I don't own Ashes to Ashes/Life on Mars or any of the characters etc.
"Better run," Jonny muttered fifteen minutes later, swallowing down the last dregs of his second beer. "Meant to be getting in a delivery later, an' if I'm late it'll be my bollucks on the scratching post." He held out his hand to Gene, smiling warmly as they grasped hands, although Gene was certain that his own reluctance to do was tangible in the air.
"Nice meetin' you, Gene," Jonny grinned. Nodding towards Harry, he added, "You keep our old mucker here out of trouble, 'ey?" Harry smiled slightly at his side and drained the last drops of his own drink, before clapping Jonny good-naturedly on the shoulder and nodding towards the door.
Gene could only nod his agreement, return the firm grasp on Jonny's hand, and then turn back to the bar as the pair of them moved swiftly towards the door, both muttering in low undertones, with words that remained thankfully indecipherable.
"Another o' these," Gene muttered, pushing his empty whiskey glass across the bar towards the barmaid, and glancing back as Harry shook Jonny's hand, feeling his eyes narrow and his fist clench.
"Do you coppers ever work?" The barmaid teased, pushing the newly filled glass back at him. Gene said nothing, feeling his heart sink slightly as his eyes were drawn back to his mentor once again; the barmaid sighed, leaning forwards on the bar and tilting her head slightly to catch his eye. "Whatever you're thinking about our Harry, stop it," she murmured softly, smiling slightly. "He's a good'un," she assured him.
"Is he?" Gene muttered, narrowing his eyes. "Last I checked, good coppers don't take wads o' cash off blokes in pubs; most of 'em start askin' how a scruff-arsed bastard like 'im found that kind o' money in the first place."
"Harry's a good bloke," she repeated, watching as he downed his drink in one, before continuing softly. "He went to war, saved three blokes from a burnin' building, an' got shot in the leg in the process; he even got a medal for it... Next time you're walkin', watch him; 'e puts more weight on the left leg, 'cause it hurts less."
"Doesn't make him right," Gene retorted, downing the refill she pushed his way without a word of thanks. "I got glassed round the head and 'ad me nose broken in the space of a day, but I ain't takin' money out of yer till and linin' me pockets."
"He's just gettin' by," she murmured, eyes filled with warning. "He's a legend round 'ere; war hero, turned copper – people want to see him doin' well."
"So set up a charity an' call it 'Bleeding Sympathy'," Gene muttered, glowering slightly. "He's meant to be enforcin' the law, not bendin' it."
"You tellin' me you wouldn't take a perk?" she asked, eyebrows rising, blue eyes fixing upon his and searching in their depths.
"Yeah," Gene answered smoothly, his tone unshaken, but edged with steel as his gaze remained steady upon hers. "You tellin' me I should?"
"I'm telling you people do," she answered easily, shaking her head slightly. "It's not a crime to want to live right, Copper."
"It is when yer doin' it with dirty money," Gene growled, motioning for another whiskey and bristling with visible anger. "You can't mix with scum; there's the law and there's the muck – that's it!"
"Yer can't stop everything," she answered, passing another drink over with a slight, worried frown. "Surely it's better to keep in line with the burglars and stop the murderers, than to lose the whole lot?"
"Doesn't work that way," Gene spat, watching Harry and Jonny closely as they spoke in the doorway, huddled together conspiratorially. "You let a burglar off the hook for a couple o' titbits on the latest murder, then two years down the line he knifes 'is old dears, and it's more than yer knackers are worth to turn him in, 'cause he's got yer bollucks, job and family strung up like a Christmas turkey!"
"Well if you will be a pessimist..." the barmaid muttered under her breath, rolling her eyes as she lit up a cigarette and shook her head. "You're never gunna stop everyone; better a few extra shillings in yer pocket than a few dozen knives in yer back."
Gene shook his head, moving to light up a cigarette, only to discover he'd smoked the last one; as if reading his mind, she picked up her own packet and pushed one across the bar, receiving a single word of thanks from Gene before he struck a match and took a deep, long drag.
"So Jonny's clean, is he?" He asked eventually, watching Harry closely, wondering how long the two of them would stand there whispering in hushed tones... When he turned back to her, she'd averted her eyes, and he watched her with scrutiny as he pressed on. "Just a burglar? Nothing worse than that?"
She shrugged, taking a deep puff on her own cigarette and moving away to serve an old man at the other end of the bar; he watched her, noted the way her hand shook slightly as she pulled the pint, and when she was done, he kept watching, knowing that sooner or later she'd look up, see him, and either have to leave, or talk; she chose the latter, sighing loudly as she sidled back over to stand before him.
