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050. Spade.

Title: Comfortable in your hole?
Fandom: Captain Scarlet
Characters: Ochre (others mentioned)
Prompt: 050. Spade.
Word Count: 1,313
Rating: 15
Author's Notes: A missing scene of sorts, or at least inspired by, So beautifully framed by Sue Stanhope (specific quote to follow).
Ochre’s reaction to his partner having been badly injured is perhaps understandable, but still it intrigued me. On the face of it there’s no reason why Ochre couldn’t have just gone with his initial thoughts. Or that Magenta could be so understanding, naively so, of Grey’s need for privacy.

"You deserve it! If your plan had worked you’d have killed millions of people."
"I had no such plan, I was set up!"
"Shut up, Grey! I knew it! I knew you were up to no good." Ochre jabbed a finger into Grey’s chest. "I said to Magenta ages ago, the way you kept coming here was suspicious, he just laughed it off. But see where it’s got him now! Lying in sickbay!" Ochre’s temper snapped, Grey felt rather than saw the strong right hook. Grey spun to the right, landing sprawled across the bed, his mouth bleeding, but the pain in his arm as he landed heavily overshadowed everything.
"I should have gone with my instincts and had you followed," Ochre growled.
(So Beautifully Framed)

“You just can’t help yourself, can you? Getting stuck into everyone else’s private business.”
“Maybe you’re right,” Ochre looks round from his laptop, faux innocence; “hey, do you think maybe that’s why I became a cop?”
Magenta, dressed in casual clothing as he’d just come from the gym, sat down on the bed cross legged like a yoga master. Just out of his partner’s reach, almost deliberately.
“That does seem more likely than it just being you having figured that you’d looked good in the uniform and it’d help you score with women.”
Ochre shrugs; “How do you know I wasn’t actually trying to score with the other cops?”
“Don’t change the subject, this isn’t about you or your weird assumed predilections. It’s about Grey.”
“Well those could be one and the same.”
Magenta stares him down, refusing to be drawn into a circular conversation.
“So, what about Brad?”
“I’m not going to demean either of us by spelling it out.”
But Magenta does, by way of tossing a business card so that it lands contact side up on the corner of the desk.
“Now who’s invading privacy,” Ochre responds coolly.
“Bullshit, you left it on the table in the lounge, it’s like you wanted me to see it.” Magenta looks up at him. “What are you expecting me to say, that it’s a great idea to have him followed, to give you permission to make that call ... I’m not going to, you’re a big boy, you can deal.”

Ochre doesn’t outwardly react, as if expecting it. After a pause for deliberation he responds;
“Don’t you, even for a minute, feel something is remotely odd about the way he’s acting?”
“I can see why you might.”
“What the hell does the mean?”
“Just look at your damn self. Someone doesn’t share their leave itinerary with you and suddenly it’s a matter of global security.” Magenta pauses for a moment in thought, then laughs. “You really do think it. That he’s a terrorist or up to some other crazy nefarious scheme. This is Brad we’re talking about here.”
“You have any idea how many people I’ve heard say ‘oh he’d never do it’, and then what’d yah know there’s a body in their trunk.”
“I can see you’re a big advocate of innocent until proven guilty ... to think, I nearly moved to Chicago in the fifties, good thing I didn’t. Having the New York cops breathing down my neck was bad enough.”
“Pat,” Ochre says sympathetically, as you would to someone with senile dementia. “You were running the state’s biggest crime syndicate.”
“Yeah and I quit the day we got the letter of acceptance to Spectrum, but how damn long did you stay watching over me?”
Ochre stopped, looks down, unable to bring himself to answer.

