TITLE: Dalziel & Pascoe: Epiphany 1. Wild Horses
RATING: PG, pre-slash, Andy/Peter
SERIES: Part One of a series, part two available before end of Oct 2000
ARCHIVE: Britslash only, story can be found at
http://www.burble.com/elfin/dp.htm 

Email: elfin@burble.com 


This references ‘Pictures Of Perfection’ (novel), ‘Exit Lines’ (BBC),
‘Child’s Play’ (BBC), ‘Bones and Silence’ (novel), ‘Recalled To Life’
(BBC), ‘On Beulah Height’ (BBC) and messes with the timelines slightly.
Sorry about that. As for hospital scenes… it’s Andy’s turn.



Dalziel & Pascoe: Epiphany


One - Wild Horses


by elfin


'Wild horses wouldn’t drag me there, wild horses wouldn’t make me care
I know where I belong. I’ve been here too long.’


“Peter seems to get on well with him, if that’s any testament of
character.”
Dalziel shrugged, feigning indifference. “Takes one to know one. Mind
you, does being boyishly handsome and silver-tongued actually stop him
from being a killer?”
Wieldy schooled his expression as if he were actually considering this.
He waited what seemed like the correct length of time before saying
definitely, “no, it doesn’t.”
Dalziel made a face, but his eye was caught by the door of the pub
opening and Pascoe making his usual unassuming entrance. He came
straight over to the two men sitting at the bar. There was a pint
already waiting for him.
“Thanks, Wieldy.”

Dalziel’s eyebrows rose over the rim of his glass while the sergeant had
to hide his smile. Difficult when any such emotion turned the usually
stony features into a ray of sunshine. “What makes you automatically
think he bought it?” Dalziel sounded offended.
Peter glanced for a long time at his boss. “Didn’t he?”
“Yes, but that’s not the point is it?”
Smiling, Pascoe dropped a hand to Andy’s shoulder and gave it a friendly
squeeze. “If you’re feeling bad you could get the next round in.”

Another smile, this one he didn’t even try to hide. Dalziel was
scowling up at his inspector now. “What’s gotten in to you, lad?
You’re not usually this brave.”
Peter grinned. Dalziel wasn’t as bad at buying drinks as they made
out. “Good news. We’ve finally had a break through. We have a witness
sitting in the interview room waiting to tell us all about what he might
have seen on the night of Wednesday the twelfth.” Wieldy made a move
to rise, but Peter transferred his hand to the sergeant’s shoulder. “No
rush, let him stew for a ten minutes.”
Dalziel glanced up proudly at his protégé. “I taught ya well.”
“We’ll see, won’t we.” He winked.

Andy caught himself. He watched long eyelashes coming down over stark
blue. Those eyes had always sparked in him the same twinge of that
indefinable something he’d felt off and on for years now. Now and again
he wished he could work out what it was that he felt. The rest of the
time he was content not to know.

Wieldy finished his pint and stood. “Want me to talk to him, Sir?”
Pascoe hesitated and nodded. “Good idea. After half an hour stewing
you’d be a wonderful first contact.” He smiled, one mirrored on the
sergeant’s face. Peter’s gentle cracks had never hurt him, more they
had brought the two of them closer in a strange way. He left for the
station just around the corner and Peter took his barstool.
“You’re doing a fine job, lad.” Pascoe couldn’t remember hearing his
boss sound quite so sincere before. “Won’t be needing me soon.”
Peter frowned. “What are you talking about?”
“You and Wieldy, catching suspects like there’s no tomorrow.”
“This one didn’t take too many brains, sort of solved itself.”
Andy smiled a big smile. “You shouldn’t take yourself for granted.
You’ve worked hard on this one. Proved you can cope without me
breathing down your neck.”
Peter frowned in suspicion. “After you’ve got Barrell sorted you’ll be
back, won’t you?”
“Bah.” Dalziel waved a dismissive hand. “You can manage on your own,
Peter.”
Pascoe felt himself go cold. “Andy… you’re not… you’re not talking
about retiring, are you?”
Dalziel laughed, almost choking on his beer. “Me? Retire? Not yet,
lad, not until you’re in a position to take my place. But there’s
others who could benefit from my wisdom. You’ve got Wieldy.”
“You’re dumping me?” Peter was amazed at the hurt he felt.
Another laugh, this one a little more gentle. “I never knew we were
seeing each other. You should have said.” But Peter’s expression
remained, and Andy scrunched his forehead. He let out a deep, patient
breath. “Peter… you don’t need me anymore.”
“I manage to handle one open-and-shut murder case and that qualifies me
to take on the world?”
“I thought you’d want this – responsibility, trust. You’ve earned it.”
Peter looked away, moving his head slightly to one side. It was a
gesture so familiar to Andy it pulled at heartstrings he’d only
discovered were still in one piece when he’d first met Pascoe. The man
was hurt, saddened. And Dalziel had only ever seen it after comments
he’d made. Was he really such a nasty person that his subordinate had a
way of dealing with pain only he caused?

