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03 July 2007 @ 01:07 am
Fic: Side With the Seeds (Nick/Danny) (2/7)  
Title: Side With the Seeds
Rating: R, to be on the safe side
Summary: Set about a month or two after the NWA's reign of terror, Nicholas Angel plants bodies and buries seeds. Nick/Danny
Notes: I'm behind on my comments for the first chapter of this story, and my icons. So for now, I'm going to give a blanket Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, and I'll get caught tomorrow, hopefully!
Previous Parts: Chapter 1
Crossposted to pepperlandgirl4, fregg_love, sandfordpolice

Embracing the situation
Is our only chance to be free
I’ll side with you
If you side with me
--"Side With the Seeds" Wilco

Chapter 2

It’ll take some time to make it right.

That’s what Nicholas had said to Danny when he first broke ground in the garden of his new cottage.

It would take some time to till the ground.

It would take some time to plant the seeds.

It would take some time to make it grow.


“I like to watch you garden,” Danny said. The words surprised Nicholas. Danny had been unusually silent after they got back from the castle, settling in a lawn chair Nicholas had bought for that purpose. He had made an off-hand comment about Leslie Tiller’s shop earlier, and immediately looked away, almost visibly trying to pull the words back. Nicholas had assured him it was fine. But the look in Danny’s eyes said it wasn’t fine.

Nicholas didn’t look up from the patch of ground he was working on. “Why? It’s not nearly as interesting as Supercop.”

“Robocop.”

“What?”

“That’s what we watched last night.”

“Oh. Right. Well, it’s not as interesting as Robocop.”

“Did you like Robocop?”

The soil was different in his own garden. He wasn’t sure why. Maybe because it hadn’t already been overturned once. The sun felt different now, too. Not so hot on his back, though he could still feel the trickles of sweat down his arms and neck.

“Yeah, sure.” He sat back on his heels and glanced over to Danny. He was sucking the melted ice cream from the bottom of a cone, and he looked all right. “Why do you like to watch me garden?”

“I don’t know. You look happy, I suppose.”

Nicholas wiped the back of his arm over his brow. “Oh.”

“You’ve got…” He pointed to his forehead. “A bit of dirt.”

Nicholas wiped his arm over his skin again. “Did I get it?”

Danny smiled. “No. You made it worse.”

Nicholas frowned and pulled the hem of his shirt to his face. “How ‘bout now?”

“You look like you’ve been playing in the dirt.”

Nicholas returned his grin. “I have been playing in the dirt. Why don’t you lend me a hand?”

A part of him expected Danny to decline, but he joined him in the damp grass, unmindful of the new stains on his knees. “What are we doing, exactly?”

“Just pulling the weeds out. If we leave them unchecked, they’ll take over the garden and kill everything else.”

Danny’s face was set in a thoughtful frown. “How do you know which one is the weed? It all looks the same to me.”

Nicholas leaned forward, his arm brushing against Danny’s. “Look, see the thinner plants, like this? These are the weeds. I haven’t done this for a few weeks, so there’s a lot to do. Just grab it close to the bottom like this,” he wrapped his fingers around the weeds, “and pull.”

Danny nodded. “Got it.” He zeroed in on a group of thin stalks and tugged them free from the dirt, then held them up triumphantly. “Like this?”

“Like that. Do you want a pair of gloves?”

“Nah, I’m alright.”

“Alright.”

They worked side by side for several silent minutes, rhythmically pulling weeds from deep in the soil. Occasional, a plant or two would resist, and Nicholas would watch Danny’s face twist in annoyance before he pulled them out with a grunt.

“Have you talked to that lady again? The one from Liverpool?”

“Ms. Peoples? Yes. I spoke to her last night.”

“What did she say?”

Nicholas didn’t answer immediately. He moved further to the left, to an unweeded plot. Danny followed without speaking, settling beside him once again. It was hard to answer the question. Charlotte Peoples had dutifully compiled a list of sins, possible sins, and characteristics. Her lips had been thin, her dark eyes downcast.

“Lots of things. I don’t know if she actually gave us anything to work with. I told her…I told her maybe she should go home and I’d call her as soon as I found anything.”

“What did she say?”

“She said she wasn’t leaving.”

“She was here before, you know.”

“I know, she told me.”

“No, I mean, before that. I saw her with her family.”

Nicholas straightened. “Why didn’t you mention that before?”

“Well, I wasn’t sure at first, was I? I thought I recognized her, but when I saw the pictures of her family, I remembered.”

“You remembered her from seven years ago?”

