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12 January 2012 @ 09:44 am
Club Middle-of-Nowhere, Peep Show, Mark/Jeremy (PG)  
Title: Club Middle-of-Nowhere
Author: valderys
Fandom: Peep Show
Pairing: Mark Corrigan/Jeremy Usborne
Rating: PG for swears
Word Count: 1,153
Notes: Written for cesperanza's 101 Ways To End Up In A Canadian Shack Challenge 2011
Summary: Since when did Mark trust Jeremy to pick their holiday destinations?


The door banged open. A cloud of dust flew up which did little to illuminate the gloomy, frigid interior. The rough wooden walls were unadorned except for the head of a large cross-eyed moose, which as Mark stamped through the door trying and failing to knock snow off his loafers, stared at him in much the same abject horror that Mark himself felt in being there. It gave him a funny kind of warm fellow feeling. It was the only warm thing about him.

"Well, that's it, we're all going to die," said Mark, with a certain amount of relish.

"We're not going to die," said Jeremy as he followed Mark in, dumping his rucksack on the wooden floor and dislodging more dust. "There will be a roaring fire, hot toddies and many, many après-ski chicks in fur hats. That's what the brochure said. And that's what we will have."

"That's what you get in a Swiss chalet or a French ski lodge. Or possibly in films with the Men From Uncle." Mark decided he might as well enjoy himself. He always did have a certain ghoulish appreciation for other people's misery. "In those kinds of chalets you probably can't move for glamorous fur-clad girls pressing hot chocolate on you. And other things. But we..." He peered out of the grimy window out onto the snow-covered wilderness. "We are in Canada."

Jeremy was pouting, something he could compete in for the Olympics 2012. "So? What about it? There's snow, isn't there? And mountains. And people who speak French. What's the difference?"

Mark's sense of vindictive satisfaction grew to almost gargantuan levels, fattened obscenely like a spider on its innocent prey. There weren't many pleasures in his life but tormenting Jeremy was definitely one of them.

"Oh really? What possible difference could it make to be stuck in the middle of the arctic circle in a snowy waste that goes on for thousands of miles in all directions with ravening polar bears, wolves and Pamela Anderson. You tell me, Jeremy, you tell me."

"Oh shut up," said Jeremy, his lower lip dangling like a five year old's,"I want a hot toddy. At the very least I deserve a toddy that is hot, whatever that is. I'm on holiday."

Mark went to the door and dragged in his executive luggage (with matching laptop bag). "Well, I'm not making it for you."

"Why not? You make me tea. It's almost exactly the same."

"Because," said Mark with super-human patience, "There isn't a kettle. There isn't even a proper kitchen."

He wandered around their hut - there was some kind of wood burning stove that looked like it would take more outdoorsmanship than Mark felt he was capable of. He may have spent five years in the Scouts but that didn't mean he was capable of lighting actual pieces of dead tree from scratch. Give him a bottle of lighter fluid and some charcoal briquettes and he might conceivably, possibly, be your man. But not this.

Elsewhere there was some kind of fur rug on the floor in front of a rustic looking sofa. Mark considered it a blessing that the rug did not have the head attached. Although, horrid thought, maybe it was the skin of the moose on the wall? Maybe they'd just been really environmentally conscious and paid attention to the wartime adage 'waste not, want not' to decorate the cabin all over. Mark decided he really didn't want to know.

"This isn't at all like the brochure. I'm going to complain and get our money back." Jeremy still wasn't moving from the doorway, as though if he sulked long enough a silky-pelted lovely called Yvette would pop out from behind the rickety table to relieve his frustration. Mark snorted.

"You mean my money. Where did the brochure come from anyway?"

Jeremy looked shifty. Mark didn't know how he knew that Jeremy was looking shifty, given he hadn't moved a muscle, but given their many (many) years of association (which right now he wouldn't deign to call friendship, not with his bollocks in danger of freezing solid and dropping off like Christmas baubles played with by a particularly vicious cat) Mark could tell when Jeremy was hiding something. Hiding something else.