Andy’s phone rang. He put his pint down on the bar, swearing softly,
and rooted around in his pocket until he found the small mobile. He
glanced at Peter as he answered it.
“Dalziel.” He listened, nodded, muttered something, then ended the
call. “Gotta go.” He downed the remainder of his pint in one and
stood. But he hesitated, looked again at his inspector who still had
that touching expression of uncertainty on his face. “Look, I’ll meet
ya ‘ere later, okay? We can talk.”
Peter nodded. And Dalziel hesitated for another moment before leaving.

*

Barman Greg Stocken called last orders and Andy glanced at his watch,
surprised. He was used to being stood up by coppers; fact of the job.
But he’d felt sure that nothing short of a crisis would have kept Pascoe
from here tonight. He downed his second whiskey and looked up to find
the barman watching him. “Another?”
“No. Better go find out where the Missus has got to.”
Greg smiled at that. “Haven’t seen him since lunchtime. Just after you
left, Frankenstein came in all excited like, dragged your lad off
without even giving him chance to finish his pint.”
Andy had lost count of the number of times Peter had explained to Greg
that Frankenstein had been the mad scientific genius, and it was the
monster that Wieldy put him in mind of. But that was all too literary
for Greg. Andy wondered what he was known as when it was just Peter and
Frankenstein in here.


Outside the CID headquarters there seemed to be far too much activity
for this time of night. Cars were drawing in like there’d been a lot
going down elsewhere. Hands thrust deep into the pockets of his winter
coat, Dalziel wondered over the car park and in through the front door.
The general activity outside continued on the inside. Dalziel put his
hand on one unsuspecting constable and stopped him in his tracks. The
man turned and jumped as if facing his own worst enemy totally
unprepared.
“Superintendent.”
“Constable Downton. Explain to me what’s going on.”
“I….” He swallowed, delaying the moment of confession. “There was a
raid on a house, Sir. The suspect shot himself by all accounts.”
“By all accounts?”
“…Inspector Pascoe was the only witness, Sir. He was armed. They all
were.” He added the final sentence, his voice trembling. A part of
Andy’s mind was storing away this example of why Peter was better off
out from under his wing. But the conscious part of him couldn’t give a
shit about that right now.

