?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
08 July 2007 @ 12:45 am
Fic: Side With the Seeds (Nick/Danny) (7/7)  
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: Here it is, the end, my friend. Okay, I'm still behind on comments, because I suck, but I promise, I'll respond to each and every one on this chapter.
Previous Entry: Chapter 6.

Crossposted to pepperlandgirl4, fregg_love, sandfordpolice

When the mysteries we believe in
Aren’t dreamed enough to be true
Some side with the leaves
Some side with the seeds
--Side With the Seeds

Chapter 7

Nicholas woke as the rain stopped, and by the time he dressed and ventured into the kitchen to make tea, the sun was shining on the droplets of water that still clung to the grass and windows. Like the morning before, he left Danny asleep in bed while he went through his morning routine. Unlike the previous morning, Nicholas didn’t leave for the station once he dressed and ate.

He settled at the kitchen table, a cup of tea cooling at his hand, with his notes, and the records and photographs Charlotte had provided. He wasn’t going to let this hang over his head for a day longer than necessary. Charlotte wouldn’t leave until she got what she wanted from him, whatever that was.

Nicholas flipped through his notebook first, refreshing his memory on the times he spoke to her. He had more than enough reason to consider her a suspect in her family’s disappearance, including an apparent motive. He spread the pictures out next, studying each smiling face. Her parents were fit, and looked maybe five or ten years younger than the ages she gave Nicholas. Her nephew was on the other end of the spectrum. He looked older than his years. According to the date on the print, the young man—Sean—would have been about fifteen, and the picture was taken about seven months prior to their holiday in Sandford. But he could have been eighteen, or even twenty.

Nicholas could easily imagine Danny believing the young man to be closer to his age than not. And he looked friendly enough in the picture. He had rusty brown hair, and a friendly smile, and engaging blue eyes.

Charlotte’s late husband was thirty-two when he disappeared. The picture showed a handsome man with intelligent eyes and a small, reserved smile. He was also a very big man. The sort who was naturally large and spent hours every week in a gym. He was standing next to Charlotte’s parents, Russell and Miranda Hopkins, in the picture, and he towered over them. Nicholas doubted the man could be over-powered easily.

“What are you looking at?” Danny asked from behind him.

“Charlotte’s case,” Nicholas said, without looking up.

“It’s a bit late, isn’t it?”

“There’s a pot of tea on the counter. But it might be cold by now.”

Danny settled in the other chair. “Nah, I’m good. Find anything yet?”

Nicholas glanced up. Danny was wearing the t-shirt he wore the night before, and his hair was sticking up in odd angles. He also needed to shave. But he looked alert, and interested in Nicholas’ answer.

“No. Here.” He slid the stack of photos across the table. “Have a look.”

Danny’s brow furrowed in concentration as he began to flip through the prints. Nicholas sipped his cool tea. It didn’t taste great, but it wet his dry lips and tongue. He watched Danny’s face carefully, though he wasn’t sure what he was watching for.

“Is this Charlotte?” Danny asked, pointing to a woman standing beside Richard Lenmark.

“No, I believe that’s her sister. Leah.”

Danny’s frown deepened, and he held the photo closer to his face. “It looks just like her.”

“Let me see.” Nicholas took the picture and held it the same distance from his nose. It was rather remarkable. She was the same height as Charlotte, with the same coloring, and the same smile. But her hair was styled differently, and she had more lines around her eyes and mouth. “Could this be who you remember seeing?”

Danny shrugged. “Could be. I didn’t see too much of her.”

“Is that the boy you remember showing the model village?”

“Yeah, that’s definitely him.”

“He didn’t get into any trouble while he was here? He didn’t do anything?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Danny…you’re the only witness. You’re the only person who can even place them here for sure. I know that it was several years ago, but I really need you to remember.”

“I can’t.”

Nicholas touched the back of Danny’s hand, briefly. “Danny, please. I need your help.”

