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No infringement of the following characters and situations is intended.
Warning: Rated [MA] Mature Adults only. May contain strong sexual scenes, violence, coarse language, drug use, horror and adult themes.

Hi Jen - Happy Birthday!!! Wrote this little Tom/Dick story for you - hope it's not too subtle!

Some Arrangement!

Dick Sharpe gave his musket one last rub with his rag and, satisfied, stood it up against the tent pole. He shoved the rag back into his pack, lest some thieving sod steal it. "That's me done" he announced curtly "How about you?" he demanded, his voice soft, enquiring.

Tom Garrard dipped his bit of rag into the pool of oil once more. He didn't look at his mate, just muttered quietly "Give us a minute, be done i

n a tick". Sharpe sat still, instantly bored, rubbing his grimey, oily hands together and pursing his lips slightly, he glanced at Tom, wishing he'd hurry up, then squinting his eyes against the sunlight, looked around him. He looked without seeing, as camp life went on in front of him. Another bloody, boring day.

"Hurry up, will yer?" he chided softly "I'm parched".

Garrard hurried, the extra effort, extra movement making the sweat trickle down the small of his back, his face felt flushed, and he thought "Bugger it, that'll do" and he put the musket down and tidied his gear away.

The second he was ready, so Dick Sharpe was up and on his feet, moving away. "I'm buying." said Sharpe. "We'll have some beer, eh? Get it at the Mess tent". He looked over his shoulder, aware that his mate was following, though not quick enough for his liking. "Move yer bloody self, will yer?" he grumbled. "You can buy your own otherwise".

Garrard caught up with him, and they fell in step. "You've got plenty just now!" remarked Garrard. He meant money. Dick Sharpe seemed to be scattering it about.

Sharpe grinned, wrinkling his nose as sweat ran down it, too idle to even run a hand over his face. "Business is good!" he gave Tom a wink. Garrard pulled a face and looked away, he thought his mate a fool, he'd sell himself to anyone. Idiot.

At the Mess tent Sharpe bought two stone jars of the light Indian beer, he shoved one into Tom's hands. "Find a couple of bibi's shall we? I'll sub yer?" Sharpe suggested, he seemed keen on the idea.

"Nah" said Garrard wearily "It's too bloody hot. I can't be bothered". He meant it. The rains should come soon, but until they did, the heat was killing.

Dick Sharpe laughed at him "Can't get it up, more like!" he said grinning.

Garrard felt churlish at the remark, trust Dick to say something like that. "I'm going to sit with me feet in the river. What about you?" he asked of Sharpe.

"Aye, alright then" came the answer, for truth to tell, Dick Sharpe wasn't too bothered either.

Lolling on the riverbank Sharpe asked "You get your mercury ration this mornin'? I did."

"What mercury ration?"

Sharpe shrugged his shoulders "Sergeant give it me. Said it was me ration. Buck shee it was, no money for it, he didn't want paying. Said it was on ration".

Garrard shook his head. "No. I didn't get any". He wasn't that interested. He wiggled his toes in the cool river water, then stirred up the mud, watching all the bits whirl round and then settle on the bottom again.

Sharpe took another swig from the stone jar and shoved it into one of Tom's empty boots to stop it toppling over. He lay back on the sparse sandy grass, bored out of his mind.

"What piquet you on tonight?" asked Garrard. Most of their conversations centred on army life. Or sex.

"I'm not. Sergeant changed it". Sharpe closed his eyes against the intense sunlight and his world went black.

"Why was that, then?"

Sharpe shrugged "I dunno. Didn't ask him. Don't care. Just so long as it's not me standing in the dark on me tod for hours on end, I don't give a monkey's!".

Garrard would have been happier if Dick Sharpe had been on piquet duty. He wouldn't then spend his evening being picked up by every bugger that took a shine to him. Three new companies had joined the 33rd, and business for the likes of Dick Sharpe was brisk. Word had got about. It sickened Garrard, that his mate had got that tag stuck to him. But Dick didn't care. So long as he made a bit of money.

"So" asked Garrard "We going into town tonight, or what?"

Sharpe sighed. "Can't. Confined to camp. Sergeant said so."

"What you? Or all of us?" Garrard wanted to know.

"I dunno. You ask 'im if you want to know" Sharpe turned to look at his friend "What's it to you, anyway, you've got no money?"

Garrard shut up. No point in going into town without a penny in your pocket. He let his mind drift and his feet paddle.

"Best be geting back" said Sharpe after a while "Time for that bloody inspection. Hope your musket passes muster, didn't look clean to me, you rushed it". He said it with enough conviction to worry Garrard. Just for a moment.

They got themselves together and started to amble back to their tents, jackets undone, muskets over their shoulders, stone jugs dangling from their fingers, the hot Indian sun beating down on them.

"Right then, Sir" said a rasping voice "That's 'im, there. The pretty boy with the blond hair. About eight o' clock tonight, Sir, by these tents. No names, no questions, just give the boy a few coins, he'll know you've squared the rest with me. That's our arrangement. He'll be happy. You, too, Sir, eh? Afterwards. If he's busy, come back about half an hour later. Alright? He'll see to you, don't you worry, Sir. Get your money back otherwise."

Sgt Hakeswill laughed to himself as the young officer wandered off. He counted the coins in his hand, then looked over to where Dick Sharpe still ambled along, unaware he was being watched. Unaware of anything. Hakeswill slid the coins into the lining of his shako and clapped it back onto his head. "Daft as a bucket, that's what you are Sharpie!" he cackled as he scuttled off.

The End.

Anon; Jan.1999.

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