When the Ringing Stops
By J. Ferguson a.k.a. Timeless A-Peel
Disclaimer: I don't own Republic of Doyle, nor any of its associated characters. They're the property of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Republic of Doyle Productions, and E1 Entertainment. This story is for entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement intended
Timeline: Set shortly after the end of the final season 2 episode, Family Business. If you haven't watched the series up to that point, I recommend you stop reading right now to avoid spoilers.
Author's Note: A short piece to follow on from the aftermath of the season 2 finale. I've been looking for Republic of Doyle fanfiction for awhile now, but it seems to be a rare breed, so I thought I'd write some myself. I love the series-it's a gloriously fun romp, with absolutely breathtaking scenary, and it showcases just how brilliant Canadian TV can be. I am eagerly looking forward to season 3, and I hope that this will satisfy any fellow RoD fans in the meantime. Enjoy!
Jake Doyle sat in the dark confines of the offices of Doyle & Doyle Detective Services, hunched over a desk while bathed in the light of a single lamp. Beside him, a bottle of whiskey sat on the surface, open, while Jake himself nursed a glass of the amber liquid, with only the sound of the burbling masses in the bar below to break the silence. His phone sat next to the bottle, silent at last after the workout it had gotten in the past 24 hours that had been the hell that was Tinny's kidnapping. He'd wanted nothing more than the stress, and noise, and constant threats, to end. But now, in the calm after the storm, things had gone to the other extreme. A barrage of announcements and revelations had left Jake feeling very, very alone. For the first time in years, he was going to have no one to call, and, worse yet, no one to call him. Jake had always exuded the attitude and swagger of a loner, a man who could take care of himself, and wouldn't have minded being let alone for a period. But really, when it got right down to it, it was nice to be needed, even if all the various crises in his infinitely complicated life were maddening in themselves. But whenever that phone rang, it meant someone needed him there for them. But now, with everything that had happened, with everything changing, he knew that the calls just wouldn't come.
First there was Mal and Rose's bombshell. A long vacation, followed by an even longer retirement, had meant the death of the agency. Despite their ups and downs, Jake had enjoyed working with his father for the most part. In many ways, they'd spent more time together in the past few years than Jake's entire childhood. They'd reached an understanding, perhaps even a level of mutual respect. And Jake had taken to Rose almost instantly. She conducted herself with such grace and sensitivity, the idea of resenting her for 'replacing' his mother had never really crossed his mind. He expected he'd see them when they got back from their trip to sunnier climes, but it would never be quite the same chatting across the dinner table without the common thread of work to bind them together. His phone, which always seemed to be ringing, would see less use. He had no doubt of that.
Hot on the heels of Rose and Mal's announcement was Tinny's own revelation that she would be leaving for London in the fall. Part of his brain had, perhaps intentionally, misinterpreted her destination as London, Ontario, and his first question had been about what she was going to take at the University of Western Ontario. When she'd clarified that she meant across the "pond," i.e. the Atlantic, his next thought had been about how far away that was. Judging from Des' glum expression, he was thinking much the same thing. Jake had made sure she knew he had a very good long distance plan, and Tinny had promised to keep in contact. But Jake knew what it was to be young, and free, with the whole world at your feet. She'd start out nervous, and call for encouragement, but the longer she was there, and the more she settled in, the less she'd need to hear him yapping in her ear. Needless to say, he expected most of his long-distance minutes to survive the year.
He didn't know what he was going to do with Des. With Jake working for the cops, and no detective agency for him to work at, Des had been reduced to a loose end. There was no way he could take over the business on his own, and Jake couldn't see a way to incorporate him into his new, involuntary, occupation. Besides, after that whole mess with Des being thrown in jail for armed robbery, it probably wasn't the best of ideas for him to show his face around the police station for the time being. Jake didn't know if Rose and Mal would let Des stay on at the house while they went on their pleasure cruise, either. Then again, without Tinny there to brighten up his surroundings, maybe Des wouldn't even want to stick around. Jake wasn't sure he was enough of a draw for the younger man to stick around without a purpose. Maybe he'd go back to Gander. Another person who probably wouldn't be calling much in the future.
Jake checked the clock, registered that it was half past two in the morning. He really ought to go to bed. But he'd learned from hard experience that the couch in the agency wasn't comfortable for sleeping. He could always bunk with Allison in her new house, but after everything that had happened during what was now yesterday, he just couldn't face her. He doubted she wanted to see him, anyway. He'd fobbed her off one too many times lately, even before Tinny's kidnapping. She could sense his resistance to moving in with her. She'd stop calling one of these days, when she'd had enough. She had to know at some level that she had more invested in their relationship than he had, that he only had so much to invest when his heart belonged to another. Which brought him inexorably back to the one person he was trying his level best not to think about.
Whenever he even thought her name, he saw her standing in her doorway, tears glistening on her cheeks, face etched with the agony of betrayal. He knew using her identity for his own ends wasn't the best of ideas, but desperate times... She had to know he would never do anything intentionally to hurt her. But hurt her he had. Never in his wildest dreams would he have thought she would lose her job because of his actions. He always thought her record would save her, that she was too good for the force to lose. But everyone had their limits, and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary had reached theirs. Now, in some strange twist of fate, he found himself drafted into the force, with Leslie relegated to the sidelines. Heaven help him if he ever had to talk to her in an official capacity. He put his head in his hands and wished the ground would swallow him up.
One thing was certain. She definitely wouldn't be calling.