A/N: So here's the sequel to 'It's A Long Fall From Cloud Nine', and no, it wasn't a very long wait for it lol. You can read it without reading the first story as things will be explained as it goes along, but it'll make more sense if you have read the other story. It's a bit more serious aswell, but that's to be expected taking that it's set about 10 years in the future lol. And the first chapter is very sweary, so be warned, but it isn't going to be like that in every chapter. My brain isn't working very well right now, so I guess that's all I have to say. That and I hope you enjoy this one as much as the last one! :D

And I don't own Bully (which sucks because then I'd be rich and I could act like Derby) but I DO own Elliott Nixon. She's locked up nice and securely in my brainbox, and I'll notice if she goes missing. So thar. :P

Synopsis: Eleven years have passed since Gary Smith was expelled from Bullworth and Elliott Nixon discovered she was pregnant. Things aren't exactly perfect; she works two jobs to support herself and her ten year old son Reese, but help from her on/off boyfriend keeps things relatively bearable. At least they are until a familiar face shows up to throw a spanner in the works.

Characters: Elliott Nixon (OC), Reese Nixon (OC), Jimmy Hopkins, Johnny Vincent, Peanut, Gary Smith.

Rating: T (for violence and swearing)

Running For Your Life Down Memory Lane

Chapter One

The Future Is What You Make Of It

'You call that scrubbing?' Maurice Johansson bellowed, slinging a washcloth into the sink and causing soapy water to splash everywhere. 'You're supposed to be washing the dishes, not fucking polishing every single fucking one of them. What am I supposed to serve the fucking food on while you're pissing about in here, my hands? You want me to sit in front of all those sorry bastards with my hands out so they can nibble their fucking shit right out of my palms? Then maybe they can wipe their mouths on my tie, huh?'

It's awful when you realise that life isn't all it cracked up to be. Every single person is hit with this realisation at some point in their lives, usually when they hit their mid twenties. You spend most of your youth dreaming elaborate scenarios of living in a big house, away from the fascist-like rule of your parents and doing whatever you like. You don't seem to take time to contemplate things like where exactly you're going to get the money to pay for this wonderful big house full of your equally wonderful grown up friends. You don't worry about the menial things like getting a job, or paying taxes, or whether or not the trash collectors come on Monday morning or Tuesday lunchtime. You don't worry about which gas company offers the best deal. You don't worry about the steady pile of bills that will more than likely accumulate on the coffee table. It's when you're suddenly faced with all these bewildering problems that you stop and realise that someone has been tricking you into thinking that life is some huge, fantastic adventure filled with rewards and luxuries. When put into practice you realise it's nothing but a giant, swollen pregnant red herring that is ready to give birth to dozens more of these boring and nasty surprises as you grow older.

In other words, it's a big frigging disappointment. And Maurice Johansson was currently in the middle of reminding Elliott Nixon of that fact. Not that she needed reminding.

'Maybe you can help me, huh?' Maurice went on. Spots of white foam were gathering on his thick lips, the way it did when he was getting worked up. His grey hair, which was usually slicked back, was beginning to stick up a little above his ears, giving the illusion of horns. 'Yeah, the pair of us will go out there with the fucking food on our hands and be the plates, huh? Maybe I can lie on the table and keep the fucking fish sauce in my hairy fucking bellybutton, huh?'

'I'll go quicker, Mr Johansson.' Elliott told him through clenched teeth. Another horrible thing about life; sometimes you had to be nice to bastards like Maurice Johansson.

'Damn right you'll go faster,' Maurice barked. 'You'll go faster than a fat fucking bastard up a chocolate tree if you want to keep your job.'

Elliott slipped another plate onto the already giant pile of washed plates. She kept her mouth shut. If she said something else it would probably be loud and incomprehensible anyway, and it would probably end with her smashing one of the plates over his head. Maybe even all of them.

'Good girl.' He growled, and then stormed out of the washroom, allowing the door to slam noisily behind him.

Elliott exhaled slowly out of her nostrils. If someone had told her twelve years ago that she would be working as a dishwasher in a fish restaurant at the age of twenty six she would have laughed for weeks. No way, Hozay. She was going to do something meaningful with her life. Go to college. Hopefully university. Get a degree and all that stuff. She had been confident that that was the way her life was going to go. So confident in fact, that she hadn't prepared herself for the grim reality that she was going to be washing dishes in a fish restaurant at the age of twenty five. In fact, she had been washing dishes in a fish restaurant for nearly six years now. Although it wasn't the dish washing that had made her realise life wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Elliott had discovered a long time ago. Ten years ago, to be exact. Roughly when she was about fifteen years old.