“He was throwing rocks.”

“Where?”

“In the model village. When he realized the windows were really glass, he broke a few of them. It was just a prank, you know?”

Nicholas pursed his lips. “Let me guess. Tom Weaver didn’t see it as a prank?”

“No. He saw Sean on the camera. And me. But it wasn’t a big deal…at the time. I mean, they were already supposed to be out of town, right?”

Nicholas didn’t bother asking Danny why he hadn’t mentioned that part of the story earlier. They both had a tough week, and Nicholas didn’t think it was unreasonable that Danny hadn’t remembered. Or had chosen not to remember.

“Did you actually see them leave, though?”

Danny nodded. “Yeah, on my way into the station. I saw the lot of them drive out of town.”

“So we have a motive for both the NWA and Charlotte. And we know what the NWA has done to people for less. Now the question is, who acted first? Or did either of them act at all? We might be barking up the wrong tree here.”

“What if they’re both guilty?” Danny suggested.

“I don’t think so. It would be easier from the NWA’s perspective to make the entire family disappear. And Charlotte was angry with her husband and her parents, but I doubt she had anything against the boy.”

“Unless she needed to cover her tracks.”

“He was only sixteen.”

“I know.”

“Christ.”
“What are you going to do?”

Nicholas pushed the notes and photos away from him. “I’m going to call a contact I have in Liverpool, and see if we can’t dig up some more information on Charlotte Peoples née Lenmark. Or at least get a follow-up on the previously filed police reports. And then I’m going to go the station and look over all of the files on the unidentified remains, again. I did that earlier this week, but maybe I missed something.”

“Nicholas…”

“Then I’m going to start working out a plan for more excavations. I want to have a concrete plan to present to the village before we start doing anything.”

“I want to help. I’ll look through the files on the unidentified bodies.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.”

Nicholas nodded. “Okay. Maybe it needs a fresh pair of eyes. Or a pair of eyes that’s not distracted every thirty seconds.”

“Can we stop by at my place? I need to change.”

“Yeah.”

“I was also thinking of picking up a few things. Some clothes. My toothbrush. Things like that.”

“Yeah. That sounds good.”

Danny smiled. “Good. Your bed is more comfortable than mine, you know?”

Nicholas couldn’t help but return his smile, though he already felt the weight of his responsibilities settled firmly on his shoulders. “Really?”

“Oh yeah. There’s a spring in my mattress, always goes right in my ribs.”

“It’s a good thing I don’t mind sharing then.” Nicholas meant to say it lightly, but more than a hint of relief colored his words. He couldn’t think of any good reason Danny wouldn’t want to stay. But he had been worried, all the same. He had discovered one thing at least in the past two mornings. As much as he liked going to sleep beside Danny, he appreciated waking up with him even more.

“Yeah,” Danny said, almost thoughtfully. “It is. Come on.” He stood, his hand coming down on Nicholas’ shoulder. “Let’s get to work.”
#

Bees droned around Nicholas’ feet as he walked, and the air was fragrant and sweet, washed clean the night before by yet another rainstorm. The ground was soft, but not muddy, and the sun was warm, but not hot. It could have been the perfect Sunday morning. The perfect Sunday morning in the best village. But Nicholas wasn’t in the mood to appreciate the perfection, and he doubted his companion was appreciating the tranquility.

Charlotte kept pace with him, picking her way over the grass. He was surprised to see her in heels when he picked her up at the Swan, but he didn’t say anything about it. Now he thought maybe he should have mentioned that two-inch heels might not be the best choice for a cemetery with soft dirt.

The unmarked graves had been placed in a lot at the corner of the cemetery. Mostly because that was the only place with room. The graveyard simply was not big enough to accommodate all of the bodies and markers. Nicholas had seen this problem coming and tried to mitigate it by having all the unidentified bodies cremated, but it was only a short-term solution to a long-term problem.

