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Name: Police Inspector Nicholas Angel (Nicholas for short; Nick if you're one of a few people, or just feel like being a bit of a dick)
Age: 38

Nicholas currently lives and works in the tiny little village of Sandford, Gloucestershire. Sandford has recently become something of a national embarrassment, since it came out that it's been home to an evil secret murder cult for something like twenty years. Actually, no-one's really sure how long things have been really bad in Sandford, but things are better now. Crime is going up, which Nicholas is loath to admit is a good thing. Rising crime means the village is returning to a more natural state, rather than one ruled by an evil secret murder cult.

Honestly, Nicholas will take petty shoplifting and stupid domestic calls over random, senseless murder.


Nicholas was born and raised in London, and has only lived in Sandford for the last eight months. In that time, he's been promoted three times: once to sergeant just before his transfer from London, then to inspector after he and Danny led what the papers had dubbed the Battle of Sandford (Nicholas will never, ever call it that, thank you very much), and then to chief inspector six months after that. He's been accused by many people of not being able to switch off, and has even found himself in trouble in the bar for failing to switch off. He tends to stick his nose in where it doesn't belong, and has no qualms about telling you how law enforcement should be handled. He once managed to piss off the head of security so bad that he was turned into a jerboa for about a week. Nicholas does not ever talk about it, but the Bar loves to mock him for it.

He's got a bit better about it lately, though. He still can't switch off, but he's better at knowing when to keep his mouth shut. Mostly. He's had something of a rivalry with Gene Hunt for some time now, stemming from a fundamental difference in how the two of them handle police work. While Nicholas respects Gene as a police officer, he doesn't really like him.


Personal Stuff

Nicholas has more or less sworn off dating, at least for now, after his last relationship ended in a spectacular explosion of drama. He's perfectly willing to admit that most of the problems with Janine were his own fault, and that's part of the reason he's not interested in dating right now. He knows he'll just fuck it up again.

He's multi-lingual, and grew up speaking French and English. He took Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language, and is fluent in that, on top of having mild conversational skills in Spanish and German. His mother is French, and his father's about as middle-class English as they come. Nicholas has four younger sisters (Kate, Beth, Hannah, and Mary), and an adoptive brother, Travis. He and Travis are a month apart in age, and were fairly close up until recently, but had a massive falling out that neither of them ever talks about, and which neither will ever admit to being at fault over. Their rowing and sniping finally came to a halt after Travis was involved in the transfer that nearly got Nicholas killed. They still don't talk much, but they no longer act like they hate one another.


Appearance

Nicholas resembles a few people around the bar, but can't really be easily mistaken for any of them. He's the shortest of the lot, at about 5'7", and tends to have the general demeanour of a bulldog. He has several scars on his face: a long, thin one running parallel to his right eyebrow (it's very old, and you have to really look for it), a thin slash on his left cheek, and a large one on his lower lip, both of which are fairly new. He also has two scars on his left hand: one on the back, and one on the palm. They are identical, and the result of having been stabbed through the hand by a man dressed as Father Christmas. Other scars that exist, but which you may never see are a gunshot wound on his left arm, just under his shoulder, and an old dog bite on his left leg, the healing of which was aided through Milliways.

He's well aware of the doppelgängers around the bar, but hasn't met any of them.


Universe

Nicholas actually exists in an alternate universe to several other doppelgängers, though he doesn't know it, and has no reason to. It's the sort of universe where weird things just happen sometimes, and no-one really questions it unless it's really, really weird. Like evil secret death cults. There have never been zombies or robots in this universe, and there never will be. There will, however, continue to be increasingly mad crimes and accidents (some of which actually are accidents, like poor old Ben Fletcher), and these are things that Nicholas simply won't think to question now that the evil secret death cult has been taken care of. Because being stabbed by Father Christmas? Yep, totally a thing that happens to people like Nicholas. Sometimes, people even fire their guns up into the air and go "aah."

BANG! BANG!

Sep. 4th, 2013 06:17 pm
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"We're making you sergeant. In Sandford, Gloucestershire."

"But that's in the country."

"Yes!"

>:(



"You can't just make people disappear!"

"Yes I can, I'm the chief inspector."



"Fascist."

"Hag."



"You really want to process all this lot? My pen's running out."

"Not a problem."



"Why are you dressed up like a police officer?"

"Because I am one?"



"Bad Boys II?"

"No."

"You ain't seen Bad Boys II?"



"Morning. The swan's escaped."



"All right, Pete?"

"Do you know this man?"

"Yeah, he's Auntie Jackie's sister's brother's boy."

"And it didn't occur to you to mention this before?"

"I couldn't see his face, could I? I'm not made of eyes!"



"Stop writing!"

"Stop... writing..."



"Romeo, Romeo, a pint of bitter for Romeo!"



"Decaffinated?"



"Martin Blower represents damn near most the village. Do you want us to go through the whole phone book?"

"Yeah, we'll put a call in to Aaron A Aaronson, shall we?"



"And what is this?"

"Seamine."

"Seamine!"



"I think you would have made a great Muppet."



"Point Break, or Bad Boys II?"

"Which one do you think I'd prefer?"

"No, I mean which one do you wanna watch first?"



"Splat the rat!"



"It's high time you realise that, Mister Angel. You and your monkey!"

"Was he talking about me, or that?"



"As far as I'm concerned, Cousin Sissy can go fu—"



"Murder, murder, murder! Change the fucking record!"



"Want anything from the shop?"

"Cornetto."



"Hey, big'un. Play time's over."

CRUNCH



"The greater good!"



"Danny, no!" D:



"It's Frank! He's appointed himself judge, jury, and executioner!"

"He's not Judge Judy and exeuctioner!"



"I didn't know we had a mounted division."

"... Nobody tells me nothing."



"Morning."

BANG! BANG! BANG!



"Fascist!"

"Hag."



BANG! BANG! BANG!



"He's not even from round here!"



"ANDY!"

"It's all right, Andy! It's just bolognese!"



"BANG! BANG! BANG!"



"SWAN!"



"Get! Out! Of my! Village!"

PUNCH PUNCH PUNCH!

"It's not your village anymore!"

PUNCH!



"Pack it in, Frank, you silly bastard!"



"I feel like I should say something smart."

"You don't have to say anything at all."



"I kinda like it here."



BOOM!



"Sgt Butterman. Little hand says it's time to rock and roll."

"Bring the noise!"
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Nicholas stood on the landing, the door propped open slightly so that he could see into the flat. Travis was sprawled out on the sofa, and possibly asleep from the looks of it, but it was hard to tell with him, sometimes.

“I’m going to be staying here for a few days,” Nicholas said quietly. “At least until Thursday.”

He could hear Janine doing something on the other end, but it was difficult to make out exactly what. “Is he all right?” she asked. “I didn’t even know he had another family. I always assumed he was your half-brother or something.”

Nicholas was surprised at how difficult a conversation this was. The subject had nothing to do with him, but it still bothered him slightly to talk about. “He doesn’t,” he said simply. “Not really, anyway. He never knew even his father, and his mother all but abandoned him when he was a kid.”

Even thinking about it made Nicholas jittery and slightly nervous. There was something else, hidden and unspoken for decades that he knew was there, somewhere, but he couldn’t figure out what it was or why he didn’t like it.

He could hear Travis stirring lightly inside, and peered through the gap in the door. He’d often been the one left to have a sulk on the sofa for several days on end, and wasn’t sure how to handle the situation from the other side. He was half tempted to ring one of the girls to come round and help him out with everything. Hannah was always really good at dealing with Nicholas’ episodes; maybe she’d know what to do.

“Funeral’s on Thursday. He wants me to go with,” Nicholas said, backing away from the door.

“He’s going to the funeral?” Janine seemed surprised to hear this. “You just said he doesn’t even know this woman.”

“He says he wants to.” Nicholas didn’t understand it either, but he wasn’t about to argue the fact with Travis. “I’m going to stay with him at least until that.”

Janine sighed slightly. “That’s probably for the best. Are you still coming into work?”

“Yeah.” Nicholas was fairly certain that Travis could survive the time alone with Nicholas gone. “I’ll stop by and see you in the morning after I get in.”

“You’d better. And I still expect to go out this week.”

“I’ll make reservations,” Nicholas assured. “That Place that Does All the Fish.”
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Since Patrick and Katherine made a habit of spending Christmas in France, as they had done for the last thirty five years, it had become something of a tradition to have a belated family supper the second Saturday of January. It was the one time all year that everyone wound up under the same roof, which seemed to prove more and more difficult every year.

Nicholas and Travis had both come over straight after double shifts, and were both on the sofa, on the verge of passing out. Nicholas leaned into Janine, his head resting on her shoulder, while he completely ignored Travis almost laying on him, and very possibly snoring at one point.

He wasn’t listening to any one of the half-dozen conversations happening, or the television playing some sort of mindless drivel.

“You two.” Katherine lightly shook both Travis and Nicholas awake. “Why don’t you go have a proper lie down? Supper won’t be ready for another hour yet.”

Travis yawned widely and got up. “Yeah, all right,” he said, wandering upstairs to the bedroom that he’d shared with Nicholas ever since they were seven years old. The same bunk beds had still been set up, which neither Travis nor Nicholas had ever properly grown too big for, with the same duvets from when they were children, and the paint on the walls was still the same terrible shade of blue, only worse, because it was now a faded, sun-bleached version of the same terrible shade of blue.

Katherine turned her long suffering stare to Nicholas, who gave her the same stare right back.

“I’m fine,” he insisted, putting his head back on Janine’s shoulder.

“Nicholas, come on,” Janine said softly, tugging on his hand.

Nicholas sat back up to give Janine a different look, this one silently saying everything that needed to be said. He would be going up to bed, but she was not allowed. Ergo, he was staying right where he was.

“Nicholas,” Katherine said, quietly exasperated with him.

“M’fine,” Nicholas repeated.

To show that nothing unholy was going on, he raised both his hands for her to see, and then moved so that they stayed where she could see.

“I just don’t want to see it become three,” Katherine said, shaking her head as she walked away.

Nicholas knew exactly what she meant. Kate had broken up with Sam’s father just before learning she was pregnant, and Beth and her boyfriend had decided to wait until they were twenty five to make any plans on marriage, despite their first child being due that March.

Choking down an annoyed growl, Nicholas got to his feet. “Fine,” he said.

He tried not to stomp like a child throwing a tantrum as he made his way upstairs, finding that Travis had irritatingly taken the bottom bunk. Nicholas managed to climb onto the top one without falling, and sprawled out face-down, ignoring the faint must in the bedding.

“Thought you were fine?” Travis said, his voice squeaking oddly, as though he was only just this side of conscious, himself.

“Shut it,” Nicholas spat.


Everyone at the table was stunned, supper completely forgotten. For a few short moments, they were all even silent, before breaking out in a chorus of protests.

“When were you going to tell us?” Nicholas asked.

The thought that Patrick and Katherine had decided to sell the house – the house they had all grown up in, and that hadn’t changed at all since – was one that hit hard.

“We didn’t want to say anything until everything was finalised,” Patrick explained. “You know how these things go. People drop out without warning.”

Travis turned to Mary, the youngest of the six of them. “Did you know this?” he asked.

“No,” Mary said. “And I still live here! Where am I supposed to go?”

“We thought that since you’re in uni now, you could go stay with one of your friends.” The irritating part was how utterly sincere Katherine managed to sound.

“Mum!” Mary protested.

“You can come stay with me,” Travis offered. “I still haven’t found a flatmate since Nick moved out.”

This seemed to surprise their parents. “Nicholas moved out?” Katherine asked with a slight chill in her voice.

“Yeah, he moved in with—”

Nicholas kicked him under the table, but the damage had already been done. He buried his face in his hands so he didn’t have to watch his mother rush off to the kitchen.

“You didn’t tell them,” said Travis.

“No.”

Their sisters hardly seemed to notice or care about any of this, and as they all continued to carry on protesting at Patrick, Janine stood up.

“I think I’m just gonna go,” she said quietly.

Nicholas jumped up to follow her. “Me too.”

The two of them quickly fetched up their shoes and coats and slipped out, stopping on the steps for just long enough to Nicholas to put a knitted cap on.

“I can’t believe you haven’t told them,” said Janine as started making her way carefully down the steps. Nicholas could tell that she was disappointed, but couldn’t figure out why.

“Well, it’s none of their business,” he told her. “I don’t think Dad cares either way, but you saw my mum.”

“Nicholas, I am not going to be your dirty little secret,” Janine said coldly. “That sort of behaviour is for students.”

Nicholas nodded, finding it difficult to make eye contact. “Can we do this when we get home?” he asked, hoping to avoid a conflict right there on the pavement.

“No, we’re doing this now.”

“Okay, I’m sorry,” Nicholas said, quickly but honestly. “You’re right.”

More frightening than having a domestic right where the entire street could see was the idea that if he didn’t end this argument right then and there, that Janine might just leave him altogether. It had been years since his last relationship, and this one had already gone far better than any of his previous attempts.

But now, he’d let his guard down, got comfortable in the routine, and had settled in. If that routine got broken...

Well, he just tried not to think about it.

“Start being honest with them,” Janine said, her voice starting to soften again. “I’m serious, Nicholas. This is important.”

He nodded. “Okay,” he agreed. He had no idea how well this would go over, but he’d have to figure that out later.

Nicholas was surprised when Janine moved to take his hand in hers. “Let’s go home,” she said. “It’s cold.”

He nodded and started walking with her, already finding that breathing had started to become easier.

“I’ll phone us a cab,” Nicholas offered, pulling his mobile from his pocket.
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Nicholas found Travis asleep by the fire, still wearing the change of clothes brought to him in the overnight bag. Good. That meant he hadn’t been home yet, and was at least taking some of the advice he’d been given. Nicholas could live with that, and hopefully be able to work on the rest in the interim.

“Wake up,” he said, dragging Travis’ feet off the sofa so that he could sit down.

Travis blinked blearily awake, twisting painfully to see what areshole had woke him up like this. Seeing that it was Nicholas, he rolled his eyes and tried to go back to sleep. The left side of his face had swelled and exploded in dark blues and violets, which made Nicholas cringe to look at.

“We need to talk,” Nicholas said, reaching over to pull Travis upright. Before he had been able to protest, Nicholas handed him a cup of tea.

“About what?” Travis asked.

Nicholas was glad to hear that the odd voice Belar had inflicted upon him had been lifted, but wasn’t ready to claim any victories yet.

