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28 September 2011 @ 10:08 pm
Fic - NC-17 - Misfits - Nathan - Science of Fear (9/11)  
Title: Science of Fear (9/11)
Rating: NC-17
Fandom: Misfits
Pairing: Simon/Nathan
Genre: Angst/Drama/Hurt/Comfort. All the squishy things that I love.
Spoilers: Yes. Both seasons.
Word Count: 4300 ish
Warnings: Overall: Rape references, and the general crudity of Nathan and overal grittiness of Misfits. Oh, and some sexytimes.

Summary: Nathan finally finds employment only to find out that his boss was also affected by the storm, and his immortality can't save him this time.

Timeline: Set a few months after they’ve finished their community service, but before the events of the Christmas episode. Marnie doesn’t exist, Simon and Alisha are not together, though they do have some history. Simon is NOT aware of ‘Future-Simon,’ but lives in Future-Simon’s pad after Alisha showed it to him (and cleaning a lot of it out) and telling him that Superhoodie lived there.

Author's Note: This was a tough chapter to write. Apologies for the delay. Started a Masters degree a couple of months ago, and fell down and couldn't get up again underneath the weight of all the readings I had to do. But in good news; I plan to have the fic completed by mid October at the latest.

part 01
part 02
part 03
part 04
part 05
part 06
part 07
part 08


Nathan wakes up early. A dull light suffuses the room, and even that seems painful to his eyes and he squints against it. Already his heart is pounding, and he lies there and feels his pulse points jarring in discordant rhythms. Without really thinking about it, he turns and reaches out to the other side of the mattress, checking that Simon is still there. His fingers pass over sheets and pillows and nothing else.

He sits up, scrubs at his eyes, runs a hand through his hair. Simon wasn’t in the room with him, the bathroom door was open and there was no sounds of running water or the normal sounds that come from a body shifting, the whole place was completely silent. In the distance he can hear a vacuum cleaner; a room being cleaned out for new clients perhaps.

‘Barry?’ He says, hesitant.

He jumps when Simon suddenly appears, seated, on the chair where he usually sat. He had one leg hunched up, an arm wrapped around it, and he was staring broodingly ahead. That bleak, worried expression was one that Nathan had seen before, and usually dealt with by trying to tease it away, transforming it into anger, or something more dynamic than static pain. So Simon had been sitting in the room, invisible, for god knows how long. Brooding, for god knows how long. Fucking great, Nathan thinks.

He thinks he should ask what is wrong, but he doesn’t know how to start that conversation. Maybe Simon’s mood is to do with him, maybe it’s to do with the blowjob, maybe it’s to do with the exorcist, and with so many maybes, he can’t think of anything else to say. A short while later, Simon flickers out again, invisible once more and Nathan panics.

‘Hey! Barry! Give a guy a chance to think of what to say first thing in the morning after the late night blowjob, will you?’

Simon comes back, looks at him for a beat and then sighs.

‘Anti-depressants not kicked in yet?’ Nathan volunteers on a smirk. He isn’t feeling up for banter, knowing that any moment they’d be getting dressed, getting ready to go look for Fagin. And then he wonders at what point he’d decided to give it a try when every instinct in his body says he should be running away as fast as his legs can carry him.

‘What’s going to happen if the exorcism works?’ Simon says, softly, darkly, and Nathan’s face pushes together in confusion.

‘You mean if it doesn’t work, right?’

‘No, I mean, wh-what’s going to happen with...us? With this?’ He waves his hand around the hotel room. ‘With what we shouldn’t even be doing, because you’re vulnerable and I’m...’ he trails off, puts his head in both of his hands, covers his face so that Nathan can’t see his expression anymore.

‘A pervert?’ Nathan says, and smiles when Simon looks up at him.

