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Four Movie Nights and a Drink at the Pub

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I. Four Weddings and a Funeral

"I didn't know Hugh Grant was in Training Day," Nicholas says when the credits appear.

"Er," says Danny. "He's not."

"But I thought - "

"Change of pace, yeah? It's a bit of a busman's holiday, watching these cop films all the time."

Danny owns the world's largest DVD collection of cop films--literally, as Nicholas knows because he was there when some junior lecturer in cultural studies rang up hoping to borrow one of the rarities for a book he's researching. He and Danny could watch one every night for years and never run out of shootouts and car chases.

"I suppose," Nicholas says. "What's it about?"

Danny's face goes a funny color that might be red, although it's hard to tell in the reflected light from the screen. "Shhh, it's starting."

For once, Danny doesn't recite along with the dialogue or talk back to the characters. Nicholas hears him sniffle during the funeral scene, though.

 

II. Bedrooms and Hallways

"I think it was heterosexist," Nicholas says. And he should know, having once helped write a training leaflet on heterosexism, avoidance of.

"What's that when it's at home?"

"Anti-gay. It shows a gay bloke turning straight!"

"Yeah, but the straight bloke turns gay, too. That balances it out."

Nicholas isn't quite sure it's the same thing. But he doesn't want to start a row, not when he's drinking Danny's beer, sitting on Danny's sofa in the flat Danny finally unpacked and cleaned mostly because Nicholas kept nagging him about it. "Fair enough."

"It's not every movie you see a straight bloke turning gay. Hey, d'you fancy fish and chips before the shop closes?"

 

III. Wilby Wonderful

Nicholas has a whole list in his head of things Carol ought to be charged with, possibly including attempted murder. And he's not sure he sees the humor in some sad bastard trying to top himself. But he has to agree with Danny that the ending was happy.

"Cowboys," Danny sighs. "Cowboys in love."

"And not tragic like that other one. Brokeback Mountain." They'd watched that at the end of a rough week, when a tourist went missing and Nicholas was afraid the law-and-order murder cult stuff was starting up again. When Jack died he cried so much that Danny bought him ice cream every day for a week to apologize.

"Sometimes," Danny says thoughtfully, leaning against Nicholas's shoulder as he stretches and yawns, "things turn out all right."

 

IV. Big Eden

"Romantic, isn't it?" Danny hands him the bag of smoky bacon crisps, and Nicholas fishes out the last few. "I mean, that's what love really is. Someone who looks after you."

"Someone who cooks you gourmet meals?" He counts the crisps out, one for himself, one for Danny, back and forth. There's one over, so he breaks it in half. "I can see the appeal."

"Maybe, but that's not what I mean." Danny turns and gives him a serious look, spilling crisps onto the carpet. "The flash bloke that Henry thought he wanted wasn't right for him. But he couldn't look past the surface. He almost never noticed Pike at all. Maybe he thought he was too fat or something."

Nicholas considers. "I don't think that was it. I think he just didn't know how Pike felt. Didn't know how to read his signals."

 

V. The Crown

"Listen, Danny, I'm not drunk."

"Didn't think you were," Danny says. "We've only had the one. And it's your round, by the way."

"I want to say something. And it's really important that you know I'm not drunk."

There's an odd look on Danny's face, like he was halfway to a smile before he got run off the road by panic. "Okay."

"Well." Nicholas can hear panic revving up behind him. He takes a deep breath. "I get it. I understand what you've been saying. With the films."

"Oh." Danny shrugs and looks out the window. "Took you long enough."

"I'm still not as stupid as Henry."

And Danny's smile finds its way back at last. "Close run thing, though."

"Hey, you can't insult me now." Nicholas touches his hand. "This is the romantic bit."

"The bit where you kiss me? Finally?"

"I think so. Well, not in the pub. But, yeah." Nicholas heads for the door, with Danny beside him.

Heroes ride into the sunset. But this is another kind of story, now. They walk off, together, into the night.