26 March 2015 @ 06:18 pm
 
*John closed the heavy wooden door of Speaker's House behind him and headed straight for the whisky. Speaker's whisky, reminded himself, because he's still Speaker, despite the best efforts of the government.

How he'd managed to make it through the vote and reading out the results without hexing the entire government front bench into a collection of small rodents and toads he'd yet to work out, but he had. He'd kept his cool and he was still here. He was still Speaker.

Tomorrow he'd have to go to his constituency - with the election less than two months away every moment had to count - but for tonight, just for a while, he could afford to sit and try to relax. There was nothing the bastards could to him tonight.

John collapsed into one of the overstuffed armchairs (Speaker's armchairs) and took a long sip from his drink.*
 
 
Current Location: Speaker's House
 
 
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therealpm: Thinking[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 06:48 pm (UTC)
Text from 07### ######

Bercow,

watched the debate. You may want to thank Bryant for your untimely deliverance.

-Lord Mandelson

PS: Are you sure you don't want to join Labour? You seem to have the anti-Conservative glare down pat.
bamfbercow: BOOM! Magic[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 06:56 pm (UTC)
*John picked up his phone and read the message. Peter was right, of course - if it hadn't been for the likes of Bryant and Charles Walker John'd have been unceremoniously turfed out in the political wilderness. He'd helped all he could, but the real, effective work had been done by people like Chris.*

*That didn't stop John putting his phone on silent and hexing Peter's thumbs off, though.*
therealpm: Not happy![personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 06:58 pm (UTC)
Text from 07### ######

bwrxoe.

fovw me mu tjumba bsck'

=pwrte
bamfbercow: Trying not to laugh[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 07:01 pm (UTC)
*John sees his phone light up. He doesn't bother to check it. He's put on his favourite Bowie album and is too engrossed in the music to give a damn about anything. He sips from his drink and ignores the rest of the world for just a little bit longer.*

*At the end of the song he reluctantly checks the message. Self-control left behind in the chamber, he bursts out laughing.*

Text from 078## ######

Peter,

No.

-John
therealpm: Thinking[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 07:26 pm (UTC)
*For thumbs, as with many things in life, you never know what you've got till it's gone. This is especially true when one is in a packed first class carriage, hurtling down south at moderate speed from Manchester, and trying to eat the complementary first class dinner without the use of any opposable digits. After a little covert exprimentation, gripping the fork between index and middle finger was found to be a serviceable, if inelegant method. Cutting the pork loin by holding the knife in the same manner was unfortunately unfeasible and somehow Peter rather thought picking it up and chowing down would not go unnoticed. With a twinge of regret, he resigned himself to a vegetarian repast.

John's response was irritating, but not unexpected. Usually a little more nose tweaking was required to set Bercow off, but clearly he was still running high from this afternoon's debate. Pushing the still mostly full plate away, Peter eased an ipad out of his case. He'd been told by some junior staffer or other that you could read emails and texts on this thing.

Half an hour and a slightly fraught phone call to his brother later, Peter was the proud owner of a second texting device - one with a notably larger keyboard.*

Text from 07### ######

John,

I am on a train. I cannot extricate my ticket without my thumbs. If you could return them before the inspector reaches this carriage, that would be most appreciated.

-Peter
bamfbercow: Hidden smirkishness[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 07:31 pm (UTC)
*John considered the text. It's not an unreasonable request but John can't bring himself to do the right thing.*

*Instead, he does half the right thing and gives Peter back one thumb. His left thumb.*

*John pushes the phone aside. There had to be some biscuits left in the flat somewhere...*
therealpm: Possibly in need of a hug[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 07:39 pm (UTC)
*Peter's smile as his left hand is reunited with its missing digit drops as the other fails to reappear. With a rising sense of panic, he remembers that he is moving at a rather faster speed than the majority of magic was devised to cope with. Perhaps his other thumb had been lost on the tracks - smeared from Stockport to Stoke-On-Trent! With only slightly shaky hands, he writes out yet another text.*

Text from 07### ######

John,

where's the other thumb?

-Peter

Edited 2015-03-26 07:40 pm (UTC)
bamfbercow: Hidden smirkishness[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 07:48 pm (UTC)
*John's hunt for sweet treats takes him away from his phone for a good while (he'll have a word with Sally about keeping the tin on top of the fridge later).*

Text from 078## ######

Peter,

I envisage that it shall be returned to you in the fullness of time.

-John
therealpm: Machine[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 08:02 pm (UTC)
*Peter considered hexing Milton Keynes in response as he read John's text, but ultimately it would only lead to Betty and D'Souza getting involved and the potential loss of yet more appendages, not to mention his magical abilities.