“I remember her nephew. He was only a few years younger than me. I showed him the model village.”

Nicholas sat back on his heels again. “What else do you remember?”

“Nothing, really. They stayed at the Swan for about a week, and then they left.”

“They left? How do you know?”

“Because I saw them drive out of town.”

Nicholas stared at him, trying to figure out what the hell was going on. It never occurred to him to doubt Danny. If Danny claimed he saw Charlotte and her family in Sandford, then he probably did.

“So why did she lie to me?”

Danny shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“I should go speak to her.”

“Maybe she’s just confused,” Danny suggested.

Nicholas absently touched his lips with his fingers, coating them in dirt. He sputtered, spitting the dirt out of his mouth. Danny laughed and reached over to wipe the soil away from his face, forgetting that his own fingers were filthy. Nicholas jerked away, laughing, and brushed the back of his hand over his lips.

“Maybe we should go wash up.”

“What about the weeds?

“I think we’ve got some other work to do.”

#

“You want us to what?” Cartwright asked.

“Find out more information about this Charlotte Peoples.”

“Why the fuck would we want to do that?”

“Because I’m telling you to.”

“We’ve got actual work to do around here,” Wainwright said, gesturing to their desks. They did have other work to do. Work that technically wasn’t part of their job description, but everybody had to pitch in now. “We still have a fuckload of paperwork to do.”

“Just run a background check. Find out what you can about her.”

“Think you can tell us what we’re looking for? Is she some sort of psychopath or something?”

“She’s not some sort of psychopath. She’s here looking for her family.”

“Tell her to file a missing persons,” Cartwright said.

“Well, she did. She thinks they’re somewhere below this castle.” Nicholas waited for another smart comment, but that momentarily shut them down. “Just get the background check done, okay?”

“Yeah, we’ll get to it.”

Nicholas knew that was the best he was going to get from them. They were willing to cooperate, up to a point. They had found a space just outside of insubordination to inhabit, and were quite happy to stay there. It was best to pick his battles, so he just nodded and went back to his office.

Danny was waiting for him there.

“Doris called Ms. Peoples. She said she’d be here soon.”

“Good.”

Nicholas perched on the edge of his desk, just a foot away from Danny’s chair. He could touch him, if he wanted. Those moments were happening more and more frequently. The moments where the realization was followed by an impulse almost too powerful to ignore. Nicholas continually blamed the impulses on his relief. Danny meant a great deal to him. More than anybody else on the planet, if he was being honest with himself. That’s why he always tried to fill the space around Danny—he was just happy Danny was there. Thankful, even.

“Were the Andes being a pain?”

“How could you tell?”

“That vein in your forehead. It’s hammering.”

Nicholas touched his temple self-consciously. “It’s not hammering.”

“It is. And your face is all red.”
“Too much sun today. But they’re going to pull her background info.”

“Do you think you’ll find anything? I mean, if she’s a nutter, it won’t necessarily be on the report.”

“I don’t think she’s a nutter,” Nicholas said quickly.

Danny shrugged. “Well, her story is very strange, isn’t it?”

“I think we’re missing some details, is all.”

“Can I stay while you talk to her? Maybe we can do a bit of good-cop-bad-cop?”

Nicholas’ lips twisted. “Which are you, exactly?”

“I’ll be the bad cop.”

“Right. I’ll keep that in mind if she refuses to cooperate.”

“Have you ever done that?”

“No.” He took his notebook from his shirt pocket, hitting it absently against his palm. “Want to do something tonight?”

“Pub?”

The pub had been the first thing rebuilt and reopened in the aftermath. Nicholas shook his head. “You know you can’t drink with your pills.”

“I won’t drink.”

Nicholas arched his brow. “Really?”

“You’ll be there with me, right? You can make sure I don’t.”

“If you can’t drink, why do you want to go?”

“We haven’t been out in awhile. Nothing else going on, is there?”

“That remains to be seen,” Nicholas muttered as Charlotte knocked on the door. He straightened and walked across the room open the door.

Charlotte Peoples looked very put together now. In fact, he couldn’t remember the last time he seen anybody in Sandford looking so serene and confident. Every strand of hair was perfect, every brush of make-up carefully applied, and her blouse and skirt fit like they had been designed for her tall form. Nicholas took in each detail quickly, automatically, and the overall effect was nothing short of stunning.

“Inspector Angel? I was told you wanted to speak to me.”

“Right. Please, come in.”

