Title: Liam Grant Killed the Radio Show
Fandom: The Wendell Morris Advantage
Characters/Pairing: Liam Grant and Russell Vance
Prompt: You Sexy Man
“Hurry, he went that way!” the young officer called, and his large shoes slapped the pavement as he ran after the criminal. The older detective panted and wheezed as he struggled to keep up with his more agile companion.
“You… g’on and get ‘im, Smith…. I’ll… call for help.”
“Useless,” Vance said with a shake of his head. He took a slow drag on his cigarette as the show continued. It was a bit chilly in the apartment, but still warmer than outside where snow was impeding anxious Christmas shoppers. Warm enough, at least, for him to be dressed in his smoking uniform.
“Lost ‘im,” Smith said. “He must have gone into the old house.” The door creaked as he pushed it open.
Grant opened the bedroom door and stepped out into the living room. He grinned crookedly as he caught sight of Vance seated on the couch in nothing but his underwear.
“When’d you get back in, Russ?” he asked as he approached the couch. Vance brought a finger to his lips. Grant rolled his eyes and took a seat next to him.
The floor creaked as Smith made his slow way around the ground floor.
“It’s so dark in here… I can’t see a thing! I’m never gonna find this guy.”
Grant leaned in and planted a kiss on Vance’s jaw. Vance tilted his head away.
“Not now,” he said.
“Come on,” Grant pleaded, before going for Vance’s neck. Vance shivered.
“I’m trying to listen to the show.”
“You can still listen,” Grant pointed out running a hand down Vance’s bare chest. He sucked lightly on Vance’s collarbone.
“But I can’t pay attention.”
Smith’s breath hitched in his throat at the click of a revolver.
“End of the line, copper,” the killer said. “Put yer hands up where I can sees ‘em.”
Grant slid his hand down to Vance’s crotch and slowly began massaging the area. Vance jerked reflexively into the touch and let out a low moan.
“Russell,” Grant breathed into his ear.
Vance’s cigarette was about to get very dangerous very soon and so without making Grant move his hand he bent forward to put it out in the ashtray on the coffee table. Grant grinned at this, knowing he had won. He pushed Vance back against the couch and straddled him before attacking Vance’s mouth with his own.
Grant huffed into Vance’s neck, sweaty, exhausted, and perfectly content. He ran a hand lazily up and down Vance’s side as they lay across the couch, a jewelry commercial pouring out of the radio. Beneath Grant, Vance shifted slightly.
“Did… they… catch him?” he panted.
“The… killer. Did Smith… catch him?” Grant frowned.
“Uh….” Vance moved again, more this time, like he wanted out, so Grant shifted to let him. Expression hard, Vance picked his underwear up off the floor and put it back on. “Hey, uh, is something wrong?” Grant asked, reaching for his own clothes.
“What do you think?” Vance demanded.
“What, is it the show?” Grant asked. “I mean, you can just catch the recap next week, can’t you?”
“No,” Vance said. “I can’t. That was the last episode of the year. The last episode of the series. They’ll be starting off a whole new storyline in January.” Grant scratched his head.
“Well, damn…. I mean, maybe you can ask someone….”
“No one else listens to this show!” Vance retorted. “I’m the only goddamn cop in the city who isn’t too sick of police work to sit through it and I don’t know anyone who isn’t a goddamn cop. Christ, Liam, do you have any idea how hard it was to get back home in time to listen? You couldn’t have waited for it to finish?”
“Look, just forget it,” Vance said, shaking his head. “I’m going to get ready for bed.” He turned and headed for the room to get his clothes.
“Goddamn it,” Grant muttered.
When Grant woke up the next morning Vance wasn’t in the bedroom. Grant assumed at first that the other man was out on his morning run, but then he remembered the snow. As he entered the bathroom he saw a note taped to the mirror. “Got called in,” it read in Vance’s typewriter-like handwriting. Nice of Vance to keep him informed even when he was upset.
