Summary: Nigel's knackered out of his mind. The sonnet's come in later. Just read it.
A/N: The CJ finale was a bit disappointing. Too much angsty angst with Woodles and not enough N/J action. All in favor of castrating Woody and then sending him to Peru say 'I'!
Timeline: After the season finale.
Like as a huntsman after weary chase,
Seeing the game from him escaped away,
Sits down to rest in some shady place,
With panting hounds, beguiled of their prey:
So, after long pursuit and vain assay,
When I all weary had the chase forsook,
The gentle deer returned the selfsame way,
Thinking herself to quench her thirst at the next brook.
There she, beholding me with milder look,
Sought not to fly, but fearless still did bide,
Till I in hand her yet half trembling took,
And with her own good will her firmly tied.
Strange thing, me seemed, to get a beast so wild
So goodly won, with her own will beguilded.
Nigel staggered into the Pogue at eleven that evening. It was quite clear that he'd a made a few stops on the way there. Max Cavanaugh glanced up as his daughter's coworker sat down at the bar and ordered a shot-glass and a bottle of whatever could knock him out the fastest. Max caught the bartender's glance and motioned for him to let the boss handle Nigel. He sidled up to the bar and poured Nigel a glass of whiskey. Nigel held it up and nodded at Max.
"Cheers mate." then he downed the glass in one swallow. That is, of course, the reason behind shot-glasses.
Nigel poured himself another and concentrated on getting completely knackered.
"Somethin' bothering you Nigel?" Max asked nonchalantly.
"No… Yes… Maybe… I don't know!" the tall Brit replied hysterically. "Bugger!"
Max raised an eyebrow and pulled up one of the tall stools that sat behind the bar for the bartender during breaks.
"Come on Nigel, I know you like to get drunk, but there's always been a reason behind it." Max prodded.
Nigel shook his head furiously, then immediately regretted it. His head spun badly and he put his forehead down on the cool marble of the bar.
"Argh…" was the only thing he said.
Max reached for the bottle of whiskey to take it away. Nigel's hand snapped out and grabbed it before Max could get it away.
"Not done. Need to forget…" Nigel grunted.
The Irishman sighed in defeat and watched Nigel pour himself glass after glass until the bottle was empty.
"Have you forgotten yet, Nigel?"
"Nope. Give us another bottle will ya?"
"Nope. I think you've had enough." Max said, frowning. Nigel was in real danger of alcohol poisoning and Max didn't want that happening. Jordan had a soft spot for the gangly Brit and she would kill him if anything happened to Nigel. "I'm going to call Jordan. Someone needs to take you home and I've got to run the bar."
"S'fine. S'fine. I can get home on my own." Nigel slurred, trying to stand up. He swayed perilously and grabbed the side of the bar for support. "Bugger all." he swore angrily.
"Sit down. I'm calling Jordan to come get you." Max said firmly picking up the phone.
Without any warning whatsoever, Nigel burst into tears. Max's head jerked up in surprise.
"Nigel?" he asked, concerned.
Nigel waved him away and put his head in his hands. Still looking at Nigel, Max heard Jordan's voice on the other end of the line.
"Hello?" she asked distractedly.
"Jordan. Hey it's dad." he said, fully aware of how obvious that was.
"Oh hey. What's up?"
"Listen, I'm here at the Pogue. I've got Nigel here with me, I think you should come pick him up."
"Nigel? What's he doing there? He's supposed to be home relaxing."
"Oh he's relaxed alright. He's had a bottle of Jack and god knows how much else on the side. Listen, are you going to come get him or do I need to get him a cab?" Max asked.
"No, no. I'll be right there."
"Good. I think he's about to pass out. Shit, there he goes! Nigel! Wake up!" Max swore, grabbing Nigel's collar from across the bar. "Honey, I got to go."
"Yeah. I'll be right there."
Max tossed the phone on the general area of the receiver and hurried around the bar to grab Nigel before he fell off the barstool.
"This won't do. Let's get you into a booth, Nigel."
"Huh? Yeah whotever. S'alright. Everything's ok… Shiiiit…" his stomach lurched and he tried to stay upright long enough for Max to navigate him into a booth.
