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New Fic: Educational Opportunity

Educational Opportunity
Fandom: Being Human UK
Rated: G
Category: Hal and Tom friendship, humor.
Series: Five. Post “The Final Broadcast” but pre extra scene.
Spoilers: Nothing specific, but “The Final Broadcast” for the state of our trinity.
Word Count: 883
Summary: There are some things that if not learned as a child, are generally not learned. But maybe it’s never too late?


I wasn't expectin' the knock on me door. And it was real quiet, like. Wasn't even sure I 'eard it at first. But then I 'eard his voice, just as quiet, call out.



The door slowly creaked open, and Hal popped his head in me room. Then he slowly came all the way inside and shut the door behind ‘im. I perked up, wondering what would make 'im come in 'ere. He hates it in 'ere. Says it's so messy he can't hear 'imself think. Whatever that means. So I knew he had to have a good reason to be 'ere.

But he didn't say nowt. It was like he didn't even see me. He just stared at out me window for ages. So I reminded 'im I was there.

"Well, what you want, then?"

He looked all confused for a minute, then turned back the way he came.

"No," he mumbled. "It's... never mind."

"What is it, mate? You alright?"

"Fine. Just... never mind."

I laughed and waved him away. "Suit yourself."

He sighed, then turned back around again. I settled back against me bed, knowin' I was in for some of squirrely stuff. Hal can say that ain't a word all he wants, but Alex is right. He gets squirrely sometimes. Ain't no other word for it.

And he's squirrely now.

He walks over to the window and looks out, like he's checkin' to see if folks are watchin', then talks so quiet I barely 'ear 'im.

"Well, it's... what I mean is... can you... swim?"

I let out a big breath and a chuckle. I'd gotten all worked up by 'im actin' so odd, but this ain't nothin'.

"Oh! Yeah! And here I thought you was gonna ask me sommat hard!"

"I'm not done, Tom."

Oh, so there's more, then. Best to get on with it. "Okay, then. Go on."

Hal sighs and walks back to me door, then over to me.

He looks down at his shoes and speaks slowly. "Will you... teach me?"

I just stare at 'im. I'm not sure I 'eard 'im right, to be honest.

He gets embarrassed about a minute later.

"No. See? It was stupid of me to ask. Never mind. It was just... never mind."

I catch up with 'im as he reaches the door.

"No, mate. Don't go. Yeah. Sure. Sure, I can teach ya."

"And you won't make fun?"

Well, I would, if I didn't see sommat I never expected to see. He's actually scared. So, instead of pokin' at 'im, I just shake me 'ead.

"No. No way." I put a hand in the air. "You've asked a solemn favor, and I pledge to help ye."

He rolls his eyes. Good. That's more like Hal, then. He smacks me hand down for good measure, and I grin back at 'im.

"Oh, for God's sake," he growls.

I laugh at his return to Hal-ness and he rolls his eyes again and things are normal again. Except that I got questions.

"So, you really don't know how to swim?"

Hal glares at me. "Obviously not."

"But I thought you were a sailor? You know, back in the day?"

"The goal of sailing is to stay on the ship."

"Yeah, but still, ain’t that required for the job?"

"They didn’t exactly ask for my credentials.”

“And you never learnt? Even bein’ on a boat?”

“I might have attempted a few times, but I certainly was not proficient. And it was a very long time ago."

"Oh, right. And the whole vampire thing..."

Hal cuts me off. He don't like talkin' about invitations. Or crosses. Or reflections. Or water. Or anythin' like that.


I try to lighten the mood. "And with Alex wantin' to go to the beach..."

Hal nods just a bit. "Exactly."

"Well, you don't have to swim, Hal. There's loads to do at the beach otherwise."

"I'd like to, though," he says.

He’s talkin’ faster than he usually talks, and that means just one thing. That he means it, and that he doesn’t really want to say it, because he means it.

“Alright. Wanna impress Alex, then, do ya?”

Hal snorts and then shrugs. “I hadn’t really thought about that.”

“Then why you wanna do it so bad?”

Hal shrugs again, slow-like. “Because I never have.”

“You ain’t never gone swimmin’?”

“I can’t swim, remember? So no. Not like you mean it. Not for recreation.”

“How’d that happen?”

“What do you mean?”

“Not even a little as a lad?”

Hal laughs. “Tom, when I was a boy, I knew only the inside of a closet and city streets overrun with refuse. If one had access to more water than needed for drinking, one used it to bathe, but generally came out filthier than before.”

“Oh. Right. So, after work tomorrow, then?”


Hal nods and I can tell he’s nervous.

“Don’t worry, mate. You said you tried before. I bet you’re better than you think. You’ll remember right quick. It’s just like riding a bike.”

Hal’s eyes get big and I start to ask ‘im why when he just spins around and leaves.

That’s when I realize sommat. Hal don’t know how to ride a bike, either.

Man, do I have my work cut out for me.


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