The boy, Sean, had been buried, a simple cross serving as his marker. According to Nicholas’ calendar, he had been the very last body interred before they began cremating the remains. Even though the cross didn’t bear a name, Nicholas knew exactly where to stop.

Charlotte knelt in front of the grave marker, reaching out to delicately touch the blue and purple flowers growing at its base.

“Who planted these?”

“I did.”

She looked up, her surprise evident even though she wore sunglasses. “You did?”

“Yes.”

Charlotte looked around. There were flowers growing on each grave in this corner of the cemetery. “Did you do plant all these flowers?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because somebody needs to take care of these graves.”

“Where’s Leah?”

“She’s been cremated. We keep all the urns in a mausoleum.”

“Oh. I’m sure you won’t mind if I take…her with me, will you?”

“I’m sorry. You can’t.”

Charlotte glanced up, and once again, Nicholas had the oddest sense that he was looking at a completely different face. She pushed herself to her feet and rounded on him. “Excuse me? I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, and what you’re doing for this place, but you don’t get final say on the people buried here.”

“I know,” Nicholas said calmly, undisturbed by her anger. “But you still can’t take Leah’s remains.”

“Why the hell not?”

“Because Sgt. Henry Hill from Liverpool is waiting for you at the gate.”

“What? Why?”

“Because he is going to place you under arrest and escort you back to Liverpool.”

“You’re joking.”

Nicholas gazed back at her with steady eyes until she flinched and looked away.

“You can’t do this,” Charlotte said weakly.

“I didn’t do anything, Charlotte, except look for your family. Which is just what you asked me to do.”

“But they’re here.” She gestured at the other unmarked graves. “They’re here. You said so yourself. That Sean is buried here…and Leah is…You said it.”

Nicholas nodded. “Your sister and nephew are here. Sgt. Butterman has spent the last two days searching files and records, looking for a match. But he didn’t find anything that would match the dental records of your husband or your parents, and he won’t, will he?”

Charlotte folded her arms in front of her. “I have nothing to say to you. How dare you?”

“Here’s what I think happened. Leah and Sean were not traveling with your parents. Leah had her own car. We found a car plate with her remains. I’ve run the numbers, and it is registered to her. I don’t know what happened to the car itself. Likely, Simon Skinner had his employees dispose of it. When the NWA learned that Sean had been breaking windows in the model village, they decided to target him and his mother.” Nicholas recited his theory in a flat, professional tone, as though he wasn’t reciting something beyond horrible. “I strongly suspect the NWA planted a note from Leah indicating she was leaving for home early. Most of the time, they passed off their murders as accidents, but sometimes, when an accident couldn’t be staged, they simply told the family that their missing loved ones had run away.”

“Richard thought they had returned early,” Charlotte said, so softly he could barely hear her. “He…he called me and asked…and I told him I didn’t know. And he told me he was coming home early…”

Nicholas nodded. “Which gave you enough time to prepare for their untimely arrival.”

“No…no, it wasn’t like that.” She gripped her head with both hands. “It wasn’t, Inspector, I promise. It wasn’t.”

“Late yesterday afternoon, the remains of three bodies were found in the crawl space beneath your home in Liverpool. According to the report from the coroner, the state of deterioration indicates they have been dead for approximately seven years.”

“You don’t understand…” She began to fall forward, all the strength drained from her body. Nicholas reacted on instinct, putting his arms out to catch her before she took a header. She clung to his shoulders, leaning heavily against him. She looked up at him with swimming eyes. “I can’t go to prison.”

“You should have thought about that seven years ago, Ms. Peoples.”

“Can’t you...isn’t there anything…?”

“Are you asking if I can do anything?” Nicholas forced her to straighten, but he didn’t immediately let her go. She still seemed weak on her legs. “There’s nothing. You’ve got to face the consequences of your actions.”