A tapping at the window pulled her from her dismal thoughts and she glanced over her shoulder, expecting to see one of the local kids pulling a face or making some rude gesture at her. At the familiar but very bloodied face that peered in at her she blinked, and then exhaled heavily. The young boy on the other side just turned both his palms up and shrugged. Elliott pulled off her rubber gloves and moved to the back door, hauling it open angrily.

'What the hell have you been doing, Reese?' she demanded, keeping her voice low in case Maurice was still creeping around somewhere. 'Look at your face! You look like you've been in a frigging horror movie.'

The young boy came in through the open door and poked at his nose. Most of the blood had dried now, but there was still a film of tacky red liquid covering both his nostrils. There was dried blood smeared on his forehead and cheek from where he had wiped his face, and the front of his dark brown hair was matted with it.

'It wasn't my fault,' Reese insisted, dark eyebrows drawn together. 'It was those stupid kids from Blue Skies. Me and Tommy Jackson were out playing on the Tenements site when two of them came and started calling us names. One of them threw a brick at Tommy, so I threw one back and hit one of them in the head and…'

Elliott led him to the sink and pulled a clean cloth from underneath it. 'Put your head back, Reese,' she ordered. She wet the cloth and began to dab at his nose. 'So you got hit with a brick, did you? What have I told you about messing around on that pile of rubble? The Tenements was bad enough even before they pulled it down.'

'I didn't get hit with a brick,' Reese insisted, sounding nasal. 'I got one of them and they ran off. So me and Tommy went around to Yum Yums to get some soda…'

'You're lucky this isn't broken…' Elliott muttered irritably.

'And when we were coming out those kids had brought a bigger kid around. He hit me right in the face and he was going to totally lay into me but a cop saw and chased them away. They said they weren't done with us and I told them that I know bigger people than they do but they still said they were going to come for us and-'

Elliott shook her head. 'Reese, how many times? You wind those kids up and they'll just keep coming and coming. You can't keep scrapping with them all the time.'

Reese pouted sulkily. 'Jimmy used to do it.'

She felt a pang of annoyance. 'Well Jimmy's not your mother, is he? I am. And I'm telling you that you can't go around fighting with everyone who looks at you funny.'

'I just don't like what they say.'

She cleaned the last of the blood from his face and dumped the cloth in the bin. 'I know, honey, but you can't keep doing this. One of these days there's going to be no one to help you out when you get into a fight. The last thing I want is to get a phone call from the hospital because you got into a stupid fight with those idiot kids. You need to stop it; I can't deal with the stress. I've got to work two jobs you know.'

'I know.' Reese mumbled, poking at his nose.

'And you're not getting a bit of sympathy from me because you were supposed to be at school.' Elliott frowned. 'You think I don't know that it's only four o'clock? There's no way you could have gotten from school to the Tenements site and then to Yum Yums and then here in half an hour.'

Reese frowned, embarrassed that he had been sussed. 'I have been to school. We got let out early because-'

'Stop poking at your nose. It'll start bleeding again. Now go on home, I'll deal with you when I get back.'

The door opened suddenly. Elliott glanced around, already knowing that she would see Maurice standing there. And there he was, looking from Elliott to Reese furiously.

'What the hell is this?' he demanded.

Elliott rubbed her forehead. 'Mr Johansson, this is my son. He had a bit of trouble at school-'

'Look at the fucking state of him,' Maurice snarled. 'I can't be having dirty New Coventry scum in my restaurant! It's unhygienic!'

Elliott felt a warmth rush over her and her jaw clenched painfully. 'Mr Johansson-' she started.

'Oh, so now you want me to serve food on fucking dirty bloodstained plates, huh? I don't give a shit what filth you eat off in your own squalor, but I'm not having my paying customers catching fuck knows what off your vermin offspring. Get him the hell out of here and get back to work.'

Elliott stared at him for a moment, and then calmly walked past him. He only watched her, bewildered that she wasn't doing what he was telling her to. Still in a stunned silence, he followed her through to the locker room, staring at her like her head had just fallen off and she was still running around. She calmly reached into her locker, removed her bag and coat, and headed back into the kitchen.

'Come on, Reese.' She said. 'We're leaving.'

Maurice was finally roused from his stupor. 'What?' he shrieked. 'You're not going anywhere! There are still all those dishes! You don't finish until six!'

'I quit.' Elliott told him, opening the back door.

'What?! You can't fucking quit!'

'Watch me.' She replied, and began to usher Reese outside.

