La Femme Crayola (annlarimer) wrote,
La Femme Crayola
annlarimer

Fiction Post: Don’t

Why does this keep happening?



TITLE: Don't
FANDOM: Hot Fuzz
AUTHOR: annlarimer
WORD COUNT: 2,000-ish. I wanted this to be a page, I swear.
RATING: R, fer the cussinatin’
SUMMARY: "I can't believe you did that, you fucking great TWAT!"
WARNINGS: American spelling, minor movie spoilers, title stolen from Grindhouse
NOTES: Author likes c&c. Are the tenses fuxored?
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Are you kidding? I can't even take proper care of a fish.
ARCHIVE: Please ask first.


DON'T

It was, as the fellow had said, another beautiful day in God's country. As always, the Sandford Constabulary were to be found wherever they were needed -- in this case, encouraging a small flock of unescorted sheep to leave the main road and return to their field, after some clueless walker had left a gate open. This had been sorted with a minimum of fuss and bleating, and a stern warning to the bellwether, Elaine, to refrain from that sort of behavior in the future. She had taken it well, as sheep generally do.

Nicholas Angel paused for a look round. Sandford and its surroundings were, as was their wont, utterly lovely and green, and well worth a look. "The first time I was out here, I kicked an old lady in the face."

"Good times," said Danny Butterman, without irony.

Nicholas wanted very much to tell him that it hadn't been a good time at all, that it had been an unfortunate necessity, since the poor woman had been training a shotgun on him at the time. But he'd been trying to damp that part of himself down a bit lately -- even he was starting to find it a bit annoying. Worse, it would have been a complete lie. Good times indeed. Sometimes he wondered what the hell was the matter with him.

"Whoah! Watch it." Danny's hand shot out and grabbed Nicholas by the collar, yanking him backwards.

"Hey!"

"Sorry. You almost stepped in that."

"Oh." Nicholas looked down, expecting something entirely different. "Oh. Look!"

At his feet, several dozen mushrooms formed a rather charming and imperfect ring.

"Yeah, just don't touch," Danny cautioned.

Nicholas crouched for a closer look. "I wonder what kind they are."

"Don't matter. Anyway, I thought you knew plants and stuff."

"Houseplants. So what happens? Do they cover you in lethal spores if you step on them?"

"Nah, not on. I meant you were going to step in."

It took Nicholas a moment to understand just what Danny was getting at. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Janine had had an inexplicable fondness for Steeleye Span. "You're not serious."

The look Danny gave him in reply said that he most certainly was.

"Pull the other one!" Nicholas said.

"What?"

"This is the 21st Century, Danny!"

"I know. Dad and I watched the numbers switch over on tv. Look, round here there are things you just don't do. What do they teach city kids, anyway?"

"I don't know, real stuff! Don't talk to strangers. Don't buy e without a personal referral. Count your change. Don't lick wall sockets."

"Well, it's the -- don't buy e without a personal referral? -- same here, innit? You jump in a pond feet first, you don't sleep in old fridges, you close gates after you go through them, and you don't --" he gestured at the ring. "You just don't!"

"They're perfectly ordinary mushrooms! It's not magic. They grow this way. There's a..." He really didn't know that much about mushrooms, but one hears things -- "big fungus thing growing under the ground, and these pop up on the edge when it rains. I've seen them in parks and back gardens. Even traffic islands."

"If they're ordinary, there's no reason not to leave them be, is there?"

The fine morning, and dealing with sheep and Buttermans, was making Nicholas a bit goofy. "So you're saying, what? I step in this circle, Christopher Lee's gonna come stuff me in a --" He stood on one leg, waving the other over the mushrooms.

"Don't!"

"Don't what? Don't do this?" He stepped into the circle, grinning.

It will surprise no one but Nicholas Angel that he vanished, gone in a direction that wasn't down or sideways, and wasn't any of the others, either.