“But I didn’t…I couldn’t. There was no time. It just happened. Haven’t you ever done anything…impulsively? Without thinking?”

“No.” He forced her to straighten her shoulders. “But you can think about your choice now. I can drag you out of here and turn you over to Sgt. Hill, or you can walk out of here on your own two feet with some dignity.”

Charlotte blinked. He could see the wheels turning in her mind before she took a step back. She ran a hand through her hair and nodded. “I can do that.”

“Then do it.”

He fell in step behind her, close enough to grab her if she tried to bolt. But he didn’t think she would make a run for it. There was no way she’d make it more than three steps, and she had to know it. He wished this story had a different ending. He wished whatever happened seven years earlier could be changed. They he could take it all back and give Charlotte, and her family, a second chance.

“Inspector Angel,” Sgt. Hill greeted as they approached.

“Sgt. Hill. This is Charlotte Peoples?”

Sgt. Hill nodded and produced his cuffs.

“Is that necessary?” Charlotte asked.

“Yes,” Hill said, without pause. The first bracelet closing around her wrist was surprisingly loud in the churchyard. “Charlotte Peoples, I’m arresting you on the suspicion of murder of Russell Hopkins, Miranda Hopkins, and Richard Lenmark.”

Charlotte sent him another helpless, pleading look. Nicholas didn’t look away, his face remaining impassive. Hill helped her into the back of the car and slammed the door with a sense of finality.

“Thank you for your help on this, Inspector.”

“Just doing my job, Sergeant. Thanks for taking the time to come out here yourself.”

“I know how busy you lot are down here. It was the least I can do.”

“Have a safe journey.”

Hill nodded. “I’ll be in contact.”

Nicholas watched the car slowly make it’s way through the village, not moving until it was out of his sight.

“It was nice of you to let her say goodbye first,” Danny said, emerging from the church.

Nicholas lifted his shoulder in a half-shrug. It wasn’t a concession he’d normally make, but it had felt like the right thing to do. Somehow. He had known it as soon as Danny told him about the matching dental records. He should have marched over to her hotel and placed her under arrest as soon as he heard from Liverpool. But he had allowed her one more night. And this beautiful summer morning.

“Danny?”

“Yes?”
“I’ve got a new envelope of seeds and my gardening pail in the back of the car. Would you mind helping me with them?”

Danny immediately smiled, his eyes sparking to life. “Of course.”

Danny waited for him while he fetched the pail from his car. Then they walked side by side, silently crossing the cemetery to the unmarked graves. Not all of them had flowers blossoming around the markers. He hadn’t had a chance to do anything with the newer ones. They looked oddly naked without purple, blue, pink, and white flowers.

Nicholas knelt beside one and reached up to take Danny’s fingers, pulling him down to the soft ground to join him.

“You just need to dig a little hole or trough like this…” Nicholas said, demonstrating with a small trowel. “Then you want to pour about this much into the palm of your hand…” He tilted the seed envelope, filling the center of his hand with twelve or so seeds. “Then we just sprinkle it into the dirt and cover it again.”

“Where I should I dig?”

“I’ve just been doing it around the base of the cross.”

Danny nodded. “Got it.”

“We’re going to begin searching Weaver’s farm tomorrow,” Nicholas said after several moments of silence. “We’ll start with the woods. The forensics team that helped up with the castle will be coming up from London.”

Danny nodded again, his face set with concentration.

“Thank you,” Nicholas said softly.

“For what?”

“For being here, Danny.”

Danny sat back on his heels, absently resting his dirty hands on his thighs. He looked around the over-crowded cemetery, up at the recently repaired church roof, and then back to Nicholas.

“I wouldn’t be anywhere else.”

Nicholas’ mouth pulled into an understanding smile. “I know what you mean.”

It’ll take some time to heal.

Nicholas had said it before, many times. But now he actually believed it. Believed they would be able to heal the deep wound that scarred the landscape, and scarred each one of them.

