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Title: Stolen Hearts, Vintage Souls
Author: thickets
Fandom: Nathan Barley/Mint Royale FF AU
Characters: Dan, Neil!Jones, Claire
Word Count: 1050
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: References to pedophilia
Disclaimer: Nathan Barley belongs to Morris and Brooker, Mint Royale belongs to MR and Edgar Wright, Fast Fuse on loan from eggnogged. :P
Summary: Jones comes to visit Dan in hospital.
Notes: Answers the booshbattle prompt: Crossover, Mint Royale (Eggnogged's FF AU)/Nathan Barley, undercover!Neil!Jones/Dan, Jones is undercover!Neil


Stolen Hearts, Vintage Souls

Dan first met Jones three weeks after his eviction. He'd been couch surfing with acquaintances, but they'd run out of patience and he'd run out of motivation. After one solid weekend of drinking and sleeping under his desk at SugarApe, culminating in being kicked out by janitorial staff in the wee hours of Monday morning, he'd had an idea of near-Biblical greatness. This was how Jones came to find him, busy constructing a home out of cardboard boxes, discarded fiberboard, and milk crates in a deserted long-term carpark at six in the morning. Jones, carrying a huge paper shopping bag full of vinyl LPs in one hand and a plastic cup emblazoned with the words "Caf-Pow!" in the other, his eyes surrounded by smudged mascara, looked nearly ghoulish. They surveyed each other for a few moments, Dan feeling increasingly like Don Quixote as he stood next to his ramshackle hut. Then something strange seemed to pass over Jones' face, something soft and oddly regretful. "Follow me," he said.

Dan wasn't sure what it was that Jones saw in him that day, or why or how he'd been accepted so swiftly and so wholly into Jones' life. What he did find out, four months later, when he was lying in hospital with a busted arm and leg and heart and mind, was that there was more to Jones than outrageous and painful (yet somehow, and he still hadn't figured out why, strangely pleasurable) music, stupid, asymmetrical hair, and delicious but powerfully strong cups of coffee. That was the day that Jones came to visit him, right after the nurse had been in to give him his medication. He looked different, off, though Dan couldn't quite put a finger on how.

"I'm sorry I haven't been round to visit you, Dan," he said, seriously. And Dan had to admit to himself, in the days he'd been in here, slowly recovering, he had wondered why Jones hadn't been in. Perhaps it had even bothered him a little, though he couldn't bring himself to ask Claire about it.

"I shouldn't rightly be here even now," Jones continued, "but, well, it wouldn't be the first time I did something I wasn't really supposed to. It's just ... I felt I owed you an explanation."

"For what?" Dan asked. He was a bit groggy, his words slightly slurred, but mentally he was more together than he'd been in awhile.

Jones took a deep breath. "For why I won't be here by the time you get out."

Dan blinked. "Sorry?"

"I've found Claire a place to stay, and you'll be able to go home with her, don't worry. It was really irresponsible to let you two stay with me but ..." he trailed off, looking embarrassed. "You ... reminded me of somebody."

"Jones, what the hell are you talking about?"

Jones shook his head, looking pained, and stood up from the visitor's chair. "I can't explain it in more detail, I'm really, really sorry. I didn't think things would turn out this way. But I felt like I owed you some kind of explanation, even if it's not a satisfactory one."

Dan's head was buzzing; the medicine was starting to kick in. "You don't sound like Jones," he mumbled. "Who are you?"

Jones just smiled, and started to walk to the door. "Bye, Dan. Good luck. And ... pull yourself together, all right? You're better than those shits." Then everything got very hazy and when he was able to finally focus again, Jones was gone.

It wasn't until two days later, when Claire came to visit him, that he was able to find out more. "Oh yeah, it was very strange," she said, when he asked about Jones. "He said he was moving out of the country! Out of nowhere. Granted, he'd been acting a bit strange lately, anyway. But he found me a flat, just like he told you." She waved him off. "But listen, that's not important. Things are going mad, Dan. There was some kind of bust-up at the Chimney Exchange last night. Turns out they haven't just been selling booze without a license, they were also involved in an underaged prostitution ring. And guess who's been implicated in it? You'll love this. Your boss. The editor at SugarApe? Thought you'd like that, huh?"

"Too bad Nathan wasn't, too," he said, but it was almost an involuntary reaction – he was busy thinking, trying to put two and two together.

Claire looked momentarily amused, then scowled miserably. "As far as I know, he wasn't. Well, it doesn't stop him from bragging about how close he was to it. Everyone thinks it's totally Thailand, you know." She covered her face with her hands. "God, I feel dirty just thinking about it. I should have never agreed to work for him, Dan. What came over me?"

Dan was struck by how much like a little girl she looked just then, the way she had when she'd once begged him to help her forge the score on a maths test before their mother saw it (they'd been found out in the end, anyway). Pull yourself together, all right? "You don't have to work for Nathan."

"Yeah, right. Because I'm so eminently employable."

"I'm going to apply for Jonatton's position," he said abruptly.

She looked up. "What? For editor at SugarApe?"

"I've been writing for the damn magazine since it was founded. I'd be a better editor than that pedophile."

Claire snickered, then shook her head. "Dan, are you sure you're up to this? I mean ... the last month ..."

"I'm up to it. So are you."

"What makes you so sure of that?"

"Because we're better than those shits."

Claire looked unconvinced. "Are we?" She stared at Dan solemnly, then gave a great sigh and attempted to smile. "All right, Dan. Let's do it."

:::


Authorities said the investigation into the dealings at the illegal club had been underway for several months, and that an undercover agent had been involved in compiling much of the evidence against the suspects. More arrests are possible, as the ringleaders of the club's activities had deep ties within the Hoxditch community.

One man was briefly held for questioning by the police yesterday for making incriminating statements but was later released when it was determined that he had falsely impugned himself and that there was no evidence he had any connection to the ring.


---------

Notes:
- This takes place some time during the three years Jon is in jail, so between chapters one and two of FF.
- Yes, in this fic Dan and Jones only knew each other for about four months. I was trying to keep in mind that Neil said he'd never been undercover for so long as he had in the in FF (which was six months).
- The Chimney Exchange is the club Nathan had his Trash Bat party at. According to the NB map of Hoxditch, it's very shady.
- Caf-Pow isn't real, I stole it from NCIS.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
eggnogged
May. 21st, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
I must reiterate my 'Yayyyyy!' from yesterday. XD

I quite like the idea of Neil running into Dan pretty soon after Jon's arrest, so that Jon is still in the back of his mind, and that's enough to make him take Dan in. :)

Thanks for writing this and posting it here! <3
the_reverand
May. 21st, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
Huzzah for breaking in the comm! :D

And I'm still quite charmed by this!
thieving_gypsy
Jul. 10th, 2010 11:16 am (UTC)
This is INSPIRED. Seriously good job, I loved this crazy amounts. HAHA Neil/Jones/Elliot/whatever is like a fairy godmother poking into people's lives and making them better! GO DAN GO \o/
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )