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29 October 2007 @ 06:43 am
Response and Responsibilities (Part 1)  
I actually wrote this story last week as I finished editing on To Move Mountains as a way to combat the blood and tears soaked angst of that story, but I wanted to close that story before posting this. I like this story. Stupid, I suppose, but I do...hope you do too.

Title: Response and Responsibilities, Part One of Three
Fandom: Hot Fuzz
Character/s: NA/DB in a romance-y sort of way
Word Count: 6,500 (in three parts)
Rating: PG-13 (mostly for cussing)
Summary: Chick Flick romance! Unrequited love! Mistakes in judgment! Stupid Secrets! And…a baby girl!!!!

NOTES: This is essentially the ‘chick flick’ fanfic of NA/DB; no actual seks, but buckets of domestic angst and maudlin sentimentality! Chick flicks are always full of despair and unrequited love, but somehow end happily every time, right? Right. So now you know what you’re in for.
For the sake of this story, we are pretending that there is some department within the Met that assists rural villages in Gloucester with staffing issues, and that this department is probably the greatest fear of every Met officer alive.



Response and Responsibilities

Nicholas’ life fell apart when he was out of town, and if he was not so focused on his work and responsibilities, it would not have happened. He was in London on business and to visit family which was almost like business, so he told Danny they would vacation together some other time. Danny actually drove him all the way to the station to catch the train and they shook hands on the platform as Nicholas boarded. As long as he lived, he would never forget Danny standing there, like that, as a man – a partner – who belonged to him and him alone.

It was not a relationship, of course. Nicholas was bi and to a point comfortable with that, but Danny was a country boy with very little experience and an obvious appreciation for women. Nicholas knew that liking women did not necessarily cross out the other gender entirely, but he never picked up that interest in Danny. Much. There was the one time when they were drunk and wrestling, when Danny groped him clumsily and they ended up kissing for several hours. The next morning Danny sheepishly asked Nicholas if he remembered anything, and for the first time Nicholas looked his partner in the eye and lied dead to rights. Danny was both relieved and disappointed at Nicholas’ assertion that he did not remember anything, but by the time Nicholas registered the ‘disappointed’ part of that expression, it was too late to back peddle. It remained Danny’s secret.

For over two years life for Nicholas’ was next to ideal, aside from renegade swans and the repressed sexual tension that was a one-way street. Then he took that trip to London, and even as he came back and assumed life was normal, the forces of fate were slowly wrecking his world. Danny picked him up at the station when he got back and everything, absolutely everything, seemed just fine.

Nothing prepared him for the day two months later when Danny came into his office, lit up like a Christmas bulb, and told him that he, Daniel Butterman, was going to be a father. He was ecstatic, and Nicholas congratulated him as best he could without falling down in shock. It was going to be quick wedding, naturally, but the girl’s father slapped Nicholas on the back one night at the pub during one celebration or another and told him that kids will be kids, and as long as his grandchild had a last name, he was happy. Nicholas only nodded.

In private, Danny explained that it was just a mistake. While Nicholas was in London, Danny went to the pub alone and went home not alone. He liked the girl, Nancy Reaper (a cousin of James Reaper, but no one talked about that branch of the family anymore), who was two years behind him in school. She was pretty in a stout, country way with charming freckles and, Nicholas was forced to admit, a fantastic recipe for raspberry pie. She was not very bright, which annoyed Nicholas to no end, but Danny acted pleased with his acquisition.

Except when they were alone, in Danny’s flat. He tried to keep up the excitement, and it was not hard when he talked about being a father soon. It was much more difficult for him when he talked about being a husband.

“She don’t like movies much, and well, she don’t understand me bein’ a policeman officer.”

“What do you mean?” Nicholas reached to turn down the volume on the TV.

“Well her dad’s got that farm, and I think they were hopin’ she might marry someone to help take it over, yeah? But I can’t do that.”

Nicholas nodded, trying to think of something to say other than ‘for god’s sake call it off!’

Nicholas was best man, although he let the Andes plan the bachelor party, which in all regards Nicholas realized was a mistake. At least, he thought so. They invited Doris, a fact everyone thought quite reasonable despite Nicholas’ protests, and they got three girls from Flappers to strip at the station office, which Nicholas insisted was inappropriate. Somehow, Nicholas still ended up drunk with one of the strippers on his lap, and that photo was permanently glued with epoxy to the station wall outside of the Andes’ office. Nicholas forbade them to put up the one with Doris down to her bra and slip on Danny’s lap, although he knew without a doubt that it was stashed somewhere in the building.

