Oh, The Places You'll Go

On The Verge

Notes: Birthday fic for the lovely leiascully. Spoilers for the end of Series 1 onwards.


Mac's going to Sheffield. He is, by choice, going to live in the provinces. Guy doesn't get it. Sure, if your life depends on it because there's a bounty on your head after one too many 'tutoring' sessions with a mob boss' wife, then OK. But voluntary exile from London? He doesn't get it. Actually, he feels quite affronted. Doesn't Mac know how much effort it's going to take to break in the replacement? And what if they're not breakable? What if it's some butch lesbian called Sam or Shane with scrubby hair and scrubby skin who spends each and every bloody operation talking about her 'wife' Clarabelle and their two babies, Bumble and Twee who turn out to be not babies at all but sodding chinchillas?

Mac should have thought of that. He should also have thought about the fact that Guy's going to have to rely on Martin for man-talk. He might as well just give up now. There's always Caroline, he thinks, she's at least part man. But it won't be the same. She'll have to dye her hair and grow a few inches and learn to ride a motorbike. At least the chest wasn't a worry. Fucking Mac. Changing things that didn't need changing.

"Yeah, I'm going to miss you too," says Mac with his arms around Guy's chest and Guy notices something out there on the edge of thought but he's too busy being all nonchalant and so-what that it disappears before he can get a hold of it.

*

Out there, hanging over the edge of the cliff, he can't think of a single fucking thing to live for. Not one. Admittedly his brain isn't letting him go very deep at this particular moment what with the massive effort it's having to put into stopping him shitting his pants, but still, you'd think he would have something. The back end of the ambulance shifts downwards and Guy and Mac push themselves as far forward as possible, shoving their arms out along the dashboard as if they can force the ambulance back down with just the combined weight of their arms. Probably not a valid interpretation of the laws of physics, but worth a shot all the same.

"There's got to be more than musketeers," says Guy. The ambulance creaks again and he shoves his arms out wider, fingers brushing against Mac's as he does the same.

Guy turns his head to look at Mac, whose expression is half-terror, half-inscrutable.

"We'll think of something," Mac says. Guy smiles and, despite the precariousness of the situation, notices a dark shadow of thought pushing its way up through the layers of sphincter control. He thinks it's probably important.

Then there's a creak and a groan and his stomach plummeting through his feet and he's too busy screaming like a girl to wonder where the shadow went.

*

Eight weeks. Eight sodding weeks. Guy's been in to see him every single day, not that he feels at all responsible for what happened, he didn't ask Mac to leap into a moving ambulance, did he? And if it wasn't for Mac's fucking phone he'd never have been in the field avoiding the sheep in the first place. So. It's Mac's own fault that he is here and Guy holds no responsibility at all. None. And it's not like he misses him or anything, it's easier to win when Mac's unconscious — Guy's already declared himself champion of chess, draughts, noughts and crosses, thumb wars and arm-wrestling.

It's just that he would prefer it if Mac was awake. There's no point making well-timed and perfectly-crafted cracks about gingerism and slow death by boredom and miners in Sheffield if Mac can't attempt one of his pathetic comebacks. So he's tried everything he can think of to wake him up — shouting, foghorn, porn videos, shouting, shaking, stupid affirmation tapes ("you are a unique and sensitive individual and your life has worth and meaning, it is time to wake up" — blech!), shouting, the kitty incident. He's even tried kissing him to see if the Secretan magic could work where all else had failed. Mac's lips weren't bad actually, Guy hadnít even had to disinfect afterwards.

And now he's banned and it pisses him off. Because. Because. Well, because no one bans Guy Secretan, that's because. Why. That's why. So he's sitting in the pub getting extremely drunk with his New Best Friend ô when Boycie comes in to give him the news of Mac's recovery. Guy's too busy being pissed and self-righteous to pay much attention but Boyce keeps hammering away like a bloody woodpecker until Guy has to take notice. His first reaction is a stomach lurch not entirely dissimilar to the one he felt as he was plummeting to what he was sure was certain death and a flash of Mac's still, pale, expressionless face just inches from Guy's. But Boyce is slapping him on the back and pulling him out of his seat and now isn't the time to think. He's got at least a dozen unconscious arsehole jokes stored up and he's dying to get started.

*

Mac has great timing. He's waited until Guy is drunk enough so that he can't remember that usually anecdotes need a beginning and middle as well as an end, but not so drunk that he can't tell his arse from his elbow. It's the perfect amount of drunk. When Guy manages to gather sufficient brain-cells together to process Mac's impending doom there are enough left over for him to wonder what the fuck Caroline is going to think of all this. And what that means for him. And then there're a couple of random brain-cells isolated from the rest that are trying to say something else but they're signalling in semaphore and Guy was always a shitty cadet. Then Mac swears him to secrecy and the random brain-cells shut up. The problem is that he's waited until Guy is the perfect amount of drunk: not so drunk to make promises but drunk enough not to keep them. Mac has lousy timing.

*

Guy does the right thing. He hates every minute of it but he does it anyway. Everybody's leaving him again, like everybody always does. Not that he has deep-seated abandonment issues, oh no, not at all. He's a lone wolf, a prairie dog, howling at the moon. Who cares about the pack when there's a whole world of wolf pussy just waiting for him to track it down? Guy's aware that his metaphor is faulty but then he's a fucking doctor, not a writer.

He kisses Caroline goodbye, not sure if she'll ever be coming back to him, but hopeful that eventually he'll prove irresistible, or at least warmer than Mac. Half-hearted he tries to change her mind, but he knows a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do. Outside with Mac he makes jokes about knobbly knees and the effects of wind blowing up a kilt and Mac jokes back as if this whole thing wasn't slightly surreal, as if they would be reminiscing years from now and comparing notes on the insulating properties of the sporran.

Unable to resist, Guy makes one last plea to Caroline, but he knows it's a lost cause and he isn't sure what he'd've done if she'd said yes anyway. Still, it gets him a couple of concerned looks from one or two of the guests so there may be a sympathy shag on the cards later. Result.

And then Mac is kissing his bride and then Guy is and the weird thing is that he can taste Mac on her, he knows how Caroline tastes and this is something else, this is Mac. And the thought of it is startling and arousing and he looks at Mac who has eyes only for Caroline and he is grateful for the weight of the sporran over certain areas.

"Oh!" he thinks and the lurking shadows of thought pour forward and say "See, that's what we've been trying to tell you. God, you are so dense."

"Shit," thinks Guy. "Bad timing." He watches the happy couple and surprisingly can't decide who he's most jealous of.

Someone thrusts a glass of champagne into his hand and he downs it in one, stretching for another.

"Fuck it," he says, shaking his head so that the thoughts scatter in every direction. "I wonder if it'll be easier to get a look up her dress or his kilt."


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