"He's just a local lad," she said quietly, with an air of nonchalance. "Works in a factory, drinks in here every now and then... Nobody important in the bigger scheme of things..."
"You're a rubbish liar," Gene snarled softly, downing his whiskey and grimacing. "Is he scum?"
"No, he's not scum," she retorted, her eyes flashing slightly. "He's a small time lad, and he does what he can; he doesn't kill anyone, and he doesn't hurt anyone."
"Small time in what?" Gene pressed, shifting slightly closer and lowering his voice. "What's he doin' with Harry?"
She looked at him, her sharp blue eyes glittering with anger and resentment... A moment later, she'd shaken her head and turned to pour another drink. "I'm a barmaid," she murmured, setting the glass down on the bar before him. "I don't know anything, 'cept you owe us some money for all this booze."
Gene glowered at her, his piercing blue gaze clashing with her own, then dropped some coins on the bar, watching with a grim smirk as one rolled to the floor; he took a moment to admire the curve of her arse as she bent over to pick it up, then moved to join Harry at the door.
"What does Jonny do?" Gene posed the question as they walked down the street, moving towards a robbery that Harry had conveniently become aware of. Gene saw his mentors' eyebrow twitch, saw his jaw tighten, but aside from that, there was nothing in his outer demeanour of any note that might suggest he was hiding something.
"Works in a factory," Harry answered, running a hand through his dusty brown hair and shrugging to himself. "Don't know much else, 'cept 'e lives with his Mam and drinks like a fish."
"Yer don't get that kind of money working in a cotton factory, Harry," Gene growled, fist clenching in his pocket. "What does he do?"
Harry froze for a split second, glancing at him in surprise, then shook his head and kept walking, covering up his falter by dusting off his uniform. "I didn't say it was cotton," he answered coolly, lighting up a cigarette and exhaling gently. "I just said factory..."
"Doesn't change anything," Gene answered, gaze narrowed. "It's a factory; you don't get bundles o' notes to give to coppers by workin' on a belt all day."
Harry continued walking, saying nothing for a few moments, before finally answering, his voice clipped. "One thing you need to know about Jonny Saville, Hunt, and that's that 'e saved yer bacon; so whatever he does or doesn't do, you owe him now, an' don't forget it." He took another drag on his cigarette, and then stopped, looking at Gene carefully as he exhaled.
Gene met his gaze levelly, his eyes a cool, steely blue that refused to go ignored; he watched as Harry swallowed, taking another pull on his cigarette before speaking, his head and eyes averted. "He does some dealing," he murmured, "proper stuff, nothin' dodgy, just-"
"Drugs?" Gene snarled, glowering angrily. "You're playin' tit fer tat with a bloody dealer?"
"He's clean," Harry muttered, taking another drag and keeping his head turned away. "He keeps the supply clean, makes sure no dirt gets into it; one thing this city doesn't need is a bunch o' dead junkies, an' he sees to it that they're all-"
"It's still illegal!" Gene growled. "I don't give a rat's arse if it's clean or not, it's bloody-!"
"It's safer than having twenty odd knock-off coke dealers runnin' about!" Harry snarled in retaliation. "At least this way we know it's the real stuff and not-!"
"So what?" Gene hissed, stepping closer. "Does he give you a cut of the earnings? Give you a quick shoot when all that war-hero bollucks gets too much? The wife isn't puttin' out so take a puff of the magic dragon an' save yerself the aggravation? Is that i-?"
He was slammed face first into the nearest wall a second later, hand caught behind his back as Harry hissed angrily in his ear. "You're new," Harry growled, twisting Gene's arm slightly tighter behind his back. "So maybe you 'aven't learned yet, but round 'ere, people don't like murders an' stabbings an' whatever else on their doorsteps; doesn't look good in the press. So we sort it; that's our job!"
"Right up there with shootin' up on co-!" His face was slammed once more into the wall, and Gene fell quiet but for the pained groan that left his lips, whilst Harry went on.
"People do it," he growled, holding Gene's face against the brick. "They want to forget stuff, want somethin' new, something exciting... Me lockin' up Jonny Saville ain't gunna 'cause a drought; this way, we know it's clean, know it's safe, know it's not gunna kill dozens of kids 'cause they're too stupid to check what it is!"
