Warnings: Rape, and the general crudity of Nathan and overal grittiness of Misfits.
Timeline: Set a few months after they've finished their community service, but before the events of the Christmas episode. Marnie doesn't exist, Simon and Alisha are not together, though they do have some history. Simon is NOT aware of 'Future-Simon,' but lives in Future-Simon's pad after Alisha showed it to him (and cleaning a lot of it out) and telling him that Superhoodie lived there.
Nathan's boss can afford to be a dick, because no one wants to hire someone with a criminal record most of the time, and on top of that, no one wants to hire Nathan. Nathan calls it the employment double-whammy. He doesn't interview well. He lays on the charm for about five minutes and then he can't help it, a sentence slips out that turns everything south; 'so you get paid well here, right? That looks like an excellent tit job. I've often thought about plastic surgery myself, always wondered what I'd look like with some double Ds.' 'You get smoke breaks? What about wank breaks? It takes less time than the average cigarette, I promise! You get a relaxed and happy worker, and I get to be a relaxed and happy worker. Win-win!' 'No offence, but you've got a real Fagin vibe going on about you. Take in the vulnerable, keep 'em vulnerable eh? I can work for that!'
The one with the Fagin vibe hired him, in the end. He'd seemed amused by the insults and the digs, and Nathan was frankly relieved to have a job, even while being horrified at the idea of working for a living. How awful. It wasn't going to be enough pay to buy him out of the community centre, but it would be enough for some new clothes, enough to make it look like he wasn't a homeless.
Nathan doesn't mind getting dirty at work. Cleaning out the industrial ovens, washing dishes, keeping shelves stocked and exterminating pests (except himself, of course) was all a walk in the park after community service. Sometimes Nathan caught himself scrubbing one of the pots with steel wool, headphones in his ear, whistling along to some tune, and he'd be caught by an pang of longing for his Mum. For one of her cooked meals. For the way she'd cuff him every time he playfully took the piss out of her dinners. The yearning always caught him unexpectedly. Like some kind of stomach flu. And then it passed and he'd be left thinking immortality wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
His boss, who actually went by the christian name of Bradley, ends up being stuck with the name Fagin. Nathan thinks anyone who can cook that good, who's stuck in this dump making pies for shitheads on work breaks is someone with a history. He wouldn't be wrong. But whatever that history is, Fagin seems to keep it out of the workplace, and he's remarkably adept at being completely nonplussed by everything that Nathan says. He's probably the only person who Nathan's ever met who doesn't get routinely pissed off simply by being in his presence. Nathan stepped it up for a few days thinking the man must have a breaking point, and then when he wasn't fired, beaten, yelled at, abused, or any of the other things he'd been expecting, he settled down.
They settled down into a routine. Nathan got paid less than minimum wage, he got himself some new clothes. He occupied that shitty place where he made enough to keep himself fed without theft, but not enough to get himself a place to live. So he stayed at the community centre, still drank their booze and raided their vending machines. Whatever extra money he ever had leftover, which wasn't much, he kept tucked away in a rucksack in one of the storage rooms.
He quickly learns that Fagin is actually a really good cook. He learns it when he steals a pie and realises he hasn't had something this good possibly ever. It's all lean chicken breast and grilled capsicum and warm, flaky pastry that has been turned and made just that morning by a tender hand.
He'd been affectionately calling the cafe the 'chew 'n' spew,' but he knew something awesome when he tasted it. He stole some more over the next few days, and then the next few weeks, and he was sure Fagin knew about it, but the guy seemed to indulge his petty thievery and Nathan could've sworn that the manager deliberately left the countertop to go do something meaningless out the back, just so Nathan could take something else.
Nathan liked that it was like a rapport between the two of them. Nathan had the money to afford the food, and Fagin had many reasons to fire Nathan, but for some reason Nathan never paid and Fagin never said no. He also never outright offered the food to Nathan, just made himself scarce on a regular basis and never commented on the missing food.
After two weeks, they have a pretty solid rapport. Fagin doesn't trust Nathan alone with an open cash register, which Nathan respects. Nathan is starting to think Fagin's just an all round good guy, even if he does have a rocky past. This he is now utterly certain of, because no one who cooks that good ends up in a shithole like this, with chipped laminate and yellowing tiles, plastic tables and chairs, fluorescent overhead lights. Nathan knows he's not in a position to judge, he's got his own criminal record to contend with.
Fagin likes tall, boyish customers. He fusses over them and brings them extra food and has a leery grin that Nathan's pretty sure he's flashed at chicks a few times. And sometimes Fagin gives them his phone number and he'll shut up the cafe early and leave the store. Nathan never sees the kids visit the cafe again, and he never asks about it. Maybe the guy's a terrible shag, maybe it's something else entirely. Nathan has almost no sense of self-preservation, and he's liking this ability to buy new things, eat good food; and he wants to keep his job for a month at least.
Sometimes, he watches his manager bring the kids an extra milkshake, a huge bowl of hot chips with extra curry, and he feels something twinge inside of him. He's learnt to mostly ignore those twinges over the years, but he still knows how to interpret them. It's loneliness. It's his 'I want a father' twinge.
