I just want this to be a still from an as yet unmade Series 5 where Malcolm gets out of prison and Jamie’s now beautifully dressed in a vast Victorian winter wasteland of a desk, in an office which is either a private wealth management or the largest spying and killing organisation in Europe and Malcolm doesn’t know which, but what actually hurts more than seeing Jamie dressed /like that/ after five million years (when even just seeing him means Malcolm wants to be, gladly, on his knees) is that Jamie’s clearly found his métier, when he didn’t have Malcolm to show him the way.
(And possibly Mycroft Holmes is watching from the shadows)
I just knew you’d make this picture more awesome, God fuckin bless you.
You are awesome.
I should clarify that although Mycroft Holmes may be watching from the shadows, Steven Moffat isn’t anywhere near the script.
Oh no, of course not.
This is a Mycroft who doesn’t bumble about rescuing his baby brother constantly, he has much more inteeresting things to be doing.
This is a Mycroft Holmes who watches and waits, who knows talent when he sees it. And while he’s very sure Jamie MacDonald has many, many talents, the first time he hears Jamie stumble, a little breathlessly, over Malcolm Tucker’s name, he knows he’ll only be sampling the considerable political prowess of Mr MacDonald.
(Because everyone fancies Jamie a little bit)
Malcolm doesn’t fully understand why his appeal succeeded, even when he’s met Mycroft. It’s too motiveless.
Until he watches him watching Jamie.
blame placetnemagistra for this ridiculousness.
After he’s released, Malcolm’s in limbo for several days. Jamie assures him, with a quick smile which is disturbingly professional and nothing like the half mad leers Malcolm’s used to, that things are being ‘sorted’.
He finds himself kicking about Jamie’s office, wondering what exactly it is Jamie does now (and was he speaking Mandarin in hushed and hurried tones on the phone earlier? ). On the whole he feels like a spare part. At least prison had a routine.
Of course, prison didn’t have Jamie, who doesn’t seem to slouch any more and wears tailored suits and moisturises. But he’s still Jamie, even if he’s a polished and manicured Jamie who understands the concept of an inside voice nowadays.
One afternoon, when Malcolm is at one of his constant loose ends and Jamie is working through lunch (“We’ll grab an early dinner, yeah?” was not a phrase that Malcolm had ever thought he’d hear Jamie say and yet) Mycroft Holmes appears.
That’s literally what he seems to do, and fair enough, Malcolm had his fair share of apparent omniscience in his day, but that’s because no one noticed him running or taking a few seconds to catch his breath. Holmes’ appearance is… well it’s eerie. One moment Malcolm is alone, with his Michael Faber novel and a cup of coffee, sinking slowly into one of the plush sofas Jamie’s had installed, the next second Holmes is sitting across from him. He hadn’t even heard a door open.
"Good afternoon, Mr Tucker." Mycroft Holmes says, giving him a slight smile which would look at home on a viper.
"Good afternoon." Malcolm replies with a nod, and he can’t add ‘Mr Holmes’ on the end to that it’s too… mid 70s crap Bond film for words. Like they’re going to have a duel with the decorative rapiers Jamie has inexplicably mounted on the wall in his vast panelled office.
"Enjoying being a free man?" Holmes inquires.
Malcolm can’t quite keep his eyes from seeking out Jamie on the other side of the room. Jamie’s perched on his desk, talking on the phone (as usual) and something about his stance, the way he has his legs crossed at the ankle and his hip slightly cocked, causes a wave of nostalgia so strong Malcolm has to swallow a lump before replying.
"Oh, aye." Something about exceptionally posh English people makes Malcolm become more Scottish, like a nervous tic. "Nothing like it."
Holmes treats him to another of his tight, serpentine smiles.
And then Mycroft looks over to Jamie. Jamie notices, nods, gives a jerky little hand gesture that’s probably a wave. Mycroft’s smile is something altogether different.
