A/N: I actively dislike the end of this film, and suspect I would find the play's end revolting. Dakin/Irwin.

Ch 2: Scripps

Dakin didn't want to admit it; but he knew he had changed in his three months at Oxford. The ever present smirk had faded along with the sheen from excessive hair gel use.

Of course, other things had changed as well. Less obvious changes but just as important ones. Not being the smartest person in his classes had turned him into less of an arrogant smart-arse. He seemed more content somehow, as if he wasn't always trying to prove something to someone, or maybe it was to himself.

As he walked into the pub that evening, Scripps took a minute to survey him before calling him over to where he was sitting.

He had seen Dakin about six weeks ago, and yet somehow he was still surprised at how much he had changed. After all, he had known the smart mouthed, oversexed adolescent Stuart used to be for over six years. It was difficult to get that image out of his mind sometimes.

Dakin gave him a genuine smile; yet another shocking sign of growth. His real smile had freaked Scripps out a bit at first but he had gotten used to it for the most part.

He smiled back as he and Dakin exchanged a friendly handshake and pat on the back.

Dakin's keen eyes noticed his empty glass.

"You need a refill, mate?"

Dakin was back within moments with not only two beers, but also with a double order of bangers and mash.

Scripps expressed his gratitude and handed over some money. Dakin thanked him and pocketed the money.

He talked with Scripps for a while; everything from their schooling, new friends, interesting classes to their fond (and not so fond) memories of Cutler's until a pause fell between them. So far there was only one thing they had avoided talking about and Scripps simply couldn't put it off any longer.

Scripps looked at him seriously for a moment.

"Have you seen him?"

"Who?" Dakin played for time, looking at the table.

Scripps stared at him levelly until Dakin finally sighed out a negative response. He shook his head before continuing.

"I last saw him at Hector's service."

"You should, you know. See him. You know where he is."

"Yeah. I'll see you-I've got to-home you know."

He made to leave, gathering his coat quickly.

"Right. It was good to talk to you."

They shook hands before Dakin left. Scripps watched him go, wondering if he had pushed him too far.

No, he thought, Dakin needs a fire lit under him. He's always done better under pressure, after all.

Outside, Dakin leaned against the pub for a moment to catch his breath. He was embarrassed to admit how affected he still was by the mention-or lack thereof-of Irwin. It wasn't as if he had thought of him every day but he had found himself wondering how Irwin would have taught this or how he would feel about an essay or even a topic.

Of course, Scripps was right. He should see him. But that would mean facing his fears; his fears of being forgotten…or remembered. What if he was remembered, missed even? Of course, there was the physical and the psychological injuries Irwin had sustained. He didn't know how to, didn't want to deal with all that.

It was too much to deal with right now. His head spinning, he quickly went home and went to bed where his thoughts kept him awake much longer than he was willing to admit.

Damn Scripps.