navyafterone: ([13] happy to listen (or maybe explain))
James Adams ([personal profile] navyafterone) wrote2008-06-24 06:48 pm
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It's true, missions can get pretty boring and routine. But you stick it out anyway, and that's when the crazy shit goes down.

It's almost midnight by the time James and Kerry get "home", exhausted and dirty and, in James' case, shoeless. Zara fusses like a real mother, getting Nicole to help her clean them up while Ewart makes hot chocolate and sandwiches.

"What happened?" Ewart asks, in an Official Mission Controller tone sharp enough to draw a Look from his wife.

James winces as Zara dabs antiseptic on a particularly nasty cut. "Didn't exactly go to plan," he mutters.

"We met Costas in the park," Kerry explains, referring to the contact from whom they were supposed to pick up a same-as-always delivery. "Like we were supposed to. I mean, like James was supposed to. Took a bit of, um, persuading with me there, but he gave us the drugs and money, so then we got the train to St Alban's."

"That's when it started not going to plan."

"Are you going to say anything useful, James?"

"Course! Right, St Alban's, yeah. Got a taxi to the estate, only there was no twenty-two. We thought they'd given us the wrong address. But we couldn't call to check cause there was no signal on our phones -- that's how bad the place was."

"It was pretty rough, yeah. We decided to wait for a bus into town, but three blokes came and tried to mug us--"

"Tried?" James echoes in a bitter tone, and kicks his shoeless feet against the floor. "Bloody well did."

"Yes, all right, James. They did. We were okay when they drew knives on us, but then the big guy--"

"Crazy Joe."

"--yeah, Crazy Joe -- he pulled a sawn-off shotgun. So they cleaned us out."

Both Zara and Ewart look horrified. In an almost-hopeful tone, Ewart says, "And that's when you started home, is it?"

James and Kerry exchange guilty glances. Kerry offers, "Er, not exactly."

"She's a bloody nutter," but James says it fondly. "We figured Crazy Joe wasn't exactly a big shot, paying his man with my shoes. And, y'know, we didn't want to put the mission at risk by getting on Keith's bad side for losing so much cocaine."

"The mission," Ewart says flatly. "So you went after him."

Kerry nods; James manages a smile and, "Well, he wasn't gonna murder two kids, was he? Steal their cr-- stuff, beat 'em up, but not kill."

"We asked some local kids and found his flat," Kerry continues quickly. "Knocked him out when he opened the door and tied him up -- we weren't taking chances."

Ewart snorts; this earns him another Look from Zara.

"Kerry was bad cop," James says with a grin. "I found our stuff, plus some extra, and then -- this is the best part -- we stole his car."

Kerry rolls her eyes, but does smile a little. "Not just any old car -- a 1971 Mustang he really didn't want us to take."

Ewart lets out an appreciative whistle. Zara skips the Look and goes straight for the facepalm.

"It was a sweet ride," James says wistfully. "Bloody shame we had to burn it out."

Kerry rolls her eyes again. "It's not like we could've kept it. Bit conspicuous for CHERUB, wasn't it?"

"Yeah," James sighs. "S'pose you're right."

Zara shakes her head, clearly unimpressed by James' fondness for the Mustang, and gives the pair a concerned look. "And that's when you came home?"

Kerry nods. "Burnt out the car just less than a kilometre from here. The stuffs in our backpacks -- I guess we'll need to go to Keith tomorrow with it."

Zara nods, clearing up the empty plates and mugs. "For now, though -- shower and bed. Don't bother getting up for school in the morning. You both need a good day's rest."

James yawns, then winces at the pain in his head. "I'd better ring Kelvin to report in first. And a couple paracetamol wouldn't be awful."

"Okay," says Ewart, and waves him towards the cupboard. "Do that while Kerry's in the shower. Then bed."

James throws him a sarcastic salute while getting some water, but Ewart doesn't see it. Oh, well. There'll always be more chances to piss him off.