“About you,” said Nicholas. “And us.” He sighed. “I think we’ve both been under a lot of stress lately, and it’s rather impairing our judgement.”

Travis would have snorted, but he was too busy enjoying the tea Nicholas had given him.

“You, maybe,” he said after a moment. “I know what I’m doing.”

Nicholas took a moment to process that. “You picked a fight with Gene Hunt,” he pointed out. “What about that suggests rational thought?”

Travis shrugged. “Never said it was rational. Just said that I knew what I was doing.”

It took all of Nicholas’ willpower not to sigh at that. “It’s just that it’s occurred to me that it’s been a while since either of us has been to confession,” he pointed out.

Travis cast him a sidelong glance. “No,” he said simply. As far as he was concerned, this was not a topic that was up for discussion, and hadn’t been up for discussion in a very long time.

Nicholas did sigh. “I just really think we would benefit—”

“You, maybe,” Travis repeated with a bit of bite in his voice.

“And you.”

“No.”

“Travis.” Nicholas was almost pleading by now. This was very quickly shaping up to be one of those rather aggravating situations that he had no idea how to control.

“Nick, I think it’s great that you still hold on to all that. I really do,” Travis argued. “But you were born into it. I wasn’t. Now, let me hold on to that.”

He sighed into his tea, not entirely sure why he’d said that.

“Is that what’s been bothering you lately?” Nicholas asked quietly.

“Nothing’s bothering me,” Travis insisted, rather unconvincingly.

“You sure?”

“Yes,” Travis snapped. “I’m fine, and just quit asking.”

Nicholas was quiet for a long moment while he let the tension settle as much as it was willing. “Mum and Dad are back from Calais next week,” he said. “Maybe you should go stay with them for a few days.”

“I’m fine,” Travis repeated. “Stop trying to take care of me. I don’t need it.”

“Okay,” Nicholas agreed finally.

It was clear to Nicholas that something had been bothering Travis lately, which probably meant that it had been clear to everyone else for even longer. Whatever it was, Nicholas couldn’t figure out. Travis had actually been fine up until recently. The hostility, while not exactly new, was certainly elevated, and Nicholas feared that if it kept up, Travis would very soon find himself in even worse shape than he was as he sat by the fire, staring at his tea.

“Go away,” Travis said after a few moments.

Nicholas started to say something, but stopped himself. Instead, he slowly and quietly rose to his feet, taking a few moments to figure out if there was anything else he could do.

“This isn’t leaving,” Travis pointed out, still not looking at him.

If he wanted to be left alone so badly, Nicholas didn’t see the point in trying to fight him on the matter. Without another sound, he turned and walked toward the door.

Aftermath

Nov. 16th, 2010 12:47 pm
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Nicholas walked into the flat, slamming the door so that where ever Travis was, he’d hear it.

“In here,” he called from the bathroom.

Nicholas found him staring at himself in the mirror, the right side of his face a very interesting colour, and quite puffy.

“I’m not going to vouch for you,” Nicholas said simply. “Or help explain it to mum.”

“You started it,” Travis argued.

It wasn’t what Nicholas had expected. “How?” he demanded.

“I was doing just fine until you stepped in, trying to be the Sheriff of London again.” He cringed as he tried to clean himself up a bit.

“He would have hit you either way,” Nicholas says. “They do things... differently where—when he’s from.”

“It’s all right for CID to beat a guy up because he happens to occasionally get off with blokes?”

Nicholas sighed deeply. “He said that wasn’t why he did it.” Though Nicholas realised that Gene hadn’t actually given a proper reason; just said what wasn’t the reason. “And he asked me to tell you that he’d rather not see you again.”

Travis shrugged. “All the same. You know I don’t do second dates.”

Nicholas cringed. “I’m serious,” he said.

“I know,” Travis said. “And I’m not.”

“And why didn’t you mention you knew about that place?”

Travis looked up at him. “Why didn’t you ever say anything about it?” he asked simply.

Nicholas didn’t justify that with an answer. He knew that Travis had probably already figured out why he hadn’t ever said anything to begin with.

“While I’m here,” Nicholas said, intentionally changing the subject, “I should tell you that I’m moving out.”

Travis looked up at him sharply. “You what?”

Nicholas shrugged. “Janine’s asked me to move in with her,” he said simply. “I think it’s a good idea.”

“She’s way the fuck out in Lambeth,” Travis pointed out. “How is that a good idea?”

“Because it’ll keep me from going back and forth all the time.” Nicholas couldn’t figure out why this idea was so upsetting to Travis.

“Why can’t she move in here?” Travis asked. “We’re closer to the station, anyway.”

“Because it would be nice to have a bit of space. Alone.”

“I’m never home anyway,” Travis tried to argue.

“It’s not up for debate,” Nicholas declared finally. “Besides, it won’t be until Denise moves out, anyway. And that might not be for a couple of months, yet.”

Travis just frowned at him. “Fine,” he said. “Whatever. Do what you want. I don’t care anyway.”

He picked up his shirt and went to his room, slamming the door behind him. Not entirely sure what that particular outburst had been about, Nicholas tidied up the bathroom before setting out figuring out supper for the evening. Travis would come around. He always did.

Relaxation

Nov. 6th, 2010 07:55 am
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“Are you coming to mine tonight?”

Nicholas looked up from his notebook, shaking his head slightly. “I can’t,” he said. “I have Sam for the weekend.”

Janine’s eyebrows arched questioningly. “Sam?”

“My niece,” Nicholas filled in quickly. “Sorry, I thought I’d mentioned her.” As he said it, he realised that he had completely neglected to make any mention of that particular part of his family. “Anyway,” he continued, “I really should stay where Kate can reach me if she needs.”

“Just as well,” Janine said, sitting down next to Nicholas. She ran her fingers over his short hair in exactly the sort of way that she knew would distract him. “I’ve been meaning to try to talk my way into going over to yours for once, anyway.”

She smiled lightly, enjoying the way Nicholas very briefly lost focus on what he was writing.

“Hmm?” He shook his head slightly, and utterly failed at stopping Janine in what she was doing. “Right. Only if you feel brave enough to meet my parents tonight, since that’s where we’re going for supper.”

“Meeting the parents. Sounds terrifying.” Her smile suggested otherwise.

Nicholas put his pen down, giving up on his notes for now. “I’m serious,” he says. “I’m not really in the mood to be lectured or dragged off to confession.”

Janine nodded. “That’s right,” she said. “You break so many of the rules that I keep forgetting.” She kept running her fingers over his hair.

“I wish you wouldn’t do that while I’m trying to work,” Nicholas said quietly. Then, after a few moments, he added, “Don’t stop.”

Janine didn’t stop. She traced light circles with her fingernails in his hair, watching him as he slowly relaxed in his seat. “Have you ever grown it out any longer?” she asked. “It’s hard to really properly play with it when it’s this short.”

Nicholas closed his eyes so Janine couldn’t see him roll them. “If there’s an innuendo in that, I’m choosing to ignore it.”


Getting out of bed proved to be a bit of an acrobatic trick, Nicholas discovered. As it happened, the placement of his rather small bed in his rather small bedroom was not ideal for being shared with a second person. He tried not to wake Janine as he rather skillfully managed to crawl over her and get to his feet.

