Disclaimer: I don't own Mickey, sadly. I only borrow him occasionally, and don't make any profit out of it. Just fun.

Rating: 12A

Summary: Mickey Webb begins his new life in MIT… but leaving the past behind is going to be harder than he ever imagined…

Notes: This is an amalgam of several unfinished fics which I wrote as "sequels" to One of our Own.

Bleeding Inside

By NorthernStar

One –

New Boy in Town

October 2003

Rain pelted down noisily onto the roof of the car and ran in rivulets down the windscreen. Inside, the young man watched the digital clock above the CD player blink away the seconds. He was running the risk of being late - only a few more minutes left.

He should've been early. Anyone else, given the chance he now had, would be in there already, eager to begin, hungry for the challenge.

His hands tightened on the steering wheel.

And bloody hell, he was. Hungry, eager, keyed up, buzzing… He was all of that.

And more…

And that was the problem.

For the first time in his life, Mickey Webb was afraid of his job.

He didn't look like any new recruit she'd ever seen. He was obviously tense, but not in the way she'd expect. It wasn't new job nervous; it was something else, something that jarred. He held his narrow body so rigid it seemed like he might snap in two. His blue eyes had sunken into their sockets and were darkly shadowed, like he hadn't slept in days, making his skin look pasty, pale beyond the blonde.

Mickey Webb, she thought. He wouldn't last the week…

"And this is your desk."

The DS assigned to show him the ropes was, thank God (or perhaps Jack), female. She had the kind of ginger hair that everyone joked about, and her face was a mass of freckles, poorly disguised by her make-up. Her name was Jenna Tonkin and she seemed to be a pleasant enough person.

Mickey chucked his coat down, and gave nods and smiles at his new colleagues as Jenna pointed them out.

DI Vivian Friend came over, "Mickey," she said, handing Jenna a file. "Settling in?"

"Yes, guv."

Jenna looked over the file. "Doesn't look like a case for MIT." She said.

"Agreed. But Barton Street asked us to take a look because of a few inconsistencies that they feel could indicate murder."

Mickey glanced at the file, but he would have to move closer to look over her shoulder to get a proper look. And he couldn't.

Jenna read out the relevant bits. "A couple of PC's found an elderly man dead in his bed."

"'ardly murder." Mickey decided.

"Preliminary toxicology showed he died of a massive overdose of heroine. They found a used syringe in the bedroom, but there were no obvious signs of a struggle."

"We're waiting on the post-mortem," DI Friend told them, "but I doubt we're looking at a druggie OD'ing though."

"Have they identified the body?"

Jenna handed the file over. "Richard Stone. He was a widower."

Mickey took the file, a flash of excitement running through him. His first case in MIT.

Jenna smiled at Mickey. "In at the deep end." She said, grabbing her jacket from the desk next to Mickey's. "We'll head over the crime scene first, then talk to the PC's."

Mickey got up.

"Oh and Mickey?" Vivian Friend called after him.

He looked back at the DI.

"The DCI said he'd like a word when you get a free minute."

Mickey's stomach turned over sickly. It didn't take a genius to work out what that was about. "Sure."

"You always this quiet?"

Mickey dragged his eyes away from the streets rushing by the passenger window. "What?" Then he realised what she had said and shook his head. "Nah. Sorry."

"Deep thoughts?"

"Something like that." And he fell back into the emptiness of the blur rushing past, soothing and numb.

"You were at Sun Hill weren't you?" She tried again.

"Yeah."

She changed gears, her knuckles just brushing the material of Mickey's trousers. Mickey shifted his leg away and shuffled in the seat.

"It's not got the best rep in the Met." Jenna continued, completely oblivious to the man edging away from her.

He thought of Jack. "Good people though."

She chuckled. "Always are, mate. Still, bet you're glad you're out of there?"

Mickey turned back to the blur of Canley whizzing past. "Like you wouldn't believe…" He murmured.

The house was a typical two up-two down. A few curtains were twitching in the surrounding homes, curious at the activity in their neighbourhood. Mickey and Jenna ducked under the tapes and made their way over into the house. The bedroom was in the process of being photo-ed and forensicated.

"DS Tonkin," Jenna said, flashing her ID. "DC Webb, MIT."

The uniformed sergeant showed them around the house, talking as he went. He told them that the PC's had been called out after a neighbour had become concerned that she hadn't seen Richard Stone for a couple of days and he wasn't answering the door, which she said, wasn't like him. They had broken down the door and discovered the old man dead. Mickey listened as his eyes scanned the old man's house, now being picked over by forensics experts.

"Do you think this was a break in?" Jenna asked.

"No sign of forced entry on any of the window or on the doors."

Mickey dragged his eyes back to the sergeant, but never really looking the man in the face. "Nuffin' missing?"

He shook his head. "Wouldn't know. TV and video's untouched, but then they're old."

Jenna frowned. "Money and jewellery?"

"Perhaps. We're tracing his daughter at the moment. Hopefully she can tell us if anything's been taken."

They looked around for a while then went downstairs to talk to the PC's who found the body. They went over what they'd found and told them about the house to house enquiries, which hadn't turned up any leads but had given them some background on the man. He had been a bit of a loner, who kept himself to himself. He'd been a teacher before he retired, the woman who lived next door had told them. His wife had passed away quite young but he had a daughter, who lived in Cornwall and never really visited.