Danny stood, politely offering his seat. She accepted it without so much as a nod, like it never occurred to her that Danny wouldn’t offer his seat. Danny, for his part, didn’t seem perturbed by this exchange, though Nicholas was already annoyed with her. Gone was the tired, frantic woman he meant before, and in her place was a woman who seemed to consider herself a princess.

“Did my notes help you?” She asked, leaning forward.

Nicholas settled behind his desk, flipping his notebook open. “They were quite interesting. I just have a few more questions.”

“Of course.” She finally deigned to look at Danny. “I was hoping we could talk alone. This is a rather sensitive matter.”

“Sergeant Butterman is my partner. I assure you, he can be trusted.”

“Yes, well, be that as it may, Inspector, I’d still be more comfortable talking to you privately.”

Danny slipped out of the room before Nicholas could stop him, and Nicholas didn’t bother to hide his annoyance. There was no reason Danny couldn’t stay, unless she was trying to hide something from him.

“Right then,” he said, once the door closed behind Danny. “I just have a few questions for you.”

“Of course. I figured you’d might. I’ll do whatever I can to help.”

“First, I need to know how many times you’ve visited Sandford.”

“This is my second time,” she answered promptly. “I’ve been here once before to file a missing persons report. That was when I spoke to Frank Butterman.”

“Are you sure you’ve never been to the village besides that?”

“Quite sure,” she said stiffly.

Doesn’t like to be questioned, Nicholas wrote quickly. “I just wanted to be sure we were covering all the bases.”

“Of course. I understand your job isn’t easy. I didn’t mean to…complicate things.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, why weren’t you with your family at the time?”

“I had to work.” She shook her head. “I always wonder…what if I had been here with them? Could I have done something? Or I would just be…missing, too?”

Nicholas continued to take notes. Could I have done something?

His eyes skimmed over it three times. Something was missing.

Sooner?

No. Charlotte. Charlotte wanted to know if she could have done something.

“The last time you spoke to them was the Saturday night before they were to leave. Is that right?”

“Yes. I expected to get a call from them the next night. They were taking the train to London, you see. And they weren’t on the passenger manifest.”

Why wait until the night they were supposed to leave? Nicholas wrote. They were insane, but they weren’t illogical. They always had a reason for everything. Working out their logic was an almost painful process at times, but the logic was there.

Charlotte shifted in her chair, and her skirt rode up her thigh. She didn’t straighten it, and she didn’t look away from him. Instead, she leaned forward, and Nicholas blinked. He wasn’t quire sure how, but her face changed. Not the features, of course. She was still the same woman. But now she was…soft. Her lips were a small cupid bow, her wide eyes an alluring shade of green.

“I was actually hoping you’d call me tonight,” she said, and even her voice sounded different. A little deeper, husky.

“Oh?” Nicholas knew he didn’t need to say anything more to encourage her.

“It can be lonely for somebody who isn’t from around here. Wouldn’t you agree?”

His gaze slid from her to the window behind her shoulder. Danny may have left the room, but he hadn’t gone far. Nicholas wasn’t sure if he could hear what was being said, but there was no way he’d misread her body language.

“Perhaps it would be more comfortable for you if you went home,” Nicholas suggested, pretending to be oblivious. “This process can take a very long time. I’ve already sent the dental records to the lab, so they can begin looking for matches.”

Her face hardened again, the mask falling back into place within the space of a breath. “I planned to stay here as long as it took.”

“I’ll be sure to call as soon as I have any news,” Nicholas promised, deciding the interview could end now. She wasn’t going to give him any more information. Not anything he needed, at any rate.

“Yes, well.” She stood. Nicholas saw Danny step back, out of sight, from the corner of his eye. “Thank you.”

Nicholas stood as well. “Have a good evening, Ms. Peoples.”

Charlotte calmly walked out of the office, as confident and self-assured as when she walked in. As soon as she disappeared out of the room, Danny re-emerged, his face pulled in a confused frown.

“What was that all about?”

Nicholas sighed. “I haven’t any idea.”

“I think she’s trying to hide something.”

“Undoubtedly.”

“Angel! Why the fuck have you got us chasing dead ends?” Wainwright demanded, his partner close on his heels.

Nicholas rubbed the bridge of his nose. “What are you talking about?”

“Charlotte Peoples from Liverpool is ninety-five years old. Oh, and dead.”

