Oh, The Places You'll Go

Two Guys In A Bar

Notes: Impossible to write Green Wing fic, I said. And then I wrote it. Pre-canon, no spoilers. Thank you to quiesce for beta.


Two guys in a bar. They've been there some time.

Guy Secretan: world-class anaesthetist, sportsman extraordinaire (with an extra rolled 'r' for good measure), curly-haired Swiss love god and so far in denial that he's stuck in silt. There were hippopotamuses, hippopotami, whatever. Who cared? They were wallowing in the mud next to him, that's what mattered. Stupid things. Although, no, be fair, they could run underwater for miles — most he'd managed was a crouching wade for about thirty seconds in the hospital pool.

'Mac' MacCartney: top surgeon, top bloke, cucumber cool. Or not. Mac had always taken issue with the status of cucumber as the coolest of the salad family. It seemed too obvious, too alliterative, it needed to be something more out there, a dark salad horse, if you would. A mango. An unusual choice for an everyday salad but adding its own brand of juicy goodness — far more cool than a cucumber. On the other hand — orange. Not that Mac had anything against orange, per se, it was just– Maybe a strawberry worked better — a fraise. Fraise sounded remarkably close to freeze which was almost the same as cool.

***

Glum-faced, Guy stared into his pint glass, just the remnants of what had been an almost perfect head of Guinness (amazing what a bit of private training for the barmaid could do, eh? Eh?) clinging to the sides of the glass. Maybe it was time for another. He could still feel his legs.

Mac eyed his empty glass. Yep, definitely time for another. Or definitely time to call it a night. Definitely one. Or the other. Leaning forward on the bar he glanced across at Guy.

"No looking," said Guy, not taking his eyes from his glass. "No looking, you agreed."

"I ju–"

"And no talking either. Those are the rules, Mac. No looking and no talking. Rules. I didn't make them. No, wait, I did. As you were."

Mac rolled his eyes at the barmaid and raised two fingers.

"Same again, Mac?" She leant against the bar, adjusting her t-shirt to display a couple more centimetres of cleavage.

"Yup. One for me and my, er, my friend here. I'd point, but I'm not allowed."

"Bad mood?" The barmaid indicated Guy with her head, her eyes never leaving Mac.

"Um. Possibly? I could maybe get back to you on that one. Jury's been sent to a hotel by the judge overnight, can't reach a unanimous decision."

"Eh?"

"I don't know."

"Riiiiight. Two pints of Guinness coming up."

"Yeah, thanks."

There may or may not have been a snort from Guy's general direction.

"What?"

"You know what."

"So we can talk now?"

"No we can't! Fuck! You and your stupid ginger wily ways, you've gone and made me break the rules now. Shuttup." A glass was slammed in front of him, white, creamy head slopping over the side — a criminal waste. Annoyed, Guy looked up to see the barmaid glowering. "No, not you. Why would I want you to shut up? Well, apart from the fact that you can only talk about the price of beer and the difficulty of finding shoes to fit your bunion ridden feet. What?!" He lifted his hands in appeal as she stormed off.

"Nicely done, mon brave," Mac reached across to pat Guy on the shoulder. At the first touch Guy was out of his seat, and out of range, staring wild-eyed at Mac.

"NO TOUCHING, YOU FUCKING FUCK! THAT'S THE CARDINAL RULE!" he yelled. The bar ground to a halt as everyone stared at him. Somewhere beyond the reaches of Guy's primitive brain he was aware that this was probably not the best idea ever. He put on his best 'ow, this is so sore' expression and cupped a hand around his upper arm.

"Injection," he said, playing to the crowd, putting some extra-special Guy smarm into his voice. "Yeah, big fuck-off needle the size of Mac's cock." Poof! went the smarm. "Erm. That's not to say. What I mean is. I'm saying that Mac's cock is small and needle shaped but yet the needle was big enough to be compared to a cock. I'm not saying Mac's cock is big. I mean, how would I know how big? Why would I care?" Guy was horrified, but he couldn't seem to stop the words coming out of his mouth. He barely noticed when Mac took his elbow and began to steer him out of the bar.

