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06 July 2007 @ 01:48 am
Fic: Side With the Seeds (Nick/Danny) (5/7)  
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 a bit more caught up on the comments. Please, if I haven't responded to you, know that I really, really, really appreciate that you took the time to post.
Previous Entry: Chapter 4.

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 5

Nicholas found Danny standing in the middle of his kitchen, a container of yogurt in one hand, a perplexed, sour look on his face. His jaw worked, and he swallowed the food with another grimace before setting the carton down.

“What was that?”

“Yogurt.”

“That was disgusting.”

“Well, it’s plain yogurt.”

“Blah. Do you have anything else in here?”

“I’ve got some fruit,” Nicholas said, walking over to the fridge. “Did you just wake up?”

“Yeah, about a half hour ago.” He ran his hand over his eyes. “Still feel like I’m half-asleep, though.”

“You want a sandwich?”

“I can do it.”

“No, I’m making myself one anyway. Just sit down.”

Danny did so without further protest, and Nicholas could feel his eyes on him as he moved around the kitchen. When Nicholas glanced at him, he saw that the vague sense of confusion was still evident on Danny’s face.

“You don’t usually come home for lunch, do you?”

“No, but I wanted to come by and see you.”

“Check up on me, you mean?”

Nicholas shrugged, taking a loaf of all-grain bread from the box. “That, too. How are you feeling?”

“Better.”

“Good.”

“I was a bit confused though, when I woke up. I didn’t remember where I was.”

“Sorry. I almost woke you up this morning before I left, but I thought you needed your sleep,” Nicholas said, his head down as he concentrated on building the sandwiches. One for him. Two for Danny. Though, he didn’t really have an appetite, and Danny might end up eating all three.

“Thanks, by the way.”

“For what?” Nicholas asked absently.

“For last night.”

“Oh. Well, you’d do the same for me, wouldn’t you?”

“Yeah, I would. But you don’t really need that sort of thing, do you?”

Nicholas frowned and looked up. It wasn’t the words that caught his attention, but rather Danny’s tone.

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve got it all together.”

“Not really, Danny,” he muttered, before looking down again.

He heard Danny push the chair back and stand again, heard the soft thud of his feet hitting the floor as he crossed the room. He didn’t look around to track his progress, but he wasn’t startled when a hand came down on his shoulder. Danny’s fingers were hot through his thin shirt. Nicholas didn’t look up immediately. He couldn’t. He felt like everything was coming undone, and it would be safer to focus on the sandwich that he no longer wanted.

“Rough morning?”

“You could say that. I think Charlotte might be guilty of more than just lying. And I don’t think we’re going to find her family here.”

“That’s good then, isn’t it?”
“No. I don’t know where they’re going to find her family. Maybe in her own basement.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah.”

Danny’s grip tightened, and Nicholas had a sudden flash of memory. Just before dawn that morning, Danny had rolled over and wrapped his arms around Nicholas, like he had been nothing more than the cuddly monkey. And he had rested his head against Nicholas’ shoulder, muttering a bit in his sleep before relaxing again.

“What are you going to do?”

“Not much I can do, except contact the authorities in Liverpool.”

“I don’t understand. If she’s guilty of…well, if she’s guilty of something, why would she come here? I mean, didn’t she think you’d notice?”

“She might have been counting on it. Or she might have thought she could claim five unidentified bodies here and give her family a proper burial, in a sense. Or maybe she’s just crazy. I’ve seen odder things.”

“You okay? You don’t sound like it.”

Nicholas shrugged. “Yeah. What do you want to do this afternoon? You can stay here, if you like, or you can come with me to the castle. I know you don’t like being stuck inside all day.”

While Nicholas spoke, Danny had moved even closer, and now he was standing against his back, looking over shoulder to the half-finished sandwiches. Nicholas closed his eyes.

“I haven’t decided yet. I was hoping maybe….”

“What?”

“Could you take a longer lunch?”

Nicholas didn’t have to see Danny’s face to know it was completely unguarded. If he turned his head just a little, he’d see a lot more than a simple question in Danny’s eyes. Danny would never choose to test him, but in a way, this was a test. He wanted to know if Nicholas had meant what he said the night before, if he still meant it now.

