Hello again!

Thanks to the encouragement of some lovely first reviews, I've posted another story. It's a sequel to First Impressions, and to be honest, I hadn't planned on writing it. But then I had an idea on how to continue that first story, by writing some short tags to some of my favourite scenes, and those times when Brackenreid must have needed a really stiff drink.

I'm starting with one of the funniest moments from season one, and what I'm sure is a favourite scene for many others too. I've used its dialogue purely for this fanfiction, which I hope is okay.

Partners In Crime – Chapter One

Dressed To Kill

George knew there had to be method to his mentor's apparent madness, but for the life of him – no, however hard he tried, he just couldn't see the connection between a lady's dress and a… pig. Not a feasting pig either, but one still fresh enough to have kept a good supply of blood in its body

Stranger still, the butcher at the slaughterhouse hadn't been at all surprised by his rather odd request. He'd just looked at him, almost in sympathy, and smiled, finding the whole thing inexplicably amusing.

Even the pig in front of him seemed to know more than he did, which was even more unsettling. He knew it was completely irrational, too, but he was sure it was staring at him with its cold, dead eyes. If pigs had their own version of the afterlife, then George knew this beady eyed creature would take some form of supernatural, porcine revenge. Plague him with nightmares, perhaps, or leave him with a sudden loathing of bacon.

Still, who was he, a humble lad from Newfoundland, to question the whims of William Murdoch? After all, it was thanks to him that he was living a long held dream, and learning to be a real detective. So yes, whatever his mentoring hero asked of him, he would move heaven and Earth to do it.

He might just have drawn the line at wearing a dress, though, especially so close to the station house. And even more so when wearing it over his shirt and trousers made it an uncomfortably snug fit. It was also making it rather hard to concentrate on what Murdoch was now explaining to him.

"Newton's third law states that for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction…"

'I'm sure it does, sir, but Crabtree's first law states that he really does not belong in a dress.'

"…so fire a bullet into the body, and the body pushes back with equal force. Hence, blood spatter."

Fascinating indeed, but George's thoughts were focussed on rather more ordinary, natural things – like trying to breathe and speak, when all the air had just been tugged and squeezed out of his lungs.

"That's a bit snug in the bosom, sir."

For once, though, his guiding mentor had little regard for his suffering protégé's comfort, or dignity. Instead, he seemed more interested in unfolding his ruler, and nudging him towards that wretched pig.

"Right then, step forward six inches. Eighteen inches, we'll start there. Away you go."

Dutifully doing as told, George then frowned. After all, he knew what happened when you fired a gun into a body. And the thought of being covered in warm, sticky blood wasn't one that he was looking forward to. So envying the fact that Murdoch had stepped out of range, he felt fully justified in asking his question.

"Will there be much spatter, sir?"

For him, of course, it was a perfectly reasonable point. For some reason, though, Murdoch answered it with slightly less than his usual patience.

"That's what we're here to find out, George… now hurry up, shoot. The blood is draining from the pig's flanks!"

That may well be the case, but George was now more concerned with the other end of its anatomy. Imagination be damned, those squinty little eyes were still peering accusingly back at him. Try as he might, he just couldn't pull the trigger until it stopped. And as a man of science, he knew the great Murdoch would understand his predicament.

"It's… staring at me, sir."

"George, the animal is dead," Murdoch reminded him patiently. "There's no spirit left in the body."

Well, that was a comfort, George thought. He felt slightly better, at least. But answering that question had only served to make his insatiable curiosity think of another.

"Do pigs have a soul then, sir?"

Ah. Apparently, that was one question too many. His mild mannered mentor now sounded scarily like his Inspector.

"NOW, George!"

Bracing himself for whatever revenge that pig would take on him, George took a breath, and fired – blinking in surprise as a tolerably fine spray of blood spread across the bodice of his dress.

Well, that wasn't so bad as he'd expected. It hadn't touched his face, or his hands. Detective Murdoch looked quite pleased about it, too – measuring its size so intently that he didn't notice how curiously they themselves were being studied. And for George, an already embarrassing situation had just become infinitely worse.

Not for the first time, his Inspector was staring at him as if he were ready to have him committed. George could see his point. He was wearing a woman's dress that was liberally sprayed with blood. With what remained of his dignity, he then offered him the most appeasing defence he could think of.

"I – I just shot a pig, sir."

"Yes, thank you, Crabtree! I can bloody see that!" Brackenreid thundered back at him, the next part of his tirade divided between two barmpots who, he swore, would be the death of him. "But you know what worries me more? Where you two are concerned, I'm not bloody surprised!"

About to vehemently protest his innocence, George then wisely changed his mind. Given his current state of dress, he knew it would be a waste of time. Instead, he followed his still muttering Inspector, and gently smiling mentor, back into the station-house.

In his eagerness to study his findings, though, Murdoch had forgotten one rather important point. His more or less willing partner was rather strikingly out of uniform. By the time they reached the lobby, he'd run a gauntlet of cheers, whistles, and two proposals of marriage - making it impossible for William to keep a straight face either as he gave George's shoulder a consoling pat.

"Thank you, George. Now, you'd, um, best get changed."

"And make sure I'm invited to all your weddings, bug-a-lugs, or there'll be serious trouble," Brackenreid threw in, with far too much amusement at his beleaguered constable's expense.

As more raucous laughter followed him upstairs, George could only sigh and shake his head while he changed gratefully into a fresh tunic. It was going to be a very long day.