He paused, his hand sneaking over to Danny’s, and he closed his fingers around Danny’s knuckles, squeezing him gently. Danny’s quick smile warmed him in a way the sun on his shoulders couldn’t. Nicholas returned his smile, before they both turned back to their task.

The End

 
 
 
Hippie Geek Girlgypsyjr on July 8th, 2007 07:14 am (UTC)
Ah, this whole thing was great - plot and character development were wonderfully balanced.
pepperlandgirlpepperlandgirl4 on July 8th, 2007 07:31 am (UTC)
Thank you for all your feedback :) I'm glad you enjoyed it!
prairiestar: nick heart dannyprairiestar on July 8th, 2007 07:47 am (UTC)
I'm sorry it's over. Great ending, though. What a lovely, lovely story. Thanks!!
pepperlandgirlpepperlandgirl4 on July 8th, 2007 07:54 am (UTC)
Thank you for all of your comments and feedback! I'm a little sorry it's over, too, but I vowed when I started that I would not allow it to morph into a novel. 20K words is a respectable length, lol.

Thanks again. Glad you liked it!
Señorita Major English, Esquire: flowers | photo by mike doughtymajorenglishesq on July 8th, 2007 08:23 am (UTC)
fucking yes: score for the good guys.

and the good guys scoring CAN'T HELP MYSELF it's all so lovely.

so i knew that Charlotte was a shady son of a bitch. i'd normally be surprised that Nicholas would give her the full final day of freedom, but not post-Danny i suppose. and i love how there's an On/Off Switch completely visible in Nicholas without you having to tell us it's right there. you can see it when he slams the car door shut and sees the thing off, out of sight, another monster banished (though this time with relative ease) and Danny? fetch me my seeds. we're gonna play in teh dirtz now yay! in fact, i'm very glad and wholly satisfied with the way in which Nicholas gets to be a human being with Danny. he gets to plant his flowers to help that warmth in his heart grow back and he gets to be with someone who understands and wants him who he doesn't have to be The Inspector around.

yet he still thinks everything he ever does through. he says so to Charlotte without hesitation or sympathy. it's like he makes that choice every day to be Inspector Nicholas Angel, Professional Good Guy in the Name of the Law rather than some shadowy fucking monster like Master Manipulator and Head Delusory Psychopath Frank Butterman.

not that the monster in him isn't always there -- Angel just has complete and total control of his. he can even let it out knowing it will come back. he's That Good. it's impressive.

i want to say more but i have to get to work. please know that i enjoyed every single bit of this fic and loved to mull it over and pull on it over breaks and re-read it and re-love it. i think you can tell from the general (lack of) activity in both comms, too, that we were mostly waiting the full week to see the thing, holding our breath and jumping on each part that you gave us. of course, it's been worth the wait. thanks for giving it to us.
pepperlandgirl: Hot Fuzz Nick Danny Smilepepperlandgirl4 on July 8th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you for this!

I did grapple a little bit with Nicholas giving her a bit more freedom, but in my head, this scene is taking place fairly early on a Sunday morning, and they put all the bits and pieces together the night before some time. Yeah, he could have still marched off and put her in custody, but everybody knew she wasn't going anywhere, so....And I really did believe he'd give her a chance to say goodbye to her nephew, if only because in that one way, everybody in Sandford is in the same boat.

and Danny? fetch me my seeds. we're gonna play in teh dirtz now yay!

*snort* This makes me laugh every time I read it.

Inspector Nicholas Angel, Professional Good Guy in the Name of the Law rather than some shadowy fucking monster like Master Manipulator and Head Delusory Psychopath Frank Butterman.
So does this.

thanks for giving it to us.

Thanks for reading it. As gigglestheblood can tell you, I really agonized over this thing...and I'm thrilled all my work has paid off :)

Karuri: f**king chainkaruri_who on July 8th, 2007 11:22 am (UTC)
Oh wow...that was a superb fic. It really was. I enjoyed every little bit of it - you got everything perfect; the characters, the plot, the blossoming relationship between Nick/Danny - everything! I'm just so sad it's over!!