He set the knife down besides the half-buttered piece of bread, then slowly turned to face Danny. Danny took a step back, but Nicholas fisted his shirt, pulling him closer again. His other hand went to the back of Danny’s neck, his fingers threading through the hair that was just a little too long.

Nicholas pressed his lips against Danny’s in a brief, close-mouthed kiss. Danny didn’t pull away, but he didn’t return the kiss either.

“Does that answer your question?” Nicholas asked.

Danny looked at him with wide eyes, and for a second, Nicholas thought he had gone too far. But then he smiled, and nodded.

Nicholas didn’t know who made the next move, but suddenly their mouths were sealed together again, and Danny had both hands on Nicholas’ ribs, just below his chest. Nicholas sighed softly as he parted his lips, the tip of his tongue tracing Danny’s mouth. The caress was slow, almost hesitant, partly because Nicholas didn’t know what to expect from Danny. Partly because he hadn’t kissed anybody in a very long time. Partly because he didn’t want to rush the moment. He would never get a second chance at this. He would never get a do-over if he fucked it up. And he didn’t want Danny to think he was rushing anything, or that he had someplace else to be.

Nicholas gently backed Danny across the kitchen, until his back was pressed against the sink. His lungs began to burn, but he resisted the urge to lift his head. Danny’s mouth was warm, and tasted of sleep, and tea, and a little bit bitter from the yogurt. His tongue slid against Nicholas’, hesitant at first, but then growing bolder and bolder, until he was exploring the curves and lines of Nicholas’ mouth without hesitation.

And he was as surprisingly good kisser. Surprising, because Nicholas wasn’t entirely sure Danny had a lot of experience. It was difficult to tell, since Danny always had a vaguely innocent, boyish quality that seemed to preclude sexuality.

But soon, Nicholas couldn’t deny his need to breathe. He lifted his head, quickly gasping for breath, but before he could move in for another kiss, Danny turned his head away. Nicholas froze, his heart jumping to his throat. If Danny wanted to stop, of course Nicholas would respect that, but he really hoped Danny didn’t want to stop, because he hadn’t been this close to anybody in a long time, and his body wanted more.

“What?” Nicholas rasped.

Danny looked at him, almost shyly, then glanced away again. Nicholas gently took his chin and forced him to look at him again. He studied Danny’s face for a moment, looking for any trace of distress or unhappiness. But he didn’t look upset. He just looked a little confused, a little surprised, a little shy.

“Danny…”

Danny licked his lips and then smile a little. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for Nicholas to tilt his head and find his lips again. Something in Danny shifted. Before, he seemed to be happy to follow Nicholas’ lead, but now Danny kissed him with a hungry mouth. Nicholas sucked his breath in sharply, something hot flaring in his gut and spreading through him. His fingers curled against Danny’s shoulders, digging into his skin through his shirt. He knew he was holding Danny a little too tightly, but a part of him was absurdly afraid of letting him go.

The ringing telephone cut through the fog around his brain, but he managed to ignore it. It stopped after six rings, and then immediately started again. His cell phone rang next, vibrating against his thigh in his pocket. He pulled himself away from Danny with a small moan of frustration and reached for his phone.

“Angel, here.”

“Sorry for interrupting your lunch, Chief, but we have a report…”

“A report of what, Doris?”

“Bodies, Chief.”

What? Where?”

“Leslie Tiller’s shop. Apparently, the demolition crew uncovered…remains.” Doris’ voice was unnaturally somber. Dour, even.

“I’ll be right there. Send over everybody, and contact the coroner’s office.”

“Yes, sir.”

Nicholas hung up the phone and leaned heavily against the counter. For a moment, it all felt like too, too much. Like everything they had done in the past few months had been for nothing, because it was…

“What’s going on?” Danny asked.

“It’s never going to be over.”

Danny touched his arm. “Nicholas?”

“The demolition crew working on Leslie Tiller’s shop has uncovered more bodies. We were almost done with the castle, and now…well, there’s no telling how much is left to do, is there?”

“I’ll come with you.”

“Danny…you know what the doctor said about stress.”

“We’re partners, aren’t we?”

Nicholas nodded. “We are.”

