Second Star To The Right – Chapter Nine – by Marblez

Content Rating:
  • R
Warning(s):
  • Abuse-Child
  • Abuse-Sexual
  • Discussion-Murder
  • Discussion-Sexual Abuse
  • Hate Crimes
  • Murder
  • Rape-Off Screen
  • Violence-Canon-Level
Genre(s):
  • Angst
  • Crime Drama
  • Episode Related
  • Slash
Relationship(s):
Endeavour Morse/Peter Jakes

Word Count:
3,242

Author's Note:
This story is set during Season 2, Episode 4 "Neverland" of Endeavour.

Summary:
An investigation into a runaway boy, a dead journalist and an escaped convict brings the past, a past he had struggled so long to bury, back to the surface for Detective Sergeant Peter Jakes...

A/N I have come to realise that I’ve skipped a murder. Whoops. It’s important for a little bit of this chapter. I’ll rewrite the last chapter to include it when I post this story to my ‘Archive Of Our Own’ account after the challenge has finished but for now all I can do is apologise to anyone actually reading this story and tell you that Wintergreen was found stabbed to death in his office and that Angela worked as his secretary as per the original episode. Marblez x

 

SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT
CHAPTER NINE

“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done – then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.” – France’s Hodgson Burnett

He hadn’t meant to come here.

Not again.

And yet, here he was stumbling along the pavement towards Doctor Fairbridge’s house.

What was he going to do?

He didn’t know.

All he knew was that as he’d fled the pub he had been overcome by an urge to confront him, the man that had turned him into such a pitiful creature. He hated Deare and the others for the things they had done to his body, he truly did, but his hatred for Fairbridge and what he had done to his very DNA was something different, something more violent.

He’d never forget what they’d done but he had learned to live with it.

To cope with the nightmares.

But his lack of control, the fact that he still couldn’t rely upon his abilities…

That was all down to the literal poison that Fairbridge had pumped into his veins.

So, here he was.

Again.

Not in a car this time.

No, this time he was standing on the front step working up the courage to knock.

“Come on, Peter, don’t be such a coward…”

He raised his hand, no longer fully on fire but still sparked wildly, but it was too late.

Before he could knock the door was pulled open from the inside to reveal…

“Angela.”

“…Little Pete?”

Her mouth dropped open in shock as she blinked up at him.

“Not so little now,” he managed to get out, only slurring a little which was quite remarkable given the alcohol still in his system. “I’m…I’m here to see your father…I want…I need to…I…”

Something flickered in her eyes.

It took him a moment to realise that it was fear.

“I need him to apologise for what he did to me when I was a boy,” he pressed on. “Please…”

“He’s dead.”

Her words, clipped and precise, stopped him cold.

“I killed him.”

“…what?”

“I killed him,” she repeated, her voice hollow. “Wintergreen, too.”

“Wintergreen…”

Peter still couldn’t believe that the man was dead, despite having seen his body, and now…

“They deserved it,” Angela continued, her voice hardening with anger. “For what they did. My father…did you know he told me it was all a dream? Something I’d made up as a child?”

She scoffed bitterly.

“What child would make up a story about their father selling their innocence to his friends?”

“Oh God…”

He should…

He should arrest her.

She’d just confessed to murder.

He had to…

“Come with me,” she interrupted his spiralling thoughts suddenly, gripping his upper arms in a surprisingly strong grip. “Help me finish this once and for all. I know where they are.”

“Landesman and Deare.”

She wanted to…

“Deare, he’s planning to frame the nice policeman who is looking into Georges murder.”

“What?”

Did she mean Thursday or Morse?

“My father told me,” she explained, oblivious to the fact that he was a policeman himself. He’d managed to avoid her at the crime scene, getting Morse to take her statement. “He’s set a trap so he can frame the nice one with the murder of his inspector and someone else.”

Morse.

Deare was going to frame Morse for…

“He’s going to kill both of them but we can stop him if we get there in time.”

“…get where?”

Even as he asked he realised that he already knew the answer.

“Blenheim Vale.”

Deare had lured Thursday there and Morse…Morse was heading there try and save him…

“….fuck…”

Releasing his arms she pulled the door shut behind her, hurrying down the steps, along the path that cut the front garden in half and out onto the pavement, forcing Peter to follow her or be left behind at the house. Once at the road she darted around a small red car, the keys jangling as she unlocked the drivers door, and then paused to look at him over the flat roof.

