TITLE: Stand Your Ground
WORD COUNT: 1640
PAIRING: Nicholas/Danny (eventually)
SUMMARY: In the aftermath of a revelation, can Nicholas go on anymore, or will the past pull him under?
WARNING: This chapter includes language, violence, gore, and murder.
DISCLAIMER: All Hot Fuzz characters and places are property of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, affiliated actors and personae.
Detective Andrew Wainwright, 37, born and schooled in Sandford, Gloucestershire. Attended King’s College from 1990 to 1992, transferred to Felician University before graduating in 1994 for criminology with high commendation. Worked as an active CSI in the Met from 1994 to 1999. Took an active role in the national War On Drugs movement, receiving several awards for his work. Was transferred by request to his hometown after his partner was killed in the line of duty with a sausage grinder.
He is currently in a prohibited relationship with fellow detective Andrew Cartwright, 33, saluditorian of the class of 1997 from Georgian University, with a double major in sociology and criminology.
Detective Wainwright always hated the idea of serial killers. Now, he was sitting across from his very own, a disaffected man with a permanent malicious grin, who had taken to licking his lips at him in a very unsettling manner.
“I need you to be cooperative, sir
,” Wainwright growled, getting out of his chair to pace.
His suspect was handcuffed to his chair, as he’d already made a lunge at Cartwright, who’d since scuttled out of the room. On the other side of the one-way glass, every available officer was watching the proceedings, which did only a little to calm Wainwright’s nerves; they were out there
, and he was in here, alone
“We already know quite well that you killed Jeremiah and Augusta Crane-” Wainwright began.
“That’s what they were called?” the man laughed, “Stupid names, really. Better off without them.”
, you sodding bastard
,” Wainwright shouted, slamming his hands down on the table.
The man didn’t flinch, in fact he allowed his laughter to die away slowly, licking his lips again as he leaned back in his chair.
Outside the room, Nicholas, Danny and Walker were pouring over case files faxed emergently from the Met, where Liam was trying to handle both the ongoing terrorist crisis and help the Sandford police deal with their own disaster.
“You found anything yet?” Nicholas asked, his eyes fixed on the documentation spread over his desk in his new office, hearing Danny come in.
His friend stopped beside the desk, watching him work, as Nicholas basically ignored him, flipping from a description of two women murdered with a butcher knife in their dorm room to the file on the man charged with the crime. His laptop was in the midst of downloading a huge chunk of the Met database, which his old friend Duncan Bathe, a detective in London, had been kind enough to hack for him. He was hoping to get remote access before the end of the week, as long as Bathe and his partner, Adrian Holbech, could find enough time to hook him up.
“Nick,” Danny said carefully, coming around the desk and placing a hand on Nicholas’s shoulder, “You said you know this bloke? Who is he? Why’re you searching case files?
“I am searching case files, Danny, because we must discover if there are any possible connections,” Nicholas said calmly, looking over at Danny momentarily. “We’ve already established that this man committed the crime, but his…nature…indicates that he may be tied to other murders or similar crimes.”
Danny pressed down on Nicholas’s shoulder as his friend looked away, making Nicholas sigh and look back at Danny. Suddenly, Danny’s face was far too close, the two of them eye to eye, and a hand instinctively shot up to clutch the collar of Danny’s shirt; did he want to be his undoing, getting intimate at work? It was bad enough that their relationship was strictly against protocol, that they should both be reprimanded and most likely fired, and that, at the moment, the threat to Nicholas’s way of life was so high he could hardly think about it without wanting to kill someone.
That man…was a threat to everything Nicholas had made for himself in the last seventeen years.
Tony, Doris and the younger, cantankerous of the Turners were gathered in the lobby, Doris trying to calm Tony while Turner egged him on for details. Sitting awkwardly behind the front desk was a slender young man with wispy blond hair and pale blue eyes like foggy ice, and leaning equally as awkwardly against the post-it board by the front door was a young woman with curly brown hair and a perpetual worried expression; these were Galen McDougal and Cassie Burrows, the newest addition to the Sandford Police Service, and neither of them was especially happy about it at the moment.
“We’ve got us an affinity for decapitation in this town, it seems,” Turner smirked. He usually didn’t get excited about anything, and even his current interest was little more than continued niggling and beratement as Tony tried to sort out his head.