He forces himself to turn away, and he does his job in his half-assed way. He's not going to go above and beyond the call of duty to try and impress a guy that he still hardly knows, even though he wants to. He knows how it always ends. Anyone ever approaching a role model leaves. Anyone he cares about doesn't return the favour for too long. Nathan's his own father figure. That's all that matters.
Still, he can't help but watch furtively when the cute ones come in.
One day, Fagin catches him watching and his eyes narrow. And Nathan, lost for a quick comeback for once in his life, disappears quickly into the back room and then leaves for a smoke and a walk around the block.
That night, as they're closing up, Fagin hands him a beer and watches Nathan drinking it. Nathan knows he's being objectified, he knows he's pretty, he's now even sure that this might be the reason that Fagin hired him; criminal record and all. But Nathan can't bring himself to care, even though he'd never go for the guy in a million years, he likes the attention.
What can he say? He loves attention.
'What the fuck is that? It smells like cat piss and asparagus.'
Nathan leaned over Fagin's container with its orangey-pink sauce and rice and wrinkles his whole face at it. The manager looks up from his lunch, stops leaning on the counter and pushes the container and the fork towards Nathan. He raises an eyebrow.
'I'm surprised you've got enough culture to know what asparagus is. Give it a try, then.'
Nathan stares at the meal with deep scepticism. It looks ridiculously healthy, and smells sour and different to anything he's ever had before. But before he knows what he's doing, he's taking the fork and trying it, maybe to please Fagin, maybe because he's actually got some confidence in his manager's culinary skills.
He chews, swallows, laughs in delight.
'Well, fuck me sideways. I guess I'm a whore for cat piss and asparagus!'
Fagin laughed, took the container back after Nathan had another forkful, and kept eating. Nathan watched him, pursed his lips.
'No offence mate, but what are you doing working here? You're too good for this shithole. Let me guess, criminal record? Long string of bodies behind you?'
'You got part of it right.' Fagin said, his expression didn't even change. He shrugged down at his meal as he took big mouthfuls of the sweet and sour chicken with steamed basmati rice. 'Making the best of what I've got leftover, basically.'
'I know what you mean. I was just sure I was destined for a life of fame and fortune and pussy before, y'know...' he trailed off. His mind helpfully supplied him with an end for the sentence; before, y'know, becoming a homeless. Before being kicked out of home in favour of some jack russell cockhead, and not having his own bedroom to wank in at his convenience and someone to cook him meals at the end of the day. Before being reminded that he's just too much trouble for his own good. He couldn't really blame his Mum, she stuck it out for as long as she could, and she still loved him.
He was just too much for anyone, really.
'You've never talked much about your record.' Fagin supplied, after some time passed. He pushed the food back towards Nathan, indicating he was done.
'Oh, a long string of bodies behind me, just like you! Actually, I was done for eating some Pick 'N' Mix! Can you believe it?' He takes the offered container and finishes the small amount of food left behind. He licks the fork salaciously, wiggling his eyebrows at Fagin as he does it. But it's intended as a joke, and instead of being weird, they both laugh.
'Why're you flirting with your manager, mate? Do you want to get fired?' Kelly said, shaking her head at Nathan, over drinks at the pub where Alisha and Curtis still worked. Curtis was behind the counter, Alisha had ducked out for a bit, and Simon was sitting with them both, typing something into his laptop. He'd picked up part-time work at a spy-gear store, and spent a lot of time looking for, and ordering cutting edge stock whenever he could.
Nathan was a little jealous of Simon getting this awesome, open-plan pad that was – ultimately – paid for by some mysterious masked shithead who liked the quiet one better than him. Of course. But he couldn't take it out on Simon too much (not more than once every two days, anyway), because Simon was sort of loyal, and because Simon had offered him good advice on occasion.
'He's not gonna fire me! Believe me when I say he can take it. I dunno, maybe he was like me when he was a little tike. He's not like you lot, he doesn't hit me or stare at me blankly when I land my marks. He appreciates my wit and my humour.'
'Sod off.' Kelly said, but she shook her head at him in that good-natured way of hers, and went up to get another beer.
'You should find out what his criminal record is for.' Simon said, looking up from his laptop, 'It could be serious.'
'Uh, newsflash, I'm immortal.' Nathan said, spreading his arms and hands in what he thought was a show of his awesomeness.
'Still...I mean you indicated he targeted the younger kids in his cafe...'
'I didn't say he targeted them. And they're not kids, they're just young. You know, like our age. Why does everything always have to be pedophilia with you, anyway?'
'It doesn't!' Simon said, indignant.
'Does too.' Nathan said.
'Does not.' Simon said, and then shook his head abruptly at himself. 'Anyway, my original point still stands, I think you should find out what his record was for. If not for your peace of mind, than at least for ours.'
'Well! Barry! I didn't know you cared!'