Reasonable requests were obviously not going to get anywhere - it was clear that John was deriving far too much enjoyment from the situation to listen to sense. Waiting for him to get bored or wake up with a guilty conscience was probably going to be far more effective.*

Text from 07### ######

John,

fine. Try not to lose it.

-Peter

*Text sent, he turned his attention to the possibility that his thumb might not be returned. Ed Miliband's PMQs team didn't bother to consider and prepare for every possibility, but Peter liked to. He opened up a chat connection to The Machine and began to plan out a replacement digital digit.*

Edited 2015-03-26 08:03 pm (UTC)
bamfbercow: Happy[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 08:07 pm (UTC)
Text from 078## ######

Peter,

As today has shown, I am far more competent than people generally give me credit for.

Do try not to struggle too obviously.

-John
therealpm: Thinking[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 08:21 pm (UTC)
Text from 07### ######

John,

it wasn't your victory. Pass my regards on to Mr Bryant and Dr Lewis.

-Peter
bamfbercow: Angry[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 08:27 pm (UTC)
*John sees red. It was his career on the line, his life about to be destroyed by the government, and John will take whatever damned credit he likes for saving his own skin.*

*He's halfway through trying to decide if turning all Peter's insides to jelly is more or less favourable to making the Labourite's nails grow inwards when he catches himself. He's managed to remain calm in front of the government benches, he wasn't about to let Peter be the one to push him over the edge.*

*It takes some time to fully calm down. When he does, John very carefully and securely steals away Peter's voice and traps it in a tupperware box he'd picked up from the kitchen. John contemplates taking the thumb away again but decides to be merciful.*
therealpm: annoyed[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 08:38 pm (UTC)
*The ticket inspector finally passes through the carriage. Peter tries to go through the usual few rounds of 'thank you' involved in any such interaction, but finds that either he has lost his voice, or he has become selectively deaf 1. He smiles apologetically and taps his throat to indicate he's lost his voice. She smiles back, hands him his ticket and moves on.*

Text from 07### ######
John,

this is unecessary.

-Peter


1 A particularly pernicious jinx as victims may subsequently say unwise words, believing themself to be entirely incapable of making noise. Indeed, it is believed that such a jinx was ultimately responsible for the execution of Sir Walter Raleigh.
bamfbercow: Angry[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 08:44 pm (UTC)
*John hears a knock at the door and quickly taps out a reply as he goes to answer it.

Text from 07### ######

Peter,

Your comments were entirely unnecessary. If you wish to be reunited with both your voice and your final thumb I expect an apology - whenever is most convenient for you, of course.

-John
therealpm: Thinking[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 08:50 pm (UTC)
*The train rattles on through Watford junction, though by now it is so dark that barely anything is visible through the windows beyond the nearest set of tracks.*

Text from 07### ######

John,

requesting that due credit be given to those who made today's result possible was not unnecessary. Nor does it merit such personal attacks.

-Peter
bamfbercow: Hmmmmm[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 08:53 pm (UTC)
*John feels the phone go off in his pocket and decides to ignore it. Whatever way Peter has managed to twist John's words will have to wait for a response until Chris has left.*
therealpm: Confused[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC)
*Peter arrives at Euston, still without any response from John. He ducks behind a closed information kiosk and sends off another quick text.*

Text from 07### ######
John,

stop this. I have a speech to give tomorrow.

-Peter

*He walks halfway to the taxi rank before remembering that he can't actually call a cab. He checks his phone again to put a bit of a pause between walking one way and immediately turning back, then heads towards the underground. It takes more than a few moments to locate his oyster card and several more to drag it out from the depths of a pocket. Eventually he manages to head off home on the Victoria line.*
Chris Bryant: Glee[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on March 26th, 2015 08:39 pm (UTC)
*Chris has been grinning so hard for so long that his cheek muscles are starting to hurt, but he can't seem to stop. He knocks on the door.*

bamfbercow: Happy[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 08:45 pm (UTC)
*John finishes replying to Peter and pockets his phone.*

*He opens the door and grins when he sees who it is.*

Chris! Do come in, please.
Chris Bryant: LULZ[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on March 26th, 2015 08:54 pm (UTC)
Well, well. Mr. Speaker.