He didn’t have to demand to see his inspector. Peter had been put into
one of the interview rooms and left. When Dalziel opened the door, he
glanced up and then away. Pulling up a chair next to Peter, Andy leaned
on the table. “What ‘appened?”
Pascoe had his elbows on the top, head in his hands. “Keith Grace. We
reckoned him for little Kaitlin Gray’s murder. I set up a raid. We’d
had reports he owned a small collection of guns so I got the use of
weapons authorised….”
Andy touched his elbow. “Not the confessional version, Peter, the
philosophical one. Some around here are harbouring the suspicion that
you might have shot him. I know forensics will tell us in a couple of
hours. I want it from you, then we can all go home and the lads in
white can drop the results through the letterbox.” He gentled his
tone. “I’ve seen pictures of Kaitlin Gray. She looks just like your
Rosie. I know what’s been through your head. It’s been through mine
too.”
Peter looked up, met Andy’s eyes directly. “I didn’t shoot him. I went
into the house, directed the others around the ground floor and I went
upstairs. He was in the back bedroom. He had a gun of some sort. When
he saw me… he panicked, put the barrel to his head. I tried to talk him
down… he just pulled the trigger.”
“How hard did you try to talk him down?” Dalziel’s voice was almost a
whisper.
“As hard as I could, Andy. You think I wanted another suicide right in
front of me?” He put his head back into his hands. “I still have
nightmares where I see Chung fall from the tower, her hand so close to
mine, even though I didn’t see her jump. I talked to Grace, tried to
reassure him that I could help him, that I could say he was suffering
from diminished responsibility when he killed Kaitlin. I tried to be
convincing but I obviously wasn’t good enough. He didn’t believe me.
He knew what he’d done I guess. He pulled the trigger, splattered his
skull and his brains all over the bed and the wall.” He swallowed down
on the nausea. Only to be expected, the doc had reassured him, after
seeing a man blow his head to pieces.

Andy reached out, wrapping his hand around the back of Peter’s neck,
gently stroking the fine hairs at the base of his scalp. “You’re had a
long night,” he murmured.
Peter closed his eyes for a moment, leaning back into the unexpected but
not unwelcome touch. He was too exhausted to question the gesture right
now. “Andy… don’t let them lock me in a cell, please. I’m not sure I
could take it.”
With a sigh, Dalziel leaned forward. “Sunbeam, no one’s gonna lock you
up, not wi’ me around.”
“They wanted to wait for forensics.”
“You let me deal with them, okay?” He squeezed his inspector’s neck
before rising. “Ten minutes, we’ll sort this out and I’ll take you
home.” Peter was too tired to argue. Andy’s touch anchored him, his
presence reassured him. He looked up and nodded.


Dalziel stood in front of Chief Constable Dan Trimble and listened to
the litany of rules and regulations and how they should wait until
forensics confirm which gun shot Keith Grace. He listened patiently
until the man finished and replied, “Don’t be so bloody daft.”
“Andy!”
“You think Pascoe put his gun to this man Grace’s head and pulled the
trigger because the girl he murdered looked a little like his own
daughter?”
“Well….”
“I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous. Peter’s not a maverick. He
hates the sight of blood. He’s trained to use a gun, trained for armed
raids like that one. We trained him, and one day he might just be in
the right place at the right time to save the life of one of his own
men. But he wouldn’t go barging in to a house and kill a suspect. You
know Peter well enough to know he wouldn’t.”

Dan wavered. Truth was he was scared of Dalziel. And the man was
right, Inspector Pascoe wouldn’t hurt anyone who wasn’t threatening his
own nearest and dearest. The only uncertainty he had about that was
whether Andy Dalziel would be counted in their number. He suspected
so. He knew for definite how deeply Andy cared for Peter,
professionally at least.
“All right, Andy. Get him home. Have your sergeant chase the test
results for you. I have to know for certain.”
“Of course you do, Sir.” Andy turned and left his boss hoping he’d made
the right decision, politically as well as professionally. It was a
thought he detested.


When he stepped back into the interview room Peter had his arms crossed
on the tabletop, his head down. Andy closed the door to and crossed the
room quietly. He put his hand against Peter’s back, moving it along the
line of his shoulders. “Come on, Petal, I’ll take you home.”
Pascoe lifted his head, turning to look at his boss. This gentle
treatment was definitely not what he was used to from Dalziel. But he
nodded and rose.
“Am I in the clear?”
“You will be, Sunbeam, when the results come through. I’ve asked Wieldy
to chase them up and call me.”

He led them out of the room and into the corridor. The activity had
settled down now and there was hardly anyone left around. Wieldy was
heading to the canteen.
“G’night, Sir.” Peter imagined he was addressing Andy, but when he
looked up the sergeant’s smile was directed at him.
“G’night, Wieldy.”
“I’ll call as soon as they confirm he shot himself.”
Peter was grateful for the gesture of confidence. Another one who would
take him at his word and not think twice. “Thanks.”