“Give it a rest, you grafter!” Doris shouted at him, jumping between the two men before Tony could throw a punch.
“He’s the insensitive prick rambling on about putting pictures on the Internet,” Tony spat, balling his hands into fists at his sides. “HE
wasn’t the one who walked in on it! HE
wasn’t the one who had to take out a sodding mental case! HE-
“Yeah, yeah, aren’t you the martyr,” Turner snickered, waving Tony off and returning to his desk, shooing Galen out of his seat.
“I’ is a bit of a fright,” Galen murmured. He had a very soft, almost apologetic tone at all times, which infuriated nearly everyone he knew.
“Leave it to you to be afraid of danger,” Cassie sighed. “Why on earth did you want this job anyway, Lenny?”
, Cassandra, r’is it aright for me t’be callin’ you that as well?” Galen replied, barely coming across as offended.
“Why on earth did he have to come here?
” Tony sighed, sitting down heavily on a wooden bench, which was left beneath the only window in the space to provide seating for anyone willing to spend more than five seconds in Turner’s company.
Doris took the space beside him, rubbing his back as Tony cradled his head in his hands, running his fingers through his hair from time to time, cleaning his glasses compulsively. Turner just snorted with quick, derisive laughter, before going back to his book, and Galen and Cassie stood about purposelessly, watching the three other officers and at a complete loss.
The door opened suddenly, all four of them leaping to attention, and Turner hardly sparing a glance. A man was standing in the doorway, backlit and almost impossible to identify until he took a tentative step inside, allowing the door to swing shut. He was tall, angular, with a scar trailing down the right side of his face and along his neck, disappearing beneath his collar. His blond hair was a bit too long and shaggy, hanging over his brow in clumps, and his mouth was pressed into a firm frown, as if he was either deeply disappointed or had just tasted too much rhubarb.
“I’m looking for someone named Nicholas Angel,” the man said after a moment, snapping the officers out of their hypnotized state.
Tony cleared his throat, slipping his glasses on as he approached the man across the small space, as Doris hung back with Cassie and Galen, who stepped up and tried to appear professional. This man was another outsider, obviously of some troubled description, and with their luck in the last 24 hours, they were on the defensive before he’d even spoken.
“This isn’t a good time for social calls, sir,” Tony said curtly, “But perhaps I can help you? I’m Inspector Tony Fisher.”
“Tell him I’m here,” the man said, glaring Tony down, “Tell him Anselm Seward is here. He’ll see me.”
No one spoke for a few moments. There was a sound of scuttling, and a muffled grunt as Galen collided with the door frame leading back into the offices, meaning he’d run off to find Nicholas, probably. Finally, Tony sighed, unwilling to fight another battle before lunch.
“You’ll have to wait here,” Tony said, motioning toward the bench, but even as he broke eye contact, the man took the opportunity to brush by him and follow Galen’s tracks.
“Sir, stop!” shouted Doris, reaching for him but missing. He was surprisingly fast.
“Chief N’spector,” Galen gasped, crashing through Nicholas’s office door, making Danny leap away, eyes wide with shock and a tinge of embarrassment.
“Yes, Constable?” Nicholas said curtly, totally professional, giving Danny a warning glance. Galen hesitated, terrified of the ex-Met officer who was giving him such a cold performance, and his indecisiveness made Nicholas look pointedly at him across the office, jaw set, eyes dark, brow slightly lowered.
“Please, do’an’ kill meh,” was all Galen could manage, taking an apologetic step backward.
“Get in here, Constable,” Nicholas said, raising his voice, “And tell me what it is that Turner or Fisher or whoever it was that inevitably sent you needs, before you make our jobs more difficult.”
“C’mon, mate, there’s no need to be like that,” Danny muttered, but Nicholas shot him the same cold look he’d given Galen only moments before, making Danny take another step back.
“Th…thar’s…thar’s a man t’ see yeh,” Galen stuttered, drawing Danny and Nicholas’s attention back to him and away from their own silent battle. “He…he says ‘is name’s…um, Anselm?”
Nicholas dropped his pen, letting it roll across his desk and fall to the floor on the far side. He did not allow his face to show any expression. He was stoic, dead, reserved, but to Danny, he was definitely on the verge of a panic attack.
