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Mistaken Identity

Title: Mistaken Identity
Rating: Green Cortina
Word count: 2,250 words
Notes: Written for 1973flashfic for the mistaken identity challenge.  With thanks to my beta jinxed100 for her usual sterling work and for some of the plot suggestions, and further thanks to phyllisdobbs01 for some of the other suggestions.

The plot itself is full of wormholes you could drive a police box through - that is entirely my fault and not theirs.

 

“Right, Tyler and I are going to the warehouses to follow up the night watchman’s reports.  Carling, you take fancy knickers and see if Carstairs’ missus has remembered anything now.  And Skelton, get these files sorted.  The DI may be a pain about paperwork but he does have a point that it would be helpful to know which file belonged to which case.”  DCI Hunt, having organised his team to his satisfaction grabbed his coat, ready to follow his own instructions. 

He turned round to see his inspector reluctantly putting on his own jacket which was still sodden from the earlier downpour.  “What’s wrong, Gladys?  Oh no, you’re not going to drip in my car.  Borrow Chris’ jacket: he’s not going anywhere.”

As they left CID a tremendous clap of thunder rang out and it felt as if the whole station shuddered.

#####

As Annie walked out of CID the thunder made her jump, but she wasn’t going to admit any nervousness in front of Ray of all people.  Then she noticed he had grabbed her arm.

He looked at her, “Thought you should know that you’ve got a strong man beside you.  No need to be afraid of a bit of thunder.”

She raised her eyebrows, but refrained from pointing out that he appeared to be more afraid than she was.  Instead she looked out of the window to see that the rain was still sluicing down.  “Great, we’ll be soaked in no time,” she said.

Ray agreed, “Let’s go and get a couple of umbrellas from Lost and Found.  There’s millions in there – no-one will notice two less.”

Annie was going to object, but decided that the likelihood of anyone coming to claim a lost umbrella was quite remote.  At least if they helped keep her dry they would have had some use and they could always put them back afterwards.  So she turned and followed Ray.

As he went into Lost and Found she heard him say, “Hello, Boss, I thought you were supposed to be with the Guv.  Don’t tell me you’re going undercover?”

There was a pause and then he added, “Okay, that was just a joke.”

Annie entered the room and gasped.  Although the man initially looked liked Sam, his clothing was very different from the tight jeans Sam normally wore, his hair was longer, he had a beard and a distinctive scar down one side of his face.  Added to which he was currently pointing a pistol at Ray.  The latter fact didn’t particularly surprise her the way the two of them had been arguing over the last few days, although she was slightly surprised because Sam was very strict about the use of firearms.  And at the moment it did look as if Sam was about to shoot Ray.

She took a deep breath, “Sam, don’t do anything rash.” 

The only response was Ray who shuffled his feet nervously.

She tried again, “Sam. Sam.”  She decided to risk approaching him and touched his arm.  “Sam!”

A pair of brown eyes looked at her quizzically.  “My lady?”

“Put the gun down, Sam.”

“Yes, put it down now and I’ll not say anything to the Guv,” Ray thought they were on to a good thing.

He realised his mistake instantly as the gun was pointed once again at his chest.  Ray sat down and looked appealing at Annie.  He tried to see if he could grab anything that he could use as a weapon, but the only thing within reach was a tennis racquet. 

Meanwhile, Annie had decided that from his behaviour Sam was under the impression that he wasn’t DI Sam Tyler and that if she had any hope of reasoning with him she needed to know who he currently thought he was.  Apart from pointing his pistol at Ray, who he clearly saw as a threat, he didn’t seem particularly aggressive, so she decided to ask the obvious question.

“Who are you?”

“My name is Edward Sexby, mistress.”

Ray nearly sniggered at the term of address, but then decided that laughter might have unfortunate consequences.

Once more the man looked at Annie, but this time she was aware that his scrutiny of her was rather different to the way he had looked at Ray.  “And what is your name?”

“I’m Annie Cartwright.  And this is ..”

The man’s expression said that he wasn’t interested in who Ray was.  He smiled at her and she almost went weak at the knees.  Why did Sam never smile at her in that way normally, such a deep smile, so intense and with so much longing? 

Suddenly there was the noise of what sounded like a distant battle, and the man said, almost regretfully, “My lady, I must leave you.”  Annie blinked, and he was gone.

Ray didn’t hang around, but ran out of the room; Annie followed, but not without a backward glance.