Peter climbed into the plush passenger seat of Andy’s new Rover and
pulled the door closed. He was starting to shiver. Dalziel climbed in
and started the engine, switching on the car’s adequate heating system.
He turned out of the car park on to the road.
“You believe me without question,” Peter murmured.
“Of course I do.”
Turning his head to gaze out of the window, Pascoe watched the
streetlights sail passed. “Even after I didn’t believe you.”
Andy glanced across. “Don’t do that, Peter. Digging up the past won’t
help.” But now he was thinking back as well. The net they’d spent
months setting up to snag Sir William and Major Kassell’s drug ring.
The net Peter had stumbled into so that it sprang too early. Andy knew
he’d played out his part with relish. He’d seen how hurt Peter had been
at the start and had found himself playing that too, for all it was
worth. Slowly, cruelly stepping on his inspector’s loyalty and trust,
destroying it from the inside out. He shook his head. “Look, Sunbeam,
I apologise about that. I thought… it hurt that you didn’t take me at
my word and I guess I looked for every chance I could find to hurt you
back. I am sorry.”

Pascoe turned to look across at his boss. He smiled. “Thank you.”
Andy nodded. “Should have said it a long time ago. I remember asking
you if I disappointed you, and you were going to say no when Wieldy
interrupted us. At least… I hoped you were going to say no. I’m not
sure how I would have coped if you hadn’t.”
“You don’t disappoint me. You didn’t.” He smiled. “Of course I was
going to say no. I wasn’t disappointed. Concerned, confused, a little
scared perhaps. It’s like I said in the pub….” But he stopped. He
hadn’t said it, had he? He’d wanted to, needed to, but he hadn’t.
Dalziel glanced at him for a moment, slowing the car to a stop for a red
light. “What?”
“Nothing. Just… well, I was relieved when you told me what was going
on. Even though the shit was hitting the fan and it was my fault that
I’d wrecked everything… I’d gladly have hung for it knowing you were
just doing your job.”
Andy shook his head, pulling forward again. “I should have told you
before then, should have trusted you to be able to play the game as well
as I could. The office might have been bugged, walls with ears, that
kind of thing. But your living room, my kitchen, they weren’t.”

They travelled the rest of the journey in silence. Andy pulled up
outside the Pascoe residence as quietly as he could. There were no
lights on and Ellie’s car was gone. He looked at Peter with concern,
but Peter was just taking off his seatbelt. When he did catch his boss’
expression, he shook his head. “They’re staying at her parents this
week, half-term.”
“How’s your father-in-law?”
“Not great.” Peter opened the car door. “Fancy a night-cap?”
Andy smiled, surprised. Usually he had to invite himself in. “Aye,
reckon I would.”


Peter surprised Andy again by pulling a bottle of Highland Park out of
the drinks cabinet. He filled two whiskey tumblers and handed one to
Andy as he settled into the corner of the sofa. Peter dropped back into
the armchair and stretched his neck.
“I thought you were a bit calm that evening at Haycroft Grange. Here
was I explaining that you’d buggered up an entire drugs operation, even
gave you a way out. And you just stood at my side, stayed there when I
told you to go with Wieldy.”
“I was relieved. It didn’t matter what else happened. I just….” He
took a gulp of whiskey. “I wanted to enjoy being where I belonged for a
little while.”
Andy’s automatic reaction was to roll his eyes. But he smiled too,
mellowed by the night’s confessions and the smooth whiskey. The latter
he regarded with regret. “This whole discussion reminds me that I can’t
drink this and drive home.”
Peter shrugged easily. “Stay here.”
Andy smiled even more widely and downed the rest of the glass in one
before his friend could change his mind.