'You can't quit!' Maurice bellowed. 'Because you're fired! I'm going to make sure you never work in the Vale again, you bitch! Get back to the fucking slums where you belong! And take your vermin son with you! Ungrateful cow!'

'Say goodbye to Mr Johansson, Reese.' Elliott said in response.

Reese smirked. 'Bye, you fat bastard.'

Maurice took a step forward. 'Why you little-'

Elliott shoved Reese out of the door, shot her ex-boss one last glare, and then slammed the back door shut behind her. She pulled on her coat, secured her bag on her shoulder, and then began to make her way out onto the street.

'You should have totally told him where to go, mom,' Reese sniggered, jogging to catch up with her long strides. 'You should have at least thrown the washcloth at him. Maybe squirt some washing up liquid in his face-'

Elliott stopped and looked at him angrily. 'You think that was funny?' she demanded. 'I've just lost my job, Reese. What the hell do you think we're going to do now? How am I supposed to pay the rent with that measly pay from the café? There's no way.' She shook her head, exhaling loudly and continued walking. A few passing people glanced disapprovingly at Reese's bloody shirt, but that was to be expected in Bullworth Vale. They would probably look at him that way even if he weren't bloodstained.

He caught up with her again and walked quickly beside her with his head down and hands buried in his pockets. 'Sorry, mom.' He mumbled.

Elliott sighed and slowed her pace down. She put an arm around his shoulder and squeezed him briefly as they walked. 'It's not your fault. I've been wanting to get out of that job for ages anyway. You just gave me an excuse.' She gritted her teeth when she thought about what Maurice had said. 'That man is a complete bastard.'

'And I'm sorry I swore.' Reese told her.

'So am I.' Elliott replied. 'Don't worry about it.' She offered him a smile as they crossed the road to the bus stop. 'How about I make you some lasagne for dinner, huh? You like that don't you?'

Reese beamed at her. 'Sure! Will Jimmy be coming over?'

Elliott glanced away briefly, her smile fading a little. 'He might be.' She replied. 'But if he does, will you not tell him about me losing my job?'


'Because… well, Uncle Jimmy probably won't be very happy about it. You know how he gets.'

'He'll go down and beat the crap out of that fat bastard,' Reese nodded. 'He should. I'd help him.'

'Reese,' Elliott frowned disapprovingly. 'Stop with the potty mouth. The opportunity for free swearing has passed.'

'Sorry, mom.' Reese fell quiet for a moment while Elliott raked in her bag for her purse. 'Why don't you just borrow some money from Uncle Jimmy? He's always telling you to.'

Elliott sighed. 'I don't like taking things from him.'

'Well, maybe I could work in the garage with him and Johnny and Peanut. That would make some money, yeah? Then maybe you won't have to get another job.'

Elliott glanced to him. He was bright and considerate for a ten year old, but that didn't stop him from having a rough streak. Although that was probably due to being brought up in New Coventry. You had to be tough to live there. He was also quite tall for his age, just a little shorter than Elliott. Handsome too, with blue eyes and straight brown hair, which was currently in need of a cut. It was beginning to flop over his eyes a little. Already she could tell he was going to grow into a tall, handsome young man. She reached out and pushed his hair from his eyes.

'You're too young to work, Reese.' She told him, slightly amused. 'Jimmy won't want you hanging around all the time.'

He eyed her for a moment. 'Mom, why don't you like Jimmy?'

She blinked, and then returned her attention to looking for her purse. 'It's not that I don't like him, Reese.' She sighed. 'You know I like your Uncle Jimmy. It's just… I don't like to take things from him. It's not his responsibility to look after us, is it?'

'No,' Reese agreed. 'Should be my dad.'

Elliott stopped rummaging and closed her eyes. She took a moment, and then continued searching. 'Where's my purse?' she murmured.

'Why didn't my dad stick around?' Reese asked.

'He… It was a long time ago. He couldn't.'

'Did he not want to?'

Elliott looked up to him with a forced smile, trying to hide the effect that the subject was having on her. 'Hey, how about we skip the bus and use the fare to get some ice cream for after dinner?'

Reese's eyes lit up. 'Yeah!' he grinned.

Elliott nodded, knowing that now the subject had been well and truly put off for another day. She slipped her arm through his and they began walking along the seafront. He began to chatter away about the cool stuff he and Tommy Jackson had found in the Tenements site, but Elliott was only half listening. She knew she couldn't put off the subject of his father for much longer. Even after ten years it was a hard thing to think about, let alone talk about, but the time was coming to tell him.

For now though, it could be put off for another day.