He automatically reached for his trainers by the wardrobe before remembering that going out for a run would probably not be the best idea while he was meant to be watching after his four-year-old niece. Instead, he reached for his dressing gown and pulled it out as he quietly made his way out to the kitchen to put the kettle on. He was surprised to find Sam already awake and at the kitchen table with a stack of newspapers and as many different pens and pencils as she had been able to round up (several of which looked suspiciously like eyeliner pencils stolen from Janine’s handbag).

“You’re not taking things that don’t belong to you, are you?” Nicholas asked, delaying his plans for tea.

“No,” Sam said, keeping her head down as she drew some sort of bird on one the newspaper photographs.

“Are you sure?”

After a few moments, Sam gathered up the eyeliner pencils and various pens and sheepishly handed them to Nicholas. “I’m sorry, Nic’las,” she said.

Nicholas set the collection of stolen art supplies on the counter. “Next time, be sure to ask,” he said softly. “After breakfast, we’ll go back up to Nan’s and pick up your markers, all right? Here...” He gave her back the biros, since there wasn’t much chance in her doing any damage to those, and turned her bird drawing slightly so that he could look at it. “I think he needs a friend, don’t you?” he asked, pointing at the bird.

Sam nodded, and put one of the pens to the page, holding the tip on the paper for a few moments. She gave the biro to Nicholas. “Needs to be a hedgehog,” she declared.

“Okay, draw a hedgehog,” Nicholas suggested, turning the page back so that it was orientated in the direction she had it.

Sam pushed the biro at Nicholas’ hand. “No, you.”

Nicholas frowned. “I’ve never drawn a hedgehog, but all right.” He took the biro and drew next to the bird, which he could now see was meant to be a swan, a spiky hedgehog approximation.

Plans

Oct. 1st, 2010 07:45 pm
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Nicholas lie stretched out on the sofa with his head resting on his hands and his feet in Janine’s lap. The flat seemed to, if anything, be getting worse.

“Are you sure we can’t do anything?” he asked, using up every ounce of willpower to stay where he was and not jump up and start organising boxes.

“Why?” she asked, squeezing one of his toes and laughing at the way he pulled his feet away. “Have you reconsidered taking it all down to the skip?”

Nicholas looked slightly pained. “Would you hate me if I said ‘yes’?”

How someone who was meant to be moving out and who was never in the apartment could be making an even bigger mess was an idea that simply baffled him. After a few moments, he pulled himself up to his feet.

“Oh, could you take the stuff in the kitchen down as well?” Janine asked with an evil little grin.

Nicholas looked around, confused. “Actually, I... have football today...” he said, pointing vaguely at the door. “But, uhm...”

Janine laughed. “I know,” she said. “Now go, or you’ll be late.”


1981

The older boys he was being housed with were a huge improvement over the boys his own age. Even more, they weren’t in the dorm very often, and would frequently leave him alone while they went off and did the sorts of things older boys did.

He was on his bed, getting his reading for the winter holidays out of the way early. Most of the school had gone home for Christmas already, letting him leave the door open without being distracted by noise.

“Nicholas, you’re still here?”

He looked up to see Mr Dalton standing in the door.

“Yes, sir,” Nicholas said simply.

“Aren’t you going home for the holidays?”

Nicholas shook his head. “They’re going to France, to stay with my aunt.”

“And you don’t want to?”

He sighed. “My aunt’s house is only three bedrooms. It’s her family there, plus us. Usually, there are eight of us.”

Mr Dalton nodded. “Of course,” he agreed. “But won’t you miss seeing your family?”

Nicholas only shrugged. “My mum’s wanted to go to my aunt’s for Christmas for a few years. They’re only able to do it if I stay behind, and she doesn’t want me at home alone all week. I think I can manage, but she’s worried.”

The teacher sighed, but Nicholas didn’t seem to notice.


“Nick!”

Nicholas wasn’t sure how much time had passed since his conversation with Mr Dalton when he looked up to see Travis standing in his door, carrying a large, plastic bag.

“I thought you’d gone with mum?”

Travis shook his head. “No. My mum says she’s actually gonna be doing something this year, but...”

He didn’t seem hopeful.

“Anyway, mum – yours – wanted me to bring you this. Said it would keep you busy while everyone else had gone home.”

Nicholas sat up to look at the bag of presumably Christmas gifts Travis had hefted with him up to the school.

“What is it?”

Travis laughed. “I don’t know. Open them.”

He brought the bag over to Nicholas’ bed, upending it. Nicholas quickly rearranged them, lining them up well as he was able.

“Some of these are for you,” he says. “Here.”



Several hours later, Nicholas and Travis were too busy trying to figure out how to play chess to notice Mr Dalton checking in on them again.

Recovery

Sep. 20th, 2010 05:49 pm
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“How are you doing today?”

Nicholas lay stretched out on the sofa, his feet propped up on one of the arm rests. “Better,” he declared simply. “Much as I hate to admit it, I think everyone may have been right.”

“I like that you can admit that,” Paul said honestly.

“Just don’t tell Travis.” Nicholas was only partly joking. He hated how Travis would gloat, and even though everything was starting to calm down, he didn’t think that he could handle that sort of behaviour right now.

“I haven’t spoken with him since last year,” Paul pointed out.

“You haven’t?” Nicholas was surprised to hear this. He’d assumed the two had been corresponding, especially given Travis’ recent behaviour.

“No.” Paul shook his head. “Why?”

Nicholas suddenly felt rather stupid about the whole thing, and shrugged. “Just the way he’s been acting lately. I thought you’d spoken to him about what’s been going on.”

“Give him a bit of credit, Nicholas,” Paul said. “He’s been with you through tough times before. I think he knows how to recognise when you’re not well.”

“I suppose you’re right.”



1981

He sat at the small desk in the dormitory, trying to figure out his first maths assignment while the other three boys played at being pirates or ninjas or something ridiculously loud. The whole point of boarding school was to get
away from this sort of behaviour, but if anything, the boys here were worse than his four sisters at home. Not even a full week in, Nicholas was starting to wonder why his parents were paying for something that was surely just making everything worse.

He covered his ears and put his head down on the desk, hoping that the boys he’d been roomed with would stop.

Eventually, the head of house popped into the dormitory. Nicholas was expecting him to tell the other boys to quiet down, but instead, he tapped on Nicholas’ shoulder.

“Telephone call for you,” he said when Nicholas looked up. “Your mum. Come on.”

Nicholas shot to his feet. “Is everything all right?” he asked.

“Not sure.” Mr Dalton led Nicholas to a small office, where the telephone was waiting.

Nicholas picked it up, dreading what news would be coming from home. “Mum? What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Nicky, nothing. I just wanted to check up,” Katherine said.

Nicholas cringed. “Mum, they don’t want you doing that,” he said. “It’s emergencies only for the first two weeks.”

“I know, darling. But I worry about you.”


The conversation lasted about ten minutes, and mostly consisted of Katherine reassuring herself that everything would be fine and work out in the end. When Nicholas finally hung up the phone, he wanted to scream. Not because he hated boarding school, but because it had been the second time since he’d started that his mum hand broke the rules and rang the school.

“You all right, Nicholas?” Mr Dalton asked. He started to reach out to put a hand on Nicholas’ shoulders, before remembering the bit about how those sorts of gestures would sometimes make the situation worse.