*

Danny could only gape at the empty space. "You didn't -- you -- I can't believe you did that, you fucking great TWAT! Shit!" He took off his hat, and hit himself in the forehead, hard. Nothing changed. The ring remained devoid of Angels.

Nothing for it, then. Nothing for it. He took a step or three back, to get a sort of trotting start, and hopped into the circle.

There was no one left to see, but he vanished -- gone in a direction that wasn't down or sideways, and wasn't any of the others, either.

*

In most places, the disappearance of two capable adult males on a lovely Tuesday morning is no cause for concern, or even notice, though it might be one for mockery. Sandford, Gloucestershire, is not most places. People there are still tetchy about disappearances. (Other sensitive subjects include, but are not limited to, bear traps, black monks' robes, loose masonry, underage drinking, hippies, bad spelling, and buskers. Should you visit, it's best to let the locals lead any conversation.) So when an hour went by and nobody could raise Inspector Angel or Sergeant Butterman on the radio, the rest of the Sandford constabulary saddled up and went looking for them. (Metaphorically, of course. They still didn't have a mounted division.)

They weren’t to be found at home, near the duck pond, in the pub, or at the shops. They weren’t at the village hall, under the castle, or at the cinema. None of this was particularly surprising in and of itself – mathematically, barring some sort of encounter with a threshing machine or ax murderer, they could have been in, at most, two places – but it was increasingly worrying.

PC Bob Walker, sensibly, drove to their last reported position, and found their empty car. Police dog Saxon led him from the vehicle, to the sheep’s gate, to the mushroom ring, where he sat, bewildered and mournful.

"Hell," said Bob. He clipped Saxon's lead to his collar, just in case, and stood for a moment, staring at the ring.

Then he said, "Fuck!" and led Saxon back to the car.

They were going to need backup, and proper weapons.

*

There was a sound that was a bit like a meteor dropping upwards, and a bit like a jet engine, and a bit like little silver bells. Danny and Nicholas shot out of the ring like extra-soapy corks, from a direction that wasn't down, or sideways, or any of the others, and landed hard in the grass. They lay on the ground for a time, panting, exhausted, torn, and stubbly.

"What..." said Nicholas. "What...the hell...was that?" Real air again, and not just someone's idea of air. Sunshine, from an actual sun. No more of that fucking music. He couldn’t remember the music, but he was certain that it had annoyed him.

"That," Danny told the sky with uncharacteristic anger, "was what happens when you don't listen to me, you great thick git."

"Hey now!" Nicholas protested.

"No. No. You don't get a hey now! You do not get a hey now. You get a -- oh, hey, Saxon." Nicholas turned his head. There was an Alsatian prodding Danny's forehead. Danny reached up and gave the animal a mild scritch. "Who's a good boy, then?"

"Afternoon," said Bob Walker.

Nicholas instantly rolled into a defensive crouch, and had Bob in the sights of his...crossbow? Wait. What? He lowered it sheepishly. "Afternoon, Bob." Afternoon? It's...oh. It's afternoon. Why isn't that right?

Saxon growled faintly. Bob folded his arms over his chest, and gave Nicholas the sort of look you only give trigger-happy idiots with crossbows.

"'lo," said Danny, clambering to his feet.

"You're fuckin' idiots," said Bob. It wasn't the longest sentence Nicholas had ever heard from him, but it was well into the 80th percentile.

"Hey, it weren't me!" Danny said, indignant. "It were this knob."

"Inspector Knob!" Nicholas said, suspecting that this wasn't quite the correct approach even as he did so. "And not the ear not the ear!"

But Danny had him well and truly by the lobe, and his expression was like thunder. Nicholas had only ever seen him this way once before, during the one-sided skirmish at the castle, and in the intervening months he'd nearly forgotten what a terrifying and looming golem that blameless man could become when he chose. "If you weren't littler than me, I would thump you like...like a..."

"Red-headed stepchild?" Andy Cartwright appeared from somewhere, carrying a bag of Glacia salt, and balancing a spade over one shoulder.

