?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
14 October 2007 @ 02:19 pm
Prototype (fan fic!)  
Title: Prototype
Fandom: Hot Fuzz
Character/s: NA/oc
Word Count: 2,800
Rating: PG-13
Summary: There is always history, and this is the history of one Nicholas Angel.

NOTES: Keeerist I am ONE with the ANGST these days... I cried writing this story, okay? So you cannot say I have not warned you. FYI My supposition is that the character is roughly the same age as Simon Pegg, and so I put his birth year kind of randomly at 1969. We all love the sixty-nine, yes? Well you won’t find it here; get your mind out of the gutter and come get your daily PG-rated angst!


Prototype

1979
Toby the Toad: everyone called him that. He was a heavy set boy whose father always said was going to be a great rugby player, but Nicholas doubted it. Toby spent too much time drawing and never joined the other boys in pickup football games at school. Nicholas thought it was unjust how the others picked on the poor kid, but he was not particularly fond of the strange boy himself and as long as no one broke any of the playground rules, he stayed out of it.

The year he was ten, though, Toby’s family moved next door to Nicholas’. He knew that Toby’s family moved a lot so he did not expect Toby to be around for long and basically ignored his presence. Nicholas had a lot of homework to do anyway, and he practiced football and riding his bike in his free time. He did not have much time for friends, not that there were many other boys lined up for the job. His mother worried about him, even though she appreciated his good marks. She called him “serious” and told him he needed to have more fun. Nicholas understood her concerns, but if he was going to be a policeman, he needed to work hard and be the best.

Toby’s mother showed up one day to talk to Nicholas’ mother. He was not worried because he never even talked to Toby so he could not be charged with harassing him. He left them in the kitchen to talk like mothers do. He went and sat in his room (which was all his and his alone now that his older brother moved out) working on his math.

“Nicky?”

Nicholas cringed. He asked his mother not to call him that but she was very stubborn and she always acted like she was right about everything.

“Yes, Mother?”

“You know Toby here, eh?”

Nicholas froze in horror as she led a very unwilling Toby into the room, holding his book bag. Nicholas nodded at his mother, angry about whatever scheme she was trying to pull him into now.

“Well his marks aren’t so good, and his mum and I thought maybe if he had a study partner he might do better. You think? And you’re so smart, Nicky, I’m sure you can help him. You like helpin’, I told his mum. Sure we’d be glad to help.”

Nicholas tried not to show his displeasure. It was important to keep emotions in check during difficult situations, he knew, and this was gong to be a very difficult situation. If nothing else, this was going to line him up along with Toby at school for some serious harassment. Nicholas hated fighting, because it was against the rules, not to mention generally so inefficient. That’s what laws are for. But no law was going to get him out of being Toby’s study partner, if that was what his mother decided. Nicholas respected her authority, but that did not mean he was happy about her decision.

His mother left them alone, and Nicholas looked sharply at Toby, who looked about as happy as Nicholas felt.

“Well come on, then. Sit here.” Nicholas moved over on the bed and flipped back a few pages in the book to work he completed last week.

Toby did as he was told, climbing on the bed and looking at Nicholas in awe. “You know, it weren’t me that asked…”

“Doesn’t matter, does it? Here, you done these exercises yet?”

Toby leaned in to look at the page, and shook his head.

“I’m not good at math.”

Nicholas nodded curtly, suspecting that he was bad at it because he never tried.

“We’ll start here. Get your notebook out.”

Toby did, and when he opened it, Nicholas laughed.

“What’s that?”

“Just some…cartoons.” Toby fiddled with the pages. Nicholas looked at him and realized he was not a toad, in fact he was rather nice, although blushing to an amazing red. It would not kill him to encourage the kid.

“They’re great!”

“Really?...that’s Wolverine, there.”

“Who?”

“You ain’t never heard of Wolverine?”

1982
Nobody tried beating up on Nicholas anymore. He was still scrawny for a 13 year old, but he had two years of martial arts practice now and he was the top cyclist in his age group. He got up at 4:30am every morning to ride with the team during season, and stayed up until 10pm doing his homework. He was interested in girls, to his parent’s relief, but they were difficult creatures who wanted to talk on the phone all the time when he needed to be studying.