"Thank you, ladies and gentleman," said Mac, to the agape throng. "He'll be here Monday through Thursday, don't try the veal, it's horrible — poor baby calves untimely ripped from their mothers. And with that–" he pushed the door open and shoved Guy through it.

"Well, that was ... interesting," he offered. Guy buried his head in his hands.

"Mmph mm phhh."

"What was that?"

"Mmph mm phhh!"

"I'm terribly sorry, I don't speak Swiss."

Guy lifted his head.

"Such a twat."

"Yes. Yes you are. That's why it says on your name badge 'Dr. Guillaume Secretan — twat'. And why, if you look up 'twat' in the dictionary, there's a picture of your somewhat equine features right alongside it. Not your best shot, but not bad."

"Not me!" Guy seemed to have regained some composure. "You, you pasty skinned freak of nature. You ... you ... you ... biscuit!"

"The hard, dunking kind or the fancy chocolate ones with the swirly patterns?"

"The dunking ki– Oh shut up!"

It was Mac's turn to sigh.

"It was an accident, Guy; I swear it won't happen again."

Guy began to walk off, stuffing his hands into his pockets and muttering to himself.

"You make the rules, you live by the rules and then some cocky gingre twat decides to break all the rules and now where are we? Chaos, that's where."

Mac watched him go for a few seconds, face expressionless. Then his mouth curved in a small smile and he jogged after his friend, as he reached him turning and beginning to walk backwards.

"Guy."

"Dr. MacCartney."

"Come on, Guy. I said sorry. I said it was an accident. I bought you at least seven, possibly eight, pints. Let it go?"

Guy stopped dead. Mac followed suit.

"Let it go? You kissed me!"

"I did."

"You kissed me!"

"I did."

"You kissed me."

"I think that's firmly established, yes. I, Mac, kissed you, Guy, by accident."

"Tongues aren't accidental!" If Guy flapped his arms any harder he was going to take off.

"I'm not sure I recall the tongues," mused Mac. "Could you refresh my memory?"

"Here? In public?"

"Verbally, Guy. I'm not asking for a Crimewatch re-enactment of the scene in question."

"Oh. Right. Well. That's OK then. Right." Guy ground to a halt. Mac took a step forward.

"Tongues?"

Guy took a step back.

"Tongues. One tongue, actually. Yours. Like a bloody washing machine. When we were on the floor."

"We were on the floor?"

"You know we were, fuckwit. You pushed me there."

"That's not exactly an accurate representation of the facts, is it?"

Mac took another step forward, Guy another step back.

"OK, so I may have stood in your way so you couldn't score the match point and I must have been off-balance or something because no way could your puny body have taken me down otherwise."

"And then?" Mac moved forward again, Guy backwards.

"Then I smacked my head on the sodding floor, you bastard. And you were sprawled out on top of me." Guy quirked his eyebrows. "I must say that for a surgeon you are remarkably ungainly. You must kill an awful lot of patients."

"Mmhmm."

"So I was rightfully complaining about the potential brain damage caused by the blow to my head and threatening to sue you and then you decided to take a look. As if you were a proper doctor, or something."

"I am a proper doctor."

"So you are. I must have been thinking about Fartin. You're both losers — so easy to mix up. So you prodded about a bit and managed to stick your finger right on the bruise. Owwwwww."

"It's a talent."

"It's a something. Fucker. And at this point, due to extreme pain, I may or may not have let out a slight whimper, I decline to comment."

Mac stepped forward again.

"It was a very heartfelt whimper," he said. "I felt almost guilty there for a second. Almost, but not quite."

Guy's backward step faltered a little.

"And then you were moving my head round, probably to see if you could add broken neck to the list of injuries you'd inflicted on me and ..."

