the livejournal of cmshaw - for laurakaye
a short story with no computers in it at all.
Mark couldn't remember if he'd ever been in a consulate before this. Before, he'd had people who took care of the sorts of things citizens needed from their consulates. Now, however, he had no people, neither in the professional nor in the personal sense, which was why he had had to go abroad to find someone to talk to. He hoped Ben would understand that he was just here to talk, that he didn't need any help -- not even the nominal help any Canadian might need abroad with getting a passport stamped or...something. Any one of those things which might go wrong, when you didn't have people. Mark sighed and opened the door.
Inside the building it was cool and quiet, which made Mark stand up straighter and put his shoulders back. No American slumping in here, he thought, and smiled widely at the young man at the front desk.
The young man smiled back just as widely, stood up, and said, "Mr Smithbauer! Welcome to the Canadian Consulate. How may we be of assistance today?"
Mark tried not to wince over being recognized; after all, a Mountie was hardly likely to spit on him in the middle of the Consular lobby. He smiled a little more tentatively at the young man, who continued to beam at him. Maybe this guy was Ben's friend or something. "I stopped by to say hello to a friend, actually. Ben Fraser -- he does still work here, doesn't he?"
"Ah, Constable Fraser. He is indeed posted here! However, I'm afraid that he is presently assisting the Chicago Police Department on a matter of some urgency and is not on the premises." The young man looked like he desperately wanted to be more helpful than that.
"Damn," Mark said. "Do you know when he'll be in?"
"I'm afraid that I'm not privy to that information," the young man said sadly. "I could, however, take a private message which would be passed directly to him when he returns. You are also quite welcome to wait here, Mr Smithbauer. I assure you that the parlor is quite comfortable."
Mark frowned and thought about it. He hadn't really planned on wandering around Chicago on his own. Aside from the fact that the last time he'd been here several people had tried to kill him, it just didn't look like an exciting city. It was already mid-afternoon, so surely Ben would be back soon -- he couldn't imagine American police working late. "I think I'll wait," he said.
"Excellent!" the young man said, and he nodded smartly before leading the way down the hallway and into a side room. There were two sofas and a number of chairs, but he was the only person there at the moment. There were flag paintings on the pastel walls and the furniture was dark wood; it could have been any comfortable waiting room anywhere in Toronto or Ottawa. It wasn't Inuvik's cheerful shabbiness, but it wasn't aggressive American plastics, either.
He turned to find the young man holding out his hand to shake. "Constable Renfield Turnbull at your service, Mr Smithbauer, sir," he said. Mark took his hand automatically and felt his face fall into his old Of-course-I'm-sincere smile. It wasn't a pleasant feeling, and Mark took a breath before forcing himself to look directly into the young man's eyes and offer a genuine smile. He had to look rather farther up than he expected; Renfield was tall even for a Mountie and earnestly handsome in his formal red serge, which made him look younger than close inspection revealed. The tips of Renfield's ears were also turning red, which made Mark realize that he'd been clasping hands for longer than was strictly expected. He wasn't a sports star any longer -- he couldn't expect to fondle young men and leave them flattered, although this one seemed flattered enough. He let go of Renfield's hand wondering if he was about to be asked for his autograph.
"Mr Smithbauer," Renfield said hesitantly, "would you care for some tea?"
Mark sighed in relief. "Certainly, Renfield," he said, "but only if you'll call me Mark."
Mark would swear that Renfield bounced on his toes in pleasure. "Of course! So, Mark...do you follow curling?"
"Yes, but then they brought out the salmon and Ishinabe said -- oh, pardon me," Renfield said as the telephone rang, and Mark leaned back in the chair he'd dragged out of the parlor. Renfield began to rattle off the same polite spiel that he'd used for every telephone call that afternoon, but was apparently interrupted.
"Good afternoon, Canadian Consulate, Constable Turnbull --
"Constable Fraser! There is someone here --
"No, the Inspector has already left --
"I will, but I suspect that --
"Of course. And good luck in your --" Renfield blinked once at the dial tone coming from telephone receiver in his hand, then set it down. He turned to Mark and said, "Although he was cut off at the end, I believe Constable Fraser has been unavoidably detained. It seems that he's been asked to assist the Police Department directly. I believe the paperwork for that is..." he shuffled efficiently through one of the drawers in his desk, "right here. And so, if you'll pardon me for just a moment longer."
Mark watched as Renfield quickly and neatly penned in the form in front of him, entering what appeared to be a long string of serial numbers from memory, stapled another form to the bottom of that form, and signed it with a flourish.
"There," he said with some satisfaction. "Oh!" He turned to Mark. "I'm afraid Constable Fraser won't be in today. I'm so dreadfully sorry for wasting your afternoon."
Mark shook his head. "My afternoon wasn't wasted," he said, and in fact he'd been completely relaxed for the first time in months. Hanging out with this young Mountie had been the best afternoon he could remember since...well, it had been a long time. Renfield hadn't mentioned hockey once in an hours-long conversation, which took a certain amount of skill and tact.
Renfield shook his head. "It's already after six," he said. "Really, you shouldn't have listened to me blathering on for so long. I should close up the Consulate."
Mark put his hand on Renfield's shoulder to prevent him from standing up. "Renfield," he said, "would you like to have dinner with me?" He smiled and, to give Renfield a moment to think about it, continued, "I don't like dining out alone in strange cities, and I'm certain you know all of the nicer restaurants in this area. Besides, I'd like to continue our conversation."