About five minutes later, Jordan walked through the doorway. She had on a distractingly tight pair of jeans and Nigel thought it very odd indeed that she would be walking on the ceiling, then realized he had passed out and was hanging off the booth seat.
"'Allo Jordan!" he exclaimed, wincing at the noise.
"Nigel? What're you doing here? You said you were going home."
"I lied. After Garret left, Buggles and me went out for a nip of the ol' hair o' the dog and we got a bit carried away." Nigel said bitterly.
Max came out from behind the bar, drying a glass with a towel.
"Hi sweetie. You walk here or did you drive?"
"Alright, I'll call a cab for you." Max said, he looked over at Nigel, who had passed out again. "You going to be alright?"
"Yeah. We'll be ok. Did he say what was wrong?"
"No. You know Nigel. Never face a problem when you can either joke about it or get hammered. But judging by the time's he's been in here before, this is something big."
Jordan nodded and Max went to call a cab. Minutes later, he was helping her get Nigel outside and into a cab. Jordan kissed her father on the cheek and said goodbye.
"If you need anything, just call." Max said seriously.
"I will. I'm taking him back to my apartment. That way I can make sure he doesn't start drinking again."
"Alright. Be careful."
Jordan smiled and climbed into the cab and gave directions to the driver. She closed the grate between the front at back seat and turned back to Nigel, who was fast asleep in a very uncomfortable looking position.
"Nigel. Wake up buddy. Nigel?" she shook him gently.
Nigel jumped and looked around, wide eyed; then his eyelids drooped to half-mast again.
"What's wrong?" Jordan asked.
"Nige, I haven't seen you this drunk since Manchester lost to Chelsea. Spill."
"Nope. Lemme sleep."
Jordan twined an arm around her co-worker and helped him sit upright. Nigel's head fell onto her shoulder and Jordan couldn't help but feel her heart jump in her chest.
"Tell me what's wrong?"
He had already fallen asleep on her, his hot, whiskey breath on her throat. Jordan rubbed his back soothingly, unnerved by this sudden change of events. The cab slowed and Jordan reluctantly woke Nigel.
"Nige. Come on. We're here." she said, nudging him.
"Uhm?" he asked. "Five more minutes mom…"
"Nigel. Come on you limey git." she growled, trying to hoist him out of the cab.
"Awright awright. I'm up." he mumbled, his head clearing for a moment.
Jordan pulled one of his arms around her shoulders and slid her own arm around his waist as they teetered precariously into her apartment building.
"Jordan?" he said suddenly in a confused voice.
"This isn't my building."
"No. It's mine. I'm taking you to my place. Is that ok?"
Somehow they made their way into an elevator, Jordan leaned Nigel against the wall while she pressed the button. The short ride was silent; the only sound was Nigel; occasionally hiccupping and quietly singing a song about a fisherman.
"There was an old fisherman, set sail from…. Bugger…" Nigel cursed at the realization that he had forgotten the words. "Bloody African Queen!"
Jordan looked at Nigel sideways.
"Bedtime for Bonzo, I think." she said as the elevator squealed to a halt.
"Eh? Bed… Yes… that sounds nice…"
Jordan helped her inebriated friend down the hall and to her apartment; she fished her keys out of her pocket and led him inside.
"I'll take the couch-"
"Nope. That's about as far as I can get…" Nigel exclaimed, wincing at his own voice.
As if to demonstrate his point, he toppled over onto her couch and remained there, passed out.
"Goodnight Nigel." Jordan laughed quietly.
The slender female M.E. found a blanket and covered her friend up, kissing him lightly on the cheek and ruffling his hair.
"Mhmm?" Nigel mumbled sleepily.
She smiled down at him and turned to leave the room.
"Jordan?" Nigel called after her.
Come, Sleep! O sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
The indifferent judge between high and low;
With shield of proof shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts Despair doth throw;
O make in me those civil wars cease;
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed.
A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light,
A rosy garland and a weary head:
And if these things, as being thine by right,
Move not thy heavy grace, though shalt in me,
Livelier than elsewhere, Stella's image see.
Sir Philip Sidney
Reviewest thou? If it pleases thee and, have thee a soft heart, review for me and thus I shall be besotted of thee.