After a few moments, Nicholas looked up at him. “Can I move to a different room?” he asked. “The boys I’m with now are too loud, and I can’t do my school work.”

Mr Dalton laughed and led Nicholas back out of the office. “We’ll see about that tomorrow. Back to your dorm with you. It’s nearly lights out.”
diced_tartan: (Default)
It was hard not to notice him. For the first few days after Nicholas had come home, Travis had been walking on eggshells, going out of his way to give him plenty of space.

Nicholas did appreciate the space, but he couldn’t help wondering if Travis had been tipped off, or if he was doing all this on his own. After all, it had been a very long time since he’d voluntarily cleaned the kitchen.

He lay stretched out on the sofa, reading an old favourite when Travis walked into the flat, slamming the door open.

“Oh, you’re home,” he said, very quietly closing the door.

“I’ve been all day,” Nicholas replied, not looking up from his book.

“Thought you might be with Janine.”

Nicholas shook his head, watching as Travis moved into the kitchen with the shopping he’d apparently spent all day doing. “She had shift today, and I don’t think Denise likes me much.”

“You? What’s not to like?” He was going out of his way to be as out of the way as possible, and it did sort of grate on Nicholas, though he wasn’t sure why.

“Travis, really,” he said, getting to his feet. “I’m fine. It was just a bit of stress because I was overworked.”

Travis turned and looked back at him, a little surprised. “Can I say it?”

“No, you can’t,” Nicholas said simply as he returned to the sofa. Even when he was wrong, he didn’t like hearing ‘I told you so.’ Then again, who does?

“When do you go back, then?” Travis asked, putting the last of the shopping again.

“Not for another week or so,” Nicholas answered absently. “And I may not be able to make it to the pub this week. Janine wanted to go do something, I think.”

Travis tried not to cheer at that. It had been a while since he’d seen Nicholas break routine willingly, let alone seem t look forward to it.

Maybe he could get away with sneaking back out and letting Nicholas figure out his own supper if things kept going this well.
diced_tartan: (Default)
The window had been left open. He wasn't sure if it was by accident or by habit, but either way, it was nice. The sounds of London whispered through the shades, occasionally getting loud enough for individual packets of coherent information to be picked up and understood. These weren't the same sounds that he heard at his shared flat with Travis; these sounds were somehow less threatening. More like what sounds though an open window at eleven in the morning should sound like.

"It's nice to have a proper weekend again," Janine said quietly.

Nicholas looked down at her, his fingers gently drawing circles on her bare shoulder. "Oh?" he said, enjoying the feeling of her soft breathing on his chest.

"I had split days before," Janine explained. "One of my deciding factors for transferring." Nicholas nodded. Somewhere in the distance, he could hear bells ringing, drawing up some dark, hidden feeling of guilt from deep in his chest. "I'd normally be at the station right now," Janine continued.

"I'm normally at church right now," Nicholas said simply, not entirely sure how he felt about that statement. Though, up until now, he’d actually been enjoying his little mandatory holiday.

Janine reached up, her fingers gently rubbing over the gold chain Nicholas wore round his neck. "I didn't realise you were practicing."

Nicholas nodded. "Yeah," he said, drawing Janine closer to himself and kissing her lightly on the top of her head. "My mum’s family brought it over from France, I think.”

Janine laughed lightly. "You're French?”

“I... don’t actually know,” Nicholas realised. “I mean, my mum was born in Kent, but she lived in France until she was about twenty or so.”

“You don’t know?” Janine didn’t sound like she believed him very strongly.

“I’ve never asked,” Nicholas responded simply. “It never occurred to me. Save for university in Canterbury, I’ve lived in London my whole life.”

She laughed. “You’re serious?”

Nicholas twisted his neck to look at her properly. "Why wouldn't I be?" he asked. "Be kind of a stupid thing to lie about." He closed his eyes lightly, enjoying the feeling of her fingers against his neck, and eventually his chest.

"I thought you Catholics weren't supposed to do these sinful things before marriage," she said slyly, her fingers lightly moving up and down Nicholas' chest.

Nicholas shrugged. "Well, if I’m honest honest, I do enjoy this much more than being in some cold cathedral," he said.

"That's good," Janine said.

"Yeah?" Nicholas smiled and lightly rolled over to his side, moving Janine onto her back, his hand trailing lightly down her side. "I think I could get used to this."
diced_tartan: (Default)
Nicholas forced himself to get through the second half of the day. He hardly talked to Travis at all, and focused his everything on finding even the most minor infractions to cite. More than once, Travis tried to engage him in a bit of ‘healthy conversation,’ but Nicholas ignored his efforts.

By two o’clock, Nicholas felt like he could jump out of his skin. By three, he wasn’t sure that he’d even be able to finish the day. When four o’clock finally did roll by, he hardly even bothered changing back into his civvies; going only as far as to take off any badges and official gear before pulling on his jacket and fetching a taxi home.

In the flat, he took off his jacket and tried to put it on the hook by the door. He didn’t even notice that he’d missed, making tracks straight for his bedroom without even looking at anything around him.


Around twenty minutes later, Travis hefted Nicholas’ bicycle up the stairs to their flat. He couldn’t get it up onto the hook that had been mounted in the ceiling, not even sure how Nicholas managed to heft the massive thing up the stairs at all. As he leaned the bicycle against the wall, he spotted Nicholas’ jacket on the floor.

“Nick?” he called hesitantly as he hung the jacket on the hook.

He wasn’t exactly surprised to not get an answer, but that didn’t stop him being worried. He made his way to Nicholas’ bedroom, gently tapping on the closed door.

“Nicky, can you talk to me?” he asked.

Through the door, Travis could hear Nicholas start to move around, so he stepped back to avoid crowding him. After a few long moments, the door did open, if only slightly, and Nicholas all but glared out at him.

“Fuck, Nick,” Travis said. “Do I need to call Paul?”

“I already did,” Nicholas said, not making any effort to actually leave his room. “He can’t get me in until tomorrow. I’ll be taking a personal day.”

Travis wasn’t entirely sure how to handle this. Nicholas having mild freak-outs at random moments wasn’t exactly unheard of, but he hadn’t been quite this bad since they were students.

“You want me to order a curry or something?” Travis tried. “Or... to throw me through a wall?”

“No.”

With that, Nicholas shut the door and disappeared into his bedroom again.


The next morning, he was able to convince Travis that he didn’t need a minder to see Paul, and made his own way to the small office space on Upper Woburn. He’d shown up nearly 45 minutes early, but he didn’t want to stay in the flat any longer than he needed. When he was finally called back, Nicholas practically jumped to his feet.

“Nicholas, what’s up?” Paul asked, sounding genuinely concerned as he held the door open for him as he walked in.

Nicholas scrubbed his face with his hands as he let himself fall onto the sofa. “I don’t know,” he said.

“Okay...” Paul sat down in his chair, picking up his clipboard. “Well, why don’t you tell me why you’re here?”

“I don’t know,” Nicholas repeated. “I mean...” he realised that telling the full ‘truth,’ as it all actually happened wouldn’t be a very productive strategy, but he also wasn’t entirely sure how else to go about this whole thing.