Gene could feel himself bristle, felt anger thrumming in his veins, and a moment later, out of nowhere, he'd twisted free, kneeing Harry between the legs and grabbing his hair firmly as he slammed him into the wall. "He's scum!" He growled in his ear. "He's bastard, rotten, filthy scum, and you're takin' money like a dog to the bone!" Harry's elbow connected with his stomach, knocking the wind out of him, and Gene fell away, stumbling backward as blood clogged up his nose and he struggled for breath. A second later, Harry struck out with his fist, sending Gene sprawling to the floor and towering over him with heavy breathing and a bloodied cheek.
"It ain't all roses, sonny," he muttered softly, looking down at Gene without a shred of remorse. "It's about a bit o' give an' take; we give 'em something, they give somethin' back."
"Like what?" Gene grunted, pushing himself up with his elbows. "A couple o' names of people he doesn't like? A few pints? Pretty girls on tap?"
"Scum." Harry retorted simply. "Dirty, bastard scum who run around stabbing knives in peoples guts; people you signed up to stop!"
"He's as bad as any of 'em," Gene answered, pulling himself to his feet and meeting Harry's eyes steadily. "He's still scum..."
"Let it go, Hunt," Harry muttered, dropping his cigarette and grinding it out with his foot. "He saved your life."
"I didn't ask him to," Gene retorted.
"No," Harry agreed, meeting Gene's eyes. "But you ain't sorry for it... So you remember that when you start dishing dirt; if there's one thing scum hate more than coppers, it's coppers who don't pay back their debts."
He lit up another cigarette, exhaled in Gene's direction, and then turned on his heel; bristling with frustrated anger, but knowing Harry's words were true, Gene had no choice but to follow.
A week passed by just the same; he watched with anger and frustration in his stomach as day after day they met with Jonny, watched on as Harry muttered conspiratorially in the corner before accepting a wad of money, then turning away and acting normal. Gene wanted to hate him; the sight of him mutilating everything that he was supposed to stand for hurt more than he could have comprehended. But despite his anger, as he watched Harry work, it became crystal clear that it wasn't just about the money.
He watched on in reluctant awe as his mentor cradled a weeping child against his chest whose father had been murdered; he sat in the background as Harry reassured a burgled old lady that they'd bring her gold necklace back safe; he watched as he brought down a man armed with a knife single-handedly in the midst of a pub brawl...
And then he watched as Harry beat up offenders on the informative say-so of Jonny Saville, without so much as a moment's hesitation.
And all the while, he was faced with an uncanny sense of admiration, watching as Harry brought criminals to justice, handed them over to the cells and closed the door on waves of scum; it didn't matter that they were just brawlers, burglars and petty thieves – as far as the people of Manchester were concerned, he was stopping the filth and keeping the streets clean, whatever methods he chose to employ... And if Gene turned his back at the less opportune moments, if he averted his eyes and ignored the hushed mutterings as his mentor conversed with his informants, he could convince himself that Harry was just a decent copper, a run-of-the-mill, ordinary, clean bobby stopping crime...
But every so often he'd turn to the side, catch Harry slipping money into his pocket, or buying the next round of drinks, or turning a blind eye as Jonny made an all-too blatant sale outside the pub, and the sick, nauseous feeling in his stomach returned tenfold.
The one time Gene moved to make the arrest himself, Harry slammed him viciously into the wall, and reminded him all too promptly of the incurred debt now hanging permanently over his head; he'd left the pub in anger, and stormed off into the night.
"It gets easier." Harry spoke quietly as they left The Railway Arms one night, his hands shoved deep in his pockets as his gruff voice sounded in the darkness of the empty street. Gene glanced sideways at him, his eyes disbelieving, before he lit up a cigarette and turned away, flicking the used match to the floor.
"Does it?" He asked, although the question emerged accusingly, and he could feel Harry's eyes on the back of his head.
"Yeah," Harry answered, exhaling from his cigarette loudly. "It does."
"Or maybe you just get rich," Gene muttered, taking a long drag to calm the raging anger that threatened to break through whenever they spoke about it. "Guess all that money pays fer the whiskey you need ter forget it."
"If you think I'm rich, Hunt," Harry chuckled, "you've got another thing coming; you don't get rich off druggie snouts."
"More's the pity," Gene answered blandly, turning to look at Harry with his eyes flashing slightly. "At least then you'd have a half-decent motive."
He turned on his heel without another word, heading swiftly down the street and leaving Harry in his wake; the other man made no move to follow, and a few moments later, Gene had disappeared from his sights.