#####

There were several more claps of thunder as Gene and Sam drove to the warehouses.

“Shouldn’t we have brought some backup?” Sam asked.  “If the Rushton gang are hiding out in there, they’ll be armed.”

“The watchman said ‘strange noises’; he didn’t say anything about shots or sounds of a group of men.  We are just going to have a look in case they’ve left something of interest, but if you’re frightened Gladys I’ll hold your hand.”

As Gene stopped the car outside the nearest warehouse Sam let out a sudden gasp.

“Now what, Dorothy?  You don’t normally complain when I brake like this.”

“Look, look,” Sam was pointing towards the side of the warehouse.

“Stop jabbering.  It’s a police box.  What of it?”

“But I don’t remember seeing a box there before.”

“That explains the strange noises then.  Arrival in the night of one police box.  We don’t even need to get wet.”

“I’m going to investigate.”  Sam got out of the car and pulled the collar of Chris’ jacket up round his neck.

As he got near to the box, he felt someone grab him from behind.

“I don’t know what you’re doing here, but I’m not going to let you start anything.  You’re coming with me now.”

Sam started to struggle and was surprised at how firmly his arms were being held behind his back.  Fortunately for him Gene had been watching, and despite complaining to himself that his deputy couldn’t even investigate a police box without getting into trouble, and that he was going to have to get wet after all, had come over to help.  One blow from Gene’s fist and Sam’s assailant was lying stunned on the ground.  The two officers dragged the man over to the Cortina and pushed him onto the back seat.

“Right,” said Gene, “you can start by telling me your name and why you decided to attack my officer.”

“I’m the Doctor,” the man replied “and I don’t know what he has said to you, but that man needs to come with me now.”

“And why might that be?”

“He doesn’t know what he’s doing.  He needs help,” the Doctor was clearly trying to convince Gene, although so far with little success.  “And I can help him.”

“So you’re saying he’s a nutter?”

“Yes, yes, if you like.  And he’s my responsibility.”

“I know he’s a nutter.  But as far as I’m concerned he’s my nutter and therefore my responsibility.”

“Guv,” Sam interrupted.

“What is it now, Tyler?”

“Look, the police box, it’s, it’s ..”

Gene looked at the police box, which was starting to fade and reappear.  He looked back at the Doctor who was now very agitated, “I presume that box is something to do with you.  I ought to arrest you for assaulting a police officer, but since it’s raining and I have better things to do with my time, I suggest you get out of my car and disappear as quickly as you can.”

The Doctor leapt out of the Cortina, sprinted to the TARDIS and went inside.  Seconds later there was no sign of either Doctor or police box.

Gene looked at Sam, “When you write your report, put ‘The strange noises mentioned by the night watchman were present at the site, but were not relevant.’  Nothing more needs to be said.  Pub?”

#####

From the front desk Phyllis heard the thunder.  Then she heard what sounded like someone crying.  She had told the newest WPC to clean out one of the cells and the thunder must have upset her.  Phyllis got up to go and tell the girl that she would encounter far worse than a bit of thunder and she’d better get used to strange noises very quickly.

However, when she reached the cell the occupant, who was indeed crying, was not the WPC, who had presumably already left since the cell was now clean, but DI Tyler.  Phyllis looked carefully at him.  She wondered why he looked different from normal and then realised that he must have dyed his hair, since it was now white. 

“Boss, what’s the matter?” she began.

“I can still hear them,” he said, starting to rock, his hands round his knees.

Phyllis sighed, she might have known that the inspector would have fear of thunder as one of his many peculiarities.  “The storm’s passed over now, sir.”

“Why can nobody else hear them?” the anguish in the man’s voice made even Phyllis feel slightly sympathetic.

“Shall I ask the Guv to come down and take you home?”

For the first time the man looked directly at Phyllis.  She saw how much he needed a shave and how hollow his eyes were.  Clearly following a heavy night at The Railway Arms DI Tyler hadn’t got much sleep.

“I’m very hungry,” said the man.

“Well, sir, I suggest you go to the canteen.”

“Get me food, now.”  The man’s face became skeletal for an instance.

Phyllis decided she had had enough.  “I will get PC Hobbs to bring you some dinner.  Then, Boss, you will go home and get some sleep.”  With that she turned on her heel and marched out.

About an hour later there was a further thunderclap.  Phyllis decided that having not seen the Boss leave she would go down to the cell and make sure he hadn’t fallen asleep in it.  Reaching the cell she looked in, but there was no sign of the occupant.  She went in to retrieve the plate.  As she picked it up she noticed that it appeared to have been licked clean.