‘I just wanted to help you. But the first time I really think I’m helping, we end up with us in this predicament hoping to find an exorcist that can help us. And the second time I think I’m helping, I feel like this. We’re not together. You’re the last person I should be interested in, and I know that,’ it was like Simon had gone through these things before, in his head, a thousand times; these sounded like old arguments, ‘I’ve tried not to be, because you’re insensitive and rude, and I’m...I try to be the opposite of those things. I try not to like you. I had it all figured out before all of this happened, and then you were hurt and you came to me and I couldn’t turn you away. And then last night. I-I’m not as okay as I thought I’d be, about it. About just fulfilling a f-function.’

‘Oh.’ Nathan says. It was rare for Simon to string more than three sentences together, and he feels bowled over by the information. And then he grimaces. ‘Maybe it started like that, but I wouldn’t let just anyone blow me...’

At Simon’s expression, he shakes his head.

‘Okay, okay, maybe I would. But that’s not what that was about, I... yeah, maybe at first. I don’t know about you, but, sex is kind of the last thing I want to be doing right now. And kissing. And all that romantic sensual shit that I’m usually so amazing at. Think of it like an algebra equation; you’re X, and I’m Y, and together we equal ‘let’s not question it because it seems to be working right now.’

Simon glowers.

‘That makes absolutely no sense. That isn’t algebra.’

‘You’re asking me what happens once he’s gone, I can’t even imagine a world where that’s possible. It’s too much hope, right now. I can’t imagine a world with that twat not in it, because it might not ever happen. And you’re asking me about a tomorrow I can’t even think about without shitting myself, and I don’t know. I don’t have an answer, man, I spent last night crying, cumming, at different times, at the same time, I’m fucking all over the place. I’m a catherine wheel on steroids. I’m a rollercoaster that David Lynch invented. I’m-’

‘Stop.’ Simon says, and stands. He closes his eyes and then walks over to Nathan and looks down at him, his face set. And then he allows a small smile to shine through, just a tiny one. ‘I didn’t know you knew who David Lynch was.’

‘Are you serious? Did you not see that hot lesbian action in Mulholland Drive?’

‘I did.’ Simon says with a bigger smile, and he sits beside Nathan and chuckles low in his throat. ‘I did see that.’

‘Pervert.’ Nathan says, trying to jump on top of the warmth building in his gut. Trying to jump on top of any delusional good feeling that might not last.

‘Melon fucker.’ Simon retorts, and Nathan raises his eyebrows in mock insult and Simon shrugs.

‘You wouldn’t say it if you hadn’t given it a go at least once. And with you, anything’s possible.’

‘Don’t knock it until you try it, my friend.’

And then just like that reality seems to hit both of them, and they stare at each other silent and grim, the possibilities of the morning stretching out in front of them. Nathan hears his breathing speed up, and he watches Simon’s eyes fall to his chest, glued to the fast rise and fall. And Nathan pretends that he doesn’t flinch when Simon reaches a hand out and presses his palm against Nathan’s heart, feeling it thunder through shirt and flesh. When he looks back up at Nathan, there seem to be too many emotions for one face to carry and express. Nathan swallows.

‘I won’t leave you.’ Simon says, and Nathan looks sideways, unable to face the power of that gaze, unable to offer anything nearly as strong in response except his terror.

‘I won’t.’ Simon insists, and Nathan wants to extinguish that resolve and cherish it all at the same time. Instead he does the only thing that he seems to think will solve things when he’s with Simon, he leans forwards and presses his lips against Simon’s mouth. Except that he misses the first time, because he’s hardly looking, and he gets his cheek. And then he slides his lips down and moves them against Simon’s, tasting morning and what he imagines could be sadness and determination and all those other feelings that Simon seems to have permanently embedded inside of him.

Simon kisses back with the same quiet desperation, and Nathan’s hands come up and grasp at him, hold on, and he starts to tip them back onto the bed so that they can keep on going, and Simon reaches his own hands out and stops him. And then pulls back.

‘We have to get ready.’ He says.

Nathan takes a deep inhale and stands with an enthusiasm he doesn’t feel.

‘Right then. It’s time to put on my big girl knickers and deal with this twat!’

Simon stands up as well, and puts his determined face on. The one that deals with bad guys effortlessly. Well, mostly effortlessly.