 
 
 
Klokkrazysteralizetheemo on July 3rd, 2007 08:53 am (UTC)
OooohhHhhhh....me LIKIES! Wow...this has got me hooked! I like how you portrayed Angel i do :D very class A writing m'dear!!
Clo: Hot Fuzz - Dorkitudeclo on July 3rd, 2007 09:58 am (UTC)
Have to say, this was the best surprise to wake up to on my flist this morning. I was hoping you'd keep the excellence of the last chapter up and you really have; the writing is fantastic (I love that you include words and phrases from the movie occasionally, reinforcing the characters), the description of the Andes hovering around insubordination sounded exactly like them and the A-plot is more than interesting enough to carry the story, even if there weren't the Nicholas/Danny hints (it's my pet peeve lately, to read so much fic where the slash is the plot when it should really be being driven by the plot.)

I love that Nicholas trusts Danny implicitly. It says so much about them as a partnership and what they've been through together. The gardening scnes you're including are a really interesting framework, a nice look at the quieter side of Nicholas and how he's learnt to switch off when he needs to.

Loving this and looking forward to finding out what happens next. :)
Karuri: forhead - shaunkaruri_who on July 3rd, 2007 10:08 am (UTC)
ooooh! very good! what an interesting story line! it's starting to get really exciting! I want more danny/nicholas fluff so hurry with the next chapter!
Blade: Hot Fuzz | locker room | subtleblademistress on July 3rd, 2007 11:32 am (UTC)
I'm really enjoying this. Somehow I forgot that there's a whole lot of bodies under there, so it never occurred to me that it'd take forever to get them out.

I love Danny and Nick. Very in character. Looking forward to more :)
dj_intheuk: Angel Heartdj_intheuk on July 3rd, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
loving this story so far - great writing :)
prairiestar: nick heart dannyprairiestar on July 4th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
It's enormously fun to read about Danny and Nick working a case as partners.
I also love the way you're fleshing out their relationship (and really Nicholas' character, too) with the dirt/nature introspective scenes.
Keep up the great work. :)
Pandonkey: HF blue skypandonkey on July 4th, 2007 05:21 am (UTC)
I am so completely hooked on this story. Absolutely love it. The Nicholas/Danny interaction is just so warm and comfortable and right. And I'm really desperate to know what's up with the so-called Charlotte. There's something I particularly love about the scene between Charlotte and Nicholas in the office, with him calmly ignoring her advances and looking for Danny out the window. It just gives me the warm fuzzies. :)

(Two small word omissions I noticed, which I hope you won't mind my pointing out:
"Nicholas frowned and pulled the hem of shirt to his face." -- "hem of his shirt"
and
"“It can be lonely for somebody who isn’t around here. Wouldn’t you agree?”" -- "isn't from around here")
pepperlandgirl: Hot Fuzz BFFpepperlandgirl4 on July 4th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC)
Hee, no, I don't mind you pointing them out. I literally cannot see the mistakes myself (for various reasons)...you can have the job full time for my HF fic if you want to send me a message on YIM or email me, lol.
Skitz_phenom: Fregg - Happy Fuzzskitz_phenom on July 5th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
Ack... falling behind in keeping up with commenting! Many apologies! Although I've been avidly keeping up with reading, that's for certain!

I'm loving this story, so very much. Particularly the use of the garden as a metaphor for, well... so many things. Most especially the growing relationship between Nick and Danny. But it works well elsewhere, like this line: “Just pulling the weeds out. If we leave them unchecked, they’ll take over the garden and kill everything else.” Very deep, that.

“You look like you’ve been playing in the dirt.”

Nicholas returned his grin. “I have been playing in the dirt. Why don’t you lend me a hand?”


Love that exchange and the whole bit above it. Don't know what it is specifically, but I can really 'see' that play out in my mind.

I think it's very intersting the way you intersperse the bits of normalcy between them, with all of the heavier, darker stuff they're dealing with. Those moments are so bright and sweet and tender. And I love how you can see their relationship growing and changing. It's so sweet and compelling.

“Were the Andes being a pain?”

“How could you tell?”

“That vein in your forehead. It’s hammering.”


LOVE Danny being so aware of Nick that he picks up on small things like that.

YAY for Nick playing at being oblivious to Charlotte's 'charms' and worrying what Danny might think. Also I love that the moment she's dismissive to Danny, his opinion of her plummets. He's so protective!

And, I'm so very intrigued about what's going on with her! You've definitely drawn me in with the plot. As much as I love the budding relationship with Nick and Danny, if this were gen fic, I'd still be just as enthralled!

“Angel! Why the fuck have you got us chasing dead ends?” Wainwright demanded, his partner close on his heels.

Spot on for the Andes!

Going on to read the next part (again)!