#####

Chris listened to the thunder and for once was grateful that he was left in the office.  He had no wish to get wet yet again.  He made a start on sorting out the files and quickly realised that there were a few that he was supposed to have collected from the Collator’s Den and since no-one was around to check up on him he decided to stop off at the canteen on the way.

When he returned he noticed that the Boss’ jacket was no longer on the back of his chair.  Chris was slightly alarmed that his protracted absence might have been noticed, but decided it was quite possible that they hadn’t been back long and therefore wouldn’t be aware of just how much time Chris had spent out of the office.  Glancing up he noticed that although the Boss appeared to be in the Guv’s office, the Guv wasn’t.  Well, it was possible that he’d come back to collect something whilst the Guv continued enquiries elsewhere.

Chris continued sorting through the files until he found that the statements from the main witness the previous day were missing.  He assumed that they were in the Guv’s office, so got up to collect them.  He knocked on the door and walked in. 

“I’ve just come to collect those witness statements,” he announced.  The man sitting at the Guv’s desk didn’t look up, which seemed unusual, for the Boss would normally have said something, if only to ask how much progress he’d made.  So Chris starting searching the paperwork on the desk and in the process knocked a coffee mug on the floor.  The man jumped, stared at Chris, who stared back.  He was sure the Boss had been clean shaven that morning.  Chris knew that he wasn’t the most observant detective in the world, but even he would have noticed that much stubble.  The man then grabbed a file and practically ran out of the office.  In doing so he dropped a piece of paper.  Chris bent down to pick it up.

“Boss, Sir, you’ve dropped something,” he shouted.  The door to CID opened, the leather jacket was thrown to the floor and the man disappeared.

Chris looked down at the piece of paper he was still holding and read, “Cal McAffrey.  The Herald”

#####

That night, in The Railway Arms, everyone kept giving DI Sam Tyler strange looks, but no-one said anything.  Sam himself was too busy trying to decide whether he should feel flattered or insulted that Gene thought of him as his nutter.

 

EPILOGUE

Two days later Gene Hunt stormed into CID.

“Oi, Tyler.  I don’t know what you’ve been doing these past few days to confuse people but enough is enough.  Last night I was having the most wonderful dream.  I was in Spain, lying on a sun lounger by a pool, surrounded by tarts in bikinis, having the time of my life and you, Tyler, decide to ruin it all by finding a severed foot in the ice box.”

 


Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
talkingtothesky
Jan. 22nd, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
ROFL. That last line is pure win. Had I been drinking I would have needed a new keyboard, for sure. ♥

Thank you so much for making me laugh, this is brilliant. :D
talkingtothesky
Jan. 22nd, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
Forgot to add - my nutter! :D Awwww. *snuggles fic*
thesmallhobbit
Jan. 24th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
Glad I made you laugh - I shall consider the fic a success. Gene is very proprietorial about his nutter.
fern_tree
Jan. 22nd, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
HAHA ohhh my god. This is absolutely genius XD <333
thesmallhobbit
Jan. 24th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
(Deleted comment)
thesmallhobbit
Jan. 24th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it.
(Deleted comment)
thesmallhobbit
Jan. 24th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
I was tempted to call it "The many faces of Sam Tyler".
phyllisdobbs01
Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
" “When you write your report, put ‘The strange noises mentioned by the night watchman were present at the site, but were not relevant.’ Nothing more needs to be said. Pub?” "

Can I borrow that line to use in one of my reports at work? I may be able to adapt it quite nicely for a variety of situations.

I couldn't see any wormholes, only a great story with lots of laugh out loud moments. Oh I see, you could mean wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff to do with the story events. Only the Doctor could explain that...
thesmallhobbit
Jan. 24th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
Feel free to use the line as you wish. It is indeed relevant to all sorts of situations.
basaltgrrl
Jan. 23rd, 2011 04:20 pm (UTC)
I have not yet had the pleasure of watching "The Devil's Whore", but hey, I figured out what was going on; clever clever clever! So many alter-egos in one tale! Love the ending!

You have been a productive little monkey lately!
thesmallhobbit
Jan. 24th, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
You must watch "The Devil's Whore" - Sexby is fantastic.
basaltgrrl
Jan. 24th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
Gotta find out what it will take - not sure if that one is released in US format. But I want to get a region-free dvd player anyway, so...
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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