“Excuse me?” Nicholas replied, clearing his throat and blinking rapidly.
“Anselm Seward, ah-think,” Galen said cautiously. “E’said yeh’d know him…”
“And he should,” Anselm said, appearing suddenly beside Galen, pushing the young officer aside gently to enter the office.
Nicholas leapt out of his seat and vaulted over his own desk, crashing into Anselm and propelling the old man backward violently against the glass wall of the office, throwing his forearm across the man’s neck and pinning him, nearly cutting off his air supply. Galen floundered and fell on his arse, while Danny shouted in surprise and made to pull Nicholas back.
“Good to see you remember,” Anselm managed to laugh before Tony and Doris tried to rush into the office.
“What the hell
is going on?” Danny shouted.
“I dunno,” Doris shouted in reply, “This man showed up out nowhere, and-”
“Everyone, be quiet!
” Nicholas shouted, pressing his arm more forcefully into Anselm’s throat, making him gag. “And get out!
It took an hour before Anselm was seated in the main office, a cup of tea and a short stack of biscuits resting on Cassie’s desk, as Nicholas, Cartwright, Danny, Doris and Galen stood in a semi-circle around him. Turner, Walker and Cassie were helping Wainwright with his prisoner, who was becoming more dangerous by the minute.
“The reason why I’m here,” Anselm sighed, taking a sip of tea, the cup tinkling against the saucer; he appeared to have tremors. “Is that the family wants you back, Nicholas. It’s not just me asking, it’s your father, your cousins, everyone.”
“I walked away from that,” Nicholas replied coldly, “I became something better. You’ve no business coming here-”
“You think that matters to any of them?” Anselm laughed, waving at the other officers in the room. “You think that matters to the Norringtons? The Weathers’s? This little village, Nicholas, you weren’t sent here without a reason. Skinner and Butterman, they’d gotten too big for their britches. We just had our man at the Met put you out here. We knew you’d take care of it for us, even if you didn’t know it, and you did a smashing
job, Nick! That’s why we want you back.”
“What the hell is he talking about?” Tony asked slowly, giving Nicholas a calculating glare.
“Nicholas here, he used to be named Angelo, before his mother snatched him up,” Anselm said. “You ever wonder what those little letters were really supposed to mean? Neighborhood Watch? Pfft, what group would call themselves that, eh? But New World Alliance, we were on the government’s known terrorist list, and the families, the Norringtons, the Weathers’s, the Angelos, we were being watched too closely. So we adopted all those pathetic little groups, turned the outlying towns into bases, everything we needed-”
“Then they really are
a terrorist cell?” Danny almost shouted, partially flabbergasted and partially excited. “You mean my dad…my friends…Sandford
…is involved in this? This is fucking off the chain!
This is the biggest thing since…since ever!
“Danny, calm down,” Nicholas cut him off. “Things have gotten considerably worse in the last 24 hours. This is a crisis, and I’d appreciate it if you’d treat it as one, and not have one of your little…fan-gasms
Anselm chuckled again, clapping his hands.
“Good to see you run a tight ship, Nicholas,” Anselm said, “We’ll need that when the rest of the lads get here.”
“What?” Nicholas, Danny, Tony and Galen said together.
“You mean more than that bastard we got in the back?” Cartwright asked as the others spoke.
“So Matthew’s already here?” Anselm brightened, smiling and stroking his chin. “I knew Luke and Mark were, but…I take it things have been busy, then?”
“Luke and Mark are here??!?
” Nicholas shouted, lunging at Anselm and grabbing him by the collar, murder in his eyes.
“Calm down, Nicholas!” Anselm laughed, patting the threatening fists clutching his shirt, “You think those four boys venture alone? Not since John went to prison, at least, but Peter and Paul got him out. Yes, yes, my boy, your cousins are here. We wanted to make it a proper reunion, too, but Derek and Francis were…well, indisposed
, you could say.”
Anselm continued to laugh as Nicholas stood slowly, releasing him, and turned to face the other officers. He was pale, still stoic, but horribly pale, as if he were nothing more than a walking corpse.
“Tony,” he said weakly, clapping the other officer on the shoulder, “This might sound cliché, but I think we need to get everyone the hell out of Dodge.”