Gene wandered around for the next hour, heading down familiar streets and side alleys as he smoked one cigarette after another, feeling his heart rate calm as it hit his bloodstream, steadying his angry hand and granting him peace with which to contemplate his inner conflict.
He had found himself wandering aimlessly for the last three nights running, tracing the streets and attempting to come to terms with the silent, and yet terrible truth that Harry Outhwaite was on the take; he understood it, in a way. When he looked at it objectionably, all that Harry said made sense, and if they knew the drugs were clean, it was better than littering the streets with whatever dirt-ridden substitute for cocaine the foulest dealers could supply...
But it didn't make it right; drugs were drugs, and Harry was a copper – the two weren't made to sit alongside one another, however hard Harry might press that it was what they needed; informants were all well and good, people who heard things, picked things up but didn't act on them... But the scum themselves? The dealing, dirty scum that made up the scrotty underworld of Manchester? They should have been locked away.
With a sigh, he took off his helmet, dropping the latest cigarette butt to the ground and stamping it out with his boot, running a long fingered hand through his unkempt hair and sighing with annoyance.
He should turn him in; he'd known it since that first day, but something held him back, something about Harry made him stop and reconsider – people admired him, idolised him, thanked him and adored him unconditionally for his acts in the war, his dedication to the force, his job, his family... He had the support and trust of every constable, sergeant and detective in the division, and that, Gene realized, was what made turning him in so hard; he wouldn't just be turning in a copper – he'd be turning in a hero.
And if you wanted to get somewhere - if you wanted to make it, be liked, and still stop the scum from spilling over the edges of society with filth and crime - you didn't turn in heroes... at least not if you wanted to keep your bollucks intact, anyway, and-
The sound of crunching gravel down the alley to his left caught his attention, snapping him out of his reverie, and his head snapped up at the same moment that a familiarly skinny figure darted into the streetlight, ragged shirt torn at the elbow of his left arm, eyes wild and hair in disarray.
"George?" Gene asked, frowning as his brother's friend halted in his tracks, glancing at Gene with an air of mistrust, before scampering forward with hurry, swiftly invading Gene's personal space as he grabbed the lapels of his coat.
"Genie?" George laughed, his wild eyes crazed as he touched a hand disbelievingly to Gene's cheek. "Stuey's little Genie," he grinned, pawing almost affectionately at Gene's face before finding himself facing the opposite direction, arm twisted painfully behind his back as Gene grimaced, ignoring the drug induced laughter as he applied slightly more pressure on George's arm.
"Don't touch me," he growled softly, pushing the older man away and gritting his teeth as he turned instantly back and grabbed his jacket; as Gene went to speak again, feeling his anger burn at the back of his throat, pre-empting an as-yet unspoken snarl, he saw the sudden panic in George's eyes, noted the slight tremor of his lip as he shook his head, and he froze.
"Wasn't meant to happen," George whispered, voice sincere and cracking. "Wasn't meant to happen like it did..." He shook his head repeatedly, eyes wild, scared, terrified, and Gene could only frown as the other man rambled on. "Just normal; just normal – nothing funny, just the usual..."
"What are you-?"
"We were just takin' it like normal," George promised, swallowing hard and continuing to vigorously shake his head. "Just normal – normal stuff, normal bloke, normal way..." He was gasping for breath, shaking his head as he tugged Gene closer. "But it weren't normal!" He whispered, shaking his head again. "Weren't normal! Went wrong – so wrong! He was fine- he was funny... An' then he wasn't; an' he started fittin', an' I couldn't stop it, an' it kept 'appening', an' I went-!"
"George," Gene interrupted, feeling his heart rate treble as he grabbed the other man by the scruff and glowered at him. "Who?" There was a pause, a slight breath from the other man, and Gene felt himself combust with rage, shaking George viciously as he spat his next words in his face. "TELL ME WHO!" He demanded, rage causing him to tremble with impatience and fury.
George looked up at him, his eyes scared, confused, and tearful, before he spoke softly; "Stu..."
For a moment – a single, horrible, chilling moment - Gene stood stock still, his countenance one of total disbelief, even as he looked into the terrified and yet sincere gaze of his brother's long-time friend...