“Well? Are you coming?”

“…to do what?” he demanded. “Angela, what are you going to do?”

She fixed him with a terrifyingly cold look before reaching into her pocket and retrieving…

A gun.

She had a gun.

“Kill him first, of course.”

Even with the amount of alcohol he’d consumed he could recognise a psychotic break when he saw one and knew that he should stop her, she call for the police or an ambulance but…

Morse.

Morse was in danger.

And perhaps, if he was there, he could stop her.

He was a policeman, after all, and even if there was a small voice in the back of his mind telling him that they were getting everything they deserved it was still a criminal offence.

“I’m coming.”

“Thank you.”

Sliding into the drivers seat she reached across to unlock the passenger door, letting him into the car. It smelled very strongly of her perfume, he noticed, and a hint of cigarettes.

“…how could you work for him?” Peter found himself asking as she navigated the narrow roads as they crossed the city. “Wintergreen, I mean. If you remembered what he did…?”

“I didn’t remember until recently,” she answered softly. “I’ve had the same nightmare for years but didn’t realise that it was him until we were questioned about poor George. It…it triggered something new. I saw the man’s face in my nightmare that night and it was him.”

“And your father?”

“Remembering about Wintergreen was just the beginning,” she explained simply, turning onto the road which would eventually take them back to the place of their nightmares. “I can remember it all now. Everything they did to me. Everything they did to you poor boys.”

“I’m sorry.”

And he was.

If only she’d been allowed to properly escape, free of the things which had eventually brought it all back for her. Perhaps she would have been able to live a long, happy life.

“It hasn’t changed at all…”

Her words drew his gaze away from her and to the building they were now approaching.

She was right.

It hadn’t changed at all.

She pulled the car to a halt between the two police vehicles which were already abandoned in front of the buildings main entrance and just as she killed the engine a gunshot rang out.

“We’re too late.”

Peter was out of the car in an instant, scrambling across the gravel towards the doorway.

He heard a voice cry out in alarm from inside.

Morse.

That had been Morse.

Angela was by his side then, helping him to push open the stiff door.

“Uh-uh! Nothing you can do for him now.”

Deare.

It took all of his willpower not to throw up then and there.

“The early bird, I’m afraid.”

“Sir!” Morse’s panicked voice echoed around them as they made their way through the building, following the voices to what had once been the main offices. “Sir! You bastard!”

Peter had never heard Morse swear before.

“You bastard!

“Names? Really,” Deare sneered from inside the room just as Peter put his arms out and pulled Angela to a halt, stopping her from just bursting in. Morse sounded angry but unhurt. That meant Deare had shot Thursday. “No bon mots? No apposite Augustan valedictory?”

He couldn’t risk Deare shooting Morse by accident should they startle him.

“Let me kill him!” Angela hissed in his ear. “Peter!”

“Wait!” he hissed back, moving to the right as he tried to see into the room without being seen. He could just about see Deare’s shadow… “You can’t kill him if you can’t see him.”

But…he was there to stop her from killing him…wasn’t he?

“I expected better from a Greats man,” Deare sneered. “Oxford material? Nah. Just a boy from the sticks with a chip on his shoulder and a library card. Where be your jibes now?”

“You’re mad,” Morse gasped. “You can’t seriously think you’ll get away with this.”

“Actually I think they’ll pin another medal on my chest.”

Deare sounded so confident in himself.

“History’s written by the victor. Bad apples? That’s you two, I’m afraid.”

His shadow moved.

He moved.

“In my version of events, at least.”

And there he was, dressed in an evening suit with his medals proudly on display.

Angela hissed sharply.

“And since that’s all they’ll have, it’s rather all that counts.”

A groan sounded.

Thursday.

He was still alive.

“You see, when Chard told me you’d got away, I had to improvise,” Deare explained, his words sending a lump of what felt like lead into Peters churning stomach. Chard was dirty, was in league with Deare. “Right now, every copper in the county is out looking for you.”

Angela brought her gun, a Webley revolver Peter noted, up ready to fire.

“Pity you won’t be around to appreciate my solution.”

He should stop her.

He should.

But then Deare raised his own gun and aimed it towards Morse…

“There, I’m afraid endeth the lesson.”

A gunshot rang out for the second time and for a long moment Peter was afraid that Angela hadn’t been the one to fire, the Morse had been hit…but it was Deare’s body that crumpled.

