Title: Aftermath (1/?)
Genre: Mad Dogs
Rating: Adult for language, etc
Word Count: 1,190 this part
Summary: Written some months in advance of Series 2 so probably AU. What happened after the final scene in Series 1? Here’s my take on it...
Edit 12 January 2012: With Series 2 set to begin airing less than a week away on 19th January, I thought it was about time that I got this posted! There may or may not be more to follow before Series 2 starts... I have written another few chapters but haven't submitted them for Beta reading yet. May have to post them un-beta'd and correct later! Funny how you think you have loads of time and then suddenly you don't...
Aftermath: Part One
The silence in the car seems to last an age (although Woody sees
by his watch afterwards that it had been barely two minutes, if that), broken
only by the intermittent pitter-patter of chlorinated water dripping onto the
leather upholstery of the hire car. There’d no doubt be a charge for that,
Baxter thinks as he tries to justify leaving Quinn behind. One: he’s got the gun and is obviously prepared to use it. But would he really use it on them? He’d seemed prepared to a few minutes ago, but it had all been such a blur...
Two: and this is where he’s stumbling, because he can’t think of one good reason for leaving Quinn to face whatever shit happens next on his own. Okay, so there’s the very real danger of death - or at the very least jail- for all of them. But it’s not a certain outcome, is it? For all they know it could be just the female cop and Dominic who know about all this. Who is Dominic, besides being the man Alvo spoke to in the restaurant on their first night here? He’s obviously in cahoots with the female cop, isn’t he, if the footage on the boat was anything to go by? And to think he’d even entertained... The other man on the boat had clearly been Jesus, and he’s been taken out of the equation.
‘We’ve got to go back.’ Baxter’s voice is quiet, restrained – but his heart is thumping like a jack-hammer in his chest and he feels disconnected, almost as though his mouth is no longer connected to his brain.
‘You heard him, Bax – he doesn’t want us here. He threatened to shoot us, for fuck’s sake!’ Rick seems panic-stricken. You and me both, mate.
‘Yeah, Rick’s right, Bax. But I agree with you – we can’t just leave him, can we?’ Woody, as ever the sound moralist; Baxter swallows.
‘It’s not that. Well, it is – but we can’t go even if we wanted to. Passports are still in there. Jesus.’ Spent, he slumps back against the seat and closes his eyes. Strung out, exhausted. He just wants to go home. Back to possible bankruptcy, back to his ex-wife’s scorn, his daughters’ disinterest. And now, maybe even jail – he might not even get home. Shit.
Woody looks at his watch. ‘We’re never gonna make that plane, boys.’
‘Well, doesn’t matter... we’ve got money... we can buy more tickets...’ Rick sounds panicked, eager to go. Baxter swallows.
‘We go back. We grab Quinn – knock him out if we have to – and we grab the passports, and we leave.’
There’s a pregnant silence as the other two men let the unpalatable truth sink in.
‘Well,’ Rick reasons, trying to salvage some dignity, ‘of course we weren’t really gonna leave him, were we? Eh?’ The silence this remark is greeted with is prolonged and heavy.
‘C’mon. Let’s do it. The four musketeers! Come on, lads!’ Woody is first to move, peeling himself from the leather seat with a wet sound.
Rick stays where he is and peers up the driveway. ‘That car that went past us... d’you think....?’
‘Nowhere else for it to go, mate. Come on Bax.’ Woody pulls the door open and leans in. ‘You gotta come with us. Are you okay?’
Baxter is still leaning back against the seat, eyes closed and his face taut with anxiety. ‘I can’t move, Woody.’ He opens his eyes and stares beseechingly at the other man. ‘I feel like I’m gonna pass out, I wanna go back but...’
Woody hesitates for a beat and then reaches in to place a hand on Baxter’s knee – he flinches, clearly strung out. He’ll be a liability like this, Woody realises; he needs time to calm down. But they don’t have time; or at least Quinn doesn’t.
‘Okay. You keep lookout – get in the driver’s seat, get the engine started and wait for us. You will wait, won’t you mate?’
Baxter swallows, his skin pale under the sunburn. ‘Of course I’ll bloody wait – I’m not a coward, Woody, I just...’ he gestures helplessly. ‘I’ll be okay in a minute or two.’
‘I know. We’ll be as quick as we can.’ Woody ducks out of the car again and sets off up the lane. Rick stares at the car and then at Woody’s back before jogging up beside him.
‘You’re not gonna leave him with the car, are you Woody? He’ll be out of here before you know it!’
‘He won’t, Rick. Cut him some slack.’
‘How d’you know? C’mon, tell me. What do you know about him that I don’t?’
Woody shrugs, his attention focused on the road ahead. ‘Nothing. I just know he won’t, that’s all.’
‘He’s got the car, he’s got some cash – he’ll get himself a new passport - you can do that- and he’ll drop us in it. I’m going back for him ...’
Woody turns and grabs Rick’s arm as he turns. ‘You’re not going back. You’re coming with me and we’re gonna grab Quinn and the passports and then we’re all gonna fuck off out of this place.’ He stares levelly at Rick, breathing heavily and then Rick has no choice but to go along with it as Woody grabs his arm in a vice-like grip and marches him along the lane at a clip which leaves him little breath with which to protest.
‘OK – OK – just let go of my arm!’
Woody does and Rick follows him towards the villa.