"Where?" He asked eventually, feeling his hands fist tighter in George's torn shirt as his whisper cut through the air. George bit his lip, swallowing hard, his eyes shifting slightly from side to side, as though nervous, fearful, uncertain... Then he nodded back to the alley he had just left, his fearful gaze flickering to Gene's face for a moment, before he was sent sprawling to the ground, thrust away from Gene with a fierce shove, landing firmly on the gravel as Gene tore down the alleyway, his boots crunching the small pebbles beneath his feet as he disappeared into the darkness.
It was a long alley, but there was only one way to go; it stretched onwards like a chasm, and with every step that Gene took, he could feel his heart race quicken, lungs rasping and mouth going dry as he ran. He darted around bins, leapt over a discarded bicycle that blocked the way, and skidded on a puddle of water, all of the time his sights fixed upon the hunched, white-shirted figure at the end of the alley, sat at an awkward angle, silent, unmoving...
He was at Stuart's side a moment later, knelt in a puddle of blood that had pooled from a wound on his brothers scalp, one arm behind his neck as he lifted Stuart into his hold, his own eyes wide and fearful as he took in the unnatural whiteness of his skin, the vacant, glazed eyes, and the horrible, all too noticeable, rapidly cooling temperature of his flesh.
"Bastard!" He hissed, attempting to quell the sting in his eyes, the horrible twisting sensation in the pit of his stomach... "You stupid, useless, bastard!" His fingers searched vainly for a pulse at Stuart's wrist, swiftly moving to the neck when there was nothing, fighting the truth with every second that passed as tears slipped unwittingly down his cheeks, angering him further as he shook with a combination of rage, bitterness, and, beneath it all, grief.
"He'll be back," he heard himself say; he saw his mother draw away, saw the fear in her eyes, the grief, the pain as she searched him for truth, for assurance...
"Of course he will," she whispered softly after a long while. "He always comes back..."
He stiffened with rage, felt tears spill silently from his eyes as he trembled with self-loathing and regret, the memory of his mothers' false hope crashing down on him as he gripped his brothers cooling corpse against him, cradling his head against his own torso with his right hand, and resting the other against Stuart's unmoving chest, the unbeating heart...
"Genie!" Stuart's face flashed up before him, eyes wild with hype and drugs as he stumbled through the living room door, arms outstretched as he laughed wildly, throwing his arms out in welcome as Gene's fingers dug angrily into his thighs, jaw clenched tightly as he gritted his teeth, watching in disgust as Stuart slumped next to the armchair, one arm slung across Gene's chest. "Little Genie," Stuart crooned softly, laughing to himself as he shook his head; were it not for the starkness of his veins, the slight scratch in the crook of his elbow, and the wildness of his eyes, Gene could have mistaken him for being drunk. "I'm happy, Genie," he yawned, patting Gene's shoulder repeatedly. "So happy... are you happy?"
A moment later, Gene had pushed him away, averting his eyes as he moved into the hallway; he ignored his mothers saddened face, didn't hear the words she addressed him with, and a moment later he was running down the street, the cold earth crunching under his boot...
Gene stared down at Stuart's lifeless, pale face, noting the same jaw line and nose that stared back at him whenever he looked in the mirror, the same floppy hair that fell into Gene's own eyes, although Stuarts was slightly darker, browner... His eyes drifted down without thought, hand moving unconsciously to Stuart's left arm, and a moment later he had picked it up, straightened it out... and found himself staring at the familiarly unwelcome mark that the needle had left in his brothers skin...
"Gene?" Georges voice was dull, and weak, almost as if her were about to fall asleep where he stood. As Gene turned to look at him, George slumped against the wall, his eyes fluttering shut as he mumbled incoherently.
"Who gave it to you?" Gene asked softly, steel and venom edging into his voice as his fingers dug unconsciously into Stuart's limp arm.
He watched as George blinked, saw him frown stupidly as he shook his head, opening and closing his mouth dumbly, repeatedly... Gene gritted his teeth. "Who gave you the drugs?" He snapped again, still cradling Stuart as he knelt in the dirt.
When George didn't reply, Gene leapt up, leaving Stuart on the cold floor as he slammed the other man into the wall, grabbing him by the scruff and spitting his words out with anger and fury. "Tell me who!" He ordered again, gripping him viciously as he pushed his face close to his; when George remained silent even then, Gene fumbled in his pocket, drawing out his warrant card and forcing it into George's line of sight. "I'm not asking you as a friend," he growled. "Tell me which scrotty, scum of the earth bastard, gave you the drugs!"
George sobbed slightly, eyes wide as they flickered from Gene's card to his face, before he nodded, biting his lip as stray tears slipped from his eyes. "It were Jonny," he murmured, sniffing slightly. "Jonny Saville..."