“Then I’m going with you.”

“Yeah. All right. Get dressed.”

Danny didn’t smile, but his eyes lit up, and he hurried out of the room, leaving Nicholas alone in the kitchen. He put everything away as he waited for Danny. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe it would only be one or two. Maybe….but what was he thinking? One or two was so bad.

Danny emerged from the hallway. He almost looked like himself again, except his uniform was a bit too wrinkled, and the lines around his mouth were a bit too deep.

“Let’s roll.”

#

Beneath the blooming lavender and the fragrant heather at the back of Leslie Tiller’s lot, the demolition crew found eight bodies. They were all buried near the surface. From what Nicholas could gather from the man operating the backhoe, he barely scraped the ground when he revealed the first leg.

“Right. Everybody who is not authorized needs to leave the property right now,” Nicholas ordered.

“Is this going to slow up the work?” Sam, the foreman, asked from behind him.

Nicholas spun around. “Yes, it’s going to slow up the work. We’re going to have to cordon off the entire lot, and the shop, and call in forensics.”

“How long will that take?”

“Weeks. Months, maybe.”

“You can’t do that.”

“Yes, in fact, I can do that. And I am. I’m sorry, but the bypass is going to have to wait until we take care of this situation properly. Now, if you could please get on the other side of the police tape, you’re tramping all over a crime scene.”

Sam’s face twisted in annoyance, but he whistled to his crew and gestured for the men to follow him.

He heard, rather than saw, the Andes approach, and braced himself for another round of arguing, but neither of them seemed interested in picking a fight.
“We already got an ID on two of the bodies,” Cartwright informed him.

“How?” Nicholas asked without thinking.

“Recognized them,” Cartwright answered.

Nicholas’ gaze moved from him to his partner, but the other Andy was pointedly not looking at him. Or anywhere, in fact. He seemed like he was half ready to bolt.

“I’m sorry. Who were they?”

“Andy’s cousin’s brother-in-law and his wife.”

Nicholas nodded. “I’m stopping demolition and construction here. I don’t want any of the crew in here until every single inch of this place has been sifted through. And then we’re going to go up to Weaver’s farm. After that, I want to put a list together of places we should excavate.”

“You want us to be tearing up the entire village?”

“Yes.”

“We’ll go tell Tony.”

“Thank you.”

Nicholas moved through the area carefully, making his way past tables that once held a wide variety of plants, and then behind the greenhouses. He tried to brace himself for the tableaux in front of him, but of course, you never really could brace yourself for something like that. No matter how many times you see it.

The bodies were still more or less intact. The backhoe had barely disturbed the bodies, and they were laying just like they must have been dumped into their mass grave. His stomach clenched as the heavy scent hit him. He knew he wasn’t going to be sick, but that was a cold, cold comfort.

“How are you doing?” Danny asked, joining him by the shallow crater.

“I’ve…been better,” Nicholas admitted. “I thought this was almost over. I thought we could finally tell everybody it’s over.”

“Maybe it is now. Maybe this’ll be the last.”

“It’s not the last. It’s not the fucking end. We’re going to find another grave and another fucking one after that, until this entire fucking village is torn apart.”

Nicholas didn’t realize he was shouting until Danny took a step back, and everybody around them lapsed into silence. They all looked at him with similar horrified expressions, and the pain in Danny’s eyes was unmistakable.

“I’m sorry…I’m sorry, Danny. I shouldn’t have…I shouldn’t have yelled like that.”

“It’s fine. It happens.”

Nicholas shook his head.

“Chief, I can take over from here,” Tony said, a little too eager to show off some of his recent training. Tony wasn’t innately lazy or inept, he just needed the proper motivation. He wasn’t a great officer yet, but he was getting better. And he never missed an opportunity to prove it.

“Yeah, maybe you should,” Nicholas said before stalking away from the grave.

Danny had to hurry to keep up with him, and he didn’t slow down to make it easier on the other man. His anger built each step, but it was all directed at himself. He shouldn’t have shouted. He shouldn’t have walked away. He shouldn’t be leaving his responsibility. But despite all that, he didn’t stop until he reached his car.

“Nicholas…”

Fuck.”