'Believe me, I try not to.' He said, but a corner of his lip quirked, and Nathan looked at Simon triumphantly as he finished his beer in one go. He knew the look would piss Simon off, but beneath it was that warm glow he felt at the idea of Simon caring about him.
Two weeks pass, and Nathan doesn't even try and find out what Fagin's criminal record is, until the man invites Nathan over for dinner. If it had happened only two weeks ago, Nathan would've said no, too soon, I don't put out on the first date; but Nathan actually thinks he can trust this man. And anyway, he's immortal, so he's not too worried. But when he gets to Fagin's house and sees that it's actually a very nice place, he's shocked into feeling uncomfortable and he can't say why. It's just so dissonant, he can't help but wonder what sort of fall from grace his manager experienced.
The house smells like garlic and roast chicken, carrots, sweet potato, capsicum. It reminds Nathan of Christmas with his Mum and it makes his heart hurt, and he hides it by poking fun at the artwork on the walls. Fagin actually joins in with him, and soon they're trying to one-up each other on how far they can take it. When Nathan gets to; 'well I think it looks like three midgets trying to fuck a corn cob taken on low focus,' Fagin laughs so loud that Nathan actually feels himself flush. Like it's a compliment. Like he's in primary school again making the bullies laugh so they'll leave him alone, except better.
It's ridiculous, and he's laughing at himself when he laughs with Fagin. He just can't stop laughing at himself.
Nathan feels uneasy eating dinner like this, with an older man who he has now – at least once – imagined could be like a replacement father figure or something. It's not like he hasn't been looking for it, anyway. And uneasy because he knows Fagin is into him. It's not that he minds being the object of someone's attraction, he likes that very much. It's that it's been about two months now and every single one of the kids that comes into Fagin's bar, that Fagin goes off with later on, never comes back again. Not ever.
Fagin is plying him with beer and then, over a dense chocolate cake, he plies him with rum. Nathan starts to feel pleasantly buzzed, and it loosens his tongue even more.
'So, seriously, why've you got your criminal record? You a pedophile or something?'
Fagin looks pensive, and takes a sip of his beer. Nathan realises that Fagin's been giving him the impression that he's been drinking just as much as Nathan has, but he only seems to be on his second drink. Nathan would care, but the rum makes him feel all warm inside, he's had a good meal, he's feeling sleepy, and – as he can't stop reminding others – he's fucking immortal.
'Some guy decided to rat me out, yeah? I had a great life before that, as you can see,' he waved a hand at his home, 'but it didn't work out. I got done, did my time, and then couldn't get hired.'
'I feel that, my friend.' Nathan said, drinking to hide his discomfort. Was it his imagination, or had Fagin just sidestepped the question entirely?
'Since the storm though, things've changed even more for me.'
Nathan put his glass down.
'I've been hearing things about that,' he said evasively, 'weird things have been happening to people. So what've you got? Is it off the A-list of superpowers?'
Fagin laughed, shook his head, everything about him seemed easy and relaxed. But Nathan still felt off-centre. It occurred to him that this might be a trap. If he had any sense of self-preservation, he might just leave. Bad things tended to happen when he met other people who had gotten powers from the storm.
'I seem to be able to make people stay silent about the things I want them to stay silent about. It's not much, really. But it works.' Fagin said. His face smoothed into a serious expression, and he pinned Nathan with his gaze.
'That's not creepy at all, is it?' Nathan laughed, and then made a quick decision, 'I think that's my cue to leave, mate.'
Nathan stood up, and Fagin stood up with him. They were both facing each other over the table, and Nathan abruptly realised that Fagin was the one closest to the door.
'I guess you could say it's not really off the A-list, like say, flying or telekinesis or something. But it does the job for me.'
They're standing, squared off, facing each other. Nathan hears a voice inside of him yell, 'I'm immortal! This'll be fine!' But dying hurts like a bitch and he doesn't want to give Simon the satisfaction of being right. That kid is too paranoid as it is. And then he's wondering what Simon is doing, right now, in this moment. What they're all doing; Kelly, Curtis, Alisha. And here he is, getting himself into trouble like always.
'I got done,' Fagin said, sliding the cake knife out of the cake, 'for allegedly raping some kid. You know. I say allegedly because they all want it.'
'Of course they do, you fucking mental.' Nathan said.
Fagin made the first move, lunged for him sideways, and Nathan ran around the opposite side of the table, straight for the door. He got his hand on the handle and then felt arms around his waist, felt the thunk of his skull as it cracked against the hardwood. Pain arced across the inside of his head and he gagged on it, and blood spilled down the side of his face. But even as he was dazed and frozen somewhere deep down, he turned and struggled. He landed two punches before he had both of his arms twisted up behind his back and pain scissored up and down his spine. He gagged again. He must've hit his head really hard.
He wasn't lucky enough to black out when he felt a hand open the fly on his jeans. And Fagin didn't even pause when Nathan threw up from the pulsing pain in his head, the pulsing pain everywhere. The house still smelled of roast and chocolate cake, and now vomit and something bitter and bloody in the back of Nathan's throat. Bile and hate, because he was so, so fucking stupid.