Telling one’s counsellor that one was turned into a mouse by an angry small-G god at a bar at the end of the universe really can only have one outcome, and Nicholas had no desire to be sectioned. He took a long moment to find the right words, knowing that Paul would be patient and not try to rush him. He’d been seeing him for nearly nine years, and in that time, they’d both become very familiar with one another.

But the more he thought about what to say, the more he realised he’d have lie.

“I’ve been... having dreams lately,” he settled on. It sounded weak, and he hoped and prayed that Paul wasn’t able to pick up on that. “For the last few days or so.”

“Can you tell me about them?” Paul asked.

So far, so good. “I was... am?”

“Whichever you’re more comfortable with.”

“I was small,” Nicholas said. “Like, a mouse or something. I don’t know.” It was very strange to be talking about this, especially since he’d made it a habit to go out of his way to avoid ever mentioning anything about Milliways. “I was running around, trying to avoid getting trod on. And then people would pick me up and play with me, and pass me around. And then I’d get chased around by dogs and cats, I think because they wanted to eat me. Then there was something else where the room I was in was flooded because someone had a fire hose. I’m not entirely sure.”

Paul took a moment to respond. “And this is recurring?”

“Yes,” Nicholas said, figuring that was a good way to put it. “For about three or four days, and I’ve not really been sleeping well from it. I thought, yesterday, that I’d be fine, but as the day went on, I sort of...”

When Paul was certain that Nicholas wasn’t going to finish that thought, he took the conversation in a different direction. “How are you recovering?” he asked. “Last time I saw you, you were on crutches.”

“The injuries weren’t as bad as they first thought,” Nicholas said. “I’ve been back on the job for about a week now.”

“Do you think you might have gone back too soon?” Paul asked simply.

“What do you mean?” Nicholas was getting very bored of hearing that question, but Paul was allowed to ask annoying questions. It was his job, after all.

“Well, just because you’ve physically healed, the mind needs time to recover from a traumatic experience. I’d imagine getting bitten by a dog would be quite traumatic, indeed.”

Nicholas considered this. “I don’t really think this had anything to do with the dog.”

“Maybe not directly, no,” Paul agreed. “But I think it might be in your best interest to take a bit more time off. I know you work hard, and that you enjoy it, but you also need to rest.”

“I can’t just sit in the flat all day,” Nicholas argues. “And with Travis around, I’m hardly resting at all, anyway.”

“You two are a bit old for sibling rivalry, aren’t you?” Paul asked, misunderstanding Nicholas.

Nicholas shook his head. “By this point, it’s evolved into ‘flatmate rivalry,’ I think.”

“Right.” Paul nodded, smiling lightly. “Well, it’s just a suggestion, but perhaps you should get out of the house for a few days. You don’t have to leave London, but at least get away from the flat and from your brother. I know he means well, but I also worry that you treat him as a crutch.”

“He did offer to let me throw him through a wall last night,” Nicholas said, already feeling a bit better having been able to just talk about the last few days; even if he wasn’t completely honest about the circumstances.

“I do hope you didn’t take him up on the offer.”

He laughed slightly. “No, I didn’t feel like going to the dojo.”


Standing on the street corner, Nicholas tried to figure out what to do with the rest of his evening. Travis would be home shortly, and while he hadn’t been outright ordered to avoid him, Paul seemed rather insistent that he try to find some space between them.

Not entirely sure what was leading the decision, Nicholas pulled his mobile from his pocket and dialled Janine’s number. He wasn’t sure why he was ringing her, or even what he’d say, but when she answered, he knew he had to think of something fast.

“Are you busy tonight?” Okay, not the most articulate question, but it could have been worse.

An hour later, he was standing in her flat, watching as she dodged around the same half-empty boxes that had been taking up space the last time he was over.

“Is everything all right?” he asked cautiously. “I can go if this isn’t a good time.”

Janine sighed deeply as she ducked into the small kitchen. “No, it’s Denise,” she said. “She’s meant to be moving out, but she hasn’t been home enough to actually... move.”

“Right.” Nicholas looked around at everything. “Well, I suppose I could help get it out of your way, if you just show me what’s hers.”

Janine took a moment to try to figure out what he meant. “Are you offering to throw it all into a skip, or pack it?”

This confused Nicholas. “I don’t imagine she’d be very happy with the first one,” he pointed out.

She stepped out of the kitchen, looking over him curiously. “If you want, I guess,” she said. “Most of my stuff is still in boxes in my bedroom, because I’ve not had the room to properly unpack.”

Paul said absolutely nothing against starting new projects. After looking over the cluttered flat once more, he took off his jacket so he could get to work.

Date Night

Sep. 6th, 2010 06:00 am
diced_tartan: (Default)
He walked her to her flat in Lambeth, which was going to be a considerable hike from the flat he shared with Travis near Regents Park. They walked up the small flight of steps to the door, Nicholas leaning casually against the stone front of the old house as Janine fished her keys from her modest-sized purse.

“We should definitely do this again, some time,” Nicholas said, trying to sound like Hugh Grant, and mentally kicking himself for sounding like an idiot, instead. At least when Hugh Grant sounds like an idiot, he’s still charming.

Janine smiled at him as she found her keys. “Yeah,” she agreed. She easily unlocked the door and held it open slightly. “You have my number.”

Without really thinking, which is the way one is supposed to go about these sorts of things, Nicholas leaned in and kissed her gently on the lips, thanking God that it was dark, and she couldn’t see his face turning red. He tried to contain his surprised gasp when Janine responded, opening her mouth slightly and kissing him back.

“Want to come inside?” she asked quietly.

“Uhm...” Idiot. That was not the right word. It wasn’t even a word. “I mean, sure.”

She just laughed and opened the door, inviting him to follow inside. The apartment was full of cardboard boxes, half-packed and stacked randomly. “Sorry about the state of it,” she said.

“Moving out or moving in?” Nicholas asked, doing his best to avoid bumping into any of it.

“Out,” Janine said, leading Nicholas by the hand to the front room. “Well, Denise is, anyway.”

“And she’s left you trying to figure out the rent situation?” Nicholas asked. He was too busy looking at the huge amount of stuff to notice how close she’d moved to him.

“I’ll manage.” She slid up next to him, putting her arms round his waist. The sudden contact caused Nicholas to jump sharply. He could see where this was going, and wasn’t quite sure he’d wanted it to go there just yet.

At least she hadn’t tried to offer him coffee, first.

“I – no, I can’t,” he said awkwardly. Though he did find himself mildly surprised that the actual contact part wasn’t actually bothering him. “I’m sorry.”

Janine pulled away. “Right,” she said. She sounded disappointed, and a little embarrassed.

“No, it’s me,” Nicholas assured. “I don’t like to rush in to these things.”

“No, I get it,” she said.

Nicholas sighed. He couldn’t win either way. “I did enjoy tonight,” he said. “And I do plan on calling you again.”

Not sure what else to do, he started to see himself out. After a few moments, Janine followed him toward the door.

“You just don’t like to rush these things,” she repeated back, still not sounding entirely convinced.

Nicholas just smile. “Yeah, it’s... complicated,” he said. “Travis and Dave know I’m like this – but don’t talk to them. They just make things up. Especially Travis. Just forget I said anything. I should go.”

She smiled at him as she opened the door. “Probably,” she agreed.