Grant went through his morning routine before going out into the living room to find a stack of gifts on the coffee table. Most of them were wrapped and two were not. Grant checked the labels on the wrapped gifts. Mr. Grant. Mrs. Grant. Millie and James. Ariel. Abby. Vance had wrapped the Grant family’s gifts before running out of time. The last two gifts would be for Donald and Mrs. Vance.
Grant gathered up his family’s gifts; he may as well drop them off since they were ready. Besides, he wanted to talk to Millie.
“Liam, you didn’t.” Millie said as she set a hot cup of coffee in front of her brother.
“What, you think it’s a big deal, too?”
“Regardless of what I think, it’s a big deal to him,” Millie reminded. “And since he’s the one you’ll be going home to, you’d better believe it’s a big deal.”
“It’s just a dumb show,” Grant defended. “It’s not accurate, and the acting’s not that good.”
“That ‘dumb show’ is the only thing Russell looks forward to after a long day of work and running errands.”
“Hey,” Grant said.
“Aside from you,” Millie amended. “But you can wait. A radio show isn’t going to wait for anyone.”
“Yeah, well, there’s not much I can do about it now,” Grant grumbled.
“Very true,” Millie said. “Too bad.”
“That’s it?” Grant demanded. “‘Too bad?’ No ideas? No advice?”
“I’m a little worn out from all the Christmas preparation,” Mille explained apologetically. “You’re on your own.”
When he was finished with his coffee Grant made his exit.
“You’ll get the gifts to mom and pop?” he asked.
“Of course,” Millie said. “Say hello to Russell for me when you two are speaking again.”
Grant eyed the presents for Vance’s mother and brother. He supposed he could wrap them. Not that he was any good at it, but they didn’t have to be perfect. After all, they’d just be torn open on Christmas morning. He grabbed a roll of paper and got started. A few minutes later he examined his crumpled handiwork. There wasn’t a straight edge in sight.
“Eh, good enough,” he said, and he decided that while he was helping Vance out he might as well drop the gifts off, too. Besides, if Vance saw them like this, he’d want to rewrap them, and then why on Earth had Grant spent any time on it?
Donald was living with his mother again these days, and when Grant knocked on the door at the Vance home, Donny was the one who answered.
“Oh, it’s you,” Donald said in place of a greeting. “What are you doing here without my brother?”
“Bringing you your gift, not that you deserve one,” Grant said, shoving the two boxes into the younger man’s arms. "Tell your mom I said hello, or something.” He turned to leave.
“Hey, Grant,” Donald called, and Grant paused.
Grant shook his hand out a bit as he walked back to his car. He probably shouldn’t have punched Vance’s brother the day before Christmas, but really the kid left him no choice.
He was halfway home when he realized there was something he could do. Fortunately, halfway home meant right in the heart of the city, so Grant wasn’t far from where he needed to go. There was no guarantee that this would work, but he had to at least try.
He was vaguely aware of the location of the radio station, and once he was in the general vicinity all Grant had to do was follow the giant antenna. When he entered the building he found the receptionist absorbed in a fashion magazine. Without catching her attention he went for the stairs and found his way to the studio. Through the glass he could see the DJ flipping through records. Without giving it much thought Grant knocked on the glass. The DJ glanced up and when he gave a questioning look Grant flashed his badge. The DJ hurriedly stood up from his chair and opened the studio door.
“Yes, officer, how can I help you?”
“The radio show,” Grant began, putting away his badge. Seeing as he was grossly abusing his power, he thought it better if the DJ didn’t get his badge number. “The cop drama, Tuesday nights. Do you have a recording of it?”
“I’m with the Tacoma police.” A lie. With the mustache the DJ could easily identify him by sight if he went to the correct police station. “We’ve been tracking down a killer whose murders very closely follow those portrayed on your show.”
“Goodness,” the DJ said. “I hadn’t heard about that.”
“The killer strikes the night after the show,” Grant went on, ignoring the statement. “We need a recording of the show to see if we missed anything that can help us stop him.”