And, since no one was willing to take on Nicholas Angel in a fight anymore, no one was willing to lay a hand on Toby Conrad either. In fact, even without Nicholas around, Toby was now someone that most people stayed on the good side of. Nicholas talked him into taking up rugby – he was perfectly built for it, after all – and while they both worried that he might damage his drawing hand, it was one of the best things Toby ever did. He grew strong and self-confidant, and did not mind it when people made jokes that he was bender because he liked to spend so much time on his watercolors. Nicholas was very proud of Toby’s water colors, in fact, and put quite a few of them on this mother’s fridge. His mother mentioned that it was a bit odd having another boy’s paintings hanging in her house, but Nicholas calmly explained to her that he was a terrible artist anyway, so they should really have nice art on the fridge if they could get it.

The worst day was the year before when Toby’s father was arrested and sent off for drug dealing. Just like Uncle Derek. Toby was inconsolable and Nicholas told his mother in no uncertain terms that Toby was going to stay with them for the week until Toby’s mother found a new flat and got things “figured out” (which is what adults always called it, but Nicholas knew Toby’s mother well enough to see that she was never, ever going to figure anything out). Since then, Toby spent the night at least once a week. Currently his mother had a low-rent, hideously dirty flat on the far side of town so it was a chore just to get Toby back and forth between the two places. Not for the first time, Nicholas considered just asking his mother to let Toby move in with them.

They laid in bed together as Toby read out the latest X-Men comic, making faces and sounds to go along with the action. Nicholas still thought comics were stupid, but Toby made him laugh himself senseless with the play-by-play report on each issue so he learned to look forward to them. Their routine, which Nicholas established a long time ago, was dinner with Nicholas’ parents, then homework for two hours exactly, then art time for Toby while Nicholas did his calisthenics, and finally comic book time on Nicholas’ bed. Sometimes Nicholas would wrap his arm abound Toby and they would sit there like brothers, leaning against each other, while Toby read to them. After that Toby would roll out to the guest bed and they would invariably stay up another hour just talking in the dark.

Tonight, though, Toby was not interested in the comics.

“What’s wrong, mate?” Nicholas turned onto his side and propped himself up on his elbow.

“Mum.”

“She lost another job?”

“Yeah, but…it’s more than that, Nicholas. I dunno.”

“Toby, it has to be something.”

“It is! She’s actin’ funny. Like…” Toby breathed out heavily. “Like dad did. Before.”

Toby’s father was a junkie, and his arrest for drug dealing was just fall out from a habit that ruined his life years earlier. Nicholas kept a close eye on Toby’s mother, looking for something just like this to happen, but had not seen it. She could not keep a job and she went through boyfriends like frozen dinners but he was surprised to hear this.

“You think?”

“Well, not the same. I mean, I’d know ‘the same’ and it’s not. Just not actin’ herself, y’know?”

“It might be something else.”

“…She keeps talking about moving back to Wales.”

Nicholas’ heart stopped.

“But I don’t think she is, Nicholas, don’t worry.” Toby rolled onto his side so he was facing Nicholas and gave his arm a brotherly squeeze. Nicholas just nodded, trying to process this new and unexpected concern. Losing Toby was not something he ever considered, despite all the trouble in Toby’s family. Toby was here. Toby was staying.

“Nicholas?” Toby frowned.

“Yeah, Toby?”

“If she did, I mean…you think…maybe I could stay here? I mean if your parents don’t mind, I mean…”

Nicholas smiled, relieved beyond words. “You belong here, mate. Nowhere else. I’ll take care of it.”

Toby smiled and threw himself into hugging Nicholas. They did not hug much of course but Nicholas always felt comfortable with it, so he put his arms around Toby and kissed him on the forehead like his mother always did with him. Suddenly he felt Toby clench up.

“What’s wrong? I told you, you’re staying here.”

Toby talked into Nicholas’ shoulder. “I know.”