“Yeah.” He stepped out of the flat and started walking down the exposed stairwell to the street below, looking up over his shoulder just as the door shut. For a moment, he contemplated going back up there and trying to end the night on a bit of a smoother note, but past experience told him that it only ever just made things worse.

Leave, and phone the next evening. Things always had a way of working themselves out, so long as he followed the routine.
diced_tartan: (Default)
"I'm gonna ask her out."

Travis looked up from his lunch, surprised to see Nicholas leaning over him. "Who?" he asked, swallowing quickly. "The girl from forensics?"

Nicholas nodded. "Yeah," Nicholas said. He sat down, plucking a piece of lettuce from Travis' plate. "Do you think I should?"

"I think you should get your own lunch," Travis said, pulling his plate away. "I thought you'd given up on women."

"No," Nicholas clarified. "I took a break from women after Tricia. A man can only handle accusing phone calls at three in the morning for so long."

"I thought you two made a cute couple," Travis said, finishing off his sandwich.

"And I thought she was mental. What's your point?"

Travis laughed and got up from the table. "You go," he started. "You ask that girl from forensics out. And I'll be at my place with plenty of lager for when she turns you down."

"And you have fun drinking it by yourself," Nicholas shot back. "I hope you're hung over tomorrow on patrol."
diced_tartan: (Honest Smile)
Nicholas and Travis stood outside the Winchester, laughing with one another at a girl across the street. They'd had an early start on the night, having each already had a pint of cider while waiting for Dave to finally show up.

"What the hell is she wearing?" Travis asked, trying to whisper. He sounded more like he was being strangled.

"I think I saw something like that in a movie once," Nicholas responded. "Only I don't think she was wearing a tutu in the film."

A sudden wind picked up, catching the large cardboard wings of the girl across the street. Leaning against one another, Nicholas and Travis howled with laughter. "Should we help her?" Nicholas asked. "I feel like we should do something, but I don't think we have jurisdiction over the fashion police's area."

Travis buried his face in Nicholas' neck, shaking with laughter.

"What the hell are you two queers doing?" a familiar voice demanded. Nicholas and Travis looked up at Dave, being trailed by two women, and laughed even harder for a few moments before trying to sober up. "What the hell is that?" Dave exclaimed loudly, pointing across the street. Nicholas and Travis lost their composure again. "You lot are already pissed," Dave said in disgust. "You couldn't wait for us?"

Nicholas straightened up and cleared his throat. "Sorry," he said, a hint of a laugh around the edges of his voice. "You said seven."

Dave frowned and shook his head. "All this one's fault," he said nodding his head toward his new girlfriend, Denise. "Wouldn't leave unless..." he turned round to second girl with him. "What's your name, love?"

"Janine," she answered in a way that suggested she'd answered the same question several times already.

"Right," Dave said. "Wouldn't leave unless Janine agreed to come with. Women, eh?"

Travis and Nicholas both chuckled slightly, leading the way back into the pub, and to the corner booth they had already reserved. Nicholas and Travis slid in first, Janine confidently sitting next to Nicholas while Dave spent several long moments convincing Denise to just please sit the fuck down already. Several moments after getting settled, a waiter came round with three pints of cider, pausing for a moment at the inclusion of two new faces.

"Oh," he said, slightly confused. "What can I get you ladies?"

"Guiness," Janine said simply.

The waiter nodded. "And you?" he asked Denise.

"Oh, I don't know," she said slowly. "Uhm... Maybe just a spritzer."

The waiter smiled lightly and disappeared.

"What do you do?" Nicholas asked, moving a napkin underneath his cider.

"I'm in forensics," Janine answered.

"Really?" Nicholas couldn't figure out why he hadn't seen her before. "Here in London?"

The waiter returned with the drinks, setting each in front of the girls. Janine took a drink of her Guiness and nodded. "Yeah," she said. "I just transferred in from another precinct earlier this month. You're all cops, right?"

Nicholas smiled. "Yeah," he said, taking a drink of his cider. "We go out a few times a week like this. You should come more often."

Janine gave him a sideways glance as she reached for a computer-printed menu from the rack behind Nicholas' head. "We'll see how good the food is first."

Nicholas laughed. "Try the chicken," he suggested. "I think that's what I'm having tonight."

"We'll see."

They leaned over the menu together, Nicholas boldly moving closer to her, a move not missed by the rest of their group. "What's the matter, Travis?" Dave asked quietly, tapping him on the shoulder to get his attention. "Mad that your boyfriend's trying to get laid without you?"

"He's not my boyfriend," Travis insisted.

"I'm not his boyfriend," Nicholas confirmed, his face turning a fair shade of red.

"No, that's right," Dave said. "You'd be official then, and that's against regulations."

Travis and Nicholas both reached for the bowl of twiglets on the table, each throwing a handful at Dave. "Fuckers!" Dave said loudly. They each threw another handful at him, Janine joining in on the sport
as well.

Recovery

Aug. 20th, 2010 09:44 pm
diced_tartan: (Default)
“You’re doing better, then?”

Nicholas turned round at Travis’ words.

“Yep.” He was in the kitchen, figuring out supper for the both of them. In practise, this meant digging through a drawer full of menus. “And you’re home early, so you can pick.”

“I rather fancy Chinese tonight, I think.” Travis hung his coat up by the door and joined Nicholas in the kitchen. “And you’re not supposed to be off your crutches yet.”

“I got better.”

“You’ve had your stitches out already?” Travis asked incredulously. “Nick, it’s only been a week.”

Nicholas turned to face him. “Really, I’m fine,” he insisted. “Seriously. I start work again on Monday.”

“Like hell.” Travis took the menus away from Nicholas. “You’ve seen a doctor, and all?”

“Yes.”

“Nick, that fucking dog nearly tore your damn leg off,” Travis pointed out. “You don’t just recover from something like that in a week.”

“Ten days,” Nicholas corrected. “And maybe you don’t.”

“Show me,” Travis said.

“What?” Nicholas forgot all about supper at that remark.

“Show me,” Travis repeated slowly. “Because I don’t believe you.”

Nicholas couldn’t believe where this conversation had gone. “I am not taking off my trousers,” he said. “Especially not for you.”

“I’ll take them off for you, then.”

Travis reached for Nicholas, apparently prepared to follow through with his threat. Nicholas, not having any of this, all but jumped over the chair next to him to get away. “Get off!” he snapped, wandering back into the front room. “And while you’re at it, order supper.”
diced_tartan: (Quiet Annoyance)
Even with Milliways making itself readily available, Nicholas was still going stir crazy. As much as he hated to admit it, that doctor with his strange devices did seem to make everything more bearable, but it wasn’t until after he got home that he realised he couldn’t actually tell anybody what happened.

And it wasn’t as though he’d completely healed, anyway. He didn’t need the pain killers so much anymore, but putting weight on his leg still hurt like a you-know-what, so he was still stuck on the crutches.

Nicholas knew there was a reason he never liked dogs. And this was it.

He practically jumped out of his seat when Travis came home, eager to finally get out of the flat.

“What time are we leaving?” Nicholas asked, following Travis back to his bedroom.

“We?” Travis asked. He looked at Nicholas for a few moments, not sure where this was going.

“It’s Friday,” Nicholas pointed out. “Aren’t we meeting Bob and Dave down at the Winchester?”

Travis sighed. “You’re not going out. Not like that.”