Jenna obviously took her mentoring very seriously and shepherded him into refs despite Mickey's attempts to lose her. It wasn't that he didn't like the woman, but a bit of space was rapidly becoming a necessity.

Mickey got the pasta dish, but his appetite since the rape had been largely non-existent and even small amounts of food in his stomach made him feel queasy. He picked at his lunch, spreading the pile out and moving it around to look like he really was eating.

Jenna grinned. "You eat like my half anorexic twig of a sister."

Mickey shrugged. "I 'ate pasta." He lied.

"Why'd you get it then?"

"Only 'alf decent thing there woz."

She laughed. "It's the Met, not the Ritz." She tucked into her pie with gusto. "Wouldn't've had you down as a connoisseur," she teased, "more a pie and chips, kebab after the footie sort of man."

"You don't know nuffing about me." The words were sharp, coming out before he thought about them.

"Easy, tiger." She shrugged, and fortunately didn't seem offended. "Just making conversation."

"Sorry."

She looked at him. "So how long you been DC?"

"Five years." He popped a piece of pasta into his mouth. "You?"

"5 as PC, 6 as DC and 3 as sergeant."

He was surprised. She didn't look that old. "'Ow long you been with MIT?"

"Nearly two years." She munched on a chip, regarding him with a steady gaze.

Mickey shifted.

"You're not-" She began.

Mickey put down his fork. "Just remembered. Need to see the DCI."

Jenna stared after him.

DCI Malcolm Savage shut his office door and smiled at Mickey and held out his hand. It took effort to shake the man's hand. Effort which obviously didn't go unnoticed. "Sorry." The DCI apologised. "How are you?"

"I'm fine."

Savage indicated the spare seat. "Sit down." He also sat behind his desk and opened a file. "Now I have your medical notes here." He said, getting straight to the point.

Mickey felt vaguely sick and looked down at his hands.

"Your doctor agreed to let you return to work," the man continued, "and Jack Meadows seemed to think it was for the best, but I must say, I have my misgivings."

Mickey looked up. "I ain't about to fall apart."

The DCI regarded him critically. Mickey forced himself to ignore the scrutiny, however much it made him uncomfortable.

"This isn't a local nick. We deal with difficult and harsh cases as a matter of routine." He told him. "I need to be able to rely on my team 110 percent."

"You can." Mickey shifted in his seat. "Look, guv, just cos I…" The word stuck and he swallowed. "Just cos of what 'appened, doesn't mean I suddenly can't do the job."

"No, but as I said, we deal with high pressure situations…" There was a sigh. "Mickey, you've been through-"

His head came up. "You know don't know nuffin' about what I've been through." It wasn't quite a snap.

"Agreed." He sat back. "Jack speaks very highly of you." He told him. "He's a hard man to impress."

Mickey didn't know what to say to that, so he kept quiet. He found he was doing that more and more just recently. He hated it.

"Because of that, I'm inclined to give you the chance to show me why he holds you in such high regard." The DCI sat back in his chair. "But that doesn't mean you get an easy ride. If you're having problems, I want to know about them."

"Yes, sir."

"Good."

Mickey got up. "Is that all, sir?"

He nodded and Mickey got up to leave. He was half way to the door when Savage spoke again.

"Mickey."

He stopped, looked around.

Savage got up. Mickey had to force himself not to move away at the proximity of the man. It was normal talking distance and yet it may as well have been an inch away for the crawling of his skin.

"Welcome aboard."

Mickey forced a smile.

DC Leslie Loren leant against the sinks and looked at her DS. "So what's he like? The new bloke?"

Jenna paused as she fixed her lippy. "Bit quiet."

Another DC, Tanya Briggs, came out of the stalls and went to wash her hands. "Less meat on him than a chicken McNugget," she giggled, "but cute."

Leslie looked round. "How cute?"

Jenna put her lipstick away. "Just let the bloke settle in, all right." She told them and headed out of the loos.

Tanya stared after her.

The rest of the day was mostly legwork, they had no real leads until the post mortem came back, and it seemed as if talking was all they were doing. His head ached at all the noise and a couple of times he'd tuned Jenna out, even when she'd been interviewing. It was sloppy and stupid and he knew if he couldn't cope on the first day, then it didn't bode well for the future.

Mickey went home exhausted, slumped on the sofa bonelessly and stared at the ceiling. After a while, he got up and stuck a chicken tikka in the microwave and actually managed to eat it. Then he sat flicking through the channels as his home phone rang and rang. He wondered idly who it was, Jack perhaps, one of his mates?

Or Charlotte.

She had left a ton of messages on his answer phone, asking him to arrange his next appointment, but he didn't want to talk to his counsellor right now. She'd want to know all the details, the little details, and he just wanted to push those out of his mind right now. For someone who was supposed to be helping him, she had a nasty habit of dragging everything up and making him feel worse.

The phone stopped and a few moments later, his mobile began to ring.

He picked it up and saw "Jack" on the display.

His finger hovered on the answer button.

No.

He tossed the thing aside and let it go to voicemail.

As much as he hated being in the house, but he didn't want to go anywhere and be around people.

Jack put down his mobile and sighed. A part of him knew he could just go round there, knock on the door, but another argued that he didn't have the right any more. He wasn't Mickey's DCI.

Jack got up and poured himself a scotch.

There was always tomorrow…

TBC...