*If possible the grin is even wider now.*
bamfbercow: Happy[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 08:58 pm (UTC)
*John has to laugh at that.*

Yes, yes, thank you Mr Bryant. I'm not entirely certain I would still be using that title now if it weren't for your efforts earlier in the day. Please, do join me for a drink.
Chris Bryant[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on March 26th, 2015 09:07 pm (UTC)
I think we have to give most of the credit to Charles's eloquence, and to your own illustrious record of defending the interests of Parliament.

I will take the drink, though.
bamfbercow: Sad[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 09:11 pm (UTC)
*John closes the door behind Chris and pours the other man a drink as Chris takes a seat. John hands the glass to Chris and sits down himself.*

Charles' speech was...

*John clears the lump in his throat at the memory of the MP's words.*

...well, it was.

But you shouldn't underplay your part in all this, Chris; I highly doubt all those Labour MPs would have made it back without your passionate intervention in proceedings, shall we say.

Thank you.
Chris Bryant: Looking Hard[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on March 26th, 2015 09:20 pm (UTC)
*The grin slips for a moment. Chris takes a sip of his whiskey to cover it.*

After everything you've done for Parliament, I couldn't bear the thought of my party letting you down.

But we could never have done it without your former colleagues. Speaking of whom- I don't suppose you happened to notice who it was who shouted out "You won't be saying that in a month" when you called us to order?
bamfbercow: posing[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 09:24 pm (UTC)
*John tries to recall the voice as he sips his drink*

I'm afraid I must have missed the finer details of that moment in the general emotional furore of the afternoon. It was certainly a far more interesting final day in parliament than I had originally planned.
Chris Bryant: Smug[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on March 26th, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC)
Ah well, pity. *He'll have to ask Christopher Chope. Jacob won't sneak but Chope can't ever seem to stop himself talking.*

More interesting than the Prime Minister planned, as well.

Did you know he had to come rushing back from Coventry?
bamfbercow: Happy[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 09:34 pm (UTC)
Did he? Ha!

*John stop himself before he makes any further ill-advised comments.*

That must have been a trial for him.

You didn't have too far to travel, did you?
Chris Bryant: Glee[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on March 26th, 2015 09:40 pm (UTC)
I think Gove must have told him they could win it if they had a few more votes. Such a shame about his wasted journey.

*Chris waves a hand dismissively*

I'm on marginals duty, so I wasn't planning to go home this weekend anyway.
bamfbercow: Hmmmmm[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 09:49 pm (UTC)
It was a tight vote in the end, though. Just a few more the other way...

*John's somber thought are interrupted by his phone going off. He jumps at the vibrations in his pocket.*

I do apologise Chris. This shouldn't take a moment...

*He taps out a speedy reply and leaves his phone on the arm of the sofa when he's done.*


Text from 078## ######

Peter,

You are fully aware of how to get your voice back.

-John


Where were... ah yes, marginals. Have you been anywhere particularly pleasant on the campaign trail recently?
therealpm: annoyed[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 10:27 pm (UTC)
*It's not until he's halfway home from the Richmond tube station that John's response come through. He pinches the bridge of his nose and heads inside. John's pettiness can wait until after he's had dinner.

At least, it could until he noticed that his fridge was empty. To distract himself whilst the kettle boils for a cup of tea he turns on the TV.

"the dome is somewhere where we spent money that we shouldn't have done"

...

He turns the TV off again.

Today was just getting worse and worse. Usually he could go and bother John about it and steal the man's biscuits, but this probably wasn't an option today.

His stomach rumbled.

Sod it.

A text to Sally confirmed dinner was available and only a fireplace away. Tucking his ipad under his arm, he stepped through the flames.*

Edited 2015-03-26 10:40 pm (UTC)
bamfbercow: huh?[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 10:53 pm (UTC)
*Chris is still there when Peter comes through the fireplace. There's slightly less whisky in the bottle and John's sure he's said some things he probably shouldn't have done, but, really, who on earth is Chris going to tell?*

*So John is somewhat startled and taken aback when there's an angry peer of the realm in his fireplace.*

Peter!

*John sits up a bit straighter.*

What are you doing here?
therealpm: annoyed[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 11:01 pm (UTC)
*'I'd love to answer that question, John, but unfortunately I seem to have lost my voice.'

Peter's powers of telecommunication were insufficient to broadcast this thought into John's mind, so he settled for a simple glare and wandered off to the kitchen. Thankfully dinner appeared to be one of the better kind of sainsburys ready meals, rather than anything John or Sally had cooked from scratch.*
bamfbercow: Oh for goodness sake...[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 11:06 pm (UTC)
Peter?

Peter, wh...

*John sighs and puts down his drink.*

Just a moment, Chris. I'll just go and see what it is he wants this time...