‘That sounded cocky enough, right?’ Nathan says, ‘I mean, metaphorically, the only reason I’ve put on my big girl knickers is because I’ve shat my way through everything else. And not even like manly shits, I mean the liquid fear shits that- okay, okay, I’m stopping. I’m stopping!’ He holds his hands up at Simon’s look of disgust and heads towards the shower, working hard to convince himself that he’s not about to put himself through hell.

*

Amy Wright is consistently not what Nathan expects her to be. When she picks them up in her car, she throws breakfast wraps at them as Simon gets into the front seat with papers and the GSP on his phone ready to go, and Nathan slides into the back. The interior of the car is leather and smells beautiful, but Nathan keeps expecting new age trinkets to show up somewhere and he can’t see anything. Not a crystal hanging from the rearview mirror, no pentagram around her neck, no flowy robes, just regular business attire.

‘We’ll try Kelly’s first.’ Simon says, and then explains why the ghost might be there to Amy. She interrupts frequently with all kinds of questions. Some seem pertinent, some seem friendly and conversational, like she’s not about to conduct an exorcism of a ghost at all. There’s no invocation of ‘special’ atmosphere. Nothing. It almost puts Nathan at ease, except in the way that it totally doesn’t.

‘You’re both like me, aren’t you? Affected by the storm?’ She says, as they wait at some traffic lights. ‘Don’t be coy or nothin’, it’s just, a few people got the ability to see ghosts and shit after the storm, and so I know there’s more than one of us out there. Affected and keeping quiet about it. Who wants this shit to get in the tabloids! Fucking tabloids.’ She mutters to herself, and then pins Nathan with her direct gaze by staring at him in the rear view.

‘Yeah, I can see dead people.’ Nathan says, weakly.

‘Bet you wish you couldn’t.’

‘I wish a lot of things, believe me.’ He says, and then smiles anyway, ‘but most of them have been alright. Just people I knew, and they went on their own way afterwards.’

‘Except the fuckstick we’re looking for.’

‘Except him.’ Nathan says, and he looks away from the mirror and ends the discussion, because it’s just too much. He gets that she’s probably trying to distract him from what he’s feeling, he even appreciates that she’s got a kind of directness he would normally like – even fall for – in different circumstances. But right now he can’t think about any of that. He just wants to go blissfully blank. He wants to not think about how he caused this whole situation, about how he was so needy, and he definitely doesn’t want to think about how he just wanted someone to be nice to him; to care about him, in a way that makes him a desperate, whiny loser.

*

Nathan reluctantly enters Kelly’s Mum’s home behind Amy and Simon. He looks around furtively, and then follows them into each of the rooms. But Fagin isn’t there, and instead it feels stupid to be looking for a ghost like this; except that everyone’s expression is deadly serious. He suppresses the urge to laugh hysterically.

‘You’ve lost weight.’ Kelly says to him, accusingly, as they finish looking around the last bedroom.

‘I see you haven’t. That’s okay, you can be the linebacker to my-’ he breaks off when he realises his voice is shaking. Simon turns and looks at him in concern, and Kelly frowns.

‘It’s not as funny when you’re like this.’ She says, and then reaches out and takes his hand. ‘But it’s not even funny at all, yeah? I saw bits and pieces, and that was enough for me. I still dream about it.’

‘We can be dream buddies.’

‘Don’t be stupid.’

‘Besties in nightmare land.’ He says, realising that Simon is suggesting to Amy that they go back to his apartment. He shivers, he thinks this might be it. This is probably where they find Fagin, where it’s all going to go down. He swallows down a need to start heaving for air, and squeezes Kelly’s hand harder than he intends. She winces, and he looks down and releases it.

‘Whoops. The only recipient of that choking grip is usually my cock.’

‘Nice to see you haven’t changed.’ Kelly says with a smile, and then she hugs him, slowly, and without sudden movement. Nathan sags into it, pressing his head into her neck, remembering that once upon a time all he thought about when he was with her, was how to get into her panties. And now all he can think about is Fagin, and Simon, and how it’s probably not going to work out, and how Simon’s lips feel against his, and the whole mess of everything.