Gene stared for a few moments, his anger and disbelief rooting him to the spot, before suddenly he moved, dragging George to Stuart's side and forcing him to his knees, hissing in his ear with rage and venom so intense he could barely think straight. "You stay 'ere," he ordered, grabbing George by the neck and forcing him to stare into Stuart's vacant face. "You watch him, else I'll cut off your bollucks and feed 'em ter the birds fer breakfast; you got that? You don't move, you don't go fer a piss, and you don't speak; you just watch him, an' make sure nobody touches a hair on his head!" He grabbed George's hair, jerking his head backwards and hissing viciously. "You got that?" He repeated, hand tight on his scalp; George nodded fearfully, and a moment later Gene shoved his head forwards, heading down the alley at a sprint and taking an instant right, his feet carrying him knowingly through the streets.
"Is 'e here?" Gene slammed his blood-smeared fist onto the bar, shouting above the old man ordering his drink as the familiar barmaid looked at him in disgust.
"Get your dirty mitts off that bar!" She ordered, pushing his hand from the surface and grabbing a cloth to wipe up the mess; a moment later Gene grabbed her, jerking her forward into the wooden surface of the bar with incandescent rage burning in his eyes, hands fisting in her high-necked blouse without reservation.
"Where's Jonny?" He growled, ignoring the look of surprise and fear in her eyes as she shook her head slightly; when she didn't answer, he felt himself snap, raising his voice to a yell. "Where is 'e?"
"I don't-!" Her voice was fearful, but a soft chuckle from the corner of the room caught Gene's attention, and a moment later he'd shoved her away, turning on his heel and searching the room for its source; Jonny was sat on his own, nursing a pint with a soft smile on his face.
"I'm right 'ere, Hunt... how about you grab a drink, apologise to the young lady an' come sit down, 'ey?"
Gene's face contorted with rage, and a few seconds later he'd crossed the room, grabbed the pint from Jonny's hands and thrown it over his face; before Jonny could react, Gene had tossed aside the glass, grabbed him by the scruff and slammed him face first into the wall, hearing a bone break with a satisfying crunch, before twisting him round and kneeing Jonny between the legs. He grabbed his head, jerked it back viciously, and glared down at him with hatred burning in the depths of his eyes.
"Remember yer latest sale, Jonny?" He growled, eyes glinting dangerously. "Georgey and Stu – remember them?"
"What are you-?"
Gene slammed his fist into the other mans stomach, watching as he crippled over before jerking him upright again. "Well you better remember 'em," he hissed, grabbing the other mans jaw and snapping it around so that their eyes met. "'cause when you're locked up in a dingy cell with a bender bastard's knob up your self-important arse, I want you to know why!"
"You're off your head, Hunt, I'm-!"
"He died!" Gene roared, his fist bashing into Jonny's jaw with a crunch before he slammed the other man's head back against the brick wall. "Stu died cold, an' alone, dosed up with a needle full of your crap shoved in his veins!" His knee connected with Jonny's stomach before he went on, hissing angrily. "You can sweet talk Harry all yer like," he growled, "but if you think I'm letting yer walk down that street un-cuffed you've got another thing coming!"
Jonny looked at him, half surprised, blood seeping from a wound above his eyebrow, but a moment later, he laughed, shaking his head and grasping Gene's shoulder tightly. "I saved your life," he growled, gritting his teeth. "So even if it was my stuff - an' you've got no proof it was - you're gunna let me walk!"
Gene chuckled dryly, and then shook his head, hand darting out to grab Jonny's neck as he spat the words from his mouth. "I'd rather choke on my own ball sack than let you bugger off," he growled, spit speckling Jonny's face.
"It's your funeral," Jonny managed, though his breath was short and ragged as he laughed softly.
Anger flared again, and Gene's knee crashed into Jonny's stomach before he slammed him into the wall, punching him repeatedly in the face until the other man slumped slightly, bleeding profusely and mumbling incoherently; Gene let him drop to the floor unceremoniously, his face grim as he answered.
"No," he growled softly, "it's his."
He aimed a final, vicious kick at the other mans stomach, then hauled him to his feet, dragging his hands behind his back and snapping the handcuffs around his wrist, before practically hauling him into the street, ignorant of the fearful looks that followed him on his way.
Gene's not having a very good week...
I hope this worked – tried to tie in Stu with Harry in a way that was tangible... so let me know what you thought! :-)
Mage of the Heart