He kicked the car’s tire, but that didn’t do anything except send a shockwave of pain up his foot. Not satisfied with that, he slammed his fist against the door. The pain in his foot had been dull, but the agony that spread through his hand was shockingly vivid, and it raced up his arm to his shoulder. Flexing his fist, he noticed all four knuckles had were scraped with blood.

“Nick.” Danny caught Nicholas’ arm before he could slam it into the car again. “Please.”

Nicholas’ first reaction was to yank his arm away, but a single glance at Danny’s concerned face stopped him. Because it wasn’t just concern. He was obviously worried, even scared.

“I’m sorry, Danny. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”

Danny’s hand moved from Nicholas’s arm to his wrist, and he held Nicholas’ hand close to his face, studying the bloody knuckles. He pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket with his free hand and gently wiped the worse of the blood away.

“Don’t apologize to me. It wasn’t my hand you almost broke.”

“It’s not broken,” Nicholas murmured.

“You might need some ice.”

“I should go back.”

Danny shook his head. “Tony’s got it under control for now. I think you should cool down a bit.”

“I am cool, now.”

“No. You’re not.”

Nicholas stared at him for a moment, and realized he wasn’t going to win this fight. Except by pure force, which wasn’t an option at all. He looked over Danny’s shoulder to the flower shop helplessly, and for a moment, all he could see was Leslie Tiller’s blood spouting from her neck to coat the window.

“Hey.”

Nicholas dragged his gaze back to Danny. He was still holding his hand, still dabbing at his knuckles, though now his movements were almost absent-minded.

“What?” Nicholas asked.

“I think you need to give yourself a break.”

“I don’t think I can. I need to go back. Nobody else is getting a break from this.”

“You saved them from worse. It’s hard to know the truth, Nicholas. It’s hard to live with it. But given the choice, I think we’d all rather know. Isn’t that why the memorial services are so important?”

“Closure. That’s what you’re talking about. And it can be a pretty cold comfort.”

“It’s better than people disappearin’ all the time, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. It is.” Nicholas took a deep breath. “I think I should go back now.”

Danny dropped his hand. “Yeah, I know. But try to leave it here, yeah? Don’t drag all of this home with you. You’re going to make yourself sick.”

Nicholas opened his mouth to protest, but Danny cut him off. “Look, I wasn’t the only one told to rest, and your stress is going to make things worse. I listened to you last night, now you can listen to me.”

“Yeah, I know. And I will.”

“Do you mean it?”

“Yeah,” Nicholas said softly, “I do.”

Danny nodded. “Good.”

“But you can probably go back to the cottage, if you want.”

“Nope. I’m going to stay right here with you.”

“I promise I won’t punch any more innocent automobiles.”

“I think I’ll stay anyway.”

Nicholas nodded. He wouldn’t say as much because he knew it was selfish, knew it was better for Danny to go home, but he was really glad he didn’t have to go back there alone.
 
 
 
Klokkrazysteralizetheemo on July 6th, 2007 08:14 am (UTC)
awww, poor stressed out Nicholas! So much love for this fic, you make me so happy! Its so amazing, hee.
kassrachel on July 6th, 2007 11:51 am (UTC)
Oh YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY this is wonderful.

I love the kiss, and the uncertainty, and then the second kiss. ::swoon::

Plus, the way they're all dealing with the tragedy unfolding. It manages to match the film, and yet it's serious -- this is real suffering, and we can see it really affecting the characters.

the_silver_sunthe_silver_sun on July 6th, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC)
Have just found this series and wow. There's not enough Hot Fuzz fic out there, and this is really good.
So looking forward to the next part :)
Karuri: smileydannickkaruri_who on July 6th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
I adore this fic...it's just getting better and better! It's just like the film, so much so - I feel as though it's just an extension onto the end of the movie itself. The gorgeous kiss and the poor stressed out Nick are beautifully written. It really is a pleasure to read and is something I really look forward to being posted.
prairiestar: nick heart dannyprairiestar on July 6th, 2007 10:58 pm (UTC)
This series continues to be amazing. I love how you're pulling all the serious notes from the film and almost rewriting the HF universe as a drama instead of a comedy... but the characters are still absolutely spot on.