's POV so I felt it was only fair that I did one from Peter's too (nothing to do with the fact that I got to re-watch David Tennant's cutest scenes as *ahem* research...), so this was inspired by a collection of quotes and scenes, particularly the scene with Peter and Natalie in the supermarket with the tofu (now there's a Cluedo game summary if I ever heard one! xD) and this quote from David Tennant about Peter; "...just because of who he is and his arrogance, and he decides that Ripley's the man...But that's compounded by the fact that Carlisle ends up compromising himself, so it becomes convenient for Ripley to be guilty too, and it becomes an emotional and sexual thing to nail Ripley...I imagine Carlisle is usually very full of integrity and rather good at his job but, for the first time, he finds himself on the slippery slope to madness." (This can all be found in the BBC Blackpool Press Pack by the way!), so um, enjoy, I guess!
A/N Take Two: Please remember that all reviews are greatly appreciated so once you've finished reading, have a go at pushing the purdy li'l button at the bottom of the page...Still not tempted? I might be able to get DI Carlisle to part with a bit of that 99 Flake he was enjoying so much...
Her perfume was unspeakable,
It lingered in the air
Like her artificial laughter,
Her mementos of affairs.
Brilliant Mistake - Elvis Costello
I've lived all my life doing the right thing. DI Carlisle; the reliable copper. Ok, so my methods weren't always conventional but I got the job done and I locked the bad guys away. I guess that little noble voice in my head makes it sound more heroic than it really is. Was. I don't do that anymore; the reliable copper act. I can't, anyway. I've got no life for me in law enforcement, not anymore. I gave it all up for a woman. I had to.
The first time I saw her, she was just another wife; another suspect's wife who might just know something to point me in the right direction. I'm good with wives. I'd already met her husband and I knew he was a prick; I almost felt sorry for her. Before I knew her. Everything changed within those first few minutes of talking to her; she was nothing like I expected. I found myself just wanting to unravel every single mystery surrounding her, and not just the ones connecting her to the case.
On the surface, Natalie Holden was the perfect trophy wife; combining customary public appearances and immaculate family reputation with volunteer charity work. You wouldn't find a more devoted wife than Natalie Holden. Until she met me. The man she met because he came to Samaritans. I followed her for a while, sometimes it wasn't even part of the investigation, I was so…obsessed with understanding her that I pretended to buy tofu just so I could ask her out. I couldn't even tell her the truth about what I did for a living. I couldn't exactly let her know that I was investigating her husband for murder and still expect her to see me. So I lied…
I lied because I liked it. Oh, not the lie itself, of course; I liked the way she looked at me, the feel of her hand in mine. I liked running my hand through her hair, holding her to me, kissing her and being kissed back. It was like nothing else.
I don't really know how it started, it just happened; this burning desire to nail Ripley Holden for Hooley's murder. I guess there's any number of factors in this vendetta; Ripley himself, the prick who has everything, opens his arcade up one morning and finds a dead body, but only he has access to the keys and the alarm codes. Blythe, for pushing me, a terrier on the research side, always trying to find a new angle on the case, which just pushed me closer and closer to Ripley Holden. Blackpool, with its cheap, tacky promise of money and happiness, its air of violence, when you can die for something as stupid as just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or Natalie.
Natalie, Natalie, Natalie…
What could I say about Natalie? Everything and nothing, I suppose. I could blame this all on her, on this power she has over me that makes me forget that I have a job and a life and a conscience outside that fucking hotel room. I want…oh, I don't even know what I want anymore and the worst thing is that it doesn't even matter!
Truth is, it's all my fault. I thought I could handle it; after all, I'm good with wives, I know how they work, understand the mood swings and the hatred of their husbands…but I always was a selfish bastard. Now that I understand Natalie, now that I've had time to get to know her, to discover every inch of her, I've lost myself. I want her all to myself, that's what I want. Her.
The first time, we were hurried; in a rush to plunge and take and taste and experience, to drink it all in until we'd had it all and wanted everything over again, and again, and again. But now…now…well, even the snatches I get of her are enough. Just. Because I know her. Oh, not just her thoughts and feelings and moods and memories, but I know every single beautiful inch of her. I may be jealous of every single person who is with her when I'm not, everyone who passes her in the street, but it doesn't matter because I have my secret, a secret that they will never have or even begin to comprehend.
She has a scar on her left knee from when she was five and she tripped in the street. She has three freckles on her right earlobe that look like Orion's Belt. Her eyes are chocolate and tell me everything I never knew I needed to understand. She had blonde streaks put into her brown hair to hide any beginnings of grey because she was afraid that Ripley wouldn't love her if she looked old.
That's what started it all. Because I couldn't understand how anyone could fail to love her. That uncaring prick forgot about her because he was too stupid to realise that he had everything; always wanting more, taking and taking and taking until there was nothing left. I think part of me just wanted to show him what happens when you lose, because I wasn't relying on luck. I don't believe in it, that everything is all down to chance, because I could do it all for myself without the aid of the ace up my sleeve, or the roll of the dice.
But that makes it sound like it was all because of Ripley. It wasn't, it could never be. I may have taken an instant dislike to him; I may have automatically believed that he was the murderer, but this vendetta started with Natalie. Suddenly, nailing Ripley for murder became synonymous with making a life with Natalie. I think the truth is that I never really believed that she would – could – leave her husband unless he was taken from her, and putting him behind bars would definitely restrict his access to her, give her a taste of the freedom she could have without him…with me.
So I pushed. I bullied witnesses, I trailed through every single piece of evidence to find a solution, I stayed on with the case even when Blythe tried to muscle me out claiming conflict of interest because, according to him, my dick had started telling me what was right and wrong. I suppose he had a point in his own little way, because I could only see two options; Natalie and Ripley, which was so inherently wrong that I couldn't stand it and Natalie and me, which was so unbearably right.
That's what I meant about living my life, always doing the right thing. Natalie blurred the lines between right and wrong for me, making me believe that her staying with Ripley was wrong because she belonged with me, even though I was taking her from her husband. But morals abandoned me, didn't they? They just disappeared outside Samaritans, ironically enough.
And I don't care. I don't miss them. I don't miss police work, or Blackpool, or Ripley Holden…and now I have everything. I have Natalie Holden (soon to be Carlisle) and I know that I was right to do the wrong thing, so how can I distinguish between the two anymore? What I used to think was wrong is now so right, and vice versa.
Maybe it wasn't just Natalie I was waiting for; maybe, just maybe, I was waiting for the opportunity to do the wrong thing. Just once. Because once is more than enough…except when it comes to Natalie.