Peter rose and took the bottle again from the cabinet. This time he
brought it with him and instead of filling Andy’s glass and moving away
he filled Andy’s glass and dropped down onto the sofa next to him. “Can
I ask you something?”
“Anytime.”
“Do you still… dream about the mine?”
Andy sipped the second glass of whiskey. “I have nightmares that’d have
a grown man turning on all the lights.”
Peter nodded, gazing into the amber liquid his boss loved so dearly.
“Me too. And in the worst of them you just stand there and watch me
drown.”
Andy stared at him for a few seconds. “Spooky that,” he said,
swallowing hard, “because in the worst of mine, I just stand there and…
watch you drown. I don’t move a muscle to save you.” He shook his
head. “I wouldn’t ever have done that. Like I told Wieldy when I went
down that mine, you’re my lad, someone I’ve educated and….”
“…and dragged up through the ranks.”
“And loved.” It was no more than a whisper. Peter turned his head as
Andy did and for a long time they looked at one another along the back
of the sofa.
“What was all that in the pub?”
“They’ve got a new inspector coming in from down south, Surrey I think.
Wet, naïve, not yet ready to face the mean streets of Yorkshire alone.
They want me to give him the benefit of my experience.” Peter looked
away, downing his drink in one. He nodded. His outburst in the pub,
when he looked back on it, hadn’t been very professional, very manly.
He didn’t say a word now. “I’m not dumping you, Sunbeam.”

Embarrassed that the words were his own, Peter leaned over and picked up
the bottle. He refilled his glass. “I got emotional,” he managed
eventually.
“I’m flattered. I sometimes think you hate working with me.” Peter
moved his head from side to side but again kept any words to himself.
He refilled Andy’s glass when he held it out. “I’m glad you don’t.”
“I don’t want to lose you, Andy.” The words came out of their own
accord. Peter considered drinking this glass in one but changed his
mind and sipped at it instead.
Andy sat up slightly. “What’s up, Petal? You’re not losing me. I’m
not going anywhere. I’ll be around. I’m still your boss. Just won’t
be standing side by side so much for a while. Couple of months ago
you’d be throwing a party.”
“It’s different now.” But he said it quietly, softly.
“Why?” That gentle tone again.
Peter hesitated. “Ellie… she and I… we’ve separated.”
Andy’s face fell. “Oh, Peter, lad… I’m sorry, I really am.”
“It’s not a huge surprise. It’s just temporary really…. Things haven’t
been right since that business in Burthorpe.”
“Colin Farr.”
“Yeah…. I got out of that mine alive, he didn’t. I lived, he died. I
don’t think she forgave me for it.”
Andy looked at his inspector with empathy. “You got out ‘cause I
dragged you out. She can’t blame you for my actions. I know your
fears, Peter. I know you’re claustrophobic. Down there you wouldn’t
have the capacity to think straight let alone think quick if anything
went wrong.”
Peter was looking at him, confused. “How did you know?”
“I do take notice, no matter what people think. I’ve watched you over
the years, I like to think I know you. You’re a friend. You react to
your environment like everyone else. I am a detective. A fairly good
one at that.”
“When I was a kid, we used to play in this derelict house. All the kids
played there. One evening… we were misbehaving inside and the floor
collapsed. I was trapped in the dark under God knows how much debris.
I screamed and screamed for what felt like forever. Then there a noise
in front of me… scratching. I screamed again and suddenly this thing
was on me. Turned out to be a cat. It scratched me, frightened I
guess. When they finally dug me out I was hysterical.”
“I can imagine you hysterical.” Andy smirked, and Peter smiled.

Another silence. “What did you think, when you found out about Wieldy?”

Andy shrugged, easily going with the change of subject. “Not a lot. So
he’s gay. Who gives a rat’s ass? Well, apart from you. Your face was
a picture that afternoon. Like you’d been kneed in the balls.”
“It didn’t bother you?”
“Of course not! Why the hell should it? Got nothing against gays. Is
there any man who can say he hasn’t thought about it, at least once,
however briefly.” He waited for his inspector’s denial, but it never
came. Andy turned his head along the back of the sofa and regarded his
friend thoughtfully. “I think we scared Raymond though, me and thee.
To this day he thinks there’s something between us.”
Peter chuckled. “Didn’t help that afternoon when he came over, we were
having the barbecue and you were all over me in the kitchen.”
“I was not all over you!” Andy’s indignant tone betrayed his
uncertainty as he tried to remember back in case he had been that
drunk. But no, he hadn’t been. That was the afternoon the trouble at
Beulah Height started again. He recalled standing drinking from a can
of larger (terrible cheap stuff that Ellie must have bought), smoking

and telling dirty jokes to Peter and Novello.