Please continue to write more Danny/Nick fanfiction in the future! It was a pleasure to read! ^_^
pepperlandgirlpepperlandgirl4 on July 8th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you for commenting and letting me know you enjoyed it. It really means a lot to me. :)

I hope I do get the chance to write more Nick/Danny fic. I've got some other things on my plate, but I would love to return to those two. They make me happy.
dj_intheuk: Angel Heartdj_intheuk on July 8th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
That was a-m-a-z-ing! Loved it :) Go Angel! :D
pepperlandgirl: Hot Fuzz Nickpepperlandgirl4 on July 8th, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
Go Angel indeed. One of the underlying themes of all my fannish work is "Angel is awesome." ;)

Thanks!
Vilyvily on July 8th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I did enjoy this! I can't wait to see what you write next.
pepperlandgirlpepperlandgirl4 on July 10th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC)
Thank you. My next fic is...well...it's different, lol
Pandonkey: HF blue skypandonkey on July 10th, 2007 03:55 am (UTC)
This is a wonderful, fitting ending to a wonderful story. I'm just very glad that this exists, because it really needed to. Thank you for writing it (and for doing it so well).

On another topic -- did you ever get my e-mail? (No worries if you haven't had time to respond, I just didn't want you to think I hadn't.)
pepperlandgirlpepperlandgirl4 on July 10th, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to comment. I've really looked forward to your feedback on these chapters :)

And I did get your email, which I just responded to about 3 seconds before I got your comment...
zombie survivalistbeccavox on July 16th, 2007 06:15 am (UTC)
wow...wow...wow...wow
I really should have been grading essays tonight, but I found your 'Side with the Seeds' fic and decided to tell my students that there was an emergency...

What a great fic. I loved the tone of the piece; it was somber but didn't betray any of the characters. And I know that I'll be saving it and re-reading it later when I'm not so tired and it's not 1:00 in the morning.

Please play with these two more often!
pepperlandgirl: Hot Fuzz Nick Thinkingpepperlandgirl4 on July 16th, 2007 06:19 am (UTC)
Re: wow...wow...wow...wow
Hee! I've been in that position before--fortunately most students don't have the nerve to question "emergencies" lol.

And thank you :) I'm glad you enjoyed it. I really wanted to explore the more grim elements and implication of the films, while staying true to the film itself. It was a rather painstaking effort, but every bit of work is worth it for reviews like this :)

I've got a few other fics posted here. I'm most excited about the one I just started posting, The Rose Remembers. I think if you like Side With the Seeds, you'll like it, too. (Don't let the fact that it's a cross-over scare you away. I promise, it's accessible...)
almostjulie on September 3rd, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
This is the first Hot Fuzz fic I've read, and it did not disappoint. Nicely plotty and good character stuff too. Thanks for writing it!
✦ Citty ✦lilrand0m_chik on October 24th, 2007 10:04 am (UTC)
aww what a lovely ending
QDS: north and south kisshammerxsword on December 26th, 2007 11:03 am (UTC)
Just sat down and read all seven parts of this. Oh you nailed their developing relationship so beautifully. The backdrop of the town coping with the killings and Nicholas dealing with that, and Danny thinking about his father, forgetting what happened...fantastic. Well done and thanks for such a good read!
Vviciouscats on January 24th, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
Great story. I really enjoyed it.
(Anonymous) on February 18th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
Hi,

I watched Hot Fuzz for the first time a few days ago. I loved the film and since then I've been immersing myself in the wonderful slashy possibilities between Nicholas and Danny, which the film portrayed many of.

I really enjoyed this story, its by far the best piece of Hot Fuzz fiction I've read so far. I just hope there are more gems like this to discover!