|New Hot Fuzz fic: "A Thousand Miles" - Nicholas/Danny - R
||[Dec. 1st, 2008|02:27 am]
Title: A Thousand Miles
Fandom: Hot Fuzz
Notes: After two over-10k-word hauls, my mind's slowly recovering. I've had The Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be" in my head for days on end, and I realized a couple days ago that I would desperately love to see a Hot Fuzz fanvid to the song. As tied up as it is in Benny & Joon, there's something weirdly perfect about it in the case of Nicholas and Danny. This story premise is the fusion of an early one that I didn't write and a breath of fresh imagery that's come of listening to the song.
Summary: Distances aren't always a means of separation.
When I Wake Up
From start to finish, he could have sworn that Nicholas's hand had always been in his.
Most of what had happened was foggy, of course. He remembers making a split-second decision that in everybody else's eyes had doubtless looked really fucking stupid, but in Danny's mind, there had never been any doubt. If it had come to it, he'd have taken worse than a bullet for Nicholas, although, in the foggy blackness, he can't seem to fathom what that would've been. A knife in the hand, he reckons.
It's not that he's been out all this time, not in the strictest sense. He's sure he remembers bits of the ambulance ride, and he's sure he remembers being wheeled down a long, noisy hallway full of irritated-looking NHS staff. And he's also sure he remembers Nicholas's voice somewhere nearby the entire bloody time. He doesn't know at what point they made him go away, if they made him go away at all. They must've, though. Nicholas was hurt, too. Left upper-arm cut or shot, not sure which.
Still, in the warm, drugged darkness, there is always the sense that someone has got hold of his hand, and that someone is comforting and real and familiar. Whether it's been hours or days, Danny can only be certain that he's in a hospital room now, pale and sterile and low-lit, and there is, in fact, somebody stroking the back of his right hand and telling him, just like before, that he's going to be all right. As for his left hand, it feels tingly and tight on account of the needle that's stuck in the back of it. Bizarrely, he remembers that. He remembers the drip and the hazy dark descending as the nurse with the scared face counted back 5-4-3-2...
He hadn't even made it to one. That was some strong shit. To his surprise, he's saying this aloud, and suddenly his eyes are drifting open as swiftly as they'd drifted shut.
"I'd have been worried if it wasn't," Nicholas admits somewhere off to his right, sounding relieved enough to cry. Danny turns his head and manages a smile, although he feels nauseous and Nicholas is ready with a plastic basin anyway.
And, as sure as anything, he's still got hold of Danny's hand.
Drunk Next to You
It's annoying when the evening gets to this point, although it hasn't got there in quite some time on account of his strictly-enforced recovery. The NHS twats couldn't have found a better warden, either, as Nicholas had taken their word to be the letter of the law. Danny realizes that he's lucky to be out of the house, let alone drinking beer.
Nicholas is beside him, of course, but not holding his hand. Which is moderately annoying, but probably only because he's grown so used to it. Nicholas is also back on cranberry juice, because he's afraid Danny will get drunk, fall down, and hurt himself. He'd put it a lot more politely than that, of course, but that's exactly what it had translated to: Danny, those drugs make you one clumsy fucker.
Danny waves to the girl at the bar. She's not Mary, but she's got all their signals down.
"No," says Nicholas, touching Danny's arm, which is close to his hand, but not quite.
"S'only my third," Danny protests, trying to tug his arm back so that Nicholas's hand slides down to his. It doesn't quite work. Nicholas's fingers tighten in a vise-grip, which means his arm isn't going sodding anywhere. "Can't hurt."
"No," Nicholas says again, this time to the girl at the bar, who looks confused.
"S'not fair," Danny mutters. "You're on four!"
"Cranberry juice," Nicholas reminds him, speaking rather more deliberately than he ought, "is non-alcoholic. Lager, on the other hand, isn't, and it's getting you pissed faster than usual because your tolerance is down. Any questions?"
Danny glares at Nicholas's hand, which is still stuck somewhere just above his wrist.
When I'm Working
It's not much better when they're on patrol, either. Danny had thought he'd be glad to get back to business as usual, but the truth is that he feels restless and even kind of lost when Nicholas isn't beside him. Which isn't many hours out of the day, to be fair, and often isn't many hours out of the night, either. Much more abuse by way of nearly double the dead-weight film comas and his couch is going to snuff it.
Around the station, it hadn't been much different. It was hard to let Nicholas out of his sight, although, if Danny thought about it, Nicholas very rarely let him out of his sight, so it all balanced out in the end. Nicholas's new office smelled like carpet and had more comfortable chairs than the rest of the temporary station. Danny enjoys sitting across the desk from him, demonstrating the art of creating a flip-book effect. When Nicholas isn't on the phone looking all stern, he actually seems to be paying attention. Danny has caught him doodling on scrap paper when he thinks nobody is looking.
