"Everyday wombles." With those words, Malcolm checked out of the conversation. This was his life now. No power, no policies, just endless fucking rounds of the same fourth sector bollocks he had pissed on in office. But that was the whole point in a nutshell, wasn't it? They weren't in power. He was fucking no one again, back to the inadequacy of Opposition. No hope for redemption. Not that he had had any chance for that, not anymore. He got into bed with the Nutters, just for that chance to keep power. Jamie had been right; all their ideas, their grand vision - sacrificing it wasn't worth keeping power. But he'd gambled, and he'd lost. Which was worse, though? Losing power or losing Jamie? As if that was even a fucking question. Tired of mulling over the same fuck ups, he slid his BlackBerry off the table, frowning once again at the empty screen. To the untrained observer, this phone appeared to be the same BlackBerry he singlehandedly ran the entire party from, capable of multi-purpose bollockings while catching up on emails. No. That remained safely in his pocket, vibrating every now and then with the incoming news of inevitable catastrofucks he'd lose the remaining brown hairs on his head to. This particular BlackBerry was all that remained of his private life; his one connection to the life he had let pass before him. Gone !Ike Fatty fleeing an all you can eat salad competition.
"Sorry" Malcolm heard himself say as he rose to his feet. "I've got to take this." Inwardly, he laughed. Take what? The same no call he hadn't been taking for the past however-the-fuck long? The same no call that would never come? He scrubbed a hand over his face. Fuck, he was knackered. How could anyone be expected to sleep though, when the other side of the bed remained so stubbornly empty? He'd fucked up good and fucking proper going Nutter, but it wasn't even that, not really, that fucked him over. It wasn't how much he'd changed, or how fucking tedious the job got sometimes, nor how fucking futile their lives seemed. It was, quite simply, because he was inadequate. Too scared about his reputation to come out of the closet, too afraid of being caught to commit himself. By the time he'd realised, well, Jamie had been packing up - called home by a family emergency. Ten weeks he'd promised, just enough to help his sister with her new bairn, but he'd never come back. Malcolm never thought he'd think it, but he missed the wee fucker. And it wasn't just the orgasms he missed. Jamie kept him in line, kept him sane. Without him, Malcolm was stuck with unctuous little cunts like Ollie fucking Reeder. That obsequious little shit would throw his own mother under the bus if he thought it'd help his career any. But, it was all he had, and Malcolm had long been a master of making do. He was under no illusions that his career was safe, but what could he fucking do?
Ollie made one of his typically incompetent suggestions (what was fucking new?), Malcolm's stopping feigning immersion in his non-existant phone call to reluctantly return to duty. "That sounds like a racist tribute band." Nicola began to blather on, more of the same shite they'd been hearing all fucking meeting. Malcolm felt his will to live slowly slipping away. This was what he'd fought for, sweated blood and spinal fluid for? A party led by a woman who devoted an entire meeting to classifying something that didn't need classifying. All those years of verbal castration and near mental fucking breakdowns for this? It wasn't fucking worth it. It was all he had.
"Quiet...batpeople." Those words out of Nicola's mouth froze something within Malcolm. In his life he had heard so much bollocks, but that? That took the fucking pissy biscuit. Once upon a time, that would have been enough for him to launch into a spectacular Tuckering. He just couldn't bring himself to care. What was the fucking point? They weren't in power. So what if his leader sounded like she was trying to commit career suicide? There'd be another incompetent idiot ready to step in, and the cycle would begin again. More piss to mop up, more ineptitude to wade through. It never fucking ended, so there was no point in caring. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately (depending on your point of view), God decided this might as well be a good time to intercede.
Glass had shattered just before Malcolm had first laid eyes on Jamie MacDonald, and glass shattered again. The panes of the fancy fucking glass doors were no match for the deadly combination of Motherwellian fury and a fortuitously placed bookend. There, standing proudly amidst the shattered dust was rage personified. A particularly dangerous combination. Diminutive yet fucking handsome, uneducated yet fucking smart, fucking hilarious, and fucking miles away. Jamie looked good. He looked really good, like a fucking four course meal placed in front of a bloke who'd just trekked his way through the fucking desert. The only explanation Malcolm could come up with was that he had finally cracked. The lunacy he was forced to deal with had finally driven him to hallucinations. But, hallucinations didn't make Ollie look like he'd just shat himself. Jamie's body was coiled with tension, ready to go off on the nearest fax machine with unholy vengeance as if he had never been away. Malcolm couldn't believe his eyes. What the fuck was the psycho doing here? And how much had he fucking heard? The answer to one of his questions at least became immediately apparent.
"Quiet Batpeople?" The phrase sounded ten times as utterly fucking ludicrous in that fucking gorgeous, fucking disbelieving accent. "Are you fucking kidding me?" The rant Jamie proceeded to deliver had all the flair and inventiveness that had characterised some of Malcolm's most epic Tuckerings. He just watched, stunned, as Jamie picked up where he'd left off, as if he'd never left, as if he'd just stepped in to do what Malcolm couldn't be bothered doing. It was incomprehensible. Mere seconds after Jamie ended with the succinct "get the fuck out of my sight", the psycho turned his attention to where it belonged: Malcolm.
Bright, brilliant blue eyes traced Malcolm up and down, a slow grin appearing on his face. "Alright, fuckface?"
"What the fuck are you doing here?!" Malcolm yelled, or he tried to. He sounded like a shadow of his usual self. Then again, he was, wasn't he? From Cabinet to Shadow Cabinet - oh the irony.
"Working" Jamie replied, his eyes shining with that same righteous assurance that he could do what he liked and God would meter out the consequences. "Clearly one of us has tae."
"Have I stumbled into the fucking Twilight Zone?" Malcolm demanded, ignoring everyone else in favour of gaping at the psycho in front of him.
"Don't be so fucking soft" Jamie dismissed, grinning with that feral edge. "I told ye I'd be back."
"Aye" Malcolm agreed bitterly. He wasn't sure if he wanted to punch him or shag him - either was looking pretty good. "Three fucking years ago. What the fuck time d'you call this?" Jamie, the diminutive nutjob, smiled. It wasn't his 'I'm about to rip someone's balls off' smile, it was nice. He looked almost happy. If the others hadn't fled the room by then, they did so now, running from the terror of Jamie MacDonald smiling.
"What time do I call this, Malc?" Jamie asked, voice dropping to that tone it only ever had around him. "Time ye stopped being a fucking idiot." The wee psycho took that final step into his personal space. Malcolm's nose filled with the familiar scent of cheap aftershave, cigarette smoke and rage. Up this close, Malcolm could see the lines Jamie had no business getting, the streaks of grey in his hair; signs of the time he'd wasted, the time he'd missed. Jamie searched his eyes for something, Malcolm had no fucking clue what, but he smiled again, more assured, more affectionate. "Ye know what, darlin? It's time ye married me."