azombiewrites: (Mr and Mrs Murder)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: Out of Control
Fandom: Mr and Mrs Murder
Genre: Hurt/Comfort.
Rating: PG
Main Characters: Detective Peter Vinetti, Charlie Buchanan, Nicola Buchanan and Jess Chalmers.
Disclaimer: Created by Shaun Micallef and Jason Stephens for Fremantle Media Australia
Challenge: Written for [livejournal.com profile] 50scenes
Prompt: #21 Raw
Word Count: 3,797
Status: Complete

Summary: He doesn’t want to rely on Charlie Buchanan for help, or anything else for that matter, but when he’s forced into a hostage situation, Detective Peter Vinetti doesn’t have much of a choice.




Out of Control


A blur of movement, fast and violent.

A grunt of surprise as pain, sudden and unexpected, burst through his skull.

Detective Peter Vinetti’s knees buckled, his body falling forward, a painful introduction when he hit the floor. A moment of darkness, a loss of consciousness. A quick return to a world of uncertainty, confusion and pain.

Memory broken, his mind struggled to understand what had happened. He needed an explanation for the pain, an answer to why he was no longer vertical. The answer kept from him, Peter could make no sense of the situation he was now in; the only thing he did know . . . there was too much pain.

In a momentary sense of clarity, he could feel the ground beneath him, the floor cold against the side of his face. The smell of chemicals scratched at his sinuses, an irritating burn at the back of his throat, his senses overwhelmed. He swallowed, his throat dry, sore; a failed attempt to scratch the itch. He coughed; an alternative remedy. Pain, sharp and malicious, exploded through his head, darkness threatening to return. He groaned, voice echoing his misery.

Without patience, he waited for the pain to ease, grateful when it settled, taking on a softer tone, now a dull ache, heavy and thick.

What happened?

Confusion growing out of control, Peter opened his eyes.

If he could see what had happened . . .

Vision unfocused it was difficult to see what was in front of him. He blinked, once . . . twice, the movement slow, clumsy. It made no difference. Eyesight no longer working the way it should, his gaze wandered as he searched for something familiar. Nothing solid, no shapes or edges, only a swath of colours . . . blue, white, a blurry haze of greys.

What happened?

Shit.

What had happened?

He had no idea.

He couldn’t think.

Couldn’t remember.

A complicated puzzle he couldn’t solve.

He had to know, curiosity asking too many questions his muddled brain couldn’t answer.

Strength lacking, coordination minimal, Peter moved, forcing himself up onto hands and knees. His body shook with the effort, limbs threatening to buckle, a second meeting with the floor inevitable. When the nausea rumbled through his stomach, he breathed through his nose, his breath harsh, quick, the chemicals stinging, burning his throat, his lungs. He swallowed the saliva filling his mouth, grimacing at the taste of acid, vomit and something he couldn’t decipher.

The floor, a collection of large, blue tiles swayed beneath him, a moving ocean. He could feel the room spinning, the strange, uncomfortable feeling strengthening the nausea. His brain was swimming, floating on a wave of renewed pain.

A droplet of red fell into a small, expanding puddle. Blood? A second drop and then a third; a slow leaking tap. Someone was bleeding. Who? He wasn’t sure. Mind so confused, Peter couldn’t understand the simplicity of his situation, couldn’t see what was staring him in the face.

Maybe . . .

A scream.

The voice female . . . familiar.

Finally, something familiar, something that made some resemblance of sense. Something he was able to recognise. It instigated a memory . . . a glance into his situation. An indication of where he might be, of what might have happened.

If he was right . . .

He wasn’t alone.

Nic.

Objections aside . . . Charlie.

A natural instinct filled him: serve and protect. Peter reached for his service weapon. Unable to find their way, clumsy fingers stumbled under his suit jacket. Knuckles brushed against leather and metal, fingers finally finding purchase . . .

Unreliable movements interrupted . . .

Roughly pulled to his feet before he was ready or willing, Peter’s world tilted too far to the right, his balance all wrong; body too pliable, his knees struggled to move into a locked position. He fought to stay upright, body and mind feeling as though they were still horizontal, the combination causing his brain to go adrift, a bout of dizziness pulling it in a different direction.