Nicholas rubbed his back to try and calm him down but it made matters worse and he stopped, confused. “Toby?”

Toby looked up at him, terrified, and Nicholas immediately wanted to jump up and kill whatever it was that was haunting Toby like this. “Toby! What’s wrong, come on, tell me.”

Toby shook his head and gracefully, slowly, drew up and kissed Nicholas on the mouth.

1985
Nicholas’ mother called Toby her ‘fourth’un’ because he was always around. They were fifteen-bordering-on-sixteen year old boys now and into everything boys like to do, of course with Nicholas’ intense focus on succeeding at school undiminished. Nicholas suspected that his younger sister had a crush on Toby, which was fine; she was not much of a threat.

Toby slept over a lot, and Nicholas’ mother laughed about it but accepted it as given. The fact that this included late night rutting sessions that would put the entire football team to shame was not information she needed to know, as far as Nicholas was concerned. They both dated girls occasionally and usually unsuccessfully, but they had to. Nicholas discovered that he rather liked girls, in fact, and the worst fight he ever had with Toby was whether losing his virginity to Sarah Merton was the same thing as losing his virginity to Toby. He maintained that it was not. Nonetheless Toby flew into a jealous rage and did not talk to him all week.

He was trying to get Toby interested in joining the police along with him. Toby just shrugged, saying that he needed to quit school soon to support his mother, or they would be homeless. Nicholas felt that if Toby’s mother went homeless, she was pretty much getting what she deserved, and then he and Toby could move in together anyway. Toby’s mother, in fact, was self-destructing, and Nicholas knew it even if Toby did not want to. There was no doubt in Nicholas’ mind that she was on drugs now and hanging out with the criminal element and who knew what else. He tried to keep Toby away from her as much as possible, but there was no way he could break the bond of son to mother, and he knew it. He just hoped she would hold together long enough for Nicholas to arrange everything, to make it so that Toby would go with him to university, and they would join the Met and live together and finally just be away from all these lies and secrets and problems.

Nicholas got out of judo practice covered in sweat and all he really wanted was to take a shower, but he needed to go collect Toby. He had not seen him since school the day before, and Toby was not at school that day, which was becoming a re-occurring and worrying problem. Nicholas wanted to get him, bring him home, and talk to him seriously about it. He suspected he should have skipped school that morning to hunt Toby down, but he could not bring himself to break the rules like that just because he was worried.

Fortunately his dojo was not to far from Toby’s mother’s current roach-infested flat, so he jogged over as a cool down. They would take the bus back over to Nicholas’ side of town and he could rest then. Once he had Toby.

He got up to the flat and stopped. The door was kicked in and a police barrier tape ran across the opening. He just stared. He knew, absolutely knew, that he could not cross that barrier. There was evidence in there, of something…but where was Toby?

“’Ey, y’ miss all the excitement.” An old man Nicholas recognized only as ‘a neighbor’ stood outside his own flat door, chewing on something.

“What happened here?” Nicholas pointed.

“Came and got ‘er, they did. Damn time too, the crowd she ‘ang with was dangerous. Not good for us law abidin’ folk, I tell you.”

Nicholas stared at the man with such a cold look that he nervously backed up.

“What about her son?”

“Oh, eh, they got him too. In protective custody, I guess. Kind of rough looking character, but just a kid, right?...well, er, he ain’t here.” The old man shuffled back and shut the door on Nicholas.

He swung his head to look at the police barrier, then tore it down and walked in. The place was wrecked up more than usual, and food was still on a plate in the kitchen. A plain peanut butter sandwich. Toby’s favorite breakfast.

Walking to the back, where Toby’s small bed lay on the floor of what was just a walk-in closet, Nicholas looked around. Clothes were strewn about, as if someone packed quickly. It only meant that they did not arrest Toby, that he had time to try and gather a few of his things. But lying on the bed was his black “Siouxie Sioux” shirt, his favorite shirt, the shirt that Nicholas bought for him from a Virgin music store when he was in London with his parents on vacation last year. The shirt Nicholas brought back for his lover, and the shirt his lover wore nearly every day.