Nicholas frowned. This was not going as he’d expected. “You’re not my dad,” he said.

“No, but I have his number,” Travis said. They both knew calling Nicholas’ father wouldn’t accomplish anything.

“You do that, and I’ll just phone my mum,” Nicholas said. “I want to go out. I’ve been stuck in here all week. I need to be able to move around, or else it’ll just be harder on me when I do go back to work.”

Travis hated arguing with Nicholas. Mostly because the man had a way of sounding like he was right, even if he wasn’t. “Fuck, you’re right,” he said. “We can go somewhere else, though. You shouldn’t be drinking, anyway.”

“John does toasties,” Nicholas reasoned. “I wasn’t going to drink, anyway. I just want to go out.”

The problem with crutches is that one can’t properly cross their arms over their chest. So instead, Nicholas moved to block the door, ostensibly forcing Travis to be stuck in his room until he gave in.

“We’ll go somewhere else where you can have something decent for supper,” Travis said. “There are a million pubs in London, and plenty of them do food. Go get dressed; I’ll ring Dave.”

Nicholas didn’t like the idea of going somewhere else, but he knew that this was a time where he had to be willing to compromise. At least he was going somewhere, which wasn’t a horrible break in the routine, all things considered.

“Next time, though, can we go to the Winchester?” he asked, knowing that he was probably pressing his luck.

Travis carefully pushed him out of his way with a practised balance of force and precision. “Keep it up, and I’m leaving without you,” he said. “I’m faster than you right now, and don’t think I won’t run.”

“Fine.” Nicholas let him go get ready as he retreated to his own room to change his shirt.
diced_tartan: (Uniform)
With Travis always home, case files can be difficult to sift through. Since he’s not CID, and this whole thing is just a “personal interest,” he can’t work on it while on the clock.

The surprising part is that the woman in the Bar may have been onto something – Nicholas does daydream, it would seem. Granted, he does it in his own way, and it’s still about matters relating to work. Particularly, trying to figure out where the hell he’s seen Kyle Fisher’s name before.

That doesn’t stop him snapping to attention when his radio starts going off about a call in his area, though. It’s just the next block over, and they’re requesting back-up, so Nicholas is running in that direction before the radio is silent. He gets to the scene to find a man, a dog, a Panda with a flaming bonnet, and a gun.

This could get dangerous, and quickly. Nicholas quickly joins the other officers trying to herd civilians away from the scene and out of the line of fire.

With his attention turned toward the rubbernecking crowd, he doesn’t hear the commotion behind him until it’s almost too late. He turns just in time to see the dog, running toward the crowd. His first reaction is to grab his baton and smack the snarling beast senseless, but that plan changes quickly when it seems to take issue with the CLACK! sound his baton makes when it’s extended.

At least the dog isn’t going after the crowd. He’s almost glad until he feels teeth tearing flesh as the dog grabs hold of the nearest thing it can grab – which just happens to be Nicholas’ leg. He goes down, doing everything he can to get the dog off of him.

Luckily, someone else on armed duty manages to get through the crowd, and shot rings through the air. Nicholas looks up to see Travis rush over with a paramedic.

“Ah, fuck, Nick,” he says, finding his friend and partner lying on the ground. “There are easier ways to get promoted, you know.”

Nicholas glares at him, for a very brief moment forgetting about the stitches he’ll soon be receiving.

“You know I like to – ow! – think my office is out on the streets,” Nicholas hisses.

Travis forces a laugh as he helps get Nicholas up onto a trolley. “Your office is at home, on the sofa, it looks like.”

Well, at least he'll have more time to go through case files.
diced_tartan: (Honest Smile)
Another pub night with the lads, and if Nicholas didn’t know better, he’d almost say that he’d even been looking forward to it. Much as he hated to admit when his flatmate was right, he was starting to enjoy himself. Is this what “switching off” felt like? The last time he remembered feeling like this, he was ten years old and running through Regents Park with other boys his age. That was the summer he fell in the duck pond; did a nasty number to his elbow and hands, but like most childhood injuries, it cleared up to practically nothing by the end of the season.

Now, here he was over twenty years later with a new group or rowdy guys all yelling at one another to do stupid things. Nicholas wasn’t quite drunk enough not realising that Dave’s behaviour could get them all in trouble, but he was exactly drunk enough to ignore it.

Besides, he had more pressing matters at hand. Like finishing off that basket of chips.


It had rained sometime between arriving and when they had finally decided to leave. They hadn't heard anything while inside the thick walls, but watching Travis step into a puddle up to his ankles had been enough to confirm their suspicions.

"Oh, shit," he said, giggling the way he only did when he was four ciders past one too many. "These are my uniform trousers."

Nicholas stopped in his step to look down at the mess on Travis' trousers. "Tough luck, mate," he said, placing a firm hand on his shoulder, guiding him down the side walk. A few moments later, he paused, looked down the direction they were heady, and turned round, Travis still in tow. "No, wait."

Finally, Dave stumbled out of the heavy doors, still clutching tightly to a half-full pack of pig snacks. "There you pricks are," he said, stepping in the same puddle Travis had fallen victim to. "Shit. These are my work trousers."

His face already bright red, Nicholas howled in laughter.

"What's so funny, Angel?" Dave snapped.

Nicholas shook his head. "I don't know," he managed.

Dave and Travis joined in the chorus with Nicholas, each taking a solid hold of Nicholas' arms, and leading him down the side walk.
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Lad’s night out. Nicholas can’t remember the last time he was dragged off to a pub by Travis, but he’s willing to bet that it was sometime during academy.

And he’s not exactly going to say no. Travis, after all, has been almost exclusively his only friend since primary school.

“Who’s all going?” Nicholas asks as he stands in front of the mirror.

“Dave, and maybe one of his mates from SOCO,” Travis responds from the sitting room. “And don’t you dare put on a tie.”

Nicholas frowns and moves about to see if maybe Travis is able to take advantage of his line of sight and spy on Nicholas using the mirror. If he is, he’s a bloody ninja, because Nicholas can’t see him anywhere in the flat.

Nicholas sighs deeply as he steps out to the sitting room, presenting himself for Travis’ approval. “Why are we going with them?” he asks. “We don’t even know them.”

Travis walks up to Nicholas and unbuttons his collar. “I said casual, you wanker,” he says. “And just because you don’t know them, doesn’t mean I don’t.”

“You slept with him?” Nicholas asks simply.

“None of your business.” Travis leaves Nicholas to go finish getting ready, himself. “And for the record, it was his sister.”

Burying his face in his hands, Nicholas sits down on the sofa. “I can’t believe you. What would your mother say?”

Travis pokes his head back out into the corridor. “My mum wouldn’t care. But what would your mother say?”

Nicholas tactfully chooses to ignore that question, and instead begins plucking lint from his shirt. “I don’t want to get drunk,” he warns.

Travis pulls a football jersey over his head as he wanders back out to the sitting room. “You can get a little drunk,” he assures. When he gets to Nicholas, he reaches out and grabs hold of his wrist. “Stop that. You’re driving me crazy,” he says sternly. “I thought you’d gotten over that, anyway.”

Again, Nicholas ignores him and just stands up, ready (though, not particularly eager) to follow Travis out to whatever night of delinquency he has planned.

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Police Chief Inspector Nicholas Angel

September 2013

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