I know this is only short, but we really NEED Bread stuff on here. This is one of two giftfics I am sending to the lovely Torie Rilistkrytcat for Christmas- and she is also publishing a Bread fic shortly, so keep on the lookout for that.

This is set sometime during series 4, after Jack lost his van- I always thought Joey might try to come and claim for it. It ignores the existence of Roxy ( I really hate her) and Shifty ( I really, really hate him) and you could say there is a little Joey/Martina if you squint. I always thought they had a bit of a love-hate thing.


She dreaded the sound of that voice. It meant trouble. It meant another amusingly terrible sob-story about their struggling, freezing family (who were probably all about to melt from the amount of heat they used, and were more in danger of scratching the Renoir or forgetting the combination to the safe behind it than coming close to starving). It meant that smug smile peering out from three cows' worth of leather gear and a Jaguar tucked safely down a backstreet just far away enough that he could meander down here and not be spotted with it. But she knew about it. He couldn't pull the wool over her eyes that easily. She knew he was cheating the DHSS, and she'd catch him one day.

'What is it this time, Mister Boswell?' she sighed, rolling her eyes. Joey Boswell grinned winningly at her.

'Ah, if it isn't the lovely Martina!'

She shook her head. 'I haven't got all day, Mister Boswell. I'm waiting…' she drummed her fingers on the countertop as though to prove her point.

'It's about insurance, actually,' Joey began, squaring his shoulders and preparing for a tale of suffering and woe. Martina saw an opening.

'For your Jaguar?' it was the only thing she had right now, but it never ceased to freeze the smile on his face, never ceased to send the pupils of his eyes darting as he thought up yet another excuse for why he owned an expensive car.

'Ah, that,' he didn't stop smiling once, 'loaned to me by a dear old friend to clock up the mileage, to do their shopping…'

'You can't fool me, Mister Boswell,' Martina smirked wickedly. 'I saw it parked down your street.'

'The insurance,' Joey slipped smoothly back into his old speech, ignoring the dig, 'is for my unfortunate brother Jack- weighed down with the fear of kidney failure…'

'I think you want the 'ospital, Mister Boswell,' she cut in. 'Not the DHSS…'

'And suddenly unburdened,' Mister Boswell went on as if she hadn't interrupted, 'he may have been a bit hasty when setting the parking brake on his van. Tragically, his vehicle, his only means of transport from one place to the other, the only way he can struggle to and from town, plunged into the depths of the river…'

'This is the part where the funeral dirge usually kicks in,' Martina said with a half-hearted sigh, 'but me tape recorder's still in stitches from the last time you came in 'ere. We don't supply money for the replacement of vehicles, Mister Boswell. If you pay insurance-and I suspect you do, considering the army of cars at your family's disposal, I suggest you talk to your insurance-broker about this alleged vehicle you've lost in the river.' She shot him a pointed look.

'Alleged vehicle,' Joey repeated, a slight laugh in his voice. 'Where do you get your cynicism from? I can assure you if you were to put on your scuba gear and take a look, you will see that my brother's van is indeed lost to the mercy of…'

'As tempting as it is to go into the river in search of a van that may or may not exist,' Martina rolled her eyes again, 'I'd sooner remain on dry land. Why don't you do us all a favour and go down there yourself? And never come back? NEXT!'

Joey remained in his seat, chuckling to himself. 'Ah, your wit, dear lady, never ceases to touch my heart.' He leaned forward, taking her hand in his and pressing a kiss to it, 'will you grant me your hand in marriage? The rest of you can come too, if you'd like.' He winked, and Martina forced down a smirk, fixing him with the most severe gaze she could muster.

'On your bike, Mister Boswell,' she injected a healthy dose of venom into her voice, 'I've got other scroungers and thieves to sort out today. NEXT!' She called again in her most authoritative tone, and Joey Boswell stood up, vacating the seat for her next victim.

'One day, sweetheart,' he teased, blowing her a kiss.

'One day,' she repeated, 'I'm gonna get yer, Mister Boswell. You're gonna make a mistake someday, and I'll catch you out.'

'Can't wait,' he winked and strode out with a boastful gait, leaving her to stare after him and await Number Forty-Eight and another boring old 'something's-been-stolen-from-me-washing-line' claim.

She stole one more look at his retreating back, shaking her head and allowing a private smile before she returned to her dole-dragon persona. One day I'll get you, Mister Boswell. You'll see.

Merry Christmas, dear Torie.