Actions

Work Header

Come On Snake, Let's Rattle

Work Text:

It was another of Lady Felicia's "little soirees" and the night drew to a close. Most of the guests filtered out, often in pairs or groups, making their way to their cars or walking all the way into Kembleford if they were a bit too wobbly to sit behind the wheel. It had been a lively night of dancing, Sid had skirted the edges of the room, drinking mainly, but also watching Inspector Sullivan, his Tommy, dancing with pretty girls (not that he particularly recognised them as such, to him they were just dance partners) twirling and smiling and standing far too close to each other. He relaxed a little when Felicia, Bunty, and Maeve all decided it was their turns to dance with the handsome Inspector. Father Brown stood with him for a time, watching the dancing, it was a comfortable silence for the most part, but sharing the occasional little joke or comment here and there. He got precious little time with Sullivan that night, but he knew he'd have him to himself when all the other guests eventually leave, which they did, shortly before midnight.

Montague was still alive though, despite being so empty. Ten people were still in the main room of the party, laughing and drinking and so enthralled in each others company that they barely noticed they were alone, but for a few staff that dipped in and out quietly.

Sergeant and Mrs Goodfellow, Maeve and Bunty, and Felicia and Flambeau were dancing, unfazed by being the only three couples on such a huge dance floor. They all seemed so happy, Mr and Mrs Goodfellow danced with less energy than the other couples but still looked so very in love, and Sid had never seen Felicia so content in a mans arms. Maeve and Bunty didn't seem to stop smiling and laughing, Sid noticed, smiling into his drink, feeling a twang of jealousy at their confidence with each other, especially since they were strangers not three months ago. Him and Sullivan had known each other for - he thought about it for a second - seven years, and still often acted as nothing more than acquaintances in public. He felt a presence next to him and turned to look at the man himself, who offered him a smile and a glass of whiskey. He shuffled a little closer so they were stood shoulder to shoulder.

"Shall we dance, Carter?" He leaned in conspiratorially as he said this, Sid could smell the whisky on his breath.

"Uhm, no, thanks, love," Sid panicked a bit, not sure how to tell him, but at Sullivans disappointed face he just blurted out "I can't dance."

"Ah." He smiled in understanding, settling his hand on Sids lower back and watching the other couples to until Felicia turned her guests out, bidding them all a safe journey home.

######

Sid had been sat in a cell in Kembleford Police Station for three hours, his back was starting to hurt and he was getting cold and he was awfully bored. He chipped some paint off the wall with his thumb nail before remembering that actually he painted these cells and it was more boring than sitting in them, and absolutely something he didn't want to do again soon.

From the looks of it he wouldn't be in Kembleford for long unless Father Brown found out who killed that lass, sometimes you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. That and all the evidence points to you, which is pretty uncanny. He was really in deep shit this time. The only thing he had to look forwards to was the tea Goodfellow had offered him, which was taking suspiciously long, and also Goodfellows tea always tastes... well, not like tea. Sid has no idea what he puts in it to make it taste so wrong but nothing has ever tasted so un-tea-like in the long and rich history of tea. He might bring biscuits though.

He started slightly at the door being unlocked and opened. It wasn't Goodfellow though. In his place stood Inspector Sullivan, somewhat silhouetted in the door way by the brighter lights in the corridor. He nudged the door shut with his foot, because in each hand he held a mug of, presumably, tea (or something else masquerading as tea...) He sat besides Sid and gave him one of the mugs, which he took hesitantly, examining it thoroughly before looking at Sullivan.

"Did-"

"I made it, don't worry." He cut him off, trying for a little smile that came off stiff and awkward. He was worried, really worried, he tried to hide it but to Sid it was written on his face, clear as day.

Sid tried not to let his disappointment at the distinct lack of biscuits show as they sipped their teas in silence.

That is, until Sid set down his mug and stood up, stretching a little and generally loosening up.

"Come on snake, let's rattle"

"You... want to fight me?"

"No, I want to dance." Sid chuckled, holding his hand out

"But you can't dance."

"Shh c'mon, we might never have another chance."

Sullivan took his hand, almost tentatively, and they danced to music no one could hear. The air was heavy with melancholy. Sid's face scrunched in concentration with his lips moving occasionally as he counted in his head, Sullivan clocked this and asked when he learned to dance.

"Uh, I got Sergeant Goodfellow to teach me, with some help from the ladies."

They danced for a while, the soft noise of their feet scuffing against the concrete floor was the only sound, until eventually they tired out and just swayed in each others arms, Sullivans face buried in Sids neck, fingers hooked into the back of his shirt, absorbing as much of him as he could before he was, God forbid, taken away. He'd do anything to prove Sids innocence, even listen to that priest. Sid ran his fingers through his hair and held him tight and mumbled reassurances until a knock at the door startled them both and they broke away, trying to act natural.

Sullivan used the cuff of his sleeve to clumsily wipe the tears away before Sid, or anyone else, could see.

"Father Brown is here to offer spiritual guidance to Mr Carter" Sergeant Goodfellow announced, the door swinging open to reveal them both. As Sullivan strolled out, as nonchalantly as he could manage, he paused in front of Father Brown.

"Don't take too long."