They've been driving in circles for hours, it feels like, without so much as a peep from the station. Doris and everybody else must've buggered off down the pub to enjoy lunch without them. Danny's not so surprised to be saying that aloud.
"Probably," says Nicholas, grimly. "We could stop and grab sandwiches, if you like?"
"Nah," Danny replies, his arm dangling forlornly out the window. "Not hungry yet."
If I Grow Old
Nights when Danny is alone, he's usually drunk and it goes something like this.
He tries to watch a film, but he invariably realizes about three beers in that he's seen it more times than that and he already knows where it's going. He'd never realized that what made them exciting in the re-watching was actually gauging Nicholas's reactions, as staid or disapproving as they frequently were. At which point, he usually hits pause and goes to fetch another beer, at which point he runs into something, swears, and wonders if Nicholas's fears about his being a clumsy fuck weren't so far off the mark. He's not on the drugs anymore, though. Hasn't been for weeks.
He also tries to call Nicholas once the film is over, but some combination of reduced coordination and mortal fear of waking Nicholas and facing his wrath at having been awakened always manages to prevent him from succeeding. Still, drunk-dialing is better than drunk driving. That's what he'll tell Nicholas when he finally manages to punch in the number without any errors or hesitation, and maybe it'll keep him from getting mad. Maybe it'll even make him laugh.
The thought of Nicholas laughing in the middle of the night is a sobering one.
So Danny continues his failed attempts at ringing Nicholas to tell him that the film just wasn't the same without him and his disapproving noises and his flummoxed expressions when the dialogue gets really, painfully stupid. Even Danny can tell bad screenwriting from good, although he wonders if Nicholas actually knows that. He attempts dialing with more force this time, as it's suddenly vital that he tell Nicholas, the presumptuous fucker, that he bloody well knows the difference.
And it's suddenly very, very plain that he's succeeded. Nicholas is alert on the other end of the line, even a little bit afraid. Briefly, Danny wonders what he's done, but he knows the answer is that he's afraid he'll grow old like this, alone on his couch in the dark night after endless night when Nicholas is finally gone.
"'S just me," he says, after which point he struggles for words. "I couldn't sleep."
"I'll come over," Nicholas replies, and, like that, the line's gone dead.
Danny's hand is shaking so badly that he can't get the phone back in the cradle.
When I'm Dreaming
There's no way he's awake, and here's why.
Nicholas's hand, which had been on the couch cushion not far from Danny's, is now on Danny's shoulder as he leans in close and asks if Danny is certain, absolutely certain, he's all right. Danny finds that he's frozen, can't nod or shake his head in one direction or the other. He's not sick or sore, not anymore, but he's terrified.
"Danny?" asks Nicholas, soft and imploring, and that's when Danny realizes Nicholas's hand is now against his cheek and oh, God, he'd felt that before, too, he was sure of it. Somewhere back there, in the darkness, which had not even been as warm as this.
There's no way he's awake, because he's kissing Nicholas Angel.
And Nicholas Angel is kissing him back, hard and hungry, but also with astonishing tenderness. Nicholas's hand is at the nape of Danny's neck now, and it's only when he realizes that Nicholas's fingers are trembling that he finds the courage to take Nicholas's other hand and soothe it into stillness against his racing heart.
"Are you all right?"
It takes Nicholas a while to answer, but when he does, it's by wrapping his hand around Danny's and pressing it closer against the swift rise and fall of his chest.
And this, Danny knows, translates to yes.
Home With You
Most of what had happened, thank God, was not foggy.
They'd kissed some more, awkwardly, at which point he'd mumbled something about the bed being just that way and a lot more comfy than the couch. Nicholas had just nodded at him, looking as scared as he'd sounded on the phone, at which point it became clear to Danny that it was fortunate he was mildly buzzed, which meant his inhibitions were still sufficiently down and his coordination by now sufficiently up to transfer them that way without smacking into anything. Brilliant. He'd done it.
And for all that Doris had always sagely warned him that drunken hook-ups were worth their weight in grief, he couldn't imagine regretting the way that Nicholas felt folded against him, stunned breathless in the aftermath. He couldn't remember life before these kisses, and he couldn't fathom not falling asleep to Nicholas's slow, steady breathing in the warm hush of this new darkness. They'd done it.
And no matter how many more miles he had to cross, he'd gladly do it all over again just to wake up, like this, with Nicholas's hand already and always in his.