"What is it? You didn't get it from your pyramid marketing pals, did you?" asked Mark suspiciously, "Or god forbid, that arsehole from the Job Centre - what's his name? Piers? Perry? Something pretentious beginning with 'P'."

"Of course not!" How Jeremy could still look outraged given all the shit he'd pulled over the years amazed Mark. "It was Super Hans."

"Oh well, that makes it so much better. Super Hans recommends holiday destinations now, does he? Is Canada particularly well known in crack cocaine dens? Does it have many bonkers, religious, drugged recommendations on Trip Adviser? Actually..."

"No Mark," said Jeremy with an air of long-suffering that Mark definitely thought he wasn't entitled to, "That would be Brighton. This was meant to be a winter break beyond my wildest dreams. And my dreams get pretty wild, as you know."

There was a staccato crashing noise outside and the wind took on an eerie note, as though it was speeding up. Mark looked back out of the window to see... nothing. Well, snow. A lot of it. A blizzard maybe? It was hard to tell, Mark had never been in a blizzard.

He shivered. "Well, all we have is a Canadian shack in the middle of a snowstorm. What do people do in Canadian shacks?"

He wasn't going to panic. He refused to panic. He wasn't going to give Jeremy the satisfaction. Oh god, they really were going to die. He was too young to die, he hadn't even finished editing his own amusing subtitles to Hitler's Downfall yet. Mark took his face away from the useless window and blinked a bit because in the meantime Jeremy had vanished. There were reassuring thumping noises from deeper in the hut however and then Jeremy emerged, red-faced and dusty. He was carrying a heap of brightly-coloured knitted blankets.

"People huddle together for warmth in Canadian shacks," he announced grandly, "Until the sexual tension becomes too much for them and they wank each other off. Ok with that? I know about this survival shit. I watched Bear Grylls eat a sheep's eyeball once."

Mark supposed it could be worse. He might be allergic to all that Canadian wool, but Jeremy would be there, and at least Mark knew he wasn't allergic to Jeremy. He could always use him as a barrier method.

"My hero," said Mark, and the irony was, he didn't even mean it ironically.
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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
prochytesprochytes on January 12th, 2012 01:28 pm (UTC)
Hysterical. I particularly liked Jeremy's grounds for thinking that he knows about survival.
Dafnadafnagreer on January 12th, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad you wrote this! I'd been thinking that there should be a Peep Show Canadian Shack story but hadn't gotten very far with an idea. Yay!
Helenchocolatepeach on January 12th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
What a great idea the challenge revival is!

Really liked this. Mark and Jeremy are delightfully Mark and Jeremy.
Riona: all i wantedrionaleonhart on January 12th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
This is perfect. I was already admiring its perfection by the 'There's snow, isn't there? And mountains. And people who speak French. What's the difference?' point. Both the characters sound exactly like themselves, and your Mark inner-monologue is both believable and hilarious. His vindictive pleasure at the knowledge that at least Jeremy is suffering as well!

Give him a bottle of lighter fluid and some charcoal briquettes and he might conceivably, possibly, be your man.

ahahaha oh Mark.

"People huddle together for warmth in Canadian shacks," he announced grandly, "Until the sexual tension becomes too much for them and they wank each other off. Ok with that? I know about this survival shit. I watched Bear Grylls eat a sheep's eyeball once."

It's like you've taken a bottle of pure Jeremy Usborne and poured it all over this paragraph.

In conclusion: you're amazing.
Gummo Bergman's "Silent Strawberries": David Mitchell - I collect greek williesmarginaliana on January 13th, 2012 03:12 am (UTC)
Oh, loved this! Started picking out my favorite lines, and couldn't decide between Give him a bottle of lighter fluid and some charcoal briquettes and he might conceivably, possibly, be your man. or He was too young to die, he hadn't even finished editing his own amusing subtitles to Hitler's Downfall yet. Brilliant.
the Legs, the Nose and Mrs Robinson: Mona Lisamatildabj on January 13th, 2012 12:36 pm (UTC)
OMG, as always, your Peep Show fic is PERFECT. I don't know how you get their voices down in writing so well, but I can hear them as I read. Just brilliant.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )