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27 October 2011 @ 08:37 am
Fic - NC-17 - Misfits - Nathan - Science of Fear (11/12)  
Title: Science of Fear (11/12)
Rating: overall 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: 4800 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: Reviews are serious amounts of love. :) And motivational, too!

part 01
part 02
part 03
part 04
part 05
part 06
part 07
part 08
part 09
part 10


Simon and Nathan find a hesitant routine after a couple of weeks. Nathan sleeps in the bed, and Simon sleeps on the floor, and even though they’ve argued about it twice now, Simon refuses to sleep in the bed as well. Nathan has called this everything from perverted white knight syndrome, to an oxymoronic fear of catching gay germs, but Simon is stoic and insists that Nathan needs to catch up on some serious rest, and that his own air mattress isn’t that bad anyway.

Every night, Nathan has multiple nightmares. Some of them he wakes up from quietly, with gasps and contained twitching, and during those times he’ll sit up and stare at Simon sleeping soundly, and want to call to him, or wake him or do something, before his newfound conscience intervenes and reminds him that Simon needs to catch up on sleep too.

Some of his nightmares are loud and not so contained, he flails and rips at the blankets, and when he wakes Simon is often crouching next to him, or awake in his own bed, or trying to wake him up. Those ones are the worst, because while it was easy in the hotel, it’s become difficult to know what to do now. They don’t know where they stand with each other. In the hotel they could pretend they were living in some kind of liminal reality where they could do what they wanted. Back in Simon’s apartment it’s so clearly Simon’s apartment, and they know that any decision they make here could influence their living arrangement. It’s all incredibly strange and uncomfortable. It doesn’t help that they haven’t had a proper conversation since Simon admitted how messed up he was, since Nathan admitted that he wasn’t going to talk about any of it.

He ends up going to his Mum’s for a loan, which she generously gives him since he’s managed to stop leeching off her for a few months now, and she no longer even gives him that suspicious look that she used to. With it, he buys some new clothing, since he can’t stand wearing any of the shit he bought while working for Fagin, with Fagin’s money. However, when he returns back to the Community Centre, he finds his stash of saved money under the box where he’d been hiding it, and he can’t bring himself to throw it away. He starts a bank account, and feels surprisingly mature about it all. It leaves a sour taste in his mouth. If this is who he’s turning into; some staid young fellow, he’s going to go mental.

During the day, when he isn’t sleeping, flashbacks find him at both obvious and non-obvious times. He hides them as best as he can, but some of them are so surprising that he stops in the middle of walking, or bends double while pouring some coffee. The gasps he can turn into coughs, the grunts of phantom sensory pain he can pass off into stretches that make it look like he was just trying to get himself comfortable. He has no idea how much of it Simon actually believes.

His humour is returning, but it’s more cutting and caustic than before, and he has to be careful how he uses it. He’s hurt Simon twice now, with jokes that were as insulting as they used to be, but with a brittle seriousness behind them that no longer suggest that everything’s alright, that he’s just palling around. Nathan always tries to apologise, but despite Simon saying it’s okay, things are not okay between them.

‘Should I just go back to the Community Centre?’ Nathan says one day, just as Simon opens the elevator and is about to leave his apartment to get some books out at the library.

Simon turns.

‘Why?’

‘Because I’m a cynical bastard who is incredibly difficult to live with?’ Nathan says, and offers a grin. ‘I mean, I was before all of this. Now I’m just the square root of cynical bastard.’

‘There’s no such thing as the square root of cynical bastardry.’ Simon says absently, and Nathan’s temper blazes quick and acidic inside him.

‘You’re gonna pick up so many ladies with your mathematical wizardry. Oh wait, I can hear one,’ he puts a hand to his ear like he’s listening out for something, ‘I can hear one now! Except that it was a joke, you idiot, and you’re never going to pick up anyone with that mathematical...’ he stops himself, winces at Simon’s expression. He’s doing it again.

‘Okay, okay,’ Nathan raises his hands in defeat, ‘this is why I think I should be going back to the Community Centre.’

‘Kelly told me that you were raped there. And beaten to death. You really think you should be going back?’ Nathan cringes backwards at Simon’s bluntness, and tries to turn it into a natural movement. That was the other thing Simon had been doing lately, absolutely refusing to dance around the topic whenever it came up. Nathan never knowingly brought it up, but Simon seemed to find a lot of ways to bring the things he said back to what Fagin had done. Every time it happened, he wanted to put his hands over his ears and say ‘la la la la la’ until the reality went away and Simon became tactful again.

‘I’m gonna have the nightmares either way, right?’ He says, even though he is scared of going back and living in the Community Centre again, for a lot of reasons. The first being that there’s nothing more depressing than squatting in a Community Centre. The second being that he never wants to get into a position where he misses fruit and vegetables and reviles vending machine food ever again. The third being that he was indeed raped there, and beaten to death, and just visiting the place to collect his stash of money had kind of left him in a terrible place only a couple of days ago. The nightmares had really stepped up that evening.

Simon sighed and lowered his laptop in its cover, his rucksack.

‘I don’t think you should be going back there until you can talk about it. Even just talk around it. I see the way you react when I bring it up. You think I’m not there listening to the nightmares you have each night? The ones that are l-loud enough for me to hear them. You should listen to yourself. Do you want me to tell you the things you say? Do you even remember the things you said to him? And I have to listen to you, at first joking, and then begging him to st-stop, each night. Every day you pretend it n-never happened, and you might be difficult to live with, but I don’t think you should be going back to the Community Centre.’

‘Maybe you should pick up some earplugs on the way to the library.’ Nathan says quietly, tiredly.

‘No.’

‘No? That’s it? Just no?’

‘I’m not sending you away because it’s hard. It’s that simple.’ Simon says, like it really is that simple, and then he picks up his laptop and his rucksack again and walks into the elevator. ‘I’ll see you tonight.’ He adds, disappears behind the screen. Soon the elevator rumbles him away to the bottom floor.

Nathan walks around the apartment for a little while after that, thinking. And then, abruptly, he realises that there’s one coping mechanism, one glorious coping mechanism he hasn’t used since this all started. He picks up his phone and sends a message to Jake, who sends one back immediately, letting him know the time, the place, and how much it’ll cost to get high.

Time to go clubbing.

*

He likes the shipping container raves because they have better music, and better DJs, and because everyone seems to take the scene more seriously. The drugs are serious, the booze is serious, and for a while he can exist in the thumping bass and the milling and dancing of sweaty bodies. Jake shouts that he hasn’t seen Nathan around for ages, and Nathan says he’s been busy. Busy with trying to avoid the rave scene because of the way his brother died, because he’s been dealing with eliminating a ghost rapist. He doesn’t say that part, and instead offers a wicked grin when Jake hands him two tablets of X in exchange for the cash that Nathan hands over.

Nathan swallows both down with a double shot of vodka, and smacks his lips together, ricochets away from the small bar into the crowd, closer to the speakers and the DJ and the thumping beats that are so dirty he’s sure that they’re vibrating all the knots out of his spine .

The tablets and the vodka hit quickly as he hoped they would. The intense good-naturedness rolls into him first, and then his stresses and worries begin to melt away and as a result he vaguely realises that he’s been super stressed out lately, and then decides that this was one of the best decisions he’s ever made. He doesn’t even mind the press of bodies around him, instead he delights in it, gyrating against anyone hot and willing, regardless of gender.

An hour later, he’s shelled out for a bottle of water and he’s got his phone out, texting one handed to get all the people he loves to come and join him. He has no idea what he’s writing, and he knows from past experience that he really should at least attempt to spellcheck, but he sends it out en masse and then puts his phone back in his pocket and enters the throng yet again.

Soon his phone starts vibrating intensely against his pants, but he confuses it for the beat, and ignores it as he raises his arms above his head and starts turning in circles. Soon a small group around him start doing the same, and they all tilt their heads back and look up at the dark, tarnished, corrugated ceiling together.

When the water is gone, and a few more beats roll by, Nathan is aware that his jaw is hurting. It’s throbbing from a great distance, and he can ignore it, except that the ache is familiar and keeps reminding him of something. He can’t quite put his finger on it. He lets it go. He forces his mouth to hang open a bit, drags in some gulps of air, and starts dancing again. Soon he gets lost in the movement, and he lets the blissful smile come.

Greatest. Night. Ever.

*

He’s riding the happy plateau, a couple of hours later, and a hot girl bumps into him while he’s buying some more water, and then she presses into him deliberately. He turns to look and see who’s writhing against him in time to the beat, and his eyes widen when he realises it’s Amy. Exorcist extraordinaire.

‘You!’ He says, and then grins, because with the X coursing through his system, this feels like the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Clearly she’s off her head too, because she offers the same grin and throws her arms around him. They hug and hug, and Nathan wants the warm bubble and the sweet beats to last forever.

‘I got your message! I was nearby, at another club, and I’d heard good things about this place! Having a good time?’ She shouts into his ear, and Nathan nods, wondering when he sent a message out, and who he sent it to.

‘You’re an accountant!’ Nathan shouts back, ‘you shouldn’t be here!’

‘And fuck you too!’ Amy shouts with a flash of predatory teeth. Her eyes gleam, and she grabs the bottle of water off him and drinks half, before passing it back. They finish it, toss the plastic bottle into the crowd, and she grabs his wrist and drags him deeper into the throng.

He dances frenetically, and she jumps against him and into him. They alternate between losing themselves in the music, and hugging each other, laughing happily. All he remembers, so brightly and clearly, is that she saved him, that she saved his life, and he calls her an angel, over and over again, until she breaks down into giggles and kisses him on the cheek.

‘I haven’t been able to break loose like this since the storm!’ She shouts into his ear, and careens into him clumsily, forcing them both back against the huge speakers. They reel away, and he links his arm with hers and moves them back to the entrance where it’s less crowded and overheated.

‘It’s fucking wild, right?’ He acknowledges some time later, like they’ve been having a conversation all this time, and then twirls her outside. They both bump into people, but everyone else there knew what to expect, were hoping to get that high themselves, and no one was too annoyed. Under the cold night air, they shivered and leaned hard into each other, catching their breath, cooling down before a second round.

His ears ring, but not so much that he can’t have a normal conversation. Amy leans into him, and then steps back and leans against the huge shipping container. She rubs a hand over her face.

‘I’ve missed this. And tonight, all of this, is such a fucking coincidence. I was out tonight for a friend’s birthday when I got your text. And I thought what the hell, y’know?’

‘You’re just a woman of good sense.’ Nathan says and turns to see a serious, sober Simon walking towards them, eyes wide and worried.

‘Barry! Barry! You came! Come dance with us!’

Simon’s expression turns even more fearful when he sees Amy.

‘Nathan, what are you doing?’

‘Don’t be like that, lover,’ Nathan drawls, and tilts his head to the side. ‘Come join us! We’re having a good time. You got my text too? I’m amazed anyone could even read it!’

Simon comes right up to Nathan, stares into his pupils; then he turns and stares into Amy’s eyes as well, who mutters something like ‘buy a lass a drink first, sailor.’ He takes them both by the hands and leads them away from the rave. Amy follows willingly. Nathan tugs his hand back and dances away lightly.

‘Come on, Barry! You’re so much fun when you dance.’

‘Nathan!’ Simon shouts, his voice angry and worried all at the same time. ‘Have you forgotten what happened last time? Our-our powers reversed!’ He says, and Nathan stops moving his heel to the beat and cocks his head.

‘What now?’ Amy says, confused.

‘All of our powers reversed. All of them. Amy, do you know what happens when you g-get high? Do your powers reverse?’

‘She hasn’t gotten high since the storm, man.’ Nathan says, absently, feeling like he should be connecting some fairly serious dots right now, and unable to see the final pattern. Simon seems unusually worried. A whole new level of worried.

‘We should go.’ Simon says, frowning.

‘I want to staaaaay,’ Amy coos, and then leans in and kisses Simon on the cheek too. ‘Stay and dance with us.’

Amy suddenly pauses, and stares blankly over Simon’s shoulder. Her eyes widen, and her mouth falls open a little bit. Nathan follows her gaze and can’t see anything at all. Simon turns and then turns back.

‘Wh-what are you seeing?’

‘I got rid of him.’ She said, side-stepping around Simon and then walking towards something that only she could see. ‘I got rid of you. Only yesterday! Goddamnit, where’s that motherfucking rosary?’ She looks down at herself, but she’s only carrying a tiny clutch, not the larger handbag that she’d kept her rosary in when she exorcised Fagin.

‘I got rid of you too!’ She shouts too, looking over to her left, and then over to her right. She maintains eye level with empty space, and Nathan thinks he’s feeling too good to care about what this means. About what he’s done. He can’t be coming down already.

‘I’m going back in!’ He announces suddenly, to anyone who will listen, before turning and making very little progress. He looks behind him at Simon, who has attached a hand to his shirt sleeve. ‘Come on, Barry, don’t be like that. You can come too!’

‘Nathan, we need to get out of here. Please.’

Nathan turns and listens to the warm buzz inside him instead, loops his arms around Simon’s neck, and presses his lips against Simon’s, offering a wet and uncoordinated kiss, before nuzzling into the side of his neck.

‘Have fun with me. Come dance with me. Don’t be that guy, Barry.’

‘Nathan,’ Simon said, directly into his ear, ‘Nathan, listen to me carefully, please. Your power is reversed; you’re not immortal. You could die. And Amy’s power is reversed, she’s seeing people she’s exorcised. Nathan, we have to get out of here.’

‘Oh! I know!’ Amy shouts, apropos of nothing. She gets out her mobile, keys in a number. Nathan pulls far enough away from Simon that they’re no longer embracing, but stays close enough that Simon can keep a hand on his arm. The contentment and happiness he’d been feeling was leaking away, drip by drip; it was still nearby, but it no longer suffused his entire being. He still doesn’t entirely understand Simon’s gravitas, but his brain is taking up a lot of energy trying to, and the happiness feels further away.

‘Hey!’ Amy bounces happily with the phone against her ear. ‘Chris, you nearby? Yeah? You take anything tonight?’ She grins. ‘I need you, mate. We’ve flipped our powers tonight! I’m bringing ‘em back, and you can get rid of ‘em for a change. So I need you here.’ She rattles off the address and makes him promise to come as soon as possible. When she hangs up, she looks around with a rueful smile on her face and then smiles at Simon and Nathan.

‘My friend, Chris,’ she indicates with an easy wave of her hand. ‘He can normally summon the dead. A medium, yeah? One of the powers he got. I figured he could help out. He took just as much as I did, anyway.’

And then her eyes widen.

‘Oh, fuck, go take him home already! Your one hasn’t turned up yet, but he will. They seem to be coming in reverse order and I’ve been so busy the past two weeks, so I think yours is a few behind. At any rate, at least they’re all coming to me, so I think you’re okay. Just take him home. I’ll be fine.’

‘Are you sure?’ Simon asks. Nathan thinks his voice sounded tinny and distorted, which is weird, because he can hear Amy just fine. He’s gotten used to just riding out the weird and often wonderful effects of drugs, but this evening is beginning to sour on him. His hand reaches out and latches spasmodically onto Simon’s arm, and then releases it just as quickly. Simon turns to look at him, eyebrows drawing together.

‘Please!’ Amy insists. ‘I’m still feeling really good, I’m not worried at all. Chris is only like five minutes away. Go take your lost boy home.’

‘I’ll have you know that if I was any of the lost boys, I’d be Peter Pan!’ Nathan blurts out, and then chuckles to himself. He’s always thought Peter Pan was a great tale; triumphing over Hook, having a band of raucous boys to command. Nathan was always sure that the story would have been vastly improved by the introduction of drugs, alcohol, hovercraft and videogames. And of course wanking and Tinkerbell porn; two more things that Nathan was always sure was missing from the Neverland.

Nathan is pulled by Simon away from the shipping containers, the throbbing beats. He offers Amy a speechless wave, and she gives him the finger, but caps it off with a cheeky smile. He decides that he likes her a great deal and when all of this is over he might want to give her a call and hang out with her, because she seems like his kind of person; and at the very least, he’d have a partner in crime who enjoyed the drugs as much as he did.

Simon doesn’t say anything, but he doesn’t let go of Nathan’s arm, and pulls him towards the car that he borrowed from work.

‘I’d forgotten until just now that I have a cure for immortality, if I ever want it.’ Nathan says, as Simon opens the passenger door for him. Nathan leans against the car, and Simon straightens and then faces him, pale and drawn.

‘Perhaps you have a d-deathwish. It happens a lot in movies, and TV.’

‘Barry, I really like you.’ Nathan hears himself say, and he smiles goofily, a burst of drug-boosted warmth rushes through him. But he knows beneath the courage in pill form, it’s actually true. He really likes Simon. He doesn’t really know why, because they don’t have a great deal in common, but he thinks they could, and he thinks he wants to find out. The reality of how they came to be living together seems far, far away, even with Amy nearby dealing with the return of exorcised ghosts. He can almost imagine that they came together as two people in innocent circumstances. That their changing relationship did not start in a place of trauma.

Simon’s face brightens, just a little bit. In that moment he looks hopeful, wistful, all at once. And then his mouth twists into a wry smile and he gestures into the car.

‘Get in, so you can sleep this off and we can deal with the aftermath tomorrow morning.’

Nathan sits, buckles his belt, tries not to think about his brother dying in a car in a place like this. Instead he just stares ahead as Simon gets in, starts the car, drives them away.

The whole drive passes in silence. A couple of times Nathan opens his mouth to say something, but nothing comes out. He still feels like he’s near the music. His body is buzzing all over, and he’s able to resist the urge to grind his teeth together now, so he feels pretty good, pretty pain-free.

When they enter Simon’s apartment, when the fluorescent lights come on, Simon turns to Nathan to probably – Nathan assumes – say something very serious. But just like earlier, he leans in, presses his lips against Simon’s. He’s always shocked by how soft his lips are, even if he can feel a faint scratch of stubble. Simon sometimes seems so angular and brittle, that it amazes him how soft he can be. For a while, he just presses his lips into Simon’s from different angles, feeling the yield of skin beneath his. He’s breathing through his nose now, and his eyes have closed. Somewhere in his body, a DJ is still playing music, because his pulse points won’t settle down.

To regain some sense of balance, some equilibrium, he places his hands on Simon’s shoulders. They are broad and strong, much stronger than his own arms. He squeezes, feels something like arousal curl down deep, starts to get hard.

Simon, until now, has been relatively passive. He hasn’t stepped back and ended things, but he hasn’t really participated either. But when he hears Nathan’s shuddery exhale, he lifts his own hands and places one on Nathan’s torso, the other on his chest. He opens his mouth, slants his lips, and deepens the kiss before moving his lips away a few seconds later.

‘Your heart is beating really fast.’ Simon says into the elevator.

‘It’s normal.’ Nathan assures him, and looks down at Simon’s hand, flexing his fingers against his sternum. Nathan is feeling everything more intensely, and he swallows hard, smiles at nothing in particular. ‘It’s really normal. Trust me.’

‘Nathan, I-’

‘You’re always so worried, all the time. If anyone here’s at risk for a coronary, my friend, it’s you. I’m in the peak of my good health.’ He ignores Simon’s snort. ‘I don’t know about you, but, I do like you. I know you think it’s just...rape-inspired affection, or whatever, is there a name for that? Post-traumatic lust, perhaps? But honestly, it’s not just that. I mean, you’re a good looking guy. That’s always been true. And you’ve always looked out for me. So why’re you always looking at me like I’m some freak who just wants to get off and leave you high and dry? I don’t get it.’

Simon’s hands haven’t moved, and Nathan has been rhythmically squeezing Simon’s shoulders without realising. He’s used to having deep and meaningfuls when he’s nearing the comedown period, but he knows Simon’s not. Tough shit, he thinks.

‘Is that why you keep trying to get me to talk about it? Like it’s gonna be non-messy, if I talk about it? Barry, I don’t know about you, but I’m a messy guy. We lead messy lives. This is gonna be a fucked up messy thing. I was truly and splendidly fucked up before I ever met you. You think that was the first guy to ever treat my body like a beat up bicycle that didn’t belong to anyone and that wasn’t worth anything? Jesus, he’s really not. He might have been the worst, but he wasn’t the fucking first.’

Simon’s eyes have widened, and he’s unable to look away from Nathan now, utterly riveted. Nathan shuffles a bit, moves his hands to Simon’s collarbone instead.

‘I know what kind of person I am and shit. You know what kind of person I am, so why – you little bastard – do you keep thinking I’m going to become someone else all of a sudden? Someone who doesn’t want to jump you at inopportune moments? Someone who will do all of this in a safe and structured way that makes sense to you? I’m so not that guy. I like a ‘seat of your pants’ lifestyle, and while what’s been happening lately, with...you know...has been cramping my style, I’m still that guy somewhere.’

‘The one who goes to a rave and gets high.’ Simon says, ‘you didn’t even remember that your powers would reverse, did you? I thought you were doing it on purpose.’

‘Yeah, you’d better believe it. I’d totally forgotten,’ Nathan laughs, and then leans his forehead against Simon’s.

‘I don’t know how things are gonna be in the morning. I don’t know how I’m gonna be. I do know that I’m not relationship material. I do know that I fuck up everything I touch. No, shut up for a second, Barry. I’m serious. Serious as Thatcher, right now. You can be as White Knight as you want, but it’s not gonna stop me from doing stupid shit, and from being a stupid shit. Can’t I just like you, without all that other complicated stuff? I mean, come on, you’re a beautiful man. Like a shark on steroids.’

Simon laughs. It’s a rare sound, an actual laugh, something more than a cynical chuckle or a snort or any one of the other sounds he makes that isn’t actually genuine laughter. But now he laughs, and Nathan can’t help that it turns him on. He fists his hands into Simon’s sweater and pulls him forwards, kisses him again. Fiercely and slowly, the way Simon showed him weeks ago now. Simon responds, this time with no hesitation. One hand moves up to the back of Nathan’s head and fists in his curly hair, the other pulls his hips forward so that they’re pressing against each other. Nathan already hard, and Simon getting there.

Nathan walks Simon backwards until he’s pressed against the wall of the elevator. He moves cold hands under Simon’s shirt in frustration, and as soon as he starts feeling the contours of his stomach, Simon moves his mouth to the side, breathing heavily.

‘Not now. Not like this.’ Simon says. ‘Not while you’re still high. If this is something you actually want to do, it has to be when you’re sober. Not just because I worry, Nathan, but for me. I don’t...want it to be like this. I’m sorry. I know that makes me b-boring.’

‘Not boring.’ Nathan murmurs, pressing kisses against Simon’s eyebrows, his temples, the bridge of his nose. ‘Just a motherfucking cock-tease, you little shit.’

‘Just reassess in the morning. Please. Tonight’s been scary, for more than one reason, and I think...maybe you’d realise that too if you slept on it.’ But Simon can’t help himself, and anchors Nathan’s face with his hands before kissing him thoroughly, with tongue and everything. Nathan is seeing stars and still feeling the slick imprint of Simon’s tongue against his own, when Simon slides sideways out of Nathan’s grip, and walks out of the elevator.

‘Jesus, Jesus, I’m getting you back for that.’ Nathan swears on a shaky breath, and feels a delight that it is only partly drug-fuelled, when Simon laughs again as he walks away.
 
 
 
calistomythcalistomyth on October 27th, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
I still LOVE you! And the fic.

I really hope Simon doens't let the whole 'beat up bicycle thing'. Hope Nathan's not too hungover in the morning..!
not_poignantnot_poignant on October 27th, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
I can't believe it's so close to being over! (The fic, that is). Nathan's used to a pretty hardcore life, so I don't think he'll be too hungover when reality sets in again. But this story has a happy ending, so you know, even with reality setting in, it's not all bad!