"Well!" Renfield said, and shuffled his papers nervously. "Well! Like a -- well. Yes. If -- if you like seafood, there is a place down by the lake -- Michigan, that is -- which is quite nice."
"That sounds wonderful," Mark said. Renfield smiled. Mark patted his shoulder and leaned back again. "Let's get out of here, then," he said. Renfield smiled. "Renfield? You need to close up the Consulate, right?"
Renfield nodded sharply. "Right. Yes. I do indeed. And I have the keys, and I'll just -- I'll check the doors and be -- wait here?"
Mark stood up and leaned against Renfield's desk. He grinned. "I'll be waiting right here," he said.
The first thing Mark saw when he opened the door to the Consulate was Ben's dog, which leaped up and licked his face. "Hey, hey!" he said. "Get down, you." He had the luxury of forgetting names now -- the dog was Campbell or Chrétien or something -- but he couldn't forget the fact of a half-wolf working for the RCMP. Slightly disappointed, he looked around for Ben, but the only person in the lobby was Renfield, who was behind his desk already. The dog finally calmed down enough for Mark to walk around him. "Good morning," he said to Renfield, determined to stay and talk for at least a little while before going to find Ben.
Renfield looked like you couldn't beat the smile off his face with a stick. "Good morning, Mark!" he said. "I'm afraid Constable Fraser will not be in today either. It seems that he's become enmeshed in a delicate undercover operation with the Chicago Police Department and cannot get away."
Mark shrugged and leaned against the wall next to Renfield's desk. "I'll be in Chicago for a while, I expect," he said. "I don't want to interfere with his job. How about I hang around and bother you today instead?"
"Oh, that would be no bother at all," Renfield said happily. "Inspector Thatcher will be attending a conclave at the French Consulate this afternoon, so my duties will be very light. Really, with Constable Fraser working off-site as our primary liaison officer and Inspector Thatcher so often called away for diplomatic events, I have only a small list of daily obligations and am free to set my other duties as I see the need."
"So you watch the Consulate on your own? Sounds pretty important," Mark said.
Renfield shrugged modestly, but he looked pleased. "Would you care to sit out here with me while I complete the morning's paperwork?"
"Sure," Mark said. "Actually, I'll just lean, I think."
"Really, a chair is no trouble at all," Renfield said, hands on his desktop as if he were about to leap up and fetch one.
Mark winked at him and shifted his hips, imagining that he could still feel Renfield between his legs driving deep and hard into him. From the way Renfield's ears turned red, it seemed that Renfield knew just where his thoughts were going. "Really," Mark said, unsurprised to find his voice low and husky, "I'll stand."
"Oh!" Renfield said, and looked torn between laughter, concern, and smugness. "Are you -- well, feeling -- well --"
Mark laughed. "I feel wonderful, Renfield," he said.
Renfield blushed. "As do I!" he blurted.
Mark glanced around the empty room, leaned forward, and kissed Renfield firmly.
Dazed, Renfield blinked at him a few times when he leaned back against the wall. "Welcome to Canada," he said with a smile.
"It's good to be home," Mark said.
Music: mylene farmer, mefie-toi
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|Date:||August 21st, 2002 3:30 pm (UTC)|| |
That- you- OH!
Oh, I LOVE it I LOVE it I LOVE it I LOVE it!!!!!!!!!
THANK YOU! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!
You are the BESTEST! I HEART you!
Happy happy TURNBULL! He makes me happy! Lovelove!
Wonderful story. I am predisposed to like any Turnbull story, but the truth is I was grabbed right from the start before I even knew he was going to be in it ^_^
The build-up between Smithbauer and Turnbull was just excellent. Just what I needed to cheer me up after a dreary day.
Both of the jump-cuts worked very well, and I am especially glad of the last one. Having the date and the sex in the story would have completely skewed the focus from the more important feeling of connection.
Sometimes the easy acceptance of a stranger, who has no particular expectations or prejudices about you can be so much more healing and meaningful than the company of a trusted friend.
The fact that Smithbauer couldn't expect even a stranger to be prejudice free when it came to him makes it even powerful.
And if that is not what you intended with the story, just know that that connection is what I needed tonight as I read this, and having Smithbauer find it has made me feel a lot better. ^_~
|Date:||August 21st, 2002 3:40 pm (UTC)|| |
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<font=-2>And you can quit pimpin' Turnbull. (ggg)</i>
And a *good* Turnbull, weirdness intact. :D
Mmmmmmm. More Smithbauer. Lanky men in the official waiting room drinking tea. Mmmmmmm.
|Date:||August 22nd, 2002 10:16 pm (UTC)|| |
Oh lovely!! There's never enough Turnbull fic in the world.
I was reading along, minding my own business, and then I hit that line (*that* line) and I loved it and gasped so hard I nearly cracked a rib.
Thank you. I think I'd forgotten how much fun happyfic could be.`
I hadn't read this one--thank goodness for dsflashback!
Turnbull is so cute; I hadn't read a Turnbull/Smithbauer yet, but it does work.
I'm waaaaaay late to this party (uh, 3 years?), but this was a great fic. I heart Turnbull so very much, and this was completely adorable. Thank you!
Wow, this is so great! I adore your Turnbull. Yay! :)
I realise this is a very late comment. But this fic has made my day ♥
|Date:||June 30th, 2007 6:06 pm (UTC)|| |
oh, thank you so much!
This makes me very happy. *g*
|Date:||November 14th, 2007 1:03 am (UTC)|| |
thank you kindly!
This breaks my head mildly, and that means you win. I don't even *like* Smithbauer.
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