Given the entrenched families involved, and the tentacles of blood-ties that ran throughout Sandford and the neighboring villages, it turned into one of the biggest weddings of the year. As Nicholas stood at the front of the church with a very nervous Danny, looking out at all the people he had come to care about in the village that he now called home, and watching the man who was his best friend and in many ways his only friend get married, Nicholas understood that his life there was over.

He waited until the child was born and Danny was flying high on the joys of late night burpings and milk warmers then put in for a transfer back to London. It took a while; his rank worked against him in this case, and it was during the party for Little Irene’s 7th month birthday party that he was finally offered a position in London. He waited until the next day to tell Danny.

“Wot?”

“You’ve got a family, now, Danny, and my career will stagnate if I stay here too long. We’ve always known that.”

“What’s my havin’ a family to do with it?”

Nicholas stuttered. “Well…I mean…”

“You’re leavin’ because we can’t spend every night on the couch watchin’ movies?” Danny was mad and Nicholas felt himself back peddling pathetically.

“I just meant…things change, Danny. It’s not that specifically, although I do miss our times together, I have to admit…just…”

“I’ll set you up with Cousin Rachel.”

Nicholas stopped. “What?”

“Rachel’s an accountant and pretty, too, and she runs marathons. I think you just need to settle down, Nicholas. I’ve got a family now and I understand what my dad always told me, about being a father making a man of you. Com’on, Nicholas, stay here. It’s a good life here, in Sandford. ”

Nicholas was gone within the month.

-------

His job was not quite a desk-bound one, but close. He agreed to take charge of a unit that was universally maligned and avoided and turned it around within six months, earning three more commendations in the process. His staff was friendly – for Londoners – and remained formal, distant and professional when interacting with him. He got the distinct impression that he intimidated them, and found proof of that when he accidentally came across the print out of a personal email describing him as the “Angel of Hell”. Not the first time someone made that joke, but it took on a different resonance when used by his administrative assistant.

He ate dinner with Janine and Dave, who were officially engaged, and he pretended to enjoy it. The experience made him question who he used to be; nothing about Janine was appealing to him anymore, not her looks or her laugh or her job.

There was one redeeming aspect to London, and it was the sex. If Danny and life in Sandford taught him one thing, it was how important relaxing and enjoying yourself is to happiness. In Sandford, that meant pub nights and, well, Danny. In London, that meant finally getting laid. Repeatedly. He decided that he was tired of being wound up like an unspent top and took to the rounds enthusiastically, always keeping his conquests separate from work and never committing to a second date. He arranged his sex life for maximum efficiency and precision, and it fit his life well as long as he did not start thinking about emotional intimacy or Danny.

He talked to Danny regularly over the course of the two years that followed. He received many – many, many, many – photos of Little Irene, and once in a while of Little Irene and her Daddums. They plastered Nicholas’ office and his home, and he spent far too much time at the stores before the holidays trying to decide between the little constable uniform costume or the Official Met Police Roller-Wheel Wagon and deciding, in the end, on both. Ironically, it was the man who sent him to Sandford who called him out. Sergeant Francis Diamond was not a friend, but something of an acquaintance, and never visited. They usually just nodded in the halls and talked amicably at meetings. Nicholas still had not forgiven him for sending him to Sandford in the first place, against his will, although he knew it was rather unfair of him to keep holding a grudge. Being promoted ahead of him, though, was at least something.

“Cute.”

“She’s nearly three.” Nicholas did not look up from his paperwork.

“Well, ‘inspector,’ she’s adorable.”

Nicholas looked up and smiled. “I think so.”

Diamond stared at him. “You’re smiling.”

Nicholas cleared his face and nodded. “I do that occasionally, ‘sergeant.’ So why are you here?”

“You’ve got her picture everyyyywhere.” Diamond walked around the office that, Nicholas had to admit, was nearly wallpapered with Little Irene. “I don’t have this many photos and I got three little ones.”

“Yes. So, you are here because?...”

“Mm? Oh yes. Chief Inspector retirement party. I’m sure you’re happy to see him go…Oh, what a cute little constable costume!” He pointed at one of the photos in delight.

“Yes, Christmas present. The party?...”

“Oh YOU got her the little uniform! Oh that’s just too cute, really, it is.”

“Sergeant Diamond! You were saying?...”

“This her other daddy?”

“Yes.” Nicholas ground his teeth and then registered what Diamond said. “What?”

“Handsome.”

Nicholas blinked. “Excuse me?”

“Well, in an adorable way. Cuddly. And such lovely brown eyes…” Diamond leaned in, inspecting Danny. “Certainly not what I thought would be your type.”

Nicholas worked his jaw but no sound came out of him.