Baxter stumbles out of the car, takes a few paces away from it and bends over with his hands on his knees; the world is rocking around him and for a moment or two he feels sure that he will either throw up or pass out; or quite possibly both. He feels himself sink to his knees on the dirt road and concentrates on slowing his breathing. There’s precious little in his stomach to lose and he feels cold and shivery; heat stroke, perhaps? Events of the past week are catching up with him fast it seems. After a minute or two though, he begins to feel marginally better as his breathing slows, and eventually he gets to his feet and looks back at the hire car with its ruined upholstery. That’ll come off his credit card, he realises – if it isn’t already maxed. Quite what he would have done at the airport if the transaction had been declined he has refused to think about, but every day they keep the damn car over the hire period is another hundred Euros on the bill. Why the fuck had he paid with his card when they had all that cash to hand? Readies aren’t normally traceable. Whatever happens now he’s in the shit; his name is on the paperwork and he gave a false address to the corrupt police; and they have his DNA for crying out loud. Yet again he’s going to end up carrying the can for other people’s wrong-doing. He turns around and leans his arms on the car and his head on his arms. What the fuck is he going to do?
They see the car first – parked in the drive just beyond the gate, but empty. They dive to the side, flattening themselves against the hedge. How many people had been in it?
‘We need a weapon, a gun or something!’ Rick hisses in Woody’s ear.
They creep along the drive, wincing at every footstep on the gravelled surface.
Baxter sits behind the wheel, where he’s moved to escape the sun; although it’s hardly much cooler inside the vehicle. His fingers tap anxiously on the steering wheel. He hasn’t dared start the engine – what if there’s more of them? On the other hand, he hasn’t heard gunfire yet so maybe...
The suspense is unbearable; he pockets the keys and heads up the drive at a shaky jog. If anything were to happen to them...
‘I told you.... I told you to go!’ Quinn slurs as they skid to a halt by the pool. He’s hanging on to the side, face resting against the tiles as if he’s tried to pull himself out of the water. The water around him is blood-red and his war-paint is smeared, as though he’s tried to wash it off and passed out halfway through the job.
‘Bloody hell Quinn, you’ve put on some weight!’ Rick gasps as he and Woody grab Quinn’s arms; they tug, but he’s a dead weight.
‘Yeah, you lardy bastard, come on!’ Another pair of hands grabs Quinn’s arm and pulls – Rick and Woody look up to see Baxter’s pale face staring fixedly at Quinn, who groans and passes out, his head slipping below the waterline. ‘Aw fuck no!’ he yells, leaping up onto the side of the pool and hurling himself in. In a few strokes he’s grabbing Quinn’s head and trying to lift his face from the water.
‘No-no-no....’ he groans, gasping as he pulls Quinn into the rescue position, his hand under Quinn’s chin as he tries to pull him back to the shallow end. He hears a splash and feels someone beside him; Woody takes over, his larger and more muscular physique giving him an advantage over the wiry Baxter. Together they pull Quinn onto dry land and Woody takes over, turning Quinn’s face to the side and then back to the centre as he starts mouth-to-mouth.
‘Is he dead? Is he dead?’ Rick is standing nearby, arms wrapped around himself.
‘I dunno, Rick, I dunno,’ Baxter says, eyes fixed on Quinn’s chest. ‘How long’s he been in the water like that? How long since we left? Five minutes? Ten? Ah, fuck...’ they shouldn’t have delayed. How will they explain all this to his wife and daughters? Will they ever get the chance is more to the point, Baxter thinks despairingly.
‘D’you think that guy shot him?’
‘Rick, I don’t know mate... let’s just ...’
Woody sits back as Quinn gasps and coughs and begins to thrash around, struggling to sit upright. Woody grabs him by the shoulders and rolls him over onto his stomach, where he coughs up an alarming amount of water before collapsing back onto the tiles, breathing heavily.
‘Thank Christ for that!’ Baxter gulps and is startled to realise that his eyes are wet. As he swipes furiously at them, he catches glimpses of Rick and Woody; both look similarly shocked.
‘Is he, has he been shot again?’ Baxter sniffs back tears and looks up and down Quinn’s body but the only blood he can see seems to be coming from the small wound in his upper right arm. He swallows. He’s sick of the sight of blood, he realises.
‘Doesn’t look like it,’ Woody says. ‘We should get him indoors.’
‘Why? There’s no water, no power... we just need to get those bloody passports and go!’
‘Yeah, yeah ... that bloke might come back...’ Rick says nervously.
‘You mean that bloke in the pool? Dominic?’ Baxter jerks his head in the direction of the pool, where two bodies can barely be seen through the bloodied water. ‘Did Quinn do that?’
‘He must’ve...’ Rick stammers, looking around them nervously. ‘But I didn’t hear a gunshot, did you?’
‘No,’ they chorus.
‘Look, we don’t have time for this...’ Rick stammers. ‘We don’t know how many of ‘em know about this. Let’s just go!’ He looks pleadingly at them.
‘Youse two aren’t thinking this through, are ya?’ Woody says. ‘If we turn up at the airport like this...’
‘You’ve got a point,’ Baxter agrees. ‘And if he’s still bleeding like a fucking stuck pig...’
‘How we gonna clean him up without any water?’ Rick asks.
‘Plenty of water in the pool...’ Woody says, and grimaces. ‘Even with the blood, it’s chlorinated...’
‘Warm water, we need warm water...’ Rick says. ‘Dirt and blood will come off easier...’
Baxter’s mind is working overtime now. ‘Right, right, we can do this. Barbeque. Saucepan. Water. C’mon, let’s do it!’
To be continued......