"Supermarket melon?" Andy Wainwright had a wooden mallet and a fistful of the largest nails Nicholas had ever seen.

"Oooooooo, Mum and Dad are having a fight."

“I’m all traumatized now.”

"Shut it, you two!" Danny told them.

"And Butters is on a roll.” Cartwright nodded at Nicholas. “Afternoon, Inspector. *kof*arsehole*kof*"

Wainwright followed suit. "Angel. *kof*twat*kof*"

"Ladies," Nicholas said, trying very hard to sound as though nothing odd was happening. Then, quietly, "Danny, please let go of my ear."

Danny fairly raged. "No, 'cause you got to listen to me. I know that's not how it usually works. You're the sheriff, I'm the sidekick, so I know it's hard to believe, but there are times I actually know what I'm talking about and you got to fucking listen to me." He eased his hold on Nicholas' ear, but didn't quite let go. "Gimme the knife."

Nicholas took an elaborately-worked silver dagger from one of his jacket pockets, and gave it to Danny.

"And the crossbow."

Nicholas handed it over, already wondering where on earth it had come from, and whether the Service offered any sort of course on crossbow safety.

Danny handed both off to an Andy, along with a bronze scythe-y thing he produced from somewhere, and a little twinkly glass bottle. "Get rid of these."

"We know the drill, Butterchurn." Cartwright was already turning earth and mushrooms with his spade, while Wainwright worked crossly at opening the contrary bag of salt.

"Burning the barn after the horse has been shot," muttered one.

"Bolting the gate shut after -- oh fuck!" said the other, as the bag whoofed open and gave him a cloud of salt in the face. That has got to sting, Nicholas thought.

Bob was still looking at Danny and Nicholas. "It's the right one?" he asked Danny.

"What?" said Nicholas.

Danny ignored him. "Yeah. Other one's missing the top of its head. Looked like a kiwi on the inside. Do the egg thing at the station if you want."

Bob nodded. "Ar. Will do. C'mon, boy." He led Saxon back in the direction of the road.

"Egg thing?"

"I'll tell you later."

“Kiwi?”

“I’ll tell you later.”

You’re not going to tell me later. "All right. Seriously, my ear..."

"Oh. Sorry." Danny let him go, once again mild as ever.

"Thank you.” Nicholas straightened and brushed himself off, hoping to regain a bit of dignity. “Right. What are we doing out here?"

"Lost sheep."

"Of course." Nicholas rubbed at his ear, which hurt for some reason. "And the Andies are...?" Cartwright was driving the big nails into the turned and salted earth.

"Erm...follow-up."

"I see." I have no idea what's going on here.

Danny clapped him on the neck. "And now we're going back to the station."

"Right then." Danny Butterman was the world's worst liar, but sometimes, Nicholas thought, sometimes it was best just to listen to him. Well, this time. He let himself be guided back toward the car. "You know, the first time I was out here, I kicked an old lady in the face."

Danny gave him an odd look. "Really?"

"Good times," Nicholas said.

*

Doris Thatcher, Tony Fisher, and a Turner or two watched as Bob Walker did something odd with eggshells, the station's microwave, and the teapot. "Right. Anything?" Bob asked.

They listened. No sound of unholy, soulless screaming came from Nicholas Angel's office, nor was there any declamation in iambic pentameter. Or any sort of pentameter. None of them was quite sure what pentameter was, but they'd have known it if they’d heard it.

"Pub," Bob said, and tossed the eggshells in the bin.

General agreement from the room. They gathered up their gear.

"Well, that's that," said Tony Fisher. "All accounted for."

"New kids never learn," said Sergeant Turner, shaking his head.

"Feh," said the other Sergeant Turner.

Tony paused in the doorway. "You know, I had to beat a kelpie over the head with an oar once. It was going for the boy."

"Hate them bastards," said Doris. "Give water sports a bad name."
Tags: fanfic, fuzz fic, hot fuzz
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