A forearm, thick with weight and muscle, curled around his throat, forcing his head back, unfocused gaze finding a high, white ceiling. Something hard pressed against the right side of his skull: small, circular, cold . . . metal. The pressure aggravated an already destructive headache, pushing the pain to an even higher level.

Peter raised his arms, the limbs heavy, uncoordinated, fingers blindly searching for the arm circled around his throat. Flesh, not his own, beneath his touch. Peter made a weak attempt to pull the foreign appendage away to alleviate the pressure, his efforts futile. The force against his throat increased, air stalling in Peter’s lungs, unable to take another breath.

Oxygen lacking, his remaining strength waning, Peter began to panic; death was sitting on the sidelines patiently waiting. Adrenaline was all Peter had left, his body still reacting on instinct, thought process taking a back seat, limbs moving into a defensive position, hand returning to his service weapon . . . Fingers finding an empty space, his gun already taken by another. The gun held against the side of his skull was his own weapon, the barrel digging painfully into his flesh, his head forced to the side, the awkward position not helping.

How had he not known, not noticed.

Lungs continued to struggle for breath.

Legs gave way beneath a heavy burden, the edges of Peter’s vision becoming shaded. Unsure of his ability to fight back, mind and body too close to a darkness that may not allow him to return, Peter changed his focus. He had to stay upright, his own collapsing weight aiding and abetting the man who held him.

His body betrayed him.

No strength left, lungs starving, mind entering a heavy haze . . .

Pressure quickly removed, a deep breath taken, legs moving back into their previous position. The forearm shifted, lowered, now across Peter’s clavicle, holding him in place, securing his position, fingers digging into Peter’s shoulder.

Peter rested his head against the man’s shoulder, giving his lungs, his body time to recover. If he could gain enough strength to fight back . . .

Time taken, his confusion settled but his memory was still broken, no knowledge of how he had gotten into this predicament. Trying to understand what had happened caused him nothing but more pain and a blinding fog. Brain addled, Peter closed his eyes. A deep breath, lungs happy, he listened to the world around him, hoping for an informative clue.

He could feel his heart beating in his chest, a hurried rhythm, a painful cramp against his rib cage. Could hear the blood rushing past his ears, thick fog dispersing, headache dropping a few levels, becoming almost . . . manageable. A voice entered the thinning fog, a hollow echo of sounds, words jumbled. Concentration not viable, fearful of his headache increasing to a damaging level, Peter tilted his head forward and opened his eyes, gaze searching, finally resting on a collection of ambiguous blue objects only a few feet in front of him.

Peter blinked, more than once . . . the objects separating, slowly coming into better focus, the edges remaining hazy.

The objects became human in size and shape.

A light bulb moment.

He’d been right. He wasn’t alone.

Charlie Buchanan.

Peter was disappointed.

Why couldn’t he have been wrong? Why couldn’t it have been someone else?

If he had to depend on Charlie . . . this was not good.

Standing beside Charlie.

Nic.

Jess.

All three of them dressed in blue paper overalls, white gumboots, red safety goggles and mouth masks around their throats, eyes glazed with fear, bodies stiff with uncertainly.

This was not good.

One positive thing.

He now had an idea of where he was. He could make an assumption of what had occurred. He stood in the midst of a crime scene. An explanation for the smell of chemicals. Charlie, Nic and Jess already hard at work cleaning the remains left behind after the removal of the body.

The victim? He couldn’t remember, his brain the texture of mashed potatoe. The man holding a gun to Peter’s head? There was no clue, nothing to give the man an identity, a reason for his violent actions. Was he a loved-one? A suspect? A man willing to go to the extreme to . . . to what?

Peter didn’t know.

He didn’t need to know.

He just needed to survive.

He needed Nic and Jess to survive. Charlie too.

Peter spoke, throat still dry, voice cracking, “You don’t need them. Let them go.”

It was an attempt to relieve Charlie of the burden of getting an injured cop out of a difficult situation. He could see the relief in Charlie’s eyes, the older man grateful.