"And what?"

Mac strode forward this time, closing the gap between them. He grasped Guy's shoulders so he couldn't escape. Guy wriggled, but it seemed half-hearted.

"Andthenyoukissedme," he said in a rush, almost sounding like someone else. He looked down and breathed in and out a couple of times. It was the usual Guy who looked back up. "And then I was so shocked by your iniquitous betrayal of our friendship that I gasped and you stuck your bloody tongue in my mouth. Taking. Fucking. Liberties."

"That's right. I remember now," Mac nodded. "Good times, good times."

"Er, I don't think so, you poof. I shoved you off and got the hell out of Dodge. You tracked me down — and may I add that I'm going to take extreme pleasure in killing Sue White with an assortment of blunt instruments for pointing you towards the laundry cupboard — and forced me to go to the bar. You didn't have to twist so hard," Guy complained, waving his right arm in Mac's face. "If I can't compete in the Guyball World Cup because of your inability to keep your hands to yourself, although I am stupendously touchable– " he smiled, lop-sided and louche.

"Moving on," said Mac. Guy narrowed his eyes.

"I'm just saying you'd never have been strong enough to get me to the bar if I hadn't been in a state of shock."

"Whatever you want to believe, Guy. Continue."

"So under duress you dragged me to the bar. Whereat the rules were instated. Which you broke. Repeatedly. Being incapable of doing what is decent and honest, unlike me, the Cliff Richard of the East Hampton Trust."

"Guy, Guy, Guy," admonished Mac.

"Over-egging it?" asked Guy, tipping his head to one side.

"Just a smidge, yes." Mac patted Guy's curly hair, smiling at the wince that followed. "Also I think you missed something."

"What?"

"The bit in between the start of the kiss and the end of the kiss."

"That split-second of torture? What did I miss there?"

"The fact you kissed me back. For more than a split-second I might add."

"Ah."

"Ah."

"Pavlovian response to lips," improvised Guy.

"OK. You and your surprisingly soft lips had a Pavlovian response; I had an accident with my firm, yet yielding mouth and my inquisitive tongue. Let's leave it at that, shall we?"

"Yeah." Guy gulped and refused to make eye contact. Mac let him go and fell into step beside him, slinging an arm back around Guy's shoulder. Guy didn't shrug him off. They started walking.

"You know, I'm beginning to understand your reputation with the ladies," said Mac.

"Key word, ladies."

"That dreamy look they get after they've been kissed by Dr. Guy."

"You've noticed that, huh?"

"Noticed it? I've lived it."

"Fuck off, Mac."

"Don't you mean, 'fuck me, Mac'?"

"If your wildest dreams consisted of you being king of the universe with a million ginger children — although maybe no children what with you being a gay. OK scratch that. If your wildest dreams consisted of you being king of the universe with all the Chippendales as your close personal advisors ..."

***

Guy Secretan: world-class anaesthetist, sportsman extraordinaire (with an extra rolled 'r' for good measure), curly-haired Swiss love god, friend to the gays — a gay — one specific gay. Who might not be gay. It was an accident, apparently. A happy Guy, mostly, buzzing with alcohol and not at all with unresolved sexual tension. Off home to sleep. Possibly via wanking himself stupid. Thinking of women. But then sleep. Blessed sleep. With no dreams. Oh no.

'Mac' MacCartney: top surgeon, top bloke, strawberry cool — fraise cool. Friend to twats everywhere. Or just curly-haired twats. Or maybe curly-haired, half-Swiss, Guyball-playing twats. It wasn't that he was picky about twats. Actually, the idea of being picky about twats was funny. He was. Very, very, very picky. The other thing that he was? An excellent surgeon. Beautiful work he did; people would come from miles around just to see his stitching technique. Neat. And also tidy. Not given to accidents. Not accident prone at all.

Two guys walk home from a bar. It may take some time.


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