Kelly steps back and from her expression, he can tell that she’s read some of what he’s thinking.

‘I’m sorry.’ He says.

‘It’s not your fault, Nathan.’ she says it like she’s trying to convey more than just an acknowledgement that he can’t help what he thinks about. But Amy is already walking out of the apartment, and Simon is calling for Nathan, and he looks over his shoulder at Kelly as he leaves, wishing he could believe her.

*

They ride the elevator up to Simon’s floor together, and Nathan stares doggedly ahead, unable to respond to Simon’s quiet questions or Amy’s reassurances. His eyes are burning and dry, his hands are shaking, and he’s vomited twice already. Once in the car, on his hands, because he didn’t want to get anything on the upholstery (though Amy immediately said she didn’t mind and that she’d done worse on some of her benders), and then once outside the building. He can taste bile and for some reason, blood, even though there was none.

When the first screen opens, Nathan pales, but sees nothing, no one. It’s just Simon’s empty apartment. The fluorescent lights turn on, making heavy sounds as they do, as though the weight of their light is difficult. Simon steps out and looks around, like he could see anything at all. And then Nathan and Amy follow slowly. Nathan feels cold sweat trickling down his spine, feels the tautness of his skin as his hairs stand on end. His whole body knows before he does.

And then Fagin steps out from behind the elevator, and grins. Rakes him up and down with his eyes, a knowing invasion that leaves Nathan breathless and scoured out.

‘You’ve lost weight,’ he says, a perfect imitation of Kelly’s concern, ‘not been taking care of yourself?’

‘N-Nathan?’ Simon says, and Nathan doesn’t know how he’s still standing.

‘I’ve missed you, only had thoughts of you to keep me company, but I knew you’d come back to me. I’ve been thinking about our first night together. You remember that, don’t you? You complaining about the pain like I wasn’t the best thing that ever happened to you, and me realising that you don’t die, and I could just...again and again and again, if I wanted to.’

Nathan makes some kind of inarticulate sound. He knows he does, because he feels it in his throat, knows it twisted its way free, but he doesn’t hear it, because Fagin’s words are reverberating around in his head. His heart has given up on trying to keep him alive, and is simply trying to claw its way out of his chest.

‘It’s always the shits that stay.’ Amy says suddenly, her own face pale, and then looked at Nathan as she opened her own clutch. ‘I didn’t know you were immortal.’

‘He’s here?’ Simon says, like he’s still catching on, and then once he realises that Fagin really is here, that two people can see him now, his face takes on a greenish hue and he stands closer to Nathan. Like that could possibly protect him.

‘He’s disgusting.’ Amy says, taking a rosary out of her bag and wrapping it around her hand. Fagin takes a cursory look at it, and then ignores it, stalking unerringly fast towards Nathan instead, who steps backwards in a way that his legs don’t understand, and he ends up collapsed on the floor, one hand in front of him, trying to fend off the incorporeal. He’s gasping, and Simon’s shouting something, and Amy yells back at him something that sounds like; ‘I need a minute!’

And he hears Simon, desperate, shouting back; ‘a minute’s too long! Get it done!’

But all he can see is Fagin’s face in front of him. The face of the man that seemed to understand him, offer him generosity and kindness, and all the things that he’d so dearly wanted, that he thought he finally had. And stupid things are crossing his mind; sharing Fagin’s sweet and sour lunch with him, getting free milkshakes, joking about the clients behind their back, talking about impossible dreams and what they’d do with lotto money.

‘I know what you’re doing, mate,’ Fagin says, his eyes flicking over to Amy and her rosary, her look of concentration, the way her hands were clasping together. ‘I know, but even if it works, I’ll still be here.’ He leans down over Nathan, and presses his face so close to Nathan’s that he thinks his own skull might start to sink into the concrete floor. He’s definitely gasping now, and his hands are scrabbling at the floor. He wants to rise up, lurch away, but the idea of any part of his body going through Fagin’s is revolting and impossible to imagine, and so he stays pinned on the ground instead.