“You don’t know what I need,” said the man, breath soft against the side of Peter’s face, an odour of cigarettes and beer.

“You don’t need them. I can do more for you than they can. Let them go.”

Charlie, still uncertain, took a step forward, body language full of fear and doubt but there was something else there . . . determination. He positioned himself in front of his wife, his niece . . . closer to Peter.

“You don’t need any of us,” said Charlie. “You can let us all go. Just step away from Peter and--”

Peter grimaced at Charlie’s mistake. If his attacker had any brains . . .

“First name basis with a cop,” said the man. “You know each other well, then?”

Apart from the take-a-cop-hostage thing, the man had brains and he was willing to use them. Unlike Charlie who preferred to hide behind humour when in a confrontational situation.

“No. No, no. Not that well,” said Charlie. “He dated my wife . . . twice. Before I met her of course. Not after I married her. He wasn’t her type. He’s not my type. No anyone’s type actually. Truth be told and let’s tell truth, I don’t like him very much.”

Peter narrowed his gaze.

Why did it have to be Charlie?

Charlie’s mouth continued to move, his words hurried, his tone uncertain but Peter was no longer listening. Brain trying to figure another way out, Peter searched his immediate area for anything he could use as a weapon, something that was within reach. Furniture, both old and new. Nick-knacks, small and breakable. Nothing heavy. Nothing notable, nothing he could use . . .

“You,” said the man, “come here.”

Peter’s gaze snapped back toward the trio, the movement painful. Mind confused, he couldn’t judge the direction of the man’s words, not until Nic began to move.

Peter panicked, making his own mistake, “No--”

Movement so quick, hard for Peter to follow, the man moved his forearm upward, large hand clamping over Peter’s eyes, blinding him, pulling his head back, straining his neck, the pain adding to a suddenly increasing headache. Adjusting to the uncomfortable position, Peter stood on his toes, alleviating the pull on his neck. He raised his hands, fingers seeking purchase . . . the attempt clumsy, weak.

The barrel of Peter’s gun began to move, edges scraping against pale skin as it moved downward across his cheek, over his jaw line, settling against his neck, his carotid artery. The pressure increased, becoming painful . . . too painful.

A harsh whisper, words that only Peter could hear, “Fight me and I’ll kill her.”

No. His attacker wasn’t stupid.

This was not good.

Peter lowered his arms, an act of surrender.

“Do you want me to kill him?” said the man. “Come here!”

Nic stepped forward, a backward glance toward her husband. She stopped in front of Peter, her worried gaze taking in his features, the pain heavily written across his face. She reached forward and squeezed his hand.

Peter flinched.

He couldn’t help it.

A grip of support?

A reassuring touch?

A last good bye . . .

“Find his handcuffs.”

“I don’t have any,” said Peter, voice stressed, his tone anxious.

His attacker’s hand tightened over his eyes, squeezing, pulling Peter’s head even further to the left; something was going to give and when it did, it was going to hurt like a son-of-a-bitch.

“If you’re lying.”

It wasn’t an empty threat.

“Search him!”

Taking a deep breath, Peter anticipated her touch.

Her fingers moved beneath his jacket, her touch brushing against his waist, his hips before moving around to his back, settling on the band of his trousers, resting for a moment.

So close, he could smell her perfume.

Then she was gone, her touch quickly becoming a distant memory.

Nic shook her head, a gathering tear escaping, rolling down her cheek.

The man smiled, a subtle shift, nodding toward Charlie.

Nic quickly moved back, her husband reaching toward her, gripping her hand, pulling her to his side.

Peter held his breath, waited . . .

Less pain, the gun barrel removed. Peter could do nothing, blinded, no knowledge of the gun’s directional aim.

His jacket lifted, Peter could feel the rough touch of a larger hand, knuckles rubbing against his waist, his hips, back, searching for something that wasn’t there. If Peter took action now . . . hard metal pressed into his back, a painful touch against his spine . . . his attacker anticipating his every thought.

No. This man wasn’t stupid.

He was smart.

Too smart.

This was not good.

This was sure to end badly.

Releasing his breath, Peter began to breathe again, harsh, rapid, lungs frantic.