“I, well, we did record it,” the DJ said. “But I don’t have it here. It’s gone to archive. But, uh, one of the actors left his script.” He went to the waste basket next to his desk and plucked out a stack of paper. “Is this good enough?” he asked, handing it over. Grant gave the first page a quick scan.
“It’ll do,” he said. “Thank you for your help.” He hurried out of the studio before the man could ask him any more questions.
When Grant entered the apartment Vance was peering anxiously into the hallway closet. Hearing the door, he whipped around.
“There you are,” he said, and Grant realized he probably should have left a note of his own. “Have you seen the presents? I could have sworn I left them right there on the coffee table.”
“You did,” Grant assured, taking off his coat and hanging it up by the door. “I delivered them.” Vance relaxed visibly.
“Oh, good, I— My family’s weren’t wrapped.”
“Took care of that, too.” Vance relaxed again.
“Thanks. When Chief Whitman asked me to come in this morning I couldn’t say no, but I really wasn’t looking forward to coming home just to go back out again.
“Yeah, well you don’t need to go anywhere,” Grant said, covering the distance between him and Vance and giving the other man a kiss. Vance melted into it. When they finally pulled back Vance still held Grant close.
“Thanks again,” he said softly.
“Eh, least I could do,” Grant said. “After messing up your show.”
“That,” Vance said with a sheepish grin. “I’m not too broken up about it anymore. I’m… sorry I got so upset.”
“Hey, it’s all right,” Grant said. “You were right, I should’ve just waited. I feel bad about it, so… I got you something.”
“Hm? Like a gift?”
“No, that’s for tomorrow,” Grant said. “Go sit down.” Vance went to the couch and eyed Grant curiously as he walked to the coat rack and pulled the script out from an interior pocket. He flipped a few pages in.
“End of the line, copper,” Grant read. “Put yer hands up where I can sees ‘em.” He lowered his voice slightly. “You sure you want to do that? Back up is on the way. Do you have any idea what they do to cop killers in this town?” Back to his own voice. “I’ll take my chances. But not with you.”
“Is that…?” Grant couldn’t help but grin.
“Yeah,” he said. “It is.” Vance was on his feet and at Grant’s side in an instant.
“Really? Let me see it!” He took the script from Grant and scanned the page. “How did you…?” Grant winced.
“Don’t ask. You, uh, want me to keep reading it?”
“No, it’s all right,” Vance said, taking the script back to the couch. “I’ll just read it myself.” Grant took a seat next to him.
“What, was my acting that bad? Couldn’t be any worse than the actual show.”
“No, it’s not that,” Vance assured. “I just don’t want to see how you handle the sound effects.”
“Forgot about those,” Grant admitted. “Yeah, you’re better off just reading it.” The phone rang and Vance frowned at the interruption.
“I’ll get it,” Grant said, starting to stand. Vance put out a hand to stop him and stood up himself.
“It’s probably my mother.” He went to the phone and picked it up. “Hello? Yes, mother. Yes, I got called in. Yes. Yes. He told me, he—Oh? Oh. Well, yes, I’ll certainly have a word with him. For tomorrow you mean? I’ll let you know. Yes, I love you, too. Goodbye.” When he hung up, Vance shot a glance at Grant who was watching him with a nervous smile on his face. “Liam,” he began sternly.
“Did you punch my brother in the face?”
“Uh, yes,” Grant confirmed, scratching the back of his head. “Yes, I did.”
“Did he deserve it?” Vance went on.
“Oh, without a doubt.”
“Well, all right then.” Vance took his seat again. “By the way, my mother says not to worry about going over there for dinner tomorrow if the snow is too bad, so it might be just you and me here. See why I like to leave the gifts early?”
“Fine by me,” Grant said. Vance leaned into Grant, returning to the script and Grant put an arm around him. He’d be fine spending Christmas just like this.
I might fix the radio show at some point, when I have time to do more research. For now... you get the idea. Also, I know it was a lot harder to be gay in those days than it seems here, but that's just because I didn't have a lot of time/space to address it. I'm still working on these guys' backstories, and I'll get into it more there.