*John follows Peter through to the kitchen.*

What is it, Peter?
therealpm: annoyed[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 11:11 pm (UTC)
*Peter waits for John to remember the procedings of the past couple of hours, instead John continues to wait silently whilst the ready meal rotates behind him in the microwave. After several awkward moments Peter points to both his missing right thumb and his throat.*
bamfbercow: huh?[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 11:13 pm (UTC)
*It takes John a while to get it but he does eventually.*

Oh! Oh, of course.

As soon as you apologise I shall hand them back immediately.

*John waits, grinning.*
therealpm: weary[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 11:14 pm (UTC)
*The microwave stops with a ding. Peter points once again to his throat.*
bamfbercow: Hmmmmm[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 11:17 pm (UTC)
*John rolls his eyes. He can see the iPad Peter has brought with him and is sorely tempted to point it out to him. On the other hand, it might just be easier to reverse everything and bring a swift end to this farce of a day.*

*He sighs*

Oh very well...

*He waves his hands in a slightly more exuberant manner than is strictly necessary and Peter is once again whole*

Better?
therealpm: Cup[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 11:25 pm (UTC)
*His thumb feels weird. Cold and slightly disconnected at the joint. He cracks the joint and rotates it a little. It works. Slightly.*

It's certainly preferable to being disconnected from various body parts, certainly.

*He takes the meal out and pokes it a bit, delighting in the ability to hold the fork properly once more. It seems warmed through. He tries a bit.*

Was there anything else?

*He makes a little shooing motion*

I'm sure Mr Bryant is waiting for you.
bamfbercow: Oh for goodness sake...[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 11:29 pm (UTC)
*John could argue. He could, but he's spent all day arguing with... well, with just about everyone, really.*

*John huffs and leaves Peter to eat the warmed risotto in the kitchen alone. He returns to Chris in other room.*
therealpm: Thinking[personal profile] therealpm on March 26th, 2015 11:47 pm (UTC)
*Peter polishes off the risotto and looks around for something to wash it down with. The smell of whiskey drifts through from the living room - it's tempting but probably a bad idea, not least as he suspects John is still rather annoyed.

He's still adamant that he doesn't need to apologise - John overreacted. But some attempt at reconciliation might be wise.*

Text from 07### ######

John,

making tea. Do you want a cup?

-Peter
bamfbercow: Hidden smirkishness[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 11:51 pm (UTC)
*John is confused when his phone goes off but gets it anyway.*


Text from 078## ######

Peter,

Yes please. Chris will have one too.

-John


*He puts the phone away and goes back to his conversation with Chris.*
therealpm: Machine[personal profile] therealpm on March 27th, 2015 12:06 am (UTC)
*Peter gets out two cups. The kettle doesn't have enough water in it for more anyway.*

Text from 07### ######

John,

yours is on the side. Good night and try not to cause any further constitutional crises.

-Peter

*Peter picks up his own cup and wanders out of Speaker's house. He's not sleepy, and now is the perfect time to visit The Machine down in the deepest cellars without being seen.*
Chris Bryant: Srs Bsns[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on March 26th, 2015 11:08 pm (UTC)
Peter?

*Chris's brow furrows when the peer just glares at them and then wanders off to the kitchen. He turns to John*

Have I done something to annoy him?
bamfbercow: Hmmmmm[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 11:10 pm (UTC)
I wish I could give you a definite answer to that question, Chris, but alas I cannot.

I shall go and see what the problem is.

Feel free to pour yourself another drink.
bamfbercow: Hidden smirkishness[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 11:31 pm (UTC)
*John wanders back through to where Chris is still awkwardly perched on the sofa.*

He's fine. Just a little misunderstanding; all cleared up now. Once he's finished eating my food I'm sure he'll be on his way.
Chris Bryant: Do Not Want[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on March 26th, 2015 11:02 pm (UTC)
Um... Stevenage? So that's a no, really.

*Chris realises what he said, blanches and looks at his whiskey reproachfully.*

Er, don't repeat that.
bamfbercow: Trying not to laugh[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 11:04 pm (UTC)
*John stifles a laugh*

I believe we have both had our share of indiscreet comments this evening; I shan't tell if you won't.
Chris Bryant: Trollololololol[personal profile] chrisbrilliant on March 26th, 2015 11:10 pm (UTC)
I shall take our secrets with me to the grave, Mr. Speaker.
bamfbercow: Hidden smirkishness[personal profile] bamfbercow on March 26th, 2015 11:20 pm (UTC)
Well I do hope that such a sad day is far, far in the future. For both of us.