“They make such a cute pair, though. And her eyes… she’s something of your side of the family, no?” Diamond looked at him expectantly, but Nicholas could not talk. “Well no shame in it man! However you get to be a father these days is still good in my book. You should be proud. So! Party, tomorrow night, at the Regency Pub on Bottle Lane. At seven. Oh and Sally, his secretary, is collecting for a present so try to get a few pounds to her by tomorrow afternoon. That’s all then, ‘inspector.’ Tell your homebodies you’ll be home late tomorrow!” Diamond pointed at the photos, gave him a ‘ta ta’ wave and walked out.

Nicholas stood in the middle of his office, floored, and speechless. He looked around and saw that his office was nothing more than a shrine to a man he loved and the daughter that was not his.

His entire staff stood in shock as he told as them that he was leaving early for the day, and was not going to be in tomorrow, and gave them absolutely no reason as to why.

The next few months were agony. It was as if that simple exchange with Diamond opened up a deep, abandoned mine in Nicholas’ heart and he spent most evenings alone, drinking, looking at photographs and re-reading five year old newspaper reports about the take down of the NWA. He avoided Danny’s calls and pretty much anything that was not mandatory at work.

The messages Danny left for him were all fairly cheerful, although he sounded stressed. With a three year old and a housewife to support on a sergeant’s salary, Nicholas could understand why, though. He always called Danny back from the office, where he was sure someone would interrupt him within ten minutes with something that needed his signature or approval so he could make an excuse to get off the phone. Danny kept leaving messages on his cell phone but did not call him directly at work. Nicholas never told him not to, but it was something of an unspoken agreement that right now was working to Nicholas’ benefit. He felt terrible about avoiding Danny – and Little Irene, who was calling him ‘Unka Wick’ – but he felt even worse when he did talk to him.

What bothered Nicholas the most was not his new understanding of his feelings for Danny and the baby, but that there was absolutely nothing he could do to resolve the matter for himself. It was a one-way street as it had always been and Nicholas was in London, watching from a distance as Danny constructed a whole life that just barely included Nicholas at all. Sometimes when he was well into his drinking he thought that he made a mistake by leaving Sandford, that Danny might have needed him somehow, but then he’d look at the photos of the joyously happy ‘Daddums’ holding his precious child and Nicholas knew he made the right choice. He was not fond of Nancy Reaper Butterman but she was the mother of Danny’s child and she was Danny’s wife and Nicholas knew instinctively that he could not ever compete with that.

Sometimes he fell asleep looking at Danny’s photo but holding a picture of Irene in his lap. He expected, once, to have some kind of influence in her life, even if just as an ‘uncle’ in London. He wanted to buy her a ‘police’ cart like he once had, and maybe get her into track or football. There was even the small part of him that wanted her to be proud of Danny and even himself, to admire them for being police officers, and maybe someday follow in their footsteps. It was maudlin sentimentally of the highest order, and he wallowed in it, knowing that now, given his feelings and his heartbreak, the only right thing to do was let them both go.

>----
 
 
Current Mood: happyhappy
 
 
 
hmcgirl on October 29th, 2007 12:57 pm (UTC)
::wails:: It's so sad!!

Poor Danny, so clueless and happy. Daddy Danny is probably one of the cutest things ever.

More?? ::nudges:: :)
mikes_grrl on October 29th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
More is done, and in editing. No fear!

Yes, Daddy Danny is just too cute. I may have to do another story with him as a daddy, it is almost irrestible!!!

the girl in the pj's!: hot fuzz | met | sergeantanesthezea on October 29th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
one: i hate chick flicks.
two: but i love this!!!!
three: you've made me cry at work! thank god no one's here but me.

Danny as a Dad is the cutest thing ever! Poor, poor Nick! Loved the bit between the sergeant and Nick. Lovely stuff (if very, very, wibbly-angsty). :)
mikes_grrl on October 29th, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC)
Irony: I hate chick flicks too! LOL! But I had to call this what it is after I wrote it. Pathetic, really!

Sorry I made you cry, but I guess I'm glad to, because that means the story is working....bwaaahahahaha....

Thanks for the encouragement!
Rhea: tardissaturn_shumba on October 30th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
why must you break my heart? *sob*

Good stuff, though. I always love your stories. ♥
tis022tis022 on October 30th, 2007 05:49 am (UTC)
"Nicholas stood in the middle of his office, floored, and speechless. He looked around and saw that his office was nothing more than a shrine to a man he loved and the daughter that was not his." Broke me to the point of tears. Why always the Angst?
zombie survivalistbeccavox on November 4th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
so this will have a happy ending right? off to part two...(hoping against all hope that the angst will go away).