‘I’ll be inside you, still, like I was at my house, and at that community centre. You let me into your heart. And your arse. And everywhere else, yeah? You were the best fun I ever had. I’ve had time to think about it, I even think you were worth dying for. Spending myself up in you, and the sounds you made, like the ones you’re making now, hey. I almost-’

And then suddenly Fagin’s pushing backwards, away from Amy’s rosary-wrapped hand which has thrust right at him. And he’s backing up hurriedly and putting his hands up like he’s surrendering. And Nathan can’t watch, he thinks he’s going to black out, his eyes stare up at the ceiling and there’s a grey haze all around him, he’s sure.

‘You’re all such motherfuckers,’ Amy says to Fagin, and then a ball of light curves around the rosary and she flings it at him. ‘Just fucking go already.’

There’s a hollow rushing pop, a flash of light, and then Amy sits down wearily on Simon’s bed, and Nathan is being helped into a sitting position by Simon while trying not to cringe away from him at the same time. Simon lets go as soon as Nathan seems capable of propping himself up on his elbows, like he knows that anyone being close to him is just a bad idea right now. He stays close, but not too close.

Nathan looks around the room in disbelief.

Fagin is gone.

‘Is that it? Are you serious?’ He says, and his voice is reedy and broken, and he ignores it, because he’s better now, isn’t he? He’s all fixed, the problem is gone, and he’s back to being his old self, and it will all be fine. He sits up further, pushing with all his might because his arms feel so weak.

She shrugs.

‘They never come back if the light takes them. Turns out you don’t need to be all nice and white-lighty and shit. You just need to tell them to get bent. And go through a weird storm. And summon a literal white light that still makes no sense because you’re an atheist and this,’ she holds up the rosary wrapped around her hand, ‘belonged to my Nanna.’

‘That can’t be it.’ Nathan hears himself say.

Amy gets up shakily, and Simon moves over to her in concern, but she shakes her head at them both.

‘It takes a bit out of me, that’s all. Nothing a good hangover cure won’t fix. Besides, I’m glad to help rid the world of total douches like that one. But you never answered my question, you’re immortal?’ She purses her lips at Nathan, and he can’t answer, but his silence seems to be enough of a response for her.

‘Then you might need me again,’ she says on a frown. ‘Simon’s got all my numbers, yeah? You call me, say it’s you lot, and I’ll drop my schedule straight away. A shitty ghost and an immortal person who sees them? Can’t think of anything worse. But you knew that. Anyway, I can think of about a hundred burgers with my name on them, so I’m going now. Cheers and all that.’ She smiles weakly, and then yawns and stretches and puts the rosary back in her clutch.

‘I can see myself out.’ She adds to Simon, and walks to the elevator and closes it behind her. And then just like that, she’s gone.

Nathan clumsily gets to his feet, and then slowly steps backwards until his shoulders hit the wall, and uses that for support. He looks around Simon’s apartment slowly, thoroughly, but it really seems like Fagin is gone. His skin no longer has goosebumps, even the cold sweats seem to have shut down.

‘H-he’s really gone?’ Simon asks.

Nathan nods, but doesn’t feel up to anything else. Everything seems unreal, and worse, beneath it all is this sense that nothing is okay. Nothing is fixed like he thought it would be. He doesn’t know if he can face another day of not being okay about it, of the whole reality of it not just sinking down into the lake of all the other shitty experiences he’s had that don’t bother him anymore. He closes his eyes.

‘I thought I’d feel different.’ He says, and bites his own cheek as he says it, because he feels like a massive dick for not knowing what else to expect. The wound in his cheek opens, and he tastes blood in his mouth and tries not to think about it, how it reminds him of Fagin, how it’s not all done and dusted now like he thought it would be.

The apartment is silent except for the hum of the fluorescent lights.

