kindkit: Medieval image of a mapmaker constructing a globe (Fandomless: Mapmaker)
[personal profile] kindkit
Title: The Last English Explorers Go Home
Fandom: Top Gear
Characters: Richard Hammond, James May, Jeremy Clarkson (with a bit of Richard/James UST)
Rating: All ages
Warnings: None needed
Word count: 542
Summary: On not getting to the north pole.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. It's based on the public personas of real people, but the words and events are all made up.
Notes: For [livejournal.com profile] halotolerant, because she's awesome. I'm not hugely familiar with this fandom, so my apologies for any errors.




Looking out of the aeroplane window, Richard sees snow. All he's seen for a week has been snow. And dog shit. No one, he decides, is allowed to say anything nice about snow in his hearing ever again, not even at Christmas. Luckily, no one says nice things about dog shit at any season.

"Soon be back at Resolute," James says soothingly. "Hot food. Hot baths. Real beds." Clarkson lets loose an echoing snore, and James adds, "Real beds out of earshot of him."

Richard looks out of the window again. From this height, the landscape seems as flat and safe as a white tablecloth. "I wanted to see the north pole."

James shrugs, or at least that's what Richard thinks the rustling of his parka indicates. "It was nothing. A GPS reading. And it was only the magnetic pole anyway."

"Father Christmas's workshop was closed," Clarkson intones. Either he's learned to be rude in his sleep, or he's got some kind of internal monitor that wakes him whenever someone else is the tiniest bit undefended. "Moved to China." Thirty seconds later, he's snoring again.

"I just wanted to say I'd been," Richard mutters to James. "When my legs hurt" - which was constantly after the first day, but he's not going to admit it - "and I wanted to fall down in the snow and go to sleep, I thought, 'I'll be able to tell people I went to the north pole by fucking dogsled.' And that I beat you and Clarkson, of course."

"Sod the north pole."

"I was all right until he rang to say you'd won. And then I just couldn't go any farther."

"Sod the sodding north pole." James hesitates, then lays an arm along Richard's shoulders for a moment. Through their coats, Richard can barely feel it. It's like being hugged by a duvet. "I was worried about you." There's something duvet-ish about his voice, too, something muffled and feathery. "It's only been seven months."

"I'm all right." He ought to record it, then he could just press a button instead of saying it over and over.

James looks at him, a long calm look from under a wedge of matted hair. "Okay, I reckon maybe you are. So you can stop proving it."

Bastard. Bloody know-it-all bastard. "I was worried about poor old Jeremy, cooped up for an uninterrupted week with you."

James huffs one of his little private laughs. "I brought a Fortnum's hamper. Wine and caviar and paté. That kept him sunny for almost fifteen minutes."

Richard ate disgusting half-warmed fatty mushes, and chocolate bars that he soon lost the taste for. "I'd like you to know that I hate you both very much."

James leans over, grinning, and whispers in his ear. "There's a bottle of champagne that I left at Resolute. Let's not tell Clarkson."

"I take it back. You're my best friend in the whole world. Well, north of the seventy-fourth parallel."

"You silver-tongued seducer."

Smiling, Richard slides into a more comfortable position in the hard seat. A bit of a sprawl, almost leaning against James, but not quite. He glances once more at the ice and snow beneath them, then closes his eyes.

Sod the north pole, after all.

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