And a horrible wave of dread washes over Malcolm. Because back in the good old days Jamie didn’t know how to dress himself or compose himself or cut his hair and now Jamie is the confident- untouchable- stranger with his friend’s face who colour co-ordinates his ties and smiles at him so sadly.
Then there is Mycroft Holmes. A man who probably had to make a maximum of three phonecalls to get Malcolm out of prison. A man who probably owns half of Holland Park whilst Malcolm kips in Jamie’s weirdly sterile spare room. A man who exudes power and God knows that Jamie- well, Jamie craves a leader.
Back in the good (bad? ugly?) old days, Malcolm’d despatch any threat to him-and-Jamie with a nasty look and that’d be enough. But now- Jamie’s barely touched him since he arrived at his front door with his suitcase and a hypo-allergenic duvet. Apart from an initial warm hug, a few lingering shoulder pats and one, unspeakably bizarre forehead kiss (which didn’t even count as Jamie probably thought he was asleep, he had been drifting on the settee in front of The World at War)
Fucking hell. He’s Jamie’s maiden aunt, he’s a fucking albatross, he’s - not going to throw up on Mycroft Holmes’ tailor made brogues.
He doesn’t know what has been happening on his face for the last few seconds, but Malcolm can see that Holmes looks almost amused in the face of Malcolm’s panic.
"Ah yes, Jamie MacDonald." Holmes says, and Malcolm imagines punching him, sinking his fist hard and fast into Holmes’ stomach.
"He was quite the acquisition, such a hard worker. And so… ornamental." Holmes rolls the word around his mouth, his privileged accent dripping like honey.
Teeth, Malcolm thinks. teeth are surprisingly difficult to knock out, don’t bother with punching the jaw, they’re too solid, you’ll only hurt yourself. Go for the eyes first, always.
"But he drove a hard bargain, you know. Wasn’t easy to get him on board."
Break that little finger, the one with the signet ring. Easy to do, the ring does half the work for you, just don’t, don’t think about Jamie and this plummy, powerful bastard, you have no rights, no claims here-
Suddenly Holmes leans back, his whole demeanour changed. He’s gone from insinuating to exasperated in a simple change of posture. He rolls his eyes.
"Come now, Mr Tucker, I rather thought you were cleverer than that."
Malcolm narrows his eyes because, yes, he used to be cleverer than that. He used to be the fucking Pharoh, but no one’s laid claim to that title for thousands of years have they?
Holmes is standing up now, and Malcolm feels more bewildered and angrier than ever.
"At least, Mr Tucker, you might reflect on the difference between ‘ornamental’ and ‘fundamental’." Holmes smiles at him then, less viper and certainly not lustful but almost… encouraging?
So on top of everything else Malcolm now feels patronised. But Holmes is already leaving, another quick nod to Jamie, who waves again, like he’s used to Mycroft Holmes flitting in and out of his office for no apparent reason.
And Malcolm isn’t stupid, because of course Malcolm was the hard bargain Jamie’d driven. But that wasn’t- it isn’t. They demonstrably aren’t.
Then Malcolm’s suddenly thinking about the hug Jamie had given him, and the lingering shoulder pats Jamie bestows and that forehead kiss, which Malcolm’d barely been awake for and-oh.
Fucking hell. He’s only been treated like a maiden aunt because he’s acting like one.
When Jamie eventually hangs up Malcolm’s a jumble of tangled nerves and doubt but he’d also determined. So his hand might be shaking a bit when he cups Jamie’s cheek and he might be breathing a little hard as he leans in and if Jamie pulls away it might be like being handed a much longer sentence in a different kind of prison but-
Jamie doesn’t pull away and a few files get knocked off his desk and Malcolm knows he’s all teeth and that he should be softer but this- this is-
It’s the difference between ornamental and fundamental, especially when he finds himself looking into Jamie’s eyes. Jamie’s eyes, which are glowing bright like beacons as his hands anchor themselves on Malcolm’s hips.
"Nice to have you back." Jamie mumbles between kisses with a little less bite.
"Fuck off." Malcolm replies, whilst everything else about him says Don’t. Not ever.