“Angela…”

He’d just let her murder someone.

And not just anyone, his former abuser.

No court would let him off without an accessory to murder charge once they heard his story.

A siren, distant still, made itself known.

Reinforcements were coming.

Peter heard Morse scramble across the room.

“Stay with me, sir,” he pleaded worriedly as Peter and Angela entered the room, the poor murderess moving to stand over the body of her third victim. “Stay with me, sir. Sir? Sir?”

Peter, however, approached his colleague,

“Morse?”

“…Peter?”

He wasn’t surprised to see the confusion in other man’s eyes.

He’d said he wouldn’t come, after all.

“I…is he…?”

“He’s still alive,” Morse announced, pressing down on Thursday wound. “Sir. Stay with me.”

The sirens, for there was definitely more than one, grew louder.

Angela let out a sharp whimper.

“I haven’t finished…”

“Angela?”

Leaving Morse to care for Thursday, who was groaning weakly, Peter returned to her side.

“It’s gonna be all right, sir,” Morse pleaded loudly. “Stay with me, sir! Stay with me!”

“It wasn’t dreams,” Angela repeated her earlier statement, turning to gaze imploringly at Peter. “It was memories. My own father. I have to…I have to stop them but I can’t…I…”

She was devolving.

Her hand, the one holding the gun, trembled.

“You’ll have to do it, Little Pete…”

The gun was brought up to press the muzzle under her chin.

Peter jumped, imploring with her,

“Angela, put the gun down.”

“No more dreams.”

She whimpered, tears falling down her cheeks as she gazed at Peter,

“My poor lost boys…”

Her finger began to squeeze on the trigger…

“No!” Morse cried out helplessly as he realised what was happening. “No!”

“Angela!”

Reacting on instinct Peter reached out, wrestling the gun out from under her chin.

A third gunshot sounded.

Pain.

“Ow!” he hissed, his right arm becoming heavy at his side as blood blossomed just above the elbow, so much blood that it quickly began to drip from the tips of his fingers. “Fuck!”

“Peter?!” Morse called out, his voice surprisingly shrill. “You’ve been hit!”

“My arm,” Peter reassured him whilst pulling the gun out of Angela’s now lax hand, placing it on the ground and kicking it towards Morse. “It’s just my arm. Worry about Thursday.”

Amazingly it seemed that getting shot was an instant cure for his lingering drunkenness.

He was completely sober as he met Angela’s betrayed gaze.

“Why did you do that?” she demanded, pushing at his chest. “Why did you stop me?”

Allowing himself to be ruled by instincts once more he wrapped his arms around her, pulling Angela into a tight hug even as she continued to push and eventually strike out at his chest.

“You know…you know what they did!”

“I do.”

“Then why?”

“Because they don’t deserve to take your life too,” he answered her simply, wincing every time his bad arm was jostled in this new position. “They’ve already taken Big Pete. George.”

“I…”

“No more.”

And this was how Bright, Strange and the other officers they’d brought with them found the four of them; Morse cradling Thursday while Peter rocked a sobbing Angela back and forth.

“Jakes?” Bright called out, surprised to see him there. “What’s going on here?”

Peter met the Superintendents worried gaze.

“It’s a long story, sir,” he responded softly. “Might want to see to DI Thursday first.”

It was a mad rush of people after that, during which Angela refused to let go of him.

“Now, Sergeant,” Bright turned to him as the ambulance men began seeing to Thursday, dressing his wound and preparing to get him onto the stretcher they’d brought. “Explain.”

And so, haltingly, Peter told the Superintendent everything.

Everything about Blenhein Vale.

Everything about Deare.

About Wintergreen and Landesman.

About George and Doctor Fairbridge’s.

And, reluctantly, everything about Angela.

To say that Bright, and the others, were stunned was an understatement.

“She…?”

“She’s not well, sir, and I’ll take full responsibility for not stopping her from killing Deare.”

“Sounds to me like the bastard deserved it.”

“Sir?”

“Leave everything with me now, Sergeant.”

Peter couldn’t believe it.

Bright…

Bright understood.

Bright agreed with him.

“Yes, sir.”

They all followed the ambulance men out of the room when they carried Thursday out, Peter wrapping his good arm around Angela’s waist as he all but had to lead her outside.

Once there he passed her over to one of the younger policemen, ordering him to stay with her and to keep an eye on her, implying without actually saying it that she was dangerous and vulnerable. He then returned to where Bright and Morse were stood by the ambulance.