“Find something to tie his hands,” said the man.

The trio hesitated, eyes wide, a statue of stillness.

The gun dug deeper, Peter moving his hips forward as a result. He began to have difficulty maintaining his position, his stance becoming more awkward . . . more painful. His ribcage felt like an anvil, his heart pounding against bone. His head ached, the pain no longer thick and heavy, now razor-sharp, a spike piercing the left side of his skull. Neck feeling tight, stretched to breaking point. Nausea rolled through his stomach, waves of bile crashing against the back of his throat. The room continued to spin at a slow, nauseating rate . . . Peter was unsure of how much longer he could last. If he fell now . . . who would take his place?

The gun shifted. Mind becoming sluggish, mash potatoe turning to gravy, Peter struggled to follow the weapon’s movements, going by touch, flinching again when the barrel found his skull, position changing, cold metal against his jaw.

Jess raised her hand, a short distance, fingers curled, hand calm, “We’ve got plastic ties.”

Too helpful, Jess.

“Where?”

Charlie rummaged through his hip pack, pulling out a pair of black plastic ties, holding them up for the man to see. He stepped forward, body language screaming uncertainty, facial expression apologetic.

“Give them to the girl,” said the man.

Jess took the ties offered to her, moving closer to Peter. Unsure of what to do, she waited, gaze staring forward.

“Cuff his hands behind his back.”

Jess stepped to the side, turning, facing the profiles of the two men. The man moved his body, bending his spine, creating a short distance between himself and Peter. Following directions given, finding Peter’s right hand, the left a little more difficult to locate, pulling them together behind Peter’s back. Not required, she dropped one tie, letting it fall to the floor. The second, she placed around Peter’s wrists, threading it, pulling it tight and snapping it into place.

Like her aunt, she gripped Peter’s hand, a touch of apology. He curled his fingers around hers, apology accepted, an acknowledgement that he knew she had no choice. He understood.

“Go.”

Jess turned, walking backward, unwilling to turn her gaze away. Upon arrival, forced behind aunt and uncle, a protective wall, a barrier against any impending hostility.

Everything shifted, suddenly . . . violently. Body released, Peter stumbled, legs buckling. Balance terminally ill, he couldn’t keep still, legs restless, desperately seeking a position that would stop him falling. Support found, the man took a handful of Peter’s jacket and shirt, pulling Peter back and upward. The gun barrel found a new mark - the back of Peter’s skull.

Bright light watering his eyes, Peter fought to find focus, everything blurred, nauseating. Headache taking a new turn, something biting the inside of his skull, Peter began to feel that something wasn’t right, that something was dangerously wrong . . . a possible head injury that required immediate medical attention. Darkness trespassed on his vision, body becoming heavy. He was going to pass out. He was sure of it.

“Take me,” said Charlie, no hint of bravery in his tone, a returned favour, turning the tables, making an effort to help Peter.

“I don’t need you.”

“Look at him. He’s not going to get you very far.”

“He’ll get me as far as I need to go.”

“How far is that?” said Charlie. “The front door?”

Nic pointed, forefinger aimed in the direction of Peter’s forehead, “You hit him too hard.”

“He’s fine,” said the man. “He’s still standing.”

“Barely,” said Charlie. “If you let him go he’ll fall down . . . he won’t get back up.”

Fate, on the side of Peter Vinetti, took the hint.

Lost in a world of confusion, Peter was unable to find his way, direction of the conversation hard to follow. Sounds melded, words no longer making any sense. Memory damaged beyond repair, he couldn’t remember the last few moments, minutes, hours . . . brain no longer working, body weak, knees collapsing, Peter fell.

His attacker, blind to his captive’s condition, followed Peter to the floor, head smacking against the tiled floor, gun slipping from his fingers.

As simple as that.

Nothing heroic. Nothing to brag about during book club.

It was over.

Hostage released.

Attacker subdued.

It wasn’t that simple.

It never was.

Peter was injured.