Peter remembered it differently, for reasons he had never been able to
understand. He remembered a sunny afternoon, a rare time of peace and
friendship between he and Andy. Wieldy too had been as relaxed as he’d
ever seen him. He’d talked a little of Edwin, something else very
rare. As the air had gotten cooler they’d moved inside, where Raymond
had found them in the kitchen with Andy standing close enough to brush
against him whenever he moved. He remembered not wanting to shift from
the warm contact without reason or the usual analysis of his feelings.
It had just been comfortable and comforting.

“What gave Wieldy away to you?”
Andy shrugged, sipping his drink but not moving his head. “Just him
being him. I’ll tell you something, I felt guilty about Singhe. That
was purely selfish.”
Peter frowned. “What?”
“I didn’t want to lose Wieldy. Sooner or later someone had to notice,
I’m amazed that you didn’t. It was lose Singhe or lose Wieldy. He’s a
good man, a loyal friend.” He balanced his options and decided to push
a little. “Sometimes more loyal than you‘ve been.”
“He’s not in so deep, is he?” It wasn’t the reply Andy had expected,
not even close. “You don’t think that it’s… unnatural in any way?”
“You are in this century aren’t you, Sunbeam? No, I don’t. You
wouldn’t call it unnatural just ‘cause a man takes his wife up the
behind, would you?”
“No….”
“So the fact that it’s two men shouldn’t offend anyone.”
Peter could follow this logic. “No.”
“I’ve not seen Wieldy so happy since he’s been living with this Edwin.”
Peter nodded. “Amazing how happy one man can make another.”
Another thoughtful lull, and then Andy asked, “We are talking about
Wieldy here, aren’t we?”
“Of course.”
“Just checking.”

Not too long afterwards, they retired to bed. Peter’s thoughts ebbed
into his dreams and far from having the familiar nightmares that night,
he awoke in a state that had to be taken into hand. Andy lay awake,
playing their conversation back through his mind. Whatever words had
been spoken, he recognised an undercurrent when he felt one.

He made an unspoken promise while he lay there. Over the years he’d
caused Pascoe a great deal of pain. That much was obvious from their
conversations today. Well in this he wouldn’t add to his lad’s grief.
He could be less callous if he tried.

*

DCC Raymond stood, and the stranger followed suit. Andy made his first
impressions in those few moments, although he knew from experience how
wrong they might be. Inspector Philip Marlowe from Guildford, Surrey.
He’d transferred up north on request after being taken hostage at a
siege at a house in which three children and their mother had eventually
been shot dead by the father who had eventually taken his own life.
Marlowe was young, early thirties perhaps, short dark silky hair,
piercing green eyes, gentle features.

Dalziel stepped forward and shook the man’s outstretched hand. His grip
was firm, his smile friendly. He absently wondered if Wieldy had met
him yet. “This is Detective Superintendent Dalziel.” Raymond’s grin
was almost triumphant, and in the glance Andy had of the expression,
something suddenly became clear. The man was pleased with himself, but
what for? What had he succeeded in doing? Bringing in another man for
Dalziel to teach his underhand ways to? No… he’d replaced Peter! He’d
split them up. Did he still believe they were more than just partners
and friends? Had he really not seen beyond that little play act?
But the smile of welcome on Dalziel’s face didn’t budge. Although he
ignored his boss from that moment. “Come through, meet the cavalry.”

Peter looked up from his perch on the edge of Wieldy’s desk when the
door opened and Dalziel led the newcomer into the main office. The two
friends shared a close glance. Wieldy had more than an inkling of what
Dalziel had just realised – that the big man’s success in protecting his
sergeant’s secret had now hurt his own close relationship with his
inspector. Wieldy looked up as Peter did, following the stark gaze.
Dalziel stopped in front of them.
“Philip Marlowe, this is my Inspector, Peter Pascoe, and my Sergeant, Ed
Wield.” Peter, inexplicably pleased by the introduction, reached out
his hand and was too presented with the firm handshake, as was Wieldy a
second or two later. They’d barely a chance to say two more words
before an excited constable approached them, A4 sheet in his hand.