And then the sound of his own breathing interrupts the hum, and he realises he’s starting to hyperventilate. He clutches at the wall, tries to get whatever he’s feeling under control, but the universe seems to have a different idea entirely, and he’s surprised when his eyes burn wet instead of dry, and tears start dripping down his face.

‘It wasn’t his fault,’ he says, his voice breaking, ‘it wasn’t his fault, he was actually nice to me, for ages. So much nicer than most people, he really seemed to give a shit, you know? About me, of all people. And it wasn’t his fault that things turned out the way they did, it wasn’t-’ he has to stop, because the sobs are closing his throat up, and he doesn’t know how else to convey the horror and shame and guilt inside him.

And then there are strong arms on either side of him, helping him to the floor because he can’t stand anymore. Simon puts a palm over the back of his head and draws him close, and Nathan thinks it might be such a nice thing to do for someone, for him, that he can’t stand it. And he’s sobbing and hyperventilating and trying to move away to let Simon know that he can’t take someone being nice to him again, because look how it turned out last time, and then he can’t struggle anymore, and his body goes limp and he’s clutching onto Simon’s shirt like a lifeline.

‘I knew it.’ Simon says, when the sobs start to taper off some time later, when the hyperventilating becomes shuddery and even, when Nathan can only feel warm, damp fabric against his face because he’s cried so much.

‘Knew what?’ Nathan hears himself say.

‘I knew you hated yourself more than I ever hated myself. More than any of us did.’

Nathan looks up, and smiles in acknowledgement, because it was always true. He was spectacular and marvellous and a fantastic lay and a super friend, and the only reason he had become so invincible in the first place was because he had learned to live with loathing such a long time ago, he had learned to internalise it, turn it into something productive, make a life out of it. And then the smile fades and he shakes his head, he wants to say something, he wants to say that he fucked up this time, that he didn’t know there was something out there that would break him like this, that he didn’t know that being immortal could be such a fucking drag, but he can’t find the words.

Simon smoothes a hand over his shaking back over and over again, and Nathan doesn’t know where the energy comes from when he starts to sob all over again.

‘Shit.’ He says in pain, in frustration, and Simon sighs.

‘I know. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.’
 
 
 
calistomythcalistomyth on September 28th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
AN UPDATE! I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!!!
Okay, going to go back and read it now x
calistomythcalistomyth on September 28th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
Wow :) fantastic. Thanks so much for being an amazing, inspirational writer! The idea of Simon sitting there brooding invisibly is quite amusing - and something I can very much imagine happening.
I really like the way you handled Nathan's reaction after Fagin left. Perfect.
I'm looking forward to seeing more interaction between Nathan and Simon now that the immediate problem has been dealt with and it's all the other crap remaining.

Good luck with your master's degree :)
not_poignantnot_poignant on October 9th, 2011 11:23 am (UTC)
Eeee, thank you for your lovely reviews! They are motivational! Anyway, the next chapter is up, which is very unlike me, lol.

I've decided to extend the story a little bit too. I was going to end it quite abruptly, but I think it's better if it gets a couple more chapters. :)

And thanks for the luck, I think I'll need it!
(Anonymous) on September 29th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
This is just the most fantastic thing. <3 How you manage to handle such a difficult subject--in a heartbreakingly realistic way, no less--and yet keep all of the characters not just distinguishable, but completely and wholly themselves never ceases to amaze me.

As happy as I am that your starting to wrap things up now (two chapters left! Whhhhhy?), I sort of never want it to end. I wish you luck with your master's and know that you must be incredibly busy, but if you ever somehow end up with some extra time, I hope you'll come back and write more for this pairing. Misfits fandom needs more writers like you! :)
not_poignantnot_poignant on October 9th, 2011 11:24 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. :) I've decided to extend the story by a chapter or two, which means I won't meet my 'mid-October' deadline, but does mean that there will be a bit more of the story. Next chapter is up! Woot!
(Deleted comment)
not_poignant: misfits - serious simon is seriousnot_poignant on October 9th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
Another scene with Kelly in the latest chapter, which is now up! *dances*