The trio pounced, Charlie taking a hold of the man’s arm, pulling him off and away from Peter. Nic picked up the gun, pointing it at the man on the floor, protective nature taking control. Jess, calm in a desperate situation, took care of Peter, knife already in hand, cutting through the plastic tie. She gently rolled Peter onto his back, his eyes open, staring back at her.

She loosened his tie, undoing the top two buttons of his shirt, “Peter?”

Charlie picked up the second plastic tie, using it to bound hands, attacker no longer a threat. He stood up and stepped away, retrieving the gun from his wife’s hands, allowing her to join Jess at Peter’s side.

“Peter?”

Consciousness not lost, Peter blinked, gaze wandering. He lay on the floor, head pounding, pain threatening to break him in two, shoulder aching from the impact; skull free of a second collision. Nausea threatened, stomach becoming violent . . . he swallowed back the bile . . .

“Sit him up,” said Jess.

They moved him quickly, efficiently, his back now against a piece of furniture, something solid, the object keeping him in place. Head falling back, a soft support behind him, Peter began to take deep breaths in an effort to settle his stomach. He closed his eyes, not wanting to see the revolving ceiling.

A hand on his face, curled over his jaw, the touch gentle, “Peter?”

He blinked, lids beyond heavy, eyes closing, staying closed.

“Charlie,” said Jess. “Call an ambulance.”

Charlie nodded, searching for and finding his phone, fingertips stumbling over a simple combination of numbers. His conversation familiar, Jess concentrated on the man in front of her.

She squeezed his jaw, pinching his flesh, “Peter.”

Peter’s eyes snapped open, a pausing moment before lids fell closed once again.

“Ambulance is on its way,” said Charlie, sitting on the couch, close to Peter, so close . . . a crowded foursome.

Fingers gripped Peter’s hand, a gentle hold, “Peter, squeeze my hand.”

His fingers limp, unmoving.

He just needed a minute.

“Peter!”

He rolled his head to the side, toward her voice, eyes closed, lips moving, “Give me a . . . a minute.”

Jess nodded; her relief palpable.

“I just need . . .”

“It’s okay,” said Jess, squeezing his hand. “It’s okay. Take your time.”

He squeezed her hand, the pressure weak, barely there.

Wound still bleeding, the left side of Peter’s face covered in blood, his shirt collar no longer white. His skin pale, a sickly shade of gray, pain etched into his features. Peter began to believe there was no end in sight, head in a vice, his headache forever increasing, each moment more painful than the last. He felt dizzy . . . nauseated . . . tired.

He wanted to sleep.

Needed to sleep.

Jess turned to her aunt, “I need something to stop the bleeding.”

“Here,” said Charlie, pulling a blue Chux super wipe from his hip pack, handing it to Jess. “Fast drying and absorbent. It says so on the pack.”

Her expression calm, she folded it into a smaller square, placing it against the wound on Peter’s forehead, applying pressure.

Peter grimaced, a growl escaping, left arm curling up toward the source of pain. A hand on his forearm, pushing his arm back down, keeping it there, not a difficult thing to do, Peter’s strength lacking. He turned his head away, the pressure still in place; pain now at an all new level.

He was dying.

No other explanation.

Skull cracked open.

Brain swollen to breaking point.

What happened?

“Why does my head hurt?”

Nic took Peter’s other hand, threading her fingers through his, nothing more than a friendly gesture, something to let him know she was there, “A man hit you with a giraffe.”

“Not a real giraffe,” said Charlie. “A statue of a giraffe. Small and very heavy.”

A simple explanation.

Easy to understand.

Unless your head was broken.

Peter opened his eyes, gaze searching, first finding Charlie, then Nic.

“What happened?”

Nic looked up at her husband, features worried, body language anxious.

“Don’t worry, Darling,” said Charlie. “He’ll be fine. You know how thick he is. How thick his head is. Besides, I can feel it in my waters. He’ll be fine.”

Still not understanding, Peter turned his head, looking for Jess, finding her. Someone who would give him a direct answer, no detours. “What happened?”

Slighted, Charlie and Nic left the explanation to their niece.

“Someone hit you with a giraffe.”

They despised him.

He was sure of it.

Peter closed his eyes.

Sleep.

Best thing to do under the circumstances.


The End.



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