It only took one morning for it to be decided that Sid is not allowed to be on the side of the bed closest to the alarm clock.
They had had an… eventful night to say the least… and all Sid wanted to do was get some sleep and have some very lazy Saturday morning sex. So he turned off the alarm clock as soon as it started to go off and sunk back into the warm embrace of his lovers.
“Huh?” Sid jolts awake when his nice warm cocoon is ripped away and his beautiful quiet invaded with shouting and stomping. He glances around waiting for his brain to wake up and sees one of his boyfriends running out of the bedroom half-dressed and the other trying to brush his hair and tie his shoes at the same time. “Whas happenin?”
“We’re late!” Valentine yells as he runs out the door. Sid flops back on the bed trying to put the clues together to figure out what’s wrong. The front door slams so hard that it shakes the calendar hanging on the wall.
“Shit.” Sid sighs, “It’s Friday.” and with that, he goes back to sleep.
“You have toothpaste around your mouth, Walter,” Sullivan says as he grabs his gun and warrant card and runs out the door. Despite the rush, this little domestic comment warms Valentine’s heart as he pauses to wipe it off and then follows him outside. They drive to the station in separate cars but they both get the same concerned look from Goodfellow and angry one from Mallory when they carefully do not rush in.
“And where in the bloody hell have you two been?” Mallory sneers before remembering that they are technically still his superior officers, “uh, sirs.”
“Father Brown had a hunch about the case and wanted us to look into it,” Sullivan explains haughtily as he walks to his office, the station had expanded a bit since the only other nearby one shut down and two more Inspectors moved in. They’ve been together for years now but he’s just hit all over again with how lucky he is to be in love with this man.
“And?” Mallory asks, obviously trying and failing to stay calm.
“It didn’t pan out,” Sullivan says before shutting his door. Mallory slowly turned to Chief Inspector Valentine, mustache quivering. Valentine just shrugged and walked into his office. The best way to avoid Mallory’s wrath is to ignore it or try to. He’d have to put in a call to the Father to cover for them, but he was pretty sure that his quasi-father-in-law would be just fine with telling Inspector Mallory a little fib. His desk phone rang at that moment.
“Hello? Chief Inspector Valentine? It’s Father Brown, I’m at the crime scene and there’s something you should see.” Speak of the Devil, or well, Think of the Priest.
“Be right there, Father.”
“Wonderful, Goodbye.” The line went dead and Valentine took a second to run his hands through his hair a few times before dialing the extension for the office right next to his.
“Sullivan speaking,” He was always so put together, even after just waking up and rushing out the door. Completely unlike Sid but it worked, they balanced each other.
“Good morning, dear. I don’t think I got to say that before you ran out the door.”
“Ah, well good morning to you too,” His voice is quieter and more flustered than it had been while answering the phone but the smile on his face is evident through the simple greeting. Although his tone took a sharp turn with his next words. “Sidney is going to regret that.”
“I’m sure he will but while you think up ways to kill him, I have to go meet with the Father.” Valentine glanced through the files one more time before warmly saying, “Nice shot.” His partner chuckled warmly and quietly thanked him before hanging up the phone.
Chief Inspector Aristide Walter Valentine is not scared of his subordinates, he is specifically not scared of any small, angry, mustachioed subordinates that he might have, but Mrs. McCarthy wasn’t wrong when she said Inspector Mallory lacked charm. So Chief Inspector Aristide Walter Valentine aggressively does not make eye contact with said mustachioed inspector as he quickly walks to the door lest he be dragged away and interrogated about his whereabouts that morning.
“Goodfellow, I’m off the see the Father, he claims to have more insights on the case,” And then he leaves before anyone could stop him. The drive to the scene of the murder isn’t far but when he gets there Father Brown is nowhere to be found. His bicycle is propped against the rock wall and his umbrella stands straight up in the grass. As he investigates the scene, something red on the ground catches his eye. A pear drop. On their move back from London, Tom had gotten the Father a packet of pear drops as a gift, though he would never admit it, (“I forgot I had bought it and I don’t really like them so will you just take it off my hands?”). Soon it spotted another one a few feet away and once he got started the trail was obvious. But why would Father Brown need to leave a trail unless… “Shit!”
This day just keeps getting worse and worse. He follows the trail as quickly and quietly as he cam until he came up behind the victim’s brother holding Father Brown at gunpoint. Relief floods through him at seeing Father Brown alive and he stays quiet just long enough to hear the confession. Turns out he was another MI5 traitor and his sister got in the way.
“Drop your gun.”
He does but as soon as Valentine reaches for his wrists the man has thrown himself at the Inspector and knocked them both to the ground. They tussle for a long moment but eventually, Valentine grabs a branch and clubs him over the head then cuffs him.
“You can add assaulting a police officer to your list of charges,” He pants while getting up. “What? No helping hand with this part of detective work, Father?” Father Brown sat next to both the guns and was calmly eating his remaining peach drops.
“I was sure you’d win at some point, Inspector. Remind me to thank Tom for the sweets, they were very helpful,” He muses while finishing off the packet, “and delicious.” They collect the murderer and make their way back to the main road, probably walking slower than completely necessary but it was truly a lovely day outside. Plus Valentine could already hear Sid and Tom’s unique blend of anger and concern for his safety, mix that with Father Brown being in danger and the whole extended family was in for a smothering weekend. A snapping branch interrupted his thoughts and he paused looking to see if Father Brown had noticed. And as usual, he is three steps ahead, already staring at the spot the sound came from.
“Identify yourself. I know the priest but I also know that the only police officers here are the dopey one and the angry gremlin.” A voice said from behind them.
“I wondered when you would come to collect your operative,” Father Brown calmly said. Why the hell was this priest always so maddeningly at ease? Valentine carefully drew out his warrant card and briefly showed it to the man behind him.
“I’m a recent transfer but I am a Chief Inspector with Kembleford Police, now who the hell are you?” Valentine questioned, starting to get frustrated with how odd this case had been and how bad his day had already been. For fucks sake he hasn’t even had his morning tea.
“Who I am is need to know and all you need to know is that I work for MI5, I’m here to collect our agent for judgment, and we have five highly trained men in this forest ready to kill you if I give the word.” Of course. Of all the days he has to wake up late and save his father in law, he also has to deal with a spy with an over-inflated ego.
“This true, Father?” Might as well just get this over with.
“I cannot tell whether he has 5 agents in the forest or not but I can confirm that I have crossed paths with Mr. Whittaker before.” Valentine sighs and sets the still unconscious murderer down and starts to walk away. The Father follows a second later and they walk in uncomfortable silence to the car. Father Brown goes to get on his bike but Valentine beats him to it and puts both the bicycle and the umbrella in the back of the car. Valentine climbs into the car and rests his forehead on the steering wheel. “I take it you left in a hurry this morning.” Valentine doesn’t lift his head, just turns it to make eye contact with the Father.
“And how do you know that?”
“Because you were quite lucky back there.”
“And what, pray tell, do you mean by that, Father?” Valentine sighs the pressure of the wheel against the side of his head the only thing that makes sense at the moment.
“Well if you had stated your name or Whittaker had looked any closer at the description, you would have been in trouble.” The Father states infuriatingly calmly.
“What does that…” Valentine yanked his head off the wheel and pulled his warrant card out of his pocket, or as became evident moments later, Tom’s warrant card.