“Excuse me, Sir,” he addressed Dalziel, “but we’ve had a report of
another break in at Wanwood.”
Andy sighed. “See, Son, never a dull moment in Wetherton.” He glanced
longingly at Peter for a moment. “Right, come on, might as well get
your feet wet.”
Pascoe watched them leave. He knew that what he felt wasn’t what he was
supposed to feel. He was jealous, but he couldn’t put his finger on why
or what of.
“Pint?” He looked at Wieldy then at his watch. It was barely eleven,
the Black Bull would just have opened. But it wasn’t the drink that the
sergeant was offering. It was escape from being left behind here, it
was an understanding ear, something they’d offered one another now and
again in recent years.


The barman pulled two pints and took them money without questioning the
earliness of the hour. They took a table in the corner and for a few
minutes they sat in silence. “’My inspector’ and ‘my sergeant’?” Wieldy
paraphrased their boss.
Peter looked embarrassed. He blushed gently. “Yesterday, when he told
me about the new inspector, I accused him… of dumping me.”
Wieldy didn’t quite manage to keep the smile from his face. “What did
he say to that?”
“That if we’d been seeing each other I should have told him.” Peter’s
grimace added to the sergeant’s amusement.
“What did make you say it?”
Peter shook his head. “I dunno.”
“Yes, you do, you just won’t admit it.”
“Maybe you should be the inspector.”
Wieldy pouted. “Never liked exams. Edwin keeps telling me to take
them. I know PACE back to front.”
Peter cocked his head to one side. “But?”
“But I don’t want the promotion. And you’re changing the subject.”
“I didn’t think there was a subject to change.”
Wieldy shook his head, smiling wryly. “You’re better at this than I
am.”
“Better at what?”
“Denial. Why did you accuse the boss of dumping you?”
“I’m his inspector!” He immediately regretted saying it but when he
looked at his friend he saw only understanding.
“You are. But you won’t always be. There’ll be promotion soon, you
know that. Eventually you’ll pass by him.”
“Still… for now….”
“We’ve worked on cases alone before. We’ll do so again.” He shook his
head. “That’s not what this is about.”
“What else would it be about?”

Wieldy stopped then. He couldn’t make up his mind whether or not Peter
was stalling. “What would you think if you took on another sergeant and
I asked you if you were dumping me?”
Peter looked at him for a time. “It’s different between me and Andy,”
he murmured carefully.
“Different how?”
“We’re….” He shook his head, unable to explain. “I don’t know, it just
is. Like… like we’re a part of one another.” He put his face into his
hands, “That sounds like some terrible declaration of love.”
Bingo. “Why shouldn’t it be?”
Peter lifted his head. “Are you joking? This is Andy we’re talking
about.”
“So?”
“So… he’s… manipulative, cruel, a pain in the ass.”
Manipulative? Well, at least Peter saw through that game. Andy had
played that one several times, playing with Pascoe’s emotions, using the
word ‘loyalty’ like it was going out of fashion. A pain in the ass?
Absolutely. How many times had he walked into his home to find Edwin
sitting in front of a burnt roast? Had all the late nights, wrecked
parties, abandoned theatre tickets destroyed Peter’s marriage? But
cruel?
“Cruel?”
“Yes.” He raised his eyebrows but didn’t push. He was worried though.
“Peter… he hasn’t….” He couldn’t say it, but Peter was studying him
now.
“Hasn’t what?”
“When I first became a detective here there was a Superintendent Graham
working in South-Yorks CID. He had a sergeant, Wilson. They gave
Graham the push after he suffered a stroke, and it came to light that
he’d been sexually assaulting his sergeant.”
Peter’s eyebrows leapt off his head. “You think Andy’s been…? No! Of
course not!”
“I didn’t think….” He shook his head. “Sorry. It’s just your use of
the word ‘cruel’. Not something I’d associate with Andy.”
“Ah, but he can be, can’t he?” Peter was back on familiar ground now.
Wieldy thought about it. There had always been cracks, sharper for
those who got in Dalziel’s way or made the wrong first impressions. He
tried to think about things said to Peter. It was true that whenever he
had a go at Peter, Andy was often more vicious. But he could be,
because they were closer so his arsenal was more personal.