Toby did not pack his own things. Toby was taken away before he could.

2005
Nicholas had to find Sandford, Gloucester on a map, because he did not have a clue as to where it actually was. He was entirely displeased but he packed coldly and methodically, ignoring the kids in the hall at Peel House playing football or something. He kept getting calls from Inspector Butterman and ignoring them, feeling that he had plenty of time ahead to learn to dislike both Butterman and Sandford more than he already did.

He pulled out the tee shirt from the bottom of the drawer. It was folded carefully and it was always there, but Nicholas never wore it. He stopped sleeping with it after a few years, and it was just there, at the bottom of the drawer. It was washed enough times to just smell like detergent now. Nicholas still picked it up and held it to his face.

He tried to find Toby right after, but privacy laws kept him locked out of Toby’s world. He did find out that he was eventually sent to relatives in Wales, but no one, not even his father the well-connected solicitor, could worm the address out of Protective Services. He waited a year for Toby to mail him a letter or call, and to this day did not want to believe that Toby did not try to reach him somehow. When he did think about that, his only conclusion was that they both knew Nicholas failed. He knew to his bones that Toby expected Nicholas to save him, and that Nicholas, by not going there the minute Toby did not show up for role call that morning at school, failed them both.

When he first joined the Met he realized he had to ability to pry into the matter and find Toby. They were different men, now, though, and he suspected his appearance again in Toby’s life would not be welcome. More importantly, Nicholas did not know what on earth he could possibly say to the one person he truly loved once, and who he could not save. Nicholas followed the rules and he did exactly what was expected of him and Toby disappeared out his life like a shadow.
 
 
Current Mood: sadsad
 
 
 
the girl in the pj's!: shaun | ed | kiss meanesthezea on October 14th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
you have successfully made me cry like a baby love something that isn't nick/danny (yet)! i salute you!
mikes_grrl on October 14th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
Whew! You don't know how happy I am to hear that. I think it is an interesting story but lacking the NA/DB dynamic, I was worried that no one would read it.

Thanks!
(Deleted comment)
mikes_grrl on October 14th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
Right. I meant, no one but you.

I can see I'm going to have to get creative to keep Mistress happy...
rhea530: spacedrhea530 on October 14th, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC)
This fic was so sad. I found Nicholas' characterization to be spot on. He's simultaneously emotionally open and closed when it comes to those he cares about. His pre-occupation with the rules continually impedes his ability to form and sustain relationships. We see it with Danny, then with Toby and even with his Mom. He views his relationship with her as rule-based. He's not happy with the rules, but doesn't go against it. Yet at the same time, he's continually looking for a way to escape them. i.e. looking for a way for he and Toby to be together. (Okay, I'm done over-analyzing this- promise).

I really enjoy how character-driven your writing is. Please write more soon!

mikes_grrl on October 14th, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
Please, I enjoy your over-analyzing! I love how you picked up on all of that; some of it I barely registered while writing, but yes, it's all there, particularly the dynamic with his mother. I could see Nicholas just transfering his ideas about his mother to the service.

I'm writing more, no worries. Damn, the problem seems to be these day is how to stop...

Thanks for the encouragement!
lacking in glitter: subtexttawg on October 15th, 2007 08:40 am (UTC)
This was really good. A bit lighter than you last one (which I think I needed) but just as pleasing. You have this amazing way of communicating a character's thought processes without spelling everything out. You spell out maybe a third of it, and then there's another third through actions, and then the last bit is just what us fangirls know from having seen it. And it all overlaps is such a pleasing way. Like, you write about Nick learning Judo when he was a kid, and my mind goes 'well, of course he did, that just makes sense'.
zombie survivalist: gunbehindheadbeccavox on October 15th, 2007 07:36 pm (UTC)
Your Nicholas is just spot on (and your Danny is too, btw)...and I loved this story. In the First Time stories, I thought that you'd nailed Nicholas and his insecurities, his anal retentiveness, and his genuine concern for others. You did it again here. Lovely.

I will now go into a corner and weep for my unfinished fanfic.