WORD COUNT: 633
STYLE/WARNINGS: Gen. White Cortina. Nelson-centric. Spoilers through S1.04.
AUTHORS' NOTES: I've seen the show (especially the first series) quite a few times now, but I keep noticing new things. One little throwaway line in S1.04 was all it took to send me hurtling down this path. :) Written for the Heat challenge at 1973flashfic.
DISCLAIMER: Life on Mars is copyright Kudos and the BBC. No infringement is intended and no money is being made.
There was, truly, no better way to spend one's early morning hours than on one's hands and knees in the dirt.
Nelson smiled to himself and hummed a little as he methodically plopped a little seed into the hole that he'd carefully burrowed. And then brushed a handful of dirt over it. Plop, brush, plop, brush...now all that was needed was a bit of water. And after that was done, he'd get to go to his second-most-favourite place to be on a sunny Monday morning in the middle of spring in Manchester: his greenhouse.
It was small, to be sure. It was also rather difficult to get to, hidden as it was at the back of the garden shed behind his property. Most passersby didn't even notice it, which was exactly how he liked it.
Although the ground had just recently got warm enough for him to begin sowing seeds directly into the ground in earnest, the conditions he carefully maintained in his greenhouse ensured that his precious babies had everything they needed. Sun? Check. Water? He was diligent about watering them every day, but never overwatering. Food? This he saw to as well, as needed. Safety from pests? He had his own means of guarding against pests, and the actual structure of his greenhouse did its part as well. He'd installed special film over the glass that allowed the sun's beneficial light in, but kept prying eyes out---so no human pests were likely to come calling, either.
All in all, it was a wonderful and ideal setup. Most people thought Nelson was a bartender because he liked it---and they weren't wrong. He was, and he did. But a large part of why he liked it so much wasn't just the interaction with all sorts of people, although that was nice too. It also wasn't the rather decent money his pub brought in---although that was also quite nice.
No, it was the hours. For a man who liked to garden as much as he did, you couldn't ask for better hours out of a job. Since he didn't usually require a lot of sleep, he was always up around dawn, hard at work tending his lovely leafy beauties.
Of course, being a man who lived alone, he had to find ways of utilising his crops effectively, once he'd harvested them. There were only so many jars and bottles and bits of dried herbs that one man could put away and expect to use before it went off, after all. And here, too, was where owning and running a successful neighbourhood pub came in very useful. It wasn't long before Nelson's enterprising mind had begun to see the Railway Arms as a potential source of clientele for his other business.
Soon, he was doing a brisk trade in all sorts of varieties of fresh herbs. As the weather grew warmer, he knew he'd find himself carting heavy boxes and sacks of produce out to the kerb, for eager customers who were all too happy to slip him a fiver or a tenner or, indeed, whatever he was asking. All his hard work had paid off; Nelson had the best crops in town.
Especially when it came to chillies, which were his speciality. He did a brisk trade in varieties that even Sam had never heard of---and Sam prided himself on his knowledge of gourmet ingredients for food.
When word got round through the underground gourmet channels that "Spring has come to Manchester," Sam learnt the code very quickly.