Peter’s phone rang, interrupting the eclectic conversation. “Pascoe.
Right. Thanks.” He was already up from his seat when he ended the
call. He looked desperately at Wieldy, who was on his feet almost as
fast. “Andy’s being taken to hospital.”
“What?”
“Seems the intruder at Wanwood hadn’t yet made his escape.”
Wieldy found his own car keys in the pocket of his coat as they made
their way the couple of hundred yards to the station car park. “I’ll
drive, Pete.”
“Right.”

*

The scene they walked into at the hospital reminded Wieldy of being back
stage at one of Enscombe’s local theatre productions. There were people
everywhere. His stony features and Peter’s own determination got them
through the hoards and to the reception desk where they identified
themselves. After a short row with the attending receptionist a nurse
showed them through to a quiet room off the main corridor.

Inspector Marlowe was standing by the bed, silent and still as a
statue. Wieldy took him by the shoulders and moved him out of the way,
shocking him into wakefulness before Peter just pushed him out of the
way. Peter took his place, leaning down, finding Andy’s hand and
holding it tight. “Andy?” There were no outward signs of injuries,
which scared Peter all the more.

“You must be Peter Pascoe.” The male voice surprised them all and they
turned to see a doctor standing in the doorway. “I asked them to call
you, he was asking for you when he first arrived.”
Peter squeezed the cool hand in his own grasp. “What happened? Is he
okay?”
“He’s fine. Took a bang on the back of the head, that’s all. We’ve
done x-rays and scans and there’s nothing amiss. He had quite a
headache so I prescribed some fairly strong pain killers and he’s
sleeping now. When he wakes you can take him home. But he shouldn’t be
alone for the first twenty-four hours.”
Peter nodded his understanding and the doctor left.

Marlowe approached slowly. “Inspector Pascoe… I’m sorry.”
Peter spun. “Sorry? What the hell does that mean? You come up here,
tread on our lives like they were your personal playground and then try
to apologise because your Superintendent gets injured on your first trip
out?”
“I… I didn’t mean….” But Wieldy again took him by the shoulder.
“Let’s get a coffee, shall we? You can tell me what happened.”
Marlowe nodded gratefully, but he didn’t miss the sergeant’s squeeze of
Pascoe’s arm before turning away.


They sat in the hospital canteen, white cheap china mugs in front of
them. “Great first day,” Marlowe stated resigned.
“Nay, lad, don’t worry. I doubt there’s anything you could have done to
prevent this. The boss can be very determined when he wants to be.”
“But Inspector Pascoe blames me!”
“Look… Inspector Pascoe, Peter, and Dalziel are close, family friends
you might say. Dalziel’s godfather to Peter’s daughter. He’s upset,
that’s all. The three of us work closely, have done for almost seven
years. Peter’s not great with strangers. He’ll settle down once he
gets to know you.”
Marlowe relaxed visibly. “Thanks.”
“So what happened?”
“I’m not sure. We arrived and Superintendent Dalziel went straight
inside. I followed but he was heading through some doors, like he knew
his way around.”
“He does, we’ve been there before.”
“Oh. Right. That explains it then. Well… I carried on following him
and suddenly there was a man there… he hit Dalziel and ran passed me. I
started after him and caught him on the steps outside.”
“You got him?”
“Yes, Sir.”
Wieldy smiled. “You don’t have to ‘Sir’ me, you outrank me. They call
me Wieldy.”
He nodded and extended his hand. “Phil.”
Wieldy took it a second time. “Welcome to Wetherton.”


End Part One
elfin

Part two available before end Oct 2000


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