Strangers booming voice interrupted the organised chaos,

“Come on, Tommy.”

A feeling of relief coursed through Peter as the Constable emerged with the missing boy.

“We, uh, found the boy in one of the top rooms, sir,” the gentle giant reported to Bright when he caught sit of the much smaller man. “He’s got no recollection how he got here.”

Bright nodded thoughtfully before announcing,

“Let’s get this young man back to his mother.”

“Sir,” Strange nodded. “Come on, Tommy, let’s go. We’ll make sure you’re looked after.”

The doors of the ambulance were slammed shut once Thursday had been secured inside.

A moment later the familiar siren began to wail as the ambulance departed for the hospital.

Bright, in a rare moment of kindness towards his juniors, turned to reassure them,

“He’s in the best of care.”

Then they were left alone as he headed inside to supervise the crime scene.

“You should probably get your arm seen to.”

“I will do. I just…”

Peter was cut off by the arrival of three police officers who he thought were from County,

“DC Morse?”

“Yes.”

“My name is Detective Inspector Gregson of Kidlington CID,” the lead officer introduced himself coldly to the young man before him. Peter frowned, not liking the tone of voice at all. “Endeavour Morse, I am arresting you for the murder of Chief Constable Rupert…”

“What?” he gasped loudly. “You’re…”

Morse was equally stunned,

“You’re arresting me?”

The other two officer moved forwards to grab hold of his arms.

“You do not have to say…”

“You’re…” Morse cried out, obviously panicking. “You’ve made a mistake!”

“…can be used in evidence.”

“Get your hands off me! You’ve made a mistake! Get your hands off of me!”

Peter moved, planting himself between the officer and their car.

They froze.

“You are making a grave mistake, Detective Inspector Gregson.”

Heat spread all over his skin.

He’d been amazed earlier by the fact that not a single spark had appeared when they’d been witnessing Deare’s filthy confession or when he’d been facing down poor Angela.

He didn’t try to hold them back now.

Anything to get them to listen to him, he reasoned.

“ACC Deare murdered Chief Constable Standish in an effort to frame Morse for a crime he didn’t commit, this stopping him from exposing the fact that Deare and several others were corrupt,” he announced as clearly as he could, his words drawing almost as much attention as the flames did, the dancing tendrils of fire covering his entire body. Even his eyes glowed.

“I witnessed his confession myself, alongside Morse and one other. That’s two independent statements to vouch for the fact that Morse is being framed so you will release him. Now.”

“Jakes?”

Thankfully someone, probably panicking, had hurried inside to bring Bright out.

“Jakes, what is going on here?”

“Sir, these officers are attempting to arrest Constable Morse for a crime that ACC Deare confessed to before he was murdered,” he explained as clearly as he could, still on fire. “I witnessed the confession myself and will testify in court should that become necessary.”

Even if testifying meant the end of his career.

Saving Morse from a wrongful prison sentence was more important than his future.

“Well, you heard my sergeant,” Bright announced calmly. “Release my man. Immediately.”

Gregson obviously didn’t want to but faced with a superior officer he had no choice.

“Yes, sir.”

Morse was released and the three officer slunk off with their tails between their legs.

For once, for the first time in his life, in fact, Peter was able to get the flames under control with a simple thought, watching as they shrunk and eventually disappeared altogether. His clothes were, unfortunately, completely ruined and were literally nothing but charred rags.

Morse gazed at him with those big blue eyes of his,

“Thank you, Peter.”

Peter found himself responding simply,

“I didn’t do anything but tell the truth.”

“You came,” Morse responded, equally as simply as he reached out to rest his hand on Peters good arm. “I know what that must have taken. And now you stopped them from…”

He sighed, his eyes getting noticeably damp.

“Just…thank you.”

What else could Peter say but,

“You’re welcome.”

“Jakes?” Bright interrupted them suddenly, concerned. “You appear to be bleeding.”

Peter glanced down.

The entire sleeve of his shirt, jacket and coat had burned away to reveal the grisly wound.

“Just a flesh wound, sir,” he explained, using his other hand to test the skin around the entry wound. He could reach the exit wound just then. “DI Thursday was the priority. I can wait.”

“And wait you have. Now, Morse, get this man to the hospital and then stay with him,” their commanding officer ordered sharply. “I shall join you once I can to take your statements.”

“Yes, Sir.”

~ * ~

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