“So what’s your brilliant theory then?” He demands, looking up. “The guy has been going to the same small city at every chance for the last six months. He’s even more secretive than usual, which I gotta admit I never thought was even humanely possible. And he gets way more mail than anyone else, all with the same stationery and handwriting. You can’t deny something isn’t going on.”
“Maybe he’s in love.”
“Yeah, happily, with some perfect charming law abiding citizen of said small city. Trying to make a go of the relationship, against all the odds imposed by the cruel hand of fate. Committed to it, you might say. Stop me when any of this sounds remotely familiar.”
Ochre scowls, waits.
“And you know this, how?”
“You’re not the only one around here who can be observant.” Magenta notes.
“It’s an interesting theory, I admit,” Ochre concedes, “it suits your hopeless romantic spirit. But even if that was the case something still isn’t right. He’s moving so fast, being so private.”
“Because you’re not ever discreet.”
“If I was in a relationship then I’d at least tell you, wouldn’t I?”
“Assuming I wasn’t already aware of it, then yes eventually.”
“And I’m sure eventually Brad will publicly acknowledge his relationship by way of telling us. Maybe we might even get a wedding invite.”
“He’s gonna marry this … person.”
“Woman, he’s not that much like you. And yeah, well propose to anyway. He was using the ring receipt as a bookmark.”
“He’s in love enough to want to be with someone that much; but not said a word, ninja mobster mind tricks and sleuthing aside, to any of his friends. How is that not a red flag to you? There’s no way you’d let me do that.”
“You’re not Brad.”
“So he gets some special allowance.”
“No, just that he would pull a thing like that, in the grand secret keeping scheme of things. Why do you go to Detroit every June and spend sixty dollars in a florist on McNichols Road?”
Ochre doesn’t have a response for that.

“My point entirely.” Magenta’s expression softened. “I know he’s a friend, and you care. But he’s also a colleague; a mature, professional, military trained adult. Not some fifteen year old hooking up with people he met on myspace. So yeah I do think he’s entitled to a certain degree of privacy, and you not getting so suspicious.”
“If he wasn’t doing anything suspicious I’d have no reason to be concerned.”
“Rick, I’ve made us dinner for two and you thought I was going to break it to you that I was planning a bank raid and needed you as a getaway driver.”
“That was only one time,” Ochre allows a smile. “It was the candles and classical music that set my spidery sense all tingling. Or maybe that was just your devilish good looks.”
Magenta shifts a little closer.
“Either way someone of your inquiring mind and imagination isn’t really the best candidate for setting the bar over suspicious activity.”

“Now that I think of it,” Magenta adds. “I don’t recall you telling Brad the gory details of your leave itinerary … And maybe there’s something to that. I mean did you never think perhaps he’s just got an equally good reason to be sharing with the group.”
“Still no reason not to tell us, of all people. Unless he hasn’t figured that out.”
Magenta nods, agreeing; “People are very good at only seeing what they like the look of.”
“Well as we’re in the confessing mood.” Ochre swivels round in his chair. “Has anything caught your eye lately?”
“That new model of Ferrari looks good. And hey, it’s my birthday soon.”
“On our wages,” Ochre laughs. “Get real … well, maybe I could stretch to making you a model of one.”

Magenta stretches backwards with an elaborate yawn, to lie on the bed. Shirt rucked up to reveal a stretch of flat warm skin.
“You wanna stay?” Ochre asks cordially, playing the game they do with the rest of the world.
“I dunno, will you still respect me in the morning?”
Ochre takes another look at the card. It was hard to fight the gut instinct; but he knows, better than he’d admit, that instinct would never be infallible. Magenta was observant, good judgement, just as much as he could be on a good day. So maybe he could just see that there was nothing to see. And really if he couldn’t trust Pat, well then what was he doing here?
“I think it’s a mistake,” he says.
“With Brad, or me?”
“Both.” But Ochre makes a show of tearing the card neatly into squares, sprinkles the pieces into the bin anyway. “You’re gonna be the death of me, if you don’t get your stubborn romantic Irish self killed first.”
“Nah.” Magenta shakes his head, amused. “You don’t get rid of me that easy.”
“I was hoping so … And yes, Pat. I always respect you.”
Ochre smiles, closes the gap between them.



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